• February 2009
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TV show looking for families


I am currently looking to find a blended family for a television show.  I
was hoping you might be able to help get the word out on your blog, to your
community or to anyone else you know.  We’re REALLY excited about this
project so hopefully you have some ideas about how to track down the right
people?  Here’s some more information:

Production Company Seeking Multi-Racial, Blended Family For
Reality/Documentary Television Show

New York City-based production company is currently seeking a blended family
for a new reality television show.  We are looking to find a ŒBrady Bunch¹
style group; meaning kids from separate, previous marriages, now living in
together as a whole new family.

We are particularly interested in racially diverse unions (such as
African-American and Asian).  Real families dealing with real issues:
step-sibling adjustments, financial stresses brought on from the current
economy, distribution of labor and any other issues that come up in a modern
American home.

We also would like to ideally find a family that has only lived this new and
blended life for a year or less.

If you and your family are interested in being a part of this timely project
­ please get in touch by sending a letter describing your family as well as
a recent photo of everyone to: castingfamiliesnyc@gmail.com
<mailto:castingfamiliesnyc@gmail.com> .



Meri Haitkin
Senior Producer, Development // Supervising Producer, Ecko Project
Left/Right TV
212.695.2092 x335

Sophie and daffodils

Day 57


Here’s Sophie at the gate this evening. She was watching me as I was messing with the daffodils, so I snapped a few photos of her. I was pretty far from her, so the camera didn’t pull in much light.


It wouldn’t be my blog without another daffodil photo, right? 🙂
I took this photo within minutes of when I took the photo of Sophie. The camera pulled in more light for this one – maybe because the flowers were closer – or maybe because of where I was standing in relation to the front of the house, the remaining sunlight, the flowers and the gate/Sophie. I don’t know. It’s interesting, though. To me, at least.


When I grow up, I want to take photos that are as moving as the photos shown  in the USAToday Day in Pictures section.  Each day, I’m amazed by the stories told in the chosen photos from around the world.


Day 56


Where’s that MOM OF THE YEAR award? I hear that my name is being engraved on it right now!

This morning, I got breakfast for the kids at their favorite place. I haven’t gotten this for them in ages, so I thought today was a good day for clogging their arteries.  There’s nothing like a sausage biscuit to help kids have super-productive brains and good behavior at school.

Just kidding. We don’t do this often. They usually have something simple at home for breakfast, like PB on a bagel with a piece of fruit, a bowl of cereal, waffles or pancakes with fruit.

I did not have anything from their favorite place. None of it fit in my food plan for the day. Actually, I didn’t want breakfast from that place to be the only food I could have for the entire day, so I made a different choice. Water, whole wheat muffin, 1 TBSP PB & a banana. Yum. That’s the breakfast of a champion or rather, the breakfast of the Mom of the Year! 🙂

Mardi Gras

It’s day 55 of 2009.  It seemed like so many days had passed when I typed that.  Then I realized that I have 310 more to go.

I’ve enjoyed posting a photo taken each day this year.  I see things differently when I’m looking to preserve special moments or my view of something beautiful.


Today, I took the fake King Cake and Mardi Gras beads to work for my department.  I was too tired last night to make real King Cake (my recipe takes 2 1/2 hours to prep and another hour to bake) and didn’t feel like tracking down a bakery that makes it… so I made a bundt cake, stuck a little plastic baby in it, frosted it with purple, gold and green icing and called it Mardi Gras!  One of the guys on my team got the baby and was king for the day.  He let me take a picture of him wearing beads and the crown, but since I don’t have his permission to post the photo, I won’t be sharing it with you.

When I got home, I made Shrimp Creole for dinner.  It was excellent.  I will definitely make it again.  During this time of year, I miss the traditions we came to love when living in Louisiana.  The parades, celebrations and traditional foods were so much fun to experience.

Here’s a photo of my Mardi Gras beads:


And a self-portrait, sort of:
See how long my hair has gotten and how fat my fingers are (good grief!)? When it’s curly (aka when I don’t take time to straighten it), it doesn’t look nearly as long and hangs in lose ringlets. I’ll post a photo sometime.  Last year at this time, my hair didn’t even reach the top of my shoulders. Actually, it was above shirt collars, when I wore shirts that had collars. 🙂

The wonders of Biotin, eh? My hairdresser told me last year in May to take Biotin (vitamin) to help my hair grow.  She was right.

The girls think that I should dye my hair darker, a rich chocolate brown with a few highlights mixed in.  I’ve never had hair that dark and feel unsure about it.  Right now, it’s my natural color (darker after having kids) with a few blonde highlights left on the ends.

I didn’t realize that the full length mirrored closet doors in my bedroom were so incredibly dusty/dirty until I looked at these photos. Ick! I guess I’ll have to clean them now that I know they’re dirty.

Ignorance really is bliss. Sometimes.

Yes, that’s a bird house hanging from the ceiling behind me.  It has 2 ostrich beanie babies in it, a big one and a small one.  A friend made that birdhouse for me during Pathways, and I got the ostriches  afterward.  They are symbolic for me and remind me of how I want to live my life and what I need to do to stay true to myself.   That looks a little strange when written out, but it makes sense to me.  In my head.  And I guess that’s really what counts since it’s hanging in my room.

Ok.  Enough rambling.  Good night.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roule!

100 books challenge

Day 54
A crown for tomorrow’s Mardi Gras royalty (the person who gets the piece of King Cake that has the baby in it).

Once again, the photo of the day has nothing to do with the day’s post.  Oh, well.


100 Books Challenge
Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. (Guess it doesn’t count if you saw the movie or watched the series on PBS!)

1) Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.
2) Add a ‘+’ to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee x
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare **

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier*

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger **
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy **
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh **
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame x
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy x
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis x
34 Emma – Jane Austen x
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe x
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres**
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez x
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy **
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood x
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding x
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel x
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen x
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas **
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac *
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville x
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett  x
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath x
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Bya
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro**
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn**
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery  x
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole x
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo x

# ofBooks I have read: 46 (I’ve read more of the list than had I expected!)
# of Books on my “To Read” List: *=2, **=9

*  I have these books and plan to read them soon.

**  Books I want to read one day.  Well, maybe I’ll just read them all.  🙂


Day 53


Clearly, I am obsessed with the daffodils blooming in my front yard. 🙂

100 = $1.00

Day 52

When I got home from WW this morning (where I weighed and had lost 3 pounds – bringing my total pounds lost to 11.8), J. checked her blood sugar. It was 100.

So she got a dollar.

We both smiled. 🙂

racking up the miles

Day 51


I usually don’t pay attention to how many miles are on the car’s odometer, but I noticed this nice, round number Friday evening and was surprised to see how many miles I have driven that car. I will have had it two years in June.

And, yeah, do you see the temperature it was Friday evening? Today the high was in the low 40’s. We have some ridiculous weather around here. It’s always changing. No wonder people always seem to have sinus ick during this time of year.

mean girls

Day 50

Sophie on my bed
(disclaimer: today’s photo has nothing to do with today’s post)

When I got home from work today, I noticed that J. was sad. One of her friends (I’ll call her friend A) is not happy with another of their friends (friend B) and is saying mean things about friend B. J. stood up for friend B, who was being talked about and lied about. Now friend A is being mean to J., too. Friend A seems to be one of those girls who wants to turn everyone against her “enemies” in an attempt to isolate them, cause them to feel like outsiders and to make herself feel better. Sounds a bit controlling and lacking in the good old self-esteem department, no? (Reminds me of someone… ex-husband) These girls are in 7th grade, so I know they’re not going to be mature, but still… this sort of behavior is so manipulative and cruel.

J. had tears rolling down her face when she told me how hard today was with friend A being mean, telling friend B’s secrets, spreading around things that should be kept between friends. J. is upset and sad for friend B, that friend B is being picked on/bullied – and also hurt that she’s seeing this ugly side of friend A. Friend A has been sending mean text messages to friend B, as well – but not harassing on myspace or via email, that I know of.

My first reaction was to ask J. if we need to go talk to friend A’s parents. Well, she lives with her grandparents, so that’s who we were going to go talk to, if J. had thought that was a good idea. But she didn’t and I didn’t want to make things worse for her – so we didn’t go. Which is probably the best thing to have happened. I have thought about it all evening, wishing I could make it better for her, wishing that girls were not so vicious and quick to turn on their friends. But they can be and are. And I’m glad J. is strong and self-confident enough to stand up for what she thinks is right and not back down when pressured to turn against what she believes in.

We’ve both learned some things today.

J. has learned that friend A is not the type of friend she wants to have and that some people are manipulative and not trustworthy, which are valuable but hard lessons to learn. I’ve learned that I cannot fix everything (I know.. when am I going to just learn this one already and not keep having to be reminded?) and that I have to let J. work it out for herself. I’m so thankful that my kids share their lives/problems with me, even when it’s hard to just sit, listen and support.

first daffodil of the season

Day 49


Finally!  The first flower of the year has bloomed!

I’m so thankful that the previous owner of my home planted lovely, cheery daffodils in the front flowerbed.  Each winter I look forward to seeing the bright yellow explode against the bright sunlight, bringing a smile to my face.  Knowing that one had bloomed gave me a happy feeling in the midst of all the crap fun I encountered today.  When I got home after work, another had bloomed.   🙂

These are my favorite flower, I believe.

breakfast (and dinner) of champions

Day 48


Seriously, this stuff is amazing.  I still am not to 100% yet, but I definitely can tell that this medicine is working it’s magic.  I did not make it back to work today, since I woke up with a fever and still feeling that I’d been run over by a truck.  Throughout the day, I didn’t have a fever.  When the witching hour came (sunset, evidently is the time my fever comes back), I once again have had a mild fever (99.5 F).  I’m not sure what that’s all about.  My dad said that happens to him a lot too, the fever going away all day and coming back at sunset.  Is this a normal thing that I’ve not noticed before?

Anyway, I’ll be back at work tomorrow, ready to go and almost at 100%.  🙂

guards, daffodils and roses

So, it turns out that I not only had a sinus infection, but also double ear infections.  WHEE!

I’ve been in bed for the past 3 days, almost non-stop.  Sleeping, coughing, drinking huge amounts of water, sleeping more.  I’m happy to report that I was fever free for most of today, with only a slightly elevated temperature this afternoon.  I plan to be back at work tomorrow and am looking forward to being out of the house.

Because it required little effort, I took photos of the roses on my kitchen table and of the emerging daffodils just outside my front door as my photos of the day.  This afternoon, I walked out under the car port for a few minutes and took the photo of Smokey and Sophie standing guard.  Right above where they stood is a faded sign on the gate that says, “Beware of dog.”  It was hanging there when we bought the house.  I think it’s funny to see them under that sign and have never removed it.   🙂

Day 47 (today) – Guards at the gate

Day 46 (Sunday) – Waiting for daffodils

Day 45 (Saturday) – White roses

Day 44 (Friday) – Pink rose

catching up

I’ve been a bit under the weather for the past couple of days.  Allergies have turned into a sinus infection, I believe.  I’ll find out the true diagnosis tomorrow morning.

The result of this is that I’ve gone to bed each day after work and have come home early one day to sleep.   My children have been thrilled to not have to share the internet with me, as I cough, sniffle and shiver under the covers in my bed.  They always look at the positive things in a situation, don’t they?  🙂

Day 43 (today): The brackets are pink and purple.

Day 42 (yesterday):  Medicine.  My favorite thing about the day.

Day 41 (Tuesday): $450.00’s worth of sausage, bacon and chicken tenders in my freezer, waiting to be delivered – each sale helps B. go to San Diego with the band this spring.  Gotta love fund-raisers!


Day 40

“I put some on before I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning, you don’t have acne. That’s a good feeling!”

This commercial cracks me up! How can he put on the mask and when he wakes up, I don’t have acne?

Wait! I know… It’s a miracle mask! YIPPEE!

And look who else is a mask user… Jasper Hale!