...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Saturday, January 31, 2009

After the storm...

Last night was a clear evening...

This morning was an icy beginning!  




Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Camera Wars Update

Well, the hardest part of all of this competition has been uploading the photos in an organized manner so they can be viewed.  

My daughter and I went outside at noon today and probably spent an hour snapping shots of the woods and around our house.  After we finished with our cameras we both did some shoveling.  I did our driveway while my daughter helped grandpa do his.  When we finally came inside, we'd been out for over three hours!  We were hungry and cold.  

After perusing our photos we couldn't limit ourselves to only five...surprise, surprise.  I have posted our best 35/33.  You all can leave your comments as to your favorite photos.  

I think we are both winners because we had fun out in the snow and woods together.   We laughed a lot and kept saying, "look at this!"  Only a few times did we try to disrupt each others photo taking.  

We found out about an hour ago that school will be canceled for tomorrow too.  Maybe we'll have another camera war.  I think we'll need to have a little more specific theme.  Any suggestions?  

My daughter's Camera War Submissions

My Camera War Submissions

What to do on a SNOW Day?

Today is our first REAL snow day in a long time.  The kids and I are home from school.  Last night we got about over four inches of the white stuff.  Everything looks awesome!  

So, what to do today...

...Camera Wars with my daughter!  

Here are the rules:  

1) Take the best photos you can TODAY, spoiling others photos is acceptable.  It is war after all.  No deleting of others photos allowed.  
2) Submit your five best of the day, to be posted here later on.   

Check back later for our results!  


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cookies and Creme....Sweet Treats of the Week!

COOKIES:  Inspired by the events of this Tuesday, I baked  some cookies.  I was listening to NPR on Monday and they were talking about Michelle Obama's Shortbread Cookies.  I just had to try them.  Even the least adventurous person in my family said they were worth repeating!  I LOVED them.  But, be forewarned...they do call for a few "special" ingredients and I had to cook them much longer than the recipe stated.  Next time I will not bake them as a bar cookie.  

This is like cookies for your ears.  Mmmmm!  Did you happen to see the Inauguration at noon on Tuesday?  While I was listening to Fred Child this afternoon on Performance Today, he played the above recording AND mentioned he had this link on his blog.  I am documenting it here for me most of all.  I think it's 4 minutes and 17 seconds of sweetness.  

Sweet treats this week!  Yummy!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What today means to me...

New Frontiers, 

A Time of Hope, 

A New Way of Thinking, 


The Next Generation, 

Connecting With Others, 

Common Goals, 

Re-Birth of America, 

Family Importance, 

Opened Minds

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Defining Words...

Recently, while driving to and from after school activities, my daughter has been asking a lot of thought-provoking questions.  "Do my eye's get more green if I cry?"  "If someone is color blind can they see a policeman's sirens? (Okay, I know what she was meaning to ask on this one, but I couldn't resist saying..."You know what you just said, right?" in my smart-alic mom voice.)  

Some of our conversations are not necessarily politically correct.  Or kind.  But they take place in our van, which is a safe environment for teaching one's offspring.  My daughter has wanted to know the difference between certain words:  Hobo vs. Bum.  Hunk vs. Stud vs. "Pretty Boy".  

My first reaction has always been to say, "What do you think?"  On her eye color she was unsure.  I told her I definitely don't know the answer to that.  I don't recall ever really watching myself cry.  For the color-blind question...again, I don't know.  She thinks maybe a person who is color-blind may see shifting shades of black, grey and white.  That sounds logical to me.  But, I might try to research it sometime.  

Her answers on the others were funny!  She defined a HOBO as the guy who sleeps on the bench near our public library.  A BUM is they guy who asks for money on the corner near McDonald's on the east side of town.  Which leads to my own question...I ask what defines HOMELESS?  The Micky D's guy holds up a sign that says 'Homeless.  Any money will help'...or something like that.  I have been at one of the ATM's nearby in the summertime and he has been on his bicycle in front of me.  He seems really kind and fairly well-kept.  He was very polite and told me he has an account.  "Really," he said.  I believe him.  But, his HOMELESS sign?  I am skeptical.  I think he's working the system.  I think he rents an apartment and therefore considers himself HOMELESS because he doesn't own his home.  Consequently, after seeing him on his bike at the ATM and having him assure me he has an account...he gets no handouts from me.  

My daughter's definitions of Stud vs. Hunk vs. Pretty Boy:  
Stud = Muscular
Hunk = Muscular and Good Looking
Pretty Boy = Good Looking, and he looks like he might be wearing a little make-up.  

Maybe part of my daughter's subconscious reasoning for asking me these questions is to prove to herself her mom is fallible, she's human.  I certainly don't profess to have all the answers she is looking for and needs.  Oh, but I love seeing life through my daughter's fresh, young eyes!  She reminds me to not be so set in my thoughts, my  opinions and my definitions.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

R U Kidding? Seeing is believing!

Really, you must click on this picture to truly appreciate the humor.  If I hadn't taken this photo myself I wouldn't have believed it.  AND, I took this photo at about 9 in the morning as I sat at a red light.  

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not my Father-in-law's friends...

This is a pair of Pileated
If you are
older than
40 you might 
the cartoon
He was based on this guy.  Mr. PW has a red moustache, Mrs. PW does not.  

About 18 years ago my in-laws decided to add on to their current house.  They added a sewing room and a sun room...imagine a "U" shaped house, and extend the "arms" of the "U".  Their house is even older than ours, so at that time it had been here for over 30 years.  The additions looked beautiful and really extended their living space.  Both rooms overlook the backyard.  The sun room faces east and as it's name implies, it is three walls of windows.  Unfortunately my in-laws do live next to the woods, and their neighbors didn't appreciate the addition.  One Pileated decided to let my FIL know his disappointment and he pecked the rim around several windows on the sun room.  He did thousands of dollars worth of damage.  None of which was covered by insurance!  If only the Pileated had broken the glass, things would have been different.  My FIL was furious.  He was ready to relocate the culprits...really he wanted to help them nap, in the dirt...but after calling the DNR and then the Purdue University Extension office, he found out they are a protected bird.  The PU Extension kindly sent him some Mylar streamers to hang up to discourage any more damage.  Pileated's are very territorial.  My FIL was invading THEIR space.  

This Christmas my FIL received the suet feeder and suet from a niece who lives in Florida.  I don't think she recalls this problem my FIL had.  After Christmas my FIL asked if I would like this feeder for my yard.  I didn't want to take his gift, but I understood his concerns.  So, I told him it was still his, but we could put it down at the back of my yard where he can view it from his place...nice and far away from the sun room!  

I must admit, living in a house covered in stone, I relish seeing this majestic pair.  I've read that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker looks very similar but is a lot larger.   

Friday, January 09, 2009

Ending and Beginning...

Our kitchen remodeling project has officially come to a close.  Time to start cooking!  

Our Contractor:  Dave McArdle, Bloomington, Indiana

Past & Present 
The Burrow Kitchen Transformation
Above: past sink area
Below: today's sink area
Above:  laundry closet view in the past
Below:  laundry closet view today

Above:  Past view of the walk way from 
the carport to the dining room
Below: Same view...today
Below:  The other side of the island
The built-in wine rack and glass holder
The Burrow finally feels like it is officially ours!  

We are now ready to invite all the former owners here for a visit.  Next week we hope to have the most recent owner back for dinner.  She (and her husband) spent the longest time here...25 years.  After we have her over, then we'll contact the rest to have them come back and share their memories with us too.  In between time, I'll start hosting others here!  I can't wait!!!!!

Kitchen remodeling notes:  
True construction days:  26
Actual calendar days:  53
Holidays encumbered:  Thanksgiving and Christmas

Delays:  None
Perks:  Got to know a ton of very handy individuals, I would recommend them all, especially our contractor.  

For a slide show of the kitchen project from beginning to end, click here:  Burrow Kitchen Transformation.  

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Birding, again

Just a bit ago I saw this guy out back.  I have i.d.-ed it as a Red-Shouldered Hawk.

I know my kids saw this bird out back last week.  It appears to be a forest dweller enjoying a forest near water.  The same habitat as the Burrow.  

I forgot to add to my bird count from yesterday the Tufted Titmouse.  I recently got out my bird bath heater to keep my yard water supply open for my bird friends.  I can't wait for spring planting so I can encourage even more birds to our sanctuary.  

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Regifting 101

I was just checking out this site and thought I'd pass along the information:  

I was checking out this site because I think something that I purchased this Christmas for someone was regifted all ready.  I'm not 100 percent sure.   I bought a gift, something wearable, for someone and that person actually wore it and was photographed in it and then just this morning, while checking out another mutual-family-connected site, I noticed someone else wearing an identical item in a very recent picture.  All three of us - who seem to have this same piece of clothing - are connected by that middle person.    

I know it could be a coincidence.  I am struggling by thinking that my gift was not a good choice.  I really thought about what I was buying.  I wanted the gift to be a special thing because I bought a matching item for myself.  

I feel like I am in an episode of Seinfeld.  I'm obsessing and worrying.  The pleaser in me is really struggling.  

Day 25: Part 2, What's for Dinner?

Miracles happened today!  

The oven now heats up!  
I did keep my promise...dinner was tasty!  I christened the oven by baking chocolate chip cookies as our appetizer.  We had corn chowder, bread and wine for dinner followed by more chocolate chip cookies.  

Almost done!  The counter tops did arrive and went in today.  The oven did get fixed!  The sink and faucet are installed!  Tomorrow I hope to have the dishwasher and cook top join the ranks of working appliances.  The crown molding should get done tomorrow too.  It will be just little things to finish up on after that.  My dish pan hands are starting to rejoice!  

For entertainment I did some bird watching today.  I noted the following 12 types of birds at my feeders in about one hours time:  Northern Flicker, Blue jay, Downy Wood Pecker, Cardinal, Mourning Dove, Carolina Chickadee, Dark Eyed Junco, Nuthatch, House Finch, Gold Finch, Mocking Bird and Carolina Wren.  I was bored in the house since it was horrible weather for getting out and the place was filled with various workers.  I'm not into t.v. during the day so watching the birds was great.  I had my binoculars, my laptop (for species identifying) and my comfy chair.  If the workers needed me, and I did get called upon several times, I was easily assessable.  

Of course I did hear about lazing around from a few of the men in my house...one husband and contractor!  Good thing they didn't see me eating Bon-Bons while I had my feet up too!  :)

Day 25: Part 1: Bated Breath!

Today was the first day back to school after winter break, and luckily for me a 2 hour delay!  I love what I do, but as my children walked out to catch their delayed bus I received a phone call from my contractor!  Freezing rain has made the roads in the area very slick, but my counter tops are coming!  They should be here within the hour!  

I am waiting with bated breath.   Dave tells me everyone (plumbers, trim guy, electrician, etc.) is scheduled to be here today and tomorrow.  My cardboard counter tops may indeed be a thing of the past.  My sink may be installed, the dishwasher make get hooked up, the oven may get reprogrammed, I may have a new gas cook top, I may get to bake those cookies soon!  

Well, Dave just arrived!  Maybe I'll be doing my happy dance this evening!  I will try to remember to breath and not expect too much.  

"After all...tomorrow is another day."  says
 Scarlett/Gone with the Wind-1939

Monday, January 05, 2009

Facts my Family Enlightened me on...

...or rather:  Things I learned in one 24 hour period.  

1)  Once you go past Christmas and the new year starts, you cannot watch It's a Wonderful Life.  Apparently I didn't get this memo.  The other three members of my family are adamant about this fact.  I think I will pencil in a date on my calendar right now for next Christmas season. 

2)  In others opinion:   I like to do thank yous but my children do not.  

3)  It's okay to take down the Christmas tree when there hasn't been any snow.  

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Day 25: Tomorrow; Day 49: Today

Construction time vs. actual time.  

I really miss my kitchen.  I had hoped that on Friday (Jan.2) the appliance repair guy was going to be able to fix my never-since-it-got-here-has-it-worked oven.  I was wrong.  

I even had it planned out...he'd be here between 8 and noon, I'd make Chocolate Chip Cookies to christen the oven and then homemade pizza for dinner.  No cookies.  No pizza.  Instead we dined on leftover Christmas turkey heated in the microwave.  Good, but not cookies and pizza.  

My FIL offered their oven for making my cookies.  True, I could go use their oven.  That's not the point.  I just really want my own kitchen, the Burrow's kitchen, to be up and running.  My patience is waning.  Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully one week to go.  

When the appliance repair guys (APG) came, they did notice that the power to the oven was not up to the correct voltage.  One line read 120 volts and the other between 40-50 volts.  A quick call to my contractor had the electrician back out here.  He ended up needing to replace a breaker.  Although the APG's were here at noon and the electrician was here at 3, there wasn't enough time in the day to get the APG's back out here.  I tried.  They just need to come back and reprogram (or re-boot) the oven.  This is the downfall of technology.  Nothing can be simple!  The APG's are scheduled to come back out on TUESDAY!  

Hence I have decided that I will make NOTHING in the new kitchen until it's all back together.  A test run of the oven will happen, but no baking.  
In the mean time, I continue to walk on my treadmill and watch the Food Network.  I watched a show called  Everyday Italian and I made myself hungry!  Two dishes were made that I just had to try:  

Both dishes were easy to make and tasty.  The differences I included were on the Spaghetti...I added more pasta water than the recipe called for and used Italian seasoned bread crumbs.  Both of those suggestions were in the comments on-line AND the chef on the show actually added more water herself.  

My in-laws came over to share this feast with us so I purchased some Italian bread and Spumoni Ice Cream to top things off.  My husband likes his bread warmed and since we had a fire going in the fireplace...well, you can guess how the bread was heated.  The spaghetti looked good too in my new pasta bowl!  My niece gave it to us for Christmas, but you might note I said my new pasta bowl!   


Saturday, January 03, 2009

...in 1938, on this day...


Friday, January 02, 2009

You Know You're Loved When...

Eeeewww!!!!!  Yuck!  

One of the cats leaves a hair ball in your shoe...and, this isn't the first time this has happened.  

My husband either has a really smelly shoe or is really loved by one of our cats.  I am not willing to check out the first theory.  But, I do love my sweets and I cleaned out his shoe for him.  He would tell you they are my cats and not his..."back to the pound with them both!"  :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

As the balloons fell, we welcomed in the new year!  

May 2009 be filled with health, wealth and happiness to all my friends and family.  :)

"2009" in ice