Sunday, July 31, 2011

Swimming Dangerously

When I was a little girl, my nickname was "Grace."

I thought it was a beautiful name, and I was pretty sure I was nicknamed this because of how fluidly I moved and walked, and how elegant I surely was.

To confirm this, as well as fishing for a compliment, I finally asked my parents, "Why do you call me 'Grace'?"

My parents quickly answered, "Irony."

Once I finally figured out what "irony" meant - I was pretty disheartened.

However, I must confess...grace is something I really do lack; always have, and always probably will.

Tripping...falling...stumbling...are pretty much my norm.

Take today, for instance....

I suffered a very traumatic and painful injury this afternoon...leaving me hobbling and limping along with a grimace and a cuss word with every step...

...I broke my big toe.

Yup. Broke it pretty good, if bruising and swelling are any indicators. As well as pain.

And how did I do this?

Wait for it.

I was....


Yes. I was doing laps in the pool, and I had turned at the wall and was doing a kick-out...when I kicked the wall. Concrete does not give very much when kicked by a toe.

Owie. (Only I said a few words much worse than "owie." Go figure.)

Daughter and I are heading to Disney World on Tuesday, and I now get to hobble around with a broken toe. Brought on by swimming.

Please tell me I'm not the only person ever - in the history of man - that has broken a toe by swimming??



Friday, July 29, 2011

Killer Toads Invade Florida

Giant Killer Toads invade South Florida.

True story.

No, really. Don't laugh.

I couldn't make this stuff up.

It appears that there is a trade-off for living in Paradise...besides having to deal on a daily basis with prolific and hungry mosquitos, alligators and lizards, we also have to deal with the Invasion of the Bufo Toad.

Say, what??

The Bufo Toad.

The Bufo, also known as the Cane Toad, Giant Toad or Reef Toad, is a GINORMOUS toad that is killing small pets here with its deadly poison.

I know this from watching the local news...and when they do a teaser, "Giant frogs killing local pets" - well, that has a tendency to get your attention, which it did.

When I googled "bufo toad," all sorts of interesting articles popped up, including this one:

"I Killed the Bufo." Interesting story, there.

I have seen itty, bitty tiny frogs out near my pool, but fortunately, I have yet to stumble across a MONSTER KILLER TOAD in my yard. Because, well...if I did?

My scream would register on the Richter scale, and I would be running for my life like there was no something out of a Hollywood horror movie....

I can handle lizards with no problem...I can handle (somewhat) Palmetto bugs...but Killer Toads?

Um....that's where I draw the line.

Kansas City is looking better and better, folks.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh, Mickey!

As any parent knows, communication with our kids is very important...and I've learned over the years that as long as we ARE communicating, I won't be too concerned with what form the communication takes...

In today's age of technology, our kids can communicate with us not only verbally, but via text, or as in my daughter's case, email.


Although my 11-year old daughter and I are living in the same house, she sends me emails to communicate.


It works.

Because in this latest email, received on Sunday, she is sending all sorts of messages....and loudly, as you can see:

Mom, I want this to be my bedspread, all you have to do is click the link and hit buy! :D No going to stores.... But if you DON'T want to buy it, I can accept that. --LINK HERE--

Love you,

P.S. Can you TRY to start calling me Mickey? ...PLEASE :P

P.S.S. If you don't want to buy the bedspread, can you maybe get Netflix? I don't even NEED t.v. if I had Netflix!

Let's dissect this email for the underlying messages she is communicating to me:

I love how she makes it SO EASY for me to buy the bedspread she wants...not only has she saved me a trip, as she so kindly points out, but she also graciously accepts the fact that she may not get it, period. Such a sweetie.

Next...a plea for me to call her Mickey. Ahem.

In my defense, if I had wanted to call her Mickey, I would have named her Mickey, and not Mikayla.


I have honestly and truly TRIED to start calling her Mickey, but that's very difficult for me, as I don't do nicknames well.

Heck, I don't even do names very well - she's lucky I even call her anything but "Pumpkin" - as that's my usual go-to name when I'm having a brain fart, which happens often with names.

And finally...I love the negotiating at the end...yes, my little sneaky, devious daughter then tries to sweeten the pot by throwing in how she could do without TV - the bane of my existence - if she could just have Netflix...and I wouldn't even have to get the bedspread, either.

Isn't she a darling?

I will not complain, though, at her obvious attempts to get a bedspread, Netflix, and her choice of name - because...when it's all said and done...

...she did say "Love you"...

...and that's what counts.



Monday, July 25, 2011

My Nurturing vs My Nature


By choosing to spend a few weeks here in sunny Florida, I'm now realizing the consequences of this decision in ways that I really didn't imagine...

My sister is in the midst of her chemo and radiation treatments for her cancer...and although we've talked on the phone, I am not there to give her a hug or a smile or a word of encouragement.

My mother has been in the hospital since Saturday with the heart issues that first sprang up last March, and which we thought (erroneously) were resolved...and I'm not there to visit her in the hospital and give her my love and support and to see for myself that she's okay.

I found out through an email that one of my most favorite co-workers ever at the Red Cross office in Kansas City has had his job eliminated...and I wasn't there to wish him good luck and tell him good-bye.

Speaking of Red Cross, my fellow Kansas City volunteers have had to deal with several major apartment fires in the past week, in brutal, intense heat...and I wasn't there to help, support, encourage or just cheer them on.

A common theme, there...I am a nurturer by nature, and everyone that I nurture is not here. With me. I am an isolated nurturer, which goes against my nature.

I miss my Hubby. I miss my boys. I miss my little fur-baby pets...even Romeo. Most especially Romeo, my mischievous tuxedo cat who thinks he's King Of All His Domain.

They're all missing my hugs and loves and scritches...surely.

Sniff, sniff. Pity Party for One, please.


...on the BRIGHT side...

...this little "mini-move" has definitely shown that I am not ready to make it permanent...that I would really, truly struggle being away from my friends and family in Kansas City for months on end.

I now am reassured that we made the right decision in postponing the permanent move to Florida by a year.

As much as I am enjoying my mother/daughter bonding trip here, I am most definitely ready to go home in a bit and reconnect with the ones I love.

Until all of my are going through difficult times...please know that although I may not be with you physically - you are all most assuredly in my thoughts and prayers....



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Update

Mickey and I...this afternoon...

Yes, I'm still alive.

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth.

I could blame it on the usual, "I've been so busy, blah, blah, blah," and that would be true...

...meeting with various contractors, tile installers, kitchen cabinet builders, designers, etc...

...packing up everything that isn't nailed down so that the house can basically be gutted...

...arranging for furniture to go to consignment; linens to go to Goodwill; and everything else into storage...

...putting on my CSI:Florida hat to investigate why a giant water spot keeps appearing in the MIDDLE of my garage floor...(and it's still a mystery...even the local handyman can't figure it out...????)...

...and spending time with my daughter.

Because that's what this is all about, really. Spending some uninterrupted quality time with my daughter as she transitions from being a kid into becoming a young woman...and what a transition it has been.

She's blossomed in front of my eyes the last few we've been talking, laughing, and sharing together...we've motivated each other to exercise every day, whether its playing an early-morning game of tennis or swimming laps in the pool...we've helped each other eat better - as I've been mandated by my doctor to go low-fat, due to a troublesome gallbladder, and she...well...just needs to learn to eat healthier, period...

We've had some fun times the last few days, and I hope to share some stories and pictures of our adventures...

...but in the meantime, I'm off to the garage (again) to figure out that darn puddle of water. It's enough to drive me crazy.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things I Am Learning

A pictorial essay on things I am learning about Florida:

...I've learned that things are bigger here, rather than in Texas...this is a $3.99 root beer float...

...I've learned that it is always "Margaritaville" in a well-stocked home...

...I've learned that it's NOT deodorant that is a's Mosquito repellant...

...I've learned that it is amusing to approach the lizards in our lanai and watch them totally freak out in spasms of excitement...

...I've learned that a simple little sand bucket makes a great "Frog Scooper-Outer" for a pool...

...speaking of pools, I've learned that if you aren't careful when operating this pump-controlled vacuum... will get a lovely hickey on your leg...

...I've learned that my daughter is pretty good at putt-putt golf...

...but I've learned that I am even better...Hee....

...I've learned that in the morning, the river (in the far background) is a beautiful blue in color...

...and I've learned that, in the twilight sky, the river turns a shimmery silver...

...and I've learned that palm trees are always, always beautiful.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Guns 'n Ice Cream

It's all in the timing....

Yesterday, the three of us (Hubby, Daughter and myself) spent a delightful late morning/early afternoon at the beach. The skies were blue; the water was cool; and there was a fantastic Gulf breeze blowing in that provided just enough nature-induced air conditioning to make the day nothing less than perfect.

After a delectable lunch at my favorite beach watering hole, the Yucatan, we piled our sand-and-sweat-soaked bodies into the car and headed up the road for ice cream.

Love Boat Ice Cream has been in business in Ft. Myers since 1970 - only shutting down once in it's almost-50-year history - and that's when Hurricane Charley in 2004 did a number on it.

Love Boat offers up some of the BEST home-made ice cream to be found, with over 30-some flavors, including Key Lime, Raspberry Cheesecake, Rum Raisin, Birthday Cake, and Cherry Vanilla.

Yesterday, I got a an arguably "small" scoop of chocolate raspberry, and as the sweet and creamy goodness tickled my taste buds, I commented to Hubby, "This ice cream is to DIE for!"

This was at 4:30 in the afternoon.

At 10:15 pm last night, two young men, armed with guns, came into the little shop and robbed the place. Luckily, although they did strike one of the employees with the gun, no one else was hurt.

Surveillance photo of one of the suspects

As of right now, they have yet to catch the bad guys.

Upon reading about the robbery this morning, two thoughts went quickly through my mind:

1. Thank goodness no one really did die for ice cream...

2. Thank goodness we weren't there at the time. I can't imagine, as a parent, what would go through your mind if you realized your child was in this situation - and what would/could you do to protect them....awful, huh?

When I was 18 years old, I worked at a fast-food restaurant...and one evening, an armed gunman came in and held us up. He pulled the telephone out of the wall in the office, where he had the four of us on the floor with our hands over our heads, and hit me in the head with it. After forcing the manager to open the safe, the bad guy left - and was never caught, that I know of.

Incredibly, I wasn't all that scared. While facing potential death, an incredible peace had come over me, and I remember being more worried about how my parents would react to my possible demise, than anything else. It wasn't until AFTER the bad guy escaped that the danger of the situation hit me fully - and terrorized my dreams for many months to follow.

Life can change in an instant...hug your loved ones closer today...


Edited to add: This afternoon, police did arrest two suspects; an 18-year old and a 24-year old. Am I surprised it was kids? Nope. Seriously - how much money could an ice-cream shop be carrying??!! Dopes.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Power Washing My Toes

Some random ramblings on a Wednesday evening:

1. We have spent the last two days meeting with a designer/decorator here in Southwest Florida to begin the horrible fun process of remodeling our Ft. Myers house. If you've read my blog the last few years, you'll know that we spent almost 6 months remodeling our house in Kansas City just over 18 months ago...and it's amazing that Hubby and I aren't divorced. This will be a true testament to our vows if we survive a second total-remodeling job in less than two years. Stay tuned - it's going to be a bumpy ride.

2. Saw this headline tonight on the local news website:

Of course it is. This would be because WE are here. Some people are God's gift to mankind - I am God's gift to the mosquito population of Florida. The second I step outside, the dinner bell rings for every mosquito in a 50-mile radius. I have the bumps and welts on my legs to prove it. And guess where we were tonight? At Target, purchasing some MAJOR heavy-duty bug spray. Yes, fun times. Some people are at the beach; some are in bars; and we're at Target, buying bug spray. Woo hoo.

3. I'm a little late to the party, but I am currently reading Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons", and I have to say - I love it. I avoided reading it the last few years, as I mistakenly assumed that it could just never be as good as his first book, "The Da Vinci Code." I was wrong. I am seriously unable to put my Kindle down - and to have to be interrupted to pick out tile and granite and carpet is seriously putting me in a very grouchy mood. Enough already! Let me finish my book! I have to make sure that the Vatican isn't annihilated!!!!

4. Speaking of "Angels and Demons", while we were at Target tonight, I picked up the DVD of the same name. Huh. I didn't even know they had filmed the movie - I seriously must have been living under a rock for the last few years. Now, I can't WAIT to finish the book so I can pop in the DVD and see how it all plays out on the screen. Will Tom Hanks be able to save the Vatican??!

5. In between meeting with our decorator, Bruce, we've been power-washing our lanai for the last two days. Fun times. You're not living until you've washed off algae and mildew - inch by inch - in the hot sun. However, it is now done - and I have to say, it looks brand new. So worth all of the back-breaking labor. And here's a tip - accidentally power-washing your bare toes really stings. Trust me on that - don't try it at home. However, it's a great toenail polish remover. Even when you don't plan on removing your toenail polish. to go paint my toenails...spray some bug spray...and read another chapter or two of my book.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Wednesday night - and hope you're not at Target, having to buy bug spray.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hot as Hades???

When I've told friends and family that we will soon be moving to Ft. Myers full-time, the normal reaction has been one of shock, horror and an exclamation of, "Florida??!! Won't it be HOT??!! Are you CRAZY??!!"

As proof that I:

1. have not lost my mind, and

2. will be more than happy,

I offer the following:

This is the 10-day forecast for here in Ft. Myers...and although it calls for rain, the rain occurs every afternoon about 1:30 or 2:00 pm and then moves on out...otherwise, giving us lots of time to enjoy the pool or beach in relatively hot - but not death-defying - temperatures. No heat advisories. No severe storm advisories. Everything is calm, as it should be.


This is the 10-day forecast for Kansas City...who has been under a severe Heat Advisory since Sunday, with heat indexes of 105 degrees to 110 degrees.

While reading my KC friends' statuses on Facebook the last few days, I keep seeing a common theme that runs as follows:

Hot. Oven. Dying. Baking. Hades. Hell on Earth. OMG, it's HOT!

Etcetera. Etcetera.

Although I certainly concede that Florida has its share of crazy people, you cannot conclude that living here is crazy because of the weather.

Enjoy the day, whatever the weather holds in store for you.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Apocalypse Now

So, we got in to Ft. Myers yesterday evening, and we spent the first day of our vacation today doing lots of fun things... contacting the water softener company to come out and check our levels of salt... going to the grocery store and loading up on a little bit of food and a whole lot of impulse choices... visiting the local Mazda car dealership to get a new battery for my dead old smart-key... borrowing the power washer from the neighbor-guy and cleaning off algae from the pool cage and patio...

Fun times.

While we were out scrubbing down the pool area, we heard a horrendous noise getting closer and closer...we looked up to see a helicopter that appeared to be coming in for a landing. In our back yard.

Rather than run away and take cover, which is what any smart person would have done, we all just stood there - frozen in shock - mouths agape - as the chopper pretty much gave us all a haircut as it flew overhead.

And it was spraying...something.

Seriously, for a minute, I was having flashbacks to "Platoon" and being napalmed by the enemy. At one point, I yelled, "Who ARE you??!! And why are we under attack??!!!!"

I admit...I'm a bit jumpy lately. We are now only one county away from the infamous Casey Anthony jury, and I can't help but think some crazy loons are going to come down here to the Florida backwoods and take justice into their own hands.

Hey. Don't laugh. It could happen.

Belatedly, we realized it was spraying the mangroves in our backyard, to rid them of pesky mosquitoes - but for a minute, we stupidly thought they were trying to rid our back yard of us measly little humans.

It made 3-4 swoops by, and by the 3rd swoop, we had figured out that whatever it was it was spraying, was not something we needed to be breathing, so we ran inside. We're crossing our fingers that inadvertently inhaling two helicopter swoops of mosquito-kill is probably not enough to hurt us, right?

I mean, if it takes 4 swoops to kill the mosquitoes, then we're probably good to go.

Of course, the more I think about this, the more I can't help but think that perhaps this is what was wrong with the Casey Anthony jury. They live down here all the time, and who knows how many helicopter swoops of mosquito-napalm they've inadvertently breathed in over the years....????

Hey. Think about it. It could explain a lot.

Eleven-year old daughter remarked, somewhat snippily, "Geesh. You'd think they would have WARNED us they were going to do that!!!"

"How would they have warned us???" I asked, genuinely curious.

Her answer?



I guess our kids think that Facebook is the answer to everything - including warning unsuspecting residents that the mosquitoes are about to be napalmed.



Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summing Up the Trial of the Century

The trial of the century is over, and while the defendant, Casey Anthony, sleeps soundly after being acquitted of murder, the rest of the country is left in a state of shock.

Not guilty? Really?

Whether the jury came up with the right or wrong decision in this case, I'm not going to discuss. It doesn't matter - the trial is over; the jury has spoken; and it's done. Ms. Anthony goes free in a week.



There's a niggling question in the back of my mind that I have to address, and it is this...

How - in all that is holy - did the jury reach a decision in less than 11 hours???

There were 33 days of testimony...

Over 400 pieces of evidence...

And 7 charges against Ms. Anthony...

And yet the jury would have us believe that they could review the testimony, review the evidence, review the judge's instructions, and then deliberate on not ONE - but SEVEN charges against her - in LESS than 11 hours???

In the honor of full disclosure, I should say right here that I have never been on a criminal jury...and I never will be, due to circumstances in my life from long ago...let's just say that attorneys seem to frown on having crime victims sit on a criminal jury. Go figure.

Anywho, I HAVE sat on a civil jury.

Fifteen years ago, a man and wife filed a lawsuit against their insurance agency...their house had been robbed, their jewelry and fur coats taken - and the insurance had refused to pay damages on their claim.

There was a that the couple had never ADDED these items to their insurance, and therefore, did not have insurance on the items taken.

But, but, but - they argued in court - they had INTENDED to add these items, and the insurance agent should have known they INTENDED to add these - and therefore, they should be reimbursed for these rather costly items.

After listening for a full day of testimony, we, the jury, adjourned to our jury room for deliberations...and we deliberated.

We didn't make a rush to judgement. We sat and looked at all of the testimony, all of the evidence, all of the papers entered into court - and we then, and only then, began deliberating.

It took over four hours for us. And this was a rather "simple" case, as cases go.

The Casey Anthony case was far from simple - and yet, seven unanimous decisions (3 Not Guilty; 4 Guilty) were reached by 12 people in approximately 10 hours and 45 minutes.


One of the jurors has said that the evidence just didn't add up.

I'm sorry...but if you ask me? The math just doesn't add up.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Consideration All Around

Waking up rather early Saturday morning, I sleepily stumbled out of my bedroom and began my usual routine of heading to the kitchen to forage for the nearest caffeine.

However, upon leaving my bedroom, I encountered a most-unusual sight...

What's this? A note? Taped to the post outside my bedroom door?


I had to step a little closer to see what this intriguing note said...

"Jackman in there"

"Jackman" would be my son's best friend. Apparently, my son was warning me that his BFF was in the kitchen on an early Saturday morning.

However, upon later reflection, I'm not sure WHO exactly my son was warning...

Was he trying to prevent me from being startled by the sight of Jackman?

...or to warn Jackman from being startled by the sight of me? In my pajamas? In my very-scary bed-head-and-all, no-make-up Saturday morning glory....?

Either way, it was very considerate of him, I think...

...and very considerate of me, on what I did next...

I turned around and promptly went back to bed, preventing Jackman from having a heart attack and giving me some much-needed additional sleep.

A win-win.



Monday, July 4, 2011

The Worst Day of the Year

As someone who suffers from severe kovtapyroergasoiphobia, as I do, today is a most-awful day.

Yes, indeed.

Today is the WORST DAY OF THE YEAR for kovtapyroergasoiphobia sufferers....

What is kovtapyroergasoiphobia, you ask?

Fear of fireworks.

'Tis true. I suffer from a most-unusual fear of fireworks.

My mom says this phobia began as a baby...she loves to tell the story of how she was changing my diaper on the evening of July 4th, 1962, when a most-deafening explosion occurred, and um...let's just wasn't a pretty sight. On my end. So to speak.

Well...I was only two weeks old...what did she expect?!

(And here is proof that there's a definite sadistic steak within my Mother, due to the fact that she even loves to tell this story. I mean, nothing sacred?)

So, all throughout my childhood, and even into adulthood, I dreaded - DREADED - fireworks displays and all of the accompanying loud explosions....Most of the time, you will find me staying at home, buried under my pillows, as the family goes out to the neighborhood displays.


My family used to tease me and say that I must be part "dog" - since it's a well-known fact that most dogs suffer from kovtapyroergasoiphobia, as well. I just like to think that my ears are extra-sensitive.

Even knowing that it's July 4th - and knowing that there WILL be fireworks - I still jump out of my skin at every boom...every bang...every pow.


Don't misunderstand my fear, though. I LOVE July 4th - what with the picnics, the hot dogs, the trips to the lake, and get-togethers with the family - and knowing we're celebrating our independence as a country....

But really...does it have to be done with fireworks???! That make loud NOISES??!!

Give me some chocolate cake and a nice glass of milk, and I could celebrate just fine, thank you very much.

So, think of me tonight, as the night skies light up and it sounds like World War 3 happening in my own backyard...send a little prayer up that I don't go fleeing into the night, trying to escape the thunderous booms that will last until the wee hours of the morning...

Have a little sympathy for all of the kovtapyroergasoiphobia sufferers out there.

We're going to need it tonight.

Happy Independence Day, my friends.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Empty Nest Syndrome? Ha.

Last night, we had a very rare moment in our house.

The moon must have been in the seventh house, whatever that means, and Jupiter must have aligned with Mars...

...and the boys were at their Dad's house...and Dear Daughter was at a sleepover...

...and Hubby and I looked at each other and realized...

...that... WE WERE ALONE.

(Insert dramatic music here)

After recovering from the initial shock that we found ourselves in after this realization, all sorts of lascivious and salacious thoughts starting running through our heads, as we discussed what we could do with our rare kid-free evening....

Watch an R-rated movie on TV???

Drink delicious alcohol-laden drinks with abandon????

Rip each other's clothes off and (gasp) chase each other through the house????


We watched a Merchant Ivory movie and then fell promptly to sleep.

At 10:00 p.m.

So much for the best-laid plans.

As the kids have gotten older, I've been told that I should appreciate the moments that I still have with them, because when they're all gone and out of the house for good, I'll most likely suffer from "Empty Nest Syndrome."





Excuse me while I pick myself up from the floor, where I fell over from laughing so hard.

Empty Nest Syndrome?

Not going to happen.

Remember...we are a family of kids and two very-outnumbered and very-tired parents.

When - and if - I ever get to an empty nest, I will not be suffering.

I'll be celebrating.

And whether I choose to celebrate by watching R-rated movies, or drinking alcohol with abandon...or by going to sleep at the not-so-late hour of 10:00 p.m...

...It's going to be a little piece of heaven.



Friday, July 1, 2011

A Lesson on Patience

The next time I complain about having to do something that I reeeeaaaaaalllllly don't want to do, I'm going to remember Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel.

In 1508, Michelangelo was very happy doing what he did best - sculpting. He loved to sculpt. Give him a hammer and a giant piece of marble, and he was one happy guy.

One day, day, I'll get to visit you...sigh...

He also wrote sonnets. Bad sonnets, apparently.

He wrote a rather mocking sonnet one day about the current Pope at that time, Pope Julius II. Julius was understandably not happy about this sonnet, and hauled Michelangelo into his private domain to read him the riot act about writing derogatory sonnets about Popes. Not cool.

The Pope decided Michelangelo had too much time on his hands, if he could be writing bad sonnets, so he decided to give him a project.

"Paint my ceiling, " the Pope demanded, pointing to the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo initially refused, which was kind of silly, because when the Pope asks for something - well, demands something, actually - it's pretty much a waste of time to say "no" to the Pope.

"I'm a sculptor - not a painter," Michelangelo tried to tell the Pope.

And we all know what happened...Michelangelo spent the next four years of his life, painting that ceiling.

Our family just watched a movie that tells this story much better than I just did...Rex Harrison and Charlton Heston, in the 1965 "The Agony and The Ecstasy".

You know it has to pretty good with these two guys...

This movie was pretty darn good. Even the kids enjoyed much so, that they've watched it TWICE in the last few days. It really brings the story to life, and shows just how much work, how much agony, Michelangelo put into that ceiling.

But the ecstasy of the finished product...???


I visited the Sistine Chapel when I visited Rome in 2009, and it was truly take-your-breath-away beautiful. At the time, I really didn't know the entire "back" story of how it got painted, so if - and when - I ever see this ceiling again, I'll know the story.

And the next time my kids start arguing with me about having to do something they don't want to do, I'm just going to go all "Pope Julius" on them, and tell them, "I don't care if it takes you FOUR years - ON YOUR BACK!"

Because now they know.

When Popes...or Moms...want something WILL get done.