Monthly Archives: October 2012

Monday Musings

It is cold and dreary this morning and the winds from Hurricane Sandy are supposed to blow in later this afternoon.  We aren’t in harm’s way and for that we are grateful as well as mindful of those that are.

Stay safe, northeastern  friends.

We had a quiet weekend – Craig came home late, late, late Friday night from a work trip to Florida and we enjoyed hanging out Saturday morning, drinking coffee and catching up on the week’s news.  Tommy and JJ signed up to help at the church’s Fall Festival so we dropped them off in the afternoon so they could hand out candy to the little kiddies and Craig, Travis and I went to Best Buy to see what was new in the world of electronics.

I am married to a guy who enticed by all things gadget-y said the woman who gets distracted by shiny things and perusing Best Buy or CompUSA is akin to crawling through hot coals but I took one for the home team because Nordstrom has a shoe sale next weekend and guess who’s going with me.

On Sunday I did some volunteer work for the presidential campaign as a poll observer at an early voting site.  I was tickled to see such a huge turnout – the line wrapped around the corner of the building for almost four hours straight – and I was happy to report that the process ran smoothly and nothing shady happened with the exception of the multiple occurrences of crimes against fashion.


Let’s just all agree to never, never, never, EVER, wear gladiator shoes with sweatpants.

Or vertically striped pants unless you’re Twiggy.

 Or for the younger crowd, whoever the skinniest, leggiest model is currently in vogue.

Or Ugg boots with swinging pom-poms if you’re over 60.  Or over 16, while we’re at it.

Oh, it was better people-watching than at the airport. 

I was fired up and ready to go and must say that the whole observer process was kind of anti-climactic and not so very glamorous.  There were strict rules by which we had to abide (I could not be chatty with the poll workers.  Do you know how hard that is???) and the election judge had an area reserved for us to sit.  I chose the seat closest to the registration table to make sure the authorization to vote forms were properly handed out (NC doesn’t have a voter ID law and it drives me crazy, especially when easily 90% of the people in line had their driver’s licenses out and ready to show to the official only to be told to put them away.  Rant over) and by choosing that particular seat, it meant that I was also directly in line of all the wind that came rushing in the door every time it was opened to let another group of voters in.

Oh, it was delightful.

By the time I left, I was stiff, sore, and freezing to ever-loving-death but happy to be but a small gear in the cog of democracy and to celebrate we went and ate pizza, or rather, I watched my family eat pizza while I ate my sad little salad but it was okay because I’ve lost 10 pounds so far and that makes choking down yet another leaf of lettuce worth it.

And a good time was had by all.

Have a nice day.

Five on Friday

I’m easing into Friday morning and by easing I mean running around like a madwoman getting the house picked up because the exterminator is due in a few minutes which means he’s going into EVERY room and I don’t know about you, but not every room in my house is always company ready.  On the bright side, the house will be semi-picked up for the weekend.

It has been a rough-ish week around Casa de Carpool.  I’ve had a bad cough that has been keeping me up at night and as a result I’ve been draggy through the day.  I’ve been choking down the Mucinex and some high-powered cough syrup from last year’s similar episode and I *think* I’m getting better, so that’s encouraging.

What’s discouraging is that my kids started back to school on Monday rested and refreshed and it appears that the kids who were bullying J last quarter also came back refreshed and ready to start in on round 2 with my boy.  He is a great kid – handsome, quirky, brilliant  – all wrapped in a gangly teenage body that is all arms, knees, and elbows.  And emotionally, he’s just like his mama.  He has a strong sense of justice, a quick temper, feelings that are easily hurt, and tears that spring up when he’s mad or embarrassed or hurt.  And these qualities, which are admirable because they make him the  beautiful child that he is and the wonderful man he will become once he learns how to harness them and put them in their proper place, just are not playing well with the middle school set.

I am addressing it with his teachers and school administrators (J finally told me who the boys were so they could do something about it), and we’re working with J,  coaching him on techniques to use to deflect and ignore them, but it’s hard when you’re thirteen and you can’t see a way out.  Please pray for him.  And for those boys who I really, really, really don’t like right now and they’d best not see me on the sidewalk.

So, with all that yuk in my head, heart, and lungs, I kinda’ want to crawl back in bed and start all over tomorrow.  But denial never got anyone anywhere, therefore we’re going to acknowledge, move on and seek joy in all circumstances.  And so today’s theme for the Five is:

Five Things That Made Me Happy Despite Mean Kids 

1.  My boys.

Yes, orange coke AND cotton candy for lunch. Thank you, Golden Corral.

2.  The Ring Toss game at the State Fair that I finally won after forty years of playing.

And yes, I picked the pinkest stuffed animal they had.

3.  Lunch with friends who challenge me to bring my A game to life.

4. Winning the Bible quiz in Sunday School and scoring some ornamental pumpkins as a prize.

5.  Surprises in the mail from a thoughtful brothers.  sister-in-law.

I noticed a package at the front door and assumed it was an Amazon delivery for my husband who takes full and frequent advantage of his Prime membership and was pleasantly surprised to see it was for me.  Inside the box was a handwritten note from my brother (save!save!save!) and sister-in-law and they gifted me this vintage cookie press that belonged to my grandmother.

I was already a little emotional about this beautiful act of love from my brother, sister-in-law (and I’ve said it a million times on this blog and I’ll say it a million more – I LOVE MY BROTHERS FIERCELY – AND MY SISTERS-IN-LAW) and then I opened the box and found a recipe card inside that made it all the more special and I pretty much bawled on the spot.

Mainly because it reminded me of my grandmother, but maybe, too, just a little bit because I don’t know exactly how much flour it will take to make a stiff dough.

Have a nice day.

Updated to reflect that it was Patty’s thoughtful idea to send me the cookie press and that Steve went along with it.  I laughed at the text I received from him where he made it very clear that he was happy to take the credit but it all belonged to her.  Thanks, Patty!

Still kicking

Clearly, the kids are on break and my life has been overtaken by sleeping in, chauffeuring, cooking, and vacationing.

Oh, and dieting. Because I stepped on the scales after six months of pre-surgery, surgery, and post-surgery stress eating and it wasn’t pretty.

Discipline, thy name ain’t Susan.

This is our last week of track-out and we are going to spend it at the fair, the farmer’s market, and maybe a quick trip out of town, so I hope to be back next week in slightly more regular fashion. In the meantime, a list of the highlights of the last few weeks:

1. Hearing J remind Tommy (as Tommy sat on him, squishing him like a bug) that it was against the family rules to kill a sibling. Happy to hear that they do listen and apply their mother’s instructions.

2. Lunching with friends who are such an encouragement to me. They are older than I am and I cannot stress how valuable it is to spend time with women who have been down the road I’m walking.

3. Vacationing at the beach with the NotNeds. Head over to his blog (on my sidebar- Hidely Ho Neighbor) for the scoop and for pictures as to why the diet started the day after we got back.

4. Reading (and finishing) a couple of books just for fun.

5. Enjoying the change in season and watching the leaves turning color in the back yard.

Happy fall, y’all.

Have a nice day.