About Me

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I am old soul who covers the grey really well. I love to be active and creative. I am blogging to help keep the memories alive and to keep those special moments around.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Favorite parts of the house

Every morning I religiously watered my tomatoes & zucchini. I would drag the sprinkler over to the side of the house, turn it on and walk away. A few minutes and yes sometimes, a half an hour later, I would turn it off, walk back and get the sprinkler. The best part was the sprinkler made this deliciously deep puddle next to the tomatoes. Every morning I would plant both my feet in that cold puddle and let out a big sigh. It was a zen moment & cheaper than deep breathing at a yoga class.

I love that corner of my house. I landscaped it myself. My husband made the walkway out of cement and forms. He had the kids put their hand prints in the pathway and the poor cat and dog added their paw prints too. I have a trellis on which nothing grows but it looks so decorative. I have a bird's nest hanging out of the tree. I think I feng shui'ed it but not on purpose.

There is also a patch of sun in the winter that comes through my back door and lands on whatever chair or sofa is there. I love that patch in February when my bones are cold. I lay in it and instantly fall asleep. I make the kids play board games there too so I can soak up whatever heat I can to get me through another Michigan winter. I love our double chair in that room that is so comfy for 1 & great for 2 people.

Lately, I have been loving the basement. With 2 pre-teens and 2 t.v.'s upstairs, nobody is happy, except me. I have been sneaking down to the basement. O.k. I call it my spa/workout/lounge area. I have my new favorite hated book Gorgeously Green with lots of easy yoga poses in it. Plus some wonderful facial concoctions in it that I look at & want to try. I have my jump rope, weights and my favorite work outs torn out from my Fitness magazine. I also have my own remote controller to a smallish t.v. It is nirvana for me.

My husband has come home multiple times and cannot find me. I joyfully listen to his footsteps walking around the upstairs looking for me. He loves to come down and find me alone. Our kids have a 6th sense of when we want to be alone. We no sooner hug than 1 of them is between us. This is not my favorite house by far and we do hope to move someday. However, I do love these spots. They give me sanity, comfort and joy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What a feeling!!!

Yes, I am done with my teacher meetings and my teacher prep. It is a 4 day weekend. I can't wait to rest, relax, play a little tennis, be with my hubby and enjoy! I love the feeling of being done. The elation of being able to walk out of the door. I get this feeling undoubtedly at school, in meetings, at church and places where I am being restricted.

I love the joy of knowing it is behind me. I love the freedom that comes with leaving. I have an open book this weekend. I know my son & I will cook ribs. My daughter & I will get ready for school. My husband and I will enjoy some couple time. I know I will squeeze in a walk, a few runs and some sit-ups. BUT there are no rules, no limits and no restrictions.

I have nothing to look forward to for the next few days except for everything. No one is droning on about facts and figures. And if they do, I can walk away. There is a big smile on my face and freedom in my heart. Look out weekend, here I come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just looked at the clock. I have 30 minutes roughly to get ready. I also had to set my alarm today. I'll be home by 3:30. I need to get my son out of the house today by 5:54 to get to football practice on time. My daughter babysat last night & was supposed to be home at 6 p.m. but came home around 8 p.m. I am good with time and watch the digital clock move time tick by tick by tock.

I have always been an early bird. I hate being late. I usually can guess what time it is. I believe my inner clock works fine. Why do I have to keep one? They say time is relevant, I say time is relinquished. I hate giving mine up especially at the end of summer. This is the wrong time to ask me about it since today is the first day for teachers to report back including me.

Yesterday, I wanted time to move more slowly. Today, I want it to rev up. Then I want it to slow down so I can spend time with my kids in the afternoon. Time never seems to get doled out evenly. I have a little time then a lot. I have no time then all of the time in the world. When can I find the time to get everything done? Maybe I should just stop blowing off time by writing this blog and get the day started.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't need super nanny, I just need a little help

First I am writing this blog so I can avoid going running. Second, my household is not crazy nor are my kids so I do not think I need a super nanny. Third, I just want someone to peer into my house for a little while and then make some constructive comments. There always seems to 1 or 2 things that I can never get the kids, my husband or the dog to do. I need a little advice form the outside world on how to gets these small changes implemented.

I mean, I know many women who have the same complaints. First, why can no one else replace a roll of toilet paper? I am the one who just happens to have to go to the bathroom the second the roll runs out? There are 2 bathrooms in our house & I know I do not go to the bathroom that much. I know the answer is to buy that super toilet paper roller that goes in public bathrooms. It just does not match the aesthetic.

Furthermore, doesn't anybody else see the cobwebs, dust or that major milk spill on the kitchen floor? O.k. when I was first married, I did not own a vacuum cleaner. Yes, we had unvacuumed carpeting in our apartment. My husband said nothing. Then my mother-in-law came to visit. She said nothing too. However I was mortified when we were all sitting in the family room and she started dusting the entertainment center. Didn't she know we twenty-somethings had better things to do than clean? The upside is she sent us a check the following week for a new vacuum cleaner. Cha-ching! As time went by, admittedly I have become a better cleaner/maid. p.s. we still have that vacuum cleaner

Am I the only one who can successfully take a dish to the sink, rinse it and then transport it to the dishwasher. Yes, my dog is the worst offender here. Ha-ha! I wish it was him because he seems to be trainable. It is the follow through on this type of chore that drives me crazy. It is an epidemic in our house. It seems to happen with clean & dirty laundry, household fix-ups and food prep to name a few chores. One to two steps is always seems to be conveniently forgotten or was going to be done "later".

So do you think super nanny would be up to this challenge? Or is there a better way to solve these kind of problems? Am I just supposed to wait for when my kids have their own homes? Then I can go over and sabotage them. (Btw, my mom lives next door, maybe she is the culprit) O.k. now I am steamed up. I think I gave myself a reason to go running (away) from my house for awhile. Maybe I'll bring the dog.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last two days

For me it is the official last 2 days of summer vacation 2008. Wow, what a crazy summer! School for me, vacation to the Jersey shore, a trip to Texas, my first time to Texas, an old dog, new tomato plants & the zucchini is coming in, my son's redone bedroom, a basement clean out, tennis, tennis & more tennis, strawberry steusel muffins, living on a budget, a day at Paradise Park, a new nature center in West Bloomfield to explore, first fishing expedition, camping with the dad's side of the family, Cheeze-Its & 4 extra pounds, many 6 mile runs, water fights on the trampoline, my son riding his bike everywhere, my daughter reading a lot, taco salad, grilling in the backyard & so much more. I can't believe its over!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My old dog

It is a quiet 7 a.m. here at my house. I am the only one up except for my dog, Smitty. He is laying here next to me vegging out. We believe he is now 18 years old. It has been a difficult summer for him and myself. Age has caught up with him.

Life is very slow for Smitty. His hips are bad which cause him lots of pain. He especially has trouble getting up. Sometimes he back pedals so much trying to get up, he literally scoots himself under the bed and gets stuck. I hear him whimpering from the other room and I come running. I help him up and down the steps too.

I found Smitty at the Humane Society. We had just bought a house because I wanted a dog. My husband had never had a dog before so we agreed to find an older dog. I had read in a dog newspaper that this particular dog, a golden retriever mix, was there. When we came to his cage, the caretaker told me they would not put him to sleep because he was so good. I knew right then and there that he was mine.

He has been a good dog. He has been a loyal dog. He has been a nanny to my children. They learned to walk when they would crawl over to him and grab his fur. He would get up to leave with the baby still hanging on. For the babies, it was walk or fall. Smitty was so gentle with them and never was mad at me when the babies took precedence over him. He has been my driving partner and best friend for many years.

Before my kids were born, I would walk him before and after work. I worried about leaving him alone all day. After all he was my first baby. In fact, we would leave him with a friend to be babysat when we would be one for long periods of time. Once the babies came along, we would still walk almost everyday. I would have the baby in stroller and Smitty pulling us along on a retractable long leash. I often heard the comment "Who is walking whom?" Even when I had a double stroller, he would still pull us all along.

The challenge to walking Smitty was to be on squirrel alert. He would take off after them the second he spotted them. He also had a habit of rolling around in whatever he deemed to be a special fragrance outside. This would either be the muck from the creek or a special present left by another dog. Those were good times. Lately, he has an annoying habit of barking incessantly whenever food is out. But we still love him.

Now he sleeps most of the day. He is very picky about food. He prefers the human kind. There are days when I think it is over but then the next day, he has a little spring left in his step. I often whisper in his ear that whenever he is ready to leave his tired body behind that it is o.k. I know it will be hard to say good-bye but sometimes you have to let the good ones go.

I often joke with my husband that heaven will be for me Smitty waiting at the pearly gates but I mean it. He has been part of our family. We all love him so much. Right now his pain is our pain. I still remember the young dog who was smart enough to lay on the couch when we were not in the house. I still remember the young dog who was attacked by our cat when our newborns would cry and not move a muscle. I care for the old dog who can't see in the dark anymore. I leave the porch light on for him.

Smitty, I love you!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A few moments of peace

This summer we have had a few moments of peace. We had one a short while ago but sadly, it is gone. My son and daughter are now in attack mode. It is not physical hitting of one another but they menace each other. I think it is to menace me. I am a bundle of nerves right now waiting to hear about all of my tests & finals. I think they know this and want to help...

I am trying deep breathing. I will take them out to walk around Quarton Lake in a few minutes - little do they know. I am going to get my son a fishing rod kit - hopefully. We will see how much it costs. Wish me luck

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My great ideas, where did they go?

I was out running this morning & had some really great ideas. However, now at close to 3 p.m. they are gone. I mean these ideas were brilliant & I was ready to do them whatever it takes. I have heard people write things down on paper in the middle of the night so not to forget their great ideas. I do not want to start carrying a pen & paper while I am out running.

I have had 1 of those days anyway. I kept asking the kids where the tape was that I set down on the desk when it was actually in my hand. I was certain my cell phone was waiting for me in my car. Oh no, it was on a table in the house. Why do our brains turn to mush? I am not so busy. It is summer for goodness sake. Sure, my old dog woke me up 5 times in the past 2 nights but I took a nap!

So I still can't think of my great ideas from this morning. I am so sad they are lost. They were super. I could have been a millionaire by the end of this year with some of those suckers! Maybe tomorrow I'll take a sharpie & write on myself when a great idea comes to me. (Or was that 1 of my great ideas from this a.m., hmmm?!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gorgeously Green book review - not so pretty

I was at my local library this week & decided NOT to get any fictional books to read. I have a final and a placement test this week. I cannot afford to become absorbed in a good book. So I picked up a few non-fictional books that caught my eye. One of them was you guessed it "Gorgeously Green" by Sophia Uliano. I saw her on Oprah & was intrigued about the book.

I have to say I cannot believe how being green can be so pretentious. I was not looking for hippie or granola literature on being green but this was so far off that I was disgusted. I also never knew being green could be so expensive. I mean most of us are not Julia Roberts(she write the forward in the book). I cannot shell out 1,000's of dollars to make my life eco-friendly. She gave more web sites and shopping tips than she gave good environmental advice. I guess that is where the gorgeous part plays into her book. We the women of the world according to her need to stand up, be green and girlie at the same time.

I honestly have to say I was not even aware that being green made you un-girlie. I don't know. Maybe she could write off all of her green purchases because of the book. Doesn't shopping NOT equal being environmentally friendly? This book made me feel not excited about helping the environment but depressed because I do not have enough money to spend to save the environment.

p.s. I do have to say I like the idea of environmentally friendly nail polish but have you ever tried environmentally friendly make-up? It is a natural disaster!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back to school budget

So I finally did it this year. I gave my daughter a back-to-school budget. I gave her $300 to spend on jeans, shoes and tops. She is doing well. She has bought most of her jeans & even found a pair for $10! I was impressed. She has spent half of her budget & wants to hold onto the rest until she gets to school so she can see what everyone else is wearing.

I am proud of her. This management of money has been enlightening for her. I am trying to take her to the reasonable shops first like TJMaxx. She found a lot there. She had her arms loaded with clothes including the $10 jeans. We added up the amount together. When she realized how much money she spent then she had to make some tough choices. But she did it.

I have to admit too that we have been using coupons. This has helped immensely. Her favorite store Delia's is great for this. Last year we did the purchase punch card so we had $20 off from finishing the punch card. (She has been holding on to this punch card since May knowing it will help with her back-to-school budget) They also have a buy one pair of jeans get one 1/2 off sale right now. Plus if you try on the jeans then you get a $10 coupon for anything in the store. It is one of the best deals around. Did I mention I love Delia's!

We went to Old Navy next & had a 20% off bag. (If you are a card holder, they mail you a bag & you fill it, whatever is in the bag gets 20% off the total bill) Plus lots of items in the store were 40% off. My daughter found some shorts on clearance for $12 plus all of discounts. More importantly, they were long enough to wear to school!!! Please someone help me understand why most stores are making short shorts that nobody can wear to school?! My son also found some great stuff at Old Navy. On top of that, I found two pairs of khakis for my husband on clearance for $16 apiece plus our 20% off. My bill totaled $140 & I bought 2 pairs of jeans, 3 hoodies, 2 shorts, 2 khakis, 2 sweatpants and more. Gotta love it!

My daughter also took her last year's clothes which no longer fit to Plato's Closet. This is a teen-age resale shop. She sold the clothes to them for $55. She has been holding on to this money. This is her "extra" back-to-school money. Every time she picks up an extra item, I remind her that she has the money to spend. You can see her calculating in her mind if the money is worth spending on this item or not. So far she has found nothing to spend it on. I know that will change when she gets to school and spots a must-have item on somebody else. I am excited for her though to see what this special item will be.

My daughter is basically done with her shopping. My son is fine as usual. The only thing we have to find for him is "product" a.k.a hairspray for his 10 year old head of hair. (That is a whole other blog) We just need to find tennis shoes. I was flabbergasted when I went into Finish Line & saw children's tennis shoes for $70!!!!!! Thankfully my son did not like any shoes there. Normally for shoes we start at Value City and work our way up. That reminds me I have to look for their ad about buy one pair get one 1/2 off too.

So back-to-school in our house is now called back-to-budget. We are going to Marshall's next week for more jean purchases. Hopefully we will find another deal. I am so happy we are working within a budget & she understands what that means. September & August can be an expensive months for us with so many back to school purchases and expenses. This budget for her has helped her see where the money goes and it is a little bit of pre-education as well. She gets an A in budgeting.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Doo-dads and extras, why can't I make my blog pretty?

Among other things on my list of to-do's, I want to make my blog look pretty. I just do not have the time or the brain power to do it yet. I have a Spanish presentation to finish. My son's room needs to be done. I have to call the dr. & dentist for my daughter. I have vocabulary lists to type up for my 8th grade French class. I have to go school.

On top of all that, I am neglecting lots of other things that need to be done. Don't ask. My poor husband also needs some attention & who can get the dog to stop barking at me? So please accept my blog as is for now. It is pretty enough for me. I know I do not have any cute pics or advertisements adorning the sides yet. I think it looks good as is. Look ma, no spelling errors!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fall in the summer

So yesterday the temperature went down a few degrees. A few degrees is enough for me to pull out my sweatshirts. I am cold-blooded. I do not want to fall to come but I admit that I look forward to what it brings.

It has a newness all its own. It is not the spring newness with new flowers, leaves on the trees and the bright sun. The newness of fall revolves around school. I love new books, new pencils and new shoes. I had to throw away my son's old tennis shoes the other day. You would not even believe the state they were in. I could not even think of giving them away.

Fall also brings a new sense of time. Summer provides the long days with no breaks from the heat. Fall provides cool days with a shorter time that makes one hurry to get all the fun stuff in. My son plays football in the fall. While the days are great for football with temps just right, it can be a rush to get the evening practices in before you can't see the ball or feel your fingers.

Don't get me wrong I am still enjoying summer. I do however start looking forward to pulling out my jeans and some long sleeved tees. I get to buy a new fleece jacket this year and I am looking forward to that. I do love my comfortable shorts and simple t-shirts that make summer so easy. I have my favorite flip flops waiting by the door. But my kids are already talking about school and fall sports while we loll around the house. I think we are in the dreaming stage about fall right now because of this touch of cool weather.

So that being said enjoy the few weeks of summer left. Go get that 1 last ice cream cone. Eat your one last piece of corn on the cob. Have a great glass of wine on your deck. Relish in the summer when livin' is truly easy and let time fall by the wayside before fall falls into our laps.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My luck is in a mid-life crisis

My luck has been awful lately. I do catch breaks from time to time but I would love to find a four leaf clover. The past 3 times I have tried to drive to EMU, I get stuck in some real jams. The day before I was to leave for Texas my engine light came on. My dog is on his last legs literally.

This year I have had my purse stolen out of my car by breaking the window to get it. One of my favorite aunts died. My job is in jeopardy. Two out of three of our pets have already died. I have a kidney stone. I took my daughter out of swimming and now she is bored!

I will turn forty next year & I feel like I coasted through my 30's. I'm wondering if there is some cosmic shift going on or is God playing catch up with me? I look at my bad luck and do not see earthquakes, fire or bankruptcy but we still have 4 more months of 2008!

I have prayed to God. I have tried to look on the bright side. My mom says it is just life. I feel like I am having a mid-life crisis. This is not the mid-life crisis I expected. I do not even get a sports car or Botox!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where did the time go?

Yesterday I started getting ready for the new school year. I pulled out all of the school supplies I already have to sort through. Among those papers was my son's welcome to 4th grade letter from his teacher from last year. I teared up! Where did the time go?

I think back to last summer when my son was only 9 & still pulled out his "guys" (small plastic action figures) to have battles all over my living room. He lived at the swim club last year and it was the first time I did not have to watch him. He also loved to still watch cartoons like Transformers.

These activities have faded away over the fourth grade year. My son spends most of his time playing some sport or on his skateboard. He is not a skaterboy yet. He watches ICarly on t.v. & I think he has a crush on the star! We have also been invaded by Tech Decks & the action figures are staying put in a bin in the basement. Hopefully one day, he will have a son who will get them.

So yes I teared up! I could descibe their toys they have left behind like stuffed animals and Lego's. I could list all of the sweet things he used to say. The saddest thing is I hope I will not be left behind too. I no longer kiss boo-boos or tuck anyone into bed. I spend my days driving and buying. I spend my days talking and sometimes shouting.

The good part is we do different things now. We play cards together. We take hikes. We play sports. We go to museums and movies. We can do these things for a long time without naps or snacks. I barely carry any bags filled with necessities like snacks and extra clothes or god forbid, diapers around anymore. We can go to any type of restaurant and leisurely sit and enjoy a meal.

The hard part and the sad part is that the time goes too quickly. I think about first days of school, first bike rides and all the other firsts that have come and go and I would like to rewind. I miss it. I know I am halfway through my children's lives with me. Someday they will be gone. They seem to be leaving a little bit grade by grade. So this year I will put a 5th grader on the bus with his new backpack and his sudden urgent need for an IPod.

I will wave good-bye to him as he leaves for his last year of elementary school. I will wave good-bye to a boy who is quickly becoming a man. I hope he too carries the sweet memories. I hope these memories make him stronger. I hope these memories carry him through good and bad times. I hope he knows I love him as the boy he was and the man he is becoming.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Favorite Things

Favorite animal - dog
Favorite color - blue
Favorite time of day - morning
Favorite season - summer
Favorite item of clothing - jeans
Favorite place in the world - tie between Paris, France & Ocracoke, NC
Favorite food - steak (ironic becuz I do not like to eat meat)
Favorite drink - Diet Coke
Favorite song - In Your Eye's
Favorite artist - Peter Gabriel
Favorite movie - Love Actually
Favorite actor/actress - Katherine Hepburn
Favorite book - The Stand by Stephen King
Favorite author - Jan Karon
Favorite age - 29

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