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.)