Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Strikes, spares and gutter balls

Yesterday we got a big part of the family together to go bowling. The ages of our "team" ranged from about 7 to 64, and our group average score was about a 70. And wouldn't you know it, the pro bowling scouts were in attendance! Naturally, they had their eye on me, but I didn't want to show off around my family so I PURPOSELY shot two low games (I'm just considerate that way!). While I didn't get signed for the tour and flooded with endorsement opportunities, the pro bowling group did offer to buy us dinner in exchange for the hours of footage they got for their "bowling's funniest moments" show. Glad we could help!

Bowling is so much fun (despite the morning-after left hip pain), but I couldn't help but think about certain aspects of the game that are a bit troubling. First, unless you bring your own shoes, you are wearing shoes that countless other strangers have worn (seriously, when else would you EVER do that? You know that two seconds of spray across the top of the shoe isn't doing anything). Second, not only have you put your feet in grave danger, your hands are not far behind. Do they ever clean the bowling balls? YUCK! Now, I am not a big germaphobe, but maybe a dispenser of antibacterial foam wouldn't be a bad addition to the ball return gizmo... am I right? By the time I got done there, I felt like running through a haz mat shower! Third, the "strike and spare" dance. Come on people, it's not a bad 70's disco movie, let's keep the jive for the dance floor .... LOL (looking back, I SURE hope I didn't do that!).

It was a great time, one of the best times I have had in ages, and a good way to prepare to send off 2008. On that note, have a great New Year celebration, and be safe.... have fun! See you next year,


Friday, December 26, 2008


Hello everyone. Glad to be back blogging. First, I was sick for three days then we had an ice storm that more than put a damper on things. But the good news.. Christmas is over! Don't brand me a Scrooge, but it is just go, go, go, go.... I'm glad to catch my breath for a second!! Never mind that no one told my kids' coaches that it was the holiday season.... one or the other of them has a tourney/meet every weekend through the holidays. Oh, well! Keeps me out of trouble (and gives me more freedom to deserve a hot chocolate from Dunkin' Donuts). 

How was your Christmas? Great, here. I got some really cool papercrafting toys that I am having fun playing with. If your Christmas was anything like mine, you probably have a few good stories. Here's one of mine. I was opening presents with the kids, at my mom's house. I pick up one of mine, from her, to open, and she says, "You have to share that." Huh? OK, so I am pretty sure at this point it's not deodorant or a toothbrush (gross, right?). I open it, and it's a new paperback book. It looked like a good one, and one I had heard of. Now, I did NOT know how the story ended. My mom proceeds to say, "It's supposed to be a really good book but kind of sad since she dies at the end." WHAT???????????? OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!!!!!! I said, "I didn't know that!" Then my daughter, sitting on the sofa playing a new Nintendo DS game (thus, totally zombified), says, "What? She dies?" Then my son chimes in, "Who dies?" So before you know it, the ending is ruined for three of us. My mom says, "I thought everyone knew that!" Oh, brother..... is nothing sacred? Aren't revelations of book endings one of those things you never get anywhere near unless you are absolutely sure the person knows? Heck, I spent the better part of a month with cotton in my ears, avoiding the Internet and the TV news so the ending of the most-recent Harry Potter book would not be revealed. Unlike some of my friends, I did not have the luxury of a billion uninterrupted hours to dedicate strictly to reading (forsaking all toilet, food and family demands) the thousand-page masterpiece. It took me a month to finish. At least now (with the unnamed book... I don't want to spoil it for y'all) there is no suspense. In fact if I feel gutsy, I might even DARE someone to spoil the ending! There I go again, living dangerously! 

I'm off to get things ready for the meet tomorrow. Enjoy your gifts, and  check the expiration date on that eggnog!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Strangers and Suspicions

On Tuesday I was coming out of our small-town pharmacy. I had a cartload of  items, most of which included diapers and wipes (please, don't go getting any ideas... those baby days are LONG since over!) to donate to my son's high school National Honor Society which is collecting items for a local women's shelter. As I was struggling through the slush with the cart (they still use paper bags ONLY there... I could have managed plastic bags without a cart.... this is not Mayberry, people.... get with the times!), a stranger, about my age, walked by and said, "Merry Christmas." PANIC! PANIC! Who are you? Do I know you? Why are you talking to me? Why is it so important to you that I have a merry Christmas? Am I on Candid Camera? She totally threw me off! I even went so far as to look around me, full circle, assuring myself that she must be sending that wish to someone she knew. Seriously, I was all out of sorts for about 60 seconds! How sad is that???? I was thinking that's the kind of world we live in, where we are suspicious of random kindness, but I don't think that's probably the case.... I think it's the world I live in!!!! 

I think I see things kind of like a smart fish would (is there such a thing as a smart fish???)... "That worm sure would be nice to have, but it's out of place dangling here in the middle of the lake, so I better proceed with caution!" That's me.... the holiday wish was nice, but it stuck out like a sore thumb to me. I need to work on relaxing, huh??

What's even weirder, is that you know she said it and just went on with her day. Here I am, 24 hours-plus later, not only thinking about it, but BLOGGING about it! What the heck is wrong with me? I guess I'll just have to show her... I WILL have a merry Christmas (unless one of my presents involves something I have to housebreak!!), just to be a good citizen and be worthy of her good wishes. 

Don't forget to stop by my blog tomorrow for a great heartwarming Christmas story (yeah, right) of sugar cookies and thievery! Ahhh.... I'm such a tease! :)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The NOT TO DO List

Finally! A "to do" list I can relate to. While killing some time between volleyball matches Sunday, I came across a story on making a "not to do" list! YES!!! I think it was in a Martha Stewart publication. Now, don't get me started on ol' Martha. She is a genius when it comes to making money and has some cool products at our favorite craft stores. BUT, let's NOT forget she is a former jailbird (can you just picture her cell??), so we can't quite saint her yet. But anyone willing to publish the advantages of putting together a "not to do list" is all right in my book. Since I read it, I have been obsessing with the entries in my "not to do list." Here are a few of my ideas:

1.) NOT to overexert myself during my fitness routine (easy one .... since I don't have a fitness routine)
2.) NOT to get pulled over for speeding (there are four cops for every resident of my town, so speeding is not really a good idea to begin with)
3.) NOT to drink 44 oz. of Diet Coke each day, like clockwork (but please excuse me if I do... it's my only vice! I don't want to turn to become a Red Bull junkie after all)
4.) NOT to let my monthly 30 percent off monthly Archiver's coupon go to waste (I've heard you can go to jail for this)
5.) NOT to allow any more pets in this house (dog, parakeet, hamster.... I am NEVER alone!)
6.) NOT to paint a room in this house EVER again (why? just ask my back, my neck and my left shin.... what's up with the shin? I don't know. It's been hurting ever since I painted Brooke's room so I've written it off as a mystery painting injury)
7.) NOT to make more money than I can spend (LOL... now that's hilarious!!!!! This could never happen. I just put it in there for fun.)
8.) NOT to overuse my stove (have you seen all the restaurants and food places that are going out of business? I am going to do my part to keep them from closing!)
9.) NOT to let 2009 go by without getting a car with heated seats (my butt deserves the best)
AND.... the obvious...
10.) NOT to make any more "to do" lists (you knew this one was coming, didn't you? If you didn't YOU SHOULD HAVE!)

So, there you have it. I'm kicking off a new tradition... the "not to do" list phase of my life. Dont' ya love it?


Friday, December 12, 2008

ALMOST Done With My Cards!

As a papercrafter, I feel obliged to make my own holiday cards. Heck, I have to find a way to justify the stacks of money I spend on the holiday supplies, right? And I have GOOD NEWS to report... I am ALMOST done with my cards ... and so early, too .... THIRTEEN DAYS TO SPARE! I could not be happier! (I have NO idea whatsoever where my son got his procrastinating tendencies from!)

Last week I was looking for something to get me motivated to finish the job and came up with the perfect idea -- go buy a bunch of Christmas stamps. My thinking was that if I spend money on stamps earmarked for Christmas cards, then I will have to make the cards (seriously, I feel REALLY weird putting Christmas stamps on anything other than Christmas mail!). If I am being honest (and I always am here on Momma Gets Real), it didn't work. The stamps sat on my kitchen table along with two stacks of bizarre things I am saving for no apparent reason (example: two paper hats from the Hershey store.... what am I EVER going to need those for? OK, sure I thought I could wear one for Halloween, but what am I really dressing up as, with a paper Hershey hat on my head?) But you know how that goes .... if I get rid of them, the next day I will find a need for it.... the VERY NEXT DAY. Not a fate I feel like tempting right now....

This weekend I will address them and get them ready to go Monday (with all my free time, between a weekend volleyball tourney, birthday party and gymnastics holiday party). 

And for those of you out there who do not make your own cards, please note.... IT IS NOT CHEAPER TO MAKE THEM YOURSELF. If you are a papercrafter and send out homemade cards, you know that statement is truer than true. In fact, it can make you sick when you are at Walgreens and see super-cute cards for $4.99 for a box of 30, when the stamp alone cost you about $8... and that doesn't include the paper, the adhesive, the envelopes, etc. Then again, you don't papercraft for the money.... it's all about the therapy... I'm my own shrink! :)

Time to get on outta here.... have a great weekend. Get those cards in the mail! 


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shorter and Fatter

I've come to accept the fact that over the last few years I have gained weight. I am not happy about it of course, but I can't ignore it. What is really putting my undies in a twist is that apparently, at age 41, I have gotten shorter! I have always measured it at 5 ft. 9.5 inches. My paranoia over being tall began at age 16 when my friend JoAnne and I had gone to her beach club and met a couple of guys, one of whom remarked that I was the "tallest girl he had ever met." Sure, he was not very worldly at that point and likely went on to meet taller girls, but it was forever burned in my head at that point. While my mom shopped in the petite department, I was tall, and belonged nowhere near the land of the tiny. I hadn't seen myself as tall, but like many other things in my life, I accepted it and moved on... not even sure if it was a good thing or bad thing at that point (and I'm still not sure). Anyway, things have changed! I am now 5 ft. 8.5 inches tall. I've lost an inch, along with my identity! 

Let me explain. There is a (very evil) machine at my new workout place (at a local hospital, a perk of volunteering). It looks like a robot and when you step on it, it will tell you all kinds of information about your body -- height, weight, body fat and BMI. I know there are some freaks out there who could step off that machine totally happy with their numbers, but for the rest of us, there should be a Prozac dispenser affixed to drop out a couple of "happy pills" along with the bad news. And you know what the worst part is? It has the NERVE to give you a RECEIPT with all of that information on there! What, I'm going to start a scrapbook? Who invents these things?????

Funny thing... my first urge after getting the info about my fitness (or should I say fatness) was not to spend two hours sweating it off, but to go right down the hall to the cafeteria and drown my sorrows in french fries and hot chocolate (if you're thinking, 'THAT'S gross, I would never eat that together,' that simply means you haven't tried it). I thought it over, weighed the options (no pun intended... LOL), and grudgingly hit the butt shrinker (not sure what it's really called, probably something like the glute minimzer.... that just sounds SO impersonal!). For one day, at least, good triumphs over evil in my life. 

Maybe one day I'll even go back. This time I'll stay away from the Fatness Robot! :)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Knowing When to Keep Your Mouth Shut

Holy cow! Looks like the fine governor of Illinois has gotten himself in a heap of trouble. He's being investigated for all kinds of fairly serious things, and what might just do him in is that he didn't know when to keep his mouth shut. If you don't know the news story, the long and short of it is that he is being accused of making some big (and illegal) demands and was taped (repeatedly) doing so. (Editor's Note: the word ALLEGEDLY is key to me discussing this. As a journalist that word becomes your best friend!)

Of all the details of this situation, the one that strikes me the hardest is not so much what he did, but how he got caught -- his own words, ON TAPE! As governor, or ANY position of interest, I would just assume that my phone was tapped at all times. I would assume that someone is watching me 24/7!!!! By nature, people are nosy (yes, I'm talking about you, too). Add to that a person who lives in the public eye, and it's a bazillion times worse. This is exactly why I never kept a diary as a kid. Not sure why an 8-year-old's diary is of interest (things like Patty was being a big poopy-head today and I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate her to infinity) to parents and siblings, but that nosy nature we are all born with just can't always be kept in check. You see it at Christmas.... stickers, tags, etc., that say, "No Peeking!" That is because we want to peek! We can't help it! And if you see a present with your name on it, and it says NO PEEKING... and you weren't thinking of peeking.... now your every waking moment revolves around ripping that paper off and having a good old peek! It's OK. It's normal. You can't help it. But you should at least feel BAD about it (come on, have a conscience!).

So know when to zip it or you could be splashed all over the news -- or at least the block! :)

Stay warm and enjoy your day!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Lucky (hate me for other reasons!)

LOL, so true. I mean, how can you hate me before you even know me? At least give me the chance to earn it! Yesterday was my LUCKY day. At my daughter's gymnastics meet I won not one but TWO (count them TWO) awesome gift baskets! The one was a Clinique basket filled with $250 in  Clinique products. In my estimation, $250 at least!!!!! Then I won another one that was for general pampering/bath products. You can see the Clinique one here. But oh, the HATERS! You know the dirty looks... looks that say, "How dare you win two, you selfish tart!" (Yeah, tart is an odd word choice, but I just felt like using it in a way other than being associated with Sweet or Pop). But come on. For one, look at me! I need the beauty products, so consider it a beauty bailout. Two, do you know how many times I have NOT won and walked out empty handed from an event? It's somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,253,849 (but that's just a rough estimate, of course). Three, it's not so much that I was a BIG winner, focus on the real issue here, you were a LOSER (LOL.... sort of). I mean, it's about perspective, right?

On another note, I have never felt that I should ever spend the bucks that the Clinique lifestyle requires. This is a great time for me to see what I've been missing. Let me tell you, cleaning and properly moisturizing is VERY time consuming!! I now have a new respect for the beautiful and well-makeup-ed people in this world. And twice a day? Are you kidding me? My typical nighttime beauty regimen consists of.... uh..... well..... just going to bed, I guess. Now it's soap and clarifier and lotion. And the lotion looks like something I should be eating! Don't worry, I (probably) won't. 

Anyway, the lesson is this..... don't hate me for being lucky .... get to know me first! :)

Enjoy your week!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

She's Watching!!!!

Hello again. I have to behave myself here now. My Aunt Judy just signed on as a follower! Hi Aunt Judy! She is apparently the only smart one on my mom's side of the family.... she had the common sense to move to Arizona a few years back. Meanwhile, the rest of us sit here and FREEZE. Seriously, I have not stopped complaining of how cold it is, yet I refuse to wear socks. Gloves, yes. Scarf, yes. Socks, no. What's wrong with this picture? The dumbest part of all is that I had my Cubs Crocs on to shovel snow. No socks. My feet were freezing so I came INSIDE and put socks on. I know, I know... what a rebel!

On another note, tomorrow my daughter has her second gymnastics meet of the season. Her coach calls the night before to check on them and reminds them to go to bed early. So what, you ask, is she doing RIGHT NOW to prepare? Carb loading? Stretching? Neatly laying out her leo and warmup (OK, not a chance on that one... that was my wishful thinking)? Nope, nope and nope. She is watching gymnastics bloopers you YouTube. WHY???? Girls are knocking their heads on the beam, falling flat on their faces, flipping off mats, etc. This can't be good, right? Shouldn't she be watching Olympic masterpieces? Geez. What is the draw of watching total failure? I know, it is kind of fun, but it's probably not the best meet preparation. What do I know? I get dizzy on a carousel. And coordination? You've seen bobble head dolls, right? I'm like a BOBBLE BODY. Just flippin' and floppin' with no sense of direction. Apparently coordination skips a generation. wait, my mom isn't coordinated either. Make that TWO generations. OR... is it a defective gene? Yeah, that's it. 

All right. My feet are cold. Where did I put those socks? Gotta go. Happy Sunday!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Where is My Dryer Guy? (and Blog Candy winner!)

My dryer quit heating on Monday. It's Friday morning and here I sit and wait for the dryer guy. Usually you get a time frame on this kind of thing (you know, the ol' "between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m."), but I didn't even get that. I got the "you'll be our first appointment." It's 9:34 a.m. How late do these guys sleep? 

Because I have caught myself in some pretty ridiculous situations (having a computer guy come out when the power strip wasn't turned on), I once again turned to Google and Googled, "My dryer won't heat--can I fix this myself and not have to call in a repairman which will probably be so expensive that it will require me to request a federal bailout?" All right, I exaggerate a slight bit, but I did Google it. I found a GREAT site, one where the "common man" can explore his own home repair  issues. WHAT????? I don't have a degree from MIT! Repairs ANYONE can do? ANYONE????? Anyone but ME apparently. 

I'll just be glad to have the money pit fixed (I had to have the dryer's seal repaired two years ago, almost to the day). I am not enjoying lugging wet laundry to my mom's to dry, especially when her Internet is down more than half the time. What's a girl to do to pass time? Last time I did BORROW (fine ... steal) her pasta maker to flatten some clay and make my own buttons for cards, so it wasn't a total loss. The box actually said "pasta maker for clay." That confused me. Is it a pasta maker if it's for clay? Do any of you regularly put marinara on clay noodles? 

Anyway, I think too much. Nothing else to do, it's only 9 degrees outside. 

And... now for the big news... the winner of my first-ever blog candy was No. 5, Jan. So, Jan, Get me your address and I'll send you out a nice grab bag of Primas!

Have a great weekend (hopefully I'll be enjoying dry clothes!!!),


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cold Feet (and Legs)--A Foolish Fashionista?

Brrrrr. First of all, let me say that I am so thankful this time of year that I have an attached garage. It's 11 degrees outside, on its way to a balmy 25. One weatherman told me to be thankful we are reaching the 20's, so here's a big shout-out to Mother Nature.... THANK YOU SO MUCH! **yeah, right**

As I was taking my son to school, I passed the corner where the kids wait for the high school bus. I did a double take (or was it triple take???) at a sight that just froze me in my tracks. One of the teen girls was standing there, waiting for the bus, in a short jeans miniskirt and nothing on her legs. Just in reflex I turned up the heat in my car, as chills shot quickly up and down both of MY legs. I was thinking, "How could her mother let her leave the house like that?" Then I realized who her mother was, and her mother doesn't "do" 7 a.m., or 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. (you get the picture, right?), so she could walk out wearing pretty much anything (and she has). Mind you, the bus stop is about 4 blocks from her house, and the bus is often late. 

So that brings me to my thought for the day .... has the desire to be fashionable overtaken our common sense??? I hate being cold. Period. End of story. I'd rather look like a mismatched chubby Eskimo waiting for the bus than a cool (literally), hip fashionista. Think about it.... you're waiting for a giant yellow bus. It's not a private jet to Miami! 

Wait, what's wrong with me? I am trying to understand the mind of a teenager!!!!!!!! I live with one and will be living with another in 549 days. As you may know, teen girls also wear sweatpants with words like "hottie" and "bootylicious" on their backsides. Now that, I would never do (though I would have enough room for a short story back there if I did!).

Time to go turn the heat up.... stay warm y'all!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Many Tumbles?

How many tumbles through the dryer does it take before you realize your dryer is broken? For the normal person, probably one. For me (not normal, apparently), about three. Again, that is embarrassing, but I just figured maybe I didn't press the button right or didn't have it set right or maybe the outside (cold) air was sneaking in (a stretch I realize). Finally I decided to stay down in the basement, let it get going good, be sure I had it all set right, and then check it after ten minutes. Yep, no heat. What's weird is EVERY December that I can remember in this house I've had an appliance go out. Last year it was the water heater. The year before it was the dryer with a different issue. Before that it was the fridge and before that the stove. What's that all about? Is my house feeling left out at the holidays and wanting a little TLC from a repairman? 

Naturally I had a load of clothes that needed to be dried so I went to my mom's house to do that. We got to talking about my son's Christmas wish list which amounts to about three things. Then it hit me.... how about getting him a DRYER for Christmas? Great, idea right? (Of course I think so!). My mom said, "Oh, he'd love that!" I told her that one day of wearing wet jeans in 20 degree weather, and he'd be more than happy to get a dryer for Christmas!!! 

Once I got beyond that idea, figuring when (or should I say if... I've got the drawings all done to turn his room into a crafter's paradise) he moves out, he'd take it with him anyway then I'd be dryerless, I knew I had to come up with a Plan B. A family friend had a good recommendation for a repairman. I made the call, now I wait for a call back. I'll admit it's kind of nice knowing I have a built-in excuse not to do laundry, and who wouldn't want that!? Then again, I will pay for it later when Mt. Dirty Clothes takes over the basement. 

I only hope there isn't a laundromat in my future! That I can do without! 

Have a great day (and don't forget to comment on the post below to have a shot at blog candy!),


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Always Thinking Ahead (and blog candy)

Most of my blog entries are generated by something that has happened during the course of my week. My mind is always working (some might say overthinking ... HOW DARE THEY!) and analyzing the people, places, things and thoughts that cross my mind throughout the day. As a journalist, I've been taught to dig... to get out the story and find different angles, so my brain questions pretty much everything! 

This past weekend I was with a group of friends. Somehow, the discussion turned to romance (or lack thereof) and love songs. Favorite love songs were discussed, and many of the usual suspects were mentioned. One of the guys surprised us all. He said the ULTIMATE love song is "Space Cowboy" by the Steve Miller Band. I have to admit, at first I had no idea what that song was. Someone started singing a few bars, and it hit me, then I said (out loud... VERY loud), "Are you serious?" The reply (with a kind of DUH tone) was, "Yeah." Are you kidding me? I mean, I was in total shock. If you're not familiar with the song, it's a very laid back song, about a guy that likes to chill.... a lot. Naturally, I was baited into a debate on the song, listening to the "pros" of why this is such a great love song (uh, let's just say this argument was VERY unconvincing). My position against it being a great romantic song was this... if it is possible that it could be considered a great love song, it would only be by a guy. He replied, "Why?" I said, it's simple. No woman finds the phrase, "I really love your peaches want to shake your tree" romantic. Am I right? In fact, if you use that phrase with someone  you don't know, you'll probably get slapped or kicked (either way it's likely to end painfully). But that led me to think.... am I wrong? Could I identify a good love song if it hit me in the face? That's where you come in. Leave me a comment on this post, with your favorite love song/romantic song and why you feel that way about the song. I will randomly pick one and you will receive a nice assortment of Prima flowers (I have a very extensive collection and will put together a nice grab bag of them for the winner). You can comment on this post through Thursday, and I will announce the winner on Friday.

I'm sure you are all dying to know what my favorite is.... ooooh ..... it's so difficult to choose just one. I think my all-time favorite is "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce. Love the lyrics..... 

And P.S. -- if you're wondering if the Space Cowboy mentioned above is single... yes ... he is. Not a surprise, right?! :)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Icy, Stupid!

Well, well, well. What have we here? ICE, that's what! It's times like this when I really question the human mind. See, yesterday it rained lightly, then it snowed lightly. Then it did a mix late last night and during the night. So what do you expect the roads, sidewalks and driveways to be like? ICY!!!!!!! I don't get it at all (meaning, watching people, slip, fall, slide through stop signs and hit light poles).

My theory is this.... we have the Winter Storm Warnings, Tornado Watches, Wind Advisories and so on and so on. My thinking is that we should have an "ICY, STUPID" warning. The weatherman would go on the TV, tell us is rained and then it froze and that "It's icy, stupid." I mean, what more does he really need to say? You can take that information and be a smart driver or walker (hopefully not a bike rider, though) and be safe around the rest of us out there.... walk in the grass, walk carefully, brake early and drive slower... because it's ICY, STUPID! (I am going to ignore the fact that both of my OWN kids needed to be reminded... ahh, the ignorance of youth!)

Everyone out there today was acting totally caught off guard by the ice. Makes no sense to me at all, so yes, I am pretty wound up today about this. 

I haven't fell or even slipped, but I am about to walk the dog, and let's hope it stays that way. Yeah, only a DOG would want to go out for a walk in this. Too bad there's not a Dunkin' Donuts on the way... that hot chocolate would sure hit the spot. Heaven forbid I make my own (I mean, isn't that why we were given Dunkin' Donuts in the first place? It's the best hot chocolate in the world. You HAVE TO try it if you have never had it).

Anyway, I'm off. Tomorrow I will offer my first ever shot for anyone who comments to win BLOG CANDY, so be sure to stop by on Tuesday, too, to leave a comment about the topic. 

But, most of all, if you live in northern Illinois, or areas surrounding... it's ICY STUPID! :)


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sore From Head to Toe

Whew. The painting is almost done. Can you believe it?? I think I am going to fall short on paint, and I already ran out of the brown tape to tape things off, so that trip to Home Depot is unavoidable. I like the way it looks so far. Our house is very light (carpets, trim and walls), so the darker, fun shade of blue really sets the light accents off. It's got me thinking about the rest of the house and going darker on some of the walls. 

The down side? I am sore from head to toe!!! Since I worked so hard in the yard yesterday morning, and then walked all day shopping Friday, I really pushed myself too hard. Who knew all that was such a workout? Maybe I should charge people to come over and help me with all of this. I could make it like it's a workout plan or something, right? Paint this wall, use those muscles. Sounds like a win-win for everyone! (ESPECIALLY ME)

There were a few casualties.... I lost my cell phone somewhere in the room, or I think it's in there. I had it late last night, and since it's on silent, I can't call it and find it. UGH. Not sure what I'll do about that, but not one stitch of garbage can go out until I find it. The other casualty was the carpet. I got more than one spot of blue on it, despite my best efforts. I got most if it up, but I've got to be careful with the little piece I have left to do. New carpet might be in the future!!!! At least I know I can pay someone to do that. I've always been honest with myself about my limitations. I'll leave the carpet laying to the experts!!

Now that last piece of wall is calling my name! I am torn between getting it done and taking a break. We'll see. First I need to organize my Girl Scout cookie sale list, gather my gift receipts and get some laundry started. Oh, and maybe even start my Christmas cards, huh? 

Anyway, I'll post a pic of the work in progress when I find my phone. The pic is on there!

Happy Sunday!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Progress or Procrastination?

Hmmm. I can't decide if today was more progress or procrastination. Left to myself alone (OH HAPPY DAY!!) at the house I was faced with a million choices ranging from taking a nap to shampooing carpets to painting Brooke's room. While all appealing in their own way (especially the first one!) I decided the mild weather (and impending snow tomorrow night) was a sign, and that sign was for me to haul my fanny outside and do work out there. I went to the gas station, got gas for $1.61 and a 44 oz. Diet Coke. I absolutely cannot do anything productive without a bucket of Diet Coke at my side. So refreshing! Anyway, I scooped up some leaves, trimmed all the old gunk off the plants, planted a few bulbs and brought the shovels from the shed to the garage. The last one was the hardest of all. It's me actually admitting summer is over. It truly does take this long for me to do that. Generations of my family have been born and raised in northern Illinois and are content with winter weather. I am not one of them. Give me the beach, a beach chair, a cool drink, sunglasses, SPF 40 million and my iPod ANY DAY. Yes, I am still waiting for the news that I was adopted and my birth parents live in a $10 million beachfront estate in some warm and sunny place (preferably Hilton Head Island, S.C., but I'm not fussy). Until that day, I grudgingly prepare for winter. But back to the procrastination part of this entry, I am afraid my outdoor adventures were just procrastinating the inevitable.... painting. If my body recovers, I will take a crack at it tonight. I am afraid I don't have enough paint, but we'll see. While I could spend half a day in Archiver's, Hobby Lobby or Joann's, I break out in an immediate rash when I step one foot into Home Depot. I think it's all the reminders of all the work I still have to do around this house and how good this place really could look with a little effort on my part. Do you think they'll ever add a papercrafting section? How cool would that be?

Anyway, I'm off. I pray that I find a Saturday night distraction to procrastinate one more day. I promise I'll paint tomorrow! :)


Friday, November 28, 2008

I Shopped, I Dropped

Even though I didn't plan to do any shopping, I ended up getting a bulk of it done! My daughter had her make-up gymnastics class from 9:30-12:30 this morning. I figured since I was up and dressed (a true rare event for a day off) I might as well make the most of it. I got to the mall and took a space in the nosebleed section of the parking lot and made my way in. A half hour later (SLIGHT exaggeration, but not by much) I got into Macy's. Being that this was an unplanned trip and all, I wasn't even sure where to go or what I wanted to do. My daughter had "clothes from PacSun" on her list so I started there. I left with a pretty big bag of clothes -- everything was 30 percent off. If you are not familiar with  PacSun, it tends to carry the skateboarder look which is a new thing for her. Not to get off track, but my son was trying to freak me out by saying that's a bad sign... next thing she'll be piercing her nose and doing weird things with her hair. That's a worry for another day. I'll be sure to tell her how much piercings hurt (I will SEVERELY overdramatacize this fact just to be on the safe side).  

Next I went to Macy's. I ran into a severe dilemma. One item on my shopping list was Paris Hilton's Can Can perfume. Ugh. I am not a big Paris Hilton fan, so to shove even more bucks into her empire was a very difficult thing for me. But I can be bought, and that clever perfume girl whispered the right word into my ear... FREE..... come on, who can resist FREE? I bought a $55 set (which include FOUR items, can you say DEAL????). With that I got THREE free things..... a big tube of Guess body lotion, a really cool black Guess tote and a super cool Paris tote bag. Seriously, I almost felt guilty taking all those freebies! Note, I said almost. But this is where my shopping experience hit a rough patch. They forgot to take a sensor off one of the things so every time I went into one of the stores with security systems at the front, I set it off. And EVERYONE stared. It was really embarrassing. But little did I know while Steve and Barry's and Aeropostale had no security alarm, Victoria's Secret had an entire SWAT team. I am not lying. When I WALKED IN three gals came flying from the back of the store. Since I wasn't paying $70 for a Pink (brand) hoodie (are they serious? Please, stick to bras -- y'all have no idea how to price sportswear!) I made a quick exit.

Last stop, Game Stop. This is where my day picked up. I got carded when buying a "mature" XBOX 360 game. Do I look like the Call of Duty type? Don't answer that. I would guess they card everyone, but in my head the 17-year-old clerk thought I looked 20. Then again, that would only make him off by 9 years.... LOL (BIG LOL ... HUGE LOL).  It was one way to wrap up Holiday Shopfest 2008.

So it was a successful day. I've got a bit more to do, but tonight will by my night to relax. Enjoy that leftover turkey!!! 


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dance No More

For the last 12 weeks or so, I have been faithfully tuning in to Dancing With the Stars. That meant giving up between 1 and 2 hours of my precious Monday and Tuesday nights. Well, the finale was last night (11/25) .... so begins my period of mourning, until March, when it returns with a new cast of celebs. I'm sure they'll string us along, with teasers after the first of the year as to who will appear with the dancing pros. And, of course, there will be plenty of gossip about this season's stars and pros. As much as I hate to admit it, I look forward to that! Take that as a statement about the excitement factor in my life if you will, but at least I'm honest. 

What surprises me most is that I like this show at all. I am not a dancer. I have never been a dancer. I have never taken a dance class. And, unless you count thrashing around the dance floor at miscellaneous dives in college, I've probably spent a sum total of ten minutes dancing in public. I think the reason for that is because I grew up in the Brady Bunch era, so my dance moves are based on to two steps to the left and two steps to the right. Sure, I have tried the "robot" and miscellaneous hip-hop moves (in the privacy of my own home), but with the embarrassed screams of my daughter (STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) ringing loudly in my ears, I rethink my dreams of challenging Ginger Rogers to a dance-off. 

Funniest of all is that I am seriously thinking of taking a dance class now. If I do it, I'll do it on the down-low.... I don't want to be forced to break out my newest moves before I am ready. I also don't need mockery from my 11-year-old who likely would dance circles (and circles and circles) around me. We'll see. I might make it my New Year's Resolution (but that's a blog for another day).

So while I'm not shopping for dancing shoes just yet, I can fondly dream of smooth moves to come!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paint Fun

About three months ago I put the wheels in motion to repaint my daughter's bedroom. It all started on a lazy August day. She had recently bought (with her own money and gift cards) a new comforter set that she really wanted. Somehow (and I'm still not sure how I got talked into this... a very weak moment, to say the least) we decided that it would be SO COOL to paint the room to coordinate with the comforter. Dumb. We went to Home Depot, comforter in hand, because, as you know, they can match ANYTHING. We got the brushes, the rollers, the paint, you name it. I began the process of removing the border, and that's where the problem started (or should I say where my mojo took a 747 for the Caribbean and never came back). I thought when we put the border up a few years ago I was careful to affix it in such a way that it would be easy to remove. I knew the unicorns would be a fleeting passion for Ms. Thang, and sure enough, I was right. No big deal, I thought. I found a seam and started to pull it off the wall. I ended up with a piece of border in my hand about the size of a (small) postage stamp. I knew I was in for trouble. Countless hours (and many sentence enhancers) later, and with every border removal concoction the Internet had to offer, it was off (and so were chunks of the wall). In the time I figured to have the entire job done, I only had the border removed. So started my three-month-long pout. I need to spackle, sand and Kilz some of the spots. To encourage that, I set a can of Kilz on her dresser. It sat there for about a month until Saturday morning when I cracked it open and started going over the rough spots. Again, I totally underestimated the smell, which Brooke so lovingly reminded me smelled like Lizzie's puke. What??? She was right, darn it all.  I told her that beauty and style come at a great price, and suffer she must for her new digs. Today I will venture into the Home Depot bag and see what we bought three months ago. I have no idea. If there is tape, I will tape off the trim and see about getting something done. She's been incredibly patient. At the current rate, it should be done by the time she leaves for college (and remember, she's 11). It should be pretty cool, I will have to admit, if it turns out how we're picturing, and I'll post a shot when we do get to that glorious day, assuming the Internet has not been replaced by an even newer form of communication (which I am fairly sure is going to happen). 

Let's hope this doesn't turn out like the time I painted the ceiling in the old house. I got a drop of white paint in my eye. I was sure I was going to go blind so I called poison control. After they got done laughing, they told me I was going to be fine (but that everything I'd see out of my right eye would be white). Just kidding of course, but how was I supposed to know? 

Again, live and learn. I'm off to get started. If you get bored, stop by with a brush, I'll provide the pizza!! :)


Friday, November 21, 2008

Quite an Honor!

Happy mail today! I just got a letter that Ryne (in the yellow shirt in the picture to the left... not the fuzzy face!), my 16-year-old son, was chosen to be a member of the National Honor Society -- as a junior no less!! WOW! He was informed back in September that he was up for consideration, but he was up against quite a few others, and only a portion were going to be chosen (there are a total of 61o in his class, and seniors were included, too). He had to fill out paperwork and have a letter of recommendation written (thank you, Tom!!), and then wait... and wait... and wait.... It's been almost two months! I was beyond happy! It will come in very handy as he starts his preparations for college. 

It also got me thinking of some of the moments through the years when something like this seemed VERY unlikely. In kindergarten he nearly avoided Catholic school expulsion after kicking the gym teacher in the shin. Then there was the famous pencil case incident in first grade, and the bus incident in fourth. His intelligence was never in question, but it takes more than a brain to get by in this world (man does not live on brain alone! That sounds gross, but you know what I mean).

Funny, as I type this, he has no idea that he's been chosen. I can't wait to tell him! I know he will take this honor seriously and will do the organization proud. I think I'll e-mail a few of his teachers in years past and share the good news. He's been lucky to have a few good ones (and a few "interesting" ones, too, but those build character!!) who made a difference and challenged him when he was on the brink of being a little too lazy. 

I'll admit, he still has trouble getting up on his own in the morning (he doesn't hear the alarm), he leaves Gatorade and water bottles all over the house (you'd think the recycling bin was a mile away) and he stays up way too late on school nights (I don't know just how late most nights because he usually outlasts me)... but he's a work of progress I can live with.

Good job, Ryne! 

Cindy (Mom)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joust Cause

Sunday afternoon, coming home from my son's volleyball game in Crystal Lake, we drove by Medieval Times. This might sound crazy, but I LOVE that place! Have you ever been? I've only been to the one up here in the Chicago area, but one day I'd love to check out some of the others (road trip!!!). I'm not sure what it is that is so exciting to me, but I think it's the simple fact that you get a steady flow of food WHILE watching a live show. The horses, the jousting knights! Of course the show is scripted, but since you don't know the particular ending for that show, it never matters. You just hoot and holler away for the knight that represents your section. Now I will warn you, the horses poop. A lot. The first time we went, this became my daughter's obsession. I'm not sure she noticed anything else, just all the pooping and then the poor soul assigned to clean it up. This is just a guess, but I've got to believe that's a serious entry-level job! You've got to start somewhere... not every knight was born into glory..... work hard, climb that medieval ladder! 

The food is GREAT, too. It typically consists of several courses including soup, broasted chicken, potatoes, pop and dessert. And NO silverware! That seems to really throw my kids every time we go (not sure why, because in my son's world, sleeve=napkin). It's cooked perfectly and extremely tasty! Let's not forget the hot towel for post-dinner cleanup! I should have that every night at home, but that's not gonna happen because if it did, it would be me doing it, and heating towels is NOT in my job description.... 

The female servers are referred to as "serving wenches." Yes, that makes me chuckle, but no, I can't actually say it to one of their faces (I value my nose in its original condition). 

It is a little cashy, so there's no doubt MT is a special treat. We wait for a good coupon or special and find an off time to go. I'm off to check the upcoming schedule now. 

Enjoy your day... happy jousting!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doggie Doctor

Here's my question of the day ... if you don't pay your veterinarian bills, do they repossess your dog? Think about it. If you don't pay your mortgage, they take your house. If you don't pay your car loan, your car gets hauled away. I got to thinking about that the other day. Lizzie, my  5-year-old shih-tzu would sure hate that. She's always happy to go for a ride, but when we turn into the vet's parking lot she gets nervous. When we get to the front door of the office, she slams on all four of her furry brakes -- not going in. The trouble with weighing 18 pounds is that when you do throw your weight around, it doesn't amount to much. Chalk one up for me! If she had to live there, she'd be more than miserable! Fortunately for her, we don't have a bill.

I am in the market for a new groomer. My amazing groomer, Kathy, has been beautifying Lizzie for more than 4 years now, but she has feel severely ill and may not be able to work again. I tell Lizzie not to think about it so much as grooming, but a day at the spa... she gets her nails done, gets her hair washed and a nice perfumy spray. Sounds like a spa to me! Her issue with it is the cage part. Lizzie feels that being caged is for animals, and that would not apply to her. Anyway, we are seeking out a new groomer, and it's not been easy. I knew we had a real treasure with Kathy. I constantly told her how good she was at what she did and how much Lizzie liked her. We had two failed attempts with other groomers before we found her. I might check into the mobile pet grooming to take the edge off for her. We'll see. 

It should probably be noted that we have two other pets, too. JoJo is a hamster, and we've had him about 3 months. He's super cute. We also have Sky, a parakeet. We're not sure of the gender of either of those two, we just guess and give them neutral names so as not to confuse them and affect their self-image. Funny as it sounds, all three of them actually get along.
I will say one thing NO MORE PETS.... unless a pug happens to wander into my life.... :)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Maggie and Me

Happy Monday, everyone! It was a wild and woolly weekend (wild because the kids' schedules kept me hoppin', and woolly because it was FREEZING cold!). I survived, though there were moments I wasn't so sure. My good friend Magellan Maggie (a cool GPS gal), let me down on Sunday. Yes, she got us there, but she tried to confuse us along the way. She is a new friend of mine, so naturally my level of trust is not quite there yet. She mapped out the right direction, but she called EVERY road Interstate 55. What's up, girlfriend? While I had little enough trust in Maggie, my mom had zero, or maybe negative trust in her! That, of course, severely offended me. How could you treat my new friend like that? Love me, love Maggie! :) Thankfully, Maggie got her act together for the way home, and shouted out the route like a champ!

I do have to confess (and she is powered off now, so I am in the clear to discuss this), that she makes me nervous. She tries to push our friendship to the next level, and I'm not quite sure I am ready! She insists I take routes I am not comfortable with, telling me confidently it is the "shortest time" for me. Hmmmm. Being the creature of habit that I am, I listen to her about half the time, going with my gut instincts the other half. We've bonded some, but we'll bond more in coming trips, and between gymnastics and volleyball, there will be plenty of time for us to hang out and get to know each other. 

All things grow with time, right? Be patient, Maggie! 


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hectic Holidays?

I know a lot of people find the holidays very hectic. I'm one of the few that doesn't. See, for me, my kids' activities (which are the bulk of what puts me within seconds of having a nervous breakdown, on a regular basis) slow down. Practices go on hiatus and there aren't as many big school obligations. Everything naturally gets put on the back burner while we all juggle holiday goings on. Yes!!! Add to that, over the last few years, my family has done what a lot of people say they want to do -- we've significantly cut back those that we exchange gifts with. It makes it so much easier. I have friends that shop for months and months. I want to enjoy it, plus, as I've already stated, I don't have much time in the months prior to Christmas to shop for a holiday that is so far away. I don't even think I'll start until a couple of weeks prior, and that is simply because there is no need to. I have picked up a few things for my mom already, and the other things won't be hard. I got her a Nintendo DS for her birthday in August (YES! That's what she really wanted!) and need to find a few more games to go along with it. Not sure what the kids want yet. My daughter said she wanted an iTunes gift card. My son? Probably some XBOX 360 games. None of it will be hard to find, nor will I have to go far to get it. Since I am a cardmaker, I will likely make some notecard sets for teachers this year. I think this year I really will be able to enjoy it! And isn't that what it's all about? 

And this goes without saying that I will not and I repeat WILL NOT be shopping on "Black Friday." Have you ever done that? What a nightmare! I did that ONE YEAR, and only one. I was out at Kmart before 5 a.m., and it was COLD. I had a few things I wanted, and naturally, even at that hour of the day, when I was one of the first in the building, they were out of those things. Turns out, for many of the things in the ad, they didn't even re-stock the shelves from the week. What a crock! I felt like I was totally scammed. I did go over to Circuit City (the store I hate most in the world) because all single CD's were $9.99. That's a great deal, so I loaded up on those. For those of you that are going out on Black Friday.... good luck and God bless... you'll need it, believe me. 

Ho, ho, ho... and have a great Saturday!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gas 'er Up!

I can't get over how quickly gas prices are falling. Today I saw it for the cheapest yet, $2.09. I've kind of gotten to the point where I'm almost giddy about it! Whereas before I would wait til there were about four tablespoons of gas in the tank, now I almost can't wait to stop and fill 'er up! If you listen to the news, they say it's not going to last. Party poopers! Can't we just enjoy it while it lasts? What I think we are all hoping for is that some of these prices that have gone up and up and up, will come down and down and down. You know, like GROCERIES? It's nothing short of amazing how expensive a trip to the store is. One month of groceries and you could had a trip to Disney World. Seriously, $6 for a pack of Oscar Mayer hard salami? Even with the price of jelly these days, PB and J is still a cheaper option (I think, anyway). The financial truth hurts, so I try to wipe out any memory I have of food prices when they were actually still affordable. If food prices are tied to gas prices, why is food so stinkin' expensive still? The best trick is when they shrink a package or product size but leave the price the same. If you had Halloween candy, maybe you noticed how small the fun-size candy bars were. The Three Musketeers were about the size of my PINKY. Those should be totally off limits from economic woes. Is nothing sacred? Fewer candies in the bag, smaller candies in that bag. **shaking head** Just don't mess with my Christmas cookies... I'll take THAT all the way to the Supreme Court!

Have a great weekend..... 


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Might Be Many Things, But a Chef is Not One of Them

The truth of the matter is, I don't like  to cook. I try to make myself feel better by saying that if I had more time, a bigger kitchen and lived with less-fussy eaters, I would cook. I've decided that simply is not true. I just don't like to cook, plain and simple. But why? First of all, I did not come from a family of happy cooks. My mom and grandma both did cook, but it wasn't anything close to a passion. My grandmother had a few things that she could cook the living daylights out of, and same for my mom. My grandma was the master of cabbage rolls, chili, peach cobbler and vegetable soup. My mom makes a mean stuffed pepper, Spanish rice, German potato salad and Nilla Wafer banana pudding. I don't know how my mom did it. She is a retired high school math teacher, but she always had a nice meal on the table (even though she was missing the cooking gene, too). 

There are some funny cooking memories in my past. When my son was in 3rd grade, the teacher wanted to put together a class cookbook featuring an "ethnic" recipe. As stated above, I do not cook. Box-mix tacos are a stretch for me. What was I supposed to do? State a recipe that includes driving to the Piggly Wiggly, taking an Old El Paso taco kit off the shelf, purchasing it, bringing it home then preparing it? Hmmmm. I thought and thought. The end result came via a favorite dessert. My lemon bar recipe became "Swedish Lemon Bars." My mom still won't let me live that down!! Is it really that much of a stretch? I think not! :) At least I am not the one that BAKED the kidney bean salad..... 

I think this blog came about because I am being tortured by the ground beef that is thawing in my fridge as I type. I have NO idea what to do with it! I might make chili and noodles and call it chili mac. 

Just to prove my point regarding my lacking culinary talents, I received a digital food scale for my birthday in September. Know what the first thing I used it for was? Weighing the hamster. Seemed logical to me....

Enjoy your day. Feel free to stop by, just bring lunch with you! 


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Resolve, or Not to Resolve....

I've started thinking about my 2009 New Year's Resolution. I try to come up with something that is not only doable, but that will make me a better person. I'm at about a 50 percent success rate with this endeavor. I completed the resolution I set for this year -- read one book a month, at least, for a total of 12 for the year. I have read more than 12 already, so that one was a success. My 2007 one, well, let's just say it lasted about two weeks. I wanted to improve my random knowledge quota (should Alex Trebek ever invite me to Jeopardy). I would ask a question that I did not know the answer to, then search the Internet for the answer. I had trouble with that. First of all, I couldn't generate questions when I was put on the spot. I would freeze up! Then my hard drive crashed, and I lost the list I had compiled to that point. Guess that wasn't meant to be. 

Now that I am considering what I should choose as a resolution for next year, I try to be honest with myself. For one, it can't involve exercise or weight loss. That is asking way too much of me. Maybe I will do one, the other or both of those, but I can't have the added pressure of having a resolution tied to it. I'm toying with the idea of having it tied to praying regularly or some sort of writing incentive. Or maybe a cooking incentive... then again, why should my kids suffer? :) Seriously, I couldn't see doing that until I had a bigger kitchen... one with more than two cabinets. Boy do I hate my kitchen. I knew this when I bought the house 10 years ago, but living with it is another story. I mean, where to put that springform pan that I bought at a Pampered Chef show eight years ago, that I MIGHT use one day? You know the minute I get rid of it I will have a springform emergency and nowhere to turn. Anyway, the resolution is a work in progress. 

Today I need to run to Sam's. I am out of milk, small bottles of Sunny D and lunch-sized Oreo packages. Oh geez, I left the TV on and The View is on. Even listening to that show from 30 feet away makes my skin crawl. 

Have a happy hump day (who wouldn't?)!!!


Monday, November 10, 2008

I love Big Bird

It's funny how you can forget your own middle name, but hold on to the most obscure memory of your childhood, isn't it? I was telling my daughter about my Big Bird clock. When I was young, I would wake up each school day to its cheery greeting, "Wake up, it's me, Big Bird, and it's time to get up. Open your little  eyes now. Come on, now. One foot out of bed, now the other one. OK. Have a nice day and don't forget to wind the cl0ck!" Of course, Big Bird made the winding very easy. In his outstretched rubber arms he held a large plastic key, and faithfully I followed his direction, each morning (afraid of what Sesame Street monster might come to visit if I didn't!). I loved that clock! He was just so happy at 6 a.m., and it was infectious! Finally, though, as is the case with many cheap clocks, it eventually welcomed in its last dawn, and I was left to tolerate the baby Big Ben (soooooooo boring and ugly) windup from the drug store.  My daughter asked me how old I was when I had the Big Bird clock. There was no way I could tell Miss Cool I was 12 when I had it — she already thinks I give uncool a bad name. I just told her that I didn't remember (she's used to mom forgetting... and I don't hesitate to use that to my advantage). She'd understand if she ever stumbled upon a Jonas Brothers clock. Those hunky boy toys could probably get her to do anything, including get out of bed for school. Can't she relate??? Big Bird?? Jonas Brothers? It's all the same to me! Anyway, it's fun to dig up those old childhood memories once in a while.  

Enjoy your week... and DON'T FORGET TO WIND THE CLOCK! 


Saturday, November 8, 2008


Here we go again. The season starts today. I'll bite my tongue and grit my teeth for hours on end (Tylenol in purse? Check.). My son's first club volleyball tournament is later today, and my daughter's first every gymnastics meet is tomorrow. I don't know about you, but I have been around this stuff long enough to handle my kids' performances. What I Dread (capital D) is the PARENTS! Ugh. Ick. There are the ultimate cheerleaders, the blamers, the micromanagers, the perfectionists, and yes, even the sleepers and readers. Now, the last two, I can deal with. They're quiet. But the others... OH PLEASE! What's the point of it? Is it the rush of public embarrassment? The joy of making yourself look like a horse's arse? It's not the NFL, NBA, MLB or other professional organization (though I am sure at this point one of those paychecks would be the only way to recover the money that I've put into it!). I am the quiet viewer, and unless you can read my mind and know what I'm truly thinking, you'll like sitting next to me, I promise. 

I am prepared for plenty of awkward moments, however. We are with a new club, and I haven't talked to anyone at all since we left the last club. All the questions, all the phony "how do you do's" when I know all they really want is gossip. If I have time, I'll try to come up with a good story, let it circulate on the grapevine, get back to me, deny it, then let the denial recirculate for a while. SHOOT. I forgot to get a book. I finished my last one the other day, now I've got nothing. I'll find something around here, or pack the tried and true sudoku selection. People tend to think you're smart when you're doing those, so I'll take it!

Anyway, I'll report back later, if I survive. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wishy Washy iPod

As if any of you needed this advice, the best way to clean an iPod is not via the washing machine. And yes, I do know this through personal experience. For whatever reason, my lovely 11-year-old daughter has taken to putting half her worldly possessions  in her pants pockets. Small problem when you leave most of them in there, and in the washing machine they go. I've had a treasure trove of hair bands, bobby pins, candy wrappers, coins, and secret notes. Well, Monday morning I open the lid and lo and behold I am greeted by headphones. Hmmm. I take them out, remove the clothes and BINGO.... hot pink iPod. Nope. I came upstairs, told her, and of course she was devastated. BUT, we were still feeling  hopeful because this same iPod had already survived a fall into the toilet (clean water, or as clean as toilet water can get) at her friend's house a year ago. As I do with every other big life question, I head straight to Google, inputting the question "my kid refuses to listen to me about not checking her pockets before putting things into the hamper, and now her iPod went through the wash so what should I do?" My friends at Google (who so graciously helped me through the toilet incident), had loads of good advice, with a 40% probability that we could recover it. The key, according to all of the postings, was to NOT turn it on til it was totally dry, to avoid shorting it out. Then I read a few posts that said to put it in a bowl of dry rice to absorb the moisture. I did that. For two days. We fired it up yesterday and nothing. Back in the rice bowl. Isn't rice useful? 

She had saved up $200 to buy this one about 2 years ago, so I struck a deal with her. I will pay half of a new one since I didn't check her pockets. It's horrible living with such a sensitive guilty conscience! She's out now (day off school) shopping with some friends, and she texted me that she has chosen the new iPod Touch, and that we can look at it this weekend together. WHOA, girlfriend! That's a serious upgrade! It's also got me picturing my 16-year-old putting his iPod in the washing machine so he can get a new one. My life is just one big domino effect.....

Anyway, lesson learned. Check pockets. And thank you, Google. If I could afford your stock I'd buy some!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Greatest Fear -- Lactose Intolerance

I'm obsessed with Dairy Queen Cookie Dough Blizzards. There, I said it. Right now I am fighting the urge to high tail it to DQ and indulge my urge, and somehow blogging about it seems a better option for my waistline. A closet full of elastic pants allows me to entertain my Blizzard fantasy on a regular basis, and still tell my friends, "I've been wearing the same pants for seven years." I should send a thank you note and box of chocolates to whoever invented elastic pants. Or elastic itself for that matter. (You know this information is on Wikipedia!)

That leads me to my biggest fear--developing lactose intolerance. No, not cancer, not diabetes, not heart disease. Lactose intolerance!!! I know pills exist to tame it's horrible effects, but what if the medicine didn't work on me, and my only choice was to abandon my obsession? I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about that, and even had a dream (nightmare) about it last night, following that pesky dream I have where I'm in high school and I can't remember my locker combination and Sister Kathryn is screaming at me in the hallway. I digress. Shouldn't Dairy Queen be investing millions to eradicate this terrible affliction? As a member of the Blizzard Fan Club (YES, there is a Blizzard Fan Club and YES, I am a member), I will make sure they are working hard to save mankind from potential disaster. Their livelihood does rely on cow juice, thus I am sure they have this well in check for their own selfish interests.

Laziness has a choke hold on me right now. Off to raid the leftover Halloween candy. 

Coach makes shoes? Who knew?

Did you know that Coach (of the famous handbag company) makes shoes? Shoes! Needless to say, I will never own a pair, and that's just as well, because they were UHGUHLEE!!! And I don't say that from the very jealous part of my inner self. They truly were hideous. Note, too, that I wear a size 1o, so pretty much any shoe looks terrible on me. 

Really, I can't see a day that I will ever give up my Crocs. I have three pair: light green, brown with a tan fur lining (Mammoths) and my Chicago Cubs Crocs. Crocs are the best shoes ever. I know there is a certain segment of our population that will NEVER wear them (likely those that buy Coach shoes). That's their loss, and more Crocs for me. What I do know is that I can get three pair of Crocs for one pair of Coach shoes. I know this because I looked up Coach shoes and found a pair identical to the ones I saw the other night, online. What would my friends think if I traded in my Crocs for Coach? That reaction might actually be worth it. Then again, they'd assume I got them at a garage sale or thrift store and congratulate me on my find (assuming they'd actually notice at all).

I don't think I've ever spent more than $60 on a pair of shoes for myself. I accidentally spent $80 on boots last Christmas for my daughter. She needed boots. I was at Macy's looking at Crocs (God's gift to the foot) and saw a pair that would work. They had her size. These boots were NOTHING special. Turns out as she's ringing up the boots, they were $80. At age 10, they were going to last one season. But what do I do. This was MACY'S after all! Embarrass myself by saying, "Oh, they looked like $30 boots, I change my mind." No way. I cried a little inside and handed her my debit card. Then I cried a lot on the outside when I got in the car. Darn Macy's! 

They say you're never too old to learn something new. Today I learned that Coach makes shoes. That and a quarter will get me half a newspaper.

Getting to Know This Momma

Hi Everyone,

Here I am. Day 1 of my blog. If you subscribe to the theory that motherhood is the best job in the world, this might not be the blog for you. I will, however, take a funny and sometimes sarcastic look at my maternal side and all the baggage that comes along with it. If you need a laugh, tinted with reality, bookmark me, and you won't disappointed. I'm pretty sure you'll think "I KNOW"... "I CAN RELATE" .... "ARE YOU READING MY MIND?" 

I will state here, and probably never again, I DO love my kids! Anything I say hopefully will not be used against me in a court of law, or anywhere else for that matter. I have been feeling lately that if I sugarcoat one more thing, I might go into insulin shock. Hopefully this outlet will bring me inner peace. Considering its free, I know it's cheaper than therapy (I'm on an HMO, therefore I'm not even sure therapy is an option). 

Topics of interest that I'll wax philosophical on (I have NO idea what that means, but I know it fits here)... marriage, work, friends, television, stress, food (hopefully the numerous references to Dairy Queen Blizzards will earn me a sponsorship or a lifetime free Blizzard gift card), papercrafting, money, fame (or lack thereof), celebrity crushes (helllllooooo McDreamy!!!!!!), my former life as a Catholic schoolgirl, (oh, these stories will be THE best!) annoying sales clerks, Chicago Cubs baseball, writing, and anything else my legion of blog subscribers suggest.

Regardless.... MOMMA GETS REAL. Now, go to your room!