Sunday, December 21, 2008

ahhhhhhh, young love

Morgan has announced she has decided who she wants to be her boyfriend. Well actually she said she wants to marry him but I had to say 'whoa, you're 6. Slow down there!"
Anyway, she is obsessively in love with Jeremy Sumpter, AKA Peter Pan. Terrific film if you haven't seen it yet. It's about the only movie my kids have that I will watch. repeatedly. So before she books the caterer and chooses the honeymoon destination she decided she'd first write him a letter. Luckily I found his address and she quickly set out to formulate the perfect letter to her true love.

(Click to see full size version)

In it she wows him with interesting facts like how high she can leap and how tall her brother is (can you tell we played with a tape measure today?) and then coyly asks him to be her boyfriend. Ahhhh, young love. I'll have to keep you updated on any responses.

So who was your first celebri-crush? Mine was Julian Lennon when "Valotte" was released. Sigh. Of course not much has changed. I still swoon when I get an update from Julian on my MySpace (we're friends, don't cha know). Of course, I'd probably drop Jude in a heart beat if Ralph Fiennes ever showed up at my door.


Beware of the Doghouse!

Ladies, you know your husbands haven't actually started their holiday shopping for you yet (hey, there's 4 shopping days left, 5 if the quickie mart is open Christmas morning) so there's still time to show him this.

but of course I'm the kind of gal who would actually prefer the fancy schmancy vac over diamonds any day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Best View in NH

My neighbor took this picture the morning after the ice storm. It's her view looking up to our horse barn. She used to have horses and LOVES watching my guys play and frolick, she calls it the 'best view in NH'. This is a pretty incredible shot. Nature is amazing.

(click on the picture to get the full size version)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pictures of the Ice Storm & Other Disasters

These monstrously tall pines bent almost to the point of snapping. Although they lost many branches we were lucky they stayed upright. The creaking and snapping (and crashing) sounds all night were eerie.

And although this damage was not ice storm related, the girls and I had some difficulty putting together this gingerbread, er, shack. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't pass building code.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Give this to your teen, it's an effective form of birth control!

Baby Poops-Alot

The Reader

Yay! The electricity is back on. Sweet modern age!!!

Now onto my next dilemma which is far less disruptive but no less annoying.

I rarely get a chance to read books, heck, completing a thought around here is a struggle on most days.
And of course I mean real books, adult books, more words than pictures sort of thing, you know. So not only reading a book, but completing it in nearly one sitting is a new record for me but I did just that last week when I picked up "The Reader" and wanted to finish it before the movie was released. It's an intiging story and after completing the book I was just about bubbling over to see the film. Here we are a week later and the film isn't being screened within 100 miles of me! UGH!!! I have it saved to my Netflix cue but that means I have to wait, and I HATE to wait!

So any of you who are fortunate enough to have this playing nearby, please let me know what you thought of it if you go see it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little House on the Prairie (almost)

Ahhhhh, you gotta love old man winter! We had quite the ice storm here last Thursday night and power lines are down ALL OVER so we've been without electricity, phone, cable, INTERNET!!! for 3 days and probably won't have any of those luxury's until Wednesday at the earliest. Luckily we have a generator so we have lights, heat, DVD and running water. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE. We've offered to take anyone in who is sick of living in the 19 century. I'm only able to post this because I'm at my Mother's house and she has somehow rigged up some juice (I think she has the kids running on some sort of huge hamster wheel that's powering the turbines) AND Internet. I can tell you, I'm going through major withdrawals!
Oh and my cell phone doesn't seem to work either. WTF.
Hopefully all the lines will be fixed soon, in which case I'll be glued to the Internet catching up on all the news and blog-stalking.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Messy Tooth Fairy!!

Last night Morgan was visited by the tooth Fairy. This is her 2nd chomper to dislodge, the first one of course happened while Beck and I were in CA so I missed the whole tooth fairy fun. Not this time.
I helped Morgan write a note to the tooth fairy and she was so excited to go to bed. Well sometime that night the tooth fairy visited and when Morgan awoke she found a lovely note from the little toothmonger and blue fairy dust EVERYWHERE! According to the note Ms T. Fairy has a bit of a cold and sneezed fairy dust all over Morgan (Morgan concurs that in the middle of the night she did recall some sort of pixie sneeze). I will say that wiley little winged thing went a bit overboard with the damn sparkles! (but hey it was dark and one couldn't be certain the stuff was coming out!). Anyway, it was in her hair, eyes, PJs, bedding and carpet... and has since found itself in every nook and cranny of my ENTIRE house! I'll be vacuuming it up for years! But I would never trade it for the greats memories!

My carpets will forever be embellished with blue glitter!

Morgan and I picked a bunch of pixie dust off her bed so she could take it to school to show the kids.

Randomness? I can do randomness!

I've been tagged by Janiece, Mommy of 3 cuties, one being Beck's ol' pal (and ladies' man extraordinaire) Alihan.
Here's the deal, list these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as a link to their blog Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. Growing up I wanted to be a jockey (oh great, too tall to be a jockey, too short to be a super model. Oh life is cruel!)

2. When I was a teen, I worked in a traveling carnival running games and driving trucks. By the time I went to college I had a very large bank account.

3. My entire family were extras in the movie "Last Days of Frank and Jesse James" with Johnny Cash

4. I planned our entire wedding (including honeymoon) for under $3,000

5. My parents named me after actress Mala Powers after deciding to pick a name by whatever name they see next on TV

6. I used to be a technical director for the nightly TV news.

7. I haven't been pulled over since I was a teen...oh wait. nevermind

OK, I tag Kate, Jackie, Michelle, The Bev, Marnie, Tina, and April.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Universe, you're so funny.

Last weekend my pal Bev and I went to a new age/ alternative therapies open house. I'm a firm believer in Reiki, in fact my Mother is a reiki practitioner and worked wonders on me after my stroke, and I feel there's a place for many non-traditional forms of healing and well-being. While at this event Bev and I met with a shaman healer named Amethyst Moonbat Buttercup or something like that. She did a lot of chanting around me, calling to all the angels and spirit guides ("Yoda?") and ringing bells around my head while having me blow upon crystals. OK, maybe this was a bit much for me. Frankly, it felt a bit silly. But she told me that I'm waiting for answers and stressing that I don't have them, that I need to take a deep breath, relax and know that my spirit guides are with me still and the answers will come, in their own time. Great. She did say my spirit animal was a horse. That's a pretty good choice.
Before leaving I bought some white sage and was told that burning it in my house will rid my surroundings of negative energy. That would be good. Whether it works or not, it smells pretty good.
So last night I burned some sage and applied my green tea cleansing feet pads. And this morning I woke up REFRESHED, ready to take on the world! I would get Beck to school, run my errands, take care of some of those nagging tasks I've been putting off and still have enough time and energy to work on that book that has been laying stagnant in the back of my head for well over a year (ahhh, yes. I don't think I've shared that a few years ago I got a contract with a publisher to go ahead with a book about the village of Contoocook... but then the paper chase began for the adoption and that was that.) But I digress.
With a certain spring in my step, Beck and I headed to his school. I didn't even let the Frogger-like challenge of making a left hand turn onto Rt 3 make my blood boil, as it usually does. I finally caught a break and traffic, gunned it to catch up with the flow of traffic before the maniac behind me drove up into the bed of my pickup. Just before his school I decided to quickly check off another item on my 'to do list' and drop off Morgan's dance school payment. I pulled into the parking lot and reached for my check book... Hmmm, no check book. Where the heck is my check book? I started rummaging through the glove box, my purse, where the heck is it?! Getting annoyed and breathing heavily I sat up in my seat to find a cop car, lights and all, parked behind me. Since the dance school was closed I thought maybe they believed I was robbing it or something. This should be no problem. After making me sit in suspense (and hoping Morgan's dance teacher wasn't watching out the window) the cop finally arrived at my window. He asked if I knew why he 'pulled me over' I bit my tongue and refrained from notifying him that since I had already been sitting in this parking lot looking for my checkbook for a few minutes, he really hadn't 'pulled me over'. I know better than to start a conversation with a cop by pointing out he's wrong. I think I said something slightly coherent about being parked at the dance school at closed hours but that I needed to make a payment. He then explained that I was speeding (you know, 10 minutes ago, 3 miles down the road while attempting my morning routine of trying to turn left onto the busiest route in Pembroke!). He went back to his car, making certain to keep the lights flashing so that no one else in the empty parking lot would, I don't know, crash into us. Of course he made me sit there for 20 minutes while he apparently reviewed my long and complex history of my life of crime. I clung to the thought that I haven't gotten any sort of ticket since I was 17 (and even then I got a speeding ticket on a 3 mile down hill stretch in my 1980 CHEVETTE. I was slightly impressed that the little Shit-vette could even make it over 50 mph, albeit it was only possible with the assistance of gravity). I thought a warning would be sufficient, right?
Wrong. He handed me a ticket for $100! ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!!!!!!!
He gives me some attempt of kind words like, "try to get there in one piece" blah, blah, blah. $100! Happy Holidays!!
So I pull out to continue to Beck's school and my damn 'Service Engine' light comes on. Great. "Your only 9 months old truck!" I think, "you're too young for any service light to come on!".
I walk into Beck's school, late of course, mumble something about how Beck will be shouting stories about cops all day, thankyouverymuch. Get back into my truck, start down the road and now a little Exclamation Point (!) near the 'service engine' light is lit. "Shut up", I groan.
It's gonna take a lot more than white sage to rid me of the negative energies now! Think I'll try the Red Wine!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cyber Stupid

I've wasted precious hours of my life this morning trying to fix what is probably a simple problem. Here's the scenario, plan and simple. Joe ordered a monthly service and pays for it with my paypal account automatically. He has now decided to discontinue this service and the service provider told him he needs to let Paypal know to stop the automatic payments (OK, I honestly think the provider should be stopping the draw, but whatever.). So after scouring the paypal website for an answer I resorted to my last option which is their automated cyber rep. The following is our conversation:

Sarah - PayPal :Hello, I’m Sarah and I’m here to answer your questions about PayPal. Even though I’d like to be a real person, I’m not. I’m programmed to answer your questions. How can I help you?

You : How do I stop automatic payments?

Sarah - PayPal :Do you mean:
Can I pay my eBay fees through PayPal?
How do I send a payment for an eBay item which I have won?
What is a Backup Funding Source and how do I select it?
Can I add funds to my PayPal account from a confirmed bank account?

You :no

Sarah - PayPal :So what are you searching for?

You :How do I discontinue paying automatic payments?

Sarah - PayPal :
Your question seems related to the following situations. Click on one of the following to find the information you are looking for.Could you be more precise please?
Can I pay my eBay fees through PayPal?
How do I send a payment for an eBay item which I have won?
Can I add funds to my PayPal account from a confirmed bank account?
What is a Backup Funding Source and how do I select it?

You :A vendor charges my paypal account every quarter. How do I stop this?

Sarah - PayPal :
Your question seems related to the following situations. Click on one of the following to find the information you are looking for.Do you mean:
Can I pay my eBay fees through PayPal?
What are the fees for Personal accounts?
Can I have a Personal account and a Premier or Business Account?

You :Sarah, I don't think you're listening.

Sarah - PayPal :So what are you looking for?

You :an answer to my question.

Sarah - PayPal :OK. How exactly can I help you?

You :by answering.

Sarah - PayPal :I'm not sure what you're saying. Could you please rephrase that?

You :You're an idiot.

Sarah - PayPal :It's hard for a virtual agent to be as smart as a person... but I am learning all the time, so if you come back to see me in a week or two, I'll be more intelligent.

You :not likely.

Man this makes me miss speaking to the customer service reps in Indonesia!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hangin' with Aidai

It is endlessly special that 2 children who once lived in the same room half way around the planet in Kyrgyzstan, now live with their families so nearby to each other in New Hampshire. Saturday Aidai and Beck had a playdate at a new Children's museum and we had a blast! Aidai is doing great! You should see this little powerhouse run! And that laugh and smile, she's beautiful. A sentiment that Beck agrees with wholeheartedly! Beck insisted on sitting next to Aidai at lunch.

I love this clip. Beck and Aidai check out the bunks in the submarine.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Go Fish

It's FREEZING here! All of a sudden we've found ourselves in the middle of January!!!! Seriously, the horses' water buckets froze solid yesterday. If this is any indication of what lies ahead for us this winter I'm running away to Castaway Cay!

Luckily the kids and I have found one (unlikely) way to forget the chill outside...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let them eat "cake"

For those of you who don't know (and obviously have never read a word of this blog), I have a warped sense of humor. And no day is complete without checking in with my favorite blog-god List of the Day. But wait, before you click be forewarned that this site isn't safe at work, at church, with your parents, around the kids, and probably inappropriate for woodland creatures.
Anyway, thanks to LOTD I've spent way too much time laughing uncontrollably at some crazy cakes. And well, since I haven't blogged in a bit I figured I'd share some of my favorites.

Seriously, what qualifications must one have to become a cake decorator?! My guess, a pulse. maybe.

Yay for public schools!

I'm assuming someone gave birth to a kangaroo....

Hey Sasha, take it as a compliment!

You're almost as good as a real son! Actually, the asshat with the frosting bag misspelled "Stetson".

Hey Anber, quotations "marks" aren't always "necessary". You're better off "without" them.

And don't let the black lettering and black roses lead you to believe that we think you're retiring because you're due to kick the bucket any day. By the way, what the heck is she retiring from, Stealer's linebacker?!
The misspelled "retiremet" was a cute touch.

Um, Jerry, something makes me think they don't mean it.

Hell yeah! Myjiantbirthday is my favorite holiday!

And yet another reason to never order a cake online. I guess the baker genius however didn't spot anything odd about this one.

Oh look, Tia Delma had a Gril!

They need frosting with spellcheck!

And sometime you get exactly what you ask for... sorta.

I'm with the baker this time. Aunt - slash - Mom isn't any better.

Perhaps if this person had used air "quotes" the cake decorator would have understood.

Hard to tell, ebonics or a head cold?

What the customer said:
“So we’re throwing a going-away party for our friend, and we’d like you to write “Good luck at U.C.”, since that’s the college she’s going to. Also, she’s a big E.T. fan – you know, from the movie? – so we want to incorporate that somehow. I’ll leave it up to you; we just want something E.T.- related on it. Can you do that? Yeah? Cool! Thanks!”

What the decorator heard:
“Blah blah blah, write blah E.T. blah blah on it. Blah.”

I get a feeling this was his last cake on the last day of working in the bakery

Hungry for more? check out Cake Wrecks

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Beck managed to stay awake this Halloween, so it's officially his first!

Before heading out for some candy grubbing the kids asked me to carve a few more pumpkins. Somehow over the past few years I've been mysteriously absent from the carving festivities, either by luck or by chance. Well today Joe was at work and there was no getting out of it. So with a table covered with newspaper and knife in hand, I started my first pumpkin carving... and to my great surprise, I think I may have found my niche!!! Oh my hell, it's only taken me thirty-something years to find this deeply hidden talent!

I present to you my two cutie trick or treaters! Morgan insisted Beck was going to be the Beast to her Belle. But in a last minute coup, Beck decided to go all pirate. Arrrrr!

Not to take away from my two star sugar stalkers, but behold the marvelous creation just to the left of ol' Princess whats-her-face......

I must admit I'm trying to figure out a way to preserve my first pumpkin carving creations! Is Pumpkin taxidermy possible? Serious, sick and twisted as it is, I'm pretty damn proud!


The girls made a special halloween cake. It's spooktacular!

Hopefully Beck will stay awake this year so he doesn't miss trick or treating!

Candy for the kids, wine for us. Here's my pick of the day.

Paseo Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, unfiltered, Maule Valley, Chile
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Color, Body, Nose, Flavors
COLOR: ruby red; BODY: Medium; NOSE: red berries, oak; FLAVOR: caramel, vanilla and smoky notes.
Region Description
In 1980, Chilean wines accounted for only 0.3% of U.S. wine imports. Today, Chile is the fifth largest wine exporter in the world, outstripping Germany, Spain, Argentina and Portugal in exports to the U.S. The Maule Valley, in particular, is known for its superb reds.
With its relatively low labor costs and abundant, inexpensive land, Chile was able to establish itself on the world market as a source of cheap bulk wines of varying quality. The industry boomed during the 1990s. By 2001, wine export earnings increased nearly 60-fold, and vineyard acreage grew by nearly 85%.
As wine consumers became more sophisticated, however, Chile’s jug-wine image began to work to its disadvantage, and the country does not have as clear a plan for maintaining its export momentum as Australia’s Strategy 2025, for example. An effort at organization is being made, however. Two years ago, the Association of Vineyards of Chile was formed, representing both large estates and smaller boutique wineries. The group’s mission is to create a unified image of Chilean wine on the world market.
As its perception changes, the world market is now recognizing Chile as a source of terrific values, challenging Bordeaux, Australia and California for producing quality Cabernet Sauvignons that deliver great quality for the price.
Vintner / Wine Maker
Founded in 1825, the Carta Vieja estate is now in its seventh generation of ownership by the del Pedregal family and remains 100% family-owned and –managed.
Food Pairing
It is essential to match a Cabernet Sauvignon with foods that can stand up to its strong tannins. Red meats such as lamb, beef and game are excellent partners, as is hearty poultry such as goose or duck. It also pairs well with strong cheese, and the chocolate notes of this variety make it a surprising match for chocolate desserts, as well.
This wine is unfiltered to enhance the flavor and character of the wine.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sipping For Satos

Benji is doing great. Recovering more and more every day. The wonderful folks at SCAR have checked in on his progress almost daily. He really won their hearts. Unfortunately, his medical bills did a number to their funds. So in hopes of helping them recoup financially so they can save more wonderful dogs like Benji, I'm donating all my profits from my online wine sales to SCAR. So here's your chance to stock up on some incredible boutique wines AND help save homeless and abused dogs. Drinking for a cause.... does it get any better?

These wines are really incredible! Hand chosen from small, often family owned and operated, vineyards around the world. Need a little help picking the right wine for yourself or as a gift? Please let me assist you as your own personal wine consultant. Visit my wine cellar online here.

The holiday season is quickly approaching. These wines make great gifts! Going to holiday party? Don't forget a bottle for the host. Wanna kiss up to your boss?? Well, you get the point. Also check out the wine of the month club called the "Passport Club", it makes a great gift for those impossible to buy for people.

Today's Pick of The Day

Ignis, Mendoza Malbec, Argentina

100% Malbec; aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months.
Color, Body, Nose, Flavors
Deep garnet color, medium bodied, displays loads of ripe red and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of spice. Good structure, with soft tannins.
Region Description
This Reserva Malbec comes from the Andes slopes in Tupungato which is to the southwest of Mendoza, Argentina and noted as one of the best areas for grapes in Argentina. Nearly 70% of all wine is made in Mendoza. Argentina has never seen the destruction of phylloxera, the plant aphid that devastated many of the world's vineyards in the mid to late nineteenth century and again in the 1980's and 90's.
Under the influence of the cool dry winds blowing from the mountains, the vines are grown on overhead trellises to protect them from the intense heat reflected from the ground during the hot summers. This technique requires that the grapes be hand harvested.

Food Pairings
The cattle industry is a mainstay of Argentina’s culture and economy. Therefore, it is fitting to drink the signature wine from this country with nothing less than spicy barbecued beef, smoky sausages or chops topped with a chimichurri sauce. An ideal accompaniment to red meats and pasta with red sauce. Serve at room temperature. It is best if you decant an hour prior to drinking to full develop its aromas and flavors.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun with Hilary and Mia

It was great having Hilary and Mia visit us this past weekend. Thank you ladies!

With these two lovely beauties on his arm, Beck felt no need to dress up

Storm gave Mia a ride around the neighborhood. Sorry Hilary and Tim, you're going to need to build a MUCH bigger chicken coop!

Sorry Hilary, I just had to put this one up... aren't they just darling!