Wednesday, March 29, 2006

If you like pina coladas...

This morning while writing, I mean researching, I mean bloghopping--I found the story about the Dad on Strike over at bloggingbaby. Intrigued, (and inclined to side with him) I hopped over to his website. While exploring, I found something a little more bizarre and yet familiar, too.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jane, stop this crazy thing!

While I did not get to fly to highschool with my very own jetpack like Elroy, maybe I will have a chance to have Rosie clean the kitchen!

Monday, March 27, 2006

There is no place like home

I found this over at the Suburban Misfit's blog. As the hubbie and I are discussing where we may want to live after he gets out of the Army, I thought I'd see where this quiz took me!

Where would you most like to live? Go find out!

Older and wiser

I was kind. Remember that.

When I turned 30, my sisters and brother called me for my birthday but the ones furthest from my age had some rather insensitive comments. (Ah, the foolishness of the young!)

Last week, one of you turned 30. My kids and I sang and I yelled, Aunt J is 23! I was met with silence on the other end. I think you thought my senility was complete. Especially when you finally, quietly asked: "you don't really think I'm 23, do you?"

While I do live in my own world and prefer to believe that my siblings aren't getting older, I'm not that far gone yet. Though I would like to continue to tell the world that I am 23, it's hard as all of my siblings are past that age now.

Once you realized that I am quite aware of how old you really are-- you mentioned that I was much nicer to you than you were to me.

Exactly. Remember that. Though years ago, I warned you with comments such as "just wait" and "your time is coming," I did not follow through when the time arrived. (I reserve the right to rub it in later however, if warranted.)

And now--a few words of wisdom I thought I'd share:
Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese. ~ Billie Burke

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring Break Sleepover---who is going to SLEEP?

Mrs. C! Mrs. C! Did you know that if you get sleepy, you can splash cold water on your face and it'll wake you right up?

Yes but who told you?

And the giggles begin...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Field Trip

I have been promising to take my son to a planetarium and as it's Spring Break--and the snow was melting to a muddy slush yesterday--I decided it was time for a family field trip!

We headed for the Cosmosphere--a 2+ hour drive from home. I said we'd leave "early" so the fact that we backed out of the driveway minutes before 11:00 is pretty good for me! (It was still "a.m." anyway!)

My daughter insisted it was unfair that I made her go. She pouted as she entered the IMAX theater to see Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon. Once the movie started, I spent most of it reminding her to whisper or be quiet! The girl who had no interest in space or the space center now would like to walk on the moon. She asked if a woman had ever walked on the moon. When I answered "no," she said "I'm going to be the first one!" (As soon as we left the theater though, she amended this plan. "I want you to come with me, Mom! You could be the first woman on the moon!" )

My son has known for at least the last two years that he wanted to be an astronaut and has had long-standing plans of walking on the moon. He has asked me several times if I'd like to come with him but it has nothing to do with history or gender, of course---he just doesn't want to go alone! (Can't say I blame him!) He was a little afraid of the movie but watched it and enjoyed the planetarium show a little later.

As we left, they were both sorely disappointed that it was still such a cloudy night because they wanted to try to spot and name constellations in the sky. We did not make it home until 7:30pm but it was certainly a day well spent.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Still tweaking...

I have not forgotten about the "short" entry. I have not refrained from sharing it because it's too good and I think you will steal it. I have not held back because I think it is horrible. It is somewhere in the middle and I think--I hope--I can do better than that.

I know, first I complained because the assignment was for no more than 75 words and I had 98.

Then I was thrilled when I had only 30!

Later, I thought--if I CAN submit 75--WHY would I send only 30?

(I am rolling my eyes here, too!)

I have another version that is currently 66 words. That is not good enough simply because I don't like the number 66.

It's a good thing the deadline is April 10. Or perhaps not. I'll let you know.


Once upon a time, there lived a writer who loved to procrastinate. No--NO--you have not heard this story already.

This writer--we will just call her The Procastinator--subscribed to Writer's Digest. In one issue, she read an article about how many writers have started blogs and have not only been noticed by book publishers but offered contracts for books. Sometimes these bloggers had manuscripts written and sometimes publishers wanted something with the same substance--and following--they saw in the author's blogs.

The Procrastinator thought about blogging but realized that the subject of her current WIP would not be enthralling blogging material. She waited.

A few weeks later, she learned that one of her good friends had a blog! She read it and was impressed. Again, she considered starting her own but was afraid someone might compare her writing to the friend's--we'll just call him A Better Writer--and waited some more.

Then, one day, The Procrastinator had something to say. It would not fit in The Book she was writing and she had to write it somewhere. So she started her own blog and started posting random thoughts for whomever might stop by her site.

The Procrastinator began exploring the blogosphere, finding more and more entertaining blogs out there to visit and even began leaving comments! Some blogs had clever titles, some had specific themes but most of them gave a glimpse of that blogger's daily life, whatever that might entail.

Recently, a friend that went to highschool with The Procrastinator (we'll call her Very Kind) foundTP's blog. Very Kind said nice, pretty things about the blog. As a mother herself, VK mentioned that she could relate to some of TP's posts about life with kids and said she wished there were columns like this in the newspaper. TP thought she could at least give her a list of other blogs to visit--though she realized that VK might not be so complimentary about TP's after reading some of the great ones out there! (As The Procrastinator began the list, tentatively calling it "Mommy blogs" she did an internet search and found this. TP agrees with this author and the list now has no title!)

In any case, TP is making a list and thereby inviting VK to explore more of the blogosphere, too!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Lions and lambs

I planned! We've had temps in the 60s and 70s! I ran outside, did a little yardwork, tried to get a little color on my pale white legs--getting ready to spend time outdoors with the kids during Spring Break!

Yes, yes--I know--March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb but this lion took his time! Tomorrow is the first official day of N's Spring Break. It is also the first day that any real SNOW has been forecast in quite a while. This is not just a possibility of rain/snow mix, people: they are saying 6-10 INCHES are expected with snow continuing on and off until Thursday.

I guess life does balance out eventually. I don't think we got any snow during her Christmas/winter break.

I am going back to playing it by ear and just seeing what we feel like doing when tomorrow arrives. Maybe if I plan to just hang out and see how much snow we get--the sun will show up after all; if not, we've got snow pants and sleds.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Starting the weekend off right!

As we head into the weekend -- and Spring Break for the kids -- I was online looking for ideas to keep everyone occupied for the next week.

I took a break to do a little bloghopping and found this over on Angela's blog! WooHoo!

Thanks again, Angela!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Blogging for Books--Little soldiers on the move

When I learned that this month's Blogging for Books topic was The Military, I thought I would write something about the sacrifices our soldiers make or share something about my experiences as a military spouse. When I sat down and began typing, something entirely different emerged.

I grew up in a small town near three Navy bases. New kids arrived in my classes every year and friends left every year as well. It was common for students to enroll at all times during the year. Those of us who were not military brats had already heard in kindergarten that we should welcome new friends as they were in a new city, new school, etc. We were good students and learned our lesson well. By the time we were in second grade, someone actually got hurt because we were all scrambling to sit next to the new girl in class!

A lesson not taught by the teachers but learned equally as well was how hard it was to be friends with kids in military families. We played tag and rode bikes together but learned not to share too many secrets or be best friends with people who might not be there a few months or a year later. Besides, they were used to moving often, meeting new people...they probably didn't want to make a best friend either.

At that time in our lives, we were learning a little geography and cursive writing. We got to be pen pals with kids in classrooms far away. It was exciting! However, making the leap to keeping in touch with school friends who moved to Virginia or Japan—pen pals that I already knew—did not usually last very long.

I grew up and married an Army officer. My daughter completed kindergarten before we had to move to a new town and new school. Her best friend from that year still sends her letters at least once a month and includes Halloween treats, Christmas cards and valentines. My daughter says “I will have to write her back” but rarely completes the task without a reminder from me. While I am glad that my daughter has adjusted to her new home and school and made new friends, I remember being the friend that was left behind, wondering why the letters stopped coming.

Though we live near a large Army installation, my daughter attends a private, Catholic school. Only a few of the other students are from military families. My daughter has a few good friends and one “best friend.” The BF likes to play with my daughter as often as she can, too. They get along great. However, I have tried to encourage my daughter to invite different friends over once in a while (hoping her friend will do the same).

We may move next summer. My daughter has really come out of her shell this year and is outgoing at school. That is a benefit of being a military brat. You have to learn to make new friends. I know she will be fine if we move to another city and another school. She will make new friends again.

I do worry for her best friend sometimes; the girl who will be left behind.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blogging 4 Books Trial

I am going to give it a try.

I say this every month.

This month, the topic for Blogging for Books is The Military.

I grew up in a town surrounded by THREE Navy bases, dated the hubbie while he was in ROTC and got to learn all sorts of Anacronyms and then, when he became an Active Duty member of the military, I married him--which means I said it was OK to let other people call me a DEPENDENT.
So I'm sure I can find something to say. If not now, when?

Please join me!

He is lucky but not charmed

C has been asking for the "Cocoa Puffs" he sees on TV. You've seen the commercials--processed chocolate sugary cereal is part of a balanced breakfast. (As long as the child has milk, juice, toast, maybe some eggs and a few of those chocolate puffs for dessert, that is!)

So he's been asking. We see it in the store. It's been a good day and he's behaved well so I'm considering giving in. I pick up the box. Then we see the other box...Chocolate Lucky Charms!

Yes, I am an idiot who obviously has no concern for her children's health. (This is obvious as my kids are already well familiar with regular Lucky Charms and now we're sampling chocolate Lucky Charms. The original cereal just didn't pack an entire week's worth of sugar into each bowl so we've got to try harder).

I hand him the box and he's excited! Of course, his interest is more in a particular marshmallow than the flavor of the surrounding cereal. He asks me to read the descriptions of each marshmallow on the side of the box as we stroll the supermarket aisle. When I read that the moon was "invisibility," that's all he needs. For the next twenty minutes, he repeats, "I've always wanted to be invisible."

He's snacking now and is quite disappointed that he can still see himself. I tried pretending I could not see him--looked right through him--but he looked down, saw his shirt and was not going to play along. These don't work!

Well, not yet anyway. I'm sure that in a few minutes, when the sugar is coursing through his system, he will be able to pick up enough speed to be just a blur or possibly move fast enough that I won't be able to see him!


I am not impressed with George W. Bush and I am afraid of our government.
However I love my country and feel lucky to live in a nation where I can say all of the above.

I thank all of the men and women who have fought to preserve our freedoms. This artist has the right idea.

Monday, March 13, 2006

They make it look so easy!

The good news is that I can type over 75 words a minute (especially after a few cups of Java)! The frustrating news is that in a very short amount of time, I already have far too many words for a magazine "assignment"/contest submission!

Writer's Digest offers an assignment every month and the winner's entry is published in the magazine a few months later. I don't have delusions of winning but it's good practice, right?

My problem is the word count requirement. The entry has to be 75 words or fewer! I've already deleted parts and I've gotten it down to 98 words but that's not going to cut it!

The deadline is April 10 so I have time to keep cutting.

The link above is for last month's assignment. If you want to try this with me, let me know! I can email "Assignment #195" to you or post it here!

Update--there IS a reason to exercise regularly! (OK, I know the reasons but I'm always looking for motivation!)
Sitting here, staring at the screen did not help me delete another word. However, after about 10 minutes on the treadmill, I thought of a way to write the same idea in about 30 words!!! I don't know if it was endorphins or the 80s music but I'll take it! (Now if I could just make myself get on that thing every day, who knows what I could come up with?) ;)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Step on a crack, break your mother's back...

Her interest in Brownies has been waning and even when she wants to go, she rarely wants to wear her vest. Consequently, I have not felt too guilty about falling behind on sewing all of her patches on to it. However, I promised I'd have them all on in time for her to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It's tomorrow. Yes, I only have one and half left to go. I love my daughter but sewing is not exactly something that I enjoy. It makes me want another glass of wine but then threading the needle gets trickier.

She just received another patch last Saturday so she wanted that one on first. She watched as I sewed, talking about the week as I continually pricked my finger, trying not to bleed directly onto the vest. (Thank goodness it's already brown (aka the color of dried blood). The person who designed the uniforms for the girls just beginning Girl Scouts was kind enough to realize that plenty of moms were beginning, too!)

Remember the sash that R was wearing at piano lessons on Thursday?

Ouch. Yes.

Was that hers or her mom's?

It was her mom's old uniform. Ouch. She wore it Thursday because she was doing a report on Juliette Low for school.


(Oh my, we do have work to catch up on, don't we?!) I explain who she was but N is quick to get back to talking about the uniform.

Mom? Do you remember how many patches that sash had?

Quite a few! OW!!! I didn't count but her mother must have been a busy Girl Scout! Oowwww!

Do you think if I stay in Brownies and do some extra stuff, I could earn that many patches?

Sure, Sweetheart. You can--OW--do anything you put your mind to!

I'm gonna look at my Try-It book now and see what else I can do!

That's the spirit! Ouch! Why don't you do that?


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It happens

C has finished dinner and is sitting on the couch. N is finishing dessert (2nd helping of that, too) so I'm not sitting at the table with her anymore but getting the bath ready for C. I come back in through the living room, complaining about having to step over the lightsabers and telling them to be more careful about picking up food when it's dropped as I have found something all the way in the middle of the livingroom.

What is it, they both want to know.

I don't know but it shouldn't be out here. We've got to clean up a little better around here!

It looks like poop!

I roll my eyes. Please don't say that, especially while you're eating!

Hey, C! Mommy picked up poop! My eyes stop rolling and start glaring. N looks down. Sorry. She's trying not to laugh. But then, what is it?

In the meantime, C is rolling on the couch. Mommy picked up poop! Bwahaahaa!

I'm on my way to the trash but N still wants to know. They've had cookie-dough ice cream, cookies yesterday, we were outside earlier so it could be could be anything.

I sniff.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I read somewhere (another blog?, book?, article?) that a mom admitted that her brain cells were GONE. She stated simply that during childbirth, each of her children grabbed a handful of her brain on their way out. While I only have two children, it's obvious that they took their share.

We went to the playground today and N tried a new trick--flipping her body over a bar.
C and I were very proud.

I am 35 and have a bachelor's degree in English.
I said, "Cool!"

My son is 5 and is not yet in kindergarten.
He said, "That is a brilliant idea!"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

In the name of research

I've struggled with nailing down an exact year for my WIP to begin. I've played with a few different time frames where the characters could still do what they wanted to do but currently, it's beginning somewhere around 1915-1920.

Along with writing, some of my other interests are history and procrastination so research fits in quite nicely! ;)

Thinking about the time frame and my female main character yesterday, it occured to me that I could work in something about the 19th amendment (in which women in the U.S. finally gained the right to vote). With that in mind, I was off to the library! To my dismay as a reader, there were not many titles available on the subject but that's probably good for the progress of the book! During my search, I did find a small gem. (Size doesn't matter!) It's only 55 pages and much of those are photographs but it discusses the American Women's League and the Women's Republic--both of which I had never heard of. Even more fun, it shows photos of the "chapter houses" and right there, on page 29 is a photo of a building that I pass every weekday on the way to and from school! I had seen the embossed "Women's Club" on the facade of the building (which is now an attorney's office) but had no idea what the history was behind it.

I love stuff like this! I am only going to read one more page and then go back to writing!

What? Stalling? ME?!?!

Yeah, I know...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Streakin' Saturday!

My son asked me to play legos with him and I said I would as soon as he took a "potty break." He followed directions but now I'll have to catch him to play. He is stark naked, running a loop from the living room, past the front door, through the dining room and kitchen chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

Maybe we will see him running at the Olympics one day but this is not the way I'd imagined!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Wednesday, before we recieved a big, black cross of ashes on our foreheads that we were to leave on for the rest of the day---we heard the gospel reading (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) about how we should pray quietly at home rather than loudly out in public, give alms to the poor quietly rather than announcing our donations and other suggestions on how to keep our relationship with our God between Him and us, rather than making a show for the rest of the world.

Also on Wednesday (though I was reading Tuesday's newspaper) I read an article by Donald Rumsfeld where he made the case that America needs to update it's media and public relations methods for the 21st century. He lamented the fact that even very poor neighborhoods in countries such as Tunisia had satellite dishes on nearly every balcony or rooftop and that the programming they received was largely anti-Western, making it simple for terrorists to use these media to promote their own agendas. The article was published here on page A7 of our small, local paper.
(Maybe this was announced on every network channel--I'm giving up tv for Lent--but then this should have been a news story before Wednesday...)

I decide to give up television again for Lent. The hubbie has been wanting a TiVo and called Wednesday to tell me about cable's DVR. So on the first day of Lent, I call for more info, upgrade our package to include digital television (now we get many more channels) and pick up the DVR system so we can record what we miss.

The hubbie is getting calls from recruiters as he's considering getting out of the Army next year. There are opportunities across the continent so in asking for help in narrowing his search, he asked where I would like to live. I said near the ocean. He said there's more than one. I said I'm not that picky. Either will do. Not being a coastal or southern states fan, he is more interested in looking in the midwest. I was encouraged about one that is at least on the Mississippi river but I remind him how great it would be to live by the water. Yesterday he did send me this.
(I know--this isn't really ironic. It IS water. He's trying)

[Disclaimer: the following is a petulant complaint and in the hubbie's defense, the irritating comment was uttered during an argument and we both later apologized. I'm still including it in my list of ironic events this week though.]

I do not complain too much when the hubbie is gone every other weekend and a few weeks for his MBA classes and have decided to have an open mind regarding some mid-western cities where he is job-seeking for next year to find the perfect reasons why we should live there. We are all traveling to ND for his graduation in May and as it is on a Sunday, N will miss school on the following Monday. He'd like to visit a potential job/city the day after graduation but I hesistated, worrying that N would miss two days out of the last week of school. This prompted his complaint that he gets no support.