Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun Monday - Bigfoot Lives

The lovely Robin of Pensieve is sponsoring this week's Fun Monday. Robin tells us,"Shoes tell a lot about a person and we wanna delve deeply into your soul sole. Photograph your favorite pair--or pairs--of shoes and tell us a little about why they're near and dear to your heart toes." Robin is also encouraging us to make a foot-family us your baby bronzed booties.

Okay, here we go. I have big fat feet. As long as I can remember, I have had relatively big feet compared to the rest of me. (In old age, the rest of me is catching up with my feet.) In this black and white photograph, I am sitting in between my two sisters in a pair of Christmas pair of mukluks. I believe mukluks are soft-soled shoes or slippers that look like boots. Frequently, mukluks have rabbit fur; mine were furless. Other shoes that I remember wearing as a child are saddle shoes, which I hated and penny loafers, which I loved. After running down the backs of my loafers in one week, I was forbidden from wearing the fashionable shoe with the bright shiny pennies.

Many shoes and some 50 years later, my shoes are worn mostly for comfort. My big fat feet tend to hurt at age 60. I have been to a podiatrist and have followed a suggested course of action to remediate my aching feet. I have worn sensible shoes. I have tried orthotics and exercise. After a year or so of the doctor-directed cures, I have started my own regimen to rejuvenate these tired old feet. My plan consists of wearing sandals during warm months and Crocs during colder months. In addition to my shoe selection, I have found that a pedicure has at least temporary curative powers. First, the foot massage is soothing. And, exfoliating and the beautiful OPI polish is uplifting to this old girl's sole(s). The shade featured in the following photos is Peru-B-Ruby.

Teva makes a very comfortable flip-flop.

Occasionally, a shoe like this works for my poor old feet.

Crocs are relatively inexpensive so I have a few pairs.

Now, sandals and ugly Crocs are fine for work. But a night on the town calls for something a little special like these black satin high-heeled sandals.

Finally, look at these very cute soccer-playing feet of my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter.

If you really like shoes, visit the other Fun Monday participants. You will find a list of the foot people at Robin's place.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Not Nice

Yep, that is me. No really, even though I have received blogging awards to the contrary from some very nice people Robin of Pensieve and Chris B of Ms. Cellania, I want you to know that I am really not that nice. Nice people remember loved one's birthdays. I forget to even send cards to family and friends. Nice people graciously accept both gifts and compliments. When I receive the kindest of compliments or the nicest of gifts, I am tongue-tied and tend to stammer and stutter something meaningless to the giver. If you knew me in person, chances are I would interrupt your personal conversations, or I would actually interrupt you during our conversation. In addition to these irritating personality flaws, I enjoy razor-sharp sarcasm. So occasionally, if we are conversing, I might throw a blade of witticism at you at your expense.

If you are disillusioned, I would like to point out that there are some very nice people in the world and in the blogging community. Sarah of Milk and Honey is one very nice person. She is making personal difference in the fight against breast cancer by walking 60 miles in three days in October of 2007. Her fundraising goal is $5,000. Please be nice, visit Sarah, and make a donation for the fight against breast cancer through the link on her site.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun Monday - I Am Really Not a Cook

Lisa, The Food Snob, hostess of this week's Fun Monday, challenge asks us appropriately asks to share a favorite recipe.

I do not claim to be much of a cook. My husband, Daddy D, will eat anything. I am a somewhat picky eater, but I do not usually care what we ingest. Although neither of us is suffering from malnutrition, we follow the old adage of "eating to live rather than living to eat." My cooking frequently consists of warming up something or ordering from the fast food attendant. However, I do throw together one dish that seems to receive rave reviews. My dish is Molly's Cranberry Pie. I first prepared this pie for our pastor and bride-to-be. He enjoyed the pie so much that I was paid this high compliment , "Molly is no Martha Stewart, but she makes the best cranberry pie." With such high praise of not living up to standards set by a felon, I started making the pie frequently. I would like to show you a picture of the pie, but I could not find cranberries to make a pie for this Fun Monday. I guess it is early in the season for the cranberry crop. When I do find cranberries, I buy several bags and freeze the tart berries so that I can make pies throughout the year.

Molly’s Cranberry Pie
· 3 cups cranberries, washed and sorted
· 1 cup raisins (golden raisins make a prettier filling)
· 1 cup light brown sugar
· 1/2 cup water
· 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1/4 cup orange juice
· 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 9” pie crust
Preheat oven to 450° F.
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients except vanilla and butter, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and, stirring frequently, gently boil the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour filling into an unbaked, pastry-lined 9-inch pie shell, and dot with butter.
Top with Walnut Cinnamon Crumb Topping.
Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° F and bake 35 minutes more or until golden brown.

Walnut Cinnamon Crumb Topping

· 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
· 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
· 3 tablespoons of butter
· chopped walnuts
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Using a pastry blender in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cut the butter into the flour
and sugar mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Free at Last

Science teachers are unlucky fortunate to receive a variety of gifts or presents. People tend to think that science teachers and biology teachers are eager to care for a variety of creatures. Occasionally, we even receive roadkill as a gift. A fellow biology teacher once was given a dead snake, a blue racer, and another teacher received deer legs. Now, if you are prepared to study the anatomy of reptiles or the structure of deer appendages, you might be interested in such unusual offerings. And sometimes, a dedicated elementary teacher will maintain a menagerie of classroom pets. However, not all of us are prepared to receive and care for wildlife...dead or alive.

This week, a lovely child brought me such a gift, turtle. My wiser self had reservations about keeping the little reptile. However, the girl seemed so happy to give me this pet. Since I have a few old aquariums in my vast supplies, I decided to try to maintain a home for the turtle in Room 221. I purchased some aquarium gravel, distilled water, and some recommended turtle food. I looked for care and feeding online. I found a container to hold the proper amount of water. However, the poor little guy was not able to leave his swimming pool so I replaced the dish with another water dish. He was able to leave the new dish easily, but he flipped over on his back as he exited the dish. Furthermore, he was not able to right himself and laid on the aquarium gravel flailing his little claws. After this brief excursion into turtle foster parenting, I decided that the turtle would definitely have better fortune in the wild than under my inept care so I released the little fella into a pond nearby our school. Now, the both the turtle and I are free.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Save in Case of Fire - Fun Monday

This week's Fun Monday challenge is issued by Sayre of Sayre smiles. Sayre's request is this:

Brush off your interview skills. Talk to everyone who lives in your house. I want to know what their, and your, favorite piece of art is in your home. Photographs do not count. If there was a fire in your home, everyone would grab photographs, but what is the non-photographic piece of art you would grab on your way out - and why? (Edit: These don't have to be paintings - these can be wall hangings, statues, lumps of clay by your child, anything that is artistic expression of some kind EXCEPT photographs.)

What artwork would I grab in case of fire? Would I grab this dramatic black and white etching that my sister, Margaret, created in high school?


Would I grab this Honore Daumier lithograph?

Probably not.

Would I choose this clock made by a former student in 1986 and the teddy bear that is from my infant years?


How about this print that is reminiscent of the our oldest son's childhood?

The picture would remain on the wall in a fire.

Would I stop to remember this beautiful and unique suncatcher that belonged to my mother?

Not in a fire.

How about this ceramic duck hand-painted by my lovely sister-in-law, REM, would I stop to remove the duck from the bookcase?

Although beautiful, the duck stays in the burning house.

Would I grab this Holy Family sculpture that was given to my mom by my dad?

Hopefully, we would find Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus unscathed in the ashes.

Would I remember to bring the comic strip originals created by son Luke when he was in college for the Purdue Exponent?

Tempting...but probably not.

Would I grab this first ship-in-the bottle made in 1973 by my talented husband, Daddy D?

Again tempting, but no.

So what does a hard-hearted woman like me save in case of fire?

Daddy D, of course, the artwork although wonderful and sentimental, pieces of art add to our existence, but the pictured items are just things. Daddy D is the other person in our household. What would he save in case of fire?

We both treasure our belongings, but our greatest treasures are our loved ones.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

News: Ann Coulter Beats The Church Lady

Well, not literally... In a recent fun Celebrity Look Alike Contest hosted by Sunshine of ...and the pursuit of happiness, the lovely Jen M. of Get in the Car!, who is a dead giveaway (actually Jen is very much alive) for the ultra-conservative Ms. Coulter. Guess who came in second? I did. I won the second place position in my posing as The Church Lady. I am happy to report that neither Jen or myself are much like our self-proclaimed likenesses. But I offer my congratulations to Jen for the win, and congratulations to Sunshine hosting another fun blogging event. In May, Sunshine created a Blog Prom, and in mid-summer Sunshine organized guest hosts to write entries about a variety of states creating a travelblog for readers. If you have not visited ...and the pursuit of happiness or Get in the Car!, hurry over to peruse these worthwhile blogs.

Earlier this summer, the gracious Sunshine offered me a Schmooze award. Actually, I am quite sure the golden beam herself is the Queen of Schmooze. Go visit her blog, right now. If you don't, I will be wondering who prevented you from checking out this outstanding blog?

"Who could it be?...Could it be SATAN?"

Friday, September 7, 2007

Celebrity Look Alike Contest - Vote for Me - Pleeease

The lovely Sunshine, famous television star and t-shirt designer, is hosting a Celebrity Look Alike Contest on her wonderfully creative blog, ...and the pursuit of happiness. Please go her site and vote. Please resist being blinded and voting for those that look like beautiful and famous movie stars. Instead, vote for yours truly. Why? Well, I do look like the my celebrity although several of the contestants could be a twin to their personal celebrity. At least, have a look at the contest. If you vote for me, I will be eternally grateful. Or, I will be grateful until I ask for another favor. Besides my celebrity is at least worth a chuckle.

There is not much time; voting will continue until midnight central time on Monday, September 10th. Hurry on over to Sunshine's place and vote like we say in Lake County, Indiana, "Vote early and often" ...kidding guys, I am kidding.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I Love Me(me)

Fianna of Fianna's Little Internet Space and Kaytabug of Lady K tagged me for a Stuart Smalley meme sometime ago. Truthfully, I had to check out Wikipedia for the meaning of the Stuart Smalley expression. So now I know that Stuart Smalleyisms are good things about oneself, here is my list of self-affirmations.

1. I was a beautiful baby, no really. See...

2. I like my first name, which is Molly. My middle name is not bad either. I am proud to have the same middle name as my Grandma, which is Jane. I was born on Grandma Gray's seventy-fifth birthday. We were always both glad that I did not share her first name, Orpha.

3. You can count on me. If I make a promise or a commitment, it is going to happen. I am Mrs. Dependable with a capital D. On the other hand, I try not to make outlandish promises.

4. I am usually an optimist. However, I do try to be realistic so the glass may not be half full, but the glass is at least 7/16 full.

5. When my sons, Dean and Luke, were in the tenth and seventh grade, I told them that we were all the perfect height, 5'7". They grew taller to 6' and 6'5''. I am still the perfect height.

6. I have been married for 40 years to the sweet Daddy D.

7. I am trying to follow the commandment "love your neighbor as yourself." Truthfully, some neighbors are easier to love than others.

8. I won a Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant in the summer of 2000. The grant proposal was called Capturing Wildflowers. Using a digital camera, my husband and I spent the summer identifying and photographing wildflowers throughout the state of Indiana. At the time, digital photography was in a burgeoning stage.

9. I have been fortunate to be active in a local event, Coats for Kids, that provides warm winter coats for those in need. In the past four years, we have provided more than 2000 coats to those in the community.

10. I try to encourage others.

So how did I do? If you want the opportunity to brag about affirm yourself, consider yourself tagged. If you try your hand at being Stuart Smalley, let me know in the comments. I would love to read all the wonderful things about you.