Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just a little random.....

It's been a busy week, as usual. I haven't had much time to sit down and write. Here are a few bits....

  • At that NASCAR thingy, some man told Jake he looked exactly like Ryan Newman, who is Jake's favorite racer. Hmmmm....I always thought Ryan Newman was cute. Later, some other guy actually yelled "newman" twice at Jake. I guess he really thought he was Jake. Funny.
  • We got a few gold fish. When the first one died, Jude asked if we could eat it.
  • Being pregnant when there is a missing pregnant lady is a little weird. People have been "checking up on me" this week. It is very nice but the whole thing has given me the creeps. Hopefully, they will find her soon.
  • I forgot to mention that almost every Amish person at the reunion had on Sketchers. Isn't that odd????
  • Also....Amish Uncle Roy appears to be quite amused that his brother, Paul, has moved to West Virginia. Each time he said "West Virginia" he said it with a Hillbilly accent. It was entertaining.
I am going to be busy all week-end so I probably won't post until Monday....maybe I will tell you all about that house I told you about before and now the new one that Jake wants to buy. Who would be crazy enough to buy a house one month before you have a baby? Probably the same people who would get married the week between Christmas & New Years or who would take on a new job, move and have a baby all within 6 months. husband wants to move now. He wants me to be crazy. Have a good week-end.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NASCAR Rant....not just for sports fans.

I mentioned that we went to West Virginia (again) this past weekend. Jake's parents live in the same town as the Ona Speedway and I had heard on the local radio that some NASCAR racers were going to be there Father's Day weekend. I thought Jake and Jude would both enjoy it so we made plans. I will admit I was a little excited because one of the racers who was going to be there is Dale Earnhart Jr. The NASCAR guys were supposed to be signing autographs so I planned to take me Dale Jr. figurine that Jake bought me for a Christmas gift one year, and have him sign it. I also thought since it is such a small track there wouldn't be too many people there. Ha ha ha ha. Well, as I mentioned yesterday we ended up leaving for WV early so I forgot my figurine at home. The Ona Speedway website wasn't really clear about what was going on for the day. We knew the doors opened at Noon, there would be activities, the NASCAR guys would be showing up at 4:30 and they would do a little race at some point during the evening. The local racers would be racing throughout the evening. We decided to go around 2 or 3. It was sooooo HOT. I immediately starting thinking it was a dumb idea for a very pregnant woman to be at this event! Funny...the whole day I only saw one other pregnant crazy! After hiking it from the parking field we made it inside. You can't believe how long the line to meet Dale Jr. was already! The Miller's neighbor said they left their house at 11 A.M. and they were towards the end of the line. There was NO WAY I was going to stand in a line for hours just to meet a NASCAR driver or any other famous person for that matter. We walked around and spent some money. There were some very interesting people there. I haven't quite figured out if it was because we were in West Virginia or because we were at a NASCAR event....probably a combination of the two. But - all the stereotypes were there!

Okay, so the NASCAR guys get there at like 4:45 (late) and they arrive via airplane. Everyone was waiting and it was cool to see it fly in and land right there. But, as soon as the plane lands this Motor home drives over and picks the guys up and takes them to the signing area. That is where they sat for the next couple of hours. Now you would think if you waited in line for 5 hours you would get to chat it up with ole Dale, get you photo with him, etc.... But no, the line was hearded through. Seriously. All of the racers were just signing while sitting behind a table so there were no pics with the famous guys. We walked around to try to get a glimpse and noticed there was one no name type guy who didn't have a line at all. So we walked up to get an autograph. I expected the guy would appreciate having a fan and might even talk to Jude but NO....he didn't even look up at us. He signed a few cards and off we went. No chit chat or thanking the fans. Can you believe that?

Afterwards, the racers were going to ride around the track in convertible Corvets. They were parked right behind where the racers were signing. I thought, cool - while they are riding to the track I will grab a few good pics. Well, after the signing the guys got back into the motor home and drove onto the track to get into the vets. God forbid if a fan get a picture of them. I know I am not explaining this very well but seriously it would not have been a big deal at all. So the guys ride around the track once on the cars, waving like they are special (are you detecting my bitterness yet?). Then they do this little race thing (not Dale - he did the flags) and they leave. Oh, also, because they were late and now tight on time they had to cut one of the local races short so the NASCAR guys could do there thing. If I was those guys I would have been so mad...I am sure they paid an entry fee to get into that race and because some snooty NASCAR racers are there they get short changed!

I was just really annoyed that they event cost a lot of money (3 x's as much as a normal race at the track) and unless you wanted to subject yourself to a 5 hour line you didn't really get a glimpse of Dale Jr. It was no different than watching it on TV. Those guys thought they were better than their loyal fans. Seriously.

Well, here are some of the pics I took.

Jake buying me a drink. Notice the sign....
Jude flying his flag.
People waiting for the plane to show up.
Dale Jr. signing autographs. No I didn't get that close...I have a good zoom.

Clint would have been nice if he had looked up and at least smiled! Kenny Wallace & Sterling Marlin.....they seemed to be having fun. Their line was too long but I saw them talking to fans and getting photos with them.
Jude thought the cars were LOUD!
Okay, so Dale Jr. rides around the track and I can finally get a picture....Nice one, eh?
Awww....heck. I guess it wasn't meant for me to have a picture of this man.

This guy sat in front of us and provided A LOT of free entertainment. He was either drunk or high and was passing out while sitting there.
This is the Dale Jr. line....look at all the trash.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Seriously....these things happen to me.

Man...I have so many things to blog about I don't even know where to begin. We went to West Virginia (AGAIN) last week-end and went to this NASCAR thing. I'll hopefully get around to blogging about that later this week. I have some good pics to share. We weren't planning on heading down until early Saturday morning but in a strange twist of fate, we ended up leaving Friday afternoon. As you can imagine, we ended up in HUGE rush and we left the house looking like a cyclone went through it. I was pretty stressed out about the whole thing until we got there. Then I forgot about it until I got home and was brutally reminded! Jake ran around getting as much as he could before returning to work on Monday. Wasn't that sweet.....

Monday morning I had a doctor's appointment, which are scheduled every 2 weeks now. That means I am getting close!!! Jake couldn't make it because he was going out of town. I didn't want to drag the kids to the doctor's office so I asked the babysitter to come over and stay with the kids. She was free for the day so I asked her if she minded staying around while I ran some errands after my appointment. She was interested in the money so she agreed. time! Well, the doc. appointment went fine. I gained ONE pound. Not bad. Everything is looking normal. Afterwards, I headed over to Walmart to pick up a few items I needed for my Container Garden. The trip went smoothly until I was pulling out of the parking lot. I was driving our Corolla (we aren't buying the Subaru after all...long story) and I started hearing this LOUD dragging noise. Metal scraping along the road loud. So I pulled over to assess the situation. It appeared the bracket that holds the muffler up had "let loose" and my entire exhaust system was dragging the ground. This is not good. I immediately called Jake, who was sitting in an airport, waiting for his flight. He gives me some instructions that involved driving the car (albeit, a short distance) with the muffler dragging. I was soooooo embarrassed that I couldn't even think about doing that. I get back out of the car and take a look. I started to think I could "fix" it myself. Let me paint you a picture. It was about 10:30 A.M. and quickly approaching 90 degrees. I am HUMONGOUSLY pregnant and was wearing a dress, standing in Walmart parking lot, trying to fix a dragging muffler. Jake and I had several conversations throughout the next 15 minutes or so, in which he informed me that I was making him mad! This was after he told me the bracket thingy had broke before but he temporarily fixed it and then forgot about it. Hmmmm. Either way, I hiked back to Walmart (I was at the furthest end of the parking lot) and went looking for a few supplies I might need to fix the problem without having to crawl under the car (I don't think I would fit anyhow). I decided on a chain, duct tape and a pocket knife (I've been needing one of those). I did somehow figure out a way to rig the whole thing up and the muffler did not drag until I pulled into my driveway. For now the car is parked. The neighbor asked me what happened! When I got home the kids came running out to tell me the car is broken. How cute, they were so concerned.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen....Strawberries Coming Out of My Ears

I don't really have that many strawberries but on Monday I went and picked a basket full of them (8 quarts). I originally wanted to pick 16 quarts but bending over when you are 8 months pregnant isn't that fun. I literally crawled on my knees to pick them. In the end one basket was plenty. This week I've been coming up with creative ways to use them. Here are THIRTEEN things you can do with your own strawberries! Enjoy & have a great Thursday!

1. Strawberry Cornmeal Muffins - I made them for dinner on Monday....they didn't last long!

2. Strawberry Smoothies - I added ice, yogurt, strawberries and a little sugar. YUMMY.

3. Strawberry Bread - This was so delicious but I have to admit it didn't really taste like berries.

4. Strawberry Freezer Jam - I made quite a bit of this. It is a lot easier than regular cooking involved!

5. Strawberry Shortcakes - I made some for the first time! You just make biscuits with a little sugar and eat them with sliced strawberries and whipped cream! They were sooooo good.

6. Strawberry Limeade! Lemon/Lime soda, fresh lime juice and crushed strawberries! Just like the drink from Sonic. Mmmmmmm.....

That concludes the list of what I made but here are more suggestions...

7. Strawberry Syrup - I may pick more so I can make some!

8. Strawberry Preserves - chunkier than jam.

9. Strawberry Daiquiris

10. Strawberry Pie

11. Strawberry Lime Crepes...These look worth crawling around on my knees in a field! I think I am going to make them soon!

12. Chocolate Covered Strawberries - Easy and who doesn't love them???

13. Strawberries & Cream! One of my favorites!

Let me know if you have more suggestions!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I know you've been dying to hear.....

How the "Amish" family reunion went. I've been dying to tell you but I have been busy as usual. This morning isn't any different - Jude has his little summer neighborhood group at 9:30, so I am cramped for time. I am just waiting for the washer to be done so I can hang the towels on the line (yes, I have a clothes line) before we go.

The family reunion was soooo INTERESTING. It was set to start at 11 A.M. Jake didn't want to get there before his parents so we showed up fashionably late. I guess that was the "englishmen" thing to do because when we first got there Paul's family was the only NON-amish who were there yet. When we walked in, Roy (Jake's uncle) was speaking to the family in Dutch. I, obviously, had no idea what he was saying. Then the women sang a song in Dutch - that is when I started to feel a little excitement. It was so strange. Not freakishly weird but just foreign to me. I looked at Jake - he still wasn't thrilled. After the talking and singing it was time to eat. Someone rang the dinner bell and the lined formed by siblings (the oldest and their families first). Anyone who has been "excommunicated" is supposed to go last but I noticed they didn't follow that rule so much. I assume that is why many of the non-amish came late. I am only guessing at that since I didn't conduct any formal interviews. ha ha. The food was good. It wasn't your typical pot luck. Instead of having 150 different dishes they served fried boneless chicken, cheesy potatoes and corn. The corn was fabulous. It was home canned corn and what a difference. I am definitely going to can corn this year (well, that is the plan). So, there were three main foods and there was A LOT of it. I saw kettles and kettles full of that corn. Then other people brought salads and desserts. I took a pasta salad that went over okay. There was some left. I don't think the Amish ate any....I didn't really pay attention. The desserts were good. I ate too much.

After all the eating people just sat around and talked. Pretty much the Amish stuck with the Amish and the outsiders with the outsiders. I did get to meet some people I had never met before - like Jake's Aunt & Uncle. It was funny because his Aunt knew all about us because she reads our blogs!!!! We talked with them for a while. I later found out that they were both Amish at one time and left the Amish way after they had there children! Only if I had known earlier.....I have so many questions. Be prepared next time!!!!

After a while I needed to use the bathroom so I went into the house. There were several people who recognized me and spoke to me. Some of the children (there were a zillion kids there) stared at me. And someone came up and accused me of being Paul Miller's daughter!!!!! Ha ha. I explained I was not his offspring but his favorite daughter in law! Later, Emma (a cousin) said people kept asking who the girl in the rose (I was wearing a pinkish colored sweater) was. The bathroom line was a painfully long wait. These little Amish kids kept cutting in line in front of me and I couldn't tell them to stop because they don't speak english!!!! On my way out of the house a little Amish boy came up and rubbed my belly! I gave him a weird look and he stopped.
When the place started clearing out we ate again and had a chance to talk with Roy & Lavina & their daughter Emma. She and I always talk when we go down there. She is probably close to my age or a little younger. She had FIVE kids!!!! They are all very cute. Linda said something about Jake's tattoo and Emma said she had noticed but wasn't planning to say anything...she just said, "Well, he is Paul's son!!!" How funny.

It was a fun time. I think even Jake enjoyed himself. He posted on his blog about it too so check it out!

BTW....the laundry was done a LONG time ago. Now I am going to be running around like crazy!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Other Blog....

Did you forget I have another blog? The letter one....oh the controversy..... Either way, I hadn't posted on it in over a year. Lately I have been getting a zillion (well, slight exaggeration) on the Dear Delilah blog because of that song "Hey There Delilah" (if you want to hear it go to my Myspace link - see side bar). So........I decided to post a few more letters. It is actually a series of postcards I have received from various people visiting various places. I will try to post more letters as I feel inspired to do so! I still have a box full. Only if I had saved all those crazy emails from college.....

Here is my Dear Delilah Blog.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I made Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce.....from SCRATCH!!!! I am practically a chef!

I've been somewhat bored with cooking lately. It seems like I cook all the time but I make the same things over and over again. So, I am trying to break out of the rut. About a month ago I was shopping at BJ's and they had chopped, canned clams, in a 6 pack. I can't remember the price but I know they were reasonable or I wouldn't have purchased them. I had never used canned clams but my kids LOVE seafood of all types and I figured I would give them a try. After I got them home I quickly forgot about them and lost all motivation to try anything new. That is until this week. It was one of the days that I waited until about 4:30 (about the time I saw Jake pull in the driveway) to decide what I would make for dinner. I hadn't thawed a single thing which lead to the desperate search for something that is hassle free. That is when I spotted those clams. I quickly rushed down to the computer to look up recipes. I found many that looked absolutely fabulous but I decided to combine a few and make my own. The results were so gooooood. It took longer took get the water boiling than it did to whip up the sauce and it was seriously as good (if not better) than something you would order at a fancy eatery. Here is my recipe. Let me know if you ever try it.

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry pasta (I used spaghetti but most called for linguine)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a dash of garlic powder (only because I was out of garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (I used that dry????)
  • fresh basil (chopped)
  • fresh grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and return water to a boil. Let pasta cook until al dente; drain well.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Drain the cans of minced clams, reserving half of the juice.
  3. Stir the clams, reserved juice, butter, salt and pepper, and wine. Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced 1/3 and has thickened.
  4. Spoon the clam sauce over the pasta and serve.
  5. Top with basil and cheese.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Back on the Soap Box....

As you know I am a local news junkie. I can't get enough of it. I listen to WNIR most of the day. I don't always agree with their politics but I've learned to "filter". Either way....There is something going on in Ohio that really gets me. It is the statewide smoking ban. Here is why. Last fall there were two things on the ballot concerning smoking in public places in Ohio. One was a "smoke less" Ohio issue. Basically it said that smoking would be banned in any place that children were allowed to go. Businesses like bars would still allow smoking. Interestingly enough 99% of the funding bill for issue 4 (the smoke less issue) was footed by R.J. Reynolds, the second largest tobacco company! Can you believe it? Why would they want people to smoke less???? Probably because there was another issue on the ballot during the same election. It was a "Smoke Free" issue, banning smoking in all public business and smoking within so many feet away from a business entrance. It was a pretty complicated bill. I had heard some conflicting stuff so I tried to research it myself (this is all pre-election). I found that the Smoke Free Ohio bill had not been completely written yet. They didn't know how they would enforce it and basically it was a mess. Howie (from WNIR) had pointed out that it stated family owned business could still allow smoking. When the "people" in Columbus heard this rumor was going around they called Howie's show and tried to argue with him. I thought it was dumb. Either way....I am not a smoker. Yes, I have smoked a cigarette or two (or more) in my life but I have never been a carry smokes with you type of person. I really could care less if people are allowed to smoke or not. In fact, my preference is that they don't smoke around me but I was a little wishy washy on they whole taking away people's rights thing. Ya know? When I was a waitress I HATED the smoking section. And by the way....when I was unfortunate enough to have the smokers for the evening - I NEVER made as much money. I worked in an upscale martini bar and yes people smoked there. I expected it and I don't think it ever bothered me (except those stinky cigars). When it came time to vote, I voted NO on both issues. I decided neither really had their stuff together and I didn't like either bill although, I would have preferred the Smoke Free Ohio.

After the election the votes were tallied and the Smoke Less issue failed. The Smoke Free issue passed. Isn't that interesting. The people had spoken and Ohio would be smoke free. Sounded good to me, even if it wasn't the way I voted. It went into effect on Dec. 7, 2006 - 6 months ago. And for 6 months I have had to listen to people whine and cry about the smoking ban. Complain, complain, complain....where were you when it was time to vote? I guess because it wasn't a presidential election these people didn't take the time to vote on something that would directly effect them. Who are these people to say the election wasn't good enough and now they want to put it back on the ballot. It drives me crazy. Only 53% of the eligible voters in Ohio even turned out for the election! And the thing is, I personally know many educated, adults who aren't even registered to vote! If you don't vote you shouldn't complain.

So that is my little rant. The people voted and now the cry babies are wasting our time to get this thing back on the ballot so more of our tax money can be wasted. I'm interested to hear what you think....or do you care? I know many of you don't live in Ohio but don't worry this controversy will be coming to your state soon enough.

Wordless Wednesday....Alpha Rooster

Monday, June 04, 2007

Recent Life....In Photos

Jude and Maggie......Jude in the fountain....
Jude making design paper....

Elise enjoying the Bluegrass Festival....Elise feeding Maggie....
Elise eating birthday cake....
Elise in the fountain....
Smiley girl.....

That's my baby belly....And a front shot....
The hubby.....
Relay for Life team....we were "nerds".
Little Elise.....

All's Right In The Sporting World.....

I am sure you are surprised that I would write a post about sports. As you may know, I am NOT a huge sports fan but I probably know more about sports than you think I do. In fact....I know I do. Either way - Since I am from the Cleveland area, throughout my life, I have become accustomed to "the let down". The Browns....they are the big joke. The Indians are usually not far behind and the Cavs have been invisible for years. That is, until we got Lebron. Many of you have only known Lebron for the last few years. If you are from the Akron area you have been hearing about Lebron for many more. He was all the buzz beginning when he was in the 8th grade. Can you believe that????? The eighth grade. He was a kid from the hood who lived in government housing. He got a free ride to a private school in the area and began to gain national attention for his talents. He also played football through part of his High School career and from what I understand he is also very talented in that sport but he choose basketball. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated while he was still in High School (I do have the copy). It is funny...most everyone in Akron has a "Lebron" connection. When we did respite I can't tell you how many kids would tell us they were Lebron's cousin or neighbor or best friend's sister's neighbor three houses down. I used to work with Lebron's HS coach's wife. Her son, Drew Joyce, is also a very good basketball player and currently plays for Akron University. See....even I have a story. So, why am I talking about Lebron? If you have been following the NBA finals you would already know, The Cleveland Cavaliers have made it to the Championship game. They won the Eastern Conference Championship! Do you know how big that is???? The Cavs have NEVER been there - EVER. So this is a big deal. During the last series against the Pistons the Cavs struggled at first and lost the first two games. After that they started to win. The excitement grew. You have probably heard about game 5. Lebron scored 49 points. The game went into double over time and it was crazy. Lebron was unstoppable. Even I thought it was exciting - I don't get that excited over sports....seriously. After the game all the new media went on and on about how Lebron carried the team on his shoulders. I'd have to say, that night he really did. During any normal game Lebron is a passer. He doesn't steal all the glory for himself - he always shares. During game 5 he proved he could win the games all himself if he wanted. And that night he did. But during game 6....well, the Pistons must have been listening to all the Cavs critics and they decided to basically only cover Lebron. Ha ha ha. The entire game was neck in neck. We were up, they were up. Kinda boring if you ask me. But during the last quarter the Cavs took off. Each time Lebron got the ball there was three guys on him. He would pass the ball to Daniel Gibson, a rookie unknown until these finals, and he was shooting 3 pointers like nothing. He hit 5 in a row. And the Pistons never covered him. They were too worried about Lebron. Of course we know if they had went to cover Gibson, Lebron would have razored through to the basket and scored himself. So, the Cavs won. How exciting.
In other sporting news, the Cleveland Indians are doing amazingly well. They have the best at home record they have EVER had (in 107 years). Now if we could get those Browns to do something. Cleveland may never be the same................