Friday, March 30, 2012

Good-bye Cocoa Rose*

I have spent some time lately bemoaning how little time I seem to have lately to be out wandering with the rest of the general know, my soul searching time at Target has taken a hit. In order to soothe myself, I have tried making several mini trips to Target wherein I just buy up armfuls of stuff, shop a little in the comfort of my home, and then return that which was too impulsive to remain within these four walls. Yesterday was a day with nobody else's house cleaning needs on my schedule. I had ample time to breath the slightly stale air of stores. I had a list (home on the counter), and by golly I was going to be productive once again. Here is how that went...

I was at Target by 8:30 to return the drapes I didn't care for, and to get another set of the ones I did care for. (I was coached thru this design emergency by my mother.) As I handed over the drapes that didn't hang like I'd hoped, I noticed that the new clearance tag being applied to them was $4.00 less than I paid. This caused me to pause, reflecting on whether $8.00 less for the pair made me willing to accept their character flaws. Just walk away...quickly. I had a hand full of coupons that easily directed me through the store, saving money at every turn! Five miles away from Target, I realized I forgot to get the drapes I did want, as they were not a coupon item.

I stopped at Michael's craft store for something. I agonized for quite some time over which faux flowers would be best for the cemetery. Five miles from Michael's, I realized I forgot to make the return that was right there in my purse. I went to my grandmother's, and in addition to our cemetery visit, I was able to run in to three different stores to get everything on her list.

On my way home I decided to go make my return at Michael's. After pulling into the parking space, I reached into my purse, and pondered the ACMoore craft store bag. It took me only a second to remember that I had indeed made that purchase at ACMoore. I realized that I really shouldn't concern myself with a decrease in time to be productive out running errands. No, instead I thought I would best be served if I headed home and spent the next couple of hours cleaning. First, I did stop at Target for the drapes though.

OK, maybe I also stopped at Home Depot to ponder colors for the fireplace mantle. I was able to eek out some valuable information from an interior decorator who just happened to be there picking up some paint. I also wandered back into the tile aisle, and realized that I missed a whole land of time options the first time I stepped into that unfamiliar territory. I bought another trial sheet and some paint so that if I had nothing else to do this weekend, I could start my project.

I had cleaned the family room yesterday morning before leaving the house, as I thought that would really be a jump start that would inspire me to keep that momentum going on my return home. Or, maybe it would cause me to think the house looked pretty darn good if I just stayed in that one spot. It looked so swell, in fact, that I decided it would be wrong to stir up any dust anywhere else. I did the next logical thing, which was to paint the fireplace mantle. (I know, that's exactly what you were going to suggest.) I decided that the paint I already had here was just what I needed, so the return pile begins again.

I suppose it is time to take a good look in the mirror, get distracted and tweeze a little bit, then ask myself what, or who, is really keeping me from being as efficient as I delude myself into thinking one woman needs to be. Have a relaxing weekend, for me, and I will live vicariously through you!

*This title refers to the color that the mantle used to be. She deserved a shout out. Our previous neighbors had this gallon of paint leftover, and I just loved the color. I was bound and determined to use it somewhere in our home. I even brought it to a friend's house to see if she'd be happy there. I started slowly by painting the base of our old kitchen table, which was garage saled a few years back. The place it finally landed was on the mantle. It didn't necessarily match any color scheme we had going on back then, but didn't offend it either. I will not forget her hue, nor the lovely lady who introduced us. Full disclosure, I think there is still a half gallon of it in the basement. That could be dangerous if I ever feel overly nostalgic...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 3

This past Sunday, our school district's girls' varsity basketball team won the state Federation title. We were excited to go greet them upon their return to the high school. We had a few hours to gather our poster board and markers to make some signs.

The daughter put a lot of detail on hers...Here is the husband's...

After thanking the crowd that had gathered, there was some important business to tend to. Apparently a bet had been made between the coach and his players. A set of hair clippers, a cape and a power source were brought out to get to work on his new reverse mohawk.
It didn't look any better from the back.
It was so much fun watching the team play this season. The four of us went to as many of the games as we could...cheering together and talking about what we saw. We got to see the #1 National recruit for girls' basketball display her amazing talent on our very own school's gymnasium floor. We got to see the entire team rise up to play with her. This is Breanna Stewart doing her television interview wearing a Burger King crown. (So fitting after coach spoke his piece with the new 'do.)

It makes me happy that we got to watch an incredible basketball season together, and with our friends. We may have only known one of the girls on the team, but it sure was easy to get caught up in the thrill! It makes me happy that my daughter has this awesome chick, Hannah, to look up to (and that her parents let us sit with them at the games)!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random dinosaur

You know, Wilma Flintstone had a a lot going for her, and she made great use of what she had (including that dolt Fred). Her best friend lived next door, and all of her damn household appliances cooperated for the most part. Today I find myself trying to live in this Jetson fast-paced world just wishing it didn't all move in such hurry up fashion. Meanwhile in the back of my mind I am wondering why some things take so damn long. I am conflicted.

We are trying to refinance our mortgage. It will cost us $3500 to stay with the same bank, pay $100 less each month, and shorten the life of the loan by a year. I know how that supposedly makes sense on paper, but as a practical matter? No. The hoops we are jumping through and the phone calls we aren't getting from the people who are supposed to be making them? Enough already. I think there are times when matters require more than phone calls and emails. I think I need a human being to look me in the eye so I can confirm that they are actually listening and responding to the question at hand. I want to show them the numbers that seem wrong, instead of them explaining where they got a possibly different set of numbers.

That is all for the random, and fleeting, aggravation. Moving on...
I noticed a couple of blogs that I follow celebrated blogging anniversaries/birthday recently. That got me thinking that things felt a little bit older around here. (I think I need a little sprucing up. Again, think Wilma.) I missed this blog's special day by over a month! Not only do I not know if they make cards intended for such belated greetings, but I am not positive which route to go with. Part of me thinks wishing this blog a Happy Second Birthday sounds super swell, because birthdays mean cake! Then again, the traditional second anniversary gift is cotton, and the modern is china. I could work with that. Maybe the best bet is to eat cake and
cotton candy off of my china. That is not to say that the occasion doesn't warrant something this fancy...This is what Fozzie does when we are home. I try not to imagine what goes one when we are out.

My grandmother locked herself out of her house yesterday. Not just the door from the garage to the house (which is an easy fix), but the other door from the garage to the great outdoors got locked when she walked next door to visit with the neighbor. My cousin recently made us all keys for that outside door in case we couldn't find the secret under the rock key. My grandmother called me because there was no key under the rock. I called my cousin to ask him where he put the key after having copies made, and he gave me a very descriptive definition of where, IN THE GARAGE it was located. Fantastic. The good news was that I was my grandmother's first call, so she wasn't worried about anyone else's whereabouts. By some stroke of luck I was able to quickly locate my copy of the key.

These little guys have been hanging out on our kitchen counter for a few months now.
I got them for my daughter for Christmas because, even though she doesn't play with her Calico Critters very much any more, they cracked me up and I knew she would get a kick out of them as well. There is really no reason for them to still be on the counter. I thought maybe we left them there because they made us smile, but I am starting to think that they are just creepy enough for me to be afraid to move them.

Thanks to Stacy for keeping the random alive and kicking!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 2

This picture of my niece was taken a year ago, when she was three days old.
She knew right away that she'd be destined to a lifetime of her aunt leading the charge of paparazzi watching her and her older brother grow. She already had the "please, no photos" wave down! (Do you love those wrinkles?)

This picture was taken this past weekend at her first birthday party.
I love how those little hands have grown and now move with so much more purpose. There was no hesitation getting that cake into her mouth.

It makes me so happy that we were able to share such a fun celebration with family.

There are more happy thoughts to check out at Leigh vs. Laundry.

No shortage of random

Some weeks I think I have a short supply of random, and then as I jot things down realize I am wrong. Other times I just flat out forget what the random was! Luckily I usually have a photo stash to remind me what I wanted to share with you. Let's jump right in, shall we?

The next time you are having a small gathering and think you might want to order a sandwich, this is what ten feet of wedge looks like...I highly recommend the eggplant, roasted red pepper and fresh mozzarella. Plus, I suggest you bring a minivan!

I saw this awesome project inspiration explanation on one of the science fair displays last week...Love the honesty! Wish I had noted what the project was.

Well fine Words With Friends, then I don't want to play with you either!
My niece got this gift for her first birthday. Really? I am not saying it isn't a great idea. I just can't believe it exists. It makes me feel even more Wilma Flintstoney than usual. At least I was in good company with the fossil flip phone cousins...

A few words about Dolphins...
1. I went to LeMoyne College (the Dolphins). A few years back I was sent notecards to persuade me to donate (pretty sure it wasn't a thank you for donating). The cards had a simple drawing of a dolphin and said "For awhile I lived as a dolphin". Whatever that meant.
2. I got my son the book, 5 Very Good Reasons You Should Punch a Dolphin. I know it doesn't sound very nice, but it is funny (especially if you are a 14 year old boy, or at least have some of the same sense of humor as one).
3. My friend sent me this picture of her new dolphin friend because I just wasn't grasping the description she was giving...She just loves him! Flipper just rolled over in his watery grave, I think.

The husband emailed us this picture from his business trip...
Glad to see they are working hard in New Orleans during this WHOLE week that he is away. I'm wrestling some dangerous things here, and their mouths aren't taped shut!

Here is something I have given way too much thought. I am considering going back to commenting via email to the people who have email enabled. What if they got used to that and haven't been checking back for my responses to their comments? What if did that without telling you all, and then you thought I just wasn't responding to everyone? There is the risk that I will accidentally respond to the great black hole of undeliverable emails though. I might be able to go find something else to worry about, or could at least distract myself by vacuuming!

Phew, now I am all set to start collecting my random thoughts for next week. Thank you Stacy for giving me a place to shed some of that mental clutter!


Monday, March 19, 2012


As I was reveling in the sanity I kept through yesterday's transportation issues, the universe was thinking up funny little ways to tempt my tingling tantrum senses. Our television was not working this morning, so my son just sat and ate his breakfast pretty much in the dark. (We don't turn on many lights at 6:15, as we prefer a gentle wake up.) I was worried he was going to fall back to sleep mid Pop-Tart chew (oh yeah, I am that much of an overachieving wholesome breakfast provider!) I poured the dog's food into his water dish, but he fell right in line with the kids and did not complain. I was so agitated by the whole television thing, but I got over it (when I got it to work).

The house is a pretty decent advertisement for folks who need a cleaning lady, as opposed to being where one actually lives. I was thrilled to realize I had you to turn to, as this blog has some housekeeping issues I need to tackle. I lack the technology to do a thorough spring cleaning, so I will tend to what I can...

First of all, a belated thank you to the lovely Lizbeth at Four Sea Stars for tagging me with this award! It's pretty and could give me cred with my kids (and their friends and their friends' mothers)...I am an award winning MOTHER and/or blogger. (It's my award, so I can put the emphasis where I choose, no?) Lizbeth makes me laugh, cry and frequently forward posts to people I love, who know exactly what she's talking about. (Oh, and I didn't just thank her because it's in the rules...even though it is in the rules.)

I am supposed to tell you ten things about myself that you may or may not know. Hmmm...let's come back to that!

Now I must blindfold myself and spin around and around, then point to six other folks to share the flair with. Hmmm...I'm kind of comfy and tired, so I think I'll just skip the blindfolded wandering and consult my magic list...(drumroll)

Not Just Another Mother Blogger
- She has been a friend since the first time I wandered over to her place. She makes me laugh and think...even though I usually check in at 6:00 a.m. That is no easy task at that time of day!

Kirb Appeal
- From decor to everyday happenings, this lady's got it going on!

The Big Green Bowl
- I can't get her, or her baked goods, out of my head! I saw Meyer lemons at our grocery store today, and there was Meyer infused olive oil on the counter at my parents', so that's probably a sign since Michael Ann has a tree of them right in her very own yard!

Seeking Elevation
- Love the chance to read about her international adventures. Plus her other tales are entertaining or gripping and always well written.

Taking it On
- I can honestly say that I don't recall how I stumbled upon this "Fitness Mom Blog". I just noticed that badge at the bottom of her page. Seriously, I'm glad she hasn't blocked my unfit butt from hanging out at her place! I find her inspiring...I just have to figure out what I am inspired to do!

Kids Galore Plus More
- I am killing two birds with one stone here on my task list. (Yay!) I gently encouraged (and by that, I mean nagged) my friend Elaine to start her own blog. I wanted to introduce you to her, and this seems like a swell way to do that since she deserves an award (as you will see).

Oh boy! Back to me again...

I looked back at the last time I noted some fascinating things about myself (other than my typical goings on), and was alarmed to find that I am not so fascinating! Go figure.

1. I can hold a grudge like you can only imagine.

2. I have an amazing memory for most things. This lends extra special zing to #1.

3. I have never had a manicure, nor pedicure (something about missing most of my two big toenails ruins that idea for me...too much info?)

4. I have no "beauty routine". I recently acquired some foundation that may, or may not, be the correct color. My other "supplies" consist of eyeliner, (that I haven't been using since it tends to wander off down my face) mascara, blush and two eyeshadow packs that sort of intimidate me. It would be fancy for me to wash my face with something pricier than Ivory soap.

5. I have a little spot in my heart for Barry Manilow. His album had the lyrics inside, and what nine year old girl doesn't want to sing her heart out to Daybreak?

(half way I losing you?)

6. I am afraid. That pretty much sums it up. Yup, I would say that at any/every given moment I am afraid of something or other.

7. I have no poker face. There are so many times when I am in a near panic thinking "Oh dear...what is my face doing right now?" It is not my intention to hurt anyone's feelings. Plus, if I think someone is full of crap, I don't really have it in me to tell them so in words...but I probably don't have to.

8. First impressions mean a lot to me, and the second one makes or breaks it.

(hmmm...could I find some less bitchy ones to wrap it up here!?)

9. There are quite a few people who think I can cook, but you know what, I kind of can't. I can follow a recipe, but I have to follow that recipe. I have no sense of how to just throw different ingredients together to make something palatable. And cooking times? Forget it. Anything beyond boneless chicken breasts at 400 for 20 minutes is probably coming out overcooked (because as you may figure, undercooked meat sort of scares me.)

10. I have next to no idea how to style hair, or use product (even if by product you mean that can of mousse in the drawer). I just approach my hair like a stubborn child and assume I will not be able to get it to do anything it does not want to do. I try to pick my battles with it, but even still...

Now don't you just wish you lived next door!? Thank you so much for reading...really, truly I mean that with not an ounce of sarcasm!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When it really matters

I could probably give my usual lengthy back story to introduce this tale, but it's getting late and I am tired, so let's just cut to the chase...

Setting: 3 hours into our four hour trip home from spending the weekend downstate. I breathe a little sigh of relief that we are on the final leg, while also marveling at what swell time we were making...and...action...

I heard a sound I should not have heard coming from what I hoped was not our car, but it was. Then the grumbling sound quickly seemed to snap and get louder and more angry. Yikes! I pulled off the road as quickly as I could (considering NYS Thruway traffic was going 80), put the car in park and turned it off really fast.

My copilot son said nothing, as I slowly turned around expecting to see a face full of tears on my girl. Surprisingly, she just looked back at me completely calm. I thought a tire had blown perhaps (the reason I thought this would have been explained in the omitted background details), but my quick scan around the car showed no such thing. The girl heard the sound in the back, the boy says he heard a hiss and I thought I heard it under the hood, so we're pretty clear on those aspects of the incident.

I called AAA, and was told to anticipate up to a thirty minute wait for assistance. I dreaded passing this news on to my two passengers. They remained unphased as they heard me report the timeframe to whoever it was I called first. We just chatted like nothing in particular was going on. Mind you, we hadn't talked much at all for the previous three hours.

It wasn't an ideal situation, but this is how I decided we would travel the last 70 miles home...It was almost 80 degrees out, and the cab of that truck didn't seem to have functioning air conditioning. It wasn't exactly a smooth ride either. The kids said nothing about it, and smiled with reassurance every time I glanced back at them. I was tired and thirsty and hot. I know they were as well, but they said they were fine.

When we got to the repair place (yes, it might look like I just had him bring me to the liquor store), the kids sat in the shade and continued to smile, so I smiled back. We emptied our van into my aunt's car when she arrived to pick us up. Everyone carried what they could without complaining. Not a word was uttered about that crappy ride until relief was within steps.

These are the same children who can barely get their dirty clothes into the hamper, put a dish in the dishwasher, practice an instrument for five minutes, or answer more than three stupid mom questions without losing their patience. I am the same woman who has nearly had a full blown panic attack sitting in traffic, has ranted and raved at the way other folks drive, and has generally lost her cookies over some simple little things. Plus, the husband, who is away on business, is the man who rarely answers a text or checks in during the day.

But today? Today we held it together like champs, got back safely, had friends feed us dinner and now get to look back on a weekend full of great stuff! Plus, the husband was calling before I even realized my son had sent him a text.

Tomorrow I will have to go find out what that evil noise was, and how much it will cost to make it go away, but that is Monday business. It has nothing to do with my weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness-Week 1

As I sat eating breakfast the other day, I wondered what I would be able to photograph for my first week joining in the 52 Weeks of Happiness fun with Leigh vs Laundry. Then I saw this piece of my son's viola music sitting in the middle of the table. Listening to both of my children play their string instruments makes me so happy. Next week is the huge district orchestra concert where all of the string things from grade four right on up join for one huge concert. The finale is a song that they all play together. I get goose bumps and cry a makes me so happy!

Random gone random

I suppose it is time to open the windows, and kiss the chance of a snow day good-bye. I just keep thinking of these swell inside projects to do, but then feel like I should be gardening since it is over sixty degrees out. This is Central New York though, and there could still be a blizzard of some sort on the horizon. For now the sun is shining and I will take that for what it is worth. Hey, I am talking about the weather again, so it must be Tuesday. Yay! Time to share some fascinating tidbits from the corners of my mind. Thanks to Stacy for being such a gracious hostess...

Somebody tried to pass the following ingredients off as chocolate mousse the other day: cocoa, honey and avocado. It wasn't that it tasted badly, but ultra thick chocolate sludgy pudding might've been a more fitting name. I still would've tried it, as all I would've heard was ultra and chocolate probably. I suggested adding some cool whip if she wanted to keep the mousse name, but am fairly certain that the toxicity of that joyous substance would negate the healthy rating the original recipe achieved. Still dairy free though.

I decided to focus all of my energies into trying to color my hair again. Surprisingly, this was the only casualty...(Yes, sadly it was actually on my foot at the time.) Plus somehow the color actually seemed to stick this time. I guess something about not having two of my son's friends here and my daughter baking cookies made it easier for me to concentrate. Seriously, what was I thinking that other time?

I would like to be able to tell you that this is the most cereal we have ever had in our pantry at one time......but it isn't. I would also like to be able to tell you that it is for a family of four, but really only one and a half of us eat it. The Lord of the Coupons must've been weighed down with Frosted Flake savings.

Was it self-serving to act like the only science fair experiment I could think of involved baking chocolate chip cookies with and without baking soda? With butter versus with margarine?The girl was sitting with a book in front of her called "101 Really Cool Science Experiments", but couldn't find anything. I did what I could. This was a grand and terrible idea all rolled into one (ok, several...ok, beyond several) delicious bite!

OK, so this dude graduated from the actual school building that now hosts the ninth grade dance. His picture is hanging on the wall with other distinguished folks. They were nowhere near as fetching as Richard so I didn't include them.Do you think he is the reason for all of the insane dance rules? Are those his legacy? Not only is the letter to parents available online, but hard copies of it were sent home with five-week progress reports last week. Here is the last installment...

Style of Dancing

Although we would like everyone to have fun, there is a style of dancing that is unacceptable at the Junior High dance. Students are not allowed to dance in a style that is sexually explicit, suggestive, provocative or simulates any sexual act. We will not allow grinding, moshing, or slam dancing.

Nothing could bring me more joy and comfort, as a parent, than having a conversation with my teenage son that involves the words grinding and sexually explicit. Now I have to consider all of the time I've wasted on YouTube looking for the perfect moshing moves for him. I guess now I will be forced to search for old Solid Gold dancer videos to show him some less hard core ways to get his groove on. I'd go with a Puttin' on the Ritz number, but the hats and canes have to be checked at the coatroom, remember?

I have to go see if there is any last minute scientific research I can help with...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Looking for a reaction

My mind has been racing lately. There was nothing particularly stressful about any one single thing, but the cocktail everything made when stirred together made me doubt my ability to form any one complete rational thought. This did not prevent me from trying to carry on a variety of conversations over the course of the week though.

Please note that it is nearly impossible for a person to concentrate right now because the husband is making such a spectacle of the hoops game his college alma mater is currently winning. I hope they don't call for donations this evening, as I fear how much he would write the check out for in his celebratory fog. I would consider relocating to another room, but trust me the volume of the clapping, pounding on furniture and general shouting is inescapable. In this cacophony, it is amusing to consider how much time I spent this week contemplating the possible meanings behind the blank stare responses I have been getting. Obviously I should've tried dribbling a ball through the kitchen while seeking assistance.

I saw one blank stare this week that I am pretty sure should be classified as the "Possum (that is an opossum with an identity crisis) Defense". This was a situation in which husband thought that if he played dead, the perceived predator would just leave him alone and keep right on walking. To be fair, I think I had just asked for some help with something he was not interested in. To be even more fair, I think my phrasing might have indicated that I was taking an offensive position. Here, maybe you can judge this one for yourself (or commence blank stare):

Help. I asked for some help. People don't just always write books alone you know? Haven't you ever read those acknowledgement pages? You know the ones where they thank the people who helped? Well, I am not going to thank you.

I grew up being told that the issue wasn't necessarily what I had said, but the tone of voice I chose to say it in. Reflecting back on my announcement here, I am not sure there is any tone of voice that would've kept a possum upright.

The is another blank stare that we could call "In case of fire". Under these circumstances, the man here is mentally consulting the safety chart of how to diffuse certain types of kitchen fires. Will the addition of words be like water on a grease fire acting as an accelerant? Where the heck is the fire extinguisher, or can I just throw a lid or wet blanket on her? Earlier this week, the husband went out on a limb with the dousing technique he employed:

I walked over to the computer desk to finish up a blog post I had been working on to find one of his fabulous Peggle games in progress. I calmly asked if he had closed out of what I was working on, and he began laughing...really hard...tear forming laughter. When he finally composed himself, he responded that he had. Well played, as my confusion over his response won out over any hostility. Plus, he had just finished an hour on the elliptical (and no, again did not wear my pedometer), so I was concerned that he was having some sort of weird exercise-induced hallucination.

The least effective blank stare around here is the "Who is she talking to?" Unfortunately, this is becoming the most commonly used, especially since he has two trainees who are quick studies. Seriously, if all three of them are sitting in the same room, and only four of us live here, who else might I be talking to? Yes, someone had the nerve to guess it was the dog...who was using his "For crying out loud I am a dog" blank stare.

The last type of blank stare, I have identified this week, happens when my typically melodious voice suffers some sort of audio distortion. The result must sound like the droning buzz of a bee, which then elicits the "Just ignore it and it will go away". Sometimes this is paired with several quiet steps in the opposite direction.

Hey! You, yes you! Are your eyes glazing over? Just the glare from the computer? Oh, okay.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Random snippets

As I was walking the dog yesterday afternoon, while the temperature was 22 degrees, I realized another issue this non-winter has caused. I am rarely comfortable outside. With the constant zig-zagging of the thermometer mercury, our bodies have had no time to gradually get used to the cold. The frequent forty degree days are still just a little too chilly for me to meander around without a warm jacket. Plus, much similar to folks from the south freezing up here in Central New York when it is fifty degrees, I thought my thighs were going to have frostbite (yes, I had jeans on) from a seven minute walk down the street and back. My face was so cold! Cold like it usually feels when it is five degrees. The sinuses have already weighed in with their opinion. Bottom line...we are unimpressed...moving on...

Fozzie does like to take full advantage of the sunshine.

Well, duh! What else would his specialty be?

The wording on these signs at the vet office just seemed wrong to me...You can have a lost pet alert, but to attach the phrasing of Amber Alert? I double checked and there was no indication that they were abducted. Maybe it's just me, but it came across as almost insensitive.

I went to the bank the other day, and explained that I was there specifically to open an account to use for my daughter's braces. I had a coupon in my hand for some free money and some checks in the other hand. Of course the representative wanted to follow his script, and asked me several unnecessary questions, to ensure that I would get the account that fit my business needs. (I just wanted the one that gave me the "free" $150, and I had read all of the fine print.) Of course he asked where I worked, and I told him that I didn't. (Even though I had just come from cleaning a house. Why make him all jealous of my cleaning woman glory?) He then asked me if I was on leave or retired. I thanked him for asking if I was retired, which seemed to confuse him (but perhaps not as much as the punch I was holding back might've). Don't get me wrong, I looked lousy, as you can see (me walking to my car feeling all sorts of fabulous)... ...but retired? 60? I might have been less offended if he had asked if I was ill.

See how much happier I look heading TO a cleaning job... This look doesn't say "retired", does it? I think it says "Holy Cannoli, those bitches at the optometrist office were total liars about these frames!" It also says that there are ways to hide a bad hair day.

Let's check in with some more of the rules for the ninth grade dance at my son's junior high in early June. The letter to parents is posted online at the school's website. We saw the rules for boys' attire here, and girls' here. This one just goes a step further in clarifying transportation...

It is also not necessary for students to arrive in a limousine. As adults, we must recognize the fact that the students attending this dance are only 14, 15 and in some cases, 16 years old. Although a lot of fun, limousines and tuxedos may be more appropriate for older students and for adults. If we allow our children to indulge in these pleasures too early, what will they have to look forward to in the future?

Phew! I so thought limos were going to be mandatory. Now I can spend more money on non-velour pants that will cover my son's underwear. Once you've worn a tuxedo and ridden in a limo, it's just downhill? Plus, I like the subtle warning about those possible sixteen year olds.

Thanks to Stacy for giving us a place to share our random. Click to see what other folks are randomly chatting about today.


Oh, and Stacy had asked why I didn't share a photo of our Muppet bucket. Granted the popcorn is long gone, but I gathered up some of my other Kermit favorites, and here they are with the bucket. FYI...that plush Kermit's flipper was holding my engagement ring!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Not my vacation

Today is my turn to guest post over at One Mixed Bag today while Bernie is on vacation. It's almost like we are sending postcards for her...from slightly less exotic places, I guess.

Since I am all about the environment, I recycled the post from two years ago, as it seemed like a good way to introduce myself to her peeps. I had fives of followers then, so there is a good chance it's as good as new...regifted!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Get the message?

Do you ever wonder what your life might be like if you get to wander the planet until you are 90? Do you have visions of sitting back relaxing, taking comfort in the fact that you survived, knowing that your life was full, reflecting on the loving people you surrounded yourself with? Being at peace? Every now and then I have little warning signs telling me that such a utopia just might something I have to battle against DNA to achieve.

My grandmother does not really understand the allure of pampering oneself to such outlandish things as massages. It is not because she has ever tried such nonsense and was unimpressed, but rather just not an idea that fits into her vision of how one should spend her time. Relaxation equals boredom to her on some level, which leads me to think she is just not trying hard enough to relax, as I have now witnessed that relaxation is pure bliss
. Another piece of the content puzzle I think my grandmother is missing comes from her notion that friends are an obligation (true quote). I can't delve any further into that here because it conjures up a storm of angst and sorrow inside of me. I only offer it to help explain why the matriarch would not understand the joy we women shared at the spa. I think her knowledge of the event was limited to my mother's participation, as to not let on that two other women (my aunt and myself) in her bloodline had lost their minds as well.

Although somewhere along the line, Grandma forgot whatever she was told. The memory loss is completely understandable, but ignorance is not bliss and what happened from there was the antithesis of relaxation...

Clearly the spa we were at has some sort of bubble surrounding most of the grounds. My aunt's cellphone started chirping first, as she closed her locker, after putting her street clothes back on. My grandmother had called her. As I looked up, after sliding my feet back into my shoes, my cellphone sprang to life to let me know I had a message. I had missed a call two minutes before, with my phone nestled in my robe pocket. My grandmother had called me as well leaving a message to call her. I think this is the second time ever that she has called my cellphone, but something told me there was no reason to be overly alarmed. Before we get to the reason for the calls, let me reconstruct what I now know...

  • Four messages left for my mother at work between 2:30 and 3:30 asking that she call her
  • 3:33 called my aunt at work, and hung up
  • 3:38 called my aunt's cell phone and left a message to call her
  • 3:47 called my aunt at work, and hung up
  • 3:52 called my house phone and talked to my daughter, but only asking if I was home
  • 3:53 called my cell phone and left a message to call her
  • At 4:02, when I called her back, she had already called my mother's house phone and spoken to my stepfather (I am not sure how many attempts she had made there before he got home.)
I could still hear some bit of angst in her voice by the time we spoke, but she had pretty much been calmed off the ledge...for the most part. She started explaining to me that she was wondering if my mother was going to stop by her house the following day, and when her messages weren't returned she started to worry (those four messages, left within an hour). Then she called my aunt to find out where my mother was, and again panicked that ten minutes went by without a message being returned. Obviously I didn't have the insane phonecall timeline when she was telling me the source of her concern. My stepfather had reminded her that my mother was having "you know, her day", so then I was asked if I thought my aunt was alright. I told her they were together, and since she didn't ask where I was, I felt no need to tell her that I was in the passenger seat of my aunt's car.

In one hour, my grandmother managed to convince herself that certain doom had befallen both of her daughters, in unrelated tragedies, at their respective workplaces. AND THAT NOBODY CALLED HER TO TELL HER APPARENTLY! I know she has clocks that work in her home, able to tell her that ample time for a message to be returned had not gone by. There was no urgent need for her to speak to my mother to begin with, which makes the whole thing even more (or maybe less...not sure) entertaining (or maybe exhausting?).

She does have a son, but to the best of my knowledge he was not included on this telephone tree. However, there was a day that all three of her children were unavailable, so I got the phonecall inquiring as to their whereabouts. Again, it started on a whim of her just trying to get in touch with one of them. Somehow we have been fortunate that the few times she actually needed assistance, the person she called answered their phone. I could add that she occasionally, and accidentally, pulls the phone cord out of the wall in her bedroom. That means none of us can reach all...until somebody goes over there to check on her and plugs it back in.