Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adding to the common lexicon

I've been working on adding a couple of phrases to the common lexicon. They used to be very popular, back when my grandparents were children, but I've noticed that they've fallen out of favor in my neck of the woods.
Wash and Set
This was something your grandmother had done at a beauty parlor, some ladies had it done daily - those were people living high on the hog indeed! It involved having your hair washed and then put up in rollers, or curlers, and sitting under a dryer while gossiping with the other hens.
Fergie wears it rather well. At least I think it's Fergie - I can't really tell with the rollers and dark glasses...

Bread and Butter
What you say when you are walking along, holding hands, and have to split apart to go around a tree, pole, etc. You can see it at 5:42 in the following:

I found a bunch of merrie melodies on you tube, and had actually FORGOTTEN about them. I'm off to watch more. I may have the energy to tell you of the five hour zoo trip later. After a drink or ten. Definitely after my headache goes away and my nose thaws out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Job search

Earlier today I went to the park with the boys and the visiting cousins from CO. We were only there for a couple of hours, but they all had a lot of fun on the swings, and traipsing through the thigh high drifts of leaves. My oldest and the oldest cousin played a jungle game. She was queen of the felines, and he was king of the reptiles. The younger boys climbed trees and threw rocks and sticks, and the youngest played on the swings and slide. I'll have to get the boys back out for photos. I was a bit photoed out after the holidays. Later today I surfed the web for jobs, and applied for a few. Luckily, I live in an area where there is a multitude of IT work. I just need to find what fits.

Last night was the holiday dinner with Ron's step sister and brothers. The kids all had a good time, except for the 13 year old, who spent the time texting his friends about how bored he was. The three 9 year olds, two 8 year olds, and one each 6, 5, and 3. All but one are boys. It was really loud. They played Wii Olympics, and ran around with swords and Light Sabers. It was casual - spaghetti, salad and bread. And desserts from other holiday offerings. They asked me to bring what I call my stuff salad. They all call it trail mix salad. I don't like lettuce, I like the stuff that goes on it.

That said, here is my Stuff Salad Recipe:

2 bags washed Spring Mix
2 cans Mandarin Oranges, drained
2 cans Hearts of Palm, drained and sliced about 1/2" thick
1 bag Craisins, original flavor
1 tub crumbled Bleu or Roquefort cheese
2 bags Candied Walnuts, Butter Toffee flavor
1 jar Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette

Layer all items into a bowl, in any order you like, though I find lettuce on the bottom works best. Pour dressing over, slightly toss and serve. Serves 10-15.
I eat mostly the stuff, and leave the lettuce, but I've found that there are people on this planet who actually like lettuce. Otherwise, I'd leave it out entirely. I've also found I can do these on chilled salad plates for a nice presentation. Alternately I've added thinly sliced red onion, artichoke hearts or water chestnuts instead of the palm. I'd also say candied pecans would work, though I'm not that fond of them.

I did have a strange dream the other night, though now I cannot remember what it was about. Last night I was feeling a bit of vertigo, and I know I need to get to the Acupuncturist.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

au revoir et salut

Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day. This makes me sad to know the population lost a tremendously talented woman. Though the thought of her and Miriam Makeba together in Heaven makes me smile.
For your viewing and listening pleasure:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Post Holiday Rambling

Here it is the day after Christmas and I am really glad the year is almost over, as well as the season.
(This was not what it looked like, and I would have gotten a picture if it had lasted more than 5 minutes after I got it home)

The week wouldn't be complete without another story about the boys and poop. On Monday, we went to my mom's to build gingerbread houses with sis and my nephews. One house for each family, and my boys split our house. Boy #1 had a swirly half of the roof, and boy #2 had bullseyes on his half. On the way home boy #1 remarked that something smelled weird. (If you've been reading this blog since it's inception, you already know this is not a good sign at all.) My reaction (as it always is), "What smells weird?" "There's something on my shoe." Now I yell, "DON'T TOUCH IT!" But of course he has already gotten it on his fingers. His. Fingers. So I tell him to smell it, hoping it is just mud, but knowing my luck is not that good. All I can see from the front seat is his face, and he is making a "oh no, I cant believe I have dog shit on my hands!" face. I then hand him some napkins, tell him to wrap it around his fingers and to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING. All of this, while I'm driving home as quickly as possible. Not 2 minutes goes by, and I see him scratching his face with the shitty hand! I am now yelling again, my blood pressure is escalating, and I'm thinking about replenishing my supply of hand sanitizer for the car. Another 5 minutes sees him now scratching his ear, again with the shitty hand. For Christ's sake, can I just get him to sit without touching anything? It's only 10 miles from where I was to my home, and yet we still weren't there. Before we got home, boy #2 also scratched boy #1's ear. Yes the same ear. I know he was only trying to help, but really? So we pull in and they are both clasping their hands together. Unbuckling was a snap. I had them unclasp, close their hands tightly, and maneuver out of the seat belt after I unbuckled each. I helped them out of the car, had them re clasp their hands and raise them overhead. I got them in the house, pushed up the jacket sleeves, scrubbed the hands, got the jackets off, scrubbed the face and ear, and threw the jackets into the wash.

Then I needed a drink.

Tuesday was picking up my Bro-in-law and family at SFO. Thirty minutes to get there, and 90 minutes to get home. During the ride home, the Nephews and Niece alternated crying, screaming and laughing hysterically. To say they were done in is an understatement at best. I also had the privilege of hearing about the extra TSA steps they had to take so that Bro-in-law could bring his firearm with them. Gee I feel safer already...

I needed a drink following that as well.

Wednesday and I had a nice long lunch with 2 friends who encouraged me to include the poo story in my book on boys. Christmas Eve found us at a relative's with kids who only wanted to open presents in a house that is not kid friendly. We survived it with little drama and even took a side trip to Bob's World 2. Little did I realize that putting together a Lego of 471 pieces for a 5 year old would take 2 hours. I think I could have done it alone in One. That put me to bed at 1am.

I collapsed into bed - no need for a beverage.

Yesterday was Christmas, and my blessed children waited until 6am to wake us, although they were up at 4:48. It was rainy and still very dark outside, but we were up and opening gifts. My folks came over at 7:30, I cooked Apple Cinnamon Ring, and Bacon with Coffee and Juice. We opened more gifts, and they went home at 9:00. The boys rode their scooters when the rain stopped, and we went to my In-laws at 11:00. I took boy #2 with me to my folks so I could see Sis, Nephews and an Aunt & Uncle. Boy #1 stayed and did PictoChat on his DS with Niece & Nephew. Went back to In-Laws and stayed until 8pm. By the time we came home I was ready to kill Ron, and his head was ready to explode from dealing with his family.

I desperately needed a drink after that, but my phone was refusing to recognize my SIM chip, and I was convinced that drinking would only reduce my impulse control, and I would have flushed it down the toilet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

OMG! I almost forgot Carol Doda!

In my post, "Going insane - random ranting" I totally forgot that our neighborhood gossip included that one of us helped enhance Carol Doda. I first heard of her in the mid 70's, when she was Grand Marshall of the KNBR Good Times Parade. I watched the parade with my family every year it was put on. It was my hometown after all, and it was pretty crazy back then. I remember the Balloon Platoon of course, and Lady Godiva (also my first introduction to that tale). I also remember the kids on bikes with cards and streamers in the spokes. And motorcycle guys in leather. It was also when I learned how to make fairy scissors out of the weeds growing on the side of the road.
I didn't think anything of the fact that she was a stripper. It seems in retrospect that he met many illustrious SF people. And here I thought my folks were fuddy duddies, but I know he also saw Ike & Tina Turner and Little Stevie Wonder at the Fillmore.
I maybe starting to understand my fascination with leggy blonds with nice boobs and tans.
I'm going to be taking photos of my family this season, because as I've been pouring over my flickr account recently, I realized there are not enough shots of my kids with our family. I also am going to continue shooting my photo walks, and start a series of self portraits.
In my spare time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Clean Windows = Happiness

Today, instead of cleaning bathrooms and the rest of the house, as I'd planned, I cleaned all of the windows in my house. You know what? It made me feel better. A lot better. The sun was shining, despite the frigid air, and my house felt warm and bright.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Heritage & more rambling

This week was heritage reports at school, with Family Trees, costumes, reports and food. One kid picked Italy, and I made Mary bread, which is sort of Italian, and really easy.
1 loaf french or sour dough bread
1 cube butter
1 pkg Good Season's Italian Dressing mix
melt the butter to spreadability. mix the dressing mix and butter. Split the loaf (like you would for garlic bread. Spread the buttery mix on bread. Place under broiler until golden toasty. Slice and serve.
The other picked Scotland and I bought Walker's Shortbread. There were Samosas, Tamales, Enchiladas, Puffed Jasmine Rice, Potato Chips (for Idaho), Irish Sweet Bread, and Irish Soda Bread, Lumpia, Pot stickers and Spring Rolls. There were Swedish Meatballs, Spaghetti and Pizza. For dessert there was Rice Pudding, German Chocolate Cupcakes, Chocolate Coins, and Cookies of all kinds.
I'm thinking of creating a cookbook of the recipes, they were THAT good! I found many more vegetarians than I had initially known about, and commiserated with the other moms of picky eaters.
The kids got to wear jammies to school, and were read the Polar Express. They were each given a bell and a book for the holidays and because it was rainy, they were completely wound up.
Now I have to figure out what to do with them next week. Tomorrow I'm going on a photo walk with them. Sunday, Ron is heading to the Raider game. Monday we'll be building Gingerbread houses at Grandma and Papa's house. Tuesday I need to do an airport run. Wednesday and Thursday will be totally nuts. I need to plan a play date for Friday. Saturday we'll be visiting Granny in Hilmar. Sunday-Tuesday is currently open. Wednesday and Thursday again out of the equation. Friday through Sunday totally open. Maybe a snow trip. Maybe just local parks and museums and photo walks. I am feeling a bit cooped up myself and in need of an outing.
Ron is driving me insane with the EMT class. He kept me up past midnight, yammering on about the people in the class, the instructors, the scenarios they have been practicing. Despite wanting some time away and alone, I let him take the car to a study group this afternoon, just to get him to stop freaking out. I holed up in the office, applying at various companies in the area. We'll see what comes of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today is funny

My husband resembles a cross between the following 2 characters:

And he makes me laugh on a regular basis. In fact, I've always been a sucker for comedy. Anyone who makes me laugh is halfway into my pants. Make it a guy with fair skin, blue eyes and dark hair, or a gal with long legs, a tan and blond hair and I'm smitten!

When I need cheering up, I think back to a time when we were living in a 2 bedroom condo, and our bed looked into the bath. He was emerging from the shower, and slipped. He didn't fall, but did a whole Fred Flintstone backpedal thing that had me laughing so hard, I almost peed myself! He was mad because he could have been hurt, but just conjuring up that image today makes me laugh all over again! I know, I'm probably going to hell for laughing at his near injury, but honestly, a dripping wet naked man who looks like Fred Flintstone? Hilarious!

And me today? I resemble Pearl Slaghoople:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Boys are kind of weird

It struck me today just how different boys are from girls - I know, I know, besides the obvious. Get your heads out of the gutter folks!

My boys like fart jokes. They like to show their bare butts to each other, and think it's the height of hilarity when someone gets whacked in the junk on America's Funniest Videos. I just don't get it. Not. At. All. I also don't like The Three Stooges, but they all do. I prefer Abbott and Costello. I always thought there was a bit more than slapstick going on for them. While they all started in Vaudeville, A&C seemed to be more clever and well written, where TTS seemed to be all physical comedy. I suppose I should be grateful that the musician/artist, and the athlete/weapons expert have something they can agree upon.
Sometimes I worry about how they will turn out as adults, and then I realize that it matters little, as I will likely be paying for therapy for years. I figure I'm ahead of the game if I recognize that I cannot be the perfect parent to the boys, and just try to stay afloat in the ever increasing tide of testosterone. Just wait until the teen years my mind screams, just wait.

Monday, December 15, 2008


So I was looking for this to lead my post:

And then I found this, and it made me happier:

I decided to look up other Monday songs, and see if I could find something profound or even relevant.

What I found is that Mondays are boring, and I have nothing relevant to say.
I still think people are far too cruel to each other, and I hope it snows tonight (where it only snows once every 30 years), because I think my boys would get a kick out of it. I've written a functional resume, and two recommendations. I met with team members, had another good cry. I'm tired and need to sleep. I also need to finish folding clothes and washing dishes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shush, Daddy's Talking

OK, I admit, I have been an "appointment" TV watcher for decades. It all started with Hart to Hart. No one in my family could so much as whisper when it was on, and that included my mom and dad, as I was a child when that was on the air. I even got a Stephanie Powers haircut when I was old enough to blow dry the frizz that I call hair.

Then I moved to Remington Steele in High School, and again no one could do anything but stay out of the way when it was on. In fact, Pierce Brosnan is on my list of five still to this day.

Moonlighting was in there too, and I thought I was hooked because of the Private Eye aspect. So much so, that I did a report on Private Investigations in High School.

Next up was Northern Exposure, but by then I was living in my own place, but any commotion from my partner was met with angry stares, and shushing.

Then I found The X-files, which has been more like an obsession. I've seen every episode and movie, got sucked into fan fic, and Gillian Anderson is also on the list. I also started dyeing my hair red. I still have red hair because I think it goes well with my freckles, and I actually had red hair as a kid. I even went to the midnight showing of the latest movie, and was one of eight in the theater.

I was despondent when XF went off the air, and vowed to never have another appointment show. Then I got TiVo, and didn't have to shush my young kids, I could pause and record at will and watch to my heart's content. Yet I didn't pick a new show to follow until Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. That was rather short lived, and I started watching Heroes, only to be disappointed by the new season, so I've stopped.

Now I'm on Fringe. I'm not quite sure if I like it enough to continue watching it. The leads aren't that dynamic, and the chemistry isn't quite there. I'll give it a season and see.

I think the common thread here is character dynamics, a certain amount of sexual tension, and great writing (at least the most recent ones, I can't vouch for my tastes as a child). Oh and beautiful, strong female characters.

I do watch news shows, as I've previously stated, mostly it's Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Thanks to the crustybastard and Bea, I now have a new phrase to use when RM is on the air, and my kids wander through with some issue. "Shush, Daddy's Talking!" And thus, RM's new nickname will be Daddy. I like it because it's funny, and will confuse my kids to no end, and probably confuse their actual father as well! It is a bit off the original quote of, "EVERYBODY SHUT UP! DADDY'S TALKING.", which would not only confuse but startle my family.

Going insane - random ranting

So here it is a couple of weeks until Christmas, and I'm wondering how I'm going to survive the holidays, and this time the kids are off for SIXTEEN days. That's 5 more than for Thanksgiving, and I thought my head was going to explode from that. At least I'm taking off 11 of those days, and we can go running around to parks and museums. Also, my In-Laws from Colorado will be in town, and the cousins can all get together and play.

I have kind of accepted the backstabbing from my company. I don't like it, and I'm still crying, but I know what it is, and I need to move on. Found out that at least 200 more people I work with will be off the payroll (corporate speak for laid off) as of mid February. I can't imagine how people are going to survive in this economy, with few job prospects. I don't know how I am going to survive.

Got a call this week from a dear old friend who was recently diagnosed as depressed, and is now on medication. I could tell she needed it the last time we talked and she was not herself. She was bitter, and angry, and negative. It was odd because she has always been very upbeat and positive and vibrant. I'm glad she's getting help, and even more glad that she is feeling like herself these days.

This week Bettie Page died. That made me sad for no apparent reason. I didn't know her personally, but what she did in the face of such opposition opened the door to many of the people who are famous for taking off their clothes (Pam Anderson, my twin being one of those).

Here's Bettie during her heyday:

And my "twin":

I think there is something that draws me to the fringe aspect of fame, bordering on sex workers. I wrote a biography in 5th grade about Sally Stanford. I'm sure Mrs. Willis was started to get that one! I had a poster of Farrah Fawcett in my room at about the same age, and I still have my Mae West poster from college. It used to belong to an aunt. I always thought that being a madam was glamorous, but the reality of sex work is so different from the stylized way it is portrayed in literature and film. I have never been a sex worker, and I feel fortunate to have been able to find jobs that do not rely on my looks or selling my body. I don't know if I have a strong enough self image or psyche for such work. I admire those who have survived, with nothing more than interesting stories, and feel horrible for those who haven't.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Still in need of smiles


I had a team meeting today where I cried at least 4 times. I have been second guessing all of my decisions as a supervisor, trying to determine what I could have done differently to protect my team. The team doesn't blame me, but I have a very high standard for myself, and I am very sad about all of this.

I am also looking for a job, but have had a difficult time motivating myself to move on. I'm still grieving.

I will miss my team. They are all very good at what they do, and dedicated to making all of our lives easier. Everyone shares knowledge and information, and we take credit as a group. I give each person kudos for their individual accomplishments, not just to the team, but to leadership.

I guess I'm just sick of corporate politics.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I need something to make me smile

I found this:

It did make me smile, which is difficult today. Yesterday, I found out that I and 5 of the 9 members of my team are potentially unemployed as of 4/2/09. I fell horribly for all of us. I have been wondering what I did wrong as a supervisor. Did I not get my team enough visibility? Did I not show the value of what we do? They (the ubiquitous "they" of corporate America) do not see the point in keeping the team, or perhaps even the functions we perform. Yesterday was full of tearful conference calls, and many offers of sympathy. However, the company isn't concerned too deeply, and I have to wonder how the hell some of these folks sleep at night knowing that 2 weeks before Christmas, in this economy, they have likely placed people in harm's way.

I am sick to my stomach thinking of the people who will be out of work, and I am trying to be as positive as possible. I know negative thinking will only provide negative results, but honestly this is difficult.

Today I am updating my resume, and looking for jobs for myself and my employees. I will quote what I noted during the meetings yesterday because I honestly think the people running this circus have NO CLUE what they are doing, and how it affects not only the people working around them, but how it affects their customer base.

Directly from my notes:

blah blah blah


blah blah blah

Strategic Sourcing

blah blah blah

Financial Commitment

blah blah blah

175 people will be affected

45% will be offered other positions

From the next meeting where I asked a question I already knew the answer to, in order to determine if anyone in leadership had the balls to tell the truth (which they did not):

blah blah blah

Cycle of Change

blah blah blah

We understand

blah blah blah

There was one nugget of information that did prove to be useful, yet painful. The decision on who were chosen to stay was based on how the supervisors rated and ranked them. Later in the day, during a tearful call, I apologized to my team and told them this fact. Everyone knew where they ranked when that was done, ad that made sense to them all, yet none were happy, including me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It was a busy weekend

Friday was spent at "Fractured Fairy Tails", put on by the Jr. High in town, and getting ready for the 8th Birthday Party.

He had a blast, all the kids got along fairly well, and there were only a couple of injuries. I consider that a success as we had 4 boys aged 9-11, and the testosterone is starting to creep up. There were a couple of alpha male issues, but all resolved amongst themselves. The girls all kept in a group, but had fun too.

Saturday, the boys had a birthday party, and we went to the downtown Christmas Parade with our extended family. I'm calling them our family now because the youngest asked if we could make them honorary members of our family, and I agreed. We ended up watching the parade with another family from school, and the birthday girl from earlier in the day.

Sunday was the usual - laundry, cleaning and groceries. I had the added bonus of referee duties on all of the Birthday presents. So far, the most skirmish inducing are the Star Wars Lego's, and the RC car. The boys are sharing the karaoke machine - there are 2 mics.

We discovered what the boys are asking for from Santa. The oldest, in keeping with tradition, is asking for a steel drum. The youngest wants a Clone Trooper gun, and Star Wars Lego's.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Last night I went to see Twilight with sis. She just finished the book and wanted to see the movie, and I haven't read the book yet. I thought it was pretty good, and could tell what the appeal to tweens and teens was. I thought Edward was written as a noble character, and the portrayal was a bit awkward, but that may have been the intent. I did not particularly care for Bella as a character, as I found her to be too dependent on Edward's protection, and a bit too willing to give herself up to him, all the while telling her friends that they are strong women. I can also see how High School romances will suffer because of this movie. I have no vested interest at this time whether they flourish or suffer, but I can see where girls are going to want their own "Edward", while boys will have a tough time with the bar for impulse control being set sooo high.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more diversity in the cast in regard to sexual orintation. I know there are lgbt kids in HS, and can even name the ones who I went to school with - and we all knew back then too.

Sis thought there was too much left out from the book that I thought would have helped the back story a bit. Ultimately, I'll read the books and see if there is more redeeming material there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things that make me happy

This is today's:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

I needed that bit of musical theater!

Today was fairly hum drum. I actually went into the office and had a nice visit with a fellow employee. Saw another one cleaning up and packing her office. She's out at the end of December. That's a bit of a bummer to watch. Was tired most of the day and yawning.

I did talk to sis this morning. She wanted to see Twilight tonight, but I'm without a car or a baby sitter, so no dice, though I told her I'd go on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I now have an 8 year old!

Today my oldest turns 8. Two days ago he told me he didn't want to be 8 because he didn't want to be the oldest kid in our family. I told him it was okay, and 8 would be a good year for him. This morning, I woke up early to make him Purple French Toast, and Purple milk because that's his favorite color. He also gets to pick what we eat for dinner tonight, and he picked Casper's Hot Dogs. I went to this same Casper's as a kid, and both boys love it. The guys who work there know us and our order before we walk in the door. We'll have cupcakes for dessert, and he can get a milkshake with dinner as a treat. His party is on Friday night at Pump It Up, and he's looking very forward to it!

Saw this today, and it made me crack up!

Found on LOLcats. If you haven't checked them out, and you like cats, GO THERE NOW. They also have a nice selection of rodents, birds, dogs and walrus.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I thought we were in the clear

Today was supposed to be the first day back to school after the holiday for both boys. Only one made it to school. The youngest has a bit more flu left in the lower intestines, and had an accident in his undies right before school. He's home, back in jammies, and his undies are in the trash. You get to a point (way after diapers) when it just isn't worth it to try and wash underwear full of something resembling all meat chili, that makes you gag from the smell. Sorry about the graphic nature of that description, but it was REALLY gross.

This weekend passed kind of uneventfully. No calls from sis, I spent 5 hours on Friday cleaning the house and purging old toys. Unfortunately, when the boys returned from seeing Bolt, they started crying that I was throwing out all their toys. I agreed to give them veto power, but they've already forgotten about the bins on the porch. They forgot because the youngest finally lost his first tooth.

Saturday morning, we hauled out the Christmas decorations, and put on Holiday music. We had fun getting it all up and looking good. I felt better about how clean and festive it all looks, and my mom gave me crap about no Nativity again this year. My only complaint is that we have a fake tree - this is year 2. While I enjoy not killing another tree, and the ease of care, I miss the smell. I don't want that fake tree in a can smell either. Last year, it never did feel like Christmas without the smell, so I may have to buy some random boughs of pine and figure out where to put them. (no pun intended)

To quell my bah humbugness, I bought the boys Santa hats, and some extra strings of lights for their room, and maybe the kitchen or office. The only festive parts of my house are the common rooms, although I took an idea of Cheryl's and made Santa hats for all the pictures in the house. There are lots of people in my pics, so I'm still working on it, but here's an idea of what I'm going for:I know, Santa hats on SCUBA divers is weird, but it looked worse when I had a hat on the shark too.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm going for a walk

I decided a couple of weeks ago to start walking in the mornings. I brought my camera and found that my neighborhood has an abundance of interesting things about it.

I also found out that I can meet the people I already know and stop to chat with them. It makes me feel good in a healthy way, and connected to the community.

A sense of connection is something we all need. I feel more connected to my sister after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 6 of 10

Today is the sixth of 10 days that the boys have off of school. Ten days. For Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we only got 5. I love and adore my boys, but there is a reason I do not home school them. That reason is my own sanity. I could never be a school teacher for that same reason. Yesterday they had a play date, and that was a welcome break from the constant bickering. Today it's raining, making their play space smaller. Because we are all recovering from the flu, I'm keeping them indoors today.

Oh, and the dishwasher caught fire last night. Thankfully, I still have a sense of smell, or I might not have noticed until actual flames burst forth. There was smoke, and a horrible smell that still lingers in the kitchen. The repair person will not be out for a week, leaving me with hand washing over the holiday. Great.

Add to all of this, the fact that I still work a full time job, and have to continue to train for strike duty, and buy a pair of work boots that may never get worn... I'm just getting tired of it all. The work B.S. is draining, and the kids are raising my blood pressure. I think I need a day at the beach.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Flu Day

So I'm mostly over the flu from yesterday - it was pretty bad, and I just could NOT eat a thing! The only thing that was cheering me up was a saying of Frank DeCaro's, "I'm just a good stomach flu away from goal weight".
Update: From chgomccool that this was in "The Devil Wears Prada". I never saw the movie, and I don't remember it from the book, so I'll just have to trust that's right.

I know I lost weight with yesterday's antics, and I'm still not 100%, but the kids have an orthodontist appointment, and I felt the dire need to clean the office/playroom. The need was precipitated by my inability to enter the room without tripping over or stepping on a toy. So I did what I always do, I dumped every bin onto the floor and began sorting. I got 2 kitchen bags of crap out of here along with a bin of Duplo Thomas the Tank Engine set. Next is the boys room where bins are hiding under the bed, and crap hides all over the place. I need to clean it all out in anticipation of boy #1's birthday, and Christmas, all which occur in December.

I do actually feel healthier with the one room cleaner than it was. I now have a place to start at least, and can begin narrowing down the amount of stuff we have. I also went shopping on Sunday - something I NEVER do for myself. I ended up with a couple of pairs of jeans, a pair of grey slacks, some work out wear, and a couple of cute peace sign tees. I also ended up with clothes and Christmas stuff for the boys, but at least I did something for myself.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I missed most of the AMAs last night. Everyone is either in the middle of or recovering from the flu, and we are all pretty wiped out. I'm particularly sorry I missed this duet, as I've been listening to Sarah for a couple of weeks now. I am however glad I finished all of my grocery shopping, as I'm down for the count today. Just got up to cancel meetings, and now on the way back to bed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So I started this post on Friday, and it's now Saturday, and I'm hopefully going to post it finally!

I am SO Glad it is Friday! I have been under so much stress that my blood pressure is too high, and I'm afraid of the effects that is having on my heart. So this morning while the boys were eating breakfast, I went for a bike ride for about 30 minutes. There were a couple of moments when I felt like I was going to throw up, but I felt much better afterward. I'm going to go again tomorrow. Went to Lindsay Wildlife Museum with my Mom and Nephews. The boys thought it was cool, but it didn't keep their attention for long. I could have sat for hours watching the birds of prey. They are magnificent!

Now it's Saturday, and I got up too late to go for a ride. Ron took the car and is on his way to EMT training, and the boys are watching cartoons. Billy came in a bit ago to say he didn't feel well and wanted to lie in bed with me, so we took a quick rest - just long enough for him to warm up an me to get sleepy again. Now he's off watching Power Rangers, and I've got fuzz butt purring in my lap.

It's chilly here this morning, putting me in the Holiday spirit. The new Gap Holiday ads are making me smile, and go looking for my scarfs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Path of Thorns

This Song has been going through my head for DAYS now. I LOVE Sarah McLachlan. I have loved her music for a good long while now, and I can't help but wonder why this song is stuck in my head. Is it related to my need to hear it at this moment in my life? Is it related to needing to hear it in order to help someone else through a difficult time?

This has been a month of introspection for me. I have been reevaluating my life, what is important to me, what I need to live a happy and fulfilling life. I don't have all the answers, some days I don't have any. But I can say that I am starting to recognize what is healthy about my life, and behaviors, and what is not. My path has been strewn with thorns. Many times over. My choices are heavily considered, and my happiness, and that of my family are at stake. I can no longer afford some of the comfort, and diplomacy I have made my trademark, and so begins a new chapter. I'm sure I will suffer losses during this transition, and I will piss people off, but I will not suffer any longer, and it is hardly fair to ask that my children suffer.

Foolish Pride is all mine this time around.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Too much fun

You can see from yesterday's post, that I'm having WAY too much fun with the Elf Yourself project. They make me laugh so flippin' hard! I'm in the mood for Christmas, even though we aren't yet to Thanksgiving. The rule in my house is no carols or decor until after Thanksgiving, and I'm just jonesing for it! Thanksgiving this year is at my sister's in-laws, which is pretty cool. I've known them since High School, and used to roadie and mix sound for the various bands that make up the family. I haven't been to a holiday with them yet, but with 4 boys in the family, there is always a good story.

Speaking of, a while back, I started writing a book of stories that came from families of 4 boys. Why? Because I grew up next door to a family of 4 boys, my sister and I both married guys who have 3 brothers, and each have 2 boys. Sis watched my 2 boys far a while when they were small, and I know quite a few people who either are one of 4 boys, or have 4 boys. There seems to be a specific dynamic to 4 boy families that brings out all of the best and craziest qualities. I think I need to dust it off and work on it some more. Also, I have to get waivers signed, or change the names to protect the guilty.

I think I'll post some of the stories as we go along.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mondays Suck

OK, so that is hardly news to anyone. But really, why do they have to print the obituaries in the Monday paper? And I had all of my meetings cancelled for today, but have god knows how many more hours of training to take. I'm in the middle of First Aid/CPR web based training (with too graphic of images), it's a 2.5 hour course, and I was starting to fall asleep. Decided taking a break to cheer myself up and write a blog might be what I needed to continue the training that will prove to be a complete waste of time. You see, I work for the phone company, and as a management employee, I have to take over 100 hours of training in order to be able to install and repair POTS in the event that the union strikes next year. If I refuse, or fail to take the training I will be fired. If I refuse or fail to show up to perform this job if there is a strike, I will be fired. Having grown up in a blue collar home, with a dad who went on strike, was a member of a union, and a steward, and having walked a picket line as a child, I am less than thrilled with the prospect of crossing a picket line in the future. I don't like it one bit.

What cheered me up today:
The original site is here: http://www.palinaspresident.us/never/index.html and if you click on the Easter Eggs, there are some funny things, and some kind of gruesome things, but all in all it makes me grateful that Barrack Obama is our next President!

And if you feel like clicking and having sponsors donate, go here:

It makes me feel better to give.
Now back to First Aid/CPR. After that I have a course on Manholes... Seriously.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Uncle Jack

Originally posted 9/2, and the final installment of "from the other blog".

My Grandfather Frank on the Left, and Uncle Jack on the right.

My dad's Uncle Jack died on Friday. In his prime, he was a Merchant Marine working the SF bay. He was 6'8" and 300+ lbs. of solid muscle. Uncle Jack is Irish, as is that side of my family, and his full name was John L. Sullivan. My Great Grandmother named both sons after famous people. My Grandfather's middle name was Xavier, after Xavier Cugat. Today is the Rosary and Viewing, and tomorrow is the funeral. Thursday is the burial, and sometime this week will be the wake. Uncle Jack was the last left of his generation in my family, and now there is only one generation ahead of mine. I am lucky that my folks are still around and young, and relatively healthy. Even though I was not especially close to Uncle Jack, I will miss him. My dad looks like a smaller version of Jack, and has picked up Jack's penchant for jokes. I'll be posting more as time and memory serve, but here is one:

An Irish woman marries young and has 10 children. After the 10th, her husband dies. She marries another Irishman and has 10 more children. She passes away shortly after the 20th child is born. At her grave site, the priest looks down to the graves, and says (in a brogue), "Aye, at least they'll be together now". The husband is enraged, and says, "Oy, now what's that to mean? Surely I gave that woman the last good years of her life!" To which the priest replies, "I'm not talkin' bout her and her first husband, I was talking about her legs."

I miss you Uncle Jack.

More Weird Smells

Originally posted 8/29

Yet another example of my life. It has been HOT here - today is the 3rd day of 108 or better. If you've been following my blog, you already know I share my life with a husband, two boys, a male dog, and a female cat.

Yesterday, the youngest boy came from the bedroom he shares with his brother to tell me that their room smelled funny. "Funny how?" I asked nervously. "Funny in a weird way, mom." I took a deep breath and dove right in with, "What does it smell like?" His reply was, "It smells like melted poo." I was struck speechless.

Melted Poo.

That got me thinking - what exactly would this smell like? How would one test if this was truly the smell? That led me to thinking about how Jelly Belly comes up with the gross Bertie Bot flavors. Who flavor tested ear wax? Does everyone's earwax actually taste the same? And what about booger? I know a whole range of pre-schoolers who could have taste tested that flavor for authenticity, my youngest included.

Armed with Febreeze, I opened the door, and their room smelled exactly like it always does. It smells like 2 boys, their toys, their beds, and dirty socks, and sweaty clothes. I sprayed the whole place down, put up the caution tape, and walked away. Today it smells slightly better, either the febreeze or my quarantine worked.

Oh, and Daisy brought in a sacrifice to the smelly room - a roof rat. Adorable fuzzy butt that she is, it was still alive, and she wanted to play.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Three in the Morning

Remember when 3:00 am referred to the time you rolled in after clubbing? When you climbed into your bedroom window after ice blocking? When you realized you folks were going to totally bust you for being out so late?

My 3am was strange. Not in the traditional sense, but it did set me to giggling uncontrollably for about a half hour. Daisy (the cat of weird likes) brought in a mouse. Alive. Into my bedroom. Ron managed to chase her to the kitchen, while I went behind them closing all doors. I locked myself in the bedroom, and listened to the chair shuffling, the swearing, and the dog on the wood floors, sounding like a giraffe on roller skates. About 20 minutes later, Ron returns, grumbling and swearing about the cat, and the damned dog, standing between him and that damned mouse. Just the image of an off balance dog cornering a mouse, with Ron looming overhead in his undies started my giggles. It was quite a visual!

That's when I realized that Ron didn't even get dressed to take the mouse outside. I bet the juvenile delinquents that populate my neighborhood got quite the eyeful!

Just yesterday morning at 1:20am, the cat brought in another mouse, this one was dead though, and partially disemboweled. So while higher on the grossness scale, way lower on the exercise scale. That one went out straight away, leaving her meowing at it's empty space on the floor.

I'm okay with her killing, eviscerating, and even eating mice. I just don't want them in my house. Ever.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First day Blues

Originally posted 8/25/08

Today was my youngest son's first day of kindergarten. I admit it, I cried. I cried when I was getting ready, thinking of his life so far, and what an awesome kid he is. I was also reflecting on this summer and how difficult it has been, and how my entire family was almost wiped out in a mere instant in time. We all survived, and while the physical scars are minimal, the emotional ones run rather deep for us all. The youngest has been sleeping with, and carrying about a teddy bear since the accident. The Bear's name is Barry, and starting to get a bit worn, but he has helped get us through a tough summer. I wish I had a Barry at times. My oldest went back to sleeping with a Silky - this smallish square of blanket, and spent many nightmare nights cuddling with me on the couch. I find myself crying at weird times, and the accident comes back to me when I am driving, and I get anxious and panicky all over again. And my husband - he's only been awake an average of 6 hours a day. He's bi-polar and depressed, and if you have ever lived with someone while they are balancing meds, then you know what we've been going through. He's also on anti-seizure meds, since it was a seizure that caused the accident in the first place. He's got his own demons of guilt to deal with, and there have been times when I wonder if it is all worth waiting around for.

Then, on days like today, when I see my boys sitting together in the cafeteria, eating lunch and sharing. Or now, when they are playing with the hose in the backyard. I am filled with such awe and love, that I start crying all over again.

They really are neat kids.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's about Love

I watched this last night, and my first thought was that I really haven't given Olbermann a fair shake. I don't watch his show, and the only exposure I'd had was clips on The Soup, so I wasn't rushing to watch. Now I'll be setting my TiVo for 2 hours each night to catch both Keith and Rachel Maddow (who I do watch).

Thank-you Keith Olbermann for voicing what we already knew - this is about Love. Even though this was masked under lots of other things like religion and lies, you get it and I hope others who watch the clip will too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Funny in Retrospect

Originally Posted 8/22/08

So my boys got up two days ago and upon entering the bathroom, my oldest exclaims, "MOOOOMMMM, It smells horrible in there!", while gagging and holding his mouth and nose. In my early morning, pre-coffee state, I innocently ask, "What exactly does it smell like?" thinking maybe the dog peed on the floor, or someone threw up grass overnight (Dog or cat, it's usually anyone's guess). To which he replied, "It smells like bad cheese and pee!" So I go in to investigate, still willing to blame an animal of the four legged variety. Come to find out, my 2 adorable male children have been using the bathtub like a men's room trough at a MLB game. The same tub they bathe in, the same tub that has rubber duckies lying on the bottom now in pools of kid pee. Gross.

I leave the bathroom, and inform my husband that these are boy things to deal with, and since he hasn't stressed the disgusting factor of such an action, he gets to clean it up. Besides, I was on my way to drop of the boys at his mother's, and go to work. On the way, I talked to the boys about germs, and appropriate indoor plumbing usage, and told them if they weren't willing to use the toilet, then I would lock the door, and drive them to the gas station to use that one. My oldest loves this idea since he must use EVERY public restroom in EVERY place we enter. The youngest was appalled.

I actually considered adding a urinal or a pee trough to the backyard, but we've only recently mastered "You aren't in the backwoods, on a hike, so do NOT pee in our backyard, anyone else's backyard, or the school yard." That was a tough few years.

In retrospect, I suppose it's pretty funny - at the time, not so much.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am disappointed in my state of California. This is the "sunshine" state, and home to MANY rainbow flags, yet there is a slim majority of people in this great state who believe that an existing right must be taken away from our citizens.

Proposition 8
It is not about what is taught in school.
It is not about religion.
It is not about forcing anyone to do anything.

Proposition 8 supporters managed to convince people that there should be fear about gays and lesbians. That their lives and the lives of their children would be taken over by the so called "gay agenda". They are wrong, and what they are teaching their children about love and tolerance and acceptance is wrong.

My continuing hope is that all people be treated with love and care, and that who you love will not cause persecution. I want my own children to be free to marry who they love. I want the children of intolerant people to know that they are not alone, and they are loved as well. I really do not want to see us going back to a time when teenagers thought it was appropriate to commit suicide, rather than be who they are.

The teen years are difficult enough, without the knowledge that your own government does not protect your rights.

Shame on California, shame on all of us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Is this weird?

Originally posted 8/20

My cat Daisy likes yogurt covered raisins. I think it's a bit weird since she doesn't like either by themselves. She is a weird animal. She's very mouthy - biting me to wake me up in the morning, biting my ankles on the way to her food bowl, biting the dog when he's asleep and she wants to play. In fact all of my animals have had odd behavioral ticks.

TC (Third Cat) liked to fetch McDonald's cheeseburger wrappers. She'd fetch all sorts of other things too, but she liked the wrappers best. She'd bring them back and fetch again and again, for an hour or more. This was WAY before kids.

Stella the cat liked to ride and sleep on my shoulder. She greeted everyone who entered our home at the door, and had to sniff them before allowing entrance. She was after TC passed, and the alpha animal until her own passing after 15 years.

Molly the cat coexisted with Stella and was horribly fat. Her nickname was Fat Mol. When she would bite something, she would clamp her jaw like a dog, and not let go. It was cute on pizza crust, not so much on my knuckle.

Josie the dog - so named because we got her after Stella and Molly. She was a stray, and part Border Collie. She would pace in a triangle to all entrances to the house. I guess she never realized if she only laid near the back door, she could see the other two. She was very sweet, but eventually went insane and started attacking the other dog (who we will get to in a minute), and growling at the kids.

Duke the dog - he was a shelter dog, and is now about 15 years old. Half German Shepherd and half Chow, with the blue tongue, and the big ruff around his neck. He still acts like a puppy most days, but does spend alot of time asleep. Actually that is his only quirk. I guess he's the mellowest pet we've ever had. Oh wait, when the neighborhood delinquents light off fireworks he goes insane, and pulls a Houdini on every type of enclosure we've ever had, somehow gets out of the house and yard, and runs until exhausted. He then scratches at the nearest front door, and those people call us. In fact, our neighborhood knows him so well, I will get calls with sightings of Duke, and I am usually able to recover him before he gets too far. This only happens when he is home alone (or with Daisy), and we've found that locking him in the house with the TV on keeps him home usually.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Today I am Happy, and I am anxious. I am proud to be an American because we finally got our collective shit together and elected a Black Man as our President. I am hopeful about the future of our country as we all struggle to survive the current financial crisis, and improve our name in the World at large. We will need to continue to work together, harder than ever, to ensure we can all see this through. Now is the time for change for the better, of healing old, deep and gangrenous wounds. Now is the time to serve our country in the ways we can, by reaching out to our neighbors and collectively lifting us all up to a better place. We have done this before, and we can do it again.

We are America, and we are survivors.

I am also anxious today because a fundamental right may be striped from a minority population in my state of California. I'm talking about Proposition 8, an insidious, hateful proposition that places people into secondary citizenship because of love, and in the name of tradition and religion. I am waiting for the final vote tally, as mine is one of the absentee ballots that could swing this whole thing around.

I am proud of America, and hopeful for California.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I want to retire

Originally posted 8/19, and relevant still today.

I'm tired of corporate America. I'm over performance evaluations. I'm sick to death of acronyms and buzzwords. Seriosly. Terms like velocity, and fungibility make my skin crawl. Seems like some sleezy marketing type comes up with these watered down terms to try and whip people (now called resources) into a frenzy and become enthusiastic (now called buying in) about corporate domination (now called market saturation). The worst of it is Corporate right sizing - this term is used to mask lay-offs, off-shoring, and out sourcing. It is earily similar to spin doctoring in politics. Where genocide becomes ethnic cleansing, war becomes conflict, and Drilling for Oil becomes Exploring for Energy. This is lulling us into complacancy - I mean really - a conflict is something you have with a neighbor over leaves being blown into your yard. Makes an actual war look tame. Honey, I wasn't fired, I was right sized out of my company. This is ridiculous.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Intense Therapy

I had a very emotional and intense massage today. I was bawling for most of it, releasing on lots of built up resentment, anger, and regret. It was so intense, at one point I thought I was going to burst into flame. I've had some experiences in my life, where I can truly feel a power surging through me. It is heightened during meditation, drumming circles, group meditation, and Reiki. Today was 1,000 times stronger than I have EVER felt it. I was just pouring out, and filling up with power at the same time. I have a new massage therapist. She is an empath. Intuitive, and VERY direct. She told me not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear. She called me on my shit, and she was awesome.

I am exhausted tonight. I need to type this out before I forget.

I am on my path. I have chosen it, and I have named it. I've given the universe my intentions and I know the way. I will remain focused on my path and continue to grow.

Peace be with you, my peace I give to you.

Thank-you Jasmina

Weekend "off"

I took a weekend break from my blog. I know no one is really reading it, so I don't think it's that big a deal. I had other RL stuff to do. It was the Halloween Fun Night at the kids school on Saturday, and I was at the school for a total of 24.5 hours over 3 days. I am tired, but I feel good because the kids had fun - lots of fun, and the parents didn't complain too much. Or if they did, I wasn't aware of it. Then again, from my perch on stage I wouldn't have heard most of it anyway.

I got to call Bingo, and that was pretty cool. The High Schooler who was helping me was wearing a really short skirt, and kept squatting down to check people's bingo cards, so there was a glut of gawkers in the center aisle most of the time. From what I hear, she was wearing white panties, but I didn't see them.

It was a Pirate theme, and as previously mentioned I made the sail which looked cool. Most of the parents who help set up, run the event and tear down want to do a haunted house next year. We'll have a meeting to look at what worked, and any improvements, and start planning for next year. This year, planning didn't start until a month ago, so it all felt kind of rushed.

Now I can concentrate on planning end of season soccer parties, Birthday parties, Christmas - - ARGH it never ends!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

New found energy

Originally posted 8/4/08

So today I had a nap. Remember those from your childhood? It felt really really good too! I had the ceiling fan on, there was a slight summer breeze, and I was listening to Jim Morris. I just decided that I needed to rest. Thankfully, I had some free time in my day to do that, when the kids were at my Mother-in-law's. I wish I lived in a country that valued the midday break. I think it refreshes your brain, and allows you a sense of the day starting again. I'll be up until late tonight, getting everything done that needs to get done, but I'll also have the energy to do it.

Now to get legislation passed for naptimes...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nightmare du jour

I woke up this morning at 5:00 because of a horrible nightmare.

I was at work, and got called into a meeting in a conference room, which is weird because I only ever have phone meetings. One of my peers and my boss were there - also weird because I didn't recognize either one from my present life. There, my peer told me that we were combining teams, and she was going to be the supervisor. I said, "okay, then where does that leave me?" My peer looked at my boss, who stood up and brought a piece of paper over, and said that my services were no longer needed, and she showed me the paper, while intentionally covering some part of information. I was aghast! I had trained the peer, and now she was taking my job.

I suppose this isn't really a particularly weird dream overall, given the current economy and the paranoia displayed where I work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not Just Tired

Originally posted 7/21/08

Today I am tired, the bone weary tired you get after doing too much for too long with too little. I only wish it were the hung over after a week of parties tired, but it isn't. I have been running around, doing everything for everyone and not paying enough attention to myself. I am wife, mother, nurse, psychologist, marriage counselor, advice columnist, driver, financier, accountant, maid, laundress, and cook. I do bring home the bacon, and I do fry it up in a pan, and now I'm near the end of my own rope. The dream of having it all has gone down the tubes, replaced by the nightmare of having to do it all, with still little to show for it. Buried under a crippling mortgage, in a stale economy, and having to still organize play dates is going to be my unraveling. Really. I'm certain of it. I need a break. I won't get a break. It's the carrot in front of the horse trick. If I can only get past this one hurdle, than I'm home free. It's sysiphus and madness. I don't have time to worry about myself, and I know it will make my physically ill if I don't take care. I can't sleep. I have to be at the point of collapse to even get there, and once there my dreams are not peaceful. I wake up more exausted than I started and have to do even more. My job doesn't help with the never in reach bar being held higher and higher, and the glass ceiling getting lower every day. I know things will get better, eventually but I need eventually to be sooner rather than later. I do not snap at my kids (thankfully) and they are able to make me laugh and smile when nothing else can. I'm a mess. My house is a mess, and I can only try to keep the chaos down to a dull roar.I'm not just tired, I'm sick and tired.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What a strange trip it's been

My first blog post ever - originally posted on 7/8/2008, on a limited area.

So I'm totally new to the whole blog phenom. I read them, but in my now 41 years I have never started one. I seem to prefer to write in my journal. Now that my journal has been scattered to the wind in what can only be described as a serious auto accident, I might as well do my navel gazing here.I share a birthdate with Pamela Anderson - yes, that one from Baywatch, and rock and roll whoredom. I look like the anti-PA Redheaded, freckled, overweight. Really the perfect fodder for a blog, I suppose. My life is way too busy, as I have a husband, 2 sons, a dog and a cat. Add a full time job, trying to get in better shape, several volunteer organizations, the kid activities, and I barely have time to breathe. And yet, I'm going to try to carve out some time to type every day.I work for the phone company, and I'm a Photographer - you can see my work at J9Photo.com I've been a photographer since the age of 10. I love it. I've been published, and I'm setting up my stock work at the moment. I'd rather shoot pics than sit in a cube, but I need the health benefits, and I seem to be ok at navigating the political landscape of corporate America, so I'll stick it out, send the boys to college (maybe even Domino College), and retire when I'm 60ish.I love to be in, on and around the water. Surfing, water skiing, sailing, SCUBA diving, lounging by the pool, anything really. I hate snow with a white hot passion normally reserved for dictators and terrorists. I'm a summer girl, and prefer even the 106 degrees I'm suffering under today than snow. Luckily, I live in SF Bay Area where it has only snowed 3 times in my lifetime.
Enough about me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What I learned today

I learned today that if you hold a BBQ lighter to a $2.50 sheet in an attempt to create a more realistic pirate sail for Halloween, and you are not also holding a spray bottle, you could nearly burn down your house. I also learned that burning sheets, when stomped on will melt the bottom of your sneakers. Luckily, I still have the sneakers, and my house, and I learned a valuable lesson.

It started innocently enough. As a favor to a friend, I said I'd help with my kids' elementary school Halloween Fun Night. She's in charge of the fun night, and I am more than willing to pitch in. I went to my first meeting, and started throwing out ideas for decor. Next thing I know, I'm in charge of decorating. This weekend brought painting nursery tubs like powder kegs, and making a sail out of cheap sheets, then distressing it with paint, a steak knife and flames. It looks kind of cool, but I hope it translates ok in the gym. It's about 16' x 24' and a pain to haul around.

I'm moving my blog from a very limited area to here, so if you are reading, you'll see some back posts. I'm not very regular with posting, but occasionally I do have something interestng to say (at least to me).