Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I was remembering this last night and a conversation I had with an unnamed person a few years ago. Unnamed person and I were discussing someone's toddler. Unnamed person (NO, not David) then told me what they really thought of the toddler's looks. *GASP* It was not kind. To say it aloud! I mean, yea, we think it, but to put it out there like that!
That got me to thinking, and it's not an original thought, I know, but do people know their kids aren't cute? I'm not asking you to tell me my kids are gorgeous, cause you could be lying (and Jake needs a haircut and a shave, so you can only call him handsome at the present time.) I keep things like that to myself, but really, do they know? Cause I. DON'T. KNOW. My kids are cute/handsome as a button (a fuzzy button for the latter description).
Don't tell me about them either way; you'll never convince me. Cause they're cute!!!!
*whisper* Do you think they know?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
That comment made me laugh internally because looking at our monster (cookie cutter) house, I can see where one might that idea. Shoot, ME at age 15, looking at me now would go "WOW!"
I grew up in a relatively nice home with my parents and 2 sisters. I never knew the "what's" or "how's" of our financial situation. Around the age of 14 or so, all that changed. My parents divorced and we girls and mom were in apartments, waiting to move up the line on the waiting list of government housing. Eventually at age 15 or 16, we got a government apartment in the 'hood.
I later learned that there was some spending issues on my father's side. My mother, the spend-thrift, is who I take after. She had to raise 3 girls and herself on $15k a year, before taxes. There was no child support. Dad, I love you, but you know you sucked at that. If mom got $150 every 5 or 6 months, it was a miracle. Meanwhile, dad remarried, moved into a house with a pool, and did not really seek out his daughters, who were busy working at Burger King to make cash for school and busy looking at a stabbing while hanging up the laundry. Good times.
I got good grades, got the Pell Grant and other scholarships and never looked back. A failed marriage that I ran away at 100 mph from, a great job, a new hubby and years later, I have a big ole house. My second actually.
We're not rich financially. We're lucky and blessed. We sold the first home I bought on my own for ridonkulous money. It was at the height of the bubble o' stupidity. We got crazy $$ for the old house, paid off loans, the Jeep and plopped down a huge chunk of change on the new house. Boom! More than double the floor space, and our expenses ended up being the same; once we paid off the car and loans, all that extra $$ went towards the new mortgage.
We make decent money but nothing to make us rich. Looking back at it from the 'hood perspective of my life, I am definitely doing o.k. We don't charge things. We wait for tax return time and make the large purchases then. Everything in this home belongs to us (except the home, obviously) and the new car we had to get when David's car went kaput. I am a bargain hunter and rarely shop for myself (other than cake supplies. Then, look out.) If we can't pay cash, we're not buying it.
We're not rich financially. We are rich in blessings, family and love.
(Aside: David and I love this SNL skit: Don't buy stuff you can't afford. )
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
It's really disturbing and driving me crazy. The worse part, is there anything I can do about it without leading myself into financial ruin?
I go down the aisles to buy my dry goods, condiments, etc. and slowly start to notice that my choices have been whittled down to two or three: the top two major players and the Wal-mart brand. You want Cream of Wheat? You buy the Nabisco Cream of Wheat or the Wal-Mart brand. The end. You want the Quaker brand? Sorry. It's gone. Nabisco's is more popular, or you can buy the plain boxed brand. I am sure the generic is the same; most of the time it is packaged by the big players, but what happened to choice? Au Gratin potatoes in a box? Betty Crocker or the Wal-mart brand. Velveeta brand, Idahoan, Hungry Jack - nope. Milk? You get Wal-Mart and waaaaay over there, in a separate cooler, down near the ground, is the TG Lee, priced at a dollar a gallon or more.
And it kills me because I understand that it's done to save money. Do I want to go to Publix to get more choices? No, because I can't afford Publix/insert-your-local-chain-here. It's a self-perpetuating mess. We shop at Wal-Mart because they are so gosh-darned cheap. Because it's so gosh-darned cheap, we put up with the scary people, the angry people, the Wal-Mart people. It's either an ego-boost to go in there (it shows me how great I really have it) or it's a complete downer (it shows me how bad some children have it; they can't pick their parents. It breaks my heart.)
Have you been down the toy aisles? Our toy section shrunk by one row, and the toy I want to buy Isabel is not there. It *is* at Target though, just not Wal-Mart. Apparently, Wal-Mart doesn't think Fancy Nancy books and the dolls are popular enough for their shelves. Too intelligent, perhaps? :)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
A friend had one she was selling, and I bought it. I figured with my knees acting up and all, at least I could walk fast at night. My friend's darling husband (who I am totally sucking up to, because he and David had to carry the thing up an L-shaped staircase) brought it over today and we set it up in the soon-to-be-renamed "Mattress Room." It was called thus because...well, there was a queen-sized mattress on the floor. (my hubby and sort-of-bro-in-law broke the bed it came on during the move from the old house into the moving van. We weren't upset. David hated that bed.) The room had a bookcase, toys and a big ole mattress taking up most of the floor. Three years later, and out went the mattress to make room for a small tv stand to hold the tv, vcr, dvd player and PS2, plus an area for the treadmill. We need to rename the room. Any suggestions?
I've decided to start back up where I left off in my continuous Buffy-watchage; Season 4. Each episode is about 45 minutes, so two episodes, an hour and a half, should be good.
Ahh, Season 4. The Season-that-must-not-be-named, except it did have some brilliant episodes interspersed in between the crapposity that was the Adam-Initiative-Riley (getting treated like poo)-Whatever season. I mean really - If "Where the Wild Thing Are" and "Beer Bad" didn't make you run screaming, you're a true fan.
Something Blue? Come on. Buffy & Spike? FUNNY.
Hush? Brilliant all around.
Who Are You? I loved seeing Faith back.
Restless? The foreshadowing was fantastic. Also, two words: Cheese Man.
First up: The Freshman. Oy vey. As a season opener, not the best. Buffy being all Ms. No Self-Confidence was a stretch, and the leader of the Vamp Nest, Sunday, was annoyingly..annoying. I did love seeing Willow finally in her element, and Marc Blucas is a yummy treat. Forty five minute walk down, another 45 to go tonight, as soon as I can get Isabel off the thing.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Last Friday evening, Isabel and I braved the horrible rain and traffic to drive over an hour and a half to St. Augustine for dinner with fellow letterboxers. We ate at the Gypsy Cab Company Restaurant. They had delicious seafood fare.
Isabel, Sandra & Don Fisher (Fish's Card Room) down from Sunfield, MI and T Rex from GA.
With their backs to the camera, Dawn (Sits & Knits) and her husband (Orlando, FL), and Seagull and her husband, down on vacation from Portland, Maine.
Sits & Knits & her hubby.
Mark Pepe and a blurry Sue, from Kensington, CT.
We were missing another family (Mandy/Geometry Junkie & Co. :( ) who left dreary/cold St. Augustine to head for the snow at their Georgia home.
The meal was terrific, my daughter was a sweetheart (Jacob chose to stay home and David worked) and the company was pleasant.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
(Pancakes for my wonderful family)
Happy Valentine's Day to you, gentle reader.
This holiday tends to bring out divided camps. Camp # 1 is completely gung-ho and feels that on this holiday, you should do it up! Camp # 2 feels that every day is a day to show love, so why spend so much money and time on this one day. Then there's the single camp; 3a: they are single and HATE this holiday. 3b: They are single and are o.k. with it all.
This year, I'm in Camp # 2. I love my family each and every day. I may want to bash them over the head with my dish towel or powdered sugar bag, but I love them, and don't want to have my love quantified by purchases. I don't wait to buy them things they really want (**cough 53"lcdtvcough**cough2010hybridHondacough**) nor they to me (**coughmonsterentertainmentcentercough**).
I don't begrudge you your candy and flowers. Enjoy them. I did buy my kids some chocolates, candy and small gifts (spent under $20 for each and still got them something they LOVE; Isabel got this and Jake got this) because to them, especially Iz, this holiday is FUN. David and I? We didn't get each other things. It seemed silly this year after all the wonderful things we recently got each other.
I love my husband and kids each and every day, and I wish you a Happy Valentine's Day.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
We finally agreed upon a fish and headed off to the store, where time and $55, got us "Cutie" the Betta fish and his new abode. Isabel truly wanted a girl fish, "because I'm a girl too," but the female Bettas are not anywhere near as pretty as the males. She conceded and home Cutie came.
I am not joking when I say that this is a cool fish. We got him a real plant, because plastic tends to rip their beautiful fins. He liked to hang out in the plant on his down time, but the minute we walk into Isabel's room, Cutie gets very excited and swims around like mad. Pavlovian? Possibly. Cute? Definitely.
David asks Isabel "Did the dolls want to see Cutie?" Isabel, with a look of "DUH" on her face, replied "No, dad, cause they're dolls. They're not real." When asked why the dolls were there then, she replied "So Cutie can look at them."
He's one lucky fish.
It first occurred to me that I look like my mom more than my dad now when I was in labor with my son, 16 years ago. In video my ex took (not of the birth itself, just me in the room), I was in pain and furrowed my brow. Replaying the scene, I see my mom in that brow and I'm shocked. I've always looked like dad, what's this?
The crazy thing? I'm laughing (loudly. I guffaw) at something that is giving me pleasure, and I hear my mom. Then I miss her a bit and get a touch of melancholy.
The great thing? I can still pick up the phone and hear her laugh.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Another parent posted videos. Here is "Reuben & Rachel" in its entirety. They zoom in a LOT on the area Jacob is in (right side, bottom row, third from right).
This one, which I did not get on tape, is called "True Light." (It's kind of loud on this video. It was much better live there)