Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If you have a Dickie, you might not like me....

Can you see the outline of is Dickie??
Whose bright idea was the Dickie? And, have you ever worn one? I knew they existed, never wore one, but I fell off the couch laughing when after the 20th time watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, I just now noticed that Cousin Eddy is wearing a BLACK Dickie under his cream colored v-neck sweater. CLASSIC!


While we are on THAT topic, what about other FALSE/FAKE-OUT fashion failures?

We have the Shoulder Pads – I remember in high school and even college when I couldn’t imagine a time when I would not wear shoulder pads. I even had False ones that I had cut out of some jacket that I would place under my bra straps to hold into place to wear under any shirt that dare not come with shoulder pads. I DO have tiny shoulders – maybe I should have used those IN my bra instead? (Kind of like the chicken cutlets, don’tcha think?)


If only I knew they made the kind that stick on like band-aides!

Toupee’s – Need I say more?


Did you ever manually distress your jeans hours before leaving the house? It never worked for me. I actually had a pair of jeans in college that I loved to wear. They were normal on top until just below the crotch (sorry, hate that word but best way to describe them) area, and then they were very stonewashed, bleached out the rest of the way down. This look really accentuated my already bubbly butt. Now I know why I had so much attention in college….

Pegged Pants. At some point as a young society we decided that pants were not slim enough around our ankles so we pegged them. This was a tricky technique, similar to the ability of tying a shoe, that was very important to learn, but once you had it down even with the thickest pair of jeans, you looked
AMAZING-ly like an ASS.

Stirrup Pants. The only time I like the word Stirrup is around a horse. No women should EVER have worn pants with built in stirrups. I rocked this look with cream colored socks and slip on flats. Thankfully I am short, so the pants didn’t pull off of me as I walked. This was really a serious I’m an ASS look.


A Stirrup Pants Business Suit-Even Better!

Which goes right along with Fake Riding pants. Sometimes you got stirrup pants with fake riding patches on the inner thigh all in one. Most of us sporting this look didn’t have a horse, own riding boots or carry a crop and just ended up looking like a rodeo clown instead. Matched with a plaid jacket w/ elbow patches and a turtleneck (preferably real) and you had quite the look. (not that I owned ANY of that)

Fake Bake – I loved my time in a tanning booth and quite honestly would still get in one if you gave me some extra money and guaranteed no skin cancer. But I don’t have the kind of skin that tans well so I just had a nice red freckly glow. What on earth were we and some of us still are thinking?? Not only did we look orange but we smelled like dead skin – VERY attractive!

The Fake Dancer Look– You know, ballet flats, leg warmers, leotards and jeans, ripped pants with tights underneath, flowy scarves. Great look, but who were we kidding. We were no less Julliard dancers than my bull-riding Uncle. I had a burgundy gathered neck leotard, burgundy leg warmers, pink tights and a wrap skirt that I thought made me look like I was going home to the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov every night, but alas, I was a nothing but a FAKE , going home to clean out the cat box and watch General Hospital instead.

Yes, I owned the following:

A red zipper jacket with major shoulder pads covered in hundreds of metal pins.

Low Crotch Genie pants that flared out on the sides but -WAIT FOR IT -
BUTTONED together in the middle in yes, the crotch area.
High Top Reeboks (I only had white ones, but there were plenty of red and royal blue ones where I come from)


I bet those are stirrup pants!

Swatch Watches to match EVERY outfit!



LOOK at the HAIR –

I am third girl from left whose shoulders are not fitting because of the PADS!

How were your fake fashion failures?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Those $%#$%-effin CATS!!!

The instigator


The Quiet Tree Climber


Have I told you about my hate/tolerate relationship with our two cats? Well, in case you need an update here is a quick review:

Kids had a guinea pig, which had a seizure and died in front of them on their first day of summer two years ago. I felt guilty and decided they needed a new pet. (KEY WORD: GUILT) The hubby was as
HE says: Minding his own business mowing the lawn. (He often demonstrates himself mowing the lawn whenever he tells the story which is A LOT!) I came out and waved him down and FORCED him to go to the place where you can get really cute kittens. TWISTED that arm of his, I did. Of course they were buy one get one FREE that day. We came home with two really cute kittens.
A month later we had two god-forsaken CATS.

This morning, I was being a GOOD GIRL, got myself out of bed at 4:30am to workout. As I dragged my tired and sore body up the basement stairs one of the cats is in the Christmas tree tossing ornaments down to the other not as adventurous cat, who is catching them and proceeding to play soccer with them.

Of course I proceed to condemn them both to that place residing below us and am running around with my towel trying to herd them into the basement (similiar to that place I just described because this is where the workout room is and where toys miraculously come out overnight and make a mess because of course no one else would ever make that mess- or so I am told.) Now I have managed to wake up the hubby and son at this early hour and they are mad at ME. Not the cats though.

Until about 4 hours later when I get a phone call from the hubby who is NOW mad at the cats. His scenario goes like this:

The kids and a boy he watches in the morning before school are “playing” with the cat to the point of him having to hide under the couch and not willing to come out. FOR NOTHING. The hubby is now in an extreme hurry so he does what any man would do and gets out the blow horn to SCARE the cat out from under the couch so he can put them both in the basement (the bad place down there) where they live when we are not home.
One goes down like a bat out of hell and the other, hides under the bed and will not come out.
FOR NOTHING.
Now the hubby is really aggravated (acting like I was this morning, I’m sure) and is forced to leave with one down in the bad place (the tree climber, thank goodness) and one up –away from his cushy bathroom too. (I really hope he has a strong bladder)
As the hubby tears out of the driveway, he hits a patch of ice and slides off the road. With the kids. Thankfully he drives a Jeep. So it’s just a minor off-roading adventure. I am SURE the neighbors hide behind their curtains and laugh at the mad man every morning that does his daughters hair, and tears up the driveway on the way out.

Fun time those cats give us. They really #$#$% do! FUN FUN TIMES.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not so Much.

I was going to tell you all about my psychic experience today, but I can’t seem to type it out. My sister-in-law’s took me to a place they had been before and felt they got good results from so invite me along. Let’s just say my experience was kind of par for the course in my life. NOT SO MUCH. Let’s review:


My first kiss. NOT SO MUCH. (He had braces, and I was one of many girls who lost their first kiss to him)

My first car. NOT SO MUCH. (Cute VW, but it blew up shortly after I got it, then I had to drive an Aries K car around)

My first REAL job. NOT SO MUCH. (Wanted to be one of the cashiers at the local grocery store who wore the cute blue smocks – instead, I got the smock but wore it behind the bakery counter –not necessarily were the cool kids were)

My first boy-girl party. NOT SO MUCH. (Let’s just say it was a pool party, and I had something girls get once a month that day)

My first Communion. Not SO MUCH. (I was dry heaving on the altar and had to run off of it to throw up)

Let’s just say my "psychic" used Tarot Cards and I pulled the death one. OF COURSE. She was shocked that I was married- after she said I wasn’t she then proceeded to make sure I really was.
“HOW LONG?” “Are you TOGETHER?” There is more but I will spare you the details. I’m trying to spare myself still.

The oddest thing and ONLY thing that happened was that there was a cat who came up to us at one point and put his paws on my leg. (I do have two cats because I am a work-a-holic Mom who carries around a lot of guilt and bought them for my kids, but I do NOT really ENJOY them) So when this cat did this I sort of gave the cat the side-eye and maybe moved my finger at him. About five minutes later he came back and jumped into my lap and curled up. So now I am listening to the Psychic tell me how I will not ever have decadence and it will make my kids stronger adults, while slightly touching the cat now in my lap. This cat had VERY bumpy skin under it’s fur. Like the kind of skin you would feel through a pelt. IT WAS ODD. I like to think that this cat was telling me that although I tend to scream and yell at our cats at home and call them lots of bad names, that I am not really a bad person.

So there is that….

After this outing, we met the hubbies for dinner in a different part of town, walked around with hot chocolates and looked at the Christmas Lights, and then I saw a sign for a Psychic. I said “Let’s go, and see if I get a better reading!” The hubby adamantly said NO. I can now see how and why people keep going back. Is it so they can hear what they want to hear?

I had skipped out the time my sister-in-law’s went before because I had some other conflicts that day and I also said that I would obsess over what I heard, especially if it was bad. GUESS I WAS RIGHT.

Any of my follower’s psychic? Can you give me a proper reading to clear my mind?? I was kind of hoping for the following:

“I see lots of good fortune in your VERY near future. Your writing will take off and you will no longer have any money worries. Your children will be successful and happy and your husband will live a long healthy life. See this card here – it means you have the fountain of youth in your life.”

Just Sayin.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why Today just might be the Best Day of the Year –


Today is Saturday! – I keep repeating this to myself. I love this long weekend without having to take a vacation day stuff.

It is currently snowing! I am pretty sure if you know me, you know that the fact that is it snowing when I wake up in the morning of a Saturday after already having two days off with two more to go that it is a FANTASTIC day in my book!

I can now admit that my house is fully decorated for Christmas and I can finally enjoy the trees lit up.

The kids made their first batch of Christmas Cookies last night and it wasn’t at my house so I didn’t have to yell about the mess AND they had fun.

I can now break out my favorite Christmas movies, use the Peppermint Mocha in my coffee, hum Christmas carols without getting strange looks, use my flannel sheets with snowmen on them, and get excited about toys on Christmas morning.

My house is now officially cold enough that it is OK that I wear flannel pajama pants, socks and a sweatshirt to bed without my husband thinking I’m saying NO.

I can threaten the kids that Santa is listening and they are starting to worry a little.

It’s ok that I walk/drive slower in front of houses all lit up – It looks like I’m admiring their decorations not looking at the color of their walls and the size of their TV.


Thanks to all of that, the fact that it is frigidly cold out, I can still clean the house tomorrow, we got DIRECT TV the other day so there is PLENTY to watch, I can lay on the couch in my pajamas all day if I want to, today is the best day of the year.

(Tomorrow, we’ll just see if I was really able to do just that considering the fact that I have already started laundry and it’s extremely difficult for me to just relax without thinking of things I really should do, plus, I noticed that on this new TV system my old favorite Gilad has his body sculpting show on that I should really check out…….)

How is this day going for YOU?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G


T he parade. I love a good parade and no one else in my family seems to. One of my bucket list items is to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade someday even if I have to go alone with a Turkey leg. I don’t know what it is but I look forward to watching it every year and yes, I believe that is the REAL Santa Clause at the end. The problem is that I never seem to get to watch it from all the craziness going on. This year it starts at 9am (maybe that’s the problem; I never knew it started that early?) I’m watching it NO MATTER WHAT, even if I am all alone locked in a closet.

How I get out of helping in the kitchen, sitting at the kids table, and eating more without having to get seconds: I had three kids. As the youngest of three, my kids took my spot at the Kid’s Table. Those darned kids keep me really busy, so busy that it is REALLY hard to help out in the kitchen, darn it. I make sure I load their plates up with a sampling of everything, while I ignore their protests and tell them to just let me know when they are done, and I’ll clear their plates – LITERALLY.

Apple to Apples, Trivial Pursuit, even the dreaded Charades. I love family get-together game time. It really does bring out the best in everyone. The drunken ones are easy to beat, persuade, and cheat off of. The stodgy, “I hate games and won’t play them” types get to clean up the messes, babysit the kids, and break up the fights the game players get into. The competitive ones, well I know who they are as I am one of them. Bring it On!

No he/she didn’t. Family gatherings are THE BEST for this game. The hubby and I like to play it in the car on the way home. We swap stories of who said what, why they wore THAT, and what they did. The only problem is that as the kids get older they understand what we are saying better, plus they are awake longer in the car. Sometimes just before we fall asleep in bed later, I have to ask my husband to please clarify the story because I didn’t get his “code” earlier.

Keeping up with the Jones’s – This is more stressful to me than cooking, travelling, and planning. From making sure the car is shiny and immaculate to getting the kids hair to look normal. Holiday family/friend gatherings bring out the best in competitive life styles. From who has their Christmas shopping done, what they are buying the kids, who put up their decorations and what kind of travel plans they have for the winter, we tend to fall short on this one. Let’s just say we are the “keeping up” part, not the Jones’s. I like to hand out a little script to the kids of what they can say or reveal and how to dodge certain “questions” before we see The Jones’s.

Skeet shooting anyone? It’s been a long standing tradition in our family for the men to gather on the morning of Thanksgiving for some Manly games. It started with The Cranberry Bowl – a friendly game of tackle football. Now the men gather with guns for what they call skeet shooting but invariably it ends up as just a bunch of guys showing off their guns. You can count on MUD if it is not snowing, a lot of chest puffing and one or two bruised egos. I would like to change this tradition so that the men are inside cooking and taking care of the kids while the women are out back in my Wo-MAN cave playing a little poker or something.

Grazing –Here is my take on Thanksgiving. I get up early, drink lots of coffee to compensate for a busy day ahead, starve myself until it’s time to eat, get full super fast when we do finally eat and then by 7pm am starving again. In my opinion let the grazing begin first thing. Who needs a sit-down dinner?

I didn’t do it – This statement can be heard throughout any family gathering, from the adults to the kids. Whether it is figuring out who passed gas to who cut the expensive mannequin head up not realizing it was still being used by my beautician sister-in-law, to cleaning up broken glass. You can expect at least 2 out of three people saying “I didn’t do it!”

Vacation – I’m on vacation, I’m on vacation, da na na na nah. This is what I say while doing a little dance whenever it is a long holiday weekend and Thanksgiving is the best one all year!

I am so glad that’s not my kid – This is what everyone else says when we leave the party. It’s getting better as the kids get older, but I cannot tell you how many times the hubby or I have had to sit in the car with a temper tantrum throwing child. Now I just have to worry about keeping the 14 year olds eye rolls to a minimum, and the girls giggling after every relative with an issue walks by them.

New Clothes – Happy Thanksgiving, a week prior everyone MUST be marched to the store for something decent to wear and hopefully it will last through holiday parties, school productions and Christmas. If you’ve seen them in it on Thanksgiving, you can count on it being repeated 5 more times.

Going, Gone, Broke – This is the money in my bank account from a week before Thanksgiving until a month after Christmas. AT LEAST.

You know what? I wouldn’t have any of it any other way.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Are you SURE you Want to Have Holiday Visitors??



I came across another one of those advice articles. This time about what your house guests will never tell that you should prepare for them in advance of their stay in your home. You know how I LOVE well meaning advice……. (Cough, cough, throat cleared loudly) Let’s review, shall we?:

They Say: Along with good tidings, cheer, and presents, the holiday horde is guaranteed to bring stress, too. Here's how to fix any entertaining faux pas so that family and friends feel welcome. (Even if you wish their stay were a couple days shorter!)

I Say: So you got suckered into having family/friends not only come to your house over the holidays, but stay OVER NIGHT. Poor you! I take it you will have an abundance of “glad-tidings” on hand, which should bring cheer, however in some cases just brings headaches. Presents? Is it not enough that they get to stay in your home adding more stress to your life? They should bring YOU a present, YOU are their present!



They say: I can't find a place to charge my phone.


Guests shouldn't have to scramble down on all fours in order to find an outlet. Add a conveniently placed power strip or a docking station.

I Say: If your guest isn’t capable of bringing a charger for their phone, and finding an outlet to plug into, then too bad for them. As far as them having to get on all fours, well that’s their problem. In my house it’s a battle for any of us to find an available charger – I just wait and charge my phone in the car or at work. As far as outlets go, well those are all filled up too- it more than often looks like the outlet did in the movie Christmas Vacation. I’d be leery of having my guests plugging anything in. I’ll just tell them if they need to use their cell phone bring it fully charged. Puhleeze – add a docking station! For my GUESTS?? (I guess that is an excuse to buy one – I’ll try that on the hubby….)

They Say: I tracked snow and mud in the door.

As soon as guests arrive, let them know the house rules in a fun and friendly way. If your house has a no-shoes policy, make sure to let them know as soon as they arrive. Same thing goes for your policy on smoking, shower schedules, meals, and routines. Being up front will help you avoid problems later.

I Say: The shoes in the house thing has always been a problem for me. NO ONE wears shoes in our house- UNLESS they are company and my tongue is half bitten off from NOT saying anything. I have never been able to LET My Company know our Rules in a Fun and Friendly way?? I usually lay towels by the front door and hope and pray they get the hint from seeing our shoe-less feet to take off theirs, but they usually don’t. As far as the other stuff, do you really need a Ten Commandments for House Guests? I can just see myself, who will just walk behind your wet foot prints with a towel hidden under my foot, saying:

 “So Mary, if you MUST smoke, I have placed a can outside by the shed and shoveled a little path and then laid carpet so your shoes won’t get dirty. Here is the Shower Schedule – since we want you to have the most hot water, your time slot is 6am. We also only cook ONE type of food at meal-time, as we say to the kids, if you don’t like what we cook, there will be another meal in 6 hours, you won’t starve. As far as routines go, well, just follow our lead, you’ll get the hang of it eventually!"



They Say: Your neighbors blinking Christmas lights kept me up all night.


Blackout shades are a great option for guest rooms. Plus, they're perfect for taking an afternoon nap if the kids were all up at 5am to open up presents.

I Say: If I have to put up with it, well then so do you my guests. This should cover the teens driving by in their cars with the music blaring, the guy across the street who mows his lawn EVERY SINGLE MORNING, the Woodpecker who is in love with the logs on our house and our dryer that barks like a dog.



They Say: I didn't get a chance to spend time with you.


Sharing your home can certainly affect your mental state, but do remember to enjoy your guest's visit. Relax and have fun: put off the laundry, turn off the computer, and go ahead and ask them to catch up while helping with the dishes.

I Say: So it is not OK to text, blog, do laundry while guests are visiting but guilting them into helping in the kitchen is free game? GREAT. I have a dishwasher, how about if I ask them to catch up while we clean out the cat box or paint the bathroom?
They Say: I worry about waking you up.


Guests won't fret about walking around on creaking floors or disturbing you every time they get up if you throw down a plush rug. It also helps to create a cozy and inviting space, too.

I Say: Once you have sound-proofed the house for any kind of noise the guests may make for fear of waking you up the only thing to worry about is NOT hearing them stealing your things when they leave out of frustration that you never got out of bed! Seriously, I NEED my guests to make noise so I can jump out of bed fully clothed (without shoes, of course) and pretend like I have been up for HOURS –
“Of course you didn’t wake me, I am always up at 6am!”

They Say: I don't want to miss my early flight or train back home.


Let's face it: the last thing anyone wants is for your guest to stay another night. Make sure there's a small alarm clock on their nightstand. Unfamiliar gadgets can be confusing, so see if they need any help setting it.

I Say: Better yet, the night before they leave, have them pack the car, wear what they plan to wear the next day to bed, pack them a snack for the morning, set the alarm as loud as possible right by their heads and race them out the door. That will ensure they leave on time! Also, remove the black out shades, encourage the neighbor to mow away, and remove the rugs from the floors so creaking can commense.

They Say: I drank too much eggnog last night.


Keep a coaster and water glass on their beside table. Tucking a sample-size pack of a headache medicine in a basket with other travel essentials is a nice touch, too.

I Say: Just put the puke bucket by the bed. It IS important to not forget the coaster for the water though.

They Say: I woke up shivering!


Here's the secret to a perfectly prepared bed: Start with great cotton sheets, add a cotton coverlet, and then finish with a down duvet on top. That combination offers enough flexibility to deal with the most extreme temperature swings.

I Say: If you turn off the heat they will shorten their visit! My favorite part of my favorite movie Best Friends with Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn is when they are visiting his family in a high rise apartment and the windows don’t open. Another good way to get rid of company fast.



I hope you love your future house guests as much as the author of this article must.

Happy Family/Friends visiting….

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Did. Done. Don't Plan to Do Again or EVER.

I accomplished everything on the list of things I planned to do this weekend, and I didn't even have to wait until Monday night. Out of that plan, I realized some things that I don't plan to do EVER or again.

EVER. - I am nothing like a woman who works at a nature center.  There is nothing wrong with this occupation or desire to spend all of your time immersed in nature. However, it's not on my bucket list or anywhere near it.  For one thing, I prefer a little color in my wardrobe, or at least some black rather than khakis. Also, even though the hubby colors my hair and I couldn't tell you what brand of makeup I wear, I still enjoy both, more than donning a head warmer and wearing binoculars around my neck.  But more importantly, I just do not have the patience to lead a group of Brownies, their inappropriately dressed for a-nature-hike-parents and younger annoying siblings around, as though it was the highlight of my week.
"WOW - just look at that bird's nest through your 'noculars -doesn't it just take your breath away?"
  "Now, for a little taste testing of Suet, follow me!!!"

AGAIN. - Unfortunately, as much as I love seeing a movie when it first comes out, I WILL NEVER GO TO THE MOVIES AGAIN.  Or at least not anytime soon.  We went to see Harry Potter.  The first mistake was assuming it would be crowded more than an hour before it started. I had us all there so early that we had to kill time at the dreaded DOLLAR STORE next door. I won't go to the Dollar Store again, either.  There was actually a lady in there with her pajama pants on AND pink fuzzy slippers and I am not kidding. There was one cashier and a line to the back of the store and because we had time to kill and they had those big foil serving trays that we need for the mashed potatoes for 33 people we are making for Thanksgiving at my brother's, we were in line.  The hubby had to test out the toy air horns which made waiting in line so much more exciting, then of course the three OTHER kids with me followed suit.  The elderly gentleman in front of us seemed very appreciative. 

After that fun experience was over, my real nightmare began at the theatre.  I had the pleasure of sitting between the following:  In front, was a family of three that apparently didn't believe in hair washing.  Dad kindly removed his hat when he sat down but I REALLY would have rather he kept it on.  The entire movie, dirty hair smell would waft up to me until I was nauseous. 
Behind us, was an over-enthusiastic Harry Potter fan.  I like Harry and all, but I am not tempted to: moan, cry in dismay, chant or whisper- "Oh Harry, watch, out, Harry, don't do it!!", or repeat lines.  In-between all of that the enthusiastic fan would enthusiastically eat popcorn and chew with an open mouth, while kicking the back of my daughter's chair so hard she had to sit at the very front of her seat with her face oh so dangerously close to dirty hair family. 
By the way, I was so focused on dirty hair Dad and dirty hair son, who kept insisting on touching their hair and Mom, who in-between touching hers, also bit her nails, that I guarantee I could go back to the movie theatre and see Harry Potter as though it was my first time seeing it.
AGAIN. Mark my words. I will not EVER AGAIN get the kids a pet or two. (need I say more?)

AGAIN.  - I won't make the following promise:  I plan to not use any foul language, swear, slam the doors or cupboards, stomp my feet, sigh really loudly, roll my eyes, throw a temper tantrum and only use my nice words. AGAIN.  Because, it is just not possible over a period of three days, and I don't like to break my promises.

How was YOUR weekend?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let's Play a Little Plan to Do vs. Did

I plan to stay awake Friday night long enough to catch up on shows in my DVR and avoid any messes that I see in my peripheral vision. Which means I will have to ask one of the kids to tie me down to the couch.

I PLANNED to sleep in on Saturday, but unfortunately I checked the calendar and I will now PLAN to get up EARLY to take the littlest one to a Brownie event. My plan is to force the hubby to come with me so that we can pretend to be in DEEP conversation while the little Brownies do their activity and this way I won't get asked to participate in or volunteer for any other fun first-thing-on-a-Saturday morning activities. 

I plan to have my hubby color my hair. He has already told me that he upped his fee to which I told him that I want additional services such as a nice neck and head massage. I also told him I would like him to give me a small bottle of water while I sit, gossip with me and compliment me. He said he does compliment me and I told him that his compliments are closer to sexual harassment.

I plan to finish planning my Christmas Eve menu  call the caterer and make sure she is planning on my order.

I plan to exercise. (Not going to go into too much detail here because, vacuuming COULD be considered exercise.....

I plan to avoid the crowds, all tall people, kids who are noisy in the theatre, people who buy snacks and proceed to crinkle their wrappers and actually EAT their popcorn and see Harry Potter.  I am planning on it being a completely enjoyable experience.

I plan to spend 3-4 hours cleaning my house WITH the kids helping me, and that I will not have to raise my voice one time or utter this sentence even one time: "WHY, WHY did you DO that, What were you THINKING???"

I plan to not have to threaten to get rid of the cats. Because in my plan, they will not climb the Christmas Tree, (YES, it's up already- read past post, I explain WHY I am such a freak this time of year) sit on the brand new couch or claw at the basement door to be let out on Sunday when I am sleeping in. 

I plan to not use any foul language, swear, slam the doors or cupboards, stomp my feet, sigh really loudly, roll my eyes, throw a temper tantrum and only use my nice words.

I plan to have a good weekend, so on Monday we'll review and see if what I PLANNED turned into what I DID.  What do you plan to do this weekend?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why it's so much Better in the Dark!

Why is the time change affecting me so badly this year? It's no different than any other year, yet it just seems SO MUCH DARKER THIS TIME!  It could be the hideous cloud coverage we have had for the last 5 days straight, and the fact that when I drive to work it is dark and when I leave work it is dark.  So I thought I better think positively about being in the dark so I do not fall into a deep depression.......

Here are my top (however many sound good) reasons for LOVING the dark:

1.  I can play Hide and Seek with my family, find a really good hiding spot, with a book and a flashlight or my laptop and get some real private time.

2. I don't have to wait until after 9pm to go for a walk where I pretend to exercise, but I am really looking into people's houses, checking out how they decorate, what color paint is on the walls, what they watch on TV....(not that I get that close or anything....)



3.  If I hide the clocks, around 7:30pm I can tell the kids "it's BEDTIME!" Then I get the TV and the house all to myself.

4.  I never have to clean the house / yard during the week - it always looks clean by the time I get home without that sun coming in and no one can see how dirty it really is!

5.  I can come home from work and put my PJ's on immediately without feeling foolish.

6.  The kids are easier to keep an eye on - they aren't outside and they won't go in any room alone.

7.  No lawn mowing after work (who am I kidding?? -I never have to mow the lawn, but the hubby does, so now he is available to do OTHER things!

8.  No uninvited guests come knocking on my door.

9. My car looks a lot cleaner and shinier too.

10.  It could be 6:30pm, but if I say, "No, we can't do that, it's getting late" no one really questions me.

11. It's a great excuse to buy more cute lamps, fun candles, keep the twinkle lights up, turn on the fire (like that? turn ON the fire- no wood chopping over here...)



and last but not least -

I can SEE the snow (which is my favorite) so much better, but I can't really see the rain, which I HATE.



How do you like the dark?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Signs We are in a Bad Economy

There is a box of L'Oreal hair color on the counter and I'm going to trust the hubby to color my hair for me. 

The kids are walking around in their snow pants, I'm folding 10 blankets each every morning, and they asked for snuggies and slippers on their Christmas lists, because we haven't turned on the heat yet. (I found a glove in the bedroom the other day....)

I'm constantly cleaning my fridge, because I can actually SEE in it.


My hubby replaced all the light switches with Dimmers. (I feel like I am at my grandparents house - I can't SEE)

My 6 month supply of disposable contacts lasts two years.

I told my daughter she couldn't see the words on the TV because of the glare. ("No, you don't need glasses- I can't see what it says either!") (see above reference to contacts)

We LET the dryer scream in it's slow death for several months before we replaced it with one found on Craig's List.

There is a list named after some guy called Craig and we check him out regularly for various household items.

I haven't had a pizza delivered in well over a year. (Tipping is costly- especially when the delivery person used to be your Banker and is driving a Ford Pinto he got off of Craig's List)

We are getting rid of our home phone- it's all bill collectors or telemarketers calling anyway.

When the phone does ring, the kids check caller ID and yell out "Don't answer it-it's unknown name/unknown number"!

I buy those coats that are two in one, and give one kid the inside and the other kid the outside and call it their new winter coats.

My son is the cool kid because he gets to wear a hoodie. (Why bother even buying him a coat he won't wear?)

We tell the kids we aren't going to the movies because of the bed bug outbreak.

My paper towels don't match the seasons anymore.

I'm actually glad that my daughter is really close to my shoe size and if she wears one of my socks -they fit!

We play games, read books, take walks, car-pool and talk to each other - and really what's better than that?
.....................
Well, I COULD think of a FEW things......

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Man Caves - Not just for Men anymore.

My wo-MAN cave would look like this on the outside:
A little cave for me and a little cave for you!

Here is what I would drive to pull my wo-MAN cave to it's secret destination:


Here is how my wo-MAN cave would look during my favorite time of year:

and in the summer:

and on the Inside:


a little spot for me to write.


and a place to serve my friends.

Who needs a man cave? I bet men would like my wo-MAN cave too!

Monday, November 15, 2010

If he Makes you Laugh, he’s a Keeper!


After I did some serious damage to my body by overhauling the house on Friday, I tormented myself further with a trip to the store where I proceeded to buy among other things, a book for my daughter called the Care and Keeping of Me –or something like that, because you know, I thought maybe she didn’t want to ask me some of the personal stuff so as any good Mother would do, I bought her a book! This resulted in a funny discussion with her and the younger sister on a bench outside of the same store on Sunday, while waiting for the hubby to come back for us after he THOUGHT he left his wallet at the bookstore we were at previously, oh about 45 minutes AWAY. Let’s just say the younger sister who is much more eager in this area, ended the hilarious conversation with this question: “So do you still get THE PERIOD, Mom?”
By the way: Hubby came back for us once he discovered that his wallet was not at the previous store but in the car. He found it after he spilled his coffee all over himself when he got back in the car after going into the store 45 minutes away. This was AFTER he got into a verbal argument with the girl who answered the phone when he called the store while driving there. He didn’t like the fact that they had a “who cares, didn’t you see the news, we just filed Chapter 11” attitude.

My son is 14 today. 14 years ago the same hubby was driving on the median passing traffic to get me to the hospital. Not because he was worried about me or the baby or anything, but because he didn’t really like the fact that my water had broken at work before he picked me up and was now worried about the seats in his precious new Jeep. He had towels on the seats when he showed up!
By the way: Driving in a JEEP after your water has broken on the median, no less about to have your first baby EVER is not really a fun experience. Just sayin’.

Last night I went to bed and laughed hysterically. The bed was actually shaking. Every week night (Sunday-Thursday) plays out the same way in our house. The kids go to bed. I do a few things until eventually I make my way over to THE COUCH (because THE COUCH is a PLACE in our house – (“Where is Mom?” –“She’s on THE COUCH.” “Oh, never mind”) within oh, about 2 commercial breaks, my hubby knows I have fallen asleep because, well there ARE commercials on. He gently, so gently pries the remote control out of my fist. (He is really proud of the fact that he can now do this without waking me.) About an hour passes, he is happily on his computer, while also watching a TV show HE likes, and something wakes me up. Once I am up, I am not very happy or nice really. I get up, give him a LOOK that he has come to know as: “why am I on the couch, it is 12am, I have to get up in 5 hours, why aren’t YOU ready for bed yet” look, while storming to our room. Now the hubby has to turn off all the lights, and put THE CATS TO BED. Here is how this goes: Find cat #1- usually sound asleep in a child’s bed, so asleep that you cannot wake him. Said cat must be carried to the basement and PLACED in his bed. Call cat #2- usually follows because cat 2 has severe separation anxiety. Last night cat 2 decided hubby needed a little play time so he decided to ignore the bed time ritual and as I lay in my cozy flannel snowman sheeted bed and pretended to be well asleep of course! I could see cat 2 darting past the door with a look of sheer glee on his face.

I could hear hubby cursing under his breath all the holy people and the cat. I then discovered his last resort trick of opening the drawer in the fridge where we keep lunch meat. He rustled the bags, no cat. I think he even ate a piece of lunch meat which made me wonder how many pieces of lunch meat he has to eat every night? No cat. Now he is calling the cat and the holy people who are to be damned, when he gets the cat in the basement and enters the room to hear me laughing uncontrollably and what does he do? He just shakes his head and wonders what he did wrong in life?
By the way: If a man can make you laugh, with him or at him and lets you get away with it, he’s a keeper!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Curve Balls teach us lessons- DARNIT!

It was around this time of year, about five years ago.  We were living in a house which was so different in every single way from our previous one. It was era 1800's vs. 1990's. It had charm oozing out of the holes in the walls and floors vs. many modern conveniences. There was a claw foot tub vs. the enormous Jacuzzi one.  My husband was working two jobs and was stressed to the max, (the kind of stress at a level that I would soon come to know and not get rid of until very recently ) 
The problem with this house even though it was so old is that it did not have a fireplace. We decided that Santa couldn't just walk through the front door, and we had always had one, so we bought one. A big huge electric fireplace.  It was torture moving the thing in.  The few days afterward my husband complained of a pinched nerve in his back that was making his legs feel numb. Several days later he decided to get it checked out and had some tests run. We knew when the Dr. asked us to both meet him at the office, that it was more than a pinched nerve.  The bottom line, it looked more like MS (Multiple Sclerosis) than anything else but unfortunately, with out having a full blown "episode" it is a hard thing to diagnose.  The strangest thing is that within  DAYS we had our answer. 
A few nights later, I decided to make a REAL dinner. (I now realize this is one the last times I have attempted to cook a meal) When my hubby got off work, he walked in the door and went immediately upstairs, which was kind of weird especially since he NEVER found me IN the kitchen with an oven mitt on my hand when he came home.  Then my son came down and asked me what was wrong with Dad?  When I found him, he was sitting down and couldn't get back up. He couldn't feel his legs.  I called a friend over and of course gave her instructions on what to do with my amazing dinner in the oven (she will never tell, but I think it was actually pretty darn awful) and took him to the hospital where he spent two weeks. They ran every test possible.  At one point, I had walked into his wing, and overheard nurses talking about how he was being monitored by cameras and that he could stop breathing at any time (his MRI's were showing an extreme amount of activity in his brain and around the part of his spine that controls your breathing.  He came home and went back to the hospital two more times, while I continued to work and take care of the kids without him - something he had always been such a huge help with. I didn't know how unprepared I was to do things without him. I couldn't even run the snow blower. The kids and I would visit him every night and eat in the cafeteria at the hospital.  It was a surreal experience. People did this kind of thing when their loved ones were DYING not because of MS, right??  
This was happening to the  man I had been with since I was 15. He was my superhero who never got sick or showed any kind of emotion and suddenly I was the one who had to be strong and he was showing more emotions than I knew what to do with. 
During this time I broke down once. It was the night friends who had come to visit and help had just left taking my youngest child with them. They were taking her to stay with my brother because it was too hard with her being so little to be left with a sitter all the time.  I felt like such a failure and cried while the poor other two kids were wondering why? They were doing secret dances while I was in heap that their baby sister who could be pretty darn whiny was on a little vacation.  (She was FINE and had the time of her life on her mini vacation of course, and looking back, the stories that my brother's family tells of her stay with them makes us all laugh.  I think this was also the catalyst that made us pack up and move back home, closer to family in the end)
The reason I am telling all of this is that we went from that dark place to TODAY.  We forget so easily, which CAN be a good thing, but it CAN explain me a little bit too. To look at my husband you would never know anything is wrong. You would never know that this disease that we keep hearing about and more and more people are getting has changed him so much. MS is like an internal battle. I don't even know that he is feeling uncomfortable, pain, fatigue or irritation sometimes. Until I hear about yet another person who has MS am I reminded that he does still have this disease that was once so scary to us.  Even our kids will say-Dad has that, when we see a story about some one's struggle with it (as though it just went away) But we forget because he doesn't remind us. He doesn't complain about the shot he gives himself every single night. He doesn't talk about the constant feeling of pins and needles. (It was almost comical when he would run the kids baths and they were always too hot or too cold. Or when he nearly had frostbite every day from leaving his hand out the car window not realizing how cold it was- (he was delivering newspapers- one of the many things he did when he didn't "work") We chalk up his tiredness and moods to him just having a bad day like the rest of us, without considering what his bad day must really be like.
So it may seem strange that my house is completely decorated for the holidays as of today, and that we are practically done shopping for Christmas already, but I think it is my way of preparing for battle.  I guess this time of year reminds me that life throws curve balls sometimes and things change. So this is me preparing for "just in case". This is my way of "training" for the next curve ball and when it hits, I will be able to hit IT right back, out of this field and our life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Odd Rituals Women with OCD Do

I took a vacation day today.
I didn't go out of town.
I did NOT go to a Chic Flick all by myself
I didn't go out to lunch with friends.
I did NOT go to my favorite shops and splurge on anything fun.
I did NOT blog or facebook in my PJ's all day (Just until the kids left for school)
I did NOT enjoy the sun that I haven't seen in a month by talking a long walk.
I did NOT keep the kids home and cuddle with them all day. (I tried, and they really WANTED to go to school?!)


I did:
Pay Bills
Clean the entire house- top to bottom. For 5 hours straight!
Went to the store for boring stuff like: Soap, Hair Color (don't even get me started on this one) toilet cleaner b/c now I am FRESH out and various other things that are NO FUN AT ALL.
And you know why I did this?
So that I can re-decorate the house for winter because when you have OCD, you can't just do that. You have to start with a clean house, then decorate AND clean as you go, then clean again when done. (It's my quarterly BIG clean/overhaul)  So it will be Sunday night  before I get to relax and I'll be back to work Monday with a REALLY clean house til the family that I do this all for messes it all up again. (That would be Monday night).
You know what else? No one seemed to think it was odd that I had to take a day off to do this. They think I LIKE taking a day off of work to do stuff to the house. (WHERE DID THESE PEOPLE COME FROM AND HOW DID I GET HERE????)
Great Party right?
I know what you are thinking - I should have taken a SICK day, because that is what I am.....
Party's over people.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NO Thanks!


Going shopping the day after Thanksgiving is about as appealing to me as:

Having my jaw wired shut – VERY inconvenient, not fun, probably painful, but there is the benefit of not being able to eat solids for at least 6 weeks and therefore losing weight.

Having a baby with no pain meds – I did this once. I haven’t had any more kids since. I love what the outcome was- an adorable baby girl, however NOT SO MUCH FUN for many reasons.

Having no electricity for more than 24 hours – What an inconvenience and BORING, even though I wouldn’t have to run the vacuum, do my hair, or laundry.

Getting laid off from a Crap Job – Being laid off is rough on the pocketbook, however, not having to go in to a place you dread going to- well it's something anyway.
Going to a movie and having to sit in the front row – Is the neck pain really worth a good film?

Going to your High School Reunion – Sure it’s nice to see people again, but the stress, preparation and then the reality of how old you have gotten doesn’t seem worth it. (Not that I would know, I haven’t been to one yet due to anxiety)

Karaoke – Fun to watch, and make fun of others during, but once forced onto the stage while everyone else slinks away, could be a real problem.

Buying a Puppy or Kitten– Cute, Cuddly and Adorable is only few and far between cost, damage repair, mess clean up and heartache, not to mention having to invest in a good lint roller.

As you can see it's mostly bad with a  very slight silver lining and sure, there are benefits of shopping on black Friday or so I am told. However, the thought of getting up earlier than I do for work on a day off from work, fighting traffic and crowds, waiting in long lines with stressed and sweaty people just doesn’t outweigh those benefits.

PS – I am 85% done Christmas Shopping as of today. Guess what I will be doing the day after Thanksgiving? Thanking myself for choosing to RELAX and enjoying the long weekend.

Betcha can’t convince me otherwise. How are you?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The kids are in Middle School- Can we Throw out the Bottles?

My youngest child of my three children was 8 in July. 

As I left for work this morning I noticed a strange thing hanging from the storage rack in the garage. 
It took me a minute to realize this THING was a Stroller. I kind of remembered my hubby taking that out of my trunk within the last 6 months.
Perplexed my eyes landed on the nearest object in the garage which was a bike that recently had training wheels on it.
As I drove to work, I looked down, and in the plastic box on the floor where I keep my umbrella, spare change, headphones and various phone chargers is a Wipie Box Container - WITH WIPIES.
At work I glanced over at my picture frames and realized that my kids are aged 3,5 and 8 and under in all of the photos.
As I walked into the house tonight,  I smelled STEAK grilling but saw that my hubby was also making corn dogs for the girls.
At this point I am starting to panic, and I opened the kitchen drawers like a maniac. I found a couple of baby spoons in the back of the utensils, another WIPIE container WITH wipes in it, plastic silverware in the shape of animals, the kind of cups that come with the built in straws, a medicine dropper and various plastic wear with: Blue Clue's, Strawberry Shortcake, Peter Rabbit, Incredible Hulk, and Cinderella on them.

I then opened the little closet at the top of the basement steps where I keep lunch boxes and miscellaneous bags, and to my dismay I found THE BAG. The bag that has a FULL portable wipie container, Water Babies sunscreen, two pairs of tiny sunglasses, three tiny hair clips with bows on them and several happy meal type toys.
Not to mention the baby blankets still folded in the linen closet, the  picture only books on the bookshelf, the cloth diapers I use to dust with, the body pillow in my sons top bunk that I told him he would love for comfort but was really comforting me that it stopped him from rolling out of bed, NOT TO MENTION the SPIDER MAN sheets STILL ON HIS BED (Yes, I wash them every week but I was just now "SEEING" them for what they are.)

1.  When did the kids grow up?
2. Why haven't I been paying attention?
3. Can I get in trouble for not updating my 13 year old's sheets?
4. I thought I was such a HIP and COOL, MODERN MOM!
5. Do they really HAVE to grow up?

I suck.  I'm pretty sure I told my daughter to WIPE OFF the other day (meaning use a wipie)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I’m a Voluptuous hater of Corporate Girl Scouts

Why can't they make travel mugs with hot pink lids on them?  Why do I ask such a thing?? Any guesses??



Then no one has to look at my lipstick left on the mug!!

I have another invention for you of a new sizing method for women. I do not want to be a number anymore. I don’t like my size number- it really doesn’t express that I have had three children and that I have curves and that I work hard to be my size and I do not want to be known as my size NUMBER. I would so much rather prefer to be known as a Voluptuous or a Marilyn (as in Monroe) or REAL LIFE. We could have sizes titled: Sleek, Svelte, Voluptuous, Bodacious, and Milf. Wouldn’t you love to send your hubby to the store and say “Just get me a Gorgeous, they always fit the best!”

How about boys? No more HUSKY sizes please, (how demeaning!) because I hated having my adorable son watch me search desperately through the HUSKY racks! Let’s go with Athletic, Superhero, and Powerful instead.

Just a thought.

Is it REALLY necessary to have the Brownie Cookie Chairperson TRAINING for 2 ½ hours when it is the 2nd year in a row that you have been a “chairperson” so you can hear about how if the girls sell a mere 50 boxes of cookies they can win a SILLY BAND????? (a single band)

REALLY?

First of all said training starts at 6pm. I work until 5pm on a good day, and it is an hour away. Then to not get home until 9pm? I DO NOT THINK SO! I have three kids who like dinner, their homework getting done needs monitoring by a responsible adult and I actually like those kids and enjoy my evenings with them. I was the cookie chair last year, I THINK I know what I am doing! This aggravates me beyond belief. Can “they” (as in GROWN UP adult women/men realize that people WORK and have limited time for VOLUNTEERING) not do on-line training??? Or a Saturday? I feel like saying: “You get me for an hour- this is all I am willing to volunteer.” But then I feel guilty because some other poor sap is going to have to do it in my place and they might not have a super supportive hubby like mine who will cook the dinner, do the homework and pass out the hugs on my behalf. But if I am going to not come home from work until 9pm, I would like to at least be doing something FUN!!
Talk me down, PLEASE talk me down before I shoot off another rant to our troop leader who so graciously donates her time in hopes that she can tell the higher ups how RIDICULOUS they are. I have been so disappointed in Girl Scouts Corporate and their inter-workings I can’t even express it – but my daughter loves it so what is a Mom to do?? What if I showed up at 7:30pm-8:30pm?? I am quite certain that is plenty of time to tell me something I do not already know. Maybe one of the Moms who stays home during the day can split it with me – she can go from 6-7:15 and I will do 7:15-8:30?? I think that is a good plan. How about you?

JOY!

How are YOU?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Girl Can Dream!

I love houses. I love going to people’s houses. I love seeing how people live in their homes. I love looking at houses online –besides the real estate sites, these are some of my favorites:


http://hookedonhouses.net/

http://www.lookiloos.com/


I love how what you put into your house makes it a home.



I have lived in 13 different places in my life so far and I loved and hated things about all of them. Besides my childhood home the house we live in now is the longest stay I have ever had. We have never owned one of them yet, and I am OK with that because I like the experience of moving and discovering a new home. I have lived in all types of homes from tiny to quite large, from farm house to log cabin. From the late 90’s to 1800’s. I am starting to get a little antsy to move again. Mostly because for me it is a time to change it up – change my style, organize our things and a time to purge- oh how I love to purge!! (The kids run screaming to their toys when they see me with a garbage bag)

My favorite kind of house is one with lots of character and preferably older that has been given some modern updates or at least kept up very well.

Yesterday something very random happened to us- which of course is the best way for things to happen but also makes you think it happens for a reason.

We were driving down my favorite road in the country – I even morbidly love the cemetery on that road and tell my husband that is where he should bury me.

We were going to go for a walk, it was the first sunny day in over a week, when we drive by one of the houses I always look at when I pass and they had AN OPEN HOUSE sign out front!! I made my hubby turn around immediately. Of course this house is not one that would ever be on a list of mine –WAY out of my price range (EVEN IF I WAS DREAMING!) even the driveway we turned around in across the street had a big electric gate, which embarrassingly opened as we pulled in! But even though I like to dream big, don’t worry I realized this was just a dream tour I was about to go on.

This house was amazing, and the couple whose house it is, was even more amazing. It was built in the 1800’s but had been re-done over the years with 1940’s style retro-modern bathrooms of subway tiles, every bedroom had its own bathroom, one with a claw foot tub (a house we lived in once had a red claw foot tub – it was so much fun!) soapstone counter tops in the kitchen with a vintage stove, all wood floors throughout from the trees grown on the land (quirkily uneven and creaky), wood walls, vintage d├ęcor, fun nooks and hidden crannies, and lots and lots and lots of gorgeous windows ! It was immaculate and meticulously decorated with such love and care. I told the lady she should have been an interior decorator and she said to me that she was! And sure enough this home has been featured in several country living type magazines, which she lovingly showed us. We spent well over an hour just chatting and looking at the beauty of the home even though they knew that we weren’t looking to buy- just looking to admire. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this couple for taking their time and telling us the stories of their home, knowing that we were just simply looking out of appreciation.

I couldn’t help but wonder why none of their children are buying this home? It was like a piece of history that you can’t put a price on. There was even a historical cabin in the yard they had moved to their property that she told me they use for holiday parties and summer gatherings. (an upstairs room with 6 single beds all decorated in red/white and blue was a child’s dream getaway place – can you imagine getting together will all of your cousins and being able to all camp out in a room with a sitting area and private bathroom? (used to be where the caretakers lived)





The Cabin in the backyard


Check out that ORIGINAL STOVE!




I could just picture our things in this home – my love for vintage design and how well we would care for it.

Do you ever do that? You see a home you love, know you will never own it, but go to sleep picturing where you would put your things and imagining how you would live there if only?

This is how I fell asleep last night – just decorating and living our lives in this amazing place. I imagined which room would go to each of our kids –of course in my “dream” they left me all of their furniture too!

I know not everything is perfect and things happen for a reason, but you never know – I feel like there was a reason that we decided to go for a walk right then, and that we drove by and saw the sign, went in and had such a warm greeting and were told such a loving tale of history. Maybe we will have a home inspired by this one someday.

Hey – maybe they need a nice care-taker family?! We could live there, care for the home so they can go somewhere warmer and whenever they want to come back for a visit or vacation, we will just go stay somewhere else. (I’m SURE friends/family would LOVE that plan!)

AH! Wishful thinking – but it’s fun to dream anyway….