Friday, May 16, 2008


This may be a bit of an overload with the family footage, but I really felt it captured mealtime in a very true to life way. When I initially grabbed the camera, I was actually wanting to show Kyla eating from her tray directly with her mouth; while I wasn't able to video that, there was a lot of very normal mealtime activity going on which the average bystander might find both amusing and disgusting.

The first blog I wrote was on the woes of eating out with kids; consider this a visual for that blog.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tractor Pull

Saturday we had a full on tractor pull at our house! Everyone was in on the fun, even the kids - though I have to say I think Jim and I were actually more excited about it than the kids were.

(This is what retired lawn-ladies do with their spare time.)

Please note the first scene where Jim actually fears I will allow the tractor to run into a tree. . .

If the video isn't working, try this link:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

TMI on Me

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Getting ready to graduate and go to the UK

5 things on my "to-do" list
-make dinner
-call realtor
-fold laundry
-feed cats and dog
-figure why in the world my kids are always sick

Snacks I enjoy
-hummus with crackers
-egg salad
-chicken salad
-bread and butter

5 things I'd do if I were a billionaire
-pay off all debt
-start foundations to feed/water needy
-support orphanges
-go to the beach
-travel to europe

5 bad habits
-serving hotdogs a bit too regularly for dinner (hey, at least I've switched to "natural" ones!)
-still feeding one year old daughter through the night
-doing my own medical research online only to find that whoever is sick likely has a terminal illness.

Places I've lived

5 jobs I've had
-Insurance agency secretary (yes - the same one as Lind-z; I really don't know if this should even count)
-Panera bakery lady (very short lived)
-Travel person at UCF
-Lawn lady (yes, I actually did this. . . if only I had a photo)
-Secretary/VP of lawn company
(gee, this would all look REALLY awesome on a resume!)

Who's Next?
-Cin, let's hear it
-Mokidoku - don't be shy now?

This I've Believed

A friend sent us a little treat in the mail - candy from one of my husband's favorite candy stores growing up. Amongst the various treats, was a small bag of gummy worms. Now, I could probably count on one hand the number of times in my entire life I've eaten gummy worms. They have quite frankly just never appealed to me. Gummy bears I'm great with, but gummy worms. . . Somehow that just seems a little gross. It almost seems like the consistency of a real worm, were I to doctor one up and eat it. Despite my phobia, those brightly colored, sugar coated creatures beckoned me to eat one yesterday. I willed myself to ignore the wormy shape while I sucked off the sugar, and I even tried to imagine that it really was just a gummy bear when I began chewing it, but alas. . it was a real gummy worm. I found myself pondering if someone down at the gummy factory might have thought it would be fun to slip in some real worms to unsuspecting candy lovers - I imagined the chewy treat in my mouth as one of those real worm. Then I came to my senses and reasoned it was a ridiculous thought that anyone at the gummy factory would ever substitute real worms for the sugary kind. And just as that unpleasant thought passed, another one replaced it: what if someone, instead of swapping out whole real worms, decided to merely ground up worm parts to make a more realistic consistency for the candy. . What if it was the candy factory's dirty little secret that they really used live ground worms to make the gummy worms? I recalled biology class in high school with the overpowering smell of formaldehyde and a grossly dissected worm splayed before me. It was then that the gummy worm in my mouth really just lost all flavor. . I chewed it grudgingly just wanting to be done with it already. As much as I can cognitively accept that gummy worms are in no way, shape or form actually made of worms, somehow I cannot truly accept that in my heart of hearts.

And, as hard as it is to believe, gummy worms aren't the only subject of my contorted reasoning. Until recently, I firmly believed drinking too much tea actually caused kidney stones. Yes, coffee, if you somehow ingested too many grounds could cause kidney stones, but tea was really the main culprit. My husband was making one of his infamous coffee milkshakes (requiring the use of coffee grounds) when I first voiced my concern. "We really shouldn't have these too often; we'll get kidney stones like any tea drinker from all the coffee grounds piling up in our kidneys." My husband stopped everything, dead in his tracks "Say that again?". He refused to accept my bizarre reasoning and demanded I consult with a trained medical professional: my mother. "Where in the world did you get that idea, Danielle?" my mother asked with a tone of shock and disbelief. She then proceeded to explain to me the truths of kidney stones and how coffee and/or tea had little to nothing to do with them.

And those aren't the only absurdities I've believed for practically my whole life. It was only a few years ago while driving with my mother (poor woman. . . she probably wonders why she ever even bothered trying to teach me a thing. . may as well have been raised by a pack of wolves) and nearly causing an accident at a simple four way stop that this other little bit of personal confusion was brought to light. "Danielle!" she commented sternly, "It wasn't your turn! You just cut that guy off!". To which I responded "No I didn't. He never touched the white line with his front tires when he stopped." It was as I verbalized this bizarre little rule I had personally founded that I realized how wrong I actually was. No where in my driver's manual had it ever said anything about having to touch the white line at a stop sign to be considerer "waiting in line" for your turn at the four way stop.

While I believe I think pretty clearly at this point in the maturation process, I have a feeling that I'll always be creating and then debunking my own strange theories which guide me through life. Still, I have no intention whatsoever of ever trying another gummy worm again as long as I live!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Little Jimmy had his surgery on Thursday, and all seems to be progressing well. He's complained of a sore neck a few times, which the doctor said would be normal. We snapped a couple pictures of him on Jim's blackberry before he went into surgery, and I have to say, "I'll have what he had." The nurses, trying to entice him, referenced their little concoction as "Spiderman Juice;" they told him he'd be able to shoot webs from his fingers just like Spiderman. In my anxious state, I actually went along with the lie, encouraging him to drink up. Fortunately, we were told that he wouldn't remember any of this, so good to know little Jimmy won't recall his mother lying to him ;) Still, can I bring a few ounces of that home with me?

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Different Breed Altogether

Driving around town the last few days just minding my own business, I've come across several oddities which I'm convinced could only be found locally (Localas, if you will). While Ocala is the acclaimed "Horse Capitol of the World," it shows - and not always in the most pleasant ways, but definitely some very interesting ways.

Recently while stopping at a Publix in the heart of Ocala, I couldn't help but notice the very distinct smell of. . . manure. This struck me as odd because I've never, not once, been on any sort of mildly urban shopping excursion and found myself inhaling this au naturale scent. Never. I found myself commenting, "Only in Ocala."

Today while running a brief errand I drove past the town light (yes, the only light in this little bedroom community to Ocala), and there in the middle of the intersection was a large square bail of hay. Yes, hay. I actually commented to my son, "Hey, look! A bail of hay!" almost the way a tourist might comment on some point of local interest. But, alas, this is the interest in our neck of the woods: someone lost a bail of hay. . in the middle of the road. Once again I found myself thinking, "Only in Ocala."

Our neighbors, who have horses and a horse barn in their backyard recently installed a gate. This isn't to say their fenced in property didn't have a gate before, but rather they installed a new gate: ornately designed wrought iron with an electric arm to open it with the click of a button. I'm all for beautifying one's property, but I find it ironic they could find the time and money to install this lovely piece of craftsmanship, but couldn't manage to muck their horses' stalls. You see, their barn is in the back corner of the yard - right near our yard and fence, and it's kind of hard to overlook the sea of poop between our fence and their barn. When we first moved here, we assumed they'd be getting to it soon, but after four months here and no stall-mucking happening, I'm getting the picture that they just don't muck (comparable to just not flushing the toilet, per say). The vast quantity of flies that swarm inside our home on any given warm day or the aroma of manure on those breezier days make it hard to overlook this little atrocity. So as I watched my neighbors pull out this morning, them waiting as the gate opened automatically before vrooming off, I yet again found myself thinking, "Only in Ocala."

So why don't you come see us. Come see what Ocala has to offer. The housing market is beyond saturated so your bound to get the best deal in the land. On that note, I leave you with a video clip I came across.

Ya'll come see us now - ya hea'?