Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I've been reading other blogs about how people have fared over this past year and it's made me think about my own life. Everyone has their ups and their downs. I'm very grateful that right now, things are going well in my own life.

I feel loved.

That's huge. Some people search their whole lives looking for that feeling. I just started thinking about the people I could list that I am absolutely sure love me and I can count on. It's about ten cherished souls. I am so grateful.

I feel like I've come through a dark tunnel at last.

Part of this year has been really hard. Harder than I ever thought I'd have to deal with. Death, loss of friends, uncertainty in life... it all just feels like a huge weight sometimes. But, God really does heal through time. The hurts don't really disappear, but they stop feeling so gut-wrenching and the tears become less frequent.

I guess I'm just sitting here tonight feeling happy. Happy that I can love. Happy to feel loved. Happy to be holding my loved ones close. Happy for all the small things that I cherish in life. It's a wonderful way to start the new year.

I'll close this post with the words a friend of mine shared on Facebook today. I found the words to be very moving. They are words from a Jewish prayer book.

May we lie down this night in peace and rise up to life renewed. May night spread over us a shelter of Peace, of quiet and calm, the blessing of rest.

There will come a time when morning will bring no word of war, or famine or anguish; there will come a day of happiness, of contentment and peace.

Praise be the source of joy within us, for the night and its rest, for the promise of peace.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ick

Tomorrow I get new glasses... and not just any new glasses... BIFOCALS, the no-line kind.

I'm just not so sure how these are going to work out... I had to pick out NEW FRAMES too (always a trauma). Usually, I just pick out a bunch and choose from the ones my husband likes the best (since he's the one that has to look at me the most). :) BUT, this time I IGNORED him (OH NO!) and went with what my daughter and both sales people liked. Uh-oh! These are a whole new shape and smaller than I've ever worn. What have I DONE?????

I'll take a picture as soon as I'm having a good hair day... which may not be until mid-Jan. when I get my roots done. :)

In the meantime, wish me luck! I feel OLD. Bifocals. YUCK. How did 45 get here so fast???

On a plus note, while pondering my new frames choices, I paced around the mall and found an ENTIRE $80 outfit for only $24 at Christopher and Banks. How often does THAT happen? NEVER! I'm THRILLED. I think I'm going to tell everyone that I bought it to go with my new glasses. :) Best part, I can steal my daughters brand new black suede boots to go with it. (hehehe) Pay her back for permanently "borrowing" my new sheepskin-lined WARM boots and letting my poor feet FREEZE in these low temps we've been having. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Random thoughts...

Today the kids are hiding from me b/c they remember I said it was haircut day. I wonder where they are? ;)

The Christmas tree... well, I'm wanting to take it down today and put most of the decorations away. I always wait until New Year's Day. This is odd. I shall try to resist.

All Matt's new toys won't fit in his room. I was afraid of this. It is time to purge the Rescue Heroes. I think I will mind more than he will. I love the Rescue Heroes.

What I should REALLY do today is defrost the upright freezer in the basement. Goody. Pretty sure I can find enough to do upstairs so I can rationalize putting that off (again).

I have HUGE news in that someone close to me is having their first baby. I am keeping mum under extreme duress. I've always felt that kind of news is best told by the people actually having the baby... and this blog feeds into my Facebook page... sooo... but, I'm VERY excited!

Tommy got an electric scooter for Christmas that goes 15 mph. I think he feels like Superman riding this thing. It is COOL. He's a very careful kid, so I am not nervous about him riding it or anything, but I'll still be mother hen and remind him to be careful... every second or so. ;)

Steelers have a chance at the play-offs. I'd love to see that happen! Sunday is going to be nerve-wracking! Right now, I bet they are really regretting letting the Browns beat them. That never should have happened.

My online buddy, Speedy, is making me pay for popcorn in his movie theater and I'm rebelling and sneaking in my own snacks. So there. HA! ;) (Daisy, are you with me? I'm bringing homemade caramel corn drizzled with dark chocolate. Speedy, I'd be happy to let you buy some. hahahaha)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My gene pool rears it's ugly head

I have 3 kids. Two have so far escaped wearing glasses. My youngest has my eyes. Darn. For some silly reason I was hoping that since Matt has blue eyes and I have green... that maybe he escaped. Not so. Wouldn't it be nice if you could tell by color?

About 6 weeks ago, he came home with the classic complaint... couldn't see the board at school. He was in tears over a failed quiz in music class because he couldn't see what she was writing on the board. So, I made the eye appt. and asked for a seat closer to the board. All was well.

Every day, "Mom, is it time for my eye doctor visit yet?"

EVERY. DAY.

You have never known a child so excited to get glasses!

Finally, after a month of waiting, he had his exam. The doctor was surprised he could see much of anything clearly at all.

And then we all went to Lenscrafters. It was An Event.

He took about 2 seconds to choose his favorites.



Doesn't he look adorable?

Then, after thinking about soccer, and skateboarding, and sled riding... we decided a pair of sports glasses was in order. Giddiness ensued. ;)

Believe it or not... they had BLUE (super cool) sports glasses. BLUE. His favorite color.

AND the nice man who helped fit his glasses found him a BLUE glasses case.



Just when he thought life couldn't get any better, we decided he needed some easy way to keep the glasses clean. A brief internet search discovered this:



It's BLUE. It attaches to a belt loop so he can't lose it. It's at Radio Shack, a mere block away from our house.

Let's just say that I never guessed getting glasses could be so much fun and delight a child so much!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lest anyone think I am dead...

I have not abandoned my poor lonely blog. I have at least 10 entries that I just need to finish up and post. Why is it so hard to do that sometimes?

In the meantime... some random thoughts...

Today I'm trying my second batch of homemade noodles... like grandma used to make. Only, hers were delicious. Mine are, well, iffy. They are kind of more like dumplings at the moment. But, I bought more flour and chicken broth and I'm ready to try again! I am so fortunate to have a family that is willing to try anything. :) One of my favorite memories is coming home from college to see family and then grandma sending me back with her special homemade noodles, so I wanted to see if I could replicate them. Fingers crossed!

Tomorrow I start baking Christmas cookies. I LOVE this time of year! I think I appreciate it all the more for having worked in retail so long and not having the time for so many years. I absolutely revel in the spirit of the season. Cookies, anyone? I ship! ;)

Sunday our family is in charge of coffee hour for the first time. This could be interesting. But, I love the excuse to dig out my good serving platters and fill them up with (hopefully) yummy goodies. Sarah is going to bake her monster cookies with red and green M&M's. I'm doing my old standbys and trying some new ones too, like Peppermint Meltaways. For some reason, those just sound so delicious to me!

So, I'm doing all this AND trying to stay on my diet. hahahahaha Really. Don't laugh. ;)

I did just safely (or almost safely) make it through Sarah's birthday (on Thanksgiving) and Matt's birthday (this past Monday). Do you know how many cakes that involved all together? Go ahead. Guess. You'll never guess. SIX. That's right. We go a little overboard on celebrating birthdays around here. I LOVE birthdays.

Well, that's my randomness for the day. Now Speedy can quit bugging me about my dead blog. :) (Thanks, Speedy! Now, go harvest your dead crops in Farmville!!) ;) lol

Monday, November 2, 2009

Block Party

We had so much fun with Halloween this year! It's two weeks of kids bouncing off walls because they can't wait for everything to begin! We always start the festivities with a trip to Boo at the Zoo. We have a progressive Halloween party. Our neighborhood block party fits in there somewhere. And, of course, there's Trick or Treat night. This year, all my kids had to dress up five different times for various festivities.

Last night we had our block party. Now, this is quite an event. One of our neighbors is a chef and we have REAL FOOD. He brings out two enormous grills and creates the most wondrous food. Grilled shrimp, ribs, etc. Oh, the RIBS. I think my eyes start rolling back in my head as soon as I start to smell them! BUT, there is more to come...

Here are a couple of pics of last year's party. I had to include them b/c I didn't post them last year and Charlie's grand save of the the grilled meat was truly a brave feat.





Everyone gave a gasp of relief when dinner was saved! ;) Although, I have to say, there was so much food that I'm not sure it would have been missed.

Now, look in the tin tub of soup. Know what that is? Here's a better picture.



Go ahead. You can drool. That's LOBSTER BISQUE!!! Have you EVER seen that much lobster bisque at a block party? Plus, it's the BEST lobster bisque in town. It really is. I think I DREAM about this lobster bisque for the weeks leading up to the party. I bee line straight for it.

This year, I was distracted by picture taking so I asked my husband to get a cup of it for me.



You might THINK that cup in his hand was for me. OH NO! It was NOT. He was so delighted to be eating LOBSTER BISQUE that he neglected to collect my cup of soup. I actually had to stop snapping pictures and get my own. IMAGINE! ;) I believe he had to live that down for the rest of the evening because quite a few people heard our exchange. I really enjoyed that!!! :) In his defense, it does make you forget everything else while you are eating it.



Obviously, I found time to feast. :) Here are a couple of pics of the entire layout.





And my plate... it's a bit blurry b/c my hand was trembling in anticipation of digging in. YUM!



You don't want to know how quickly my plate turned into this. Can you believe I couldn't finish everything? So much yummy food! I definitely need a second stomach for these occasions.



Others did more justice to their plates and then enjoyed displaying bones like a skeleton hand. :) (We are easily amused at these parties.) ;)



We even had dessert. Now, our house was one of the houses responsible for dessert. I LOVE dessert. :) I wanted to make something easy to eat but still festive, so I made candy corn cookies. Which may or may not have been successful because my neighbor thought they were monster teeth. AHEM! Although, when tested as monster teeth, we decided he did have a point. Oh well. I made way too many and now we have a bunch of them here, tempting me.





I think I need to invite someone over for cookies and tea!

Well, after all that food, I have to go nap now. It may take me days and days to recover...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm always the last to know...

Well, evidently, this has been around for awhile and everyone has seen it but me. I laughed until I nearly cried! Maybe it's because I have 2 herding dogs. (Not that they herd, but they just know they could if we would buy them some sheep. In the meantime, they practice on our cats... to the dismay of the cats.)

"What Welshmen Do When They Are Bored."



And if the herding dog video doesn't make you laugh, try this one. :)



Ah, pugs. Just one brick shy of a load. Gotta love 'em. I didn't realize until after I'd posted that it was not very nice to make the sweet pug video follow up those top-notch, brilliant border collies. ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Castle - ABC

If you have missed out on seeing Castle on ABC, here's the complete episode 4 from this season. It's quite good! Castle is my current favorite tv show.



Yep, that's Nathan Fillion from Firefly fame. He plays a famous mystery writer (named Castle) and there is only one way to describe his role in the show, charming. The funny part is that you can actually buy Castle's latest book, which they highlight in this episode. It's on Amazon and supposed to be pretty good!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You can keep the cows at YOUR local fair...

This past weekend marked our county's country fair and our local Octoberfest celebration.

We have all the usual fairings and exhibits. But I noticed one rather unusual addition this year.


You can have your cows and pigs at YOUR fair. At ours, "there be 'DRAGONS' here." See the "Dragons, Emergency Exit" on the back of the bus? That's right. They bus them in. But still, all in all, a fascinating diversion for the fair goers, wouldn't you agree? They put the dragons to work firing up the grills and toasting various foodstuffs. Dragon-flamed pulled pork, anyone? YUM! :)


I kept looking for an oversized door for them, but it was nowhere to be found. They must have been very slim dragons. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It Happens...Whatever

Some days are just harder to "get it all together" than others.

I used to completely let myself get upset over "the little stuff" but now, it's not so bad. Sometimes you just have to readjust your focus and decide what's actually important.

I just shrugged when I couldn't find a single pair of hose this morning. Oh well. It's still warm outside. I will eventually find that new box of SIX pairs that I just bought.

I just shrugged when I used my daughter's conditioner for the first time and discovered I used WAY too much...and had to redo my hair...when I was running late. Hey, at least my hair is really soft today!

I just shrugged when I had no time to eat breakfast and discovered my "emergency" food stash in the van had suspiciously disappeared. Okay, that one was harder to shrug off. I'm a beast when I am hungry.

And I made it through. It was actually a good day! Kind of relaxing after the initial trial by fire.

Although, I just heard a rather loud noise upstairs. I suspect a catastrophe of some sort. I better run!

Or walk. I don't actually hear any screaming...or see any streams of blood...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things I Learned Today (and all before noon!!) :)

Things I learned today:

1) When I enter the WV State Police Barracks, I leave my brain at the door.

2) People who drive enormous pick-up trucks are C.R.A.Z.Y.

3) I can buy more vegetables than I can carry at Jebbia's Market for $23. (Guess what's for dinner?)

Mental note to my children: Do not tell your mother that you feel deprived that you have never tried eggplant (implying negligence on her part) because your mother will stomp right out to the vegetable market and buy more vegetables than you ever thought existed for you to eat. YUM! :)

And there's MORE! :)

Things to NOT do in the WV police barracks (and which I did indeed DO):

1) Announce when being fingerprinted that it was MUCH easier this time than the LAST time you were fingerprinted.

2) When given the form to fill out, immediately fill it out with the WRONG NAME, and then be forced to either a) ask for a new form, b) SCRIBBLE IT OUT (Guess which I chose...)

And yes, I did indeed collect my brain at the door on the way out. Surprised as I was that they let me leave...

UPDATE: A reader just asked me if I was arrested today. hahaha ME! I have never even had a speeding ticket! So, I thought I better make a note that I was just visiting the State Police barracks to see the DMV for a driver's license renewal because the big 4-5 is coming up and my license is expiring. Honest! (My, this electronic metal ring they stuck around my ankle is itchy!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vive la Différence

Okay, so I've been something of a hermit all summer because of those procedures I had done. As a reward, I finally had my hair done (and by that I mean, goodbye gray!) and now I feel better about myself. I've been trying so hard to start caring how I look. I know it's superficial, but a couple of years ago I woke up and realized just how far I'd let myself go. I even purposely used a very blurry pic on Facebook when I opened my account.

So, this summer, I went from this hair:



To THIS hair:



And I have to say it feels just great. The hair stylist tried to tell me that this is my natural color, but I don't know about that. :) I think she was being nice.

After going a DECADE cutting my hair myself and paying nothing for my hair except a $1 bottle of shampoo occasionally and some hairspray, I have a bit of sticker shock, but I figure it'll take a verrry long time to catch up dollar-wise and I should just enjoy it. ;) Besides, it's fun to be part of the "Hair Color Club." Let me assure you, IT EXISTS. More about that another time. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Okay, maybe not the most wonderful, but being able to go out to breakfast with 2 friends because the kids are all back in school? PRETTY DAGGONE WONDERFUL!

We had a breakfast that lasted THREE HOURS. I think we needed the chat time. :) It was kind of funny, because all of our kids had experienced a meltdown in the last few days. School-related stresses, I'm sure. Somehow sharing stories with other moms just makes you feel better.

For example, I thought I won the "Worst Mom of the Year" Award yesterday, but as it turns out, I had some competition... if you asked a few kids, that is. :) All I did was ask my youngest to change his shorts. Yep. Change his shorts. A calamity, let me assure you. But, one of my friends simply wouldn't let her son have two eggs (to start with) instead of one for breakfast. He could have the second egg IF he finished the first. Uh-oh. Meltdown. We both completely felt better after we shared stories. I love how that works.

And, of course, we had to discuss the school system. We've all now had the joys of dealing with one particular teacher, whom we've nicknamed "Barbie." Ahem. Well, she does give off that aura. My one friend, whose motto is, "if you can't say something nice, sit next to me," thinks "Barbie" is dumb as a stump. Now, I don't know about that, but I DO object to feeling like I need to edit almost everything she writes, especially on the online school site. Silly me, I think spelling is important. (I know, I know, you can most certainly find errors in my blog, but I'm not writing to my students here, either.)

The other problem is her tendency to lack professionalism. For example, when we gave her a fan for her desk as a Christmas gift, she very kindly sent my son a thank you note. My son was 9 years old at the time. She's around 30 years old. She actually told him that the fan would be very helpful with her hot flashes. I kid you not. Tommy was most confused. It was obviously a joke, but for a 9-year-old?

So, my friend, who likes to chat, was talking to her electrician and telling him these stories.

My friend: "This teacher can hardly spell and she's so unprofessional!"
Electrician: "Well, that ain't hardly right!"

Yeah, you have to love West Virginia.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Can you tell what time of year it is?

A challenge! Can you tell what time of year it is just from looking at these two pictures? :)

First, we have my eldest son, bribed mightily, posing for a picture (greatly against his will.)

"But MOM, you'll just post this on your blog!"
"Of course I will, honey, smile now! And here's a buck."

Isn't he just too cute?



But, he was feeling like he rather resembled a Q-Tip with all that hair (personally, I didn't see the resemblance, but he wanted his hair cut - WILLINGLY - so who was I to argue.)

I chopped and snipped and assured him repeatedly that I was almost done. And, voila! We have one shorn sheep. I mean, BOY. ;) Who is richer by a whole buck.



So, can you guess what time of year it is? ;)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Guitar Hero: Les Paul, 1915-2009

What an amazing man and an extraordinary life. He'll be missed.







Matt, my youngest son, wanted to know why that last video wasn't in color. I told him it was because there was no color back then. Everything was black and white. I've always wanted to say that. hehe ;) (And yes, he knew I was teasing him, after an initial shocked silence where he was obviously wondering what the world looked like in tones of gray.) ;) But, the neat part was how much he enjoyed the music. I caught him dancing almost as soon as I started playing the videos. :)

I was able to see some of Les Paul's guitars in person when we went up to the Rock Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio a few months ago. It was really awe-inspiring to see them and read the history. I highly recommend a visit! It was fun even for the musically-challenged, like me! ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

He's Annoying Too!

Lest you think my dear spouse is a little too wondrous based on some of my latest posts, let me just share our most recent dialogue. (Yeah, I'm sick. It's SUCH fun.)

Rob: "Wow, Chris, you are burning up! You should go lay down."
Chris: "I was. I'd rather sit at the computer."

5 minutes later...

Rob: "Chris, have you felt the urge to wallow in the mud?"
Chris: (eyes rolling) "Why no, dear, why do you ask?"
Rob: "Because that is the test for swine flu."

Gee, thanks. That is SOOOO supportive. I feel better already.

But, he is making dinner after working all day while I lounged around the house trying to not feel dizzy. I think I'll forgive him. :)

Unless, of course, he persists in suggesting that the shivering alternating with sweating spells is really some kind of early onset menopause.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Biggest Snake Found Dead

(Turn up your volume so you can hear the dialogue).

Biggest snake found dead. Click here to view.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Feel Good

Rob has been extraordinary Super Husband for the past day. He fixed our fence, found my lost cat, fixed our air conditioner drainage pipe, picked up our son from camp, got our old Toyota ready to put up for sale, AND he spent the day at work today.

Wow!

When he came upstairs after fixing the pipe, he said, "I feel good!" I knew that he would now. :)



I'm really thinking maybe I should have provided something better than leftovers for dinner. ;)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Detestable Man

I have an evil and detestable husband.

Evil.

And detestable.

Why?

Oh, that will become obvious as you read along. Rest assured, this story completely undoes any positive (and glowing) effects that he had today when he told me (for the first time in 20 years) that I looked beautiful.

(swoon)

But, I digress.

No, the new memorable moment of today occurred just a few moments ago and sent me running out of the house (into the pitch black night) in a blind panic.

My evil spouse decided he was hungry at 10 PM. (I am on a diet). He went and made a double cheese grilled cheese sandwich. (I am on a diet). It had provolone and american cheese on it. (I am on a diet). It had whole wheat bread. (I am on a diet). He put 7 perfect rounds of pepperoni on it. (I am on a diet). It smelled of gooey lusciousness. (I am on a diet).

He came and sat down in the same room with me, incredible smells emulating from a plate carrying not one but TWO heavenly sandwiches.

I started to drool. I asked, "Can I just taste one?"

"Of course!" he said.

I took a bite. I sighed. It was perfection. I nibbled along the edge. He said, "I made one just for you."

"WHAT?"

"I made one just for you!"

"AAAGH!" That sandwich was way too delicious to walk away from. I had to RUN. Outside. Fast. WithOUT that sandwich.

So, I saved myself from his evil machinations. That Robert with his, "You're beautiful," and his, "Here, I made this incredible sandwich just for you," comments. I am not fooled!

He's just throwing me off my guard so he can lose more weight than me in our weight loss race! I know it! HA! ;) (WINK)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some Humor Right Now Would Be GOOD

I hope some of you have some commenting humor in you today because I sure need it!

I just stepped in ankle deep water in our basement. The part of the basement containing boxes and boxes of old (but new) inventory from my online business. Stuffed bears do NOT do well in water. They never learned to swim.

I immediately broke out in a cold sweat.

I told Rob.

He's on it.

Bless him.

I can't even think about all the damage.

Apparently, it's a leaking pipe.

I need some tea.

And maybe some life preservers for the bears.

UPDATE: Minimal damage, all things considered, and my dear spouse is fixing the pipe issue himself, probably saving us a couple hundred dollars. Isn't he great? :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

One Left in the Nest

This has been a very unusual week in our household. Usually summer is busy and NOISY. Well, this week my youngest has been the only one at home. The oldest two are gone for the week. So, it's a week to spoil Matt and boy, has it been fun!

He has swim lessons each morning and finally got to swim across the DEEP end by himself! OH THE JOY! :)



I think you can see his grin as he takes a quick breather halfway across. It's the DEEP END, by golly. :) He makes me smile.

We also can do other things that we don't do very often with a family of five... like go out to eat! Just look at the fun my boys had last night. :)



Who do you think was having the most fun? The 45-year-old or the 7-year-old? :)

They had a little competition for the winning drawing. You can vote too.



Plus, Matt had an overnight at grandma's house last night. We are seeing Ice Age 3 tomorrow. Fireworks tonight and tomorrow night! Life is good... and I think Matt's enjoyed being an only child for a week. It's rather nice to be doted upon. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Doting on our Dear Daughter



Our dear Sarah is out at church camp for 2 weeks. She absolutely loves it there! The counselors seem to dote on her. I love that!

As soon as I saw her this past weekend (we pick her up for a weekend break... and to do her laundry), she gave me a huge hug and started jabbering about all they had done all week. Then I saw her hair!



The counselors LOVE her hair. She gets these french braids done for her every time she goes. There is something so wonderful about seeing her just beside herself with joy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bereft Without You (or Water!)

Rob is making fun of me for using the word "bereft" to our 11-year-old son. Thomas was invited to go on vacation with a friend's family and he called from the resort. I told him we were bereft without him. He's a smart kid. I think he got it. He certainly didn't miss a beat in saying, "I miss you too, mom."

I love that boy!

But, now I get to enjoy the rest of the day with Rob fitting the word "bereft" into each and every sentence he utters (and he utters a LOT of them, trust me!) Don't think he can do it? Oh, don't challenge the man!

The problem is, he thinks it is ENDEARING.

(eyes rolling)

Okay, well, maybe it is. A little. :) He does make me laugh!

Oh, and to clear the record... remember my Mother's Day and the, shall we call it, LACK of celebration? Ahem. Well, I went and bought hanging baskets and he has watered them for me EVERY day all month. I think he's reprieved. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Zippy Cars and Hair-Raising Pickups



We finally replaced our 1991 Toyota truck a few months ago. We chose a Corolla because we have upcoming teens who are going to be driving in a few years and this seemed a good car for learning to drive. It's zippy! It's good on gas mileage! It's PRETTY. :) Okay, maybe the boys didn't think that was as important, but I sure did! I LOVE IT!

I've been driving it up to Pittsburgh to visit my dad who is in the hospital. I feel so bad for him. He's on his 3rd surgery for the same hip replacement. For this last surgery, mom told me not to come up. It wasn't that big a deal, she said. But how do you NOT go see your DAD in the hospital when it's only an hour away? She said she'd worry if I tried to do Pittsburgh traffic. She said it would be okay, though, if ROB (my husband) DROVE ME. Well, HUMPH. Enough of THAT. I hopped in the car and charged up there and surprised her. I'm rebellious that way. :)

On my way home, I had specific MOM instructions to CALL HER as soon as I got home, just to make sure I wasn't in a horrible accident. I rolled my eyes like I always do when she's overprotective (I'm FORTY-FOUR and she still does this!).

It was a GORGEOUS afternoon for a drive. I was day dreaming and missed the ramp for I-79. Well, oops! I ended up adding 30 minutes to the trip AND taking a tour of the Pittsburgh airport. Yeah, well, maybe my mom has a point. :)

I finally got onto I-79 and it's a cakewalk home after that. La la la ... Driving along...

I glance in my rear view mirror and I see a HUGE GRILL from a PICKUP TRUCK bearing down on me from the SIDE at GREAT SPEED!

HOLY COW!

There's a car on my other side too!

I hit the gas, HARD, and got out of there. OH, how I LOVE my zippy car!

I got as FAR from that pickup as I could and just let him go by. What a JERK. My actual thoughts may have been a little more colorful. Ahem.

Then I noticed that he was weaving all over the road and nearly hitting other cars! So, I just stayed back. Ten minutes later, ALL TRAFFIC came to a grinding halt. I looked ahead and about 100 feet ahead of me I could see an overturned minivan AND a wrecked pickup. Evidently, the truck ricocheted off of the guard rail and hit the mini-van.

I felt so horrible for the people he hit! A fire engine and FOUR ambulances showed up and they still called in a helicopter for a life flight. It was truly a mess, but I kept asking the folks that walked up closer to see it all, and they said no one had died, which was a huge relief.

I have to admit that I was feeling most grateful to be alive at that point. If my car hadn't been zippy or if I hadn't glanced back and seen that truck, I don't know how my small car would have fared. I didn't even mind the nearly 2 hour wait sitting on the interstate. I was just glad to be where I was and not on a life flight.

Did I tell my mom this story, OH NO, I did not! But, today, I am feeling MOST fortunate to be ALIVE.

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Here's the report: http://www.wpxi.com/news/19836278/detail.html

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lucky Days

I am so happy today! I just got back from what I HOPE is one of my last doctor appointments for a good long time. I actually have the cards in my purse for the last two appointments until another YEAR passes. That is such a good feeling!

But, I was a tad late getting to my appointment this morning. I took a cancellation and didn't realize the interstate on-ramp was going to be closed... and then I got behind a VERY SLOW car in the parking garage. Seriously, I wanted to get out and push the car in front of me... I think it would have gone faster!

But, I eventually got parked and ran to my doctor's building. Door closed. Use alternate entrance. I'm now officially LATE.

And then I had a little dose of reality. As I was starting to feel snarly over all these delays (all because I was fortunate enough to get a cancelled appt. on the very day I called in), I stopped at the hospital reception desk to get my parking ticket validated.

The lady looked at me and said, "Is that all?" I said, "Yes."

But, before I went hurtling off to my appt, another lady just calmly looked at me and said, "You're lucky."

I looked at her and smiled, but I still dashed off as fast as I could. After I was checked in and waiting for them to call my name at the doctor's, I thought about what that nice lady said.

And I realized, I am lucky.

My medical issues are coming to an end, hopefully. Others may not be so fortunate. Before I get all snarly about some little things, like slow moving cars or closed entrances, or lack of time, I should think about that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sunk in Depression

(Because summer vacation will do that to you).

Conversation between my 11-year-old son (Thomas) and my 7-year-old son (Matt)...

Matt: "I just love my blankies! I'm never going to give them up!" (snuggling face into blankies)

Thomas: "Well, Matt, you are going to have to give them up soon enough, when you are dead."

Soon? Dead? WHAT?

I told Matt that he could have his blankies for another 80 years or so, if I have any say in the matter. Then I gave him a big hug. He didn't seem too bothered by Tommy's comment.

And then I took away the Nintendo Tommy had been glued to for way too long. What is it about those things that makes my usually sweet kids MEAN?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Is this evil?

I've noticed of late that most people that call our home think that my voice is my daughter Sarah's.

Also, of late, BOYS have been calling this 12-year-old, bright, blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter of mine. Ahem.

So, when a boy calls... for the 5th time in 24 hours... and I answer the phone... and he says, "Hi Sarah!" ... would it be evil of me to play along and see just what he's up to?

Hmmm....

I guess it would be.

But it sure is tempting!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Relaxin'



Now, here's a boy who knows how to relax! You should have heard the giggles! :)

Matt highly recommends using a noodle, goggles, Spiderman swim-fins with water-squirting capabilities, and 2 water weights to maintain a calming, buoyant float in the pool.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ack! My LIPS!

I have thin lips. Yeah, I know. Boo hoo. I never really cared and I'm sure not into injecting anything into them to make them fuller, but then I started seeing these lipsticks that supposedly plump them up.

I keep expecting one of them to have the slogan, "I'm gonna PLUMP ...you UP." (Thanks, Hans & Franz, for that).

So, when my daughter Sarah and I were out shopping, we found a pretty pink lip gloss and laughed ourselves silly because it is also a LIP PLUMPER. Are you smiling? Yeah. It's funny. It was also half off and just the right color... so I bought it. I feel SO TRENDY!

I put some on yesterday. I love the color. It's pink and glossy. :) But I think it plumps lips by BURNING THEM OFF. :) Oh, I laughed and laughed over THAT. And WHAT in the WORLD happens when you KISS someone with this stuff on? I was afraid to even kiss one of the kids! "ACK! MOM! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY CHEEK! IS THAT A LIP-SHAPED HOLE YOU'VE BURNED INTO MY FACE?"

But, thankfully, the burning wore off and after awhile it just looked like pretty lip gloss. Were my lips fuller? Maybe... from biting them to keep from laughing uproariously the entire time I had it on.

Then I discovered that I BOUGHT THE WRONG KIND! I'm on this particularly ineffective diet that has me on a plateau I cannot get off, and here all I needed to do was BUY THE RIGHT LIP GLOSS!

Loss Gloss (Lip Plumping & Appetizer Inhibitor):
"Now you'll have luscious lips AND lose inches from your hips with new Loss Gloss. Experience a totally unique holistic approach to beauty. This regimen will allow you to protect and beautify your lips while providing recognized appetite inhibitors and sugar blockers.*

Well, what do you think? Is it worth the $7.50? hahaha Oh, I seriously doubt it, but it might be worth it just to have a box that reads, "Lip Plumping and & Appetizer Inhibitor." That just cracks me up!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day... a Thankful Memory

I heard something on Mother's Day that made me very thankful for my mom.

A lady at church who has adopted children wanted to remind us all to be thankful for moms ... and for the moms who raise other women's children.

At first I thought that was very nice, especially since I was adopted myself.

But then I realized how grateful I am that my own mom never made me feel that way. I never once felt like I was anything other than her own child, adopted or not. It was a sense of belonging that she gifted me with, as well as abundant love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Is He in the Doghouse???

Is my husband in the doghouse? You decide. :)

Does forgetting your kids are making your wife breakfast on Mother's Day and waking her up 10 minutes before their alarm goes off so that she is already eating when they wake up count?

Does leaving the light on so that your wife wakes up 30 minutes too early on Mother's Day count?

Does NOT SAYING Happy Mother's Day EVEN AFTER YOUR KIDS AND TWO (that's right TWO) OTHER MEN have wished her well count?

Does MOM (ie ME) having to fix dinner on Mother's Day count?

Does NO chocolate, NO flowers count? (BTW, we live 3 miles from a Russell Stover OUTLET.) (Also BTW, in his job as pastor, he gave flowers to THREE other women today. THREE)

I could go on, but I think I can rest my case. What do you think? I think I'm off the hook for Father's Day in a BIG WAY.

Now, in case you are thinking, "OH MY! Chris had a horrible day!" Don't. I'm rather used to it. I've stomped on his feet a few times to express my displeasure and it's okay now. MY KIDS made my day wonderful. They gave me such wonderful gifts, but my favorites were all their beaming faces when they found me this morning to say, "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!" :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

SLAM!

My poor 45-year-old husband. He went to the dentist today and after they had him in the chair, the dental hygienist asked him if he was working or retired. Working. Or. RETIRED.

He's 45.

Okay, so maybe he has a lot of gray hair. :) Personally, I think it looks really great on him.

But, not only does he now think he looks old, but they told him maybe he should drink his coffee out of a straw to cut down on staining his teeth.

So, he's been walking around all day with his coffee mug and a purple straw and possibly contemplating hair color.

Ahem.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Explanation

(My brother just sent me this in an email ... I couldn't resist posting it here).

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Berlin . In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers - most of whom are unemployed alcoholics - to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).
Word gets around and as a result increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar.
Taking advantage of her customers' freedom from immediate payment constraints, Heidi increases her prices for wine and beer, the most-consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.
A young and dynamic customer service consultant at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.
At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert bankers transform these customer assets into DRINKBONDS, ALKBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then traded on markets worldwide. No one really understands what these abbreviations mean and how the securities are guaranteed.
Nevertheless, as their prices continuously climb, the securities become top-selling items.
One day, although the prices are still climbing, a risk manager of the bank -- subsequently, of course, fired due his negativity -- decides that the time has come to demand payment of the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar.
However they cannot pay back the debts.
Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.
DRINKBOND and ALKBOND drop in price by 95%. PUKEBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80%.
The suppliers of Heidi's bar, having granted her generous payment due dates and having invested in the securities are faced with a new situation.
Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor.
The bank is saved by the government following dramatic round-the-clock consultations by leaders from the governing political parties.
The funds required for this purpose are obtained by a tax levied against the non-drinkers.

Finally an explanation I understand ...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Aja the Angel Collie (I think) :)


A few weeks ago, a stray 4-year-old collie was picked up in the country and taken to an animal shelter in WV. He was very thin and very scared, but it was obvious to everyone that he was as sweet-tempered as they come. You can't tell from the pic, but he had a lot of mats in his fur too. But, the worst was how skinny he was. You could feel every rib. I could pick him up effortlessly and he's a big dog.

While he was at the shelter, puppies gnawed on his leg a little too much and Aja started limping. The shelter was nice enough to work with collie rescue and I went to pick him up so that he could be fostered in our home.

As much as his leg obviously hurt him, Aja never once growled or showed any aggression at all... even when my golden retriever got her nose all bent out of shape and snarled at him (she gets jealous of new fosters but calms down pretty quickly).

In some trepidation, I took him to the vet. They diagnosed a torn ACL in his leg and recommended a $1000 surgery to fix it. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. The rescue I work with does everything they can to help... especially when the dog is as terrific as Aja, so they decided to go ahead with surgery.

While we waited for the surgery date, Aja seemed to be getting much better every day until we couldn't figure out which leg even hurt him! There was NO limping. He went in to the vet and they discovered through an x-ray that his leg was completely okay now! This was a huge relief to the rescue because they had just taken in 3 puppies with parvo that were on the verge of dying until they were treated... to the tune of several thousands of dollars.

So, Mr. Aja has been snuggling into our hearts for the last few weeks. He's such a charmer! This morning I woke up to my toes being licked (NOT the most pleasant of feelings since I have very ticklish feet!) and chewed upon.... and just as I was about to make him get off of the bed that he's not really allowed on anyway, he SNEEZED. TWICE. All over my legs and the clean sheets. Formerly clean sheets.

As I was distracted by all that, well, SNOT, I felt my OTHER collie, Harley, plop down next to me (efficiently pinning me to the bed... I should have escaped when I had the chance) and start licking my face.

I generally shower at night, but trust me, I felt the need for another this morning! :)

Here are the two culprits:



But, don't let that oh-so-innocent picture fool you. Aja has calmed down QUITE a bit over the last week. At first, he was very destructive. I pretty much kept him with me at all times and kept my ears on high alert for the sounds of teeth on wood (like chair legs). See how the floor is clean in the picture above? Well, aside from the big hairy dogs, that is. :)

Well, for 2 weeks, THIS is more like what it looked like. He chewed up EVERYTHING he could get his teeth into! Seriously, he did all this in about an hour! He's killing that tissue box in the pic.



Here he is up at the soccer fields. Isn't he beautiful?




He's one of those dogs who has never met a stranger.



I have a feeling that he's going to be very hard to give up when he gets matched up to a new family. He's really sweet and has learned so much! As much as he hated a crate at first, now all I have to do is say, "crate" and he hops right into it. He takes treats from your hand as gentle as can be. He's learned to come and sit down next to me when he wants attention (instead of landing in my lap). :)

Yeah, I'm gonna miss this guy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

GET IT OFF OF ME!!!


So, it's a tick. Just a tiny little bug. Doesn't it look small and defenseless? Really, nothing to freak out over.

NOT!

Really, just looking at one in a picture... no problem. Wait until you are getting ready for a shower and you discover one on your ARM... ATTACHED AND GETTING READY to FEAST. I may have screamed. Ahem.

ICK!

I have my husband to thank for this. He took the boys fishing and found a nest of ticks. Matt (age 7) was horrified, even though none of these things actually attached to him.

OH NO!

I was the only lucky one that had one actually attached... and I DID'T GO FISHING!

How is it POSSIBLE that with FOUR LARGE HAIRY DOGS roaming around, the tick would find ME? Rest assured, all dogs will be bathed today and will receive tick meds! ICK ICK!

What is it about knowing you had a tick YESTERDAY that makes you ITCH everywhere TODAY?

In case you can't tell, as often as I've hiked in the woods, built forts, etc, this is only the SECOND TICK I've ever had and the FIRST that ever ATTACHED. EWWW!

Matt just walked up behind me and in a rather devilish voice said, "TICKS ARE EVIL." He's so funny. He didn't even know what I was typing. He was just still responding to the trauma of finding himself in a nest of them yesterday.

So you can live my pain (because I'm thoughtful that way)...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MIA

Well, it's a wild few months of doctor visits for me. For example, today I got home from the hospital only to find TWO MORE messages from DIFFERENT doctors that I'm visiting within the week.

I'll be out of commission off and on for awhile. So, before all that starts to happen, I'm getting lots of things done.

On one hand, I'm dreading it all and on the other hand I am thrilled to finally be getting it all taken care of so that I don't have to worry anymore.

So, excuse me if I occasionally seem a bit flipped out in my blog entries in the near future. I try not to stress, but sometimes I can't help it.

I guess you know you are having a bit of a hard time when you start to cry at the doctor's office and they hand you a tissue box. I took one tissue and the doctor just calmly handed me several more before taking the box away.

Yeah, I'm a tad stressed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Collies: Not for the Faint of Heart


We have here one MOSTLY brushed happy collie. Don't you love his loooong nose? What a sweet pea!

He is happy because he HATES being brushed and he was thrilled it was over. I'm ruthless with a brush.

Want to see why collies are not for the faint of heart? Just remember, this is just PART of what comes off of his coat every Spring.

Here ya go...



Kind of disgusting, isn't it? Almost looks like some small gray animal just exploded in our entry way. Trust me, you should see the YARD. Animal protection services are probably being called by nervous neighbors even as I type.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dazzling Daffodils


The daffodils are so bright that they almost hurt your eyes! Aren't they beautiful?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Everyone Needs a Pair of Bunny Ears!


Everyone needs bunny ears! They make you HAPPY!

My friend Sherri bought these yesterday at Cracker Barrel. Then she made the mistake of showing them to me on our way to the gym. WELL! I thought we should immediately have a photo shoot in the parking lot! It was SUCH a gorgeous day.

I'm really glad we did take pics, because it's rainy and overcast today and I needed a reminder of the sunshine. I was planning to go take picture of the daffodils blooming up at Oglebay Park today, but the rain nixed that. The flowers are so beautiful! What a perfect sign of spring! I can't wait to go see them all in bloom!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Did Ye Know Yon Pirates Can't Sing?


As part of County Chorus, Thomas received a pirate eye patch. He was to wear it during their pirate song.

So, why are none of the kids wearing the patches over their eyes?

Alas, a good question, observant mateys!

I pondered that very question and asked my son to explain.

"Well, Mom," he said, "The music teacher had us wear them properly at first, but then she told us to just wear them above our eyes because WE SOUNDED BETTER WITH THEM OFF of our EYES."

Because, you know, EVERYONE, especially a pirate, hears notes better when they can SEE.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coming Out of the Closet


Tonight we went to go see Tommy perform for the last time as part of the Ohio County Chorus Honors Ensemble. This is a pic of him with his friend Robert. Thomas has the shorter hair. Everyone says they look like brothers, which I find hysterical. They really do.

On top of that, Robert's parents, Sherri and her husband Paul, are taking Thomas on their family vacation to Lake Erie this summer. It's super nice of them!

So, tonight I was joking around about what their friends up at Lake Erie (a place called Lakeside for Lutheran pastors where they go every year) would think about them suddenly showing up with another boy who looks REMARKABLY like their own son.

I told them they'd have to tell people they'd been keeping Thomas in the closet.

At which point Sherri (who's as funny as they come) mentioned that I probably would NOT want her telling people that Tommy had just come out of the closet.

Ummm... NO! I don't think I would want that.

And then for some unknown reason I turned beet red. Sherri REALLY laughed then! She made every one standing there look at my face. How many 44-year-old people BLUSH? Pathetic.

My husband hugged me in sympathy, but they KEPT LAUGHING. :)

Ah well, if you can't let your friends laugh at you, who can you? :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Collect Teapots; I Collect Noodle Makers



Some people out there collect things like bears or teapots or dolls. Not I! Oh no, that would be too normal.

It started when I was a child and saw my grandma making her special homemade noodles for holiday dinners. She knew how much I loved them and as I got older, would send a bowl home with me so I wouldn't starve while away at college. :) I always felt so special when she put some in a container just for me because our entire family loved the noodles. She was just showing me she cared since I was away from home and couldn't join in family celebrations all the time.

So, this memory has always been with me, and when I hit 40, for some reason I decided to try to make noodles myself, probably because we finally had a house with enough counter space to do this sort of thing.

I have my trusty KitchenAid Mixer with a dough hook, so I just needed a noodle maker. Grandma cut them with a knife, but I wanted a method that was a little more speedy.

Do you KNOW how expensive noodle makers are? VERY expensive, let me tell you, even just an attachment for my mixer. I decided to go the garage sale route and I FOUND one for a mere five bucks. WOW! Much better than $50 - $100! I happily purchased it.

I looked up noodle recipes.

I found noodle drying racks on eBay and considered a purchase.

I looked at the noodle machine.

I put the machine (still in the box) in a corner of the kitchen.

That was 3 years ago. Let's just say it's dusty now.

OOPS. :)

Then the noodle craze hit me again. I was at our church rummage sale and there it was. The PERFECT noodle maker! I immediately realized that my problem was that I had THE WRONG KIND OF NOODLE MAKER.

Obviously, this was the answer. I snatched up the new (to me) noodle maker for a whopping $3.

Today I looked up noodle recipes.

My husband laughed when I mentioned I needed a noodle drying rack.

I put the machine on the counter.

That was this past weekend.

So, what do you think? Will I make noodles anytime soon? :) Or, am I just a strange noodle machine collecting woman? Wait. Don't answer that. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just WHAT Was IN That Cake?


One of my dearest friends was having a birthday and I begged her to let me bake the cake. I don't make the most beautiful cakes, but I sure have fun doing them! And THIS time something amazing and new happened!

But, you have to wait for that detail. :)

I didn't have much time to come up with a theme for this cake, and who really wants to be reminded of a number when you get past 40? NOT ME! :) So, I decided to make the inside of the cake worthy of being fifty-ONEderful and not the outside. The outside can be 39 forever. :) I just made sure I used her favorite colors.

See the first pic? The cake matches her shirt. :) Favorite colors.

But here was the yummy part... it had THREE layers. I love a tall cake!

Strawberry / french vanilla swirl cake
layer of chocolate icing
Dark chocolate fudge cake
layer of chocolate icing
Strawberry / french vanilla swirl cake

All smothered in a buttercream frosting. I used LOTS of frosting. MMMMMMMMMM

Here's what it looked like after we demolished half of it:


And now for the best part. I never care if anyone actually thanks me for a cake. I just want to know that they LIKED it. So, I'm sitting at the table, ready to dig in, when I hear strange noises coming from across the table. VERY strange noises. LIKE MOANING. I glance over and notice that one of the guests has already eaten half of his cake. I was startled, so I was a bit tactless and said, "Dan, are you MOANING?" It was so cute because he laughed a bit self-consciously and just KEPT EATING.

I've never made a man moan over a cake before. :)

Maybe I should start serving more cake! :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good Golly, Miss Dolly!

Well, well, well. You learn ALL KINDS of things about people at the gym.

I previously posted about the friend I scared while she was on the stationary bike.

She bided her time, but last Thursday, she hid in the changing rooms and jumped out at me as I was walking into the pool room... right as I was walking past a mirror (thinking no one was around) and adjusting my suit. Okay, okay, so MAYBE I deserved that after giving her several gray hairs last week.

But, you know, I couldn't let it rest there...

After working out in the pool, some of us got in the hot tub. I LOVE the hot tub. It was a bit crowded and we were all talking a mile a minute.

So, Sherri is talking and I glance at her... and I notice her suit TOP has BALLOONED up so much that it is ABOUT TO TOUCH HER CHIN. All those little air bubbles in the hot tub have apparently collected in one central location and they are giving her QUITE THE ENHANCED LOOK!

Now, being a good friend, I turned away so I could laugh and not make her feel awkward. And I really meant to tell her! Really!

But, as it happened, she looked down and noticed first. I believe because the huge "chest suit bubble" touched her chin or impaired her ability to speak.

Ahem.

Oh, I'm gonna pay for this post.

Here's her new pic on Facebook (she chose it herself!!):


I think she's enjoying the harassment, don't you? I mean, really! She's just ASKING for the nickname of DOLLY! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What Color is the White House?



Here's a picture of one of the most famous buildings in our country. What color do you see?

Keep that in mind.

So, my son is in fifth grade and in the delightful public school system in WV. This is one of the better districts in the state. This is one of the best elementary schools in our district.

Keep that in mind too.

One of his assignments for social studies is often a map of a particular battle in US history. The teacher is VERY particular about how these are COLORED. Yes, they receive a grade largely based on COLORING. (Did I mention this is fifth grade?)

Earlier in the year, Tommy came home with a map that had a B+ grade. Everything on it was correct EXCEPT that he didn't use VARYING COLORS OF FLESH-COLORED crayons for the teeny-tiny little faces of the armed forces.

Yes, you read that right.

This teacher is a stickler for authentic.

But, now I am worried because a month ago he came home with a map to be colored and on the map was the WHITE HOUSE. THE WHITE HOUSE. What color would you color the White House?

Guess.

Really.

Would you leave it white and not color it? Would you use a white crayon? Remember, Tommy's has gotten a lower grade for not being authentic!

I bet you would have left it white and you would have gotten a B on YOUR map!

No, no, I'm not crazy. This is A REAL STORY. The WHITE HOUSE had to be COLORED. So, Tommy chose yellow.

Guess what grade he got on his WHITE HOUSE that was YELLOW map? He got an A.

I am afraid. Very afraid.

Monday, March 16, 2009

YOU'RE SLACKIN'!!!!

Mental note... if you wish to KEEP your friends, do NOT sneak up behind one of them at the gym and yell, "SCHAFER, YOU'RE SLACKIN'" in her ears.

She might SCREAM, and nearly fall off the stationary bike she's riding. And her heart rate might accelerate to the point where she passes out. And then the gym employees might have to call 911 and then escort you from the building...

Oh. Wait. That didn't happen.

But, I did yell, and my friend Sherri did scream. Rather loudly. Loud enough to turn all heads, as a matter of fact.

I think she should thank me for getting her heart rate up, don't you? :) That is, if she's still speaking to me. I do know this, I'll be watchin' my back at the gym! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Help! I'm a Facebook Addict!


I've been off of blogging for a bit. Why? Because I've been addicted to Facebook and online Scrabble! Someone save me! :)

Today I ran into a friend I play online Scrabble with. We were both at Kroger. We hadn't seen each other in months and after the 30 seconds of "catch up" time, the "Scrabble Babble" began.
"Did we finish that last game?"
"No, it's your move!"
"Hurry up because I want to finally win a game!"
and on...

Then I dashed home and ran to the computer to see how my other friend (I have 2) played her last move. She's another friend on Facebook and I haven't seen her in YEARS. So, we chat while we play and it's great.

I realized how much I've been playing when I walked through our TV room last night and saw Wheel of Fortune was on. They solved the puzzle without CALLING THE Q. The Q is worth TEN POINTS! You always play it! Oh! Wait. That's Scrabble.

Uh-oh.

Is there a 10-step program for Facebook Scrabble addicts? Hello, my name is Christen and...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In an attempt to hurry Spring along...

I've decided to start planning SUMMER. What the heck, right? Spring is taking her good 'ole time arriving, so I'll just skip right to the good stuff. VACATION. :)

One of my friends has invited one of my sons on a week's vacation with them in July. This is VERY funny because not only do our sons look like BROTHERS, but their dads are BOTH named Robert Paul and are BOTH ministers in town. Anyway, Thomas is going to have a marvelous time with them. It will even give him a chance to see how a NORMAL family interacts. :) I'm jealous.

This got me thinking about what I want to do this summer too!

We always go to an amusement park at least once. We love that!

But this year I want to go to the Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland too. Rob LOVES it there but I've never been. We are taking our neighbor friends with us. Doesn't that sound like fun? Isn't it a cool building? I know next to nothing about music so I'll have to do research or something before we go. I am looking forward to it!



And I've also just discovered that the rescue group I work with that is headquartered in Columbus, OH, is having their reunion in June. COLLIES, collies everywhere!!! Everyone brings their own dog and their foster dogs and it's just a grand time. Or, so I've heard. I've missed the first three of them. But, this is the year!! Here are some pics from the 2008 reunion. It will be so wonderful to see how some of the dogs we've helped in the past have found their place in the world.


Plus, I've decided to inflict myself on some college friends this summer. I really meant to see my old roommates LAST summer, but I cancelled for stupid reasons. Like they cared if I looked horrendous. I'm much better now. Someone told me that as your kids grow up, and start to need you a little less, it's like you come out of a cocoon. That is exactly how I feel. After ignoring myself for a decade, I'm figuring out how to be back in the big world again. :) I got my hair done. I'm whipping my body back into shape. It just all feels SO GOOD.

Summertime, here I come!!! :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

If You Are Ready for SPRING, Raise Your Hand!

Are you? Are you ready for SPRING? Because I AM!

I read about the gigantic snow storms on the coast and let me just assure you, BETTER THERE THAN HERE.

I LOVE snow, but we've had enough this year, thank you very much. Plus, it is MARCH.

I want to see new green sprouts of grass.

I want to see daffodils filling the flower boxes.

I want to see baby bunnies hopping madly across the lawn.

I want to go hiking on my favorite trail and see everything lush and green again.

SPRING!

I can't WAIT!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Illuminating Experience

Yesterday, I had my youngest home from school with me. He's sick. Again. We REALLY should have gotten him a flu shot like we did last year.

It made for a long day. I love getting to spend the extra time with him, but sick kids are just needy.

So, evening comes along. It's 11:30 PM and I'm showered and ready to call it a night. Suddenly, I decide to do LAUNDRY. This is SO ME. Middle of the night cleaning frenzy. I work a bit then sit down to play some online Scrabble. I just need some alone time, you know?

I chat online.

Play more Scrabble.

Comment on some blogs.

You know how it goes.

Suddenly, it is 4 AM! HOW did that HAPPEN?

I dash upstairs and try to get some sleep asap.

This morning I'm drinking my tea (and yawning), when my NEIGHBOR (and best friend) calls.

"WHAT were you DOING last night? Are you OKAY?" she wants to know.

"What do you mean?" I ask.

Well, it turns out she came downstairs in her OWN home last night and said that MY house was lit up like a BEACON in the night to the point were she DIDN'T NEED TO USE A LIGHT TO GET DOWN HER OWN STAIRS (yeah, our houses aren't that far apart).


And the funniest part of it all is that SHE'S ILL and she wants to know if I'M okay. Heck, I was just cleaning a bit and goofing around on the computer. I'm feeling a tad guilty that I worried her to such a degree that she'd call to check on me feeling like she does!

Plus, a bit disconcerted that THE NEIGHBORHOOD is aware of WHAT I'M UP TO AT NIGHT. EEKS! :)