Sunday, May 29, 2016

Reflection lag

I was looking at my blog the other day, pondering how I could make it more visually appealing, because I care about your overall experience while visiting here. The first thing that caught my eye was the a-z challenge badge. I felt like I had left my Easter decorations up a crazy long time. That challenge was in April, and here we are bounding our way into June. The fact that I literally just ate a leftover Twix egg does not mean the bunnies should still be on display, so to speak. There are a few thoughts regarding the theme I chose this year that are kicking around in the boombox of my mind, clamoring to get out, so without further delay...

Why so many soundtracks in my possession over the course of the years? Remember back before you could purchase a single song, and instead had to commit to an entire record, cassette, cd? I was a thrifty teen who preferred to buy a collection of music from a variety of artists, as opposed to getting an entire album from a group just to have the one song I really liked. 

Were there any favorites that I just couldn't fit in? (I am not sure why I am interviewing myself.) Yes, one in particular sticks out in my mind. Most of the other odds and ends were taken care of with the quick picks, but I could not find a video clip to use, much to my dismay, and Stand My Me was not included. (Shrek had far too tight of a grip on the letter S.)

Do I ever ponder a soundtrack for the story of my own life? Um, only all of the time! So often songs are chosen for the mood they help set, other times the story the lyrics tell is a sort of companion tale. I am forever caught up in the words. A few weeks ago, I found myself wandering the aisles of Trader Joe's singing far more loudly than what may have been appropriate for my voice in a public place. Despite knowing every word, I was not immediately aware of what U2 selection was coming through the store's sound system. How did Bono know that I was stuck in a moment and couldn't get out of it?! And yes, I did need to get myself together!

Do I actually listen to any of those soundtracks anymore? The cd selection in my car now consists of a decent reflection of where my mind was for the month of April:

  • Shrek 1, 2 and 3
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • Robots
  • Now and Then
  • Grosse Pointe Blank
  • Friends
  • Muppets

We went on a short family pilgrimage yesterday, and when the radio lost its signal, I challenged the kids to try not to sing when I put a soundtrack on. I told them they might not even realize they were singing, it was just habit from having these songs playing in the background on so many which my husband referred to them as "Mommy's Pavlov dogs". Of course they took this as an actual challenge, and fought every urge they had to belt out the notes. I will get them the next time, when they least expect it.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Star Struck

Do I have exciting news? Well, let's see...I was so excited to have my boy home from college last week that I forgot to let you know I got a haircut! 
That is pretty thrilling, I mean I'm not doing cartwheels like some weirdos, but am still pretty enthused (and exhausted).

You know how uncomfortable I am in the spotlight...
Yes Foz, that is what everyone has been thinking.
Well, I am going to share my Friday space this week with some new celebrities I happen to know. Ellen took care of the interviewing responsibilities this week, but I am hoping I get a chance to chat with them myself when they come to town next. I'll have to work on my dancing, of course.

Check out Pearl on Instagram at that_girl_pearl 
The rest of the gang is there too at twodogsnamedpeter

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

random return!

First things first…what kind of licorice have you been eating? I hope it was designated for such a purpose.
Not to be confused with that shoelace licorice, despite the fact that I eat that kind as well.

Apparently recliner chairs with pocket pouches on the sides are both stylish and invaluable for college students to keep things handy...
…or for when that garbage can is alllll the way across that huge room. (It was much better than finding all of those wrappers on the floor though I must say.) 

Yes, it was time to pack things up. Luckily I had made a couple of trips out to visit my son, so I could grab a few odds and ends to make sure we could fit everything in the final ride home. Just another candy fueled delusion!
That pack of ginger ale? Was it necessary, you ask? Well, it was quite a thing seeing the kids trying to use up the last of their debit money since it does not carry over year to year. Beverages seem practical since they will certainly get used and not spoil quickly…that is until you are trying to cram three 12-packs of Snapple, one 24-pack of Arizona fruit punch, a case of glass soda bottles and that there ginger ale into an already tightly packed tetris game of a car. 

That bed in a bag set packed so nicely on the way to school, and then apparently exploded over the course of two semesters into something that could barely be contained.
He obviously absconded with a new pillow every time he came home to visit.

Back to the food debit. We made one final run to the campus store to use up the last fifty dollars. The prices were ridiculously expensive, but the alternative was to walk out empty handed and still out the money. How about...
Yes! And if they didn't fit in the car, I'd have stood outside stuffing them in my face!

I have so many other tales I want to tell. Heck, I even have photos to go with them! Now I just need to find some discipline to sit down, and STAY seated…stop checking the mail that hasn't come yet, stop trying to find out those final two grades that haven't been posted yet, stop obsessing over what kind of cupcakes to make for a wedding reception next month and just try some out already, stop thinking about things to do and just do them…stop worrying about things that aren't even mine to do and wait for them to happen…and for crying out loud, clean the house!!!! 

Note: Yesterday I was here without a car, clearly no way to escape housework. I so despised the idea of cleaning the house that I listed things on ebay…how I loathe gathering the motivation to put things on ebay, and how obsessed I get with checking for bidders. 
THEN I got so wrapped in up in my cousin and his fiancé being on the Ellen show (taped yesterday, airs today) - for reals, that's them* - that I forgot about ebay until I got an email this morning that something sold. Even my distractions have distractions!

Wheeeeeeeeeee…… la la!
(Man I felt like I was on point with that cartwheel. I did not review the photo because I knew there was NO way I was getting a second chance.)

*Let's come back to them and give them their own post sometime, shall we? There is plenty to add to what Ellen was able to fit on her show. Plus, they are adorable!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Random Rebecca (and her ebook launch!)

Rebecca is another friend I have had the pleasure of meeting through the wonderful world of blogging. We have hung out together for the past couple of years at the a-z challenge where she has added a bit of sunshine (come on, look at her) and passion for important issues. I always appreciate how Rebecca makes me think about not only being a better mother, by what conversations are important to have, but a more understanding person overall.
Rebecca Green Gasper is an author, speaker and photographer. She writes young adult contemporary fiction on tough teen issues, new adult sleuth mystery series, historical fiction, and non-fiction. She was a high school teacher, tutor, and coach before becoming a writer. She is passionate about raising awareness on teen tough issues and speaking out against teen violence. She loves pinwheels, bright colors, daisies, long talks with friends, and time with her family. She grew up in the mountains of Colorado and now lives outside of Denver with her husband and two children. You can find her at

I had the pleasure of reading an advance free copy of Rebecca's latest ebook.

When college student Harley Jenkins finds out she’s on probation with her university for something her roommate has done, she decides to distract herself with the mysterious death of a local girl by hiding out in small spaces even though she’s claustrophobic. Will Harley be able to solve the mystery before it takes the lives of more girls, or will she have to back out to solve her own problem?

Harley is a great character who is not perfect by any means, but is comfortable with her quirks. This alone is an important message for young adult readers. The subject matter is presented in a way that respects the importance of what is happening to these girls without feeling like a force fed message. Not all of Harley's issues are tied up neat and tidy by the end of the story, so there is plenty of intrigue as to what will happen in the next installment of the series.

Available for $1.99 at:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fluffy scarecrow? Not so much

Oh, hello...
I cannot believe you expect me to ward off those swooping feathered hooligans. I have a lot of other things to attend to out here. And why is it so bright and shiny? And what is that annoying crinkling sound?

You just worry about being you, Foz. I think we, and I use that term loosely, may have successfully frightened the barn swallows away…for this week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Random wears

We interrupt this post (that we didn't even start yet) to bring you the latest in Barnswallow News. Yes, they're back. My attempts this morning to prevent further visitation did not foil their efforts! (Double groan…one for them sitting in the space I did not cover and two for the bad pun!) Eek! I had to try to secure the whole perimeter. I took a break to explain to the newer neighbors what I was doing with the ladder and the foil and the yelling. It helped that I was getting swooped upon while telling my tale from our walkway. At least they don't think I am completely crazy.

See him there getting foiled...
Here are two of them having a meeting to discuss alternate ways to take me out...
Here is a little video so you can hear how terrified I sound angry they are…
And then they moved where they thought I couldn't see them could poop on my head if I left the porch.
There is still much squawking and diving-style flying going on out there. I suppose you are wondering what role Fozzie is playing in this wildlife extravaganza? Really? Do you really think he has mustered up any ambition to develop his role in tactical defense? Perhaps I should give you this reminder of how he rolls…
Speaking of Foz, he claims he was outvoted on his pick for my Mother's Day present...
…thank goodness!

Let's move on with our originally scheduled topic for today's random, shall we? (Yes, I know, it pretty much seems like we have enough going on here already to call it a wrap, but we are still working off the April backlog.)

I was texting with a friend and shared this magazine ad that was in front of me...
The name is so subtle. I said I would not go to the website. Absolutely not! Aaaaaaaand...boom, there I was!
Did you take your time reading that list to let it all sink in? Girl shorts = shiny depends? Which celebrities? I am going to need names here. My friend and I pondered the doubling as shapewear and "ecofriendly". What does "ecofriendly" even mean in this scenario? Machine washable? I hope so. Just for the record, if you ever see me reeling from a certain special time of the month, I can almost assure you that it is not a hug that I need.

As I got back to the magazine that assaulted me with flo-pants, I landed on this gem - the "hold-all bra".
Now I can barely find a bra that conducts the holding business I expect from a decent undergarment, so I do not need one that functions as a backpack. My iphone in my bra...when I exercise? There goes the "don't get it wet" road to a voided warranty. I think there is an identity crisis going on here as well, as it is allegedly for workouts, yet found at travelbra. Where am I going? I have visions of my already cranky exercising self getting jabbed repeatedly by my credit cards and hotel keys (as if I was exercising on vacation to begin with), just no.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

I considered waiting in bed for my breakfast, but being the mother of teens means that would be more like lunch, and I am hungry! I considered bringing my toast back up to bed, but…crumbs. The dog did his finest attempt to show his love this morning by bullying his fourteen pound self into bed and mushing his face against the length of me. I am pretty sure he was just scratching his face, or trying to push me to let him outside again.

I typically try to keep the bar rather low around this place, but I fear that the first Mother's Day photo selection I used in 2013 is difficult to beat. Still, I found myself looking for another snapshot that would serve to capture a very special mother and daughter bond. Considering that the Met Gala was just this past week, something stylish seemed appropriate...
Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Can I interest you in some mint? It appears as though our penchant for coordinating our outfits started long ago. I remember how much I loved that dress you made for me. I am second guessing the blouse I chose to wear underneath, but the smile on my face says that I thought I looked fantastic. You've always made me feel special, which no doubt is more the reason for my grin. It seems you kept the frosted green eye shadow to yourself...I forgive you. 

Now as I was rummaging through one of the bins of treasured photos, I came across something so wonderfully awful that I wondered if it needed to be shared. Then I realized the photo was marked "Mother's Day 1981", and thought the twenty-fifth anniversary of this gem could not pass silently. (I then did some more advanced calculations and realized this is actually the thirty-fifth anniversary.)
Aside from the fact that I am smiling, there is not one single other thing acceptable about this photo. My hair hurts just looking at how it is wrestled into those two barrettes. That part on my head is screaming! I was barely 5'3" tall so the illusion of how long my legs look means the rest of my too short clothes have been scooted too far up my body. I could have almost reconciled the socks, but not paired with those shoes. I have no one to blame other than my almost twelve year old self for this photo existing, as it is not as if I am running from the camera. On the contrary, I look damn proud! If anyone needs me, I will be standing in my closet in my pajamas, fearful of making a poor wardrobe decision.

Friday, May 6, 2016

We've been Fozzled

Oh dear, I was not aware this was going to make a comeback.
What choo talkin' 'bout Willis?

You completely took over April with your head up your a-zz, while I patiently waited. Catching up on homework...
dealing with very un-springlike weather...
sometimes I just laid around thinking (ahem, pouting)...
or practicing poses like this one...
And sometimes you continued your quest to completely disregard personal space.
I don't know what you mean.
Oh just speaking off the top of my head, Foz. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Random backlog!

It was as if the fairies that rule over the land of random knew I was busy with the a-z challenge, so they decided to taunt me with odd bits here and there in an attempt to distract me from my singing. Then again, I suppose just about anybody wouldn't mind keeping me away from my solos. I was going to unload all of the stuff on my phone and camera at once, in one grand return of the random post, but I was afraid that there were some gems that might get lost in that shuffle, so I tried to make two categories. (Of course, because that is how OCD works, we can't just go posting stuff willy nilly…Order! Order, I say!) This week we will begin with that which is truly random. I am not even going to try to put the photos in any kind of order that makes sense! Chaos reigns!

For when I decide my peanut m&m therapy might not be quite enough...
…those are some high expectations to put on a bargain priced item. Seriously, finding the numbers for that flower seems a little maddening.

What was this item?!?!?!?! 
Big seller whatever it was, as the rack was empty. It hit all of the key points, most importantly polyester!

I am fairly certain that this photo will not do this item justice, but I have to try. My friend and I decided we should eat lunch outside one fine day in mid April. We went to the nearest park, and promptly sat at the picnic table area in the shade where it was chilly. This woman had on earbuds and was singing AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS while swinging by herself. That behind her across the street? Oh, that's a funeral going on. 
She eventually got IN HER CAR to leave, which for some reason, made me laugh even harder. She hadn't stumbled upon the swing. This was a thought out mission to go swing and sing, despite whatever might be going on at the cemetery. Never mind that the grounds crew was there tending to the park and playground. We left when a lawnmower blasted a rock, that luckily hit the metal table near us, but still sounded like a shot. 

So apparently all prison paint is not created equally according to my new friends at the DMV. (I was there three times in ten days…hold me. My daughter got her learners' permit…hold me tighter.) I had to turn my plates in because this...
 …could actually be lifted to this...
My other plate was even worse as much had fallen off already.

This one is making me crazy (crazier). Were any of you having trouble with the portability of m&m's? Were those flexible bags difficult for you to bring "on-the-go"?
Well, if so, now you can purchase a plastic container for over $3 that holds less than half the amount of candy as the $2.89 bag. Even Red looks disgusted with the idea! So I suppose these are resealable, but then where is my excuse for finishing the bag…whatever size?

One more. Is Precious Moments an appropriate tribute to John Wayne?
Nothing says "True Grit" like porcelain!

O…M…G…The barn swallows are out frolicking on my front porch right this second! I just got up and pounded my fists on the window to remind them that crazy lives here! Do we need the links to the past five years of barn swallow battles? How about just this one, two, three part series from 2010! (2015 was a four part series, but we're already in pretty deep with this lengthy post, and things are just getting started I fear.)