Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections on 2008

Here is what I learned in 2008. (This is good stuff people. Please feel free to copy all of this down for future reference. )

  1. The six pounds you "suddenly" gained this year? Are not a hormonal imbalance, or an out of whack thyroid condition, or that bitch perimenopause. (Aside: WTF blogger, you still don't have perimenopause in spell check?) It's because you polish off a bottle of wine every night. By yourself. Stop it. Those pounds will melt off - MELT OFF I tell you!

  2. Enjoy your Christmas vacation with your kids. Revel in the lack of homework, the sleeping in, the dearth of activities and practices. Rejoice that you can schedule what you want, when you want. Some day you might have an office job that forces you to work while it seems the rest of the world is playing.

  3. Do not scoff at the idea of lip liner OR Spanx. After a certain age, no matter HOW carefully you have taken care of yourself low these many years, shit starts to wrinkle and sag. Enough said.

  4. Teenagers can be awesome. I know right? But they can and they are. They hug you hard when you come home from work, they help you cook dinner, they go grocery shopping with you, they make you laugh, they make you cry, they let you play Wii even though you suck and don't laugh at you. They are awesome. (But keep that to yourself, you don't want them to get big heads and quit doing shit for you.)

  5. OK, this one is going to get me in a lot of trouble. In fact, I'm going to whisper this - some of you need to chill. Seriously. I do absolutely nothing special here and yet...readers..commenters..NEW readers...people "following" me (or so my dashboard tells me, I don't know what it means). Oh not many readers by some standards I realize, but still. Just do your thing and let the chips fall where they may. I'm just sayin'.

Now go out there and enjoy yourselves tonight - See you next year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

PMS is a bitch

So you know yesterday when I was all whiny and obnoxious? All WOE IS ME? Yeah, well my period started. So that explains THAT.

Guess what I'm not tired of? Christmas, now including terrorists.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Things that make me want to say FUCK

I decided to give myself a little vacation day yesterday. After the steady march towards the holidays and then the full on sprint that is Christmas I realized I'd done little in the way of relaxing. After Mass, Precious Oldest and I hit a museum to see an exhibit I'd wanted to visit for a long time. We followed up with a late brunch and then I came home and finished a book.

Still? I was feeling less than satisfied. I could feel the post-holiday doldrums start to set in. I called my sister; moaning about having to go back to the office the next day and we decided to have a little party. We watched a couple of movies and finished off leftover cheese and crackers, appetizers and cookies. Along with the open bottles of wine and a pitcher of Bloody Mary's.

It seems that indulging myself did not sit well with karma. I had a bad nights sleep for one thing. I kicked the shit out of nudged the Saint to STOPSNORINGALREADY five times, falling back to sleep each time. The sixth time I just could not fall back to sleep and lay there seething until fifteen minutes before my alarm went off. When I did fall back asleep, it was for just long enough to make me cranky.

I stumbled out to the kitchen only to find a coffee maker malfunction had all but ruined my pot of coffee. I had to strain coffee grounds out of my java to get my AM fix. A not entirely successful endeavor I might add.

It seemed everything I needed this morning was on another floor of the house. I thought if I had to climb the basement stairs just ONE MORE TIME I was going to scream. As I grumbled into work this morning I was feeling mighty sorry for myself. Then I remembered I had received this award from Green Girl in Wisconsin.

Clearly I am not feeling very fabulous but I decided to trot this out and pass it on the the folks who I know would (if, you know, they lived anywhere nearby), upon hearing my sad tale, take me out for a drink, pat my back and tell me it will all be better tomorrow.

Melissa would, of course, be included in this group.
Ree of Hotfessional fame would be next in line.
Jenn over at Juggling Life would be there in a heart beat.
And of course Daisy, my very first commenter ever!
Swirl Girl can drink a glass with me any time!
Oh, and Leanne might need a break from that Canadian winter weather and want to head south!

So if not in person then in spirit; could you buy a girl a drink?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Did you miss me?

I had five house guests for an extended stay over the holiday.

That involved mountains of this:

Gallons of this:

And I felt like I was running one of these:

Oh, and we got one of these!

And this to go with it!

Which led to a whole bunch of this

Give me a few hours to sort things out and I'll be back with a full report. Until then, hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

* Some images courtesy of Google Images

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to pop in and say Merry Christmas to you and yours. I've got house guests and more on the way so I'm a bit off my game, but will have stories to share.

On another note Precious Oldest is TWENTY today. She was quite funny yesterday being sassy and rolling her eyes and slamming doors as it was her last day to be a teenager! She makes my heart glad.

Happy birthday to Baby Jesus and Precious Oldest!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Carol

I can sometimes be oblivious to things around me. I get preoccupied rushing through the work day, through errands, through household chores. Had it not been the Christmas season, I imagine what happened at Target last weekend would simply have annoyed me and caused me to think harsh thoughts. Something else happened instead.

With less than a week until Christmas Day my local Target was packed with shoppers. I was picking up a few last minute Christmas items as well as doing my weekly cleaningsupplytoothpastedeoderantziplockbagdogfood type shopping. When I finished my list I had quite a full cart and carefully surveyed the check-out lanes trying to find the one that seemed would have the shortest wait.

I got in line behind a mother and her (I’m guessing here) seven-year-old daughter. They had only one bag full of purchases and appeared to be checking out as I began to place the items from my cart on the conveyor belt.

In that peripheral way you notice things, I realized the woman was having trouble using her debit card. My immediate reaction was “Well that’s just great, I wonder how long THIS is going to take!” Then I noticed the girl. She was standing very still, eyes looking at the floor, resigned in a way that told me this type of thing had happened before.

I continued unloading my cart, but looking at these two people I could see they just had …less than. They were not dirty or disheveled, just…poor. I can’t describe it, but I knew they were facing hard times.

The little girl, and this is what gets me, THE LITTLE GIRL, interrupted her mother’s conversation with the cashier to say couldn’t they let me check out. The cashier voided the woman's transaction and started scanning mine.

By now the manager had come over, and the mother was insisting that the debit card ABSOLUTELY had money left on it, that the credit card machine must not be functioning correctly. The manager explained he thought the machine was operational. This conversation went on the entire time my items were being scanned. And the little girl went back to standing so.very.still. I felt in my heart that there would not be a positive resolution to the situation; that they would leave without their intended purchases.

As the cashier rang up the last of my purchases I quietly asked if she would add their items to my bill. The cashier raised her eyebrows at me and I simply said "Just do it". The cashier did as I asked; I swiped my card, entered my PIN and started to leave. The little girl pulled at her mother’s sleeve and said “Mama, that lady just paid for our stuff!” I paused, smiled at her and said “Merry Christmas” and rolled my cart out to the car.

The woman never paused in her conversation. She didn’t look at me and I didn’t try to say anything to her. I had no desire to make what was probably an uncomfortable situation worse. I most certainly did not need her thanks.

More importantly, I am not sharing this tale with you for some sorry assed self-promotion, pats on the back or attagirls. And trust me when I tell you the amount of money I spent for the girl and her mother was a FRACTION of my total bill. I have no moral to neatly wrap this story up. I’m sharing this with you because in that moment I felt Christmas in my heart the way one is supposed to feel it. Because I wasn’t oblivious, impatient or self absorbed. And it felt truly great. Pass it on.

Holiday Open House

It's finally here - Jen's Holiday Open House! Hope you have time to check out some of the others! On with the show -

Well hey there, welcome!

Come on in

pull up a chair

make yourself at home.

The Santas live here.

The dinning room

has one of the crèches

This is from Düsseldorf



The family room

has a snowman theme.

The sun room.

Even the bathrooms have a little holiday spirit.

No time to take pictures of the kitchen

there's baking to be done.

Thanks for hosting Jen - Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Oh hai!

  • Friday morning the Precious Daughters left for the state regional debate tournament. Precious Oldest went as a sponsor and to judge; Precious Youngest went to compete. We got he call this afternoon - Precious Youngest and and team took FIRST!
  • The Christmas menus are planned. This is a relief.
  • We got major gift wrapping done today. A little more baking and I'm almost ready for Christmas.
  • Except for needing to clean my house and snap a few pics for Jen's Holiday Open House. Because I'm pretty sure no one needs to see rooms full of this:

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Grace in Small Things, part 7 of 365

  1. Two girls finished with finals
  2. The predicted ice storm amounting to …nothing
  3. Precious Oldest arriving safely home from school
  4. My little family having dinner together
  5. Hot soup and good bread

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is it Monday?

I walked into the kitchen this morning delighted to see I had about ten minutes before I needed to leave for the office and so would have time to get a few extra things done. I walked over to the kitchen window to open the curtains and...welcome to another addition of:


Good News: I was dressed and running ahead of schedule!

Bad News: I spilled most of the glass of V8 juice I was holding.

Good News: I did not spill a drop of V8 juice on the curtains!

Bad News: I did manage to cover my turtleneck, the floor and the wall with V8 juice.

Good News: The turtleneck I was wearing was black! And machine washable!

Bad News: The walls and floor are ... not.

Good News: I did not spill a drop of V8 on my pants!

Bad News: Because I wasn't wearing any pants at the time.

Good News: The kitchen window is on the back of the house!

Bad News: If you yell "FUCK" often enough and loud enough you WILL attract the attention of your neighbors.

Good News: ..... Oh, let's face it - there is no more "GOOD NEWS".

I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gee honey, thanks....

Please cast your mind back and remember the sad tale of the Angel that used to sit on top of our Christmas tree. Well, in fact, she's still up there as I haven't had time to find a replacement. Which is what the Saint was thinking when he decided to "help out". The Saint is not the best shopper, so it should come as no surprise that when he looked for a replacement it was...well...not quite what I would have chosen.

She's carrying a wand AND a torch!

AND she's fiber optic!!

In many


MANY colors!

And she comes with her own transformer!

She's going back tomorrow. Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Purloined, Pilfered, Pinched

In my usual shameless fashion I have purloined pilfered pinched borrowed a meme from Ree. (Ahem, who stole it from DaysGoBy. And so it goes...)

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog - Won't this be a given?
2. Slept under the stars - Does a tent count?
3. Played in a band - Flute, I wasn't very good.
4. Visited Hawaii - Probably won't go back.
5. Watched a meteor shower - Beautiful.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity - We'll talk about leaps of faith some time..
7. Been to Disneyland/World - The one in Florida. Twice.
8. Climbed a mountain - We lived in the Denver area for awhile. Hard not to.
9. Held a praying mantis - I don't think so, though I've held other yucky things bugs.
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped - No.Fucking.Way.
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - Cross stitch, quilting.
15. Adopted a child - Hmmmm.
16. Had food poisoning - I don't think so.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - But they don't let you any more.
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - But I love the trains in Europe and I think it would be a blast.
21. Had a pillow fight - Hello? Sisters? Girl Scouts?
22. Hitch hiked - Never had to.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - Life is short.
24. Built a snow fort - It's what kids do.
25. Held a lamb - I don't think so, but I'm not opposed.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a Marathon - Blech.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - No, we were there but we just...didn't.
29. Seen a total eclipse - More than one.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - What, I live in a cave?
31. Hit a home run - Bwahahaha!
32. Been on a cruise - No desire.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - If I was in the area I might.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - County Mayo, Ireland.
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - Italian, just the basics.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - But the feeling went away.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - Maybe our next trip to Italy.
39. Gone rock climbing. - OMG, forgot to tell you a tale of Thanksgiving!
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - It's more fun if you're half in the bag.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant - No, but I should.
44. Visited Africa - But not at the top of my list.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing - No, see (#11)bungee jumping.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Can't bring myself to scuba.
52. Kissed in the rain - Surely?
53. Played in the mud - See (#24) snow forts.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia - Again, I would, but not at the top of my list.
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - But I wasn't very good at it.
65. Gone sky diving - No, see (#11) bungee jumping.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - I would like to be a witness.
67. Bounced a check - Loooong story.
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - College boyfriend.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - I can't believe I haven't.
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican - Incredible.
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem - But I'd love to.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life - No, but I hope that I could if I needed to.
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - Don't get me started, but my latest were Charles Barkley and Danny Manning last month. They're HUGE.
92. Joined a book club - Not worth the time, no one read the boooks!
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - Have you been near that thing? No thanks.
97. Been involved in a law suit - And hope not to.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - More than once, it's not fun.

We had it coming

When we were decorating the tree on Saturday, one of the last things to be added was the angel on top. That is the TRADITION. She is always the last decoration added to the tree. She gets put atop the tree, plugged into the rest of the lights, a switch is thrown and she shines forth in all her majestic glory

Lights run around the bottom of her skirt, illuminating her from within. In her hands she holds two wee, tiny candles. I bought her for the first Christmas tree the Saint and I ever decorated together. The year we were ENGAGED. As in the year before we were MARRIED. For twenty three Christmases she graced the top of the tree.

I even COMMENTED to the Saint how AMAZING it is that year after year she continues to light the top of our tree!

You do see where this is going don't you? Yes my friends that's correct. I threw the switch and ...nothing. Oh the rest of the lights on the tree sparkled and shone, but not the angel. With a gasp she was snatched from the top of tree and I urged the Saint to find her replacement bulbs and get her back up and glowing STAT.

He turned her over and this is what he found. HOLES melted through the plastic in four places! Not to mention a large mass of tangled wires that I suppose did not raise safety concerns twenty some years ago.

Yes, it seems she's had it in for us for quite some time. Apparently she could have caused any one of the trees of Christmas Past to go up like a roman candle on the 4th of July.

The Saint simply shook his head and said "I guess she resented having a stick up her ass all theses years."

I guess she did.