Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Becoming a Senior

I just a few weeks I will be turning 55 years of age!

YUP, I will become the speed limit (at least that's what it is here in my state) and officially a Senior Citizen!! CRAP!

It didn't bother me to turn 30, 40 or even 50 but for some unknown reason, I hate turning 55!

Maybe it has something to do with all the mail I have been getting lately and the ads on TV.

It seems that AARP suddenly wants to become my best friend. They send me letters asking me to join their club. Telling my what wonderful benefits I would enjoy now that I am OLD! I can get discounts on hotel rooms and if I am stranded on the side of the road, AAA could help me out because my membership would cost me less. Not to mention I get to eat off the Senior Menu now! YIPPEE!!!

There is the reminder from Social Security that if I retire now I will only receive this much a moth but if I continue to work until I am 72 I can receive so much more!! As if I want to work until I am 72 years old!! WTF!!

Then of course there are all the ads about insurance plans on TV- Chose this one and you won't have to have a physical exam. We will insure you no matter what. They don't tell you that your premium is so high you can't afford it.
The next says it pays for all your medical bills and your prescriptions without having to have a supplemental plan. ( you just have to use the doctors and clinics it tells you to).

Then there are the commercials for the Assisted Living Facilities- Nothing like planning ahead, right? Might as well pick one out while I still can (at least this way I get one I like and not one my kids just dump me in) because according to TV, Alzheimer's will be setting in any day now.

I have been watching the trailers about the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons" and I have to ask my friend Debbie at Suburb Sanity (she's the Sage one and has all the answers) if he can grow younger why can't we all?

I know my fear of 55 is irrational and it's just a number but for some reason I am really terrified of this birthday. I guess maybe it has something to do with being labelled a Senior Citizen. I don't feel like one. Hell ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I've never acted my age! Can I skip this for now and just stay a Junior (so to speak)??

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chrouser Christmas Chaos

The Stockings are hung by the chimney with care
Wait Tim, St Nicholas has already been there!

Mark looks like he's lost something!!!!

Oh Wait...........He found it!!

Santa's Elves all seemed to be relaxing and having a good time after working so hard all year long.

They deserve a little fun time because soon they will be busy once again making toys for next year!

Next came the Three Wise People
They are only considered Wise because there is a
woman among them
They came to spread glad tidings and
Lots of cheer(see what's in their

Next came the passing of the cup.
This is tradition among the Chrouser Christmas dinner. Nah, John just wanted coffee so Dick was passing him a cup. Had you going for a minute didn't I???

Finally the next generation of Chrouser Males.
I don't know whether this is a GOOD thing or a SCARY thing.
I will let the picture speak for itself and you can make your own decision.

Everyone had a great time and there are more pictures so I can blackmail some family members later.
I am lucky I get to do this all over again in January with my family from Iowa and Nebraska.
Hope every one had a Merry Christmas and is looking forward to a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008






Sunday, December 21, 2008

6 inches!

OK get your minds out of the gutter! I'm not talking about my Hubby or any other man for that matter! That would just be fantasy wouldn't it???

I'm talking that lovely white stuff called SNOW!
Last night while we slept, those nasty little snow fairies decided to make an appearance. They didn't just want to say HI, they wanted to wanted to make a real impression and they did.

Actually the snow started yesterday morning about 11:00 am. Hubby and I had to play Santa's little elves and finish our shopping and it was no picnic driving into town. There were a couple of moments where the car started sliding and I closed my eyes and started praying.

It went something like this: "Jesus Christ Honey just get there in one piece and I promise I won't kill you."

2 1/2 hours and 3 stores later and we started back home. By this time we can only travel about 40 miles an hour and everyone keeps hitting the brakes because the person in front of them does. This is due to the very first person in the lead being afraid that the road might be slippery in certain spots so they slow down periodically. Don't they know this causes more accidents than if they just would drive at one speed?? A trip that normally takes about 12 minutes to make now takes us almost 25 minutes! Unbelievable!!!

This morning after breakfast, Hubby went to get the plow to clear the driveway. He was just going to shovel until he got out there and saw how much snow there was and how heavy it was.
Guess it would be good snowman snow but I just can't see me getting all bundled up and going out there and making a snowman. Nope, not gonna happen.

Me, I plan on grabbing a good book or maybe a movie and sitting in front of the fire all day. Who knows, I might even stay in my jammies all day. Just that kind of day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Office Christmas Party

Today is our company's annual Christmas party. We always have it at the shop so no one has to go home and clean up and come back out. They just finish up their work and come in and enjoy. Their spouses and children are welcome to come too.

My sister in law Karen has always been in charge of the food and she always does a hell of a spread! If you can't find something to eat then you aren't looking. She spends a lot of time and effort to make this a really great party for everyone.
This year she couldn't do it because of other obligations so Sally (another sister in law) and I are doing it. We knew right off the bat we had some pretty big shoes to fill so we asked the guys what they wanted for the party.
Here's what they said:
Wildcat: for those of you who aren't familiar with this- it is raw ground round with onions and salt and pepper and they eat it on rye bread.
Hot Wings and Meatballs
Smoked or Deep Fried Turkey with buns for sandwiches
Cheese/Sausage with crackers
Salsa/chips- this is my homemade stuff that is awesome
Veggies and dip
Veggie Pizza
Couple Pasta Salads
Shrimp and sauce
Simple desserts

So this is exactly what they are getting. Nothing fancy and nothing catered. Sally and I made it all ourselves. Slaving over a hot stove/oven to make these people happy.
Of course, I have to work today so I can not help Sally set up, Hubby will have to do this. So I had to leave a detailed list for him and I do mean a detailed list!

It went something like this:
The basket is to put the crackers in. Put the napkin in the basket first, then the crackers.
The Veggie pizza is already cut but be sure you put it on a serving plate before you put it out- do not serve it on the baking sheet!
The spoons for the salad and the salsa are in the sack.
Make sure you take the salad, the shrimp,the veggies tray, cheese tray and the veggie pizza from the fridge and the cookies and the wings from the garage.
I have to spell it out for him because if I don't he would just slap everything down as is and call it good.

Hubby is in charge of the booze and there's always plenty of that. Beer, booze, wine , Tom and Jerrys and once in a while someone will bring champagne.
It has been known to happen that an employee will end up sleeping in the break room due to too much partying. Better that than send them home in that condition.

There is not any copy machine stuff going on (at least I've never seen any) and I've never caught anyone naked and naughty at these parties but they do have a good time.

So grab your party hat and come on over, drinks are on me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Letters to Santa

If you follow my blog at all(and you damn well better cause it's awesome) then you know that on Wednesdays I participate in a writer's workshop sponsored by my blogger friend Mamakat. Today's assignment that I chose was to write a letter to Santa. so here goes......

Dear Santa,

Can we talk? I know you're terribly busy this time of year but something has been bothering me for a long time and I just need to get it off my chest.

45 years ago when I was 9 I wrote you a letter asking for a Barbie Dream house for Christmas. This is all I wanted so that Barbie could marry Ken, the love of her life, have kids and live happily ever after.

Santa, I'm still waiting for that Dream house......

Barbie never married Ken. They lived in sin instead and she could never figure out what she wanted to do with her life.
She flitted from Flight Attendant, to Dentist, to Teacher, to Doctor, to Astronaut, to CEO of a company and the list goes on and on and on. All because I never got my Dream house.

Santa you were probably the cause of the feminist movement all because you didn't bring me my Barbie Dream house. Millions of young women followed Barbies lead. She became their role model. They demanded equal pay for equal work and equal time in the bedroom as well as the boardroom. If Barbie could do all these things then they could too!

Santa if you had just brought me my Barbie Dream house, Barbie would have married Ken, lived happily ever after and none of this other shit would have happened. But nooooo. You had to forget me that year. See what you started? Hope you're happy.

By the way, I had to buy my daughters every one of those Barbies as she changed careers cause they wanted to be just like her.

I won't be putting out any cookies this year Santa, looks like you've gained a little weight. (you might want to call Jenny Craig, I hear she works wonders).

Merry Christmas
Still Waiting in Wisconsin

Now head over to Mamakats and read other letters to Santa and see what everyone else is wishing for.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Never Ending Story

This seems to be the theme for this little story. You write a paragraph, then tag a blog buddy to write the next one and so on until the story is finished ...... or not. My very naughty daughter Carrin tagged me to add on after she wrote her paragrah. So sit back, read and hopefully enjoy the story.

I hunched down to see what it was, but as I did, the bus violently veered to left. I was thrown up against a heavyset Asian woman with blond hair. I pardoned myself, but she faced forward with no reply. Just then, a man wearing a jumpsuit of silver and gold stood up at the front of the bus. He was holding a megaphone and a box of graham crackers. He held the megaphone up to his face and began to speak... (Some Guy)"Ladies and Gentlemen...please do not be afraid! I am here to help you" he said in a mighty booming voice. As he began to step towards me I felt a hand creep its way around my throat and all of a sudden I was pressed against the mighty bosom of the Asian woman as she she hauled me to my feet. She began to back away from the costumed crusader all the while holding me, feet dangling in the air. I panicked and my eyes searched the bus, hoping to connect with someone, anyone who would be able to help me. My eyes met those of the hero in gold and just as I began to gasp for air he yelled...(~E)„Put her down and no one gets hurt“, he yelled at the Asian woman. All the passengers turned to see what was going on and, as they did, I noticed they were more panicked than I was. A small bespectacled man closest to us hissed at my captor and said in a low voice „Take me, just don't hurt her.“ My fear gave way to curiosity. Who were all these people, and why were they so concerned for my well being?The Asian blonde's back was now pressed against the back of the bus, and she increased her grip on me as the megaphone man crept slowly towards us. As he passed through the bus people started getting up, and now they formed a small army behind him. He raised the box of graham crackers above his head and put his lips to the megaphone... (That Damn Expat)"Since you refuse to cooperate, I will have to use my secret weapon!" Suddenly a laser like light shot out of the box of graham crackers and everything went black. I don't know how much time passed, but I awoke in a mysterious room with a terrible headache. Immediately I assumed that I had been captured and began wondering why me? Why not the Asian lady who seemed to be the source of trouble? Just then, a woman walked into the room wearing a gold lame' dress, she said...(Laura)"Oh, you are awake? I am glad you're okay...", and she gave me a glass of water. Apparently I fainted at her boutique while picking out some clothing. I am so relieved that it was just a dream. Being captive is not my cup of tea. Besides, who was that big Asian woman? And what's up with that horrible blond hair she had? Asian people would never look pretty with blond. She was freaky. I thanked the boutique owner and decided to walk outside. It is really nice day out. Oh wait.. I am hungry. I should get something to eat. "What should I eat?", I was talking to myself when.... (Maki)All of a sudden a run away hot dog cart was headed my way! The owner of the cart was running frantically behind it all the while yelling "Some one please catch my dogs!" Two thoughts went through my head. One "get the heck out of the way" and two "what would the gold hero dude do?" I decided to do my best to help the hot dog vendor. I watch the cart coming straight for me and try to calculate when to lunge after it. As it's gathering speed towards me, I lunge, grab the handle and throw myself on top of the cart. But the cart does not stop! I am flying down the hill on top of the cart all the while the vendor is yelling at me not to smash the buns. I laugh out loud and think "Why do these happen to me?" and then I remember back to last night...(Carrin)
When I was attending a black tie event at Rockefeller Center to raise money for charity. This would be my last chance for fun for then next 12 weeks. My book was due out next week and it would be non stop publicity tours from then on. I had spent hours getting my hair and makeup done and chosing just the right dress for tonight because I was meeting "him". Finally after all this time, we would be seeing each other for the first time. I was so excited, my heart was racing and my pulse was pounding. What would he look like? Would he be as handsome as he sounded in his emails? I stood just inside the door watching the people as they entered wondering if each of the men might be him. I moved to the top of the staircase, placed my hand on the railing and was just about to descend, when suddenly someone grabbed me, stuck a needle in my neck, and as they pushed the plunger in slowly they said...(Sheri)

Now I am tagging two of my blogger friends that have wonderful story telling abilities that I think would do a great job of carrying on with this story
For the instructions on how to play the story game go here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deck the Halls (and anyone else that gets in my way)

Man I hate going out to the stores this time of year! Even the grocery stores are nasty right now! Case in point- Hubby and I went to do our grocery shopping at 6:00 pm Friday night (this is not our usual time to do this but we were literally out of everything and had no choice) thinking we could get in, get what we needed and get out.

First of all everyone and their dog were in the damn store at this time of night! This is supper time for cripes sake, what the hell are people doing buying groceries now??? Then it seems the store thinks this is the optimal time of day to restock their shelves and the produce. There are boxes all over the aisles and stock people standing around talking and laughing. That's right, I said standing around. Not restocking as they were supposed to be doing but in groups of 2 and 3 having a good time and taking up more space so you couldn't get through with your cart. Where is your Customer Service people?????

I went in armed with all my coupons to get their "deals" so of course when I went to get what was on special, they were all out. WTF? Where are the people who were supposed to be restocking the shelves? Couldn't they be putting more of these specials back on the shelves so I could buy them??? Sorry but there is a limited supply and once they are gone they don't restock. Of course, that explains why these people are just standing around. There is nothing to restock the shelves with.

As we continued through the store, people cut us off as we came out of the aisles, grabbed things off the shelf just as I reached for them and never once said, "sorry" and were just plain rude.

We finally got everything we needed by which time I am so angry,hungry and ready to get the hell out of there and go home that I could just scream. We are headed for the checkout lanes of which there are a whole 3 open when miracle of miracles, they decide to open one right as we get there!! Someone up there does like me. I am2 steps away from the lane when some lady bangs her cart into mine, pushes her way into the lane and starts unloading her groceries onto the counter. I feel my arm slowly moving forward to grab her and I know I am seconds from decking her when hubby (bless his wonderful heart) grabs me and says " it's OK honey, we're not in any hurry." Of course as I turn to glare at him with a look that could kill and inform him that even if he isn't I am cause it's after 7:00 pm and I'm hungry, another cart pushes their way in front of us!!! At this point I just want to cry but would settle for a good stiff drink, all the while wondering where the hell these people's Christmas spirit is?

I look at them, smile and say, Merry Christmas, all the while I am thinking " I hope you get run over by reindeer in the parking lot!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Cookies

One of the things I like about this time of year are the cookies and candies being spread around.

One of the things I hate about this time of year are the LBs being spread around my hips and ass because of the cookies and candies!

This weekend it is baking time for me. My kitchen is turned into a baking machine and usually ends up covered in flour from one end to the other!
I have always loved to make all different kinds of cookies for Christmas.
There are Snickerdoodles, Peanut Blossoms, Spritz, Chocolate Crinkles, Gingersnaps, Peanut butter Balls, Almond Cookies and of course what is Christmas with out the Cutouts!
I love decorating the cutout cookies the best. I do several different colors of frosting and I can't begin to tell you how many jars of different colored sparkle and accessories I have to make them look FABULOUS! The trees have to be trimmed just so and the snowmen have eyes,noses and buttons down their fronts. My husband gets frustrated because he just wants to slap the frosting on and be done with it, "after all we're just gonna eat the damn things!" but that's not the way it's done in my house. Don't tell my husband but he is right, we are just gonna eat the damn things but it's so much fun decorating them before you eat them.

Then there is the candy. I used to make a lot of this when I and my kids were both younger. I would make Divinity, Nougat, Fudge, Peanut Brittle, Caramel Corn, and Almond Bark Pretzels. Now adays I only make homemade peanut brittle and fudge and if my Hubby is really lucky, I might do a batch of the Almond Bark Pretzels which are his favorites.

I was never satisfied with one batch of these cookies and candies, oh no, I had to make double batches. I would put some out to be ate right away and put some in the freezer thinking we would still have some when Christmas came. Right? Wrong! Not in my house there wasn't! Even now with all the kids grown and gone and just me and the hubby. I do the same thing and think there will be some by Christmas time. Wrong! I think there are little elves living in my house that come in at night and eat these cookies while I am sleeping.

Of course the doctor did ask my hubby yesterday if he was putting on a couple LBs so maybe I should start calling him Santa's little helper?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Conversatin with a Mouse

It's Wednasday so that means it's Writer's Workshop time over at Mamakats. Here are todays prompts:1.) Allergies much?
2.) Worst dentist experience ever.
3.) Describe a "new road" you've taken in your life.
4.) What would you say to a mouse who could talk?
5.) Who is the best listener you know? What makes him or her such a good listener

I thought it would be fun to do #4. so the following is my conversation with a mouse. After reading mine, head over to Mamakats blog and check out all the other great stories that are posted there.

As I was cleaning my house the other day (and now we all know this is a fantasy because I don't clean my own house) I stumbled across atiny mouse in the corner of my closet. She was making herself a house there for the winter.

Me: Miss Mouse, what are you doing in my house?

Mouse: It's too cold to be outside so I thought I would live in your lovely house for the winter.

Me: OK, but there are some ground rules if this is gonna happen. Think you can handle that?

Mouse: What kind of rules?

Me: #1. If you're gonna live in my house you can't be pooping where ever the hell you want. Learn to use the toilet! I'm not cleaning up after you.
#2. No chewing holes in the bottom of the boxes of food when you're hungry. Open the damn things like the rest of us! If you have trouble ask.
#3. Don't be running around and scratching in the walls at all hours of the night! Some of us have to work in the morning. If you must do that, do it during the day.
#4. I'm not running a damn daycare here so if you insist on having so damn many babies, find some where else to take them.
Any questions or problems with these rules?

Mouse: I can live with all your rules. No problem. I just have a few requests of my own.
#1. Would you get a volumizing conditioner the next time you go to the store? My hair needs a little plumping and the stuff you use is crap.
#2. I would prefer the wheat crackers to the plain ones. They're better for my diet ( you know fiber- that poop thing). Oh and would you get the sharp cheddar cheese please?
#3. Would you leave the remote for one of your many TVs where I can reach it so I can watch my soaps during the day? It's pretty boring around here with nothing to do all day!
#4. Oh and talking about noise at night, could you and your husband keep it down too? Talk about loud!! Geez!

So me and Miss Mouse struck a deal, shook hands or paws or whatever and she stayed there for the winter. This is what I imagine a conversation with a mouse might be like if they could talk.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stop the Car I Want to Get Out!

So Saturday my husband and I decided to take a road trip to do some Christmas shopping.

I know, I know. You're all saying, : What the hell were you thinking?" Obviously I wasn't or I never would have agreed to get in the car with him.

But in my own defense we were going to Cabelas and I love this store. The closest one is about 3 hours away and we have been there before so I figured he remembered how to get there. Right?

WRONG!!! Men never remember these things.

We get up early (and I mean really early) and just as we are ready to walk out the door, my husband says, "You did print off directions on how to get there didn't you?"

This should have been my first clue that things were not going to go smoothly but I ignored my inner voice and answered, "No, you didn't ask me to. Do you really need them?"

Hubby: "Probably, I'm not sure I remember how to get there. Print them just in case. "

So good little wife that I am, I did and off we went.

All was well for the first 2 hours of the trip because he knew where he was going. It wasn't until we had to take the exit to go to toward Cabelas that we started to have trouble. I started to read the directions to him but he had seen a billboard that said Take exit 207. SO, as far as he was concerned, that's all we had to do. No need for any directions, just look for exit 207. Where ever the hell that might be.

I then tried to tell him we had to take 35E S for a short jaunt but he strongly argued that we never got off 694.

I said, "the directions say we have to....."

Hubby, " I don't care what the directions say, we stay on 694 all the way."

Me: "Why do you have me print these directions if you aren't going to follow them?"

Hubby: "In case I don't know where I'm going, but I know what I'm doing now."

Me: "OK then. I'll just sit here and not say a word, but if you get lost don't blame me." All the while I am thinking Never again am I reading directions to this man. He can map it out for himself before he leaves.

Of course I was right and we did have to take 35E S for a short period of time but he wouldn't admit a thing.

We finally get to Cabelas, do our shopping ( we did our part that day to stimulate the economy) and the last thing I did before we checked out???

I picked up a Garmin GPS system, tossed it in the cart and said, " Merry Christmas, Honey!"

Let someone else be his guide from now on. He can't argue with a machine or can he???

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reality Check

It's Writers Workshop Wednesday again over at MamaKat's and this week I have chosen the prompt:

3.) If you had to star in a reality TV show, which one would it be and why?

Now I don't watch all of the reality shows out there (there are way too many and way too many weird ones) but I do watch a few. I even have a couple that I am obsessed with but don't tell anyone OK?

First there is The Bachelorette- I would love to think I could star on this show- wear all the fabulous clothes. Live in the mansion, go to all the exotic locations and have the full attention of 25 gorgeous men! Alas, I am happily married so this eliminates this show. Damn!

Second there is Top Chef-I could chop, saute, puree, bake and cook with the best of them. I just couldn't stab you in the back at the same time to win the show. Pack up your knives and leave the show.

Third there is Americas Next Top Model- OK who am I trying to kid here right? I am only 4'11" and Old! Hello you have to be a skinny bitch for this one with a face that would stop trucks (that one I could probably do but not for the right reasons). I'm not in the running to become Americas next top model.

Fourth we have Real Housewives of Orange County- Now this one I do have some qualifications for. I am a housewife (but on this show you really don't have to be cause not all of them are married) and I live in a county. I could spend money like it's going out of style, drink champagne on yachts and party with the best of them. I would have no problem spending 2.5 mil on a house or $2300 on a dress and $1000 on a pair of shoes and jewelry puh-lease. Bling is my favorite subject. The only disqualification I have for this show- I don't have the money it takes so guess not babe- Not gonna be the new girl this season.

Fifth and final one- Project Runway- I love this show because I love to sew. My mom used to make all of our clothes when I was little and then she taught me to sew and I made my children's clothes. I also made Barbie doll clothes, brides maid dresses, winter coats and wedding dresses. So I have a vested interest in this show. I pick apart their clothes and I criticize how they make them. I could do so much better and that is why I should star on it. I would be so FIERCE!
There would be no stopping me and I would totally rock the show to the very end! Just ask my children (they always loved my clothes) Of course they had no choice when they were little but as they got older they sometimes asked me to make them things so guess it wasn't too bad.
So One Day you're In and One Day you're Out. I'm IN!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Alone

I'm sitting at home
With nothing to DO!
Except sit at the computer
And blog for all you.

Due to Miss Staph and Miss Strep
These two little bugs,
My body at home,
Has been laid out by these thugs!

I'm not used to inactivity
It's driving me CRAZY!!!
This being at home all day
Is making me lazy!

I sleep until eight
Drink coffee, watch soaps
Sit home all day long,
Feel sorry and mope.

So please release me
Back to work SOON?
Before I become,
A total, complete, absolute LOON!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Mine, All Mine

Ever wanted something so bad you could taste it? I have and I usually always don't get it. This time though there is a big give away over at the SITS page and if you go here you can read all about it for yourself.

I am so excited because I could be named Friday Favorite and win a $200 Target Gift Card (Back off Carrin this is mine!) just by mentioning this Grand Prize and then commenting on their blog tomorrow. I never win anything and I mean anything but this is Mine All Mine. And I'm so excited I just can't hide it! Nothing ventured nothing gained and who couldn't use a little something something right now?

Good Luck to all of you. Even if you don't want to participate in the giveaway, check out the SITS blog.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Wow the past five days have been intense with travel, family, food and fun!

Wednesday we packed up the vehicle in the early am and headed out of town for Iowa and Nebraska to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my children. We arrived at my daughters about 5:00 pm, quickly unpacked and called my other daughter to make plans for supper.
It was then off to the Spaghetti Works for supper with the grand kids and to catch up with all their news. When we got back to Tuta's her other house guests were there and we all settled in for the night.

Thursday morning after everyone was up and had breakfast, we started the Thanksgiving dinner preparations. This was my daughters first time hosting the holiday so she was a little excited and had some questions but over all she had most things under control. Carrin and the kids came over about 11:30 and we started putting things together. Once the food flowed everyone dug in and and ate til they couldn't move. Then the pies came out and we ate some more.

Friday,we met my sisters and niece for some after Thanksgiving shopping. We had to pick up stuff for the big Family Thanksgiving we were having on Saturday. Yup that's right, we were doing this all over again on Saturday. Later, we all went out to Mom and Dad's for supper and to hang out. The decibel level in the house is probably well over the legal level when we all get together but we have a great time. There were adults, kids and dogs running around all over the house. The only one not having a good time was Thomas, the cat who was banished to the basement during all this.

Saturday morning we got up and carted the stuff for our big meal to our church. We decided to have it here for two reasons, it was bigger, they had all the stuff we needed to prepare it and we were having a surprise open house for my dad's 80th birthday and this was a great place to have it. It is really fun to work together with family when we do something like this. Everyone is doing what needs to be done and having a good time dong it. It all came together like a well oiled machine. Everyone had way more than enough to eat and then we had lots of time until the open hose so we stalled a little doing dishes, then had pie, then stalled a little more and then finally people started coming. We had put together some pictures from over the years and everyone had a great time and many laughs looking at them and asking: "who is this?"

Sunday morning it was crawl out of bed at the crack of dawn and hit the road for the long trip back home. It takes about 7 1/2 hours not including the stops for gas and meals. We ran into a little snow through all three states (IA, MN, and WI) but the roads were pretty good so travel wasn't bad.

Once we got home we had to go to our grand daughter's birthday party, so it wasn't until after 7:00 pm last night before we finally got the chance to sit down and relax. Toady it's back to work and back to normal. Thank goodness for that. It's nice to visit but nicer to come home.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Over the River and Thru the Fields

To our Daughter's house we go....
The car knows the way
to carry our stuff,
Thru the white and drifted snow OH NO!
Over the river and thru the fields
Oh how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
as over the highway we go.

Over the river and through the fields
to have a first rate day;
Oh hear the sound,
of joy abound,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
Over the river and thru the fields,
speed fast my car of gray!
Spring over the ground,
like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

A new twist on an old song I used to sing as a child. Since I am going to Nebraska for Thanksgiving this year for the first time I thought it appropriate that I have a song for the road trip.

We leave tomorrow and will be traveling over 500 miles or approximately 8 hours. We are leaving about 8:oo am and should get to our destination about 5:00 pm. ( potty calls and gas stops included) I usually read or watch a movie while my husband does the driving (he is such a wonderful man). We stop only for gas and to grab a quick bite to eat and then we are back on the road. This is one trip where we don't end up arguing but only because George knows where he is going and doesn't need me to give him directions. Thank God for this because it's one trip we actually enjoy taking together.

Hope every one has a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll see you when I get back! For now I better get packing or I won't be on the road to my daughter's house.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Into Every Life a Little Bling Must Fall

I was doing my daily blog stalking and while reading one of my favorites, MamaKat, I found this really great give a way! So head over and check out these earrings and if you want to win them follow the directions. You must first go here , look at all the beautiful jewelry ( a real chore I know but do it anyway). Then go back and write up a short blog about your favorite.

Mine is the Triple Earth necklace in shades of green and gold. It is gorgeous!!! I'm thinking it would make a beautiful Christmas present and Santa should maybe put it in my stocking, HINT. HINT. Husband mine. Ever girl needs a little Bling and what better time than Christmas to give her some.

Of course I never need a holiday to buy Bling because to me every day is a holiday when it comes to shoes, handbags and bling!!! Bring it on Baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Widow's Weekend

It's that time of year again when all good little wives find themselves left behind at home. Abandoned by their husbands who are off in search of other "Deer"(the four legged kind) for the next week.
The men scatter to all parts of the woods to sit in deer stand for all hours of the day stalking that elusive BIG BUCK. Hoping to get that one shot that will give them the trophy mount for their wall and meat for the freezer. They spend their evenings eating, drinking and playing cards (you know guy stuff) til all hours of the night then get up at the butt crack of dawn and hunt all over again. They come home at the end of the week smelly, unshaven and most of the time triumphant, dragging that deer behind them.

So what do the women do while the men are away you ask?

They also hunt. They hunt the big shopping bargains. They start planning sometimes months in advance with friends as to where they will go and what stores they will HIT. They scour the papers and the Internet for coupons.

They scatter to all parts of the city to walk the shopping malls for that BIG BUY! Hoping to find those big sale signs that mean they can buy more because they got a discount. They spend the evenings eating and drinking and watching Thunder Down Under male strippers (you know girl stuff) then get up at the butt crack of dawn the next day and do it all over again. They come home at the end of the weekend slightly battered from pushing, shoving, and braving the crowds of other women shoppers (they can be brutal at this time of year) but dragging their prizes behind them.

So you see, we aren't so different, our male hunters and our female hunters. It's just the methods that we use. They sit in the cold and use guns, we are in the warmth and use plastic. Who's the smarter one here?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things Long Buried

Mamakat's writing workshop prompts this week are as follows:

1.) The last time I laughed really hard...
2.) Forgive and forget...I think.
3.) I remember when...
4.) Write about something that bothered you this week.
5.) Write a poem about a favorite color.
Based on something that happened in my life recently, I chose #2

If you had asked me last month if I was the type of person to forgive and forget, I would have said yes without even thinking about it. Life is too short to hold grudges and dwell on the negative. It is easier to forgive someone and move on than to let the anger fester and be bitter. Right? This is the type of person I am. Hell I even forgave my ex husband after cheating on me (after all he got cancer and I figured that was punishment enough) and we are semi friends today.

But something happened a couple weeks ago that has me questioning all this.

36 years ago, I had a brief romantic encounter with a young man I was infatuated with, I was 18 y/o, in college and as dumb as a box of rocks when it came to men. He was in the service stationed in Viet Nam and we wrote letters back and forth the whole time he was gone. When he came home, he came to visit me at school and we partied like there was no tomorrow for three days straight (alcohol was involved) and of course there was sex. I thought I was one of those girls that couldn't get pregnant the first time without protection (yeah right). 9 months later out pops a beautiful little girl named Carrin! Surprise you're a daddy!

However this guy doesn't buy it and decides he isn't the daddy and doesn't want anything to do with me or his daughter. The army sent a representative who offered to help me do a paternity test and fight for child support but I decided that anyone who was asshole enough not to want to love a child had no rights to that child at all. I tried letting his parents know but they too wanted nothing to do with their grandchild. I called this person one more time the day my daughter was born to let him know he had a daughter and that she was healthy and beautiful. He could have cared less. That was 35 years ago and the last time I had any contact with him. I told my daughter about her father when she was old enough to understand and then promptly forgot about him.

Until a couple weeks ago when my daughter asked me for information about him. It seems she has decided she wants health information an may even wish to try and find him. This is her right of course. It terrifies me to no end. What if he decides now that he wants to know her and be her dad after all these years? I raised her, he can't just waltz into her life now and decide he gets to claim bragging rights for how she turned out. What if he rejects her? This could devastate her to be rejected a second time by this man. How can a father not want to know his child? How can he know he has a child for 35 years and never wonder where she is or what she is doing?

I wish my daughter well in whatever she decides to do about this. I will always be there to pick up the pieces if she is hurt or share in the joy if she is successful cause that's a moms job.

Forgive and forget this man who is her father..... I thought I had. Now I have to rethink

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Growing up, my life was all about traditions.

There were Sunday dinners at Grandma Jean's house (usually after we had all gone to church). She would make a big dinner with meat, mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, jello salad, a vegetable, biscuits or bread and a dessert of some kind. We always ate at the dining room table with Grandma at the head and Grandpa at the end and all the rest of us seated all around them. Afterward, we would help Grandma do the dishes and then after some play time down in their huge basement, we headed down to the other end of town to see Grandma P. We could usually talk her into making us malts (chocolate or strawberry were the favorite flavors). Then it was home to finish up any homework, take baths and hit the beds.

There was church and Sunday School every Sunday as a family whether my dad was home or on the road. My mom would get or sorry butts out of bed and make us get dressed in or best clothes and out the door we'd go. We would sit in the pew at church with my mom at the aisle and then us kids . Her arm usually rested along the back of the pew so that if anyone of us did something we weren't supposed to (imagine that?) she was quick to smack the back of our head. There was always a lot of very quiet whispering into our ears during church (threats of dire punishment to come once we got home) that no one but us kids ever heard.

We celebrated each holiday in special ways:
Easter: Mom always made us girls matching Easter dresses (which were very pretty) and then we had the hats, gloves and patent leather shoes, My brother had the slicked back hair, dress pants and tie thing going on. We went to sunrise service at church then came home so we could hunt for our Easter baskets. Some years that Easter Bunny find them so well we had trouble finding them. Then we would go into Grandma's for and Easter Egg hunt in her back yard and dinner.

Thanksgiving: Was always the big family dinner where everyone got together to celebrate. I can remember so years eating 2-3 dinners because we had to go to both Grandma's houses and then mom had dinner too but it didn't matter because the food was sooooo good! All our aunt, uncles and cousins would be there ( and sometimes we hadn't seen them for a long time so this was great) and we would run around and play for hours.

Christmas: Was always celebrated at Grandma P's on Christmas Eve with chicken dumpling soup (don't know why or where this started from). Mom always made us girls matching dresses for Christmas too until we got old enough to protest and then they were similar but not matching. The entire family would get together, Grandma P, Grandad, Mom, Dad, us kids, My Uncle Glenn, Aunt Cherie and all their children. We always ate first, the adults around the dining room table and the kids usually in the enclosed back porch room. It was a real thrill when you reached the age to move to the adult table. We could not open any presents until everyone was done eating and all the dishes were done. This was a fast and strict rule of Grandma P and nobody messed with this woman and her rules! So of course my Uncle Glenn, knowing how anxious all the kids would be to open presents would ask for thirds on soup and then take his time eating. After that he would want dessert right away instead of waiting until after presents were open. There were several Christmases when children were in tears because of this begging Uncle Glenn to please hurry up and eat so we could open presents. Dishes are finally done and presents are being opened when all of a sudden, there is a knock o Grandma's front door. When we ope it, no one is there but a huge box has been left and when we bring it inside and look at what's in it, we find it has been left by Santa and is full of gifts for everyone. This was the tradition of the Santa Claus Box that went on for many generations.

I loved all these traditions growing up and tried to keep them going with my children. It was difficult sometimes due to family dynamics, a divorce and location of relatives but I did the best I could.
To this day I still do the Sunday dinners even if it's just for my husband and I ( and sometimes it doesn't even have to be a Sunday to have this family dinner).

I don't do Easter like I used to anymore.

I still do Christmas but because part of my family lives so far away we do 2 Christmases. We do Christmas Morning brunch with our 2 daughters and grand children who live here by us. Then in January, my parents, my sisters and I and all our children still get together to celebrate the Grandma P traditional chicken dumpling Christmas. We rotate where it is ever year and we only do presents for kids under a certain age but it gets the whole family together and carries on the tradition.

And I still do Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday of all because I get to cook which I love. Every year I get up at the butt crack of dawn and stuff the bird, bake the pies, make the rolls, peel the potatoes, make the salads and everything else that goes into making that picture perfect Thanksgiving dinner. And yes it must be perfect! I am a fanatic about it. This year the tradition is moving and I must give up control. Can I do that? I honestly don't know but we'll find out won't we. I have not had Thanksgiving with all 3 of my children together since they have moved away. They live in Iowa and Nebraska so my daughter who lives in Nebraska has asked me and George to travel there for Thanksgiving this year and spend it with them. It means giving up Thanksgiving with George's daughters but they understand and have other family to spend the holiday with. I am so excited about this because tradtion means so much to me and everytime I spend a holiday with out my children, I am so sad. This year , I don't have to be sad.

Tradition is wonderful- changing traditon even better

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milestones and Memories

Daddy © By Evan L. Salcido
In the heart of everyone, young or old,

Lies memories of a special man.
They remember football,

And how this man came to see them play.
They remember school,

And how he encouraged them each day.
They remember ice cream,

And his readiness to oblige.
They remember playgrounds,

And how he'd take them down the slide.
They remember monsters,

And when he fought them off.
They remember sickness,

And his wince at every cough.
They remember graduation,

And his face lit with pride.
They remember marriage,

And the man steadfast by their side.
These men want no payment,

They desire no reward.
These men only want to hear four words,

'I love you, Daddy'

My daddy turned 80 years old yesterday. He is my hero. The man I look to when I have a problem or need comfort. He has always been there for me, to pick me up and kick me in the ass and send me on my way throughout my life. We haven't always seen eye to eye ( our personalities are too similar for that to ever happen) and there were times when we didn't speak for a while but in the end I always knew that he was right and I came around.

When I was very young, dad drove semi and was gone 4-5 days of the week sometimes coming home in the middle of the night. It was great to wake up and find him there the next morning but we had to be quiet so he could sleep. I remember a few times when my mom would wax the wood floors and my dad would hit one of the scatter rugs with his sock feet and go down for the count in the dark, man were there some fireworks then!!! Course us kids thought it was funnier then hell and laughed our butts off! Occasionally dad would even take us kids on a short trip in the semi with him. This was soooooo cool!

As I got older, dad got out of trucking and into farming. He would then allow me to skip school and attend auctions with him on Fridays so we could buy cattle! Was I truly interested in cattle? Hell no but it got me out of school so who cared! Of course I always skipped on my own and faked my mom's signature on the excuses.I got called into the principals office once on a legitimate excuse that they thought was fake and they called my mom a liar! BAD IDEA!! This set my dad off to no end and he paid my principal a visit and rattled a few cages. needless to say they never questioned another excuse fake or real that I handed in for the rest of my school term.

After graduation I got pregnant and was too scared to tell my parents so I moved to another town and got a job. Thinking if I didn't go home to visit very often and wore baggy clothes they wouldn't know. Parents aren't stupid nor do they stop loving you because you do something stupid.They let me move back home and helped me get back on my feet. I had to pull my weight there was no free ride here. When my daughter was about 2 years old, my dad was supposed to be watching her while she was napping. He fell asleep himself and started snoring. My daughter woke up and started coming down the stairs but stopped about three stairs from the bottom and that's where we found her when we got back. She would move from there because as she said "Grandpa's making funny noises!" Even sleeping he was a good babysitter.

Over the years I have watched this man go through many life altering changes. They don't seem to break him, they make him stronger. At 80 he is still driving semi from Iowa to Wisconsin 2-3 times a week, he takes care of my mom who had a stroke 7 years ago, he maintains their home doing the laundry, cooking and cleaning and he makes the best pies you have ever tasted. And he still manages to call me at least 3 times a week just to check in and see what's up, or how the Packers are doing, or how school is going, or just to give me shit.

That's who this wonderful man I called dad is and why I love him. Happy Birthday Daddy

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Igloo Adventure

Once again it's time for Mamakat's writers workshop. I will attempt to do #1.

My head was pounding, my mouth felt like it was full of cotton and something or someone was poking me. I slowly opened one eye and saw an unfamiliar face looking back at me. This was the source of the poking. I quickly shut my eye again and pretended I was a sleep. Maybe, I thought to myself, if I feign sleep they'll go away and leave me alone. No such luck.

Face: Lady, wake up! You have to get out of my igloo and go home.

Me: (in my head) Igloo? Why would I be in an igloo? Aren't they normally in Alaska? I live in Wisconsin how would I get to Alaska? I just went to my neighbor Judy's party last night.

Face: Lady, I saw you open your eyes. I know you're awake. Talk to me.

Me: Who are you? How did I get here? Where am I? Better yet who am I? I don't remember anything from last night. As I talk I quickly check my pockets for a wallet but all I find is $4 and a rock in one pocket and a toothbrush in another. (Great, I can skip rocks on the lake, brush my teeth and buy a pound of whale blubber but I don't know who I am!!
Lot of good this does me.) Maybe I can use the $4 to pay this guy to find out who I am? No not enough money.

Face: My name is George and if you give me the $4 I'll help you find out who you are and help you get home.

Me: (Thinking to myself this guy is nuts but if he thinks he can do this for $4, I'm game) "OK George you have a deal" Here's the $4.

George: Your name is Karen, you live two houses over and you were at a party last night. The reason you have a rock in your pocket is Judy's son was going to throw it at his sister and you took it away from him so he couldn't hurt her. The toothbrush is your daughters, you went home to make sure she brushed her teeth before going to bed but you got interrupted before you had a chance to do this so you stuck it in your pocket and never took it out again. You had a little too much to drink at the party (this isn't a bad thing) and ended up in my yard sleeping in my son's igloo tent. I didn't have the heart to wake you and send you home last night so I just let you stay here.

Me: A little sheepishly: So I'm not in Alaska? (Slowly it all starts to come back to me. I remember drinking Purple Passions last night. They tasted like grape juice and went down so easy that I must have had a few too many, hence the hangover and memory loss.)

George: No, still in Wisconsin.

Me: Crawling out of the tent a little awkwardly I manage to finally stand up and look around. I now recognize the neighborhood and feel foolish. All I want to do is go home. Vowing never to drink another Purple Passion again as long as I live. I turn to Geroge and mutter a Thank you as I quikly dart across his yard to mine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Girls Gone Wild for Shopping!

For those of you that don't know (and by now that's few of you) I am a shopaholic! This is a trait that has been passed down to all female members in my family. No matter what the age, when we are together and any where near civilization, we must shop! We don't just go to a store when we have a need, we go because we' re there. It's a bonding social thing. Sometimes we don't even buy anything we just have fun walking around the mall and laughing.
About 10 years ago, my sister decided we needed to get out of town to do this shopping thing and we needed a whole weekend to do it. So she put together a shopping trip to the Mall of America (or MOA as we like to call it) for the girls. We always went the first weekend in November and we went from Thursday to Sunday.
It was literally "SHOP TIL YOU DROP" for us die hards with time out to eat and drink to replenish our bodies for the next go round. We would run our purchases to the hotel rooms (right across the street, thank God) and go back for more. By the time we were done for the night we had one whole side of the hotel room piled high with packages. Then we had to do a show and tell. Can't shop without showing everyone what you got. Half the fun is showing it off!
But then it was time to cut loose and relax. We always find really great restaurants to eat at and have a few cocktails to unwind. One year we met a friend who bought us all shots because we looked like we were having so much fun ( we even sang karaoke that night) and another year we all tried different cocktails but found one persons that we liked so much we all ordered it the next time and then found they were so expensive we couldn't afford to eat supper. We have discovered new and exciting food dishes, have shared food dishes with each other and have ended up buying dessert and taking it back to eat in the comfort of our jammies.
Over the years our shopping group has diminished in size but the amount of fun we have stays the same. We have moved from hotel rooms to Adrienne's house in Hudson and we have expanded our shopping from just MOA to include IKEA and outlet malls. What hasn't changed is being able to spend time with my daughters (who happen to live over 500 miles away) my sister and niece and just have a good time. We aren't wife, mother or employee during this time. We are just "Girls Gone Wild for Shopping!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stand Up and Be Counted

Today we have the opportunity to make a difference. Living in America gives us that right. It is called freedom and not everyone has this wonderful gift. Most
of us take it for granted, never stopping to think of how we got it or the many sacrifices made to give it to us.
A lot of people don't think their vote matters because what difference can one vote make? One vote makes all the difference in the world! Your voice matters! Many races have been decided on less than 500 votes and your vote could have been the one that turned the decision. Think about that when you're thinking about not voting today.
2008 brings the chance to make history- we saw a woman run for president and even though Hilary didn't get the nomination she went farther in the race than most of the male candidates did. Then there is Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate, if MacCain wins we will have the first female VP and maybe in 4-8 years a female president. If Obama wins we have the first African American president ever elected to office. This year will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever.
So don't sit home today bitching about the economy and the fact that wall street is in trouble. Don't blame either candidate for what's happening and say they caused it and can't fix it. Look at what you have because you live in America. You have the right to chose where you live and work. The right to walk around free and the right to vote for who you want to run your country. Most people don't get that choice. We have the things we have and the freedom to have them because we vote and have a country we can be proud of.
I'm not telling you how to vote, your opinion is your own. God knows my husband and I don't agree and that's OK because that my friend is what America is all about. The right to have an opinion and voice it without fear of retaliation.
I AM TELLING YOU TO GET OUT THERE AND VOTE ! Vote for who ever you want to but VOTE. If you don't, you have no one but yourself to blame if you don't like what's happening with the economy and wall street- not the president.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And the Award Goes To...

My daughter Carrin gave me this lovely award (because she has to) because she loves me. She also said these nice things about me as the reason she was giving me this award: My Mom. I must credit her for my love of many things, writing included. Since we have been blogging I have learned more about her than I had in "real life". It's amazing how more free you feel with the written word. Keep it up, Mom. I want to learn more and more about you and your layered past......
I love blogging and sharing things with my family and friends. I have always had a very active imagination and wanted to become a writer alas (does anyone say this anymore?) this never happened but blogging allows me the freedom to express myself creatively.
There are rules to receiving an award (damn, nowadays everything comes with strings attached) and so I must find at least 5 deserving fellow bloggers to pass this on to or the award fairy will sneak into my computer whilst I sleep and steal this cute little feller away from me.
I would like to give the first award to the person who got me started blogging Adrienne . I started reading her blog and thought, How hard can this be? I should start one of my own. Her blog is always full of cute pictures and wonderful stories about her boys. She is my niece, a wife, a mother, works in the corporate world and travels all over, yet manages to have a firm grip on her life.
The second award goes to AFRo I love reading this woman because she puts it all out there and isn't afraid to tell it like it is. I started reading her blog after she commented on one of my writer workshop articles, so you could say MamaKat is responsible for this hook up. AFRo was talking about 100 Days of Sex and it was one of those topics you just had to go back day after day to find out what happened and if they actually made it to day 100. My husband wants to know too cause if they make it he wants to try next.
Award 3 goes to MamaKat because if it wasn't for her writer workshops, I probably wouldn't have met some of the people I have. Reading her blog and participating in her workshops have led me to read some really great blogs that have become favorites of mine.Thank you.
Fourth Award is presented to Jori at Jeff and Me + Three. I stumbled on this site by accident and never want to leave it. She is hilarious and I never get tired of reading her blog. You are what I want to be when I grow up.
And the fifth and final award goes to (drum roll please) my daughter Tara who didn't want to do this blog thing in the beginning, but then she kinda got the bug and even started changing her templates and adding pictures and even asking weekly questions. She hasn't quite got as hooked as my daughter Carrin and I but maybe someday she'll get there. In the meantime, I'm just happy to have her in blog land with us.
Now should you accept the award, please follow these steps:
1.Post the award on your blog.
2. Link me for giving it to you.
3. Link the originating post - here
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the academy for nominating me for this award... oh wait wrong show. Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Living on the Edge

MamaKat has assigned the next writing class and the prompt I chose was # 1. To write from the point of view of the glass on the edge of the table.

Today I am not in my usual spot, above the knife and a little to the left. Today they have left me teetering right on the edge of the table, scared, alone and out of place.

Sometimes I feel like the glass on the edge of the table. I like being in that familiar place, always knowing where I'm at and what I'm supposed to be doing. When they place me on the edge, out of my comfort zone, I am unsure and venerable. It is an unknown element and a whole new world.

I can either stay on the edge, hoping that someone will push me back where I belong, at the top of the table with all the other plates and silverware, or I can take the plunge and find out what awaits me on the other side. Life with the feet and food and chair legs might not be so bad once I'm down there. (Think of all the gorgeous shoes I can look at!). Life is like the glass on the edge of the table, you can either live it staying on the edge your whole life or you can go over the edge and see what life has to offer. You decide.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trick or Treat

Look there is Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Jasmine, a Ninja, a Unicorn, a Bride, and a Dragon. Am I in Disney Land, I've always wanted to go there? Wait pinch me and see if I'm awake? OUCH, I didn't mean that literally! That's gonna leave a bruise. I'm not in Disney Land, I'm in Kip and Jennifer's garage and at their annual Halloween Party!

Every year for at least the past 3 now, Jennifer has turned their garage into a spectacular Halloween Haven and put on a wonderful party for both children and adults. She decorates the garage from top to bottom with things she makes (Yup, she's crafty as hell) from ideas she gets out of magazines. Then they have this amazing maze for the kids to go thru. Last year it was made from cardboard boxes (but they kept falling down) and this year they made it with straw bales. They put lights on the inside so the kids won't get too scared to go in (but she also puts blinky heads and skeletons in there too). She makes goody bags for each kid to take home with them filled with all kinds of stuff.

There are games to play and hidey holes for kids to find as well as many places to run, jump and climb. There is no end to the many things the kids can do and not once in all the time they were there was there one fight or argument amongst the kids.

Meanwhile the adults are enjoying themselves talking and eating and drinking because they don't have to constantly be monitoring the children who are having too much fun to be whining and crying and wanting Mom and Dad. Works out well for all involved. Can somebody say, Genius, Jennifer.

Eventually it's time to eat and let me tell you no one goes hungry here! There was turkey sandwiches as the main dish and then all the extras. Pickle wraps, wieners in BBQ sauce, spinach dip, chips, veggies, cheese, crackers, cupcakes, pretzels, punch. You name it and it was probably there and with a Halloween theme to it.

I have to say I don't know where Jennifer gets the energy sometimes. She worked nights this weekend, has the 3S's to chase after, is home schooling Sydney, they are now milking a cow (Gloria), she is remodeling her bathroom (just got it finished enough to use right before the party) and planned a party on top of this. Where does she find the time? This weekend she is putting together a birthday party for Sydney Jo. Maybe I should check her to see if she is running on energizer batteries. I'm tired just writing about it. Wait, she was dressed as a witch at the party- maybe she's Bewitched and she just twitches her nose to make it all happen. Hmmmm!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Drinkin In the Dark

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged in four days! that must be some kind of record for me. No I wasn't sick and I wasn't out of town. just in a funk and didn't feel like yakking with you all.

I've been coming down off that high stress level I create for myself now that school is over for the semester and things have been really intense at work and felt it was better to not share anything rather than share all the negative crap.

So over the past week every evening after coming home from work I have (felt the need, had to have, would have killed for) shared a cocktail with my husband. With all the shit going on in my life this doesn't always mean it happens before supper so some evenings I had my cocktail (where does this strange word come form anyway) after we ate.

Now I am not a raging alcoholic and do not need to run right out and join a 12 step program. 2 drinks and I'm usually happy as can be, 3 and my husband is happy because he gets lucky later and 4 drinks and I'm done for the night. But as you can see by the title of my blog there may a just a tiny problem with my drinking habits.

My husband and I do not have the same taste in TV entertainment shows so I usually retire to the den every night to watch my shows while he stays in the living room and reclines on the comfortable furniture with the BIG TV. I like to sit in the dark when watching TV ( maybe a little candlelight once in a while) as it is wasteful to burn all that electricity and much more relaxing to watch in the dark. Besides it makes it easier to fall asleep if it's dark.

Anyway, this week when I retired to the den to watch TV, I took along my cocktail telling my husband. " Time to go Drink in the Dark". Later I would come out with the empty and he would look at me and shake his head. After about the third night of this when I came out with the empty our conversation goes like this:

George: " Still drinking in the dark, I see?"

Me: " Yeah, do you think I have a problem? Should I see someone?"

George: " No, Just turn on the lights that'll fix it."

Without George, I'd still be drinkin in the dark and have a problem but he solved it for me. Now I drink with the lights on- no problem. Right? Thanks Honey.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Memory Lane

I just finished my last college class for this semester, am waiting on my final grades and next week I sign up for classes for next semester.

For some reason, this made me think about the first go round with college life and some of the really fun and really stupid stuff we did. I thought I would share some of them with all of you.

My best friend was Nanette, she was also no taller than 4'10" and our nicknames were Flatman and Ribbon (for very obvious reasons). We had some really great times together.

My first semester 8:00 am class was Anatomy and Physiology- who the hell wants to dissect animal at that time in the morning! Especially if you had been partying the night before? I missed a few of those classes.

My older sister also went to school here and lived in an apartment so I did not have to live in the dorm- WOOHOO!! Party Central at our house!

There was a mental facility in the town where I went to college and occasionally someone would escape so everyone in town was put on alert. Kinda scary!

Some of my classmates and I had a scavenger hunt for Halloween and it was a lot of fun.

I was a Speech/Drama Major so had to participate in most of the plays the they produced and for one I needed an empty pint alcohol bottle. several of us didn't have one that empty so we had to buy some bottles that were full. I bought a bottle of peppermint schnapps and drank it til the bottle was empty. We went to play practice a tiny bit drunk and the director sent us all home and told us not to come back til we were sober! It was fun though and the play was a success.

I tried out for the college cheerleader squad but didn't make it and was horribly disappointed for all of 10 minutes then got over it.

I had a work study program where I graded papers for one of the professors so always had the test papers before anyone else and probably could have made a ton of money selling them if I was that kind of person.

I snuck into all the bars before I was old enough and partied and never once got ID'd. (Don't know if that's a good thingor a bad thing).

We would og home on the weekends and bring back enough food to stock our cupboards for weeks. Thanks Mom.

All in all I was your typical 18 year old college kid having way too much fun and not paying enough attention to my grades. All I cared about was Drinking and Boys so it's no wonder I never finished my first year. But 35 years later, here I am back in college, older, wiser and all that stuff out of my system. Maybe this time I can get it right.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coffee Anyone?

Meaghan has a great new business up and running that you have to check out if you are a coffee nut like I am. It is called Get the Bean and you can find her at http://getthebean.blogspot.com/ . You can order coffee, tea, biscotti and all kinds of great stuff. She has my all time favorite coffee Blue Mountain from Jamaica and it's not a bad price . I can't wait to check out all the goodies.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Things That Go Bump In The Night

This would be my incredibly drunk husband as he stumbles around at 2:00 am after coming home from bowling. I have to say in Georges defense that he doesn't do this often (maybe once or twice a year) but when he does, it is both irritating and comical at the same time.

Irritating because he wakes me up from a really sound sleep which I then find it hard to return to while he passes out once he finally hits the bed.

Comical because he tries sooooo hard to be quiet so as to NOT wake me and the harder he tries the MORE noise he makes.

I didn't hear George actually come into the house last night but he must have had a hard time getting from the back door to our bedroom because that's when I woke up. I give the man Kudos for not wanting to turn on the lights to wake me up but trying to make it across two rooms of furniture in the dark while inebriated is not a smart idea. Not sure what he actually bumped into or if he just was using the furniture to steady himself.

He finally made it to the bedroom and into the master bath where he did decide to turn on the light (before he shut the door) Thank you honey! He didn't get the door shut quite tight so he tried again with a little more force this time resulting in some noise decibels. He gets done in the bathroom and turns out the light (before opening the door this time) and proceeds to walk acroos the bedroom in the dark. How do you all think this went?????

Yup you're right. Not well at all. He ran into the corner of our bed which caused him to utter a few choice words ( I won't print them here) and almost fall into bed and on top of me. By this time I am laughing my ass off (silently of course because he doesn't know I'm awake) and just hoping he makes it into bed without doing any bodily harm to himself or me.

He manages to get into bed, set his alarm for 3 hours later and instantly starts snoring! Now I am wake for the next 30-45 minutes trying to get back to sleep after being dragged from a deep sleep and beautiful dreams just a few short minutes ago. Go Figure?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting Noticed

OK so I tapped into Mama's Losin It and got hooked.I even added her button to my blog so it was easier to get to her. How obsessed is that? Anyway her assignment today was to pick a subject and write about it. I chose the one Recall a time you did something to get noticed. My writing is no where near as good as hers but here goes.
I don't remember a time when I didn't do something to get noticed. I am 4 feet 10 1/2inches tall and the middle child (Hello what's that tell you?) so I was always trying to get attention. I think from the time I could talk I was getting my older brother and sister in trouble for no reason just so Mom would come running and I ran away from home to my grandmas house (she just lived down the block and through the alley). She fed me cookies and milk and called my mom.
When I got older, I would leave the house for school and roll my skirt up til it was so short if I sneezed you'd be able to see what I ate for lunch thinking I was cool and my mom wouldn't know. I got to school and put my make up on in the bathroom so I'd look really cool, then went across the street and stood on the corner (yes I was one of those girls) and smoked cigarettes before school and at lunch. I thouhgt this made me really hip and one of the BAD GIRLS.
I would skip school and forge my mother's name on the passes the next day and was so good at it I was voted Best Escape Artist by my classmates for the yearbook my senior year. I went out for all the plays because I could act out and people would notice me.
I would change my hair color and style frequently to get noticed even if it turned out Funky once in a while (and it did). I still do this now but I go to a stylist so it doesn't turn out Funky now.
I flirted with the boys a lot but had a big brother that policed by dating life so didn't actually get to date many of them.
Now a days (since I am mature) if I want to get noticed, I use my knowledge. Hell no, I still like to get down and have a GOOD TIME! I have been know to get tattooed and do shots of Hot Sex at Bowling Tournament weekends. I may be 55 and a grandmother but I'm not dead yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You Are a Hazelnut Latte
You often having the craving for something exotic. You get bored easily.
You are a true adventurer. Nothing makes you happier than traveling.

You're a very cosmopolitan and worldly person. You have sophisticated tastes.
You have a keen attention to detail. Little things matter to you - you are a bit of a perfectionist.

The Whole Fam Damily

I talk a lot about my kids and grand kids and occasionally about my parents but seldom about my brother and sisters. Today I am introducing you to my Siblings. I would not classify us as a normal family (after all Normal is just a word) growing up, my dad drove semi and was gone a lot so my mom was the main stay of the home but there was a lot of love and laughter and tradition in our lives.

The oldest and only boy-Marvin or Mick- Your typical older brother growing up. Always thought he could tell us what to do and always snitching on me to Mom and Dad. Especially once I started dating! He would tell mom and dad that the boy I was trying to date was no good and they shouldn't let me see him. Of course they believed Mick and I was forbidden to date the boy. He also snitched when he caught me smoking which lead to my dad making me smoke a HUGE cigar in it's entirety. If I didn't turn green and puke my guts out I could then smoke cigarettes. I won and smoked for 30 some years (not sure that was such a victory- have been smoke free for 9 years now). Mick had some really cool cars and pick up trucks that he drove fast like all teenage boys and had his share of wrecks. He also had his share of Hunky friends that I "Crushed" on. He married and had 9 children and is now the semi driver that is gone for long periods of time. We have a good relationship.

Next is Natalie- Nickname Kat- She is 13 months older than I and we used to fight BIG time when we were younger! I remember scratching and hitting and hair pulling. Do I remember why? No. It probably didn't matter at the time, she could look at me the wrong way and I would scream for Mom just to get her in trouble. Natalie was the child that if she didn't learn how to do something then she never had to do it. For instance after we moved to the farm, she didn't learn how to run the milking machines so all she had to do was feed the cows and dump milk. I had to do the milking which wasn't the cleanest job in the world. She wasn't too dumb huh? She's the instigator in the family and you have to watch out for her. One minute she'll be standing there talking to you and the next minute you could be wearing cake or ice cream or have a hot dog shoved in your face just for fun. More than one food fight has ensued when our family is all together thanks to Natalie. Natalie is married, has one daughter and two grandsons. We live a couple hours form each other and share the love of shopping so we get together a couple times a year to do a Mother/Daughter Shopping Trip. I really enjoy spending time with her when we do these trips.

Five years after me came Lisa-better known to us as Scooby- Growing up I don't remember a lot of real closeness with Lisa because she was younger than me. When I was in Junior High she was in elementary school and when I was graduating High School she was just entering Junior High. We didn't have a lot in common. I loved her( most of the time) she was my sister but she was playing with dolls while I was playing with boys. I do remember sewing clothes for her. Then she grew up and got married, moved away and had 2 beautiful girls of her own( the smart one and the pretty one). Lisa helped me through one of the toughest points in my life-my divorce. She was my confidant, my BFF and my safe haven when I needed somewhere to run to. I spent many weekends at her place and many hours on the phone with her during this time. I don't think I could have made it through that period without her. We've had our moments (what sisters haven't) but I know she's there if I need her.

And last but by no means least- Paula- or Frog as she is affectionately called. This is our New years Eve baby. I was a senior in high school when mom got pregnant and I was embarrassed to think my parents still had sex let alone that they were going to have a BABY!! YEW! Needless to say once she was born we all thought she was so damn cute we spoiled the shit out of her and that's why she is the way she is today. Independent and used to getting her own way. I had a baby about 1 1/2 after Paula was born so my daughter and my sister were actually closer than my sister and I were for many years (after all they were closer in age). In fact when Paula would ask me something I used to tell her to go ask Grandma instead of Mom- it was hard to think of my mom being her mom too. Not until after Paula grew up, got married and had kids of her own did I start to relate more to her as my sister and not my child. It was hard though. We have a good relationship now but she and my daughter are still closer since they are closer in age.
These are my Siblings- all a little quirky, but all mine. We don't always see eye to eye and we may fight once in a while but we all love each other. They say you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family. I don't know- I kinda like mine- quirks and all, don't know that I'd pick any thing differently. Well maybe I'd make me prettier than the rest of them.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Housewives-A Lost Art

Back when I was a young girl, my mother taught all of us (my brother included) how to cook and bake. She taught us how to can produce and make jelly and how to sew. We learned how to do laundry from sorting the whites and colors to folding and ironing. We all had our chores inside the house as well as outside and they had to be done before we could play. I remember our house smelling of cinnamon and sugar and homemade bread when she baked and the smell of laundry soap when she did the wash. We had one of those wringer washing machines back then where you put the clothes through the wringer to get the water out (none of this spin cycle stuff back then) and you pushed it through with a wooden spoon because you didn't want to get your hand caught. Then into the wash tubs full of cold water to rinse the soap out and through the ringer again. This was repeated once more before we hauled the clothes out to the clothesline and hung them up to dry.
We had a huge garden at the end of our yard where we grew our vegetables and lots of fruit trees that we used to make the jellies and jams. Every summer our house was filled with steam from the pressure cooker used in canning vegetables that we would eat all winter long. Mom used to make the best Bread and Butter pickles (to this day they're still my favorites). I can remember listening to the lids pinging as they sealed when the house was quiet after we had gone to bed.
My mom also sewed and made almost all of our clothes as well as Barbie doll clothes. We have pictures of all of us girls dressed alike for Easter. She used to make beautiful dresses full of detail. She also crocheted and knitted everything from sweaters to afghans and baby layettes.
She made sure all of us learned how to do these things whether we wanted to or not (and sometimes we really didn't want to) telling us someday we would be glad we knew how. She was right.
As I married and had my own family, I found myself cooking, baking, growing a big garden and canning vegetables, making jelly and jams and sewing for my children (even the dreaded Barbie doll clothes) Laundry was never my favorite and still isn't but at least I know how to do it. I tried to teach my own children all these things but this generation had different ideas. Modern technology was here and did so much they didn't need to know all these things.
They had the microwave to cook for them so why spend all that time cooking and baking? No need to grow a garden and can vegetables when you can buy frozen from SAMS. and why sew your own clothes when you can buy with credit cards so easily?
My son was the one with the love of cooking and baking and he would whip things up for me but neither of my girls had any interest for a long time. Gradually they started asking me for recipes or they would call and ask how to make something. Yesterday my oldest daughter called and asked my how to make something for the first time and it made me feel a special bond. That Mother/Daughter thing. They still don't crochet, sew or grew a garden and can vegetables but this is a start. One step at a time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It Oughta Be Against the Law

To have to roll my ass out of bed at 6:15 am on a Saturday morning for anything! I don't think I do this even for shopping and we all know I am a diehard shopaholic!!!
But yesterday (after babysitting for the 3S's the night before) we got up to go watch Tegan play his last football game in Necedah. You guessed it, this means we also had to wake up and dress a 2 year old, a 3 year old and a 5 year old to take along with us. Does this sound like fun to you???? Sydney and Sadie weren't too much trouble but Sailor is the cranky, don't touch me, or talk to me type when she first wakes up so she did not want to get dressed. I thought we were going to have to take her in her jammies there for a while but she finally let me put her clothes on just seconds before we walked out the door. Score one for Grandma! Then we packed all 3 girls plus Grandpa , Grandma and Carla, Tegan and his football stuff in the van and headed to Necedah. Thank God for travel mugs of coffee! the kids on the other hand were eating powder sugar doughnuts (just what you need-kids on sugar highs when trapped in a confined space). I heard giggles, Carla get me, don't touch me and stop that for the next hour and 15 minutes. All the while this is going on George is driving the van and not hearing any of this because he has that hearing problem ( he hears only what he wants to). You know this is true because he hears the radio just fine and is singing along to the oldies being played. We finally get there and pile out of the van to head on back to the field and of course we need to make a potty stop first. Sadie wants to go in the stall by herself and the proceeds to tell me (and anyone else within hearing distance) not to look at her butt, that she is pooping, I am wiping, now I am flushing and pulling up my pants. In other words a play by play of what was going on in her stall along with a little singing while she was doing her thing. During the game, there wasn't much to keep the girls occupied so they played in the dirt and got filthy!! So before they got back in the van, I washed them up as good as I could in the bathroom. Then Grandpa treated all of them to Starbursts(more sugar highs for the ride home!!!! Yeah Thanks Grandpa.
By the way Tegan's team won 22-0. They only lost one game the whole season so they did pretty darn good. Next year though can we make the games a little later in the day or a little closer to home so I don't have to get up so early??