Friday, October 31, 2008


I've been working on a few projects and here's the latest:

A doggie pillow for Tess!

It has a removable cover that velcros on the back. It wasn't really hard except I completely finished it and then realized that I had forgotten the piping and had to rip out the seams and start over. Grrrr!

Here's Caitlin's Halloween costume. In case you're not sure...yes, she's a hippie and yes, I made it! It was a little more challenging than the pillow but it was totally worth it. She loved it and she's been telling her friends what a great mom I am. *grin*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too cute not to share!

My younger daughter, Caitlin, is 8 years old. At school they have been discussing the upcoming elections. She was asked to write a paragraph in response to the following question:

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a person running for President of the United States should have?

Her answer:

"These are the qualities a President should have...He should be loyal and brave. He should be really responsible and truthful, smart and faithful. He also should know how to keep peace and keep clean. I think McCain-Palin has ALL of these qualities. Go McCain-Palin!"

My job here is done...the brainwashing is complete! I really love the part about being clean. Does it sound like she gets lectured about that occasionally?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another list

I'm sorry that I haven't been a good blogger lately. I've had a lot on my mind and I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts. I recently saw this on my friend Meredith's blog and thought it looked like fun. I don' think she'll mind if I borrow it (especially since she borrowed it from a friend too!) I just love lists!

1. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall? In the past I would have said Fall because I love when the skies are bluer (yes, Amber, I think that's a word!) and the humidity is low. But at this stage of my life, my kids are so stinkin' busy in the fall! So I'm going to say Summer because I love sun, and being lazy. I also love the evening sounds of crickets and tree frogs.

2. Who is your favorite Disney princess? Ariel. At least I think she would be considered a princess. Wasn't her father the King of the Sea?

3. What's the last book you've read? Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Myers. The end of the Twilight Series...I'm so sad!!

4. What book are you reading right now? Living Simply by Joanne Heim. I feel so inadequate!

5. Name one "presidential" memory (an election you remember as a child, first time voting, etc.) I remember the election of '76 when Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford. I was six and a strong supporter of Ford. Yes, I know that's weird, especially since my parents didn't care about politics at all! When Carter won, I refused to stay in the room any time he was on TV. My dad thought it was hilarious. So even as a 6 year-old I knew I was a conservative and a Republican.

6. What are three things that scare you/freak you out?

1. Snakes
2. Spiders
3. Liberals

7. If you were running for office, what would your campaign slogan be? Life. Liberty. Opportunity. My platform would be pro-life, pro-capitalism, pro-gun rights, pro-small government.

8. Favorite football team(s)? Auburn Tigers. War Eagle!

9. How are they doing this season? I don't want to talk about it.

10. Do you have anything in particular you're looking forward to this fall? The end of the election.

11. Are you craving anything right now? Nope. That's amazing!

12. What's the last thing that really made you laugh out loud? Glenn Beck's program.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So I've been inspired by my entrepeneur friends to start selling stuff. Funny thing though, you have to have a product that people actually want. I've been thinking about things I love that other people might love too and came up with dogs and fabric. I know you're thinking I'm going to say I'm making dog clothes. Yuck! I think it is animal cruelty to put clothing on animals. However, what dog wouldn't love a stylish collar?! You've already seen the prototype.

The real story is that the collars were really an afterthought. My original plan was to make Organic Dog Treats. I bought this really neat dog cookbook last year mainly because I thought it was pretty and would look nice in my kitchen. I did make a chocolate(carob) birthday cake with cream cheese and honey icing for my big dogs' 1st and 2nd birthdays. I know...nutty.

Well, it turns out that making and selling dog treats is way more complicated than you would think. There's a lot of licensing and labeling requirements. So I don't know if it's gonna work out or not. Still looking into it. However, I did make my first batch of "cookies" today, much to Tess' delight. I call them Shelby Dog Barkery's Bacon Cheesies.

Here's the head chef and chief taste-tester, Tess, waiting anxiously for the oven timer:

And here's the finished product!

They are quite yummy, if you're a dog. If you're a person, they need salt. How would I know that, you ask? Why, because I ate one too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Look at this beautiful fabric that I ordered from

It came all tied up in this neat little package:

I just love neat packages. It's so nice when you get something that you can tell the seller took great care with.'re wondering what I am doing with this fabric, right? Voila'!

A very stylish dog collar!

This is the victim of my adventures in canine fashion. Obviously, I need a model with short hair!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Tragedy has struck the Sullivan household once again. Tonight we lost Max the one-eyed rabbit. My poor girls found him. They feel so guilty because they're afraid they didn't take good enough care of him. I told them that he just wasn't healthy since the whole eye infection episode. Maybe his immune system was weak...maybe he had a heart attack. Rabbits are known for dropping dead of fright and we've had some coyotes hanging around. I finally got them calmed down enough to go to bed and it was a very good thing we have Tess for them to snuggle with.

We'll plan to have the funeral when Wes gets back. This is the fourth pet we've lost while he's out of town which leaves me to deal with the trauma by myself. Wes, you owe me! We've also decided that we don't need any more small pets. The guinea pigs were pretty sturdy and died of old age, but our first rabbit dropped dead while she was eating. We'd only had her 3 weeks. Now Max--we've had him a litle more than a year and a half.

Max was a good bunny. He loved to run around the house doing "binkies." He like to perch on the back of the sofa and watch TV. He loved the special fruit and veggie salads the girls always made for him. He really loved our old Sheltie, Shelby. He would sniff her and climb on her while she was napping. He made us laugh. Max, you will be missed!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Monday is usually my "throw together something that resembles a rough menu plan for the week" shopping day. I hate Mondays. I am not creative with planning meals and since my family is so picky that makes it even harder. The only vegetables they will eat are corn, green beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and potatoes. My kids will also eat carrots provided they are cooked in lots of butter and sugar! So, we wind up eating a lot of spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, and chicken casseroles. For side dishes, we have a lot of rice, salad, green beans, and corn. I don't cook a lot of potatoes because if I do that is all Caitlin will eat. She has a real potato fetish!

Ideally, I'd like to have a set menu that I can rotate every couple of weeks (kinda like the school menu) so I don't waste a lot of time looking for recipes and making shopping lists. Hopefully I would get in the habit of keepings the items I need on hand rather than getting ready to cook and realizing I'm missing one key ingredient. Grrr!

This is where I need your help. What kind of meals do you fix often? What do your kids like? How do you make sure that you're serving nutritionally-balanced, healthy meals? If you have any favorite recipes, would you share them and let me know what side dishes you serve with it? I thank you and my family thanks you!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Evening Ritual

We live a couple of miles outside of town down a winding gravel road and up on a hardwood-covered ridge. There's almost no traffic since we're on a gravel road. The county keeps threatening to pave it but I really hope they don't. We only have one neighbor. They are a really sweet older couple and they live on the ridge on the other side of the road. We can barely even see their house from ours. Our land is surrounded by more undeveloped land covered in even more trees...I'm terrible at guessing acreage but I'm going to say 20-ish. There's also a really beautiful meadow that's currently covered in goldenrod and black-eyed susans and some really pretty purple flowers that I can't identify.

Here's a few pics of what I'm talking about. I'm bummed that none of my pics of the flowers turned out. It was really humid and my camera lens fogged up.

Our favorite thing to do in the evenings is take the dogs for a run. Now, before you get all excited thinking that Wes and I are exercising, I should tell you that we ride the four-wheeler while the dogs run. I'm pretty sure The Dog Whisperer wouldn't approve of our method! Wes has clocked Maddie, the German Shepherd, at about 25 mph. She runs like the wind! So a race horse. Dazey, the Golden Retriever, not so much. She's fast too but she runs like an elephant, a really clumsy elephant.

Here are the girls:

One thing you should know about Dazey...she loves water. The muddier the better. She practically lives in the creek behind our house and can't pass up a good mud puddle!

We usually see a lot of rabbits and the girls love to chase them. Don't worry...they wouldn't know what to do if they actually caught one. We have a pet rabbit and Maddie likes to play with him. She's actually really gentle but it scares him to death. Did you know rabbits can scream? Maddie knows how to open the doors and she let herself into the house one day while Max was out. I heard screaming and I thought it was Caitlin. I went running and found Maddie trotting down the hall with a very limp rabbit dangling gently from her massive jaws. I said very calmly, "Maddie, give me the rabbit." and held out my hands and she very gently placed him in them. Then Max really came to life and started scrambling up my arms, across my chest and onto my shoulder. By the way, it's not the girls fault, canine or human, that he's only got one eye. That was a whole other rabbit incident. Max likes to live life on the edge! Boy, did I just get sidetracked or what? Talk about chasing rabbits...!

This particular evening we didn't see rabbits but we did see a huge deer, a doe, according to Wes. She jumped out of the brush just a few feet ahead of us and ran down the trail in front of us for a little bit. That was pretty cool even though we see tons of deer. I always tell Wes, who still gets excited every time there's one in our yard, that it's no more exciting than seeing a stray dog! Anyway, she was moving way to fast for me to get picture. Too bad.

So that's our ritual. The girls love it and we know it's been a good time if their tongues are dragging the ground when we get back home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

35 Things About Me

I saw this on Meredith's blog and thought it looked like fun.

1. Do you like bleu cheese salad dressing? Only with buffalo wings.

2. Do you own a gun? Not personally. Wes does but I've considered getting a concealed weapon permit just to support the 2nd amendment.

3. What's your favorite drink at Starbucks? I prefer Joe Mug' a tall, chocolate, caramel latte (with fat, please!)

4. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Black coffee.

5. Do you do pushups? Ha! Ha! Ha!

6. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My watch.

7. Favorite hobby? Reading

8. Do you have A.D.D.? No. Yes. I don't...oh, look a kitty! What?

9. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? Anti-social.

10. Name three thoughts at this exact moment: I need to tinkle. What is my puppy doing and where? Is the House going to vote on this bailout bill or not?

11. Name 4 drinks you regularly drink. coffee, unsweet tea, and water. I know, that's only three. I don't drink anything else.

12. Current worry right now? Hannah.

13. Current hate right now? Liberals.

14. Favorite place to be? Home.

15. Do you like to travel? Not so much.

16. What color shirt are you wearing? Gray.

17. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? idk

18. Can you whistle? Nope.

19. Favorite color? Pink.

20. If you could, would you be a pirate? I don't like boats or water. Parrots are kinda cool, though. Maybe, if I can have an eyepatch with bling on it.

21. What song do you sing in the shower? I don't.

22. Favorite girl's name? Hayley and Caitlin.

23. Favorite boy's name? Don't have a favorite.

24. What's in your pocket right now? How embarrassing. I'm not wearing any pants right now. Still in the bed!

25. Favorite bedsheets as a child? I don't remember what my sheets looked like. Do kids really have favorite bedsheets? My kids have always had plain white. Easy to bleach!

26. Worst injury? That would have to be the Great Snowcone Accident of '88. Cut the end of my finger off in an ice-shaving worries, they sewed it back on. Good as new, except my fingernail grows a little crooked.

27. Do you love where you live? The town? Maybe. My house in the woods? YES!

28. How many tvs do you have in your house? 4

29. Who is your loudest friend? Wes

30. How many pets do you have? Maddie, a German Shepherd; Dazey, a Golden Retriever; Tess, a Sheltie; and Max, the one-eyed Jersey Wooley rabbit.

31. Does someone have a crush on you? I think Wes does.

32. What is your favorite book? Two series: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.

33. What's your favorite candy? Malted milk eggs that you can only find at Easter.

34. Favorite sports team? Auburn Tigers

35. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Why is Tess standing on my chest staring at me?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mt. Magazine

Last weekend Wes had a conference he had to go to so I got to go with him. It was at the new lodge on Mt. Magazine. At 2,753 feet, it's no Pike's Peake, Mer, but it's as high as you get in Arkansas! Here's the view from our balcony...

I was very disappointed that it was so hazy the day we were there. However, the state park website states "The valley sometimes is covered like a sea of fog making many Ouachita peaks appear as islands." So now that I know it is "official" fog I feel privileged to have witnessed it firsthand.

It was quiet and peaceful. Here's the porch where I sat to do my morning bible study and the view from said porch:

Well, actually it was peaceful until the invasion of the tour bus full of senior citizens.

Apparently there are also some really beautiful waterfalls there. The website says they "require moderate to strenuous hiking" so if you know me, you know that AIN'T happenin'! Alas, no waterfalls for me.

Here's a picture of Wes hard at work selling patient heart monitors to unsuspecting nurse anesthesists.

Would you buy something from this guy? I totally would.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Back!

Did you miss me?! My laptop's battery charger/power cord died and I was without a computer for days. It was excruciating! I am way too dependent on this thing. Probably not healthy.

I've got a lot of things I want to blog about but it's late tonight so I'm just gonna do something quick. I was cleaning the kitchen this afternoon and turned around and saw this...