Tuesday, August 30, 2011


It's true, I'm a nicknamer and I have been for as long as I can remember.  It all started when I was a baby.  I'm not sure if I didn't know my parents' given names or I just couldn't remember them, but I started calling them "Mom" and "Dad".  Whether I coined these terms isn't clear (although I'm pretty sure I did) because I've heard other people use them when referring to their parents.  In any case, you guys are my friends, so feel free to use them within your own families.

My husband has a first name.  I've seen his birth certificate, so I know what it is, but I don't use it.  I usually call him "honey" or some other term of endearment.  Lately, especially if we're working on a project together, we call each other "Louis" and "Billy Ray".  It comes from the movie Trading Places, where, at the end, Eddie Murphy says "Looking good, Louis" and Dan Aykroyd replies "Feeling good, Billy Ray".

My son had a variety of nicknames when he was younger, but we don't use them much anymore.  "Junior" is the only one that really stuck, although he isn't actually a junior.  My daughter, on the other hand, responds to at least a half dozen different nicknames, including a shortened version of her given name.  Most of the time, though, I call her "Peach" and I have since she was a baby.  Recently, she decided she should have a fruit related nickname for me, so she's been calling me "Nectarine".

Of all the nicknames I've ever had, Willoughby is one of my favorites.  It suits me.  I look like a "Willoughby", don't you agree?


Friday, August 26, 2011

Congrats To The Winner Of The Giveaway.....

The names of all participants were put in a hat and after some thorough mixing, I had my daughter draw one at random.  Want to know who won?  It's ~K~!  Congratulations, ~K~!  I hope you enjoy your running t-shirt!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is This Heaven? No, It's Michigan

Yesterday started out warm and breezy.  The sky was a clear brilliant blue, save for the occasional white cloud drifting by.  It was as close to the perfect summer morning as you could hope for.

As the day wore on, the temperature and humidity rose sharply.  The air felt thick and heavy under what had now become a dull, gray sky.  Even a short walk to the park had transformed into a perspiration inducing task.  It was downright dreary; clear that rain was on it's way.

There is nothing quite like a good summer rain and no better place to view it than a covered porch, so we sat outside and waited for it to begin.  From time to time a dark cloud would spill a dozen or so big drops, but that was about it.  Eventually, we gave up waiting and went about our evening.

Mr. Willoughby was at the back of the yard near the pool when he called up to me.  He told me to step off the porch and come look at the sky.  It was amazing, he said, and I needed to see it.

As soon as I stepped far enough into the yard to see over our house, I was awestruck.  There were colors and shapes and patterns that only nature could produce.  It was powerful and inspiring.  Humbling and breathtaking.  Because I knew that I could never adequately remember or describe it, I ran in the house and grabbed the camera.  I took some still shots and some video (the background noise you hear in the videos is the wind and the chirping of cicadas).


It was even more lovely and vibrant in person, like witnessing the descent of Heaven to Earth.

Shortly after the videos were taken, we were treated to an intense light show as jagged bolts and sheets of lightening overtook the sky.  I have spared you the video where Mr. W. impersonates Doc Brown and shouts "1.21 jiggawatts" in the background and I laugh my fool head off, nearly dropping the camera.


*The answer to my "Unanswered Question" post is approximately 250 miles, according to several sources I consulted.

**There is still time to enter my Running T-Shirt Giveaway!  Click here for more info.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An Unanswered Question

We spent a recent evening in our backyard enjoying a bonfire and doing some star gazing.  From time to time, we would see a plane fly overhead and wonder about it.  Where was it coming from and going to?  Just for fun, we would imagine all sorts of destinations.

But then we started to ponder the science of it.  We saw at least a half dozen planes that night and they were all little more than dots in the sky, so we had to assume they were flying at cruising altitude, approximately 30,000 feet.  The closest major airport is about 60 miles away.  Would a plane have climed that high in that distance or were the planes we were seeing coming from a more distant airport?  This led to the biggest question of the evening.  How far away, in land miles, could a plane be seen? 

Let me clarify.  Let's imagine there was a super bright light that shined from the bottom of the plane, back to the ground.  We can agree that the light would mark a specific location and we could say that the plane was directly over that location, correct?  So the question is, how far from that location would you be able to see the plane in the sky?  One hundred miles, five hundred miles, one thousand miles?  From my home in Michigan, could I see a plane flying over Ohio?  I'm sure there is a scientific formula to figure this out, but I haven't researched it, yet.

So, friends, what do you think?  How far away, in land miles, could a plane (flying at 30,000 feet) be seen from your backyard?  The only prize awarded will be bragging rights, but think how smart you'll feel if you guess correctly* (assuming I can find the answer and determine a winner).


*If you should happen to know the answer already, or have the inclination to research it, please email it to me at thisstopwilloughby@yahoo.com instead of leaving it in the comments.  We don't want to spoil the fun of guessing for everyone else!

**There is still time to enter my Running T-Shirt Giveaway!  Click here for more info.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Run, Don't Walk, On Over Here! I'm Having A Giveaway!

You can never have too much motivation when you're trying to achieve your goals, right?  That's what Mr. Willoughby and I thought when some people we know decided to take up running.  To give them a little extra encouragement, we designed and printed some t-shirts for them.  It turns out that when other runners saw them, they wanted a little extra motivation, too, and we've been busy at our screen press ever since.

They are now available on our Etsy store, The Cabbage Rose, but we also wanted to have a giveaway.  If you're already a runner, trying to become a runner, know a runner, or just like free t-shirts, enter the giveaway and you could win one!  We'd love to give you some extra motivation!

Are you motivated to enter?  Here's what you need to do:

Entry Rules
1. You must be a follower of This Stop Willoughby, or become one.

2. You must click on the link to The Cabbage Rose, browse the running shirts, and then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me which one is your favorite.

3. If you would like to earn a bonus entry, mention my giveaway on your blog along with a link to this post. Please be sure to leave a comment (with link to your post) letting me know that you've done so.

4. This giveaway is limited to the United States (sorry!).

The deadline for entries is Friday, August 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced shortly thereafter. One entry as well as one bonus entry allowed. Please be sure to include a way for me to contact you should you be the winner of this giveaway. If your email is not linked to your blog, please include it in the comment you leave here. If I am unable to contact the winner, a different winner will be drawn at random.

Good Luck!!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Victoria Would Use Them If She Had A Dinner Party

Because we have a bar on our back porch, we get some pretty great bar related gifts.  One of our favorites is a set of dishes in the shape of the letters B-A-R.

They're great for drink garnishes like olives, cherries and lemon wedges.

On Saturday, we had a small dinner party for my parents 55th wedding anniversary and we used them to serve finger foods.  As the snacks were consumed, the dishes got moved around.  I didn't notice it until my daughter walked up to grab a few pistachios.

She stood looking at the dishes and smirking.  Then she started laughing.

I asked her what was so funny.

She told me to look at the dishes.

That was when we noticed they no longer spelled B-A-R.

They spelled......

(wait for it)

(wait for it)

....they spelled B-R-A.

Do we know how to party or what?

Happy 55th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!  May you have 55 more wonderful years together!