Sunday, December 23, 2012

I am

This week's topic is to complete the following:  I am...

I am many things, I am a mother of three.  Having three kids is probably the biggest challenge and blessing of my life.  I know that I don't want any more kids, because the three that I have are trying to kill me... no seriously, I probably would have more, but I started too late in life.  I am too tired at this point to manage more!  That said, there are days when I wonder the wisdom of having even one, I think they are all trying to kill me slowly.

I am a knitter.  I knit almost every single day.  This past year I made over 15 pairs of socks, many scarves, toys and dish rags.  I keep emergency knitting in my car.  I always have something with me where ever I am, you never know when you might have to wait!  Knitting keeps me sane and has introduced me to some of the coolest people.  I love my knitting group.

I am a runner.  I know that this is true when I see people out on a really nice day and I am jealous.  When I walk out the door and it is rainy, but not too cold and I decide, what the heck and do my run anyway.  Running is a nice release for me, though I'm not sure I like it yet.  But there is more to me than just running, so perhaps I am an athlete is a better thing to say.

I am strong.  Not only am I physically strong, but I am emotionally strong.  I am strong in my convictions and I stand behind what I believe.  This is great when we are on the same side, not so great when we oppose.

I am many more things that can not be summed up in a sentence.  I appreciate you taking time to read about me, if you have a minute, answer the question I am in the comments!

Let's see what the other ladies are, check them out at:    Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tramp Stamp?

This week's topic is:  For next week, I'm going off another idea I got from "How I Met Your Mother." There was an episode where they were talking about being a "stamp tramp." This meant putting a seal of approval on anything and everything, even if it wasn't good.

What person (not a close friend or family member), place AND thing would you put your stamp of approval on and stand behind that stamp 100% of the way?


I want to say Mark Harmon, just so I can put a gratuitous picture of Mark up here.  But that isn't really the spirit of the question.  The one person I give my stamp to is Warren Matson.  He has supported our family in ways no one else could.  I will be forever grateful to him.  I'm sure he will help us more as we go along.


Hawaii!  It is the most awesome accessible place on earth.  The weather is amazing.  The water and the scenery is out of this world.  If you have a chance to go, do.  Hawaii is paradise.


Yoga.  I have recently discovered yoga.  I love it.  I love how peaceful I feel after.  I love how my body feels renewed.  Yoga is really the highlight of my week.  I need to figure out how to work more classes into my schedule.  Give it a try!  No matter where you are with your fitness, yoga is about meeting yourself where you are, not trying to change. 

Check out the other stamps... Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Are the Kids?

This week's topic is to talk about a book or movie ( if you have more than one, that's OK too) which you feel has changed your life, either for the better (or for the worse).
I will be honest, this week is late, not because my life overwhelmed me, but because I seriously could not figure out what to say.  I have been killing myself trying to think about it.  Sure there are books, movies and music that I like, that were important to me a various points in my life.  But I really could not think of any book that has changed my life.
Books have always been important to me.  They have always been the source of information.  If you wanted to know how to do something you could find the answer in a book and teach yourself how to do it.  Or at least learn enough to ask intelligent questions.  But, there isn't or at least I couldn't think of one particular book that was influential.  The mass of books as a group, sure they have been influential.  I learned to knit from a book, I learned to fix electrical sockets from a book, I know how to cook because of books, etc.  I think I am a researcher by nature.  This is only exacerbated by the internet.  Now all the answers may or may not be at my finger tips!
Then, this morning as I was about to sit down at my desk and type up my post with a bunch of "hey folks, I got nothin'," it hit me, like a ton of books.

If I am Jewish and You're Christian, What Are the Kids?, by Andrea King is about making a decision about what faith to raise your children in.  While Andrea does not say which religion you have to choose, she says that by not choosing you are essentially creating a life of non-religion for your children.  She offers a great example: 
Despite their parents' adamant claims to the contrary, children raised with both religions are often confused. They absorb very little about religion, tradition, heritage or theology from the four-holiday calendar. One child, Jamie, age six, explained his interfaith family's celebrations this way: "Hanukkah is the Jewish Christmas, Easter is the Easter Bunny's birthday and Passover, I don't know what that is." -- Andrea King
I wanted to raise my kids as both.  But the paragraph above summarizes nicely why I eventually decided that this was not a good idea.  There was time spent with the Rabbi, talks with my husband and other sources consulted, but this book in particular hit a chord with me.  It helped me see that I would not loose myself in making the choice to raise the kids as Jews.  That I would not be left out.

While many people played a role in helping me make this decision, this book, which I do not even own a copy of, is what eventually tipped the scales in favor of me being able commit my life, my heart and my children to this project.  I have not converted, nor will I.  That is a topic for another day.

If you are curious and want to read more about this topic, check out Andrea King's article on  What should the kids be?  But, before you do that, look at what the other ladies have to say on the topic:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winners and Loosers

This week is free choice, we get to talk about anything we want!  Great idea, wish I thought of it... anyway, I don't have a lot of words, I am going to let these pictures speak for themselves.

Taken about a year ago... at my first race.
Before our "Race to Kite"

This year after our Thanksgiving 4 miler. 
Lost 40 pounds, gained one amazing running partner.
Want to see the other ladies are talking about? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday? Not so much

This week's topic is about Black Friday...

I will start out by saying I find Black Friday repulsive.  It makes me sick to read about people being trampled all in the name of getting some television or computer at some low price.  There aren't enough items at that price and to see people literally kill each other to purchase some material item, disgusts me.  Life is more important than any electronic gadget that we don't really need.  But, I will step off my soap box for the rest of this post.

About, 5 years ago, I "did" the Black Friday thing.  I was big into couponing and the idea of getting a good deal on something was pretty near and dear to my heart.  My couponing buddies and got up early and hit the stores together.  After a great day of shopping and deal getting, we had breakfast.  It was fun and we had a great time.

I believed that morning that I had gotten some really great deals.  But as the holiday season progressed, I saw the same deals on the same things.  What I discovered is that in very few instances is it worth getting up at the crack of dawn to battle the crowds for some "deal."  The deals will be there after Black Friday is over.

The following year and in the years since, I have not participated in the Black Friday.  I have participated in Cyber-Monday and other internet deals.  I don't have to deal with the crowds and I can shop on my time and be warm and cozy in my jammies. 

This year, I don't really need anything.  The only Black Friday purchase I made this year was the Toys-R-Us groupon.  I might make a yarn purchase on Cyber-Monday (40% off is pretty enticing), but I may not... I really don't need yarn.

At the end of the day, I don't think the deals on Black Friday are either plentiful or good enough for me to give up sleep and venture out to deal with crowds.  I don't like to be in a crowd, nor do I like being cold.  So, I think it likely that next year, I will probably go to the gym on Friday and avoid the retail establishments.

Want to see the other ladies purchasing habits? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shop till you drop

The topic for this week is to talk about your favorite and least favorite place to shop. 

My least favorite place to shop is WalMart.  I hate their stores, they are messy and dirty.  The service is horrible.  It takes f o r e v e r to check out at WalMart.  Those clerks take their own sweet time checking folks out.  Their prices are on average the same as Target, and I see no reason to shop at WalMart.  The only reason we ever go there is because people give my kids gift cards to WalMart and I am forced into going.  I try and use the cards when we are in Ohio, because that particular store is actually pretty nice. 

I also do not like the way WalMart has fundamentally changed the way products are made.  When I worked in manufacturing I watched manufacturing get shifted to China because WalMart wants things cheaper and cheaper every year.  The issue with China is that the price that they give you for a specific product is not really what they are quoting.  The way manufacturing works in this country is that you design the product so that every product made meets the minimum acceptable quality.  That way you do not have to test every product.  Unfortunately, once the part passes the quality tests, the manufacturing system often changes when the product is made in China.  So the raw material sources might change, or the paint used might change, and the US manufacturer is none the wiser.  Can we say lead in the paint on toys?  But it isn't just toys that have these types of quality issues, it is many products made in China.  Because of this, I refuse to shop in this store.  I realize that it is probably not making a change, but it makes me feel better.

I hate to admit my current favorite store.  There is a certain stigma associated with my favorite store.  People tend to look at folks who shop here with a certain, disdain, I guess.  But, my favorite store is not only super, super, super affordable, it is good for the environment.  Even WalMart can't touch the prices at this store.

My favorite store is not only easy on my wallet, it is easy on the earth too.  See, my favorite store is Goodwill.  Purchasing used clothing is very gentle on the environment, because I am reusing something that has already been made.  I am not demanding new goods, and putting old goods in the landfill.

Initially, I started shopping at Goodwill because I needed clothes that fit.  I have lost a considerable amount of weight, but I'm not done yet.  So, I need cheap clothes to cover me until I'm done.  But, what I found is that I can find amazing things at Goodwill.  I recently got a Lands End cardigan for $2.99.  This sweater retails for $35.  I also have found Ann Taylor, Talbots, J Jill, and other brand names at bargain prices.  I saw a Talbots cashmere sweater for $3.99.  This coupled with my discount card and coupons I get, allows me to restock my wardrobe at rock bottom prices.  It is always different, and I enjoy the  hunt.

Want to see the other ladies retail desires?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Five

This week's topic is about the list.  The list of 5 people that, as it was put in the "official" question you can smooch without consequences. 
Ok, folks, if you have been reading this for awhile, you know my 5.  My 5 is really just a 1.  I leave you with the 5, or the 1.  Yes, all 5 are Mark Harmon.  I love Mark Harmon.  Yes, NCIS is porn, your point?  Yes, my husband knows about this.  Yes, he is cool with it...  enjoy (there are more words in a minute.) 
Yum.  Ok, now that you have met the 5, below find the alternates.  The folks that I consider giving perhaps the #5 spot.  You know,  four times Mark, one time the other guy.   So far none of them have cracked the list, but the guys in consideration.  In no particular order, Chris O'Donnell and Daniel Craig.
Some cheesecake from the other ladies?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fashion Trends?

This week's topic is what fashion trends do you wish would come back in style?

There are some I definitely don't want to see make a return.

Where to start with this...

The pants are so bad.  They pioneered the adjustable waist before adjustable waists were cool.  The pants Velcro closed at the front, allowing you to loosen at tighten as needed.

The shoes, oh, how I begged for those Nike shoes... but still, tennis shoes, socks and ankle pants?  Umm, no.

The massive stripe across the front of the over sized jacket?   So, bad.

When I hear people talk about revisiting the style of the 80's, I get scared.  Let's not ok?

There were the over sized blazers of the 90's and stirrup pants.

I actually think that picture might be of me.  I think I had that outfit.  I fought the demise of stirrup pants for a long time.  I stocked up and wore them long after you could not buy they anywhere.  It was when someone finally said to me, umm, you know there is a reason you can't buy those anymore that I got the message.

So, here is the conundrum I have with this topic.  I look back at my "fashion" from the past and think, you know, it is best that those looks stay in the past.  For now, I will embrace my post workout look and jeans.  I have my own thing going on, and it probably isn't stylish, but it is comfortable and it works for me.

Want to see how awesome the other ladies look?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Now for a word from our sponsor

This week's topic is to share commercials that we like.

Commercials are amazing little mini movies, the amount of effort that goes into making a good commercial is sort of mind boggling.  A few that I like that you remember the brand:

But sometimes the commercial is funny, buy you can't remember who the sponsor is... that is a problem.  Isn't the purpose of the commercial to sell stuff?
Anyway, enjoy!  Want to see the other ladies favorites?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Save Big Bird

This week's topic is to share your favorite memories of "Sesame Street" or talk about the role it has played in your life. 

We have been doing this blog project for some time, and ironically this is the first topic that has made me feel all my years older than the other ladies.  I am, on average, 10 years older than the rest of the group.  See, I didn't watch Sesame Street as a young child like they did.  Sesame Street first aired in November of 1969, on select stations.  I didn't live in an area where it aired.  It didn't come to my area until the early 1970's. 

There was a lot of talk about how Sesame Street combined the addictive qualities of television with the curriculum of pre-school.  The idea was to provide some sort of pre-school experience for children who didn't have the money to attend an actual pre-school.  I remember my parents talking about it, with horrified tones, that if you were so poor you couldn't afford pre-school how in the world did you afford a television?  The argument continued that if you were going to get PBS, you needed cable.  If you could afford cable and a television you could afford pre-school.

At this point, I was "to old" for Sesame Street  (well, in the target audience sense, but really who is to old for Sesame Street.)  I lived in a household that sent me to pre-school but could not afford a television.  I was in mid-elementary school when we got a television.  Yes, I'm surprised, as well, that the exact day isn't burned into my memory and celebrated annually.  We got our first television from a dead client of my father's.  The estate paid him for some of his work with the tv.  I recall him lugging this enormous box into our house.  It took him and a neighbor to settle it into our family room.  It was black and white heaven.

When I was home sick in jr high and high school, I would watch Sesame Street.  By then we had a color set.  I loved Cookie Monster and Big Bird and Snuffleupagus.  I have watched it with my kids.  But, unlike the other ladies, I didn't watch it as a kid.

On a political note, cutting the budget on PBS is not really going to fix the deficit problem.  We need to look at the big ticket items like Presidential and Congressional pensions.  How about salaries for elected officials or their health benfits.  Let's give everyone in American the same coverage our elected officials get and then we can have a talk about health care and the budget.  Stepping off soap box.

Want to see how their view habits played out?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Stripping for fun

This weeks topic is about your stripper name.  It is the name of your first pet and the first street you lived on.

Since my first pet was Scamp and we lived on Stow Canyon, and I don't think Scamp Stow Canyon is a great stripper name... I am going with my first married pet and our first married street.  Beside a married stripper is better right? Ok, maybe not... 

My stripper name is:

Morocco Edgerton
That is right, it is exotic and yet, staid at the same time.  You have that hint of the far east and the tightly wound Brit.  What better contrast for a stripper.  Come and see me strip, I am a proper lady.
Bob and I got him right after we moved into our apartment together.  Bob didn't really want a cat, but I did.  We had Morocco until we moved into our house in Connecticut.  When I was pregnant with Sam, Morocco was literally pissed about it.  He peed all over the kids toys and in their rooms.  I was 8 months pregnant and was cleaning up a pee mess in Mac's room when Morocco sauntered into the nursery and peed right in the middle of the crib.  That was it!  I called Bob and had him take Morocco to the pound, ASAP.  We never looked back.
Bob and I bought our first house in Cleveland.  We looked at probably 50 houses before we picked the one we ended up with.  Guess what, it was exactly the same floor plan as the house his parents lived in.  Ours was a bit smaller, but exactly the same.  I think that was why Bob loved it so much.  We sold that house, or rather the company I worked for bought it when we moved to Connecticut and built the house the kids were born in.
I have good memories of both the cat and the house.  Both are no longer with us.  Wiley on the other hand is.. if anyone wants a 16 year old dog, let me know!

Want to see what the other ladies are taking off? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The real story

This week's topic is to post about what US President you would like to meet.

Mac is super into Presidents.  Bob is super into American history.  I have listened to the two of them go on about presidents and history ad naseum.  At some point they start to sound like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon.  blah blah blah. 

I understand that those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it.  But, I am so anti-political and generally over history that it is hard for me to pick one.  Interestingly enough, I think I would like to meet Nixon.  I would like to know what he hell he was thinking about when he decided to cheat.  Is it that cheating is so generally rampant that not cheating is a strategic disadvantage?

I would like to talk to his wife and understand what was going through her mind and happening in her life when everything went down.  It is hard to stand by your man when they do something stupid and get caught.  Even harder to do it in the public eye.

I would like to Nancy Reagan and ask her about what it was like to watch her husband's Alzheimer's become debilitating while he was in office.  I realize that this is not the story that is told, but behind closed doors, she had to know there was an issue.  What part of the cover up did she cook up?  How much of a roll did she play in it?

I would like to meet George W. Bush and ask him about what really went down in Florida.  Isn't is convenient that the state that tipped the election to you and had ballot issues was the state where your brother was governor.  What is the real story there?

I would like to talk to Barack Obama and ask him how much has he cheated to end up in office.  What sort of favors did he have to trade to make things happen.  I generally think he is a pretty stand up guy, but face it folks, he probably has done something shady at some point.   He is from Illinois after all.

I guess, things aren't always what they seem.  I think there is a lot of corruption in our government.  So, I would like to hear these men, who have great power, tell it like it is.  Truth serum may or may not be involved.

Want to see what the other ladies have on tap? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Sunday, September 30, 2012


The topic for this week is to discuss your goals for this upcoming month:


 I have been doing great with the number of days I work out, but really need to run more.  I have definitely fallen off the running wagon in a big way.  I want to run a 5 miler this Thanksgiving, and defiantly could not do that right now.

As for my eating, carbs are sneaking their way back into my daily consumption.  I need to get a handle on this and put an end to it.  Battling this demon has been way harder than I would have ever expected.  I am defiantly addicted.


I have a bunch of holiday monsters to make, and I would like to finish at least one of them this month.  I also want to get started on a gift for someone who might read this, so I am going to keep that mum.

Adult Stuff

No not, sexy adult stuff... geez.  I need to figure out how to pay for the kids college tuition, and if I am going to get a job to do that I need to get cracking on that task.  I have some ideas about that, but am not ready to share them yet.  I would like to take the first step to exploring my idea this month.  This is probably the most important thing I plan to do this month.

That's about all... hopefully this month goes well.  Want to see what the other ladies have on tap? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cooking... my way

Cooking... that is the topic this week.

When I go to the grocery store I am always amazed at how much processed food people buy, frozen meals, convenience foods, etc.  But, that doesn't even tip the iceberg.  Hannah reported to me that our family is weird because we only eat out 1 or 2 times a month.  Most of the kids in her class eat out 1 or 2 times a week. 

Wow is all I have to say.   We never eat out because it is expensive and for the most part not that good for you.  We eat home cooked meals.  I will admit that since I have started cooking for kids, the complexity of our recipes has diminished significantly.  No more fancy foods, just a simple protein, veggie and salad.  I try and make enough for me to have some for lunch.  That is harder than you might think.  It is inexpensive, healthy and gets the job done.

When we moved here and I was showing the estimator from the moving company around our old house, he opened my pantry and said, "you cook don't you?"  I was curious how he could tell.  He said it was because I had ingredients in my pantry and not pre-made food.

I don't always like to cook dinner, but it is healthier, cheaper and tastier than the alternatives.  Looking for some quick recipes?

Better than your Momma's brisket

1 can cola (not the diet kind)
1 packet onion soup mix
2 packs of mushrooms (pre-sliced if you are pressed for time)
1 brisket

Put everything in the crock pot for the day and enjoy!  I like to serve with potatoes, either mashed or roasted.  Don't scoff at the odd ingredients... it is better than your Momma's!

Fish Tacos

6 4oz Talapia filets dipped in breading mixture (below) and cooked in oil in a frying pan.  Use enough oil to lightly coat the pan.  We aren't fryin' chickens here.
sweet peppers sliced thin
corn tortillas

layer all the of the above in the tortillas and enjoy!

breading mix:

2T flour
1T chili powder
1/2T onion powder
1/2T oregano
1/2T cumin
1/4T pepper
1/4T cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

My kids love this.  Talapia is very mild and not fishy.  This is a good starter fish for kids to try!

Just a few ideas.. if you have any questions about them, let me know. 

Want to see how the other ladies cook it up?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl


Friday, September 14, 2012

Great Spanking Debate

Topic for this week is spanking.  Based on this article.

What are your thoughts on this??? This certainly can apply to any of us, since our parents may have or might not have spanked us as kids.

Spank, don't spank.  Breast feed don't breast feed.  Drink 32 ounces of soda, don't drink 32 ounces of soda.  At the end of the day, it comes down to choice.  I choose to spank, breast feed and drink 32 ounces of soda.  You might not make those choices.

A bit more about my choice to spank.  When my kids were toddlers, I spanked them.  The eldest looked at me and said, at the tender age of 2 1/2, "That didn't hurt Mommy.  Is that all you got?"  After I scrapped myself off the ceiling, I realized that spanking this kid wasn't going to work.  Taking away television on the other hand worked like a champ.

My middle son, would look at me and through the biggest veil of tears you have ever seen, seriously Niagra Falls is mini in comparison, and say "I'm sorry Mommy, don't hit me."  I had to spank him once and just the suggestion that I might have to do it again caused him to change what he was doing.

My daughter, she needed a few spankings here and there and sometimes still does.  It will work better than anything else.  But, I can count on one hand the number of times I have spanked her in the last year.  Again, a trip to her room or taking her monkeys away is usually all that is needed.

Do I abuse my kids?  I don't think so.  DCFS will not take away your kids unless they feel that you are acting outside of what is reasonable.  They would constitute what I have done in the situations I have done it reasonable.

Now that they are older, I wouldn't dream of spanking the boys.  It is just inappropriate.  Besides, I have much better things I can do like take away the phone or video games.  Do my kids think that I abuse them?  Probably, they don't have any ice cream in the house right now and they need to clean their rooms this weekend.  For all their faults, my kids are fine.

What we need is for government to STOP telling us what to do.  Let's let adults make adult decisions.  We don't need government to regulate everything.

Want to hear what everyone else has to say?  Check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Saturday, September 8, 2012

History Lesson... again

This weeks topic is on pregnancy and education, specifically:
There is a charter school in Louisianan that requires students suspected of being pregnant to take a pregnancy test. If the student refuses, or test positive they have to be home schooled. Here is a link to one of many articles about this controversy.

You may be wondering if they can do that. In legal terms the answer is, NO. In fact this policy is in complete violation of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. According to Title IX and its regulations schools cannot exclude any student from an education program or activity, “including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom.”  The fact that not one of the families who send their girls to this school has uttered a peep about this is surprising to me.  But, it is a clear violation of the law.

If I understand what one of the Republican Politicians said,"women are pregnant before the conceive," all girls of childbearing age are pregnant.  As such, no girls can receive a public education in Delhi, LA.  Interesting way to control your education costs.

Ultimately, our country is at a crossroads.  We have a VERY conservative christian right that wants to impose their morality on everyone.  Situations like this are just examples of how that extremest group has started to infiltrate our culture.  I feel like this needs to stop.

Let me go back to the reason folks jumped on boats and cruised out of England, it was for religious persecution.  The dudes that founded the country wanted to be able to practice their religion anyway they wanted.  The constitution says there is no national religion.  This country supports the idea that your path to G-d is just that, your path.  So, why do these right wing Christian politicians want to change that?  You go be conservative on your own time, and I will be over here having abortions and a pregnant teen OK?

I need government to STOP telling me how to live my life.  Leave these kids alone.

Check them out at:Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

When I get older...

Today's topic is what scares you the most about getting older.

I have watched a lot of my mother's friends age.  For some of them it hasn't been pretty.  A close family friend smoked for probably 15 years before she quit.  Now, she has COPD.  It is going to shorten her life.  Even though she hasn't smoked in probably 50 years.

It is the choices that I made when I was younger that I worry about.  What did I do when I was fearless that will come back to bite me?  My choices about food have already done that.  If I want to walk when my kids graduate and get married, I need to change the way I eat.  That sounds dramatic.  Especially when you see me running down the road.  But, if I allow myself to continue to be obese and allow my weight to continue to creep up, I will most likely have a hard time moving around when my kids are starting their families.

My mother was older when she had me.  I believe that my younger brother and I kept her young.  I have always assumed that my kids would do the same for me.  But, if I want to be like my mom, taking off on trips to where ever into my 80's, then I need to make sure I make good choices about my body today.  When my kids have kids, I will likely be in my 60's and 70's.  I don't want to be so physically unable that I can not be a part of that.

If running, doing push-ups and keeping myself strong and healthy will allow me to see my grandkids, walk down the aisle with my daughter when she gets married and climb up to the top of the stadium when they graduate from college, then I guess that is what I am going to do.

Want to see what the other Ladies have to say about it? Check them out at:Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


The topic for Thursday was:
It's all about self-love...
Compliment yourself (as many or as few compliments as you want) OR tell us about something nice you'd like to do for yourself (if money and time were unlimited). You can even do both if you want, but not required.
I have struggled with this, because I am sort of frustrated with things right now.  My van died, well didn't die per say, but started to make an expensive noise.  When we got home from getting a new van the house was hot.  The A/C unit no longer works.  We also just got a quote to fix the damage from the storm a couple of months ago and some rotten wood.  Needless to say, we are going to be spending a whole heap of money. 

The kids started school and that means all the activities have fired up.  I feel like am running at full tilt without a warm-up.  We have had teacher luncheons, soccer tournaments, soccer practices, games, kids fighting and all other manner of craziness.

I am frustrated because the weight isn't coming off as fast as I would like.  No one seems to be noticing the "new and improved" me.  I am getting tired of trying.

With all of this going on, it is hard for me to find time to say something or even do something nice for myself.  Right at this very moment in my life it is all about getting it done and making it through.  I do recognize that I have very big first world problems.  We are not sick or unhealthy.  We have the resources to weather this storm.

So, in the spirit of completing the assignment, I am capable of getting it done.  I am resourceful and I will figure it out.  I also think I am loyal and honest.

I asked the kids to say something nice about me (I am a good delegator) and they said:
  • Mom is awesome
  • Mom is pretty
  • Mom is the best mom
  • You are a very supportive mother.

I asked my husband to say something nice about me:
  • Kind, looks out for everyone, she is very patient.

So there you have it... feel free to add to the list.

Just as I published this blog post, we got some not so good news about a close family member's health.  Really Universe, it is time for you to go and dance the Salsa on someone else's spleen.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Topic for this week:  Olympics wrap up...

I feel like it could be summed up with a few words, cheating, bad sportsmanship and bad behavior.

Cheating.  It irritates me to see these athletes cheat.  I realize that the Olympics are a big deal, but these athletes are not any lessor role models than professional athletes.  If you are going to do it, do it right and don't cheat. 

::tangent::  I read an article about recreational runners that cheat in marathons, 10Ks, etc.  Most people don't cheat enough to win prizes or anything.  Then why do it?  I guess I could see if you are trying to qualify for Boston or New York.  But, nothing other than bragging rights?  How does it feel to tell people you ran a marathon, but to know you cheated.  Idiotic.  :: end tangent::

Bad sportsmanship.  When the runner who tripped, curled up into the fetal position and then stormed off, I was devastated.  I was willing her to get up and finish.  She knew she was going to loose, but to not finish?  It seemed like she was setting the wrong example.  We finish what we begin.  She would be remembered for finishing in a positive way.  Now, she is just a sore looser.

Bad behavior.  I think this was mostly exhibited by the press.  Wassup with Gabby Douglas' hair?  I really could care less.  She is an amazing athlete and her hair looked fine to me.  I never understood that.  Or all the hoopla when Jordan Weaver didn't make it to the all-around competition.  She is still an amazing gymnast.  I am sure she is disappointed, and she showed amazing poise in a stressful situation.  Let's remember these are young kids, let them be!

That is all I have to say about it. Want to see what the other ladies have to say? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Friday, August 10, 2012


This week's topic is about passions.  What are you passionate about?

I am interested in a lot of things, knitting, working out, running, but really at the end of the day, I will drop everything and do what ever needs to be done for my kids.  I guess I am passionate about them.

It seems sort of wrong to me that is my passion.  Shouldn't my passion be something that is about me?  But, as much as I try and protect my me time... knit group and the gym are pretty high priorities in my life, something for the kids will trump that.

I just drove 40 miles round trip so that all the kids on my son's soccer team would have their player cards and be able to play in the tournament tomorrow.  I am going to miss working out and a pretty cool yarn thing because of the tournament tomorrow. 

When asked, do you want to do XYZ run, my answer is, I have to check the soccer schedule.   Some of that is just the shear logistics of transporting three kids to three different games in three different cities.  But, still, shouldn't my passions come first?

They never do.  I try and force the kids to go to the gym with me in the summer, but haven't run in over a week.  I miss my time on the trail.  I can't wait for them to get back in school and go for a nice 5 mile jog.  Just the thought of going and going and going seems like heaven to me.  I might not feel that way after mile 3, but what ever.  I can't do it now because I can't leave the kids at home and I sure ain't bringing them.

Knit group is another thing I try hard not to miss, but if the siren call of the kids schedules is rung, guess what gets back burnered?  Yup, my therapy with the group!

I am not sure if the fact that my kids derail my interests is an issue or just a fact of life or indicative of the fact that they are my passion.  I am sure it will all sort its self out, but for now, it is easier to think I am passionate about providing the best for them that I can.  Some day, it will be all about me again.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


My  Run-aversary was a couple of weeks ago.  I have started this post about a million times, both in my head and on the computer.  There is so much to say about this past year of running, and yet, I seem to be unable to say it.  It is almost like the story is bigger than me.  So, I guess I am just going to talk about some of the things I have learned.

I have learned that no matter how long you run, it will always be hard if you are going to get better. If you want to stay the same, yes, eventually it will get easier.  For some stupid reason, I want to go faster, run farther and generally do better this run than last run.  It is always hard.

I can almost run a 10 minute mile. 

The road of life is not filled with one single giant thing.  It is filled with a bunch of little things that become a giant thing.  Each run is made up of thousands of steps.  It isn't just one step that takes you to the end.  If you knee hurts or your foot bothers you on that last step, you get to do it again.  Maybe this time it won't hurt.  Maybe the next time you will try something different.  There is something about not stopping.  I have learned to just keep swimming, or running in this case.

I can run 6 miles, without stopping.

When I first started running I didn't want anyone to see me.  I was fat and slow and I was embarrassed by how I looked when I ran.  I didn't want anyone to laugh at me.  Guess what, no one ever laughed at me.  Most people on the trail give me a thumbs up, wave, say something encouraging or just ignore me.  No one says, hey, look at the fat chick, she thinks she can run, bahhahaha.

I am an inspiration to other fat girls that don't think they can. 

Part of this journey has included weight loss.  As I run, I battle my demons with food.  I try and turn to running instead of food when the going gets rough.  When I run, it seems like nothing can get me.  I am able to make the bad stuff stop.  Trust me, I had a lot of bad stuff happen this year.  Being able to do something else to make me feel better that isn't eating has helped me with my weight.  My relationship with food is changing.  It is a slow process, but I want to run better, farther and faster.  It is helpful if I am lighter and better fueled.

I have lost 35 lbs.  I will lose another 35 lbs.

As I mark my 1 year of running, I realize that I can do it.  When I first started I was buoyed by the belief of one friend who told me many years ago that I could.  When I thought I couldn't run a mile even if I was being chased by zombies and bears, she believed I could.  You know what, she was right.  Not so much that she believed in me, but because she knew that if you decide to do it your body will follow.  Our bodies will do what we tell them. Running is more mental then physical.  If you don't think you can, you won't.

I can.  You can.

Come run with me.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pop guns

This week's topic is regarding the ban against selling a soda larger than 32 oz in New York City juxtaposed against the fact that you can buy a gun anywhere. 

I am going to start with a history lesson, the right to bear arms is a out-growth of the English right or actually duty to arm its citizens.  In the 1600's citizens of England were required to arm themselves to serve in the military, or militia as it was called at the time.  When the constitution was written, the right to bear arms was a comfortable concept to the founding fathers.  Essentially people needed guns to protect themselves, for hunting and to serve in the militia (citizens army as there was no actual organized army at the time.) 

While I don't see an issue with people owning guns for the purposes of protecting themselves and hunting, I do find it odd that we need to tend to those issues with semi-automatic weapons.  Since when do you hunt deer with an automatic weapon?  I see no need for citizens to arm themselves with such types of weaponry.  As our society has changed, we no longer need our citizens to arm themselves to protect the country against attack.  We have a group of people to do that, and they are armed properly.

I do think it is ironic that we are so concerned about obesity, and yet we allow people to buy guns that enable the easy killing of many. 

I am obese.  There I said it.  I am in better shape that many people who are significantly thinner than me.  I resent that the government wants to tell me how to live my life, and what to put in my body.  When my mother tried to get me to loose weight as a teen, I didn't.  When my boy friend told me he wanted me to be thinner, I found another boy friend.  It was not until I was properly motivated did I decide I wanted to do something about my weight.  The fact remains, that the government can not tell me to loose weight.  They can not make me do it, I have to decide I want to do it.  Because I can still buy 2 30 oz sodas. 

The prevailing research says that fat people tend to stay fat.  Even if they loose the weight a significant group of them gain it all back and then some.  Our bodies are not designed to loose weight, they are designed to gain it.  Gaining weight is our bodies way of ensuring our survival.  If we want to do something about obesity, we need to focus on the children.  How about offering school lunches that are healthy.  How about teaching children about nutrition at a very young age.  Look at how kids react to the anti-drug/no smoking messages they get in school?  If the government wants to be involved in solving the obesity issue, we need to stop it before it happens.

If the government is so concerned about keeping us safe that they need to control what we eat, then I think they need to think about how they go about selling weapons.  Perhaps, just maybe we don't need to sell automatic weapons to the general public.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The old me

The topic for this week is to discuss what we were like as kids.  What was I like as a child?

I was a pretty opinionated little girl, who liked mustard sandwiches on sourdough bread.  I think it had to do with the fact that my mother bought cotto salami and made us sandwiches out of that.  It wasn't the good salami.  It was the nasty kind with green bits of something in it.  I would always take the meat out and just eat the bread and mustard.  Eventually I asked her to stop putting the meat in.  I think if we had yummy lunch meat I might have felt differently about it.

I had big plans for the for the future.  My cousin and I were going to be super rich and buy Hearst Castle.  She was going to be a big psychologist and I was going to be the president of IBM.   She did become a social worker and I did work in business, but neither of us has ever become so wealthy we could buy Hearst Castle off the state of California.  But here is the thing, I don't want to own a house that big.  I mean seriously, what would you do with a house that big?  The house I have now is too big for me to keep up with... and yes, I realize you have servants in a big house like that, but it seems like a waste of resources to me now.

Self-starter and entrepreneurial are words you would use to describe me.  When I was about 8 years old, I drew a bunch of pictures and went door to door trying to sell them.  After knocking on the doors of about 3 houses, my mother comes flying down the street in her house coat.  She was yelling my name, like I was doing something wrong.  I stop, turn and look at her.  As she is running wildly down the street with no shoes.  She grabs my arm and walks me home.  I was told not to go door to door.  It was many, many years before I figured out how she even knew what I was doing.  I never did find out who called her and told her what I was up to.

These things all make me realize, I am not really that much different now than I was then.  Sure, I don't go door to door trying to sell my knitted creations to my neighbors, but if one of them wanted one, I probably would sell it!

Want to see how the other ladies have grown?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Driving along... crash

This week's topic is about learning to drive. 

My mom taught me to drive.  She taught everyone to drive.  When she was a teenager she taught all her friends to drive.  My father was too uptight to teach us. 

We loaded up into the 1970-something Ford LTD station wagon, (my Dad totaled that car, but that is a story for another day) complete with wood paneling and my mother drove me over to a new subdivision.  The roads where in, but the houses weren't.  I cruised around the subdivision a few times and then I hit the open roads.  I drove us home.

In the state of California, you were required to take drivers training.  The schools offered it, but my mom wanted me to take typing so I couldn't take it at school.  As a result the drivers training I received was from a private company.  I spent my required hours behind the wheel with some middle aged man.  I'm not really sure what possesses people to teach drivers training.  It was fairly uneventful.

I turned 16, got my license and was so excited!  My mother had just gotten a new car.  A Volvo station wagon.  She was pretty happy about this new fancy car.  I begged and begged her to let me drive it.  I don't remember where I was going, but I was on Hollister Avenue and a flat bed truck stopped suddenly in front of me.  I swerved to avoid rear ending it, and I side swiped my mom's new car. 

I didn't even get the drivers name and number.  I drove home in a panic.  My mother was furious.  The pin striping on the car never matched.  She said it was there to remind me what I did to her new car.  I had to make dinner every night for 6 months to pay off the deductible.

We don't talk about this much now, but I will never forget that feeling in my stomach when I saw what happened to my mother's new car.  Amazingly, she let me drive it again.  

I never crashed it again.  The next time that car was in an accident was when my brother was backing it out of the garage and smashed into my Dad's car.  He pulled forward and tried again, and proceeded to smash into his car which was parked on the other side of the driveway.  I was thankful my car was on the street that day!

Want to see how the other ladies did behind the wheel?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


This week's topic is to discuss something you always romanticize.  I will admit something to you all, I usually don't read the other posts until AFTER I post mine.  I cheated this week.  Now, I think my post might not really answer the question, but here we go:

I romanticize being thin.  I have never ever been thin.  Never ever.  There were times in my life that I was less fat than I am now, but I was never thin.  I have visions of being able to tuck my t-shirt into my jeans and wear a wide belt and have that actually look ok.  No muffin top.

The thin (and by extension pretty) girls seem to have it all.  Life is just handed to them on a silver platter.  The fat (and by extension ugly) girls have to work so much harder for everything.  Thin girls find boyfriends, husbands, jobs, everything much more easily than fat girls. 

I remember hearing, always go home with a fat chick at the end of the night, they are so grateful that they try harder in bed.  See, fat girls have to work harder. 

How many men say, I want to date a fat girl?  Not many.  Given the choice, most men choose the thinnest woman that they can.  You don't see rich powerful men with fat girls do you? 

Given the choice between two closely qualified job candidates, the thin girl will always get the job over the fat girl.  Even if the thin girl is slightly less qualified than the fat one.  It makes it just that much harder.

When I was a little girl, my mother told me thin girls can wear anything.  They can go to K-mart and pick up an outfit and look cute.  Fat girls have to make sure that what they pick looks ok, and often have to spend more money to look just ok. 

I am sure that this isn't really the case.  When I was in college I asked a bunch of my thin friends what it was like to be able to wear anything.  To a person they told me that they couldn't.  That some things didn't look right on them. 

Many of my skinny friends are divorced, unemployed or struggling with a myriad of problems, similar to or worse than mine.  But  it sure seems like it would be easier to be thin.

What do the other ladies see with rose colored glasses?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What would you save?

This week we are talking about evacuating.  The question is:

In light of all the fires and other natural disasters, if you had to evacuate you home, what would you take with you and why? If your home was destroyed what would you miss most?

I grew up in fire country.  We had a grab and go bag in our closet for most of my childhood.  The grab and go bad contained current copies of important documents.  Because you never knew when you were going to have to leave immediately.

About 10 or 15 years ago a fire ripped through Oakland.  People were not evacuated in a timely manner and there was a fairly significant loss of life.  This changed the way fires that were located near populated areas were fought.  In the past evacuations were done in a much more immediate way.  Now, people are often given a warning and some time to get out.  More people are evacuated than are probably in harms way.  This creates easy access for the firefighters, but it also prevents what happened Oakland, where folks were caught by surprise.

You might have as much as 10 hours to get ready, you might have 45 minutes.  What would you take?  I like to think I am not attached to stuff, but I would take my yarn.  Well, the good stuff anyway.  Other than the pictures of my wedding and some of the kids baby pictures, I like to think I wouldn't miss anything else.  I'm sure my kids would really want me to grab their blankets and special stuffed toys.  Of course we would grab our grab and go bag.

But, when you start to think about what it would be like to pick up the pieces of your life after your house is cinders.  Replacing all the detritus that makes our lives comfortable and functional, it is over-whelming.  Yet, my family lived through a massive fire shortly after I graduated from college.  I remember being at a party some years later and one of the families that didn't loose their house had an interesting perspective.  My friend's Dad said that in the beginning they were so happy that their house was safe.  But, then they felt guilty, why were they spared while others burned?  It impacted their relationships with their neighborhood friends.  Then they watched their neighbors rebuild new, fancy houses.  Kitchens got granite counters and bathrooms were robed in marble.  Suddenly his older home looked small and shabby by comparison.  He said, he was really jealous of his neighbors new homes.  He said that in the end it would probably have been best to have his house burn like everyone else.  I thought that was so interesting.  There is an interesting sociological point here about fitting in with the social norms, but that isn't the point.

My mother and I joke that the problems with our house are best solved with a match.  Sure rebuilding would enable me to fix all the issues with the house, it is a long and complicated process.  Not one I'm sure I can manage.  But, if everyone is going to loose their house, I guess it is just stuff and I can replace stuff.

What would the other ladies save?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The best country

For this week, in early anticipation of Independence Day, the topic choice was: “America”
Since July 4th is coming up the following week (but the next post will be after the holiday), I thought we could write about anything to do with America. Favorite places to go, favorite songs about America, what makes you American/how living in America has affected your personality, favorite presidents, etc. anything goes!

To begin, I was at soccer.  It was one of our last games and Hannah was impressed with my wedding ring.  The other family I was talking with asked what she was saying.  I explained that she liked my ring and that I told her this is the one Daddy gave me when he promised to marry me and this is the one that he gave me when he did.  The husband of the couple laughs and says, "I didn't give her a big ring, I brought her to America.  The best country in the world."

Our soccer team is comprised of many families that have recently moved to our country.  Over half our team is first generation Americans.  These are families, that in some cases didn't even speak english when they moved here.  Imagine, leaving everything you know and moving to a country where you can not even speak the language.  Yet, they do it because it is the best country in the world. 

It makes me appreciate what I was born too.  It really is just luck of the draw to be born to any specific situation.  As the birthday of our country approaches, it is important to remember that many people sacrafic everything to come here for more opportunity and choices for their families.  Think how lucky most of us are to have just been born here.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say on the topic?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The topic for this weeks post is about random acts of kindness.  I have experienced many random acts of kindness in my life, and have written about them in this space.

I have shared about the time the lady bought us all skittles at the grocery store because I was cranky and the kids were irritating me.  She looked at me with a kind smile and said I had really good kids.  My kids were thrilled with the candy and it changed the mood for everyone.

I have also talked about the many people that sent me things from yarn to flowers on my front porch during the time when Bob was unemployed.  I was given food and Halloween costumes.  My community, be it knitters or school families, pitched in and offered us some sort of assistance.  It was pretty awesome.

So, when I read the topic, I thought, well yeah I have been on the receiving end of such things.  I have randomly done things for people too.  I have shared about a lot of that in this space, so I thought, what new ground can I cover?  Then I remembered....

Mac was my only child, and I was between jobs again.  I was struggling with what my next move would be.  As I was searching for a new position, I was going on a lot of out of town interviews.  This meant I was parking and flying a lot.  The driver on the bus was a skinny man from Jamaica.  He had a good word for everyone and always tried to go out of his way to be helpful.  He always took my bags, even when I insisted I could handle it.

I never really talked to him, but one day I was the only passenger on the bus.  I had come back from a particularly bad interview.  I was not happy with the prospect of moving to work for this company and all the rejection was starting to get to me.  The driver took my bags, smiled at me an I sat down.  We waited and then the radio said that he could return to base.   Before he closed the doors on the bus he turned to me and he said, you know, I have something I really want to tell you... you are really pretty.  He turned and drove me back to the base and helped me put my bags in my car.  As we parted ways, he smiled again and told me good luck.

While it seems like nothing, it was something to me at that time.  I was feeling very bad about myself, and it was so kind of him to say that.  It really made me feel better.  I looked for him every time I parked, but I never saw him again.  I always felt like he was an angel that day, because while his words were few, something about them changed how I felt that day.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say? Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Letters to Me

This weeks topic is to write a letter to yourself...

Dear High School Graduate:

As you embark on your "new" life, you will encounter many things that you will think you can not handle.  Remember that you can.  You can do anything you want to do.  There will be challenges that seem insurmountable, but no matter how hard things may seem at the moment you will overcome.

Something to keep in mind, as you are overcoming:  What is the desired outcome.  You have a tendency to fight for the sake of fighting without thinking about the outcome.  What is it that you want?  Once you know what you want, then take steps to get it, don't just engage in perceived injustice.  It will make your life easier if you focus on the goal and let the other stuff go, it is just noise anyway.

There will be days that it feels like you will be alone, but you won't.  You will find the right one, it just will take you longer than your friends.  But, shh, here is a secret, they will all get divorced and you will be the only one that is still married.  It is worth the wait, trust me. 

Try and enjoy your time in college, don't worry so much about the social stuff.  If you relax and are yourself, things will go much more smoothly.  I realize that you don't really know who you are, but finding a boyfriend isn't going to change that.  Focus on meeting people, don't put so much pressure on yourself.  It will work out, but you have to be a friend to have a friend.

You might want to study a bit more than you want to... college isn't as easy as high school.  Even though you don't think it is important now, you are actually learning some good things.

Oh, and when you are on your ski trip and the car breaks down... just take it slow and be cool.  You can't keep up with the boys, don't try.  They all like you and won't care that you aren't as "tough" as they are... they aren't really all that tough anyway. 

Be sure and tell Dad you love him every chance you get.  David isn't always an annoying jerk.. Dad was right when he said someday you will be friends.

Hang in there, things really do work out ok.

Your Older Self

The other ladies wrote letters too... check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer... the days are easy

Today's topics is to discuss summer.  After a VERY long hard school year, I am thrilled to have the school year be over, but it hasn't always been this way.

When the kids were young, summer was like purgatory.  Having to entertain 3 young kids all day long with no activities, was horrible.  Summer stretched out into the future, days seemed like months, hours like weeks.  I would dread the unstructured days of summer.

My kids are older now.  They don't need me to do every little thing with them.  Summer is the best time ever now!  Sure they go to bed later, but they sleep later too.  We go to the pool.  We play outside.  It is generally a time to just chill.

Our days during the school year are filled with homework, practices, activities and places to be by a specific time.  During the summer, we get to call the shots a whole lot more.  Should we go to the pool today or the park?  Should we see a movie or go to the library?  It is much less hectic and crazy.  Sure my kids still have activities, but they are more manageable when we don't have school.

This year was especially hectic.  We had a rough transition to middle school and I am very happy to have my kids under the realm of my control.  No teachers or principals calling and screwing up my day.  If something happens, it happens on my watch and I get to deal with it.  The school... not involved in my life anymore.

It is a nice break.  A chance for use to recharge our batteries and get ready for the next year.  I am sure that by the time August rolls around I will be ready to return to our schedule, but for now, if you need me, I am at the pool.

Want to see if the other ladies are sunning themselves?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Monkey isn't Dead

The topic for this week is about humor.  I have written this post about a million times, and nothing seems to work.  Humor, it should be an easy topic, but for some reason it has me completely stumped.

I would like to provide for you a bit of a reprise of some funny things we have talked about in the past, but to bring them up-to-date.  In the past, I have written some pretty funny blog posts.  One of my favorites is the story about killing the monkey in Hannah's room. (check it out here) Of course we have always wondered why there was a monkey in Hannah's room... the other day we discovered why.

One of the boys had returned home from his soccer tournament.  It was a very hot and sticky day and after running around all afternoon playing soccer he had taken on an odor.  It was finally time for him to go upstairs and shower and go to bed.  This was a relief to all around him.

Sadly, he did not immediately go to the showers.  He took a detour to his brother's room.  Suddenly, we hear screaming, MOM, MOM, get him out of my room.  I go running upstairs to see what the issue is.  As I am headed up, my other son, says "Mom, get him off my bed, he smells like a monkey."

I finally get him out of my other son's room and he heads towards the showers.  I think ok, crisis averted.  Then I hear the door to Hannah's room being opened.  I yell, stay out of your sister's room, she is sleeping.  I hear the door click closed.  I assume that he has left and is going to the shower.

After about ten minutes, I don't hear the shower being turned on.  I sigh, lift myself off the couch and head on upstairs again.  When I get upstairs I can not find our smelly child.  He is not in the shower.  He is not in his room.  He is not in his brother's room.  Finally, I check his sister's room.  He is standing in his room with his arm pit over her sleeping face.  She is still sleeping.  She was either asphyxiated or very tired.

The next morning, she says, Mom, I smelled the monkeys last night.  I think you need to try and catch them again.

Let's laugh at the other ladies... check them out at:  Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Astrology: Bunk or Reality?

Astrology is the topic of the week.  We are going to discuss our beliefs or dis-beliefs in the "science" of reading the future in the stars.

Who amoungst us can not say that they do not wish that they had some sort of road map to the future? Some way of knowing how things are going to turn out?  I know that there are times when I wish I knew what was going to happen, how things are going to turn out and when the ugliness is going to end.  I find that I look at my horoscope most when things are bad.  I think when things are not going my way I want to hang on to anything that might possibly give me hope that it will end and things will get better.

One time, oh, about 9 years ago, I read my horoscope.  It said that now was a good time to start an excerise routine, that if I embarked on working-out now, it was likely that it would stay with me for a long time going forward.  I read my horoscope about three days after I had signed up for a pre-natal excerise class.  Fast forward 9 years, and guess what, I am still working out.  Granted there were ebbs and flows in my ability to work out, but my commitment to doing it never waivered.  Was that a fluke or is there some truth in how it all works?

When Bob was "between opportunities" I remember heading back to my horoscope.  It told me that we were in a tough time, but that things were just on the cusp of getting better.  That we would emerge from this stronger and able to reap the many rewards from all the lessons we had learned.  Well, Bob does have a job he mostly likes and they do really like him and in this day of no job security, he is about as secure as you could get.  Again, fluke or an ability to predict the future?

My most recent horoscope indicates that I will have a lot of romance and success in my career this month.  I have been having a lot of romance.  My relationship with my husband has definately improved in recent weeks, our connection is stronger than ever.  Career?  I always laugh about that, because what sort of career do I have?  But, I do have a couple of big meetings about Mac this week and next, and according to my horoscope, they should go well.  I will let you know.

At the end of the day, do I base my decisions on my horoscope?  No.  I don't even read it all that regularly.  When I am looking to find some sort of road map, I have found that my horoscope is just as good a map as anything else.  Hope can come in many packages, sometimes for me, it comes in the form of a horoscope.

Want to see how the other ladies read the tea leaves?   Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Traveling with kids?

The topic for this week's post is to discuss what type of traveler you are, do you have everything planned out or are you a last minute person.

I grew up in a family that traveled a lot.  When we would go on trips, my Dad would study guide books and research everything.  He would then plan every single day.  We would know before we left exactly what we would do every day.  I still remember his calendars, created on a piece of paper from a legal sized yellow tablet.  He would turn the paper so it was horizontal and use a ruler to draw out the squares.

So, based on that, you would think I was an anal planner.  Ok, also based on the fact that I am an anal planner in my regular life, but in reality, I tend to try and figure out what we are going to do once we are there.  After spending my childhood trying to see everything, I have come to learn that sometimes it is best to leave something unseen.  You can always see it when you go back.  It really is more important to enjoy the time you have than to try and achieve some sort of plan.

My kids have been traveling since they were infants.  We have gone on so many road trips, airplane flights and vacations that travel isn't a big deal for them.  They are pros at the security check points.  Traveling with very small children (18 months old is the pinnacle of horrible on an airplane), requires a certain amount of planning.  When Mac puked all over me and himself on a flight back from Oregon, I was pretty happy to have a change of clothes for both of us.

I was the mom who pulled play doh out of her bag when the pilot told us to put the tray table up and turn off the electronics.  That meant no more coloring, no more dvds, no more video games, what to do with restless kids?  Play with play doh.  I have had more than my fair share of adults ask to play with some too.

Now that they kids are older, they pack their own stuff.  I don't have to plan so much about the getting there part.  In fact, I can pack us up for a trip to where ever in little more than a couple of hours, less for a plane ride, more for a car trip.  We have done it so many times, we have the drill down.  Everyone knows what to do.  We know how to handle what ever might come up.  Delays, snow storms, vomit?  We got it covered.

I travel based on a very simple philosophy, I am never going to see these people again, so fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Want to see how the other ladies take off?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It was not to long ago I wrote a piece about how I already had my dream job.  Being home with my kids was, according to that post, on the worst day better than the best day working.  I am starting to question that.  I think that perhaps the worst day with the kids is probably better than the worst day working, but it certainly isn't better than the best day working.

I have also written about doing the best you can and letting go of the outcome.  If you don't remember that, the premise is that the football team that looses the Superbowl did not do anything wrong.  They trained as hard as they could, they won all the games necessary to make it to the Superbowl, they wanted it just as bad as the other team, but sometimes things just don't go the way you want them too.  You cannot beat yourself up for the loss, because well you did your best.  It sounds like the platitudes our parents told us when we were young, but it is true.

So, here I am in a situation that I cannot control.  No matter how hard I have tried, I cannot control it.  I have pulled out of my bag of tricks, all the things I know and still nothing works.  The situation isn't out of control really, it is just out of MY control.  Sadly, my role in this little drama isn't pleasant.

I want to get in my car and dive away, pack up my things and watch the shadows fade.  And as the song goes, this is the part of me that you will never ever take away from me.  But, what is that part of me?  What is the part of me that no one can ever take away?  I really don't know.  At this point, so much of me has been lost, I don't know what part they will never get.

Is it my pride?  I don't think so, I am using the tactic of grovelling right now.  Besides, I have three kids, pride left the building a long time ago.  Is it my spirit?  I feel my spirit is sort broken, but as I say that, I think, well, maybe it is my spirit.  I think through everything, the one thing that has always been there has been my sense of humor.  So, I guess that is the part of me that they will never ever take away from me.

The "responsibility" phase of my life isn't so much fun right now.  I guess it is time to figure out a way to get my fun on, and let go of the outcome.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sports Cars

I'm starting to understand why middle-aged men get sports cars and have affairs with much younger women.  I always thought it had to do with them waking up and wondering if this is all there is to life, but really, I think it has more to do with them feeling trapped.

You wake up on day and realize that you are trapped in a job you don't like, have kids that are obnoxious and a situation that is just not pleasant anymore.  The thing is that changing that seems really impossible.  Sometimes this is triggered by a series of traumatic events and sometimes the reality just sort of dawns on you.  You are trapped.  That is when the walls start closing in and you start to long for a different something.  Anything to remind you that you are still you.

With everything that has been going on I have been feeling trapped.  I wasn't really even able to identify the feeling initially.  I just wanted to be the me that I was before I had kids.  I wanted to escape my reality.  As I started to tell people about what I wanted to do, the resounding feed back was that I was longing for freedom.  To escape all the chaos that was swirling around me.

The funny thing was that mid-winter, I was feeling pretty good about things.  I was surprised that I had made it this far without the usual winter blues.  I was feeling secure.  The universe hates it when I am feel secure.  And in typical form, the universe smacked me right on down.  I lost myself in the chaos.

I want a new car, a new family, a new life.  I want to escape everything and run down the street naked screaming.  I want to do something outside of my normal way of being.  As I try and contain the feeling of wanting to rip out of the chains that bind me, I can see how a middle aged man could have an affair with a 20 something.  I can see how that might have little to nothing to do with his feelings about his spouse and a lot more to do with feeling trapped.

Don't get me wrong, if my spouse had an affair with a 20 something I would be mighty pissed off.  I would probably leave his sorry ass on the curb and move the heck onward.  I am not excusing the behavior, but I can see how you could end up there.  I can see how that same man might buy a sports car instead of having an affair, because the consequences of that decision are much less.

The long and the short of it is, I am trapped in a situation that I don't like, that I can not change and I want a sports car that I can't have.  As I try and attempt to focus on what I can have, I am pricing BMW Z4s and trying to figure out how to get 5 people in there.   As I try and realize that like the weather this situation will change, I long for a ride that does not scream middle aged soccer mom.

Things will change.  The place I am stuck in is just a place I am passing through.  It may take me a while to get out of here, but it is important for me to remember, it will not be forever.  Right now I am learning a lesson about letting go, acceptance and patience.  I hate those stupid lessons about patience.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pizza Pie

First, sit down.  I am actually writing the Thursday post on Thursday.  I know, it is shocking.  Anyway, today's topic is to talk about pizza.  What kind do you like and what toppings.

Pizza.  It is like religion in our household.  We take our pizza very seriously.  My mother does not like pizza.  It think it is the strangest thing.  How can you not like pizza?

We have lived in two pizza capitals, New England, known for the New Haven style pizza.  New Haven style is brick oven with a very thin crispy crust.  The crispier the better.  When we moved to Chicago, we knew we would never eat good pizza again.  We ordered a bunch of pies before we headed out of town.  We fed the movers and then longing packed up the rest to be savored in the car.

While I used to love pizza with everything, a good slice of New Haven style pizza is really best just plain cheese, occasionally one can add a slice or two of pepperoni.  But, tons of toppings, never.  It ruins the taste of the crust and the sauce.  The sauce is a melange of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.  The sweetness of the tomatoes is enhanced by the brick oven, which crisps the crunchy, chewy crust.   When ever we go back to Connecticut, we always grab a pizza. 

Sure, we have found a place that makes a decent NY style pizza, but there is only one place that makes a good New Haven style pizza.  We drive almost an hour to go to a bowling alley pizza joint to get our New Haven pizza fix.  Vito and Nicks, that is some good pizza, but still not as good as the original.

Now, I live in Chicago.  Known for its deep dish pizza.  The buttery flaky crust, the sauce on top and loaded with fillings.  It isn't even pizza to this girl.  It is more like a pie.  It isn't the crispy, chewy goodness that is brick oven.  Sure we enjoy the occasion deep dish.  Sure they are good, but it just doesn't scratch the pizza itch.

New York style, with a crust you fold in half is a close substitute to a brick oven pizza.  While again, not as good, is a close second.  It would seem that here in the land of hot dogs and deep dish, we will have to settle for NY style when we are looking to indulge in some pizza.  Perhaps some day we will build a brick oven in our backyard.

When I was younger, I loved pizzas loaded with everything imaginable on them.  Tons of veggies.  When I make pizza at home I often load them up.  But, when I go out, plain cheese is all this girl likes to eat.

Want to see what the other ladies like?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.