Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh Boy Santa!

Funny Flashback -
About a decade ago, we lived in rural England.  Having moved there in the summer and realizing we would be limited in our "Santa" options, my hubby and I made the best with what we could find come November and December.  Our daughter, who was three years old at the time, wasn't really raised with gender specific roles so we thought she'd be open to anything.  One of the gifts we selected for her was a Hot Wheels race track.  We happily stayed up late Christmas Eve wrapping the gifts rather proud of ourselves for accomplishing Christmas in a foreign land with limited resources.  The morning came and wouldn't you know that the first present our daughter opened was that Hot Wheels track.  She excitedly tore the paper off of it.  Upon seeing what it was, she threw it down on the floor and proclaimed in tears "Santa thinks I'm a BOY!!!!!"  After much reassurance, a few more gifts, and mom and dad "playing" with the "oh-so-fun" track and cars, she recovered and a wonderful Christmas was had by all, but we were left with a memory we will never forget :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

R.I.P. Christmas Lights

Yesterday we finally got out the Christmas tree.  I have been waiting, as you know, a long time for this event.  Hubby and Daughter set up the tree and all was going well until Hubby plugged in the lights.  They didn't work.  Luckily he had not yet put them on the tree.  He plugged in another string of bulbs.  Nothing.  Not a shine.  Not a twinkle.  Nothing.  Come to find out thay most of our Christmas tree lights had died.  Now, we have had these particular lights for 17 Christmases so they definitely had a long life but I just wasn't expecting to have to put them to rest just yet.  (Sniff.  Sniff.)  They and the tree were a wedding gift from my grandparents.  But I gave in and headed to the store today to buy new lights.  Hubby said we previously had six sets.  50 feet of lights in each set.  Ok.  We get to the store and of course there are about 5,000 choices of lights.  You've got your minis and your traditionals and your spheres and your bulbs and even flame tipped ones.  And they all come in white or colored or all red or all blue.  There was even a set of all purple lights.  We located the lights that looked best.  Spheres - a change from the old traditional.  Wouldn't want my old lights to feel as though they're being replaced.  Just a change to something different.  Each box says that it holds a set with a length of approximately 20 feet.  Ok.  Time for math.  We previously had six sets at fifty feet each.  That's 300 feet of lights.  Ok.  At 20 feet per box we need 15 boxes.  15 seemed like a little much so we opted for 12.  Yeah, that's right we bought 12 boxes of Christmas lights for our tree.  We even weighed out the option of buying new lights versus buying a new pre-lit Christmas tree.  After dropping $120 some dollars, we head home to discover that each box of our old lights did not contain 50 feet of lights.  There were 50 LIGHTS per set not 50 FEET.  We bought enough lights to cover three trees.  Big mistake.  So, as I type this Hubby is wrestling with the lights and the tree.  I'm not sure who is winning.  Tomorrow I will hang my head and return seven boxes of lights to the Target.  We bought all the lights in this style the store had.  Hopefully they won't place an order to replace the stock we drained yet.  Glad we didn't opt to buy a new tree instead.  Oh well, at least I can smile.  My tree is up - FINALLY!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sorry Peeps, I Forgot

So, the last two days I completely forgot to blog.  I was ticked away in my cozy little home with my family of three (six if you count those with feathers) and we just enjoyed being together.  No facebook, no e-mail, no blog, nothing.  And I have to admit it was kind of nice.  While I love my cyber-friends dearly, it was nice to take a break and live like it was when I was a child - computer-less.  We played cards and games and Wii and it was awesome.  We missed our families but had a kick-ass Thanksgiving meal of our own.  We did get some rather good news.  If all goes as planned, we will be landlords by this time next week.  It has me nervous and excited at the same time.  It will be such a relief to have the rent coming in to us, but at the same the house is in such good condition that I'm scared to let anyone else live there.  I don't know why because its not like I'll ever live there.  I didn't venture out to the Black Friday sales.  Just didn't have the energy and was enjoying being here at home too much to leave.  Don't think I really missed anything except standing in line in the freezing cold for a few hours and I'm totally ok with that.  Other than that not much has transpired over the last two days.  I promise not to forget to blog again.  At least until Christmas :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nacho Average Lunch

So today I had a girl's lunch with my daughter.  It was wonderful.  We bundled up and headed out to the local Mexican place and had us some south of the border grub.  We chatted about this and that and just about everything you can think of.  It was nice because there was no reason for it.  There was nothing to celebrate except us being us.  Relationships are work and the relationships we have with our children are no exception.  What does it tell your child if you are having lunch out with friends on a regular basis yet never have lunch with them?  And I'm not talking about grabbing a McCheeseburger and fries on the way home from the dentist office.  I'm talking real sit down with a waiter, takes longer than 20 minutes meal.  One on one interactive time.  No cell phone, no television, no distractions what-so-ever.  Just good old fashioned conversation.  You get to know your kid in a way you didn't before.  You get to see them in a new light.  While having lunch with my daughter, I realized what a capable, grown up young woman I have.  She has a good head on her shoulders.  It hit me especially hard when the waiter asked if it would be separate checks.  Wow!  We looked like two girlfriends out having lunch!  That's exactly what I wanted.  And yet at the same time I don't.  It means she is growing up and I'm not quite ready to let go yet.  Thank goodness I have at least another year and a half of girlfriend lunches till I have to deal with that and for that I say gracias!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30% Off Your Sanity

Ok.  So I thought it was cool when someone in the Ukraine was reading my blog.  Now someone in Pakistan is reading it!  That is so cool.  If you enjoy reading it, please take a moment to choose a favorite post and share it on your facebook page or any other way that you may know how to share it (I can be techno-challenged so all I know is how to share it on facebook).  I love knowing that I am reaching people.  Too awesome!  Today I am prepping for Thanksgiving and trying to decide if I am going to venture out to the Black Friday sales.  Most of my shopping is done so I don't really need to go out.  I have just always wondered what it was like to be out in that mass of insane shoppers.  I want to see it firsthand.  All the fuss and craziness all for a cheaper price.  I don't really want to buy anything on the super sales.  I just want to watch the mass hysteria.  And would you believe that you don't even have to wait until Black Friday anymore?  Toys R Us opens on Thanksgiving Day at 10 p.m. with their sales.  Wal-mart's sales start at midnight.  Other stores are opening at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.  There is no reason to set your alarm to get up when you never get the chance to go to sleep.  Apparently you are supposed to eat your turkey and take a nap so you can get up in the evening and head to the overnight sales.  I wonder what they do in the rest of the world where there is no Thanksgiving?  When is their Black Friday?  Anyone from the Ukraine or Pakistan care to  enlighten me?

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wild Mouse is not a Fun Ride

I'm back!  After a weekend of computer dysfunction, I am once again able to put my thoughts into blog form for others to read, ridicule and/or relate to.  Hope you didn't miss me too much. 
Well, we took my daughter out to practice driving once again yesterday.  She has had her temps since October and due to scheduling conflicts and an early dusk (we figured we'd stick with daylight first) this is the third or fourth time she has been driving.  She had driven around the parking lot at a local vacant business and the high school at first.  When we first put her in the driver's seat, she asked "Which way do I turn it to start it?"  Yes, that was her actual first question.  No joke.  Nothing like upping my confidence in you baby girl.  After a quick lesson in how to start a car and a quick lesson on changing gears, she slowly inched forward and drifted about twenty feet.  She was then prompted to brake which led to a testing of the seat belt restraints.  After much more drifting, reversing and one scary moment when the gas was mistaken for the brake, we called it quits and headed home.  The second trip was a little better.  Then tired of making loops with no obstacles and hoping to go above 10 mph, I graduated her to the street.  She did ok.  Typical student driver.  We did go over 10 mph.  We went 15.  But for a first time driving on a road with other cars, she did really well.  Then yesterday, Hubby demoted her back to the parking lot.  He said he wanted her to get a better feel for controlling the car, but I think her confidence took a hit in the meantime.  She seemed more nervous than she did driving around the neighborhood and was right back to where she was when she first started driving.  I shut my eyes (to avoid becoming sick in the backseat) and we looped and looped and looped the parking lot.  With my daughter's style of sudden braking, it was like riding the wild mouse at the amusement park.  Turn, turn, turn, jerk to a stop.  Turn, turn, turn, jerk to a stop.  I think next time we go out, I'll insist on the roads in the neighborhood.  I think it does a lot for her confidence and her skills.  I know it is a lot better on my stomach.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bigger is Not Always Better

Holy Kroger Marketplace Batman!  Today was our third trip to the new, improved, gigantic Kroger Marketplace here in Suburbia.  Its so big that they had to pass out maps the first week it was open.  I'm really not kidding.  We used to have a very nice Kroger, but they decided to knock it down to build a Kroger Marketplace (which is PR for Kroger with furniture and a sushi bar).  They closed the old one and plowed it over taking their good old time.  We suffered without a grocery store for about a month making trips to the Super Wal-mart.  It was difficult but we perservered.  The whole time I wondered - how are they going to afford closing for a month?  Well, now I know.  They jacked up all of their prices to high heaven.  Things that used to cost $6 now cost $8.  That's quite a jump if you ask me.  Whereas we used to be able to make it out of there with a full cart for $120, now we leave about $150 poorer.  I have a theory that is why they closed for an entire month.  So you could forget what prices you used to pay for everything.  Its nice I guess.  They do have a section I have dubbed "Cheeses of the World" where you can sample till your hearts content, but that's not worth an extra $30 a trip for me.  Now if I could only find my way out of the store without my frozens thawing out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flat Lining

I am unlucky.  Always have been.  I think its a family curse.  My mom and dad are unlucky.  My brother is unlucky.  I am unlucky.  I am so unlucky that not only did we have a copper theft at the house we are trying to sell this week, yesterday we got a flat tire.  Yup.  Drove over a nail randomly hanging out on the road.  No contruction.  Nothing.  Just a random nail.  Now I guess you could look at it and say I was lucky because it wasn't raining at the time we changed the flat, but that's not luck that's finding the silver lining if you ask me.  The saying is right there always is a silver lining.  The problem is that most of the time the situation sucks so bad that the silver lining is nothing compared to the storm cloud its hanging out with.  But nevertheless, I do try to always find the silver lining.  I haven't found it yet regarding the theft.  I'm trying to focus on the good things in my life.  I have a wonderful husband.  I have an awesome daughter.  I have a home and almost everything that I need (I say almost because I do need to get groceries at the moment).  I just have to stay focused on what I do have and let the bad things that happen, just happen.  If only those bad things didn't all turn out to be so expensive.  But I will look on the bright side.  Or at least I will convince myself that's what I'm going to do.  Focus on the silver lining.  At least its not a copper lining :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are You on "The List"?

'Tis the season to be jolly.  Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!  Today is a better day!  I am here starting to write out my Christmas cards.  I've made a list and checked it twice and . . . what?  96 CARDS?  I am sending out 96 cards?  When did this happen?  I'll admit I added a few people this year but not more than ten tops!  When did my Christmas card list get so out of control?  So, I looked at the list again.  Ok.  Ok.  Ok.  Ok.  Wait.  Who is this?  Oh, that's right - my mom's best friend's mother.  Yeah that's right.  She's on my Christmas card list.  She sends us a card (and even a gift card for our daughter) every year.  I can't not send her one.  Then I realize.  If I can't bring myself to cut out someone I met once in my life, there's no point in even going through the list.  I try not to let it discourage me and forge on.  That's it.  The end.  There is one cousin that I got a random card from last year that I had added to the list who will not be getting a card this year.  I never talk to her.  Honestly I don't know why she even sent a card.  But outside of her, everyone stays on the list.  There are family members, friends, service providers and even a few people I haven't talked to in years but can't stop sending a card to.  But it makes me wonder - what is the ettiquette for Christmas card sending?  If someone doesn't send you a card one year can you cut them off for next year?  I've tried this before and end up getting a card from said persons the following year.   Nix that theory.  I can't possibily get a card without sending a card in return. However if there is no justified reason to cut someone off of your list, how do you keep your list from growing exponentially each year?  But I'll buck up and get my six boxes of cards addressed and signed and out in the postal system soon.  The real problem is when I think about the cost of postage - it doesn't make me feel very jolly at all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Poor Me - A Post of Self-Pity and Financial Frustration

I've calmed down a bit from yesterday and have progressed to sulking.  It seems as though they have caught the people who were responsible for the copper thefts which is good.  That doesn't give us our pipes back though.  Insurance will cover some of it.  They're not sure just how much yet.  The window they think will be our responsibility because it is considered vandalism and vandalism on a house that is vacant for more than 30 days is not covered.  Bogus in my opinion.  Its not like they were just out to break a window.  It was part of the theft.  But whatever.  I'll be happy with whatever we get.  I let mom and grandma know that we won't be coming to Hometown for Thanksgiving now.  Mom took it better than expected.  Grandma was really disappointed.  Oh well.  Have to get the money from somewhere and cutting out a three night hotel stay and the cost of gas, food and pet boarding will help.  It will be a tough day but we'll get through it.  We also won't be taking our weekend vacation in December.  Right now the Christmas trip to Hometown is on hold.  We'll see how much this will cost us.  To be honest we didn't really have the money to go on those trips anyway.  I've lost track of my Five Weeks to Financial Betterification.  Can't really budget now that we have this huge expense to pay out.  Oh well.  Can you tell I'm sulking?  Got to find a way to get back to my snarky old self.  I promise a much more interesting and cheerful post tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Gettin' Nothin' for Christmas

So.  We live in Suburbia but we own a house we are trying to sell/rent in Next Town Over.  Ok.  Whoever it was that stole all of the copper pipes out of our house in Next Town Over - YOU SUCK!  Thanks for leaving our basement a wet mess with no plumbing.  All for a couple hundred dollars most likely to support your stinkin' drug habit while it will cost us a few thousand of our hard earned money to repair.  Now, trip to Hometown for Thanksgiving - cancelled.  Upcoming weekend vacation - cancelled.  Thanks Mr. Copper Pipe Stealin' Meth Head!  Way to ruin our holiday season!  I hope you enjoy your fix while we deal with the police and the insurance adjustors and trying to come up with the money to replace all that you stole.  If the insurance adjustor finds it in his heart or his insurance guy handbook to help us out, it will cost us at least $500.  Who has an extra $500 laying around in November/December?  Not me, I can tell you that much.  I sure hope you have fun with your . . . no wait OUR money.  How are we supposed to sell a house with no indoor plumbing huh?  I can see our realtor now - its a lovely three bedroom with a shed converted into an outhouse.  Nice.  I'm sure we'll get top dollar for that Mr. Taking Stuff That Doesn't Belong To You Most Likely In Broad Daylight.  You already hit a friend of ours house here in Suburbia, did you have to hit our house too?  It's costing them $5000 to undo what you did.  $5000.  Five . . . thousand.  How am I supposed to come up with that AND have a decent Christmas?  Suburbia police were optimistic that they will catch you.  Unfortunately our house is in Next Town Over where the men in blue barely seemed to care.  Makes me glad I don't actually live in Next Town Over.  Oh, and if you plan on coming back, don't bother.  I'm not fixing it with copper just so you can come back and leave me high and dry again.  I hope you rot in hell!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dia de los Pajamas

Today I would like to introduce you to something very important and close to my heart.  It should be a part of everyone's life every now and then.  Its fulfilling and enjoyable beyond your wildest dreams.  Its a pajama day.  In case you're unaware, a pajama day is a day where you stay at home in your jammies all day long.  That's right - all day long!  You relax.  You indulge in whatever your heart desires as long as you stay in your pajamas.  I'm not saying you can't be productive.  Catch up on your e-mail, pay some bills, do a load of laundry but do it all in your pajamas.  It's a sanity day of sorts.  Everyone needs to take a break from the rat race every now and then and its a forced break.  Whenever we try to plan a day where we just kick back and relax, it never fails.  We always remember something we forgot to go get or something we should have done.  We then end up going out and not relaxing.  With a pajama day, there is no choice but to stay home.  You can't exactly go get groceries in your pajamas (although I think I have seen some people do that at the Kroger).  You won't be as eager to run to Wal-mart or Target in your pajamas.  You can nap and read and do the things that you like to do.  So plan out some sanity time by scheduling a pajama day.  You'll enjoy it.  I'll bet my jammies on it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Can't Believe Its Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve

Its November 13th.  NOVEMBER 13th.  And the stores today were packed with Christmas shoppers.  I'll admit it.  I am one of those people who goes straight from Halloween to Christmas mode.  I love the music, the decorations, even the shopping.  I love everything about it.  Its not that I don't like Thanksgiving.  I think it stems from living abroad.  When living overseas, we had to shop early to ship everything back to the USA.  They also don't celebrate Thanksgiving in other countries so immediately after Halloween, up goes the Christmas tree.  Our Christmas tree is still not up.  The debate rages on, but it will be up before Thanksgiving if I have anything to say about it.  I have started my Christmas card list and planned out the letter it will include.  I have even wrapped my first few Christmas gifts in festive red and green paper.  I am in full Christmas spirit, but I just couldn't believe that there were almost no parking spaces left and lines of people at the cashier stand.  The shelves were well picked over and its not even December yet.  Yes, I do realize that I was one of those people out Christmas shopping today, but usually I am ahead of the game.  I like to have my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving, but I do this to avoid the crowds.  I hate throwing elbows and pushing my way through stores, fighting over this or that all while being bumped and bruised and run over by oblivious shoppers with their overstuffed carts.  This year though I was right there in the thick of it all.  Grabbing the last toy off of the shelf.  Holding onto it for dear life.  I guess next year if I want to beat the rush I'll have to shop in October since apparently November is the new December.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mortality Mix-up

Funny Flashback -
A bunch of years ago when our daughter was maybe 9 or 10, we got a new restaurant in Suburbia.  So we set out to the Chipotle in search of a tasty meal.  Upon arriving, we got in line to wait for our turn to order.  Then we noticed an employee coming down the line speaking with all of the customers.  When he got to us. he stated that he was very sorry but their rice cooker had died.  We were more than welcome to stay and eat but our burritos would be riceless.  Hubby and I talked it over and decided what's a burrito without the rice and chose to go elsewhere.  Upon returning to the car, our daughter stated how happy she was that we didn't stay and eat at Chipotle.  "Why?" we asked.  "Because I don't want to eat somewhere with a dead guy in the back," she answered.  After much confusion we finally realized that when we were told that the rice cooker had died, she thought the man who was cooking the rice in the back of the restaurant had kicked the bucket.  We informed her that it was the machine that cooks the rice that died but we still laugh about her mix-up to this day.  Love you baby girl!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You've Got Mail

Some of you may think its geeky, dorky, childish or all of the above but I have penpals.  People I have met through one means or another (but not in person) whom I keep in contact with through good old-fashioned snail mail.  I enjoy writing letters.  There is just something liberating about sitting down, taking a pen and some pretty paper and writing.  Telling someone somewhere out there in the world what is going on with you and your family and your adventures and all of it.  It's therapeutic.  The time it takes to actually write a letter lets you figure out a lot in your own head while your writing.  I've solved problems, came up with ideas, all while writing letters.  It keeps me busy.  And there is nothing better than going to your mailbox to find something other than bills and junk mail.  It makes you smile.  It brightens your day.  To hold a piece of paper and think that a week ago this was being written for you somewhere in South Korea or Norway or Brazil.  Hearing the different customs and lifestyles.  Seeing the different art on the stamps.  Even exchanging little gifts.  Its an educational experience beyond words.  I actually know some of these friends better than I know my friends here in Suburbia.  Because they are at a distance and we don't really share many mutual friends, I feel I can tell them things that I wouldn't tell anyone else.  Some of them know my secrets and I know theirs.  There's just something more personal about snail mail than e-mail or telephone calls.  I don't know why but I like it.  For the price of a stamp, you get a wonderful friendship.  Here's to all of my penpals!  You make the world a better place!  Thanks for being friends with geeky, dorky, childish me :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All I Want for Christmas

Remember as a child when you would get that Christmas gift that you didn't really want or already had or for some reason or other were not thrilled about.  Remember smiling and saying thank you and being grateful for the gift itself.  The other day we were in the Suburbia Target and I was dumbstruck by some lady - a mother actually.  She was telling her husband to make sure he got a good picture of the toy she was holding so that it would look good on her facebook.  That's right, she is going to take pictures of all the items her children want for Christmas and post them as an album on her facebook profile.  That's insane.  I mean, I guess it might be helpful in some twisted way, but really?  Then I heard on television this morning that this is one of the latest trends.  Parents making interweb birthday and Christmas lists for their children so that they get what they want.  I'm sorry but this has just gone too far.  Registries are for weddings and babies and times when you need certain items for your life, not want certain items for the heck of it.  It's ok for little Sophie and Hunter to get something that they didn't request on their birthday.  It's ok for little Matthew and Emma to get the wrong color of a toy under their Christmas tree.  With an established wish list, there is no thinking about what you want to get the child.  There is no personalization.  There is no fun in the gift giving when the gifts are pre-ordered.  And what will become of the manners of the children today when they never have to deal with a non-customized situation.  What ever happened to teaching children to be polite and thankful for the gift no matter what it is?  When I was young there was something we were taught that seems null and void in today's society.  Remember this? Its the thought that counts.  The question is if you are given a registry of gifts to choose from, don't you feel as though your thoughts don't much matter. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blogger's Block

So today I am at a loss as to what to blog about.  I want to blog about things I am passionate about and I am not having an especially passionate day.  In an effort to get some ideas, I tried to think about what my hubby (who requested that I not blog about him) and I talked about over dinner and realized that we didn't talk about anything.  We didn't talk about anything because the music in the Chipotle, (yes, we were eating out and yes, I know my Five Weeks to Financial Betterification is almost up) anyway, the music in the Chipotle was so loud that we couldn't hear each other.  Why do they do that?  Especially at eating establishments where you go for the purpose of dining and chatting.  It just seems to defeat the purpose to me.  I don't mind a little background music but this was ridiculous.  Now, the one type of music we experience when out and about that I do really enjoy is Christmas music.  There is something about Christmas music that just puts me in a good mood and makes the shopping process easier and more enjoyable.  I also will use the Christmas music as a limit of sorts.  See, they play the music on a repeating cycle.  So if you hear the same song twice, you've probably been in that store too long.  Its hard to believe there is such a thing as being in a store too long but even I will admit that can happen and shopping is something that I am passionate about.  Hey, I've blogged about something I'm passionate about.  Guess I've come full circle today.  Way to beat the blogger's block.  Go me.  I'll save blogging about Hubby for another day :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where's the Common Cents?

I was dreading picking my daughter up from her first winterguard practice today.  Why?  Because today was the day they found out how much it costs.  Yes, we live in a pay-to-play school district.  I don't know what it is like in other areas of the country but school is expensive here in Suburbia.  Back when I was in school, you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the worst thing was buying the required composition notebooks.  Now, at least in our area, you have to buy all of the supplies including classroom supplies like tissues and bleach wipes.  You also have school fees.  This is a bill they send you for the classes your child is in.  This year's school fees were $142 and we only have one child.  There was also the cost of the specialized supplies for mechanical drawing class which ran us $45.  And if your child wants to do an extra-curricular activity, look out.  Our daughter is in fall colorguard and we pay between $400 and $500 for the season.  Last year, winter guard was $20.  This year they have expanded the program so that it is $200.  Then there is the band trip to Florida which will run $900 at least.  And they do minimal fundraising.  Minimal.  Very minimal.  The Florida trip is optional but how do you tell your child that you can't afford it?  That's what we had to do.  If she were going. we would have a grand total of at least $1800 for the school year.  Wow.  No wonder dinosaurs are extinct.  They died of sticker shock.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Top Ten Things I Learned This Weekend

10.  My best girl friend is tops.  She is my Yoda.
9.  You can make your own buffalo chicken salad at LaRosa's restaurant. 
8.  Factory Card Outlet is the slowest store at putting up their Christmas items. 
7.  My father-in-law is tops.  I owe him some boneless buffalo wings.
6.  Apparently, winter style is layering camis until you are warm enough. 
5.  It is possible to feel your heart breaking. 
4.  My hubby is tops.  He's better than pizza with extra cheese.
3.  Don't do anything with anybody.  Do it by yourself.  Rely only on you.
2.  There is a point were even I wish I hadn't worn sandals.
1.  Always Always Always start every phone conversation with "Am I on speaker?"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hang in There with Me

Due to my apparently being a big bad bitch, there will be no blog today. 
Please come back tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Do or Do Not, There is No Try

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a skinny girl.  Nowadays, I need to lose weight.  The more things I try on from my closet, the more I know this.  Sure I joke around about it but I need to figure out a way to actually make this happen.  The problem is two fold: 1) I don't like to exercise and 2) I like to eat.  My weight problem is physics gone bad.  I am a victim of inertia - you know, where a body at rest will stay at rest and a body in motion will stay in motion.  So if I can just motivate myself off of the couch, maybe I can stay in motion and call it exercise.  I am also very persistent.  Well, ok, not persistent as much as stubborn.  Once I start something I will do it every day until I cannot do it one day then the body at rest stays at rest.  I just tend to give up.  One slip and I'm a lost cause.  I know my weight gain has a lot to do with my depression because it was the depression meds that made me gain the weight in the first place, but I think this whole thing has much more to do with my chronic depression than I realize.  When you don't see yourself as having value, why better yourself.  Why put forth the effort?  Which leads you to overeat, which leads you to be more depressed.  How does one break free of this vicious cycle?  I think I have been in denial.  We don't have a lot of mirrors in our house and the ones we do have I avoid.  I feel like the same skinny girl I was back in college and when I do catch sight of myself in a mirror, I am horrified.  To think that I (with the assistance of the meds) caused this.  We do eat out a lot and I'm sure that is not helping.  My Five Weeks to Financial Betterification is passing quickly.  I could easily kill two birds with one stone (a saying which I hate) by eating out less.  More money, less weight.  Win/win right?  So why don't I just do it?  I have to remember that inertia only happens until the object (me) is acted upon by an outside force.  An outside force.  That's it.  If I could just find the force to make me skinny again.  Where is Yoda when you need him?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

He's the Reason for the Season

With Christmas quickly approaching, my theological thoughts have turned once again to the one, the only - Jesus.  Today I had a great conversation with a friend of mine on the divinity of Christ.  See, call me the doubting Thomas but the one sticking point I have with Christianity is the whole "Jesus as divine" thing.  I have trouble getting from Point A, the place where I am in my belief system, to Point B, the place where one believes Jesus to be the son of God, without touching on the weak link that I consider the Bible.  I believe the Bible is a great tool and must be something amazing seeing as how it has survived throughout time.  The problem I have with the Bible is that I view it as fiction.  It was written by numerous different people with numerous different agendas over the course of many, many years.  It contradicts itself in places and has been cut and pasted and cut again.  It came from man not from God him(or her)self.  They may have been inspired by God but there is that little thing called free will that gets in the way.  It was not dictated as the events happened.  So my dilemma is how to get from Point A to Point B without touching on anything biblical.  I was asked by my friend to look at it from another point of view - how to get from Point B to Point A without the Bible.  To think that God as an all-powerful entity who is capable and if he is indeed all-loving (which I believe) why would he not want to grant that magnificent occurence.  If instead of looking at the glass as half empty and trying to figure out where the other water went, view it as half full and enjoy what is there.  See Jesus as divine and find the reasons to support that instead of saying "prove it to me".  This thought has brought me to a place of new found peace.  Who cares if it was a virgin birth?  Who cares if the miracles were legit?  I guess your initial viewpoint is where your faith actually comes into play - acceptance of the glass as half full in the first place.       Now if I could just have faith that my Christmas shopping will get done!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stuck in "The Middle" Again

So, I mentioned the other day that we spent Halloween in the car.  Well, we did.  Due to something beyond anyone's control, my parents could not leave Hometown to drive the 5 hours to Suburbia to see my daughter perform.  Instead, they had the great idea to meet in the middle of the journey for lunch.  We drive for 2 1/2 hours and so do they.  We have lunch in The Middle.  They wouldn't get to see her perform which was the whole point of the trip but I let that go.  I made an exception this time due to the circumstances, but ordinarily, I hate meeting in The Middle.  See the meal isn't a problem.  The problem is that once the meal is over - then what.  There is not much to do in The Middle.  There is no real place to go just to sit and talk.  We usually end up meeting at a rest stop, eating, loitering in the parking lot of the eating establishment, going to The Middle mall or other stores and then loitering in their parking lots.  Loitering not being one of the more popular ways to pass time, I am usually uncomfortable with this.  My parents don't seem to mind but it bothers me to be doing something technically illegal.  I just prefer to have a homebase whether that be my house or a hotel room, but my car does not qualify.  This time there was a crisis, but I feel as though if my daughter never had performances or a birthday, they wouldn't come out here at all.  They would be content to meet in The Middle every now and then and see us when we make one of our four trips to Hometown per year.  I am at a loss as to what to say but I am done meeting in parking lots and at rest stops.  My stress level just can't take it. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Poll Position

Today is election day and boy am I glad.  Not because I get to vote for the person whom I think should lead our state, county, city, etc.  I am glad because all things political will stop.  Finally, no more commercials telling me who to vote for or who not to vote for.  No more election signs cluttering up the landscape.  No more jumping up to get the phone just to find it is a pre-recorded message from someone asking me to vote for someone or something.  And I have to say that due to all of this unsolicited invasion of my privacy, I am not going to vote.  It's not because I feel that one vote can't make a difference.  I believe it can.  It's because I feel that none of the people who are running for office are actually worthy of holding that office.  I refuse to vote for anyone who slams their opponent in ads.  That rules out half of the candidates.  But I have to admit their ads are effective because they make me not want to vote for the other half of the candidates.  I feel that too many people go to the polls and vote without properly educating themselves first.  It's too easy just to push the button for someone because they're male or female or you just like their name.  I've done this in the past and regret it.  Not because the person was elected and failed me but because I participated in a process that I had no right participating in.  There should be a short quiz before you are allowed to vote proving that you know what the candidates stand for.  Maybe they should do it in essay format.  You can vote for someone but you have to then write a paragraph stating why.  Don't make everyone do it.  That would surely take too long, but more like random drug testing.  Make someone do it every now and then to keep everyone honest.  A lot of people also vote for the other guy.  They pick who they don't want to win and just vote for the opposition.  A friend of mine made the wonderful point that you shouldn't vote based on the lesser of two evils.  You should vote for the people you trust.  Trust is defined as assured reliance on the character, ability, strength and truth of a person or thing.  I'm not sure about the first three but truth and politics have no connection at all.  And trust me, I am sick and tired of the whole thing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Say Cheese! II - The Continuing Saga

My daughter got her school pictures back the other day and, well, her hair is green.  Not completely green.  More like 1/3 green.  See they used a green screen and then inserted the background of our choice after the fact.  The problem lies in her blond hair.  Apparently the little wisps of hair as well as the edges of her hair were a problem with the green screen.  Great.  I called the company who said she will have to have retakes done and that she should brush her hair flat immediately before having the picture taken.  Gee.  Voluntary helmet-hair.  My daughter will be thrilled.  So after some discussion with the photography company, I was able to arrange for her to have her picture taken in the traditional way without the green screen.  This should solve the problem but the thing that upset me was their non-chalentness about the whole thing.  The woman I spoke to was in no way surprised that her hair was green.  She even asked right away if she is a blond.  So obviously, they have had problems with this process before on blonds.  Why offer a product that you know sometimes doesn't work.  They are not charging me for the retakes but it is a matter of principle.  If you made a car and the brakes worked pretty well most of the time, that wouldn't cut it.  So why are they able to offer a product that doesn't work sometimes.  I paid a pretty penny for those pictures and having them done right the first time was, forgive me, an expectation of mine.  Now, my daughter (and us for that matter) will have to go through the stress of another school picture day.  We can't get the pose and the background we wanted unless we go the hair-pasted-to-the-head route.  Maybe I'll choose the green background so we can remember the trials and tribulations of this year's school pictures.  Nah, why invite trouble.