Friday, February 27, 2009


About four weeks ago, I broke up with South Beach.

I had been with him for 3 weeks before I had to give him the "it's not you; it's me" speech. Except it was him.

Even though I lost 7 pounds in two weeks, it just didn't feel right for me. And it's not because I couldn't eat chocolate. It's because I couldn't eat a banana.

And the ban on some of the purest and simplest food seemed somehow wrong to me.

And to my colon; but we won't talk about that.


Paul and I decided to go on this South Beach diet together with the clear agreement that we would not police each other. We would never say "you're not supposed to have that," or question each other's choices.

We ended up deciding at the same time that it was not a diet for us - without input from each other.

Here's the thing about Paul.

He makes a lousy diet partner.

He simply does not whine enough.

He never once banged his head on the kitchen counter and whined "I miiiiiiiisss chocolate-uh."
He never once gazed wistfully into space and sighed "if only I was built like my sister."
He never once opened up about being an emotional eater or tried to explore WHY he reached for a cookie when he was sad. He just wouldn't share.
He never once looked at the calendar and tried to decide the date by which he'd once again be able to tuck in his shirt.

He simply ate his cheese sticks and pecans and went on about his day.

He obviously doesn't get this dieting thing.

Now Kayla wants to do a modified carb diet. There is no way on God's green earth that she needs it but she has assured me she just wants to feel a little better and get a little leaner for softball. After giving it much thought for several days, I've decided that her mindset is healthy and that I'd let her do this, and I'll do it with her if she wants. We'll simply limit french fries, baked potatoes, white bread and candy, but we will NOT ban fruit from our diets.

But let me make myself clear on this. If she does not whine the entire time I'm out of there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Big news day - this is my second post in 8 hours...

Since I know all of you have been checking in several times a day regarding my cardigan crisis; here's an update.

My new Raspberry Rose cardigan arrived today.

It's Lime Sorbet.


There must be some glitch in the JC Penney computer that sends "green" when we punch "pink." Now it falls to me to contact them and let them know they have a problem with their computer system.

Because if I don't there will be millions of women all over the world wearing Lime Sorbet when they really wanted to wear Raspberry Rose. And we simply cannot have that.

*sigh* It is so hard to be me.


Kayla informed me today that she was going to set me up on Facebook.

I didn't ask her to do this, but evidently she takes after her mother and decided I was going to have a Facebook account and I WAS GOING TO LIKE IT.

So I had to inform her that I realized why Facebook made me nervous. It's because it's full of one sentence tidbits.

Um...I'm not a one sentence kind of girl.

I cannot imagine how enormous the pressure might be to keep my comments brief on fellow Facebookers' walls. I would quickly be un-friended as people realized I just talked too much.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

In other news....

I got a call yesterday from one of the stores at the mall - a store I shop at often. They were once again calling all their best customers to let us know about a one day sale on Saturday. If we tell them we got the call we get the discount.

Let me insert here that I have not gone to one of their sales in a long time because I'm trying to save money.

And I can't decide if I will go to the sale on Saturday. On one hand, I would love to try their new Tummy Slimmer trousers and receive ten dollars off each pair.

On the other hand I don't know if I should be offended that they had my name on a list of CUSTOMERS WHO NEED TUMMY SLIMMERS.

Perhaps they could have said "Receive ten dollars off each pair of our new trousers. Oh, and by the way, they are Tummy Slimmers. Not that YOU need Tummy Slimmers but why not get the discount anyway. Even though you totally don't need them - Tummy Slimmers that is."

Instead they got all sing-songy and enthusiastic - "Come try our new Tummy Slimmers!! They will change your life!" Not really on that last part...

Tummy Slimmers, Tummy Slimmers, Tummy Slimmers.

Plus. Might they be setting their customers up for disappointment? I mean what if we go into the dressing room expecting to look all flat and thin and tummy slimmed and we don't? Why not just let us put on the trousers and be pleasantly surprised that we look so good? How nice would it be to put on a new pair of trousers and be able to say "Huh. That half pound of chocolate I ate at the retreat doesn't show at all. In fact it made me lose weight."

I think that would be more fun.

I will probably go check them out. After all, I AM a favorite customer who needs her tummy slimmed. Plus I might find a pair that looks good with my new Raspberry Rose cardigan. Or Lime Sorbet. Or Raspberry Rose. Or Lime Sorbet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Before she left for school today, Kayla asked if I could make it to the store today to buy some crayons - lots of crayons, like 64. I had to smile to myself because I thought I was beyond the new crayon stage; but she needs them to do a school project. She reminded me that Crayola would be best.

Um...she didn't have to tell me that.

Kelly? If you are reading this, you can stop because you've heard the story coming up.


When the freshman class officers were working on their fundraisers earlier in the year, Kayla offered to do the posters for them. Although we had plenty of markers in the house, we didn't have any fat markers.

Chris? If YOU are reading this, I promise to someday post about my love of markers. Remember, what happens at the retreat stays at the retreat...Confession coming soon.

Moving on.

Since Paul was on his typical Sunday errand to buy the paper on the day Kayla started the posters, I called him and said "Could you please run into Walgreens and buy two packs of CRAYOLA MARKERS. We really need Crayola because they are the best."

And he said sure.

He came home with four packs of markers from the Dollar Tree - not Crayola.

Fast forward about two weeks.

Kayla was working on a poster for their fundraiser in which they were holding a raffle for a big Valentine gift basket and I decided to help.

We needed lots of pink and red.

I grabbed a deluxe Dollar Tree red marker and started making letters.

They looked orange.

So I grabbed a deluxe Dollar Tree black marker to outline it.

It looked green.

Then Mommy lost her mind.

I went straight to the basement where Paul was asleep on the couch. Nobody slights me when it comes to markers.

I woke him up so that he could watch my head spin on my shoulders.

Do you remember when I asked you to bring home those markers a couple of weeks ago? Remember how I clearly said CRAYOLA MARKERS? You didn't buy crayola. MY RED AND BLACK LETTERS LOOK ORANGE AND GREEN. Orange and green are not Valentine colors. I asked for Crayola markers.


Why must we always get the cheap stuff. I don't mind the cheap stuff for some things, but now our Valentine poster is orange and green.


I ASKED FOR CRAYOLA MARKERS!!!!!! You said you'd bring Crayola. THESE. ARE. NOT . CRAYOLA.

And I stomped away in a self righteous snit.

Because in twenty two years of marriage I've learned it is good to be calm and rational when really important things come up. You know - present your side of things with peace and love.

I do think, though, that as I walked up the stairs I heard Paul asking God to send a meteor to land on him.

Go figure.

Since the Freshman class earned over seven hundred dollars on the Valentine basket, I learned something very important.

You don't really need lots of pink and red for Valentine's day.

Orange and green will do just fine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


...and evidently I'm one of them.

I just want a pink sweater, people.

Or rather a Raspberry Rose cardigan and shell.

I can't wear most shades of pink, so when I saw this Raspberry Rose sweater set in the JC Penney catalog I said to myself "...self, you could wear that."

And I ordered it.

I was hoping it would come in time to take to the Ladies' retreat but, true to my prediction, it came 4o minutes after I left.

I was so excited to open the package when I was done retreating, bleary eyed and bloated on chocolate.

I slit open the package and was thrilled with the color when I saw the Raspberry Rose shell.

But not so much when I saw the Lime Sorbet cardigan.


So I immediately went to my sweet little computerling, Chip, and pulled up my order confirmation. Sure enough, it had been confirmated that I was getting a Raspberry Rose cardigan and a Raspberry Rose shell.

Who would do that? Who would pack a lime green cardigan with a raspberry shell? Does JC Penney hire color blind packers? Because who would see these two colors together and NOT think "Oh, I better check to see if this customer really wants to look like an Easter Egg."

Because I don't. Not until March.

Now, since I had decided to wear my Raspberry Rose twin set to the Valentine banquet next weekend, I became a woman possessed about getting this mistake taken care of. So I went to our catalog department yesterday and let the lady help me get an even exchange done and a new Raspberry Rose cardigan ordered. I actually got the shipment confirmation today.

They are sending me another Lime Sorbet cardigan.


The Lime Sorbet Cardigan that will not die.

So I called the JC Penney Catalog Color Crisis Hot Line and said "...somebody help me!"

I spoke to two very nice women who each said "Sure enough, it seems you're getting another green cardigan."


My only hope is that somehow the Raspberry Rose and the Lime Sorbet color codes are reversed in their system and that when you type in one you get the other.

Later, I'm going to schlep back over to the mall and ask if they can confirmate for me that they did indeed order me a Raspberry Rose cardigan. And then I'll await the arrival of the UPS man with great dread to see what color I'm actually getting. It will be like opening a grab bag gift - and we all know how fun that is.

I really wanted to wear Raspberry Rose to the Valentine banquet. If it doesn't come I'll have to

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I couldn't help but think all weekend, as we would worship in song, that surely those who could hear us outside must be mistaking this sound as a chorus of angels.

When your worship experience typically consists of praise songs that are a beautiful blend of His sons AND daughters; there is something sweetly refreshing about hearing only the voices of your sisters.

This is not to say that the voices of our brothers do anything but enrich our worship but sometimes when something is rare to us; it just becomes more beautiful.

The voices of your sisters.

The voices of the women of Christ.

The voices of the weaker sex.

These are the voices who are teachers, nurses, secretaries, police officers, occupational therapists, child care workers, mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers. They are the voices that can do anything.

These are the voices that have brought forth life. These are the voices that have traveled the world to give life to a child. Or two. These are the voices that give hope to those who had none. These are the voices that have buried their own parents. These are the voices that soothe sick children and piece together broken hearts. These are the voices that carry on when their own hearts are breaking. These are the voices that teach children, any children, about the Love of God. These are the voices that clean up the messes of life. These are the voices that will sing like an angel during praise but roar like a lion to protect their loved ones. These are the voices that shake when we share are deepest fears or our greatest joy. These are the voices that are choked with sobs as we feel our sister's heartbreak. These are the voices that are broken with laughter as we create memories.

These are the voices that are not as deep as the ocean; but are as clear and sweet as the cloudless sky. They are a cold drink of water for a parched soul. They are the dessert of life.

These are the voices that, individually, will garner little attention, but together were able to bend the ear of God.

And I know, for a couple of days, He was leaning just a little bit closer to listen.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I'm off in a couple of hours to our church's ladies retreat.

Two reasons to pray for me:

1. I am speaking tonight. NNNAAAAYYYGGHH!
2. I will most likely be donning a bathing suit to enjoy the indoor water park. Enough said.

I can't decide if I should take my new little baby computerling with me. By the way, we've decided to call him Chip. Should he come along with mama so I can maybe do some live blogging or should he stay home and rest?

Decisions, decisions...

Paul got home from a business trip last night and, since we believe in rotating parents in and out to prevent burnout, I'm leaving today. Actually, if our kids were younger, I would not be going on my little getaway, because I wouldn't want to leave after he had been gone most of the week - you know - continuity and all. But since neither of our kids is actually home much on the weekends -except to sleep - I doubt our back to back absences will damage their innocent little psyches.

In fact I won't be a bit surprised if I come home on Sunday evening and they say "Oh, you've been gone, mom?"

I have left Paul with a couple of tasks to complete while I'm gone:
1. Clean out the refrigerator and find out what that smell is. I think it's some fresh pineapple that got spilled in the back.
2. Remind Kayla and Blake to clean the bathrooms.

I wonder which job he'll find more difficult....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Tuesday night I made jambalaya for supper.

Poor Kayla had been asking for jambalaya for four weeks.

Please mother, when will we have food again? Any food will do, but Jambalaya would taste so good and fill this hollow starving pit in my stomach.

Soon, dear child. We will have food soon, as soon as I get off my duff and get to the store....I am weary sweet daughter - weary from chopping wood and plucking chickens.

Each time I'd go to the store, she'd come home from school and say "did you get jambalaya stuff?"

And I'd slap my forehead and stare at my shoes in shame.

"Write it down," I finally told her as I slapped one of my trusty index cards on the counter.

So she started writing "J -U-M..."

"Um...Sweetie, that's not how you spell it."

"I'm spelling it the way it sounds"

Jumb - uh - lie - yah.

Now I would have been happy to see "jumb-uh-lie-yah," written on my little note card as a reminder for my next grocery trip. But because Kayla is in no way a slacker, she decided to place reminders all over my kitchen.

On my decorative chalk board - JUMB - UH - LIE-YAH
On the family white board - JUMB - UH - LIE - YAH
On the refrigerator, so large it took three sheets of paper - JUMB - UH - LIE - YAH

All with cute little geometic exclamation points.

Imagine the trouble I would have been in had I not bought JUMB - UH - LIE - YAH stuff at the store on my next grocery run.

So she finally got her jambalaya (in fact I bought two boxes) although, I don't think she fully understands just how difficult it is to make.

Sometimes I am just too tired to rip open that box of Zatarain's jambalaya mix and add water.

*sigh* She will not fully understand the lengths I'll go to for her happiness until she is a mother herself.

And now for your culinary pleasure, my jambalaya recipe. Please note: it is crucial to stick to the precise measurements in this recipe.

One family size box of Zatarain's jambalaya mix (with 50% more!!) prepared according to directions.
Some cooked chicken breast -chopped
Some smoked sausage - sliced into cute little circles
One bag of salad shrimp - which normally cost about $2.49 at our grocery store.
One can of cream of chicken soup - for those who are taste budically challenged and need to curb the spiciness of the jambalaya. You can also mix in sour cream, grated cheese, whatever.
Um...put it all together and serve at 4 different times while your family rotates through the kitchen.

It is of great importance to note that the jambalaya box will suggest ham, chicken, sausage, OR shrimp for this very complicated meal. But because I can never limit myself to one choice when it comes to food I put in three meats and call it Jambalaya Supreme(alaya).

Plus, it stretches it out into two or three meals and, since I worked so hard to prepare this one, I usually need a night or two off.

Monday, February 16, 2009


When we got our kids their cell many years ago it was...we knew that it was going to make them extremely happy. So happy, in fact, that we feared they would like us too much.

And since it is our goal to make sure our kids never like us too much, we had to find a way to take some of the joy out of having their own cell phones.

So we had a parental sidebar and quickly discussed our options.

What to do? What to do?

I know. Let's disable their text message capabilities.

OH! Good one.

Which is how Paul came to be known by our children as the Text Nazi, a title that goes well with others he's earned since becoming a father: The Snack Nazi, The Cable Nazi and The Nazi of All Things Fun (which obviously covers everything under the son that makes him a mean dad)

Anyway, to make things even more miserable for our children after we made sure they knew they wouldn't be able to text ANYBODY, we informed them that mommy and daddy could indeed text each other.

R.H.I.P, children. Rank has its privileges.

The trouble is that I cannot manage to text anybody without sending out a bunch of gibberish (that predictive mode - what's that about?) Paul, surprisingly also had trouble texting. While trying to send me a text message one day, he accidentally told himself "I LOVE YOU," when the message bounced back to him instead of coming to my phone.

Somehow I don't think our children were quite as miserable when they saw that even though we got to text, we had know idea what we were doing. Ah, sweet revenge.

Happiness once again arrived at the W house; however, when I went to the cell phone store last Friday and unblocked the text capabilities on our kids' phones.

*cue Hallelujah Chorus now.*

Of course they have to pay for it.

Kayla had won us over with her argument that her social life was being ruined - RUINED I TELL YOU - by not having text. She had, after all, become a freak by being the only person to not be able to text.

I have to admit I see her point. It seems that once somebody had taken the time to text 3 or 4 people about the plans for the evening, they simply didn't have the energy to punch in a phone number and speak to The Textless One. It seems we have reached the point that we not only let our fingers do the walking, we now let them do the talking too.

Anyway, now that all four members of the W household have text, I decided to do an early upgrade (got the fee waived thank you very much) so that I could have a phone with a full keypad. See, I just couldn't manage typing on a telephone keypad. It's just not natural.

Now, though, since Kayla is so happy to be able to text I see my status as a Mean Mom slipping away, and I most certainly can't have that.

So, I have been sending her text messages at least 4 times a day.

I'm going to make her so sorry she has texting, I tell Paul as I start typing...

For instance I'll sit in the basement and text her: whatcha doing? And she'll answer: Getting ready hby?

Assuming Hby means "How 'bout you" I answered "Kissing your dad."

And she answered "Yuck."

And today while Paul and I were at lunch, and she was at the mall, he texted her "Stop talking to that boy." To which she replied, "I'm looking at clothes. Nice try."

The most beautiful thing about our new texting capabilities is the way it has brought our children together. I know for a fact that yesterday Blake texted Kayla and asked her "Can I have your big Valentine Cookie." To which she answered "No. You had your own."

With that kind of love going on, I'm sorry we didn't get this texting thing sooner.


Ladies, back me up on this.

When you write a sweet little Valentine verse for your beloved, and publish it for the world to see (if you can call four readers 'the world'), shouldn't you expect a response that's a little sweeter, a little more heartfelt, than "And to you...?"

And to you?



What kind of response is that to such a declaration of love?

I was expecting something like "I don't deserve you," or "The tears in my eyes prevent me from responding..." or "you are the queen of my world..."

And to you?

Who says that?

I tell you who, we all do. We say it to the Salvation Army bell ringer after he's told us Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.
And to you, complete stranger.

I brought this up to Paul on the way to church yesterday;

Honey, about your comment.

And then I started laughing so hard I couldn't sit upright. Because he started laughing. He knew he had completely fallen off the bottom of the romance-0-meter. He knew his words were completely underwhelming.

And yet he typed them anyway.

Since my birthday is in February, I never really expect much for Valentine's day -a card is just fine.

Now, though, I'm certain it's not too late for him to find a box of chocolates.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I didn't know I was lost until you found me.
I didn't know I was hungry until you fed my spirit.

I didn't know I was thirsty until I drank from your strength.
I didn't know I was cold until your arms warmed me.

I didn't know music until I heard your laughter.
I didn't know rest until I lay my head next to yours.

I didn't know contentment until I made a home with you.
I didn't know beauty until I watched you hold our children.

I didn't know joy until I danced with you.
I didn't know safety until I held your hand.

I didn't know freedom until you carried my burdens.
I didn't know courage until I borrowed yours.

I didn't know love until there was you.

Happy Valentines Day, Paul.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We have a little bit of experience with broken hands.

About 4 years ago Blake broke a finger playing kickball in school. I think I've told you that I waited two weeks before getting it checked. Mainly because he continued to play baseball and wouldn't even take a Tylenol. Finally, though, some maternal instincts kicked in and we had a hand surgeon check it out, after a walk-in doctor said that it was broken but nothing could be done.

The hand surgeon immediately scheduled him for surgery during which he would insert two pins to put his bone back together.

I missed the mother of the year award by a mere hair that year.

The day before Blake was to return to surgery to have his pins removed, Kayla broke her thumb in a softball game.

This was an especially good day because Paul and I headed out in separate cars after her injury. While I turned right to head to the emergency room, he turned left to head to the airport so he could fly to London.

All the way to the emergency room Kayla complimented me on being such a good mother and "not letting this injury go for two weeks like you did Blake's...." I told her that there were indeed some positive things about being the youngest.

Like getting adequate medical care.

Kayla's injury was worse than Blake's but she, thankfully, did not need surgery.

As the doctor illustrated to me:

This bone is just crushed. Picture a Popsicle - the kind with two sticks that you break in half for your kids. Her bone has broken in half right down the middle just like that.

I can be showered with all the bodily fluids a kid can spew on me (from either end) but a broken bone makes me woozy.

The floor under me tilted just a little bit when I heard the good doctor's description.

Anyway, we were quite the talk of the hand surgeon's office as each of my kids came and went with a hand in a cast. I actually heard the nurses laughing at us during one visit.

That beautiful sculpture in his waiting room? We paid for that.

So all this to say that when Blake informed us last week that he actually broke the hand of a wrestling team mate during practice, I felt a strange sort of kinship with his mother. When Blake told us that Dr. Smith was his doctor, I felt even more connected. After all, we had fairly recently funded a new wing for Dr. Smith's office, so I felt confident that the poor kid was going to get adequate care.

Blake has asked that I pick up a gift card for his victim...I mean team mate. He said I could make him a card and he'd write a note.

I imagine the note will say something like "Dude, sorry I broke your hand."

I think a sentiment like that should protect us from any lawsuit.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under the chair.

Guess where we're going in July.

Yeah, we are taking a family trip to London this summer. After being married to a fly away husband for 22 years, I am flying away with him. The kids too.

In the years that Paul has traveled for business he has accumulated 900,000 frequent flier miles.

NINE. HUNDRED. THOUSAND. Oh so close to that million mile mark. I personally hope we do not hit the million mile mark.

We used every last one of the remaining miles in his account to book this family trip.

We've gone on a few other trips using his miles - Boston, Florida a couple of times, San Antonio. The boys went to New York. We've given some miles to a couple of families. But this is our first really big trip.

This may be our last summer together as a family (sob) so we decided to go for it and book the flight. We are blessed in that the frequent flier miles cover our tickets. We are further blessed that we get to stay with friends part of the time and in the company flat part of the time.

We are blessed that we get to go to Normandy and see the beaches on which my grandfather landed during World War II.

We are blessed.

And yet I am still selfish enough to say I've waited a long time for this.

Paul has traveled throughout most of our marriage and there were days,when the kids were little, when I thought I wouldn't make it through the next hour, let alone to the minute he'd return for his brief stay at home before leaving for the next foreign country. Those were hard years for me raising the little ones alone most of the time.

So when Paul jokingly said I don't need a new carry-on bag or that Kayla and I need to share a suitcase, I sort of went a little crazy on him.

Just a little.

Maybe it was the time of the month. Maybe I'm still battle scarred from those difficult years. But I kind of let loose on the poor man.

"Twenty two years. TWENTY. TWO. YEARS. I have stayed home and raised your kids, kept things from falling apart around here, while you traveled - for twenty two years. I've dealt with illness, broken bones, home repairs, car repairs, problems with our parents. I've lived in fear of the phone ringing. I've watched you leave for any imaginable foreign country with 12 hours notice. I've watched our child go into surgery while you were out of the country. I've battled depression while I virtually raised two little ones alone, not always knowing when you'd come home and when you'd leave again. And now that we get to finally take an overseas family trip for which the tickets and lodging are free, you tell me I can't buy a tote bag and I need to share a suitcase with Kayla? I DO NOT THINK SO."

Something like that.

I know.

I am evil. Bloody Mary had nothing on me, I guess.

I deserve to be put in one of those torture devices I'm sure we'll see in the towers of London.

The thing is, he forgives me so easily.

I'll buy my new carry-on bag (and another bag for all of our walking trips) -once I get recommendations from my readers for the best bags EVER. And Paul won't even remember my little selfish tirade. He's like that, you know.

Like I said, I'm blessed.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


So I think there's this thing going around face book where you list 25 things about yourself.

I don't do face book because I don't really get it. But a couple of years ago I didn't get "the blog" and look at me now. By the time I get a face book account, there will be something better that bends my brain. And I will have a face book account.


Since I just turned 42; and since I like a challenge (not really) I'm going to list for you, my ones of readers, 42 riveting facts about myself.


1. I know the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe by heart. I thought this was a requirement for womanhood but evidently it's not.
2. I'm not a big fan of ice cream. I never crave it; am rarely tempted by it.
3. I am a technological idiot.
4. I love the black and white episodes of Andy Griffith - the ones with Don Knotts. They seriously calm my soul. Don Knotts was an acting genius.
5. I love animals. All animals.
6. I have a college degree but love being a housewife.
7. I am not for one minute blind to the blessing it is for me to be a housewife - especially in these tough economic times.
8. Every night I ask God why he thought I was worthy of the man who sleeps beside me. I still don't know but I'm so glad He did.
9. Ditto with the two children He gave me.
10. Seventeen years into this parenting job, I still lose my breath when my kids laugh.
11. I would be happy if my whole closet was full of black and white - with a little brown and red.
12. I love shoes.
13. When I was in first grade I asked Santa for red shoes because I had read a book about a little girl going shopping with her mom and buying red shoes. Santa came through for me.
14. Now that I have a daughter, she always has red shoes.
15. I just burned my hand taking chocolate chip cookies out of the oven.
16. I have brick red counter tops in my kitchen. Seven years after choosing them I still don't regret it.
17. My favorite book of the Bible is James
18. I cannot tell a girl scout no at cookie time. No matter how many come to the door, I buy cookies. Especially those little Daisy Scouts. Seriously, have you seen how cute they are?
19. Ditto with boy scouts and their popcorn.
20. We have 17 boxes of girl scout cookies on the way (four courtesy of Grandma)
21. I love to rearrange furniture and even my wall decor.
22. I tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor.
23. It appears our kids have inherited my love of sarcasm. Sorry, honey.
24. My son wants to be a marine.
25. I now teeter on the fence between extreme pride and paralyzing fear.
26. My daughter wants to major in fashion merchandising and minor in business.
27. I hope to have a closet full of "KaylaBeth Originals" some day.
28. I rarely call people on the phone-only my mother to check on her. I'm not a phone person.
29. If you call me, though, I can easily talk to you for an hour or more.
30. I am terrible - TERRIBLE - at fund raising. Don't ask me to be a fund raiser for you. I'll do decorating, hospitality, or letter writing, but I am uncomfortable asking people for money.
31. I love kids of all ages - even teenagers.
32. I've never been outside of the United States - but that will change in July.
33. I'm afraid of heights.
34. I don't know if I can swim well enough to save myself.
35. But I know I can do it to save my child.
36. Pre-children, I worked in a facility for the mentally ill - 127 schizophrenics - and I loved it.
37. I got married after my sophomore year in college and was blessed to be given a job as a secretary on campus. The professors liked my work so much they asked me to put my degree on hold and work full time. I told them no and they let me stay on part time.
39. The forties aren't bad - they aren't bad at all.
40. I will be 45 when our youngest leaves home.
41. I hope to finally travel with my husband when we are empty nesters.
42. I don't do mornings well - not well at all.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Guess what I'm typing on...

The cutest little notebook computer EVER. The screen is about 5x7 and the keyboard is a tiny little space - will take some getting used to.

But it's mine. All mine. I will no longer have a teenager (of the male variety) standing behind me while I work on the family computer saying "how much longer?" "Will you be done by the time I'm out of the shower?" "I DO have homework."

In fact, today when said teenager wanted to sit down and try out this tiny little thing, I stood over his shoulder and said "How much longer?" "I have an assignment to do." "Will you be done when I get out of the shower." "My readers are counting on me."

Because turning 42 has made me that much more mature.

Yep. It's my birthday. And while the day looks to be a quiet, uneventful day, I love birthdays. I even love turning 42. Because if I wasn't turning 42; I'd be...well...dead. And I'm not ready to be dead yet.

The neat thing about this birthday is that I've made my kids happy TWICE already today. One, I got a new computer, giving them more time on the family keyboard. Two, I've told them that, no, I won't be offended if they don't join us for dinner tonight. Blake has a big wrestling meet tomorrow and likes to be in bed quite early. And Kayla has plans to go ice skating. I told them that we could go out as a family on Sunday and the important thing was that I got my gift...

You know. That maturity thing again.

I must say this little baby computer (computerette? computerling?) is quite a pleasant surprise. Isn't my husband thoughtful? He totally gets how much I wanted a space of my own when it came to blogging. He totally gets how I love my words.

He's totally hoping I'll become the next Erma Bombeck and bring in some cash. But that's not gonna happen. There will never be another Erma.

I miss Erma.

Soon, when I learn how to navigate this little thing a little better, I'll post a picture. Because everybody loves baby pictures.

Okay, funny birthday story.

On Tuesday evening, Blake walked in after practice and immediately said "Happy Birthday Mom."

"Thanks, but my birthday is Friday."

"Ryan S. said it was today."

"First, what are you doing listening to Ryan S about my birthday and second, how would he know?"

"Well, he said he heard Kayla talking about it in he told me it was today."

I laughed so hard I thought I'd wet myself all over my new hardwood floor.

Turns out, Kayla was telling her friends that she didn't know if she could go ice skating on Friday 'cause it was her mom's birthday. All Ryan heard was that it was her mom's birthday, and at lunch reminded Blake that it was my birthday and to tell me Happy Birthday.

It IS the thought that counts.

Anyway, thanks, Honey for this most generous of gifts. I will do my best to go forth and prosper with it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


When you install a new hardwood floor in your kitchen you are going to spend a lot of time admiring it.

But you are also going to have to buy little felt furniture leg pad thingees for all the furniture that will sit on the floor.

Then you are going to have to buy a new area rug to go under the kitchen table and chairs.

Then you are going to have to vacuum the new area rug at least once a day because you chose a dark color that shows every speck of lint, dust, and pet hair.

Then you are going to wish you had bought small throw rugs to match the area rug even though your husband said "let's wait on the smaller rugs" because now you won't be able to get matching ones because your rug was made from a carpet remnant and they threw the scraps away.

Then you are going to notice that your vacuum cleaner (your Dyson) seems to be making a funny noise and NO!! your Dyson cannot die now because you've spent all your money on a new floor, furniture leg pad thingees, and an area rug.

Please, Lord! Not the Dyson!!

Then you are going to start researching The Shark to keep your new wood floor clean (because even your grandma likes The Shark) even though you know you can't buy it for like, say, oh, I don't know, 2 years.

Then you are going to obsess over the new floor and spend much of your day stooped over picking up little bits of stuff that you never would have noticed on the old linoleum.

Then you are going to wonder if it's really necessary for your family to actually walk in the kitchen. Really, why is that room so popular anyway? Can't people stay off that new floor and let her adjust to her surroundings.

Then you are going to get hungry and realize that the new floor can stand a little wear and tear after all.

Then you are going to ask yourself why you came into the kitchen in the first place.

Oh, yeah. A cookie.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

Periodically, over the last two weeks I have been banging my head against a brick wall.

The reason for this oddly comforting behavior is my ten day battle with our mail order prescription company. They lost the prescription for my migraine medication and seemed very unwilling to help.

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

So each day for more than a week, I called the toll free number and talked to a different customer service representative who was absolutely no help at all.

Which caused me to need my migraine medicine.

Which I couldn't get.

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

Essentially, the battle for my migraine medication had brought on a couple of migraines.

I know.

The irony is enough to make my eye twitch.

As each person listened to my tale of woe and then proceeded to tell me that there was basically nothing they could do to correct THEIR mistake I became more and more certain that I would:

a) suffer a stroke
b)experience my head spinning in circles on my shoulders while spewing green vomit
c)start insulting their mothers

You would think when a customer says "Yes, I've been waiting THREE WEEKS on a prescription..." SOMEBODY would say they would get right on that and take care of the matter.

Um....not so much.

OH! And evidently, when they say a prescription is going to be expedited, that means once it's found, sent to the pharmacy, entered into the computer and packaged, THEN they start the expediting. NO OTHER PHASE of the process will move any faster. ONLY the mailing part is expedited. So be under no delusion that anybody is rushing around taking care of your problem. Only the UPS man is expected to hurry.

So after waiting three weeks for my medication, and getting nowhere by calling the number on the back of our membership card, I turned to the only person I could think of


I googled "president/CEO Express Scripts" and found the name George Paz.

Not only did I find Mr. Paz's name but I found the phone number of the corporate headquarters in St. Louis - and the address.

Now, as much as I wanted to hop in my mini van and drive to St. Louis to give them what for, I didn't. I simply called them.

First, the nice receptionist patched me through to the same ole' customer service line that I had dealt with for a week, so I told them my story, got no sympathy at all, hung up and called the corporate headquarters again.

This time I said "I'm just a customer and I need to file a complaint. No, I do not need to speak to the customer service reps. Do you have a department there in your headquarters that handles customer complaints? Say, a complaint about a prescription being lost and taking three weeks to be processed?"

"We certainly do ma'am. I'm going to let you speak to somebody on our Presidential Escalation Team."

"Thank you so much." Woohoo! The PRESIDENTIAL ESCALATION TEAM. I'm dealing with the big dogs now.

So after telling the PET member my tale of woe and letting them know, as nicely as I could, that it was inexcusable to wait for three weeks on medication, the wheels started moving. I also told them that one of their customer service reps actually told me to just get my prescription filled locally and that I was surprised their customers were being told to take their business elsewhere.

Because sometimes you just feel better when you can tattle on somebody.

Further, when told that I could have my medicine 'overnighted' to me for a fee of $18.00, I suggested that they overnight my medicine to me for FREE since they are the ones that lost my prescription. That worked too. Besides I was going to need that $18.00 for chocolate.

I had my medicine 36 hours later.

Some observations:

A customer should not have to track down the CEO of a company to get reasonable service.

A customer service representative should have some people skills.

A customer service representative should not YAWN while speaking to a customer.

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!