Saturday, December 27, 2008
Here are a few festive snapshots to keep the Christmas spirit going a little longer!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
My favorites this year are one from a dead mouse that my daughter found in a glue trap on the driveway last week. It says, "To Katie from the ghost of the dead mouse on the driveway." Another one is from the deer that frequents our back yard with a bad leg who we've named "Gimpy." The kids love getting these gifts from the most unlikely of givers and my husband and I amuse ourselves with what we make up! We're such nerds! It's definitely a win-win!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Here's the problem, though. I've been praying all my life. I can't just stop. I can't just quit saying bedtime prayers with my kids. My husband is currently out west in all that crazy weather. I can't not pray for his safe return. I know it's crazy to be so ambivalent about prayer but I don't know how to move on to the next step and be at peace.
I wish everyone but do not pray for everyone to have peace this holiday season!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, I bought two baskets - one for each of my kid's teachers - and filled them with assorted goodies. In them, I put some citrus from a ginormous crate I bought from the HS band fundraiser, a lottery ticket (an idea I got from Kindness Girl) , a cracker, a bag of popcorn, a miniature Kahlua that I got from buying the gift box that included a mug and 3 minis for only $2 more, and a homemade card from my children. I bought plain baskets at Walmart and hot glued the ribbon on. Tomorrow, I'm going to add some fresh cuttings from the yard to fill it out and I think it'll look really nice.
In a smaller version, I bought a funky snowglobey kind of cup and put in another lottery ticket and a clementine in tissue paper for the janitor of the school. He's our secret pal for the year and is diabetic so I didn't want to put in candy.
Hopefully it'll make them all smile!
UPDATE: Adding cuttings from the yard when your husband is off on a ski trip and you have to shower, dress, fix breakfast, pack lunches, put a crockpot on the front porch for someone to borrow, throw toddler furniture in the trunk for someone who is willing to take them off your hands, pop a bag of popcorn for your daughter to have at school when she watches her Christmas movie, and get the kids to school by 8:15am is not a realistic expectation......
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
He seemed happy about his purchase until last week when he decided that what he really wants is 99,999 Clone Troopers to form an army (this has actually now been requested in his letter to Santa despite my warning that greedy kids end up with coal). He asked my husband if it was OK to trade his Boba Fett for a Clone Trooper from Jeremiah. My husband said no way and then made a tactical error, in my view. He offered to buy back Boba Fett and let our son have the money to buy more Legos! My son did this one other time when he got the Transformer Helicopter guy and then, after playing with him for awhile, decided he really wanted another Transformer and got my husband to buy him another one in exchange for giving the helicopter guy to Scott.
Today, he LOST Boba Fett! He posted this sign on his door:
He was inconsolable surrounded by his thousand of Legos MINUS the Boba Fett. I had zero sympathy for the guy. Seriously. Does this not sound spoiled to you? I wish I had the guts to actually go through with the coal threat (I don't). What I do have to do is get my husband to quit making it worse. We have since found Boba Fett after he got stepped on by one of my daughters friends. I think I'll kidnap him tonight and hold him ransom......
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
I was having a beer with my husband before the Buckeye game and the bar was completely packed. In the midst of the wall-to-wall people, there was a table with about 12 open chairs around it. There was an attractive couple sitting at the table but the rest were empty. I went up to them and asked if we could sit at their table and the girl said they were saving them for their friends. My husband and I leaned against the wall and drank our beers. During the twenty or so minutes it took for us to finish, their friends never arrived and they sat there as content as could be while a bunch of us found places to perch with our drinks. I saw them turn a few more people away after us. Would it have killed them to let us sit there until their friends arrived? It was a very small thing they could have done for the sake of kindness but it never occurred to them.
Back in October, I was waiting in line to buy an apple pie. In front of me was a woman with about four really big, really heavy pumpkins. The cashier next to the one we were waiting behind opened and the lady told us we could move over there to pay. The pumpkin lady didn't want to because she had small kids and was having trouble managing them and her pumpkins so I thought she was going to wait where she was until the first cashier came back. I took up the second cashier's offer and went over there to pay for my pie. My brother was standing behind the pumpkin lady and heard her say something bitchy about me cutting in front of her. Honestly, if she would've starting moving her pumpkins over, I still would've finished paying for my one pie WAY before she finished so I don't see how I inconvenienced her any. After my brother told me, I thought, life is too short to get that pissed off at a stranger and made a mental note not to send bad thoughts towards anyone that gets in front of me in line.
Yesterday, someone advised me that since I can't control any one's actions except my own, the best I can do is to be kind without expecting anything in return. I think that's good advice. Today's license plate reinforced that message. I will be working hard to achieve that goal - especially through the holidays.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Old Man vs. City Girl - I was walking down the sidewalk in Park Ridge, doing a little shopping and an ancient old man was wobbily walking out of the pharmacy with his cane. If I blew on him, I could have knocked him over. I said hello to him and he stopped me. "Hey!," he said, "C'mere!" I hesitated but thought I could take him, if he tried anything, so I followed. He walked over to a fall sidewalk display and pointed to this picture on the right. "What is this?!" he asked. I looked at him thinking this guy doesn't know what planet he's on and said, "Um, a bale of hay????" He said, "Wrong! You city girls don't know nothing! This is a bale of STRAW. It's not good for anything! You can't feed cows with this! You can't feed horses! It's useless!" Alrighty, then. He continued on. "Here's something else you city girls don't know! See this ear of corn?" (There were corn stalks tied to the lamp pole.) "You will never find a cob of corn with an uneven number of corn rows! NEVER!" I smiled and said, "Thank you for teaching a city girl a few new things." He smiled back and said, "You're welcome! Have a nice day!" I almost asked him if I could take his picture but I was afraid I'd set him off again so we went our separate ways.
MS Guy in the Airport - While I was sitting in O'Hare yesterday, a guy in a wheelchair rolled over to me and we talked for about 45 minutes. His story made me sad but, at the same time, I didn't feel sorry for him. Marco introduced himself to me and told me he was on his way to Arizona with his parents for the winter. He's forty years old and was diagnosed with MS in 1995. He told me all about his divorce, his subsequent relationship with his ex (totally for the sex - TMI!), his beloved Pit bull, Lucky who recently died from cancer, his aversion to voting because he doesn't want to be called for jury duty (I told him he should rethink that one), and his career as a tool and dye tradesman. He seemed to have a kind of George Costanza type relationship with his parents and they all looked very similar to the Seinfeld characters. He didn't complain at all about his bad luck in developing such a horrible disease. In fact, I think it made him a bit more likable. The way he talked, it sounded like he was a pretty big jerk before the diagnosis. He called his wife all kinds of horrible names, he drove a Camaro and thought he was hot stuff, he declared himself a racist to get out of jury duty, he hated kids (still does). I told him I might blog about him and he had no idea what a blog was. He said he doesn't go on computers anymore because he accidentally bought a bunch of porn without knowing it and he's afraid it'll happen again. I guess he just keeps magazines under his bed now.
I met some others too (all without even making it downtown where all the interesting people are) and have a few more stories but this post is long enough, I think!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Everyone please remember to take a moment today to thank those who have served or are serving in our military. Here's a video to show you how:
Monday, November 10, 2008
But, TODAY, almost a week after the election was called, I received in my inbox ANOTHER request. In it, the campaign says,
The Democratic National Committee poured all of its resources into building our successful 50-state field program. And they played a crucial role in helping Barack win in unlikely states like North Carolina and Indiana. We even picked up an electoral vote in Nebraska.Then they ask me to donate $100 and I'll get this t-shirt.
The DNC took on considerable debt to make this happen.
Does this look like a $100 t-shirt to you????? It sure doesn't look like it is to me! Do I feel beholden to the DNC for spending money they didn't have to help out? No, I don't. Do I find this email way tacky? Yes, I do! As far as I'm concerned, everyone who helped out in the campaign should get this t-shirt for free and Barack Obama should make campaign finance reform a goal before the next round of elections.
Other than that, I have no complaints and think President-Elect Obama is doing a FINE job!
UPDATE - 11/12/08 - I just received another email informing me that you now only have to "donate" $30 for one of these fabulous shirts......Nah!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
- A tiny treasure box
- Pom Pom maker
- Tape measure
- Marzipan Chocolate which my kids watched me eat with puppy dog eyes
- Fun magnets
- Face oil made by Dawn that smells so good!
- One skein of Rowan felted tweed
- Three skeins of Lion Brand wool in lovely lemongrass (can anyone recommend a good pattern for a cabled bag for this?)
- Turkey with a hand knit scarf by Dawn
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
What's starting to dawn on me is that, while there are millions out there who are feeling the same way, there are also people out there who are feeling scared, angry, and hopeless. I have friends and family who are experiencing the same historical moment in a total alternate universe. They are afraid that we are moving towards socialism, that scary Democrats are in total power and we will all suffer, that Barack Obama will pull out his turban and yell, HA!
I'm at a loss. I will not let them burst my bubble but I feel sad that they can't share the elation that I'm feeling. My husband reminds me that Barack Obama cannot live up to the expectations I have of him. Maybe so. Still I am overjoyed. We have turned a corner and things can't not get better. I'm going to tune the naysayers out for a little while and bask in the special moment in history that we are all living. I hope that the dark cloud will lift for those of you out there who are not happy with the election results and that you can see things through my rose-colored glasses soon.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Today I went out canvassing with my friend Beth for the first time. It was cool to see everyone so excited about the election (we didn't look too closely to see if the guy who answered the door in his underwear was excited). After I voted, I started walking out and was stopped by the photographer of one of the local papers to see if I was willing to pose for a picture. If I get in, I'll post it so you can see what a celebrity I am! I can follow in Joe the Plumber's footsteps!
Now it's time to sit and wait for the results! I have no fingernails left to bite off so it's time to move to the brown paper bag......
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
We also did these baked apples which were quick and easy. I found them on The Crafty Crow blog which linked me to Little Momma and Company . This is a blog worth visiting just for the fantastic playlist she's put together for you to listen to as you peruse her blog!
If I make them again, I will have the kids pre-mix the ingredients in a bowl before stuffing them into the apples and add oatmeal.
I love the fall!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I’m used to politicians misrepresenting themselves, but you?! A blue collar, nine-to-five, hardworking father out playing football with his son in northern Ohio? I didn’t expect YOU to be a fake! What a slap in the face to find out 1) you’re passing yourself off as a plumber when you’re not licensed, 2) you’re passing yourself off as undecided when you registered Republican and voted in the Republican primary, 3) you don’t make anywhere near $250,000 (unless you significantly bumped up your earnings since 2006 when you made $40,000) nor (by your own admission) do you have the money to purchase this plumbing business as you told Barack Obama, 4) you OWE back property taxes which means you can’t even pay your fair share under the CURRENT system.
To steal a quote from Ms. Palin, who stole from a White Sox fan, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Now I'm excited because the movie is coming out November 21st. Here's the website.
I watched a few clips and the character casting looks right on the mark - especially Edward.
I'm going out and buying the next one in the series right away!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
John McCain - BS. Ranked 894th of 899 in his class. No post-graduate degree.
- United States Navel Acadamey. Class of 1958.
- Hawaii Pacific University - Fall 1982.
- North Idaho College (2 year college) - Spring 1983 & Fall 1983.
- University of Idaho - Fall 1984 - Spring 1985.
- Matanuska - Susitna College - Fall 1985.
- University of Idaho - Spring 1986 - Spring 1987.
- Occidental College - Fall 1979 - Spring 1981
- Columbia University - Fall 1981 - Spring 1983.
- Harvard Law School - Fall 1988 - Spring 1991.
- University of Delaware - Class of 1965.
- Syracuse University Law School - Class of 1968.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I just want to share a few examples of nice Muslims. Just in case anyone else is thinking Muslims are scary.
Benazir Bhutto - First Muslim female head of state for Pakistan. Assasinated on December 27, 2007. She was a brave woman. She had been exiled twice and came back to again run for public office. She knew her life would be in danger but she did it anyway. Now THAT is putting your country first!
Kareem Abdul Jabbar - I guess he's a famous basketball player or something. I've seen him on TV (not playing basketball). He seems nice.....
Dave Chapelle - Now he's a funny guy! OK - he looks scary in this picture but that's only because he's playing the artist formerly known as Prince. Prince is a scary person (not Muslim, though)! His music is awesome, but he gives me the heebie jeebies! But, back to my point. You see?! Muslims can be funny too!
Keith Ellison - Congressman representing Minnesota. Has anything blown up since he's been if office (he started January 2007)? NO. That just goes to show you that Muslims can be just as ineffective in congress as Christians, Jews or Atheists. Rep. Ellison doesn't flaunt his religion much but can you blame him with the climate out there?
I think everyone who is scared of Muslims should go to therapy where they have to sit in a room with a Muslim and see that they're normal people who share many of the same beliefs as the rest of us.
Everyone say it with me, "BEING MUSLIM IS NOT BAD OR SCARY."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
A story by my 2nd grade son:
Todd and the Magic SurferOne day in the 1580's, a boy named Todd, well he's not really a boy, he's an onion, met a magic surfer. They met on the battlefield in the desert. Todd and the magic surfer said hi and they started to fight. They made a bunch of people start fighting. Then, somebody said, "Will you hang me?"
Everybody said, "YES!"
So Todd's friend said, "Ahhhhh! I am hit!" Todd tried to kill the evil monster that hit his friend.
"Hiya," said Todd.
Superman fought and fought and fought. Batman came out of nowhere...BOOM... POW... KICK... CRASH... DONK... DESTROY ... KILL... BOOM... DESTROY... CRASH... BOOM! Then Superman turned to the dark side. Batman said, "No, not again!" BOOM!!!!!!!!!! Batman killed Superman? "Yes," said Batman, "I did!" Catwoman hurt Todd.
I love it!!!!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
He has a little friend who doesn't believe dinosaurs existed who was handing these cards out in class. It was a tough explaining to a seven year old that as cool as it would be to see a strong guy rip a license plate in half, it was a trick to get him to go to church. You could see the wheels turning. How come we don't have any WWF wrestlers standing next to Father Joe on Sunday and squeezing washcloths (what exactly is that guy doing???). All our lame church does is sing and pray and stuff! I was more thinking, "What kind of bizarre church lures people in with greased up muscle men?" I looked 'em up online. It's very cryptic. I can't determine a denomination. I guess this Power Team spectacle is their way of not being "a bunch of bologna."
I don't think this church is the answer to all my religious uncertainty, though - muscle men or not.
Monday, September 29, 2008
At the beginning of this school year I volunteered to be a literacy tutor at the high school. It is part of a pilot program that re-teaches literacy skills one-on-one using a proven method called The Barton System. I went through a few training sessions and some DVD’s and I was ready to meet my student.
My student is a male, seventeen year old, with a literacy level of a first grader. How could this happen?! This student is now a Junior in high school and CAN’T READ! I don’t think there is any dyslexia involved but I’m not sure. The more I learn about him, the more hopeless it all seems to me. He has a full time job. He is chronically tired, ill, and underfed. It seems like he has no academic support at home and that education is not valued by anyone in his family. In fact, I think there is a general attitude that school is the enemy.
It all came to a head last week when he showed up thirty minutes late. He overslept. When he sarcastically told me he was sorry, I lost it and laid in on him. I wanted him to understand how important it was for him to learn how to read and how it would impact his entire life if he threw this chance away. I might as well have been talking to myself because he didn’t want to hear any of it. He just got really angry and shut down.
Since then, we’ve met twice and the animosity in the air is off the charts. He’s cooperating but it’s apparent he hates me. It’s been hard enough to carve this time out to go over to the high school three times a week and keep up with my work, kids, and other volunteering. Why should I do it if 1) he has no interest in learning how to read, 2) he thinks I’m the Wicked Witch?
I am so mad right now! What kind of parents does he have that don’t make sure he’s fed, well rested, and are constantly fighting with the very people who are trying to help their son? What kind of school system keeps promoting a kid to the next grade without addressing this serious problem? How many more of these kids are out there?
The whole situation is making me very, very sad…….