Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas One and All!

It's those last few days before Christmas. Last night I stayed up until 2:30 AM. Call me crazy, but the cards are finished and all of my wrapping (uhm, at least for the presents that have been purchased!) is complete. Now, on to my dwindling list. 

It can be hard to remember why we do this every single year. But as the stress piles on over the next 48, remember, this is a season about giving. Every Christmas story holds that eternal truth.... more blessed to give than to receive. May you have a very, Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!


PS- Karen and I will return after the New Year. Have a wonderful Christmas Break!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Fun- Bringing Home Christmas

Christmas is a week away! Amazing how exciting that phrase can be for children, yet strike terror in the heart of adults who still have a long list of things to get accomplished. :) (Uh, that would be me, but what's new, right? Flying by the seat of my pants seems like my way of life this year!)And while I know this is supposed to be the day of the week where I characteristically poke fun at myself or tell you of my latest shenanigans, I have to share this article with you.  Read it all the way down. It's completely worthy of it. 
This, my friends, is exactly what Christmas is all about -reaching out and giving. Seeing beyond ourselves an into the life of someone else. Making life brighter and offering hope, even just a glimmer for a moment. Helping people believe that there is good in the world, and we are not a completely lost and hopeless cause. Christmas is about our most basic of human needs- to love and be loved.
May we all reach out in some way this Christmas!

Yours, keeping my eyes open,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I was in the locker room the other day, talking to a friend of mine, when something came up that led to the fact that I am old enough to be her mother. A teenage mother, yes, but her mother nonetheless!

And then she said something to me that I’ve heard several times before. She said, “Oh Karen, you don’t look 49, you look great!” It was at that moment that I realized that that statement really isn’t the compliment I always thought it was. That’s what youngOld-Women-1 people say to old people when they want them to feel better about being old!

No, really! Think about it. What else are they going to say? “WOW! You’re 49? Really? You ARE old enough to be my mother! Holy Cow!!! Here, sit down, you must be exhausted from that walk in from the parking lot. Can I get you anything?”

Of course they aren’t going to say that! They’re going to say how great I look…for my age. That’s like saying that dress looks great…on me. (It would look hideous on anybody else, but you can pull it off, Karen!) A left-handed compliment at best if you think about it!

Ha ha! Okay, I’ll cut those youngsters some slack and let them “compliment” me if it’ll make them feel better. But I don’t promise anything once I turn 50!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Trails

Rabbit trails, that is. I'm the queen of it. My students are always trying to get me to rabbit trail. I think they make it a game of bets. But I'm on to them. I've got their number now! Of course, I just gave the rest of my final exams...

I know I didn't blog yesterday. I think I'm rebelling. Life has been full of so many deadlines and appointments and lists and tasks lately that yesterday I just refused to blog. Oh, I tried, but to no avail. this must be a symptom of something deeper, no? 

Nevertheless, now that finals are done and I'm not doing any services or performances until Christmas Eve, it's time for The Great Dig Out. I would take a picture of my office, but it's a little embarrassing. There are at least six piles of something to be sorted and completed. I can't help it. I try to keep it tidy, but when I get really busy as I have been lately, it just all goes into it's separate pile. I know right where everything is, it just doesn't look very nice. 

Maybe while I'm sorting, I'll do some life sorting as well... Hmmmm.....

Yours, feeling extra contemplative on this rainy day,


Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Funny- O Christmas Tree, Poor Christmas Tree!

Christmas Tip #438

I thought this might be a helpful tip for our dear readers. Let's just say I know this is true from personal experience.

If you have wood floors, and an ornament falls from the tree, it will break. When it shatters everywhere, naturally you will want to clean it up. You may use a broom, but more than likely a vacuum.

When you get the vacuum, you will need to use the attachment in order to get all the shards up. When you use that attachment, be very, very careful that you don't accidentally suck up the tree skirt that is wrapped and buttoned around the bottom of that tree as if it grew there. 

Because artificial Christmas trees have a tendency to slide on wood floors. And they slide fast. Just sayin'.

Yours, taking a break from cleaning up under the Christmas tree,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I don’t know why, but this one just made me laugh! It was written by Stuart Bernstein in the New York Times.

I found myself walking behind an attractive and fit young man wearing only a white undershirt, athletic shorts,athletic man back sneakers, and earbuds. Just ahead of him, a slow-moving elderly man came towards us with the aid of a walker. When he saw the front of the fit guy I had seen only from the back, he stopped in his tracks, pointed frantically at him, and yelled, “1959! 1959!”

The younger man removed an earbud, slowed ever so slightly as he got closer, and leaned over, as if to give a listen to the old man, whose smile suddenly grew wider as he loudly explained, “I looked just like that in 1959!”

Here’s hoping I still remember what I look like 50 years from now!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Madness-Almost Misadvent!

Well, Dear Readers, I would like to start this out with,"You will NEVER believe what I did...". But if you've been reading this for any amount of time, you will know that I'm not always the best at keeping everything together. 

Last night was the Ladies Advent by Candlelight at the church. It's a larger event, about 650-700 women in attendance. On this night, we all gather for a program that reflects the journey of Advent (the time leading up to Christmas Day) and focuses on the arrival of Christ as a newborn baby. Afterwards, we all go downstairs to enjoy coffee and dessert at tables which we host. We're in charge of decorating the table as we desire, bringing our own china and dessert and whatever we choose to make the evening enjoyable. It's a beautiful evening, and tickets sell out usually within the first week. 
This year I was in charge of the music portion of the program. When they asked, I immediately set to work and called my friend/mentor Jacque DeShetler to be our featured guest. We spent about 2 months planning and preparing the evening. So you would THINK I would have all the details down, right? I had the program all mapped out, my dress and jewelry thought through, got to the church at 2:30 to set up my table, rehearsal at 3:00. At 6:00, I'm speaking with the program coordinator and women start to file into the sanctuary, perfectly dressed in their Christmas finery... I'm standing there in my YOGA PANTS and TSHIRT and I'm thinking,"Wow. These ladies are going to sit for 40 minutes and wait for the PREservice music?" I turned to Julie and said,"Uhm, what time do we start again?" 
"6:30," she replied.
"You mean the preservice music, right?"
"Uhm, no, Melissa. The PROGRAM begins at 6:30. The preservice music (of which I was doing) begins in ten minutes."
Good thing I had my running shoes on! 
I ran into the back to tell the others the news. And in less than ten minutes I changes into a cocktail dress, pulled my hair up, makeup and heels and walked onto the stage. And when I asked Julie about it she says,"I thought you were just really chilled. I had no idea you were confused."


Yours, thinking I'll triple check all the details next gig!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Sass!

Good Morning Dear Readers!

It's Saturday, the morning after Christmas parties. I walked outside to check on Lola (aka The Lolinator) just in time to see her going down the slide. Not. Even. Kidding. That dog never fails to surprise me. 

So, my weirdest moment of the week? I was standing in line at Starbucks. This is the Starbucks next to the school where I teach and to say that the clients are an eclectic group would be putting things mildly. It's one of the reasons I love it, though. So I'm standing in line getting my coffee and I feel someone encroaching in my personal space. Sometimes it gets a little crowded in there so I just went with it. 

But about the time the gentleman behind me leaned in by my ear and played the theme from The Lone Ranger (badadum, badadum, badadum,dum dum!) by popping his cheeks, let's just say, I knew it was time to move. Except I couldn't. I was frozen. It took me so off guard, I didn't know what to do! Do I turn around and say something (as in please don't ever do that to me again)? Or do I applaud? Shout out "Impressive! Bravo!"? Apparently, this is not the first time he has serenaded someone. The barista at the register deftly took over. I looked up in time to hear him say,"Good Morning John!" and give me a look that said,"Just keep moving, ma'am. Everything is as it should be."

Okay, then. All is well. And now, on to watching Phineas and Ferb.  

Yours, going with it,


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


So remember a few weeks ago, right after Halloween, when I wrote about forgetting to put money under my son’s pillow for a lost tooth? How terrible I felt? I mean, how badly I felt that the Tooth Fairy screwed up?

Well, shortly after that, Eric, the son who was forgotten, came home from school and said that a boy told him that he caught his mom putting money under his pillow once and that PROVES that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist. It’s really just Good Ol’ Mom. Both boys wanted to know if that was true. They’re 10 now, so I asked them if they REALLY wanted to know the truth and they emphatically said YES. So I told them the truth.

Eric said, “I knew it!” and Adam said, “Noooooo, I didn’t want to know the truth!” Great!

Then, last night, Eric told me that he wishes I didn’t tell him the truth.

Really? Just stomp on my heart some more, little ones! They still believe in Santa Clause and you can bet that I’ll NEVER be the ones to tell them he doesn’t exist. NEVER, EVER, EVER!!!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Thankfulness

Yes, I know Thanksgiving is over.  I have eaten turkey until it is coming out of my eyeballs and we still have so much pie left  I could have served it as a five course meal for dinner this evening! This year, Thanksgiving seemed to fall into place rather well. I planned to have dinner later in the evening, so my day was not too crowded. My parents came for dinner, then my sister and her family for dessert. 

But something weird-strange happened. Strange to me, anyway. Maybe it's the stage of life I have entered. But over the course of 36 hours, two of my friends' fathers and my great uncle passed away. It got to the point where I was afraid to check any email or answer the phone! I felt a little guilty for being happy and content while friends and my mother were grieving (and continue to grieve).  Let me tell you, though, if you are having a hard time counting your blessings, when something like that happens, you begin to take inventory. You begin to rethink your priorities. You begin to realize that you can't wait until the perfect time to do things. Or that all the noise in the house isn't a bad thing because it means your house is full of life. Or that the extra job can wait until you've played a hand of cards with your little girl.  Or that, yes, it was really nice to have my parents at dinner and be able to carry on a conversation and laugh with them.

Tomorrow I will help in walking Elizabeth's father home. We will celebrate his life, what a giver he was, hard worker, caretaker of the family. And I will continue to be thankful for each and every thing. Nothing is promised, and none of us never know how much time we have. So I'm being thankful for it and making it count.

Yours, continuing to count,


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


happy-thanksgiving 2010Once again it is time to reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. Here is my 2011 list:

  • My wonderful family and friends who love me no matter how snarky I can be. Or at least pretend to love me!
  • “Vanity sizing” in clothes.
  • My hairdresser who, until recently, didn’t tell me just how gray I really was.
  • The fact that Robins Eggs only come out at Easter (so I can’t eat them year round).
  • Booking “The Sister’s Trip 2012” already. (Only 141 more days!)
  • My Cub Scout days are almost over. Dad can take over in Boy Scouts!

Oh, I could go on and on! But mostly, I am thankful that my family is healthy and happy and we don’t have to go without. Here’s hoping the same for your families.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Melissa and I are very thankful for all of you as well! We’ll be taking the rest of the week off, but will be back blogging on Monday.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Madness

Yes, its been THAT hectic today! But I still have a hour and a half left to get my blog finished and call it Monday Madness. :)  Today began with making lists, getting four children to school, getting gas on the rental car (I had to call the rental place because I couldn't find where the button was to unlock the gas tank! Embarrassing!) and return the car, all before 9 AM. Then a quick run by the grocery and on to teaching class. Got there and realized I did not have my parking pass so detour to Public Safety. I didn't want to take a chance on that $35 fine for not displaying a permit. Teach a class then grab a hot dog and on to getting my hair done. AH. And hour and a half in the Sanity Chair. I love my hairdresser. LOVE her. Then on to a three hour rehearsal and do some email and return some calls and come home to a kitchen I JUST got cleaned. I'm supposed to be emailing my class right now, but then I remembered that I had to blog and then.... I realized that Thanksgiving is only THREE. DAYS. AWAY.

I am SO not ready! 

I think I have some sweet potatoes and a can of pumpkin. If I shift a few things around, I might find some green beans, but I cannot attest to their freshness lifestage at the moment.

Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow? 

Yours, wishing for the ability to clone and teleport myself,


Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fun- The ONLY Explanation is....

So I was watching college football last Saturday night. Both Mizzou AND Kansas State won that weekend, so that made for a pleasant Saturday evening in the B House. But while vegging out to football, I couldn't help but notice some severe uniform design faux pas... the kind that leave you asking,"Huh?"

Let us first consider the infamous helmet sticker. When I first saw Stanford's helmets, from a distance, I thought it was an optical illusion used to distract the opposing team. Then I learned it was a sticker system. Apparently, when a player does something good, he gets a sticker. (Yes, I giggled when I typed that). As a mother of young children, we have used the sticker system. I just didn't realize it would be used in COLLEGE, let alone on the FOOTBALL team. I wonder what kind of signing bonus they get if they fill their entire helmet with stickers?

Secondly, let us consider the Oregon Ducks. To begin with, to say I was a fighting Duck would not really strike fear into the heart of the opposing team. Especially if they were a tiger, or a lion or a warrior.  I mean, all three of these eat ducks, right? ( I can say this because my high school mascot was an owl, which, by the way, if you have ever been walking down a country road at night and had one screech and swoop down upon you, you would understand how deeply fieresome they actually CAN be!) So SOMEONE decided to give the Ducks socks dyed a color I only wore in high school, when punk and Madonna fashion was all the rage. Neon, glow in the dark socks. I'm guessing they were going for blinding the opponent? 

But this third one is my favorite faux pas- Maryland. First, their mascot is a Terrapin. I had to look that up. I had never heard a TURTLE called a terrapin. Wikipedia simply defines this as a fresh water turtle. Not very ferocious sounding to me. It makes being a Duck sound good. The uniforms, however, can only be described as football meets Nascar in one huge fashion DON'T! I couldn't even watch the game it was so bad!

Clearly, there can be only one explanation for these uniform gaffes...

They HAD to be designed by a man!

Yours, still recovering,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


My son, Adam, has the room next to ours. Last week we painted it, and in doing so, we rearranged the furniture. Now his bed isn’t in the middle of the room anymore, it’s against the wall that he shares with us. I’ve noticed lately that throughout the night, I hear THUMPS on that wall.

Now let’s rewind about 40 or so years.PICT0062

I used to share a room with my sister, Margee. She was on the side of the room that shared a wall with my parents. Guess what they heard during the night? Yep! They heard THUMPS! For the longest time my mom thought Margee was banging her head against the wall. But finally, and I have absolutely NO idea how she figured this out, Mom decided it was Margee’s knees knocking the wall, not her head. (Mindy and I begged to differ, but Mom insisted. We still think we’re right on this one!)

So, I’m wondering how Mom knew and if she can figure it out for Adam next time she comes in town.

Mom? Mom? Are you reading this???




Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Madness- "It Wasn't THAT Bad?"

Generally, dear readers, we try to keep a light tone here at Macaroni and Chicken Fingers. With everything that life can throw at you, infusing humor in the day is one of the best ways to deal with it. However, after watching a Sunday morning expose, the first of what I am certain will be many on this topic, I cannot keep silent. 

By now, you are probably well aware of the happenings at Penn State. Head of Athletics, Jerry Sandusky has been accused of "inappropriate conduct" with young boys. While the grad student who discovered it reported it to Joe Paterno, who reported it to the higher level administration, where it was not correctly dealt with until an area high school brought forward allegations and blew the cover of Penn State administration. What sickens me is the statement by one of the people in the chain of reporting at Penn State saying,"He grabbed the boy's private area but it wasn't that bad."

SERIOUSLY?!?!?! What kind of man views an older man taking advantage of a child in a sexual manner and says,"It wasn't that bad"? He needs to be slapped. And then some!

Every time I see something on the news about this, I get sick to my stomach. I wonder things like: Was all of Sandusky's charitable work simply to feed his demented appetite? Will I have to wonder that about anyone in my children's community? I mean, my son is prime age for this... ages 9 to 11. How many other boys and families has he done this to that will not come forward? We know of eight, but how many more?

I once sat on the jury of a murder case. A young girl, age 12 at the time of the occurrence, was laying in bed while a teen boy neighbor of the girl's family came into her room. She was asleep and the teen boy made some inappropriate physical contact with her. He did not rape her, not even close. I remember at the time, the prosecuting attorney said,"Yes, he touched her, but it wasn't that bad." Apparently it was bad enough for the girl's brother to wait for that boy to come home and beat him to death. (To be fair, the intent on the brother's part was not murder, but to send a strong message to the boy not to touch his sister again.) What the prosecuting attorney said sickened me then, just as this case sickens me now. And while I know that what that girl's brother did was wrong, I can't say I fault him for it. Yes, I believe strongly in forgiveness, and I work toward it everyday, I believe in consequences as well. Because if that was my boy, you could bet I would be thinking of ways to inflict the most horrific punishment known upon the person who would dare to cross the line. 

Yours, wondering what this whole Penn State thing will come to,


Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Fun- Thank a Vet!

Today being Veteran's Day, I thought I might post the following story:

An international summit meeting was taking place about 10 years ago. Among the people present were heads of state, prime ministers, generals and presidents representing some of the most powerful nations in the world. It was the evening before the actual summit would take place and everyone had gathered for a state dinner party. During the course of conversation, a French general looked directly at a top American general, and speaking rather loudly said," I suppose we will ALL be speaking in English for the entire summit. It's so infuriating. Must we always speak English?"

Before the American general could reply, a top English military man replied,"We speak English at these meetings because the Americans ensured you would not have to speak German for the rest of your life."

Thank you, Veterans, past, present, one and all, for ensuring that I will have the freedoms I so enjoy, especially freedom of speech and the write to speak any language I CHOOSE.
Sincerely Yours,


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Let me just say here and now: I DO NOT BELIEVE IN CHIROPRACTORS! I’m not going to be disrespectful and say they are quacks or anything like that, but my past experience with them has been less than positive.

BUT, I am an open minded person (most of the time) and when I recently read an article on how chiropractic care can help with bedwetting, I thought I’d give it a try. (For my son, not me!) Within months, my 10 year old went from wearing Good Nights, and filling them EVERY night, to being completely dry. AMAZING, right?

Then my knee starting hurting me during spin class, so of course my first stop was my doctor, who sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. My x-ray looked fine (beautiful, in fact, for a 40-something year old woman, he said!), so he didn’t want to do anything invasive, especially since it only bothered me during cycling.

So I “hmmm”ed and I “hawwww”ed and finally decided to visit my son’s chiropractor. And guess what? After a few weeks, I can go back to spin class! WOW!!!

Does this mean that I believe that everything can be fixed by adjusting the back? NO WAY! But does this mean that I MIGHT start believing that chiropractors MIGHT know what they’re doing SOME of the time? Well, I’ll give them that much!!!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Madness- YAY for K!

So it's Monday. Pour the coffee!What have you got on your agenda today? Your MUST list? How about your life goal list?In case you're new here at Macaroni and Chicken Fingers, you have to know about Karen's journey to get in shape. Doing it the right way, she exercised and ate right and lost a bunch of weight. She looks FABULOUS!And I do mean fabulous! 

Something else you may not have realized about Karen- she's a giver. Not the kind of person who gives and brags about it. She never makes a show about it or embarrasses people. She just goes about, quietly doing her bits of good wherever she goes. 
Now she's going to get paid for it! YAY! And believe me, that's not the reason why she's doing it. She will tell you that it's because she needs to get out around other people, mainly ADULTS, and she enjoys doing what she'll be doing. She's going to work for Weight Watchers.

But if you know her at all, you'll know she just wants to make a difference in other people's lives. Nothing makes her happier. So she's going to share her health journey and inspire other people to achieve their goals.I love that about her. 

Yours, thinking I want to be like Karen when I grow up,


Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Funny- Excuse Me?

Time for Friday Funny. I have to admit this is a little more on the "I'm glad that's not me at the moment" side. As well as a little on the,"Hmmmmm, I wonder if it's time for a serious conversation?" side. 

The setting: Kitchen, 6:30 AM. It's dark outside. I'm still brewing coffee, meaning that I have not ingested any caffeine whatsoever and am clearly not cognizant enough to handle what comes next.

My two, beautiful, perfectly naive and innocent children are playing with the dog.

The conversation as I was brewing coffee...

Z1 (who, btw, is 10 yrs old): Mom, what are the worst cuss words EVER?

Me (taken aback, because, it IS 6:30 AM and I wasn't really expecting to start my day off with something he had clearly been pondering for a bit): Uhm, well, you probably don't need to know those since they are NEVER coming out of your mouth, right?

Z1: Okay the, could you tell me what the "F" word means?

Me: Honey, you don't need to worry about that right now because even if I explained it, you still won't use it, and you may not understand it when I explain it anyway.

Z2 (who is 8 yrs old) says to Z1: Don't worry Z1. I'll tell you later.

I think it's time for that talk.....

Yours, spending time with my children this weekend,


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


The Tooth Fairy screwed up Monday night, big time! Yes, I know it was Halloween and she was busy, but my son lost his first molar and she FORGOT him. Seriously, how do you overlook a 10 year old boy who lost his first molar? And it was a rough one coming out. It cracked first and came out in pieces. We almost had to go to the dentist for this one. Really, Tooth Fairy?th_tooth-fairy

Luckily, I’m a FABULOUS mom who can explain these things away so my son didn’t feel slighted by her. I explained that on Halloween, a lot of kids eat a lot of candy, and have unfortunate accidents that involve losing teeth. So she has a lot of emergencies to keep up with. It seems that he, having been a scheduled stop, just somehow fell through the cracks.

I would have told him that had it not been Halloween, this wouldn’t have happened, but, well, the thing is, it actually has happened before. A couple of times actually. See, the Tooth Fairy is rather forgetful at our house. I don’t know why. Does she have something against me? Did I do something wrong to her when I was a child? Did I accidently see her?

Whatever the reason, I don’t know why she has to take it out on my kids! Lucky for her, she made up for it last night by not only remembering, but leaving MUCH more money than she usually leaves. I was going to hide out in my son’s room and wait for the Tooth Fairy so I could have a word with her about forgetting him Monday night, but, well, I forgot!



Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Madness- Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween!  Always fun for the kids. I must admit, this year I've been a bit behind in fall decor. I just last night pulled out my Trick-or-Treat sign and jack-o-lanterns. I've been busy with other things. AS well, I'm a little jaded this year. Someone stole my kids' pumpkins right off my front porch. And I really don't have much of a porch. It's more like a sidewalk leading up to the front door with a nice sized landing space. Which means they had to come right up to my front door. Hooligans! May their candy be absolutely rotten and give them a good old fashioned stomach ache tonight. Hhmph!

And last night, in another brilliant move, The Hubs and I watched the end of, uhm, I THINK it was Halloween. It featured Jamie Lee Curtis and some guy in a mask and there were axes and knives and running people over with trucks. Pretty gory stuff with the masked guy popping out of creepy corners. Which was perfectly fine- until I had to take Lola for a walk on our deserted streets at 10 pm. Leaves make an eerie sound swirling in the wind. Quickest potty run ever!

Tonight we will also celebrate my mother's birthday. Yes. She was born on Halloween. A lot of things about me make sense now, don't they...  ;)

Yours, hoping you have a fun-filled trick or treating night!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Sass

Most of you know I've been training for a marathon, which I ran on Sunday. There may be more posts and pictures about that, but take a look at the one above. That's my Daddy, running with me at mile 18.5.  It was a sweet precious moment, when he was a little worried about me, came out to find me, and ran me to mile 19, where The Hubs was waiting to run with me through Mile 22. (Miles 18-21 are mentally and physically the most difficult. You're close, but not close enough.) So I posted this picture on my fb page, and someone commented:

"Did you ever pass the dude in jeans?"


I'm considering if I want to edit my friends list. ;)


Yours, soaking in the weekend,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What IS That Stench?

It was just a routine night. I let the dog out one last time. He stood on the patio, staring at something in the yard, then took off after it. I was unfazed. He’d done this thousands of times before and never caught a thing. Only this time, he came back very quickly and stood at the glass sliding door waiting to be let in, all the while shaking his head like he was trying to get something off of it. And what looked like drool was flying everywhere. It looked odd, so I just watched him for a while. And slowly, the smell started to make it’s way around the glass door, into the house. Oh…so…slowly…until it hit me…


Oh, the horror! The stench was overwhelming! The first thing that came to mind was tomato juice, but being a household that doesn’t like tomatoes, I had to start calling around to the skunkneighbors. Of course, that alerted them to the fact that WE were to blame for the horrible smell that was very quickly spreading in the neighborhood!

Anyway, all the internet sites said that tomato juice doesn’t really work. So in addition to several shampoos, we tried the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing liquid solution that everyone recommended. Nope. All the “experts” were WRONG!!!

So the next day, I first tried Pepsi. Yeah, not so much. Next I tried a product that was “guaranteed or your money back” from a pet store. Uh huh, I’ll be getting my money back from them! It helped, but didn’t get rid of it all the way. Then I tried the tomato juice. Better. Then more shampoos. Getting there. Finally I just sprayed him with Fabreze. Closer, but I can still smell him. Not bad, but every so often I get a whiff of it.

My sister thinks it’s just on me now, but I took a shower. Really! Who knows, maybe it’s just sticking to stuff in the house now. Either way, this has been one eye-watering, nose-agonizing experience!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Madness!

It's 12:45 AM on Monday morning. Yes, A.M. I can't sleep. I can't figure it out. You would think I would be totally sacked out by now. But I'm just hungry.  I ran my marathon today. It was an amazing experience. I started in corral 15 with hundreds of other people. 21,000+ people ran today. At mile eight, the path splits and you realize just how crazy you are when 80% of the people stay on the other path and you take the one with virtually nobody on it. The Hubs, Z1, Z2 and my parents showed up at mile 12. That was so unexpected! And again at mile 15.  By then I had shaved 25 minutes off my half marathon time from last year. I was going to need that extra time because my hardest miles were up ahead. Seriously, by mile 16, pushing through Carondelet Park, I was ready to beat the heck out of the path planners. I had been going uphill for at least 14 of those miles. And the park was one big uphill. Finally I reached the turnaround point. At mile 18, my dad- who just turned 70 last week- ran half of that mile with me. The Hubs ran me from miles 19-22. That was crucial. Six to 7 miles out is still a very long way to go. Once I got to 4 miles out, it felt achievable. And then when I thought I was coming up on mile 23 and the sign ready 24, I could have danced!  By the time I finished I was having an out of body experience.  Once they got me home, I was in bed and my mother brought a huge meal over for me.... pot roast, potatoes, chocolate cake. YUUUUUM! (Confession: she had left the cake here earlier and when I came home, I took a fork and dug right into the cake pan. I NEVER do that. But then again, I had never run a marathon, either). I've tried to sleep, and I've already had another beef sandwich at 11:30, but to be honest, that chocolate cake is sounding pretty darn good right now.

Yours, cutting myself a healthy slice, Yes, at 1 in the morning!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Fun!

To give you an idea of how the B house operates on a Friday morning, take a look at this video of Zoe and Lola. We're pretty go with the flow, because, well, Friday is SO close to Saturday that we should kinda have a Saturday feel, right?

So we continue to play. :)  

Yours, waiting for Sunday to get here so I can finish!


Thursday, October 20, 2011


I am (thankfully) still several years away from having a driving child, but when I saw this article in Family Circle, I knew I had to pass along this information. Did you know there are some GREAT apps out there to help you regulate your teen’s driving? Take a look:

  • SPRINT DRIVE FIRST: Locks your teen’s cell phone when her car goes over 10 mph. (I don’t know if it can differentiate between HER car or anyone’s car…I think not, though.) Sends incoming calls directly to Voice Mail and texts get an automated message back. 3 phone numbers and 3 apps are allowed in case of emergencies. $3 per month from Sprint.
  • TEENAGE SPEEDSTER: Sends a message to parents when their child is in any speeding car. Available for just about any smart device. $2
  • PHONEGUARD DRIVE SAFE: Blocks incoming texts and sends an automated message back while car is moving. Sends a Google map link showing location and speed of the vehicle. Allows 911 calls. Free
  • CAR PARENTAL CONTROL: Follows the position and speed of the car with a color coded map showing the route. Only available on iStuff. $2
  • SPEEDBUMP: Gives you updates on your teen’s driving skills and patterns. For Android phones only. $10
  • DRIVESAFE.LY: Text messages are read aloud without the driving even touching the phone. An autoresponder option is included and can be customized. Free

Aren’t these great? I imagine that by the time my boys are able to drive there will be even better apps out, but I love these! Happy hovering!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Madness- A DOUBLE Post? WHa? Wha?

Dear Readers,

A personal friend of mine started this non-profit organization over five years ago. It's called Music For the Soul and the specialize in putting together music projects that reach out to specific, life-altering events. I really believe in this organization. Steve, the founder, is one of the most generous, compassionate people you will ever meet. He walked away from his full time career as an established Nashville writer doing what he does best to help hurting people. His organization, Music for the Soul, is in the running for a $2,000 grant. They need votes. That's all you have to do- follow this link and vote for Music for the Soul!  Sooooooooo easy. (Just like the other ones Karen put up on Saturday. Click on them all!!!) 

Thanks in advance!



Monday Madness- CARDINAL NATION!!!!

If you are in St. Louis, or just not living under a rock in the world of sports, you know I have only one thing to say this morning.....


So excited the Cards are going to the World Series!

Yours, celebrating The Cardinal Nation,


Saturday, October 15, 2011


While Melissa is away this weekend at a Song Writers Conference, I thought I’d let you know about a really easy way to help donate money, WITHOUT any expense to yourself, to several different causes. All by clicking your mouse!

Here are just a couple that are near and dear to our hearts at Karmel Publishing:

The Child Health Site

With one click... help children living with autism. The Autism Site

When you click on these sites, theirs sponsors donate money to their causes. There are also sites for:

  • Hunger
  • Breast Cancer
  • Animals
  • Veterans
  • Literacy
  • Rain Forest

It takes about 2 minutes to click on all 8 sites. They will even send you a reminder each day so you don’t forget! And while you’re there, the holidays are coming up and they have great shopping as well!!!

Thanks for taking a look.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Every so often, we are faced with dilemmas that, as adults, we must decide what the right thing to do is. And many times, what may be the “right” thing isn’t always the easiest or even the best for everyone involved. (It’s really hard being a grown-up sometimes, isn’t it?)confused

Right now, I’m faced with 2 dilemmas. Both involve some degree of abuse, but one is towards a child and the other is towards an older adult. Not surprisingly, they are extremely similar in that I feel responsible for their safety and well being.

In the case of the child, any action I take could result in bad feelings toward me (best case scenario) to a family torn apart (worst case scenario). Or anything in between. It could be devastating for this family, who I consider friends. Oh, and one more thing. I could be wrong about what I suspect.

But I could be right. And wouldn’t I rather take action and be wrong than do nothing and have been right about my suspicions?

About my older adult friend, I know the situation here with absolute certainty. My fear with taking action is how my friend will feel. He trusts this person, and will see me as the bad guy. No problem, I can take that. But will it reinforce the relationship between him and the abuser even more? Will he see me as the one who doesn’t trust him and believe in him to make the right decisions? She’s building him up and trying to alienate him from his family and friends. Hopefully, he’s smarter than that.

Elder abuse and child abuse. Not really so different. The abuser picks on the weak and defenseless. It’s up to us to step up and protect those we love, and even those we just like, if that’s what it takes.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Madness- Sit Down, Brewers!

Dear Milwaukee Brewers,

I've got to give mad props to Pujols, Carpenter, Thierot, Molina, Berkman and the rest of the BIRDS. I think you just might want to save face and stay home. See you at Busch for Game Three!


The Rally Squirrel

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Thanks

Well now, it's Sunday. Which means I'm two days behind in Friday Fun. And if you read Wednesday's post, you know Karen is in denial.  We are completely on the ball, here at Karmel Publishing!  But you know what they say... "Wanna see God laugh? Tell him your plans!" That's been this past week. Remember last week when I wrote about "What Love Is?" Yeah... well, see the picture below for what happens when you run on sidewalks and not in the bike lane. UGH! I'm very thankful I did not face plant. My hands and knees caught it all.

I was slightly encouraged, however, in having Wednesday to myself as Webster cancels classes so that students and faculty may do volunteer work. (It's called Webster Works Worldwide.... the students get involved in some GREAT projects). I was stoked until Zoe came downstairs from the shower to have me check her head. Round TWO! It seems that our elementary school continues to combat head lice. UGH. It wasn't a re infestation- and NO, I'm not one of THOSE people in denial. So, because I was entirely overwhelmed, I did what any adult woman would do and I called my mother and cried. She came right over to help me sanitize the house, God bless her! While I did mega loads of laundry and combed and olive oiled and nix treated my child, she was scouring the kids' rooms because the even the THOUGHT of lice makes me do the willies dance. You know the one. It looks nothing like the happy dance. It more looks like I've got something unwanted crawling on my body and I'm shaking every single part of me in an effort to get it off!

The rest of the week was stacked. I did my long run on Saturday and went into work. Work this morning was a bit of a zoo, but it all came together just in time. Came home and YES! I got the fortunate task of unclogging the garbage disposal all while Lola was digging up the sprinkler spike in the backyard causing her to need a bath. Right after she chewed through both garden hoses. The fun never ends, here at the B house!

But you know what? It's still a wonderful life. It's full. It's crazy. Sometimes I think it might just drive me to drink one day. But given anywhere else in the world, even with all the frustrations, I still have it pretty stinkin' good.  I'll eat three times (or more.... it was a long run!) today. I have nice clothes, a family that loves me, a good job doing things I love, faithful friends... I'm a blessed woman.

And for that, I'm truly thankful.

Yours, counting them one by one,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Isn’t it embarrassing when you realize you are one of “those” people? It doesn’t really matter what topic it is, or what the situation is, but suddenly you find yourself the one who would previously have been the target of your own ridicule. Orembarrassed face judgment. Or disgust.

I hate that!

So what to do? Do you become more tolerant of others? Or do you deny that you could EVER be as bad as those other people and keep your head in the clouds?

I like the “head in the clouds” bit! I mean, really, I am never the tacky dresser (white after labor day is acceptable if it’s still warm outside); I would never let my child run into the street without looking (I’m sure he DID look, but you were driving much too fast and he just didn’t have time to see you); I would never forget an appointment and not show up (maybe you should have given me a reminder call like everyone else does).

See, things are NOT MY FAULT!!! I am not one of “THOSE” people!

Whew, glad we got THAT cleared up!



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Love Is....

If you read Friday's post, you know that I prefer to run in the bike lane of the road and not on the sidewalk.  My Saturday runs are my long runs. I had paced myself for my last really long run. On mile #10, a mile where I typically hit a bit of a wall and begin questioning my mental stability, I hear a voice behind me.

"What are you doing?!"

Startled out of my running reverie, I turn around to see my husband on his bike. You see, I always leave my run path written down for him in case I don't come back within a certain time period, he can come look for me. He waited until he knew I would be hitting a wall to come find me. Just to bring me some extra water. And a jacket in case I was cold. And to convince me to get out of the road. 

As it turns out, the very day I posted about running in the road and frustrating a small percentage of drivers, a young teen, training with his cross country team, was running too close to the line, stumbled and fell into oncoming traffic. Tragically, his injuries were fatal. After listening to my husband for 10 minutes- on that run, anyway, because he's been after me about it for about 3 months now- I decided I would get my feet out of the road. 

That's what Love does. It care enough about someone else to go take them water. And an extra shirt. To talk them through a tough spot. And harass them enough to change a habit for the better. And Love acquiesces to the better side of judgement, because she'd like to be around for a whole lot longer. 

Yours, wishing you someone who loves you enough,


Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fun- Just a Little Something I Would Like To Get Off My Chest...

As I mentioned on Monday, I'm running a marathon in October. I've been training since June. That's a lot of running if you're figuring 4 runs a week. I run early in the morning so that I can run on the road (the shoulder or the bike lane). As I've explained before, the asphalt is much easier on your knees and hips than cement. I do take the sidewalk if the traffic gets heavy. I'm not dangerous about it. And most everyone I see in the morning is absolutely wonderful.  Most people will go out of their way to give me room, or cheer me as they pass or give a friendly wave. It's really nice! But some people believe it is their job  DUTY to tell me where I may and may not run. Since they have the pleasure of getting to yell at me and lecture me and make numerous amounts of gestures at me without ever waiting around for my reply, I'm taking liberty to tell them now (because, you know, I'm SURE they subscribe to my blog and all).  

 Dear Mom with Your Middle School Boy Scout- please teach your Scout not to yell out the window at me. It's very unScoutlike. And contrary to what you both thought, just because I have ear buds in, doesn't mean my iPod is actually ON or that I have it up too loud. Yes, I heard him when he called me stupid runner. Maybe he needs to review that whole "polite and character" thing in the Scout Promise. Yeah, my boy's in scouting too....

 Dear Cigarette Smoker- It's just not nice to toss your butts out the window. Especially if you happen to be passing me or I you. You may not like that I'm running in the road, but at 6 AM, and the fact that there's 5 lanes and no traffic, I'm sure you could find another place to throw your butts than at me. Thanks!

 Dear Cranky Critiquer- You shouldn't be out driving before having coffee. Coffee makes you nicer. Promise. 

And my absolute favorite:

Dear Musclebound Guy Driving the Ridiculously Unnecessary for West County Red Hummer- My mother taught me to play nice and share. I know that can be hard, having such a huge, pristine, not one speck of dirt on it SUV, but let's make a deal. You don't try to intimidate me with your size and yelling at me about where I need to be running, and I won't tell you to get a Smart Car. 

Yours, gearing up for my Saturday Run,