Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Leap Blog Day is Feb 29 Hey! Happy Leap Day!

As I am sure you can imagine, I have grand plans to be off doing ultra glamorous things to take full advantage of this extra day in the year 2012. I scanned the globe to find a guest poster to inform and amuse you all in my absence. Or maybe it is Leap Blog Day, and I chose someone from a long list of awesomeness. I did not select him based solely on his interest in legos, though that didn't hurt. I am well aware that my own husband takes a bit of flack here in my little corner of the interwebs, but rather than letting him have a day to defend himself, I am happy to introduce you to somebody else's husband....known to me only as... (drumroll)...

A Husband’s Guide to : Wreck-less Wisdom
My name is The HusBlog (no it’s not German) and I will be your guest poster for today. I would say writer but I think you will agree, after reading this, calling myself a writer is probably false advertising. I guess I should give you a little background before we get into it. I aspire to one day be called a humorist and write a vaguely funny blog that deals with the ups, downs, and sideways of being a husband. I bet you understand the name now right?

“So TheHusblog is not your real name?”

Be quiet voice in my head I am talking.

“Don’t you mean writing? Oh wait I am sorry posting?”

I am just going to ignore you for the time being. Back to my summation. I have been married for several years and because my life was bringing me much amusement I decided to start to write it down and that turned into a blog which has brought me here. I typically write in a Guide like format, which means I talk about something like I know it better than I do in hopes of teaching you, the reader something. Although, I usually just end up teaching you, the reader that I am just one mistake away from total collapse.

“Hey TheHusBlog, I think you have self esteem issues, do you need a hug?”

Yes, so much... Er, I mean let’s get on to the topic at hand...

Throughout my life I have been both the giver and receiver of advice. When I think about advice I always fall back on a lyric from a song. The song was basically a graduation speech with music behind it from Baz Luhrmann. This song was popular for about 35 seconds in the late 90’s however I got a copy of it and listen to it often. Here is a quote about advice :

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Advice is a funny thing. When you most need it is the time when you are most likely to ignore it and when you don’t need or want it, people are more than likely to give it to you anyway. It is like there is some cosmic radar designed to give people a short circuit when they hear anything they don’t agree with, especially if said with conviction. Let’s say you are facing a supreme tragedy, friends and family will want to support you, but they will not have the right words to comfort or instruct you. On the other hand you could have just made a bold choice to take your life in another direction, more than likely friends will surround you with words of caution, begging you to change your mind rather than supporting the dream you are about to follow.

What I want, instead, sometimes, is Wreck-less Wisdom. The kind of advice that might sometimes lead to bad choices, but those bad choices can lead to some great lessons that will live on throughout the life of an interesting person. My father, who is far greater than I would ever aspire to be has a quote (he might have stolen it from someone) :

I never learned anything from doing something right the first time.

To me life is just as much about making mistakes as it is about being perfect. After all it is the mistakes that make us interesting. Sometimes we have to stop trying to be perfect to everyone around us and instead throw caution to the wind (do you ever throw caution anywhere else?) and make a bold choice. You know what time it is...

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Wreck-less Advice

Ah, TheHusBlog, I don’t know what time it is. I can assume it is TheHusBlog Definition Pause time but that is only because you just typed it. You’re guest posting, remember?”

Okay, valid point. TheHusBlog Definition Pause is something I do to break up a post. It kind of acts as a stopping point for the central theme of the post.

“Oh wait, you mean you do have a point? Cause I was getting a little worried there.”

I hate you.

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Wreck-less Advice (neutral)
• Value you yourself more than you think you deserve, you would be surprised how
much you bring to the world around you.
• Forgive an enemy who doesn’t deserve it.
• Get your spouse really, really drunk one night... take lots of pictures. But you have to nurse their hang over the next day.
• Sext your spouse at a really inappropriate time.
• Take up a new hobby that you never thought you would ever do.
• Plan a vacation.
• Compliment a random stranger.
• Call a friend you haven’t talked to in years just to touch base.

So all of those sound cool and interesting right. In fact I should turn that list into song lyrics for Taylor Swift’s next breakout hit... What makes those Wreck-less is that they could really go either way, good or bad, and that is what makes them oh so interesting.

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Wreck-less Advice (Good Outcome)
• Value you yourself more than you think you deserve, you would be surprised how much you bring to the world around you. Other people notice your value and all of sudden you get a promotion, your spouse finds you more sexy and people flock to you.
• Forgive an enemy who doesn’t deserve it. With your forgiveness a weight is lifted from your heart and you really begin to understand how much impact you can have on the world.
• Get your spouse really, really drunk one night... take lots of pictures. But you have to nurse their hang over the next day. Your spouse has a great time, totally tells you over and over again how amazing you are, and you have really passionate sex and he/she does that thing you really like
• Sext your spouse at a really inappropriate time. A difficult time is broken up by sexiness, your spouse responds, and your cell phone becomes a conduit of intimacy that is realized the next time you see each other.
• Take up a new hobby that you never thought you would ever do. You finally realize you are an amazing painter and your life takes a totally different turn as you begin to paint portraits of family members which later turns into a fledgling business.
• Plan a vacation. You find the perfect deal and whisk away to an amazing beach which not only refreshes you, but also opens up your inner creativity.
• Compliment a random stranger. You touch a life and the person you compliment goes on to touch another persons life and so on... (Totally a Pay It Forward kind of moment)
• Call a friend you haven’t talked to in years just to touch base. The call to your friend comes at exactly the right time. You talk to him/her and your friendship feels the same as it ever did. You help him/her and not only do they feel better but you do too. You are a great friend.

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Wreck-less Advice (Bad Outcome)
• Value you yourself more than you think you deserve, you would be surprised how much you bring to the world around you. Your ego not only puts off your friends and family, but your waiter at Chilis spits in your food, which later leads to an outbreak of Oral Herpes you cannot explain to your spouse.
• Forgive an enemy who doesn’t deserve it. Rather than learning a painful lesson your enemy learns that they can truly get away with anything and sleeps with your spouse.
• Get your spouse really, really drunk one night... take lots of pictures. But you have to nurse their hang over the next day. Without inhibitions your spouse finally admits that he/she really wants to sleep with your sister/brother and thinks you are fat.
• Sext your spouse at a really inappropriate time. You accidentally send the message to your boss, who now really wants to have an “after hours” drink with you.
• Take up a new hobby that you never thought you would ever do. Turns out your are allergic to Orchids and your flower arranging class just cost you a $1,200 dollar visit to the hospital.
• Plan a vacation. The book it now option cost you $500 dollars less, however when your kid catches the mumps a day before your departure date you learn the cheap price was because it was non-refundable.
• Compliment a random stranger. The stranger just thought you were hitting on her and her weight lifting boyfriend is about to have a “talk” with you... And not in a good way.
• Call a friend you haven’t talked to in years just to touch base. Your friend decides that now is the time to unburden her soul about the time she slept with your boyfriend in college which is why he broke up with you... He said it was because he was going to grad school, the lying bastard. Which then makes you so angry that you take it out on your husband who then has an affair with your sister, because, let’s face it, the slut would totally do it, right?

Wreck-less Advice is not something you need from other people. It could be something that you have always felt inside that just needs to be expressed. You can never know the outcomes of your choices, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make them. Do something you have always wanted to do, think something you were afraid to think, dare yourself to do the impossible..

And while all of this sounds completely exciting, inventive, and wonderful... Please keep in mind that my greatest posting accomplishment to date is I am the first link that comes up if you google “Guide to bleaching your asshole”.


Thank you very much HusBlog!

Random Relaxation

I still feel relaxed from yesterday...odd. I mean it is strange for me to feel relaxed at all, let alone for it to carry over into a second day. I shared a photo of my lunch from yesterday, but I neglected to tell you about my breakfast. We stopped to grab a bite on our way to spa-ville, and I had an eggshell in my potatoes, as well as a hair. I can let one incident slide (oh, unless it is a moth), but two strikes need to be pointed out. They were really good potatoes too. We already had a coupon for one free meal, so it was more of a just thought you should know sort of thing. We still got our one free meal, as well as half off the other. You would think that from now on I would scan my plate closely BEFORE digging in.

Speaking of food, I am familiar with the Mardi Gras King cake tradition, but is this any way to treat royalty? Oh, and I guess this bakery doesn't bake that adorable doll in ahead of time, so somebody gets to cram that into the cake? Or is it just taped there to represent exactly what the baby you might bite into looks like? In other words, if you pull a tiny doll out of your mouth that doesn't look like that, tough luck-keep eating.

Here is a thought from Fozzie on facials... Canned pumpkin does not achieve the same results as the blueberry facials his ladies give him, but it is delicious.

I did not purchase this product...That is not anything I equate smoothness with.

We saw The Muppets on Saturday afternoon. My daughter has had the song "Am I a Muppet or a Man" stuck in her head pretty much ever since. I told her to pull up the video and listen to the whole song again to see if that would make it go away. Of course, I had to watch too...and now I have had the song stuck in my head ever since as well. Mainly just the same "question" over, and over...and over again! Can I just tell you how much I love the cheap theater we have nearby? Thanks. Four movie tickets, large reusuable Muppet bucket full of popcorn...grand total of $13.50

I know you are all out looking for mismatched velour ensembles, and as promised, here is the girls' portion of the dress code letter to parents...
Girls should wear a dressy dress, either long or short. Students are not allowed to wear tube tops, garments that are completely backless or below the bra line, see-through clothing, dresses that are to be worn braless, tops that are too low cut in the front, and any clothing that exposes any of the midriff or the belly button. Skirt length should be the same that is appropriate for school. Strapless dresses and spaghetti straps are allowed
Just a couple of quick notes here. First of all, nothing does say dressy like a tube top (and they coordinate well with velour suits). Second, are strapless and spaghetti strap dresses meant to be worn with bras?

Things are going super swell in pedometer land, as I am sure you can tell from this photo of me eating an ice cream cone, while checking to see if my walking in place in our family room had yielded 7,000 steps yet. Oh, you can't see it? Yes, that is because I just accidentally deleted it. Have no fear though, as I am not proud to say that it was not an isolated incident.

A Random "Thank You!" to Stacy for hosting the rebellion!


Monday, February 27, 2012


Monday? Really? Since when are you so glorious? Don't worry, I will lower my expectations next week, but for now...I love you!

I was not thrilled to see the numbers on the clock this morning. School vacation was over, and it was time to get things rolling right at 6:00 a.m. However, this morning I had reason to usher everyone on their way with a smile, because it was Spa Day! Today was the day my mother was treating a couple of her friends, my aunt, and me to treatments at a local spa to celebrate her own upcoming retirement. (Yes, my mom is THAT awesome!)

Those of you who have been hanging out here for awhile know that I am not one to treat myself to much pampering (or simple hair coloring, or waxing...) My mother suggested that I try a facial, since she had an inkling that the thought of a full body massage might stress me enough to counteract any of its intended purpose. Once we signed in, we were given robes and sandals to wear. The eucalyptus steam room and the sauna were pointed out, as well as the outdoor hot tub and the reflecting pool. Those are the things you get to do while you wait for your massage...this was no crappy waiting room with outdated magazines!

There might've been a moment where my aunt almost accidentally lunged at a woman in the steam room, but eyeglasses+steam=immediate poor vision. At first I thought that room was my worst nightmare of weather, but I admit, I got used to it very quickly.

Until recently, I had some preconceived notions that a facial involved a tackle box of makeup, complete with mascara that would take a week to flake off completely. It might've been better when I thought that because now that I have seen the light? Oh my! Oh so fabulously wonderfully incredible! (Don't hate...I'll be back to cleaning other people's bathrooms tomorrow.)

Lunch at the spa was also included in this celebration. My mother said we were going to go in our robes, because we could. I am still not sure that equated to we should, but I wasn't going to argue. Five women in white robes standing at the hostess desk of a fancy restaurant while fully clothed folks dined. Before we were seated though, my mother
wanted to show us how the wine card worked...Just swipe and choose! FYI...$3 got her about what is in that glass.

And here is my lunch and hummingbird cake...

And then, well, then it was time to go home...I might have wept a little. (oops, the photos are setting up how I placed them, but you get the idea!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Got my shame in order

Jill over at Yeah. Good Times. provides ample opportunities each week for us to get our giggle on, but now she is giving even more. She started things rolling and now is inviting us to share our shame for the world to see! I know, cool, right?

I have recently worked my way through most of the mine fields in the house. I suppose I could've just waited a few days, as I am sure we'd have been back to one shade lighter than squalor. Instead, I had to travel a little bit further than usual to find what lies beneath this facade of borderline picked-uppedness.

Here we are...in the basement. When I walk down there, I am not struck by any one thing in particular, but seeing the photos seems to highlight certain things. Those first few bins...um, the ones under the sombrero...give the illusion of organization with their flashy labels and such. I cannot say for sure that those labels are even accurate. Maybe that Hess truck collection is what exists of our college funds for the kids. I see five boxes that are know are empty, and can offer no legitimate explanation for why they are there.

Let's try another angle...Oh, this is where I am storing my children's childhoods, since I cannot let them go completely. Those labels are correct, so if you want Playmobils, Thomas, Polly or My Little Ponies, just ask. Those games on the shelves are the ones we just don't play very often, as there is a closet upstairs filled with ones I pretend need to be at arm's reach. I'd include a photo, but then I would have to get up and move, plus I am not sure I am ready for full disclosure. My backup kitchen stuff doesn't look so overwhelming from this angle. It helps that so many canned goods were distributed at the holidays, and the empty jars haven't really started rolling back in yet.

Yet another angle... Oh, this is lovely! Front and center is the "I am not sure why it's here, but I know it can't leave" pile. Oops, I see something I was supposed to list on eBay for a friend...so now I am hoarding other people's things too? Ugh! I can try to justify some of that stuff, as all of my holiday decor is there (as you can probably see). It gets a little sketchy when we move to those white shelves, as they are the backup shelves, to the other backup shelves, to the backup closet of craft supplies. My daughter has been frequenting these regularly, I must say.

It really doesn't matter what all of these things are, as it is the quantity of stuff that shames me. I also have to admit that I just spent three hours cleaning (whatever that means) this space up a few weeks ago. I harnessed most things, and might've gotten rid of a few as well. Wait! Upon closer look, it appears I am not the only one feeling shamed.
Really Ken? Skipper? And I don't even want to know what that cable is for!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crime scene

No theft, no death...unless you count the person who dyed.

I bought a box of one of those hair color rinses back in the fall. It was the kind that claimed to wash out in 28 washes. It was just the sort of commitment and maintenance free (oh and cheap) pick me up I was game to try, as the gray hairs were going beyond what I could yank out each day. I felt like such a big girl bringing that box of ammonia-free promises into the house. Once I read the directions, I felt like a five year old. I had to ponder the possibility of doing an allergy check, plus figure out the logistics of how to actually get that secret potion onto my hair.

I did what I usually do when faced with such challenges, and called a friend. She assured me that I could do without the skin test, and that maybe it would be easier to just have her put the dye on my head the next time I was at her house. Plan in motion. Round one went well, and I marveled over why I hadn't done such a thing sooner. I did not miss those wayward strands of gray hair anywhere near as much as one would have thought, based on my initial hesitation.

I am not sure if exactly 28 hair washings had gone by, but as promised, the camouflage was gone. My friend, L'Oreal and I did not seem to all meet up together at the same time, so I found myself flying solo staring down the plastic gloves and foreboding directions once again. After one last phoned in pep talk, I got to work.

The first moment of panic came when I noticed that the dye was a yellowish creamy color...for my nearly black hair...hmmm. I knew I could not have botched the one step directions to that point, so I carried on. Before I knew it, I was cotton swabbing off the careless blotches of dye that I had gotten on my cheek, hairline, sink, cabinet and ears. I am sure less floppy gloves would've made all the difference. I had started off with the area that was most obvious to me every morning, so I knew I had enough product there, plus it had been on the longest.

My daughter's cookies had twenty minutes to bake and this stuff only had to be in my hair for ten minutes. I am not exactly sure where all of the time went, but there was the buzzer going off while I was still a towel frocked mess of sorts. I ran downstairs to tend to my portion of that cookie making day, then quickly retreated. I did not have it in me to subject my daughter, son and his two friends to whatever mess I was going to make by trying to rinse in the kitchen sink.

I decided that the tub in the children's bathroom was better suited than my own bathroom sink for the rinsing portion of my program. When the water finally ran clear, I towel-turbaned myself and carried on. That moment of truth when I flipped my head back upright after blow drying was less than satisfactory. There were all of those same gray hairs pointing at me (and laughing, of course). Not only had I tried so hard, but also knew from past experience, with the same product, that far better results were to be expected.

Later in the day, upon wandering into the children's bathroom again for some laundry, I saw the crime scene. There were purplish tell-tale finger smudge type signs all over...the inside of the tub, the edge of it, the outside of the tub, the floor. Of course then I had a moment of panic when I tried to clean up the mess, wondering if any of the ingredients in the dye would have a reaction with my bathroom cleaner spray causing toxic fumes...of course that was where my mind went. Clearly I did a fabulous job dyeing everything...except my hair.
(This is the spot on my bathroom wall. Do you think it will come off in 28 washes?)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All about the random

We opted for a stay-cation again this year for February break. It doesn't hurt to play it safe since the winters are so snowy here in Central New York. Let me correct myself...every other winter I can recall has treated us to a bountiful amount of snow for February break. It is mid-winter break...time to do wintery things. This year it looks like I will have to talk the kids into putting on heavy sweatshirts, carrying umbrellas and squealing with glee as we try to pull each other across the grassy yard in forty-five degree weather. Ick! We were off to a good start to something resembling time off over the weekend, as I got out of cooking two nights in a row! By yesterday morning, we seemed to be drifting back into something suspiciously similar to every other day, where I shuttle folks around, do laundry and feed people. The dog is absolutely exhausted, as he takes our presence in the house as a reason to stand guard with limited naps. Those are my random thoughts just on the kids having the week off. Moving on...

I was part of a designated driver tag team for my mother and her friends, who were attending the annual Winterfest Martini Walk (cocktails know no weather restrictions). I am not sure if the only thing that makes chocolate better is a orange pomegranate martini; or if the only thing that makes such a martini better is some dark chocolate!

If you are going to print an 85 page document, it is not a bad idea to click on that little thing that makes the pages have numbers, especially if your printer just spits things willy-nilly all over the floor when you aren't looking. This did serve well to advance my procrastination efforts though, I suppose.

Not sure which sounds worse: Mushy or Processed Peas?

Look! My crocheting has gone 3-D... Yup, you're right, that is going to be a bird...mm-hmmm, I'm sure of it! Patterns don't lie. The wings are made, but I have just not had the courage for the moment of truth when I try to attach them.

Yeah baby! We are back to "great" with regards to our power company ranking. We have actually fallen to #19 out of our 99 mystery neighbors, whereas two months ago when we were #13
we were only doing "good" .

I only see FOUR Snickerdoodles on this cookie sheet... Which one would you pick? That slightly misshapen one? Me too!

Well, it's 10:00 p.m. and I have to go walk in place in front of the television for 3,100 more steps. Super swell planning on my part! So, there's your pedometer update.

Thanks to Stacy for hosting the Random Thoughts Rebellion...take a step on over to see what's shaking at her place!

Friday, February 17, 2012


It seems that my last post might be showing up a little wonky for some of you. I asked the in house tech crew to investigate. That caused him the agony of having to go to my blog on his laptop (he only had to ask the address twice). He thinks it is a browser issue. Rest assured it was another stellar random thoughts post, as opposed to my goodreads books just getting moved over in to the body of the post! Maybe if I just repost it?

Oh, and while technology is out to get me, have robots gotten smarter and that is why the word verification letters are suddenly much harder to read, or is that just me?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Random Valentino


I love Valentine's Day! There, I said it. Wait! Before you leave, it has nothing to do with romance or high expectations. I just love the playfulness and the reminder of giddiness from decades gone by...back before there was drama, and it was just plain silly and fun to have a crush on the one kid in your class who didn't pick his nose. I am a huge fan of heart shapes and candy, so that doesn't hurt either. I dumped a brand new bag of conversation hearts into the bowl today, and I don't even care how picked over they get! I am throwing havoc to the wind on this festive day!

Now let's throw a little random into the mix to make the party complete...

There were new stickers in the butcher case this week...I did not see any selections specifically marked as pet friendly, and was a little surprised to find out that boneless chicken could pose a problem. Maybe bacon is a better choice for your fat old dog?

This sign on the granite desk at the orthodontist's office amused me... They are PROUD to accept these credit cards. They will feel honored if you put $5,000 on whichever credit card in your wallet charges the highest interest. It would fill them with a sense of pride if it takes you eleventy-seven years of minimum payments to make your child uncomfortable for the next two years.

When I read about Glen Campbell having Alzheimers, I had to look closely at the photo of him to jar my memory as to which singer from that era he is. His face looked vaguely familiar, but I didn't really know what he sang. Fast forward a few days to me watching the Grammy awards with the kids, and belting out every single word to Rhinestone Cowboy. I recognized the name of the song when they announced it, but I had no idea it was anywhere in my mental playlist.

I had viewed my bank account online the other day, and one of the number columns looked a little odd, but I thought the ipad was just messing with me, so I didn't think much more about it. This evening the phone rang and my bank's name came up on the caller id. My first thought was that there was no way I was talking to some customer service rep, about how to better manage my funds, on Valentine's Day...unless there was going to be chocolate involved. Then I realized they could be calling me about whatever disaster was brewing in that odd column of zeroes, so I answered the phone..."hello?" and I heard "Andie" in a quick and stern deep voice. Oh my gosh, this was bad--they did not even say "hello" AND they know my nickname.....oh, or it was my brother calling from work (using his desk voice) just to say hello.

I was cruising around on my son's junior high school's website the other day, when I ran across a letter to parents regarding the ninth grade dance. It will take place on June first, but apparently there were some matters they really felt the need to get a jump start on addressing. Here is the section on "Attire for boys":

Boys should wear a button down shirt, dress pants that must be buttoned and zipped and worn appropriately, not sagged down exposing undergarments. Boys should NOT wear velour pants with the matching velour jacket. It is not necessary for the boys to rent a tuxedo. Canes and top hats must be checked in the coatroom.

So many thoughts...

* Thanks for the advice on the buttoning of the pants. Oh, zipping too?

* Can you wear velour pants with a jacket that does not match?

* Will the rabbit be safe in the coatroom?

* Is there a chance in hell that the parents who might've let these rules slide is even glancing at this friendly reminder?

* Back to the velour...I am not convinced I even know what they are talking about!

My husband is out of town on business, so that did crumple my cupid wings just a bit. I hope he can forgive me for the night of reckless abandon I am about to embark on with this incredible guy...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Procrastination weekend wrap-up...

We all kept our schedules cleared yesterday, since the husband was leaving for business (so he said) late this morning. We thought it would be nice to have a carefree day together to enjoy each other's company. I missed the part of the memo indicating that all of said quality time, from the afternoon on, would take place in front of the television. I was afraid to make any sudden movements because something fabulous could've happened at any moment. I grabbed my bag of crocheting fun to show my true commitment to where I sat. I even ventured beyond dishcloths!

There were some good intentions earlier in the day. I did not lounge in bed, and was at the grocery store by 8:30. The husband had somewhere to go as well, so I figured I could try to give the impression that I was not completely lazy. The kids and I ate our doughnuts and bagels upon my return. The powdered sugar delight seemed an appropriate reward for all of that cart pushing and grocery gathering. The husband came home shortly thereafter, and soon wandered off. The next thing we heard were the melodious sounds of the churning elliptical machine mixed with boisterous "shouts" as he "sang" along with his workout tunes. This noise was soon followed by his ultimate power jam, in which the sound of his hands smacking the heck out of the exercise equipment joined in. I got so aggravated. I am sure I was trying to do something downstairs that required serious concentration, like trying to figure out why I had so few steps logged on my pedometer. (Curse those high-waisted pants!)

Luckily, he only lasted an hour on the elliptical. Really? Wow that time really flew from where I was. He was very pleased to announce that he had gone just over seven miles, for the first time, in one hour. Mmm-hmm. We were all impressed by that achievement, as well as the fact that he hadn't passed out from the amount of sweat pouring off of himself. Well, I was off to take a shower (yes, after I went to the grocery store-that is what hats are for...and before he could get in there--he was not done panting and dripping yet).

After I got ready for my day, but before I realized how it was going to be spent, I decided to wander down the hall since I was upstairs. Ah, that writing area I set up for myself. It looked really welcoming from the hallway. However, when I entered, there was a scent I did not immediately recognize. At first I thought maybe it was the smell of a high school gymnasium. It had another distinct aroma about it though, that I finally realized, was guilt...but was it coming from the keyboard on the left, or the elliptical on the right? I did what anyone would do, and got the heck out of there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Procrastination update...

I don't know if those of you who weren't getting my email responses to your comments get notified when I leave a reply right here on the blog....Anyhow, I am trying that now. I have worked my way back into January. I was originally planning to go back one post, but this chair downstairs is kind of comfy, so why head upstairs when the son will be home in twenty minutes anyway? Plus, I think I forgot to make sure there was ample seating for Fozzie up in my writing lair.

Oh, I went to see the geniuses today! Note to self, next time you are bringing the ipad in for a tech check, close some windows on Safari so your shining bloggy face isn't right there (although I'm pretty sure he put the address right on his itouch, almost positive!). Maybe it wouldn't have hurt to have some knowledge of how many bazillion apps the girl had loaded up as well. He totally didn't look like he believed that I didn't know they were there...until maybe when I fessed up to not knowing that Safari is an app. Plus, every time he typed a letter into the menu bar, I nearly had a panic attack that something absolutely ridiculous was going to pop up! He closed down the open apps, after explaining to my wide eyed gaze of a six year old, that it's like a kitchen counter and if you put too much stuff on it (open) things will start to fall off. Was he not a genius?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Seeking optimism

I am a big fan of the notion that you can't win if you don't play, and you'll never make the shots you don't take. Apparently not a big enough fan to actually implement these ideas in my own life. Of course they represent the attitude I want my children to have. However, when it comes to my own big ideas, I pretty much slink down into a soothing mantra of "If you don't start, you can't fail" (muttered between mouthfuls of chocolate). Pitiful! So it is safe for you to assume that there has been no actual progress on my book as of late.

Actually, that is not completely fair to say. I was having some trouble focusing while on the family computer, with all of its hooked up to the internet fascinations and bright shiny colors. The ipad also gave me the luxury of checking in on other blogs in addition to other great distractions like Words With Friends. Although it has not been providing me the luxury of typing beyond a third grade speller, with its temperamental spell check and general lack of participation when I try to go fix the errors I actually do see. (I guess it is time to go visit the genius bar. I just hope I don't need a translator for whatever it is they are trying to tell me, or for what I am trying to convey to them, as I am sure there will be no mishaps in the glowing walls of Apple land.)

So where was I? Aside from procrastinating. Oh, that is exactly where I was. I decided to make the spare bedroom my time out/writing space. I thought it counted as "working on the book". We have an old eMac up in that room that has no internet, but does have wordprocessing programs. I had to move some furniture around though to make sure the space the computer was sitting on was roomy enough. I also wanted to make sure I wouldn't get distracted by the elliptical...(yeah, that's funny!) I had to declutter a bit, or a lot. Then there was the matter of moving the documents onto that computer. To expedite the process, I put the in-house AV club on the case, but he thought a flash drive would be quicker than firing up the external hard drive. He was probably right, provided we could find just one of the three flash drives that are usually laying around. The son said his was in his pencil case, as he had just seen it there that morning. No luck. (We found it on his nightstand when he went to bed.) He also said he preferred that I not open the Darth Vader one he got for Christmas. The daughter said she gave hers back to me when she was done with it. I was only up for a minor cabinet search, and the junk drawer yielded nothing either. Knowing time was of the essence before the tech crew would wander off, I asked him to please just use the hard drive thing. That thing...the one that is always in the computer desk cabinet, but had sprouted legs and walked off...yes, that one. Two search parties went out looking in all of the logical places. As soon as the husband had ambled towards the television, and past the point of no return, I remembered where the item had been stashed/housed in a very organized manner. I was bound and determined to finish this one small task, so I loaded up the two nanowrimo documents from 2010 and 2011 (and hoped the editing fairies had shone their light upon them). Then I went upstairs to load the files onto the old computer, and got the message "That item already exists, would you like to replace it?" You are damn straight I want to replace it! It had just taken me over thirty minutes to get the stars and moon aligned to get that stuff together, and I was not going to entertain the idea that I had already done this before! It was 9:00 p.m. by that point and I had some good television shows to fall asleep in the middle of, so there was no further progress to be made that night.

Enough about me, or at least the me who flounders and flusters. When I first made mention on this blog, of trying to pull off writing a book, the amazing MOV from mothersofbrothers left a comment to email her if I needed any advice (as she had recently self-published a book). I sent a quick thank you, and kept the thought in the back of my head, in hopes that in the near future I would be able to figure out a meaningful question to ask her. This was right after the holidays, and I might've still been trying to air the burnt plastic smell out of my house. This week I finally decided I needed to contact her, but this meant I had to find the post she had commented on, which proved to be no easy task. Another thirty minutes, gone.

I was so excited when I finally found it, that I might have sent some hopped up on Pixie Stix type of email to the poor unsuspecting woman. Her response offered to talk me off the ledge and included her phone number and an invitation to call her the next day. What? Seriously? But she was MOV...she had written a book for goodness sakes! A really great book as a matter of fact. She gave me over an hour of her time, and provided so much incredibly useful information and just general support. (Oh, and we also realized that she is one of the folks who has never received any of my responses to any of her comments--ugh! Embarrassing to look so ungrateful for over a month!)

I may not have made much other progress, but at least now have a really solid understanding of what that effort needs to accomplish. I might still be moving all of those pages of type here and there to various other piles of paperwork that need attention, but MOV (Master Of Vision?) spoke with such pride and enthusiasm that I do know in my heart of hearts that I must and will do this.

Check out mothersofbrothers for some humorous and very creatively written posts. Her book is awesome as well. It is a collection of seventy of her favorite past blog posts, and is available on Amazon.com Go get it!
(Fozzie approves of this message as well!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Randomly random

Welcome! Oh don't mind the ants, I just haven't swept around here in awhile!

Here I am, stranded at home because the general germiness of schools and the wacko temperature shifts have kept at least one person in this house suffering from some sort of coughing/stuffy/running for about four weeks now. I have never seen my kids catch colds with less than a week of respite in between before. Suffice to say, I am not impressed by this marvel. Today the daughter is home trying to figure out a way to keep her overly stuffed head upright. It is not that I had any outrageous plans to cancel, but I had considered wandering aimlessly out in the real world. This is also not to say that I do not have about two weeks of things that could and should be done around my house...hence my plan to flee! I am completely baffled by my inability to effortlessly shift gears these days. It's like a massive effort to talk myself into anything that deviates from what I thought I was going to do. I guess this really only applies to when my flight efforts are thwarted and I am left to make an in-house list. I did make one tactical error today that involved getting back under my covers at 7:15 after finding out Senorita Stuffy was staying put. I had been up getting the boy child out the door since 6:00, sooooo nap time? This was not conducive to list making...at all!

I heard an ad on the radio yesterday, regarding people whose online habits were problematic. The show in question was going to discuss things like facebook and how to know if you have a problem. One of the warning signs they gave was if you were to start neglecting other things. Well of course I would rather be online than making dinner or vacuuming. I am guessing they meant more serious violations like neglecting other humans in the house. At what age can they fend for themselves anyway? 48? Is hiding from the same as neglecting?

Does this guy seem sexy to you?
Moreso than if his hands weren't clean? There were life size folks like this sprinkled around the hospital, but his sign had the goofiest message, in my opinion. I felt like I should know who he was, as why else would I care what his views on proper hygeine were? Maybe none of the Grey's Anatomy docs couldn't fit the photo shoot into their schedules for a lowly Central New York hospital's "wash your damn hands" campaign? There was also a nurse whose sign said "So easy, even a three year old can do it"...um, yeah but they don't, unless you help!

Would it really compromise the amount of jewelry these could accommodate if heads were included?
It seems like arms might even be a bonus. They just remind me of that one toy in Sid's room from Toy Story who had a head but an erector set type of body. I guess I am just not edgy enough!

Uh-oh, the washer and dryer have stopped...time to rotate!

Tumble on over to visit Stacy and see what randomness other folks are cleaning out!


Monday, February 6, 2012


People sometimes say that it is the thrill of the chase. I have gone on many a quest since becoming a mother over fourteen years ago, and I would like to clarify that for me, the chase is not terribly exciting unless I catch what I am after. The times I have come home empty handed, rare as they may be, have provided neither fanfare nor delightful tales of what basically amounted to running errands. When Stacy mentioned, in her blog, that she was desperately seeking Skylanders, I have to admit that I felt a little rush of adrenaline. It had been awhile, and I was looking to dust off my super seeking skills to find her some. Of course I didn't write down what the little figures were called, so I was unable to scour the shelves at Target very effectively. In my mind they were called Star Avengers, and I certainly didn't see any of those. I have been to Target three times since, but have not remembered what they are called.

I started to reminisce about some of the good old days, rummaging for whatever fabulous item would make my child smile that particular season. Since I am a collector by nature, some of the findings absolutely had more to do with satisfying my own needs than any actual deficit in our toy box. I was fortunate that my missions were rarely for any one big ticket item. Instead, they were usually things that cost under $5.00 a piece, which made the "how many?" decision difficult. If one is going to collect Littlest Pet Shop animals, she should have every pet, no?
The constant creation of new critters to add to the mix was compounded by the fact that they were pretty cute (as was my daughter). This is a small sampling of who lives in our basement, but to get out the fanciest would've required me to run dangerously close to actually playing with them, and I had a blog post to write. I did have to resort to ebay one holiday for the ladybug and bee. Most of the time though, I was actually crazed when I'd hit that aisle to find five new animals...madness in $4 increments! Plus, was there ebay potential to consider, beyond the needs and wants of our own home?

These dudes (formally called Rescue Heroes)
were about $7.00, and in addition to how cool they were visually, they also had awesome names. If your son is named Matthew, it goes without saying that a search for Matt Medic needs to commence. We knew people with other names too, so we needed CLIFF Hanger, BRANDON Irons, and BEN Choppin' too. I needed to find Aiden Assist because he was in a wheelchair and I was all about having a diverse team. Why do I remember their names, you might ask (or at least think, but are too kind to question). Well, the part of my brain that struggled with Social Studies every year, even into to college, was clearly reserved to house such delicate matters as toy names. (Oh, except for Skylanders...for crying out loud, I just had to scroll up to see what they are called again!) That photo is just part of our remaining collection. I sold a good portion of them on ebay about five years ago. (The owner, who was nine at the time was consulted, but perhaps not compensated.) I think I am over it. I did purchase the 9/11 FDNY firefighter Billy Blazes on ebay, since my uncle is a proud FDNY retiree. I am not exactly sure why I have that "sealed in the box" item in my basement though.

My current hunt is for Series 6 Lego minifigures. We sort of missed Series 1, but I had two through five covered, as you can see, from the boy's shelf, (where they all pile out of the VW bus):
and of course, the girl's shelf:These come one per sealed package, and you don't know who you'll be getting...unless you get really good at feeling the package very carefully, while looking at the picture of who is available in that series...at least, that's what I've heard. Yes, they are available online, but part of the adventure in my missions is to pay a decent price for things, and shipping charges do not fall under that heading.

I've given you a brief glimpse into our Lego world, and though I took the pictures to discuss this specific collection more fully, I am not ready to divulge the extent of what is lurking in our basement. It is not just my fear that they will riot and come after me while I sleep if they do not get their very own post! Here is one last glimpse...
This is the Dwarves' Mine set that was sold out online, and nonexistent in any local stores one Christmas (and marked up too much on ebay). I actually resorted to calling the various Lego stores that were listed on the website. I got lucky on the fourth store, and they agreed to take my credit card number and mail me the set from halfway across the country. Full disclosure? I called back and asked for a second set for a friend...named ebay.

We were hit pretty hard by the Webkinz craze too. In fact, it still punches me every now and then. I am not including a photo of that collection because it's the only one I was not truly on board for. It was the one that I heard actual pleading about. It was the one that I...I...Ok, I have some Webkinz too.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Say what?

Today was report card day! I am not sure how my actual children performed, because the only papers I got were for a ninth grader and a sixth grader. Seriously? When did that all happen? I know this is nothing terribly unique as so many parents ponder the same shock at the passing of time.

I had some notes for possible blog topics, and apparently if you let the list sit long enough, you will find other bloggers talking about some of the same sorts of things. The Mad Woman Behind the Blog, at Diary of a Mad Woman, was sharing some thoughts about some particular items in her daughter's language development. So sweet!

In our house, there were some minor blending issues with my son. An airplane would "sly", as did the main character in one of our favorite books, Old Black Fly. Doug Slutie would allegedly wave to him from the television during a Bills game. The daughter graced us with "durls" for girls and her brother was "Ma-heww" (said right thru her nose, whereas now she just turns up her nose when she says it at times). My favorite was, and still is, "Hiyo Titty", who will always be very near and dear to my heart (and will always be referred to by that slightly inappropriate name). Little Miss and I spent some limited quality time together in front of the bathroom mirror watching our mouths move to create the desired sounds. Her patience with me during these sessions should have been noted as some foreshadowing for numerous future encounters.

A couple of my other favorite mispronunciations came from a friend's daughter. We still use these words around the house at times. See if you can figure out what they are (no fair for the mom to give the answer). They are "drilled trees", and "dram crappers". (Hint: both are food items very popular with hungry preschoolers.)

As much as I miss the budding language skills of my own children when they were so young, I do enjoy that they are able to appreciate the humor around us now. There is another thing we say in our house that came out of the mouth of a babe. They were playing MarioKart with my dear godson when his mother told him he had time for a just a couple more races. After two races went by, my kids knew the party was over. However, as his mom told him it was time to be done, he fell right to pieces. When he was told that he'd been warned, he pleaded "You said a couple more, that's like NINE or SEVEN!" Be careful how many you ask for around here.

While the children who live in our house (which feels like four of us at times) have left what I guess I should call baby talk behind, I do still find them endlessly entertaining to listen to.