Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Got Etiquette?

I decided today might be a good day to brush up on my funeral etiquette. Don’t worry- There are sites dedicated to this!


Can you imagine, sitting at home and thinking –“I wonder how I am supposed to act at Uncle Larry’s funeral tomorrow?”….. Maybe someone could give me a few pointers. I think I’ll take a look at the internet, because all advice on the internet is true and right. (The following tips come from a REAL website – they cover lots of topics from A to Z! literally….)

Rule 1: Don’t be silent; be sure to at least say something. (GREAT, I knew being a Chatty Cathy was the way to go! – I am going to make a list on the eight hour drive in, of things to talk about so I am not silent. I am quite sure bringing up all my medical ailments would be a good starting point- there is bound to be some people there that can relate and offer advice!)

Rule 2: Don’t upset the family by being ignorant or clumsy. (I’ll be sure NOT to trip and fall into the open casket and I will not ask when the party starts! – these tips are amazing!)

Rule 3: Visit the grieving family immediately. (Excellent news. Half of my family is all ready descending, I’ll bring up the rear by being fashionably late)

Rule 4: 15 minutes is a good length of time to express your Sympathy. (Eight hour car ride, perfect for me to write down what I plan to say, rehearse and have my husband time it’s length – OMG, 15 minutes!!)

Rule 5: Take over the tea making from those stricken with grief. ( Now, we are talking- Don’t be clumsy, chit chat and make the tea – an excellent mix of duties for a novice)

Rule 6: Just be there for the warm embraces and kisses if the grieving family member needs that. (OK, some of my family members are attractive, but honestly, I’m not going to be a kissing and hug dummy without some kind of payment.)

Rule 7: Sometimes words are not necessary, just be there. (Now we’re talking – or NOT, I can stand there and plan my outfits for the rest of the week in my head , and then we can awkwardly look at each other in silence)

Rule 8: A closed funeral is not open to the public, however it would be appropriate to call or email. (That is the kind of harassment I’m in favor of anyway – anonymous)

Rule 9: Before bringing food to the family, check first to see what others are bringing. (Hey, uh, Joe, I was wondering, what kind of food you got going on over there? You got some pasta, pastries? Great… Well I got some day old donuts here and I think I’ll bring them on over, if you don’t think anyone else is bringing that?)

Rule 10: Take a scarf with you in case it is a custom to cover your head. (Done! I plan on having a bad hair day anyway.)

Rule 11: Do not send a wreath to the family’s home. (CRAP! – Do you think it is too late to call UPS? I thought the wreath would look nice on their front door….)

Rule 12: Placing flowers on the casket is reserved for family members. (Earl, keep the Daisies in your pocket)

Rule 13: When sending flowers, be sure to send them in a self-contained water vessel, as family members will not want to be tied down to such mundane tasks. (Joe! Got another box of long-stemmed roses, here – we’re outta vases – grab something to put them in, NOT THAT!!!)

Rule 14: Stick with pastel colored flowers. ( Wasn’t Buddy’s funeral pretty? He always looked good in pink……)

Rule 15: One should not refuse to be a pallbearer except in the case of illness or absence. (Sure, I’ll be a pallbearer – I didn’t think it meant I had to show up!!!!)

Rule 16: Bad behavior from children would be in poor taste. (Just at funerals though, right?? – I wonder what they think of openly beating the children into good behavior?)

Rule 17: Tell children the body is only a vehicle. (Good advice. I’m hoping they don’t bring pennies)

Rule 18: Tell children if they want, they may touch the body. (Now come on!! I cannot fit a wipie container in my funeral purse!)

Rule 19: Tell children what is left after cremation looks like ashes from a fire. (Excellent, my kids are going to love this little explanation. And when we get home, do you guys want to have a camp-out and cook S’mores?)

Rule 20: Encourage, Explain, but never Force (Still speaking of the children, I take it. Darn it, I’m going to have to be on my best behavior!)

Well I’m all set now. Got my rules. Feeling pretty well-etiquette-ed, and you?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Goodbye Con't (Blogger not cooperating today)

Today, my Grandma Vera passed away. She lived a great 90 years and I am happy that she did not suffer. She had five children with one set of twins, was an amazing artist (mostly oil paintings) and a woman of excellent taste. We always called her Grandma Vera – which sounds a little strict, doesn’t it? Well, she was the Grandma that taught me that manners were of upmost importance. She was a strong believer in strength and putting on a brave face and I have to say I like that in a woman. I never saw her emotional. She was one tough cookie. In the summers my parents would send me to Chicago for two weeks. One week was spent with my Mom’s parents (see previous posts about Nannie and Poppies) and one week with Grandma Vera and Grandpa. (My Dad’s parents) Two VERY different experiences. I saved the good clothes for Vera’s if you know what I mean. Let me preface this all by saying, I loved her. She was a GREAT lady and some of my greatest strengths come from her. As with all people you encounter, there are always humorous moments so now, I will share:


We used to spend Thanksgivings going to Grandma Vera’s (this is just always how we referred to this side of the family –she was the matriarch) About a month prior to going, was spent shopping for perfect clothes – the kind of clothes we would never wear anywhere else as kids. Hair was cut, shoes were new, and manners were in check. My Mom would spend weeks anguishing about the trip and lecturing. As kids, we just enjoyed the chaos. Going to my grandparent’s house was an adventure. Their home was beautiful and classy. We saw things there we would never have seen otherwise. My Grandfather always drove a Cadillac. He reminded you of a Don of the Mafia and I often wondered if there were ever any ties…. They belonged to a country club where we swam during the day and dined at night. I loved going to the ladies room and seeing a real live attendant! I can recall every detail about their home with the laundry chutes we could fit into on every floor, the little mail slot in the front hall closet, the real bar with sink in the walk-out basement with a full kitchen where meals were cooked, the refrigerator that blended in with all the other kitchen cabinets, the mini containers of Hagen Daz ice cream in the freezer, the Schnauzer’s they had, the furs in the closet, and the vintage Barbie dolls that were kept in the bedroom that was through another bedroom like it was a secret. So many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. As the years have gone by and my Mom is no longer responsible for how we are dressed, I see now the stress she was under to have us all looking perfect.

Guess where my husband is right now? At the store with our son getting new pants, shoes and shirt that are appropriate for this kind of funeral. I am tearing my closet apart. We really do not have the money to pull this off and to head to Chicago, but off we go, to mix in with the others, make it seem like we mature and ready for this adult stuff. Behind the scenes, you would be privy to swearing, threatening, begging, pleading and well all kinds of inappropriate behavior.

We will be seeing a lot of family that is now spread out all over the US that we haven’t seen in years. There will be arguing, fighting, crying, meddling, pettiness, love, hugs (OH NO, I’m NOT a hugger….) lipsticky kisses, memories, showing off, oh, just good times. Times that would make a great movie on the big screen, because some of these characters couldn’t be played any better by an actor or actress.

I can’t wait to bring back the stories I am sure I will have. Little memories as funny, sad or truly hilarious as they are bound to be, I will cherish forever.

I promise not to curse the kids and lecture, I’m going to try to be laid back and CLASSY – might not be easy, kind of already stressing about the state of our shoes, the fact that I could really use a haircut, pedicure, eyebrows done, nails done, whole new wardrobe, new car, - Oh Geez, it’s starting already.

I’ll try to post each day, but If I miss, just remember where I am and think good thoughts for me and know that I will have stories, oh will I have stories….

We actually saw Grandma Vera in April after having gone over 5 years without seeing her. We helped celebrate her 90th birthday and do you know what we did? We went to a high-end Bocce Ball center and she played – she was a member of a Bocce Ball and Ironing team for many many years. She out played all of us too. Of course now I am doing an inventory of what did we wear then and making sure we aren’t bringing any of the same things this time – ok, so now I need a new purse, a different outfit (I’m wearing my go-to shoes -see post about Coach shoes) I wonder if we have time to get the car detailed – yes, I know I have gone too far…. When were funerals ever about the person who passed? You know they are about everyone there – and this is not a bad thing, it’s why I love people – always have, always will – all their funny and irritating quirks and all.

Goodbye

My cousin and my Grandma


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Like Bikes?

So, you know how when you hit next blog up at top of Blogger? I do this every day until I come across a blog that interests me in hopes that this is how my blog will be discovered.  Well, the problem is that I am stuck in the middle of blogs all about Bikes. Not the vintage motocycle bikes that I like, actual propelled by the power of your own legs kind. 
Here is my experience with bikes:

We moved out of the suburbs with sidewalks to the midde of nowhere when I was five and just learning how to ride a bke.  Our road was dirt with lots of pot holes, and our driveway was gravel.  We lived on the backside of the 13th hole of a golf course, so occassionally I could take my bike over to one of the cart paths and ride it. (this was how I learned to rollerskate too)

Where we lived there was an abundane of V-flies.  If you do not know what these are or are lucky enough to not have experienced them, they are like flying piranah.  One day my Mom, probably feeling bad that we coudn't ride our bikes anywhere decided  we should all go on a bike adventure.  (She most likely had not been on a bike in about 15 years - like me now.)  We set off, she is leading the pack, and the V-flies start swarming her.  She is not an avid bike rider so in order to keep her hands on the handle bars she begins to whip her head and hair around.  The next thing I know, she has gone off the road down a ravine and landed in a ditch with V-flies all over her and plenty of scrapes and bruises.  I was scarred for life. I am sure it was much worse for me, seeing her down there than it was for her...

For awhile, my boyfriend got into mountain bike racing.  This was kind of like the old days of going to boat shows and boat yards, except now we were travelling into remote areas of Michigan to watch races, sit in the car, get splashed with mud, eat lots of granola, look at birkensocks- ugh, and sit in the car.

I took a spin class - I cheated. Riding bikes for long periods of time makes your butt look bigger - no thanks.

None of my kids would learn to ride their bikes the easy way.  Every single one of the stubborn things chose the opportunity of me washing dishes to sneak outside, get on their bike and pedal away. Perfectly.  After I had spent hours angushing that they would be the only kid who couldn't ride a bike.

So needless to say, I haven't had a great relationship with bikes and I have been wondering what is the underlying meaning of bike blogs surrounding mine? So, if you are a random bike enthusiast and you happen across my blog, here are some pics of bikes I might like......



And there you have it.  I might ride one of these.... Not riding today, How are You?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A little early

Today was one of those perfect last days of summer.  The sounds outside from the crickets, birds, bugs, frogs, cicadas, it's like an orchestrated performance! I'm a little early, I know, but I just can't wait and now with the long weekend next week, I can relax - here is just a little somethin, somethin I accomplished.

Don't worry - I haven't  lost my mind yet. I realize it  is only August 28th, I just want to enjoy the season, so while cleaning the house, I got a few things out.  I'm sure I have confused the kids - they'll be expecting Trick or Treating any day now...


Sea Sick

I'm not sea sick, like turning green and wanting to throw up, I'm Home/Sea Sick- like I miss being on a boat.  I was a boat brat growing up. We spent every single late spring, summer and early fall weekendand two full weeks a summer on our boat from the time I was eight years old. My parents still have a boat to this day. After my dad got tired of motorcycles and snowmobiles he moved up to boats. Not for fishing, for traveling. He was the only boat owner who religiously took his boat out of the dock every single time he was on the boat.  Our first boat was a Pontoon boat, we had that for about a year, and putzed around in a nearby lake.   Then my dad got a 24ft. Sea-Ray and found a dock on Lake Erie.  This boat was called Fandango.  I'm not sure why, but I do remember around that time there was a great movie by the same title.  We all got our sea legs on this boat and learned that if you wanted to survive in life you had to follow these rules:

Shoes must have white soles.  If they didn't my Dad would not allow you on board.  My own grandmother was forced to purchase a little pair of white Keds for her first trip.

When docking the boat, your body should and would be thrown between the boat and the dock if ever it looked like the boat was coming close to hitting anything other than a buoy.

When docking the boat, never be offended by the threats on your life made by the Captain and for the sake of your life stay out of the way even if this means jumping overboard to do so.

If you do fall off the boat, it will not be coming back for you.

Learn how to wrap the lines properly, otherwise life will become very painful.

You do not eat on the boat or drink liquids other than water unless you are a certified adult.

DO NOT GET SEA SICK, you will not be invited back.

A few years later, my Dad purchased a Marinette, that came with the name Hot Fudge.  (In the process of looking for, learning about and buying these boats, I spent all of my time in a boat yard, at a boat show, or in the car traveling to and from various boating venues.  This is where I learned to be an avid reader.  You cannot even imagine how boring this can be for a child.
After about a year, we changed Hot Fudge's name to Sassafras.  Then the traveling began.  We explored almost every port in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan and sometimes Lake Superior.  There are great memories:
My brother falling overboard and noone noticing
My parents leaving us in rough water to take the dingy ashore to buy food.
My Mom attempting to make a real dinner after two weeks of camping like food.
Being stuck "down below" in rainstorms.
Watching Princess Diana getting married on a tiny black and white TV because we were somewhere in Canada.
Sleeping on a bench in a terrible storm because the water was so rough there was no way you could sleep and myDad and brothers holding the boat off the dock with their legs all night.
Being woken up at 6am every single morning to the sound of my Dad scrubbing the deck.
My brother and I laying in the V-bunk with the hatch open staring up the sky pretending we were flying a plane.
My Mom and I tanning on the deck, playing backgammon, reading books, getting thrown all over the place while making sandwhiches or trying to go to the bathroom.
My brothers and I in the cabin jumping up as we hit a wave and flying into the air.
The sound of the water hitting the boat as you were trying to fall asleep and the clanging of the ropes on the masts surrounding you.

After Sassafras my Dad purchased a series of boats of different sizes and types. He settled on the same name of Warpath (his initials are WAR and he WAS always on a warpath) My brothers stopped coming with us on every trip and most weekends  and eventually so did I, but my parents kept on boating.

It was a unique way to grow up, unlike any other girl I knew, but it was an experience I wouldn't trade in.
Sometimes I forget all about this time in my life because I am so far removed from it now. I don't know if I will ever own a boat myself, but sometimes I get a little sea sick.....
How are you?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy as a Dog

The other day, which was the first day of school for most everyone, I followed a bus down the road and as it stopped to drop off the kids at various houses I began to notice the coolest thing happening. It was one of those moments where a video camera would have really come in handy.


As the kids got off the bus, their dogs were racing out of the houses with what looked like huge smiles on their faces running at full speed to greet them. They were jumping up and down and their tails were going crazy. At one house, a Dad was standing nonchalantly near the garage with his hands in his pockets and a dog came tearing around the corner out of the garage, ran THROUGH the Dad, taking his legs right out from under him, to get to the kid. He had this big goofy dog grin from ear to ear. Made me smile and laugh to myself – our pets greet us with more excitement than we do to each other.

Now I’m not a big PET fan, mostly because of my issues with OCD house cleaning, not because I don’t like animals, but after being a witness to this at almost every single house we stopped at, it kind of made me all warm and sappy feeling. I wonder if fish wiggle a little more when they see you come through the door?

I‘ve seen that dog smile before – it’s the same one when you pull up next to a car or drive next to one with the window rolled down and the dog in the passenger seat looking very much like a person, with this big goofy grin ….

When we take Jeep rides my middle daughter get’s that look. I’ll look back at her and do a double take – she’ll have her face in the wind out the side of the Jeep, with a big grin on her face and her hair blowing behind her. I always ask her what she is thinking about and she says just what you would expect – “Nothing, Just looking around”

Wouldn’t it be great to go to that place of no stress and worries, just the wind hitting your face and life is good.

Until a bug SMACKS you in the forehead!

The day Soldier got back from Afghanistan - Blog post to follow about Happy Dogs shortly!

Florence & The Machine - Dog Days Are Over

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Statements My Dad Made -

You make a better door than a window
(this was never said nicely – it was SCREAMED and for the longest time I could NOT figure out what he meant…. A better door than a window, a better door than a window??)


If you slam that door one more time, I’m gonna slam your head in it.
(it would have been nice if the DOOR didn’t weigh 100lbs and had a spring! My friends appreciated this statement too. You should have seen the looks of horror on our faces when we remembered at the last minute they were the last one out the door and..... TOO LATE- the door just slammed shut.)

If you break your head open I am NOT taking you to the hospital.
(Said while telling us to walk up the side of the boat and throw your body between the boat and the dock if it looks like we are getting close)

If you go to jail, I will leave you there until you rot.
(No comment necessary)

Go put it in the icebox – the ICEBOX, I said the @$@ @#$@#$ ICE BOX!!
(I thought logically that an icebox was the FREEZER #@# #$%!!)

It’ll put hair on your chest.
(GREAT…..)

Youv'e Got Thunder Thighs
(Again, just what a girl always wanted to hear)

Stop making that @#$@#$   %^%$^$%^$ noise!
(Said to the three of us smashed into the backseat wearing 1970’s Duffel coats on the way to church at 6:30am Sunday.)

And that is why Barn Roofs are Red
(The story he told traditionally while Christmas shopping for my Mom –because someone shot Rudolph)

I’m NOT stopping!
(Threatened every time before the 8 hour drive to Chicago – we stopped drinking fluids 24hrs prior)

If your friend jumped off a bridge would you?
(If you are chasing us, Yes!)

Stop Mumbling!
(I’d speak clearly if I wasn’t afraid of the answer!)

If you keep crying at the dinner table you are going to eat with the dogs in the garage
 (Seems like they might make better dinner companions –and my brother found out – they did.)

You will not get in that car with two boys, and if he doesn’t come to the door you are not going anywhere!
(Needless to say I didn’t date much –they also couldn’t wear jeans….)

You stayed home sick?! When I was a kid I NEVER stayed home sick !
 (Needless to say I can count on one hand the times I have missed work - and it's been for my kids)

The first place that calls you, you’re taking the job!
(Said on the first day of summer, when I was 15 – McDonalds called first – I said no,  and sweated bullets until the next call came minutes before he got home)

That is a W2 – now go to the library and figure out what to do with it.
(One Year Later)

You’re what? Put him on the phone. Do you want to stick around or do you want a check?
(Ah, the love)

PUMP the breaks!
(On my first driving lesson in a snowstorm on a hill which was a sheet of ice with a large ditch on either side because you gotta learn the hard way.)
That’s what happens when you leave garbage in the “garbage can”.
 (Said to his employees who included me, when they got to work and there was garbage all over their desks.)

If you lose or break them I will not ever buy you another pair
(Said to all three of us when we first got our glasses – this is why all three of us wear contacts and our glasses date back to 1979)

Are you hungry? You want a hot dog?
(Said at 12pm. Five hours later and still hungry– Wonder what your Mom is making for dinner?)

Stop freaking out – it’s funny!
(As our Dog a Newfoundland, was giving a friend a “hug” during my birthday party.)

Stop Freaking out – it’s funny!
(As my friends and I were woken up by the Newfoundland’s who were never allowed in the house normally, now climbing on top of us and slobbering on our sleeping bags)

You brought a CAT into our house?
(The last thing he said to my Mom for about a month AFTER her other cat mysteriously disappeared)

Why would you walk into the window?
(if it wasn’t so CLEAN, I would have known it was there! However, I do love the feeling of slamming my entire body into a solid glass window)

One more hour and I will be back
 (After hour 1 and seeing dust on his white glove from the plastic leaves of a plant in the corner of the bathroom my brothers and I shared and were told to clean)

One more Hour and I will be back
 (After hour 2 and seeing dust on his white glove from the top of the door jamb)

One more hour and I will be back
(After hour 3 and seeing dirt on his white glove from the inside of the tub faucet)




(And I wouldn’t have had it any other way!) Just fondly thinking of my Dad – How are YOU?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teenitis

I have it….. It’s like a dull ache that will not go away. I cannot pinpoint exactly when it started happening, maybe around 11/15/09 and I am told it could stick around for about seven more years. I know it started as an occasional and gradual pain, some days it is more intense than others and some days it is not there at all. (I’m usually out of town or sleeping when that happens) I am told it is a common condition that can cause significant pain, irritation, can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to rise, causes moments of rage, can add grey to your hair, lines in your forehead, inability to focus and the list goes on!!


Right now it is just a minor inconvenience, however if it does become more intense I will have to figure out what to do about it. It is caused from “contraction” although I think they meant contradiction. They say that it comes in many different shapes and sizes. Mine is about 5’4” (bigger than me already and I have six more years! They say that the source can become “inflamed” for a variety of reasons and the action of pulling away can become painful and irritating. There is no real cure, you just have to wait it out and hope that it goes away. No matter how much I want to scream and yell about it or at it, or act like a raving lunatic it doesn’t go away, stop or seem to really invoke emotion.

I swore I would never be the one to get it either. I said, “Oh, P’SHAW, that will never happen to me, because I am going to take really good care of everything. I’m going to have fun, be calm cool and collected, be positive and understanding. I just won’t have this problem.” But look at me – right in the thick of it. This is not what the overall plan or goal was –why would I want to have this issue –I should have never even started to do the things that would give me this kind of issue and life would be stress and pain free – kind of boring, really! That could be better than this! The worst part is that I have the chance to have this issue twice more in my life and within three more years! I’ll be flattened to the ground by then! Washed up, no personality left, a drooling idiot – I mean I already feel like I can’t make good decisions, I’m boring, I have no idea what it’s like because I’ve never been in other situations before. I can’t seem to operate modern conveniences despite the fact that I have had them, how on earth have I gotten this far in life – this is how it makes me feel!!

I am thinking of starting a support group but I am kind of embarrassed to let on that I am having this problem. What will people think? Will they think I am a failure, that I did something wrong? It’s weird too because I know people my same age, who do and have the things that cause this to happen and I would swear they must have it but they don’t seem like they do- does everyone just put on a good act? Is there a book on how not to let on that it’s happening to you? Is there a code to live by that I am not privy to?

Ok, I can get through this. I am in control! It will not defeat ME I will defeat IT. I might not be able to make it go away, but if it sticks around, it will be under MY control and it will not cause me pain. Once I get through this in about eleven years my life will be a dream. But I’m told by then I might have arthritis, senioritis, and colitis because of this problem! I can’t win. BEFORE this was even a problem I already had stretch marks, varicose veins, hip displacement, a broken tail bone, insane nausea and gained and lost 30lbs three times over, depriving myself of alcoholic beverages and riding rollercoaster’s for nine months, not to mention having gone through the kind of pain that makes you want to rip off the face of the person chomping YOUR crushed ice in your ear saying, It’ll be ok, it’s almost over. I mean I was OK with all of that UNTIL NOW!!!!!!!

I have Teenitis. How are you?


Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings

Bummer!:
I didn’t win our local YMCA Dream home sweepstakes, but a girl I work with knows the people who did and go figure – they have a nice home of their own already! Darn it! I really just wanted all the cool stuff they decorated the home with, plus it was on the Lake and the view was AMAZING (until they sell the lot across the street and the view is obstructed, but I’m just saying – I would have loved that house



This was the best picture I could get, the house was not quite as large as it appears in this picture but it would have been just fine by me!

AWWWWW!:
My brother said he isn’t going to make it – his wife, and my very good friend since high school took her first vacation away from him and it has been only 3 days and he has at least 5 more days to get through (if she doesn’t leave early) and he is missing her like crazy already! How Sweet! I think my hubby would be just fine without me…. (Kind of joking but not really??) The last time we were apart, was last summer. He took the kids to Florida for a week, visited my parents and went to Disney for two days. – I had to work. I encouraged them to go and have fun, but let me tell you, I was such a jerk the whole time they were gone. I think I was most mad that I was missing out on watching the kids at Disney World –it was our youngest’s first time there– I wanted to see them experience “the experience”, it took us a long time to recover from that trip and for stupid selfish me to just get over it! Don’t you just hate when you’re mad for selfish reasons??

Excitement in the Air:
The girls are so excited to get back to school that they were up at 5am and today is NOT their first day! They were giggling like – well, like two little school-girls! Not sure which they are more excited about – wearing new clothes for at least a week, or seeing all their friends. – Or just getting out of the house after a long summer. I’m pretty sure it’s not the homework. Tomorrow night will be the dreaded hand/writer’s cramp from filling out the same forms for each kid that I have filled out now 24 times before!  Please someone be savvy enough to get these forms online!! (Same with the Drs’s offices!)

Finally the excitement of fall is starting to kick in. Normally I have been excited for fall a month ago – and with the heat we have had this summer you would think I’d be MORE than ready since I am not a hot weather fan. My hair for one just gets bigger and bigger!

I just love the smells of fall and the amazing colors, and the anticipation of winter and our first snowstorm. (Call me crazy –I am a SNOW freak and am my most energetic and happiest when it is doing nothing but snowing.) My husband actually brought home our first Pumpkin Pie yesterday. I only like one bite of Pumpkin Pie at a time– I could never eat a whole piece. But he and the kids love it. (Now that he isn’t eating flour/Gluten though, I did get to eat his crust with just a hint of pumpkin on it and that was perfect.(still didn’t cover the craving I have for CAKE, but it’ll do…) It started my fall cravings up: Stew, Chili, Nachos, Hot Cocoa, Hot Caramel Apple Cider from Starbucks, Apples Cobbler, Squash, and Sweet Potatoes….. Thank goodness I am back to working out again.
 I got up at 4:45am and did my workout – Go me! I made a deal with myself – I’ll work out 30mins every morning. I am doing a body sculpting challenge. I don’t mind if I am not a perfect size 6, as long as I am not wobbly! ;) In all honesty – I was a perfect size six for maybe 1 year of my life – then life happened and three kids later, I am a perfect size 12. As long as I am fit and a 12, I’m OK -My hubby likes me how I am and thankfully makes me feel sexy no matter what but the number on the scale is a little intimidating. This is why I do not own a scale and base my weight on my clothes. I think that is a good plan unless you need to be a model or on TV. (And God Forbid I weigh myself at the Dr.’s office or use the Wii Fit (then I’m considered “less obese”) How Demoralizing! Anyway, this workout I am doing is neat – I get bored easily and I prefer body sculpting type exercises versus jumping around like an un-coordinated idot. Step Aerobics - forgetta bout it!!  In this workout, there are 115 different 1 minute sets, so all you do is set the length of time you want to work out and where to focus and you get a different combo every time. The nice thing is when you are ready to call it quits on one rep – you’re already done and moving on to the next.

I am getting excited for Fall TV too – Big Brother is wrapping up (a favorite summer show) and Survivor this year looks really good – I think they are back on the right track as far as casting goes. (See previous post for link to cast videos.)

Well I’m off to try to get two very excited girls to go to sleep and then tomorrow I’ll pretend to be a stay at home Mom – I worked a deal to come in late and leave early so I can share all the excitement of the first day. (As much as I kid – I’m just as excited as they are – Heck, my house might stay a little more clean now, except that I’m not looking forward to homework – if THEY get homework, then I get homework and this is something I was never any good at!)

PS! - Just got done obsessing for an HOUR about shoes for tomorrow.  I bought my oldest daughter two pairs of adorable shoes and when she tried them on at the store her feet must have been swollen (it WAS hot and we had walked around for a long time) Well, at the END of the day, today - her feet are swimming in them !  Her poor little face - I have tried everything from cutting up a ribbon belt and stapeling it to the sole of the shoe to make a strap - It looked adorable but the staples will NOT stay in the shoe. We tried elastic (not nearly as cute) and I would just drive to the store, but honestly, I broke the bank last weekend on new clothes and shoes, so we have to wait until this weekend. We do have one pair of shoes that were too big most of last year and have been worn a few times this summer, that just fit right now and I just got done scrubbing them. She's so cute, she swears she is fine with it, but I can see it written all over her face.  (maybe I will drive to the store still tonight....) Can you believe it? Why does this always happen to the one kid that it ALWAYS happens to??  Her little sister's shoes are adorable AND they fit of course.  The funniest thing is that my daughter loves Flamingo's and has a pair of cute socks with Flamingo's on them - so when she left the room her sister and I thought at the same time - we better hide those socks in case she gets the idea to wear them with her shoes to make them fit better (would not have made a good look)  Sure enough what does she do - walks right into the room and says - How about  I wear my Flamingo socks???  At one point while thinking of a plan, I slipped my foot into her too big of a shoe and what do you know - they fit me perfectly! The girls thought this was horrifying and hysterical all at the same time. (I do have small feet!)  In the midst of all of this, when I was done cutting the ribbon belts up what was left made the most adorable bracelets.  GREAT new idea for belts that no longer fit!

I know we will look back on this night and laugh hysterically.....


The ribbon I had was Brown with Pink and Blue Polka Dots..

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Craving....

Yep, I'm Craving Cake!  Sometimes just for the fun of it we will get a small birthday cake because.....
Well who needs a REASON?? But, our cake days are very limited these days - My husband is on a Gluten Free Diet (Supposed to be a help in keeing MS symptoms away)  I don't need cake, but I sure do want some!
  My high school classmates and friend who is one of the most talented people I know could really fix a girl's craving.  You MUST see her amazing creations!! But not only are the cakes AMAZING to look at, I have personally tried her cakes and they are TO DIE FOR. Moist, Rich, WOW!  I just wish I could ring a little bell and Monica with a cake would come running!
Enjoy these Pictures from Monica's Custom Cakes in Burton, Ohio (sorry, to give you a craving!)


Everything is edible except the flowers!
This is REALLY CAKE!!!

The Fries are CAKE too!!



Check out all of her creations -

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spent

Literally! Today we spent the entire day shopping for back to school clothes.  I HATE SHOPPING!  I was hell-bent on getting it all one in ONE DAY and no one else shared my enthusiasm, but guess what? I didn't care.  We drove an hour and a half from home to an outlet mall where there is no sales tax to help us out.  When I hear the word outlet mall, I think it should be lots of clearance items, but apparently it is no different than prices at regular stores.  As a matter of fact on the way home we stopped at a mall still in the no sales tax zone and found better sales than at the outlet mall. 

When we started our little family adventure plus one (My son had to bring a friend otherwise he would have been MISERABLE) of course the hubby and I were arguing.  We always do this when it comes down to spending money. So when we got to the shopping center he took the boys and I took the girls.  The girls finished an hour before them and we were chillin in the car taking a little nap before they got back. AND we bought way more than they did!  Go Me!  One more little pat on the back for me - I did not buy myself ANYTHING!  I need a wardrobe overhaul BADLY, but it just has to wait..... Thankfully I work in a very casual environment - but today, as we were walking around, I looked at the suits and remembered when I used to have to buy them. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I do not have to BUY them anymore b/c it was soooo expensive, but sometimes I miss them. I always felt slimmer in a nice business suit.
I also saw some amazing shoes while we were out but I was good, I kept my blinders on and stayed on target - kid clothes ONLY,  I realized today, for the first time, now that the kids are getting older (youngest is 8) the girls anyway, are fun to shop with .  It was like going out with your girlfriends.  At one point we called and checked on the boys and they were EATING - and here we were splitting a bag of Skittles to tide us over!
I have to say, one thing I do is spoil the kids when it's time for school. I am a sucker for new book bags, fun school supplies (I think I like picking out the folders as much as they do!) and shoes!  My Mom is a shopper and although I didn't inherit her desire to shop all the time, when I do go, I buy.  The only thing we didn't get were my son's shoes.  He couldn't find anything he liked so this will now weigh on my mind until we get them.  Sounds like a good time for online shopping.  Now if only I could find a Money Tree!
I am spent in more ways than one today - How are you?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Ready

Today I was reminded of one of those crazy things that-has-happened-to-me that I forget about. 
While driving to work, on a nice country road, listening to Cosmo Radio, drinking coffee from my travel mug, I saw a young Buck (male deer, antlers just starting to get bigger - just in case your mind is in the gutter) running across the field straight at my car.

When I was little I would have this re-curring dream where I was either in my home and there were wild animals surrounding the house (like lions, tigers, bears) OR the one where I am in my Mom's red Camaro - my older brother is in the passenger seat and I am in the back seat. We are on our road (which was in REALITY in the middle of no-where, dirt, no such thing as street lights, out in the boonies kind of road) and a large Buck in standing in front of our car.  My Mom is doing what she would really do and saying- "Oh, look at the pretty Deer", when he proceeds to jump onto the car, on the roof and jumps up and down until he is coming through the roof and at this point I wake up to all of us screaming.  The Deer was like an evil Deer possessed. Needless to say, I strongly dislike Deer. Always have and now, always will.

Up until about 2 years ago, Deer didn't effect me much, if someone ever said, "Oh, look at the pretty Deer", I'd just change the subject and say - "Oh Look over there at that heap of roadkill - what do you think it is??"
It's about 5:45am, pitch black dark on an early November morning, I'm pretty much the only car on the road for most of the drive, listening to the radio, drinking my coffee, one hand at 6pm, in the left lane because I've just passed an on-ramp and a pick up truck is entering the highway, when I notice that the Semi behind me has moved into the left lane as well.  
I somehow see it.
A Deer has come from the opposite side of the highway pretty far ahead of me, has crossed my lane, and is entering the right hand lane in front of the pick-up truck.  I think to myself the following:
"I'm so glad I'm not that guy- he's gonna get hit"
(see, we don't HIT Deer here, they hit US) 
Sure enough the Deer hits his front end and flies up in the air

(sorry animal lovers - you might want to scroll down a little further)

and the Deer does not fly off to the right - the direction that he is moving in, instead, he flies off to the left - STRAIGHT TOWARDS ME. 
In this moment, which was probably 2 full seconds, I thought:

CRAP  this Donkey of a Deer is coming towards ME now.
The Pickup truck has some damage and is slowing down- hmm, wonder if they have a smashed up windshield?
I have a Semi Truck coming up on my butt FAST.
It's pitch black, the Semi Truck driver probably cannot see the situation happening in front of me
Surely, the Deer will land on the ground BEFORE my front end hits him and I am in a Van , and surely I will be able to aim for him to go right between my tires and under my car without having to slam on the breaks and having a Semi truck in my backseat.

(commercial break -I drive a Honda Odyssey - it makes me feel like I am riding higher than I would in a car, kind of like an SUV - unfortunately, it's probably as low as any other car if not lower)

At this point the Deer DOES land in front of my car as I am travelling about 60mph (having taken my foot off the gas about 2 seconds ago)
I aim for him to go between my tires and me to drive right over him.
As I attempt this, he BEGINS TO STAND UP
and as I proceed to hit and run him over smack in the center he looks me RIGHT IN THE EYE - kind of like a little puppet show- just for me.
I'm going fast, and this part is DISGUSTING, I hear and feel all kinds of CRAZY things for what seems like 15 minutes.  Did I just hear GLASS BREAKING??

What feels like many minutes and I am sure is about a half second later, I am still driving, foot on gas pedal, Pick Up truck on right is now passing me with both people staring at me and my car with shocked expressions and I can only imagine what my face looks like as I stare at them and watch them drive past.

I am now moving into the right lane, Semi Truck is passing me, and now I am the ONLY ONE ON THE ROAD in the PITCH BLACK (again, even our highways have no lights).
 
I keep driving.
I can't stop driving.
I'm entering the city in which I work
there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the car
 I'm close to work
WOW, my leg is REALLY shaking!
I'm shivering.
It's a shock, I'm in shock - Don't  people get cold when they are in shock? 
Wow it's REALLY cold, I can see my breath
I'm turning the heat up, there is nothing coming out of the vents.
What is that smell? It smells like caramel popcorn.....

I get to work. I get out of the car. I let myself in the building (still pitch black and I'm the first one there as usual)  I sit in a chair waiting for someone to arrive.
Kevin, my co-worker gets there first and sees me just sitting there with my coat on. He says " Hey, what's up with you? Cold or something?" 
I tell him what happened and he goes timidly out to check the damage as I slowly creep behind him, towards the car - its now getting light enough to see and my car is COVERED in hair. I can't look at the front.
Kevin  turns toward me a little white and rapidly walking back into the office and says,  "How'd you get here, again"?  He could not believe I kept on driving.
I called my husband, he called a tow truck, they immediately left, and came back with the flatbed, my husband now at my place of work, all my co-workers having heard the story, are watching out the windows and the Van gets driven away while the driver and my husband are just shaking there heads....

So this morning, I casually drive as this young Buck is running through the field at my car, I know my timing is fine, I'm too far back and going too slow to hit him, he cross the road and heads in the woods on the other side and I say -
 #$@#$ Frickin Donkey of a  DEER!
Glad I'm not a Deer Lover
 and getting ready for Deer Season - How are you?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Supercalafragalisticexpealidocious!

I just wanted to say that.  I often sing that song in my head and when one of the kids asks me to go over their spelling words with them I always insert this one.  But I wouldn't say this quite describes me today, I just had to come up with something.  It's true what they say - the dog days of summer - it's winding down, school is going to start so everyone is kind of weary and waiting.  Same here. Headaches are coming back but I'm trying to ignore them, looking forward to fall, but sad that it is already starting to get darker earlier at night, bummed a whole lot of money is going to be spent on school clothes, shoes, winter coats, boots, gloves, snow pants, and the list goes on.... then before we know it THE HOLIDAYS!!! oh boy, I'm just not ready.  This is coming from a Fall/Winter lover, but can I have one more month please???  Didn't think so..

I'll share this:  According to US News there are 15 things you shouldn't be paying for:

Basic Computer Software - agreed. Can't tell you when was the last time I bought that!

Cell Phone (in addition to the service plan) TRUE unless you desire the bells and whistles...

Books - Again, true, however this is where I go wrong. I LOVE books! I want to keep them after I read them. I want one of those amazing in-house library's with a ladder that moves around the room, either that or I want to have my own bookstore. OR even better, I will buy a vintage Airstream and turn it into the bookmobile! So, I buy my books, however, I do purchase most of them used from Amazon.com
Like this fine example!
Water - This I agree with. It pains me to buy water. I'd so much buy a Coke instead of purchasing a water and I am not a bottled water fan anyway.  Give me good ole tap and all that comes with it!

Credit Card - REALLY? People purchase these?? Good news: I haven't had a credit card in almost 10 years - of course I still have a teeny tiny debt from them that will soon be gone. But I will NEVER again own a credit card! ( College killed me - promoting them and my abuse of them) Did I ever tell you I used to go to courthouses and pick up bad credit information and put it on people's credit reports as a job?? - yes, we did stand behind bullet proof glass when people got their credit reports and we had to review them....

Debt Reduction Help - Agree there too (see above - been there done this and am in process of doing this one!)

Basic Tax Prep - Sure if you can use a computer, are good at research or know an accountant, you shouldn't have to pay - but I think some people out there need it.  Remember the story of how my Dad made me get my first job?  Well a year later, when I got my W2's he handed them to me and said, take a walk (LONG, LONG ONE) up to the library and figure out your taxes.  Although I wanted to cry, I did it and have done it ever since all by myself.

The News- Again, Agree, however, I do still love the nostalgia of a good old newspaper - not that I have personally purchased one in at least ten years.  I used to always want to work for a newspaper, but I suppose they are a thing of the past.... WAIT! Yes, I think you need to pay for the news b/c Fox News is my go-to and I have to pay for that.....

Budgeting Tools - Sure, wish I would have known that a long time ago!!

Pets - Now, I do agree, but then why do they still charge?? I bought our cats at a rescue site, but I still had to pay for them- OK, I paid for their shots- but still... I'd pay for my next pet too, it's worth it to get the kind you want, but yes, I get that there are so many homeless pets looking for a good home too.

Shipping - TRUE.  One year, I bought every single Christmas present with free shipping and was done by November.  (I hate malls!)

Checking Account/Bank Fees - AGREE, but it is really possible??

DVDs - Library and coupons with Redbox gets you them for free. But.... I am too impatient....

Exercise - Agree - however, when I did pay for classes, I was so much more motivated to attend!  I haven't paid in a long time and thus, I have a bigger waistline....

They forgot one - Sex?  Never, Never pay for THAT! ;0

How are you and what do you NEVER pay for?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feeling Rushed

I'm in  a tizzy of things to do tonight - So I'll share this link with you - which one do you like? What was your cake topper?  I'll take the love birds, we had real flowers on our cake.

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/9-awesome-wedding-cake-toppers-2227128#photoViewer=1

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm a stay at home Mom - for today....

Fifteen times a year I get to pretend I’m a stay at home parent. Usually we are going out of town or visiting someone, but today was one of those days where we just played house and I loved it. I was due for a Dr. appointment and so were the kids so I was lucky enough to get them all scheduled on the same day. You would think this would leave me with no extra time, but I made it happen. My appointment was early, so when I got home (OCD Alert) I ran around like a crazy lady cleaning up whatever I could find while the kids got ready. Today was one of those perfect end of summer days. The crickets and birds are making lots of noises, the humidity was finally low, and there was a nice breeze. The kids and I went out to lunch, then to their Dr. appointments and after, I took them to play miniature golf. Austin at 13 wasn’t too sure about wanting to go, but he ended up having fun- I know this because he told me 3 xs and said thank you 2 xs. (Mission: Make 13yr old think I’m Cool: Accomplished!) We got ice cream afterward while I tallied up our scores and I won! If Don were with us, I would not have won because he always does. While we were sitting there I was watching the other groups. There was a Mom with three little kids and an older teenage girl, the Mom didn’t play and the teenage girls interacted with the kids as though she were the Nanny. Then there was a Mom who weighed about 90lbs and looked like she was 19 at 40ish. She proceeded to text the entire time her son played golf by himself. There was my favorite couple – an elderly set with their grandkids who DID play. Then there was the Mom who sat in her WHITE (now I know who likes White cars) SUV while her two girls played the course. So I thought to myself – I love my kids, I’m lucky I had this day with them, I love my career and that it makes me an individual outside of being a Mom, and even though some days I get angry that I can’t be home with my kids, I would never want to be a Mom who is home but isn’t really HOME, if you know what I mean. Currently we are creating our own miniature golf holes for the course we will put in our backyard one day because I promised! ;) My hole is a Wintry Snowman theme, Aiden’s has Flamingos, Avery’s has a barn and Austin’s consist of loading the ball into a gun and shooting it at the hole. Only 15 more to design – that should keep them busy until school starts next week. Today I was a Stay at Home Mom and loved it, but going back to work tomorrow – and how are you?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Popular

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/110348/the-popularity-issue

So they came out with the most popular things list.  My whole life I have been pretty good at liking things before they get really popular and stop liking things once everyone has one.  I'll add my two cents to the list:

White Cars:  I have had one white car.  It was the 2nd car I owned, unfortunately received after my first  and very cute little Volkswagen Rabbit's engine blew, so my Dad brought home a lovely Aries K Car as a surprise. Most people will not even know what this is.  It had only AM radio, no A/C and the bench front seat was rusted into place so I had to sit with a pillow behind my back to reach the pedals.
 I was the only one of my friends at college with a car, so me and my car were very popular!  My car was soon dubbed "Milky" by everyone.  I took a lot of hits on the jokes front, but I had wheels.  I did gladly watch the tow truck driver haul it away one day as the whole bottom of it fell out.....
Would I ever have a white car again? Absolutely NOT.  I can't think of one single car that looks good in white and I do not mean to offend anyone, but I think white cars are only popular because they have plenty in stock at the local dealerships when it's time to buy a car? I'm a fan of black, although I currently have the extremely popular dark bluish-grey Honda Odyssey (I also am NOT a mini-van kind of girl, but when you have three kids it's really the only option...) and yes, that color was the one I could get off the lot THAT day, so I get it, I get it....

Item at Walmart: Banana
I guess when I do get groceries at Walmart, I buy Banana's but I buy Banana's every time I get groceries and I prefer to not get my produce from Walmart.  I would say that every time I go to Walmart I buy something I do not need and didn't really want in that form but the price was right.  I always vow not to go into Walmart again, but I keep going back. I do not EVER say, Honey, can you stop at Walmart and pick up some banana's......

Job: Sales Clerk
I think everyone has been one at one time or another.  My very first job was a bakery sales girl, then a cashier at the local grocery store, then I worked for Thom McCan shoes as a sales clerk and a bridal store.  Would I be a sales clerk again? Actually, I probably would since my dream job is to own my own bookstore one day. Most of my friends were waitresses or bartenders because the money was so much better, but I could never have been gutsy enough for that kind of job. I see where it gets its popularity though -there is no lack of retail stores out there.

Cereal: Honey Nut Cheerios
I' ve never eaten them myself - honestly the smell of Cheerios reminds me of dry cat food for some reason.  The sweet adorable lady in the office across from mine brings a bag of cheerios every day and around 9:30am she says -"I'm going to eat my Cheerios now" and I start mouth breathing...  HOWEVER, I do buy Honey Nut Cheerios for my kids - they are healthy and they say they taste good. 
Personally I prefer Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries.

Chips: Lays
OK, I agree, there is nothing better than a greasy Lays Potato Chip. However, I rarely buy them if ever b/c of the (OCD moment)greasy fingerprints everyone will leave from eating them and the small crumbs that will be left on my floor.  I actually love Target's brand of chips....

Fish: Shrimp
I like shrimp. But not enough for it to be popular. My husband is violently allergic to it so we don't ever cook it at home and I rarely order it out.  I love Grouper.  I would think this one is popular due to the amount you can eat it one sitting, probably.

Dog: Labrador
Well of course it is!  There are 3 kinds:  The yellow smart ones, the Black Hyper ones and the Brown adorably less-bright ones (which I prefer) and who doesn't love someone else's Labrador? But in my house, is another story.  I love dogs, just thinking a dog won't love me wiping it's paws off every single time it comes inside.  I do know a couple who wipes their dogs mouth every time it drinks water. I get it I really do but who has time for that?

Worldwide Vacation: France
Sounds like lovely place.  I won't be going unless someone else is paying.  Give me Italy, Ireland  or maybe Australia.

Lipstick: Revlon
This is how little I care about make-up: I know what color the tube is that it is in, but I never go based on brand.  My current lipstick is in a Mauve-ish tube with gold trim?

Sneaker: Nike Air Force One
Sounds like a plane?  If the tennis shoes (not to be confused with SNEAKERS- never use that word) looks like it will match my workout clothes and it feels comfy - they are mine. OH and they are less then my Electric Bill.  I NEVER wear tennis shoes unless I am exercising- NEVER.

Sports Car : Camaro
Full circle time.  Before I had to drive the lovely white Aries K Car, my Mom had a super Hot Red Camaro.  She really trusted me when I was 16, so for awhile, I was so cute driving around town in my little Red Camaro.  Then WHAM, Dad got me an Aries K car and that was the last sports car I ever drove...
(I still have time and don't worry, those Vintage Camaro's look really fun - in Black!)

Not so popular, how about you?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Missing my Friend

I 'm always jealous of women who have best girl friends, the ones whose  families do everything together.  Travel, play cards, and just hang out.  I don't know what happened but I find myself lacking those kinds of relationships and sometimes I miss it.  Growing up,  I didnt have a lot of close friends. There were girls I wanted to be friends with but it seems like I was the third wheel all the time. Mostly because we lived on a road with no other houses close-by and my parents both worked, so having friends over was difficult, plus my parents had a boat that we went on every weekend and all summer, so getting together with classmates was difficult.  I had friends for sure, and I have great memories of times with each of them, but for some reason we are no longer friends and I didn't develope a true best friend out of it.....  I had two older brothers so female companionship was rare. Don't get me wrong, my Mom was great - she was always there for me when something went wrong, we went shopping together and we watched movies together. Again GREAT memories , and my Grandma (Nannie) was another great female influence- always supportive as well as many other female relatives in my life, but none that I saw on a regular basis,  and now even my Mom is over 24 hours away.   I hung out with the boys in school more than the girls so by the time I went to college and met girlfriends, I don't know, I just was never able to hang on to them.  Maybe I was too close with my then boyfriend, now husband, who was and still is my very best friend. I know I gave up time with the girls to be with him whenever I could. 
I've made lots of friends throughout my career, but my career and family have always come first, so as I have left companies and positions, I tend to lose those relationships built as well. 
 I am super close to my sister-in-law, but even she has her own best friends.  So now, look at me, I'm whining about wanting a friend.  I'm sure it's all my fault, but still, it would be nice to have someone that you could talk to no matter what.  I look at my daughters and think how lucky they are because they are so close.  Back in the 40's and 50's it seems like friendships were more important then they are now and families were closer to each other.  I think those are the times I would like.  A lot of it has to do with being a working Mom - your priorities are so different and there is never enough time.  I know my friends that are stay at home Moms have many more girlfriends than I do.  I keep telling myself, I'll find my friend one day, that she is still out there, and thankfully I have plenty of time to develop a friendship with my daughters.  Like today, we went and got our toes done together and it was fun.  Maybe this is why I like to read so much - I become friends with the charachters but the books always end too fast.  I like to think that my experiences over the years would make me a good friend to someone, I just haven't quite found her yet. 
Feeling a little lonely today, and YOU?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bad Hair Day

I have a LOT of hair. It’s not super long, but it’s really thick. I get it from my Mom. I have always gotten comments on my hair since I was a baby with one little curl on the top of my bald head. I say COMMENTS rather than compliments, because when people say something it’s usually along the lines of:


“Wow, you have a lot of hair” or “I love all your hair”, or “WOW is your hair really that thick?” and I am never quite sure if they like it or not? I like it, it’s better to have a thick head of hair than thin, but there are days when it’s a real pain in ass too.

There ARE worse things, I know. But, I feel like I have to defend my hair a lot of the times. I can’t wear it short because it’s WIDE and then my head would look enormous, I can’t put it in one of those cool skinny ponytails EVER, and I have to keep up on getting it thinned out. Also, my hair doesn’t really grow past a certain point so it’s in a constant state of “bigness”. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, when I was growing up, I blended in with everyone else’s big hair, so my hair wasn’t out of the ordinary, and even now it seems like hair is getting a little bigger again. But for the last ten years, I would get a “comment” a day.

I am Third row from top 7th from left.  yes the one with the bangs and the lovely neck bow.

Another fne example of BIG hair!

This brings me to my point – My many hairstylists. Growing up, my Mom did my hair, and I hated every hairdo she ever gave me. I had the Shirley Temple, the Dorothy Hamil, the super short and cropped to my head, a bowl cut, and then many years of straight-across-my-forehead bangs!
My college roomate and I -besides the attire, look at our hair!! ( I am on the left)

The first person that ever did my hair professionally was our next door neighbor who ran a salon with his wife. He is the one that eventually cut the curl from the top of my head. But he also gave me my first perm at like age 3. We stopped seeing him when my Mom’s best friend who happened to be his wife caught him in bed with um, a man – which is fine, just not when you are still married to the opposite sex….

The next hair stylist I remember was a very special one to me – Her name was Tracy and my Mom met her when she came in for physical therapy where my Mom worked. They became good friends despite their age difference and she did my Mom’s hair for a long time and then mine. Tracy was around 18 or 19 when she was out with friends from the salon where she worked, crossed the street and was hit by a drunk driver in a van. After a year in a full body cast, she ended up as a paraplegic. Tracy was (and I am sure still is) beautiful. She lived on her own, travelled the world, became an amazing photographer and scuba diver and continued her career as a hair stylist and did my hair until I left for college. Her customers sat in a special chair that was very low to the ground, much like a chaise lounge. We became good friends despite our age difference and she taught me some valuable lessons about strength, courage and independence. We used to go to the mall together and eat Chicken Waldorf Salads and Scones, and window shop. One time she was featured in a local news program doing my hair – I begged her not to get it wet though. I had her speak to my senior class about Drinking and Driving and she brought everyone in the school to tears. Unfortunately, because I left for school and was over three hours away we lost touch with each other, but I still think of her all the time.

Before I had kids I was able to spend money on clothes and my hair and for awhile I went to one of those big salons where you had to have an appointment for a month in advance, if not more. I made my appoints quarterly. I loved that salon because it was fun to watch the drama between the hair stylists, and the people who ran the salon. I knew I was a good customer when I worked my way up in stylist status. ( mostly because they charged me double for the amount of hair I had and I have always been a big tipper) After I had my first child though, that salon wasn’t really my speed anymore and after some botched hairdo’s and a few local shops(never go to a stylist who is also studying to be an Engineer) I found a small niche salon and had my first male stylist. He was great, he even gave my daughter her first haircut. I loved him doing my hair because he loved my hair and spent almost an hour just playing with it.

During all this time, my sister in law who has always been a stylist would do my hair whenever we were together and I was visiting back home. She introduced me to color and highlights. I would get this done at the salon when I could or in-between visits, but when she did it I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg. Eventually as we had our other two kids, I stopped being able to afford the expensive coloring and one day my sister in law taught my husband how to color my hair.

We ended up moving closer to my Brother and sister in law and she now does my hair, but in between, my husband still colors it. Today, I went to my all time favorite “Colorist” and got my hair did. Unfortunately, I have had some grey hair since my early twenties, so I’m a regular hair coloring customer. Now I have to tell you that the ONLY reason my husband does my hair, is because we save well over $100 each time–especially with the amount of MY hair. Usually we aren’t speaking by the time he is done coloring it for me because I call him the hair stylist Nazi and he gets annoyed at me complaining about missing a spot. It’s funny – we are the kind of couple that doesn’t even go in the same room when the other is in the bathroom, we have never burped or passed gas in front of each other, BUT he has seen the intimate details of my premature greys and kindly covers them up. (Well, maybe not KINDLY)

So today, Don colored my hair and I look 10 years younger already – How are YOU?


Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Left Handed Day to ME!

Yep I'm a lefty!  Along with lots of freckles, glasses, and a Dorothy Hamill haircut, it was a lot harder to be left handed when I was younger than it is now.   I forget that not everyone is left handed until I go to peel a potato or am drinking from a coffee mug and can't see the picture.  When I was younger they always made a big deal out of getting the left handed scissors out  for the "lefties" took their good old time getting them, causing me to get behind on my cutting, and then me and the 3 other lefty kids had to share because the right handed kids just liked the green rubber handles and used our scissors.
Now, its just annoying when you have to use one of those pens that are attached to one side of something like a clipboard, and the chain isn't long enough to allow you to be able to write.
I always start a dance step or exercise on the left first so I am the one no one wants to follow in class. 
I still can't tie my shoes without making the bunny ears. 
I suck at ironing (not sure if it is b/c I'm left handed though -doesn't seem like it should be)
I have no hand-eye coordination.
Don't sit next to me at dinner!
I've adjusted to using the mouse with my right hand, but I need my desk phone on the left side and that stinks when you have to write, b/c then you are using your neck and shoulder a lot.

Tonight, we went to dinner and I told the family it was to celebrate my left handedness!  But no celebration was had for me..... I guess I'm not very special after all..... How are you?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NOT worried

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th, which means it is going to be a GREAT day and I am not superstitious! No, I am not worried about anything going wrong tomorrow despite a MOUNTAIN of work I have to do.

(Commercial interruption  Did you see the office version of A Minute to Win it? - Really want to be coordinated enought to go on that show!)

After work I raced home, calling the kids on the way to get ready so we could go out to eat, ran in the house and cleaned the sink while the car was running, (I'm not worried about my OCD taking over my life, really.  You'd hardly know anything was wrong with me)   Nothing special, just have to go to the grocery store so no food in the house right now.  Don had a meeting so it was just me and the kids.  We went to this cute Italian Restaurant on the town square and my  first mistake was:  parking  further away, so we could walk a little.  My daughter who hates bugs stepped on two Cicada's that looked to be doing something that shouldn't be done in a public place-  They made this loud engine like noise and scared all of us and her ecspecially,  half to death.  We all kind of jumped and ran as the Cicada's buzzed around us and  narrowly missed a nice fresh pile of Dog Poo smack in the middle of the sidewalk.
Second mistake:  was sitting in the section of the restaurant where apparently all the "regulars" usually sit and it threw them all off  as they came in and wondered if we were someone they were supposed to know- while they stared us down, the sun steamed in the windows right at eye level so we had a hard time looking at each other throughout dinner and then realized it was also a great place for the fly convention.  The same daughter who hates bugs got the front row seat.....
Third mistate:   was ordering from the Lighter Fare part of the menu - the portions were TINY. My son wasn't too happy with me when he ate his meal in 3 bites.  The ice cream I got them for dessert was bigger sized portions than their dinner.

After dinner we sat in the car and just talked while we ate our never ending ice creams- I learned from my teenage son that he never wants kids, (despite pointing out a really cute and brand new baby in the restaurant) He is going to be a millionaire right out of high school so he won't need to go to college but isnt sure how,  just knows he will be one. He might get married, but will hire security to keep his sisters from attending, because they are just way too annoying, and no, they won't ever grow out of  it- DUH!
But I'm NOT worried about his future, really.


My husband is in a lovely mood becase he got stuck at work on a teleconference with his boss who ranted and raved about the meaning of courage and no I'm not worried about him going off on his boss one day SOON - really.

So happy Friday the 13th tomorrow - I'm not the scary movie type, but maybe for tomorrow I'll catch one... (and no, I'm not worried about being able to fall asleep again......)