Monday, November 30, 2009

Public Enemy #1

So, today's the last day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), in which the goal was to post every single day for the month of November. 30 posts in 30 days. I could have taken the easy way out and posted a quick, "Ha - did it. Done. I win." post and let it go - but I won't.

No - today I'm going to get all deep and philosophical and esoteric and all that stuff. So, if you want to tune out right now, I understand. Some people just can't handle deep and philosophical and esoteric on a Monday morning. I don't blame you. You can leave. Now.

For those of you still here, today's topic is all about what I consider the WORST, most EVIL, most HORRIBLE enemy of women ever created:


I hate gravity.

I hopped out of the shower this morning - faced with a huge mirror - and I saw the effects of gravity. And it was VERY, VERY scary.

And I've decided that I don't like gravity at all. Nope - not at all.

That's all. That's the end of my deep & philosophical rant today. Not much more to say about it, is there? Unless someone knows a way to counter effect it - if you do, please, let me know. Please. Soon.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Toadstool Sandwich with Arsenic Sauce

The Grinch.

We all know him. We all love him. Well, okay - we love him after he has his epiphany and his heart grows 3 times and he gives Christmas back to the Whos in Whoville and he's nice to Max, his dog. (I always loved that little dog - I guess it's because I used to have a dog named Max a long, long time ago. Poor little Max, forced to be the reindeer and pull that heavy sled...oops, I digress.)

Anywho (ha!), I find myself sometimes falling into my "Grinch" mood this time of year. It's easy to do.

I look at the multitude of cars parked at the grocery store and I think, "Why do ALL those people decide to go grocery shopping at the same time I do?! Can't they come back another time?!"

I look at all the hordes of shoppers at the mall and I think, "Geez, people - get a life. Go shopping another time. Or do it on the internet, like me. Go away so I can have the mall to myself!!!"

I look at my to-do list and I think, "This is insane. Why do I have to have so many freakin' kids and grandkids? Why do I always have to do all of the gift shopping? Why doesn't hubby help? Why do I have to plan all of the parties and buy all of the food and keep the calendar up to date?"

I look at the mountains of gifts bought and I think, "Why do I have to wrap all of these? Man, that takes a lot of time and effort. Who has the time OR the effort? Certainly not me!"

I look at my house and I think, "Why do I have to decorate it? Can't we just leave it the way it is? Why do I have to put lights on my tree? Why do I even have to put up a tree in the first place?!"

And then, as I was reminded just this morning in church, it's not about the food - or the gifts - or the wrapping paper - or the decorations - or the tree. It's really not. The Grinch took all of those things from the Whos, with the cruel intention of taking away their Christmas.

And it didn't work.

The Whos still celebrated Christmas. It didn't matter that they had nothing material. They knew they were blessed just because of what the day represented. They all gathered around Christmas morning, held hands, and joyfully sang their hearts out.

And I snapped out of my Grinch mood. And I remembered how blessed I am. And I will joyfully go shopping for food and gifts; I will joyfully wrap them; I will joyfully plan & attend the holiday parties; and I will joyfully decorate. Because those things are visual reminders of just how blessed I am.

I know, I know. I don't need the reminders. But they're all fun. And they're all good.

So - no termites in my smile today. My heart's not a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots today.

Nope - my heart is 3x bigger today. I'm blessed.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mother Nature's Valium

If you're any kind of "Sherlock Holmes", then you have deduced that my life is somewhat crazy-busy and over the top. And it usually is always (wait - does that sense? "Usually always"???? Oh well....) crazy busy - it never slows down.

Except for my mornings.

This is the view from my fact, I'm laying in bed as I took this photo...and that's "my" lake. Every morning, when I open my eyes, I'm treated to a delightful vision of Mother Nature in her finest.... The sun is just peeking out over the water; the birds are flying over the lake, swooping in to catch their morning breakfast; and the water....well, it just is. And it's beautiful just as it is.

This is when I just lie there - taking it all in....breathing deeply....relaxing...before the craziness begins. It keeps me going, knowing that tomorrow morning, I get to wake up all over again and take it all in. Again.

Do you have daily rituals that calm you? That keep you focused? Grounded? That make you just want to say, "Wow. God is good."?


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Blues

Black Friday shopping today? Uh, no thanks. Just the thought of fighting the traffic, wrestling over parking spaces, doing my best take-down moves to grab merchandise, and then standing....more standing...and even more standing in a check-out line - makes me want to run to the kitchen and gouge myself with the turkey wishbone.

Give me Cyber Monday any day. Still in my flannel pajamas, with a cup of hot cocoa in my hand, I can sit on my comfortable sofa with my handy-dandy laptop in hand - and leisurely shop the best deals online. And have my friendly UPS guy deliver the goodies right to my front door. Ahhhh.....bliss.

So, today - no shopping for me. Today, we move. Part 2. The "rest of the stuff" comes over today. My goal is to be unpacked & decorated for Christmas by Sunday night - so that on Monday?

I'll be shopping. In my little cabin on the lake.



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Declaration of Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving…tradition in our house will have us heading over to my mom & dad’s house, where my mom has slaved over the turkey all morning. I’ll bring the veggies, and my sister will bake the pies. We’ll gorge ourselves on food – then retire to the living room where we’ll watch either a movie or NFL football….Later, we’ll break out the pies and eat some more…and then stumble home in our calorie-induced comas, ready for bed.

I thought it would be fun to post a “Declaration of Thanksgiving” that was issued by then-President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. I have always enjoyed reading his speeches – he was a skilled orator, as you can see if you read this. I think if you put it in the context of when he wrote this - when our nation was in the midst of a civil war - and then apply it to today - when there seems to be so much discord and strife and yes, even war (in Iraq and elsewhere) that the words are especially fitting.


Declaration of Thanksgiving
by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.

I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

A. Lincoln

Isn't it beautiful?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Somewhat True & Heavily Twisted Tale of Thanksgiving

…with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore…..

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving,
and all through our cabin…
We’re surrounded by chaos,
So cooking’s not happenin’.

We’ve got workmen downstairs,
installing tile and grout –
There’s an electrician in the closet –
and contractors running about.

Our kitchen is a disaster;
We don’t know where anything’s at…
Pots and pans still in boxes,
so no chance of getting fat.

I in my work clothes
and hubby in his jeans
had just settled in…
to start cooking the beans….

When out in the driveway
there arose such a noise –
I looked out the front window
and saw my teenage boys.

They’re home for the holiday!
And they’re expecting a big meal.
I go to greet them and say,
“Uh….so here’s the deal….

“We’ve been remodeling this house
…since way before June…
and I honestly thought
that it would be done pretty soon.

"But that’s not the case
as you can plainly see…
I hate to break it to you, boys,
But we don’t have a turkey.”

“No turkey!” they exclaim,
“Ridiculous!” they shout,
And then they proceeded
to have a good pout.

It was just about this time
that my phone began to ring…
My mother’s on the line,
and she proceeds to sing…

“Happy Thanksgiving to You”,
she warbles with glee…
and I cry out, “Mom – stop!”
“It’s a disaster! Can’t you see?!”

I tell her our woes
and how we can’t cook…
She listens for a while,
and then she says, “Look-”

“I’m calling to invite you
& the whole gang to our house!
Pack up the kids, the dog,
the cats – even the mouse!”

“Come on over tomorrow -
Don’t worry about food.
It’s YOU we want to see!
And in a good mood!”

Aren’t families wonderful?
My mom is especially neat…
She’s cooking & baking for us
and that’s where we’ll eat.

We’ll have turkey and stuffing,
green beans and pie…
And then we’ll have seconds,
because, of course, we’re not shy.

So thank you for indulging me
On this pathetic little rhyme.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving,
And I’ll see you next time!

**Okay, confession time: I took poetic liberties with this tale…

1. My boys want to point out that they don’t “pout.” They may sulk, but they most definitely don’t “pout.”
2. We don’t own a mouse. And if we did – we wouldn’t take it to Grandma’s.
3. My mom didn’t have to do all of the cooking. My mom always does the turkey and I always do the veggies – so, I was able to find enough pots and pans to make all of the side dishes. And I even made a Pumpkin cheesecake. I love to cook – and I love to cook for Thanksgiving, especially!

Everything else is true. ☺



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

10 on Tuesday: Thankfulness

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought I'd devote today's "10 on Tuesday" to things I am thankful for. Is this list all inclusive? Heck, no - how could it be? My life would be sad indeed if I could only find 10 things I'm grateful for. Is this list in a particular order? Heck, no - who has time to sit and ponder how to "order" the things I'm thankful for....I certainly don't! I have too much to do to be getting ready for the big holiday - like, as in "get my butt into the kitchen and get to cookin' and bakin'!"

So - my list:

1. Freedom of speech. One of the most important freedoms we have – and I am very grateful for it. The fact that we can use Social Media (Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc) and post whatever we want to express online – is a wonderful thing and should not be taken for granted. I thank God I live in a country that doesn’t censor what we print or say. (for the most part)

2. Freedom of travel. For those of us living here in the United States, we can pretty much pack our passport and go anywhere in the world relatively very easy. Not everyone can do this. I have a good friend who lives in Guatemala City, who will be unable to make it up here to the States for her son’s wedding because of government red tape in trying to obtain a visa. We should never, ever take this freedom for granted. Ever. The world is so big and there's so much to explore - and our only limitations are time and money.

3. Freedom of religion. I am so thankful that I can go to any church of my choosing and worship the way I want to, when I want to, and who I want to. I can say the prayers I want to and I can sing the songs I want to...for that? I'm grateful.

4. Our military. My daughter, who’s in the Army, has served two tours of duty in Iraq. My son served one tour in Iraq through the Navy. I know what it’s like to be holding your breath every day hoping you don’t get the dreaded knock on the door. Our men and women in uniform are protecting us and our freedoms and I am SO proud of them and I am so thankful for them, that words will never express the gratitude I feel. I salute all of you - and all of your families you've left behind in your service.

5. The media. Strange as it may sound – I am thankful for the ability to turn on the television, or the radio, or pick up a newspaper – and read the news. It may be right-wing, it may be left-wing – but the fact that it’s available – and hasn’t been censored – is a huge freedom and just one more thing I am thankful for. There’s so many ways to get our information now – television, print, internet – it’s all good.

6. My teachers. For all of the teachers, professors and other mentors who touched me and molded me as I grew up – a huge thank you. The fact that they thought I was important enough to invest their time and effort – I will be forever in their debt. I am the person I am today because of them.

7. First responders. I am thankful for the police, the firemen, the medics, the rescuers – all of the people who respond in a disaster, risking their own lives in order to save others. Volunteering with the American Red Cross, I’ve had an opportunity many times to see these heroes in action – I salute them.

8. My family, friends, coworkers, pets & children. My circle of loved ones – family, friends, pets, co-workers – have all been inspirational to me. Again, I’m the person I am today because of them. They support me, they humor me, they indulge me – and they still love me. I am so blessed to be part of such a wonderful circle of life.

9. My health. Okay, I know I have struggled with some ongoing health issues – but in the scope of things – it’s nothing major. I am not spending my time in a hospital, surrounded by nurses and doctors – so I am grateful that my issues are relatively minor. Annoying? Yes. But minor.

10. My hubby. He is my rock. He’s my strength. He’s my best friend. He’s my life. I am always thankful he’s there and will never take him for granted.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Besides the "usual," such as family, friends, etc - do you have something "unusual?"


Monday, November 23, 2009

For Sale: Daughter With Big Mouth

Anyone in the market for a new daughter? I have one I’m selling. Heck, I’d give her away at this point. She does come, though, with a consumer warning. She operates best if you put duct tape over her mouth. Seriously.

So, here’s the story. Saturday, we’re helping the fire family load up some of our extra furniture from the old house. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read the post about furniture and Prozac. Yeah, that one.

Back to my story - one of the things we’re donating is a television set. A big one. The problem: the TV set is upstairs – and it’s gotta’ get downstairs so it can go out the door, onto the truck. I look around – I’m by myself. No one is in my perimeter to help me carry the freakin’ thing, and I’m in too much of a hurry to wait for someone to help me. So, I do it myself.

I carried that 500-pound TV (okay, perhaps I exaggerate slightly – but it sure seemed like half a ton!) down the freakin’ stairs and out onto the truck. And I think, “That’s that. I don’t need no stinkin’ muscle men to help me. I am Woman. Hear me roar.”

So, later that afternoon, daughter and I are driving back to the old house, cruising down the highway, when all of a sudden – WHAT THE HELL was that pain in my back??!!! Oh my God, that hurt!

Spasm. Really bad spasm. Spasm so bad I broke out into a sweat. Yeah, that bad. After it’s over, I think, “Wow. That was intense. Hopefully, that’s it.”

No such luck.

Two minutes later – holy smokes! – HERE IT COMES AGAIN! Geesh, that hurts!

Off an on – all the way home. Pain so bad I was seriously doing Lamaze breathing exercises so I could drive and die at the same time.

Daughter gets very concerned, saying, “Are you okay? You should tell Daddy.”

I say, through gritted teeth, “I’m fine – and do NOT tell Daddy.”

I’ve been married to “Daddy” long enough to know that he will not have any sympathy if he hears about this. Oh no, he will not. Instead of sympathy, I will get the “What the hell were you thinking?” lecture which also includes the “You’re CRAZY, you know that?!” commentary.

So – what Daddy doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right?

Of course, the minute we got home, Dear Daughter ran right in to tell Daddy that Mommy’s back was really, really sore. So, instead of a nice, delicious dinner, I got the lecture. And for dessert? The “crazy” comment. And no sympathy.

And Sunday morning at church? A couple walked up to me and said, “We hear you hurt your back. You’re on the prayer list now for our class.”

I looked at them in shock, like they had psychic or ESP powers or something, and they said, “Oh – your daughter told us. She was in our Sunday School class this morning.”

It will probably be on CNN tomorrow – or “Good Morning, America.” Perhaps Oprah’s already heard the news by now and will be calling me for an exclusive interview. My daughter hasn’t left anyone out, I’m sure, in her quest to spread the news.

Of course, Dr. Oz will probably have me on his show and give me the lecture about not lifting heavy things by myself. And then Dr. Phil will have me on to tell me I’m crazy.

And I’ll smile sweetly and say, “Tell me something I don’t know, Dr. Phil. Tell me how to stop these murderous thoughts towards my big-mouth daughter.”


Disclaimer: I love my daughter – big mouth and all. And I love my hubby – editorials and all. And my back? It sucks. But I’ll be fine.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Day in the Life: Sunday


My favorite day of the week.

"Why is that, Drama Queen?" you ask.

"Well, Dear Readers - I'll tell you!" I reply.

First, Sunday means the Sunday paper.I love the Sunday paper. I love reading the newspaper, period. But the Sunday paper - it's especially wonderful. It's thick. It's heavy. And it's delivered to me in bed every Sunday by my wonderful hubby. Yes, I may tease him and pick on him, but he really is an angel. Sometimes.

After savoring every square inch of newsprint in the paper, we then get ready for church.

I love my church. I love the people. I love the messages. And I especially love the music. Hubby and I joined the Gospel Choir a few months back - which is the best choir for me, because my body just won't sit still when it hears music. Seriously - it begins to sway, my foot begins to tap, and my fingers begin to snap. The Gospel Choir is all about the beat and the rhythm and the dancing during the music. The song we sang today, "Total Praise," is one of my favorites just because of the ending. We go into 4-part harmony at the end, singing "Amen" over and over - and it just ROCKS!

After church means lunch at La Fuente, my favorite Mexican restaurant.We go there every Sunday after church and so the staff there knows us and they like us. I think they do, anyway. We leave good tips. They will turn the pre-game football show on just for us. Seriously. When we walk in every Sunday - on goes the TV and I get to watch the pre-game shows. I love eating my delicious cheese enchiladas and watching some pre-game analysis.

Because, then - after we get home from lunch - it's FOOTBALL!Doesn't matter that my Kansas City Chiefs are horrible this year - doesn't matter that we've only won one Super Bowl EVER in the history of the game - I am a fan. And a true fan never gives up. And stays faithful. Every Sunday. A game at noon. And then another game at 3:00 pm. Six hours of blessed football. Life is good.

After football, it's normally family time...our family is so large (7 kids, 8 grandkids - so far - and growing all of the time!) that someone, somewhere, is normally having a birthday party. And you can't have a birthday party without cake. With blue icing. And an angelic granddaughter with said blue icing on the nose. :)

Yes, siree, Sundays are special here in Drama Queen's house. So, I'm off to enjoy mine.

What are YOUR Sundays like? Favorite traditions? Favorite routines you like to do? What is your favorite day of the week?



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keeping My Furniture Off of Prozac

Isn’t life funny sometimes?

If you remember last week, we moved (halfway, at least) to the new house. And you may remember that the same day of the move, our town was hit with a huge apartment fire. And if you really remember hard, you may recall that I left Hubby with the movers so I could go assist the families affected by the fire on behalf of the American Red Cross. It was quite a day last week, for sure. A little too much excitement for moving day, if you ask me.

Anywho, quite a bit of our belongings have not made their way to the new house. For whatever reason – whether it’s because we don’t know where to put it – or it doesn’t “fit” – or it’s not the right style or color for the new house – we have almost a houseful of furniture sitting neglected. Abandoned. Unused. Depressed.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s good furniture. But I just can’t make it work. So – for several weeks, the question running through the back of my mind has been, “What the heck do I DO with all of this stuff?” Do I sell it? Frankly, I don’t have time to go to the trouble of listing it on CragisList or eBay. If you haven’t figured it out by now, my life has been crazy busy lately….showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Do I donate it? To whom? Haul it up to Goodwill? Yeah, like I have time for that, too. Not.

And so….the furniture just sits. In a house empty of people. Lonely. Sad. Suicidal. I could see it sinking deeper and deeper into depression each day. And yet, I was powerless to stop it. Unless I could get my hands on some Prozac. Pronto.

And then…Providence stepped in.

We received a phone call two days ago. My stepdaughter was on the phone, and she asked, “Hey – do you remember all of those families who were in the huge apartment fire last week?”

“Of course I remember,” I replied. “I worked that fire! It was the day we were moving. Why?” I asked.

“Well, I know some of those families – and we’re trying to get them back on their feet. Do you have any furniture or stuff to spare?” she asked.

Are you kidding me?

Thank you, Jesus! ☺

I’m happy – the fire families are happy – and my furniture is happy.

Sometimes procrastination is a good thing. If you just sit – and do nothing – it will all work out in the end. Sometimes. And no drugs are needed. For me OR my furniture.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Send in the Clowns

I have a severe case of coulophobia. Fear of clowns, for those of you not into phobias.

I remember going to the circus as a child and being totally freaked out by the clowns. The make-up, the wild outfits, the weird hair - yeah, it was all bad. I mean, look at that picture above! Those guys are scary. Seriously.

I loved the animals, though. Especially the lions and tigers and elephants. I've always loved the eyelashes on elephants. Does that make me weird? I just thought the long eyelashes made the elephants look so sweet.

I'm reminiscing about circuses today because I feel like a juggler. I should be a juggler. A professional juggler. I can juggle 100 different things at one time. I am the Drama QUEEN of juggling.

If you've been following the story of the Drama Queen, then you know we bought a new house in June. Woo hoo. That was the good news. The bad news is, we totally gutted the inside of the house and have been doing an extensive remodel on the inside. Yeah, we're talking "Extreme Home Makeover". NOTHING on the inside is original. A 5-month remodeling project, to date. Oh, joy.

In September, the ladies of my new neighborhood approached me and asked if they could put my house on "tour." I politely declined, saying, "I'm so sorry, but my house isn't done yet." They said, "Oh, not NOW, Drama Queen. The tour isn't until December 3."

"What is this tour?", I asked.

An annual homes tour in the neighborhood where 5 houses are chosen each year for a one-day tour to show off Christmas decorations and remodeling projects, I was told. They wanted to see OUR remodeling job.

Okay, in my defense of what happened next, December seemed a LONG way off at that time - so I then said, "Sure - come on over! I'm just sure it will all be done by then."

God must have laughed.

Today is November 20th, right? Well, guess what? The remodeling is not done. Nope. Oh, half of the house is done - but the other half is not. The tour is less than 2 freakin' weeks away and my house isn't done. I have floors downstairs waiting for tile to be laid. I have a layer of dust so thick you could cut it with a knife. I have walls not painted - trim unlaid - doors not hung. Carpet to be installed. Granite to be installed. Cabinets to be hung.

I am trying to juggle everything - when can the floors get done? When is the granite coming? When is the tile going to be grouted? When can I get doors hung? When can the painters come and touch-up? When can I decorate for Christmas? Most importantly, when can I get all of this DUST out of here and CLEAN this house??!! No, wait - that's not the most important. The most important - when can I schedule my nervous breakdown? Followed by a 2-week visit to a spa for recovery?

Valium, anyone?

Yes, it's a circus here in the Drama Queen's world. And besides being the Juggler, I'm the crazy lady up on the high wire, delicately walking along hoping I don't fall flat on my face. I'm the imbecile sticking my head in the lion's mouth. I'm the trapeze artist, hoping against hope that my timing is impeccable and I "don't miss" the hand-off.

Send in the clowns.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Day Hell Froze Over

A fellow blogger, Mama Kat (@, inspired today’s post. She challenged her readers to write a blog about “A Thanksgiving to be Remembered.” It didn't take long for me to come up with my most favorite (& funny) memory of Thanksgiving.

The most memorable Thanksgiving I ever had was the year that my Grandma learned a whole new vocabulary. A vocabulary that would normally have moms running to get the bar of soap and washing the mouth out of the offender. THAT kind of vocabulary.

A little background – my Grandma was one of the most religious, straight-laced women I had ever known. She was EXTREMELY strict about her faith – no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, and NO swearing! Not even “darn” was allowed! My cousin and I spent the summer with her when we were both 12 years old, and Grandma would wake us up every morning at 5:30 a.m. for Bible study. Yeah – it was like that. You can imagine how two 12-year old girls enjoyed getting up before the freakin’ sun every morning during our summer vacation to study the Bible.

Anywho – a family tradition after Thanksgiving dinner was to pop a DVD in and sit back and relax and watch a movie together.

And several years ago, it was my turn to pick the movie out, and I wanted everyone to watch Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” Yeah – that one – the movie where every other word is a 4-letter word; the F-bomb is dropped more than all the bombs in WW2 – and the movie is bloody, violent, sick, sadistic, twisted – but oh, so funny, in a weird, Quentin Tarantino way. One of the best. movies. ever. (Yeah, I’m sick.)

Now, Grandma would never watch the Thanksgiving movie with us. She’d normally go and lay down after dinner and do the “too much tryptophan in the turkey” nap. So, this particular Thanksgiving, Grandma heads off to the bedroom to do her thing, and the rest of us trip down the stairs to do our thing – watch a little “Pulp.”

We’re kickin’ it – about a third of the way through the movie – when – the unthinkable happens - dum dum DUM… walks Grandma. We all shoot each other the “What the hell?!” look – and immediately following that, the “What the hell should we do NOW?” look. Do we turn the movie off so as to not offend Grandma? Or do we continue to watch it – the heck with Grandma, this is OUR tradition and we’re not changing it for anybody? Hmmmm…..what to do, what to do…meanwhile, the movie is playing on, the F-bombs are flying, and we realize that Grandma is………chuckling.

We weren’t sure that’s what it was at first. We all then gave each other the, “What the hell are we hearing?” look….as in, “Are you SERIOUS? Grandma’s laughing??!!?!” I don’t know that we’d ever heard her laugh before. Really.

Yes, hell froze over that day. We all sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the movie. Including Grandma. She loved it. How do I know? After it was over, she said, “That was one of the best darn movies I ever saw!” Yup. She said “darn.” Get the soap.

That was the only movie Grandma ever joined us for. We lost her last year – about a week after Thanksgiving, actually. So, no more opportunities to share a movie with her.

But – I bet she’s laughing in Heaven right now. Who knows? Maybe she’s watching “Pulp Fiction” with the angels.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Almost"** Wordless Wednesday: Sunset in Jamaica

Winter came a bit early to Kansas City this year – we’ve already had our first snowfall, and we’ve had grey, drizzly skies since Sunday….I so miss the sun. Bleh - this weather sucks.

So – I thought I would “warm” things up today with a Wordless Wednesday photo. This is a photo taken in Jamaica in January 2009; I was there for a medical mission in Falmouth. We worked hard – trust me – but we did take a day and go to Doctor Cove’s Beach near Montego Bay – and this is where I captured this sunset.

If I don't see the real sun in the next 24 hours, I'm going to pull someone's hair out. (Not mine - I'm too vain. Maybe hubby's hair. He has plenty to spare. I could try the cat's hair but that would be painful. To me.)


**Title changed to make Jenny happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And The Oscar Goes To....

I won! I won!

My very first blog award – I am SO honored! Yes, I won the very prestigious & highly sought-after “From Me to You” blog award! With my fellow bloggers' assistance, I managed to finally upload a picture of the award right up there! At the top! That big blue thing - that's it!

My award is from one of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth, at Elizabeth’s blog caught my attention because her blog could have been written by me. I could relate to her experiences – and I just “get” her. I used to be a working mom myself – before I went crazy retired – and so her “confessions” hit close to home. Also – how weird is this? We both knew who Lawrence Tynes is….if YOU know who he is, welcome to a small, exclusive club!

So, please, go check out her adventures and confessions and tell her I sent you!

So, back to the award – which is just FABULOUS! In accepting this honor, I would like to first thank my publisher, “Blogspot,” who made this all possible…and of course, I have to thank my very patient Hubby, who provides me with so much blogging material…and thanks to all of my fans – who give me so much support and criticism and hugs and all that blogger love!

I’m going to put this award right next to my Oscar on my mantel in the new house! It will look SO good next to my Emmy and my Tony…and that “empty” spot you see over there? That’s for the Golden Globe or the People’s Choice Awards – which I’m just SURE are right around the corner! Oh – what’s that you say? You mean it’s not THAT kind of award? What? I don’t get a little miniature golden man statue? I don’t get ANY little statue? Well, that stinks!

Oh, dear readers – I jest. I don’t need a little weird-looking dust collector on my mantel to feel the love…..! All I need is a cute little picture on my blog and I am a happy girl!

So, without further ado, I have to follow the rules that come with this award. Yes, you read that right…this award comes with RULES! How fun is that?! So, in following the rules, I must tell you all 7 things that you don’t know about me.

1. I sleep all curled up in a little ball, totally buried underneath several blankets – I mean, even my head and face are under the covers….I do this to maintain a constant body temperature while I sleep – weird? Perhaps, but it works for me! If my face is out of the covers, then my face is considered “cold” and I will not be able to sleep.

2. I do not like breakfast foods…at all. Eggs? Excrutiating. Pancakes? Puke. Waffles? Even worse! Oatmeal? OMG – gag me. However, knowing that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah, blah, blah” – I would love to eat a S’more Pop Tart every day, but I settle for a Special K breakfast bar. Yummo.

3. In my “real life”, I am famous for being obsessively organized. My clothes are first organized by season, then by type, and then by color. My canned goods are in alphabetical order in my pantry. My CD & DVD collections are in alphabetical order, as well….OCD, perhaps? Yes. I admit it. I own it. I live it.

4. I am a fantastic vacation itinerary planner. You can tell me where you’re going, when you’re going, and for how long – and I can come back with the most FANTASTIC itinerary you’ve ever seen – for a vacation of a lifetime. I usually do it just for my own family – but I’ve been known to do it for friends or extended family who beg. Or offer me chocolate.

5. Some people’s ancestors were Italian…or German…or French…I believe that my ancestors were hobos. I could seriously put a knapsack on a stick, hop on a train, and travel the world.

6. I hate Kate Gosselin. There – I’ve said it. “Jon & Kate Plus 8” should have been off the air a long time ago. I am sick of seeing her on the cover of every magazine I see at the store. Enough – go away already.

7. I am a morning news junkie. Before I even hop into the shower, I’m turning on the TV in my bathroom to the local morning news show – I love traffic, weather and sports. Then, I flip over to “Good Morning, America” for the national news. If I don’t get my daily “fix”, it’s not pretty.

Now, I'm supposed to pass this on to 7 other bloggers - but, in the spirit of NaMoBloPo, (National Blog Posting Month), I'm going to save that part for another day - yes, I'm going to stretch this out to TWO posts! So, check back later and see who I pass the award to....

In the meantime, I'm going to savor the moment and then head over to the after-award parties - I hear Wolfgang Puck throws quite a party after Awards Night....I'll be dodging the paparazzi, of course, so I don't know if you'll get to see my beautiful designer gown I'm wearing....

You'll just have to use your imagination...(and keep in mind I look just like Angelina Jolie. Uh huh.)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Shaking the Rafters

What do you get when you mix a group of white, middle-class wanna-be Gospel singers with a group of black, inner-city absolutely-dynamic singers?

One amazing Gospel concert that blew the roof off the church Sunday night.

We've been practicing now for weeks...learning new songs, learning the tempos, learning how to inject a little "soul" into our singing.

We hooked up with the inner-city church and put on a free concert Sunday night - 90 minutes of some amazing, tear-inducing music that shook the rafters of the church and had people on their feet, clapping and "woo-hooing" for more.

My vocal chords are fried...but my heart is full with the power of the music. It got to me, that's for sure. I don't have much to post today - still recovering from last night. My lungs got a work-out - I had to reach down deep to pull it all out.

But it was awesome. It really was.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Secret to My Success

We’ve been in our new house since Wednesday – and all I’ve managed to get unpacked so far are my clothes, shoes and handbags.

I have my priorities, you know.

I’ve also realized that if I keep procrastinating on unpacking the kitchen stuff – then I don’t have to cook. And we have to go out to eat every night where someone else has to cook. And someone else has to do the dishes. And I get waited on. ☺

Yup – I’ve got this all figured out.

Let’s just see how long it takes for hubby to catch on to my little trick.


P.S. Halfway though NanBloPoMo – and I’m 15 for 15. Ha. Take that, NBPM!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Obsessed With a Miter Saw

I am dusty. I am bruised. I am exhausted. And I have a very sore puncture wound in my index finger - man, for such a little tiny boo-boo - it HURTS!

I have been drilling and sawing and measuring and hammering away today for Habitat for Humanity.

And it was FUN!

(Well, except for when I reached into my tool apron for a drywall screw and the little sucker punctured my finger...OUCH!)

We assisted a family of 5 - mom, dad (who worked right along beside us) and their 3 children - including one who is handicapped. The weather was grey, cloudy, and chilly - the threat of rain hanging in the air all day. We started early in the morning - 8:00 am (on a SATURDAY, no less?!!) and finished up about 3:00 pm. Whew.

We hung sheetrock, among other things. And I have to say - with pride - that I am an experienced drywall installer, thanks to all of the mission trips I have gone on. I can side - with pride - that when someone asks for a drywall rasp - I know what they're talking about. I know my tools.

And Santa? If you're reading this blog - because I'm sure Santa has nothing better to do at the North Pole all day other than to read blogs - I would like my own miter saw for Christmas. Pretty please?

I'm really falling in love with a miter saw. I could use that piece of beauty all day.

I need some serious help, I think.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Alarm Clock Dyslexia

So we had our first night in the new house. We didn’t get much unpacking done, but I did get beds set up and alarm clocks set and school clothes set out. We were READY for whatever the morning would bring.

Our very first morning, I wake up and realize I don’t hear 10-year old daughter getting ready for school. Remember – this is the child who needs 2 hours in the morning to get ready – and I never ask why. I just stay out of her way and let her do whatever it is she feels she needs to do. It’s just easier that way.

Anywho, it’s only 30 minutes before the bus comes, so this is very unusual. I’d better go investigate….

I head down the stairs and find her sound asleep, snug as a bug in her bed in her new bedroom. Snoring away – not a care in the world.

In my rush to get things done last night, I had set her alarm for 5:30 PM instead of 5:30 AM.


She was really grumpy when I woke her up. I can’t imagine why.

So anyone else out there ever get alarm clock dyslexia? Surely, I can’t be the only one. I’m not, am I?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Lesson About Stuff

Five months.

Five months we've waited for this day. Moving day.

We bought the house in June and then ripped it apart. Basically. Mostly. Messily.

We've had dozens of workmen crawling over every inch of the house - electricians, sheet rockers, painters, tilers, carpet layers - like ants scurrying over an ant hill.

Moving day kept getting pushed back. The granite is delayed. The painters can't paint until the tiler is done. The tiler can't get done until the electrician is done. You know how it is - everything has to be done at the precise time, in the precise order, or it doesn't get done.

November 11 is finally set to be "THE" day - moving day. Arrangements are made with the movers - the boxes are packed - and we can hardly sleep the night of November 10th because our minds are racing. The movers are scheduled to arrive at 8:00 am - and the Drama Queen will be handling this move by herself because hubby is going to work.

And then - November 11 arrives with a phone call at 5:30 am. The Red Cross. There's a major apartment fire.

Are you kidding me?!

I've blogged about it before. Unfortunately, we can't schedule disasters. We don't get to plan ahead and put them on our calendars. And such is the life of a Red Cross volunteer.

At first I said no. How could I possibly go assist the families when the movers were coming at 8:00 am?

And then - a thought. All I was dealing with, was stuff. How could I possibly put my stuff ahead of people who just lost all of their stuff in the fire....? Because that's all it is, when you get down to it. It's stuff. My stuff is all packed in nice, taped, cardboard boxes. Labeled. Organized. Ready to move.

The families who lived in the apartment? Their stuff is gone. Burnt to ashes. History. Poof.

I called hubby. He totally understood. He rushed home to be with the movers so that I could go assist the families.

I think I made the right decision. Shouldn't people always be more important than stuff? I had just blogged about it yesterday - and so this was a chance to put my words into action and do the right thing.

I hope I did.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What My Guatemalan Kids Have Taught Me

Our family with our Guatemala kids in 2007

I got letters yesterday from my two kids who live in Guatemala.

My “son,” Zacarias, lives in a small village called Nueva Providencia and is in 6th grade. I met him in 2005 and fell in love. Very quiet, very shy – but oh, so sweet. Hubby and I talked a long time and decided to sponsor him through CFCA, Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (

We get pictures and photos every now and then, and yesterday’s letter said simply, “…I’m excited because Christmas is coming soon and my family and I will celebrate drinking fruit punch and eating tamales.”

My “daughter,” Dalila lives in the same village as Zacarias. She is a dead ringer for “Dora the Explorer” – a beautiful 6-year old little girl who loves dolls. We met her in 2005, and decided to sponsor her, as well. Her letter yesterday said, “Dalila helps to decorate the Nativity Scene and she loves to hear the birds singing and she loves to watch the stars shine at home.”

I love these kids. I wish I could do more than just sponsor them. I wish I could just scoop them up, along with their families, and transport them here to my home in the United States. I wish I could give them a beautiful home instead of the shack they live in; I wish I could send them to an awesome school like the ones my own kids go to, rather than the dilapidated one they go to now. I wish I could clothe them in designer clothes and feed them exotic foods and take them to Disney World and Sesame Street Live and buy them their own Wii and iPod and every video game they want.

I wish.

And then I thank God that He brought these children into my life. They have taught me so much. They have taught me what is important in life; they’ve taught me that – when it all comes down to it – it’s about faith, family and our friends. THAT is what is important.

It’s not important what house we live in – or what school we go to – or what clothes we put on our bodies – or what entertainment we seek out. It’s not the stuff we surround ourselves with, or the toys we play with.

It’s about praising God, loving our family, and appreciating our friends.

God bless you, Zacarias and Dalila – thank you for keeping me real and reminding me what it’s all about, especially during this season of Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dial M for Murder

Dear readers: the story you are about to read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, which in this case, is not me. But you’ll see why.

Monday, November 2: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”

Me: Hello?
Lady: Is (hubby) there?
Me: No, he’s not. I’m his wife. May I help you?
Lady: We’re trying to contact him about some wonderful Identify Theft services that we offer on your MasterCard. When’s the best time to reach him?
Me: He works during the day….evening is best. ☺
Lady: Okay! Thank you! ☺

Tuesday, November 3: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”

Me: Hello?
Lady: Is (hubby) there?
Me: No, he’s not. I told you yesterday that he’s not home during the day. You need to call him at night. He’s at work right now.
Lady: Oh – okay! Thank you! ☺

Wednesday, November 4: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”

Me: Hello!!
Lady: Is (hubby) there?
Me: NO! Look – I’ve told you – he’s NOT HERE during the day! Quit calling during the day! You’re wasting your time! Please! Put it in your records to only call at night!
Lady: Oh, I’m sorry. Okay! Thank you! ☺

Thursday, November 5: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”
Me: He’s NOT HERE! I’ve told you every day this week that he’s not here! Why do you keep calling during the day?!??! He WORKS!! You have to call at night!!!!
Lady: Okay! Thank you! ☺

Friday, November 6: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”

Me: ARGH! Why do you keep calling during the day! FIVE times this week you’ve called, and FIVE times this week I’ve said he’s not here! How many more times do I need to tell you to quit calling during the day?!!! Enough already! Stop it!
Lady: But we have some great Identity Theft services we’d like to discuss with him. ☺
Me: I’ll tell you what to do with your FREAKIN’ identity services if you don’t quit calling during the day! HE’S NOT HERE!
Lady: I’m so sorry! Thank you! ☺

Weekend passes – all is Quiet on the Western Front. Drama Queen forgets all about the Card Services Stalker Lady.

Monday, November 9th: 9:00 am Telephone rings – Caller ID says, “Card Services.”

Me: THAT’S IT! I’ve had enough! We DON’T want your Identity Theft services because you guys are idiots that can’t seem to listen when someone tells you something! How do you expect to protect our identity when you can’t even make a simple note in your records to QUIT calling during the day!!!! This is the SIXTH time I’ve told you now in the last WEEK!!!!
Lady: But our services are great and…
Me: (interrupting) I DON’T WANT THEM! Quit calling!
Lady: When would be a better time to call? ☺

Tuesday, November 10: Newspaper Headline:

“Drama Queen Charged With Homicide After Reaching Through the Phone Line and Strangling Identity Theft Services Lady on the Other End.”

But it was SO justified.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday Night Panic Attack

Do you ever do something so stupid that even you can’t believe it? I mean, really, really stupid? Incredibly stupid? Heart attack-inducing stupid?

I did that last night.

And it drives me freakin’ NUTS when I do stupid things, because, I’m a Queen, after all, and Queens are supposed to be like, perfect. At least in my distorted view of the world.

Wanna’ hear what I did? Sure you do. Everyone wants to hear the stupid stuff that other people do because then it makes them feel all smart and stuff.

So here’s what I did.

First – background.

I travel. A lot. Some of it is vacation, some of it is with the American Red Cross, and most of it is through mission trips. I have two mission trips coming up – Jamaica in January, and Belize in February.

Recently, the Belize trip coordinator asked for some paperwork, including a copy of my passport. I put all my completed paperwork & passport in a beautiful red folder marked “Belize” (I’m very organized!) and whipped up to church last week where I turned over the contents of the folder and had a copy of my passport made. That trip is bagged and tagged now – ready to go. One down, one to go.

Last night, the Jamaica coordinator contacted me and said she needs my paperwork for HER trip, including a copy of my passport. I go to get my passport in its usual spot – and it’s a nice, organized spot – due to my OCD and all - and guess what?!

It’s not there. Okay…where is it? Hmmmm…..let me think……The last I had seen that darn passport, it was in the red Belize folder when I came home from church last week.

Okay – where’s the red Belize folder?

And then….I remembered….I had thrown that stupid red Belize folder away. I thought it was EMPTY!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My passport is somewhere in the TRASH!!!!!!!

Okay – breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. Think. It’s 9:00 pm Sunday night. Trash is picked up at 7:00 am Monday morning. I have 10 hours to find that stupid, stupid red folder – and my beloved passport. I can do this. Maybe. But it’s in the TRASH! Which means it could be really gross and icky and slimy!!!! Ewwwww!!!

With my eyes bugging out of my head, my heart racing at 100 miles an hour, and a moan of despair that could be heard throughout the land, I went racing to the garage, screaming at hubby that “I HAVE TO FIND MY PASSPORT!!!! IT’S IN THE TRASH!!!”

Now – let me say – we are in the process of moving. Therefore, we have been doing a lot of packing. I don’t like packing. To me, it’s easier to just toss stuff. So – we have a LOT of trash.

I look at the piles of trash bags in front of me – where to begin?! This is seriously like a freakin’ episode of “The Amazing Race” – only its REAL LIFE and it’s not funny, people! I’m hyperventilating and sweating and trying not to panic. Snort. Okay – honestly? I’m in full panic mode by now.

Hubby has no sympathy for me whatsoever at this point. He thinks I throw things away too quickly – and so now this is a golden “I told you so!” moment for him. He calmly suggests that maybe I should go check my purse before I have a stroke in the garage.

“It’s not IN my purse!!!! It’s in the RED FOLDER!!! OH MY GOD, HELP ME!” I scream in despair. But to make him happy – and to prove him wrong– I go look in my purse.

Guess what I found?

Dammit – I hate it when hubby is right. But at least it wasn’t icky.

Now you know why “Drama” is in front of the “Queen.”


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wanted: A Plastic Bubble

Is it possible to be allergic to life? I ask because I seriously think I am. Really.

Remember “bubble boy”? (No, not “balloon boy” – different boy!) “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” was the 1976 movie that starred John Travolta, and was the true story of a kid who lived in a bubble.

I need a bubble. Lately, I’ve been sneezing and sniffing and coughing and basically driving everyone around me crazy. Not to mention driving myself crazy. I thought it was a cold – but it has been going on for weeks. Sniffle. My allergies must be in overdrive for some unknown reason.

I’m allergic to cats. And yet I have two. I’m allergic to oak trees. And I live in the Midwest. (That’s like the Pope being allergic to Italians, while living in Rome.) And I’m allergic to a whole bunch of other stuff like, dust, mold, milk, eggs, beef, and wheat. (Yeah, I know – that’s a lot of stuff. Tell me about it.) Other than the cats and trees – I do try to avoid the rest of that stuff. I just thank God every day I am not allergic to chocolate, because frankly, life wouldn’t be worth living without my hourly daily fix of chocolate.

I used to get allergy shots, until my doctor had the gall to move out of town. Before he left, he tried to teach me to give myself shots, but that was rather pathetic. I mean, I did okay when I practiced giving an orange a shot – seriously, an orange - but when it came time to actually insert the needle into my own skin? Bwahaha. Right. Huh uh. Not happenin’ in this lifetime.

I think I’m allergic to children. Surprisingly, they didn’t test for that when they did the allergy testing. I tried to convince the nurse that they should, but she looked at me strangely and then ignored me. My husband ignored me, too, when I told him I thought the children were the source of my allergies and should probably be removed from the house immediately. Then I tried to tell him I was allergic to getting out of bed. That didn’t work, either. My latest effort will be to convince him I’m allergic to doing laundry. He may buy that. I can hope.

And in the meantime, I’ll be checking eBay or CraigsList for a plastic bubble.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sickness, Suckiness and Circles

I was contentedly writing my blog post last night…and hubby comes wandering in. Obviously bored.

“Whatcha’ doin’?” he asked.

“Cleaning the oven. What’s it look like I’m doing?” I sweetly replied, hoping he’d get even more bored and walk away and let me get back to blogging.

“No, seriously. Whatcha’ doin’?”

“I’m blogging. Do you want to hear it so far?”

Why I extended this invitation, I have no idea. I don’t like it when he reads it – ever – because he tends to criticize it. He has this misguided notion that I am a wanna-be Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Uh, no, hon. I’m not. I’m a blogger. Period. I write my thoughts and I write them the way I think them. Straight up. Sometimes funny. Sometimes not. But always honest.

So he reads the post I was writing, which had to do with my ongoing ever-present cold, shakes his head, and then says, “No one wants to hear how sick you are.”

“But I AM sick. And I’m a Queen. If the Queen is sick, then everyone should know about it. Besides, a blog is a diary. I write what I know. And I know sick.” Boy, I would have made a great defense attorney – that circular logic would win cases every time. The jury would be like, “Huh?! Okay – she wins. We have no idea what she just said, but it sounded really good.”

Ooops – I digress. Back to the story at hand. Hubby then says, “I think you should write about current events…and your opinions on them.”

I snorted and said, “Current events? I stay out of that – besides, who’d want to read my opinions?”

Hubby said, “Lots of people would! Just try it.”

Fine. So, to make Hubby happy, here are some current events and my opinion:

Economy? I think it sucks.
People who kill other people? I think they suck.
Politics? I think it and the politicians suck.
Football? I think the Chiefs and the coaches suck.
Swine Flu? That would suck.

Oh, looky there – back to medical stuff. And being sick. There’s that circular thingy again. I’m really good at going around in circles. And even though we’re back to being sick, this should make Hubby proud and happy that I blogged about current events. And I am SO posting my “being sick” blog tomorrow.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Flashback Friday: First Date

Eleven years ago today, two people fell in love. Yuppers – today is the anniversary of when hubby and I had our first date. And yes, we fell in love at first sight. It CAN and it does happen. Sickening? Perhaps. Unbelievable? Maybe. True? Every word.

Hubby and I met on the Internet. Is that weird? It was kinda’ sorta’ weird 11 years ago when very few people met on the Internet – way before or even existed. I had designed a web site that was all about me. (Duh. I’m the Queen. Who ELSE would my web site be about? It always IS about me and will always BE about me. That’s just the way things roll when you’re the Queen.)

Anyway, hubby was browsing the Internet one day and stumbled across my page. There, he found photos and stories and trivia – all about me. The Drama Queen.

Of course, he was smitten. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I would have been smitten with me, too, so I couldn’t really blame him.

He immediately sent me an email…and waited, with bated breath, to see if I would reply.

And I did – I liked the way he came across in his email - and thus began an email correspondence that lasted a few weeks.

Eventually, I trusted him enough to give him my phone number. My WORK phone number. (In case he was a perv.)

After a few telephone conversations at work, I knew that I loved his voice. And I knew he wasn’t a perv. And I was intrigued. I decided to go out on a limb and I gave him the home phone number. And then he finally asked me out. For November 6, 1998.

He showed up on my doorstep with a big bouquet of flowers. We then had a most-fantastic date involving a romantic dinner on the Plaza and a movie.

Through it all, he was a perfect gentleman. He made me laugh. He made me think. And he treated me like a Queen. And I knew then that he was my Prince Charming.

By Christmas, we were engaged. And by March, we were married.

Love at first sight. It’s not just in the movies.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Facebook Chat With My Son

As some of you know, my oldest son is away at college…now that he’s a sophomore, I don’t freak out any more when realizing he’s hundreds of miles away from me. That only happened during his freshman year. We stay in touch via Facebook, where we’ve always had a very open, honest relationship where we can pretty much talk about anything.

As an example, here is our conversation from the other night on Facebook:

Me: I saw your status the other day – you said you were sick. What’s wrong?

Son: I was sick.

Me: I realize that. I saw that. What were your symptoms?


Me: Hello? Are you there? What were your symptoms? Was it H1N1?

Son: I was in bed for two days.

Me: Why? Are you still sick? Was it Swine?


Me: Hello?

Me: Hello? Are you there??!!



I wasn't responding by this time because I was beating my head against the wall.

My son could be in the ICU unit for all I know. We communicate so well.

So, are your conversations with your college-aged kids along the same lines? Do you text? Talk on the phone? Facebook? Not talk at all? I'm just curious as to how other parents communicate. I obviously need assistance.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Saints in Our Midst

Serious post today…yeah, I know – I don’t do serious very often, but it’s MY blog and I can be serious if I want to. If you can’t handle serious, just go away. For the day. But come back tomorrow, okay?

Anyway, (wow – look at all that rhyming there – pure coincidence, I’m tellin’ you…) Sunday was All Saints Day (another rhyme – I’m killin’ myself here) – and so, while at church Sunday morning, our pastor spoke about, well – saints. Duh. During the course of the sermon, he asked, “Who are the saints in our midst?” He had everyone in the congregation look around, and then write down the name of someone in the church who is an “exemplary Christian person.”

After the service, someone walked up to me and said, “I wrote you down.”

I immediately felt uncomfortable…like a fraud. My breathing quickened, my palms turned sweaty, and my heart rate sped up. Why is that, I wonder? Is it because we alone know our own worst secrets – our own worst faults – the things we struggle with most? How can I possibly be a saint?

I don’t feel saint-like…not at all. One of the things I struggle with is selfishness. As much as I try to remember that it’s not about me – well – sometimes I make it about me. My wants. My needs. My comfort. My discomfort.

This is true no matter where I am in the world. I can be on a disaster assignment with the American Red Cross – or in the jungles of Guatemala - and I can be thinking of how tired I am…or how hungry I am…or how I miss my nice, warm bed…or most of all – how I miss my family. I forget why I’m really there – and I turn my focus on me. Sometimes.

I struggle with impatience. With my own kids. With hubby. With cretin-like drivers on the road. With people who are lazy and unmotivated. I have to really practice patience.

My biggest struggle, though, is with forgiveness. If someone has wronged me – I can carry it to the grave. Most especially if they don’t ask for forgiveness. Do I know this is wrong? Of course I do…and yet – I carry on, nursing the hurt and the anger and the grudge.

And yet – Jesus said two things were most important, above all else. He said, “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart. And love your neighbor as yourself.”

I can do that. In fact, I DO do that. My mission trips and volunteer work are my love in action, both for my neighbors, as well as Him. So, maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Maybe I’m doing all right, after all. Maybe this guy had every right to write my name down…?

Who are the saints in your midst? Have you told them what they mean to you? They may feel funny – or uncomfortable – but they’ll ultimately be blessed by it. Don’t wait until they’re gone and you eulogize them. Tell them now. Let them know. Let them be blessed.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Left Feet

Yesterday morning, my 10-year old daughter was running a bit late for school. Which is totally unbelievable considering she gets up 2 hours before we have to leave. Yeah, I don’t get it, either. What the heck is she doing in those 2 hours? I have no idea – and frankly, I don’t want to know. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s just better to stay out of the kids’ business.

Anyway, it was time to go and she didn’t have on her shoes or socks. So – I tell her to grab them and just put them on in the car while we’re driving.

We’re cruising down the road, and from the back seat, she suddenly shrieks, “Oh NOOOOOOO!”

I’m all freaked out up front, imagining the worst is going on in the backseat… horrible visions of mayhem running through my mind. What could possibly be causing this wail of despair coming from my daughter’s mouth?

“What?!!! What happened?! What’s wrong?!” I ask.

“My socks are the SAME!” she says in agony.

Okay – color me confused, because I always thought that was the goal – two socks that are the same. What am I missing here? I’ll bite.

“What do you mean, your ‘socks are the same’?” I said. “Aren’t they supposed to be?”

She cries, “No – they’re both for the same FOOT!!!!”

Huh? Did you know that apparently sock makers are making socks for the right foot and socks for the left foot? No? Me, neither. The things we learn from our children.

As parents, we have taught our children that they have to live with the consequences of their decisions, and so my poor daughter had to suffer the humiliation and indignity of wearing two left-footed socks all day at school. (???????)

I’m sure she’s scarred for life.


Monday, November 2, 2009

A Quickie at Lunch

I get to go to hubby’s office today and have lunch. Now, I know – that doesn’t sound all that exciting – but you have to know that this is the FIRST time in 11 years that he has actually invited me.

Hubby is normally a pretty romantic guy. On our first date, he was on my doorstep with a big bouquet of beautiful flowers. I grabbed a plastic Chiefs beer cup to use as a vase, thinking, “Okay – that was nice – but it’s the first date. No big deal. He’s just trying to impress me.”

On our second date, he showed up AGAIN with another big beautiful bouquet of flowers. I had to grab a plastic Royals cup to use as a vase, and I thought, “Okay – now he’s got my attention. And I better go to more sporting events soon and drink more beer or I’m going to run out of vases pretty quick.”

Through the years, he’s often brought me flowers for no reason, cards and gifts “just because”, and taken me on some pretty romantic trips. But he’s never – in all of that time – invited me down to his office for lunch. Never ever.

So imagine my surprise and delight when, a few days ago, he extended the invitation.

“Do you want to come to my office on Monday for lunch?” he said.

I looked at him, blinked, and said, “What did you just say?” I was sure I’d heard him wrong.

He repeated the invitation, and I eagerly accepted. Visions of a romantic picnic danced in my head, and I was already dreaming of the perfect, romantic outfit to wear – not to imagine all the wicked things we could do behind closed doors in his office.

He then said, “Great! They’re doing flu shots Monday for all the employees and their spouses – and I wanted to make sure you got yours."

Wow. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that. Now excuse me while I go get ready for my shot.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The 4th Grade Halloween Party

I somehow got duped into volunteering at my daughter’s 4th-grade Halloween party at school on Friday. Silly me. You’d think after 6 older kids, I would have learned by now to run screaming to the hills when the PTA begins looking for volunteers.

I arrived at the school and joined the long line of other victims volunteers waiting to sign in and get the mandatory Visitor badge. The looks on our faces said it all – you would have thought we were marching into the gas chamber.

I eventually made my way to the classroom where I was joined by 2 other moms. We all looked at each other, took deep breaths, and said, “Well. Here we are.” We were thrilled – can’t you just hear the enthusiasm and excitement bursting through?

Speaking of enthusiasm and excitement – Head Room Mom showed up right about then – she had obviously been sneaking way-too-many orange-frosted cupcakes, because “hyper” doesn’t do her justice. And I know a sugar high when I see one.

Before we entered the war zone, Head Room Mom goes all drill sergeant-y, and quickly mapped out our party strategy. She’s come up with four stations – and we are to each take a station and defend it for all its worth against any and all attacks.

We entered the gates of hell – oops, I mean classroom, with our arms laden with supplies. The teacher quickly lined the demons children up and took them for a long bathroom break, allowing us to get things set up. It was suddenly so….quiet. Blissfully quiet.

“Can we just have the party now? Before the kids get back?” I said, hopefully.

Another mom vigorously nodded her head, throwing her weight in with me, when Head Room Mom shot us both down with a look. I know that look. It’s the same look I give my kiddies when they’ve said something totally ridiculous. Oh well. I tried.

We set up our respective stations and waited with bated breath for the little hellions to come back and join us. And unfortunately, they did.

I took photos – simply because you probably wouldn’t believe some of the activities unless I had proof. You would think I was simply being my usual sarcastic self and making this up. I promise – I didn’t. This is real.

…we had Mummy Wrapping Station – which gave me some great ideas on what to do with my own kids when they get too hyper…I wanted to send the kids home on the bus like this, but again – I got shot down by Head Room Mom. I think other moms would have appreciated it. I know I would have.

…there was Green Spaghetti Station…which struck me as interesting, because if the kid is blindfolded – then what difference did it make what color the spaghetti was? Oh well – just another of life’s mysteries to ponder….maybe Head Room Mom enjoyed soaking the spaghetti all night in green food coloring. Personally, I’d rather sleep.

…there was Art Station, where the kids colored Pilgrim and Indian bookmarks. (Okay – are we celebrating Halloween – or Thanksgiving? Oh well – no one asked me.) And as you can see from this picture of my daughter, the kids were thrilled with this activity. Just thrilled.

And the ultimate, sure-to-please-any-crowd party game? The “Put a Corn Cob between Your Legs Relay Race” where you then run over and ‘Dump’ it into a Basket”. There are no words for this one. Trust me. I found out just how talented 4th-grade boys are at making fart noises.

My, how time flies when you’re having fun. Before I knew it, it was time to clean up and pack up and head home. As we were walking to the car, my daughter says, “That was so cool – having you there at the party.”

And then I know, even after six older children, why I keep volunteering.