Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

To all of my readers, my friends, I want to wish you a happy and blessed new year! Come back often and, hopefully, we will have more fun in the coming year than we did in the one we are saying good-bye to! (Remember, be safe if you are going to be celebrating tonight.)


New Year 2

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wings 4, Coyotes 2

Again, the game was closer than the score shows--at one point the Wings were down by a goal and they didn't tie it until late in the second. The go-ahead goal came late in the third and the fourth goal was an empty-netter. So, kind of close all night. The reffing sucked big time, but that is the way things play out sometimes. My Baby Boy didn't get a goal tonight, but he DID get a point, so his streak continues! Yippee! Next game, at home on New Year's Eve against St. Louis--should be good.



--Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, left, of Russia, cannot make the save on a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, right, of Russia, as Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard, center, looks on in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. Datsyuk's goal proved to be the game-winner as the Red Wings won 4-2. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)--

Saturday, December 29, 2007

False Alarm

I just got off of the phone with C and she was sent home from the hospital. (She FINALLY went to be checked about an hour ago.) No sign of amniotic fluid, so it looks as if she was having a badder control problem, not getting ready to have the baby. I guess this kid is going to stay nice and warm where she is until the doctor pulls her kicking and screaming from her mother on the 3rd! :)

Baby Watch--UPDATE

So there really isn't a big update, but here goes. I talked to C just a short while ago and she MAY be ready to have the baby. She isn't 100% sure, but her water might have broken--or, at the very least, she leaked somewhat. (A bit disgusting, but...) Anyway, she will probably be going to the hospital to be checked. If it is determined that her water broke, she probably will stay in the hospital and have the baby tonight. Check back for updates--I've got my fingers crossed!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Now For An Announcement...

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Sorry, but there really is no announcement--just wanted to post the pic. C STILL hasn't had the baby--looks like she will be going until the third after all. While her contractions continue, they are of the 'stop-and-go' variety. She is very frustrated--and I don't blame her. :)

The Game

Baby Boy was named the first star of Thursday's game--the second night/game in a row for him. The reason? Filppula got two goals, again--one of which was a short-handed goal--totaling four goals in the last two games/nights. He is on fire! He now has 13 goals on the season, ten in eight games. Yeah, he is showing his skills in all aspects of the game--and he is beautiful to watch.

Colorado actually played a bit better than Detroit tonight, but the score ended up as Detroit 4, Colorado 2. The last goal for the Wings was an empty net one, so the score was closer than it looked. I'm amazed at how well they are playing without several 'stars'--Z and Homer still aren't back. Now it's on to Phoenix for the game on Saturday and then the New Year's Eve game at home before they get a bit of a rest. Hope they can stay on their roll.

Babcock will be the coach of the Western Conference team for next month's All-Star game. Three of the top four vote-getters for the west are Wings: Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. While I want to see them play the game, I worry about injuries. What a waste to get injured during an exhibition game. Last year Z was voted in but didn't play--he needed the rest. I know Lidstrom will play, as he did last year, but Z might bow out again. Datsyuk will probably play, I would think. Pretty cool, though, that three Wings AND the coach are all part of the All-Star team.



--Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, left, of Russia, congratulates goalie Dominik Hasek, of the Czech Republic, after the Red Wings' 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)--

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red Wing News

It was announced that Lidstrom signed a two-year extension on his contract, to the tune of $15 million. And he is worth every penny. It is hard to think of him retiring, but he probably will after his contract runs out--he will be almost 40 then. It's just nice that he accepted the salary he did--he could probably go anywhere else in the league and get much more money. (I sure would like to have the problem of ONLY getting $7+ million a year!)

Detroit shut-out the Blues 5-0 on Wednesday! Lidstrom started out the scoring in the first period--a nice way to earn his salary. My Baby Boy got TWO goals--and they were only 126 seconds apart. (He was named first star of the game.) He is on a nice roll--hope it continues for him. Looks like he is on track for a 20-goal season--good stuff. Ozzie got his 45th career shut-out--he is having an amazing year.

It is good to see that the Wings have been able to continue playing the way they have--after all, they have some big injuries going on. Z is out until after the first of the year with back spasms--the same thing that kept him out for 19 or so games last year. I hate that he isn't playing--not so much that the team can't go on, but because his standings are going to slip. Holmstrom is out for about three weeks or so--his knee is deeply bruised. At least he won't need surgery--thank goodness. There still isn't any word as to what exactly is wrong with Maltby's back, but he isn't coming back any time soon.

Detroit will be playing Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday--I sure hope they will be able to keep on winning. Trouble is, with them on the road through Saturday, they just might go into a slump. Hope not, but it wouldn't be too surprising.



--Detroit Red Wings' Valtteri Filppula, right, of Finland, celebrates with teammate Jiri Hudler, of the Czech Republic, after scoring against the St. Louis Blues' in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007, in St. Louis. Filppula scored twice as the Red Wings shut out the Blues 5-0. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)--

After Christmas

As you can tell, I DIDN'T write any posts for the last few days, so that means only one thing: C DID NOT have the baby yet. First, they do all they can--including daily injections of a blood-thinner and weekly injections of progesterone--to keep her from going into premature labor, then she can't go into labor even though she TRIES! She is so sure she will be in the hospital on New Year's Eve--just in time to disrupt their party. (She puts on a big celebration for her, her husband and the kids--complete with noisemakers and party hats. They also do it to celebrate their anniversary--they got married on New Year's Eve.) One way or another, she will have the baby in a week.

This was one of the best Christmas's I have had in quite a while. I didn't let myself get too run down and my youngest was home for a few days. I didn't have any meltdowns and I kept depression at bay--actually, I didn't have any depressing thoughts at all. I MUST be getting better! :) The only thing that would have been better is if K wouldn't have had to work. Can't have everything, I guess.

I got some nice gifts--as I usually do. A and her husband got me some of Grisham's early novels in hardcover. I want to have all of his books in hardcover, as I collect him. She is lucky because of living in the city--she has access to used bookstores and they have a great one near them. My very good friend gave me a glass bowl that was made in Finland, designed by a Finnish artist in the 60s. Cool stuff. It looks just like this (the large one):




K managed to surprise me again this year. He only got me one thing from my list: a game for my Nintendo DS Lite. My BIG gift from him was a flat-paneled TV for the computer room. I love the fact that I can now watch the Wings AND do what I have to do on the computer at the same time. (Not to disparage the gift at all, but I think he got it for himself as much as for me. :)) I'm a happy camper.

I'm not sure when I will start taking down the Christmas decorations, but I don't feel a great need to do it right away. I should go out and look for a Christmas tree bag and once I find one, I'm sure I will be getting the house back to normal. But, right now, I'm not in any hurry. All in all, an absolutely amazing year for me!

I hope you all had a great time, also.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wishing You A Merry Christmas



Other than the birth of the baby or other earth-shattering news, I may not be here for a few days. (My baby is coming home!) At this time, I want to wish all of my readers a fantastic Christmas. My hope for each of you: May your Christmas be filled with laughter and joy, friends and family. Take a moment and remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

No Baby News

C is not in the hospital--as far as I know, anyway. So, I will leave you with this to ponder:

THREE WISE WOMEN
would have:
asked for directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the Baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole,
brought practical gifts,
and then there would be Peace on Earth!

:D

Merry Christmas--Enjoy!

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Just Another Day

I had to go and do some grocery shopping tonight--after all, my baby girl is supposed to be here on Sunday! I just can't wait! (Can you feel me smiling?) Anyway, I had to run into Shopko first and I discovered a very disturbing thing: They had a display of VALENTINE'S DAY socks in the women's sock aisle! Um, we aren't even done with Christmas yet, much less into the new year. I just don't understand this shit!

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C continues with the contractions--they just haven't been strong enough, regular enough, or bothersome enough for her to go to the hospital. She figures she will give birth within the week, as her last progesterone shot wore off today--that means any time now. Knowing her, she will be in the hospital on Christmas Eve and give birth sometime during the early morning hours of Christmas. How fun.

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Detroit lost to St. Louis tonight, 3-2. I don't understand HOW they have such a hard time against the Central teams. (Um, Chicago, anyone?) Detroit was 19 points ahead of the next team in the Central before their loss tonight--I just don't get it.

Sadly, Holmstrom re-hurt his right knee in the first period. He never returned to the game. Losing him is a great, big 'uh-oh' for the Wings--the great un-sung hero. And after he just came back from being out for two games with an injury to the same knee. Yikes.

The bright spot of the game for me: Baby Boy scored the first goal for Detroit! This is his fourth goal in the last five games. He is on a roll. Amazingly, he was quoted earlier today--while talking about the past few games--as saying, "I don't think I played that well. I think there's a lot to improve. I've been playing good but I think I can be better." Don't be too hard on yourself, Baby Boy--you are doing fine--and will continue to improve. (I can't imagine the kind of pressure he--as well as so many other players--have to endure. He is only 23 years old!)

You Paid WHAT???

I believe most of us realize that buying any of the 'big' birds, such as parrots, is expensive. For example, a Hyacinth Macaw will run you $6,500-10,000. A little bit out of the range of most people. They ARE beautiful creatures, for sure.




While the macaw is very expensive to buy, I think pound for pound, some saltwater fish are more expensive. And I bet most people don't even realize just HOW expensive they are. Are any of these on YOUR Christmas list? (All pictures and prices are from LiveAquaria.com)

Red Tooth Triggerfish


This bad boy can be had for the price of $199.99



Giant Cream and Pink Wartskin Angler


This one is $299.99, on sale for $249.99.



Australian Blue Devil


This fish can be had for the low, low cost of $329.99--on sale from the regular cost of $399.99.



Deepwater Tongan Goldenback Triggerfish


This specimen lists at $1199.99 at LiveAquaria.com, but you can get it on sale for only $729.99


Japanese Dragon Eel


The dragon eel is priced at $999.99.

Do the people who buy these have to find ways to spend their money, or what? I LOVE watching fish in an aquarium and have had an aquarium of my own in the past, but at THESE prices?!?! Unbelievable!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poor Baby!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

The Game and The Baby Watch

The Wings beat the Kings 6-2 tonight. They outplayed LA almost every minute of the game, so it wasn't that hard to predict the outcome. The normal cast of characters got goals or assists and my baby boy got his 8th goal of the season. YAY! Now it is on to a five game road trip. Not a REGULAR road trip, however--they will play two games and then take a couple of days off for Christmas and then play the last three.

It looks as if three of the Wings will be going to the All-Star game. Lidstrom is the top defenseman vote-getter (and overall top vote-getter) and Datsyuk and Zetterberg are the top two forward vote-getters in the Western Conference. Do I dare say it? This just may be the Wings' year to win it all! (Okay, maybe I just jinxed the whole thing.) I'm just glad to see a little love and recognition given to some of the Detroit players--they really are ignored way too often. Or, at least, HAVE been in the past.




--Detroit Red Wings' Dan Cleary, left, and Niklas Kronwall (55) of Sweden congratulate Valtteri Filppula of Finland on his goal against Los Angeles Kings during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 6-2. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--


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Talked to C tonight and she was still at home. She is pretty convinced that the way she has been feeling for several days is an indication that the baby will come very soon. Actually, for her sake, I hope that is true. She has been pretty miserable--and it isn't surprising, as this is only the second baby that is 'normal' sized! So, we continue with the baby watch. Updates will follow as they become available. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Baby Watch, 2007 Version

C called today after seeing the doctor and was told that she probably WILL NOT be going till 3 January before the baby is born. Now, it is just a matter of 'watch and wait.' She was ready to go to the hospital last night because the contractions were so hard, but they stopped--or lessened enough--around 2:00 AM and she was actually able to go to sleep. This is where it begins to be iffy in my mind--she has had so many C-sections that it is in her best health to continue with them. However, if she is too far along in active labor, it gets a bit dicey to do a C-section. I hope she doesn't wait too long just so she can 'do it normally.' I would rather not know until the baby is born, thank you very much. Boy, am I ever happy that I got the gift for the little one already--don't need to be shopping for any more gifts!

So, for those of you who are interested, keep coming back. I will be posting as soon as I have any news whatsoever--even if the news is 'no news!' :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Life As I Know It

Yesterday we were out of the house before 7:00 AM--and for those of you who know me, that is a BIG deal--and on the road. By the time we had eaten breakfast at the Appleton IHOP, all of the stores were open, so off we went. I managed to get to most of my usual stores--didn't do DSW because I have too many pairs of shoes as it is--and dropped in to a few that I have missed the last couple of trips. I believe we are done with our Christmas shopping now. Well, except for K's secret Santa gift, but I don't buy that anyway. The worst thing about me finishing up my shopping early is that I can think of all these other things that I want to buy--and then go ahead and buy them! I REALLY have to use a lot of restraint. We DID get some clothes for the grandkids, but they were needed--all of the kids seem to be blowing out their pants at the same time. (Actually, Marcus took a pair of scissors to his newest pair, so that is why HE needed new ones.) I remembered to go to Build-a-Bear and get the soon-to-be-born baby her first stuffed bear--just like I have done for all the rest. We got home around 8:30 PM and I was exhausted. Shopping and traveling will do that to a person.

As I mentioned, we got home late--and we had already missed half of the hockey game! I managed to find a radio station carrying it, but as we came down in elevation into town, we lost it. At least I got to see the finish--the three shoot-out goals were wonderful. And the Wings won, 4-3 over the Caps.

It is times like last night when I REALLY want XM Radio, but I don't think I would use it enough to justify the cost. (We just aren't away from the house often enough when the Wings have a game.) K listens to the radio all of the time, but when we travel, especially, he likes to listen to local stations. He likes to hear weather and traffic conditions for wherever we are. I, on the other hand, very rarely listen to the radio. When we go on trips, I plug myself into my MP3 player and go to sleep, so the radio is lost on me. I probably would listen to the radio much more if I could get music I wanted to hear, but right now I can't. Oh, well.

C has officially been pregnant long enough, so that if she went into labor now, she would be allowed to deliver where she is. Her C-section has been scheduled for 3 January, but she is bound and determined that this kid will be born before Christmas! And so she cleans. She figures that if she moves around enough--after all, she WAS on partial bed rest for most of the pregnancy--she will be able to get that kid out. And if anyone can WILL herself to give birth, C is the one to do it. She is quite something.

Talking to A tonight, I finally realized that I have to get moving and get stuff done around here: she and her husband could be here already on Sunday! Their plans aren't completely finalized, but it looks as if they might be here for two nights. I can't wait--it has been too long since they were here last.

In the news:

--Dan Fogelberg died. Many of you probably don't know who he was. The really sad part about this is, he was only 56 years old and died of prostate cancer. He wasn't diagnosed early enough to be helped. This is a reminder to all men and women: Men, get yourselves checked ASAP! Women, got the men in your lives checked ASAP! This is a survivable cancer if caught early enough.

--Pam Anderson filed for divorce from her husband of two months. And then she changed her mind. No comment.

--Jamie Lynn Spears--Britney's 16-year-old sister--is pregnant. Now, I realize these things happen. C was pregnant--as big as a house--at her high school graduation. My mother was married and got pregnant with me--in that order--at the age of 16. Probably the only reason I DIDN'T get pregnant in high school was my fear of my parents, but I was lucky that my boyfriend at the time respected me enough to go along with my 'hands-off' policy. I KNOW these things happen. Mistakes are made. But, I really wonder what this family is like--I mean, look at the mess that is Britney! I really hate to say it, but poor white trash just doesn't seem harsh enough for them. Really.

--And, of course, the repercussions continue over the steroid/baseball scandal. There just are no heroes anymore.

Monday

Just dropping in for a few minutes--I'm so tired I can barely see straight, so I will have to wait till later to do a proper post. K and I did a road trip and finished our Christmas shopping. YAY!!! But, it completely exhausts me to push that hard in one day's time. I'll be here tomorrow with a longer post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yippee!

Two of my all-time favorite shows are coming out on DVD. The one I have been waiting for way too long is Newhart. I think it is possibly the funniest show of all time. (Larry, Darryl, and Darryl just cracked me up!) I hope they put out all of the 150 seasons the show was on. It will be available on 26 February. The other show that will be available (12 February) is The Equalizer. LOVED that shoe--I really thought Edward Woodward was the sexiest older man I had ever seen. I can't wait!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Traveling Package

(Am I just too tired, or does that title sound just a little bit dirty? ;))

Anyway, I wrote about a package I was waiting for here and mentioned every place the thing had traveled. Well, it finally was delivered today, but it managed to make a few more stops along the way.

When we left the package on 7 December, it was in New Berlin, WI. Here is where it went from there:

--12 December: ST PAUL, MN
--13 December: BROOKLYN PARK, MN
--13 December: ST PAUL, MN
--15 December: delivered to my house

Now, I'm not exactly sure WHY it bounced around the Twin City area like it did, but it seems as if it got caught in some kind of a time warp or something. All I can say is this: NOW I know why our postage keeps going up--the Post Office has to pay to send our mail on sight-seeing tours of this great nation! What a waste. But, at least it got here--and that's the bottom line, as it contained Christmas gifts!

Red Wings 5, Panthers 2

First, let's get the bad stuff over with. The Wings scored all 7 goals of the game. A good thing, you say? Of course not--two of the goals were for the other team! Yes, Lidstrom and Chelios managed to kick the puck into Detroit's net for back-to-back goals for Florida. Absolutely unbelievable--ESPECIALLY from Lidstrom. Nick so rarely makes a wrong move on the ice that it is still surreal when I think about that play. He is one of the (many) Detroit players that makes everything look too easy--so much so, that he doesn't get ALL of the praise from the league as he should. (And I could make the point that some of the other players are in the same position, but I digress.) Both he and Chris had the puck take flukey bounces and lo and behold, the other team had two goals.

The other thing that really gets to me about the Wings is the inconsistent play. If they actually were able to play 60 good minutes of hockey in every game, there isn't a team around that could beat them. They would have the Cup before the playoffs even began! The second period the guys just didn't seem as if they could get it together--well, for the beginning of the period, anyway.

Now, let's get on to the good stuff. With the talk about the flukey bounces, there also was another unusual thing that happened: the Wings got TWO penalty shots awarded to them! And after just having a penalty shot two games ago! Really, really strange. Anyway, Datsyuk didn't score with his penalty shot but--are you ready for this?--Baby Boy got another penalty shot AND another goal! He has now scored two penalty shots and one regular goal and had one assist in the last five games, for four points--he's on a roll.

The Wings play 8 more times before the end of the year, with a five game road trip. They won't be doing a west coast run, but they will be playing as far as Phoenix, so it will be a tiring trip. They will only have one day home before they play their last game of the year. It would be nice if they would win against St. Louis on New Year's Eve--end the year on a good note.

ANOTHER Award! {blushes}

Spreader of Love Award (200x240)

This blog has been awarded The Spreader of Love Award created by The Love Blog (http://iamlove.blogspot.com), for an outstanding demonstration of blogging love.

Meleah has been so very kind enough to award me The Spreader of Love Award! Not only am I humbled and thrilled, I LIKE IT! (I HAVE mentioned how much of an attention whore I am, haven't I?) If you haven't ever visited Meleah's blog, do so--she has such a fascinating story to tell.

Now, who to pass this award to?

--burg--Burg is possibly the person who has been reading me the longest. She is the same age as my oldest and if I hadn't ever seen a picture of her, I might think she was one of my kids--we DEFINITELY are related in some way! :) She is a sweetheart who has been so kind and thoughtful throughout our friendship. You deserve this, burg!

--cindi--Cindi and I have 'known' each other for at least a year. She is another one of my readers who has shown concern and compassion whenever I have written one of my depressing posts. Thanks for the love, Cindi.

--sue--Sue is a more recent addition to my daily blog read. She is a 'farm wife' who also works at a job off of the farm. She is a wonderful writer and does it all: humor, introspection, rants... A very good read.

There you have it, three of my favorite people in the 'verse. Visit them and see if you don't agree.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What's In A Name

With the influx of European players in the NHL, it is always fun to get to see the way names are spelled after hearing them pronounced by the announcers. For the most part, they do pretty well, but sometimes they just completely miss. At least half of the time I want to SCREAM whenever I hear the way a Finnish name is pronounced--they usually get it wrong. For example, most cannot pronounce my boy's name, Filppula. They want to say 'fill-POOL-a' when it is pronounced 'FILL-pull-a'. (He let the Detroit announcers know the CORRECT way to say it--and they have remembered pretty well.) (I don't even want to TRY and explain how the Red Wing coach butchers the name--the man has no clue!) There are, of course, names from Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and all over Europe, so it can be a bit confusing. There DO happen to be quite a few names that would make one say, "I would like to buy a vowel!" Those are very much fun.

Frankly, I find the French-Canadian names the most confusing. There is a goalie whose name is spelled Huet. And it is pronounced 'oo-ay'. Excuse me? Then, of course, you have the last name of Roy. French-Canadians say 'wah'. Fine, I can get used to that, but THEN along comes a guy with the SAME name--at least the same spelling--and pronounces it 'roy'! It is just too far beyond my comprehension. :)

And they say watching sports is a mindless activity! :D

No Lions Or Tigers, But We Do Have Bears

This is going to be one of my mish-mash posts--a little bit of this, a little bit of that. At the end, you will see what the title means! :)

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The Nephew left yesterday--hopefully for good. Why hopefully? He said he isn't too sure how well he did on one of his exams--the one for the class he MUST pass in order to graduate. I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping he is just being hard on himself. Again, as I have said before, he really wasn't any trouble while he was here, but I. DON'T. WANT. ANYONE. LIVING. WITH. US. AGAIN! I like my freedom and privacy a little too much. And there would be no gracious way to say he couldn't stay here again if he had to come back for another semester. :(

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The room where The Nephew stayed is all ready for whoever (whomever?) comes for an overnight visit. I couldn't rest until I got the room all cleaned up and squared away, so I spent last night doing it. It feels good to have that done.

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The Wings lost to Edmonton in a shoot-out tonight. There went another seven-game winning streak. Z got two goals, so that was a very good thing. Overall, I don't think they played as well as they are able. I guess the injuries are starting to take their toll--tonight there were three players out. The biggest problem is that there really isn't a set timetable as to when any of them are going to be able to come back! Holmstrom's knee is bothering him and he should be out for at least one more game; Draper is just now starting to skate with a brace after hurting his knee on 27 November--and he will be out till Christmas, at least; Maltby got some sort of injection in his back to relieve the pain--they really aren't sure what happened to him and no word on WHEN he might be ready to play. The only good thing: it is still early in the season and far away from playoffs, so they can get the injuries out of the way now and be healthy later on. I certainly hope that's the way this will play out.

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I have been getting a sh*tload of hits on this blog recently--today alone I had 34! This is very unusual for here, so I had to investigate. The second biggest number of hits come from people searching for pictures from Body Worlds. The search leads to the pictures I posted when we went to Chicago this spring and saw the exhibition. All of a sudden there was a surge in people searching for pictures, so Body Worlds must be opening in several places.

The most hits I'm getting is from searches about the Geminid meteor shower. I'm surprised so many people come to read my short piece on the shower and don't just go to a scientific site to get info. Interesting.

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Here is a list of some upcoming shows/series on TV:

--Clash of the Choirs (reality show)
--Duel (game show)
--The Singing Bee (reality competition/game)
--Power of 10 (game)
--Dance War (reality competition)
--American Gladiators (reality competition)
--Make Me A Supermodel (reality competition)

That list scares me. PLEASE, PLEASE end this strike already! I can't take it anymore! We are being overrun by ridiculous programming! HELP, someone, HELP!

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I thought I would post a picture of my new Christmas tree. It doesn't really look ALL that different from last year's tree, but still...




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For those of you who have never heard of, or been to, a Build-a-Bear store, here is a little background. These stores allow you to go in and 'build' your own bear--or other stuffed animal/character. They have 'carcasses' in bins and you decide what kind of stuffed character you would want to have. You then take the carcass to the machine where they fill it with stuffing--this is done to your own specification as to how firm or squishy you want your bear. (There are other options to decide at this point, but I won't get into any more specifics.) When you are done building your 'friend,' you get to register it at the computer and then clothe it. As far as the stuffed characters are concerned, the prices aren't too bad--they make their money on the clothing and accessories for these things. (I get a bear for each grandchild as it is born, I put a set of clothes on it as a gift, and then forget about it--I would go broke if I had to try to continue buying clothes for all of the grandkids' bears!) I own two bears, myself. And I buy them clothes. They are part of my decorating scheme all year long--I clothe them according to the holiday or season and they are on display in the dining room. (I know, pretty damn lame!) Considering it is the Christmas season, my bears should be dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus, however, since buying my boy bear his last outfit, I couldn't put anything else on him. I now present to you Pikku Bear (this is the girl--'pikku' means 'little' in Finnish) and Iso Bear ('iso' means 'big' in Finnish--and this is the boy bear).

Pikku Bear




Iso Bear




Now, if I could only get that uniform on my cat I would have a really GREAT picture to send in to StuffOnMyCat.com! Like that could EVER happen. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Filppula's Penalty Shot

Valtteri Filppula is currently playing his second year in the NHL as a Red Wing. He is the first Finn ever to wear the winged wheel, so naturally, he is my favorite player right now--and hopefully for a long time. He has some fantastic skills and is compared, favorably, to Zetterberg a lot. Every game he seems to get better and he is showing talent, moves, and a playing level that a lot of veterans would like to have. Last night, he made a goal on a penalty shot that was so sweet, I just had to post the video. Enjoy.


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Detroit 2, Nashville 1

Since the powers-that-be decided there will be no more tie games in the NHL, we have had to see way too many shoot-outs. This has taken the thrill out of the penalty shot for a lot of fans. But tonight, I LOVED watching the penalty shot that Detroit was awarded. Why? Because Filppula--my baby boy--was the one who got to make the shot. AND he got a goal--which just happened to be the game winning goal! It was glorious--he made all the right moves and beat Nashville's goalie beautifully. This gives him two goals in the last two games. Good job.

The Wings certainly didn't win this game in a pretty way--they really looked tired in the third. And, rightfully so. They have played three games in the last four days, one of which they played yesterday. Nashville came into tonight's game fresh, but the Wings still managed to win. They are now, once again, on a seven game winning streak. Ozzie was the reason for the win--he was absolutely amazing again. I know the chances are about slim to none, but it would be great if he would be voted onto the all-star team as a write-in. He deserves every bit of praise he has gotten so far this year--I hope he continues the good work.

Starting Thursday, Detroit will play four games at home. At least they won't have the traveling to look forward to--thank goodness!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Meme

Meleah posted this on her site today and burg sent it to me awhile back, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I think I did this before, but here goes, anyway. I'm not tagging anyone, just let me know if you post this to your site.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags.

I usually do both, but I definitely prefer bags—less work!


2. Real or Artificial tree?

It is just SOOOOO much easier on me since we got our first artificial tree—will never go back to real. (And I LOVE having a pre-lit one—again for the less work!)


3. When do you put up the tree?

I try to do it Thanksgiving weekend.


4. When do you take the tree down?

If I had my druthers, probably 12:01AM on 26 December. I TRY to keep it up a little longer, though.


5. Do you like Eggnog?

EWWWWWW!!!!!!!


6. Favorite Gift you received as a child?

Can’t remember any that stand out. All I can remember about gifts is this: I ALWAYS went looking for my Christmas gifts as a child—The Mother would hide them in their closet. One year, I found EVERY ONE of my gifts, OPENED each one, re-wrapped them, and had nothing to look forward to on Christmas morning. It was a very sad year.


7. Do you have a nativity scene?

I collect Nativities and have 12 right now. I usually add at least one a year—I either get them as gifts or buy one for myself.


8. Hardest person to buy for?

K, because he will usually buy what he needs throughout the year.


9. Easiest person to buy for?

Both of my girls are pretty easy to buy for.


10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?

HMMMMM…could it be the picture of Jesus The Mother gave us one of the last years they gave us gifts? (I don’t remember for sure, but it might have been the one where He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying. Not a bad picture as far as religious pictures go, but the QUALITY was somewhere BELOW a velvet painting someone would buy from a gas station! VERY strange gift.)


11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail?

EXCUSE me?!?!?!


12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Probably A Christmas Story.


13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Whenever—no set time. And it really doesn’t matter much, as my list is quite short.


14. Have you ever 'recycled' a Christmas present?

Not that I know of.


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Probably ham and cheese crescents. It used to be prune tarts, but The Mother doesn’t send me any these days.


16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?

I now have all clear lights, as my tree is mainly decorated in white.


17. Favorite Christmas Song?

Hard to say—I always loved the candlelight service in church when all of the Christmas hymns are sung.


18. Travel at Christmas or Stay Home?

We used to travel when the kids were young—haven’t done that for many years. I STILL long to go somewhere far, far away for Christmas.


19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer?

Rudolph. What, you mean there are more?


20. Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree?

An angel, which I made myself.


21. Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning?

With just K and me here, we open them whenever. Usually on Christmas Eve at some time.


22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

PEOPLE!!!!!!! I REALLY don’t like Christmas, so EVERYTHING about the season annoys me.


23. Shopping ... Mall or online?

I probably do most of my shopping online.


24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?)

I don’t do ANYTHING outside—that is K’s domain. He hasn’t decorated for a few years and at this point, probably never will again. I take care of the inside.


25. Favorite Christmas cookie?

Either peanut butter kiss or M&M cookies.


26. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry?

A few pieces of jewelry—and I only wear the Christmas tree necklace.


27. Do you believe in Santa?

I used to and then I growed up! :)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Detroit 5, Carolina 2

The score of the game makes it seem as if it was a relatively easy win for the Wings, but that is far from the truth. While it wasn't as difficult as other games have been, they were only winning 3-2 with three minutes left. That is when Datsyuk did his magic and stole the puck and scored. Then Holmstrom added a little more icing and scored less than a minute later. The game didn't seem to get too good of a flow to it because of the amount of penalties--to BOTH teams. The refs should just ignore some of this stuff. Filppula scored the first goal early in the first period--it had to be reviewed. But, he got his 5th of the year, so YAY!!!

Tomorrow night the Wings will be in Nashville and Ozzie will be in net. Even though Hasek seems to be back in his groove, somewhat--he has won his last three games--it will be good to see Ozzie play again.

Trivia

Seeing as I haven't done a trivia post in a while, here we go. As usual, these are all courtesy of mental_floss.

--Eagle Scout is the highest rank obtainable in the Boy Scouts of America. The following became Eagle Scouts:
* astronaut Neil Armstrong
* president Gerald R. Ford
* TV personality John Tesh
* film director Steven Spielberg
* billionaire H. Ross Perot
* actor Ozzie Nelson (Ozzie & Harriet)
* Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
* film maker Michael Moore
* TV producer Sheldon Leonard
* entrepreneur Sam Walton

--In 1997, when asked what he would do if he were running Apple, Michael Dell said he would 'shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.'

--Queen Cleopatra tested poisons on her slaves.

--A dog's total field of vision is about 240 degrees, while homo sapiens is 180. Dogs have trouble focusing forward, which is why they tend to cock their heads when you stand in front of them and talk or reach out to them.

--Kraft Foods reports sales of around 60 million boxes of Stove Top stuffing every Thanksgiving season.

--During the reign of King Tut, 15 pounds of garlic could buy a male slave.

--A 2004 British study conducted by Muslim researchers indicated that 58% of Muslims would cease taking a medication if their religion barred it.

--Forks were once forbidden by the Catholic Church because they were thought to be the dining utensils of the devil.

--Saffron is such a valuable spice that, in Bavaria merchants caught selling tainted saffron were once burned alive.

--The active ingredient in Viagara can be found naturally in walnuts.

--The San Diego Chargers have never won a Super Bowl.

--The New Jersey Devils used to be the Kansas City Scouts; The Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers; the Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos.

--Thriller by Michael Jackson is NOT the bestselling album of all time. Thriller comes in at #2, while the Eagles Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has the number one spot. AC/DC's Back in Black is number three.

--Between Lincoln's assassination in 1865 and his final interment in 1901, his body was moved no fewer than 17 times, and his casket opened twice.

--Bill Cosby was the first African-American to appear on the cover of TV Guide.

--Qa is an ancient Babylonian unit of liquid measurement. It also is a very handy word to remember when playing Scrabble!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I REALLY Don't Understand

I have been tracking a package since last week. Here is where the package has been since it was shipped (this is the correct order):

LONDONDERRY, NH (where it was shipped from)
NORTHBOROUGH, MA
BROOKLYN PARK, MN
SACRAMENTO, CA
NEW BERLIN, WI (this is where it is as of 7 December)

Now, my question is, WHY? What logic has you send a package from the east coast to the west coast and back to the Midwest, where its final destination is (Michigan)? Can anyone explain this to me? I find the entire thing completely confusing and totally lacking in any sort of logic. I really would appreciate an explanation, if anyone has one! Thank you very much.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Sad, Sad Game

Of course, it WASN'T sad for Detroit, but for Minnesota. The Wings won 5-0 and Dom had his 77th career shut-out! (Not that he had ALL that much to do, but still...) While seeing a game like tonight's is fun once in awhile, I don't need to see a blowout like that all that often.

Tonight's game had a little of everything: Z got his second career hat trick (GO Z!!!!!), Downey had a fight (a 'gentlemen's fight', not too many punches connected), a shut-out, a short-handed goal (go Z!!), baby boy got an assist, and a goalie got a penalty. As I said, a little of everything. The Wings did come out onto the ice a bit sluggish--I thought things might go sour for them, but they got going very well after warming up. I was really surprised at how poorly Minnesota played--they are much better than they appeared tonight.

The one thing that people will be debating, however, is the penalty Hasek got. Gaborik--Minnesota's star player--was skating on a break-away and Dom came FAR out of the net, met Gaborik not very far from the blue line, and sent Gaborik flying ass-over-teacups! Part of the reason this happened is that Gaborik had his head down and didn't see Dom's move--and the fact that this is the kind of thing ONLY Dom would do caused it to be kind of unexpected. Gaborik wasn't hurt during the play, which is good. It still is a bit of a puzzle as to why Dom got the penalty--after all, he was doing his job by meeting the player and stopping the puck. Oh, well, no harm done. Dom got his shut-out, which should go a long way toward his coming back from his slump.



--Minnesota Wild's Marian Gaborik (10), of Slovakia, flies over Detroit Red Wings' Dominik Hasek, of Czech Republic, after being upended during a fast break in the third period of their NHL hockey game on Friday, Dec. 07, 2007 in Detroit. Hasek received a penalty on the play. The Red Wings won 5-0. (AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Geminids

On December 14, the Geminid meteor shower peaks. This is being called the best meteor shower of 2007. You can start watching after 10:00 PM on the 13th and between midnight and dawn on the 14th, things "really heat up." Dozens of meteors could be seen per hour. To read more, you can go here.

I Knew My Readers Were Special!

Over at mental_floss, they had a link to the blog readability test. I put this blog through the test and it came back as this:

cash advance

Get a Cash Advance



I KNEW I had a smart bunch of people frequent this place! :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Day

funny pictures
moar funny pictures



Two weeks ago I had an appointment with my doctor for a physical--just routine. Of course, he wound up finding a problem. While checking my carotid artery, he heard what is called a 'bruit'--an unusual sound that indicates a possible blockage. This led me to having an ultrasound done last week, with a follow-up appointment for the end of the month. HAH!! Two days after the ultrasound, I got the call that he wants to see me ASAP and not later. Well, I have been a wreck for the past several days--it didn't help that I Googled carotid artery disease--thinking all kinds of bad things. So, I went to see the doctor today and it turns out that the news wasn't as bad as it could have been. I have the beginnings of plaque build-up in my carotid--nothing too terrible--and he wants to keep it from getting any worse. This means I will have to begin cholesterol meds to try and counteract anything that is going on. All of this is preventative, as I have a horrendous family history of heart trouble--combine that with the fact that I am of Finnish heritage (Finns have a lot of heart disease) and I am at very high risk for things to go wrong. I am lucky to have the doctor I have, as he is very conscientious when it comes to my health and he believes in a 'hands-on' approach to keeping things from going bad. I am one relieved woman and happy that things aren't worse. A good day all around.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Great Picture

I love this picture! And I found it at I Can Has Cheezburger.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Detroit 3, Phoenix 2

The Wings didn't play as well as they could/should have, but they managed to get the job done and win. Datsyuk is still flying high and got a goal and Z got a goal and an assist--good job. I was on the phone with A for a good amount of the game, so I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been. I DID, however, see my boy get up-ended--thankfully he wasn't hurt. It could have been bad, and after seeing the picture, I realize just how bad it could have been!




--Detroit Red Wings' Valtteri Filppula, left, of Finland gets upended on an offensive surge by Phoenix Coyotes' Keith Ballard during the third period of their NHL hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007 in Detroit. The Red Wings won 3-2.
(AP Photo/Jerry S. Mendoza)--

Friday, November 30, 2007

Best Laid Plans

Last Saturday, a friend and I were supposed to go out to celebrate my birthday--we always take the other out for dinner in honor of birthdays. At the last minute, she had to cancel because of illness--her own. We have rescheduled for tomorrow and I'm hoping all goes well. We are under a winter storm watch--heavy snow, sleet, ice--for tomorrow evening. Oh, yay. If it was just dinner, things would be fine, as she comes in to town for us to eat--she lives just outside of town. BUT, we are planning on going up the road to a little community to do some looking in the shops to see if there is anything worth buying. I don't get there often enough and I have never been there during the Christmas season, so I am really looking forward to it. I hope it works out.

K is going in to do an overtime shift at 3:00AM--just about four hours from now. He will get home a little after 4:00 tomorrow afternoon and then he will go back at 3:00 on Sunday morning to work 4 hours of overtime before starting his regular day shift. (CORRECTION: He went in to start work at midnight, NOT 4:00AM! He STILL will not be home till after 6:00PM on Sunday.) He will be one tired puppy when he gets home on Sunday! I probably won't even have to make dinner--he'll just pass out as soon as he gets home.

I've been trying to make up a Christmas list of things I want this year. Trouble is, all I can come up with are electronics--and K will not buy them for me. (He says I'm too picky--which I am--and that I would get mad if he got the wrong thing--which I would.) Other than a pair of solitaire diamond earrings, I don't have anything on the list that he might be willing to buy me! Right now I have: a new cell phone (one of two), The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (for the Nintendo DS Lite), a pair of Red Wings coffee mugs (I told him I'd share!), a new Zen music player (don't NEED a new one, but the one I have IS a couple of years old...), the earrings, and a photo printer. He MIGHT get me the game, I KNOW he likes to buy jewelry, and he would get me the coffee mugs if he could find them--I found them on NHL.com--but beyond that, I am having a hard time coming up with ideas. I guess it doesn't help that I told him MANY years ago, that household items ARE NOT Christmas gifts. I don't want a vacuum as a gift, or a set of pots and pans, or... If I told him my problem, he would just say, "Well, isn't it nice to have EVERYTHING you've ever wanted?" I guess I COULD ask for a pair of tickets for a Red Wings game, but then I would have to plan the trip, make the reservations, etc, etc. THAT is something we have to decide TOGETHER.

Today was another banner day for deliveries. We got five packages today and I only have to get another four or so. It'll be nice when all of the things I have ordered finally arrive--then I can actually say "I am DONE!" I really must start wrapping the things I already have, but I'm sure it will be a last minute thing, as usual!

And, Evel Knievel died yesterday in Florida. He was 69.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 2

What do you get when the top point getter--Lecavalier--and the tied-for-second-place point getter--Zetterberg--play against each other? Well, tonight it was ZERO points for either one of them. It was nice to see Datsyuk and Hudler continue with their scoring and it was great that Kopecky was able to score the first game back after an injury. While the game was great, to me, Tampa Bay didn't play well enough for it to qualify as a very good game. Detroit dominated for most of the 60 minutes and Tampa Bay had just momentary flashes of how good they really can be.

The Wings now hold first place in the league with tonight's win and Ottawa's loss. I'm imagining a back-and-forth like this all year long. Detroit probably won't move out of the top three--hopefully--and it will be interesting to see who the third team will be for them to battle with. With injuries, the Wings might be having some difficult games coming up. Hopefully the rest of the team will step up and do what they can do best. There are several players that haven't hit their stride yet, so now would be the time. Ozzie is still remarkable, but Dom HAS to play soon--probably this weekend. HE has to get his head back into the game, and fast.




--DETROIT - NOVEMBER 29: Vincent Lecavalier #4 of the Tampa Bay Lightning battles for the puck with Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena November 29, 2007 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)--

Norwegian? Swedish?

Don't know how many of you have seen this commercial:



Now, I find it quite amusing, but at the same time I get so very frustrated with it! I can't, for the life of me, understand how people don't know their own heritage. I realize that a lot--maybe most--people aren't as in tune with their ancestors as I am, but still...

How do people lose their heritage? Is it from the 'melting pot' syndrome where different nationalities/ethnicities marry? Are we here in UP--where the biggest concentration of Finns are in the US--just that unique and immersed in our own ethnicity that we HAVE to know 'where we came from?' Or is it just the fact that I am 100% pure--as is my husband? I find it very fascinating when people don't know what nationality they are. I don't believe either of my sons-in-law are too sure. So, how about any of you, my readers--am I just an anomaly? I'll be interested to see your responses.

November 28

People born on this day:

Anna Nicole Smith
Jon Stewart
Judd Nelson
Ed Harris
Alexander Godunov
S. Epatha Merkerson
Paul Schaffer
Randy Newman
Manolo Blahnik

and

CMK!

Yes, Wednesday was my birthday. And, no, I didn't do anything special. K is still on night shift, so that kind of put the crimp into any kind of celebration.

I received cards from the best people in my life and I did get some gifts. A and her husband sent me a book with a collection of Mother Goose & Grimm cartoons in it. That and Far Side are my favorite comic strips. One of my bestest friends brought me a gift last night. I am SOOOO lucky to have her--her sister owns an antique store and puts on estate sales, so my friend gets the neatest gifts. This year, she brought me a Nativity set that is Mexican and looks to be handmade by a local artist. I am continuing my collecting of Nativities and she has added to it for several years. She always finds very unique and intriguing sets. Another bestest friend of mine and I will be going for a day of shopping and then to dinner on Saturday in honor of my birthday. YAY!! Shopping and eating--who could ask for anything more!

I believe K is ecstatic whenever I get a new obsession, as it makes his gift buying so much easier. He, again, got me Red Wing pendants. He said he thought I needed a silver one, so he got that and a new gold one, too. I don't know when he expects me to wear all of the ones he has boughten, but I love them anyway! Here is a picture of my new ones (the silver one is on the right):




AND, here is a picture of the last two he got me--the one I thought I lost is on the left and the replacement he bought me for Christmas last year is the other one:



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just Stuff

I'm sitting here feeling VERY chilled and couldn't figure out why--then I checked the temp outside and it is only 11 degrees. That MIGHT have something to do with it feeling cool in the house!

**********

Other than a Christmas tree, my house is all decorated. I finished it on Monday and I'm happy. Now I can look forward to taking all of the decorations down in about a month--I MAY actually wait until a couple of days after Christmas, but probably no longer.

**********

Here is a question to ponder: Just HOW long must a person NOT bathe in order to smell bad enough for you to smell them two aisles over in a grocery store? I found two people last night that matched this description--and they managed to be EVERYWHERE I was in the store. Frankly, the odor was so bad that it lingered even after they moved on from a section. They were a man and woman in their thirties, I'd say, and didn't LOOK to be exceptionally dirty, but they stunk so bad I thought I might have to leave the store without finishing my shopping.

**********

My husband doesn't have to worry, and never needed to worry, that another man would ever 'woo' me away from him. The only men who hit on/flirt with me seem to be drunks or extremely old. Last night was no exception.

I was at the meat display, trying to decide what to buy for the next few days' meals. Of course, inspiration didn't hit, so I decided on 'ground beast'--again. I ALWAYS put the packages of meat into the plastic bags that the store supplies, so I went to get one. Obviously, the majority of people who shop at this store MUST be 5'5" or more, because I have to stand on tip-toes in order to reach the bags. My struggle was being observed very closely by The Man. The Man was somewhere between the ages of 40 and 160. If he was 40, then the years were not kind to him--if he was 160, then he was pretty well preserved, probably from the booze. He was tall and lanky. To say he was thin doesn't describe it--he leaned more towards the 'heroin chic' look. But, don't get me wrong, NOTHING was 'chic' about this guy. He was bearded--and it was not groomed. I'm not sure what his hair was like because he was wearing a fur-lined bomber hat--with the straps hanging down. I'm not too sure what kind of clothes he was wearing--NOT a tuxedo, I can assure you--but I'm pretty sure he had snowmobile boots on, or some other clunky kind of boot. I do seem to recall the boots were not tied. As I was putting the meat into my cart, The Man came ambling by, leaned towards me and said--in his sexiest voice, I'm sure--"Could they put them any higher?" Then he smiled at me--and I was creeped out. I wonder if this was his best 'go-to' pick-up line? EW. I think I mumbled something and left in a hurry. So, as I said, my husband doesn't have to worry about me, at all. :)

**********

The Wings played a decent game tonight against Calgary. Datsyuk made two amazing goals and had an assist--and he insisted that he didn't have much energy during the game! As Lidstrom said, "I'd like to see what he could do when he's feeling good then." Words cannot describe how he plays--it is pure joy to watch. Z got another assist tonight and is still in the top 5 for assists AND goals scored. The Wings are at the top of the league with the win, but Ottawa is right behind. Osgood is at the top in goals against and Lidstrom is number three on the plus/minus list and Datsyuk is number two for shootout goals, so they ARE doing something right. They just aren't doing well against the Central Division teams. My boy got his fourth goal of the season--YAY!! Unfortunately, Draper sprained his knee during the game and won't be back for a bit. Ellis is still healing from the hit he took a couple of games ago, but Kopecky will probably be back on Thursday. Hudler took a nasty hit from Phanuef, which took him a few seconds to get up from. He finished the game, so I'm hoping nothing shows up later. Phaneuf is about 6'2" and Hudler is only 5'9", so it was not fun to see--and Lilja took exception to such a big guy going after one of the Wings' finesse players, so he went after Phaneuf. Now, it wasn't much of a fight--not many of the Europeans fight and the Swedes fight VERY rarely--but Lilja DID manage to take Phaneuf down, which was a victory. As is the case with most fights these days--unless Downey is involved, of course--it was mostly pushing and wrestling and dancing around the ice. But, it was good to see Lilja stand up for a teammate--something more of the bigger guys on the team need to do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday

Thank goodness I have an appointment to get my hair cut and colored. It has been so long since I've had it done that I'm actually getting an idea as to what my real color is! Sad.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday

Not a lot going on around here. K is off today, but goes back on nights tomorrow--this is his 'three-one-three' stretch (three days, one day off, three nights). Then next week Thursday he goes on his week off again. After all these years, you would think it would get easier living the 'shift-work' life, but it doesn't. :)

We still don't have snow on the ground--which doesn't bother me. It is so much easier to get around without the snow--I much prefer driving on clear roads. DUH! Again, the forecast is for snow the middle of the week, so we'll see.

Just talked to C and she is doing as well as can be expected. She heard that her OB is booked solid through the month of December for surgeries, so she can't even ask him to take the baby a bit early. Right now, she is scheduled JUST after 40 weeks--possibly the longest she has ever held on to a pregnancy. If she didn't have to worry about the baby's health, she would want to have things start happening NOW--she isn't the happiest of people when she's pregnant. I wonder WHY she keeps getting pregnant, then?

The Wings lost again last night. While they didn't play well until the third, they DID come back and tie up the game with two goals only 5 seconds apart! THAT was exciting, to say the least. Ozzy did a wonderful job--until the shoot-out. Don't know why he fell apart like he did. The next game is on Tuesday and it hasn't been announced as to who will be in net--I KNOW Dom has to get his game back, but he has lost three in a row since coming back from his injury, so it is scary to see him start. They just haven't done well, at all, since they had the long break after the last west coast trip. I hope they didn't peak too early--October was a great month for them. Oh, well, there still is 3/4 of the season to go--anything can still happen. And probably will.

Only two weeks of classes and then a week of exams left and The Nephew will be gone. Again I will say, he is not hard to be around, but it will be nice to have my house back! The time is going too slowly. :)

Well, I've farted around long enough. I have to get going and do some more towards decorating this house. Again, oh, yay.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Earliest Yet

I must say I surprised myself tonight--I had my first meltdown of the season! I think this is the earliest this has EVER happened. I always know it is going to come--usually more than once--but I definitely wasn't expecting to go off the day after Thanksgiving!

For anyone who has read this blog for a while, this isn't news to you. To the rest, here it is: I. HATE. CHRISTMAS! While I love the meaning behind it, I have rarely had a wonderful Christmas--and a lot of the reason is The Mother. She lost her mother as an infant and was abandoned by her father. Every year he promised her he would see her at Christmas and every year he didn't show up. This, of course, stayed with her as an adult and she would be very depressed during the season. Even though she tried to keep her feelings from me--at least when I was very young--she wasn't quite able to pull it off. The fact that we weren't very well off meant I couldn't have the things other kids did, so, combined with The Mother's depression and my not getting what I wanted, I developed a loathing for Christmas, as well.

When I got my own family, I tried desperately to make the 'perfect' Christmas. Every year I worked myself to the point of exhaustion and every year I failed in some way to have a 'Norman Rockwell' Christmas. I began my Christmas baking at least a month ahead of time--I always felt as if I didn't do enough if there were less than 20 dozen cookies in the freezer. I would make at least 6 loaves of nisu--a Finnish cardamom sweet bread--caramel corn, peanut brittle, fudge, Chex mix, and 6 loaves of cranberry bread. (I could have done more, I just have forgotten.) I also went through an extended period of making most of the gifts we gave to the families--I made so many crocheted snowflakes that I can't even come close to estimating the dozens I have done over the years. And I decorated our house to within an inch of its life--I always called the decor 'tacky Christmas boutique!' Every place a decoration could be placed, there was one. All of the windows and doorways had lights and garland--we had two decorated trees. I have a wall of bookshelves in the dining room and I would remove all of the items from those, just so I would have a place to display some of my Christmas collections. I literally went crazy at Christmas.

Maybe things would have been okay if The Mother wouldn't have been the way she is. When the girls were very young, we would 'go home' for Christmas. I would usually be there for a few days before Christmas and K would follow on his days off. We did this every year until a few years after our youngest was born. It just got to be too difficult to haul all of the gifts up there and then haul them back here every year, so we stopped doing it. Besides, I felt we needed to start our own traditions. This didn't go over too well with The Mother. She felt as if we had a tradition by going there for the holidays. (Funny thing is, WE always had to go to them--The Family has never made the effort to come here to our house!) Not only did I want our own family to be together, but I needed to break away from The Mother's possessiveness. Our time there wasn't pleasant for me at all.

When we would be 'back home' for Christmas, the time went like this: on Christmas Eve we would go to K's parent's house where we had a meal and then all of the kids opened their non-Santa gifts. Considering there were at least ten grandchildren, this took a bit of time. BUT, we were always trying to rush our way through things because MY family expected us to be at Christmas Eve church services with them and THEN open gifts at The Parent's house afterward. The Mother never was satisfied with the amount of time we spent with them--she always thought any amount of time we spent with my in-laws was too much. This always put me under tremendous amounts of stress. And she was always so jealous of the time I was away from her that I had to downplay any good I felt while with my in-laws. It just got to be so much easier to stay at home--and my stress level wasn't nearly as high.

So, there is the background of my Christmas depression. Add to this my tendency toward SAD and the fact that I have nothing to do with my family and you can see where my dislike for the holidays comes from. Still, despite all of what I went through in years past, I find myself getting very nostalgic, sentimental, and weepy at this time of year. (My doctor offered to give me a prescription--he thinks it is mostly SAD--but I know I will be much better on January 2nd, so I declined.) There definitely are times when I wish we were still part of a family and able to celebrate together, but that ship has sailed. I have had to--for my health--distance myself from The Family and I can't go back anymore. So, I will continue to cry at Folger's commercials and know that this, too, shall pass.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Not A Bad Day

Altogether, my Thanksgiving wasn't bad.

--I got to sleep late--thanks to K, for peeling the potatoes and rutabagas.

--I watched The Blues Brothers for the Nth time--one of my all-time favorite movies. I'm sad that John Belushi died so young.

--I ate till I was sick--isn't that what you're SUPPOSED to do on Thanksgiving?

--And I got to watch the Red Wings play--they lost, to NASHVILLE!, but I got to see a game, nonetheless.

I think the only thing that kept the day from being pretty near perfect was the Wings' loss!

Tomorrow is Black Friday and everyone knows where I will be: in my bed sleeping! I'm almost done with my shopping, so I don't need to do anything as foolish as going out on Black Friday. Instead, I will begin my Christmas decorating. Oh, yay.

So, how many of you are brave enough to face the crowds on Black Friday? I've done it twice in my life--once I went by myself and once I went with my youngest. I must admit, the day I went with A was one of my most favorite memories. She got into the spirit very well--the moment we hit the open doors of a store, she would SPRINT to whatever we were there to buy. It was a lot of fun seeing her in action--she would take a runner's stance and she'd be off, long, blond hair flying behind her as she raced down the aisles. I only wish I had had a video camera to capture the moments. It was fun.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving



We are going to have a quiet day on Thanksgiving--just K and me. And I am perfectly okay with that. K took the day off, so we will just cook and eat. He will watch football and I will get to see the Wings play tomorrow night, so all is right with the world. (They play tonight, too, so I really am happy.) The turkey is in the oven--I decided to do it and the gravy today--and the rest of the meal will be cooked tomorrow. It will be nice to have the turkey carcass stripped and thrown out before we have the main meal. Tonight I will make my stock for turkey-vegetable soup, to be made at a later date. I may even cheat a little and partially abandon the South Beach diet tomorrow--I MUST have a little bit of mashed potatoes and stuffing!

So, I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all--I hope you have a day to be thankful for!



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hmmm!

I remember reading/hearing a long time ago, that if you stood with your arms straight out from the sides of your body and measured from the tip of your middle finger on the right hand to the tip of your middle finger on your left hand, the number would equal your height. My number falls short by several inches. Do you think this could, in ANY way, be part of the reason I can't reach things on the second shelf of my kitchen cupboards?

Laughing 13

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just A Few Words

--K is working night shift for the next few days. It always is kind of nice to have the place to myself--I get to do what I have to in the time I want. It looks as if he will be working overtime the first week in December--always nice to have that little extra boost to the paycheck just before Christmas!

--Haven't mentioned C's pregnancy very much because she hasn't kept me too well informed. I'm not sure if she is trying to shield me or if she is just too busy, but we haven't talked all that much this month. I DO know she had contractions sometime in October and had to go to the hospital. She was there for a few hours and they got them to stop. She was sent home with the instructions to 'stay off her feet.' HAH!!! She has five children at home--three of which are 4 and under--so HOW is she supposed to do bed rest? That was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Her OB has given her different instructions and she seems to be doing okay. She has started to get one injection of progesterone per week with the hopes that she doesn't go into labor or have her water break. All she wants is to keep this baby in for four more weeks--if it comes any sooner, she has to be sent here for the NICU. Not a great time of year to be away from your family, for sure.

--Deer hunting season started on Thursday and I survived--by NOT going to the grocery store on Tuesday or Wednesday. There weren't all that many hunters in the store last weekend, but there were enough. You can always tell the guys shopping for deer camp. First, they have lost looks on their faces. Next, they have an abundance of beef, beer, and chips in their shopping carts. Every deer hunter has a list he is reading from--well, the ones that have done this for years, anyway--and he studies it intensely to make sure he doesn't forget anything. (I STILL think most of them probably forget the toilet paper.) It is strange, but when you find a hunter shopping by himself, there is more of a tendency for a shopping list--when you find a group of four or more, they usually DON'T have one. They probably think that what one doesn't remember, the others will. It is truly an experience watching them, though.

--We have had snow again this week, but not nearly as much as last week. Again, it has pretty much melted and we should be getting more next week. It definitely is feeling like winter, though--the temps are in the upper 20s and lower 30s at night.

--It has taken me this long since Tuesday night to actually realize I DID see the game the way it happened. The Wings were ahead 2-0 after the first period--then they let 4 unanswered goals go in during the second period. Hasek was pulled from the game and Ozzy finished the night. While baby boy scored a goal in the third, Z's point streak ended on Tuesday. The final score was 4-3 in favor of St Louis. It was the first time this season that they lost two games in a row--and they deserved to lose with the way they played the second and third periods. I certainly hope they do better tomorrow night, but I'm not going to hold my breath--they are playing Chicago. Again. Heaven help the Wings.

--To add insult to injury, the Wings couldn't even get home from St Louis on Tuesday. While making a turn on the runway, their plane--Red Bird One--ran off the tarmac and got stuck in mud. They weren't going anywhere. The team had to leave the plane and catch a charter the following day while the plane was looked after. This was a first for me--never heard of a plane--especially a big one like that--getting stuck in mud before.

--And finally, a few of the more interesting reports from the police log:

\Door making banging sounds. Why would you call the police for that? This one I don't understand.
\Drunken person sleeping in resident's bed. I think the thing that should be of concern is HOW did the drunken person get into the house in order TO sleep in the resident's bed? And to top it all off, this happened at 5:45 PM. HMMMMM.
\Health and safety complaint--person walking around in shorts. Now, nothing says that the person was ONLY wearing shorts, so isn't it up to the individual if he/she wants to freeze their noogies off and wear shorts in freezing weather? I guess my response to this one is: MIND YOUR OWN F*CKING BUSINESS!
\Unwanted disorderly person. As opposed to a WANTED disorderly person?
\Roommate locked out of house. Quite a fight there, hey?
\Coyote sighting. Okay, maybe I can understand this, but still... We live in a rural area--I have more wildlife in my yard in one year than the majority of Americans see in their entire lifetime, so WHY call the cops about seeing a coyote? Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand this.
\Larceny of a bow. I am REALLY hoping this pertains to archery and NOT gift package ribbons. :)

So, that concludes the most interesting items from the police log for the past few days. We really DO live in quite an unexciting area of the world--and we like it like that! :D

Pictures

Yesterday when I posted, I was too tired to look for the pictures to go along with the post, so here they are.

This is People's cover declaring Matt Damon as 'The Sexiest Man Alive.' (Believe me, they could have found a much better picture of him!)




Wentworth Miller has to be seen in action--as in Prison Break. While he does photograph well, his brooding persona in the show is what gives him the sexy factor.




Nothing more to say about Hugh Laurie--just going to post the pic. :)




As I said, Jensen Ackles is nummy! Granted, he's a little young, but oh so nice to look at. :)




And we can't forget Alex O'Loughlin. I think part of his appeal, too, is the broodiness of the character he plays on Moonlight. Very easy on the eyes.