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Archive for November, 2008

Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

When I started this blog, I intended it to keep it light-hearted and hopefully a little funny.  But this story about the Long Island Walmart stampede has been weighing heavily on my heart since I first heard about it yesterday morning.  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here is the link:  http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/11/28/2008-11-28_worker_dies_at_long_island_walmart_after.html

These people trampled a man to death and injured a pregnant woman in order to save a few bucks on a television.  A television.  Or maybe they were gunning for the $28 vacuum.  It doesn’t matter because neither of those things are worth a man’s life.  Neither are worth injuring an expectant mother over.

Is this what Christmas has become?  How did we go from the angels singing, “…I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people…” to trampling a man to death in order to be the first in line at Walmart?  Do we understand the full horror of what happened yesterday?  People were walking over a man, literally squeezing the very life out of him, in order to save a few dollars at Walmart.  How does that honor the birth of the Savior?  After all, that’s why we have Christmas.  Or is that gone too?

You know the worst part of all this?  As if it wasn’t bad enough for these people to kill a man, they stood in the way of people trying to rescue him.  For a television.  For a vacuum.  They complained when they were asked to leave the store because a man had died been killed.  How dare the store shut down after a man was trampled to death?!  These people needed their televisions.  And their vacuums.  After all, some of them had been in line for hours.

Perhaps once the novelty of the new tv wears off and the children have moved on to more exciting things – like the box it came in, these people will finally understand the true horror of what they have done; although, somehow, I really doubt that their miserable little minds and their miserable little hearts will care.  God help us.

And, for the Damour Family, the thoughts and prayers of my small family are with you now.

~~~~~

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
– Luke 2:10-12

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I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We have so much to be thankful for.

It’s time for Part 2 of my Easy Handmade Christmas Gifts Series.  Today I will be showing you an altered candle.  These are great because they look very elegant but are so easy and inexpensive to make.

For this project, you will need:

1 pillar candle (Walmart has some in their Christmas aisle for about $2)

1 sheet of tissue paper in the same color as your candle

A dye ink pad (you don’t have to use dye ink but it’s better as pigment ink will have a tendency to run on you)

Rubber stamp

Craft heat gun

Ribbon and any other embellishments you might like

Glue

First, you will stamp your image onto the tissue paper.  You can use any color of candle, but the tissue paper needs to be close in color to the candle so that it blends in well.  Then trim around your image.  I did several of the same image for this candle, but if you have a large image, you might just want to do one.  Next you will hold the tissue paper against the candle.  If you want to, you can use a very tiny dot of glue to hold it on; I have found, however, that the static electricity from taking the wrapper off the candle is enough to hold the tissue paper for my purposes.  Use the heat gun to melt the tissue paper onto the candle.  You will want to rotate the candle a bit as you melt the wax so that you don’t get runs in your candle.  If you do happen to get a run, just reheat the area with the craft gun and rotate the candle until the run disappears.

Once the wax has cooled (about 2 minutes), you can embellish your candle further in any way you like.  I glued sequins into the middle of the snowflakes.  For this one, I used Tacky Glue but, in retrospect, I think hot glue would have worked well also.  I then used my red Stickles by Ranger (glitter glue) to put little glittery dots at the end of the snowflakes.  Finish off by tying a pretty ribbon around the candle. 

Some other ideas you might consider:
I have stuck floral picks behind the ribbon to add a little dimension. 
You can spray the candle with glittery spray paint to add a little glitter.  (I’m a fool for glitter – anything tacky really – you’ll notice that I put a little red glitter on the top of this candle.)

You don’t have to use the tall pillar candles.  You can use shorter candles, votives, etc. 

The possibilities are endless!  Pair this with a small glass charger plate, wrap in a cellophane wrapper with a pretty ribbon and you will have a wonderful Christmas gift!

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Super Creepy Kids Books.

Before I share my selections of super creepy kids books with you all, I have to tell you about this blog I found.  It’s called Cake Wrecks and it is so funny that if you don’t laugh at it, then there is something plumb wrong with you.  Seriously.  Here’s the URL:  http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com.  (You will notice that I still have not figured out how to do a link within a post.  I have found the link button, but I can’t figure it out.)  I’ve also added it over there on the right with all the other cool blogs I like.  The first time I came across Cake Wrecks I was laughing so hard that I literally had tears streaming down my face!

Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for!  Creepy kids books!  I know that I will probably lose my Jingo Mom card for not liking this book, but I have to say it.  Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown unsettles me. 

It’s the story of a little bunny who is saying good night to all the stuff in his room.  That is normal enough.  Except that he calls his mother “the old lady whispering ‘hush'” as if she were a total stranger.  As if that weren’t bad enough, you are reading along and all of a sudden you come upon this page:

It’s a blank page that says, “Goodnight nobody”.  How depressing is that?!  And I won’t even get into the fact that good night is two words, not one.

I just don’t understand why this book has won critical acclaim.  Unless it’s one of those deals like War and Peace or anything by Toni Morrison that people buy to adorn their bookshelves and profess to love just so they will look smart/hip/multi-cultural even though they have never actually opened the book.  Or maybe it’s one of those super-artistic things that I just don’t get.

The other book that totally creeps me out is Today I Am An Apache by Patricia Geis.  Although, even I have to admit that the pictures are pretty cool and the pop-up surprise totally lived up to my expectations.

This is a story about Sophie and what I assume hope is her stuffed pink elephant toy.  I’m not sure what possessed me to buy this book except that it only cost a quarter (don’t you just love garage sales?).  Anyway, Sophie goes to bed and dreams that Indians are attacking the Apache Village that is near her home.  I never figured out if Sophie was an Apache or if she could just see the Apache Village from her home.  She and her pink elephant apparently fight off the Apaches and save the village.  It’s totally un-PC.  And this is coming from me, the most un-PC person I know!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that, as a small child, I had a teddy bear that I named Goodnight.  Mostly because I thought it was hilarious to make my dad say, “Good night, Goodnight,” every night.  That’s correct.  Even as a young girl, I was a nerd.  In hindsight, I’m a little surprised that Goodnight didn’t have a little cape and a pocket protector.

 

 

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You should never give a 13 year old boy a donut and a coke for breakfast.  Why not?  Because it isn’t healthy.  But that is completely secondary to the real reason.  That much sugar winds them up and, let’s face it, 13 year old boys aren’t generally the most normal non-rabid acting creatures anyway.  When you give them all that sugar, it messes up their heads and they do crap like randomly wander around farting and turning off their fellow students’ computers.
 
That is dangerous activity there.  Seriously.  It ranks right up there with snorting Elmer’s and dealing crack.  And the sheriff’s department takes it very seriously.  At least in Stuart, Florida they do.  I ran across this news article on msnbc.com yesterday:

Student arrested for ‘passing gas’ at school

Sheriff’s report says the boy was ‘disrupting his classroom environment’
The Associated Press
updated 8:47 p.m. CT, Mon., Nov. 24, 2008

STUART, Fla. – A student at a Florida school has been arrested after authorities said he was “passing gas” and turning off his classmates’ computers.

According to a report released Friday by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the 13-year-old boy “continually disrupted his classroom environment” by intentionally breaking wind. He then shut off some computers other students were using.

The Spectrum Junior-Senior High School student was arrested Nov. 4.

A school resource officer placed the boy under arrest after he confessed about his behavior, according to the report. He was charged with disruption of school function and released to his mother.

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Do you ever have people tell you, “Gee.  I’d love to make some Christmas gifts, but I’m not very crafty and I wouldn’t know where to start.”?  I get that a lot.  Probably because I’m kind of seen as a miniature Martha Stewart around the blogosphere.  But nice homemade gifts do not have to be difficult or expensive.  Thus, my Easy Handmade Christmas Gifts Series.  I’m not sure how many crafts I’ll put up or how often, but you can rest assured that there will be at least 2.  Probably more as I root around in my scrap room closet for the supplies for all those projects that I’d “get to later”.  I’m sure I’m the only one who has a closet full of that stuff.  Right?  Not!  (Sorry, I regressed to the ’90’s there.  Forgive me, I can’t help myself.)

Anyway, on to today’s project.  This will be perfect for the reader in your life.  Couple this handmade bookmark with a gift certificate to her favorite bookstore and a box of tea bags and you will be the hit of the Christmas party!

I got these rectangular pieces of acrylic at a rubber stamp convention.  (Shut up!  You know you want to go to a rubber stamp convention!)  They measure 1 1/2″ x 5″.  But I have heard that you don’t have to get them at a fancy rubber stamp convention.  Supposedly, your local hardware store will probably carry acrylic and will probably cut it for you.  But that’s hearsay, so don’t tell them I sent you or anything.

I mod-podged a piece of patterned paper onto the back of the bookmark (the pattern goes against the acrylic so it’s like you are looking at it through a window) then I inked the edges with pink pigment ink.  While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled sparkly pink embossing powder on it and set it with my heat gun.  I punched the hole in the top with my Crop-A-Dile.  One note here, when I used my Crop-A-Dile on my practice piece, the acrylic cracked sometimes and sometimes it didn’t.  Therefore, I would recommend backing the bookmark with a piece of tape before punching your hole and then removing the tape.

I finished off by stringing a piece of ribbon through the hole and adding a little snowflake embellishment.  The embellishment is from my stash, so I can’t remember who made it.  It was probably either from Spare Parts or Making Memories.

There you go.  An easy handmade Christmas gift that won’t break the bank and that is entirely useful and un-tacky.

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Grow A Monkey.

You know how sometimes you get an overwhelming urge to get a pet monkey?  For me, it’s usually concurrent with other PMS symptoms like irritibility and an unquenchable craving for fried chicken covered in Hershey’s syrup.  Anyway, there’s good news.  I found the answer and all you need is water!  The Dollar Tree has these little monkey things that you can put in water and grow into a monkey!  When you’re tired of your monkey, you simply let him dry out and he shrinks back up into a manageable size.  You can do this over and over and over.  I call it “monkeying around”.

There’s even better news than that for some of you!  Dollar Tree also carries Grow a Boyfriend!

I wish they had a Grow Your Own Rabid Squirrel.  There are times when I just know that a rabid squirrel would come in really handy.  Like when there’s an annoying woman blocking the Walmart aisle while she yaps on her cellular phone.  I could just pop my handy dandy Grow Your Own Rabid Squirrel into my water bottle and unleash the fury of a rabid squirrel on her!  Wouldn’t that be awesome?

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When we bought the car seat for our kiddo, it came with a 24 page booklet of warnings and instructions.

The paper shredder at my office came equipped with 6 pages of warnings and instructions.  There is even a little picture printed directly onto the machine that shows a baby with an “X” through it.  I guess to warn us not to put the baby into the paper shredder.  I’m not real sure how a baby would fit into a paper shredder, but there you have it.

My curling iron came with a full page printed front and back.  That’s not to mention the 2 warning stickers permanently attached to the cord: “This product can burn eyes.” and “Keep away from water.”  My favorite warning is the one on my hair dryer which shows a bathtub with a hair dryer in it and a big “X” through the picture.  Wouldn’t it be kind of counterproductive to dry your hair while bathing in the first place?  I mean, even without the worry of electrocution, it doesn’t really seem like anyone would think that would be a particulary great way to save time.

My dad swears that the owner’s manual to his Tahoe has 24 pages of how to use the seatbelt.  I suspect it’s probably more like 13 pages.  But he’s probably the only one in the country who will ever know the real truth about that because I’m pretty sure he’s the only person in the country who actually reads the owner’s manual to his vehicles.

All that leads to this question: If you bought a stun gun, wouldn’t you expect a little booklet of warnings?  I mean, I don’t know.  I would expect at least a couple of pages full of “!!!! WARNING:  DO NOT TEST ON YOURSELF !!!!”  So you can imagine how surprised I was today when I got my stun gun in the mail and there was a half a sheet of instructions and only one warning.  And that didn’t even pertain to bodily injury, it was about the battery life.  “WARNING: Do not test fire the unit for more than 1 second as this will admage [sic] the unit and void its warranty.”  Interesting.  I guess the manufacturer thinks that those of us who would purchase a pink stun gun are smart enough not to need warnings.

And the manufacturers would be right.  But they overlook one minor detail.  Those of us who purchase pink stun guns tend to have husbands.  Now, if you don’t know anything about men, then you might be surprised to learn that there is apparently some unavoidable natural pull in them that makes them have this huge desire to stun themselves.  Meat Galore is sitting in the living room as we speak just waiting for it to be 2:38 AM so he can unplug my little pink stun gun and test it.  (The instructions say that it has to charge for 12 hours.)  Well, whatever, I guess I’ll get up at 2:19 and go out to heat up the truck.  There’s nothing worse than driving to the emergency room in a cold truck in the middle of the night.

Because there are those of you who will be incredulous to the fact that there was only one warning and only 3 steps in the usage instructions, I am posting a picture of the one and only page that came with my little pink stun gun.  Also, a picture of my little pink stun gun – just because I think it’s super cool.

I’ll let you all know how Meat Galore’s little test works out.  ZZZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP.

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