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I love seeing how my kids’ answers to these questions have changed from time to time.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?

K: I love you.
A: Be polite.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
K: Being with us.
A: Getting chocolate from Wendy.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
K: Us being sad.
A: Being away from us for long increments of time.

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
K: Tickles me until I go pee.
A: “Behhhhd.”

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
K: Old compared to her brother.
A: Like me.

6. How old is Mommy?
K: 42
A: 42

7. How tall is Mommy?
K: 5 feet
A: 5 feet 4 inches

8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
K: Spend time with her family.
A: Go to Maine.

9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
K: Drink wine.
A: Book club.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
K: Running for president.
A: Singing.

11. What is Mommy really good at?
K: Loving people.
A: Acting.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
K: Giving Katie dessert every day.
A: I don’t know.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
K: She does Congress.
A: Works on the budget for Congress, I think.

14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
K: Pumpkin soup.
A: Belgian chocolate.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
K: She takes care of her younger brother.
A: She argues her point.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
K: Snoopy.
A: Minnie Mouse.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
K: Snuggle and I read to her.
A: Go on trips..

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
K: We’re related.
A: We could be identical twins.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
K: Mommy’s eyes are greener and I’m not married. I know that’s a pretty bad answer but its the only thing I could come up with.
A: I have a squishy nose and mom doesn’t.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
K: It’s in your eyes and your heart.
A: She tells me every day.

21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
K: Maine.
A: Home.

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Ga-ga for NaBloPoMo

Ra, Ra, ah, ah, ah
Roma, Roma,  ma
Gaga, oooh la la
Na Blo-oh Po Mo…

Yeah – I’ll tell you right now I am not going to make it every day in November (a prime clue being that my first attempt in November is on November 3…)  but I do promise that I will revive this blog. I know you’ve missed me. 🙂

Though I am at a loss for topics. I might have to tag-team my friend Wreke and just comment on her posts or steal her topics. I believe this month she’s doing “pet peeves” — and lord knows I have plenty of those (yeah, person who has to get on/in the metro/elevator/escalator before I get off/out, I’m talking to you.)

OK, I’m back. I know, you didn’t know I was gone… I was surfing my friends’ blogs looking for some way to organize my blogging this month — I need themes, I just work so much better when I am structured.  And I am shamelessly stealing from many friends… so far I have:

Pet Peeve Monday
Perfect Moment Tuesday
Free-for-all Wednesday
Meme Thursday
Photo Friday

OK, it’s Thursday. Here we go…

You.
Can.
Only.
Type.
One.
Word.

No.
Explanations.

Not as easy as you might think…

1. Yourself: Busy

2. Your partner: Funny

3. Your hair:  Shiny

4. Your mother/stepmother: creative/giving

5. Your dog: Soon

6. Your favorite item: Necklace

7. Your dream last night: None

8. Your favorite drink: Wine

9. Your dream car: Convertible

10. The room you are in: Livingroom

12. Your fear: Tragedy

13. What you want to be in 10 years: Happy

14. Who you hung out with last night: Friends

15. What you’re not: Mean

16. Muffin: Corn

17: One of your wish list items: Thin

18: Time: Speedy

19. The last thing you did: Read

20. What you are wearing: PJs

21. Your favorite weather: Cool

22. Your favorite book: Historical

23. The last thing you ate: Squash

24. Your life: Full

25. Your mood: Peaceful

26. Your best friend(S): Loved

27. What are you thinking about right now? Beach

28. Your car: New

29. What are you doing at the moment?: Duh.

30. Your summer: Fun

31. Your relationship status: Married

32. What is on your TV?: Office

33. What is the weather like?: Wet

34. When is the last time you laughed?: Tonight

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Well, Hello, NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo — National Blog Posting Month. 30 days, 30 posts. And my attempt to get back into blogging after a long hiatus.

The Mommy Meme – Take II. I asked my kids these questions last March — it was fun to see how their answers changed…and to see which stayed the same.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
K: Good job, well done.
A: Stop it. I love you. Good job.  And that’s really cool when you say Good Job, Mama.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
K: Apple pie.
A: Kisses and hugs.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
K: If you don’t get to see us when you are away in Boston.
A: When Daddy makes gross-out meals when you come home from Boston.

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
K: Tickles me.
A: By making real funny faces.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
K: Loving your mommy and daddy.
A: Mad because Mikey peed in your boots.

6. How old is Mommy?
K: I have no idea. 41?
A: 40?

7. How tall is Mommy?
K: 5 feet.
A: 5 foot four

8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
K: Spend time with her girls.
A: Hiking in the woods.

9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
K: Work.
A: Work.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
K: Loving your parents.
A: A singer.

11. What is Mommy really good at?
K: Loving kids.
A: Singing.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
K: Making animal sounds.
A: Winning arguments with Daddy.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
K: Work so we can get more money.
A: Work for the government to help people decide things.

14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
K: Mommy’s homemade dinners.
A: A rainbow vegetable dinner.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
K: Doing good deeds.
A: Spending lots of outside time with me.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
K: Daphne in Scooby Doo
A: Chip or Dale.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
K: Play games and do fun activities.
A: Go to maryland to see old friends.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
K: Our hair
A: We’re related.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
K: We have different clothes.
A: Parts of our personalities are different.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
K: Because I know it inside here <points to her heart> and I know you will always come back…unless we are moving…then we’ll never come back.
A: Because you say it every day.

21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
K: Disneyworld.
A: To our relatives’ houses.

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The Mommy Meme

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?

K: Use a napkin.
A: Clean up your room.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
K: Being nice.
A: When daddy does the dishes. Or having a cocktail after she’s done a lot of work and she’s tired.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
K: Having to be away at Boston.
A: If she misses my show.

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
K: Tickles me
A: Doing tricks on me.

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
K: Like you are right now.
A: Like me.

6. How old is Mommy?
K: 17
A: 39

7. How tall is Mommy?
K: 18
A: 4 ft. 11″ (she shrunk me!)

8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
K: play with her kids
A: Play outside in the snow with us.

9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
K: Stay home.
A: Work work work work work.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
K: The arctic ocean (meh?)
A: Singing

11. What is Mommy really good at?
K: winning stuff (??)
A: Having fun

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
K: Madagascar on P3
A: Coming up to bed and saying goodnight.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
K: Work at Boston
A: Work for the government.

14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
K: chicken broth (??)
A: Italian food.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?with you.
K: Playing games
A: When she gets good stuff from the people who check her reports.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
K: Tom and Jerry
A: Minnie Mouse

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
K: play Little Big Planet.
A: We play monopoly.

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
K: Our hair
A: I look like you.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
K: you wear glasses.
A: I don’t go to work and you do.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
K: Because she’s been with me the whole time.
A: Because she is nice to me, and um, and you are always going to be there for me.

21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
K: Disneyworld.
A: Home with me and daddy and katie.

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All You Have Done…

It’s the darkest day of the year — the Winter Solstice. It’s cold. And snowy.

I’ve had a pretty crappy year in a lot of ways – I will certainly not be sorry to see 2008 go. My husband calls it The Year of the Bitch. Actually, he doesn’t but he wouldn’t really deny it if I asked him (though he is sleeping at the moment so I can’t.) I’ll not go on about it. You all know most of what happened, anyway. Besides, I can’t stand pessimism and mindless, endless complaining. I complain plenty but it serves a purpose — it moves me forward. Usually reasonably quickly though sometimes it takes longer. People who can’t get out of the Bitter Barn are toxic. Bitter people sap their own energy and that of everyone around them.  With that…

I am Queen of Silver Linings. Lemonade from lemons and all of that. The eternal optimist in me sees the many good things that have happened this year. The Fall (not coincidentally, when life finally settled down) was *glorious.* There is no better place than New England for holiday spirit. We have happy, healthy kids; good friends; good health;  close families; good jobs that pay well; a lovely house.

It’s the darkest day of the year — the Winter Solstice. It’s cold. And snowy. And absolutely gorgeous outside. Here’s one way I’m continuing to move on… a stolen meme that celebrates achievements and things accomplished.

99 Things (cross off the ones you have done)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band (I sang – I’m saying that counts))
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (does pig latin count?)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing (tried to — foiled by a hurricane.)
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
(do crabs count?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

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Taste This!

From the folks at VeryGoodTaste comes this foodie meme…

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jello
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers

89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake

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Book Meme

I shamelessly stole this from Radical Mama because I, too, am brain dead lately. Yet I feel the need to post.

The top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick

Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre

The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
Emma
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex

Quicksilver
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
1984
Angels & Demons
Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Dune
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Beloved
Slaughterhouse-five
The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye

On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

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Quirky Me(me)

Her Wrekeness tagged me with a meme: six random habits or quirks about me. Just 6? Yah – right.

1. I don’t have “my side” of the bed. If I am first to turn in, I sleep on whichever side calls to me that night.

2. I love swimming in the ocean but I have an irrational fear of fish biting my toes. Not crabs…fish.

3. Ever since I was a kid I have had a bizarre fascination with the KGB, CIA, etc. I love books by Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, etc. In my next life I am going to be a spy.

4. I still twirl my hair — just like little kids do.

5. I don’t like to drink juice straight up (unless it’s red grapefruit juice) – I have to mix it with water.

6. I have to put my left leg into pants, skirts, shorts, etc. first…if I try my right leg first I fall over.

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The ABC Meme

I can’t stand writing my own self-assessments for work when it’s performance rating time…too much horn-tooting for me. So don’t expect all positive words here…

A – Analytical. Sort of an occupational hazard, though I have been this way since I was small. My parents used to swear I’d become a lawyer (though I didn’t – thankfully. Bygones if you are one.)

B – Bookish. I love to read. Or, if you prefer…Budget Bitch. In my office I am privileged to be part of this self-described group of women. DH thinks this is hysterically funny. Though at times he sees no need to modify with “Budget.” Eh – we all have our days…

C – Cook. As in, I Love To… Some people even say I am pretty good at it.

D – Direct. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know. ‘Cause I’ll tell you. I’ll be polite about it – I wasn’t raised in a barn…but sugar-coating just isn’t my thing.

E – Extroverted…sort of. It can take me awhile to warm up to someone and get comfortable around them but when I get past that I’m pretty social and outgoing.

F – Friendly.

G – Generous.

H – Happy.

I – Independent.

J – Just Jack – one of the funniest TV characters ever.

K – Kisser (shamelessly plagiarized from Wreke because it is so freaking perfect) I come from a family of huggers and kissers. I think I freaked my future in-laws out when I first met them. I walked up to them and gave them a big hug and kiss. That’s just how we do it. The nice thing, of course, is that over the years, my husband followed suit and even hugs and his parents now, too.

L – Loyal.

M – Mommy, Mama, or MOM!, depending on their mood.

N – Naughty. Yes, just a little bit.

O – Organic. I try really hard to serve delicious, healthy, locally grown and/or organic food.

P – Practical.

Q – Quite Amusing.

R – Relaxing.

S – Sarcastic.

T – Talkative.

U – Understanding.

V – Vocal.

W – Wanderlust. I love to travel.

X – X-hausted. What parent isn’t?

Y – Yoga. My favorite exercise.

Z – Zilch ideas for a Z word.

I’m tagging people who need a smile, to be kicked out of their blogging silence, or help with NaBloPoMo…

1. Bean

2. Red

3. Suzy

4. Radical Mama

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“A” I’m Adorable

I’ve been tagged by Wrekehavoc to make an ABC glossary of me. “a you’re adorable, b, you’re so beautiful, c you’re a cutie full of charm”

rules: list a word that describes you for every letter of the alphabet. offer as much or as little explanation as you wish. please keep the words positive (for example, don’t use “fat” for F or “lame” for L), and feel free to get creative. tag as many or as few people as you wish. Link back to your tagger and forward to your taggees.

As I am chock full of Justin and Worthy I’ll tackle this tomorrow.

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