Friday, February 26, 2010

Sweet Sunshine!

On Wednesday, my sweet blogging friend LanyardLady, shared this Sunshine Award with me. If you've not visited her before now, hop right on over and say hi - and tell her I sent you.

The Sunshine Award is presented to "bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world."

I want to thank LanyardLady for the award and add that - to her and everyone that reads my blog - this blogging thing has been such a great experience.

I've been blessed to have met so many wonderful people from so many different places and learned so many things about them, their lives and the places they live. (Not to mention all the yummy recipes I've collected from a number of them.) Each and everyone has brought their own sunshine into my daily life. And for that, I am very grateful.

Now it's my turn to share the award with a few folks (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

Melinda from Mickey and Me - she has a soft spot in her heart for our animal friends
Angela from Pickles on Pizza - a wonderfully creative lady
Linda May from Blueridge Boomer - who creates quilts in the blink of an eye
Mollie Joe and Bobo from Dog Eared - 2 sweet Poodles who blog about their lives in Kentucky

There are a number of blogs that I read that are tag and/or award free and I respect those bloggers decisions. One of those blogs belongs to Terry from Lady Liberty Patriot. I will refrain from sharing the Sunshine Award with her but I did want to feature her blog too in case anyone would like to pay her a visit. She has a wonderful, creative way with words that I think you'd enjoy.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finally A Few Customers

Back in late January, AD and I put up some new bird feeders. Although the weather was very cold and we were sure there were hungry birds around, the perches on the feeders remained empty.

AD put an old cookie sheet below the feeders and filled it with seed, hoping that might catch a passerby's attention.

Since then, I've watched throughout each day hoping that some hungry bird would pass by, see the free food and stop for awhile.

Finally, yesterday a couple of red-winged black birds showed up to feed from the pan. I watched intently and finally one hopped up on one of the perches and began to eat. YEA!

I ran to get my camera hoping the birds wouldn't be frightened off before I was able to snap some photos. YEA again - I was able to capture a couple of shots before they flew away.

Note: I apologize for the fact that the pictures aren't very clear. Rather than risk scaring our visitors off by opening the door, I took the photos through the glass.

Today the black birds came back and brought a few brown-feathered friends with them.

Since I'm not very good at identifying birds (because of the size I don't think these brown ones were sparrows), I have no idea what kind of bird hopped up on the perch. See his little tail feathers hanging down on the left side of the feeder? Maybe next time he'll perch on the other side of the feeder and I'll be able to get a better shot.

I'm just glad the word is spreading around the bird grapevine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Temporary Fix

Two months ago this very day, AD bought me a new computer with this large monitor. SO NICE!

Sunday night I worked on the computer and everything was fine and dandy.

Yesterday when I turned on the monitor the left side of it was very dark and then a second later the whole screen went black.

So I turned the computer off, let it sit a little while, and turned it back on thinking that might possibly fix the problem. Nope! It did the very same thing again.

I called AD and he said to just wait until he got home to check everything out. He knows I'm not too good with hardware issues.

If I couldn't see the screen, then I couldn't blog.

When AD got home he unplugged everything, plugged all back in but still no go. So he got this old monitor and set it up. It worked. That meant the new monitor was bad.

Next we dug out the receipt where we purchased the computer. There was a 90 day return policy. Great! We could return it and get another one. AD only wanted to return the monitor, otherwise he'd have to strip all the software we'd loaded and reformat the hard drive. He called the store.

Unfortunately they no longer carried this particular model. Imagine that! We could return everything for a full refund (with the receipt of course) and then purchase another computer. AD said he'd get back to them on that.

Then he called the manufacturer and talked to the tech people. Long story short - they're sending me a new monitor and we'll return the bad one. Excellent service, we thought.

So for now, I'm using this little, old monitor, hoping that it doesn't decide to do a nose-dive on me. And I'm happy. I can blog again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Computer Problems

This morning I've been reading blogs and have left comments on them but I'm having some computer issues.

Just thought I'd let you know that I won't be posting anything until the problem is resolved. Hope it's not long!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking Forward to Spring . . .

. . . because one of the things that arrives with Spring are these -

Peeps are my all-time favorite Easter treat. The one I so hoped would find their way into my Easter basket each year.

Somewhere along the way some of my Peeps got old and stale. No way was I going to throw a Peeps away and waste it. And SURPRISE!!!! I found that I liked them best that way. Since then, I've discovered there are many others out there that prefer their Peeps to be stale and kind of chewy.

I've been known to buy Peeps after Easter when they've already been on the store shelves for awhile, bring them home, put a tiny slit in the cellophane and then put the box into the cabinet to 'cure'. My oh my! Stale Peeps ROCK!

One year AD surprised me with my own Peeps Marshmallow Maker.

Another year a dear friend of mine presented me with Peeps lights.

I also have a stuffed Peeps chick and some Peeps pens.

This year Son called to tell me he found something new in the Peeps line at Walgreen's - chocolate covered Peeps!

So yesterday while AD and I were in town I had to drop in and check it out. AD and I shared a milk chocolate covered chick and it was very good. (Not to spoil it for anyone but when you bite into the chick, the inside is yellow.)

But this one - oh, my - DARK chocolate - this one is ALL mine. AD doesn't mind at all. He's not a fan of dark chocolate.

Do you like Peeps?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Unique Gifts

The other day in thinking about possible posts this week I realized that I'd never told you about some gifts AD and I gave for Christmas. Not large, expensive gifts but special ones for the special people in our lives.

Around Halloween I stumbled across the fact that I could send the Jones Soda Company photos and they would create labels, put them on their soda bottles (there are several flavors to choose from), and ship them to our house.

Giving unique, one-of-a-kind gifts is really fun for me and this was right up my alley.

So I sent in pictures of G1 and G2 in their turf cars. They both like orange pop so that's the flavor I went with.

There's even a place on the back of the label to customize it even more. We thought it would be a good idea to put the boys' wins on their respective bottles.

Had we known that G2 would be named 2009 Driver of the Year and receive the banner for most wins for the 2009 season, there would have been enough space to have that information printed on his label too.

Once the bottles were delivered I set about making a smaller version of a wine bag to put each of the bottles in. Checkered flag material was perfect and with one of my scrapbooking tools I was able to cut out the boys' car numbers lickety split and iron them onto the bags.

The anticipation of giving these special gifts was almost more than I could stand! They set in my closet for almost a month and I could hardly contain myself. At one point I thought I was going to break down and just give them out early but I refrained. And I'm glad I did.

Everyone that received the bottles seemed to really like them.

If you have any ideas for unique gifts, I'd love it if you'd share them with me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

We arrived at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks around 2:30 or so on Saturday afternoon.

G3 and G4 looked over some aquarium information with AD.

I could have watched these incredible jelly fish all day long.

Honestly, I didn't read too many of the signs that were around telling about the various water creatures. So I have no idea what the name of these little guys are but they were totally creepy.

This fish totally grabbed my attention. Just incredible!

There were lots of "Nemos" around. This one was the biggest one we saw.

There's a sort of tunnel that everyone walks through. The sharks swim on either side and over the top of you giving everyone a pretty up close and personal encounter with them.

These white fuzz balls reminded me of cotton.

This guy was huge - well, I've never seen a snail (that's what it is, right?) this big!

Look at this albino turtle. So cool!

I don't know how many clicks of the camera it took to get this shot. Beavers swim really, really fast and turn on a dime. Try as I might, I never did get a good shot of the otters. Maybe next time.

These little creatures all moved around with what appeared to be their tongues hanging out.

These shimmering colored fish were called Downlookers or something like that. It's easy to see why.

These last little creatures looked like they'd been shocked with electricity.

We definitely want to visit this incredible Oklahoma attraction again sometime.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Weekend of Birthdays, Valentines, Fish and NASCAR

Friday was AD's birthday. Pineapple Upside Down cake is his favorite so that's what I made.

On Saturday we went to his mother's house to celebrate his, his brother's and sisters' birthdays. Their birthdays are all within about a month of one another.

I made lollipop Valentine's flowers for all the little girls and the candy ipods for the boys at the birthday party.

Afterward Son took AD, me and his kiddos to the Aquarium in Jenks. AD and I had never been there before. It was outstanding!

I'll post photos I took at the aquarium tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Our weekend concluded with AD and I watching the Daytona 500 yesterday. Despite the lengthy time it took to complete the race it was exciting to watch all the way to the end.

A couple of years ago it was our plan to be at Daytona this year for the race. With the cooler weather that Daytona had and with the time it took to run the race, I'm personally just as glad to have been at home watching it. Maybe next year . . .

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

How Many Is That In Dog Years?

Happy Birthday to our Alpha Dog! (We won't tell that you're 406 in dog years.)

We love you,

Elliott, Smoke, Dani and Mikey

PS. Thanks to our Granny for helping us post this since our paws don't work so well on a keyboard - or the calculator.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When It's Cold Outside. . .

. . .what's your favorite thing to do?

Yesterday Smoke waited while I took the sheets fresh and warm from the dryer and tossed them on the bed. Then when I turned my back for just a second, he jumped right up and snuggled down.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Start Your Engines

This Sunday is the Daytona 500. We're big NASCAR fans and are excited about the race this weekend but that's not what this post is about. (By the way - Tim McGraw is doing the pre-race show.)

Last weekend G1 and G2 started their race season off at the World of Wheels races in Wichita Falls, TX.

G2 put his race face on.

G1 was full of determination and ready to race.

On Saturday G1 and G2 were in the same heat race, starting side by side. G1 placed 2nd in the heat and G2 placed 3rd.

Just before the Feature race started G1's throttle broke.

He was one disappointed guy but those things happen sometimes. Hard as it is you have to learn to deal with it.

G2 won Saturday's Feature and, as you can imagine, he was a pretty happy kid!

The boys' dad and AD were able to locate someone with the part to fix G1's car before the races scheduled for Sunday.

G1 and G2 ran in different heats that day. G1 won his heat and G2 placed 2nd in his.

In the Feature race G1 started on the pole and G2 started on the outside of the 2nd row.

According to the report I got (I stayed at home to dog-sit), the yellow 44 car was way fast. G1 placed 2nd in Sunday's Feature and G2 placed 4th.

All in all, it was a good race weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rockwell!

If you googled anything today then you'll know that today is the 116th anniversary of Norman Rockwell's birth (born 2-3-1894, died 11-8-1978). Maybe you knew that anyway.

Even as a kid growing up I loved Rockwell's art. His Saturday Evening Post covers were my favorites. He also created works for other publications such as Boys Life, Popular Science and Life.

In January, 2005, we visited Rockwell's America, an incredible touring exhibit that stopped at Oklahoma City's Omniplex (now known as Science Museum Oklahoma.) It was wonderful seeing all these magazine covers in one display.

It was indeed a treat to see and experience the magazine covers brought to life in an amazing 3-D exhibit.

These are just a few of several hundred photos I took on our visit.

This is one of my all-time favorites and happens to be the one that is shown on the Google page today.

There were interactive displays too. This soda shop display for example.

AD and I enjoyed sitting at the counter with this young couple.

G3 (seated at the desk) and G4 (at the teacher's desk) had a good time experiencing the exhibit too although they may not remember it now.

AD even got to play a bit.

I loved this quote from Steven Spielberg.

According to the exhibit website the tour is currently in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and it appears to be the last stop of the tour. The exhibit at the King of Prussia Mall concludes March 14. If you're in that area and are a Rockwell fan I'd encourage you to take the opportunity to experience it.

If that's not possible you can take a virtual tour of the exhibit by going to the website and clicking on 'View Exhibition Walk-through'.

Norman Rockwell's America - what a time that was!

Mr. Rockwell, I thank you for the art you left behind.