Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to the Real World

It's kind of like a cold, winter wind.... brings you back to reality in a flash.

Yes, I'm talking about the day after a holiday weekend. The day on which I was to resume blogging. But we all know how good I am at forgetting to blog on Wednesday. I mean, Monday. I'm so good at it, which would explain why this post is taking place at 3:28 AM on Tuesday morning. (Note to self: This seemed like a good idea to blog at the time, when I could not sleep and was going through the hundreds of emails in my inbox-Thank you Cyber Monday!. But it might not look that way in the morning light.....)

We hope you had a good Thanksgiving. The B house fared pretty well. Nice dinner. Good family time. Some Christmas shopping and all the decorations are up.... including all of my white lights and poinsettias. (Yes, it's my addiction. I can't help myself).

Except this year, I forgot to check the lights BEFORE I put them up.


These are the moments that I cannot process whether Christmas lights are a blessing or a curse. I like to hang green garlands wrapped with white lights over the archway between the studio and the living room (formal living room and family room). And this year, after spending a half hour getting them equal and looking just right, I plug them in and Viola! Nuthin.

Hate that.

Off to Walmart I go to purchase lights immediately. My light lesson that I learned last year is: Don't wait on buying white Christmas lights. Contrary to popular belief, Walmart will actually run out of them. Which would probably be why my lights were not working in the first place because I did not get to replace them at the end of the season last year.

Double ARGH!

And so it begins... my yearly obsession with white lights and poinsettias. I wish I could say I was getting better. But we all know, the older we get, the more some ways become ingrained.

Oh well. I've always believed that when it comes to Christmas, every room needs white lights and poinsettias and you just can't have too much. So really, I guess I'm not any worse, just more firm in my belief, right?

Yours, off to play with the lights (yes, at 3 in the morning!)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


thanksgiving Melissa and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you, our readers, for supporting us.  We know you could fly other airlines – Oh Woops, that’s Southwest Airlines!  I’ll try again… We know there are thousands of blogs out there that you could be reading, but you have chosen our little blog to brighten your day, and we love you for that!

So as we count our blessings for you, our families and our dinner tables tomorrow, we ask that you do the same.  And let’s all remember those not as fortunate as us this time of year, and keep our wallets and hearts open to them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

You Never Think It Will Be You

It's Monday, and you know what that means- Monday Madness! I should probably rename it The Monday Marathon. The good news- only 3 more classes to go after tonight, and one of those classes is the final exam. Yee-ha!

Here in the B house, one of the Z kids is dealing with a situation at school. With all the talk in the news about bullying, you would think that we're all over it and it should be a non-issue, right? Not so for one of my Zs. It has not gotten to a point of being physical or that I'm ready to pull my kids from the school, but it is to the point where it has been turned over to the school counselor.

My question is: As a parent, how little or how much do I get involved?

I've been raising the flag a few times this fall. And I did it again on Thursday morning with the teacher. And wouldn't you know it, another incident took place at lunch on Friday. When I found out, I was just boiling. You know, that protective mama bear thing comes out and I'm ready to start telling people exactly how I feel and how they need to be acting. I'm not saying everyone has to be a great big happy family. I know that's not possible. But at least can we treat each other with respect?

So today, I decided to do a little investigating of my own. I simply showed up at lunch, with lunch for my Z. I sat myself right down at Z's table. I think the classmates may have knew- the one instigating the bullying in particular- that something was up. I just chatted away with each of them as if we were having a party at the house. But I hope that kid got my message- that my eyes are open and I'm watching.....

Is that wrong? How involved would you get if it was YOUR child?

Yours, hoping for some sound advice from faithful readers,


Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Fun-I'm Just Glad It's Friday!!!!

Congratulations to Storm, from Confessions of a Psychotic Housewife who won our giveaway last week. Take a second and check out her blog. She's a lot of fun and loves to give things away. And just the fact that she can own up and call herself a psychotic housewife makes her pretty cool in my book. (Like I tell my students, it's only called high maintenance when we impose our satisfying of our needs on others. If I'm fulfilling them all on my own, you can't call me high maintenance. See? I own it.... in my own way... without imposing it on others... :-)

Don't know about you, but I'm really glad it's Friday. I mean really, really glad. I still have a long weekend ahead of me at work, but just the fact that today is Friday gives me an air of relief. I can't explain it, but it does. YAY for us! Woo-hoo! As if the word "Friday" gives us permission to breathe and relax. To not take ourselves so seriously. To laugh a little more. To do something on impulse.

So imagine me tooling around The Lou and getting errands done today (already scratched four off my list!) singing something like,"Shake your grooooove thang, shake your grooove thang, yeah!yeah!......yeah!yeah!!!"

Yours, toasting to Fridays and all they imply,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


danger As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, my friend’s step-mother passed away this summer. I am very close to the family, and consider her parents my extra set of parents, especially since I lost my father a few years ago and my mom lives so far away. So her dad, who I’ll just refer to as “Dad” from here on out in this post, has been very lonely, as one would expect. (Note: women are WAY better at being alone than men, have you noticed that?)

So Dad and I are at lunch the other day, and he announces to me that he’s thinking of letting his female mail carrier move in with him.


Apparently, she offered to sell her house and come move in and take care of him. (Yeah right, I’m thinking!)

Here are his reasons for saying yes: They’ve known her for about 5 years, when she gets to their house, she’ll just come in without knocking, get a soda, sit down and have her lunch with them, he really likes her, she’ll cook for him, (and here’s the biggie) he’ll have somebody to talk to.

Here are my reasons for saying no, or at least slowing the process up until I can do some research: I have never met her, questionsshe will have access to all of his personal information, he’s too trusting, I need to do a background check, I need to have a  written contract on what each of them expect from the other, WHY is she willing to do this, I mean, what’s in it for her, I need to know about what kind of men she will be bringing into the house if she plans on dating, and will she be bringing family into the house…

MY list goes on and on. 

Maybe I’m too jaded, but from the research Melissa and I did writing The Caregiver Organizer for MY Aging Parent (shameless plug), I read too many articles about caregivers taking advantage of their care-takers.  I saw too much abuse and stealing.  In fact, it just happened in a huge way to a friend’s grandmother.

Luckily, the mail carrier started dating a man from church and decided that moving in with Dad wasn’t the best idea at this time. Actually, that makes me feel better about her!

My point is this: He’s lonely and vulnerable right now. Heck, he just had a date and asked her to move in during the first date. Now he can’t figure out why she won’t call him back! (Yes, we had a long talk about that one!) Watch your parents and elderly friends and relatives. What may seem like meddling to them is really just watching out for their best interests (well, as long as you’re really not meddling).


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Mania and Armchair Quaterbacks

I'm reflecting on the weekend. The B Family made our annual pilgrimage to The Hub's Mecca- Mizzou. Being a Wildcat, it can be somewhat unsettling to be around SO much black and gold. The one thing we BOTH agree on is that it's a good thing neither of us is a Jayhawk. Eeeewwww. My entire being shudders at the thought.

The weatherman said it would be 55- cold but sunny. HA. They turned on the stadium lights at 1:30 because the day was so dark. The windchill was 33 degrees. Good thing I brought those blankets. The Hub insisted I wouldn't need them, but my inner thermostat refused to listen. I know my limits.

The stadium at Mizzou is nice. The fans are wonderful. Personally, I just don't think there is any area that does it any better than Missouri when it comes to sporting events. The fans know how to love their teams. We are, after all, a Cardinal Nation and we DO bleed Blue for our hockey team.

I will admit, though, when my daughter asked me if the Rams were a professional football team, I was unsure of how to answer. Truthfully. "Baby, they're on their way up!" I replied. She seemed satisfied, so I pursued the matter no further.

I watched the game with great fervor. I love the intricacies and beauty of football. Yes, I said the word beauty. I mean, have you seen the athleticism in how high those receivers can jump? And how they juke their way around the defense? Or how about the quarterback that can resist the urge to throw under pressure, wait that extra second and find his mark.... It really is a thing of beauty.

Here's my issue.... for as long as we have been going to any sort of stadium/arena event... any event where there are masses and masses of people...


Seriously! I mean, we put a man on the moon forty+ years ago! We can implicate people in crimes through DNA evidence! We can feed 3rd world countries!

It's not rocket science. So much so that when we went to CJ's for wings later and there was a line outside of the men's room, but not the ladies room, I nearly took a picture. I just don't know that I will see that again in my lifetime. And it only took the men one second to realize why I was so befuddled..... One of them even said,"Yes, it's true. We are waiting in line for the MENS room. Yours is over there."

To top it off, I walk into the ladies room and THERE IS A MAN COMING OUT OF THE STALL! I wasn't quite sure how to take this. Was I living in a dream? He BLUSHED and said, "I'm sorry, I just couldn't wait."

To which I replied," I feel your pain."

Yours, wondering if instances like THAT is what it will take to solve the problem,


Friday, November 12, 2010


Hey! Karen's away. Do you think I should post? I'm feeling a little mischievous today. Hmmmm.... I know!

In lieu of posting a funny today, let's do a giveaway. First person to be able to tell me who said this quote will get a free download of our The Caregiver Organizer for MY Aging Parent. Here's the quote:

"Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that's down can come up."

No googling, either! :-)

Yours, wishing you a happy Friday!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I don’t know, maybe I have adult ADD. Maybe it’s not justadult add random forgetfulness and disorganization and old age. Maybe, just maybe, I can blame it on something else!

Here’s a sampling of what’s going on in my brain right now:

  1. Okay, it’s 75 degrees outside, but for sure, if I bring out some clothes to wear, it will immediately turn cold again, so what’s the point. By the way, what to wear today when the boys are swimming in the indoor pool at the YMCA earning a cub scout badge, cuz it’s going to be really hot in there?
  2. Somehow I need to get DH to sew my curtains before my jewelry party that I’m hosting next week.  Hmmm, how to do that?
  3. And how to get everyone to really clean the house while I’m out of town this weekend so it looks good for the party?
  4. In fact, how to keep them from totally destroying the house?
  5. I think our calendar for cub scouts ends at the end of this year.  We still have January through May to plan for. Ugh!
  6. How am I going to arrange the furniture for the jewelry party? And exactly what am I serving?
  7. When am I packing for my trip to Dallas? Don’t forget to check in tomorrow morning so I’m in Group A.
  8. Gotta start planning for Thanksgiving.  When is it again?
  9. Don’t forget charity pickup before you leave for Dallas in the morning.
  10. Maybe DH can get my laptop fixed while I’m in Dallas. Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!
  11. I’m really behind on my Dr. Phil's and Oprah’s.  When, oh when, will I EVER catch up????

It just gets even more boring and crazy from there.  Does everyone have this problem?  (Please say yes!)  Besides organizing my desk, I need to organize my BRAIN!

Hmmm, maybe that’s an idea for our next book…


Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Monday!

Monday, are you here already? But I was having such a lovely time with Saturday and Sunday and now you come to spoil the party....

Maybe I shouldn't think of it as "spoiling the party". Maybe you're just here to help me appreciate Saturdays and Sundays.... this is going to require more coffee than initially planned.

We've been working hard here- getting our books all into digital format. Karen is a madwoman on the computer, which is a good thing because, me? Well, not so much! I can feverishly type an outline, email or chatting conversation, but ask me to do something beyond that? HA! I'm still terrified of the delete button and have learned how much "Control Z" is my friend.

Wouldn't it be lovely to have "Control Z" option in real life? You know, that lovely function on your computer that let's you undo the last few things you did so if you accidentally screw something up it goes back to the way it was before? Say something stupid.... Control Z! Spent too much money on an impulse? Control Z! Ate too much candy on Halloween night? Control Z! Wasted too much time on facebook when you should have been writing? Control Z!

Oh, Monday- WHERE is your control Z function?

Yours, drinking an extra shot of coffee this morning, but knowing that even without "Control Z" it will all be just fine,


Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fun- Out of the Mouths of Tweens...

I took Z1 to see the doctor yesterday. Just a regular checkup. But Z1 was concerned about a few things, so ever wanting to encourage him to take responsibility, I let him ask the doc a few questions. He is, after all, nine, and officially a tween. (Did I just type that? I think I'm going to need to pour a glass of wine...)

So the conversation went a little like this....

Z1: Hey Doc, look at these little bumps on the back of my neck.. a little lower there...

Doc: Mmhmmm...

Z1: What are those? Permanent goosebumps? They won't go away.

Doc: Well, Z1, those are called kerablabbityblabbityblahblah and you might get them on the back of your arm, sometimes on your legs and ocassionally on your face. They will get be worse at some times of the year and less during other seasons. But there's no medication or cream for it. Do you understand what I mean?

Z1: What you're saying is, that's just how my body works and I need to get over it?

Doc: (suppressing a giggle) Uhm, yep. Pretty much.

Doc looks at me as if to say,"Yeah, Mom, he's been listening all along..."

Yours, wondering how I get him to listen to other things, too,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Halloween begins my downhill spiral into my eating frenzy.  For the next 2 months, I will have to use every ounce of will power Icandy have not to constantly be shoving candy and cookies and pie and potatoes into my mouth at every given opportunity. 

As I sit here, writing this blog post in my office, I can hear the “fun size” candy having a party downstairs, calling my name to come join them, inviting me to eat them.  Taunting me.  Laughing at me.  Yes, daring me!

But, of course Halloween is just the beginning.  Then comes the carb-fest of Thanksgiving.  Really, the turkey is only the centerpiece of the meal.  The decoration.  The main dishes are the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the sweet potato pie.  And of course the desserts.  Oh, the pies and the cakes and the cookies! (Oops, I think I just drooled on myself!)

christmas cookies Then, the ultimate…Christmas!  Only, it’s not just the Christmas Day meal.  Oh, no.  It’s all the baking and the parties leading up to that lovely dinner.  (Not to mention we probably will still have leftover Halloween candy and desserts from Thanksgiving for a while!) So it’s an entire month of eating, or trying not to eat, all those unhealthy choices.

So what’s a gal to do?  Deep breath, repeat millions of times over the next 2 months: “I will be strong, I will be strong…!”


Monday, November 1, 2010

Mom's Day Off

I know, right? Did you read that title? Does such a thing exist? If you are the primary caregiver in your family, you will know that it is a RARE occurrence. It's nearly a myth. I've heard of such an idea before, but short of grabbing the keys and heading west alone, it may not happen. :-)

It's Monday, and I'm coming down with something. I slept last night for ten hours straight with no dreams and woke in a foggy haze. Not my norm- especially the ten hours part. Just doesn't happen!

And if you read my schedule from last week, you'll know that Monday is NOT the day for me to have the flu. Seriously. Good thing the sitter comes today. Good thing the book is there.

I think maybe our next book should be about getting a Mommy Day Off: How To Find and Navigate That Mythical Concept.

Of course, that might require an actual experience! The truth is though, when that day finally comes, I will probably wish for my craziness back. Here at the B house, my Z1 is (ahem) subtly letting me know that it is no longer cool to show him affection (or require it of him) in front of ANY of his peers. This has been a hard one for me to take. I pretty much had to let him know that showing his mother affection, should he want to continue his present and current life comfort level, was non-negotiable. He still continues to try to negotiate. The point is, I found myself wishing for the moments from when he was about 18 months old and he would endlessly sit in my lap, putting together the same puzzle over and over and over again. It drove me crazy some days, and now, I would definitely do that puzzle with him a few more times.

So here's to Monday Madness. Here's to routine. Here's to sitters in place and even when I'm not feeling like it, trying to suck out every moment of life that I can!

Yours, thinking a pillow and blanket sounds REALLY good about now,