Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, November 24, 2008

Disturbing Development

So apparently at some point during the Texas Tech/OU game, Parnell advised our youngest that he should be cheering for OU (not a common, everyday thing in our household, but BCS algorithms necessitated that a deal be made with the devil). He reminded Parker that Parker's best friend comes from a hardcore "Boomer Sooner" family, and that factoid seems to have lodged in Parker's brain, because the next thing that I know, Parker comes in and informs me, "My new favorite team is the Sooners. All of my friends are Sooners! I LOVE the Sooners. GO SOONERS!" As I hastily attempted to explain (as gently as possible) the error in his ways, Parnell passed by and whispered, "If OU beats OSU next week, the 'Horns are in a three-way tie and may advance to the conference championship. Let him love the Sooners for another week."

Politics and college football make for strange bedfellows . . . .

UPDATE: We was robbed! This item (which is circulating around the Internet) at least put smiles on our faces:

USA Ranked 4th

After determining the Big 12 championship game participants, the BCS computers were put to work on other major contests, and today the BCS declared Germany to be the winner of World War II.

"Germany put together an incredible number of victories beginning with the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland and continuing into conference play with defeats of Poland,France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Their only home losses came against the USA and Russia; however, considering their entire body of work - including an incredibly tough Strength of Schedule (SOS)- our computers deemed them worthy of the #1 ranking."

Questioned about the #4 ranking of the United States, the BCS commissioner stated: "The US only had two major victories - Japan and Germany. The computer models, unlike humans, aren't influenced by head-to-head contests - they consider each contest to be only a single, equally-weighted event."

German Chancellor Adolph Hitler said, "Yes, we lost to the US; but we defeated #2 France in only six weeks." Herr Hitler has been criticized for seeking dramatic victories to earn "style points" to enhance Germany's rankings. Hitler protested, "Our contest with Poland was in doubt until the final day, and the conditions in Norway were incredibly challenging and demanded the application of additional forces."

The French ranking has also come under scrutiny. The BCS commented, "France had a single loss against Germany and following a preseason #1 ranking, they only fell to #2."

Japan was ranked #3 with victories including Manchuria, Borneo and the Philippines. United States coach Harry Truman was criticized for bad taste for scheduling a "politicking" during the halftime of the Germans' bombing of Great Britian. A US fan also made the point that "the Germans got too many style points for their sexy offense, which continues to obliterate weaker opponents and show off their might after the battle is won. But what about defense?"

Fun Gift Idea

Several retailers market ribbon-threadable, write-on plates, but The Write Plate ( gets props for putting a spin on the concept and helping a charity in the process. They sell "toppers" (painted cutouts - some wood, others ceramic) that you can attach to your plate with putty that you provide, so that you can customize your plate for a holiday or other occasion. I purchased the football at Christmas in Cowtown (the Junior League of Fort Worth's annual gift bazaar), and I have my eye on the Thanksgiving turkey, the bunny, the chocolate cupcake and the longhorn (hook 'em!). The toppers are made by residents of the Brookwood Community, a "live/work" facility for adults with functional disabilities. Back in the day, the Brookwood Community had a store front in the Houston Galleria, and I bought a lot of gift items there - always very good quality and quite unique.

You can also purchase writeable napkin rings and place card holders, packages of seasonal holiday ribbon and other ribbon trim (camo, toile, vintage prints, and lots of polka dots). My plate actually came from Southern Living at Home, but the ribbon from The Write Plate is the perfect width, and of course the toppers will stick to just about anything, since they adhere with putty.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Purposefully Whimsical Holiday

Holiday order time is upon me . . . lots of folks wanting to give canvases as girlfriend and hostess gifts. "Tangled Tinsel" and "Merry Everything" were big sellers last year, but I'm pretty partial to "Jingle While You Mingle." Personalized canvases are fun, too (such as the ornament with the big "m"). I hope to have some new designs finished and uploaded in the next week or so - if I can get through multiple clipboard and "Tech Princess" orders. (Until this year, I had no idea how many Texas Tech supporters I knew!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Requested Fall Recipes

Second Line Spinach Balls

6-oz. pkg. stuffing mix (preferably with mushrooms and onion)
1 2/3 cups hot water
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained and patted dry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix stuffing mix, hot water and butter in a large bowl until well-blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Shape into 60 balls, each about 1 inch in diameter. Place in single layer in two 15-x-10-x-1-inch baking pans sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 60 appetizers.

McGlinchey House Salad

1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, prepared with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar
3-4 T maple pancake syrup (or to taste)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 large bag pre-washed romaine lettuce
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Combine prepared salad dressing and syrup until the mixture reaches the desired balance between “sweet and tart.” Drizzle small quantity of salad dressing mixture over pecans in small bowl, tossing pecans to coat. Combine lettuce, pecans, chopped apple and blue cheese in large bowl and toss with salad dressing mixture. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Parkerisms - November 2008 Edition

Our little man turned four years old on October 29th, but he is still exhibiting some of the defiant behavior that is characteristic of three year-olds.

From the files of the Department of Irony:

"You stop calling me a twoll fweak [control freak] RIGHT NOW!"

"I . . . AM . . . NOT . . . OB . . .STI . . . NATE!" (uttered while standing in the middle of his parents' bed, arms crossed defiantly over his chest)

I also enjoyed this exchange involving his older brother (who had asked Parker, relatively politely, to stop playing with one of Connor's birthday gifts that little brother had appropriated):

"You're not the daddy of me, Connor! Are you my daddy? NO - you are NOT. You are my BROTHER, and I do NOT have to listen to you. Mo-o-o-o-m, Connor is saying bad words. He said, 'No,' and he said, 'Get out of my room.' Those are bad, BAD words."

Bad, BAD words, indeed.

But the one that had me rolling was his response after tripping and falling en route to the bathroom: "Wow. I was NOT expecting THAT."

Since Connor is the center of Parker's universe, it's really not surprising that Parker is attempting magic tricks, as Connor is magic-obsessed. However, Parker puts his own spin on things: "Mom, is the gray [silver] coin in my left hand or my right hand? SURPRISE - it's in my underpants!"

He's also perfecting his coin flip - "Mom, heads, you lose, and tails, I win." You have got to like those odds - if you're Parker, that is!

Temporary Insanity

Connor is a collector of people (a trait that he inherited from both parents, I suppose), and this can create some trouble come birthday party time. The first draft of last year's guest list exceeded sixty guests, by the time we factored in classmates, teammates, Cub Scout packmates and family friends! We therefore advised him well in advance that birthday #9 was going to be all about the downsizing . . . . As a compromise, we agreed to allow him to have a slumber party. Always one to go far afield in selecting a party theme, he asked for a "Night at the Museum." And so it was that we found ourselves shepherding eight second and third graders (and one little brother) to the Museum of Science and History's Omni Theater last night for a viewing of the IMAX movie "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs." Five of our guests ended up spending the night. Ironically, no one was interested in actually watching NATM (one of our all-time favorite kid flicks): there were multiple Lego and MegaBlox kits begging to be constructed, and so the party rather naturally evolved into a group building session that continued late into the night.

NATM party goods are nonexistent, so we had to improvise with the cake. We had our local bakery make an Indiana Jones cake, minus the Indiana Jones stuff, and added various Papo figures to represent the characters and the exhibits from the movie (Attila the Hun, Jed the cowboy, Octavius the Roman, Dexter the monkey, the moose who tried to come through the front door of the museum, etc.). It ended up being pretty cute!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Web Sites I'm Digging in November

I've been buying stationery from Carrye Campbell for years, but she has expanded her product line to include adorable children's t-shirts. Parker now has the haunted house, the Thanksgiving turkey and the monkey superhero, complete with "P" on his chest. (It was the monkey thing that led me to Carrye to begin with - I was looking for monkey invites for Parker's second birthday when I stumbled across her site.) Stationery can be purchased through and kids' clothes through

Two fellow Junior Woman's Club/Woman's Club Members have Blogger spots advertising their businesses. Both offer some great options for holiday gift-giving:

Finally, if you are in the mood for a good laugh, check out:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Super Saturday

Parnell and I co-chaired the Fall Fiesta at Connor's school, which was by turns exhausting and restorative, the latter thanks to (1) the reaction of the kids (especially the kindergartener who informed me that Fiesta day had been the best day of his life) and (2) some new parents who jumped into the trench with us and stayed there for the duration (manning the volunteer check-in table, AKA command central, every time I had to run off and put out a fire, which I estimate happened a couple hundred of times, and helping coordinate tear-down, which we knocked out in an hour and ten minutes!). Thanks to the school staff and our volunteers, we were pulling into our driveway at 6:15 (Saturday was one of those days that I was thankful that we opted to attend the neighborhood school, which is three blocks away!), and thanks to Parnell's brother who volunteered to babysit we were walking out the door, in formal attire, at 7:3o. See, the carnival initially was scheduled for 11/1, and the JWC Gala was scheduled for 11/15. When we found out that one of the teachers had scheduled her wedding for 11/1, we moved the carnival to 11/8 as an "open day" - except that, unbeknownst to us, the Gala organizers had experienced an issue with the party venue and were forced to reschedule as
well. So we were a bit double-booked yesterday . . . but I am so glad that we attended Gala, because it was a fabulous party. We had the entire Modern Museum to ourselves, all of the galleries were open for our viewing, and the lobby was transformed into a modern lounge with low white tables, couches and ottomans. Pillows bearing embroidered JWC crests were scattered throughout (and I get to keep four of them - Parnell is so delighted to be adding to the throw pillow collection). The Cafe at The Modern was transformed into a casino, where I converted $1,000 in play money into $6,000 playing Texas Hold 'Em - I won five hands in a row, with two flushes, a full house, an ace-high straight and two pair! Shotglasses full of dessert were served in the casino, and the food in the main room was equally creative (sliders with Maytag bleu cheese, Chinese chicken salad served in individual to-go boxes, etc.). Truly a great time!

Slideshow of Gala photos follow . . . .

Monday, November 3, 2008

Anniversary Tree Update

We decided to dig our own hole rather than hire it done, and we did it by the numbers - called the "One Call" number and had the phone, electric and gas companies come out and identify their lines for us. The electric company's response was "N/A," because the lines into our house are above-ground. The line from the house to the carriage house, on the other hand, turned out to be underground - as Parnell (or rather, Parnell's pick axe) discovered. Fortunately, the breaker did its thing, and he wasn't electrocuted (in fact, the line didn't even spark). However . . . the wires are too short to be stretched, so we're looking at a wire splice, a PVC pipe splice, and much insulation, since we'll be watering the area once the tree goes in the ground. Long story short, it would have been cheaper to hire someone than to fix our mistake! We'll have to remember that the next time we catch the do-it-yourself bug.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One More From Jen's Party

LOVED this cupcake idea - bat wings are cut out of licorice wheels, and bat heads are decapitated licorice bears with red gel icing eyes. I bet decapitating the bears was therapeutic!


Here's Ramses with his mother, the "soccer mummy" (can't see from the pic, but I'm ragged out under my denim jacket). Daddy was a pimp daddy, Parker was Superman and Ruby Dog was Batgirl (Batdog?). Uncle Zan came over to trick-or-treat with the boys, and then we headed to our friends Jen and Randy's Halloween bash. And what a bash it was . . . . Not a trace of their everyday "stuff" was in view - everything, from floor to ceiling, was Halloween-themed. Needless to say, I took lots of pictures. Slide show is below. First few photos are of our house and the graveyard next door. The Tudor in the nighttime exterior shot is Jen's, and all of the photos after that are from the party.