Pics from around the house this past week. Dax has been driving us crazy...she wants to go outside, but it is so cold for her - so she wants to play inside. She doesn't understand that the HOUSE ISN'T THAT BIG!!!
With the frisbee....
Here's Joseph - being cute. Although these cars are everywhere in the house - he comes up with some of the craziest stories about them. These were delivery trucks doing something or other.

And here's the boy eating new foods that he has never tried before. On his plate are: raisins, apples, blueberries and a yorkshire pudding. He like the raisins and the apple. Yeah!!

On Thursday night, he tried parmesan whitefish (didn't like it), spinach (didn't like it) and rice (liked it). Tonight was homemade chicken fried rice. He didn't even want to take a bite. I really wish he would eat. Even if it was just one bite...but he is SUCH a picky eater and it drives me crazy! I was eating escargot at his age!!!! sigh.
We've lived in our house for almost 10 years - and I JUST put up a valance in the kitchen. How sad is that?? I'm really on the home decor kick. Odd. I figure we'll be in our house for several more years, as there is no way we'll be able to sell it in this market. So....I want to make it a home. Comfortable, personal, inviting, colorful, you get the idea. So - these are the valances that I bought back on Black Friday...I love them!! They make the kitchen window look larger, but they make the kitchen feel more inviting. Our kitchen is ugly anyways - but maybe the color will help hide the ugliness!! :)



Last month, the American Psychological Association reported that 80% of Americans feel stressed by the economy, 60% are angry about it and another 52% are having trouble sleeping.

YOU THINK!??!?!?!?!?!

No wonder I think I have an ulcer.


Wine Wine Wine

I had a BLAST on Saturday night with some of my girlfriends. We did a wine-tasting party...everyone brought a bottle of wine, and they were all opened, and put into brown paper bags. We all had rating sheets, and tasted the wines. There were 18 girls. No, I did not have 18 glasses of wine!

Good times. Crazy Girls. We SO have to do this again...

Reunion Planning

Oh Dear God. I am part of the committee that is working on our 15-year reunion. What did I get myself in to? I consider myself a nice person, very friendly, very mature. I have moved past all of the stupidity of HS. But, when I started looking at the names of fellow graduates, and getting ahold of people - there are these feelings of frustration and anger and sadness and well...you get it. You were in HS. you know how it was.

I am looking forward to seeing people, but at the same time, I think that I have moved into a different part of my life - and you can't just start over from scratch with a friendship - but you can't pretend like it never existed.

Sorry - this is a vague blog. There are feelings going on, and I don't get them. Deal.

Sick. (and tired)

I’m battling something. My tummy isn’t good. I feel nauseous all the time. And before you say “Are you pregnant”? I’M NOT!!!!! NOT POSSIBLE!! And now that we have established that, I will continue to tell you – I have no appetite (which is REALLY strange for me!) and because I feel so sick, I’m not sleeping. And because I’m not sleeping, I feel tired all the time. Hence…I’m sick and tired. Even coffee doesn’t appeal to me, which sucks, because if it did, it might help with the tired-ness. I hate feeling like this. And I hate finishing an entire bottle of pepto-bismol in a 12-hour period. Although, I must say - pepto tastes much better cold. Yes, I know that drinking an entire bottle of pepto isn’t good for your digestive system – but it AIN’T WORKING!!!

Ok – enough of my ailments – what else can I complain about? Hmmm…the economy sucks – who didn’t know that?

I’m also sad right now. My hubby is leaving for almost 6 days on Thursday. He and his Dad are going to St. Maarten for Super Bowl Weekend. This brings me mixed emotions. I miss him like crazy, and I absolutely hate sleeping by myself. I hate BEING by myself. This is pretty weird, considering I’m an only child. I end up sleeping on his side of the bed, and I usually let little Joe sleep in the bed with me – so I’m not alone. I’m so pathetic! BUT, I also like this time, because Little Joe and I get to hang out and do different things – we go places, try new adventures. We have fun. AND…BONUS...I get to eat food that I want to eat! Like Chinese food! And Thai food! Mmm!! I can’t decide on what to do this weekend. We have some family engagements to do on Sunday…but Saturday is free. I was thinking of taking Joe skiing – but that’s a big maybe. Any suggestions?



I found this picture last month while going through piles of paperwork to be thrown out/recycled. It is my cousin and me, in my grandparent's sideyard in Minnesota. I used to spend several weeks in the summertime up there, usually when my Dad did his active Duty for the Navy.
This picture made me think of how thankful I am for family. I have some amazing family. I may have a (partial) non-traditional family, but they rock. And I'm very very thankful for that. As we all grow older, and have families of our own, it becomes so much more apparent that having family to support you and love you is so very important. It is more important than all of the stuff that you THINK is important.


Garden Dreaming

It is the middle of January, yet I am dreaming of my garden. I am taking an inventory of seeds that I saved from last year, figuring out my calendar of planting times. The temperature outside is a balmy NEGATIVE 14 degrees right now (WITHOUT WINDCHILL!!), yet I am thinking of plucking fresh juicy tomatoes off the vine and eating them still warm from the sunshine.

I have thoughts of onion sets, and seed potatoes (yukon golds) and butternut squash blossoms and heirloom tomatoes, and homemade tomato juice and fresh peas and zucchini and arugula (in a pot on the deck) and fresh herbs to mix with salads. I'm even thinking of trying to grow cauliflower this year. I cannot wait. I need to order my little grow pots (cowpots at www.greenhousemegastore.com). I need to buy my seeds. sigh. I love the excitement of this time...all of the anticipation. Good stuff.

The other thing on my mind about the summertime garden is the canning and preservation aspect. I have been gathering canning supplies, as I anticipate making tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce and pickles and jams and jellies and all sorts of stuff...but I cannot find a pot. I need a canning pot, and I refuse to pay full price for one at the hardware store. I figure that SOMEONE has got to have one in their basement that they aren't using...and would love to sell it to me for a cheaper price...or we could barter, ot trade, or whatever. I've been constantly checking craigslist, but no luck. Any ideas?

We should call Ghost Hunters...

Last night, Big Joe and I were the meanest parents ever....well, maybe not the meanest, but we sure played a good trick on the little dude.

Dad and I were in the basement, and we turned the Lionel Train on and started tooting the whistle. Within seconds, Joseph came running down the stairs to see why his train was on. In the meantime, Big Joe and I hid in the spare room. So...Little Joe starts calling out "Hello? Is anyone down here?" He starts looking to see who was playing with his train. at one point he actually said out loud "That's Weird." to himself. Hee! So, he turns the train off - and heads back upstairs. Well, we turned the train back on and tooted the whistle again...and he comes running back down the stairs...again. Hee!! After a few minutes, Dad jumped out from behind the door and surprised Joseph, and we all had a good laugh.

I think the idea that we might have a ghost in the house intrigued Little Joe the most. Afterwards, he said "I was gonna call Ghost hunters! I thought we had a train ghost!"

I love this kid.


Future Public Works Employee

Joseph spent the afternoon on Sunday trying to figure out how to fill his toad hut with water, through the PVC pipes. The bathroom was covered in water...and there was a slight flood into the hallway, but no damages. I foresee a future in Engineering...

Moving Towards Forgiveness.

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with someone that I hadn’t spoken to in over 2 years. I am angry at this person, because they said some very mean things to me 2 years ago, and this person has not apologized. It was a very stressful time in our lives at that point, and emotions were uncontrolled. For once though, I did NOT retaliate. At that point in my life, I was too beaten down and broken to respond back to the hurtful comments, so instead, I absorbed them. I felt attacked. I felt abandoned. I felt alone. I still feel that way, for the most part when it comes to this particular relationship, and those relationships connected to it. Those hurtful comments have festered inside of me for close to 2 years.

When the phone rang, I looked at the caller ID (Yes, we screen our phone calls), and I briefly thought of not picking up (again). This person has called our house before, and I always let it go to the machine. I always felt like I didn’t have the energy to talk to this person.

But yesterday was different. I knew that I still didn't have the strength, but maybe I had the compassion and kindness, somewhere in me. So, I picked up the phone. It was a brief phone call, 12 minutes and 36 seconds. But, what do you say to a person who has hurt you? I couldn’t be the active person in the conversation. If I had tried to, I know I would have gotten angry and asked why I haven’t gotten an apology. But, I sat and listened, I answered questions when asked, but I didn’t push the conversation. After 12 minutes and 36 seconds, the conversation fizzled. We said goodbye.

Do I feel better? No.
Do I feel consoled? No.
Did I get an apology? No.
Did I do the right thing, by picking up the phone? Yes.
Does the other person feel better? Maybe. Who Knows.

Maybe this is the first step on the path to forgiveness, I don’t know. I feel horrible, but is it too much to ask for an apology? Or, does forgiving someone forgo the need for an apology? Is that fair to me? I am probably one of the most forgiving people you’ll ever meet – but there are some things that deserve an apology, or at least an acknowledgement.



How can Faygo save Michigan as well as your soul???

Sigh. I think I am overwhelmed. I am sitting here at my desk, not knowing which direction to go in today. My to-do list at the office is out of control, and I need to figure out what is a priority, and what isn’t. It seems like everything is a priority though. Darnit.

I’ve had some major things on my mind lately…


On Being Socially Responsible:

The economy of the nation sucks, but as I was watching the news this AM, I was informed that Michigan now has the highest unemployment rate. So many people are unemployed, that the State of Michigan has started hiring those unemployed people to answer the phones at the unemployment office, because so many people are calling the unemployment office. Wow.

And how do I continue my life blissfully unaware? I can’t. So, my dismal mood is permanently dismal for the day. So, I start thinking…what can I do? I try to be a helpful, thoughtful and kind person…but I have my own life too. Then…I read an article in the paper about “Buying Local”. Not just “local”, but buying “Michigan”. The idea behind it is to get people to 'think Michigan first' in regards to all things (travel, grocery shopping, starting businesses, buying cars, furniture or other products, etc). http://www.buymichigannow.com/downloads/BMN%20Grocery%20Guide%20-%20120408.pdf. Take a look for yourself. I know my family already uses some of the brands listed in the grocery guide but now that I see others listed, we will be trying some new ones as well.

"According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, if every Michigan family bought at least $10 of Michigan products in one week, it could pump an additional $36 million into the state's economy." Holy Cow.

So – go buy a Faygo. I recommend the Rock-N-Rye.


On improving Your Vocabulary:

Wayne State University wants to revive words that have dropped out of the English Language to improve communication using clear and concise words. Wayne State launched a Web site called "Word Warriors" in an effort to "bring good words back from oblivion." Have you ever used mercurial, sycophant or charlatan in your everyday conversation? www.wordwarriors.wayne.edu – check it out.

"By making use of the repertoire available to us, we expand our ability to communicate clearly and help make our world a more interesting place. It's one way of broadening our horizons." Jerry Herron, dean of WSU's Irvin D. Reid Honors College

So – stop being such a charlatan and go buy a Faygo.


On Taking Care of ME:

I learned a term the other day: Memento Vivere. It literally means “reminder of life". You have to live. You cannot just forget that you have a life too. I think I want that painted above our front door. Or maybe above our bed, so I see it every night before we go to bed. It has an amazing capacity…two words, so simple, so huge.

As crazy as this world gets, and as many things are going on in your mind…whether it is your family, your job, your checkbook, your to-do list, your house, the person that cut you off this morning, the traffic light, the bad coffee that you had at the office, whatever…you simply cannot live your life obsessing about the trivial and trite things. You have to live. (Yes, I realize that this is easy for me to type, but probably not so easy for me to actually live…but I can try, right?)

I’m going to the store buy a Faygo and give it to a stranger.


Sorry, no pictures for this posting…I’ll be sure to have some new family pics up soon. I’m sure there will be a train involved. Joseph has not stopped talking about trains since xmas. We spend a large amount of time online at the Lionel.com store.



Here they are:

1. Run the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving
2. Do an indoor triathalon
3. Go skydiving (from the 101 list)
4. Finish my thesis
5. Organize paperwork around the house (filing, investments, etc.)
6. Make wine in the basement (from the 101 list)
7. Drink more water everyday
8. Work on the 101 list in general...

OK - there they are. What are yours?