The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Spoiler Alert!

I admit it. I have Olympic Fever. Bad. For those of you who know me a little, YES, the Olympic fanfare has been running through my head for days now.  Well, except for the short time my son distracted me for a little while with  this one , but that is beside the point.  Now I haven’t watched every minute of every sport that has been broadcast. I’m not a big judo fan maybe because I don’t understand it.  Fencing? Same thing. Honestly there are several events that I don’t understand or have never heard of before. I’m just not interested in them so I don’t watch.  Taking out the events of no interest to me still leaves several things to watch each day.   And I’ve been watching.  A lot.  Most of my family has. My husband accused our daughters of watching men’s volleyball and gymnastics the other day just because the guys are ripped. He’s probably partially right. The other part is because it’s the Olympics and they are like their mom.  It only happens every four years and we want to watch it. As much of it as we can because we’ll have to wait four years again.  That might explain the grittiness in our eyes each morning after having lost sleep staying up later than normal to watch the “prime time coverage” finish for the evening.   This is one of my Olympic fever struggles.

I’ve never been a fan of surprises nor do I do well waiting to see what happens. (Ok – that may have been the biggest understatement of the year.) I’m especially bad at waiting when I know other people know the answer.   I’m not talking about keeping gifts a secret.  You are supposed to do that. That is the way gift giving works. I’m good with that.  I just don’t like it when other people have information that I do not yet have.  Things like “did they approve the house loan?”  “What grade did you get on that test?” ….you get the drift.  I want to know when other people know.  I don’t care if nobody knows yet but if someone else has that information, I want it.  

I have discovered this week that “The events are already finished but we aren’t showing them until ‘Prime Time’  fit in this category.  It drives me crazy that events that are done now, 2pm my time, I can’t watch until 7pm or later.  I mean  we aren’t talking about an hour or two delay. I can live with those.  We are talking half the world knows and I don’t because we have to wait until Prime Time to broadcast it.   Besides I’m losing sleep.  I’ve been able to behave myself and wait for the broadcast in years past but this year I just can’t do it.  Nope. “Spoiler Alert”  just isn’t stopping me this year.   I feel so ashamed.  Of course I don’t feel ashamed enough to stop looking up results.  Ah well.  I guess when you look at the big picture knowing the results ahead of watching the event isn’t always a bad thing.  Well….until you have to sit down with your daughters and pretend you don’t know the outcome of the gymnastics competition today.  That might get tricky.  Of course that is assuming that they too haven’t ignored the “Spoiler Alert” and looked it up online too.  They are my kids after all.



When Did That Happen?

We spent a fabulous weekend with all four of our children. That doesn’t happen very often any more so we try to squeeze as much as we can out of the time together when it does.  (That may be why I’m so sleepy today. Or…it could just be Monday.)  As we spent time just hanging out together the kids started talking about things they did when they were little.   I’m beginning to think that I was either the world’s worst mother or that I was tremendously unobservant. I kept asking them, “When did that happen.”  “When did THAT happen?” “WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?? They find it greatly amusing. It may have something to do with the fact that I can’t spank them any more. Or send them to their rooms.  Or even ground them after the fact.  The statute of limitations has run out on most of it.  My kids are smart. 

They waited to tell me about bombing each other over the stair rail with toys until after they had no more toys to take away.  They didn’t inform me of our oldest son’s game of safari with his kid sized bow and arrow until after he had safely moved away from home. Fear not. He didn’t hunt his siblings just their stuffed animals.  I wondered a few times why my daughter’s stuffed “Thumper” needed so much surgery to keep from losing his stuffing.  Now I know it was because her brother was “hunting wabbit.”    I wasn’t aware that my son had a penchant for sitting on his little sisters faces. Well he did until one of them bit him – hard. Serves him right.  If it left a permanent mark I’d like to be around on the day he explains THAT to his future wife. “Oh that scar? My little sister bit me on the butt.” 

Who knew that the oldest two trapped the third one behind the couch because she annoyed them? They did I guess.  My son was trying to make me feel sorry for him that he has a scar on his forehead from where she nailed him with a toy in the forehead while in that situation.  Nothing doing.  He told me it was a mosquito bite that he scratched open.  Sympathy has a statute of limitations too.  I did know that they tried to tie yarn around her wrist and make her play “cat on a leash.” I just didn’t know it happened more than once. I was all over the yarn burn she got on her 3-year-old wrist playing “cat”. What I didn’t know that they were smart enough to wrap a sock around her wrist first the next time. I guess my punishment didn’t scare them.  It just challenged them to find a better way to get away with things.

After listening to them reminisce about their wretchedly naughty pasts I’ve discovered that they didn’t tell me about a lot of things.  I decided that it’s ok that they didn’t.  They survived with a minimum amount of scars or any permanent damage. If I had gotten involved one or more of them may not have been so fortunate. There are some things that a Mom just doesn’t need to know.  At least she doesn’t need to know them until her kids are older.  That way her kids get to just do normal kid things.  Well…normal naughty kid things.

As I was listening to my zoo crew laughing about all of the naughty stuff they did to each other something struck me.  Despite the fact that they spent several years trying to eliminate one another my kids are great friends. They like spending time together.  They don’t have to be doing anything special per se other than just being with each other.  They can tease each other and no one gets mad.  They still have occasional moments when we fear we are going to have to bring in referees but those keep getting fewer and farther in between.  They care about each other. They defend each other.  They all hurt when one of them hurts. They are excited about each others accomplishments. They cheer for one another. The comfort one another.  They are friends as well as siblings.  All of them.  Today as I was thinking about what a fun weekend we had and how my kids have such a great time hanging out together I found myself asking again,

“When did that happen?”




Kids Quotes #3

Our 21-year-old son, Erik,  came home for the weekend. Friday night sitting together with my husband and all 4 of our “chicks” watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics will probably be one of my all time favorite memory for years to come.  Not because of the majesty of the event (though it was cool) but because I haven’t laughed that hard for a really long time.  Erik’s running commentary and the responses it provoked was truly hilarious. While I could share some of what was said it would lose something in translation.  You have to hear him “live” to appreciate it. He can throw more voices and accents than anyone else I’ve ever met. We’ve told him for years that if becoming a policeman doesn’t work out for him he should look into voice acting.  One of my favorite observations of the night as the teams were marching in and the ladies were carrying the petals that eventually made up the cauldron for the flame was, “What are those things? Are they afraid someone is going to get too nervous and they don’t want them to throw up on the track?”

I have what I call a “grandma hump” on the back of my neck. I call it that because my grandma had the same hump.  There isn’t anything wrong we just have no neck so there’s a humpy looking thing where our back and neck meet.”  Brittnie announced that her younger sister Lyndsie also has the grandma hump.  L: “I have a what? What are you talking about?!” Me: “It’s the curve there where your back and neck are supposed to meet.” L: “That’s my spine you dork!” Me: “Did you just call me a dork?” L: “No. I was talking to Brittnie.” B: “Nice recovery!”

We were looking at old pictures. One was of the first day of school about 5 years ago. Jakob to Lyndsie: “Man. You hair looks TERRIBLE!” L: “MOM! How did you let me out of the house looking like that?”  Me: “Because your hair always looked like that no matter what I did to it.”  J: “So….not much has changed?”

J: “This is the best meal I’ve had in a long time!” We were eating Pizza Hut pizza. Me: “We grilled ribs and potatoes last night!” J: “Um. I meant that this was the best PIZZA meal I’ve had in a long time.” Me; “Uh huh.” J: “Well you haven’t made homemade pizza for a long time Mom. YOUR pizza is better of course.” My husband: “Quit talking son or we’ll have to get you a backhoe to fill in the hole you are digging.”

Talking to Jakob about whether he wanted to go to a church camp-out or Grandma’s house. “Hmmm…sweat….grandma….tough choice!”

Brittnie was all excited her school schedule was accidentally posted on-line this week. She was being excited about her classes when her father looked at her and said, “It’s official. You are a geek.” Of course the rest of us laughed.  She walked out of the room saying, “I’m going to graduate with honors and you all suck!”

Sitting on the deck. L:”Was that rain?” B:”Maybe a bug peed on you.” My husband looked up, “I think I see a few lightning bugs.” B: “Do you suppose their pee glows??”

Because of her vision issues our daughter Lyndsie has one eye that crosses when she takes her glasses off. She has learned how to make it stop if she wants.  She on occasion will do this back and forth thing just to freak her siblings out. B:”You are a freak of nature and belong in the circus.” Me: “She’s just the way God made her to be.” B: “Maybe God made her for the circus. He obviously made some people for the circus.”

Favorite kid quote this week was about the kids, not by them. The girls were bantering back and forth on the way out the door one morning. My husband, who always refers to us as his flock of hens (For the back story check out my previous post here) looked at me and started clucking.

My husband was talking to our girls. During the course of the conversation something he said made one of them quote a movie line and one of them start singing a song.  After the second time it happened, Brittnie stopped, smacked her head with her palm and said, “See what mom has done to us??” (back story here)

Sitting up late Friday night catching up with Erik I discovered he’s been reading my blog because he referenced a couple of things from previous “Kid Quotes.” His question: “Why did everyone wait to get witty until after I moved out?  My childhood would have been a lot more fun if you all acted that way earlier.”

During our trip to see family on Saturday very casually Erik: “Mom. You know the best thing about working at the prison this summer?” Me: “That it’s done?” E: “No. They let me keep my Glock.”  I swear that kid thinks up ways to throw a “firecracker” at me just to see how I react.

On the way home Saturday night all four kids were bantering back and forth.  Lyndsie said something in that loud high-pitched voice that only a 14-year-old girl can achieve. Erik: “You know when you talk like that deaf people cringe.” Brittnie: “Deaf or dead?” E: “Both.”

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Christmas In July

Today we celebrate Christmas with my husband’s side of the family.  Any idea how many funny looks I got this week when I told people of my weekend plans? It may have something to do with the current heat wave or it’s just simply that people think that this isn’t the time of year one is SUPPOSED to celebrate Christmas. True for most people but this year not true for us. The last two years it has been really difficult to celebrate Christmas when we were “supposed to” with my in-laws.  Kids are growing up and getting busier schedules. One moved across the state.  Two family members work in retail. Ever tried to take time off around Christmas when you manage a store? Or are a college student and work at one?  It doesn’t happen.  My husband’s schedule, though better, rotates days of the week and limits the number of weekends he has available. We live in Nebraska so one never knows what the weather is going to do in December or January and everyone has to drive about two hours to see each other.  Two years ago we had a blizzard on Christmas Eve.  The snow blew around and kept closing roads until Memorial Day.  Ok….not really but it did blow around until mid-January when my husband had knee surgery and was out of commission for four weeks.  Then it snowed again.  We had Christmas in March that year.  That didn’t seem as odd to people I told I guess because it was still cold. And snowy. Really snowy.  Last year we celebrated in late January because of schedules.  My creative and wise mother-in-law decided she was tired of fighting weather and the general busyness of that time and year and proposed we have Christmas in July this year.  No fighting snow and ice.  Retail workers aren’t as busy.  Kids don’t have school functions.  Told you she was wise.

The more I’ve thrown myself into getting ready the more fun this has been.  Lots of new experiences.  I’ve never before wrapped Christmas gifts (yes – I used Christmas paper)  while wearing a tank top and flip-flops.  I usually like to tie candy canes in the bows of my Christmas gifts but that wasn’t possible this year.  I’ll make that concession. If I’d have been thinking I’d have tied sunscreen lip balm on them.  My kids have never gotten to swim in Grandma and PaPa’s backyard pool after Christmas dinner before. (I’ve mentioned we live in Nebraska right?)  I’ve never been asked to bring melon for Christmas dinner before.  (Good thing.  I don’t even know if you can find those things here in December.)  I usually bring the Christmas cookies.  Since my oven hasn’t been turned on for a few weeks that wasn’t possible. Melon is much healthier.  See not all things that are different are bad.  It’s the way you view it.

Since Christmas is the time of year I generally look back thankfully for everything in the past year I’m in a reflective mood this morning.  See. Another perk.  I get a “mid year” review this year.  This morning I’m thankful for many things, but on the top of the list are:

I’m so thankful that it is so important for this family to get together that we are willing to have Christmas with or without sunscreen. It’s more important that there is a time at least once a year when we all spend time together and enjoy the day.  I love that!

I’m so thankful that our summer Christmas means our college son came home for a mid-summer weekend.  We wouldn’t have seen him until fall otherwise.

I’m so thankful for parents-in-law who will do what ever it takes to make things work so they can bless their family and spend time with them.  I love these people more than they will ever know.  They are still teaching by example.

And lastly – I’m thankful that half of my Christmas shopping in done before August. WOO HOO!

I am headed out to enjoy my family and the best prime rib on the planet today.  May your day be blessed as well.  I just can’t end this post without wishing you….




Dating Dot Com

The other evening  I was doing some chore in the kitchen, the tv offering some mindless noise because one of the kids forgot to shut it off, when I caught the commercial for “” a dating web site.  Their tag line was “Because city folks just don’t get it.”  Really?  There’s a dating site for farmers now? A place where farmers can find the love of their lives? We had those when I was growing up only they only happened once a year.  We  called them “county fairs”.   I found the concept of having such a specific dating site interesting, so of course my brain wheels began a spinning.

I have to admit that there is an ornery part of me that wants to go on a dating site, fill out a profile, have my husband do the same and see if we are “soul mates.”  The only reason I haven’t is because 1 – I’m afraid we wouldn’t and 2 – He found the concept way less amusing than I.  (Someone has to be the adult in our house.)  He’s probably right.  We’ve made it together for 22 years. What am I going to do if I find out we aren’t compatible? I remember one friend telling me that she filled out a profile on one and her top match just happened to be her ex-husband.  Guess these things aren’t foolproof anyway. That doesn’t mean I don’t find the whole thing a little fascinating so I did a little research and found some really fun things.

Before I start a couple disclaimers:

1 – if you found your current or former spouse on any of these sites I apologize in advance for offending you. I’m just having a little Friday fun here. You be happy!

2 – I am not providing links to any of the sites (real or from my imagination) that I am about to mention.  I didn’t actually go to any of these pages to check them out so I am not going to send anyone else there.

Ok….formalities out of the way….moving on!  Here are some of the my favorites from the list I found in a general search:

1.  I wonder if there is an “”? I know a few people I will steer that direction.

2.  Why not?  There’s a so it seems appropriate every faith should have their own site.  We had a site when I was growing up.  We called it “Youth Group.”

3.  This one scares me a little because I have a suspicion what people on here are looking for.  Unless of course everyone with a profile here is a chemist. Or a teacher.  Yeah.  Maybe that’s it.

4.  Aw! This one is kind of sweet until I remembered that my parents tell me all the time that Facebook confuses them. Now I’m wondering if this is a good idea.  What happened to bingo night at the local senior center?  Way less confusing.

5. The tag line for this site is “for women looking for a real sugar daddy.”  Seriously? Right. Because people NEVER lie on the internet.  If you want a sugar daddy (I won’t even expound on my thoughts about that) at least do a little leg work first.  I mean it isn’t like you are going to have to work after you find him, right?

6. Why do I have a picture of this site having LOTS of female profiles and not so many guys? Wonder if there is a referee button on this one.

7.  Is that people who ARE adults or who ACT like adults?

8.  As opposed to “”

9.  Didn’t you used to have to go out of the house to do that?

10.  Who signs up for this site? Are there really people who want to be “one of the school”  in relationships? Beware of sharks!

The more site names I saw the more (there is even a I realized that I am missing a golden money-making opportunity.  I’m thinking for high schoolers who are focused on school instead of the opposite sex I should start “”.  How about “getmeoutof”?  Wait. There’d be too many Nebraskans on there.  How about an honest one “”.  Ok. That would be more of a chat room. Maybe this isn’t as easy as I thought.  I may have watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds, but I’m thinking I might just go for the direct approach. I’m envisioning

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When Silence Is Golden

I am the first to admit that often times the hinge on the door between my brain and my mouth gets stuck open.  I find myself often wondering (or saying out loud) “Wait. Did that just come out of my mouth or did I just think that?”   I am forever wishing I could grab something I said and push it back in. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.  Once it is out of your mouth it is out.  Your only shot  then is the hope that no one heard the really unwise thing you just said. Nine times out of ten someone heard it. (I guess my voice carries.)   I would like to believe that I am old enough and wise enough to control that trap door and know when not to say things.  I’m old enough. Wise? Hmmmm….. not some days. But then there are days that I am.

Days like yesterday when I left a situation before I said something I would regret.  I went away before I let my hurt feelings take over and release all the really not so nice thoughts running through my brain.  No one else needed to hear them.  I didn’t need to hear them. Those are the times you go against your mother’s teaching and not share.  Times you realize saying what you are thinking will not be beneficial. That’s when silence is golden.

There are times when a really flippant remark is at the tip of my tongue. I really like to make people laugh.  I think I’m funny.  I forget that other people don’t. Around those people it is probably better that I stop and remember that what I am about to say, though funny, could possibly be taken the wrong way and hurt the other person’s feelings.  Or make them mad. I wouldn’t have done it on purpose but that doesn’t change the fact that I did.  So some days instead of going for the laugh I laugh inside my head instead and keep that trap door shut.  Who needs to cause more tension?  That’s when silence is golden.

Ever met a person who doesn’t believe they are ever wrong?  Those people annoy me more than I can express. I don’t understand the thinking. I don’t understand how anyone can be so insecure and immature as to never admit that they made a mistake or did the wrong thing. Of course then I look at how some people raise their children and understand COMPLETELY how it happens. (Wait. Did that just come out of my mouth??)  At any rate I don’t enjoy dealing with people like that (Does anyone?) and find myself having to push down the feeling of needing to squash them like a bug.  I’ve learned that arguing with them is a waste of time and energy so why do it? Let them discover in a much more embarrassing way they were wrong. I’m cool with that.  I don’t need to do it. That’s when silence is golden.

I was reading an article about Christian Bale’s visit to Aurora when something caught the corner of my eye.  It was a link to an article about the Paterno family’s latest statement.  I was struck by the contrast of the two articles.  One was about an actor who quietly and without fanfare went to express his sympathy over a tragedy he had nothing to do with.  The other is a press release from a family who has expressed less sympathy for the victims of a tragedy than they have expressed for the legacy of a man who was at least on the periphery of that tragedy. I understand that at some level.  We defend the ones we love. We get loud and vocal if we believe there is a threat to the reputation of a person we care about.  It’s human. In this case, however, the family may want to stop and think about how this is making them look.  Wether they or I or any one else agree with the actions and sanctions of the past few weeks it doesn’t really matter. Every word they say makes them look more uncaring and gives validation to the report released by Mr. Freeh: that reputation was more important than the victims in this case.   They might want to look at this and consider this to be one of those times

When Silence Is Golden


The Beauty Of Life Long Friends

Today started out to be a pretty good day. I was feeling good. My husband is returning home tonight,I was happy and things were looking mighty fine.  And then it changed. Life does that sometimes. It throws you a curve ball. I usually can handle a curve ball but today it was too much.  The last thing in a string of things. None of them big things. Just things. Too many things.  I was done.  Thankfully I have an understanding boss who was more to give me some personal time this afternoon. (Besides who wants a secretary who’s mascara is running. Scary!)  So I came home intending to gather my thoughts, pray and work through some things. Get myself back on track.  quiet time. What I ended up doing was calling a friend. It’s the best thing I could have done.

Some days you just need to talk to someone who understands you. Who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth. Who will give you her honest opinion. Who loves you no matter what. Who makes you laugh. Who makes you cry. Someone who has invested a lot of time in your friendship and shows no signs of stopping. A long time friend. A loyal friend. A friend who gives as well as she receives.  I have a few of them and I never appreciated how rare they are until today. It seems like a good time to tell them.

It is unfathomable to me that these ladies have stuck with me through thick and thin.  Through some really black times in my life.  It’s easy to be a friend to someone whose life is going well. They’re happy and fun.  It takes special people to be your friend when life is on its head. I’ve been blessed with some pretty special people.

One is my sister. The woman who I used to fight with. The one whose clothes I used to steal.  The one I used to think didn’t like me.  She doesn’t like me. She loves me. I love her back. We just didn’t know that until we got older. Well….we knew it somewhere deep down. Really deep down.  She’s an amazing woman who loves with her entire being and has faith for me when I have none.  She’s my sister. She’s also my friend.

The next became my best friend in Junior High school. We survived the competitive, silly, often tear filled world of teenage girls. (Did I mention silly?) We stuck with each other through liking the same guy. Turns out he didn’t like either of us. We stayed friends in college.  She introduced me to my husband. We got older and lived in different states. Though we didn’t talk as often we both knew that all we had to do was pick up the phone and the other one was going to be there.  We’d pick up where we left off.  Our friendship is great like that. It just keeps growing.

The friend I called today became my friend when I first started attending the church where I work. We hit it off. Our husbands hit it off. Our daughters hit it off. We loved spending time as families.  We worked together and played together. We ate a lot of pizza together. She and I drank a lot of coffee together. She challenged me. She encouraged me. She made me look at things from different angles. She pushed me to see things about myself I would never have seen.  Then she moved away.  I thought I would die. I haven’t. I discovered that while she isn’t near enough to have a cup of coffee or pizza, she’s still one of my best friends.  She is where she needs to be and I am where I need to be.  I hate that those two places are far apart but I love that it hasn’t changed a thing.  She’s still one of my very best friends.

These woman have helped make me who I am today. They’ve made me a better person. I hope that I have been as good for them as they have for me. I hope that I am there for them when they need me. No matter what. Like my friend was there for me today. Like all three of  my beautiful long time friends are there for me every day.  I am blessed.


I’ve Been Rescued!

I have to admit that I am feeling less than inspired today.  Draggy in fact. I don’t know if it’s just a Monday thing, an “It’s the middle of the summer and I’m tired of it” thing or if the weather has melted all my brain cells together into one small-ish lump of “bleh”.  Did I mention uninspired?  Too uninspired to come up with anything to talk about today. How sad, but everyone needs a day off on occasion, right? Yeah…I don’t work that way. I decided in one last ditch effort to become inspired I’d log in and see what was going on in the blog world.  I noticed I had a comment.  What it really was is a life preserver.  A blogging award nomination from one of my favorite bloggers facelikeafryingpan over at The Embiggens Project. WHEW!  I have something to post today!

Actually, this is the third time my dear fellow neurotic short person with funny toenails has nominated me. The first time she made my whole day better.  The second time made me smile. (I have to admit I forgot to post about that one.) Today she saved me from “post-less depression”.  What a woman!  I may just add her to my Christmas gift list. In all seriousness,  check out her blog here for some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read. I look forward to her posts every day.  Now that she’s saved me I’ll get down to business. I’m going to attempt to combine the one I forgot to do and today’s into one post. If that’s cheating, sorry, but it’s my blog and I can cheat if I want to. (Yep! I do know what song is now running through your head.)  Here are the aforementioned awards and their rules:

The Sunshine Award

1. Link the award to the person who gave it to me.

2. Answer the questions about myself. (See below)

3. Nominate 10 bloggers for the award.

4. Link my nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.

 The Versatile Blogger

                            1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and include a link to their blog.

                            2. Mention 7 random things about yourself.

                           3. List the rules

                           4. Give the award to 15 or more bloggers.

                            5. Add the award to your blog

Step one is the same for both, so, again, thank you facelikeafryingpan for your kind words and today’s life preserver!

Sunshine questions (this ought to be fun):

1.  What is my favorite number?  867-5309   (Yep! I know what song is going though your head NOW too.)

2. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?  Pre-ability to distinguish colors when I first wake up: coffee.  After noon because I’m getting too old to have caffeine “late” in the day:  water.

3. Favorite Animal?  I suppose it wouldn’t be right to mention my children here. Hmmm….this is tough.  Living variety I’ll go with dogs.  Stuffed or pictures variety I’d have to say bears.  Any kind of bear.

3.  Facebook or Twitter?  Yes.  Oh. Sorry.  For stalking you can’t beat twitter, but I’m more of a Facebook girl probably because Words With Friends blows up my phone so I can only play it on Facebook.

4. My Passion? That’s a pretty big question. I have several but I’d have to say the one which take priority above all others is my family and being the wife and mother, the woman, that God has called me to be.

5. Favorite Day of the Week?  Any day my alarm doesn’t go off.

6.  Favorite Flower?  Also a tough one because I really love flowers.  Ok….cut in a vase? Carnations. Or sweetheart roses.  Or both.  In my flower garden? Gerba Daisies and New Guinea Impatiens. Well….or….zinnias because my grandpa used to plant them.

Versatile’s 7 Random Things About Me:

1.  My ten year old can now look me straight in the eye. Guess he got his 6’4″ father’s height. He’d be the only one of our four kids who did.

2. I can’t sleep without something covering me.  I blame my mother who to this day runs around and throws blankets on anyone taking a nap in her home.

3. My husband swears I have bat vision. I can get up, go to the bathroom and get back in bed in the middle of the night without turning on a light or running in to anything. What he doesn’t realize is that is the main reason I make sure everything is put away before I go to bed.  Put something in my path and it’s going to be bad.  (He also doesn’t realize that half the time I’m not really even awake.)

4. While we’re on the subject, I can’t go to bed with clothes unfolded in the dryer or clean dishes sitting in the dishwasher. OCD? Probably.

5. Birds freak me out a little.  It might have something to do with barn swallows dive bombing us in the barns when I was growing up.  Love them from a distance but if they get too close my breathing gets funny.

6. I have a tendency to become addicted to television shows really quickly. Is that a sign of an addictive personality? Kind of glad there were a number of things I didn’t try as a teenager.

7. I don’t own a bathroom scale.  I decided several years ago that I wasn’t going to let a number determine my value as a person.  Then I lost 50 pounds. (My doctor still has a scale…unfortunately.)

Ok – I’m going to condense my nominees a little.  If you add them together I’m sure we’ll get to ten and fifteen.  There would just be some repeating.  Cheating? Only a little.

Sunshine Nominees:

Your Soul To Keep:  I just started following this blog and already I love it. Inspiring and practical. I want to be this woman when (if??) I ever grow up.(Yes. She’s most likely pretty close to my age.  She’s just WAY MORE grown up than I!)

My Men And Me: Super mom of three boys who will make you laugh and make you think.

Motherhood Is An Art: Again a recent add to my reader but I love this mother’s frankness, humor and her heart for her kids.

How’s Your Love Life:  I love the way this writer makes Truth seem so simple.

Looking For The Sweet Spot: Love this woman’s look on life. I especially love her “Today’s Best Moment” posts.  I like that. What was today’s best moment?

Maggie’s One Butt Kitchen: This woman is truly and artist in her kitchen…and she shares her secrets.  Love that!

A Detailed House:   I love to see people who are truly gifted at what they do. Beautiful pictures and great ideas for home decorating.

kaiyasworld:  I love reading what mommies who love being mommies have to say. Sweet blog that makes me smile.

Now Adding Some Versatile Nominations:

sarahmandl:  Aside from the fact that this is written by one of my very dearest friends I would like this blog anyway. You never know what she’s going to come up with. Just like in person. 🙂

Jill Of All Trades: Another blog where you are never quite sure what she’s going to do in each post.  The one thing you can be sure of is that you will laugh.

Texana’s Kitchen: Delicious and funny –  great combination.  Her “How to Eat Ice Cream With Your Whole Body” is an all-time favorite.

Bucket List Publications: I will never live an adventurous life but I love reading about this one.  I have been inspired to start my own bucket list because of this blog.  Mine just doesn’t include anything that hurdles me through the air.

Life In The Blue Ridges:  A talented young writer who is currently studying in Ireland. Great writing and a taking a trip vicariously. Can’t beat that.

Slappshot: Another one I look forward to daily.  Great stories – Great Dad.

Post Departum Depression:  This woman makes empty nesting funny.

idiot-prufs: Again a newer follow for me but I’ve found it to be FUNNY!

Whew!  I’m honored and still brain-dead.  Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up refreshed and full of creative thoughts to share.  If not perhaps I’ll just start soliciting awards.  Or not….


The Return Of Things I Don’t Get

It’s been a while, but here are some things that have made my thought wheels spin this week:

1. I was watching television with my husband  when yet another drug commercial came on.  This one said, “Contact your doctor if you have new or worsening heart failure.”  Worsening heart failure? Is there a mild form of heart failure?  Isn’t your heart like a pass/fail thing? By the way who needs to be told to contact their doctor when their heart fails?

2. Does anyone else see the commercials for some of the over the counter diet pills and wonder if people know that prune juice or bran flakes will do the same thing for them at a fraction of the price? “Blocks fat absorption”. Uh-huh. More like “shoves all food directly through your system.”  Why would I want to take a pill that gives me the same result as the stomach flu?

3. The sales tax holiday weekend is coming to the nearby state of Iowa.  No sales tax on any clothing item or footwear priced under $100. I was reading up on it and discovered if your shoes are priced at $120 you can’t split them up and pay $60 per shoe to avoid sales tax.  Who even thought of doing that? Genius until they make a new rule….

4. Why is it that I can go the whole day at work with no calls and no texts but the minute I get in my car to drive home people start texting and calling? Are they trying to kill me?

5. While we are in the subject, who decided that two minutes was the maximum time you have to respond to a text before the other person has the right to be mad at you for ignoring them? I can see getting mad after two days maybe….

6. Why are the fastest five minutes of the day the ones that occur right after you hit the snooze button? Why do we think those extra five minutes are going to help anyway? Has anyone ever gotten up and said, “Boy I’m really glad I got that extra 5 minutes of sleep!”

7. There are lots of contractors still working on roofs/siding/gutters in my neighborhood.  I drove by one yesterday whose trailer proudly proclaimed, “Cheap Seemless Gutters”.  What marketing genius came up with that one? Get a thesaurus. Try “sensibly priced” or “affordable”.  “Cheap” makes me think the gutters are going to fall off my house.

8. “BUT WAIT! If you call in the next 30 minutes we will double your order absolutely free!” Then in a really rushed small voice, “Just pay a separate processing fee.”  Ummmm…..then it isn’t really free is it?

9. Why is it when there is a heat wave everyone has to fit it into every conversation?  I answered a sales call the other day and the first question the guy asked was, “Are you enjoying the recent weather?” Where is this guy calling from anyway? Do they have the same weather there? I refrained from saying, “Why yes. I’ve always wanted to visit the surface of the sun.”

10. Ever noticed that no one notices your vehicle until you get a big old crack in the windshield?   I need to come up with a better story. Something like, “Bullet hole. I’m an undercover FBI agent.”

Sign pick of the week:

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Kids Quotes #2

As I mentioned last week our daughter Lyndsie is the queen of using the wrong word. One of my all time favorite examples of this comes from a report she did for school in 5th grade. (Yes. I still have the report.)  “Thomas Jefferson’s parents had nine children. Four of them died when they were children. Thomas was one of the five who lived to adultery.”  While that is actually pretty accurate….

Saturday is cleaning day at our house.  I asked Lyndsie to clean the front of the kitchen cabinets.  They are white and show every little thing that drips on them. I said, “See that schmuck? It drives me crazy.” L: “That’s because you have OCD Mom. No one else even sees that.” 10-year-old Jakob: “What is OCD?” Me: “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” J: “Oh. Thanks for clearing that up.”  walks away shaking his head.  What? That didn’t explain it?

Same day, me to Jakob, “Dust downstairs please. Make sure you dust everything like the lamps and picture frames.”  J: “How ’bout the couch Mom?”  See? he knows what OCD is.  He just didn’t realize it had a name.

Me: “Please take your laundry upstairs.”  J: “I will.”  Me: “The correct answer is ‘yes mom’ and do it now. Not ‘I will’.”  J: “Warn me before the next quiz.”

The girls were giving Jakob a hard time about something he did that they considered to be “girly.” His retort, “Give me a break. I’m surrounded by two girls all the time.”  Me: “Three girls. I’m a girl you know. ” J: “You aren’t a girl. You’re a mom.”

Lyndsie said something smart-alecy to me (14-year-old girl…go figure) so I shot her “the look”. (you know “the look” if you are a mom. Or….if you have a mom.) L:”Don’t hurt me.” Me: “When was the last time I hurt you?” L: “Physically or emotionally?”  Seriously? Did she just say that? No more Dr. Phil for her.

I was telling my husband the Jack the donkey story with 17-year-old Brittnie in the room.  She had never hear of ditch weed before, so I was explaining it and telling how her grandpa used to cut it all down and then burn it.  She said, “He made a bonfire with it?  I bet that would have made some mighty interesting s’mores.” No visits to grandpa’s farm for her!

Lyndsie was being dramatic. I looked at her and asked “Do you think that’s going to work? How long have you been my kid?” L: “Long enough to know better than answer that question.”

I was feeling a little sore one morning so I commented that I was getting old. J:”You aren’t old Mom. Middle age isn’t until 50.”  I love that he wants me to live to be 100.

We were watching a family movie last night. Lyndsie and I were giving Brittnie a hard time about something. B: “You people aren’t even nice.” My husband looked at her and said, “Hey I didn’t say anything.” B: “No you’re fine Daddy. It’s the woman you married.”