Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yes, I'm from Louisiana but..........

As I type this the reality of yet another Louisiana Family is airing on MTV.  "The Riot in the Bayou"  I was so bothered by it that I had to change the channel.  And then I had to blog about it.

From "Bayou Billionaires" to "My Redneck Vacation" to "Swamp People" Louisiana is depicted as some backwoods, uneducated, alligator in your yard, no sense in the head place to live.

 To send out this sweeping message that road kill is eaten at every meal, beer is flowing from the faucets and education is taken for granted is so far from the truth that I'm passed being embarrassed by it.  I'm angry.  In fact, I'm MAD!

There are just as many respectful, educated, good citizens here.  I don't have a bayou in my yard.  I don't have alligators in my yard.  And I've only had crawfish once this season.

I don't have a cajun accent.

I don't drink beer.

I don't allow my teenagers or their friends to drink beer on my property.  In fact, I don't allow my teenagers to drink beer PERIOD.

I don't live in a mobile home.

I don't shop at WalMart.

I can spell and speak with proper grammar.

I worship everyday and attend church every Sunday.

I have a college degree.

My house is tidy, my car is clean, my dog is fed and trained.

I don't have a gun in the house.

I don't own a four wheeler.

I read.

And I have lived in Louisiana my whole life.

Now let me go round up some opossum for tomorrow's breakfast!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is the Ironman's birthday.

He is .....  Just a minute.......... let me make sure............. can you all hear me?


Happy Birthday to Ironman.

The Dancer Girl - our resident Rachael Ray - baked a cake.  The recipe is one I was given by a friend of mine years and years ago.  I don't know anything other than it is fool proof. Oh, and it's delicious.  So, thank you Cindy.  I can't remember where she said she found the recipe.  From a magazine?  From a cookbook?  Therefore I can't give proper credit to the creationist.  Creationer?  You know what I mean.  But whomever you are, this is one rockin' recipe.

The Dancer Girl may not be the tidiest baker, but do we care how the cake looks?  Do we care that the frosting covers both the cake AND the countertop?  Heavens no.  Bring on the cake!

 I had to hurry to snap a photo before it was devoured.  This cake is dangerous.  You just can not eat only one serving.
If I ever open a bakery, I will have to sell this cake.

By the way, I have no desire or interest in opening a bakery.

Here is the recipe.  Promise you will not share it with a soul.  Pinky promise.
You will notice there are no beans anywhere.  (vegetarian joke)

Rockin' Red Velvet Cake

serves 16 or 8  Depending.........


1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 oz. red food coloring
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring*, eggs and vanilla in large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer for 1 minutes.  Beat 2 - 3 minutes.

Pour in desired pan.

Bake 28 - 30 minutes

Let cool and top with cream cheese frosting.  Eat a slice quick before anyone sees the cake is ready!

*  I have made this cake several times and just did not add any food coloring.  Have you seen the price of food coloring?  Crazy ridiculous.  I'll buy some for those Easter Eggs but it's not exactly necessary for this cake.  Unless you want it to have that traditional red color.  In which case go ahead and buy some.  The cake in this photo has pink food coloring added to it.  Yes, pink.  The Dancer Girl could not believe we were out of the red so she just substituted pink.

Frosting recipe:
8 oz cream cheese
8 Tablespoon butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream cheese and butter together.  Add sugar gradually.  Add vanilla.

Oh my oh my.  I'm so glad calories eaten on your birthday don't count.  Same goes for calories eaten on your husband's birthday.  Good to know, yes?

No one will guess you used a regular ordinary boxed cake mix.  So don't tell them.

Happy Birthday, Ironman.  What's for supper?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shopping with Teenagers

Today my daughters and I decided to do a little shopping.  They each had money to spend and I just wanted to hang out with them for awhile.

Now, I have 2 daughters.  They are complete opposites when it comes to just about everything.  Daughter #1 had plenty of money.  She has been working here and there alongside Ironman with race timing.  She is proficient with computer lingo and can set up/operate/interpret computer data from road races, triathlons, etc.  And she gets paid for the few hours she works.  She will not spend a dollar.  Even if she finds something she likes, that's not too expensive - that doesn't matter.  More than once today I would say, "Go ahead and get it.  It's cute" and she would reply, "But then I'd spend all my money."  When I asked her how much money she had she replied "$40"  I was surprised because I knew for a fact she has more spending money than that.  She was almost insulted when I asked just that.  "I didn't bring all my money" she said with a little twang of an attitude.
All that to say we shopped for a couple of hours and she did not spend a penny.

My younger daughter, however, can spend money freely.  And the crazy thing is she can find a deal!  She had $29 to spend.  Yes, she brought all of her money with her.  At the end of our shopping trip she had purchased one blouse, one necklace, one bracelet and a snack.  And had money left over.  I am not kidding!  The blouse was on the sale rack.  It was marked $19.99.  But there was a sign that said to take an additional 50% off the sale price.  So yes, she paid $10 for it.  The jewelry was found at another store, once again on the sale rack.   I was amazed at her savvy.  And I was glad she enjoyed herself so much.  Yes, she spent almost all of her money.  But she was happy and told me "I'll figure out a way to earn some more.  I'll ask Dad."

I really hadn't planned on buying anything.  I was just along as the chaperone.  Or something like that.  We went to T.J.Maxx.  Now, this store - and Marshall's - you can find some treasures!  I love hunting and looking and thinking when I go in there.  And sure enough, T.J. Maxx had Lenox salad plates "Butterfly Garden" for $2.99 each.  WOW.  They are beautiful.  And they had 6!  I just couldn't pass them up.

I wonder why my daughters are so different.  This shopping story is just one simple way.  But there are much bigger differences.  One daughter is painfully shy.  She is in advanced math, advanced spanish, Advanced history, - attends a high school for academically talented students.  All that is very good and we are very proud and amazed at her talent.  But in social situations she is painfully, painstakingly shy.  It's almost more than just being shy.  It's timid and unsure and awkward and self conscious all rolled into a big wobbly ball.

My younger daughter has never met a stranger.  She will try out for any play, any team. She has a zillion friends and can make a new friend in an hour.  And that new friends will automatically be her "best friend"  In fact, all her friends are her best friends.  She is confident and positively sure that everyone will like her when she walks in a room.  She has no doubt.  Because strangers are just best friends she hasn't met yet.

I'm proud of both of them.  But they wear me out.

Tomorrow is Ironman's birthday.  I guess I'll be making a vegan birthday cake.  Hmmm  I'll take photos.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Simple Things

Here is my kitchen cabinet door.

 Here are my new spice jars!

Aren't they beautiful?  

The one in the front is cayenne pepper.  My label maker ran out of tape.  I could have hidden it in the back.  I didn't want to upset the alphabetical system.  
Crazy, I know.

 I had some spices left over.  I had some that were duplicates.  I had several jars of vanilla.  Why?  I don't know.  I think having the new little spice jars will help with my organization as I will be able to see at a glance what I need.  

I put the overflow in a pretty little bowl I found at World Market.
 And all this?  


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Craig's List

Do you see these chairs?

 These two are part of a set of 6 that  I've had them over 20 years.  They are in very good condition except for the upholstery seats which are faded and stained.  A couple of years ago I decided I would just reupholster them.  But it was around that time that I bought a new dining room table from Pottery Barn.  Oh yes, fancy!  After that, these old fashioned chairs just didn't "go".  Still we hung on to them because we had to have somewhere to sit!

Finally today was the day.  I talked to Ironman Sunday afternoon and together we I decided to list them on Craig's List.  I've never done that before.  I've browsed Craig's List.  I have friends who have bought and sold on Craig's List.  But this would be my first venture.

It was easy peasy.  I don't know what I was expecting.  

Within 20 minutes I had an interested buyer.  We emailed back and forth.  I sent her some more photos so she could be sure she was interested.  And then it was a done deal.  I sold the chairs.

I feel good about it.  I know it was a spectacular deal for someone who loved the chairs.

I already know what I want to get to replace them.

In other news, I sorted, purged and organized The Engineer's closet.  Most of his clothes are with him on campus, but there are some boxes, etc. that belong to him.  I cleared out half the closet for The Dancer Girl to store her jackets, coats and dresses for the summer.

My name is Patti and I'm an organizing addict.

Craig's List was so easy it left me wondering what else I have here in this house that I could sell.  Hmmmm I'll have to think about that.

Have you ever sold anything online?

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Day of Spring Break

Today was the first day of my spring break.  Ironman insists my spring break began Friday at 3:30.  Oh no, it didn't.  It didn't begin until Sunday evening around 6.  I've explained this reasoning to him more than once.  You see, the weekend didn't really count as spring break as it was just a regular weekend.  Saturday was full of laundry and house cleaning - I confess I do enjoy the house work stuff.  Odd you say?  Maybe.  Still, the weekend was the usual routine schedule I follow on, well, the weekends.  But Sunday late afternoon..........that's when my routine was different.  No checking on P.E. uniforms.  No packing lunches.  No ironing a clean blouse.  No making sure cars have gas.  None of that. Because Spring Break was beginning!  Ironman still doesn't get it.

Being home today gave me time to watch a little daytime TV.  There are televisions shows that I've never seen.  First of all, Live with Kelly?  Where's Reege?  I vaguely remember he retired but this was the first time I've seen the revamped show.  I watched none of it.  True - I listened to the show's theme song and then changed the channel.

Later in the morning as I was cleaning my closet I watched a HGTV show My First Sale.  A young man trying to sell a house he had restored in the D.C. area.  Because Ironman and I have suffered through that recently I could relate to his frustration.  I enjoy all the realtor shows.

Anderson is a new show I've never seen.  Anderson Cooper from CNN has a morning talk show.  WHO KNEW?  Today he had on a guest - Kristin Chenowith - and she and Anderson sat and discussed their interest in reality TV.   People on TV talking about people on TV.

Newsflash:  Daytime TV can be boring.    :)

Today was a good day.  I felt relaxed, cozy and content.  Bring on tomorrow!

Friday, March 23, 2012

I made it!

Ladies and Germs,

I am officially on SPRING BREAK!!

I made it.  We all made it.  I could not keep my eyes off the clock today.  Why does time slow right at the end?

After school I came home and fell asleep on the sofa.  Dancer Girl woke me up asking if she could go to the movie with her friend but not spend the night.  I'm waiting for her to return so I can go to bed.  I've done a lot of things to keep myself awake.  I cleaned the kitchen,  started some laundry, played with the doggie, read through some blogs.  But I'm barely hanging in there so she needs to hurry and get back home.

It feels so nice to have an entire week off of work.  I strive to be patient and friendly and loving at school but  I'm only human.  I need some time away from the activity and noise, hustle and bustle to rest and recharge.

Tomorrow  I hope to plan my Easter Menu.  I hope to finish up plans for Ironman's birthday.  Speaking of birthdays and getting older, do you feel as old as your driver's license says you are?  I sure don't.  In fact, I forget that I'm one of the "older" faculty members.  Today I found out that one of the kindergarten teachers dated my nephew when they were both in high school.  My little nephew!  Wait  - he's 32, married with 2 children.  Wasn't he just 7 years old last year?  Then it hit me, this teacher that I work with - she is a LOT younger than I.  She's my nephew's age.  Therefore,  she was 6 when I got married.   Wow.

Goodnight and sleep tight.  I'm going to enjoy my time off.

Hugs and Kisses and Photos to come

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Energy to Spare so I Prepared a Dashing Dish

My middle daughter's favorite meal is stuffed bell peppers.  Yes, they are delicious but not an easy weeknight choice for me.   This time of the year green vegetables are plentiful and at their peak of flavor.  During my adventure into Kroger yesterday I picked up 6 green bell peppers that were on special for 35 cents each - quite a bargain.  

After school today I was reading through some of my favorite blogs.  I have recently discovered Dashing Dishes blog.  Find it here.   From the beautiful photography to the inspirational messages to the delicious, healthy recipes this blog is a keeper.  

I searched for a stuffed pepper recipe and found this one:  Taco Stuffed Peppers

 OH MY GOSH!!!  I ate one.  I.T. Girl ate 2.  And Dancer Girl ate 2.  I made an alternative for Dancer Girl as she is a picky 13 year old and can turn her nose up at just about anything new.  But she did not hesitate.  Went right for a pepper and back again for seconds.  I wrapped up the left overs and plan to take it for my lunch tomorrow.  Thank you, Katie.  Your stuffed peppers recipe was a hit!

Other Dashing Dishes I've tried:

Skinny Peanut Butter Cookie Granola  I had to half this recipe as we were low on ingredients and it's a good thing I did because I just about ate the entire recipe!!

Mini Mexican Pizzas - I've prepared this recipe twice.  The tortillas get crispy in the muffin pan.

There are so many other recipes of Katie's I can't wait to prepare.  I think I'll just stop at the top and eat my way through!  The even better news:  She includes nutritional information and weight watcher points plus for each dashing dish!

By the way, I don't know Katie.   She doesn't know me from a hole in the wall. (As they say in Tiger Town)  I just like her!

(you knew it was coming!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear Shoppers:

I spent a long day working and then I went to the grocery store.  It was destined to be one of those BIG shopping trips as we were out of everything from milk to paper towels to fruit and vegetables.

As I drove into the parking lot there seems to be plenty of empty spaces.  That gave me hope that the store wouldn't be annoyingly crowded.  I grabbed my purse, my cell phone, my coupon binder and my patience.  Where did all these people come from?  It was "bumper to bumper".

As I shopped I made a mental note of things that need improvement.  So here goes:

Dear Shoppers,

1.  When shopping with a calculator, please scoot to the side so other shoppers can continue to gather items.  It is very annoying to be stuck behind you as you enter digits s l o w l y into your handheld device one by one by one.  I understand you are watching your budget but you are in my way!

2.  If you MUST talk on the cell phone in the store, please do so quietly.  I don't have any interest in hearing your drama.   (I once got a long distance phone call on my cell while shopping.  As quickly as I could I walked all the way over to the far end of the store by the pharmacy area.  There was only one person within 30 feet of me and even though I was talking as quietly as I could.............and trying to make the call a swift one..........the pharmacist continued to give me the evil eye for the 3 minutes I was there. )  I did not give you, Mrs Cell Phone Talker, the evil eye.  But you gave me a headache.

3.  Stockers.  Why?  Why?  Why?  Why must you block the entire aisle with boxes?  And why won't you move out of the way for half a sec so I can grab the Special K?  And really, must you stock the shelves at 5pm?  Wouldn't it be less intrusive to your shoppers if you stocked the shelves late at night?  I passed up a few things from my list because I just couldn't get to them.  You were in my way!

4.  Then there are the shoppers who woke up in a new world today.  They have never been to a grocery store.  Not only are they absolutely LOST as to location of the soy sauce, they don't even know what soy sauce is!

5.  Oh yes, there are more complaints.

I'm racing the clock today as I had to pick up Dancer Girl after her play practice.  And I was tired.  Oh, so tired.  I'm flipping through my coupon binder and suddenly hear a voice say, "How long does it take you to put all the coupons together?"  I looked up and saw an unfriendly face.  Before I could answer he said, "You must not have anything else to do"

6.  I finally make it to the checkout line with my bulging buggy and the lady in front of me was asked the question "Did you find everything you need?".........okay, is that a crazy question?  Because if I had NOT found everything I need I wouldn't be checking out.  Right??  Well, that's what I thought .  The woman in front of me answered, "Well, I couldn't find the corn nuts."   And that began the goose chase.  Who can find the corn nuts.  I am too tired to tell you how many people walked over from the store and tried to locate the missing corn nuts.  I just stood there trying to stay awake.  Yes, I was tired.

I finally paid, packed the trunk and pulled away.  I did make it in time to pick up Dancer Girl.  I came home and my daughters made biscuits, bacon, eggs and grits for supper.


The storm that wasn't.

I know you've seen the storm coverage on the news.  And I know you can go to and watch live video of tornados and thunderstorms happening right now in my area.  But as for my particular neck of the woods?  The storm never arrived.  There were dark clouds and the wind did pick up a bit.  And then it rained.  Not a torrential downpour, more like a springtime rain.  I never heard thunder nor saw lightening.  We were prepared.  Watching the weather coverage and seeing the radar map I couldn't believe that we were having no severe weather.  I guess it just skipped over us.

Still it's supposed to rain all day.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Career Change

Yesterday on the playground several of us were discussing our jobs and how maybe it's time for a change.  Oh yes, the conversations on the playground.  I have developed a skill called "listen and talk at the same time"  Not a fancy name, I know.  But I can listen to an adult talk to me at the same time that I'm talking to a child.  That way we aren't interrupted.  :)

One teacher said she knows her husband wishes he could have a seafood company.  He'd like to own the shrimp boats, process the fish and then sell them at market.  Currently he's an attorney.   Another teacher said she has always wanted to have an art studio and frame shop.  The idea just kept flowing.

I would like to be a professional organizer and real estate stager.  Honestly, I would.  I have a thing for closets and pantries and shelves and even mantels.  I would like to step into someone's home, assess their needs and lifestyle, purge and clean and organize and beautify.  Yes, I'd like to do that.  But who would pay someone for that?  In this economy with gas so high............ it just seems unreasonable.  However, while sitting having my hair cut last Saturday, the conversation turned to closets.  And I though talk on the playground was random!  Kate, my talkative, sweet hair stylist was mentioning that she had spend all of Friday night cleaning her closet.  Wow!  Someone else just like me on the planet!!  I told my clothes hang in order by colors of the rainbow.   She told me that she bought a small laminator just to make her own labels.  Great minds think alike!  We kidded around about going into business and about what our business name should be.  When I wondered aloud if anybody would PAY for such a service, more than one hand went up in the salon.  WOW!  I never expected that.

Don't be concerned.  I'm not quitting my job that provides our health care coverage.  But I am going to come up with a plan to reach that goal.

First up:  super organize my own house.  Take before and after photos.  Then offer my services to someone who needs it for an inexpensive rate.  I'll do just one closet or just one pantry.  

But for now I'm a preschool teacher.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Church

Rick Santorum spoke at my church this morning.

His visit wasn't a surprise.  The city knew he would be there.  I was surprised, in a way, that he would choose the church I attend.  I don't really know why I was surprised.  I just was.  We never hear any political talk during a worship service.  It is not the focus.  I guess that's why I was surprised he would be speaking.

The street leading to the church and especially the parking lot was full of security vehicles both marked and unmarked.  How do you tell a car is a security car when it's unmarked?  It just doesn't fit or something.

The Senator spoke for just over 30 minutes.  I didn't look at his presentation as political but instead as a public speaker.  I was surprised that he had a rough beginning - almost as if he was called upon to say a few words with no preparation.  His speech was all over the map. Was he nervous?  Was he uncomfortable?  I couldn't put my finger on it.  I felt nervous and uncomfortable for him.  After 5 minutes or so he settled into a story of his stance on abortion which was fine.  However, did we need to hear the gory details?  Our church has many, many young families with young children and I just cringed knowing little ears were listening.  Okay, maybe they weren't listening.  Did I listen in church as a child?  Maybe..............

Walking to the car after church we were all discussing what we had heard.  Brace yourself.  Comments were honest and some were funny.
Not being southern, Senator Santorum did not posses the easy, bless your heart, good to see you attitude.  I like that attitude.  I like that you don't go to Kroger just to buy bread, we here in the south go to Kroger to visit!
The Senator was pretty much stiff and almost uncomfortable,  which made those of us in the "audience" uncomfortable.    Uncomfortable - that is the only word I can think of to describe how he appeared.  Like when your feet are aching in new shoes and the room is warm and your dress feels snug and you have a slight headache.  
What was I expecting?  Because it was a church service on a Sunday morning I was expecting and interested to hear about his personal relationship with Jesus Church our Savior and Lord.  I wanted to hear a little about his family, his marriage, his wins and loses.  I wanted it to be interesting and endearing and appropriate.

Even typing out this blog I'm wondering if I should even post it.   I haven't kept a close watch on the presidential race this year.  I don't know many of the issues.  We have our own big problems in the state with our own elected officials.  All that to say, I haven't chosen a candidate.

Have you ever been disappointed by a politician or celebrity?  Have you ever had your mind changed by something you heard a politician say?

I missed having my regular worship service today. I did think about taking a photo with my iPhone during the service but decided against it.  It just didn't seem appropriate.  Besides there was a security man standing right beside me.  There was a lot of security.  Not sure I should read in my purse and pull out something.  I did not see anyone taking photos with a phone or a camera.

 Tomorrow it's back to school and work.

I have one more thing to say:  FIVE DAYS UNTIL SPRING BREAK!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Engineer Arrives for the Weekend or How I Ate Myself Into a Stupor

What a weekend I've had.  It's been a weekend of eating and talking, that's for sure.  The Engineer called Tuesday from off campus and said he was planning a visit for the weekend.  I was so happy to hear that.  But what to feed him?  (I emailed him a long menu but he never returned it to me)  And so when he arrived home, he requested:  

 Fried Alligator
 Shrimp - which I baked in the oven
I also baked slice potatoes.  Both white and sweet.

Oh my goodness.  I needed to lay down after all that eating.  I was exhausted from counting up all the weight watcher points!

Thank goodness we had fruit for dessert.
We look forward to the spring every year just because of strawberry season.

I did try to watch my portions.  But I ate a little of everything and it was so good.
Today it was back to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

What did you cook this weekend?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tick, Tock. What time is it?

Everyday I play beat the clock.  I get out of bed before anyone else.  Sort, load, fold, organize, list make all while dressing and never stopping.  Even as organized as I am my mornings are dictated by the clock.  Leave the house even 5 minutes late and the traffic will put me 10 minutes behind.

Play, paint, move, correct, talk, soothe, bandage, search, find, sort and create all day long.  By 3pm I walk to the car thinking of all the work I have to do once home.

These last few weeks have been even busier since Dancer Girl is in a school musical. She is the Cheshire Cat in the middle school version of Alice in Wonderland, Jr.  She has daily rehearsal from 3 - 5pm.  Sometimes I run errands until it is time to return to school at 5.  Sometimes I come home and start supper, read through the mail, vacuum (I'm the vacuum queen) before returning to school for pickup.  I do not enjoy driving.  Back and forth errand driving is my nemesis.

Once home I clean, sort, read, chop, steam, saute, scrub, load, fold, find, google for homework, talk, and listen until I drop.  I also weigh and measure my food since I've returned to Weight Watchers.  So far I've lost 14.9 pounds!!  WOOP WOOP.  I'd just about forgotten how nice it is when everything in your closet fits.  Such a nice feeling.

One more week and we will officially be on spring break.  I have plans.  And they don't involve a clock or a routine.  I'm going to enjoy every minute!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Suzanne Somers

Did you see her on The Rosie Show?  She's either crazy or genius.  I listened to her and wondered how she learned what she has learned.   After her breast cancer was removed she had reconstruction surgery.  But not in the usual way.  The doctors (magicians) used her own fat from her thigh to create fullness in the now healthy breast.  FROM HER THIGH!  Wow.  First of all, that is amazing and exciting and a medical wonder.  Secondly, I have extra fat in my thighs............. where could I put it?

Speaking of The Rosie Show, I enjoy the new format.  She interviews her guests one on one.  Yes, the interview with Liza "with a Z" Minnelli was incoherent and like doing homework.  But for the most part I have enjoyed her new show on OWN. I used to walk on my treadmill daily and listen to her Sirius Radio Talk Show for several years every day.

Saturday I went to get my hair cut.  The salon isn't fancy smancy but boasts the friendliest staff of professionals in town.  It is so much fun to go and visit.  Oh, and get your hair cut.  (in my case - your roots done)  But back to television.  The group of us - customers and stylists together - were discussing television shows.  We were all sharing the shows we enjoy and shows we used to enjoy.  My new obsession is The Amandas.  Oh my I love that show.  Yes, I LOVE that show.  Have you seen it?  I want to move to Birmingham and be an Amanda.  When I grow up I want to be a professional organizer.

Which brings me to my next point:  WHY CHANGE A GOOD THING?  I was watching The Amandas on Monday night.  And now it's changed to Wednesday nights.  And what's worse........ it's on at 10pm which is  way past my bedtime.  I teach preschool, people.  I can't be staying up that late!

American Idol is on in the other room.  I.T. girl enjoys watching it and boasts that she has predicted the winner every single year since Kelly Clarkson.  Will her winning streak continue?  Stay tuned.  (I've already picked Phillip Phillips.  Double Names.  Love that)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do I Ever Have Enough?

So many crazy things have happened to me in the last couple of days.  Have you ever had stuff happen and you just know you are the ONLY one that would ever experience such inconveniences?  

Monday night I was at a meeting.  I needed something to write with.  I dug through my purse.  Nothing.  I looked around the room quickly.  Nothing.  No pen, marker, pencil or even lip gloss.  I remembered I found a pen in the bottom of my purse Friday for Ironman.  Guess he didn't give it back.

Then today I had time to go through the carwash before I picked up Dancer Girl at school.  I didn't want to spend the big bucks for the full service, so I pulled up to the do it yourself bay.  How much is the vacuum?  $1.00. In quarters, of course.  So I dug through my wallet and found 4 quarters.  Good to go. Then I proceeded to the wash area.  The sign said "$1.50"  Did I have 6 more quarters?  Of course not.  I had 5.  I tried to insert a nickel but it wouldn't take it.

While I was standing outside the car I noticed Dancer Girl's wallet in the pocket of the back seat.  Maybe she has a quarter.  YES!  Finally, I have enough money to wash the pollen and gunk off my car.  I won't be embarrassed tomorrow in the school parking lot.

The bay I was in had duct tape over the coin insert here thingy. So I pulled around to the next one and...... what? ........ the sign said $1.25.  Are you kidding? I had enough money all along.  I paid with my last few quarters.

I had to laugh that these things only happen to me.  They are just little inconveniences, but they can drive you crazy.

Now I must drop a few pens into my purse, quarters into my wallet and repay Dancer Girl 25 cents.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Daylight Savings Time....

I've missed you!
And as soon as I am fully awake I'm going to tell you how much I've missed you.
But for now on the first day I'm sluggish and goggly.  I know I yawned more today than I smiled.  It's all in my head as I know I slept as many hours as usual.  Waking up in the dark makes me feel as if I'm waking up earlier.

I'm willing to forge forward.  Because the reward is so great.  I love daylight savings time.
Driving home after work my neighborhood was busy.  Dog walkers and runners, kids riding bikes, neighbors planting bedding plants.  Those few extra hours of daylight after work make such a difference in my day.

Thank you, Mr Sun.  I've missed seeing you in the late afternoon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Breakfast on a Rainy Day

This morning The Dancer made breakfast:  waffles from scratch, fresh strawberries and bacon.  What a nice surprise

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I'm going to post this pretty photo even though it's not from today.  I had a busy, busy day and just never had a chance to pull out the rebel.  I'm definitely looking for signs of spring.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It was 80 degrees today!

Tomorrow I'm going to take a photo of spring.  Stay tuned.............

Monday, March 5, 2012

Are you the Teller or the Listener?

I am definitely the listener.  I work with women who like to tell.  They "tell" about their family, their activities, their history and their day.  Tell, tell, tell.  Talk, talk, talk.  And I'm the designated listener.  I'm glad I'm a good listener.  Or I'm glad others THINK I'm a good listener.  Inside my head I'm usually counting how many names they drop or how many times they say "I".  It may not be that bad.  I don't mind listening.  I know how much it means when I'm talking to someone who is actually listening. I make sure to show respect.   I don't interrupt or add to the story or stir the pot or gossip.  I do NOT gossip.  Like my grandmother always said, "Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut".

Now sometimes this backfires.  Sometimes when I keep my mouth shut it makes the "teller" think I don't know anything.  And so they have to educate me.  Oh brother.

I have learned when it's advantageous to be assertive and tell it like it is.  I have also learned that silence is golden and sometimes by not saying anything you can say a whole lot.  And when I choose to remain silent, I'm always glad I did.  Yes, I'm always glad I did.

It's annoying to try to have a friendly conversation with someone who is constantly talking about themselves.  I've heard it said if you have to tell how great you are, you ain't that great.

And so I am ever the listener.  I don't mention things.  I don't bring things up.  I'm the encourager, the confidante and the believer.

So, are you a good listener?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beautiful Day

The temperature dropped 20 degrees overnight.  That made a huge difference in my disposition.  I'm not ready for the humidity.  Today was beautiful outside.

I sat on my driveway and painted.  I found a tutorial for a pottery barn knock off American Flag  here.  I'll post a photo when it's finished which should be tomorrow.  You can totally do this in a day.   I want to hang it in the hallway between my hearth room and the stairs.

I also painted a few picture frames I had lying around.  The red frames on one of my mantels are pretty but they've been displayed since before Christmas.  I'm ready for spring colors.  I'm going to just switch out the photos.  I can't NOT display the babies.

I have a confession:  I've become addicted to pinterest.  Anytime I have an idea or wish I had an idea for things around my house - from decor to dessert - I do a search on pinterest for inspiration.  This morning I found the prettiest oval frame  that once held a mirror.  The minute I saw it and the transformation I thought, "I HAVE AN OVAL FRAMED MIRROR"  I creeped up into our scary attic and found it.  Taped it, prepped it for painting. Not to just find the exact color.

I woke up ready to clean and I did that and more.

I hope this good weather lasts a few more days.  I have a couple of closets that need attention.

Saturday morning

Have you ever woken up "in the mood" to clean and organize?  It happens to me often and today is one of those days.  I always get up earlier than my family.  I usually spend my quiet time reading.  Well, let me clarify.  I usually spend my quiet time cleaning and then reading.  I unload the dishwasher - although this morning the dishwasher was full of dirty dishes.  I went to bed early and since I'm the only one who can push a button the dishes did not get washed.  So they are washing right now.   I almost always clean out my refrigerator on Saturday mornings.  Check.  I start the laundry treadmill, fold items left in the dryer.  By the way, do you always have laundry waiting in the dryer?  Because I do!  I fed the dog and gave him his thyroid pill.  Yes, our dog has a low thyroid............what is the term?  He's almost 11 and so now he's on meds.  I'm glad he feels better but my lazy easy big fat dog has regressed into a playful puppy!  He wears me out!

But back to my day.

The Engineer had planned a visit for this weekend.  Truth be told he wanted to come home to gather his ski equipment as spring break is next week at the ski slope.  He could not find somebody to take his place as the Dorm R.A. for the weekend.  And so that leaves me with a lot of T.I.M.E. to do whatever I want!  Which feels great.  Ironman shipped his ski equipment yesterday.  I told The Engineer to check the box as soon as he got it.  No telling what Dad sent.

I have several spring decor things I'd like to do today.  I have a project going in the garage that I've neglected for a week or so.  I need to visit my weekend home - Kroger.

But first I'm having another cup of coffee in my quiet house.