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!