Friday, April 29, 2011

Forget the Royal Wedding...this one was better!!!

Ok, so it’s taken me all week to catch up on my rest after last weekend. What an incredible time we had at my nephew’s wedding!! I have never been to a wedding where so much attention to detail was paid to making sure the guests had everything they needed to have a great time. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised given the kind of people Ben and Holly are (they met while volunteering in New Orleans after Katrina) but my goodness…. it felt like a wedding weekend just for the guests!! Let me tell you a little bit….well the parts that I can tell without getting anyone in trouble. What happens in New Orleans…..stays with the family and on Facebook!!

This wedding has been in the planning for about a year now. Save the date magnets, wedding websites, and texts from Denise (my sister and mother of the groom) added to the anticipation. Now, you wouldn’t think a text would add much but as I’ve told you before…Denise and I have a thing with texting….some would say… an ongoing texting war!! She doesn’t quite get the whole time zone thing. She is on East Coast time and I’m on Pacific Coast time. Now most people get that there is a 3 hour time change but not for that college-educated-master-degree-holding woman!!! She began about a week or two before the wedding, texting how excited she was… almost daily! Now, I’m not sure what it’s like to have a child get married...yet. Nor do I know what it feels like to have 3 sons and be excited to have a daughter-in-law to help even out the testosterone in that household but that woman was excited!!! So the day before she was to leave after she texted (yet again)…. I decided that maybe she was needin’ some affirmation from the rest of us…so I got my other two sisters and my two daughters to help me text her every hour for the rest of the day…. “I’m so excited!!!” The next morning on her way to the airport at 6:45 am, she texted the following message: “Leaving for the airport, I’m so excited. Go back to sleep now.” Now….for those that “get” the whole time change thing…. You’ll understand why at 3:45AM my time, the message I sent back was….ahem…. less than gracious. 

It was great to see my sisters and brother, their husbands and wife, niece and nephews. This was the first time in quite a few years that all of us except my husband :( were together. I could bore you with stories of he said/she said and little private jokes but I won’t. Laughter and tears…. That pretty much sums up our time together. You see, we are a family of cry-ers… our father was the master of the craft. Once one of us starts, everyone follows….and then we laugh at each other crying!!
                                    Yup…. that is an official laughing cry!!

From eating beignets at Café Du Monde:
                                                         Got beignets?

To practicing our pre-wedding dancing skills:
                            We’re white people…it doesn’t come naturally! Obviously!

To photo ops and dinners together:
                                   My nephews: Ben, Pat and Charlie (aka Kyle)

As I said before, Holly and Ben had taken care of every detail to make sure their guests were taken care of. This is a list and I’m sure I’m forgetting or failed to notice some of the “little” touches:
Goody bags at the hotel with water bottles, keychains with their cell phones, hotel and cab phone numbers, beads, maps, brochures and a complete itinerary of the weekend and more.
At the church: fans, tissues for each guest, programs, bags with red beans and rice to throw as they exited the church.
She had a friend outside with exact change for the cable car and tokens in case a guest needed one.
At the reception: CD’s for each guest with the bride/groom’s favorite songs or wedding songs, Flip-flops for all the ladies to change into for the 2nd line parade. She even thought to have a basket for the women’s room filled with hair pins, aspirin, and other toiletries that one might need throughout the day!!
At the parade: Hankies to wave in the parade and sparklers to light up afterwards to end the celebration.

This is how many more cousins (plus Melissa- taking the photo) we have yet to marry off. Aren't they cute.... well... except for Patrick!!!

This is all the cousins, their favorite uncle (My brother) Pete and his wife AnnMarie enjoying the reception.

I felt like we were at the Wedding at Cana which lasted for days and the best wasn’t just saved for last but it just kept coming!!! This woman needs to be a wedding coordinator!!!

We rode cable cars to the reception and then to the parade. Yup…. the whole wedding party and almost all the guests filled those cable cars.
My niece Nikki and her super sweet boyfriend that the family has affectionately dubbed Boston Rob

The 2nd Line parade was hands down everyone’s favorite part. I have to be honest and say that the idea of marching in a parade after being at a wedding all day…. Well, I wasn’t sure it was going to be my thing. Once that band started playing and crowds of people started coming out to see our wedding party walk by….. AWESOME-EST part!!! We are probably on every tourist’s cell phones that day. Another bride and groom having their reception came out to meet our parade with champagne and glasses to toast with Ben and Holly while we paraded by!!!
After all, this is New Orleans and those people LOVE THEIR PARADES!!! Ben and Holly’s 2nd Line Parade will be on YouTube once it is finished with the editing and I’ll post a link here but too much fun.

I’ll end with pictures of us parading through the streets of New Orleans.
                                   Not a New Orleans Parade without costumes!!! 
                                   Photographer sister is working but here's the rest of us
                                   sisters and the very excited Mother of the Groom
                                   (she's the one in blue if you couldn't tell)!!

Missing them all already!!
Congrats Ben and Holly!! Enjoy your honeymoon and get the rest you deserve!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My hero in seat 23A

If you’ve been following my blog (I wouldn’t know because see that part over there ----------->>>> 
that says “Followers”…. Not many of you on there!!---It’s easy to just click and add yourself and then I’ll be sure to not talk about you.), you will remember that I was going to a wedding this past weekend. I did and I’m back and I’ll save a whole blog for that as soon as everyone finishes posting pictures on Facebook.

Today, I want to dedicate this blog to the woman in seat 22A on Southwest Flight 1003 from San Diego to Houston, whom I’ll affectionately (not!) refer to as Diane. You see she obviously didn’t get the memo that Southwest is a no-frills airline. Gone are the days when people dressed up to fly, when you were served on glass dishes, when the flight attendants had perfect hair, nails and makeup. Now we are in the days of line ‘em up, move ‘em in, grab whatever seat you can and expect nothing and ask for NOTHING in the way of service. That’s ok by me, that’s why we were flying them…. The price was right.

Now let me back up a little, I am a travel agent. (Insert business plug here):
"Specializing in groups and cruises and just people wanting to have fun and make memories"

I started out that way back in the 80’s BC…before children. I used to work in corporate travel where we sent business people all over the world, some who traveled over 300 days out of the year. I had one client that knew exactly which seat he wanted on each type of aircraft in each direction. For instance on a flight from New York to LAX he wanted seat 11A if it was a 737 but if it was a 727 going in the opposite direction I would have to get him seat 14F and if those weren’t available…. then we looked into another flight altogether. So…I’m used to picky travelers. I think Diane was his daughter!!

So on this day, my daughters and I were traveling with my sister, Laura, and her business partner, Ryan. We scrambled to grab seats close to each other. My sister and I were in the last seat of the plane but got aisle seats…winning!! My daughters were two rows in front also both on the aisles. Ryan grabbed the bulkhead seat in the front and…. Well we’ll talk about Ryan later!! Now I noticed Diane when I got on the plane, she was the woman with the sleep mask already on top of her head as we got on the plane…at 2 o’ clock in the afternoon. She was in the row in front of us in the window seat sitting with a young boy, presumably her son.

The plane takes off and Laura and I began talking as we hadn’t seen each other in months even though we live 30 miles from each other and had lots to catch up about. We are not 10 minutes into the flight when I hear someone say “Excuse me, Excuse me”. I look over and Diane says…… “Excuse me but could you lower your voice?” and proceeds to give me the shushing signal!!!

Now I was just sure I heard that wrong and with the look of incredulous-ness asked her to repeat herself. Which of course, she was very willing to do!!! At this time, my daughters turned to see what was going on and began laughing at mom who got “shushed”!!! Now I’m not a particularly bold person but as I get older…. Shushing just rubs me the wrong way!!! You see we were not a couple of kids on spring break laughing and cavorting (what does that mean?) but two women having a conversation. My daughters could not even hear us two seats in front. So…being the new bold me…. (remember the whole reason for my blog…. Yup, stepping out of my shell.) I decided to take a picture of…. Diane. I figure if you want to be difficult in public then in this age of technology…someone is going to have a phone camera or a blog. Oh, wait…. I have both!!! So here’s Diane sleeping…

Of course, I pretended to lower my voice for about 30 seconds or so until she could get into a deep airplane sleep. Then the best, most incredible thing happened!!! The man seated in row 23A also fell asleep and began to snore….right behind Diane!!! YES!!! YES!!!! LOUDER!!!! I LOVE YOU MAN!!!  He was an honest to goodness-blow-your-socks-off-was-that-him-or-just-turbulence kind of a snorer. He sawed an entire forest on that flight. I waited that whole flight for her to turn around and shush him and was mildly disappointed when it didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, the drink cart came through and Laura, a frequent flyer on Southwest, had a few free drink coupons which she handed out to us….. We couldn’t use this one… it was too appropriate!

We changed planes in Houston and had an hour to kill so we decided to go into the nearest restaurant while we waited for our connection and who did we see sitting at the next table… Diane. She looked a little tired, maybe she didn’t get much sleep. We even put Ryan near her as he tends to be a  little ok… a lot on the loud side. That's Ryan and my baby sister, Laura at said restaurant.

Our second flight was much more fun and a much livelier crowd. Ryan sat across the aisle from my daughters and myself and this time Laura sat near the front. Now, I’m thinking Ryan may have had a few of those free drink coupons that he used on that first flight or it could have been just Ryan who is a very funny guy but no sooner did the flight take off when Ryan stood up and proceeded to whisper something in the flight attendant’s ear. This was going to get interesting. She goes to the PA system and asks if there is a Laura De on this flight and would she please identify herself to the flight attendant. Laura who is thinking that maybe there was a problem because they had trouble scanning her boarding pass, proceeds to raise her hand and wave it around. The flight attendant then asks everyone to congratulate her on her recent engagement (which was not true). The plane erupts in cheers (QUIET! Diane might be on board.) and for the duration of the flight people asked to see her engagement ring.  Loved it!!! AND this was how our trip started!!! The whole trip was like one big, hilarious blog post.’s a couple of travel tips. 1. The next time you fly…. Shush yourself or someone will do it for you.
2. Flying is not fun…. So make your own…or bring Ryan!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When God spoke to me at Wal-Mart

In honor of this most Holy time of year, I thought it only fitting that I tell you my most favorite story of when God spoke to me. While I do consider myself a spiritual person, I wouldn’t say I have any kind of “special” connection to our Creator that allows Him to whisper things into the air and I become “all-knowing”. Just the opposite…. He pretty much has to hit me upside the head with a 2 x 4 before I realize He’s speaking to me. So you can imagine my surprise when He spoke to me….at Wal-Mart!!

A few years ago, in the year of my 40th birthday (I don’t think there’s any biblical significance to that 40 years) I decided it was time for an adult physical. Now I don’t know what made me think that 40 was the year I became an adult…probably should have happened long before then…but it was time. The kind of physical where they poke and prod, tell you to lose weight, leave a sample, lecture on your lifestyle, etc. In the midst of it, I happened to ask “Do I still have that heart murmur that my mother told me that I had as a child?” Fully expecting the doctor to say I had outgrown it….imagine my surprise when he said “No, and on a scale of 1 to 10…. You’re at an 8 in terms of loudness and I’d like you to get that checked out right away.” Naively, I left promising to schedule an echocardiogram (like a sonogram when you’re pregnant). I wasn’t the least bit nervous but should have been, given my family history of heart disease.

I had the test done and several weeks went by so I thought to myself…must not have been anything serious or they would have called by now. I was shocked when my doctor finally called to let me know I had something called aortic stenosis (clogged aortic valve) due to a birth defect. Excuse me, since when are birth defects caught 40 years after said birth??? He referred me to a cardiologist. Still in denial since I had absolutely no symptoms and people in my family with heart disease have….ummm…. heart attacks. I thought I’ll just go to the visit where he’ll prescribe some little magic pill and I’ll be off for another 40 years.

Not so fast!!! I went to the appointment alone (Who needs anyone with them when they get a prescription, right?) and was blindsided when instead of leading me into an exam room, I’m led into the doctor’s private office. UH-OH…. This is the movie scene where they tell the person they have 2 months left to live!!! He proceeds to bring out the plastic heart models and describes my “defect”. Those that know me probably already know that I have defects but this was news to me!! Apparently, he is surprised that I’m having no symptoms…. Shortness of breath, fainting or dizzy spells, heart attacks, etc. Whoa!! Heart attacks? I should have had one by now? Wait…. I feel one coming on…. Panic induced!! I felt like I should be doing that scene from the Oscars when Jack Palance got down and did a one-armed push up…. See all good…Can I go home now?

The next few weeks are spent doing an angiogram (neat little test where they shoot dye into your artery through your femoral artery and then you have to lay still for a day) and eventually a visit to the cardiothoracic surgeon to determine when I would have open-heart surgery to fix the aortic valve. It was scheduled for early October. My biggest decision was what type of valve I should choose. Really? I get a decision in all this? These were my choices: a porcine valve…that’s fancy talk for :

Or a mechanical valve which lasts longer than the  porcine but requires taking blood thinners (aka rat poison)
 and makes a noise….kind of a whoosh and a click.
Wow...what luck with those choices!!!

Now… I happen to be a very light sleeper and the thought of having a whoosh/click coming out of my chest 24/7 just didn’t have me excited!! I was reading/researching/discussing with others and could not make up my mind. The idea of having something that lasted longer was very appealing, as that meant I wouldn’t have to repeat this surgery as often (yup…. I get to have at least 2 of them…. If I’m lucky 3 or more) but whoosh/click…not so much.

After I had done all the research I could think to do…. I began to pray about it and give it over to God. In hindsight…. How come we don’t give this stuff over right away and let Him decide? Now…those that pray often know that He answers on his own time/terms. I prayed…. Nothing happened!! I prayed harder….nothing happened!! Ok… God… ‘scuse me but surgery is coming up in a couple of weeks and I kind of need to know before they knock me out. I prayed again….nothing!!

Now one Friday night, a couple of weeks before surgery, my husband and I went out to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. In the same shopping plaza, there happened to be a Wal-Mart. I suggested after dinner that I needed to go in to find some hospital pajamas and I hadn’t had time to get to the mall. Wal-Mart had to have something appropriate, right? My husband ventures off to shop in the man section while I peruse the racks of pajamas.

Now I’m not the muumuu nor cheetah print kind of girl. So I ask the woman working in the department, “Did they have any pajamas that button in the front that would be appropriate for hospital attire?” I did not feel it appropriate to tell her what I was going in for. She brought me over to another rack and began to tell me:

“You should choose the mechanical valve because that’s what I chose and I’ve never regretted it and it’s been 20 years.”

Dumbfounded, I asked her to repeat what she just said… which she gladly did. If you caught what I just wrote…. Not once did I tell this woman what I was being operated on and yet she spoke right to my heart…. Pun intended!! I asked her how she knew and she just smiled. I began to laugh. Not a little laughter but kind of a teary eyed unbelieving squeal.

There was my answer…. God was telling me that I was going to be ok! My husband walked up just then and thought I’d completely lost my mind for standing in the middle of the lingerie department all teary eyed and laughing uncontrollably. With minimal explanation, I hugged the woman and thanked her for her words of advice.

I never did buy the pajamas there but I went in several times looking for that woman and I never found her again. I also didn’t choose the mechanical valve. I knew that it no longer mattered which valve I chose… God had it all in His control so I didn’t need to worry.
So…. if anyone reading this doesn’t know God, or feels like God doesn’t hear you…be ready to meet Him in the most unlikely places.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My nephew Ben & my new niece Holly

I write this blog with much joy and a bit of melancholy. My nephew Ben is getting married this week. With great joy, we welcome Holly into the family. I have yet to meet her but from what I hear she’s a sweetheart and a wonderful addition. Then why the melancholy, you ask? He’s the first of all the nieces and nephews to get married which means we are entering into this next season of our lives and the old season will be gone. Our precious little young-uns have turned into adults and that means….. we (my siblings are I) are now the middle-agers!!

Having lived 3000 miles away for much of Ben’s childhood….my memories of him growing up are limited. So I’m going to rely on some photos to help me remember our “little” Ben!! I thought it only fitting that Holly gets to see what she’s getting into before the big day….hopefully I’m not telling her stuff that she doesn’t already know.

Ben’s parents fell in love and got married a long, long, long…..long time ago.

Anyone know what's up with Laura in the photo?

They were delighted when they learned they were pregnant and had this beautiful baby boy….our Ben!!

By now, Denise is sobbing as she reads this. Hehehe

Ben was a wonderful, inquisitive child. The master of asking….why and how come?  You have no idea how many times we heard the following song: (Ask him I’m sure he can still remember the words.)
Think of Ben singing the following song:

He always had a patriotic side and I can still remember when he learned the song “It’s a Grand Old Flag” and we heard it over and over and over and over again. No quite literally…I’ll never be able to hear that song again without hearing it in Ben’s little voice.
This is him and his patriotic cousins.

Ben had (I assume still does) many friends. But BB was his first and best-est friend for many years.

His family always saw no color and often times would try to blend in wherever they went. This is them in Tijuana trying to fit in. Not so much!!! Someone even walked by as that photo as it was being taken and said (in disgust) “Those people must be from Kansas!!”

Ben was a voracious reader as a child. Often mimicking the books he read.

What’s that you say, Harry Potter?

Fashion was not his strength but some jobs a mother of a son will have to pass on to his wife. Good luck with that one!

Yup.... that's him in a duct tape tuxedo.
 Apparently his grandmother's sewing skills
is skipping this generation too! (Refer to previous post)

When I used to work doing pre-marital counseling with couples, I would help them to realize that they weren’t just marrying one person but they were marrying a whole family. So Holly….. don’t say I didn’t warn you…. Ben is a package deal.

And lastly, Ben’s parents, they are great people. A little nutty at times but look on the bright side you get to help pick out their nursing homes!!!

So, Holly and Ben, wishing you all the best as you begin your married life together. Be good to each other, keep the love and the laughter alive.

I couldn’t find any pictures of Ben in any costume that resembled a knight in shining armor so you’ll have to settle for Robin Hood to rescue you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Raised in a fabric store

A special welcome to my international readers…. Bienvenido and G’day Mates!! I’m sure you probably found my blog by accident but thank you, I now feel like an International author. Hey…. my blog…my fantasy!! Thanks to my special follower/friend… Dwija….a great blog writer and she inspires me to keep writing. The internet is so great for finding those people that once crossed your path in life and then you went your separate ways. Check out her blog at incredible mom!!

As you saw on my last post, crafting is not my thing. I try but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be making any money at it anytime soon. You see sometimes these things skip a generation… and I’m ok with that. And if you’ve ever received a handmade gift from me…you should be glad I’ve come to terms with it too. Maybe now I will stop.

My mother loved to sew. It was her passion…some might say an obsession.(Ok I say it was)  She had a sewing room just a tad bigger than a closet that she would go into and close the door (I’m sure it was to get away from us five kids) and she would come out hours later with wonderful creations and a better mood. She would buy fabric by the bolt and sometimes patterns by the case. For those that don’t know what a bolt it…. it’s about 15-25 yards of fabric rolled onto a cardboard rectangular tube. Now for those of you that knew me…. I was tiny (tiny meaning short and small) as a child... I know hard to believe.

Ok, matching pajamas on my sisters and that's me next to the doll!! Enough said!

It took many years before I hit the 4 foot mark on the wall. So… imagine where I’m going with this….. she could make about 3 to 4 outfits out of the SAME FABRIC!! I need to mention that she also left the hems longer so she could let them "out" as we grew and they’d last longer! Yup… rickrack and lace could cover up those seams!! Ughhh! I’m attaching a photo of a quilt my grandmother made with the leftover scraps of fabric. I can still tell you which fabrics made which outfits and how many years I had to wear it. (ok…tad bit of exaggeration) You can see from the myriad of fabrics that some of it was…ummm… what’s the word… oh yeah….UGLY!! There’s even one in there that she made into the living room couch slipcover (probably to cover that ugly orange couch we had—refer to earlier post). One time she even found fabric that was the exact duplicate of her bedroom wallpaper so once inside you could never find your way  out...walls & windows, all looked the same. 

I know I wasn’t alone in these thoughts, I had 2 older sisters that also had clothes sewn for them. But for me it meant that….when I outgrew my outfit…. I had 2 more sizes to grow into! YEAH!! (Insert sarcasm) My sisters will agree with me that the absolute worst was the wool fabric that she would sew into pants for us. When you complained that they itched, she gave us cotton tights (miserable invention…the hint is in the word…TIGHT) to wear underneath. Now….there is a reason why women have given up wearing hosiery….. UNCOMFORTABLE!! Well imagine running around the playground with itchy pants and tights underneath which are falling down at the crotch…. That’s right you can’t run around!! No wonder the boys could run faster. I’m inserting a photo of the fabric swatch of the wool pants that I got (as in lucky me) to wear to my first ever 6th grade school dance. Yeah…. Sweet stars and stripes material… I was hot!!! No really, wool pants make you hot especially when dancing all sixth grade style!!

I tried to learn to sew but neither of us (she to teach and me to learn) had the patience for it. In eighth grade, I took sewing in home economics class (for you younger readers…. That was a filler class when the schools actually had money to spend where you learned how to cook and sew and do domestic, women-y things). So my project was a wrap skirt…. Should have been easy right? Not so much. Apparently straight seams are a little trickier than they look for the sewing challenged. I tried to start a new craze called the "wave wrap skirt" but it didn’t catch on. I ended up having to wear that skirt in the home economics fashion show and I could just see my mother cringing at whose daughter could not sew.

For years, we children were left to find ways to amuse ourselves in fabric stores as she would spend hours (ok…it felt like hours) combing the racks of fabric for that great bargain bolt. We knew where every fabric store and every Catholic Church (more on that in a later post) were located in all of New England (nope didn't need Mapquest). Do you think I’m kidding here? If we went to visit relatives, on camping trips, or family vacations… shopping and church were always included in the itinerary…in either order. My mother’s brother had a family of 5 children also (4 girls and 1 boy in each family) and we were all pretty close in age. When we got together it was like Brady Bunch and Partridge Family all together with an emphasis on the female side. One Thanksgiving while visiting them at their home in Maine, we women folk went to the fabric store while the men folk got to stay home and do…. Ummmm… I don’t know… manly things. Well, we girls got to fooling around in the fabric store and my sister started moving the mannequin’s hand around dancing and talking and oops…it accidentally fell off.
Not wanting to get into trouble…. She hid it. Ok…. we are still sticking with the story that we hid it…not stolen. The wrath of my mother would have been WAY worse than any store security guard. Yup…. Hid it right there in her purse. This was before security tags were invented and you could just walk out the door without buzzers going off. She got that hand home and we began to plot how to “get the boys”. I’m not sure which was more fun…the plotting what to do or the actual doing but we laughed all afternoon. The hand made it into their bed that night…. the same bed we had short sheeted earlier in the day. Oh, the fun and giggles we had that night. I’m not sure what ever happened to that hand. I want to say my cousin had it for a few years because if we had it…it probably would have been sewn into something cute!! The fun we used to have with those cousins!!!
This is a picture of some of us cousins. I'm not saying who was involved in the mannequin hand caper. I'm not sure of the statute of limitations for stolen mannequin hands.

So, one year mom decided to learn to knit. Personally, I believe we can’t be good at everything and I think this was the case with her knitting. She decided that us girls would all get knit sweaters for Christmas that year. The problem was she ran out of time. My oldest sister got a wrapped box with the completed sweater. My middle sister got a wrapped box with the front and back panels knitted but not completed. I got a wrapped box of yarn with a note that she’d get to it after Christmas was over. Wow…. Really… I got a box of yarn!!

She made good on that promise and here’s my sweater. I still have it… I actually can’t part with it. She’s been gone about 31 years now and it still holds memories. So....let me know your size and I'll get to work on knitting your sweater.... maybe I'll find my niche.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Creative gift idea

***Warning---this post is for my female readers. May not be appropriate for male readers (or my two daughters whom I frequently embarrass and will roll their eyes at me).  But if you still want to read…. You may learn a thing or two about women.

First of all ladies…. I just want to tell you that I found a wonderful way to get your men to listen to you. Something happened to my husband this past week and he has become very attentive. For example, I told him a whole story in the car the other day and a short while later… he was able to repeat what I had said. I WAS AMAZED!!! Dumbfounded I asked out loud “How did this happen?” to which he replied… “I don’t want to be put on the blog again!!” If I had known this would happen, I’d have started a blog YEARS AGO!!! Now I just give the blog look….. half-tilted head, eyes squinted, mouth pressed into a thin line and slight shaking of the head and he knows I’m blogging in my head about what he has just done.

 It even started to work on my friend’s husband when she told him be nice or Cathy will blog about you. Yes, ladies…. It works and fast!!!

So… on to today’s post....

I’m always looking for tips for how to find multiple uses for things and I just wanted to share one item that I have found various uses for. It’s a common item we girls carry around in our purses until mid-life when thank goodness we don’t need to because we’d never remember where we put our purses anyways. Yep… I’m talking feminine hygiene products.

When the kids were little, I used to keep some spare “products” in my car glove box for those times when I wasn’t quite prepared or was going someplace where I didn’t want to carry a purse so I’d just throw some in there. Well…. I hadn’t realized how much of a stash I had in there until the day I got pulled over for doing a rolling stop at a stop sign. Of course, I HAD actually stopped the car completely but the officer obviously had not been paying attention quick enough and missed it.

With my girls in the back seat and my nephew (about 13 at the time) sitting in the front passenger seat, I got pulled over. So….Mr. Officer asks me to take out my license and registration. The registration is in the glove box but I can’t find the darn thing because I’ve got more feminine hygiene products in there than CVS pharmacy has on their shelves!!! So…in my nervousness I start taking “things” out and putting them on my nephew’s lap who is just mortified. I look over at the officer and he has this smirk on his face. He could have been nice and just given me a warning but noooooo… he makes me take out the entire contents of the glove box and still gives a ticket. I believe that if I did not have the children in the car, I may have been able to give a little PMS cry and get out of that ticket but he needed to set an example for the children!! So….. keep a supply in your glove box….you may just get yourself out of a ticket!!

I’ve also found them useful when working in an office full of men. When I had my church office job, my desk was always ransacked over the weekend. The guys couldn’t bother to get a pen from their own desk so they would run to mine, open the top drawer and take all the pens. Monday morning comes around I have a line of people waiting for the office to open and I have nothing to write with. Problem solved….. I put feminine hygiene products in the pen drawer. Immediately, they left that drawer alone. Cooties, I guess!

This last idea is a great little inexpensive gift idea. You see I’m not a very crafty person. I try to make handmade gifts but they just never come out looking like they do in the picture. So… I received this email forward with this gift idea and thought I CAN DO THIS!!! My sister Denise and I are always giving each other creative gifts. I’ll do a blog someday of the wonderful gifts that she has sent me that I just cherish.:) But I wanted to out-do her creativity and this was perfect. It was practical AND creative. She would be so proud of me and jealous that I did it first. I forgot to take a picture at the time I mailed it but luckily she still had it and emailed this picture back to me. I’m not sure why there is only one left…. I clearly remember making two…. Maybe one came in handy in an emergency.

These are called disposable slippers….perfect for a friend who’s going in the hospital or traveling and wants to travel light.

You can get the longs for those gals with larger feet and you can simply un-stick to adjust for wider feet. I put little stickers on them to jazz them up but you could marker them up too. Bedazzle them…. Wow, wouldn’t that look cute!! Unpeel parts of the bottom and you could have non-slip soles…. But be careful not to unpeel the whole layer or you’ll be stuck to the floor. If you get the ones with butterflies quilted in…. the decorating is already done for you. **

**Side note…. Will someone please tell me why some idiot thinks butterflies and flowers look cute on these things? I don’t get it. I feel more like a slug that wants to bite the head off that stinking flower!!!

So… ladies… give me your comments below with ideas of uses that you have found for them. I think this information needs to be shared.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My man of few words...often chooses the wrong ones!!

Realizing the other night that no one was going to be safe from being on my blog, my husband said with great trepidation, “So what is my entry going to be titled?. I told him a couple of ideas I had been thinking of but nothing was set yet. In the beginning when I told him that I was thinking of starting a blog but was worried I wouldn’t have enough to say to keep it going very long…. He said “I’ve been with you for 29 years and you’ve not run out yet.” He is a very inspiring man. So… we were sitting in a restaurant and service was very slow that night so we had lots of time to talk. Ok, so I talked mostly. He did what most men do, he began to sing to his woman. What? You say yours doesn’t sing to you? Well, let me tell you what you are NOT missing.

For those of you that don’t know my sweetheart, Fernando is from Ecuador. Yeah, I had never heard of it either except for my fourth grade country report and the only thing I remembered was that bananas come from Ecuador. By the way, he says the ONLY bananas to buy are the ones from Ecuador…they are sweeter. I guess it’s like the Maine vs. Idaho potato thing…don’t ever tell a Maine person that you buy Idaho potatoes. (Consumer buying tips are a blog bonus… aren’t you pleased?) I’ll blog another time about how we met and have managed to blend (or not?) our two cultures. Today’s blog is just about Fernando’s use/misuse of the English language.

Now before you think I’m making fun of someone courageous enough to speak a second language, I am not. I am in awe of his bravery. He came to this country at the age of 16 to live with his brother and other family members who had already established themselves here. He took night classes to learn English and finish his high school diploma. He has worked hard and has done some amazing things. He believes that if you live in a foreign country then you need to learn the language and you should get no special treatment. Well, I love him but today...he gets no special treatment.

I wasn’t sure in the beginning if what I was hearing was due to the language barrier or perhaps he had a hearing problem or what??? He would sing lyrics that had no relevance to the song but would insist that what he sang was what it says. The scary thing was I would hear the tune and recognize what the heck he was trying to sing. For instance, remember Paul McCartney’s song “Band on the Run”? Well to Fernando it says “Stand on the Road”. Or to Faith Hill’s lyrics “I can hear you breathe”…. To Fernando it says “I can hear you breed”? Ummmm… ewww NO!! My absolute favorite was a long time ago there was a group called Queens of the Stone Age who had a song called “Never Say Never” (Google it) and there were lyrics in there that said “I might like you better if we slept together”. Fernando’s version goes like this “Your momma said it’d be better if we slept together”. Ahhhhh….nope…wrong again!!! He’s a Spanish version of Weird Al Yankovic kind of blended with Ricky Ricardo. I just can’t “splain” it to you.
This is him singing to my cousin, Beth. I'm afraid to ask her what he was singing!! 

As we’ve gotten older, his singing has evolved into lovely notes that he writes in the cards that he gives me. Well….you might not think them “cherishable” but I do. For those that don’t know the Spanish language… adjectives are placed after the word (the reverse of English)…for example… the word “red hair” would be “hair red”. Well, imagine my surprise when what he meant to write was “Oh, my love” but what he wrote was “My love HO”. What? Really? The kids are going to read this!! Or how about the time he got mixed up on the double negatives and told me “Not a day goes by that I don’t not thank God for you”. Wait… what? Ouch! I’m sure after reading this that he would probably agree with these words.

One of his best mess ups occurred a few summers ago with our good friend, Connie. Connie and her husband Bill had come to visit us in Arizona when we were there with our girls and their friends. Bill needed to go back home to work but Connie and their daughter, Renee decided to stay on a few extra days with us. We went out for dinner one night and Connie had gotten a little rowdy. Fernando suggested she order an alcoholic drink. Connie said “Why?”. He replied “So I can seduce you!” to which we all gasped!!! He realized instantly that perhaps he’d chosen a wrong word. Quickly he looked to me for help….nope… ON YOUR OWN BUDDY!! We soon found out that he was trying to “subdue” her!!!! It’s been about 4 years now and Connie still doesn’t let him live that one down. He asked recently what he could do to get her to stop teasing him about that one. I said…. You’ll have to top the last comment. To date… he has not but I’m still holding my breath. I found this picture to put of Fernando and Connie.... she was actually teasing him about the same story.

So…. My husband is a gentle man of few words but when he does choose them….. watch out!!! If you do get to meet him, please don’t sing near him. It’s not pretty.