Friday, December 21, 2007

WIIIIIIIIII - I'm back again!

Yes, I know I've been neglecting you, my poor sweet bloggyworld friends. But, I just had to take a minute to link you to let you all know about this great contest to WIN A WII!!!!! How great would that be?

The contest is sponsored by, which is a site that will help you recycle your used cell phones. What a great idea! I hate the idea of throwing them away, even if broken -- I'd much rather know that it's being recycled! Check it out!

I'm post more about what's happening in my real world soon!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

NaBloPoMo Day #4.2 - National Adoption Awareness Month

Can you believe it? Two posts in a day! Amazing!

Anyway, you may have noticed that my blog looks a little different today. I've changed most of the background colors to shades of purple in honor of National Adoption Awareness Month! Yay!

In my world, every month has ALWAYS been Adoption Awareness Month, but it's nice to see some slightly more formal recognition. I was blessed to have been adopted at birth and doubly blessed to have adopted my boys at ages "almost 4" and 2.5 just over three years ago. Over the years, I've always looked at my adoption as something that was positive and wonderful, never something to be hidden or embarassed about. When people look at short, not-skinny me and then look at my tall, very skinny mom and ask how we can look so different, I simply tell them that I'm adopted. Same with my boys..... HandsomeBoy, the older son, looks quite a bit like me and EXACTLY like my husband - no one ever looks at him and thinks adoption. CutiePie, the younger son, however, is ethnically Roma (Gypsy to you) and we get comments and looks all the time. To American eyes, he looks South American or Indian. The most common question I hear is "Are they brothers?" Which I suppose is a safe way of asking "what's the deal?" because it could also mean "is the little one a family friend who happens to be here with you today?"

Anyway, that's just a long way of saying how proud and happy I am to have been touched so personally by adoption! If you have any questions about adoption or my experience of being adoption or adopting my children, please feel free to ask me! If you have any thoughts about adopting a child yourself, take the opportunity of National Adoption Awareness Month to get more information about adoption! You never know-- it may be the best thing you ever do!

Proud Adoptee and Adopted Mom

NaBloPoMo Day #4 - I Know I'm Getting Old!

How do I know I'm getting old? I look forward to setting my clocks back NOT because it means that the bars stay open for an extra hour, but rather because I get an extra hour of sleep! The bonus is that when I wake up (early) the sun is up or on it's way up! Pathetic! Old! Embarassing!

I'm definitely NOT a kid any more!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

NaBloPoMo Day # 3!!!!!

Wow! Three posts from me in three days! You know it's GOTTA be NaBloPoMo!!! LOL!

Today was a pretty typical day. Woke up, got the kids up, cut the coupons out of the weekend paper, started the first of three loads of laundry, fed said children, organized the things I needed to do today and then took the kids to Ikea. Ikea? Why Ikea? Glad you asked! Because they have a play area where you can actually drop the kids off and then come back and get them a while later! I know they intend for me to spend that time shopping the multitudinous good stuff that they sell, but I prefer to use the time to buy a cup of coffee (and occasionally an open-faced shrimp salad sandwich) in their awesome cafeteria and spread out with my bills, coupons and selected recipes and spend the precious time getting some important stuff done!

Last time, I got lucky and they gave me 90 minutes; today was the usual 60, but it was still great!

After Ikea, we came home and I started on some home chores while CutiePie watched Spiderman 3 and HandsomeBoy visited his friend next door.

When RockStar got home from work, we piled back into the van and off we went to a hayride sponsored by the children's youth group that HandsomeBoy recently joined. I don't want to actually say the name of the group, but for those of you who like sophisticated word games, we'll just call it "Rhymes-With-Pub Rhymes-With-Sprouts). I was rather hesitant to get involved with the organization for reasons I'll expand upon at length at a later time, but HB reallyreallyreally wanted to join and has been very enthusiastic. Personally, I was involved in a co-ed program that organization used to oversee for teens and young adults which was called "Rhymes-With-FlExplorers" when I was in high school. As a family, we love hiking and outdoors activities, so most of the activities will be right up our line!

Anyway, we had a great time at the hayride and party. Although most of the day was cloudy, windy and cold, the evening was clear, still and beautiful!

One of my favorite quotes of the day: as we were leaving, RockStar wanted the boys to go potty before getting back in the car and told them to go use the PortaPotties. As we walked over there, CP started fussing and saying he didn't want to go in there because it was scary. HB told him, "It's okay, you can come in the PartyPotty with me!" That just cracked me up!!!

Have a good night and don't forget to turn your clocks back!


Friday, November 2, 2007

It's not much......

but it IS a post. Blogger ate the last one I tried, so this one's going to be VERY short.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Yeah, so I've been very lax about my blog lately. So sue me!!!

Actually, I really miss posting here and have had sooooooo many posts cluttering up my head. That's why NaBloPoMo couldn't come at a better time!

This is going to be a very short post today, but hold onto your hats -- there's a very good chance you may be very sick of my posts soon if I actually start to spit out the various posts I've been mulling over!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

No real surprises here!

I got this from Nancy's blog. And I really can't argue with it! says I'm a Slightly Dorky Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday's Feast 9.21.07

From the Friday's Feast meme:

What is your favorite type of art?

I have to admit.... I'm not really "into" art. It's not that I don't like it. More like I just don't "get" it! I guess I'll have to pick dance.

When was the last time you got a free lunch (or breakfast or dinner)? Who paid for it?

My mother took me and the boys out to dinner a few weeks ago.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how emotional are you?

This is tough. I range anywhere from 3 to 7, depending upon the circumstances, the issue, the people involved and how my day was going up until then. I will say that I tend to be more "emotional" about things that don't matter as much. I'm much cooler about the big things in life.

Main Course
Approximately how long do you spend each day responding to emails?

I only spend about 20-30 minutes in a normal day responding to email. I spend much more time reading emails and blogs and cruising the 'net!

To what temperature do you usually set your home’s thermostat?

In the summer, I try to keep it set at about 77 degrees and in the winter, I keep it set to about 68 degrees. When I'm going to be out of the house for awhile, I'll adjust it up or down to save money and energy. Of course, I also try to keep the windows open as much as possible!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Record to beat -- five days!

CutiePie's first five days of Kindergarten/Extended Care at the Elementary School were great! Everyone told me how cute he is, how smart he is, how funny he is.... Each day, he ran to me, excited to shout the good news that he'd had a good day! I knew it wouldn't last. Knew it couldn't last! It didn't.

Yesterday, CutiePie came home from school with a letter from the Extended Care Class addressed to "Parents of CutiePie". I knew it wouldn't be good.

It actually wasn't as bad as I'd feared, but still..... on his SIXTH day, he was in time out for a). not listening, b). using inappropriate language and c). looking under the bathroom stall at another student. (BTW, that was NOT a multiple choice quiz -- he did all THREE of those in ONE afternoon!)


Why do I have to be the mother of the class clown? Class Clowns are born, not made. I may not have given birth to CutiePie, but he's mine now and he was definitely born to be the class clown! I'm starting to realize that I'm going to be on very close relations with ALL the teachers in his schools for the rest of his academic career!

Who knows, though -- maybe we could channel this energy into something good? Perhaps he'll grow up and be the Nittany Lion mascot at Penn State or maybe a rich and famous comedian like Jack Black or John Belushi (but without the drugs and early death, please!) or maybe he'll be a teacher that inspires difficult children. I'm not sure what he'll end up doing, but I am sure that it will involve making people laugh.

I just hope I survive the next 12 years in order to appreciate his humor when it takes a more productive path in the future!

HandsomeBoy strikes to the heart - again!

How is it that HandsomeBoy can say things that just strike me right to the heart? Twice in the past 24 hours, HandsomeBoy has said things that made me absolutely stop in my tracks and catch my breath.

During dinner last night, we were talking about various friends of our family. HB asked about my friend Cingana. He wanted to know if she had any kids. When I told him that she didn't, he authoritatively said that she should get married to a big boy and have kids. I reminded him that she IS married (to Mr. Mike). Once he remembered that, he wanted to know WHY she didn't have kids YET!!! He was really outraged! He told me that she NEEDS to have kids -- NOW!

What he doesn't know is that Cingana is 43. She's been trying for three years to get pregnant. She found out in early May that they had finally succeeded, only to miscarry in June. My heart greived for her and her husband. After two miscarriages, I have an idea of how she felt. Luckily, however, her OB/GYN insisted that she have a complete physical workup before trying to get pregnant again. She did and was shocked when her doctor found that she has an AORTIC ANEURISM!!!! She was a walking time bomb and would have died if she hadn't miscarried (or if, post-miscarriage, her doctor hadn't been so agressive in her testing!)! Right now, she is scheduling the open heart surgery that will save her life.

I didn't know what to say to HandsomeBoy, other than to say that I think she'll be a great mother some day and that I, too, think that she should have kids.

Then, this morning, RockStar and I were talking about our Passports -- he's going to be out of the country for a few days later this year on a business trip. HB asked what a Passport is and we told him that it was a little book with your name and address and photograph that proves who you are and where you live and you use it when you go to visit a different country. We told him that most people only have one, but that he has TWO (meaning his American and Russian passports). I asked him if he knew why he had two and he said very simply, "Because I'm Jewish?".

Stab. An icy cold stab. Maybe this hit me so hard because I'm currently rereading "Night," Elie Wiesel's gutwrenching memoir about the Holocaust. Of course, HB hasn't experienced anti-semitism in his young life; in fact, he probably doesn't even know that anyone could hate someone for being Jewish. He doesn't know that there have been many times and places where Jews were not considered citizens of the countries they lived in, that they had separate passports and fewer rights, if any.

Right now, he knows only good things about being Jewish --
* he knows that we celebrate Shabbat every Friday night with candles, wine, a challah and a delicious family meal...
* he knows that tonight and tomorrow, we will dip fresh sweet apples into honey to celebrate the new year and that we will apologize sincerely to each other for the bad things we've done and then forgive each other for the bad things done to us....
* he knows that at Hanukkah, we will light candles and eat latkes and celebrate the miracle in our lives....
* he knows that at Passover, we will be thankful for the freedoms in our lives...
* he knows that we give tzedukkah to help others who are not as fortunate as we are...

And, somehow, he also has a sliver of vague knowledge that we are somehow a little... different... apart.... that there is or has been or will be or could be a less joyful, less positive, potentially negative aspect to our Jewishness.

I'm sure if I'd asked him why he'd guessed "because I'm Jewish" he wouldn't have been able to tell me why. I'm sure he doesn't actually fear a prejudice that he is unaware exists.

Still, it makes me sad to think that, in even a dark hazy corner of his young mind, there lurks a seed of vague information that will one day develop into an acute awareness of the true horrors of this world -- past, present, but hopefully not future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tick tock.... tick tock.....

It's almost time!!!!!

The bookbags are packed and sitting by the door.

The forms are filled out and signed. The check for dining services is written and in its envelope.

Lunches are made and in the fridge.

The cute new clothes are nicely folded and laid out on the boys' dressers.

The brand spankin' new alarm clock was early set to lull them to sleep with the sound of the ocean and will wake them at precisely 7am to the sounds of birds chirping happily in a meadow.

Oh, yeah, baby ---- BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!!!!!

I'm finding it very hard to believe that, in just a few short hours, I'm going to be the mother of a Kindergartener and a First Grader!!!! How is that possible? It was three years ago today that we flew off toward Russia, eagerly anticipating meeting our children for the first time. Actually, we were anticipating meeting HandsomeBoy and were crossing our fingers that we would receive a referral for a second child while we were there. Luckily, we did and that little surprise turned out to be CutiePie!

I hope that they are HALF as excited as I am about the start of school! It's a big deal for both of them. They've been attending a local daycare for the past two and a half years (since January 2005) and HandsomeBoy went to Kindergarten there last year. We really liked it and I would have sent CutiePie there, too, but it just seemed pointless to have the boys in two schools needlessly. Besides, the elementary school they'll be going to is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY HOUSE! And by that I mean that the crossing guard stands in my driveway! You just can't get much closer than that! It's just too darn easy to have them both going there. Plus, it's a nationally recognized school and they have an Extended Day program to supplement the half-day Kindergarten. So perfect!

So, by the time you read this, my boys will probably be in school, meeting their teachers and new friends, learning where everything is and celebrating the end of mandated afternoon "nap/quiet time"! Oh, and the fact that the playground is HUGE! It's the best playground of any of the elementary schools in our district. The school itself is a little aesthetically dated (it's the same age I am -- gulp!), but it's in good shape and has great teachers!

As Troy and Gabriella (and CutiePie about a thousand times a day) say, "This could be the start of something new"!!!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Not really a shock, is it?

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Printer contest

The lovely ladies at Five Minutes for Mom are giving away a cool printer! Stop by and take a look and enter the contest!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday's Feast

And here's this week's serving from Friday's Feast:

Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?

Hmmmmmm...... Maybe Jodie Foster? She's got a good voice - strong, clear but able to convey softness, humor and passion. Also, she does a good slight southern accent. I have just the tiniest touch of a southern accent thanks to the fact that my parents still had some of theirs when they were teaching me to talk. It's not much, but it shows up in a few words.

Or maybe Jim Dale, who read the Harry Potter series on audiobook. He's so good at doing voices and characters. I'd be very curious to discover what my "voice" and those of my friends and family "sound" like to him!

Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.)

Could anyone see her endless worth?

If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose?

Geez. No idea. Not a clue. I'd be fascinated by any decade, I just wouldn't want to be anywhere a war was going on!

Main Course
Name a song that brings back memories for you.

So many. So many. Hmmmmmm..... I remember heading to a camping trip in high school late on a Friday Night and being crammed into the back of a car with my friends and Major Tom coming on the radio. I think it was the first time I'd heard it all the way through and thinking it was really cool. Yes, I'm showing my age here!

Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?

Warm water. Unless it's REALLY hot weather, in which case, I'll wash with warm water and then rinse with cold water.

Toothy questions for Five on Fridays

Here's my responses to this weeks questions from Five on Fridays:

1. How do you feel about going to the dentist?

Pretty good, actually. I've always taken care of my teeth, so I really don't have anything to be scared of. Also, I always figure that even though sitting in the chair and having a stranger stick their hands and pointy instruments into my mouth isn't exactly what I'd call "fun", it DOES prevent worse torture from happening in my future! I've heard such horror stories about root canals and reconstructions that I REALLY want to avoid that in the future!

2. Describe your worst dental experience.

When I was a kid, instead of seeing dentist in our local area, we would see my Uncle, who was a dentist in my dad's hometown. Since we made the 6-7 hour trip a few times a year, all we'd have to do is tell him in advance when we'd be there and then we'd get Saturday morning appointments for the whole family.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I was so excited because I had my first loose tooth just before we went to see my Uncle. It was just barely loose -- not even enough play to call it a "wiggle" yet, but still - it was my first one, so it was exciting to me. When we got to his office, I proudly opened my mouth and presented my ever-so-slightly tilting tooth. He said, "well, look at that" and reached in to wiggle it himself. Or so I assumed. Instead of merely giving it a curious poke and wiggle, he grasped my tiny little front tooth in his massive meaty fingers and YANKED IT OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!!!!!

I'm surprised I haven't needed therapy considering the shock, pain and dismay it caused me to suffer the demise of my first loose tooth in such a violent, unsatisfying and shocking way!

3. Describe your best dental experience.

When I got all four wisdom teeth removed the summer before I went to college, it was much easier than I'd expected. Again, not to say it was fun, but I was expecting so much worse that it was actually a pleasant surprise to find that the swelling and pain were very manageable!

4. Do you floss?

Of course!

5. Would you consider wearing braces as an adult?

As a matter of fact, I'm seriously considering doing just that! I had braces as a pre-teen and over the years, my teeth have started to migrate slightly from their assigned places. It's not bad right now, but I'd like to do something about it while it's still an easy (and relatively painless) fix. One of these days, I'll get around to making the appointment for an orthodontic consultation, so don't be surprised to hear that I've got braces or a retainer!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday 13

Well, the Powerball jackpot is up to an estimated unbelievable $300 million for this Saturday, which got me to thinking........ what would I do with the money if I won?

Thirteen Things I'd Do with the Powerball Jackpot (not necessarily in chronological order)

1. Take the cash option.

2. Hire a very good lawyer and accountant to help me set up accounts to handle the money. I imagine I'd have a variety of short-term and long-term storage solutions for the funds.

3. Pay off all our debts
-- credit cards, house, car, student loan, home improvement loan.

4. Renovate our existing home. I love where we live. The actual house is alright, but our location is GREAT! Our neighbors are GREAT! Plus, I really don't need to live in a mansion with acres and acres of lawn to keep tidy and neat and green. What I would like would be a new kitchen, a sun room, a balcony and sky lights for the bedroom, a finished basement, a garage and just a little more space. On our current budget, it's going to be a long time before all those things happen; with a Powerball jackpot, we'd just move into the house up for rent a few houses down while all the construction was going on and then move back into our old, yet new, home when it's beautiful and done!

5. Take care of our families. My parents are pretty secure, but RockStar's family could certainly use a little financial help. We'd finally be in the position to do that!

6. Fund HandsomeBoy and CutiePie's college fund.

7. Adopt TWO daughters. Maybe from Russia, maybe Ukraine, maybe Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, heck... maybe even the good ol' USA! All I know is that I'd start on a homestudy and start getting ready to expand our family!

8. Through our adoption agency, WACAP, I'd send money to the boys' orphanages that cared so well for them in their early years. I'd also make a large donation to the agency to help them in their quest to find families for children all over the world.

9. Set up scholarships. I'm not sure if I'd do this locally, for my college, my high school or what, but I'd definitely do this!

10. Donate a large sum to the Rescue from which we adopted BigRed. They do such good work and take remarkable care of the dogs. I've always been very impressed with their committment and results. As they've grown bigger over the years and have reached out to help more dogs, their expenses have also increased.

11. Help my synagogue. We are a smaller suburban shul that does not have a very rich membership base. In our current expansion plans, there is so much that we cannot do because the money is just not there. I'd definitely contribute a sack of sheckels to help make the place more inviting and a great place for the community to grow, learn, worship and celebrate together!

12. Take some really great family vacations -- an African safari, tour the Costa Rican rainforest, RV around the Western US national parks (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Grand Canyon, etc....), skiing at Killington, etc..... We'd also travel back to Russia so the boys could start to understand how their lives might have been. They're too young to fully understand, but I think it would create a good foundation for them.

13. Invest my money in good places. I'd like to support business and causes I believe in and that could make the world a better place. Also, I'd give money to Cancer and Diabetes Research.

Wow, that was fun. I'd love to have the chance to actually do those things. Honestly, I wouldn't be the type to blow through the money or spend it on ridiculous things. Sure, I'd enjoy myself and so would my family, but we'd still be real people. I'd really want to share the gift with my friends, family and the world at large. I have to say - I think I'd be a model lottery winner. So many people are ruined by large wins, but I think I'm up to the burden! I'd sure like to try!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Feast

And here's my answers to this week's Friday Feast:

Describe your laundry routine. Do you have a certain day when you do it all, or do you just wash whatever you need for the next day?

I try to follow FlyLady's advice and do a load every day, or at least as soon as I've accumulated a full load, which is never more than two days! I will admit that on the rare occasion that I really let the laudry get out of control, I'll pick a complete outfit or two out of the pile and wash that first, buying myself at least a day or two until I'm in crisis situation!

In your opinion, what age will you be when you’ll consider yourself to truly be old?

Who says I EVER have to consider myself old???? Honestly, I don't think I'll feel old until/unless I reach the point where I can't do things I want to do.

What is one of your goals? Is it short-term, long-term, or both?

Adopt a daughter to complete our family. I'd like this to be a short-term goal (i.e. less than a year), but it's going to be a mid-range goal (2-4 years) if it happens at all.

Main Course
Name something unbelievable you’ve seen or read lately.

Well, it's something I heard, not read, but still...... One of my co-workers was telling me that out of the 20 kids she graduated high school with, SEVEN of them have died in the ten years since graduation. That's 35% of her graduating class!!!! Apparently, a lot of them lived in a "rough" section of town and have fallen prey to violence. Tragic, just tragic!

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how happy are you today?

About an 8, thankyouverymuch!

Dog Days

Here's this weeks meme from Five on Friday.......

1. Are you a dog or cat person?

Both, actually. I currently have 1 large dog and two cats. I love them all and they each give me a different kind of furry love in return.

2. Do you have a dog? Have you ever had a dog?

I had a dog (crazy mutt) when I was a baby, another dog (mean runted mini schnauzer) during my teen years and have had a wonderful, happy, well-behaved, loving Golden Retriever for just over six years now. I can't imagine NOT having a dog in my life now.

3. What is your favorite breed of dog?

I'll have to go with Golden Retrievers. They suit me well. They are, on average, fun, friendly, active, not hyper, smart but not too smart, well-behaved, easy to train, soft to pet, attractive to look at and very good with children. Of course, the personality of the individual dog is more important that their actual breed, but there are some breeds that I tend to like more than others and Goldens are the top!

4. Do you believe that dogs truly are man's best friend?

Works for me!

5. If you could come back to life as a dog, would you? Why or why not?

Sure! Especially if I could live with a fun family who would give me lots of belly rubs, treats and walks!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You MUST read this!

I haven't laughed this much in ages!!! You absolutely must go read this blog right NOW!

Just make sure you are not drinking or eating anything and that you are seated in a comfortable chair. Be sure to read the many comments -- it's worth every moment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Drumroll, please..........

Here is what I was hoping was in the box.......

And here is what was ACTUALLY in the box.......

And here's what my boys were the most excited about.......

Yep, that's right --- the cardboard shipping box! They spent about 15 seconds oooohing and aaaaahing over the Pirates of the Carribean Pinball machine and have been decorating and building with the cardboard box for at least 15 minutes already. Maybe for Hanukkah, I'll save some money and make them happy by giving them balled-up tin foil each night!!!! It works for the cats - maybe it'll work for them!

So, the moral of this story, folks, is of course "don't get your hopes up"!!!! I was really really really hoping there would be an HDTV in the box! The pinball machine is pretty cool and the boys will love it (after they tire of the cardboard box), but I was really hoping for the HDTV! The funny thing is, this contest was sponsored by Disney for Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest -- that's not even the most recent movie! The contest ended back in JANUARY! They just sent my prize now, 7 months later!

I'm not upset, because this gives me hope that maybe one of these times, I'll win the BIG prize! I won second prize in this contest, so statistically, I was pretty darn close to the grand prize. Remember - you can't win if you don't enter!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Waiting for FedEx.........

So, we get home on Saturday afternoon to find a note on the door that FedEx had tried to drop a package, but couldn't because no one was home to sign for it. Hmmmm..... that's strange - I don't remember ordering anything lately. RockStar decides to try to track the package backwards using the door tag number (this is why I keep him around -- he thinks of things like this!) and we discover that the package weighs 65 pounds and was shipped from Rockford, MN. Nope, still not ringing any bells with me.

Then I get the bright idea to Google Rockford, MN --- it turns out the mailing addresses for many many many sweepstakes are based out Rockford, MN. Now, I'm getting really interested! RockStar asked me what contests I've entered lately (yes, he actually did it with a straight face, apparently expecting me to be able to list five or fewer). I looked at him in astonishment - I've entered HUNDREDS!!!! I can hardly even remember them all. The daily entries that I try to enter a few times a week I might remember, but the "one shot" entries??? Fugettaboutit!!!

We started trying to figure out what might weigh 65 pounds. I remember entering quite a few contests about a month ago that were giving away 42" Plasma HDTVs. RockStar said, "No way - they don't weigh that much!" I had no idea, but just to check I started comparison shopping 42" plasma tvs. Guess how much the average weight is???? C'mon.... guess!!!

YES!!!! 65 POUNDS!!!!!

Of course, I very well may have won a two year supply of cat food! There's absolutely no evidence that I actually won anything particularly good. Well..... other than the fact that it weighs 65 pounds. And FedEx couldn't leave it without a signature.

So, I'm working from home this morning, anxiously awaiting my new HDTV. Or pantry full of cat food. Whatever.

Wish me luck!

UPDATE: I called FedEx to see if they could give me a better estimate of the delivery time and the woman I spoke to this time informed me that FedEx Home Delivery (as opposed to FedEx Ground, FedEx Air, FedEx Frieght, etc....) doesn't deliver on Mondays!!! They're freaking CLOSED ON MONDAYS!!!!! The guy I spoke to FOUR FREAKING HOURS ago must have had his head up his you-know-what, which would explain why he has you-know-what for brains!!!!! WHAT A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!!!! At least they told me that the driver screwed up and had checked the wrong box on the tag -- contrary to what the driver noted on the tag, I DO have to sign in person for the package! What kind of crappy international company is closed on Mondays????? Hello? American work ethic? Business day? People paying good money for your service and people (like me) LOSING good money to sit around and wait for you sorry excuses for a common carrier to deliver my important (I hope) package?????? GRRRRRRRRRRRRR...........

I suggest that no one (NO ONE!) get in Perky's way for the rest of the day today!

Also, if that box if full of a two-year supply of cat food or some other junky prize, Perky is going to be one pissed-off little winner!!!!

Perky doesn't like it when stupid people waste her time!

Okay, I'm heading back under my rock now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wow! What a contest!

The ladies over at Five Minutes for Mom are doing it again! This time the prize is a fancy shmancy new TV!!! Check it out!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here I go again!!!

As you may recall from yesterday's blog post, I have a "thing" about spelling and grammatical errors when they occur in "official" locations. I don't care if you spell "arugula" correctly on your shopping list and I don't care if you dangle a participle in a personal email. However, if you are running a professional website and are holding yourself out to be a reputable news organization, I expect you to spell check and copy edit for glaring errors!

After yesterday's "samari" mess, I returned to my local news station's website this morning only to find the headline that read "Cell phone camera records choas after stabbing." Sigh. Choas. Well, thank goodness there wasn't any "chaos" after the stabbing -- that would have been bad! I suppose "choas," whatever that is, is preferable to "chaos"!!!

As a footnote, about 20 minutes after I emailed yesterday, the headline and the story were corrected. And yes, I just sent another email about today's gaffe.

Am I a be-yotch or what????

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Grrrrrr.... I hate people!!!

While driving to work today, I noticed that there were two kids in the back seat of the car in front of me and neither were wearing seatbelts. How could I be sure? Well, they were taking turns climbing over each other, sticking their heads out the windows and doing sommersaults. I'm pretty darn sure there were no seatbelts in use!!!

As mad as I was at seeing that, the next thing I noticed is what put me over the top ---- while the kids were busy being unrestrained projectiles, their mom was wearing HER seatbelt!!!!! WTF???? So, she understands the importance of seatbelts, but chooses not to give her kids their benefit? Was she secretly hoping for a serious accident that she would somehow walk away from unscathed and unburdened by her little ones????


Wooo-Hooo!!!! My 100th!

Wow! This is actually my 100th post! I understand that in the bloggy-world it's traditional that this event is celebrated with a post listing 100 things about me. Hmmmmm...... this may take some time and I'll probably have to come back to finish, but I'll try to list as many as I can! Here goes.........

100 things about me

  1. Today is my birthday! Really! I turn 39 today! How the heck did that happen?
  2. I really don't like people in general.

  3. I don't wear sunscreen as much as I should, but I'm very careful not to burn.

  4. I put myself through college by working at a subshop.

  5. I met my husband while working at that sub shop.

  6. He was my supervisor when we met!

  7. We didn't date until four years AFTER I'd left the sub shop, though!

  8. When I went to law school, I thought I was going to become a famous Civil Rights attorney or represent battered women or work for Rails to Trails.

  9. I love to take photos.

  10. If I hit a ginormous lottery, I wouldn't move. I'd just build onto the house I have now.

  11. I don't just love my kids -- I'm completely head over heels IN LOVE with them!

  12. In late 2005, I sent in an audition video to the producers of the show "Ms. Adventure" when I discovered that Animal Planet was casting the host of the new show. I didn't even get a callback, but I didn't think I was too bad! It was sort of a "Rachel Ray" meets the "Croc Hunter" type of feel to it. Oh well. Their loss!
  13. I bought my tickets to the opening night performance of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix online just a few minutes after they went on sale at Fandango to be SURE I'd see it opening night.
  14. Other than the first three weeks of my life, I've always lived in the same state.
  15. There's almost nowhere in the world that I wouldn't travel to!
  16. My dog is 11.5, my older cat is turning 16 and my "little" cat is 8. I worry constantly about the fact that two of them probably don't have many more years left. I'm already missing them!
  17. Today is the 8th anniversary of the day I brought the little cat home. She was five weeks old and absolutely ADORABLE!!! My husband was mad at the time, but the cute kitten soon won him over!
  18. I really don't care about purses or shoes. As long as the one(s) I'm using looks decent and feels comfortable and suits my needs, I'm happy. I simply can't imagine spending hundreds of dollars (or more!) on shoes or purses!
  19. All summer, HandsomeBoy and I have been working our way through Hooked On Phonics - Kindergarten and I can't believe his progress! He's learned more in the past month than he learned all year in Kindergarten! I've already ordered the First Grade kit!
  20. It wouldn't surprise me at all if CutiePie grows up to be a famous rockstar and/or comedian. Think Jack Black. Think John Belushi (without the drugs, please). That's my CutiePie's kind of humor and style of performance!
  21. HandsomeBoy is totally a mommy's boy and I LOVE IT!!!!
  22. Waking up this morning with RockStar, CutiePie and HandsomeBoy all in my bed and BigRed (the dog) in his bed on the floor next to us was the best present I could have wished for!
  23. The next-best present was the camera case/backpack they gave me. I really needed something like this, so I'm very excited and can't wait to put it to use this weekend!
  24. Exactly three years ago today I hit rock bottom on our adoption wait. I was so sure we were never going to ever get kids, I hated Russia, I hated our agency, I hated not knowing what was going on and I felt completely taken advantage of. Little did I know, we were just two weeks away from a surprise referral!!!
  25. I still want a daughter and I'm working on plans to make it happen.
  26. I recently ran into one of my high school boyfriends at a party. While my two boys played with his two boys, we caught up on the last 20 years. I didn't know he was going to be there, so it was a shock seeing him, but I have to say that I really enjoyed myself! He was a great guy and he seems to have turned into a good man.
  27. In August, RockStar and I will celebrate our 9th anniversary. When we were on our honeymoon in Aruba, we decided that we would return there to renew our vows on our 10th anniversary. Now, between our finances and, hopefully, another adoption in the future, we might just celebrate in the back yard! Still, it's been a great marriage and I love him more every day!
  28. I used to hike a lot and I loved it. I'd really like to get back to doing more of it, especially now that the boys are big enough to come with me on shorter hikes!
  29. I win things. A lot of things. Like movie tickets, DVDs, gift cards, concert tickets, theatre subscriptions, etc.... I've won Wiggles tickets 3 times, including a meet and greet with Anthony, Sam, Murray and Jeff at the grand opening of Wiggles World at our local Six Flags park. People ask me what my trick is. No trick - you just have to enter the contests!
  30. I love FlyLady! My house and home and life was a shambles before I found her system. It's so easy and simple and makes so much sense!
  31. I've been using the Hooked on Phonics system this summer to improve HandsomeBoy's reading skills and, at the risk of sounding like the old commercial, Hooked on Phonics worked for us!!!!! It's amazing how much he's learned and how fast! It really is a great system!
  32. I love the beach AND the mountains!
  33. I'm excited about school starting again soon. Both of the boys will be in the school district and going to the "big boy" school, so it's going to be exciting for all of us!
  34. My younger son, CutiePie, is ethnically Roma, a group of people better known in America as Gypsy. Back in my college days, one summer I spent a lot of time at the Renaissance Faire where one of the story lines involved a group of Gypsies. I learned a little about the Roma people from that summer and, over the years, would always perk up my ears a little when I heard anything about the Roma mentioned. So, imagine my surprise when our coordinator presented me with CutiePie's file and informed me, almost apologetically, that he was Roma!!! The Roma have faced discrimination and genocide in Europe and Central Asia and few Americans know anything about them, so our coordinator was surprised to discover that I knew exactly what she meant when she told me he was Roma.
  35. I have 1 dog (Big Red), who is the best dog ever in the history of the world (really!) and two cats, both of whom think they run this place! They're probably right!

Okay, that's it for now. Check back for more later!

Could I BE more nitpicky?????

Of course, you must say the title of this blog out loud and use your best Chandler Bing voice while doing it!

So, I'm reading the headlines on my local news station's website this morning and see the following headline:

"Local Teen Stabbed, Samari Found Near Body"

It looked strange. It looked wrong. But, to my credit, before I jumped into a copyediting rage, I took the time to Google the word "samari". Who knows -- maybe a "samari" is a small furry creature with sharp teeth that is known to turn on careless owners while they sleep and sink their long pointy teeth into their hearts. I'm just saying........ So, after a fruitless Google attempt, I had no choice but to reach the conclusion that they really meant to say that a "Samurai" was found near the body. However, that's still not right! A "Samurai" is the person who wields a sword and not the sword itself!!!!

Being that it was early in the morning, I hadn't had my coffee yet, the temperature was already rising beyond my comfort level and because I was just feeling a little bitchy, I simply HAD to email the station and politely inform them about their little error. Um, yeah, I also slipped in a suggestion that perhaps they should hire a copy editor!!!

Oh, one final thing --- this is far from the first time I've emailed them about glaring errors on their site! They have a history of sloppy spell checking and grammar checking on their live broadcasts and their website.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Monday Melee

The Monday Melee

1. The Misanthtropic: Name something (about humanity) you absolutely hate.

How inconsiderate people are to each other, both in person and anonymously.

2. The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent or bogus.
President George W. Bush. 'nuff said.

3. The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
My lack of all ambition lately.

4. The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
Handsome Boy has become very considerate of CutiePie lately. This morning, he covered his brother with a blanket, told him he loved him and, later, comforted him when CutiePie was upset because I made him stay at school rather than let him come to work with me. We must have had so much fun this weekend that he couldn't stand to let me out of his sight, which is very unusual for CutiePie! HandsomeBoy was also very accommodating of CutiePie's wishes all weekend and shared very nicely with him. I think he really likes being a big brother and does a very good job of it!

5. The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I make my children's lives fun, happy, full, nutritious and educational. I think I'm raising them pretty darn well, if you ask me!

6. The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
A daughter.

Play along with Monday Melee and create your own list!
You know you're top is too revealing when.....

Your son's five year old friend can't look you in the eye!!!!

Geez Louise! I didn't realize exactly how low my top was until this little kids' eyes just about popped out of his head!

Sigh. Just can't win! Normally, I feel like I'm walking around looking like the Russian "svim vear" model in the old Wendy's commercial. Today, I'm apparently chanelling my inner Anna Nicole Smith!

BTW, it's going up to nearly 100 degrees today, so I'm just going to keep flaunting my tatas and keeping my cool!!! So there!

p.s. Still can't get the darn Title bar to work!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

I'm not sure why I couldn't get letters to appear in the Title line, but I'm not going to obsess about that right now.

I've been thinking all afternoon about why I'm so bothered about my friend, her pregnancy, the birth of her child, our friendship and everything else right now.

I really think that it's truly a combination of many things swirling together into a big yucky emotional mess for me. So many emotions that I don't quite know what to do with:

* Jealousy that she, the woman who didn't think she even wanted kids, could get pregnant easily and carry to term. This is, of course, balanced against the fact that I had always planned to adopt and was ambivalent about pregnancy -- it's just the fact that I COULDN'T do it right that really hurt. Even if I didn't WANT to bear children, part of me still stings that I CAN'T do it. Does that make sense?

* Pain for my friend Cigana, who recently suffered an early miscarriage at age 43 -- quite possibly her first and last pregancy.

* Unresolved issues about being left for dead by a person I thought was my friend.

* Petty bitchyness a la The Breakfast Club stemming from my life on the outside of the popular circle toward her, a pretty, smart, athletic member of the inner circle of society.

* Resentment toward myself that I haven't kept in touch as well as I'd like to, so maybe some of the blame for the lack of communication lies with me.

Okay, that's enough analysis for tonight. Tomorrow, I'll wake up just fine and send flowers or something. I'll buy the baby a cute Penn State outfit when I'm in State College next weekend and I'll oooh and aaah over him when I finally meet him. It'll all be fine. I'm just a little surprised at my reaction to the news and needed to vent a bit!

Unresolved issues.......

So, here I am, trying to blog about something I'm not even sure what I think about it.

Here's the very short story:

I have a friend. We've been friends for about 12 years. We're different in many ways, but similar in others. In high school, we NEVER would have been friends. She was popular - me, not so much.

Anyway, we've stayed friends even though she moved away about 8 years ago. She was in my wedding. I was in her wedding. The four of us have travelled together to various national parks and spent weekends at each other's houses.

She and her husband always said they didn't want kids, but she started backpedalling a little about a year ago. Sure enough, they got pregnant last year while we were all away on a long weekend together. I was happy for them - really, I was. I was a bit upset, however, that she didn't tell me until FEBRUARY, long after she'd told other friends (I know this because at her baby shower, all her other friends took turns telling us their reactions when she called them with the good news back in DECEMBER!!!).

Now, I just got an email that she had the baby (two weeks early). Again, I'm happy for her. Really, I am. But, even in the email, it said "I guess most of you have already heard, but .......". Nope. Not me. Hadn't heard a thing!

So, you may read all of that and think that I'm being too sensitive. Maybe she didn't tell me because she didn't want to make me feel bad (as if her pregnancy has anything to do with my failed ones!!!). Perhaps sleepy new parents really don't have time to call everyone with the good news.

I don't know -- am I being too sensitive?

Oh - a footnote to our history together that I should probably mention here -- she left me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon when I was too sick to hike out on our scheduled day. Seriously. The story is not any more complicated than that. No extenuating circumstances. I was took sick to hike with the other four, so they went on without me. I stayed down there by myself, met some really great people and THEY helped me hike out the following day.

But I'm not bitter.........


Awesome contest!!!

Five Minutes for Mom is running yet another great contest! How do they do it?

This time, the prize is a Neat Receipts scanner. If you haven't heard of this nifty gadget, follow the links to their website and check it out.

I've never actually used it, but I've seen it demonstrated at the mall kiosk and one of my friends has one and LOVES it!

I'd finally get organized and find out EXACTLY where my money is going! It would also help me at work since I handle the incoming bills and outgoing vendor payments!

July = Harry Potter month!!!!

At least, at our house it does!!!

I've been a Harry Potter fan ever since I bought the first three books for a young friend of mine in late '99 or early '00. My husband picked up the habit with the movies and I introduced my boys to the wonderful world of Harry Potter soon after bringing them home from Russia two and a half years ago. They were immediately entranced by the movies. Recently, we read the first book at bedtimes and have since started the second one. Me, I've read all the books multiple times, desperately trying to glean clues about future books. My boys can now pretty much quote their way through the movies, especially Goblet of Fire, which is their favorite one so far.

So, next Wednesday (opening day), we will all see the new movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at our local IMAX theatre. I bought the tickets online literally within minutes after they'd gone on sale. Can you tell I'm excited?

And, as if that's not good enough, the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out just over a week later on Saturday, July 21st. I'll be away at a family reunion that weekend, but when I ordered the book from Amazon, I put the hotel as my shipping address! I can't wait to sit on the beach and read the final Harry Potter book!!!!

And she returns to the bloggyworld!!!!!

No, I don't have a good excuse for my absence (other than the busyness of life in general).

Yes, I missed you all.

Yes, I'll try to post more often in the future.

No, nothing incredibly fascinating has happened while I haven't been posting.

Yes, there's the possibility that more interesting things may happen in the future.

No, I'm not going to tell you about them right now.

Yes, I WILL tell you if I have anything to tell.

Anyway, getting back to the business at hand..... it's Friday so here's a Friday meme from Five on Friday (well, actually, it's NOT this week's meme, but I'm going to use it in honor of the rainy week we've had here!)

1. Does the rain make you feel blue?

No, not blue. Contemplative, perhaps, which can occasionally get me thinking about things that may make me blue, but it's not the rain itself that does it. In fact, as long as I didn't have really great plans scheduled for outside, I really like the rain!

2. Do you find that rain ruins or improves your day?

It depends upon what I had planned for the day. If I'd planned a big hike and a campout, then the rain pretty much ruins those plans. However, I LOVE sitting around on a rainy day with the windows open so I can hear the rain, feel the breeze and smell the rich outdoors while I read a really good book.
3. Have you ever danced/splashed/ran in the rain?

4. What do you like to do on rainy days?

Oops. I guess I just answered that one!

5. Do you save for "rainy days"?

Sigh. No, but I keep meaning to!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cute T-shirt contest!

Five Minutes for Mom just added ANOTHER cool contest to their July 4th contest offerings! Go check out these adorable T-shirts and enter to win one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

And then we wonder what went wrong with kids today......

Here's the current headlines on my local news site:

* 10 Year Old Fondled Waiting In Line For Boardwalk Ride

* Investigators Learn More About Abandoned Baby's Father

* Officials Say Funeral Director Stored Babies' Bodies

* Former Guard Kept Runaway Student in Basement for 10 years

* 12 Children Injured In School Bus Crash

* Kids Discover Decomposed Body

* Girl Dies On Ride at Disneyland Paris Ride

* Wrestler Strangles Wife, Smothers Son

What is happening to our world??? ALL of the top news stories involve children being hurt, killed, traumatized, victimized and wronged!!!! I'm going to hug my kids even more tightly than usual when I see them. What a depressing news cycle!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another contest to enter.....

I promise I'll post an actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness bloggy post soon, but in the meantime, here's a link to a great contest over at Five Minutes for Mom.

I LOVE Lands End and I especially love their bathing suits which are stylish, comfortable and actually swimmable!!!! The lovely ladies at FMM are giving away a gift certificate for a custom-made Lands End swimsuit!!! Wouldn't that just perk up your summer???

Click on over and check it out!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Do you LOVE movies?

Five Minutes for Mom is running another great contest! Hop over there to enter for a chance to win a 6-month subscription to Netflix.

In honor of that contest, and the fact that it is (or at least was until about 45 minutes ago) Thursday, I'll list 13 of my favorite movies as a Thursday Thirteen:

In no particular order:

1. Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell. I love this movie!!! It never ceases to make me laugh and cheer for Auntie Mame. I discovered this movie when I was in college and one of my friends called me Mame for years after she decided that I was a lot like the main character. At the time, and to this day, I take that as high praise!!!!

2. The Shawshank Redemption. A nearly perfect movie! The casting, writing, directing, editing, music and sets are all perfect. I've seen it so many times and still go back and watch it again. I always tear up at the very end when the camera pulls back from the reunion on the beach.

3. and 4. The Godfather I and The Godfather II. Also nearly perfect movies. So quotable! So exciting! Just make sure you NEVER EVER EVER watch Godfather III -- a movie so bad that everyone associated with it should be ashamed of themselves!

5., 6. and 7. The Lord of the Rings series -- The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, Return of the King. When I first heard that someone was making a live-action version of Tolkein's epic story, I was upset. I thought that they would screw it up for sure. In my mind, there was no way to do it justice. I've never been happier to be wrong!!! Peter Jackson edited out some of my least favorite story lines (Tom Bombadil, anyone????) and concentrated on the important parts (Frodo's struggle with the power of the Ring, Sam's dedication to his friend, Gandalf's regret for burdening the innocent Hobbit with the dreaded task of destroying the Ring, Aragorn's ambivalence in accepting his destiny, Gollum's sliver of humanity (Hobbitity?) which makes his story so compelling, etc...

8. The Blues Brothers. Great music, wild actors, funny lines, car chases, neo-Nazis looking like idiots, get-up-off-your-chair-and-dance choreography -- it's got it all! Everytime I watch this movie, I see something new in it or find a new joke that I'd missed before.

9. The Breakfast Club. The funny thing is, I saw this movie when it first came out and I was the same age as the characters. I think that it was too close to my daily life, so I didn't have enough perspective on it to appreciate it. I enjoyed it, but it didn't really get to me. Now, 20 years later, this movie really hits home. After all those years, I have friends who were in each of the groups represented by the five kids in detention in the movie. My older son is on his way to becoming a jock. One of my best friends was the "popular girl" in her high school. I guess I always though that, after high school, I wouldn't have to associate with the "other" types of people. What I've found out is that high school may be the only time in your life where you can sucessfully separate yourself from "other" people. It's harder to do so when you get older and the lines aren't as clearly drawn and you just can't get away with isolating yourself. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I associated most with Anthony Michael Hall's geeky character.

10. Anything with Danny Kaye, but especially The Court Jester and The Inspector General. I can't tell you how many bad moods these movies have pulled me out of! Danny Kaye was a genius!

11. Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan. Yes, I'm a geek. This is one of the touchstone Sci-Fi movies of all time! Perhaps Trek's single greatest accomplishment, except perhaps for.......

12. Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home (aka "The one where they go back to the 1980's and find whales to bring to the future"). This movie contains what may be my all-time favorite movie line:

Dr. Gillian Taylor: Don't tell me, you're from outer space.

Kirk: No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer space.

Well, it's funny in the movie, anyway!

13. I'm blanking on a Thirteenth right now, so I'll have to come back and fill this in at another time. Sorry!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm a Spark Person!

Rachel recommended the website Spark People in her blog recently, so I went over to check it out and I LOVE IT!!!! It's a lot like Weight Watchers Online for those of you who are familiar with that! I did WW online a few years ago and had very good success with it, but I just don't have it in the budget to sign back up again right now. Spark People is at least as good, so I'm very excited!!! My daily goals for this week are to drink my water (something I always try to do but don't always remember to do), take a walk and tell someone about Spark People. So, consider yourselves told! One of the really great things about it is that it's not just for people looking to lose weight! It's also for people trying to live a healthy lifestyle! Go check it out!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boxes and boxes of bandages!!!

If your kids are like mine (oh heck -- if YOU are like ME), then you simply can't have enough BandAids and bandages around, right???? Five Minutes for Mom is running a contest giving away 45 boxes of bandages. If you could use them, head on over to their site and enter!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Perky's Perspective ...... the Major Motion Picture!!!!

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

I agree that the movie of my life probably WOULD be a cult classic, but Showgirls??? Ewwwwwwww!!!!!! I can assure you with 100% certainty that I've NEVER licked a stripper pole!!!!

However, this raises new questions, such as..... who would play the part of Perky in the movie? Off the top of my head, I'd have to hope for either

Jodi Foster

or Gillian Anderson (Scully from The X-Files)

Of course, this is a bit of wishful thinking on my part! About the only thing I really have in common with those two noted actresses is that we're all short and have had red hair at some point in our lives!

Those of you who know me in real life, who would you suggest? And who would play the part of YOU in the movie of your life????

Contest to enter!

Here's a link to a great contest! Good luck!


My Ideal Careers

Your Career Personality: Idealistic, Service-Oriented, and Future-Oriented

Your Ideal Careers:

Alternative health practitioner
Environmental lawyer
Magazine editor
Museum curator
Photo journalist

This is actually pretty funny! Of the careers listed above, I've considered becoming a massage therapist (alt. health practitioner), I am a lawyer and for awhile considered doing something like working for Rails to Trails or similar organization, I've always dreamed about being a Park Ranger (which is similar to a museum curator in a way), and I love to take photos of events (photo journalist). Hmmmm..... novelist or playwright....????? Yeah, I could see that! Now, if only I had some really good ideas for a book!!!!!

Wordless Wednesday

Is this the happiest, most content dog in the world, or what????? BigRed really enjoyed the little hike I took with my boys this past Saturday! Life doesn't get much better for a Golden Retriever than to lay down in running water and smell the fresh spring air while being surrounded by affectionate little boys!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday's a B!t@% Meme

Here's the questions from, and my answers to, the weekly meme at Monday's a Bitch....

mood | weird ]
[ music | The Doors ]

Faces Come Out of the Rain, When You're Strange

1. What's the strangest thing you've ridden in or on?

Definitely a camel!!! I was 20 years old on my first trip to Israel and we were travelling across the desert to have dinner in a Bedoin tent. It sounds very exotic and adventurous, but really it was rather touristy!!!

2. What's the strangest thing in your home?

Um........ Probably me!

3. What's the strangest nickname anyone has ever given you? What's the explanation behind it?

"Ninja Girl". One day in high school gym class, a very strange boy with "issues" decided to attack me with a hockey stick to prove that he was a "real man" or something like that. Bear in mind that this kid was probably 5'8" and weighed about 200 pounds and I was not even 5' and weighed in at about 102 pounds (ah! those were the days!). Yeah. That's really going to show how tough you are, dude! When he came at me with his stick, I automatically raised my hockey stick to block him. I had to defend myself my holding my stick up over my head with both hands and preventing him from splitting my head open. He actually looked a lot like the Star Wars Kid of internet video fame! Of course, the other jerks in the class just watched! It must have been quite a show to them -- the crazy fat kid attacking the little nerd girl! After it was all over, a few of them starting calling me Ninja Girl because I'd actually managed to successfully protect myself! Don't worry - it didn't last long - they went back to calling me "brainiac" and "geek" pretty fast!

4. Where's the strangest place you've ever slept?

Hmmmm.... on a beach in Eilat, Israel, or in a scientific research facility in the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica or on my friend Cigana's bathroom floor (using a hand towel for a sheet, no less!).

5. Who's your strangest family member?

Ummmmm..... again, me?????

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Feast

This week's questions brought to you by Friday's Feast:

Tell about a time when you had to be brave.

A decade ago, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a friend and we stayed over at Phantom Ranch. During the night, I became extremely ill and in the morning, after we met up with our other friends who'd rafted down the Colorado River from Page, AZ, I found that I was unable to even think about hiking out that day. My friends decided to hike out anyway and left me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. THIS IS A TRUE STORY!!!!! Now, I wasn't dying or anything, but I was pretty ill. I made some new friends while I was recouperating that afternoon and evening at Phantom Ranch and I hiked out with them the following day. At the time, I just did what I had to do to get back up to the South Rim. In retrospect, however, I think it took a lot of bravery to actually do it and not let my illness or my extreme disappointment in and anger at my friends ruin the experience for me.

Which upcoming movie are you excited about seeing?

I'm anxiously awaiting Harry Potter 5: The Order of the Phoenix!!! The trailers that have been released look great! Also excited about Shrek the Third and Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. We're going to see at least a couple movies this summer at a drive-in, so that will make them even more fun!

Name an item you try to always have on hand.

A cup of coffee and a water bottle! Also, pen and paper!

Main Course
Imagine the most relaxing room you can think of. Now describe it!

A cabana-style room on a tropical beach, with the gauzy white curtains blowing in the warm breeze. There's not much in the room except maybe a few hanging plants and a massage table in the middle. Soft music is playing from speakers hidden in the ceiling and I can hear the gentle lapping of the waves. Tropical birds are chirping and singing amongst the rustling fronds of the palm trees. Ahhhhhhh......

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), how spiritual or religious are you?

Hmmmm...... This is a tricky question for me. My affiliation is Reform Judaism. I was brought up in a synagogue affiliated with the Conservative Movement, but in a non-religious, very assimilated household. My husband is Roman Catholic, but the children are Reform Jews like me. I light Friday night Shabbat candles, attend services occasionally and observe the holidays. I cook traditionally Ashkenazic Jewish foods (like kugel, borscht, teiglach, hamentashen, matzo brei, kneidlach, etc....). I have made it a point to give my children a good early education in Judaism by sending them to Sunday School as soon as they were old enough (age 4 at our synagogue) and also sending them to a Jewish Nursery School three mornings a week. So far, you would think that I would score a very high number on that question, wouldn't you?

Despite all of the above, however, I don't consider myself particularly "religious", per se. I know that there can be very many definitions of "religious" or "spiritual", but under my personal definitions of those terms, I don't really feel that they apply to me. I have to admit to not believing in G-d or a "higher power". When I am at services, I'm not actually "praying". I feel more like I'm reaffirming my commitment to being a good person and leading a good life and trying to make the world a better place.

So, where does that leave me? I suppose I'd best describe myself as a Humanist Jew. I guess I should take the average of the two side of my personal religious coin and just say that I'm a FIVE and let the pieces fall where they may.

Win a great Mothers Day gift!


Don't forget to enter the Mothers Day contests at Five Minutes for Mom while there's still time! You could win an iPod or another great gift!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

13 things I'm thinking about or need to do:

1. Board meetings - why do that have to be so gosh-darn boring and unproductive?

2. I really need to go back to the optometrist to check out the killer eyestrain I've been experiencing.

3. ADD - a teacher who works (occasionally) with CutiePie thinks he's ADD. We're having a parent/teacher conference next week to discuss it, so before then, I need to do my homework and learn more about diagnosing it. I'm not convinced yet.

4. Interrogatories - need to finish these for work ASAP!!!!

5. Emails I need to return -- very many of them!

6. I'm so happy that I'm going to scrapbook with a friend this weekend!

7. CoffeeFest - a group of my friends are all getting together at one of our houses on Saturday morning to have coffee, talk, laugh and let the kids all play together. This very well may be the best part of my week.

8. I'm very thankful that RockStar has a good job that he loves, but I'm sick of his late hours! He's been getting home around midnight more nights than not for the last month or so. It's very tiring! I told him that maybe he should find a girlfriend instead of working so much! I'm not thrilled about the idea of him cheating on me, but I bet he'd be home a lot earlier!!!!! (Totally just kidding about the girlfriend idea!)

9. BigRed is getting old. He's 11 now and really showing his age. Like most older Golden Retrievers, he's going white. It started on his muzzle and is now spreading over his whole body. When we met him nearly 6 years ago, he was dark red all over. Now, it looks like he's been standing out in the snow for a few minutes! He's still the best dog EVER and I'm crazy about him, but I just can't get over how old he looks.

10. Mothers Day. I still haven't gotten cards or gifts for my mom or my mother in law. Better get busy!

11. The state of the house. It's a mess. Worse than it's been in a long while. I really need to spend a little time on it this weekend.

12. Library. I've got a lot of books and CDs to return. I'll do it Saturday.

13. Summer Activities. We're not going on a big vacation this summer, but we do have a lot of fun things planned. Lots of outdoor concerts, parties, daytrips, and visiting friends and family. I can't wait! Plus, I just love the warm weather and the long days!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Couldn't I be a rich girl?????

This was pretty funny! The choices are limited, but I guess that's part of the humor!

I am Tzeitel!

Take the Fiddler on the Roof quiz at

8 Random things about me!

Nancy tagged me with this. Thanks, Nancy!

Here Are The Rules

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I chew pens. I don't mean nibble or roll them around in my mouth. I mean CHEW them. My favorites are Bic Round stics because they're soft enough that they don't splinter (like a Papermate Ballpoint) and the cap doesn't pop out immediately. It is a horrible, disgusting, dirty habit, but I don't even know that I'm doing it most of the time! It's so bad that my kids YELL at me to get the pen out of my mouth. Before CutiePie could even talk, he'd point at my mouth and grunt in a VERY disapproving manner!

2. My secret dream job is to be a Park Ranger. I love being outside, I love talking, I love meeting people for very short periods of time, I love being an expert on something and I love introducing people to nature. Perfect, huh?

3. I'm going grey. Wah! It doesn't matter tooooo much, I suppose, because I've colored my hair since college. But it just seems different to be coloring it for fun and coloring it because I "have" to.

4. At the end of last week, I miscalculated and thought that my period was a week late. For about two days, the possibility that I was pregnant followed me everywhere. I didn't really think it was, but it was enough to make me wonder. Finally, at some point on Saturday, I had a few moments to think clearly about it and realized that I had somehow inserted an extra week into the month of April and that I wouldn't be late until today. Sure enough, Sunday morning, right on schedule..... well, you know!

5. When I was a child, I had a pretty serious speech impediment. After years and years of speech therapy, we finally found the right program for me and it stuck. I actually still have the problem, but I've been trained to speak correctly, so I don't screw up much. However, when I'm really tired I'll sometimes start slipping.

6. I love to mow the lawn. I have a standard push mower that is nothing fancy. I just like being outside, moving around, surrounded by white noise and not being bothered for 45 minutes. I also love to be able to immediately see the difference I've made in the lawn and I LOVE the way it looks when I'm done. I actually fight my husband for the lawnmower! Last week, I mowed my neighbors' lawn for them. They'd just had a baby and were out of town and their lawn was OUT OF CONTROL, so I mowed for them. They thought it was such a big sacrifice on my part. Little did they know that RockStar had beat me to mowing our lawn, so I was just looking for a lawn to mow!

7. I need more time alone. I like people. Really I do. I love my family - honestly. BUT, I really need more time with ME! Just to hang out, read, walk, think, etc... I'm very independent and don't mind doing anything by myself (going out to eat, movies, hiking, travelling, shopping) and I actually enjoy it. I've gone on vacation by myself and had a wonderful time! I just feel like, except for commuting to work in my car, I'm always surrounded by people. Even though I'm usually having a good time with all those people, I need a little more room!

8. At this point in my life, I'm a pretty optimistic person. I haven't always been, but right now, I'm comfortable enough with my life and my surroundings that I'm usually able to see the "silver linings" of life and of people. The little things that used to get me down and stick with me just don't anymore! I'm happy most of the time.

Hmmmm..... who to tag? Let's see...... how about ChaoticMom, Trace, ChipmunkMomma, Laura, Melissa, the lovely folks waiting for Buttercup, Greg Fishbone, and MommyBrain! TAG guys! You're it!!!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Who knew?

So, HandsomeBoy and I were cuddled up in bed watching Iron Chef last night. When the secret ingredient is revealed with a florish to be tofu, HandsomeBoy breathlessly says to me, "Mommy! Tofu! I loooooooove tofu! Can we pleeeeaaase make it sometime? It's my favorite!"

We've had tofu. I cook with it occasionally. Never, however, has HB ever expressed a particular opinion of it, much less drooling on my covers as he watched Iron Chef Morimoto and the challenger construct various creative dishes from blocks of the stuff! Who knew?

Boy, kids can really be surprising!

Five on Friday

This week's questions from Five on Friday:

If you were throwing an 80s themed slumber party...

1. What movies would you show?
Oh wow! Let's see.... in no particular order..... Ferris Bueler's Day Off, The Breakfast Club, The Road Warrior, Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Aliens and Ghostbusters!

2. What kind of food would you serve?
Pizza, M&Ms and cookie dough (eaten right out of the plastic wrapping, of course!)

3. Which childhood friends and crushes would you reminisce about?
Ideally, some of those childhood friends and crushes would be WITH me! I guess my husband counts - I met him in 1988!!!

4. Which trends and fads would you lament most?
Three words ---- PERMED BIG HAIR!!!!!

5. What board or card games would you incorporate?
Back in high school, there was always a game of Risk going on in the kitchen at EVERY party, so I think I'd be duty-bound to dig one up and set it out for any takers!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

13 things I thought about blogging about recently but never got around to:

1. A review of Dreamgirls, which I just rented the other night.
2. A review of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which I saw with HandsomeBoy recently.
3. A review of Life of Galileo which I saw last week
4. Parenting and family behavior in our house compared to others
5. The 4th anniversary of my last miscarriage and the fact that I didn't realized it had passed.
6. My internal dialog about whether I should think about adopting another child and, if so, how old a child am I willing to consider and when should we do it.
7. Discussions I've had with people that make me so glad to be an American.
8. Running into the woman with whom my high school boyfriend cheated on me.
9. Meeting a Russian woman who also adopted from Russia and seeing her beautiful daughter who will be in school with HandsomeBoy and CutiePie next year.
10. RockStar's boss's retirement.
11. Mealplanning as the answer to so many of my personal issues!
12. ummmmmm....... American Idol and Dancing With the Stars???
13. An infinite number of cute things that the boys have done lately.

Here I am

Wow. Look at this. I'm actually writing something in my blog! How about that?

Why don't I write more? It's not that I don't have anything to say! Of course, I'm busy, but aren't we all? I need to make the time to actually do it! There's certainly no shortage of cute kids stories, interesting things going on around me, interactions with other people that have left impressions on me and other potential topics that I could write about. I just need to sit down and do it.

I remember when I was in High School and again in Law School, I engaged in a bit of "self-therapy" by keeping a notebook with me at all times in which I could just write anything as it came to me. Now, I'm sure I'd cringe if I read what I wrote about, but at the time, it really helped to just be able to write it all down. My life today is nowhere as stressful as my life was back then, but I think keeping my blog could still help.

There are so many other bloggers out there who put so much effort into each post. I'm so impressed with them, but I know that if I try to publish an essay in each post, I'll probably never post again! Maybe I just need to jump on and scribble down a few thoughts and then move on with my day????

If there's anyone reading this and you keep a blog, do you have a way of doing it? A particular time of day or a schedule for blogging? Do you have a goal for each post? Or do you just wing it and not worry about it? I'm just curious.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Another contest!

Here's a link to the new contest at 5 Minutes for Mom. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Great contest!

Five Minutes for Mom is running a great contest until noon on Wednesday -- you can win a Phillips Digital Frame, which is just about the coolest thing I can think of right now! I've been looking at one of these, but haven't taken the plunge yet! Stop by the website and sign in for your chance to win one!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday Feast

When you travel, which mode of transportation do you prefer?

Car, if possible! I really love driving and seeing the world go by. Of course, if I need to cover a very long distance in a short amount of time, planes are just fine, too!

Have you ever met a blogging friend in person?

Only those that were my friends BEFORE I started reading their blogs. So far, I've never met a person through blogging before I met them in person.

When was the last time you were really, really tired?

Is that a trick question? Does now and every other minute of every day count? Honestly, though, there was a night a few weeks ago when I realized during dinner that I was in serious danger of falling alseep with my face in my plate and left the table to head right to bed. That's probably the most tired I've been recently.

Main Course
If you could have dinner with any one fictional character from a book or movie, who would it be?

It would have to be the fun, energetic, eccentric, world-travelling, orphan-adopting, martini-drinking, career-changing, party-throwing Mame Dennis Burnside from the movie Auntie Mame!!! I first fell in love with her in college. Who knew then that my life would bear a pale resemblance to hers??? There are obvious big differences betweeen our lives, however, I'd say that our basic outlooks on life are very similar.

I imagine that our dinner together would start with a hearty happy hour, then proceed into tapas appetizers, followed by Vietnamese Pho Soup. For our entree, we might dine upon Indian curries and tikkas and dessert would be something served ablaze!!! Of course, each course would be accompanied by an appropriate bottle of wine or cocktail! The only drink we'd never even consider drinking would be a daiquiri made with honey!!!

We'd talk about the various places we've travelled to, boast about the sons we've adopted and how proud we are of them, we'd gossip about friends and strangers alike, and bash small-minded people.

Fill in the blank: One day, I hope to see _______________.

My great-grandchildren become Bat and/or Bar Mitzvahs!


Monday, April 2, 2007

Dyson Contest

You all know by now how much I love contests and sweepstakes! Here's one that you should definitely check out over at Five Minutes for Mom. You could win a Dyson Slim vacuum cleaner! How cool is that?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Feast

What are you proud of?

I'm proud of the fact that I try very hard to be a good person. I don't always succeed, but I do make it a focus to try to "do the right thing". As I look around during my day, it's so easy to see people who just don't seem to care about the people and/or world around them. I wouldn't want to live like that.

What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

Hmmm. I've won many things over the years. Lately, I've been winning a lot of passes to activities for the kids, which has definitely been great! As I said in an earlier post, lately I've won tickets to the rodeo, theatre productions, theme parks, movie theatres, aquariums and other fun places. Considering our restricted budget right now, it's been a great thing to be able to continue to take the boys to new and exciting places without spending much money to do so!

Name something you do that is a waste of time.

So many choices, so little time! I have to go with surfing the 'net. I kill a LOT of time this way!

Main Course
In what year of your life did you change the most?

Probably the year after we adopted the boys. Not only did my minute to minute and day to day life change, my priorities, goals and values all changed, too! It really forced me to grow up. I've said before that I became an adult at age 36!

Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

Locally, I'd saythe Mayberry-esque town of Wellsboro, PA, which is very near the so-called Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. Stretching out a bit further, the most tranquil place I ever had the pleasure to be was Hacienda Baru, a small villa on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Wow. I would have loved to spend months there, relaxing, reading, hiking and decompressing! If I ever hit it really big, I think I'll spend my winters there!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Proof that, once upon a time, I actually knew something!

I got this from Nancy --

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Of course, it's not true - I definitely did NOT pay attention during 100% of high school, but for the purposes of this quiz, I guess I paid attention to the right stuff! Yay me!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sick Duty continues

Sigh. HandsomeBoy is STILL sick! Half of his kindergarten class has the same thing, but some of them are already starting to return to school. There's no way he can go back today and I'm not so sure about tomorrow, either. We're going to the doctor today. I try not to rush to the ped everytime one of the boys gets sick, but four days of a fever is enough to send me there!

In other news, I had another busy day yesterday. In addition to all the normal house duties and taking care of HandsomeBoy, I attended an old friend's new son's bris. All through the ceremony, I kept thinking back to my boys' Naming Ceremony which was nearly two years ago. A few times, I found tears in my eyes. Of course, because they were not newborns, my sons' brises were performed at CHOP and not in our living room!

I was able to attend the bris because RockStar got out early and relieved me from taking care of HandsomeBoy. Yay RockStar! I really wanted to attend the bris! After the bris, I picked up a friend and we went to see Hairspray, which has become one of my top few musicals EVER! This was my second time seeing it and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time! The original John Waters movie Hairspray is also very good, but more twisted than the stage musical. The new version is very uplifting and energizing. How can you not love the main characters of Tracy, Penny, Link and Seaweed?

On the plate for today - finish the outline for the event I'm hosting at my synagogue tonight, cook a few dishes for that event, take care of HandsomeBoy, transfer CutiePie from the synagogue school to the daycare, attack the hotspot of papers on my desk, mop the kitchen floor, make some phone calls, create a shopping list for Passover and the four (4!!!!!!) seders I'm attending this year and find someone to sit with HandsomeBoy here at home while I attend the event at the synagogue. Yep. That's all. Just that. Shouldn't be hard. <<<>>> Okay, let's go!