Sunday, December 28, 2008

whoa - time is flying by

November 16th was a long time ago. Sheesh. I'm going to have to pay more attention to my life, huh?
Thanksgiving, holiday rush, Christmas - all have come and gone. Flying by. Much like the wind we've been hearing, rattling the windows, the chimes, the wreath on the window -- fiercely swirling and spinning.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


TOOLS. How many of us have scissors, a measuring tape or ruler or both, some safety pins and a few other useful TOOLS in that kitchen catchall drawer?

Yup, sometimes the items walk, most often the scissors. So we have to send out a search party. We know we're the ones who will find said lost item in the end, but enjoy the chance to share the aggravation with everyone else in the house.

But other tools - the screwdriver, the hammer, the pliers.... Please explain why THOSE tools are out of sight, out of reach, and annoying to retrieve? They're in the basement, or the garage, or -- whichever location is the most inconvenient in your house. That male with whom you live laid claim to them, and doesn't really want to share.

But he takes forever to get around to the little jobs - unless they were his idea, and then requires every toy - err, tool - to do the job.

Please explain why a screwdriver, hammer, and pliers aren't in that kitchen catchall drawer. Really, they should be right there, ready at a moment's notice.

Oh, I know. You have to use the 'correct' screwdriver, hammer or pliers. You must choose the correct one from half a dozen - six that don't look very different at all. Don't try to convince that male that a flat screwdriver will work on most Phillips head screws, or that 90+% of the hammering jobs require a basic, lightweight hammer, or that pliers are pliers.

But they know. They know that those few tools would do most of the work. And we'd do the small jobs ourselves - and that would reduce the constant drone of 'honey, the picture still needs to be hung; the dust is an inch thick'.

Is it possible that they like hearing our voices so much that they intentionally avoid doing the simple things that would make us so happy, happier than opening another box of chocolates while on a diet?


The reason women use butter knives as screwdrivers, shoes as hammers, and even scissors as pliers!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hallowe'en Past

Late on Hallowe'en night
With a full moon bright
She sits and taps
Foot and keys
Thoughts wander, crash, careen
Trying to be heard, be seen
"Make sense of us
Catch us if you can"
(are they the gingerbread men?)
So catch them she shall
And maybe
The telling will be the reality
And the threads will weave fabric
And then, maybe not
The day - costumes to be ironed
(Do that the night before? nah)
One to be shortened - how'd that happen?
Takes the scissors
Fails to check
Cuts the legs - no going back now
And then sees - the waist is at the butt!
Luckily the top is long
And she's a safety-pin hoarder
Races to the parade
Police officer in sight -
AARRGGH, no reminders today!
Finds the ninjas, her sons
Plants kisses and runs
To work, to here,
to lists of calls
The furniture repair, the eye doctor, the dentist, the friend
My oldest needed striped hair
Green, Blue, Pink
Glitter makeup
And plans with friends
Needed a ride
Came home to hand out treats
So fun - it's been so long
Since I didn't take the kids
And thought
Who says our youth are rude, bad, up-to-no-good?
From every child
"Please/Trick or Treat/Thank you/Happy Hallowe'en"
Rang through the air
"You may take two."
"Oh thank you!"
Many exclaimed how wonderful
The candle-lit pumpkins looked
Five perched on the bench:
Three ghosts on a white pumpkin - no paint!
A Cat on a limb
A scary jack
And the flow turned to a trickle
And then there were none
Good night, Hallowe'en
Good night, moon
Good night, Storyland

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SWAPs and photos

I've participated in two complete Circle Journals.

What are Circle Journals? Check out this link:
Themed Albums - A Closer Look At Circle Journals
By Charity Hassel

We're taking a breather - or really, we're waiting for someone to make a color copy of each CJ for everyone, and get the copies bound at Staples. But that someone was out of work for 18 weeks, nursing her post-surgery shoulder back to health. Yeah, that someone would be *me*.
Anyway, someone suggested we do monthly SWAPs. We had several people too timid to do the CJs join us, which is fun. So far, we've completed four. Here are mine:

#1 Funny quote

#2 Favorite Wizard of Oz quote

#3 Halloween ghostie

#4 Thanksgiving gratitude bookmark

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Grabbed again!

Just once,
I will not click a link
I will not find new 'gotchas'
I will not drool over others' work

Just once,
I will practice restraint
I will remember too much is ... too much
I will know that I check out plenty already

Just once.
And then
More than once.

But... I now have several more blogs saved as favs.

Some scrapbook designers' blogs grabbed me.
Really. "Altogether Too Happy; Stacy Julian "Bits & Pieces"; Cathy Zielske "Rhonna Designs"; Rhonna Farrer

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An Interesting, Unexpected Day

I know I haven't mentioned anything about the wedding; I promise I will - soon. I've been busy; I even went back to work. sigh.
This morning, I was eating my dessert AKA choc chip waffle breakfast when the phone rang. A Girl Scout staff member I know well said that there was a council meeting nearby and they didn't have a quorum. Would I be able to come save the day?

I was planning to make some moves in my Craft Studio. That's like saying I was going to clean. My allergies were twitching; I am allergic to cleaning. It may be mental, but all the same... cleaning. Yuck.

I said yes, and sat with BFF and some others I know. All in all, it took 90 mins from when the voting was supposed to start until a quorum was present. I must say I'm glad arrived late; that was a long wait.

I assumed I would merely be a vote; I would keep quiet. r-i-g-h-t. The voting involved amendments to the by-laws. By-law writing is an arcane art; BTDT. Those immersed in precisely wording by-laws start speaking some odd dialect, unintelligible to those outside the ropes. Several times, members asked questions - and I knew the answers weren't being understood.

I finally gave up and translated between by-lawese and standard English. We were supposed to state our names before speaking, but I didn't. As I sat down, I remarked that those I know who hadn't seen me knew I was there now. As soon as I said that, I was lovingly attacked with a hug. One of my favorite board members had rushed over as soon as she heard me!

When the meeting was over, several others came over to talk. Our former council CEO said I did a good job. Two officers asked me why I hadn't been doing anything lately. When I said I hadn't been asked, they said they'd change that. The strangest part, for me, is that I was just thinking last week that I wanted to become more involved again. We'll see....

My DD's godmother, the mother of my three godchildren, came up to me too. She works as the council store manager, and she's a leader. We ended up talking for almost two hours, going from the room to the foyer to outside. It was really nice to catch up. Our families haven't gotten together in over a decade, ever since my DSs kept commenting outloud on her kids' behavior. We have very different parenting styles, but I think with the youngest three turning 16 we may be able to try again.

All in all, it was an interesting, completely unexpected day!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Introducing the BOXWOOD girls...

Take three girls, two 9 yrs old and one 6 yrs old.
Ask them to be flower girls in their aunt's wedding.
Send the dress to each 9 yr old to verify the size.
It's a frothy candlight white confection, with the requisite full skirt, slightly puffy sleeves, tiny bit of ruffles - and an added magenta sash to match the big girls' sashes.
So, yes, it's a real PRINCESS dress!
(Enjoy the oohs and ahhs as each declares she feels just like a princess)
Now, these girls are flower girls.
You know what a flower is.
I know what a flower is.
The moms know what a flower is.
And the girls know what a flower is.
And we know the job of every flower girl:
Oh, no? Ok.
To walk down the aisle with some flowers dangling awkwardly.
Yup, flowers for flower girls.
So - what did my Dlilsis the bride choose for the walking floral arrangements?
The big girls will have round ball-shaped bouquets, each one a single different magenta flower with the same filler greens and berries.
(Roses, gerber daisies, astoemeria, carnations, hydrangeas)
The little girls?
The FLOWER girls?
Oh, why give them flowers?
How about:
Balls of boxwood, with ribbon loops to hold them?
Nary a flower to hold.
So, I've been calling them boxwood girls.
- My sons heard me and have been threatened with an early demise if they dare say that to anyone!
I'm betting with myself:
Which boxwood girl comments or complains first?
(Really -- How can you be a flower girl without flowers??)
Which son will say 'boxwood girl' outloud first - and who will hear him?

The Pandemonium du Wedding Begins

My Dlilsis is getting married Friday evening. Everyone except my family and my parents live out of state. We've got people flying in by plane and by car. Mayhem is to be avoided, but pandemonium is a certainty.
My schedule through Sunday:
  • Make Sat dinner reservations
  • Order sheet cake for Sat dessert
  • Go out w/ DB2, 16 yr old nephew, my DSs and possibly 2 yr old nephew. Tasks: get tuxes, buy khaki pants for the 16 yrolds.
  • Do some cleaning - giggle. straightening and 2 yr old proofing MAY get done.
  • Get DD to nail place; maybe DSIL will be going.
  • Get ring, etc cleaned.
  • Try to find my reading for wedding one last time.
  • Figure out rehearsal attire, make sure wedding outfit fits.
  • DH has to pick up suit - 3rd attempt. Turns out he can't wear double vented jackets so they're removig the vents tomorrow.
  • Find time to visit with friend {lilsis' boss}
  • Rehearsal is 6:30 IIRC.
  • Dinner is 7:30.
  • Set VCR for CSI!
  • Come home whenever dinner is over.

  • Be at hair salon by 12:15 with DSILs for hair care.
    (Hopefully check out DD's marcel waves if our paths cross.)
  • GET GAS at the cheapo place near the salon.
  • Home ~2pm.
  • Feed the gang: 7 of 8 grands, 3 moms, 1 DH.
  • Get everyone dressed - DH gets to tie four ties!
  • Put clips in boxwood girls' hair.
  • Get moms moving; as DS1 said, we're the slow ones.
  • Take photos of the three ushers and three boxwood girls and three moms - oh and one 2 yr old and one DH too.
  • Leave by 3:45 for church; family photos.
  • Wedding at 5pm.
  • MORE photos - why?
  • Reception until 11 pm.
  • If someone wants to gather afterwards, it isn't going to be HERE.
  • DD has dentist appt at 8:45am; she must have a really sore tooth!
  • Brunch at my parents' starts at 10am. {MORE people than their 50th anniv party last year!}
  • DD thought she had to dress nicely. I told her I was wearing jeans. she was aghast - until I told her the next agenda item:
  • Wander a local downtown Autumn Day and make a scarecrow with the kids.
  • Car show there and at a local airport.
  • Find time to pick up cake.
  • five of us - out to dinner for our anniv
  • Everyone - immediate family, sibs, etc - at our house for cake, for anniversary.
  • recover?!

TODAY was the day... 25 years and counting

On this day twenty-five years ago, I married my love in St Louis, MO. We've been blessed with a good life so far - and I pray that our good fortune continues.
What happened today?
  • DH went to work,
  • I don't know where the hours went.
  • DD got sick at work, so she hopped an earlier train.
  • I picked her up after scrambling to take a shower, get dressed, eat -- all after 2:30 pm. sigh.
  • DH had filet mignon thawing for dinner.
  • We decided to go to Ruby Tuesday/
  • DS1 never likes sudden plans so he grumped.
  • DH & I realized we didn't want to go out so we ordered Italian.
  • They screwed up one item - shrimp with butter/garlic sauce instead of clams & shrimp with rosa cream sauce.
  • I called, they sent the right thing.
  • DH picked up his new suit for the wedding.
  • NOT, he can't wear double side vent jackets so now they're removing the vents.
  • We watched TV.
  • He went to bed.
  • I'm following.

  • I got a 5 diamond 'journey' pendant on a gold chain.
  • DH got a plaque with a folk art castle and the saying 'they lived happily ever after'; I bought it at MOA, MN in May.
  • We got a Waterford votive holder and PF Chang gift card from my parents.
And there you have it, folks: Proof that life goes on just like usual when a big milestone is in the middle of the week, especially two days before a sibling's wedding.
Woohoo, aren't WE the exciting couple??
Wouldn't you like to know?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Kids' Questions....

DS2, DH and I watched the entire debate.
sigh - that made listening a tad difficult for me.
DS2 kept asking great questions
- but I wanted to listen to the candidates talk!
I think his 'best' question was:
DS2: "Where's Bush?"Me: "What?"
DS2: " Why isn't President Bush there?"Me: "He's not supposed to be there. He's history, almost."
DS2: "Then why is it called the presidential debate if the president isn't there?"Me: "It's just the candidates."
DS2: "Then why isn't it called the presidential candidates debate?"Me: "I don't know."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Weekend

Saturday and Sunday were, well, Saturday and Sunday.
Nothing special, really.
Breakfast: French toast and sausage Saturday and pancakes and bacon Sunday.
Lunch? what's that?
Dinner: hot dog Saturday and meatloaf with noodles [ick; potatoes were rotten] Sunday.
more cookies than I'm willing to admit.
I never left the house on Saturday.
So Sunday I HAD to get out.
Ready to snooze?
I went to:
  • Starbucks for a grande no-fat no-whip mocha and no lemon pound cake - go me
  • Staples to get my corporate discount and Staple Rewards;
    the network was dead last Sunday when I bought things.
  • Staples again {{I didn't even get to the car!}}
    for something to hold 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 paper pads upright
  • Borders for "any magazine with an article about biology" for DS1.
    {{Luckily Scientific American has a special issue on cancer available.
    Science is NOT a popular magazine focus, let me tell ya.}}
    -- I also bought
    Arts & Crafts Homes, American Bungalow,
    {{and my favorite style of architecture and home decor is??}}
    Cloth, Paper, Scissors, and Artful Blogging
    {{and my favorite hobby is??}}
  • JoAnn's to return an Ott lampbulb and a thread organizer.
    My light decided to work again, and the organizer just didn't organize my Adirondack alcohol ink
    -- and to buy keep-up-the-strapless-clothing tape,
    Scotchgard to protect the show dye,
    ten of those photo albums that hold 36 4 x 6 photos
    and more, but I sure can't remember what!
    {{Can I blame my forgetfulness on age yet??}}
I'm done.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Flotsam

Since it was amazingly gorgeous, I decided to walk from the physical therapist's office to Starbucks.
The intersection is really busy, so I actually waited for the 'walk' sign; {very odd of me}.
I stepped off the curb just before the sign changed to 'walk'.
One last SUV turned left on the yellow arrow.
The 20-something driver leaned towards me
and shouted through his open window
(what do you think he shouted?)
He shouted, "I'm sorry!"
I almost fainted. On the street. Immediately.
Did he just apologize for turning on a yellow light?
Yes, he did.
When I entered Starbucks, a mother and two 7 - 8 yr old girls were in front of me.
{{Ever watch two little girls decide what to have?
I just knew I was in for a l-o-n-g wait.}}
They gazed at all the pastry options
- and rather quickly made their decisions. woo-hoo!
MOM took longer!
As she said, "I'm not familiar with ordering in Starbucks."
I was still smiling from my unexpected apology.
When my mocha was ready, so was the mom's misto.
I grabbed both and gave mom hers as I headed out the door.
She gave me a big smile!
Pass on the nice little acts of the day...
and smile even more.
Oops - as I sipped my mocha, I realized
My mocha wasn't.
{{Have I mentioned I really dislike straight coffee?
It sends shivers down my spine.}}
Sigh. I went back inside -
only to find the mom at the pick up counter.
I asked her if her misto was really chocolatey.
"Yes! Do you have my misto?"
"Yes I do. I'm sorry. I must have mixed them up."
"Oh that's ok. I only took one sip. If you don't care, why don't we swap lids?"
{{OMG. Did I just hear the mom right?
Did she just suggest something sensible?
Something that avoided tossing two drinks down the drain?
Something that shows she's not a germophobe?}}
"That's fine with me."
We swapped lids, sipped, and smiled.
It was a two-fer day!
I'm still smiling as I type.
ah - nice

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Today was absolutely gorgeous.
Bright sunshine, a brisk breeze, and cool temperatures.
It wasn't sweater weather yet, but the summer heat was gone.
Perfect day to eat in the park!
But I wanted company.
When you work FT, you don't know many stay at home people.
But my parents are retired!
Ah-Ha, I asked my parents to join me.
They agreed.
Mom even offered to drive since she needed gas.
I slogged through my shoulder exercises,
dressed, and
got downstairs just as they arrived.
I intended to grab a tablecloth
- a little formality for the casual setting
- something new for the park tables
But I forgot.
Imagine that.
WaWa for lunch - salads for the ladies, a hoagie for Dad.
Mom had packed soda, cups, ice, and a tablecloth!
You can imagine my surprise!
We've eaten in the park before.
Never thought about a tablecloth.
both of us had the same thought.
Of course, Mom remembered
and I didn't.
Go figure.
Lunch was great - soft breezes, nice conversation
Mom and I talked about fastening bras behind your back
when your shoulder just won't cooperate.
That was the end as Dad protested the topic.
Like he doesn't know what we were talking about!
You can try to claim innocence, Dad, but I'm on to you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gas, Flag Football, and Migraines

I planned to run a loop of errands
But the 94 F temperature and high humidity changed my mind.
Monday...I planned to stop at the cheap gas place after physical therapy.
But I forgot, was in the wrong lane, and whizzed past.
Monday evening...
DH coaches and DSs play flag football; games are on Monday nights. Last week's game was a slaughter - our team won by some awfully lopsided score. I hoped they wouldn't repeat the same thing this week.

The phone rang about 30 mins into the game. [You didn't think *I* watched flag football, did you? You'd be mistaken.] It was DS2 asking me to pick him up; he was getting a migraine.
Strangely DH AKA Coach didn't have motrin with him. I swear the man ALWAYS has OTC drugs in his pocket...
Can you guess where this is headed?
I grabbed my keys, purse, motrin, water, and empty plastic bag and jumped in the Edge.
That would be the Edge I intended to fill with gas.
On Sunday.
On Monday.
Almost to the field, I realized the handy-dandy OMG display read "6 miles to E".
... where is the nearest gas station?
... will I make it from the field to the station?
... what will DS2 say when I announce our stop?
... why didn't I take the Mustang - the car with a full tank?
... now I'm going to have to switch vehicles. (Do you get migraines? The smell of gas is totally to be avoided. Trust me.)
DS2 was waiting at the parking lot.
DH? He was the width of four football fields away.
On the opposite side of the field.
He finally heard me.
Umm, dear, I need your keys. Here are my keys.
I could see the brain s-l-o-w-l-y move from football strategy to "keys??"
Yea, umm, I haven't gotten gas in the Edge.
It's oh, maybe 4 miles to empty.
Would you get some gas in it on your way home?
I'm taking DS2 home.
Yea, that's how his seat unreclined, his rearview mirror moved - and the same happened to mine. That's a big annoyance in our marriage. Rather trivial to be big, huh?
If I still kept keys for every vehicle on my key ring, I wouldn't have had to speed-walk.
I would have simply called him and told him I tossed the Edge keys in the console and DS1 knows the lock combo.
But I put my purse on a diet.
So I got a bit of exercise.
The migraine child?
He took motrin, stayed downstairs until DH and DS1 came home, heard the score and went to his room when DH grabbed the TV remote. He must be ok; he went to school.
The game?
Slaughtered. Same lopsided score as last week. This time, our team lost.
The weather?

Yesterday it was high 80s, humid, and oppressive.
Today, it's 67 F, dry, and light.
I should have known; DS2's migraines are turning into weather predictors, poor child.

The Edge?
Got $20 worth of gas.
Still needs more.
And gas has gone up ~$0.25/gal since the gauge hit E.

Never pays.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Did I Mention There were LOTS of Bags??

I think I did!

And Another Round of Bags

I hope you're enjoying my trash-art. I had fun creating these.

More Shopping Bag Pics...

Round Three.

My Role as a Villager

I was reminded 'it takes a village' today. I went for an xray appt. While I waited, a young 30s guy was told his appt was cancelled because he had his baby son. The worker was robotic as she told him that there had to be a responsible adult to watch the baby.
Do you want to reschedule for evening? - "I work nights", weekend? - "I work".
When are you going to reschedule this? gee - those listening knew he had no clue! I wanted to say I'd watch the baby, but I had an appt too. What were we going to do? Pass him between waiting patients? sigh.

Dejected, he left, pushing the stroller. I was next. Uh oh; my appt is for tomorrow, Friday; and she had no idea how long I'd wait if I just stayed. ICK.
I walked out quickly, debating with myself. Dad was just getting in the car. I offered to watch the baby, assuring him that I wouldn't mind. His smile was worth it!

I had so much fun watching this adorable 14 month old boy! He sat on my lap, just looking at everything that moved or made a sound. Dad was taken in right away for his xray; baby watched him go through the door. I thought "Oh no, here it comes. He's going to run for the door or cry." Nope.
Finally he got down, and looked at an old magazine, with Shiloh Jolie/Pitt on the cover. I asked him where the baby was, and he pointed at each photo. He figured out how to run a circle around the chairs, turned a trunk into a drum, and smiled at everyone. Thankfully, those waiting were older grandparents, and they smiled at his antics. There was plenty of space, which also helped.
When Dad returned, baby looked at him like "oh there you are!" Dad was so thankful, I don't think he believed me when I said I enjoyed it.

I guess I was supposed to be there this morning. I saw and heard the bells ring at Ground Zero to mark the first plane crash. The GMA show cut away and/or I stopped noticing. Seven years later, I spent that horrible first hour with living proof that the world will go on: a sweet innocent baby boy.
I am so glad I screwed up my xray appt date. I am grateful I was the helpful villager.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Random Writing from Years Past

The tears
For fear
For sheer exhaustion
The rollercoaster of emotions
RAW feelings screaming, tearing, roaring
through my veins, my heart, my soul
Sometimes I wish I was a flatliner
You know, one of them -
Those people without stories
Those people, always calm
Those people - not me -
Never get excited
Never get angry
Never get happy to the point of tears
Then I think
"What kind of world would I have?
No reaction to colors of the rainbow
No reaction to smells of autumn, cookies
No reaction to sounds of symphonies or babies gurgling
No reaction to touch of a lover's skin
No reaction to wine - or CHOCOLATE!"
I'll take the world I have
Full of turmoil and torment
Full of joy at sunbeams and moonbeams
I'll ride my rollercoaster
(Oh, the agony - I cry in line, then once in awhile I do it again)

Bit of Pics: Shopping Bags

I'm going to keep you in suspense and slowly reveal the shopping bags. Actually, I have to upload each photo AGAIN, here. So slow it is.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sigh. Why did I bother??

Blogger photos are stored in Picasa Web Albums.
all owned by the omnipotent google

So I uploaded my twenty-one nifty shopping bag cards to Picasa.
Anyone want to tell me how to get those photos over here?

I think I'm going to try to insert the URL for each photo.

What a drag
Away I go

I got four loaded, and I can't put the text above the photos. grrrr.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shopping Bags - The Trash of Life

There are bags everywhere.
A LensCrafters bag sat by my nightstand.
The DSW bag was lurking under a chair.
Coldwater Creek and Target bags were perched on the ironing board.
I hadn't even left my bedroom!

Awhile ago, a friend gave me a 4" x 6" photo album that looks like a cute purse, handles and magnetic clasp included.

Smash! What about taking photos of every single store bag I found, and put the bags in the 'bag'?

Sounded good to me.
Off I went, gathering bags from nooks and crannies and the recycle stash.
All in all, I found twenty-one unique bags.
TWENTY-ONE different stores, advertising themselves in my home.
Sad thing was, I could think of quite a few more stores we patronize.

Once I took the photos, I decided to edit them.
Once I edited them, I decided to scrapbook them.
Since when is 'scrapbook' a verb?
Why can't I think of a better term?
Once I scrapped them, I decided to scan them.
Once I scanned them, I decided to upload them.

I'm hoping you get to see a cute slideshow.

If not, I'll be editing until
I succeed!
I quit.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


The other day the boys were getting on my nerves. Actually the weather changes were slamming my sinuses, so I wasn't tolerating much.
But they knew that....
They kept clowning around
and making noise
and poking at each other
- it was always "HE did it!"
Honestly, this was a normal day.
But I was not tolerating
... oh, I said that already.
I looked at DH and wailed "I want to send them BACK!"
"Mom, you don't want to do that.
It'll hurt YOU more than it'll hurt us."
YEEE -OOUCH. Yea, the mere thought of sending them back the way they came - shudder.
From the mouth of a teenager.
I decided to keep them.
Much less painful, KWIM?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cell Plans and Nav by Mom

Our Verizon family share plan has 700 minutes, with free weekend and evenings and Verizon-to-Verizon and gee,what minutes do count? Our average with my chatty Mom and my COLLEGE senior daughter has been 400 minutes/month; I'm ignoring the meager quantity of minutes used by the guys (DH, DS1 & DS2).

I just added two lines for the two HS sophomores. And I increased text messages to "unlimited" - our daughter has been blowing through that limit for two months. We could have fixed that; Verizon DID call and text her phone; she DID tell us. But, ummm, I forgot to change our plan... oops.

I refused to add the extras like web connection; sigh - that means *I* get the random navigation calls.
"Mom, could you find someplace for us to eat?"
"Aren't you in SAN FRANCISCO?"
"Yea, but..."
Yea but they couldn't understand the desk clerk's accent, they didn't see any place, and I had to say "STOP MOVING!"

New rule: when you have Mom hunting down random places to eat, do not continue to walk. You will always be walking AWAY from the place Mom just found. Just like an open PB&J sandwich will land PB&J side down. Really.

Yes a rule is needed; I've googled many random things over the last three years for my daughter. What WOULD she do if I wasn't near a computer most of the time??

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Drive to Educate without DEBT

I think this is really cool
and too few people know about it.
Princeton University's financial aid will cover the student's needs.
Princeton University's aid does not include money sources that must be repaid.
Yes, you read that correctly.
At least six years ago, the trustees decided they had an obligation to graduate a diverse student body who did not have burdensome debt.
They postulated that, lacking debt, more graduates would take lower-paying jobs.
Therefore, Princeton's financial aid packages include grants and scholarships, but no loans. WOOHOO.
Princeton was the first, but its trustees have encouraged [implored, embarrassed] other universities to follow.
The college selection game has changed - parents and students just have to understand that it is possible that attending Princeton, etc is cheaper than attending Rutgers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Work on Our Shoulders

The people with whom I associate quite often bring their jobs home, whether or not they wish to do so.
"Simply" working on combat systems is enough to stick with most of us. We understand that at minimum ~300 souls are depending on us for a combat system which will keep them from harm.
With currect strategies, ships are less likely to be at risk on the open seas, but conversely their weapons are deployed to protect thousands of souls on land.
We are acutely aware of the potential devastation of major errors.
The responsibility does not stay tucked neatly in our desks,
waiting for our return in the morning.
It's there 24/7, whether whispering very softly or screaming out loud.
(Literally screaming; more than one of us has woken up screaming during stressful times.)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Crave...Supplies

I am doing paper, glue etc scrapbooking.
And playing with my alcohol ink.
And craving some spray walnut ink and Glimmer Mist.

I spent two hours wandering a local scrapbooking store yesterday. I found two more sets of Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink! Now I have 18 colors and 4 metallic mixatives.
I may have to play with my ink some more.

I've got EIGHT pages planned around my shoulder surgery; 4 are already done.
One - sniff - I don't have the photos I thought I had. I think I focused the shots but failed to take the shots! I had - so I thought - a sequence of DH asleep on the couch, something he rarely does. The only one I have is of him awake, w/ his hand across his face. oh well.

Do you do this?
I plan scrapbook pages all the time.
Sometimes I write down my thoughts; other times, no record.
I have so many albums completed --
Wow, you do?
Well, in my mind's eye I do!
In reality - not so many.

Yea. I think I'm going to go play scrapper - after I do another set of shoulder exercises.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today was a day...

Just a day.

DD is at school, in her last college residence.
She lamented that she didn't want to go as the last bit of empty space in the Expedition was filled.
Ever notice how possessions increase to fill all available space? that's 'nuther topic..

Her last year.
Her last move from home to dorm.
Two more semesters.
Plenty of late nights, b-o-r-i-n-g classes, parties, chats, papers to write.
This is it.
Next September, there will only be two children dreading and anticipating the first day of school.
I didn't cry. I didn't sniff. Really.
But I think I'm going to cry now.

I will be the mother of a college graduate!
No way.
Oh I know I'm old enough. But...
there's something that sounds soooo old when I hear "I gave birth to a baby who is now a college graduate."

She called hours later to ask what to do with the widdle bubbles filled with liquid all over her back. oops. Her sunburn is getting icky.
oops. She really didn't want to peel.
But come on - no sunscreen and hours on the beach??
I told her to do nothing. At all.
But if she MUST touch, wash her hands with soap and water first.
The remnants of this burn could look really great - not - for the wedding, in under six weeks.

I spent almost two hours and over $100 in a small locally owned scrapbook store today. The ENTIRE store was 50% off Friday and Saturday {today}.
yes, that does mean I purchased over $200 worth of scrapbooking materials. OMG.
Bad - ok, not bad.
I found two more sets of Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink, so now I have 18 colors and 4 metallics.
I got some transparent 1/8" thick acrylic pieces.
Lots of paper. stickers. fiber.

I put everything away already! I swear.

I was feeling a bit guilty.
Then the mailman arrived with a heavy 8.5" x 11" x 6.5" box for DH.
Electronic Media postage rate.
I refrained from opening it.
TWENTY-SIX DVD CASES would fit in that box.
yup, I did measure a DVD case {5.5" x 7.5" x 0.5", TYVM} and figure it out.
And at the ridiculously low price of $5 each, that would be $130.
Nope, I have no idea what the actual cost was; don't wanna know!
DH hasn't opened the box, but says there's about 10 DVDs. Sure, dear. Whatever you say.
Guilt? What guilt?? No guilt here.

Maybe I should do some scrapbooking.


~~ I dropped DS2 at work - he's a lifeguard, woohoo.
~~ I grabbed a #6 at Taco Bell {two beef chalupas, one hard beef taco, diet pepsi}.
Duh-me! I forgot "TB chalupas" aren't chalupas. Yea I ate them anyway.
Anyone interested in a soggy hard shell taco? Got one right here in the frig for ya!
~~ Called to reschedule my eye appt for an hour later.
~~ Got home, ate, showered, dressed, dilly dallied with the comics.

~~ Left the house about 10 mins AFTER I was expected at the eye doctor's office.
~~ Hey - it's Saturday, Labor Day weekend AKA "Let's go school shopping at the mall!"
The mall under major construction.
The mall with at least 1/3 less parking.
The mall with a multi-story parking garage under construction.
Yes, that would be the mall with nary an empty parking spot - until you realize the bus lot is now a car lot. sigh.

~~ Walked in to be greeted with "Ah, there she is!"
~~ When you've seen the same doctor for over 15 years, he knows you.
You're not a Lenscrafter customer walk-in any more.
OMG; I didn't realize it's been that long, but he pre-dates the birth of my sons.
Who will be 16 in about seven weeks. Nine days after lil sis' wedding and 11 days after our 25th anniversary. double and triple yikes!! !!!
My eyes - oh me eyes. I want crisp perfect vision.
But I've reached a "certain age". Curses!
~~ My prescription changed minutely. So I keep these glasses. sigh.
~~ I came home, played around, read and turned on the radio! NO TV. NO xBox 360. NObody home but me, me, me.~~ The movers arrived, hot and sweaty. Ready for food.
~~ DH ordered a pizza. Within minutes, DS2 called to get a ride home.
~~ I went to fetch kid and pizza while DH showered. (Thank God for small favors!)

~~ We've eaten. I've read the newspapers.
~~ And here I sit, typing away.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Really, child, I am listening

Lately I've been really restless listening to my kids - all three of them. I try to pay attention, really.
But - admit it, you know what I'm talking about - there are times when listening is the hardest thing a mother has to do.
It's not the tale.
It's not the tone of voice.
It's just simply I do not want to listen!

Doesn't that make me a horrendous mother?
Toss me out of the motherhood clan?
Deny me my perks as a mother?

Shouldn't I feel guilty? Horribly guilty?

I don't.
I do not.
I have no feelings of guilt.
There. I said it outloud. Well, I typed it for all to read.

A friend confessed she was tired of listening to her children.
I'm glad to know I'm not alone.
What a relief.

I know she's in the motherhood clan.
Has all her motherhood perks.

And does not feel guilty. At all.

So, yea, sometimes I just look like I'm listening.
Really, I'm hearing but not listening one little bit.

I guess this means that I can't be totally annoyed when my children do the same to me.
Nay, I can still reprimand them for not listening.
After all, isn't that one of the best motherhood perks?
Do as I say, not as I do?

yup, sometimes it's just the way it is.

labor day weekend

Friday, August 29:
  • Only six weeks until the wedding {DlilSis}.
  • Six weeks minus two days to our 25th wedding anniversary.
    Saturday DD is moving into her on-campus apartment.
  • DH and DS1 are the grunts. They will unload an Expedition-size load into the apt, then move all her summer stuff from the off-campus place to the new place.
  • Lucky them. Shucks - I won't fit in the vehicle and someone needs to drive DS2 to/from work. [not really, but that's ok].
  • DS2 is working from noon to 8pm.
That means I have the house to myself from noon to 8pm. Of course I have a 2pm eye doctor appt. But that still leaves hours!

DS2 is working 8 hrs/day through Monday, so we won't do anything special. alright, we wouldn't do anything special even if he wasn't working. Just sounds better having an excuse, kwim?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hitchin' and Birthin'

Weddings and newborns mean pure love and optimism to me.

Weddings: two people promising to love and cherish each other until the end of their days. How many couples do this each year? Even though the divorce statistics are sky-high?

How do two people decide they are going to get hitched?

It's got to be pure love and optimism.
Or magic spells.
Or temporary insanity - 'temporary' enough to last through the entire wedding planning saga.

Yea - what does get us to the church on time {or close; I was ~15 minutes late}?
Just how many arguments, frustrations, and tense moments are logged in memory files between the engagement and the wedding ceremony?
I know we had several.

We hitched.
And we're together.
It'll be 25 years in October.

Pure love and optimism.
That's got to be why.Or insanity. Can't call it 'temporary' after 25 years, now can we?

Newborns: living evidence that two people trust in the future.
Seems that in ordinary conversation, everyone believes that the world is in worse shape than in their younger years, certainly worse than their parents' generation.
How do two people decide that they are going to birth a new person?
It's got to be pure love and optimism.
Or magic spells.
Or temporary insanity - 'temporary' enough to last through ~40 weeks of pregnancy.

Yea - what does get us to the hospital in time for delivery?
Just how many bouts of morning sickness, swollen ankles and nights of interrupted of sleep are logged in memory files between the positive test and the birthin'?
I know we had plenty.

We created a new person - three in fact.
And we're raising her, and her brothers.
It'll be 22 years next February.

Pure love and optimism.
That's got to be why.
Or insanity. Can't call it 'temporary' after 22 years, now can we?

Weddings and newborns mean pure love and optimism to me.

My OWN Font? Really?

Remember calligraphy - that fancy schmancy writing done with the funky pen and ink?
It's hard to do, takes time, and well, there's no spell check or formatting or all those other gee-whiz things available today.

A friend pondered making a font of her calligraphy, but had no clue how to do so. Being curious, interested in having 'my own' font, and bored, I googled around.

I found a site that will fontify - yup, that's the word - any handwritten alphabet, either print or cursive.
The site charges $9.
For a mere NINE DOLLARS I can have my very own font? $9 to simply type my scrapbook journaling? Then have the words appear in my bestest handwriting or printing?

I can type faster than I can write neatly. I can use spell check, grammar check, and all those other checks. Wow. Just sayin'.

It's a great deal IMO. I think I'm going to have to print some of the forms and start trying to capture my bestest printing and cursive writing.

I mean, for NINE DOLLARS? Heck, I can spend more than that on LUNCH, a non-sushi lunch at that.