Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 6/27

Julie Mills got the correct answer: it WAS Penelope Ann Miller who played Brenda. I couldn't place the voice until the old lady stole her glasses--and then I knew who she was.

This was only her second movie, but she was in several TV shows before that.

As for the bonus question? Well, the title of that movie was Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. Keith Coogan played Christina Applegate's stay-at-home budding chef brother.

I thought maybe the phrasing of the question would tip off the answer.

As for the contest I haven't put together all the details on the prize yet, but there will be more than one package to choose from.
And this will be a contest--points for correct answers, accumulated over the 4 Saturdays in the month of July. Keep watching for full information and the first question this Saturday.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Julie, from Through the Barn Door, is dealing with damages left from a "temporary" tenant in her guest house. That's her story, so I won't go into details, but an email exchange with her brought to mind all the folks who have lived with us over the years.

Abandoned by his parents, J-Man was raised by an aunt and uncle, until the uncle became so abusive, J-Man feared for his life. Friends took him in and he lived in their basement apartment for a while. He's always had a soft spot for people with nowhere to go. As a result, lots of friends and relatives over the years have lived with us for one reason or another. Some stories have ended well, some have not.

Shortly after J-Man and I got married, my 17-year-old brother was planning to leave home. He and my dad never did have a very good relationship, so J-Man and I invited him to live with us for several months, hoping things would blow over. All it did was cause a rift between my dad and me, and still my brother would sneak out the bedroom window at night. After several months, he decided living with us was no better than living at home, so he moved to the YMCA, which advanced his life lessons considerably. My dad forgave us, and though their relationship was still bumpy, he and my brother were on speaking terms again. I'm happy to say my brother married a great gal and fathered 3 boys of his own. I'm sure my dad is chuckling from his grave over that one.

J-Man's best friend also lived with us part of that time, sleeping on the living room sofa. It was only supposed to be a week or so, but I think he was there at least 3 months. Since he was the pianist where J-Man was the choir director, and we lived right behind the church, he found it very convenient, staying with us. Eventually, though, Jerry moved out and moved on. We heard from him less and less often, which is sometimes how it goes with college friends. About a year ago, we learned he'd had a heart transplant--and didn't survive. We hated to hear that. I always liked Jerry. He and his girlfriend were responsible for locating a Cabbage Patch Doll for DD's 6th Christmas, at a time when you couldn't get one for love or money. I think she still has that doll.

Then J-Man's sister came for a visit with her two kids and "decided" (after she got here) to leave her husband. He got mad, came from 4 states away to stand in the yard with a gun and threaten us all, and then they made up and ALL of them lived with us several more weeks. Later on, after her husband died, we took her and the kids (now teenagers and with a pre-school niece) and rented a big house that had been for sale for a couple of years. We combined incomes to pay the rent, tried to help her get back on her feet, drew up a budget for her, and paid off some of the rubber checks she had strewn around town. That lasted about 3 months, at which time she and the kids got tired of the financial restrictions and moved back in with her stepdad, leaving us responsible for a huge monthly rent and repairs for damaged property.

A couple of years afterwards, she and the kids got a big settlement for the husband's untimely death, and blew through it all in less than a year. Her son got in with the wrong crowd, got hold of some crack cocaine laced with household cleaner, and died a horrible death. The last we heard, his sister and her daughter were living in an apartment with no furniture, struggling to get by, but angy at us for not letting them have one of our cars. Some people are slow learners.

For a while, one of J-Man's brothers lived with us. He was a divorced dad, with custody of his daughter for the summer. It was nothing for him to disappear for a few days, leaving his daughter in our care. I never forgave him for taking off while we were on vacation and leaving our dog without food or water. She managed to get out of the fence and went searching for us, and was hit by a car. At last count, he was living in California somewhere, close to his daughter. I hope he spent more time with her.

In the late '90s, DD, ever her father's daughter, persuaded us to take in a friend for a few weeks til he could get on his feet financially, maybe get a second-hand car, and go to school. He stayed a year, bought himself a Sony PlayStation, DVD player, and other electronics, and skipped classes at the community college even when we drove him there. DD gave him grief for his attitude and behavior and finally kicked him out herself. She recently heard he has apparently mended his ways and is in law enforcement now. What a happy surprise.

So this is the kind of guy I married, a sweetheart with a penchant for taking in "strays". Right now, the only stray living with us has 4 legs.

Who knows if that will change? Or when? I just hope J-Man never does.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 6/27

Another oldie, this one from 1987:

Adventures in Baby-sitting

Remember this mindless bit of entertainment, starring Elisabeth Shue as a date-jilted high school senior who spends the evening babysitting 3 kids? Thankfully, none of my babysitting experiences were nearly as adventurous, though there was that pair of 5-year-old twins I used to watch.....

Anyway, I'm sure by now everyone knows that "Thor" (Mr. Dawson of Dawson's Garage) is Vincent D'Onofrio, of Law and Order: Criminal Intent fame. But do you remember who played Brenda, Kris's friend who's stuck at the bus station?

Bonus question: Brad (Keith Coogan) played the brother in another parentally unsupervised movie 4 years later. What was the name of that movie?

Remember, you can ask a friend or family member, or you can watch the movie yourself, but no fair researching on the internet!

Answers on Tuesday!

Also, I am planning a movie trivia contest in July, involving points and prizes. Details to be announced soon!

PS: I've spent the last 3 nights in nursing hades and am SOOO behind in my posting, blog-reading, and commenting! I hope to catch up over the next couple of days; please don't give up on me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 6/20

There weren't many guesses this week, so either everyone's all busy with outdoor and vacation stuff or not many of you have seen this movie.

It's an old one--25 years old, to be exact. Sally won the Oscar for this performance, and if you haven't seen it, it'd be worth putting this title on your Netflix queue and making a run to the store for extra Kleenex.

Sally's husband, the Sheriff, is shot and killed, and to keep the homeplace in the Depression, she must make some really tough decisions.

The day of the funeral, Moze (Danny Glover) comes by for a handout, and repays the kindness by stealing some of the silverware. When the local lawman brings him back to her house, "Miz Spaulding" covers for him, but recruits him to help her plant cotton. Her threat makes me chuckle every time.

Annie nailed the bonus question. Mr. Will (John Malkovich) is the blind brother-in-law of the banker, who bullies Miz Spaulding into taking Mr. Will in as a paying boarder. Mr. Will canes chairs and makes brooms for a living.

It's an awesome movie, one of my 5-star favorites!

New question on Sturday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Giveaway site

Sketchbook Maggie posted this link to a terrific giveaway--a box of gorgeous fabrics! You've got until Wed. to enter, so go take a look!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 6/20

Here and on time!

This week's question is concerning the movie "Places in the Heart", an Oscar-winner starring Sally Field, Danny Glover, and John Malkovich.

How does Edna (Sally) meet Moze (Danny)?

Bonus question: What does Mr. Will (John) do for a living?

Answers on Tuesday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer--2 days late!

All I can say for myself is that I work nights and when I'm off 2 nights (equal to one day), and work again, and repeat the cycle, my body takes longer and longer to reset. I wake up at 3pm not knowing if I'm supposed to work and can sleep another hour, or if I've just slept half my off day away.

SOOOO--Annie got it! Life is Beautiful is the story of a family at a Nazi Concentration Camp and the lengths the father goes to for them. He makes a game of it for their small son, and they strive to win 1000 points, with the grand prize being a tank.

I couldn't believe it'd been out 12 years already and I hadn't seen it. It was such a heartwarming story.

New question on Saturday!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Well, I didn't get very far in my thrift reports, did I? Not that I quit being thrifty, but I didn't have as many new ideas as I'd hoped. I did start subscribing to tipnut.com and have found a lot of great tips there, but they weren't original, and I wouldn't want to take credit for them.

So once in a while, I'll just post sites, tips, links and any ideas I may have. Feel free to send links or suggestions in your comments, also.

Here are a couple of things I've done with those jugs from the distilled water I need for my C-PAP.
Cutting the bottom on a slant makes a handy scoop:

It won't handle anything real heavy without distorting, but peat moss and mulch are light enough to scoop out of the wheelbarrow with no problem.

Cut differently, the bottom becomes a saucer for my herbs:

You can't see the deck hangers in this picture, but turned diagonally, the base of the jug fits great inside them, and larger pots fit even better than the small one you see here.

And this weekend, I bought a lightly used composter from a gal on craigslist.

I might have gotten a better price or a larger composter if I'd waited, but I've been unsuccessfully searching for one at yard sales and on craigslist and freecycle for a couple of months, and I still paid way less than it would cost me brand new. No more feeling guilty about tossing celery tops, onion peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc. into the garbage. And it's low-profile, too, which ought to keep the Homeowner's Assoc. happy, since it's currently positioned at the edge of the gravel drive for maximum sunlight and reflection off the white rocks.

Now I'm off to fight the slug war again. The stakes are higher now--some of them have ignored the beer and managed to destroy the lone tiny squash that was growing. I'm taking Julie's advice and hunting up some of the diatomaceous earth to put around my plants. Only, Julie, what I'm reading says the pool kind is processed differently and shouldn't be used for pest control.

At any rate, my favorite local gardening shop should be able to dig something out of their nooks and crannies for me.

Die, slugs. Die.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday at the Movies 6/13

Let's see if I can blink the tears from my eyes long enough to type this one out.

In the 1997 movie, "Life is Beautiful", how many points did Guido tell Joshua they needed to win the Grand Prize?

What was the prize?

Answer on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Despite the lack of sunshine for a while, the lasagna garden is finally taking off. The last few days have been pretty sunny, and I've seen the squash and tomatoes stretch their little forms to the light.

This is the garden right after I planted it in April:

And here it is this morning (another partly cloudy day):

I pulled up the swiss chard because it was going nowhere. I think it was just too late in the season to have planted it.
But the buttercrunch lettuce is doing okay:

And the smaller of the two tomato plants is doing pretty well, too.

As this is my first garden, I didn't know squash blossoms were so beautiful.

I've really been fighting off slugs, though. All this rain has brought them out, and every evening I'm off, after I crate Tandi for the night, I go back out and fill little bowls and saucers with beer and position them near the squash and tomatoes, and one near the peppers.
The next morning, I get up about 5:30 and go out and dump the beer, because Tandi has been caught sneaking a few laps after I fill the bowls. Then I go back to bed, and when J-Man gets up, it's safe to let the Little Lush out.

The bell peppers are starting to grow, despite the slug infestation,

but the jalapenos are looking a bit spindly.

Yesterday I worked in the yard for 6 hours, boosting the garden, which has settled a little, with more compost and peat moss before mulching it. Then I planted a clump of Mexican heather, 2 pots of lucious orange Gerbera daisies,

transplanted 2 small hostas I found growing on the edge of the wooded area, weeded the front and center flower beds, spread more compost and peat moss and mulched til I ran out. All in all, it was 8 bags of mulch, and as you can see, it still wasn't enough.

Now that the tiny little flowers in the boxwoods have finished blooming, I can trim them, and it's time to prune the azaleas, too. After that, I'll finish outlining the front and side flower beds and mulch them.

And then I can attack the side yard and the small back yard.
I haven't put up the hammock yet, but I feel the need! It will probably go up this weekend.

Last Fri. night, I was doing some yard clean-up, including raking some old wet leaves out of the drainage gully between the yard and the street. I worked until it got to dark to see which were plants and which were weeds, then talked to my daughter on the phone til almost 11pm. I tumbled into bed and didn't get up (except for one trip out to dump the beer) until 10 the next morning. As I would be going back to bed about 1:30pm before going to work, I just stayed in my nightgown and puttere about the house. Once I got read to take my shower, I discovered a tick fastened to my right breast.




I followed Marcia Hohn's advice for removing it and its little corpse is now interred in a baggie in the freezer, while I do daily skin checks for Lyme's disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Okay, maybe I tend to overreact, but hey, people, I'm a nurse. I get PAID to anticipate the worst!

Anyway, no symptoms yet, but no more gardening until dark, and I conduct my own strip search after yard work now.

I've been reprieved though. I only have to work a 12-hr shift the next two nights. 8^)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 6/7

Mighty Mom (with help from Subvet) got the answer!

Boris Karloff was the actor best known for his Frankenstein's monster portrayals--though he only played that character 3 times. (Kudos to Karen's husband for catching that very important distinction!)

He was in the same league as Bela Lugosi
Lon Chaney,

and Vincent Price.

Julie also reminded me he was the voice of the Grinch. I'd forgotten that! But it's not surprising, in that, for all his portrayal of monsters, Boris Karloff loved children.

Now I love special effects as much as the next person, but I believe those old black-and-whites had to rely more on the story and the acting than some of the horror movies out there today. These guys were the best!

New question on Saturday!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Saturday (okay, Sunday) at the Movies

Believe it or not, I didn't get to watch a single movie this week.

But here's a trivia question for you, straight from "Cash Cab", which we usually watch while eating supper before I go to work:

What was the stage name of London-born actor William Henry Pratt, best known for his portrayal of Frankenstein?

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Why I Eyes Ya"

Well, it finally posted! I tried to upload this at about 11:30 last night and it showed up at 5:20 this afternoon. I didn't even know it was here until I found the email by Mighty Mom.
Anyway, I must be the last person on earth to learn about this little entry from America's Funniest Home Videos, but my daughter introduced me to this when she was here a couple of weeks ago, and it still cracks me up.

Then I found this site, and I'm thinking if they made these in my size, I'd have to have one.

In other news, my local quilt shop sent out emails that they are moving, and are having major sales: 30% off fat quarters, some notions, batting and 35% off regular fabrics.

Even some of their rolling desk chairs were for sale, and I wanted to get one for DD, but they had all sold. I did come home with queen-sized batting and bunches of fat quarters and some more information.

Seems the economy has been so hard on them, it's either downsize or close, so they're moving to a smaller place.

Made me feel a little guilty about my fabric diet this year, because, even though I prefer shopping online for many things, I appreciate having a quilt shop withing 5 miles of my home.

It makes it so much more convenient when I need needles, more thread, or 16 new fat quarters!
So I boosted the local economy a little today.

Hey, I'm running out of brights for my 9-patch one-a-day quiltalong!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Movie Trivia Answer 5/30

Well, Julie of Pragmatic Compendium and Mighty Mom of My Wonderful Life both came up with the correct answers--at about the same time, though MM's husband was hogging the computer and didn't let her post! Bad Subvet!

It was Dennis Miller who played the ex psychiatrist and former lover of Sandra Bullock's character in The Net. My husband was even surprised, because, although he has watched the movie several times, couldn't picture who it was.

New question on Saturday!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Husky Dog Talking - " I love you"

Just for fun!