Monday, May 31, 2010


My family is celebrating Memorial Day today, just as I'm sure yours is, but I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very happy holiday weekend and to share some photos with you. Yesterday, my boys and I had the privilege of joining thousands of other scouts in the St. Louis area, putting American flags on the grave sites of fallen soldiers in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. It was an amazing experience, albeit hot and muggy, but one I'm sure we'll repeat year after year.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Funny- She's Gonna Kill Me!

This past weekend I was reminded of one of my favorite childhood memories. I can't help but laugh (nearly out loud) every time I think about it.

I grew up going to a larger full gospel church in the city. Although it was a larger church, we had kind of a core group that became like family. All the kids hung out together and we shared a lot of meals together. There was one family that had eight children and the mom was very used to disciplining on a constant basis- so much so, that it really didn't matter if you were her child or not. If you were out of line, and within reach, you would be corrected by her. This was an age when this form of discipline was acceptable. It was more like being chastised by your aunt, and everyone was okay with that. And as one of the kids, you knew better than to get out of line within her reach. That was just part of the rules of the game.

We went to church on Sunday morning for more teaching and reading and Sunday evening was more for music/worship and prayer. About 50 adults would sing in the choir and I was constantly amazed at how just one look of stink eye could silence even the more rebellious teenagers in the back. It was a well known fact that if your mom or dad had to walk out of the choir pit and off the platform and into the area you were sitting, well, you were about to meet Jesus, and not through ANY form of prayer. On this particular Sunday-go-to-meeting night, we had a special musical guest. It was some band, I don't even remember the name. But they were stepping it up a notch and were laying down quite a groove in the church. Everyone was clappin' and singing and having a good time.

Little Jimmy, one of the youngest of the eight in that family, well, I just don't know what he was thinking. I mean, really, if your mother was 5'10'', big boned and had the reach of Stretch Armstrong,one would think that would be enough to quell most mischievous thoughts, let alone actions. The band is playing, and the sax player starts rippin' out fabulous this improv solo. It was along the style of Chuck Berry with a Johnny B. Good feel. Little Jimmy decided he was going to take things a step further and started dancing. Not completely uncommon in church, except that he decided to get in the middle aisle and start vigorously doing The Twist. Clearly, he was not being "moved by the Spirit", but just having himself a good time.

He didn't even have time to get "The Look". Without warning, Jimmy's mom was down from the choir pit and in one fell swoop snatched him up and began carrying him to the back of the church to the "Cry Room". While this room was used for babies and toddlers who were unsettled, we who had visited that room after our infancy knew there was an entirely different definition to "The Cry Room". Well, I don't know how Little Jimmy did it, but as his Momma was carrying him out, he managed to get out of her stronghold and he raced down the middle aisle, got to the front, dropped to his knees at the altar, threw his hands in the air and cried out:

"Pray for me preacher, 'cause she's gonna KILL me!"

Even the preacher couldn't hold it together. One by one, we gave way to sidesplitting laughter. The pastor, laughing the hardest, nearly fell out of his seat in the pulpit.

Yours, hoping you have a wonderful, fun Friday!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Thoughts- Being Aware

Every day holds SO much activity and social encounters. Get the kids ready. Pack their lunches. What am I wearing? What does my day look like? How is my Dad's sinus infection? Gotta go to the grocery and stop by Wal-mart to pick up that thing that Z2 needs for school tomorrow. And WHY is that child crying and would their mother PLEASE step in and do something NOW! Oh my word, if the person in front of me doesn't move a little faster I think I'm going to SCREEEEEEAM! Really! Could these people learn how to drive??!?! Today??!?

That's a sampling of what sometimes goes through my head. It's so easy to make a snap judgement about people and think/sometimes say things that just don't need to be said. Last night, at the dinner table, I said to my son,"You know, love, some things that you think just don't need to be spoken. Learn that now as a child and you will have a much better adult life."

I need to take my own advice. I have to work to remind myself- that mom with the screaming child? Maybe her child is sick and they HAD to go out for more diapers and medicine. She really didn't want to, but maybe she's a single mom and had no one to cover for her.

That person in front of me that is moving slowly? Maybe that is as fast as they can walk. Just because I'm in a hurry doesn't mean they need to be. Better yet, maybe I SHOULD SLOW DOWN.

The car in front of me? Maybe it's a teenager learning to drive and they don't need the pressure of an experienced driver on their tail.

There's so many reasons that I don't think about. Can't see. Because I'm so concerned with me and my things. I was really struck by Celebrity Apprentice this season and Holly Robinson Peete's work to raise awareness for Autism. It's affecting so many children, and it's not something we can see. It's not like a limp or a physical deformity that is obvious to the eye. It's something that's on the inside of people that affects how they process and express themselves. Sometimes I don't stop to think that maybe, just maybe, that child or that person is doing the best that they can and I need to slow down, be aware, and give some space.

It's not all about me. I'd like to think it is, and some days I certainly act that way, but really, it isn't. And the quicker I learn that, the better off I'll be.

Yours, knowing I'm really NOT the center of the universe, even my own!,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010


OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!! SUMMER’S HERE! NOW WHAT? It’s one thing to talk hypothetically about what to do over the summer, and about how nice it’s going to be to relax with the kids at the pool all summer, but now that it’s actually HERE, I’m going into a bit of a panic mode!

How will I schedule my exercise into my morning? (The kids HATE going to the gym with me. Not that I won’t make them go anyway, but of course I’ll have to hear the whining that goes along with it every day I drag their sorry butts there!) How will I work on the new book? (My laptop has one of those nice shiny screens that reflects everything, so when I take it outside, all I can see is ME, not what’s on the screen!) How will I keep my sanity? (There’s not enough Prozac in the world to help me with that one!)

Okay, deep breaths. You can do this, Karen. You’ve done it before, and you chose to be a WAHM, didn’t you?

So what’s different this year? Two things: First, we are SO CLOSE to finishing our new book, I hate to lose the momentum we have. But mostly, my boys, who have always gotten along so well, have suddenly become much more physical with each other. They don’t just argue, they do their best to inflict pain on one another now. Is it their age? (They turned 9 in February.) Do they spend too much time together? (If so, summer is certainly not going to help that situation.) If there are any moms of boys out there with some insight, lay it on me, because it’s driving me up a wall!

Okay, I think I’ve calmed down a bit. Wait, no I haven’t! OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!! SUMMER’S HERE!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit- Easy Recipe for Tonight

It's Tuesday, and the the Tuesday before one of my very, very, very most favorite weekends of the year. While most people will be traveling over the Memorial Day Weekend, I will be holing up with about 25 other song writers at a retreat center writing my fingers to the bone and soaking up every single drop of creative goodness. It's my songwriting New Year. This weekend is completely sacred to me as a songwriter, but that's another blog post entirely.

So to keep things simple around here, I plan meals accordingly. Nothing too fancy this week, because I have a million other things to get done. Here is one recipe (found in the Kraft Cooking Magazine) that I have used that the kids LOVE and it's quick and easy. (Warning: probably NOT Weight Watcher friendly. Sorry, Karen). Here's what you need:

Chicken Italiano Skillet

2 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 can diced tomatoes, with Italian seasonings, undrained
1 clove garlic
1 green pepper
1 cup of water
1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese dinner (Yeah, totally NOT WW friendly!)

Cook and dice the chicken. Put the chicken back in the skillet and add the green pepper (and onion, if you desire). Stir in the tomatoes, water and uncooked macaroni. (I also like to add fresh basil here). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in the Cheese Sauce until blended.



Monday, May 24, 2010


This blog post is a bit of a departure from my usual snarky self, but it’s something that’s been on my mind for a little while. You know that Melissa and I are working on our book “For My Aging Parent” dealing with organizing information when hiring a caregiver for an older adult.

A few days ago, I had a conversation about this new book with an old (but newly connected) friend who watched her father-in-law deteriorate, and eventually pass away, from Parkinson’s. She told me that one of the most profound lessons she learned was how important it was to let him make his own decisions, no matter how she, or anyone else, felt about them.

As we discussed this, I brought up examples like, “but what if those decisions will shorten his life or add to his pain or reduce his quality of life?” And she just countered with, “but aren’t those his decisions to make?”

So what do you think, readers? If your smoker Mom is dying of lung cancer but won’t give up smoking, isn’t it her right to make that decision? If Dad has lived a full and happy life and just can’t fight the fight anymore, who among us can tell him to keep fighting for that life? Or what if he hasn’t had a full, happy life? What if his life has been full of misery and hardships, and he just doesn’t want to prolong it anymore, who are we to tell him he must? Maybe accepting death is the right thing for some folks, and by giving them our blessing, it would make it easier on them, instead of covering them in a blanket of guilt.

When my dad was getting worse, and we knew that depression was setting in, it seemed that all he wanted to do was sit in his chair and watch TV. After having had such an active life, it was painful for my sisters and I to watch this, so we tried to come up with activities for him, such as volunteer work. We’d get so aggravated, though, because he just wasn’t interested. To us, it looked like he was just sitting there, waiting to die. You know what? Maybe he was. And in retrospect, if that’s what he wanted to do, we should have respected that and maybe just gone to sit with him more often.

We all do what we do out of love. We don’t want to see our loved ones die, so we do what we can to keep them alive. So as my title asks, who’s making the decisions? Us… or them?


Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Fun- I'm STILL Random

I have to say, dear readers, I'm just not feeling very funny today. I might even be a little bit cranky. Perhaps I'm coming up on a Personal Safety Day. They take a bit to brew, and you know, if I'm going to go all out and declare one, I figure I should really work it and make it a good one.

This morning was borderline. The Hub was being rather annoying. And I looked at my son and said,"Go smack your father, please."

And he did! He walked right up to him and said,"This is from Mom." and laid one right on The Hub's booty (And my kids don't hold back. They can smack!)

Don't you love it when obedience kicks in? Why can't it be like this when I say,"Go make your bed" or "Stop annoying your brother"?

And in other news, Day 10 out of 12 that it has been raining here in The Lou. I don't know how much more my psyche or my hair can take. Think Mulberry Bush. In fact, just look at the painting at the top of this blog and imagine my face in it. I like to think of it as performance art. I call it "The Chaos Within". That's about the state of things!

My neighbor brought some of his wine over yesterday. I'm not talking dandelion wine. Or strawberry wine. He's a kiwi transplant and he works his vineyards in New Zealand and Oregon. I bought a case of his Savignon Blanc (yes, it was a total splurge, but well worth it) and he was bringing it downstairs for me. He takes it over to the shelf, only to find that I still had three bottles of his Pinot Noir left. He looks at me and says (in his British New Zealand accent),"From LAST year? Man, Melissa! You've got a drinking problem! That should have been drunk a LONG time ago!"

BTW, if anyone does have an interest in wines, you can see his wines here. You will want to look at the wines that are from the New Zealand vineyards (Marlborough, McGinlay's Vineyard). The Oregon wines are nice, but the NZea wines, wow!

But here's to Friday, obedience in the right moment, new wine flavors and hair that continues to grow, for all of which I am thankful. Have a fabulous weekend, Mac-n-Chick Readers!

Yours, wishing the rain would give me a little space so I could miss it,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday Thoughts- So, so small!

Why is it with every milestone my children reach they look smaller?


This past Tuesday, after begging to do this all year, and of course, being encouraged by The Hub, who was absolutely NOWHERE around to facilitate this event, my son rode his bike to school. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but when he's only in third grade and has to cross a major road with FIVE LANES OF TRAFFIC, this becomes the point where I think I need a sedative. I was a wreck all morning, well into the day, and frankly, getting him home wasn't a picnic either.

My son, on the other hand, did amazingly well. He used the cross walks, obeyed the traffic signals, looked both ways every time. My other mommy friends were watching him and helping him along too. All eight of us were beaming with pride. Well, they were beaming. I was ready to puke.

You would think I could cut the cord by now, but I have to tell you, he looked entirely too small next to those cars. I don't think this is going to happen again until at LEAST college.

If he's lucky.

Yours, knowing the days are long, but the years are so, so short,


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


After today, only 6 more school days. My kids are doing happy dances, and I’m just trying to figure out how to fit everything in that I’ve been putting off all school year.

So this week alone, I have scheduled a massage (hey, the last one I had was in December, so I’m due), a dentist appointment (okay, so it’s been a year since my last appointment, probably last year at this time when I was scheduling stuff before school let out) and a hair appointment (can’t go into summer without the appropriate highlights).

Next week, a couple of doctor appointments. Plus I have to somehow squeeze in some lunches since I won’t be “lunching” for 3 months with my girlfriends. Instead, if it’s lunch out, it will be a picnic at a park or McDonalds with the boys!

My point is this: DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO DO ALL THIS CRAP! I mean, really! I got my dentist appointment reminder 6 months ago. I’ve been due for a color and cut at the hair salon for weeks now. Why, every year, do I scramble the last weeks of the school year to get all of MY stuff done?

Oh, I remember. Because I’m a MOM!

So my lesson of the day is this (and of course I say it to all of you, but find it difficult to take my own advice): Take care of yourself, and you’re better able to take care of your kids. Or if you are your parent’s caretaker, or your spouse’s, the same rule applies. Take care of your own doctor appointments, or hair or massages or whatever it is that you need to do.

Okay, that’s my preaching for the day. Hmmm, how many lunches can I have in the next 6 days?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit- It never occurred to me. . .

Good morning! Melissa here, working to finish up that legalities section of the book. All I can say is, there's a reason I did not go into law. I actually scored quite well on the personality test. Myers-Briggs said I should become a lawyer or college professor. Yes, I could have made a lot more money for my somewhat debative and analytical nature, but I so much more prefer Beethoven over elder care law. Maybe I should go back to school to become an entertainment lawyer. Hmmmmm . . .

Anyhow, so I'm putting together the list of all the documents you should have in place for your parents. It's rather saddening, really, when you have to think about it, but I'd much rather be prepared when I can look at it while they are healthy and in my mind be saying,"Yes. I will not need this for a very, very long time!" than wait until the need is there and think,"MAN! I should have done this! Now I don't know what to do!"

But here's the thing I never though about. I'm all for being prepared, but I have this habit of preparing things and then "putting it in a special place so I will know exactly where it is when I need it" and forgetting where that place is. Uh, hello! Not good. A resounding thread in all of the research on these papers is to KEEP THEM ACCESSIBLE. Do not keep medical directives in a safety deposit box.

Honestly, that's the first place I would put them, right? Because it's a legal document and I don't want to lose it or ruin it. But you have to have it on hand. And it makes sense because who in their right mind (right mind being the operative phrase, here, which, BTW, I think it's been a long time since that has happened for me. . . but I digress...) will think to or even want to stop by the bank in the middle of an emergency getting their parent to the hospital?

So, in regards to medical directives, keep them accessible. Make copies and give them to your siblings so that someone will have them on hand. Better for four copies to show up at the hospital then none at all and have your parent's wishes completely disregarded.

And in other tidbit news. . . . the sun is shining in St. Louis for the first time in EIGHT. LONG. RAINY Days! YAY for sun! If it's pretty weather where you are, get out and enjoy it!



Sunday, May 16, 2010


You've heard me talk about Jen Lancaster before, and even review her books, Bitter Is The New Black, among others. But the other night, I had the pleasure of going to see her in person, not really sure what to expect. Would she live up to my expectations? Would she be as funny in person as she is in her books? By the end of the evening, would I still love, love, love her?


This woman is SO. DAMN. FUNNY! I don't want to sound like a groupie (even though I totally am) but I want to be her BFF! First she read a chapter from her book, inserting even MORE footnotes (she writes with footnotes kind-of the way I put little notes in parentheses and NO, I didn't get it from her...probably) then she answered questions from the audience. All in all, she was up there for a bit more than an hour, which was way longer than any of us expected.
After that, of course she signed books for us. Since she FOLLOWS ME ON TWITTER, I had her sign mine: To Karen, my Twitter Pal! You know, since she FOLLOWS ME. (Can you tell I'm really excited about that?) She even took pictures with anyone who asked (see left!).
I can't really review her new book, My Fair Lazy, yet because I'm still reading it, but I can say that it's as funny as all of her others. Actually, the full title is My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is The New Black, Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto. Hmmmm!

So be sure to pick up her new book, or any of her other ones. If you want to get an idea of her writing style, take a look at her blog. Be aware that she cusses a lot, but it just adds to her charm! Jen Lancaster is one snarky lady!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Funny- Medical Issues

My funny friend Tara strikes again. Take a look at some of these!


1. A man comes into the ER and yells . . ."My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!"

I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's

dress and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs - - - and I was in the wrong one.

Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald,

San Francisco

2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly

and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. "Big breaths," I instructed.

"Yes, they used to be," replied the patient.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes,

Seattle , WA

3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had

died of a "massive internal fart".

Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg

Yours, wishing you a fabulous Friday!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday Thoughts- I'm Random

Yes, I forgot to blog on Tuesday. I'm so sorry. I blame it on the drugs. :-)

I've been sick for the last week- no voice for four days. Seriously- all I could do was whisper. My kids loved it. They thought they had complete reign of the joint. I put a stop to that immediately. Amazing what can happen when you take the media fix away from children. Snaps their bottoms in line pretty quickly.

I'm thankful for my doc, who called in the script without making me drive all the way into the city while I felt like poo. The trade-off is, of course, I have to come in for my yearly check-up next month, but at least he doesn't make me do both. I can live with that.

We are so close to the first complete rough draft of The Caregiver Organizer for my aging parent. In a couple of weeks, we'll be ready to give it to close associates who will go through it and tell us what they think. That's always a little nerve racking. After all, who wants to hear that their baby is ugly, right?

And for now, I have two more weeks of the kids being in school, while my school gig is finished for the summer. Oh how I treasure May. Love, love, love the month of May!

Yep, completely stream of consciousness today. But hey, at least I'm conscious. Which beats the last five days of zombiedom. I'll take it!

Yours, now getting ready to play catch-up,


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


As some of you know, over the past year or so, I have been slowly yet successfully losing weight and getting in shape through exercise and changing how I eat (with the help of Weight Watchers). One of my favorite ways to burn calories has been taking spin classes at the gym. Okay, I have a confession to make (don’t you just love my confessions?). Until I took a tour of my new gym and they showed me the spin room with all those shiny bikes in there, I thought spin classes had something to do with dancing. (You know, spinning around or something. Right?) I have a friend who, to this day, will still do a little twirl sometimes when I mention I’m going to spin class!

So let me tell you first why I started going to these classes. Because somebody told me I shouldn’t! Really! It was early in my working-out days, and I mentioned to a friend (who is very physically fit) that I was thinking of trying it out, and she told me she thought I should get in better shape first. Hmmmph! I showed her! (Actually when I brought this up to her a few months ago, she couldn’t believe she ever said this to me and was even more proud of me that I tried it and stuck with it!)

Here’s why I stick with it: I can’t embarrass myself! In step or dance classes, I just can’t seem to pick up the moves fast enough, so I end up bumping into people or doing the wrong thing. But in spin class, I can’t make a wrong move! All I have to do is pedal! And if I get tired, nobody has to know that I took resistance off for a little bit while I recharged my energy. But in a step class, they would surely notice if I stopped moving for a while!

Now the spin instructors are all over the board. There are instructors who just stay up there and pedal and tell you what to do in a very monotone voice and are very boring. I stay away from their classes! However, I also stay away from the ones who DON’T STOP TALKING THE ENTIRE TIME! Good music is a must. Being motivating is absolutely necessary. And good videos are definitely a plus. Most instructors just use the videos that the gym supplies (Bike-O-Rama-Vision through different parts of the country – yawn, various bike races – double yawn), but I have one instructor who actually puts different music videos together for our rides. Even cheesy 80’s videos! I love those days! (Thanks, Karen K!)

So if you’ve never tried a spin class, go for it!. Yes, your butt will hurt like hell for a couple of days, but it really does go away if you keep going to class. As my “music video” instructor says, don’t worry, you don’t get calluses on your butt, either. If she did, her husband wouldn’t let her teach these classes!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Wow, have you seen all the choices out there for your kids this summer? There are camps for any and every interest, sport, activity or anything your child might have the slightest inclination to try. There are all day camps, morning only camps, or overnight camps. You can send them to summer school, tutoring or any number of services to help your child in school.

All of these are great. IN MODERATION. But, WOW, you can really get carried away with all these choices, can’t you? Of course, I understand when parents have to work and don’t get a 3 month vacation themselves, these alternatives are fabulous. But when there’s a parent or nanny at home, I have one word for you concerning your child: RELAX! You relax, let them relax, and just spend a relaxing summer with your kids. I tried it last summer and we ended up having a great time. Yes, I enrolled them in a couple of morning camps, just so they could get some energy out, and yes they had to go to the gym with me so I could get my energy out, but otherwise, it was pool time, Lego's, reading, parks, and whatever else we could think of to do together. (Don’t get me wrong, I was still happy when school started again, but in a strange way, I was a bit wistful also!)

Just think about it. Instead of a hectic summer of driving from here to there all day long, all summer long, how about buying a pool pass and just hanging out for 3 months? Hmmm, tempting, isn’t it?

Now for my shameless book plug! You’ll probably need a bit more childcare over the summer than during the school year, so to keep all your ducks in a row, be sure to use The Caregiver Organizer. It organizes all that information about your little ones into a clear and concise format for your sitters, so they don’t need to call you every five minutes asking you questions. And for reading our blog, you get 25% off an eBook by using coupon code “caregiver25” at checkout on our website. Just go to and get yours today!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Funny- In the Spirit of the Children's Medicine Recall

Have you seen the news lately? There's been a huge recall for some over the counter cold medicine for children. Something like 40 different products. Reminds me of the time my son, Z1 overdosed on Benadryl. NOT good.

I had been adamant with my husband about keeping the cough syrup and such put away because it had a flavor the kids liked. They were only 2 and 4, so really, no understanding of what medicine could do if you took too much. I was gone that morning and came home and found the bottle of Benadryl with a loose cap on the sink in the kids' bathroom. I asked my husband what it was doing there and he said he had given Z1 some for allergies that morning. After a conversation and notice that a LOT of the medicine had been used, I went to find my son. Here's what Benadryl does to a four year old when he has too much of it at one in the afternoon:

1. Makes him climb up on the table and jump off.

2. Makes him catch imaginary butterflies (I'm NOT kidding!).

3. Makes him giggle endlessly and sing VERY loud.

4. Makes him run circles around the house.

5. Keeps him awake WELL past 11 pm.

Obviously, we went NO WHERE that day, because having a four year old who is on a Benadryl induced high is not something you want to take to the graduation party we were supposed to be at that day. And this is the reason why, even though they are now 7 and 9, I STILL keep all the meds up and put away.

Yours, hoping SOMEONE got a giggle out of this, because it was a long time before WE did,


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday Thoughts- A Completely Unorganized Day

I know, right? Did you READ that title? Seriously- me? An unplanned day? Unorganized? No appointments? The last time that happened was when The Hub MADE me pack the bags for Spring Break. Even then, I still had to organize every one's clothes and think through what we would and wouldn't need, activities for the kids, meals and such. Vacation is rarely a vacation for the mom.

But today, I have no appointments until 7 pm and I have to say, I'm just giddy about it. The kids are away at school. The Hub is working all day today and will be working long hours as he is installing a new computer server next week. The house is insanely quiet and I have a sudden urge to turn up the music and dance because, well, because I can and there is no one around and no to do list to stop me!

Don't get me wrong. I actually have a list a mile long, but I'm not looking at it right now, because, well, frankly, I don't have any deadlines today so I really don't give a flying flip.

The only kicker is that I have a cold that is kicking my tail. I've sneezed eight times in the last sentence.

But sometimes you just have to say,"I'm having an unplanned, unorganized day. I'm going to make myself some (French Press, thank you) coffee, take my blank book and go sit on the deck and dream for a while. And if I feel like it, I will fold the laundry when I come in. And if I don't, they are old enough to find it in the basket. (Note to self: This summer, make the kids learn how to sort, wash and fold laundry. I think they are old enough. They have to learn sometime. No time like the present!)

So excuse me, but the tea kettle is whistling and there is a beautiful spot on the deck waiting for me. Happy Thursday, and may you take at least 30 minutes for yourself to be completely unplanned and unorganized.

Yours, pouring the water now,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010


We opened the pool a few weeks ago, but in true St. Louis form, it got cold again, so it remained empty. Until the other night when it finally got warm enough (thanks to the weather and the heater!) and my husband and the boys just couldn’t take it anymore. Not me, of course. Warm water isn’t enough for me. It has to be warm air also. I can’t have the part of my body that’s sticking out of the water cold, and I can’t be cold when I get out. Weird, I know, but I had fun watching them and taking pictures!

007 001

003 002

004 008



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit- The Legalities of It All

Melissa here, and I've come to the legalities section of the book. OY. So much to look at, think about,to know and know where everything is located. While I will feel much better when I have this section written, I have to tell you, looking at all the things to consider, I am completely overwhelmed (kind of like Karen and Spring Cleaning!) The more I write, the more I think, "Man, I could not begin to imagine having to deal with all of this kind of stuff without my parent's input as to where all the papers are, or what their wishes are on how things are handled." Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking forward to it at any point, but having to sort it out on my own would NOT be pretty. I mean, hey, I'm doing good to keep my OWN papers organized!

One of the big things to consider is knowing where all of the documents are. I tend to be one of those people who puts things in a manila folder and files alphabetically. Yes. My husband makes fun of me. But about six times a year, he stops laughing when after he searches for a particular paper for about three hours, I can find it in the file in less than five minutes. It seems like it could be a lot of work, but if you do it now, it's less headache and stress later.

Now consider this: what happens if all of a sudden your parent goes into the hospital and someone needs to take over making sure the bills get paid in time or making crucial financial decisions for your parent. Would you even know to begin? Would you know where to look for the needed papers? Where DO they keep all their financial and legal (birth cert., property deeds, will, etc) documents?

I know. Overwhelming, right? Hopefully, once we get finished with the book, it won't be.

Yours, wading through the waters for you,


Monday, May 3, 2010


In my house, I don’t do Spring Cleaning so much. It’s more of Spring Organizing. If you know me at all, you know this fact: I DON’T CLEAN! Now don’t worry, I don’t make my family live in filth, I just hire out the cleaning part. No, it’s not like I’m rolling in the money, it’s just that Idaisies know where my priorities are, and having somebody else clean my house is definitely one of my top priorities. Even when I didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together, I still had a maid. (Woops, I mean housekeeper. Is that the more politically correct way of saying it?) Seriously, give me a toilet brush, and I’m going to wonder if I’m supposed to clean the oven with it! (I know, ewww, right?)

So while the housekeeper (I’ll say this because I know I’m supposed to, but even she calls herself the maid!) takes care of the Spring Cleaning, I’m doing my Spring Organizing. My first step is to eradicate all memories of winter. So even though we may still see some chilly nights, too bad. All winter clothes are put away and summer clothes are out. No more of having both seasons crammed into the closets and drawers. Bye bye sweaters, hello swimsuits!

That’s the most pressing project. After that, it’s just taking a look at things that need to be done. But to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed, I could go about this many different ways. The key here is to just don’t organized shoes try to do it all at once. How do I do it? I start with what annoys me the most! This weekend it was my closet! Changing out the clothes was a great start, but it needed so much more than that. After the closet, I moved to the laundry room. (And hey, as long as I was working on the laundry room, why not do laundry? Who says I’m no good at multi tasking?)

Anyway, you get the idea. I had no illusions of getting the entire house organized in one day, even one weekend. I was darn proud of myself for doing as much as I did! So whether you’re Spring Cleaning or Spring Organizing, break it down into manageable projects and take them one at a time. You’ll see, soon the important ones will get done, and the others will follow eventually!