Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness - Sir Paul

I saw this meme in my Google Reader, and knew I'd have to participate!

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Wickedness. We are like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little "twist" is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes. The quotes are in bold. Got it? Great! Let's begin this week's meme!


1. “George wrote Taxman, and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what could happen to your money.”
No one likes paying taxes. But do you think the tax system is fair?

I think it needs a lot of work.

2. “I definitely did look up to John. We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest.”
What did you think of John Lennon?

Brilliant lyricist and musician.  Terrible father and husband, at least to Cynthia and Julian, and just not a very nice guy for the most part.

3. “I saw that Meryl Streep said, I just want to do my job well. And really, that's all I'm ever trying to do.”
How do you approach your job whether in the workplace or at home?

My job is being a mom, and I love it.  I'm pretty laid back in my parenting, but my girls make it easy.

4. “I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.”
Have you found that you have more tolerance for unusual people as you get older?

I was a teenager in the 80s.  Unusual people were the norm.

5. “I don't take me seriously. If we get some giggles, I don't mind.”
How seriously do you take yourself?

I should probably lighten up about myself.  I tend to put myself down, which drives Chris crazy.

6. “I think people who create and write, it actually does flow-just flows from into their head, into their hand, and they write it down. It's simple.”
Does your blog writing just flow from your head, or is it a lot of effort?

If I have a good idea, it flows effortlessly for the most part.  But if I don't have any ideas and I want to write, it's frustrating and discouraging.

7. “Think globally, act locally.”
Do you do anything to help your local community?

I did a LOT of volunteering in the schools when my kids were younger.  Now I mostly make sure I recycle and help out Lauren's band when I'm up for it.

8. “When you first get money, you buy all these things so no one thinks you're mean, and you spread it around. You get a chauffeur and you find yourself thrown around the back of this car and you think, I was happier when I had my own little car! I could drive myself!”
Have you ever had a period where you felt that you were set financially?


9. “Lyricists play with words.”
Do you think what you write on your blog is clever or just ordinary and why?

I just write about my life, so I know I'm just one of many mom bloggers.  My blog is mostly of interest to my family, and that's OK.

10. “Where I come from, you don't really talk about how much you're earning. Those things are private. My dad never told my mum how much he was earning. I'm certainly not going to tell the world. I'm doing well.”
Who in your circle knows how much money your family makes?

 I don't share that information.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Such a Mean Mom

Today I made Lauren go to band practice.  She called me from school so I could bring her some Aleve since she wasn't feeling well, which I did.  I could tell she wanted me to take her home, but I thought she could tough it out.  Which she did, although she did call about an hour later, hoping she could come home so she wouldn't have to march.  But her band teacher was a little irritated, so she stayed.

Lauren loves band, or so she says.  And she does seem to enjoy the competitions, football halftime performances, and the friendships she's made.  But when she the least little bit tired, or off her game, she gets very pouty about going.  It's very frustrating, especially when the rest of us give up a lot of our time for her activity.

So Lauren was still feeling bad when she got home, and fell asleep on the couch.  I was fine with that.  But when she woke up a little while later, she was feeling better so I suggested she go to practice even though she'd be late.  Well, that started a whole thing of "I'm too tired;" "My stomach's upset" and so on.  I was so irritated.  I told her that if she didn't suck it up and go in that indoor drum line this year was out of the question.  And that marching band is iffy for the next couple years because I can't keep going through this.  Not to mention she lets her grades slip even though she promises she won't.

Well, she ended up going in late, even though she had a little bit of attitude on the way there.  I'm not as irritated now as I was earlier, but that might change when I pick her up in a while.

And that's my mean mom moment for today.


Top Ten Tuesday, 9/28/10

Haven't done this meme in a while!  It took a while to think of a subject, but then I decided I'd like to pick ten of my favorite pictures from my Photobucket account.  It's been fun going through my old pictures.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

This was taken in Spring of 2004 when Becca was a "Daisy" Girl Scout.  The troop went to our local fire station and took a tour.


My parents and my in-laws chipped with us to send Lauren to horse camp for her tenth birthday.  She had the BEST TIME.


A picture of the girls taken at Fish Tales restaurant in Ocean City.  One of our favorite places to hang out at the beach.


A picture of Chris at the strawberry farm, doing his best Fonzie impression.  :-)


This is how pets should be treated.  I hate hearing of abused and mistreated animals.


Getting pedis with my girls a few years ago!


Took my girls to the lake up on Catoctin Mountain several summers ago.  It was FREEZING!  But the scenery was beautiful.


And at the beach...


The girls frustrated at getting lost in the corn maze.


And finally, all of my girls having a cookie baking day:


Those are only ten out of almost 1000 pictures on Photobucket!  I see more such Top Ten Tuesdays in my future!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Me on Monday, 9/27/10

Monday already?  Seems the weekend just started!  Lauren had her first marching band competition of the season, and they did great.  I feel so proud watching her on the field.  She plays the baritone sax, an instrument almost as big as she is!  I don't know how she does it.

1.  How many TV’s do you have in your home?
We have three TVs; one in the living room, one in the basement and one in our master bedroom.  However, we can also watch TV on our computers.
2.  What is on your bedside table (nightstand)?
Books!  Books I've read, books I'm reading and books I need to read.  Plus the lamp to read them by.
3.  How many pair of shoes do you own?
I have two pairs of flip-flops I live in during the summer, Skechers toning shoes, sneakers, and a few other pairs I wear during the winter.  Nothing exciting; I'm not really a shoe gal.
4.  Can you change a flat tire?
Unfortunately, no.  It doesn't make me as nervous now that everybody (including me) has a cell phone.
5.  Do you prefer sweet treats or salty treats?
Put them together, please!  Loved salted dark chocolate caramels, Pretzel M&Ms, mixing popcorn and plain M&Ms together.  Good stuff!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Day in Georgetown

My mom-in-law is an avid photographer, but had gotten bored with the same-old, same-old around to take pictures of.  So I took her to Georgetown in Washington, DC for a change of scenery.  I don't know about her, but I got a few nice shots myself with my cell phone and crappy camera.  Plus it was just a really nice day.

Our first stop was Clyde's for lunch.  I haven't been there since I was in my late teens.  Georgetown used to be a real party town when I was in my teens and 20s, but has become more of a shopping zone now.

I like this picture, even though there is reflection from across the street.


Inside the restaurant:


I tried headcheese.  Chris's mom saw it on the menu and thought it would be good, but asked the waiter if she could try it first.  He was very nice and brought out a nice-sized piece for her.  I had to try it; I couldn't let something that daring sit there without giving it a whirl.  It wasn't bad, actually, but the texture was off, somehow.  I wouldn't order it.  But neither did she.

For lunch I had a pizza - and this was no ordinary pizza.  It was a ham, caramelized onion, fig, bleu cheese and honey pizza.  It was AMAZING.  I've never had anything like it.  Why no picture?  Because by the time I realized I should have taken one, I had practically demolished it.  Hey, I was hungry.

Next it was off to the Georgetown Waterfront Park.  On the way there we checked out the C&O Canal:


Then spotted a pretty church, which was unfortunately blocked by a tree:


Can you see the bee in this cluster of flowers?  If you know me at all, I was very brave to get that shot!


You can see the Kennedy Center from the Waterfront Park:


The Key Bridge:


And people in the water (stand-up kayaking?):


Then we trudged back up the very steep hill on Wisconsin Avenue.  Our plan was to get a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake.

This bank has been on the corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue for as long as I can remember:


We couldn't make it to Georgetown Cupcake without stopping for a drink at Dean & Deluca:


Then finally, we made it to Georgetown Cupcake.  Again no food picture because I DEVOURED IT.  But it was a caramel apple cupcake that made me wish I had bought two instead of one.


This guy permanently reads in The Shops at Georgetown, which used to be quite the busy mall with hoity-toity stores, but now seems to be mostly empty with crappy stores:


A wonderful day!  Our next photo tour will be in Old Town Alexandria (VA) on another nice day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tragedy in Our Family

MamaKat over at Mama's Losin' It! hosts a writing workshop every week where she posts prompts.  This is the one I chose.  I've been wanting to write about this incident for a long time, and this prompt finally got me to do it.


1.) In the book I'm reading, Girls of Tender Age,the main character is deeply affected by the murder of a childhood friend. Describe a tragedy you didn't expect to be as deeply affect by as you are.

My cousin Debbie and I were very close as children, but drifted away as we grew up.  The whole extended family did, actually,  once my grandmother passed.  I thought of Debbie occasionally, but we moved in different worlds, so I didn’t really try to contact her.  We both had kids, both were remarried, but our circle of acquaintances and friends were worlds apart, and I just felt like I didn’t fit into her glamorous world.

Then one night, about four years ago, my mom called.  “Debbie’s little boy drowned today.”  I was speechless.  I hadn’t even met her youngest child, yet my heart immediately broke for that little boy who was probably so scared and wanted his mommy.  He had been left to the care of a family friend for a day outing at the local pool, and the friend got distracted and forgot to keep an eye on Conner. 

I don’t handle death well in the “best” of circumstances, but the viewing and funeral for this beautiful little boy had me crying buckets of tears.  Seeing Debbie break down, slipping to the floor with grief is forever burned in my brain.  As I hugged Debbie at the funeral home, both of us bawling and holding each other tight, I could feel the years apart slip away.

I knew this was something Debbie would never get over.  What I didn’t know was that the incident was going to turn me into a wreck myself in regards to my own kids.  They didn’t know how to swim; they did the same thing Connor did and relied on “floaties”.  I had become complacent.  No more.  I was so desperate to teach my kids how to survive in water, yet they were so resistant and nervous, that I bribed them with money throughout that summer.  Thankfully, they learned, and are now like fish in any body of water.

But I still kept picturing my own girls in that little coffin.  That image stayed with me, as did the memory of Debbie’s heartbroken sobbing.  I couldn’t turn it off.  Sometimes I still can’t.  That this happened to a member of MY family, someone I called my best friend as a child, then it could happen to ME.  My view became very fatalistic in regards to my kids.  Why should Debbie lose a child and I get to keep all mine?  We shared everything as kids; would we share this experience as well?  I still haven’t been able to get totally free of this mindset, especially on the rare occasions I see Debbie when I have my girls with me.  Does Debbie resent me?  Or does she not even think of such things?  I’m afraid to ask.  I don’t want to be the cause of fresh tears either way.

So I try not to worry about my kids as best I can, and breathe a sigh of relief every night when they go to bed, safe and sound in their rooms.  However, I have a daughter who is 21, takes a lot of risks and I worry about middle-of-the-night phone calls.  I wake up grateful I was able to sleep through the night without a horrible interruption by the police or hospital.

Suffice it to say, this is going to be my life.  Worrying about my kids, but to somewhat more of extreme due to my cousin’s tragedy.  It’s exhausting, but as a mother, I have no other choice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I Finished It!


...with a day to spare - it's due at the library tomorrow.  Excellent book; I highly recommend it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet Me on Monday, 9/20/10

1. What is your favorite all time movie?

How can someone pick that?  Here's one of MANY movies I could watch over and over:


2. How often do you go over the speed limit?

More often than I care to admit!  But it's been a while since I got a ticket (hope I didn't just jinx myself).
3. What really gives you the creeps?

Japanese ghost girls, among tons of other things!

4. What is your favorite snack?

Popcorn and M&Ms, mixed together.  Anything salty/sweet, really.
5. Would you rather be a dog named Killer or a cat named Fluffy?


Monday Reading


I am STILL reading The Passage by Justin Cronin.  Will I ever finish?  I'm enjoying it very much, but it's soooooooo long (765 pages) and I've got other books to read and some to review.  It's also due back at the library on Thursday.  Will I have it finished by then?  Or will I start racking up a fine?  Stay tuned...


To check out other Monday Reading participants, go here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Urban Legends of My Childhood

Do urban legends exist anymore?  When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time afraid of the Goatman, Bloody Mary and the hook swinging off the teenager’s car door.  I remember confessing these fears to my mom on a regular basis, usually after a slumber party.  My kids don’t bring such tales home after a night with friends.  It’s kind of shame, actually. 

The Goatman was a legendary figure right in my own neighborhood.  There were woods behind the elementary school, and that’s where the Goatman lived.  It sure made recess interesting.  I didn’t like climbing high on any of the playground equipment because what if the Goatman came bounding from the trees?  I’d be trapped.  I much preferred rainy days, when recess was spent inside.

The worst, though, were hot summer nights.  Sometimes I’d fall asleep on the couch, and my parents would’ve forgotten to close the front door (you could do that back then).  I’d wake up in the middle of the night, terrified to open my eyes for fear of seeing the Goatman on my porch, peering through the screen door at me.  Even now it gives me the shivers!

And Bloody Mary - good grief.  How many times did my friends and I gather in a dark bathroom during a slumber party, both scared and giggling trying to say “Bloody Mary” ten times while rubbing the mirror?  I don’t think we ever made it past five without busting out of the bathroom screaming.  Someone always knew someone who knew someone who had gotten her face scratched by Bloody Mary after completing the chant.  I swear, to this day I have trouble being in a dark room alone if there’s a mirror in there.  I wouldn’t chant those words on a bet!

I’m glad my girls don’t spend time obsessing over such things as I did, but I think that freaking out and giggling over horror stories and legends is a fun part of childhood.  I’ve told them about the Goatman and Bloody Mary, and they pretty much just shrugged over it.  I guess urban legends aren’t as exciting as cell phones and iPods.

But that’s OK.  The original  Night of the Living Dead is in my Netflix Instant Watch Queue.  Their quiet lives are going to get a bit more exciting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Stuff

How do other bloggers, moms and otherwise, manage to post an entry every day?  Either I can't think of anything to write about (who really cares about the mundane events in my life?) or I don't have time.  Well, I have time, but unfortunately, I have a Facebook/Farmville addiction that must be fed.  I'm also reading a HUGE book (The Passage by Justin Cronin) which is a freaking door stop but really good.  I have to have that read before it's due back at the library since there are other holds on it so I can't renew it.  After that, I have a book to read that I said I'd review.

Speaking of reviewing books, I was reading a PDF for review that was just AWFUL.  I forced myself to read about 50 pages, but just couldn't do it.  I felt really guilty, but I had to email the publisher and let him know there was no way I could finish the book, let alone review it.  But once I did email him, what a weight off my shoulders!  Life is too short to read crappy books.


I just checked my email, and the editor wrote me back.  He completely understood the book wasn't my "cup of tea" and offered me a new book to read and review.  I'm so glad he was cool about it.

I've been walking every day this week, and yesterday I started the Wii Fit.  Yet I've gained a couple pounds this week.  Frustrating!  I'm eating healthy, so I'm wondering if the meds I'm taking have something to do with it.  But I guess I'd rather be a little overweight but happy rather than miserably depressed and skinny.  And I know it's silly, but buying jeans one size up just gets to me.  It feels like I'm giving up or something, but it's better than lying on the bed struggling to zip up, right?

Of course, my recent baking spree isn't helping.  Check out the peach crumble bars I made a few days ago:


I love the cup and saucer; they belonged to my beloved grandmother, Mom-Mom.  I only use them for photographing food; I'm afraid I'll break them if I used them on a regular basis.

And finally, a recent picture of Lauren and Becca, taken by Chris's mom.  Am I in trouble, or what?



Monday, September 13, 2010

I Baked Today!

Peach Crumb Bars

Meet Me on Monday, 9/13/10

1. What is your favorite pasta dish?

I love pasta in almost every form, but a simple bowl of tortellini with a little butter, fresh ground pepper and some Parmesan is my favorite.

2. What is the last thing you do before going to bed?

Shut down my computer, brush my teeth and stumble up the stairs (if my sleep aid has kicked in).

3. How many nights a week do you go out to eat?

We go out to eat only about once or twice a month, at least when school starts.  We might go out a little more often in the summer, especially when we go on day trips.

4. Are you an avid book reader?

My to-be-read shelf plus library books:


My book collection (not including books strewn about the house) - the books on this shelf are categorized and alphabetized:


5. Would you rather have x-ray vision or bionic hearing?

I really don't want to see strangers' birthday suits on a daily basis, so I'll pick the bionic hearing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nothing Exciting Going On

Just been hanging out, cleaning, running errands, taking care of sicks kids.  Life is so different during the school year than it is during the summer.  Now that marching band has started up, weekends aren't our own most of the time until mid-November.  It's still nice in Ocean City!  But we can't go.  Don't get me wrong; I love watching Lauren and the band perform, but it is hard to have so much of our family time taken up.

Chris and I went out to dinner just the two of us for the first time in AGES.  It was nice.  We also did a little shopping and got some Dairy Queen, and I proceeded to brag about it to the girls since they love DQ.  I'm such a great mom.

I'm reading a book to review and I'm not enjoying it.  Not only is it in PDF, but I just don't think I get what's going on.  It's very disjointed.  Can I get through 300-and-some pages in PDF? Can I write a fair review?  "The font was very legible." That'll be the extent of it.

Why am I so fascinated with hoarders?  I can't get enough of those shows.  I discovered today that the first season is on Netflix Instant Watch, and it was ridiculous how gleeful that made me.  My house certain wouldn't be featured in House Beautiful, but it's pretty clean, if a little cluttered.  I'd love to run a camera during one of the episodes.  Becca's dying to see a real-life hoarder's house.  Is it bad that I let her watch with me?

See?  Just like the title said, nothing exciting going on.  But that can be a good thing.