Friday, December 18, 2009

Red Leather

I don't know what I was watching on television, but someone somewhere was wearing a Red Leather Jacket and I thought "Hey! Now that look never goes out of style if it's the right jacket!"

And since then, it has almost become an obsession for me to find just the right one.



The Cripple Creek Red Jacket is very cute, and would probably look okay on a fluffy person like me because it has a flair at the bottom.

The Scully Jacket is way cute! It doesn't scream "Wisconsin Winter" but it could be worn indoors with a cute sweater. And it is less than $200!

The Frozieri Red Leather Jacket is so cute they didn't even use a model for it.
But of course it is the most expensive one I have found, well over a grand!
So I am just going to tell myself that I would look fat in it and let it go....

This obsession has lasted about a month. If it persists, I may need to act on it.
That is the frugality in me speaking. Of course I don't NEED a Red Leather Jacket.
Heck, I just ordered myself a new jacket as a Gift from Hubby (He has no idea he has such great taste!). I can't post a picture of it here because the site I got it from has an adjustable picture of it that I can't simply copy - and on my lap top, the "print screen + shift key" does not work as a copy- screen feature (I could cry! I use that all the time on a normal computer!). So I certainly don't need a red jacket as well. But sometimes a gal just needs to go with her instincts ... if they last long enough.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cuz Amy won't Call me

I haven't been posting for a while.
There's just too much shit going on here at our humble abode that I don't feel is
appropriate to blog about on the net.

However, right this moment I need to vent.
I spend my days helping patients. I listen carefully to their requests and the entire team that I work with does their best to accommodate the patient.

Right now the shoe is on the other foot. Hubby is the patient.
Trying to manage the long list of meds he is on is one hell of a job in itself.
I try to be mindful that he won't run out just in case there is a 24 hour wait for the doctor
to fulfill the RX. But that doesn't always happen. With so much else going on, sometimes we miss the train.

Today for example, Hubby called his doctor and asked if they could fill 2 of his prescriptions.
I am so tired of standing around the pharmacy I could just scream! Am I asking too much to have them just send the fucking prescription to the pharmacy instead of making me go all the way across town to the doctors office, pick up a written prescription and take it to the pharmacy and wait a fucking hour for them to fill it? Gawd! I could just rip my hair out!

This is supposed to be my afternoon off work. This is supposed to be "Free ME time". I used to get naps on Tuesday afternoons. I can't remember the last time I actually got a nap on a Tuesday. Instead, every Tuesday I'm messing around with pharmacies and prescriptions.

It's not like I'm picking up a controlled substance. There is no reason why they couldn't just send these electronically to the pharmacy near me, But NO! They have to make my life more difficult than it already is!!!!

Do I sound bitter? Sorry, I just had to purge.

As an added note, I've sent 2 messages to Amy. Call me, girl! We need to talk!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Memory Lane

Now and again I will come across a photo that reminds me of my first apartment.























It was an Upper apartment with a quirky layout and odd storage space.
But I didn't have much back then, so it didn't matter much to me.
Rent was only $250 a month, so I was willing to put up with the tiny living room, and a heater in the kitchen that didn't quite reach my room with warmth.

And the bathroom was SO bohemian! This picture below reminds me of it because the ceiling was steeply slanted, and it was all clap board. Who would have ever thought that something that rustic could actually be in style right now?





















I remember hating the way it looked so much that I cut up my collection of Rolling Stone Magazines and created a giant collage of celebrities faces above the bath tub. It actually looked pretty darn cool. And I always chuckled when company would come over and comment that it was just too odd having Madonna and Springsteen watch them pee.

Would I ever go back? Hell no! I have way too much stuff now. We'd never fit! But it would be fun to just go back and furnish it in modern style to see how cool it could really look.

The master bedroom had a lot of potential. I felt rich because the previous owner had left behind a wardrobe which gave me so much more closet space. And I loved the double doors entering the bedroom. They had glass pained doors with lace curtains.
If I'd have had money back then, it would have looked quite posh.

The living room was just plain hopeless. I had an over-sized console television set that took up far too much space in that tiny room. And the curtains were actually bed sheets sewn to fit. They came with the place, and I'm embarrassed to say they sort of matched my couch. Yikes!

I've come a long way since then. But then again, that was 25 years ago. If I haven't grown in all that time, I never would!

I think the best thing about my first apartment was that because it was so small it was so easy to keep clean. Nowadays we just have too much stuff and too much space for me to keep up with.
It makes me wonder why we grow physically weaker as we grow older when we actually need more energy to keep up with what we've gained.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leather Dreams





















I've become a very big fan of Chesterfield Sofas in the past few years.
Now and again I log on to their web site and just browse and dream....

For example, the Chesterfield Mustang (above) is so amazingly Deco and yet it screams modern at the same time. But I think what makes it so alluring is the fact that this company really understands traditional upholstery techniques and is able to look forward in style and purpose.

Sigh!



















And the Phillip Stanhope Design (above) - Classic yet extraordinarily gorgeous! Just look at the quality of that leather! You find that at a furniture store in my neighbourhood!




















The RW Emmerson Collection - VERY Classic Chesterfield. Check out those sexy feet.
Any Chesterfield builder or re-upholsterer can tell you that the feet are just as improtant a feature as the sofa itself.



















The Samual Johnson is classic with a modern twist. What's not to love? Makes me want to fetch a good book and just lounge away!























This Stamford Model makes me drool as well.

And last but not least... who could refuse the opportunity to sit in THIS!


























It's not just a Sofa Company. It is a style built on tradition that will never ever go out of style.

So how did I stumble upon Chesterfield Sofas? Well, I went through a phase in my life when we had a very ugly sofa and I wanted to try re-upholstering it. Where does one begin to learn about upholstery? Why the interweb of course. Naturally, I learned that the couch I was attempting to cover should really have been chucked to the curb. The rule is if you remove fabric and batting and you find cardboard anywhere in the original insides, it was a cheap factory model to start with. But then I stumbled onto a now defunct web site called oldsofas from the UK where this company not only sold the supplies I needed to attempt covering my old couch, but they also had a groovy little business where they revived only mistreated Chesterfield Furniture. Why Chesterfields? Because they are so finely built. It was amazing to see the before during and after photos that Ruth would post of her latest projects. Some looked completely rotted and hopeless until she poured her love into them. I was so sad two years ago when they made their final web post saying that Ruth was hanging up her tack hammer for good. She was my hero!

Some day I hope to own one. When the child has grown and no longer spills. Unfortunately, this may also mean that Hubby would have to be granted his wish of having a recliner as well. It'll look like the set of Frasier. Sigh.

P.S. My first attempt at upholstery was a bust and ended up on the curb months later. But one has to start somewhere!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dang! I think Elvis Left the Building!

I probably have more blogs bookmarked than a normal person ought to. But I never did claim to be normal.
The sad thing is, our internet went out at about the time MJ died. I was left with only a few resources to follow that entertaining tale - limited access to the internet at work, and watching Celebrity News shows on television. My poor brain!!!

But now that we're back up and running, I'm surfing all of my favourite blogs, and have found that many of the features that made me love such blogs have been changed by the hosts. The fun part about visiting It's Lovely, I'll Take It was actually looking at the listings she found the humorous photos from. Now, she no longer provides a link! Why bother?

And it looks like Anna over at Door 16 is taking a break from major home reno chores and has instead chosen to accent the things she has already completed. Wah!

And YouTube removed my Most Favourite Andy Gibb video! (Don't laugh! He was DREAMY! LOL!)

At least The Superficial hasn't let me down. He's still filling his blog with wisdom and grit. Good man! He urged a good guffaw out of me when he mentioned that Kate of John and Kate Makes Eight is now sporting the Divorced Woman's Reverse FeMullet! Aptly put! That is one hairdo you will never see on my head!

I did a lot of beading while the net was down. And I'm still beading whilst catching up on television shows that I'm missing due to Hubby being home mending. Trust me. It's easier. Oh so much easier. Not the beading, the watching shows on the net part. The beading comes in play because I just can't sit and veg while watching a TV show. I have to keep busy. Or maybe I just need a refill on my Lorazepam. Yeah. That.

Meanwhile, my house plants had been worried that I'm going to re-pot them all out of boredom. I have a veritible jungle started. When I water on Saturdays, I go through 3 gallons of water on them because there is somewhere around 15 plants vying for my affection. And now that we have the net back, I can actually try to identify my latest horticultural acquisition. It had lots of flowers when I got it. Now, it's going dormant, whispering "put me in a bigger pot!" And I'm always starting clippings just because it's fun to do so. Anyone need a Pothos? I have some ready to plant.

I guess it's time to visit the hardware store next weekend for more dirt and bigger pots. And maybe now that the growing season is ending, I'll bet I'll see prices fall a bit.

In retrospect, I guess going without the net has helped me to become less obsessed with it. It's still fun. Don't get me wrong. And I could still spend hours on YouTube. But it's not so feverent.

I read today that kids who put in too many hours playing video games are more likely to become more susceptible to addictions in adulthood. I suppose I ought to stop mixing The Child Jim Beam and Cokes while he's building stuff on Roblox! (Joking!!!! I would NEVER waste my Beam on someone who wouldn't appreciate it!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Such a Journey!!!

Hello, faithful readers!
Just wanted to let you know that we're finally back on line!
It's been a long journey these past few months.
I don't really have time to catch you all up right now.
I'll just give you the highlights for now...

1. Hubby had his surgery. He's still progressing. What a journey!
2. I'm going to be a grandma! Baby is due March 6, 2010.
3. School has begun and The Child is having a tough time with it.
4. Work is racing at an amazingly fast pace what with the flu season beginning early.
feckin swine flu! I'm up to here with it!!!!!
5. We have some very amazing friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.

Hugs to you all!
More updates to come!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm up on my soap box!

I had mentioned in my previous blog that I was going to donate blood on Tuesday.
I know there are a lot of people in this world - heck,even in my own family - who are unable to donate because they are on medications that make them no longer eligible to do so.

But I firmly believe that if a person is able to donate, they ought to give it a try at least once.
Yes, it's yucky sitting there with a big needle in your arm as you squeeze out that pint, but
since my Hubby has been on the receiving end of the blood donation scenario, we know just how
blessed a thing this is that there are people in the world who do so.

Hubby has a rare blood type. When he needed 6 pints, the blood center had to scour their network to find people in their files who had the same type and call them to donate so that he could receive it. And even then, they had to type and cross-match to be sure his body wouldn't reject it.

In watching this process take place, I also realized that when you donate, they fill the bag with a pint of blood, and have a little extra left in the tube that goes from your arm to the bag so that they can do the type and cross-match from what is in the tube so that the receiving patient will get a complete pint. I found that fascinating and appreciate all of the thought that goes into the whole process.

Those 6 people may never meet my hubby, but they saved his life. And all it took was the will to give up 30 minutes of their day to donate and then go on with their normal lives.

I try to donate every time there is a blood drive at work. And I'm glad to see they have increased the number of visits they make to my work. The rule is you can donate every 6 weeks, and they tend to show up every six weeks lately. I like that.

I know there will come a day when I can no longer give. The older I get, odds are that my blood pressure will start raising because this simply runs in my family. But until that happens, I want to take that opportunity to subtly make a difference in people's lives. It's worth it.

One very major perk is that they offer gourmet cookies to all donors! I am so in love with their Cherry Chip cookies! Yum! Who could resist that?

Okay, I'll step off my soap box now. But I do hope that my little tome will encourage somebody to think about joining the ranks of regular blood donors!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blisters? I ain't got no stinkin blisters!

This morning was our big 5K!
I can't speak for everyone, but for me, it was a walk filled with emotion.
We all met as a group in the hospital lobby where I handed out everybody's shirts, entry numbers and a badge that said "TEAM BROOKS - walking in memory of Lionel and Marlene Brooks". Everybody suited up and we then joined the rest of the walkers to partake in this venture.

For a few extra bucks, we had the option of having a small flag along the path noting the loved ones we were walking in honour of. Tears started to well up in my eyes as I saw the names of my parents on a flag close to the beginning of our route. Somehow that made it even more profound for me.

We didn't keep the best time, In fact, we were near- to- last in the walk, but it was so worth it!
Two of my coworkers had decided to join our team and walk with us, which I think is pretty special. As we passed MMC, we were all sort of reflecting on why we were doing this. I pointed out to Robin and Jewel which window of MMC was the room where my Dad had spent the last few weeks of his life.

Robin's comment was "Wow! So this really IS about your family, isn't it?" It sure is. And I'm very honoured that my sibs and nieces and nephew were able to join us on this day, the two year anniversary of my father's funeral.

We finished the walk in one hour, four minutes and too many seconds. One of my sisters said we need to remember that so we can beat it next year. Next year! Can you believe it? They want to make it a tradition! Awesome!

As we walked back through the hospital, I pointed out a sign on a wall and said "And Tuesday, I'll be giving blood! Anybody wanna join me for that?" You could have heard a pin drop. LOL! Can't blame a gal for trying. It's just something I firmly believe in doing as long as they're willing to take it. But that's another post, another time.

After the walk, most of us stopped down at Nigl's for a pitcher of beer and some free brats. Wow did that beer taste GOOD!!!!! And the brats were tasty too! I hadn't been to Nigl's in ages, and they had just re-opened after spending two seasons repairing the damage from an electrical fire. The beautiful thing is that Nigl's has been around for 3 generations so I'm sure they had good insurance to resurrect this old building and make it even better than it was.

When I was 18, my folks used to hold what they called "Union Meetings" each Friday night. There was no business transpiring, it was just a way for family and friends to get together at the beginning of a Friday night and share stories of their week and enjoy tipping a few beverages together. As a young gal, this was the launching pad to my weekend. Mom and Dad would stay until the music got loud and would then head home, while I would have my friends meet me at Nigl's and we would be off from there to whatever adventure we were up to. So stopping there today was a fitting part of our trek.

I probably would have been in better form this morning, but this is the weekend that our good friend Doug and his Son head off to Alaska for a fishing expedition. They'll be gone for 6 weeks and we had to give them a send-off. With Hubby on prednesone, alcohol is off his diet right now. So Doug and I basically polished off a big bottle of wine by ourselves. Yum. We got home late, so I didn't really get a good night's sleep. But that's why God invented naps!

I'm quite surprised that I don't feel nearly as stiff as I expected. I'm making sure to stay hydrated, though, so my muscles will stay lubed. I know that's important. Ah! The crap you need to know as your body ages! It sucks! Ha ha!

And while I'm in here reflecting on things past, Hubby is in the back garden planting herbs and various vegetation, planning for the future! Good thinking!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I cannot imagine a world without Youtube

I love surfing Youtube. I've got so many bookmarks lately that I'm running out of tab space.
The other night, I was looking at Adele videos and came across this very beautiful Bob Dylan cover that just totally captivated me.

Well, that lead to watching other videos by her, and lead me to searching to find out who the guitarist is that plays with her at her radio station gigs.

I didn't have much luck with that, but it did help me to stumble across Jamie T.
This song, silly as it is, get stuck in my head and puts a smile on my face.
I love the extra thick Cockney English accent and the cheesy bass playing. And the lyrics are
quite catchy. The official video for the song is equally amusing.

I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tribute

I've been getting weekly E-mails at work mentioning an upcoming 5k walk/run, but they would never mention the location.
My Coworker friend Robin said she thought it was going to be at Bay Care because they
always hold such events.
However, today, as I was doing my usual lunch lap around the interior of the building (because of the rain), I noticed flyers posted in the Cancer Center advertising the 5K. And it's right here in our home town, starting right at the doors of my workplace!

Robin is always trying to get the rest of our group to do one of these, and I've always promised her that if it was a worth-while one, and not just self-serving, that I would definitely sign up.

Well, this walk/run is a benefit for the patients of the cancer center. I've personally seen some of the bills inflicted on these wonderful people, and this is really an opportunity to make a difference.

What's more, this 5K falls on the weekend right after the second anniversary of my Dad's passing.
I was pondering the idea of calling my siblings tonight and asking if they would like to do this 5K as a group in honour of our parents when my phone rang. It was an ordinary patient calling for an ordinary appointment, but when I asked the patient for their date of birth so that I could find them in our system, their birth date was the same as Dad's. Well, that settled it!

I went home from work and called my siblings and explained that it is June 13, and there would be a fee, but I think it would be a really beautiful tribute to our parents if we could do this.
And guess what? THEY ALL SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so stoked for this! If it weren't raining tonight, I would have gotten outside and started training right away!

The Child also wants to join in on the fun! I hope he'll train with me as well in the evenings so that we can do this!

I know a 5K is only 4 miles. When I was at the top of my game, I could do that in an hour and 15 minutes. I haven't been at the top of my game for a few years, but I still have the heart to try!

I'll keep you all posted on this as we progress. This is so exciting!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yippee! A Holiday!

It's been another long week here in Kuhrsville.
My #1 Son turned 25 on Monday. 25!!!!!
I just don't understand how that can be whilst I am but a mere....32????

And today, my sis is also celebrating a birthday. She's um... 33?

I've been making headway on the Cocktail Table in my garage this week and that
makes me very happy.
The deterrent was sawing down the legs.
You see, it began life as a small dining table. But if it is to live in my living room,
I needed to trim 4 inches off of the legs, and who knows where hubby's Japanese saw has wandered off to. I grew tired of searching, and simply grabbed the miter saw and started
cutting free-hand. And I did a pretty darned good job at it. I'll be putting pads under all of the feet anyway, so if it isn't perfectly square, the pads will even it out.

Then, I put 3 coats of poly on the body of the table. The top remains ugly for the moment.
Tonight, I put an edging around the top. A lesson learned from the very first mosaic table I ever made, which lives in my dining room. That one didn't have an edge around the top. The
lesson being, when I moved it from the kitchen to the dining room, I had to lay it on its side to get through the doorway. In doing so, I heard a "Foomph" sound and cringed. And my fears were founded. The whole mosaic top slid right off of the table! Eek!

Actually, I learned two lessons from that. One was that I need an edge of wood to secure it. Two was to use tile adhesive instead of mortar when adhering the mosaic tile to the table. Mortar lets loose. Adhesive holds tight - and weighs much less!

The cool thing about that first table was that I was able to pick up the entire mosaic top and just lay it on top of the table to be as it was before. But it's taking a beating. Edges are chipping, and it is beginning to look a bit unloved. I may have to just chuck the original mosaic and re-do the whole thing correctly one day soon. In the mean time, I'm just enjoying creating the latest project. It's going to take me most of the weekend and maybe longer to finish it. But it's going to be fun.

Monday, Memorial Day, I hope to catch the parade, and then we'll be off to Menominee Park for the 4th Annual Herrrmanfest. (You must roll your R's when saying Herrrmanfest.).
And just WHAT is Herrrmanfest, you may ask? Well, it begins with a guy named Herrrman.
He gets up way early and goes to the park and reserves the most prime spot in the park - in the shade, near the restrooms, with lots of good picnic tables. And then he waits. At around noon, his friends begin to arrive, with lawn chairs, meat and a dish to pass, and we all hang out and talk silly and listen to fun music, and maybe play a round of Frizbee Golf while the kids run around and have a great time riding the train, visiting the zoo, swimming at the beach and eating too much food. It's lovely! It's relaxing! It's Herrrmanfest!

I hope you all have a spectacular Holiday Weekend as well!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's a matter of tase, I guess....

It's no secret that I love taking virtual tours of real estate listings.
Sometimes it's a great pick-me-up to see that money can't buy style.
Take this listing for example.
The house is in Centerville Virginia and is listed at $1,399,900(that's no typo!)

So far so good, right? A beautiful estate with a grand foyer. Lovely!
But, wait! There's more!





































The kitchen is quite ordinary. Nothing notable about it, really.
The Bathroom is lovely, but the rest of the house looks like the had a check list
of items from a 1980 issue of House Beautiful:

Deer Head - Check
Ugly Floral Furniture - Check
Baby Grand - Check (I'll bet no one plays!)






















































































Ugly Wallpaper boarder - Check
Poofy Curtains from 1990 - Check
Pool Table - Check
A room furnished all in white - check
Mounted Bear - Check! (Is this Sara Palin's Winter home?)





























































Sun Room - Cleche Wicker Furniture


















































And Yo-Ho-Ho! Look at the guest room! I remember seeing layouts featuring nautical themes in the 80's. And the Master Bedroom has so much potential. I could die in a room that size!

I suppose I ought to keep in mind that when a prospective buyer is looking for a home, they want to remodel to suit. And there's plenty of potential to do that with this place.

And I suppose I ought to give kudos to this home owner for not hiring an interior decorator and trying to do it themselves. If I could give advice to the next home owners, it would be, if you are going to try to decorate a house of this scale on your own, look for timeless colour schemes and furnishings. Tuscany is never out of date. Soft colours, heavy hard wood furniture, textural fabrics, thick draperies. It makes me cry when I see a house with this much potential in the hands of someone who fears decor.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's My Day and I'll Surf if I want To

Happy Mother's Day!

I found yet another fascinating Blog this past week and there are oh so many drool-worthy items
on it.

The blog is Mid-Century Modernist and I am in love with so many things she has found, such as these furnishings by who else but an Aussie!
The Blogger states: "Melbourne designer Ross Didier took a classic form of modernism — the simple cube on broad steel legs — and tilted it to create something truly original. The armchair and sofa are available in the UK for £889 and £1,189 respectively. Gorgeous design and beautiful product photography. My only concern: how does it feel to put your arms on a slant?"

Oh so cool!

And I would so love to have one of these in my livingroom as well:
My Umbrella Plant would be oh so happy growing in one of these planters.
But at $150 a pop, I think I'll just have to keep an eye out at thrift stores for the original variety.

Yeah, I'm a tight-wad when it comes to stuff like this. But right now, I really have to be.
Hubby got news this week that in order to stop this Warm Auto Antibody from taking over his system every few years, they will need to remove his spleen! Eek! Our insurance sucks! So we'll need to get on the stick and see what we can do to gain coverage for this one. Prayers and happy thoughts are more than welcome!

Hugs,

Aunt Bren

Monday, May 4, 2009

Then I get to try and put it back together....

Well, The Child was an absolute Soldier at the dentist the other day!
Because he has a heart murmer (I.E.: a hole the size of a pinhead between the left and right ventricals) the dentist was most concerned with removing any potential infection... and his molar was indeed impacted with infection...so he had to pull the tooth because if the infection continued, there is always a chance that the infection could travel directly to his heart.

Lucky me, I got elected to be the hand holder throughout this adventure. But The Child was amazing. He only cried twice, and rightly so. I warned the dentist that when I have had a tooth pulled, my dentist needs to give me a ton of injections so that I can't feel it. So it is only common sense that The Child would likely have the same issue. It wasn't any less painful for me watching the dentist work on my baby!

Then, on Saturday, it was off to the vet to collect our Evil Kitten. She is doing wonderfully! And it is a completely crazy notion, but, now that she is fixed, she is fascinated with wanting to go outside. But we just keep telling her she can't go outside right now because she is having a bad hair day! She just needs to heal for now.

And Hubby... oh, yes, the train keeps rolling. Hubby ended up at the ER this weekend after his lab results were in. His Hemalitic Anemia is back. Which means he will be on prednesone for at least the next 3 months while it re-sets his immune system. But he went from looking as yellow as Homer Simpson all weekend to finally getting a little colour back in his cheeks this morning, so we know it is doing its job. However, with the prednesone, he'll be having more mood swings then menopausal little me. Yay.

But we'll get through it. At least he didn't end up in the hospital this time. So we're ahead of the game.

On the up side, I am oh so grateful to have that table in the garage to sneak away to and work on. It is like sanctuary amidst the madness. But now, I just need to find the right saw for to trim the legs down on it. After all, it will be a cocktail table in the livingroom. I can't wait to get to the mosaic portion of the task. Hopefully by the weekend I'll be at that stage.

So here's to a week where life can only get better!

Hugs,

Bren

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dog's Eye View

Today is my big brother's birthday.
He's 48 today.
From the moment I got to work this morning and my brain kicked into gear, I told myself "Call your brother when you get home tonight and wish him a happy birthday."
Then I get home, and The Child has a tooth ache. Our Kitten is in heat.
Hubby hasn't been feeling well.
My house smells like someone dumped a pile of dirty socks in the ventilation ducts.

It's one of those days when I am expected to be the ultimate care giver to all of my loved ones.
And it doesn't stop here. Tomorrow, Hubby goes back to the doctor, kitty gets fixed, and The Child goes to the dentist for the first time and I know it will not be a pleasant venture.

I really kind of suck at one-on-one care giving. I'm great at giving hugs and cheerful words, but when it comes to actually caring for someone who is ill, well, I sort of freak out a little. And at the moment, every one in my family is broken and will be depending on me to help them mend.

So the practical voice inside me says "Buck up, little cowgirl, these people need you and you will rise to the occasion." Meanwhile the IMPRACTICAL voice inside of me says "A Gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a bottle of jim beam would surely make me a loving and caring person."

We'll get through it. We always do. I know I've stood in this spot before.

Any way, Happy Birthday, Big Brudder!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Answer to one of life's questions revealed...


So if you have ever wondered what the hell is this man wearing and why would any sane man ever want to wear that?































Here is your answer....

Ladies and Gentlemen, a blast from my past.
You're welcome.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

These are a Few of my Favourite Things

I love lazy Saturdays. I get up, I surf the net, I snort down a whole pot of coffee, and then the rest of the family awakens. Sweet!

Even more fun, I discovered a few new blogs from blog surfing from one to the next, and bookmarking them this past week. So this morning, I got to sit and actually page through the many fashion blogs out there. Dang! I wish I was in my 20's again, because if I were, I could SO rock that genre! These young gals hit the thrift stores and create totally unique wardrobes with their found treasures paired with incredibly cute shoes and accessories. To some, such as my hubby, it may sound quite lame. But to me, it is very inspiring. I wish I could take it to the extremes they take it to, but I know that if I tried, folks would just look at me and say "Oh, look! She's wearing all the 80's shit from her attic today!" Sure. Like the shit I wore in high school would even fit me today! (Well, maybe it would??) But anyway, reading those blogs really makes me want to go thrift store shopping!

And that is exactly what we did today. Saint Vinny's has recently moved to its new location and we were fortunate enough to come during their grand opening celebration. As part of their celebration, they were also holding a silent auction on some of their finer donated items. I am still crestfallen. They had an amazing vintage coffee table with a tooled leather top, and ultra-ornate legs in perfect condition. Be still my heart! And there was a pair of Museum Quality Hand Carved chairs that even caught Hubby's attention. The wood portion of them were very decorative and antique. Someone had covered them in cheetah patterned fabric which made them even more eye catching. I wanted these items in my living room! So I started the bids on all items. They said to come back at 1PM to see if you won.

When we came back at 1PM, the groovy table was gone, and the bids on the chairs had raised $30 each. I kept upping the bids trying to insure that I got them. But in the end, a young gal who reminded me a lot of My #1 Son's friend Sarah came up and asked "Are you Brenda? We're bidding against each other on those chairs." And I said "Yes, I love them." Then her mother asked "Are you a collector or are you bidding to take them home?" Well, I admitted that if I WERE a collector, these chairs would be quite a find at the low price they were going for, but no, I just wanted them in my home. My opponent said she had just redecorated her den in a jungle motif and really wanted these chairs as well. And then her Mommy gave me THAT look.
Spoiler: "Mommy didn't need to say it, but Mommy was prepared to throw money at this auction to ensure her little girl gets those chairs, so I may as well stop bidding.".

So yeah, I lost that bid too. But I did come home with a few Elvis Collector books that I can post up on Craigs List and double the value. And I also found some very cute shoes, brand new, and 3 outfits for work, which is good because this time of year I tend to feel like I wear the same 4 outfits day after day, week after week.

Oh, and I realized this week, with the odd weather we had (snow and rain Monday, snow Tuesday, rain Wednesday and Thursday, 80 degrees Friday, and then rain again today), that this gal really doesn't have a mid- weather jacket to wear. I have Winter. I have Cool Summer. No Spring jacket. So I rectified that as well with a long black spring dress coat. It's probably too dressy to wear with my wellies on a rainy day, but, hey! I love me wellies! I'm gonna wear them every time it rains!

It's good that we got in this shopping expedition today, though. Little Oc gets fixed next Friday, so I have a feeling next Saturday we'll all be taking turns telling her "Don't Lick That."

So how did you shake the rain from your soul today?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This would be a riot!


Wouldn't it be fun to have something like THIS in your living room?

Personally, I would put it in a corner of the room surrounded by happy growing plants. One would have to be certain where they wanted it because, well, it would be quite heavy! I couldn't rearrange like I enjoy doing. But it might be worth it.

I can imagine it now, Family Christmas. Jamming my whole family into our livingroom. Everyone drawing straws as to who has to sit in the tub. And then those who win suddenly find out that it's quite cozy! Ha!

Well, I'm off to work! Have a spectacular day!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My kingdom for a camera!

The weather has been so fabulous these past few days that I come home from work asking The Child "What do you want for dinner? Come on, answer up, you're burnin' daylinght here!" Then we snarf down dinner and I head out to the garage and commence to working on stripping down one of the two tables I have out there.

The bad thing is that I don't have a digital camera at the moment, so I won't be able to show you all a BEFORE picture... although having 2 identical tables still sort of leaves one to know what the former looked like. So, all I need to do is get the camera gear logged up onto the computer within the next few weeks. Why so long? Well, this is my passion. I don't want to rush through any of the stages in refinishing these tables. Right now they are hideous! But I know they will look totally righteous when they're done. And this fabulous weather just makes me want to spend as much time puttering around outside anyway.

I have a vacation day tomorrow. The Child was trying to talk us into going to The Children's Museum in Appleton. Hmmmm. That's in the same city as the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store. Be still my heart! I know they will have a big table full of mismatched tile that I can smash up and use to mosaic the top of one of my tables. Come to think of it, that's where these tables came from to begin with! It's full circle!

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's not really deja vu

Have you ever had the feeling of Deja Vu?
You get the feeling that somewhere somehow you have done the exact same thing, thinking the exact same thoughts as you are at a specific moment in time.
The lore of this is that if you do have deja vu, then that is telling you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at that moment. You are on the proper path in life.

I've had deja vu many times in my life. But if I waited for moments like that to appear in order to feel that I am on the correct course in life, I'd be in a sorry state!

As I said yesterday, I've been browsing through the zen habits site these past few days.
It's a great place to go if you're feeling a little discouraged about your current path.

One post that I particularly liked was Find Your Amazing Work . I shared a print out of this with my supervisor and coworkers, making sure to point out that even a Zen Columnist feels that the work we do every day is an amazing thing. I know there are days when Those Upstairs seem to be spending too much time dumping more work on us. And there are days when we feel that the Doctors and the Nurses really carry the bulk of the weight. But you know what? That's not true. Every day that I go to work, I help save a person's life. I know the warning signs of a stroke or a heart attack (Different in each of the sexes), and I am able to recognize many symptoms and know if they ought to talk to the nurse for medical assessment right now or if it could wait. I am able to talk a depressed person into keeping their doctor appointment, and I am able to make a crabby person laugh. I'm able to help a very ill person get through the mundane clerical portion of their visit with speed and ease so that they can rest and conserve their energy. I know how to operate a wheel chair - not even all the doctors and nurses know how to do that! But mostly, I love helping people. In many cases, I can either make or break a person's day. I choose to make their day.

So, yeah, I'm not making a ton of money. I make enough to pay some bills. But I love helping people. That is my amazing work. Who needs a 5 year plan. I'm where I'm supposed to be right now!


P.S. It's been 6 months today since I quit smoking! I ROCK!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Zen Habits

Easter was an enjoyable day. We all ate far too much, but it was fun catching up with the in- laws.
But now, it's time to focus on the week ahead.

I didn't get a lot of house cleaning done this weekend. I was more preoccupied with keeping Hubby busy and keeping his mind off of smoking that my normal routine sort of went out the window.
And rightly so. I woke up this morning thinking about how I wanted to make Waldorf salad to bring along to MIL's, but our celery was limp. I said to Hubby "Maybe if I make the Waldorf with everything else, we can pick up celery on our way out of town and I can just add it at your Ma's." Well, the next thing I know, Hubby is saying "I can run to the store and buy celery. Do you need anything else? I can go to the store."

I looked at him and said "You haven't even had a real cup of coffee yet. Why do you want to run to the store?" Uh huh. Just as I suspected. When he came home with the celery, he smelled of freshly smoked cigarette. Dammit! I shoulda stuck with plan A.

It's just annoying me. You see, he's not on this roller coaster by himself. He's dragging the whole family along. And with every slip, the withdrawal lasts longer. It takes 3 days to get the nicotiene out of your system. Every time he sneaks a smoke, he's reloading his system and adding yet another day and night of hell.

When you quit smoking, you have great difficulty sleeping that first week. You have freaky dreams when you do sleep. But your brain wakes you up all night with electrical charges, and in Hubby's case, muscle spasms. Last night I forced him to take a Lorazepam at bed time, telling him that his best defense in standing strong is a good night's sleep. Yeah, he still had trouble, but I do think it helped. But of course, when he tosses and turns, I get awakened as well. Yay.

The scary thing is, he is at work right now. He normally does the majority of his smoking at work.
Will he get through the night?


So in the mean time, I've gotten the kitchen back in order, and I'm now relaxing surfing the net. I love going from blog link to blog link to see what I stumble upon. I've been to Zen Habits before, and although I don't swallow it all hook line and sinker, there is often good food for thought.

One thing they mention is that we need direction and focus. At this point in my life, I don't think I really have any BIG direction or focus happening in my life. Sure, there's helping Hubby quit smoking, making sure that I stay a non-smoker, reaching my goal weight and feeling healthier, raising The Child so that he is not completely warped and will hopefully be a productive member of society. But I don't really have a big plan that I'm aiming toward. I don't have a 5 year plan. I don't have a 10 year plan. Unless you count Not Getting Cancer. But that's more a hopeful wish than a plan.

I did finally get my bike road ready. That makes me happy. Now I need to get my body used to biking for long distances so that I can start riding it to work! That's a previous goal met, and a new goal set.

Getting up earlier is a goal. My work hours will be changing soon. On Tuesdays I will have to be there at 7AM. Which means if I have to get up an hour early for one day a week, I may as well get up early for all days of the week. My goal there is to get my ass out the door 4 out of 5 days a week to walk before my morning shower.

I also want to kill my television set. Is that a goal?

Perhaps I need to spend more time reading Zen Habits to regain my focus. I've been coasting a lot lately. I need a Zen Kick in the pants.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter, Etc.

Not much new around here at the moment. Easter is tomorrow, and Hubby is talking about maybe dying even more eggs. I have never seen a family eat more eggs in my life. The gas is astounding! Help me!!!

I'm sad to see lent go. I really looked forward to the Friday Menu at work. Potato Encrusted Cod is quite yummy! And it is especially fun to yell out "Cod Nuggets!" in a moment of anger! Hubby and The Child joined me for lunch yesterday. Where else on earth can you feed a family of 3 for $5? We can't even do that at home!

Hubby is trying to quit smoking. It's more difficult for him. I don't think he's ever made it more than a day or 2. And he always smokes the cheap nasty smokes so there's more tar and nicotiene in them. So if he does this, I need everyone to make an extra big deal about it!

I had the opportunity to take the majority of next week off work because most of the docs are gone and it will be slow. Well, I am taking Tuesday and Friday off, but I don't think I'd be able to handle hanging around home all week with Hubby quitting smoking. I'd have to kill him. Granted, if I killed him he would be a former smoker, but it would be for all the wrong reasons.

But the cool thing about him quitting is that it is giving me a chance to get back in touch with all the reasons why I quit. And that helps a lot. Especially since I've been down this road before.
I know that after 1 month you really want to try a cigarette. After 2 months you really want to try a cigarette. After 4 months you really want to try a cigarette. and at 6 months you really want to try a cigarette. And each time you do, the odds of you starting up again increases. I like the money too much to ever go back to being the big smoker I was, but still... I'm finding out that most of the people I know who quit are on the fence at the moment. They are bargaining with themselves. The have at least one cigarette a day, telling themselves that it doesn't count because they aren't smoking like they used to. I don't want to be like that. Because I know me. One would lead to 5. Five would lead to 10. And I'd be right back where I started, only more broke than ever with the costs rising!

Another bonus is that my clothes won't smell like an old cigarette any more! W00t! (There is nothing more aggrivating that to have gone through the journey of quitting smoking only to live with a smoker who leaves all of your clothes smelling like he stood beside them all and blew smoke directly at them. I hate it!!!!).

On a completely unrelated subject, the remote I had ordered a month ago finally arrived in the mail. I loaded it with batteries, re-set the television set and....nothing. The damned thing still won't work! I just don't get it! And I spent $25 on that stupid remote! I don't want to buy a new television set! Right now they're charging far too much for television sets what with the digital programming change-over and all. It makes me want to take the T.V. upstairs and toss it out a window. Well, okay, so I'll admit, I always thought it would be cool to toss a Television out an upper story window. Now I actually have a real reason to do it! Hmmmmm.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees

I went to the library this weekend and checked out some books to read.
Before I headed there, I went to two different places on the internet.
Firstly, I stopped at Amazon.com and typed in titles of some of my favourite novels.
Amazon always has a recommendation; "If you enjoyed reading BOOK A, then you will enjoy reading BOOK B".

The second place I visit for reading options is stephenking.com. I've always loved reading his books, and am always on the look out for a new release. But I discovered a while back that Stephen King himself is a voracious reader, and on his web site, he sometimes lists what he is currently reading and if he likes the book or not. I've found some very captivating stories this way! (Incidentally, I also found that he does indeed have a new release - but, alas, the library had all of their copies checked out. I may have to buy it.)

However, I found "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd while searching Amazon and typing in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. Betty Smith is a wonderful author. I've read all of her novels and am now looking for someone new. I absolutely LOVE "The Secret Life of Bees". I hated to finish the book because it was so captivating and well written.

The story is set in the early 60's and it is obvious that the author did a great deal of research while writing the story in an effort to keep it accurate. But there are so many very subtle things that the author added into her story that really warmed my heart. It is a talent to do such a thing. In this day and age, we often feel that we must be blatant and obvious to drive a point home. Sue Monk Kidd sneaks her point around the corner of your heart in such a soft way that it tickles your senses for a moment and then you catch it. And then a tear comes to your eye.

The star of the book is a 13 year old girl named Lily who is portrayed to us in a very real manner. As she tells you things about her life in the first person, you just want to climb into the book and just hug her until it is all better.

Lily goes on an amazing journey that is highly taboo in the early 1960's, and bees play a subtle side-story throughout the entire journey. My Uncle Ben used to keep bees. It takes a special type of personality to be able to do such a thing. And Ms Monk Kidd captures that personality perfectly in her novel.

The story is so beautifully written that it transports you into it (And isn't that what we hope a
good story would do?). At one point, I was reading it in the cafeteria at work and had to stop. "Can't cry here! I'm at work!" I had to tell myself. So, indeed, you will need kleenex when reading this beautiful tale. But it is absolutely worth the effort.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's like the day after Prom Night!

Just a few random thoughts:

I always feel so let down the day after the local elections.
There's no surprise with this one either.
Creepy Guy is now our new Mayor.

On the up side - I'm not alone in my feelings regarding the school referendums!
W00t! We live to protest another day!


Never eat a container of Wintergreen Icebreakers like it's a package of candy. If you have, you will know why. :-O


I volunteered to help out in other areas at work in the upcoming future. At first my boss was grateful to have a volunteer. Then the next thing I know, she's telling me to go sit in that area and re-train. What a slap in the face!


The seeds that The Child and I planted a few weeks ago are finally starting to sprout - with no thanks to our Kitten! I think she knows that we are hoping that 12 catnip seedlings will sprout to be hearty plants in that little terrarium because she just can't leave the darned thing alone! I finally had to move it to a different place in the home to discourage her. So far, we have about 4 catnip plants sprouting, 3 Lupines, 2 Popcorn plants, lots of basil, a few cilantro chutes, and a few random whisps of dill sprouting. I've never been much of a gardener. I'll have to keep you posted on how we do.


On a related note, I keep seeing Umbrella Plants all over town that are just impossibly gigantic and towering! I get so excited when I see that because I know I have one in my living room! It can only get bigger! I found out that we have something in common, that plant and I. We both adore coffee! Sweet! We make enough coffee ground compostat our house to probably start our own freakin soil business! So this plant is going to be very happy!


I sure wish I could find (and properly operate) our digital camera, because The Child has a new hair cut and he just looks so darned huggable! I guess you'll have to wait until the school pictures come round.


My Oldest son sent me an E-mail yesterday saying that his cousins on his father's side have just discovered him on MySpace. He said within a half hour he had 30 friend requests. What was my response? "Ask them to send you money!"


Ok, I've randomed you enough for one night. I'm off to see what's on The Child's T.V. since our feckin remote is still yet to ship! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I've achieved perfection!

Since our first visit to Pilara's, Hubby and I have been on a quest to concoct the best simple recipe for Waldorf Salad.
I think I finally have it right.

you start with 1 pint container of whipping cream, and you whip it until it turns into whipping cream (duh!). While whipping, you add 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of Miracle Whip.

Finely Dice up 2 apples, add 3 stalks of celery finely diced, include 1/2 cup raisins, and 3/4 cup of walnuts.
Blend all of this into your whip cream mixture, and YUM!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gallery Walk

It is the first Saturday of the month.
That is when Oshkosh holds Gallery Walk.
This was our first time ever attending Gallery Walk. It's spring, and I'm just dying to do something - anything out of the ordinary now that the snow has melted and I no longer want to hibernate!

I received an E-mail the other day from Crescent Moon saying they were planning to participate in the Gallery Walk as well. That in itself is pretty damned cool. You see, Crescent Moon is a salvage resale company in down town Oshkosh. I just love stopping in there when we get the chance. J and Julia have some very awesome ideas to offer when it comes to making use of reclaimed salvage items. And well, somehow during one of our visits, we got to talking about White Chicken Chili, and I promised Julia that I'd drop off my recipe for her one day. I kept my promise, and it happened to have my E-mail address on it, so now I'm on their mailing list as well. And I'm cool with that. They have some groovy stuff. In fact, she's going to call me with a price on a 1940's Oshkosh City Directory. I collect those and don't have one quite so old, so I hope it will be a good price.

Gallery Walk was quite fun. Many of the participating businesses had big signs outside their shops so that people would come in and browse the art they were featuring this evening. Some of the art is actually quite good. Some of it.... well.... perhaps you really have to like that sort of stuff...

I managed an Art Gallery for 7 years. I got used to saying "Oh, yes! You wonderful taste!" When I was actually just trying to make a sale. I will never really understand most abstract art. Nor will I understand why those who create abstract art think it needs to be on a gigantic canvas. I secretly believe that most artists who create abstract art probably lack the ability to do realism in any form.

Another exciting part about attending Gallery Walk is that you are able to go into many stores that are never open to the general public, or simply are never open at all. And now it makes sense to me. Some of those stores are rented by artists and they use them as their art studio. They paint and paint and paint until the first Saturday of each month, and then they slap an obscene price tag on their work and open their doors. Can you tell I wasn't impressed?

And speaking of obscene, silly me, we wander into one gallery, and I suppose I ought to have expected it, but I was so busy trying to make out what the artist had painted when suddenly The Child yells out "Boobies!!!" and I look at the wall opposite to the one I'm looking at and it's all S&M art. I had to quickly usher The Child out of the gallery, eyes shielded, hoping he didn't take in too much of the scene before his exclamation.

On the whole, I'm glad that we went. It was fun. Oshkosh does have a few very promising artists. And Down Town has some very nice store owners. And we got some fresh air and exercise. So it was worth it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Support Your Local Museums!

I just read about an upcoming exhibit at the Paine that I can't wait to see!

We are a family of Museum Dwellers. It's what we do when we want to do something as a family
that is fun and educational. And we always make sure we visit when the Art Fair and annual Plant Sale is being held at the Paine, as well as any other summer tourist attraction they may hold.

Because the city's museum usually has more Family-Friendly exhibits, we usually end up spending our money there rather than tootling kitty- corner to the Paine and spending the cash on their entrance fee. We just can't afford to visit both on a given Sunday.

However, the Paine will be holding an exhibit starting June 6 that I will make sure we see.
The Collection of the George Eastman House of Rochester, N.Y. will be on display. This is a collection of over 100 photographs spanning from the past 150 years of American life.
They promise to have photos of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie O, as well as works of Ansel Adams.

Photo by Danny Lyon

I am hoping these will all be larger than life and even more captivating than the small prints and poster art I have discovered through the years.

I can't help myself. Photography has long been my favourite art form.
When we visit the museum, The Boy and The Hubby love looking at the exhibits. I enjoy them as well, but what I'm always most looking forward to is the basement where there are always awesome old photographs to enjoy and admire.

How can one not love old photos? They transport you back to the era in which they were taken.
They fill my mind with questions, and also answer many ponderings I have had while reading the old novels I so adore.


When I was a child, I wanted to be an artist. I have the talent and the creativity. And along with that, I also have that slanted vision of the world that your average person has never really experienced (I often need to remind myself that others may not find many of the things I get all excited about as even mildly interesting). It's a feeling. A personality quirk. But also a very fun and beautiful way to appreciate this world. But somewhere along the way, I got sucked in to the hustle and bustle of the general population and ended up reserving my artistic talents for home improvement challenges and Functional Furniture Art. If I really put my mind to it, I probably could jump in and do what I love for a living. But I lack the marketing skills that it takes in order to command a strong commission for what I do. Therefore, I would starve. My family would starve. The Child would really miss eating Gourmet Noodles. So I guess I ought to stick with my true talent - helping people. And that in itself is pretty darned righteous!

Come June, look for my review of our visit to the Paine! I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh, I am SO Going to the polls next Tuesday!

I received a flyer in the mail tonight regarding the referendum on Oaklawn / Lincoln Schools. And I'm left saying "What The Fuck!?"

Firstly, The City of Oshkosh has only too recently been forced to eliminate 40 teaching positions.
There are a handful of reasons why, but let's face it. The real main reason is because we are hitting hard economic times right now, and the school system has had it fairly cushy for some time, adding a lot of what I would deem "Expendable Staff" in the past 10 years. Now they are being told to get real and keep those that matter most.

And now, there is this referendum. Supporters of Oaklawn have been whinging for years that the school is in terrible shape and they just aren't getting the budget to keep it up to snuff. And each time, we the people. vote it down.

And now I get this flyer in the mail saying "Oh, these poor teachers! They have a giant rack of lap tops that they have to set up every day throughout the school because they don't have a real computer lab." Guess what? The Medical facility I work at uses the very same docking rack for the entire nursing staff. It works just fine for us in the real world. What's so awful about making smart use of space?

And the picture of the Music Teacher's Roving Music cart : A recycled Pick-n-Save Grocery cart that the teacher loads up with all of her stuff so that she can roll it from room to room while teaching the children music appreciation is supposed to make us feel pity because she has no music room of her own. I'm a musician. And I didn't gain my love of music from my Primary School Music Teacher. Mr. Sandeman always smelled like he'd forgotten to wipe his ass, and I never wanted a one-on-one lesson from him because he really gave me the creeps. He had a lovely, large music room with plenty of storage. Unfortunately, it smelled like his ass. So a music teacher with a rolling grocery cart is a step up in my book! Although if the city does take pity on her, maybe they can steal her one of those awesome carts from Lowes or Menards instead. Much more sturdy, and the wheels are made for big loads. After all, lets face it. With the budget cuts, we're obviously going to have one music teacher shared among several schools. Wouldn't that teacher rather have portability as a selling factor to keep that position?

There was also a picture of the School Nurse's room, where they hoped to depict the lack of space and proper equipment. Students with an upset stomach have to go way down the hall to get to the bathroom. Well, cry me a river! That sounds more like poor organization to me than lack of space! Who did she swap offices with? Oh, and the photo? It's a room cluttered with rubbermaid tubs filled with whatnot. It looks, to me, more like they are just highly disorganized instead of cramped for space.

If this school is so bad, why is it still open? Why do parents allow their children to attend school there? We do not have to have our children go to school in our own district. We pay the school board's wages. We do have a say. If that school is so bad, why send kids there at all?

My oldest son went to Lincoln school for two years when he was growing up. It was an old, poor, small school, but it appeared to be kept up in those days. It is situated in a poor neighbourhood. Apathy among parents was far too evident. I was very happy when we moved to a nicer neighbourhood and were able to give our son a better chance to learn that you CAN improve your life situation. One can sit still and be angry at the cards life has dealt, or one can move forward and fight for something better.

That neighbourhood does not need a new building. That neighbourhood needs people who are willing to become more involved with the entire families and help them to shed their anger and move ahead.

It's not even a question of the proposed loan. It is a question of the attitudes revealed in this plea.
These people are not thinking outside of the box in the proper perspective. They simply want a free, new box to dump the same old crap into.

I am grateful that there are people like John Lemberger listening to this plea as well. He's Old School. He, like the people of his generation and my generation that followed, know that we CAN have a classroom filled with 30 students and know that all of these students are capable of learning the curriculum and that the majority of those students will graduate and make their mark in life instead of whinging that they didn't receive special treatment.

There is plenty wrong with the public school system today. If we could afford it, Our young one would be attending catholic school today. But in these economic times, all we can do is keep a watchful eye on our child as well as the school board. If they had their way, every child would be on Vyvanse or some other mind numbing drug to keep them calm and placid.

Back in my day, there was no ritalin or similar drugs out there. The teachers would simply stand the misbehaving child in a corner until they were ready to join the lesson. Today, when a child misbehaves, they shine a spotlight on them in hopes of retaining yet another job at the school for some "Behaviour Specialist" to take the child to their office and have the student fill out test papers that are skewed to suit their needs. It makes me sick.

Hubby and I were called in to school one day when our son was misbehaving. They were asking us what we felt they ought to do to help our child get back on track. Every suggestion we made was shot down. They can't make our child write 50 times "I will behave in class" because it is against their rules because it would make our little darling not enjoy writing. PLEEEEEEASE!

No. A new building is not what this city needs. What it needs is an overhaul in the educational system. I'm voting NO on Tuesday.

And on a related note, I went to school with Paul Esslinger. He was a little weasel.
When he first wanted to get into city Government, he went knocking on doors. He knocked on my Dad's door. Told him "Oh! I went to school with your daughter!" Oh, yeah! Like we were best pals! What? Did he memorize the High School Yearbook and go out stalking all the parents of former students and make like he was friends with all of them? That's not networking, that's just creepy!

Frank Tower sang in our Church Choir, and he's not even a Catholic. He helped us as a favour to the Choir Master. He was well spoken, talented, and intelligent.

Decisions, decisions. Smarmy Paul, or intelligent, thoughtful and gorgeous Frank. Gee! Such a tough choice!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just a quick giggle

So, Mr and Mrs Doogster came to dinner last night.
We had a lovely fish fry thanks to Hubby's fabulous cooking skills.
The Doogsters brought Potato Salad and Cole Slaw.

The Doogster said he got into a confrontation with the gal at the grocery deli.
Her sign beside the Cole Slaw said "Better then Grandmas".
The Doogster told her "I think it is supposed to say 'Better THAN Grandma's'."

At that point, I burst into laughter and told him
"I've never tasted Grandma."

Okay, so I am really one sick individual.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hair's to an exciting weekend!

I'm sitting here at the computer watching the clock.
You see, I have hair dye in my hair at the moment, and I am trying very hard to resist the idea that I want to cut my hair (Yes, Shayla, you inherited that trait from your dear old auntie!).

I'm starting to reach a weird point with my hair. I really hate the gray roots, but I really love all of the other colours that show up just before it is time to dye my hair. At about 8 weeks on, I have at least 8 different shades of reddish brown going through my hair as well as the grays. And then when I dye it, I end up with one boring shade. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

But lately, I really hate what my hair is telling me it wants to do. I feel so damned old and frumpy! And that is not how a gal who has lost almost 20 pounds ought to be feeling! So I'm contemplating cutting my hair. Layers. Lots of layers. And maybe bangs for a change. But I know me. Me and bangs don't always get along well. They're high maintenance. I'm a wash it, brush it and run out the door kind of gal. And in a normal world, that would be okay. But I work with a group of younger, gorgeous gals. Gals who never have a bad hair day. I have TONS of bad hair days!

So, I'm thinking maybe once I rinse out the gooey dye, I just may get out my sharpest scissors.
Is there a Patron Saint of Good Hair Cuts? Cuz if there is, I need her to watch over me! :o)

I have a vacation day tomorrow! W00t!
Hubby and I are going to do our taxes now that we're back on line (halleluia!).
And then we are going to go somewhere special!

We normally go out to breakfast on Sundays. As of late, it's been Dirk's Truck Stop. They make an excellent Chicken Fried Steak. However, a few weeks ago, we packed up the kid and sent him to Grandma's for the night while we went out to party, and the next day, we went out to breakfast just the two of us. We went to Pilara's on Main Street.

When we entered Pilara's, I really liked they way they inexpensively charmed up the place. It's an old building, but they really have a hip cafe vibe happening. And as we sat at one of their decoratively hand painted tables and looked at the menu, I said to Hubby "Uh oh, this is a fu-fu place, Honey." His response was "Could be, but the coffee is excellent!" So we ordered some food.
I tried their french toast. Oh. My. Gawd!!!!! Firstly, no matter what you order, they offer you some waldorf salad as an appetizer. It's been decades since I've had waldorf salad. I'd forgotten how much I like it! And then came the French Toast. This is not regular bread frenched up. This is a flavoured bread that they cook as french toast, and then layer it with pecans and walnuts and give you a CUTE little urn of syrup to drizzle on top of it all. It was pure heaven!

I told Hubby "If we ever win the lottery, I want Pilara's to feed me every day!"

Ever since that visit, we have been jonesing to go back there. But, alas, The Child would never eat anything off of their menu. The need has become so great that last Sunday, I put a bowl of Honey Combs in front of the kid and said "Here. You will eat this. And when you are finished, we are going to a restaurant for breakfast where you won't like any of their food. You will come with us. You will be full. You will behave. You will like it."

Then, we jumped in the van and headed to Pilara's... only to find that they are closed on Sundays.
I was crestfallen!

But tomorrow, the kid is in school! Hubby and I can enjoy a top of the line meal without hearing our 8 year old saying "I'm hungry! Their fries have green stuff on them. There are black flecks too. I don't like salad. Where's the bathroom?" (You can picture me rolling my eyes, can't you!).

Well, it's time to wash out the goo! Wish me luck!



P.S. Okay, so I was right. I do hate the bangs. But all in all, I didn't do too bad of a hack job.
Perhaps there IS a Patron Saint Of Good Hair Cuts!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What a relief!

Hubby has been tweeking the new computer every few days to train it to become what it ought to be. I can finally see my graphics on my blog, which is a relief, because I didn't get all of them transferred over to photobucket as I would have liked. So until our server discovers that the source of posting no longer exists, we're golden.

The president gave his speech tonight. Again. As Hubby puts it, the man has been campaigning for so long he thinks he is still campaigning. I don't like watching his speeches. He's not a good liar. He can't look at the camera when he is telling a blatant lie. It's like watching a train wreck.

But that's not even the worst part! Before the speech, I logged on to yahoo to check my mail, and the AP had posted a photo with their write-up on the pending speech and I was just beside myself with anger and disbelief.

How dare they!

Of course, after the speech, I checked the link and they had removed their original photo. Obviously someone made their disapproval known.

I don't give a damn if you voted for the man or not. Surely even the Associated Press knows that Obama is NOT the next coming! Shame on you, Associated Press! Shame! Shame! Shame! You are gonna rot in Hell!

Hearing the Presidential address is much like the messages I am sure everyone is getting from their employers as of late. "Things are shaky, but we're in a good position. We had a very strong first quarter, and all is well." and in the next breath "By the way, we're closing up a few locations, and shutting down your retirement plan until things get stable, oh, and don't put all of your hopes into a raise this year." Ouch.

I'm really glad I quit smoking. I gave MYSELF a raise. I did the math this week. I quit in October. If I had continued smoking, I would have spent $700 in cigarette money. $700! DUDE! That's a lot of dead presidents! (How's that for a segue? HUH! I ROCK!)

I will never go back to being a pack a day smoker. Yes, I will admit that now and again, I do have one. I'm human. It's a tough habit to leave behind completely - especially when consuming alcohol or when I want to kill some body. But on the whole? I think I like saving the money much more. It's MY money. Mine. I've earned it. Nobody else can decide how I will spend it. Nobody else can guilt me into pouring it into owed bills. Ain't gonna happen. That's MY cash! I really like that.

Hmmm... It's looking like I've got to get out my most stern Mom Face. The Child is still lurking about and it is 10:30. He will live after my wrath, but he won't like the (no computer usage) consequences. :o)

Have a great nighty, All!

Aunt Bren

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We're Back!

Our computer crashed some time in February. It was a slow and painful death.
I didn't get to save everything off of it that I would have liked to. But isn't that just how life goes?

We're saving up for a good computer - or may just by one with our Tax Refund... if we ever get our F'ing taxes filed. The unit we are using right now is a used one Hubby found for $40 from a friend. Let me tell you, ya get what you pay for. I'm a slow typist, but I am typing much faster than this computer can keep up with. That is so whack!

So, my devoted followers, I'll bet you are wondering what you have missed in my oh so exciting life in the past 30 days? Not a whole lot! Well... I did win the diet competition at work. I blew them all out of the water. While most of my colleagues had lost a total of 4 pounds in 8 weeks, I managed to drop 14. That $180 was well earned!

So what did I buy with my winnings? Well, for starters, some undergarments that aren't baggy on me! LOL! And I bought an exercise mat, and new tire innertubes for my bike so that I can start riding it to work a few days a week and continue to shed pounds.


It's officially spring now! I've been tending to all of my beloved house plants, finding new chutes and leaves on nearly all of them. And it is so nice to finally be able to take my ginormous plant out of the bathroom where it stayed nice and cozy for the winter. Although it enjoyed its stay in there, I like it so much better in a prominent spot in the living room.

I did a bit of internet detective work last night and was able to identify most of the plants I now have. I was fortunate enough to catch "Lisa the Plant Lady" at work last spring as she was getting ready to start pruning all of those wonderful live trees and plants all around the building. She gave me and all of my coworkers a handful of snips from random over-flowing plants. I had always thought of myself as not having a green thumb, but I know that Lisa only comes by on Mondays to water and fertilize all of those plants. It's not so hard to remember to water plants every weekend.Perhaps because I did think of myself as having a black thumb, I get a real thrill when I see new leaves sprouting instead of a pile of dead leaves!

Well, my people, it is time I get out in the sunshine and start installing those new bike tires!
I hope you all are happy and healthy and I will talk to you all again soon!

Hugs,

AE

P.S. If you are so inclined, say a small prayer for my friend Kayla who is going through a rough patch at the moment. Life is unfair. She's seen enough bad crap. The girl needs some sunshine!

Friday, February 20, 2009

songstoslityourwriststo.com

Valentines Day was last weekend.
In observance of this so-called holiday, the person in charge of choosing the playlist at my place of work spent perhaps an hour scrolling through song suggestions available to them and chose the very worst of the worst love songs in music history to torture employees throughout the week.

Now, in addition to every awful song ever released by Air Supply and Debbie Gibson, we are also treated to such memorable ditties as
Do That To Me One More Time by Captain & Tennille, The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston, Lady In Red by Chris DeBurgh, Jimmy Harran whining Where Are You Now? and of course, no awful Love song Playlist could be complete without Lionel Ritchie singing "Hello". Argh! The list just goes on and on and on, and we get to hear these awful tunes three times each day.

It reminds me of the scene in High Fidelity where a father steps in to the record shop and asks if they have a copy of "I Just Called to Say I love You" and Jack Black goes ballistic on the man, tossing him out on to the street because that is NOT his idea of what real music is.

So maybe I'm a bit of a music snob. I spent many decades completely immersed in it, picking and choosing what ought to be repeated and what ought to be buried forever. It's a perverse form of torture to me being at the mercy of some cubicle creature upstairs subjecting me to what they think is good music.

I do agree that some songs are not appropriate for my work environment. The elderly patrons would certainly complain if we suddenly switched to playing the greatest hits KISS ever recorded. But how about The Eagles? What about the Beatles? How can they bypass Steely Dan or Supertramp or Styx and go straight to Andy Gibb? Come On! If they must play oldies, why not GOOD oldies?

So I'm thinking of starting a separate blog where I'll just post youtube videos of all of these very awful songs and maybe call the blog songsforpeoplewhowillneverhaveaboyfriendcuztheyaresolame.com or myhusbandbeggedmetoturnitoff.com or something like that. Because, I'm sayin, if I can't stand listening to all of this pap, could you imagine my husband in such an environment day in and day out with that music? Great Googey moogley, he'd bring his gun to work!

And you wonder why I am so warped! Huh!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I stole it from Jenny. Who wouldn't?

Well, who wouldn't steal this?
Besides, I love theBloggess. She cracks me up.

Me So Sexay

Oh yeah. It's Valentine's Day today.
I have a Mother of a Cold. Yesterday I took acetaminophen at 7, Dayquil at 8, Dayquil at 10, Dristan at 12, and reached the point to where if I took any more cold meds I'd probably have a stroke, and still my nose would not stop running! Ugh! So I came home from work and went straight to bed and slept for 14 hours. But, alas, new day, same nose.

The good thing is that I take Vitamin D3. So this will only last 3 days.
The bad thing is, it's Valentine's Day and I'm disgusting!
My Darling Hubby had roses sent to me at work yesterday. And the day before, he bought me a box of ShamWOWs! (Which by the way are quite fun!).
Poor Sweetie. He's so good to me, and I'm a disgusting mess.

A well. Hubby was also quick to point out that since I'm on a diet, he couldn't really take me out to dinner any way. Which brings up another point. I've been making progress on my weight loss, and there is only 2 weeks left to this competition. And now, I'm sick. My body is going to go into shut-down mode to protect me while I'm sick. And then I'll be uber-hungry when I'm better. Not fair! I want to win that money! $160 for doing something I would have been doing any way is pretty darned awesome!

But I think I owe this cold to two things. One, I bought a new coat last week. And although I love it, there is no hood on it. And I'm yet to dig out my fuzzy Russian Hat because it is in the closet next to Jim's desk, and it's a total challenge to get into that closet with so much computer stuff all around. The other thing I owe this cold to is that I had an exceptionally challenging week at work. My computer has been doing things for me that no one else ever has issues with. And the "Help Team" is just blowing smoke up my ass trying to say it's user error. Bullshit. And one of my co-workers is totally working on my last nerve lately. I don't even think she realizes just how annoying she has been. She just has this "Me me me me Attitude" lately and we just can't have that in the environment we work in. But on the up side, Robin and I totally made a patient's day on Thursday. The lady came in and I said Good Morning to her. She said "Well, I don't know what's so good about this morning" and then she said she could smell my coffee and it smelled really good after having to fast for her lab appointment. So I gave her a coupon for a free coffee in our cafe (I save these as I get them just for my patients) and she said "Oh, no, I couldn't possibly" and then Robin offered to run down and get it for her. She perked up even brighter at that. By the time she got done with her doctor appointment, her free, hot fresh coffee was waiting for her. She needed that extra love.

So how the hell can I be sick? When we help people, our brains release endorphens which build our immunity to getting sick. When we witness someone else helping people our brain releases endorphens as well. I work in a very caring environment. I rarely do get sick, even when surrounded by sick people all day. I guess I ought to just count my lucky stars. After all, it will only last 3 days. I'll get through it.

In the mean time, Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

I'll leave you with a shirt I got for Hubby:
SHIRT


Oh, and Shayla, there's a shirt at Zazzle for you too!:
SHAYLA SHIRT