Friday, October 30, 2009

The Big Move

The Big Move is tomorrow!!

We've already moved lots of little things, and tomorrow is all the big chunks. We'll be sleeping in Tiny tomorrow night.

This move is filled with sorrow and hope. Sorrow to leave my house, but hope about putting bad karma behind us and looking forward.

The new house is small, and finding a place for the necessities is a real challenge. Today one of my best friends, Laura, spent all afternoon with me boxing up the kitchen. Get this - she even cleaned out my frig!!! I absolutely hate that chore. How's that for a good friend??

So I will be without computer for a few days. Hope to be back online by Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I left work early with a migraine. I haven't had one of those in years. The lights were like daggers, every noise was like a jackhammer, moving my head was like labor pains.

Anyone else get these?

I think all the stress I'm under brought it on. Luckily for me, mine are not the 24-48 hour marathons that some people go through. I came home, loaded up on drugs, and slept.

I'm hopeful this was the "breakdown" my mental state needed to deal with all this crap. I just felt "something" coming on, and am relieved that it wasn't a murderous rage through Edina Realty with a shotgun, a Glock, and a machete. I mean, I don't even own any of those! Imagine the planning involved!

On the Edina Realty note: no word yet on the appraisal review by the mortgage company.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Local Kid goes Abroad

A local recent HS graduate, Sam E., is on a year of Rotary exchange in Japan. This kid is amazing - smart as a whip, funny, engaging, and really going places. The fact that he doesn't speak Japanese isn't stopping him one bit. I predict you'll be seeing this kid on a national political stage someday. You read it here first.
I didn't know until today that he's blogging while living with a host family. Check out his adventures in fishery school!
Doing a year abroad through Rotary is almost expected of high-achieving HS grads here. Is it my imagination or are current teens just a bit more focused than we were?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

2009 Halloween Bummer

I love Halloween - I have since I was a tiny kid. But this year is a bit of a bummer. We're in the middle of moving, and the big push will be Halloween Saturday. So I can't decorate, and we'll barely have time to carve pumpkins. I'm NOT giving that up - move or no move.

I think my brother actually WORE this costume once.
Love how it's FLAME RETARDED!

As a kid, I loved the creepy weather around Halloween, and our local cartoon show (Dr. Max out of Cedar Rapids Iowa) would get us in the mood with old scary cartoons. Waiting those long hours after school and through dinner was like torture. You'd start to hear other kids hitting the streets and you were just SURE that if you didn't get your costumed-ass out there, you'd miss all the candy.

My favorite treat was popcorn balls - remember when people would actually give you homemade stuff?? I lived for the popcorn balls. And some weird old coot was always pawning off Bit-O-Honey or black licorice. Blech!

We'd plan our costume for months. Usually it was something my Mom put together, but once in a while she'd let us pick out something at Ben Franklin. Remember those cheap-ass things? They were in shreds by the end of the night.

My 1st sister and I, probably about 1968.

I've made some great costumes for my own kids over the years too:
One year I made the cutest little witchy capes and stuffed giant witch hats with newspaper for the twins - they were almost three - they were the most adorable things. Another year I made them "troll" costumes by sewing up a big dress out of camo fabric, shredding the hem, and adding patches. Then we messed up black wigs and added sticks and leaves. When youngest was 2, we dressed her all in white: sweatshirt, turtleneck, and sweatpants. Then added pink bunny ears and a fluffy tail.

Costumes here can be difficult. It's usually about 30 degrees which makes the princess or the ballerina outfit a real challenge. Every year there's some kid in tears because he's got to wear his winter jacket over the coolest outfit ever.

There's not enough room to tell you about Halloween in college. For a bunch of poor kids we had some great costumes. One year my best pal and I went as the "Bruces" from Monty Python. No one recognized us, until later when we were stumbling home and guy dressed as Godzilla said "G'day Bruce!". We screamed and laughed and became his best friends. My sister once wore the perfect rendition of a giant bag of weed, complete with a tissue paper doobie twisted high above her head. We dressed one friend as Colonel Sanders, but we needed a KFC bucket to complete the look. When we walked into the local franchise, I thought the staff was going to collectively pee their pants.

I do love Halloween - I'll just do it up even BETTER next year!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Showing the True Colors

Is it my imagination, or is the core of the GOP getting meaner with each passing day?

Blocking a rape victim's rights to report the crime to the proper authorities.

Screaming "Communism" at the idea of healthcare for all.

Advocating the assassination of a sitting President.

Hating on the sick and the elderly.

Shouting out during a Presidential address like a common baboon.

Intentionally spreading vicious lies about the opposition.

Cheering when an American city does not get the Olympic nod.

Spewing venom when an American receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

They aren't even TRYING to hide behind the Compassionate Conservative label anymore, are they?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Idiot or Stress? Challenge #2

Welcome back to our next installment of IDIOT or STRESS?

Through all this new job-moving-house sale-recession business, I've been neglecting my supper duties. Actually I've been neglecting all the cozy-Mommy duties.

So today I get up early, throw in some laundry, pack a bag supper for Twin #1, and put a chicken dinner in the crock pot. Then I head out for a full 7-hour work day.

After work, I pick up kids, and go to the grocery store.

Then we head home for our dinner.

Only to find I never plugged in the crock pot.

You tell me. IDIOT or STRESS?

Friday, October 16, 2009

This had better be a Halloween Prank

You've got to be freakin kidding me!!!!!!

Our mortgage company has turned down our short sale.

YES! Turned down a legit buyer with cash in hand, and no contingencies. After the agent AND the appraiser agreed it was a great price given the current value of homes in our area.

Here's the kicker - it's all because a local real estate agent told them she thinks she can sell it for $40G's more. Yes, that would be the extra $40G's we offered them LAST FREAKING YEAR!

This agent either:
1. smokes more crack than an LA pimp.
2. has a buyer interested, and wants the whole commission to herself.
3. or stands to make more money selling a foreclosure.

Either way, how completely unethical to trash a local family's credit for a few thousand dollars. And she WON'T sell it for more. All the homes surrounding this one are going for less or sitting empty, and winter is coming on.

Should I give you the name, phone number, and email of the snake?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Because sometimes you just need to bitch

New things and old things that make me cranky. I can't be positive ALL the time.

1. 107.1 FM has let Kevyn Burger go for no apparent reason. This is the woman who invited me on her show and let me do my silly ranting and raving. She's an exceptional woman and I can't even begin to understand this decision.

2. Breast Cancer sucks. A friend has been diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. In the breast cancer world, IBC is a most horrid demon. She has 3 kids from about 7 to 15. She's a tough woman, and if anyone can fight this beast she can. But pray/think/send love for her anyway.

3. Snow and cold in October. A friend's blog sums it up best.

4. Moving. The house is ripped up, boxes everywhere, nothing looks or feels cozy.

5. Why can't kids put their dishes IN the dishwasher?

6. Why must my teens spread their homework, sweatshirts, etc. all over the couch AND the kitchen chairs?

7. Johnny C and I are just bugging the living bejeebus out of each other. I'm sure it's the stress.

8. Because of the move, I'm not decorating the front porch for Halloween - and I just LOVE Halloween!! Maybe I should just do it anyway.

9. Nothing over the counter can stop the congestion in my head and ears. I'm ready for some street drugs - whaddya got?

10. The GOP has stripped away all pretense of Compassion and is doing the full-court mean. At least the beast is finally unveiled. They just really hate the poor, women, blacks, hispanics, the sick, etc. don't they? Must take a lot of energy to keep all that hate aflame.

Monday, October 12, 2009


We are now officially a no-pet family.

Yesterday, after much wrangling, we got the scaredy-cat into a carrier, and she went to my friend Mary's farm. There she'll happily hunt mice in all Mary's outbuildings, and befriend Mary's pot-belly pig, 3 dogs, and 4 other cats. The scaredy-cat wasn't adoptable so the Humane Society wouldn't take her. Luckily Mary wanted a good mouser who didn't need affection. Scaredy Cat to the rescue!!!

Anyone want to adopt the most adorable cat ever??? Go the the Rice County Humane Society and click on "Adoption Information" and see our cat May. She needs a really good home - she's tiny and sweet and loving and oh-my-breaking-heart I want her back.

All the cat paraphernalia is going into the garage sale pile.

In a strange way, I'm rather relieved this is all over and decided. No more pooper-scooping. No more smelly cat food. No more vet bills. No more worrying when they don't come home at night. No more chewed up bird bodies in my path. And mostly no more cat hair.

How did a dog person end up like this????

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Interesting Morning

We woke to find the above all over town. Yes, that would be actual snow, on October 10th. For you folks who think Minnesota is like this year round, I'm telling you that just ain't the truth. Our falls can be beautiful, and our normal temp for early October is the low 60's. Not the low 40's we're having today.

When cupcake woke up I said, "Hey Honey, look outside!"
She did and said "SNOW! Jesus!"

Rounded up my pumpkin crop for a group photo. No, my bench isn't painted white - that's the snow that was supposed to melt soon but isn't. These pumpkins were quite satisfying to grow. If you have about 12-20 square feet of dirt to spare, I highly suggest planting these lovelies.

Here are other interesting happenings this morning:
Our new landlord is selling some lovely furniture. My neighbor, Lang, who is Vietnamese and speaks very little English is interested. I'm helping "broker" the sale. I love this neighbor and we discovered that another relative of hers lives right across the street from our new rental.

Dropping off Twin #1 at musical practice and noticing she's become quite attached to a pair of leopard print leggings I used to wear 1989 - 1992. I was quite the fox, let me tell you. Have to admit the extra 3" on her legs make them look a lot better.

I have another cold but I swear my complete obsession with Emergen-C is holding it to a minimum. I mix a packet with a bit of Gatorade or OJ about 3 times a day when I start to feel that sore-throaty feeling. This was not a paid endorsement. Wish it were though.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just Don't

When your ten-year-old daughter and her friend ask if they can make brownies, and they PROMISE to clean up, say NO. Unless you want to hear the following:

3:10 pm - "MOM! Where's the big green mixing bowl?"
3:11 pm - "MOM! Where's the cocoa?"
"No, it's not there! We're out! You have to drive to the store and get some!"
"Oh, you mean in THAT cupboard. Why didn't you just say so?"
3:13pm - "MOM!!! How do we measure this oil?"
"We don't have that kind of measuring cup!"
"Oh, you mean THAT glass measuring cup that says PYREX in red letters."
3:14pm - "MOM! Can I use potholders to wipe up broken eggs from the floor?"
3:17pm - "MoooooMMM! I forgot to lock the mixer before I turned it on!"
3:19pm - "MOM!!!! Why is the batter so runny?"
3:20pm - "MOOOOOOMMMM! Will you come here and put them in the oven?
The oven is too hot!"
3:22pm - "MOM! How do we set the timer?"
3:23pm - "YES MOM! I said we'll clean and we will . . . . . . . . later"
4:20pm - "Yesssssssss, I cleaned up. I didn't spill all that flour, cocoa, and sugar on the counter"
4:21pm - "Well, you didn't tell me I had to wipe down the mixer too!!!!"
4:22pm - "Mom, we're going to go ride our bikes, can you listen for the buzzer?"
4:47pm - "Geez Mom, all you had to do was wash a few dishes and wipe down the mixer. Why are you so grumpy?"

It's no wonder some mammals eat their young.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Question of the Century

I say it's CAR-mul, with a barely audible short "a" sound in the middle. Like it's meant to be. The way most honest and wonderful people say it. The pronunciation that reflects the buttery goodness of it. That conjurs images of homemade waxed-paper bundles that create feelings of safety and world harmony.

Some very weird people and advertisers say CARE-a-mel, which is just so wrong on so many levels that I stress out just thinking about it. Which makes it sound like something concocted in the back room of a local Wal-Mart, for mass distribution to area Kwik Trips.

Which one are YOU?

Monday, October 5, 2009

May have to rethink my scorn

OK, I may have to stop making fun of Brett Favre and his lack of decision-making skills. Because that was one DECISIVE win over the Packers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We're survivors

Yep, life is pretty hard right now but don't worry.

I'm a survivor!

My family and I will emerge for this challenge bigger and better. We're going to pare down and live lean. We're going to focus on what's really important - meaning each other and our friends and family.

As long as we have a kitchen table, and a campfire, we'll be fine.

As long as we have a safe place to lay our heads at night, we'll be fine.

As long as we have a roof over our heads and some food in the oven, we'll be fine.

This situation is temporary. Hope is alive and well. And to tell the truth, it's not the worst thing that's ever happened to anyone and I should really just quit my whining about it. Occasional pain is part of life, and I've had a lot of it lately, but I'm still here, still laughing, still smiling, still loving my husband and kids.

Life is still good, and beats the alternative.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What's worse than a broken heart?

Here's what's worse; watching your child's heart break.

We had to turn our cats over to the Humane Society today. The rental doesn't allow cats, and we couldn't find them homes. So we put our loves in the kennel and gave them up.

It was so much harder than I anticipated. God Help Me I fell in love with those stinkers. They followed me everywhere outside, and loved us as much as cats could. I'll miss their placid faces watching me garden. I'll miss their soft purring. I'll miss their unconditional love.

But by far the hardest part has been watching my 10-year-old cupcake fall to pieces. She says it's like a bad dream, and she wants to wake up. Feels like abusing your own child. How do you explain this to a child? How do you rip her living furry soft loves out of her arms because you can't afford them, and can't take them to a rental? How does she forgive us?

Why Universe????
Why take away my husband's job, then our livelihood, then our home, now our pets??
I seriously want some answers . . . . now.