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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Any Buyers?
Now this has to be one of the funniest things I've seen out in blog world.

My blog is worth $141,699.54.
How much is your blog worth?

Friday, September 29, 2006
I Love America

America Ferrara has become one of my favorite young actresses. I first saw her in the 2002 movie, Real Women Have Curves. Last year, I saw her in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. In both movies, I thought she was a charming, beautiful, and very talented actress. When I heard she was starring in a television series being produced by Salma Hayak, I knew I'd give it a shot. I thought it was absolutely charming and fun!

The series is based on a telenovela that was originally produced in Columbia. It's now being recreated in multiple countries. The cast is magnificent in their over-the-top melodrama. In contrast, America's character, Betty, is played very realistically. This was an hour of television I really enjoyed. Betty is wonderful and real. I adore Ugly Betty.

Edited to add (ETA): If you missed the pilot on Thursday, I did some Internet sleuthing for you. I had heard that ABC Family was going to be rebroadcasting the episodes, but couldn't find it on their schedule. I did, however, find it on SoapNet. They are showing the pilot episode today (Saturday) at 12:00 p.m. EST and at 12:00 a.m. EST. Set your vcr, Tivo, whatever!

Five Ingredients Friday

Today's entry came from a cooking message board. It was easy enough, so I threw it together one night when we had all the ingredients, but I didn't have either the time or inclination to cook. This is just some mixing. We loved it, plus it's a real rib-sticker. It's also very kid-friendly, but you might need to take the onions out for them. And yes, I did kind of wiggle around the Five Ingredient rule. I am a scofflaw!

Hot Dog Casserole

1 28 oz can of baked beans
½ med onion, chopped
4 hot dogs, chopped

Jazz up with any or none of the following items:
BBQ sauce
Worcestershire sauce
brown sugar
hot sauce

And top with 1 prepared box of cornbread mix (I like Jiffy in a pinch, but prefer to make my own.)

Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown and passes the toothpick test. It will remain soft where it touches the beans.

Bonus Recipe


1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
¾ c cornmeal
¼ c sugar
2 t baking powder
½ t salt

¼ c vegetable oil
1 c milk
1 egg, beaten

Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix. Pour into buttered 8”x8” square pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, or pour over above recipe.

Why do I always forget to direct you to Overwhelmed with Joy for more recipes. The picture is also a link to her site. Don't forget the Holiday Recipes coming soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I was reading this blog today, and I thought she had a great idea of talking about subscriptions. I love them. There are several variations out there. I have Bloglines. Now while I realize I'm so riveting, you want to check me every day. I also accept that there might be some people who just want to look at my site when I have something new to say. I think this would be especially handy for my family.

When you set up an account with Bloglines, you can subscribe to any blog that is signed up with them. This includes some major news sites (CNN) as well as blogs of every size and description. Their menu is too vast for me to list here. Go check them out here.

Once you've set up your account, you can subscribe to new blogs when you see a link that looks like the one above, or other similar ones. My link is located on the right side towards the bottom. I currently have about 22 sites saved to my Bloglines account. It's great because I can take a quick look and see what's new at those sites without having to actually click into each one. It saves me time, and lets me know when there's something new to read. Check it out!

Monday, September 25, 2006
Referral Day

And all I can say is unh. It's not the worst, but it's far from the best news. Dossiers through August 9th have been matched. This means we're inching closer. As a reminder, our dossier was logged in on October 13th.

It's taking them approximately 3 months to get through one months worth of dossiers. If that remains true, they'll get the middle of August in October and the rest of August and early September in November. September should be a very light month as many people who sent their dossiers to China in late August through all of September weren't logged in until October. There were various rumors back then about the delay. I seem to recall a computer problem being the reason. Assuming a light month, the rest of September could match in December.

There are no dossiers logged in from October 1-7 as this was a holiday, so with a 13th log in, we're actually the first week in October logged in. This means January is a possibility. If September splits into 3 instead of 2 months, it could be February. Finally, if they finish August in October and do September in November since both months are supposed to be light. There is still the slimmest possibility of December. This is now reaching the highly unlikely.

That really stinks because this means we will have to renew our I-171H. The I-171H is the permission by Immigration to bring home an orphaned child. This will add an unexpected and unwelcome expense of close to $2000. Now you see why I'm really hoping for referral by December. Well, that and because we've been waiting FOREVER and are ready to have our child in our home.

Send your thoughts towards China and ask them to speed up for us, would ya?

Now let's switch to happier thoughts. Yesterday, my agency DTC group moderator hosted a cybershower. It crossed several months, I believe. We had moms with LIDS from September to November. There may have been a December, but I'm not sure. Most of the ladies lived within driving distance to her home, so they met there for the shower. Those of us who couldn't get there participated via Yahoo Messenger and a webcam. It was a lot of fun talking to my agency friends, plus we received some lovely gifts. Barb was matched to me and sent us a wonderful child's pink backpack with a water bottle on the side. Inside there was a matching plate, bowl, cup set, several Sandra Boyton books, a princess purse with matching earrings, hair clips, hair band, and hair twists. It's all adorable. Thank you again, Barb!

Sunday, September 24, 2006
Nostalgia Lane
Since I am currently residing on Nostalgia Lane, here's another blast from the past. (And yes, I am showing my age.)

Click Here to get this from FreeFlashToys.com!

Saturday, September 23, 2006
Living in the Past
A recent discussion on the Rumor Queen's board has sent me down memory lane.

I went to college at Florida State University from January 1983 through December 1985. I had received my AA degree through our community college so entered college as a junior. That first semester I joined a business fraternity and got to know a wonderful group of people. Unfortunately, I'm only in Christmas card contact with most of them, but I think of them often.

The memory that came back to me was our Sunday nights. We would gather together in someone's apartment. Crumpets would get toasted along with more typical college snacks, and we'd settle in to watch The Young Ones. If you've never heard of this television show, you are not alone. It was a British comedy that aired on PBS on Sunday nights. It was about four young men who shared a flat. They were crude, disgusting, kind of icky, and hysterical.

Well, words really can't describe them. You have to see for yourself.

Friday, September 22, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday

Chicken and Rice
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
water or chicken broth
1 ½ cups rice
1 bag of frozen vegetables
chicken base

Pour enough water or broth in pot to cover chicken breasts, and bring to simmering boil. Add chicken breasts and cover pot. Reduce heat so that you do not have a rolling boil. Poach chicken until cooked through, usually about 20 minutes. Remove chicken, and cut or shred into bite-size pieces.

Pour leftover liquid into measuring cup. Strain the liquid, if necessary, as you pour. Add a little olive oil to your now empty pot and heat until oil is sizzling. Pour rice into pot and stir until rice is coated with oil and starting to turn opaque. Be very careful not to burn. You can also add a handful of chopped onions at this stage. Add water or broth to measuring cup to equal slightly less than 3 cups. Pour the liquid into pot. It should sizzle. If you use water, add approximately 1 tsp of chicken base per cup of water. If you want more flavor, you can add more or add it to broth, but do it carefully as it is very salty. When the liquid comes to a boil, add frozen vegetables and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and let cook until liquid is absorbed, approximately 20-25 minutes.

This is my comfort food. I “perfected” the recipe when I was single and would live for days off of this. I would swap out the type of meat and veggies and make this all the time. I especially liked the Bird’s Eye California blend in this. Fresh vegetables are even better. It’s a great way to use leftovers. I love to add a pat of butter to my serving. My husband thinks it’s okay, but too bland, so he adds hot sauce. You can also add more seasoning to the pot. I’ve added poultry seasoning, garlic & ginger, lots of other combinations. My favorite is still the original.

For more recipes, visit Overwhelmed with Joy!

Thursday, September 21, 2006
The Early Bird

My friend, OW, at Overwhelmed with Joy! is trying to get as many people as possible to join her on Monday, October 2 with a link to their favorite holiday recipe. Post your favorite recipe on your site, then go to her's and link it. She'll have Mr. Linky up to help with the process. She's asked that all recipes be tried and true.

I think this could be a fun way to find some new holiday favorites. I'll be posting one of our's. I hope you will, too! Click the picture or the link to join the fun.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Works For Me Wednesday!

My tip today involves web addresses. Do you have any that are really long? Or maybe you copied a link from an article somewhere or a catalog item that's two plus lines long and you want to send it to someone. What you are looking for is a tiny url. All you need to do is go to www.tinyurl.com, and they'll hook you up! Here's an example of what it looks like:

The following URL:


has a length of 140 characters and resulted in the following TinyURL which has a length of 24 characters:


And this is also an example of why it's helpful. Notice how the long link to Amazon broke when I made a hyperlink of it. Now look at the tiny url version. It works for me!

For more great tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...
Autumn! Scared ya, didn't I? Today we had a high of 58, and we'll be in the low 40's tonight. We're having a bit of a cold spell. The temps should be back up to the 70's by the weekend. This should definitely kickstart the leaf changing. I love Fall up here. The trees are amazing, plus we get to drive a few miles north to Michigan and buy apples at the apple farm. Apple Cider will become plentiful. I will admit that I learned a new food custom when I moved up here. I'll confess that while I think it's good, I can really take it or leave it. What is it, you ask? Cider and doughnut holes. When I first heard of this combination I thought it sounded disgusting. I was thinking about sweet glazed doughnut holes and sweet apple cider. It was enough to make my teeth hurt. I quickly learned that the doughnut holes should be unglazed. The popular ones are the cakey ones that aren't as sweet. In fact, they're really kind of dry. The apple cider goes a long way to moistening up that treat.

The fall is going to be a little tougher than usual though. We're coming up on our one-year anniversary of submitting our adoption paperwork. I was sure we'd be taking our child for apples and looking for a Halloween costume to join the pre-dark, pre-K trick or treaters in our neighborhood.

On the other hand, I took this little quiz and learned I have all the time in the world.

Magi --


An immortal

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Saturday, September 16, 2006
Facts You Were Fine Not Knowing

Felt like I needed to post something for the weekend, but there's nothing really going on. Found this online, thought I'd share this instead.

I am

44 years 8 months younger than Walter Cronkite, age 89
40 years 0 months younger than Nancy Reagan, age 85
37 years 1 month younger than George Herbert Bush, age 82
29 years 10 months younger than Barbara Walters, age 74
27 years 8 months younger than Larry King, age 72
21 years 5 months younger than Ted Koppel, age 66
18 years 0 months younger than Geraldo Rivera, age 63
15 years 0 months younger than George W. Bush, age 60
10 years 0 months younger than Jesse Ventura, age 55
5 years 9 months younger than Bill Gates, age 50
0 years 11 months younger than Cal Ripken Jr., age 46
5 years 0 months older than Mike Tyson, age 40
9 years 0 months older than Jennifer Lopez, age 36
14 years 6 months older than Tiger Woods, age 30
20 years 11 months older than Prince William, age 24


35 years 1 month younger than Andy Griffith, age 80
31 years 7 months younger than Dick Clark, age 76
30 years 4 months younger than Leonard Nimoy, age 75
28 years 3 months younger than Carol Burnett, age 73
25 years 6 months younger than Alan Alda, age 70
24 years 0 months younger than Bill Cosby, age 69
18 years 8 months younger than Linda Evans, age 63
16 years 6 months younger than Tom Selleck, age 61
13 years 7 months younger than Ted Danson, age 58
11 years 3 months younger than Jay Leno, age 56
7 years 6 months younger than Oprah Winfrey, age 52
6 years 5 months younger than Kelsey Grammer, age 51
3 years 2 months younger than Drew Carey, age 48
0 years 1 month younger than Michael J. Fox, age 45
3 years 4 months older than Calista Flockhart, age 41
7 years 7 months older than Jennifer Aniston, age 37
11 years 5 months older than Alyssa Milano, age 33
16 years 4 months older than Colin Hanks, age 28
22 years 1 month older than Mila Kunis, age 23
29 years 11 months older than Madylin Sweeten, age 15

and I was:

40 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America
38 years old on the first day of Y2K
36 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
33 years old at the time of Oklahoma City bombing
32 years old when O. J. Simpson was charged with murder
31 years old at the time of the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center
29 years old when Operation Desert Storm began
28 years old during the fall of the Berlin Wall
24 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded
22 years old when Apple introduced the Macintosh
21 years old during Sally Ride's travel in space
19 years old when Pres. Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
18 years old at the time the Iran hostage crisis began
14 years old on the U.S.'s bicentennial Fourth of July
13 years old when President Nixon left office
10 years old when Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot
8 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon
6 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated
4 years old during the Watts riot
2 years old at the time President Kennedy was assassinated

and that's not all:

1 years old at the time Beverly Hillbillies first aired
3 years old when the Addams Family first appeared on TV
5 years old at the time the first Star Trek episode was televised
9 years old when All in the Family was first shown
11 years old at the time the TV series M*A*S*H began
14 years old when Saturday Night Live first aired
16 years old when CBS introduced Dallas
19 years old during the first airing of Hill Street Blues
21 years old at the time the first Cheers episode was televised
25 years old when L.A. Law was first aired on TV
25 years old at the time the series Married with Children began
28 years old when Seinfeld was first televised
30 years old in the month Home Improvement began
33 years old at the time the TV series Friends began
35 years old when Everybody Loves Raymond first aired
38 years old when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire began in the US

This Age Gauge is from: A Bear Named Boy™

©97-2006 D.M.H., All Rights Reserved

To find your own facts, click here.

Friday, September 15, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday

Souper Pot Roast

2-3 lb chuck roast
1 can cream soup (your choice)
1 envelope dried onion soup (Lipton’s)

Mix soups together in crock pot. Brown roast in hot skillet and add to crock pot. Turn once to coat. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 4-5 hours.

The original recipe called for the roast to be cut into chunks. I added it whole and didn’t have time to brown it. I also used cream of mushroom soup. I served it with mashed potatoes, and it was delicious. Rice or noodles would be good also. I sliced the leftovers and froze them with gravy. We ate them another night as open-faced sandwiches, and it was even better.

Visit Overwhelmed with Joy! for more great recipes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Eleven Months

Wow! It's so hard to believe that it's been eleven months, and they're not even finished matching JULY yet. What's ironic was that I really hoped our paperwork would be finished by July. I knew it was a pipedream last year to hope that, but I did. If it had, we'd be next. But it didn't, and we're not.

Rumors are all over the place this month, as usual. Referrals usually come out around the 25th-27th of the month. Rumors have had everything from this batch finishing July (23-31) to going well into August (18). I'd prefer to see the latter of course. The first half of August is supposed to be pretty light. Hopefully, this means they'll get through it quickly. September seems to be fairly light as well because the CCAA didn't get too many dossiers logged in that month. October is a monster month. I hear November is as well. November won't impact us though. Luckily, we're in the first half of the month. If they divide October up like they have the other months, we should be in the first or second batch for October. I'm still hoping for a referral by Christmas, but I'm being told that is very optimistic of me.

In the meantime, I'm watching to try and determine if we'll need to re-do our immigration paperwork. This is approval from our government (CIS, used to be INS) to adopt an orphan from another country and bring her/him home. The approval lasts 18 months, but takes several months to put together. It involves getting a homestudy update as well as updating police, medical, and financial clearances. If we get a referral in December, we should be okay. If it goes past that we have to renew. The problem is we probably should start the process in October, at the latest. If we only knew what to do!!!!!

That's the latest in adoption world. As always, we'll keep everyone posted as soon as we hear anything that impacts our situation. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy a cybershower this month with my travel group. See you next month with the 12-month update....same bat time, same bat channel.

Works For Me Wednesday!

I never used to get sick, and then I went to work in a public school. Spend approximately 7 hours in a closed room with approximately 120 students and all their sniffles and coughing and I get a cold. I usually get at least one within a month of school starting and then sometimes a second after Christmas break. A cold would be no big deal except they always seem to end up in my chest. Most people will have a cold for about 7 days. I'm good for 3-4 weeks. This year I decided to try a new product to see if it'd work for me. Unfortunately, I was out of town when the symptoms started so I was about 12 hours late with the first dose. As soon as I got home though, I started drinking down my fizzy water. Here it is 7 days later, and all I have left is an occasional cough. It should be completely clear within a day or two as I know my body. This cut down by sicktime dramatically. I wonder what would have happened if I had started 12 hours earlier. What worked for me? Airborne!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
How Did You Meet Your Honey?

Barb of A Chelsea Morning posed the above question. Other bloggers are linking their stories to her site, so go check them out.

First, I have to change that to sweetie as that has been our nickname for each other from the beginning. I don't remember who called the other that first, but that's what we both call each other now.

Our story is a bit unusual. It's becoming more common, but at the time we were the only ones we knew, or our friends and family knew, who met the way we met.

We met on the Internet.

Okay, I just deleted the novel I was writing here. Let me make a long story much shorter, if I can.

Girl buys computer in 1996. Girl is clueless about computer. Girl tries every Internet provider that has a free trial. The last one in the stack is AOL. AOL is highlighting a new interactive game being offered in their game section. Girl says, "hey, games sound fun!" Girl tries game, likes game, and makes new friends from all around the world. Friends Karen and Tom take their vacation to meet all their new Internet friends. Girl meets her first Internet friend in person when they come to New Orleans. Girl almost chickens out on the way to dinner; she gets so nervous that she almost pulls over to throw up. Apparently Girl thinks Internet friends are killers in disguise. Girl is wrong. Internet friends are normal and fun.

Months later, Girl has special group of friends in game. They meet regularly to solve quests and adventure. Boy is part of group. Girl and Boy chat as part of group, but have not connected yet. Girl finds out Boy is a teacher. Girl wants to quit job and become teacher. Girl asks Boy about teaching. Boy loves teaching and shares lots of information. In fact, Boy gets new teaching job and moves to new town.

Months later, Boy's move to new town and new job are big success. Boy's marriage not doing so well. Girl makes decision to go back to school and plans to cut work hours. Work decides to cut Girl. Both are dealing with big personal crisis. Boy's marriage counselling doesn't work. Girl's home in New Orleans floods, and she loses almost everything.

Months later, Boy's marriage ends. Girl has new job and is well on her way to finishing licensing program. Life is starting to get better for both. Both still play game. It helped during their crisis. Boy and Girl decide to meet in person. Boy and Girl agree to meet for Halloween weekend. How ironic and spooky. Girl's friends nervous about Boy. Boy's friends nervous about Girl. Boy flies many miles to visit Girl in New Orleans. Visit is perfect.

Boy flies back for Christmas break. Boy meets Girl's family at Christmas. Brother-in-law of Girl worries about woodchippers. BIL watches Fargo too many times. Visit big success.

Boy flies back for Mardi Gras. Boy loves Mardi Gras. By the way, did you know that Mardi Gras is really a family event in New Orleans? The Bourbon St. show you see on TV is all tourists. That's not how locals celebrate Mardi Gras.

Girl decides it's her turn to visit Boy. Girl visits for Easter.

Girl finds out about transfer open with her company for same position in Boy's town. Girl and Boy talk. They want to see if living in the same town makes or breaks relationship.

Girl moves to Boy's town.

Friends and family of Girl think she's gone insane to move a 17 hour car drive away. Girl says that sometimes you have to take that leap.

Boy and Girl fly to Arizona for her to meet Boy's family.

Boy proposes. Girl accepts.

Boy and Girl get married on March 31, 2000.

Boy and Girl have no regrets. The leap was a good one. That Boy is a keeper!

Monday, September 11, 2006
Word Cloud

Sparks from the Anvil: In Honor of David Reed Gamboa-Brandhorst
Sparks from the Anvil: In Honor of David Reed Gamboa-Brandhorst

All of the tributes have been amazing to read. This one just broke my heart. I think the adoption angle just brings it that much closer to home.

2996 Tribute - Dorothy Alma deAraujo
She was an obedient Midwestern girl. Life couldn’t have been easy for her and her family as a child. Home was Depression-era Chicago to Dorothy deAraujo and her loving parents. Her father made his living selling clothes wringers while her mother spent her days working in the department store. They wanted more for their child. Though Dorothy spent her evenings taking classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, her parents could not see a future for her in art. Dorothy put aside her dream.

Nothing could be found to tell the story of her falling in love, marrying, and having a child, yet she did so. As an adult, Dorothy headed west where she went to work for California State University’s Long Beach campus. She worked there for 20 years, until her retirement. That was when Dorothy started to live her dream.

After retiring, Dorothy was allowed to take free classes. She took advantage of this opportunity to finally earn her coveted degree in Fine Arts, at the age of 69, to the delight of her son, Tim deAraujo, Jr. Soon she had become a full-fledged professional artist with a thriving new business.

Dorothy made her home in the Naples community of Long Beach, CA. There she became known as “our artist” because of her ability to capture the colorful community filled with canals, boats, shops, and homes. Dorothy was an intrepid traveler. She loved to visit other countries to expand her vision and explore their museums. She counted France, Australia, Brazil, Italy, and Hawaii among the lands she explored.

She may have been 82 years old, but she wasn’t slowing down yet. She kept painting supplies at her son’s home in Massachusetts in case the muse hit. It was at the end of one of her visits there that she boarded Flight 175. Dorothy deAraujo was a remarkable woman. She was an artist – a wife – a mother – a grandmother, and Dorothy was on her way home.

To learn more about Dorothy Alma deAraujo and other victims of September 11, 2001, please visit the 2996 Tribute, or visit these other sites where the information on Mrs. deAraujo and others can be found by clicking here, here, or here.

I've changed the post date to keep this on top through Monday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006
Carnival of Blogging Chicks

Blogging Chicks is holding a carnival in honor of September 11th. My two posts have been featured. Please click here to find more tributes and remembrances.

Saturday, September 09, 2006
It Was Such a Beautiful Morning

You know the kind I mean. It's too early for fall, but there is still a new crispness to the air. The sky was the kind of blue you see in paintings with fluffy white clouds. It was much too pretty for the horror that would soon be unleashed.

I started that day still nervous about my new job. I had turned 40 a few months prior and was now embarking on a whole new career. After a lifetime in the hospitality field, I had become a public high school teacher. School had been in session for about two weeks, and I was still nervous. I felt like a fraud in that building. My first class of the day was Computer Applications. It ran from 7:55am to 8:50am. We then had a five minute passing period. I left class feeling pretty good about how it went. It was one I felt more comfortable teaching. I had a pretty good handle on the software and was spending hours each day working through the assignments so that I'd be at least a step or two ahead of the kids.

My second period class was in a different room. Before I went to that room, I ran around the corner to our department office to pick up some papers. The TV was on, which was very unusual, and CNN was showing footage of a plane hitting a building. I asked someone what was going on and they said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I shook my head as I ran back to class thinking about what an awful mistake that pilot must have made.

I admit I barely gave it more than a moment's thought. This class made me nervous. It was Business & Personal Law. The students were all juniors and seniors in high school. It was a small class, but they sure brought up all my insecurities. It was in this class that I felt the biggest fraud. What did I know about Law? It seemed so intimidating and the classes I took on Business Law seemed so long ago. It seemed like I couldn't remember any of it. My other classes were filled with freshmen and sophomores. They're still young, and I could fool them into thinking I really was a teacher. This class, however, was filled with cynical teenagers nearing the ends of pre-college academic experiences. They had seen every kind of teacher and seemed to dare me to be different.

As I walked into class that morning, one of my students asked to turn on the television. She said that she had heard something in her first period class about a plane crash and wanted to see what it was about. Several voices joined her in begging me to turn on the TV. I suspected they were really just trying to find a way to postpone class, but I also wanted to know what was going on so I agreed. We had been watching for just a few minutes and quietly discussing how awful it was when we saw the second plane hit. My blood ran cold. All of a sudden my room of cynical bored teenagers seemed to regress before my very eyes. Instead of appearing nearly adult-like as they usually did, they became frightened children. "Mrs. M," they asked, "what does this mean?" I hesitated for just a minute before answering. I told them that this meant it wasn't an accident. At this point, I knew there was no point in trying to hold our regular class. We channel-surfed through the news channels. We listened to all the newscasters that hour speculating. We saw the first tower collapse. Through it all, I answered their questions as best I could and tried to allay their fears. I assured them we were safe; that our little high school in the Midwest would not be a target. I sure sounded a lot more confident than I felt.

The rest of the day seems a blur to me. I made it through the rest of my classes. Those students were much younger. I didn't feel they should watch the footage over and over, so I kept the TV off. I would let them turn it on for the last five minutes of class to see if there were any updates. The day was spent trying to reassure a lot of students when I didn't have any answers either. It was a sobering experience.

At the end of the school day, I went home. Jim and I watched the news over and over. We learned of all the new developments and wondered, along with everyone else, how and why? We cried and worried before finally falling to sleep.

The next morning I returned to that law class, but now there was something different. I no longer felt like a fraud as I watched my class turn to me and wait for class to begin.

To read more stories of that day, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer or the Carnival at Blogging Chicks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday

Last Christmas, I made homemade candy and filled quart-sized canning jars. This was a new recipe I tried then. It was the easiest one to make, and it tasted the best. I think it would be great with a layer of melted chocolate poured over the top, but then what wouldn't?

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp corn syrup
pinch of salt
2/3 cup peanut butter

Combine first four ingredients, and cook together until it reaches the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour into buttered 8”x8” or 9”x9" square pan. This will set up quickly. Let cool, and cut into pieces.

Peanut butter can be smooth or chunky. You can use any kind of milk: whole, 2%, 1%, skim, even evaporated milk diluted with water. I used smooth peanut butter with 1% milk.

At the softball stage, this fudge is soft, but will hold a shape when cut. If you like your fudge a little firmer, cook it a little longer. My candy thermometer wasn’t working, so I cooked it over medium heat until the bubbles looked thicker and slower and not foamy. I was given this advice on a cooking board, and it worked great!

Guess what happens when you post a blog at 6:30 in the morning? Yep, it takes you until 6:30 that evening to realize you forgot to link to the blog that starts us off every Friday. Go check out Overwhelmed With Joy! to see more great recipes!

Timing is Everything
Just the other day, I mentioned that mom blogs were coming to the attention of marketing interests. Today, I received an email from a man who has written one book about dads, has another due to be published next summer, and is starting a third. He wants to hear from moms and dads in the blog world.

I know nothing about him except he found my email address. Here are his blogs if you'd like to participate. Go at your own risk!

What Moms Want Dads To Know About Them

Men Behaving Dadly

Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Oh, No, It's a Dress Code!
Working in a public high school affords me the unusual opportunity to see upclose and personally what teens consider high fashion. It is sometimes shocking, and I'm not easily shocked. I grew up on beaches; bathing suits, shorts, and t-shirts were our standard uniform, yet something's changed. It seems that clothes are more highly sexualized than ever.

What an adult chooses to do or wear is their business, but it is unsettling to see young girls dressed with clothing that is revealing, flashy, or with suggestive slogans plastered on their t-shirts and butts. A 5-year-old should not wear a shirt that says "Bite Me" or have the word Juicy on their butt. At least, not in my opinion.

Normally, this isn't a subject that I would blog about because I don't believe that anyone really cares about my opinion on what their child wears. I am doing it this time because I do believe in marketing techniques and economics. It has come to my attention that the "mom blogs" have become a place of interest for retailers trying to determine what moms are buying. Jules at Everyday Mommy has started an online petition hoping to get their attention and let them know there is a market for fun, fresh, cute clothing for girls that is still modest. In fact, one of my favorite stores is full of them. If adding my voice to this cause helps retailers increase their stock in fun and leave the the flirty to the girls over 18, then I'll let it ring. Our girls don't have to dress like Laura Ingalls Wilder, but they certainly don't need to dress like Brittney Spears either.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I've been tinkering with the template again. This really is good practice for me. I learn so much playing around with the html. Some day I'll even try to create my own template. HA!

I'm hoping someone who stumbles across my blog can help me with a question. I'll keep looking for the answer on my own, but maybe there's a shortcut out there.

If you look to the right, you can see the links I've added. I found a script generator that created the code for me. I had to tinker with it to get the right colors and make it fit, but all-in-all, it did a pretty good job...except for one thing. I really want the scrolling box to be closed when I open the page. There's a little minus sign that if you click closes the box and turns into a plus sign. Then if you click the plus sign, it opens. Right now it displays open, and you have to click to close it. I want it to display closed, and then you click to open. Make sense?

If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know. Click the Talk to Me link on the right to end email or click comments below to leave a message that way.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, September 01, 2006
Special Note to Friends in Adoption World
The blog that runs the Five Ingredients Friday meme has a guest blogger today. She has recently let it be known that she is a firstmother. This was a new term for me. I found her post very interesting and wanted to pass on the site information. I hope you find it interesting, too.

Five Ingredients Friday

This one can have as many ingredients as you like. I wish I could say it's a tried-and-true, but it comes from a reliable source. This source has tested it and swears it not only works, but tastes great. Apparently, it's popular with campers and scouts. My time as either has been extremely limited. I've saved it because Jim wants us to become campers.


Have guests write their name on a quart-size freezer bag with a permanent marker.

Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (no more than 2); shake to combine them.

Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc... Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag, and shake.

Seal the bag after removing as much air as possible. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water.

For more great recipe ideas, visit Overwhelmed with Joy!

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