Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Wordplay" Wednesday!...

   "God gave us our memories so that we may have roses in December."
     -J.M. Barrie

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I wanted to welcome home Krissy and John once again!  I am so happy they are home!  They are enjoying their new freedoms that come with being in their own environment.  I am so, so happy you two are home!  Krissy and John, if you guys haven't realized yet, are my other half, they really are.  They complete me.  If anyone is lucky enough to have a sister like Krissy, well, they have the best sister in the world!  And John, well, there is no better brother-in-law!  I love you guys!


Time for "Wordplay" today!  I decided to list some words and see if they invoke any memories or stories or emotions from you.  Pick a word from the list and write a sentence or paragraph or story that comes up for you after you view the word.  It could be anything!  Leave it in the comments section.  If you want to do an entry in your journal or blog please come back and leave the URL to your entry so I can go read it!  Thanks!  Here are the words:

          childhood games

I will do mine in my next entry as I have an appointment in ten minutes and wanted to post this before I left.  Hope you all have fun with this!!  Thanks for playing!  Have a wonderful day! xox

Monday, March 27, 2006

Krissy and John are home!!...


and John are home from the hospital and John is doing very well!!  All is okay with the world now!!  I love you guys!!  Welcome back! xoxox


Friday, March 24, 2006

"Wordplay" answers, sky pictures...

It seems like this week flew by quickly.  I spent alot of the week sleeping.  I have had a bit of a fibromyalgia flare and I have been very, very tired.  My bed and I have been good friends this week.  I'm hoping that I will wake up and have a more productive weekend!

I wanted to congratulate Barbara
from Confessions of An Angel Waitress who was the first person to send in the correct answers to "Wordplay" Wednesday morning!  Good job, Barbara!!  Krissy from Sometimes I Think was the only other person to have the correct answer to both questions.  Way to go!!  Krissy also brought up something very interesting.  I am going to start with the second question first.  The answer to the question, "What word do we make plural by adding an 'en'?" is OXEN!!  The first question, "What four English words end in '-dous? '" are tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous!  This is the interesting fact Krissy brought up - there is another word that ends in '-dous' - annelidous.  It is a rare, zoological word.  Here is it's definition from Mr. Webster:  annelidous - An`nel´i`dous a 1(Zool) of the nature of an annelid.  The annelids, collectively called annelida (from Latin annellus "little ring"), are a large phylum of animals, comprising the segmented worms, of about 15,000 modern species including the well-known earthworms and leeches.   Thanks, Krissy!  Here is a picture of an annelid...


I have lots to do today.  I have to take in my car for an oil change and lube and I am going over to do some things for Krissy at her apartment and, well, I need another nap, so I am out of here.  I am leaving you guys with pictures of Pennsylvania skylines.  This is what it looks like when I drive down the highway here.  It is a pretty state.  I didn't get any shots of the mountains the day I took these pictures.  Someday I will get mountain shots.  The mountains can be so beautiful around here.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! xox





Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Kaleidoscope and "Wordplay"!...

Hidey-ho and happy Wednesday, everyone =) !!  Seems Spring wants to be winter in my area.  It's been a bit cold and I still need my electric blanket.  The daffodils are peaking through, though, and things are looking a little bit greener.

Saturday's "Up Close" picture seemed hard until I added the second picture, then three readers guessed it correctly!!  The first correct guesser was Chuck
from Dribble by Chuck.  I had the biggest chuckle at what he wrote.  This was his guess:

     " Gad... a brass tube resting on a wooden block.  Two discs, very corroded,
        and the end one very decorative, good gosh.  What the heck.  some kind of
        kitchen implement judging by the corroded disc...but what.  The discs must      
        rotate, but not on the brass tube... All right, this time I guess an antique
        kelidoscope... Cant wait to see more... I have a suspicion that I wont know
        what it is even when I see all of it."

Yes, it is an antique, or vintage kaleidoscope.  I should have polished it before I took a picture of it.  Does anyone know how to polish brass?  Ramblin' Man Rich
and Roberta from Bert's World also guessed the picture correctly!  Good job, guys!!  Here is your blue ribbon, Chuck!:



I found this kaleidoscope at a local thrift store that I volunteer at.  I got it for $15... half price off of $30!  I was looking up vintage kaleidoscopes on ebay yesterday and couldn't find any that looked similar to this one.  I found some that were just brass tubes for $99.  I couldn't find any that had the stained glass wheels.  Interesting.  When I look through this at the light it is incredible.  I wish I could show you pictures of the inside!  The second wheel behind the colored wheel has textured glass without color.  You can "set" the kaleidoscope either on a color or a texture.  I have a love of glass and art, so this was a nice find.  I can sit with this for long periods of time and just stare into it.  I really do need to clean it up, though.  So, DOES anyone know how to clean brass?


So, today is Wednesday and time for "Wordplay".  If anyone has any suggestions for future Wordplays put your suggestions in the comments section or send me an email.  I will give you credit!  I have a couple of questions for you guys today...

     1.  In the English language, we make most of our words plural by
        adding an "s" or an "es".  There is one word, and only one that we      

            make plural by adding an "en".  Can you name it?  hint:  no it is NOT    
            children, that is an "ren".

    2.  There are only four words in the English language which end in
.   Can you name them?

Put your answers in the comments section or send them to me in an email at  Good luck!

Have a lovely day, everyone! xox

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Spring, "Up Close" Picture, etc...

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING !!!!!!!   Can you tell I am excited it is Spring?!  I love the Spring weather!!  I love that I can open my windows and smell the cool fresh air and hear the birds sing!  I love, especially, sleeping with my windows open at night!  That is the most glorious feeling of all!  I love the smell.  It is the best perfume in the world.  I love waking up to the birds in the morning and the sunshine on my face!  I just hope the weather cooperates.  In my area we can still have winter-like weather for another month.  That's okay, though, because I know warmth is just around the corner.  What's most important is that light is here!  More daylight!  More sunshine!  Yes, I love the Spring!  I suffer some S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) symptoms over the winter months and they really start to lift in March.  I don't speak much of my depression in my journal.  I really need to do an entry about that soon.  It's going to take some emotional energy doing the entry so I have been putting it off.  It will get done soon, though.  It is in my head.  I just need to get it down in type.  Entry coming soon...

No one has correctly guessed the "Up Close With Val" picture I posted a few days ago.  I am going to post it again with a little bit more detail.  This object was a wonderful find for me at the local thrift store and I will tell you all about it after it is guessed!  Go ahead and make another stab at it!


I posted my kitty cats a few months ago and just posted Krissy's kitty cat the other day on  It has been fun to see the results of the postings!  If you want to see the
go over and see and give them a nice vote =)!!  Upload your kitties, too!  If you do, send me an email with your link so I can vote for your kitty, too!

Hey, have you been
?  It is so easy and makes you feel so good!  These sites are just one click and take just a few seconds of your time.  You can actually feed a person 1.1 cups of food with just one click of your mouse!!  Just one click every day and you have donated 401.5 cups of food a year !!  One click a day for the animals will feed them 219 cups of food a year and provide them care in a shelter.  There are millions of animals in shelters in this country.  It is such a shame.   Half of these animals die each year.   There are six wonderful causes linked together on one web page.  It takes about sixty seconds of your time a day.  Thanks for doing your part! of my soapbox now.

I hope everyone has a truly beautiful first day of Spring! xox


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Oxymoron List and "Up Close With Val"!...

                "Hold a true friend with both your hands."
- A Nigerian Proverb

I'm glad it's the weekend again.  I give myself permission to be a bit slower on the weekends.  I do a bit less housework and worry a less about things getting done and I rest a bit more.  I tend to maybe watch movies, find alone time, or do things that I have neglected that are fun.  Weekends are more about me.  During the weekdays, I don't work during the day and I don't have a family to take care of and yet I still wonder why my days are filled with so many things to do!  Sometimes it gets crazy.  I have been feeling like I have been spinning my wheels lately and haven't been accomplishing much.  I hate that feeling.  I don't feel like I am getting behind, though, so that's good.  Spring weather usually brings on a burst of energy for me, so bring it on!  Spring is in two days!  I hope it brings on Spring-like weather!  In my area, the change of season doesn't necessarily coincide with change in weather.  It has been very cold and even snowing this past week.  Ah, I just want to open my windows and smell that Spring air!  It will be soon, though.

I was very, very pleased and excited by the list of oxymorons we all came up with!  I was worried that there would be little participation, but we have a list of 22!  Some made me chuckle and some made me ponder as to where they came from.  Hmmm... I do wonder about the origins of words and expressions alot.  Thanks for participating, you guys!!  Here is the list:

          jumbo shrimp
               last chance
          working vacation
          deafening silence

          lowfat salami                
          dry ice
          icy hot                            (thank you, Kellen!)
          spend thrift                    (thank you, Mark!)
          defensive strike              (thank you, Roberta!)
          "friendly" killer whale    (thank you, Kathy!)
          idealistic realist              (thank you, Angela!)
          pretty ugly                      (thank you, Barbara! [queenb])
          open secret                  
          clearly misunderstood
          black light
          cold sweat
          extinct life
          plastic glasses
          tight slacks
          found missing 
          silent scream
          clear as mud                   (thank you, Barbara! [mastersblynn])
          a little pregnant              (thank you, Betty!)             


I have an installment of "Up Close With Val" for you today!!  These are always fun for me!  If you have a guess as to what the object below in the photo is, put your guess in the comments section or send me an email at  I will announce the first correct guesser in a day or two.  Have fun!!


I'm off to go jump in my warm bed.  It's just been too windy and chilly this past week.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone! xox

Wednesday, March 15, 2006



Good Wednesday everyone!  It's time for "Wordplay"!  I thought that we could have fun today with oxymorons.  An oxymoron, according to the American Heritage Dictionary is defined as a rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined.  I chuckle with oxymorons alot.  I think that they can be a matter of opinion as well as colloquial, too.  I thought it could be fun to see what kind of a list we could come up with.  I am starting off with four that I thought of.  Add more in the comments section!  If you can think of more later, come back and add them!  You can email them to me, too at, or even do an entry in your own journal and leave the URL to your entry in my comments section so I can go to your entry and add your oxymorons to our list!  Thanks for participating!   Let's see how long our list can get!

          jumbo shrimp
          last chance
          working vacation
          deafening silence

What can you come up with?

Tomorrow is
Sassy Deb's birthday!  Drop by and wish her a happy one!  Have a good rest of the week everyone! xox


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Please support with a visit...

Kasey lost her husband yesterday.  Please pay her a visit and lend her your support.  Thank you.

The Winner, etc...

Congratulations to the birthday girl, Chelsea, who correctly identified yesterday's picture of "Up Close" in an email.  She sent me an email that simply stated, "mango, mango, mango!"  Yes, honey, it is a mango!!  


I think she was correct because she has seen me and her O'ma and O'pa (Pennsylvania Dutch for Grandma and Grandpa) eat plenty of these in her lifetime.  They live on our tables.  Barbara of Confessions of An Angel Waitress was a correct guesser as well and missed being first guesser by only a few minutes!  Good job, Barbara!  Gem of Journally Yours was also a correct guesser!  Good job, ladies!!  Now here is your blue ribbon, Chels!:

I was feeling very nostalgic and warm and fuzzy this morning after talking to Chelsea and wishing her a happy birthday.  Wow, she isn't a teenager anymore.  I was thinking about her baby and toddler years and am getting so excited about her giving me a grandson!!  I am certain her baby will be a blessing.


                                 HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, CHELSEA!!
Krissy thinks she and John will be at the Hope House for atleast three or four more weeks as they are putting John on a new intravenous drug.  If you missed it on my post yesterday, tomorrow is
birthday.  If you want to send her an e-card and don't have her e-mail address send me an e-mail at and I will give it to you.  I am sure she would love receiving contact from journalers.  You guys are wonderful support for her.  She mentions it all the time on the phone and asks about everyone =D!!  I have passed on all of your sentiments in my comments to her in a few emails so she HAS gotten them.  If you want her to receive any message I would be happy to give it to her.  Just send it my way!  Thanks everyone for your support for her and John.  It means the world!

I'm off to have a slow day.  I need a break.  Think I will take it easy today.  Maybe watch TV and take a nap.  Now that sounds nice.  Have a nice coming week everyone! xox

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"Up Close With Val" and Birthdays!...

Happy Saturday, readers of mine =)!!  There are alot of birthdays to celebrate in my world.  My best friend from middle school and high school is having a birthday today.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jennifer!!  I won't tell anyone how old you are, sweetie ;-).  Chelsea turns 20 tomorrow!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Baby Girl, Roo!!!  Krissy has a birthday on Monday, too, if anyone wants to send her an e-card or email.  If you don't have her email address and want it, please ask and I will send it to you.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my dearest, sweet, sister-o'-mine!  I miss you so much!!   You three are so, so special to me!  All born within three days, amazing!  I love you guys!!!                    


I have a new installment for "Up Close"!  I was able to get to Krissy's computer and upload some pictures!  Yay!  I hope someone is able to guess this one.  I know that the last one was too hard for you guys and I had to give you extra clues.  So, here is the picture.  If you have a guess as to what this picture is, leave your answer in the comments section or send me an email at  I will announce the first correct guesser in a day or two.  Good luck and have fun!!


A fellow journaler just started up a new journal and needs some readers.  Noelle at
The Ways of Rayne
needs a few readers to come by and say hello and lend her some support in starting up her journal!!  Thanks for going by and saying hello to her and introducing yourself!

Have a lovely weekend, all.  I hope you are having some fun in the sunshine! xox


Wednesday, March 8, 2006

"Wordplay" and the sex of the baby!

Chelsea had a sonogram done two days ago and they are 80% certain she is having a boy !! =D =D !!!  Proud grandma, here!!  Chelsea is coming to visit in May.  I bought her a ticket to stay for a week and her friends and I are having a baby shower for her!  I bought the ticket for her birthday.  Her birthday is March 12.  She will be 20 in four days.  I know what I was doing 20 years ago in four days :-o.  She WAS NOT an easy labor, but I won't go into that.


Chelsea is having a hard time agreeing on a name for her baby with the father.  I thought I would use that for "Wordplay" today.  This idea come from
Barbara as well.  She wanted to know how everyone came up with their children's names.  I would like to know as well.  How about your name, tooHow about middle namesAre there any family names that have been passed down through your family treeDo you have any "name stories" you would like to tell?  Leave your answers in the comments section or write an entry in your journal and come back and leave the URL to your entry so I can read it and comment!

My answer:  When I was pregnant with Chelsea and Matt, my husband and I decided that I could pick the girl names and he could pick the boy names.  We each could veto, but we never did.  I first heard of the name Chelsea from my sister Deirdre.  I had never heard of the name before and thought it was beautiful.  She was one of the first Chelsea's before the name became popular.  Her middle name is Ann, named after my mom, who is Barbara Ann.  My son is named Matthew Aaron.  I have a cousin with the name Matthew.  We really liked the name.  I think I came up with his middle name if I remember correctly.  My name, Valerie, was given to me because my mom said she knew a Valerie that was very poised and beautiful.  I like that!  I was almost named Monica, according to my Mom.  My middle name is Maire (pronounced mor-uh).  It's Gaelic for Mary.  The five girl siblings in my family all have forms of Mary for middle names - Maria, Miriam, Marie, Maire, and Maureen.

What about your nameYour kid's namesAny name stories?

On another note, I got a mammogram yesterday.  If you are a woman 40 and over, have you had your yearly one yet?  If not, call and set one up today!

Have a good rest of the week everyone! xox

Monday, March 6, 2006

Pet Stars Part 2!...

Look see!  Look see!  I'm on the Face Wall!  I submitted my picture about two months ago.  Neat!  Did you submit your photo?

I had so many additional, inspiring stories about journaler's pets this week!  I have had a grin all week reading the stories and looking at the pictures that have appeared in my email box!  Thanks so much for sending them everyone!  I wanted to do an additional shoutout to these five dogs and six cats!:

Hi Toby, Lady, Marta, Katinka, Cinnamon, Kiki, Scooby, Tipsy, Pandora, Shadow, and Skippy!!  Give your furry friends a pat for me everyone =D =D!!

Here are the wonderful pictures that were submitted to me.  I had so much fun viewing them!!:

, who is incidentally traveling right now, sent me these two pictures of Katinka.  She is a Maine Coon.  Maine Coons have enough fur for several cats!  I know this by brushing Michael so much!  Have a fun and safe trip, Jeannette!



sent me this darling picture of Scooby.  Scooby is a rescued doggie that has lots of wrinkles on his face, but not on his body.  He is a shar pei.  He is very gentle according to Jan.


submitted these two pictures of her darling Pomeranians.  The first one is of Kiki who is a year old.  This is her favorite spot.  She is the queen of the house.


Here are Cinnamon and Kiki together.  Cinnamon is six.  This is Angelrose's favorite picture of the two of them.


sent me several pictures.  She has quite a few pets!  The first picture is of Shadow and Pandora.  She named Pandora after Pandora's Box.


This is Stoker.  He is named after the movie Stoker Ace.


This darling kitty is Skippy.  He is named after Skippy Peanut Butter.  As a matter of fact, my kitty cat, Baby's,  very favorite treat, even more than steak or chicken is peanut butter.  Hmmm..


Finally, this is Tipsy, named because of the way she walks.


I wanted to add recent pictures of Michael, Honey and Baby, just because they are my favorite kitties in the whole wide world and because they are recent photographs taken in the last week.  Baby is 17, maybe 18 pounds now!!  Michael is 25 pounds!!  Wow!!




I'm glad you all enjoyed the pets.  It has been truly a blessing to see all of them!  Have a good week, everyone! xox


Friday, March 3, 2006

"Wordplay", Update on Krissy...

  "My second favorite household chore is ironing.  My first one
    being -- hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint."
     -Erma Bombeck

Good morning all and happy Friday!  I think this quote is hilarious!  When I read it for the first time I laughed and laughed and laughed... I don't iron.  If something needs to be ironed it is not worn.  I buy clothes that are wash and wear.  If it is wrinkled it goes to the back of my closet and doesn't come out.  How lazy am I?  It gets thrown in the washer and then into the dryer and then gets hung up or folded.  If it doesn't look good after that, well, it is never worn again.  LOL  I have the luxury of doing this because I have too many clothes.  I need to give some away, in fact.  Anyone need any clothes?

I talked to Krissy a couple of days ago and she wanted me to let everyone know that the computer at the Hope House is no longer available for use.  I think it died.  She went to the library and that one is not available for her either, so she is not able to do any entries.  She can't access her journal or her email.  She sends her love and wanted everyone to know that she does not know when she will be able to have access to a proper computer.  On the positive side, if you have not read her MDS journal yet, you will want to know that John is doing great!!  He got test results back that show that his immune system is now 84% of the donor's immune system.  In other words, the transplant is working!!  84% is an extremely high number for the first test!!  Your prayers and love are working!!  Thank you all!!


I was thinking about what to do for "Wordplay" today all morning.  If anyone has any ideas about future "Wordplay" installments, let me know!  I will give you credit!  Christina, I have yours!  I love it and will use it soon!  So, I think I will talk about nicknames today....

Do you have any nicknamesWhat are they How did you get themIs there a funny story behind themWhat about childhood nicknames?

Leave your answers in the comments section or write your responses in your own journal and leave the URL to your entry so I can go read them!!

My answer:  I am called "Val", which is, of course, shortened from Valerie.  I am also, "Mom" and "Mommy".  My other nickname is "Lav".  I have had that for many years.  That comes from childhood when my younger sister wrote my name all over the bathroom wall.  She was just learning to write and she spelled it backwards!  I have been called "Goosebumps" by a couple of friends because I get goosebumps easily.  I was also called, and I can't believe I am telling you this, "Spanky" because I looked like Spanky from the Little Rascals for awhile.  That was when I was little.  I also had a couple of nicknames as a child that I WILL NOT mention because my siblings were cruel.  LOL  I haven't really had too many nicknames as an adult, though.

What are/were your nicknames?

On another note, I was thinking about doing a second entry on pets because more readers came back and told me about their critters.  If you would like to send me pictures of your pet, please do so!!  I would love to see them and hear about them!!  Thanks!!

Have a good day, all! xox


Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Your Pet Stars!!...

I had a blast reading about everyone's pets throughout the week!  Thanks for stopping by and telling me all about your little critters and what they mean to you!  Wow, it was really amazing to hear some of the tales where they came from and to about their antics and how they are a part of your families.  I encourage you to read some of the comments about everyone's animals.  If you are an animal person like me, it will really touch you.  I found it very, very interesting that most readers had rescued pets from the S.P.C.A. or abused animals that they took in from others.  It really warmed my heart.  It made me realize that we are truly a warm-hearted, caring bunch.  I took a tally of what everyone had and I came up with 18 cats, 17 dogs, two rats, one guinea pig, one hamster, one rabbit, and a litter of unnamed doggies.  How many are in your litter, Kelley?  I could be wrong on a couple of the rats/guinea pigs/hamsters as I was looking at pictures and I was just not quite sure what was what!  LOL  I was very interested in the names so here they are in no particular order.  I wanted to say hello to and shout out to and make a star of...

Tiny Masters, Sara, Amber, Sabrina, Smokey, Sunshine, Jake, Koda (Matt's Koda of the Big Sky), Pumpkin, Liberty (Libby), Tina, Lightning, Pumpkin, Ellie, Jake, Frodo, Bruce Lee, Scarface, Sidney Yankee, Serenity, Nino Brown, PeeWee, Cleo (and her unnamed litter!!), Foxy Cleopatra, Socks, Midnight, Baby, Big Kitty, Kokoapuffy (Sissy), Raisin, Casper, Kirby, Cocoa, Smokey (Smo-Cat), Sundown (Boo), Scooby, Jasmine Mystic Rain, Shayane Heaven's Angel, Little Bear, Mystique D' Aleigh, Cherokee Flying Eagle, Salty Dog, and Michael.... phew... Did you get to the end?? LOL

As promised, here are the pictures that were sent to me by readers...

This is
Angela's Ellie.  She is a white, purebred, shepherd puppy.  Angela was originally looking for a male dog she could name Elvis, but fell in love with this dog, a female and named her Ellie...


This is Ellie's mother, Fraulein...


This is
cat, Pumpkin.  She's three and Roberta got her in a shelter.  Her original name was Cheddar so she changed her name to Pumpkin...


This hefty Main Coon darling is my
sister Krissy's
and her husband John's kitty cat, Michael.  He is a real sweetie.  I have been taking care of him for a month since my sister and John have been out of town.  He is so lovable and so, so good.  She saved his life when he was a kitten.  Originally she was going to get a female kitten promised to her named Michaela, but that fell through, so she ended up getting a male kitty cat instead.  She named him Michael after Michaela.  He was so sick when he was a baby and that is why she got him, so she could nurse him back to health.  She and John saved his life!  Now that is so sweet, Krissy and John!...


Kelley from Life at Our House (private journal) sent me several pictures.  She has quite a few animals!!...

This is Hannah with their ferret Socks...


Cleo with her puppies!!...


This is a blind kitty they rescued from out in the rain.  They call him Baby...


Hope everyone enjoyedall of the pets!  I really had a great time!  This took me awhile to put together, and I am sure took you guys awhile to read, so I will be back later today or early tomorrow to post "Wordplay".  Have a wonderful day!! xox