Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea
I look forward to Friday Fragments, hosted by Mrs. 4444s.
Head on over and see what everyone has been up to this week!

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Hockey Tournament and Zachary's surgery are all done!
Now I can move on with Christmas.
Zachary hung up our Christmas lights.
This weekend I am decorating the inside of our home.
Hubby doesn't know it yet, but he is getting a tree this weekend.  We always get a live tree.  Hubby always gets one too tall and ends up cutting part of the tree off.  
Have I mentioned how much I love my guy?!?!
We finally got our first estimate for our siding, gutter, garage door and light repairs that happened during Hurricane Sandy.   I'm waiting for a few more before we make a final decision.
I don't mind waiting, there are so many other people who need repairs more urgently than I.
A fellow hockey mom / friend's daughter is expecting her first baby in December.  Mom and Dad are looking for daycare.  My friend mentioned my in-home day care. YAY!  I haven't had an infant in a few years.  I am grinning ear to ear just thinking about holding a itty bitty baby again.
Zachary is back to school.
Nothing exciting happened this week.
Wait… I take that back...
During Wednesday night hockey game Brandon scored a top shelf goal from the blue line.  
If you don't get hockey lingo… just trust me… that's a good thing!
**That's right! I'm a proud Mama!**
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Outpatient Surgery for Zachary

Zachary had an operation on Black Friday.  He was born with a deviated septum.  The doctor thinks when Zachary was born his nose broke in the birth canal.  The wall between his nasal passages was displaced, which caused nose bleeds, snoring and allergies.

When he was 10 years old Todd and I took him to an Otolaryngologist, who recommended that we wait until Zachary was older and stopped the majority of his growing.   I am glad we did wait.  A 10 year old boy would not understand nor know how to react to so much pain this surgery caused.

Prior to surgery the nurse came in and asked all kinds of questions. Zachary is quiet and answers her very softly.  I can tell he is nervous.  I am worried for him, but try to be strong and not let him see how twisted up my stomach is.
Zachary has never done well around needles or blood. So when the nurse put in his IV in, I thought he was going to pass out.  He looked white as a ghost.  He told me he was hot and light headed.
I explained to him that it was his anxiety making him feel like that. Told him to relax and it would pass.
By the time the nurse came back and gave him his 'hat' he was feeling better.
They wheeled him out and I felt lost.
I know it's only a minor operation.
Logically I knew he'd be okay.
He is my baby.
I wanted to cry.
I didn't.
I went to the waiting room… and waited.
Two hours later I was able to see him.
He was so HIGH!
It was a funny sight to see.
The nurses who were attending him couldn't stop laughing.
You would have thought Zach won the lottery when the nurse handed him a soda and jello!
By the time we got home the pain medication wore off.
Zachary has been down for the count for 6 days. 
He has been sleeping on a recliner because he cannot lay flat.
He has watched all the seasons of "King of Queens" and "The Big Bang Theory".
 He may go back to school tomorrow.  It all depends how he feels when he wakes up.  
The worst is over and every day he gets a better.
I am just glad to see him smile again.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

C'mon and join in the Hodgepodge F U N!
Thanks to Joyce for being a gracious host.

Four hodgepodges til Christmas in case you were wondering.

1.  With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow?  What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion? 
I love pretty gift wrapped anything. Bag or box.  I also love decorating presents that I give. It's very fulfilling to see someone's smile, and knowing they appreciate the time and thought you put into their special gift.
No, I have not wrapped any gifts yet.

2.  What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
New Nook HD Tablet and a Coach Bag.  

3.  What makes a home?
The people who are in it and the love that surrounds them all.

4.  Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound?  If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck. 
Not really my thing.  I'm sure if one came on the radio, I'd sing along.  

5.  Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
ummm, purple  
second would be black….
If I have to pick between red or green, I'd have to say green.  I've gotten many compliments that green accents my eyes.  I still prefer to wear purple.  :-D

6.  True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon? 
Y E S!!!!  Which is odd for me to say because I do not eat a lot of meat.  Having say that, I think bacon gives a nice flavor to many different dishes.  Thanksgiving green beans with bacon and baked potatoes with bacon toppings are the two that come to me right away.  I'm sure there are more!

7.  Share a favorite holiday memory.
Hiding the pickle on the Christmas tree. I know it's more of a tradition, but I really like it.  Every year is a bit different. When the boys were young they rushed down the steps to find the pickle that was hidden on the tree! Who ever found the pickle got an extra gift, so of course they tripped over one another to get to the tree first.  Now, as older teens they just humor me by finding the pickle.  Just wait until the find out what the gift is THIS year. I think they will be more willing to participate once they find out what it is.  Sorry I can't tell you yet. I don't want to ruin the fun!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament


Thanksgiving weekend is always a busy one for us.  Since 2007 Brandon has participated in a Thanksgiving Tournament.  ~ That means a lot of hockey crammed into weekend! ~ This is the first year that the tournament wasn't on home ice.  We had to travel to Hatfield, PA - which isn't too bad. It was a little over an hour away.  ~ The boys are at an age where the testosterone is flaring.  There was a lot of smack talk and even one fight.  ~ I am proud that my son keeps his temper in check. I am not naive enough to think he isn't running his mouth with smart @** comments.

I wish you could experience the thrill of the game, the smell of the ice and hearing the "Ooooh and Ahhhs'" from the crowd. 

 I wish I could explain that I do not condone violence and yet I get a giddy seeing the hits and checks of the game.   

I wish you knew the pride I feel while watching my son make a good play (and yep, even the bad ones).


I wish you could have seen the smile on my son's face as they placed the 1st place medal around his neck.

Congratulations Baby!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Picasa Nightmare!

For those who use Blogger, listen up!

Did you know:  Every picture you put on your blog is stored in a Picasa Web Album.

Did you know: Google only gives you 1GB free space of Picasa.

Did you know:  Once you go over that 1GB of free space, Google wants you to purchase more space for a monthly fee!

Did you know: If you delete a picture from Picasa Web Album that it will delete it from your blog.

I DID NOT KNOW:  Until I got a "Whoops" error!

"Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for storage".  Upgrade storage

I have two blogs: Pretty Purplexing and Aunt Tami's House. I have also been blogging since 2009.  Add that all up and you get 1 GB of storage.

I do not know how to get around this issue. Has anyone ever encountered this problem?  If so, what have you done?

I am angry at Google! 

The temptation is there to stop using Blogger and switch to Word Press or another format.  The problem I have with that… I have two new blog designs…. I do not know if they will transfer over to another format.  (This is another problem for another day).


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for; family, friends, good health, a happy home... I am reminded with our economy and Hurricane Sandy, how many people are struggling right now to provide for their families, let alone a traditional Thanksgiving feast that is apart of the holiday. If you know of a charity or shelter, such as the Salvation Army or Red Cross, please take the time to help out or donate items. 

As I said, I have so much to be thankful for and one thing I am grateful for are my amazing blogging friends. Each and every one of you has touched me and given a true gift of friendship in many different ways! Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Ever melt a pair of jumper cables?

I know what you are thinking.
What? How can you melt jumper cables??

Oh my friends, I assure you it can be done!

Let me tell you a story…..

For the last few months we have been teaching our son, Zachary to drive an automatic car. 
However, the car he will be driving is manual.

Todd thought it would be a good idea to take Zachary to a parking lot with the intention of teaching him how to drive a stick shift.

Zachary's car has been sitting, not being used since the beginning of the summer.  So when it would not start today, Todd didn't think anything of it and he asked the neighbor for a jump.

Todd and Zachary went on their merry way.

Upon Zachary's first try, he stalls the car.  If you don't know about stick shift, stalling it is not uncommon, especially while learning how to drive it.
Problem though ~ the car would not re-start.
The guys called me to come "jump" the car, thinking the battery had died. Again.

We had no luck.  So Todd and I drove to Pepboys to purchase a new battery.
$100.00 and 40 minutes later…..

Todd showed Zachary how to install a new battery.
we tried to start the car.
No luck!

Considering we are not mechanics, we thought "maybe we should try to jump the car again". 
Not our finest moment.

This time both cars spark when Todd puts the jumper cables on the clamps.
Then both cars begin to smoke and catch on fire!

Apparently if you do not match the positive and negatives, this is what a car will do.


We called in the calvary.
Our friend found a fuse that was loose and Viola!
**Car started like a charm**

I think Zachary learned a valuable lesson and will never mix up the + and - signs while jumping a car.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fragments

Happy Friday!!
Joining Mrs. 4444's
@Half past kissin time

~Tonight Todd and I are going to dinner with our best friends, Heather and Chad.  Life has been busy recently and our schedules have not given us time to see one another.  I was going through BFF withdrawals.  I am bubbling with anticipation!

~I won a giveaway!!!  YAY!!! Thanks to Jodi from Rants and Rascals for the Codie Prevost CD!!

~It was nap time, finally got all 4 kids sleeping at the same time (which any mom can relate to this amazing moment of time)…. and then the doorbell rings…. the dogs go bezerk…. and the kids wake up.  My much needed peaceful moment was poof gone!

~Last night I was exhausted (see above and you get an idea why) but I went to a much needed trip to the grocery store.  I'd say it's a 10 mile trip.  I went to get out of the car only to realize I forgot my purse.  I called my son to see if I left it at home.  Yep! It was sitting on top of the highchair (isn't that where everyone keeps their purse). After having a bad day, this put me over the edge and I cried all the way home.   I sucked it up, grabbed the purse and went back to the store.

~Today I realized how bad my grocery-store-self-pity-party was.  I should be am thankful for all things I have and take for granted.

~We are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner.  I ordered the turkey last week.  We get a fresh one from a local butcher.  I've never cooked a frozen one.  It will a lot of working preparing a meal for 20 people.  Every year I make what I call "Poppop's Stuffing". It was an annual tradition for my grandfather to make the stuffing.  Although I try, I still don't think it's as good as his.  The best part of Thanksgiving is sharing the holiday with family and friends.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surviving the holidays - Dysfunctional Style

Photo Credit

Dysfunctional OCD Mom, Tipsy Dad, Racist Grandpa and Over Critical Grandmom drive you crazy on a normal day? Trying to put them all in one room during a holiday!

You can spend years and good money in therapy.. within 15 minutes of a holiday reunion, you are right back to square one.

Your confidence and patience go right out the window when your 30 year old sister throws a temper tantrum or your nephew tells inappropriate dirty jokes at the dinner table.

So What To Do??

First: Give up the expectation that families are perfect and the holiday is going to be perfect.  Be prepared to accept them for who they are.  This doesn't give them license to misbehave.  In fact, if you calmly talk about what you expect from them, they may surprise you and change their behavior.

Second:  Are there certain relatives that you cannot tolerate?  If you have to spend the holiday among the intolerable, create a plan.  Decide if you are spending one, maybe two hours with them.  Decide if it is worth putting yourself in that situation.

***Or you could always get a friend to call you 1/2 way through the event with a disastrous event that you have to go attend to.

Third: Have you been deeply hurt by your family? Still searching for kindness from your mother, approval from your father?  But no matter how hard you try, you cannot please them.  STOP! You will never be able to control their thoughts or feelings.  Don't waste your energy trying to make them something they will never be!

Fourth and most important: After a holiday reunion, call a friend who totally 'gets' you and decompress!  You need to get the frustration out. Talk, talk, talk.

**It is always refreshing to mimic your dysfunctional family members to your friends.  Laughter, after all, is the best medicine.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge #101

Thank you Joyce for hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1.  What rule of life should never be broken?
Having an open mind.  You shouldn't judge others by your own set of rules and ideas.   This reminds me of the show 'The Voice'.  The entire basis of the show is to judge the talent of a voice and not by the way you look.  There is a current contestant named Nicholas David who has the voice of Barry White.  Because of his looks, I do not think many record labels would have taken him serious.  But here he is! On The Voice competing on a even playing field.

2.  What's your favorite family recipe? 

This is one of my favorite stuffings and it goes great with a ham dinner!

8 - 10 slices of bread ~ 1/4 lb butter ~ 1 can crushed pinapples (drained) ~ 1 cup sugar ~ 4 eggs (beaten)

Mix ingredients well in a mixer. Place in casserole dish and bake at 350 for about an hour.

3.  Is the media manipulative? 
Yes!  More often than not in a negative, sexual way.

4. Hubs and I saw Skyfall last weekend...are you a fan of the Bond films? If so, who's your favorite Bond?
I saw it too. I think it was the best Bond film with Daniel Craig.  I prefer Daniel Craig out of all the Bond's.  He wears a tight suit rather well. *just sayin'

5. What is one thing you hope people never say about you?
I don't consider myself an insecure person and yet I worry about what other people think about me.  I would hope that no one would ever consider me unkind or unsympathetic.  I tend to be blunt and to the point. Which sometimes comes across as uncaring.

6.  What's a nearby tourist attraction you'd like to see, but haven't gotten around to visiting? 
Every year Philadelphia hosts a Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I've never been to it because I host a family dinner on Thanksgiving.

7.  Where's your favorite tree?
I have a weeping willow tree in my back yard.  I think weeping willows have a character all on their own.  I love how they sway in the wind as if they are dancing in the air.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blogging Design ~ Lesson #1 ~ Scrolling Button Box

Designing a Scrolling Blog Button Box with HTML.

As you begin to interact as a blogger with other bloggers you will find many whose blogs you want to share with your readers.  Most bloggers have a 'Blog Button' that is available for 'grabbing' from their home page to add to your blog.  (I have two on my sidebar for Pretty Purplexing and Aunt Tami's House).  Some blogs have separate pages dedicated to these buttons, others will put them in their sidebar.  Another option is to put a rolling gadget in your sidebar.

It is extremely simple to do once you have the HTML code.


<marquee align="center" direction="up" height="250" onmouseout="this.start()" onmouseover="this.stop()" scrollamount="5" width="160"><div aligh="center">

Now, what to do with this code.  Let's break it down so you can understand how it works.
  • direction="up" ** this determines the direction the button scroll.  You can have it scroll up or down.
  • height="250" ** this determines how tall the widget is.  Most blog buttons are about the same size, thought not all.  You can change it to a higher or lower number to suite how many you want to be seen at once.
  • scrollamount="5" ** this determines the speed at which it moves.  Lower the number for a slower speed.
  • width="160" ** this determents the width of the gadget. Most buttons are 125 but many are 150. You want it large enough for the buttons to be seen but small enough to fit into your sidebar.

How to add the button codes.

In the Blogger Layout Menu
  • Choose "Add a Gadget"
  • Choose "Add the HTML/Java Script"
  • Paste the HTML code from above.
  • Visit the blog you want to add and find their button code. Copy it.
  • Enter the button code after <div aligh="center"> and before </div>
<marquee align="center" direction="up" height="250" onmouseout="this.start()" onmouseover="this.stop()" scrollamount="5" width="160"><div aligh="center">

  • To add a second button, just place it immediately before or after the first button code.
    • It's best to leave a space or two before and after each entry.  It will not affect how it looks, but it will make it easy to find if you want to change the order or if you want to remove one.

  • You will notice that once all the buttons have gone thru - it is blank for a short time and then they begin again.

  • You can check out my Scrolling Buttons on my sidebar. Have fun with it and Good Luck!

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Tribute to Poppop on Veterans Day

    In 1923
    American troops left Germany after WWI.
    Ottowa Senators swept Edm Eskimos to win the Stanley Cup.
    Attorney General says it is legal for women to wear trousers anywhere. 
    Lou Gehrig hits the first of his 493 home runs.
    Disney company was founded.
    My grandfather was born.
    Frank Edward (on the left) was the eldest of 9 children.
    In 1942
    German U-boats begin harassing the US East Coast.
    Japanese sub fires on oil refinery in California.
    2 black players: Jackie Robinson & Nate Moreland requests tryouts with White Sox.
    Toronto Maple leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup.
    Gasoline rationed in the East Coast.
    Anne Frank begins her diary.
    My grandparents were married.

    February 3, 1943
    Shoe rationing begins.
    Germany surrenders in Stalingrad.
    Joe DeMaggio enlists.
    The day my grandfather left for duty

    December 22, 1945
    Rationing of auto tires end.
    Microwave oven patented.
    Congress officially recognizes The Pledge of Allegiance.
    My grandfather returns home after proudly serving in the Navy during WWII in the Solomon Island.

    My grandparents had two daughters: Nancy and Shirley.
    In addition to 5 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren at the time of his passing.
    My grandfather was a self-employed carpenter his whole life, and also worked last at a hospital in the maintenance department for 23 years until his retirement in 1988.
    April 16, 2008
    Bill Gates retires from Microsoft to focus on charity work.
    Michael Phelps wins 8 Gold Medals.
    My grandfather passed away.
    and was laid to rest at St. Vincent UCC
    where he served at as a deacon, elder and consistory member.
    The postlude at his funeral was "Anchors Aweigh".
    I am proud of my grandfather for not only serving his country, but for all the good he spread throughout his life. He believed in people. He never smoked or took a drink. He believed in discipline and hard work, that if stick to something long enough it will pay off.  

    He was my father figure.  There was no safer place than in his lap.  He would tell me to put onions in my socks to ward off illness.  His eyes were bright blue, always showing kindness.  He carried a hammer wherever he went and was always tinkered with something to keep himself busy.
    Poppop may be gone, but he is still in my heart.  


    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Chanticleer Gardens {Sunday In My City}

    What does your world look like this Sunday in your City?
    This is my view.
    Go take a peek of someone else's city at Unknown Mami.  

    Located in the Main Line of Pennsylvania.
    Photo Credit: Todd Miller
    During the early 20th century upper class society would move to the country to beat the heat from Philadelphia, PA.  This ruin is a picture of a former summer home to the Rosengarten family.  This wealthy pharmaceutical family sold their business to Merck & Company in the 1920's.  
    The estate has beautiful gardens and is open to the public to enjoy.

    I hope you enjoyed the view from my city!

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    Friday Fragments - Hurricane Sandy

    Hey Peeps!  
    Head on over to Half-Past Kissin' Time to read what happened in everyone's week.
    Thanks Mrs. 4444's for hosting Friday Fragments.
    This week I've been getting quotes and estimates for the siding damage to my home during Hurricane Sandy.

    My neighbors shutter was taken off by the wind and hurled into the side of our house.  It's amazing what a hole in the siding it caused.  Just by a vinyl shutter!

    Minor damage was from other debris. 

    Our damage is nothing compared to what the majority of east coast residence are going through.
    My Blogger Friend Hilary from Feeling Beachie has been evacuated from her home. She is staying with her husband's brother, but he suffered flood damage too.

    My Blogger Friend, Joyce from This Side of the Pond and Patty from Preppyplayer has also felt the wrath of Sandy.

    Please keep my friends and other hurricane victims in your prayers.