Monday, December 29, 2008

Who Rambles?

Everyone and their brothers, apparently.

I decided to Yahoo! search "The Ramblings" this morning (I would have googled it, but I'm using the hubby's laptop, and he's a Yahoo! man). It gave m 2.5 million sites. My site was NOT in the top 10...I don't even think it was in the top 20. I gave up.

It's not fair. My blog is called The Ramblings...I should be in there, shouldn't I? How come some stupid comment made on ESPN about someone 'rambling' to a finish came up as #2, but I didn't even break the top twenty?? [UPDATE: I searched the top Karin!]

I did find 4WheelBob, and Jen (who is surprisingly similar to my sister). But I also found a Crazy Man. And I found a Republican. Oh, and a band.

I suppose I can't hold it against these people that they, too, ramble, but I want to. I shouldn't blame them. It's not their fault. But I should blame SOMEONE, right?

It's Michelle's fault.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marching Band!

The Many Faces of Bo

Sleepy Santa Bo
Mr. Bo Rogers

Side-burns Bo

Sith Lord Bo

Cutie-Pie Bo

Everyone loves a bunk bed

One night in Vegas, Michelle and I went shopping. When we got home at 9pm, Ella was still awake - because Daddy was putting up bunk beds! But the kidlet was tired, so before Daddy could finish, she crawled right into bed.

It was quite the exciting ordeal! But it was hard work, too...

Daddy was tired! So Ella rubbed his back until he fell asleep (shhh!).

Even the cats couldn't wait for their turns to snuggle!! Felix is a foot man, but BJ...

...he just stole the pillow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow day!

But not for me...

My poor family moved out to the blazing hot desert of Nevada to get away from the arctic chill on wintertime Michigan...and they got snow!! Hee, hee. What a nice pre-Christmas present. While they only got 3 inches in some areas, they haven't had accumulated snow in 30years, so it's been rough. Luckily, Aunt Karin dropped off snow pants for my niece while I was there. Whew!

Now, about those pictures...they're coming, I promise. I'm still getting caught up on laundry and dishes, but I should have time tonight (this weekend at the latest).

Happy snow day, you desert babies, you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seriously? These are the only movies you can come up with??

So, I copied this from a note on Facebook - the "movie freak" quiz, I guess. Seriously? I can think of a GADZILLION movies that I've seen that AREN'T on this list. Ask anyone in my family and they'll tell you - I watch too much TV and too many movies. This is a dorky list, but I did it anyway.

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

( ) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
( ) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 6

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) Anchorman
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
() Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 12

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 16

(x ) Harry Potter 1
(x ) Harry Potter 2
(x ) Harry Potter 3
(x ) Harry Potter 4
( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 22

(x) Finding Nemo
(x ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x ) I, Robot
( ) Robots
Total so far: 28

( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
(x) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
Total so far: 32

( ) A Cinderella Story
(x ) The Terminal
(x) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x ) Flubber
Total so far: 36

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( x) Practical Magic
( x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
(x ) The Whole Nine Yards
(x ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far:40

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
(x) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 49

() Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( x) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x ) Ocean's Eleven
(x ) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x ) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 55

(x) Independence Day
() Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
( x) Rush Hour
( x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 59

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
( ) Sideways
(x ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(x ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
( ) The Terminator
( ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 65

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x ) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
( x) Reign of Fire
( x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x ) Shrek 2
Total so far:79

( ) Swimfan
(x ) Miracle on 34th street
( x) Old School
() The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
(x) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 82

(x ) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x ) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x ) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x ) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x ) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 88

() Baseketball
( ) Hostel
(x ) Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 91

( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x ) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 94

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x ) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( x) Waterworld
Total so far: 99

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 100

( x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x )Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x ) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x ) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x ) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x ) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 107

(x ) The Matrix
(x ) The Matrix Reloaded
(x ) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
( ) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal
Total so far: 111

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I'm a great aunt...

While visiting my 2 1/2 yr. old niece I've taught her some fabulous things.

1st: She likes to hit. Instead of telling her not to hit me, I introduced her to the "Hurtz Donut" (If you are unfamiliar - ask someone if they want a Hurtz Donut. Punch them. Ask, "Hurts, don't it?"). Her parents weren't thrilled.

2nd: Today I taught her how to pull a finger. Yep, I did it. I had to "poof", so I asked her to pull (she squeezes). I did this a few times. Later in the night I poofed, but forgot to ask. No need to worry. She reached for my hand and grabbed my finger. She's a smarty. [I can just imagine my old roomie, Erica, reading this with horror :)].

I wonder what else I can teach my little cutie...

The photos will come up when I get home. I have LOTS of fun ones!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey, Honey

I've heard of kids who start swearing because their parents swear...therefore, we adults have to watch what we say around tots. Well, since I've been in Vegas helping with 2.5 year old Ella and 2.5 week old Miles "Bo", I've discovered that I apparently have favorite word.

Yesterday morning Ella and I got up and were playing in the living room. I heard, "Come on, honey." I thought it was a mistake. Nope. Throughout the day it was, "Hi, honey," this and "No, honey," that. Where was she getting this?? As soon as she opened my mascara I heard myself say, "No, no, honey, not that." Aha.

She still doesn't say Karin, but that's okay. I'm now Aunt Honey.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm a winner!!

I did it! I won the NaNoWriMo challenge! For more details, please see my writing blog!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Help a Girl

Hey -

Give this new search engine a try. You can accumulate points and trade them in for things. I thought I'd give it a whirl - and I can earn extra points if you sign up through my link!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Welcome to the Dark Side

It's official - Matt's 30! He had a hard time coming to grips with it at first, but he seems to be managing pretty well.

The celebratory weekend featured lots and lots of food. With my mother's birthday on the 14th and Matt's on the 15th, we had a lot of free food and desserts at the restaurants. Then there was the party, featuring an amazing cake (French Vanilla Sour Cream with Cream Cheese frosting...we gave Matt a hard time about the odd combination, but that stopped after we tried it!)

There were two unique experiences that highlighted Matt's big day.

1st: He held a baby that didn't cry! The first three babies Matt held (all girls) screamed. His friend Dan, father of Zoe, wanted to test the theory, so we passed of the 2-week old peanut. You can see what happened:

No tears!! And Zoe's not crying either :)

2nd: The next big thing was dinner. It started off rough, but our waitress went out of her way to make sure she made up for the blunder. Did she ever. Below is a picture of Matt and Frankie. It was so big, Matt had to name it:

We're pretty sure Frankie weighed in at 2 lbs, but I'm not entirely convinced that he wasn't bigger than Zoe.

Not to worry - Matt didn't eat the whole thing - it's still in the fridge, disappearing a little at a time.

And finally...the cake. This is the best picture, but I didn't have a good angle because EVERYONE was trying to get a picture of the masterpiece! I'm sure you can't see it, but the deer is eating Matt's "cake" on the cake :)

And that was the big 3-0. We're all still here, hanging on. We are suspiciously looking forward to winter, however. We can't prove it, but I think it has something to do with age :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

How to tell when Matt is tired

Because I substitute teach I am bombarded by Disney's High School Musical. I can find it in all three levels. Tonight I asked Matt a simple question:

"Are you familiar with High School Musical?"

A typical, tired Matt respond:
"High School the Musical - ONE, High School the Musical - TWO, High School the Musical with Robin Williams dressed like a woman*, High School the Musical with the famous fat woman**, High School the Musical - Christmas Time, High School the Musical - 4.5, High School the Musical - Texas Long Horn Style, High School the Musical - The Musical."

I'm not kidding...that's what he told me. I turned off the light and let him go to sleep.

*Figured out he was thinking of John Travolta in Hairspray
**Still don't know what he was thinking

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mother of all cabbages

This is the mother of all cabbages. It might not look like it from the top, so I got a side view, and put it in front of the Brita filter to give you a point of reference...

This eleven pound monster was a gift. I quartered it and SMOOSHED each quarter into a gallon size ziploc bag. Then I made corned beef and cabbage, cabbage soup, cole slaw, more corned beef, more soup, more cole slaw...and I still had 1/2 of it left!

So I left the rest at my mom's house...

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I like Facebook. It's a social network that I understand. I even like the new version (why are you so hesitant to change?). What I've decided that I don't like is "make-your-own-quiz".

I really like taking the quizzes. It's fun to find out that I'm most like Sally (Charlie Brown's sister), or Jane Austen's Catherine Morland, or, surprisingly, Jasmine (I'm not Belle, the book-loving heroine?). Those are fun :) It gives me a few minutes of brainless activity.

What I'm not a huge fan of, however, is that anyone can make a quiz, and it's hard to know which quiz was written by some looney-bin at 3am after he got home from the bar and thought, "I can make a quiz!"

I just took the quiz, "What were you born to do?" That's a pretty deep question. There are millions of possiblitities! The quiz involved five three-answer multiple choice questions.

Really? That's it?? You can decide if I should be a teacher, actor, roofer, pharmacist, business owener, musician, garbage man, landscaper, doctor, secretary, or waitress after five questions?? Wow!

I'm a writer. My sister is a high school teacher. We both took the quiz. It said we should both be a doctor/nurse. Why? Because we care about people.

Are you SERIOUS!?!

First of all, the differences between doctors and nurses are HUGE! (My husband has been in and out of hospitals for the past two years - trust me, I know!!). What makes someone a good nurse will NOT make them a good doctor, so lumping them into the same category, I'm sorry, seems a bit premature, if not ignorant.

Secondly - shouldn't the main reason for joining the medical profession include something like - can you complete eight years of higher education? I'm not trying to be mean here, but my Aunt Linda would score the same on the quiz that I did. She LOVES people and wants to make sure everyone is taken care of. She remembers everyone she's ever met and will always ask how they're doing. She's also mentally handicapped and lives at the 2nd grade level.

I'm sure I could come up with a third - fourth - then final reason to criticize this quiz, but I don't feel like it. I don't really want to waste any more time ranting about five multiple choice questions.

I'm sure I'll keep taking quizzes, and I'm sure I'll continue to be disappointed. I hope I won't.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to come up with my own...I'll let you know when its posted.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And you thought the tail light was impressive...

Tonight I assembled a GARAGE!!

Okay, fine...I got the roof assembled by myself, but by then Matt was home from work, so we did it together. Still, I'm pretty impressed. Putting together your Wal-Mart book shelf is one thing...a 1,700 cubic foot garage is something complete different.

Now I'm going to lay down and pray that I can move in the morning...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Date Night

Saturday night Matt took me out on the town. We were celebrating the fact that someone showed interest in my book query (see for updates on my novel and other writing).

We pretty much take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate...and have someone else cook for us. Saturday was the perfect night to head out. We had both worked hard that morning/afternoon, so some time to ourselves was well deserved.

Sometimes one of our date nights is nothing more than pizza and a movie (and I am TOTALLY okay with that!), but I wanted to get dressed up. I have this great black dress that I bought for a wedding and have never worn it (sad story - couldn't make the wedding - don't make me cry). Matt also has a tailored Ralph Lauren suit that was BEGGING to get out of the bag. Saturday was the night.

Now, Traverse City isn't that big. And finding someplace to go where we can be all dressed up and still afford it doesn't usually happen. Besides, we go to bed at 9:00 pm. All of the formal stuff doesn't even start until then. That didn't discourage me, though. We got dressed up and headed out.

We went to the casino. My sisters live in Vegas and they can't walk into a grocery store without running into a slot machine. It's not that bad here. We're about three miles away from the nearest casino, and they just opened a few months ago. Very clean, very trendy (in ten years it'll be hideous, but it works for now). It was an experience.

As soon as we walked in the door an employee greeted us. She gave us the run down on the hot spots in the casino, including the restaurants. We took one step away and another employee greeted us. All of the dealers and waitresses smiled as we walked by (note to self: Matt is not allowed in public in his suit without his wedding ring and a family member - too many women were giving him the eye). We definitely got some nice treatment.

But it wasn't hard to understand why. The rest of the patrons fell into one of three categories:

1 - 45% retired
2- 40% jeans & t-shirts, Joe Blow
3 - 5% birthday/bachelor(ette) parties

Sure, Matt & I are just Joe Blows, but we didn't look like it :) I think they figured us out, however, when we sat down at the nickle slots. We quit early and walked away $9.50 richer.

While we both wanted to eat at the fancy-pants restaurant in the casino, I just couldn't do it. Not when we could drive down the road and have a great meal for the price of one entree at the casino. (It made me wonder - why don't they have the great meal-deals my sibs can get in Vegas?? I digress...)

Anyway, we ate Mediterranean and had a great meal. Again, I had to keep a protective arm around my husband, but I think the ladies got the point. (Unfortunately, I think the busser did to, and he's a kid that I sub for...that's always awkward).

While everything seemed perfect, our favorite moment came after dinner.

We drove to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items (store brand cereal on sale for 99 cents a box, limit 3. I had picked up 3 earlier in the week - Matt wanted more. I talked him down to 9 boxes. His response? "Twelve would be better, but nine will work"). As we were wandering the store we stepped back to the pop can return area...and gasped.

They did it! They finally did it! Gone are the separate 'can-plastic-glass' machines - now our store has the high-end, easy to use 'can AND plastic' machines...YES!!! No more sorting returnables. No more running errands with cans in the back seat so you can stop at another store. Now we don't have to look any further than three blocks away. WOO HOO!!

I know...we're weird. Looked great, had great food - but it's all about the recycle machines. It was a good night.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who needs a man?!

When I was single I couldn't wait to get married so my husband could help with the "man" things: garbage, home repairs, car stuff. Now that I'm married and 30, I see so many young, single women who couldn't find their butts with both hands and a map, much less figure out how to change a fuse in a car. That has inspired me to figure out even more things by myself.

Today I changed my tail light. Not just the light bulb, but the actual, whole light!

A couple of months ago I was rear-ended and my tail light was busted. I ordered one, then realized I ordered the WRONG one, so I canceled it and started the hunt for a new light. It arrived yesterday and I was anxious to install it (I drove with the receipt in my glove box, just in case I got pulled over I could prove that I bought a replacement).

I asked my husband if he had ever changed a tail light. He said yes, you just pull back the carpet and see what's underneath. So I did just that. Three nuts and one plug later, my old light was off, my new light is in, and I'm off! I even double checked to make sure it was working.

So there you have - I can change a tail light, if you need me to. (And I do know where my fuse box is located, thank you).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bleach in a Spray Bottle

My husband is actually capable of cleaning! It's a theory I've had for years now, but I wan't able to prove it. Thanks to Clorox, however, I've finally seen it.

Did you know you can get Clorox bleach in a spray bottle?? Okay, yeah - everybody knows that. Everybody, that is, but my husband. For some reason he had never seen it until I was using it a week or so ago. Since then, I can't keep it away from him!

He cleans out his "lunch box" (an Igloo cooler) regularly. He wipes down the counters and cleans out the microwave. He uses it to kill spiders and clear their webs out of corners (I have a massive spider problem at my house - arachnophobes, you've been warned). I'm pretty sure he'd use it for toothpaste if I'd let him. It looks like I might even get him to clean the shower this week!

So, thank you Clorox. Thank you for inspiring my husband. I have a more sanitary house because of you.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I hate politics...

Please visit

I could re-write what my sister wrote, but why waste the time?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to School

I'm officially back to work in the school system. Surprisingly, I'm already averaging 2.5 days a week. Wow! I worked all five last week...but I took all five off the week before :)

It's fun to be back, which is good, because the first two years weren't stellar. My first year was all out frightening! I didn't just get a call for the elementary school - there were 15! I never knew if I was going to show up at the right school or the right time. And I was SO desperate for jobs that I accepted any gig. I wanted to find a good fit for myself so I could enjoy my time.

Last year was better. The best thing that happened for me was accepting a three week job for a high school special ed co-teacher. I had one study hall to myself; the rest of the day I was in classes where others taught and I helped. I primarily helped the E.I. kids (emotionally impared, i.e. ADD, OCD, etc). The most helpful part of that was seeing how the other teachers handled discipline. By observing what they tolerated and how they handled the kids I gained a new confidence in myself. Ill-mannered students no longer frighten me...I frighten them :)

This year has been fun. By now I have 10-12 teachers who specially request me in their classrooms. This is great because I know how the teachers like things done so I can keep the class going the way the regular teacher would. Plus, in the elementary and middle schools these teachers often have the same kids from year to year. When the students remember me it helps 100X more. They know I can't be walked on. They know I know the rules. They tremble because they know I'll hold them to the rules. It's pretty cool :) I'm no longer babysitting. I can now teach the kids and help them with their work. I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Of course this also means my writing is taking a backseat. Yeah, right. I did nothing this summer. I meant to, but I failed. Summers are too tempting. Sunshine is too evocative. Writing didn't happen. If anything, I'm doing more now because I have to keep a set schedule. It's great!

So I'm back in school. I like it :) And still...I'm not going to get my teaching certificate. I like subbing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I forgot my name tag this morning. I almost forgot my lunch. I didn't take out the trash.


Because my hubby caught another skunk. It was sitting in the front yard, in a cage, and I was sure it was waiting for me to step close so it could spray me on my way to teach at the high school (wouldn't THAT have gone over big!).

I'm of mixed emotions. I wish he'd stop catching skunks. But I'm glad he's catching them and they aren't living under our house.

This is why I'm a homebody.

If I was born after 1995... name would probably be spelled Carein Vicktawria Van Burin. What makes me say that? The mad rush of parents who are spelling their kids' names fa-net-i-klee. And the parents who are just trying to be different.


Really?? Does it make the name easier to pronounce? Spell? Or does it just make you feel like you've done something to help your child stand apart from the crowd?

Here's my advice: if you want your child to be different - TEACH HIM/HER TO TAKE RESPONSIBLITY FOR HIS/HER ACTIONS!

It seems like every class has a Rachill, Danyell, or Tieler who can't wait to point fingers. I would welcome the classroom with Bob, Sue, Joe, and Beth where they don't tattle, blame, or lie.

Let the kids stand out because they have manners and they do their homework. If you arm them with that, you won't need to destroy their names.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Who ordered the cold weather?!?!

Take it back!

Good GRIEF! Yesterday it was 96 degrees at my house. Hot, but lovely. Today?? A balmy 66 degrees! I'm in jeans, a sweater, slippers, hat, and scarf for crying out loud!

I only get fourteen REALLY hot days per year in Michigan...could you not ruin it by dropping the temp 30 degrees from day to day? Thanks.

That'th it...I'm movin' to Th'parta

I've had just about enough "animal" adventures to last me a lifetime...and they've happened in the last two days. Ug.

So, Monday night Matt sets up two live animal traps. We've got a "nipchunk" (that's Matt for chipmunk) getting ready for the winter under our house. Time to take care of that. Matt baits the traps and we're set.

He started back to work on a regular schedule yesterday, so he had to leave the house before six am. We didn't think about the trap. Later that morning I was going to hang my clothes on the line when I saw it. A HUGE, I'm talking GOLIATH sized chipmunk! He was curled up and asleep, all black and white. Then it hit me:


I did what any sane girl would do. I called every male I know within a fifty mile radius to come get rid of it. When that didn't work I called every male I know in the state of Michigan. I finally got a hold of a couple of people and decided the best thing to do would be cover the lil' bugger with a blanket...and wait for Matt to get home. So I called Matt and work and told him to come straight home, do not pass go, do not return pop cans. It worked out well.

Then we got to Wednesday. Matt had to be to work at 4:30, so we were up before the skunks. Being the loving, doting, intelligent woman that I am, I made Matt's breakfast and lunch...then I went back to sleep.

At some point the cats were going ape-crazy in the living room. I was trying to sleep. They were pissing me off. I yelled. Then I woke up and started my day.

A few minutes ago I noticed it: a log-like substance on my rug. Unfortunately there's no light in the hallway, so I turned on the lights in every room while I tried to figure out if it was kitty poop or kitty puke. It's neither.

I have myself a half-eaten mouse corpse. That's right. Crazy, noise making kitties? They were playing with the mouse. Then they mutilated it and left it for me. At least they didn't bring it to me in bed.

But this brings me to my next point: Christmas. I'm afraid of skunks. I don't touch dead animals (the mouse is leaving the house courtesy of a dustpan on a VERY long stick). Yet I'm forced to deal with such ickiness. So here it Christmas wish list:

1) Haz-Mat Suit

[PS...if you didn't get the title it's from Disney's Hercules. Mythologically inaccurate, but a fun flick)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Assorted Photos

So, I'm sick of organizing my photos into takes too much time. So here are some cute photos. Make up your own stories...

More later!

Sandcastles - The Experience

Babcai, Mama, Ella, and I enjoyed our first trip to the Sandcastles Children's Museum in Ludington, Michigan. It was REALLY cute! Let me give you a tour...

See Ella playing in the water? If you look at the next picture and can't figure out what she's doing, I'm certainly not going to tell you...

And then there was the tree-house slide...

And fun with Mama and...bugs (thanks Babcia).

And then it was off to the orchard. The perfect spot for a two year-old who LOVES repetition. Grab an apple, put it in the bucket. Grab an apple, put it in the bucket. Wow. I'd love to say more, but what else could I say about it?

And that was the museum! Fun times, and lots of repetition.

Uncle Mott - The Infatuation

So, Ella's newest love is Uncle "Mott". I am no longer Aunt Nannon...I am merely a means to getting to Uncle Mott. In fact, I called my parents' house yesterday and my mom answered the phone saying, "Hi Aunt Karin!".

I heard Ella in the back ground: "Nannon? Mott! Mott! Mott!" Apparently she even picked up another cordless phone, held it to her head and continued calling for Matt. Sheesh.

Here is one of the reasons why she loves him...note the look of adoration when they say bye-bye.

I finally got in!

Well, Matt couldn't handle me anymore, so he had me committed...

Kidding! The finally opened the Ludington Lighthouse for tours :) That break wall and lighthouse are just about my favorite places on earth. I spent countless hours there when I was in high school. I've walked it, jumped off it, and Matt proposed to me there. I love it!

This year I finally got to go are some snapshots:

This is me on one of the five levels...

Here's Matt, takin' a break...

This is the view from the top (though it doesn't look like much here, does it?)

And my favorite...the lighthouse, my honey, and the beach behind me. Wow :) It was worth the wait (and the $2).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Michigan August: Hot & Cold

The sing about late August, Northern Michigan days is that it can be humid and warm during the day (near 80's, sunny), but when the sun goes down it is just NIPPY!

Take last night, for instance. Yesterday was GLORIOUS! A wonderful, sunny day. Overnight, however, it was only 51 degrees! Dang that's too cold for me!

But I always have my adorable, hard-working, sees-life-differently-than-most-people honey. He read the weather forecast, looked at me, and smiled.

"It's getting cold - only four months until Christmas!"

:) Everybody needs a Matt in their lives to keep perspective.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Baby and a Truck

Saturday night we enjoyed dinner at the Amber Elk Ranch in Scottville, MI. You can see some pix on my sister's blog ( These are a few of my own.

First, Cammie with Ella and Baby Abby (or Baby Babby, as Ella says). Abby is the daughter of our sorority sister from Kansas City who just HAPPENED to be in Michigan that weekend!

And here we have Ella riding a John Deere "truck". She's a big fan of "trucks" (aka lawn mowers). Uncle Matt is very proud to know that his young niece not only loves princesses and all things pink, but also big rigs and anything with a V8. I think she'll grow up to drive a a pink semi-truck some day. Until then...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vacation Update

Sorry there aren't any pictures yet. I forgot to pack the computer charger for my computer, and I only have the adapter to put the photos on my laptop, so you'll have to wait for this weekend.

Though I don't have pictures, I've got stories :) For reference, here are the people in the stories:
EG - 2 years old
Mommy - My sister
Ba Ba - aka Babcia, Polish for Grandma
Ja Ja - aka Dza Dza, Polish for Grandpa
Nannon - EG for me
Mommy: EG, wanna get ice cream?
EG: Tay!
Mommy: (points to food on plate) Not until you're done eating.
EG: (picks up plate and walks to kitchen) Done! Go bye-byes!
Mommy: Dza Dza needs to finish eating, then we can go.
EG: (picks up Dza Dza's plate, still full of food) Done, Ja Ja.
Nannon: (whistles at EG, like a man whistles at an attractive woman)
EG: (points finger at me) No, Nannon! No woo-woos!
Dza Dza: Are you stinking EG? Do you have a stinky diaper?
EG: No!
Dza Dza: I think you're stinky!
EG: (giggling) No!
Dza Dza: Stinky butt, stinky butt.
EG: (more seriously than a 2 year-old should ever be) Ja Ja, I not stinky. (EG turns her back to him and sticks out her butt) I not stinky.

So far, that's all I can remember. Lots of cute pictures, but I can't put those up. Lots of funny chattering, but it's hard to write those out because they aren't really words.

She's exhausting us. Well, her and the 29th Olympiad. If we could pull ourselves away from the TV at night, it might be easier. Actually, it is getting easier now because we're so exhausted we can't stay awake.

My computer chord is coming today, so I'll have more photos soon!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Summertime and Weddings - God's Gift to Country Music

I truly enjoy country music, I really do. I even own a cowboy hat (I still need boots though). But as I've been listening to it the past few months I've realized that summer and weddings are to country music what steamy sex is to hip-hop: the guarantee to airtime.

For example, in my humble, under-expressed opinion, Faith Hill is not only no longer a country singer (that's a debate for another time), but she is also baby-stepping her way through every poor use of grammar in existence (someone buy her Strunk and White - PLEASE!). Back to my point. Despite the fact that music fans don't know how to classify her work, she still pumps out a hit with a song about summer time...conveniently released in time for those sun bathing days.

It doesn't matter that many former fans no longer consider her a country artist. It doesn't matter that her songs contain such misspoken phrases as "ridin' my kids around piggy back" (hello - the placement of the words here indicates YOU are riding the kids!). And don't forget the incomplete descriptions, like "so hot outside all I can wear is these cutoff overalls and these sandals on my feet" (um, has anyone else noticed that she is, therefore, walking around topless??). Those fabulous bits of lyricism don't matter when a song about sunshine and summertime hits the airways. Instant hit. Full body shudder.

And then we've got the wedding songs. Sometimes I wonder if musicians feel like they aren't breaking into the scene fast enough, or maybe they need a little more attention. Solution? Release a song about little girls, daddies, and weddings anywhere from January to March. The result? Plenty of requests for lil' country brides everywhere.

I get it already. Weddings are hard for dads who have little princesses. Fine. Point made. What I want to know are where are the songs for the dads with three daughters who climbed trees, played with G.I. Joes, dominated the softball field, beat each other up (yes - girls fight too), etc. Where's the song about the dad who's counting down the day until #3 cuts the chord and finally moves out?

I just don't get it. Maybe it's because I wasn't the weepy, sappy, mushy (any other -y words??) gal when I got engaged. Maybe it's because I was living on my own for four years before it happened. Whatever the reason, those heart-string tugging, tear inducing ballads just don't get to me.

Wait, I amend that. They do effect me. They produce the same response as the summer songs. In fact, they're the only things in the world that stir up this feeling: they actually make me look FORWARD to the fall! Because I know then that it'll be winter. Then I'll have a few months free of listening to songs that play based on their topics, not their quality.

In the meantime, I'm gonna work on that song about kicking the kids out of the house. I think it's time. Are you old enough to vote? To drink? To rent a car without your parents? THEN GET OUT OF YOUR PARENT'S HOUSE - THEY'LL APPRECIATE IT! (Sorry - came out of no where. I think I have a new blog topic!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

3.6 x 5 = 18

That's right. 18. 18. Holy cow!!

That's how many miles I ran this week!!

I sure wish I liked running...

Friday, July 11, 2008


My sister recently posted a tribute to the cute things my 8 year-old niece says. While Sarah is, in fact, quite adorable, few people match the verbal eloquence of my hubby. Except maybe for Michelle. Regardless, here are a few of the more recent Matt-isms:

- (Setting: Matt is already in bed. I turn off the light and climb in).
Matt: You're so cute.
Me: How can you tell? The lights are off?
Matt: But I remember your cuteness.

- (Setting: A very tired Matt took a "quick" seven minute shower).
Me: Did you use your new Mary Kay facial bar?
Matt: I didn't have enough time.
Me: You didn't have enough time to wash your face??
Matt: I eat slow! I can't change my clothes like Superman! I couldn't wash my face! Have you ever seen how fast he changes his clothes?! He jumps into a phone booth and changes. Who can do that??
[I still don't know how Superman fits in...]

- (Setting: I went to bed @ 1am. The alarm went of @ 6am. Matt reset it. 7am - alarm goes off).
Me: Why did you reset the alarm?
Matt: [in bed, sound asleep]
Me: Honey, why did you reset the alarm?
Matt: Because you went to bed at 1am. I thought you could use the extra sleep. [yawn]
[ thoughtful...]

And finally...we had to take the headboard off of our bed (we have two cats...they see the headboard as a challenge and our bodies as landing zones). Matt moved it last night. Twenty minutes later I don't hear anything. I walk into the bedroom to see him laying across the bed, staring out the newly exposed window.
Me: Whatcha doing?
Matt: Test driving the window.

Ah. If laughter is the best medicine, I don't think I'll ever be sick again :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Just Another Thursday Night

This is life in the big city folks...we enjoy it :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My New Friends

I spent this year's July 4th in my FAVORITE place in the whole world: Winchestertonfieldville! (I'd tell you where I really was, but I don't want it to get'll just have to guess.)

Anyway, it's my favorite place to be on July 4th. The parade is cute, the fireworks are good, and, if I'm lucky, I can even go to a fan-tab-u-lous Arts & Craft fair (or the Fart Fair, as my hubby calls it). The best part: it's still a small town, so it's not very crowded.

This year I made two new friends: Jessica & Alex. They are my sister's, boyfriend's kids (for photos of said sister and boyfriend, see "Hoopersize!"). Alex is six, and Jessica is just one month away from the big 4! They were so much fun! Below are some shots I took while we were playing at the playground. I'll narrate:

This is Jessica, playing on a bouncy thing. I told her to smile for the camera...she just wasn't sure where the camera was :)

And this is Alex, or Monkey Girl. If she could swing across it, she did!!

Daddy and Jessica, enjoying the swings (I tried to get a picture of Daddy pushing my sister, but apparently the swings are much scarier to a 30 year-old woman than they are to a 4 year-old child. Maybe next year...)

This was more of my sister's speed. She hopped on the back of the bouncy thing with Jessica...until Jessica politely informed my sister, "Um, you don't know how to do this. You can get off".

In one final attempt to enjoy the playground, my sis climbed on the tire swing with Alex. This was about as good as it got...before Alex threw my sister off the tire swing. Apparently my sis just isn't cut out for playgrounds. Alex & Jessica are though...they loved it!

And the race is on!

Well, almost. I started jogging a couple of months ago. My goal is to run in a 5K this summer. In order to do that, I have to be able to finish the run in a decent amount of time. I don't mind finishing last, but there's nothing respectful about "running" a 5K in 45 minutes.

I'm pretty determined to do this. I've hated running my entire life. In fact, I STILL hate running, but I have a goal. I want that free t-shirt.

Yesterday I jogged 3.2 miles in 35 min and 45 sec. A 5K = 3.1 miles.


I'm not ready to enter a race just yet. I want to be doing this consistently, but I'm pretty geeked :) I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My New Front Yard

Most of you have heard about it's time to see it: my hammock! It's a backpacking hammock, so it stuffs into that little flap hanging over the front. I take it down every night and hang 'er back up in the morning. We're looking forward to another fun day together.

Joining my hammock this year is my make-shift clothesline. The fundamental problem, as you may have noticed, is that it's in the shade. However, my hubby put a lot of thought into this, so we're going to give it a whirl. It may not be completely efficient, but we're pretty sure it'll bug the neighbors, and since one of them INSISTS on calling the cops on us every month, we decided to let them enjoy this, free of charge.

Oh...that's my new picnic table.