Friday, September 30, 2005

Happy Birthday To My Baby

Until this past weekend, I had no idea that there was still some confusion as to the derivative of my moniker, Amstaff Mom. Some, which will remain nameless, actually thought that maybe I had a child named Amstaff. Until they got to my house and realized that no, I don't have a child, and that I would never, ever, curse them with the name "Amstaff". The reason I am the "Amstaff Mom" is because I am a mom to an Amstaff. Otherwise known as the American Staffordshire Terrier. So no, I don't have a child. But yes, I do have a baby, and she was born 6 years ago TODAY, in Bryan/College Station, Texas. I'm not sure what she weighed, but she was ours before she was even born. We were on the list for the next red Amstaff that was to be born out of two litters. We were sent pictures (which I forgot to scan - RATS!) of her the day she was born, and she looked like a little red rat. But since then, she has grown up, and is now 55 pounds of love and muscle all rolled in to one sweet dog.

So, here's my tribute to my pooch. Happy Birthday Abby Gail!!!!

We picked her up in November of 1999, 3 months after we were married. She is on the left. Oh my goodness, she was the cutest little pup.
Just look at those little front paws on the gate.
And the wrinkles in her forehead. No, I'm not partial at all!

I don't know why I wore my glasses that morning, but I think it was we got such an early start on our drive to Hamilton, TX, where we picked her up. There was a judge there that decided which pups were "show" quality and which were "pet" quality. We had her picked out and were hoping to goodness that she would be"pet" quality, because otherwise she would be have been over twice as much. She is priceless though. So this is her first picture at her new home. And her first kiss. She loves kisses now. She really does!

She still uses this same dog bowl. Poor Eddo stepped it in twice I think! She definitely can't put both paws in it anymore.

We wanted her to have floppy ears instead of cropping them. Normally they would floppy on the side. Then they started curving in. Then one day, one of them stood straight up. Then, a few weeks later, the other one went up. They were never floppy again after that.

She used to fit in the kitchen sink for her baths. Now, not so much. No puppy shampoo for her, note the Neutrogena bottle in the background.

As you can see, over the years, she's been subjected to extreme torture.

She loved her play time with her best friend. Their tongues are out because they had just finished playing chase out in the front yard.

It looks like there is a backdrop behind her, but this was taken in my parents' backyard.

These photos were taken several years ago, so she's filled out a little more since then.

A face only a mother could love.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 5:37 AM | 17 comments

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Welcome to Texas

I have lived in Texas all of my life and I still CANNOT get used to the weather.

Yesterday's high - 104 degrees. Then around 6pm a thunderstorm hit, breaking branches on our trees and hailing on our house. No serious damage, thankfully.

Today's high - 74 degrees.

Welcome to Texas.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 6:18 AM | 12 comments

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday's Feast

I didn't post Friday's Feast last Friday, so I figured, what the hay, I'll post it today.

Name something someone has done lately that impressed you.

Do you have any relaxing rituals? If so, what are they?

If you could spend the winter season somewhere other than your current location, where would you choose to stay?

Main Course
When was the last time you had dinner out, and what was the name of the restaurant?

If you had a boat, what would you name it?

My answers:

Appetizer - My whole Bible Study group impressed me last night. It was the first night that we were supposed to recite our Bible verse, and everyone had learned it and said their verse. Yea!

Soup - It takes no effort for me to relax. Just a chair, bed, floor, anything will do. But my favorite way to relax is: when it's cool outside, in my hammock, with a book.

Salad - Hmmmm. Guatemala is the "Land of the Eternal Spring". Doesn't sound too bad.

Main Course - I ate Sonic on Saturday, but I brought it home. Last dinner out was Friday night. We went to Chili's and I got the Chicken Tacos. Yum.

Dessert - I already had to come up with a pseudonym for my blog, now I have to think of a boat name too? I read an article yesterday about a lady that works for the phone company and she takes care of the phone service for a small island off the East Coast. She named her boat the Busy Signal. Now that's pretty creative.

So, what about you????

posted by Amstaff Mom | 10:13 AM | 8 comments

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Can you hear my sister say "you jerk" when Brian laughs at her? Classic.

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posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:51 AM | 2 comments

Eddo attempts to Bench Press Roger. The dog wins.

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posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:51 AM | 6 comments

Blogger Game Night, Take 2

As I'm sure you've read on Eddo's site, we had a blogger game night this past weekend at our house. We consumed loaves of garlic cheesy bread, cheese dip, pizza rolls, caesar salad, spaghetti, and then topped it off with tiramisu for dessert. Food, fun, and fellowship. It doesn't get much better than that. Unless you have pictures and video to save it for posterity. And of course, I do. So here we go!

Eddo is extremely pleased with his very large plate of pizza rolls. Extremely pleased. Until he sees a hand reaching to steal one of them. Then he gives the Roger the "oh, what fun it will be to rip you in two" look.

Jes - the Hoodlum

Eddo says, "is it my turn to play now?" K-T, Brian and Roger pay him no heed. Poor Eddo.

My sis joined us for the festivities. She can't believe she got the answer wrong to the question. She must be punished for it though, so I raised my arm to strike her. Or something like that.

Hi Cav! Read us the Buzz Word card. "OK, the word is Toe-Be-Gone".

Jes and K-T don't realize that they are on video. Obviously.

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Spin Cycle

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posted by Amstaff Mom | 5:41 AM | 17 comments

Monday, September 26, 2005


K-T wrote about her future Hero today. When I was reading it, I couldn't help but thinking of my hero. Brian to the rest of you. Sweetie to me. So here it goes. These are the reasons that he is my hero.

My hero is . . .

Smart, intelligent, educated, a life long learner. Brian would be the first to admit that he's not a "book smart" kind of guy. He doesn't enjoy reading fiction or novels, and never does. He does love to learn though. He is always willing to help out others, and in doing so, has learned valuable tools. He can fix just about anything around the house, and can calculate all the angles and measurements in building something. I get lost trying to think through the process of ordering all the supplies for a sprinkler system, but he can do it with ease. Over the last few years, he has developed a gift for studying apologetics. Apologetics is being able to defend your faith against other religions. In doing so, my "non-reader" has purchased commentaries, concordances and made numerous spreadsheets with Bible verses on different subjects. He loves to debate with Mormons, or on "hot topics/issues". And he's good at it. I am so proud.

Able, strong, capable of protecting me. Brian may not be the biggest guy in the world. He was teasing K-T this week that she could beat him in leg wrestling since he weighs 63 pounds. Neither K-T nor I took that the right way, but he meant it all in good fun. I always feel safe with him though. For a long time I weighed more than him (unfortunately). Now, we're back to the same weight, but he's three inches taller. I always feel safe with him though. Always. Never have I thought that he couldn't protect me. From any type of danger. One time, we were at the lake when the worst hail storm ever occured all of a sudden. It was coming at as vertically and the wind was blowing so hard that limbs were breaking and large ice chests full of drinks and ice were scooting across the concrete. There we were under a shelter for picnic tables getting painfully slammed with large chunks of ice. And what did Brian do? He wrapped his body around mine as a shield to protect me, while he got slammed by the painful ice. I love this man.

Honest, truthful, with integrity. Brian is a hard worker, and is respected amongst his peers. I completely trust him, and so can everyone else.

Loving, affectionate, romantic. The notes left in my car. The Payday candy bars (my favorite) when I go on a trip. The surprise cards. Footrubs. The list goes on. I'll try not to embarrass him further.

A leader. People look up to him on the ministry team that we're involved with . He is organized and trustworthy. For me, it is natural to follow him. He is not controlling or dominating. He values my input and freely admits his mistakes. We make decisions as a team, but he know he is the final say. I respect him.

A good father. I see how he acts with my nieces and nephews and I have no worries. He is disciplined and loving, and would know how to mold our children to be both.

My hero will have a sense of humor. Where do I begin. This is the first quality that endeared me to him. Everybody knows he has a sense of humor. After he gets out of his initial shyness, there is no stopping him. I start crying I laugh so hard at some of his stories. Things he's done and can now laugh about. He keeps me laughing. Always has, always will.

He will have a hobby, craft, or skill. He loves to build things. And work in the yard. This weekend he scraped his leg on rebar, smashed his finger with a hammer. Scraped his hands terribly picking up 25 lb concrete stones over and over again. The landscaping is perfect though. Each stone is completely level, in every direction. Perfectionism does have its benefits!

Weak, broken, rebuilt. There's a verse in the Bible that says, "He restores the years that the locusts have eaten." How true.

Has a mission. Sometimes I longingly wish that he could sit down, relax, or take a nap. But he's got things to do and items to check off his list. Is it a bad thing, no. He does have a mission. Always.

*And one other qualification: He has blue eyes. Sigh.

I love you, "Brian".

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:47 AM | 9 comments

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Survey Says....

Brian just ran out of cologne and was thinking about trying a different kind. I was curious, what is your favorite men's cologne?

And just for kicks and giggles, what's your favorite perfume?

posted by Amstaff Mom | 6:55 AM | 24 comments

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

100 Things About Amstaff Mom

I've been meaning to do this forever, so I might as well get started now.

100 Things About Me

1. I want to travel the world, except for India
2. I have no interest in seeing (or smelling) India
3. My best childhood memories are at camp or traveling
4. My family always got along when we were traveling
5. When I started dating, we no longer got along
6. My parents didn't want me dating any of my boyfriends
7. This included Hubby, but we all get along now
8. My first job, I was a camp counselor
9. It was day camp and we rode buses without air-conditioning
10. The day camp was in Dallas, in the summer.
11. I don't like the feel of sweaty legs on vinyl.
12. I do love to ride in Jeeps though
13. I've snorkled in Cozumel and Kauai
14. I am extremely near-sighted
15. My middle fingers are curved
16. I love to read, mainly mysteries
17. I have read the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes 5 times
18. I worked in the church library as a kid to get out of going to Sunday School
19. I have always loved reading and went to the Dallas Public Library at least once a week
20. I used to check out the AKC Book of Dogs every week to memorize dog breeds
21. I love dogs. Cats - not so much.
22. Growing up, I had a dachshund, yorkie, and poodles
23. Now I own a 55 lb American Staffordshire Terrier
24. My dog is my baby and she knows it.
25. I never wanted to have children, but I think I do now
26. Sometimes the thought makes me really nervous though.
27. I hope my kids have Hubby's blue eyes
28. I have a soft voice
29. It takes effort for me to speak loudly
30. I've had three passports
31. My CD collection is very random
32. I love to crank up my stereo at home to random songs
33. I love to listen to the Hungarian Rhapsody, which I wish I could play.
34. I have played the piano since I was 5 years old.
35. I took piano lessons for 13 years
36. I rarely play the piano now. Less than 5 times per year, probably
37. I used to be really good at sight reading, but not since I stopped playing.
38. I was the pianist for my high school and kids choir my senior year
39. I can't play jazz, but I do like playing the Maple Leaf Rag
40. If I could play one song on the guitar, I would play "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls
41. I love watching the Fountains at Bellagio.
42. I've been to Las Vegas twice.
43. I've never spent more than $5 gambling.
44. I first heard Andrea Boccelli's "Time to Say Goodbye" watching the fountains
45. Now I play the CD every once in awhile, crank it up, and lay on my couch.
46. I love to relax
47. I love to take naps
48. My mother was born in Guatemala but I consider myself white.
49. I never attended public school
50. I hated college
51. I think I would have liked college if I knew what I wanted to major in
52. Or if I had gone off to school and hadn't of been working and going to school.
53. I can spend hours on the internet
54. I love booking travel for my friends
55. All of my family lives in the D/FW metroplex
56. My family doesn't have family reunions
57. I love ice cream, especially Pistachio Almond
58. When I was little, I called Baskin Robbins "Baskinin Varnus"
59. My dad called me "first name" Baskinin Varnus for years.
60. I call my dad "Pops" and my mom "Momma"
61. I didn't start calling them that until I was older.
62. I have one younger sister. She is a miracle baby.
63. I like being alone
64. I don't mind going to the movies or to a restaurant by myself
65. I love hammocks
66. I am learning to eat healthy
67. I didn't eat wheat bread until a few years ago
68. I buy mostly organic food now
69. I don't like sandwiches
70. I do like Subway or Great Outdoors though
71. My mom made me bologna sandwiches with mayo on wheat
72. I used to throw my lunch away every day in elementary school
73. My teacher saw me throw it away one day and made me dig it out of the trash
74. I like to play games
75. I like to stay up late
76. I am NOT a morning person
77. I didn't eat chocolate as a kid, and don't much care for it now either
78. I do like Mr. Goodbar or Twix though.
79. I love to ride horses
80. I am a native Texan
81. I can shoot pistols pretty well
82. I had never held a gun until I met my hubby
83. I used to wear ropers (boots) all the time
84. I never wear them anymore
85. My first and middle name combination is very common
86. I read the Sunday paper every week
87. I like the wedding page and obits the best
88. I love taking pictures
89. I am not artistic in any other way except for photography
90. I became a Christian when I was 5 years old
91. I distinctly remember that day, even though it was 24 years ago
92. I led my grandmother to the Lord
93. I held my grandfather's hand as he took his last breath
94. I am not scared of dying
95. I do enjoy living though
96. I watch Little House on the Prairie re-runs
97. I thoroughly enjoy blogging
98. I love hugs
99. I give good backrubs, mainly because I have a bad back too.
100. I have over 50 pairs of shoes, mostly comfy shoes. Favorite brand is Merrell, followed by Born.

I actually thought of 100 things about myself. CRAZY!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:18 AM | 17 comments


I can't think of anything to post about today.

Anybody have any topics, suggestions or questions for the Amstaff Mom?

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:25 AM | 8 comments

Monday, September 19, 2005


On Saturday I was driving and listening to the radio when George Strait's "Texas" came on the radio. As I was listening, I saw a huge Texas flag flying in the breeze. It truly was a beautiful sight. If you've never heard the song, it's worth hearing! Here's the lyrics....

There wouldn’t be no Alamo
No Cowboys in the Super Bowl
No Lonesome Dove, no yellow rose
If it wasn’t for Texas
I wouldn’t be a Willie fan
Nobody’d swim the Rio Grande
I wouldn’t be an American
If it wasn’t for Texas

Fort Worth would never cross my mind
There’d be no Austin city limit sign
No lone star of any kind
If it wasn’t for Texas

I’d never gone to Tennessee
To sing my songs and chase my dreams
Only heaven knows just where I’d be
If it wasn’t for Texas

Repeat Chorus

It made me the man I am
Thank God for my old stompin’ ground
I wouldn’t be standin’ right here right now
If it wasn’t for Texas
If it wasn’t for Texas
If it wasn’t for Texas

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:12 AM | 9 comments

Friday, September 16, 2005

Food For Friday

I'm borrowing this from Friday's Feast..

Appetizer - Do your closer friends tend to be male or female? Why do you think that is?

Soup - If you could wake up tomorrow with a new talent, what would it be?

Salad - Name a household cleaning item that you would recommend to others.

Main Course - What do you strive for in life?

Dessert - On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how funny do you consider yourself?


Appetizer - My closest friends tend to be male. If there is a group, I will tend to gravitate to the males. I love motorcycles, cars, and other guy things. For me personally, it's easier to get to know guys than girls.

Soup - Learn Braille, Sign Language and Spanish. I have no excuse for not learning these, I just never have.

Salad - I will go ahead and do my Shaklee plug now and recommend Basic H. It cleans everything, is so economical, and keeps things simple since I use this one product instead of 15 other products. It is completely safe and bio-degradable. OK, I'm done now.

Main Course - The pastor at my parent's church quotes this at the end of the service, and it is what I should strive for, but is not always the case.

"Now go into the world in peace;
Have Courage;
Hold on to what is good;
Honor all men;
Strengthen the faint-hearted;
Support the weak;
Help the suffering and share the Gospel.
Love and serve the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit,
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
Be with you all. Amen."

Dessert - I would say a 6 or 7. Being around my husband has increased my humor level. Or at least made it dryer. I do laugh alot too.

Have a great weekend!!!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 6:46 AM | 6 comments

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Just in case you might have forgotten, SURVIVOR begins tonight. WAHOOOOOO!

I can't seem to find the CBS Survivor Fantasy League link anywhere. Are they not doing one this season? I've been on a couple of them, but I'm not having any luck finding it. And it would have been so fun!

Just Like Heaven hits theatres tomorrow. Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo (so cute in 13 Going On 30) and Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite fame (looking very non-Napoleon like) all star in it.

Maybe we'll go see that one tomorrow night.

That's all for now. Hope everyone's having a great day!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 10:50 AM | 4 comments

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Organic Gardening 101

Yesterday, Jes inspired me to write a post about organic gardening. Today, she provoked me to it. So here's Organic Gardening 101.

Chemicals are bad. Natural is good.

That just about sums it up. Chemicals are bad for you, the soil, nature, your pets, and your water. Natural is good for all the above. So, we've done organic gardening at all three homes, and if I may say so myself, the yard looked great. At least that's what the neighbors have said. Normally it's a gradual improvement, but sometimes it's immediate.

So where do we glean this wealth of information? From Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor himself. We've got several books, including my personal favorite, "The Texas Bug Book: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Yes, contrary to popular belief, there are alot of good bugs out there. Many of which get obliterated by the chemicals being sprayed on the yard. The problem is that they are beneficial bugs, and when they're gone, you've got even more problems than you had to begin with.

Howard Garrett also has a radio show, and a column in the Dallas Morning News. His website features the answers to many gardening questions.

So, what would you rather put on your lawn for fungus? Corn Gluten Meal or a chemical that could kill any living and breathing human or animal? Molasses or Diazinon? Vinegar or Round-up? By the way, 20% vinegar will singe your nose hairs in a strong breeze. I've felt the wrath of 20% vinegar. Coupled with sunshine, and it will fry a weed far more effectively than Round-Up. It's available at most feed stores. The vinegar you buy at the grocery store is only 5% vinegar. You have to have a special license to sell 30%, it's practically illegal! 20% will do the job.

So many people have never even heard of organic gardening, and didn't know that there are other options besides the normal chemicals found at your local Home Depot or Lowe's. Even they're starting to hop on the organic gardening bandwagon. They sell Lava Sand, GreenSand, and usually orange oil and vinegar. So here's a list of staples and their purposes...

Corn Gluten Meal - should be applied in Mid September as a pre-emergent. Will help prevent winter weeds (such as the dreaded crabgrass), and prevents you from having to buy additional fertilizer (added benefit!)

Corn Meal - to help your flower beds, reduce fungal disease, algae, weed control, and compost stimulation. LOTS of benefits. No "side-effects"

Greensand - Fertilizer with iron. Use instead of Ironite.

Lava Sand - Great for flower beds and plants. Helps the break down the soil.

Diatomaceous Earth - Or DE, or "My favorite way to kill ants and fleas". To you an I, it looks exactly like flour. To unsuspecting small insects like ants, it's razor wire. Take a handful and sprinkle it on a disturbed ant bed. Watch the ants crawl through it and watch them writhe in pain. The diatoms are microscopic, but really look like shards of glass, and that's exactly what it feels like to the ants. They bite me, I torture them. And then I laugh. Heartily.
Last week we were having an issue with crickets in the house, then we sprinkled DE. No more crickets. Sanity has returned. This is great stuff! There's even 2% in Amstaff's dog food. It's great for cattle and pets b/c it kills any micro-organisms living in them. Don't buy the kind meant for swimming pools.

There are other great products, but these will get you started. Next thing you know, you'll be releasing green lacewings and ladybugs, as well as trichogamma wasps. Checkout his website sometime. You and your pets will be glad you did.


The Environmental Republican/Amstaff Mom

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:49 AM | 14 comments

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider

"Brian" made the comment the other day that he had never seen a deadly spider until the age of 25. This is the same age he was when we moved out of the Dallas City Limits. Since then, we've seen:

1st house - Black Widow in our mailbox. Yep, reached in to get the mail and there was the famous red hourglass. I ALWAYS check the mailbox before I stick my hand it in now.

2nd house - Brown recluse right next to door in kitchen. Outside. When we went to go grab something to kill it, it disappeared. Not that's not a good feeling, let me tell you.

3rd house - "Brian" went to go get something out of the shed on Saturday. Just as he put his hand on the spreader, he saw something black move right next to his hand. Not one, but TWO black widow spiders.

My camera battery picked the most inopportune time to die, so I only got two blurry pictures out of it. One of them could have been perfect, because I was about three inches away from the perfect red hourglass. RATS! He even allowed one to walk up the stick he was holding so I could get a picture and then the battery died. I am SO disappointed. So, these will have to do.

And now for a cuter picture, here's my Amstaff acting like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She had been growling at the front door, so her fur was still standing up.

And, ONLY TWO MORE DAYS until, Survivor: Land of my mother, begins. YEA!!!!!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:12 AM | 15 comments

Monday, September 12, 2005

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Many of you have been praying and have asked if we had heard any news on the job that "Brian" put in for.




This is SUCH an answer to prayer. He will start his new job in a month.

Thank you so much for asking and praying for him. Praise to Him who blesses us more abundantly than we could ever imagine.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:44 AM | 10 comments

Friday, September 09, 2005

I'll Fly Away

I'll fly away oh glory
I'll fly away
When I die, hallelujah by and by,
I'll fly away

Some bright morning when this life is over,
I'll fly away
To a land on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away

Oh how glad and happy when we meet, I'll fly away
No more cold iron shackles on my feet
I'll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then
I'll fly away
To a land where joy will never end
I'll fly away

I'll fly away oh glory
I'll fly away
When I die
Hallelujah by an by
I'll fly away

In Memory of Josh Dulworth
June 2, 1978 - September 4, 2005
Passed into glory due to a sudden heart attack, doing what he loved, playing golf.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 1:07 PM | 7 comments

Funny for Friday

BBQ It's the only type of cooking a real man will do. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

1) The woman buys the food.

2) The woman makes the salad, vegetables, and dessert.

3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill --drink in hand. Here comes the important part .....


5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another drink while he deals with the situation. Important again.


8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes. And most of all....

10) Everyone PRAISES the man and THANKS him for his cooking efforts.

11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:05 AM | 6 comments

These are the people in my neighborhood...

I'm trying to remember the TV show that song is from. Is it Mr. Rogers? I think so.

So, I'm running errands this morning...

1. I go to Verizon Wireless. I have to type my info in to get my place in line. My name pops up on the screen as JCol. I think how happy Jes would be to see it like that, and smile.

2. I go to Home Depot. Recognize vehicle in parking lot as belonging to the groom that is getting married tomorrow at the wedding I'm attending.

3. Go to Lowe's. See my next door neighbor in line in front of me, recognize guy from church in line behind me.

4. Go to Chipotle (I'm eating a veggie bowl at the moment). See Bianca there. Talk to her.

It's a small world after all!!!

More posts later.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 10:44 AM | 7 comments

Thursday, September 08, 2005

THE Weekend, Part 4 or Miss Madam Jes

After consuming our burritos, watching Clue, and guzzling Dublin Dr. Pepper in the Clue Drinking Game (much more difficult than it sounds), we got our second wind. K-T had brought some fun hats with her (don't ask). So what else are 4 crazy girls to do but act crazy? Most of this won't make any sense to anybody not there, and it probably doesn't make any sense to us either now, but here we go. The rest of the evening in pictures.

Some of us decided that her name should be Miss Jes, after Miss Cleo (remember her?). Others liked the name Madam Jes. So to compromise, she's Miss Madam Jes. And she's waiting for her next customer (victim/sucker).

You laugh at my fortune-telling abilities?? Well! I laugh at your future!!!

"Aww, Jes. Do you really think that you're going to be able to bilk these people for all they're worth?"

"Oh really, well ok then."

(I'm sure he was thinking this at least)

Miss Madam Jes reads Impatient Bee's palm. Notice her crystal ball. Why she has a stuffed dog in it, I'm still not sure. And no worries, it wasn't one of my infamous stuffed dogs.

Now she uses her magic potion to cast a spell on her unsuspecting customer. Poor Bee.

Have no fears, Maximilian is alive and well, and loving NYC.

And now for even more randomness and weirdness, here's pictures of K-T's long fingers and toes. I'm not saying that K-T's appendages are weird, just that I was taking pictures of them and are now posting the strange pics.

And why not, let's get Jes' and Roger's feet on the post too.

This hereby concludes pictures and narration of this past weekend. Thanks for joining us!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:34 AM | 16 comments

Selfish Little Shellfish

I know I'm not in the position to complain, gripe or whine. I know that the inconvenience is nothing compared to what so many have gone through in losing their homes, businesses, pets, or loved ones. I know that, but I'm still selfish. Do you mind if I whine for a minute? I promise to be more chipper later and finish with my last and final "THE Weekend post." I found out this morning the cruise that hubby and I booked has been cancelled. They're not putting hurricane victims on the ship that we were going to be on, but they're putting them on one of the others and moving those cruise ship customers to "our" cruise ship, bumping us off. I'm got to start shopping and looking again. Again, sorry for being whiny, but this is kind of a pain.

Thanks for letting me vent.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:09 AM | 7 comments

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

THE Weekend, Part 3

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes, riding around in Go-Jeeps. We began to head back to the apt., with a stop-off at Dairy Queen. This resulted in a fabulous post by Jes, which you've seen, but wait! There's more, this is the tamer version.

Then there's also movie star/photographer K-T. She wears many hats, including yesterday's grandma hat.

So, after our return to Jes'and Roger's apt., Jes cleaned the kitchen because she "likes to keep the kitchen, tidy". K-T and I just lazed around. My sister came over, and then we went to go pick up burritos and such from Freebirds.

Evidently Jes coveted K-T's burrito, because the minute K-T got up from her chair, this happened.

The Impatients came over, bringing with them goodies such as Central Market Queso and Dublin Dr. Pepper. Such goodness. "Would anybody care for fruit, or dessert?"

No corn syrup here.

Much to the delight of the other guests, I decided to be brave/stupid and try out the famous exercise ball trick which K-T so famously bounced off of. Thankfully, I didn't fall flat on my face. Too bad the camera was on manual mode. Or maybe I really was moving that fast..

Unfortunately, the camera was still on manual mode, but my arrangement of magnets summed up my weekend. It's impossible to read, but it said,

"what friends we are together"

That just about sums up the weekend, with one post left for tomorrow.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 8:39 AM | 8 comments

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

THE Weekend, Part 2

After visiting with the evacuees, we decided to explore Jes' ol' stomping grounds. We headed into the shed where K-T found a scooter and did her best "Grandma that loves cats and Jack Daniel's" imitiation. The cat is standing on her Jack Daniel's cup.

Jes took us on a ride in her golf cart. It has two seats and then a cargo bed. Jes drove, Holly had the passenger seat and then K-T and I sat in the cargo bed. We got the guided tour, with narration. We gave her a good tip after the tour was over.

Unfortunately, we didn't heed the warning that was posted on the golf cart.

I did sweep it out first though. Afterall, cleanliness is next to Godliness. And we all felt that we were about to meet our Maker that day. Putting our live in Jes' hands. She had a wicked laugh people, wicked.

We''re about to pass the barn where she and her brother had cow-patty "Battleship" fights. And skated on their half-pipe. The wind is in Jes' and Holly's hair.

Look at the fear and dread in our eyes. Riding in a cargo bed of a Jeep-looking golf cart. A Go-Jeep if you will. Our closest imitation to a Jeep ride on the Oregon coast. Sad, really.

And all the while, they look calm and serene. To us unsuspecting victims.

Sit down K-T!!! Actually, the ride became even more fun standing up. A blast, actually.

We all survived! One of the hurricane evacuees took this picture for us. Makes it even more special.

After much convincing, some of the guys went on the tour as well. This doesn't give the ride any justice, especially since I was sitting down, but here we go! We had 4 people in the cargo bed at this point. "Six all together. This is getting serious."

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Stay tuned for more posts....(tomorrow)

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:22 AM | 15 comments

THE Weekend, Part 1

Where do I even begin? So much happened this weekend, that I'm afraid I will accidentally omit critical information. Thankfully, I'm sure Jes and K-T will post their views, so you get a complete report of the weekend. And yes, I call Jes "Jes" and not Jessica, and K-T is Kay-TEE. Just like it's written. I have supreme difficulty calling her Katie. But she called me "Amstaff" on Saturday, so it's all good.

So, at 9:30pm on Friday, The Great K-T came to pick me up in her chariot to take us to Jes'. It is so much fun to get to know an online friend in person. So much fun. When we arrived at Jes' we met several new people, including Holly, who reads our blogs. We had some great girl-talk, K-T hopped into the kitchen, and began cranking out the Cinnamon Struesel muffins. The smell began to waft throughout the house, lingering in our noses. We weren't allowed even a morsel, since they were being baked for the evacuees.

Here's Jes scrapbooking, Holly knitting her large scarf, and the Princess Bride was about to be watched. No matter how many times I've seen that movie, I never get tired of it. And did you know there was a book? K-T has even read the screenplay! She interpreted some of the Andre the Giant lines I never understood.

Please note the ridiculously shiny hair.

We stayed up until 3am, which was not conducive to my 5am wakeup time on Friday morning, but I managed, somehow. Soon after I woke up, I headed off to the kitchen for some baking. I cranked out some muffins and then attempted to wrap them in curling ribbon and saran wrap. Here's our culinary delights ready for the evacuees...

The Three Amigas.

We then headed out to Jes' parents house, where she grew up, and where some New Orleans evacuees had gathered for lunch. On the way, we noticed 8 Dallas County Sheriff's escorting charter buses, and we all tried to guess where they were heading, since it was the opposite direction of Reunion Arena and the Dallas Convention Center. It was quite a caravan.

We later found out that they were on the way to the area where the evacuees are first processed and given food and water, before they are taken to area camps or shelters. There were 14 buses just in this caravan.

It is overwhelming sometimes to think just how many people have been displaced because of the hurricane. It made it so much more real to meet the family that consisted of 3 generations, all displaced together. They had all evacuated New Orleans and made their way to Texas, and had been staying in an La Quinta. It was going to cost them $6000/mo to keep staying there. Thankfully, they were able to move into a cottage on Saturday all together, and save the expense. It made me remember that we have so much to be thankful for. So much.

More posts to come.....

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:17 AM | 9 comments


Krrracck! Kshhhhhh! Pop!!!!!


That is the sound of the last can of Dublin Dr. Pepper being poured into my body.


Post and pictures to come soon....

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:44 AM | 4 comments

Monday, September 05, 2005

Seeds of Jealousy

Top 10 reasons you should be jealous of me....

1. I spent 27 hours straight with Jes and K-T this weekend.
2. I met the Impatients in PERSON. Impatient Chicken and Impatient Bee
3. I saw my sister, albeit for a short time
4. I drank Dublin Dr. Pepper
5. I ate Central Market Queso
6. I ate JD's cookies AND K-T's Infamous Chocolate Chip cookies, FRESH from the oven
7. I talked to Jubal (Steve to the rest of you) on the phone.
8. I rode on the back of a golf cart, down the hill, standing up, with Jes driving
9. I got to bake muffins for New Orleans refugees
10. I have pictures to prove most of the above.

Seriously though, I hope everyone has a great holiday today. Keep those that are less fortunate in your prayers, be safe, and I'll talk to y'all tomorrow!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:46 AM | 18 comments

Friday, September 02, 2005

Questions for Friday

I took this from the website Friday's Feast . There's not one today, so I borrowed an old one from March. Here are the questions...

Appetizer - What is the worst movie you've ever seen?

Soup - Name something that reminds you of your childhood.

Salad - If you had to live in a large city, which one would you want it to be?

Main Course - What's a "big word" you like to use to impress people?

Dessert - Describe your hairstyle.

My answers:

Appetizer - Random Hearts. Blech.

Soup - Drinking Pepsi and eating Twix. My grandmother had two refrigerators. Come to think of it, both of my grandmother's did. One of them even had 2 freezers in addition to this. (Needless to say, she wasn't Slim Pickens). Every Sunday after church, we'd go to my mom's parents' house for lunch. No matter what the lunch, she'd always have 2-3 Pepsi bottles in the fridge waiting to be opened. She also kept a stash of Twix bars in the fridge for us kids. Nothing like a cold Twix. Man, that WAS a flashback in time for me.

Salad - Big D or London

Main Course - I don't try to impress people w/ big words. Not my thing.

Dessert - Today it's the "didn't feel like drying it at all" look. Slightly curly, down, probably needs brushing.

So what about you??

posted by Amstaff Mom | 11:05 AM | 11 comments

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Book Recommendation

About a month ago, I read the Million Dollar Series by Mindy Starns Clark. It was a series of 5 books, and was one of the most enjoyable series reads for me in a long time. I was hooked. One took place in Asheville, and the last one took place in New Orleans/Slidell. It gave me a bit of background on this area, and has actually come in handy when reading about the recent disaster that occured in the city. If you're looking for a good read, that's full of suspense without being overly scary, I personally would highly recommend these books. They are Christian Fiction, without being preachy. A bit of a love story as well. I stayed up late reading all of these.

This one was the one that took place in New Orleans, but you've really got to read the series in order to fully appreciate it.

My mother-in-law is involved in who knows how many book clubs. She then donates the books to the church library at my parent's church. She gives them to me to pass on to them, but they take a brief stop at my house first. I cull through the stack and pull out the mysteries/suspense, and then send the other ones on their way. I've got about 20 that I still need to read before I pass on. I just gave these to my parents to take to church last week, otherwise I'd loan them to anybody that wanted to borrow them.

Happy Reading!

posted by Amstaff Mom | 9:03 AM | 9 comments

Food For Thought

I read this on this morning. This article is available to anyone, so I'm not copying it from the part that you have to login for. Just thought it was worth passing on. Remember Bianca's story of the foul eggs? This is to prevent any further occurences of it.

The Dating Game

It's breakfast time, and you're craving a cheese omelette. Your carton of eggs says, “EXPFEB12”; the cheddar says, “Use by Feb. 23”; the milk says, “Sell by March 1.” It’s March 4. Can you safely scramble, or should you switch to cereal, which is telling you “Best if used by 3-5”? If you're unsure, you're not alone. The boxes, cans, and cartons in our kitchens are trying to tell us something, but we may not be getting the message.
Except for poultry, infant formula, and some baby food, product dating is not required by the federal government, but more than 20 states mandate dating of some foods. When dates are applied, generally by the manufacturer and occasionally by the store, they're stated in a variety of ways: You might see Nov. 25, 11-25, or 1125. The terms used are somewhat flexible, too, since there's no standard.

Here, words to the wise about the words on foods:

“Use by,” “best if used by,“ or “quality assurance” date: The last date the product is likely to be at peak flavor and quality. One of these dates is often placed on foods such as cereal, which may decline in flavor and quality. It doesn't mean the food is unsafe after that date.
“Sell by” or “pull”: An indication, to the retailer, of the last day on which a product should be sold. It takes into account time for the food to be stored and used at home. You should buy it before the date, but don't have to use it by then. You should be able to use milk, say, for up to about seven days after the sell-by date.

Pack or package date: The date the food--fresh meat, for example--was packed or processed. Consumers can tell which package is fresher and choose that one. A pack date isn't an indication of safety.

“Expiration”: For most foods, this indicates the last date on which they should be eaten or used. Eggs are an exception: If you buy federally graded eggs before the expiration date (which must be no more than 30 days from when they were put in the carton), you should be able to use them safely for the next 3 to 5 weeks.

“Born on”: Initiated by Anheuser-Busch, it's supposed to let buyers choose the freshest beer. According to the company, its beer is freshest and tastes best within 110 days from the born-on date.

Coded date: A series of letters or numbers or both used by the manufacturer to track foods across state lines and, if necessary, recall them. The code isn't meant as a use-by date.
Other words to the wise: As a rule, high-acid canned foods such as tomatoes can be stored on the shelf for 12 to 18 months; properly stored low-acid canned foods such as meat, fish, and most vegetables will keep 2 to 5 years. Don't use a can that's bulging. If perishable foods are packaged and frozen properly, they will be safe to eat after the expiration date, although the food may suffer freezer burn if it's stored for a long time. And if a food bears a date without words? Unfortunately, you'll have to guess what it means.

posted by Amstaff Mom | 7:07 AM | 4 comments