Friday, January 27, 2012

Return of the Prodigal Camera Cord: Part I

Herein begins a series of posts I shall call "Return of the Prodigal Camera Cord." It seems I have a genetic predisposition to a disorder that I inherited from my mother. Whereas hers is called I-Put-It-Someplace-"Safe," my strain is known as I-Put-It-"Away." Regardless of the strain, it culminates in something important being put somewhere, with vague memories of doing so, and no idea where that place might be.

And, it happened to my camera cord. It was always wadded up somewhere waiting for me to use it to download pictures and I thought it looked awful. There are so many cords around this house. So, I thought I would tackle the mess one cord at a time and put the camera cord "away." Oops.

It's a month and a half later and I just found it hidden behind the throw pillows on the living room chair in which no one sits. To my credit, that is very near to where I usually download pictures.

Anyway, I've killed the fatted calf and now I've got tons of material for blog posts! And, the people said, "Hallelujah!" (Say it!)

So. Let's get started, shall we?

I remember buying these earrings for Senior Prom in 1992.
I also remember thinking they were some of the most exquisite earrings I had ever seen. So beautiful. So sophisticated. And, they were, by far, the most expensive earrings I had ever owned. I think they cost $50.

And, I thought they went perfectly with my dress, too.
See the earrings? I could be mistaken, but I think I've even turned
my head to make sure they get their proper due in the photograph!
Yep. That's me in the top right. I also believed that dress to be sophisticated and glamorous. Not at all "mermaid," which is the overall impression I get when I look at it now.

And, today? How would one expect such treasured gems to be treated?

I'll tell you how. Like this:
My how the mighty have fallen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'll take "Things You Haven't Done Since High School" for $200, Alex

I'm gonna be in a play.


You know that stuff about Shawn being supportive and sweet? Yeah. He's been doing that again.

Also. I made a really awesome Baked Potato Soup out of leftover baked potatoes.

It's been an exciting couple of days around here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

First World Problems

So, over the Christmas break, I was hanging out with my sister's sixteen-year-old step-daughter-to-be. (Is that a thing? Well, it's the best description I've got. Let's go with it.) And we started laughing about this website called First World Problems.

Some of our favorites:

  • They wouldn't serve from the bar menu in the restaurant area, so I had to eat my turkey avocado wrap without appetizers like some sort of bronze age hunter gatherer.
  • The seat heaters don't keep the pizza warm enough for the 10 minute ride home.
  • I have no idea how to reheat my leftover omelette, so I guess I’ll just have to drive to the restaurant and order another one.
  • 'Family Guy’ is on two different channels at the same time and I can’t figure which one has the most potential.
  • I wish I hadn’t used all my pain pills for non-pain-related purposes.
  • I have caviar stuck in my braces.
  • The guy who cleans my yard barely seemed to be listening when I told him about all the stuff I got for Christmas.
  • I’ve run out of obscure ethnic cuisines to impress my friends with.
  • I have over 20,000 songs in my iTunes library. Why can I never find the one that exactly matches my mood of wistful melancholy?
  • I can't wash my dirty hands because the water is freezing.
  • My shoelaces are kinda short.

I mean, you can see why we love this site, right? But, now. When I'm bitching about something in my own head (it happens a lot), I've started following it with the words, "First World Problem!" Because, truth be told, it usually is.

And, then. My friend Kelly Rodgers posted some pictures from Nicaragua. Nicaragua, where she lives with her husband and three kids while they are on a two-year mission trip. Now, the Rodgers have done some amazing things with Teeth Savers International. But, these particular pictures were of Kelly and her girls handing out dresses made by Dress A Girl Around the World women. Little girls getting dresses - some of them, the only dress they may ever own.

And, as the mom to one sassy little dress wearer, well... you know.

Then there was this picture:
As I posted on Kelly's FB page, "That is just... a mother's face. We are all the same no matter the country." And, it crushes me to think that, had I merely been born in another place, I might not be able to give my precious girl a dress.

So, now. When I follow the thoughts in my head with "First World Problem," I'm just a little bit ashamed of myself.


I'm a lot ashamed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One Other Little Obsession:
Where Did I Come From?

Shawn was returning from the "old" hometown one night a couple of weeks ago. I sat down on the couch to watch TV and await his arrival.

(Does that give you images of a captain's wife looking out to sea anxiously awaiting any sight of her beloved's ship? 'Cause that's kinda what it was like. Only a lot less dramatic. And, no anxiety. And, a lot more TV... Anyway, I digress...)

I have no idea why - I've seen a thousand commercials - but, the one that came on that night totally sucked me. I just thought I would log on and see what I could see. Without "joining," of course.

I "joined," of course.

Three days later I emerged, after totally bingeing on census forms and birth records. I didn't know as much about my paternal grandmother as I should have, though. So, I shot my Aunt Pat (my dad's sister) a message - because, come on, we all know dads don't pay attention to stuff like where their moms were born!

Holy-wealth-of-information, Batman! I'm pretty sure this is what they mean when they say you should ask questions of your elders. Aunt Pat knows everything - at least everything I needed to get me off and running up the family tree again!

But, as quickly as I got sucked in, I lost interest. I got back to people being born in the 1700s, but there was no way to know if the information I was gathering was accurate; if the John Bassett born in 1770 was really my grandmother's great-great-grandfather. Especially, since a lot of the information you find is other people's family trees - subject to their own mistakes.

That. And, my paternal grandfather's side quickly jumped across the pond to Sweden. Turns out I can't read Swedish. So, their official documents were a little less than helpful to me.

But, my main conclusions?
  • If I have any hope of tracing back to the Mayflower (P.S. I don't.), it would be through my paternal grandmother.
  • My paternal grandfather - well, he's Swedish. (But, I did figure out through my own deduction that there must have been a settlement of Swedes in Iowa. Not only was my grandpa's dad born in Sweden, but so was his mom's dad. And, Aunt Pat told me I was right. I'm a total history detective!)
  • And, my maternal side? Um. I don't know how to say this, but there's a small chance we're a bunch of hillbillies. As in, the guy who kept marrying twenty-year-olds when his wives died - even when he was 54 (which was, like, as good as dead in 1884). He married three of them. And had 15 kids with them. So. I don't know. Maybe he wasn't a hillbilly. Maybe he was was just a dawg. But, most of these people were born in the hills of Tennessee. Isn't that, by definition, a hillbilly?

So. My heritage. I'm a Swedish Hillbilly.

But, now. I have a confession. I've been clicking back over there as I typed this post. I kinda want to start searching again. They have this little leaf that shakes at you if they have documents that they believe pertain to a person in your family tree - and I have a lot of leaves shaking over there!

Alright, I guess this is goodbye. Between and Spanish, when will I possibly find the time to blog?!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Phone Number Song

We were helping Lulu learn her phone number and address for school. Address? No problem. My mobile phone number? A little trickier. So Shawn and I helped her make up a song for it.

Now a few things you should know: my cell phone is from the "old" hometown, so you have to dial the area code. And, if you have my cell phone number, you may look it up and sing along. If you don't, I really don't want to risk you calling to ask me out on a date, so I've filled in 555s in classic tv fashion (except for the last digits - you need those for the rhyme)!

To the tune of "ABC" (or "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or "Ba Ba Black Sheep"*):

(555) 555 2... 664 I'm calling you!

Clever! Shawn and I were quite smug about our little ditty. And, it worked like a charm. But, then... Shawn carried on... Whereas his number ends with 2667 while mine ends with 2664, he composed this continuation:

7 is the end of Dad's. I call him when Mommy's bad.
(555) 555 2... 664 I'm calling you!

I'm pretty sure we have a new family anthem.


*They're all the same tune. What a sham!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This, That and The Other

Whatcha been dooooooin'....?


I've been:
a) not blogging.

b) READING. I mean reading like they're about to stop making books.

I've read The Thirteenth Tale (for the third time. I'm telling y'all. It's hard to get into, but the ending. OMG. The ending. It makes it all worth it.)

I've read Guilt By Association (a friend's suggestion). Another one with a great ending, although I felt like I was trudging through parts in the middle.

And, also, because I'm a girl and I thought it was a requirement to read Nicholas Sparks, I read his most recent The Best of Me. Oh, sweet Lord. Those are a couple days of my life I'll never have back. CHEE-SY! I feel like Mr. Sparks might owe me some compensation for the part of my brain his corny story is occupying and won't relinquish.

c) learning Spanish. ¡Ay de mi! Es muy dificil. Posiblemente, porque soy estúpido.* Y'all? This is not an aptitude for me. I have a friend (from Brazil nonetheless) who says she loves learning new languages. This. is. not. something I can comprehend. But, I refuse (REFUSE. Do you hear me?!) to let this thing beat me! So. After a brief lengthy hiatus, I'm back at it. Rosetta Stone made me do about ten reviews before I was back at the lesson where I left off. I think that was it's way of reminding me how long I'd been gone. Tacky, Rosetta Stone. Tacky.

d) traveling. When you think of a chid-friendly, blast of a destination, where do you think? NEW JERSEY! I know! Us too! Long story, short, we were going to go with another couple to visit some friends who had moved to Jersey. But at the last minute the other couple had to cancel. Since our kids have known this family (in Elizabeth's case, literally) their whole lives, we decided to pack them up and take them with us. Best decision we've made in a while. Our kids and their kids had such a blast together, there were even a few damp eyes as our visit neared its end. And, on the drive to the airport, the kids asked why we can't just move to New Jersey. I'd say that's a good time.

e) holding down the fort. Shawn's out of town. Again. But, he gets back tonight. I would like to reiterate my theory that he just leaves town so I will appreciate how much better life is when he's here. That. And, he wants to be sure I know who the favored parent is by letting me hear our children ask, "When is Daddy coming home?" three or four times a day.

So. That's life in a nutshell.

I'm going to work on Spanish. *groan*

* Use Google Translate - you can see what that means.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Liquor Store - Bring Your Kids!

The man working at the liquor store gave my kids lollipops.

a) Yes. I had my kids with me at the liquor store. Just a continuation of the Klassy theme for 2012. (Actually, I was buying brandy for a recipe. But, I don't know why I'm bothering to tell you that. I hardly believe me, and I was there.)

b) Now I'm afraid the liquor store is going to be my kids' new favorite place to go. They'll probably ask to go there when we're at school... or church.

c) Why does the liquor store man have candy for the kids?!

And, on a completely unrelated note: No one carded me. Again. I mean, I could have had Spencer when I was *doing the math...* 12. Or I could have been their babysitter. (Note to self: I have got to get them to stop calling me "Mom" when I'm trying to look underage.) Anyway. The liquor store hurts my self-esteem.

*clink, clink* Coins in the therapy fund.

This is not my baby.
This is, however, hysterical... and disturbing...

Monday, January 02, 2012

Our Christmas Card 2011
Keepin' It Klassy

The story behind that picture?

We were getting "respectable" family pictures taken and in the middle of taking pictures in this pose Shawn said, "Hurry up. Spencer's tooting on Mama!"

Lulu looked over at him and said, "Ewwww! Stop tooting on Mama!"


As Anna, our cousin the photographer, was editing the session she sent us this one in an email because she thought it was so funny. Shawn and I agreed it was a pretty funny picture and that was that.

But, that night as we were getting ready for bed I said, "You know what would be a funny Christmas card? If the front said, 'This holiday season may you never have to wonder...' then open it up and it has that picture with the words..."

And, Shawn finished my sentence with, "Who cut the cheese?!"*

We knew it had to be.

I have to admit to just a few reservations as I dropped these bad boys in the mailbox. But, it turns out that the people on our Christmas card list are just as irreverent as we are. We got more comments on this Christmas card than we have ever gotten - and many thanks for the laugh.

If people were offended, at least they didn't say anything about it. I'm sure they've just quietly removed us from their list of friends...

*It should be noted that Spencer is certain that, because I'm laughing so hard in this picture, I must be the offending party.


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