Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 2012 - Pinterest Inspirations

Didn't get to too many this month. Should have quite a few next month, though.

Ranch Cheddar Chicken - This was okay. Not as ranch-y or as cheesy as I hoped, and a bit too mayonnaise-y for my preferences. (That's a me problem, not a recipe problem.) Might try again using sour cream instead of the mayo.

PB Sushi Style - Well, mine certainly weren't this pretty, but this worked pretty well. Might try chilling them before I cut them to see if that helps them squish less.

Blue Plate Special- The very best meatloaf recipe - This meatloaf was very good; I used half beef and half pork (might go 2/3 beef and 1/3 pork next time). I did not care for the glaze, though. Much too sweet, IMO, but I do not care for sweet meat as a rule. I would probably just glaze it with straight up ketchup next time. This is probably the main recipe I will stick with for a while and make some small tweaks.

Quick and Easy Chicken Marinade - This was okay. An unusual mix of flavors. Not bad, but I think I prefer either italian dressing straight up, or the soy sauce with something else.

Currently feeling: a bit under-pinned this month

Friday, September 28, 2012

2012 Fall TV Premieres

Clip art of the television is public domain from

I am just staggered that it is already time for the 2012 Network Fall TV Premieres. Where did the year go? It always seems like, once we get to my birthday (late July), the rest of the year is pretty much scheduled out and nearly over. School starts in August, then Labor Day, Luke's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and suddenly it's New Year's. At least we should have some interesting things to watch through November sweeps. We're mainly sticking with the old faithfuls: Dancing With the Stars, Castle, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Criminal Minds, CSI, Person of Interest, CSI: NY, and The Mentalist. We are giving a few new series a shot, though. Here are my thoughts after the pilot episodes.

Vegas was... interesting. I love Dennis Quaid, and I quite like Carrie Anne Moss, too. I was afraid she was just going to be the gangster's girl or something, but she's actually the ADA, which is nice considering it's a period piece and that would have been extremely rare for the times. I hope they give her a little more to do in the upcoming episodes besides trade quips with the new sheriff (not that that's not fun), but I'm not sure we'll be watching. Might give it one more try, but the pilot was a bit too much for me, just too "rough" for my tastes (Dennis Quaid or no), and I don't like seeing Michael Chiklis as the heavy (he's good at it, but I really like him and don't want him to be the bad guy).

Elementary was quite good, once I got the hang of his accent (I don't usually have difficulty with accents, but his bothered me for a while; thankfully, he slowed his speech a bit as the episode progressed). Though I haven't seen her in a lot of things, I've always liked Lucy Liu, and I think they have some good chemistry together as people without it being sexual (yet; I'm sure it's (sadly) just a matter of time). I saw a few commercials/previews for the show over the summer and I was concerned, but I actually enjoyed it much more than I expected to. We'll definitely keep it on the slate for now.

We thought about Revolution, but after keeping the pilot on the DVR but unwatched for nearly 2 weeks, we just deleted it. We watch plenty of television as it is, plus Mythbusters will be starting back in October, so there's really no need to attempt a third new show. If it's that good, we can pick it up/make it up later.

So, what new shows are you watching this year? What do you think so far?
Currently feeling: ready to watch

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quoted for Truth - I am fluent in sarcasm and movie quotes.

Yes, yes we are. (See what I did there? Though technically that is a television quote.) Speaking in movie/television quotes is a way of life in my family. In fact, I didn't realize that several of my father's favorite sayings when I was growing up were movie quotes (from films I hadn't seen) until I got older. I'm not sure if DH and his family did it much when he was growing up, but he sure did pick it up like a pro when we started dating. I promise you, not a day goes by that something isn't quoted some how, some way, in this house.

I've had a few people ask me why we do it. I guess it's like shorthand. It's just a quick and easy way of conveying much more information and emotion than "just the words" actually mean. In fact, sometimes the actual words of the quote don't make any sense in the context of the conversation, but the situation and emotion carried by the quote say all that needs to be said. The mental image imparted by the few words of the quote cover the proverbial thousand words and more. It also reminds me of one of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes called "Darmok." Very similar kind of idea.

So why am I bringing this up now? Luke used his first quote in the course of a conversation back in July, but I had forgotten about it until today. Now, he wasn't just mimicking us, saying a quote we had said in a similar context. He's been doing that since he was about four. No, I mean he picked his very own quote based on something someone else said, a quote none of us had ever used before.

It was during our staycation back in July (still need to write about that). We were in Cartersville with my parents (all 5 of us in one car), trying to find a Zaxby's for lunch. The GPS didn't have it in the database, so we were trying to use Google maps to find it based on the address. Let's just say that method was rather imprecise. As we rounded a corner, around the back side of a mall parking lot, we expected it to be right in front of us. Instead, we were staring at an old building that had clearly been closed for quite some time. I commented that I didn't think Zaxby's would be in an abandoned building, and Luke pipes up from the back seat: "Yeah, it's not the old abandoned Old Abandoned Zaxby's."

We had to stop the car because we were all laughing so hard. That's an "almost-quote" reference to one of our favorite Phineas and Ferb episodes, where Isabella and the Fireside Girls have to go get sap from a tree at the old abandoned Old Abandoned Amusement Park. As Isabella explains, "it was called the Old Abandoned Amusement Park, and now it's old and abandoned."And he used it appropriately *all* by himself. We were so proud!! Our little baby's all grown up and saving China. ::sniff, sniff::  ;-)

Currently feeling: that he's finally been fully assimilated

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Big Bang Theory, Season 2

Big Bang Theory, Season 2

Well, it took us a little longer to get through Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory than I thought it might. We somehow had a few movies stack up on the DVR that had to be cleared first, since regular network television fall premieres start tomorrow. Where has this year gone?

So, season two was definitely grooving right along, and I was happy to finally see (in context) the moment that made us consider watching the show. A friend posted a clip reel on her blog several years ago, and this single quote made me want to give it another try: "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to watch the Clone Wars TV series until I've seen the Clone Wars movie. I prefer to let George Lucas disappoint me in the order he intended." I could *not* stop laughing at the time, and it has become part of our "quote library" ever since. We've actually shortened it to just the last part (starting with "I prefer"), but the rest is needed for context for those who haven't seen it. It was from the "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock" episode, the explanation of which was also in the same clip real, so I guess you could say it was this one episode that hooked us. Just took a while to reel us in. :-)

I think my favorite episode of the season, though, was the one with Leonard's mom. We laughed until we cried! Had to back it up twice because we kept missing the follow-up lines. We've always loved Christine Baranski (and she will *always* be "Mary Sunshine" to us (from Chicago), even though that's not the first thing I remember seeing her in), and she was fantastic in this. I sure hope that isn't the only episode with her in it. We also hit on one other episode we had already seen. It is the Christmas one where Sheldon buys all the bath gift baskets. My parents showed us that one as one of their favorites when trying to convince us to pick up the series. It is pretty funny! So apparently, season two was the clincher for us. Can't wait for the next one! But I'll have to. Won't see my parents for another couple of weeks. Guess we'll just have to settle for new network TV until then.
Currently feeling: ready for more laughs

Cub Scout Popcorn Fundraiser

Can I interest you in some popcorn to support Luke's Cub Scout Pack? I know there have been times when I wished one of my long distance friends who have children in scouts (girl or boy) would post a link so I could order some cookies or popcorn, because we didn't know anyone for a while who sold them. So, just in case someone would like to buy some popcorn to help support Luke's Cub Scout Pack, this is Luke's referral link. The above picture is just a representative sample; they have all sorts of varieties of sweet and savory popcorn and pretzels, plus microwave and traditional popping corn. Popcorn ordered online will be shipped directly to you. Please don't feel obligated or pressured in any way. This is mainly a "just in case" post. Thanks!

(And thanks to Leah for the idea!)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cub Scout Wolf

Introducing Luke, Cub Scout Wolf, following in the tradition of Warren family scouting. My father was a scout, and my brother is an Eagle Scout.

I chatted with both my father and brother before deciding to go into Scouts with Luke, but with dropping soccer this year (did you notice? he was just completely burned out on it), I wanted him to have some contact with a group of boys outside of school and to get some sort of physical activity (they frequently do some games and relay races at meetings), and frankly just to get *out* of the house sometimes.

(I think DH took great cell phone pictures of the hiking trip.)

We've actually been involved for a few weeks now, but it didn't seem "right" to post without uniform pictures! As you can see, he's already been on his first hike (that's him in the green; can't believe my child, Mr. Clean, was ankle deep in muddy water!). The scout shop is not convenient to our house, especially with all of the I-285 construction going on between here and there, so it took us a couple of weeks to be able to make it up that way.

The facility is quite impressive, but the shop was actually smaller than I anticipated. Larger than many, I'm sure, and it was absolutely jam-packed with stuff (and people). Did you know the store even has its own patch? So pretty! And I'd really love to repeat this picture of him with the carving every year. We'll see.

We felt we absolutely had to get to the scout store last weekend, though, since he was due to make his first official "public" appearance as a scout: selling popcorn at the pack's sponsoring church before Wednesday night supper. (You may notice that there are no patches on his shirt; I'm working on it. Those things are a pain!!) Hmm, need to work on our shirt tucking skills.

Every time I look at the popcorn picture, I have to laugh. The other three scouts in this picture are Bears, which means they are in 3rd grade. Luke is a Wolf, meaning he is in 2nd grade, and yet he is towering over all three of them! With him as my only child, and not being around other children much, I often forget just how big he really is.

He seems to be *really* enjoying it. I mean, come on, that is a picture of my child not just looking at a book, but eagerly flipping through it and voluntarily trying to read parts of it! I've even managed to correct some behavior issues by making him quote the scout motto. "Do your best!" He certainly is very excited about it, which I love. I hope it lasts. Only another 10 years, since you have to make Eagle before you turn 18. Seems like so far away and just around the corner, all at the same time.
Currently feeling: so proud

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - September 19, 2012

Currently feeling: getting ready to party in a couple of weeks

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Reading Room: Little Women

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is one of those books I always meant to read, but I never did. Then I saw the 1994 film with Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder (and a whole bunch of other folks you know!) and absolutely fell in love with the story. When I put "Read 20 new to me books, including a pre-1950 classic" on my 101 Things list, Little Women is the book I had in mind. Then, when I got my Kindle for my birthday, it was one of the first books I downloaded, since I knew it would be free (it is public domain).

It is quite a bit different from the movie, but I still really enjoyed it! In fact, I got so lost in the second half one day that I had absolutely no clue what time it was and momentarily panicked thinking I might have missed picking up Luke at the bus stop. I hadn't, but wow, did I get sucked in. I'm sure if I had read it when I was younger, I would have gotten something completely different out of it. I know I would not have understood Jo and Laurie at all, and I probably would have liked Amy more. I'm also not sure I would have appreciated Marmee as much either. Being a mom certainly brings a whole different perspective to that part of the book! A highly enjoyable read, even for an adult.

Currently feeling: classically read

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Big Bang Theory, Season 1

Okay, let's try this again! This was scheduled to post Monday evening, and then Luke fell. I'm tempting fate by again scheduling it to autopost. Let's hope something crazy doesn't happen this time.

The Big Bang Theory - Season 1

We've finally joined the cult. We're watching The Big Bang Theory. I know, I know! Most of you probably assumed we already did. It's actually my parents who finally convinced us, especially since they conveniently have seasons 1-4 on DVD for us to borrow. I know we actually watched the pilot when it aired, but we didn't care for it. Plus, we had a zillion other things we were watching at the time, so *not* adding another show to our schedule wasn't a bad thing. (And even if we watch all currently available seasons, we still won't be caught up in time to watch this season. Again, not a bad thing.) We borrowed seasons 1 and 2 from my parents when we were there for Labor Day. I figured they could bring seasons 3 and 4 when they come for Luke's birthday party next month. I actually wasn't sure if we could finish two seasons in a month. Um, it's only been a week, and we've already finished the first season and are a few episodes into the second. A slight miscalculation in my part! LOL

They're certainly getting better as they go (as do most shows). We've already added at least one quote to our "conversational repertoire" (Sheldon's Mom: I'm sorry, did I start that sentence with "if it pleases your highness?") and a gesture ("holding up" the sarcasm sign). We had actually already seen two of the episodes (the one where Penny sleeps on their couch, and the one with Sheldon's sister). I've also made an interesting observation. Conversations with our family and friends sound much more like those between Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard, than conversations on any other show we watch. And some of the "random" things the geek guys say that are obviously intended for laughs? I've already thought some of them by the time the character says it. (Particularly the line about Raj living in an old watch factory. I swear, I thought "Did you ask if they used Radium for luminous faces and watch hands before you moved in?" right before Sheldon said it.) It's a little scary, actually. I guess that means the writers know what they're doing, though. :-) It will be interesting to see what other quotes we pick up (we have one from a clip we saw, before we ever watched a full episode) and what other scary similarities we find to our friends and family.
Currently feeling: geeky

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - September 12, 2012

My husband took this photo:

Currently feeling: impressed with DH's cell phone photography

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Swollen: A Conversation With Luke

This morning, trying to assess his condition after yesterday's fall....

Me: How do you feel this morning?
Luke: Pretty good.
Me: Do you hurt a lot?
Luke: No, just my hand and my knee.
Me: So your face doesn't hurt?
Luke: A little. I hope it doesn't swallow any more.
Me (confused): You hope it doesn't swallow?
Luke: Yeah, I don't want it to swallow my eye closed so I can't see. I don't want to take the white medicine!

[He meant swell/swollen and is referring to when he got poked in the eye least year and it got infected and so swollen that he couldn't open his eye.]

Currently feeling: you should see the other guy

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Great Big Owie

So, this is how our day went. How was yours? ::sigh:: I think most of you have already heard the short version of the story: was running laps at school, fell going down hill, face took the brunt of the fall (hands and knees largely unscathed), had to go to dentist to have front tooth looked at, but dentist thinks it will be okay. Here is the long version. (Oh, and if this is what happens on days that I pre-write and schedule something to post on my blog, I'm going to stop doing that! Seems like more often than not, something more blog-worthy pops up on days I write something in advance, and usually not in a good way.)

My phone rang around 10:45. Caller ID showed it was the school. I realized last week sometime that he'd been in school for almost a month and I hadn't (yet) received a call from the school saying Luke had been hurt. It usually take 2 weeks or less, so we were setting some sort of record. Next time, if waiting longer means a more serious injury, I'd rather them call me in the first week or two (like usual). Anyway, all I was told on the phone was that he had fallen and had some scrapes on his face. They thought he was okay, but he was still very upset (I could hear him crying in the background), and could I come try to calm him down. So, what I expected to find was Luke with several bandaids and an ice pack, and all I would need to do was give him a hug and calm him down a bit (and give him a dose of children's ibuprofen that I stuck in my pocket on the way out the door) so he could go back to class.

Yeah, not quite. He had stopped actually crying, but was still doing the shuddery-breath "I just finished crying hard and I'm not making tears but I still can't calm down" thing. According to Luke, they were running laps at PE, and he tripped as he was going down the hill. He also had not been cleaned up at all. They had wiped away the active blood, but there was still dirt all in the wounds. I had forgotten that the school nurse retired at the end of last year; the position still has not been filled, and the front office people didn't really know what to do beyond "stop the bleeding and apply ice". They let me into the infirmary so I could have access to cotton balls and bandaids. I tried cleaning the wounds, but his face was still actively swelling, and he started bawling when I tried to clean it. He had already taken the test he had for today, and I knew I could clean him up and get better ice on him if I just took him home.

I put him in the car, and as we were backing out of the parking space, Luke says "oh, I busted my tooth, too." I literally slammed on the breaks. Now that he had calmed down, he realized his front adult tooth was really hurting, too. The right one was a little farther back than the left one, but it's possible it's always been that way and I just never noticed (I don't inspect his mouth *that* closely, generally speaking). It wasn't worth taking a chance, so instead of going home, we went straight to the dentist (conveniently about a mile from the school). We obviously didn't have an appointment, so we had to wait about 45 minutes. They took several x-rays and actual photographs, and they examined his teeth. The dentist said that his front right tooth is a bit loose and sensitive to percussion (tapping on it), but the x-rays don't show any broken or damaged roots, so it should be fine. It might darken some, it might not; if it does, it might correct itself, it might not. No way to really know right now. But we do have the baseline pictures and x-rays in case he has any trouble down the road. He's not supposed to eat with his front teeth for a week, meaning only soft foods or those cut up into small pieces so he doesn't have to bite anything. That will be fun. The dentist didn't feel we needed to make a follow-up appointment to recheck him, which I consider a good sign. Just come back if he's still having trouble with it after a week.

By the time we got home, he was mostly finished swelling, though the goose egg over his eyebrow is continuing to turn a *lovely* shade of purple. ::rolls eyes:: I'm sure it would have been less if I had gotten him home and put ice on it like I intended, but I thought getting to the dentist right away was more important. It was about 12:30 by the time we got home and called Nurse Nana for care instructions. By then, lunch was top priority. He visibly perked up with the combination of calories and the ibuprofen working. Only after we ate did I finally get to clean up the wound. When Luke saw it in the mirror for the first time, he said "wow, I really busted it." Yes, yes you did. He cried some, but nothing like when we were at the school. It's not perfectly clean, but it is better. I slathered on the Neosporin (with topical pain relief, which seemed to help) and covered it in bandaids. You can see the purple of the bruise through the bandaids; he may well have a black eye by tomorrow. Did I mention that Thursday is school portrait day? ::sigh:: I'm sure it will be funny a few years from now. Right? Anyway, he's now chilling on the couch and watching Phineas and Ferb. He'll be back at school tomorrow.

Currently feeling: so sorry my baby is hurting

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Homework Tales: Southeastern State Names

Not sure if this will become a semi-regular feature or not, but I thought I'd give it a "subtitle" just in case. We've had a couple of homework funnies recently, so who knows. Hope you enjoy!

Luke will have a test on labeling the southeastern states on a map next week. We were sent a blank map to practice with. I didn't know at the time if they would have a word bank or not, so I called out the names and had Luke write them on the map, figuring we could work on his own recall later. Naturally, this meant that he had to spell them by himself. (In his defense, neither of his parents can spell at all. DH is the only person in the world I know who spells *worse* than I do.) So, I present, the Southeastern United States, per Luke.
  • Gorgu (Georgia)
  • Flordu (Florida) [I corrected the u/a thing]
  • North Carlina (close! North Carolina)
  • Sawth Carlina (South Carolina)
  • Vrjinea (not bad; Virginia)
  • West Vrjinea (West Virginia)
  • Cintucy (Kentucky)
  • Tinasy (Tennessee; I think this is my favorite)
  • Albama (almost; Alabama)
  • Misissipy (again, quite close; Mississippi)
  • Arcinsol (Arkansas; no way he would know that)
  • Lowesyana (Louisiana)

Well, his do make sense, don't they? It also makes me *extremely* conscious of how I pronounce my words. Remind me again how phonics is better? ::sigh::

Currently feeling: a little lost in my own country

Friday, September 07, 2012

Watching TV: A Conversation With Luke

Luke finished eating lunch before the rest of us one day of Labor Day weekend, so he went into the den to play. Then, in an excited (almost panicked) voice, we hear....

Luke: Can someone come change the channel? There's something on I'm not supposed to watch, but I can't stop watching it.
Me: What is it?
Luke: I don't know, but a man got shot in the neck. But I can't stop watching it! Can you please come change the channel?
Me: Papa is coming to change the channel. Just don't watch it.
Luke: But I can't stop watching it!

At least he admits he has a problem! LOL It was NCIS, BTW. We had been watching golf or tennis or something when we sat down for lunch, and they switched over to the NCIS marathon afterwards. But yes, still something he shouldn't be watching!

Currently feeling: mesmerized

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Labor Day 2012 Recap

Pretty much the standard trip. Visited my grandfather. (Photos by Dad.)

Hit the beach. Built sand castles. (Photos by Dad.)

Admired the birds. (Photos by Mom.)

Played in the water. (Photos by Dad.)

Went to dinner at a new-to-me restaurant (can't believe they've lived there for so long and I'd never eaten there) to celebrate Dad's birthday. Admired the sunset on the way home. (Photos by me.)

Sifted through old family photos at the request of some relatives in Arkansas. Can't believe I was handling photographs over 100 years old! One was mailed in this envelope (only a name, city, and state as the address). The stamps dated to 1903, per this link.

We had a few negatives that had been made from the prints. Most had corresponding prints, except this one. So I took a photo of the negative held up to the light, and inverted it. We believe this is my great-great-grandmother.

And I acquired way too much nail polish (and lip gloss). But you don't need pictures of that! LOL Hope you all had an excellent weekend.

Currently feeling: last beach visit for the year