Friday, August 29, 2008

Politically Incorrect

As an equal opportunity offender, I give you this.

Now go have yourselves a nice holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What if?

What if I told you the person in question was a boyfriend?

What if I told you I was so taken aback at the time that I didn't say anything?

What if I told you that I feel I should broach the topic with my daughter, but I don't know how? Or even if I should?

What if?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Here I sit, in the midst of birthday week, with nothing to say. I know! So unlike me! So instead of thoughtful prose I think I'll just disgorge all the various and sundry things flitting about in my brain of late.

The Weather - We had about a week in the high 90's and only three days that hit 100. Usually we get about a month of that. I've gone weeks at a time without properly clearing the kitchen table because we're dinning alfresco most evenings. I can't remember my gardens looking this good in August.

First Day of School - My nephew (Sib #2's son) started at his new school today. He's a quiet kid, so we're all sending good thoughts that the transition goes smoothly.

BLTs - Now my favorite breakfast. Ever.

Procrastination - I have two huge grants due in early September. Guess how much is written?

Project Runway - Now that the Olympics are over I'll have a chance to catch up on back episodes.

Forty Six - The age I turned on Sunday. It feels exactly the same as forty five, but with tighter pants.

Awards - How long after someone passes an award to you can you wait before spreading the love? Because I am WAY overdue.

Question - If you overheard someone say to your daughter "Don't say that. It makes you sound simple.", what would you think of the person who said it?

Eye Candy - Behold the (literal) fruits of my labors

Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Friday, August 22, 2008

So it begins

I think I'll knock off early today. Precious Oldest is driving in today and tonight the Precious Daughters and I will go out for dinner and then to see Kathy Griffin. Because we're starting birthday week here in Whoville. That would be the seven to ten days that surround my birthday. (Shut up. You'd do it too if you could.)

It's good to be Queen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How adorable was Shawn Johnson last night?

Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images / August 19, 2008

Photo: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


So remember last week when, as Melissa so eloquently put it, I let a roomful of strangers get to second base? And then went for my mammogram? Well I got a call yesterday that they wanted to do an ultra-sound of the right breast. And could I come in the next day.

So this afternoon I went back to the imaging center and I don't mind telling you I was FREAKED OUT. I was all "I'm sure it's nothing" to the Saint, but holy shit people, our odds are one in eight that we'll get breast cancer and they increase as we age. (Ahem, not that I'm old or anything.) And damn, I LOVE my breasts. They're SPECTACULAR. If you run into me at a topless beach? The girls will be OUT.

Aaaaanyway, I have the ultra sound. When the technician was done she went to consult with the radiologist. So I'm sitting in this dimly lit room, looking at a screen, seeing what I think they were "concerned about" and trying to keep my shit together. When the technician walked back in the room, rather than the radiologist, I figured that was a good sign. It was. Cyst. Fluid filled. Not a solid mass. Nothing of concern.

But here's the thing ladies. If it HAD been something, they would have caught it early. Because I went in for my mammogram. So, I'll sleep better tonight. Will you?

Monday, August 18, 2008



Any of the above words could be used to describe the general mood in Whoville last night. There is no doubt that certain members of my household would find said words applicable only to me. I, however, would not.

Let's just say one is helping a household member pack up for an extended stay away from home and is carrying a large box out of the basement. A large box filled to the brim with electronic devices (hair dryer, alarm clock, flat iron, power strips, CD player, etc., etc., etc.). And the person carrying said box realizes half way up the steps that the box is not taped shut on the bottom. And the box starts to collapse in on itself and a piece of electronic equipment escapes through the bottom of the box and skitters down the basement stairs. How pray tell, how, is this the fault of the person who neither brought the box home to be used for the move nor packed the box?

Let's just say one has had a long and testy tiring day and is in bed, in their nightie, watching gymnastics mentally preparing for the next day. And their spouse comes in and hands them sheets of paper with lots of important dates and activities listed out for the upcoming school year. And the spouse is incredulous pissed off annoyed that one is not wearing their READING GLASSES and one has to look for them. And the spouse proceeds to demand request that the important activities one will be participating in be declared RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Well, you can understand how one might refuse to cooperate and suggest having papers shoved in their face at this time of night is not appreciated.

Ahem. While one enjoys family togetherness A GREAT DEAL, after all is said and done, perhaps the school year beginning anew is not an entirely bad thing after all. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Live From Beijing

I love the Olympics. Winter and summer. I'll watch anything, even the most obscure sport. I cheer like the athletes can hear me.

I love that the beach volley ball women are wearing bikinis. I love that the American gymnasts are old enough to be in high school. I think Michael Phelps is a doll, but it's Aaron Peirsol I'm considering adding to my list.

But do you know what I've been waiting for? Really waiting for? Dara Torres and her shot at individual Olympic Gold. If any of you consider her "old"? Shut it, she's still five years younger than I am. And she made the team. At forty one she made the Olympic team!

So, the splash and dash. The 50 meter free.

And...slow off the start...Torres is ahead..and SECOND! The forty one year old won a fucking SILVER MEDAL! How awesome is that?

Friday, August 15, 2008

There's only two things that money can't buy

and that's true love and home grown tomatoes!

- Guy Clark

Is it just me?

Or do other people hide their bra and panties under their clothes during the gyno visit? Seriously, think about it. I'm lying on a sheet of tissue paper, wearing a gown made out of my grandmothers old apron, with some guy about to get all up in my business - and I HIDE my bra and panties? What, he's going to see something he SHOULDN'T? Sheesh.

So I had my fun appointments today. I kind of like my doctor. He's the department chair, so he knows what he's doing. Everyone is very nice to me because I'm his patient and he doesn't have that many. AND they're very considerate of his schedule so there's no ridiculous waiting around, in and out in thirty minutes.

Did you catch that? Department Chair? Um, yeah, at a teaching hospital. So the DOWNSIDE is he sometimes brings STUDENTS. Today I had THREE breast exams! For the price of ONE! And had my cervix described in great detail! By THREE people! Fortunately, only Dr. C palpated my uterus and ovaries. So let's give a little thanks for small blessings.

Then on to the mammogram. Because three breast exams in one day are simply not enough. Just me and Barb this time, thank the sweet baby jesus. She kept assuring me "we" were doing just GREAT! I haven't been felt up that much since high school.

For this I took off half a day of work? If I'd planned ahead maybe I could have squeezed in a dental appointment too.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've been a little grumpy. And out of sorts. I thought maybe it was because I've been staying up too late watching the Olympics. But something occurred to me yesterday.

I was driving with Precious Oldest to Target to do a "Back to College" run. (Holy hell people, start saving $$$ NOW!) And I started to get a little misty. And I realized I'm in the throws of my annual they're going "Back to School" schlump.

Precious Oldest leaves on Monday. Precious Youngest is checking in as we speak. Getting her last high school ID picture taken. Paying for her last high school parking permit. Getting her last locker assignment. This morning I took the last "First Day of School" picture.

1997, First and Third Grade

I don't know where the time has gone. I look at these faces and my eyes fill with tears, my throat closes up. From the day they were born I prepared them to leave us, to be on their own, to be successful. But now that they're doing it? I wish I wouldn't have been so damned efficient.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Crack Whores

I have a large bed in my back yard. It gets a lot of sun and it's all in shades of red, yellow and orange. And splashes of white, I always like some splashes of white.

Then of course there's the crack

If you're a butterfly that is

Nothing moves them from their appointed rounds

I'm keeping an eye on them

the next thing you know they'll be turning tricks

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Year

When I started this blog a year ago I felt fragile. My life felt tenuous and vague. I looked OK from the outside, but on the inside, Oy.

I was struggling with the realities of having gone back to the corporate world after an extended stay at home. I left the workplace in December of 1988 to be a mother and a homemaker. Jobs I enjoyed very much.

In 2005, with much upheaval and uncertainty in the Saint's industry, and more so within his company, I realized I shouldn't wait until I HAD to have a job to start to LOOK for a job. Let's face it, seventeen years out of the workplace isn't a 50 yard dash on the mommy track; it's a fucking MARATHON!

Additionally, I had failed to do any of the things one is supposed to do if they EVER plan on working again. I didn't work part time, I didn't "keep my hand in it", I didn't "maintain my contacts", I didn't "build a network". I had just walked away. I had to cobble together a resume with nothing more than leadership positions in every volunteer organization you can think of.

The first job I took was an unmitigated disaster that resulted in my resigning after only six months. As bad as it was, I learned a lot from the experience and the man who had hired me gave me such a glowing reference that my second job search lasted four weeks instead of four months.

I feel more settled now. Less anxious. Able to look ahead and know that I can do this; this "work" thing. (It helps that I'm being paid to do shit I used to do for FREE!) It's taken me three years to get my feet under me, to catch my breath, to adjust to my families time being dictated by someone else's timetable.

Writing here has been cathartic. Sharing my experience and hearing about the changes a lot of you are facing has made my journey easier. Outside of the Saint and the Precious Daughters, no one in my "real life" knows about this blog. I don't need to censor what I write here and that has been crucial to the therapeutic aspect of blogging for me.

All of this is a long winded way of saying to my readers that I thank you for stopping by. I thank you for your comments and insights. I thank you for sharing your experiences through your writing.

And if you ever wander over in the direction of Whoville, know that a comfy chair, a good meal and a glass of wine is waiting for each and every one of you!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The deed is done

OMG people, the eagle has landed. Well, in the sense that most of my sister's stuff is in the new house. Lessons learned:

If you put the washer and dryer on the moving truck FIRST, they will be the LAST things to come off the truck. (I carted what seemed like mountains of laundry from her house, to my house and back, but before I left last night my nieces' and nephew's beds were made up with clean sheets.)

When your carpet people tell you that delivery is C.O.D. it means they won't take a personal check. (I found out that my bank will do a cashiers check tout de suite for no charge whatsoever. )

If there's an asshole driving down the street, chances are pretty good they're driving a Mercedes Benz. (This particular asshole sat honking her horn over.and.over.and.over because she thought the moving truck was too far out in the street. The police informed her otherwise.)

The fact that your sister has the police on speed dial does not make her paranoid; it makes her WELL CONNECTED.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


For three days I have have been walking around mumbling the same thing under my breath over.and.over.and.over:

"I love my sister, I love my sister, I love my sister."

But right at this moment? I would GLADLY wring her neck.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Guess What?

  • It's August. How in the HELL did that happen?
  • It's also hotter than the hammered down hinges of hell here in Whoville.
  • My sister closed on the house last Friday. She's moving on Thursday.
  • I want to form cohesive thoughts here after a year with this blog, but I can't manage it.
  • Or maybe it's because I'm on my third glass of wine.
  • I need to update my blog roll DESPERATELY.
  • And I want to remodel my site.
  • I'm not pleased that my kitchen remodel keeps moving further and further down on the list of priorities.
  • I think I'll just go to bed.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Value of a Dollar

I started to leave a comment on Melissa's post about kids and money but after the fourth paragraph I folded up my tent and decided to write about it over here.

Money is an interesting topic. How much we have, how much we earn, how much we save are all topics people don't discuss much. Not even within the family. But here's the thing: how do your kids learn to handle money if you don't talk about it? Help them plan? Teach them the ropes?

Theories about children and money abound. Different things work for different families. Here is the way we went about things:

Up through second grade money was not an issue. We bought the Precious Daughters the things they needed, and sometimes the things they wanted. If they received checks on special occasions from family we parked it in the savings accounts we opened for them when they were still very small.

In third grade they started receiving a weekly allowance. (I took cash out of our account at the start of each month so I didn't get caught short or forget altogether.) They received one dollar per grade year. And yes, in the later grades we looked like cheapskates. Many folks adhere to the dollar per year of age ratio. But our girls babysat, mowed lawns, did "vacation duty" for traveling friends and were paid to do "Big Chores" that went above and beyond the usual. And let's face it, we still did the lions share of the purchasing.

In sixth grade the saving account changed to a money market account. When the statements came we would open them and I'd show them their interest from the last month. (Remember the glory years in the 90's when interest rates were 6% to 7%?) And they were all "Woot, free money! I didn't have to do a thing and these people gave me money!" It encouraged them to put money away in their money market account instead of just blowing it.

Twice a year we did a "big" clothes shopping trip. I'd withdraw a predetermined, per child amount in cash and stick it in an envelope. They'd have a list of must buys, and what was left over could be spent on whatever they wanted. Expensive jeans and tennis shoes did not seem so important if it meant you weren't going to get that cute sweater or t-shirt two stores over!

In high school we moved them to a monthly allowance. Between allowance and their "jobs" they were expected to take care of all their day-to-day expenses including gifts for friends, lunches, coffee, movies, etc. I still provided a twice yearly envelope of cash for clothing, but didn't feel the need to hover while they made selections.

At sixteen they got a checking account and debit card. This revolutionized the ease with which we operated. Instead of cash, I'd just move funds to their account and they'd use their debit cards. They could drive THEMSELVES to the mall! Better yet? They could run errands for me and I could reimburse them electronically!

At sixteen they also started working for an actual paycheck. The expectation is that the paycheck gets deposited in the money market account; then smaller amounts are moved to the checking account/debit card.

They fill their gas tanks. They pay for movies and dinners out. They purchase a lot of their own clothes. They don't ask us for money. Although the offer of gas money if they've been running family errands or cash to grab a burger is gladly accepted, they have no expectation that there is a money tree growing in our back yard.

Both girls have tidy sums saved. They're careful with their purchases. They seek out free and/or cheap forms of entertainment. (Have I mentioned there's a lot of sitting on my couch eating my snacks?!) Budgeting money is second nature.

Precious Oldest is in college. We've talked to her about the temptation of credit card offers and the horrors of getting into debt. We've discussed the evils of pay day loan schemes. We've extolled the virtues of driving a mediocre car, but one you paid cash for. Long before she graduates we'll make sure she has started planning for retirement. No, we DON'T think it's too early.

These are tough economic times. What are you doing to prepare your children?