Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shopping Misfortune


Okay, so my forearm looks worse than it actually is. Those "stripes" are marks from carrying too many heavy bags with handles and the handles digging into the skin on my arm. When bags with straps are placed upon your arm for a duration of time, stress marks are inevitable. Shopping can be painful.

During our Black Friday shopping morning I had to pop two Advil since my back was hurting, my toes ached (I wore the wrong shoes) and my arm, well, the evidence pictured shows that too many bags cause injury.

I survived, thanks for asking. I wasn't wooed by any great bargains but the time spent with my mom was great.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Traditionally, today marks the day that my mother and I gather at 7:00 a.m. to drive around grabbing the best deal in town. I am far from the type that will awake at 3:00 a.m. to stand in line to save money on some item when the store only has seven of the items, however, I do love getting out early and shopping around with my mom.

Since I do not have gobs of money this year, or any year for that matter, it is odd that I am so excited about my outing. then again, what woman can shake her head no at shopping all day, and lunch out at a restaurant, without children? Not this woman.

So, this morning I will not be reading blogs, checking Facebook status, or tweeting on Twitter, but I do have all evening for those delightful escapes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your children...

-eat their green beans
-find their way to the minuscule slice of turkey buried under a flood of gravy
-try the cranberry jell without gagging
-refrain from saying, "ooh yuck" to your mother's yams
-have more mashed potatoes on their plate than the butter pool surrounding them
-not sculpt the stuffing into the shape of a snowman
-place a black olive on every finger and eat them
-bletch somewhere other than the kitchen table
-stay seated at the card table
-not be hungry 30 minutes after the meal
-remember that the biscuits do not make cute little hats
-consider trying everything on their plate
-not use their pumpkin pie slice as a ramp for their Lego car
-keep from telling Uncle Stan that his breath smells bad
-stay reasonably clean, and...

...be ever so thankful of all that they have graciously been blessed with from God.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Couch Smell

We have new couches. Our new couch purchase was out of need, not want. If you wanted to, you have created a science experiment using our old couches or learned how to sew upholstery by covering all of the tears and holes.

Thank you, four children, with no regard for nice things, and high regard for making small holes bigger, just for the fun of it.

Along with the new couches comes the new couch smell. This resembles the new car smell which is equally yummy, however, the new couch smell doesn't last as long as the new car smell.

If I had new couches to put inside a new car, I would be fully intoxicated with new smell-ness and in yummy smell heaven. If only.

I have yet to tell the children that every time they sit on the couches they need to say to each other, "Merry Christmas." I'm not sure that they have fully embraced the fact that the couches are their Christmas present.

And of course, now that we have new counches, the carpet looks terrible, the walls look bare, and the other furniture looks used and old. Isn't that always the case?

I should probably inform my daughter that for her birthday she is getting a mirror for our living room wall. My oldest son is getting new carpert for the living room, my middle mister is getting lamps, and the youngest boy is getting our Christmas pictures from the last two years mounted and framed.

That should thrill all of them, and cover the rest of our needed upgrades.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What can you do?

You always want what you cannot have, right?

Rock stars want to be actors, actors want to be athletes, and athletes want to be rock stars. No one is satisfied.

Writers want to direct, instrumentalists want to dance, and dancers want to be comedians.

Some have it all, a great voice, athleticism, and and amazing way of taking center stage, and convincing the audience that they are someone else entirely, while playing a musical instrument, and writing late at night.

I have always wanted to be able to sing a solo and have people smile in amazement while soaking up the beautiful melody seeping from my lips.

I have always wanted to be able to do seven back hand springs in celebration of our team's big win.

I have always wanted to belly up to a drum set, gather my family, and pound out some songs for us all to sing.

I have always wanted to do stand up comedy for more than the empty passenger seat of my car and the front windshield.

I write.

I can carry a tune.

I can still execute a round off without throwing up afterwards.

I can play the first three notes of "Stairway to Heaven" on the piano.

I can throw together a sweet poster for a bake sale or garage sale.

and...

I can backwards skate.

For that, I am thankful.

We all have special God-given gifts and talents.

What can you do?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Collecting

I am not a collector.

I don't collect Christmas plates, ceramic frogs, Precious Moments figurines, or charms for a silver bracelet.

My daughter used to collect dolphins, but not anymore.

I used to collect all things that had to do with cows, but not anymore.

My seven year old has an insatiable appetite for purchasing, and collecting, baseball cards.

Every dollar he receives is spent on baseball cards. He has hundreds of them in books bags, on shelves, and littering my home.

I find cards in my car, on the kitchen counter, underneath the couch, and sitting on top of his bed.

Collecting baseball cards seems like a complete waste to me. He spends money on the cards and then they end up in a notebook, box or bag.

My son just spent $10.00 on another round of baseball cards. After he opened them all and decided which were worthy and those who were not, he looked up at me and said, "I need some more money."

"Why?" I asked.

"To buy more baseball cards"

I cannot fathom the amount of money that he has wasted on baseball cards. My hope is that eventually, when he is 40, his cards will all be worth hundreds of dollars. At that point he can redeem himself and all the money he spent when he was younger. Then, and only then, will his collecting be worth anything. I suppose.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's Read!

I don't devour books.

I have very little time to read books right now unless someone gives me a book that is a "must read." If I was a traveler or a security guard that sat all the time, I would read tons of books. I love non-fiction.

I confess that if I have some time to sit a read, I typically sit at my computer and read blogs, online devotionals, or catch up with people on Facebook and Twitter.

I was recently sitting with some friends and we were all talking about the fact that it is so hard to find the time to read since we work full-time. My friend Mel eats books for lunch and dinner, and she works full-time.

My mother is an avid reader as is my mother-in-law.

As I stood talking to my friends, a book caught my eye. I asked about the book and plucked from the bookshelf. My friend told me that it was an incredible book that she was actually able to finish as opposed to all of the other books that she starts and never finishes. The challenge was on.

I took the book home.

I am determined to read and discover, why this is the book that she chose to finish.

I am reading Dr. Henry Cloud's Integrity.

I'll let you know.

I hope to be finished by December 31.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lack of Post and Priorities

As you may or may not have noticed, yesterday there was no post. Have you ever had one of those days when it is simply impossible to sit down at the computer and create a post? Yesterday was one of those days. At the moment that I was able to stop and sit, it was too late. I would have been writing a post at 7:00 p.m. so I just waited until today and skipped yesterday.

Also, if you must know I had a very important appointment with my hair stylist. The grey hair was shouting from the mountain tops. Thankfully I am one of the tallest women in my office so no one noticed. Those shorter than I am cannot see the top of my head, and the tall men never notice.

Before I left for my ever-so-important appointment, a group of us ladies were discussing grey hair and highlights. We decided that if we ever lost our homes, our jobs, our cars, and had to sleep in a shelter, we would still power wash sidewalks to earn enough money to have our hair colored. Priorities.

My hair is "fixed" and the color is wonderful. Debra is a true professional.

Now I need to call Cathy, my brow gal. For ten bucks, she makes my eyebrows look perfectly arched and gorgeous. I don't attempt the self-pluck. I'm terrible at many things and plucking my own eyebrows happens to be one of those things, however, that's what bangs are for, great coverage in a pinch, just in case Cathy is unavailable.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fuel Level Low

We own a two-car garage that holds only one car, at the moment. I'm guessing that we are not the only ones in this type of situation. I know people who own three-car garages yet cannot fit one car inside. We no usable attic or beautiful basement so that is our excuse.

My gracious husband parks his car outside on the driveway and let's my car occupy the garage. He's nice like that.

When my husband and I are home at the same time, and have to use a car to go someplace, I typically just use his car since it is smaller, outdoors and ready to move, not as gas-hoggish as my car, and, has seat heaters, if one should require their buns heated.

Although I have a tendency to exaggerate I am formally telling you that this is not an exaggeration and my children can attest to that fact that almost every time I get in my husbands car to go somewhere his gas light is on. You know what I'm talking about right - that little light in newer cars that signals that the car is low on gas?

This frustrates me more than it should. He always claims that the tank has plenty of gas to still get where I need to go and that I can safely drive without the fear of being stuck on the side of the road, gas-less and irritated.

I never fully believe his claim so I typically get out of his car, open the garage door, and take my gas-filled car wherever I need to go. I'm a planner. I always have enough gas.

I once ran out of gas in my VW bug, in graffiti filled, downtown Los Angeles. I still have run-out-of-gas-fear-even though I wasn't murdered or beaten.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cake

I love all things cake.

I love all thing lots-o-frosting and cake.

I loathe cake with marzipan frosting. Marzipan is Italian for: Pasty substance resembling masking tape that should not be allowed near a cake.

The other day my girlfriend brought me a delicious cupcake from a local cupcake bakery called Sprinkles. Not only did I only ask for two and not included my children in the order, but I kept them in my car until the children went to sleep so that they wouldn't ask for a bite. I'm not very good at sharing my food, let alone my desserts.

My cupcake was a delicious mix of butter cake and milk chocolate frosting with chocolate sprinkles. Oh my.

I settled the cupcake into a bowl, and nestled it next to two scoops of ice cream. Yum.

When I die, I want to be cremated.

I want my ashes to be mixed in with some cake and chocolate frosting. I just thought you should know. And if there is no cake and frosting available, I am also partial to nachos.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Artwork

I majored in art in college. I could tell very easily who were the true, talented artist, and those who thought it was just a good idea. I was the later.

Although I am creative and can copy illustrations verbatim, I lack in the area of creating a sketch from scratch.

I have been doodle drawing and making artsy things for a far back as I can remember. I used to sketch pencil etchings of our sleeping dog, "Brillo" who awake, was constant motion. He never posed well, awake.

Once in college the evening prior to the deadline for a painting assignment, I slapped some paint onto a canvas, smeared the colors around with a palate knife, turned in my abstract painting, and received an "A." Not bad for procrastinating and a lack of still life arrangements. On the other hand, the painting never sold for hundreds of dollars in a stuffy art studio either.

The other day I was at the nail salon treating myself to a 15 dollar pedicure. I went to the bathroom and noticed a piece of artwork on the wall across from the toilet. It was a nice piece of art signed by a guy named William Barnett.

I'm sure that when Willy was in art school he never dreamed that his painting would end up in the bathroom of a strip mall nail salon.

At least Williams art was actually purchased by someone which is a lot more than I can say for my abstract creation - which is sitting in the rafters of my garage.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Happy Are You?


I'm on a roll. Not literally sitting on a dinner roll, although that would make for an interesting post, but in the sense that I'm in motion with the same, perhaps boring, idea. Please bear with me. Or don't. I'll leave the choice up to you.

"Happy as a clam" is a familiar saying, however, I not sure that I would want to be a clam, or if a clam is truly ever happy. I could think of so many other things that could be used metaphorically to describe happiness: Happy as a toddler in a tub filled with pudding, happy as a mom sitting poolside, without children, at a fancy hotel, happy a puppy in a puddle of mud, happy as a bride on the first day of her honeymoon.

Happy as a clam? Really?

Research tells me that the official saying is “happy as a clam in high water.” Evidently clams are dug up from the ocean floor and are nearly impossible to find in high tide/water. So, when the saying is clarified it makes a bit more sense, still, last I checked, clams don’t have emotions and are completely incapable of being happy, or for that matter, sad.

What is your happy as a…? Do tell, I’d love to know.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lushy Lashes?


Before. Snore.

I may be eating crow today. It's not for sure but I may.

I posted back in October [click here]about a product called Revitalash. I claimed in my post that it wasn't working and someone requested a before and after shot to prove that the product was incapable of estending my puny lashes to gorgeous lengths.

The product works. There I admitted it. My lashes are longer. People aren't calling to book me for mascara commericals or photos, but they are longer. You be the judge.


NOW...WOW!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun Monkeys


I want to know who came up with the term, “[fill in the blank] is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.”

Personally, I don’t think that a barrel of monkeys would be fun in the least bit. I’m thinking scratchy claws and a lot of noise.

I picture the monkeys leaping from the barrel and jumping in my hair like the old myth that bats fly into your hair and get tangled. That used to scare the crud out of me as a kid.

A barrel filled with monkeys would be messy. There would inevitably be monkey droppings everywhere and monkey fur getting stuck on my clothes like cat’s fur.

Do monkeys bite? They seem like they would. That would be a bad combo, monkey hair with a side of bites.

How do you get the monkeys back into the barrel after the proverbial fun time? What then? Do I send the monkeys to a co-worker so that they can experience the fun in unleashing monkeys that have been shoved against their own will into a wooden barrel?

I may be over thinking this.

In my opinion, a barrel filled with pie would be much better. Pie is the best fun ever – or cotton balls. Cotton balls are fun too – less messy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Belt it Out

I had a moment.

It was an embarrassing moment.

I don't embarrass easily, however, this moment would embarrass anyone.

We were all in staff meeting being led in worship songs. The mood was solemn. The lights were dimmed. I was absorbing the part of the song when just the instruments are playing and no one is singing.

The music changed and I blurted out the next lyric to the song that we were singing. The trouble is, there was more music and the lyrics hadn't yet begun.

People turned to look at me. The guy next to me shook with muffled laughter, and I, decided to just listen to the song and stop singing. There is only so much embarrassment one can take in one day and I had instantly reached my limit.

At the next staff meeting, I will just mouth the words. I don't want to take any chances.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sleeping Over and Chicken Soup


My middle mister experienced his very first sleepover. After the apprehension subsided, the excitement burst through. He was packed and ready to go, waiting for my girlfriend to pick him up, so I snapped a photo of him in his new Fedora waiting for his ride. Thanks goodness she was on time.

While I read blogs and Facebook, my youngest entertained himself with playdough. He made a carrot, and used toothpicks to make "samples" placing them neatly on toothpicks and arranging them in his lunch box. Creative.




I also enjoyed some "chicken soup" and "salad." He placed the "leftovers" in plastic bags and placed plastic wrap over the "bowl of soup," then put everything in the refrigerator.

Maybe one day he will be a chef and cook us all some amazing meals - for real, not of the playdough variety.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dr. Randy

Being on a first name basis with my gynecologist has it's advantages. I'm not exactly sure what they are, but I do know that the other patients are slightly curious when I call him "Randy." They either think that he is my neighbor, or a old friend from high school.

The truth is, my gynecologist and I are on a first name basis because of history. We have spent a lot of time together, he and my family. Not only has he delivered two of my four babies, he has also comforted us through two miscarriages and DNC's, a tube removal, and assisted us in countless appointments in his office.

We small talk about family for the first 10 minutes of my "well woman" appointment while I wear a paper poncho and he sits back, relaxed in his chair, crossed legged.

He asks about my husband and his job and I ask about his trips to Mexico to build homes, and the adjustment his oldest is having in high school - wearing my butcher paper lap sheet.

We talk and laugh about the chaos four children can bring, sharing the craziness and struggles.

At the end of the appointment and conversation he leaves with, "It was great to see you Linda, take care and say hi to Greg for me."

"I will Randy, thanks for the - um - you'll let me know if there is anything abnormal?"

"Yep, I'll let you know."

When I jump into my car to exit I text my husband, "Randy says 'hello.'" to which he replies, "hello Randy."

I know, odd, at best.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sidetracked and Forgetful

I can't remember much of anything. My head spins with what needs to be done, what I am going to do, what I am currently doing, and what I know needs to be done in the near future. In addition, my focus meter goes off kilter often as the sidetrack kicks into full swing.

My son asked me for a bandage for the blister on his toe. By dinner I had forgotten. At bedtime he asked me again. As I walked to the bathroom I saw a pile of clothes on the sink. When I went over to the hamper to deposit the dirty goods, I saw a toy airplane on my bed and picked it up to return to the boy's bedroom.

When I sat on my son's bed to begin prayers for the night he asked, "Where is the bandage?" After I told him that I forgot, and got up once again to retrieve the it, he said, "Never mind, I'll get one in the morning."

I try to make lists, but when I pull out my handy, dandy, notebook to begin the list, I forget what I am supposed to jot down.

I purchase birthday gifts last minute.

Instead of calling people to ask for a favor with 2 days notice, I keep forgetting so I call the night before asking for help.

I have a great calendar that I keep up to date, but sometimes I forget to look at it.

When I get to the grocery store, list in hand, I ofter forget as least two of the items. If I happen to have any children along side of me, I forget 5 items minimum.

I need one day. A full day of nothingness and a whole list of get doneness.

I need one day to run every errand, go to every appointment, complete all of the items on my lists, and make 5 dinners for the week and freeze them.

The weekend just doesn't give me enough time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cupcake Minus the Cake


Four cupcakes were delivered to our house from our very kind realtor. She's nice like that even though we have not sold our home or referred her anyone who was selling their home in about 8 years.

Since I love cupcakes I ate the first one. I prefer cupcakes with white or yellow cake and chocolate frosting, but suffered through a chocolate cupcake with white frosting. It just so happened to be nestled nest to some vanilla ice cream. That made it taste better.

I decided to bring the three other cupcakes to work since no one at home was partaking. They sat for half of the day since they didn’t appeal to me in their current state, which was a lot of cake and very little frosting.

I had the brilliant idea to eat the tops of the cupcakes only and leave the boring, dry, cake part, in the box. Brilliant.

Frosting rocks, and cake doesn’t rock as much.

Eating just the top part of the cupcake is the best idea ever.

Friday, November 7, 2008

1987 Called

Hi, my name is Linda and I have bedroom furniture from the 80's.

There, I have confessed. Except for the myriad of neighborhood children that saunter in and out of bedroom to play on the computer, very few folks are privy to my secret. It is embarrassing, but cost effective.

I'm the type of person who would rather clothe my children, eat out twice a week, or perhaps delve into a small weekend vacation, than visit the furniture store and drop loads of cash on new bedroom furniture.

When I was pregnant with our fourth child, my husband was kind enough to purchase a king sized bed for my expanding body and expressive need for space. Given the choice between an array of sassy new bedroom furniture or a king sized bed, I would, hand down, choose the bed. And, by bed I mean mattress, and not a formal place to place the mattress.

I have priorities, and purchasing new bedroom furniture is not one of them. Who actually sees the inside of my bedroom other than my family members, and as mentioned prior, the few neighborhood children who dart in and out to check out the computer? Do neighborhood children care about the appearance of my bedroom furniture or the year it was purchased? My guess would be "no." The 80's bleached, pine wood ensemble will come back in style eventually, right?

In the mean time, if 1987 calls and wants their furniture returned, I'll have to put them on hold, that is, until they can hook me up with the year 2008 and provide me with some new stuff - free of charge.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How do you Magazine?


I love magazines. I love when I have time to read a magazine. I love the smell of a shiny new magazine.

I skim magazines quickly, and often tear out photos of outfits that I like or articles I wish to save. Often times I will jot down a website I want to visit, or a handy cleaning/household tip that I want to remember, however, before I begin reading any magazine I have a system, a routine I must complete prior to reading.

I turn the magazine upside down so that the spine is facing upwards and the pages fall south. I then flip the pages so that all of the loose subscription cards fall to the ground. Step one.

Next, I set the magazine down on the table and flip through, watching for the parts of the magazine that stay open due to a large card or thick paged advertisement. I diligently tear out any cards, and remove any unnecessary thick pages that hinder a smooth flow through the glossy pages. Step 2.

The last step is to locate the perfume ads with the folded down flap. Typically, readers can open the flap exposing an array of scents and smells that are obtrusive and wrong, but the manufacturer assumes are pleasant. Some may even consider tearing the flap out of the magazine and rubbing the scent on their neck or wrist. I discard these at mock speeds.

Before the flap can be opened, I tear off the whole thick, scent holding pocket and toss it into the garbage along with all other annoying cards and ads I have gathered.

At this point in time the magazine is primed and ready for reading, however, by the time I "clean" out my magazine, the kids are complaining of hunger pangs, someone is texting me, and the television is suddenly blaring non-sense jabber from the living room. My magazine reading window has shut.

My husband on the other hand flips through magazines without removing anything. He typically finishes his magazine reading with a clear, open, reading window, and limited distractions. There is something to be said for suffering through a cluttered magazine evidently.

Perhaps I should get rid of my anal, organized, ways and subject myself to the glossy page clutter. In that case, maybe I could actually finish a magazine and my ever growing stack could actually shrink.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neglect

My house plants are all dying. It may be from neglect, unintentional neglect, or over compensation.

I say hello to them at least once a month and water them when I remember. I may over water them from guilt. I feel guilty for not watering them when I should, so I over water them to make up for my non-water times. They call that over compensation. I need indoor plant help.

Dogs get fat because people feed them table scraps, too many table scraps. Owners assume they are showing love to them by feeding them tasty table food. Fat dogs have trouble breathing and the extra weight is hard on their heart and hips.

It proves a point, that over indulgence of anything is not good. Too much of a good thing can kill you, or your plants. I'm just saying.

I need to over indulge in showing love to others and being kind. No one can ever do too much of that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day



My seven year old made this in school and I had to post it. Is it not the cutest thing ever? I hope that the "no on 8" folks don't vandalize it. The "mama bear" in me may hurt them.

By the way, that is John McCain.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Unfortunate Event

Here in California we are all heated over Proposition 8. A "yes" vote would rule that marriage is defined as one man and one woman and protects our children from being taught about gay marriage in public schools.

This vote already passed in 2000 but 4 judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people's vote.

As you can probably surmise, a "no" vote would bring grey into the definition. Marriage could be between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. In addition, teachers would by law have to instruct children about marriage, including gay marriage, to children as young as kindergarten.

On our lawn sits a "Yes on 8" sign with the website www.protectmarriage.com. People have had to bring their "Yes on 8" signs indoors because of the rampant vandalism taking place - destroying and stealing the signs, spray painting "NO" over the signs, etc. We have left ours out all night and nothing has been done.

The other day I walking into our front door from my car when a couple of girls, college age, were riding their bikes past our house. One of they shouted to me, "No on 8" as she peddled past my driveway.

I wish that I had a snappy, spiritual comeback like, "I believe the Bible, and the Bible says 'no on 8'" but instead I said, "Sorry, I'm not gay."

I was very calm and continued walking. She shouted back to me, "I'm not gay either!" I assumed that the conversation was over and entered my house.

That night we went to church. We arrived home and found a Jack-O-Lantern on the bench located on our porch. Carved into the pumpkin was the word, "Drink," probably a left over decoration from a party. In black permanent maker were the words, "NO ON 8" and "I'm not gay either B****"

Wow, such anger and bitterness. It was hurtful and rude. My 7 and 5 year old were afraid that the girl was going to do something to our house. We had to constantly reassure them that she wasn't going to do any danger to any of us, and if she happened to come near here, that we would call the police.

The angst, the animosity, the controversy, over a definition that had been around for hundreds of years - marriage is between a man and a woman.

We continue to pray about Tuesday, and the outcome of this proposition. Only God knows.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Candy Casserole

I could probably make millions if I could come up with a recipe book which incorporates using six pounds of candy to conjure up a fantastic family meal.

After staring at the bags of candy littering my living room floor, and wondering what in world we are going to do with it all, my brilliant book idea came to mind.

"The Day After Halloween Recipe Book" would included 101 ways to make a healthy dinner for your family using fun size Snickers bars, gummy spiders, and Sweet Tarts, among other candies and goodies.

Cheesey-peanut Beefaroo- Feta cheese, a pound of ground beef, and peanut M & M's

Cookie Broccoli Casserole- can of cream of chicken soup, frozen broccoli, shredded chicken, and Twix bars.

Confetti Salad-Mixed salad greens, pretzels, and grilled chicken, sprinkles with Skittles, Runts, and Nerds.

Pasta Prima Butterfinger-Elbow macaroni tossed with sausage slices, bell peppers and Butterfingers and alfredo sauce.

I have a whole host of other idea, but you'll have to wait until the recipe books comes to a store near you.