Thursday, July 31, 2008

Internet etiquette...who knew?

The picture to the left is me and mine. Yup I created it...from a picture I stole from the internet. I figured I better post a picture from my own archives as I was kindly (OK I can't really tell what tone of voice he used as it was in a text message, but I'm going with-he must have me figured out as a newby and was very nicely telling me not to use his pictures-ha) reprimanded yesterday for using someone else's picture. I'm pretty sure it's not "wrong" to use pictures that are out there on google, but there must be some unwritten code to follow regarding other's photos. My question is, "How the heck do you know what the rules are if they are not in writing?" And it was quite a generic picture, with no people in it...maybe he should be flattered that someone else liked it. Anyway, that pales in comparison to my first blogging faux pas. I was commenting on a blog post at She had posted a picture of Obama holding a baby. Now if I had been thinking clearly I would have remembered that she had invited me to go see Obama and therefore had the intelligence to figure out that any picture she posted could have come from her own camera and therefore could have included other people she might know. Well, I wasn't (thinking clearly) and she did (know the other people in the picture). I responded to her excitement of the baby in said picture with a comment that went something like this, "I'm not sure what you're talking about, I was too distracted by the devil channeling the woman in the background." You got it, the babies mom. I'd link you to the picture, but hey it belongs to someone else.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Technological snafu or user error?

I don't really know how to start this story (since it kind of makes me look...umm...not so smart), so I'll just spit it out. My MIL (that's my mother-in-law...I was going to call her my HMR, but when you sound it out it's just not right) and I...with three boys in tow...made the maiden voyage to her new condo with a trunk load of basics: a couple of chairs-and two small oriental rugs to set them on, paper plates, toilet paper, you get the idea. We parked in the garage and attempted to carry everything upstairs in one load. We had things hanging around our necks and slung over our backs, but we just couldn't get the rugs. So I deposited the MIL, the boys and all the stuff in the condo and went back down for the rugs. Let me just tell you at this point that I was wearing white capris and 3" wedge sandals-and had been for the previous 10 hours. I went back down to the garage, picked up the rugs and slung one over each shoulder. After hiking to the elevator door I pulled out my electronic key (betcha thought I forgot it), but nothing happened. I shook the key, I pinched it (not really sure why, but nothing else was working) and even did a little jig in front of the receiver box...I thought maybe the movement would "catch" the electronic rays. Nope. Pretty much did the same thing at the other elevator door. Still nothing. Oh and my cell phone was conveniently stowed in my purse...up in the condo. As I stood there, feet tired and sweat beading on my brow I decided I would have to exit the main car garage the other end of the building. I was actually quite encouraged when the door opened right away, then I realized I would have to walk up hill (in six feet of snow) back to the other side of the building. I managed to open the first door at the entrance as my eyes caught a couple of gray heads peeping at me over porch railings and thought I was home free. Wrong (again). The electronic key that didn't work downstairs had not magically recharged itself and did not work at the front door either. I should mention that the MIL's phone will not be hooked up until later in August and therefore I could not call her from the lobby-although I thought of screaming very loudly. I left the rugs in the lobby entrance and went back outside. I thought of asking one of the gray heads to "ring me in," but by then they were inside hiding (and perhaps tying up the phone lines calling 911). I hiked over toward the bedroom window of the MIL's new condo and pried my way between the bushes (I could almost hear the police sirens). I was thrilled to see three boys beating each other with nerf guns. I started shouting and jumping on the hill in front of the window until one of the boys looked at me...and then looked away. Just when I was about to give up, one of the Wild Ones realized I was out there. He looked at me, raised his eye brows and lifted his hands as if saying "What in the world are you doing out there Crazy Woman?" I tried telling him in my own made up sign language and exaggerated lip talking "Let me in!" He just stood there mouthing "What?"  My options were to sit down and cry or keep trying. I finally mouthed him through unlocking and opening the window and calmly told him to meet me at the front door. He was there before I fought my way back through the jungle and even carried a rug in for me. The rest of the night went more smoothly except for the few seconds after I stepped into the dark exercise room and ran into a new friend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We all need a little more.

It is something we all wish for at some time. We may wish it for the world, our families or from our children (or here in Minnesota-from the confines of road closures and construction). Have you ever thought about the origination of such things as the peace sign? It was created in 1958, by Gerald Holtom, in Britain for a nuclear disarmament protest. He thought of it as himself in great despair, standing with his palms out.  He used the symbols of the semaphoric emergency flag system for "N" and "D"...nuclear disarmament. He purposely did not copy write the cool is that? If you are ever (yeah right) having a bad day, a moment of being overwhelmed or just feel like it stand tall, close your eyes (I swear this helps) and throw your hands out to the side-palms facing forward and take a deep breath (throw in a few thoughts of what you are thankful/grateful for) and feel the peace sinking into your bones. PEACE, it's a powerful thing. And you thought I only told funny stories.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Appies is not the new kid in town.

I texted a message to the oldest Wild One that I was going for appies at Saffron. They "heard" that I was going to Appies to eat saffron. Go figure. I don't care what you call it or what you think you are not miss this place. It is in an old warehouse building in Minneapolis (which in my book is reason enough to try it in the first place)and has a rich, sophisticated atmosphere, but without the attitude from the wait staff. We were greeted at the door by the owner-who was expecting us (helps to have friends that know friends that know friends...or just hang with the Big Guy-he knows everyone) and seated at the bar (just a quick snack-or so we thought-before the Tom Petty concert). We ordered a couple of items to share based on the recommendation of the bartender and also enjoyed something delivered by the owner to sample. The food was mouth wateringly (it's a word in my world) delicious. We had Beef Carpaccio with truffle brown butter vinaigrette, hazelnuts and tarragon; Fried Mussels with onions and tahini sauce; and Parisian Gnocchi with black truffle telaggio fondue, green apples and oyster mushrooms. If your mouth is not watering then something must be misconnecting in your neuronal path. I took the liberty of checking out the happy hour and dessert menus and can't wait to go back. This week is kind of busy, but next week looks good. Grab a shimmery blouse, some strappy sandels and give me a taste buds are doing cartwheels.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Not your birthday...who cares!

Who knew Halloween was such a romantic night? In my family we celebrate two very special birthdays in July (actually quite a few, but two important ones back to back) my mother and my irish twin. I was searching for a photo of the two of them or the three of us and have determined I don't have one as one of us is always behind the camera. I found this picture which includes the man who brought us all together (please don't make me go there). It reminds me of a birthday surprise from years ago (think my high school years and don't hurt yourself trying to think back that far). My dad wanted to surprise the birthday girls with a hot air balloon trip (a life time fantasy of...mine!)  and he found out that it was one price for up to three people (you see where I'm going with this don't you). Well I didn't know any of this ahead of time, he decided to tell all of us at "the birthday" dinner. I tried-really I did-to be happy and excited for all of them. BUT, when we got there my dad let me, yes me, go with them. I'm not sure if he had it planned all along (actually I'm pretty sure he did, that is totally how he works) or if he chickened out when he got there-or perhaps I wasn't old enough to drive and he couldn't leave me with the car. And you wonder where I got the "princess" from. It was spectacular and thrilling and a little scary when we came crashing down in a farmers field. So every year about this time I feel a little anticipation thinking just maybe...

Big old birthday wishes and hugs for the two women in this world that have know me longer than anyone else, and still cherish me...I think. More later on the times my sister has saved my life (don't worry, they are funny stories) and the time the oldest Andy girl saved both of us from killing each other-you both know what I'm talking about!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

OK, OK Life is just plain crazy.

I know I have been a slacker with my posts, but I can barely find time to brush my teeth (don't worry, I'd never actually let that one slide). I have been wondering for the last 11 years when things will calm down. I have decided that one trial is followed by another and that is just the way it is. I am trying to bask in the glory of insanity-I am sure it is not a lonely place!! I will reorganize and re-prioritize and try to keep you in words on a daily basis-they say the best motivation is to just say it out loud.

Today I will leave you with a quick (and hilarious) little story. Feel free to laugh out loud-I did. The Big Guy likes to go to work in the morning and run around one of the lakes before he goes to the office (don't worry he finds the time to shower in their gym). So yesterday he texts me to tell me how far and how fast he went-we all need a cheering section. Then he texts "oh BTW I forgot my towel today so I had to dry off with paper towels." I am laughing again-can't get that picture out of my head, that must have been a lot of paper towels! I just want to know if the security tape is going to end up on Youtube-I will keep you posted.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Long Distance Shout Out

I guess I will have to shout pretty loud cuz there are a lot of candles on that cake this year!! I am so gonna pay for all my smart mouth remarks about people older than me--I do it to people 11 years older, 10 1/2 months older and especially people 60 days older. Is it ok if I do it all in's funny to me!?

A special birthday wish to my special auntie from whom I got the K in Princess K, who got me drunk for the first time-I refuse to tell you how old I was-is there a statute of limitations for something like that?...and cleaned up after me, who always takes my side (except for when when Mavis is involved...and who can blame her when Mavis is busy blaming her for the things that I did), walked down the isle in my wedding after I walked down the isle in hers, who goes out of her way to take care of others (you need to remember it's ok to say yes to yourself too) and does it all with a beautiful smile on her face. Cheers to you Auntie Lizard. Just in case you wanted to know (and even if you didn't) you are now officially 18, 993 days (thats 2,713 weeks) young. And on this day in history Crayola introduced the scented crayon. I envision the white one invented for you-coconut...a little taste of the tropics, perhaps they knew your destiny before you did. Of course they have had to change the scents from food flavors so that children would not want to eat them. Your coconut has now become baby powder, pink bubble gum is now shampoo and chocolate brown is now leather. Tell me what kid will be thrilled by these scents? Perhaps it is us old timers who will now be sniffing the the colorful little sticks.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You know you shouldn't, but you do it anyway.

Have you ever done something that you know you should have done differently while you were doing it, but were lazy, rushing or just didn't give a damn? Then when you were in the middle of it and something started to go wrong, you wished you could take it back and do it right the first time, but you couldn't because the action was already in motion and you just had to stand there and watch the bad thing happen? Then you stood back, surveyed the damage and said, "What was I thinking?" You swear that the next time you will be less lazy, less rushed or will actually pretend to give a damn. Then...the next time you are in this situation you stop yourself when you lapse back to the lazy way and remind yourself of what happened last time, but stop again and think,"That won't happen again." Well, you might be wrong. I say this as I stand looking at garbage lying all over my driveway. I swear each time I take the garbage out that it will be fine to hold the lid open with one hand and swing the bag back and forth 'til it goes up over the side and lands with a thud inside the great big can. It is faster and more efficient to do it this way...unless the bag breaks (again) and I have to spend 10 minutes cleaning up the scattered garbage-or I could quickly walk away, pretend I didn't see it and blame it on these. Oh right, I'd still have to clean it up later. Maybe it's not my approach, perhaps it's all in the bag.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Evolution of the beach.

Have you ever had the luxury-or misfortune, depending on how you look at it-of spending an entire day at the beach? As the sun comes up you will be inundated with buckets, shovels, strollers and plumped out swim diapers. Nothing like the wailing of toddlers and the grit of sand in your hair (no kid can resist throwing a little, much to the horror of their wigged out parents) to bring you through those first few groggy hours. By lunch time these wee ones start to disappear-home for lunch and naps or perhaps to be bound and locked in the closet by their overtired, overwhelmed mommies. Next come a few business people trying to get their daily dose of vitamin d or perhaps just a quick breath of fresh air to go with their cancer stick. In move the relaxed mommies (they have had their coffee and read the newspaper on the porch while their tweenies slept in and fed themselves a bowl of cereal-or perhaps a snickers bar if they thought they weren't being watched). They usually come in groups so that the kids will entertain each other and the mommies can lay back and catch up on each others lives, laugh at or look longingly at other beach goers, read a book or pretend to slather on 50 spf while secretly using 8 so they can get that perfect golden tan. They linger until the last minute when they know they will be just the right amount late for little league or to get dinner on the table. As the early birds are packing up, the high school and college age kids start to take over. You can tell who they are as they approach in tight packs scoping out the scene and trying to be seen with out looking like they are trying to be seen. They move in groups. The girls may stand in the water, but won't get their hair wet unless they came with a group of boys. Those girls will get out there and play physically with the boys-they have already attracted them so now they get to have fun. The late afternoon/early evening brings the after work crowd looking to relax and cool off after a day of breathing frigid recycled air. They don't tend to stay too long and may be seen sneaking a flask out of their small cooler. As the sun goes down the "couples"start to emerge. They start out on a blanket watching the sun set, but end up in the deep waters looking like a single person to the people strolling by. It is these two people who will be back next summer at 8 am toting buckets, balls and babies. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The wonders in life.

San Diego or bust. My heart was split in two yesterday. The oldest Wild One boarded a plane bound for herself. I am bursting with pride at her independence and hurting with fear of not having her under my wing. Is this a fraction of what August will feel like for all the parents sending their kids off to college? Except that their happy dance will last longer than a week.

Some things never change.

We were out on the boat all weekend and had dinner at two of the old time lake hang outs. Saturday night we were with a group of friends having dinner on the deck at Bayside. I excused myself to go to the bathroom. When I was walking back I found my self face to face with "Joey" (I was wearing 4 inch wedgies so this guy must have been no taller than 5' 8")-literally I almost ran right into him. I smiled and tried to scoot around him, but before I got away he grabbed my arm (and I'm not making this up) and said "How you doin?" Now if you are not a "Friends" fan you can just skip this part cuz you just have to be hearing "Joey" say it. In a rare moment of being quick (I usually get home and think of what great thing I should have said) I looked him up and down, winked and said (in true "Joey" fashion) "How you doin?" and quickly slipped away laughing. Then Sunday night we ended up at Fletcher's with the kids and I spent some time looking around. These are the places we hung out in high school (when we could sneak in) and college. I assumed the place would be overrun with college kids. Guess was overrun with the exact same people that were there 20 years ago. The only youngsters there were either with their parents or part of the staff. We ran into several friends and even parents of friends. The same old place filled with the same old people. The only difference was the size of the bellys, the "character" around the smiles and perhaps the size of our boats. A bunch of 40 year old drunks flirting with other peoples wives. These places just may go out of business if this group ever grows up...what am I saying "if"? I don't think they will have to worry about that...long live the lake traditions.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What kind of parent are you?

We arrive at the drenched soccer fields to find the sprinklers on watering the field. As we move to avoid the water, the sprinklers start their rotation which follows us as if attracted to our beauty (or dry skin). Sorry thought I was in some sappy novel. With the soccer game under way and a Mac Guyver like grandpa covering the sprinkler heads with construction material to minimize the spray on the spectators, we settle in to become crazed soccer parents who yell "encouragement" at our girlies as if we really know what we (or they) are doing. Should I have assumed the other Wild Ones were sitting quietly watching the game play...probably not. I turned my head to the whispering rustle of parents and friends at the other end of the field to see two fuzzy black figures who are attracting attention away from the game. I slowly got up (not wanting to draw attention to myself) and wandered toward the commotion, making a quick trip back for my camera after confirming that there was a blood relation to the black figures. The crowd was divided between "who would allow their children to do that?" to "those kids are really having fun", but there was a general consensus that no one would allow them to ride home in their car. Hmm...hadn't really thought of that. Then, being a little Mac Guyverish myself, I remembered (perhaps reminded by the BFF) the huge "swimming pool" like puddle in the parking lot (thanks to the storms and the bad sprinkler planning people). I took the kids to the "tub" and made them wash each others backs. Turned into two "treats" for the price of one-a mud slide and a pool-who said you need to spend money to have fun?? As for those people horrified that I would allow my children to do that (have fun) or too worried about their cars I want them to know that I went home with two clean kids (probably cleaner than when we got there after a long hot summer day) who think they are pretty lucky to be mine.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something about little boys.

What is it about kids-especially little boys-that they just can't resist a challenge or an adventure? Where does this drive go as we get older? Wisdom, experience? We now know what could happen (and with me usually does-just ask my BFF) and that little voice inside of us tells us to slow down, sit down or shut up. Of course that's where alcohol can "play" a role. We have a couple sips (ok, shots) and we too are jumping off cliffs, dancing like fools and singing karoke (just ask the Big Guy). And that is why we call vodka (red wine, beer...) our "little friend".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Nancy Drew

So back to the missing silver bowl. I decided that I could not live another minute without finding that dang bowl. Given that I had searched inside the house several times, for several hours and questioned the Wild Ones until the littlest one almost cried AND that we did have a big storm the night the bowl went missing-I decided to look outside again. I put on my hiking shoes (actually my pink striped rain boots-screw dignity, I didn't want to feel anything slimy slithering across my tootsies in the back 40) and took off determined to look under every bush, behind every tree and between the blades of every tall grass on this property. I knew this might take a while so I grabbed a handful of nuts and a "Grouchy Dog" to go (I am sure it was after 5 o'clock somewhere). I started in the front, searched the bone yard (think old boats and left over construction material that the Big Guy cannot live without), played...I mean...looked in the Willows, braved the wrath of the furry thing living under the shed and wound my way to the back yard. I spent quite a while in the club house (I forgot how much fun it is in there), detoured to the Grouchy Dog...needed a refill...and started searching in the long grass. Now I don't know the last time you took an adventure like this, but the further I got from the house, the more freaked out I got. My Grandmother would say I have quite the imagination-rolling her eyes so hard that you could probably hear them all the way from Florida. Regardless, I was by myself or so I thought when I started. I began thinking of all the creatures that live in that tall grass and my search became a little quicker and a little less thorough-I even skipped the path around the pond. I was pretty sure I wouldn't be alone back there. I eventually lead myself back to the patio and into the house-I need another refill and a trip to the lavatory. I forgot to remove my boots which must have given me a little extra height because as I walked into the living room I caught a glimpse of something shiny atop the armoire. I climbed up on a chair and reached behind my pictures (I should have been afraid of what 6 legged creatures had been calling that space "home") and felt the rounded edge of a thin bowl. I pulled it down-old maids and all-and jumped up and down with delight until I remembered why I had walked through the living room in the first place (empty bladder!). When I approached the Wild Ones with the bowl and revealed the "secret" hiding place I could see the light bulbs going on in their heads as their eyes grew bigger by the second. They had wanted to watch a movie when one of them put the bowl down to open the dvd player. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, I wouldn't have picked that resting spot either. It's been a month, but the case has finally been solved...feel free to stop over for popcorn any time-I can now make you two big bowls and around here that means two different flavors!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is what I put up with.

I turn my back for one second (actually I was watching 5 kids-and Uncle Kiss-swim in the river, now I see why I was designated life guard) and this is what I see when I turn around. All week I hear all about the brunettes "boyfriend" and by Saturday I have to see them in action. Oh least it's all in the family (and yes the 'rents were standing about 5 feet away...laughing with the rest of them)!