Monday, September 17, 2012

eBooks...eReaders...eEverything...

I, like so many other people these days have an e-reader device.
Mine just happens to be a Sony e-Reader.

To be able to read books on such a device one must purchase the reading material in digital form and then download it, either directly to the device or to a computer.

I use the Sony ebook store and Kobo and Amazon...

To purchase books, magazines and newspapers that you can carry with you everywhere you go...
without taking up valuable handbag or briefcase space is awesome.

However...
there is a problem that I have recently encountered...

If I want to purchase crafting or hobby-type books or magazines...

They just do not seem to exist!

Oh...
Don't get me wrong, there are some books out there...
It's just that...
Well, the choices are rather limited...
Or stilted...
Or uninspiring...

To me...

I mean, I am SURE there are those that have found the same titles that I have in my search for digital crafting publications that are thrilled with what is currently being offered...

 like...     Be the Man : The Man Registry Guide for Grooms



I, on the other hand, am not.

This has brought me to this conclusion...
The only solution to this problem is to...
Either stop looking or ...
Publish my own, or find books written by others that can be converted into digital format and publish them...
With the permission and cooperation of the a fore mentioned authors certainly.

Which then brought me to the conclusion that...
I don't have time for that...
Unless I forgo ALL sleep...
and hire someone to handle the housework...
Or I put my kids to work and make them do CHORES!
(which is not a bad idea actually)

Or perhaps I'll just ask HeMan Hubby to find a way to make it happen...
I mean he is THE WORLD's MOST AWESOME COMPUTER GURU ...

And I'm sure he has plenty of time for another project...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thank You Notes... ala BusyMom


I haven't taken the time to do a Writer's Workshop blog in quite a while so I thought I would jump in on this one... uh, yeah... maybe I should have waited for something a little easier to get back into the swing of things... oh, what the heck... how hard could it possibly be? 

The prompts this week were all interesting but this one seemed to call out to me... or perhaps that was the spanish rice I tried to eat for dinner... either way here we go!

5.) Who do you have to thank? Following Jimmy Fallon's famous thank you note writing style, write or vlog a list of 10 thank you cards you'd like to write this week.
 
This week I'd like to give thanks to...

1) Thank You Kimberly Clark for giving us Kleenex... pass me a kleenex sounds so much nicer than pass the paper hanky... especially when you have a stuffy nose... "paff de paypa haadgee" 

Lindsay Lohan Miggs music video leopard print top


2) Thank You Lindsay Lohan... for ruining the name Lindsay for the rest of the girls, and guys, out there who have never done anything daring or risque', like drunk driving, three-peating at rehab, stealing jewelry that you have more than enough money to pay for... and going out in public in a leopard print onesie... Way to Rock On Linds! 










3) Thank You Wal-Mart People... for making me look good, even on a really bad hair day or when I forgot to do the laundry and had to pick something to wear from the 'sort-of' dirty pile on the floor... You know who you are and so does everyone else who has ever gone to this website! 
                                        peopleofwalmart.com
  
          
4) Thank You man who invented Air Conditioning... and it must have been a man because a woman would have come up with a way better name like... Chilled Air system or Frigid- Air or Hot-Flash-BE-Gone!


5) Thank You Jolly Green Giant... knowing you and Santa were related made eating canned vegetables in between the holidays that much easier... HOHOHO Green Giant! 















6) Thank You guy on the road holding the stop/slow sign... for knowing which one to have facing my direction... this time.


7) Thank You Madonna... for making cone bras and bustiers an acceptable wardrobe addition... on the outside... 
Cone Bra
                                                                    and for making it OK to have Man-Arms even if you are 
                                                                    a woman!


8) Thank You Greek Yogurt making guy... so glad you finally found a way to make yogurt taste JUST LIKE pudding... almost... well, not really, but I have a really good imagination.


9) Thank You .. Baltimore Orioles who are only 1 game behind... for giving your faithful fans something to keep them going for another 15 years...

10) Thank You Gummi Bears... the TV show, not the candy, although the candy is pretty awesome too... for countless hours of viewing enjoyment you provide my daughter when she is home sick... you know, the 27 year old one...but who can blame her... You Guys Are The Best at what you do!!!






Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lou Gehrig.... Words to Remember and Live By

Yes...
I just made a baseball reference.

And being as the Orioles won last night...
and it IS baseball season I figured it was appropriate.

The words to which I am referring are the words now immortalized on film spoken by Lou when he retired from the game of baseball because he had become too ill to continue to play.

He had ALS... a disease that attacks the body and renders one unable to control their own muscles.
This disease is most commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease...
Go figure.

                           Lou Gehrig Speech July 4th,1939 Yankee Stadium


The part of his famous, and heart wrenching, speech that I find so motivating is the part where he says...
" Today I consider myself the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth"

I feel like there are not enough people who can say that they have felt that way on any day in their entire lives

This makes me sad...
but TODAY I know that there are moms and dads all over the land who are breathing a sigh of relief as they sit down to their morning cup of joe...

Because today is the 2nd second day of school...
well, it's the 2nd second day because the 1st day was Monday, but it didn't really count since only elementary, 6th and 9th graders went...
Making yesterday the 1st second day of school...
the day that all the kids actually went...

As another long school year begins...
I look back at the trials and tribulations of years gone by...
as I look ahead to those that are sure to be coming and can't help but think...

If Lou Gehrig could meet his fate head one with such a positive attitude...
then surely I can look at this new school year and my new job and the changes in our family's routine and dynamics the same way...

Having a good role model is important...

Lou Gehrig is Mine...

Who is Yours?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Beginning and The End...

When all else fails ... start writing.

This is a sure fire way to get your head on straight...
or at least to get your brain working.

This summer  I have spent quite a bit of time sitting by the pool, reading, soaking up some rays and dipping into the pool.

I have also spent a bit of time with and around teenagers.
This is probably because 3 currently live in my house...

but it is most likely because the 3 that live here have friends...
and because I work with the boy's youth group and spend a lot of time at the ball fields while the kids have football and soccer practice.

Spending so much time around these alien creatures that were once polite, quiet and, dare I say, shy children I can't help but wonder what being in high school now would be like.

And then I shudder, and possibly even throw up a little in my throat, and am so glad that I am not.

On a trip to the local merchandising mecca, also known as The Mall,  I was inundated with the fashions of today...
that look an awfully lot like those worn by myself and my contemporaries back in The Day.

Dolman sleeved tops, striped box-like tunic dresses, leggings and ankle boots...
all that was missing was the bi-level haircut and hair permed and colored to within an inch of it's natural life.

Polo shirts with logos on the breast , not of an alligator, but of an eagle taking flight; skinny jeans and boat shoes..." Mom, they're called Sperry's!" an exasperated BratChild and SIX say as they roll their eyes at me in unison...

These, too, were the dress code of choice in my high school life.

Listening to not only my children, but those of the other mother's looking as haggard and beaten down by peer pressure as I, I could only shake my head and wonder how, after so many years, things could possibly remain the same.

And then it hit me.
Teens today have the same desperate need to be individuals...
To set themselves apart from the crowd...
To define themselves...
within a certain band of similarly minded kids.

And thus the 'Clique' is born.
SIX and BratChild tend to travel in the same group, like a school of dolphins, or perhaps piranha...

While TeenBoy, although just as affable and friendly, within his own tribe that is...
although a bit more reclusive and quite often stand-offish...
runs to the less well-groomed end of the spectrum favoring the loose fit style of jeans, Vans and logoed t-shirts made popular by skaters and surfers in the late 80's and 90's.
Hair that is more 'bed-head' than styled and an aloof demeanor that does not invite needless banter,
he is the one that I worry will succumb to the dreaded peer pressure that runs rampant in high schools.

But, he is smart.
He is intelligent.
And he is enough of his own person that I hope he will stand up to those pressures and prevail...

While SIX and BratChild are part of the same group of friends, TeenBoy is considered by them to be an outsider, although he too plays football and rides the school bus and knows all the same people.
He just chooses not to fit into their, again I revert to my youth and will call it as I see it, Preppy attitude of dress and behavior.

Does this make him the more independent one. or does this target him as just too different?

I guess this year will tell.
As we begin yet another hectic and. most likely harrowing, year of learning...
All 3 will once again be in the same school.

High School... a freshman, a sophomore and a junior...
all together, and yet not...
it is very likely that they will have some classes together...
something that makes BratChild cringe, SIX assure us that he will be the better student and TeenBoy?
well he's none too thrilled either.

For me it is the beginning of the end...
The end of their childhood...
The end of primary school...
The end of rec league sports...
The beginning of the end of child-rearing...
For you see, in 1 year they will be sophomore, junior and senior...
And the year after that... well,  there will be only 2, and then, only 1 and then...

I can only hope that they have learned the lessons I have spent the last umpteen years trying to teach...
that the choices they make, regarding each other and their friends, will be ones that I approve of and can be proud of...
And that they will find that despite, and possibly even because of, their differences they do like and respect each other...
and maybe, just maybe a little bit...
Need each other.

It is time to let them go...
And let them find out who they are meant to be.
And I believe that they will find out that they are exactly the lovely, compassionate and caring people that I know them to be...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Rise and Fall... of a blogger... sort of

I think I may have missed the Social Media boat as it were...


And by this I mean that I was right there,
poised and at the ready,
blogging with uncertainty, 
reading the fledgling blogs of others, 
who like me, were trying to figure out how to be heard...


And then there was "Social Media"...
in my head it resonates and reverberates in a deep baritone voice like James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman... but not the March of the Penguins narrator voice, more like his voice in Evan Almighty, you know, where actually IS the voice of God.


Suddenly there was facebook....
and then there was Twitter...
and then there were blogs on how to post on facebook and twitter ....
and how to use key words to drive traffic to your blog...
and Branding.... that has nothing whatsoever to do with fire-hot metal...


And then somewhere along the way...


I got lost.


My intention when I started blogging was to find a way to voice my thoughts...
Thoughts that I thought others like me may be having...
Thoughts that may help me, and those unnamed masses who I hoped might stumble upon my words of insight and self-evaluation....


To be better at being ourselves...
To feel better about being us...
To find a way to connect with those who are like us... 
no matter how near or far away they are.


But with the onslaught of newsletters and blogs with tips for branding and SEO-ing and give-aways and Tweeting and Pinterest-ing (again -I was there at the very beginning) and using sidebar buttons and Vlogging and link-ups and clicking through...


I lost my way and my drive and in a very real sense...
Myself.


I just stopped reading my blog lists, then I stopped visiting my favorites, ignored my RSS feeds, opted out of newsletters and blog post updates on self-promotion and Social Media-ing...
and let go the illusion that these other early bloggers and I had forged bonds of friendship simply because... because.


Let us just say life has been messy lately...
and I could have used a shoulder to cry on or a brain to pick ...
even if it was really just my own on the pages of this blog...


So, I have resolved to get back into the swing of things and...
1) start blogging several times a week 
2) read my RSS feeds 
3) pay attention to what Michael Stelzner and The SITS Girls have to say...
4) try not to be so hard on myself 
5) try to find out what I want to do when I grow up... 
     or at least try to figure out whether or not I have any marketable skills... 


so far, it does not appear so... 
but I am still looking.


BTW... 
Looking for Social Media for Dummies... 


Anyone ???

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Random Things That Actually Make Sense... Or They Could



There should be a history class curriculum as outlined by Billy Joel ...


and every high school senior should be required to take it.


Is there an actual job that you get when you have a degree in philosophy...
or is it like getting a degree in Egyptology when you live in rural middle America...
it's just an expensive piece of paper?


If there are health conditions, like ADHD, that make you inelligible for military service...
why don't they tell you  BEFORE you sign on the dotted line???


Muscle Cars.... why?.




Did greek yogurt just get discovered? Or has it been out there all along and no one noticed?


Isn't fruit flavored sparkling water the same as drinking a soda?
I mean, really, it's all the same ingredients according to the labels!



If religion and state are separate...
why are politicians even talking about the moral issues ( in relation to religious beliefs) of birth control and planned parenthood?


America is a government of the people, by the people and for the people...
so, which people are they talking about these days, cuz I am pretty sure it's not anyone I know.

Don't get me wrong, I love America.


I love that I have the freedom to be whatever I want...
as long as I work really hard, scrimp and save, and maybe even find a way to put some of my kids, although probably not all of them, through college...


I'm just tired of feeling like a character in a Frank Capra film...
you know, the ones doing all the living and dying and working and saving for the chance to own a few rooms with a roof overhead and a yard for the kids to play in...


Does anyone else think Ron Paul looks a lot like Mr.Potter from It's A Wonderful Life?








So, about that high school history class...
We Didn't Start the Fire... but our kids are gonna get burned if they don't start learning about the events in that song...
HoChi Min...
Sally Ride...
Children of thalidomide...


They have NO IDEA what he's talking about...


Yes, these are the Random things that run through my head...
Usually when I am trying to nap before going to work...
Because I work nights..


And I find I frequently have difficulty turning my brain off at 7pm...
Don't you?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles... only without the trains or autos

Or something like that.

It's been a while since my last post.

Oh, alright!
It's been a month...
And a few days...

I've been busy.
Or not.
But mostly busy... sort of.

HeMan Hubby left today.
No, not for good...
Or, at least it better not be for good.

I.
Would.
Miss.
Him.
Terribly!

No, he left on a business trip.
To California.
3000 miles away.

On a plane!

And that my pre-tend friends is the problem.

I don't mind him going, it's his job and well, it's his job.
And it's not like he will meet a beautiful starlet named Poppy...
with long flowing red hair and a quirky smile...
and run off with her...
Right?

No, the problem is that he had to fly there...
or spend 4 days driving there...
but by then the week would be over and it would be time to drive back so...
Flying was the only possible travel choice.

But I am afraid to fly.
And apparently I am afraid for him to fly.
Like deathly afraid that the plane will suddenly plummet to the earth without warning.

I actually told him to not let the plane crash.
Like he has any pull with the pilot at all...
or that he could fly the plane should a problem develop?

But, being the HeMan Hubby that he is he promised that he would come back to me, no matter what...
Kind of like Jack in Titanic...
Only he didn't actually hold up his end of the deal there...

I know, right?

Good news is he made it to NY for his layover without any problems.
I know because we were texting while he was waiting to board his connecting flight.
I don't know why he had to fly north to fly west but apparently, he did.

More good news...
he made it safely to California.

I know this because...
1) there were no planes reported falling from the sky...at least between here and Cali between the hours of
        4pm and 11pm EST...

and...

2) I accidently left my phone at home when I went to work so we could not text.
            (No - that's not the good news...)
SO...
I was trying to email him to find out if he made it to the hotel okay... you know without being mugged or getting lost ...
But he did not answer the email so...

I called him.

From my computer.

There is this cool phone call thingy you can use from Google where your computer calls any land or cell phone...

So I did.

And it works!

HeMan Hubby answered on the 3rd ring...
I guess he was waiting for my call, or my text, or something...
Or maybe he found HBO and was watching the season finale of Game of Thrones....

He answered using his work voice and work name... which is NOT HeMan Hubby...
then he said Hello.
and then he said HELLO!
and then he said HELLO???

And then I realized that my computer has no microphone and I had inadvertently just crank called the love of my life...

I'm pretty sure he was already awake when I called...
at least he sounded awake...
and not too ticked off about getting a crank call...
at midnight...

ANYWAY...
back to #2...
He made it safely to California, and the hotel...
and that's all that really matters...

For now.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Writing Prompted by.... Someone Else? or Not...

Yes.
This is yet another post that was prompted by...


You guessed it... The Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin It


I have a ton of topics that I want to write about... 
That I thought up on my own, but...


I just can't seem to get motivated...
to do anything...
at. all.


So... here is a little something based on prompt number...3? for this week...
Enjoy!


3.) Tell us something you learned about a grandparent that surprised you.


So, this is the part where you would expect me to say that I was surprised to learn that my grandmother was a flapper in a speakeasy...
But she wasn't.


Or that my grand dad was a fighter pilot in the war... 
But he wasn't.


I cannot recall when I learned this little tidbit about Grams, but I do remember thinking...
Wowsers!


Apparently, Grams and Granpa got married when Grams was very young. I think I always knew this, but I didn't really KNOW it...
Know what I mean?


Just like I knew that growing up in the hills of Ohio in the 1920's was hard... 
no, it was REALLY hard.


But just how hard I didn't understand.


The story goes that Grams met Granpa at a barn dance. 
They liked one another.
They dated? ( or stepped out or courted, whatever they called it back then...)


Grams and Granpa were married on August 23rd. 
It was Granpa's birthday... his 21st to precise.
Grams' birthday was August 16th.
She was a young girl... he was an older man... guy... boy... 
whatever...



But this is where the story gets ...
let's just say odd, or fuzzy.

Grams was one of many children... My mom would be able to say how many and name them in correct order in a hearbeat... I, alas, am not that good... I have to cheat and look at the family genealogy she wrote to get it right.


So, there were a bunch of kids and Grams was one of the younger ones. Her dad was off working somewhere else... like in another state or a different town because, well, that's where the work was. 
Probably a coal mine or steel mill.


Anyway...and here is the fuzzy part....
the kids were farmed out to families in the area... relatives or not it seems...
because there were too many mouths to feed? 


Apparently this was not an uncommon occurrence back in the day...


And then there was a flood.
And some of the little ones got washed away?
And then there was a fire. 
And some of the little ones perished?


And somehow, someway, someone got Grams mixed up with one of her older sisters?


She grew up believing her birth year was 1920... 
so she got married in 1937... when she was 17... right?


Wrong... evidently when she applied for a Social Security number...
as an adult... 
Mom of 3...
because she needed one for a job...


She was informed that she was born on August 16, 1923...


And if you do the math correctly...
and Granpa REALLY was celebrating his 21st birthday the day they got married...
and Grams REALLY was born in 1923... instead of 1920...


Then they got married 7 days after she turned 14...
Yeah... 
The reason, I was told when I questioned that no one knew she was 3 YEARS YOUNGER!!!, 
is this...


She was always big for her age so she easily passed for one of the older kids who had drowned or perished in the fire or whatever...

although how anyone could have mistaken a 3 year old for a 6 year old...
I don't care how big for her age she was...seriously?


It seems that there is yet another twist to this story...
and again it is, we'll say, fuzzy...


She knew her name was Kathryn Nancy... 
I mean you know your name, right?



But she was wrong! 


Yep, her name was REALLY Nancy Kathryn... 


you know, the one born 3 years later...


but they lost the family bible with the kid's names and birth dates in it...
I don't know, in the fire or the flood or ... whatever... so anyone could have been anyone at that point... 


Is it any wonder that tracking down the family tree is so time consuming???
confusing?
convoluted?


And don't even get me started on the side of the family whose family tree is really a wreath!


I know, right?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Writer's Workshop - Meet My Good Friends...

                              Welcome to another round of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!




For those of you not familiar with the Writer's Workshop it is basically a way to get new and perhaps even thought provoking blogging topics out there. Bloggers are encouraged to write a post using one of the topics listed for that week and then link it to the posts other bloggers have made using the same list of topics. Not only does this help to get the proverbial creative juices flowing, but it helps the blogging community to get to know another as well...

So, on to this week's topics of choice... for me, at least!

5.) Name a celebrity you would like to be your "in real life" friend. What makes him or her a perfect match for you?


The crazy thing about this subject is that I really and truly was discussing this just the other day with BratChild and HeMan Hubby... 
and not at the same time, but on 2 separate occasions within the same week..
So, this must really be the topic of which I must blog...

So just who is it that I would like to be my real life friend... celebrity-wise that is?
Well, I already know some real celebrities, but we're not close, at least not any more...

Ask any of my family members who my celeb friends would be and they will tell you straight away without having to take a breath ...

Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, of course! 

Every time I see Paula on TV or in a store display I say, 
"oh, look! It's my good friend Paula Deen!"

Because seriously, you all, if I lived in the Savannah area Paula and I would be friends...

There's just something about her sense of humor and sense of self...
that I admire and somehow make me feel like I could be myself around her and she would still be my friend...
But then, she is a charismatic woman who has made her fortune by making people feel good ... 
albeit with food...
so good in fact that they readily shell out great sums of money for the privilege of eating food prepared by Paula Deen...

I would stop by her house and whip up a batch of cookies or a butter rum cake...
we would discuss the merits of champagne vs. sparkling wine in a Mimosa...
and whether or not there is such a thing as too much rum in / on a rum cake, really?
Now that is a lady that I think I could be great friends with.

Rachel Ray, if I lived in New York, would be my good friend.
I can see she and I sitting on a sofa, in jeans and a raggedy sweat shirt from a university neither of us actually attended, sans socks...
drinking some Yellowtail Merlot or Shiraz from the totally wrong kind of goblet...
while eating popcorn and raisinets...
watching Steel Magnolias or It's a Wonderful Life on an all-day marathon.

We would just hang out and talk about nothing...
and everything...
marriage...
work...
and recipes...

What kind of sauce with calamari?
Remoulade or marinara?

Tempura batter or panko breading on that calamari or catfish bites?



 I think the reason that both of these lovely ladies appeals to me, 
draws me in and makes me feel like they could be my Very Good Friend...








Is that they seem to be exactly what they portray themselves to be...
regular people with regular lives...
who are famous...
who just happen to have found a way to make a living doing something that they love...

just like me...
aside from the famous part...
and minus the making a living doing something that I love part...

Other than that...
My Very Good Friends, Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, and I have a lot in common...

Or at least I think we will...
if we ever actually lived near one another...
and had the chance to hang out together...
and actually had something in common...

Yeah...
THEN we would be the very best of friends! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

All you can eat buffets... what a way to go

So, since my gall bladder was removed...
In December...

I just can't eat much of anything with any sense of security.

So what do I do?

I go to the All You Can Eat seafood buffet.

Yeah, probably not the best idea I have ever had but...
One can only eat so much Progresso light chicken noodle soup and Chobani yogurt.

One would think that after the attempt to eat out last month...
the one where I did not make it home fast enough...

I would learn my lesson.

And, in a way, I guess I did.

Now I only eat at restaurants within 5 miles of my house.

So... I sit here wishing I could go to bed because I am exhausted...
But my tummy troubles won't let me.

The lesson I should have learned is probably to stick to chicken soup and yogurt and relish the weight loss that has resulted from this very strict diet...

But similar to the pains of childbirth...
the memory of the pain and inconvenience of tonight's dining experience...
and the resulting 5 hours of misery...
will soon fade into the recesses of my aging brain and be forgotten...

and I will once again attempt to eat real food...

Hopefully, it won't be for a very long time...
gotta run!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Common Courtesy... Not So Common

HeMan Hubby and I went to a surprise party last night.
We had a nice time.
We were headed home by 9pm.

Imagine my surprise when we pulled into our drive and saw that the rose bushes I had planted along the property line had been cut down.

Not trimmed or pruned...
Cut to the ground!

By the neighbor who owns the property on the other side of the property line.
The State Police Officer who destroyed my personal property.
The rose bushes that I had gotten from my grandfather's garden before my grandmother died.
The ones that cannot be replaced.

I guess I should be glad that I did not plant the peonies there too or I would have nothing left from my grandparents garden...
The one I spent so much time in...
Watching my grandfather prune and pinch back and weed...

The flowers he took such pride in.

Whatever happened to common courtesy?
To asking if one can cut your grass or your bushes or move your trash cans...

HeMan Hubby does not see the issue...
oh, he feels that it was wrong of them to cut down our bushes without asking...
and he even suggested we extend the fence all the way to the street to make sure they don't do it again...
but to him they are just that, bushes...
while to me...
They are a last little bit of my childhood memories with my grandparents that I could touch and see and smell...

Common courtesy... apparently not so common after all.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Procrastination... It's Making Me Wait!

Why is it that when you have a million things you need to do ...
You spend your time doing all those little things that are just busy work?

Yep, that is what I have been doing all morning.
Little tasks that needed done, but not emergently or anything.

Instead of writing
or doing dishes
or laundry
or getting all the tax documentation together...

I updated my Google calendar.
I took care of some bills... did you know that auto payments scheduled for the 30th of the month reschedule themselves for the 29th if there is no 30th?

Now you do... You are Welcome!

I finally got the sweater I knitted steam blocked.
And then I worked on the pleated skirt I'm crocheting until I ran out of yarn...
Now I have to add running to the store for more yarn to my list of things to do... yay?

And I watched, and subsequently deleted, about half the junk I had DVR'd the last few weeks.
And then I went through the pile of junk mail...
and found the Emissions Notice for the truck that is due...last Friday?
oops!

Then I updated my status on FaceBook and tweeted some links for my other blog (Color Me Thin)
and checked the tweets from TeenBoy's AP History teacher to make sure I know what his homework really is...

And I listened to SmartGirl's lungs to ascertain whether she is actually, really and truly dying...
not to worry it seems to be a sinus thing, not a lung thing.

I took a shower and actually did my hair.
I cleaned out my makeup basket and made note of the Covergirl  Outlast lipcolor numbers that I simply adore and seem to have run out of. They go under yarn on my new mental shopping list.

Placed my Melaleuca order ... almost out of the hair spray that keeps my hair from frizzing and the facial cleanser that gets rid of my wrinkles and fine lines...not to mention some nice moisturizing body wash... and all made to be environmentally friendly...

Yes, I have spent the morning doing busy work and now...

I'm ready for a nap.
Quick before BratChild and SIX get home from school and I have to take them to pick up a pair of LAX goggles for her and some socks for him.
And Outlast.
And yarn.

Or I could do the dishes or the laundry or...

Or I could just sit on the couch and look at TV...

Yeah... that sounds good.

Procrastination... the name of the game for today.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Thank You Card Required... or how to turn your dad into an addict

I have just discovered that Jenny...
THE BLOGGESS...
Author of ( what I am sure will be) an amazingly detailed accounting of her (almost) true life...
Writer of satirical comments for several online publications...
And a sex toy company...


Has her own column on CafeMom!


I know! 
No one told me either.
It was a total, utterly shocking, and very nice, surprise.


For those of you who have never read Jenny's work...


And I can call her that because we are ( in my mind and if we actually lived next to each other we could be) friends... 
( just like Me and Paula Deen and Rachel Ray!)
and because it's her name.


Anyway, you should totally read what she has to say because, well...
there may actually come a day when you are facing annihilation by Zombies and...
if you had read what Jenny had to say you would, maybe, sort of, have a chance at survival.


Or, if you were in a second hand shop and saw the most awesome stuffed groundhog on earth...
we'll call him Orville...
You would know the correct technique needed to haggle a good price for him from the shop owner (or how to get the owner to give Orville to you just to get you out of his shop- whichever).


I showed HeMan Hubby some of The Bloggesses posts and...
He is hooked on Jenny like an addict on Crack!


Come to think of it...
I think I heard them call it Jenny instead of Crack on Ellen just the other day... 


And what does a good addict do?
Hmmm?
He puts the RSS feed on the desk of his FATHER's laptop so HE can become a Jenny addict too! 


Yes, I have shared a little Jenny with my family ...
And I have created a monster... or an addict...
Or a Jenny fan.


Whichever...
You Are Welcome Jenny...
No Thank You card required.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Anti-Social Media...yeah

Twitter.
Tweets.
Hashtags.
Mentions.
Pins.
Pinning.

Does anyone know what I am talking about?
Does anyone understand how these things are supposed to work?

Yes, I have a Twitter account.
Yes, I tweet.

Sometimes.

Not because I have nothing to say but because I don't know how to do it correctly.

When do you use a hashtag? And why?
And a mini-url? I know what it is but where does it come from?

I am not Twittering with Sophistication or Savvy and am fully expecting to be cut from Twitter any day now...
Bratchild says they will do that if you don't have any followers...
how about if you don't have anything for your followers to read?

And that Pinterest?
Okay... I have requested to be invited to join...
because I keep getting links to really cool things ...
like photos of idea rooms, recipes, art work and so much more...
pinned to their boards...
from online friends and bloggers for me to check out, find inspiration in and just enjoy.

The problem?

Yeah, Pinterest says I will be getting an invitation to join soon...
Apparently there is a waiting list there...
and I doubt that I will make the cut.

It's like that really cool club you used to just walk right into...
when you were 22 and looked hot and sexy in a mini-skirt and ankle boots ...
it was the 80's people...stay with me here...

but if you tried to walk in now?
That hottie at the door would have you at the curb and into a cab on your way to anywhere else before you could blink an eye!

At least that's how it feels.

I could be wrong.
I could get that Pinterest invite any second now...
And I could go to a club and walk right in and dance all night...

What?
If I'm gonna dream I may as well Dream Big!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's a Wide, Wide, Wide... Web?

There are tons of things available on the internet that just 10 years ago were unavailable to the public at large.

There was no Facebook.
There was no Twitter.
There was no Skype or YouTube or Xbox Live.

There was AOL and chat rooms.
There was online news forums.
There was email and online shopping and research sites.

With the innovations that have grown the world wide web into a truly WORLD WIDE WEB of information and accessibility it seems that the world in general has gotten smaller, more restricted and more impersonal.

Where GoodMom and SmartGirl and ManBoy used to spend hours on the phone getting dating advice, giving dating advice, sharing wardrobe secrets and the private thoughts and dreams of the American teen...
spent hours with friends doing their hair and makeup, playing ball in the street and just hanging out and having fun...

Where I once had to shout " Hang up now!" and " It's time to come home!"...

Everything is different.
Everything is changed.


TeenBoy and SIX and, yes, even BratChild communicate with friends online...
.
BratChild Skypes with friends from her soccer team...

SIX plays video games with the kid down the street...

TeenBoy hangs out with Anime enthusiasts...

And none of them leave the house!

All of these social activities...
the ones that used to require actually getting dressed and going outside...
That required one to have an understanding of at least a modicum of personal interacting skills...
like how to meet a person with a handshake or quick hug or air kiss or knuckle thump...
how close to stand to a person before it gets to be too close...
how to make eye contact and appear interested in what another person is saying...
how to actually be in the same room with a person without being rude or offensive or inappropriate...

All of these activities and interactions can be carried on from the comfort of your own home using your home computer or laptop or personal tablet.

Okay.... I will admit that when BratChild said she was talking to D on the Xbox Live while SIX was playing a game with him I thought it was nice that the kids were finding a way to hang out together with their friends...

And then... I found out that D was not the one that lives around the corner but D, a boy SIX found online who lives in Minnesota!

The conversation went something like this...
BratChild- It's pretty warm today. It's that cold?  That's a lot of snow! What grade are you in? Do you go to school? I'm looking you up on FaceBook now...

WHAT?

Okay that is the side I heard so... it being 60 degrees out and having had no snow lately... I had to ask..
Me- Where did D get snow?  You know what grade he's in, he's in your class!

Which led to...
Bratchild- Not D that you know, this is D. He's a boy my age and he lives in Minnesota. It's really cold there. And they get tons of snow.

And then...
Me- Do you even know where MINNESOTA is?

BratChild- I know it's far away... and cold?

And then... she looked up D on facebook and then looked up Minnesota on Google Earth and then checked out the average temps and snow accumulation and... Voila!

She actually learned something... and made a new friend in the process.
But I won't tell her she learned something... that might ruin the whole experience.

I still don't like that the things that used to be done face to face...
that life lessons and life skills needed to be able to succeed are being over looked and forgotten...

But perhaps this World Wide Web isn't all bad...
maybe it's power can be used for good, not evil...
and maybe, just maybe, the skills being learned are the skills that they will need to succeed in this new world where boundaries do not seem to exist and distances no longer seem to matter...

And as long as those personal interactions and skills are learned and developed...
I guess there are good things to come of all this technology...

Sometimes I just have to look real hard to find them

Monday, January 30, 2012

Motivate Me...

I have fallen into a funk.

That place where my thoughts run rampant but my body just doesn't seem to have the energy to keep up...
That place where I find myself in the cold, dead of winter...
That place that makes me doubt my purpose in life...
and feel helpless and listless and drained.

I have been in this place more times in my life than I'd like to admit.
I always come out of it, but each time it feels like a piece of me is forever gone...
Unretrievable... although I am sure that is NOT a real word...
it is what I feel happens to me with each episode of this funk that I encounter.

I know that life is what you make of it...
I put on a happy face...
I do what needs to be done...
but my motivation to do more....
to be more....
seems to have left me.

I know that it will get better.
When the sun shines brighter...
and the earth warms in the spring....
my outlook on life will improve.

Until then, I will continue to do what I must...
to take care of those I love...
and who love me...

Because that is what a good wife...
a good mother...
a good daughter...
does...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm an Aunt... or is it Ant???

Yes, I became an Aunt for the ... well, whatever time on Monday.

And NO, his name is not Martin or Luther or King...
although he may be treated like one, a King that is...

Which is wonderful and awful for several reasons.

First, it's wonderful because, well a new life has come into the world and has the most amazing parents...
Secondly. it's wonderful because it is a HE ... which is what the sonograms said it would be so ...

Kudos to modern medicine on getting it right...
because, let's face it, they don't always, you know?

And it's absolutely awful because... they live 1200 miles away from The Busy Family.
It's awful because we won't get to see him, and his adorable big sister and brother, until, well, who knows when!

I am thrilled about the new baby.
He came a little early, and a little late.

He was due around the beginning of February but... well he came in January... which makes him early...
and yet...
my birthday was the 11th and I so very much wanted a birthday twin ... they run rampant in our family...
so coming on the 16th makes him just a little bit late...
but then, he is a boy and you know how independent and strong-willed THEY can be!
Okay, girls, especially the ones in THIS family, can be that way too.

So, it's a little bit awful and a whole lot wonderful at the same time ...
The being an Aunt again... or is it Ant...
You know the English language can be so hard to figure out...
Is simply wonderful...

Well, I'm off to read, or is it reed, or perhaps it's reid... oh, never mind...
I think I'll just go write, or right, or maybe rite???

Oh forget it!
Think I'll just go watch some TV...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What I did for my Birthday... or not

 
What I did for my Birthday... or not

It's 11:44pm on January 11th.
Technically, it's still my birthday for about 16 minutes.
I should be in bed now.
I have to get up early to take Bratchild to the orthodontist.
Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY...
her braces are finally coming off.

But, for now I am sitting here and reveling in the solitude of the last moments of My Special Day.
Or not.

Actually, I am waiting for my tummy to calm down so I can go to bed.
Why?, you may ask, am I having tummy troubles.

That's easy.
Because I wanted one thing, and only one thing, for my birthday.

Chinese Food.
That's right.
I wanted some crab rangoon and Kung Po chicken and won ton soup.
So, after some argument from BratChild about how no one in the family likes Chinese but me...
I mean, come one, it's my birthday so I should get to choose the food I want to eat...
and I didn't think I should have to cook dinner AND make my own cake...

I got her to pick something from the vast menu of Thai, Chinese, Sushi and Sashimi.
She picked sweet and sour chicken.
The boys wanted orange chicken and lo mein.
HeMan Hubby wanted General Tso's chicken...

Why is it when I make chicken they complain but when given the choice of any meat known to man ...
You got it, they all chose chicken!

Me?
I got my Kung Po chicken...
not because I actually wanted chicken, but because all seafood  and red meat is off limits since having my gall bladder removed 3 weeks ago.
And that leads me right back to my tummy trouble.

Apparently eating half an egg roll ( SIX said it was too much to eat so he gave me some of his) is half an egg roll too much.
And eating a spoon full of Kung Po chicken and fried rice is just that much too much.
I never even attempted the crab rangoon or won ton soup...

or the Thai calamari...

or the spare ribs...

or the lo mein...

Chicken is the only meat I have been able to eat without regret...
that is, until tonight.

So, I sit here and wait for my stomach to stop complaining as I work on the skirt I am crocheting for this weekend.
And watch the time tick by to the closing minutes of yet another birthday.

Today I am 46 years old.

Today I became one of the millions of those across the world in their mid-40's.

Today, like a fine wine that mellows with time, I have become a little better...
a little more secure in who I am and content with the life I am living...

Even if it includes TeenBoy and BratChild and SIX...

Even if I will never be able to enjoy Chinese food, or popcorn or chocolate... oh heck, anything that is really yummy, ever again...

Because today I realized that it's not how old I am...

It's how young I feel, and today...

I feel pretty darn young...

Probably about 39...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year... I'm only a few days late

Yes, I know it is January 5th but...

I have been busy.
My laptop broke.
I haven't felt well.
I had surgery the week before Christmas.

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Yes, these excuses are all true but...

Making time to write, or in this case, blog has not been on my list of priorities since early December.
And although I don't do Resolutions as such I have decided to set aside time each day to do the things that are important to me...
and the things that I have to do, like my freelance writing gig.

November was hectic, to put it mildly...
And December was even worse.

Add a father in law who had cancer surgery that did not go as smoothly as we had hoped.
The death of a friend and a quite unexpected gall bladder issue that landed me in the hospital and required surgery with 10 days notice...

Today seems to be a good day, even though TeenBoy and Bratchild over slept, as did we all, and missed the bus.
And SIX is home from school with what appears to be the beginning of the dreaded FLU.

I feel pretty good.
My stomach is not acting up ... no I haven't eaten yet, but then I can't really eat much since the removal of the offending organ formerly known as My GallBladder.

Good news is that I have lost about 7.5 pounds since surgery and am trying to make that number even bigger as the days of my recovery continue.

Still not allowed to exercise, other than walking...
and even if I tried I would be so exhausted after a short time that I would need a nap.

Such is the recovery from major abdominal surgery in your 40's...
Really sucks but what can I do...

My birthday is next week and my goal is to be able to get through next week performing my normal activities...
running kids here and there...
managing youth group activities...
getting some much needed house work done.

See, I don't want much....
I just want to feel like myself again...

Only better...
Thinner...
More healthy...
and Pain free...

Oh, and while I'm at it I might as well win the Lottery too!