Sunday, November 30, 2008

Week In Review

We had a long week here. Tuesday night the girls & I stayed up late making loads of chocolate chip cookies for Colb to share with his coworkers. Although he ended up working for about 30 hours straight and never had the enegry to go deliver them all... so we ate lots of cookies this week.

Thanksgiving Ariana & I kept with tradition and volunteered at Edgewood Center nursing home in Portsmouth. Of course, the residents loved her and we had a great day making people smile. I left Colby with a turkey stuffing meatloaf, which he seemed to enjoy. After volunteering, Ariana & I headed to Maine to see my father. That was... interesting. He was happy to have us and our fresh baked pumpkin pie, apparently his favorite.
Friday was a long day for me, working around 11 hours and doing a little shopping. Kaitlin came over to keep Ariana company for a couple of days and they had a blast. The rest of our weekend was fairly uneventful, except the multiple visits from our good friends Jeff & Kell, who just could not seem to get their car home from our house. Another week... come... and gone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sexism Blah Humbug!

As I have been researching my pink Tonka trucks, I have run into a ridiculous debate over Christmas toys. Apparently people are appalled that there are gender specific toys like kitchens and Tonka trucks. I came across one blog of a mom who would throw out her daughters gifts if people gave her anything 'girlie.' It is so absurd. Why can't kids just play with what they want to play with? My girls like to play with Barbies, matchbox cars, Care Bears, trampolines, legos, puzzles, coloring books... etc... How would I be bettering their confidence, psyche or self esteem if I took out the Care Bears and Barbies? Shouldn't a key point of feminism be letting a little girl know she can be and do whatever she wants to do? Ariana excels at dancing, should I stop her since that is a traditional feminine activity? Should I force her to be a soccer player even though she isn't as good at it? What are you teaching your daughter if you make her play with all gender-neutral toys? I want my girls to do whatever makes them the happiest in this life. Whether they want to wear mascara & high heels or flannel and cargo pants; whether they want to be a homemaker or a doctor; whether they want to spend their days in a bikini surfing in Hawaii or bundled up climbing Mt. Everest.

So they will play with their Tonka trucks... and they will be pink, damn it!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pretty in Pink

It all started when Annika, Cady & I went to one of Ariana's soccer games. There were a bunch of little boys playing in the dirt of the baseball diamond. Annika joined in & was quite enamored with the Tonka truck that the boys had. When we went back for the next game, the boy had brought back the truck and Annika again took it hostage. It brought back memories of me playing with my brothers Tonka (ok, not so much playing as fighting over).

Also, we have a huge patch of dirt where we spread the new loam last spring and never planted seed. This is a favorite spot for the girls to play in. They will spend hours playing there with matchbox cars or my kitchen utensils.

So, this brings me to my Christmas shopping. I decided I would get two Tonka dump trucks (even though they are 5 years apart, Ariana & Annika still fight over every toy). And of course, with our passion for girlie, I wanted pink trucks. I can always find most anything I want to buy on the internet... but not PINK Tonka trucks!!!! As I looked at the Tonka website, the tag line is "Built for Boyhood." I guess this would explain why there are no feminine colored Tonka's. I did find a website that would pimp Tonka's for $75!!!
So, this is my new project. I will pimp my own Tonka trucks for the girls. I will go out tonight and try to find real steel Tonka's and then head to an automotive store to find some paint. I hope to come out with a product similar to the one pictured here. I know they will love them if I can pull it off and I will feel so good to give them a toy that I have put my heart and time into. Wish me luck! I will post photos as the project goes along.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sleeping With The Enemy

Colb & I have come to the realization that Ariana really does have OCD. This is my pantry that she feels needs to be in this order. She even does this when we are shopping. She can't stop herself from aligning all the products on the shelf or clothes on the rack. Now if only she would be so obsessive about the cleanliness of her bedroom!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


This is a new Ani song which perfectly affirms how I feel when I look into my girls' eyes....

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart
you'd think at my age i'd of thought
of something better to do
than making insecurity into a full-time job
making insecurity into art
and i fear my life will be over
and i will have never lived unfettered
always glaring into mirrors
mad i don't look better

but now here is this tiny baby
and they say she looks just like me
and she is smiling at me
with that present infant glee
and yes i will defend
to the ends of the earth
her perfect right to be

so i'm beginning to see some problems
with the ongoing work of my mind
and i've got myself a new mantra
it says: "don't forget to have a good time"
don't let the sellers of stuff power enough
to rob you of your grace
love is all over the place

there's nothing wrong with your face
love is all over the place
there's nothing wrong with your face

lately i've been glaring into mirrors
picking myself apart

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hitchcock Meets Barbie

I was browsing Amazon for gift ideas for the girls today. I checked the Barbie section since Annika is enamored with her right now. I came across this Barbie from the Hitchcock movie The Birds. This is seriously one of the creepiest movies I have ever seen. And they made a Barbie out of it??? I swear, this is not a hoax, it was for sale on Amazon! I am not even sure what to say about it, I am speechless.

What next, a Barbie as Janet Leigh from Psycho, posed behind a shower curtain????

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tattoo You

Well, now that the baby factory is closing, Colby & I can resume our previous journey of getting more tattoos (well more for me, one for him.) Our tattoo- enthusiast friend, Brock was nice enough to loan us a pile of tat magazines to browse through. So last night, we all snuggled on the couch and scanned hundreds of tattoos. Ariana was trying to find even the slightest glimpse of a butt crack so she could giggle & tee hee. Annika was quite interested in finding the grossest, scariest tattoo she could... and Cady just drooled all over the books. Annika did find a sweet pinup girl that she really wants on her belly.
It was actually a fun time with the girls'. But, I think we could be studying Money Magazine, and they would be happy, as long as we were all hanging out as a family.

Stay tuned for the newest Horne works of art....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Santa,

I was cleaning Ariana's room the other day & I came across this list and I just had to share it. I have not corrected spelling or grammar...

Christmas List
Madagaskar 2 Africa The movie
Junie B. Jones #9, #14, #19 and the others and other disasters Don't Make me Smile
You only have to, well actually you can get me only 2 books.
Maybe High School Musical #3, the movie
An American Girl Doll and a new clock
2 Gameboy games

Stuff for Annika
New Dora Doll
Care Bear movie
3 books
Strawberry Shortcake movie
1 picture frame for a picture of her beautiful self

Isn't this so freakin' cute? She is so sweet to always think of her sisters. She is one of the most selfless & giving people I know. Man, I love my kids.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Girls

I thought I would throw out a little more upbeat blog entry since this past week they have not been real sunny.

In her third month, Acadia has found her hands. She spends lots of time wringing her hands and trying to grab everything in her reach. She is still not sleeping through the night and keeps me up quite a bit.

Annika went to her first theater movie yesterday. Colby took her to see Madagascar II and she loved it (of course.) Colby said she tried to switch seats a few times, but all in all, she did well. She is very excited to go back & see another one already.

Ariana went hiking with her best buddy, Grace, on Tuesday. The girls did very well on a 5 hour hike that even had snow flurries. I am very happy that she enjoys hiking so much, I know other children her age who can't fathom climbing to the top of a mountain just to turn back and climb back down.

Ariana also got her first grades of the year and did very well. She excelled in music and reading, as usual. She has joined the chorus recently and will be performing for the school and at other places like nursing homes. I don't know how well she does in the chorus, but she certainly is convinced that she is a great singer!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kiss a Vet

Today is Veterans Day.  This holiday originated as Armistice Day as major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice. In 1919 it was pronounced by President Wilson as a national holiday "to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.

Though I am opposed to most any war on many levels, I will still give much respect for those who serve in the military. They are brave, selfless and they fight for my freedom every day. I have family, friends and coworkers that have served in multiple battles.  I thank them all for their service and just hope that someday we will not need their service any longer, especially to the extent we need them today.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Be Well

Colby's aunt Maureen has become critically ill over the weekend. She has been rushed to Dartmouth Hitchcock with possible cancer of the liver. Colby has gone there now to be with her and his family and I ask that you please put her in your prayers, thoughts, or whatever spiritual resources you might have. She is a wonderful, happy, loving, giving & fun woman. She has 2 children and three grandchildren who really need her to watch them grow and become wonderful people themselves.

We love you, Auntie Mo!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Burton Snowboards are causing a huge controversy with their new Love line of boards. These boards feature images of Playmates from the 80's. They have already been banned at ski mountains across Vermont and caused protest outside the Burton headquarters.

I find this ironic considering what we see every day in the mainstream media. The Burton boards are pictured here on the left, just above a Calvin Klein ad that is everywhere, including on billboards for all to see. Seriously, don't we have more serious things to worry about right now??? I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable with my daughters seeing this snowboard, but it would be easier to explain than, say, why we have lost thousands of American citizens in a war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin says the company supports freedom of artistic expression and stands by the boards.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sad State of Affairs

As I have long talked about, eating healthy is nearly impossible on a limited budget. One apple costs around 75¢, while I can could feed my whole family for 24¢ in Ramen noodles! The single item we spend the most on every week for our family is milk, at about $15 per week. I bet I could spend about $2 a week if we drank cool-aid or $4 or $5 if we drank soda.

I am lucky that I am so good with coupons & shopping sales that I feed our family for about $70-$80 per week. This includes meat & fresh fruits and veggies. But most people do not have the time to search grocery sales, cut coupons and run to 3 different grocery stores.

Anyhow, I came across this article in the New York Times this morning that spoke about the same stuff I have always said. You should read the article, it is interesting.

Published: November 3, 2008
How much does it really cost to eat a healthy diet?
Economists, health researchers and consumers are struggling to answer that question as food prices rise and the economy slumps. The World Bank says nearly a billion people around the world live on a dollar a day, or even less; in the United States, the daily food-stamp allowance is typically just a few dollars per person, while the average American eats $7 worth of food per day.
Even middle-class people struggle to put healthful food on the table. Studies show that junk foods tend to cost less than fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods, whose prices continue to rise.
This fall a couple in Encinitas, Calif., conducted their own experiment to find out what it was like to live for a month on just a dollar a day for food. Overnight, their diets changed significantly. The budget forced them to give up many store-bought foods and dinners out. Even bread and canned refried beans were too expensive.
Instead, the couple — Christopher Greenslate, 28, and Kerri Leonard, 29, both high school social studies teachers — bought raw beans, rice, cornmeal and oatmeal in bulk, and made their own bread and tortillas. Fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t an option. Ms. Leonard’s mother was so worried about scurvy, a result of vitamin C deficiency, that they made room in their budget for Tang orange drink mix. (They don’t eat meat — not that they could have afforded it.)
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal; lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Dinner often consisted of beans, rice and homemade tortillas. Homemade pancakes were affordable, but syrup was not; a local restaurant gave them a few free syrup packets.
One of the biggest changes was the time they had to spend in meal preparation.
“If you’re buying raw materials, you’re spending more time preparing things,” Mr. Greenslate said. “We’d come home after working 10 to 11 hours and have to roll out tortillas. If you’re already really hungry at that point, it’s tough.”
While he lost weight on the budget diet, Mr. Greenslate said, the larger issue was his lack of energy. During the experiment he was no longer able to work out at the gym.
A few times they found a bag of carrots or lettuce that was within their budget, but produce was usually too expensive. They foraged for lemons on the trees in their neighborhood to squeeze juice into their water.
Ms. Leonard said that after the 30-day experiment, one of the first foods she ate was a strawberry. “I almost cried,” she said.
The couple acknowledged that the experiment was something of a luxury, given that many people have no choice about how much to spend on food.
“People in our situation have the leisure to be concerned about issues like this,” Ms. Leonard said. “If we were actually living in this situation, I would not be taking the time to be concerned about what I could and could not have; I’d be worried about survival.”
Researchers say the experiment reflects many of the challenges that poor people actually face. When food stamps and income checks run low toward the end of the month, they often do scrape by on a dollar a day or less. But many people don’t know how to prepare foods from scratch, or lack the time.
“You have to know how to cook beans and rice, how to make tortillas, how to soak lentils,” said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington. “Many people don’t have the knowledge or the time if they’re working two jobs.”
Last year, Dr. Drewnowski led a study, published in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, comparing the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. The study showed that “energy dense” junk foods, which pack the most calories and fewest nutrients per gram, were far less expensive than nutrient-rich, lower-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. The prices of the most healthful foods surged 19.5 percent over the two-year study period, while the junk food prices dropped 1.8 percent.
Obesity researchers worry that these trends will push consumers toward less healthful foods. “The message for this year and next year is going to be affordable nutrition,” Dr. Drewnowski said. “It’s not the food pyramid, it’s the budget pyramid.”
The experiment in California was hardly the first of its kind, though the teachers’ budget was tighter than most. Last month Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan and her family took a weeklong “food stamp challenge,” spending only $5.87 per day per person on food — the Michigan food stamp allotment. She told reporters that she ended up buying a lot of macaroni and cheese. Last year Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski of Oregon lived for a week on his state’s $3-a-day food stamp allocation.
Ms. Leonard and Mr. Greenslate, who chronicled their dollar-a-day experience on their blog,, say they are looking at other ways to explore how difficult it is for people with limited income to eat a healthful diet.
“I challenge anyone to try to live on a dollar a day and eat fresh food in this country,” Mr. Greenslate said. “I would love to be proven wrong.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is for all the parents out there... I went to Amazon today to start looking for Christmas gifts. As I opened the site, I saw a notice on their front page (pictured here, to the left) It talked about how Amazon has partnered with their vendors to get rid of the ridiculous amount of packaging that comes with so many products! For those of us who spend endless hours on Christmas day unpackaging our kids gifts, this is VERY exciting news! It will also greatly reduce a lot of waste from our landfills. Read the column to the left to learn more...


"Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama's running so we all can fly."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Times They Are A Changin'

I was at the polling office when they opened this morning and what a great experience. I got to see the whole gamut of the process. I watched as a lady in her late 80's made a very slow walk up the driveway to cast her vote. She was aided by (possibly) a granddaughter as she took her place in line with the rest of us.
As I entered line at the booths, I was behind a kid who was clearly voting for the first time... as his mom was taking his picture! He made a loud comment about his vote for McCain and his mother chided him about vocalizing your vote while at the booth.

I have to admit, I was choked up as I watched the whole process. Seeing the people taking advantage of the democratic process from all walks of life was touching. Also, the possibility of having a black president is just so awe inspiring. I have had long conversations with Ariana about how much of an impact that victory would have on the USA and the whole world. She has a small understanding of it, but clearly has no idea how profound it could be. I already warned her that if Obama wins, expect tears from me tomorrow, as I stated from the very start that there was no way our country would vote for a black President. How amazing would it be for me to be proven wrong??? (Thank goodness for George Bush!)

The Wonder Years

Ariana was a cat for Halloween, but with those teeth, you'd think she was a bunny rabbit! Can you remember those awkward years... from about age 9 to 13 (for me it was until about 20!) when your teeth were too big for your face (or you get braces) you get glasses at around that age, your feet are just a little too big, your hair is just never quite right.... What a devastating time in life! (At least for little girls, I don't think boys even care) Poor Ariana is just starting that stage and I feel for her.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I watched the movie, Magnolia, this weekend on the recommendation of a friend. I can count on one hand the number of movies I have watched that were over 3 hours, but it was worth it. It was an intricate story, intertwining the lives of many people in one sad tale. I had some trouble following it, especially at the end, due to the fact that it seemed to make reference to an excerpt fron the Bible (Exodus 8:2- "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs".) And also from the writing of Charles Fort, whom I have never read. But, after I researched the background of some of the confusing parts of the movie, it made perfect sense and was a very interesting movie. It was a little sad for me, though. I am one of those people who watch movies for entertainment purposes and not for personal growth. So I typically will avoid sad movies. But, this one was worth it, if you have the 3 hours to dedicate.