Showing posts from June, 2013

Ear Me Out

In our family, the girls get their ears pierced on their 12th birthdays (that is, when they are old enough to take care of the piercings themselves).  When Anna came by on my birthday last week, she reminded me that, when I took her to get her ears pierced 8 long years ago, I had told her she could return the favor when I turned 50.

"Really?" I asked.  "I said that?"

"Yup!" she said, as she handed me a gift bag that contained, among other things, a pair of earrings.

Well! Consider the gauntlet thrown.  My jubilee year has, apparently, become my year of living dangerously.  Think about it - so  far I have done a 30-mile bike-a-thon (absurd!), plus a walk/run 5K (unheard of!).  And this weekend my very squeamish self accompanied Anna to the mall, where, sitting in the special chair in which Anna had sat 8 years before, I let a perfect stranger PUNCH HOLES IN MY EARS.

Yes, actually, Anna did have to hold my hand.  Do you have a problem with that?

So now here…


I had a really nice day today, for no reason.  I mean, nothing special happened.  I'm thinking that maybe the endorphins from exercise really can make a person happier.  My healthy friend took me on a 4 1/2-mile forced hike this morning, and the rest of the day felt quite pleasant.  But maybe it's just the contrast.  After all, if you are banging your head on the wall, it feels pretty good to stop, right?

So I took Susie and Rachel to the pool for Susie's swim lesson, and I swam 4 laps myself (MORE EXERCISE) and then I lay in the sun and read a book and felt content.  After that, I took the girls out to lunch, just because, and we picked up a few groceries, and no one whined and nothing was stressful.  JUST LIKE OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES.  I even made the girls weed for 15 minutes with me, and it wasn't the end of the world. I don't know, the whole day went like that.  It was weird.  I mean, what the heck am I supposed to blog about?

David comes home tomorrow; so m…

Night Owls Save Lives

It's a good thing I stayed up late blogging last night, or I wouldn't have noticed that our AC was no longer working and that our thermostat was registering in the 80's.  We could have suffocated.  Or not.  Larry thinks I exaggerate.  But HE doesn't get hot flashes, so what the heck does he know?

Anyhow, I managed to prevent our collective demise by flinging open windows (the humidity had dropped, by some miracle) and installing window fans.  Because that's what I like to do at midnight, instead of going to bed....

The AC guy arrived today  - early enough to prevent our dying of heat stroke, but not soon enough to keep my floors from getting so sticky from the humidity that the Swiffer wouldn't work on them.  He said lots of complicated things about burned-out capacitors and power surges and tried to sell me some sort of whole-house surge protector for "only" $150.

Seeing as how we pay for a maintenance contract that (among other things) requires the …

Wherein I Feel Like The Ancient Mariner

I had a lovely blog post all set to go last night, about the books I received from Amazon, etc.  But my camera broke and so I took a picture of them with Larry's IPod Touch, and then I couldn't figure out how to get that picture onto the computer so I could use it on my blog.  So I went to bed.

Can you tell David's away?  Without him, Larry and I are apparently helpless babes in the big, bad technology woods.  To make things worse, a staff person from Civil Air Patrol encampment emailed me yesterday, asking me to download certain documents David had forgotten to bring with him.  I needed to fill out the forms and then scan them into the computer, so that I could email them back to her.

All of which would have been fine, except that the ONLY person who knows how to make the scanner talk to the computer happened to be away.  At Civil Air Patrol encampment, to be precise.  Surrounded by gadgets that should have made the entire process simple and efficient, I ended up taking p…

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might...

Well!  After I dropped the girls at band camp today, I decided to celebrate my first day of freedom by taking an 8-mile bike ride.  Then I came home, showered, and cleaned the bathrooms. 

Naturally, I spent the rest of the day sitting around and feeling virtuous.  After all, there is only so much productivity one gal can handle.  But I'm thinking I won't have much of a problem adjusting to an empty nest when the time comes.  In case any of you were wondering...

Did I mention that Susie woke up at 5:45 this morning, from sheer excitement?  I could have wept.  Larry took one for the team by getting up and giving both girls (yes, Rachel was also up by 6) a ridiculously early breakfast .  I can't believe I used to be a morning person.

That's all I've got, folks.  Apparently, a life of childless leisure does not lend itself to interesting blog posts.  I'll spend tomorrow eagerly awaiting my birthday Amazon order -- essentially, EVERYTHING (except hardcovers) that…

Free Time? Moi?

No comments on my spiffy new blog template?  Really?  You folks are a tough crowd.

The kids start band camp tomorrow, and it is Susie's first year.  Meaning (drum roll please), for the first time in over 2 decades, I will have 4 hours each day when I am not in chargeof any children.  I find this to be a very exciting prospect.  Suggestions for my unaccustomed free time are welcome.

By the way, I have discovered that the sight of my 8-year-old "baby" carrying a half-size violin in a very business-like fashion is enough to melt even my heart, hardened though it may be by mealtime whining, sibling bickering, and teenage surliness.  The challenge, of course, is to maintain that sentimental feeling through 4 weeks of beginning violin practice...

[Violin image: Violin Graphics]

Gonna Fly Now

I woke up early this morning and realized that, hey, I'm STILL 50 and I'm not getting any younger and time marches on and this was the first day of the rest of my life and I only live once.

So, apparently, one worrisome side effect of reaching the half-century mark is that one starts to think in cliches.

Anyway, the reason that I woke up early is that my sadistically healthy friend had convinced me to sign up for an all-women's walk/run 5K.  "You can walk the whole thing," she said.  "We walk 3 miles together all the time."  Let me point out here that I have no idea why she takes such an interest in my physical conditioning.  Maybe because we discuss teenager woes together and she doesn't want to lose her support group.

"Okay," I said.  "But NO RUNNING."  Because I'm sort of allergic to that.  Also, I hate the way my butt bounces up and down when I try to run.  I need a bra for my butt.

What she and I didn't count on, how…

50. It's Here.

My birthday is tomorrow (gosh, have I mentioned that enough yet?), so I'll be taking the day off while Larry holds down the fort around here.  I've already had my birthday luncheon with some close friends, so tomorrow I can gad about and act generally irresponsible: you know, shop for clothes that fit, lie around and read, take a nice long walk somewhere different, and maybe even decide to buy all those books that have been languishing on my Amazon wish list.

Wild and crazy!  I know.

When I turned 40 (a decade ago, for heaven's sake, I just can't believe it), I had planned to celebrate my 50th birthday (which seemed aeons away, of course) by going on a week-long NON-CAMPING bicycle trip  in some scenic area of the country with girlfriends who would also be turning 50 or older.  Somehow, that hasn't happened (having another baby at age 42 may have had something to do with it); so now I find myself reassigning that scheme to my 55th birthday.  I'll have 2 teen g…

Father's Day Fail

Larry's Father's Day presents?  They are residing, unopened, on our living room coffee table, waiting for that magical moment when all 6 of us can be in the same place at the same time to watch Larry unwrap them.  So, yes, in case you were wondering, I would say things are still a tad hectic around here...

[Gifts image: Mat-Su Figure Skating Club]

Et Tu, June?

Has anyone else noticed how June (which USED to be my favorite month, and not just because it has MY BIRTHDAY in it) is becoming almost as over-scheduled and over-celebrated as December?  Every time I turn around, there is another end-of-school-year event that I need to

a) organize
b) bring something to
c) arrange rides for
d) all of the above

The emails!  Good Lord, the emails!

And we homeschool!  If the kids were actually IN school, I might just have to wave the white flag and hide under my bed for the month.

So we've been running the gauntlet here - David's birthday, Father's Day, Boy Scout Court of Honor BBQ and pool party (that's right, just pile it on), Civil Air Patrol awards banquet, just to name a few.  At some point, things should settle down this week, just in time for (have I mentioned this enough yet, Larry?) MY BIRTHDAY.

50.  I'm turning 50.

I'm torn - I could plan a few fun (but inexpensive) things to do with my friends to celebrate.  OR  I could si…

Dementia Diaries

Just a quick note tonight, because driving over 10 hours in one weekend makes me too tired to write a real post:

I spent this weekend visiting my dad and checking up on his care; while there, I had to reassure one of his (very concerned) neighbors that my brother was NOT, in fact, stealing all my father's money and taking away his phone so he couldn't call for help.

In other words, if you are going to let an elderly parent suffering from dementia take a walk around the block by himself?  You might want to find out what he is saying to people while he's out there.

[Phone image: Low-Tech Times]

Reverse Narcissism

Exhibit B of How We Are Our Own Worst Enemies:

Remember the Bike-a-Thon?  Well, we rode, we saw, we kicked its a**...and at the end a nice person took a photo of my friend and I smiling at the Finish Line.  My friend posted this photo to Facebook as soon as she got home.  "Gah," I thought when I saw it.  "Why did I wear that shirt?  It makes me look even MORE busty than I already am.  I look like a freak."

In an attempt to act like a normal person (that is, someone who can stand to see a photo of her own self), I shared it to my Facebook timeline; but all day I had to restrain myself from taking it down.  "Stop being so vain," I told myself.  "What the heck is wrong with you, anyway?  Who cares if the camera hates you? Stop it."

Fast forward 5 days, to the weekly walk I take with this same friend.  At some point, she mentioned the photo.  Oh, no, I thought.  Don't talk about it.  I don't want to relive the self-loathing.

Turns out I need…

Well Preserved

We be jammin' today, folks!  All day, we be jammin'.  That's what happens when you lose your head and decide to go pick 50 dollars worth of strawberries the day before.

FIFTY DOLLARS.  This had better be some really good jam.

[Jam image: The Telegraph]

Ac-cen-tuate The Positive

Exhibit A of How We Are Our Own Worst Enemies:

Me, talking to a friend at the pool this afternoon:  I feel bad because I didn't have presents ready for my 16-year-old's birthday today.  And no birthday cake!  All I did this morning was bake 72 cupcakes for him to bring to his meeting tonight.

Friend:  Well, I think baking 72 cupcakes counts for something, doesn't it?

Me:  Oh.  Yeah, I guess it does.

So I guess the glass was half full, after all...

Baker's Dozen, And Then Some

Today, it is David's 16th birthday.  Susie is walking around saying, "Sweet 16 and never been kissed," even though she has NO IDEA what that means and I have NO IDEA where she heard that.

I've been so busy pretending to be an athlete and preparing the house for Bunko (last night, and yes, as a matter of fact, I DID win), that I have no gifts for David to open tomorrow morning.  Nothing.  In desperation, I promised him I'd make 72 cupcakes for his Civil Air Patrol unit, since the meeting falls on his birthday this year.

72 cupcakes.  So, that's what I will be doing today, when I'm not reminiscing about what a cute 3-year-old David was.  72 cupcakes

See you on the other side, folks...

Thank You, Lands' End

NOT a sponsored post

Ladies and gentlemen, look.  Just...look.  See that?  Adjustable straps?  Check.  DDD cup?  Check.  Lots o' spandex?  Check.

It's a summertime miracle, folks.  For the first time since I've been 12, I'm going to go to the swimming pool without feeling self-conscious about the fit of my swim top.  The thought brings tears to my eyes.  Even Larry seems a bit choked up by the momentous nature of the occasion, although it may be the cost of my swimwear that is making him emotional.  Hey, all this spandex and advanced engineering doesn't come cheap, you know.

So thank you, Lands' End.  Now if you could get around to inventing a swimsuit that camouflages the veins on my legs, I would never shop anywhere else.


Well, whaddaya know?  It appears that designing swimsuits for women with a short torso and big boobs still lies outside the reach of human achievement.  While I found a skirted bottom fairly easily last year, I failed magnificently in my attempt to find a top that would even begin to fit my particular proportions.  What this means is that I am starting out the pool season here with a halter tankini top that I purchased from Lands End back in 2006, one that - in its original, pristine state - marginally did the job but still left a lot to be desired. 

Dear swimsuit designers, I sort of hate you.

Let's just say that the spandex in that thing (of which there was PLENTY to begin with) has simply given up the ghost.  This year I've had to put safety pins in the straps, in a pathetically unsuccessfully attempt to lift my boobs to the proper height (as in, anywhere near armpit level).  Let me tell you, nothing looks more chic at the neighborhood swimming hole than a saggy swimsuit…

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

"Who was that?" asked Rachel, as I hung up the phone yesterday.

"That was Cindy's mommy," I said.  "She wanted to know if we were meeting them at the pool today.  I told her no, because we have tennis try-outs later."

"Oh, we can't go to the pool, too?"

"Sadly, no - I'm not ambitious enough to do two major outings in one day.  Now, Cindy's mommy is different - she's going straight from the pool to a soccer tournament.  She's way more energetic than I am."

"Well," said Rachel, sympathetically, "that's because she is so much younger than you."

[awkward silence]

"Um, no - no, she's not," I said.  "I'm only one year older than she is."

"Really?" asked Rachel, not even attempting to hide her astonishment.  "Are you sure?  She looks so much younger."

"Yes! Yes, I'm sure," I said, just a little too loudly.

Realizing her mistake (girl…

Mission Impossible

I spent most of my day today taking care of all those administrative odds and ends - registrations, permission forms, medical forms, school forms - that have been haunting my dreams most nights.  In addition to that, I made a decent dinner, caught up on the kids' math, and made sure to get my exercise.  In other words, I was feeling pretty damn good about myself this afternoon -- that is, until a neighbor reminded me that I had completely forgotten to organize the spring gutter cleaning this year.

Okay, I told myself, no one's perfect.  I'll get to it.  I can do anything.  I'm superwoman.  LOOK at all that stuff I got done today.  LOOK how organized I am.  I'm on a roll - nothing can stop me now!

And then Larry came home from Boy Scouts this evening and informed me that, as hospitality chair, I was in charge of procuring comestibles for the Boy Scout BBQ/pool party that NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT, a party that is scheduled for the 10th.  Which, uh, just so happens to b…

Like A Pro

I can't imagine how desperate my healthy (as in marathon-running, MD-holding) friend must have been to have asked me to do this MS Bike-a-thon with her.  Maybe she needed someone along who would make her look fast?  What's more, there are going to be all these intimidating-looking people in real bicycle clothes and special bicycle shoes and with specially streamlined bikes at this thing.  I know this is true, because I saw them at the packet pick-up yesterday.

Fit Friend: We need to go to the packet pick-up this weekend.

Me:  Okay.  What's that?

Fit Friend:  It's where you pick up your number and your free T-shirt and such.

Me:  I get a number?  AND a shirt?  Awesome!

Fit Friend:  Look, I'll do the talking there, okay?
So I walked around all day Friday, seizing on any chance to say, "Oh, I have to go to the PACKET PICK-UP tomorrow" and reveling in how athletic that sounded.  As it turned out, I was suffering from heat exhaustion after the morning training rid…