Friday, February 29, 2008

it's a caaaat's world

You know that song, It's a Man's World? My honey wants to make that song play every time someone goes into the garage. It's the one last haven he has!

Well, here in the house it's a cat's world. D-girl is living with us now, along with X-man and her two cats. Sure, no problem...the more the merrier, I said. Although the girls might not always think so because they are the ones sharing the room and having to get along in tight quarters. I love it, though, because I get to see little man every single day, and I love seeing the kitties, too.

But now the cats get into little scraps and tussles all night long. It's the whole territorial thing, my honey tells me. "You can't stop it," he says. "There has to be a pecking order. Tucker has to lay down the law and let all the cats know he's the boss." What. Ever.

Of course, I'm coming from a woman's point of view, so I'm thinking, "Why can't they all just get along? Can't they just share and cooperate?" It makes so much more sense to me. And he just rolls his eyes. It's not going to work that way, apparently, no matter how much I lecture and scold them.

Tucker and Franklin bully the bejeebers out of D-girl's two cats. Charli-mama gets the worst of it for some reason. She's the only female one of the cats. Well, she's the smallest, too, so maybe she is scared. Or maybe she just has a PMS attitude all the time. But she'll walk around the house, stopping and hissing. It reminds me of those Westerns or cop shows where the guys go into the place, whipping their guns around ahead of them at every corner, looking for the bad guy. Charli walks around, stopping every five feet, hissing at any potential object that she thinks might move. It's hysterical.

But she has a hairball, I think, because she keeps throwing up. And she jumps up on E's bed before she does it. So she can't be in there. Can you imagine laying down for a nice night's rest, stretching out your legs, and gaaaaaaakkkk! You find ice-cold, soaking wet cat barf with your feet. So much for a peaceful transition to sleep. So now Charli just hangs around the girls' bedroom door in the hallway all night, waiting to sneak in there.

And since she isn't able to hide in there, there's always some cat action going on. No, not that kind of action. Fighting kind of action. (Sorry, that just popped out. This really is a family-friendly blog.) Everywhere you go in the house, there are cats who have issues with each other. You are almost tripping over them all the time. My squirt bottle is getting some good use keeping those cats in line. I could have used that the other morning when my foot got run over.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

a great big whew!

Oh, boy. Most of my American Idol favorites are safe for another week.

The Davids are safe, Chikezie is safe, and Carly, Ramiele, and Syesha are also safe to sing another week. Alaina went home...but like Paula said, it's not really an ending. It's just the beginning of her career. That girl is going places. At seventeen years old to know that you have this gift--wow.

At seventeen, I was engaged to be married. Looking back now, I can't believe it. But what did I know? When I was seventeen, I was as green as grass, and the only thing I knew was that I didn't know much.

She does not have to worry.

So I hate to tell you that watching AI is the only thing I really got accomplished today, if that's an accomplishment. I've got this horrible, knock-you-down, kick-your-butt kind of cold/virus/flu thing. Although perhaps it is not the flu. I did get a flu shot for the first time this year. And this is the sickest I've been in as many years as I can remember, probably all the way back to when E-girl was a baby. Last night I was FREEZING cold, even though I kicked the heat up and put an extra blanket on. Today it feels like the tropics. I'm sizzlin'!

So, I'm giving all these great new meds a shot. I'm alternating Airborne with Zicam, and I picked up some Mucinex DM at the store, too. I'm OD-ing on OJ, and washing my hands like mad every time I think of it. I'm still coughing up a lung about every five minutes.

When my fever is climbing, my head starts to feel like a drum. I can't pop my ears, and they feel like they are on the outside of a huge balloon that is ready to burst at any second. I bundle up, and then when it starts to break, I feel like I'm really in the rain forest, just a-sweatin' away. There's so much gunk in my chest that every time I breathe, I feel like I'm going to run out of breath coughing. This is day three. Watch me be sick all weekend! That would be par for the course.

I hate whining about being sick, but it's hard to think about anything else right now. So thank goodness for AI--at least I got to focus on something else for a little while. I missed the piece at the end where they were talking about what's up for next week, so I'll just have to wait and see.

And one more thing...I've made it to the end of Season 10 of Friends. It's the last one. And I cried, making my runny nose so much worse. But at least Rachel and Ross got back together. Yay! And I KNOW I've missed a bunch of stuff, because I watch the show as I'm going to sleep with the sleep timer on. I'm going to start back at the beginning again and watch it all the way through on spring break. How's THAT for a wild week?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

book giveaway

**It's Tuesday...it's time to draw a winner!

The lucky recipient of Victorya's book, The Automatic 2nd Date, is.......drumroll, please, SusieQ!!

Thanks for entering, everyone, and zip back for a little visit on March 11 for my next drawing. Well, come back before that, for crying out loud! I'll get lonesome without all of you coming to visit.

the davids were HOT!!!

I got my Idol fix, and now I have to get online and write about THE DAVIDS! Wow!

David Hernandez just blew me away tonight. And then David Archuleta topped him! I'll admit it...I was sitting there with tears in my eyes when the show was over. Michael was pretty good, being the first one out of the chute, but I kind of forgot about his performance when I saw the Davids.

Oh, and how could I forget to mention Chikezie? Chikezie is infectious. He was DYNAMITE tonight. He was so totally on his game!

Danny Noriega is so likable, and he just made me laugh when he was talking to Simon after he sang. His personality was stronger than his singing tonight, but his singing wasn't bad either.

I can't wait to see the girls tomorrow night.

My faves are, in no particular order, Ramiele, Carly, Syesha and Alaina. At least until tomorrow. This is where it starts to get good for me. Soon I'll be getting tense about it, and that won't be pretty. But right now, it's so fun!

Okay, on to bed. I was a real sickie at work today, wishing I was just home in bed. I was losing my voice, and I think all my energy stayed home under the covers today. Now I'm all pumped up on ibuprofen and AI, so I'm good for another hour or two.

Imagine will be playing on the soundtrack in my dreams tonight in David Archuleta's magical voice.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Nana's Bible Stories--a preview

Now this is interesting. I don't have a lot of readers who seem to want this book I'm giving away. Lots of readers, but no commenters. Well, the chances are better for those who do comment, then. But I'm wondering if the next book I review will be more popular.

I just got it in the mail recently, and it is the cut.est. book! It's called Nana's Bible Stories. Watch for my post about it on March 11. I can't wait to share it with you! Almost everyone has a child they could share it with. I really want to keep my copy, but I'll probably buy another one so that I can give this one away.

Okay, I'll stop tantalizing you with it now. I'm going to pop in the CD that came with it and listen to Sheila Walsh read it to me. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

how did I not know?

How in the world did I not ever know about Nutella? If you ever watch Giada on the Food Network, you know about Nutella. I had to try it. It is the most amazing thing. Creamy chocolate hazelnut delight. I have been losing my taste for chocolate, but Nutella is a whole new ballgame.

I better pray about that!

I prayed to lose my taste for chocolate, and I did. Sounds weird, I know, but I think I was addicted to it. I had to have it. I'd go crazy. Now I can take it or leave it. If I eat it, I can eat just one piece and not have to have any more. But I don't really like it. Nutella? I love, love, love.

But now, I'm working on my taste for all things sweet. No, wait. I'm not working on it. I'm praying about it. God is working on it.

I think I'll be healthier without it. I need to lose weight. I don't want to become diabetic. All of that stuff that comes up in my face when I go in for my yearly physical. Cholesterol, triglycerides...all that yukk.

But to give up Nutella, just when I've found it? Okay, okay. Whatever it takes.

It's so interesting. God is such a gentleman, but when you ask for help, you better be ready to do your part. Ever since I started praying about this, God has started talking to me about it. And you can play games with yourself, but you can't play them with Him.

This sounds so different now than when it happened, but I'll try to explain. Usually the last thing at night, I take my vitamins and my allergy meds. I have a small snack so I don't get an upset stomach. I was going to have a few Dots last night, and just as I thought of that, it was like God was sitting right there next to me on the bed. Whoa!! I stopped reaching for them and sat back up.

"What are you doing?" he asked. And there was this expectation, this understanding, that he was communicating to me. "How serious are you? This is your part, and you have to say NO to those Dots tonight. I'm here, I'm on board...are you?"

"They're just Dots," I faltered. "Dots are not that big a deal, right?"

"No, they're not 'just Dots'. It's time to give them up. This is the time for you to do that. It's time to start."

Ouch. How do you say no to God? I put my hands up--I surrendered. Okay, God. You're right. I'll say no. And I turned my back on them, literally, and settled down on my pillow to sleep.

And as much as I'm delighted with Nutella, I'm giving it to Him. If He's on my side here, I sure don't want to be the one sabotaging my own health, especially after I just got done asking Him for help! It's time to walk the walk.

That goes for the Fun Bugs I love, little gummy treats with "bug juice" (fruity flavored syrup) inside of them. And the donut holes, and the Pull N Peel cherry licorice strips. Right now, in this season, I need to say Good Bye to them.

Well, I told you it sounds much different when I try to write it than it did in my head, but there you go. Another snippet of the real me. Are you scared, yet? Ha!

Friday, February 22, 2008

just for fun today!

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen! It's a screen cleaner, and all you have to do is click here and the rest is taken care of!

If that doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

are you sure it's not Monday?

I have to confess. I am severely lacking a positive attitude today. I think I shocked my youngest child speechless this morning when I cursed out loud! I usually don't swear, you know? It's not me, and besides, I really do try to set a good example for the kids, but I just lost it today.

So this morning in the hallway, one of the four cats we now have in the house got a bee in his bonnet and took off down the hall at a dead run. Fine, whatever. The only problem was that he dug his claws into my foot to get better traction and gouged skin chunks out of my foot. I took a couple of deep breaths. It could be worse. I went into the kitchen to make coffee.

Then, Er-girl missed the bus (I didn't wake her up in time, and she doesn't use an alarm clock because it would wake the baby.) So then, I knew I was going to be late cuz I had to drop her off at school before I went to work.

I started making an egg sandwich to take with me for breakfast. I burned my hand on the coffeepot reaching for the butter. I had a bunch of papers on the counter, and I knocked them off and they went flying everywhere.

When I made my egg sandwich, the butter was cold so it didn't melt on my toast. The orange marmalade was laying between cold chunks of butter instead of melting together with the butter the way it was supposed to. Whatever. The eggs were going to be hot--they'd melt the butter. Let it go, I told myself. Just let it go. Yes, I do put jelly on my egg and cheese sandwiches, just in case you're wondering if you read that right. I do like them with grape jam, but orange marmalade is really the best. Truly.

I was finishing making my sandwich, and the eggs fell into a messy heap on the plate instead of sliding neatly onto my toast. That was the last straw. I spooned the eggs back onto the toast, and because the eggs were in a lump instead of laying flat, the sandwich was about two inches thick. I slapped the other piece of toast on top of the eggs, and slammed my hand down to flatten the sandwich. Of course, egg went flying everywhere out the sides of the sandwich onto the floor. I wanted to cry but I was too mad already. I think that was when I swore.

My honey warned the kids to stay out of the kitchen, which didn't make me feel one bit better. I think he was trying to cheer me up, but I just wanted to be left alone to pout and throw my fit.

Then, on the way to work, my honey called me and informed me I forgot my lunch in the fridge. Of course I did. What else could I expect. I think today is a Monday in disguise since I didn't have a working Monday this week. I slept in on President's Day. Monday must have been laying in wait for me.

Don't you think I could have a "Do-Over" button installed somewhere? I could start the whole darn day over again and have it be Thursday instead of Monday.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

before you go out on that first date, check here...

Ladies, if you're single and wishing you were married, this is for you! Victorya Michaels Rogers' newest book, The Automatic 2nd Date is full of tips and suggestions for women who would like to be married, but just don't seem to be able to find that special guy. So much of what she says is going to make you just go, "Yeah, why didn't I think of that? It makes perfect sense!"

But speaking as a people pleaser myself, who has always been ready to compromise--go along to get along--Victorya is speaking to me, too, ladies. I'm not single; I'm not looking; I'm a happily married woman. But when she talks about teaching others about how to treat you--by the way YOU act, I am tuned in and listening with both ears! I WANT people to treat me well. I want to be valued. I got much more out of this book than just how to get that all-important second date.

Well, here's the great news: girlfriends, are you listening, too? I have a copy to GIVE AWAY! Leave me a comment--it'd be fun if you leave a date story...you know, best date, worst date, something... But whether you do or whether you don't have a date story you want to share, leave a comment with your contact info and I'll do a drawing and give it away! I'll draw a name Tuesday the 26th and send this to one lucky winner!

But I'm going to quit blathering because you prolly want to hear from Victorya sometime today! She says:

Okay singles over 40, especially single moms over 40, there is hope for you to find the love of your life! Dating at this time of your life may seem completely foreign, depressing and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve written my latest book just for you ladies to teach you easy-to-learn dating skills sure to make dating exciting, even fun again. Tweak a few of your dating skills and your next first date will not only see the real you, you’ll also compel him to automatically call you back for an automatic 2nd date!
~Victorya Michaels Rogers, Dating Coach, Author The Automatic 2nd Date


Here are some questions I got to ask her.

Your new book offers a unique dating approach. Why focus so much on getting a 2nd date?

VICTORYA: If you can’t get past the first date, you won’t be booking a honeymoon anytime soon. The sad thing is ladies who would really be great catches are just blowing it and scaring their dates away by making silly, careless mistakes on their first dates—like talking too much, obsessing on exes, talking about marriage, calling the guy before or after the first date. If they just tweak a few of their dating behaviors, they can transform their dating life without changing who they are! If these secrets become a habit, you can stop stressing about first dates and focus on your man and deciding if HE is the great catch and worth your time. When you do that, 2nd dates become automatic.

You say every woman has an internal “Male GPS.” What is it and how do we use it?

VICTORYA: Available men are everywhere -- at the drive-thru, at work, at school, at church, at restaurants, at the mall, the gas station, sporting events, etc. You just have to know what you’re looking for and believe he exists. The Male GPS –male global positioning satellite—is in your mind. Your mind is an extremely power instrument that is always working and wants to be right! We’re just bombarded with so much information constantly that you have to focus to notice. When you think about something enough, amazingly it seems to begin appearing everywhere you go. Let’s talk cars as an example. If you want that new blue Honda SUV, of course you believe it exists and it’s on your mind so it suddenly stands out every time one drives by. Just like thinking of your next car, think about what kind of guy you want.

The key to finding your next 1st date begins with your mind. You can instantly turn on your internal MALE GPS by figuring out specifically what you’re looking for in a guy, visualizing a man with those traits and believing he exists.

You say the three-second flirt is a great way to get noticed. How does it work?

Indeed flirting is the easiest and non-assertive way to get noticed. So FLIRT with that man that makes your heart beat race! I have a lot of dating tips in The Automatic 2nd Date. One of them is to make sure you catch his eye. Next time you find someone who catches your eye, hold his gaze for three seconds. Eye contact is huge and the duration is relevant! Next time you’re in a “target rich environment of potential dates, slowly scan the room with calm, soft eyes, resting your eyes briefly on any man who captures your attention, then casually glance for a bare ring finger. If the finger is bare, lock into a gaze for your three-second flirt... Add a slight smile or grin, and then casually look away. You can repeat it several times to get your point across if you’d like. Just realize that any longer than 5 second glance at a time borders creepy. And you don’t want that. Try out this 3 second flirt, even if your palms are sweating. You’ll not only build up your confidence, you’ll even get results!

What’s wrong with accepting last minute dates?

VICTORYA: The first 2 dates is when you establish how you expect to be treated without telling him how you want to be treated! If he calls you at the last minute, say something like “I’d love to, but I’ve just got something else going. How about a rain check?’ I don’t care if you’re home doing your laundry. He doesn’t need to know. You’re just not available at the last minute. By this, you’re establishing that you’re worth calling early and you’re worth paying money for a date (even if they’re only buying you coffee). They’re making an effort to spend money on you, because they want to spend quality time with you.”

In Automatic 2nd Date you mention “Mirroring.” What is “mirroring” and does it really work? Wouldn’t your date figure out what you’re doing?

VICTORYA: If you really want to connect on that first date and quickly get on his wavelength, then you’ll want to master the art of mirroring your date. Mirroring is simply copying or mimicking your date’s tone, mood, pace, and even the position in which he sits (i.e., if he’s sitting back, you sit back; if he has his hands on the table, place your hands on the table). Mimicking his body-language is so subtle that your date probably won’t notice, yet he’ll find himself comfortable with you and want to see you again. The truth is that when two people really connect, the mirroring happens automatically. You’re just jump starting your connection by mirroring him deliberately.

Are there any definite “First Date Don’ts” to ensure a 2nd date?

VICTORYA: Oh my, there are definitely some First Date Don’ts! 1st dates are about holding back. Use RESTAINT and self control across the board if you want your first date to become a 2nd date. That goes for whatever you say and whatever you do. Here are my top 7 Don’ts for First Dates.
--Don’t dress sleazy
--Don’t talk too much
--Don’t go off on past relationships
--Don’t reveal hatred for the male species
--Don’t expose enormous debt
--Don’t tell him he’s THE ONE
And definitely
--Don’t put out on that first date!

The first date is over. Now what? Does The Automatic 2nd Date offer advice on what to do AFTER the date? Such as can you call or text your date the next day to thank him?

VICTORYA: When the first date is over, just relax and go on with your life, no matter how much you are into your new man. Do NOT call or text your date before he contacts you! Sure you can and should thank him at the end of the date, but no need for a follow-up thank you unless HE sends you a thank you gift. (Even if your romantic date was as incredible as a ride in a helicopter to see the lights of downtown, it is in your best interest NOT to call him the next day. If he’s treating you like that, you certainly don’t want to scare him away by chasing HIM.

How does a confident single gal survive a dateless Valentine’s Day or any regular “date night” for that matter?

VICTORYA: Aw yes, a “romantic holiday” still fresh on our minds. There are great ways to spend a dateless Valentines or traditional “date night” that can actually put you on the path to ultimately find your man worth keeping! Here are 4 quick tips:

1. On Valentine’s Day you have permission to do something to spoil yourself a little. Don’t go crazy. Just give yourself one treat. Carve out time during your day, even if it has to be on your lunch hour, to pamper yourself. Get a French manicure or new hairstyle, color or cut; indulge in a massage or facial, or buy yourself SOMETHING just for you--just don’t mess up your entire budget. You want to pamper yourself, not punish yourself.

2. This is NOT the night to go out to eat—too many couples gazing dreamily across the table at each other. Instead, order your favorite take out or skip dinner and have a huge portion of your favorite dessert. While you’re enjoying your meal, pull out your journal a design your ideal man. Dream big. Write every character trait and every quality you hope he will possess. What better evening to do so than when Cupid is flying around?

3. Another idea for the evening is to plan a girls night. Invite over your single gals for dinner and your favorite chick flicks or better yet, reminisce on what did and didn’t work in your previous love life. Share funny dating stories, dating horror stories and warm fuzzy dating stories. In the very least you’ll have a good laugh with your girlfriends. End the evening by having each girlfriend write out exactly what you definitely want in your ideal mate, that way you’ll recognize him when he shows up!

4. My last solo Valentine idea is to grab a friend or boldly go solo to the movie theatre. Out now is a favorite of mine 27 DRESSES. There’s also Fool’s Gold. If you don’t want a “chick flick” there are plenty of other selections at the theatre. A solo night is the perfect night for escapism.

Thanks for these insights to dating. Where can our audience get your book as well as more dating tips?



VICTORYA: Thanks for having me. Yes, my website has a lot of additional tips and advice for single women! Check it out-- it’s http://www.mantokeep.com/. You can also order my books and learn about my coaching program. I hope I have helped you begin to see that dating does NOT have to be overwhelming, scary and stressful. In fact, believe it or not, you can actually enjoy the process if you take the time to find out what you REALLY want in a man, sharpen your dating skills and take risks. There is so much information I’d love to impart to you to make dating less anxiety filled, so feel free to visit my site anytime and/or check out my book The Automatic 2nd Date.
~Victorya Michaels Rogers, Dating Coach, Author of The Automatic 2nd Date

Saturday, February 16, 2008

a happy birthday!

It was a very nice day for a birthday. Mugs came up today, and we went to see The Bucket List. Oh, I highly recommend it!! I will buy that movie when it comes out on DVD.

I knew I would probably cry kind of at the end just from what Gee said, so of course I was trying really hard not to. That was wasted effort on my part. Then I didn't even remember to bring Kleenex in with me. There's nothing worse than having a stuffy nose and then crying. The runny has no place to go but down the face. You can't sniff it in because your nose is so plugged. You have to blow it. It was a terrible quandary to be in. I didn't want to leave to get TP from the restroom because it was at such an intense part of the movie. Okay, time to move on and change the subject! Bleghhh!

J-man cleaned the house and did the dishes for a birthday gift, and gave me a little spending money to boot. I can't decide what to do with it, though. I already have the things I want. I have a great family who loves me, I get to spend time with them on a daily basis, I have enough of everything I need.

What a difference a few hormones make. If I were PMS-ing this week, I would have such a negative attitude. I just feel happy right now. Even though I feel like I'm getting sick. I told Em it was all her fault because she's been sick for three days. She got me sick, although she hasn't been out of bed much. Ha! It must have snuck up on me through the phone line.

Well, I might have turned 48, but I'm just a day older than I was yesterday. No big shakes. Thanks for all the good wishes. It was a beautiful day. Tomorrow--we scrap! YES!!

And just for a little fun to end the day, I found this typing test on Merrie's blog...

71 words
Touch Typing online

Have fun with that. I got stuck on it for about half an hour trying to improve my score.

Friday, February 15, 2008

a long and complicated story

Arghh! I can't believe it's been three days since I posted anything. I really wanted to fake the date and make it look like I didn't miss any days, but then I figured, why bother. No one else really cares, and the only one (me) who it matters to, already knows anyway! I am such a fork, I mean dork. LOL.

Well, back to my story. On the bloggy giveaway last week...no, wait. It was two weeks ago. TWO weeks! Anyway, I was offering a Coldstone Creamery giftcard for one lucky winner. My new bloggy friend Kristi at Music Mom of 2 was the one.

Okay, so she sent her addy very promptly, but since I love to send little extras in with my giveaways, I had to wait to send her giftcard until I found the thing I wanted to include. I can't tell you yet what it is because she hasn't seen it, and I don't want to spoil it for her in case she comes back to read.

Well, if you've spent any time at all reading here, you know all about my black hole. Right now the black hole is at its peak, I think. It's taken over one whole side of my room. The side I need open to walk around the end of the bed. Yeah. Well, her little extra was "somewhere" in the black hole.

Okay. So I searched through a little part of it each day, and I couldn't find those suckers. I looked in the desk next to the black hole. Nothing. I thought about it for a couple of days to think if there was anything else I could include instead. Nada. Nothing else appealed to me.

Finally, Tuesday morning before work, I started pulling stuff out of the closet and piling it on the bed. That's the thing about the black hole. It's kind of fluid, and organic. It's like a giant piece of Floom, or is it Floam? Floam. It'll move around. It's flexible. You can bend it, shape it, stack it, or just toss it down on the floor. I don't think you can fold, spindle or mutilate it, though. Just for those of you who are verrry technical and want to know those things.

So the black hole was overflowing onto my bed, and I was going through every box that I thought these "things" were in. It was driving me crazy!!! But a light bulb went on, and I thought, "Why don't I look in the drawer where I keep the other things that are like those things?" I opened the drawer as far as I could, which wasn't far, considering there was a huge chunk of the black hole right in front of the drawer. And there they were! Sitting out in plain sight as soon as I cracked open the drawer. Duh. Big duh.

Meanwhile, the pile was still sitting on the bed. I didn't have time to put everything back neatly, so I had to fling it all back up onto the pile in the closet to get it off the bed. For some reason it looked like it was stacked even higher than before! Maybe it multiplies when you disturb it.

So then, I got the things together and brought them with me to work. I was going to stuff them into the envelope and address the envelope to Kristi and send it on its way. I started addressing her card, and for some reason, I wrote another person's name and address who I had to send something to. So much for sending the card that day. I had to wait till I got home and got another envelope. I had only brought one. I should have known.

"But wait!" I thought. I could put a label over the name and write Kristi's name and address. Ta da! So I did that, and although it looked tacky, I could live with it. Perfect. I wrote a nice little note on her card, but when I went to tuck the card into the envelope, THE ENVELOPE WAS TOO SMALL!!! I wanted to bang my head on the desk, but the keyboard was in the way. I really didn't want to greet my first student after lunch with y-u-i-o-p dented into my forehead backwards.

I told you this was long and complicated. And you wonder why it takes me so long to get things done. So Tuesday evening, after American Idol was over, I remembered to find a bigger envelope for the card. I put it into my purse, because after all, there were too many things going on to try to focus on it at home. I waited until Wednesday to try again.

Wednesday at lunch, I pulled out the card, the things, and the envelope. I held up the card to the envelope--YES! It was going to fit. I opened the flap on the envelope, and ... oh, no! Part of the flap must have gotten wet and was already permanently stuck shut. The flap ripped. I was so mad I could have jumped up and down and stomped my feet. I had to rip it open along the fold. I stuffed the card and the things into the envelope anyway and stuck little cute flower stamps along the front. "Stay there!" I barked, and I sealed it shut.

I was driving to the post office to mail the card last night, but that stinkin' little flappy thing bothered me. What if the open piece caught on some sorting machine or something? What if the envelope came open and it all fell on the floor? What if there was mail laying all over that floor that got caught on a corner or the machine and got ripped open? Would the post office people know what went with what? My mind was racing like little Hammy running around in his wheel. I couldn't mail it until I taped it up. I just couldn't. I had no tape in my purse, and none in my bag or in the car anywhere. So I had to bring it home with me again for some tape.

I couldn't find any tape at home when I looked this morning, but I was in a huge hurry. I forgot to wake E-girl up and she missed her bus and I had to bring her to school before I went to work. So I really had NO time to look.

So here I am, back at work again on my lunch hour, taping up this envelope so it doesn't tear open and spew its contents all over the post office floor. So Kristi, when you get this envelope, hopefully you will understand the three pounds of tape stuck all over it for insurance and the unforgivably long time you had to wait for it. Please, oh please let me have put enough postage on the thing. The worst thing would be for you to have to wait this long and then have to pay postage due charges on top of it all. *whew!* I'm out of breath after all that.

It's going to take me all weekend to recover from this stress. Oh. *grin* The weekend is going to be lovely. My birthday is tomorrow, and we're going to a movie...my honey's sister is coming with us because she's going to come up for the weekend. How fun is that going to be! I laugh my head off when she's over. I get to watch the whole "big sister - little brother" dynamics going on. Then, I have an extra day off for President's Day...can you say sleeeeeep in? Yippee! Things are getting better by the minute!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

it was a "fortunately--unfortunately" kind of day

Unfortunately I got bad news at work first thing this morning...not about me, but about a coworker. I won't share any more than that, but if you're the praying kind, please keep this person's family in your prayers.

Then we had meetings all day, which made a change from my usual schedule. That was okay. Fortunately we made progress in our meetings.

Unfortunately, we talked too long and I didn't have time to eat lunch.

Fortunately, a friend left the cutest little gift bag on my desk for my birthday--it was so sweet! It cheered me right up.

After work, I went home and gathered my library books that were overdue. I got to the library and wanted to pick up my books on hold...and unfortunately discovered my purse was still at home. Grrr!

Fortunately, the librarian knows me and let me check out my books on hold without going all the way back home to get my purse. I drove home to get my purse and drove the other direction to the other branch library (a different county system) to bring back my overdue books from that library.

Unfortunately, my honey called me as I was driving there and told me that my library card had fallen on the floor at the house. Little X-man must have pulled it out of my purse.

Fortunately I didn't need it at this library because I was just dropping my books off, not checking any more out.

Before I got to the library, I was sitting at the stoplight getting ready to go because the light had just turned green. Unfortunately, I felt a huge thump as I was rear ended from behind.

Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to put my foot on the brake to keep my car from hitting the car in front of me. Neither one of us was hurt. Extremely fortunate. I feel like I fell down or something...you know how things ache a little when that happens, especially when you are part of that special older population!

Unfortunately, my trunk was dented in because his bumper was higher than mine.

Fortunately, the trunk still opens just fine and the car seems to have sustained no other damage.

I had to return one thing at Target, and when I was there, I cruised through the Valentine candy department to scan for Peeps. My BFF had orange creme and cocoa Peeps this weekend, but she was raving about the vanilla creme Peeps the most. Unfortunately, she liked them so much she didn't save any for me to try.

Fortunately, the Target I stopped at had Peeps, so I bought some strawberry ones and some vanilla creme ones to taste.

Unfortunately the strawberry ones were not so great. They were too sweet.

Fortunately, our unanimous vote was that the vanilla ones were AWESOME!!! My BFF was right. I had to call her to tell her so.

True story.

Monday, February 11, 2008

a Monday by any other name...is still Monday!

Today was a complete wash.

I had a doctor appointment for my yearly physical, and it was not any more fun than last year. Do you ever notice that it's like stepping into the Twilight Zone when you go to the doctor? Usually you never discuss your weight. At the doctor's office, you step boldly onto the scale in front of the nurse so she can write it down for other people to see.

Then you get into the exam room, answer a bunch of questions that they already know the answer to, and then it's time to change into the hideous little gown they leave for you on the table. It never closes all the way, and it doesn't cover everything anyway. You wouldn't wear a bathing suit that doesn't cover you from your knees up to your neck, and yet you squeeze into this funny little piece of fabric and calmly wait for the doctor to come in when half of you is still hanging out there in the breeze.

Sometimes I wonder how they can do the job they do. Honestly, if I had to check me out, I'd probably have to excuse myself to go into the other room and just laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. But we just smile and pretend that this is all normal. And then we get dressed again, and go out into the world where people keep their clothes on while they talk about what is going on in their lives. Weird.

I usually try to schedule my physical around my birthday as a gift to myself--taking care of myself. (Actually, it also makes it less likely that I will forget to do that.) My birthday falls on a weekend this year. Hooray! I'm glad I don't have to take a vacation day, though. I usually take the day off just because.

We're going to go out to a movie on Saturday to celebrate. Does anyone have a recommendation for a movie that is in the theaters right now? You can see on my profile that you'll be wasting time recommending anything too scary, sicko, violent, racy, or just plain stupid. To make it short, I'm a sucker for a clever, clean, sappy romantic comedy with a happy ending. How tough is that? C'mon, I wanna see a good movie.

I really don't have issues about getting another year older. I'm happy to be old enough not to worry so much about what other people think. Heck, I'm almost fifty! Almost old enough for the Red Hat Club! And you can bet your buttons that I'm going to join one when I get there.

It's something to celebrate that I made it that far. I keep waiting for my grey hair, but I only find one or two once in a while. Those are merit badges, you know? I know I've earned them, but they're slow in coming. My mom was in her eighties before she really started to go grey, and even then, it wasn't completely grey. If that's hereditary, I guess I'll be waiting a while!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

what a softie

With four cats in the house, competition for food can be pretty intense. X-man was eating his lunch, and MamaD put his plate on a chair so he could reach it. He likes to run around in between bites. (Like mother, like son.)

Well, he had a cut-up turkey dog on the chair, and Tuckie decided that it smelled pretty good. He watched it for a while, and then when X-man ran into the other room, Tuckie made his move.

MamaD yelled at him and gave him a push with her foot to make him get down. (No, Lewis, she did NOT kick him.)

When X-man came back for another bite, Tuckie was back sniffing in the air by the chair. MamaD grabbed the squirt bottle to spray him, Tuckie ran down the hall. X-man walked down the hall after Tuckie and squatted down to pet him as if to say, "Aw, that's okay."

What a softie. Just like his grandmama.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

we have a house fairy!

Yesterday we got the nicest surprise! We fiddled around most of the morning doing this and that...I couldn't even tell you right now what all we did. Piddly things like making coffee, just doing the "too many people in the kitchen" dance, looking for things that had been sucked into the black hole, gathering birthday presents to send up north with the boys for our grandsweeties. Before I knew it, it was after noon and we still hadn't gotten going to my twinnie's house.

We were going on a field trip to her house to give her a hand getting some things set up. She has been plugging away on getting her boxes unpacked, but didn't know how to set up the satellite box with her DVD player, etc. We helped her rearrange big furniture, and we got things hooked up so they worked right. Well, I have to be honest. My honey did all the hooking things up so they worked right. If it was just me, we would have been watching a movie on the little tiny TV and ordering pizza. "Maybe next time..." she would say wistfully.

We left there around 10 pm or so. There are a few more things left to put together, but we ran out of time. There is a play date or two still to come. But you're probably still wondering about this house fairy thing I hinted at. When we got home around 11 or so, the house was spotless. Everything had been picked up, put away neatly. The floor had been vacuumed, and the dishes had been washed and put away. Wowza mowza! J-boy had been as busy as a bee while we were gone. I guess we should leave him home alone more often! What a sweet surprise.

So instead of cleaning the house the rest of the weekend, I can focus on the black hole. If you don't hear from me within a few days, please contact the proper authorities to start a search party. Toodle-loo!

Friday, February 8, 2008

finally, finally it's Friday

This week has just been so weird. I feel like the days flew by this week, but at the same time, Friday was taking forever to get here. Probably because I get to go spend Saturday with my twin playing house! I'm anxious to get the week over with. I'm not sure how I'm going to get my stuff done this weekend, but oh, well. A girl needs a break sometimes.

I have a ton of things that I need to get caught up on: cleaning the rabbit cage, cleaning the cat box, vacuuming the junk up off the floor, picking things up and putting them away. When it goes too long between cleaning, the junk kind of gets pushed to the outer perimeters of the room and builds up like crazy before you even realize it. Yes, I know, I know. It's disgusting. I hate thinking about it. I just realized that almost everything on my to do list is work of some kind. Mostly cleaning. Yuk. I detest cleaning almost as much as I detest cooking.

I don't know if that is PC information for Bloggityville. I seem to find lots of blogs of people who love to clean. I wish I could be more like that. Don't get me wrong. I love when my house is clean. I just hate being the one who has to make it that way.

Hey! This could be related to the "throwing things away" issues I have. I talked to someone today who knows a person who just loves to throw things away! There are people like that? I can't imagine. I clasp my things with both hands and a white-knuckled grip. I may not need them now, but by golly, if I need them five years from now, I want to have them!

Hmmm...if I learn to love throwing things away, I could easily have a more tidy house. It just stands to reason that there would be less "things" taking up space in my territory. Perfectly logical, yes? And completely illogically, I feel short of breath and my heart pounds when I think of tossing them out and opening my hands to just...let...go.

I'm imagining it. What your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Even if it makes me anxious and twitchy, I'm just going to focus on seeing it happening. Just... let... go...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

slow-mo

Boy oh boy, it was hard to get out of bed this morning. My honey laughed because he said I looked like I was in one of those old slow-motion black and white movies. Every movement took twice as long as normal. I am really dragging my feet today.

When I got this email from a friend in my inbox today, it was so perfect! Read on:

An old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. He followed me into the house, down the hall, and fell asleep in a corner.



An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, resumed his position in the hall, and slept for an hour. This continued for several weeks.

Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."


The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with ten children -- he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Look at that dog. See me. 'Nuff said.

Monday, February 4, 2008

quiet time? not hardly

I was so hoping that this evening would be quiet and non-eventful so that I could cozy up to my bedroom closet, getting all personal like that while I clean it out all the way to the back of it. All I had to do was get dinner done, and the night was mine.

So I was getting ready to make dinner, but I couldn't find anything I needed. Couldn't find the spatula I wanted, the pot I needed was dirty, and there was NO SPACE to work! I started getting crabby. "I quit! I'm not making dinner tonight until this is cleaned up." There.

I started cleaning. Grudgingly. THEN it got quiet. Actually the kids just kind of disappear when I start putting clean dishes away and they bounce back out of the cupboard at me. Bang! Crash!

"What's wrong?" someone says.

"Noth-thing," I snap, biting off my syllables, leaving only the sharp edges. The word "Nothing," spoken by a woman, according to an email I received recently, is simply loaded with multiple meanings, not one of which is actually nothing. Darn it. They are telling all of my secrets now. (Google "Nine Words Women Use" and you can read the whole thing.)

Then I started practicing throwing things away. I was cleaning off the counter, and I was throwing away everything that had been sitting there too long.

Catalog? If I haven't looked at it in a week, I don't need anything out of it. Out with it. Candle holder? Do I use it or have I just not put it away since I took it out of the cupboard to look for the spice grinder? Out with it. Box of cereal that has about a cup of cereal left in the bottom? Out it goes.

On to the refrigerator. Leftovers...more than a day old? Out. Anything not used in the last few weeks? Out. What is it? I dunno. Out.

I started looking at the cats and the rabbit, but common sense overtook me then. Okay, that was a joke, which if you know me, you would know already. If I tossed them out, I'd be the one going looking for them in the middle of the night. :D The cats are more spoiled than the grandbabies are at this house.

Okay, I'll skip over a bunch of my whining and throwing a fit, now. It's just more of the same. So the rest of my night went like this: I got dinner done, J-boy did a bunch of dishes, and I watched Dance Wars in between cooking stages. Yes, that's right! I got to watch Dance Wars. Yippee!

And I think Bruno shoots himself in the foot all the time by being such a hotshot know-it-all. He lost a team member again this week. And with all the negative comments about Carrie Ann's team, he'll probably lose another person next week. At least Carrie Ann tries to give a fair summary of both teams, not just hers. I know it's supposed to be about the dancers, but I think I would vote for the whichever one of them I liked the best. It's probably all show for the ratings anyway. Isn't it always about the ratings, which makes it all about the money? Ick.

By the time all that was done and I did a little blogging (yes I know that was sidetracking--hush!), Barack Obama was on TV, giving his speech in Boston. I wasn't about to clean a stinkin' closet then--I wanted to hear every word. (Tomorrow is Super Tuesday...don't forget to vote in your primary if there's one in your state.) Now his speech is done, and oh, what time is it again??? Bed time. Grrr.

The piles are almost up to the top of the closet doorway now. They're multiplying! Someone fed them growth hormones or steroids or something. I'm going to bed to dream of the piles turning into clouds, floating up to the ceiling, disappearing out my window, never to be seen again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

wild weekend

Have you ever heard the country song about a wild weekend? I call it the "Finally Friday" song. Well, I'm having a wild weekend, all right. It's the end of the month, and a bunch of the kids came over to do their taxes online. I think that TurboTax free filing thing is the greatest thing since cookies crumbled.

You enter the info, they do all the math, put all the numbers in the right places, and submit it online to boot. I don't know if I would do it that way if I had a bunch of complicated things to file, but for me, it's pretty simple. We have ours back already and it's already spent. The majority of it was spent on bills, but my honey and I each spent a small amount on ourselves...whatever we wanted.

I found quite a few clothes on clearance...some for as little as $3! Pants, shirts, capris...$3! And I found things that actually fit me well enough so that I didn't want to run screaming out of the dressing room. I really detest shopping for myself when it comes to clothes. I usually buy one or two things as I find them and as I need them. I'm not used to spending a bunch of money on myself at one time. It was actually stressful. I felt like my head was going to split in half down the middle when I was checking out! Ai yi.

But it was okay. And for whatever reason, there is a lovely green shade that seems to be popular right now, and I just love it. It's kind of a dull lime green, if that makes any sense. It's very pretty. I found a bunch of things in that color. I tried to keep my clothes in the green/tan/black family. There are a couple of gray things, but they go together, so that's okay. But now, cleaning my closet will be even more fun, because I can toss out all the stuff that is worn out, so I can make space for my new acquisitions. Oh, hurray!

Well, I don't think it will happen tomorrow...after church in the morning, we still have some more taxes to file, and after that...who knows? There is something else I need to do...I just can't remember right now. Well, that's not a surprise, either. Ha!

I have to catch up on two days of reading for Engage the Journey, too. Tomorrow will be a good day for that.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

the lucky one!

Kristi from Music Mom of 2 is my lucky winner of the Coldstone Creamery card. Kristi, if you come back to check, I left a comment on your blog.

Kristi is a music teacher, and has a great sense of humor. There's a quote from her blog that I really should put up on my mirror. She says: Our pastor always has a saying about prayer. He says "God answers prayer in four ways: Yes, No, Wait, or Boy, have I got a surprise for you." Isn't that exactly the way things shake out? The things we think are the absolute worst sometimes end up being huge blessings in ways we never imagined.

Thanks, everyone, for visiting and reading, at least as much as you had time for while you were flying through all the marvelous giveaways!