Tuesday, September 29, 2009

File and Smake it.

We all know there is something irresistible about the hind end of football players on the field...all bent over waiting for the snap...tight poly stretched across their buns. OK snap out of it...entirelry different story when the players are 10 years old...and your offspring. Still cute in a skinny, "that's my boy" kind of way. It doesn't matter how good they are (unless they are really, really good...and then you don't really need to talk about it, everyone just knows), it really is about how much fun they have out there. They work together, they respect the coaches, they take crap from the coaches, they grow thicker skin, they sweat, they cry and they roll on the field when they win. It is all still new, they try different positions and they make mistakes. The coaches revert back to boyhood and the boys feel like men. Sometimes it just comes together...and sometimes they win...sometimes by one point.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have Thoughts...Must Write.

My head is full. It feels like it may explode. Don't worry it won't be coming out orifices of my head...hopefully. If I am lucky it will all spew forth from the end of my fingertips. I must discipline the thoughts bouncing around the inside of my skull, tame them and mold them into coherent stories to be written and stored for as long as this thing they call the internet survives. Oh yeah...I must also find the time to tackle that mountain. This cannot including sleep time or running time when I just happen to have many great ideas...but fail to remember them when I actually have a key board or a pad of paper handy. However, the Big Guy has the perfect solution to that problem: nipple rings, one on each side...a pad of paper hanging from one and a pen from the other. How would I survive without him?!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Waiting for a rainy day.

I spend long winters waiting for hot sunny days...and then when they get here I feel the need to be outside enjoying them. But every once in a while it is nice to have a cool, rainy day to give me the excuse to stay inside and get a few things done. Yeah sure, I could do a load of laundry or wash the kitchen floor...which will just be dirty again tomorrow when we are all back to running in and out from the hot sunny day...the mud left over from the rain the day before...you get the picture...but I would much rather gather on the couch with the Wild Ones, have a few snuggles, read a few books, play a few games and then just in case we haven't had enough lazy time...head off to a movie that we have been dying to see. OK, it has rained and we've done all that, now...BRING BACK THE SUN...please!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Talk about neglect!

Something always has to give...as "they" say. I have been busy starting a business...spurred on by a client that thought I was already in business. She heard from a friend of a friend that I was ready to go and who was I to say I wasn't. Perhaps it was the kick in the butt I needed to take the leap...OK it WAS the kick I needed. I feel a bit behind the 8 ball with my own business, but my first project is complete...with a little on-going consultation to boot. With that done, I now have time for my life again...well a little anyway until school starts back up after labor day. Until then, I will try to take time for the kids, time for the Big Guy and a bit of time for myself...all mixed in with the continuation of the new business. Oh, the name of the business..."lollipop design"  Website Design, Communications and Marketing for small and start up businesses...website anyone?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tooting My Own Horn.


Don't you just love the "corner", "neighborhood", "mom-n-pop" shops? I have been looking for a saxophone for the bean Wild One and let me tell you for a woman who knows "not so much" about music...this has not been fun. I searched craigslist, local sites, talked to friends and neighbors and even thought of checking the local junk yard. I researched and found the size and brand I wanted and determined a price I would not go over...keeping in mind that we are talking about a 10 year old with no previous music experience who thought he might play the flute cuz someone told him it was an easy instrument to learn...which quickly caused an earsplitting fight with the tallest Wild One who just happens to play the flute...quite well and easily I might add. I scratched off craigslist and online ordering and made a list of music stores that sell used equipment and happen to have the exact sax I...I mean the Wild One...wanted. All four locations happen to be waaayyyy across town so I checked the maps and made a game plan. As I drove up to the first stop...35 minutes later...I knew I was going to find something. The shopping area was nestled in a quaint little neighborhood of old brick buildings, sidewalks covered in chalk and no Starbucks or Caribous with in miles (you might think that is a bad thing...and on some days I would agree...but I would so rather walk into a corner coffee shop where everybody knows my name...well they wouldn't there cuz I live so far away and have never been there before and the local Caribou baristas do know me...or perhaps I should say my car but that's beside the point). I went in and found a young man (ha...he was probably 30) who promptly introduced himself and told me that he and his father own the store and have been dealing with instruments for over 35 years. They prep everything...as in tune and repair...before they are willing to sell it and offer great guarantees and inexpensive yearly tunes. I fell in love with the store and found an instrument slightly out of my price range. I asked what other options they had and after looking at a few things, the young man offered me a deal on the first sax I picked out...of course with the strap, oil, reeds etc I quickly ate up my savings. But really, where else would you get this type of service and deal? I hope they are the real deal...otherwise I am a huge sucker and they are laughing all the way to the bank!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Always Wanted a Nickname.

Sure I have a couple of nicknames...a couple of 40 year old men call me Kitten, the Wild Ones call me Bunsie and some times Mombo, I kind of remember my dad calling me KiKi before I was old enough to ignore him and a few close friends call me Kimi...but no universal nick name that everyone knows as me. So last week a couple of things happened to me...OK actually I caused them to happen...and I found a new nick name for myself. First, I dropped off the wee Wild One at baseball...across town...even though I didn't see any other orange shirts (but I did leave him with the tall Wild One...and her cell phone, TG!) and then raced up to the high school trying not to be late (again) for lacrosse. I was feeling a little weird about not seeing any team mates at the baseball park and as I went around the corner of the lacrosse field I realized why...13 little baseball players all dressed in orange warming up for their game. Thankfully the Big Guy had freed himself from his traffic jam and was able to pick up the two abandoned Wild Ones and get them to the proper...and safe...field. Second, I allowed the tall Wild One to stay after school the other day to study for a math final...which was weird cuz she usually would have volunteered after school that day in the wee Wild One's classroom...but he was home sick and she needed some extra, quiet study time. So I went to get her, cranked the music and raced home...smile on my face as I realized I was just ahead of the bus. I rolled to a complete stop in front of the garage and as I was reaching to turn the car off...my cell phone rang...with the dreaded school phone number. Yep, the school secretary wondering if I was on my way to pick up the middle Wild One. I was so excited that I beat the bus that I didn't even stop to think that he wasn't even on it! AND...I had just left the school 10 minutes earlier with his sister. So the next time you see me, feel free to call me Moty...you know, Mother of the Year!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Go Green? Almost.


I recycle, I refuse unnecessary bags at stores...and use my own when I don't forget them in the trunk of the car...I turn the water off when brushing, I even double up on shower time with the Big Guy. I pay my bills by wire (although some still send the paper bills and then print "do not pay...scheduled for automatic deduction" which goes right into recycling...don't they get the point of paperless?) and am trying to create a compost center at my house. But for the life of me I cannot get rid of my 12 paper calendars...which are in every room and even in the car...I know the trees frown upon me, but I wouldn't make it through the first hour of the day without them. I am also in need of a reference manual and upon checking on-line (after seeing the long reserve line at the library) apparently I have the option of the paperback or on-line edition. People, I know the right choice and I want to follow that path...but I feel hives rising on my neck at the thought. I know that it would be easier to open the laptop and browse page by treeless page, but there is something about being able to feel the smooth pulp between my fingers and add my own lead scratch marks that takes my fingers hostage and hovers them over the paperback option. I will do my best...perhaps I should haul my computer outside, sit in the shade and take inspiration from the fact that I still have that option for staying cool...which reminds me of my favorite summer activity...reading my paperbacks on the hammock leisurely stretched between two tall birch trees. See what I'm dealing with here!?!?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tribute to Brett Favre.

I mean the Favre we talk about and still love (to hate...for some of the die hard Vike's fans) that rivaled our home team, but caught the attention of the wee Wild One. Yep he had the fever...Green Bay hats, blankets, winter coat, mittens, scarf, Favre jerseys, t-shirts...and took a lot of grief for it. I thought I would show my support of him and let nature turn our yard into a shrine for Favre lovers all around us (OK for the two other fans I know of). Come on you have to admit they are kind of cute...I get bouquets from the Wild Ones all the time (some as tall as 14 inches and some crazy fused ones that have five heads) and I hear they make a delicious side dish. I'm guessing the new neighbor across the street is not a Green Bay lover...the chemical trucks have been there twice a week trying to rid his yard of any Favredom. He even burned a patch of lawn...perhaps he is a Viking's fan and is preparing to plant purple and white flowers instead. That would be great cuz when my seeds float over there and sprout their pretty gold flowers next year it will be the perfect touch that his Viking's bed was missing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Everything Keeps Revolving...No Matter What We Do or Don't Do.

Just when I thought life's craziness was subsiding and the lazy days of summer were headed my way...I realized that they (the things that wreak havoc in my life) were just really good at playing "Hide-and-seek," but I wasn't seeking...I swear. I have lost count of clinic visits and trips to the hospital...and may be headed there again later today. This time it should just be minor, but never start the celebrations too early. Perhaps it is all a master plan by the Wild Ones to shorten the amount of time that they have to spend in school...although I'm pretty sure they would pick school to the pain and the tests they have had to undergo. Cross your fingers and say a prayer, but I think we are going to dive into summer vacation (and many new posts) next week with three happy healthy Wild Ones...and one really tired mom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tick...I mean..."Tis the Season.


In my mind, Memorial weekend always seems to kick off summer. We are pretty safe planting flowers and hooking up the hoses. The Grouchy Dog has been opened and the boat uncovered...and now we can really start to use them. Each year we make the trek up the "The Cabin" to start the summer festivities. It was a beautiful weekend filled with laughter, sunshine, fun and ticks (and yes for you die hards, the vodka was flowing...we-my two sidekicks and myself-even initiated the End Zone). But back to the ticks...the first one is gross and makes everyone a little more alert, but by numbers 12, 13...22 it's just not so bad any more. We picked them off in the weeds, the tall grass, the woods and even just sitting in the grass (ok I was actually laying in the grass...after getting beaned in the head with a soccer ball...I don't believe the big guy when he said he was aiming for the Wild One...his hands, not his head).  I found two crawling on me just before we left and a couple on the Wild Ones...and Miss Z. We did one last "once over" before we headed out...we were a little crammed in and didn't have room for any hitch hikers...and came up clean. We decided to catch a movie on the way home (leave it to the Fun Family to wedge one more thing in before the sun goes down) and right as the lights began to dim, I felt something on my hip. I was pretty sure it was nothing (after all I had triple checked) and I really didn't feel like pulling my pants down in the theater...so I tried to sit still and enjoy the movie. Fast forward about 3 seconds...I whippped my pants down over my right hip and there he was...a huge bugger making his way upward. I had to wait until there was enough light coming from the screen so that I could pick it off...and then sat there squishing it between my fingers thinking, "Now WTF am I going to do with it?" I ran to the end of the isle and flicked it onto the metal part of the step and then poked it...I figured if it was still moving it would never get past all the other people and make it back to me...I felt pretty safe...but, I sat through the rest of the movie squirming, flinching, gawking and scratching at every little flicker of dust that came near my body. We all arrived home safely and with no more tick attacks. We all lingered in hot showers and baths and  climbed in for a "OMG I am so happy to be sleeping in my own bed" good nights sleep. And we all slept like babies...including the little brown friend we found this morning burrowed in the side of the tallest Wild One.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Sometimes I feel like research on the internet is like reading National Enquirer. Someone sends something to your in-box about some cool new thing or most likely some warning of what not to do, have, eat, say...fill in the blank. At first you think, "Wow, I didn't know that...hmmm...will have to be more careful about ______." 

It's kind of like walking past the "newspaper" (that is what one of my grandmothers used to call the N.E. If you questioned something wacky that she said, she would look at you like you didn't know a whole lot and say, "Of course it's true, I read it in the newspaper."). You know that the stories in the "newspaper" are not true or real (perhaps based on a real word that may have been uttered with in a mile of said information that is being touted), but something makes you look and even quickly wonder if it could be possible. The next thing you know you are at a party (never an empty cup in hand) and you proclaim some far out truth...that you know to be true...cuz you saw it in the "newspaper".

Same thing happens with the e-mails claiming your left arm will fall off if you eat green veggies grown in soil made from the organic compost that came from the pharmaceutical plant in Alaska. After you read it you are a little freaked out and you want all your friends to be freaked out too...OK maybe you just want to make sure they don't lose their left arm...so you hit forward before your brain has had the chance to send out the "this is absurd...snicker and hit delete" message. In the case that you get the message and don't hit forward cuz you think maybe you need to check it out a bit first, beware of the internet. I guarantee that if you search for "green veggies cause missing arms in Alaska" you will find just as many sites that confirm the email as sites that don't say anything, but just make a laughing sound when you enter them.

So while the internet can offer a wealth of information, I caution you not to believe everything you read. Did you know that the name wikipedia came from the two words wicked and encyclopedia? Anyone can create (or change existing) entires with little or no knowledge of the subject at hand and often do so to create mayhem in the world. Believe me, it's true...I read it online.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothers...Happy Day to y'all.

Do we really need a day to celebrate mothers? I mean I AM a mother, I love my mother, most of my friends are mothers...but there would be nothing without us mothers (check 6th grade sex ed if you really doubt that). So really a day? It should be a celebration of life everyday...come on at least a weekend! And shouldn't it be about being pampered...and maybe, just maybe getting a break from being a mother? I don't like the pressure of finding the right gift or doing the right thing and I don't like wondering what my family will plan...or if they will plan. I think all mothers should unite and treat each day as if it were Mother's Day...cuz after all it pretty much is. If you insist, we could also plan quarterly weekends away...to reflect and refresh and come back as better mothers (I have heard that works!). So cheers to all the women I know that are mothers...not just on that one Sunday in May, but everyday that you give out hugs, kisses, wipe noses and faces (and for some...bottoms), brush away tears, stay up late wondering whether you are going to ground your child for 3 years or pull them into your arms when they show up two hours late, reluctantly let them ride their bike...or hand them your car keys...to a friends house for the first time, celebrate good grades, cheer at sporting events (especially those held in pouring rain, flurries of mosquitoes or blistering sun), make meal after mean, wash the same clothes over and over, bite your tongue when you know you are right, stand back with tears in your eyes while they stand up for themselves and all the other activities you do on a daily basis...all for the best gift of all...the love they hold in their hearts (whether they show it at all times or not).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Be careful what you start.


You're a new mom...innocent in the ways of raising kids...eager to do your best...you want to get involved and make sure you contribute to their education. First comes ECFE (that's early childhood family education for you newbies) and it's great, you meet a bunch of great families, expand your community...then just when you are living the life they ask for a little favor. Could you spend an hour working at a club activity or donate some mashed potatoes for the Thanksgiving preschool celebration? Run!!! OK, you don't have to run...but don't give them your real name, phone number or email. I'm not kidding. Pretty soon you will be chairing your own committees or the whole damn program and before you know it...you will be working part-time (did I mention "unpaid"?) between all the community schools...volunteering with teachers in the class room, phy-ed class, art classes and mentoring students after school. You will be making cards, buying treats and hauling cakes to school. Once they have your name, they know how to use it. My suggestion to you...other than the obvious, "No thank you"...go ahead, help out a little (it can actually be quite fun) but give them an alias. We all have some kookie, mysterious or perhaps elegant name we secretly wish our friends would call us (don't we??). I suggest when someone solicits your help you smile, say "Sure, I'd love to. Have we met? Let me introduce myself, my name is Cleopatra Wowasake."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Every man (or student) for himself.


You really get the flavor of people when a "pandemic" comes to town. Yes our quaint little village has been struck again...this time with the swine flu (now known as H1N1 Novel Influenza for fear of offending any pig farmers out there). The schools were closed yesterday "as a caution" and we were all advised to stay home and not congregate. The "probable case" came from the high school and we were exposed to families (and some kids themselves) with kids in high school not just Friday night and Saturday night, but at a Sunday brunch as well so...we laid low yesterday...didn't even run to the store for milk (which had a lot more to do with how much work I had to do than not spreading/catching any germs). Today the High School remains closed, but the middle, intermediate and elementary schools are all back in business (disinfected by the custodians...who are immune? I hope the bus company followed suit). So let's see...should we assume that those high schoolers who have been exposed have no siblings who are in the other three schools and that their parents are not off at Honeywell or walking the skyways of Minneapolis...or how 'bout the Big Guy who hopped on a plane to New Orleans yesterday? He was not sure whether to be worried about passing along germs on the plane or catching something worse down in the bayou. I know people who took the day off from school as a vacation day and got together with groups of friends...which pretty much makes this unstoppable. What I am saying here is that if it's going around, you're going to be exposed no matter what you do (short of building a bubble around yourself...and maybe even by then you would have been exposed anyway and then you would be trapped inside your padded cell with all those nasty germs). Between leaving school on Friday (and I volunteered at three of the four schools that day) and prior to knowing the germs were multiplying in our area, our family was in contact with families from two other school districts and three different colleges not to mention all the offices and cities associated with the various adults in the rooms. So...the Big Guys solution on Sunday afternoon after receiving the news, "I'm going to take this matter into my own hands and drown it with vodka...lots of vodka." Seems to be working.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Planning committee.


I am strapped for time, over scheduled and being pulled in 12 different directions. I need time to sit down and figure out where all the paths are leading and how I can merge some of them...or at least get them to run in parallel directions. That got me to thinking about how we (go ahead and admit it...you'd take them if someone offered) could use a few more hours in each day. Now I know that is not how the world was designed, but who says things have to stay the same? Things are renegotiated all the time...contracts, salaries, relationships...so why not hours of the day? I'd like to propose a committee, I'll even chair it...cuz I have so much extra time...to renegotiate the number of hours in a day. I'll start high, give a little-to look flexible...then dive in hard for the best deal (OK, I have been know to meet half way...but I'll be strong). What...another 4 hours...day light of course...that's not asking too much...just a little breathing room. Settled. Now, who can connect me with the Maker of the World? Tomorrow at noon would be good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I can see it now.


Breaking News: Independence mother sought in questionable practices (for jail or institution?). An unnamed 41 year old woman had been accused of locking two sons in their bedrooms...no, not bad enough; duct taping them back to back...no, they might think that was funny; sending them to the basement with nerf guns...no, they might break something; making them load the dishwasher and mop the kitchen floor...no, they would some how turn that into skating on soapy rags; putting them in the backyard and locking the door-from the inside...no, they would consider that an adventure; leaving boys in house and sitting in her car with the radio cranked full blast...no, the neighbors might investigate; back to sending them down the hall to their own rooms (and letting them duke it out all the way there) with a stern warning to stay there and NOT interact with each other...ahh, peace and quiet (perhaps a cocktail at the Grouchy dog...for the mother...not the boys)...for two minutes...then whispering, and scheming and some sort of elaborate plan being acted out at the end of the hallway...fun, adventure, collaboration, sounds of havoc and possible destruction.  Just the way is should be...but shhhh don't tell them where I'm hiding.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not the way I remember it.

Too bad the libraries cannot charge admission...or rent out quiet space or tables. I opted to work from one of the local libraries today to avoid the distractions of a home office (animals, laundry...the refrigerator) and was shocked to see the crowds. I got here early and it was like Macy's the day after Thanksgiving. No lie...I stopped counting at 50...and that's referring to the number of people waiting at the gate to get in. The security guard that opened the gate looked like he was ready to call for back up. I had to do a little elbowing and a drunken walk to keep people from getting in front of me and taking the coveted spot in the corner study room...the private one with outlets and glass doors. I stepped out to take a break and almost every chair in this place is being warmed by an adult butt attached to a face that looks like it would rather be some where else. Some studying, but mostly people working or looking for work. It's really quite a site to see...and really quite sad. Damn economy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

It's all Semantics.

Do you have any idea what I'm trying to say here? I use text messaging and instant messaging a lot...and oh yeah, I write a few blogs (did you catch the tone of my voice changing there?)...and I have a habit of using sarcasm (yes, I should probably take that up with my therapist). I can use the standard text language to shorten my stroking time (even impressed my teenaged niece with my speed and agility...and you won't hear that often in the same sentence with my name) and can add a few icons to help with the mood, but I have not mastered the art of typed semantics. I have pissed off a few people who could not "hear" my snickering behind the words and left others confused as to what the heck I was talking about. I know this is an issue for sociologists, especially in the study of children and their use of non-face to face contact. They are not learning the same things we did as kids...only the really brave or stupid kids called someone a bad name to their face, but were poised to duck or run even before the last words were out of their mouths. I could write a book on cyber bullying, but all I really want to know is how to get my voice across written media...with the intent and feeling in which I say it in my head. For now I will just sit back and wonder who and how many actually get what I'm trying to say...and no one will ever truly know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Passing of Winter.


I feel really badly for the teachers at this time of year (at least in places that truly have four seasons). The Wild Ones are all home by four, but the house is quiet until after eight...and then the only noise is that coming from my mouth as I stand in the door an holler at them to get their skinny little butts in the house and start getting for bed (some times I even threaten no reading time if they don't hurry up). Then they are up at the crack of dawn, scrambling into clean (I hope) clothes and stuffing some protein and carbs in their system so they can get outside to get a few innings of baseball in before the bus comes...and then stomping off to the bus if Sandy comes before they get their last (home run I'm sure) hit in. The fresh air feels good and the heat from the sun is intense (even at 40 degrees this morning...wearing shorts and t-shirts). I don't have the heart to say no to the late nights and the early mornings (as long as they scramble through the homework and some nutrition) and I hope that the invigoration that they get will carry them through the day when the lack of rest starts to settle in. Perhaps I should pack a treat for the teachers to help them deal with the sun and fresh air starved Minnesota children who have finally been unleashed into the most welcomed time of year. Better yet...I should just try to get them to bed on time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Whew...I'm not crazy after all.


Well, maybe I shouldn't go so far as to say I'm not crazy, but at least I am not really hearing things. My life is filled with noises...from kids, a spouse, animals, phones, computers, iPods and occasionally the TV...which manages to put me on sensory overload by the end of the day. So after our two and a half hour morning ritual of getting the Wild Ones off to school, the house suddenly becomes very quiet...and I become very happy. Although now that it is spring, there is an abundance of sounds coming from outside...mostly birds. This morning as I was sitting in my solitude I thought I heard voices...and living-literally-in the middle of "no where" I was a little concerned. I opened one of the back doors to see if one of the cats was "calling" me. They weren't right there so I started calling for them. They didn't say anything back, but I swear a bird started mimicking me and calling the cat's name...this may cause concern over my sanity, but feel free to stop by and I will let you listen...and what is really weird is that the cats came running to the door. At this point, all the animals were accounted for and I sat back down at my computer. But...I could still hear the voices. I tried to pretend they weren't there (cuz really I thought I must be imagining them) and continued to work. A while later I got up to do something in the basement and realized there was a TV on in the living room (no one turns the TV on in the morning so it never crossed my mind). At least I know I am not crazy...and I think I will leave it on, you never know when you might need a little company.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Torture.

This is my brain on html. So I had this great idea to learn how to create web sites...not the template kind, oh no, the real deal with all the crazy languages and codes. Honestly, I am loving it...can't step away from the computer...totally fascinated with what I am able to create...until I got to the chapter where I had to get my really cool brainchild onto the internet. After all, that is the only place I can share my masterpiece. I was kind of hoping I could click a button or two that would make it appear...all quick and easy. Not only is that not quite how it works, but finding a name and a place to store it is an issue that the book says to "research on your own". Now I know why. I spent about 8 hours yesterday researching domain names and hosts which lead to my intense need to figure out how the entire internet process works (this for a girl that still doesn't understand how you can take a piece of paper, send it through the phone lines...fax...and have it "magically" turn into a different piece of paper, identical to the first, some where else...huh?). The bad news...it took the Big Guy to explain it to me first and then 4 hours on the computer to help it soak in. The good news...I get it. DNS, NSP, NAP, MAE, protocols, applications, routers, hierarchies, backbones, IP, ISP, TSP...yep I get it, my brain hurts, but I get it. So now what? Well nothing, I guess, unless you consider that I may have saved a few neurons from atrophy in my old age. Perhaps I should think about getting a job...or just getting out a bit more.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby!

Can you even think back 12 years and remember what life was like? Other than the freedoms (which are coming back with a 12 year old that can babysit) what I remember most about 12 years ago was the agonizing pain I endured for more than 24 hours until the relief of the emergency c-section and then the most adorable, white haired, scrunched faced little girl they placed near my head (see c-section comment...arms strapped out to my sides). The pain went away and was replaced by the most incredible love (don't believe me?...try 3 more babies in the next 4 years). And look at her now...taller than her mother (with legs that go almost to my arm pits), A honor roll every quarter, beautiful smile and the hugest heart you have ever had the honor to be touched by. I am so proud of who she has become and feel very lucky to be her Mombo. Happy 12th Birthday Migli!

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Starting to Feel Like Spring.


The birds are waking me up in the morning, it is light again at the first bus run, the trees are budding, the winter jackets are put away (ok, they are really in a pile by the back door...but no one is wearing them any more) and what's that...a snake dangling from the kitty's mouth? Yep, it must be spring. I didn't believe the Tall Wild One when she calmly stated that the cats were outside playing with a snake...maybe I just didn't want to believe it. But, dang it, I happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye...and sure enough the cats were pouncing around the back yard with something black and wiggly between their paws. When I went out to yell at them (I don't know why I even bothered...they are cats you know) one of them picked it up and looked like he was going to bring it to me (which if I had asked him to do...he would have run the other way or simply looked at me like, "Yeah, right!"). That is when the real screaming began and I almost knocked over the Tall Wild One trying to get back in the house...I may have even closed her out there by mistake. Thank God for little boys. My Shaggy Wild One came to the rescue and used a stick to carry the (now dead...I think) snake to the garbage can out front. I thought that was the last of it...but I couldn't get it out of my mind, or what I thought the feel of it would be, off my skin. I was still thinking about it this morning when I realized that the garbage needed to be taken down to the end of the driveway for pick up. Thank God for big boys. The Big Guy graciously agreed (after taking out the kitchen garbage and leaving the lid of the can propped open) to haul the can down on his way to work. Fast forward to my phone ringing after the Big Guy had left...he forgot about the garbage. So I sucked it up, put on a pair of gloves (some how I was convinced they would protect me) and tip toed around the can looking for any evidence of a slimy (yes I know they aren't really slimy, but come on we are talking about a snake here) legless creature. I tipped the can to get it on it's rollers and proceeded down the driveway...for about three steps. I was sure that if I wasn't watching that the snake would creep over the edge and make a bee line for my arm. I turned around and walked backward (down the lonnggg, steep driveway) keeping my eyes peeled for any movement. Fortunately, I made it with no problems...now I just have to make it to my car and hope that it didn't escape over night to find a nice warm place to take cover.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Benign.


What a difference a word makes. Surgery...a piece of cake. Recovery...long and slow, and oh yeah...complicated by an injured shoulder. How does one go in for "female" surgery and end up with a swollen shoulder. My mom couldn't seem to remember much that happened after the first happy pill, so when the nurses were trying to figure out what had happened to her shoulder...she just wasn't much help. The anesthesiologist acted defensive, but did admit that they had administered some sort of meds that contained amnesia type substance...hmmm...wonder if they gave her that before or after they dropped her off the gurney? Looks like she's gonna survive...and thank goodness for the hurt arm...that's the only reason they gave her the "good" drugs.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Black Clouds and a Rainy Day.


Waking up to the dreary rain and dark sky seems some what fitting today. I try to keep these posts upbeat and light, but some days are just dark. I am not looking for sympathy, just saying it like it is...I learned that from the Wild Ones. Last night I heard the padding of little feet in the hallway and as soon as the Wee Wild One made it around the corner I knew it was going to be a rough night. I knew that hang of his head and that look in his eyes...I knew what was coming. What I didn't know was how it would drop me to my knees. He was missing his brother and wanted to know how we could get him back. He said he knew we couldn't really get him back, but could we get another child and name him Oliver? He thought adoption would be a good idea. Then he proceeded to talk about the accident and how he wished it hadn't happened (I won't repeat his words, but he told it like it was). He was afraid to go to sleep because he thought someone else would die. We cried, snuggled and talked about life. He finally fell asleep...if not happy, at least content with our love and strength. All this came on the eve of a phone call I am dreading...the one from my mom that will end with the word "benign" or "malignant".

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Trails.


One long car ride...a day early...out running the tornadoes, floods and ice storms. We came home to sunshine, but our tanned toes got quite the shock when we stepped outside...we seemed to have forgotten any shoes with substance and the straps across our flip flops did little to protect from the 30 degree gusting winds. Today we are back in our winter coats...and shoes which require socks. Jumping into our routines...school buses, work and volunteering...and catching up on pages of backlogged computer messages (thank God I unplugged the phone while we were gone...I figured those that desperately needed us would some how track us down...I guess that is why my pages are bursting at the seams!). Perhaps by the end of the week I will have dug out from under the piles of laundry and accumulated stuff from the trip long enough to download some pictures and conjure up stories from the beach. Until then, I need to go find my fuzzy slippers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our vacation has become official.

Just not a family vacation without a trip to the emergency room. Several hours, several dollars and a few tears...back on track and ready to party. Now the fun begins.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Made it in 5 pieces.

We arrived safely and in pretty good spirits. Perhaps a little loopy from lack of sleep and stiff from the long ride, but thrilled to see my Grands looking better than when I left them in December. While the kids ran for the pool, the Big Guy went looking for the only spot he could connect to the "real world". This of course was after his late night adventure. My Grands asked him to run to the store to get two bags of oranges so that Great (J. Harley) and George Harley could make us fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast...a tradition started by the Harleys years ago. I was exhausted and headed for bed leaving the Big Guy to navigate the streets of PCB. I woke with a start at 12:45 am to find the other half of the bed empty. I jumped up, threw on some clothes and tried to get my bearings. I heard something that I couldn't quite figure out...it was someone calling my name from outside, under the porch. Evidently my Grands did not realize that the Big Guy had left to get their oranges...and locked him out. He tried to climb the back porch, scale the front of the house and when that didn't work he went to sleep in the car. He woke at 12:45 am with the thought that he had left the sliding door open on the porch...hence my name being called from outside my window. I finally figured out that it was him and let him in through the front door. When we finally got back in bed I couldn't sleep...what are the chances that we both woke at 12:45 looking for each other? Blind luck...or something else??

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No, I'm not in jail.

Contrary to popular belief, I did not wind up in jail this weekend, but if I did it would have been a heck of a party with all my crazy girlfriends sitting beside me! I left for three days and the price I pay is the backlog of EVERYTHING that needs to get done now that I am back. I have to give the Big Guy credit...he got everyone to and from all of their activities, they look like they were well cared for, they all had tons of fun, the house was not destroyed when I got home and they even had dinner ready and waiting for me Sunday night. The biggest problem was in MY planning. 1. Tackle large project for the Big Guy 2. Schedule weekend with girlfriends 3. Plan trip for spring break (and all the warm weather things that go with that, which we in MN have not thought about...and out grown...in the last 6 months) all within 9 days. I thought I was brighter than that. Oh well, on the positive side...I don't have much time to worry about everything that still needs to be done. And on that note...Disgruntled Princess may be intermittent for the next two weeks while I attend to my children, the Big Guy, my MIL, my Grands and my bronze glow...not necessarily in that order!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shenanigans.


What happens when a bunch of early middle aged soccer/hockey/football/basketball moms pack themselves up and head out of town for the weekend? I'm not sure, but I'll let you know on Monday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am doing my best.



One last (positive thinking please) cold spell with beautiful white virgin (too cold to play in it) snow. I am loving in...picking through my closets of sub-zero winter wear. I want to have the perfect outfit for today as it may be the last time I "get" to wear this stuff for another 7 months. I will bask in my warmth (as I try not to sneeze from the fur lined collars) and do a little jig to honor Old Man Winter...well maybe just to keep warm, but don't tell him. On the outside I will look like a crazy happy (and toasty) lady who loves winter...but inside I will be drowning in my fantasy that the snow is the white sand of the Emerald Coast and the bite on my cheeks is from the salt in the sea water spraying from the ocean. This should tide me over until spring break (6 days away). When I return with sand embedded in my hair and tender red skin I will do what the rest of the Minnesotans do...the dance of spring. As soon as the temps rise into the 50's we bring out the shorts and start wearing flip flops (I love seeing bright pink toenails covered in snow). That is the sign to turn off winter and let us loose...we have paid our tributes (with frost bite and sore backs from shoveling) and we need a break. I'll try to get that memo out before I leave town.

Monday, March 9, 2009

He Just Keeps Getting Older...I Mean Better.


Yesterday was the Big Guys birthday...wow another year (well for him at least, I still have 3 months to go). I have to say he is as cute as the day I met him...who could resist those eyes or that smile (and those adorable curls)?  Happy Birthday RS, here are 43 reasons why I love you: your eyes, your lips, your legs, your curls, your sense of humor, the way you stare into my eyes, your foot rubs, you don't hog the bed (usually), you give me my space, you work hard, you are a genius, you adore our kids, you're my best friend, you are always happy, you are always up for "what ever", you like to invent, we think a like, you like my family, you are truly fun to be with, you adore me, you love to give me massages, you bring me coffee in bed, you are tender, you are loyal, you are a never ending stream of ideas, you talk to me, you listen to me, you fix things for me, you are good to your friends, they way you always hold my hand, your kisses make me melt, you look sexy in jeans, you wear the clothes I get you, you love to try new things, you pull me out of my shell, you make me try harder, you help me do new things, you support the things I want to do, you play games with me, you are patient with me, you would eat peanut butter sandwiches every night, you walk over dirty floors without caring, you are always proud of me and because you always walk beside me. 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Who are we supposed to believe?


I made the decision not to have the kitties declawed...still debating that one with myself every time I hear their claws ripping into my furniture and every time I feel their claws sinking into my tender skin. However, we do live in the country with a lot of trees (and one big grey camouflaged cat living in one of those trees...just discovered him this weekend) and raccoons and squirrels and other critters. I wanted my kitties to have a "fighting" chance (and, honestly, to rid our yard of a few nasty inhabitants) going outside and it just seemed kind of cruel to send them out without their daggers intact. Unfortunately they are still attacking the furniture...and my legs. The vet says they should out grow this (sure, she doesn't have to live with the ramifications until they do) and that I should get or make them a scratching post. Well enough, but how do I get them to use it? Simple...get some catnip spray and saturate scratching post and they will be attracted to that (instead of fabric and skin). Boy are they ever! Unfortunately, the spray did not come with the warning, "Most cats enjoy cat nip and will roll around the floor in a hazy stupor for an hour after smelling/ingesting. However, for some unlucky and unsuspecting cat owners, their cats will be very attracted to the spray to the point that they will viciously attack anything or anybody that comes within 10 feet of them while they are wrestling with saturated scratching post, including each other. They will act demented and scare the crap out of their owners who may run screaming form the house in fear that their cat's soul has been taken over by the exorcist. Said cat will cling to post, snarl, screech and generally act crazy for about an hour...and then will stand at post acting all peaceful while silently begging for more." Perhaps I should return it...the spray, not the cat.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some times you gotta take it back a step.

We are all so immersed in the "age of technology" that we forget some of the great old fashioned ideas. Today in the mail I received not one, but nine thank you cards...the real mail, other wise known as...snail mail. They were all homemade and hand written. Anyone can send an email-30 seconds of typing, hit send, sit back and you're done. It takes some time to get out your stationary (if you're anything like me, I'm sure you have some stuck in a drawer some where), address the envelope, find a stamp, hand write the letter and then hike to the mail box. I may have an old soul, but when I got to the mailbox today the envelopes waiting inside sure put a smile on my face. We are all crazy busy and email is a life saver on some days, but don't forget to make that extra effort every once in a while and see how many smiles you can spread.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't Panic.

Yes this is still the Disgruntled Princess...just going through a few growing pains. I have taken on a bunch of marketing projects and realized that I am not going to get far without learning some html code. My brain works a lot like the "If you give a mouse a ..." books, so when I started looking at html, I started digging around in my blog...changed a few things on the Wild Ones blog, bought a book, changed a few more things, created some things...and well I decided I needed a new look for this blog-a canvas I can "play" with. Stick with me and see what happens...no promises (yet) and no threats.

Friday, February 27, 2009

One Year Ago Today.


I am not much for anniversaries...now celebrating on the other hand, I wouldn't turn that down. I think this blog and I are what some people refer to as a "match made in heaven". I get to write to my hearts conntent, doesn't matter what I write...no one tells me what to do or how to do it, I can add to it when I want...the blog happily exists even if I abandon it for a few days, it doesn't get lonely or needy, it supports me (spell check and all it's handy little features) and it even allows others to join the fun. Really what more could I ask for...except for one of these.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Red Faced...Again.

Nope, I have no idea who this is. Yep, looking at him puts a little skip in my step. Where did I find this picture you might ask? He showed up in my email one day and I just couldn't make myself delete him...so I kept a file open for him. Then one day I was wondering around the kitchen when I heard the Wild One's scream, "Woooo Mom...who's on your computer?" Evidently the Big Guy thought it would be funny to paste him onto my desk top. And of course I did think it was funny...and I kind of, accidently left him there (can you blame me).

Fast forward to my trip to the library today...thought I'd get some work done away from the distractions of laundry, cleaning, ringing phones and crazy a*# cats. I lugged all my bags (drinks, snacks, books, note pads, puzzle books...so much for distractions) into the study area, unpacked everything and got ready to rock and roll. The problem was that the library router was bound and determined not to let me in. I tried everything I could think of (with my limited knowledge of the internal workings of my computer), I made phone calls and even interrupted fellow patrons. I finally went to the help desk to see if they had any ideas. They sent me an older gentleman (probably about 65, dressed the part complete with pocket protector). Among the things we tried was rebooting my computer. I was desperate at this point and was not thinking what that would include. So standing right in the middle of the library with my lap top wide open...up pops my sexy friend. I could feel the redness cropping up my neck and I am sure I was stammering as I tried to tell him that my husband had put that picture there as a joke. Well, he misunderstood and commented on how nice it must be to see my husband all day long. I set him straight (I should have left well enough alone) and quickly tried to open something to cover him up. We continued working on the problem to no avail (I guess I will have to find new free office space). As I was thanking him for his time and getting ready to shut down my computer...sexy man appeared again. Just before my library friend turned to walk away, he gave one last look at the computer screen and said, "I think I'm gonna miss that man." That is exactly what I needed...I guess my new friend (the sexy one) is here to stay.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Arrgggghhhh!


What do you call work when you don't get paid, it's not volunteering, it's not for fun and it's not for recognition? Add in that your boss is demanding, impatient and has no concept of what or how much he is asking of you. I am not sure there is a proper name for what I am doing, but I am sure there are plenty of names for me...gullible, sucker, foolish, credulous, deficient, obtuse, ludicrous...wife?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Nominate...Myself.

I know the Academy Awards are over...at least the ones in Hollywood...the gowns are picked up off the floor, the jewels returned and day two of recovery from the after parties is feeling pretty good. But up Nord, here in Minnesooota we have this thing called the Academy Awards of Literature (timed to...somewhat...match up with the Hollywood variety), after all it's a bit too cold to be frolicking around in strapless gowns and too slick for four inch heels...and I don't think JB Hudsons has many multi-million dollar diamond pieces lounging around in their stock room. 

The students spend many cold hours snuggled up reading and then make their nominations. My middle Wild One is quite the reader...and quite the schmoozer, negotiator, (ahem) manipulator so when he came to me with a book that I wasn't quite sure of I told him to check with the Big Guy. Now I know that the Big Guy had not read the book, but I was quite sure he had seen the movie...you see it was certainly an adult book-written by an adult, for adults, with an adult theme-not to be confused with a book suitable for a 9 year old. BUT, knowing how advanced a reader this child is and his fascination with action, mystery, suspense and thrill he was allowed to read this book (prior to the whole Academy thing)...based on the concept of the book, not the thorough investigation of such actual book (and the dialogue and passages contained within the covers) by either one of his superstar parents.

Along came the school event and the Wild One chose this book in the category of "Best Picture." The tri-fold poster was being transformed into a colorful tribute to the book and characters. The Wild One wrote explanations...careful to include passages and quotes from the book (the Big Guy was in charge of overseeing the initial writing...leaving the editing advise to me) and plastered them on the board inside of homemade books and a carefully created Hum V. He also made a black box detonator, a colorful drawing of a nuclear bomb and an airplane sculpted from legos...which was hung on a shelf under the title of the book.  

As he was assembling the last remnants of the project I took a peek over his shoulder. I got a little wave of vertigo as I realized what I was looking at. A poster depicting a book based on stolen nuclear bombs and the competition between the bad guy trying to sell them before getting caught and the good guy recovering them before they were detonated. If that was not bad enough, I read one of the passages the Big Guy had OK'd...something about the bullets whizzing past and lodging in someone's skull (are you beginning to understand the vertigo?). Yes, I knew the concept of the book. No, I didn't stop to think of the impact of bringing this poster to school to hang for all (5-11 year olds) to see. No, I never looked at the passages in the book, but I discussed the book with the Wild One each day as he read it to answer any questions and talk about the concepts in the book. What I didn't do was open the book and look at the language used (holy sh#*!) or think clearly about the appropriateness of this book for a school project. The Wild One wasn't fazed by the book, "What? I hear that stuff all the time." The books he loves are filled with suspense and battles...just usually fought by make believe animals...and written with an intended audience of children.

I made the Wild One rewrite the passages to include character development, moments of suspense and vivid imagery...without guns, blood or naughty language (that went over well for someone who had spent hours creating his master piece).  So you see when I say, "I nominate myself," I am clearly referring to the "Mother of the Year" award.

Monday, February 23, 2009

OMG, I'm rich.



I just read an article about the value of volunteering. In Minnesota, 2006 the hourly wage value of a volunteer hour was $19.46. Since it increases about 50 cents per hour, per year (remind me to negotiate a better raise next year), the value this year should be about $22.00 per hour. Not bad for doing the things you like and that you know make a difference. I wonder if I have kept track of all my volunteer hours since 1992...when I started volunteering with regularity. I know that I spend at least 5 hours a week now (sometimes it feels like a full time job)...so if I saved that money...that would be a lot of trips to Caribou and maybe even a trip to Disney each year. Now I just need to figure out where I pick up the check.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Telepathy.


I have been trying something new. Instead of telling my family nicely (OK sometimes...like the fifth time...not so nicely) what I'd like them to do, I have just started thinking it.  Actually, I aim the thought at them like a ray from a Star Wars ship...maybe if I knew more about the rays or even what the ships are called my powers would be greater. I wonder if they have even noticed my "Stepford Wife" stare while I am doing this...or if they just think to themselves, "Oh mom's having another one of those moments...better steer clear." But, just this morning the wee Wild Ones picked up their dirty jammies and put their dishes in the dishwasher. Even the Big Guy is beginning to sway. As I was zipping my coat and pulling on my mittens, he offered to take the garbage down (no matter that he was still in his robe and I was already dressed like an Eskimo). I think I may be onto something.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

No More Babies.

The talk around our house lately has revolved around the kitties surgery...better known as "Jasper getting his balls cut off" when the Wild Ones are talking about it (I swear I never said any such thing, I'm pretty sure that the Big Guy didn't phrase it that way...but when you have young boys they seem fascinated with these types of words and are very creative in sliding them into conversation...and then running before they get caught). There is also much discussion about the fact that they (the kitties...not the Wild Ones) are now unable to have babies...and why the Big Guy and I would ever subject them to such a horror. No explanation is satisfactory and I am at the end of my creative abilities to have this discussion for three different levels of intellect...and maturity...all at the same time. My maturity level has plummeted...I can't stop the giggles and I think I shot a little water out my nose last night. When will I perfect the art of control...the perfect back turned, silent laugh, biting the inside of my cheek and holding back tears, the stern look at the inappropriate (but hilarious) comments? Hopefully not until the Wild Ones are grown and have to deal with their own kids...perhaps not even then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did You Get the Warning?

People warn you not to feed your dog "people food," but they don't usually explain why. Which is part of the reason it doesn't seem so bad to do. We have always given the Rotten Dog a few scraps and treats here and there (mostly carbs and proteins in his dog bowl...never from the table and never from a "people plate") kind of hard not to when he looks at us with those big dark eyes. So the other day when there was a small dish of pasta left on the table after dinner...naturally I scraped it into the dog bowl. Within an hour I was cursing those people who never told me why. The smell emanating from the back end of that dog (not to mention the noise, which was comical until the Wild Ones started insisting it was me) was worse than day old vomit (you know the kind you find on a blanket that the Big Guy missed in the middle of the night when cleaning up after a sick Wild One). I tried to get away, but Rotten very quietly placed himself under my feet every time I moved and I didn't notice him...until I nearly passed out from the invisible gas permeating my nostrils. When I came to, I pledged to change the "warning" to include an explanation...and a clothes pin for your nose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Drivers Beware.


This is a message to the idiot...I mean driver...behind me on the highway this morning. I was cruising along the bypass with two kitties in the front seat trying to impersonate Houdini, minding my own business with a smile on my face...hey it was 7:30, the sun was shining and I was feeling free. Then I noticed the black Accura that looked as if it was going to go right over the top of my dirty little Nissan (hey if it didn't hurt me...or the kitties...I'd be all for it...might get a shiny new Accura out of the deal). We were on a one lane (two if you count the cars coming at us) highway with a speed limit of 60...I was going 65. There was a constant steam of cars passing in the other direction and a solid line of cars in front of me for as far as I could see. Mr. Black Accura seemed to think that if he rode my a** he would get to work (or Caribou) 15 minutes early...as if I was the only obstacle to his promptness. Just to spite him, I turned up the radio and started singing (and dancing) as loud as I could...thought my cheeriness might add to his frustration. As soon as the road opened into several lanes, Mr. Black Accura pulled to my left and over took me (well...actually my Nissan, but I gave him my best smile as he cruised past) and pulled right in front of me...and then immediately slammed on his brakes so as not to hit the car directly in front of me...now him. Perhaps he was so enthralled with my song and dance show that he did not see the looong line of cars holding ME up. I slowed to give him some space and hoped that I'd still get to my appointment on time...and that he'd get to his alive.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?


Really...I have been sitting at my computer (which isn't even pink anymore) since 9 o'clock this morning-that's 12 hours my friends. Well, I have made waffles (from scratch with homemade whipped cream) for 6, lunch for 5 and dinner for 3...and did all the clean up since I don't usually make the friends do dishes, done several loads of laundry, driven a little car pooling (which involved a little chatting...the kind where the kids run off and start playing cuz they know it's going to be a while), written a few (by hand) thank you notes, medicated a few owies, fielded calls from my mother and the Big Guy's mother, got the mail (from the end of the looong icy driveway)  and played "Yes I adore you and miss you" texting games with the Big Guy...Oh, I guess that's where all the time went. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

200 Posts...200 pieces of TMI...in no particular order.

1. Pink, anything pink. 2. Four adorable, intelligent, witty Wild Ones. 3. One pain in the ass, but can't live without, Big Guy. 4. Best Friends. 5. Cold Toes. 6. Sleeping with fans (the blowing kind...ELECTRICAL). 7. Blogging. 8. Fuzzy Blankets. 9. Stepping on Legos. 10. Immune to rolling eyes. 11. Ghosts and monsters. 12. Laughter. 13. Love...sweet love. 14. Running (not necessarily away from things). 15. Learning. 16. ADD. 17. Roller coasters. 18. Chipotle. 19. Jammies. 20. Big black Rotten Ruger. 21. The Grouchy Dog. 22. Lollypop. 23. Believe. 24. Extra sharp white cheddar. 25. Volunteering. 26. Writing. 27. Funny. 28. Addictions. 29. Flirting. 30. Rock star. 31. Bloody ankles. 32. Talk radio. 33. Touch sensitive. 34. Clumsy. 35. Books, books, books. 36. Piles. 37. Confident. 38. Creative cook. 39. Computer savvy wanna be. 40. Tattoos. 41. Dancing. 42. Local bars. 43. Concerts. 44. Chocolate. 45. MN state fair. 46. Rutledge cabin. 47. Afternoons on the boat (with or with out the Wild Ones). 48. Carillon Beach. 49. Diamonds. 50. Guacamole. 51. Sunshine. 52. White sand between my toes. 53. Daisies. 54. Nieces and Nephews. 55. Happy hour. 56. Jasper and Darby. 57. Mascara. 58. More give...less take. 59. =/- 20 pounds. 60. Philosophy. 61. Debating with Papa Elf. 62. Oliver's gardens. 63. Creation. 64. Seafood. 65. Canoeing on the river. 66. Skiing (in the mountains). 67. T-shirt design. 68. Soups. 69. Rice crispy bars (or cakes). 70. Caffeine free diet pepsi. 71. Reader's Digest. 72. Photography. 73. Playing games. 74. Gemini. 75. Wild flowers. 76. Candy making. 77. Grammer and Great. 78. Venice. 79. The smell of spring. 80. City girl. 81. Photography. 82. Thrift shops. 83. Caribou (the hot frothy kind). 84. Math speed champ (1970's). 85. Insomniac. 86. Medium point blue pens. 87. Doodling. 88. Right handed. 89. Aberdeen. 90. Ambidextrous brain. 91. The smell of babies (freshly washed and lotioned). 92. Making out with the big guy. 93. Geek attractor (better than carnies). 94. Social geek...can't initiate friendship. 95. Impatient. 96. Impulsive. 97. Miss Listy List. 98. People watching. 99. Singing at the top of my lungs...and way out of tune. 100. Dancing in the kitchen. 101. Light and noise sensitive. 102. Christmas music. 103. Hiking. 104. Sleeping naked. 105. Guitars. 106. Harleys (my guys and the bikes). 107. Codependent. 108. Gay rights. 109. Hoar frost. 110. Skky Orange. 111. The number 11. 112. Liberal conservative. 113. Introvert. 114. Can't hold a thought. 115. Getting dirty. 116. Hard work. 117. Dork with a keyboard. 118. Bad poker face. 119. Wild One football games. 120. Education. 121. Coca-Cola cherry zero. 122. Water slides. 123. Screaming at soccer games. 124. Intuitive. 125. Run on routines (but don't always stick to them). 126. Talking, talking, talking. 127. Fiercely independent. 128. Daydreamer. 129. Dancing on tables...wearing cowboy boots. 130. Hats and Halter Tops. 140. Jack of all trades...master of some. 141. Never been a "popular kid". 142. Must cross my legs when I sneeze. 143. Twilight. 144. Grateful. 145. Yellow butterflies. 146. Drinking soda room temperature. 147. Flip flops. 148. Analytical. 149. Cynical. 150. Outspoken. 151. Girl crushes. 152. Sporty dads. 153. Curiosity. 154. Jeans, fitted t-shirts and sexy 3 inch heels. 155. One of the guys. 156. Anything but green thumbs. 157. Simple life. 158. Moody. 159. Internal wallflower. 160. Proud mommy. 161. Comedies. 162. A smattering of curly chest hair (not on me). 163. Kitties. 164. Rugged, but smart. 165. Hot tea...iced tea. 166. Crazy. 167. Bad speller. 168. Texting. 169. Loving. 170. Being loved. 171. Married first lover(married him...not had a married lover). 172. Speak my own language. 173. Social phobe. 174. Sunflower seeds. 175. Road trips. 176. Commando. 177. Children's books. 178. Looking forward to heaven. 179. Artwork created and words written by the Wild Ones. 180. Secrets. 181. Spicy food. 182. Shoes, coats and purses. 183. Nicknamer. 184. Therapy. 185. Obsessive. 186. Trees with no leaves. 187. Strong. 188. Snarkiness. 189. Fudgy brownies. 190. Walking barefoot. 191. Singalongable music. 192. Natural silence. 193. Everyone has a story. 194. Yearning for a neighborhood. 195. Opinionated. 196. Internet junkie. 197. Sociology. 198. Late bloomer 199. Up for anything 200. Shenanigans, shenanigans and more shenanigans!

Twelve Year Old Girls...and One Boy.


It wasn't as bad as I expected...a 40 minute bus ride (two times) and 4 1/2 hours running wild through the Nickelodean with 200 6th graders...of course I was only directly responsible for 10 of them. They were excited, respectful and responsible (a vast improvement from last years 5th grade field trip which took a bottle of ibuprofen and a bottle of vodka to recover from). In the excitement, I noticed something about the majority of the girls...they bounce around from place to place on the balls of their feet...usually with at least one other girl clinging to their elbow, looking like she is being drug along for the ride. Then when they get close to you (or any other adult that may respond to them) they get way up on their toes and right in your face and start a non-stop, jiggling monologue,"OMGdidyouseethat?Didyouridethat?ShouldIgothat?Didyougoonthat?Isitscary?Iwannadothat.Wouldyougoonthat?OMGthisissgreat.Iamgoingtodoit?Areyougoingtodoit?" And before you can even focus and figure out which girl is in your face (or if it was the one boy in my group that was just as giddy as the girls)...she is already bouncing off to attach herself to the next available 12 year old. Every time it happened I would just go back to counting...my ten kids...and minutes left before it was time to leave.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Double Digits.

Wild Ones up extrememly early? Check
First surprise given? Check
Movie and dinner plans made for after school? Check
Lego's wrapped? Check
Home made ice cream cake made (yesterday's last minute request)? Check
Nerfs ordered (fingers crossed FedEx man can make it up the icy driveway today)? Check
Friends party planned? Oh Crap

It is almost official...9 am to be exact...that the Boo, Boodle, Egg, Hen, Boo Boo Boy leaves the single digits behind. For a boy who would rather be at home (with friends) than any where else...we have a fun filled, but very packed day today (hope there is a little time left for homework...maybe Mr. A will give the little dude a pass). Art Institute, special lunch at school, The Pink Panther 2, dinner delivered in (of course) and the best part...family time...I mean presents. Actually the medium Wild One loves gifts as much as the rest of us, but family time might top his list of things to do. He often includes items on his birthday list that he can share with the family...such as the Oakland Raiders Nerf football that he wants cuz the Big Guy loves to play catch (and coach the little dudes team) and had a friend that played for Oakland...a loooong time ago! Time to lick the frosting off my fingers, heft the gifts up from the basement and (load myself up with drugs) psych myself up for a busload of 4th graders. Happy Happy day Boodle!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's My Turn.


I'd like to thank the academy...I mean the Wild Ones. Actually I take full credit myself. I have been inundated with vomit, sneezes, coughing, sore throats and germ filled kisses and it never once crossed my mind to pop a million Immuniboost pills. I talk about them, I warn others, I swear by them, but this time I just plain forgot. My consequences...sore neck, droopy eyes, aching head and sneezes that threaten the stability of the old oak in the back yard. What I need is a few days of rest...what I get are two days on big orange school buses surrounded by screaming 4th and 6th graders and the responsibility of guiding the 4th graders through the Minneapolis Art Institute and herding 11 hormone filled 6th graders at the Mall of America theme park...under the ruse of a science field trip. Maybe the horror filled roller coaster will clear some of the phlegm from my lungs. As they say...we reap what we sow.

OH GOODY...another one just threw up...coffee anyone?? Calgone??

Monday, February 9, 2009

All Things Red.


As you may have noticed, Red is not my color (I think it may be a good color for me to wear, but you'll probably never get the chance to see it for yourself...I just can't do it). Now pink on the other hand...is always somewhere near me: shirts, coats, phone, notebooks, computer...you name it (if I don't have it...it's only a matter of time). So when Valentines week rolls around I try my best, but I just cannot pick up the red card, the red flowers and you will never see me at a Valentines party dressed in a red shirt (perhaps a white one with a very subtle pink heart tucked away somewhere) with red, plastic coated hoop earrings. So while it is only Monday and we have 5 days to go until V-day, I am all rojo, rouge, kokino, roseus, rot, rosso-ed out. I think I will bury myself in home work until Sunday when I can pretend that spring is right around the corner...and all the jeweled colors that come with it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Weather Outside is Frightful.

A friend sent an email yesterday of Jeff Foxworthy jokes..."You know you live in Minnesota if..." type statements. The funniest one was, "You know you live in Minnesota if you always carry jumper cables in your car...and your girlfriend know how to use them." But the one that hit home this morning (and reminded me of my crazy neighbor and running buddy who challenged the middle Wild One to a contest to see who could wear shorts the longest...I think they tied somewhere around the beginning of November) was,"You know you live in Minnesota if you have worn shorts and a parka...at the same time." I was up most of the night last night, so I was feeling pretty good when I got the tall Wild One up and out of the house...on time. It wasn't until she got out of the car and walked toward the bus that I fully understood what she was wearing. Pretty much shorts and a parka (it was of the vest variety...fits better in the small lockers...but it did have a fur lined hood). I felt a little better when I remembered that it is "Spirit Week" and today is slated for wearing school colors...she decided on her soccer uniform, shorts and all. Oh well, she probably won't be the only one...I hope.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Let's Talk Economy.

I know people are hurting, businesses are hurting...our country is hurting. I want it to be known that I am doing my part to make things better. I do not work...that leaves one more job open for someone else...and I spend money. Not just on things I need to survive like food and gas for my car (you know to get the Wild Ones to the doctor and such...cough...caribou), but on things like a new floral tea pot and a scarf to perk me up. I have a hundred dollar bill in my purse for such...emergencies. The problem is that no one will take a hundred dollar bill. I'm not kidding,  I have had this same Ben Franklin in my purse for months. Every time I find a little something to kick start the economy I fish it out, hand it over and am either asked, "Do you have something smaller?" or, "I'm sorry I don't have change for that." If businesses are hurting so badly for business, why won't they take my money? A girl can only do so much...of course all I have to do is whip out the plastic and put my friend away...see that is how I save money and stimulate the economy...all at the same time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Too much time on my hands.


Another month, another birthday. I am legoed out and nerfed out. In my never ending quest to be "Mother of the Year" I thought I would throw a few surprises into the mix of blasters and mini figures. I have a great catalog of "brainy toys for kids of all ages" (MindWare...located right here in Minnesota...go figure) so I started looking for things that would be of interest to a very intelligent...if I do say so myself...soon to be 10 year old. As I added several things to my cart, my adrenaline began pumping and I soon lost control...my total was well into the multiple three figures. I looked back through my list and realized the things I was buying were really geared toward...me. But hey if I get these things and sit down and do them with the 10 year old...a few points toward MOTY?? Maybe I should stick with the legos and nerf games if I want to see smiles on the birthday boy's face. But just so you know...I accidently clicked "confirm purchase" on the web site...so I don't know about the Wild Ones, but I know what I will be doing for the next few months...or at least looking at every time I walk by the game room.




Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Guess it's about Time.


I have a lot of old stories up my sleeve, but I have to be careful who is in the stories and what they will do to me if I "tell all" here where anyone from Norway to Zimbabwe can read it (not that it really matters when these people will never set eyes on any one of you...you know the ones in my stories). My wee Wild One wanted me to blog about our "nother Christmas" that we finally had this weekend with my side of the family. Not much to tell...a little seafood chowder, dilly bread and a few gifts...oh yeah and the games. We sat around the dining room table trying to play a new game...and people just weren't getting the rules...especially the Big Guy's mom (yes it was my family, but we invite her to keep her busy...and as a little extra entertainment for us). In the game each person had to describe something of theirs without letting the "guesser" know what it was (there is a central category as in "car" and each person gives clues..."mine is dirty"...and the guesser puts it all together and guesses "car"). Well my MIL (mother-in-law for those of you who have forgotten) was having a terrible time with the whole concept, but the funny part was that she couldn't figure out what people were saying...like "Mine is square" would come across to her as "minus square" and she would start going on about how the answer must be mathematical because "if you minus the square of something then it must be a big number otherwise it would be a negative number, but that could be something outside because it's so cold out there, but maybe it's a jacket because then you would stay warm..." Now this is where the old story comes in. At another family function we were all playing a game that started out with the person reading a card that had words like "minus" and you had to figure out that it was really supposed to be "mine is". So my baby cousin (the 34B Cup) was reading a card that said something like, "True man cup hold he." Ok if you listen to yourself read this out loud I am pretty sure you will hear Truman Capote...and to win that point you must know what you are saying. So 34B said, "Truman Capote" over and over and over and we were all screaming, "Yes!" but she couldn't hear what she was saying...she was still saying, "True man cup hold he." Come to find out she had no idea who Truman Capote was or that there even was such a person. She obviously didn't gain any points, but we gained a family joke that gets repeated over and over and over...even when she is no where in sight. So 34B, thanks for the laughs Saturday night...I think this one is stuck with you forever.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wishy Washy.


I know everybody was excited for the Superbowl and people plan their day, weekend and vacations around the big day, but I just wasn't into it this year...until the game started. The plan was to hop on the snowmobiles (the Big Guy with the number one Wild One and me sandwiched between the other two Wild Ones...now that is a whole other story) and head down the luce line to the Ox Yolk Inn...not much of a sports bar...but we were not overly crazy about the game (between the 5 of us not one of "our teams" was playing). Well we got across the first field without dumping anyone, but soon saw smoke from one of the machines...time to go home and reassess. By a vote of 4-1 we ended up driving to the bar and getting a front row seat just as the game was starting. Dinner was good, but we had to get home for last minute homework and Monday morning preparations...so off we went. I was excited that Pittsburgh was winning...afterall I don't really like red and those Pennsylvania boys looked awfully cute in their tight yellow bloomers, but as we caught bits and pieces of the game at home I became sucked in and wanted to root for the underdog. I am a sucker that way. But in the end I knew I had chosen right (even if not for the right reasons). It would be a good day to be waking up in Pennsylvania to cheer on all the cute, young boys dressed in yellow...the only damper was Phil seeing his shadow.