Sunday, December 25, 2011

Just Being Fancy

I have a new fabulous piece of technology that is going to help eliminate the excuse of not having time to blog. I have the iPad 2 and I just figured out I can blog from it! Please do not mock me. I have admitted that I have limited technical ability. I do not have a smart phone. I do not have a vehicle with back up assist and cameras. I am just a simple girl with a witty way with words and a vocabulary that makes most people cry or run for a thesaurus, sometimes both. Well, I am giving technology a try and who knows what will happen next. All I know is it is awfully fun sitting hear on Christmas night tapping on a screen with keyboard but no actual keys. I raise my glass of merlot to Apple for making less of a Ludite out of this lady . Merry Christmas!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five For Friday

Today I dedicate my post to my friend Judy, who seems to enjoy my feisty personality, and actually asked if I was blogging today, after learning I was feeling extra feisty and unfiltered. Some would shy away from me when I am "truth telling" but not Judy. She is brave, she is the mother of two teen aged boys. I am guessing that makes her tougher than most. So here are some of my random and unfiltered musings...

  1. Do Not Suggest Something You Are Unwilling to do Yourself. This should be a law. As I mentioned in many posts, I am a professional volunteer (that's right professional, as in do not try this at home. I am a professional, you may get hurt). Well, in this capacity I do many things, most relating to my kids and their various interests. I tend to do more than the average mom, but that is my choice, and I own it. Here is where the unseasoned person gets in trouble with me. Suggesting something else for me to do. As in, "I think it would be great if you could get all the scouts to march in formation, while singing America the Beautiful. That would be great if you could do that." Agreed, that would be simply amazing, however asking the person who is already the leader, and chairperson of several different activities to make this great moment in home video history happen for you, is insane. I speak for all the "do-ers" out there who get all kinds of things done...SHUT UP IDEA PEOPLE. If you are not willing to make it happen and lead it yourself, you need to zip it. If you have a great idea, you need to back it with some action.

  2. U-turns are not the best way to go the other direction. My husband and I have noticed a marked increase in the U-turn on the streets lately. I am not sure if people are that worried about saving gas or are really that short on time or what. It is not a safe practice in a city. U-turn all you want on roads with no traffic, but you are begging for trouble doing that on the streets of this town. Use some common sense people!!!

  3. Blue tooth users appear crazy. I say this because these people walk up and down the aisle of stores, seemingly talking to themselves. I get that the whole earpiece thing is a safety feature in the car so a person can have two hands on the wheel. However, walking around outside of your vehicle laughing and chattering away with no one next to you and your hands free...well, you look like a nut job. Associated with this is anyone who is using any type of phone in a public bathroom. Please, allow yourself a few uninterrupted moments to do your business. Everyone deserves a bathroom break, and I am pretty sure the world will continue to spin if you are out of the loop for five minutes. I am also sick of hearing your call while I am answering the call of nature. Enough said.

  4. Cider Mills. I am not sure if I was disadvantaged as a child, but I never recall visiting a cider mill. I know they existed because we had apple cider in our home. Now it seems everyone flocks to the cider mills every weekend. My kids have gone on field trips to apple orchards and cider mills, but as a family we have not done this activity. I like cider and doughnuts as much as the next person, but why do I have to see the source of these foods being made? I also like salad. Should I go to the lettuce fields? A tomato patch? The crouton factory? I feel like a jerk not being all up on the cider mill visit, but I really do not get it. There are tons of bees swarming the sweet products, and the places are crowded to maximum capacity. Perhaps I am a cider Scrooge...I just do not have the Fall Harvest spirit. I am curious as to what three ghosts would visit me if I am indeed a "cider Scrooge". That feels like a whole blog post in itself.

  5. Campaign for the 25 Hour I am still campaigning for one more hour in each day. I would blog more, and my nails would look better. My petitions to God have not yet been answered, but I will keep them up until I get less busy or He grants us all one more hour per day. Perhaps if some of the presidential hopefuls focused on giving people more time they could get me more interested in other things they have to say.

Have a wonderful weekend, whether you are at a cider mill, or wandering around like a nut talking on your bluetooth. Just keep it safe and avoid the U-turns.

Friday, October 7, 2011

FANtastically Tired

Here is what makes my husband crazy. I am a playoff sports fan. I do not care about any sport until it is down to the playoffs. That is when it matters, that is when I care. I am a HUGE Tiger's baseball fan RIGHT NOW. I always like the Tigers. If you give me tickets to the game, I will go and I will like it. When I am at a live game I tend to people watch and shop for spirit wear, but I love that stuff. Right now, I actually turn on the baseball game, even if my spouse is not home or if he is in another room. I can only really care when it comes down to the wire. This fickle fan dome baffles my spouse. He lives and dies by his teams. A loss can bring him down and make him very hard to be around. I on the other hand, can turn it on and off. I always semi-care, however I save the real depth of caring for the playoffs.

The baseball season is long. I think I have heard it is 160 some games long??? That is a lot of baseball. It is not humanly possible for me to care or even feign interest for that long. The Tigers have been having a phenomenal season, and I have been following it in news excerpts and fleeting glances at Sports Center. Until the playoffs...and now I am really watching whole games and losing out on some precious sleep. It is exhausting caring this much. Staying up late, and still getting up early. Last night's win against the Yankees actually made me so joyful, and excited I slept horribly. I was just too jazzed to properly fall asleep. If I cared all season long, and lost the amount of rest I have lost during the playoffs throughout the whole season...well, I would be a complete mess. I am not sure how you die hard, all season long fans do it. I am fully prepared to lose more sleep as the Tigers take on the Rangers. I will cherish the sleep on nights with no games, and I will very much appreciate any day games that may happen. Frankly, it is just so much fun to be swept up in the excitement. GO TIGERS!!! (I will sleep after World Series)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Outer Order = Inner Peace

I am working on testing the theory that outer order can bring inner peace. Not that I am completely lacking inner peace, but I could always use more. Nor am I so completely disorganized that I can not function, but once again, most of us could be a bit more organized as well. In order to reach my goal I have decided I need my house to look like it is on the market to be sold, all the time. Yes, I am staging my house, but not selling it. The clutter is slowly but surely disappearing. This time I am not just moving the clutter from one place to another, like some people do when company is due to arrive. No, I am going finding place for everything, and sometimes (more often than not) the place is the garbage can. However, standing between me and my perfectly staged home is a disease. Yes, a disease. An affliction. I have a horrible, awful, non-communicable disease. I am afflicted with flat surface disease. If I see a clear, clean, flat surface, I have an urge, no a NEED, to put something on that clean, flat surface. Mail, books, glasses, keys, you name it I will put the item on a clean flat surface instead of its rightful place. It is a sickness. The last few weeks I have been fighting my inner clutter demon. Forcing myself to file or shred papers. Coaxing myself to shelve books and putting my keys in a special bowl, just for my phone and keys. It has been torturous. Unlearning clutter-making attacks every fiber of my being. No, I have never liked the clutter, but it is a hard habit to break. However, I have noticed, when I go to bed at night and the counters and end tables are tidy, I feel a certain satisfaction with myself...perhaps even some additional inner peace. And each day I can honestly say I am waking up to a fresh, clean, start to the day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Positivity, DCN's, & Laughter

Today I am writing to cheer myself up. I caught myself having a pity party over the little potholes on my road called "life". I tried to use positive thinking to turn pull myself out of the pity pool, but more often than not anymore I need to write in a journal to really distract me from myself. So today I am blogging my journal, since I am pretty sure I am not the only person on the planet that can get caught up on the little stuff. My son often reminds me of this because he has been known to make the statement, "I am feeling a little glum". Yes, at the age of seven he says "glum". He is his mother's child and tends to make less common vocabulary choices. Anyway, we all get a little glum and the only solution is to focus on the positive. However, when making laps in the pity pool it is often hard to get positive. It is a real conundrum. Thus, I write it all out, or at least the really nagging things, and then I look on paper and see that really my life is not in Suckville, or even in the same county. Then I am not so glum. Sometimes.

If the writing it out does not stop the gloom and negativity, I head right to the DCN's. What are DCN's? (You know you are wondering) DCN's are Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets. Now you are wondering, what the hell does that have to do with anything? Well, DCN's (you just say the letters, never the words) are exactly what my kids requested for lunch a few days ago. I was not clued into the lingo, so it when something like this...

Daughter: Hey, umm, we were thinking some DCN's would hit the spot.
Me: Umm, first of all who is "we" and second what are DCN's?
(insane laughter from son (who is in another room) & daughter)
Son: (yelling from another room) DINOSAUR CHICKEN NUGGETS.
(more laughter from them, and now from me)

Thus was born the DCN phenomenon. It is just a funny thing to hear, and fun to say, and even tasty to eat (occasionally). We do not really have DCN's in the freezer regularly, which makes it even funnier that my kids have taken to calling this food by its initials. It makes me laugh every time I think about it. Yes, it is ridiculous. No, it probably is not funny to anyone else in the world except the four people that live in my house. The point is everyone has a DCN in their life. Something funny that can bring a smile to their face, and a lightness to their heart. Life needs these little things that keep us from taking ourselves too seriously, or to encourage us to get out of the pity pool, dry off, and get on with life on a more positive plain.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forgetting

Today is September 11, 2011. Ten years since so many lives were horribly cut short, and it seems all Americans lives changed that very sad day. Today, ten years after the fact, with so much media coverage of the opening of the memorial and the remembrances of those who were lost, I had the opportunity to talk to my kids about what happened and why 9/11 is significant and part of our national history.

My daughter was had just turned two in 2001 and my son had not yet been born. So for obvious reasons neither had much of a concept of what happened or why. Seeing video replay of the World Trade Center under attack today was the first time either one had seen the horror. (I did not let my two year old see the constant coverage 10 years ago, not knowing what her little growing mind would retain) They both had questions. What happened? Why would a plane do that? Who would do that? Pretty much the same questions I had ten years ago. So over lunch we talked about terrorists, Osama bin Laden, and the resilience of the American spirit. Do they understand now? No. I do not think I ever will either. However, they do understand that we, as Americans, can never forget, nor can we live in fear.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Hello Stranger. That is how I felt when I logged on to blog this little ever so brief entry. I actually had to reset my password, because I had something clever that I would never forget as my password. However, I guess it was not clever enough. So now that it is reset I can begin. Strangely, my whole post is about "resetting". Not passwords, my life. It seems I have become caught in the morass of others' lives, and now I am struggling to see where I am in the whole picture. Thankfully, when I was talking to a friend earlier today, she is also in the same place and looking to "find what is hers". I am blessed to be in such good company in the "inner turmoil" struggle. Starting on September 6, 2011, my goal is to find my "thing". What this "thing" may be I have no clue. So I will be doing some soul searching, praying, and perhaps more soul searching, as I look to reset me.

September 6 is not a completely arbitrary date, it happens to be the first day of school. So it is somewhat logical.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ex-People Pleaser

Hello, my name is Allison and I am a neglectful blogger. Sorry. However, apologies aside, I have had a breakthrough. Yes, a breakthrough, like people have in therapy, except I am not in therapy, this came through my own personal evolution and frustration. So here it is, I don't care. Yes, I realized through a series of recent events that I no longer really care what others think of me.

She does not care?
How heartless!!!

Now to clarify my new, "I do not care" attitude. This does not apply to my family, and close friends. I will always care what those closest to me think about me. I love them and they matter. I also love myself enough to not let "others" opinions effect me any longer. This attitude applies to the "others". I no longer care if my children's' friend's mother thinks I am lovely or a complete witch. I know who I am. I am good mother, and decent person. So I do not need to conform to any standards set by others. The best part of my new mindset is no longer having to tolerate annoying situations. Prime example, carpools with kids that are obnoxious. If the parent is able to drive their child somewhere and is only asking me to drive so they can get out of driving, I am saying "No, we will see you there". I am not heartless, I will drive if it is schedule issue or car trouble, but just so "we can all go together", forget it. I do not have to deal with banal conversation while someones kid tears up my vehicle (and the parent ignores the behavior). Not happening anymore. My kids are well behaved, and properly threatened with consequences for poor behavior, before they enter another persons home or car, so they always are respectful. If others are not going to teach their offspring to act civil or face consequences, that is their problem. I do not care, I am not dealing with it. Bottom line, I am done being a "people pleaser", because it is unpleasing to me.

I know my new outlook is not going to be well received by many, luckily I don't care. Those nearest and dearest to me know that this was inevitable. I have said, "yes" and agreed to some pretty unbearable situations for too long. I was bound to either break or put my foot down. Now the foot is down. People pleasing is something unique to women. I have not often run into a man that is overly concerned about what the peripheral people in their lives think about them. Good job men, I am proud of you for not caring. Not that you care what I think. Likewise, I don't care that you don't care. See? This is fun already.

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Snow in April? (that sucks)

The title pretty much sums it up. The kids are off for their Spring Break and it looks like we can grab the sleds out of the rafters in the garage. That is just wrong. I feel like this month is suffering from schizophrenia or perhaps bipolar disorder. I am not a licensed medical professional, but I know that this constant shifting in temperature is not good for our collective psyche or our health. As a seasonal allergy sufferer this time of year is unpleasant enough for breathing freely. The only good thing is seeing the grass get greener and the trees gets little buds of leaves. Yes, the grass and pollen are my krypton, but they are pretty, colorful enemies. A fresh coating of snow is the last, LAST, L A S T thing we need. I know Michigan is famous for its fickle weather, but this month has been extreme and ridiculous, even for Michigan. Last Sunday is was in the 80's and the kids were asking to get sprayed by the hose while we were doing some outside clean up. Fast forward to today, one week later, upper 30's and winds that cut right through to the bone. My poor dog could not keep her ears from flapping in the wind on our walk. Okay, I will admit I was very entertained by the ear flapping, but she was not. Yes, this is a rant. However, I will tell you I feel better just writing it all out. However, I may engage in some primal scream therapy when I am shoveling my driveway, IN APRIL!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Campaign for the 25 Hour Day

I am not sure how I am going pull this one off, but I am lobbying for an added hour to the day. I currently max out each of the 24 hour days I am given. I will admit that I still sleep, so perhaps I could get more out of a day if I quit sleeping, but that seems unwise, a bit painful, and down right dangerous for those who have to deal with me on a daily basis. Since my chosen vocation is that of a "professional volunteer" it would seem I could tailor my schedule to permit more free time. However, the professional volunteer business is booming. Many of the things I spend my time on really do not benefit me, but if it makes someone I love smile or feel better, I can't say no. Likewise, if it is for a cause or organization that I am passionate about I would rather share my talents with that group than just have some good old fashion downtime. Yes, that is a bit silly. Yes, it is also draining. Yes, it makes me crabby sometimes. Thus my appeal for an extra hour a day, all my own. The 25th hour will not be an hour to be shared, but an hour to personally consumed and savored for personal use ONLY. If I get my additional hour, I swear I will only use it for myself. Reading, exercising, writing, and painting nails are some of the top activities that would fill my hour. Those seem like a good balance between frivolous and personally enriching. Not wanting to disturb the laws of space and time for the rest of the universe, you too will have an extra hour to play with as you please. I am proud to head up this campaign for all of us. No thanks necessary, your personal enjoyment is thanks enough. So, what would you do with your extra hour per day?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pet Peeve Monday

Today the list is long, and the day, I am informed, will still only contain 24 hours, so I need to be brief.

Last night while dining in a reasonably priced restaurant with my children, the people in the booth across from us drove me nuts. These people were complaining about every aspect of their reasonably priced meal. My daughter pointed this out to me, and she is at a very "complainish" stage in life. So if you are complaining enough to make her notice...well, you are doing something. First the coffee was too cold. The replacement coffee was too hot. (By the way, coffee is a hot beverage, thus the first complaint was valid. The second? That is called being a jerk). The man's reasonable prices steak was too tough. This reasonable priced restaurant is known for its pancakes, so why you would expect a Ruth's Chris style steak experience at a pancake house is beyond me. The complaints just kept flowing. In the meantime, my happy party of three was joyfully eating breakfast for dinner (a true delight). Well except my daughter who had to try the chicken and waffles, I am not sure how to classify that meal. She declared it a "taste treat". We had the same waitress as the complainers, a lovely person. Our food was prepared in the same kitchen, I even had coffee (it was great). I believe these people were just being malcontents. Perhaps they only see the bad in everything. Maybe they were angling to get a free meal. Whatever it was it reminded me that one of my pet peeves is people who go to reasonably priced restaurants and complain when they do not get five star food. It is on the same vein as people that are surprised that Taco Bell meat is not 100% beef. Really? That shocks you? The world must be a real trip for some people.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Motivational Speaker

Today I need a Motivational Speaker. No not a person that will tell me in five easy steps how to declutter my closets, or build a better connection with my spouse. I need an actual speaker, like a loud speaker, to follow me around yelling, "Do your list. You know you have more to do. JUST DO IT".

Yup, that kind of motivational speaker. My internal motivational speaker is broken today. Yesterday I was highly motivated. I did lots of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, picked up the clutter on the counters, and I even washed down the kitchen cabinets. Yesterday I was the epitome of motivated. I was the spokes model for getting things done. Clearly, I over did it. Today I have a list and as I look at each item I say, "Nope, not now. Next". Then I get to bottom and go back to top and repeat. It is very repetitious and annoying. Where is motivated me? Did I use her all up yesterday, and now I am stuck with Apathetic Allie? No good proper work is done with Apathetic Allie. My mother would say, "It sounds like you are in a morass, a morose morass". Guess where I get my love of words and alliteration?

If I were motivated I would create this invention, the Motivational Speaker, to prod me on my way to accomplishing things when I feel like just sitting and reading a book. However, that seems like a lot of work. I know nothing of how to make an electronic gadget. Truth be told I am pretty sure there is already an "app" for it. There must be, there is an app for everything.

Today, if you are reading this, and you are motivated. Please create a Motivation Speaker for me and all the other inertia challenged people that need that extra bit of prodding now and then. However, I assume if you are reading this, you are also surfing the internet because you are avoiding doing something of purpose as well. In that case, enjoy. I am sure we will find our motivation again. Maybe not today, but soon. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Having A Quicky

Oh, do not get so excited. It is not Friday so I can not do Five for Friday. I do, however, have several little things on my mind and I am cleaning my kitchen. Let me rephrase that, I am "trying" to clean my kitchen. My words are pushing me to write, so write I must. Kitchen be damned.

  1. When did that happen? Do you ever just look at a lamp, or into a corner of your home and see cobwebs or an insane layer of dust. Clearly this dust and webbing can not just happen overnight, but one day you look and think, "I am not Martha Stewart. I am not even a hobo Martha Stewart". These things creep up on me. Generally things like this spawn a mini cleaning frenzy. That is what happened in the kitchen today. The hood over the stove was crazy dusty. I swear last night when I was standing at that stove cooking that exact same hood was perfectly clean. We must have a dust elf that visited last night.
  2. Spring pictures. When did schools decide that Fall school pictures were not enough and now they try to make people get Spring pictures taken of their children? I am fine with Fall pictures. I find that the picture packages are pretty expensive, but I roll with it once a year. Now I am being guilted into Spring pictures. Well, no I am not being guilted into anything because I am a strong woman, and I can say "no". Even the kids think its a dumb thing. They do not like Fall pictures, so they are glad to back me in my opposition to Spring pictures. It feels good to have a united front with them. It is a bit strange, since being a parent and being a kid so often puts us at odds with each other. Thank you stupid Spring picture flier for uniting a mother with her offspring.
  3. LEGOS. I swear one of these days I am going to need to have a LEGO surgically removed from my foot. Clear LEGOS should be outlawed. My son does a great job cleaning up all except the "clears". I walk in his room and find the clears with my foot. OUCH. Generally I need to construct a string of obscenties long enough to make a sailor blush. Even worse, if the kids are home I have to clean it up. So then it sounds something like this, "Holy Mother of Pearl, I want to kick the sugar beat that invented froggin' clear LEGOS. What a flip floppin' jerk. My fooooot, my poooor fooooot". Yup, I pretty much can't stand the clear LEGO. Worst thing ever. Or until I think of something worse.

Thank you for indulging me in a quicky. Now back to that kitchen. I just peeked in there, it is not cleaning itself.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Its Not in the Cards

Do you and your significant other have something you just can not do together without getting mean with each other? For some its home improvements. I have talked to people who cannot grocery shop together. It seems all relationships have some "breaking point" activity that just needs to be avoided to maintain domestic tranquility. In my relationship it is Euchre. Yes, the card game. How stupid is that? Pretty stupid. However I have figured out why a deck of cards is our house of cards. I will fill you in on that later, the entertaining part is hearing the tumult that is caused by this card game.

Card playing is not something I did in my family growing up. We are not card people. We are are a cerebral people, we play Trivial Pursuit. I come from a family that likes to spout the crazy amount of useless facts in our enlarged heads. Are we all geniuses? No, not all of us. We could get pretty worked up in a game of Trivial Pursuit. It was competitive, and I loved it because even as a young person I had a lot of useless facts. I am proud of my useless facts. My useless facts make me fun to sit next to at a dinner party. Knowing a little about various topics makes for sparkling conversation. Point being card playing was not a part of my upbringing. Cards are not full of fun facts. Cards are cards.

My beloved spouse is from "card people". His parents had regular card games at their home. Socially this was their thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Many people play cards. I have girlfriends that carry decks of cards in their purses "just in case". Okay, "just in case" of what??? I have been afraid to ask.

Euchre has always been the card game that tested my patience with my spouse. Really, it tests his patience with me. I learned that game in college from one of my roommates and I liked playing with her and other people. True, I can not remember "trump" even if I call it up (seriously). In college it was fun. We would flirt to distract our competition. Good times. Until I played euchre with my future spouse, my brother, and his future ex-wife. Suddenly my not remembering trump, and not paying attention to my partners cards made a difference. Note: DO NOT OVER -TRUMP YOUR PARTNER. This seems to insight an annoyed rage in my spouse. Not a violent rage, even worse it is the eye-rolling rage. At times I was sure he would roll his eyes out of his head. This type of response from ones beloved is very painful. Even worse is the "talking about it" later. He honestly would replay how the cards were played and how I "over-trumped" his "trick". I can not even remember what trump is during the game, let alone all the card that were played after several hands of euchre. He takes cards seriously. That is the way he was raised. This scenario has replayed in several settings over the years. A close friend witnessed the "euchre curse" and I really think she was pretty shocked by the emotion. Even she said, "Maybe you two should not play cards together. Ever".

Trivia Girl can not roll with Card Shark. He enjoys this card game. He has skill and apparently a photographic memory. He does not know that John Quincy Adams used to swim in the Potomac River most days of his presidency (true fact). That is how we differ.

So is it really about the cards? No. It is about me not wanting my spouse thinking I am a moron. I really do not care what the rest of the world thinks. Any other person in a Euchre tournament can say, "Allie is a real dolt when it comes to playing cards", and I literally would not care. Well, I may have a few snarky comments, but that is just me. My spouse's opinion matters. It mattered when we were dating, and it matters to this day. So it has never been about the cards. The cards are just the thing that exposes a shortcoming in me that I prefer he not see. The cards are the pants or dress you try on one size too small (because just maybe they will work) and then look in the mirror to see the horror. No one wants their mate to see that. Cards expose my mental figure flaws.

This revelation that is not about the cards has taken me about seventeen years to realize. Perhaps because I have never wanted to admit that someone's opinion mattered to me. Perhaps now I can learn to play cards for enjoyment and to socialize. Maybe I am going to have to let him read this blog so he knows its not about the cards after all. Maybe.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time Flying By

Time flies when you are having fun. That is what I have heard all my life. A one hour dentist appointment feels like an eternity. A one hour lunch with a friend feels like ten minutes. This fall my oldest is entering the 7th grade. She will have class changes, several teachers, not just one. She will have school dances. All those things that I have thought are so far in future, are upon me. Time has flown by. I guess I must be having fun being a parent! Last night we went to what will be her new school for the orientation, tour, and to select her "elective" classes. ELECTIVES, that is right, not just the usual specials. She gets to pick. I will now pat myself on the back by letting you know I did not tell her what to pick, or even make any suggestions. My very independent daughter also did not hesitate when marking down her preferences. I am proud she knows what she wants. I just wish she wanted her mommy around more. On the ride home we talked about what she thought of the school. (Its fine). Was she nervous about going to 7th grade? (No, it will be fine) Why are you being crabby with me? (See list below)
  1. I do not have a cell phone and everyone else does, I will be the only 7th grader without a phone.
  2. Make-up. I am the only kid that does not wear mascara and liner.

REALLY. This is what I am on the hook for, no phone and make-up? Great. I have a retort for both points. First of all, the kids with phones were texting and walking into people. Which makes them look unaware and rude. These texting kids were also texting the fool next to them, which is just plain stupid. If she thinks I am going to be complicit with her being a moron, she can guess again. When she gets a phone I can guarantee if I see her being this ridiculous, I will take it and turn off the service. I am not sure what is wrong with the parents that let their kids look foolish, maybe they were updating their Facebook statuses*. Something like this, "My kid is texting the person they are walking next am raising an idiot".

Point two, the make-up issue. My daughter has mile long eyelashes, that are also thick, and dark. I am not sure what these beauties would look like with mascara on them, but I am betting she will poke someone else's eye out with them. I am not blessed with lovely lashes, thus I do goop on some mascara and I have since about 8th grade. The surprise with this complaint was I have never heard her mention she wanted to wear make-up prior to last night. Honestly, I am not sure where I am standing on this issue. She looks lovely so I see no point for it, but maybe we can broker a deal by the beginning of 7th grade. I really do not want her putting her friends make-up on in the bathroom at school (we all know that is the alternative).

So time is flying by, throwing mobile phones and make-up tubes at me, waking me from my fantasy that my daughter will always be a little girl. She is really a smart, wonderful, young lady and blessing. Time is handing me a new phase in parenting. It is not that she needs me less, just in new ways. Now I need to up my game and become the parent of an adolescent...wish me luck.

*(Full Disclosure: I have a Facebook account, I regularly update my status. I do not do it mobile (ever) and I rarely, if ever use "lol". That was also a joke and in no way am I disparaging those who mobile update, or use "lol")

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life Is Too Short To_______

The title really sums up my prevailing attitude of late. Life is just too short to put up with some stuff. Life is also too short to put off some stuff. So here is my (partial) list and I encourage you to make a "Life is too short to ________" list. It really helps define the important things in life.

  • Life is too short to not laugh everyday
  • Life is too short to not make yourself a priority
  • Life is too short to spend time on activities that make you miserable
  • Life is too short to create drama that is not an original screenplay or a novel
  • Life is too short to put off saying "I love you" to those who matter
  • Life is too short to worry about what everyone else thinks
  • Life is too short to not share your faith, your passions, and your vision
  • Life is too short to not take a vacation from your problems
  • Life is too short to keep score

Those are just a few off the top of my head and the bottom of my heart. Happy Valentine's Day! You are your own best sweetheart, the others are just lucky candy hearts.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Super Storm 2011 (run in a circle and panic!!!)

So a truly huge, ridiculous, super snowstorm is allegedly coming this way by Wednesday. I always try to ignore all the hype for these super-storm events, because more often than not the huge storm either never materializes or passes the area by only dropping a few flakes. Here is the problem, I was stuck in the store with those "preparing". Today is my normal grocery day, my family will also be prepared for whatever happens. However, I was forced to be grouped with the "reactors" (I like to defy classification, but today I could not). The check out person assumed I was stocking up for "the storm". NO, I AM JUST FEEDING MY FAMILY THIS WEEK LIKE I DO EVERY WEEK. Did I say this to the clerk? No. I pretended I was super worried just like rest of the shoppers. I am not worried, at all. Yes, it can snow a foot or more and I still will not be worried. I will be shoveling a lot, but worry will not creep into my mind. My shoulders will be sore, my body may get cold, my iPod may need to be recharged, but no worries. I really do not get why people get super worked up and worried about snow, in the Midwest.

I get why people in the south get freaked by a snow storm. It would be confusing and hard to deal with if snow was not part of the normal winter routine. No shovels, no snow pants, no cupboard full of cocoa, no winter driving skills, all of those things would make for a bad, snowy times. However, we are Midwesterners. We are tough. We can get on with life, no matter what. So let us quit worrying and whining like babies. Whether it snows 6" or 16" it will be fine. We will take up our shovels, or fire up the snow blower and deal with it. In out own quiet and stoic Midwestern way. Remember, there is no whining in snow removal!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Trouble with Trouble

"If you could kick the person in the pants that has caused you the most trouble in life, you would not sit for a month" Theodore Roosevelt

I read this quote the other day, and I liked it so much I posted it as my Facebook status. If the amount of "likes" the quote received means anything, I think many others agree with Teddy's witty truism. Why is it we are often our own worst enemy? When does this start in life? And more importantly, when does this end? If I knew the answer to second question, well, my troubles would be over and I would fill you in as well. I am just that swell of a gal. Judging from watching my own kids, and using them as a general pattern for myself and others, I would say we start causing our own troubles about the same time we start rolling. That is right, when we start rolling. How many times do babies roll themselves under the couch or other piece of large furniture? Countless. How many times does that rolling baby just start fussing until someone comes and rescues them from their plight? Also countless. At some point the baby starts to figure out that she can roll in the other direction and get "unstuck". It takes a lot of getting stuck under furniture before the baby figures out a way to free herself.

The best I can figure we keep rolling through this life getting stuck under couches (okay, these are figurative couches) and sometimes it takes a long time to learn we need to roll in the other direction to free ourselves. Some people will stay trapped under their couch and plead and cry and cast blame for a long time before they find out they can solve their own problems. Some people never find out they can solve their own problems. These people are the saddest of all. Constantly looking to others for the solution and the rescue from all the couches in life. Certainly I am not advocating not asking for help, or seeking solid advice for many of life's major "couches". There is a special strength is knowing you need help beyond yourself. I am more focusing on the person who is overwhelmed by the minor things in life, makes mountains out of mole hills, and generally is the adult baby that can not roll the other way. In short, make trouble for themselves and then place the blame squarely everywhere else. I would like to fix these people, but I can not, so I try to avoid adult babies.

This leads to the question when does this "causing trouble for ourselves" end? My guess is probably at death. Life is just filled with troublesome situations, many of our own making. Perhaps there are a few people that are so highly evolved that life's problems do not bog them down. I do not know these people, but I bet they are not that much fun to talk to at a cocktail party. Most of us are stilled troubled by troubles, and just need to keep rolling, wiggling, squirming, to get out from under the couch. There is nothing wrong with having a life with troubles, as long as you realize that YOU are the cause of, and the solution to, most of the trouble in your life. Just keep rolling and don't forget to roll the other way when you get stuck.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Five for Friday

The problem with letting the business of daily life get in the way of writing a blog is now I have a lot of ideas to write about, but not the time to write the 5 or 6 posts that I wanted to write over the past week and a half. So I am going hit you with some musings from my crazy life. When I say crazy life, please do not think I would (or could) have it any other way. I love every twist and turn, the ups and the downs, the laughter and even the tears, without them how would ever build any character?

  1. Please do not be jealous when I tell you my alarm clock this morning was the sound of a dog vomiting. Seriously. First of all I am not stranger to the sound of horking animals, I have a cat. The dog is bigger, thus the sound is louder and the clean-up is larger. The dog has never vomited before, so I was pretty concerned about her health. After letting her out for "potty business", I was petting her and looking her over. Making sure she seemed okay. Then she bolted over to to her food dish. You see, the Greyhound does not do a casual doggy walk, she bolts around. After staring at her dish, then looking at me, then staring at the dish, then back at me (repeat about seven times), I realized she was fine. You can not keep that dog from her food. Happily I report she is fine. Sleeping comfortably, as is her normal daily routine.
  2. It is freakishly, awfully, wretchedly, miserably cold today. I have no use for temperatures in single digits, and even less use for negative zero temperatures. Sure, the snow is pretty, but lets keep it in the 20's so the snow can stay, but humans can walk around outside without having fingers, ears, or other body parts freezing off.
  3. I am coaching a reading team. Yes, a reading team. It is for The Battle of the Books at my daughter's school. I love to read. I have several books that I need to read that were Christmas and birthday gifts. I am excited about these books, but I can not read them now because I am kid literature. Now I really like kid literature. I have read the Harry Potter series, the Twilight "saga", and several other kid selections. However, now as a reading coach I need to know these kid books pretty well so I can quiz my team. So each night I look at my stack of grown up books longingly, and then pick up yet another kid book. I even read kids books when I am in waiting rooms at the dentist, orthodontist, and even at the hair salon. People ask, "What are you reading?". And lucky me, I get to recommend books for kids.
  4. Now for the public service announcement section of this post. Shingles is not just a disease for the over 50 population. That is an announcement for medical professionals as well. I, most unfortunately, spent the month of December with shingles, that was misdiagnosed, because I am "too young for that" (actual quote from my doctor). More painful than childbirth is how I rate it on the pain scale. The fun part is that it only effects one side of the body. So my left side felt horribly ravaged by nerve pain, while my right side was perfectly normal. It is almost funny now. That statement just proves that I am either very resilient or stone cold crazy. I am going with resilient.
  5. Award season makes me feel like I need to get out more. The Golden Globes and the Oscars make me realize I do not go to the movies enough. Actually, it makes me realize that when I do go to the movies I do not see "award worthy" cinema. Sure I may see something that could win in the animation category, but I can almost guarantee that I have not seen anything that is up for "the best picture" award. Sometimes, after the nominees are announced I may Netflix an "award worthy" film. Maybe, one or two, but generally I have no clue what most of the nominated films are about (and I do not care that much). Sadly, my favorite part of any award show is the "Best and Worst Dressed" recap that comes out the day after the event. Sometimes I wonder if some of the "stars" own mirrors, and sometimes hairbrushes (Helena Bonham-Carter).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still Here...

I promise to write an actual post tomorrow. I am taking a day off from volunteering and general silliness so I can do some of the things I love to do. Reading, writing, and shovelling. Okay, I do not love shovelling, but it is snowing in Michigan so I have a nature imposed exercise program during the winter months.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Keeping Up...

The Kardashians have nothing on my family. Try keeping up with us. Really, I often think I am running behind. The calendar and the lists keep me hopping. Do I think I am different from any other parent? Absolutely not. I am certain that many of us open the kids backpacks and feel dread at another note about an upcoming event, or even worse an event you missed, because the note was wadded up at the bottom of the backpack. Parenting is fraught with guilt. Guilt over missing something. Guilt over feeling apathetic about an event. Guilt over being tired because you have stayed up all night baking for a bake sale. Guilt over sending store bought items for a bake sale. Pretty much you can not win when spin the wheel of parental guilt. No matter what you land on, you will feel guilty. The strange thing about all of this guilt and self-flagellation is the kids do not really care most of time. How do I know this? I asked. My kids really do not care if I do everything at their schools. Sure they like to see me there now and then, but it does not ruin their lives when I can't do something. Here is what they like...getting picked up from school or driven to school once in a while. Both of them have shared that they like riding in the car with just me. Weird. However, knowing this helps erase some of the guilt over the other stuff. I can handle a pick-up or drop-off once a week. Maybe I need to keep up with my kids expectations instead of the PTA's expectations. My kids seem to have much more reasonable standards.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What's in a Word?

"Resolution", that is a word we here a lot, maybe too much this time of year. I hesitate to use the word "resolution" to describe the changes I am working to implement in my own life. It seems if you say, "My New Year's resolution is ___________", you almost set yourself up for failure. People expect you to stick with something until around Groundhog Day, or maybe just until MLK Day, then go back to the "old you". Even I have in the past said I prefer most of my friends a little chubby, tipsy, and happy, as opposed to thin, sober, and miserable. I say that in jest, mostly. However this year I have set some goals for myself that involve healthier eating, really just trying to stick to the Food Pyramid, cutting out the junky stuff. Really just doing what is sensible and avoiding the refined sugars. I am not resolved enough to give up fruit, nor do I even think cutting fruit out is a good idea. Hopefully calling this a "goal" will help me on the path to better health.

This realization that my diet needs to improve has led to a major break up in my life. The ending of a long and tumultuous relationship. I decided back in November that sugar was my Achilles heal, so I needed to dump it. However, deciding to breakup with sugar during the holidays seemed cruel. So sugar and I continued to see each other. I was becoming distant, a bit detached. I am sure sugar had an idea that this was going to happen, but perhaps sugar was in denial about how rocky our relationship had become. Sugar would show up at a lot of the places I frequented, parties, treat bags, coffee shops. I started giving sugar the cold shoulder more often, sure we had some "hook ups", a girl has needs. However, as of January 2nd sugar and Allie have broken up. No late night calls, no afternoon quickies, no sugar for me. I know that it won't be easy. Sugar is sweet and hangs out with out some of my closest friends, dark chocolate and red wine. However, I am going to have to let sugar have those friends in the break up. Isn't that how most break ups go, you have to split the friends. So I get fruit, and sugar gets dark chocolate & red wine. I am sure we can keep the split amicable. And thank goodness I take my coffee black.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year--1/1/11

Happy 2011! The new year has begun, well at least a few hours of it, and I am hoping it is full of good and exciting things. I am lucky because I am what is commonly known as "the new year's baby". Okay, really I am no more or less fortunate than anyone else. We all had to be born sometime and I picked January 1st. Once again, not that I really made a conscious decision about that either, but it is what it is. However, because of my January 1st birth date, no matter how long I live, anytime my identification is viewed or a form with blank for DOB is required, someone will say, "Oh. A new year's baby!". It gets old, but it is what I endure. My penance for ruining a New Year's Eve celebration many moons ago for my parents. My children laugh when store clerks check my ID when I make a credit card purchase, and the "new year's baby" comment comes up. They spend the next few minutes calling me "baby new year". I am sure it is fun calling your parent a baby, but I will never know. My mom was born in December, on a non-noteworthy day. My dad, could have been a "new year's baby"---he was less motivated and ended up with January 2nd birthday. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, he should have been more persistent.

Anyway, another year older and standing at the beginning of the new year, I wish you all good health, happiness, and wisdom in 2011.