Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Before and After Story


My skin is pale. I’d compare it to this:


It hasn’t seen sun for more than 30 minutes at a time since early October/late September. I no longer have tan lines.

I am visiting my parents who relocated to Florida, in about 4 weeks. I have freckles and I burn easily , so to go from my current state of pale to my Florida 3rd degree sunburn, is a health hazard.

My much younger and gorgeous sister in law left for Italy this week with a healthy glow from a spray tan.

She gave me the number and I made an appointment. To get SPRAYED. I wanted to try it out before I make the decision to head to Florida with some color. For the last few trips I have spent the journey home heavily medicated from severe sunburn and last year, my Mom sent me home with Tucks pads to relieve the pain.  SERIOUSLY.  She read somewhere that these used for completely OTHER purposes were great skin pain relievers. She was right.  I now own a jar of them and use them on burns, paper cuts, bug bites, scratches etc.... If you try this, just remove the label and no one will be the wiser!

I couldn’t wear any lotion or deodorant today and I am working, so logically I did wear deodorant, but I forced myself to not apply any lotion. White dry skin is slightly worse than pale moist skin.

My other equally as gorgeous sister in law is coming with me so we can potentially support each other as sister Oompa Loompa’s tomorrow if needed.

Apparently people don’t wear bathing suits while being sprayed (the receptionist SCOFFED at this question when I asked) I packed black under things that I hope will do me justice when I am standing there with a shower cap on my head looking OH SO ATTRACTIVE.

I’m praying for a hideous looking technician.  It would really ease the ego, you know?

I am so thankful spray tanners are not equal opportunity yet and a man is not spraying me. Although I bet a man would have better aim –(they like hoses and painting, right?)

Needless to say I am a little anxious. I have been practicing sucking in my stomach while at my desk all day and worrying about my under things being both supportive and concealing enough.

I’ll be back with the AFTER …….


While waiting in the lobby of this very nice high-end salon, my stomach sank just a little bit more as each annoyingly attractive stylist walked my way. Remember I am also sitting next to a gorgeous sister in law. The owner of the salon, who is male, looked like he had been spray tanned minutes before we walked in. His teeth and the whites of his eyes were glowing. I started to panic that this might not turn out so well for me.

Of course the spray technician rounds the corner and she is as petite and adorable as she is sweet. I had to bend my body very close to her mouth every time she spoke because she had this tiny whisper voice. I followed all of her instructions as best as I could hear them and found myself standing on paper feet in a booth with nothing but a shower cap and under things. It was a little awkward when I would misunderstand her directions and she had to maneuver my body for me. At one point while standing in an awkward position so the inside of my thighs were exposed, I thought to myself –

“Why do you torture yourself in these ways, Kristen?”

She sprayed me like she was washing a car.

Putting my clothes on over wet spray tan was a little disturbing – that and being told not to get any type of water or liquid on me whatsoever for at least eight hours. Even brushing my teeth could potentially leave a white ring around my mouth.

I sat in the waiting room for my sister in law, trying not to stare into the mirror. I stood as naturally and casually cool as I possibly could. You know, like I do this sort of thing all the time kind of stance. A really nice lady did come up to me to tell me that I looked SO MUCH BETTER, which made me ecstatically happy to hear.

When my sister in law and I discussed our experiences afterward I learned that no, she did not have to wear the shower cap and it took her longer because she stood in front of the fan to dry herself. WTH, did I miss those instructions?? ("Oh yes, I like shower caps – please let me wear it- it will make me feel so much less awkward")

I haven’t done a full body exam because I am a little streaky and am told that it will go away by tomorrow after my luke warm shower. (For the next week, luke warm showers are my rule- this is going to be pleasant at 5am in our below 20 degree weather.)

I will admit that I do have actual TAN lines. Something I have never truly had. I think I might turn into Snooki someday and do this more often. It sure beats waiting to be tan the last week of August when my sunburn finally turns to some actual color.


I’ll keep you posted, but for now, I’m pretty satisfied. It may even motivate me to work out a little harder so I don’t feel so self conscious in my under things in front of a 90lb twenty year old. (Don’t talk to my sister in law- she gave me the bad news that our girl wasn’t twenty at all – more like in her thirties which made me feel OH SO MUCH BETTER!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Loser Confession Time

On the way to work I was listening to the radio and the girl was saying how lame her old roommate was because she would rip out calendar pictures and frame them as art.

Loser Confession Time:

I have a Thomas Kincaide Calendar in my bedroom. (intact, but hanging on the wall in a wooden frame)

I pulled out the kitten pictures from a calendar and hung them on my little girl’s bedroom wall.

My office was so plain when I moved into it at work, that I pulled out all the pictures from a vintage truck calendar and hung them on the walls.

Today, the blessed virus was still attacking my computer at work and I spent several intimate hours with an IT guy. After awhile he asked me which vintage truck from my office wall I had in the garage at home.

Loser Confession Time:

“None, I just like vintage stuff, my office walls were too plain and I haven’t gotten around to painting, so I hung these.” "I do like the blue and yellow truck the best though…"

He then turned on my computer and asked me if the kitchen picture on my desktop was mine.

Loser Confession Time:

“No, that kitchen is not mine, it’s just a picture I like to look at – kind of putting it out there in the universe that I would like that kind of kitchen.”

He then told me that he knows someone selling a vintage fridge.

I told him that I like the ones that are new, but that look old.

He started to sink lower into my desk chair as a way of escaping the crazy office lady.

HAVE I TURNED INTO THAT CRAZY OFFICE LADY?? - Like the lady who decorates everything with cats, or the one who has hand knitted mouse covers???

When he was all set repairing my computer he noticed that my icon was a vintage travel trailer and this time he didn’t really say anything, just kind of looked at me.

 “No, I do not have one, in case you are wondering, but if I did, it would look like that”, I said before he could ask.

He left pretty quickly after that.

I have never felt like such a LOSER. (in the last 8 hours anyway)

I swear my house is NORMAL!

If you consider THIS normal!

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is a mixture of Excitement and Anxiety. Which pretty much sums up the last 3 days:

I told you about the poor abandoned house that we looked at several weeks ago. It had been written off as not a suitable option, although a great deal, just not big enough for our family. It was fine, but the hubby and I were slightly disappointed to see the opportunity to own our first home slip through the cracks.

But all of a sudden the house came back to us – we were not pursuing it. It just sort of happened to us.  Saturday morning at a mere 16 degrees, but sunny (not quite the same as saying, "but it’s a DRY heat") found me walking the property, checking out the lake in the back, and finding the silver lining. A new plan was developing to potentially still get this house.

By noon, we were touring the house with an Amish contractor, planning a new bathroom/bedroom, new kitchen, new mud room, and living room big enough for us to fit. The quote was in-line with what we could afford even, and the silver lining was turning platinum. The neighbor was even making plans with my hubby that was making me believe when we moved in, it would be the last I would ever see him.

Let me fill you in right here. We have toured MANY homes. We have RENTED all of them. We have fixed up every single one of them because that’s just how we are as renters. We rent like we own, and we have experienced many, many housing dissapointments.  But NEVER have we gone so far as to meet with a contractor (Amish or otherwise) and get this close to planning our home.

By Saturday night, we had well thought out plans, and I cleaned my current house while decorating and deciding where I would put each item I cleaned, in my mind.

At 8pm our power went out for no reason at all. It was out for two hours. Inspired by our Amish friend, I lit a portable emergency lantern and took down all the snowmen/winter items and cleaned my house because I was intent on getting my house in order so I could concentrate on the what if…. (all while coming up with theories as to why we and three other towns had no power – maybe it’s ALIENS??)

By Sunday, more plans were evolving, an offer was written and the hubby and I snuck out to Home Depot to just “look and see.” (We kept reminding each other WE ARE NOT emotionally invested – if it happens it happens, if it it’s meant to be…. Yada. Yada. Yada.

We covered every aisle. We found the floor we would put in the finished basement, we agreed on paint colors, we looked at storm doors, we marveled at the new Formica that looks like granite. We discussed how to split up the kids furnture because no one would have to share a room anymore. We agreed on cabinet color, agreed on wanting to replace the hollow interior doors, picked out a plain faucet and then laughed about the faucet and sink we would much rather have but knew we couldn’t afford. We even looked at toilets. (the kind that DON’T clog)

On the way home from Home Depot, we were giddy and I think also amazed at how well we AGREED on everything. I know that we both have been dreaming about our OWN home for several years, but I had NO idea that our dream's mirrored eachothers.

As we drove home, we even swung into an open house for a DREAM HOME that will never be on our radar, but because we now had our own much simpler dream it was easier to look FOR FUN.

This “looking for fun house” was AMAZING. You remember that movie - Sleeping with the Enemy? How the crazy husband wanted everything perfect – from the cans with the labels in precise alignment and the hand towels in perfect order? Well, I never really got why that was such a problem because in the world where it is just me all alone, my cans and towels would look like that.

Every closet we looked into (at least seven of them) were filled with clothes in order by color and style. (My goal in life) The basement floor was heated, they had two cats and three dogs and the house smelled brand spanking new. The new landscaping was $35k alone.

Needless to say it was a NICE house. But we just had fun seeing it and not one time did either of us say, “How lucky are these people?” Because we felt lucky ourselves at the slight possibility our little abandoned dream home might be ours.

They accepted another offer.

I have to drive by this house every single day.

The neighbor is devastated too. ( I may have to take the hubby to visit)

I am actually going to miss its peculiar smell, random trash, odd bits of furniture and serious potential. Even the inspector said it was a gem. (From his make-shift office in the bathroom with a portable heater to keep him warm) He said the windows were hand crafted, the roof in perfect condition, no structural damage and very well built at one time.

I got this bit of news at 8:30am today. At 8:15am my computer at work crashed from a virus that made it look like I had downloaded porn. At 3:30pm for 15 minutes my daughter was missing (no worries, she failed to tell us that there were additional CHORUS practices, but I do now own 5 additional gray hairs)

What a difference a night can make.

No worries, my day will come…..

If only Life were this Simple.....

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Little Things –

I cut my legs shaving 4 times today. Either someone sabotaged my razor, or maybe antibiotics make your skin thin?? I don’t know what it is but teeny tiny razor cuts hurt as bad as hangnails and papercuts.
I was screaming and swearing in the bathroom for no one to hear but myself. I was so frustrated. Apparently it is my job to handle all things poop.
I scoop the cat poop, I clean the toilets, I wiped three little butts for a total of nine years. I even once removed someone else’s poop from a toilet because it magically appeared while I was in the bathroom and wouldn’t flush. I didn’t want to be accused of leaving it, so logically I removed it, threw it in the garbage and then took the garbage outside. Poor garbage men……
The straw that broke this camel’s back is when I couldn’t figure out what the white stuff was stuck to the toilet when I got home from work. When I figured out that it was toilet paper that had gotten there when the toilet clogged and over-flowed and was never cleaned up properly, I went a little bat sh*$. (Pun, intended) and used some colorful language appropriate for the bathroom only. Those words sounded nice in an echo-y room and made me feel slightly better.

My daughter has a friend over and for the first time since I was a kid, I have just heard this sentence:

“We’re booooooreddddd, what can we dooooooo?” Now putting my entertainment director uniform on.

(I have some toilets you can clean….)

I found a long hair in my eyebrow this morning AND realized that for the first time ever, I just hired someone who could be my child. Literally. I am old enough to be his mother. I am really disturbed by both of these things. The long hair in my eyebrow and that I am now old enough to be someone’s Mom who is old enough to have a job.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is Where I Work

I hired a 20 year old yesterday for our shipping department. He was recently laid off from a job he had since dropping out of high school to care for his Mom. When he left with the good news that the job was his, he walked to his car, looked into the mirrored windows and did a little happy dance.

What he didn’t know (and couldn’t see) is that on the other side of the window is the office of a lady who is thrilled to come to work every day. The witnessing of his happy dance made her smile. That happy dance is how happy she is, because she just put her last and fourth child into school and is now free to get a job OUT of the house. She is happy for every single day she can come to work and be something other than Mom.

She is past the stage of longing to be home with her little girl who says funny things and grows in the blink of an eye. This is the stage that the girl is in who she gives her lottery money to. This girl plays the lottery in hopes of being able to stay home to enjoy every second of her little girl’s life.

This girl works next to the man who is quietly planning his great escape. The escape to somewhere warmer, sunnier and brighter than his window-less office. Despite the lack of windows, an entire office wall is dedicated to pictures of his family, his home and the vacations they have been on. He rides his bike every warm day at lunch time.

He tells the lady in the back room that uses a magnifying glass to do her intricate work that he loves the fresh air. This lady has worked her whole life. Raised her children, has grandchildren and cares for her elderly siblings. She carries the weight of the world on her small shoulders and worries about her loved ones all day long.

She is a quiet worker, listening to the more boisterous voices of her co-workers. One of those voices belongs to a woman who is nervously and excitedly planning her second wedding to a man she has known since grade school.

The other voice belongs to a woman who loves her pets more than any other possession she has. She didn’t care about the things that were taken when her house was broken into not too long ago; she cared more about whether the kitties or bird were traumatized.

This woman always makes a point to visit the lady with the husky voice every day at break time. The lady with the husky voice comes to work with a positive attitude no matter what her life is dealing her. Her life now, is near perfect, but when she awoke to her very young husband passed away in their bed, life took a turn for the worst. Her positive attitude and incredible demeanor got her through.

Her sometimes crude but hilarious sense of humor cracks the guy up that has known her the longest. He comes to her to solve all of his problems. He is often anxious and runs home at lunch time to wash the dishes, vacuum the floors and straighten up the house. He decorates his work space according to the closest holiday and loves when the girl from the front office compliments how nice it looks.

This girl keeps to herself and dreams of when she will get the good news that she is pregnant. It’s been a year since she was married and she can’t wait to surprise her new husband. She loves that she is the newlywed now and no longer is the guy who works in the office across the hall.

He may not be a newlywed, but he still acts like one and can’t wait to take his wife on his next business trip to Italy. He is planning it all out and although he says he isn’t excited yet, you can feel the energy coming off of him.

He “excitedly” shows pictures of a mountainside villa to the girl who watches all of these people come to work in their various modes of transportation, who carry their lunches in their own special way, who wear the clothes that define them. She longs to write about each of their lives because their eyes tell stories their mouths haven’t shared.

This is where I work.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dr.'s Office :9 Me: 0

I am always early wherever I go anywhere and being early to the Dr.’s office makes no difference at all, unless a longer wait counts?

I hate paperwork. I get a hand cramp, have horrible handwriting and never remember important #'s when I need to.  Dr.’s offices LOVE paperwork.

I feel like when I am sick, I am weak. My last date of weakness per the nurse was 4 years ago. (I feel like it had only been a year??)

If you leave me alone in a small room with bad wallpaper for a long time, I will fall asleep.

I could sound like I am on my death bed everywhere EXCEPT at the Dr.’s office when I really need to sound and look like death so they understand why I am there.

I pick the farthest pharmacy for no reason other than I love being inconvenienced and I am a moron.

But no worries, in a mere 5 days I should be back to normal. Diagnosis: Bronchitis and Sinus infection and maybe some seasonal allergies just to make things interesting!

I am supposed to be sleeping – the hubby took the kids to a movie so I could do just that. But I just got done crying which does not help the sinus issues all because of this interview:


Sunday, March 20, 2011

I’m sick again!

I had what, maybe a 1 week reprieve?? I got back to working out, was feeling good and WHAM. It’s like it all came back but maybe worse this time. And I NEVER get sick. I am a healthy person. I have always been proud of my ability to fight off anything. So what is going on?? And NO,  to every single person who has asked, I have NOT gone to the Dr. But, I will say that I am considering it. That’s saying a lot!
Dr.’s and medicine are my last resort. It’s like I’m giving in, admitting weakness. I know!! I feel so much better when I finally do it, but I’m stubborn, what can I say?

So the weekend plans of holding a funeral for all my snowmen and winter décor have been postponed, and I am still surrounded by happy snow stuff. There is always next weekend.
I did manage to get the house cleaned, watched Hereafter, Switched and The Blindside. I took a walk on Saturday when I was still feeling human and discovered that my favorite store is moving and I missed the height of their clearance sale.

Now, with really disheveled hair, watching the last thing on TV I haven’t seen in 24 hours – Supernanny, I am pretending that I’m on the mend and will be feeling GREAT tomorrow, just in time for work.

Maybe it was all that Spring hating I was doing?
 If I have to embrace Spring for the beauty that it is, in order to feel better, I will.

I love Spring! Whoo hoo! Bring it on!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time to get out of the Den

I HATE this time of year.
I hate when we go from 32 degrees one day to 62 degrees the next with rain, and 28 degrees on the weekends.
I am not a fan of Spring in any way.



I dislike having to be patient for the trees to get their leaves; I get mad at the flowers for coming out too early and dying in the next cold spell. I hate the mud and the small piles of petrified snow that won’t melt no matter what. I hate that everyone seems to get sick as soon as there is a day of warmth because they think it’s summer, and then spreads their germs all over the place when we are huddled together freezing because BIG SURPRISE it snowed.
I love the snow and winter. I love rainy thunderstorm summer days, I like summer and I love fall but
In a perfect world it would blizzard one day and the next, it would be 72 degrees and that is IT – SUMMER. (Spring has been annihilated)

But here I am in the thick of it and it’s time to come out of hibernation. I am like a cranky bear and I can totally relate to one having to come out of her den.

I have been huddled in my house all winter long with the kids, enjoying the fact that they were forced to play with me and spend time with me. Now the stupid outdoors will call them away and I will have to pretend I like watching them ride up and down the street. (Which reminds me two of them are due for new bikes and there is no such thing as a fairy bike mother, darn it!)

I am not ready to wear shorts, skirts, heels, short sleeve shirts nor have I purchased anything in this category to get me in the mood. The looming thought of putting on a bathing suit? Well, that’s enough to make me crabby the rest of March.

My skin is pale, dry and not ready to be exposed. It takes me all summer to get a tan so as much as I try to convince myself that pale is the new fake n bake, I know it’s just not.

I need new sunglasses. A week or so ago I bought three fun beach towels to get the kids in the mood for summer (it was still snowing at that time) and I came across a pair of sunglasses that looked good on me so I bought those too. I got home, hid the beach towels and broke out my sexy shades. I got the tags off and worked and worked on getting that one last sticker in the corner of the left lens off. Then I realized I am now OFFICIALLY a dork who HATES Spring.
I bought myself a fine pair of sunglasses with the word POLARIZED in the top corner of the left lens and it’s PERMANENT. Got myself a fine pair of driving only glasses now. Good News, they are Polarized!

So this weekend, my plan is to have a funeral for all my winter/ snowmen/ snow flake décor and get some beachy smelling candles and potpourri.

I will wear shorts while I clean to get my legs used to the exposure.

Maybe I will look up the number to a spray tan place and I will definitely get my toes done.

Maybe I will even find some money in the couch or dryer for fun summer shoes, new sunglasses, bikes for the kids and MAYBE there will be enough left over for that personal trainer to get me in Bikini Shape.

Then when the weekend is coming to a close, you know what will happen? There will be snow in the forecast and I will still HATE Spring.

But I am sure glad it makes every single other person happy-

just shut up about it would you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Everyone Pretends to be Irish Day!

I might have a little Irish in me.  I can get away with saying I have a lot because of my auburn hair, freckles, pale skin and love for potatoes!  So Happy Everyone is Irish Day!  I'll be celebrating by eating corn beef and potatoes for lunch at work, and trying to find one little bit of green to wear (not a color I wear too often).  I might listen to XM's Irish music channel on the way to work to put me in the spirit....
But that's the extent of it. No pub crawling.  The hubby was a bartender for many years and I really disliked this day back then.  He would have to make green Jell-o shots for days ..........

For lack of anything else these are a few of my favorite things in Green:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Serendipity for Losers

Serendipity denotes the property of making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated, or the occurrence of such a discovery during such a search:

While frantically searching for (with no luck, after realizing TOO LATE that we were out of) toilet paper in the work restroom, I came across a new package of mis-placed legal pads, under the sink.
 (Not recommended for future reference)

Thank goodness I stepped in the cat puke with my bare feet on the way to bed. I not only saved all of the other family members from having this complete grossness happen to them, but I also have squeaky clean floors, well sanitized feet and a whole new love for "indoor shoes".

While doing laundry rather than finding money (that’s just too predictable) I instead discover that my kids really DO like candy and better yet I can pinpoint what kind they like most.
I also have turned my family on to the lovely pastel colors their boring white T-shirts can become and finally, if the washer had not been overloaded it wouldn’t have moved so far from the wall and I would NEVER have found all those stray socks and underwear, not to mention the pound of lint I could make a neat little sweater from.

My kids feel very fortunate to learn the latest swear words from their parents when they were simply asking for the hundredth time what’s for dinner or if they have to take a shower?

After working out consistently for the last week, I am happy to announce that I do have muscles in places I never knew I had.

I have watched shows (meaning WHOLE episodes) with the following titles: Jerseylicious, Toddlers & Tiara’s, My Big Redneck Wedding, and My Super Sweet Sixteen, while waiting for another TV show to start.

I have lost my ability to spell, write in cursive, sense of direction, use of proper punctuation, how much a stamp even costs and patience,  all to the discovery and my fascination with technology.

That’s my Serendipity (and yes, I had to use spell check)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Continuation

It rained, it poured, and then it snowed, and snowed and snowed. Thursday night. It snowed so much that there was NO way there would be school the next day. I didn’t get to making that igloo because instead, I had to receive 91 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. (That is 91 boxes that hold 12 individual boxes each) They were delivered to the house in the middle of the snow storm, and we carried them to the basement for lack of anywhere else they would all fit. Then, for three hours I sorted through them making piles per girl. All of these piles will have to be brought back upstairs when they are picked up.

These pictures are AFTER the biggest sales person picked hers up!

Remember my ability to say YES? Or rather my lack of ability to say NO? Well this is the result. I had the girls help me until after 10pm while the snow poured down outside, knowing there was no way they would have school the next day. I then shot off an email that they could be picked up after 4pm on Sunday because it’s the only time I will have when I am either home, dressed properly, or not cleaning.

You want to know the funny/sad part to this story? I volunteered to help with cookies last year and did all of the online ordering. This year I didn’t really volunteer but let it happen to me again and was asked to simply house the cookies, divvy them up and pass them out. I thought that was a great deal! I didn’t realize 14 girls vs. 7 last year makes a huge difference and their parents are some serious cookie sales people! (I’m not THAT naïve, people!) Also, my daughter must have missed the meeting when the cookie ordering stuff was passed out. I got some emails about cookies being sold but I thought we were still in pre-cookie sales time and figured we would sell a few boxes during the REAL sales time. So imagine my shame when I am sorting 91 CASES of cookies and WE/I didn’t sell one darn box! In all honesty, I am not a fan of these cookies. They don’t taste good.

I woke up Friday to a winter wonderland and you guessed it, school! They had school because they have run out of FREE days off. This was the 2nd worse weather day we have had and they had school. It was a mixed blessing. Although the kids were tired and unprepared, I had taken a vacation day so I could see my little Betty Ford give her Presidential speech and I can’t afford to take too many vacation days like that.
She did Betty and Gerald, proud and of course sitting in that auditorium made the tears flow because I am weird like that.

I haven’t heard how the Spanish project did, but lucky me, we have moved on to a laundry project!
My son has to do ten loads of laundry. I am pretty sure he has had several weeks to accomplish this but now we have to have it done by Monday.
Ten loads in three days is not THAT out of the question for my family, BUT, it means that I am going to do ten loads of laundry and take pictures of him pretending to help me. I will say he helped me in the way of getting the laundry done. I also will say that I do not do laundry properly. I do laundry like a poor man. Lots of cold water, loads piled high, no fabric softener or fancy stain removers and I mix my colors and textures. You know what is really frustrating? He found a dollar the ONE time he was actually folding a SOCK.

On Friday morning, while the snow poured down we went to see the house I told you about. I don’t think it’s in my future anymore. It has been badly abandoned (lots of cigarette butts, beer and liquor bottles, garbage, water in the basement and a variety of odd furniture scattered in it's small rooms). I can see past that, but even after a flip, there just isn’t enough space for a family of five. It could have been a great opportunity but, not trying to be picky, I couldn’t have fit my couch, the TV and a dining room table in the living space let alone any of the other things I have.

When we walked through the house, as bad as the condition it was left in, I could just feel the house putting its best foot forward. There were some doors in the basement and garage that had a vintage charm that really stood out against the ugliness. With as much garbage and water it didn’t smell horrible and there was no sign of critters AT ALL. (Thank goodness for freezing temps) The sun glistened off the snow covered trees casting beautiful light into all of the windows. I have been in houses with a bad overall feel, but this one had a potential feel. I feel bad saying no, but thankfully the hubby agreed with me. I know the right smaller family will love it. I also feel like this has opened us up to getting ready to move/change, something.

I have never appreciated my log cabin home more today than on Friday after seeing that house and watching the news. I will not complain about cleaning it tomorrow. I will not give the dust bunnies a second thought, and I will enjoy ever darn load of laundry I can do. Because key words: I STILL CAN DO all of it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To Be Continued

It’s raining Cats and Dogs here with forecasted snow in my near future. (I’ll keep you posted on whether I’m building an Arc or an Igloo)

I just got done helping to complete a Spanish project for one and reading the starting of a book for another. (I’ll let you know what kind of grade I get!)

(I have to share the link to the Spanish project because- well, it’s not like ANY project I EVER did. (My son has a small part in it – my nephew made the video and is the main newscaster.)

The book writer is also my reader and based on what she has written so far, she’ll beat me to my dream goal of writing a book. Her story is about a creature who is the lone survivor of an ancient Indian tribe that is responsible for making the crop circles…… (I’ll let you know where to buy your copy)

On top of all that, a potential new house is in my future. This story will definitely have to be continued but let me just give you the highlights:

We aren’t really looking (I’m ALWAYS ready to move because I love houses and change, but I’ve been pretty satisfied where we are for the first time EVER.)

The house needs work, but might be an investment/opportunity for us to finally own.

I have never been inside it

From the outside, it doesn’t excite me

It doesn’t come close to my dream home (Craftsman Bungalow)

It has been abandoned

The power and water have been shut off

The steep steps to the front door were covered in a thick sheet of ice, making the climb one of the more dangerous things I have done in awhile.

With Flashlights in hand, in the POURING rain, we discovered the door that had been left open earlier was now tightly locked and we had to repel back down the steps with no opportunity to see the inside.

This will be continued I am sure with plenty of more details, but I am trying to put too much energy/thought into it because I am really not sure this is my idea of an adventure….

I’ll keep you posted…….

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Random Me

This is what my personal trainer looks like.

I really wished he had given me a head’s up on the 80’s apparel requirement. Here I am wearing snowman pajama pants and a t-shirt and I have to work out with the likes of these people:

I will say that Gilad is not so bad at 4:30am and the view, well it’s dreamy compared to my basement.

Rather than sand, I am surrounded by toys and art projects. Occasionally I get a little paper cut-out person stuck to my butt, and I think the Lego pieces make me step a little higher when I jump on top of one by accident.

As funny as this crowd may seem, I had a hard time carrying my coffee, and a light box into work today –Becase MY ARMS ARE SO SORE! Gilad apparently invited his elderly grandfather to work out with us this morning and sadly, his body is in better shape at 75 than mine is. However, I think I would look better in a high cut leotard than he does….

It’s funny when you get up at 4:30am what commercials you will catch on TV. I had NO idea you could duct tape or hot glue your bra straps to your shirt to keep them from slipping down! If I had only known about this trick….

I have been blessed with boobs and small shoulders. I need an over the shoulder boulder holder that will keep the straps in place. Please and thank you. I am forever hiking the things up when no one is looking. (The STRAPS, people) But NO WAY IN THE PLACE DOWN THERE am I EVER going to buy the suggested solutions and I do not EVER want a UNI-BOOB. I will take slipping straps over any of these.

Finally – Can WOMEN PLEASE STOP GOING TO coach BASKETBALL GAMES RIGHT AFTER THEY DELIVER their child?? I thought we graduated from the SQUAT AND POP in the fields to spending WEEKS IN HOSPITAL after having a baby. Now we are edging dangerously close to dancing with the stars hours after labor. Heck, even the men will agree – there was a time their kind was trying pregnancy out and it was not long LIVED. I personally am done having kids, and I honestly didn’t spend more than 12 hours in the hospital with any of them and I did even do it once without pain meds, but I would really like my girls to have the opportunity to take a break after they have their kids. How else will I ever get my hands on those babies?

Know what I mean Vern?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bookworm in the Making

I grew up a voracious reader. LITERALLY. ( When I was pregnant I wanted to eat my books – I found out later that  I was iron-deficient ) but I thought it was funny at the time because all my life I loved reading so much that no matter where I was, as long as I had a book to read, all was right with the world.

I escaped into my books from long boring car rides, many family boat trips, shopping trips for carpet, furniture and new boats. I escaped from boat shows, dry dock, early spring weekends spent getting the boat ready for summer, football practices, and Sunday football. (My Dad’s favorite team was The Browns, therefore lots of screaming ensued and I spent most Sunday’s hiding in my room)

I watched my Mom and Grandma read just as passionately. I aggravated the heck out of my Dad with my ability to not hear or see a thing going on around me. I don’t think he quite understood that reading a book was even better than looking out a window on a car trip.

I was reading Mafia novels in the third grade, Stephen King by 5th, and the Classics through middle school. One of my most favorite days of all time (I have several of them locked away in my memory) is a day in late spring. It was unseasonably warm for Ohio, and I was in early pregnancy with my second child. I was so tired and nauseous. The hubby took our son who was a handful away for the entire day and I never left the bed reading two full books. I forgot to eat, didn’t have to get up more than twice and the fresh air blew through our bedroom window while I read. If you know me by now, momentous days can be marked by my memory of knowing exactly what I was wearing. I won’t bore you with the details but I can remember my exact pj’s and I even remember what our sheets and comforter looked like.

I have never had a day exactly like that since then, BUT over the past few weeks I have seen myself, my Mom and my Grandma in my daughter. She is starting to become lost in her books. I love to see it but I know I’m going to miss her while she is away in all the worlds she has yet to explore.

Last night, we were playing cards with the girls and were surprised how fast our youngest picked up the game and became a little card shark. We were also amused that our voracious reader picked up her book and read between hands. The hubby gave me a look and I said, “I completely understand, and I also understand how my Dad must have felt all at the same time.”

She played those cards while also reading her book. Just like I would have.

I know I have lot of years to see myself in her and her sister, but this glimpse was an especially fun one to see – like an old friend.

The Reader and The Cardshark

Unlike when I was yelling something from the bedroom and I heard the girls tell my husband I sounded JUST LIKE my Mom. (sorry Mom –I’ll try to represent you better next time!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March is Sucking the Creativity Right out of Me

Friday night I was an adult. The hubby and I got to enjoy dinner with friends and no kids! That is VERY rare. We waited almost an hour for a table and then once we were done with dinner sat at the table for at least an hour more having real adult conversation – sweet revenge! I even let the waitress talk me into getting something that I would never normally order and it was good. The hubby worked in the restaurant industry for many many years and he has always said the staff knows what is the best, so always go with that.

She talked me into one of these and it was AMAZING!

Saturday I cleaned the house – no surprise there. While I clean, I make the girls help me. They hate it, but when I was younger I had an Aunt who cleaned her house with me keeping her company and I learned a lot of tips and tricks that way. Plus, hate to break it to you girls but GET USED TO IT. It’s designated woman’s work.

Sometimes I let the girls pick which room is next out of a hat, sometimes they take turns with each room and sometimes I just tell them to talk to me while I work. (That is pretty much the way it usually goes) My youngest daughter always does that same thing when I tell her to talk to me. She starts with. “What’s your favorite color, Mom?”

I don’t know if I have an absolute favorite color. I love browns, and blues mostly, but tend to wear a lot of black. She said her favorite color was green. That’s funny because if you ask most kids that will be the color they choose at some point.
Then she goes to, “What’s your favorite animal?”

Again, hard to say…. I like big dogs but don’t necessarily want one right now. I like looking at tigers and polar bears in the zoo, I love the draft horses and cows at the county fair, and growing up I loved horses and vowed I would have some one day, but I am not dedicated to loving one particular animal. The hubby loves squirrels, my son loves cats, my daughter has a strange passion for flamingo’s and the youngest daughter changes her answer every time we talk. Yesterday’s answer was Polar Bear.

Today we woke up to snow on top of all the rain we had gotten yesterday. I think it’s going to be a pajama/movie/board game day. One of my favorite kind of days – especially when the house is clean, the laundry is done and the weather is crappy.

PS – I also had to figure out a costume for my daughter’s President report speech. She has to dress like the first lady and guess who she is??


(I know EXACTLY what you are thinking, I thought it too, but instead I found her some pearls, a handbag and a nice coat to wear)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inappropriate Gestures During School Functions are Fun to Watch!

We had a school music concert to attend tonight. For some reason every single time we have to attend a school event the hubby and I end up arguing. For my part, I think I am intent on avoiding any and all eye contact with the hubby once in the building, because I know what he is most likely thinking, and it’s not either politically correct or appropriate.  I think he get offended, but I just can't engage - it will only lead to trouble!   Plus, he has no ability to whisper, so if I avoid looking at him he will not make “Did you see THAT one” faces, make me crack up when I shouldn’t or say too loudly "WOW she got big!".

Tonight’s argument started when I couldn’t get my shoes off fast enough in the doorway because I was having a coughing fit. I was ready to get mey shoe off alright and shove it…… (never mind!)

Tonight’s event made it difficult not looking at the hubby. There were a group of boys who clearly did not want to be on the stage singing songs. They all took a stance on not dressing up, and had parent hating haircuts or lack thereof. One boy in particular was making rifle cocking gestures the entire time as well as a unique I’m too cool for my hair swoosh move. You could tell he was the ring leader among the boys and they were intently watching him in awe. As was I.

The fact that he was brave enough to continue to do this on the stage for every parent and teacher to see said something. The principal who is way to uptight as it is, was about to blow a gasket. I would never make it as a teacher because this boy was trouble with a capital T, but he was so much fun to watch. 

I would love to be a fly on the wall in his house tonight. Unfortunately, he most likely he is not getting enough attention at home and this was his way of grabbing some.

Normally school functions give me a lump in my throat. Something about those kids makes me want to shed a tear. But tonight’s event just made me want to laugh. Mostly because of the pure relief that none of those boys were mine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Backbends, Skunks and Other Stuff

I read your answers from yesterday’s post. FYI,  It’s Q-Pon and Crans in my world. But really, the right answer for Coupons is: “ who uses those things?”

But if you want to side with the hubby, it’s OK. Everyone I know sides with him all the time anyway. He’s so darn amazing…..

Speaking of the hubby, as I left the house the hubby who never fails to MAKE MY DAY, whispered in my ear romantically, “It’s going to rain in Florida today.”

How sweet is that?? YES, we know people currently vacationing in Florida. I mean them NO HARM or bad karma, however, it was 18 degrees as I left the house, the two feet of snow partially melted in the torrential downpours we had yesterday revealed what is left of our poor destroyed by the ice storm trees. The skunks are out and spraying the house, no amount of rain can keep the cinders and salt off my car, and everywhere I go, I am confronted with flu riddled people and I CANNOT get rid of my cough!
I love winter, but MARCH is not winter. March is not spring (my least favorite season) March is like the hellish in-between and it is one long month.

Backbends – This is an important skill to master. It comes in handy when dealing with Close (as in you have now entered my personal space) Talkers.

Why do close talkers either have bad teeth, bad breath, food in their mouth, or an overabundance of spit? WHY??

I start with the slowly backing away method. When that fails, I slowly start to bend backward. My old gymnastics skills come in handy as I can go back pretty darn far.

I’ve had to use these skills lately. I need to get more limber though. The close talker doesn’t seem to mind talking closely to my belly button.

FYI - The whole skunk pet is no longer funny. Not even a little bit.
This morning as I picked up my son’s two friends to take to school when one of them got in the car and claimed he smelled skunk. Both my son and I are recovering from colds so we figured it was them and shrugged it off. About an hour into work I get a phone call. Our son is begging to be picked up from school because he smells like skunk. While on the phone, I decide to smell my shoes because they were in the garage and sure enough, WE’VE BEEN SKUNKED!
Well our garage must have been,because our cars and shoes all smell like skunk.
What’s that you say about Karma?? I’ll tack skunks on to the maddening month of March now too.

Which brings me to a little story about a man, a topless Jeep , his wife and three kids. This man was having a great day, taking his family on a nice open air road trip. He stopped for gas at a secluded Wal-Mart (yes in the STICKS they put them in the middle of nowhere) while the wife and kids went in to hunt for car sickness relief and snacks. His wife and the 50+ other people in the front of the store began to smell a funny odor. As the man exited the restroom with wet and wrinkled clothing the odor became worse. His then very smart and beautiful wife knew what had happened and pointed him in the direction of new shorts, shirt, underwear and t-shirt as he had been unpleasantly sprayed by a gas pump and there was no way in the place down there he was getting back in the car, top or no top smelling like THAT.
This man was not too happy about his Wal-Mart outfit selection but the road trip was already underway and there was no time for turning back. The sales people wouldn’t even allow him to use a changing room to change his clothes in, the smell was so bad. That particular road trip had an air of stony fumy silence about it for several hours.

Finally, today is my niece’s 17th birthday. She is one of those people in Florida at the moment – I hope the rain clouds are nowhere near her pretty little head. This girl is the sweetest darn thing ever in the world and so beautiful. She hangs out with her younger cousins as though they are her best friends. I remember the first time I met her. I lived three hours away and came into town to meet my oldest brother’s newest addition. They were living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in the upstairs of an old farm house. My sister in law brought this pink rosy baby out to the couch on top of a pillow and I was instantly in love. I knew at that moment I wanted one of those. Two and half years later I got my wish. He wasn’t quite as pink and rosy, but just as amazing. My niece gave me that defining moment. I knew right then I wanted to be a Mom and that’s saying something. I was a career driven twenty year old. A tiny one bedroom apartment never looked so good as it did that day.

Now, the question is should I THANK her or….. (just kidding, I’ll take emergency I’ve been skunked phone calls every day of the week….)