Friday, April 30, 2010

Five Stages Of Joe's Morning Grief

My 8 year old, Joe, has my genes . . . the bad ones.

On the top of the list is the “struggling to get out of bed in the morning gene”. Seriously, the little guy has a hard time and I feeeeel his pain. It doesn’t matter how early he goes to bed, he finds it very hard to motivate himself to move out of his cozy cocoon and face the harsh reality of the cold world.

But I have noticed a pattern in his wake up routine. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

On my initial contact I yell, “Time to get up, Jo Jo!”

His response- Denial. He actually says, “This can’t be, it’s too early. Wh--y?”

Next, I approach his room, flip on the light. “Come on Joe. You don’t want to be late.”

His response- Anger. “No! I don’t want to get up. No! I’m not getting up.” He says this
automatically as if from memory. I ignore. It will pass.

My next tactic is a little harsher. I push open the curtains and pull back the covers exposing his little body to the chill in the air (before you call Child Services you must know our house is always set at a toasty 70+).

His Response-Bargaining. “Just five more minutes, please. I promise I will get up in five minutes.”

Then the big one, I toss his clothes on his head. This is a little mean but I kinda find it funny.

His response- Depression- “Sto--p Mooooom, I can’t get up. I‘m soooo tired. I want to stay in bed all day,” he says in a mournful voice, which sounds vaguely familiar.

Finally, I push his clothes off his head and pull him up by his arms. I usually have to say something like “You are going to miss ESPN’s top ten countdown.”

His response- Acceptance. “Ok—ay, I’m up,” he says as he stumbles off the bed, and down the hall, rubbing his head as he bumps into a chair, then a dresser.

The entire time I want to grab him toss him back in bed snuggle with him and say, “I know how you feel.”

Poor Joe has my affliction. You should see what my husband has to do to get me out of bed. On second thought, it’s not pretty.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wake Up Call

My day started off with an interesting phone call.

Don't ask me why, but my husband put an old phone underneath our bed. He actually plugged it into the phone jack and outlet so when it rang this morning, I had no idea what was happening. I bolted upright wondering what the heck that unfamiliar ringing was. When I realized it wasn't my ears, I started listening for the source.

My husband was already off to work, so I couldn't yell for him.

After a few moments of confusion, I focused hard on the direction of the ring. I soon realized it was coming from under the bed. With all the strength I could muster at 6:00 something in the a.m. I crawled across our king size bed, and dipped over the edge. My hand flailing around under the bed to try and find the dang thing.

Eureka! I found it and pulled the phone out but by then the answering machine inside of the phone (who knew it had one) picked up. That's when things got interesting.

This is what the lady said:

"Hello, hello," she said with panic, despair, and an edge of annoyance in her voice. "This call is for Cindy Harris, or Morgan, or Riggs, whatever last name you are using now."

She paused and sniffled.

"Ted has died, and so has Steve, and my mother is barely hanging on but not expected to last."

Shocked, I shook my head unable to believe what I was hearing. I was glued to the conversation but I also felt bad because she obviously thought my number was Cindy's number and Cindy needed to know this info.

What if this woman assumed Cindy got this info and Cindy never did, so never returned her call, so . . .so Cindy would be in trouble and I would have the info . . . All these thoughts were racing through my mind. Should I just press end? Would she think Cindy didn't care? I was torn between my sick sense of curiosity, guilt and shock. My hand hovered above the receiver.

Then I heard her take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"Some new documents have surfaced. And they are quite disturbing," she said. "They have some information in them--"

And that's when I couldn't take it any more. My guilt won. I picked up the phone and told the lady that she had the wrong number. She was silent at first, then she choked up a bit and said she was sorry three or four times before hanging up.

All day long I have been dying to know what those disturbing documents said. What did the lady find? Who is Ted? Why did he die? Was there a car accident with Steve? Was her mother in the accident?

As a writer my mind took off on its own. Rolling around with several ideas.

It's been hard to think of anything else today. But I just hope somehow she got a hold of Cindy.

Weird hmmm?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

~I Want To Come Home With You~

Here is my little vintage circus seal that I put on Etsy. He is so cute. He is actually a salt shaker and his mate Mrs. Pepper, is currently on my workbench.

The box is a great gift box for chocolate or jewelry or any smallish item. Starbucks cards fit perfectly in them or the box can be a gift in itself or a collectors item.

Enjoy my little Mr. Salt.

Teacher Appreciation Week Is Coming Soon!

My second grader loves to make his teacher gifts for teacher appreciation week. One of the teacher appreciation days at our school is "flower day" where the kids are encourage to cut flowers out of there garden and bring them into their teacher. Since our yard is still not blooming Joe and I thought of a better idea.

One that will last and not die away.
We first found some scraps of yarn that I had from my many many attempts at knitting. Joe chose the color theme. With the yarn we made pom poms. They are about the easiest things you can make and Joe likes making them. I got the pom pom maker at Jo-Ann Fabric. Just follow the instructions on the pom pom maker packaging. Or you can go on YouTube and find a video on how to make a homemade pom pom maker.
Then we found a pack of 10 recycled wood pencils in green that we had stashed away.
We sharpened 5 of the pencils, the other five we left unsharpened.
I hot glued the pom poms to five unsharpened ends of the pencils so his teacher would have erasers in her flower pot.
Next, I hot glued the pom poms to the other five pencils but on the eraser part so the teacher would have five freshly sharpened pencils ready to write.
Joe and I went to Michael's last night and bought a terracotta pot on clearance for $1.99. We filled it with pebbles purchased at The Dollar Store.
Joe stuck the pencils with pom poms in the pot at varying heights and I glued a ribbon around the pot for an added touch of flare.

A simple art project for your kids and a wonderful gift for their teacher.
It's a functioning piece of art that will brighten up any teachers desk. My older son did this for his first grader teacher years ago and she still has it sitting in her classroom each years. She told me once it was her best gift from her favorite student  . . . and I believed her :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Colorful decorating

It's a struggle to think of things for my boys to do that don't involve electronics, wrestling, running, complaining, or bickering, when the weather is bad and they are stuck inside. So I gave them a project of decorating the fireplace (which is going to be remodeled soon but still deserves some love and attention).

I am very proud of my boys. They came up with this idea.
They took spools of antique colored thread, organized them in a color scheme all their own and strung them on jute string. Voila! A garland.
Then they organized some of the hundreds of books we own in that same color scheme. They made poms with left over yarn and glued them to stick to be put in a vase and as an accent at the end of the garland.

I think the result is clever and beautiful. Way to go boys!
Look, you spent several hours without asking me if you can play MLB 2011 on the PS 3.

Yippee! I call that progress.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Is This Crazy Or What?

Iranian cleric blames quakes on promiscuous women

More than 25,000 people died in the Bam quake
Women who wear revealing clothing and behave
promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes,
an Iranian cleric says.

My friend posted this on facebook. I think this is truly scary.

If you want an interesting book to read on the Middle East and the problems woman over there face read anything by Jean Sasson.

Be sure to have a tissue handy when you read her books. I promise you won't be able to put them down.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thought For Today

When I came to a stop yesterday in my car I flipped down my vizor to check out the rats nest known as my hair and I saw something startling . . . . .



I am truly truly old. Furthermore, as I was working today I felt my neck sagging. I have never asked an older person if they can feel there skin sagging but if I did I think they would say yes they can.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sentimental Journey

I am a sentimental soul. Some would say a sentimental fool but I can't seem to help it.

A lot of people aren't sentimental at all. My sister in fact, says she doesn't have an ounce of sentimentality in her bones. And she doesn't.
Why me?
My sister and I came from the same family, you would think we'd be similar.

So where does my sentimentality come from? I can't tell you, but I can tell you it happens to be fixated on the years 1940-1945. Those War Year's pluck at my heart like nothing else.
I only truly feel relaxed listening to music from that era.

When my good friend bought me an old scrapbook from the 1940's at an estate sale in Carmel, I was very excited. I thought of all the things I could do with it, cut it up, rip the pages out, make collages . . .

But once I got my hot little hands on it, I couldn't put it down, let alone cut it up.

As I was reading through the brittle pages I got a little teary eyed. The estate manager told my friend that there was no one left in the Bishop family, so the scrapbook was being sold.

The pages are chuck full of every aspect of Mrs. Bishop's life. From her c-section receipt, and baby food list, to old cards, and letters from loved ones fighting in WW II. I keep thinking Mrs. Bishop would probably cry if she knew some stranger was looking through her stuff. It breaks my heart.

So so many memories lovingly glued into a book and so much life just sold off to a stranger.

So Mrs. Bishop, where ever you are, I want you to know I hold your memories dear to me. Reading through your scrapbook is a reminder of lonely times, but also how one woman kept the home fire burning, passing time, keeping memories in her book to show to her husband if he returned home to her and their little baby boy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Flower Box On Etsy

I just put my vintage salt and pepper flower box on etsy. This little gal was hard to give up.

Ahhhhh Southern Boys

Hi Y'all!
In my paying job I talk with a lot of people (almost entirely men) from all over Canada and the USA. No, I don't work at, for-a-hot-time-call . . . I have a respectable job.
Anywho, like I said, I mostly talk to guys because for some reason there are a lot of guy engineers and not a lot of female engineers.

So for several weeks now I have been doing a little research and I have come to a conclusion.
Oh my gosh!
Southern men are really real gentlemen.
They are sooooo sweet, polite, kind . . . whatever you want to call it. I have called nearly a hundred engineers in the southern states and each one is very kind. You can't fake that stuff. They are the real deal.
I have to salute those men (and their mothers for raising polite gentlemen) in Texas and Lousiana that I've talked to, they make my day.
Today, I talked with a guy from Grand Coteau, LA. (The above picture is from this little town).
The gentlemen charmed my thick half wool and half cotton socks (which kinda itch) right off my feet.
I almost fainted (I was channeling Scarlett or Carol Burnett . . .hmmm not sure).
When I looked up the town (no I wasn't being a stalker I just looked it up because of the time zone thing) I fell madly in love with this place. Some day I am headed for Louisiana.

Now I am very sorry if I offend anyone but the next comment may not be nice, the majority of the men I talked with from, Cleveland, Illinois, and Pennsylvania weren't that nice. They were short, to the point, and made me very nervous. There was a physicist from Penn State who was really sweet but in general I think the men of Cleveland, Illinois, and Pennsylvania need to take a vacation to Grand Coteau.

I don't know nothin' bout birthin' babies but I sure do know a nice man when I talk to him.
My hat is tipped to Southern Men.

Signing off

Monday, April 12, 2010

Weird Situation

Last night my son and I were standing in line at Starbucks. This Starbucks happens to be inside a local grocery store.

The man and woman in front of us were purchasing some groceries, a latte, and a frap. They where taking forever and I was a little put out that they were buying groceries in the Starbucks line.

As Joy, the absentminded barista, made the couples drinks the man took a biscotti from the fixture in front of the register and started eating it.

I waited and waited to see if he would pay for it and he never did. When he was done he tossed the wrapper in the garbage and walked off with his frap and groceries

I was so close to saying something but I didn't.

What would you have done?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In My Mind I Am In Scotland

Sometimes you just need to get away. When I need to escape, I go to Scotland.

Now don’t get excited, the oil didn’t start flowing in North Dakota and yes you are correct, I still won’t get on a plane (I’ve seen Lost, come on).

The truth is I travel to Scotland with a permanent lay over on my couch. There I can stay for days with my eyes focused clearly on my favorite show. Its name is, Monarch Of The Glen and I am addicted to it.

It’s a BBC tv show or at least it was a BBC tv show. It ran its course, and is now sitting at Borders in the British TV section or sitting in the vaults at Netflix waiting for someone new to discover it.

I have never before been so fixated on a show or movie. Sure there have been movies that I think about long after I see them. And there are my favorites that I buy. But nothing has stayed on my mind and in my heart as much as Monarch Of The Glen.

What draws me to this particular show?

The answer on the surface could be easy. Maybe it's the handsome Laird, Archie MacDonald? He is absolutely adorable. Perhaps it’s the beautiful location, or the romance of Scotland and a castle? This is all true but it’s deeper than that. The shows creators (Monarch Of The Glen is actually a book) have created a unique and special world that happens to speak to me. I can’t help but want to step into the world of Glenbogle and there is not one specific reason why.

The show is definitely odd by now-a-days standards. There’s no sex, violence, or bad language. It’s not a thriller that keeps you guessing like Lost. It’s just quirky characters living a wonderfully unusual life. Like any good story, each character has their own issues and compelling story. One doesn’t outshine the other. All are interesting. I even like the exploits of the old and pompous Lord Killwillie.

The plot is solid – It’s about a young man, Archie, who is called back home to assist his ailing father in running the families ancestral castle and estate, which has fallen into bad times. Discovering he is the new Laird of Glenbogle, Archie reluctantly stays and tries to make the estate profitable. Doing so, he finds out his heart is truly back home in the Highlands. As you can imagine, there are funny and poignant trials, tribulations, and romance along the way.

Each time I watch an episode, I feel like I can escape for a while. Absorb into the surroundings of Glenbogle and lose myself in each character’s issues.
The only downfall is that it ends way too soon and then I have to return to life in Portland, Oregon which is not bad but I can only imagine that laundry is not as romantic as planning a Highland ball.

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Family Member

I finished my seal box but I think he needs a ball. Like a bright red one. Any ideas on where I can find a small red ball?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cozy Up, Snuggle Down, And Watch Cary Grant

On a rainy cold Easter evening such as this, the best thing to do is, grab the fam, cozy up, snuggle down, and watch Cary Grant.

Here are my all time, tried and true, best Cary Grant movies ever. Rent them on Netflix.
Hoppy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

"Good Books Never End"

On the way to school today, my 13 (yes, I said 13) year old son (WOW) was upset that it was time to go in the building because he was at a gripping point in his book.

I asked, "How gripping can it be? You've read that book before?"

He said, "Mom, good books never end."

Meaning they live with you throughout your life. I think this is very true. I'm sure we've all had books that stay with us. Some that we think of as friends that sit on our shelves so we can revisit them every once and awhile.
Well, here are a few of my all time favorites. Nothing too heavy but one that make me smile.


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