Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 78 - My Little Ladies Turn

Maggie and Nora would like to make a contribution to Favorite Songs Week. They love to listen to this song in the car, and we often play it on the computer.

Pink Rules!

Day 78 - Read The Ladies

Hi All!

Please remember to read the Ladies at right. They all say so much and actually have something to say. Quite refreshing.

Day 78 - I Drove All Night

I detest bikers (the kind on bikes, not hogs). But I've talked about that before. Here is Arizona they clog the streets, they don't acknowledge that runners (or cars) share the road, and have a general pissy attitude.

Let it be known how I feel: lycra +bikes = assholes.

I'm not mincing words today. Same goes with those people in spinning classes. You are not Lance Armstrong, so take off your damn cleats. Lance needs those things so that his foot doesn't slip when he's climbing the Alps. You're at 24 Fitness and look like a douche bag that spent too much money on unnecessary apparel.

I did my own spinning today. I put the kids in the trailer, hopped on the bike (sans helmet) and rode as hard as I could for 45 minutes. I felt the wind in my hair, stayed on the sidewalk, and waved at passersbys. Just my attempt to make the World a friendlier, happier place. God knows I screw up a lot else. I just don't think everything (biking included) has to be such serious bloodsport.

One of my favorite songs to run or bike to is Cnydi Lauper's "I Drove All Night." Roy Orbison's is good too. Not Celine Dion's version. My guess is that she takes spinning classes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 77 - So Alive

The next five weeks will be a blur. Which is a shame, because there is an abundance of happy good fun to be had. I would like to SLOOOOOOW it all down. We will have Nora's birthday, her party, Scot's graduation (with two ceremonies), the end of the school year for the kids, and our departure for Michigan. All by May 30th.

Nora will be five on Monday. To be honest, the time hasn't gone all that fast. She was one hell of a kick in the pants the first three years; she seriously sped up the aging clock for me. We went through non-stop crying for a year and asthma for two years. If I had a dime for every time the kid covered me in coughing vomit I'd have quit daycare a long time ago. Now, she is a delight. Sweet, funny, and kind. I couldn't ask for a better kid. She is getting Rollerblades and new earrings on her big day. She told me recently that she's "done" with princesses. As much as I despise the sexist Disney vehicle, I felt a pang of sadness. End of another era.

In four weeks I will join my mom and dad at the lake in Michigan. It IS summer to me. The cottage is across the lake from my brother and uncles houses. The seasonal smell of wet grass and boat fuel fill the air. A winter of snow and rain has finally quit, to let delicate tulips burst forth from the Earth. The ice cream truck comes on Mondays and Fridays, and I fish with my father on Monday and Wednesday nights. My mom, the kids and I will hit downtown Rockford and grab an ice cream cone. When I crawl into bed at night, I always glance out the window above my bed. There I can see the moon casting its light on the glassy water below. Always a final daily reminder that I am at the lake.

My song for the day pretty much sums up for I feel. "So Alive," by Love and Rockets. Another favorite.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Catch up

Scot graduates in 3 weeks. I am so proud of him. It has been a tough haul.
Please don't forget to read all the ladies postings at right. They are tasty offerings.
Darcy, I can't post on your page. What's up with that?
Maggie told me she had a sore throat tonight. When I asked her if she was serious she said "no, I just wanted you to freak out thinking I had pig flu." Thanks kid.
Michigan in in 4 1/2 weeks. Where does the time go?
Off to get Jello with way too much Midwest Whip (Coolwhip) What are the chances that crap is toxic?

Day 7someting - Mercy, Mercy Me

Every couple of years, my mom and I start a conversation talking about the same thing. Namely, what's going wrong in the World. The last time we had the conversation was back in October, after the market had crashed. Prior to that, it was after 9/11.

Today we talked about The Flu making the rounds. Who knows if this flu is the Big One, or merely the media's new pet. But sometimes these things force me to stop and consider what a small planet we inhabit. One virus, that started in Mexico, has now spread throughout most of the World. We are all connected, and all share the same love and concern for our families in an uncertain time such as this. How about we all get together and stop name calling - Swine Flu ( America), Mexican Flu (Israel) North American Flu (France). Call it what it is; The World Flu.

Breathtaking how startlingly timely Marvin Gaye's song is today. This is one of my favorites.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 75 - Loving Kermit

I've always been partial to Kermit and the gang. Back in the day, I watched every Jim Henson production. The Muppets had an edge and sarcasm other 70's TV shows lacked. Gonzo was nuts, the Swedish Chef obviously, but brilliantly, a Julia child knock-off , and Miss Piggy a serious high-maintenance pig. I always marveled at Kermit's restraint. He should have kicked her fat ass to the curb.

When Maggie was born, Scot and I got nostalgic and downloaded "The Rainbow Connection." We would dance with Maggie, and sing the song to her. I don't know of any other frog that has made me cry. Consider these sensitive lyrics:

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on a morning star?
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.

Have you been half asleep, and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound, that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.

I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm s'posed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Kermit's copyright has been infringed upon on Youtube, so enjoy Jason Mraz singing the song and talking about it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 74 - Miracle Drug

New week, new blog-a-thon. This weeks theme is favorite songs. With lyrics, and why it's your favorite song. This is HARD. I have so many favorites, but I'll pick just one for the day.

Today, I pick U2's "Miracle Drug." Four years ago, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. From the beginning, Julie became her own best advocate for her care. She wanted to know everything she could about the disease, how to treat it, what her options were, etc. At the same time, she found it extremely important to find alternative homeopathic treatments to boost her success rate.

Julie was dynamic in her determination and dedication in researching the disease. Just before Julie's diagnosis, I had seen breast cancer patient Suzanne Somers on CNN. She had treated herself with Iscador, a mistletoe extract that is used for certain types of malignant tumors. Julie and I became research buddies, with her reading through research and studies on the supplement, and me working the computer angle on how to locate and purchase the foreign-produced herb. My sister decided on the best course of treatment for herself, and included Iscador in her homeopathic therapy.

Beneath the noise
Below the din
I hear a voice
It's whispering
In science and in medicine
I was a stranger
You took me in

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile
I've had enough I'm not giving up
On a miracle drug

Of science and the human heart
There is no limit
There is no failure here sweetheart
Just when you quit

I think we you or a loved one is sick, you look for anything that might be a miracle drug. When I saw this song in concert, I bawled my eyes out. We'll never know if Iscador sent Julie's cancer packing, but my sister has been cancer-free for over four years. I'm sure Bono meant "Miracle Drug" in respect to world peace, love, and finding a cure for AIDS, but it has its own special meaning to me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 73 - When it Rains, It pours!

My besty friend had a banner week.

On Monday, her photo of my family, was selected to grace the cover of a local magazine this summer.

On Friday, she received late notification from a popular company that one of her submitted images had been used in their catalog. The catalog came out last fall. It's funny to think we both thumbed through the catalog before and failed to notice the photo of her daughters.

Congrats Friend. I'm proud of you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 72 - I'm going to the bunker...

Psst... You there?

I'm thinking of going to the bunker. Did ya hear about the swine flu in Mexico? Yeah, well, it's closed down Mexico City.

Remember how freaked I got the year child flu shots were rationed? That's right, you drove with me 120 miles to Tucson so I could immunize Maggie. She was only 14 months when that happened. It was worth it.

And then the SARS outbreak? I could have sworn that's what Maggie had on the cruise when they wanted to airvac her out.

I wasn't as freaked about the Avian Flu being it was in Asia and all, but it was still on my radar.

But this, this has me seriously concerned.

Day 72 -We were Hopping and Bopping to the 'Croc'odile Rock

Here they are friends and biotches. Eight pair of shoes- seven Crocs brand, one pair of suede flip flops. Got the kids' set for summer, new cerery/choco slides for myself, and two birthday presents. For a grand total of $75. It was an experience being out on the West side (Camden, NJ anyone?) but we sucked it up for the cause. No stack heel brown numbers; a little toooo much plastic. Even this trashy girl has her limits.

Have a rocking Friday night!

"Crocodile Rock," Elton John, 1972.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 71- Whenever I Cross Your Trail, My Brakes Just Fail

The first time I saw a pair of Crocs was in the hospital. I watched a nurse move around the room, her hideous shoes issuing a "squeak squeak" every time she turned. At the time, I pitied the homely ring-less woman, thinking her shoes couldn't be helping her love life. When the shoes hit the public about four years ago, I vowed I would not cave to the craze. No way in hell would I buy the bright tubers for my kids, and I certainly wasn't going to look like a physical therapy patient.

Then I broke. I wore my first impostor pair around the house, as my "garden shoes." They really did come in handy when I watered the indoor cactus. Ha! It's been a slippery slope ever since. I now wear my vegan friendly shoes out in public (so what if I don't eat anything without a mother.) I wear the red Mary Jane numbers so much the stink-proof shoes now reek. After being washed. I give my friend Stacy hell about her ugly-ass Fuggs, but I have no right. I have become a shoe hypocrit.

Tomorrow I will drive 22 miles to a huge Crocs closeout sale, at a mall in an area I wouldn't dare enter after dark. I'm looking at mixing it up a bit. I think I've had it with the fluorescent numbers. I've furthered the priss image I constantly try to shrug with the Mary Janes. I'm looking for something a bit more sophisticated; maybe a stacked brown sandal - in plastic.

"Totally Hot," Olivia Newton-John, 1978.

Please read along with all the lovely ladies at right. This has been fun, and I'm up for another challenge!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 70 - I Was Feeling Part of the Scenery, I'd Walk Right out of the Machinery, My Heart Going Boom Boom Boom, Hey, I said, You Can Keep

My Things They've Come to Take Me Home.

I'd like to preface this entry. This blog is a funny thing. I'm not one to talk about myself; really, don't laugh. Just ask anyone who knows me. I ask a lot of questions, but don't volunteer much. This is my diary. If I come off sounding self-obsessed, I apologize. This is where my deep thinking gets done. This is more for me than for you. Just dragging you into the quagmire.

Here it is: I question where I am going with my career. Or lack of it. Daily. The reason this problem (or lack of it) has entered my conscious is that both kids will be in school full-time next fall. That seems to be the natural transition for me to seek employment outside the home.

Should I return to school? Shouldn't I? Do I pound the pavement for an office job? I have days I crave a corporate wardrobe and the urge to dump a pile of papers on someones desk. It's because I've never had a real job. Perhaps I need to go watch some more episodes of "The Office." I know the reality is not so glamorous.

Do I have so much more to offer the World? (is that a joke?) Some days I feel I should punch a clock because I am a strong, independent woman who doesn't want to lean on any man. And other days I appreciate the comforts of being able to work at home.

I look ahead at the beautiful life laid out before me for the next year and wonder why I even bother considering a job change. In the next twelve months I have four fantastic trips planned. TRAVEL- that is my true passion. Maybe I should start seeing a job as a way to a means to an end again. I work, therefore I make money, therefore I can be home with my children and travel. Shouldn't that be satisfaction enough?

In the meantime, I am like a total schizophrenic . My mind changes with the wind. One day I'm headed back to school, the next to a part-time job at Anthropologie (thanks for the suggestion Dana!) I'm sure my family thinks I've gone off my meds. I'm pretty sure it's just the two Broken Arrows I had with the salmon for dinner.

"Solsbury Hill," Peter Gabriel, 1977.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 69- Janie's Got a Gun

I'm about to pull a Rosie O'Donnell (post-Columbine) and go apeshit on gun-control laws. I have had enough. Thought if I vented on here a bit it might serve as a preemptive strike. This is why we need new gun control laws. NO, guns don't kill. But stupid people with guns do. And there are LOTS of stupid people.


Day 69 - Oooh That Smell, Can't You Smell That Smell?

I'd rather be deaf than olfactory-challenged. Because if I can't smell, I can't taste, and then what fun would life be? I remember when INXS's Michael Hutchence died, many people believed it was a suicide. Apparently, Hutchence had lost his sense of smell in an accident and subsequently became severely depressed. Interesting.

Lately, things aren't smelling so good around here. Despite the numerous plug-ins stationed around the house, I can't cover up the smell of death in the bathrooms. After sniffing around for a pile of dog dung, a rat, or a forgotten child, I've honed in on the source. The stinkity-stank-stank is rising from the sinks. It smells like asparagus piss. Any ideas? I'm on my way to research this after I log off here.

In good-smelling news, my Amazon purchase arrived yesterday. It's called "Perfumes, The Guide," by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. In my obsession with scent, I am getting the experts opinions on what perfumes rank high, which ones low, and why that is. Naturally, two of my favorites, Amarige, and Organza, are considered stinkers, being called "loud and unmissable." Hmm... I've heard those words used to describe me before.

"That Smell," Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1977.

Please hop on over to visit with the ladies on the right. That would be Jen, LaRivera, Blah, Blah, Blog, and a new blogger friend, The Tenacious Blogger. I would link them all in, but that would require more schooling.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 68 - Sometimes the Hero Takes Me Up, Sometimes I Don't Let Go

She had called at a bad time. Nothing had gone right that day. I had been left out of the loop by someone, forgotten by someone else , and was ready to call it a day when the phone rang. I answered it because she's my best friend; she might need something. And besides, she always makes me feel better.

The call was to let me know she was having a difficult time obtaining U2 tickets. For both of us. While searching online for tickets, Joelle had gotten a call. A co-worker of her husbands had surprised her with ONE top-of-the-line ticket to the concert. The co-worker had no idea I was headed to Vegas to attend the concert with Joelle. While feeling indebted and grateful to the woman, Joelle was now holding a golden ticket for herself and had nothing for me. Awkward.

"Great, " I mumbled sarcastically. "Just the kind of day I'm having." Once the words exited my mouth I sought to pull them back. Darn it. Joelle was going to internalize this, and I hadn't meant to play the guilt card. This situation was putting Joelle in a delicate position. For her, it was a problem of obligation to her spouse's co-worker vs. letting down her best friend. There was no way I could buy a ticket that cost that much, and I didn't want Joelle to have tomake make an uncomfortable decision.

" The concert doesn't matter. I'll come see you another weekend," I said. " And after I had a good sleep, I meant it. I forgot about the concert. I had already started looking at the calendar for another time to head to Vegas.

My cell phone rang on Saturday morning. "You're coming. I got you a U2 ticket," Joelle said. I'm not sure what kind of hoops she had to jump through, but she got me an adjoining ticket. A cheerful yelp came out of my mouth in the middle of Wendy's. I was in shock. I never expected it. But I should have known - Joelle is always there. She has been on the other end of the phone for me for 30 years.

It will be my third U2 concert, Joelle's umpteenth. It will be the first time we will see the band together.

"Stories For Boys", U2, 1979.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life Used To Be So Hard, Now Everything Is Easy 'Cause Of You.

I have learned this; life is hard. Marriage is work. And, being married to the right person can make life easier. The work in marriage comes in the forms of compromise, kindness, sacrifice, support, and love. I try to be loving even when I pick my marital battles. Do the socks on the floor really annoy me that much, or can I continue loving Scot in spite of the dirty socks? That's an easy one. Although it took me a long time see the benefits of turning a blind eye.

What I didn't know about Scot before we got married could fill a book. We never lived together. I was a young 25, completely unaware of what life could dish out. Eleven years, three job losses, several sicknesses, and two colicky babies later, we're still happy, still together. It turns out that in addition to being cute and sweet, Scot is also determined, peaceful, and nurturing. That's not to say there aren't times I want to kill him. There are days when the dishes on the counter (five inches above the dishwasher) and his smart-ass manner drive me over the edge. But then I remember that my sulfur face-wash and constant belching aren't particularly sexy.

What has always been clear to see is that by making Scot's life easier, he is a happier person. I make his breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day. If I didn't, he would forget to eat, and starve. It's the least this foodie could do for the person who wishes he could just take a pill at mealtimes. Lately I've been thinking about my next career. I have had enough of kids running roughshod over the house, and realize I yell too much on any given day. With all this career talk comes discussion of me returning to school. It's a thought that excites and terrifies me at the same time. School would place more demands on Scot for money and time. "Don't worry about it. We will work it out. Whatever would make you the happiest, we will do, " Scot said.

I have someone in my corner that doesn't make my choices any harder. He is there to love and support me ( and occasionally tell me I load the dishwasher like I'm blind.) Life doesn't get any better, or easier, than that.

"Our House", by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, 1970.

Please don't forget to read Senora Rivera, The Life of Jennifer, and Blah, Blah Blog. It's fun to see how and why songs are picked.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 66 - There is Love

Wedding on the greenbelt today. From this distance we spotted a clergy-type person, and heard champagne corks popping, and thunderous clapping. Except my neighbor and I could not spot a bride. We saw two men, dressed in long tunic shirts, embracing. Still no bride. So, let's scrap the part of this old standard that doesn't apply:

"A man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home "

While I'm at it, I'd like bring the bring this song into the millennium, and cut out the homage to the man crap. At my own wedding I would not promise to "obey" my man.

" As it was in the beginning, is now and til the end, woman draws her life from man, and gives it back again.

So I defer to these lines, the beautiful, non-discriminatory, all-loving lyrics to tell the story for the wedding I saw today;

"For Whenever two or more of you are gathered in His Name, there is Love.There is love."

Is it love that brings you here, or love that brings you life?
For if loving is the answer then whose the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you've never seen before?
Oh there's love, there is love."

There Is Love (Wedding Song) , Lyrics by Noel Paul Stookey, 1971.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 65- Nosy

I butt in on Jen's posting on facebook today. She had announced another blog-a-thon with her cousin Liz , another lady blogger friend. I stated my desire to be involved. So, starting tomorrow, I will be blogging along with the cousins (no word yet on whether Karen will be joining.)

I hope I didn't barge in on a family affair. Their probably scratching their heads right now thinking, "WTF?"

Ladies, I am honored. The theme will be lyrics from the 70's.

Day 65 - Twittering Away

Oh shoot. I have two friends who are now Twittering. You know who you are. I feel like I'm a sophomore in high school and pot is being passed around. I don't want to, but I'm afraid of what I'm missing out on.

Another social network? Could I possibly have time for this? And, shouldn't I be looking for a new career? It's just a matter of time before I crack and find I've been sucked into a new addiction. I should just give in now.

And to think that eight years ago I sat next to the computer with tears in my eyes, distraught at my lack of tech ability. "The Internet is passing me by," I said to Scot. So he taught me how to get online, how to search, how to connect. He's the one crying now. He lost a wife then and at this point is probably thinking of staging an intervention.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 64 - Parrot

Sometimes I think half the reason I had kids was for their entertainment value. Daily, I get a good chuckle. Which is good because the first couple of years for both of them was misery. Glad I'm now getting some returns on the investment.

"Okay Annalise, let's see if you can make it through the day without falling off the swing." - Nora pushing 2 year old Annalise.

"Mom, don't worry about it. It'll get done." - Maggie, on her homework.

"Mom, you keep saying bad words. Do you even know you're saying them?" - Nora

"Is your tummy so big because I was in there before?" - Maggie

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 63- You Don't Say!

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Okay. I'm taking the advice.

Really, it's best for everyone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 62 - Totally Scattered, Completely Random

Let's rename "TLC" (The Learning Channel) to Totally Loose Cannons. Every show now involves some freaky, uncommon life. Tonight's offerings alone included The Mermaid Girl , Jon and Kate Plus 8 ( where they have accepted "God's Gift" of eight in-vitro children), and 18 Kids And Counting. Later tonight, Toddlers and Tiaras will be airing.

I contemplated a career at The Great Indoors today. Quickly reconsidered when I realized I would dump my entire $500 paycheck on merchandise. Need a job at Jiffy Lube.

Maggie informed me that she would like to have a Capuchin monkey. Said monkey would help her "turn off lights and get the remote control for her." Nora said she would stop playing with the electronic thermometer because "if it breaks, you'll have to buy another and you'll be in the poorhouse."

Dreyer's (or Edy's if your West of the Mississippi) has a fantastic new flavor. It's Mud Pie. Coffee ice cream, chocolate cookies, and fudge sauce running throughout. It's sweet, it's salty, it's deep. It's fantastically delicious.

The tourism commercial for Michigan makes me cry. Not because it's Michigan, but because the narrator reminds us that we all have 25,000 mornings to live. And we live most of those mornings scurrying to work and on the treadmill. The camera then shows a glorious sunrise lighting up a boathouse. Hand me the Kleenex.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 61 - The Gift

Growing up, my mother always told me "God gives something to everyone." What she meant by that was that you probably wouldn't get it all, but you'd get something. God didn't leave anyone out in the cold. A pretty girl might be vacant and a homely woman might have the voice of an angel. But in the end, we all have a special gift.

It was hard to explain to Nora why I was crying when she caught me watching this video this afternoon. Les Miserables is powerful enough to get me teary when I sing it , but when it's sung by someone who has such command and beauty to their voice, it's utterly moving.

Susan Boyle, you rock. May you reap all the rewards of your precious gift.

Please watch this so you too, can cry.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 60- 20/20

Child #1 got these glasses as a prize at Peter Piper Pizza on Friday. After ogling the glass cabinet of treats for a brief moment, she quickly picked the specs. She has worn them ever since. Her inner bomber pilot has emerged, and Harry Potter is gonna have a run for his money. It's good to see from a child who shuns the limelight. You go girl!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 59 - A ride Around the Hood

I have always loved this house. It's a two-bedroom house, with a one-bedroom casita off to the side. But, there is more than meets the eye. Here's the story; the house has a fake front. Literally, the front walls are merely a facade. When the heavy, wood double doors are opened, a massive interior courtyard is seen. There is a fountain, a pool, and fireplace. The real front door to the house lies about 20 feet behind all of this. Recently, the house changed hands, and I am quite distraught by the new residents" house mismanagement." The old owners lived outside in their courtyard, wood doors flung open, the wrought-iron doors being a delightful invitation for outsiders to sneak a view of their outside living room. Some nights you would see them reading in their stuffed chairs, sipping a glass of wine. On other occasions they would have a fire going. When they were inside, you'd be able to see through the courtyard into the dreamy, European kitchen with the stone farm sink. I miss the old people and the passion they sucked out of the house. Now, the doors are shut. Always. On one occasion I saw the new owners slip in and slam the door behind them. It was time enough to see that the great outdoor furniture had been left behind. The new people obviously like the house, they bought it. But by keeping the place locked up tight, they are closing out so much of its character.

I continued around the block, savoring the last days of beauty before the oppressive heat kills the flowers and wears us out.

Love the hibiscus

The woman that lives here meticulously maintains these rosebushes.
They smell fantastic.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 58 - Sundae

It's gotten to be that if the dogs do anything remotely adorable (even sleeping cutely) we grab the camera.

Nora shot this yesterday morning.

We like to call them "hot fudge with caramel and marshmallow sauce."

Annie, Bernice, Patrick

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 57- Uh fukc it...

Liz Anne is right. I'm not sure why Karen deleted her blogs, I thought they were all fantastically honest. So, why should I run and hide? All names were changed to begin with. If they know it's them I'm talking about, maybe they'll take a hint. Hmph! Deleted blog, back on!

his is true. I was asked all these questions. Some of the answers I kept to myself.

Hi Lauren,

Got your message. Yeah, the stain on her dress is probably Popsicle. I gave her a yellow one for that reason. I didn't think it would stain. And yes, I start every lunch with a bib, but it doesn't always stay there. It is a cute new dress and I hope the stain comes out with some Shout it from the hilltop - the dress is a play dress from Walmart!

As for the redness behind her her legs, I haven't the foggiest idea why they are red. It was a warm day today and when I took her out of the car she was awfully pink and sweaty everywhere. No, she didn't burn them at the park on any slides today are plastic, and that really took all the dangerous fun out of the park, didn't it?

I checked my email and saw you responded to the pictures I took of her eating chocolate pudding. So cute, huh? It never dawned on me that she could have an allergic reaction to chocolate. She is eighteen months old, and I think you'll be safe at this point I have given her chocolate cookies, chocolate sauce, chocolate milk.

And no, you aren't being a pain in the butt to ask me all these question make me wonder if you might believe you are the first person to ever raise a child. Did you see the two kids in the other room eating cake and watching Spongebob earlier ? It's simply by some good luck and the grace of God they are alive.

If there is anything else I can answer, don't hesitate to ask yourself if all these little things are that important. Is your child loved? Is your child taken care of? And once you can answer "yes" to those essential questions, relax and let the child be a child.

Day 57 - I Hate Censorship

I'm at a crossroads. I write about my life, and it's sometimes messy and sticky. I run the risk of offending people. Nothing is harder for me than limiting what I say. If I must say so, I am a very kind person, but I'm honest. I'll tell you to your face those pants make you look fat. Besides, this is my place to vent. In the past three days I've three had cries to take back something I said. Not sure where to go at this point. Do I need to put a cap on it? Please weigh in.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 56 - catch up, and thanks

Wanted to fill you all in on a couple of things.

Three- year old Emma had surgery for her spinal tumor today. A team of doctors was put together for the anticipated 12 hour surgery. The surgery only took 4 hours, and Emma is conscious and doing great! The tumor appears to be "low-grade" (?) and was completely mashed together with Emma's spine. Doctors said it was as if the tumor was the casing, and the spine the meat for a sausage. They basically went in, filleted the spine, and took out the tumor. Fantastic work. Here's hoping this gives Emma and her family all a new lease on a pain-free life.

A shout out to Joelle on getting a new job! She will be teaching 2nd grade next August. Kudos as well to my sister, who was just recently hired as the art teacher at a local school. Both are looking forward to working jobs they love. What's that like? Just kidding.

And to Scot, you are the best. Thanks for indulging all my whims and notions. Constantly. You are a wonderful, easy person to live with, and you make my life better. Sorry if I told you "I love you, but don't always like you" the other day. There will be days like those. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 55 - I Can't Drive 55

Yo , gringo, what are you louking at? Please, get out o ' the way. It is me and my girl, out for a ride. I am willing to forget the bling on my ear if it means one-on-one time with the chica. Are you done with the peekture? Gracias.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 54 - Bullshit and EVIL

Certain details of this blog have been changed after initial publication to protect the innocent. They are loved, and I would never want to hurt them. Thanks Scot, for steering me back onto the correct "moral road". I'd be slightly evil without you!

If I had to guess, I'd say my "Evil Detector" has only gone off about a dozen times in my entire life. The "Bullshit Detector" goes off daily. It rang loudly at Nora's school today. A parent in the office said she was considering doing daycare once she's finished construction on her new 4500 square foot home. She said this very loudly in an office of people. Was I asking how large her home was? Did she think we all cared? This was not the first time she has been braggadocio, but at heart the woman doesn't seem like an evil person. Just a bit of a bullshitter.

Evil is different. It's not a flippant remark or one act of revenge. To be evil is to lack conscience and empathy. Evil cuts to the core and runs deep. When one is evil, the insidiousness bubbles over into every facet of their life. For all their life. And to be evil is to be smart, as the perpetrator must be able to cloak the ill will behind a cheerful smile and a cunning way. Think Dick Cheney. George W. Bush wasn't smart enough to be evil.

I glimpsed evil in an elevator once, and stepped out. A college roommate had ice in her veins, and over time has convinced some classmates it wasn't just teenage jealousy; She's still manipulative, almost evil. But the most haunting example of evil is with someone I know very well. It's a "friend of a friend."

I have sensed this evil for years. I could never put my finger on it, but when I was around the evildoer, I felt on edge, and took care with my words. I felt as if I was being watched and when I said or did something provocative, this person would possibly pounce on my weakness and exploit it. That was in fact true, as I have had many things I've said come back to me as untruths. And it is not just with me. In this small circle of friends, we have all been used. This person wants to see people fail. They want to destroy relationships, rule their own little galaxy, and take down anything and anyone who stands in their way. When I was considered an ally they so much as said this to me. Until recently, not everyone saw it. Many people just thought the person was a bullshitter. Because really, who wants to think someone they thought they knew, they thought they could trust, would be capable of such hatred? But this week, someone else close to me saw the lies, the meanness and the devil I have seen. Their Evil Alarm went off. Now, I am feeling slightly vindicated. And happy the game is being evened up.

I hope that doesn't sound evil.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 53 - Please Pray for The Sick

On this the "Sunday Sabbath", I am asking all believers and nonbelievers alike to keep two special little girls in your prayers and thoughts.

Charlotte is a kindergartner who is fighting cancer for the second time. Initially diagnosed in October of 2206 with a tumor in her arm, Charlotte's cancer has metastasized in her lung. She is hoping to undergo a pneumonectomy (removal of the lung) soon. I know Charlotte and her family through an old playgroup affiliation. Erin, the mom, is a masseuse, and just recently underwent surgery herself for two benign tumors on her hip. Tumors I believe were caused by such horrible stress in her life.

Emma will be four next month and was diagnosed on Friday with a tumor on her thoracic spine. I watched Emma for over a year, and her mom is cousins with one of my best friends, Kelly. Emma has been in pain for almost her entire life, but a cause could never be determined. Not for lack of trying. Emma's mom and dad have had her in and out of doctors and hospitals for the past four years, always leaving without answers. It was a physical therapist who ordered the tests that finally discovered Emma's tumor. Surgery on the tumor (which they believe she's had her entire life) should be soon.

Please keep these sweet families in your thoughts and prayers. No one deserves to be sick, but nothing is more unjust when it is a child who is affected.

I will now return to potting flowers. Feeling blessed for another day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 52 - What the f....?

During the week, Scot wakes up Maggie at 6:40 a.m. Nora then strolls out of her room about 10 minutes later. It's clockwork. Both never wake up any earlier. Today, Nora woke me at 5:30 a.m. "I'm done sleeping!" she said. I don't think so. I set her up on my couch in the bedroom, because when I'm tired I don't do the rational thing, which in this case would have been sending her back to bed. I think the kid went back to sleep, but I didn't. The damage was done, and I was awake. Last Saturday Maggie was the early riser. I am not rewarding these children with cookies and a dance party at this hour, so I'm not sure what the appeal of rising so early is. All they get is a grouchy mother who turns on the TV, and goes back to bed. Last Sunday we smartened up. We set the TV timer to go on at 6:30. Of course that morning they slept in.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 51 - Michigan, here We come

I purchased the tickets to Michigan today. Any time I spend over $100, on anything, I get a little nervous (Scot would say it's giddy excitement, but destitute times are never far from my mind.)

I've been searching online for days, and today I hit the "purchase" button. Total price = $991.70. Initially, I gasped and was looking for the loo. But then I came to terms with the money vanished.

Maggie, Nora and I will be gone May 30th - June 20th. Same cottage on Silver Lake in Rockford, Michigan. My brother lives across the lake, and my Uncle George six doors down from him. It's where my kids first saw an ice cream truck, and my mom and I stroll the quaint downtown shops.

When I look back at these pictures from last year, I realize I am making an investment in my children's' memories of how summer should be. Have you ever been to Arizona in July?
I would feel so much guiltier if the money had been dumped on clothes or knickknacks. When it comes to travel and new experiences, I can justify just about anything.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 50 - Lyle

We were feeding the ducks today when a little old voice piped up. "That's a hen, and that's a boy." I whirled around to see a crumpled, petite, Levis- clad man looking at us. He had on his wide-billed "Lundemans Feed and Grain" hat, and a turquoise belt buckle. I put him at 80, judging by his slumping posture and trembling hands.

And so I became educated in the myriad types and brands of ducks at the pond. My new friend had come to Arizona in 1980, from Iowa. He had owned and worked a farm with 150 head of cattle, and every known creature wandered his grounds. Lyle and his wife initially kept the farm, but in recent years gave over control to his sons. He chose McCormick Ranch because he needed to still see grass, which is abundant in our community. Other Scottsdale neighborhoods adhere to the more indigenous, and Eco-friendly desert zero scape. It's a familiar refrain heard from East coast and Midwest transplants.

Lyle went on and on. He talked about how he walks the same circuit around the lake, every day. Day in, and day out. The man knew what ducks will nip, and which ones you can hand feed. He talked about castrating cows, his wife's successful housecleaning business, and how he has seen Scottsdale explode in the past 29 years. Lyle never asked me a question about myself, or where I was going, or how old my children were. It's okay. It was my turn to listen. Lyle was 82 years old, and slightly taken aback when I asked his age. But I wanted to know. When I'm that age, I hope I have some wisdom to impart, the same joy in my step, and the ability to take the same long walk every day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 49 - His Royal Hotness

Keep it down. Don't freak. But, there is a wee chance that I will get to see Mr. Obama very soon. The president is giving commencement addresses at Notre Dame, Naval Academy, and ASU. We're not worthy, we're not worthy.

And, since husband is graduating from ASU with his MBA, we have entered the lottery for tickets to the general graduation exercises.

I will be stoked, I will swoon, and I could break protocol by rushing the stage. Who says an MBA isn't worth anything anymore? This chance would be worth the cost of admission and 32k in federal loans.