Sunday, November 30, 2008

For anyone who ever wanted a lion cub when they were a kid! Or maybe a monkey.

You will need to turn off the music. Scroll down to the green playlist and click on the small pause button the top left hand side of the green box, just under where the picture/title of the album and the current/playing song name is.

Also saw this on David Letterman. Thankfully, we had DVR'd Letterman to watch Dennis Leary, because I am not sure who thought this was funnier - my husband me or our kids. We have watched it many times now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A long weekend

I recently read a blog where the writer stated when bloggers start out their entry saying something to the tune of "this is going to be a boring entry" or "this entry is about nothing important" she assumes the writer knows what they are talking about and she closes the blog without reading further. If you are one of those readers, go ahead and click the little "x" in your upper right hand corner of the screen, because this blog is not going to be about much.

I ventured out shopping today and made a dent in Chrismtas gift buying. Still lots to do. There was a mom sitting on an end aisle display and feeding her child who was in a stroller, half blocking the aisle entrance. She plopped down not in a slow, uncrowded area, but in the video game section. At the end of the Wii aisle. She put her diaper bag literally in the middle of the aisle so no one could get in or out easily. There was one woman wanting out of the aisle and I was wanting in, both of us with carts. I looked at her funny and she kind of shrugged. I couldn't help it, obviously I was not in the Christmas spirit yet, and I said, "I think you are blocking people from being able to get in and out of this aisle." She shrugged again and scooted her bag and barely moved the stroller. All I could think was "You have got to be kidding me. Your kid is not that special that he can't be fed in the hardware department!" So I picked up his stroller and I moved it so it didn't block the aisle or anyone from getting into the aisle. She looked at me kind of funny and realized she damn well better move her bag before I got a hold of it. I then said, "I have three kids. I understand this is hard, so I thought I better help you out." That was as Christmas spirit-y as I could get.

Here is the recipe for the Jewish Jelly Rolls. Julia asked me to post it. Enjoy, they are delicious. I grew up eating these things and can't get enough of them. I may have to go to the freezer right now and get a couple of them out to munch on! I bought more of these ingredients today because I have a feeling the last batch I made will never make it to our dessert party.

Prepare dough ahead - refrigerate overnight or until cool

Mix with mixer
2 sticks of butter
2 C. flour
1 sm. carton sour cream
  • Separate into 4 balls, flatten to med. thin. (When you roll the dough, you want the dough to be longer than it is wide.)
  • Spread with strawberry jam, sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and nut pieces (I use pecans).
  • Roll up (you want to roll it so it remains long) and fold in ends, place seams on bottom of sprayed cookie sheet.
  • Bake @ 350 degrees for approx. 40 min.
  • When hot sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  • Cool and cut into pieces.

Oh, and your house will smell incredible while these are baking!

Thanksgiving was a success. We had 26 people at our house and we managed to set up our dining arrangement so we all ate together at the same very extended table. It was nice. My family is not a drinking family. I can only remember a few times that my parents served alcohol at their house, usually a party of some kind with their friends. I am not sure how it came to be that my brother and I love a good, stiff drink, often too many good stiff drinks in one sitting. And my husband started his morning off stuffing the turkey and drinking coffee with liqueur in it and moved to wine after lunch. With Thanksgiving (or any other gathering) being at my house, it's just understood there will be alcohol. And I have to say, it made for a much better day with my family! Here's our photo that our neighbor took for us. This is actually a small group for my family. My mom is one of seven kids and only one of her brothers came with his wife. Of my dozens of cousins, only three came with their husbands and kids. And my brother and his family are also in the photo.

That's me, standing in the back, second chick from the right (black top). My husband is the guy with goatee. One child is not in the picture. I am not sure where he is. I guess there were too many kids to realize we were missing one!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Fragments

I have decided to become a regular participant in the blogging ritual of Friday Fragments. Mrs. 4444 does a great job of listing bloggers who like to use their Fridays to ramble about a multitude of things instead of a (somewhat) organized blog entry! Here it goes:
  • Welcome to my newest follower, Julia, at Sometimes Lucid!
  • Only two years and 50 weeks to go before my BFF moves back to the states.
  • Not only am I addicted to this blogging thing AND e-mail, I can add "checking my Evite RSVP's" to the list of addictions. What's up with that? What is it that drives me to check several times a day to see if anyone else has responded to our Holiday Dessert Party?
  • And in addition to the above, I think I am addicted to comments and I just don't get enough of them. I am so in love with getting comments that when I leave comments on other blogs, I check the box to get "follow up comments" sent to me. That way I feel like I am getting comments. I try to pretend they are mine. I have a good imagination. (And if you notice I have visited your blog a 100 times in one day, that is why!)
  • I made Jewish Jelly Rolls for the first time ever. Don't ask me what makes them Jewish, because I am not sure. I needed to give a trial run at baking these since I am planning to make them for our dessert holiday party, but couldn't knowingly serve them until I was sure they actually were worth eating. They are. I had to put them in the freezer right away to prevent them from being eaten in a days time.
  • I have not started Christmas shopping. I am always a little envious, and highly irritated, by those women who walk around shouting to the world "I get all of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving!" Bitches. (Sorry if this applies to any of you. I don't really mean it, I'm just jealous.)
  • I was thrilled to get carded this week when buying those Thanksgiving necessities of beer and wine. I looked at her funny and she said, "We have to card anyone under 40." God bless this woman. Never mind that she was about 70 and maybe had forgotten her glasses. I left that store skipping and smiling.
  • I am so NOT a touchy feely kind of person. I feel my body stiffen with anxiety whenever my MIL enters my house. And when walking into her house, I can barely get up the porch steps into the house because my body has literally turned to stone preparing to protect itself. She doesn't just give the polite kiss and hug, but does a longer, double kiss on each cheek and an extended hug. Sometimes she repeats!
  • Speaking of my MIL, if I have to see her naked or half naked one more time, I just don't know what I will do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a great day!

Didn't my hubby do a great job of stuffing the turkey?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What do I do with this information?

I received one of my first negative comments. You can read it here. I had to burst out laughing. This commenter, who decided to remain anonymous, thought it was important for her to let me know I must be intimidated by Sarah Palin. (Should I point out again, the writer remained anonymous? Who's the one who is intimidated? At least sign your first name!) To quote the commenter: "I can also understand why you are so intimidated by Sarah Palin. She is all of the same things you are, but also has a highly successful career." and then goes on to say, "You on the other hand, have decided to stay at home, blog on the internet all day while your children are probably at school and watch Oprah in the afternoons." Then she adds a little "But, just because another woman is more successful and ambitious than you, you should not hold this against her." I originally responded to her comment, but then decided to delete it and address here. Not necessarily to defend myself against this unknown source, but out of concern that I have totally misrepresented myself over time. And I can't have that.

So lest I have led any of you astray, I would like to point out:

  • If I were going to be intimidated, it would not be by another mom, whom I spoke highly of in the blog entry regarding her willingness to raise a family and run for office. And the positive impact that could have on her family.
  • I don't make it a practice to judge women by their choice of careers, whether paid or unpaid, or how families choose to parent, unless, of course it involves physical and/or verbal abuse. This is not to say I have NEVER judged, but I usually reserve any harsh judgements to those moms who I personally know and interact with and can see when they are failing miserably at being a good parent. My judgement, however, has NEVER been the result of whether or not a mom works outside the home.
  • I will not support a woman, or a man, running for office if I don't support her political views. I don't make political decisions based on gender, race, religion or other superficial nonsense. I don't even make it based on political party. I decide to support a candidate who supports the same views I have and who I believe is in the best interest of my family and our country. There is nothing I would like to see more than a woman as our President or VP. But not just any woman for the sake of voting for a woman.
  • Um, I have been a full time career woman and working mom. And I loved it. However, I was able to opt out and am thankful that was an area that I had a choice in. Not all parents get that choice. Many families have no choice but to be two income families. And most of my mom friends who do have careers do so by choice. I get it and I respect it. I'm am even a little envious on some days. Intimidated? Not. Because I have made a different decision does not mean I am intimidated by another who has made a different choice. Oh, and I do still work for pay, but in a career that allows me total control over my schedule.
  • And as for the part about "blogging on the internet all day and watching Oprah while your children are probably at school." Nah, I do that while they are in the other room watching Girls Gone Wild.

EDITOR'S NOTE: After summarizing this comment for my husband he nearly choked and spit out his gin and tonic. His response "Wow, whoever wrote that certainly has no idea what kind of person you are."

Boys and their toys.

Before I go to my regular post, I wanted to thank Lee at moms without blogs for giving me my second blog award! Check out her blog. She's an LA mom who is tired of trying to reach supermom status. Jeez, what mom can't relate to that? She also has referred to me recently as "brilliant" and "genius", so of course, I think she rocks.

Here's what this award is all about... "This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - the nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I am limiting my nominations to the following three:
  • La Mom's Paris - La Mom is an American mom living in Paris. To quote La Mom, her blog "is all about bitchy mommy dinner clubs, even bitchier book clubs, pricey mommy maintenance, playdate protocol, and catty mommy profiling. All that with a bit of complaining about the French and dog poop mixed in!" Check it out and you'll get a few free French lessons, too!
  • Home of the Lazy Dog - Ali is a mom from Arkansas raising a family. She likes to cook. Check out her recipe link!
  • A Girl and Her Life - Tuesday Girl is currently coping with "single parenting" while her husband has moved to New Hampshire for new career. She and the kids will be catching up with him once they sell their house in New Jersey. Check her out and give her some support!

Now on with the show!

A few weeks ago, my five year son old was taking a bath while I was getting ready for the day. I looked in the mirror and saw his reflection. He was on his knees letting the water from the faucet run onto his schmeki. And smiling!

I asked him what he was doing and he sat down real fast and said, "Nothing."

So I asked, "Were you letting the water run on your penis?"

Smiling, he said, "Yes."

I followed it with, "Feels good, doesn't it?"

He smiled even bigger and said, "Yes" and got back up on his knees for some more action.

I could tell similar stories about the other boys in this house, but they're old enough that they do deserve some level of privacy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to be a good massage therapy client.

After spending six+ years in Human Resources Management, I left the corporate world to be able to focus on my family, my then 1 year old son. I did want to work some, but in a career that gave me total control over my schedule, which was impossible in my HR career. I also wanted a job that resulted in people leaving my presence feeling well instead of leaving the building with a box of their desk belongings and crying because now they didn't know how they were going to feed their family. The other managers playfully called me the Terminator because our company was frequently letting people go and I was the one to do the job. The employess would shake in their chairs whenever I walked through the office with a box. Though it was entertaining at times because I got to fuck with a lot people's minds, it was not the persona I wanted to have.

In 1998 I entered a one year full time massagy therapy school and in 1999, I took and passed the Ohio Medical Board exam, just two weeks before having baby #2. (Thank goodness the test was proctered by doctors, who were very in tune with my condition and catered to me very nicely in an otherwise very strict environment!)

Fast forward to today. I work 3-6 hours a week in a massage therapy clinic, more if I want to, which is nice! Here are some tips for being a good massage therapy client:
  1. Women, do not apologize for your unshaven legs. I have seen the harriest of the harry legs and pits and it's really not a big deal.
  2. Please brush all sock fuzz off of your feet and out from between your toes. Yuck.
  3. If you wear a hairpiece, please tell your therapist during the medical history review.
  4. If you have a mole or moles the size of Mt. Kilamanjaro, please have them surgically removed prior to seeking massage therapy.
  5. If you have gross, disgusting feet, athlete's foot, toenails with fungal infections, etc. ask your therapist NOT to massage your feet. Suck it up and know it's in your best interest to not have your massage therapist rub all over your feet and then rub that nastiness over other parts of your body. Yes, I squirt my hands with Purell after doing the feet, but there are some things even the strongest anti-bacterial gel can't kill. If I notice gross disgusting feet, I may just skip over them. Save us both the embarassment and request a foot massage exemption.
  6. Men, when your massage starts with you on your back, pull up the sheet/blankets so your nipples are not exposed. I do not want to see them. This is not the place to be showing off your man boobs.
  7. Men, do not ask for a happy ending or any other supplemental service. Don't even HINT about it. The result will be you will not so politely be dismissed from the building. Remember, I used to be referred to as the Terminator. This, too, goes for any woman who might think she can get extra services. You can't.
  8. Men, in addition to not asking for additional services, please do not service yourself during the massage or in the treatment room after the massage.
  9. If you are coming for lower back treatment, do NOT wear granny panties. I will NOT massage under the waste band of your undies and I can't really get to your lower back if your undies are uppy. To your shoulder blades. I can massage over the undies, but not under the undies, and I can tell you, over the undies is not nearly as effective as under the undies. Since I won't go under the undies, maybe try no undies, bikini undies or thong undies so your lower back is exposed.
  10. Everyone, don't forget to take your undies with you when you leave.

Further suggestions will be given upon request.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mommy Wars

Welcome to my two newest followers, Sass at the life of sass and Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time. Drop by and check them out.

What's up with the Mommy Wars? I am not really talking about the classic stay at home mom vs. the working mom Mommy Wars. I am talking about moms who are so caught up in their own little crowd that they can't possibly allow other moms into their circle of friends. Hello? Junior high was over 25 years ago, at least for me. But apparently, many moms have not outgrown their adolescent behavior. I hear other moms talk about this and I have experienced it myself.

In my case, when we moved to the Kansas City area from Ohio in 2004, it was very difficult to "break into" the already formed circles of moms that had boys in the 2nd grade, which is the grade Big E was in our first year there. By the time we left, when at the end of his 4th grade year, I had broken through their barrier and was at least, on the surface, accepted. Thank goodness I had friends from a moms group that I joined. They are lifelong friends and I did not have any problems being accepted by them!

When we moved back to Ohio in 2007, I had to start over. Though we have tons of friends in the area since I, in total, have lived here 19 years, and my husband about five years longer, they are all spread out and it can be hard to get together. When we moved to this neighborhood, I was excited when the family across the street had two boys, their oldest a year older than my oldest and their youngest a year younger than my middle son. Oh, but wait. Their mother apparently had no room for another friend. And dammit, I am a good friend and fun to be with. That first summer, I would see her at our subdivision pool and she would greet me but never offered me a seat with her and her friends or even introduce me to them. WTF. Was she so insecure that her friends might actually like me that she couldn't take the risk? Thankfully I am a pretty tough cookie, but it still makes me wonder ... why do women do this? (As it turns out, my husband and I have made really good friends with some of our OTHER neighbors. And I am glad the other woman shunned me because we have determined she and her husband are just plain weird.)

I have heard of other women experiencing playground snobbery and it seems like such a waste of time and a potential loss of meeting a really cool person to hang out with. And if you strike up a chat with someone and determine "she is not the one for you" then no big deal. What have you lost, really?

It's just not that hard to be welcoming, polite and friendly. And in the process possibly make another friend or two. I just don't get it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

He's a good husband.

It's rare I write about my husband here, good or bad, except for the occasional mention of him. But with it being near Thanksgiving and trying to stay focused on the good things I have in my life in order to squeeze out that cluttered brain issue, I thought I would give my husband a shout out here to the blogging community.
  • This weekend, without being asked, he changed all the sheets on all of the beds and made them all pretty. He even put all of our decorative pillows on the bed. In the exact order they belong!
  • He brought all the dirty laundry to the laundry room for me. No, he didn't wash the dirty laundry (though he does do laundry on occasion), but that's ok, because laundry is one of those chores I don't mind. I like to grocery shop, too. But this entry is about my husband, not me, so I can talk about that another day.
  • He, along with forcing the kids to help, without being asked, cleaned up the entire basement. Toys in their places, blankets folded, hide-a-bed folded back into it's house in the couch. and the cushions in place.
  • I should note while he was doing the above three, I was on the couch, in my PJ's, snuggled under the blankets watching DVR'd Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Lipstick Jungle. I actually made it through all three of them.
  • He got a haircut without me telling him it was time. (His one weakness is he does not notice things like needing a haircut or that his clothes don't particularly match. Thankfully for him, he has me to rectify those issues when they come up. Which is almost daily.)
  • He's a really nice guy. At times, he is a much better nurturer than I am. He takes more time to tell the kids how he feels about them and how proud he is of them. I need to do that more. He helps out whoever needs it, often at the expense of delaying one of his own home projects.

He does similar things pretty regularly. Not always, but it's not totally unusual. He's a good cook and he doesn't mind cleaning up after dinner, no matter who cooks. He was 31 yrs. old when we got married. He'd been on his own since graduating HS and he bought a house right after graduating college, so he is used to domestic duties and doesn't mind them too much. He doesn't complain about helping me get our house ready for all the nutty parties and get togethers we and/or I have. He doesn't complain about how often I am gone in the evenings either with work or socializing. He lets me decorate the house however I want and will do the work that I can't do to make it happen. His general response to me changing the decor is "ok". (Though he did seem a little irked that I want to get a 12 ft. Christmas tree to put in our foyer so I can have a tree decorated exactly like I want it. My kids and he keep pushing for colored lights on our Christmas tree, which I don't like. A few years ago, I compromised by adding red lights to our white lights. So I thought a really beautiful and tall tree in our foyer might be a good idea. Since this is the first I mentioned it to him, I think I better let the thought ride for a couple of years before I act on this.) He's a really good dad.

Does he have his faults? Oh yeah. He's a noisy sleeper, with all of the puh-ing, snoring and other manly noises made in the dark of night, he won't always argue with me when I want; at times he expects me to communicate in the way HE wants me to communicate not necessarily in the way I DO communicate. At times, he's like Pig Pen from the Peanuts. Everything he touches gets dirty or messy and then it follows him in a cloud of mess. He leaves crumbs on the counter a lot. When I ask him about it, he claims he didn't see them when he was straightening. I don't get that.

So that's my husband. This may be my only "gushy" post I ever write about him. I did save this entry for a Sunday when many blog readers aren't lingering around the blog sites. I realize this entry may not be of much interest, especially to first timers. But he deserves some mention because I wouldn't be here without him.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What the hell was I thinking?

We are having a holiday party this year, complete with chocolate martinis. (We have many non-Christian friends, so yes, we are calling it a holiday party. I realize the older generation, my mom specifically, would roll their eyes at this and give me a lecture about "when in Rome". But I am a more sensitive and enlightened person than that and I appreciate and embrace our friends' different beliefs.) Anyway, like so many times in my life, I have gotten off the subject. Back on now - we are having a holiday party. I put together an Evite for this and hit send. Then it hit me. I just invited approximately 140 people to our house. Seventy three invites went out, 99% to couples, so multiply that 73 by two! Holy shit. That's a lot of choclate martinis! We only had about 125 people at our wedding and that included family. I don't invite my crazy, non-drinking family to social events at our house if I can help it, so this is a "friends only" event. (Honestly, if too many of my family members are around, that's the BEST time to drink, in my opinion.) I did know a handful would not be able to come for a variety of reasons, so that takes the total down to 125. In the winter. No one will be hanging out on the deck or anywhere else outside except for a quick smoke. Our house is a good size, but I see this turning into the remnants of a crowded fraternity party! Maybe I should put plastic down on the floors. Do chocolate martinis stain beige carpet?

I specifically stated this is an adults only party on the invite. Many of our friends think when they get an invite for a party, that kids are included. I was raised that unless kids are SPECIFICALLY invited, it's adults only. So it has always perplexed me when I send an invite for a party that is clearly, in my opinion, for adults and people ask if kids are included. So, thankfully I did state ADULTS ONLY, otherwise I would run the risk of an influx of about 300 kids. That restriction may eliminate some ""I'll drink to that" responses since some don't want or won't use babysitters.

I have been receiving RSVP's already. Yikes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A veritable potpourri of my ramblings...

Tena, over at My Therapy, does a Friday Fragments segment every Friday (just in case that wasn't obvious). I am running with that idea because there are many times when I have so many thoughts running through my head that they can't be lumped into a blog entry with one main topic. So here it goes...
  • I am, and will continue as long as possible, to be in denial that a recession is looming. My theory is, keep on spending within reason and kick that recession's ass. I think many of my neighbors have this same idea because I am starting to see the Christmas home decorating businesses in the subdivision hanging up all the Christmas lights and decorations in and on our neighbor's houses.
  • The red bra and panties were a wise purchase, at least the bra was. The bra is made by Natori and may be the most comfortable, along with sexiest, bra I have ever owned. It's a two for one! The undies, however, are a different story. They looked good on, but with one move, my non-thong panties were thong panties. Not a comfortable feeling when a non-thong becomes a thong. I am not a large person and I bought the right size, but I apparently have a little extra junk in my trunk and these panties were staging a revolt against my ass. They do make a nice getup for a few moments of wear before becoming a floor decoration.
  • Earlier this week, I attended a preview party/fundraiser at our new Crate and Barrel which opened later in the week. My partner in crime, who I attended with, was on the edge of drinking too much wine. She decided she better stop because "this store has too much glass displayed for me to drink any more." That was right before I backed into a tower of wine glasses. No harm done or else they may have escorted me and her drunken ass to the door. I bought a Cuisinart hand mixer. For half off. I was thrilled. And Children's Medical Center raised a ton of money over the course of the evening. I haven't had a reason to use the mixer yet, but I do keep putting the beaters in, turning it on and off, and then pushing the eject button which literally shoots the beaters across the countertop. There's not much I won't do for a few shits and giggles.
  • I still haven't totally shaken my cluttered brain issue. (Might this be a new medical term for "losing my mind"?) It's much better, though, and I did clean my house today, but I was forced to since I am having friends over this evening. Otherwise I would probably still be in my PJ's, laying on the couch surrounded by clutter, hiding under a blanket. And leaving CJ to his own devices.

Anyone else? Rambling ideas welcome.

PS: Visit Mrs. 444 at Half Past Kissing Time to see a slew of other blogger's Friday Fragments.

Thank the heavens above there wasn't a fire!

Last night, Sous Chef's school, which is made up of 2nd and 3rd grade, had a Burger Bash at Wendy's. Just a regular ol' Wendy's, the same size as any other Wendy's. Now picture 900 students and THEIR FAMILIES trying to squeeze in to the regular size Wendy's. That was how we spent our dinner on Thursday. We even went within the first 1/2 hour that it started thinking it wouldn't be too crowded. When we got there, all I could think was "Holy shit! Did people take off a 1/2 day of work to get in line early for this event?" It was packed. We did manage to get a table and by the time we left, the line to order and get your food was wrapped around the outer perimeter of the room and then wrapped into the center of the room. They were crammed in behind us while we were trying to eat. I kept looking around for the quickest exit in case of a fire and evaluated how hard it would be to take down everyone in my way so I could get my kids and myself out of a flaming building alive. My lord, with the french fryers frying away and the greasy hamburgers, all I could see was one big explosion and 100's of people trying to exit a building that really was only supposed to hold about 39.5 people. It is really a good thing the fire department didn't drive by. Now I totally understand why when I called my husband at work to remind him of this fundraiser, he said something along the lines of "Good god, woman, get there early. Go now and good luck. You can take them this year. I took them last year and I'm not going again. I'll get something to eat at home."

The good news is, the school must have made quite a bit of money from bashing those burgers. Sous Chef got a kick out of seeing his teachers working behind the counter and cleaning up tables. And I didn't see the news break in on the television to report massive casualties at a blazing local Wendy's.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A little wheezing with your hike?

My friend and neighbor spent the last couple of weeks vacationing in Italy with a gal pal. She sent a few e-mails to myself and another neighbor friend, which started out perky and excited and then took a turn. With her permission, her e-mails are my guest entry today.

Hello Friends,

Jo and Motorcycle Guy. I hope you had a nice time in Chicago. My guess is that it was cold there but sometimes it is just nice to get away. Pam, I trust that Mike and Duane were able to get away to the frozen Northeast. I know that you told me there wasn't a strong cell phone signal so I don't plan to hear from Duane once I am home on Wednesday and he is still gone.

Italy has been a great trip so far. We went to a cooking school and to a vineyard and we have been hiking. We went shopping in MIlan, of course. I held myself back from buying things. Everything was beautiful. I did purchase a new pair of black leather boots because I needed them. I also purchased roller blades. I know that must seem odd but I can't find them in the States as I once did. I love going blading on the Bike Trail.

Well I must run. Bye for now. I have been taking photographs like crazy. The area is beautiful.

I responded with a nice little e-mail to let her know I was happy she was having a good time and enjoying it all. Notice how chipper she sounds about it all in this first e-mail. Read on my friends.

Hi There,

Well you need to yell at Pam because she has not been as kind as you. You took the time to send me an e-mail and she has rebuffed me! I just might not show her my 300 vacation photos! So there.

Today we went to Switzerland. We hiked and I wheezed the whole way. The air was thin and my muffin-top was getting in the way of breathing effectively. I tell you the Swiss grampas and grannies were passing me up like I was standing still! They were so proud of themselves and I know they were saying "You fat Americans are getting what you deserve!" After my hike I rewarded myself with hot chocolate and a sweet dessert at the oldest bake shop in St. Moritz. The prices were insane....I mean my bill was about $25.

My knee is killing as a result of the alpine trek but believe you me I have some great snapshots of the area and I know I will be the most popular woman in town because of them.

While I have been here I have been trying to find some great photos of the drainage system since it is still effectively running and this town has been operating since Julius Ceasar!

Gotta Go
P.S. Thanks for getting my mail

The drainage system issue is an ongoing problem in our neighborhood due to some faulty installation when our subdivision was built a few years ago. There really isn't enough space on the internet to go into all the details, but suffice it to say it's the "government against the little people." You know who wins in those cases.

Read on for the final e-mail. Just when I was hoping things would turn around and after the last hiking trip that more shopping and less hiking would take place, I get this e-mail.

Hi again,

I can't believe that my trip has now come to an end. Today Amy took me to Bellabio and we hiked up a mountain. I took photos but they don't do it justice. Amy is the most "fit" person I know and I was "sucking wind" the whole way. The tour book told her that the "hike' was easy and I said "Bu** Sh**" to that after the first 90 minutes! I walk in the park about 4 miles every day. This hike was over rock beds and some parts of the path were so narrow that you had to walk heal to toe not to fall off the cliff. In some parts of the hike the ground was covered in damp leaves that made it slick and I thought I would land on my ass for sure. There was a point that I ran out of water and my tongue was glued to the roof of my mouth. This was not vacation but more like boot camp. I was thankful that Amy was sympathetic to my plight. Along the hike there were religious shrines. I now know why they were there. People like me ended up praying to Jesus or Mary that they would get them the hell out of there in one piece!

I am feeling very old right now. I feel badly that I couldn't finish the hike. At the end of the trail there was a REFUGGIO (a bar) and I was looking forward to basking in the glory with the other hikers over a Lemonchello. I purchased a 2 liter bottle of water at "base camp" and the old man was laughing inside that the FAT AMERICAN was back so soon. He had white hair, arthritis & no teeth but the old bastard could climb the mountain before sundown. Go Figure!

Ah I just want ot go to bed!

Lorraine is home now and she assured me she had a blast. Maybe boot camp isn't as bad as it seems? She is convinced her gal pal will never ask her to go on vacation again (unless it's an all shopping trip, of course!) and that she will instead, invite someone who can keep up with her on hiking excursions instead of wheezing and sucking wind most of the way.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Government Bailouts

My husband asked me the other day what I thought about the government bailing out the auto makers. I know he asks me things like this with a little bit of hesitation. If I have an opinion on things like this, I don't hold back, especially when asked, and the venom that can come spewing from my mouth is often ladled with trucker like language.

Basically, my response is: why should the government bail out these idiots or even the bankers? What about the rest of us during this economy? While I am thankful our income and job situations have not currently been directly affected by what is happening (though I do admit to wincing, squinting and using overall bad language when I get my 401(k) and college savings statements), I realize nothing - job, income, bank savings - are ever 100% secure at any moment in time and our situation could change unexpectedly. And I doubt the government will be there to bail me out. Or provide ANY assistance at all.

Why the US auto industry should be bailed out is beyond me. Instead of the government coming to their rescue, why don't they try to make cars that compete with the "foreign" cars in quality, gas mileage, impact on the environment, and appearance. Maybe holding the auto makers accountable for their low quality work and bad management decisions is the best thing. Kind of a Love and Logic approach. There are consequences for bad behavior and bad decision making. I should say, my husband and I do own one American made vehicle - a mini van. And we have been happy with it. It's our 2nd American made vehicle over the years. But we tend to support the German auto makers with a BMW and a Volkswagon and find them to be less maintenance. I don't see that changing anytime in the future.

A friend of mine received an e-mail outlining if the government used that 700 billion dollars for the bank buyouts and instead split it between all Americans aged 18 and older, we would each get $400,000. With that, imagine how much would then go back into the economy? People would pay off or buy houses, pay off college loans, go to college, buy cars, furniture and more, go on vacation, redecorate and on and on. Some of us might even drink more. And the druggies may buy more crack, but that's the only downfall I can see. Imagine the jobs that would be created. And oh. The government would of course tax that $400,000 income and automatically get 30% of it right back, immediately bringing down the "loan". And let those bankers who made bad decisions fix their own problems. It goes back to that Love and Logic approach.

As for the government owning a portion of these industries, it makes me think a little of communism. What will they have some "ownership" in next. While I am very happy with our president-elect, I am concerned that a governement who has poorly managed a budget, the deficit and more over the years is now in the business of banking and possibly the auto industry.

Whew. And all of this sounds much calmer when written instead of spoken. In general, during my tirades, my face is read, I break into a sweat, I foam at the mouth. Thankfully, none of you had to witness this. At the end of my ranting, I simply asked my husband "does that answer your question?" His response was something along the lines of "yep, I think that covers it."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What are you too busy to do?

Let's face it - we are ALL busy. I would like to meet someone who is NOT busy. Over the years, though, I have discovered there is a difference of being busy, being out of control and using the "busy" excuse to the point of abuse.

We have family members who can't/don't come to anything because they're "too busy." And I don't mean they use this excuse occasionally. I mean in almost 15 years of marriage they have been to our house twice. Count them. TWO times. Once in 1999 and then last year for Thanksgiving. Every time, the excuse has been "we're too busy." I honestly have not EVER heard another reason why they don't come to something. At least not the times they bother to even respond to our invite. These are not lame invites to baseball games, school play type of stuff. We are talking major holidays and baptisms. And these are not distant family members. This is a sibling of my husband. They only live five hours from our house. The other sibling has been to our house once. And that was to visit from London with her now husband. They are now living in the states for the last eight or so years and have not been to our house ONCE. Count it. Not one time. And the kicker? As a family, we have NEVER been invited to their homes. Count it. NEVER. NADA. ZILCH. ZERO. (I did visit my SIL and her family once right after Motorcycle Guy and I got married in 1994 and we did go to London a couple of times to visit and vacation.) My oldest SIL did not even invite us to the high school graduation party when her oldest son graduated from HS. I went off on my FIL like he, I am sure, has never seen a woman go off, when I found out not only were we not invited, but she was not inviting us because "we were probably too busy to attend." WTF. I am not capable of deciding what I can attend and can't? We did visit her town, back in 2001, when my in-laws paid for a hotel room for a long weekend for all the family members to celebrate the older sister's 40th birthday. The next year my husband turned 40 and we had a party. You guessed it. The siblings were too busy to come. After all, my oldest SIL does have three kids. Oh, and she works. So she's really busy. Hello? How many kids do I have? And yes, we are busy. The difference is, our schedule does not control us. We can be flexible for important events and big holidays. We don't have a problem telling our kids that our family is more of a priority than sports or other activities and they are just going to have to miss (fill in the blank with practice/game, meeting, party, etc.). I guess not everyone has that priority.

And so I can't be accused of playing favorites, let me give fair mention to my family. We lived in the Kansas City area for three years. My brother and his family visited how many times? You guessed it. NONE. ZERO. NADA. ZILCH. I realize 600 miles is a long way. But it IS only a 10 hour drive and I think it would have been nice if they could have visited just once. I don't think that is too much to ask. I have to say, though, they're really busy with all of the kids activities. They do have three kids, after all. Funny though, they are able to carve out 1-2 weeks every summer to go on vacation with my SIL's entire family - siblings, parents, nieces/nephews. And when my SIL's sister moved to Atlanta? They were there visiting within just a few weeks of her move.

It's hard not to take offense to all of this. Are we really terrible hosts and guests? We might be, but no one would know because they don't visit and they don't invite us. I am living close to my family now that we are back in Ohio and my brother and his wife are frequently inviting us to get togethers, b-day dinners for the kids, etc. Sometimes we just can't make it. Paybacks are hell. Really, we could make it, but after the three years of being shunned because we lived 600 miles away, I am not inclined to change my schedule to match theirs.

I guess all of this has popped up because of the impending holidays. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for my family. There will be many family members here, including my brother and his family. I guess it is obvious to us they don't mind visiting as long as it's not too much of an inconvenience to travel to our house. We are worthy of a 30 minute drive, but a ten hour drive? No way in hell.

We are also having Christmas with my in-law family at our house starting the day after Christmas. Both SIL's will be here and one of the SIL's husband and kids. My other BIL is not coming due to work. Of course, as my husband said regarding his older sister, until they show up on the doorstep, we really won't know for sure if they are coming.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How to get your ass kicked and other fashionable ideas

A JC Penney catalog from 1977 – the high point in world of men's fashions.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And… way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here's how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:

This 'all purpose jumpsuit' is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made you, and as a one-piece, it's slightly more effective as a deterrent against…

Here's how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:

If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob 'No-pants' Saget has his hand in the other guy's pocket. In this case, he doesn't, although you can tell just by looking at them that it's happened - or if it hasn't happened it will. Oh yes. It will. As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.

Here's how to get your ass kicked at the beach:

He looks like he's reaching for a gun, but you know it's probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:

If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick's Day

Dear God in Heaven, I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you're working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun. (And on a side note, I worked with a guy who I SWEAR wore this exact suit to work EVERY year on St. Patrick's Day! Oh, but his was a little darker green.)

Those italicized words are my very own. The rest of this post came to me in the form of an e-mail. There are even a few more pictures, like these:

I think she's checking out his package! And laughing about it.

Come on all of you 40 and older crowd. You know you so remember yourself, older siblings, or heaven forbid, your PARENTS dressing like these fashion divas!

The Oil Cleansing Method continued

I have been using this facial cleaning method for almost two weeks now. I am shocked and pleased with the results. Being that I have somewhat oily skin and frequently find myself "powdering my nose" to keep the shine down, I am amazed that I am NOT having to do this anymore. Really. I swear. My skin is nice and dewy, but not at all shiny and grimy. Since I was expecting an oil slick as a result of this wacky cleansing procedure, I don't know what to think, except that I am going to keep doing this. I have had a couple of very small pimples break out, but they were gone almost immediately. Plus, I usually have that happen anytime I change my skincare regimen, so no big surprise. I made a mixture of 75% sunflower oil and 25% castor oil. My face was actually feeling a little dry, so I added a little more sunflower oil this weekend. I am also using sugar as an exfoliator, just once a week. It's very coarse at first, so don't rub too hard if you try it. Once the water gets on it and it dissolves some, though, it feels great. And when the sugar water gets on your lips? Yum, it tastes much better than any other skincare product I've had wander onto my taste buds!

The other thing I started doing about a week ago was not to wash my hair. La Mom just wrote that she also does not wash her hair. I'm in good company. And I hope she doesn't think I am tyring to steal her blog material! Don't worry, I'm not going all granola like on you people. I promise to still wear deodorant and lipstick and shave my legs and pits, at least during the summer or prior to a massage. I heard Dr. Oz say on Oprah that people wash their hair too much and it's BAD. I also have a couple of friends that use the Curly Girl Method and have beautiful results. They also have beautifully curly hair, where as mine is wavy and tends to frizz some. So I am doing a modified version of this by rinsing and conditioning my hair daily but not washing it. I still have to blow it dry though or else I end up with really cute curls in some places and frizz and waves in other places. I am having Big E give it a try, too, since his hair IS curly and quite coarse.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So Cool!

I hope you enjoy the music! I added 12 songs that I love, all from bands/artists I have seen in concert over the years. I could add so many more as there have been MANY concerts. So if you want to hear some cool music, linger here for more than a few minutes or click on the song you would like to hear! Try not to notice there aren't really any "current" bands with the exception of Coldplay. I guess like so many other things since becoming a mom, my concert going days have slowed quite a bit!

Three to five

If you were around a couple of weeks ago to read my Love/Hate post, you know how much I love food. Well, there is something that did not make the list. Not directly, anyway. I guess it could fall under:
4. oh hell, maybe i should just say ANYTHING WITH POTATOES

What is my new little slice of heaven? Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Vinegar chips. All 7 grams of fat in a 1 oz. serving. On January 1, 2009, when I get on that scale and see that I have gained the traditional 3-5 holiday pounds, I assure you it will not be from overindulging on the variety of desserts we will be having at our Holiday Dessert Party. It will be from eating ANOTHER bag of these chips. I love the tart flavor of the vinegar and the saltiness of, well, the salt. The funny thing is? I don't even like potato chips that much. They are ONE potato item that would have never made it to the faves list. Until now. So I will chalk up three of the five pound weight gain to these potato chips and the other two pounds to all of the mashed potatoes WITH gravy, that I will consume this holiday season. And maybe the sixth pound to the dessert party.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Adios, my friend, my BFF

Today, my BFF moves from the tiny state of Delaware to the tiny island of Guam. I wrote about this earlier here. I still think it's too far. I still think this is proof the government is out to get me. They will be there for three years.

Actually, it's not the distance or the 24 hours of plane travel that presents the challenge. It's the different time zones that is going to be the pain in the ass. Fourteen hours makes it hard to just pick up the phone to chat. And boy do we chat. Often several times a day. We are going to have to actually THINK about the time of day for the other person prior to making a call. I see some accidental middle of the night calls until we get used to this. I don't like being on a "schedule." At all. Especially for phone calls. It sucks. The good news is, according to my cell phone carrier, Guam is not considered an international call since it's a US territory and it is included in my regular minutes! I hope that is true. I don't want to be surprised with a LD bill on my cell phone for 500 minutes at $1.00/minute! Now that would really suck.

I don't think I've ever gone longer than 3-4 months without seeing her. As of now, we have no plans to see each other until we meet in Hawaii in the fall, 2009. We will finally celebrate our 40th birithdays with the birthday trip we talked about doing for many years leading up to our big 4-0. By the time we get to Hawaii, it will be two years after we have turned 40. But hey, I guess we really have a decade to celebrate turning 40, right? Hawaii is about 1/2 way for each of us and I can't think of a better locale to celebrate four decades of life. With my BFF. Who I have known over 1/2 of my life. That's a long time to have a BFF. If I was a Hallmark-y type of person, I would come up with something wise and sentimental right now to say about her and this situation, but I'm not. So I won't.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Books, books, books

I love to read. I may be the only person I know who carries a book with them while being a tourist. I keep a book and/or magazine in my car at all times. I have been known to be reading more than one book at a time. I try not to do that because I am easily confused (either due to mom brain, lack of sleep, too many muscle relaxers, well, I could go on for the reasons I am easily confused, but I'll stop here) and don't want to have to remind myself which book is what story each time I start to read. And it really sucks when you insert the character of one book into another book. Now that gets confusing!

While traveling to Chicago, I finished One Fifth Avenue, by Candace Bushnell. It's an easy read that was perfect for travel time. Also good for a beach, but unfortunately, I didn't have access to one of those right at the moment. Bummer for me. It's a "modern day story of old money and new money." Hey, how about a modern day story of NO MONEY? While in Chicago I started reading, and then finished on the way home yesterday, Testimony, by Anita Shreve. The story of a sex scandal at a Vermont boarding school is told by the various people involved during and after the event. Another good read. Not necessarily a beach read, though, which was perfect, since I don't have access to the beach right at the moment, as mentioned above. Now I am reading The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent. It's is different from the books I have read in the last several months. It has a "historical fiction" feel to it as it shares the story of a family and their experiences in the Puritan day witch trials in Salem, MA. I am not too far into it, but have read enough to know this is going to be a good one.

I would love suggestions for other good books. My book club chose the next six months of books last night, but I couldn't be there. I am excited to see what they selected.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're home

And I am already kicking myself for thinking my hotel room was too quiet the night I couldn't sleep. Five minutes in this house and I already miss the solitude. I was thrilled to see the kiddos, though. It sounds like they had a lot of fun with the visiting grandparents. Now I think the grandparents need some rest.

We stayed at the Drake Hotel. They have delicious beds, pillows and comforters. We frequently stay in a Hilton Hotel, which this was and I always love their bedding. I have already been online to check it out. I actually took apart the pillow to find out who made it. Pacific Coast Feather Company. I have bookmarked it and will be buying any new bedding from there. It may be a while, though, since we bought all new stuff when we relocated in July, 07. How often should one replace bedding?

And stop reading right now if you don't want to read about or discuss any aspect of my sex life. I guarantee you, it's not that exciting, but I know some folks are squeamish about these things.

Tomorrow I will be washing my new red bra and panties. I'll let you know if Oprah was right about feeling sexy when wearing red undergarments. I know my hubby is looking forward to it. He recently bought me a black poncho (do they call them that in the 21st century or am I showing my age?). He has requested I wear the sexy red undie set with just the poncho.

And last night I turned out all the lights in the room before having sex. He asked me why I did that - did I not want the people in the apartments across the way to be able to see us? I laughed and said, no, I didn't want to be able to see us. Me specifically,with all the extra skin/fat/flab flapping away. Nor did I want to see this happening with him, either. He said he didn't need to worry about that. All I could say was "that's nice that you think that." So what about you people - do you ever leave the lights on?


What kinds of things do you think about when you can't sleep? I used to have terrible bouts of insomnia. Several times a week I would find myself awake for hours. Late this summer, my doctor diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Honestly, I had never heard of this before, but was glad to have a reason and a resolution to my obsessive middle of the night worrying. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had been worrying about stuff that I could address and get control of. But I wasn't. I would lie awake at night worrying about disease and death and my kids. About why and how people can be racist and prejudice and the awful results of those hateful feelings. I worried about violence that results from so much hate and anger within oneself and against others. Is allowing two men or two women, who are in love, get married really going to cause the sanctity and security of your own marriage to crack and crumble? If so, you may want to re-evaluate the bonds of your own marriage and stop worrying about others. And what about this awful war? Why can't we all just get along? Why can't people within neighborhoods, cities, states, nations and with other nations realize that we have more similarities than we do differences? We just want to be happy, love our friends and families, be secure in our lives and have a positive impact on this world. Don't we all want that? These are the things I worried about prior to my diagnosis. Now, with a nice dose of Lexapro, I tend to get more rest. I still think about these things when I wake up in the night. But thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, I will have these thoughts and then I think "yeah, society is still fucked up and it sucks" or if I start thinking about something bad happening to my husband or kids, I think, "yep, that would be really bad" and I tend to roll over and go back to sleep. It's nice to have the edge "taken off." And not to make light of all of the terrible things that I no longer obsess over, but last night I couldn't sleep. Our hotel is very quiet and it was really bugging me. You know what I thought about the whole time I was awake - "what am I going to blog about next?" It was a welcome relief to worry over something that was not only frivolous, but something that I had complete control over! I guess for the next bout of insomnia I will have to find something else to worry about.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Still shopping

Today, I ventured into the department stores. What I hate about them? I hate shopping by "collection" or "designer." I just want my jeans in one place, my shirts/tops/sweaters in another, etc. etc. I don't care so much about the label as long as the clothes are cool and fit nicely. I don't want to have to go to three different floors to try on different pairs of jeans. I am exhausted by the end and none of that going up and down the escalators or elevators shrinks my ass and thighs enough to fit into a size 1 pair of jeans. If all that going up and down resulted in a size 1 ass and thighs, though, I would totally be in support of jeans by "collection" on different floors.

I bought the black turtnleneck I NEED for the winter. I also knew when I was walking out of the store, I would be returning it. Really. And I did. I knew I did not want a turtleneck with the designer's label/logo on the neck. I don't know what possessed me to buy it. But I did. And I returned it. I'm not one for logos on my clothing or accessories, with exception of Coach items. I make an exception for my purses. I don't know why and I can't explain, but I love Coach purses and have not bought any other kind of purse in as long as I can remember. Nordstrom's was my next stop and I bought a couple of cute things there. I am still without a black turtleneck. Oh well.

I found a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant to eat lunch. It was delicious and gave me a break from the cold rain. I read my book, ate and got warm. Yep, I was motivated again today to buy something so I didn't have to carry that damn book under my arm all day. Maybe that's why I bought the turtleneck. Yeah, I'll go with that.

Oh, and I saw on the news this morning the Obama's are back. I haven't been able to track them down, but I still have about 18 hours.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's cold in the windy city!

So today I slept in. Once I finally got myself out of bed and showered, I headed out. I had no rhyme or reason to where I was going. I am not a very good "tourist" in that sense. Anyway, I bundled up and grabbed what every good touristy shopper takes with them ... my library book. Come on, you just never know when you might need to sit down for a rest and crack open a good book. I didn't want to carry anything more than my small purse, so I am carrying this damn book under my arm. This could only mean one thing. I need to buy something so I have a bag for my book.

I am fully prepared today to bump into Oprah and Barack Obama. I want to give him a hug, at the risk of being arrested as I go pushing past the secret service. I was a little bummed when I saw on the news he is checking out his new crib in DC and isn't even IN Chicago. Next time I will need to give him and his family more of a warning of my visit so they can rearrange their schedules. I also assume Oprah knows I am in town and am expecting to run into her, too.

One of the first places I saw was Filene's Basement. I have never been to a Filene's Basement, but I often see it on "What Not To Wear." It must be a decent place. This store confirmed what I already know - I hate department stores. And I hate shopping for bargains. Not that I don't like a bargain, I just don't want to work for it. I did manage to buy a pair of shoes and what every good Christian needs, holiday cards that "Wish you the best of the Holiday Season" so as not to offend our Muslim, Jewish and atheist friends, which we are bountiful in. Wow, I am really planning ahead. I also bought a bright red bra and matching panties. I saw on Oprah that everyone needs red undergarments to feel sexy. If it was said on Oprah, it must be true, so I am going to give it at try.

After my confirmation of hating department stores, I decided I just couldn't face Nieman Marcus, Bloomies or Nordstroms. So I wandered in and out of all the stores we have in Ohio, staying away from the high end stores like Prada, for fear I would find something I couldn't afford and then buy it anyways. I ran into Border's hoping to find a good Indian food cook book. No luck.

I ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, which is in and of itself, a little cheesey. Again, I can do this in Ohio, even though I don't. The reason I chose it is because twelve years ago, I ate for the first time in that very exact Cheesecake Factory. And I was pregnant with my oldest son. It had a little bit of nostalgia to it for me. And I was hungry. And I had my book and was ready to read for a little while.

I did even take a couple of pictures, but I think most people have been to Chicago and if not, I can guarantee any pictures you have seen on TV, magazines or from your friends are better than any picture I took!

Oh, and I didn't see Oprah. Maybe she's in DC checking out the Obama's new crib.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


We are headed to Chicago today. My goals for this trip? Good food and good shopping. On the shopping end, I don't want to come home without a pair of black shoes. Believe it or not, I can't remember the last time I bought a pair of black shoes! I definitely need a fashionable pair to get me through the winter. My favorite pair is definitely showing their wear after two seasons. I also need (notice the ever important word "need" and not "want") a black ribbed turtleneck. I buy one every winter. I intend to hit the usual places, most of which I can find here but rarely have the time to go to. And then there are the stores that I don't have access to that I plan to have a looksy in. Though I don't plan to over do the spending, I do hope to put a few bucks back into our ailing economy.

And Motorcycle Guy? Well, he will be working while I am out seeing the sites! We do have the evenings together, though.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's official

A while back I started importing my old blog to this new blog site. For some reason, when I tried to "import" it the fast and easy way, it didn't work, so I had to copy and paste everything. That sucked, but now I am finished! It's all here. The only thing that didn't make it were comments. So feel free to leave one now!

Welcome to my two new followers: Lee at Moms without Blogs, an LA mom who states "being a supermom is simply a state of mind," and Jordanka, an accomplished artist, who has three blogs, Visual Artists Street Team Gallery, Arts Festival, and Original Art. Check them out!

6th Grade Social

Friday night I worked the 6th grade social at Big E's school. This is NOT a dance, I am frequently reminded. And it's not. It is a huge event with lots of different games and activities, along with a raffle, door prizes and lots of junk food. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with my duties, which was selling candy, because I was so intrigued by watching all of the kids. (Of course, if you've done any volunteering at all, you know it's IMPOSSIBLE to get fired from that, so I wasn't overly concerned that I was going to be sent home because my line kept getting too long while I people watched.) Some kids look and act so grown up and others still look and act like little kids and there's everything in between. You would think I would be aware of how physical boys are, but my house of three is nothing compared to hundreds of 11-13 year old boys. I don't know how they make it through the day without being bruised, bloodied and toothless from the shoving, jumping on, and punching one another. The girls? All of the stereotypes were represented this evening. It will be interesting to see how they all, boys and girls, turn out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Washing with oil

After reading about washing your face with olive oil at Balancing Everything and then following up at The Oil Cleansing Method, I decided to give it a try. I am using the sunflower (75%) and castor oil (25%) mixture. I am a little unsure about this process. Washing my face with oil sounds counterintuitive since I have kind of oily skin, but when reading about why it works, it made sense. I have this huge fear though that I am going to wake up and find my face covered in zits and looking like an oil slick, never to recover again. So far though, soft and smooth as a baby's butt. Just what you want your face to feel like. And honestly, it does look less oily. I didn't even need to touch up yesterday with powder. It feels like it might have the potential to go a little dry, so I may need to cut back on the castor oil. Maybe I should swallow what I don't use on my face to prevent that traffic jam my colon frequently experiences. Isn't it a little unnerving that what I am using on my face is the same thing that others use to keep the colon flowing? Maybe castor oil's new slogan should be - keep your face smooth as a baby's butt and keep your butt running smooth.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Things I love...

I realized while making my previous post, there are many other things I love. Being limited to only six items, though, I had to pick and choose. So here are a few other things I love (besides the obvious of my family and friends!):
  1. Muscle relaxers, vicodin and other prescription drugs. This honestly should have made the top six list. Possibly even before the FOOD category.
  2. Iced tea, Captain Morgan's w/Coke and pink lemonade w/vodka.
  3. Wii
  4. Election Day. Yes, this could have made this list, even if we hadn't just had an election day.
  5. Any occasion that results in me getting a gift.

My first blogging award!

La Mom sent me this blogging award! She's my first international follower and she has lots of good dish on being an expat in Paris. I haven't prepared an acceptance speech for such an honor, so I'll just say THANKS!

Now I'm supposed to list six things I love and six blogs I love to read, so here it goes.
  1. Food. It's too hard to limit it to one item, so I am going with the larger category of FOOD.
  2. Dining out. Ok, it could probably go in the food category, but I think it deserves it's own listing.
  3. Vacations
  4. Laying on the couch watching Mad Men
  5. Alternative music
  6. Bling

The six blogs I love to read:

  1. A Girl and Her Life
  2. My Therapy
  3. Moms Without Blogs (her tag line is "I am woman! I am tired..." Who can't relate to that?)
  4. Home of the Lazy Dog
  5. ...for a different kind of girl...
  6. Balancing Everything

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ohio turns blue.

Enough said.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day and .... Christmas?

For me, a presidential election day is like Christmas. I love it, even though the last two elections have not gone my way. I am confident this year it will! I was so excited to get up today knowing I would be going to vote, even if it means I have to stand in line most of the day! Ohio is a battleground!

And honestly, I thought my blog today would be all about voting and it's importance. But IT WON'T BE. Why? Because last night I was driving through my neighborhood when all of a sudden my thoughts for today's blog went blank because my brain cells went totally numb when I saw this:

Come on people, it's November 3! (At least it was yesterday when I saw this.) And this is a tacky plastic replica. Jesus, Mary and Joseph really do deserve a little more respect. All of my Biblical knowledge and teachings resulted in me having a clear understanding that an angel watched over the manger. Look closely in this picture though, and you will see that inacurracy. It's really ... Santa Claus?

And I am sure everyone is aware that St. CJ was also a part of the birth. There, standing right next to his namesake, Joseph!

Yes, CJ's middle name is really the result of my middle name (Jo) and St. Joseph, the patron saint of many causes, but most importantly the patron saint of fathers, families and social justice. Also, patron saint of real estate, so if you are having trouble selling your home, get that St. Joseph statue here and bury it in your flower bed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween and my ass

First, welcome Tena, from My Therapy. She's my 2nd official follower! I can only aspire to be as entertaining as she is! Check her out.

Now, onto today's post title. Halloween and my ass are really two different topics, they do not go together, thankfully! Although with all of the Snickers and Baby Ruths in our house, my soon to be fatter ass may be the fault of Halloween.

Here are pictures of the kiddos on Halloween. The other two boys are neighbors. Sous Chef doesn't dress up and will typically help me pass out candy. This year, he stayed inside and waited patiently for the two others to show up with their candy bags. He was not dissapointed!
CJ at his school parade.

I totally forgot to paint CJ's whiskers and nose on!

Hmmm...does this picture look familiar? This is Halloween '07. My kids dressed in the same costumes. It was perfect, since I am sure Big E still had some of that red theater paint from last year crusted behind his ears for this year. Too bad CJ's nose and whiskers didn't stand the test of time. If they had, he would have been better prepared for this year.

Obvsiously, these are not our kids. Though I am sure they are less maintenance.

On Saturday, I went to post some signs for a Holiday Mart my moms group is sponsoring. I'm not really sure how long it's been since it rained, but long enough for the ground to feel like cement. So there I am, out on a main drag, trying to get these signs into the ground so they will actually stand up and not fall over when the next car drives by and shoots a puff of wind in the direction of the sign. I am dressed to go out to dinner with my hubby and friends and I am working up a sweat. At one point, I was actually bent over trying to shove the sign in the ground. I am not really sure why I thought the strength of my hands would work since standing on the sign and jumping up and down wasn't even effective. Anyway, there I am with my ass up in the air facing into the traffic when the cars driving by start honking at me. And my ass. At least I assume it was my ass they were honking for since they weren't honking at me before I bent over.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mom guilt

I received an e-mail from a friend today who was lamenting that she could not attend all of the daytime activities for her two children. She recently went back to work full-time and is doing that dance of balancing home and work life. I have no doubt she is doing a great job at it, but she was bummed today at not being able to attend the school parties. I don't work (three hours a week one night a week does not qualify me as a "working mom." I am not sure what it qualifies me as, but I'll leave it at that.) and I don't make it to everything - sometimes by choice, sometimes by circumstance. Sometimes it's because there is no way in hell I am going to be roped in to creating/playing a game or doing a craft with 12-24 kids WHO ARE NOT MINE! Ask me to bake something and I'm all over that, but DO NOT ask me to entertain those kids!

What I really wanted to say to all the moms (and dads) out there who are struggling to do it all, to be everything, to never fail is "RISE UP (yes, I really want you to physically stand up at this moment), THROW YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR AND SHOUT 'I AM INADEQUATE AND I AM DAMN PROUD OF IT!' "