Monday, December 31, 2007

Speaking of Andy Williams Reprise

I was just watching the clip of Andy Williams and PP&M again. I think my Mom had a crush on Andy. I can imagine her sitting in the kitchen of our rental home, looking at my Dad. All 5'3" hairy, burping, farting, smoking, grumpy inch of him. Then there's Andy - all tall and lovely with that perpetual tan. I'll bet he never said "Well, SHIT!" three times a day. I'll bet he smelled like soap, not Cigarellos. And he wore those cool, sexy sweaters not old flannel bathrobes with sno-mobile boot liners for slippers. I'll be he didn't put on coveralls to shovel snow. No, Andy would have a fab late 60's alpine ski get-up.

Poor Mom. Wanting Andy Williams. Married to Bilbo Baggins.

The Lazy Family Chronicles

Today we all slept in until 10:30am. Yes, you read that right, 10:30am. Then made waffles and bacon to get the circulatory system really revved up. That was immediately followed by TV watching, blogging, newspaper reading, and coffee drinking. Whoo, what a morning! We're exhausted. Think I'll go nap. I have no idea where my blog gets its idea of time, since I'm posting this at 11:46am.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm mourning Christmas

Feeling a little down today. For the first time since my parents died 9 years ago, I really and truly enjoyed the Holiday season. This year my love of Christmas returned in full throttle and I just couldn't get enough carols, cookies, decorations, greenery, presents, etc. Now I'm feeling so down that it's gone - a vague sense that I just didn't squeeze enough out of it. I feel that way about Summer too - maybe I just set my standards too high.

Right now, two kids are in Burnsville with their Dad shopping for his present of new snow boots. One child is at a friends. I have the house to myself for the first time in weeks. We've had 6 of my in-laws here since the 24th - they left at 7am this morning.

I'm exhausted. First I came down with a nasty cold on the 23rd and I've had it all Holiday. Then I was "ON" as hostess for seven straight days. Ever put on 3 squares a day for 11 people? Let me tell you it's like cooking at a girl scout camp. And my in-laws are not the type to eat pizza delivery. I had home-cooking at every turn. Must say I did rather well. Christmas Eve we had Mussels Diavola with linguine, homemade marinara, shrimp scampi, and scallops with artichokes. Christmas Day we had waffles with whipped cream, strawberries, scrambled eggs, bacon, and bagels. Later that day we had baked ziti and crab legs.

The rest of the week included an 18lb turkey, more pasta, fresh salads, oven roasted potatoes, chocolate cake, loads of Christmas cookies, pots of espresso, cheesecake, turkey pesto paninis, etc all made from scratch. Now before you think I'm lying I must add that my mother-in-law is a miracle-worker in the kitchen and helped me a great deal.

Perhaps I'm just feeling the let-down after a whirlwind couple of weeks. Or my head is too stuffed-up to feel happy happy. Or maybe I realize there are several tons of laundry waiting for me. Maybe it's that the sun has disappeared. Or maybe it was being told by my teenager that I was a lying-stealing-crazy-cruel mother since SHE misplaced the birthday bucks her Grandma gave her, therefore of course I or some other family member STOLE it. We found it later. Don't argue with crazy teens, because they are just absolutely STARK RAVING MAD.

So today I'm feeling "mushade" as my Italian in-laws would say, or "mush" for short. My family of origin would call it a pity party. My Grandfather would say "well, you know where you can find sympathy in the dictionary? Right between SHIT and SYPHILLIS". A wonderful source of compassion is my family. I need some Sudafed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I'm being held hostage in my own home by piles of delicious food and multiple loud children!!!! When I break free, I'll post about our Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This one's really special. It's a clipped photo of my husband after the Nordic Rock Throw during Decorah's Nordic Fest. It just wouldn't be Christmas without this on the tree.
Here is one of my favorite ornaments. It's a lid from a fruitcake-in-a-coffee-can my dear Aunt Co sent sometime around 1979 I'm guessing. On it, in her wonderful handwriting it says "Sorry Margaret it's another damn fruitcake". I hate fruitcake and she sent one to my parents every year. It's an ongoing feud.

Another Unoriginal Blog - Have Fun!

Blogging pal MG posted a photo of his lovely, oh-so-tasteful Christmas tree with a heart-warming story of his crystal ornaments. So I though I'd post mine. Not so lovely, not even CLOSE to tasteful, but fun nonetheless.
And yes, those are Christmas Barbies on the window sill. I have all girls.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Speaking of Andy Williams , , , , ,

I loved 60's folk music. I'm a dork, always been a dork, will always BE a dork.

Great Moments of Christmas #6

Man I just LOVE Andy Williams Christmas Shows - sweet memories of childhood. I don't think that's him doing the spin though - how about you? I really want one of the pink sweaters. Too bad his cute wife turned out to be a crazy husband shooter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Proud Moment in Parenting

Got a call from the school Principal today. My daughter was involved in an "incident" involving a note and some foul language. And she lied about it to boot. So tomorrow night we will go to the victim's house and apologize to the family. Like they say, the first 40 years of parenting are always the hardest. She's a great kid who made a really, really stupid decision. Don't know if I should laugh or cry. I kind of feel like Ralphie's Mom after he said F**K to his Dad in Christmas story - get out the LifeBuoy soap!!
I'm sure I'll laugh about this someday . . . . unless she ends up on Jerry Springer.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Great Moments of Christmas #6

"My mouth's bleedin, Bert!"

Great Moments of Christmas #5

MichaelG finds this bit annoying, but I've always considered it genius. This was LOOONG before Bowie found his mainstream voice via MTV, which made it all the more magical.

Great Moments of Christmas #4

No further comment needed

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hair Affair

Here is the results of the hair-dye-in-a-box experiment. Now you might not think this looks too bad. But consider that I'm usually a fairly sun-bleached light brown. For the first time in my entire life my hair is darker than my eyebrows. When I sub at the Middle School, all my kids say "Hey, nice hair!" and I don't think they really mean it as a compliment.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Great Moments of Christmas #3

I'm not a fan of the "Vacation" sequels, nor of sequels in general. But this clip cracks me up every time.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bad Decisions All Around

What a day of decisions, and not all turned out well . . .

1. We decided NOT to drive to Iowa to my sister's wonderful Christmas party. It's going to snow . . we don't want to get stuck there . . . we have to be back home early Sunday afternoon . . . and then the weather had the nerve not to snow.

2. I made chili for supper and now have one raging case of heartburn - and I didn't even put any onions in there!!

3. And the grand finale is that I have now dyed my hair practically black. I look like some weird Goth-Mom-Curmudgeon-Rocker thing with reading glasses. My gray was coming through and I'm trying to pinch pennies. Who knew those innocent little boxes of hair color packed such a wallop?? So now I'll have to dish out the bucks to have a professional correct it. I searched the internet for home remedies and found lots of suggestions involving vinegar, dish soap, bleach, peroxide, and baking soda. I think I'm done experimenting. There should be a warning on those home color boxes - "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME".

Friday, December 7, 2007

Great Moments of Christmas #2

This is by far the best version of this timeless tale. It just wouldn't be the Christmas season without Alistair Sim and Scrooge.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Oh to be a kid again

This guy just cracked me up when I was a kid. Remember when Christmas commercials were kind of special?? And you didn't start seeing them every 5 minutes starting November 10th???

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A stolen Christmas memory

A blogging pal brought up the subject of Christmas letters and it stirred a memory. You'll just have to get used to me copycatting the ideas of others - my life is just not that interesting! Anyhoooo . . . .

We had this relative, my Dad's cousin, whom I'll call Alene because that's her name. Alene wrote the flat-out BEST Christmas letters! She would give a complete run-down of all the surgeries, hospitalizations, and ailments to be found in our extended family. Of course she never intended it as humorous material, but being a rather sarcastic family we found them hysterical.

And she would NEVER disappoint. One year she told of a relative who had a brain scan, but they found "nothing". In the days after my father's emergency bypass, she send a card saying she'd really like to visit but she's recovering from retinal detachment surgery. Dad couldn't stop laughing, which of course was quite painful given that he had multiple large staples holding his entire chest together. This of course made us laugh even harder. I'm telling you, we enjoy good comedy.

My youngest sister finally gave Alene's letter it's name: Merry Christmas but I Broke My Arm

Well one year, perhaps 1980, the letter didn't arrive, and it didn't arrive, and it didn't arrive. It was looking like a sad year in the Christmas letter department. Christmas Eve found us all snuggled cozily at my folks' house while a beautiful snow fell outside. "Ding-Dong" went the front door and there were our long-time neighbors stopping by for a quick holiday greeting. They also brought a white envelope and stated "this came in our mailbox by mistake, but it's addressed to you".

Yes friends it was the Merry Christmas But I Broke My Arm letter. And it was a beauty. Nothing could have been a happier sight on that Christmas Eve.

And we all lived happily ever after - God Bless Us, Everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Great Moments of Christmas #1

Vera Ellen, the amazingly skinny incredibly good dancer, eventually died of anorexia. While Rosemary Clooney eventually grew large and enjoyed a spanking good career. just goes to show you that sometimes the girl who eats cheeseburgers wins.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I actually DO like Christmas

Lest I give the wrong impression, I actually do like the Christmas season. I'm not a full-time curmudgeon. Here are my favorites:

1. Christmas cookies
2. Our downtown - all historic, festive, and snowy
3. The smell of a real pine tree, especially that smell when you're on your stomach, underneath the tree, pouring in that first pitcher of boiling hot water. Ahhhhh - heaven!
4. Taking out time-worn ornaments and remembering the little stories that go with each of them. Our tree is rather eclectic, with strange things that pass for ornaments but have great meaning to us.
5. O Holy Night sung by the fabulous Phyllis W. at the church of my childhood. Sadly that is just a great memory now.
6. Sitting around the kitchen table with loved ones, much coffee, and many aforementioned cookies
7. Late at night on Christmas Eve . . "the world in solemn stillness waits"
8. The gifts my husband receives from subcontractors.
9. Our Christmas Day tradition of a big beautiful breakfast at the colorful table we'd set the night before. Then dining on appetizers and those darling little bottles of Coke only available at the Holidays.
10. Traveling to NY to see my husband's family. Nothing beats the Holidays with Italian New Yorkers!! Especially New Year's Eve Day lunch at Dominick's in Little Italy of the Bronx - Arthur Avenue. The area fire department drives their truck up and down the street all day while various firemen jump off at regular intervals to buy pannetone, biscotti, espresso, fennel, sfoggiatelle, cannoli, and other Christmas treats.

Monday, November 26, 2007

it WILL be a Merry Christmas!!

Trent Lott of Mississippi, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, announced Monday that he is resigning by the end of the year.

One stinky cheese ball coming up!

For MG here is my recipe for one lovely stinky cheese ball:

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese (I used low fat)
8 oz bleu cheese, crumbled (I used cheap pre-crumbled version, this is no place to waste your hard-earned money on Maytag bleu)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped olives (Here is where you waste your money - get the good ones - don't use the canned horrors)
1-3 T. chopped chives (we used lots)
Chopped pecans

Blend the cream cheese, bleu cheese, and butter together. Stir in olives and chives. Cover and chill for several hours for easier handling. Form into a ball, roll in chopped pecans and chill thoroughly.

This makes a large, softball size appetizer.

Lists of Passion and Hate - the Holiday Version!

Happy Holidays!! Or maybe not. While I do enjoy many elements of this festive time of year, there are still some things that just make me scream. Enjoy!

1. Cheesy carols played over, and over, and over, and over, and over. See "Little Saint Nick" in my hated songs list.
2. The pressure to buy useless things for people who don't need anything.
3. People who bring crappy cookies to cookie exchanges. You're supposed to put a little effort into it.
4. Global warming making one brown Christmas after another. Damn George Bush!!! He has stolen snow from Minnesota!
5. Women's magazines and their incessant push to make me feel inadequate. My house isn't perfect, and even at Xmas, nay ESPECIALLY at Xmas, we still have clutter, mail, game pieces, dirty socks, coffee cups, and school bags littering the place.
6. Families who insist that their kids keep believing in Santa - even when said kids are over 7 years old. Makes me want to just spoil it all for them.
7. When my own kids won't get into baking holiday cookies with me - they'd rather hang out with their adolescent friends. WTF????
8. Carolers who sing "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". I hate that song with the passion of a thousand white-hot suns. The only thing I hate more is the shouted "additions" created sometime in the 80's - you know them. "Had a very shiny nose - LIKE A LIGHT BULB". I'm a music snob. Can't they learn "I wonder as I wander?"
9. Christmas sweaters. Invented by my gender. I apologize on behalf of all women wearing chunky knits with snowmen on them. If they light up, I apologize ten-fold.
10. Celebrities warbling their version of Christmas songs - just stick to the notes will you? I don't need to hear the scat version of O Holy Night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let the Christmas Season Commence

Another festive Thanksgiving come and gone. My family spent lots of time sitting around the dining table eating, chatting, and creating the lovely snowflakes pictured above. We have filled the kitchen with them - my oh my, aren't we a creative bunch. My blogging pal MG joined us on Friday and we put him right to work snipping. We also fed him lunch as payment for adding to our cheap holiday decor. He much admired our stinky-cheese ball created by my 13 year old. We LOVE our bleu cheese around here. And he sure appreciated the fabric dept at local store DIGS.

OK, NOW it's time for deck the halls and Hickory Farms Christmas cheese packages.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lists of Passion and Hate (for Kirelimel)

Ten things other people do that make we want to slap them silly . . . . .

1. Gum smacking
2. Opening their cell phones to text during a movie. Just get up and LEAVE you clueless dink. I'm trying to enjoy a movie here!!
3. Bringing cranky or talkative babies to concerts. Yes, your baby is just the sun, the moon, and the stars isn't he? But my babies are up on stage performing and YOUR baby is an annoying distraction. Get a sitter.
4. Wearing noxious amounts of perfume
5. Parking a grocery cart right smack in the middle of the aisle while scanning the pickle selection. Yes I know it's tough intellectual work to choose between the spears and the slices, but could you just move yourself to one side or the other so I can get by?
6. Speaking of parking, people who can't grasp that the parallel parking space alloted for their car exists BETWEEN the white lines. The white lines are not a suggestion. You just throw the whole scheme off if you don't get this. Moron.
7. People who say "hopefully" at the beginning of sentences.
8. People who use leaf blowers - get a broom.
9. Thinking that being cold gives you a cold
10. Folks who use boxed cookie mixes - honestly, how lazy can you get??

I've become my mother

You're it - Michael G, Kirelimel, Melinda June, Ben Bob

Someone should be shot for this music

My blogging pal MG has tagged me, and challenged me to list 10 songs I never, ever want to hear again in my life. I can't list all the artists, I'm too middle-aged to remember them anyway.

1. We Built This City on Rock and Roll - I hate it too MG
2. Cherry Cherry, Neil Diamond
3. Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
4. Heartlight, Neil Diamond
5. America, Neil Diamond (I'm seeing an emerging pattern . . . . . )
6. Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen
7. Jingle Bell Rock, by anyone!
8. Merry Christmas Baby, Beach Boys (the stores are playing Xmas songs already!! Have we lost all consideration of Thanksgiving?!)
9. Little Saint Nick, Beach Boys
10. Seasons in the Sun, what a crappy 70's memory

I'm gonna have a HISSY FIT!

How come everybody is reading and posting great comments at but no one seems to be reading mine?!?!? Just because MG has a much funnier writing style, and way more interesting things to say is no reason to give him ALL the attention. Well, OK, maybe it is. I prefer him to me too. I'm insanely jealous. I'm going to invent some fascinating life events and characters so I can get lots of responses. I'm a pathetic attention-whore.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thank a teacher

I have been doing a lot of substitute teaching lately, and let me just say "Thank You All Public School Teachers!". From the outside it looks like a cushy job - summers off, pupils gone at 3pm, etc. But let me tell you this is one tough working arena.

I've spent some time lately at our Alternative Learning Center (which the students themselves like to call Assholes Last Chance). It's for the HS kids on the edge, and I mean ON THE EDGE. You have to put up with lots of vulgarity and over-the-top bravodo about sexual, alcoholic, and substance exploits. Being told "Suck it Bitch" is not out of the ordinary for these teachers. Neither is confiscating weapons and drugs. But someone dropped the ball on these kids, and I try to see the 5-yr-old still in there who didn't get what they needed.

This week has also seen me subbing at the High School and Middle School. After even one day at the ALC, these buildings seem like heaven. Like Kirelimel, I've been in the Special Education rooms a lot. These kids are great, and I seem to get along with them splendidly. Perhaps it was the five years I spent working with adults with special needs and mental illness. Or maybe it's just my penchant for the underdog.

These teachers show up each and every day and take on all these issues. They get about 15 minutes to eat lunch. They have to attend classes outside of school hours to keep their license. They have to function as social workers. They have to function as parents. They are surrounded by kids who smell like BO and cigarettes. They have to defend each and every dollar spent in their classroom. They often buy their own office supplies.

So to all teachers - THANK YOU.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

People are amazing

We are going through a bit of a crisis here, and a dear friend just brought over the most amazing, most generous gift. This woman and I communicate almost exclusively by email. Our schedules just never seem to allow a good face-to-face visit. I'm speechless with gratitude and amazement. Speechless.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Teenage sleepover

It's my own fault. I said yes and now 4 teenage girls are here for a sleepover. There's no school tomorrow.

My siblings and I have an old phrase for their behavior - pepped up and stupid. It's like four preschoolers jacked up on frosting and overtired except they have giant adult-size bodies and voices. And they eat like a football team.

Or maybe I'm just a joyless, humorless, old crank. I just can't stand the silliness anymore - it's like a houseful of squirrels. We tried to play a board game together and as anyone in my family-of-origin can tell you I'm competitive with my games. I can't abide giggly girls who can't pay attention and laugh themselves silly if someone says "fart". I was the college roommate who lost her patience whenever someone spilled their Trivial Pursuit disc, or mispronounced Max Schmelling and fell into hysterical fits.

What I want right now is a crackling fire, a good book, and a cup of something hot. Instead I feel like Joan Crawford. DON'T MAKE ME GET THE CAR AERIAL!

I should have reproduced between 16 and 20 years of age. It might have been better for them.

I hate the mall, I hate the mall, I hate the mall

Took my 13-year-old clothes shopping at the Burnsville Mall today. I probably don't have to say anymore for anyone who's been in a similar situation. So many items just chapped my hide today . . . .

1. That blasted Burnsville Mall itself. I swear between my infrequent visits they rearrange the whole place. No hallway is straight. Stairs aren't where they should be. There is a horrid lack of escalators. It's exactly like that M.C. Escher drawing of stairs leading nowhere. Except with bright lights, thick perfumey odors, and the pushy sample lady at Japanese Express.

2. The evil stores catering to the 11-17 set. In about 50 sq feet of space they have placed 20 speakers all at high volume and playing asinine songs from oddly named bands. It's absolutely ear-splitting and an instant migraine inducer. Why in the world would they want the credit-card bearer to get out in a hurry?? And I'm naming names by the way. The worst offenders are Aeropostle, Old Navy, and American Eagle. I've heard from many that Abercrombie and Hollister are even worse with low lighting and continuous cologne spraying. I therefore refuse to even set foot in them. If my kids want clothes with those labels, they'll have to get a job, a car, and a credit card and just go themselves. I hope one of their CEO's reads my blog and immediately changes their tune. A letter of apology would be nice too.

By the way, I horrified my kids last Christmas season when I crawled up into the store front display at Abercrombie, pulled up the male mannequin's pants, and tightened his belt. It was my duty as an adult.

3. The clothing taste and shopping tactics of a 13-yr-old girl. I think I've been had today by my own offspring. She much prefers American Eagle clothing. I personally think it's overpriced garbage. So first we shop at Old Navy because I had the gall to bring the plastic bag we received in the mail worth 20% off anything we can stuff in. Then we shop some $25 jeans in another "affordable" store. "Affordable" meaning Mom can buy a few items and still make the mortgage this month. She performed a great imitation of trying on multiple items in every store but, amazingly, nothing fit. That is UNTIL we reached the Nirvana that is American Eagle. She found a really "cute" sweater for $50. $50!!! For a thin sweater the likes of which I could get her at Kmart for $9.95. So we agreed she would pay half. OK, my parental dignity is still intact when we left with a few items. And she was instructed to abstain from any clothing requests until the end of March.

4. The store clerks!! Every guy looked like Big Boy with those stupid haircuts that pull their bangs up into a point in the middle of their foreheads. I hope their parents take lots of pictures and drag them out at every chance for the next 40 years. Can any American teenager actually tuck in a shirt anymore? Can they at least straighten their collars? How much time and money do you suppose they spend to achieve the Goodwill look?

5. The dizzying leap into the Christmas Retail Season. The Hickory Farms booth was out for God's sake! With Holiday wrapped gift packages! I haven't put away the Halloween stuff yet. Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? I think it's become a Christmas appetizer at best. The sports stores were selling Timberwolves Santa Hats. Bath and Body Works had Holiday Spice and Mistletoe liquid hand soap! . . . . . Ok, I bought some of that.

I hate the mall.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My next career move

I'm looking for more substantial work, and I think I've found it!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Be grateful and have happy feet!

I just love this video. I'm going to do the gratitude dance everyday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!!!!

Great things about Halloween

1. We make pigs-in-a-blanket for supper. LOVE that white trash food!
2. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
3. Carving pumpkins - I love it
4. Roasting pumpkin seeds. With lots of butter and salt. Hmmmmmmmmm
5. Giving out HANDFULS of candy
6. Filling our porch with scary stuff, putting up the black light, and starting the creepy sounds CD. Hasn't kept anyone away yet.
7. Acting like a kid, even in my middle age.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Great Halloween Scare

Be careful, you've been warned, this is some scary stuff!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

10 Bad Habits

A new list . . .
Bad habits I'm trying to break or at least tone down . .
What are yours??

1. Interrupting people
2. My couch potato status - I'm trying to walk 3 times per week.
3. My addiction to salt and fat
4. My Diet-Pepsi-a-day habit
5. Book buying. I'm like a junkie in book stores - I need to use the public library more often.
6. Letting the kids watch too much TV
7. Sitting here blogging
8. Buying songs on iTunes
9. Taking the bait when my kids want to fight me - breathe, breathe, breathe
10. Not dusting

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bad Mom, Bad Mom

We love Kathy Griffin, and we especially enjoy this clip. My kids are now quoting this, which probably puts me on the list of bad moms along with Britney Spears and Joan Crawford, but maybe closer to the bottom. Don't you think her eyeshadow looks a little Spock-wearing-a-red-wig?? Love her anyway.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Quest for the Perfect Italian Restaurant

My husband and I are on a quest and need the help of all fellow Minnesotans. We are searching for the perfect little Italian restaurant. He wants traditional southern Italian fare: garlic-y marinara sauce, thin crust pizza, etc.
Tonight we traveled to southern Minneapolis, on recommendation of another Italian, and ate at Fat Lorenzo's. On the surface it had all the qualities of a winner and we got all shivery and excited, but it was underwhelming at best. My ho hum 10" pizza cost $24!! And it was just veggies!! For that price we almost made off with the large can of tomato sauce used to prop up my pan.
We're not interested in the upscale joints. We used to LOVE Buon Giorno Italian deli in St. Paul until they moved to Lilydale and went all yuppie and Williams Sonoma on us. We've also tried Cossetta's, Campiello, D'Amicos and of course God Help Us Buca de Beppo. Cossetta's is the current front runner due only to the group of old Italian men constantly occupying the back table.
Any suggestions??

Thursday, October 18, 2007

EDITED Lame Things Challange

My mistake - they were supposed to be lame things I'm PROUD OF.

1. I like barbershop quartets.
2. I know lots of good old gospel hymns by heart
3. Every year after the Oscars I buy People Magazine and read their critique of the gowns, hair, etc.
4. I dance to the music at Old Navy
5. I really, really love Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with an added can of tuna.

The Five Lame Things Challenge

I've been challenged by fellow blogger MG to list five lame things about myself. Hmmmmmmm . . . . I'm thinking, I'm thinking . . . .

1. When I was younger and had the house to myself, I would put on LP's of Music Man or Jesus Christ Superstar and "put on" the whole show, playing all the characters. Kirelimel - I know all the words too.

2. I sleep in whenever I get the chance, and I mean until 10am.

3. Sometimes I spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom just to escape my kids.

4. I always wanted a serene, adult, elegant bedroom. But my bedside table is littered with white trash items like coupons, bookmarks, bottles of Tylenol, hand lotion, books, kids books, dust, fingernail clippers, etc.

5. I can't go anywhere without spilling something on my shirt fronts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hannah Montana and TicketMaster can bite me!

Anyone who has a 8 to 14 year old girl within range knows about the big Hannah Montana concert coming up at Target Center in Mpls. This girl is huge, and I mean Beatles-type huge among my daughters. So why can they bite me?? They sold out their concert within SECONDS to out-of-state scalpers. Now the only tickets available are selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. I also hate the parents who will pay that price and keep this insane business going.
Can't the Target Center open up sales for actual Minnesota residents first?? So perhaps parents like me could buy $45 tickets and be a hero to our kids? Is there no common sense or fairness left in the world??
I for one refuse to take my kids to a concert for which I paid a boat load of money. If anyone's going someplace for a boat load of money it'll be my husband and I , the people who actually earned it.

At least I'm not as fat as Jabba the Hut

So I've lost about 16lbs so far on my 50lb journey to health. Oh who am I kidding - it's not so much about health as it is about buying some of those cute clothes in the J.Jill catalog!! Health is nice, you bethca. But those large, off center belts with the gorgeous loopy sterling silver buckles are the TRUE goal. The extreme-ness of my rear end is falling into a more reasonable range meaning my coats and sweaters don't hitch up on it anymore. And my boobs finally enter a room BEFORE my belly.
I'm learning to love low-fat microwave popcorn and eschew pepperoni pizza. My blogging friend MG is also walking this path and I wish him well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

That's just going TOO FAR!!

The FDA said Friday it would look into claims from an advocacy group that certain lipsticks contain potentially dangerous levels of lead.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said that a third of the 33 red lipsticks examined by an independent lab contained a level of lead exceeding 0.1 parts per million which is the FDA's limit for lead in candy. The FDA does not set a limit for lead in lipstick.

OK, I don't eat meat from Sam's Club or Banquet Chicken Pot Pies, but give up my lipstick?? To quote Charleton Heston from the National Rifle Association "you can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!". Who ever thought I'd agree with Mr. Right-Wing-Nut-Job on anything??

Thursday, October 11, 2007

See?!?!? See?!?!!?

ConAgra Foods Inc. recalled all its Banquet pot pies and store brand varieties Thursday after the products were linked to nationwide salmonella outbreak.

Like I said below . . .

Cargill or ConAgra don't equal good food!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


That's me, on the left, next to AL FRANKEN! He came to speak in Northfield tonight. What a thrill. This man REALLY understands the issues. That's my cousin Sarah on the right. Poor thing lives in Iowa and can't VOTE FOR AL!!

One good mood, coming up!

Yet another great video from youtube. That's what happens when you play on the computer instead of going to bed like a responsible adult.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Do we really have to be told?

The Minnesota Department of Health says four children became ill from E. coli bacteria last month after eating ground beef patties purchased at three Sam's Club stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Sam's Club says the patties were produced by Cargill beginning August 26th and had an expiration date of February 12th, 2008.

Note to Americans - Don't buy meat at Sam's Club, especially meat produced by CARGILL!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

OK, so maybe my kids aren't SO bad

A 14-year-old St. Paul girl, charged Wednesday for allegedly bringing crystal methamphetamine to her middle school, pleaded guilty to second-degree sale of a controlled substance, a felony. Seven students at Hazel Park Middle School Academy, including the girl, were taken to hospitals after they ingested the crystal meth. The girl was arrested and a search of her home turned up about two grams of the drug, authorities said.

Kind of puts a new spin on my angst over my kids this past weekend. At least I'm not THAT girl's mother.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What would you do?

Scenario: Husband and youngest are gone on a trip. I allow the teen twins to have 6 friends over, including 2 boys, to watch a movie. I lay out a really nice supper for them, clean up said supper, and drive them all to a teen dance after the movie.

Problem: during the evening, I was told by my own daughters to leave the room, not say anything, and to quit coming into the room. Not to mention that neither daughter thanked me.

I'm ready to pop a cork but want to think about this first. Ideas?

Al Franken for Senate

Just for the record, I'm endorsing Al Franken for US Senate. This man is so smart it makes my head spin. And he really understands the hard issues facing Minnesotans like jobs, economic security, health care, education, etc. He's calling the current debate over the ad ridiculous and he's spot on. It's an absolute waste of our legislators' time to debate some group's exercise in free speech. Get over it. Take on some REAL work.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Best Version Ever

Just TRY to watch and not be immediately transported into a good mood.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Things you do when you stay up too late:
Type comments on other people's blogs and put lists on mine.

Things I order on the internet:
All things LL Bean, Iowa Hawkeye merchandise, books, and once I got a great vintage ice bucket on ebay.

Parts of my house so dirty that I would swoon if you saw them:
The floor around and just under my frig.
The hairy bathroom floor.
The broom closet.

The War on PBS

Anyone else watching this? This has me completely hooked. Ken Burns has outdone even his work on the Civil War. He pulls no punches in the text or images. I wish I had a DVR so I could record every episode. What terror, bravery, and honor.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Way to stick your neck out there, Norm.

A Senate committee chairwoman challenged the secretary of transportation's assurance Thursday that the country does not face a transportation safety crisis in the wake of last month's deadly collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis.

"How can you say that everything is rosy when 13 people died?" Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, asked Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. "I don't get it," Boxer said.

She reiterated her argument -- made at a House Transportation Committee hearing two weeks ago -- that the solution to fixing bridges is better spending priorities, not more money. Boxer said she doesn't support raising the gas tax, but she pressed Peters (Tran. Secretary) on how to come up with funding to fix the nation's bridges. She complained that the Bush administration is quick to spend money on Iraq, but when it comes to U.S. transportation and infrastructure, "we have to 'prioritize,' " Boxer said.

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said he and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., have asked the congressional Government Accountability Office to do a review of the national bridge program. "We need to look at all options, but I think it is important that we start by analyzing the shortfalls of our current program," he said.

Monday, September 17, 2007



Things like college football don't fit my stereotype, but that's what makes life fun. I just LOVE college football! So do many of my friends. So years ago we decided to have a tailgater party for no particular college. We all just wear our collegiate sweatshirts, grill brats, make bloody marys, and watch football outside on a large bed sheet with a projection TV next to a roaring campfire. This year is no exception. The gathering is at my house. And the game du jour is IOWA vs WISCONSIN. Which happens to be the alma mater of our co-hosts. Should be a rousing night. Now if I could only get a hold of a marching band . . . . .

Sunday, September 16, 2007

More lists

Things that make me cry:
Sad children
Some books

Thing that make me laugh
Stuff my kids say
Making fun of Norwegian Lutherans
Monty Python

Saturday, September 15, 2007

OK Kirelimel, I'll list something

Politicians I'd like to slap:
W, of course
Dick Cheney
Trent Lott
Michelle Bachman - now wouldn't THAT be a great cat fight?!

Sounds that curl my toes
Kids slamming the front door
That way the kids say "MoooooOOOMM??!!"
People who smack their gum

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feeling the Loss

A few days ago, a dear friend posted about grieving his mother lo these many years later. I'm having such a moment right now. I'm thinking strongly of my parents who died within months of each other in 1999. Perhaps it's Fall coming on strong, or the smell of fresh coffee filling the morning. Whatever it is I want them back. I'm forgetting what it was like to have a Mom and Dad. My kids have almost no personal concept of grandparents. And lo these many years later, I still watch my driveway on Friday afternoons, looking for their LaSabre to pull up, and for their grandkid starved faces to climb out. I'd always have the coffee ready.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Too close to my life

I think someone from youtube is following me. I had my headlamp duct taped for several weeks recently.

The Jeannie Tate Show

I love this! Could've been filmed from MY backseat.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I have teenagers

Ever been woken up almost daily by an angry 13-year-old with yet another demand? Ever listened to the whining, bickering, and complaining of two of them from 6am until 7:30am? Throw in the demands of an 8-year-old and you have my life. Then they say "Geez Mom, why are you so grumpy?".

Friday, August 31, 2007

Not exactly blue ribbon material

From Kare-11 news channel
"A bull escaped from its handlers at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights Friday, causing a brief scare as it ran free. The animal was being unloaded near the cattle barn around 9:15 a.m. when it was spooked and broke loose.
Witnesses say the animal ran down Judson Avenue, scaring dozens of people - some say the animal chased them. Somehow through all of that nobody was hurt.

The animal, running with its head down, was turning toward Clough Avenue near the Miracle of Birth Center when it struck a fire hydrant. The bull died instantly.

One witness said it was probably good that the bull died, saying that the animal would likely have hurt someone if it continued running."

I say good thing it died because the whole Miss Congeniality thing was so lost anyway.

Sen. "Wide Stance" Craig and his Incredible Shifting Feet

So an anti-gay, uptight, narrow-minded bigot Republican is caught trying to solicit anonymous gay sex in a public bathroom. Yawn, yawn, yawn. Same old same old.
When will the uber-righteous in our country just admit that they like sex as much as the rest of us, and that some of them are frankly gay. Wouldn't that just be easier than propositioning strangers at the Mpls airport? They'd be so much more comfortable using nicely appointed B&B's, wonderful surfside resorts, or their own homes. And the rest of us could just get on with our lives, gay or straight.

Someday we'll all laugh about this . . . . oh wait, I'm laughing now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Making my job easier

I'm so glad that food manufacturers are continuing to consider the difficult life of a Mother. How in the world did my mother's generation survive the arsenic hour - that devilish time from 3pm to 5pm when you don't know whether to eat the arsenic yourself or feed it to your kids - without the happy convenience of a pop-top can? Actually I do it stone-cold sober every single day. Maybe that's my problem.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's time for them to go back to school

I love these little buggers, I'd even take a bullet for them. But it's really time for them to go back to school. Today they came to blows over the remote control.

My husband and I always wanted our house to be the place where the kids gather, where we can keep on eye on things. Now it begs the question "who's stupid idea was this?". Today, for about the 4th day in a row, there were 5 extra kids of various ages here. That means about 4 popsicle wrappers on the garage floor, three missing pair of Mom's scissors, one partially-eaten bowl of microwave popcorn, 5 empty pop cans on the kitchen counter, a plugged toilet, 2 extra pair of dirty flip flops in the mud room, and a worm-hole dug right smack in the middle of the front yard. The amazing part is that none of our own children, nor their friends, had anything to do with any of the above. Must be mice.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Have you seen her??

Thanks to my friend Michael, I'm now a complete fan of Imogen Heap. Her music is intoxicating.

Again, I hate George Bush

Just feeling the need to do a little W slamming today. This man will go down as the worst disaster to ever hit American politics, that is IF he ever goes down. This administration has driven me straight into the tin-foil-hat-wearing crowd. I just KNOW they are tampering with voting machines, martial law, and whatever other evil deed they can do to stay in power. After all, Jeb hasn't had his turn in the Oval Office.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rain, rain, go away, no really, I mean it!

It's been raining for what feels like weeks. After a summer long drought we are getting 3 months worth of precipitation packed into one week. While it's merely depressing in my area, southern Minnesota is experiencing horrendous flooding. Several people have died and many homes swept away. Donate to the Red Cross, please.

Oh the dripping, the DRIPPING, OH MY GOD THE DRIPPING!!
It's like Chinese water torture.

I'm on a diet and we're all gonna die!!!

Yes I've finally decided it's time to get this gut under control and lose a few pounds. A few meaning I need to lose about 50-60lbs but let's not get carried away. Right now I'm aiming at 20. That's realistic. I can live with that. I just don't want my stomach entering the room before the rest of me anymore. I mean, isn't that what boobs are for? What's the point in having a lovely post-cancer-surgically-altered rack if my expanding waistline gets all the attention?

I also just hate fat woman clothes. They are so 1978. Actually that's considered retro now so let's say they're so 1987.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Guess I'm not that funny . . . or interesting for that matter

I keep waiting for my superb humor and exquisite writing abilities to converge into one fabulous blog. But when I read over past posts I realize I'm just a drab, middle-aged Mom in sore need of a haircut, a pedicure, and, evidently, a personality. But stay with me, it just may get better.

Hitting the Road

I've been car traveling for the last two weeks with kids, cousins, and siblings. Some of the highlights include:

1. Twelve hours at the Mall of America with three moms who hate malls, and 6 very young teens who just LOOOOVVVVEEEE shopping.
2. Looking down into the perfectly clear topaz water of Lake Superior.
3. Touring the refined Glensheen Mansion while my eight year old wants to know about the blood stains, and what does "bludgeoned to death" mean?
4. Nearly having a heart attack walking the stairs down the Split Rock Lighthouse cliff to the beach below. Actually it was walking back up that was iffy.
5. Two of my kids having a knock-down, drag-out fight in public over a hair clip.
6. While staying at the Grand Harbor hotel in Dubuque, Iowa, having the fire alarm go off at 8:30am. Like dutiful midwesterners, we all marched out in various states of dress.
7. Watching strange young girls hand my 13-year-old nephew their phone numbers. Do their parents know they do this???
8. Hauling all our luggage out of my cousin Anne's house only to realize later that we'd forgetten 3 days worth of our dirty laundry.
9. Lunch on Thursday was licorice, beer nut almonds, and beef jerky in the car. I still have heartburn.
10. The Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque - DON'T MISS IT if you have a chance.
11. Visiting my alma mater The University of Iowa. Progress and much money have changed it's face forever.

It's good to be home.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oh just forget it

Let's try that again

I miss the Hog House

There is crying in baseball

Barry Bonds ought to be ashamed of himself.

Back from our trip Up North. What an absolutely amazing place. I was just blown away - felt like I was in another country, not just 3 hours from home. These giant freighters passing under the lift bridge gave me chills. How these massive boats stay afloat awes me. We visited Park Point beaches and felt like we were on some tropical shore. The Split Rock lighthouse was so worth the drive - the water surrounding Ellingson Island on the beach below was the most incredible jade color. Lake Superior is at an all-time low, which allowed us to walk over a rocky connection to the island. From these rocky cliffs we could look down into perfectly clear depths to see the green boulders lurking below. Ellingson Island itself is a wildlife sanctuary so we didn't venture on to the island.

I have fallen in love with the North Shore.
I'm told it happens to everyone here in Minnesota.
Guess I'm no different.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Did I mention I hate George Bush?

Just to set the record straight, this is a liberal blog. Liberal as in I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, government as an agent of increased quality of life for all, etc.

I hate George Bush because he represents all that is rotten in government: corruption, greed, blatant self interest, narrow minded bigotry, lock step belief in theocracy, and just plain American ignorance. The man doesn't even READ for heaven's sake! He showed up at our horrific bridge collapse looking oh-so pseudo-concerned - as if his stingy breed of politicians aren't to blame.


Time for another family vacation. Why is it that the work involved is ten times more stressful? Is it worth it? We're off the the great North Shore. Hoping to get in lots of hiking, lake watching, and harbor cruising. The kids are hankering for smoked fish and new sweatshirts.

But for today it's loads of laundry, packing, cooking, packing, vacing the car, packing. We're going in true trailer trash fashion: our 10 year old van with 120,000 miles on it, hail dents, and a busted headlamp expertly repaired with no less than duct tape! We were hit last week by a load of adults that shouldn't reproduce, much less be driving around unsupervised.

To seal the deal we may top off the van with our soft-sided car top carrier. Now all we need is a Wall Drug bumper sticker.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It's raining, it's pouring . . .

What a glorious sound! It's been raining quite heavily off and on all day today. You can hear our trees, yards, shrubs, ponds, etc sighing with relief. This drought of 2007 has been incredible. The corn is lost, many trees around town are lost, and our parks feel like straw.

Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis

Just when I'm ready to start blogging and share my mundane yet brilliantly insightful comments, tragedy strikes.
I was on that bridge last week with a van full of 13-year-old soccer players. My husband was on it that very day. This is just too close to home.
When will our current stingy short-sighted administrations, both federal and state, realize that real homeland security is common sense things like keeping bridges in good repair? When will short-sighted American voters realize that a no-new-taxes pledge from a candidate really means "I'll endanger your very life with aging infrastructure and overloaded first responders".? Hmmmmm?
Many say it could have been worse, that all four lanes could have been open. However I can't imagine anything worse than losing a loved one to a preventable incident.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What the Hell

I have a quote on my frig - it states "Ever notice that What the Hell is Always the Right Decision?". So what the hell, I've started a blog. Let the games begin.