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The Year: 1968

I’m sitting here, reflecting on the fact that I was actually born 38 years ago today. It was such a different world then, compared to today. I know my Dad wasn’t here in the states when I was born (he was stationed in Thailand). I know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. I know Lyndon Johnson was president. But what else?

~North Korea seizes US Navy Ship Pueblo, holding 83 on board as spies (the same year they launched the Tet Offensive).

~Senator Robert F. Kennedy is killed in Los Angeles.

~Median Household Income was $7743 (current dollars)

~Cost of a first class stamp was $.05, but increased to $.06 early in 1968.

~Green Bay won the Superbowl!!

~The motion picture rating system debuts with G, PG, R and X.

~2001: A Space Odyessy was released.

~Aminocentesis is developed.

~It was a leap year!

~Color TV is available in Canada for the first time!

~Soap Opera One Life to Live debuts.

~NASA launches Apollo 7.

~Cost of a new home: $26,660

~Cost of a gallon of gas: $.34

~Cost of a dozen eggs: $.53

~Cost of a gallon of milk: $1.07

~The Dow Jones high point was 985.

And these “famous” people were born in 1968:

~Cuba Gooding, Jr.
~Mary Lou Retton
~Lisa Marie Presley
~Ashley Judd
~Debra Messing
~Rachael Ray
~Will Smith
~Hugh Jackman
~Owen Wilson

September: What Day Is Today?

I love whacky days of observance, recognition or celebration. Here’s a few to mark on your calendars!

September 19 is “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” (truly a day for Teach! Congrats and Arrrrrrrgh!)

September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day (for my Republican readers) as well as Hobbit Day (for my fanatical LOTR readers!)

September 23 is Fish Amnesty Day, so I think I’ll have some fish sticks (I mean, if they are frozen fish sticks they weren’t caught on Fish Amnesty Day, right?). There is some irony, though, in that September 23 is *also* National Hunting and Fishing Day. I think we’ll confuse the fish, won’t we?

September 24 is Punctuation Day, a day dedicated to my good friend Beth. When is Spelling Day, I wonder? Hmmmm…..

September 25 is National One-Hit Wonder Day, dedicated to you “Soft Cell” fans everywhere!

In preparation for October’s monthly commemorations, please be sure to stock up on trinkets and decorations to celebrate October as the month of….

…Celebrate Sun Dried Tomatoes Month

…Go Hog Wild, Eat Country Ham Month

…National Pajama Month

…National Poppin’ Popcorn Month

…National Toilet Tank Repair Month

…National Spinach Lover’s Month (…and National Talk About Prescriptions Month, which is what you’ll need if you celebrate National Spinach Lover’s Month!!!)

…and there you have it. Be sure to mark your calendars, plan, and celebrate!

MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with Quick links
Our Word for the Day: Kindergarten

I remember when I could hold her with one arm, how she’d fall asleep in the middle of a feeding. How her big blue eyes would look up into my face and she would light up and laugh with a giggle that only infants can make.

I can remember the first day she ate solids. The day she got her first tooth. The day she said “Momma!” The day she could go potty in the “big girl” potty and didn’t have to wear diapers. I remember the boo-boos, the hugs, the little groany sighing she does when she cuddles her face into my neck and gently rubs my cheek. I remember the day she turned 5. One day to add to the list is today. My little girl started Kindergarten.

Did I cry when I took her to “her brother’s school” today? I didn’t this morning. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t now. There are moments I just want her to be that cuddly little baby that needed me for everything - that depended on me for the most basic parts of living. There are moments when I am so proud to see her growing up to see how much of a beautiful spirit she has and how much she loves, well, everyone and everything most days. I’ll borrow her words when she’s talking about my cooking when I say “she’s a little bit of Heaven.”

They grow up so fast, don’t they? No matter what, she and her brother will always be my babies. Even when they go to their first dance, join the elementary fire patrol, [try to] borrow the car keys or go on their first date. Even when they get married and have kids of their own.

Happy first day at Kindergarten, Bug! Mommy’s so proud of her big girl!

Concealed Carry Passed by Omaha City Council

Hubby says I get to go shoppin’ ….and not only for a gun, but for a new Coach bag to put it in. Woot!

OMAHA, Neb. — The scramble to prepare for a new weapons law in Omaha has started at area businesses.

The Omaha City Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday that will allow people to legally carry concealed guns when a new state law takes effect on Jan. 1. There are exceptions, including places where the business owner or the person in charge of the property decides to ban weapons.

Mayor Mike Fahey has said he will veto the ordinance, but with a 5-2 vote out of the council, there are enough votes to override a veto.

Nyah, nyah, nyah Fahey. Of course you don’t understand. I’ll bet you never got followed off the interstate when you were coming home from work at 2am, huh?

The Canning Green Beans Experience

What, might you ask, has Merri been doing all day?


…and this.

Twenty pint jars of freshly grown green beans. All nicely packed and sealed into jars for the dead of winter. YUM!

Next on the canning list for summer? Tomatoes and catsup. The first is simple, the catsup is a 2-day job (and takes a LOT of tomatoes to do!). Is it worth it? My kids sure think so! :-)

Why Football is ALWAYS Better than Tennis

Without a doubt, football beats tennis any day of the week.

…or how about this?

…He May be Crazy, but We’re Running a Close Second!

So, Hubby shared his daring adventures in Orlando, riding the Sky Coaster and the Sling Shot. Do I think he’s crazy? Damn right I do. Every time I thought about getting on one of those rides, I kept pondering whether my life insurance would cover it. Heh.

While I didn’t ride those rides, our 8-year-old was tricked into interested in riding G-Force, which is styled after drag racing. It propelled us to 110+ MPH in under 2 seconds. I have to say it scared me plenty (mostly going through my head was…”um, are the breaks working?!?!?!?!?” It was actually quite awesome, only paling in comparison to the pumped up look on my son’s face!

This isn’t us, but it could have been!

I’d recommend this ride to anyone who has a soooper seeeekrit wish to drag race!


Well, we are back from Florida, and Florida is still standing. Barely. Oh, and I’m still standing. Barely. :-) What a great trip! I will definitely write more later, along with some great shots of the trip, but the need to wash 18 loads of laundry, pick up pets from all over town, replenish our very empty kitchen and pay bills kinda is taking up the vast majority of my time.

I first want to thank Beth, Tammy and Jody who helped out by cross-posting here at Merri Musings while I was out. I truly appreciate you helping me out in a pinch, ladies….you all ROCK! Any time you need my help, well, you know where to find me!

I also want to gush about the opportunity we had to meet some very special people down in Florida. Last Thursday, we took a trip to Tampa and met up with Linda and Wild Thing (and her dear hubby). We had a great time tooling around Busch Gardens (LOVE THOSE COASTERS!) and were treated like royalty at the lovely home of one of Linda’s friends, Steve. Click on their links above to get some great posts about our time together…what a great time! I am honored to have met all of them! We also had the great honor of driving up to Tallahassee and meeting Beth and her beautiful daughter on hubby’s birthday. I never knew another person had as much energy, if not more energy than my own daughter - but that would be Beth’s little princess! :-) We had a chance to talk, drink a little, and take in some dinner. Truly, it was hard to leave, but we did try to get Beth to drive to Orlando and hang out the next day. She’s thinking that it may have been a good idea, given her adventures on the road (click on the link to read about all her fun!). I’m sure there will be another time for us to meet, though, Beth!

What a great vacation. I almost cried boarding the plane yesterday. We were trying to figure out a way to sneak in another day to see the beach, but those damned obligations plus a need to quit spending money seemed to get in the way. More on some of the fun we had, but now, I guess it’s back to real life!

Cotillion’s “Fireside Chat”

Have you ever wondered what the ladies of The Cotillion are like? Well, we’re all a little crazy, a little sassy and quite a bit of fun. We want to get to know one another a little better and will be doing a little “30 things” carnival. I thew my name in the hat to participate so here’s, well, 30 things about me:

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:47am

2. Diamonds or pearls? I like pearls, but I LOVE diamonds!

3. What was the last film you saw at the movie house? Cars - on opening day Friday - and I *did* have kids with me! I also saw the remake of The Omen on 6/6/06 (NO kids that day!).

4. What is your favorite TV show? 24 is by far my favorite, but I like 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, too!

5. What did you have for breakfast? Special K Berry

6. What is your middle name? My Momma always said it was “Trouble”

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I have a soft spot for Italian food - anything pasta is sheer heaven to me!

8. What foods do you dislike? I don’t like cabbage and I don’t like fruit in my salad (who came up with that ANYWAY?)

9. What kind of car do you drive? A Bauer-mobile! (Black Ford Expedition)

10. Favorite Sandwich? A BLT - but not just any. Nice, thick cut and crispy bacon, toasted bread with a thin layer of Miracle Whip on both slices, just one leaf of lettuce, and home grown fresh tomatoes with salt and pepper on them. YUM-O!!!!!

11. What characteristic do you despise? An entitlement mentality. Nothing pisses me off more than people who think they should have something just because [fill in the blank…just because they have more time in than anyone else, just because they went above and beyond once, just because they are related to such-and-such, etc.]. I see it every day in my job, in the newspaper and around the ‘net and it is one of my BIGGEST peeves.

12. Favorite item of clothing? I know it isn’t clothing, but it is an accessory….my pretty black Coach purse. I LOVE it!

13. If you could go anywhere in the world for a holiday where would you go? Australia

14. What color is your bathroom? Light peach (but hopefully not forever!)

15. Favorite brand of clothing? “on sale”

16. Where would you like to retire? Somewhere with a beach, lots of sunshine and nice fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them.

17. Favorite time of the day? Evenings, particularly when there’s a brilliant sunset!

18. What was your most memorable birthday? In 7th grade - at Skateland!

19. Where were you born? Nebraska….paint it red, babeeeee!

20. Favorite sport to watch? Husker Football….DUH!

21. What are you wearing right now? t-shirt and shorts

22. What star sign are you? Libra

23. What fabric detergent do you use? Tide Coldwater or Woolite

24. Pepsi or Coke? Coke!

25. Are you a morning person or a night owl? More of a night owl, but as I get older, have a harder time sleeping in!

26. What is your shoe size? 7.5 to 8

27. Do you have any pets? Oh yes…three dogs, 2 parrots and 2 snakes!

28. Any new exciting news you’d like to share with your family and friends? Not long now for that vacation to Florida!!!

29. What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher!

30. What are you meant to be doing today? Grocery shopping, picking up a wedding gift and cleaning house - when is that vacation again?!?!

Update: Cassandra at Villainous Company did a nice summary of the Cotillion’s “30 things” meme over at her place and at the Cotillion site. Enjoy!

Cotillion linked with Diamonds And Pearls
Villainous Company linked with Diamonds And Pearls
Sunday’s Ramblings

I always sit on a Sunday night and dread the proverbial Monday. Tonight is no different - other than the fact that I had a great weekend. Here’s what is flying around in my head…

It was good having a weekend off with the hubby. We don’t always see much of one another, and I really enjoyed being with him!

I had a stupid CT scan on Friday to see if I have kidney stones. I am supposed to find out tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed! If they are there, perhaps they are only small ones!

We took full advantage of our new backyard Saturday night - and my new smoothie maker (yes, it does make alcohol-laden fruity drinks…just the way I like it!). We grilled great steaks, had potatoes on the grill, corn on the cob and smores by the fire pit. We were in heaven!

We started adding color to the yard today, with a full host of bushes, flowers and plants added to our ever improving landscape. It was so nice planting some living things and beautifying our yard! It will only get better!

We grilled burgers tonight…even though it was cloudy and in the low 60s, we couldn’t help but sit out on the patio and eat dinner. Did I tell you that we love our new yard? HA!

Hubby picked out some pepper plants to grow - only one isn’t hot (my red bell peppers…yum!). The rest…wow…all I gotta say is that I need to pick up some Tums! :-)

Lastly, I do dread going into work tomorrow. I work for a great company, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t want the weekend to end. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I will be off work for a month in less than a month now! The kids are out of school soon and we’re going to have plenty of time to play!

Tomorrow night is Bauer night! I can’t believe the final show of the season is coming this month (whahhhhhhhh!)!!! I LOVE MONDAYS!

Anyway….blah blah blah. I just had to ramble on for a bit…now I feel normal again! BWHAHAH!

UPDATE: So, according to my CT scan, I don’t have kidney stones and everything appeared to be normal. So why is it that my kidneys hurt now? I’m sure it’s psychological. Time will tell! :-)

TV Exhausts Me!

Between Sunday and Monday nights, by the time 10:00pm on Monday night comes along, I’m exhausted.

We watch The Sopranos on Sunday nights. What the hell is going on? Argggggh…Tony’s my favorite character and he’s laying there on a vent with a crater in his abdomen. He’s not supposed to survive. I’m on AJ’s side. Ain’t no gunshot wound gonna take away our Tony, dammit! Damn, Junior. You’re lucky it’s a bit hard to get to you, or you’d be lying feet up somewhere.

…and 24. Dayum. I can’t believe Tony’s really dead, but that’s the magic of this show - it certainly keeps things interesting. The previews drive me crazy. It’s so hard to wait a whole week between episodes. Was the terrorist chick lying about Audrey Rains? I can’t help but wonder because she’d have had to play it up to dear old dad when they were being held captive! But if she was, I put her right up there with Nina. If she is innocent, it’s definitely a part of something beyond my comprehension. Oh well, it’s meant to entertain, right. I guess I’ll just have to wait until next week, dammit.

In the mean time, it’s time to put on the fuzzy slippers and sleep pants while staring at the inches of snowfall outside. Nebraska welcomes spring. Yay, spring!

Oh Holy Night!


Oh holy night!

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees

Oh hear the angel voices

Oh night divine

Oh night when Christ was born

Oh night divine

Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming

Here come the wise men from Orient land

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger

In all our trials born to be our friend.

Truly He taught us to love one another

His law is love and His gospel is peace

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother

And in His name all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name.

May God bless each and every one of you and may the true spirit of Christmas be in your hearts.  May God’s hand reach down and rest upon those who are away from family this Christmas, whether it be in service or in hardship.  May all of you find peace in God’s gift to us - Christ!


Christmas Musings….Again!

To my regular readers (heck, to anyone who will read this…hehehehe),

It’s the week of Christmas.  I don’t have the gifts wrapped yet and haven’t bought a number of them as of yet.  I still have Christmas cards to send out (beats last year - I didn’t send one out!).  Work is crazy with year-end stuff, including a change in bosses and management styles (gotta train another one, darn it!).  There have been parties, school is out and things are generally crazy.  I still have 2 batches of cookies to bake, grocery shopping to do and all that jazz. 

Which leads me to my little corner of the web.  I’m probably not going to be around too much this week (at least through Christmas).  There are few things to me as important as Real Life, this blog included.  But when I see how excited the kids get about Christmas, writing posts about idiots, thugs and recipes doesn’t quite hold a candle.  BUT, I will definitely stop by a couple of times.  One big piece of news, I’m celebrating my 1 year blogiversary on Friday!  I can’t believe it’s been a year!  So much has happened, and I’m amazed I’ve lasted this long.  It’s all because I have people reading my random thoughts and posts.  If they weren’t, I’d have closed the doors a long time ago!

Take care, and everyone have a joyous, Merry Christmas!  See you around!

Christmas Musings

Tonight we put up the Christmas tree and hubby and I shared in our annual tradition of listening to Christmas music with no lights, except for those on the Christmas tree.  Add some champagne, and a few recognitions of a French Horn or a piccolo, and viola - it’s the Eric/Merri Christmas hour….hehehehe!  Actually, it’s much more than that….it is many fond memories of Christmas traditions….in particular the years that the bubbly cost less than $10 (a.k.a. the "saving for a house years" or the "living paycheck to paycheck years" or the "I can’t believe babies cost so much years.") and when we could have the best and most favorite bubbly without worry.

Christmas this year is somewhat frightening to me, but good at the same time.  I have two amazing children, and the best husband I could ever dream of having.  I have my health, we have a roof over our head and we aren’t hurting for anything, truly.  I feel so incredibly blessed.

At the same time, I’m constantly reminded that I lost my mom last January.  She had been in the hospital last December.  I clearly remember hubby and I having to put full garb on in the hospital in the event she was contagious.  I remember them ruling that out and allowing us to bring her home on Christmas Eve.  Mom had been released from the hospital on Christmas Eve two separate times.  Once when she had a lobe removed from her cancer-ridden lung.  Last Christmas, we were just thrilled to have her with us - the cancer had taken its toll on her.  She was bound and determined that she would NEVER spend Christmas in the hospital, and she never did, either!

She chose hospice care not long into January, but just had to have one more Christmas with her family before she said goodbye.  I am so grateful that she allowed us that, even though we knew she was suffering we relished our time with her - every moment.

As we unpacked the ornaments tonight, everything reminded me of her.  She was the "queen of Christmas" as far as I’m concerned.  At her memorial, we even displayed a Christmas tree with all of the homemade ornaments she made in years past.  We didn’t have enough room to display all of them.  I knew this Christmas was going to be hard, but I didn’t know how raw the emotions would still be. 

But Christmas, just like every other time, goes on.  We will forge new traditions and will transition the old ones.  Mom will never be forgotten - every Christmas will contain her legacy.  Beautiful Christmas angels and reindeer and santas on my tree…and in particular a beautiful angel ornament made especially for me…brown hair and a red rose, my favorite color.  I feel like I will shed tears each year for her, but will always be grateful and blessed for the time I had with her and for the gift she has given me - the love of the Christmas season…no matter what.   

Vince Aut Morire linked with Simply The Best
I’m Back…for Now!

I arrived safe and sound back home on Saturday, only to be welcomed by a slight ear injury from the flight (pressure trauma, according to the urgent care doc), darn it, as well as a number of crazy things in REAL LIFE.  I just wanted to let you know that I’m alive, and indeed will probably post some things this week before hubby and I go on our trip to Vegas (my first time!).  I’m looking forward to it!

Many thanks to my partner in crime, Raven, for doing a TREMENDOUS job filling in for me in my absence.  I can only hope she got some good traffic from it!


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