Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the dead computer

My computer is dead.  It's so sad.  It was fine Saturday, then that night it started having problems.  My dear Hubby, who is, in my opinion, a computer genius, has worked on it for days.  He has tried everything, but it could not be safely saved.  Tomorrow he will take it and have it erased.  We have tried to get all the important files off of it and I hope we did.  Right now, the only truly important file is my school file with the two papers I've been writing.  If anything should happen to those, I might go quite crazy.

This won't be long as I am typing from a touch pad keyboard.  I can do it, but it's kind of a pain.

Something kind of funny - my eldest son seems to have a difficult time coming out of rooms when the door is shut.  It always sounds like he runs into the door and has a fight with the knob before he gets out.  Well this morning I joked with him that really needs to remember to open the door before trying to walk out.  He smiled and walked out.  Several minutes later I hear a loud bang against a door and my son going "dang it."

ok this is getting really hard to type on.  later dudes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Children's Literature

I love children's literature!

I love how fast I can read most of them.  Wow, I just read an entire novel in one hour! (OK, so it's a novel for a 2nd grader, but hey...)

Still, I'm picky about what I read.  I prefer to laugh or feel good while I'm reading a story, so I avoid serious dramas for the most part.  I like a lot of the classics.  I don't like books about dogs who die at the end.  I hated that we had to read Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller when I was in middle school.  They are still making kids read the same books.

I like fantasy and I like biographies.  I like books about everyday life and the silly situations we sometimes find ourselves in.  I like when the main character is an underdog, but manages to save the day.

Some of my favorites:
Peter Pan (of course) - Sir James M. Barrie
Heidi - Johanna Spyri
Long Way from Chicago - Richard Peck - all of his are funny and so heart-warming!
The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
The NeverEnding Story - Michael Ende
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
The Ramona Quimby books - Beverly Cleary
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

Recent reads include:
Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
The Worst Witch - Jilly Murphy (a cute book)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever - Jeff Kinney

Currently working on:
Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss  (I'm loving the archaic language.  No one uses the words "repast" or "repose" anymore.)
Five Children and It - E. Nesbit (again, great old language.  It was written in 1905.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The ol' batteries need a recharge

My batteries need to be changed, I think.  I feel like I'm running down.

Nothing bad is going on.  I'm quite fortunate that life is really pretty good.  Still, I feel like the batteries are dying.  My play is in two weeks.  I've never had all the kids come to the rehearsals at the same time.  One of them told me she didn't have her script because she lost it in her room and she is too lazy to look for it.  Yes, that is what she told me.  Know what I told her?  Find it!  She got my last copy of the script and I'm not making another just because she doesn't feel like looking for it.

I've got two school papers due.  One in December, one in January.  That really isn't a problem.  The problem is we will most likely be moving during those times. Moving in the middle of the semester makes getting homework done and papers written difficult.

Speaking of moving.... where are we going? Somewhere in Virginia.  When are we going?  I don't know.  Some time in December.  How's that for planning?

We lived in Hawaii for almost 5 years.  There is a lot of wonderful things there to miss, but for the most part, I don't think about it much.  Tonight we were visiting with a Hawaiian local that is here visiting family.  We heard her sing in Samoan.  She fed us!  We realized how much we miss that island and the beautiful people on it.  The culture, the food, the kindness.  It isn't the beaches or palm trees we miss.  It's the people we miss.  Too bad this upcoming move can't take us back to Hawaii.

Sigh. OK, that's enough of that. Like I said, things aren't really bad, but I feel worn down. Among other things, I'm concerned about not knowing where we are going, the kids school, saying goodbye to friends and hoping that wherever we go there are people as kind as the ones here. I need a hug. I need someone to hug me and tell me everything will work out just fine. I'm sure it will, but the hug would be nice anyway.

Things will be better Monday.  The kids will be back to school and I will be able to enjoy a little more peace.  My goal is to have my two papers for school finished before we leave and with everyone home for the Thanksgiving holidays, it's been hard to concentrate.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trans Siberian Orchestra

Last Tuesday, my husband's work's Christmas party for the employees, were tickets to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra.  I wasn't terribly familiar with their music.  I only knew a couple of songs.  If you aren't familiar with TSO, they are kind of an electric guitar rocking band.  They have an electric violinist, two pianist, a drummer on a huge set, and a small string ensemble.  They really rocked the house!  I'm not a head banging, electric guitar rocking fan, but their music was quite awesome.  I had a fun time.  The show lasted for about three hours.  The first half of the show they told a sweet Christmas story with the spoken story being in prose and inbetween the storyteller's tale, they had their music.  Some of it was original music and some was new versions to old tunes like Carol of the Bells (one of their more famous songs.)  The second half of the show was their own oringinal music and showing off their tremendous talents.

The light system was incredible and their were lights in time with the music, laser show, pyrotechnics, and everything you would expect of a rock concert. It was a lot of fun.

Sadly for me, that's the night I got sick, so I was cold, achy and not enjoying the experience nearly as much as I might have otherwise.

I was really amazed to see, among the concert goes, a lot of gray and white haired people.  I was kind of surprised to see so many older folks at the show.  I mean, this was head banging, loud electric guitar music.  But then I got to thinking about these gray haired folks.  These guys were teens or young adults in the 60's and 70's.  This was the generation that went to Woodstock.  This is the generation that saw the Rolling Stones and The Who.  They were the first to go to ear-bleeding, head banging concerts.  Why wouldn't they still enjoy it now? 

This is my 3rd concert I've been too.  If you know anything about me, you might be able to guess who two of my favorite bands are.  Can you guess?  The Monkees and The Beatles.  I was a kid when the Monkees had their 20th anniversary tour and I got to see them when they went to Dallas.  I sat out in the grass for hours, drinking Gatorade and being so excited I could hardly sit still. Then the thrill of seeing Peter, Micky and Davy was beyond anything I had ever experienced. The funny thing about that concert was "Weird Al" was the opening band.  At the time I didn't know who Weird Al was, but it was not a full year later that I was introduced to his music and became a big fan.  All I remember of Weird Al's part of the concert was the "Addicted to Spuds" song.  He had people dressed as potatoes dancing on the stage.

My other favorite band, The Beatles, broke up before I was born, but in the 90's, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band came to Dallas and I went to see him.  Awesome!

Now I can can Trans Siberian Orchestra to my list of concerts.  It was so much fun.  Next time, though, I need to remember ear plugs.  It was a little louder than I was comfortable with.  I'm such an old fuddy-duddy.

If you've never heard any of TSO before, I recomend this - Carol of the Bells: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vNcGlM8O3I

if you like that, you should also listen to Wizards in Winter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFLOh44P5z0&feature=related

Monday, November 21, 2011

nothing more than fragmented thoughts

Things are never dull here.  Honestly, I can't ever say that I'm bored. 

What a week we had.  What a week we have coming up.  What a month ahead of me. 

Thanks to good meds I am feeling 100% again after last weeks nasty sickness.  Well, I was feeling 100%, but today while lifting boxes, I pulled a muscle in my back. Note to self - get Hubby or Son to do the heavy lifting.  They have arm muscles, I don't. :)

We had family visit over the weekend.  My parents, my husband's parent's and a nephew were here for a special occasion.  What fun we all had visiting, laughing, sharing stories, watching the kids play.  It was only a few short days, but it was great fun while they were here.  I'm sad to see it end, but at the same time, I need everyone to go so I can focus on getting this house ready to move.

The kids have school tomorrow, but then they are off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  It will be fun to have them home.  I hope they will work to behave themselves and get along with each other.  Is it really just three days until Thanksgiving?  I haven't even thought about fixing Thanksgiving dinner.  I love doing it, but it's really snuck up on me this year or I've been too busy to notice its approach.  Today I was at the store getting a few essentials and not really shopping.  However, my mother-in-law, who was with me, reminded me that I hadn't bought my turkey yet.  Oh yeah!  I hope it thaws by Thursday.

My son loves the Elf Yourself website.  He plays on it every morning before school.  His favorite thing to do is put himself and some of his favorite famous people in the pictures (i.e. David Tennent (from Dr. Who), Bill Murray, Fabio, and Weird Al) and then watch them dance.  It's pretty entertaining.

Really, I have no point to my blog entry this time.  It's just some of my thoughts spilling from my mind onto the keyboard.  (Kind of weird imagery there, isn't it?)  I have a fun blog entry in mind to do, I just haven't taken the time to sit down and write it.  I've GOT to get school work done, but maybe, if I need a break from library concerns, I'll blog about a fun evening I had last week.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Birthday cake disasters

I've got many friends who, on their blogs or Facebook page, post pictures of these amazing cakes that they made for their children's birthdays or a friend's birthday.  It is simply incredible and some of them are a work of art.

Then, there are my poor cake decorated deprived children.  They have a mom who is seriously handicapped at cake decorating.  Seriously!!!  It wasn't always this bad, but it seems each cake I make just gets worse and worse.  Here is the most recent cake disaster:

Yeah, I know.  That's bad.  I don't even want to tell you what it makes me think of.  So, I made the cake, like normal.  After it was completely cooled, I took it out of the pan.  Well, it broke into about three pieces when I took it out of the pan.  Then I tried to ice it.  It just crumbled.  I've never had a cake do that.  NEVER!

Thankfully my son was very amused and forgiving of his mom's incredible lack of decorating talent.

This was my daughter's cake last year.  The two round cakes didn't sit well on top of each other and the top of the cake kind of slid off the bottom of the cake.  It was a mess.  She was forgiving as well.

Hey, my cakes may be ugly, but they are tasty.  There is nothing wrong with the way the cake tastes and that's the most important part.  Right? 

My husband an two older sons don't even bother asking for a cake, they want cheesecake and I can make some killer cheesecakes.  They are yummy!  This year, after seeing her brother's cake disaster, my daughter asked for ice cream instead of a cake.  Smart girl.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Today was a much better day, thank goodness!  I don't get sick often. I get a cold every year that keeps me coughing for about six weeks, but I can deal with that.

What happened to me the other day is a much more rare occurrence.  I wake up in the morning, just fine and ready to tackle the day.  By the end of the day, BAM!  I'm flat on my back unable to move because I feel so awful and achy and dizzy.  I was up at 1am and 5am last night (this morning) eating popsicles to help my poor throat. 

Thank you medicine!  Today I feel quite normal except for a very tender throat.

So, I cleaned today.  Not a lot of fun and there is still a lot to do, but I feel better about what I accomplished today.  Ooooo, I can feel my throat getting sore again.  Time for some meds and maybe another popsicle.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's amazing how you can wake up one day, feeling quite normal and with big plans for the day and by that night, you are shivering on the couch hardly able to move.

That was me yesterday.  Today hasn't been much better.  I've laid around, slept, and spent 2 1/2 hours at the doctor trying to gets some meds to help.

I have company arriving in two days.  It will be the Hubby's parents AND my parents.  Yeah, this house will not be ready for company.

OK, I'm dizzy, so I'm going to lay back down. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthdays, discos, and not freaking out (yet)

In the last six days, we've had two birthdays in our house.  The oldest daughter is 8 now and the youngest son is 6.  It's hard to believe.  I love that they are getting older.

Last night we had a disco dance.  Now years and years ago, disco night in our house was a regular event.  We probably had a disco two or three times a month.  Our disco ball hung from the ceiling in the living room. We would turn on the spotlight, crank up the disco music and dance.  It was great fun.  Last night we turned off all the lights in the house and turned on the strobe light.  Then we danced.  It was so funny.  I wish I could explain everything that the kids did.  My youngest daughter, who is 3, had this strut she would do and she probably had the best moves of anyone else in the family.  They all had fantastic moves.  It was very funny and I'm a little jealous of their dance skills.

(Actually, my youngest just came up to me and told me she wants to do a disco dance again.)

As we will be moving soon, you can imagine it is on our minds a lot.  I hope each day when Hubby comes home from work, he will know where we are going and when we are going.  It makes moving easier to plan when you have those two vital bits of information.  While I'm sad to say good-bye to good friends, I view each move as an exciting adventure.  I'm not stressing over anything yet because there is nothing I can do about anything just yet.  Hubby told me I had a good attitude about this move.  (We've moved at least 9 times over the course of our marriage.)  I told him if my attitude was annoying him, I could totally freak out over it.  He declined my offer.

This move should be so easy compared to the last one.  Last time we were trying to sell a house and I had six month old to deal with (along with the other 4 kids) and Hubby left for his new job about a month before I could leave to join him, so I was all alone.  This time, it's a rental house, the kids are older and can help more.  I'll stress out when we get close to the actual move.  So, Molly-freaking-out will appear in about a month.  Keep an eye out for the entertaining show that is to come.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Molly and Peter

Several amazing things have happened this week.  On Wednesday,  Hubby found out his job here was ending.  That means we move wherever the next job takes us.  So, we're moving!  Most likely next month.

It's crazy how fast the news comes and you work with it.  I'd tell you where we are moving to, but I don't know myself yet.  It's looking like Virginia, but don't quote me on that yet.

So, this weekend, we started cleaning out stuff.  I've got a very large yard sale pile going.  I've been going through boxes, cleaning out stuff we don't need and other joyous tasks of this nature.

Tonight, miracle of miracles, I found a set of photos that I thought I had lost.  Honestly, I haven't seen these photos in six years and was sure they were missing forever.  Hubby will tell you how upset I've been over the years at the loss of these photos.  Tonight, I was searching through a box.  It was probably never unpacked when we moved here three years ago.  (Yeah, I know that's pretty sad to still have unpacked boxes from the last move....)

So, tonight for the first time in six years, I share with you a picture from my visit to Kensington Gardens in London back in 2005 to see the Peter Pan statue.  I was 7 months pregnant with kid #4.

Molly and Peter

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Peter Pan, my first love

I don't guess I've really talked about Peter Pan before, but I can't not talk about him any longer.

Peter Pan was my first crush.

Many years ago, when I was just a young tot of two, (maybe younger, but I don't remember that far back) I had a record player.  I listened to music and stories on my record player.  I remember having several versions of the story of Peter Pan that I loved listening to.

Peter Pan frequently sent Tinker Bell to my home to visit me.  I remember more than once, sitting in my living room while a light darted about the ceiling.  I spoke to it.  My parents might tell you that it was my dad holding a hidden flashlight, but that wouldn't be the truth - it was Tinker Bell.

I'm sure I visited Never Never Land after falling asleep many nights.

When I was three, just before Halloween, I fell and broke my left arm, just above the elbow.  I already had my costume and no broken arm was going to stop me from dressing as, you guessed it, Peter Pan.
My brother and I. 1978

At the preschool Halloween class party.  Most of the time, I wore my sling inside my shirt.
Peter was on my 4th birthday cake and I had either a mobile or a lamp from my very early childhood that featured Peter.

One of my favorite records as a child was a theatrical performance of Peter Pan on LP.  It was a very groovy recording with original music.  I LOVED that record.  I can still sing the opening song from it.  "There's a magic place I know, where it's summer all year through.  A land at rainbows end of games and let's pretend, Never Land is waiting for you!"

Terrytown Players, I love you.
The record was made in 1977
I was given a beautiful story book from my parents in 1980 for Christmas.  It had the most amazing pictures in it.  I looked at those beautiful works of art over and over.
Stunning art work.
It really set my small child's imagination running.

I went to see Peter Pan when it came to Dallas and starred Sandy Duncan! (late 70's early 80's, I don't know the year)  I remember going to see that.  It was such a thrill.  Years later I was introduced to the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan.  I taped it off the TV and had it on VCR tape so I was able to watch it over and over and over.  "I have a place where dreams are born and time is never planned.  It's not on any chart, you must find it with your heart, Never Never Land."  Then, as a teenager, the Cathy Rigby version came to Dallas and I saw that performed.
The Playbill for Cathy Rigby's Peter Pan
I have several versions of the books to read.
The book on the left is a nice hardback, the center book I got for super cheap at a used bookstore.  It's great for just reading without worrying about destroying the book.  The blue book on the right it the one with the beautiful artwork that I got for Christmas when I was very small.

The first unabridged book of Peter pan that I read.
I learned very quickly when reading Peter Pan, that it was much more than just a children's book.  The language was difficult first of all.  It's much darker story than the plays and movies I had seen.  Peter is still lovable, but less so.  He is an mischievous imp.  You get so annoyed with him in his complete lack of understanding of Wendy's feelings, and yet, when he is hurt and about to die, alone on a rock from a wound inflicted by Hook, you want to cry for Peter. 

There were movies, like Hook, in 1991 that were lots of fun.  There were other movie versions that were well done, but not my favorite telling of the story....  I was in the play Peter Pan when I was 10 or so years old.  I played the snake.  I got to hang out with the crocodile.  I was in every scene the crocodile was in.  I don't have any photos of my in my snake costume, but I know my mom has at least one, somewhere. 

I tried to convince my husband to name one of our children Peter, but I never could get him to go with me on that.

I had the most awesome record ever of the Disney's Peter Pan:

Yes, amazing pictures from the movie printed right onto the record.
As a teenager, probably 16 years old, I did a cross stitch of Peter and the gang:
It hangs on the wall in my home now.

Then, six years ago, I had the opportunity to go to London for about 36 hours.  I didn't care what I saw or did in London, as long as I visited the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.  It took several subway trains from my hotel and a very, very long walk through a huge park before I found Peter, but found him I did. A kind stranger took a picture of me with Peter Pan.  I was 8 months pregnant at the time with baby #4.  Sadly, I haven't seen those pictures since coming back from London.  I have no idea what happened to them.  I hope one day to find them, but until then, just know that I've been there.  I've seen Peter.  I sat on a bench across the walk from him, looked at him and thanked him for the many, many wonderful years we've know each other.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Fall Tradition

Where would we be in life without traditions?  Lost, that's for sure.

My kids can count on every year, the annual post-Halloween torching of the jack-o-lantern.  We started this tradition about 10 years ago.  We were living in Hawaii.  It's hot there year round.  Our poor pumpkin we bought and carved in  mid-October was a nothing but a moldy, melted orange blob by Halloween.  We decided to have a bit of fun with it and the Hubby sprayed it with lighter fluid and set it aflame.

This became a post-Halloween tradition.  This year, after an unusually warm October, we once again had a melted, gooey pumpkin.  Last night, we set it out among the rocks in our yard and the Hubby turned on the propane torch.  Flames shot out of it's eyes and mouth.

Long live traditions!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Canadian Style Mincemeat

The Hubby is a big fan of mincemeat.  Every Christmas season I make him a mincemeat pie.  I buy the brown goo in the big jar and pour it into a pie crust.  He is the only one who will east it.  I like it for maybe two bites and I'm done.  The flavor is just odd to me.  This year I thought it might be fun to do something different.  So, I was searching for mincemeat recipes and came across one that looked tasty.

It is called Canadian style mincemeat.  I don't know if it actually the way they eat mincemeat in Canada or if they get the brown goo in a jar like we have in the US.  Perhaps someone just called it that for fun and it has nothing to do with Canada.  I don't know.  If any friends from Canada can solve this mystery for me, I would be so grateful.

Well, whatever it is called and where ever it hales from, it looked good and I decided to try it.
It is apple cider, cranberries, craisins, apples, raisins, and spices.  It all gets dumped together into a pot, cooked, mashed and then stored in jars.

Simmering in the pot.  It smelled as wonderful as it looks.  Apples, cranberries and cinnamon. 
That's an amazing fall aroma.

Canned into jars.  It looks pretty.
Once I had this delicious concoction made, I had to try something with it.  I found a cookie recipe.  It's basically a sugar cookie with the mincemeat inside.  I used a heart shaped cookie cutter.  They turned out so very yummy.  These little cookies are perfect for an evening treat.  I heated up some apple cider to drink with my cookies.  If there are seasons in heaven, this is what you would eat in autumn in heaven.

Delicious little cookies
So there it is, Canadian style mincemeat.  I'll be making more of this stuff.  When the holidays are upon us, I'll make a pie with it.  Ooo, it will be so good.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The millions of ideas

There is a million things going on in my head.  I really need to focus on just a few things, but no, I try and tackle as much as I can.

I'm trying to get through school work.  I like it and much of it is interesting, but this week, I have 31 pages to read.  That's really not much, but every time I sit down to read, I fall asleep.  Or my mind starts to think about the other ten projects I'm working on and by the time I've finished a page, I can't remember a single thing that I read and I re-read it, but continue to have a wandering mind.  I still haven't made it through those 31 pages yet. 

My theater is holding auditions this coming Saturday.  I'm excited.  Recent theater experiences in the last few months have given me great ideas to do with the kids for auditions.  I'm going to have every kid go through the audition, but depending on the number of kids that show up, if they want to be in the play, I can put them in it.  It's a great little show because the cast size is very flexible.

Oldest son really wants to have a comedy troop.  We've had two meetings, but only one kid showed up and that's tough for him.  My kids and I have been playing these funny games for month, but he never has, so it's hard for him to jump into our family's insanity.  We discovered that one of our neighbors is a theater major graduate and he spent a year and a half in an improv comedy group while he was in school.  We've invited him to our next meeting to come and really help us do some fun stuff.

I've given up on writing right now.  The only thing I write these days is this blog and my school papers.  Sad, but it's a trade off in the middle of the semester.

I need to figure out how to record sound with my computer.  I can run the camera, but I don't want video, just sound and I can't figure it out.  I've asked Hubby for help, but he is so busy with everything he is involved in, he hasn't had time to help.  If I ever do figure it out, watch out!  I've got a funny idea brewing.

The kids are good.  My oldest daughter and youngest son have birthdays next week.  Ahhh!  I haven't even thought about those yet.  I had a parent/teacher conference with my daughter's teacher a couple of weeks ago.  She told me what they are learning in school and she told me, "don't teach her multiplication yet,  we need to get the addition facts down first."  OK.  Well, today, for fun, daughter was at the table, writing out her own math problems and figuring them out.  She realized that 12x6 is just 12 six times. She thinks of things that I never would have thought of at her age. She's smart, like her dad.

OK, Peanut, who I am holding, has fallen asleep.  Now it's time to put her down and see if I can tackle those reading pages again. (yawn, maybe not)

Upcoming blog entries will include:  Mincemeat adventures and my lifelong love for Peter Pan.
Oh yes, I know you're excited now.