Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing

Just sitting here on vacation watching the cheesy movie "Sahara" on TNT . . . haven't done a meme before but it looks like fun, so here goes:

Sunday Stealing: The Favorite Meme

Fill in your favorite for each of the following:

1. Political show: Hannity and Colmes

2. Picnic food: Spaghetti salad

3. Mixed drink: Gin & tonic

4. U.S. President: Ronald Reagan

5. Kind of student to teach:
I'm not a teacher - but if I were I'd have to say a smart one who participated a lot

6. Hobby you do or wish you still did: I want to learn to play acoustic guitar. I have the guitar, just need to find time to take lessons

7. Sports commentator: I have no idea

8. Sport to watch on TV: Baseball & college basketball

9. Animal to have as a pet: Dog

10. Halloween costume you have worn: Gypsy

11. Kind of dessert: Cheesecake or Creme Brulee

12. Comic strip: Dilbert

13. Ice cream flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip

14. News source: NY Times

15. Vacation spot: Miami Beach

16. Wine: Pinot Grigio

17. Way to waste time instead of working: Celebrity gossip web sites

18. Reality show: Celebrity Rehab - train wreck TV at its best

19. Childrens movie: Toy Story

20. Celebrity you wish would retire: Can't think of one. Old people rock.

If you want to participate in the Sunday Stealing weekly memes, post this on your blog and visit Judd’s site to sign the Mr. Linky.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Heading South for Thanksgiving

We are leaving today after school to head down to South Carolina for Thanksgiving. In addition to having Thanksgiving dinner with JV's family, we are having #3's christening there next weekend.

While I am looking forward to some R&R and seeing JV's family (and my parents and brother, who are also making the trip) I am dreading the 12 hour drive. With the baby it should take us, well, just about FOREVER to get there.

While it will be a little warmer there than it is here up North, it won't exactly be beach weather. Oh well - I am still looking forward to the change of scenery. I'll try to post when I can.


Follow up: Whale of a Sale bargains

The Whale of a Sale was quite a spectacle. We wound up getting there around 7:30, there were about 100 people in line ahead of us. We were able to get in soon after 8, but it was much more crowded than last year, I think they said 2,800 people showed up. And I think there was much less quality merchandise than last year. People still went nuts though. Here are some techniques I witnessed:
  • Making your husband/shopping partner stand in one spot, while you trek all over the sale and bring back stuff to pile up next to him or her.
  • Just grab things to stuff into your bag, to pull out later and decide whether to buy
  • Drag around a HUGE lawn and leaf bag filled with stuff
  • Bring your own shopping cart (stolen from the grocery store???)
Here's a breakdown of my purchases:

Total spent: $20
  • Remote Control Robot toy - $6
  • 5 small white ceramic bowls (perfect for ice cream!) - $5
  • Mr. Coffee working coffee maker - $3
  • Girls' Glo by J.Lo pants - $2
  • 4 hardcover books - $4
Nothing too exciting, but I really wasn't looking for anything in particular. It was more of a participation event for me. I'll be there next year!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whale of a Sale = Early Morning Insanity & Hilarity

Every year, the Junior League in my town has an event called "Whale of a Sale", proceeds of which benefit local charities. It's like a big yard sale. How it works is they usually get a large warehouse or empty store and fill it with donated items and open the sale to the public. People camp out all night in the freezing cold to get in first, and go nuts over all the cheap stuff.

It's a few steps above a yard sale because (1) it's huge, like a department store, and (2) many items are new. They procure many name brand new items donated from area retailers. A big draw is usually new wedding and bridesmaid dresses donated from area bridal shops. You will see women in bathing suits and leotards trying on dresses, most of which cost $25, right there next to the racks (there are no dressing rooms).

So, this year's sale is tomorrow. With these tough economic times, they are expecting their largest turnout ever - over 2,000 people. I went last year at 8 a.m., the start time, and waited in line behind about 100 people for about 45 minutes. They only let so many people in and after that, like a crowded bar, it's 1 in, 1 out, so people typically have to wait to get in.

I got some nice stuff last year. Clothes (new and used) from Ann Taylor and Talbot's, some books, and a couple of things for the kids, all for about $30. I don't go nuts and camp out, cut the line, or push and shove to get to the racks like some people do. I like to watch the insanity though - it's quite amusing to watch brides dive and fight for wedding dresses.

So this year I'm thinking of getting there around 6:45 so I can be up a little further in line when it opens. That's not too crazy, is it? I'll post back and let you know about my new found treasures!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fun Quiz: Are you a Marilyn or a Jackie? (Or other female icon)


Take the quiz at the link below to find out which "Mad Men" era female icon you are most like. My results are below, and I think they pretty much nailed me, suprisingly, since the quiz was only two questions.

After taking the quiz, come back and let me know who you are!

I am an Audrey.

Audrey -- "I am at peace"

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

  • If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure
  • I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this
  • Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit
  • Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally
  • Ask me questions to help me get clear
  • Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery
  • Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings
  • I like a good discussion but not a confrontation
  • Let me know you like what I've done or said
  • Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life

What I Like About Being an Audrey
  • being nonjudgmental and accepting
  • caring for and being concerned about others
  • being able to relax and have a good time
  • knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around
  • my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator
  • my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now
  • being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being an Audrey
  • being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive
  • being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline
  • being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally
  • being confused about what I really want
  • caring too much about what others will think of me
  • not being listened to or taken seriously

Audreys as Children Often

  • feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant
  • tune out a lot, especially when others argue
  • are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

Audreys as Parents

  • are supportive, kind, and warm
  • are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Picture of the Day


* Just to clarify, my kids did not draw this :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

20th High School Reunion, aka: "Who Are All These Middle-Aged People and How Is It That I Am One of Them?"

My 20th high school reunion was a BLAST. Above is the attempt to take a group photo. Yes, I am in this photo! If you read my previous post on the topic, you can probably pick me out by my outfit.

As far as dress code, which was "business casual", anything went. Black and white was very popular. There was a ride range of attire, from cocktail dresses and suits to khakis and jeans. I wound up being right in the middle with my ensemble.

Surprisingly, my stomach was in knots walking in to the cocktail hour - I was frantically thinking: What if I'm overdressed? What if no one remembers me? What if no one wants to talk to me? Such thinking was silly of course, but that shows how much high school memories stay with you.

The turnout was good. For a class of 280, about 100 classmates showed up (170 total, including guests). Some had traveled to the East Coast from as far as Texas and California. I thought that either people either looked exactly the same, or so different that I had to look at their name button to figure out who they were. The name buttons, by the way, had our senior pictures on them. Mine senior picture was hideous, and I considered flipping the bird (but didn't) to anyone who said I looked exactly the same. I don't look the same at all.

I was able to pace myself drinking beer (Corona Light!) so that I did not get rip-roaring drunk, (as I was afraid I might as I hadn't drank in about a year due to pregnancy & nursing) however, I did not practice restraint when it came to the food. I had seconds on the fabulous dinner buffet, sent JV back to our room loaded with desserts to save for later (which we devoured), and my dear high school BFF (who had flown in for the reunion from the Midwest), sent her husband out to Chili's for some late night grub. He brought back almost everything on the menu, which we also devoured at 2am.

This reunion was more fun than our 10th. It seemed this time the cliques were really just about gone. (Although, sadly, I noticed some did still exist). At the 10th, many people were still single, or just married, no kids yet, and just establishing careers. This time around, most had married (some divorced or remarried), most had kids, and have had twists and turns in their careers and families, so there was much more to talk about. Corresponding on Facebook really helped break the ice; because of it I already knew many facts about people, which allowed me to start conversations easily and keep them going. I kept remembering: when in doubt, ask people about themselves or their families. Most people love to talk about themselves.

The night seemed to fly by - there were so many people I saw from afar and just didn't get a chance to talk with. Hopefully we'll have a 25th - in the meantime, I'll try to do my best to keep up with my classmates I did chat with. So, Class of '88, until the 25th, see you on Facebook!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Beefy Tomato Mac-N-Cheese Casserole

This delicious casserole uses that American family staple, Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. I make this often. My kids love it. Serve with a tossed salad to redeem some nutritional value!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pkg. Kraft macaroni and cheese
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce (I use canned Hunt's)
  • 4 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground beef and add salt and pepper to taste. Drain of excess fat. At the same time, prepare macaroni as package directs.

Add to browned beef: tomato sauce and cheese sauce mix from mac-n-cheese package. Simmer 3 minutes. Add Mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese melts.

Place macaroni in large casserole and add 2 tablespoons butter. Mix. Add ground beef mixture to macaroni. Mix well. Place in oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We got a new car!

We got a new car yesterday! Here's a picture. For those new readers, I totaled my husband's car on October 25th, so we needed to get a new car asap. Our insurance company (State Farm) has been absolutely wonderful and came through with a payment yesterday that was much more than we expected to get for our 10 year old 4Runner.

So, we went and bought a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, after much looking in a very short time frame. For anyone looking to get a new car, there are GREAT deals out there. Everywhere we went, the poor salespeople were falling all over us trying to sell us a car. We got a deeply discounted price, and didn't even need to play hardball in negotiating. (Which we were ready to do since a car payment is not something we planned for at this time!)

JV has wanted a pickup truck for a long time. And since we need a car ASAP, we need to look at either what they have on the lot or what they can locate for us in a day or two. We started with the GMC Sierra pickup - way out of our price range. We then moved to the Chevy Silverado -just out of our price range. We then moved to the Chevy Avalanche, which was well within our price range with the incentives they were offering. It is more of a SUV/Pickup. We think it is perfect for our family. All 3 car seats/kids fit comfortably in the backseat, and it has 5 star front/side crash test ratings.

Of course it will be JV's car, but since he is going turkey hunting this weekend and his buddy will drive, I get to drive it all weekend! I'll try not to total it. :) One shocking thought did occur to us - since we have a habit of driving cars until they die, this could conceivably be Diva's first car as she will be 16 in 7.5 years (AAACK!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tina Fey and John McCain

Another funny one . . I will miss these when the election is over. Happy Voting, fellow Americans!