Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Traditions

The party is at our house and here are some of the traditions we have adopted.

* Champagne toast I have no idea where this started and why it is done.

* Eat 12 grapes. This is a Spanish custom. The 12 grapes symbolize the 12 months of the year and the folklore is that if you don't eat the 12 grapes you will have a month of bad luck for every uneaten grape.

* Toss a bucket of water out the front door. Not sure where it came from but the water used to be the actual dirty water from the final cleaning of the home. It the whole out with the old in with the new idea. Now we use clean water and its purely (no pun intended) symbolic of the dirty water.

* Eat lentils. This I believe originated in Europe. Lentil soup is a soup full of small round green beans which symbolize an abundance of coin and financial wealth in the coming year.

* Wear yellow underwear. I was told that this is a Costa Rican custom for good luck. I do know that yellow is always considered 'lucky' with the birth of a child. I think that dates back to pre-sonogram days when people didn't know the sex of the child so if you bought decidedly blue or pink clothing you jinxed the actual sex of the baby. So, I will go with yellow symbolizing luck, what the heck.

* Parade around the perimeter with luggage. No idea where it came from but we were told that it is to promote travel in the new year. It's fun and we are easily amused. It's has actually become a favorite of guests to either do or watch because we look quite foolish.

I know there are many other traditions around the globe. I think I may have to research this a bit and add something new for next year. LOL!

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Counting down

So, are you ready for the big countdown? The only thing left to do at my house is clean the floors again.

Everything looks so presentable I almost don't wnat anyone to come over and mess it up but then what would the point be of getting everything all tidied up.

Last night I even gave my self a mini mani and pedi. I say mini because it was done by moi and well I'm not a pro but mom would be proud that at least I made an effort.

We aren't expecting too big a crowd tomorrow only about 40 people total we have had much more. I hope the weather holds up. Cool but not cold would be nice. Dry not wet would be fabulous.

I still haven't figured out my theme for the new year. I kinda wanted to toast to it at midnight. I was thinking a toast 'to action' since I want a verb but haven't picked one but there I go again with a noun so I don't think so maybe 'to verb' just to cover all my bases but that sounds silly. Well, I still have some time to figure it out but I really just want it to come to me, to just feel right. Hmmm maybe maybe a toast 'to act' that has potential. I've got to noodle it a bit more.

We brought home the case of champagne yesterday. Yes, I can say Champagne NOT sparkling wine because it is French from the champagne region. It's my splurge.

Well, here's hoping its a healthy happy one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolution time!

It's the time of year again when we look back and look ahead and think of ways to revamp our lives.

Last year I didn't have a resolution to abandon 2 weeks into the new year. I came up with a theme which was Comfort and Joy. I have been thinking about that a lot the past couple of weeks. It's not that the whole year was just peachy there were plenty of moments when I was in the pits. It's just I tried to focus on the comfort and joy I found in things and that I gave (hopefully) to others. Right now that idea is feeling kinda lame, bland and maybe even cheesy.

This year I think the theme needs to be action oriented. A verb if you will not a noun. I thought of Comfort and Joy as nouns - the comfort and joy I felt or brought to others. I don't think that's going to cut the mustard this year. I need verbs; I realize to joy doesn't work but to comfort does. I'm not sure what the final verb will be but I have decided the theme will be to ??? (insert verb here) not a noun. That's as far as I have come after 2 weeks of mulling it over. If its taking me this long to think of 'the' verb I can't imagine how long its going to take me to actually do it. Thank goodness I have a whole year.

Side note: this is the first time EVER I have run the spell check and it has found no misspellings! Cool way to end the year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Change is different

Things change. I know this. Everything changes even Christmas.

At my house this year here are a few things that changed:

* On the Eve, I only had a couple of gifts to wrap that were last minute purchases. The boys were sequestered in a room doing wrapping of their own. We could hear them having more fun that gift wrapping normally warrants and we were suspicious but it was nice to hear.

* Santa was summoned to the workshop. They boys couldn't wrap a perfect square. They had gone through half a roll of paper before calling me in to show them how to wrap. Over exuberance of fun was now understood.

* I woke up by myself. I went and prepped a light breakfast, tidied up the kitchen, got batteries for the camera, let the dog out, fed the dog and then

* I woke up the family to open gifts. This was completely new. I have always been the one woken up not the one waking others on this particular morning.

* Sleepy children and hubby gathered around the dinning room table all wanting coffee before opening gifts. I was the only one excited about the gift opening.

* They started with the stockings because they were closer and didn't require getting up. They could easily open the items while drinking their coffee.

* I had to urge them to open the gifts under the tree from Santa. They dragged their chairs over to the tree. No kids sat on the floor scrambling to grab gifts. They in a very civilized manner opened one gift after the other placing the garbage in the bag which hubby supplied.

* Everyone calmly left their gifts behind to dress and go to another house to deliver gifts. It was all very grown-up.

* At the homes of others where we delivered gifts they handed them out one by one waiting for each person to open their and react to the surprise inside. There was no mad dash around the house handing everything out at once.

What didn't change. I still blinded them with the flash of the camera. We all had a good time.

Things change but change can be good. My kids are all grown up and that was very apparent this Christmas but that's a good thing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Eve. I am at the office. Bah Humbug! Some things need to get done so whatever.

The family will be gathering later at MILs house. My 3 boys will be there shortly to help (read: hang out) with the roasting of the pig.

Every year at MILs they get someone to dress up as Santa and give a gift to each child. I am toying with the idea of still putting a gift in for 20 even though he's 20 because I think he would get a kick out of it. We'll see what I decide.

I actually stopped at Target this morning on my way into work only because I love the rush of shopping on the 24th. I really didn't NEED anything but I bought the boys some t-shirts that were on super sale just because.

I didn't get all the baking I was supposed to do done and so had to relent and buy some baked goods from the store as gifts. *sigh* Better planning is in order for next year. I would love to have a Christmas of only homemade gifts but I know that's just pie in the sky.

I was very worried that my brother would be stuck by himself in Boston where he has been working on assignment for months but he texted me early this morning that he made it home. I am truly happy and relieved that he will be with his family in Chicago for the holidays even though he says he will spend most of the day shovelling the driveway before the in-laws get there.

My kids are of the age where they tell me they are missing the Christmas feeling. I told them it changes. They aren't kids anymore. They will feel "it" if the spend some time prepping gifts for others especially kids. The joy you feel when giving is the "it" that replaces the rush, excitement and anticipation you had as a kid. It will be fun to see what they come up with and how they feel about it later.

I hope everyone has a nice holiday whatever one you celebrate. I choose Christmas and so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Green, not my best color

The other day I was asked if I was jealous of anyone. I said no because really I'm not. Why should I be jealous, everyone has problems. The grass may look greener on the other side but its fertilized the same way if you get my drift.

But today I am jealous. I am jealous of all of those and apparently there are many who are on vacation right now and I have to work. Yeah, yeah I'm grateful I have a job, happy to cash that paycheck yadda yadda. But let me tell you I got to work today in like 6 minutes. Why? Because it seems there are only a handful of us still working this holiday everyone else is on vacation!

So, today I am jealous of those on vacation while I am here working. I could be home making macaroons. *sigh*

Monday, December 21, 2009


I can't hear you over the cacophony of thoughts in my head. The loop de loop that is the list of things I want to do. It's as if there was a scratch in the record and it just keeps replaying the same part over and over again. It pretty much sounds like this: clean this, bake/make that, wrap something, clean this, bake/make that, wrap something....

Gratefully, friends came over on Sunday and even though I know I talked about baking I didn't. I truly disconnected for a while at least. I sat, talked and laughed. Imagine, I enjoyed some downtime with a friend. How awesome is that? Of course, as soon as they left I cleaned something, wrapped something and planned the next day's baking (all the making is done!). To give you a clue as to exactly how much this has taken over my brain. I found myself (I think I was sleep walking) in the kitchen at 2:45 standing in front of the open refrigerator. I don't know why exactly but this morning when I actually woke up I felt a compelling urge to check the supply of milk on hand. Who knows.

I have also started thinking about next year because apparently I don't have enough on my plate trying to finish this year that I feel I must start with the next one. What do I want to do next year? Am I happy with what I 'did' this year? Should I set goals or just let the year roll however it wants, as if my goals could actually alter that anyway. But I want to do so much baking before then, hmmm maybe I should start baking for next holiday at the start of the new year. Can I freeze things for a whole year? Will they be any good? Maybe I should research that a little in all my free time? I'd really hate to do the work and freeze the stuff and then it would be bad next December and I would feel even more pressure than I do now. OK, I need to stop thinking about January and focus on the 3 days I have left. Yes, I can do math! I know that Christmas is the 25th but we have our big celebration on the 24th and since I have to work on the 24th, I need to have everything finished before going to bed on the 23rd. So, 3 days left to do whatever is going to be done.

The trick is to get it done I need to shut my brain off so that I stop thinking all these other miscellaneous and assorted rambling thoughts and focus on the day I we are in right this very minute. I don't know how to do this.

So, tonight the kitchen goals are: chocolate crinkle cookies, mix & refrigerate pie crust, mix & bake a batch of sugar cookies and refrigerate another batch, make coconut macaroons, make truffles (maybe), make biscotti (maybe), make a grocery list for hubby to buy final ingredients needed for holiday desserts that I was assigned to take for the 24th plus what I am taking on the 25th.

Tomorrow's goals are: Wrap a bottle of wine, box & tag the final cookie gifts, go to coffee with girlfriends

Wednesday's goals are: Bake 2 desserts for Xmas eve and any remaining cookies.

You will note that I have truffles and biscotti as maybes. I have all the ingredients at home for both. These are both new items that I have never made and been wanting to try. I actually already mixed the truffles and the batch is sitting in the fridge so that has a better chance at getting done albeit maybe not in time for Xmas but for New Year's Eve. We shall see. I have an assortment of things to coat them in such as cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, Xmas sprinkles, 2 colors of sanding sugar and pecans. Why so many well its simple I couldn't decide so I got them all and figured I'd decide when the time came and its almost here and I still don't know what I'll do. Who knows? not me.

So, like I said lots going on but really its mostly in my head. LOL!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Me Elf, you Santa

The past few days and the next few, I suspect are very task oriented at my house. Do this, get that, I did this now you that. Of course all of this is in an effort to create a perfect holiday. As if- LOL!

As you know if you have been reading, I have been making gifts and the past few days hubby and sons have been delivering them. They have delivered cakes and bottles of homemade egg nog to teachers, coaches, and offices. Over the weekend it will be the neighbors and early next week our workplaces and then finally the family for Christmas.

I have also sent hubby, who has time off during the holidays on daily errands. He bought boxes and stamps the other day and today he is shipping, wrapping (hopefully) and doing a grocery run. Of course, for them to do the errands and delivering I do the prep work for them the night before. It has been working out, things are actually getting done. I am feeling like I may get it all done in time for Christmas. I have had a few snafus (sp?) with the sewing machine but all that is doing is moving me into the kitchen where I know my way around to make a few things to replace the sewing projects. Thus, the grocery run for hubby today. I have even been toying with making biscotti which I have never done before but that may wait until the end to be a gift for me, if I succeed.

It's all coming together. The fact that I just wrote that unnerves me a tad because I may be jinxing the whole thing. I hope not. Comfort and Joy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final Countdown

Only 10 more days 'till Christmas.

I thought I was done with all the shopping. I just needed to wrap and check off the list of names as I went along. That was until I started trashing my sewing gifts. Now I need to either go out and shop or come up with something else to make at this stage of the game. I am leaning towards restaurant gift cards. We shall see.

Last night I won a minor skirmish with the sewing machine but the war is far from over. I was able to produce 2 decent looking items out of 4 that were attempted. I only trashed 2 last night. People that's progress. Truly. They aren't done yet. I need to do some final hand stitching and press them before they are ready to give but I think they may be giftable (yes, I know that's not a word but it should be) and that pleases me to no end. You honestly can not imagine.

I think I am going to give it a rest tonight and finish the Christmas cards so that maybe people will get them before the end of the year. I will feel a sense of accomplishment and then I can go back to the sewing tomorrow. The goal is to be done before the weekend so that I can spend it doing the final baking. I give cakes as gifts to some neighbors and doctor's offices so they can be shared by many. So that's the plan but I always have a plan don't I just like last weekend when I wasn't going out and I didn't get home Sunday until close to 1:30 and lost half a day of doing stuff at home. Oh, well. I can only do what I can do. Gimme patience.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sew Easy, NOT!

I am almost ready to give up. It is not coming to me. I have been trying off and on for months now. I have stitched, ripped and re-stitched I don't know how many seams. I have bought books, I have read instructions online, I have bought kits of things to make "in an hour" and worked on it forEVER to only end up trashing it. I have taken apart things I no longer fit in and not been able to put them back together. I am NOT getting this and I don't know why and I am getting very frustrated.
I was originally giving quite a few gifts sewn by moi for Christmas this year. So far, I have thrown out 4 and actually finished 1! I am going to do my darnedest to try and finish another one tonight. And then I think I will put the sewing machine away maybe forever or at least until I can take a class which at the rate I am going could be forever from now.
I keep being told that it's easy. Well, it's only easy if you know how to do it and I don't know how, so it's hard!
Gimme patience!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I am NOT! I am!

I am not going out this weekend. I am not running any errands this weekend. I am not leaving my house this weekend. I am not going out this weekend.

There! It's in writing and on the Internet, therefore, it must be true.

I am going to stay home this weekend. I am going to finish my gift sewing this weekend. I am going to do all the Xmas cards this weekend. I am going to start wrapping this weekend (especially those that must be mailed). I am going to get lots and lots of baking done this weekend. I am going to be exhausted and satisfied after this weekend.

At least that last line if true... Tis the season people! Gimme patience for all this comfort and joy!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009



–verb (used with object)
1. to send or appoint (a person) as deputy or representative.
2. to commit (powers, functions, etc.) to another as agent or deputy.

I am telling others to do this and don't do it enough myself. So, I thought I needed a little reminder as this (delegating) is not my best event in life.

I must learn to let some things go. I must learn that someone else can do this. I must learn that it is okay to not do it exactly as I would do it. I must learn to delegate.
Taking a deep breath...something I cannot delegate ;).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Dream Room

I asked hubby last night if I was a bad mom because I wanted one of the kids to move out so I could get their room for my crafting. He laughed and said no because I will probably be making stuff for them. He has a point. I really don't want anyone to move out I just want a room.
My back aches and its all because I don't have a room of my own. My latest dream is a craft room of my own. Right now I have packed up all the scrapbook stuff and moved all the sewing stuff from 20's room to the back room which is a open to the living room and has a bar in it. Not really appropriate for a craft room. But anyway, the ironing board is set up and the 2 round plastic patio tables are in there one serving as a cutting table and the other housing the sewing machine. These tables are not the right height for these jobs and my back is reminding me of that very fact right now.
Can you imagine a place with a plenty of surface area to layout patterns, cut fabric, lay out scrapbook pages, let painted items dry, excellent lighting, enough storage space so that everything is its place because there is a a place for everything? Do you see it? I can. Ahhh.....dreeeeeam, dream, dream...

Monday, December 07, 2009

TCO or Only in Miami...

A TCO is a Typical Cuban Operation and its what I (read: my family) refers to as things you can find only in Miami....

This past week a local ethnic market had a grand opening near my home and had some fabulous sales. I mean they had things on BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) that I have never seen before: milk, coffee etc.

So, I tell hubby he should go by on the way home from work to just get a handful of things. That was Wednesday, he couldn't even park the truck, almost got in an accident and said there were even cops there to help with the traffic. He gave up after 20 minutes and came home.

So, we wrote a short list and gave 20 the credit card and he would go during the day. That was Thursday. His attempt was in the afternoon before picking me up from work. He gave up after 15 minutes of searching for a parking space.

His second attempt was on Friday. He was there early (by 9:30) and sent me a text: Does this place ever close? Says it took him a while but he did finally park. As he was walking to the storefront he saw a large group of people standing around and thought to himself OMG there cannot be a line to get in this place, that's ridiculous. As he got closer he realized they were standing at the exit door and couldn't understand why. He thought they were nuts and proceeded to enter the store. He looked around, there were no carts. Light bulb moment: that's why they are standing at the exit to follow people to their car and get their cart. He doesn't have that patience or time so he proceeds to the fruit and vegetable section to get the BOGO lettuce puts in the plastic veggie bag. Gets another bag to put in the plantains which are 10/.99. He how has 2 bags and heads to the milk section which he thought would be by the juice but not in this store. He finally finds it and grabs 2 gallons; again BOGO. In one hand he's carrying 2 gallons of milk and in the other he has 2 bags one with lettuce and the other plantains. He now goes the to vino seco which is also BOGO, scans the shelves, sees some are in plastic bottles - cool, dang those are on sale. The sale ones are glass. No fear he bought more bags. He puts everything down on the floor to bag the 2 bottles and picks up the milk and the plantains and the lettuce is gone. He looks around. OMG, someone stole his lettuce. He goes back to the veggies, gets lettuce again and notices that what he had grabbed as plantains were actually green bananas. He leaves the bananas and looks at a group of grandmas hovering the plantain section. He walks over and they are grabbing the last ones. The other stand there arms crossed to wait fro more to come out. He's outta there. No plantains for us today. He now goes to the coffee and bags 2 of those. In all of this he is seeing men walking around with stacks of meat on their shoulders, women with carts that have mountains of groceries that defy gravity. He's amazed at the chaos and the shouting going on amongst the shoppers and this is the child who goes Black Friday shopping.
He heads to the registers with his bag of lettuce, bag of coffee in one hand, bag of vino seco under his arm and 2 gallons of milk in the other hand. He figures its a toss up which register will move any faster than the other.
The checkout line crawls because the conveyor belt isn't long enough to hold all the purchases to empty the cart to refill with the bagged groceries. More yelling and chaos there. The person in front of him is a tad hard of hearing and the exchange between the cashier and patron is hard to not laugh at.
He finally gets home with his purchases and after we wipe the tears from our face from laughing so hard at his story he hopes we NEVER send him there again.
Too much fun!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Have to put my foot down.

"Any fool can criticize, complain, condemn -- and most fools do. Picking your battles is impressive and fighting them fairly is essential." - Dale Carnegie

With that thought I am visiting GM today. We (the ALF owners and caretakers and I) have let many behaviors go over the past +year that she has been there but today I need to draw the line. Although she has already called me and berated me (a normal happening) and told me not to go that she is shutting the place down, I will go and 'have it out' with her because she is being excessively cruel to all those around her.

She was being disruptive to the entire house yelling and waking everyone up so that they would come and plug her phone charger into the wall. Her antics woke up all the residents to the point that one fell trying to get out of bed thinking there was a fire or some other emergency. The caretaker who had also been dozing was tending the the resident who fell, tell GM that she would be there in a moment to calm down.
In protest, because they were not tending her quick enough to her liking she ripped up a weeks worth of "pull-ups" and proceeded to remove the one she was wearing and wipe her feces all over the bed, sheets and walls of her room.
She has been calling me all week complaining about bouts of constipation and insisting that she be taken to a hospital near me. When I call to confirm this with the caretakers, they tell me what she has is constipation because they discovered her self-medicating with immodium that she called a "friend" demanding they bring it because no one else cared about her.

Earlier this week while her favorite caretaker was changing her bed she got physically abusive and grabbed and scratched the caretaker's arm yelling at her about I don't know what.

So, today I disconnected her phone and I will go visit her and take her yet another pack of 'pull-ups' and see what happens.

I do not want to fight but I also don't think that she should be allowed to treat others this way.
Today I ask for patience much much patience to deal with what lies ahead for me this evening. Not the start to a weekend that I wanted.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Never assume

There are tons of things that one (read: I) assume people just know. One for example, is not to assume because we all know what happens when you assume.
Black Friday shopping 20 and I witnessed an exchange and he just couldn't believe it. We were at a high end chain patiently waiting at the register. There were more employees in the store than shoppers. There may have been 3 shoppers or maybe 2 of them were together, I don't know and there were at least a dozen employees. No matter we waited at the register while let's call her NH for New Hire asked R (Register employee) for specifics on how to take a suit to the back to another employee to have it steamed for someone coming to pick it up in 1/2 an hour. R simply told her to hang it and take it back. NH didn't know where the hangers were. Did I mention that this was a clothing store? That is ALL they sell no housewares, no personal items just clothes and she didn't know where to get a hanger. R referred her to yet another employee to which NH replied that she had just sent her here. R smiles at us and tells us she will be right with us and walks over to a closet and gives her a suit hanger telling NH that its the only one she has and she needs to return it after it's steamed. I thought to myself, how is this guy taking it home? Is he going to wear it? NH proceeded to hang the jacket as R took our item to ring us up. Then NH asked do I need a hanger for the pants? The picture forming in my head is a la 3 stooges standing there holding the pants up getting them steamed and in the process being steamed themselves. R puts down our item and tells her no, you can hang it here and then shows her how to hang the pants and the jacket on the same hanger. NH's eyebrows hit the top of her hairline as she let out an Ohhhh!

We finally get rung up and walk out of the store as no less than 5 employees thank us for shopping there. I honestly had the urge to tell them to buy some hangers with the money I just gave them but I refrained. Once we made it to the mall 20 asked, "Was that for real? She didn't know how to hang the suit?" We both laughed as we recalled the truly stunned look on her face when she was shown how.

That evening over dinner we retell our story and 20 tells us a story of how he had to show a college buddy how to sweep and mop . We all laughed 17 not understanding what he had to teach and asked what the guy was studying. We all lost it when 20 told us the guy was studying engineering. Too funny!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tempus fugit!

Wow. Time flies when you are having fun. I have been a busy busy girl. I can't believe it's been over a week since I have blogged. So, here's a quick recap to get us back on track.

*19 turned 20. He wasn't here for his birthday. He was having finals but he got here before Thanksgiving. So it's all good. I will admit that the fact that I have a 20 year old makes me feel older.

* Thanksgiving happened of course. I hope everyone had a wonderful one with family/friends. I made a new Cranberry sauce recipe which came out super yummy and I made the sweet potato casserole, and I made an apple pie. I also made a cherry pie but that one stayed home for us to eat.

*Thanksgiving would have also been my mother's birthday. That was why I made the apple pie, it was her favorite. She would have been 65, ready to retire. She would have enjoyed retirement because she had so many hobbies and crafts that she loved to do. She finally would have had the free time to do them. But I am sure that she has knit everyone in heaven a sweater and made candles and baskets galore. I thought of her a lot that day and how different my Thanksgivings are compared to growing up but that will get me all misty so I am moving on...

* I went shopping on Friday because I always have and 20 went with me to pick out and try on his gifts. We had a good time and found some good deals. There will be more stories about that later.

* Over the weekend, we put the lights up outside, brought out all our Christmas decorations, bought the Christmas tree, put the lights on, decorated it and started decorating the house. Aside from all the regular boring laundry and grocery stuff.

* This year the gift for the in-laws was a group gift from us and my SIL. We gave them tickets to go see Andrea Bocelli. The concert was over the weekend so we had to give it to them at Thanksgiving. They had a fabulous time. She called us when they got to the venue, she called when they got to their seats and she called the next morning to tell me all about it. They had such a wonderful time.

* We also got together with friends to just hang out and chat. I made Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake. It was pretty good even though I overcooked it. We had a nice time.

*I made batches of egg nog and bottled it. The bottles are all in my fridge waiting to be gifted. I still have one more batch to go but I ran out of eggs so that's the thing to do today. I need to make it early because it needs to sit and the flavors need to combine and mellow. Yumm!

* During the week I want to get the Christmas cards done, address and mailed. That's the goal. We shall see.

So, I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I know that I have many many things to be thankful for and that I am one lucky girl.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I did it!

Please give me a moment while I pat myself on the back.

I finished 2 pañales last night! I am so happy and proud of myself. They aren't perfect but they aren't horrible either. They look homemade- what can I say. Tonight I will iron them and wrap them up for delivery. I am so happy!

Lessons learned:
* Working with clear thread is very very hard.
* If I want to provide pañales for my grandchildren who should not be coming along for many many years yet, I need to start them now!

I will try to take a picture of them tonight and post them here for all (who am I kidding- both of you) to see.

Comfort and joy baby! Comfort and joy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

1 Week

I just realized that 19 is coming home for Thanksgiving. Yes, I know I blogged about that yesterday and heck I bought the ticket over the weekend but it didn't really hit me that its next week. Exactly one week from today. Do you understand what that means? That means I need to get all my crafting crap out of his room! OMG! I have so many projects going right now. How am I supposed to finish them in a week?!
It's wonderful that he's coming home but I wonder if he'd mind sleeping on the sofa since I am using his bed as a cutting table or living out of his suitcase for a month because I am using the empty drawers to store the assorted projects in their various stages or for that matter leaving the suitcase that he will live out of in the office because the ironing board is set up in his room and there's not much floor space and there's no desk space because the sewing machine is set up there.
OMG! I need to get myself organized and outta there! Gimme patience and speed ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Bad, the ugly, and the good.

The Bad news: 19s football team lost on Saturday and so they will not be going to the playoffs. They do have one more bowl game this Saturday but its really a non-event. :(

The Ugly: In my project this weekend making the pañales I am using clear thread. Do you know what color clear is? Its the color of whatever it is on; its clear! Do you know how hard it is to thread a frickin' frackin' needle with clear thread? Let me tell you it is really really hard. Do you know how hard it is to untangle clear thread? Let me tell you it is practically undoable. I gave up and just started over. Do you know how hard it is to stitch and know where you are with clear thread? Let me tell you it is really really hard. So, aside from being one of the hardest projects I have EVER done and testing my patience, it is coming out great. I completed one and have one more to go. I don't think I have enough patience in me for the third one. We shall see....

The Good news: 19 will be home for the holidays, including Thanksgiving. 17 has completed all of his college applications and already met with his counselor at school and had him send all the transcripts etc. He is already working on scholarship applications and completed a couple over the weekend. Comfort and Joy!

Note: Yes, I know that undoable is not a word but that's part of the point. It is taking to parts unknown! Gimme Patience.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Did anyone watch the awards show last night? I did not because I cared who won what but to hear and see dome performances. I never watch music videos, I rarely watch any live performances on TV so the awards shows are pretty much it for me with the exception of shows like DWTS and AI who regularly have guest performers.

And I would like to personally thank the CMA show creators for NOT putting together any oddball combinations a la Stevie Wonder and J(I refuse to put their name here, I don't want the hits) Brothers. The combinations they had were perfectly acceptable, Martina McBride can surely sing with George Straight and even the combination of Daughtrey (sp?) and Gill was better than I expected.

I would also like to thank them for the sheer number of performances. There were (precisely) a bunch. Honest. It was really nice. It was not a boring show as award shows can be on occasion and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

The other thing I did last night was a pañal, a Cuban receiving blanket for lack of a better translation. I am making a couple for the sister of a friend and I need to get them done this weekend. So now I just need to add the appliqué and 1 will be done. The goal was 3, I will be happy with 2, there will probably be 1. We shall see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MAPS still necessary

As you know we just came back from a trip to NY. We fly into NYC and rent a car and drive to Schenectady to visit 19. We've done this before, no biggie.

Hubby drives. I am the "co-pilot". Let it be known that I know how to read a map. I like maps. So does hubby. I also know how to use the Internet and the assorted map resources which are not always 100% accurate. Knowing this I peruse the maps they provide and the 2 most popularly used sites both offer maps to show you where you are going and alternate routes.

Now, I'm not sure if you've picked up on this but hubby and I approach one thing (everything) differently. Since the advent of these Internet map sites hubby has stopped including maps in our trip folders (yes, he puts a folder together). That probably wouldn't be an issue if he were to you know follow the directions that HE printed out that I am reading to him and not change his mind mid trip and go another way. When he does this invariably he will come to a crossroad (figuratively and sometimes literally) where he then asks which way should I go. My smart answer is "Oh, I don't know. Let's check the map but wait we don't have one so flip a coin." Sweet, I know, not one of my finest moments then he gets testy with me. It makes for an oh so fun filled drive. We have turned around more times that I will go into here because this isn't a memoir of wrong turns taken and we need to move on, suffice it to say that one trip (not this one) he chose not to take the bridge I told him and we ended up after almost an hour of driving back at the airport starting over. Honestly, I don't know how I stayed in the car without self combusting but that’s a different story.

Well, this trip wasn't any different. At one service area where in-laws insisted he stop because we were hungry and needed a bathroom break. He did go to the travel kiosk and get a map for NJ (where we were at the time) and new directions. Woo Hoo! We now had a map for me to SEE where we were.

We are back on the road again, I am passing on the kiosk lady’s directions, he’s following them, I’m following along on the map…it’s all good. Then he of course, starts asking me questions, if I stay on this interstate will it take me all the way? It should the sign says Albany and we are going near there, he continues. I tell him that makes sense but I couldn’t say because it’s a NJ map not a NY map and well that’s like asking me if this takes us to Miami…I can’t SEE that on this map.

As we go through all of this, remember my In-laws, who I get along with fabulously, are in the back seat. They start laughing at us and commenting that it’s the same as if they had gone on a trip with hubby’s aunt and uncle. Apparently, this argue with the co-pilot is a hereditary trait. I who am not related seem to be responding like the aunt (normally and rationally) and the in-laws are getting quite a kick out of all of this. I was so happy to be of such entertainment. It almost turned into a game for them. Throughout the rest of the trip they would laugh and say “Look, just like Uncle” or “Look, just like the Aunt”. Honestly, it would make us all laugh and diffuse some high stress moments. At one point over the weekend 19 commented that maybe he should email Aunt and Uncle and thank them for coming. Smartass!

Moral of the story: Have a map, an old-fashioned real map, of the state(s) you will be driving in to be able to SEE the complete picture of where you are going and which way to go.

Monday, November 09, 2009


I feel like I walked out of the house partially undressed. I feel like I forgot to put my pants on. I feel a little lost. I feel a bit off centered.

I forgot my cell phone which is a 'smart phone'; a blackberry. It's my connection to my kids to my friends to everything. I may have to drive home at lunchtime to get it because unknowingly it has become a major part of me.

Or maybe I should leave it. Maybe I should try to live a day or part of a day without it. I am sure the world will not come to an end. I have a feeling the earth will continue rotating and the sun will still set and rise.

I still feel a bit out of sorts.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Never ever ever again!

Recently, I stated that as I get older I use the word never less and less but when I do use it I do mean it. I'm not going to say that I always stick to the never when I say it but I meant it when I said it. I guess always is a word I use less and less as I get older too. I try to avoid extremes and never and always are extremes as for as I am concerned.

With that preamble I am hereby stating that I will never ever ever again fly Spirit Airlines. I just returned from a trip to NYC and it was the worst flying experience of my life and people I have been flying since I was 3 years old. I realize that its a no-frills airline but come on give me a break!

The trip up the plane was half empty (should have been a sign). So much so that we were told 9 people had to move from the front of the plane towards the back (behind row 23) in order to balance the weight of the plane and until that happened we could not pull away from the terminal. A few people got up but not 9 so MIL, FIL and I got up and moved. We were told we could move back once we had taken off, it was just for the take off. Apparently, the plance doesn't have to be balanced in the air or for landing just for pulling away from the terminal. Whatever. We were excited to leave and so off we went.

Did you know they won't even give you a cup of water?! You have to pay for any drink or food even WATER!. Whatever, we weren't thirsty. The seats were cushy but can you say sardine? I realize I am a big girl but even FIL who is NOT a big man was uncomfortable. We didn't even have enough leg room to fit our purse or camera bag under the seat in front of us. We had to get up, slip the item in and then sit down. There are no words to describe the kind of cramped we were experiencing.

The trip back was even worse. First, it was delayed. Yes, I was rational at the time and I understand that it may not have been the airlines fault but it just added to the whole yucky experience. Can you say security? They sure can't. We all filed in handing our boarding passes to someone who looked like they were looking at them and made our way to the plane only to pass by another entrance that was unmanned, unblocked and anyone could have gotten onto the plane. Comforting, I know. Once again we squeezed into our seats. This time MIL and I couldn't get the armrest to lift on the isle seat so we got goosed by the armrest as we were trying to sit down. Again, no leg room to put the purse under the seat. This time we bought water bottles in the terminal (one per couple) just in case we wanted something to drink and we tried to put them in the pocket of the seat in front of us but when we saw all the garbage that was in there we decided to hold on to them. They weren't full since we had already started drinking them in the gate as we waited for our delayed flight. The people sitting behind us had someone in their seat. How can that be? The lady sitting there pulls out her stub, its the right seat. We are getting warm in here and just thinking sit on her lap and lets go already. Its late, we're tired and want to go home. Oh, look she's on the wrong flight. HUH?! you heard me the wrong flight. There's that top notch security again. I feel so safe its unbearable. Finally, everyone is seated and the flight attendant is reminding everyone to turn off their cell phones and other electrical devices. A few seconds later she reminds us again - with attitude we get a 'If it has an on/off switch it must be turned off'. Then we sit for over 20 minutes on the tarmac waiting to take off. There it is again, 'I can hear your cell phone. It must be turned off. If they could be on believe me we'd have ours on too.' So, I say out loud but I doubt she heard me, 'If you can hear it, why not just tell that person instead of mouthing to all of us.' I'm helpful that way. Hubby tried to sleep but had difficulty since his seat wouldn't go back neither would mine. In our row only MIL's worked.

Finally, we are in the air and then since we've been waiting for so long people need to use the bathroom, a couple get up and head that way. The flight attendant sends one back telling them they can't stand in the aisle to wait. The man goes back. The girl comes out of the rest room and by the time the man comes back someone else who was sitting closer already went in. He's sent back again. This happens to others and to that man 3 times! Finally, the third time he sees an empty aisle seat close to the bathroom and sits there to wait his turn. It was like we were in friggin kindergarten being told to only get up one at a time. MIL and I were stunned.
Now, here comes the cart with snacks and beverages which we know have to be purchased; even the water. Fine. But this is the very first time in my life where cash is no good. It HAD to be a debit/credit card. I couldn't believe it.

Now we had to get ready for landing. Did you check that your seatback was up all the way? They kept saying it and they walked by enough times collecting garbage but I did not see them tell anyone who had their seatback to move it up and plenty of people did. I had to ask the lady in front of my MIL to put hers up and got the dirtiest look ever.
We were so happy to get out of there. I will never evah ever fly Spirit again.


It's that time of year again where bloggers everywhere are trying to blog daily. I'm technically not participating since I already missed a couple of days but I will be using this as an incentive to blog much more often.

So, check back often and hopefully you will see assorted ramblings that will hopefully be more interesting than...

I am eating the best starfruit I have ever had. I had forgotten all about it and left it out while I was in NY and last night I cut it up for lunch. I am munching on it now and it is the juiciest sweetest starfruit I have ever had. Its from a friend's tree and I hope that the season for her tree isn't over because it is oh so good.

I think I will call this BLOPOLOTS...HAHAHA!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

To cut or tear that is the question

Should lettuce be cut with a knife or torn by hand? I know I know, life-altering stuff being considered here at gimme patience.

Growing up my mother who was by no means a gourmet cook but did watch Julia Child and Graham Kerr whenever possible always told me that lettuce should be torn into bite size pieces NOT cut with a knife. If she told me why that piece of information went out with the dishwater but to this day if I ever slice into a head of lettuce I can hear her in my head yelling 'NO! Use your hands! Put the knife away!'

I have eaten many many salads including some prepared by me and others at fancy schmancy restaurants where the lettuce has obviously been cut not torn. Which begs the question (ok, maybe not but work with me here): What is the proper way to prepare lettuce? I have never lost any sleep over this question but not too long ago Alton Brown did a show on salad and guess what? As he was about to take a knife to a head of lettuce there were sound effects of breaks screeching to a halt and he came in close to the camera telling all of us at home that he knows we are yelling at him to put the knife down that he's now suppose to cut lettuce but tear it into bit size pieces. My jaw dropped. It was like Alton incarnated mom. What was going on here? He then went on to explain the scientific reasoning (which I was too dumbstruck to retain) for the whens and whys you cut or tear the lettuce.

The bottom line was something like this. First, it depended on the lettuce and had to do with cell structure (that where I tuned out). Second, the types of lettuce that shouldn't be cut with a knife will simply have their cut edge turn brown quicker than normal. So, if you are going to eat the whole thing and are chopping it up, go for it. If you are willing to slice off the brown part next time you use the lettuce, go for it. If you don't care because its just the color and doesn't alter the taste, go for it. So, there you go. The it doesn't matters have it.

Personally, I think torn is prettier but that's just me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Donny Osmond is 51 people - five one! I have going to marry him, did you know that. Me and a gajillion other teeny boppers around the world. I have been watching him on DWTS and he's doing well. I know that the Osmonds have a place in Branson and would love to go see their show. (stop laughing!)

Last Saturday I went to see Andy Williams. He wrote a memoir and had a book reading. The man is 81 people - eight one! He looks great! He stood there for about half and hour with the mic in his hand and talked, and delivered old jokes, and even sang. And ya know what he can still sing. I remember watching his TV show and the Christmas shows were AWESOME! He has a place in Branson too The Moon River Theater.

Now I have two shows to go see and I am sure I can find others that I would be interested in seeing. So, I'm thinking I need to plan a trip before something up and happens to Andy. Did I mention he's 81?

I already went to Vegas and saw Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton and it was such a great show. The man can hardly sing anymore but what an entertainer. It was great! Plus, I knew all the songs. I sang along the whole time. It was so much fun.

I still want to go back and see Tom Jones. I was going to marry him too!
Gotta win the lotto....

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I want to travel someday and one of my dreams is France. It has been since I was a little girl. I don't even remember when it started. I just seems to have always been there this wish to go to France. It's not specific to Paris - although its a must, duh - I want to see all of France.

In that vein one thing I have always wanted to try cooking with is Herbs de Provence. A unique blend of dried herbs including savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender among others. Not a list I generally use in my daily cooking. I have always found it in catalogs and online in cute little ceramic pots that just evoke French country cooking. I've never bought it. I have never bought any herbs online, the whole 'know a reputable dealer' and all. This isn't something that I have ever really pursued or researched or even intentionally sought out. It has just been there in the back of mind.

Well, the other day walking through my local grocery store I had a coupon for a latin brand of spices that was about to expire. I was glossing over their selection assuming I'd get something ordinary like onion powder and then I saw a little tag that said "NEW Gourmet Blends". They had Italian Spice Mix and wait for it Herbs de Provence! HUH?! I couldn't believe it. I had to get it. I think they new I was coming and put it out just for me. I figured how bad could this be. They are dried herbs. I am sure there are better quality dried herbs but how bad could this be? I read the ingredients. Thyme, Basil, Savory Fennel, Lavender - wow, they are all there! I could not wait to get home and open it up and smell it. When I did, I could smell them all distinctly, I was soooo happy. I laughed to myself. Such a little silly thing a plastic container of dried herbs was making me giddy. I HAD to use it that night. Dang- we were going out. Fine, the next night. I made our Sunday chicken which is just a baked chicken. Perfect. I was smiling just shaking it on. I was the only one that noted the difference as it cooked. There was a hint of flowery lavender in the air. This did make me a little nervous because typically I have not liked flowery flavors in my food. I have tried many a dessert with lavender or rose water and sorry to say had to spit it out. But I was confident that I would like the chicken. At dinner I waited for the others to try it first. They made no comment. Then I tried it. YUM! There was definitely a difference how could they not say anything. I asked them if they liked the chicken. They both said yes and asked why I was asking had I done something different to it. Yes, I told them I put different spices on it. They shrugged. They couldn't tell. URGH! No matter, I could tell and I liked it.

I have since added it to a number of dishes and they still can't tell. I even added it to salad greens but the flavors were a bit strong for me. I prefer it cooked. So, I still haven't been to France but I got a little piece of Provence in my cabinet. Comfort and Joy!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Garbo, Sleep and other assorted non-essentials

I have been meaning to blog, really I have but I haven't had time. By the time I finish with all the daily must-do stuff it is close to midnight and I think blog or sleep and sleep has been winning in that toss up.

So, here are some quick blurbs on what's been going on.

* I recently saw the movie Grand Hotel. Yes, that ancient black and white flick starring among many others Greta Garbo. Why? Because I had never seen it and its a classic and football season has started. Lower your eyebrows! Football season and classic movies do so have something to do with each other. After many years of marriage I have learned that Sunday I cannot watch TV in the living room during football season. Over time that unwritten and much enforced rule has spilled over to Monday nights, parts of Saturday day and sometimes Thursday night. That makes for lots of me time for me and my hobbies. I don't use this time for scrapping because that is set up to do while watching TV in the living room so this is either sewing time or reading time or movie time. This is why its the time of year when I shuffle the queue and a few classic movies get bumped to the top of the list for my viewing pleasure. Which brings us full circle and is why I recently saw Grand Hotel. It was so much fun to watch Barrymore, Garbo and a young Crawford! They don't make movies like that anymore. Seriously, the way the scenes are shot, the close-ups, the dramatic hugs. I also love watching all the special features with all the old stories of how this and that were done. Fun!

* I made Peanut Butter Bread. What? Never heard of it? No worries, I hadn't either but I saw it on a cooking show and made it on Saturday. We had it for lunch with wait for it, you guessed it - jelly! We didn't make sandwiches. We just sliced the bread and spread jelly on it and ate it. It was good. I wouldn't say it's my favorite or anything to write home about (just the world wide web) but it was something different. Hubby loved it. He's been having it for dessert every night with a glass of milk.

* I want to paint my guest bathroom. It's very small. The floor and half way up the walls are tiled in small black tiles. The fixtures are all gold and it has a white pedestal sink. I want to paint it a jewel tone color. I am really thinking about purple. Not a lavender or mauvy color a true jewel tone purple. My family thinks I'm nuts. It's such a small amount of wall space that it will only take a gallon. So, I figure if we hate it we could always paint over it. We'll see. I am still trying to convince hubby.

* The remote to the TV died. Over 2 weeks was spent banging the thing against the sofa or your thigh to make it work. I did not do this. It would work sometimes and sometimes not. When it didn't work, I didn't watch that TV. I told hubby to call our satellite company and order a new one. Did you call? I didn't think so. After 2 weeks of this it finally died for real. It wouldn't do anything. So, I went online and ordered a new remote. Ta-dah! It was at house in three days. I know, magic!

You're not all caught up but hopefully I will have time later to pass on all these life-altering tidbits.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Did you ever not want to do something or go somewhere and you make yourself go and then later you are glad you went? That pretty much sums up my weekend. I have been in a funk. I am choosing to call it that. I know exactly why I am feeling the way that I am and I really can't change the external forces causing this temporary (I pray) phenomena and do I can only change me. That's easy to say, easy to write, I preach it all the time and it is not easy to do.

This weekend I truly just wanted to stay in bed curled up in a ball and sleep and weep and feel lousy and wallow in my own self pity. The problem is that I'm a mom, wife, granddaughter and friend so I don't have as much time for that sort of thing as I wanted.

I was able to skip out on the granddaughter obligations as the ALF made plans for an outing on Saturday. That was good, more theoretical time for me. Now, if I could only make it translate into real wallow time. Friday I made a mental list of all the things I HAD to do and made a plan. The plan was to get up early and get it all done quickly so I could come home and start wallowing. Ummm... yes, I know it sounds wrong, planning on wallowing but I really wanted to put myself in timeout but I had things to do first so this was the best I could do. Well, I was done with everything including the surprise family visit around 5:30. Just in time to shower and start dinner. Dang! I ran out of time today but the weekend is not over. All hope is not lost. I should be able to wallow tomorrow, Sunday. I only have one things that HAS to get done because I almost did it all today. OK, this could work. I'm already feeling better at the thought of the future wallow time. How pathetic is that? Don't answer that.

Sunday, baby! I am ready to stay in bed but then it hits me, I have dinner plans. UGH! I really don't want to go. I wanna stay home and wallow in self-pity dang it! Why is my schedule being so uncooperative! The dog is barking, he wants to go out. Gratefully, Hubby gets up to make his cafe con leche. I ask if he can make me some because I don't feel like making the customary big Sunday breakfast. He does. Yeah, me! I squeeze an extra hour of hang out in bed time. Then I force myself to get up and do what I must and then I start putzing around with a few other things and then dang, it's almost shower and go to dinner time. I'm tired. I really don't want to go but the shower felt good and gave me a bit of energy and off I went.

It was dinner with girlfriends at a nice restaurant in a fancy schmancy hotel downtown. I walked into the lobby and it was beautiful. I love going to pretty places. The restaurant is on the 25th floor. WOW! What a view. We got there in daylight and by the time we left it was dark so we were able to enjoy the view by day and by night. Fabulous. The food was good and the best was the company. It was a good thing I went. It lifted my spirits tremendously. I needed that more than the wallow time. I just needed me time; me and my girlfriends. I was so happy that I went. It's Wednesday and I'm still thinking about it.
Comfort and Joy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


One of the things we did while visiting 19 at school was drive up to Saratoga Springs. We didn't have all day but we had a few hours to spend together before he had a meeting to attend and it's only a 30 minute drive.

It's a lovely place. There's a main street with shops and restaurants and ice cream parlors and lots of outside tables and at the end of the street there a beautiful park and a few blocks behind that is the famous race track.

We drove around to see what there was to see and then stopped at the Visitor's Center where there is a nice exhibit of the town's history. We walked through it and found out that there was racing at the track today. So, off we went. Horse racing is something new for us. We've never gone to see any. We were looking for a place to park and they were all pretty pricey and we knew that we'd only be there for hour and didn't want to spend more on parking than on admission ($3 each) so, we drove on. We spot a sign that says Public Parking and turn in, hubby slows to speak to the attendant who tells us to follow the dirt road to the back turn right go to the end and turn left and park on the right. Okidokie. As we head on we all laugh - where the heck is he sending us? Whatever, it's free. So we have to walk 100 miles to get back to the track. Then another attendant at the first turn starts waiving at us. Hubby slows again to talk. he tells us to turn around and go half way back down the road we just came and turn in to the parking lot on the right. Okidokie. At that entrance there's a sign that said Credential Parking Only. We all look at each other and laugh - WTH? There's another attendant there, hubby again rolls down the window and he tells us where to go in and park. We obediently follow his instructions laughing the whole time because apparently we look like the horse racing credentialed type. Okidokie. We park and hope the car will be there when we get back. It's a rental and 19 has a meeting to get back to. We walk to the track entrance and they patiently pose for my obligatory photos. The place is packed! There are people everywhere. Old, young, families with babies, little kids everyone is every where. It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We walk to the track and stand right there up at the fence. There are park benches behind us and I sit for a bit and take it all in. I look around and you can see the ole grandeur of the place. Its a little run down but it looks like a gran dame. A race had just finished and they were announcing the next one and I think we should place a bet. So, I ask 17 for a number and rush in to place a bet. I come back and see the last of the horses walking out. I like another one. I go back to place another bet. Hubby and 17 go place a bet on another one, 19 gives me a couple of numbers. All told there were 10 horses, 2 scratched and between the 4 of us we bet on 6 out of the remaining 8 to win. The race was about to start, we get to our spot by the fence. They're off! We watch part on the jumbotron, then we spot them live making the turn and there they are passing right in front of us. One of our horses is in the lead and another one of ours is in second going to pass him. You hear every one cheering and yelling different numbers. Its over. Who won? Wow by a nose! Check the tickets. You're wrong check again. How could we have lost? We bet on almost every horse. Almost only counts in horseshoes not horse racing. One of the 2 we didn't pick won. Ours came in 2nd and 3rd. We all laughed - what are the odds of that?! We walked around a little more bought some lemonades and then it was time to head back to the car.
It was a nice day, we were tired, it was hot and we had to walk back to the car. We were thankful for our credentialed parking because we couldn't imagine having to walk to the original spot at what we think would have been the outskirts of town.
All of us had a lovely time. It was something new for all of us and we laughed a lot. Comfort and Joy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'l be back

I know my multitude (read: two) of readers are wondering where I am. Well, I'm here, overwhelmed. I did go to NY to visit 19 for Labor Day weekend and that was wonderful. We honestly had a very good time. It was nice albeit short.

The first week back was hectic as first week backs usually are. Then there was the first weekend. The proverbial other shoe fell but in this case it was both shoes that fell at the same time. I honestly can't get into in here and now but suffice to say I am going through some family issues that need to be resolved before I can think clearly enough to write about anything. So, if you are of a mind to say a prayer, please include me. If not, well, think a good thought for me and I will sincerely appreciate it.

Be patient. I will be back some day, hopefully soon, to continue my life musings and rants.
Gimme patience and strength.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

House woes

My garbage disposal died. It was old and it just up and stopped running. I had my handy dandy FIL check it out and was hoping something heinous was stuck in there somewhere and he would work some magic and make it work but alas, no. We need a new one. Oh, woe is me.

My dishwasher is working right. It starts, it runs, we hear the water but the stuff isn't clean and we've been rewashing many of the items. It seems we need a new one. Oh, woe is me.

Many things is this house of ours are shall I say rigged. By that I mean they aren't standard. They are things that the previous owner had someone make something that looks like the real thing but its not and that makes repairs an adventure.

We have a side back door that I have always thought was not an exterior door but an interior door placed on an exterior wall. Well, it hasn't held up well - duh! and it really needs to be replaced. So, we measured and took off to the big box store and low and behold it's not the standard size. The hole that we have is a full inch smaller than the standard exterior door. Oh, woe is me. We went back home. We must have measured wrong because it's hard to measure something straight across (work with me people!) alas, we weren't wrong. It's an inch short. Hmmm.... well, maybe they built up the frame in a way to fit this door in and now it can be trimmed down to fit the larger door. Another job for FIL. He came, he looked, he measured (same as us), he checked this, looked there. He decided we will need a custom door, the frame cannot be trimmed down. Oh, woe is me.

All these expenses popping up when the budget is tight with senior stuff, college stuff and traveling to visit 19. Oh, woe is me.

The good news is FIL was able to fix a leak in the sink in the guest bathroom. That was the good news. At least there was some. *sigh* gimme patience and a sack of cash to fix all this stuff.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Max is inside now

I know we may have never met but if you have read any of my blog before you know that I am NOT fit as a fiddle. In fact, quite the opposite. Well, I drove the point home this weekend. Max, my 12 year old Golden Retriever has turned into an indoor dog. He lived outside all of his adult life until this summer. He's old, I'm older and getting soft (or so I am told) and honestly, I don't think his hearing and vision is all there and well it's just darn hot out so, he's now an indoor dog. He has behaved extremely well. Really hasn't gotten into anything and we close a hallway door to keep him from exploring the bedrooms. At the beginning I took him to a Puppy Palace. I know he's not a puppy but they bathed him and shaved him and bathed him again and gave him a flea bath and he came out looking completely different but smelling pretty. And so he has become an indoor dog.
To keep him smelling pretty he needs to be bathed and the task has fallen on me. I used to bather him outside using the garden hose and it was always an ordeal taking out a bucket to fill with his shampoo and water, rags to scrub him, the leash to hold him in one spot, towels to dry him off after, a stool for me to sit on because it's easier to get up from the stool than the floor.
That was when he was an outside dog. Now he's an inside dog, so a few weeks ago I decided to try the tub. That's where the inside people bathe why not Max. And so the adventure began and it went relatively well the first time a few weeks ago. I cleaned the tub afterwards and was sore that night and the next day. If I didn't have to life my arms I was fine but most things we do require some motion of the arm.
I did it again yesterday except this time hubby cleaned the tub after because I thought maybe I just did too much at once and that's why I was sore. Can I tell you that lifting the coffee mug to my mouth has been an effort this morning? I am just as sore today as I was a few weeks ago. I have no upper body strength. Bathing this dog whoops me every time. I need to do something about it. I am going to begin doing arm lifts or something every night to see if I can slowly get over this and be able to bathe my dog. Who knew that Max would be the one to drive me to exercise. Yeah, well, we'll see. Now, let's see if I can refill this mug.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pleasant unexpected surprise

I started a new book and I knew nothing about it other than it won a Pulitzer Prize (it says that on the cover) and friends of mine have read it and said it was very good but I never heard anyone talk about it so I didn't know what it was about. I've seen articles about it but I only read the headlines because mentally I already had it on a TBR list. At a local flea market I discover it in piles of books. Woo Hoo! I think I have found a gold mine. I spent a whole $5 and bought a 8 books. $1 for hard cover and .50 for paperbacks. Who can resist? Not moi, that's for sure. I head home and dutifully stack the newly purchased treasures in stacks and piles around my room to wait to be read some day and collect dust in the meantime while they make me feel cozy and busy because some day when I have nothing to do there's always a book to be read.

Last night I finished a reading a magazine, I am forcing myself to finish one in between books because I am so behind on the magazines its ridiculous and so I allowed myself to pull out a book to lay by my purse in the hopes of starting it tomorrow. I glanced at the nightstand stack - nah, the dresser stack - um no, went into the walk-in closet where I have a bookcase and looked at a few that are stacked in front of those standing in the back on the shelves - mmmm na, not feeling them. I go to the cabinet with three more shelves lined with books and right away my eye goes to this one. HMmmm. Yes, I think its time. I pull it out, flip through it, not reading anything just airing out the pages getting a whiff of the book. Its soft cover, bigger that a paperback novel but not too weighty yes, this will do fine. I don't even read the blurb on the back I just keep fanning it as if I was warming it up to be read and lay it gently on top of my purse.

This morning I forgot my lunch but I did bring the book. I went to lunch and read the summary on the back cover in the elevator. Wow, this really sounds good. I hope it can live up to this hype.

I head to Starbucks and order a coffee and snuggle into one of their comfy armchairs and after chatting with some of the patrons about inane stuff I finally get to open up Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I run out of time and am only able to read a mere 20 pages. But OMG the very first sentence made me want to sit there and find out what happens. Then I read actual paragraph and pages and I am totally sucked in to this book. I writing style is what I love. It's a big over the top - the narrator even apologizes for being too Homeric! Love it! Now its raining. I want to be at home changed into something comfy, curled into the recliner with the throw over my legs and a glass of wine next to me and this book in my hands and no interruptions until I am done. Ahhh, a girl can dream can't she?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

9 lbs

I have 9 pounds of cookie dough in my house and I am trying NOT to eat it. So, why did I buy it? Because I'm a sucker that's why. Earlier this summer 17 was selling said 3lb tubs of cookie dough as a fundraiser for his Cross Country team. You would think they would sell trail mix or something healthy but they went with cookie dough. He only had a week to get the orders and got quite a few including 3 from me. Yes, 3 not 1 like normal people. Why, because no one likes the same cookie in my house. 17 wanted Sugar cookies which 19 and hubby don't like. 19 wanted Oatmeal Raisin which 17 and hubby don't like and Hubby wanted peanut butter which neither boy likes. Alas, 3 tubs of 3 lbs each were ordered and have since arrived. I didn't get any "for me" because I eat all the aforementioned cookies and therein lies the problem.
Of course, they get here only a couple of days before 19 leaves so he wasn't able to eat his 3 lbs so I put it in the freezer to await his return and make it more difficult for me to eat since it will require thawing in addition to the bake time. But there are two tubs left in the fridge. Every night after dinner I ask, want some cookies in the hopes of baking some off and making them disappear but it only worked once. Ay. I need to be strong. I need to not eat two tubs of cookies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last minutes...

Sunday 19 is leaving and its nephew's bday soI won't get anything done and Saturday I am going to a BBQ at 3. So that means this whole dang list has to get done between now and 3 tomorrow! and I am sitting here at work! OMG! How is this going to happen? Some one please 'splain this to me.

How does that saying go...if it weren't for the last minute, I'd get nothing done. This weekend will be the definition of that because there will be many lat minutes between now and 3PM Saturday.

Then will come will be strange without 19 home again and then the school routine for 17.

Have you seen the commercial for the big box office supply store with the dad prancing and dancing all over the store happy and giddy with joy buying back-to-school supplies for his kids who are standing there with long faces wanting to die rather than go back to school. At my house we love that commercial. We all laugh at it hysterically.

See ya on the flip side....gotta go make a list of things to do so I don't miss anything.....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New thing

I really don't try too many food things. I mean I try new dishes but the main ingredients I've had them. For example, I think I may the only person in Miami who has not tried Dulce de Leche ice cream. See, my logic is I don't need to like that because its not good for me and only going to be another thing to add to the list of things that I shouldn't eat so why try it in the first place. But fruit is a different category. Its in the good for you category and therefore they should all be tried and I discovered I LOVE passion fruit. I had never had it. I didn't even know how to eat it. This weekend I went to a farm in The Redlands to pick up some items that a friend of mine and I had ordered (not passion fruit) and I say a pile of these round things in a box. I asked what they were ever trying to expand my knowledge and they were passion fruit. She told me she had an extra bag that she could sell me. I wasn't going to buy any because well I've never tired it and so didn't want to waste my money. She asked me if I liked tart things as she was cracking one open and got a spoon and handed it to me. QUE RICO!! I loved it. She explained how to tell if they were ripe etc. as I fished out the 3 bucks from my purse for that extra bag she had. I split them with my friend because she tried it when she got to my house and liked it too. But man I could eat a bushel of them and if I start to get bored of eating them straight I can think of umpteen uses from salad dressings to marinades. Que Rico!! I have GOT to get more of these. Comfort and Joy baby! YUM!

Friday, August 14, 2009


In case you haven't heard 19 is leaving next Sunday. So of course, now in the last minute starts the mad rush.
* MIL needs to see him again before he leaves. She only has one chance to come down to my neck of the woods on Saturday but it's a small window and she doesn't know if she can get to my house in time to see him before she has to be somewhere else. Relax, I tell her. You aren't going to be that far from us, call me when you get there and I will have 19 go by and see you there.
* 19 says he can't find the socks that he wants anywhere in Miami (my money is on he hasn't gone every where in Miami but who am I to argue). Relax, I tell him. Socks shouldn't be so complicated but if they are just order them online.
* SIL called last night. Her son's bday is on the 20th and I had called her to see if/when she was doing anything because I need to plan my life. She is having the family gathering on Sunday when 19 is leaving. Perfect! He leaves out of Ft Lauderdale, she lives in Hollywood. We can easily swing by before going to the airport.
* My dad has been threatening to come down for 2 weeks but has been having car trouble and is concerned he won't see him and also concerned that he hasn't given 17 his bday gift. Relax, I tell him. If you can't come to us then you can meet us at SILs before he leaves. My dad lives up there too.
* He HAS to go to the beach but he has to find a ride because I need the car. Relax, I tell him. Go to the beach whenever you want (hopefully, after ordering the socks) I don't need the car. I can work around it.
* His computer died last night. It turns on but I'm guessing it has a virus because he can't really get it to do any thing not even a security scan. Now, I'm freaking out. I truly cannot afford a new laptop right now and it's been 24 hours already and he hasn't taken it to a friend of ours who is our resident all thing computer guy. Others tell me to relax that it's not my problem. He's old enough to handle and deal with this on his own. But OMG! Aren't I supposed to give him the tools necessary to do what he needs to do?! There's not much time to get this working here! OMG!
* I have taken home all kinds of coupons for school supplies that I know they both need and no one has gone to get anything. That I am not worried about I gave them the coupons and I gave them the $ with instruction that if they spend it one something else, they will have to write in blood when they run out of pens. Whatever.
* In between all of this 17 starts school. His schedule is wrong because they gave him one of last years' classes. He is cool as a cucumber. It will get fixed, he tells me. Don't worry about it.
* At least 17 tried on his uniform and we only had to get new shoes which he did. Whew! Breathing easy about that.
* Oh yeah, and we have to wash and pack a ton of stuff!
Gimme patience. It's gonna be a long weekend and I wanted to spend it cooking and scrapping. LMAO!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just plug and go?

That was the first text I got. 19 has sent me a few texts including a picture of the settings on our iron asking for instructions. The boy is ironing his own shirt people! My money is on a girl being in this equation. LOL!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cooking for one

19 is leaving again in a week and a half and so I am once again cooking with only him in mind. All of his favorites have to make another appearance before he leaves so that he can have his fill. If the rest don't like it too bad, drive-thru, I am cooking for one- the one that's leaving.

To that end I will be making a flan tonight so that he can have a slice every day if he wants. I will also be making a strawberry cherry blueberry pie. Those are his desserts. I won't make cookies because those I can make when he leaves and ship to him so he has a taste of home. I already made him Picadillo again which we didn't have for dinner he had it for lunch for like 3 days. I will also make Lentils for him and I. Next week I will make Carne con Papa and Spaghetti with meat sauce and I think I need to make him Vaca Frita again. Then we will put him on a plane with a dozen pastelitos de carne for him and his roommate.

I need to ask him if there's anything else I missed. The kitchen is all about him for the next couple of weeks.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Every penny counts

So, I have been saving and saving for months. Bringing my lunch to work, not eating out as much even as a family. I've been cooking extra so there will be leftovers and the kids have been good about eating the leftovers for lunch too. we did have one extravagance over the summer and that was over the 4th of July but other than that we've been coupon cutting, and 2fer buying for months now.

Well, it's all gone. All those pennies we saved I done gone and spent it all and I feel a little spent, if you know what I mean. It was kinda nice seeing the savings build up little by little. It grew into a nice little nest egg there. But now poof, it's all gone. It went where it was supposed to but man was it easier to spend than it was to save. It tool months to gather all those pennies and it has disappeared in just under 2 weeks. Here's where it went: car repairs, flying 19 back to university, all 3 of us flying up to see him in his football scrimmage over labor day weekend (holiday flying is not cheap my friends, I don't care what the ads say), flying us and my in-laws up to him in the homecoming game, hotels for both trips (2 nights the first trip, 3 nights the second trip), senior pictures for 17, school books for 17, school uniforms for 17. Poof! Just like that. Almost as quickly as I wrote about it here it went away and now I look at the pitiful balance in my savings account and sigh! Pobrecito savings account all spent.
Easy come (not!), easy go, I guess. It's all for good things so, it's OK. I just feel a little overwhelmed at spending all that money so quickly. It was nice having that cushion there but no more. C'est la vie!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Really? Back to School Time?

Is it really Back to School time? I can't tell. I have one starting his second year in college and the other starting his Senior year in high school and it just seems like another month to me just like the last one.

Sure, I bought some hugely overpriced books and spent all of 2 hours scouring the Internet for cheaper versions to bid on and win one at half price (can I hear a WooHoo!) but I'm not elbowing anyone for that last 8 pack of crayons, or the 2-pack of glue sticks etc. etc. Any I am NOT rummaging through tight aisles looking for uniform pieces and dragging a child to the dressing area explaining to them where exactly their waist line is. I don't miss any of that at all. But I do miss the the general get new stuff for school feeling. I remember taking them to the big box department store for them carte blanche to pick out folders (4/$1) and packs of fancy pencils that weren't going to last 2 weeks and fancy pens and the binders and folders and the pencil cases! oh the pencil cases! that never fit all the things they wanted. And going home and sorting, labeling and organizing everything. They were going to be so successful because I had gotten them all these wonderful tool they needed to excel and be smart. What a feeling of accomplishment.

Now, I give them cash to go buy shoes, I order books online and everything else they tell me they will buy as they need it and I no longer cover books.

I got a coupon for a big box office supply store and I think I need to drag my teens there this weekend and at least make them pick out a pack of pens (say that 10 times fast) just for old times sake. After all I think this is really the last year I can make them do this. We can watch other families melt down and maybe sit and have a coffee and reminisce about the years gone by. Yeah, I don't think so! So, sorry for all of you trying to get everything on the list. I'll have an extra cup of coffee for you this weekend as I relax staring out my front yard that is so calm birds actually come visit now. Comfort and Joy! Hey, maybe I'll even watch a movie.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Can't read

I love to read but lately I can't. I can make out all the words but my brain isn't digesting what I read. I don't know why. I bought some new books because I don't have enough all over the house in stacks and piles and shelves everywhere. They are books that I have been wanted for a while. They are pretty. Most books are. I look at them, I touch them, I fan through them, I read a passage from here or there, I may even ready the first few pages to get hooked and then I put it down and walk off leaving it abandoned to catch dust all by its lonesome. Then the next day I do it all again with another book and abandon it too leaving it behind with the others to cheat on it with yet another book. I'm even doing it to magazines. It's totally out of control.

Last night I was picking odd things up with the pretext of putting things away and realized. There's a a magazine in the car you know for those wait with nothing to do emergencies, I've got something to read. On the entrance table there's a book. On the side buffet in the dining room there's a book, on the back buffet, there's a stack of magazines and a book, on the coffee table there are more magazines and a couple of books, on the sofa table there's another book, on the kitchen counter there's a book, on one of the stools there are 2 magazines, on the side counter there's a stack of 3 books. Those are just the common areas. I won't tell you how many books are on my nightstand or on my dresser because we don't know each other that well. All of these books and magazines had been touched and looked over in the past 2 weeks and I want to read them all but I'm not. I'm uncomfortable with this whole not reading thing. I need to snap out of it because reading helps me escape and gives me a break from life. Sigh! I don't know how to shake this.

Friday, July 31, 2009


It's going to be gray and rain lots and lots on Sunday.

No I am not a Weather channel junkie. I have a headache. I have my bad weather is coming headache. It's like an allergy almost. I get it only when the front is coming in. I will be fine once the front gets here. I really can't explain it. It's a very specific pain and no amount of pain killers makes it go away completely. They can make it better but not gone. I just have to wait it out.

So that's been my day today. I shoulda been a weather bunny....

Monday, July 27, 2009

WOW, 17!

Yesterday my baby turned 17. WOW. I am getting old but this post isn't about that it's about him.

17 is a great kid. He is a true lover of life. He has an easy come easy go attitude. His a spiritual child and questions things quietly at the same time accepting that you can think and believe whatever you want. It's all good. By example he reminds me all the time NOT to sweat the small stuff and indeed it's all small stuff. I don't think this child knows what a dark cloud is. He ALWAYS sees the silver lining, the sunny side of things. That's a lesson that we could all take from him.
Once when he was in 2nd grade I was fuming at a report card. He failed PE. How do you fail PE? I don't even remember now but he did. As I was lecturing him on the lack of merit of his report card, he took it from me and looked at it thoughtfully and very calmly and matter of factly announced that it was great, he had gotten one of every letter. I was momentarily dumbstruck. All I could say was - that is NOT good, that is NOT the goal. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I think it's cool", as he walked away my ranting lecture rolling off of him like water off a slippery surface. I, being the nagging mother that I can be, didn't let it go. I followed him. I am after all the grown up here. I am the one that has wisdom to impart and guidance to lend to his life here so gosh darnit he was going to listen to my wisdom. I continued to explain that although there are many grades the goal was to get the higher ones not the lower ones. It's important to always do your best yadda yadda. He listen his bottom lip quivering slightly as if her were to burst into tears but he didn't. When my rant was over he very quietly asked, "What difference does it make if I get an F in PE as long as I go to 3rd grade? Who cares? I continued to argue with the then 7 year old and told him that I cared and that he should care because an F means he wasn't doing his best yadda yadda. He said he only cared that he was with his friends. They are going to 3rd grade and so was he. That was what was important, "God, family and friends" and he had all that. Well, he shut me up pretty darn quick. I had no response for that one because he was right. He is now going to be a Senior in high school and no one gives a darn what he got in PE in the second grade. Perspective, at that young age, he had it. He still does.
He wants to make people happy, he doesn't like to rock the boat, he will give you the shirt off his back, he will make you feel at ease, he loves to have fun. I'm so proud of him.
Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Miles to go...

Early in June I wrote a list of things to do. I know. I know, I do this often but this was a big list of things to do in and around the house, on my own, with family help or just things I had to coerce others to do. Everything from bathe the dog to paint the bathroom to make 19 write and send out thank you cards. So, long story short this To Do list was 62 items long. I looked at it this morning and we have crossed of quite a few things. It's down to half. There are 31 things left to do on the list and of those 3 are actually planned to get done this week. I am VERY impressed. I think I can coerce the children into completing a couple more and then I will feel this has been a very good summer for accomplishments.

We just came back from the Open House at UCF. My son loved it. He doesn't want to leave FL and has seen 4 schools. He seems positive about the college application process and writing the essay is one of those things on the aforementioned list that I have to coerce him into doing. I am hoping for a rough draft by the weekend. A mom can dream can't she.

This week and weekend is going to be chock full of celebrating because FIL birthday is on Wednesday and we are going over for dinner. GM turns 85 on Saturday, I have to take her a chocolate cake and as of today she has requested Tamales (which I will purchase) and 16 turns 17 on Sunday. I have been told to do nothing for this event. I have offered to do all sorts of celebrating but he wants the day to be free. Fine! Whatever! I am a supportive mom and have the day open to jump through whatever hoop he will surely put in front of me.

Then believe it or not as I am getting half way through this summer list I am feeling the urge to start preparing for Christmas. I feel a list for that coming soon very soon. I'm thinking a list of people with gift suggestions. I think this needs to be done as the month ends because this Christmas will be a very homemade Christmas and I will need lots of time to plan and make the gifts because I expect a lot of trial and error because my ideas are not anything I have done before and so I will be winging it and expect mishaps and we can't give away mishaps now can we. Most likely if you are on my list you will either get something hand/homemade or a book or maybe both. Some kids will still get a toy but I'm thinking books or maybe magazine subscriptions is the way to go this year. Of course, if I win the lotto I will just charter a cruise to somewhere and bring everyone along! LOL!