Monday, February 28, 2011

He Painted

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two WorldsMichael painted the garage today as a part of our Spring garage organization project. It looks so nice in comparison to the drywall with mud marks on it. He works so hard. I can't believe he did it by himself, pulling everything out into the driveway and then putting it back. He'll pull it all out tomorrow again so he can install shelves. He's about to get the new Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 game as a reward for all his hard work and absolute support he's given me. A guys' night is coming, anytime a new game appears, there must be a guys' night. Even after over a year, I'm still getting used to being treated well and a healthy give/take relationship. I wonder, how long can you be considered newlyweds?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Stealing: The Seven Deadly Sins Meme

From Sunday StealingWith a hat tip to Mommy of Two

 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
1) I'm intelligent and eager to learn more.
2) I'm loyal.
3) I seek goodness in others and situations, optimist.
4) I am very perceptive.
5) I'm passionate.
6) I genuinely apologize when I've made a mistake.
7) I'm a voracious reader.

2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
1) Financial comfort: the ability to waste a lot of money without it mattering.
2) I envy those with wisdom that comes with time but I wish I already possessed.
3) A true talent. I wish I had some type of specialized talent, art or musical. I can learn skills but not the raw talent that some possess.
4) I envy those with quick metabolisms.
5) I envy those with perfect skin.
6) I envy others who seem to have plenty of time to do things with family and friends and seem to balance it all without trouble.
7) I envy those who have beautifully organized homes while I imagine my home like that and can't ever seem to accomplish it!

3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
1) Liars.
2) Cowards (which is pretty much in the same category as liars)
3) Rudeness, lack of manners.
4) Inconsideration
5) Complacent laziness
6) People who blame others for their mistakes
7) Hypocrites

4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.

1) Pamper myself.
2) Organize our home the way I organize my work.
3) Sometimes finish projects that I passionately start
4) Match socks from the dryer
5) Take Winston out, leaving Michael to do it before we go to bed
6) Listen to voicemails
7) Return phone calls from voicemails.

5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.

1) My tastes seem to run in the high-end area regarding home decor.
2) World travel on regular basis. Extravagant vacations.
3) I desire to have well made tailored 3 piece suits (skirt, slacks and jacket) in different colors and patterns.
4) I would love to have real jewelry in place of the costume jewelry I own.
5) A walk-in closet with a wall just for shelves of expensive shoes (that are comfortable)
6) A brand new vehicle every two years for myself and Michael
7) All the technology Michael could dream of

6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
1) Apple pies from the gas station that are like 460 calories but sometimes the only thing that will hit that spot.
2) Laying in bed when I know everyone else is up, not wanting to break the warmth and coziness
3) Going to bed, leaving Michael to take Winston out (said that already, lol)
4) Chocolate with peanut butter chunks ice cream with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, dry roasted peanuts and tons of maraschino cherries (aka Super Yummy ice cream)
5) Kid Rock
6) Fresh cherries every year although they may be $4.00 a pound.
7) Calories don't matter when I eat out. 

7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.
1) Christian Bale is very hot when he's clean cut.
2) Power can very sexy.
3) Being powerless can very sexy.
4) Victoria Secret bras are worth their cost
5) One very high pair of heels that hurt after 30 min. are worth it at times
6) I was never kissed before kissing my husband.
7) Michael taught me something I wish I had learned a long time ago...

Books being Movies

Okay, I'm loving The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I'm glad I haven't seen the movie yet because the book reflects the sense of intimacy and confusion of the characters that I'm glad to reading about before I see two actors try to display those emotions their skills. I have no doubt that the movie will be good but I'm enjoying this book immensely.

I have NOOK on my Droid cellphone and I get emails from Barnes and Noble about what is available. I'm still a book in my hands type of reader although I like the idea of Kindle and Nook. I just haven't made the final decision on whether I would truly use a Kindle or Nook. Anyways...back to the subject.

When I was devising my book list I saw Water for Elephants but decided against it but now I see it again as a book before a movie. I read ShopGirl by Steve Martin before seeing the movie, I liked the book better. The movie was drier than the book in my opinion.

A few books that have inspired or been made into movies recently...Book then (Movie title)
Accidental Billionaires (The Social Network)
Winter's Bone(Winter's Bone)
The King's Speech  (The King's Speech)
 True Grit (True Grit) in theaters now
Red Riding Hood (Red Riding Hood) in theaters now
Water for Elephants (Water for Elephants) coming to theaters soon
The Lincoln Lawyer (The Lincoln Lawyer) coming to theaters soon

Of course we know about Eat, Pray, Love; Kite Runner, An Education and the other recent novels that have been made into movies. I didn't know that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a short story of F. Scott Fitzgerald which is older than what I'm wanting to talk about. And yes, the Twilight series. Again, I liked the books better than the movies although I like the movies enough to sit through them. I think I would like the movies better if I was a teenager just as I liked Anne Rice better when I was younger than I do now.

So, any books made into movies that you've read? Which did you like best, the book or movie? Why?

In a time where movies are being redone left and right, I'm GLAD books are being made into movies instead of just revamping a story that has already been told. The fact of revamping movies is a whole other post...
I know Michael has TONS of opinions about revamping movies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guilty Pleasures on the Screen

The Human CentipedeWe have some guilty pleasures, ones that you wouldn't want to have to explain and I think everyone has them. Michael sort of freaked out when he saw that I put our Netflix que on the sidebar. "You're broadcasting the B movies I want to see! That's not good," he said with a smirk. So what, he likes to watch ridiculous movies, especially horror. I don't watch them with him if I can help it, especially after seeing The Human Centipede. Eeek, shake it off gross. (Oh my, there's a Human Centipede 2, please don't tell Michael...) BUT, he watches these horrific (acting and plots) movies because it's something that he and his brothers (and friends) talk about. There's some weird type of competition to watch the most ridiculous movies out there and TALK about them. I guess that's the point of the movies, smirk.

Weeds: Season SixMe? I like watching ridiculous tv shows. Mary Louise Parker was in Fried Green Tomatoes (one of my favorite movies of all time) and no matter what character she plays, I see Idgie. I think Weeds' writing is mediocre but I like the show in part because of a silly loyalty to a childhood favorite movie. Weeds is sort of car accident that you slow down to see what happened, you hope no one got hurt but you still want to see the wreckage of stupidity as you pass by safely and unharmed.

Dexter: Seasons 1-4One of the best writing of television shows is Dexter. I couldn't stand watching Dexter on television because I wouldn't be able to watch the next episode as soon as I wanted to. I wait for it to come out on DVD and I don't subscribe to Showtime for that very reason. It is written better than most movies! The character development, the story lines with their twists and turns and the inevitable struggles the main character goes through...I cannot wait for the fifth season to be available on DVD!

We got hooked on series we don't usually watch on cable because of the network strike last year. We watched all the previous seasons of Entourage, Dexter, and Weeds and we started Spartacus: Blood and Sand. We want to try Nurse Jackie. A guy at our local Blockbuster (yes, I have rented what's not available through online streaming at Netflix from Blockbuster b/c I didn't want to wait...) tried to recommend Sons of Anarchy to me but I'm not interested.

Living Proof, Part 1On regular tv, my guilty pleasures are: Army Wives, Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, Modern Family, No Ordinary Family, Tabatha's Salon Takeover, Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, House, HawthoRNe, The Closer (favorite!), Gene Simmons' Family Jewels, Parenthood, The Good Wife, a few of the Real Housewives (remember car wreck analogy...), Desperate Housewives (sigh, I know), Covert Affairs, Rizzoli & Isles (love Angie Harmon), The Big Bang Theory (Penny {knock, knock} Penny {knock, knock} Penny), Chuck, Cougar Town, The Mentalist and the recently canceled Medium and The Whole Truth.

Michael enjoys Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, It's Me or the Dog, Fatal Attractions, Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection, V, American Chopper, Pawn Stars, LA Ink, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Ultimate Recipe Showdown (we both like the reality cooking shows), MasterChef, Cake Boss, Top Gear (UK), his G4 shows: Attack of the Show and X-Play, Tosh.O, Glenn Beck, 1,000 Ways to Die (again his brothers), Dragon Ball Z Kai, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, It's Effin' Science, Penn Point, Diggnation, The Totally Rad Show, Revision 3, HDTV, Scam School, Tekzilla, TMZ, and Robot Chicken.

Thank goodness for TiVo! We can record our shows and watch them when we want, miss the reruns (unless we want to see them). We just realized we watch a lot of tv, which is weird because we really don't, just an hour a night most nights. It's TiVo...we always have something to watch when we're ready and our life doesn't revolve around the television. We could and might just turn off the cable, I think that would drive Michael more batty than me since I read way more than he does.

This post was written by both of us although I did the typing, he's been checking up on what I'm writing to make sure I include ALL his shows. We admit, we had to go through our Season Pass manager on TiVo to list it all.

Outdoor Hour: Nature Study

The Outdoor Hour Blog

One of my favorite things about homeschooling (I had many) was learning about nature study and being a naturalist. It was a life changing discovery of a hobby that would last my whole life. The kids loved it too and now it's a part of us, a special bond that we share.

My mother has naturalist tendencies, it was her and my maternal grandmother that would make me stop and listen and watch the birds. Birds were a shared passion between the two of them and I remember letters that my grandmother would write to me as a child (10-12) where she would talk about the birds in her yard and their impact on her life. My maternal grandmother died of stomach cancer when I was 12 and those letters are very precious to me.

To see previous nature study/walks I've done with Danny and Camille, click here to visit our homeschooling blog, Trivium Academy. The kids and I have done other nature walks that I didn't post about. We have a few shelves of Peterson field guides, both the smaller ones and the larger ones.

I want to start nature study again in our home. It is becoming spring here with 70 degree weather and I have Spring Fever. Nature walks are very healing and grounding. The quiet loudness of the woods relaxes me in ways I cannot explain. It thrills me to be observant with the kids and watch their excitement as they discover things they would usually just pass by. It is so satisfying to me to hear the kids ask questions and want to know why this flower has so many petals vs. that flower or to identify different palm trees based on their appearance. We love animal tracks.

Handbook of Nature Study Barb started The Outdoor Hour Challenges back in 2008 when I was homeschooling and although at the time we were doing our own nature study, I loved her idea! She incorporated nature journaling with nature study and made it easy for parents to do with their kids and took all the thinking out of it. I love that she used The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock. We have the book in our home library but it is available for free online, click here.

I'm excited to restart our nature studies, our FAMILY nature studies with Caitlyn, Hannah, Michael, Camille, Danny and myself. I'm off to start with the The Outdoor Hour Challenge #1...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hee Hee, Dilbert


Winston is our West Highland Terrier. He is a year and a few months old. Although I seriously doubted about getting a smaller dog (I love larger breeds), he has been the perfect addition to our family. I've never stepped on him although he has tripped me up a few times. He is cute, lovable and he's allowed on the furniture. I consider him half cat because he will nudge up and angle his head just like a cat to be scratched. 

I don't know why but he likes to lick people's feet. It's kinda weird and hard to explain to visitors. We love him. The kids love giving him a bath and he loves it too. He'll jump right into the tub to be washed. Camille wanted to write that. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Making a Book List

In no specific order, I might change my mind and some have multiple titles by the same author, cause if I find an author that writes a great page turner, I will probably like their other books:

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing." These destinations are all on the beaten track, but Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work.'" Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker

Sequel to Eat Pray Love is Committed: A Love Storyother books by Elizabeth Gilbert

Happiness Sold SeparatelyHappiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston

The title of Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston is honest advertising--you are not buying a happy, upbeat book when you pick it up. It was, however, realistic and engaging. Even when I wanted to, I could not put Happiness Sold Separately down. The story is well-written and the characters are believable. It is a good book, but happiness is sold separately.

Also by author, Good Grief if Happiness Sold Separately is good... 

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

On the surface, Henry and Clare Detamble are a normal couple living in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Henry works at the Newberry Library and Clare creates abstract paper art, but the cruel reality is that Henry is a prisoner of time. It sweeps him back and forth at its leisure, from the present to the past, with no regard for where he is or what he is doing. It drops him naked and vulnerable into another decade, wearing an age-appropriate face. In fact, it's not unusual for Henry to run into the other Henry and help him out of a jam. Sound unusual? Imagine Clare Detamble's astonishment at seeing Henry dropped stark naked into her parents' meadow when she was only six. Though, of course, until she came of age, Henry was always the perfect gentleman and gave young Clare nothing but his friendship as he dropped in and out of her life. It's no wonder that the film rights to this hip and urban love story have been acquired.  
                                                 Elsa Gaztambide Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

I love being able to read a book and then watch the movie. If I watch a movie then read, the characters are all messed up for me. I can only see the actors who played the parts instead of what I imagine the author was describing. I haven't seen this movie. FINISHED:

Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love StoryBeneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors is a fictional story surrounding the building of the Taj Mahal. While historians agree that the Taj Mahal was built by an emperor in the seventeenth century who was grieving the loss of his wife, the true details surrounding this story have been lost. Shors imagines them in Beneath a Marble Sky, bringing to life a story of love, war, beauty and tragedy.

 Also by John Shors: The Wishing Trees | Dragon House | Beside a Burning Sea

I couldn't get into this book at this time, it is something I want to read but it doesn't fit my mood right now. Moving on to another title.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon will appeal to men and women. It is cleverly written and draws readers in to the mind of the narrator, who has a developmental disability. It is funny, sweet and a must read for anyone who knows someone with special needs. 

Also by Mark Haddon: Boom! | A Spot of Bother 

A book list of authors I haven't read, different types of tales and stories. I think it's a good starting place...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I need a book to read.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and IndonesiaI've been reading too much non-fiction lately. I want a juicy, can't put down book or author to read. I've liked Debbie Macomber and read most of her books, I haven't read the Cedar Cove series yet. I love reading summer novels or books where the lead character has a life change that she goes through. I might try Eat, Pray, Love next.

I went through a phase of Lisa Scottoline but I've never read Alice Sebold although I've been told her books are fabulous. I flipped through The Lovely Bones but couldn't get caught up into it.

I could read Eat Pray Love in about a day so I need more title suggestions! I might just follow the book club suggestions from the local library. I miss going to the book club or discussing books. Back in 2008 I led The Great Books Reading Partnership through a blog online and that was great but time-consuming to lead such a group. It would be fun to start a book club through a blog again...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Adding to our Pages

Our household chores are uploaded and some of our 2011 goals.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

President's Awards

At work team members are recognized each quarter for their efforts. Each quarter this past year I was in the top 12 of the state (out of 4 districts) and received a President's Award. I just found out that I am to receive another one for 4th Quarter! We have a luncheon, play games with the upper leadership and receive recognition/awards. The first one I was invited to was life-changing, I have never worked for a company before that truly recognizes individual efforts and to have the regional pres say 'thank you for your efforts, you are the heart of this business' is very rare these days.

For me the first quarter awards happened at a time that I was contemplating leaving the company, now two promotions later and three awards later...I can't imagine feeling like that again. Now that I'm in a new position the criteria for winning the President award is different, it's based more on my team's effort instead of my individual effort b/c I'm now a manager. What's great is that the award aside, I do my best and if my efforts are effective enough I'll be rewarded again. If not, then I just continue to learn to be more If I'm being effective, then my team is being effective and hopefully I'll have a team member that will start winning the pres award! I love my job and I'm glad that I found something that really uses my strengths and challenges me to grow in other ways.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Will this be a new home?

Playing with the idea of creating a new blog for our new life.