September 26, 2009

Good Morning Sunshine

I lived in a condo during high school, for which I am now grateful, so I don't know if this is a ha-ha prank or malicious act. I do know Sassy will be busy when she wakes up around Noon. Some guard dogs we have - not a peep out of 'em. Hubby must have experience - not sure if as a participant or recipient - because from the time our kids were old enough to see toilet papering in someone else's yard, he's told them if it ever happens at our house they will be the ones cleaning it up. It rained overnight. ewww. Is it wrong that I can hardly wait for Sassy to get up?!

September 25, 2009

Short Stories

Did you miss me? I was attending a work conference in Chicago. I am worn out - I worked almost every minute not spent listening attentively to speakers (some good, some not so much), eating or sleeping. Good times. I think I am becoming a workaholic and may need an exorcism. I do not like to arrive at the airport one moment before I absolutely have to - hospitals and airports are not my favorite hangouts. I have become so pathetic/insane that I intentionally arrived at Midway 2 1/2 hours early so I could get a "good seat" in the airport. I fly a certain airline that recently merged with another airline to form a behemoth with scant services. Another smaller airline that still allows bags to fly free has a seating area down a spell from my gate with "luxury" seating and built in electical outlets.

Flight to Chicago, $200
CTA transit card for Midway to the Loop and back, $5
2 nights at Magnificent Mile boutique hotel, $250
Comfortably sitting in the airport charging one's iPod and laptop while studying, priceless

Stay tuned for head spinning.

Now for a couple of Chunky short stories.

The other day I kicked Chunky off Club Penguin and shooed him outside to play. He met up with a [girl]friend a couple blocks over who is in his class at school. He came home hours later with two sports jerseys in hand. A neighbor of the girl's is a family from our school as well - they recognized Chunky and asked if he'd like the jerseys. He recognized them as the family who owned a cabin we stayed at last year (fundraising auction at school). They asked how the cabin stay was and he told them no one else liked it but he did. He went on to tell them they should get new beds because the ones they had were uncomfortable and there was a dead mouse in the kitchen. Have I mentioned I'm the president of the PTA at Chunky's school?!

Another day Chunky brought home a "Star Parent" form from school. Parents are encouraged to share their talents - profession and/or hobby - with the class. I had no sooner picked up the form to read it before Chunky took it out of my hand saying, "yeah, I'm going to ask Dad to do that 'cause I don't really know what you do". First thought: ouch. Second thought: yeah, I don't really know what I do either so he's a much better bet.

September 20, 2009


Have I mentioned my obsession with the show "Mad Men". LOVE it! I love the women - they have such depth - trying to make their way in the man's world of the early 1960's. I found this great article after I started writing this post and it's a great summary of the female leads. Another reason I love it is that I have a freakish obsession with Grace Kelly (I collect memorabilia including a Limoges porcelain souvenir ashtray depicting her and Prince Rainier of Monaco) and January Jones looks so much like her it's eerie. I really like the clothes - I kind of wished we still dressed like that but I'd much prefer to use today's undergarments (I heart Spanx) versus the torture shapers of the middle century.

September 19, 2009

RIP Minny

It's a beautiful day in the arctic, unfortunately it has been marred by an untimely death.

Remember when we went to the Great Minnesota Get-Together a couple of weeks ago? We visited the Butterfly pavillion and left with a caterpillar (purchased) for Chunky in hopes it would transform into a beautiful Monarch. Sure enough, within just a couple of days it spun a cocoon at the top of it's container and early today we were rewarded with a butterfly! It's little wings needed to unfurl so we took it outside and set it on one of the last hydrangea blooms. I decided to sit outside to read a book I started when we were up north (yes, I know that was two plus months ago but remember the name of the blog is "better late than never"). Chunky joined me to watch Minny the butterfly and Sassy came out as well. We decided we needed to nurture it so we prepared two paper plates - one with sugar water, the other with a mashed up banana and strawberry. Little Minny seemed more interested in taking a walk-about so we just let it be and left the "snacks" to be enjoyed at its leisure. Before long we heard the angelic sound of the ice cream truck. Chunky fetched some money from my purse and we made our selections. While I paid I asked Chunky to grab a wet wipe from inside so we could keep the mess to a minimum. He came running out of the house to collect his treat and jumped from the top of the stoop and landed - yep you guessed it - right on top of Minny. Squish! I have lots of pre-mortem pics but out of respect for the deceased I've decided not to post them at this time. A moment of silence please.


My grad class requires that I develop a credo and metaphor to convert my leadership model into an image from which I can draw immediate inspiration. Do you think this will fly?

September 18, 2009

Can't Get It Out of My Head

The Beyonce song "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" that is. I had zero interest in this song last summer when it was released. Nothing against Beyonce, it just didn't catch my attention. Until now. I saw her perform it on the Video Music Awards Sunday night and now it is stuck, stuck, stuck. Never saw the music video but if it's anything like her performance the other night, then DAMN! that girl can move!

September 17, 2009

Abducted by Penguins

It was bound to happen ... Chunky has discovered the internet. And Club Penguin has abducted my child. OMG! What the hell is Club Penguin you ask? Come closer and I will tell you - not my words.

Club Penguin is a snow-covered, virtual world where children play games and interact with friends in the guise of colourful penguin avatars. HUH?! Players create a penguin and explore the snow-covered island of Club Penguin, engaging in a variety of fun and imaginative activities. Players can chat, send greeting cards, use emotion icons, or choose from a set of pre-defined actions such as waving or dancing. Users can also attend parties and special events, take on a role in the latest stage play, adopt and care for a cute and cuddly puffle pet, and play games to earn virtual coins which can be used to design the perfect igloo and create hundreds of outfits for their penguin. In addition to being a great place to play and have fun, Club Penguin is a great place to learn and grow. CUE CHEESY MUSIC On Club Penguin, children practice reading, develop keyboarding skills and participate in creative role playing. By accumulating and spending virtual coins earned through game play kids practice math and learn about money management. The cooperative nature of the Club Penguin environment, along with initiatives such as our secret agent and tour guide programs, also help children develop important social skills while gaining a deeper understanding of their role as members of a community. Club Penguin is designed for 6-14-year-olds but is open to all ages. New content is added every week. EVERY WEEK. OMG!

Chunky promptly told me when he arrived home today that he had a "date" with two girls from school at 7:30 on Club Penguin. WHAT?! What happened to going to the park or talking on the phone? As if there's not enough for me to worry about regarding his precious brain and moral development, now I have to compete with penguins? Good gravy!

September 13, 2009


Sassy's team won against the rival team for first place in the conference! I wasn't sure they were going to pull it off but they did it and Sassy played well. She's center (#14) in the pic above. One of her best friends plays for the other team but wasn't able to make it tonight - she might have H1N1. Yikes!

Firsts Photos

Awesome shoes

Hip blouse


September 12, 2009


My first class was wonderful - great energy, terrific instructor and 14 amazing classmates with a 20-yr range in age and diverse backgrounds (only one guy in the bunch!). I was exhausted by the time I got home (after 10pm and I started work at 7:15am) but oddly energized as well. I was really looking forward to a day of rest and relaxation today. What better way to achieve that than shopping?! I went to MOA with my MIL and got the cutest blouse and funky shoes.

I felt a little guilty shopping while Sassy had a volleyball tournament, but I needed the break and the tourney was 30 miles away with an hour between each game (yawn). I sent her with lots of good luck and I think it worked because they won first place! They'll be playing one of their chief rivals (the school Sassy attended last year) on the 14th and these teams are tied for first place in the conference. Go Polars!

Another first is the only element of my backyard that doesn't make me cringe - the blooming 'sweet autumn' clematis vine we planted along the west side of the dog fence. Hubby cannot believe how much the spindly plant I brought home in early May has grown. Never fear, project backyard beautification is underway and I'm optimistic I'll be proud to share a photo of the entire backyard a year from now.

September 9, 2009

Lotus Touts 999

According to Chinese numerology, today is a very lucky day. The word nine in Mandarin is pronounce “jiu” which sounds similar to the word for longevity. So in honor of this day, I am passing along some luck. Or as the british say "Lotus Touts". I received the following via an chain email titled "Mental Feng Shui" and thought it was sound advice even though I hate chain mail. I mean HATE it. If you send me an email with some cutesy quiz and instructions to forward lest a million years of bad luck hail upon me, I will ignore it. I have a black cat AND I was married on a Friday the 13th. Ha!

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
TWO. Marry someone you love to talk to.
THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.
EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
NINE. Love deeply and passionately.
TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly.
ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.
TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.
THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk. '
FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

September 7, 2009

The Great Minnesota Get-Together

We heart the State Fair at my house big time. I know I'm biased and haven't attended a fair in another state, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say ours is the best. Did you know President Teddy Roosevelt gave one of his most famous speeches, “Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick” in 1901 at the Minnesota State Fair?

We got up at the break of dawn yesterday - hubby likes to arrive early - so we could make the most of our day and beat the heat. There isn't a lot to do before 9am besides eat so we got henna tattoos - Sassy's is the chinese symbol for 'love', Chunky's is a shark and mine is a flower (hubby has the real deal). From there we ate our way through most every corner of the fair's 320 acres. Samplings included corn dogs, pork chops on a stick, crepes, fries, cheese curds, malts, cones, lemonades and assorted sodas. The two must-have items we didn't have room for were mini donuts and Sweet Martha's cookies. Not sure why - I feel like we let someone somewhere down though our arteries are likely rejoicing. We didn't get to the Barn Area (cattle, horses, swine, etc.) - the young'uns are past the age of getting excited by farm animals and I don't really have any interest in livestock in various stages of eating, sleeping and ahem relieving.

I forgot the camera at home (my legacy) but was able to grab a photo at the Butterfly Pavillion with Sassy's new phone:

September 4, 2009

Riddle Me This

A new network tv season is about to begin. As always, I'm excited and apprehensive. Each year I commit to at least one new show against my better judgment and just when I'm hooked it ends up being canceled [e.g. Philly (yes it's been 7 years and I'm still bitter about it), Cashmere Mafia, Swingtown, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who]. I can't tell you how frustrating it is. This year I have the added pressure of being a student so will have to make good use of limited TV viewing time (note to self: good time to use the pilates chair collecting dust in the bedroom). I have my "must haves": Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Dancing with the Stars, The Office and 30 Rock. Lost and 24 join the rotation after the first of the year. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are wide open (though I DVR What Not to Wear on Fridays, I don't actually watch it until the weekend 'cause I only like the 360 mirror and finale makeover parts). Fridays will be busy with grad class, except of course on the nights I don't have it which should be spent doing family stuff or on dates with hubby. So, the big question is should I invest my time in any of the new Wednesday shows that look interesting: Hank, The Middle, Cougar Town, Eastwick? Major dilemma here.

September 3, 2009


I am overwhelmed. Volleyball season is in full swing, work is crazy busy, I have 79 things to do before my first grad class and tonight is open house at the grade school (I will be representing the PTA as president and we meet Chunky's fourth grade teacher). We need to attend The Great Minnesota Get-Together this weekend and oh yeah, school starts next week. It's embarrassing as I pride myself on our having homemade family dinners several times each week, but we've had take out every day this week - Subway, McDs, Taco Juan, Pizza. I'm ready for summer to start, not end!

September 2, 2009

Pillow Princess

My husband is a pillow snob. Every couple of years he requires a new one and he is picky with a capital "P". I usually scour to amass a selection from which he can test and select the perfect resting place for his center of intellect. This past Christmas I thought I had found the perfect gift (a feat in and of itself) - a gift certificate to make his very own pillow from the inside out. Do you think he's redeemed said gift certificate? As the saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water ..." Hubby's mother attended Sassy's first volleyball game last night and when she asked how hubby was, he went on about needing a new pillow. My mother-in-law looked at me incredulous. How had I not responded to this great need? Good gravy, I can't win.