Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

I always thought "Auld Lang Syne" meant old times' sake. Don't know why, but it seemed to make sense to me!! :-)

Well, Miss Smarty Pants was very wrong, so please make a note of it, hehe. According to the internet, it translates literally as old long since, and is taken from a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. The most popular version sung by drunken partygoers:

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And ne'er brought to mind,
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And days of auld lang syne.

(Chorus) For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Here's are two lesser known verses that I also liked:

We two have paddled in the stream
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us broad have roared,
Since auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us hand o' thine,
And we'll take a right goodwill draught,
For auld lang syne.

For me, provided I can stay up until midnight, it's time to remember old friends, old lovers, old family, old times, and especially, old dogs. I can't say I'm alone in calling 2008 a rough ride, and I'm not usually sentimental about the passage of time. This year is a little different, I think because of all the changes suddenly thrust upon me and mine. I feel old and new all at the same time. Do you?

May 2009 bring an abundance of the following to all the ones I love - and you know who you are!

Memories--old cherished ones and new ones to be made this year
Photographs (you can never take too many)

Happy New Year with Love, Fran and BaumgardnersFour
(plus our beloved Tokyo Jones)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Still not back 100%

Today while the kids played outside, I read a few old magazines--one was an Oprah from December 2007 and another was a Martha Stewart Living from February 2008. Who keeps their shit that long?! Apparently, me, LMAO. I can't muster any more energy than that--still can't seem to shake the feeling of being sick. I can't stay up later than around 9:40 pm, which is quite early considering I'm usually too busy to go to bed until at least midnight. I have been forcing myself to do nothing, which, while sounding luxurious, is rather uncomfortable. I did do some laundry yesterday. It looked like a mountain, but ended up only being three loads. I'll never understand why it looks so distasteful lying on the floor, yet mindlessly benign just hanging in my closet.

I'm thinking that one of my new year's resolutions will be to do one thing at a time, rather than multi-task all day. It sounds lazy and unproductive. All the experts say multi-tasking is an illusion anyway, and that "to-do lists" are so yesterday. What will I do without my lists? 2009 will tell that story...... I'm betting it'll all be all right.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Little things like this make it all worthwhile


Found this little ditty while cleaning out John Sam's backpack. Into the keepsake box it goes . . .

Saturday, December 20, 2008


It's not the newest radio station here in Orlando--it's what my temperature has been for 3 days running.

Any day now I should start feeling better, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sick of being sick

Well, John Sam was sick and got over it in only 2 days...... crossing our fingers that Caroline doesn't come down with it full-blown, but I'm afraid it's too late for that since I heard her coughing all last night. Today was my day to be sick. The morning started out all right, but after lunch, chills and sweating, nose running, coughing my lungs up. A few times I coughed so hard I gagged. Blech. Burning eyes, sweater on, sweater off. Hooooo-boy~

The tradition of my being sick at Christmas hasn't missed a year since John Sam was three and attended Kaley School (2003). Last year, I was sporting a robust case of pneumonia and stayed up on Christmas Eve till about 1:30 a.m. wrapping presents and stuffing stockings. (I guess technically that woulda been Christmas morning, but I digress.) I was so hoping to lay that tradition to rest. You know, since nobody has anything to do around the holidays, right?!

Airborne? Don't waste your money unless you just like drinking fizzy vitamin C. Tastes okay but doesn't work on industrial strength colds.

Maybe a stout 7 and 7 will kick it. I think I'll go try that since the kids are now in bed. Don't really have anything to lose except germs. ;-0

Here's hoping that if I'm sick the rest of this week, I'll be on the mend for next week. Fingers crossed.

A special "Feliz Cumpleanos, Amiga" to Waleska. Many happy returns to you~~~

Monday, December 15, 2008

Down by five

Missing five days from my post-once-per-day resolve. *sigh* Not enough hours in each day, I guess--at least on certain days. ;-0

So to totally cheese it out, I'm posting a picture of my newest Christmas ornament. I got it at the art festival at Lake Eola a few weeks back. I loved the clear tree with the dots that look like Skittles! I try to add a new ornament or two each year, and I chose this one because it is kinda different. It's made of glass.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

O Tannenbaum

Finally, our Christmas tree is up. How is it that they get prettier every year? Two kids plus fuzzy Santa hats equals lots of fun--and cute pictures.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Prayers for Caylee Anthony

It's been so hard to watch the news today. I am sad about the outcome of this very strange but compelling story. I'd like to lift up prayers for little Caylee and would ask others to do the same.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Look for changes in the next day or so

on the blog's format. I felt like mixin' it up a little, so I previewed some new styles, and I am hoping tomorrow I'll have time to mess with it and update the look. I think I will start doing the "tags," which everyone seems to do, although I've not done that yet.

How's that for commercialism? Ha! "Check this space"


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I want to be a Mentalist

It could be that Simon Baker is a cutie patootie, or it could be the brains that his character has. Either way, I've decided in my next career I'm going to be a Mentalist. ;-)

Other thoughts: I haven't sent my Christmas cards yet, and I haven't gotten a lot of them yet either. I wonder if a lot of people are planning on just doing e-mail cards? It is rather convenient, especially when you have pictures you might want to attach and considering the cost of sending snail mail. But I'm definitely going to send some holiday greetings through the mail. It's one of my favorite traditions during the holidays, even if it seems old-fashioned. If I'm completely honest, there's something about using my calligraphy pen to address the envelopes and greetings that spurs my creativity. I feel like I get so much more done after the cards are finished (decorating, baking, scrapbooking), and I get a lot of joy from doing the holidy projects. I have so many scrap layouts in my head that I have to get done and in the albums! Tomorrow I should get some fresh photos to play with.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Whoops! Missed a day....

Ah, well, so it's harder than I thought to do a post a day. We'll see what I feel like posting tomorrow. IF I post tomorrow~


Friday, December 5, 2008

Caroline Grace #6

The birthday girl is beautiful and sassy as the day she was born! Here are a few highlights from her 6th. 1st photo-She had just gotten out of bed and still has the sweet, sleepy look. 2nd-No little princess can have too many birthday crowns. 3rd-Chocolate on Chocolate. 4th-Make a wish~ All our love to Little Green, f/k/a Little Blue. Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Late night

Each day this week Caroline has gotten up in the morning and said, "My birthday is Friday," except today, when she said "My birthday is tomorrow." So I told her that today was her last day of being five.... :)

So the hour is late, but the cake is bought, all the envelopes and packages have arrived on time, and I am done wrapping the presents. I'm putting the TV on sleep timer so it will turn itself off while I doze and try to pretend I'm watching Nightline.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Tonight the kids and I watched the classic cartoon, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" narrated by Burl Ives. We have the other 2 classics, Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on DVD. I really enjoy watching shows I loved as a kid with my own kids. The magic of Christmas is still around after all these years, and I hope to share it with them for more years to come. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Artwork

John Sam's class made Thanksgiving cards for friends and family. We especially love how he signed the card ;) Caroline draws a lot of colorful pictures every day at school, and these are of "Hello Kitty" and her best friend forever, "Fifi." The Rubbermaid tub that holds all the artwork I've saved over the years is truly bursting at the seams, but I'll just keep adding more if the kids keep making such cute artwork.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Attempting a post a day

Going to try to do a post a day during December. Let's see how that works for me.

Nothing tonight except Boston Legal starts in four minutes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gravy-son #2

Blinkie Maker

Feliz Cumpleanos to the littlest of our bunch!! We are so tickled that you are entering the terrible two's, LOL! We know your disposition is too sweet to be a real stinker anyway. We wish you a great birthday and how about a bite of this yummy cake? Happy 2nd Birthday to Grayson Pierce! Love from Tia and "BaumgardnersFour"

Make your own Blinkie

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vintage and Thankful

A girlfriend of mine blogged recently about her love for vintage postcards and the historical element they revealed. Since today is my wedding anniversary, I thought I'd scan a postcard that I found in an antique shop in St. Augustine where Sam and I honeymooned nine years ago. It says, "This is a hand coloured real photograph" and even though the back of it was not addressed to anyone, I told the lady in the shop that I had to have it because I thought it wasn't an accident that I found it. It also says "British Manufacture" and "Rotary Photo, West Drayton, Middlesex." The embossing on the edges is just exquisite; I hope the scan does it justice! (Don't forget, you can click on the image and see it full size.)

Also posting a photograph of my two little chickadees, who, unfortunately are getting way past the "little" stage. I love being able to share my life with living, breathing examples of all I'm thankful for. Damn, I am lucky! Happy Thanksgiving 2008, and may you also recognize and cherish the multiple blesssings you enjoy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Musings on Thanksgiving Eve

  • I'm thankful for Mrs. Florence Bowers' secret recipe for the Oyster Cracker Mix that I make every Thanksgiving.
  • I'm thankful for my own private parking spot that I get 8 out of 10 times when I go to Publix.
  • I'm thankful for my job, despite the fact that my bosses didn't let me off from work even one minute early ;0
  • I'm thankful to hear old songs on the radio, and for the morning radio DJs who are like real life friends.
  • I'm thankful for the nice lady in the drive-up window at Chick-Fil-A who is smart enough to put the exact same toy in the happy meals to prevent fussing.
  • I'm thankful that I will get to sleep in on Thanksgiving Day 2008.

When I stop & remember all the little things, it only makes sense to be grateful for them, because all those little things sure add up, don't they?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warm Sweatshirts

With the cold snap comes a need for sweatshirts. We have quite the collection of warm clothes for 4 and 6 year olds. Problem is, I have 6 and 8 year olds! :)

K-mart had a great special--two for $9.00. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am Woman, hear me roar!

Today I alone with ultra feminine aplomb put together the cube shelf I've had since my birthday. Took longer than I expected, but I was happy when it was done. It looks black in the pictures, but, ahem, it's espresso - which is hoidy-toidy for dark brown. ;) Pictures show before, during, and after. I have some colored fabric cubes that I put in some of the squares, but I don't have pictures of those yet. This shelf is going to keep us organized by having a central place for everything we need to get out the front door fast: school papers, lunchboxes, backpacks, purses, keys, and cell phone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hell or High Water

Just felt like announcing that I am going to scrapbook this weekend come hell or high water. So there.

Dang, that felt good! :)

I will post what I make. Don't forget to check back!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rudyard Kipling

"If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. . . . The world will be yours and everything in it. . . . " ~Rudyard Kipling

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Almost Gangsta

This was one of the goofy poses the kids did when they got tired of me taking their picture. Maybe I've seen one too many CSI promos, but they looked sorta "gangsta" - or at the very least, New Kids on the Block. ;-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Harvest Fest

Today we went to Harvest Fest at the kids' school. The weather was just right and we all had a great time. There was so much to do, hear, and eat. Sensory overload! Getting the kids to stand still for pictures was a nice bonus. Towards the end of the festival, they announced they were giving away the last of the hot dogs. Caroline asked if she could go get one, and I told John Sam to go with her. "Stick together," I told them, which is what I always say. As they walked away, they put their arms around each other and walked all the way across the playground like that. My eyes welled up with love. They were too far away for me to take their picture, but it's okay--I'll always remember that.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Max Lucado

"Lower your expectations of earth. This isn't heaven, so don't expect it to be." -Max Lucado

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Amigas

At every office I've worked, I've been lucky enough to find a good friend--the kind you're friends with no matter where you go or what's going on in your lives. My new amiga and I have a lot in common, and it makes work a lot easier when I know there's someone who thinks like me and who goes out of her way to be sweet and supportive. I'm enjoying getting to know Waleska, and just take a look at these two foxy chiquitas celebrating with our kids on Halloween night.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cosmo Comet Squared

Now we have TWO Cosmo Comets in the family! John Sam's teacher awarded him the Cosmo Comet award for his efforts in practicing self-control. Go John Sam!

On a different personal note, Happy Birthday to my "brother" Ann! I hope you had a wonderful birthday, and we'll always be brothers no matter what. Love ya!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Notes from 11/1 on 11/2/08

The kids and I all got haircuts on Saturday. Miss Roe even had a few extra minutes to put Caroline's hair in a cute up-do! Both seem to be losing the "toddler" face and looking like they've grown more than in the last picture I took. *sigh* After we got home, I ate lunch and filled out my absentee ballot, and took that baby to the post office. It feels good to devote attention to things that matter, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing my vote has been tendered. I'm also having a blast putting all those campaign commercials on MUTE when they come on TV - again! Last, it's been several days since Miss Tokyo Jones got her new turquoise bandanna. She loves how she looks, I think. ;) She hasn't tried to take it off even one time. After seeing this picture, I've decided Tokyo's Indian name is Crazy Bat Ears. LMAO~

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Got your pumpkins yet?

If not, here's a couple of really good looking ones! The only "scary" part is how much they've grown....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kickin' it old school

I am a huge morning radio fan of a particular station (cough coughMix105.1cough). When Martha Stewart first got out of jail and resumed her show, the disc jockeys used snippets of her comments during some of their interviews and conversations. One day, apparently, Martha said she was "Kicking it old school" by doing something the old-fashioned way. Of course, she pronounced the "g" at the end, and that was what the DJs were cracking up about. Hilarious!

So last week I went to happy hour with some of my friends from one of the law firms where I used to work. We went to Ember to celebrate Cindy's birthday, and how fun it was to all get together! Drinking, laughing, and catching up ensued. Our friend Kathy was in another photo, but a couple of eyes were closed, so I am only posting this one shot. Hard to believe it's been 15 years since we've all worked at the same place. Some things are the same, and some things are really different. But one thing is certain--we totally were kickin' it old school.
(L-R) Jane, Sharon, Cindy & Fran

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

from "The Secret"

"Happiness is an inside job." I just loved that quote!

I'm on to the Secret now, apparently one of the last to know, ahem. And I'm diggin' it so far.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos Dylan!

Here's a birthday shout to my nephew Dylan, whose special day is TODAY! Count the candles !! :)

We hope you have a totally fun birthday and get lots of presents and eat some yummy cake! Please remember the ice cream to go with it. We all love you very much and send you hugs & kisses! With very special birthday love from Tia and Cousins

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sharon

One of my oldest, that is, most long-standing friends. Here we are "back in the day" (circa 1979)

Dearest Spot, I wish you a wonderful birthday. I found this quote that seemed particularly insightful:

"She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

Nothing she's heard me say or watched me do (dumb or smart) has ever breached her faith in our friendship. It's one of the few things in my life I've been able to count on despite my not totally deserving it. No matter how much time has passed or how many miles stretch between us, whenever we get a chance to talk, we pick up right where we left off. It has been a privilege to share my history with such a special person.

Happy Birthday "Spot"! You deserve nothing but the best. Love always from "Marge"

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've been doing some purging, organizing, and re-stacking. HA! Last night I got all of John Sam's artwork and school work separated and into date order. So satisfying to get that job tackled. There is more room in his closet and toybox now, and we've rearranged his dresser drawers to make everything more accessible and less wrinkled. I've found it's great to be unwrinkled. ;0

So I felt like rearranging the blog face a little bit and I like it. Hope you will also.

Today I have Caroline's school box to organize after the newspaper has been read. In the background, the laundry dries. And another load bites the dust.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Eight Year Old

Seen on October 10, 2008:

A Birthday Cake
A Birthday Boy
A New Hockey Table

Happy 8th Birthday to John Sam! You are so loved by many family and friends~

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

7 Strange Things

I had no idea it had been so long since Cat had "tagged" me. When I looked it up, gasp! September 2? OMG. No reason not to have done this except I was waiting to look up how to put a link with a shortcut name instead of the whole link. But I still haven't done that, either.

Here is what it's all about: If you are tagged, you must first post the rules.
1. Write 7 strange characteristics about yourself.
2. Tag 5 other people at the end of your Post.
3. Visit everyone that you have tagged and leave a comment on their blog to let them know that they have been tagged.

I decided to play along and here are the seven strange things.

1) I do not know how to put a link with a shortcut name instead of the whole link on my blog. (haha, you knew it would be there!)
2) I can't stand toes, except for my kids' toes. Advertisements (magazine or TV) that have feet totally bug me.
3) Sometimes I prefer to listen to my soaps or other programs on the radio rather than watch them. I think what it would be like to have only the radio instead of TV.
4) I always get the sanitizer wipes from the front of the grocery store to put on the handle of the cart.
5) I own and display more calendars than anybody I know. I keep different notes on almost every one of them.
6) I am addicted to forensics, science, historical, and documentary shows on PBS.
7) I hoard stationery and postal products.

I will tag LJ, Granny, Joy ( ), Valerie, Colleen, Kelly ( ) and Debra. If you don't have a blog, do an e-mail or post the things as a comment here. :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Pink!

Wishing a very special Happy 4th Birthday to my niece, Skye Nina! I think I heard a rumor that it's a rule when you are four, you need 11 Barbies.....!

Here's a cake for you. Enjoy your special day, and may you have many more. Love you very much, Tia

Friday, October 3, 2008

John Sam has the answers

John Sam likes to try to do his homework without getting any help. He has a little trouble understanding all the directions, but he does give great answers, even if they're not exactly what the teacher was looking for. I dare you to read these without laughing! (Click the image and they're easier to read.) Yes, he did get marked off; you might notice the small "X" at the beginning of each sentence. But I bet Miss Everett got a kick out of these. A+ for effort--absolutely!

Another bit of trivia: this is my 100th blog post! Who'da thunk it? Here's to 100 more~

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Hi, my name is Fran and I'm a Blog Slacker.

This is my first post in I am not sure how many days, hours, or minutes. But I know it's been a while. I think this month has the lowest post count since the beginning of the blog. Oh geeeeeeeeeeeeee

Duly noted.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Technology 'Ho

Got a new cell phone. First, we must say goodbye to the other one. She looks dry and almost brand new... but she doesn't do a damn thing. Buh-bye!

The new one looks like a teeny weeny laptap when it's open, and I think that is just so cute. I couldn't get the picture to come out but you can see it's the one of me with the kids on my birthday.

Let the calls resume! Wahoooooo!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A little fixin' up

Got some gift cards for my birthday (thanks, Mami and LJ!!) and finally got around to using them. I splurged a little bit on fixin' up our digs. New curtains and a couple of plants to help clean the air -

Really, they make a huge difference. And it's just what the doctor ordered! Here are the "before" and "after" pictures:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Birthday (#67)

We have another birthday in the family, and this time it's Granny! We love our "Granny Old" and wish her a very wonderful birthday! Is it time for cake & ice cream yet? It's the question the kids always want to know first...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ninety Years Old

That is the age of my grandfather, whose birthday is today. By now (9:30 p.m.), I'm sure he's already in bed and he'll beat me getting up. Not hard to do since he says he gets up around 4:30 a.m.!

He's one of the most steadfast, fair, and kind people I know. He still writes me handwritten letters, has never forgotten my birthday no matter what, and he always signs them with just his intial, F. I think he still walks on the treadmill every day, and he dotes on his little dog Coral. When people say, "They don't make 'em like they used to," he's what they mean. :)

Happy Birthday, Gramps, and many happy returns. Love you from Baumgardners Four

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Cat Money"

A while back, the kids and I were riding in the car, listening to the radio. Remember the group called Foreigner? They were big in the 80s. They had an album called "Double Vision" and almost every song from the album was a hit. One of my favorites was "Hot Blooded." The lyrics go,

Hot blooded
Check it and see
I gotta fever of 103
C'mon baby, do you do more than dance?
Hot blooded, I'm hot blooded

(disclaimer: that might be somewhat out of order from the actual song)

Anyhoo, I don't know sometimes how the kids hear what they hear, but instead of "Hot Blooded," they thought the lyrics were "Cat money" - So they go around singing that. It took me a little while to figure out what song they really meant. It is freakin hilarious to hear them; they sing it just like the song sounds, only with their own private lyrics.

I totally crack up every time they sing it. We laughed over it today, and it was a good laugh.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cosmo Comet and Golden Ears

Caroline was chosen to be "Cosmo Comet" in her class. She got a cute ribbon and a great bumpersticker! Since I've been hoping against hope for a new car, I didn't want to stick it down in case I needed it for the new bumper, so I used scotch tape to put it on the Yukon. As most everyone well knows, scotch tape is monitored pretty tightly around here, haha. Caroline informed me that it doesn't need scotch tape because it's sticky already. Too smart! She got a new folder with very cute puppies, a gift certificate for Subway, and she had lunch with her principal on Friday 9/12. We are all very proud of our Cosmo Comet.

Yesterday John Sam got his 2nd of two Golden Ear certificates. These are awarded by his teacher for good listening! I especially love the golden glitter on the very large ears. John Sam is doing his best to use his ears more and I'm so happy that his teacher notices his efforts.