New Jen's Horde

Friday, September 30, 2005

All Species Count BioBlitz 2005!

We participated in the All Species Count BioBlitz 2005 today at South Platte Park as part of a homeschool science program through South Suburban Parks and Recreation.

We all waded in both still water and water with a current, and collected the different animals and insects we found. I was surprised at how many different things were living in the water. In fact, I got a pretty good case of the screaming willies when I saw how many MANY MANY different things were swiming around the water we were standing in. I kept having this obsessive thought that the rock in my shoe wasn't a rock, it was a snail or tiny crawdad or some equally slimy beastie that would either pinch me or get crushed and bleed on me or something. I kept knocking the "rock" out and having new ones pop in, so I just spent the whole time kind of grossed out. The kids loved it, though, and we all got to shower right away afterwards.

Oh, and we learned how to tell the gender of crawdads. So, if society collapses and we must start breeding crawdads to ensure our survival, I'm your gal!


Jordan is home!!!!

Oh, thank God!


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Missing Child!

Please go to this blog and read about their missing child. Maybe you have seen him.

Here is a news article about the same child, with police contact information, as well as information about a reward.

Please look as hard as you'd want everyone to look if it were your child gone missing.



Whatever that means...

Japan may make better and cheaper electronics and cars, and their students may whip our butts in testing year after year, but this monstrosity is proof that American bands at least have a little pride (with a few notable boy band exceptions. Oh, and American Idol contestants...but I digress.)

I do have to say, though, that I kind of hope that Yatta Yatta dance catches on here. It looks like I could manage it pretty well, and ANYONE would look better doing it than these guys with their fig-leaf tighty-whiteys...

Editing to add:
Lyrics and Translation
Dance Tutorial

All right!


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I can't find my camera.

Why? Because I have children.

Don't get me wrong, I adore my children and am willing to put up with a lot to have them in my family. But, all of you out there on the fence should know that unprotected intercourse can lead to more than unplanned pregnancies and STDs. It can lead to a complete inability to keep track of your stuff. Consider yourself warned.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

7 Answers to 7 Questions


I haven't been able to respond to a tag in a while, but I've got a few minutes and I noticed Barry tagged me so I thought I'd give it a go. Click on the ... to see the rest.

7 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Write my will, it's pretty important to do that BEFORE I die...
2. Re-marry my honey on the bridge of the Enterprise.
3. Go on a long road trip with my kids and husband.
4. Learn to play a musical instrument really well.
5. Get that stupid tattoo removed.
6. Have a zillion grandkids, at least.
7. Potty-train my almost 4 year old, although I'm beginning to believe this may end up being his wife's problem.

7 things I can do:
1. I can make a skirt without a pattern.
2. I can crochet just about anything, although there are some items I just won't even try.
3. I can do a pretty darn good job of singing along with Janis to Mercedes Benz.
4. I can create and co-lead a homeschool support group with over 60 paying families so far!
5. Help my kids learn anything they want to know, and learn a lot myself in the meantime.
6. Remember the names of lots of pharmaceuticals and what they're for, even if I've never used them. I don't know why.
7. I can knit socks.

7 things I cannot do:
1. Shut up while I'm ahead.
2. Do a chin up, I've never been able to.
3. Make armpit farts.
4. Get the whole house clean at the same time.
5. Do brain surgery, or at least I'm not certified to. I haven't actually tried, so I guess I could have a natural gift for it.
6. I don't have the mad 5x177z I apparently need to really shape up the blog to what I'd like it to be.
7. Keep very organized.

7 things that attract me to another person:
1. The
2. fact
3. that
4. he's
5. my
6. perfect
7. Davin :-)

7 celebrity crushes:
I don't really do crushes. Well, I had it bad for a while for David Duchovny, but I'm OK now. I do like that whole sideburns and trenchcoat thing, ooh yeah.

7 Things I say the most:
1. I love you.
2. Where is your brother?
3. Tiernan ZANE!
4. What's that smell?
5. What are you bringing for dinner?
6. Shhhhhhh!
7. I love you.

7 bloggers I am tagging:


Why, so they can specialize in "Darth Vader?"

Medical students learn on 'breathing' robots

I'm sure this is probably a good thing, but it feels a little too Steve Austin-ish to me. If only, in the future the patients themselves were "better, stronger, faster..."


Monday, September 26, 2005

Casket in a tree


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There are a lot of things being found after Hurricane Rita, yikes!

Unless this thing is brand freaking new, I don't want to be anywhere near it when they get it down...


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Can't hurt.

I'm having a really crummy migraine and fibromyalgia kind of weekend.

On a lark, I decided to check on my symptoms on the internet (the repository of all that's true) and see if there's any new information out there I should be looking into. Well, little did I know, but a great deal of my symptoms are also those of a person under psychic attack!

It sounds a little crazy, but I'm never one to pass up an easy fix, especially when I feel like crap. So, I eagerly cruised on to the part of her article that explains how to defend yourself against such an attack. I was delighted to see that one of the first defenses on her list was something I have in my home at this very minute! Who knew Saran Wrap to the solar plexus could keep people from sucking your life force away? It's so elegant in its simplicity, and keeps you fresh, too!

Since I lacked many of the other specialized gems and homeopathics recommended in this article, I looked around for other easy ways to protect myself from supernatural intruders. I quickly came across the website for Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies, "An Effective, Low-Cost Solution To Combating Mind-Control." I'm not necessarily concerned about mind control, in fact in many situations involving checkbook usage it may actually be beneficial. But, it *is* my head that hurts the most at the moment, and aluminum foil makes for easy clean up!

So, here I am, sporting my new anti-mind control/psychic attack armor:

Foil and Saran Wrap

While this was a fun and interesting distraction, it certainly hasn't really helped with any of my symptoms. I'm sure I haven't given it enough time to work, but I'm getting all sweaty and even Davin, who has seen it all, is looking at me kind of weird. I'm going to consider this experiment a failure, take some triptans and painkillers, and head to bed.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

I didn't take a single picture while camping!

Mostly because all of the really interesting stuff (the snake and the black widow spider) happened at the bathrooms, and I never take my camera there... The rest of the time I was just enjoying my family. We had a great time.

Just so I don't put up my first after-camping post with no pictures, I'll share this one. After we got back from our trip and realized the 50 gazillion things we should have taken along, we figured we'd run out and grab a few before they don't have their camping stuff out any more. We ran home, washed off the grime, and headed out to Wal-Mart where we found the Halloween stuff is already out. Oh joy!

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Oh, and while we were camping, we learned to make those plastic lace lanyard keychains. So, Deb, if you plan to come selling them at our door, I'm just going to tell you, "I already made like infinity of those at scout camp." Hopefully we won't make so many that we won't be able to fit our numchucks in our locker any more...

PS-If any of you folks broke in, I am not seeing where you did any cleaning. Next time leave a note detailing what work you completed?


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Outta Here!

We'll be on a family camping trip with the Girl Scouts (or, as Tiernan says, Gwiw Scouts) until Friday.

We have nothing of value, but if you don't believe me and insist on breaking into my house while I'm gone, please feed the fish and straighten up a bit. Oh, and the upstairs sink is still leaking, if you could fix that I would really appreciate it.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"For your benefit, learn from our tragedy...

...It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than twenty other nations were also murdered. When I started this work, I said to myself, 'I will look for the murderers of all the victims, not only the Jewish victims. I will fight for justice.'"

Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal died today.


You think that's air you're breathing?

This brought tears to our eyes.

Yes, we are juvenile people.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast, mateys! Hoist the Jolly Roger, trim the jib, arrrrrrrrrr!

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day.

I'd keep going, but that familiar smell is telling me it's time to go swab the poop deck...


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sorry about that...

Didn't mean to overburden everyone yesterday!

Today, for some mental R&R, I give you whatever this is. Click on the curtain to start. I guarantee you'll be humming this alllllllll day :-D


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Face Transplant

Doctors in Cleveland are getting ready to attempt the world's first face transplant.

When I first read the headline, my mind immediately jumped to international spies or supercriminals trying to conceal their identity, so I think I need to lay off the mass media for a while. What they're actually attempting to do is create a new face for patients who have been disfigured by burns or in accidents.

It's a fascinating article, apparently the technology has been available for 20 years or so, but there are many ethical constraints to performing this procedure, not the least of which being the question of what will happen if the skin is rejected. Tissue rejection is common in transplant surgeries, but this would be psychologically difficult and extremely gruesome, and many believe it is not worth the risk since the patients aren't in a life or death situation to begin with.

Add to that the ethical dilemma of making sure the donor families understand they will not be "seeing" their loved one walking around, as much of what makes a person look like they do is their bone structure and muscle movements. Also, knowing that, unlike other donations, the donor family will be forced to cremate their loved ones or have a closed casket service can make it more difficult to find people who want to participate.

What would you do? Would you be comfortable with a new face? Would you be comfortable allowing someone else to use your loved one's face? Your child's face?


Friday, September 16, 2005

Christmas is coming...

Doesn't this look like a fun gift, possibly for some cool person, maybe a Jen in your life?

I'm looking for interesting gift ideas, do you have any?


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hurry! The Ultimate Hippie Vacation going fast!

Keep on truckin' over to Ebay to bid on this far out Ultimate Hippie Vacation on a real live hippie bus!

Here are the Rules of the Trip:

1. You will be required to sell Tie-dyed T-shirts for gas and food money.
2. There is no map on the bus and he WILL get lost.
3. Stuff Happens! (And you know what I mean!)
4. If the bus blows up, he has a tent.
5. You must provide your own bail money. (Please see rule 3)
6. He will provide "the most craziest vacation you will never forget!"

If this isn't enough information to get you bidding, the seller provides pictures and colorful background information, such as "Be advised that Cody does like to 'hang out with his wang out.' Not exactly sure what that means, but it doesn't sound good to me."

I don't know about you guys, but I think I'll give this one a miss. If you end up going, be sure to send postcards!


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Needlepoint Museum


"The Food Road"Posted by Picasa

This artwork, and many like it await you at The Needlepoint Museum.

They point out:
Every needlepoint is an astonishing achievement, when you think about it.

They take tons of work--even a small needlepoint the size of a business letter has about a 100,000 stitches and took someone maybe forty-five hours just to stitch--an incredible investment of time and energy.
Kind of scary, when you consider some of the subjects people have chosen to invest this time in. In addition to the lesson in human anatomy above, there's also a tribute to electricity, more nudes than even Hugh Hefner could manage at one time, and a piece that I first assumed was Elvis, but discovered was actually The Six Million Dollar Man. Of course.

And I don't know why they've titled this one "Autumn Rhythm," with the freaky eyeballs and the random shapes and music you can SEE, I'd call it Baaaaaad Trip.

Way too many people have way too much time on their hands.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Girl Born to Brain-dead Woman Dies

Susan Anne Catherine Torres, born prematurely on Aug. 2 after her mother was on life support for three months, died of heart failure at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, a family statement said....The baby's prematurity led to an intestinal disorder and an infection that overwhelmed her body, and she died just after midnight, the hospital said.
Although they don't say, I suspect the "intestinal disorder was necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a common problem with these tiny preemies.

I'm not a nurse, but my oldest daughter, Anya, (bottom middle of our title ->) was born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. She spent 105 days in the NICU, so I got to know my way around the preemie biz pretty well.

In case you're worried, Anya is turning out fine. She'll be 10 next month. I'd like to think her occasionally twisted behavior is due to her prematurity, but since the other kids were all full-term and seem to be similarly afflicted, I'm guessing it's more of a parenting issue than anything....

Anya with preemie dress

Here's a photo of Anya with one of her dresses she wore when she was in the NICU. My mother had to make this for her, because at the time it was difficult to find people who sold micropreemie clothing and many parents were reduced to dressing their babies in doll clothes.

To give some perspective, this dress SWAM around her when she was about 2-3 months old. It was meant to fit like a hospital gown, so that the hospital staff had access for her monitoring, and the sleeve openings were made deliberately huge so that her IV's could fit through them. "Preemie" outfits sold in regular stores started to fit her when she was around 6 months old.

I had really hoped we would be celebrating Susan Anne Catherine Torres' life in a similar manner in the years to come. Please keep her family in your prayers.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Can't blog, cleaning....

Man, it's nasty around here.

Here's a neat slideshow of some of the activities honoring the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, if you're a better person than me and your house isn't too disgusting to put off any longer...


Friday, September 09, 2005

Bake Sale/Lemonade Stand for Red Cross

My homeschool group, the Colorado Community of Homeschooling Families, held a bake sale yesterday. All items for sale were donated by group members, and homeschoolers and parent volunteers manned the sale. All of the proceeds were for the Red Cross to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The proceeds came to over $700, and a local company, Service Magic has graciously offered to double it, so over $1400 will be going to the Red Cross, can you believe it?

People were spectacularly generous. It wasn't unusual to see people give $10-$20 for a cup of lemonade. Others literally emptied their pockets for a cookie or two. One man drove up and gave $50 and wouldn't take anything in return! After all of the negative stories we've heard lately, it was uplifting to see the tremendous outpouring and desire to help that came from people.


Even better than CSI!

Check out "Identification of Human Remains" over at Coronor Stories to get an insider's view of how difficult it will be to get all of the dead in the Hurricane Katrina areas placed with the correct families.

I can only imagine what this was like before DNA testing. Yikes.


Thursday, September 08, 2005


Check out this beautiful montage of photos from Houston, set to Third Day's song, "Cry Out to Jesus."

These pictures kill me. Some because they are wonderful, and others because they are so difficult to witness.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How does a boy with three older sisters play dress up?

Like this!

"Look mom, I'm dancing!"
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The Sedlec Ossuary


This is the chandelier from The Sedlec Ossuary. It is comprised of "every bone in the human body, several times over."

This is not some grim super-goth dorm decoration, but the inside of a church. The bones are moved here so that other bodies may be buried in the ground of the church yard. It was considered especially sacred because the abbot had added to it soil he'd brought soil from Golgotha in Palestine in 1278. So many wished to be buried there, the only way to accomplish it was to dig up the remains after a time, move them indoors, and allow others to use the earth.

You can visit this church yourself, but since it's in Czechoslovakia, I'm just going to content myself with poking through the website...
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Sunday, September 04, 2005

When it rains, they pour!

New Orleans bar keeps doors open through catastrophe

Johnny White's Sports Bar has been open for business this whole time, and charging the same prices as always.

I know it's just a bar, but that makes me happy to think about it...


"...about as ugly of a scene as I think you can imagine."

New Orleans Begins Grisly Cleanup

No one knows how many people were killed by Hurricane Katrina and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating in the ruined city, crumpled in wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.
I can't even imagine. I just keep praying and trying to find ways to help.


Saturday, September 03, 2005


I got this idea from Laura at scribble. Go here and scroll down to find the top 100 songs from the year you graduated from high school. Put the ones you liked in bold. And, I'm following her lead, "I am also putting the songs I don't actually like (because they are crap), but would still listen to for nostaligic purposes in italics."

1. Faith, George Michael
2. Need You Tonight, INXS
3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle
8. Could've Been, Tiffany
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood
11. One More Try, George Michael
12. Wishing Well, Terence Trent d'Arby
13. Anything For You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
14. The Flame, Cheap Trick
15. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Billy Ocean
16. Seasons Change, Expose
17. Is This Love, Whitesnake
18. Wild, Wild West, Escape Club
19. Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
20. I'll Always Love You, Taylor Dayne
21. Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson
22. Shake Your Love, Debbie Gibson
23. Simply Irresistible, Robert Palmer
24. Hold On To The Nights, Richard Marx
25. Hungry Eyes, Eric Carnen
26. Shattered Dreams, Johnny Hates Jazz
27. Father Figure, George Michael
28. Naught Girls (Need Love Too), Samantha Fox
29. A Groovy Kind Of Love, Phil Collins
30. Love Bites, Def Leppard
31. Endless Summer Nights, Richard Marx
32. Foolish Beat, Debbie Gibson
33. Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Whitney Houston
34. Angel, Aerosmith
35. Hazy Shade Of Winter, Bangles
36. The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
37. Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
38. Make Me Lose Control, Eric Carnen
39. Red Red Wine, UB40
40. She's Like The Wind, Patric Swayze
41. Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi
42. Kokomo, Beach Boys
43. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Elton John
44. Together Forever, Rick Astley
45. Monkey, George Michael
46. Devil Inside, INXS
47. Should've Known Better, Richard Marx
48. I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love, Chicago
49. The Loco-Motion, Kylie Minogue
50. What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield
51. Make It Real, Jets
52. What's On Your Mind, Information Society
53. Tell It To My Heart, Taylor Dayne
54. Out Of The Blue, Debbie Gibson
55. Don't You Want Me, Jody Watley
56. Desire, U2
57. I Get Weak, Belinda Carlisle
58. Sign Your Name, Terence Trent d'Arby
59. I Want To Be Your Man, Roger
60. Girlfriend, Pebbles
61. Dirty Diana, Michael Jackson
62. 1-2-3, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
63. Mercedes Boy, Pebbles
64. Perfect World, Huey Lewis and the News
65. New Sensation, INXS
66. Catch Me (I'm Falling), Pretty Poison
67. If It Isn't Love, New Edition
68. Rocket 2 U, Jets
69. One Good Woman, Peter Cetera
70. Don't Be Cruel, Cheap Trick
71. Candle In The Wind, Elton John <--This would be before he crapped it up by re-writing it for every dead friend and celebrity...
72. Everything Your Heart Desires, Daryl Hall and John Oates
73. Say You Will, Foreigner
74. I Want Her, Keith Sweat
75. Pink Cadillac, Natalie Cole
76. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
77. Electric Blue, Icehouse
78. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby and The Range
79. Don't Be Cruel, Bobby Brown
80. Always On My Mind, Pet Shop Boys
81. Piano In The Dark, Brenda Russell Featuring Joe Esposito
82. When It's Love, Van Halen
83. Don't Shed A Tear, Paul Carrack
84. We'll Be Together, Sting
85. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
86. I Don't Want To Live Without You, Foreigner
87. Nite And Day, Al B. Sure
88. Don't You Know What The Night Can Do, Steve Winwood
89. One Moment In Time, Whitney Houston
90. Can't Stay Away From You, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
91. Kissing A Fool, George Michael
92. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellancamp
93. I Still Believe, Brenda K. Starr
94. I Found Someone, Cher
95. Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
96. Valerie, Steve Windwood
97. Just Like Paradise, David Lee Roth
98. Nothin' But A Good Time, Poison
99. Wait, White Lion
100. Prove Your Love, Taylor Dayne


Friday, September 02, 2005

Spiders bother me too, but...

A German woman laid waste to her family home by setting fire to it as she tried to kill spiders in a garage with a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter.
Really, this woman had many options other than alternating fire and flammable liquids to get rid of her spiders.

Perhaps she could have purchased a can of Raid, for instance, or called a professional exterminator. Or, if she just couldn't wait and needed to use objects on hand, there is always the trusty SHOE, which unless she was Richard Reid should have done the job with no flames or explosions.

Or, given the fact that the damage was estimated to be over 100,000 euros ($125K+), she could have just saved that money and used it to buy a new spider-free home somewhere else. (Not California or NYC, obviously, but a lot of places...)



Thursday, September 01, 2005

Still Praying!

If you get a chance, check out these before and after satellite pictures of New Orleans at the U.S.G.S. site. What a horrible mess. They'll be needing help for a long time...


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