Tree Monkeys

I'm working on my year end post, but it's cold sitting at the computer.  So in the meantime, here is a little video of the girls from a photo shoot I had with them a week or so ago.


Picture of the Day

john cena
Click image for larger view


Chinese food

Another conversation from last night....

S & I walked across the street to the mail store & Big Lots.  On the way back, we passed a Mom & Pop Chinese restaurant.

S: Oh!  It smells so good.  (Looking at a poster in the window) The fried rice looks soooo yummy.  It's calling my name!  And the eggs rolls, mmmmm.

Me: It does smell really good.  And the prices are pretty reasonable.  But I don't have the money to get Chinese for us all right now.

S: Oohhh!  I know!!!  The other two will never have to know!  We'll eat in the restaurant!!

Me:  Yeah, like that will work when we walk home and smell like Chinese food.  Then what're we gonna tell them?  "There was a Chinese lady in Big Lots that breathed on us & now we smell like a Chinese restaurant"???

S: Sure.  Why not?

Poor people

Last night's conversation:

S: Mom, you have Poor People skills.

Me: And exactly what skills do poor people have that I'm so bad at?

S: No, Weirdo!!  You have poor PEOPLE skills!



Last night while watching 'Miracle on 34th Street' ~

S: Why do they all like him so much?  Is it because of the Santa Magic?

How cute, huh?  

And yes, she's 17 ½!


Picture of the Day

john cena
Click image for larger view


Picture of the Day

john cena
Click image for larger view


Picture of the Day

john cena
    Click image for larger view


A rainy day at the park

This morning R, D & I took a walk to the park down the road.  The weather channel said today would be cloudy with a low chance of rain.  

Yeah.  Right.

I took along my camera hoping to get some good pictures.  It was, after all, not raining when we left the house.  In fact, a few times the sun even come out from behind a cloud!

That didn't last very long.  

Anyway, here is a pictorial of our morning at the park ~

It wasn't too bad when we set out.  The clouds were a little gray and fluffy.  Not at all menacing looking.

This doesn't look like a day full of cold, wet rain.  Does it?

We brought along some old bread to feed the ducks.  These ones here?  The ones with the white beaks with black tips?  We've never seen them at any of the other parks we've gone to.  They're so cute.  But the black ones with the white faces?  They are mean!  Really mean!

I just like these trees.

These I don't like.  And there were tons of them!  Can you see the one brown pigeon?

 I took a couple of shots of R by the pond.

And with the ducks. the wind started kicking up about this time.  See how R's hair is flying off her head?  She'll hate it.  I think it's cute.

They found this pretty, colorful leaf.  So I took her picture.  She was happy to pose.

Then it started to rain.  Just a little at first.  Not enough that I had to run for cover so my camera didn't get wet.  I had to get some shots of water beading up on the slide!

And dripping off the monkey bars.  (It almost looks like a wet banana!)

The rain started to come down a little harder, so R took cover at the top of the slide.  (D was on another slide and avoiding me.  Wonder why?)

Her idea.  'Cause she's a little weird-o.

Right about then, the rain started coming down in sheets, so we took cover under a nearby gazebo.

I'm not sure if she was aware I took her picture.  But I like it.  Natural.  Un-posed.  Definitely D.

"Hey, R!  You cold?  I did tell you to wear a jacket...."

The rain stopped just enough for us to dash back home.  Well, I walked.  They danced, hopped, skipped and waddled home.

But not before we stopped for some reflective poses.  (Get it?  Reflective?  The shot and the pose?  Mwwhaaa!)  Again, I crack myself up!

The end!


Picture of the Day {Part Deux}

john cena 
Click image for larger view

Picture of the Day

john cena
              Click image for larger view


Hats, hats, and more hats....

What is it with some guys and their hats?

They're like a teenager with their phone.

The other morning Sean was banging drawers, closet doors and mumbling.  I was trying to ignore him when he yells; "Have you touched my hats?!"

"No, honey.  I only touch them when you hang them on the dresser mirror.  Then, only to toss them on the closet shelf.  Where they belong."

He then proceeds to ask me "where the hell is my black hat?"

Like I would know.  I put all my things back in their designated spot so I can find them again next time I want them.

And besides, what black hat?  I see 3 right there on the closet shelf.

But apparently they were not the right black hat.

And none of the other 20 hats will do.  

He still hasn't found his black hat.

And I still have no clue what black hat he's looking for....

Picture of the Day

john cena
          Click image for larger view


Picture of the Day

john cena
               Click image for larger view


Picture of the Day

john cena
      Click image for larger view



This past weekend R needed to finish up a science project.

Something to do with neutrons and protons.

BTW ~ I always thought it was proTRONs until R informed they called proTONs.

Go figure.

So anyway, we rushed around buying materials for paper machè balls, then spent all weekend rushing to make 40 of these dang things.

She is so lucky I really like to paper machè.

Plus, I love the smell of flour and news paper together.

Don't ask.

I really have no reasonable explanation for you.

Then, after rushing all weekend, and staying up late so it could be done by Tuesday; Monday she gets to class only to be told she has to make her neutron/proton balls smaller.

Much smaller.

And we have no time (or money) to go running around town looking for alternate materials.

So she rigs something up with pipe cleaners (which, BTW, are now called Fuzzy Sticks.  What's up with that??) and beads that will hopefully get her a passing grade.  

I have to admit, it was the worst project she's ever made!  

Even she admits it really sucked.

Now we have 40 paper machè balls rolling all over the living room floor.

And what are we going to do with 40 paper machè balls?  Half of which are now painted light blue??

Just a little hint ~ you'll all be getting something made with paper machè balls for Christmas!!

Or not.

But probably.


Fend for yourself , you bunch o' Scallywags!!

R at about 2 years old (love the look on her face!!)

From the time my girls could walk, at about a year old, I taught them how to fend for themselves.

Let's face it, who wants to interrupt their eating of bon-bons while lounging on the couch watching soaps just to feed the little buggers?

Not me!

No. Really.

They were really good bon-bons.

And I'm pretty sure Brock wasn't the father of Hailey's baby.


My mom was the same way, as soon as you could, you did.

So, just like Mom, I had the kitchen set up to be kid friendly.  And NOTHING was locked.  If a kid was going to go under the sink and mess with dish soap, she was damn well gonna learn exactly how to use it!  I had all the plastic bowls, plates and cups in the lower cupboards and cereal on the bottom shelf of the pantry.  I even would pour the milk into a small pitcher with a lid and put it on the bottom shelf of the fridge!

See the blue stool in the photo above?  The one near the open cupboard door?  I used it to get items from the top shelf.  

The girls used it to put their bowls on to fill with cereal and milk!

By the time they were about 3 or 4, I taught them how to make PB&J sandwiches.  

Which was not an easy task.

They never scooped the peanut butter out quite right, NEVER spread it on the bread the right way and always got the knife all gooped up and sticky.  Which led to little fingers getting all gooped up and sticky.  Which led to sticky spots all over the kitchen.  Which led to them learning how to use an old rag towel and some all purpose cleaner!

BTW ~ everyone in my house knows the right way is MY WAY.

Kinda like the Queen of Hearts.


Sorry.  I got caught up in the moment.

By the time they were 8, they knew how to do a load of laundry.  Wash and dry.

Now, they do mine.

While I sit and eat Häagen-Dazs and watch the Real Wives of Orange County.

Okay.  Not really.

S insists she's a slave because I make her empty/load the dishwasher, vacuum and clean their bathroom.

Hell, I don't dirty all those dishes, or leave all those crumbs, socks and sports bras on the floor.  And I sure as hell don't use their bathroom!!

Someday, when they have a home of their own, they'll appreciate it all.


Hold the phone.

Stop the train.

Didn't my mother say that exact same thing to me???


I'm sounding just like my mother.




Yesterday, for most of the morning, I kept smelling cough syrup & thought someone in the office was guzzling it.

Then I discovered it was a new air freshener!


What happens when you don't have cable TV

I made the decision this week to have our cable TV turned off. For the Basic Expanded service I was paying $53/month. Money I could better use on other things.

I warned Sean & the kids that I was going to do this, but will still keep the internet.

No way we could not have cable and internet!!

I told the girls that all the shows we watch, we can watch on the computer, it will just be a day or so after the original air date.

I called in the request on Tuesday and today they finally turned it off. The house has been so quiet!

D has been reading her 6th Harry Potter book and is well on her way to finishing it. Something that wouldn't have happened so fast if the TV was on.

R has been reading a little bit more, too. But, tonight, most of her time was spent on the computer.

Doing research.

For things like this:

It's so annoying, yet I can't stop singing it!!

She was also watching the Britney/Brittany Glee episode.  

For the 4th time!!

I'm just waiting to see who's the first to complain this weekend that they're bored because there is no mind numbing TV channels to flip through, and the the same Disney & Nickelodeon shows to watch!

Then whine when I tell them that if they're so bored, there are dishes to wash and a floor to vacuum....



Yeah.  I know.   Again it's been forever since I stopped by my own little spot on the world wide web.  

I was without internet for nearly 2 weeks and blogging while at work probably isn't the best idea.

But, hey! I finished a book and a half!!

I also haven't picked up my camera in nearly as long.  I just haven't felt very inspired.  I'm going to try and make more of an effort to carry my camera and take more pictures again.  But like most things, easier said then done.

I want to get back to taking a picture each day.  Which can be a challenge since I go to work using the same route everyday, come home, then crash on the couch!  Time to get my imagination in gear!

And of course, stopping by and jotting down some of my ramblings won't hurt, either!  LOL

But for now, I'm gonna go make some spaghetti and garlic bread for D & I.

Thank you Classico & Pepperidge Farms!!! 


Yeah, she DID just say that....

Last night while sitting on the couch watching Glee ~

S:  Mama.  My heart breaks because you won't make me an English muffin, egg and cheese sandwich.


Organizing, and a family artist

We have a file cabinet that I've been putting off getting organized.  When we moved, the time when I would usually go through the files to purge and organize, I just added to the chaos.

And I hate chaos in my filing system.  I'm an organizer.  I like everything in it's place, labeled and in order.  

When I went to get some papers and couldn't find them right away, I knew that file cabinet needed attention.

So on Sunday, I tackled getting it in order.

Sean had shoved a grocery bag full of cab receipts in the bottom drawer!!


They're something that definitely needed to be organized and filed properly.  And not left in a grocery bag!!  I had FOUR years of receipts to get in order.

Took me awhile.

While purging other files (we really don't need receipts from The Golf Store,  From back in 2003.)  I came across a couple of drawings I forgot I had.

Drawings from 1995.

My niece, Lacey, who turns 20 in January, drew these when she was 4 1/2.  The top picture is S.  Which is so cute because S has curly hair! 

The bottom picture is of fruits and vegetables.  Can you guess what they all are??

I'd say, for a 4 1/2 year old, she did a pretty bang up job!


Design, design, design....

My arm is about to fall off.


This past weekend was another home show and I worked all last week on re-vamping the sales book, adding new designs and "spicing" it up.

And we're still not done!

This week I've been working on gate designs, and from my shoulder down to the tips of my fingers ache.

I'm even dreaming of designing!!

But in my dream, my entire right arm isn't killing me.

Needless to say, I haven't had much desire to be at the computer when I get home.  I just want to chill on the couch, vegg in front of the TV, or maybe finish that book I've been reading for the past month.

But I've made a note to myself to give you an update this weekend.
That is if my arm doesn't fall off....



Friday was kind of a boring day at work.  I've been working on re-vamping the sales catalog for our sales reps, as well as reworking old designs and making new ones.

At times this gets monotonous.

So, to relieve my boredom, I thought I'd mess with Levi.

He need a design drawn up for a client that was a simple straight stretch of fencing with a few castings.  Something I've drawn up hundreds of times.  

But Levi forgets this sometimes.  And because he's worked with some dough heads, he explains things like you've never done it.  

So to really mess with him, as he was explaining what I needed to draw and what material sizes (which I knew) I looked at him with a kind of confused expression.

Like maybe I wasn't quite understanding what it was he wanted.

All the while I knew perfectly well what to draw up.

When he was done, he asked if I got it.  Naturally I said yes, but still with the slightly confused look on my face.

He left me to it, but I could tell he wasn't too sure I knew what I was doing and that maybe I've lost it.

A couple times while I was working on it (which, by the way, took all of 20 minutes) he asked how I was coming along.

I'd look at the screen like I was struggling with the design, then tell him I was good and would be done soon.

I had to hide my smirk when he looked like he wasn't too sure what the hell was going on and why I looked like I didn't know haw to draw up a very simple design.

I highly recommend you try this with your boss and/or supervisor.  Just totally confuse the shit out of them with a look like they're now talking Greek to you.

It'll make that boring project a little more fun to get through just knowing your boss has concerns about your abilities now!

Of course, the design was exactly what he wanted.  I've designed way more complicated pieces.  But knowing he was probably a little worried for a while there made for a fun Friday.

At least for me it did.


Listen up

Lately, I've been finding I talk to myself more than I ever have.

In my head.

It usually starts when I'm in the car driving the kids to school.  I'm typically reminding myself what I have to do for the day.

Sometimes, though, the conversation wanders off topic.

And I stop listening to the kids.

Let's face it folks, a conversation with myself about what the heck that vanity plate means, is a lot more interesting than the two kids in the back seat arguing over who left the towel on the bedroom floor.

But this gets them mad, because when they stop arguing long enough to tell me something, or ask a question, I'm not listening.  

I'm still trying to figure out why the heck someone would drive around with a plate that says GEEKER.

Really.  I think the Geo Metro the plates are attached to pretty much explain it all.

After I drop the kids off, I have a 15-20 minute drive to work.  That's when I really begin to talk to myself.

Because the ghetto van doesn't have AC, and it's pretty hot even at 7:30 in the morning, I drive with the windows open.

So listening to the radio is useless.  

And I talk to myself.

Things like: "I'd love to get a picture of the graffiti on that box truck that faces the freeway and is parked in the back lot of that business.  It's so cool.  I wonder how I could get to it.(And in my head, I say it like a run-on sentence, too!)

Or things like: "Really, Dick-wad. You need to ride my ass for the next 3 miles hoping I'd go faster than 70 MPH when you could've passed me at any time??"

And sometimes I remind myself of things I have to do.  Like: "Don't forget to deactivate the call forwarding, call Derrick with today's lead, re-work the entry door design for the Atkinson's, and finish up the security door designs for Levi."

Now, I don't know if talking to yourself, or having conversations with yourself, is healthy or not, but it's helped me in remembering a thing or two!


Old bottles, fugly chairs, and balls

I have a pet peeve.

Well, I have many.  But one of my biggest is furniture on the patio or deck.

The only furniture that goes in either one of those places is patio furniture or deck chairs.

You never put your house furniture on the patio.

Or in front of the house.

Nothing says hillbilly, white trash more than a couch on the front porch.

Or a recliner on the back patio.

Sean knows this pet peeve of mine.  Yet he comes home one day last week with this:

A hideous chair that looks like it came from a cheap motel room.  He found it by the dumpster.

Where it should've stayed.

And to add insult to injury (and to royally piss me off) Sean puts this monstrosity on the back deck.

One of these days, it's going back where it came from.

Fast forward to Sunday.

I unpacked the last of the boxes that were piled up around the dining room table.
I have a collection of bottles that I dug up in the woods behind the house I grew up in.

Most contained over the counter medications, hair tonic, or perfume.  So I hung two shelves and put up all the bottles.  I love how they look like a collection in an old pharmacy.

Sean came home later in the day, watched some football, then left to hit some golf balls.  As he was walking out the door, he looks at the shelves and says they're all trash and need to go back there.

So I told him there is a fugly chair on the deck that came from the trash, and needs to go back there!

He said he going to go hit some balls.


Friday night while taking S to do her community service:

S: I need deodorant.

Me: I do too.  I'm almost out.

S:  No.  I need deodorant now.  My pits stink.


What?? It's been how long?!?!?

These past few weeks it has truly been a House of Insanity.  

As of my last post, I was packing up a house, getting ready for a move, and a huge garage sale.  Well, I got everything packed and ready to move to the new place by the day of our sale (Saturday the 28th) and was up that morning at 3:45 hauling out all the junk I was hoping to make money off of.

I didn't get rid as much as I would've liked (like the giant china cabinet and desk) but made a pretty good chunk of change ($300+).

We moved into the condo over a three day period with the help of friends and family (Thank you so much all who helped!) and are still, a week later, living amongst boxes.

I'd take pictures, but it's too embarrassing!

And I haven't got the energy.

To top it all off, we moved in on Sunday, I did some unpacking on Monday & started a full time job on Tuesday.

I love having a job, but now other things are falling to the bottom of the To Do List.

Like photography.

And unpacking boxes that don't contain necessities.

Then, to make things even more pleasant around here, the AC isn't working properly!  It's been as hot as 98° at night!  

In the house!

The Landlord was going to call someone to come over to look at it, but he said they were all busy, so asked if I'd get someone and he'd just deduct the repair cost off our rent.

Which kinda sucks.  I don't mind that we can deduct the repair bill, but I don't know anyone who fixes AC units!  As the owner of 2 rental properties, he should have a list of repairmen he can call, but I suspect he doesn't and would rather not deal with it.

So I have to.

Lucky for me, Janice used to work with a guy who now has his own AC business, and he can come by today and take a look at it.

Thank goodness!  Because we are literally melting in here!!

In the mean time, with fans all on high, I'm unpacking a bit here and there and will post photos as soon as I get the energy to take them!

Stay cool my friends!

Stay cool.



Happy Birthday to R!!

Let's all enjoy some photos of her through the years....

**click images to enlarge**

I never thought she looked much like me, or my side of the family, but in a couple of those earlier photos, you can tell she's my kid!


Do you remember when?

Another poem I dug up from a box that's been put up on a high shelf and forgotten.

I'm surprised I haven't been emailed this 5 times in as many years!

Remember When?

Hippie meant big in the hips?
And a trip involved travel in cars, planes or ships?
When pot was a vessel for cooking things in?
And hooked was what grandma's rugs would have been?
When fix was a verb that meant mend or repair?
When to "be in" meant merely existing somewhere?
When neat meant well organized, tidy and clean?
And grass was a ground cover, usually green?
When groovy meant furrowed with channels and hollows?
And when birds were winged creatures like robin and swallows?
Fuzz was a substance real fluffy like lint?
And bread came from a bakery, not from the mint?
When rock was a stone and hang up was something you did on the phone?
When swinger was someone who swung on a swing?
And pad was a soft, sort of cushiony thing?
When far out meant distance - a long way away?
And no one thought twice when you said you were gay?



Today I did some more packing.  Well, more cleaning than packing actually. 

And I only broke out in a tiny sweat.

When I took some trash out to the alley.

I'm going through every box, bag, drawer and container.  I am no longer going to cart from house to house stuff we do not need or use.

It's time to simplify.

In the process, I'm finding little mementos I'd forgotten about.  Like drawings and paintings from when I used to be an artist.

Like this little gem ~

It's not dated, and I think I copied it from a Greeting card.  Most likely it's from the mid to late 1980's when I was doing the majority of my drawing and painting.

Sometimes I wonder why I ever stopped.

And why I don't start up again.


This pretty much sums it all up

I found this poem while cleaning out boxes of junk.  I hand wrote it on a piece of paper torn from a spiral notebook.  I do not know the original author (I'm pretty sure it's not me!) and I think I wrote it in the early 1980's.

Anyone with kids can totally relate.

Anyone who was a kid can totally relate! 

And I'm pretty sure I've said most of it at some point since S was born.

A Mom's Life

Take your plate to the kitchen, please.
Take it upstairs when you go.
Don't leave it there, take it upstairs.
Is that yours?
Don't hit your brother.
I'm talking to you.
Just a minute please, can't you see I'm talking?
I said don't interrupt.
Did you brush your teeth?
What are you doing out of bed?
Go back to bed.
You can't watch TV in the afternoon.
What do you mean, there's nothing to do?
Go outside.
Get off the phone.
Tell your friend you'll call her back.  Right now!
Hello.  No, she's not home.
She's still not home.
She'll call you when she gets home.
Take a jacket.  Take a sweater.
Take one anyway.
Someone left her shoes in front of the TV.
Get the toys out of the hall.  Get the toys out of the bathtub.  Get the toys off the stairs.
Do you realize that could kill someone?
Hurry up.
Hurry up.  Everyone's waiting.
I'll count to ten and then we're going without you.
Did you go to the bathroom.
If you don't go, you're not going.
I mean it.
Why didn't you go before we left?
Can you hold it?
What's going on back there?
Stop it!
I said stop it!
I don't want to hear about it.
Stop it or I'm taking you home right now.
That's it.  We're going home.
Give me a kiss.
I need a hug.
Make your bed.
Clean up your room.
Set the table.
I need you to set the table!
Don't tell me it's not your turn.
Please move your chair into the table.
Sit up.
Just try a little.  You don't have to eat the whole thing.
Stop playing and eat.
Would you watch what you're doing?
Move your glass, it's too close to the edge.
Watch it!!
More, what??
More, please.  That's better.
Just eat one bite of salad.
You don't always get what you want.  That's life.
Don't argue with me.  I'm not discussing this any more.
Go to your room.
No, ten minutes are not up.
One more minute.
How many times have I told you don't do that?
Where did the cookies go?
Eat the old fruit before you eat the new fruit.
I'm not giving you mushrooms.  I've taken all the mushrooms out.  See?
Is your  homework done?
Stop yelling.  If you want to ask me something, come here.
I'll think about it.
Not now.
Ask your father.
We'll see.
Don't sit so close to the television, it's bad for your eyes.
Calm down.
Calm down and start over.
Is that the truth?
Fasten your seat belt.
Did everyone fasten their seat belts?
I'm sorry that's the rule.  I'm sorry that's the rule.  I'm sorry that's the rule.

**The answer I now get to most of the previous questions are "I don't know", "It's not me" and "No one".  I've been convinced Idontknow, Itsnotme, & noone are living with me, and have been the past few years.**


Open door policy

I'm not claustrophobic.  In fact, although I'd rather not be in a small confined space (who does?), it doesn't freak me out.  And I can ride in elevators with no problem, even full ones.

But I can not use the bathroom with the door closed. 

Part of the reason is most of the bathrooms I've had were fairly small, and they get all steamy and humid after a shower.  

Another reason was, after having my first daughter, leaving the door opened allowed me to hear what she was up to.

Which also lead to me always having a kid follow me into the bathroom.  When they were toddlers I didn't mind.  This was, after all, the perfect opportunity to teach them all about using the potty. 

But I think it began to become something that was "normal" to my kids.  As they got older, my "open door policy" started to come back and bite me in the ass.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was in there and a kid just walked in.  

"Hey Mom! Do you know whe.....Ugggg!  I'll ask you when you're done."

I can't really blame them.  They were taught that my door is always open, and an open door is an open invitation to enter.

Which has caused us to have some "oops!" moments where they're usually way more embarrassed then me.

Now that they're much older, they've learned to ask if I'm using the bathroom, or doing my hair.

It's saved them from those embarrassing moments.

And now, when I need to escape, I go in and close the door.

I've heard that's what many mom's do.

It just took me until my kids hit their pre-teens for me to catch on!


I must be crazy

As I wrote in my last post, our lease is up the end of the month and we have decided to not renew and move to a more cost effective place.

Cost effective = smaller.

One of the things I have decided I don't want to cram into an apartment (again) is my big desk.  I love my big desk.  Aside from the bench my dad made, it's the only piece of furniture I have a hard time parting with.

But I'd like room to move around, so I've decided not to take it with us.  But I'm still undecided as to whether to sell it or store it.

I've got two weeks to decide....

Anyway, on Saturday Mom & Jane stopped by.  While we were chatting about the move and what stuff they want to take, I mentioned wanting to get a $30 desk from Wal-mart that will better fit in our new space.

Mom tells me "No, no, no.  You do not want a desk from Wal-Mart.  It won't be you.  We should go looking at the Goodwill.  If you find a desk you like I'll get it for you for your birthday.  How's that?"

Cool with me.  So the three of us headed out to the Goodwill to find me a desk and whatever other treasures we could find there.

Boy, did we find some good stuff.  And amazing deals.  Because, you see, Saturday's are half price.  Yup.  Everything in the store is half off!

Jane found two big Ikea wardrobes for less than $100.  For both!  Mom found some material (like she needs more!) 

And, me?  I found this sweet deal.

A desk, two drawer chest and chair, all for only $27!!  Yes, they need work.  But I love refinishing furniture.

So, today, when I should be packing up more boxes, looking for the serger CD for mom, pricing yard sale junk, and vacuuming, I'm sanding and painting.

I'm loving it!!

**But if you ask me how I feel about all this sanding tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I'll hate you.   Because I'm hand sanding.  And I know my arms are going to hurt like hell in the morning.**


Overheard at Target

While in the Health and Beauty aisle, a heavily pregnant woman and her significant other walked by.

Her:  Oh wait!  I need to get hair bands.

Him:  Do I have to pay for them?

Her: No.  I do have my own money.

Him:  Why do you need more anyway?  You have plenty you just keep loosing.

Me:  That's why she needs more.  She keeps loosing them all.

Her:  See?  She knows.  She understands.

Him:  I'll be over in Electronics.


Finding words

It's been a while since I've had anything to say.  

Ten days to be exact.  

It feels like it's been a couple of weeks where nothing is happening, yet everything is happening.  

And in between it all, I have lost the ability to write.

I've wanted to jot down some things the past few days, but as soon as my hands get on the keyboard, the thoughts escape my mind.  

It's like my creativity has taken a vacation and forgot to take me with it.

Even my photography has suffered.  It's way too hot to go walking around the neighborhood, or driving in the non-air conditioned ghetto van, looking for inspiration.  When this happens, I can typically find something around the house to shoot in an interesting way.  But not these past ten days.

And let's face it.  I lead a very boring life.  I'm unemployed and when I'm not carting kids to and from school or cheer practice, I pretty much do nothing.


Laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, doing the dishes, grocery shopping, playing computer games, napping.  That's the extent of it.  

And believe me when I tell you nothing exciting enough to write about happens when I'm doing laundry.  Or loading the dishwasher.

The highlight of the last ten days was last weekend.  I worked the home show, which wasn't too bad.  Friday was the toughest.  I was there from 9:00am until 7:00pm and it was the longest day ever.  Thankfully, Saturday and Sunday made up for it by being so busy we barely had time for a lunch break.  Now it's up to Derrick to close on most of the 42 appointments we set.  Meanwhile, I've had a few designs to work on.

Things will change, however, in the coming weeks.  Change in a big way.

Our lease on the house is up the end of the month and we've decided not to renew.  It's been too much of a struggle coming up with the rent every month, plus the utilities.

Last month our electric bill was nearly $300!  Between the pool and a very inefficient, much older house, the electric bill was slowly killing us.

So we have to move.  Lucky for us, our landlord owns a condo we can rent for a fantastic price.

Unfortunately, it's a two bedroom. And about 592 square feet smaller that the house we're in now.

The girls have to (again) all share a bedroom, luck them, Sean and I agreed to let them have the master, and I'm having a yard sale before we move to lighten the load.

Scaling down forces me to decide what I really need and/or want.  When we moved into the apartment we were in before we moved here, I did some editing of items, but we put quite a bit in storage.  Now I'm going to be doing even more editing.  Which gets easier when you pick up an item and ask; "Is it more important to keep this or get a dollar or more for it?"

Usually the money factor wins.

But there are some things I will not sell.  No matter what.  Like my dining room bench.  It's nothing fancy.  In fact it's very plain and a little beat up.  But my dad made it and I have so little from him, that I can't bear to sell it.  I'm hoping someday one of my girls will want it for their home and to pass it down to their children.

So, I will be busy the next few days sorting through all my junk to either pack or sell.  

In fact that's what I should be doing now.

But now I have to go taxi kids from school, then back to cheer practice.

At least some things will stay the same. 

Oh, yeah, I guess today could be called a highlight of the past ten days.

It's my birthday.

**I guess I found some things to say after all**


The game show where the questions are always the same and I'm the only contestant

Some days I get to be the unwilling contestant on a game show that can take place in the car, the living room or kitchen.   It always begins with the Host (one of the kids) asking the contestant (me) a series of questions that have been asked by children for generations.

And for generations we contestants (moms) have never had the right answers.

Here's how the game is usually played in our house ~

Kid: Mom!  Ya know what's so cool?
Me: Ice, snow, freezers, slushies....
Kid: Haha.  No.

Kid: Hey Mom! Know what's really funny?
Me: Comedians, sitcoms, clowns, knock knock jokes....
Kid: Haha.  No.

Kid: Hey Mom!  Ya know what I did today?
Me: Built a rocket ship?  Learned quantum physics?  Stubbed your toe...
Kid: Haha.  No.  And not funny.

This is where they get really mad at me and my "stupid answers".  Answers that are never right in a game I will never win.

Sometimes they like to shake things up with a tough Bonus Question.  They're usually questions kinda like this ~

Kid: Mom, my side hurts right here.  Why?
Me: Ummm....Maybe you bumped it?
Kid: No.
Me: ran too much at practice?
Kid: No.  That's not it.
Me: Do I get a Shout Out on this question?  I'd like to call Grandma.

Mom's a nurse, so she has all the medical answers.  Answers the Host usually doesn't like, so she says they're wrong.

And I loose the bonus round.


I was really looking forward to that Hawaiian vacation and $10,000 in spending money.



Happy Birthday to S! 

I thought you might enjoy taking a little look at her through the years.

click on each image to see large

She had some awkward pre-teen and teen years, but I think overall, she turned out okay!


120° and melting

I was excited there was rain again this morning, but completely forgot that suffocating humidity comes with it.  

If you don't already know, the ghetto van does not have AC.  And normally, just opening the windows is good enough for the little running around I have to do.  Everything is so close that even if I did have working AC, by the time it got the van cooled, we'd be home.

Today, today was pure torture!  

S and I went to book distribution at the high school (exactly 2.6 miles from the house) around 9:30 this morning, then made a quick stop at the Wal-marts (on the way home) when we got done around noon.

In that very short time in the van, a total of 10 minutes, I contracted a severe case of the sweats.

It was so gross.

I was soaked from my head to my toes by the time we got home.  It's so hot and sticky out, diving into the pool isn't much help.  The only cure is to stand directly in front of the fan with it blasting on high.

I wondered what the humidity and temps were (I was thinking it was at least 90°), so I looked it up and guess what?

It was only 88°, but the humidity level was at 58%!


I'm surprised I'm still alive!

We'll see if I make it when I go out again to take S back to school for cheer practice.

If you don't hear from me by tomorrow, I just may have melted....


The start of school. I love it, I hate it.

School starts in two weeks.

I can't wait for that first day.  (These kids need to GET OUT!) 

Yet I can.

High school is the worst.

I sometimes wish high school was like it was when I was a kid.
Other times, I don't.

Let me explain.  

I did not go to a traditional high school.  I went to a school that had grades 5-12 in it.  


That's right.

You heard me.

All 8 grades in one building.  It was a pretty big building.

My graduating class had 51 students in it.  98% of which I went to kindergarten with.  And I knew their younger/older brother(s)/sister(s), cousins, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles....

You get the picture.

When I went to school and got to my Freshman year and wanted to take an art class, I did.  I picked what art class I wanted, what period of the day it in fit amongst my other required courses, and which art teacher I wanted.

When my siblings wanted to join the band, they did.  

We wanted to take pottery.  We did.

Now, my kids, if they want to take an art class, choir, dance, ceramics or anything other than Math, English, History or a Foreign Language you have to pay for it.

That's right.  We have to pay for our kids' elective activities.  And any sports they wish to participate in.

All students have to pay a dollar activity fee.  No matter what.  If they want to take, say choir, like S does, that's a $30 activity fee PLUS a course fee of $50.  

So for one kid, that's $80 to take one elective.  


I remember S had a friend her Freshman year who was in cheer, on the swim team, the softball team and I also think the volleyball team.  That's a lot of activity fees to pay.

Not to mention; when did she have time for homework?  Or socializing?  Especially with the schedule they have in cheer.

Despite all the fees, I wish had the choices they do in electives.  They have a ton of art choices, apparel and design, merchandising, photography, ceramics.  The list goes on and on.  

I'd probably have a hard time choosing. But I might've been able to figure out what to do for a career.

Because I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up.



Just the other day I changed my signature so it now at the bottom of every post it says Ramblings by the Insane Queen.

That same day S was telling her sisters I was like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

S: The Queen says 'Come play croquette with me.  We'll have lots of fun.'  Then yells 'OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!!'  With mom it's 'GO TO YOUR ROOM!'

She's now out of the will.


I don't play the saxaphone. So get over it.

I come from a family of musicians.  My mother played piano and my three sisters and brother all played various instruments in our high school band. 

I, on the other hand, did not play an instrument. 

Oh, I tried.  Believe me, I tried.  Like my sisters before me, and my sister and brother after me, in the 4th grade I took up the flute.  Not because I really wanted to learn how to play, but because it seemed expected of me. 

Don't get me wrong.  I love music.  I love singing.  And dancing.  

Although I should only do either one in a room with no one in it!  

I'm rhythmically challenged and tone deaf.  Not a good combination for someone who may want to play the flute.

Or dance.

Or sing.

I soon learned my artistic talents lay in the art room.  The first time, in the fifth grade, I set foot in the art room, I was in love.  All the sights of colors and designs around me were like a crackhead in a crack store.  

I could live in that room.

And the smell.  Oh, the lovely scent of the art room.  

Don't even get me going on the smell of the art room.  There is no better smell (other than fresh cut grass and rain) than paint, turpentine, clay and whatever else there is in that lovely room of creativity.

I took art all four years in high school, and while Mom and Dad went to every single band concert my sisters and brother were in (dragging me with them) there were very few art exhibits. 

In fact, I think our school had a total of three exhibits!  And all were all held on the same nights as the damn band concerts!!  I couldn't even get my own night to show off my talent!  

Can you tell I'm a little bitter with the band?? 

Damn band geeks.

Unfortunately, as much as I loved the art room and drawing and painting, I have done very little over the years. 

Painting a wall, or chair does not count.  I still have my charcoals from back then, and my sketching pencils, gum eraser and calligraphy pen.  Oh, yes, I even did calligraphy.

But now, all that is done on the computer.  And although designing on the computer can be fun, it's just not the same as getting out the sketch pad, pencils, water colors, or acrylics and scribbling away.

And it sure doesn't smell the same either.

*'The Boot' was done by me.  Click on the image for a larger view.  Notice in the lower right hand corner the date (1983) and my grade (95).