Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spin Cycle- Mottos

To every thing, turn, turn, turn, There is a season, turn, turn, turn. Go take a spin on the Spin Cycle. I link you because I love you...

Can you tell that this week's Spin Cycle is Mottos? It could be more fun, but then we'd all have to try a little harder.

There have been so many great mottos in my life. It's hard to know where to begin!

My mom used to say, "Che venga qui, vada qui." (what goes around, comes around) How true, how true. It's why I always hold open a door, or give a little to the kids collecting $$. Help a friend when they need a hand. One day it will be my kid, or my door, or me needing the hand.

PB has a great story about when he had a really bad day in college. He called home to have his Dad give him a little pep talk (you know those days). Dad's sage advice? "Some days your the pigeon, some days your the statue." That still makes us both laugh. A lot of empathy in 10 words or less.

Right now I have a few "mottos" that I keep in my pocket. You know, just in case I need encouragement, or to give someone advice.

"Everything in moderation."- This one came in handy today. I have a co-worker that is pushing his vegan life style around work. If he makes it work, good for him. Now pass me a cheeseburger.

"Stop and smell the roses."- I'm working hard at this one. There's so much to do before littlest badger arrives, but I know I really want to enjoy my last few weeks alone with LG. It's hard to put down the paint brush, or the kitchen scrubber, and just enjoy some time playing ball, or puppets with him. I know in the chaos of the first few weeks with the new kid, he'll be a little neglected, and things will never be the same for our family. So, I want to make some memories, and enjoy this time as much as I can.

"They're only young once."- This one is a toughie. It's hard for me to let LG just be a kid sometimes. When I see him heading for a puddle, or squishing ketchup in his hands I immediately want to stop him. Clean him up. When he grabs soap bubbles from the sink and puts them on my nose, I want to stop him and wipe them off. But his giggle is infectious. And I remember, how long will ketchup be entertaining? Or a puddle pure ecstasy? Not long. I've stopped worrying about getting clothes dirty, or what other people think. When he "sings" in church? Good for him. He's probably enjoying the service a ton more than the adults that go because they have to. Right?

Must get back to the grindstone. Keep my eye on the horizon, my nose to the wind and my ear to the ground, so to speak.

Have a great week, and enjoy the Spins! MB

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RTT- An oh, it's Random...

It's Tuesday. And I'm very impressed with the random I've witnessed so far. You'd appreciate it, trust me. Go visit Keely, take in the Winking rear ends, and all the other random that's out there for you.
As for me, try this out:
I was going to blog and complain about some of the comic strip artists who's strips I read regularly, but I'm too disgusted. Let's just say that the artists who are least reliable, who don't put out a strip a day, are the ones who beg for money the most, and now expect me to follow them to a pay site? Yeah, I don't think so. Hence, the changes to the side bar...
LG loves his bath time. He likes to play with his water bugs and net, he likes to splash and pour water out of his cup. What he doesn't like to do? Get clean. He used to be fine with this. He'd play while PB washed him. But he's recently figured out that he's his own man. So PB and LG have started the nightly bath wars. LG will sit nicely until PB actually starts to wash him. Then he stands up because he knows PB will stop (PB is very worried that LG will slip and fall, so he makes him sit). And then the fight starts. LG throws things out of the tub (or PB takes them, I'm not sure), there is much screaming on both sides. I try to stay out of it. It's going to be a long toddlerhood, I foresee.
The other day my co-workers were talking about weird quirks we all have. One woman (who is normally very reasonable) sits in her car during lightning storms. She unplugs all her appliances and goes and sits in the car in the garage, with the car off. She's petrified. Ok. Another guy insists people walk on his right side, or sit on the right if it's not in a big meeting or something. No idea why, just his quirk.
Mine? It's about where I'll sleep in a room. I always pick the side furthest from the door. Preferable not near a window if I can help it. Why? Because if someone breaks in, they're going to get the guy closet to the door first. Then I have time to wake up and defend myself. I have no problems sacrificing PB. Hell, they're only inside because he did a poor job of defending the fortress, right? LG is a bit more of a problem, I usually will put the pack and play between me and the nearest wall, if I can. I'll rescue LG while they take PB, I figure. If the door is opposite the window, sometimes I have an issue. As long as there's no fire escape and we're above the 2nd floor, I'm usually ok, though.
Have you noticed how inconsiderate we've all become of eachother? It makes me sad. For instance, a co-worker of mine is selling her condo. Some people made an 7:00 appointment and showed up at 8:30 thinking they were just fine. No call, no "sorry we're running late", just well, we're here now. And she was in the middle of getting ready to go out for the evening. Their attitude seemed to be "it's a buyer's market and you'll deal". How rude! LG lost his shoe in the market the other day. I went up to customer service to see if anyone had turned it in. As I was describing it to the clerk the woman behind me said, "Is this going to take long, I have to be somewhere?" I'm sorry? You get in the customer service line at a grocery store and then feel the need to rush the people in front of you? I had someone say to their teenager (who wanted the same thing as LG), "Oh, he's a baby, he won't know." while LG was looking right at the item. Uhm, whatever happened to "Give it to the baby. We'll get you one next time."? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but just because money is tight isn't a reason that being considerate of one another should go out the door. If anything, it should be more important than ever that we be nice to eachother.
As for the rest? To hells with it. I'm going to go find me some cheetos and put my feet up for a while. Have a good week, and try to be nice to eachother, kids.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Spin Cycle- Favorite Book

Time to take a little spin with Sprite's Keeper and the rest of the gang. If you want to see the other spins, just click on the button above and away you'll go.

This weeks topic is supposed to be our favorite book. Uhm, I was an English major (the first time on the college merry go round). I worked for Barnes and Noble for years. How the heck am I supposed to pick a favorite? PB will vouch for the fact that we could re-build our house with books. Just one? I have to choose just one?

I trolled my memories. I have a lot of books I've called my favorite. Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby", Kingsolver's "Poisenwood Bible". Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" (the whole dang series). They're all wonderful. I've read them all over and over. But right now they just don't seem to fit me. Like an old flannel shirt that you know you'll wear again, but today it just isn't right (so you keep it in the closet, and it avoids Goodwill once again).

When I searched for one that really resonated right now I was suprised with what I found. Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea". Stop cringing. It's a good book. And well written. I've always loved Hemingway, but I would have never singled out this particular book. As a bookseller, I steered kids away from it if it was on their summer list. It was always tempting because it was usually, by far, the shortest. My line was, "Look at this list. Do you think the teacher was just throwing in a freebie? Probably not. It's a hard read, and even harder to write about. Choose something else. " And with a sigh, they did. More about this at the end.

But right now, I don't want to choose something else. Because there are really days I feel like the Old Man. And at the same time, I'm also the Sea. Because my current battles are all with myself.

My Old Man side gets up every morning. Not because I have to (though I do). Because I know there's something out there for me. And to get it, you have to get out of bed. And make the coffee. And get the kid to school, the husband to work and the kitchen counter wiped off. Show up at work, and do your job. You won't get the marlin unless you rig the boat and head out to sea.

And the Sea inside my head says, "Each thing you do will have to be re-done tomorrow. Or this afternoon. You don't get anywhere. You're treading water, at best." Shut up waves. And stop sucking my little sand castles off the shore. Stupid water.

Some days I come up with an empty net. LG has been frustering, I haven't handled it well, the sink is full, there's nothing good on TV. You know those days. The Sea wins. You go to bed wishing for the Coast Guard to come rescue you. (and I don't know about you, but the cute boys in their white uniforms never show up at my house...)

Some days I come up with some small fish, like the other people who fish beside the Old Man. Last weekend I got LG's "big" Christmas present. A new wagon that cost $90, for just $40 (with coupons, gift cards and a sale sticker). Like I said, small fish. But during the holidays, while you sweat out your Visa bill, I'll be sitting in front of my MIL's fire, eating my niece's Russian Tea cakes and watching my kid play with his fully paid for wagon. Small fish, but tasty.

Then there is the Marlin. And you don't get many. I know that. But that's what you get out of bed for, right? A few summers ago, I did a 50 mile bike ride for charity. I didn't end world hunger, but that wasn't the goal. I raised some money, and put in some miles. A Marlin, in essence. Other people admired, but it's not something to put on a resume, right?

I got a Marlin earlier this year, too. I call it my new job. Better pay, better hours, less stress. But it is a Marlin, just like Santiago's, none the less. It's a prize, I know. But it's still a job (and if you recall, after all his struggles, all Santiago came home with was the skeleton and the sword of his fish). I put this one on the resume, but I still leave LG at daycare. A win, a loss. (and you hear the Sea in my head going, "You could be a stay at home Mom."- Don't go there, salty pants.)

My husband is like Santiago's helper, the boy. Even when I suck, and the sea wins, he still wants to fish with me. He knows there are Marlin out there, and I'll get them. He gets up each morning with me. Maybe today he'll hook the Marlin, who knows?

As for the kids, and why this is a horrible book to make a high school aged person read, it's the old song. They just haven't been out there long enough to really understand. They haven't gone for 100 days without catching a fish yet. They don't know they'll have to head into the deeper water to really get "the big one". It's all still ahead of them. So, Santiago's tale is meaningless. He's just an old guy with a boat. Some kids do things that put themselves out there (a really competitive sportsman, or a great musical talent) but those kids are few. Most of us are long out of high school before we're really challenged. That's the comfort of having parents. They go out to sea for us, so we can play in the surf. And complain about the stupid books we have to read.

Ok, that's it. Go see if someone reviews a tawdry bodice ripper for their favorite. You know you wanted to... Have a good week, all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Tuesday Thought- Guns and Turkeys

Ok, kids, I have gone through the trouble of making that little sign above into a button. So, yous had better use it to go see Kiley, and her random thoughts. Just give it a little clickety poo and the fun will commence. But read on, first.

Let's start with Rascall Flatts. Now, I like them as much as the next person. As a matter of fact, our wedding song is a Rascall Flatts song. However, these boys are from Ohio. So much so, that they call their fan club the Flatts Dog Pound (after the Cleveland Browns Fan Club, the Dog Pound- don't ask). My beef? Why do they use the phrase "Y'all" so much??? They're not southerners. Were you to draw a line, Columbus is still above the Mason Dixon line. Which I think, is the limit of the usage of "Y'all". Now, I'm not saying they should adopt "Yous guys" or anything. But, enough with the fake southern. I should probably file this with my angst against calling Ohio the Mid-West, huh?

Recently, a fellow blogger, Sprite's Keeper brought up an interesting topic. She was worried about what the day care ladies did after she had asked some questions (maybe they roll their eyes, maybe they take it out on Sprite?) And immediately I thought, "Hells, if you think they roll their eyes at that, what do they do with the Moms that call every day?" Yup, I said call EVERY day. A check in call, if you will. I've learned that at least 5 of the Moms in LGs room do this. At first I felt substandard. Do I not care enough about LG to check on him after lunch every day? Find out if he's drinking his sippies and eating lunch? Then I realized, wait a minute. How would I feel if someone called me to check in each and every day. As if to say, "Yup, I pay you to care about my kid, but I still don't really trust that they can get to the end of the day without me." So, I don't call. Unless it's really important. I assume they'll call me if they need me, or send a note home. And when I do call or stop in to see them, I'm pretty sure they're ok with it. We're all on the same team, after all. Or they think I'm negligent and are just too polite to tell me.

On to a more entertaining topic. A YouTube video hit the news the other day. About the Ohio Militia. I'd give you a link here, but I don't want to be associated with this krappe. So, if you want, go to You Tube and search "Ohio militia". Trust me, you'll find it. Don't do it at work, though. You don't want them to associate you with this krappe, either. However, please go view it. And be ready to be amused and creeped out, all at the same time.

First, the guy has his face covered. As though not even he's willing to admit he's part of this organization. He's changed his voice and all. It's a bit odd. But he gives a full speech about getting yourself ready (he can explain for what). Get a gun (and not just any gun- he is very specific about what you should have in your armory). And join a militia. Like his. Though he points out, many people express interest, but never actually show up. Wonder why... And these people represent the state I live in. They might be my neighbors. Great.

What made me think twice was this: I am not pro-gun. No NRA stickers on my bumper. I'm not against guns for hunting, but you need to be reasonable. You don't need a pistol to hunt. Or a semi-automatic weapon. Let's be honest, those are for killing people. You're not going to meet Bambi in a dark alley, and he's not going to be running drugs and robbing houses. I'm not so far left that I do the whole, "Putting guns into the hands of criminals and children" thing. But there should be better limits. Because of guys like this.
Here's what worries me; even the more strict interpretations of the constitution say you can have a gun if you're forming a Militia (most liberals give in to this one). Uh, oh. That's the problem. Then the only people with guns would be this nut job and his friends. Damn it all. I almost want a gun to protect myself from him, for god's sake.

Which leads me to, why are people bringing guns to these Obama town halls? Is that really necessary? Are you so incapable of going inside and making a rational statement against whatever side it is that you don't like that you need to make veiled threats? Is that what we've sunk to as a country? And do you think it would have been this way if Obama was white? I'm just not sure. But it doesn't really do much for open dialogue, now does it?
Away from the political: what's the difference between stalking and following? I mean really? Stalkers watch what you do, and take great interest in your where abouts. Blog and twitter followers pretty much do the same. I'm just saying. When does it stop being flattering and start being creepy?

And now to end with something cute:
Not a great picture, I know, but PBs old cell phone left a little to be desired in the photo area. Anyhow. LG has begun to converse. Not just random words, he now answers questions. And it's hysterical. And excerpt from this weekend:
"LG, are you a turkey?"
"You're not a turkey?"
"Are you a little boy?"
It's much funnier live, I promise.

Ok, I have to get back to work. So, you should go see Kiley, read some random, and then love on others who are willing to give up their random.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Spin Cycle- Worst Post Ever...

I'm taking another Spin Folks. Head over to see Jen when you're done, if you're so inclined. If not, though, don't complain when you miss the marvelous.

This weeks topic is your worst post ever. And I'm not going to play. Why? I could say something like "all my blog posts are works of art". I could say each one represents me at a snapshot in time. That the picture represents the angst of the nearing middle age. But you'd know I'm full of krappe (and that the big red dot in the middle of the canvas is a big red dot, you puffed up moron. My kid could do that. I'm not paying you millions for it). You could go back into the archives and clearly find some junk that could be removed, I'm sure. But I can't.

Why? (again with the gosh darn why? what are you, a toddler???) Because when I first started blogging it was really for people to see what was up with LG. And because I needed to find something that I could connect to him, and still get a bit of me out there. So, those early posts. Whew, only a Grammie could love. But they served a purpose. I stopped mass e-mailing updates to people who probably didn't care, and instead gave them the address. Let them decide if they wanted to see pictures of updates.

Then sometime earlier this year, I renamed the blog, got it some new duds and set it free on the blogging community. And the posts became more about me than LG. The snark seeped in, and the audience changed. I'm pretty sure some of the friends and family still log on, but it's not for them alone anymore. Judging by the comments, most of these posts wouldn't be judged my worst.

So, you see, I can't put the sentimental up against the snark. It's not fair. That old me, the one who didn't yet fit back into the work clothes, but had to return to work? The one who felt guilty for leaving LG in daycare? Yeah, she just can't take the criticism.

Oh, and another reason (as though I need another one at this point), I've been reading this weeks spins. And none of these posts suck. So, I'm going to subject myself to being compared to that? No, sir, I don't think so.

You know, I feel like this weeks topic is like that interview question "What is your worst attribute?" You know, the one where you take a positive thing and make it so positive it's negative (I work too hard sometimes, I over analyze). So that it's just shy of lying? Yeah, this feels like that. Though I should say that I appreciate the fact that two weeks in a row Jen has allowed us to recycle (sort of like an end of summer respite).

Ok, I'm done. Go read other people's "Bad" posts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts- RIP John Hughes

Because apparently my living room poses threats to the eyes...

Yes, yes, I know it's Tuesday. Get off my back, it was a long weekend, alright? Go see Keely at the UnMom while I gather my thoughts. Oh, krappe, she's on vacation. Well, go see whoever is subbing for her and whatever they managed to get together this week.

Ok, I have a semblance of thought now.

RIP John Hughes. In my humble opinion, the movies of the 80's are what really sets the Gen Xers apart. Now, other generations had their movies, but none so represented a generation as the 80's did the Gen Xers. Top Gun inspired leather jackets and Flashdance had it's leg warmer trend. Molly Ringwald spoke to us all, with her angst and her problems at 16. We followed the Brat Pack, and made Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson stars. And much of it was thanks to John Hughes.
In case you, like many of the people I've seen this weekend, have no idea what John Hughes directed, I'll give you a small run down:

Pretty in Pink ("May I admire you again today?")

Sixteen Candles ("I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek.")

The Breakfast Club ("You know how you said before, how your parents use you to get back at each other? Wouldn't I be outstanding in that capacity? ")

Weird Science ("Well, my nuts are halfway up my ass, but other than that, I'm perfect! ")

Ferris Bueller's Day Off ("Bueller, Bueller?")

Uncle Buck ("Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam. ")

Planes, Trains and Automobiles ("Those aren't pillows!")

There's more, I'm just tired of typing. But you get the point, I'm sure. The man was a genius at representing all that was "different" about 80's Gen X. We aren't prim and proper like the Boomers, but don't let it all hang out there quite like the Woodstock Gen Xers. We're lost somewhere in between.

And our movies and our music were our calling cards. It's not the end of an era, though Michael and John are gone. We still have Madonna, and Kenny Loggins. And we have our memories. We'll always have scrunchies, and MC Hammer pants. And I still want my MTV.

So, go find yourself a Tab, sit back and remember John Hughes. Watch this video:

And picture LG shaking his booty to the Beatles ala Ferris.

Have a good week all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

F2- 'taters

And today I shall climb back on the horse to participate in:

The Friday Feast, sponsored by Ca-Joh. For more food, folks and fun head on over to I think it's BYOB, though.
Today's topic is Potatoes. Hmmm, taters. So many things to say.
First, a funny and fortuitous story. Back last year I bought LG a pretty cool little toy. It involved an airplane with a little rolly mouse as a pilot. There were two other toys in this "series" and I thought I'd buy them one at a time, when he "earned" a toy. Stupid Mama. They no longer make them... (and yes, I learned the lesson, but them when you see them, dole them out as appropriate). So, being the anal retentive person I am, I searched for them on-line. And searched and searched. It became a mission. Finally found them at this little, never heard of toy store. Who promised to ship them in two days. Woo hoo. The box came. I was excited. Anticipation builds. I open box. And see a "SpiderMan" Mr. Potato Head. Huh? Nothing like what I ordered. Nothing like what I'd want. Kind of creepy, actually. The letter said upon trying to ship, they discovered their inventory system was wrong. They didn't have any. So, they shipped me a free Mr. Potato Head to assuage my sorrow. He, he, he. Now, while I was disappointed, I did have to giggle. Mr. Potato Head as a consolation prize? As it turns out, our nephew loves Spidy, so he got it as a random prezzie.
On to things really food related.
Have you ever heard of "Salt Potatoes"? If you're from NY, you probably have. And they are the most wonderful thing on earth. The background is that there is a huge salt mine under a large portion of western NY. Back in the 1800s the Irish that work in the mines to distill the salt used to drop their potatoes into the boiling water to make lunch. And the result was magic. They come out creamy and salty and yummy (salt makes the water boil at a higher temp, which does funky things to the starch).
In NY you can buy "Salt Potatoes" ready to boil. It's just a 4 lb bag of taters and a 1lb bag of salt, though. You can do this at home...The instructions say to dump the whole 4 lb bag into a big pot, with the big bag of salt, and boil. Slather them with butter, and eat. That's it. Easy as pie. And right now you're thinking "No wonder NY has so many problems. The people there must be simple. This isn't a delicacy." But you'd be wrong. Simple, maybe. Delicious, certainly. I can tell you, no NY summer BBQ is complete without some salt potatoes. Just keep the aspirin handy for when Grandpa has a heart attack from all the salt and butter...
The recipe (for folks who can't saunter into the Wegmans and buy a bag):
New York Salt Potatoes

8 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of kosher salt (add another cup if using the Diamond Crystal brand)
3 pounds well-scrubbed small red or white potatoes, as uniform in size as possible and with skins on
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1. Bring salt and water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Drain potatoes in a strainer and place pot back on stove over medium heat and add butter. When just melted, after about a minute, add potatoes and, if desired, herbs and black pepper. Toss and serve immediately.
Go for it this weekend. Grill yourself a nice steak and boil up some corn. And try these potatoes. Then come back and tell me what you thought.
Have a good weekend, all. And thanks Ca-Joh for reminding me that I need to make these before the summers out!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Spin Cycle- Spin It Again, Sam...

Do you all see how nicely I've added the pic this week. Cause I'm finally getting on the ball a little. Though, I bet it's because this weeks spin was to recycle an old post. And even I can manage this one. When you're all done, shut the door behind you and head over to Sprite's Keepers. She'll have some other fun spins, and maybe a sippy of milk and a macaroon.

I shall now send you back in time to February, for one of my favorite posts. Why is it my favorite? Who knows? But it reminded me that I really started blogging to let the friends and fam know what was going on with LG. And to get some thoughts out. And it's morphed into something more. But this post is before that. So, go ahead, enjoy some gratuitous LG loving...

When you're done ogling my kid, find another spinner to love on. And have a good week, as always.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Yes, yes, it's that time again. Get some fresh coffee, find the right setting on your chair and prepare for Random Tuesday Thoughts. Brought to you this week by Keely over at the Un-Mom and, apparently, The Home Despot...

* The appliance Gods hate me. It was a very long weekend of PB putting in a new hot water heater. We had plans to get one next month, but as usual, make a plan and then listen to God laugh out loud... What I want to know is, if a hot water heater isn't a home appliance, what is it? Why didn't I get my 10% off? And who put a manager in place ballsy enough to argue with a pregnant lady? Grrrr.

* LG was lonely for PB all weekend. He would waddle to the basement door, point and cry. Great. The killer? As soon as PB was done, and available to play and frolic? LG was all about being with me... Climbing in my lap, pulling on my pants leg. Really, kid??? After 39 hours straight of listening to you whine for your PB, you think I'm all about the loving??? I'd wonk you on the noggin if you weren't so cute.

* LG has suddenly decided he can talk. Not sentences or anything. But words here and there. Just enough to make me look bad. Words like "fry" or "doodle". He won't speak of "carrots" or "milk". Great. Child protective services, here I come.

* I don't enjoy the honeymoon period for a new haircut. You know what I'm talking about. You go in and ask for the same cut you got last time, but it's always a little different. Then you have to spend the next 3 days figuring out how to style it so you don't look like Halloween.

* I am so completely not ready for this new kid to arrive. Forget not having a plan for LG, a room to put the kid into, or a bag packed for the hospital. I have somehow managed to waste the last 7.5 months NOT getting mentally ready to have two kids. And now I shall panic.

* I hate picking out colors for rooms. Why is this so stressful? It's paint. If I hate it, we can re-paint. But there is yet another camouflage wall in our house, attempting to get painted. This time in blues. Argh. I'm willing myself to like one of them, but it hasn't happened yet. Tonight the saga will continue with another trip to the Home Desperate, and two more sample colors to add to the growing collage.

* I purchased LGs school year sneakers. They are even cooler than last year. Check them out:

Yup, my kid will be styling the Chucks this fall, again. Sigh, now if only I could be that cool.

Ok, off to hoist the mizzen mast and swab the decks. No rest for the wicked, and the righteous don't need one. Happy Tuesday, all.