Tag Archives: Life

Annual Favorite: A Gift for Parents: A Stress-Free Christmas Morning

christmas morning

All parents love the joy and wonder they see in their children’s eyes on Christmas morning. We envision langorous, loving exchanges of gifts and resulting hugs, sips of hot toddies by the fire, and magical elves that cook breakfast and bag up a landfill’s worth of wrapping paper and bows as classic Christmas tunes serenade our relaxing repose.

The reality, however is a bit different. For instance, at 6 a.m. on December 25th, we are already blurry-eyed (or hungover if you previewed the hot toddies after Midnight Mass) from staying awake until 2:30 a.m. to:

  • Wait for sugerplums to start dancing (start, already!) in their bursting-with-excitement heads.

children sleeping

  • Finish, or, er, start, building that bike or 250-piece deluxe dollhouse and furniture with magnifying glass and a hot glue gun.

deluxe dollhouse

dollhouse furniture

  • Clean up reindeer poop and free Santa from the chimney after a few too many cookie/milk combos.

santa chimney problem

Because of these challenges, we often set ourselves up for a less-than-satisfying experience, not the ideal we dream of. So in order to help parents everywhere better prepare and maybe even enjoy the day, I’ve created this handy checklist of THREE WISE things to remember:

1. Three Things to Have on Hand for Opening Gifts

swiss army knife

dynamite

box cutter

Why? Because every parent knows toys are boxed for maximum display, not ease of removal. Take Polly Pocket or Barbie sets, for instance. Military-grade plastic strips and twist-ties are used to hold EVERY SINGLE limb, accessory, and hair in place in the box. These require hours of finger-numbing work to loosen, untie, or remove. Same goes for CDs and DVDs. They are encased in SPF 1000 plastic which you may or may not be able to remove before the second or fifth installment is released at Easter.

polly pockets

2. Three Things to Prepare Ahead of Time

industrial coffee maker
batteries
headphonesStart with an industrial-sized coffee maker prepped the night before to spew out that glorious caffeinated liquid. Or, if you prefer:

hot toddy

Next, be sure to have 212 batteries on-hand for all those toys that say:

batteries not included

No kid wants to open a gift they can’t play with until you run out to the store in your pjs and curlers to get the batteries!

curlers

Finally, despite our best efforts to avoid them, there are always toys on our kids’ wish lists that tend to be a bit noisy:

pink drumset

A great set of headphones attached to something playing those classic carols will help you keep your sanity in check.

3. Three things to Make this Christmas the Most Magical and Memorable

wrapping mess

family at christmas3

ugly sweater

More important than anything else, be sure to take the time to ENJOY Christmas morning…these are precious memories for you and your family. Can’t walk in the living room because of the huge mess? Leave it for a while. As long as the baby isn’t trying to eat a ribbon or the cat trying to do her business in the crinkled wrapping paper, let it go. At least until you need to search for the miniscule missing part that makes this year’s must-have toy go BING, BANG, BONG (bet you’re glad I recommended those headphones now, huh?).

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your time together as a family. Bake a batch of cookies. Sing some carols. Attend church together in matching ugly Christmas sweaters (don’t forget to take a photo too…it will be great for embarrassing your kids in their teen years!). Laugh and joke and do all the things that make family time great. When you just can’t stand being together any longer, say, 11 am, head off to relax a bit…

headphones in bath

…so you’re recharged and ready for more TOGETHER TIME!

And finally, be sure to teach your kids what this joyous day is truly all about. No, not that:

tvguide

THIS:

nativity

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and

Very Happy New Year too!

Advertisements

Christmas Gifts Sure to Make Them Say Wow!

bad wrapping

So you’re looking for the perfect gift for that certain someone, maybe a bit of jewelry or something special to wear. Look no further. Read on to discover my top picks in five big categories. You’re sure to find just the right thing for those oh-so special people on YOUR list!

1. Jewelry & Accessories

Plunger Earrings                      Guinea Pig Hair Clip                    Armadillo Handbag

plunger earringstaxidermy hair clip        armadillo handbag

Scorpion Bracelet                           Boombox Wristwatch   Glowing Spider Earrings

scorpion bracelet  boombox watch                 spider glow earrings or key chain

2. Personal Care

Ear Wax Vac                               Soap on a Rope                      Chicken Poop Lip Balm

wax vac      soap on a rope                    chicken poop lip balm

Finger-Shaped Nose Hair Trimmer

nose hair trimmer

3. Clothing

Underwear for the Hands           Instant Underwear                Booty Pop Undies

handerpants             instant underpantsbooty bop undies

Beer Beard

beer beard

4. Food and Treats

                      Yummy Chocolate?                                           Log of Old Fruit

            fartless candy log                           fruitcake

Coffee in a Toilet Mug

toilet coffe mug

5. Thinking of You Gifts

Poo-Related Goodies

 toilet golf game    poo penpoo book

Lazy Helpers

            pet petter               go girl

Anything Chia

chia britney               chia bullredneck chia pet

CHOOSE ANY ONE OF THESE FINE GIFTS AND THEY’RE SURE TO KNOW YOU’VE BEEN THINKING OF THEM!

YOU’RE WELCOME!

A Gift for Parents: A Stress-Free Christmas Morning

christmas morning

All parents love the joy and wonder they see in their children’s eyes on Christmas morning. We envision languorous, loving exchanges of gifts and resulting hugs, sips of hot toddies by the fire, and magical elves that cook breakfast and bag up a landfill’s worth of wrapping paper and bows as classic Christmas tunes serenade our relaxing repose.

The reality, however is a bit different. For instance, at 6 a.m. on December 25th, we are already blurry-eyed (or hungover if you previewed the hot toddies after Midnight Mass) from staying awake until 2:30 a.m. to:

  • Wait for sugar plums to start dancing (start, already!) in their bursting-with-excitement heads.

children sleeping

  • Finish, or, er, start, building that bike or 250-piece deluxe dollhouse and furniture with magnifying glass and a hot glue gun.

deluxe dollhouse

dollhouse furniture

  • Clean up reindeer poop and free Santa from the chimney after a few too many cookie/milk combos.

santa chimney problem

Because of these challenges, we often set ourselves up for a less-than-satisfying experience, not the ideal we dream of. So in order to help parents everywhere better prepare and maybe even enjoy the day, I’ve created this handy checklist of THREE WISE things to remember:

1. Three Things to Have on Hand for Opening Gifts

swiss army knife

dynamite

box cutter

Why? Because every parent knows toys are boxed for maximum display, not ease of removal. Take Polly Pocket or Barbie sets, for instance. Military-grade plastic strips and twist-ties are used to hold EVERY SINGLE limb, accessory, and hair in place in the box. These require hours of finger-numbing work to loosen, untie, or remove. Same goes for CDs and DVDs. They are encased in SPF 1000 plastic which you may or may not be able to remove before the second or fifth installment is released at Easter.

polly pockets

2. Three Things to Prepare Ahead of Time

industrial coffee maker
batteries
headphonesStart with an industrial-sized coffee maker prepped the night before to spew out that glorious caffeinated liquid. Or, if you prefer:

hot toddy

Next, be sure to have 212 batteries on-hand for all those toys that say:

batteries not included

No kid wants to open a gift they can’t play with until you run out to the store in your pjs and curlers to get the batteries!

curlers

Finally, despite our best efforts to avoid them, there are always toys on our kids’ wish lists that tend to be a bit noisy:

pink drumset

A great set of headphones attached to something playing those classic carols will help you keep your sanity in check.

3. Three things to Make this Christmas the Most Magical and Memorable

wrapping mess

family at christmas3

ugly sweater

More important than anything else, be sure to take the time to ENJOY Christmas morning…these are precious memories for you and your family. Can’t walk in the living room because of the huge mess? Leave it for a while. As long as the baby isn’t trying to eat a ribbon or the cat trying to do her business in the crinkled wrapping paper, let it go. At least until you need to search for the miniscule missing part that makes this year’s must-have toy go BING, BANG, BONG (bet you’re glad I recommended those headphones now, huh?).

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your time together as a family. Bake a batch of cookies. Sing some carols. Attend church together in matching ugly Christmas sweaters (don’t forget to take a photo too…it will be great for embarrassing your kids in their teen years!). Laugh and joke and do all the things that make family time great. When you just can’t stand being together any longer, say, 11 am, head off to relax a bit…

headphones in bath

…so you’re recharged and ready for more TOGETHER TIME!

And finally, be sure to teach your kids what this joyous day is truly all about. No, not that:

tvguide

THIS:

nativity

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and

Very Happy New Year too!

Christmas Gifts Sure to Make Them Say Wow!

bad wrapping

So you’re looking for the perfect gift for that certain someone, maybe a bit of jewelry or something special to wear. Look no further. Read on to discover my top picks in five big categories. You’re sure to find just the right thing for those oh-so special people on YOUR list!

1. Jewelry & Accessories

Plunger Earrings                      Guinea Pig Hair Clip                    Armadillo Handbag

plunger earringstaxidermy hair clip        armadillo handbag

Scorpion Bracelet                           Boombox Wristwatch   Glowing Spider Earrings

scorpion bracelet  boombox watch                 spider glow earrings or key chain

2. Personal Care

Ear Wax Vac                               Soap on a Rope                      Chicken Poop Lip Balm

wax vac      soap on a rope                    chicken poop lip balm

Finger-Shaped Nose Hair Trimmer

nose hair trimmer

3. Clothing

Underwear for the Hands           Instant Underwear                Booty Pop Undies

handerpants             instant underpantsbooty bop undies

Beer Beard

beer beard

4. Food and Treats

                      Yummy Chocolate?                                           Log of Old Fruit

            fartless candy log                           fruitcake

Coffee in a Toilet Mug

toilet coffe mug

5. Thinking of You Gifts

Poo-Related Goodies

 toilet golf game    poo penpoo book

Lazy Helpers

            pet petter               go girl

Anything Chia

chia britney               chia bullredneck chia pet

CHOOSE ANY ONE OF THESE FINE GIFTS AND THEY’RE SURE TO KNOW YOU’VE BEEN THINKING OF THEM!

YOU’RE WELCOME!

A Gift for Parents: A Stress-Free Christmas Morning

christmas morning

All parents love the joy and wonder they see in their children’s eyes on Christmas morning. We envision langorous, loving exchanges of gifts and resulting hugs, sips of hot toddies by the fire, and magical elves that cook breakfast and bag up a landfill’s worth of wrapping paper and bows as classic Christmas tunes serenade our relaxing repose.

The reality, however is a bit different. For instance, at 6 a.m. on December 25th, we are already blurry-eyed (or hungover if you previewed the hot toddies after Midnight Mass) from staying awake until 2:30 a.m. to:

  • Wait for sugerplums to start dancing (start, already!) in their bursting-with-excitement heads.

children sleeping

  • Finish, or, er, start, building that bike or 250-piece deluxe dollhouse and furniture with magnifying glass and a hot glue gun.

deluxe dollhouse

dollhouse furniture

  • Clean up reindeer poop and free Santa from the chimney after a few too many cookie/milk combos.

santa chimney problem

Because of these challenges, we often set ourselves up for a less-than-satisfying experience, not the ideal we dream of. So in order to help parents everywhere better prepare and maybe even enjoy the day, I’ve created this handy checklist of THREE WISE things to remember:

1. Three Things to Have on Hand for Opening Gifts

swiss army knife

dynamite

box cutter

Why? Because every parent knows toys are boxed for maximum display, not ease of removal. Take Polly Pocket or Barbie sets, for instance. Military-grade plastic strips and twist-ties are used to hold EVERY SINGLE limb, accessory, and hair in place in the box. These require hours of finger-numbing work to loosen, untie, or remove. Same goes for CDs and DVDs. They are encased in SPF 1000 plastic which you may or may not be able to remove before the second or fifth installment is released at Easter.

polly pockets

2. Three Things to Prepare Ahead of Time

industrial coffee maker
batteries
headphonesStart with an industrial-sized coffee maker prepped the night before to spew out that glorious caffeinated liquid. Or, if you prefer:

hot toddy

Next, be sure to have 212 batteries on-hand for all those toys that say:

batteries not included

No kid wants to open a gift they can’t play with until you run out to the store in your pjs and curlers to get the batteries!

curlers

Finally, despite our best efforts to avoid them, there are always toys on our kids’ wish lists that tend to be a bit noisy:

pink drumset

A great set of headphones attached to something playing those classic carols will help you keep your sanity in check.

3. Three things to Make this Christmas the Most Magical and Memorable

wrapping mess

family at christmas3

ugly sweater

More important than anything else, be sure to take the time to ENJOY Christmas morning…these are precious memories for you and your family. Can’t walk in the living room because of the huge mess? Leave it for a while. As long as the baby isn’t trying to eat a ribbon or the cat trying to do her business in the crinkled wrapping paper, let it go. At least until you need to search for the miniscule missing part that makes this year’s must-have toy go BING, BANG, BONG (bet you’re glad I recommended those headphones now, huh?).

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your time together as a family. Bake a batch of cookies. Sing some carols. Attend church together in matching ugly Christmas sweaters (don’t forget to take a photo too…it will be great for embarrassing your kids in their teen years!). Laugh and joke and do all the things that make family time great. When you just can’t stand being together any longer, say, 11 am, head off to relax a bit…

headphones in bath

…so you’re recharged and ready for more TOGETHER TIME!

And finally, be sure to teach your kids what this joyous day is truly all about. No, not that:

tvguide

THIS:

nativity

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and

Very Happy New Year too!

A Gift for Parents: A Stress-Free Christmas Morning

christmas morning

All parents love the joy and wonder they see in their children’s eyes on Christmas morning. We envision langorous, loving exchanges of gifts and resulting hugs, sips of hot toddies by the fire, and magical elves that cook breakfast and bag up a landfill’s worth of wrapping paper and bows as classic Christmas tunes serenade our relaxing repose.

The reality, however is a bit different. For instance, at 6 a.m. on December 25th, we are already blurry-eyed (or hungover if you previewed the hot toddies after Midnight Mass) from staying awake until 2:30 a.m. to:

  • Wait for sugerplums to start dancing (start, already!) in their bursting-with-excitement heads.

children sleeping

  • Finish, or, er, start, building that bike or 250-piece deluxe dollhouse and furniture with magnifying glass and a hot glue gun.

deluxe dollhouse

dollhouse furniture

  • Clean up reindeer poop and free Santa from the chimney after a few too many cookie/milk combos.

santa chimney problem

Because of these challenges, we often set ourselves up for a less-than-satisfying experience, not the ideal we dream of. So in order to help parents everywhere better prepare and maybe even enjoy the day, I’ve created this handy checklist of THREE WISE things to remember:

1. Three Things to Have on Hand for Opening Gifts

swiss army knife

dynamite

box cutter

Why? Because every parent knows toys are boxed for maximum display, not ease of removal. Take Polly Pocket or Barbie sets, for instance. Military-grade plastic strips and twist-ties are used to hold EVERY SINGLE limb, accessory, and hair in place in the box. These require hours of finger-numbing work to loosen, untie, or remove. Same goes for CDs and DVDs. They are encased in SPF 1000 plastic which you may or may not be able to remove before the second or fifth installment is released at Easter.

polly pockets

2. Three Things to Prepare Ahead of Time

industrial coffee maker
batteries
headphonesStart with an industrial-sized coffee maker prepped the night before to spew out that glorious caffeinated liquid. Or, if you prefer:

hot toddy

Next, be sure to have 212 batteries on-hand for all those toys that say:

batteries not included

No kid wants to open a gift they can’t play with until you run out to the store in your pjs and curlers to get the batteries!

curlers

Finally, despite our best efforts to avoid them, there are always toys on our kids’ wish lists that tend to be a bit noisy:

pink drumset

A great set of headphones attached to something playing those classic carols will help you keep your sanity in check.

3. Three things to Make this Christmas the Most Magical and Memorable

wrapping mess

family at christmas3

ugly sweater

More important than anything else, be sure to take the time to ENJOY Christmas morning…these are precious memories for you and your family. Can’t walk in the living room because of the huge mess? Leave it for a while. As long as the baby isn’t trying to eat a ribbon or the cat trying to do her business in the crinkled wrapping paper, let it go. At least until you need to search for the miniscule missing part that makes this year’s must-have toy go BING, BANG, BONG (bet you’re glad I recommended those headphones now, huh?).

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your time together as a family. Bake a batch of cookies. Sing some carols. Attend church together in matching ugly Christmas sweaters (don’t forget to take a photo too…it will be great for embarrassing your kids in their teen years!). Laugh and joke and do all the things that make family time great. When you just can’t stand being together any longer, say, 11 am, head off to relax a bit…

headphones in bath

…so you’re recharged and ready for more TOGETHER TIME!

And finally, be sure to teach your kids what this joyous day is truly all about. No, not that:

tvguide

THIS:

nativity

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas and

Very Happy New Year too!

It’s Not Me, It’s You

I have a middle-aged neighbor who is not exactly the tidiest, shall we say. Over the fourteen years we have lived in our current home, he has kept his large pole barn overflowing with, uh, well, I’m not sure what. I just know that it’s A LOT OF STUFF. And just outside his barn doors, he has left a variety of unusual items sitting for weeks, months, and even years at a time (though not all at once, thank goodness!): a child’s plastic playhouse, some sort of tilling attachment, parts of mowers or grills, bike wheels,  broken ladders, hoses of all sorts…you get the idea. All in all, not the nicest scenery to drive by every day or to have friends and family see when they come to visit.

But a few months ago, my neighbor got remarried and his wife must have put her foot down, bless her heart, because the past few weeks have seen a huge uptick in the number of items leaving his house and barn in various trucks and farm-y vehicles. However, just when I thought I’d seen it all, yesterday I drove by on my way home and discovered a new item abandoned to the elements, the utmost answer to “What could he possibly still have in that barn?” Yes, you guessed it: the kitchen sink. Wonder how long THAT one will decorate the sides of our driveway? Oh, well, you can’t pick your neighbors and all that…

Still, these and other small – and not-so-small – annoyances add up to make me roll my eyes or, more often, shake my head and wonder, “Why, why, why?” But, like other common-sense lovers out there, I just grit my teeth and pray for patience in dealing with the, uh, interesting folks God has put on this earth. What else is bugging me about my neighbors and fellow human beings in general on this hot, hot, did I mention HOT, day? Here’s my list of what’s annoying me most this week:

Cashiers who call “Next” and take whoever shows up first, not who’s next in line

People who eat over library books, leaving behind bits and pieces for the next reader (or rub their eyes, leaving eye lashes between the pages)

Construction workers who hold up the STOP sign just as you’re about to go through the zone and no one else is behind you

Models whose legs are 75% of their body and mouths are 50% of their face, and the fact that clothing designers and magazines think this is “beauty”

Neighbors who decide to use loud power tools the day of your outdoor party

People who drive 5-10 mph UNDER the speed limit when a police car is nearby

Pop songs that keep the same beat throughout, often with words that just repeat over and over

People who splash water all over the bathroom counter in public restrooms , leaving puddles , so you can’t put your purse down there to primp

People who say “No problem” instead of “You’re Welcome”

Guys, some teens (but not all), who spit on the sidewalk as they walk along

When parents talk to their above-5-year-olds by referring to themselves in third person. For example, on vacation: “Mommy needs a drink now, honey. Go play on the balcony while Mommy mixes it up.” (Ha ha…just kidding.)

People who drive around with dogs on their laps or hanging out the driver’s side window

When the mail person comes early only on the days I have outgoing mail, but I don’t get to the box in time so I have to drive the mail to the post office

Parents who do their kids’ school projects for them, making other kids feel stupid and inept

Loud cars, monster trucks, or motorcycles that fly by when you’re enjoying eating at an outdoor café

Drivers behind you who only decide to use the passing lane right when they see you are about to need it to pass a slow car, thereby forcing you to slow down and wait for them to pass first

So, okay, I know these are not life-altering issues, but they’re small things that add up to big annoyances over time. And a few, I fear, add to the death of common sense. I do feel better now, getting those off my chest. I can only hope I’m not on too many other people’s lists for MY annoying habits (like correcting spelling on forms and letters when I find typos…sorry, I just can’t help myself!).

What’s on your common sense list of annoyances this week? Go ahead, you’ll feel much better just writing it down (but please, be sure to check your spelling first…it’s just a little thing I have).

A Year of Lame Excuses

Dear readers, forgive me for not recognizing the International Day of Slowness on June 21st…I know I am a little slow in getting around to it. In fact, it’s been a few months since I’ve written anything because I got caught up in all the excitement going on around me on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis!

However, I know you’ll forgive me when you realize I was busy celebrating during my lapse. You see, in Febuary, right after my last post, I discovered it was Pull Your Sofa off the Wall Month and I couldn’t let that one slip me by. Soon, Texas Cowboy Poetry Week lassoed me in. And though Read in the Bathtub Day and Laugh and Get Rich Day seemed too good to be true, I had to give them a try too. Oh, and I could not diss Pluto is a Planet Day! either, because I’m still smarting from that misguided announcement.

Then March came along and promised Bell Peppers and Broccoli Month (two of my favorites), so no slowing down to write there. In fact, Root Canal Awareness Week was a gas, I got stuck on Nametag Day, and I was saddened to realize it might be the last Landline Telephone Day, so I recognized it twice just to be nice. But, really, what kept me busy the rest of the month was my overworked brain – it froze up from What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs? Day!

When April arrived, I vowed to hunker down and get back to my computer. International Tongue Twister Day sidetracked me a bit, as did No Housework Day, which I lobbied to become No Housework Year – to no avail. Plus, Tweed Day and Tartan Day tripped me up because I didn’t own any of either so I had to find a good pub to visit to get the full effect. Finally, National Scoop the Poop Week fouled things up for good.

I knew my writing skills were slipping away, but I just couldn’t help it. May promised National Vinegar Month and Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week. No Pants Day, Eat What You Want Day, and Eliza Doolittle Day didn’t help either. But finally June rolled around, and I was sure my excitement would wane. After all, I don’t skateboard any more, so Go Skateboarding Day was out. And I work from home, so Take Your Dog to Work Day was a mutt, I mean, moot, point. Then, in the past few days, it happened: Pink Flamingo Day, International Fairy Day, and Color TV Day all in a row! Not to mention Old Time Fiddler’s Week, Watermelon Seed Spitting Week, and Carpenter Ant Awareness Week! Oh, and I realized it is Corn & Cucumber Month, International Surf Music Month, Cataract Awareness Month, Potty Training Awareness Month, World Naked Bike Ride Month, Okra & Pluot and Aprium Month, and National Bathroom Reading Month too! What can I do, but give myself over to the rush and the thrill!

So, you see, it’s not like I’ve been slacking off here. I just can’t seem to focus on the task of writing when there are so many exciting people, places, and events to celebrate! Now if you’ll excuse me, I must gear up for National Handshake Day (tomorrow!) and Beans and Bacon Days, which start tomorrow and go through the first of July. But don’t worry, Simplify Your Life Day is just around the corner in August, and if all else fails, October 23rd is a National Day on Writing and I just know I’ll be able to get back to it by then!

A Bonus Day You Shouldn’t Leap Over

Usually, this time of year in Indiana is hard for a sun-worshiping, warmth-seeking, green-loving gal like me. Winter is long, hard, and cold, not to mention dreary with its gray skies and leafless trees. And even though I still haven’t decided if Al Gore is right about global warming, I have decided I don’t mind today’s unusual kick-off to February: balmy upper-50’s and sunshine! It’s a rare treat, and I’ll try to make the most of it.

Another thing I plan to make the most of this February is our bonus day – February 29th. I know we get one of these every four years, so it’s not exactly rare, but I like to view it as a gift. A day to appreciate, an opportunity to seize, and a chance to go all out so it will really make a difference. I mean, really, how often have I said I wish there were more hours in the day, more days in the week, or more weeks in the year? Trust me, it’s a lot. There never seems to be enough time to do the things I need and want to do!

So this Leap Year, I plan to make the most of the whole 24 extra hours I’ve been given. I plan to seize February 29th as the bonus day it is. Over the next four weeks, I intend to plan a Leap Day that will be both memorable and useful, fun and relaxing…enough to hold me over for another four years.

And I invite you to join me!

What will you do with your Bonus Day?

Where Do All the Lonely Socks Go?

As a mom of two busy teens and a, um, how shall I say it, slightly scatter-brained tween, not to mention wife of a computer-geek kind of guy, and a pretty organized person in general, I pride myself on what my family views as my insider’s knowledge. Seems moms worldwide are the keepers of this knowledge: “Honey, where is my…?” and “Mom, have you seen my…” are familiar refrains in my household and millions of others. In fact, just the other day my hubby asked where he might find his painstakinly hand-colored topographical map of a favorite hiking area, one I haven’t seen in years. And my 13-year-old awakened me from a deep sleep to discover the whereabouts of her sister’s sleeping bag. Both items were needed for a trip they were taking the next day. And both items were uncovered in minutes instead of hours thanks to my guidance.

With all this insider’s knowledge, however, one mystery remains and dogs my every attempt at organization: where do all the lonely socks go? I’ve searched high and low: reached under dust ruffles, riffled through dress-up boxes, rubbed hands inside pants legs, even (almost) ripped open the dryer vent, all in an effort to bring peace to my days and an end to this endless search.

This question is not mine alone, for entire industries have grown up around this enigma. LittleMissMatched is a company that earned $32 million in 2008 by selling three-packs of socks THAT DON’T MATCH! They even highlight the plight of lost socks with a Lost Sock Memorial Day on May 9th each year (is it merely coincidence that this is my “I-can’t-find-my-sock” tween’s birthday? I think not!).

Of course, no one really needs to spend a penny to be in style these days if all you have to do is wear mismatched socks. If you’re like me, you already have a large pile to choose from each day; at last count, my pile of lonely socks topped 20! They may not be as colorful and clever-looking as the ones from the store, but at least they won’t be lonely anymore. And if their match ever does miraculously show up? Ha ha ha…well, we all know that will never happen. So if you see me walking around this week with one crew sock in blue stripes and one no-show in purple polka-dots, just nod your head and think to yourself, “Those are two less lonely socks in this world thanks to Tanya.”

Speaking My Thoughts, Living My Life, Loving My Country

This morning I was at the drive-thru window getting my a.m. pick-me-up (aka sweet tea). As I waited to move forward, I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed the, um, lovely gentleman behind me applying his eyeshadow and mascara for the day. And recently while visiting one of those dark, neon-y stores, its walls throbbing with screamo music, in order to purchase a gift card for a funky teen I know who has beautiful blonde hair but prefers purple and fuschia instead, the salesclerk greeted me in full-length denim skirt over his combat boots. Both times, I was barely fazed…I DO live in a progressive college town, after all. But more than that, I was glad, thankful even, that I live in a country where we are each allowed to express our individuality, our true selves, in outward appearances as well as our choice of vocation, location, and admiration, to name a few.

This morning, the first Tuesday in November, I overheard someone complaining that they “hate Election Day, with all the signs up…blah, blah, blah.” And because we live in this great country, that person can say that without worry or fear of retaliation or violence. But it is precisely because of this Election Day that I am reminded of others who are not so lucky, not so free, to express their thoughts, their worries, their likes and dislikes. And I am ever so grateful to call the United States of America my home. With all of our problems and all of our issues, we are still the best place to live in the world.

As Veteran’s Day approaches later this week, I will express my gratitude even louder, even more passionately, to let everyone serving our country know, that I know they are what keeps our country free and makes it possible for full-length denim skirts and combat boots, fuschia hair, and all the other millions of expressions of self we are free to enjoy on a daily basis. They are what make it possible for me to sit here right now, speaking my thoughts, living my life, loving my country. And for all of that and more, I say Thank You!

Driving Me Crazy

As every soccer mom worth her kids’ cleats knows, parenthood is:
  • 20% cooking/cleaning/laundry, etc.
  • 10% nagging
  • 20% teaching valuable lessons, like “Don’t roll your eyes at me or they’ll stay that way forever”
  • 50% driving kids all over God’s green creation to every practice, game, rehearsal, recital, playdate, birthday party (usually they arrive in two’s or three’s on the same weekend), club meeting, competition, performance, open house, dance, or ceremony.

With three daughters in different sports, activities, even schools, I keep the big oil companies well in the black while keeping my soccer mom-necessary SUV full of the black stuff. I easily log 250+ miles a week out on those mean city streets. And in doing so, I’ve gained some important insights not only in driving, but in basic human nature as well. These insights can be summed up in three simple words:

PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS

With my teenage daughter a mere two months away from driving lessons, I think it’s important to pass along this valuable rule. I even skimmed through a book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt, trying to determine if my daily driving frustrations are isolated to me. Ha! Vanderbilt helped me realize that:

PEOPLE ARE IDIOTS!

Notice the exclamation point! It’s as if everyone has been reading this:

So, in order to assist all parents of soon-to-be-drivers out there, as well as the rest of you just trying to get to work and back each day, I’ve compiled the following road signs which the BMV should consider posting ASAP:

NOT!

 

Your kissing my bumper will not make me drive any faster!

 

Five cars cannot zip through the yellow light before it turns red!

Pick a lane and please, just stay there!

 

Your cool factor does not increase with your bass line!

 

If it's dark, foggy or rainy, I can't see you without your headlights, Moron!

 

If you zip past a mile of barely-crawling cars and expect to be let in at the last minute, forget it!

So the next time you’re out there behind the wheel, remember it’s not you that you have to worry so much about, it’s all the OTHER drivers who will be driving you crazy!

Keep your cool and your sense of humor about you and you’ll soon be arriving at your child’s third birthday party in a day with seconds to spare and your sanity intact (don’t roll your eyes at me, they may stick that way!).

Blog: 40 is the new 30

When I was in my teens and twenties, 40-year-olds seemed ancient to me. These were the men who clipped their nose hairs and proudly loosened their belts after a big meal, and the crafty women who wore frosted, sensible hairstyles and learned to latch-hook cute rugs for the bathroom. Of course today’s 40 is the new 30, so I don’t have to worry about updating my bathroom just yet, but I still have plenty of other issues to contend with I never even dreamed existed. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about:

  1. Skin tags…tiny pieces of protruding flesh that just dangle off my side.
  2. Age spots…no longer can I refer to them as “freckles” now that they are the size of dimes.
  3. Creaking limbs…gone is the ability to sneak to the kitchen for the last piece of pie as my popping joints give me away every time.

And those issues are just the beginning…I mean, really, what’s the benefit of using the now-necessary reading glasses (to check the directions on my fiber supplement) if I can’t even remember where I put them?

So while I’m now considered a thirty-something woman living in a forty-something body, I am not looking forward to discovering what comes next (or goes next, at this rate). I just know I will not, under any circumstances, visit the craft store anytime soon.

Edit

2 Responses to 40 is the new 30

  1. Jamie | September 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply | Edit

    Looking forward to reading your stuff. Love the photo’s. Very nicely done. Good luck with this.

  • Jamie | September 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Reply | Edit

    Love it. I can relate to all. I also have age spots but not the size of dimes. My legs and feet hurt a lot but my bones don’t pop. What the hell is happening to you? Lol. So enjoyed reading this. Keep it coming.