Friday, September 25, 2009

Prankster at Heart

Ok, so I admit it...I am a middle aged lady that has never grown up.... and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I still enjoy a good prank, even at my expense- which admittedly doesn't happen too often since most people I know are too mature to play pranks.

Take the time I decided to call my mom. Disguising my voice I said, "Mrs. Staggs? This is WXLZ radio station and we're calling you with a thousand dollar question. If you can tell us the first letter of the alphabet- you will win 1000 dollars!"

Long pause on the end of the mom finally said, "I find that hard to believe"

"It's true Mrs. Staggs" says I.

"'s A", she said.

Long pause...then I said, "Mom? it's me..."

She felt embarrassed for falling for it, and I felt just a wee bit guilty for raising her hopes in winning 1000 dollars, but I also knew she knew me pretty well and was used to it. So, she still laughs about that prank from time to time- which is good I guess! I haven't been disinherited...yet!

And one of the secrets of staying married for 21 years and actually enjoying it? Humor, of course, what else? Yes, my husband has suffered from time to time from my when I hid behind the shower curtain and then jumped out at him when he came in the bathroom....or the time I ran towards him while he sat reclined in his Lazy Boy recliner all tipped back- and I leaped into his lap, only to cause the chair to do a complete backward flip and we both landed laying backwards on the floor. To this day, when he sees me coming toward him in his chair , he sits it up immediately and puts both feet on the floor...just in case.

And lest you think me one sided, I take pranks on myself quite well...most of the time. My son once came running up the stairs with his arm all bent backwards and said "Mom, I think it's broken"...ummm, not funny to a mother. But after I realized he was kidding, I laughed weakly....sort of.

Just remember that humor is essential to your life if you want to get through it without becoming sour. There is a time to be serious, and there is a time to laugh. Timing is everything!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Ice Queen

I know it isn't winter yet by a long shot here in Illinois...but since I started thinking of ice and snow, it got my creativity going and this Ice Queen is the result....

She has a snowflake crown, white fur cloak trimmed in icicles, and a full skirt underneath that looks almost like a sheer layer of ice reflecting the colors. She even carries a couple of "ice cubes " in her hands- after all, she is the Ice Queen!

Save Money on Books

For all of you who are like me, a bookworm, it can get pretty pricey to go out and buy a new book every time the whim hits to add to your collection. I ran across this website called and have now discovered a way to get books I would like to have to add to my growing shelves.

The way it basically works is this: you have books you want to get rid of- you register free list them free at this website. When someone wants what you have, you get a credit for each book - which in turn means you can then find books you would like and request them from the one who has them. They send them, they get a credit.

This website is very easy to navigate, and I have only been there about a week and already have gotten rid of nearly 20 books I no longer need, and am in the process of getting some that I would love to read. All for whatever the media rate is for me to send my unwanted books to someone who does!

They also have sister websites for getting rid of dvds you no longer want: and for cds you no longer want:

If you don't find what you are looking for on any of these sites, they have a wish list you can add your wants on and it puts you in line to be contacted when something becomes available. Pretty cool, and it will save you money on building your library!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting in the Holiday Spirit Already?

I hate it when stores start setting their holiday merchandise out months before the holday know what I mean- They put Valentine's day stuff out right after Christmas, Christmas stuff start showing up in September of all things....Mother's day cards show up in early's ridiculous really.

We all know why they do it, they want to push the consumer to start getting ideas in their head that the holday will be upon them soon and so they'd better get their stuff now before the pickins are slim-but when things are that far off, it is hard for me to get in the mood for certain holidays.

Therefore I don't know why but when I sat down to create today, I found myself snipping and sewing and gluing...and this is what I ended up with...

No Christmas music was playing in the background, the weather here in Illinois is close to 80 degrees, and Christmas was not in my thinking! I have no idea sometimes when I sit down what I will be making, but that is part of the fun I guess.

Anyway, I have decided to dub my creation "Mary Christmas"....and hopefully she will not be the last in my designs for the upcoming holidays!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Flowers and Stuff

Way back when my husband and I bought our first home, I wanted to do something to the outside to "spruce" things up. And having come from a home life where my mom didn't mess with flowers too much, I had little experience to go on.

So, wreckless person that I was,(ok, maybe I STILL am at times...) I just winged it and planted a whole bed full... and I was hooked! 3 houses later I am still that way-It could be the artist in me, I don't know...but I have to have a multitude of color in the front and sides of our house or I feel bereft.

My flowers seem to attract all kinds of interesting things- grasshoppers, (and here in Illinois you will find THOUSANDS of them! I was scared this one was going to hop up at me, but I bravely took his picture...)

hummingbirds....(I have seen big fights over the feeder here)

...butterflies of all kinds... and toads. My son will pick the toads up and hold them, (Ewww!)

But while I think toads are kind of cute, don't put one on me unless you want to hear a middle aged lady scream at an ear piercing decibel that may cause you to lose your hearing...I don't think the toads are there in my flowers for the flowers themselves- but the banquet of insects that are there in huge numbers.
(Which is one reason I am reluctant to do my weeding as I should...)

Well, flower planting is just one more way for me to use my artistic side- the blending and choosing of colors is therepeutic for me- one of many ways to appreciate the simple beauty in this world!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Refuse to Teach Anyone to Drive

I mean it, no ifs, ands, or buts! I decided this after taking my oldest teen out on one of her first driving lessons not too ago....

I bet I sucked in my breath and screeched at least 10 times...and that was just while backing out of the driveway...

We went around the block and it seemed we were going to hit every mailbox in that neighborhood, and this was no small neighborhood. I tried not to cry out..really I did- but I kept envisioning all the irate neighbors we would have after we knocked down all the mailboxes like a set of bowling pins!

I know I had my eyes closed most the time and hadn't prayed quite that long (or fervently) in some while. When we finally pulled up back home, I knew that was something I would never do again...and three more teens later, I have kept my vow. My husband, brave soul (and mighty laid back) that he is, is the official learn to drive coach in our house. I resigned after that one trip around the block

I think all this has taught me a new appreciation for the Driver's Ed teacher. Who in their right mind would want to take a group of young teens out on a road and try to teach them not to swerve over the lane lines, stop turning and looking back at the people in the back seat, and brake without sending passengers through the windshield, not to mention parallel parking between two Mercedes Benz without taking off the fenders? ( I can't even do that!)

I think I will be able to survive the teen driving years, as long as I sleep through them.....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ok, ok, I will share it already!!

My jumbo chocolate chip cookie recipe that is...
I am a baker in addition to a number of other hats that I wear around my house.
This cookie recipe is one I found and developed slightly because I am always in search of that "perfect" recipe. Lots of recipes are good, but some are really really good- and this is one of them!

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1 whole egg plus one egg yolk
3/4 cup real butter, melted
1 11 0z bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix melted butter with eggs, sugars, and vanilla- blend well
Add dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened
Fold in gently the chocolate chips
Drop by 1/4 cupfuls on ungreased cookies sheets placing about 2 inches apart
Bake 17-20 minutes, depending on your oven
Let cool, then remove to an airtight container.
These are big cookies, and the batter will look somewhat messy, but not to worry!
If you follow the directions, it should turn out like this.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it!

My husband tells me that all the you think after 21 years of wedded bliss I would listen to him- but no, I don't.

For example, whenever I find a recipe that everyone likes, has loved for years, and I see a new way of doing it, one that sounds even better, I go off and try it. And it 9 times out of 10 is a flop. Then I tell myself, that's it! I will NEVER change the way I do it again...this recipe is in the family treasure vault for eternity -never to be changed...but still...I am a sucker for trying something to see if it could possibly be better than the tried and true way. (It's one of my weaknesses!)

My husband complains all the time that some day I will be wanting to exchange him because I like trying new things...well, he is safe in that department. It took me too long to get him to where he is now. Starting over would be a monumental challenge of gigantic proportions. Besides, I tell him he is one thing I don't want to change. (Ok, maybe I do have a secret list in my head but don't tell him that...)