Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Altered English

It's been a while since I left an Altered English word on my posts, so I thought I would give one today:

Pecker - 1. courage, confidence (John Wilkinson, Leeds Dialect Glossary and Lore, London, 1924); 2. the human nose, 'down in the pecker' - in bad spirits. (Jospeph Wright, The English Dialect Dictionary, London, 1896-1905)

Used in a sentence: 1. Keep your pecker up lads.
2. "God bless you, my dearest, and as Papa [Prince Albert] says, 'Keep your pecker up,' meaning keep up your spirits." (Letter from Queen Victoria to her daughter Victoria, 1859)

So on that note, I hope you all keep your peckers up at your New Year's Eve celebrations!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Under Construction

Welcome to my new place! Enjoy.

Blog Designs

Several people are sprucing up their blogs for the new year. I need help! How do you do it? Do you hire designers? Is there a cool place to get free templates/designs?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Elvis has left the building...

Our Christmas celebration is officially over. My MIL and FIL left for their drive back to Pitt and my husband just took his sister to the airport. All in all it was a fun four+ days! The kids had a blast - five boys ranging from 14 to 5 (one nephew missing as he recently graduated from college and moved to Redondo Beach [LA], CA), a Wii, a bowling machine, Nerf guns galore, forts and tents built with furniture and blankets and a basement to themselves. What kid wouldn't love that? The adults had fun eating, talking, eating, shopping, eating, laughing, eating, playing games, eating. We even had a quick visit from a favorite uncle. We look forward to doing it again soon - or at least next year for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Did I mention we (well, okay, really I mean ME) ate a lot? Good thing I got that Wii Fit. I am going to need it.

Now it's on to New Year's. We have a variety of options for celebrating that night and we probably won't decide until the last minute what we are going to do.

I feel a little out of blogging practice. Can I get my humorous tone back? Can I keep myself entertained? Can I keep others interested? Why do I blog, anyway?

I blog to keep my mind clear, to vent without censorship, to "let it rip" without worrying about what I say or how I say it, to let out my thoughts into somewhat, but not always, organized chaos. I also use this blog as a way to keep a written document of what is going on with my family, funny things my kids say or do, fun things that MG and I are up to. My husband doesn't want me to stop. He likes the fact that I can vent here and get on with being a happier me when I am with him. He does not have to be on the receiving end of my venting because I take care of it here. So I don't plan to stop. Not any of it. I know that when I vent about my family, which has been a little more frequent lately due to the holidays, it doesn't mean I don't love them or enjoy being with them. It reminds me that no matter who you are and what your relationship is, you will never get along 100%, never see eye to eye on everything. That does not change the fact that we are family and we love each other. And we do like to spend time together (without overdoing it, of course!). If there is ever a time I agree 100% with anyone - husband, friend, family, church or political leader - I know that means I have lost my edge, my ability to think for myself. It would mean I have become a blank slate and someone else is telling me WHAT to think. I don't think that day will ever come. I am too opinionated and outspoken. That is why I need to blog.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's time

I don't exercise. I don't particularly like it, with the exception of a good, brisk (or not) walk. However, I am going to start. I got a Wii Fit for Christmas. This may not sound like a gift many people would want, but I did ask for it. Some of the things I don't like about working out is having to leave the house to go to a gym or a class, being on a schedule due to a signing up for a class, seeing others while I work out, etc. etc. Now I can exercise in the comfort of my own home. So far, I have completed the testing each day - I am in the normal range for BMI and weight, but I set some goals to lower each. More than anything, I would just like to be a little more flexible with some yoga stretching and to tone up some. So I love my gift and I can't wait to start using it on a regular basis. The few things I have been able to do on the program have already left my legs a little sore. I am an exercise wimp. It's been hard to get a hold of the Wii the last few days with five boys in our house plus whichever neighbor kid(s) happens to be here.

I also got a nice pair of pjs. I love getting pjs for Christmas and my best friend usually gets them for me, but with her recent move to Guam and the chaos that goes with that, we decided not to exchange gifts. But my husband did buy me a pair!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another boy toy - UPDATE

UPDATE - I originally forgot to tag my four people, so here they are:

... for a different kind of girl...
Georgie at Decisionally Challenged
Well okay, Sassy Britches!
Steph at My Life in Suburbia

I was tagged by Tena ... for the photo meme thingy. You take your folder in which you keep your digital photos, choose the fourth folder, then the fourth pic. Explain. Tag four people.

So here it is. I know you are all just dying to see what my picture is...

This is my husband's 1963 BMW motorcycle. He bought it online while we were living in Overland Park, KS. He flew to Chicago on a Sunday morning to pay for it and drive it home, which took him about 11 hours because he took the scenic route and enjoyed the ride on his new toy. I was with friends one time and the question was asked "what is one thing you would keep of your husband's if something happened to him?" At first I said his wedding ring but I quickly changed it to "his bike". And I would. I would encase it in a glass cabinet and keep it. He LOVEs this thing!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Really? Really? Is this how you want to play?

I certainly wasn't planning to blog today, being Christmas and all. However, I thought I would sit down, vent and be on with my day ... and a drink ... and maybe a pill.

Anyway, I wrote a few days ago about my mom's disappointment at us not going to my brother's with everyone for Christmas Eve and to attend church. Well, I am pretty sure disappointment has given way to pissed off. She called this morning and talked to my youngest son. She asked to talk to my oldest son but he was at the neighbor's playing Nerf War with their new Nerf guns and thens he asked to talk to my middle son, who was busy with a new toy. She didn't ask to talk to me. So I called back later and my dad answered. My dad NEVER answers the phone unless my mom is not home. Thanks to caller ID, I can only assume they knew it was me and she wasn't going to answer. I chatted with him a moment and then said adios.

I am still totally confused by someone choosing this behavior over being thankful for what they do have - we see my parents and family on a regular basis for dinners, lunches, birthdays and more. We just saw them on Sunday. All of that and she is choosing to behave this way because of ONE invitation decline? I don't get it. If given the opportunity, I will share this with her. She is the type of person who might just stew for a while and then pretend nothing happened until she gets pissed again. Or she may let the rage go and throw a big fit. I'll wait to see because I am trying not to let her suck me into her childish ways.

Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better already.

On a positive note, we thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas Eve. I am a little embarrassed to say we even boycotted church. I was in my pajamas around 4:00 and we cooked, ate and played. I wrapped some presents and we all stayed up pretty late. I have never seen three kids rush off to bed as quickly as these three when we said, "Ok, we need to go to bed so Santa can come." Even my 11 yr. old, who knows that his dad and I are Santa, went rushing off.

They were so excited this morning and love their gifts. They each only get three gifts under the tree - one to represent each of the gifts the wise men brought to baby Jesus. We don't sign who they are from and they have never asked "Did Santa bring this?" or "Who is this from?" They tend to just say "thanks, Mom and Dad and Santa and everyone!" They do also get gifts from each other and several stocking stuffers, usually stuff to go with their "big" gifts, a Webkinz, a book(s), some candy...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

M E R R Y
C H R I S T M A S !!

Here's a picture of CJ singing "Go Tell It on the Mountain" at his school program.


Here he is singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Here is just being cute.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday stress

(Before I move forward with my blog entry for today, I want to point out I did finally put on some Christmas tunes. I inlcuded two songs from a Cincinnati band, Over the Rhine. My husband and I used to attend their holiday concert every year, which took place in an old theater in the Over the Rhine section of downtown Cincinnati, my old stomping grounds. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!)

It has hit. The stress of the holiday that at times just makes me want it to be over. I hate it when I feel that way and I fight those thoughts. I try to focus on the positive results of all the stress - being with family, seeing my kids enjoy the gifts I traveled near and far for and celebrating the faithfulness of the holiday, though we have been a little lax on that this year, unfortunately.

We are starting a new Christmas Eve tradition in our family this year. Most years, we do our own immediate family thing with just the five of us. We used to go out for a very nice dinner, but our kids don't necessarily enjoy that. After all, if it doesn't come in a paper box with a side of fries, the food is worthless to them. So this year I am cooking each person what they want for dinner. Typically, on the nights I cook for us, there is always at least one person who could do without that night's meal due to the variety of tastebuds in our home. From now on, on Christmas Eve, all of us get exactly what we want. So my husband and I will be having steaks and potatoes with a yummy salad and maybe some steamed aspargus. Big E is having a corn dog and waffle fries. Sous Chef is having home made Skyline Chili spaghetti and CJ wants a corn dog AND a hot dog. They are all very excited because it's unheard of that I would prepare four different meals for one dinner. I have already been asked if we are going to do this every year and got big smiles when I said, "YES!" We will then head off to church.

In the past, it has worked out that doing a Christmas Eve with "just us" celebration has not been a problem. For three years, we weren't in the vicinity of family so it just worked out. Prior to that, it worked that we were with my family on Christmas Day, so Christmas Eve was not even considered. And as for my in-laws, we either don't see them for the holidays or we would go visit the day after Christmas and again, Christmas Eve was not an issue. They live about four hours away.

Well, this year, my in-laws (parents and siblings/families) are coming to our house late on Christmas Day to stay through the weekend. It is "officially" our year to celebrate with them as we rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas between the two families. This year was our Thanksgiving year and we hosted at our house. So, we had decided to do our own thing on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas with my my parents and brother/family a little early, which we did on Sunday. That has gone over like a lead balloon with my mom. My brother and his family invited us and my parents to their house for Christmas Eve since we are all in town but would be somewhere else on Christmas Day. We declined and you would have thought I told my family, mainly my mom, that I never wanted to celebrate another holiday with them as long as I live. She informed me over a week ago, "I know this is going to make you mad, but we are VERY disappointed you will not be coming on Christmas Eve." My response, "OK." She didn't like that. I made no excuses for our absence, so she went on. I basically just said, "We are looking forward to an evening to ourselves doing what we want to do. It is rare that happens."

So since she didn't get her way, she is now acting like a two year old. Thankfully, with three kids, I have a lot of experience with that and I just ignore her and don't cater to it. They were here Sunday and she moped and pouted better than any child could. Though the attempt to make me feel guilty fails, it does piss me off. Why can't she be happy with what she DOES have? Instead of enjoying the day that we WERE all together, instead of being thankful I hosted a shitload of our family on Thanksgiving, she chooses to pout and act childish when she doesn't get us on her terms, when she wants us and how she wants us. Too bad she doesn't recognize her passive-aggressive behavior and comments only alienate me more and make me want to spend LESS time with her. And then my dad suffers, too. I don't understand CHOOSING to be miserable, to pout when you could be enjoying time together. I don't understand why one wouldn't be thankful for what is right in front of you instead of moping about how you want it to be. I don't understand CHOOSING to ignore the good things and focus on everything that she thinks is wrong, mainly with me. There are so many times I wish we still lived 600 miles away. Or that we hadn't turned down the transfer to New Orleans. Or that the transfer to Boston had worked out.

Oh well. I will manage. This has been going on for years. I do CHOOSE to at least TRY to focus on the good things I have, the important things that I am thankful for, even when it's not perfect.

I am still working on a few Christmas cards. Some will probably be late. Some will never make it because I inadvertanly will leave someone off the list. And if history repeats itself, there will be at least one person who gets TWO cards from this household!

Merry Christmas to all of you bloggers who I don't have personal addresses for because if I did, I would send you a card. Or two.

Altered English word of the day - actually, based on today's post I am selecting TWO since they apply to the family situation. Though their meanings are the exact opposite of how we use them today.

Cranky - Brisk, merry, jocund. (William H. Cope, A Glossary of Hampshire Words and Phrases, London, 1883).

Used in a sentence: Peggy was so cranky that the neighborhood children loved spending time with her.

Compassionate - Lamenting, complaining. (Alexander Dyce, A Glossary to the Works of Shakespeare, London, 1902)

Used in a sentence: Frederick was so compassionate that his friends and family soon grew tired of his constant negativity.

Now if I were to use both words in a sentence, with their original meanings, I would say: My mom's compassionate behavior made us run screaming from the room, which made all of us cranky because we were able to get away from her.

In current day's meaning: My mom's cranky behavior made us run screaming from the room, showing no compassionate feelings for her at all.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Comments Update

There were several who were interested in hearing Stephen's story. Check out the comments on Friday's Fragments and you will see his response.

Beauty Tips and Betty Crocker

About a month and a half ago, I started using the Oil Cleansing Method to wash my face. I really started this method as an experiment, thinking there was no way in hell washing an already combination complexion (T zone oily) with oil was even a remotely good idea. I expected my face to become an oil slick infected with blemishes, but I just had to try it. Well, I have been converted. It is amazing to me the difference this cleansing method has made in the quality of my skin. My pores are smaller, I no longer have to use powder to fend off the shiny areas and my skin is super soft. It is NOT oily, at all. Not even a bit. I use the method at night before bed and in the morning I just rinse my face with water when I am in the shower. I use a combination of 90/10 sunflower oil/castor oil. For moisturizer, I use 100% sunflower oil. Apparently, those who have dry/very dry skin do better with olive oil. I love it because it's all natural and it is certainly inexpensive. I don't know what the long term effects will be on wrinkles, but as good as my skin feels, I can't imagine there will be any negative effects. Who knows though. I may post an entry with a photo in 20 years and you will run screaming to your daughters to go buy some REAL skincare and "stop using that crazy oil cleansing method immediately!"

About the same time as the Oil Cleansing Method, I decided to give up shampoo. I kept reading and hearing things about people washing their hair too much and stripping the natural oils from the hair. So I started rinsing my hair very well and using only a conditioner. A few weeks ago I started using this product: WEN. Again, I was skeptical because I had seen it on an infomercial and you can only buy it online. My hairstylist told me about it and made me promise I wouldn't run screaming from the salon because she recommended an infomercial product. She said everyone she knows who uses it raves about it, so I thought I would give it a try, too. Well, again, I am not disappointed. My hair feels great, my scalp feels great. My hair is less frizzy and easier to control. I now have my son using it who has crazy curly hair that is on the longish side (for a boy). If you are in the market for a new hair product, check it out. (No, I am not being paid to promote their product.)

Today I flat ironed my hair to see how long it is. My SIL said it added about three inches to my length. I think that is an exaggeration, but both my husband and I were surprised at how long it is. This is not the greatest picture, it was taken after a long day of entertaining family, so ignore everything but the hair. If I look tired and haggard in this picture, it's because I am!
This is my hair on 12/21/08.
This is my hair in June, 08. Not super easy to see the length, but if you look closely, you can see my hair curls just under my ears.

Sous Chef enjoyed his family b-day party today. Years ago he talked me into buying a Betty Crocker Bake and Fill. You know, the commercials you used to see on the television for making filled and layered cakes of all kinds. I have made a few cakes with this contraption and I think I finally have it down to making a successful cake. He chose strawberry cake with strawberry ice cream filling and chocolate icing. Here it is.

And on a fun little side note, my husband came across a deck of cards that a friend left behind recently. They are called Jeffrey Kacirk's Altered English Knowledge Cards, Surprising Meanings of Familiar Words. So until my husband has to return the cards, I am going to post little tidbits every now and then about how words have changed their meaning over time.

Today's word is:
Sophistication - a counterfeiting or debasing of purity of something by a foreign admixture; adulteration. (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828).

Used in a sentence: Charles refused to take his prescribed medication when he found out how sophisticated the drug was.

Personally, I prefer my drugs to be sophisticated! My drinks, too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just say no. Learn to say yes. Just do it.

I learned many things when I had brain surgery in 2001 and again in 2004. You can read about these experiences here and/or here (#3).

First, I learned the wonders of modern medicine. It is truly amazing what doctors and medicine can do. I think my surgeons walk on water. There are a lot of medical areas that need a lot of improvement, a lot of cures that need to be discovered. In this instance, for me, though, I got exactly what I needed.

The second thing I learned was how to say no to the things I NEEDED to say no to more frequently. I was the queen of saying yes to people. I was overcommitted in volunteering for a variety of organizations and clubs. I was frequently not at home because I was at a board meeting or a planning meeting or a book review or this or that. I couldn't do it anymore. Not just because I was not physically able during my recovery, but because it was sucking the life out of me. I have managed to keep this somewhat under control over the years, but frequently have to check myself and make cutbacks.

I think the most important thing I learned, though, was how to say yes to the things I NEEDED to say yes to. Prior to the surgery, I was saying no to the wrong things - offers to help, friends and family wanting to give me some relief - physically, mentally, emotionally. I almost always said no. I didn't want to be "dependent" on anyone, I was perfectly capable of doing things myself. Once I started planning my surgery and realizing what a toll this was going to take on myself and my family, I had no choice but to say yes to those who wanted to help. I couldn't do it alone and it was a bitter pill to swallow. During my recovery, I learned to say YES to almost anyone that offered help - delivering meals, offers to come sit with me when my husband needed to run an errand or run into work, offers to run errands or grocery shop, offers from my mom to sleep with me at the hospital so my husband could go home and I didn't have to be there alone. (This was a HUGE one for me and my mom. She has only slept away from my dad about five times in their 45+ years of marriage - all but one of those times have been to help me!). I even said yes to my MIL who offered to have me receive healing touch therapy moments before going into surgery and for the days after. Both surgeries.

I couldn't have done it without all of the help. And I learned to say yes more often. I learned that people WANT to help. That accepting help does not make you dependent. That people providing the help feel as much reward for their offerings as I felt thankful for their caring. That it is OK to say YES. And it is OK to say no to the right things. Be careful what you offer to do for me now, because I will likely take you up on your offer and say "YES!" I am even able to ASK for help now, which is also new over the recent years.

A similar lesson I learned recently not related to my surgery is from a friend who lost her ten year old daughter to brain cancer. I learned that offering to help IS an unbelievable gift. And that sometimes, asking your loved one "What can I do? What do you need?" is not enough. Many times, the person in pain, no matter what kind of pain it is, often can't determine what it is they need. So I have learned not necessarily to OFFER to do something, but to JUST DO IT. Just show up with a meal and leave it on the front porch if they don't want to see anyone, offer to go for a walk with them, go through their cupboards and fridge to make a grocery list and shop for them, decorate their house for the holidays. Or just sit with them. Even if it is not exactly what the person needs, it will be much appreciated. Not just because you did something nice, but because they didn't have to think about it. You may provide something your loved one didn't even realize they needed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sous Chef!

Today, my middle son turns nine. NINE! He is my middle son in age and also birthweight - he weighed in at 9.9 lbs. He was born after about 30 minutes of labor. The doctor barely made it. It was because of him, my doctors prepared my husband and I for a home birth with my third pregnancy. (Thankfully, the skills they taught us were NOT needed with that third little guy!)

Sous Chef is a sweet, sweet kid. When he loves something, he loves it with all of his being. These loves include his family, video games, books, cartoons and Skyline Chili (a local thang). He is currently playing basketball and is working on his swimming classes/skills so he can be on the swim team. I do believe he is part fish! He seems to have inherited my husband's IQ and has tested into the gifted education program in our school district. He says funny things like "Can you turn on the pooper heater?" (He was referring to the bathroom fan when he was about 4 yrs. old and he stunk up the bathroom.)

Happy Birthday, Sous Chef!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fragments

Here are this weeks jumbled thoughts thrown together into one blog entry, AKA Friday Fragments. Check out Mrs. 444's website to find other bloggers doing Friday Fragments.

  • I changed my blog title to Blogging Under the Influence. Not 100% sure about it. I didn't change the blog site address though, I was afraid I would lose you guys. I'll see how/if I can do that without messing up everything! Any suggestions?
  • Thanks to Julia at Sometimes Lucid and to Sassy Britches for giving me the Proximity Award! I have received a few awards lately and have named a lot of my favorite blogs in passing them on, so I will just say "Thanks for noticing, reading, liking and awarding my blog, Julia!"
  • The entry "Do We Really Have a Bowling Alley in our Basement?" got a lot of responses. While the bowling alley/machine is really cool and we love having it, some of my favorite houses have slipped right through my fingers because the basement or the entry to the basement is not "bowling alley friendly". You should see the look on our real estate agents' faces when we are explaining to them our "needs and wants" for a new house and we try to explain how a basement needs to be "bowling alley friendly".
  • Follower number 19! Thanks for tagging along. Wow, will I ever reach 20 followers?
  • Nothing makes me smile quite like hearing my youngest son, who just turned five in October, sing "Go Tell It on the Mountain". We were in the car the other day when James Taylor's version of this song came on. CJ quickly said, "We sing this in school. But this guy sings it a little different than we do." He goes to a faith based preschool and apparently this is one of the songs they will be singing in their Christmas show (which is today!). He knows how much I love the song and every now and then he will hum it or sing it for me. It practically brings tears to my eyes (and that doesn't happen too often).
  • I was at our Community Rec. Center this week and stopped to read a sign about an upcoming event. Next thing I know, some sporty looking dude says "Do you want to measure your body fat?" HELL NO I don't want my body fat measured. I was a little more polite with my response, after all, it is a family friendly facility. He told me it would be motivation. Motivation for what, exactly? I told him it would make me go home and cry. And drink.
  • Under pressure from people like Lee at MWOB, I no longer require a security code to enter a comment. There, is that easier for everyone now? I didn't even know this was something I could opt out of! If I start getting wacky, crazy, spam like comments, though, I am re-hiring that security company.
  • I had to laugh this week when I wrote again about not being a touchy feely person. When I finished writing that paragraph, I thought "how on God's green earth am I a massage therapist? I spend hours TOUCHING people." And I LOVE to get massages, so I spend a lot of time GETTING TOUCHED. But this is so different than the touchy, feely, huggy type of thing I was talking about. When I give a massage, I am in control. When I get a massage, it is with a therapist that I have chosen and given "permission" to touch me on my time and my terms. The anti-touchy feely part of me surfaces when I see someone rushing at me with arms wide open whether I want it or not. (And Lee, I will do my best to not run in the other direction if I see you coming at me with those wide open arms! I might even hug back.)
  • I wonder why my BFF doesn't ever leave me any comments? She does send me e-mails in response to some of my entries, but I am just sure others would like to see what she has to say. Really, she is quite funny.
  • My laundry room smells like vinegar. You may have read earlier in the week about the red wine spill. The carpet has lost the vinegar smell, the rags and towels are smelling April fresh again, but my laundry room smells like vinegar. I have searched everywhere for a lost rag or towel, a paper towel in the trash can - anything that might be saturated with white vinegar. Nothing. The only thing I can think is that some was spilled on the laundry room floor. Am I really going to have to mop that floor? It's the laundry room, shouldn't it be a self cleaning room?
  • This week I had lunch with my friend, Stephen. I can't remember exactly what year we met, but I know it was around 1988 or so. We were then roommates after I graduated from college in 1990. When I met my now hubby and it looked like we might become a permanent item, I moved out so I could have some time living solo. I finally gave Stephen my blog address. It has taken me a while to be comfortable sharing this blog with good friends (not that you, dear readers don't qualify, but I don't have to look you in the eye on a regular basis!). I love hanging out with him. Maybe he will become one of my followers and even be a guest writer on occasion. He retold a funny story to me at lunch that involved my husband and some nudity that had me laughing until I cried. I offered my blog space for him to share this story and a couple of others. Stephen? Are you there? Are you going to take me up on the offer?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is that Rudolph that just cut me off?

In recent years, I have seen the occasional vehicle adorned with a Christmas wreath wired onto the grill of the car. Eh, cute. I guess. This year, I have seen several cars with reindeer antlers - one sticking out of each front seat window. I assume this is to make the car "look like" a reindeer. Then yesterday, I saw a car with a BIG RED NOSE on the grill, which I can only think means the car is Rudolph. They didn't have antlers though, so some crucial reindeer parts were missing. And in my opinion, the antlers should be added immediately if I am to believe your car is Rudolph. I am wondering if this is an Ohio thing. I can't remember if I saw any of this stuff during the time we were living in the Kansas City area.

I love decorating for Christmas, but I am a little unsure about decorating the car. I am not an over the top, frilly kind of gal, and this practice seems to border on the edge of "over the top and frilly".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where's the fluff?

I have said before, I am not a huggy, touchy person. The exception to that is with my kids, especially my youngest, who has been the most cuddly of the three and he can't get enough of my hugs, kisses, hand holding and cuddling. From others, I don't mind the polite quick hug and cheek peck, but anything more than that, again with the exception of my kids and husband, make me feel like I am full of static electricity.

I have also talked briefly about my previous life as a Human Resources Manager. I spent six years at one company before leaving to be home with my family. I adored the job, respected the company and thoroughly enjoyed working directly with the CEO and President on a daily basis.

I remember at one point, I hired a Chief Operations Officer. Because of the level of this position, there were things involved in his hiring/compensation package that were quite different from the "normal" hire. So I had to create a new welcome letter, etc. to get his package put together and in his lap for the final review of the position, compensation, benefits, etc. Me and the CEO were reviewing everything to make sure we had everything documented properly. Then he laughed and said, "Where's the fluff. Don't you think this letter should display that we are excited about hiring him and having him come to this company. Warm it up some!"

Do you know how hard I struggled to make that letter sound "warm"? I am a to the point person. I am not one for fluff. I say what I have to say. At times, I am brutally honest and blunt. I don't mind sharing my opinions, and if it's a really important one, I might pound it into your head.

So this blogging stuff some days is hard for me. I find my writing at times to be very dry and boring. I wonder who will read this, it's worse than reviewing tax preparation directions? And then I go back and try to spruce it up. And then I find all kinds of mistakes after I hit publish. I don't know if your feeds show my gzillion publishes or if it just shows one. If you are getting repeat publishings, sorry about that! At least now you know why!

And as for that offer letter? I did manage to get it full of fluff. The CEO cracked up and high fived me or hugged me or something and said "I think you got it!" Now if I could just work it into my daily life.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do we really have a bowling alley in our basement?

This question came up after I posted earlier today about our holiday party. We do NOT have a full sized bowling lane in our basement. I was unsure how to word this contraption - we call it a bowling machine, but that wasn't clear either. What we have is a 20 foot bowling machine/game from the late 50's. It uses bowling balls that are about the size of a cantaloupe. It is always a big hit with the young and old as it is such a novelty.

Here's an ad from when the bowling machine was around in the late 50's and early 60's.


Here are pictures of our bowling alley.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It ain't a party until someone breaks a wine glass and spills red wine all over the light colored carpet!

After an entire day on the couch, in my pj's, unshowered, I am recovering nicely from our (Almost) Annual Holiday Party we had on Saturday. I have determined having a dessert party is in my best interest because I am not a huge fan of desserts. I had one piece of my Creamy Lemon Supreme and that was it!

I made up for it, however, by consuming enough alcohol to be the equivalent caloric intake of three dozen deep fried twinkies.
The signs above the liquor area were put together by my husband. I had made cute little tags for the desserts so people knew what they were eating.


There were about 40 people who attended and we had three tables full of desserts. There was only one casualty which was the breaking of a wine glass. Our friend managed to do it in a location of the house that resulted in three rooms being splattered with red wine - two carpeted and one tiled. Did you know that white vinegar takes out red wine stains? The resulting smell was less than desirable, but the wine came right out and the party continued on around the cleanup.
It was the perfect number of people and remained nicely spread out between the basement where people were bowling on the bowling alley and watching the Crosstown Shootout game (University of Cincinnati vs. Xavier University basketball) and upstairs where the food and drinks were.

This is a picture of MG and I as the party was getting started. I think whomever took this picture was already drunk because it's a little blurry. Yes, that's the same top and sweater I wore in our Christmas photo. I bought it to wear for the party and decided the day of the picture to wear it for that, too!


Here's the pear pecan sour cream cake. It also makes a great brunch item and is very yummy with whipped cream.
A good time was had by all and we've already had several requests to throw this party again next year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Martha Stewart? NOT.

On Friday, I baked and baked getting ready for our Holiday Party, which is tonight. We are expecting over 40 people. We are fully loaded on alcohol and the chocolate martinis are ready to go. I have confirmed what I have always known. I don't bake. At least not well. There was some stupid Arnold (as in Schwarzenneger) movie, Raw Deal, where he said in his stupid voice, something like "don't drink and bake." For me, it should just be "don't bake." The drinking part I don't have a problem with, though. I used to make a MEAN lemon meringue pie. My meringue would put your meringue to shame. I don't know what happened, but I totally lost the touch.

I decided to make Michelle's (An Apron Away From a Straitjacket) candied pecans. How can you go wrong with that? Some pecans, some brown sugar and butter and a crock pot. While at the store and running my menu through my head and checking my grocery list twice, I bought all the pecans I needed for her recipe and for some of the other recipes I was making that required pecans. Dumb shit. I bought all CHOPPED pecans. This may not sound like a big deal, but when you are buying pecans for a recipe where the pecan is the MAIN ingredient, you need WHOLE pecans. My friends will be nibbling on what I am going to call Pecan Crunch. It's more like granola.

I managed to make cookies, you know the kind, where the dough comes from a bowl, that are hard as rocks. Normally, this wouldn't bother me, but there won't be any kids around for this party to munch on the crappy cookies. And the brownies? I'm blaming that one on the mix, though my husband didn't think they were bad.

I do have to say, my Pecan-Pear Sour Cream Cake is to die for, at least by appearances. I will be sure to let y'all know how it tastes. This is the first time I have made it, though I have had it before when a friend made it. She's a better baker than I am. The Creamy Lemon Supreme will make your lips pucker and beg for more. I have made this many times and I am practically an expert. And it looks so pretty! The Chocolate Lover's Favorite Cake is also a beauty. I'm not a chocolate fan, but the last time I made this the chocolate lovers were truly in love. And the Jewish Jelly Rolls? Well, if there are any left before the party starts, I don't think they will last long.

The one recipe that is pretty impossible to screw up is the Oreo Ice Cream Pie. Yeah, if you can mix a few items together and put them in the freezer, you've got this one totally nailed.

And this morning? CJ threw up. Me? My stomach is not quite feeling right, either. Maybe it's because I watched and heard him vomit. Maybe I am aniticipating a nasty hangover. Either way, I sure as hell hope I didn't catch anything!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fragments


Friday Fragments is a great time to "get all the little stuff" out of your mind and into your blog. No coherent theme needed. Just let the thoughts flow! Check out Mrs. 444's website to find other bloggers doing Friday Fragments. And check out her blog. She'll keep you entertained.

  • I'm up to 18 followers. Welcome to all of you! I hope you enjoy your time hanging out here at my place.
  • My oldest son learned the hard lesson this week that when the government fucks up, it's the people who have to pay, literally. Our subdivision is having issues with the drainage system that was put into our subdivision when it was built. (Our house is only four years old!) There are so many layers to this issue that I can't even go into it here, but suffice it to say the builder and the township failed miserably at their jobs and now the residents are going to have to pay to get it fixed. Total cost is currently estimated around $400,000. And that figure grows as the local government drags its feet and the damage worsens. As Big E said, "What? We have to pay for something that wasn't our fault and was a problem before we even moved here?" Welcome to the real world, young man!
  • And on the above note, if I hear any other homeowner of the areas surrounding my neighborhood refer to the residents of my neighborhood as "rich bitches" one more time, I am going to have to hunt them down and whoop some ass. (And believe me, I have no doubts about my ability to kick some ass.) How dare you refer to me as a rich bitch. You do not know anything about me or my financial situation. Maybe my parents or in-laws bought this house and everything in it. Maybe my husband and/or I are trust fund babies. Maybe we are living in hock up to our eyeballs and are just waiting for the government to bail us out of our morgtgage. Or maybe, just maybe, my husband happens to have a career and an employer that provides an awesome salary and benefits that allow us to live a comfortable life and may or may not qualify us as "rich" in your eyes. I will not apologize for having a newer, bigger, more expensive house than you do. And secondly, you don't know if I am a bitch or NOT. But I CAN tell you this - if I AM a bitch, I promise you, it has nothing to do with my financial status and everything to do with "who I am". Money is not a factor in my bitch status. And thirdly, I would beg to differ about who the bitch is. I don't think I have ever referred to you or your neighbors in a derogatory manner based on your finanical status or any other superficial traits. Based on your behavior in the parking lot, however, I think you are giving this bitch a run for her money.
  • More massage therapy client tips: if you must answer your phone prior to your therapist entering the room, please make sure you have on something more than your scivies. I really don't care to see you standing there in your underwear and socks while talking on the phone. If you must talk while being undressed, get on the table UNDER the sheets to continue your conversation. And when you are finsished with your call, turn OFF the cell phone. No, vibrate does not count as "off."
  • Recently, I blamed any potential holiday weight gain on these:

    but now I am starting to think if I gain that universal three to five pounds, it might be from these:

    Thanks, Michelle, at An Apron Away From a Straitjacket. She made my recipe of Jewish Jelly Rolls (I'm still not sure what makes them Jewish!) and her picture is way better than mine, so I swiped it! I can't stop munching on these and have had to make two more batches than I originally planned. For some odd reason, they keep disappearing from the freezer. Who? Me?
  • My middle son received a coconut in the mail as a gift. It wasn't wrapped in a box or anything. It was a coconut wrapped in festive cellophane from Guam. OMG. This kid will not put this coconut down (that sounds kind of naughty!) and he couldn't wait to take it to school to show everyone.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Photo: check

I am slowly checking off my Christmas to do list. We finally did our photo this evening for our Christmas cards.

Ok, we're not really sending this one out.
We are sending this one, though.

You can't tell here, but my hair is almost to my shoulders. Actually, if I flat ironed it totally straight, it would be to my shoulders. This growing thing has been going on for about two years now. This is what it looked like in July, 06.

This is us (me, Sous Chef and CJ in this picture) alpine sledding in Colorado.

My favorite mistake

I changed my playlist today. On the new playlist is my favorite Sheryl Crow song, My Favorite Mistake. I think every girl has someone who is her "favorite mistake." Since my favorite mistake is not a bad ending or experience like in this song, I smile every time I hear this song. Not a longing, "oh I want to do that again" kind of smile. Just a smile. And not necessarily about HIM, but the whole time period - that time in my life, what I was doing, where I was, how much fun I was having. I don't want to go back but I also have no regrets. Well, maybe a few, but none about my favorite mistake.

My other favorite Sheryl Crow song? Are You Strong Enough to be my Man? Let me just tell you, it is hard being my man. Thankfully, my husband is strong enough. He can handle me and he does a good job at it. (You'll need to turn off the playlist if you want to watch the video.)

Widgets

I recently listed my blog on Alltop. I also added a widget for Momma News. Check out the topics on the left hand side under the Bloggers I Stalk section. I am interested to see what pops up there each day from other bloggers.

Oh, and I added a different playlist today. More cool tunes. Well, at least I think so. Unlike my previous list, I have not seen all of these bands musicians in concert, but I have seen - Neil Young, The Pixies, The Pretenders, Sheryl Crow, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and 10,000 Maniacs (I've also seen Natalie Merchant solo in concert a couple of times.) And now I have a topic for today's blog. Come back later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life's great mysteries ... solved

I will solve some of your great mysteries and may solve a mystery of my own. I may even throw out a few great mysteries and hope for some answers!

There have been some questions in my comments section lately and I would like to answer them.
  1. What is a meme? Funny, I didn't know what that was either and I had to look it up! According to Wikipedia: A meme (pronounced /miːm/)[1] comprises any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus. So when you get tagged for a meme in the blog world, you are to do what it says and pass it on. Almost like a chain letter!
  2. What is "medium thin"? This was in reference to cooking the Jewish Jelly Rolls and rolling out the dough to "medium thin." Because the recipe came from my mom, who is the original Martha Stewart, she doesn't really follow recipes. She uses "a little of this and a dash of that." Makes those of us who NEED exact measurements and instructions CRAZY. So, your guess is as good as mine for the definition of medium thin. I went with, thick enough that you couldn't see through it but thin enough to roll it. An exact thickness measurement that I could have used a ruler to measure would have been appreciated, though.
  3. A few asked about how my MIL has responded to the wish list. We were on the phone and my kids were near by so I didn't give her the list over the phone. I will be e-mailing it to her today.
  4. The dominoes my MIL/FIL gave to my young child were South Park. What 4 or 8 year old needs that?

Non blogging mysteries:

  1. How could I like the current book I am reading for the second time - We Need to Talk About Kevin. I found this book to be riveting. It is not a warm, feel good kind of book, at all. It is about a mom and family whose child inflicts a school massacre in his school. I couldn't put it down. What I liked about this book is that it evoked so many different responses, visceral, gut wrenching, emotional responses, in every chapter. When a book can do that, in MY book, it's a good one. My book club discusses it tonight and I can't wait.

My mystery solved:

  1. What time is it in Guam? For those who are new to this blog, my best friend moved to Guam a couple of weeks ago. I installed a Guam clock right here on this blog so I could know what time it is. However, it doesn't help me when I am in the car and I am easily confused by "15 hours ahead," so Lora, I am sorry that your phone may or may not have rang at 1:00AM your time. It may or may not have been me.

My mysteries needing to be solved:

  1. I have talked in the past about the traffic jam that is my colon. Why is it that my colon decides to go to work and do it's thing while I am at a McDonald's with my youngest son? There I am, telling him to hurry up and eat. I HATE public bathrooms, especially for visits like this one was going to be and I wanted to go home. I finally packed up his fries and had him eat them in the car. THEN, of course, the traffic light gods were against me. Honestly, if I had a child in diapers and had had a diaper bag with me, I would have grabbed a diaper, put it on and shat right there in my diaper in the car. Kind of like that astronaut woman who was stalking her astronaut lover and drove across country with a diaper on so she wouldn't have to stop for a potty break.
  2. How much caffeine is too much? For that matter, how much of anything is too much.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sue? Melanie? Are you out there?

Recently, I posted about whether or not to give my sons' Christmas lists to my MIL. Historically, she has not asked about what the kids want, or what my hubby and I might want, and quite often, we end up with stuff we have no interest in, no use for or just plain don't like.

Well, last night she called to see what Sous Chef wants for his birthday, which is coming up. WHAT? Then ... hold on to your hats ... she asked what they wanted for Christmas. Seriously. She did. She said she didn't want a repeat of the x-rated dominoes she bought last year. (Last year, she bought dominoes for Sous Chef or CJ, I can't remember which child, that were of the characters from some adult Cartoon Network show. They weren't at all appropriate for children.) All I could think was that one of my SILs found my blog and is reading it and passing on information. I do have some MI and NC readers, one in the actual city where my SIL lives, so it could be. I have not ever given my blog information to family because I don't need any thing else to fight about, oops, I mean discuss with them (mainly my family) and I want to be able to vent about them when needed (both families). So, Melanie or Sue, if you are out there, I apologize right now that you have had to witness my cursing, political views and venting about both sides of my family. I don't do it often, but I do it when necessary. And I don't plan to stop when the urge hits me.

And I did fail to mention that my in-laws do always contribute a nice chunk of change to our kids college funds for special occasions - birthdays, Christmas, baptisms, first communions, etc. etc. We DO appreciate that and quite frankly, that is enough of a gift as far as my husband and I are concerned. That gift will NEVER be thrown away. Some day the kids will appreciate it, too. But right now, they are in that stage of appreciating what is in front of them at the moment.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Clitter for your va-jay-jay!

I can't resist. I stole this from the Scandalous Housewife. She posted it today and I can't stop laughing about it. If you are easily offended, which I am assuming you are not or you wouldn't be at my place, you may just want to exit immediately! (You'll need to turn off the music.)


Books a plenty!

I recently read MY HORIZONTAL LIFE: A COLLECTION OF ONE NIGHT STANDS by Chelsea Handler. Oh, and my husband read it, too. It is a good and funny read. Her other book, ARE YOU THERE VODKA, IT'S ME CHELSEA is funnier, I thought. Oh, and my husband read that one, too. He actually read the one night stand book before I did. The vodka book he was tempted to read because I laughed all the way through it and he had to see what was so funny about it. He laughed quite a bit, as well. It is not for the easily offended. She can be a little edgy and raw, but hey, what can I say.

Anyway, Ali at Home of the Lazy Dog got an award today that "required" her to get the nearest book, turn to page 56 and write the 5th sentence and then the 2-5 sentences following. I didn't get that specific assignment, but I decided to do it anyway. Here it goes, from MY HORIZONTAL LIFE:

Guys can be on the skinny side, but a rear is a special thing to me. Gavin's ass wasn't just flat, though. He had a pancake in the place of an ass. A shovel, if you will.

What a disaster. The sex was okay, but for some reason I lost interest ... or consciousness.

And there you have it. Check out her books if you want a deep down, good, off color belly laugh! Multiple times.

I've been ass-slapped!

Nothing too kinky, though, just a Meme! I think being ass-slapped is better than being bitch slapped! Thanks Abby at Me and My Boys!

Ok, so here are the rules:
  1. Show it on your blog
  2. Take seven others to partake in the fun times. Link them on here and comment on their blog to let them know they have been ass slapped!
  3. List 10 random things about yourself

So here we go:

  1. I love cats. We don't have any though because my husband is allergic.
  2. I like to cook meals but I don't really like to bake desserts, treats, sweets.
  3. I have walked in two 3-Day Breast Cancer Walks. They were each 60 miles (20 miles a day). Over the two walks, our team raised over $42,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
  4. I hate my toes. Well, really I hate the way my feet look in general. I am happy to have them though, because life without feet would really suck.
  5. I think one of my legs is just a wee bit longer than the other.
  6. I often have a traffic jam in my colon.
  7. I hate to unload the dishwasher, but I don't mind doing laundry.
  8. I love to go grocery shopping.
  9. I can't throw away anything that is recyclable. Even when I try, I end up getting it out of the garbage and walking it out to the recycling bin.
  10. I wish winter was only about a month long of snowstorms and cold and then it would be spring again.

Join in if you like! The seven people I am tagging:

  1. Mary Ellen at Adopting M.E.
  2. Ali at Home of the Lazy Dog
  3. Valerie at Mom of 3 Crazy Kids
  4. Scandy at Scandalous Housewife
  5. Sass at The Life of Sass
  6. Georgie at Decisionally Challenged
  7. ...for a different kind of girl...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

When does it cross the line?

My oldest son (he's 11) asked the other day if he could send my MIL his Christmas wish list because she "always gets me knick knacks and I don't want knick knacky stuff." Of course, I was very proud to hear him say this, because I am not a knick knacky kind of gal and I can see I am successfully passing on that wonderful trait to at least one of my children. As soon as he said this, my brain immediately went on super fast rewind trying to recall if I had complained about this in the past and now he is taking advantage of it. Thinking...thinking...thinking...nope. I have not said this within earshot of him anytime in the not so distant past. I can't remember the last time I said I was tired of getting things that go in the trash as soon as my in-laws leave. And, yes, they have literally pulled out of the driveway and I have thrown some of our gifts in the trash. (Do you know, the Christmas Motorcycle Guy and I were engaged, she gave me some cleaner for cleaning French Corningware dishes? WTF? I love clothes, what about a gift card?) It has been a LONG time since I have complained out loud, I guess because I have gotten used to it.

So anyway, I thought my husband should handle this, so I said, "We will talk to dad when he gets home." Later that evening, I asked Big E to tell Motorcycle Guy what we had discussed. Big E told him and thankfully Motorcycle Guy agreed. He is going to call his mom and ask her if she would be interested in seeing and purchasing anything from Big E's wish list. And if she doesn't, then we will know to tell Big E she would like to pick out her own gifts for him. My husband thinks she will be more than willing. I have my doubts. She is one of those people who wants you to have what she wants you to have. She wants to talk to you only if it's something she is interested in talking about. One year Motorcycle Guy asked that she and his dad contribute to a larger gift we were saving for to buy our family. Her response? "Well, at least now I know what you want." What did we get? Crap that went into the trash. I think that was the year she bought us these really awful decorations and left that clearance tag of $1.99 on the box. (They do not have financial difficulties and this is not really about money.)

Now that I have whined and complained, here is my issue. At what point is it rude to let a person know what you would like to receive? I am someone who would rather get you something you want and know my money was well spent and the gift will be enjoyed than to buy something you have no desire for. I don't think she feels that way. Is it rude to "guide" her into getting the kids something they want or should we just keep throwing the gifts away? She had no hesitation in telling me what she wanted for Christmas. And I did get it for her.

I have mixed feelings about this. I do like to be surprised with gifts that I wasn't expecting. And I like to surprise others with gifts they weren't expecting, so I understand her desire to do this. And I think my kids like that, too. But someone has to know you really well to be able to pull this off succesfully. You have to be able to put yourself in the receiver's shoes and think about what THEY like, not what you like. And, in general, my MIL does not do this. Add to it she does not have very good taste. It all adds up to her wasting her money on my kids (and often, me and my husband). At what point has one crossed the line by asking the shopper/giver to review a wish list and make a purchase?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fetishes

I am up to 14 followers. Who knew that just talking about followers would bring on more followers. Maybe if I resort to BEGGING, I'll get even more!

Today I would like to talk about my fetishes. Nothing kinky or weird, at least not that I am going to talk about here. I thought I only had a couple of fetishes - shoes and Coach purses. I would have listed shoes first. But reality slapped me in the face the other day that I have a coat fetish and I wasn't even aware of it. At least not until I saw this woman. I thought to myself, "damn, that is a cute coat." It did have a really cute thing going on in the back. She then turned around and I gasped, which I am sure made her think I had totally lost my mind, but that is really a whole other post. Anyway, I gasped when I realized "holy shit, I HAVE that coat." Yes, I was admiring a coat that I have at home hanging in my closet. A coat that I bought last year. I made sure to wear it the very next day. I am now committed to getting rid of a couple of coats. In the last few years I have bought more than five winter coats. That does not include the jackets I have purchased. And since admitting I have a problem is step 1, I think I will stop at that and just enjoy!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Fragments

Check out Mrs. 444's website to find other bloggers doing Friday Fragments. And check out her blog. She'll keep you entertained.

  • I'm thinking of changing my blog name to "Blogging Under the Influence". That word "influence" would mean something different each day and you would have to guess what "influence" I was under based on my writings.
  • Can you believe I now have 11 followers? Wow! Really, there are ELEVEN people who want to hear what I have to say on a regular basis. I am in heaven.
  • This week, I had a blog entry that got 11 comments. Ok, one of them was my own. But who wouldn't respond to being told that in France the government would pay for me to have a certified therapist give me an electric tampon and/or finger? Man, I am living in the wrong country!
  • I am wondering why the economics and financial wizards of the country can't just stop all this talk about a recession. First of all, I don't really think we needed them to confirm we are in a recession. Secondly, it really puts a damper on those of us who live in denial. Can't they just join me in my state of denial bliss?
  • Go UC! My husband and I are both graduates of the University of Cincinnati. (Scary to say, we graduated in the 20th century, not this current one! And my husband graduated in a different DECADE than me! Oh yeah, I just can't get enough of that joke. We're only five years apart. And I never let him forget he is older.) I don't follow college (or any other) football closely, but it is hot news here that UC is doing so well in football. This is historically unprecedented. Now if the Steelers can do well enough to keep my Pittsburgh born and raised husband happy, we'll be a football partying house. Not that we need much of an excuse to throw a party.
  • Since my original pair of red undies was a dismal failure (except for being a 30 second get up (that was for you, Lee!) before becoming a floor decoration. BUT I am still lovng the red bra!), I decided to buy a more practical pair. Success! And still hot, too.
  • On Tuesday, I was getting ready to take a shower and I heard pounding. I couldn't figure out if someone was pounding urgently on a door to my house or if the neighbors were quickly building a deck or WHAT. So, there I am, naked and I decide to look out our bathroom windows, which are pretty large. We have window blinds that are 1/2 way down from the top so the sun can shine in but we are not regularly exposing ourselves to our neighbors, when we are standing at floor level (this phrase is the important part of that sentence). So, I get up on the area surrounding the tub (take note: I am no longer at floor level) and walk over to the windows to look down to see if I can see anyone near my house or any of the neighbors out in their yards pounding on something. I am thoroughly confused about where this banging is coming from. Then I see it. I look straight ahead and see about five or more men on the roof directly behind us, right in full view of my naked body, putting a new roof on the neighbor's house. I am pretty sure none of those men saw me, though, because I didn't see a anyone jump from the roof as he screamed a blood curdling scream of "my eyes! my eyes! somebody yank out my burning eyes!"
  • I was driving home one day this week and I saw a neighbor with a big green box on their porch. That could only mean ONE thing. Our corporate gift has arrived! My husband works for a large, international consumer products company, as do many of our neighbors throughout our subdivision, so these big green boxes are everywhere. It was a good day and you can see it's the simple things that make our family happy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Celebrate!

Today I celebrate the four year anniversary of brain surgery number TWO. I am doing so well that I am happy to end this conversation here. If you want more details, go here and read #3.

Welcome to Suburbia Steph. She does not have a blog, but I am happy she is following mine!

It's rare that I render my mother totally speechless. We have very different views on politics, religion, society and more. We are very much alike in personality, which often results in repeated snarky comments back and forth until one of us gets pissed off enough to walk away before something really awful gets said. It's a lot of fun. We were having lunch earlier this week and she was off on a tirade about welfare and her closed minded view of those on welfare. She informed me, for the thousandth time, what all the guidelines for qualifying for welfare should be so she doesn't have her tax dollars going to support ways of living that she doesn't believe in. Blah, blah, blah. So her lecture then turns to drug dealers on welfare. My response was "and there you have a perfectly valid reason of why street drugs should be legalized. Not only would the dealers be gainfully employed and off welfare, which is what you want, but they would be tax payers, too!" She honestly just sat there and stared at me. She was probably thinking, "Oh shit. I can't even argue with that one." Though I thought for sure it would send her off on a tangent of her views on what is morally wrong with legalizing drugs and ending that war. Really, though, I think she was trying to figure out whether or not I was serious. And if any of you have any confusion about that, let me just state here and now, "yes, I really do think street drugs should be made legal." And my mom agrees, she just doesn't know it yet or maybe she won't ever admit it.

So it looks like I have three things to celebrate today: four years of feeling great, a new follower and rendering my mother speechless. Ahhh, life is good.

Never enough

I don't think there are enough Kegel exercises to rectify my pelvic floor issues. I am thankful the permanent damage is not in need of surgery, but COME ON! I have had three babies. Large babies - 10.4, 9.9 and 9.5. In that order. I am 5'3" and won't reveal my weight (besides, it fluctuates daily!), but I am within my weight and BMI guidelines. Not skinny, but not overweight. And those babies came out the old fashioned way. So if I sneeze? Cough? Wait too long to get to a toilet? Or god forbid, break into a giggling fit, I need to change my undies.

So yesterday, I was like "Shit, I honestly think I need to change my undies. I didn't do anything to bring this on." And I didn't feel that familiar leak since I didn't do anything to strain my bladder, but there was definitely something going on in my undies. I was in a little bit of a panic, thinking my bladder and pelvic floor muscles had totally given up what little strength they've been hanging on to and just decided to stop working altogether and were just letting the urine flow freely so I didn't even feel it happening! I envisioned a life of wearing Depends. Nope. I started my period. And I had on a GOOD pair of underwear. I HATE that. I usually plan better and wear "throw away" undies when I know I am close to shedding my endometrium. I don't know how I got so out of touch this month that it totally caught me off guard. I think the headache that had me flat on my back on the couch and caused me to skip a PTO board meeting should have been a good indicator of what was going to happen next. It wasn't, but it makes sense now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

People to avoid

Welcome to two more followers! (These are NOT the people to avoid. I will get to that in a minute.) Georgie at Decisionally Challenged and also Mom of 3 Crazy Kids. I think her blog title says it all.

Yesterday I was at Target buying a few more Christmas gifts for the kiddos. I heard the voice of someone I recognized and when I walked by the aisle and realized who it was, I kept on walking. VERY quickly. Do you ever do that? It's not that I don't LIKE this woman, but, well, I just don't really like this woman. She hasn't done anything specific to me. I just don't enjoy being around her. We are on a board committee together and she is one of those women/moms who signs up her kids for EVERYTHING. And what she considers to be the BEST of EVERYTHING. Then she spends all of her time complaining about how busy they are and how expensive everything her kids are involved in is. Come on. Isn't the solution obvious? I am guessing she may not enjoy me and one of the other moms very much, either. One day she was complaining about her daughter having gymnastics several times a week and how much it cost per month and the expense of the competitions and ON and ON and ON. I finally just looked at her and said, "unless my child was headed to the Olympics, I don't think I would sacrifice so much for one child. When does your family spend time together?" She stopped, her mouth dropped open and then one of the other moms started cracking up and said, "oh, I am so with YOU!"

Then at another meeting she was bitching and moaning about her son having to practice football in the rather hot summer evening. Several other practices had been canceled, but not her son's practice. Not being one who has mastered keeping my mouth shut (but I promise, I am better at this than I used to be), I said, "if I thought it was too hot and unsafe for my child, I wouldn't send him to practice." Again, the stupid mouth hanging open look. Her response, "You just don't understand how important football is in this community." My response, "Oh, I totally get it. But I wouldn't risk my son's health for it." Now, do I really think the heat was a risk? Probably not, but I wanted her to shut up. If she really thought it was a risk, she shouldn't have sent him. Obviously, she had sent him and thought it was ok, she just wanted something to bitch about. And I think she wanted us to know HER son was on a team that was so dedicated that they practice in the hot, hot evening. I guess her daughter must have been on a break from gymnastics.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meet some bloggy friends...

Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin Time included me in her Motherload Meme in her post today. (And thanks to Tena at My Therapy, who included me in hers last week!) . Thank you to both of you! I am supposed to choose a post and take the first ten bloggers who commented on that post. Reality is, I would be thrilled to get ten comments on one post. What would I do? I would probably faint dead away with excitement. I would like to think I don't have lots of comments because I really just started publicizing my blog in the last couple of months. Yeah, that's the reason. Sssooooo...I will just have to mash my comments together to TRY to come up with ten different bloggers who have left me comments over time.

And today is a great day to do this because I wasn't sure what I was going to blog about. I can't stop thinking about that poor Walmart employee who lost his life because our society has become one that tramples people to death so their precious darlings can have the season's most coveted toy and the parents can save a few bucks to get it. I wonder if those parents will say to their precious Susie or Stevie, "Here you go, oh golden child. Enjoy this Elmo. A man gave his life so you could have it and you SO deserve it." I think any and all people who can be identified on that Walmart video that did not stop to help that employee and/or were pushing their way into the store should be convicted and sent to jail for murder, homicide or whatever the proper legal term is for "you are a cruel and self-centered person and now your ass is going to rot in jail." It's events like these that make me think I should up the Lexapro just so I can cope.

Ok, on with the Motherload Meme.

My most recent entries that got ALMOST ten comments were Boys and their toys and Mommy Wars. And I'll have to throw in a couple of "extra" blogs from comments on other entries.
  1. ...for a different kind of girl - she's a silent suburban girl releasing her inner voice
  2. moms without blogs - where being a supermom is simply a state of mind
  3. mom of 3 crazy kids - she is a stay at home mom multi tasking like so many of us women these days! i think we can all relate to her.
  4. sometimes lucid - she'll keep you healthy with all of her yummy recipes and so much more
  5. La Mom - she's an American living in Paris and raising her family. She's full of all kinds of good gossip and a quick French lesson here and there.
  6. A Girl and Her Life - she's a desperate housewife who writes lots of funny stuff.
  7. Home of the Lazy Dog - she claims to be a rule breaker! again, another person we, or at least I, can relate to.
  8. My Therapy - not for the easily offended, but she will keep you laughing. She also mentioned me in a Motherload Meme, so I guess I am killing two birds with one stone today!
  9. An Apron Away from a Straightjacket - this ENTRY says it all
  10. The two Loras - Lora W. is my best friend who is now living in Guam with her hubby and kids and the Lora M. is a wonderful childhood friend who now lives in LA with her hubby and kids. Neither of them have blogs, but they leave me comments and/or send me e-mails in response to my blogs and I love that!

Wow, I actually came up with ten, even if they weren't all from one blog entry!

Part 2 - 10 blogs, 15 Questions

What is your favorite post from #3's blog? I'm kind of new to her blog, so I don't have a favorite. I got a kick out of her recent update on her laser hair removal process.

Has #10 taken any pictures that have moved you? Well, Lora W. has been sending me pictures of her new stomping grounds in Guam. They are beautiful. Here's one:

Does #6 reply to comments on her blog? Sometimes

Which part of Blogland is #2 from? Los Angeles

If you could give one piece of advice to #7 what would it be? Maybe she should start trying to stick to the rules more! Well, maybe not. That's not really any fun. :)

Have you ever tried something from #9's blog? No, but I'm thinking I might be due for a straightjacket any day now.

Has #1 blogged something that inspired you? She left me a comment one time that made me re-evaluate whether or not I should leave the lights on while having sex. I still haven't managed to do that, but at least I am considering it.

How often do you comment on #4's blog? As often as I can.

Do you wait excitedly for #8 to post? Oh yeah. I can always be guaranteed a good pick me up when reading My Therapy.

How has #5's blog changed your life? She gives a lot of good and humorous "inside" information about life in Paris. I have visited Paris, but never lived there. Being a tourist vs. being an expat living there are two very different aspects of the city, and it's residents!

Do you know any of your 10 bloggers in person? No, but I think I would get along with them. Hell, who wouldn't get along when you are sitting around with good drinks and good company?

Do any of your 10 know each other? I am not sure. Julia and Lee maybe?

Out of the 10, which updates more frequently? I am stealing Mrs. 4444's response and making it: Does anybody really care about this question? I think it's a dumb one, so I'm changing it to Which of these bloggers do you think would tell you if you had spinach in your teeth? Tena at My Therapy (she'd probably say something along the lines of "hey, what's that green shit between your teeth?).

Which of the 10 keep you laughing? Actually, they all do at various times. That's why I keep coming back.

Which of the 10 made you cry (good or bad) tears? Lee at MWOB recently had a guest writer who wrote about a very traumatic time in her and her family's life regarding the birth of a child.

For those who want to pass on the Meme, go for it. Otherwise, just enjoy.