Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I resolve...

I've never been good at making New Years' resolutions...   yeah, I should probably lose that last 5 pounds... it was 10 yesterday but the flu is good for something right?  I should probably teach my kids to cook - and I should probably spend more time in religious reflection.  Somehow though - writing these things down on a scrap of paper never does the trick... maybe a tattoo?  Oh wait, maybe not...

this year - I am resolving something, you see this has been a little bit of a “come to God” month for me - with two dear friends/relations who are incidentally YOUNGER than me suffering from maladies that I have formerly “poo-poohed” being as I am far too young and vibrant to be victim to such things... well - apparently I am not because both of these people were younger - and more vibrant than I!  (and no, they're not being victim to these things - they're doing great)  With complete respect for their various trials I will not go into depth, but I'll take the warning to heart and this year I resolve to get a check up - my doctor won’t recognize me it’s been so long, but I’ll be making that phone call.  I'm willing to endure a little pinch/squish/look the other way and pretend that this is not the most uncomfortable procedure in the world for that little peace of mind.  

So - to my two dear friends/relations who have inspired me - I love you and thank you - and if you need a meal brought in I make a MEAN homemade chicken noodle soup!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I have a curious craving for Blancmange...

- and I don't even know what it is!  I just finished reading Heidi Ashworth's new book Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind - and enjoyed it thoroughly!  Some of you may have paid enough attention to remember that I won this book in a random drawing just a few weeks past and until yesterday my life had me a little too busy to devote the proper time... so I began reading it last night... and finished it this morning - 263 pages of amusement, delight, snickering, and joy.

Note:  this is SO outside the usual genre of book that I read.  I knew that going in but given that Heidi (I have a strong desire to call her Miss Ashworth after reading this book) has quite the bloggy wit I decided that it was worth the risk.  

The book is labeled a "historical romance" and reminds me of reading Jane Austen... except I hesitate to say that because while I fully enjoyed this and found it an easy and relaxing read - Austen can be taxing to my psyche.  I thought the characters in Heidi's books were great - there were a few that I would enjoy having for supper and a few that I would cross the street to avoid!  Her obvious familiarity with the works of Shakespeare had me so involved in their "recitations" that I almost forgot I was reading a work of fiction!

My only suggestion for improving the book - a recipe for blancmange so I didn't have to go look it up on Wikipedia right now :)   Oh... hmmm, maybe I'll just have a cookie... that looks difficult to make!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A little of this, a little of that...

This is as close as we could get - M, like many a young child is a tad bit afeared of the man in the red suit...  so when we were hanging out at the Elementary school waiting for H's party and he walked in, suddenly I had a 4 year old to carry around.  She's getting a tad bit heavy to be carried around constantly so I tried to talk her down.  "look, Santa's nice right?" "yes, he brings me presents" "wouldn't you like to go and tell Santa thank you" "no" "what do you want to tell him" (thinking I would get her wish list...) "I tell him that T is naughty" (my oldest son, not ME of course)...  Poor T must have really ticked her off that morning!The Ham Junkie - because I was feeling bad that W was so under-represented in the blog until now I was paying special attention to him with the camera... well, that and the fact that this kid was so excited for Ham that he was doing Happy little dances all over the house!  I think he even wrote a song devoted to the heavenly meat!  He even requested that we save the ham-bone... not for use in a delectable soup - but he just wanted to gnaw on it later.  
My favorite Christmas gift!  Some of you may know that for the past... ermmm - let's call it 3 years I have been asked what I wanted for Christmas, my birthday, for dinner - and without fail (well, maybe not for dinner) I have answered SHELVES!  I'm an avid reader - and I love not just the stories but the books... a good hardcover with pretty end-papers sets my heart a-flutter more than Edward Cullen!!  Anyway, as always I had "shelves" at the top of my Christmas wish-list.  Actually, aside from the lovely book light that I also received it was the only item on said wish list!  Come Christmas morning I was afraid that I was going to have to put it back on the birthday list yet again...  because honestly - how could the Man Of The House (I would abbreviate that - but who wants to be known as MOTH) really sneak in a carpenter to build the shelves I wanted?  In my own defense, 3 years ago I wanted simpler shelving...  but leave me long enough to dwell on it and now they have to be built in!)  Well, M.O.T.H. came through and although they are not done, he has found a carpenter and so Christmas morning I found a piece of butcher paper taped to the wall with many books drawn on it... the titles he chose were absolutely hi-Lar-E-Us... but mostly inside jokes so I won't go into that :)
The Mess:  5 weeks of shopping, 5 hours of wrapping, 20 minutes of opening...  Worth it?  yep.
A long time since they were recognized!  As we were enjoying our Christmas Dinner and toasting with the Martinelli's Sparkling Cider M.O.T.H. (this might stick... sorry hub) notices their label has their "awards" listed...  and just in case you can't make them out from the photo - the awards say:  Sacramento 1890, San Francisco 1894, Atlanta 1895, Buffalo 1901, Seattle 1909, and San Francisco 1914 - Impressive?  I have no idea if it's impressive - but one does wonder why there have been no awards in nearly a century to brag about?  I hereby award the Martinelli's company with my own award... heck, even this teetotalling family needs a little holiday cheer to toast the holidays with!  Check it out, next year under the ancient awards it just may say "You Asked for It 2008"!
Another Photo of W - hey, he's a cute kid right?  Yesterday we braved the cold out of town and drove up to do some sledding.  W had a little time to practice with his snowboard on the little hills - we skipped the canyon because we just weren't THAT brave!  The kids all had fun, hit a few little jumps, and learned that the new "snowfling" toy also doubles as an emergency trumpet... much to the dismay of our fellow sledders!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The twelve months of 2008... (a.k.a. - our Christmas letter)

No, you don't have to sing...
On the first month of 2008 my favorite (humor me) blogger gave to me an 11 year old sledding on his knee!
On the second month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - two boys in gloves (okay, so we ALL wore gloves... and boots... and as many layers as possible - it's cold at the cabin!)
On the third month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - leaves falling by the tens (of thousands... I don't know why the tree won't drop its leaves in the fall like a normal tree - we have a fun but messy spring)
On the fourth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - a big party for the herds (Q celebrated the big 4-0 with a surprise 80's party... he was a good sport and is EXTREMELY young and spry and didn't even make me say that!)
On the fifth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - Five home runs... (W & P both played ball...  I'm not sure about the actual home run number, but hey - do you really believe all the stuff people tell about their kids in their Christmas letters anyway?)
On the sixth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me all the kids at the sand dunes playing (June is HOT around here, but we had to try out a new vehicle at the rental place... only got it stuck twice!)
On the seventh month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - seven people camping but not swimming... (too cold)

One the eighth month of 2008, my favorite blogger gave to me one maid left at home while other were off at school a-milking (hey, they had milk with their lunch - you want Keats go read another blog!)
On the ninth month of 2008 - my favorite blogger gave to me - the nine year old advancing. (Yay! P is a Bear scout!!!)
On the tenth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - great weather we are keeping
On the eleventh month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - the thankful turkey to quash the griping!

On the twelfth month of 2008 my favorite blogger gave to me - (finally!) that picture of her haircut that we voted on in February (oh, it was November?  yeah, well that didn't work with the meter of the song!  get over it)

And because this post will also serve as a Christmas greeting for the many friends, family and strangers on the street that I invite to come by (and because I'm noticing an absence of H is any of the years' photos) I hope that people will click the following links for a little closer look at the family and their antics this year :)  Merry Christmas - Happy New Year... and no, this is not just a pathetic ploy to get more readers for my blog... but yeah - if it works that way I'm okay with that - come back anytime, leave me a note to say hi - I'm always here :)

T (the teenager) or this... if you're into laughing at how short I am... 
W must be an angel because his blog appearances are all brief and sweet

and honestly - I'm just lucky to have such a great family that doesn't mind me sharing the funny moments of our lives with the world!  Q's a great husband - T's a teenager of the best kind - W really is a super kid with a super sense of humor - P is an early bird without an inside voice but also a heck of a lot of fun - H is my mini-me and gives the best (and most) hugs and kisses this side of the Mississippi - and M... sweet little M, I can't imagine what life would be without her keeping it interesting, fast-paced, and LOUD!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Ode to Snow...

I freely admit when it comes to the snow
I am known as somewhat of a Grinch
I refuse to go out when it gets too cold
Below 60 and I start to flinch
I've been there - I grew up in Colorado
Where Jack Frost does nip and does pinch
We're not prepared for bad weather you know
So what do you do in a clinch?
Closing the schools when the wind starts to blow
In the desert - that should be a cinch
I have to admit though, it would seem more apropos
Had it snowed more than one measly inch!
In all fairness to the school district - this picture WAS taken last night when the automated phone calls started pouring in to let us know of the cancellation - by this morning there was slightly more accumulation... but let's be honest - rhyming "2 inches" is a lot harder than rhyming "inch"!


Just a little FYI - mostly for Heidi's sake - that I DID find my camera cord (who put it back in its original packaging in the camera box? I was supposed to look there?) and surprisingly enough - the process is actually just as easy as popping my SD card into the Printer/Scanner/Copier/Card Reader that now only functions as a Printer.  Expect LOTS of pictures this week :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Neighbor Gifts

You know those things that we all think "oh, SO cute" and then shove onto the counter with the rest of them...  the "I felt obligated to give a gift but we're obviously not family so this is what we came up with - hope it's not too useless" type of gift.

Some can be really cute - One year (when the entire neighborhood had come down with the flu just before Christmas vacation) we delivered Snowman bowls and cans of chicken noodle soup...  along with some really cheesy poem about sharing the spirit of the holiday without sharing germs...  I would have shared it with you (because I AM a packrat and it IS here... somewhere) - but one of the downsides of "blogging by the seat of my pants" is that I didn't think of it until I'd already typed it!  Just trust me that it was witty and appropriate to the season!

I was shopping earlier today and the local scrapbook store had a short list of ideas... only I wasn't willing to shell out the $1.50 to buy it, especially since I didn't even get one of them - not because I'm not brilliant, but because the photo didn't show what was IN the bag that went with the saying (and no, I don't remember the saying - only that it was generic)

So - as part of my frugal plan for the day - you all are going to share the cute/crazy/ingenious things you've seen out there!  Ta-dahhh... SO much better than spending the buck fifty right?

To start it off I'll share all the ones I can think of:
Bag of Mini-Marshmallows - "you've been naughty this year - so here's the scoop, all you're getting for Christmas is Snowman poop"
Scented Crayons - "hope you have a stinkin' great Christmas"
Tide or Joy detergent - "... tidings of comfort and Joy"
Big Red Chewing Gum - Hope the Big man in Red brings you all you wish for
Deck of Cards - "Deck the Halls"
Martinelli's Sparkling Cider - Hope your holidays Sparkle with good cheer
Measuring Spoons - Wishing you joy beyond Measure
Paper Christmas Plates - "a bit of disposable Christmas cheer! What could be better? No dishes my dear!"
Jolly Rancher soft chews - "we chews to wish you a jolly holiday"
2 litre of Sprite - "May your day be Merry and Sprite"
Bagged Salad/Dressing - "tossing out a wonderful Christmas wish to you and yours all dressed up with Christmas Cheer"
Cookie Cutters - "cutting out a perfect Christmas wish for you"
Box of Kleenex - "We Tissue a Merry Christmas" 
Chex Mix/Cereal - Santa Chex his list twice - hope you made the cut!
Symphony Candy Bar - just a note of sweet Christmas tidings
Toaster Strudel - May your holidays be warm and Toasty!
Bagels/Cream Cheese - "spreading a little Christmas Shmear"
Scented candle - have a scentsational Christmas
Bounty paper towels - May you receive Bounteous blessings all year long!

Oh for crying out loud - that's probably more than I needed right there!  Oh well...  please share your own - or groan along with me at some of these...  some I've encountered personally - some I stole from a newspaper article (deseret news - 2006) - and I will lay no personal claim on any (except the chicken soup one that I can't find)

Next year - FOR SURE - we are organizing as a neighborhood and donating all the "neighbor gift" funds to the local homeless shelter!!!  That way everyone wins!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Living La Vida Tech-NO!

Definition:  Tech-NO... one of those people who shuns the new gadgetry until they are so hopelessly behind the times that nobody wants to call them because they haven't even got an answering machine!

Okay, so maybe I'm not that bad - but since I was born into a family of computer geeks it sure feels like that.  Hmmm... maybe I should say that I was born into a family that morphed in computer geek-dom - you see, back in 1972 it was a little hard to be a computer geek unless you were one of "THE" computer geeks (who are all fabulously wealthy now by the way... not a bad family to have gone to...).  

Really - they might be reading this and take offense at the word "geek" or "morphed"... but I guarantee you that it would take me less than 1/2 an hour of phone calling within the family to find someone that spoke C++, Fortran, Klingon, and any number of other computer geek languages that I don't even know the names of!  Me?  Yeah, well - I can type pretty fast... in English...  

I have a computer (obviously), and I have a cell-phone (finally got one last Christmas - most teenagers I know had one before me), I learned a few weeks ago how to send a text... it took me about 10 minutes... in which time I could have just called, gotten the answer, and completed the task at hand.  I do not have Caller I.D. because I figure you probably know your own name and you can save me a few bucks a month by telling me who you are when I answer.  And yes - it probably would save me a few times a year when we get called to speak in church or when the neighbor kids are calling to ask if my refrigerator is running...  wait, nope - I'd still answer it because I'm really okay with speaking in church (shoot, Ben, pretend I didn't say that!) and I really like to tell the brats that "yes, it's running and it's almost to your house so you'd better hide under a table"

I have a brother whose entire house is controlled by a remote control... television, stereo, VCR/DVD, lights, probably some other stuff that I don't even know about...    He brought me some of that fancy gadgetry and dropped it off... luckily he was back through town a week later to explain it again... and then 6 months later to give me a quick run-down so that I could use it in a different room...  apparently I'm hopeless?

Too bad all those computer geeks live so far away - I'd really like to move this computer downstairs - move that one upstairs - use the Wi-Fi (which they bought and installed) to network them (I think that's the word) and hook up my new scanner/printer/card reader so that I can finally get some PICTURES on the blog instead of all of the meandering excuses as to why I still can't post anything Christmasy.  And before you ask - yes, there is a cord thingy somewhere that I can connect the camera directly to the computer - but NO... I really don't know where it is or how to use it...   (and yes, in this house "whatsit", "thingamajigger", "dealiebob",  and "weird shaped thingy" are all the technical terms we need to know!)

I hear the local community college offers a "technology for grandparents" class...  but somehow I don't think I can pass for twice my age...  maybe half?  I might be able to go in as a the grand-kid since I was recently shoo-ed from the halls of my sons' middle school :)  gotta love being short!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

4 more things you never really needed to know

What?  seriously, I missed another Tag? - one of these days I’ll be able to just tell people to refer to old posts because I’m pretty sure that I deserve the title of Tag Queen... I’m sure there’s a crown out there with my name on it!!!  Chelsi has given me the task (opportunity) to share with you 4 things about a number of things... hmmm, except I’m not even going to look - so here you get whatever comes off the top of my head - and just because I haven’t been very Christmasy lately - we’ll theme it:

4 things I dread about the Holiday Season:  Decorating, Wrapping, Un-decorating, Calories.

4 things I love about the same aforementioned time of year:  Food, Family, Peace, Warm blankets on a cold night

4 things I want for Christmas (but am probably not getting):  built in shelves, a really nice book light that will last for more than a month, did I mention the shelves?, and world peace.

4 places I’ve spent far too much time and/or $ this past few weeks:, CostCo, Target, WalMart

4 places I’ve gotten paper cuts during the wrapping process:  Thumb, wrist, other thumb, “tall man” finger.

4 reasons to be grateful this year in particular:  Hubby still has a good job that is supposedly “recession proof”, My kids are all reasonably healthy - and now old enough to know what to do when the flu hits so the clean-up is a lot more tolerable, Junk food consumed in the days prior to, including, and immediately following a national holiday is magically calorie free, I have friends and family who allow me to live in my fantasy world with all of my delusions

4 people I’m sure will be happy to just see their name in print and not worry too much about the whole “tag” aspect of this thing:  Janet, Laura, Nanny Goat, and...  You - yeah, you know who you are...  don't look the other way :)

4 favorite (calorie-free) Christmas Treats:  Caramel Dipped pretzels coated with White chocolate and Sprinkled with crushed Candy Canes, Peanut Butter Fudge, Sher's Ginger Cookies, and Candy Cane Kisses.

4 things I worry about too much at Christmas-time:  a well-decorated house, being "fair" in my gifting, making all those wonderful yummy treats, getting to all the concerts and parties.

4 things I wish we could spend more time on:  Christ, Giving, Service, Family

4... oh never mind... that's enough 4 now!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Obsess much lately?

okay - so I'm obviously not doing the whole Christmasy post thing... it's just not spur of the moment enough for me I guess...  well, that combined with the fact that it's really hard to post about my pretty tree vs. my ugly tree when my computer is still on the outs with my memory card!

So, obsessions...  yeah, well, we're placing all of the blame on CC - because really, it IS her fault that I started blogging.  Seriously, back in early March I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you what a blog WAS let alone tell you how to set one up.  Actually, still not sure I can do much more than that... but thanks to this gal I can now receive e-mails that tell me when comments roll in AND set up future posts.  Hmmm... not sure I'll use that second one - that whole "spur of the moment" thing and all...  Anyway - like I said CC's fault - all agreed say Aye.  

Then (and this part leaves CC off the hook - we'll place the blame for this one on my mother... because even if it WEREN'T her fault - and it IS - mothers are always the ones to take any unclaimed blame) my sweet mother invites me to join Facebook... because apparently it's a good place to play Scrabble games even though I am separated from my family by many miles and some very tall mountains.  This is fun...  oh look - friends from high school too?

I can walk away from the computer - I really can... Like yesterday - because my neighbor S was kind enough to drop off a book I'd wanted to read... so I stayed away from the computer - and read the WHOLE book...  in 9 hours...  now I ask, whose fault is that (Say S's...  personal responsibility is NOT something I'm fond of right now)  In my defense - it WAS a great book - I'll post a review at my other blog tomorrow.

Well...  you see, I distinctly remember a discussion once with my uncle when we were both young...  discussing Alcoholism I believe?  Now, neither of us were drinkers (umm... of course we weren't THEN - I mean were aren't drinkers), so even though there was some history of alcoholism in the family we were pretty safe...  but we were wondering if that same gene made us more susceptible to addictive behavior in general?  Maybe this was just Unca D's way of warning me away from some questionable friends I had?  Maybe it's true?  Maybe I think about "oh, that's bloggable" a few times a day... Maybe I have reconnected with some of those questionable friends who still crack me up 20 years later and I have wasted a few too many hours shooting back snarky comments on photos and not enough time playing Scrabble with my mother...  

Like I said:  CC's Fault, Mother's Fault... S's Fault, and apparently - I can also blame it on my Genes... wait, that's just my mom's fault again :)

(for the record - I did "ground" myself this morning and wasn't allowed to turn on the computer until my house was clean...  of course, then I got up at 6 a.m. so that I could start cleaning!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding Kid...

Yesterday was one of those days that I will be laughing uproariously about in a few months...  give me until then to get over the feelings of inner pain that accompanied all the hilarity though.

For long time readers you may be well aware that our sweet little M is rather... ermm... obsessed with her friend A who lives next door - if you don't know this then it's probably time to go back and read about the restraining order.  Well, A is just a few days older than M - slightly taller (of course) - but they share their blonde hair and a love of all things dress up/Polly/Pony/Barbie!  M suddenly came to me yesterday for help sounding out a word she wanted to write down... the word?  "Adopted"... she decided that she wanted for K (that'd be A's mom) to adopt her.  She had it all worked out - packed a bag with her Polly Pockets and a teddy bear... and waited for A to pick her up.  A?  Yeah, she was totally on board with this as far as I could tell - she doesn't have another sister...  she even helped M come up with some of her rebuttals to all of the hurdles I presented:

But M...
They don't have a bed for you  A can share her bed
H will miss having a sister   You can pray to have another Baby (A's idea...)
Your Christmas presents are here Santa will know I was adopted!
K is a bad cook (sorry K, I was desperate) I can visit here to eat
Who will read you a bed time story? I can read my own princess book
Whose bed will you jump on in the morning: A will be there
We want you to stay (in tears) I will miss you, but I want to go there...

and on and on...
That's right... tears...  it was heart-wrenching AND hilarious all at the same time.  I tried to not let it affect my inner self - I tried to focus only on what a cute story it would make when she was all grown up...  but really - my baby wants to find a new mommy!  And this was not just a 20 minute whim guys... this lasted from 10 in the morning (when she came up with the idea), through preschool (where A was brought in on the plot), and to the packing stage...  Dinner felt like a last meal together at times - but then Dad suggested she watch home videos (which she did for 3 hours and is doing again this morning) and by bedtime she was happy to snuggle up with her own big stuffed animals and hear her bedtime story read by her own parents...  Haven't heard a word yet today...  as much as I respect adoptive moms and birth moms (and I REALLY do) I really don't want to give up my baby girl!

I'm focusing on the humor side of it now...  I can see it, I really can... and hey - it DID make for a good blog topic right?  RIGHT?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Needing a Break...

Too much Holiday stuff rattling around in my brain - I was going to move on to "Christmas Present" for a little while, but frankly...  between the fact that the shopping is NOT done, the house is NOT decorated and the gingerbread houses with spun sugar smoke coming out of the chimneys are NOT even on the wish-list...  we're taking a break!

So... I went to see Twilight finally...  I know, I know... every twi-hard worth her salt has already seen it twice and blogged about it 3 times... Blah, blah, blah...  So here's my take on it:

You can never compete with my imagination when it comes to putting a book onto film.  Never - because the vampires in my head were WAY hotter - and the sparkly skin was... well, certainly less... well let's just say that at that point in the movie a very distant, very geeky part of me was saying "beam me up Scotty" and expecting Edward to disappear in the transporter!  The Cullen house was a little bit (make that a LOT bit) too modern for my tastes - where's the old Victorian mansion restored lovingly by Esme?  The cars... well, whatever - that didn't really bother me.  And I won't complain about all the bits they missed because I am well aware that nobody wants to sit through the 6 hour movie that it would have been if everything had been there!  The one thing I WILL complain about is the little scene in her bedroom... and if she'd just been wearing sweats to sleep in it really wouldn't have bugged me... but as it was, she left behind the shy girl act a little (a lot) too abruptly... I didn't buy it - this one scene... well, let's just say it will keep me from taking the kids or recommending it to relatives :)

All that being said - I actually enjoyed myself.  Hubby was brave enough to accompany me - and just as planned we were able to enjoy the movie in a theatre that was completely free of fawning and fainting teenaged girls.  I don't think I would have tolerated THAT very well at all!!!  Charlie and Mike seemed perfectly cast to me.  Alice has long been my favorite of the Cullens - and she did not disappoint.  Her role was quite minimal, but just enough for me to have great hopes for the future :)   I'll look forward to them being a little more a part of the movies.  With that team backing you up (as long as they remain on their diets) wouldn't you feel safe?  Doesn't everyone want to live next door to the Cullens???  Well, too bad - because they're MY neighbors and I'm not giving them up :)  Really though - that is my neighbor's name... but they're an older couple with their children raised... I wonder if they've read the books?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Past - all the rest of them...

Okay - so really I don't have THAT many past Christmas Stories... and I'm eager to move on because I know EVERYONE is DYING to know all about what's going on this year...  (pretend to care at least guys - my ego is riding on this one!)

So, here are the cliffs' notes for the rest of my Christmases:

Really young - Grandma gave Z and I dolls for Christmas - Z got the pretty girl doll with the long brown hair and I got... the boy doll that went with it.  Was I a gracious gift recipient who ran up to my Grandmother to give her a thank you hug?  Did I smile and suck it up?  Yeah, not so much - I threw a fit, made Grandma feel bad, embarrassed my mother no end...  So, Sorry Grandma, Sorry Mom... I did learn a good lesson from it... and for the record - that doll you gave me last year (the boy Indian one) looks GREAT in my family room and I LOVE it :)

Still really young - Z convinced me to wait on the stairs after being sent down to our basement bedrooms (see, I told you 2 posts ago that the basement came into play later!) so we very quietly sat there out of sight of the living room until some very LOUD and TALL elves came to fill the stockings...  What a disappointment...  but hey, I still got some good gifts!

Not quite as young - but still young enough to use it as an excuse:  We snuck into the living room to check out the haul at... well, probably around 2 a.m. - it was REALLY dark (and now you know the reason behind the plywood wall from the previous post) - Our gifts from Santa were not usually wrapped, so mine were in a pile where I saw box containing a cute little Avon Bubble Bath in the shape of a groundhog... I like groundhogs :)...  I wanted to see it up close so I opened the box...  ooh, a STICKER - gotta love stickers... and this one was a "weather prediction" type sticker that changed color according to the temperature (of the bathroom?).  I couldn't wait, but in my haste I tore the sticker's backing off the wrong way and was disappointed (and plagued by feelings of guilt) for the next 6 months (until the bubble bath was gone) because my cute little groundhog's plastic molded umbrella weather prediction system never changed colors!

Hubby and I:  for the first 12 years of marriage I tried to do the 12 years of Christmas... each year he'd get something that sort of went along with the song.  I usually had to call my Sis In Law Sher to get some ideas because after a few years I felt brain dead... Did Hub appreciate this?  yeah, probably not - being as he's a MAN and men well, not knocking men but, men don't typically think "oh, she must have been thinking about this for 365 days - how sweet... as a matter of fact, Men don't usually use the word "sweet" and that's probably for the best :)  I don't remember all of them, but he did get 2 yellow chore gloves our second year that he still uses... and 3 cornish game hens the third year...  5 bags of peachie rings... wipers wiping...  guitar strings for strumming... oh Sher... do you remember?

Okay - that's more than enough of a trip down my memory lane!  Anyone have any great Christmas Past memories to share?  Hurry hurry hurry because the Ghost of Christmas Past is on his way OUT and we're moving on to Christmas Present soon...  really really soon (okay, probably not for at least 24 hours!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Past (installment two) AND... Whooooo-Hoooooo!

Because I have achieved the ripe old age of 36 I have many "Christmas Past" memories... of course, whittling them down to the ones you would actually care to read about has been... well, actually pretty easy since I'm SURE nobody wants me to go into details about the year H covered my brand new coat in her Christmas Eve dinner!

Growing up we lived in a pretty basic house - I would ask you to close your eyes while I describe it but well... that may not work so well in this medium.  The kitchen and living room were at one end of the house - the 3 bedrooms were at the other end of the house - they were connected by a hallway which widened considerably at the bedroom/bathroom end since there were a bunch of doors all together.  (there was also a basement, but it doesn't figure into THIS story... maybe later!)  My father was a "project" guy... or maybe my mother was a "project" girl and wished my dad was the same... either way, there was a large piece of plywood propped up in the hall waiting to be used on a project and it'd been there for awhile awaiting its usefulness.  
Early Christmas Morning (and when I say Early I mean EARLY!) I woke up to sneak out to the living room...  I had to be really quiet because my parents' room was right next to mine.  So, out my door, past the clothes hamper and WHAM!  What?  Did I become disoriented in the dark?  Did I forget a turn in the house I've lived in for years?  Okay, back up - yep, that's my room - try again... straight 3 steps, there's the hamper, there's the wall and here's the hal... err, nope, no hall... just a big solid piece of Plywood!  Come Christmas Morning (not so early) the Plywood was gone... not just away from the Hall, but gone... out to the garage or down to the basement or somewhere - who cared, the way to the pile of presents was clear!

Dad denies this to this day - but I've called him on it now for the world to see!  Way to mess with the brain of your precious and impressionable daughter... did you ever think about the future therapy I'd need... hmmm... come to think of it I am REALLY bad with directions - could that be Dad's fault?  We won't even get STARTED on the fire hazard!!!

Oh, you're still here?  you wanted to know about the woooooo.hoooo part too?  Okay, well, all that hullaballoo yesterday over at SITS (my new favorite people) has paid off - I am a winner! Let me just point out that aside from Spelling Bees - I have only won 2 things in my lifetime... some carnival stuffie when I was a kid, and a canvas tote bag that had some Stamp Company's logo on it!  This is MUCH better!!!  They have many lovely sponsors, and lucky me came away with an initial necklace from Charming Gifts!!!  Now I just need to decide if I am selfish and keep this for myself, or am generous and use it as a Christmas gift....  I'll let you know when I finally get past Christmas Past and move on to Christmas Present!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Past Or... My kids are sneakier than Your kids!

I was thinking of many Christmases from my past and thought I'd share a few with you - so to kick of SITS-mas (what's that you say?  Umm, just click it and you'll see... you'll want to join in the fun because EVERYONE wants a Target Gift Card right????  I was going to post a cute "card" for the holiday - but my printer/card reader hates me) Here's the first installment of Christmas Past...

So, to set the scene for you - think back just a few years to when some of the coolest gifts for young boys were the books Pirateology, Wizardology, Egyptology... you know those?  Okay, so maybe they weren't "COOL" in the PSP and GameBoy sense of the word - but my boys really thought they were something else and they WANTED them!

Luckily, they have a kind and generous Aunt who saw their desire and supplied exactly what was wanted.  They arrived a few weeks before Christmas and were wrapped and put under the tree.  My boys know that if I catch them peeking I will go Postal on their little sweet souls and trust me... I was a really accomplished peeker so I know all the tricks.  Or, I thought I knew all the tricks!

My kids have invented new tricks!  I came out to the living room one quiet evening to read a book and find them coloring.  Coloring?  Umm, guys, did you forget you normally don't "color" - so my radar goes off and I check out one of the papers they were "coloring"... yep - Crayon Rubbings - which have shown the book titles clear as day for the kids to read - Christmas Surprises out the window and I just about want to tear them limb from limb...

Well, sorta - first I had to get over that intense motherly pride that my kids were so dang clever... and then I had to hide my jealousy over the fact that I hadn't thought of doing the same thing 30 years earlier... and THEN I could beat their little bums.

(Note:  no children, animals, or even adults were harmed in the actual version of this story)

Oh - and thanks aunt Z - the kids loved the books... maybe your thank you card got lost in the mail?

and lest you believe that two can't play at this game - I wrapped up a few more gifts soon after... but first I took the puffy paint and wrote nasty little notes to my children regarding their wicked and ingenious behavior - and wrapped it up with the gifts...  they got the point :)  We have had to be VERY good about gift wrapping ever since!

any "tricks of the trade" to share?  
(and for those of you blippin' through the SITSmas craziness... Lynn is next)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful is as Thankful Does...

I decided that I was up for this challenge!  I could do it... I can share my thankful list... but then I got started and I realized that sharing the list would break all my rules because #1 it would be so long nobody would want to go all the way from Avocados to Zippers and #2 it would be full of names that I've sworn to protect... So I pared it down a "titch" - I happily present to you - the ABC's of gratitude:

A and her Mom - for entertaining M

B family - every last one... for keeping me grounded and for answering all my dumb computer questions

C family - for demonstrating every day the kind of life that I want to live

Dusting cloths...  they almost make me thankful for my plantation shutters (but I have an even better “P”)

Everything... listen, don’t go off about specificity now - I limited myself to 26 items and that’s frankly just not NEARLY enough!  

Facebook Friends - all those long lost people that add a little spice to life :)  and all those not so long lost people that now I get to smack with virtual pillows!

Green.  I love it, it’s a beautiful color in all of its hues - the grass, the leaves, the many different shades of olive green which I've painted around my house, the pants I'm wearing, the teensy green specks that come through in those hazel eyes, the plastic spider ring that is sitting on the desk in front of me... okay, well THAT one can go... neon isn't my Fave...

H - my sweet daughter who reminds me daily to be more mellow and who gives great hugs and writes the BEST love notes in town!

Irony.  What can I say, I love a good ironic twist in the books I read - and wouldn’t my 10th grade English Teacher be THRILLED to know that I still remember the 2 WEEKS we spent discussing Irony in his class? 

Jokes - a good way to break the ice.  Besides - who doesn’t love it when a 4 year old asks why the chicken crossed the road?  (To go to the movies of course!  Hey, that made a LOT more sense than the Knock-Knock jokes!)

Kitchens.  Aside from the fact that mine tends to be dirty most days - I love to make a good healthy meal in my own home.  I’d love it even more if the kids appreciated the good healthy meal... but that’s another story altogether!

Love.  It’s huge people - get some today!

M - the youngest of my sweet kids, who wants to buy me a “Mom Barbie that doesn’t pee” to go along with her “Potty Training Kelly” so that we can play together :)

Nails.  They hold the house together, they hang the family pictures on the walls.  Mine help me type...  what’s not to appreciate?

Others - all those people whose names should be in here but aren’t (sorry “Bloggy Buddies” just couldn’t supplant my own fam...  I DO still appreciate you!)

P - that third son of mine, who is teaching me patience (more of it?) and who loves to play card games with me even if I do beat the pants off of him!

Q - the hubby of the year award just isn’t enough - a man who supports my efforts, encourages my improvement, and gives me a hug at the end of the day whether I blew it or not.

Restaurants - there are just days when these save my sanity... 

Speaking of Sanity...  really, gotta be super grateful for this one - as tenuous as it seems to be sometimes!!!

T - my eldest, who gave me my first grey hairs and who still allows me to drive him to school without stopping a block away... even when I haven’t taken a shower yet!

Umbrellas - we used to live in Seattle and trust me... a really good umbrella is hard to find!

Violins - I played one... my two oldest boys have learned to play it...  Q’s family has a couple good players, mine does too.  I love the tones of a well played violin!

W - my second son - whose patience and forbearance should be a lesson to us all.  He shares unfailingly and forgives immediately - what would I do without him?

Xanadu - and all those other old black and white movies :)

Yummy - I am especially grateful when I hear that word out of my children’s mouths!

Zippers - they’re a good thing - as cute as those old fashioned button up boots are, I can’t imagine taking that much time to slip on my shoes to run out the door - and don’t get me started on button fly jeans!

Just 26... and so many more to go - slip your name in there wherever it fits :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Separated at Birth?

So we sit down for family night to watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and before we're 5 minutes in my mind is boggled...  is it possible - am I seeing things?  How could these two obviously related people have not been outed previously!

I mean c'mon...  their penchant for the color orange aside, the lifeless hair, the incredibly ridiculously bad eyesight, the kneehigh socks (well, your guess is as good as mine as to where Marci's knees actually are)...

Add to that the fact that they are both the smartest kids around (although Linus is pretty good with the Scriptural and Historical references)... really, this has been hushed up long enough - but no longer...  I am blowing the lid right off this story and insisting that the truth be told...  err... well, whatever - I really just need to fill another day here on the old blog :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

and here I thought I was so Unique...
LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

what's with that? 40 other people with the SAME name... I mean, yeah - so I'm closely related to one whose name is spelled differently (she's not part of the 40) and yeah, I used to work with one of the others (she got my paycheck once by mistake... THAT was a fiasco)... but really - maybe my Mom and Dad should have named me Natalie after all (can you imagine that?)
Update: ugh - still 39 Natalie ______s... not much better, I'll stick with T__!

Friday, November 21, 2008

But Tag week was sooooo long ago...

Okay - Mariann tagged me TWICE in two days - a 5 things tag, and a crazy 8's tag...  so I'm throwing all the answers in here in one big jumble... it won't get a cute name because I can't come up with one... and worry not - I won't tag you because well, I'm running out of friends that way, so just sit back and enjoy... as I once again blog by the seat of my pants and hope that there is some humor in there somewhere :)

8 shows I love to watch:  CSI, ER, LOST, Law and Order SVU, Chuck, Monk, Psych, and Heroes...  
8 places I love to eat:  My dining room, My mother in law's house, My grandmother's house, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Applebee's, Really Good Chinese, Anyplace with great seafood, and on a picnic blanket.  (can you tell I don't get out much?)
8 things that happened yesterday:  Laundry, Dishes, Blogging, Played Scrabble on Facebook with my sister, lots of trips to the schools, Did some Christmas shopping finally, Haircut (needed a trim already!), and finished reading a book that I still need to write a review for.
8 things I look forward to:  a day when my house stays clean, visiting family for the holidays, taking down the Christmas tree, Sunday Dinners, Summer Days with the kids, Time to read more, going on vacation, time alone with the hubby
8 things I love about fall:  Red, Orange, Yellow, Brown, Brisk Air, Hot Apple Cider, Family Time, cuddling in my "cozy" (what, everyone doesn't name their favorite blanket?)
8 things on my wish list:  basement remodel, world peace, my Cricut to work again the right way, an end to global hunger, a new pair of brown dress shoes, a cure for cancer and arthritis and all of those other nasty diseases, a cute new pair of glasses, and a solution for the education crisis in our country!  (I'm nothing if not well-rounded)
8 things I was doing 10 years ago:  taking care of a toddler W, working at KinderCare, moving from Wichita to Utah, picking 4-leaf clovers in our back-yard (while still in Wichita), Being VERY sick (long story... maybe some other time), Being very grateful for the hospitality of Q's family (in Utah), Dealing with little T's asthma... not dealing very well might I add), and Being annoyed at my boss (in Utah).
8 things on today's "to-do" list:  Laundry, Dishes, Figuring out where we are at with Christmas Shopping, Children's Museum Meeting, Pick up Kids at School, Buy a new Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax, Make the kids clean their rooms, Update Blog (almost done!)
8 snacks I enjoy:  pretzels, Reese's Pieces, Almonds, Candy Cane Kisses (Hershey's only makes them around Christmas... yummy!), String Cheese, All Bran Crackers, Mango Tango Smoothies, any fruit.
8 places I've lived:  all over the place as a baby Navy Brat (CA), Thornton (CO), Canyon Lake (CA), Provo (UT), Loveland (CO), Wichita (KS), Arlington (WA),  and then here.
8 things I'd do if I were a b'zillionaire:  get out of debt, get my family out of debt, travel all over the place, drive a more eco-friendly car, put a bathroom in my basement, buy a new house anyway, build the children's museum, hire private tutors for my children.  (okay, to be honest Mariann's tag said "millionaire", but I quickly ran out of money... had to dream bigger!)
8 jobs I've had:  preschool teacher, Usher, Nanny, Dental Assistant, Football Stadium Ticket Taker (they let me do field security ONCE...), After School Program Teacher/Curriculum Developer, Kindergarten Teacher.  (and MOM... it may be 9th, but who's counting right?)

Oh look at that, just when I was tired of typing and you were tired of hearing so much about ME... it's over.  Now I REALLY think I've done every tag out there and I'm positive that my readers know more about me than they ever wanted to...  maybe someday I'll tell you about the 5 years I spent on crutches...  or not. 

are YOU a twi-hard?

... Now I'm officially and forever stating for the fact that although I enjoyed the Twilight books as much as the next person - I am not, have never been, and never will be a "Twi-Hard"... 

So, how many of YOU stayed up all night to see the movie?  I don't even have my tickets yet - I prefer to wait and see it when the theatre is NOT full of teens that are screaming at the glittery hotness of Edward!  Besides - hubby said he'd go with me (he even read the book so he wouldn't be lost) and I'm certainly not going to subject him to the first weekend when it's 90% women!  Besides, I didn't buy a "Bite Me" shirt - so I don't dare show my face :) (shoot, couldn't find a little smiley that looked like vampire teeth - THAT would have been much cooler)

I'm pretty sure that there's no "spoilers" in the movie if I've already read the book, but just in case - let's not fill my comment section with "I can't believe you missed out on (insert awesome scene of your choice here)" because who knows, there might be SOME people out there who have yet to read the books!  And if you are close enough to me to ask (physically or emotionally), yes - you can borrow them!

Okay - that's all - just making sure that although I AM the one that read the first 3 books in 3 days (it would have been 2, but I had to wait for the book to be released the next morning) - I am NOT the one missing out on sleep in order to see the movie first!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Devastating News... ???

So yesterday I'm at the intermediate school - helping with vision screenings... which basically means that I stood for a few hours pointing at letters on a chart while nurses listened to the kids and determined whether or not they should be referred to a doctor.  All sweetness and light right?  Yeah, you would think so... I  had a few flashback moments as I'm standing there - I was this age when I got dragged to the eye doctor and given a monstrous pair of hideous glasses that I was embarrassed to wear at school!  I also remember though that the first time I wore them outside what a relief it was to have depth perception... to realize that I might be able to JUDGE how high the curb was and how far to lift my foot instead of guessing.  Whoa - just realized I've ALWAYS been a clutz, Hubby thought it was a recent development :)

Anyway - back to the present!  You have to know first off that these nurses were both heavier women in their 50s or 60s... and you only have to know that because of the way the 12 year old kids are viewing them...  older ladies, both wearing glasses.  
So this one sweet girl comes to the front of the line - and proceeds to prove that she cannot see.  The nurse asks her if she has glasses that she's left at home or in her locker and she replies "I don't wear glasses" and the nurse retorts quickly "You're going to be wearing glasses now" - and the girl walks off - quickly - with tears in her eyes.  I wanted to chase her down and give her a pep talk, or a hug, or SOMETHING...  of course, I'm probably just another old lady with glasses (oops, I was wearing my contacts) in her mind so I let her go and get some teeny bopper consolation.  Apparently the nurse was un-phased - or just didn't notice because we went right on to the next kid (who had great vision).

My question here is - for those of you who have vision issues... was it Devastating for you?  Did it seem like a death sentence?  Did you believe the old saying of "Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses"?  Did you leave them in your locker and only pull them out for the bi-annual vision screening?  

I certainly only wore mine during math class!

--P.S. by the end of standing there pointing for a few hours my back HURT...  good thing they were also doing scoliosis checks!--

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme... (a.k.a. our new Santa Letter tradition)

Sometimes the Holiday season drives me crazy...  something about the crowded stores and the increase in TV commercials for dumb toys... the tripling in phone calls to my house asking for me to donate to another good cause also drives me crazy - but that's another post!  Today I'll just focus on commercialism... because frankly  -  I love Christmas, it's a great holiday...  a great time to reflect on our lives, our spirituality, our commitment to our family - everything about it is wonderful (Mmmm... pumpkin pie...), everything... except that Gimme attitude!

In an effort to combat this attitude we have simplified our Christmas letters to "Santa" - each child now sends a form letter to Santa (We hope the fat man won't hold this against our children) and has only a few places to put requests...

Dear Santa,

I have been very Good / Bad this year.  The thing I want most for Christmas is _______.  When I go outside to play it would be nice to have a ___________ also.  The best movie to bring me this year would be ___________ and when I sit down to read I would like to have ___________.  A ___________ would help me a lot with learning about new stuff.  And since I keep growing it’s probably about time I had some new ___________ to wear!  Just for fun it would be nice to have a game like ___________ or a toy I saw called ___________.  Thanks so much for everything!

Love, ___________  

P.S.  My favorite Candy is ___________ 

Now, to be honest - there is no WAY the kids are getting everything off these lists anyway - but it does prevent them from filling a page with every new Wii game, and it reminds them gently that there are simpler wants in the world...  like Kit-Kat Bars and a bookmark (two of this years' requests)

Problem Solved?  Yeah right... not there yet, but this is just our second year with this system, and it has already saved money, stress, and whining...  anything that cuts back on Whining is a winner in my book!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder...

So...  T (my oldest son... and no, he's NOT named after me) really wanted some great shoes for his birthday last year... he wanted lime green converse high tops...  Do you KNOW how hard those are to find?  Do you KNOW how much those puppies cost?  Do you KNOW that my mother is a bit of a pushover when some eldest grandchild asks in that sweet voice of his?

Anyway - the real story here is that those shoes - size 7 - lasted about 3 months... actually, the shoes themselves look great still - the boy lasted about that long IN the shoes before he hit a growth spurt!  So, being the male version of a fashionista (is there a word for that?) he went and bought himself a few pair of Vans (knockoffs actually) for the new school year... cool designs - whatever, he liked them, and it all worked out...  Just in case the designs were too much I purchased one pair of plain white shoes from a discount store which needs no further free advertising on my blog.  I (having unbelievable foresight) purchased them a half size larger than the other shoes... just in case...  

Then... another growth spurt and the boring white pair was the only thing that fit!  T was okay with this until the first day he wore them and came home with them a little smudgy from the fact that we don't live in a sterile environment.  Can anyone say OCD?  T was a picky kid who wouldn't touch weird textures but we were hoping we'd gotten over it!

Did you know that White Shoes don't stay white very well?  Even with bleach and washing... should I have tried Tang?  (if you didn't laugh at that you either don't read my blog often enough - see prior post - or you need a new sense of humor... work on that!)

Our solution...  add color!
Lots and Lots of color...
I'd be embarrassed about the filthy state of the shoes (inside) except that their HIS nasty shoes, not mine and hey... at least it's not smell-o-vision right?

He took some Sharpies to school with him a few days in a row and had friends add their art - A lot of them would ask "are you sure your mom won't mind?" - to which he answered... My Mom drew the alien... and the cookie monster... she doesn't mind!  A few kids even asked him where he got the cool designer shoes... 

The process took more time than we'd hoped, about 3 weeks total because he just wanted a few more people to get a chance at the shoes... before we finished them off at home... and then, how did we celebrate?

We went out and bought him a nice new pair of tennis shoes!  These works of art are now ALSO too small for his gargantuan growing teenage feet!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crawling out from under a pile... and the Maytag Repairman in a can of Tang.

...a pile of books!  The book-fair is officially DONE, I was so eager to be done that I closed a 1/2 hour early and if somebody tried to come and spend a few hundred dollars there at the end - well, I'm really sorry, but hey, we'll be back in the Spring.

Really - hardly anyone local reads my blog anyway so I don't think the apology will go far!

So what did this week entail?  Aside from re-shelving books for about 8 hours, handling lots of little pennies and nickels for kids buying erasers and bookmarks, and counting 638 animal crackers into a jar... not much...

I did manage to slip and fall early in the week - felt like a moron, extremely embarrassing moment and all that... shouldn't admit to it even hush hush but hey - somehow blogging about it is "private" right?  Yeah, let's just say that the bruised ribs will heal and that I should really get a larger shower mat...

Also - The book fair saved me a lot of money - I was this close (my fingers are being held up 1/2 an inch apart) to buying a new dishwasher this week...  tired of the dishes coming out dirtier than they went in...  but as I'm running the fair I aimlessly pick up a book titled Fix It or something like that and the cover says "fix a broken dishwasher with Tang"... yeah right says I and I open up the book where it tells me to put Tang in the soap compartments and run an empty load...  something about citric acid and clogged pipes and holes...  well, what the heck right - I go home, happen to have Tang (and not just the food storage equivalent) so I give it a go... and believe it or not my dishwasher is working again... I still want a new one, but this will get us by for another 6 months even with broken prongs right?   Who Knew?

Okay - nothing really witty, just wanted to announce that I have renounced the title of CBFL forever!!!  (errr... well, almost forever - there's still BOGO in the spring!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

That Crazy Book-fair Lady!

Okay, I know I said I was too busy to post... but when you have to vent you have to vent right?  I was getting my kids ready for school this morning calm as can be when there's a call from the school - so I run over to deal with a minor problem...

You see, Some crazy book-fair lady (CBFL?) has done up about 500 flyers to send home with the kids... only in her haste and inattention, she has printed the wrong date on all of the flyers and then distributed them to the teachers.  Then, in trying to fix her little problem she manages to pull the librarian away from her real job and is literally running up and down the halls (trading bad flyers for good) dragging her poor little child from classroom to classroom.  I was a little worried for that poor tot who had to run to keep up!!!

THEN the CBFL doesn't just go home - no, she feels it necessary to stay at the school for the next 5 or 6 hours taking care of all the nit-picky details just so those teachers can see the finished product before days' end.  Okay lady - go to the store already, don't you still need to get the rest of the book-fair stuff... wasn't there some work you needed to take care of at home... isn't there laundry to be done and dishes piling up at YOUR house?

Okay - I'm done venting... now I need to take my poor tot to the store with me, where she more than earned a treat just for not having a complete melt down while waiting for her mom/CBFL to finish fixing all the problems she caused :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Sweetness and Light and all that Jazz...

Really - I had these WONDERFUL intentions of posting one of those make you want to just smile posts, the kind you e-mail to all your old high school friends and close relatives because well, darn-it, it just touched you right there...   Of course then I remembered that while I possess a pretty good funny bone (which produces posts you can e-mail to the weird neighbor) and a really good ranting gene (which produces posts that you can e-mail to co-workers) I'm not really sure I have whatever it takes to do "touching".

So instead I will use the excuse of being REALLY busy for the next little while and beg your forgiveness while I drop off the face of the earth... wait, no, just off the face of the blogosphere - you see - it is that wonderful time of year again when we hold our school book-fair... which means basically that twice a year I put everything on hold to sit and smile behind a table trying to raise a few bucks so that the PTA can turn around and buy MORE books for the teachers.  
Being an admitted book junkie you would think this would SO be my bag... and it probably is - I'm also addicted to throwing a really good party so for me this is great, I go all out with the book-fair theme and I even dress up (anyone got a pith helmet?) to pitch a few books.  The problem?  Well, it's that whole "family" thing - they begin to feel neglected when I spend one week setting the whole thing up, another week running the thing, and the third week reconciling the financials and trying to catch up on all the things left undone at home during weeks one and two.  I'm giving it up next year - for my mental health and because the kids can't eat THAT many budget frozen entrees!

No really - I grabbed a few handfuls of each flavor last week because dinner is too much to think about when I'm in the book-fair "zone"... I guess my diet is safe for at least one more week!

Anyway - I'm sure I'll pop in at least occasionally because... well, because that's just how I am - but my guess is that until the dust settles I will have my brain full of financial mumbo jumbo and ordering hoopla...  so, "discuss amongst yourselves" and I'll be right back
(yeah, that's not quite right without the Church Lady voice)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's all over but the shouting...

okay - two posts too close together, but I just HAD to vent a teensy little bit.  Yesterday's election...  I SWORE I wasn't going to go political on you (and I'm not)... yeah, some people I voted for won, some lost - that's the way it works and I'll be a supportive member of my country no matter what.  (but I just noticed that Alec Baldwin, Sharon Stone and all those complainers of 8 years past never did move renounce their citizenship)

Anyway - I'm just going to tell you a little story about my voting experience...  which was FINE, no line... easy breezy beautiful...  I check all the little boxes next to the people I want, I abstain here and there on some things I wasn't responsible enough to research, and TaDahh... I'm done.  Because I'd walked to the polling place with a friend I am killing a little time when in walks this lady... whose name I don't know but we'll just call her Ms. Law Abiding Citizen or LAC for short.  Now I'm sure that LAC is a nice soul and I'm also sure that she had the law on her side but she was also just a tad... LOUD... for a polling place!  She was upset that the volunteers had (following instructions from someone else) posted signs stating that a Photo ID was required to vote.  Apparently this is breaking a law of some kind, I don't know... I don't really care.  I personally think asking for some proof of ID to cast a ballot in any election is a great idea because otherwise I could go in claiming to be anyone in the precinct - whatever...

My real point is that regardless of LAC's intentions she came across as being nasty (and again, I'm sure she's not) - she marched in, right up to the first volunteer (who was giving up her time to help out) and informed her (and the entire room) that she had called the County Commissioner's Office (or some other official place?) and that they were on the way over to remove those signs and they were MAD...  The sweet volunteer refrained from telling the lady to chill out and stop harassing the voters - she just smiled and said thank you for the information, told her they'd followed instructions and left it at that.  That didn't satisfy LAC, she apparently came to pick a fight and she wasn't getting one... so she approached another volunteer - this one who was in the middle of the polling place so now EVERYONE is being subjected to her angry cries and unable to concentrate on their actual VOTING...  She is also very nice, and luckily the representative from the important office came in to remedy the situation...  funny, she didn't look mad...  and she took care of it.  I had to leave the room during the tirade because I was having a hard time keeping my own anger in check - but the signs were down when I left to walk home...  Guess I'm going to have to go do some research on THAT law now...

Funny thing?  Q voted about an hour after me, and while he doesn't remember signs, he was asked for his ID...  were his constitutional rights violated?