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.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shh!

All is quiet here at our house. Nobody is fighting. The dog is not barking. Dinner is done & the kitchen is clean. My book is waiting for me to read. My son has no homework tonight thanks to Rosh Ashanah. Instead in his planner it said "Think peaceful thoughts."

I am thinking peaceful thoughts for the first time in months. I am happy fall is here when I usually dread it. I am full of peace knowing that tomorrow I can run after school. I am peaceful because the lawn is mowed, the bills are paid, there is milk in the fridge & chocolate somewhere around here...Yes that is it peaceful thoughts = chocolate.

Enjoy some chocolate & think peacefully of me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What to write about?



I could tell you about this beautiful weekend, my great run & a family visit. I could tell you about my son's horrible football game - a bad loss. I could tell you about the great applesauce I made this weekend or a pair of pants that I found. But wouldn't that be boring?

I could tell you both kids were dragging this weekend with slight colds but things had to be done. My daughter had a Bar Mitvah. My son came home from 5th grade camp & then played football. I could tell you my husband helped his friend with his car this weekend instead of helping me!!

Am I boring you yet? Plz don't read on...

I could tell you about the great other pair of pants I ordered which are backordered for 11 weeks. Or that I finally had a Corona Light which oddly I have been craving for about a month now. (& it was all alone in a bar with my husband) I could tell I watched Sex & the City & liked and hated it. I could tell you I ate dessert for dinner last night. It was a brownie with ice cream and caramel sauce plus nuts!!! (I curse my friend who told me I was losing weight. That was the best excuse for indulging this weekend. A beer & a brownie, unheard of..)

I could tell you lots of things but wouldn't that bore you? O.k. I'll stop! Have a great last week/first week of Sept/Oct!

Friday, September 26, 2008

1/2 summer, 1/2 fall



As I was unloading groceries this afternoon, I turned and saw the beautiful fall tree across the street. What a great shade of red. No, wait. 1 half of the tree is a gorgeous shade of red and the other half is still green and full of leaves. What is up with that?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My new favorite thing


The other day when I was at Trader Joe's Market, I found a sea salt scrub. It is called Purify & it is grapefruit & chamomile. This is not my normal choice. When I opened the jar which btw, was made out of plastic - super un-green, the smell was heavenly.

The smell perked me right up. The delicious smell actually made me feel calmer and serene. Then I used it. It was awesome & my skin felt baby soft. Now you should know I am not a bathing salts, lotiony kind of girl but this is definitely worth a trip to Trader Joe's.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be aware if you care

So I was driving home today listening to my favorite radio station WUOM out of Ann Arbor, Michigan & catching a good show called Talk of the nation.(http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/guide.guidemain) They were discussing how easily someone can take all of the information that you have put out on the Internet to access your accounts. If you are on Facebook, blog or have any web sites with genealogical information among other sites then you are giving out key pieces of information about yourself. These pieces of information can help somebody access your accounts via a password change option.

I had my purse stolen in February and I am just waiting for the new "me" to show up somewhere. I am still double checking everything like bank accounts and credit reports. BUT when I applied for a new credit card the other day, they asked me some security questions like my mother's maiden name, my dog's name, etc. This is information that if someone wants to dig enough on the Internet then they can find it about me.

So yes, I went into Facebook & changed my birth date & age to some crazy date & even crazier age. Plus on my computer access now, I do not answer the codes honestly. I enter whatever I want because after all, it is not like a computer knows the correct answer. Nobody will double check if I lied & said my pet when I was young was ice cream. It is nonsensical & nobody can guess. So plz be aware if you care and make it harder for someone to access your info!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy birthday to my 13 year old


I can't believe I have a 13 year old daughter. Happy birthday & enjoy this great day. I am wishing you many happy returns & I do not mean your presents. (1 more trip to the mall) I remember falling in love with you the instant they handed you to me as a newborn & it has not stopped. I also remember seeing your dad fall in love with you too. I will never forget how his heart melted when he saw you.

You are my daughter who came running down the stairs on the day after Christmas when you were 2 and said "Is it Christmas again!?!". You are my daughter who told grandma to go home when you were 2 1/2 so you could take care of your newborn brother. You are my daughter who always smiles. You are the lucky one who got all of the Irish kisses/freckles. You are my daughter who wrote on your facebook updates "Riley is happy like always." (That melted my heart too) You are my daughter with whom I love to chat and watch movies with and above all, is my Starbuck's pal.

I want to give you the world. You deserve it all. I wish for a smooth next few years in high school. I wish for a great first love. I wish for you more time with your music and great sports experiences (volleyball -woo-hoo). I wish for you summers filled with sun like we like. I wish for you days and nights full of laughter with great friends. I wish for you inspiring teachers and more time with people and pets you love. I could go on and on. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Freebies for you and me

I stumbled upon this blog about a year ago. (www.momadvice.com - click on blog) It is called Motherload the Mom Advice. It was 1 of the best days for me. We were in the midst of back to school shopping & guess what she had. She listed a coupon for $10 off at Pink by Victoria's Secret. Now if you have a pre-teen daughter like mine then you know this place is like a candy store for them. We printed off two, of course! My daughter used 1 for 1 purchase & I used 1 for another purchase.

Ever since then 1 of my Friday joys is to visit her web site & see what I can get for free. She calls it Freebie Friday. So let's see, today I signed up to get 3 products. The first is another free reusable tote - more on those later. The second is a free Kashi cookie. MMMM, cookies! The third is a free sample of Bare Naked granola - good stuff.

The kids love getting all of the freebie foods in the mail. I love supplementing some of the things I would normally have to buy or buy a lot of to try. To quote the other Martha - It's a good thing or for me, It's a lot of good things. Visit her blog anytime & see what you can get for free!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Buying clothes on a budget-part 2

I love Boden clothes (lamaman-wonderfull.blogspot.com/2008/06/bodenite-bodenphile.html) but I live on a budget now so I can't order every piece I like on a whim. Sorry Johnnie! But they do have a great offer, if you recommend 4 friends each month who are not on their mailing list then you get $20 off your order. I can handle that. I have been recommending people religiously for almost a year now so let's see that is $20 x 12 which equals....$240!!!

The kids clothes are great. My daughter lived in the bootleg sweatpants year after year in such delicious colors. They have the best little girl's dresses too. My son always gets one of their bathing suits.

Believe me I have recommended many friends & neighbors, my mom, a few cousins and some very old relatives for this great catalog. I wish my dog had a separate address. I have no shame! But this $20 comes in handy when say a top is $40. I have now cut the price in half. I'll do anything for Johnnie.

Here is the Johnnie Boden web site. Enjoy!

www.bodenusa.com

p.s. Johnnie, you can sponsor my blog anytime!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Buying clothes on a budget-part 1

TJMaxx, Marshall's, Old Navy, Gap & Loehmann's are just a few stores that I prowl through looking for a good bargain. I had 3 sisters growing up and we all had clothing needs. I remember when the first discount store came into town, it was as if my mother had found nirvana. All of the other mothers and daughters were thankful too because there were lines out of the door and down the street. I remember my mother driving an hour away just to get discounted Jordache jeans for my older sister. When my parents went to San Francisco they would go to the Esprit warehouse and come home with armloads of clothes for us. I still dream about that place.

I digress. I have a plan of attack for bargain shopping. I do not keep an eye on the sales. The clothes I want never go on sale or sell out quickly. When I go to a store, I hit clearance first. Places like Old Navy and Gap cycle through their clothes so quickly that if I love a black t-shirt in the window, chances are there is a similar one on the clearance rack for way cheaper. Or I buy the shirt I love and find bottoms in the clearance rack. I wanted black yoga pants from Old Navy. The pair in the front of the store was $10 more than the pair in the back! I love saving $10 because than I can possibly go to Starbucks and save some money at the same time...

Monday, September 15, 2008

I hate my name...

The other day, my son told me he hates his name. It is too common. He wants a name like his dad has. This is ironic because his dad has 1 of the most common names in the world. I loved my son's name. It was unique even though it was major Beverly Hills 90210. We had to go with an Irish name and hated all of the traditional ones like Patrick and Sean. I told him to be happy because he might have hated some of the other unique Irish names that we were considering. He could have been an Aidan or Liam or Ciaran or Keoghan (which I could not even pronounce).

I hate my name. It is too old-fashioned. Nobody likes to say it. Everyone wants to shorten it to Marty. You do not even want to see what the Marty in my mind looks like! I read recently that my name could have been shortened to Maddy. Now I like that. I could have been a whole different person with that name.

My 1 sister is pregnant. She already has a daughter to whom I thought she gave a unique name too but now I hear it everywhere. My daughter says she should name the new baby Kailey or Lily or if it is a boy, Evan or Sam. Believe or not, I have dozens of girls and boys named those names in my school. We have no Patty's or Carol's or Tracy's or Molly's or Steven's or Kevin's. Those names have cycled through. I now have a Kora and Lauren and a Grace and thousands of Brandon's and Zack's. I understand I will be seeing lots of Olivia's and Madison's plus a few Jaden's and Jackson's in the near future.

So, who loves their name? Does it fit you?

Btw, if my pregnant sister reads this blog today, my daughter & I both agree that all of the Sarah's we know are sweet and kind and calm or Kyra for "little dark-haired one" and we like Benjamin for a boy. Do you know it means 'youngest one"?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teens and flexibility





I know you think you know what I am going to write about but this day was a good one. True, it rained all day but my kids are older now and more flexible. Our whole life is more flexible with the older kids. I no longer have to feed them at set times or give over huge chunks of time for naps for them. I do not even remember what my diaper bag looked like! We travel light and easy and flexibly now.

Saturday started with rain and ended with rain. Of course, I took my daughter to the mall. Then we came back home and grabbed a way overdue DVD to return to the library. My son and husband decided to come along too. When we arrived at the library, we saw an art fair next door. My son wanted to go. Why not?

It was rainy and yucky but everybody could handle it. We walked around the fair and sympathised with the craftsmen who were not getting any visitors. My daughter did have a moment when she walked in mud in her new Converse but there were no tears. Remember, we are flexible. She just walked in the next puddle and cleaned the mud off herself.

The library was great too. Everyone went their own way to find their own treasures. I did walk the stacks with my son to help him find his books. Once we were done though, I could leave him and get my own selections. There was a time when my kids were young and I felt like I was caged in the children's wing of the library. I could only just barely see into the adult stacks and could rarely get over there alone to peruse the stacks.

We came home and watched a free DVD from the library. My daughter's choice was Breakfast at Tiffany's. Then my son took over the tv to play a Wii game that he rented free from the library. We just hung out. We just chilled but the best part was that everyone was happy and flexible and this time I got a nap!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sorry Starbuck's

It has been since April that I have had to cut way back on everything. One of the biggest cutbacks was sadly Starbuck's. I was not a double mocha chocolate with everything kind of coffee drinker. Sometimes I ordered hot chocolate and other times, it was a light cafe mocha and almost always a pack of almonds. However both drinks drained my wallet.

Now I am my own barrista. I buy the flavored coffee creams from the grocery store. This week it is Tiramisu. It is pretty good and pretty reasonable. (Dare I say cheap?) I am proud of my cutbacks. I am proud that I am able to stay away from Starbuck's. However I am going to get a double mocha chocolate with everything when I finish my degree. For now, welcome to La Maman's cafe, can I help you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My mom & dad



I live next door to my parents, Ann & Joe. Yes, that is right. I live right next door to them. It is not so bad. They are great neighbors and help out lots. Today, my mother picked up my daughter for tennis practice & my son went over there after school. I was, of course, at class. I made them soup for dinner in my trusty crock pot as a big thank you.

Right now, I can see my old dad sitting in the backyard with his best friend, Maggie. Maggie is a dog and they are inseparable. It is calming for me to know they are there in these months of mega stress. I am very thankful for my parents. They have always been there for me. I used to dream of taking them away on vacation when I had lots of money. Alas, I am still not making lots of money. I can however make them soup.

So go ahead laugh and say "Oh, you are that t.v. show "Everybody loves Raymond." To this I will say "No, my t.v. show is called "Everybody loves Joe & Ann"!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Long day, long way

I can't wait until April. I am back at college trying to succeed. There are so many little problems. Today, I had to drop out of 1 class & pick up another. The new class is a little more work but it is the one I have to have. I had to do this all in the middle of the my school day too. We also had a fire drill during my time with the 6th graders (huge distraction) & meetings after school plus my son's curriculum night.

So when April comes I am hoping to have a Spanish endorsement under my belt, my loving husband says if I do not get it then at least I tried. Well, hopefully my hair won't be completely grey! These past few months have aged me. So yes it has been a long day and yes, I have a long way to go. Wish me luck and send some hair dye my way - chocolate brown.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My trusty crockpot

Yes, I love my crock pot. Who cares? My sanity cares. I just loaded it with 1/2 homemade, 1/2 store-bought spaghetti sauce & pasta. When I come home tonight, dinner will be done.

I have 2 points about my cooking and my crock pot:

#1 I am not much of cook because I have no patience. I do not care if 1/2 cup measures exactly 1/2 cup. I get it about right. The crock pot steps in and lets things cook slowly. When the food is done in the crock pot, it has great flavor.

#2 I am becoming a half and half cook. Since my salary is cut and food prices are higher, I can't afford all of the great, healthy, organic food my kids used to eat. I do not have the time to go to 6 different grocery stores. Now I do 1/2 and 1/2 to cut back. For example, tonight I will use 1/2 regular pasta and 1/2 organic whole wheat pasta for the spaghetti. I will buy 1/2 organic meat and 1/2 packaged, not organic, hopefully-on-sale meat for the week. When I make bread, I do 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white for the taste. Hey it is all I can do.

The BEST part of the crock pot is when you put that thick, gummy whole wheat pasta in there to cook all day then it really softens it up. My kids will eat the whole wheat pasta cooked only that way. I hope they love me more than they love the crock pot.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Itching to run


So here I am waiting for the rain to stop. I am itching to run literally. My muscles are twitching. Sundays are my run-day. This is the day I try to go the farthest. I have been getting up to 6 miles lately. But today there is rain. I can run through snow, sleet and ice but running in rain sucks!

My body wants to move. I usually have a back-up plan but since I gave up my gym membership in the spring, there is no back-up plan. I am going to wait 1 more hour or 2 & then slog through the rain.

Another downside, no tennis with my daughter. I was looking forward to spending a little 1 on 1 time with her. Rain, rain, go away my family wants to play and RUN!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Music to my ears



This the second time I have written about music in one week! I do not usually have so much music in my life. I have a daughter who plays violin in the band - whoops - orchestra. See how much I know about music.

Now I have a trumpeter in the house. This is the instrument my son wound up playing in the band. (Got that one right) It is a good thing because his grandpa also plays trumpet. This could be a bonding moment for the both of them.

But wow! That trumpet makes a lot of noise - scratch that - music.

The other bonus is I took pics & will now try to load them on my blog. Here it goes...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Songs that go through my head

Yes, I am plagued by songs that go through my head. These little strings of melody often come through repetitively. Like "I love rock & roll, put another dime in the jukebox, baby..." Ha, now it is in your head. I can't seem to get them to go away. Some are good, some are bad and some are just sad.

At McDonald's, we do it all for you
Hey Jude, don't be a...then I forget the words
That's life & I forget the rest
My bologna has a has a first name...

Some stay, some go and some I redo the lyrics to & call my own. I do love my childhood commercial jingles too.

Which songs go through your head?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shorter & sweeter

The new school year has begun and my time is now limited. I have had little time to blog. This has become a favorite part of my day. I want to keep it up!

I have made the decision to keep it shorter & sweeter. I want to keep remembering, writing and capturing my thoughts and memories. It truly does make me a happier person.

So as the days are now becoming shorter and sweeter so will my blog! Happy fall!

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