Monday, February 28, 2011

Settle THIS Argument

One of my favorite blogs –Kelley’s Breakroom
Has a GREAT question today. Go check it out and help her answer.

I say CRANS for the record. I’m right, I just KNOW it.

Which brings me to MY burning question:

How do you say what this is a picture of:

Option A:  Q-Pon

Option B: Coo-Pon

Option C: What is this a picture of and what do you do with it??

One option is what I really say, one option is the correct answer, and one option is what the hubby says who thinks he is right and there is no amount of arguing. Then when he uses one, he always follows it up with “Who’s a better Shopper, huh??”

This pre-empted my blog post about why being able to do a backbend is helpful in certain situations. Stay tuned for THAT tomorrow, but do you have any ideas???

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Skoons- the new household pet.

I have posted before about the animals we get in our yard. For Ohio, we have seen every type of wild animal it has to offer and it’s not like we live in the middle of the woods. We do live in a log cabin (I insist on saying cabin- makes me sound so rustic – it is a HOME, I know!)

But tonight it was a little odd. On the porch we have a Racoon AND a Skunk. They are having a cozy dinner date in our frozen landscaping. Their meal? Bird seed of course. I tried to take a picture for you but it was already dark and the flash with the window just didn’t work. But trust me, it was a vision. The two of them were touching noses as they dined. I’m thinking next Disney Feature Film??

We have some experience with Racoons:

These are the babies the hubby rescued from our gutter in a house previous AFTER they were terrorizing the kids through their bedroom skylights.

This is last year's Racoon eating bird seed

and this is last year's lovers -The coon and game hen....

I ALMOST fell for my hubby’s idea. He suggested I go OUT on the porch to take the picture. I started to make my move and then I had that light bulb moment. I pretended like I was just walking to a different window for a better look, secretly thanking myself for not taking the bait.

I do not have nearly enough cans of soup to shower in.

I wonder if the raccoon has already been sprayed by the skunk? We have caught a nasty whiff here and there in the past few days. Soon we will see little skoon babies, or maybe they will be racunks?

NO JOKE - the house JUST got sprayed as I type this.

It's OK, no worries, I took one for the team.
Blog fodder - that's all that matters.....

O  M   G   the smell......................................

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Louder the Better

The snow was coming down in sheets. By 9am we had a foot of snow. It took only 4 hours to get a foot and an hour and a half to get to work in it. I am a snow lover so it didn’t bother me, actually the snow excites me so I was enjoying every bit of it. Listening to people complain about it makes me love it more. It’s the one little evil side of me.

I did get stuck in the parking lot at work and had to shovel and sweep (with a broom) the snow to make a path. Although we do not deal with only local clients, it was like the whole country had gotten the message that we were getting dumped on so it was a quiet day filled with the energy a snowstorm brings. If we all could have that excitement and static charge on a regular basis, imagine how nice life could be.

By late afternoon the snow and wind stopped and I hear Monday is calling for rain and thunderstorms. Welcome to Northeast Ohio.

The hubby and I drove to Target this evening because out in the middle of nowhere the fun Friday night thing to do is hit the local Target. (We don’t really “hit” it, we just shop there but that might be an exciting element…) In less than 30 minutes we were $200 in the hole. Either the prices of things have increased or I have lost my $100 touch. We went with the intention of getting the girls tights for tomorrow’s Cinderella Ball. (Lucky Hubby gets to “escort” them) At least we remembered the tights among other things.

I bought myself the new Adele CD. It’s amazing. But here’s the thing. I really like my music loud. Which is kind of out of normal character for me. So while I was unpacking the groceries and they were thumping along on the counter my son entered the room and turned down the music. Of course I told him to turn it back up. Ten minutes later the hubby walked into the room and turned the music down. I told him he was a nerd and he is now mad at me and has disappeared into the basement.

I have always listened to my music this way. I just feel it better when it’s loud. I pay attention more. It goes back to when I was a kid sound asleep one random week night when suddenly the screams of Rod Stewart Live in Concert filled the house and scared me right out of the bed. When I peeked downstairs my Dad was rocking out. This was really out of character for him. I left him to it.

My brothers, both older than me, were always on the cutting edge of music. I was exposed to all different types of bands and singers played as loud as the stereo would allow in the car, at home and outside.

When I was just out of college living in my one bedroom apartment on the third floor, most Friday nights were spent sitting in the window watching the rest of the world out partying with friends. I would listen to every melancholy and soulful song I could, smoke cigarettes and feel sorry for my career driven self. I still think if you drive past that brick duplex next to the railroad tracks you will see a young girl in the far right corner window staring out.

There is just something about music for me. I can hear a song and it’s like an instant memory will pop in my head like a photograph. I can hear a song and I am somewhere else, ten or fifteen years ago but picturing it exactly as it was. I feel like I am capable of doing anything when I have good music on. I drive better, exercise more, thoughts flow freely, and my passion begins to stir. But only if it’s loud. I think maybe tonight I shocked my family a little just like my Dad shocked me so many years ago in the middle of the night. He was remembering a time with his music and it was out of character.

So tonight, instead of staring out of a third story window, watching the world out and about, I am staring at a computer screen, and remembering. I’m not as alone as I once was, but maybe just as lonely.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Here Comes Twitchy

My eyes are twitching. Thankfully they take turns and are not synchronized YET. I am afraid that when I talk to people they can see the twitching. I have been getting winked at a lot lately……

I have been dreaming that my jaw is locked shut and I can’t open my mouth. I then alternately dream that I am clenching my teeth so tightly that they start to break. I wake up convinced I'm spending the day in a dentist's chair.

The hubby says that all night long I flex and point my toes. I have no idea I am doing this but I do sometimes feel like my legs are rubber bands and I am trying to stretch them out.

Do you think I might be stressed?

Here’s the funny thing. I have had two very stressful careers in my life. I am now on my third career that I chose to switch to because it was the least stressful. I work normal hours and see my family more than I have ever been able to in the past. I understand my work, it’s enjoyable and I am good at it. It’s nowhere near as stressful as some of the other things I have done. So what’s all the twitching, clenching and restlessness all about? Honestly, I think I might one of those people who needs stress in order to feel their best.

I have so much more to say, but guess what? Instead of the kids staring down a carton of ice cream this time, they are sitting at the table staring down an apple waiting to be sliced. I've told them I'l be there in a minute 15 of them ago.  Also, lucky me the dryer just buzzed so you know what that means – time to right side out some pant legs......
and I’m wondering if it’s not stress, but in-a-RUT-itis instead?

Off I go to cut up an apple with my twitchy eyes- YIKES.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Someone Famous has that same Problem!

REALLY??? Whoopi Goldberg pees in her pants??? I had no idea! How awful that she has to wear Poise products. Couldn’t she use some of her money to repair that problem? How many kids has she had or was it too many Jumpin Jack Flashes? Oh yeah, I forgot, this doesn’t happen to HER she only plays someone on TV who has this issue….

Sally Field – I swear she has had Osteoporosis since she was in her thirties.

Jamie Lee Curtis – Enjoys Activia for a well working digestive system. I wonder if she might want to look into Gas X also?

Brooke Shields buys her furniture at Laz Z Boy. RIIIIGHT.

Not to mention all those stars with acne issues and weight problems.

I feel so much better knowing us non-stars are not alone….

I wonder who has hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, inappropriate itching, dandruff, and issues in the bedroom sustaining? Stay tuned to a local channel at 4:30am to find out……

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Girl Interrupted

My excuses for not writing a worthy post tonight:

I had to use my expert skills at operating the DVR/TV remote.  If you ever need an expert in this area call me, I'm reasonable unless in the middle of  blog post then I might charge you by being cranky.  THEN, I HAD to sit down and watch the newest episode of My Life as a Zoo because it has suck-you-in qualities.

I had to scoop the ice cream.  The kids were staring down the carton they had taken out of the freezer 20 minutes prior and as far as I know, ice cream is not automatic scooping. YET.  THEN, I couldn't concentrate because they insist on SCRAPING their spoons on the bowls and that is REALLY ANNOYING while also pretending I really do not want my own bowl of ice cream.

I had to re-start the dryer so that in 50 minutes I can attempt to catch it in time to actually fold the clothes. THEN I had to turn all of the pant legs right side out because I apparently live with a bunch of people who all take their pants off the exact same way and just know some nice lady will come along and fix it so their pants are neatly folded an in their drawer like a mini miracle.

I had to cut the kid nails.  Geez, their nails need cut like every 5 days.   I wonder if it's the ice cream??  Then I felt the need to stomp around the house so everyone would know I was getting aggravated for being interrupted so many times.

I had to find inspiration.  I read blogs but found nothing I could easily plagiarize without being too obvious.  Then I got interrupted again and found tonight's topic.

I had to do my homework help the kids with their homework.  Then I tried to remain calm while listening to the explanation on why I didn't  get any change back from the book fair money I gave out this morning, which was MY lunch money.

By the time I sat down to tell you something amazing I ran out of time, and NOW you are stuck with this.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A lot can happen in 24 hours.

Your child could suddenly start throwing up for no apparent reason. Directly after dinner, while in the basement, far, far away from the closest toilet.
You could spend three hours running back and forth from couch to bathroom with that same child wondering what on earth you are going to do for adult coverage the next day knowing you just took a rare sick day yourself.
You could get so used to running back and forth that on the 10th trip, be completely shocked to find yourself upside down one second and laying on the ground the next with a very sore butt and arm.
You could want to do all sorts of severe damage to the germ-a-phobe that thought it would be a good idea to spray Lysol all over the floor leading to the bathroom that causes your “trip”.

You could be amazed that this same germ-a-phobe, rarely pokes his head out of his room, until his little sister is throwing up causing him to grab a can of Lysol and release is slippery substance all over your floors.

You could jump out of bed a mere few hours later, panicked that your alarm didn’t go off to realize that the power is out and it’s only 4am.

You could gather all the kids who were sleeping in the basement in make-shift igloos and huddle them around the fireplace listening to the crackling of the trees heavy with ice.

You could watch the transformer blow up outside, lighting up the sky in pretty colors, explain to the kids that no, it is not lightening, then jump a mile when your two beautiful Birch trees come crashing down from the weight of the ice.

You could be sitting at work un-showered, with no make-up hiding from everyone because you refuse to call off even if the trees were blocking your driveway and you had to hitch a ride.

You could have gotten home from work, raced into the shower mere seconds after the power came back on knowing it may be a small window of opportunity until the power goes out again because snow is piling on top of the ice.

Like I said, a lot could happen in 24 hours……

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Little Yellow House

22 Woodview Lane

A long weekend makes me remember a time when we would take advantage and visit a little yellow house at 22 Woodview Lane. I had been visiting this same house my whole life. The hubby more than happily visited this house with me once he knew the amount of love that lived there. It’s a tiny little house at the top of the hill. But I am telling you right now, if you could have been there just one time, you would have felt the love. Cherie and Ray met when they were in their teens. Stayed in love until their late 80’s and died within two years of each other. They made their little yellow house feel like a mansion. I think of this house and them, my Grandparents, every single day.

It’s not what the house looked like but the things we did in the house that hold so much meaning:

Hugs and Kisses whether you like it or not and learning how to take a compliment that is handed out every hour. It was years of self-worth therapy in a single day.

Hangman, Homemade Shut the Box with real money, Charades- dirty style, Coloring contests –AS ADULTS and kids, Balderdash (with Cherie giving Ray away EVERY time) Jarts in the backyard and cards of all sorts.

TV watching Marathons, One Life to Live and All My Children, funny videos, black and white movies, the first 3D movie with glasses from the White Hen on the corner, and The Bears. I still remember the old cable box with the push buttons.

Bootsie, Kelly, Missy, Charlie, and Rosie – the beloved kitties and doggies that lived there at one time too. Every one of them had their own special bed on the table in the picture window. In between pets the big white lamp stood on the table and during their stay, the lamp went away.

Listening to the radio in the kitchen while making breakfast careful never to run the toaster, coffee maker and microwave at one time or else you would have to head to the fuse box. Which we proceeded to do every single time.

Ribs, Chicken, Saltines and Butter, Pizza, Turkey Bacon in the microwave, all served on TV Trays.

The sing song sound of: “ Raymeeeeeee – get the……….”

Sitting on the back deck playing Ghost, telling stories, reliving memories, and laughing. Non stop Laughing. ALL THE TIME.

Pajama/glasses days, eating junk food, and burning calories by laughing.

Watching thunderstorms heading up the hill.

Going to Jewel, The White Hen, Marshall Fields and Port Edwards.

Drinking way too much and too strong and laughing. NON STOP LAUGHING all the time.

Family parties, playing pool, pulling pranks.

Never feeling ugly, fat, lazy or stupid.

Always feeling beautiful, funny, smart and hard-working.

22 Woodview Lane was like another realm. You stepped through the door and magic happened.

When you left, you looked back to the picture window and you would see Ray and Cherie standing there with their arms around each other waving and blowing kisses and you would cry, never wanting it to end.

I am so glad I got have a little yellow house in my life, but sometimes I ache for it to come back.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Conversations with myself.

I am still sick. I finally broke down and stayed home from work today. It was a very lonely long day. I am not used to being home when everyone else is at work and school. I suck at not working. It’s really depressing. This is what me, myself and I talked about:

Me: So now that the family has all left, now what are we going to do?

Myself: You should just stay in bed and sleep the whole day.

I: Are you kidding??? Have you seen the state of this house??

Me: Are you really going to keep cleaning, shouldn’t you make the rest of the people who live here figure it out?

Myself: You should really stop and relax. Put your feet up, find a movie to watch.

I: Shouldn’t you take a shower; your hair is really awful!

Me: What can you make to eat that would be edible?

Myself: GREAT – You are such a LOSER, you go to all that trouble, and now it’s all over the floor!!

I: (while scrubbing the floor) now what are you going to eat? I can’t believe you dropped it the minute you made it and it’s not even salvageable, now we will starve!

Me: Now what?? You should really just have gone to work and been miserable there.

Myself: By the time everyone comes home you know you are going to regret not sleeping all day.

I: Why is quiet so loud??

Me: Never call off sick again! This is boring and stupid.

Myself: At least all the laundry is done. I accomplished something.

I: You suck. You can’t even relax right. Way to go loser!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dream a little Dream

So last night I dreamt about a black bear. He was wandering around where he wasn’t supposed to be (the road I grew up on and had to walk on everyday to and from the school bus. It was about a mile long and no, I wasn’t barefoot) the golfers (yes golfers) were staring at the bear fascinated as we drove by him in our Jeep. (I’ll explain the golfers in a bit) Of course the hubby wasn’t looking in the direction of the bear and I kept saying, “Look, Look”! Then just as everyone (suddenly the whole family was now in the Jeep) started to look , the bear disappeared into the woods but a tiny bear cub was following him and of course no one in the car saw that either. So frustrating!

This would be my nightmare!

I know where this stems from though.

For one thing I came home from work last night with the worst chills ever. I proceeded to sleep on the couch from 7pm until midnight, and then had a fitful sleep in bed. Freezing cold one minute, boiling hot the next. Between arguing with myself about going to work and worrying about wild animals, it was a long night. I am the worst sick person ever. I panic about having to miss work. I hate the break in the routine. I hate to leave people hanging. I hate playing catch-up and I hate disappointing people. But then when other people call off for silly reasons, I am just bitter. It’s a sickness, I know.

While lying on the couch last night I watched three episodes of My Life as a Zoo. If you haven’t seen this reality show based on a couple in the U.P. who run a family Zoo yet, you need to check it out. Nat Geo Wild runs it. The dynamic between the couple is so interesting. He is in his 60’s and I am guessing she is not yet 30? After the weirdness feeling goes away you will love them as much as they love all the animals they have taken in, rescued and cared for down to the chickens. So as I was feverish and watching a show about wild animals of course I had to dream about them too.

The other part of this is that I tend to have recurring dreams about Lions, Deer (yes, I am afraid of Deer) and bears. It’s always me at the house I grew up in and I am either trapped in the house looking outside at the animals staring back at me, or I am walking down that long road and there are wild animals around me.

The road: My Dad had a dream. He decided to move us to the middle of nowhere and build a house with the help of the Amish. While we lived in temporary housing (a cockroach ridden apartment) he built that house in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, it was a small town. He found a dirt road that he used to snowmobile on and cleared the land which was on the back side of the 13th hole of a private golf course. While it was remote, we did have a nice golf course to look at. The bus refused to drive down our road to get us because it was treacherous and in our heavy winters it would never have made it. So I walked up and down that road every darn day cursing whoever I could. Rain or shine, snow and sleet I walked that long lonely dirty road. My shoes were always ruined. I used to imagine every which way to get me from the top of that road to the bottom. I even thought that by the time I grew up surely there would be flying cars. I wanted one of the bucket rides the length of my road. I even though it would be really cool if I could drive a golf cart and somehow lock it in a storage shed at the top for my ride home. Trust me there was a lot of time to think.

Bears: We had a huge black dog named Bear. He was a Newfoundland. He looked like a bear. We had two, but Bear was the crazy one. He would sit in the ditch and wait for cars to come flying down our road (there was no speed limit, so often young guys dared each other to see how fast they could maneuver it’s narrow bridges and potholes) Bear would fly out of the ditch and slam his body into their cars. You never saw such freaked out guys before. They didn’t even complain about the dents in their cars they were so scared. Between Bear and my Dad waiting at the end of the driveway with a big bucket of water he would throw at them, they rarely came back.

First time golfers would see Bear who loved golf balls and could easily fit several in his mouth, would avoid the hole altogether. Some even went running yelling “BEAR”. He would then go bounding after them thinking “Oh, they know my name – they must want to play!” He was a huge teddy BEAR, but a bear of a dog nonetheless.

Combine all of these things together, my fever and a reality show and bring on the recurring wild animal dream. Someday I will tell you about the robbery after my long walk home from school.

Monday, February 14, 2011

When a House tells a Story.

You know my love of houses from previous posts and today I am going to tell you how a house told me the story of what was really going on. This post is inspired by The Reckmonster and her post today (click her and check her out!)
I’m pretty sure we all know by now that a person’s house is only half the story and I have had some interesting neighbors with some even more interesting stories. But one story sticks with me every day when I leave my house and when I come home. It’s the story of the house across the street.

After a month or so of moving in to our current house we understood that we were in the kind of neighborhood where people like not having to know their neighbors in more than an occasional friendly wave kind of way. We took their lead and we followed suit. In a way it’s nice- you have neighbors, but you don’t hear them, you don’t have to like them and you can’t see them from your yard because we are set back pretty far from the street. Not necessarily my ideal but in a way, it’s good. At least I am not looking at my neighbor standing at the end of the driveway in nothing but an extra large see through T-shirt waving good bye to her son on the school bus. (When you wave, the t-shirt tends to ride up….. )

We knew that the family across the street seemed very nice. They had a nice home, immaculate yard, their two sons were friendly with our son. The Dad mowed the lawn every single day and the Mom seemed to either stay inside a lot or had a job that kept her away because the only times we ever saw her was occasionally on the weekends sitting on a chair on the driveway. But she never approached us as we tentively walked by in our early days of exploring our surroundings.

We have had our fair share of interesting neighbors so we didn’t pay too much attention to the lack of welcome.

One day while getting ready for work and watching the local news I see the house across the street on the screen and start paying attention to the story being told. Apparently the Mom had entered them into a contest to win a trip to Disney World as her way to give them a family trip together. The story went on to tell how she had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. There were some pictures of her with and without hair. But overall, it seemed like she might be doing OK and unfortunately another family won the trip.

I was shocked and remorseful. No wonder they weren’t making any overtures towards us. They were fighting a battle on the home front. You aren’t paying attention to the comings and goings of your neighbors in this situation.

We started to pay more attention. Gave more smiles, waved more often. The kids told us that during the day whenever they saw her she always said hello and yes, they had noticed the head scarves but didn’t think it meant anything. (I love innocence!)

I did some inquiring, and found out that the news story was a little old and she was not doing well. Soon we noticed several vans delivering things like a hospital bed, oxygen and several random cars ferrying their boys to and from places. I started to notice that the master bedroom light never went out. It was on all day and all night.

One day the hubby called me at work to say that an ambulance had pulled into the driveway, stayed for awhile and left with no lights on. We found out later that she had passed away.

We watched the stream of cars going in an out and eventually diminish. We couldn’t pull into our driveway without looking over and being quiet for several moments for a long time afterwards. One day the man was wandering around in his garage and the hubby walked over (I bet this was a fairly LONG walk for him) and told the man that we would help in any way we could. He just kind of stared down at the ground and nodded and the hubby made an even longer walk back to our house.

One night, while watching TV on a long summer weekend we heard a loud crack. The kind of crack that only a gun could make. We sat there trying to rule out all the possibilities of what it could be and then we both thought at the same time in horror……. What if?? The hubby took that long walk again and tried to figure out what he could and came back with no answers. He called the police and mentioned that maybe we heard a gunshot and maybe the police should check around at the neighbors to make sure everyone was ok because it’s not the kind of neighborhood where guns not used in hunting are heard. We didn’t get much sleep until about 8am the next day, AFTER we heard the lawn mower from across the street start up and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. That was the best sound I heard all day and for the rest of the summer.

Their two boys came over one day about a year later. It was a random visit where I learned that they spent a lot of time with relatives, and seemed very well adjusted and happy. In a very strange way, I got this feeling that I was being assured that they were fine for a reason. As if someone was giving me some peace of mind.

We watched her car sit in its spot on the driveway for well over a year before it finally was gone. Then there were slight changes made to the house, and cars started to appear back in the driveway for happier occasions.

But I still look at that master bedroom light and imagine what the house is like inside.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SOMEONE has to be a bad bowler or else there won't be any GOOD ones.

While I was MIA – here is what I was up to:

Thursday night the doorbell rang and two brave young ladies stood at the front door after trudging through a foot of hardened and two month old snow just to get to our front door. If you ever go to someone’s house in mid February in the Snow Belt and the only way to the front door is via snow shoes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t thoroughly enjoy drop in visitors. Sometimes it just means they are too busy to shovel the walkway, never get visitors and/or use the garage entrance and figure if you can get to the front door you deserve clearance.

Anyway, if you have never had the pleasure of inviting Morman Missionaries into your home, you should really try it sometime. I mean how many 18-20 something year olds do you know that would go door to door and still have a smile?? With wet shoes and feet, all dressed up in the middle of small town America where there are no street lights and maneuvering driveways are a hazard to your health and nerves. I welcome them every time just to remind myself that I am not nearly as special as I like to think (it’s good for the kids too)

On Saturday we tried to find those fun old-fashioned boxes of chocolates to leave out for the kids on Monday morning. This is something my Mom used to do for me and I still remember how it made my day. Even when the extra big Valentine that I thought was just for me from the cutest boy in class was the same size as the cutest girl in the class’s was. OH Well.

 Why does no one sell these heart shaped candy boxes anymore?
I should clarify, why doesn't anyone sell them for less than an arm and a leg that kind of need right now.

We tried 3 different places. I ended up buying a bunch of mixed Valentines candy to leave on the breakfast table.

The hubby and I snuck out and saw Adam Sandler’s Just Go With it. (Sneaking out means plying the kids with a movie of their own, use of my laptop, and a moratorium on having to do any kind of cleaning – not an easy feat for me) I don’t care what the critics are saying, this was a funny movie. The little girl who does the British accent was hysterical and best of all Dave Matthews has a cameo. It can’t get better than that.

How smart is Adam Sandler  -filming all his movies in Hawaii???

The movie preview of Water for Elephants looks really good and now I am regretting not reading that book. Let me know if you saw the movie and what you thought and if you have read that book –is it worth the read?

Saturday night I went to my favorite hair stylist who lets me get my hair done at 8pm on a Saturday. (If you have read me, you know that the hubby has been known to throw some color on my head before but he doesn’t like to do that particular activity on a Saturday night) She made me over and I am now sporting some amazing blonde highlights which are EXACTLY what I needed.

Sunday, we went bowling. Yep.

I mean No, we are not your typical bowlers. But just like I secretly enjoy playing Bingo, I also really like to bowl, even though I am pretty darn awful. The hubby had the idea, which is very rare so I jumped at this opportunity. (Winter hibernation can make men do some pretty funny things- get it out of the gutter!) We did have to practically drag our son out the door and tie him to the backseat to go with us, but I swear, I did see an inkling of a smile at one point when he got a spare. It didn’t really help that we were sandwiched between two groups of the best bowlers in Northeastern Ohio. It also didn’t help my ego that the one group consisted of two girls in their early twenties with the perkiest boobs and butts I used to have who also bowled amazingly. Thank god I had new blonde highlights – at least there was THAT…. I am SURE that their hunky boyfriends were checking me out as I did my funny little bowling shuffle. SURE OF IT.

Hoping your weekend was fantastic and your Hallmark Holiday tomorrow is even better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


My memories are always defined by either what I was wearing when the event happened or by what house I was living in. We play that game all the time. “When we lived on 5th St – do you remember when….” Or “Which house were we in when such and such happened?”

One of my favorite things is/are houses. I know it’s a weird thing, but I love them. It could have to do with my having lived in a total of 13 different ones and having spent long periods of time in at least six others.

Every once in awhile one of the homes pops in my head for no reason at all. Then I remember.

I feel like each house has a spirit and that makes it a home. Most of the houses we moved into were not the home they became by the time we left. I miss them all as though they were a dear friend. I know that is so strange to hear, but some people do this with cars, I happen to do this with houses.

Today I remembered Lincolnwood. (yes, I have names for them- usually the street they were on, but sometimes something else gives them their name)

This house was not one of mine or one that I ever lived in. I visited it about two times per year as a child until I was in my teens. It belonged to my grandparents. This house had such an effect on me. I swear it is the house that is responsible for my love of vintage design, clean lines, modern for its time and class. It was a classy house. I’m not the only one it affected either. I hear other people talk about it with as much love as I have had for it.

Yes, the things in a house help to make it a home and this is the case here too – that’s my all inclusive. I know if I were to go to this house right now, it would not be the same at all. It was sold a long time ago and not too long ago we went to look for it and I couldn’t even find it, the street had changed so much.

This is a 1940’s brick two story in the suburbs of Chicago, but it was so much more than just that -

Lincolnwood was:

A mail slot in the front hall closet that you had to move fur coats to get to. This made the closet always cold in the winter. The resident Schnauzer and I loved to hear the mail hit the stone tile.

A piano in a room surrounded by hand painted art, expensive statues, Moreno glass, and low, firm couches with matching drapes. The piano bench was a light blue needle point.

A kitchen where the refrigerator and dishwasher were part of the cabinets and you couldn’t tell where they were. The freezer always held cartons of Hagen Daz chocolate chocolate chip.

A vibrating fur covered pillow on the couch, and lots of hand-held games in the den.

A walk-out basement with a REAL bar (working sink and fridge). Frothy looking drinks made from wax. A giant Marlin hanging on the wall. A pool table often covered in hundreds of different fabric samples. My great Granny in the basement (full) kitchen making streudel. A closet inside a closet inside another closet where all kinds of treasures were hidden.

A towel warming rack in the upstairs bathroom. Pedestal sinks and giant laundry chutes on every level.

A bedroom that led into another bedroom that was made all of wood with built in dresser drawers and cabinets. Vintage Barbies with fur coats, purses and glasses hidden inside one of the doors.

A giant tree in the backyard with a wrap-around bench.

A secret entry from the side yard into the breakfast room where a vintage highchair was kept.

Every morning complete silence from the occupants until after twelve giving me hours upon hours to explore…….

Someday I’ll tell you about the Centennial House where Murder was in the basement and a real Circus was erected across the street……

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You can’t Keep EVERYTHING!!

The first kid has the privilege of having all of their artwork/test grades/school pictures on display. You even frame most of it. You don’t even want to give any of it away because you want to keep it and decorate the house with it. You wear every piece of jewelry his little hands make with pride. You take some to work and display it and show it off. You don’t even know what ONE OF THOSE Mom’s are because you are just so darn proud of your immensely talented child. Heck, you even enter him in coloring contests all over town. He’s THAT GOOD.

At kid two you start to realize that all kids make people/dogs/fish/stars like that so you don’t show it off as much. Just the extra special ones that you KNOW are darn good pieces. You wear the handmade jewelry with pride, but take it off once you get in the car. You don’t display EVERY thing, but a lot of it. The basement or playroom makes a nice art gallery. You tell them the contest is already over, darnit.

Kids three+, well you acknowledge; praise; smile and nod; and then…….

Well then you either:

Take it to work where you have an office full of child art work. But don’t let the kids come visit anymore.

Give it to the hubby to take to work where he has an office full of art work and never take the kids to visit anymore.

You make a big deal of putting it into the special SAVINGS box so that it will be preserved forever.

You mail it off to long distance relatives.

You tell the kids you took it to the local hospital/nursing home/orphanage/ because they need extra special artwork for their barren walls. (yes my kids think there are orphanages - duh!)

You slip it into the garbage can after everyone walks away and dump Spaghetti sauce on top and then some wet lettuce and smash it all down really far, then take the bag to the garbage outside and hide it at the bottom and cover it up with mud.

Or you get distracted and put it in the garbage forgetting about the super secret covering up and then get caught by the innocent child who was throwing a broken pencil out.

Then you go to bed feeling the biggest piece of crap ever in the world.

My kids now do the following:

Tell me about their artwork that is displayed at the school, then they tell me that their art teacher liked it so much she took it home and decorated her walls with it.

Show me the A+ paper while holding it over the garbage can.

Tape it up in their closet or hide it in their desk like its contraband.

Ask me to give a long distance relative the cool necklace they made because they know she will really appreciate it.

Ask me if I threw it out before they even begin to look for anything lost.

Then I end up going to bed feeling like a complete piece of crap.

Who is working on this problem? Shouldn’t someone be working on an invention to help Moms and Dads all over the world with an over abundance of art work/A+ papers/ achievement letters????

LIGHTBULB!! – I just thought of something!!
 I could SCAN it into my computer and make a DVD of all the things my kids ever made! -


They won't fit on the scanner...........

Going to go dig in the garbage…..

How are YOU?

If you look closely you can see pictures of the kids holding their artwork.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sniffle, Cough, Plop - Not the Sounds my Cereal Makes

I feel so bad for anyone who came within ear shot of me today. Normally I am a quiet person with little to no extra-curricular noises. Seriously, it has been a topic of conversation:  "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE NEVER BURPED OUT LOUD??"(one of my girls did the other day and I was secretly horrified and in awe all at the same time...)
I detest mouth/nose noises in my own family let alone from strangers. It’s gotten worse over the years too. If someone is sitting near me and I can hear them eating, moving their lips or chewing, I have to sly-ly move away…..
So today, I was the culprit and it made me feel worse than I already did. I didn't even want to be near me.

Today my noises consisted of:
Sneezing, (I counted 35 total sneezes from 8am-5pm – not including the ones in my car)

The sound of me testing my left nasal passage. You know you aren’t breathing through it but every once in awhile you need confirmation by trying it. “Yep, no air getting through.”
“Still not working.”
 “Nope, not working this time either.”

Mouth breathing. I feel completely unattractive as it is, with my red rimmed nose, red cheeks, my eyes are twitching, let alone my dry lips but open mouth breathing is by far the worst of my features today.

My having to explain to everyone that I spoke to on the phone: “No, I am not as sexy as I may sound, at least not today.”
“ No, my voice is not normally this husky, but thanks for asking.”
 “Yes, I do have a cold, thanks for noticing my attempts at trying to hide it.”
"Please tell him SHE called."

I did attempt a few bars of James Brown’s I Feel Good, to see if singing it in my new sexy deep voice would actually work.
I even tried to skip. My equilibrium is a bit off so it was a comical sight.
It didn’t really work except that I did have to laugh at myself.

I really dislike not feeling good. I'm like the best of men in this way. 
If you read me you will know that I can't swallow a pill, therefore I will refuse to take anything.  Making myself and everyone else suffer is so much better.
I can be sick at work, but once I leave this job and head to my AT HOME job, there is NO time for being sick.
Red nose - it's a sign that you live with someone who buys bulk in paper towels and septic safe toilet paper but NEVER soft tissues.  I had to go to work today in order to blow my sore nose into a tissue!
I am horrible about ever calling off of work, so unfortunately I will drag myself in under almost any circumstance. Therefore those around me just have to put up with it.

Feeling better already– How are you?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Glimpse

On Saturday the hubby and I had a rare opportunity to sneak away without the kids.(Don't worry it's good for them too - in our guilt we always bring home treats!) It was one of those days I would like to repeat at least once a month. Except for the drive home where I started to recognize that my being tired was from more than a good day. Today I am slightly under the weather. But that is OK too; it has given me a great excuse to be lazy this afternoon.

I married the right man, we could care less about THE BIG GAME (as we have been jokingly referring to it all weekend -wouldn't want to incur a fine or anything) We stopped loving football in college when our home team was sold. After that we just never could get back into it. However, we did make fun snack foods and are watching marathon episodes of whatever else is on. ( I have to admit to a little Jersey fever....)

On Saturday we left the house before noon and made our way to a couple of fun warehouses where they sell refurbished antiques. Gym lockers, railroad carts with pressed metal tops, stainless steel pharmacy display cases, post office mail holders *I so want one of those in my closet for my shoes!

It was fun dreaming we could buy several of the pieces. It was even more fun discovering the nooks and crannies in the buildings and being greeted by the odd warehouse cat here and there. We met three of them in all. I’m not normally a cat fan, however, these guys were rough and tough and were fun to see.  I could imagine some interesting ghosts/spirits in these buildings too.
We had lunch and dessert in Little Italy  like real grown-ups and drove through the blinding snow (my absolute favorite kind) to check out the clearance racks in various stores. I found the girls two wool dress coats for $16 each, marked down from $85.00! I tried to find myself the same deal because I need a new coat, but didn't have the same luck.
We even had fun with the sales clerks who were bored to tears from lack of business due to the weather. I think I have found my favorite time to shop. (This, coming from a non-shopper is really saying something!)

I hope you all had a great weekend – Tell me about it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's a Hallmark Holiday coming up- Let the Men-Bashing Begin!

I came across an article titled: 6 mistakes men make on Valentine’s Day.  You know how much I love paid article writers.....
So, let’s have a little fun and check out the ways in which women just love to bash men. Please guys keep reading, I’m on your side and besides how many gifts have you given to a woman vs. how many you get in return? I bet the scale is tipped in your favor!

First, the writer assumes men do not know when Valentine’s Day is. REALLY? What world is she living in – does she not know that Ignorance is Bliss? Her men are playing stupid. They know what day it is, they just don’t want YOU to know that they know.

Mistake #1 is getting a store bought card. Hey, I’ll take it! As long as he at least signs his name, the fact that he went into the store, stood in front of the card display and CHOSE a card, put the card in the envelope, licked it shut, and gave it to me on the right day, that’s a heck of a lot better than nothing!
Of course I would enjoy a hand-made card with a hand written note about how amazing I am – FROM MY MOM!! I like my man a little tougher on the inside, so bring on the store-bought card!

This is how the hubby and I share cards ALL THE TIME!

Mistake #2 is letting a bear do your bidding. Granted, I haven’t gotten a stuffed animal since I had teen tacked on to my age, but hey, if he wants to give me one, I’m not complaining….. I still walk through the amusement park waiting for the day to carry a giant purple ape on my shoulders for the entire world to see. Wouldn’t people think my man was so cool spending all of his money on a new corner-of-the- basement filler?? Seriously, I have to agree with this one. Stuff the stuffed animal and give me a big ole bear hug instead, but I doubt most men even consider this one anyway, but if they DID, it's sweet.

Mistake #3 is that men declare Valentine’s Day is a ploy for consumers. I believe she has this confused with Sweetest Day which IS a ploy for sure. I am pretty sure that most men, no matter how they really feel make an effort on the day – of course trying to find a restaurant to get even your big toe in is a feat even the best of men can’t accomplish. Honestly, any day in February that has an ounce of romance ticks my box of “celebrated”.

Mistake #4 is sharing the day with your blackberry. Is she talking about herself or her girl-friends? Last time I looked, WOMEN are the majority culprit here. I can guarantee I will get a verbal I Love You before I ever get an electronic one. This is totally a female thing - “I texted the hubby something raunchy, that should take care of him for the night.”

Mistake #5 is expecting HER to make the plans. Yeah right! If you leave it up to us, we’ll hem haw about it for days!!! The mistake men might make here is asking for our opinion. We know how to manipulate the situation so that he is making the plan but we have complete control.

And finally, last but not least on the man-bashing list is under dressing. YEP you read it right. If I walk in the door and the hubby is in a suit, sure, I would be a little curious. Let’s see – we are going to court, a funeral, a wedding or he has a meeting at work. None of which are romantic.

All kidding aside, I’ll agree to this one slightly. It does make my heart go pitter pat to see the hubby dressed special for me, but he certainly has never been told to do this. Most men get it. No worries.

So ladies, we might need to take some pointers because I am pretty sure my gift giving romantic skills are just as lacking if not worse than my man’s.

Dress nice, no teddy bears, no store bought card, have a plan, ditch the blackberry and don’t poo-poo the day.
When is Valentine’s Day??

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Puxy Phil's Long lost Relatives Live Under my Porch

So the GROUNDHOG predicted an early Spring. This shows how much we believe in our beloved weather forecasters- We are taking advice from a GROUNDHOG. (After yesterday's fiasco, might not be so farfetched)

The interesting thing is that if he had predicted six more weeks of winter that would put us at about March 16. In all my years living in OHIO, I have never gone from March 16 to Spring. So earlier than that and we will have Spring?? NOT LIKELY.   Does he mean a fluke warm day, then snow the next week for up to a month?

If you’re from the North, you might remember this happening when you were in High School. That fluke day of 70 degree weather for people in the Snowbelt in January, felt like 90 degrees. We would break out the shorts and mini skirts, and start to make plans. For some reason it seemed to occur while my parents were out of town on their annual vacation away from the kids. Back then house parties were similar to the kind in Sixteen Candles- loud, large and lacking parental guidance. Ah the memories…

Back to Puxy Phil – I don’t need him. I have his long lost family members living under my porch. His brother Bucksnoplenty Bill knocked up Earline and she had six babies. She raised them under our porch all summer long and at the end, she kicked those babies out. (This is a TRUE story) She is now probably knocked up by Bill’s ex-best friend, Hadsomany. So far NONE of them have even come out to sniff the air let alone forecast our weather. Unless, they were the culprits to the overblown forecasting of the Paralyzing storm we didn’t just have.

Should Phil really have his own DAY, let alone a movie named after him? Why did Phil Connors keep reliving the same day over and over?

Was he really EVER friends with Ned Ryerson? Answer me that, Mr. Groundhog….

For lack of anything better to say, I thank you, Groundhog.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Winter is Dangerous for Worry Warts

Makes me Chuckle – These are REAL headlines from today 2/1/11. Headlines at their Finest!

(PS: the people who write this stuff get PAID for this!)

Winter Storm Twitter Updates (because we all need to be reading Twitter updates from people hiding insides their closets while we are driving)

Dangerous Storm Ahead (I see Chicken Little scurrying across the snow from my office window)
Crippling Ice Threat (Apparently news/weather forecasters have no idea what it’s like to be crippled- to them it’s a day without coffee)

A Travel Nightmare (A travel nightmare is a car sick kid, or three kids under the age of six screaming from their car seats, or getting a case of WHY DID I EAT THAT in the middle of nowhere- to- stop)

Colossal Winter Storm Takes Aim (I'm thinking the person who came up with this one has been called a Colossal something more than once.)

They have assembled a group of Colossals

Winter Beast Delivers on Promise (I can be a winter beast on a Saturday cleaning my house, I wonder if they are spying?)

Thundersnow caught on cam (Yep, they were spying…..)

Live in the Winter Beast (now they are talking to the hubby again…)

Massive Winter Storm Begins (Batten down the hatches!! – I love saying that, it reminds me of my Mom when we would go on our boat in the middle of Lake Erie and waves were 5-6’. THEN we had to batten down the hatches…)

Share your Winter Weather Photos (because we have scared everyone half to death and they are cowering in their basements, it’s not doing anything outside and we need pictures from like 10 years ago to show there was some weather – a little touching up should do the trick!)

Groundhog Day Storm (This storm may or may not see its shadow)

Blizzard Charges East (Is this supposed to scare me?)

Carried away in the Grahics Department much?

Two Dozen States in Line of Fire (We are talking snow and ice as opposed to actual battlegrounds?)

Blizzard Takes Chicago (CRAP! Now where will I go for good shopping??)

100 million People will be Impacted by this Storm (for years we will be laughed at by foreigners)

Blanketing the Country (I hope it’s a warm fuzzy one – maybe even a Snuggie?)

Live: Historic Snow (The only time you will see history LIVE!)

We have video footage of people at the grocery store, and why is there no milk, do you really think Milk is the most important thing to have on hand in a winter storm?

We have video footage of newscasters in the snow, one had snow all over her (a plow had just passed) “Hey new guy, guess where your headed?!”

Apparently everyone forgot that we are in WINTER. It snows, there can be ice, your drive is a little longer than normal.

I actually got a an email from a client who was frantically telling everyone she was on her way home ahead of the storm and wouldn’t be in tomorrow. (Good way to plan ahead)

Just a little cynical – How are You?