Friday, November 21, 2008

Much anticipated NKOTB concert review

Sorry, ya'll, that it took me so long to write about my experiences at the New Kids on the Block concert in Charlotte. It's been almost a month since the concert ....
I haven't been to very many pop/rock concerts - most of my experiences have been at country concerts, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Actually, what I expected is what I saw - 20 and 30-something women screaming like teenage girls!
I was a little worried about hearing the New Kids live. Let's face it, they are not "new" kids anymore and they haven't toured in 15 years.
But I was not disappointed.
The concert opened with some of their classic hits, but also included songs from their new album "The Block." Some of the songs on "The Block" that I didn't like before the concert I now like simply because I heard them live.
Of course I swooned when Joe McIntyre - who will be my favorite NKOTB member 'til my dying day - sang "Please Don't Go Girl." But later in the show, it was adult applause and genuine respect I lavished on him for his performance of his solo hit "Stay the Same."
Say what you want about the New Kids (those who are haters, that is), but it takes not only talent to wage a comeback, but guts. And New Kids fans are the best in the world, so how could a reunion be anything other than a hit?
Here are some videos I found on YouTube from the Charlotte show. Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Halloween fun

I'm a little behind in blogging. I blame it on the excitement over going to see NKOTB (more on the concert in another post) and the election (which is blessedly, now over.)

One of the perks of being a lifestyles writer is that companies often send us new products to test and review. One of the more interesting pitches I received was for the new Pumpkin Master's Carving Kits.

I've used the old ones, but the new and improved ones have updated patterns and there was even one with various decades (which included a lava lamp that we carved.)

My family enjoyed carving pumpkins this year. Last year Nathan didn't really understand, but this year he liked pulling seeds out of the goop.

Here's some pictures of the finished products.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The soundtrack of my life

Later this month, I'll be travelling to Charlotte to see New Kids on the Block in concert, fulfilling a childhood dream for me.
I've been listening to their old songs online and in the process, have stumbled across some of my favorite songs from that era.
Which got me thinking... what does the soundtrack of my life sound like?
So, to honor my New Kids, for the days leading up to my first NKOTB concert, I'll be blogging about my favorite, life-defining-moment songs from the past 20 years.

And so it begins...


In 1988, I was 11 years old and a sixth grader at Cliffside Elementary School. I was also a student in Mrs. Hamrick's class -- my mom.
The number five song of 1988 was "Sweet Child Of Mine" by Guns 'N Roses. GNR was big that year - so big that when given the opportunity to name our make-believe town for our career unit, we named it Paradise City.

George Harrison was back on the charts, and not with the Beatles, but solo with "Got My Mind Set On You." He was my mama's favorite Beatle, so the love of this song was something we shared.

With my first taste of love came my first taste of heartbreak, and hours of listening to Tiffany's "Could've Been."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lobster Louie

Did you know Shelby City Park used to have a restaurant?
I didn't until this morning. I was over at the park talking to Charlie Holtzclaw and Tommy Forney about the park's 60th anniversary celebration. While talking, Charlie pulled out an old pamphlet about the park that included, among other things, a menu for the now defunct restaurant.
"It was located where our offices and aerobics room are now," Holtzclaw said.
I wish it was still there - along with the same prices. For $1.75 you could get "Lobster Louie" - sliced lobster on lettuce bed, potato salad, hard boiled eggs, cole slaw, sliced tomato, olives, sweet pickles, thousand island dressing, bread, butter or crackers.
Sounds good, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

If you like to cook, have I got a story for you

Did you know you could win tickets to The Star's Taste of Home Cooking School on Oct. 14?
All you have to do is send me your favorite recipes. Those received by Friday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. will be put into a drawing for four tickets to sit on stage during the school.
Here's how: Send your family's favorite recipe to The Star, Attn: Lifestyles, P.O. Box 48, Shelby, NC 28151. E-mail recipes to (Please put recipe contest in the subject line.) Include your name, address and daytime telephone number with all entries.
The contest is open to anyone in The Star's circulation area. A drawing will be held to determine the winner, who will receive four tickets to sit on stage during the cooking school and a feature about them and their recipe in The Star. Recipes received during the contest will be published in The Star's Holiday Cookbook.
Deadline to enter is Friday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. Employees of The Star and their family members are not eligible to win.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The human pirranha strikes again

I got a phone call Thursday morning from preschool. This how it went.
"Nathan has bit another child and we need you to come talk to him."
My response: "I'm 30 minutes away, but put him on the phone. Oh, and you have my permission to spank him."
Nathan gets on the phone: "Nathan, who did you bite? Mommy is going to spank you this afternoon."
Several hours later, I'm at daycare. As promised, I pop his bottom and we go home.
When I pulled into daycare and started unbuckling him, he looked at me and said "No biting today, mommy."
Let's hope it sticks.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Finding sanity in a two-year-old's world

Nathan is obsessed with "The Backyardigans." His current favorite episode is "Mission to Mars" that features martians that say boinga, boinga, boinga (and the vocal stylings of Alicia Keys, of all people.)
I've watched the episode twice daily for the past four days. I'm sick of it.
So, to amuse ourselves, my sister found this cute video.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Test kitchen: Cherry-Chicken Salad Croissants

I am a huge fan of Taste of Home Magazine. I raved about it so much that for my birthday my sister got a subscription for me. I look forward to getting it every month so I can try new recipes.
I tried Cherry-Chicken Salad Croissants tonight for supper. It sounded so good and easy to make - and it has apples in it, one of Nathan's favorite foods.
We've decided it's a keeper in our house, except that it needs more dressing/mayo.
I was right, too. Nathan loved the apples in it and even ate his chicken under some persuasion.
And speaking of Taste of Home, The Star will be hosting the Taste of Home Cooking School again in October. Be sure to check my blog and for more details.

Cherry-Chicken Salad Croissants
(Picture and recipe from Taste of Home August/September 2008)
2-1/2 cups cooked chicken breast
2/3 cup dried cherries (I used dried cherry-flavored cranberries)
1/3 cup chopped celery (I omitted)
1/3 cup chopped tart apple (I used Granny Smith)
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons buttermilk**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
7 croissants, split
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cherries, celery, apple and pecans. In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, salt and pepper; add to chicken mixture and mix well. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken salad onto each croissant. Yield: 7 servings
** To make buttermilk without having to buy a container (which goes to waste in my house), measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup. Add milk to measure one cup liquid. Stir and let sit for five minutes. Voila! Instant buttermilk!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

This was sent to me by Judy Long, a DAR member in Cleveland County.

Do you know the Preamble for your state?

Be sure to read the message at the bottom!

Alabama 1901 -- We the people of the State of Alabama , invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish
the following Constitution..

Alaska 1956 -- We, the people of Alaska , grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land.

Arizona 1911 --
We, the people of the State of Arizona , grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution...

Arkansas 1874 -- We, the people of the State of Arkansas , grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government...

California 1879 -- Preamble We, the People of the State of < st1:State w:st="on">California , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom...

Colorado 1876 -- Preamble We, the people of Colorado , with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe...

Connecticut 1818 -- The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy.

Delaware 1897 -- Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences.

Florida 1885
-- We, the people of the State of Florida , grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution...

Georgia 1777 -- We, the people of Georgia , relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution...

Hawaii 1959 -- We , the people of Hawaii , Grateful for Divine Guidance ... Establish this Constitution.

Idaho 1889 -- We, the people of the State of Idaho , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings.

Illinois 1870 -- We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious us liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors..

Indiana 1851 -- We, the People of the State of Indiana , grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.

Iowa 1857 -- We, the People of the St ate of Iowa , grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution..

Kansas 1859 -- We, the people of Kansas , grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution.

Kentucky 1891 -- We, the peop le of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and relig ious liberties...

Louisiana 1921 -- We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy.

Maine 1820 -- We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity .. An d imploring His aid and direction.

Maryland 1776 -- We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty...

Massachusetts 1780 -- We...the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction .

Michigan 1908 -- We, the people of the State of Michigan , grateful to Almighty God for th e blessings of freedom establish this Constitution.

Minnesota, 1857 -- We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liber ty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings:

Mississippi 1890 -- We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Al mighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work.

Missouri 1845 -- We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness .. Establish this Constitution...

Montana 1889 -- We, the people of Montana , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution ..

Nebraska 1875 -- We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom . Establish this Constitution.

Nevada 1864 -- We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution...

New Hampshire 1792 -- Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.

New Jersey 1844 -- We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

New Mexico 1911 -- We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty..

New York 1846 -- We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings.

North Carolina 1868 -- We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those...

North Dakota 1889 -- We , the people of North Dakota , grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain..

Ohio 1852 -- We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common..

Oklahoma 1907 -- Preamble Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this

Oregon 1857 -- Bill of Rights, Article I Sect. II All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences

Pennsylvania 1776 -- Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoki ng His guidance....

Rhode Island 1842 -- We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing...

South Carolina, 1778 -- Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

South Dakota 1889 -- We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties

Tennessee 1796 -- Art. XI.III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the
dictates of their conscience...

Texas 1845 -- We the People of the Republic of Texas , acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God.

Utah 1896 -- Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.

Vermont 1777 -- Preamble Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man .

Virginia 1776 -- Bill of Rights, XVI Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practi ce Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other

Washington 1889 -- We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution

West Virginia 1872
-- Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God ..

Wisconsin 1848 -- We, the people of Wisconsin , grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility...

Wyoming 1890 -- Preamble We, the people of the State of Wyoming , grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution..

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sweet relief from the heat

Did you ever have a lemonade stand growing up? I never did, but I always wanted to. I was just too shy and we lived on a road without a lot of traffic.
I'm working on a story about lemonade and whether kids still take the roadside to sell the yummy yellow liquid.
If you know where I can find one, please leave me a comment or e-mail me at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From the mouths of babes

Nathan's language skills are beginning to take off. He's beginning to answer our questions with more than a yes or no.
On Sunday morning he and his daddy were playing and Nathan was pinching Stephen. So Stephen pinched him back (not hard, mind you.) Nathan put on his best pouty face and said "Not nice, Daddy."
Sunday afternoon Nathan played peek-a-boo with my grandmother at her house. Looking right at him, I asked "Nathan, where are you?" Without missing a beat he replied, "Right here."
Hopefully he won't repeat any choice words he might hear when Mommy's driving....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


New Kids are coming to Charlotte! New Kids are coming to Charlotte!
Here's what I know thus far:
Oct. 30, Bobcats Arena; tickets aren't on sale yet.
But sweet Lord they are coming close by!!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day = Baking disasters for mom

This is the second year I've had issues with making dessert for my husband for Father's Day.
The first year Stephen celebrated Father's Day was in 2006 - when Nathan was just a few weeks old. So I didn't even bother that year.
Last year I was all set to bake up a beautiful Red Velvet Cake. Except my baking powder was bad and the first cake I baked was only 2 inches tall. I had to send Stephen to the grocery store for more red food coloring and baking powder so I could hurriedly make another one.
Fast forward one year. This year I was going to make cheesecake, one of his favorite's. Except I opened the cabinet to find I'd run out of vanilla flavoring and hadn't replenished it.
Off to Food Lion Stephen went.
I told him later that next year I'd just buy him a cake. He gave me the stink eye. I guess he'd rather go to the store and homemade goodness than get a store bought cake. (I'm flattered by this, actually!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Linus Flynn: 2005-2008

We lost a member of our family today. And although he wasn't human, he was a special part of it.
We first met Linus the cat when we lived in an apartment between selling our old house and building our new one. A scared, shy kitten, Linus was soon the hit of the apartment complex, garnering affection and food from most everyone.
When we got ready to move in October 2005, our landlord told us if we didn't take him he'd send him to the pound. And even though we already had three indoor cats, my husband and I agreed we could use an outdoor cat since our new house has a field (and field mice) all around it.
We named our new family member Linus because that was Stephen's pick. My dear husband is in the IT field, and since thought Linus (after the founder of Linux) would suit him.
Linus fit in well with our family, bringing us the occasional mouse or mole and loving all over us when we were outdoors with him. He even taught my son, Nathan, his first taste of responsibility -- Nathan loved getting a shovel and taking Linus food.
Linus was a smart cat, too. He soon figured out he could jiggle the door knob to let us know he was home and hungry.
Today we found him under a neighbor's tree, hit by a car. He had drug himself by his front legs as far as he could and couldn't quite make him home. That tree is directly across the street from the end of our driveway. I think Linus was smart enough to know that we'd see him and take him home from there.
Rest in peace, my orange friend. We'll miss you more than you'll ever know.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The great tomato debate

In Saturday's paper (and online right now) you'll find information on whether or not tomatoes around here are safe.
I volunteered to tackle this story for selfish reasons, folks.
I love tomatoes and on Tuesday night, I threw out $3 worth because I wasn't sure if they were safe or not. It made me sad to throw them away because they were so red and yummy looking.
Being sick would have made me sadder.

Congratulations, Class of 2008

My own high school senior, my niece, Bailey, graduated last night from RS Central High School. Call me a sap, but I got so teary-eyed when I spotted her in the crowd of other graduates in the sea of royal blue and white.
While she's only technically been my niece for almost 8 years, "B" (as we call her) and I go way back. Bailey's uncle (my husband), Stephen, and I started dating in 1993 - when Bailey was just three years old.
As I sat in the stadium last night my mind went back to Bailey, around age 4, sitting on my lap during football games. And Bailey, who once very truthfully told one of Stephen's friends "You've got on too much cologne." And Bailey, who handmade my son, Nathan, a welcome-to-the-world card and gave him her favorite bunny when he was born.
I'm proud of all our graduates this year -- you've all come a long way.
But I'm especially proud of my "B".

Friday, June 06, 2008

Courageous Kali

I met Kali Greene for the first time Thursday.
I knew who she was and remembered the stories The Star published about her five years ago when she was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's large cell lymphoma. But until yesterday, she was just words on a page.
Kali and her mom, Denita, came to The Star office for an interview with me to update you, our readers, about Kali's progress. She's in remission, and on Tuesday she'll graduate from Crest High School.
A lot's changed in five years. She's no longer a 12-year-old fighting for her life; she's a 17-year-old on the brink of life.
Kali's faced what many adults don't have the strength to deal with. She's come out with grace and is even paying it forward by leading Crest High School's Relay for Life Team.
I hope some day I'll have half as much courage as Kali Greene.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why is everybody talking turkey?

We've had a lot of pictures and conversations in the newsroom about wild turkeys recently. Editor Jon Jimison has never seen one in person.
I can only shake my head in dismay. I grew up in the country (my backyard faced a cow pasture and crickets were the only real noise at night.) So I have to say, I'm scratching my head over the fascination with turkeys.
My son, Nathan, who is two years and 10 days old has seen wild turkeys in person. We see at least one or more a week on our trips to and from daycare. We've seen them on one stretch of road so many times that as soon as we turn onto it Nathan says "Turkeys." (We've also seen deer and bunnies, so we look out for those now too.)
Let's just hope my brother-in-law, David, doesn't get wind of the turkeys. He's an avid hunter and has already offered to take care of the deer eating my grandparents' garden.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Turtle trivia

In the Thursday, May 29, edition of The Star, I wrote a column about my recent visit to the South Carolina Aquarium.
Part of that visit included seeing the Sea Turtle Hospital at the aquarium. The loggerhead turtle, the state reptile for South Carolina, is what is most frequently seen at the hospital. The turtles are endangered and the hospital director, Kelly, told me about a Web site,,.
On the site you can adopt a sea turtle, which I'd really like to do. The turtle I'm interested in is named Edisto, and was picked up last May 21. He's since been returned to the ocean. He's being tracked by the S.C. Aquarium. He's been along the North and South Carolina coastline, swimming away.
Here are some facts about sea turtles:
- Sea turtles have survived more than 110 million years of evolution and geological change.
- The nesting season for sea turtles along the South Carolina coast is from May to October. During that time, homeowners are asked to turn their lights out. While at the aquarium, I asked why this was and the answer is that mother sea turtles use the moon to guide them and could be confused by artificial light. And when the babies hatch, they too use the moon to guide them back to sea.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How I spent my vacation

I've returned from Edisto Beach, S.C., where I spent a week with my family and in-laws.
If you're not familiar with Edisto, it's about 45 minutes south of Charleston.
If you like having something to do, Edisto is not the place for you. There is only one grocery store. There is no Walmart. There is no Wings. There is no amusement park.
There is peace and quiet. And lots of beach. And seashells.
I spent the better portion of my trip on the beach, building sand castles and playing with my son, Nathan. (I've decided the newsroom would be a much happier place if we all had sand, buckets and shovels to take out our frustrations throughout the day.)
We also ventured into Charleston. I'll be sharing some of the new things to see and do at the South Carolina Aquarium in an upcoming edition of The Star.
I'll also be writing about a new personal mission of my family, saving the Loggerhead Sea Turtles, in this blog.
Check back for more!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Reduced to be reused

I witnessed a travesty today.
I rode with my husband to our local convenience center (i.e., the dump) to throw away the trash and recycleables. There is a shed there called the Swap Shop. Since we've grown tired of our Hoover Floor Mate (which never worked good in seven years), I decided to donate it to the Swap Shop and see what I could find.
There was a box of paperback books that included Kay Hooper, Mary Higgins Clark, Tami Hoag .... and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
My soul hurts that someone would trash "The Scarlet Letter." It's a classic and required reading in many high school and college courses.
I, of course, rescued it and screamed across the parking lot to my husband that it was an abomination to throw it away. (It should be noted I minored in literature, thus my love for books.)
I plan to read it on vacation. For fun. Not because I have to.
Yeah, I'm a nerd, I know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I've got the right stuff

My friend, Leah, from college, sent me a link to a New Kids on the Block fans quiz on People Magazine's Web site.
I got five out of eight questions correct. I probably would have aced it, but after 20 years, I've got other random information in my brain that overrides it. (Such as, did I add laundry detergent to the load of clothes that just washed?)
Here's the quiz. Good luck!,,20182320,00.html

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another generation of Mr. Bubble

I went grocery shopping tonight. Nathan loves to go shopping, and since I want to spend Mother's Day weekend actually doing what I want to do (as opposed to what has to be done, like grocery shopping), off we went.
I've been promising to let Nathan start taking bubble baths. Since he's no longer drinking bath water on a regular basis, I figured it was a good time to buy some Mr. Bubble.
I loved Mr. Bubble as a kid. That pink, thick liquid and the yummy smell.
However ... Nathan has fairly sensitive skin. We stopped using the typical baby wash on him when he was around six months old because he kept breaking out into a rash.
Alas, we had bubbles, but no fantastic delicious smell.
He loved it just the same and used the bubbles to draw on the shower walls.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Magic mouthwash and numerous trips to the doctor later ....

Nathan came home from daycare last Thursday because of a fever and throwing up. Since he was acting really lethargic and I had "mommy intuition," I took him to the doctor.
First they checked his urine. And might I say, for a toddler who is still learning to go potty, Nathan peed in a cup like a champ.
Next they drew blood. His white cell count was 25,000 (normally it should be no more than 10,000). So the doctor's moved on to a strep test. Which was negative.
We next headed to Rutherford Hospital for a chest x-ray and another blood test. You do not know hell until you've tried to explain to a 2-year-old why people he's never seen before are trying to stick a sharp object into his arm to draw blood. He cried, I cried.
We then went back to the doctor's office for antibiotic shots.
Friday we headed back to the doctor for results. Chest x-ray was clear, so was the blood panel. So more antibiotic shots and another blood test. We were instructed to come back on Saturday to check levels again.
Somewhere between Friday and Saturday's doctor's office visits, Nathan began to drool quite a bit and I noticed he wouldn't swallow. Long story short, it turns out he has a sore throat.
So the doctor mixed up a "magic mouthwash." After doing research on this, it is no more than Benadryl, Motrin and Maalox mixed in equal parts. But boy did it work like a charm.
I'm happy to report Nathan is back to his usual self (which includes frequent use of the word "no" these days.) I'd rather have him telling me no any day than have him feeling as bad as he did last week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Two peas in a pod

My sister and I are a lot alike in many different ways. And, we also know each other pretty well.
One example of this is that during a recent shopping excursion, I saw a dress out of the corner of my eye, but since I was looking after Nathan, I couldn't go look at it. Laura wandered off and returned shortly, dress in hand and said "I thought you might like this."
Today was another such example.
We both had been looking for very specific shades of nail polish. Between us we probably have 30 bottles, but we were sick of all the colors we already own.
After looking online, Laura found a Maybelline shade called Speedy Hot Tamale. Being a nice sister (she'd disagree!), I went to Walgreens and bought it.
We went to Walmart tonight to look at some other shades and after looking, Laura brought over a shade of Sally Hansen called Flaminglo - the very shade I'd looked at online and loved.
Perhaps we are too much alike.
I'll post pictures of the shades as soon as we get our nails painted. After I get Nathan to bed.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sick days ain't what they used to be

I stayed home sick on Tuesday. I woke up at 6 a.m., my chest tight, hacking cough.
It's rare I stay home sick. I'm usually a "Oh, it'll pass" type of girl, but yesterday I could barely hold my head up. I showered, put on clean PJs and piled up on the couch.
Remember when you were a kid how it was fun to be home sick? You could watch cartoons, eat food you weren't normally allowed to eat (because you were sick and your parents wanted to get something in you) and play with your toys while your friends were stuck in class.
Sick days aren't as much fun anymore.
Daytime television still features cartoons, but at 31, I don't really enjoy them (unless Nathan's around to watch too.) There are talk shows and soap operas, but I'm really not interested in those either.
I wound up watching a lot of TLC's programming - which was mainly about babies and parenting. In between I slept.
Needless to say, it's nice to be back in the newsroom today.

Monday, April 07, 2008

You let your toddler do what?

Would you let him out of your sight?
Neither would I, nor do I.
My sweet Nathan will be two in May, and I think he does very well for his age at obeying the rules we've set forth for him.
I would never expect him at his age, though, to be able to take care of himself essentially for any length of time.
I encountered two different instances this weekend of parents/caregivers letting their children take care of themselves.
One child couldn't have been more than 6 to 8 years old and was playing alone at a local children's attraction. Pitifully, when my family and I were getting ready to leave, she asked not once, but twice, "But who's going to play with me?"
The other child was less than two years old, and was left alone for more than 10 minutes to entertain herself while the adults in her life shopped.
Bottom line: If you're not going to take care of them, don't have them, don't offer to be responsible for them. Enough said.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

An NKOTB reunion? But do they still have the right stuff?

So, on Friday New Kids on the Block will be on the "Today" show addressing rumors of a reunion. My guess is, since it's been 20 years since their rise in popularity, they are going to do a new album.
I have to admit, I LOVED New Kids back in the day. I actually heard "The Right Stuff" on the radio the other day and screamed just as I would have 20 years ago.
But my question is .... if they do come back, will they still be as appealing to me as they were when I was 11?
And .... are there still any other die-hard NKOTB fans in Cleveland County?
I'd love to hear from you. Send your comments to me at
I'll be hangin' tough until then.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Looking for a deal? Have I got news for you...

The annual children's consignment sale, WeeRuns, returns to Rutherford County this week.
If you know me, then you know I'll be standing in line Thursday afternoon waiting to shop early and get great deals on gently used clothes for my dear son, Nathan.
If you aren't familiar with WeeRuns, here's how it works:
By volunteering to work a four-hour shift during the consignment sale's two week run, you get to shop before anyone else does (Thursday night.) After my first experience with WeeRuns and seeing how much bang I can get for my buck, I have not only volunteered but have also volunteered my husband, too.
If you consign items (for which you receive 60 percent of the sale), you also get to shop before the general public, on Friday night.
If you don't want to volunteer and don't have any items you'd like to part with yet, the sale opens to the public Saturday, April 5, at 8 a.m.
For more information, visit

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ramblings of a proud mother

It's been a while since I bragged (on here, at least) on Nathan.
Not even two yet, Nathan has learned several different shapes - stars, rectangles, triangles, circles, squares and ovals - and several colors - purple, orange, yellow and pink.
But the most impressed I've been with the quality of his education/child care came last night and this morning.
To give you background, there is a Hispanic little boy in Nathan's class. Additionally, one little boy in the class has a deaf mother. So Nathan's teacher, Danielle, has been dilligent about teaching the class Spanish words and sign language. (And if you don't believe toddlers have a sense of humor, Danielle says Anthony laughs when she says words in Spanish.)
So, Danielle has been counting in Spanish and English for his class.
Which means now when you count to four in Spanish, Nathan screams "quatro!"
I'm so proud.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

For what it's worth ...

I'd like to apologize to people who were (and are) offended by my Playlist column in today's Star.
I hope that it will not diminish the fantastic hard work the students at Shelby High School have put forth for this production. Honestly, I haven't seen any of the rehearsals, but I do know from past experience as a member of the cast (in "Grease," several years ago) that the students in the cast and crew in the drama department take what they do very, very seriously.
So to that measure, I apologize if my column took away some of the glimmer for them.
If you get a chance, go out and see the production this weekend. It is Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for students and seniors.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I have found my kindred spirit

I don't know how I stumbled across it, but I've found a new favorite blog (and perhaps my long-lost twin.)
It's called, and from what I can tell, it's written by a mom here in North Carolina who has a son about dear Nathan's age.
And from reading it, she and I think very, very much alike about many, many issues.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

In case you don't know, we liked food in the newsroom

Of course, Food Lion had no way of knowing this when it sent the samples of its new "On the Go Bistro" line that it would be feeding a bunch of poor journalists, but that's what happened.
The samples landed on my desk just before lunch today and the arrival was announced by Cherish Wilson with "You got a box marked perishable. Open it and let's feast."
So we did.
Graham, Cherish, Joy, Jackie and I all tried some of the foods. While Graham, Cherish and I all ate the Baked Ziti, Mac n Cheese and Baked Apples, Joy and Jackie tired the ziti and apples.
It was all sooo yummy.

Here is the list of items in the line with prices:
Mac and Cheese - 32 oz
Chicken Alfredo - 32 oz
Spaghetti and Meatballs - 32 oz
Beef Stew - 32 oz
Baked Ziti - 32 oz
Mashed Potatoes -28 oz
Creamed Spinach -12 oz
Mashed Potato (butter) -12
Cheddar mashed Potatoes - 12 oz
Mac and Cheese (standard ) - 12 oz
Sweet Sauteed Apples - 12 oz
Chicken Alfredo - 8 oz
Spaghetti and Meatballs - 11 oz
Beef Stew - 8 oz.
Seasoned Green beans - 12 oz.
Vegetable medley - 12 oz.
Baked Beans - 12 oz.
Brown Gravy - 8.4 oz
Baked Ziti - 12 oz.

Prices range from $2.49 for the Brown gravy to $7.99 for 32 oz. Chicken
Alfredo, for example.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

No Baby Mozart for my baby

Along with his growing interest in books (which are now thrust into my lap with the instruction "Read"), Nathan is beginning to love music of all kinds.
When we're at home, he loves "The Wheels on the Bus." He's figured out how to make his toy car, which plays the song, get to his preferred tune even faster. We also have a kids' music CD that features "Wheels" and he loves to dance along to it.
In the car, he's subjected to Mom and Dad's preferred tunes. (Daddy's car is almost always tuned in to a Metallica song.)
Recently we've been listening to the birthday CD my sister made me.
Below is Nathan's favorite car song, which he bobs his head along to.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Addressing my message board fame

Apparently I'm a hit on The Star's message board.
In Friday's paper, I wrote a story about a new class being offered through the continuing education department at Isothermal Community College. The class, being taught by GWU student David Roberts, is about the book of Revelation in the Bible.
All my life I've heard this called Revelations, plural. So on Thursday, I double-checked to see that I had it correct. Since I didn't, I corrected it in the drophed (which is the smaller headline on stories.)
But I failed to correct it in the story.
So for those of you who have been debating the issue, I simply goofed.
But I'm incredibly pleased to be fodder for conversation because it at least means one of you read the story on Friday, so my effort wasn't in vain.

Friday, January 25, 2008

TV drought is making me do crazy things

I wish the writers could just strike a deal already.
Last night was my last new episode of "Ugly Betty." I think that means I have no new episodes of any of my favorite shows.
Except ....
Two weeks ago my sister and I were trying to find something to watch on television. Bored, we flipped the channel to check out the new season of "One Tree Hill." Neither of us had ever watched before.
Suddenly, we're hooked.
My DVR is full of season one episodes that are being aired on Soap Net. (As my sister pointed out, we could just rent the DVDs and watch them much faster, but there's something to be said for watching only one a day the old-fashioned way.)
What are you watching during this TV drought?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow terrific

It's been far too long since our last snow.
Nathan will be 2 in May and this is the first time he's seen it. Although he is sick, we took him out in it for a while. He even managed not to complain when we piled on clothes on top of his PJs, two pairs of socks, his coat, mittens and shoes.
Here is a video of his first time playing in the elusive white stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Taking a trip down memory lane, cheese and all

My 31st birthday is this weekend and in honor of that my sister, who is 10 years younger, is making a CD with some of my favorite "0ldies" on it. I've been doing research on the songs on YouTube and decided to search for my old favorite group.
Don't laugh -- it's New Kids on the Block.
Now that you've finished laughing, I'll throw in more for you to guffaw at. I once actually told my mother that NKOTB would be more popular than the Beatles someday. She laughed in my face. (And now if you'll check my CD stash in my car, there's not a NKOTB album to be found. But there is a compilation of the Beatles' number one hits.)
Perhaps the cheesiest of all the New Kids songs was "Tonight." At the time I swooned and thought it was clever. Now I kinda groan at it.
Here's the video for your viewing enjoyment.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Finding humor (and sanity) at the pediatrician's office

Nathan has had a raging cold this week. He's gone from having mucus running down his face to it running down the back of his throat. He's had a raspy cough that would make Jacob Marley jealous. He's been feverish and hasn't wanted to sleep. And the child who once would eat Mommy's potato salad and green beans has suddenly started shaking his head and saying "uh-huh" when offered food.
So off to the doctor we headed yesterday afternoon. I was not looking forward to this trip - it took more than an hour to get through to get a work-in appointment, so I knew it would be crowded. It was.
Surprisingly, we were out of the waiting room and in the exam room rather quickly. Nathan is quite inquisitive and behaved really well for the doctor - mostly because she sat on the exam table with him and he found this odd.
It turns out that his refusal to eat may have little to do with his cold and more to do with his age. As the doctor put it, toddlers have a tendency to become "water people," choosing beverages over food because downing six ounces of milk takes less time than chewing up and swallowing chicken nuggets (another favorite he's turning down.)
After stressing out all week about his lack of appetite and worrying about juggling getting to my job and taking care of him, at the words "water people" I suddenly started imagining Nathan very fish-like. And the expression on his face while she described this was priceless - he just looked at her like "Wow, she gets me."
So to all you mothers of 19 month old children, it's OK if they don't eat. They'll survive - in fact, Nathan had maintained his weight and had actually sprouted up an inch or so in height.