Monday, January 31, 2011


Have you ever met someone so self-effacing, so sweet, so loyal and clever that you wondered how you existed before you knew him?

That happened to us nine years ago today. What an amazing bonus blessing baby he is!

And that he wants an Apple Betty for his cake, is just so ... him.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Landing on the Positive Side

I am highly annoyed this week. And rather than keep all those annoyances to myself, I'm going to be gracious beyond measure and share them with you.

-Of all the sounds I cannot tolerate, open-mouthed chewing is the worst. It's so bad that I dream of duct-taping any offender. With that in mind, imagine this: I have a student this term who sits in the front row and chews her gum as though she means to kill it. Open-mouth gum chewing. Loud. Juicy. Distracting enough that I try to make eye contact with her as a means of shushing her. But every time I try that, she smiles sweetly and continues right on smacking away.

-Next on my list of annoyances would be driving on the newly snowy driveway without first shoveling. I always try to shovel two little tracks at least if I don't have time to shovel everything first. I despise the packed snow/ice effect of not shoveling.

-Sit-ups. Hate 'em. My lower back says it will file for divorce if ever again I try one.

-Cool kids and the power each of my children gives them.

STOP!! I can't continue this way. By nature, I am a glass half-empty thinker but by choice I am a glass half-full thinker, so I've got to turn this post around.

-The student has a wonderful attitude and if I talk louder during my teaching, I will hear her gum-chewing less.

-Chemicals work fairly well on the packed snow tracks on the driveway.

-Instead of sit-ups, I've been doing leg raises. I lie on my back and raise my legs to a 90 degree position. Then I slowly lower them almost to the floor and then start all over again. YES! My stomach is sore and that is GREAT news.

-I happen to think my kids ARE cool. Someday they will believe me.

AND now for bonus positive material:

My 11 year old son casually announced that he will be wearing a moustache to church on Sunday. He said it as though we were discussing a nice shirt or pair of shoes. I will surely post a picture when that happens.
What annoys you AND what do you do to compensate?
Time to go visit Mrs. 4444's. She can fix any annoyance.

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Some time after his dad stumbled toward a very early shower, this guy climbed into his dad's spot in bed. He pulled the quilts up high. Turned the pillows a few times to get them just right. Picked up the remote and changed the t.v. channel away from the news and to Cartoon Network. Then because he is quite verbally gifted, he began a vivid description of how sick he was. A head filled with knives piercing his skull. A throat burning with lava. Aches and pains so overwhelming for a newly-turned eleven year old.

At first I thought it was sweet that he knew I would comfort him. Afterall, is there any worse feeling than a terrible cold during the first few hours of the morning?

And when his still innocent voice asked, "Mommy, am I staying home from school today," I thought about his head and throat. I thought about how horrid he felt. I thought about how fortunate I am to work only part-time for days such as this.
But right before I could melt, he discreetly wiped his nose on his father's pillow.

He has now been safely delivered to school.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Guess which one...

My Happiness Project entry ~ my girls, one of whom is NOT allowed on the furniture.

Do you allow your loved ones to sit on your furniture?


Monday, January 24, 2011

When's there's absolutely nothing else to do ...

Sunday afternoon. Dad was assigned the assemblage of a monster Lego project. End of the term for the kids, so no homework. A broken phone which refused to tell my daughter that her boyfriend wanted to watch "Titanic" with her (he wants to impress her, I guess), a son who likes to cook, and a mom who was feeling domestic. The result?

The family had a lot to say about the pretzels.

"Very good!"

"Tastes like the real thing" ??

But the comment which confused me most?

"Tastes just like corn on the cob."

Friday, January 21, 2011

FF: The State of Me

Our Friday Fragments this week are courtesy of the STATE OF MICHIGAN, whose motto isn't the most poetic or catchy: "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you!!"

So what's happening in Michigan these days?
  • A serial rapist from Detroit was arrested. That was wonderful news to all, but puzzling news to his relative who was interviewed by a local reporter. What reason would there be for this man to rape multiple times, she wondered, when he already had a girlfriend?
  • We have a new governor. He's a businessman not a career politician, and I suspect that he is brilliant and may well fix a few things in the next four years. However, he doesn't like to wear neckties and that greatly concerns some people - including a former governor.
  • I did a lesson with the Cub Scouts last night on many Michigan trivia matters. It turns out that several of those elementary school boys think our state bird is a PIGEON.
  • Just so you know, it's a robin.

  • Do you remember the Michigan man who rejected the $150,000 settlement after he used a screwdriver to open a jar of Dole fruit and was hit in the eye by the lid and supposedly rendered unconscious? He received a second settlement offer and accepted this one.
  • I've put my head very close to each can of fruit I've opened in the last few weeks, but no luck thus far...
  • I just heard the term, downsizing a friendship, this week. Isn't that a marvelous phrase?
  • Have you ever downsized a friendship because your children no longer associated with your friend's children?
  • Now to bring this back to Michigan. I did a 9.57 minute mile on the elliptical this week. Before Christmas I was doing 20 minute miles, so laugh if you will at my 9.57, be terribly frightened of the noises I made while being so QUICK, and know that my clothing isn't any looser as a result. BUT WHO CARES???
  • Okay, I'll admit that Michigan got a little lost there, SO while I go find more pleasant peninsula related items, maybe you could go visit Mrs. 4444's . You won't be disappointed with her fragmented mind!
  • Mommy's Idea

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Man Who Changed My Life, Part 1

When I decided to get a doctorate, I compiled a list of schools who offered the degree I wanted. There were approximately 20 schools and I began to research each school and dream a little about what life would be like there. I contacted each school - except for one. That school got moved to the very bottom of my list simply by virtue of its location. After all, who would voluntarily move to Detroit?

One day, after an interesting few hours subbing at the local elementary school, I came home to a quiet house and glanced at the list. There it was: the lone school I was NOT interested in pursuing. But I had been praying and asking the Lord for guidance in the decision process, and as I looked at that list, I felt compelled to call Wayne State University.

It was a nervous Kentucky girl who dialed those numbers and was greeted by a voice on the other end who promptly told me that I had been given the wrong number. I asked for the correct number, but the person I was speaking to said I couldn't hang up. "Tell me about you. Tell me about your background. Tell me about your educational dreams." I was puzzled and still a little nervous. After a few minutes, the voice boomed from the end, "Some people collect baseball cards. Some collect coins. You apparently collect master's degrees." I didn't know if I should be embarrassed or should laugh.

At the end of thirty minutes, the call ended and my mom walked in from her job as a high school guidance counselor. I announced, "I'm moving to Detroit and I'm going to study with a man named Dr. Martinez."

Within months, I was here - where I planned to earn my doctorate and then move to some exotic locale.

I got that doctorate. I'm still here twenty-something years later. And boy oh boy, did I ever get an education!

While you wait for the next riveting installment of this blog, go visit a few of my blogging friends: Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Making Do...

I may have exaggerated a bit when I put this up near the front door:

So until things improve, we will enjoy some of this:

What's your favorite way to beat the cold?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pass the air freshener, please

I would like to blame Friday for the fact that I think in nothing but fragments, but that would be unfair to the other six days of the week when my mind works exactly the same way. Here's just a glimpse of how that thinking goes:

-When my youngest son came out of school the other day, he had his boots on the wrong feet and I was struck by how much I will miss that innocence as he gets older.

-My husband and I shoveled our neighbor's walk and driveway after our first big snow of the season, and then she insisted on paying me. That she confused me with my 13 year old son has left me feeling a little unsettled.

-Need a good lotion for hands? Try this: It's packaged horribly unattractively and could use a better name, but it works beautifully for hands and legs and all those other brutally dry skin areas.

-As I rushed out the door to work yesterday, I started to put my wallet in my backpack when I realized that I was carrying a roll of toilet tissue and not a wallet. I am so glad that I noticed that before I got to work.

-This was the first week of classes for my students. On the first day, after spending about 45 minutes discussing our ENGLISH course, and what ENGLISH texts they would need, and how we will be doing grammar because it is an ENGLISH course, and how I have four degrees in ENGLISH, I asked what questions the students had. One waved her arm frantically and said, "I think I'm in the wrong place. I'm supposed to be in an English not a phys ed class." It's going to be a long semester.

-I heard a lyric the other day but don't know what song it was from. It really made me do some soul-searching. The line was something like, "I don't want someone else to do what it is He's asked of me." I might have the line completely wrong, but don't correct me because I really like the way I remember it.

Now, while you go visit Mrs. 4444's to read other fragments, I am going to find a way to get the smell of burned plastic out of my house. I so wish I hadn't accidentally put a loaf of bread on a hot burner this morning.

Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Multi-tasking Girl

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. ~Faith Whittlesey

Monday, January 10, 2011

So Much Bigger Than Arizona

I am sickened as I learn more about the Arizona shooting. How many adjectives are there to describe it? Horrific. Sick. Terrifying. Senseless. Surely this page could be filled with more. And surely my prayers, like those of so many others, are being sent for the families of those taken too soon and for the recovery of Congresswoman Giffords.

But the more I learn about this attack, the more frustrated I am that so much media coverage has been given to the reactions of other elected officials. "Stay tuned to hear what our Michigan legislators have to say about the shooting and what they're doing to protect themselves," was offered on last night's news. This morning I read that Congress is delaying business today as they work toward better safeguards for themselves. Yes, they need safeguards, but would there be a break in business today if Congresswoman Giffords had not been one of the victims? Would Congress be grappling to find solutions if this had been yet another campus shooting or workplace rampage?

I live in a metropolitan area where shootings are so common that they don't always make the news. Rage and gun response is getting as familiar in the suburbs as it is in the city. If a solution exists, I don't know what it is. But I do know we have all become a little immune to the news of a shooting. We all shake our heads and feel the chill of wondering if the next one will be in our neighborhood or our school or our business. And then life returns to normal - as it should - except for those left to grieve.

So, dear elected officials, please don't make this tragedy just about you. It's about the loss of all innocent lives. It's about every parent who buries a child, every spouse who buries a soul mate, every man or woman who buries a friend because someone decided to make his or her community pay for a perceived injustice.

Today, when work is put aside so Congress can focus on better safeguarding its members, please remember those for whom the flag will never be lowered and for whom a moment of silence will never be offered.

Friday, January 7, 2011

FF: Majoring in the UPPER CASE

To be completely fragmented:

-On Christmas day, my child asked if he could have a part in rolling the crescent rolls. Unfortunately, it was after he had finished that I realized he thought we were making pretzels.

-Why do non-drowsy allergy meds still turn my son into a zombie?

-I need to remember to turn the volume back up on my phone during the day. The silence in the house has been lovely though with the phone off :)

-No egg cookers coming to our house anytime soon...but have I told you about my Healthy Swinger gizmo?

-Do any of you know where I put my reading glasses? No! They are NOT on top of my head.

-I am on the website, Rate my professor. It is with great sorrow that I admit I score low in the hotness category. Who cares if I'm really nice, if the class is fun, or the students learned a lot? I WANT TO BE HOT!!!

-During the holidays we bought a Glade plug-in air freshener. Yesterday the two youngest boys said, "FINALLY our house has its own smell!" I never dreamed that we were lacking in that department.

-And now to finish with a happy thought. My veryveryveryveryvery tight pants are on today. AND THE ZIPPER GOES HALFWAY UP!!

-I may be inflated, but I'm also slightly elated. Hope your Friday brings you equally good news.

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Even though I do own a camera of my own...

...if I were profoundly rich, I would buy Shutterbooth. Then I would take one of their photobooths with me on the road to better document each time I meet a blogger in real life. Alas, I'm not rich, so I have to wait until my son's karate banquet each December to have fun. Here are this year's takes.

Would you get into a photo booth with me?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Green Dreams

My thumb is as green as my attention span is long. What does that mean? There's not even a hint of green on my thumb. Fortunately, that doesn't stop me from trying. Each winter when the first seed catalog arrives, my hopes are renewed, my enthusiasm recharged, and my garden plans ridiculous.

I'll order. I'll plant. I'll even water - for a while. Then I'll spend the rest of the growing season feeling guilty about my dying, weed-encroached garden.

Then January will arrive, and the process will start all over again.

I couldn't be happier!


What makes you happy today?

Monday, January 3, 2011


I have become a sucker for all things kitchen gadgety. If it's fairly small and goes in the kitchen, I like it. If it makes cooking easier, I feel affection for it. If it has a plug, well then, I love it. My cabinets are full. My pantry/laundry room is a mess. My counter tops are space-starved. But I'm ready to buy again.

You see, my kids love eggs and hard boiled is their new style of choice. So I've been shopping.

I've been looking at things like this that stand alone:

And things like this that work in the microwave:

I know. I know!! This:
is cheaper and stores nicely and I already own it. But it doesn't have its own plug.

So fess up. Tell me all about your egg cookers.