Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nablo-Done! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Remind me next year NOT to sign up for Nablopomo if I plan to be traveling in November, okay? Two years in a row is just a bit too much stress for me. But I did it. 3 times now, that is 90 posts altogether for the last three years. Hmmm. Now I can get back to my blogging at least twice a week, sometimes three times if I feel like it schedule. Some of you should get an award for your daily commenting this month, and let me tell you, I appreciate you hanging in there with me. A koan for you. If a blogger writes a post and doesn't get any comments, are they still a real blogger? Well, for me, nope. To read and be read, that is what I seek. And you, since you are reading this, make me a real blogger and I thank you for it. See ya all tomorrow on Mountain Monday!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yes We Did

Bald Man and I girded our loins this evening. We were babysitting the Pea and Little Man didn't have respite, so we decided to take them to a local children's museum. It was a trip down memory lane as we realized that we had taken JJ to this same museum when he was three! Wow, I can now say 3 generations of our family has enjoyed this place. Makes me feel old, but I suppose I can't help it.
Surprisingly enough Little Man did really well and had fun. The Pea was so delighted by all the different exhibits she just couldn't settle down, but hopped from exhibit to exhibit like a little bird on amphetamines. Neither the Bald Man or I wished to kill anyone by the time we were done, and since that is how we measure the success of outing, we did very well indeed! Here are some pictures to prove we had a good time.
Dress up and castles, puppets and books. The kids had such a good time. I was really glad we took them, it was a joy to share it with the two of them.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Night Time

Last night I collapsed in bed about 9. I was going to get up later and have some dessert. Yeah, didn't happen. I fell asleep on the end of my bed. At some point I woke up, realized I was asleep, turned off the TV and crawled into the right end of my bed. Guess I was tired after Thanksgiving.
I promised you some pictures I took the night before we left for South Dakota, and since I am totally at a loss for a post tonight, I will keep that promise!
These were taken with my baby, my Nikon D60, which I love, love, love! I had to use a tripod because the shutter speed was soooooo slow. It was weird to press the shutter and then finally have it snap finished many seconds later. First, a repeat of the moon pic, cause it was so awesome, and then another one that was an accident, but I love how the lights make tracks. It is actually a barbed wire fence, so I don't know why it turned out so cool, but sometimes accidents are good things. You will have to click on the picture to view it larger if you want to see why I liked that particular picture.

The mountains in the following picture are actually across the Great Salt Lake from us, and if you look, you can see the lake too.

I love the reflected moonlight in the following pictures. And the star you can see just above the side of this next mountain picture.

I guess it just goes to show you, night or day, whatever the season, I am blessed to live near one of the most beautiful places on earth! Thanks for letting you share my photographs with you. I sometimes feel like one of "those" parents, who pull out picture after picture of their darling child, while the company hides their yawns and keeps sneaking looks at their watches.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

On my hubby's side of the family, they actually have their geneology traced back to the Mayflower! My children have a rich cultural heritage. Half of their relatives came over, and the other half met them here! Ha ha, not really, since we aren't from an Eastern tribe, but it sounds funny!
We had most of the kids over, all three of my beloved granddaughters, I didn't kill Little Man even though he was manic and climbing the walls, so I have much to be grateful for. We took the kids to see Madagascar 2 while the turkey was a cook'n and it was pretty entertaining. The most entertaining part was at the very end, when the credits were rolling. They were doing the "move it" song, and Little Man got up and totally busted a move! He never dances, so it was really fun to see him laughing and dancing to the song. Totally made my day.
Today, I guess what I am the most thankful for is my family, far and wide. My kids, the grandchildren, my extended family, I feel richly blessed and I am. Hope your Thanksgiving, (if you are in the U.S.) is filled with love too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Truth in Giving Thanks

Did you know that the United States is home to more than 500 different tribes? Each one with their own dialect or separate language. Each one with their own history and mythology. They dress differently, believe differently, speak differently and would be very insulted to be mistaken for a member of another tribe. To lump all Native Americans into one feather wearing, ugh-speaking heathen is such a loss, both to the indigenous people, our history, and to yourselves, because under the stereotypes there is a wealth of information central to the development of the United States of America and to what has become to all of us, our beloved country.

Okay my bloggy peeps, let us get this straight. The Native Americans who met the pilgrams when they arrived are Wampanoag. They live here:

Their homes look like this:

The men traditionally dress like this:

The women traditionally dress like this:

On the other hand, the most stereotyped of all the Native Americans are my very own people of the plains. Although if you want to be even more specific, the Lakota

We live/d here:

And traditionally, our homes were buffalo hide tipis.

The women traditionally dress like this:

And guess what? Our tribe is the one with the long eagle feather head dresses. This is one the traditional outfits for the men:

Our traditional clothing is never called a costume. It is either an outfit, or regalia. Many of the things that are worn are of a religious nature, so never touch someone's outfit without asking permission first.
And for a bit of etiquette, since you are asking. Yes, many Native Americans find people wearing "indian costumes" offensive. That leads back to the above. Because it is often religious in nature, it is not respectful to wear it in "costumed" activity.

If you love the truth, if you love your Jo, if you want to expand your mind, then if you are going to discuss Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and the Indians with your family, do it in a historically accurate fashion. You will be glad you did. I even gave you the linkies to make it easy for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Traditions

I went shopping yesterday for our Thanksgiving dinner. I was acutely aware that I am living a life of plenty when compared to many. Aware and intensely grateful.
So, I have a question for you. Where are you willing to cut corners on your Thanksgiving cooking? Where will you NEVER take a shortcut? My shortcuts: I use Stovetop stuffing. I know, I know, but I really find boiling the giblets to take more time than I want to give to stuffing. Depending on what is going on, I either make my own rolls, or sometimes I use Rhodes frozen dough for the rolls. I can, and have made my own pie crusts, but now I use frozen pie crusts. Where I will not make shortcuts. I always use real apples, peeled and spiced by moi for our apple pies. I make my pumpkin pies using canned pumpkin, but not pumpkin pie mix. And I hate pumpkin pie, I just make it for my family. I make my own yummy, yummy gravy. I make my own homemade mashed potatoes, and I always use real butter. I love Thanksgiving leftovers and the only reason why it is worth it to spend hours cooking is to not cook for the next three days.
So how about you? Feel free to make your short cut confessions here. I would love to hear them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Mountain Monday, Post 501!

And here we go. I guess I am rather amazed at a couple of things. One, that Utah has the most gorgeous scenery and no matter how many Mondays come and go, still the next will will have something beautiful to share. And two, that you don't get tired of looking at my pictures! Thanks, I really appreciate it.
Today, I waited a bit too long to snap my mountain shots, so the light was low, which means it was really hard to get a picture that wasn't blurry. With the low light, you have to stand really still or use a tripod so you don't move after you push the shutter, so it wasn't easy to get the pictures. But I was able to catch a few, and you get to enjoy the best ones.

And now, on to other pictures. The Pea and Little Man were snuggling so sweet together that I had to get a picture. They both went into super silly mode when I asked the Pea to please take her finger out of her nose. Apparently this is kid code to be totally goofy and this is a secret joke only kids know about.

Apparently Squid didn't get the memo and isn't amused.

Beautiful JuneBug

Squid smiles!

Goofy Pea

Lucky me, beautiful mountains and nature. Even luckier me, beautiful grandchildren.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ingratitude, In Which Jo Complains

My 500th Post!!! Can you believe it? And I choose to whine. It is my blog and I am kind of a big deal here, so I can whine if I want to!

The boy, due to his insane food allergies, (milk, soy, eggs, oranges) has to be on an insanely expensive formula. Some of you newer readers might not know my son has a feeding tube placed into his stomach where we pump in the insanely expensive formula to help him grow. His formula is made by Neocate company. It costs 80.00 for a case of 15 little envelopes, (60grams) which ends up being 5.33 an envelope, which is about 88 cents a GRAM! So an envelope is about 2oz. That is over 5 bucks for 2oz. One case lasts him just 5 days. Which means he is going through 6 cases a month to the tune of 480$. A pretty penny to say the least. We happened to end up with some extras due to a long story you don't want to hear. I happened to know that a child who lives here in Utah, and goes to Sick Kids R Us is on the very same formula. I emailed his mom and offered about 400$ worth of free formula. Their insurance isn't as good as Little Man's, so they are heavily in debt and things are tough. The mom answered yes, but would be unable to meet me and could I just drop it off at their doctor's office in SLC? It was doable, we were on our way to a doctor's appt in another part of town, and we were also going to the zoo that day. I felt good about being able to help out a fellow parent struggling to do their best under some difficult circumstances.
The dropoff did not go well, because the other mom had given me incorrect information for the location of the doctor's office. It was a bit of hassle, because I left my other kids and my grandchildren waiting in the car while I was searching for the office. But, still, I felt okay about it.
I knew they had an appt with the doctor two days later in the office where I left the formula for their convenience, because her child is physically much harder to transport than Little Man.
I waited to get an email back saying they had received the formula. And waited and waited. A week passed. I finally sent her an email asking if they had gotten the formula, I was worried, because I hadn't heard from her. I finally got an email back. Oh yeah, they had gotten it, and by the way, thanks.
WHAT THE HECK? This particular mother is always blogging about how hard things are for them financially because of their disabled child's needs. I felt bad about it because Little Man's insurance is pretty good and we had extra of the same formula they end up paying out of pocket for.
Really, in this information age, it doesn't take a minute to squeeze off a thank you note in the email, thanking someone for a gift worth hundreds of dollars. Doesn't even cost a penny for postage and you don't even have to walk to the mailbox and leave your kid to do it. She couldn't be bothered. Chaps my hide. I thought, and still think she was rude beyond rude. We have extra formula this month again. Guess who I will NOT be contacting to see if they need it? She doesn't read my blog, if I knew she did, I wouldn't post this, but she doesn't, and if by chance she wanders by someday, maybe she will learn something. Rude does not pay.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meet and Greet, Sampan Edition

We met at Sampan in South Towne Mall. It was really fun, of course! Wilbur went home with Whitney as a thank you for the yummy potatoes I got from her, and also has a hostess gift. Rather nice when one gift works double time. The pictures from last night are courtesy of Whitney also, who is seriously lusting after my beautiful camera. I think she has already got the hang of it.
This is the lovely Boob Nazi. The second the camera moves in her direction, she whips out the serious poses!

Alexis and her cute 25 wk belly.

This following picture? This lady was a serious HATER! She kept throwing us crusty looks and being all annoyed at us. I am assuming she felt left out of our cool gang, with all our jocularity and affection. She finally asked to be moved to a different table and we wanted to clap as her fun hating self left the room. Humpf. Nazi. Thanks Whitney for the great spy cam pic!

Amber wanted to know if my camera took good pictures of food, since she is a baker extraordinaire and is thinking of getting a different camera. The food was good, but the company was the BEST!

I got to meet and enjoy some new bloggers. Ashley and Allison made me wish I had more time to spend with them and that I had read their blogs before the meet and greet. Allison, though told me she had skimmed my blog a couple of times but never left a comment. Hmmm. Is that supposed to make me feel good? mwah Allison!
I sat next to Jillene and that rocked. I found out she is a serious book lover like myself and totally made my night. (Sighing with delight)
Mary made this face when Whitney took her picture, so I figured that was her way of saying, please publish this on your blog! So I did.

On the other hand, I have a couple of candids of Kristina that would get me killed if I put them on my blog. So I will keep them for future blackmail opportunities instead! Bwwwaaaahaaa! Kristina also brought some chacon, (chocolate covered bacon) which I didn't like much. Neither did Bald Man. But that is okay, other people like it and I say, "let them eat my share!".

What more can I say about a night that was filled with love, laughter, a heavy scoop of silliness, a pinch of gossip (gasp! TAMN, were your ears burning?) and lots of bloggy love? It was the best really. Can't wait for the next one.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Needle Felted Piggy

Wool, and a needle felting needle, plus a bit of creativity.

The Pea has named him Wilbur and is very sad to see him off to his new home at tonight's meet and greet!