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!


Melissa

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?"


Not.even.kidding.


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


And in other news: CONGRATULATIONS CARDINALS!!!


Yours, soaking in the weekend,


Melissa

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…

SKUUUUUUUNK!!!

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!

Karen

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!


Melissa

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?

video


So we continue to play. :)  


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


Melissa

Thursday, October 20, 2011

IS YOUR TEEN DRIVING? NERVOUS?

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!

Karen

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!


Yours,


Melissa

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.....








SIT DOWN BREWERS!!!!! LET'S GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!


So excited the Cards are going to the World Series!


Yours, celebrating The Cardinal Nation,


Melissa

Saturday, October 15, 2011

HELPING OTHERS…

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.

Karen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FACING DILEMMAS

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.

Karen

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!



Love,

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,


Melissa

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

“THOSE” PEOPLE…

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!

Karen

 

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,


Melissa