Friday, April 20, 2007

The Diet Coke & Freezer Experiment

I was getting ready for work this morning and contemplating what to do with my damp, frizzy hair. I seem to be experiencing the pendulum effect from using a straightening iron on my hair.The more I straighten my hair, the frizzier it becomes when I don't.

I heard my eldest son yelling for his father. "Dad! DAAADDD! Come here! "
Whenever there is a crisis, Dad is the go to guy. At the moment let's just say he was indisposed.

" Dad can't come down right now" I yell. " What is the matter?!"

" Something happened to the freezer!" he yelled back.

"Oh shit!" I think to myself. " I bet I know what it is" I say while I bounding down the stairs. I just remembered that I had put a can of Diet Coke into the freezer as I was leaving the house last night to pick the boys up from Karate. I was going to enjoy a "cold one" when I got back home in half an hour or so. I guess I forgot.

"How bad is it?"
"Take a look for yourself!"

Oh crap! The can was split down the side, it must have burst at the seam. I never saw a can blow up that way, and for a brief moment I thought it was cool. Then I surveyed the carnage. I was going to have to completely take out all the shelves & frozen food to clean.

" Dad is going to kill you!"
"Do you think I can get this cleaned before he comes down?" I inquired as I frantically started to pull out the entire contents of the freezer. I scraped the frozen mess off the sides . Some of the Diet Coke chips went flying and relocated to hard to reach places as well as creating a mess on the kitchen floor.
At this point my middle child had arrived and was filled in on the situation by his older brother.

" This is why you never should put drinks in the freezer. Let this be a lesson to you boys" I warn. Like I had somehow planned this whole fiasco to serve as a demonstration on what not to do.
" We would never do that! You are gonna be in trouble!" they chimed in unison.

I felt like a child and then I remembered, " I'm an adult. What is my husband going to do? Spank me? I don't think so!"

I had made pretty good progress when down came Dad. " What happened?".
My middle son ratted me out before anyone else could. " Mom put a Diet Coke in the freezer and it exploded!"
"You big dummy!" my husband said. " You might want to put some clothes on. The neighbors can see through our sheers, you know!"

It was getting close to the time the children needed to leave for the bus stop and I was in my underwear. While I doubt anyone would see me, I didn't want to risk it. I ran upstairs, threw on some jeans & a tee shirt. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. If my husband was Don Imus, he would have called me a nappy-haired ho!

I went back to the scene of the crime, this time with clothes on! I worked fast and furious to finish. After what I thought was a thorough cleaning, I failed inspection. Twice!

I now had 5 minutes to fix my hair, put on make-up and find some clean clothes to wear for work. Needless to say I was late. On the bright side, it gave me something to bitch about to my workmates and to my friend David (who always has better horror stories). It also gave me something to blog about.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

MySpace Tom - I'm Sorry

As if there was ever a doubt, I am now officially a dumb-ass!

Tom, I am soooo very sorry that I thought you were a stalker. It has been brought to my attention that you are the president of MySpace and appear on new members friend's list as sort of a Spirit Guide to the Nether-World of MySpace. A social director, like Julie on Love-Boat. Who knew?
Apparently everybody but me.

You, with your goofy, toothy grin, were my first MySpace friend and I foolishly deleted you. I am such a loser. At least on MySpace, I had a friend.

On Blogger, I had to create another identity so I could have at least one comment. All those profile views are ME, checking to see if anyone looked at MY blog. Did you know that every time you click on your own profile, it looks like you have viewers? I probably shouldn't tell anyone but GUESS WHAT? - no one except me is reading this!!!!

Now I know what Jessica Simpson must have felt like when she discovered that "CHICKEN OF THE SEA" is a metaphor for Tuna. She does know that now, right?
I had the chance to count the most popular and influential person on MySpace as my friend and I blew it. With over 171 million friends, you must be a good guy. And now I have no friends.

Can you blame me for thinking you wanted a piece of this? ----->

My Space Friend - Tom

Tom, I'm sorry. You had to be deleted. Nothing personal, I do not know you and I do not need any new friends. You gotta admit, it's kind of creepy the way you just popped up in my Friends section on my brand new MySpace account.

Last night I set up a MySpace Account. I just wanted to see what it was all about. All my much younger associates have one and I was curious. I was told that in order to view profiles, you must have an account. Well now that I am a BLOGGER, I thought, why not venture into MySpace, although I gotta admit I was a bit nervous. It was Friday the 13th and I was a bit intimidated by this cyber-space swimming pool of humanity.

In the profile I had to put my birthday, zip code and other personal information. Why was I here: Friends? Dating?, Relationships or Networking? Well I am not looking to make any new friends; certainly not for dating or relationships ( affairs?). As I am married with children, I checked Networking. Then there was the preference box: Straight, Gay, Bi or No Preference. What do I check? I am Straight and have friends that are Gay. If I check No Preference, what does that mean? Would someone think I was a bi-curious, bored suburban Mom looking for some hot lesbian action? I clicked on Straight.

After filling out what I felt was the bare minimum info to set up my account, I was one click away from joining. I was nervous. Blogger seems so much more anonymous.I held my breath and joined. I reviewed my profile & to my surprise I already had a friend. His name is Tom.

Oh shit! I do not know him. Why is he in my space? What would my husband think? I need to get rid of him. Will Tom be hurt or mad ? Will he become a stalker? I was a little afraid. My best option was to delete him. I think I fixed the settings so that only people I invite can be my friends.

Sorry Tom, no offense but you had to go. You really shouldn't sneak up on people like that!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Crazy Cardboard Lady

Nicknames help define who we are and our relationship to others. They can be a term of endearment such as Baby, Hubby or to identify someone by their function such as Magazine Guy, DHL Lady. Unusual habits or features also make for good labels such as Cyclops for the girl with a glass eye or Super Hero guy for the customer who collects comic book memorabilia.

Today I became " Crazy Cardboard Lady".

I am trying to do my part for the environment and recycle when I can. We can accumulate quite a bit of cardboard at work and I bring a van-load bi-weekly to a nearby recycling center. I feel like a bit of an oddity there surrounded by construction workers bringing in old gutters and siding and vagabonds bringing in shopping carts filled with cans.

After several months of drop-offs I am recognized with nods and the occasional wave from the workers there. I wondered how they refer to me. Do they appreciate my cardboard offerings? Do I have a nickname?

Today when one of the older gentlemen nodded and came over to help, I had to ask. " Do I have a nickname?"
" What do you want to be called?" he asked
" Crazy Cardboard Lady!" I exclaimed, gleefully.
He laughed. It's always a good day when I can put a smile on someone's face. Even when it is at the expense of my dignity. Wait, who am I kidding. I have no dignity.
But...TODAY I HAVE A NICKNAME - I'm Crazy Cardboard Lady, a name tag I will wear proudly!

Leaf Blowers and Street Cleaners - a random stream of ?

I got into work early today so I could have a cup of coffee, play a game of Free Cell, and check email and bank accounts before anyone came in. As I was getting my cup o' joe, I noticed a man with a leaf blower - at 7:30 in the morning?! What the hell for? .... probably clearing debris from the parking lot before the "suits" came in.

I just don't get the point of leaf blowers. It seems to be a huge waste of energy... unless you want to do your part to help melt the polar caps! What the hell happened to rakes & push brooms? Do you think that blowing your leaves into the street or on your neighbor's property is going to make them go away???

On that note, what about street cleaners? I passed one the other day kicking up a cloud of dust. Can anyone tell me why it is necessary for a large steamroller-like vehicle pushing a giant roller/brush to kick up street dirt? Where does all this flying dust go?

I'll tell you - on my car, right after I had it washed! I think that's the way the city gets rid of street dirt: by transferring it to passing traffic. Why else would they do this during rush hour?
Next time you pass a street cleaning vehicle you can count that as community service.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Religion - Punishment or Country Club for the Soul?

When it comes to religion, I like to refer to our family as "Cashews" - my husband was raised Catholic and I was raised Jewish ( reformed). While neither of us is particularly observant, we want our children to be aware of their heritage. We also love holidays with food, games and presents and this way we have twice as many "celebrations".

For Easter, Grand-mommy ( my mother-in-law ) makes up Easter baskets or bags for my boys and we have Easter brunch with my husband's family. We do not typically have Easter baskets for the boys at our house because this would fall under my domain. I feel funny doing the "fun" part without having the boys understand the real meaning of Easter. Being Jewish, it would fall under my husband's responsibility.

After brunch my middle child, who is all about candy and sweets, asked if we were going to have an Easter Egg hunt when we got home. I told him that we need to go to church first. When we got home, he inquired about going to Church. ( I guess he thought he'd call our bluff ). My husband, well schooled in guilt, a staple of both our upbringings, gave our child a stern look.

" What do you think the priest will say to you about going to Church, just because you want an Easter Egg hunt? Easter Services are not about Jesus and the Easter Bunny!"

This reminded me of last year when he told my oldest son I was going to take him to Temple on Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement. I think he was trying to punish the boy ( I can't remember why ). I refused to subject a child to several hours of seriously long and torturous services. Instead, I spoke to a local reform Temple that was known for "mixed" families. I was sent information on membership and upcoming events. The original idea was to find a family friendly function for us to go to.

It seemed like a good idea.... until I looked at the dues structure. Yikes! What is this, a country club? Then it hit me - why yes, Religion is a Country Club for the Soul!

I guess we are not the country club type!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now??????

One of my pet peeves is rude people on cell phones in public places. I am not anti-cell phone. I have one and feel naked if I don't carry it with me at all times. All I ask for is some common sense & courtesy. Simple things like turning your off ( or at least to vibrate ) when in meetings, a movie theater or performance or at a luncheon or dinner.

When I had a shop in a busy urban area we had many annoying experiences:
1. The Businessman who came into our shop solely to get away from noisy traffic so he could have a cell phone conversation.
2. The loud talker who exposed staff & customers to T.M.I. - way too much information. (Her mother recently passed away, she lost her job & her life- partner was cheating on her......)
3. The shopper with lots of packages from other stores taking over our sales counter so she could answer her phone. ( none of this was our merchandise)
4. The lone shopper with an ear piece so you would think she was either speaking to you or a crazy lady talking to herself.

I could go on, but you get the idea. My people would react by turning up the volume on the stereo in a passive-aggressive way to show their displeasure.

I decided to take a more direct approach & came up with a set of rules that we posted. This way we could politely ask someone if they could take their call outside if they were disturbing us. While I was unsure how these rules would be taken, I was surprised by the overwhelming positive response.

Cell Phone Rules

We request you follow our 5 Basic Cell Phone Rules

1. Keep your conversation polite, short and quiet!
We recommend either taking a message or stepping outside.

2. Respect the personal space of those around you.
Maintain at least a 10 ft. zone from anyone while talking.

3. Private conversations should be kept private.
Although we may personally find your conversation entertaining, it is disruptive to our business.

4. Don’t keep others waiting. Put the phone down and take care of business first!

5. Anything you say, can and will be used against you!
Surveillance cameras are in operation! We reserve the right to submit these tapes to Reality TV Shows, Local Authorities or to Friends for personal amusement.

Manicure Scissors can cut hair!

My then 3 year old practicing his fine motor skills

One day while getting my 2 older boys ready for school, my preschooler, who was running a fever, was given some Tylenol and left unsupervised upstairs with his sleeping father. When he came back downstairs, his hair was wet & a patch of scalp was showing.
Me: "Colin! What happened to your hair?!!!"
Colin: " I cut it!"
Me: " Why would you do such a thing?"
Colin:" To get the dirt out!"

I went upstairs to see how he did this as I was pretty sure the hair scissors were in a child-proof drawer. I found a sink littered with fine hair clippings and a pair of manicure scissors on the bathroom counter. Of course I was in trouble with my husband for not supervising him. Dad made me leave his hair untouched as punishment. ( mostly for me, I think ).

In speaking with other mothers, I found that lots of kids do this and that even plastic child safety scissors can cut hair. At least he didn't do this right before a school or holiday picture! The teachers got a kick out of his new 'do.
" That Colin is always practicing his fine motor skills!" one of his teachers exclaimed.

A few days later, I caught him starting to cut his hair again. At that point I decided to shave it all off! Not sure what the lesson is here because there are so many ways kids can get in trouble and it is difficult to watch them every second.

In a perfect world, all scissors would be locked up, all sharp objects also hidden and all plastic safety outlet covers would always be put back immediately after vacuuming. Which reminds me of the time we caught this same child playing with paper clips and starting to put one in an open outlet. He was one poke away from getting fried.... What can I say? I am a bad momma!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Recipe for LesPâtes au Fromage

An old family recipe that is sure to be a hit

Les pâtes au fromage

1. Mettre les pâtes dans un bol de 1.5 à 2 litres. Ajouter 1 3/4
d'eau chaude.

2. Passer les pâtes sans couvercle au four micro-onde pendant 8 à 10
minutes, ou jusqu'à ce que les pâtes aient absorbé toute l'eau, en les
remuant toutes les 3 minutes.

3. Ajouter 1/4 tasse de margarine, 1/4 tasse de lait et le Mélange de
de Fromage. Bien mélanger. Résultats: à peu près 3 tasses de pâtes

Household tips

I’m often asked how I am able to do it all. Juggling motherhood with keeping house and running a small business is tough but I have learned a few tricks.
First it is necessary to have a supportive life partner or spouse. Do not attempt this on your own.

Recipe for Cleaning House
One of our favorite motivators to clean house in a timely fashion is to invite friends over when it is time to clean.

We usually wait until we can’t stand the mess and filth any more and one of us will extend an invite to friends or family to come over for a meal.It is important to allow at least three hours for speed cleaning and a quick trip to the grocery store.

Start cleaning the rooms most likely to be visited. Start with the main floor powder room, kitchen and family and living rooms.

When dusting, if a piece of furniture is covered with books or other decorative items, just dust the edges around the exposed wood that can be seen. After quickly dusting and running a vaccum cleaner, wash only the high traffic areas of the linoleom or tiled floor.

If you still have at least two hours to spare, now would be a good time to make a quick run to the store. Pre-cooked foods such as roasted chicken, mashed potatoes , some other vegetables as well as a nice cake or pie are among the best items to pick up.
Also beer, wine or any other alcoholic beverage is a good idea. A guest with a slight buzz on is a happy guest and less likely to notice any imperfections.
After rushing only the bare necessities home, replace store bought food containers with your own serving dishes to give a home cooked appearance.
Now would be a good time to hop into the shower, followed by a quick cleaning of your bathrooms.
Get dressed, pour yourself a glass of wine and you are ready to greet your guests.

Laundry Tips

The hardest part about doing laundry is folding and putting it away once you are done. A time-saving tip we discovered is to leave your clean clothing in the bucket,taking it out as it is needed.

This works best with the children’s clothes. They don’t need to have neatly ironed clothes. No one really notices and if they do you can blame it on how active they are. It also works well on adult under garments.If anyone notices, you have bigger problems than wrinkled undies!Be extra careful not to mix up your clean and dirty laundry.

Bath Time Savers

When giving a dirty child a bath, why not put all your kids in the tub at once. Not only does this save on time and water, the kids have fun.

If you have any pets, throw them in too!

Water on the floor?... Not to worry. Just pull out a shirt or towel out of your dirty laundry to wipe up the wet floor. Why waste a perfectly good sponge when you are going to have to wash your laundry anyway!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Oklahoma, soon to be a state quarter?

All 3 of my boys have recently began to collect state quarters. This is a great hobby that is educational as well as fun. They use a puzzle map of the United States to help organize their collections and to check for which states are missing. The boys are very competitive and enjoy trading to expand their collections. They also will raid Mom & Dad's coin purses to see if they can find any "good" quarters.

Our precocious 6 year old announced the other day that Oklahoma was going to be a state soon. He was pretty sure this was going to be the next quarter too.
When I asked him where he got this idea from, he replied, " Oklahoma is the Sooner State!"

Apparently the puzzle has the nicknames posted under the states' names!