Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday!

This one is for my baby girl...
Nate's love of his life...
Doobie's "Little Grasshopper"....
Our very own Shamrock O'Neill!

Happy Birthday! We love you!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Favorite. Christmas. Special. EVER.

My all-time FAVORITE Christmas special is "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". If you haven't watched it every year since you were a kid, you've missed out GREATLY.

It was made in 1970 and is narrated by Fred Astaire ("the mailman"). The Mailman decides to answer some of the most common questions about Santa Claus, and tells us about a small baby named Kris (Mickey Rooney) who was left on the doorstep of the Kringle family (toymakers). When Kris grew up, he wanted to deliver toys to the children of Sombertown. But its Burgermeister (Herr Meisterburger) is too mean to let that happen. And to make things worse, there's an evil wizard named Winter the Warlock who lives between the Kringles and Sombertown, but Kris manages to melt Winter's heart (as well as the comely schoolteacher's) and deliver his toys.

It explains how Santa Claus got his name, how reindeers came to fly, why elves make toys, why toys are put in stockings, why Santa comes down the chimney, why presents are found in the morning, why Santa only comes once a year, how Santa met Mrs Claus, how Santa knows if you're naughty or nice, and all sorts of other Christmas questions!!!!

And it has the best song lyrics EVER:

  1. Just put one foot in front of the other.... and soon you'll be walking across the floor. Just put one foot in front of the other... and soon you'll be walking out the door!

  2. It's a difficult responsibility.... to accept from the number one lawmaker me....Let it known across the land from sea to sea...That there'll be no toymakers to the king.

  3. You better watch out.. you better not cry... you better not pout, I'm telling you why... Santa Claus is coming to town!

And great quotes...

Kris Kringle: You better watch out. You better not cry, you better not pout. Children: Why? Kris Kringle: I'm telling you why. Because I came to town.

Jessica: If the Burgermeister saw you, we would all be in real danger! Kris Kringle: In danger from toys?

Burgermeister Meisterburger: You brats are under arrest. Kris Kringle: Wait don't arrest those children. It was my fault I gave them the toys. Burgermeister Meisterburger: YOU? How dare you! You are obviously a nonconformist and a rebel! Kris Kringle: Have a yo-yo. Burgermeister Meisterburger: [gasps and chokes] A yoooooo-yoooooooooo? I love yo-yos. I used to be able to do all kinds of tricks. Ah-wheeeee [laughing] Grimsby: Excuse me sir, but you're breaking your own law. Burgermeister Meisterburger: [gasps and chokes] Ooooooouuuuuuu, I've been bamboozled!

And of course, Winter the Warlock's heart is melted when Kris Kringle gives him a choo choo train.

It's sweet, fun, warm and fuzzy. This is the one show that always puts me in the holiday spirit. If you haven't seen it -- watch it!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Working in a Winter Wonderland

I work for a technology company.
We sell our own communications technologies.
We sell other companies' technologies.
We're all about connecting people with their world, where ever they live or work, and doing it better than anyone else.

Connectivity is awesome. We can communicate over wired phones, cellular, email, videoconferencing, web chat, web video, and Internet phone services.

So why was I risking my life on the roads during a severe winter storm today??

To meet with people from Cisco and AT&T face-to-face.
Three people drove from Chicago to Madison.
One came from Milwaukee, and another from Minneapolis.
Compared to their experiences, my commute from Waunakee was short.

But why did ANYONE slip, slide, risk their lives, and grip their steering wheels with white knuckles today??

We asked the meeting organizer yesterday if the meeting was "still on" for today, and she made the decision to continue. Thus, we all drove. Funny that she called her mom from the road to say good-bye because she really thought she would die in a crash.

We have the technology.
We should USE it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good and Evil Combined in One

People have told me that I am....
  • an annoying little shit
  • a bitch
  • mean spirited
  • cold and heartless
  • insensitive
  • stupid
  • not listening
  • weak

The same people have told me that I am...

  • patient
  • loving
  • kind and compassionate
  • giving
  • taking care of everyone but myself
  • intelligent
  • a person with a memory like an elephant
  • incredibly strong

I think there is truth in all of it. People are a dichotomy of good and evil, depending upon the day, moment or situation. My goal is to be more good than evil in this lifetime. Most days, I think I'm succeeding... but other days, I feel like a crabby, evil witch.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Snow, snow, and more snow

The local TV station is forecasting snow for five of the next seven days. Yuck!

I couldn't get the snowblower started yesterday.
I better make sure the hubby fixes it before he flies off to work on Monday.
My back hurts.

Snow is pretty when it's fresh.
Depressing and gray when it's old.
Always cold, wet, and unpleasant to be with outside.
I even hated playing in snow when I was a kid.

The only good thing about snow is the joy of using my super duper snowblower. (Mine is big. It makes me feel strong and oh so powerful! :)

PS: Look at the time stamp. Yes, I'm at work. Very bored during a customer demo, thus the boring post.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My new Easy Bake Oven

Cranberries broke my refrigerator.

*Someone* dropped a bowl of cranberries which bounced against the interior door of the refrigerator before landing in a large red puddle on my new floor. If you break off a little itty bitty plastic piece on the door, your refrigerator lights stay on even when the door is closed.

Supposedly, the four interior light bulbs generate enough heat to make the refrigerator over 80 degrees inside. Seems implausible.

The repair guy probably had no clue what really broke down. He replaced the entire control panel (basically the refrig's motherboard) too.

Basically, my refrigerator became a very large Easy Bake Oven. I should've baked chocolate cake.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thankful for Refrigeration

Yes, that's right.... REFRIGERATION. :)

I could blog about the important things in life that I'm thankful for - family, friends, health, God, work, etc. But it seems rather expected.

This year, I'm especially thankful for refrigeration. You don't know what you've got til it's gone, Baby.

We had 13 people over for Thanksgiving dinner, another 9 for Friday leftovers, and kids staying for the entire weekend. I cooked over 40 lbs. of turkey (2 large birds), 128 homemade yeast dinner rolls, four pies, and all the trimmings. It was delicious. Right after the Thanksgiving dishes were cleaned, my refrigerator decided to vex me and broke down. Not only did it stop working, but it began to blow hot air throughout the inside of the unit. The inside of the refrigerator was over 80 degrees! We unplugged it to avoid a house fire.

My new screen porch became our walk-in refrigerator.... until it snowed on Sunday. Then it became a big, wet mess. One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers... but not when they freeze on the screen porch. Apple and pumpkin pies do not freeze and thaw well - they just get soggy.

BTW, it was hilarious how often people opened the refrigerator door just to find it empty. We all did it out of habit, and then complained.

I'm finishing my fifth day without refrigeration.
I miss it.
I want it back.
I'm thankful American TV is coming to fix it today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Prep

18 cups of flour makes 128 dinner rolls. I know this because I quadrupled the Betty Crocker recipe today. I've been kneading and rolling and shaping dinner rolls for 8 hours.

Meanwhile, I've made four pies (2 pumpkin, and 2 dutch apple), pistachio fluff, and roasted a 20 pound turkey. I've also minced onions and celery in preparation for tomorrow's big event.

I'm tired of dough. 128 rolls sounds like a lot... but it's really not. 16 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner and another 9 on Friday for "leftovers" will eat a lot of rolls. I hope I have a few leftover for myself on Saturday or Sunday! :)

Tomorrow, I will roast a second 20 pound turkey and make a dinner with all of the fixings. (Dressing, stuffing, veggies, mashed potatoes, gravy, yum!)

Three solid days of cooking is fun, but also exhausting! My fingers and shoulders feel the work of kneading and rolling and kneading and rolling and kneading and rolling.... :)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kangaroos at Wal-Mart

My son works at Subway within a Super Wal-Mart store. One day a couple comes into Subway, with a "baby" swaddled in blankets. As they order sandwiches, a big tail flops out of the blankets. Turns out it was really a baby kangaroo! This story has become a classic in our family as we laugh about the insane things you may see at Wal-Mart stores.

But the saga continues....

The couple also has a disabled goat, "Edward", which can't walk.
Both the Roo and Goat wear "designer diapers"...
And the Roo ("Jack" if you're close) sleeps with the woman every night...
And they take their disabled goat and kangaroo with them on vacation...

Their RV broke down in while on vacation in Florida, and the story made the Milwaukee news! Thank Goodness the Red Cross came to their aid with temporary motel shelter for the couple and their pets. (Really, I can't make this stuff up...)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Funny post on Obama's use of complete sentences

The post begins...
In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.
Read the short post here:

Thank you, Andy Borowitz for making me smile this morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eye Candy

People released their list of the Sexiest Men Alive. Topping the list was Hugh Jackman...

At 6 ft. 2 in., all scruff and biceps, Hugh Jackman looms large in the epic Australia, which he says kept him "dirty 95 percent of the time" and left people stammering, "Oh ... my ... God," according to costar Nicole Kidman, who adds, "Women's jaws drop when Hugh walks into a room."

People posted a video showcasing 100 of the most sexiest me alive here:,,20237714_20237719_20238484,00.html

Enjoy ladies, Enjoy.

Meanwhile, I'm just happy and thankful to call People Magazine's 101st sexiest man alive my husband. (Love ya Toad! BTW, I'd rank you #1!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas already?

Flipping through the radio stations today, I stumbled upon a station playing ALL CHRISTMAS music. Ahem -- it's only November 15th!!!

It's too soon... way too soon.

UPDATE: TBS is showing "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on TV right now!! WAAAAAYYYY TOO EARLY!!! I'm outraged. TV Christmas specials shouldn't begin until Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Work Sucks

Why do large corporations decide to "downsize", "right size", "reorganize", or honestly "lay off" people right before the holidays? Would it be so hard to do this in September instead of December?? I mean, REALLY?? Would it??

I don't want to tell people that their jobs are gone, especially those with young families. I certainly don't want to tell people to look for other work at a time when our country is facing the worst economic times since the Great Depression.

Don't tell me "this is why you are paid the big bucks". I'm not. Really, I'm NOT. I make less than most of my employees.

And it's hard to be strong and optimistic when my job is also likely on the chopping block.

My main mantras to get me through this stressful time:

  • Work is Work. If it was meant to be fun it wouldn't be spelled W-O-R-K.
  • That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
  • Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to respond.

Just keep repeating these three phrases over and over and over and over and over and over and over again....

Meanwhile, for those that know me... please be patient with me. This is incredibly hard for me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Dawn

I watched the sunrise this morning. It was another early day taking my husband to the airport. You can't watch a beautiful sunrise without feeling hope, optimism, and a sense of peace. It was a fitting morning to usher in a new day in American politics.

When I returned home, I watched Obama's victory speech online. It was eloquent, stirring, beautiful, and gracious. His words and delivery were all that we've come to expect from this man. But let us not forget that he is just a man.... A single solitary man that cannot change our nation by himself. His victory was the result of millions working together for a common cause. I hope that all of us that fought to elect Obama will continue to work even harder to bring about the change we really need in this country. It's not over folks, it's merely the chance to begin working for the change we want.

I can't say it any better than Barack did himself last night. Here is the excerpt that spoke to me loudly, and the part of his speech that isn't getting any media attention this morning.

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too. "

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Adam - 7th hour junior year of HS

This is why America lags behind other nations in education. My son attends a so-called "good school", a college prep school called Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, WI. I stumbled across this video on YouTube of he and his friends spending 7th hour together. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain Education policy = vouchers

McCain tried to "blast" Obama with this quote: "Because there's not enough vouchers; therefore, we shouldn't do it, even though it's working. I got it. "

NO, McCAIN. We shouldn't rely solely on the voucher system to improve our educational system because ALL CHILDREN DESERVE A GOOD EDUCATION, NOT JUST THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO RECEIVE A STINKIN' VOUCHER!!!!

Economists on the Economy

A survey of academic economists by The Economist finds the majority—at times by overwhelming margins—believe Mr Obama has the superior economic plan, a firmer grasp of economics and will appoint better economic advisers. Eighty per cent of respondents and no fewer than 71% of those who do not cleave to either main party say Mr Obama has a better grasp of economics.

See the article and survey results here:

If you needed medical advice, would you ask a doctor or an accountant? We need economic expertise, so shouldn't this survey offer voters some direction?

Debate watchin'

Yup, that's watchin' without the "g". I'm going to drop all of my G's in an attempt to understand McCain and whatever planet he is livin' on.

Do I care about "Joe the Plumber"? (Dig deep, Fern... do you care about this fellow human being in Ohio? Can I bring myself to feel sorry for him?) Nope. No, I don't. If he makes over $250,000 a year, he is certainly able to muddle through these economic times.

Do I care that McCain feels offended by someone's criticism of his campaign? (Note: It wasn't Obama's criticism...) Nope.... no, I don't. Especially when Palin can stand silently by while her supporters yell "Kill Him" when Obama's name is spoken. McCain and Palin are sowing seeds of hatred and fear in an attempt to win this campaign.

McCain looks rigid, angry, and desperate. Obama appears knowledgeable, calm, and collected. I love watchin' McCain's facial expressions while Obama is speakin'. It's almost like you can read his mind "don't get angry... don't get angry... I can't believe I'm here with this young whippersnapper... this should have been a slam dunk. don't get angry. why am I strugglin' against this newbie? don't get angry. Keep my face frozen... don't let my feelings show. what should i say next??"

I feel like I'm eavesdroppin' on a private conversation between Joe the Plumber and the candidates. Will you please stop talkin' directly to Joe and address the rest of us?

Diet coke rant

When did the price of Diet Coke skyrocket? A case was selling for $7.99 in the grocery store today. I'm a Coke fan. Don't try to give me Pepsi - it's NOT the same. But at these prices I actually looked for an alternative. Diet Pepsi was selling for $3.69 a 12-pack, and that was On Sale! What happened to sales where you could buy two 12-packs for $5.50 or $6??? I may have to give up my vice of cold, sweet tasting caffeine. Maybe I'll have to be like Natalie and drink tea. yuck!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Anne Kilkenny: Bad things happen when good people stay silent

Anne Kilkenny is a homemaker and resident of Wasilla, Alaska. She has known Sarah Palin and her family for many years and attended 99% of the city council meetings while Palin was mayor. She writes an open letter to the public about Palin and her effect on Alaska. I hope you take the time to read it. (And yes, this was verified as a real letter from Anne by, the New York Times, and other sources.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Very scary and sad

My 401K return this year is -36.7%.
I've lost over $22,000 in the last nine days.
I can't even bring myself to write the amount of money I've lost this year.
I may never be able to retire now.
Gone are the dreams of leaving my current job in 10 more years and finding a job I may enjoy.
I just want to cry.... and scream at the incompetent fools in Washington that let this happen.

I'm trying to stay positive and think of this only as a "paper loss"... that I really don't lose the money until I cash it in. But it's very very difficult to do...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cheapest gas in the whole US of A

Today I had the privilege of driving to Kenosha to see customers. In case you've never been there, Kenosha is a dirty hole of a city. Yuck. Given the early hour, I chose to have my breakfast in transit. A wonderful Kashi granola bar with chocolate chips - yum!

Do you know what happens when you drop a chocolate chip on a heated leather seat? It melts. And it sticks to your pants if you have the misfortune of sitting on it.

Do you know what melted chocolate looks like stuck to your bottom?? Well, DO you? It looks like you didn't make it to the bathroom in time and soiled yourself. What a wonderful way to see customers! (It wouldn't come off cleanly -- the stain just got bigger the more I tried to clean my pants.) And, yes... I just had them dry cleaned. A bad start to the work day.

But later a rainbow appeared. Kenosha has the CHEAPEST GAS IN THE ENTIRE USA! I paid only $3.19 per gallon!! Woo Hoo!!! My day is looking brighter... despite looking like I crapped my pants.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Palin's interview with Katie Couric

She may be able to help herself if she just took a breath before she spoke!! It seems like she is trying too hard to prove that she knows the answer to these questions, so she just says anything that comes into her head immediately without thinking. Say nothing, but intersperse some buzz words and maybe you'll look OK? Is that the Republican plan??? My goodness... how many incomplete sentences can one person utter in a mere five minutes???

This is the portion of the interview focused on our economy and the impending bailout package...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

9/11 Changed Everything

I know this post is "late" from a calendar perspective. I recently ran across a blog by Genie Maples, the artist of some of the abstract paintings in our house. I've linked her to my page because she shares her political views and emotions so very eloquently. She's recently posted a great deal of information about our current financial crisis, and I appreciate that she links to her reference sources. Here is her post from 9/11/08:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembrance and honor

This morning, I woke with an instant awareness of the date (rarely happens) and the sentence in my head, "9/11 changed everything."

That sentiment has always bothered me. It's repeated over and over as a justification for the intentional erosion of the foundations that this wonder of a country was built upon: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the brilliant and evolved ideas, principles, hopes, and dreams of the founding fathers (and mothers). Their insistence that a more perfect union should at least be attempted. Their reasoned audacity to believe that this union was possible, that this ideal which had not even yet been achieved was worth dying for, worth risking everything.

If 9/11 had changed everything, the goals of the terrorists would have been achieved. What did they want but the destruction of the ideal that America represents? The goal was the destruction of this nation by the means of financial ruin brought about by the continuing reverberations of terror.

I saw the Towers fall again, graphic footage broadcast on TV at a political event, thrust at me without warning the form of a video montage. An intentional reverberation.

And I thought, what an obscenely perfect image of the goal of the terrorists that visual was. A strike to the heart of this nation, right at the spot that would cause the internal beams we assumed were impervious to buckle, leaving this nation to collapse under the weight of its own greatness, for everything that we and those who have come before us have built floor by floor with hope and faith and honor and intellect and sweat and blood and tears and love... to bring that Great Experiment in an instant to dust, with the floor beneath our feet literally falling away. It was a horrific image to see again, and it was a horrific metaphor to follow through to conclusion.

I traveled to Ground Zero after the rescue efforts were complete, but when there were still flames rising from below, when the dust of destruction and human flesh was still in the air. So many people did. Because we wanted to know. We wanted to witness the reality. We wanted to mark what had happened. We wanted to honor and remember.

I choose to honor by continuing to hold to the foundation, to have faith that it has not buckled, that the greatness of this nation is not something that can be destroyed by a physical act. By rejecting the assertion that the event of 9/11 changed everything. It did not, unless we as a nation turn away from the ideals that made us great. Unless we assist in that destruction.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, we were one nation, in a way that we have not been in my lifetime. Since then the cry of 9/11 has been used to chip away at the structure and ideals that define us, the foundation that was still standing on 9/12.

Someone I love suggested that I delete political or controversial references from my blog because it might cost me sales. This economy has hit all but a few in this country hard. I don't think speaking what I believe will cost me financially, but if it were to, the future of this nation matters more to me than holding on to the immediate tenuous financial security my little family is trying to protect. There is something greater, not out there somewhere in the ether, but beneath our very feet. The ideals the Founding Fathers wrote about so eloquently, the foundation they laid for us to build upon are not some pie-in-the-sky dream I can brush away. It is the ground my family walks on. If we lose our house, there is the possibility of building another. If we lose the ground under our feet, if we lose the essential liberties and ideals that are this nation, what will we have?

9/11 did not change everything. Not yet.

I love this country. So I speak. I remember. I honor what is best about us. And I have faith that what is solid and real and great still stands. I mourn. I remember. And I hold to what still stands. So far.

The Luxury of Dishes

I'm 43 years old (in a few more days..) and I've NEVER spent money on a set of dishes. That's right - NEVER. My first set of dishes were hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law. My second set of tableware were the kind you got free at the grocery store -- the "dish of the week" ceramic ones with strawberries on them. (Received every week for a year at Piggly Wiggly in Juneau WI.) My third set were used from a restaurant and donated to a group home that couldn't use them. And my fourth set were purchased by my second husband's ex-wife! (They came with him as part of the marriage. But he got my snowblower and lawnmower! :)

Was it frivolous for me to buy a new set of beautiful tableware? Probably. Do I love the way they look and take pleasure in my little luxury? Absolutely!!!!! :)

Meet "SengWare". They are beautiful, colorful, and sturdy. Dishwasher and microwave safe -- which is difficult to find in pretty plates. I bought the light blue ("Heaven"), dark blue ("Blueberry") , red ("Pimento"), and green ("Pistachio") ones. Bright contemporary colors that look great on my table or in my glass front cabinets!! PS: I bought the square plates, not round. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Color Test

OK, I took the Color Test that Natalie wrote about in her blog. Tell me if you think it accurately described me:

Best Occupational Category


Key Words:Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

ORGANIZER CAREERS: Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.

ORGANIZER WORKPLACES: Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.
Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

2nd Best Occupational Category


Key Words:Witty, Competitive, Sociable, Talkative, Ambitious, Argumentative, and Aggressive
These enterprising types sell, persuade, and lead others. Positions of leadership, power, and status are usually their ultimate goal. Persuasive people like to take financial and interpersonal risks and to participate in competitive activities. They enjoy working with others inside organizations to accomplish goals and achieve economic success.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Reformed Maverick

I used to like John McCain, but I can't get behind him in this election. Now I know why! He's not the same guy as evidenced by this humerous video clip.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Daily Show on McCain & Palin

I didn't make this stuff up!!! But I was very VERY scared after listening to Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson. Wow, and she is just one stroke away from the presidency! And really -- isn't McCain close to death compared to Obama anyway???!!!

Colbert Report show responds to Palin as VP

SNL Palin and Hillary -- Hilarious!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I HATE this hotel

You all know I'm living in a crappy hotel until our house construction is done. Along with the cigarette smelling, carpet burn holes, noisy door slamming neighbors and generally unclean conditions, I find this note under my door at 9:30pm when I return from a long day at work:

"Attention: The City of Madison will be shutting off the water on Tuesday, August 26th from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. due to a water main break. We apologize for any inconveniences."

After a llooooonnnngggg day of work, I wanted to sleep in and report to my office at about 9am tomorrow. But, no! I need to get up early to partake in a simple shower. Drat.

UPDATE: I decided to work from home for the rest of the day, so I'm back the hotel at 11:20AM. There is STILL no water. It's odd that the housekeeping crew is "cleaning" the rooms on my floor. How do you clean without water? Eewww.

Angry and frustrated

Why can't people just do their jobs? Why do adult men need to be babysat and nagged to do what they are paid to do?? (I'm not being sexist. I only have male employees at the moment.)

Sales people are paid to SELL. Sell anything, I don't care what! But don't tell me at the beginning of the month that you will sell $50,000 of monthly contracts and only show up at month end with $4,000. That's crap. And it's double crap when I ask what is pending for sale, and the entire team is SILENT. Why do you think you should still have a job?? Really, why shouldn't I just fire your collective asses??

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Priceless?? I'm not so sure.

Summer of 2008...

# of golf rounds = zero
# of times hiking = zilch
# of boating excursions = nada
# of backyard barbeques = none
# of trips to Home Depot = too many to count
Time spent building the new house = Priceless??
I'm fairly sure there IS a price, and it's not pretty....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mom's comfort food

I love my mom. She is totally awesome. She made me comfort food tonight. That's right - round steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, and brownies. It was soooooo good! I've been living in a crappy hotel for the past four weeks. So, I've been eating out or microwaving food. My mommy loves me so much she cooked just to pamper me! She even bought me a can opener as a gift! Suddenly, the number of my microwavable food options exploded! Yea Mom!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ok, so a guy cheated on his wife -- is this NEWS???

Fifty percent of married men cheat on their wives. Sad, but true.

So, John Edwards had an affair in 2006 and later confessed to his wife. She forgave him. Whoopee -- is this really news???

John Edwards isn't a candidate for president... or even a candidate for vice prez. Why do we care?

John McCain cheated on his wife... with Cindy. He cheated on his first wife when he was 40 (eons ago..) even after she had a terrible car accident and required 18 (yes EIGHTEEN) surgeries. He left her for Cindy -- a younger and MUCH RICHER woman. (She's a beer baroness you know)

The American media reports ad nauseum about John Edwards (who is a mere civilian -not an elected official or a candidate for president). Why don't they report about McCain's "worst" philandering past??? Me thinks the media likes McCain...

Georgia & Russia - a 3 AM moment


"When the North Caucasus slid into war Thursday night, it presented John McCain and Barack Obama with a true “3 a.m. moment,” and their responses to the crisis suggested dramatic differences in how each candidate, as president, would lead America in moments of international crisis.

While Obama offered a response largely in line with statements issued by democratically elected world leaders, including President Bush, first calling on both sides to negotiate, John McCain took a remarkably — and uniquely — more aggressive stance, siding clearly with Georgia’s pro-Western leaders and placing the blame for the conflict entirely on Russia. The abrupt crisis in an obscure hotspot had the features of the real foreign policy situations presidents face — not the clean hypotheticals of candidates’ white papers and debating points."

See the whole story here...

Bottom line for me: Obama yields more restraint and has more mainline views. McCain is a war-monger.

And do you realize that Georgia started the conflict by invading the now sovereign South Ossetian capital as Russia’s powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin headed to Beijing for the Olympics?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

McCain encourages his wife to enter topless contest

John McCain visited Sturgis, SD today. If you aren't familiar with Sturgis... it's a wild biker weekend full of drunken debauchery.

Indeed, McCain felt so comfortable at the event that he even volunteered his wife for the rally’s traditional beauty pageant, an infamously debauched event that’s been known to feature topless women.

“I encouraged Cindy to compete,” McCain said to cheers. “I told her with a little luck she could be the only woman ever to serve as first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip.”

Now, I'm OK with people wanting to be topless... just don't make others view it unless they are willing. But what would the media have done if Obama had offered up his wife for the event?? Seems like a media double-standard to me..

Monday, August 4, 2008

The McCain Low Road

I'm sick of John McCain and his juvenile tactics. I know that political campaigns get ugly and nasty, but I remember both Obama and McCain vowed to run honest, positive campaigns free of mud-slinging. So far my opinion is that McCain is rolling around in the pigsty. If I were Obama, I'd probably lower myself to those standards and fight back... but Obama must be a better person than I.

1. McCain's "Celebrity" commercial. The basic premise is that Obama is similar to Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears... saying he's "popular", but he can't lead. Bull. Malarky.

2. McCain's "The One" commercial running all over the Internet. If you haven't seen it, it should anger you when you do. It casts Obama as the Messiah and the coming of The Rapture. The video even has clips from "The Ten Commandments" comparing Obama to Moses. The message is clear -- mocking Obama as a Messiah, and not a realistic serious politician.

3. The latest McCain stunt is to hand out tire gauges labeled "Obama Energy Plan". McCain claims that Obama's total energy plan is to have people properly inflate their tires. Total Crap.

What really bothers me is that people hear false statements, and they believe it. The average American is not interested in politics, and they don't take the time to research the facts. People form opinions based upon soundbytes, and these soundbytes are completely and utterly false.

Lift yourself out of the gutter, McCain, and have a real discussion about the issues facing us. Energy. Economy. Jobs. Healthcare. Ending the war in Iraq. Getting Bin Laden. Restoring our world relationships. Education. Securing our nation.
We don't need to have our time wasted with sensationalist false attacks. I expected better of you.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tourist in your own town

Lee and I went to Eau Claire to visit Cassie this weekend. It was so good to see her! We made Cassie a tourist in her own home town. We toured the Leinenkugel's Brewery on Saturday. With only 47 employees, they brew ALL of the Leinie's brews sold throughout the country right in Chippewa Falls, WI. It was pretty interesting, but the best part was sampling the brews.

On Saturday night, we took Cassie and Chris to Fanny Hill Theatre. The dinner theatre was playing "Forever Plaid", a funny, light hearted musical comedy about a 50's group that died, but were able to perform one last time for us. Food was remarkably VERY good. They even had our favorite wine.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things Younger than John McCain

Ok, I'm publishing this at the risk of being ageist...
I stumbled on a new website

Did you know that the following things are YOUNGER than John McCain?

1. duct tape
2. the LP record
3. York Peppermint Patty
4. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
5. the margarita
6. the flexible drinking straw
7. the Golden Gate Bridge
8. Mount Rushmore
9. McDonald's
10. Bugs Bunny
11. the Hindenburg disaster
12. polyester
13. the shopping cart
14. the automatic transmission (car)

And the list goes on... these were just a few that surprised me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Natalie!

Today's post is dedicated to our eldest daughter, Natalie, in honor of her birthday! Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!
D. & Michelle
Age 2:
College graduation...Halloween fun...Superstar!
Laughing at the family..

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quest for a healthy lifestyle

I need to lead a healthier lifestyle.
I need to eat better and workout on a regular basis -- not just for weight control, but for overall good health.
The two hurdles are that I just don't enjoy exercise. At all. And I love food. I mean food is one of life's greatest joys. I love it that much.

I have oodles of excuses for not doing it. Everyone does. But no more excuses for me!

Today, I begin documenting my progress. It will cause me to be accountable to myself if I write it down.

My goals:
1. Work out 30-60 minutes at least three times each week.
2. No more eating doughnuts. (The hotel we're staying at has a small breakfast buffet, with doughnuts.)
3. Eat a minimum of three servings of fruit or veggies every day.
4. Three days each week without red meat.

My goals aren't huge... I'm purposely setting small goals on my eating, because that will be the hardest for me to change. After 4 weeks, I hope to set higher ones.

(BTW, I rode over 12 miles on the stationary bike yesterday.... I've begun! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

How do you "forget" to pay your taxes?

Per Newsweek's article, the McCain's haven't paid real estate taxes on a condo they own in San Diego county, CA for over three years. They claim their trust company never received a bill, so they didn't pay. Would that work for me, an average citizen? The odd thing about the article is the amount of taxes owed. In San Diego county, your taxes are a MINIMUM of 1% of the value of the property. Why is the property so undervalued on the books?? Seems a little fishy to me, John and Cindy...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Elvis LIVES!

Elvis lives, baby.
And right here in Dane county, Wisconsin!
Woo Hoo!!

We went to see an Elvis "Tribute Artist" (AKA impersonator) at a free concert in Black Earth, Wisconsin. I was skeptical. I love Elvis Presley's work, and I've never heard any one come close to sounding like him. I HATE it when someone butchers the King's songs.

I was pleasantly surprised by Tony Rocker and the Comeback Special. He hit the low notes perfectly! His rendition of American Trilogy was superb. If you closed your eyes, it could have been The King himself singing that song. Stage show was a bit lame -- too much of the judo moves. But the fans were freakin' hilarious!! Lots of blue haired women with scarves around their necks screaming for Tony to come touch their hand and kiss them.

My mom has always been a huge Elvis fan. She agreed that this guy was good... but "he certainly doesn't have Elvis' butt!" (He is a tad scrawny. :) Check Tony Rocker out.... he's playing all over Wisconsin, including the State Fair, and his songs are available for downloading on iTunes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

End of an era, beginning of a new one

Good-bye Oregon. We'll miss our great oak tree.

On Friday, we loaded up four storage units with all of our worldly belongings and moved to a small hotel. On Saturday, we cleaned the old house and our storage units were put into warehousing space. As of Monday morning, we were officially "homeless". We sold the Oregon house and are waiting for the new home construction to be completed.

Although neither of us liked the floor plan of the old house, it does hold our memories. This was the house where our children went through adolescence. (Sometimes angry, moody teenage times... and sometimes very sweet and heartwarming times. :) Saying good-bye is bittersweet. We'll always hold the memories of the good times near, but are also looking forward to embarking on life's next phase and journey.

So long, good friend. Thanks for the memories....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama on Father's Day

Take a listen to Barack Obama's speech on Father's Day...

The change we need is not just going to come from government, but from each and every one of us. We need individual responsibility, parents that take responsibility for their children.

I love his one quote: "Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." Go Barack Go!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gates vs. GM

My mom sent this email to me and I couldn't help sharing....

Gates vs. GM

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, 'If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........Twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.I love the next one!!!

7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Stormy weather

I enjoyed watching the storms this weekend, listening to the thunder and lightening. Most of my weekends are spent running around picking out stuff for the new house, seeing friends and family. With the severe storms, we spent a lot of time at home this weekend. It was very relaxing lounging around - I even took a nap! And I got a lot of work from the office done too...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Crappy Car

On occasion I've been told that I'm full of crap, but today, I literally was.

My misfortune with vehicles continues. I was peacefully driving my car 60 mph down the Beltline in the right lane, just 1/2 mile before my exit. Suddenly, the SUV in front of me swerved sharply to the left revealing what looked to be a large patch of mud covering the entire right lane for several yards. I quickly checked my blindspot -- drat, couldn't switch lanes because a car was hovering right behind my bumper in the middle lane. Looked behind, but couldn't slow down quickly because another car is right behind me. I had to drive through it. It was so deep, that it was slippery. Then the wave of stench hit me! That's right -- it was CRAP. A manure truck must have had a mishap on the Beltline.

I literally had to bunch up my shirt and hold it over my face to avoid gagging and vomiting until I could get to the nearest car wash. Two super deluxe washes (with underbody flush) later, my car still stinks. I need a shower - I feel like my hair and skin have absorbed the stench.

I'll chalk this up to the craptastic living that you can only find in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

McCain the Copy-Cat

What the F%@K?? Does McCain have one iota of originality??

Barack Obama's presidential campaign has been using the slogan "Change We Can Believe In" since he launched his bid. His rallies began and still use a chant of "Yes We Can". These basic slogans never changed based upon the fleeting public opinion or sound bite media coverage.

Hillary Clinton used slogans of "Hillary Clinton for President", then "Ready on Day One", and finally "Solutions for America". Her rallies even changed their chanting to "Yes She Will".

Then there is good 'ol John McCain, launching his campaign with the slogan of "Time for a Real Hero", which was quickly changed to "Ready From Day One" due to anti-war sentiment. Now, he had the audacity to break out a new mantra of "A Leader We Can Believe In". He's jumped onto the "change" bandwagon and is claiming to be the REAL candidate of change... the right change, not the wrong change. WTF?? I guess he has proven he can change one word of an opponent's slogan and call it his own.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The "Popular Vote"

Last year, Hillary Clinton's team adamantly stated "its about delegates, not the number of states, not the popular vote, not how many caucuses you win... it's about getting the right number of delegates". Hmmm, really?? Now, it seems the Hillary camp is all about asserting the idea that she should be the democratic nominee because she has "won the popular vote". When you look under the covers, Camp Hillary doesn't quite count all of the votes in her calculation of the "popular vote".. including seven primaries! Below is a copy of Rachel Maddow's recent blog... (She can be found on 92.1 FM in Madison or at

I'm so TIRED of our politicians and media skewing information so that the mass population is kept uninformed and confused...

Maddow: Popular Vote
By Rachel Maddow

One of the potential outcomes from yesterday's Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting was that there would be doubt cast on the "magic number" of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. That didn't happen. There is an agreed-upon magic number: 2118.

If there hadn't been a new agreed-upon magic number after yesterday's meeting, the Clinton campaign could argue that she should stay in because no one has clinched the nomination.
Now that there is an agreed-upon magic number, will Clinton agree to leave the race after Obama reaches that magic number?


Clinton adviser Harold Ickes on Meet the Press this morning would not agree that if Obama achieves 2118 delegates, Clinton will concede. He said instead that he does not believe that Obama will achieve that milestone (I don't believe in smaller-than-standard spare tires, but apparently they do exist).

Now the campaign has unveiled their new ad -- about how she's winning the popular vote.
I'm at MSNBC and am having trouble with html here -- the link to the ad is here:

The Clinton Campaign spokespeople are in lockstep explaining how Clinton's winning the nomination because she's winning the popular vote. They're apparently going to keep claiming that even after Obama reaches 2118 delegates.

Here's my question.
If a popular vote victory is going to be considered important enough that it precludes a concession from Clinton even after Obama apparently clinches the nomination (by winning 2118 delegates)... then, um, I think I have to raise an uncomfortable fact about how the "popular vote" is being tallied.

Chuck Todd just explained on MSNBC that the tally being used by the Clinton campaign to explain its popular vote victory... does not include:


In addition, the popular vote tally only includes estimates of the vote total in:


For the record, Obama won six of those seven contests (Clinton won the Nevada caucuses).

How on earth can you justify a popular vote "victory" that includes vote tallies from Michigan, but not six within-the-rules, legal contests that Obama won?

I think it's hoopty to accept the popular vote as ar elevant primary measurement anyway -- but to buy the *tally* that doesn't count six contests that Obama won? That's honestly bizarre.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I've driven over ten hours in the past three days. Few radio stations transmit 100 miles north of Madison. My choices included ministry sermons, country music, and the farm report. I had lots of time to think about...

1) Women hate to see the first sign of wrinkles around their eyes. After 40, you realize how much you HATE your NECK. (Eyes are far more prettier than necks!) Plastic surgeons can't fix your neck without a full facelift! (Note to the youngsters: Use a moisturizer with sunscreen on your neck EVERY SINGLE day!)

2) Why does bread remain fresh a LOT longer now than it did five years ago? Really - do you remember when even Wonder Bread turned into a science project after 2 weeks... but now almost all bread lasts for 3-4 weeks in my pantry?

3) Why is the cold water in the bathroom so much colder than the water in the kitchen?

4) I wish I had worn a bikini more when I was younger. After 40, it's hard... and you mourn the body you had at 25 and 30. I wish I wore a bikini for the full five years between 25 and 30 (yes, even in the house during the winter).

5) Why do we have an interstate highway in Hawaii? What state does it connect to?

6) I watched interviews of West Virginia voters last week. People said they didn't vote for Barack Obama because (1) he was of a different race and that "worried" them; (2) he was a "muslim"; and (3) They had enough "of Hussein".. Senator Obama's middle name. I am amazed at the small mindedness of rural West Virginia voters. Kentucky voters yielded similar results... WOW, America is still very much a redneck country. (BTW, Obama is a CHRISTIAN, not that it should really matter.)

7) Who moved my CHEESE? (See motivational book of same name by Dr. Spencer Johnson). Bottom line: We all deal with change in different ways. The "cheese" is our desire... and how we find it differs in the way we tackle (or don't tackle) change.

8) What do people see in Bleu Cheese? It sucks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Car + Me = Trouble

It's a bad week for automobiles. At least for automobiles and ME.

Sunday, I was a tool. I'll admit it. I was totally at fault and a tool. I was driving on "autopilot", and momentarily looked down to plug in my cell phone. BOOM! I hit the shoulder, over-corrected, and spun out BADLY. I ended up in the median of a 4-lane highway, putting large ruts in the grass. It's amazing I didn't roll over actually. Very, very, VERY lucky there wasn't a car in the left lane, or I would have been severely injured or dead.

Needless to say, I've been EXTREMELY careful with my driving ever since. Today, I drove to Eau Claire to see Cassie and meet one of my new employees. I was driving along, minding my own business when a county sheriff pulled me over. (BTW, I'm not a fan of Jackson County anymore..) Evidently, it's illegal to drive with only one license plate in Wisconsin. Now, we've had this truck for at least four years. And it's only ever had a rear plate. The auto dealer never installed the front plate. When asked in the past, my husband insisted that we only need a rear plate. Well, let me tell you... the Jackson County Sheriff Dept was adamant that both front and rear plates must be displayed on Wisconsin vehicles at all times. Drat. And, I was speeding... 73 in a 65 mph zone. Double Drat. The sheriff gave me a warning on both counts. Yea! I guess Jackson County isn't so bad after all....

Still a bad week for me and cars. Pray for me - I drive to Milwaukee tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

50 Miles in 3 Days - MS Challenge Walk

When the doctor told us last month that Ashley had MS, I vowed to complete the MS Challenge Walk in Door County, WI this October. Participants walk 50 miles in three days and pledge to raise a minimum of $1,500 in donations that help to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

One of my friends and coworkers asked me today about the event. Mary keeps telling me that we have to "train" for this walk. Hmmmm.... what did I get myself into? Well, the MS web site lays out a specific 18 week training program for the Challenge Walk. I begin my training today!

I found another walker online today. Check out her blog with a link to a video of last year's Challenge Walk in Southern California.

1 day down... 125 more to go.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Movie

Dialog I recently heard on an old 1940's movie of two sisters talking:
"I don’t know what you expect from a man. You know there’s a limit to how entertaining they can be."

"Well, they ought to be able to talk a little. Simple sentences."

"You told me he was good looking and danced beautifully. That’s all a woman’s entitled to. You can always read a good book."

"Dear little sister, go wash your mind with soap."

Today's scripts just don't compare with those written for Ingrid Bergman!

Baseball pics

My son, Adam, is a junior on Wayland Academy's varsity baseball team, and normally plays second base. He hates it when I compliment him, but doesn't he look good?

Who will miss us when we're gone?

I'm feeling quite emotional this evening. I've been watching a movie, "Catch and Release", which is a manipulative "love story". A woman's fiance dies, and she learns more about him after his death than she knew beforehand. Who will care when we die? Will it be the love we left behind? The person we support financially? Or the friend who attempts suicide because they feel guilt about our passing?

If I die, I hope my kids still retain their relationships with Lee and their stepsisters. If Lee dies, I hope Cassie, Natalie, and Jeff still want a relationship with me and my kids. I know it would kill Lee or I to lose the closeness of our stepkids... we both love eachother's kids as if they were our own biological children.

I really believe our family is MUCH luckier than most. I believe we truly do love eachother, regardless of DNA. But, the rubber meets the road when people no longer feel an obligation. I pray we never need to deal with a loss before we are all too old to want anything but death.

One's measure in life is not their material accomplishments, but the impact they leave on other human beings in this world.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stunning Beauties

Pics from Oregon's MicroBrew Festival.... Ashley and Natalie, two of our gorgeous daughters. In the first pic, Ashley was mimicing a standup comic, but I can't remember which one...

New Blog

You may call me a real blogger now. I've begun my SECOND blog. That's right, two blogs... count them.. one, two!

I started a second blog and dedicated it to the process of building a house. It's a lot of work, which I expected. It's fun, it's frustrating, it's worrisome, and it's exciting. But I recognize while it is a VERY time consuming event for me, it's probably incredibly boring for others. (I mean really, how many people appreciate the deliberations between wood floors versus tile floors?) The fact that I created a separate blog just for the house building stories is a testament to how much I care about those that read THIS blog. That's right, I'm that altruistic.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The best sister EVER!

Natalie is the "best sister EVER". (At least that's what she kept telling us last night after visiting the microbrew festival. :) Quotes from last night...

"Ashley and her crack babies can come live with me."

"Adam, I love you little bro. I hope you don't kill anyone. Please don't kill anyone I know. But if you do kill someone, I'll be your alibi."

"I love Cassie so much. She knows me better than anyone - even better than Jeff."

Seriously, Natalie is a great person and the best sister I've ever met in this world. She is always there for her sisters and brother. She is kind, intelligent, supportive, funny, and generous. I know all three of her siblings love her deeply and value her. And they should - because she is totally awesome!!!

I love you Natalie!!! I'm very grateful to have you as a stepdaughter.

Oregon MicroBrew Festival

I wonder if beer festivals are a Wisconsin event, not found elsewhere in the country.

We went to a microbrew festival on Saturday, and realized that beer drinkers have a unique sense of humor. Some of the shirts seen include:
  • Jesus Loves You. It's the rest of us that think you're an asshole.
  • I'm with Stupid. (Picture with hand pointing directly downward at the wearer's crotch.)
  • I got Totally Naked in New Glarus, WI.
  • Some people make bombs in the northwoods... We're sticking with beer.

If you've never been to a "beer fest" before, it's like a wine tasting for beer. You pay $30 for a glass, and then can drink of 100+ varieties of beer. Beers with funny names were there too -- Totally Naked, Mustache Ride, Woody's Wheat, and Lazy Mutt. You can buy food if you get hungry... or better yet, just wear your own! (That's right - I said "wear" your own food. Many people wore "necklaces" made with strings and pretzels. They get hungry, and viola!... pretzels are handily available for munching. :)

But the best thing to see at a bonafide beer fest is real BEER GOGGLES!! People wearing sunglasses shaped like beer mugs. Only in Wisconsin....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The teenage years

The joys of parenthood are phenomenal, but sometimes its hard to remember that during the teenage years. Daughters can be snippy, angry, full of attitude, and make mothers feel like they can do nothing right. Sons just seem to fade away. The daughters did "come back" from the dark abyss of teenagerdom... I'm hoping the son finds his way back too.

Adam is 17 and finishing his junior year in high school. I never see him anymore. It's sad for me because I feel him slipping away, but also very heartwarming to see him mature and grow. He's a GREAT kid, with a love of life, fun sense of humor, intelligence, and kindness. As he's grown into a young man, he seems to have kept all of these qualities and developed gentlemanly manners too. I know it's the high school activities that are keeping him from his family. (It's not just me.... all of his family complain of not seeing or speaking with him enough.) I hope he decides that it's worth spending a little bit of time and effort to nurture his relationships with his sisters and parents. I'd hate to see him become distant from his siblings now, as it can span into the rest of their lives. I regret not staying close to my sisters and brother, and wish better for my kids.

Anyway, on to the joy of the teenage years! Adam is so darn talented!! He's an amazing athlete, wonderful singer and actor. He just performed in his high school musical, "Back to the 80's". I was surprised at how rich his voice sounded during his first solo. I know I'm biased, but he really is a very good singer! I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear watching him laughing with his friends before & after the performance. He seems so confident and comfortable in his own skin, which is so rare for teenagers. I won't comment much about his second solo, because his sisters gave him too much grief over it. (Adam singing Never Gonna Give You Up). I thought his dancing and singing were very well done and in character. The only thing we could have lived without during the performance was Adam grabbing his crotch in a Michael Jackson sort of way. :) Of course Adam played the role of a high school jock... and he wore acid washed jeans!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Construction is under way

Construction began on April 24th!

This is a view from the roundabout in front of our new house.

It didn't take long to create a hole in the ground.... It seems like a really, really big hole. I'm told not to worry, because it's normal to worry about size during the different construction phases. Let's see if the advice is true. I'm told the hole will look really big, and once the rooms are framed that everything will look small.

Cool that we have a water line already run into our mud pit. (It rained for the two days after digging.) If we crank it on, we can fill up our "swimming hole" real quick!

A view from the corner of our lot. Note: We are NOT part of the Parade of Homes. We are the house next door. :) Lee is checking out the neighbor's house construction while he waits for me to take oodles of photos.

Adam's prom

Adam went to prom with Marie last Saturday. Below are some photos of Adam and his friends that were taken before the big event.

Awww... such a good-looking couple!

A full-length view of Marie's dress. It's very princess-like.

Adam, Marie, Kelsey, and Joe(?). Did you notice that Adam's flower has been crooked in all of the pictures so far? Seems Marie didn't know how to pin it and nobody noticed it during the picture taking!

Finally, the rose is on correctly!

My son, the king! (Seems a little proud of himself, wouldn't you agree?)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I found a great, free website that everyone who is striving to eat healthier should know about! It's It has tools to calculate what your target calorie intake should be, how many calories you burn doing various activities, menu ideas, and neato cool progress trackers. (Yes, I used the word "neato" in my blog. I AM old!)

Anyhoo, it's been a great way for me to "write down" what I eat every day. It's a way for me to be accountable for my eating, which has helped keep me on track. I've yet been unable to find any food I consumed in their database, which is awesome! (Yes, even fast foods, restaurant foods, and pre-packaged stuff.) And the progress charts are cool too.... BTW, did I mention it was FREE?

We Wauna Be in Waunakee!

It's official!!!

Lee and I closed on our new lot in Waunakee this morning! We are proud owners of a piece of mud in suburpia. :) We also are the proud owners of a big piece of debt, disguised to consumers under the name of a "construction loan".

Construction began today too!!! That's right, contractors began digging in our piece of mud. And then the rain came. And it's supposed to keep raining for a few days. Anyone want to make mudpies?

Hospital Blues

I've decided that I hate hospitals. Before you chastise me, let me explain...

Every time I come to a hospital, it turns out to be a rainy, gray day. I think I hate hospitals because all you can do is wait.... and wait.... and wait.... and wait. Sickness, death, pain, worry, and waiting surround me. With the exception of the birth of my children, I've had ZERO happy times at a hospital. (And those kids came with a good share of pain too! :)

I've been at the hospital since 10am today. It's now 5:30pm, and I'm still waiting for my mom to get out of recovery. She's here for a surgery that began at Noon. Today's surgeon talked to me three hours ago, and told me my mom would be in recovery for "about an hour". Tick tock tick tock. FINALLY I ask the nursing station... "excuse me, but could you please give me a status on my mom?" And you know what?? They said she's still in recovery because they are waiting for a room to be cleaned up for her. "So, there were no problems that kept her in recovery longer than expected?" I breathe with relief... "No, just waiting for a clean room... I guess we should have told you." NO, REALLY???? I've been waiting for an extra two hours, thinking my mom may not be breathing or some such thing!

Anyway, I am very thankful for the medical care my family has received. Usually the nurses and doctors are wonderful and caring. I'll chalk today up to a busy nursing shift and obliviousness.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ten best things about an Empty Nest

1) Less laundry on a daily basis. (Face it -- kids will still come home from college with weeks of laundry. But, YOU don't have to do it!! :)

2) Lower grocery bills.... unless you are kind and provide your child with "care packages". :)

3) No more rushing home to cook dinner, attend a ball game, or taxi the kids to one of their activities. Yes, you CAN work late... or you can just take the long way home. Either way, it means less stress and demands on your time.

4) Your children will likely appreciate you more than ever before.

5) Less dishes.... Less home clutter.... No more shoes and backpacks in the doorway.... beds that are made every morning....

6) No more cooking. Face it, cooking is a CHORE - not an art or hobby. Now you can just make a sandwich or bowl of soup at night without feeling guilty.

7) Naked Saturdays. We told our children to call before they come visit, because every Saturday would be "Naked Saturday". Our kids call out of fear... I'll let you wonder whether or not my husband and I actually walk around naked every weekend. :)

8) More time with your spouse. (See "naked Saturday" above and imagine what every day can be like...)

9) You can leave your dishes in the sink without feeling guilty. How many times did I nag my kids to pick up after themselves?? Now, I can slack off without anyone pointing their finger at me!

10) Freedom to rediscover yourself. Find your interests, hobbies, and friends again.

Shin Splints Suck

Ok, so I'm really trying to revamp my life. I'm on a quest to live a healthier lifestyle. I'm trying valiantly to eat more veggies and fruit, less bad stuff, and more appropriate portion sizes. And, yes, I'm TRYING to exercise regularly. I'm told if you do anything for 28 days, it can become a habit. Well, I've done 6 weeks of exercise, than six months of none, 7 days of exercise, then followed it up by another 7 without, another 2 of exercise, and two off... you get the trend.

My goal is to work out 5 days a week - EVERY week. And I've decided that shin splints SUCK. I don't know why my shins hurt more than any other part of my body, but they do. I've decided to buy a pair of new shoes in hopes that it helps. Why does it take me 20 minutes of exercise to catch my stride? Why do my shins hurt from minute #3??? Shin splints suck!!! I actually had to stop, rub my shins, stretch them out, before I could continue. Man, I hope new shoes help...

Monday, April 14, 2008

My first blog attempt

I'm starting this blog on a whim. I've never been good at keeping a diary.... don't know how much I'll actually post because of it. However, I do run into things in my day to day life that puzzle me, make me happy, frustrate me, and make me feel there is a sense of purpose in all that is life. So, I'm joining the blogging revolution!

I'm a little bit afraid to begin blogging. I used to be techno saavy. Believe it or not, I once formed an Internet company and gave large seminars to the general public. My goal was, of course, to sell Internet services. But, sooooo many people didn't know what the Internet was, or why it could be useful, or how to connect, that I found it very rewarding. Something happened over the past ten years. I changed jobs, got remarried, and focused on job & family. I forgot (or prioritized other things) to keep up with technology. Suddenly, I feel like an incompetent fool when it comes to computers, Wiki, blogging, and fun applications. Well, enough of that I say!! :) I'm on a quest to blog, blog, blog and to catch up on all that I haven't paid attention to over the years!

I'm 42 years old, have a wonderful husband, four extraordinary children, one godsend of a son-in-law, a psuedo son-in law (guy that's been dating my daughter for 3 years) and a temperamental cat. Life is good. My life has a lot of stress -- job stuff, building a new house, children that are coping with nasty illnesses, travelling husband -- but it's a good life!!! No matter what life throws my way, I tell myself that "it can always be worse". God is good. God is great. God has blessed me incredibly.