Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Identify this flower

A good friend of mine asked me today if I knew what this flower was. The flower was in her mom's funeral arrangement which was last week and this flower still looks great, she even pulled it out of the water to bring it to work and still no wilting. The flower reminded me of the tropical plant that looks like a vase, doesn't need soil to live, and the flower grows right out the center of the vase like center. You water it by filling the vase. Other than that I cannot identify this flower. Someone else at work said something about it being a brush flower????
Can anyone tell me what this flower is?
I love it and thought the pictures were awesome, the color is so bright and the texture you could feel right through the monitor.

And just because I knew you would want to see the top of this flower here's another picture.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thinking time

This is where I spend my morning thinking about what I have to do for the day and then again I find myself in the same spot thinking about all the things I didn't get done.

...and heated seats are my most favorite thing in the world. I use them all year round. As you know I am never hot and this warm summer day I was riding along in the passenger seat enjoying the warmth of the sun and then I'm starting to get warmer and warmer and now almost hot... I open the window a crack and that tips John off that something is happening. I can't cool down so I believe I'm having my first hot flash. A lot of people have warned me that they are not fun but since I'm always cold I think they will never heat me up to an uncomfortable warmth. Well we get to where we are going and I'm much better. Yep that was it.... my first hot flash!

We hop back in the truck and then my hot flash starts all over again.... what is going on??? Oops I forgot to turn my heated seat off... my hot flash immediately goes away!

Poor John has to put up with all my blonde moments and let me tell you there are many more stories that would make you shake your head. I'll try to tell some of the good ones throughout the year, they make others laugh and they remind John that I am just like my mother. (and boy do I have stories about her too)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Home once again

Our trip to Oregon was great. The flights were all on time, smooth and landed perfectly, John may tell you differently but he's getting much better at flying. The weather was rainy the day we arrived and after that the sun came out for the rest of the trip. Oregon has laws that are so different than Wisconsin laws and as John was disappointed upon arrival.... no Miller Beer. We arrive on Thursday afternoon with a 2 hour time change so it's 4pm our time and there it's 2pm and we are starving so we go to a bar/grill for a drink and a bite to eat. The waiter takes all our drink orders and then asks for ID's.... including Adam. Waiter than informs us that Adam cannot be there since he is a minor and the bar allows smoking so they cannot have minors inside to be liable for the 2nd hand smoke they will consume. So the three of us leave to find a place to eat that does not allow smoking.... hummmm Applebees it is. After we finish eating Adam needs a nap since we woke up extremely early to catch our flight (oh off subject here... so Wednesday night we set our alarm clock for 3:30am which is only 1/2 hour earlier for John..... next morning John wakes me up at 4:00 and says "time to get up". I wonder for the entire time I'm in the shower why he decided to take a 1/2 hour shower when we need to leave?? He informs me later that the alarm clock never went off, he just happen to wake up at 3:45!!!! Whew good thing for his internal alarm clock or we would have missed the flight) So we drop Adam off and head back to the bar where the rest of the group is. We walk in and Lynn says "where's Adam", "we paid him $25 to wash the windows and dust the rental car", we order a drink and after about 20 minutes Lynn is getting a little concerned and asks us "Is Adam really in the car? Aren't you worried about him?" Adam then calls Lynn's phone and says "Can I come in yet?" Okay so maybe this doesn't sound so funny anymore I guess you had to be there.

Thursday's POTD is a view from our motel window, since after the couple drinks at the bar, the time change and getting up early we all crashed for the night. I couldn't even keep my eyes open for Greys.... darn it!

On Friday John and the kids decided to buy me a wonderful early birthday present while in Oregon (no sales tax).... so we went to the mall to pick out a new lens for my camera. I love it, thank you all.
Next we drove to the Roloff Farm (Little People Big World) the address was in the phone book, can you believe it? But when we got there the sign said they were closed for the season, of course Jesse just started driving up the long driveway.... the next sign said "Thank you for respecting our privacy" with a nice wide area to turn around.... we turned around but we did take our picture by their sign.

Unfortunately I used my new lens and didn't realize it was on Manual Focus and not Automatic.... you would think I would notice the blurriness in the viewer after Lynn took it.... well remember I am getting older and the eye site is beginning to be a problem... I can't see clearly close up so when I look in the viewer it appears blurry and I think it's my old eyes..... dang 40's

Jesse's Graduation was Friday night and I didn't bring my regular glasses (I can't see far away either, everything in the middle is great) so Lynn and "K" pick the very first row which I can see awesome but I brought along the new lens and now I'm too close all I can get is their nose hairs.... and where's my other lens? Back at the motel. By this time I had figured out the Manual focus thing too. I had a really tough time with the camera stuff this trip..... And I thought this POTD was suppose to make me smarter???
Anyway the real reason for the trip and another proud moment in our lives, Jesse's PsyD graduation (doctoral degree in Psychology). Here is Jesse during his introduction. The 3 stripes on the side of the gown is a big deal, not sure what they represent other than they are a big deal.

Here is Jesse during the hooding. After this Jesse gave his well rehearsed memorized speech which caused many tears from our entire row and the thought of taking another picture never crossed my mind. I cannot begin to tell you how proud we are of him and of Lynn for helping him through this journey. Congratulations!

Saturday we walked to top of Multnomah Falls which is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States. Here is a stump I found interesting for my POTD.

During our visit the Search and Rescue Teams were practicing. There were people climbing down the falls and walking through the falls. The excitement brought hundreds of people there and with my new lens I got a very close up of the first guy down the mountain.

And the last POTD for this post is my very favorite. The bridge you walk over at the bottom of the first falls. You get soaked standing there with the spray of the falls. Those people are watching another climber coming down the rope. I love how they are all lined up in the white of the falls with the different colored jackets.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Packing again

Here we are packing again for another trip, this time the packing consist of rain coat, umbrellas and sweatshirts. Our son-in-law Jesse is graduating this weekend in Oregon. It's the rainy season there right now and when I say rainy I mean rainy all day, every day for months (Oct thru May). The moss that grows on the trees gets so thick it just hangs down and looks like a spooky swamp above you. Adam wants to go ride the dune buggies on the beach this trip, visit the "Little People Big World Farm", John wants to visit the "AxeMan Loggers", eat at Nacho Mamma's, and I want to take a hike to the top of Multnomah Falls which I have done already last year with my sister but it was so beautiful I'd love for John and Adam so see it. We don't have much time out there so we'll see what we visit. We are so proud of Jesse and wouldn't miss this for anything. I just hope the visit back doesn't make them miss it so they move back there
: (
Photo of the partly cloudy/cloudy/rainy weather clothes

And just for a bonus here's the mossy trees from last year during my visit in April, there are no leaves on this trees yet, that is all moss that hangs there all year long. The falls in the background.

And a Multnomah Falls photo from the bottom. The hike to the top is 1 1/2 miles straight up curving around and around. The top is a raging angry river surrounded by lush green trees and plants.

See you in a few days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Martha Butt

Geeze I get Martha butt this time of year. It's all the bending, stretching, bending, leaning, out the gardens. I am not used to all this after the winter. A number of years ago I referenced my extremely sore butt muscles to Martha Stewart since with all her gardening she must have buns of steel. So for all my neighbors... sorry it's that time of year again when all you get to see while driving by is my butt in the air. Last fall I must have run out of warmth to early since over 1/2 my gardens were not cut down, now it's crunch time to get them cleaned up before the new growth. I set the remote and here are the moves to get Martha Butt.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sidewalk Chalk and Bubbles

Elly was over this weekend and we had tons of fun outside. She had to try out all the toys that have been put away for the winter. I can see now that getting a blog picture done everyday of the summer is gonna be tough but I'll do my best.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April Showers

April Showers...

bring May Flowers

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Graveyard Shift

They call 3rd shift the graveyard shift.... boy do I know why. I actually am doing very well while I am working, not tired and the night flies by but then it's the sleeping part that is suppose to happen during the day, yeah well that does not work so well. The first day I got 6 hours and today I got about 5 1/2. The sleep that you get is interrupted sleep it's not all at the same time, about 4 hours then you get up and then 4 hours later you lay down and catch as much as you can before you go to work again. It feels like all you do is sleep and work and your waking hours are during the pitch black of night, kinda like a graveyard.

I wanted a picture of a graveyard in the dark but I'm too chicken to go there at night so Elly and I stopped today, she did okay there, lots of questions but she was fine. Here is my graveyard photo to represent my week. Just imagine it being dark and only the glisten of the moonlight hitting the tops of the stones....

And of course since I was there I had to stop and visit Mom. Elly never got to meet her so she asked a lot of questions about who she was. She doesn't really understand that she cannot see my mommy. "Then why can I see Grandpa Earl?", "Isn't Grandpa Earl your dad?", "Who is Grandma Joanne if she's not your mother?", "Why is she married to Grandpa", "What color was her hair", "Does she live here all the time?", "Is her heart in the sky", "Has she ever seen me", "I love Grandma Lea".... A small child's questions and understanding of death is a wonderful feeling for me, why I don't know. I guess it's the sad questions then they turn into silly questions and then they end with the I'm okay with this questions. So here's a bonus photo for today since I missed yesterday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Tonight I start working 3rd shift for the rest of this week. I should be taking a nap since I will need to leave for work in less than 2hours but no I can't nap. I tried... I really did, I laid on the couch, Adam and John were both gone and I closed my eyes and this is what happened. I think "you need to sleep at least an hour or two"... I open my eyes because I hear a noise... I closed my eyes again and my brain starts thinking "oh yeah the biggest loser is on tonight", "okay you need to sleep", "I wonder how tired I'll be at 7am when I'm done with work", "okay sleep Connie stop thinking", "Did I hear the biggest loser say you gotta see this", enough is enough I never could nap and I still can't, I will have to suffer the lack of sleep later.... besides it's the Final show for Biggest Loser, I can't miss that!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mt. Dew

I love, love, love Mountain Dew. It's one of my bad habits, I've quit many times and won't drink one for 6-9 months and then that dang green can jumps into my hand and I'm hooked again. I really just love the look of Mt Dew, it's gotta be the green can that draws me to it. I now am drinking Diet Mt Dew but it's just not the same and I could switch back in a heartbeat. I found a recipe this weekend that uses Mt Dew..... how could I resist. I bought all the stuff including a 12 pack of Mt Dew (you all know what is gonna happen with the other 11 cans), and I baked the sweet savory dish yesterday. I had to talk circles around John and Adam to get them to try even one bite, but after they did they both had 2nd's. It really is a dessert you have to try, the men in your life will love it. I had to give the recipe to two people already including Adam's buddies that were here and would not even try it since it was made with soda.

Apple Dumplings on my mothers old Co-op plate

My daughter Lynn was never a cook, she would eat Ramon Noodles and Spaghetti out of a box for months. When she got married and moved to Oregon we thought her cooking habits were gonna have to change, what we didn't realize that she would become obsessed with cooking. She has shared many recipes with us over the last 4 years and they are all very good, some really strange (Big Blue Burgers made with Blue Cheese Chunks). She decided to start a blog to share her passion with more than just us. She doesn't like to admit it but she also writes a menu every week as to what they are going to have for dinners, along with an excel spreadsheet that dumps her recipes into a grocery list. So in honor of Lynn's new blog the best Apple Dumplings I've ever made and the recipe.

Note - (Lynn cannot bake... she made puppy chow a few weeks ago at our house and she just guessed instead of measuring, burnt the chocolate and peanut butter, Shannon however can bake circles around her but doesn't really like to cook)

Apple Dumplings
2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon and sugar (We used this on our toast growing up so it's always mixed up)
1 can Mountain Dew (do not, I repeat... do not use Diet Mt Dew. The aspartame heated up turns into something equal to Rat Poison... now maybe with saying that I shouldn't drink that stuff.... huuuummm)

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour about 6-8ozs of Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan (Drink the rest). Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top. Then go to confession. Quickly.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baby Kelty

She is so cute. Mom and Dad are doing well, they are very proud of this little girl, she will be loved by many. Kelty slept the whole time we were there and I didn't want to wake her since she was resting so well and giving Mom and Dad a nice break. There nothing like a picture of a sleeping baby to warm your heart.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New light

What do you do on a Saturday when it's cold, wet, snowy, windy, yucky, gross outside???? You beg your husband to hang the new light that you bought, and he's been putting off hanging it because he is sooooo busy, I need something to do during the week, I didn't know you wanted me to hang it, I thought you bought that for a gift, I didn't know what room you wanted it hung in...... Well today was the day he couldn't find any excuse not to hang it for me. It was a good thing there were no children around because they would have learned many ways to use the same bad word over and over again. It didn't start off very well when John is a read the directions to the tee kind of guy and they were written in Spanish (English was there but by far the dominate language was Spanish).
John - Before we start I want to apologize for anything I say or do during this project.... I don't really mean it. (XOXOXOX)
Connie - Should we cut off the power?
John - No I'll just shut the light off
Connie - Are you sure?
John - F'ing yes
Connie - "says nothing"
John - Okay fine I'll cut the power...
John - Turns on light switch "It doesn't f'ing turn on already????
Connie - What???
John - Oh, I took the f'ing light bulbs out already!!
Connie - "says nothing"
Things are going fairly well for awhile, old light fixture is down and still in one piece, new fixture is put together and nothing is broken. Then the bad part of the whole project.... thread up wires through a tiny, tiny hole and connect the old house wires to the new light, having to spin the bolt which causes the chain to twist up like when you were a kid winding up on your swing until your feet couldn't reach the ground and then you spun yourself dizzy.... over and over again.
John - How the F are you suppose to do this?
John - These F'ing directions
John - Connie come hold this
John - F I didn't put the F'ing cover on first..... F'ing directions!!
Connie - Looks away and rolls eyes
John - Don't look at me like that
Connie - I didn't look at you, I looked away from you...
John - How the F are you suppose to turn this up without f'ing twisting the chain?
Connie - How about I spin the light as you spin the bolt??
John - F'ing directions are a waste of ink
Connie - Starts spinning light without okay from John
Connie - It's working but I'm not saying anything...
Well the light is up, power is back on, it works and John apologized again. I love the new light it was totally worth it. My only worry is this is only the start of our huge remolding project that we will be living all summer long. If you want to test your marriage build or remodel.
My new light and the start of my Tuscan decor, the shades turn rusty brown when the lights are turned on.

I couldn't take a picture of my old one, it's too embarrassing. I think we bought it back in the 80's. Now I can't wait to paint, tear down wallpaper, and rip out some walls... hurry up spring!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pink Today

Today I had to post something PINK in honor of my niece and her husband who had their first child. The bundle of joy is a little girl. She was born 4/10/08 at 8# 1oz. Her name is Kelty Lee (I hope I remembered this correctly from when my brother in law called this morning).
We hope to go see her this weekend if the weather cooperates. Tonight is a big ole snow storm again so traveling 45 minutes is out of the question.
Congratulations "J" and "K" - we can't wait to meet your little girl

Where's Elly (many people call her Miss Pink) when I need her.... I don't have much pink in this house anymore!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


We finally got a Taco Bell here, it's been over a week since it opened and the parking lot along with the drive thru have been packed, I'm not talking no room for cars to park, I'm talking no room for cars to drive thru so they backed up down the highway. The police had to direct traffic the first day. I stayed away but tonight since it was just me and it was later when I was coming home I tried the New Taco Bell. I waited 20 minutes in the drive thru line, they're getting better is was 55 - 45 minutes. It was very good and a nice change for our small town.

We had a small glimpse of spring and tonight it's really, really crappy outside. I swear the windows are gonna be breaking real soon as the wind whips the thick rain against them. I can't wait until I can take pictures outside, I'm getting a little desperate for pictures in case you haven't noticed.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Missing me

I haven't seen someone for almost 1 week and let me tell you she was pretty upset. Tuesday night I had to got out for dinner with the auditors and Miss El gave Grandpa a piece of her mind how he was hiding Grawma on her. She cried and cried and didn't want to leave until her Grawma got home, she was sure that Grandpa had something to do with it.

Tonight I came right home after work and this is what I see as I drive in the garage.

That sad little face broke my heart, I'm not sure how long she stood by the door waiting for me. She usually sees me everyday so this was toture for her to go since last Tuesday without getting her Grawma time. Since I missed Self Portait Tuesday here is what I got lots of tonight.

I missed her as much as she missed me.
I have to say there is a special bond between her and I and I'm not so sure it will ever change. She needs her Grawma and I need her!

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Junk Book

I have to keep it short tonight, I got a new junk market book and I can't wait any longer to flip through the pages over and over again wishing for garage sales to start and bring home some treasures that John will ask "What the hell are you gonna do with that rotten piece of junk"?
The cover with Sue and Ki, the dream of mine and Jeannies.... if only we married rich husbands instead of good looking one :) we could have been these two girls.

Here's a couple of pictures from the inside (Jeannie these are for you)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pretzel Ring

Today I had Lynn go through some of her things that she said I had to store while she moved across the country. Now 5 years later some of the items can get tossed, sold at a garage sale, given to Vinnie's, or saved longer by mom. Here is a glimpse of something Lynn chose to keep 5 years ago .... Megan does it look familiar? You and Lynn gave each other these during a Christmas holiday about 13 years ago..... any guess yet?
Here is a photo of it, it's the tan ring hanging on the front petal....

It's a pretzel ring! Yes a real pretzel.... you wore them all night long and Lynn has kept hers all these years - where is yours?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Prom Night

Here's Adam with his prom date, "S". He got into his tux at 1:30 in the afternoon and has been running from house to house per many request to see him in his monkey suit. They finally had time to stop by here after 4:30. They were with another couple and the 4 of them were having a great time, they were enjoying the entire Prom process from the dressing up, the nails done, the pictures taken, the dinner reservations they are running late for, and after 8 hours of preparations they finally get to the dance.
John and I didn't go to Prom but now all of our kids have. Adam wasn't going to go but I think he's glad that he did after all it is his Junior Prom. After 2 girls and their 3 Proms, boys are much easier but I think the nervousness in them was about the same and my empty feeling of them growing up into young responsible adults sat heavy inside me the same for each of them.
It may be harder for me with the last one growing up but I think I will adjust to Adam spending more time with the girlfriend than us but I'm not so sure his Dad will. Adam has been in his truck just like a puppy dog for 17 years, Dad would pick up the keys and Adam would run to the truck so he wouldn't get left behind. The only place Dad got to go alone was to work. Here's our little boy all grown up

(Looking like his Uncle Wally) WOW is he an Emmerich!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Almost time

Stay tuned for the handsome boy who is going to be wearing these shoes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mexico again

I'm back in Mexico for work again, this time it was a rush trip. I found out at 3:30pm and the plane was leaving at 6:00am. Not too much to say other than it's 92 degrees here and it feels great. I didn't bring a camera this time so you get a picture that was on my computer from last year.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I have been using weights for a couple of months now and got pretty comfortable in the fitness classes with the smallest ones. I read about this book The New Rules of Lifting for Women. They tell me IF YOU ARE NOT READING THIS YOU SHOULD BE. It explains everything in painful detail, such as:

1 - Pick up those heavy weights, ladies. Pick them up NOW
2 - Why you can't crunch your way into a flat stomach
3 - Why "what are some good lower ab exercises" is NOT a good question, as is "tell me about core exercises" (hint: I found out everything that hurts is a core exercise!)
4 - You need to eat more calories to lose weight, despite what you think BINGO!

Well boys and girls, I crawled out of the gym yesterday after a 45 minute Boot Camp Workout and 20 minutes on the elliptical. My butt cheeks hurt, my stomach muscles were sore, and there is some evil thing called "crunches" that we did at the end of the workout that made me cry. I got very good at lifting my safe weights but I guess I have more to learn about my body. Today my hamstrings are killing me I can feel every new muscle that was used and all from picking up heavier weights. I have not gone shopping for this book yet but I'm thinking I may have to check the library and see what it has to say. So I guess it's time to put the 5#'s away and break out the 8's.