Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Dallas Arboretum

A few weekends ago, my husband, son, Mom and I decided to check out the Dallas Arboretum near White Rock Lake. Okay, if you have never been there, you should really go check it out. It's amazingly beautiful and so peaceful.  It started raining, so we didn't get to see all of it.  We definitely plan to go back.
To celebrate the fall season, they had lined the walkways with pumpkins and mums and gourds. They had a huge pumpkin patch and even a pumpkin house.  And a hay maze, of course.  (wink.)
It is such an incredible place and I can't believe I had never taken the time to check it out before.  
So, if you have never been there, or haven't been in a while, then by all means get thy self over to the Arboretum! You won't regret it.
I apologize for the shaky videos.  My Mom always comments on how nauseous she gets watching some of my home movies.  I use a Flip Camera - which I absolutely LOVE - but it's not perfect.  It doesn't shoot long distances very well and if you move around while you hold the camera the video can get fairly wobbly. I shot about 15 to 20 minutes of video at the Arboretum, and when I made my first movie and tried to upload it, it was rejected because of the size. So, I had to edit it and split it into two videos to upload.  :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cemetery Photos ~ Spooky!!

As you know, this summer my family made a trip to Buffalo, New York. It was an amazing trip. I got to see the house where Jason lived when he was a baby and the homes where his parents grew up. We even visited the church where they married. I have some great photos - but those will take some time to post, since I want to make a slide show with information on each photo. Yippee - slides from family vacations... 
One of the most amazing things about Buffalo is the amount of cemeteries it has.  I am serious - the town is mostly cemeteries.  And not the ordinary cemeteries we see here in Texas.  These places are ginormous!  They stretch as far as you can see and they have the most gothic, beautiful graves.  I was totally fascinated and weirdly obsessed.  These places were like museums... there was so much history and there are so many famous people buried in Buffalo. We saw the grave of a former United States President, a man who died on the Titanic and yes, we even saw the grave of Super Freak himself - Rick James.  
The most amazing cemetery was Forest Lawn.  You needed a map to get around this place. They even gave tours. Crazy. Jason's Aunt and Uncle were really good sports and took us around to all the cemeteries while we were there.  I think I took about 400 photos - I am not kidding.  So, in honor of Halloween, I thought I would post a nice "photo video" of some of the cemetery pics.  I noticed after I published the video that the tops and bottoms of my photos had been cropped out.  Like I said in my previous post, I am still figuring out this video posting thing...  I was going to add some music to the video, but I couldn't find any that was appropriate.  So, just hum to yourself...

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am having technical difficulties - Please stand by...

Okay, I am having some issues with my posts.  Well, actually I am having issues with my videos. You see, when I create my videos on my Mac, they are perfect - the sound is great and the video is crystal clear. However, once I publish them, they get rough and grainy.  So, I am working on a better way to post the videos.  I tried using the Blogger video upload, but after an hour of it supposedly "uploading," I gave up. So, if anyone has any advice, let me know.
Oh, and I apologize for the links to additional videos at the end.  It's a YouTube thing.  I normally turn that feature off because, well, it's stupid.  But for some reason the YouTube site is hassling me this evening and it keeps showing up at the end of the video.  I WILL get this figured out... just bear with me...

Pumpkin Patches and Hay Mazes

So, it's that time of year again - pumpkin patches and hay mazes.  It's no secret to those of you who know me that I love fall - more specifically, I love Halloween.  But since the world has shifted from when I was a kid, and people are so concerned about political correctness, there are few, if any, school Halloween carnivals anymore. They have been replaced with cheerful, and in no way spooky, pumpkin patches and the occasional hay maze.  Sure, every now and then you will find a "fall festival" some where that reminds you of those good 'ole carnivals, but they just aren't the same.  
I never missed a school Halloween carnival.  I'm serious.  The costume contests, the game booths, the haunted houses... THE FOOD!  I could have cared less about trick-or-treating.  It was the carnival I got excited about.  I don't know why they quit having them.  I was under the impression that they were actually pretty good fundraisers for the schools.  But, for what ever reason, they are gone.  My son will never know how much fun those were.  sniff sniff....
So, Ben gets to experience pumpkin patches and hay mazes.  We never pass one by without stopping.  It's a thing with me.  There is something about that sea of orange that lures me in.  I love pumpkins.  Did I mention that already?
While we were in Dallas this past weekend, we noticed a Pumpkin Patch on the way to Granny Weez and PawPaw's.  So, we took Granny Weez with us and visited the pumpkins.  It was great.  Ben got through the hay maze and we actually got a decent photo of Ben with the pumpkins. (On a side note - trying to get photos of Benjamin is like herding cats.  It's frustrating.  It's impossible.  But somehow we manage every year to get a great photo.  So, I guess it's worth it.) 
Ben decided he wanted to throw a tantrum and refused to do anything we asked him.  I was pretty much fed up with trying to control him, Jason was picking out the perfect gourd and Granny Weez was trying to buy Peppered Pickles.  (Yeah, I know - weird.  But trust me - those pickles were fabulous!)  I lost track of Ben for maybe 2 minutes and when I went to look for him, I found him chatting it up with this pretty girl and getting his face painted.  He always manages to find the pretty girls and flirt with them.  He's gonna be trouble.
I did manage to get a few minutes of video from our visit.  
And you know, that face painting of his lasted a full day on his little cheek.  Maybe there's hope for him yet.  Maybe...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Prankin' the Neighbors

We have way too much free time here at the Scarpace house.  
Our awesome neighbors and great friends, Tony and Ligia, have the unfortunate luck of living across the street from us.  Today when we came home from running errands, we noticed that the recycling truck had left one of Tony's bags with a notice on it saying they were not able to recycle the material he had put in the bag.  We both started laughing about how he was "denied" by the recycling crew.  Since we know Tony and Ligia are good sports, we decided to have a little fun at their expense.  We printed out a huge "D-NIDE" tag (we thought it was funny to spell it phonetically) and then stuck 30 "D-NIDE" stickers (address labels) all over the bag. Our other neighbor, Mario, watched the whole thing.  I know he thinks we are insane, or weird, or both.  
After we get the bag decorated, we run back to our house and wait, flip camera in-hand, for Tony to drive up and see our little surprise.  Okay, so it's probably not "Punked" material, but we had a good laugh.  And we totally expect Tony to retaliate.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gettin' My Blog On...

I have several bad habits.  One of which is that I record about a million television shows and movies on our DVR, and I never get around to watching all of them.  The worst part is, if my poor husband tries to record something, and he doesn't watch it immediately, I will erase it to make room for my shows - which, I don't watch.  He'll ask "hey, didn't I record blah blah blah?" And I'll say "oh, I think there was a recording error."  (Just so you know, I actually do feel bad for being straight out dishonest with my husband.  It doesn't stop me from doing it - but I do feel bad about it...)
So, one of the shows I record on a daily basis is The Martha Stewart Show.  I love Martha.  I have always loved Martha.  And don't get me started about her time in prison... but what I will say about that whole ridiculous fiasco is that Martha came out of it a changed woman.  She seemed softer and a little more "human."  Not to mention, she suddenly seemed to develop this incredible sense of humor.  Seriously.  She actually made me laugh out loud a few times.  So, I love Martha.  There, I said it.
So, while Jason was out working on his mural downtown today and Ben was taking a nap, I sat down and watched a couple of episodes I had recorded.  They were more than two weeks old, but I was happy I actually watched something I had recorded.  One of the episodes I watched was about blogging.  I thought it was a great show.  She had different types of bloggers on, including food bloggers, political bloggers, gardening bloggers, and yes, even Perez Hilton was on her show.  (Just a side note here.... earlier this year, I overcame an incredible addiction to celebrity gossip sites, namely Perez Hilton's.)  I love blogs - there are about a million I come across every day that I would love to read - if I had time.  I do keep up with a few on a daily basis, which when I get more time I totally intend to put on here.  
The show's guests gave some great advice on starting a blog, what to blog about and all that kind of groovy, helpful stuff.  One of the main points they made was to be sure to blog about something specific.  I don't intend to follow that advice - but I still thought it was a great tip.  There is just too much I experience and too many things I am interested in to just pick one to blog about.  Well, okay then, I guess you could say my specific blog subject is ME.  That works.  I guess.
A few months back, before our crazy summer started, I sat down and made a list of things I wanted to blog about.  (What's funny is that I can't seem to find that list now.  I do remember one of the topics I had on my list was, oddly enough, "lists."  I guess I'll need to make a new list now.  So, I have just added "make new blog list" on  my "list of things to do" for this week.)  I appreciate the outlet blogging gives me.  It's fun.  If you haven't started your own blog, I highly recommend it.  And send me a link - I would love to read what you have to say.  :)