Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Everybody is still at the ball games, so I get an hour of quiet. Should I be here on the computer, doing one of the hundreds of things I need to do, or just relax?

Monday, January 30, 2006

paying for bad decisions

I didn't feel like leaving my house this morning, and I didn't have to. Curly Top is also coming down with something so it seemed like the perfect day to lay around. After the busy weekend we just had I didn't even want to answer the phone. Work called a few times. I knew they wanted me to come in. I should've been responsable and worked today, because now I have to work tomorrow. For me personally thats okay, I really didn't feel like moving today. As a consequence though Curly Top has to go to a sitter instead of my sister's house, and my sister has to find a sitter for her baby. On top of that I miss my son's last b-ball game.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

You know

You know those shiny Capri Sun foils that you can suck completely shut? I think my head is stuck inside of one. If you are a doctor please tell me when I can expect a kid to blow it full of air and pass it to a buddy. I had the flu weeks ago, as the symptoms were leaving they invited a head cold to hold there spot.

You know one of those sitcom moments when somebody does something ridiculous in front of hiding people, like their surprise party guests? I came very close to having one of those moments yesterday. Only this ridiculous thing would have been life altering. As in state of my marriage altering. Yikes! I'm still a little shaken by this.

You know when people use the phrase 'you know' entirely to often, so often it is a verbal tic? I hate that. I was talking to someone the other day who was getting very excited about the subject we were on and she used it three times in one incomplete sentence. I am so glad we were on the phone or my wincing would have really hurt her feelings.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I may sue

I have a legitimate reason to be angry with Nickelodeon. We, Curly Top and I, were watching T.V. this morning. I had missed The Daily Show last night and was plotting a way to watch it at ten this morning. Go, Diego, Go! was on. My plan was that when it was over I was going to quietly change the channel and hope she didn't remember what was on next. Five minutes before the show was over some goofy little thing came on and told her Blue's Clues was next. Foiled! It was time to come clean. After I turned it to Comedy Central I explained to her that I had missed a show I liked to watch last night and was going to watch it now. She was calm then on the first commercial she looked at me and said, "I had to go to bed and didn't get to watch cartoons last night."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Suing Nickelodeon

Let's see if I can do this again.http://web.morons.org/article.jsp?sectionid=8&id=6738 What are people thinking? Are they just looking for easy money? Somehow I think I could understand that more than people who honestly think this is a helpful idea.
Please somebody explain to them about informed decisions. If you can't say no to your children in the store get a babysitter and shut up. I rarely buy any cereal in a box. I have explained to my children that these companies want more of our money and use marketing to try and get it. I show them the price difference and tell them that the extra money is to pay for the box. They are kids, they still ask for boxes of cereal instead of bags. I'm the parent I say no.
If we can't even teach our children to say no to marketing how can we expect them to resist peer pressure? Now these kids have all the luck. They are under eight and have the buying power in their household. That would have so rocked.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My jobs

I sat in on an interview this evening. The man being interviewed talked about his love for education. One of the interesting points he made was the need for teachers to evaluate themselves everyday to see if they left the room better teachers than they walked into it. This got me thinking about my career, or actually the lack thereof. I have three part time jobs and several hobbies, which of these do I love? Two of my jobs I am just showing up for the paycheck. Neither of them are unpleasant, I just know I'm not trying to improve. If I thought I may have to switch to either of them full time and plan to spend the rest of my life showing up every day I might just give up. At my other job I am currently improving and putting a lot of thought into, but that is just because the place needs so much work. Once all of my projects are done I'll probably start watching the clock. Do I need a career? The day may come when I need to support myself. Even if it doesn't I can't imagine not having something to look back on as my life's work.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Energy for life

I have nothing to say. This has been the case for the last few days. I was one of those mothers who sat down after sending her last child to school and tried to remember who I was and what I liked to do. I must say that over the last four years I have done a smashing job of answering those questions. Now my days are falling into a schedule of getting breakfast, getting lunch, reading pre-school books, getting snacks, getting supper, getting kids showered, and into bed. My youngest niece will be in kindergarten in two years. I may have them living with me that long, I hope so, I love them like my own. I guess what I am trying to decide is how much of myself to put aside for that amount of time. Of course if I can ever shake this cold, it is going on two weeks now, and get my energy back I may be able to handle it all.

The best part about having little ones again is watching how well my sons are responding to them. To clarify their relationship I must explain that from the time Princess was born until she was five they spent five to seven days a week at my house while their mother was in school and working full time. They moved away two years ago, greatly reducing the amount of time we see them. Now that they are back my boys get them drinks, help them tie their shoes, and read to them cheerfully. I have got more help than I expected without having to ask. Yesterday I let them each invite a friend over to play for the day. After a few hours of four little girls running through the house my oldest walked by me and said, "I'm going in my room to blow my brains out."
I had to remind him of the revolving door we had when he was a child. It was nothing to look in my living room and see five extra children playing. For all of my complaining that was really a fun time in my life. We are reading Ella Enchanted every night before bed, now that is a book the boys would never have picked. Don't tell anybody, but they are enjoying listening to it too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Winding down

One of my part time jobs is as a skating rink manager. Let me tell you, by the end of a busy Saturday night like tonight I need silence, yet I am too keyed up to chill alone. What I really am craving is a quiet conversation with somebody, since everybody I can think of is either unavailable or in bed I am drinking a couple of glasses of wine in front of my computer. Most nights I take a walk around town, but since I have a chest cold I'm not getting out in this frigid weather.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

magic links and playing sick

http://hollywoodlog.typepad.com/nickerblog/ Reading this post made me wonder what I was getting myself into. Why do this thing that is taking up a bit of extra time? I seriously doubt anybody is reading, so why waste my time? Then I realized that if I wasn't typing this I would most likely be talking to myself. This is much more sane isn't it?

I am fairly impressed that I made that little link up there. I have been hanging around reading on the internet for years and have wondered about the magic of link making. These mysterious smart people who can tell me what I should read/look at and then show me the way. Now I have made one. I wont try it anywhere else yet, to risky. I hope it works.

My son was laying on my bed this morning completely dressed and ready for school. He suddenly smacked his forehead and said, "I forget, I was going to pretend to be sick today."
I was clear that there was no chance of him staying home. I laughed when he told me he was going to go the office later and tell them he was sick. In front of the school he jumped out of the back seat, but instead of going inside he hopped in the front passenger seat. "Come on Mom, I'm really sick. Feel me I have a fever." He gave me a charming smile, and believe me he is very charming. I kicked him out and went home.
I was babysitting my 5 month old niece today. She laid down for a nap as soon as we got home. I was so grateful I almost cried. Curly top, my 3 year old niece, who recently moved in with me, curled up in bed and went to sleep. I looked up and thanked God for this precious gift of a morning. I quickly closed my eyes and joined them. Thirty minutes later the phone rings.
It was the school secretary, my son was in the office sick. I started laughing and asked to talk to him. It was a nice try on his part, but I wasn't buying it. My eyes were closed before I even hung up.
Ten minutes later the phone rings again. Grade school secretary, my niece, Princess, Curly Top's sister, has had a nose bleed and needs some clothes. I hung up and did my best Chris Farley "For the love of God, let me sleep." I pouted for a couple of minutes before getting up. At the school I mentioned to the G.S. sec. That I was going to head over to the Jr. High since I was here anyway and check on my son. She mentioned she had seen him this morning and he looked sick.
One look at him and I knew he was still trying to fool me. He had managed to convince everybody else though so I'm sure at least a few people are wondering what kind of a monster I am. Tonight it came out that he had not finished an English assignment. I was a much luckier child, my mom believed me every time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My day

All five of the kids are now sleeping. Silence is a wonderful sound. I have not been on a walk all week, of course it is cold outside and I've had meetings every night this week, so I can't blame that on my expanded household. For the most part I have been really enjoying the change. Watching my boys interact with their younger cousins has been great. They are really patient and caring with them, I am a very proud parent right now. I have school board meetings again on Thursday and Friday, I need a night to just hang out. Oh, and a morning to sleep in, since I'm requesting things I can't have.

I dreamed that I was running around a church searching for a painkiller. I should have taken this for a bad sign. A horrible sinus headache has been hanging around all day. Despite this reason to just lay around I packed away all of my Christmas decorations today, rearranged my furniture and vacuumed. Why do I hate vacuuming so? I would rather clean the toilets. Tomorrow, maybe I will get around to cleaning my room.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


There are certain things parents of young children can expect to edit out of their daily life. Long walks, reading time, afternoon movies and drinks with neighbors, and long showers are a few of them. My children are old enough, the youngest is nine, that all of these things have been added back in. I love this phase of parenthood. We spend time playing and having long conversations every day, but still all have our own personal interests.
12:40 A.M. yesterday I get a call summoning me to Wichita. By 1:00 p.m. I am starting the four hour return trip. For once I am glad it is a long drive, I needed the time to contemplate the changes in my life now that I have a household of 5 children instead of 3. The new additions, which are only here for a 5 month period at this point, are 3 and 6. This could take some getting used to. I am really going to try and do this without editing out to much of my personal life this time around. I've become really attached to some parts. I love my nieces though and don't want to shortchange them in any way so we will have to see what happens.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Perfect matches

A friend mentioned today that she goes to work with her husband on some Sunday afternoons. The impressive thing about this is that they have been married over eighteen years. She didn't mention this as an interesting fact, she was telling a story about something that happened one day while she was reading and watching him work. I know several couples who barely spend time together when they are both at home, let alone finding ways to spend even more time together. They really give a cynic like me faith that true love still exists. They were married when she was sixteen and still shower together now that all of their children are grown. Isn't that the sweetest?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Slot machines and Nascar

"Once you go there and try it in person you'll be hooked." This has been said to me by both Gaming and Nascar fans. In neither case was it true. Honestly I tried. No sitting around complaining or sulking for me, I really tried and succeeded at enjoying myself. I just left both events knowing I would never choose to go back on my own.

I went to two different races, three if you count the Bush race. The first one, in Dallas, I even left my book in the car. I thought about taking it in just in case, but decided against it. I was reading The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan and knew it would be too tempting to just read and not get into the race at all. After 100 laps, there were still 200 left to go, I made the long walk back to my car to get it. At Kansas City I just went ahead and carried Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner in with me.

Slot machines were ok for the first half of an hour. I was putting in my money slowly, finishing my first amaretto sour and ordering another one. The problem is I am a thrifty person. We have a hand held video poker game at home that I play it for free as many times as I desire. I figured the five dollars in nickels that I had put into the slots was about right for two drinks so I went upstairs to read and relax. That was really my theme for the weekend, relax. I didn't wear any make up or tight fitting clothes. I just hung out and enjoyed being alone or laughing with friends.

Now that I'm home I don't care if I ever see another slot machine. I can't imagine paying to watch a wheel spin around as long a Wheel of Fortune is still on t.v.. I do believe I got my moneys worth out of the Casinos. Over a three day period I spent $25.00 on the slots. I received one slice of pizza, two hot dogs, two amaretto sours, four bloody marys, and four bottles of water. The trick I used was dropping my money in really slowly until I saw the drink person coming my way then I acted like a serious gambler until I placed my order. The only problem is now, back at home, when I'm playing video poker my family keeps ignoring my request for free drinks to be carried into the bathroom.

I put a $10 bill into a machine one evening and won $60 in nickels. I cashed out and stuck the money in my pocket. Then I decided to really get into the experience. I bought my friend and I each $15 in poker chips. We sat down and tried our luck at black jack. There was a $5 minimum bet. I played 5 hands and she played 6. All in all not a bad experience, but I can think of better things to spend $30 on.

To all of you Gaming lovers and Nascar fans I want you to know I'm not trying to trivialize your sports. I had fun and will probably go back to each of them someday if that is what everybody else wants to do. I just know that if I'm picking we will try something else.

Gaming towns

My trip to Cripple Creek was fun. If you are a gambler this would be a great place to spend your days off. If, like me, you don't like watching money spin away, not even one penny at a time there is not so much to do there. Needless to say there was plenty of time for me to make a few notes. Here is what I wrote on January 5th.

Sitting here on a bench outside of a casino I realize people are amazing. It is a long drive into the mountains, on steep winding roads. When you get here the sky is an amazing color of blue, perfectly set against the scattered green trees and brown grass. The air is crisp and it is warm enough so that only a light jacket is required during the day, but still cool enough that some spots of snow remain. Yet very few of the people who are visiting here take more than the few minutes it takes to walk from one casino to another to notice the beauty of their surroundings.

They go from one smoke filled building to another. The noise of machines whirling and dinging is surely still ringing in their ears. They sit and pay money to stare at a machines spinning around. While for free they could be looking at the snow dusted mountains. For the ones who don't care for nature there are old buildings with boarded windows to be wondered at. I noticed one small, wood building standing on a few pillars about five feet high. You could look straight through to open side to the hill it was snuggled up to on the other side. It looked like somebody had dug the basement out from under it. Why?

One afternoon was spent pleasantly walking around town looking at churches. The next visiting the only museum open for the season. I had to stop and rest at the top of one of the hills, luckily for me there was a shrine in the Catholic churchyard to look at while I waited for my heartbeat to go below the audible level. One of the churches had a date and Christian scientists wrote in parenthesis on the corner stone. The museum I wanted to visit was closed for the season, it was a closed down parlor house. The one that was open was nice and worth the five dollars it cost, but not spectacular.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

leaving town again

We are going to Colorado today with a couple of friends today. Most of our time will be spent in casinos. Since I don't really care to gamble a couple of books are already packed. I have an advanced readers copy of Arthur & George that I can't wait to really get into. The only problem that I can foresee with this trip is that I hate rebooting my ovarian cycle during car trips. My body told me yesterday that yes that is what I'll be doing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


When people who know me describe me the word cold comes up. In many ways they are right. Decisions should be made with the head, not the heart, or any other organ. Feelings should be held in or discussed privately, unless we are expressing our love of chocolate. While I am touchy as far as shaking hands or an occasional hug I prefer private displays of affection to public ones. So yes in many ways I am cold and think everybody should try it. Drama is overrated. Knowing me as a cold person most people would be shocked to know how many crushes I still get.

All kinds of crushes. Girl crushes, like the one I had on Rachel Ray for the longest time. I love watching her on t.v. because I can imagine us hanging out, cooking meals, and watching movies together. This type of crush is nice because the crush fades and your left liking this really neat person. O.k. here I am mostly talking about real people I know not television personalities.

Then there is your run of the mill crush on the opposite sex. Yes I still get these all the time. Somehow I thought I would grow out of them by now. I'm going to be a ninety year old woman someday who embarrasses her grown children by bringing dates home to thanksgiving. I wonder if crushes serve some purpose in our life and should be embraced or if they are a distraction that pulls us away from the important things in life.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Celebrating being me

That title sounds rather conceited, doesn't it? School is back in session, and all of the holiday guests are back at their homes. That leaves me here all alone in my house, a glorious predicament. I am a social loner. Living in the country like a hermit is something I could never do. Being around people, watching them walk down the road carrying on with their lives is very satisfying to me. Knowing at any moment I could leave my house walk only a block or two and find people I know well enough to have long conversations with is a very important part of my life. Over the holidays the constant flow of people in and out is great fun. Ah,but when it is over and I have a whole day to be alone, that is like a great sigh.

I am sipping a glass of Champaign. Steaks that have been marinated for a couple of days are coming to room temperature on the counter. Next to the steaks my arch nemesis, a glass of red wine, is breathing, begging me to like it this time. Wine has never been a favorite drink of mine. After reading several books on the subject and having a few knowledgeable friends guide me threw a few tastings I have found a couple of whites and blushes that I enjoy. Red wine though has made me question the combined wisdom of centuries of wine drinkers.

Today though is a day when I stepped out of a long shower, looked in the mirror and liked the naked body I saw. Today is a day of finishing a great book, sleeping in, talking on the phone. Today over medium rare steak and after hours of breathing in the glass, wine and I will meet again. Who knows, I may set it aside and use it as an ingredient in supper, or I may enjoy drinking the whole glass. On a day when I heat up the grill to cook a steak dinner for which I am the only guest, trying something new will be another part of the celebration.