Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Clap On Clap Off the Calpper

Call me crazy but I painted my bedroom today. Crazy I say because tomorrow I am expecting a house full of guests. It has been so long since we have been able to have light shed our room. That a change was a desperate need. Is there ever really a good time to paint?

We removed the panels that King Ralph custom fit to our windows 17 years ago to make midnight shift sleeping more tolerable--we were like vampires being exposed to light for the first time. The dark olive paint offered yet another measure of darkness during day hours transferred over to a beautiful Cafe Au Lait. Looks like the perfect cup of Starbucks coffee is splashed upon my walls. My new comforter set and all its dozen pillows ,of all shapes and sizes, rests upon the 400 thread count sheets--which feel like silk. I want to go to bed now, tired or not, just to rest in its makeover.

One thing, one new thing that remains just as it was--my Clapper. One of my BWFs gave me the Clapper for Christmas when I casually mentioned that I always wanted one. I attached it to the night stand lamp...clap-clap on, clap-clap off. It is like having a new toy. It is a new toy.

The other night M and I had a clap off. I clapped on, she clapped off, I clapped on and this went on till M's clap failed to register. I puffed my chest out like a proud peacock and said "you my daughter are a young pad won learner of the Clapper, I am the Jedi."

Now, just as before the bedroom got its makeover, King Ralph and I can be heard at all hours of the day and night clapping the light on and off. Practical? Yes. Entertainment? You bet! Here to stay? Most definitely!!

I love my Clapper.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Celebrations-Part 2

It was time to celebrate with the Avery's-- all had finally returned from there trot to Vegas to witness the nuptials, long over due, of Debbie and Dan. And, my downstairs tree lights blew there fuse at the most inopportune time. What's a party without a snafu; in this case a darkened tree.

Princess A and my niece Stephie proclaimed this DFF gathering (remember what I always say; divorced parents make holiday celebrating dysfunctional family fun) to be the one to fashion your "holiday best". Here is a few of us wearing our "best". Stephie beats everyone--one can hardly compete with a full-on sequence vest. We let cousin Pat off easy--The Christmas Story Oh Fudge Oh Fudge T-shirt just barely made it in the "holiday best" category. Then again King Ralph's Charlie Brown tie hanging around his neck did nothing more than distract from his transformer boot.

(M's thrift store shirt smelled like a jar of pickles)

In my laid-back-cleaning-frenzy attitude of the day I forgot to hide my Elvis head. It has been known since I received Mr. Presley last year for Christmas that there is a hit on the head. Thankfully Uncle Dan brought it to my attention and I flew, calmly as not to draw attention to my panic, up the stairs to hide The King and place the standard framed "Elvis has left the building" sign on the piano in its place. Good save! My niece gifted Aunt Linda (my stiff competition for the tchotchke) and I each with an M&M Elvis ornament to commemorate last year's white elephant gift claim fight. This year's hot item: the Coors Light bottle bank filled with popcorn. Although I was the original taker on the Coors Light bottle I did not end the night as the lucky owner...and no fight on my end to retain ownership.

There was feasting on appetizers galore. Aunt Linda's BLT dip was my overall favorite.

Then we continued with games. Seinfeld trivia. Left, Right, Center. XBox and Wii. The gamer blue ribbon goes to Uncle Dan for his DDR talent. A virgin to the DDR he may not have had the best overall score but he most certainly had the best bootie shake and arm swings. (Just more proof as to why his profession is in talk radio.)

Now our abode will take a few days rest before taking on the eve of the New Year's with a bash.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Celebrations- Part 1

I am on a path of perpetual party hosting and plain partying. I have no complainants, why should I... King Ralph got his hard cast off, traded for a space-like boot that comes off to shower and sleep and my girlies are all healthy, finally.

Here are the things that made the Christmas holiday so filling...

There was the annual reindeer relay races...this is me and my team the "Dancers"
and this is me helping my team lose.

From work to my house the party continued...or should I say started. There was a good attempt made at some form of caroling via karaoke by the BWFs and there spouses. The failed attempt at good tone could be contributed to one of two things; lack of singing talent or tequila shots.

The fun progressed on Christmas Eve when I was taken hostage in the kitchen--the stove my hostage taker. I served a hearty breakfast to my gift bearing little brother...where the favorite lines of the morning were; please pass that pint of five-dollar pure maple syrup and this is the best syrup why don't we have this around the house more often. I am thinking King Ralph will now be asking U.B over for extra fluffy buttermilk pancakes every weekend. He could even forego the other four dishes I served for a swig of pure maple syrup.

Just before we left for church I took our traveling wisemen-- who have moved from room to room, spot to spot around the house for the last month-- and placed them into the navity scene. Then we went to church were I missed Princess A, for the first time in six years, not playing Silent Night on her flute as the congregation peacefully sang with flickering candles in a dimly lit sanctuary--college changes much. We returned home to a table set with our best china and crystal then feasted on a dinner of steak-n-crab legs.

December 24's caloric intake--unmeasurable. Every bite--fabulous!

I woke on December 25 to cook a feast for our 20 guests. First, gathered around the tree, wrapping papers danced in the air-- starting at 8am...there was cameras and cell phones and hair straightening devices and slippers and 400 thread count sheets and over stuffed stockings.... It was Santa and magical memories all rolled into one. By noon wrapping papers and silver bows fluttered through the air once more while mini-meatballs, shrimp and cocktails were juggled from hands to mouths. As the guests continued rolling in one by one the prime rib was sliced and placed as the star next to these totally delicious butter and brown sugar green bean bacon wraps (tapping my inner wanna-be-chef I was on Food Network/Martha Stewart fire).

One of my favorite gifts was this cocktail slipper from cousin Nancy--a drink coaster. How cute does my martini look all dressed for Christmas?

Of course no Christmas is ever complete without adding another thousand calories so, we nibbled on homemade cookies of variety, cheesecake, red and green apples with homemade carmel pecan dip. Sugar comas for all. (I remained in that coma well past the day-late-once-a-week-trash-pick-up I am screwed till next Thursday, I mean really screwed.)

December 25's caloric intake--off the chart!

What are family holiday gatherings without a few snapshots:

There's the always customary family shot.

There's the girls (taken Christmas Eve).

The cousins...

and the group first cousins shot with my Alaska planted nephew and his wife added in by name on paper (we miss Capt. Charley and Capt. Suzanne).

Of course we had to snap a photo of the Newlyweds (and daughter). "Spousal Equivalent" was promoted in reference to "Spousal Unit" and the girls got to call Funcle Dan Uncle Dan for the first time.

I took today to...shop, do the dishes I left all over the house and prepare for tomorrow's festivity.

In other words--to be continued....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vegas Wedding Watchers Top Ten List

Reason to love attending an on-line Vegas wedding:

10. you can eat a bowl popcorn while you watch
9. your date can be a box of Franzia wine
8. you can wear sweat pants and no make-up to the wedding
7. you can laugh at the Mexican minister who says things like "Danny go claim your bride" and at his sermon that was like a Dr. Seuss book--his words all rhythm
6. you can laugh out loud
5. you can call the cell phones of those who traveled to Vegas to see if they'll answer
4. if they answer you can request they all wave to those sitting there living rooms watching
3. there is no obligation to chicken dance at a reception
2. if you have a highly contagious disease, say like mono, you can still attend the wedding

and the number one reason to love attending an on-line Vegas wedding...

1. Funcle Dan can wave and say for all watchers to hear: "Alee, Maddi, Demi I am no longer your Funcle Dan I am your Uncle Dan"

Congrats to my sister-in-law and her man Dan!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sixteen Candles

I can't stop singing sweet sixteen songs to our Maddi-Phyl this morning. She is getting annoyed...who wouldn't be at 6am with there mother batting off songs with a few soured notes. But I don't care; my middle girl, my tall girl, my funny girl is sixteen today. Sweet sixteen.

Once a chubby little baby girl who didn't like dresses because it slowed her crawl. Who like clothes more reminiscent of Punky Brewster than Heidi Klum. Who's brown curls where more like a mop. Who would see trash in the street and imagine an art project. Now stitches fashion creations on her machine, loves to wear dresses, who's long brown tresses are twisted a top her head and is tall and lean. Sweet sixteen.

My baby girl is sweet and sixteen. Happy birthday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Finding Meaning in Advent

My family attends church on Sunday. We attend Advent worship with our confirmation aged, and youngest, daughter each Wednesday evening. We sit silently while a verse is read from the bible that represents the candle of the Advent wreath-hope, love, joy, peace. Each week we join with the congregation after that lighting in song; celebrating another week of anticipation of the coming of the Lord's birth. Christmas. The real warmth all the candles glow will bring.

Now, I don't often write about what it is I do at work. Mostly because the nature of my job is guarded by privacy acts. But, Saturday morning I readied myself to donate my time for a good cause--Adopt-A-Family.

The school had spent the last month competing to raise funds to purchase gift certificates, donating food and household goods, purchasing specific gifts for a specific--yet unnamed-- individual, family. The signs of a recession showed little. Generosity was abound. The halls of the lower level were stacked tall and wide with boxes; each marked with just a number to represent the family in need. Anonymous they remain to most.

I'm sure we have all done this, donated something during December for someone in need. Giving just brief thought to the nature and meaning of the donation. Probably a feeling of we helped and then going on with our own blessed lives.

Saturday changed that for me.

I carried box after box, bag of presents after bag of present; then I saw the meaning of those Advent candles come to life. I had nearly finished loading a car for a family with young children when I walked to the passenger side of the car to load one last box that had no place to fit in the back. I was lifting one of many bags of presents to slide the box of food under the bag when the mom picking up the donated gifts; and I know believing she was safely alone in her car to shed her emotions of gratitude, turned her head towards me with tears streaming her cheeks. I smiled at her and wished her Merry Christmas. Then I shut the car door.

My heart was humbled.

That mother felt it, the symbols of Advent; the hope that there is goodness in this conflicted world, the love and kindness of strangers, the joy that she would be able to give her children a Christmas unlike one she could provide and peace. Peace of mind? Peace on earth? Just maybe so, if only for her at that moment, in this time.

For me, everlasting.

Several weeks ago someone in my church gave every member of the congreation five dollars to take out into the world and do some goodness. To sprinkle our touch of Advent some where in the community. King Ralph, Princess A, M and D all donated there money to Children's Hospital so they could purchase gifts for the kids who will spend the holiday couped inside lying in a bed. I had different plans.

I am taking my money and buying ice cream for six children who are on the free lunch program. These are the kids who are blocked from being able to purchase snacks. It is so hard to watch a kid want to be just like everyone else, but they can't be because the family finances can't allow.

I hope tomorrow when I buy the ice creams they all love it and they feel the joy a sweet treat can bring. It will give me the peace this season is really all about.

Advent is alive.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll

King Ralph and I had one of those, happens-more-often-home-alone Friday nights. So we went out for a steak dinner. Then instead of getting drunk on beers and martinis we got drunk on the list of upcoming holiday hosting we have on our calendar.

We sat there going over the dates and the menus. The drink selections. The guest lists.

Then instead of enjoying our Red Box movie I flopped on the couch with my head spinning in a drunken stupor--only wishing it was a real drunken stupor.

Let's see there's next Friday's BWF "choir practice": drinks, lots of them and Christmas karaoke (because if we are going to call hanging with co-workers after 330pm "choir practice" we need to really sing-- at least once). Saturday's Vegas wedding watching party, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, M's Sweet Sixteen...

I've got the Today show hosts every 5 minutes reminding me that I have 12 days till Christmas. I need to wrap more. Bake. Decorate a bit more. Shop for a few more things.

I'm going into a panic!

In the mean time I am due at work in less than an hour. Needing to put in three hours for a good cause.

I will need two things to get through the next several weeks: Valium and an enema.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today my hair smells like:
A) Best Western $29.99 a room complimentary shampoo
B) A mix between my Grandma's face powder and toilette water from the cosmetic area in Walgreens being passed off as expensive perfume
C) a shampoo scent that should never have left the laboratory, let alone been manufactured
D) All of the above

The correct answer is D.

Please daughters, STOP, S-T-O-P, taking MY shampoo from MY shower!

My suggestion to you both (because it seems to happen so often to single either of you out), that you put an emergency bottle of cheap hotel complimentary shampoo in your showers--for the times your bottle runs dry.

Uhg, teenagers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Will They Ever Learn...


No, it's not Santa: Burglar gets stuck in chimney
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:22 PM ES
The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Santa aside, that trip down the chimney doesn't work so well after all. Police arrested a burglar early Wednesday who spent a harrowing three hours stuck inside the chimney of a pawn shop.
Authorities were called to the location at 3 a.m., and found the man wedged in the chimney, unable to move. After about three hours, rescuers were able to knock away bricks and free him.
He was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The man's name has not been released.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Cookies Sing-A-Long

Where is that cassette tape hiding, the one with this song on it?

I think Princess A being away at college [during this festive time] has got me all nostalgic; remembering driving around town doing December errands while we girls all sang this song.

In between performances we cranked out dozens of varities of Christmas cookies--mostly my Grandma's cookies. Still do.

M, D come here momma wants to have an ole' fashion seasonal sing-a-long...I sure do like those Christmas cookies Sugar, I sure do like those Christmas cookies Babe....

Nostalgia always warms the Christmas spirit.

And, I, guess, someone should start baking!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Help Secured

It was suggested that if I hung the Christmas house lights myself they would look like this:

So I secured my brother for Sunday light hanging. That's what little brother's are for!

One more thing checked off my holiday to do list.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday To Do List

1. Pick up photo cards I just ordered, address and mail...buy stamps

2. Hang greenery on top of kitchen cabinets and on pillars in basement

3. Bake cookies, lots of cookies

4. Finish shopping

5. Wrap, wrap and wrap some more

6. Find some kind soul to hang lights on the eaves of my house since King Ralph has a broken foot and can't climb a ladder this season

7. Ask my little brother to be that kind soul.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Favorite

This was always my favorite as a child. What's your favorite?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blogcation over...Thanksgiving break too.

It appears by the date of my last entry that I took a sort of blogcation. If you must know I am completely and totally exhausted! I spent days cleaning, cooking, partying, shopping, cleaning, cooking, partying....

Thanksgiving was fabulous. Low key in terms of the amount of company I served but, still the same amount of food prepared and consumed. My mother-in-law's husband couldn't eat enough of my green bean wraps, M may actually be a mashed potato and Princess A ate like...well like she was trying to put on that "freshman fifteen" all in one weekend visit home. I wish I could insert a photo of the most beautifully roasted turkey, however my bird did not believe in nude photography so, bird pornography was out. Maybe next year.

Friday, Black Friday, I drug King Ralph (at his request) out shopping before the moon set and the sun rose--his first ever Black Friday. He was dismayed at the lined crowd outside the Target store and swore to the good Lord above that I would not get the gift I purposely set out to capture. Ha-ha, ye of little faith, I walked briskly in a safe non-threatening manner and grasped my hands onto the golden box. A niece is surely to love me more come Christmas. We continued on this path of mad shopping all day. Returned to gobble up leftovers, refueled with an afternoon nap, then back out again. I am nearly done shopping. What a good feeling that is!

Saturday back to cleaning but little cooking, and lots of partying. The girls hosted a chocolate and cheese wedding shower for Aunt Debbie. Her engagement may possibly be the world's longest--7 years plus. According the game the girls made up she and Funcle Dan have been spousal equivalents for 17 years 3 months. Since she didn't want a shower, or should I say a typical shower we surprised her with a rain of quarters to use in Vegas on the slot machines. Hopefully she'll hit the jackpot and not need to find a replacement job [for the one she lost]. So while we feasted on chocolate and cheese we chased it down with wine and mud slides. Then when the men returned from the hockey game we had family game night and feasted more.

(counting quarters $10, $20, $30, $40, $50, $100...)

Somewhere in all this hustle and bustle Princess A managed to get the tree up and the mantle decorated before returning to college. (The tree may need to retire soon as it is being held together, well not together rather shall I say being kept horizontal with a few dry wall screws and an unseen bungee cord.) In a failed attempt I tried to get a creative photo for our Christmas card. I may have to get extra creative this year.

So what did I do today, Monday...I went back to work to relax.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sorry Mr. Turkey, No Pardon From The President For You

We are almost there, the day which is especially reserved for giving thanks.

The house is clean. The scent of Mr. Clean with febreeze, meadow and rain permeates the air. Mmmmmm.

The turkey now rests in a bucket of brine. The green bean bundles are snugly wrapped in bacon; awaiting there coat of brown sugar and butter. The table is set with my china. Grandma Swast's hurricane candles flank the fresh flowers.

And, so, I have time to catch a quick breath and remember what it is I am thankful for and why my cornucopia continues to runneth over. Of course the list of thanks spilled out of the cornucopia so the order is a bit jumbled.

2. dog
3. a yard that is, today, leaf-free...thanks to me.
4. gas powered leaf blower
5. key start lawn mower
6. four and five in either order
7. the spine doctor that watches carefully over Maddi
8. a job I love
9. My BWFs (best work friends)
10. My BFFs
11. hikes in the mountain
12. flip flop fuzzy slippers
13. black boots, both pairs
14. choir practices with my BWFs
15. country
16. right to vote (even if yours canceled mine out)
17. sound of the piano playing
18. laughter
19. clean sheets
20. a good book
21. Red Box movies
23. neighbors
24. health
25. gas at a $1.43 a gallon

Of course if time allowed my list could go on forever but, time does not allow. While one special bird received a presidential pardon and a first class ticket on a plane to Disney World; I have to continue on the path that will bring my bird to the oven--then table for feast. Instead I will simply wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It Wasn't a Dream...It Was a Dream Come True

The Toyota crawled into the gas station on fumes. I got the best feeling, a feeling I haven't felt in... in... in so long I can't even remember. I filled the car up and it only cost me $17.25.

Can you believe? Believe.

I wanted to dance a jig right there next to the pump. That is what gas at $1.64 a gallon can do to this girl.

It was like I had enough extra money to buy one of those 96 ounce sodas in the Styrofoam cups.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Blog

Dear Blog-

I have been absent for a while, not much in the mood for typing out thoughts or happenings. I suppose that happens to all bloggers from time to time.

Yesterday I wore my new frilly t-shirt. It made me happy. Although it went against everything I believe in; that people in there 40's should not purchase fashion from Forever 21--but I did! I even got compliments. Maybe it is okay after all? What is it about wearing some item of clothing that can change, uplift your presence? Your spirit.

Last Sunday at church as we left everyone in the congregation received a fresh, crisp, new five dollar bill. We are all suppose to go out in the world and do something good with our moneys...you know pay it forward. We, meaning my family, have decided to pool our cash together since, twenty-five dollars can do more good for the betterment of mankind than just five dollars. Now we just need to decide how we would like to pay it forward. Hmmmmm?

I have been a keeper of a secret and finally yesterday it was announced to the band. The application has been mailed and we all sit back awaiting word if the kids will be selected to represent the state of Missouri at the Presidential Inaugural Parade. The question was posed when the board said it was a great star to reach for, if those who voted Republican would be okay with the parade. Never one afraid to speak my mind I said, something to the effect of, as a Republican the parade does not just stand for the man who is president of our country but rather it should represent that as Americans we are proud of the land we call home, that we believe in the constitution that was drafted so many years ago, and the men (and women) who have fought so hard to afford us all our freedoms. More so it shall represent that we all can work together. I think I also said don't use the word "historical" to me because if we truly believe in the words of our constitution we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...then our newly elected president rather than being labeled "historical" should be referred to as-- a man of great achievement; just like all those who have gone before. And, I would say the same thing if a woman was elected. So we sit waiting to hear if we will be road tripping to DC. I continue to keep my fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So Happy It's Thursday!

One, because I can now tell you all that I have managed to run, not walk, 1.5 miles each morning. I feel so alive because of it.

Two, that I have already made a huge pot of chili for dinner tonight (and to take to Princess A tomorrow).

Three, Maddi and I are taking the hour and half drive to Cape tomorrow to take Princess A to dinner. The chili she can eat with her friends on Saturday. The beauty of my Princess living far enough away from home to grow into herself, while being educated, is that I can cruise down for dinner then be back in my own comfy bed from a nights rest. I haven't yet done this but I think she needs a "real" mom fix...and something other than dorm food.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Brrrr It's Cold Outside

What is it about the break out of cold weather that makes us do things we otherwise would try to avoid?

Like raking leaves.

It becomes a race against future weather conditions. It proves the epitome of a job never finished.

M and I spent 3 hours in the front yard dreaming of a world made of Astro Turf and plastic trees. But, in reality we were out in that yard bounding; one raking, one blowing, one bagging, one mowing-- working as a team. Me and my Maddi-Pal.

When the next day is colder than the day before (I saw flakes of snow dance in the air for a brief moment) I find myself, and a lot of others, in line at the grocery buying ingredients to make comfort foods. I have just spent two hours chopping, dicing and mincing, sauteing and whipping..creating foods to warm the soul.

When the dinner bell rings--Shepard's Pie is headed to the table. When the morning alarm sings-- egg casserole for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

November 4

The alarm went off this morning with the sound of the National Anthem. So patriotic and fitting on this November fourth election day. Almost as if a subtle reminder to get out there and exercise our right as an American to vote.

There are a couple of things that make me instantly crabby:
1. Having to go late worship service at my church
2. Getting in the shower only to find one of my girls has taken my shampoo

Then there is today. Voting.

While everyone is all "change we need". I am all; you should have given me a better selection of choices. So I will dress, drag myself to the poles (before work), stand in (what I hope is a fast moving) line to cast my vote for the lesser of two evils.

Never before have I dreaded exercising my right to vote! And, so, I will rest it in the hands of God and hope whatever the outcome, this country of ours can somehow find a way to make peace with the decisions made.

Amen? Amen.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

What is better than having October 31 off from work and school?
The spooktacular day had [at school] on the eve of Halloween.

So I present to you "the office".

If you dare to enter through the front door

The dead have been awakened

(Vampiress, Dead Bride & Dracula)

(ve vant to bite your neck)

Here's wishing everyone a trick-r-treat filled Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Two Day Vacation

No zero hour for two days almost feels like a two day vacation. But, when I am beginning to enjoy sleeping past 530am I will be summoned by my alarm clock for two final days of zero hour. Just in case I forget why I am waking in the morning...this is my reminder.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Great Thaw

I sat there shivering in the cold while I blogged in my head

Why am I here? Is it my commitment to supporting my daughter? Maybe it is my love for my Alma mater--this not the case. Is it a cold October night and football that has its own distinct scent of fall drawing me here? Whatever the reason I am here the wind cuts into my skin like steel stakes piercing, the wind lingers on my hands and cheeks like the sting of a bee. The only part of my body not frozen is the drip that comes from my nose. Last years Kleenex, which looks like a slice of Swiss cheese, resting in the pocket of a resurrected ski jacket awakened from hibernation was a new found friend. I shivered like a leaf in the wind.

Let me put it in plain terms...I WAS FREAKING COLD AT THE FOOTBALL GAME LAST NIGHT! (I'm planning a move south) A great game, over time, nail biting game, only to lose in the end.

My body, which felt like the frozen tundra, thawed around 6am; just in time to wake to wish D a Happy 14th Birthday.

Time. I suppose this is the one thing that I would wish could remain frozen. My baby is growing to quickly!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shut Up and Sip Your Wine

Do you ever start to blog and then realize the words you are putting down are nothing more than a rant that serves only yourself? I have been, with great restrain, holding my tongue. I would really like to go on a tangent. Then the precision processor in me reminds that tangents serve no real purpose and solve nothing.

In this case, nothing will change what aggravates me...no angers me. Some people in this world would rather live a selfish existence rather than a selfless one.

Just know the bottle of wine in the fridge, I used last weekend to make chicken, is offering up a calming effect--for me.

As I sip my wine I also remember that person who aggravates is so insignificant to the things that really need attention; like my mother-in-law.

And, with that said, I almost feel better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ty Funga Runga

I managed last year to stay very healthy while working in the elementary school system. This year not so. And the 08/09 school year has barely sprung from the calendar pages.

But I have it.


I'm not digging feeling like this; all tired and run down, sore throat, snot draining. Hot and cold.

The janitor named it--ty funga runga.

That may be code for: feeling like total shit...I mean crap.

I am off now to curl under my fresh sheets and drift away. First, a medicine cabinet concoction.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Java And Morning Thoughts

I've been up since 5am. Uhg. Creating buns. Double uhg. Those God forsaken roaring 20's color guard buns. Half days of school and Friday BOA competition will drive girls (in numbers) to sleep at my house just to get a good bun.

America, I believe, at least a good handful, are looking at the VP candidate to where they will be casting there vote...I can no longer look to Paris as my write in candidate. Rhianna. Why? Ruined it for me.

I will need to finish cutting (well shaving) King Ralph's head this morning. Last night the trimmer crapped out when I had half his head shaved. I don't know, what do you think of the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde hair style. In? Or out?

It is so good to have Princess A home for four days. Even if she talks more about her new "mom". I feel like I am in competition these days with a teenager.

I'm thinking D is sleeping through her alarm. This is not good.

Morning thoughts coming to an abrupt end.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Office October Holiday Guidelines

We did it. We agreed on a theme. Amen.

Because Halloween has gone from cute adorable children screaming out trick-r-treat to pillow cases in extended greed abound arms crammed in the face of the generous, expecting candies, with no preempting or gratitude. Because costumes have gone from ghoulish cute to pole dancing delicious. I am here to set the office staff straight as we plan our highly anticipated themed Halloween office decorations. Sssshhh now, it's an Old Fashion Haunted Halloween House. (if you dare to spill the beans I am sending the grim reaper after you)

This my friends is Hookerween:

And this my friends is Halloween:
If you are one of those skinny bitches in the office who can pull off Hookerween feel free to pole dance your way door to door for Snicker bars--after 330pm.

Ideas now. I need some ideas of an old fashion spooky Halloween costume (maybe even to borrow my size ten caboose). Oh ya, and if you have a fog machine that we can borrow we'll take it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Save Room for Jesus

Like all the great drummers that have gone before; Ringo Starr, Neil Peart, Keith Moon...then there is M's marching band bass drummer date...who I will refer to as "the boy" (and I would like more if he had a date with the barber)

(Which by the way, what is up with these boys and the no jacket fashion? I mean pinning a boutonniere to a dress shirt, not so easy.)

To liven things up F-Uncle Dan stopped by to give his F-uncle approval (which is still pending). Of course such a task requires hilly billy (fake) teeth and a fart machine in the pocket so, he sounded as if he was breaking wind he went for the F-Uncle feeler hand shake. M simply looked at "the boy's" mother and said "meet my family". The mother coming to snap pictures ruined King Ralph's whole planned speech; which I am sure he will be giving at another opportune time.
There was the gathering with many friends for some pre-dance photos

The group grew some more

My parting words to M's date as they left for the dance, or should I say dinner--"save room for Jesus".

And, I, was, not, kidding!

"The boy" is still in the process of having his date my daughter application being processed. Processing may take...a-hell-of-a-long-time.

Really--here's to tons of fun at LHS's Shanghai High Night's homecoming dance

Thursday, October 09, 2008

ReAsoNS tHat THurSdaY HaD tO Be a BetTEr dAY


I wore a lavender bra with a cream t-shirt. I had just gotten to the middle school to drop off the forgotten field trip money when I realized I forgot to change my bra to match my change in wardrobe choice. The secretary promised me you could not tell, that my t-shirt was thick enough to mask the color.

Then. This.

I exited my car, took ten steps, and my favorite sandals snapped. I was left with two choices A. walk barefoot through the office and school or B. call King Ralph to make me an emergency shoe purchase and delivery. I opted for choice B. He did good! I am the proud owner of a cute pair of black slip on Sketchers. Thank goodness I chose the black and white ensemble for the day. Bonus: the shoes are great rope jumping shoes when I feel the desire to engage in some playground fun.

Could it get any worse?


I spent way to long combing the county for cherry red shoes to match the little black dress M will be wearing to homecoming. First we battled that $70 for a pair of shoes for a girl just shy of 16 years old was not going to happen. We settled on a pair of black shoes at Target for $27. Only then to realize I left my wallet in the car...the car I wasn't driving.

I came home changed into my PJ's, fell asleep on the couch and tried to forget that Wednesday was truly a hump day for me.

So I know you are wondering, was Thursday a better day?

Let's just say King Ralph was so good at picking out my emergency shoes that he felt brave enough to take Maddi to find her homecoming shoes...and he found the cherry red shoes at the $40 limit we set.


Now if that doesn't make me want to fall in love all over again I don't know what would.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

(Time Delayed) Reflection

Sometimes weekend events are so thrilling it is worth stopping everything to put it in black and white…sometimes it takes a while to digest all the excitement--and gain some much needed reflection energy.

1. As I prepared to head out the door so M could take her drivers permit test D informed me the dehumidifier exploded, blowing black stuff all over the floor. I needed to check this out for myself. It was more than a dehumidifier explosion it was a sewer back up. A back up on a weeks plus worth of laundry, for a family of four, just dropped in the center of the laundry room—now covered in poo. No permit attained on this day instead, I mopped and scrapped and moved at a record pace. You see I had to be at the high school in an hour and a half.
2. The lack of sleep all weekend
3. Using the Johnny-on-the-Spot...I can't even reflect it was so horrifying!

1. Being on a coach bus with about 60 marching band girls for 4 hours; two days in a row.
2. Watching the movie Disturbia (it was agreed that this movie should have won every Oscar statue that is offered)
3. Watching the movie Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift (the band director determined the moral of this movie is that there is underground racing in every country. I determined the moral was there is bootylicious in every underground racing ring in every country)
4. Watching the movie Tremors (because nothing will scare you to death than a giant man eating earth worm)
5. Making Roaring 20’s hair-do’s for 14 on a bus while inhaling hairspray and hair gel
6. Having my own chaperon hotel room complete with a king size bed. I used all five pillows, because I could, not because I needed to. I fell asleep with the TV on. I also used every bath towel because I didn’t have to share and because I just wanted too.
7. Seeing a gas station in the KC area that read $2.99 a gallon.
8. Watching Ray the bus driver puff cigars like a smoking chimney. Then driving the bus hacking up his left lung (also driving a little fast and furious from listening to the movie while driving, screeching halts at red lights while those in row one on the bus got a better view of the windshield)
9. Taking a restroom break at the truck stop and doing a little window shopping with a band director (truck stop hats are the fashion statement of the day).

10. Dive jumping on the hotel room beds and capturing it on film (does this compromise good chaperon behavior or just make me a cool, no an insane chaperon?)

11. Leaving Jillian’s cross (she got from Granny for her first communion in my hotel room)

1. Watching The Bucket List (a movie the adults picked for the bus ride home, thank God)
2. Not being able to finish watching Tremors (since we got back to school before the movie was half way in)
3. Winning second place in the Bluesprings Marching Competition 6A prelims, getting best effect and best solo-Jazz ensemble
4. Winning third and getting best music in the finals (it was a tough competition and the kids should be proud)

5. Coming home to cleared sewer pipes and King Ralph and D doing all the laundry (and he said for the last 21 years he did not know how to do laundry)
6. Jillian finding a replacement necklace that all I have to do is give her money to make me feel less guilty for leaving her sentimental jewelry in room 411.
7. Going to bed at 9pm on Sunday.
8. M finally getting her drivers permit on Monday

Sunday, October 05, 2008

840pm is not to early

After spending the greater part of my three day weekend with the 188 members of the high school marching band...on a coach bus to boot--840PM is not to early for bed.

So I am headed there-- now.

That is, if, I have the energy to crawl to my bed. Which is questionable.

We'll talk tomorrow.

I have stories to tell.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wonder what they think now

When I visited Princess A for parents weekend-- this is how the girls of the eighth floor at East where thinking in terms of politics (and many first time voters.)

Wonder what they are thinking now that they, we hope, watched the VP debate. Will some of those yellow post-it notes change sides?

We all know I am casting my vote for Paris Hilton...Mickey Mouse already has about six percent of the vote, each election.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

okay so I am blogging, finally

Here is the problem with my lack of blogging lately. I spend all my non-sleeping, non-working, non-chained to the wash machine, non-soliciting band parents to volunteer events hours in the high school "green room" making Roaring 20's hairstyles and pinning bra straps to red flapper dresses. These hands are so pin pricked and heavily coated with hair gel and hair spray that the fingers stick to the keyboard, so...my posts would look like this asdfjkl;;lkjfddsa. Unless someone is the holder of the secret decoder ring my blogging would make no sense to anyone other than maybe-- a Vulcan.

So we had a "free" day today. It was decided that taking a drive across the state line to pick apples seemed like a sensible form of entertainment; for four people. Why not burn that $3.58 a gallon gas, stand in the blazing sun, fight crowds of people hovering three rows of golden delicious apples for-- 8 pounds of apples that I could have bought at the top of the street from a pleasantly air conditioned grocery store (by hoofing it to boot). But it seems like it was worth it after all.

Look at the pie D baked. Looks pretty good, huh?

I'll take mine ala' mode

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend Recap

I am still in recovery mode from an extreme event weekend.

Here's a few photo highlights:

The Color Guard at the Friday night football game--performed for a team that remains undefeated. Go Flyers!

Then I woke up (still tired) and made the same fourteen Roaring 20's hairstyles I made just 16 hours earlier--in preparation for the band's first competition (where they placed second).
(M working her moves on the 30 yard line, managing not to cross into the tuba player this time).

While King Ralph and I played out divide and conquer; he headed to SEMO for family weekend and the AXO BBQ. Then drove up to Farmington-- to join me-- with Princess-Baby AXO in tow to show support for M. Then we all drove down to SEMO to finish off family weekend.

The sisters sit on that roommate free bed. King Ralph wants to help the Princess become an entrepreneur by hanging a sign on her door that says something like this: locked out? kicked out? knock on the door twice hand over a ten. He thinks she can rent out that unoccupied bed and rake in some extra dough.

While M took to the unoccupied bed free of charge...she got to experience a dorm fire alarm at 4am, with a sleep interrupted evacuation.

I sat up all night just knowing I should have accepted that door to door invite to the frat party--where frat boy promised there would be games and prizes. Game: Quarters? Prize: Keep the quarter after you chug the cup of beer?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

what is she talking about

Forget the fact I fed the girls already prepared mashed potatoes and steam fresh mixed veggies from a bag for dinner. I made this speech to my third grade lunch bunch today:

We have called you two minutes early from recess so [I] could tell you that you are all behaving in the cafeteria like you are at a pub and grill...this cafeteria is like a fine dining establishment, you should be using your indoor-I-am-at-fine-dining-establishment-voices. We do not want to hear you scream at the tables to your neighbors, we do not want to hear the pounding of a fist rattling the tables, lunch trays crashing to the ground....

Oh my gosh it's this part of my job I loathe, the cafeteria Nazi. And, since I am the one with the voice that has the volume I am always the one who steps forward to speak on behalf of my lunch team.

I think if I would have channeled my mind reading talent I would have heard some wise guy third grader saying to himself; fine dining establishment,ha, then where is my truffles, foie gras, escargot, and a bottle Saint-Geron water? Instead we were served pancakes, a sausage link, a greasy square hash brown and milk in a carton. To wipe our mouths we have napkins that are like single-ply toilet tissue. Tomorrow I am going to demand cloth, linen, napkins.

To which I would have been hard pressed not to respond, dude tomorrow your mom is brown bagging it for you; spam sandwich and Vienna sausages in the can and a bottle of tomato juice.

Or maybe I should invest in ear plugs and whistle.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Last Obligation Free Weekend Till November First

Here's a simple, quick recap of my no obligation weekend.

Friday night with no kids...dinner and a margarita with the King. Then a trip to Home Depot-- nothing says I love my wife like taking her on a date to the hardware store. (I should have had two margaritas.)

Cleaned the storage room. Found my good watch that I "lost" on the spring break trip. (Ssshhh I never told King Ralph since it was a Christmas gift). And now, the storage room is the cleanest room in the house.

Shopped for M's homecoming dress. It did not cost what I told King Ralph I planned on spending. Today he asked the cost, moaned and then M tried it on and modeled for him...he wore his I-am-a-sucker-dad-for-my-daughter-looking-beautiful smile across his face and all is well. Thank God he is a sucker for his girls' beauty and taste for good fashion. We haven't broke it yet we have to buy shoes too. I'll tackle that on another day. (I didn't mention I saw a lot of tranny mess at the mall on Saturday night, thank God my girls are tasteful!)

Now I am going to watch What happened in Vegas,for a second time, because it is worth the laughs.

The End.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Just the Concession Stand for Goodness Sake

I called half the world yesterday. Okay so that was an extreme exaggeration, but it felt like it, it was half the marching band. And to date only 2 of those who I left messages has returned my call--even signed up to work.

I think someone has sounded the seven trumpets alerting to my call for volunteers-- like I am one the last seven plagues. I'm being to feel, as the band's volunteer coordinator, that I am one of those last seven plagues. I'm calling the other half tonight. Consider yourself warned!

Remember people...you can run but you can't hide. I've got your address. I'm not below hunting you all down till you sign up to work a shift, or work some event. Run I say, I dare you.

People, it's just the concession stand for goodness sake.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

House Bunny

There's a new bunny in the SEMO Alpha Chi Omega house.

And she's a better vision of Greek pink than Anna Faris is as Shelley Darlington in The House Bunny.

A matter of fact all these LHS alumni are the cutest visions of Greek pink. Don't you think?
(Princess A is the girl farthest on the right)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What's on Tap tonight

Nothing is on tap but, I am serving up shots of Nyquil to everyone in the house.

We might even have a contest as to who can throw there shot back the fastest.

I need to shake this. It's messing with my zen. My yin and yang are feeling off balance. I feel ick and crabby in my own skin.

It bugged and maybe it shouldn't have

Last night when I went to the high school open house M's English teacher was wearing open toe shoes and her nail polish looked like it went through the grinder. A little polish on this toe, none on that toe....

It just didn't have that meet-this-honors-English-teacher-professional-I-wanna-impress-the-parents-appearance.

Does noticing that make me a snob?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Month Number Nine

I found myself walking around work today softly signing Neil Diamond's September Morn, which seems fitting considering it is now September. It clashed with Mr. Hayes Irish tune of Danny Boy (which we all know is more in line for the month of March).

On this September day I wonder if the ick my body feels is a brewing of Princess A's strep throat , M's summer cold or my disgust with this whole presidental election. Whatever it may be-- pass the Kleenex. Two aspirins and a glass of water. Turn off the RNC (just like I turned off the DNC).

Now put me to bed.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Defying the Rule

Since our Labor Day was basically reorganized by bacteria. Because I am having to send my child back to college with tonsils the size of ping pong balls. I have laid around the house in a tye-dye T-shirt blocking myself from any much needed sun rays in an effort to live up to my Florence Nightingale standards of care. I am going to defy all fashion rules that come post Labor Day.

I am going to wear my Old Navy white walking shorts to work tomorrow. One because I have job that if I dress up the shorts I can get away with. Two because I love my Old Navy white walking shorts.

And if you dare to comment I will wear white shoes, patent leather white shoes.

So to the post Labor Day white rule I say to the winds and--screw you!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Campcation Cut Short

If it wasn't bad enough that our last minute choice to go camping and floating on the Meramec River wasn't disorganized enough (we won't talk about how I forgot to pack pots for cooking, bug spray, charcoal or pillows for King Ralph and I) it suddenly came to screeching halt at 530am today.

I guess when our child returns for her first weekend home from college in a lethargic state we should have heeded the warning sign as to what could come. Or when she woke on Saturday morning saying her throat hurt a little; we shouldn't have brushed it off with the statement "you must have drainage". Maybe when she got a fever midday and I was feeding the Princess ibuprofen like M&M candies, the sirens should have blared, to me, to pack up and leave right then.

So this morning at 530am when an 18 year old Princess A stood at the foot of my camper bed crying saying how sick she felt, didn't sleep all night and how terrible her throat hurt I knew this was something more. I tried really hard to find an urgent care center in the area where we were camping that our insurance accepted. Not because I wanted to continue camping or even go floating but, because I wanted the fasted medical care I could get for my sick Princess.

Who would think this river town has nothing my insurance company can offer. No urgent care centers closer than 75 miles. No Walgreens with a nurse who does rapid strep tests. Or even a doctor willing to make camper calls. So we packed fast and made a b-line for our doctor's office before the Sunday hours ended.

All the doctor had to do was look at that swollen, tonsils-meeting-in-the-middle, flaming red, purple, black and blue, bloody, puss throat and know what was wrong.


Actually I was worried it could be mono so, a positive strep culture was a welcomed relief.

And although the owner of the campground and float company is the biggest penis along the Meramec River I managed to convince him that rain checking our float trip to October 2008 wasn't in the least bit sensible. I got it extended to June 8, 2008. It was almost obvious this man has never fathered a child or is just plain heartless.

I think both.

I am so glad that she is home for me to take care of and not lying around in her dorm room alone feeling like poo. Now I'll just pray that my Princess who is now having a sickcation is well enough to return to college tomorrow.

Here's to the speed of antibiotics.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Zipping the Lip

Have you ever experienced something that you would like to tell everyone but you know you can't because it could, would comprise everything that personifies the word "safe". Well we did and all I am going to say is everyone reacted in just the way they should have. Somehow, the parent in me still has bit of uncertainty. I really am proud of my child. Courage is probably one of the greatest characteristics one can possess. Still...I guess...this is when you just hope, as a parent, your prayers are heard as you send your children out the door.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vote 2008

A few weekends ago when we all sat around discussing the presidental election it was suggested by someone that if you are voting for Obama to look carefully at who his running mate is. We all shook our heads knowing just the point that was being made.

Exactly what we all said was our fear for a "President" Obama was the headline on the morning news. Assassination threats. Plot. Whatever we want to call it.

Although I won't be casting my vote for Obama, I truly fear for the safety of not only him but his young family. Then I wonder where does this fear put America in the realm of safety?

Since I am a realist and knowing how most Americans think-- changing parties in control means a turn-a-round, an invigorated patriotism, an end to the Middle East conflict...in other words I think Americans will have to get use to this type of regular headline on the news.

I think I am sticking with my write in candidate--Paris Hilton.
God Bless America!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ramen Noodles By the Case

Oh yes, Ramen Noodles by the case--the way of a college student.

Princess A is officially settled at Southeast Missouri State University in Towers East.

I am so exhausted as we chose early bird registration to beat the rush of the freshman crowd and the mile long line of cars waiting to unload those cases of Ramen Noodles. Let me just say I am so glad we chose the early bird route. We had a slue of Greeks to carry, our packed to the gill, carload of necessaries ( I say with a hint of playful sarcasm because I am not sure a lime green throw pillow with marabou is a necessity) to the eighth floor. The thing about getting Greek muscles at 730am is, they are not whipped by the heat or the constant lifting of refrigerators and TV's. We spent the whole day with Princess A getting her dorm room set up, shopping (for Ramen Noodles), having a lunch date at the Olive Garden...

So instead of jabbering on about nonsense (like how I was mistakenly mistook for the college student, kidding) lets just let the pictures speak for me. Introducing the dorm room of Princess A and Samantha.
Room Mates

Living La Vida Lofta

Where a Princess studies to keep her scholarship Where a Princess brushes her teeth and washes up

The parents didn't cry when they left their baby to spread her wings and fly

Good luck Alee-Oop remember, to call on Sundays...if for nothing else but to ask for money. XOXO!