April 30, 2007
Note To Self


Into The Abyss

We have now reached The Point Of No Return.

Note to HUSBAND: DO NOT READ anything else ...

April 27, 2007
Evidence Of Success


How do you know your party is going to be a success? Someone, who shall remain nameless, admits that they are bringing a few "extras". As in "extra" guests. As in FIVE!!! (And I say "admits" as THEIR plan was to just slip them past me at the last minute like I wouldn't notice, because they just kinda spontaneously asked them not expecting them to say yes, and then they were scared to tell me in case I said "no") Its all going to be fine. Not a problem. Because I've been reading InaGarten's wonderful cookbooks. I feel very ... centered ... and calm ... and organized. I AM the eye-of-the-storm. People that try to thwart me will be smooshed ... BWAHAHAHAHA.

Meanwhile, my husband has doubtless started to wonder if I'm on something! Nope. Nothing. Just high on life and cookbooks! I'm almost in The Zone. I can feel it coming ... soon, soon ... Bwahahahahah ...

I'm going to loose my mind ...

April 24, 2007
Stealing As Flattery

I've decided to steal a whole post from Admiral Quixote, because it makes me laugh outloud and I think y'al will enjoy it. Do NOT read the below post if you're drinking. Especially if you're drinking estrogen-laden beer ;)


Quixote has a post up that really got my attention. Go here and read. Its short. THEN read the rest of my post ...

April 22, 2007
Ooooohhhhhhh! NOW I See The Problem

I've often wondered exactly why it aggravates the life out of Ron that he has to obey me. And, yes, it REALLY aggravates him. He mostly does it, but STILL it's an uphill battle for him. And he IS such a good boy.

Today we were all on our way into the city. A spontaneous building-supply run, which did NOT involve me getting the grocery shopping done. Again. But that is neither here nor there ...

And I mentioned while we were all crammed in the truck that I had a bizarre nightmare last night, that I was attacked by a peacock. I said this calmly as we were passing the wild-animal-petting-zoo-place. It just came to mind. Suddenly Ron leans forward from the back-seat of the truck and begins petting my shoulder frantically! He blurts out "You should have gotten me up! I would have snuggled you and made you feel better!", which is what I tell him.

And there-in lies the problem. The boy, age 9, really honestly actually seriously thinks he's my equal. Except that I can drive. And have a checkbook. Other than that ... He. Thinks. We. Are. Equals. THAT is the problem. And I have no idea what to do about it ...

On another note, this does bring to mind stories of my husband's childhood. I'm just saying ...

April 20, 2007
Sears Window Review

Sears Windows are a SCAM! If even one person learns about Sears then it was worth my time to write this!

First, the windows are roughly TWICE as expensive as what Pella windows would be. For those that don't know, Pella is a rather higher-end window. High quality, high price. But at least PELLA is "high-quality".

The quality of the Sears Windows is laughable, except that some unknowledgable people get duped into buying them. When my husband asked what the insulation-value of the glass was, the reps couldn't (or wouldn't) even tell him! And it was noticably lacking from all the brochures they brought with them. They even pointed out, seriously, trying to distract him, the pictures of the pretty-window-styles.

That's right. THEY (as a team of them) insisted on coming to our house to give us a good estimate. What "they" really wanted to do was a "hard-sell" where they pressure the couple into buying the pretty windows. "They" were REALLY irritated that I wasn't going to be sitting in their sales-pitch. And "they" were even MORE irritated when my husband told them I didn't care if the windows were all that pretty as we were moving and getting the house ready to sell. Apparently, their sales pitch focuses on getting the weak-witted-female to say "oooooo, look at the pretty windows" and the weak-willed-male to say "oooooo, whatever she wants". No kidding. THEY have a plan. And its to take advantage of the elderly and the addle-witted.

And how do I know Sears is taking advantage of the elderly and the addle-witted? Because when my husband told them that he wouldn't sign a contract right that minute for a RIDICULOUS sum, they offered him a "one-time-only" offer of a discount. And when he refused, they offered him a little more of a discount. And, honest-to-goodness, thought that a hard-sell with intimidating and vaguely-threatening suggestion and tone would seal-the-deal. Then when that didn't work, they tried guilt. "Oh, I really need this sale ... " or "It was SUCH a long hard drive to get here ..." Yeah, people selling good windows at a good value SO often resort to guilt!

April 17, 2007
Best Compliment Ever!

So I was working at the desk and Ron (age 9) comes up behind me and gives me a squeeze. And whispers in my ear as he kisses my cheek "You'll always be my sweetie-pie"

Which I know he got from reading Peanuts, because I've never ever used that term before. And I was SO over-the-top thrilled you can't even know! It was better than chocolate truffles and flowers ...


I'm a lazy slacker. I know this. Time to suck it up. Yep. I'll be dragging my seriously overweight self to martial arts class with the boys in the Fall. Imagine Mrs. Claus with brunette hair in a dojo kicking ... stuff. Thats gonna be me!

But what I really want, and they don't have it here yet, but they will eventually is one of those military-style self-defense classes where they teach you to kill your mugger with a stiletto heel. Not that I often wear stiletto heels. But its an idea. I remember an interesting quote I heard from one instructor who said he was really scared of the quiet ones that kept taking the class over and over and over until they got it very right. I find that motivational! I'm generally quiet when I'm obsessing, and I do tend to focus until I get it right. Remember, just because its harder for me doesn't mean its impossible! (I'm sure they sell plus-size white-outfit-thingies somewhere. Some of those men are really fat!)

Note to husband: And THEN I need a conceal-carry permit. And a really cute gun! And one of those neat little cases. And a bigger purse! Maybe one of the black Coach leather ones. I need a new black purse anyway. Ooooo! If the gun is black it'll match my purse! (Live in fear -- I'm only half kidding :)

Back to our regularly scheduled happy posts ... (although it does make me happy to think that the gun could match my purse :) ... already in progress.

April 16, 2007
The Guessing Game

One night a few months after we were married, I picked up a rubber-band off the floor as we were going to sleep and smiled to myself. He smiled and said something along the lines of "Yeah, thats funny." I told him smugly he had no idea what I was thinking about. He sleepily said " Sure I do. That Peanuts cartoon where Lucy takes the rubber-band away from Linus" And he was right. But that particular cartoon is rarely seen by people our age as it was one from the first year and only appears in vintage collections which aren't something he ever reads, and not something I had at home anyway. [Interstingly enough, he only does this with me. And then only once every five years or so]

Then there's the example of the ping-pong table. I thought it would be fun to have one, and I knew my husband would love it, and so I got him one for Christmas several years ago, and had my Dad drive into the city to pick it up, and store it at their house, all so my husband wouldn't guess. I was so excited. My husband came home from his business trip late at night. Collapsed at the dining-room table took one look at me and said "You bought me a ping-pong table didn't you?" Even though I had been careful to never let the words leave my mouth and to not even look at ads for them! I stared at him and burst into tears. He swore never again to guess about anything. Years later, he still spends large amounts of energy not guessing! Because he loves me.

Which must be wearing thin because he told me its all he can do to NOT guess anything about the BetterIdeaEvent! I know he'll pull himself together and stay away from it, but he casually mentioned that yesterday in the truck (with four small children) after a working-weekend-away that might be best described as ... interestingly non-childproofed.

"Hmmmm" you might be saying to yourself. "Wonder how she reacted?" That is, if you are a NEW reader, you might be asking that. Experienced readers will have a pretty clear picture, a picture of a woman trapped in a hotel with four small children while her husband was in meetings, and then bad food, and no kiddie-tv, and then bad beds, and then a bad drive. A woman on the edge of sanity. A woman who was pushed OVER the edge by the mention of The Guessing Game. A woman who might have dissolved into honest-to-goodness hysterics. Manicial laughter, and not in a good way. Punctuated by the shrill demand that everyone just STOP talking. STOP STOP STOP. WIth flailing. Lots of flailing and babbleling.

It took a few minutes to get myself under control. For what its worth, I've never lost it like that before. And probably never will again. But this one time was enough. When my breathing slowed, Ron (age 9) from the back-seat asked why I was laughing if I wasn't happy. And I tried to explain that like their are "happy tears" there can be "sad laughter". And that it definitely wasn't "funny laughter". Then I noticed Lee (age 7) sitting next to me, his eyes wide with interest and expectation as he stared at me, not blinking. Right before he said "It WAS funny". I told him I was NOT happy and it was not funny. And he killed me with "Well, it was sure funny to watch!"

Over his shoulder I could see my husband laughing silently to himself. He's REALLY enjoying me not telling him what The-Better-Idea-Project is! It may even be more fun than The Guessing Game!

Not Again!

I am particularly easily amused by the differences in the way the genders interpret the same phrasing. For example, a friend of mine was chatty on the phone and mentioned that in spite of being REALLY happily married, they wouldn't get re-married if the spouse died. Of course, I immediately agreed! (NO ONE could ever even hold a candle to the perfection that is my current husband and it would be horridly cruel to subject a second husband to the absolute certainty that I knew he was inferior!} Then, the friend mentioned it was because of all the work involved in the marriage! Who needs all that mess!?!

I was Shocked! Stunned! Amazed! Later I was sharing my shocked stunned amazement with my husband and he said OUT LOUD "I can understand the point, I even agree with it ..." He might have finished that thought if he hadn't seen the expression on my face. And heard the gasp. And the tirade that followed it. Lets just say, its foolhardy to tell your current wife that you wouldn't get remarried because she's too much work! Really. He said that. Out Loud. On Purpose. Not even angry. (And incidentially, he absolutely adores me and would be lost without me and I know this. It was just the testosterone talking.)

But here's the part that got my attention, he sees nothing remotely insulting about "Would I marry again? No Way! Not ever again!" It must be a guy thing. Just like buying your wife a treat, maybe a new yoga mat for morning stretching for example, when you say crazy things out loud :) Just a suggestion ...

April 11, 2007
Whatever Else ...

Whatever else my husband has done with his life, he has made sure that his children have a mother with the luxery of time to spend on life. How very sad that those mothers in the article were on such tight focused schedules that they lost sight of the prize, perhaps even lost awareness of what the prize should be. Of what it could be. When my husband sighs that he has little actual knowledge of what we do during the day, or when he thinks that maybe he isn't the best father in the world, he should remember this: his children actually see things around them, and its no accident.

He has created a lifestyle for us that means if we had been in that station ... we would have been the distracted Mommy corralling four small children as they all tried to get as close as possible to the violin, and tried to each get their hands on change to toss, and mentally counted the money in the case, and maybe danced a little, and applauded outrageously at the end, and told the musician thank-you, and asked to touch the fiddle, and asked if he knew any CharlieDanial's music, and spent the rest of the day explaining to me that all they needed to start a band was an instrument and then they too could play in the subway station and earn a living!

Not that we have many world-class-street-musicians here, but there are things going on around ALL of us everywhere all the time. Seeing is natural, but observing and appreciating is a skill. Perhaps even an art. A learned art, possible only where there is the opportunity to pursue it. And my husband has given his children that opportunity. I try not to waste it.

Hat-tip: King Of Fools

April 10, 2007
Dare To Be Martha!

Yes, its that time of year already. Easter baskets are on sale. REALLY on sale. And, yes, they're weird colors. BUT a can of spray-paint later, and ... voila! ... they're white PICNIC BASKETS. Or baskets for pot-lucks, or gift-baskets for Christmas-cookies, or wild-flowers, or home-grown veggies, or whatever it is that you give people. For less than the cost of a paper bag. Ok. Thats an exaggeration. Actually, last year, mine came out to be ABOUT the cost of a paperbag.

And don't use curling ribbon, which is expensive. Go to the fabric department at Walmart (or the floral department) and buy a roll of gross-grain or satin ribbon for way less.

Go on. Dare to be Martha!

April 07, 2007

I'm back. Last night. Stayed a few extra days so that we wouldn't be leaving on the same day that Reese's mom went back to work from maturnity-leave. (He's my three year old nephew who lives next door to my parents -- He thinks my "big" kids are the center of the world)

I've learned a few things, and forgotten a few things while I was gone. For example, it took me a few minutes to remember how to log-on. No kidding. The mind is a funny thing. But, OH!, the things I learned! Mostly along the lines of soap-opera-type-stuff.

First, my parents are seriously honest-to-goodness liberals. And my mother? She's even further to the left, one of those raving-koolaid-drinking-Democrats. Really. I swear. And they're that way on purpose. Which I've never admitted before, not even to myself. I've always thought I could explain to them and they'd eventually see the light, so to speak. Nope. I've quit trying. Although, I do amuse myself by occassionally using fact to derail my mother when she's about to launch into a Bush-caused-global-warming-on-purpose-tirade or a Hillary-is-our-only-hope-for-salvation-monologue. Done correctly, it leaves her speechless. Kinda looking like a fish when it makes that funny bubbleling face. Mouth opening and closing but no sound coming out. It also kinda amuses my Dad, who I suspect sometime of voting for the odd Republican on the sly. The beauty of secret-ballots!

Second, Sam has every intention of marrying a man she has no respect for at all. For interesting reasons, among which are he's-the-perfect-date and I'm-tired-of-being-alone. In other words, he's a charming cad who was in the right place at the right time. Oh, well. We all make our own choices. At least she's aware he'd a flibberty-gibbet. For those that are interested: Yes, OF COURSE I'm going to the wedding. Yes, of course I'm going to be charming to him. Yes, I'll send them a lovely gift. No, I will NOT be the one wearing the bright yellow brides-maid-dress regardless of how good the bride looks with yellow. I will NOT be appearing in public as a giant jaundiced squash any time soon. Nor will I be the Great Pumpkin wearing the neon orange dress. I am considering being the svelte rose in the hot-pink dress. Are you sensing a Caribean-theme yet? Which I am not adverse too, as long as I'm the one in the pink dress. And I am NOT above telling the bride "I am NOT wearing THAT in public." I do not generally condone cursing, but there are moments its to be considered...

Thirdly, my father hates me. Sure, he's pretended otherwise over the years, but the veil has finally been torn from my eyes. He gave Lee a cow. Specifically, a bull. A very big, very tame, very big bull. He likes haveing his nose scratched. No kidding. And his tummy rubbed. And his hair combed. Lee loves his new bull. He was so upset when we had to leave The Bull there that we went to the barn on our way and took pictures of Lee with The Bull. I suspect (fear actually) that my Dad plans on bringing The Bull when they come to visit in July. Heaven help me ...

Fourthly, developements for the Better Idea Project ... Note to Husband DO NOT READ THE BELOW SECTION!