Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sleepover

Friday night, my daughter had a friend from school spend the night at our house. It was kind of a big deal because she hasn’t really had many people over to spend the night. A neighbor once and a cousin once. That’s it. (I know, I know. We’re bad parents for not doing more.) So, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, wanted the girls to have fun, but still wanted to enforce the “rules of the house” without seeming mean. Anyway, we brought her friend home right after school and they were practically bursting from excitement. We got home, got everything situated in my daughter’s room and went out for supper.


I had forgotten how much girls could talk when they get together. (Which is really stupid considering how much I talk when I get together with friends.) But I don’t think they stopped the whole time we were eating. My husband even had to remind my daughter to eat her food because she had let it sit untouched for so long. While they were eating, they got on the subject of Greek gods and goddesses and wondering what kind of jobs they would have if they lived in modern times. So they started planning a “town” for the Greek figures they knew. I was impressed. I said they would have to write them all down when we got home and then they got the idea to draw a map of the town too. Even better! (Now they really had enough things to keep them busy for the rest of the night.)


We got home and the two girls rushed off to my daughter’s room to start their project. They had movies going and dolls out and their colored pencils, paper, and random toys scattered all over! It was the typical sleepover. About the time I was getting my son ready for bed, the girls came out wanting popcorn. (Impeccable timing!) So, okay. Wanting to be the “cool friends mom,” I headed to the kitchen and found some popcorn. Now, I should tell you that I don’t eat popcorn often and even when we do have it, I eat very little. (My mom used to love having popcorn when I was little and I got really tired of eating it.) When we do happen to pop popcorn, it’s always my husband that does it. There were also lots of other factors that made reading the entire directions difficult, but I don’t want to make it sound like I’m trying to come up with every excuse in the book. (*giggle*) That being said, don’t laugh at me.


I burnt the popcorn.


Not bad, but enough that the insides were a little dark and it definitely smelled, well…burnt. (I’m not actually a terrible cook. Really. I’m not great, but I’m adequate.) Not wanting them to complain about it, I put a happy spin on it by telling them, “It’s a little overcooked, but it’ll still be good.” (Any parent will agree that if you put a happy or positive spin on something it reduces the chances of whining or complaining.) They started eating it and, God love them, I didn’t get one peep from them about not liking it. (My daughter was probably pissing herself that I was being so nice and agreeable about everything, she didn’t want to screw it up!) Then, my husband walks in the room. And what’s the first thing out of his mouth? “Looks like mama burnt the popcorn.” AGH! Now why did he have to say anything? The kids were fine with it. Why bring it up?! My daughter, bless her heart, told him it was just a little overcooked (see, it worked!) and the two girls and my son (who by this time had come out of his bed wanting popcorn too) sat and happily ate their bowls of popcorn.


And I more than made up for it by pounding out a massive amount of chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. (All nice golden brown, yummy, gooey, melt in your mouth chocolate chip pancakes. Delicious!) Between the three kids (ages 11, 10, and 3), they had nine! Nine big ones.


But all of the excitement about sleepovers got me thinking about my own sleepovers and slumber parties when I was growing up. When I turned 13, my parents let me invite 13 friends over to sleep over. Yes, you read correctly. 13! That’s nuts, right? I mean, who does that? No one. That’s who. Not unless they’re certifiably insane. Or, as in my parents case, have a spoiled last child. (Although my siblings would probably disagree, I wasn’t super spoiled. I think my parents were just too tired after the first three kids, that by the time I came along, they didn’t have the energy to fight.) So me and my 13 friends basically took over the house. That’s the only way I can think to describe it because, really, how can you fit 14 girls between the ages of 12 and 14 under one roof for at least 18-20 hours? I was fortunate that my bedroom was the attic so we had the entire third floor to ourselves, but we still spilled out throughout the entire first floor as well.


I remember there were movies going on all night in the living room and a group playing with the Ouija Board in the sewing room. Food was everywhere and by morning there were sleeping girls everywhere too. Upstairs, downstairs, you name it. I don’t really remember seeing my parents much so either I have very selective memory or they were hiding in their room trying to sleep. (My dad I’m quite sure could have slept through a third world war outside his window because of the shifts he used to work. Now, maybe not, but then…he probably didn’t hear a single sound from us girls after his head hit the pillow.) But, geez, what were they thinking? I can pretty confidently say, “Not. This. Mama.” I sometimes don’t have the patience to deal with my own children (okay, most of the time don’t have enough patience), but to add that many more that don’t belong to me? That don’t know the kind of behavior expectations we have in this house? No thanks. No slumber party extravaganzas here. Sorry, kids. I just don’t think I could take it.


But really, both girls were very good and it’ll be fun to have her come back and stay again. I enjoyed reliving my childhood memories just watching them.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Followers, Facebook, and Daimons???

First off, I have to say a huge thank you to all the people who stopped over to check out my blog and a warm welcome to those of you that decided to stick around and “follow” this little escape that I have created for myself. Thanks to Average Girl for hosting such a great party! I had so much fun and I found some really great blogs and really great people. I’m a little intimidated now because I feel like I have an expectation to live up to. I’ll do my best, but don’t be too harsh on me. It is a simple life I lead, although I do try to find the funny or ironic in something among my days. Some days are easier than others. *sigh*


I’m not a huge fan of Facebook for a number of reasons I won’t go into right now, but I am a huge fan of the games you can play on Facebook. I’m not kidding, if I could, I would be online all day, jumping from game to game. But alas, I cannot and have forced myself to pick one. One little game to keep me happy and yet still seeming to share my time and life with my Facebook friends. (Which are almost entirely either family members or friends that I still have face-to-face contact with.)


So, Frontierville, it is. If you’re not familiar and care to know, the premise of the game is that you’re a pioneer and clearing a homestead to turn into a town and a place for your family to join you. I love it because it combines a lot of gameplay features that I like. You have to raise animals, grow crops, build buildings, find collectibles, and complete missions. The downside, however, is that you have to have a certain number of neighbors (or Facebook friends that also play) to unlock certain items to continue completing missions. And that’s a huge downside for me because I don’t have a huge number of Facebook friends (I mean, really, we can’t all be superstars!) and even fewer actually play games. Grrr. Of course, you can use real money to unlock those items, but I refuse to get sucked into that scam! (Okay, so I know it isn’t really a scam, but it’s the principle. I hate that a free game is trying to trick you into spending money.)


But…if they would make it a stand alone game that you could buy in the store and play by yourself, I would buy it in a heartbeat! I think I’d even spend thirty bucks for it. (I can’t imagine it being worth more than that because if you play games like I tend to, it probably wouldn’t take too long to complete.) So instead of needing neighbors, it would just require a certain level to unlock items. I would have so much more fun with it that way and it would virtually eliminate my frustrations with the game. (At least, I think so.) And they would get their cash money out of me. It’s a win-win!


Then there is this group my sister has been wanting me to join ever since my hiatus from Facebook. It’s a role playing group (on Facebook. Isn’t everything these days?) based on characters from a book series. I started borrowing and reading the books just before Thanksgiving and wow, they are great! They’re the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and the plots revolve around Greek Gods and Goddess, Daimons (a sort of vampire human looking creature that steals the souls from humans), Dark Hunters (soulless, immortals that are in charge of hunting Daimons and protecting humans), and the (usually) human women that can’t resist the sexy Dark Hunters. So on Facebook, people have adopted the persona of different characters and they interact online as if they are the character. I’m reluctant to try it out. For one thing, the concept behind how these beings all came to be is a little confusing and I don’t want to say something inaccurate. (And end up looking stupid.) Also, I don’t know any of the other people in this group besides my sister and I am very shy with people I don’t know. (Although I could treat it like I’m writing something here. I’ve really been trying to come out of my shell on the blogs.) And, these books are very sexual among the main characters. (I mean, they are romance novels.) Now my sister picked a minor character that doesn’t have that kind of role and I would have to do the same, but…I don’t know. It’s all very confusing. Who would I be and what would I do? But then again, it’s not like becoming your own person. You have to be a character that all these people are familiar with and already have a preset notion what it should be like. Can I live up to that without coming off as some lame person trying to fit in?


It’s kinda funny in a messed up way that I stress out over something that really doesn’t mean anything. But that’s just me, I guess. A worrier. But I’m interested to know if there are other people in groups like this and if these are questions or issues you’ve had to tackle as a part of a RPG. I’ll let you know how it goes if I decide to give it a try.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Looking At Me???

Today was my sixth day at the Y (I used up all my free passes and had to buy a day pass for today, but I’ll get to that in a minute.) While I was on the treadmill, a guy walked in probably pretty close to my age. Well, no more than five years give or take. That in itself is slightly unusual because when I go, the place is crawling with retired people. And what’s worse is that most of them (like 80%) are in better shape than I am! If that’s not a blow to your ego, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, the guy picked the treadmill right next to mine and started walking. And, without sounding mean, he was walking slow. Now, I’m no speed demon or anything like that, but I try to get myself right up to the line before I have to start jogging. (Maybe someday I actually will jog, but that day has not yet come.) I see him glance over and I assume he was looking to see what speed I have it set at. Time passes…he peeks at me again. I increase my speed. More time passes and he keeps glancing over at me. To the point where I start feeling self-conscious! I’m thinking to myself, “Oh my god, what is he looking at? I’m not exposed somewhere am I? Pants are up, right? Yes. Shirt covering butt? Check. Chest completely covered? Yeah, it’s a t-shirt. (Not that there would be anything to see in that department. I don’t think they could fall out if they wanted to!) Please don’t let something be sticking out of my nose. Oh god, please.”

We’re both walking and I’m almost up to my max speed and he hasn’t changed his once. But he keeps pulling his shirt away from his body like he’s trying to cool off. Did he just come from somewhere else and is trying to do a “cool down” session? What’s this guy’s deal?

I was about halfway done with my walking when he turns his machine off and starts stretching. While standing on the treadmill. So yes, I haven’t been doing this long, but I’m guessing that isn’t normal. So then I start wondering, “Maybe he had knee surgery and he’s trying to loosen it up and will start walking again in a minute.” Nope. He finishes the couple minutes of stretching and gets down and walks out of the room. I never even got a good look at him the whole time he was there because I didn’t want to have that awkward eye contact. You know, when you glance at someone at the same time they’re glancing at you and no one says anything. Cause I knew sure as shit I wasn’t going to say anything! I had my earbuds in with music playing and I don’t talk to strangers! It freaks me out like nobody’s business!

But I can’t stop wondering, what the hell was he looking at?! I can only hope there was something on the other side of me that he found incredibly interesting.

Now, to back up to the part at the beginning about having to buy a day pass. This really bugs the hell out of me and it’s now the second time within eight months it’s happened.

After using my last free pass at the Y, I asked the woman working if when I came back Thursday and signed up, would my membership keep renewing on the 27th of each month. She informed me, memberships renew the 1st of every month. So I asked, “So even if I pay the membership fee on Thursday, next week when it’s the 1st, it’s going to charge me again?!” She nodded. Am I the only one who thinks this is bullshit?! What happened to prorating a month or having the day you join as your renew date? And what about the poor suckers who join without asking that very important question?! They use their free passes, join, and then get charged again. So much for the free passes! Not quite so free anymore.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If I Were A Celebrity, He Would So Be My Boyfriend

I decided since some of my last posts were kinda bitchy and whiny, I would do something more upbeat. I have a thing about celebrities. I don’t know why, but I’m fascinated by them. Before I got married, I used to fantasize about some of them. Well, apparently, according to the last dream I remember, I still do. Ha-ha. Anyway, I was wandering around online and I found some picture of my “celebrity crushes.”

And that got me thinking.

I watched the season of Celebrity Apprentice when Bret Michaels was on. There was an episode where they were working in a gym teaching fitness classes and a girl that was in Bret Michaels class kinda freaked out and said to him, “Oh my God! You’re Bret Michaels! You’re on my list of 5 celebrities. My husband isn’t going to believe this!” And of course Bret Michaels responded something like, “Oh! Well, let’s go find a bathroom!” My question is, do people really make deals with their spouses that in the off-chance they meet a celebrity, they get to have free sex? I don’t have a list like that with my husband and I certainly wouldn’t agree to his having a list. (I’m a jealous woman that doesn’t like to share.) But do other people?

And for fun, I started thinking about who I would want on my list. You know. In case I ever meet them someday. Ha-ha. Like that would happen.

#1 : Robert Buckley (as I know him from Lipstick Jungle)

Lipstick Jungle

Yummy! I loved him from the moment he first stepped foot on my TV. (He even reminds me of a guy I used to date. Seriously. That may explain my uncontrollable heart pounding.)

#2 : Timothy Olyphant (especially the “Justified” and “Catch and Release” Timothy)

Timothy Olyphant

Seems sweet, but with a rough edge to him. The best scene is when him and Jennifer Garner are in bed together and she’s asking all kinds of questions so that she’ll feel like she knows him better. She asks what his favorite color is and he gives her a look that fills my stomach with butterflies and says (in a low, deep, sexy voice), “Gray.” (Because Garner’s character’s name is Gray.)

#3 : Jude Law


Just a hottie. What else can I say? My favorite scene in “The Holiday” is when he’s hoping to see Cameron Diaz’ character at a restaurant and then suddenly he sees her and he smiles this great big smile. Makes my heart flutter every time!

#4 : Dierks Bentley


A cutie who can sing. Can’t get much sexier than a man crooning sweet nothings to you. (I do prefer short-haired Dierks, but it’s still cute when he’s got a little length. Just not too much.)

#5 : Huh. I can’t come up with a #5 right now, so I guess I’ll leave an open slot for someone to fill!

So, do you have a list? What about your significant other? Do you know about each other’s lists? If you don’t have a list, who would you put on it?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It’s a Tall World After All

I’m short. I thought I’d just get that out of the way so you have some idea where this post is coming from. I’m a full five feet of shortness and after reading the hilarious post by Average Girl, I got to thinking about how life in this world, okay country (I’ve never travelled outside the US, so I guess I’d better stick with what I know), is tailored to tall people.


As I type this, I am sitting at a desk that I hate from the depths of hell because it is too tall. It has a smallish surface for writing or for paperwork with a pullout drawer for the keyboard underneath and above it has an even smaller surface for the monitor. Keep in mind, none of these pieces are adjustable. So, with the monitor adjusted as low as it can be and angled down as far as it will go (which, for the record, is hardly anything!) it is still too high for me to comfortably see. To avoid having my neck snap in half and my head roll down my back, I sit on a bar stool to give me the height needed to see the monitor. But then, I can’t use the keyboard drawer because my knees are jammed up against the writing surface. Which means I have to keep my keyboard on the writing surface, leaving no place for anything else! I mean, really, my plate of chips are balanced on the edge, half on the mousepad, cozied up next to my mouse, praying I don’t suddenly shake the mouse and send the plate crashing to the floor. And yes, I did say a barstool, but it’s not one of those fancy high-backed, cushioned fancy things. No, no. It’s a wooden circle on four legs. So give me a moment to cry about how my neck hurts, and my back hurts, and even my butt is getting a bit sore. Okay. I’ll suck it up now. I’ve been asking for a new desk for…a year now? I’m not sure. It seems like it’s been longer that I’ve wanted one, but I can’t remember when I actually told my husband that I wanted to buy one. Of course, he and I have completely different ideas as far as what the new desk should look like, but until we actually start trying to pick one out, I’ll leave that subject alone.


Maybe I should back up and say I had the incredible foresight to fall in love and marry someone six feet tall. So he has no real concept of what I have to go through. (It’s a double edged sword. Tall genes for kids, no empathy.) He jokes about my being short by telling me to pick up things that have fallen to the ground because, “I’m closer to it.” It is  funny, even I can admit it.


But anyway, he’s in no real hurry to find a new desk because the one we have works just fine for him. But I really need a new one. Desperately.


It’s not just the desk though. Have you ever tried rolling out cookie dough or stirring something on a counter that is too high? Trust me, it’s a pain in the ass. And the arms. (Okay, not literally in the ass, but I’m sure you figured that out.) I want to know why they can’t make stoves and counters and all that stuff shorter. I mean, have two options. Picture walking into an appliance store and having the salesperson say to you, “These are our standard stoves, but over here we have our selection of stoves geared toward those 5’7” and under.” You can’t tell me there are so few short people in this world (ugh, I did it again) country, that it’s not worth it to have two sizes.


Or have you ever sat at a table to eat but the table is only five or six inches below your chin? It makes you feel like you’re seven years old. About the only time I feel comfortable sitting somewhere is at my daughter’s school because everything is made for people my size or smaller. But then I have gotten confused for a student, so that’s kind of a win-lose situation. I actually sit on my feet when eating at home to put me up above the table a little more. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to sit on a booster seat,  but I’ve tried it at the computer and my butt is a little too big to fit. So the comfort factor keeps me from doing that. Well, that and my pride. I just can’t win.


And shopping. Oh man, shopping is such a pain. Grocery shopping is a treat because anything on the higher shelves is tough for me to reach. But I’m not against climbing. I’ll actually step onto the lower shelf (as long as it’s clear of goods of course!) to reach the upper shelves before I would ask for help. I’m not good with strangers. But clothes shopping presents it’s own challenges. From pants that are too long to shoes that don’t fit, it’s all so frustrating for me. Have you ever tried finding a cute pair of heels in the little girl section? (Well, if you’re a guy, probably not. At least, I wouldn’t think so.) But try finding a cute “grown up” pair of heels in a size three. If you find some, give me a call. I’m always looking.


Well, I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but I just wanted to shed some light on the problem of being “vertically challenged” for all of those blessed with height. And to all of those out there like me, we’ll cry on each other’s shoulders and give each other a boost when we need it. Because there has to be something good about being short. Like picking stuff up off the floor, I guess.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I’d Like To See You Do My Job!

I’m going to make this one short and sweet because frankly, I’ve got a million things to get done before tonight and the time that I have to leave to pick up my daughter is coming at light-speed pace. Okay, well, maybe not sweet. I’m actually really pissed off.

This weekend, I was minding my own business on Facebook, taking care of my “homestead” on Frontierville. (I just love that game!) Up popped a chat window from someone I went to high school with. He asked if I was playing The Sims because he knows how addicted to that game I am. I replied “No, can’t do that and be online at the same time. I’m playing Frontierville.” To which he responded something along the lines of “I can’t believe you. I wish I had your life.” Maybe I should have given him the benefit of the doubt, but it instantly pissed me off. For one thing, he knows very little about my life and for another, his life is pretty damn simple. Sometimes I wish I had his life. He’s not married, has no kids, has a job that I think gives him the winter off, and goes out partying more times a month than I do in a year. Maybe two years!

So for all those people out there that think because I am a stay at home mother and don’t work outside of the house and have an easy life - get bent! I’m up early and to bed late every night of the week even weekends because kids (especially three year olds) don’t really know the difference between Saturday and Tuesday. I have to cook and clean and keep schedules for four people. I have to get kids where they need to be, shop for every household need, and be at everyone’s beck and call when they need help. I have to play kid games, give up my TV time for kid shows, rarely ever have adult conversations, and turn over the computer when someone else wants it. And I’m still expected to help out at school, stay in shape and always be happy on top of it all!

So yes, I’m going to play a computer game or other stress reducing activity when I happen to have a spare moment. I’d like to see you get through one of my days.

Okay, thanks. I think I feel a little bit better.

Friday, January 21, 2011

D.A.R.E. To Keep Kids Off Drugs

Did any of you go through the D.A.R.E. program when you were in school? I did. I don’t remember much, but the basic idea still sticks with me. Well, my daughter is going through the program at her school right now. And it’s making me nuts.

You’d think that I would be happy and excited that she’s learning about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. And I am. Really. I don’t want her to get into trouble when she gets older. (Although, it didn’t stop me when I was in high school.) But she’s turning into the “drinking police” here at home. I can’t pick up a single drink without her giving me the third degree. Well, really no one can without some sort of remark.

The first time was minor. It was when we were having our Christmas with my husband’s side of the family. My sister-in-law’s husband was telling me a story about when him and his brother went out for supper and they each wanted to order a beer but they couldn’t because the restaurant had let their liquor license lapse or were behind on their bills from that vendor (or something along those lines. I forget the whole story.) But my daughter was sitting across the table from me and was listening to the story too. Her eyes were kind of wide and she whispered to me, “Why does Uncle _____ drink beer?” I made a shushing motion and when he left the table, I quickly explained that it’s okay for adults to have a beer or two when they want to relax. I thought that had settled it.

Nope. Christmas Eve my husband and I always invite our parents over for supper and the traditional Christmas Eve activities. As I’m finishing the supper preparations, I open a bottle of wine for my mom, mother-in-law, and myself. My daughter, naturally, sees what I am doing and tells us we shouldn’t be drinking. I say to my mom that she’s in D.A.R.E. and sort of taking what she’s learned to the extreme. So good ol’ Grandma tells her that it’s okay for adults to have a drink on special occasions. Poor kid. She’s probably so confused by now because between wanting to relax and special occasions, that’s covers pretty much every night of the week! But, she listens to Grandma better than me so again, I thought that would be the last of it.

Fast forward to New Year’s Eve. I poured myself a glass of champagne about 11:00 to start getting ready for midnight. We don’t really celebrate New Year’s in any extravagant fashion; it’s always just been watching TV the whole night and then seeing the ball drop at midnight. (But it’s an excuse for me to break out the champagne!) This year we watched MMA fights that had been held in Japan. Not very celebratory. It was really bizarre and I didn’t enjoy it. I’d rather watch plain old UFC, thank you very much. Apparently, my husband isn’t quite so discriminating in his fight choices.

Oh, right. Drinking. Daughter. D.A.R.E. Anyway, I poured myself a glass of champagne and sat down to enjoy it. Champagne, especially this particular champagne, is my favorite. About 11:45 or so, I got up to refill my glass. My daughter was also up getting a sip of her ginger ale. (Special occasion, you know.) As I’m pouring, she’s watching me and informs me that I’m drinking too much. I look up, surprised, because I have been known to drink too much (that’s usually with my sister), but this was not one of those times. I replied that this was only my second glass. Then she asked how long ago my first one was. I told her and she nodded saying, “Well, that’s okay I guess. But you should only have one an hour because your liver can’t process it any faster than that.”

I stood there shocked. This is my ten year old daughter right? She didn’t suddenly get back from medical school, did she? Unable to think up any sort of response that wouldn’t make me a really terrible influence, I simply said, “Okay. I’ll remember that.” But, man oh man, how long this is going to last? Am I going to have to explain myself every time I have something with alcohol in it? And are the other kids in her school taking it so seriously, or am I the only lucky parent?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Dreams can be strange things, don’t you think? They can be elusive, mysterious, and downright frustrating. But they can also be funny, exciting, even sexual. I’ve always had very vivid dreams. And as a result, I’ve always been interested in them and what they were trying to tell me. So far, I’ve come up pretty empty on the analytical end of my dreams, but I still like to think about them.

Sharing dreams can be a whole different ballgame. I tend to keep my dreams pretty private, although sometimes I like to share them if they involve people I’m comfortable with. And if it’s an innocent dream. Which, in my case, means I keep a whole lot of dreams to myself. Not because they aren’t innocent (although, I can’t claim to always have innocent dreams), but rather because they usually come out of left field and I don’t know what to think about them. (Wow, lots of baseball references and I don’t even like baseball. Haha.) Anyway, back to what I was saying. I also don’t mind sharing the scary or troubling dreams. But it’s harder to share the nice ones. I almost think that if I share it, the other person would belittle it or take it the wrong way, lessening the happiness I’d gotten from it.

Why is it that dreams pick up on things or people that you haven’t thought about or seen for ages? Why do dreams sometimes involve people that you’ve never met? And why is it that dreams can sometimes weave together the real and the imaginary without making it seem strange? Take my latest dream as an example. The edited version, of course.

I was having a get together at my house. It was the house I live in now. My guests were arriving and I was greeting them and inviting them inside. Suddenly, a man that I didn’t know (in real life or in my dream) was walking toward the back of the last group to arrive and was acting like he was going to walk on in like the rest of them. I stopped him halfway through my garage and told him that I wasn’t going to let him in because I didn’t know him and he wasn’t invited. He tried to be charming and get me to let him in, but I refused. I warned him that if he didn’t leave, I was going to call the police. When he didn’t move, I pulled out my cell phone and called 911. I told them there was an intruder and I wanted a police officer to make him leave. They informed me that one would get to me as soon as they were able. Then suddenly the dream shifts and it’s daylight out and this strange man and I are walking through a horse stable looking at the horses, particularly the babies. We were making small talk and I was gushing over the foals. (I don’t know how much time passed, but it seemed like quite a while. Maybe even a whole afternoon.) We were sitting in this little overhang area next to the corral still talking and watching the horses. The strange man wasn’t strange anymore. Now he was Ashton Kutcher. We kept talking and laughing and as I sat there smiling at him, I knew I didn’t want him to leave. I didn’t want him to ever leave. Finally the police showed up and I told them there wasn’t a problem anymore.

I woke up feeling happy, but it’s weird because, like I said before, where did that come from? A: I’m married. B: I don’t have a particular fondness for Ashton Kutcher nor had I watched any of his movies lately. The only remote connection I can make is that I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels lately and that must have played into my dream. But all the details still have me perplexed. I mean, even taking Ashton Kutcher out of the equation (which by itself is bizarre!), why would I be falling for a guy that I met here at my house which I wouldn’t be living in if I weren’t with my husband? And the quick nighttime to daytime shift was weird, as well as the walking through a stable. I have never been in a place like it before. I guess that’s what makes dreams so frustrating.

Maybe even more frustrating than a dream you can’t figure out the meaning of, is the one you can’t quite remember. The one where only little snippets hit you throughout the morning, but you can’t quite piece it all together. It’s disconcerting and sometimes gives me feelings of déjà vu. Kinda freaky, but I guess that’s just me. Kinda freaky. Maybe it’s better to not remember all your dreams. Maybe it’s too heavy to deal with on a conscious level.

But even though they remain a mystery to me, I still look forward to those stories that play out in my mind every night while I sleep. Sure does make it harder to wake up in the morning though!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So Um, Do You Guys Know Each Other?

Driving around town, I always like to check out houses. My main purpose for this is because I like to play The Sims computer games and I like to get ideas for house designs. Sometimes I’ll even get ideas for my own house exterior. It was during one of my trips through town last fall that a newly painted house caught my eye. It was one that I’ve driven past probably a thousand times, but it wasn’t until they repainted it, that it really got my attention.


As you can see from the picture (which I know isn’t great, it’s harder than it seems to get a picture as you’re driving by), it became a very original color yellow. Definitely not my choice for house color, but hey, to each his own. If they like it, great! That’s all that matters.

Maybe a month later, again, going about my daily activities, I spied a second house that got a new paint job. This time just the front door. Is it just me, or is that the exact same shade of yellow as the first house?!


Which makes me wonder, do they know each other? Did the owner of the first house say to his buddy one day, ‘Hey, I’ve got some paint leftover from when I painted my house. I don’t want it keep it around. Do you want to take it for something?’ In which the second guy replies, ‘Oh, that’s perfect! The wife has been bitchin’ at me to paint our front door. I’ll do it with that!’ (Okay, so I know that’s probably not really how guys talk to each other, but I’m  pretty inexperienced in that realm.)

I mean, really, what are the odds that two complete strangers both went to the hardware store and picked out the exact strange yellow? How many people see that color and say, ‘That is what I want for the outside of my house!’? It’s not a common yellow for houses. It’s probably not even a common yellow for much of anything. So how is it that two houses both ended up with it? I guess it will remain an unsolved mystery for now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Technology for Four, Please

It never ceases to amaze me how much technology has infiltrated our daily lives. I mean, really, between computers, the internet, cell phones, satellite TV, GPS, and iPods, we’re almost always connected with technology. It’s even more incredible when you compare the childhoods of my generation to the childhoods that my children are currently living. It’s astounding! And there isn’t even that big of a time difference. Imagine the differences between my parents’ generation and my kids!


Think about it.


When I was a kid, I didn’t get to watch cartoons every day, all day long if I wanted. I had to wait for Saturday mornings. My kids have at least five channels with programming almost solely geared for them. (I do have to say the restrictions my husband and I put on our children are a little more tight when it comes to TV shows than other kids’ parents. There is definitely some questionable shows out there that they say are for kids.)


I didn’t get my first home computer until I was 17 or 18 and then it was a really old hand-me-down that my mom got from someone she worked with. And the only reason she got it was because she figured it would come in handy when I went off to college. My kids have had access to a computer since they were each about two. And they are really good at operating one! My son, who just turned three, knows how to log into his profile, open games, and play. He even knows how to log someone off so he can get to the right screen to pick his name! I couldn’t believe it the first time he did it because no one taught him how. He just picked it up on his own.


My first experience with the internet was either my eighth grade or freshman year of school and it was a section of our computer class. It was being taught as strictly a research tool and I remember being in awe of all the information I could find online. My daughter got to go online at school starting in kindergarten and they were allowed access to certain websites to play games! Kindergarten! Now she knows all about Googling and has asked for a MySpace or Facebook page. (Yeah, that isn’t happening for a long time.)


I remember the first gaming system my family had and I was actually pretty little. Maybe four. I was lucky that my siblings were much older and they had an Atari. (I still love those games and wish they would come out with newer ones!) But now, kids can carry game systems with them! There’s Nintendo DS, PSP, even Leapster for the toddler age kids. And the choices for home game systems are incredible. PS3, Wii, and now X-Box with Kinect! (I had my first experience with Kinect just this past weekend, but that’s a whole other story!)


I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 18 and it was just a month or two before I left for college. Now kids as young as fourth grade (maybe younger) have them and you see elementary kids breaking them out as soon as they walk out of school. (Not my kid, though. She’ll have to wait a bit longer. I’m such a meanie.)


And mp3 players? I just got my first one this Christmas, whereas my kids? My daughter’s first was when she was maybe seven and my son when he was two. Yes, I said two. He kept trying to steal his sister’s so we figured it would be better to get him his own. His doesn’t need headphones, though, so we don’t have to worry about him blowing out his eardrums or anything.


As I sit here typing, my son is wanting to be done with his breakfast so he can get back on the computer. It’s turned into a major strategy session just to plan who gets computer time when. There are four of us in the house. My husband has his own laptop from work, so he doesn’t need the house computer very often, but there are times. My daughter just got her own laptop, so that has reduced the conflict considerably. Now it’s between me and my three year old to fight over computer time. And of course, I give in and let him play. Which leaves naptime and occasionally bedtime as “Mommy’s computer time.”


But, it leaves me wishing I had my own laptop. There are times when I really need or want to use the computer and it doesn’t work out. Never in a million years would I have ever thought we would need four computers for a family of four. Especially since one of those members is three years old. But it’s looking like that more and more. It sure would make it easier to get things written or just play my games and do all the things I like to do.


It also makes me wish for the simpler times. I sometimes can’t help but think the technology is what is causing kids to grow up too quickly. They have access to things that we never had a chance to experience until we were much older. We had to rely on our dolls or cars or (gasp!) books to keep us occupied. Kids don’t think about picking up books like they once did. Now they’d rather pick up their game controller or remote control and watch a distorted view of life instead of opening up a whole new world in a book.


But who am I kidding? I love technology! I can’t let my cell phone leave my side and I have to check into Facebook at least once a day. (Gotta keep up with my games, you know.) And I am a huge computer game player. If I didn’t have kids, I would probably be one of those people who is on their computer for fourteen hours without even knowing it. But technology is just the way life is now. They need to be comfortable and familiar with it because so many jobs now depend upon it. We as parents just have to make sure it doesn’t take over our kids lives.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I’m On The Treadmill…Now What?

At the beginning of the year, I decided I had better start working out. I remember the day. It was January 2nd and my family and I were at the table having supper. We were talking and I said I needed to figure out something to lose the extra five or ten pounds I’ve managed to acquire. It wasn’t my New Year’s resolution. I learned a long time ago to stop trying to kid myself with those. I never manage to remember what I had resolved to do six months later, much less stick to it. (Note to self: Find some memory improvement exercises.) Anyway, I had a stack of newspaper inserts that I wanted to look through. I dug out the TV schedule insert and there it was. It was kismet. Fate. Right there on the front of the TV listings.

An article on the YWCA and their “Get Fit for Free” promotion.

Because really, where else would an article about needing to work out be better placed? All those lazy asses (yes, me) that are more interested in what’s on TV tonight than doing physical activity, will actually see it and maybe, just maybe, decide to do something active. It was, of course, geared toward all those people that did make New Year’s resolutions to get them in the door. Try it out then put their money where their mouths are.

It hooked me. I was the sucker that went in the very next morning and filled out the paperwork and got my five free pass card.

Of course, I wasn’t prepared to exercise that day. I wasn’t dressed properly. And you can’t jump into something like that. It’s a big step for me. Exercise and a new place all at the same time? Nope. Gotta take it slow. I’m not an dieter. I love food too much. I’m not an exercise person. I like to sit and do quiet things. And I definitely am not an adventurous person. Or even someone willing to try new things. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about going to a unfamiliar gas station for crying out loud! To actually go into a new building where other people are and do something I’ve never done before? Get outta here! That’s crazy talk! I’d feel like an idiot and I really, REALLY hate feeling stupid.

So the big day finally arrives. I’m ready to try it out. I’m gonna go and (gulp) exercise. I’d planned it all out. I had my outfit picked out the night before and my playlist set up on my new mp3 player my husband had gotten me for Christmas. (Another sign of fate, perhaps? ) I dropped my daughter off at school and my son and I headed to the Y. We went in, gave my card to the very friendly woman who had signed me up the other day, got directions where each of the rooms were, and headed down the hall.

I was nervous for my son because he hadn’t been babysat by anyone other than his grandparents for more than maybe five or ten minutes. But, into the babysitting room we went. No one. Okaaay…I know this is the right room. The sign out in the hall said this is it. All these toys have to be for little crumb-crunchers. Now what. I poke my head out of the room after taking off his coat and see a different lady heading my direction. We both smile and say good morning. I step back into the babysitting room and point different toys out to my son that he would like. I’m sure only about three minutes passed from when I walked in until the babysitter walked in, but I was more nervous than ever. But there she was; the same friendly lady I had exchanged good mornings with the minute prior. Well, that’s good. She’s nice and he’s the only kid here. Easy way to start. I give him a hug and head to the locker room to dump our coats in a locker.

I had passed the cardio room on our way to the babysitting room, so I knew where I was headed. When I got there, it was empty! Thank God for small miracles! I picked out the machine I wanted to start on. Naturally the one next to the wall farthest from the door. (Didn’t want to have anyone that would come in notice me.) I put my earbuds in, got on the treadmill and starting pressing buttons trying to figure out how to get it started. That part actually didn’t take as long as I thought it would, but I’m still sending my silent thanks out into the universe that there was no one there to witness my confusion.

The machine starts moving and I start walking. I’ve got my music playing. You know, upbeat stuff to keep me motivated. By this time someone else had come in and turned the far TV on. So, I’m walking and adjusting the speed to a level that will actually do some good, but won’t make me fall off the back of the treadmill. (Something I fear every time I get on one.) As I’m walking, I start to wonder, “Now what?! This is boring. What am I supposed to think about?” I had my book with me in the hopes that I could read, but the little ledge wasn’t quite big enough to balance it. But really, what do people think about when they’re working out? Or what do they do to keep from getting bored?

I’ve been there a few times now and I still struggle with what do I do with  myself. I try to ignore the TVs because it’s usually a choice between The Today Show (no thank you) or Regis and Kelly (not quite so bad, but I’m not really interested.) I’ve got my music, but I have to be careful not to start singing. Wouldn’t that be a sight? The last time I was there I just tried to not think about anything and zone out. I’m not allowed to do that too often with two kids constantly needing my attention. But I’m still curious to know what other people do when they’re working out. What goes through your minds?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Did I Miss That Day in Sex Ed?

You know, the day where the teacher described, in detail, just how hard parenting is. Wait, what? That wasn’t in my sex ed class? Huh. Well, it should have been because had I gotten a taste of just exactly what parenting was like, I think I would have stopped and tried a little harder to cool down my hormones. I’m not talking about taking the computerized baby home where it’s programmed to wake up at two in the morning or cry for ten minutes inconsolably. Although, that’s a great idea (but one that wasn’t offered when I was in school). I’m talking about the times when your three year old starts screaming in a store because he wants to walk instead of ride in the cart, but wants to grab or touch everything. Or the times your teenager gives you attitude and talks back. That’s what needs to be taught in sex ed class.

A friend of mine and I were talking about this very subject. We think we should be the ones who go into schools and give presentations to high school kids. Tell them exactly what they could end up with. Bring video tape and show them what those cute little babies that they think won’t be so hard to take care of, turn into. Hellions. Smart-mouthed, think they know more than their parents, pains in the ass. Tell them that their kids would turn into THEM! I know. My daughter is turning into exactly what I used to be. Except she’s doing it at 10 instead of 16.

It kills me when people tell me how great their kids are. I can’t help wondering if it’s true or if I went terribly wrong with mine. Or even more confounding is when teachers or other adults tell me how good my kids are for them. I’m glad they’re good for other people, but why for other people, and not at home? Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids and don’t know what kind of life I would have had if I didn’t have them. But they can make me crazy! And yes, I get it. They have good days and bad days, just like adults do. But sometimes I wonder if my kids act up just to drive me nuts. But, still, I love them terribly and there are days when I wouldn’t trade them for anything. And then there are the bad days…

I read a blog on here by Simple Dude (funny guy; kinda reminds me of my husband) where he talks about a friend of his that got married in his early 20’s. (Read it here.) He mentions no should get married young because you’ll always wonder what you missed out on. I would like to add having children to that statement. I had my first child just after I turned 19. My 30th birthday is less than two months away and I am having a hard time with it. I don’t want to turn 30 because I feel like I haven’t lived my 20’s yet. I didn’t get to go to wild college parties, stay out all night and go out for breakfast before crashing, or even try to pick up guys in a bar. I was at home, taking care of a baby. My friends tried for a time to get me to come out and do all those wild crazy things that people in their early 20’s do. But I had to say no because I didn’t want to be one of those “teen moms” who left their kid with their parents and did whatever they wanted. I wanted to be responsible and mature. So, eventually, my friends stopped calling. But on those bad days I spoke of before, I will sit and wonder what I missed and try to imagine what my life would have been like had I made different choices. Maybe that makes me a bad mother, but it’s hard not to wonder.

But, getting back on topic.

I think scientists should get to to work on the whole time travel notion. Or maybe not time travel, but the ability to show people the future. Sort of like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Except not with ghosts, but just be able to type a name into a computer and bring it up on a screen. Show kids what their life would look like if they had a kid too young. Now that would be some good birth control!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Road Repair

One day last week, I was heading into town to get my daughter to school. Further up the road, I could see flashing lights so I slowed a bit and tried to figure out what was going on. As I got closer, I saw that it was a city truck and they were filling pot holes. My first reaction was, “Watch out for the loose cold patch on the road.” (My husband would not be happy with me if I went through a bunch of that stuff and had it spraying up onto the truck.) My second reaction was, “JOY! All these holes will finally be taken care of for a while.” We all know they’re gonna come back because the roads in my town are, let’s say, less than perfect, but at least they will be filled for now. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get right?

After dropping the little miss off at school, I headed back towards home even more conscious of where the potholes were so I would stay clear of the loose stuff. Right in front of the school parking lot, the new pothole was filled. Hallelujah! But then, just a little further down the road, I had to start dodging the holes again. Not because they had loose cold patch around them. Nope. Because they were still holes! So as I’m driving down the road feeling a little like my own game of Frogger (except I’m the frog) I couldn’t help wondering, “Am I the only person who can see these?! Is mine the only vehicle that rattles if I miss and hit one? Or do the workers carry a tape measure that they break out at every hole and measure to make sure it fits the requirements of ‘bad enough?’ Why are they filling some and not others? (‘Sorry, this one is only 10 inches wide and seven inches deep. Gotta leave it for next time.’) Keep in mind, I don’t get bent out of shape at every little crack or spot in the road. I can handle that. I’ve gotten used to it. But come on. Potholes are potholes, right? Fix ‘em!

Now I think I should pause here and clarify. I love road repair men (and women). Truly. I know lots of them. Am related to some. Even dated one (or two?) back in the day. I couldn’t go about my boring daily business without them. They literally risk their lives to provide us with an easier way of getting from place to place. They try to make travel safer for everyone. They sacrifice time with their families to do their jobs. But, they have to do what they’re told. And that’s what gets me.

It seems like my town puts road conditions pretty low on their list of priorities and I just don’t get it! They’re always talking about growing the city and getting new businesses and people to move here, but why would anyone want to? The roads are mostly crap around here. No one new to the city is going to drive around and say to themselves, ‘Yeah, this is the perfect place to move and open a business. The bumps and holes along this stretch of street aren’t going to keep people from visiting our business. Oh, and the snow that’s covering everything? It’s great! Shoppers love to drive on streets that haven’t been plowed well. It gives it an old-world charm!’ But seriously, the town I grew up keeps the roads maintained well. And it’s at least ten times smaller with probably a much smaller budget to work with. This town should focus less on new events, attractions, and definitely decorative work alongside the road and focus more on the roads themselves.

I just had a new thought on this topic this morning. I wonder if they’ve created this kind of cyclical problem that keeps compounding. Here’s the theory. They can’t clear the snow as well as they would like because of all the dips, cracks and potholes in the road for fear of making them bigger with the snowplows. But then when the snow on the road starts to melt, it gets down into those same dips, cracks and potholes. It freezes again thus making those things worse. And all the snow alongside the roads (because some roads don’t have gutters and drains) melts and seeps under the road causing the road to shift and crack even more. I don’t know if that is what happens for sure, but it’s something to think about.

Well, whatever the case, I just have to keep at playing Frogger with my truck and hope that someday it gets better. Maybe someday, the city will start replacing the roads instead of trying to patch them time after time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Let me take this first post to explain a little about who I am. I’m a wife and mother to two children and a stay at home mom. I tend to be a pessimist and have a sarcastic sense of humor. That’s probably important to keep in mind if you continue to read this. I use sarcasm a lot. Also, I live in a town with a population of roughly, I don’t know, 25,000. The people who have lived here their whole lives call it a small town. My hometown (about 25 miles from here) had a population of about 1,800. This was “The Big City” when I was growing up! I still have a hard time keeping a straight face when I hear people call this a small town. It’ll always be big to me. I’m just a rural kind of gal.


So, the biggest source of material for this blog is being a mom and the simple life I lead. My life is nothing like the housewives you see on TV. It mainly consists of me getting my daughter to school and taking care of my son and the housework at home. I do help out at the elementary school on occasion and try to stay involved with the PTA, but there is really nothing glamorous or exciting about this housewife. No parties, or charity dinners, or fancy functions. Just me, trying to muster the energy to change out of my pajamas to get my daughter to school on time.


As I go about my day, I have random thoughts and questions pop into my head about things I see or do and I thought this would be a fun way to share some of them. Now keep in mind that I’m not always politically correct and that sometimes I can be rude and even crude. I will sometimes say things that will offend, but I don’t ever say things to be mean. I’m just making observations or trying to make sense out of situations. I don’t claim to be profound. I’m sure nothing I say or think will make an impact on someone’s life, but it’s still fun to put your ideas and questions about stuff in general out there for contemplation. Or to just laugh about. So please, enjoy this peek inside my brain and feel free to leave comments and join the discussion. I’m eager to read what other people have going on inside their brains.