Monday, November 30, 2009


Here is a great tushie shot, though it is 4 years old and taken with a much older camera. My daughter believed she was a cat at 12 months old-- not too sure why. She would always try to share a meal with the cats.

For about 2 months, you would hear the phrase "Meagan get OUT of the cat food!" at least 3 times a day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday FAIL

For anyone looking to have a good laugh, may I offer up my own stupidity to brighten your day.

It was Black Friday-- 4:35 am when I dragged my tired and still shingles ridden self out of bed for my annual adventure among the other Black Friday psychos shoppers. It was 34 degrees, a steady rain mixed with ice and I deluded myself as I drove to Target that I would be one of the early people in line, especially due to the weather. After all, this is Syracuse not downstate or Long Island where all of my previous Black Fridays have taken place.

It really shouldn't have been so shocking when I approached the Target parking lot to see that the line didn't extend to the end of the building but that it in fact wrapped around the back which is where I took my place at 4:45-- without an umbrella. That should have been my tip off that my morning wasn't really going to go as planned.

So soaking wet and cold I entered the building grabbed my cart and weaved through the madness to get to the toy department. Chaos ensued but I remained somewhat cheery and got my special sale items and made my way to the back of the store (not the front) to enter a check out lane. Ok, still not so bad. I am a trooper. I am a Black Friday hard core veteran- I can handle an hour long wait to check out. I grab a Pepsi off the shelf and begin to drink it as I wait and wait and wait.

Finally at 6:30 I am next in line for check out. I load my door buster specials onto the belt. Take another swig of Pepsi, and reach in my purse for my wallet. Then I reach in again....and again. My purse is so overloaded with crap I can't seem to get my hands to settle on my wallet. Huh. Maybe I should pull some junk out. Maybe I should hold it up to the light.

The woman in front of me is almost done with her checkout. I keep reaching for my wallet laughing how I can't seem to grab it--almost like it ISN"T in there. Almost like it fell out of my purse when I threw it in the car this morning and it toppled off the seat. Huh....funny..... my heart starts to race....

I finally must concede that it is NOT in fact in there, as I pull out 2 loose dollar bills. The cashier greets me and reaches to ring my items and I start to turn bright red. I hear the words escape my lips and think this really can't be happening "Um, can you just ring up this Pepsi? I don't have my wallet." My hand offers my 2 crumpled dollar bills. She thinks I am kidding and then suddenly realizes that I am so not kidding. I start laughing -- possibly a prelude to the fact that I am about to have a nervous break down due to the fact that I woke up at 4:30, stood in the rain, and waited for 2 hours to buy -- A Pepsi. Here it is, the epic Black Friday fail.

Now if the story ended here, I'd be blogging from a padded room somewhere, rocking back and forth, and talking to myself. But thankfully the cashier took pity on me, perhaps in an effort to save her own life, and told me to go out to my car and find my wallet and come right back to her. I ran probably 1/2 a mile to find my car in the darkness and there was mister wallet sitting right on the floor. I approached the cashier completely expecting the person in line who I was now essentially cutting to kill me, and quite frankly had I been on Long Island that may have happened; but not here. She smiled and said "Oh go ahead dear-- what a crazy morning." Seriously? This woman and the cashier are pretty much responsible for whatever sanity I have left after this fail of mine.

On today's to-do list? Buy a purse that zippers shut.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving...the Syracuse Edition

This year our Thanksgiving was sure to be a bust. I had come down with shingles about 7 days before the big feast. We were to go to Long Island as we usually do to spend the holiday with my parents and my sister's family. But my sister had a baby 2 months ago and couldn't risk the exposure to the shingles virus at such a young age. (Isn't it just like a sister to mess things up? Humph! :) )

So we would stay home. I didnt have the energy since I was sick to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and Pete had offered to do so but I was really bumming. My kids wanted to go somewhere--anywhere, and were ready to leave me home to fend for myself if that meant a big holiday somewhere.

My wonderful friend Laura, who at first mention of us staying home invited us to celebrate with her family. I guess she figured when you cook for 20, whats 4 more? She and her husband made us feel so at home yesterday, it was wonderful. It is actually one of my favorite Thanksgivings in recent memory.

John entertained us with his guitar, which Michael is so mesmerized by. He could just sit and listen all night. When I heard John playing, I went to find Michael to tell him. After looking all over for him, I found him on the floor front and center already listening.

Laura made funny faces at me in the kitchen while she cooked underfoot of 20 people.

The kids climbed trees and played like little monkeys.

It was a wonderful evening and I am so thankful for such good friends.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Advice I Really Need to Follow-- My Own

I must be a moron or something.

I give tons of advice to my kids and my husband, and friends and family regarding health. I am fairly well read on many of the new topics of improving health and love to read up on it. On any given day in my house you will hear me doling out information to my kids about the importance of fiber in their diet. I quote research studies to anyone who will listen about the ill effects of artificial food coloring and some preservatives. I explain to my kids the need to eat a wide variety of colors in vegetables and fruits.

Then there are the vitamins. Oh the vitamins. My kids currently take a wide variety of vitmains and I have happily schooled them in each of their benefits. They take 600 mg of Omega 3s, 500 mg of Vitamin D, an organic multivitamin, a C supplement,and Echinacea.

My husband is subject to my serving up of a mens multivitamin, Omega 3s, Vitamin D, and an antioxident supplement.

And of course due to all of this diligence on my part- they are pretty healthy despite it being flu season.

Here's where I become a moron. I dont take any vitamins. I dont eat balanced meals. I actually do quite the opposite. My diet for the better part of the past two weeks has been based on Halloween candy and large amounts of Coke (the soda --Im not THAT bad people!) There have been very infrequent actual meals for me and I might not even recognize a vegetable at this point if one dropped on my head. And lets not mention the reemergence of the cigarettes.....

The result of my self neglect? I have come down with shingles for a fourth time, and this time it is in my eye. I am in intense pain and have an overwhelming concern that if it spreads to my cornea, I could lose my sight in that eye. Fantastic.

So here I sit loaded up on Vicodin so I can manage the nerve pain and now need to listen to some of my own advice. Seems like it should be so easy right?

Then WHY isnt it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

Thanks to Laura for doing this first. I saw it and HAD to enter.

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
a camera bag, a visit to Mirbeau Spa, a baking stone, snowshoes, and Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received? a stained glass lamp and homemade candy

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle? knitting socks

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child? tickets to Billy Joel-- I was kinda a child...a mere 20 years old

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year? Legos, DS Games, Legos, Club Penguin things, have I mentioned Legos?

6. What is your favorite holiday food? Umm.. turkey, pie, stuffing, eggnog...shall I continue????

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays? *hopefully* hats, gifts in a jar, and ornaments

8. What is your favorite holiday movie? Uh, hello.... Christmas Vacation and Its a Wonderful Life by far the BEST movies EVER!

9. Favorite holiday song? White Christmas

10. Favorite holiday pastime? Christmas light looking, and watching all the Christmas specials

Monday, November 16, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Autumn Beauty Take 2

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Autumn Beauty

The challenge this week is Autumn Beauty. We camped this weekend in a local forest and enjoyed every minute of the autumn beauty around us.

Check out other entries here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Car Accident

This weekend I found out that my best friends are getting a divorce. And the only way I can explain the situation is to liken it to watching a car accident.

I am joining the scene at the point when the driver can do no more. The momentum of the accident is in motion. All the chances for steering out of it, applying the brake, and downshifting are gone. The car is now in its own motion and all I can do is sit and hold my breath as I wait for it to go through the stages it will travel through-loss of control, impact, and then coming to rest.
I can only wait until the damage is done and then go to help the passengers pull themselves out of the wreckage and evaluate their injuries.

But I am resisting every urge I have to be the backseat driver and scream at the top of my lungs all of my suggestions to help avoid it-- despite the fact that the car is hydroplaning and at this point no amount of defensive driving will get those tires back on the ground in time to avoid the impending collision. And I'm thinking of the little boy who is asleep in the backseat with no knowledge of what is about to happen.

So its here that I wait on the side of the road. I am waiting for the crash, the smoke, the sound of crumpled steel. I wait for the bodies, broken and torn to emerge. I want to close my eyes but can't. I am standing there with my first aid kit....waiting....hoping it won't be as bad as I know it will be.

SO since I can't do anything, I will check on my own car today. I will check to see that I haven't missed any signs of danger in the road ahead, see if there is anything needing my attention, be sure my eyes are open and I am not missing anything that could cause a problem down the road. In other words, I'm calling my husband who is away on business this week and reminding him how much I love him.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jumping Into the World of Blog Design and A Giveaway!

I am jumping into the world of blog design. I hope to make others have the same bloggy-happiness I have.

I will be starting a list of interested people and offer both custom designs and modified designs.

I am starting off offering designs that are not OOAK, however they have the personalization of photo(s) in the header etc. for only $25. The price includes installation as well.

Got a sample for me to see?'s Terri's blog I just did

Other one-of-a-kind designs will start at $75

How'd ya get on the list?
Either email me at jenaferlm [at] or leave a comment here with your current blog and email address.

What about the giveaway?
I will select one person from the list randomly, to receive a free design as stated above. Selection will be made on Monday Nov. 8th at 8 am.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tutorial: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels...such a treat. They are surprisingly easy to make and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand, especially if you are a bread baker!

Step 1: Dissolve 4 teaspoons of dry yeast into 1 1/4 C water and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit until creamy, about 10 minutes
Step 2: Combine 5 cups flour, 1 tbs oil, yeast water mixture, and 1/2 cup sugar.

Step 3: Using a kitchen mixer with a dough hook, knead for about 10 minutes. Add one or two tbsp. as needed.

Step 4: Let rise 1 hour in a greased bowl.

Step 5: Take chunks and roll into long ropes. About 12-18 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide.

Step 6: Shape rope into pretzel and set aside.

Step 7: Once all pretzels are shaped dip them into a solution of 1/2 c baking soda and 4 cups hot water.

Step 8: Put onto greased cookie sheet and dust top with salt. Kosher salt is authentic, regular salt is fine though.

Step 9: Cook in 450 degree oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

Homeschool Co-op

Our homeschool co-op is in its second session and is such a roaring success the kids wake up asking "how many more days until co-op?"

We spend our Fridays immersed in music classes, cooking, knitting, drama, yoga, arts, and so much fun. Co-op has offered my kids a way to round out our homeschooling experience by getting rich musical exposure and the ability to participate in "schooly" events like a play.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Late Night Love

A teary eyed little boy met me in the family room last night while I was steeped in the drama that can only come from a DVR'd episode of Desperate Housewives. He was unable to fall asleep, restless and overtired.

He thought I would be upset that he was out of bed at 11:00 at night. And had I not paused for a moment to make a thoughtful decision regarding the situation, I may have been. Ah, my housewife friends would have to wait.

So I remembered to wrap him in love and served him up a warm cup of milk with a cookie. Soon after his late night lovin' he drifted off to sleep finally...only in my bed instead of his.

Check out other entries over at Chatting at the Sky

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Balloons

This week I ♥ Faces' theme is balloons. I thought of this picture right away!

Check out the rest of the entries here.


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