Sunday, November 30, 2008
Remember: Don't go ninjin' nobody that don't need ninjin'.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This year I was thinking about giving each of our martial arts instructors a personalized sweat towel along with a thank you note. I can buy some plain, some white hand towels and embroider something on them (in a very manly fashion, of course). But what to put? Here are some ideas I've been kicking around:
1. Cry in the dojo; Laugh on the battlefield.
2. Sweat is the cologne of achievement.
3. Don't sweat the petty things; Don't pet the sweaty things.
4. Suck it up!
5. instructor's name or initials
6. Sweat (verb): to perspire, to work hard, to exude moisture, to earn or obtain (a result, promotion, compliment) by hard work
What do you think? Any favorites? Other sayings or ideas? I'd love some feedback.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Master is in little boy heaven. This morning he rescued a little mouse from one our cats and has spent a happy amount of time making a home for him in the woods. "I heard him squeaking for his life," the Master reported. "And saved him from the Lethal Cat of Doom."
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I am feeling thankful for many things this year - my wonderful family, my health, good friends, our home in the country.
I am thankful that this coming week will be an "easy" week (many of our regular activities are canceled) and am looking forward to Dinner at my mom's. Every year she hosts a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. My Favorite Sister will be there - she's coming home from college for a few days - we can't wait to see her!
Ever since I tried Katherine's Sweet Potato Casserole, I've made it every year for Thanksgiving dinner. It's that good. I also like how I can easily adapt it for Miss Munchkin by substituting dairy-free butter and a gluten-free flour.
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Our President's 2008 Thanksgiving proclamation.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Last night in Martial Arts class we did some basic grappling (sort of like wrestling). One of the things we worked on was an armbar. If you do this right (or wrong), you can break a person's elbow. Here's the basic technique:
When you have the arm, the person's thumb needs to be pointed up for the elbow joint to be in the correct position. If you try this at home, be very careful at the end; if you pull too hard, too fast, you will hurt your partner.
Ok, everyone grab your loved ones and give this a try! :)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
There is a new sound in our house. It's the sweet, sweet sound of silence.
For the last few months, one of the fire alarms in our basement has been telling us that it's time to change its battery. You know, that lovely shrill, short chirp that is impossible to ignore.
chirp.......chirp......chirp........ every. few. minutes.
I found the alarm pretty easily - well sort of. It was in the storage room, the unfinished part of our basement which houses our furnace and sump pump. There are actually two alarms on the ceiling in there, about 2 feet apart. One is a standard hardwired unit, the other is part of the alarm system. So I stood there for ages, up on a chair between the alarms, listening. Which one was it? It was sure hard to tell! Oh well, I changed both their batteries, just in case. Chirp! I took apart the alarms, dusted them, checked the wires and put everything back. Chirp! I voiced my frustration to my husband. He changed the batteries. Chirp! Finally I unscrewed the things from the ceiling and totally disassembled them. We're talking naked wires hanging from the ceiling. The chirping continued! What?! How can a wire chirp? Did we have a haunted fire alarm? I wondered who I could call - my father-in-law, an electrician, a fireman? No, I couldn't - it's too embarrassing!
Fast forward 2 months. The chirping is still there. Frankly it has become a touchy subject in our house. I'm annoyed that my husband can't fix it. Our dog has been reduced trembling whimpers. The children have been avoiding the basement entirely. My right eye has developed a twitch.
Yesterday I had a new idea - maybe the alarm is chirping because it's been disabled. A failsafe chirp. Sort of a "You are not protected. Someone has ripped your fire alarm into pieces" warning. So last night, I went through the whole routine again. I installed new new batteries, inspected all the parts and pieces, wiggled wires, and put the alarms back up. As I listened for the telltale chirp, I heard it - a little closer to the ground then it had been before. I started looking around and focused on several storage boxes that were sitting, um, underneath the smoke alarms. There, hiding deep in a storage box, I discovered a third smoke detector, chirping. I rushed it from the room, put in a new battery and put it out in our garage. Far, far from me.
Ah, finally. Silence. Sweet, sweet silence.
By the way, this if you haven't changed your batteries on your smoke detectors, do so immediately. Not only might it save your life, it might save your sanity.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take photos in a brand new, beautiful house. The contractor hired me to document some of the features and details that went into this lovely home. I can't wait to post pictures, but I promised myself that I would editing finish poor, patient Rechelle's photos before I started playing with this new batch. (I'm almost done, Rechelle! There are just so many great shots...) So, in the meantime, picture in your head rich wood floors, stone arches, 3 fireplaces, thick warm carpet, beautiful tile work, a fabulous curving staircase and a master closet bigger than Master Munchkin's bedroom.
"O my leg!" (Does anyone know the reference for this? If you have an elementary school-aged child, you just might.) This week in Martial Arts class we did Wall Tortures. You stand against a wall and a partner "helps" stretch your leg up - basically to the point where you are not smiling any more. Then, after a proper front stretch, you turn to the side and do it again. Only this time, once your leg is as high as it goes, your partner lets go and you have to hold your leg up (by your own muscles) until the instructor lets you put it down. You know you want to try it. So, right now, head over to the nearest wall, stand sideways and lift one leg up higher than your waistline and hold it there. Till your muscles shake and you start to complain and sweat. Then hold it longer. It helps if you point your other heel away from the wall. Miss Munchkin loves these because she can get her foot almost as high as her head and, obviously, she likes to show off. Humph!
We had the first snowflakes of the season today.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In a renewed effort to get in shape and loose that last 20 lbs, I've been stopping by the local community gym after dropping the kids off at school in the mornings. Yesterday went well - I "elipted" for 30 minutes on my favorite machine of torture. Today I worked with weights and targeted my arms. Right now, they are so shaky and tired that I can hardly lift my favorite cookie to my mouth. O the pain, the agony... :P
On the upside, I have a photoshoot on Thursday. Something entirely new for me - It's shooting a house, inside and out, for a local construction company, before the owners take possession. I am so excited!
This morning, Master Muchkin, being a 7 year old boy, asked me, "Why does shampoo have the word POO in it?" He sounded somewhat suspicious.
And Daylight Savings Time is still messing with me. I am ready for bed about 9-9:30 at night and wake up, ready to go, around 4 AM. Aughhhh!
It's a cold, wet, dreary day here. I just finished making a pot of tea and am off to spend some time post-processing Rechelle's photos.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
My husband has lost around 40 lbs in the last few months. He started coming to Kickboxing class with me and has been counting calories. I wish I had his willpower! My sweet tooth keeps getting in the way. :P
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I really dislike Daylight Savings Time. I am feeling quite disoriented; My coffee maker clock says 6 AM, my husband's clock says 7 and my bedside clock insists that it's 8! It's still dark out but Master Munchkin is already up and claiming, "I slept in". We accidentally kept him up an hour past his bedtime last night because, unbeknownst to us, Miss Munchkin had already set the clocks back. That might explain why he was yawning so much.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Each Fall our house is invaded by hundreds of Asian beetles. They look like harmless Lady Bugs, but they aren't. These guys can bite! They swarm our house and try to seep in every crack and entrance. I sat down on the front porch and had several on me within minutes.