Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome Ultimate Blog Partiers!!

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Welcome to those of you stopping by for the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5Minutes for Mom. If you don't know what that is and you want to join in on the fun, click the button on the right side bar to be taken to the festivities.

For those visiting, poke around and have fun reading. Some of my favorite posts are Grasshopper, Cheap, Holding Hands, Sasquatch, Sanity, Y Chromosome, and potty Break.

Have fun blog-hopping! And if you have time, please visit The Flashcard Zoo Store. I am sponsoring an Ultimate Blog Party give-away for a free set of flashcards, so head over to the UBP page and enter!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Potty Break

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Yep, that's a babboon taking a piss on another babboon's head. But they kissed and made up right afterwards so it was all cool.

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Today Munchkin and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo with some dear friends. It must have been "Gitcher Rear In Here" day at the zoo because virtually every animal we approached promptly turned around and showed his back side.

We saw striped butts,
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purple butts,
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and "OMG-is-the-train-coming-yet-is-it-is-it-is-it?!?!?!?" butts.
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And this handsome guy was showing his stuff too. Can you spot it? Are you impressed? I know I was.
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But I actually did get some fantastic shots of some animals that will likely show up on some flashcards in the near future.

Look at this gorgeous cat. They are cubs if you can believe it.
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And I thought this guy was just amazing.
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And these little monkeys were at the "Snack Exhibit" diplaying mouths-full of my (now) famous homemade granola bars.
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In fact, they were such a big hit that I am going to share the recipe with you. (Actually, I know Munchkin #2's mommy reads this blog and was dying for the recipe, so here it is, hon.)

SHANNAH'S FAMOUS SUPER SECRET RECIPE GRANOLA BARS (or something like that)

INGREDIENTS
3 cups rolled oats
¼ cup flaxseed meal
¾ cup whole wheat flour (you can use a full cup of whole wheat flour and omit the flaxseed meal if you don’t have any.)
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup apple sauce
2/3 cup salted butter, melted
¾ cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup mixed seeds and/or nuts of your choice (I used chopped pecans, pumpkin seed kernels and sunflower seed kernels)
1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with wax paper.
2. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. (Mixing thoroughly is key to making them stick together.)
3. Press mixture in prepared pan. Lay another piece of wax paper on top of the mixture and press it down evenly and firmly with your hand. Remove wax paper from top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown.
4. Remove from oven and pack down firmly and evenly with a spatula. Let cool COMPLETELY before cutting. Cut into desired size bars with a pizza cutter.

Note: The last two cups of ingredients (nuts and chocolate chips) can include all kinds of fun stuff. You can try any combination of raisins, other dried fruits, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts and seeds. Anything goes.

These also freeze well and can be saved for lunch box snacks and quick breakfasts. They are SUPER filling and stay with you a long time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oops

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Yeah, that was 49 in a 35 right there. They have a new speed trap on my main drag...and it's a total drag. Dude had the nerve to pull me over on my way to yoga, and he took his sweet time about it too. I mean, come ON. "Ma'am, did you know your were speeding?" Um, YEAH. I was speeding because I'm in a hurry so could you light a fire under it already.

He just killed my "ohm" and my Karma and my feng shui and kunf fu and all that stuff. It's so pointless to have to rush to get to yoga. And it's even more fun when you have a 3 year old in the back seat telling you you're going too fast all the way there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheesey

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As I have been flitting around the internet and blogosphere lately, I am constantly reminded of the infinite varieties of "cheese" that exist as far as "opera for the masses" goes. Please excuse me while I don my over-educated, music-snob, snarky-opera-singer, big powdered wig for this post.

I was just on kirtsy and for reasons that I do not know, I knowingly clicked on a link of Il Divo singing Amazing Grace (and no, there is no hyperlink. I'm not giving them the free publicity). I can't say that it was amazing or graceful. In fact, it made me kinda wish I was chewing broken glass instead of listening.

It wasn't surprising. I know it's out there. I have had to smile countless times when people find out I'm an opera singer and start in with, "OMGosh, I just love Sarah Brightman. And have you seen Phantom of the Opera? And I just got Paul Potts' new CD yesterday. Isn't he amazing?" Oh, totally! In a very not-even- mediocre kinda way. I imagine myself as a calculus professor standing around at cocktail parties listening to people blurt out incorrect equations, all the while nodding politely.

So yeah, I guess I'm a snob. Or maybe not. It's just annoying when something is presented to the masses as "opera" and it couldn't be further from the truth. If I have to hear one more hack sing Nessun dorma, I think I might throw myself off a water tower.

Paul Potts does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Il Divo does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Andrea Bocelli does NOT sing Nessun dorma. And Russel Wats-his-name does NOT sing Nessun dorma. Luciano Pavarotti sings Nessun dorma.

Observe that when he sings, veins do not pop out of his neck, nor does his face does turn blood red, nor is he standing on his tip toes clawing at the air in front of him and his vocal cords are not flying out of his mouth. No, the sound pours out of him effortlessly as if the gods were willing it out of his mouth. That, my friends is opera...not to be confused with "popera".



And lest anyone think Sarah Brightman has any business singing Rusalka's "Song to the Moon", feast your ears on Renee Fleming--an ACTUAL diva singing it in the original Czech...and she does so WITHOUT a mermaid outfit or glittery eyeshadow or a gawd-aweful headdress that looks like it's attacking her. Just pure class, fantastic vocal technique and a sound that is gorgeous without being run through the spin cycle.



And with that, I am stepping off my soap box. Your music lesson is over and you may now return to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back-breaking, butt-kicking blisters

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That's a half a cubic yard of soil in the back of that truck. About 20 more loads of that and we'll have some decent top-soil in our back yard. That's our foreman there with the bright yellow plastic shovel. He's a real workhorse.