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July 2005
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September 2005

I don't understand

... why the words "mandatory evacuation" are met with a deaf ear.

... why those who are unable to heed the "mandatory evacuation" due to medical/financial/transportation matters are not given greater assistance getting out.

... why we spend time, money, and risk to human life rescuing those who choose not to leave.

... why a MAJOR city, built below sea level, never had a group of people address the worst case scenario and come up with solutions and then implement them, or at the very least have a worst case scenario game plan ready to implement in the eventuality that tragedy would occur.

... why people with children choose to stay in harm's way.

... why hotels charge refugees who have nothing.

... why people with millions and billions of dollars do so little, yet total strangers who have very little will give all they can.

... why we have hundreds of thousands of troops off fighting an unwinnable war when we could use their help so badly here at home.

... why the NATIONAL GUARD comprises much of those troops who are abroad, when one of their principle duties is to homeland rescue and assistance Remind me again the definition of "national," Mr. Bush?

... why average citizens need to walk around with guns, especially when tensions are so high and people are so desperate.

... why the police aren't protecting the people and National Guard members aren't out in force to do search and rescue.

... why people would watch this hurricane grow for days and target their region and yet decide that it's a "cry wolf" situation.

... so much about this whole tragedy.

I've never felt so sad. Or helpless. Or outraged. Or mystified. Or blessed.

I am blessed that I have a home. I am blessed that I have my family. I am blessed to have food in the fridge, water in the faucet, clothes in the closet. I am blessed to have money in the bank. I am blessed to live in an area that doesn't get natural disasters of any magnitude. I am blessed to have a good night's sleep. I am blessed with laughter. I am blessed with easy communication. I am blessed with health and cleanliness. I am blessed with the ability to give to my children. I am blessed that my bad day involves nothing more serious than cranky children, crummy naps, and a hot crowded room full of eager kindergartners and their parents getting to know a new room and teacher. I am blessed with the ability to feel perspective and relativity from the good side. I am blessed. And I am endlessly thankful.

Trippin' down the cobblestones ...

AKA Tenika's meme challenge #9 - 10 places I'd like to visit

Since I have a serious case of cabin fever and a serious fear of flying, I tend to go a little crazy. Maybe if I put down all the places I want to travel to and see it in black and white, it'll be a motivator. We've taken ONE vacation in the nearly nine years we've been married ... spent a week in Maine and Boston when I was five months pregnant with Henry ... which is so very sad. That must be remedied toot-sweet.

1. Italy - I won't be more specific than that, because there is such a vast variety of landscape, food, culture in Italy that I just want to see it all.

2. The Greek Isles - I want to see those white buildings stark against the amazing blue sea.

3. England/Wales - I want to get to know London, I want to see manors in the country, I want to experience Cornwall and St Ives.

4. Ireland - gotta see it. All of it.

5. Sweden/Norway/Switzerland - is it okay to lump them all together?

6. Iceland - it looks amazing, I'd love to go to the hot springs in the middle of winter, and I just gotta see that ice hotel!

7. New Zealand - we have friends who have spent much time there and the photos blow me away.

8. Napa and northern coastal California

9. New England - again, lumping together. But I love NYC and Boston, would love to spend more time in Maine, and have got to explore New Hampshire and Vermont and the whole Cape Cod/Nantucket area.

10. Somewhere remote and tropical and perfect - the only hot, beachy location on my list, and I don't even know where I want to go and don't really care, as long as it's not overrun by tourists or fat white men in bikini suits or locals trying to sell me souvenirs. I just want some beach to myself, a hammock in the shade, a beautiful restful place the sleep where I can hear the ocean, amazing food, and blue ocean stretching in front of me. Know a place like that?

What the hell. All the cool kids are doing it.

I've been blog-surfing today ... we're on Mommy-imposed Hiatus From Life today so Harper can have a nap. The child is five months old and she's already on nap protest for her crazy schedule. So today we do nothing so Little Miss can sleep. But I digress ...

I've been blog-surfing today and noticed a trend: all the cool girls are playing a game of tag revolving around listing five random facts in your personal blog. So, fine, I'll play too. What the hell.

5. I don't like scrambled eggs. I don't like ketchup. But I'll only eat scrambled eggs if they have ketchup on them.

4. I could eat Asian/Thai/Indian food every day. Love it.

3. I swear a lot in my head. Like, fluently. But to make my hubby happy ... and to NOT raise kids who talk that way ... I do a lot of self-editing. Unless I'm driving on the highway, and then all bets are off.

2. I know all the words to a few Eminem songs.

1. I used to be an outgoing, extrovert, PR/writer babe always on the lookout for a good time. Now I'm shy, introverted, cautious, and reserved. Anyone want to figure that one out?

... and a bonus: I refuse to eat pickle butts. The one truly romantic thing Marc has ever done for me in the 12 years we've been together? When I was pregnant with Harper I had a gherkin-craving. Marc got me a bowl-full and cut off every pickle butt. I was so amazed that he remembered my quirk and actually acted upon it that I cried. And took a photo of those poor buttless mini dills.

There's a layout in there just dying to get out.

Laugh, cry, or drink?

It's been one of those days. No, wait ... it's been one of those WEEKS.

Monday Marc came home with a migraine and went straight to bed for the rest of the night. No break from the kids.

Tuesday Marc had to do a contract job after his real job, so he didn't get home until around 2 a.m. No break from the kids. Even worse, it was a gym camp day which means Harper had no real nap (15 minute catnaps in the car don't count) and was a little nightmare by 6 p.m. Which means we didn't get to tae kwon do.

2 a.m., when Marc got home, he got in the shower. Which woke up Harper. And she was then up until 4:30. Then she got up again at 6. Then Henry got up around 7:30. And I hadn't gone to bed Tuesday night until 11 ... can't sleep when Marc isn't home. So today started with one big ugh.

Then it was another gym day, i.e. no nap again for Miss H. She was fine this morning (she didn't wake until 10) until we went to the park at 11. For an hour she fussed and whined and crabbed. We finally left for gym camp and she fell asleep in the car. I ended up driving for 40 minutes after dropping off Henry so she'd get in a fairly decent nap. Had to run errands (pick up photos, return some stuff, go to the bank and post office) and after the first one she started crying, then screaming, then screaming so hard she was choking herself. Needless to say I got only two errands done, and people were looking at me like, "Why are you letting her scream like that?" What people don't understand is Harper hates her carseat, her stroller, and anything that requires her to be away from home. Anyway, we picked up Henry and she babbled to him in the car and seemed happy so I tried to run one more errand. Nope. She wasn't having it. So we came home, I tried to get her down for a nap (this is about 4 p.m.) and she finally cried herself out at 4:45. So, no tae kwon do AGAIN. Starting to wonder why we pay $125 a month for something we get to about half the time. Poor Henry. 5:30 she woke up SCREAMING. Now I'm wondering if she's working on teeth or what ... this is so unlike her, unless a summer (basically her whole lifetime) of no real schedule or routine is just finally wearing her out.

During this time that she's trying to cry herself down for a nap, I realize I can hear Henry screaming and sobbing. Run downstairs to find out what happened, thinking he broke a favorite Star Wars guy or accidentally gouged himself in the eye with a Lego. Nope, he was just sad and mad and totally pissed off that I hadn't told him when quiet time was over. The child is completely, utterly, absolutely incapable of entertaining himself. He'd rather lay on his floor and watch the hour tick by on the clock than, heaven forbid, use his imagination. So that led to a big discussion about quiet time, the rules, his toys, and my unwillingness to buy him anything ever again until he can show us he actually can PLAY like a normal child.

Oh, and while I was putting Harper down for her pseudo-nap, Henry was lurking outside her room with a fruit roll-up that he needed help getting off the plastic sheet ... regardless of the fact that he had neither asked permission for a snack nor remembered the rule of staying away from Harper's room while I'm trying to get her to sleep.

By the time Marc got home at 6 I was ready to blow. So what did I do? I vacuumed. How totally fracked up am I?! (Yes, I've been watching Battlestar Galactica with Marc. I'm not allowed to use the real F word, so I've borrowed from his show. That'll teach him to censor me!! bwahahahaha!) Thank goodness the kiddos are finally asleep, we finally got to eat dinner ... at 9 p.m. ... and my day is finally over.

My good thing for the day/week? (Trying to keep mindful of my good things on a daily basis) Harper can now sit like a pro!! Has been since Sunday. Way to go, P.Nutty!!

My boys are trying to kill me.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. I'm quite serious. They apparently want me to keel over from a heart-attack.

Twice in the last week I've had near-death-experiences thanks to my male counterparts.

Last Monday I was downstairs playing with Harper, and Marc said he was off to get a haircut. Henry was upstairs getting dressed and came running down just as Marc was going up the stairs. Henry was wearing a sweatshirt - in 80 degree weather. Marc said he'd get Henry changed before he left and they both went upstairs. I played with Harper for about 20 more minutes before I realized Henry never came back down. I looked in his room, in the living room, on the deck, in the front yard, in his playroom downstairs just in case I missed him coming down. He was nowhere.

At this point I was getting frantic so I called Marc's cell to see if he knew where Henry was. He didn't answer, didn't answer, didn't answer. Finally on the sixth call in a row he picked up. I asked where Henry was and Marc said he was there with him. I broke into sobs immediately. He never came down to say good-bye, never told me he was taking Henry. The last I knew he was going to get a t-shirt for Henry and then H was goign to play with his cars. Marc of course apologized and felt horrible, then said he assumed I'd know Henry was with him. No no no, buddy boy ... you don't assume stuff like that with a MOM!

Then today my genius son decides he wants to play electrician. See, for some reason the power in our laundry room completely died yesterday afternoon. By this morning Henry had had enough fo that, so he went into the laundry room, opened the circuit box, and started flipping breakers. HUH?! Where does a five-year-old learn this? Marc swears he's never worked on teh ciruits with Henry around. I was sitting at my desk and started hearing all of Marc's computers beeping (they are on their own circuit, naturally) and ran to the laundry room to see what H had touched (I'd seen him follow the cat in there). I had to drag it out of him that he'd flipped the breakers. He got a good whack on the rump for that one. Two, in fact.

What is it with those two? Do they really think I can take anything?! Sheesh!

Oh, and did I mention Henry opened teh dishwasher while it was running tonight and got a face full of steam? Or that Marc has been gone the last two nights? I can't take anything else!!

Mishaps, merriment, and missed opportunities

Yes, it's Thursday and I'm just now getting around to posting about the Two Peas crop in Madison last weekend. Call me a slacker.


The day started off a bit crazy, and I'm sure on more sleep we would have been a bit more "into" the whole thing, but all things considered it was a blast.

I got about four hours of sleep the night before ... woke up around 2:30 and decided to just get going. Angie was supposed to be at my house around 3:30 and arrived on the nose. In our giddiness to get going I walked out without my Birks and my wallet ... ended up spending the rest of the day in turquoise flip-flops and mooching money off my carmates.

We had told Jessica we'd pick her up about 3:45, but at 4:15 there was still no answer at her door. I'd knocked, thrown little rocks at her window, even tried to call (turns out I forgot to get her number and she's unlisted). Finally at 4:20 I closed my eyes and rang the doorbell ... hated the idea of doing that, knowing that her 18 month old daughter and two month old son were sleeping inside. A minute later she opened the door, buttoning her shirt at the same time. Poor thing ... her alarm hadn't gone off!!

4:30 we were on the road, and by 8:30 we were in Madison. There was a line outside the Alliant Energy Center, but it wasn't too bad. We got in and immediately saw a Two Peas banner and caught a glimpse of a few of the Garden Girls walking around. Jessica had forgotten her camera, and Angie and I were both already tired (Ang said she was on about half an hour of sleep!) so we didn't even think to start taking pix.

We got in the crop room, claimed a spot, checked out the sale ... chatted with GGs Margie and Jen L (both of whom live in Minnesota, were so nice, and I'd love to hang out with again!) ... and then plopped ourselves back at the crop table. We met two other MN Peas (Nisa and Kirsten) and spent the day helping each other win prizes, doing a very little scrapping, and just general Pea-watching.

A few observations:
- Terri McDaniel and Carrie Owens are much taller than we thought.
- Lisa Brown Caveny and Shannon Tidwell are much shorter than we thought.
- Ali Edwards looks and sounds just like my neighbor's 22 year old son. Not that there's anything wrong with that..
- Tara Whitney is one of the most polite, down-to-earth people you could ever meet.
- Lisa McGarvey does a mean Prince. (I oh so wanted to meet Lisa McG, then just never put forth the effort. Sad, really.)
- Babies of GGs are the most placid, mellow little guys ever.
- Yes, one CAN win too many Chatterbox t-shirts.
- If the donut guys say they're packing in early, take them seriously and buy pastry when you get the chance.
- When Nisa says "obscure reference," she seriously means it.
- Some green jelly bellies rock. Others, not so much.
- Next time I go, I'll drive down the night before, will stay overnight in Madison, and will be more "myself" and more eager to take pictures and meet people. My heart just wasn't totally into it on Saturday. Regardless, I haven't laughed so hard in quite awhile.

New Hair. Good hair.

Newhair1For the past seven years I'd had essentially the same hair: one-length bob, falling between chin length and just below the shoulders, usually seen in a ponytail or pigtails. Mom hair.

Tonight I went to the salon and saw a new stylist ... told them I would see anyone because I was desperate for a cut since I had to cancel my last appointment back in June. Ahh, Brenda ... my love! You worked wonders! Apparently, I have thick but very fine hair, so it's always slick and smooth and refuses to hold a style. Hence all the ponytails. But she promised me this would be easy yet hip. I need hip. I have two kids and a ranch in the 'burbs. I'm so obviously all about the hip. *Snort* She even has me talked into getting highlights ... something I've never done. Might just belly-up to the bar and go for it one of these days!! Tres hip!!

I got home and Marc gave a little growl - always a good sign. And I truly love it. Might even keep a six-week maintenance appointment for the first time in, oh, EVER!!

Operation: Delta Get to Trouble


Need some excitement? Need a challenge? Lump a few games together and play a long, long, l o n g time. And then ask your five and a half year old what it's called and he'll come up with any number of ideas ... most with Star Wars- or Xbox-inspired names.

Today we had Operation: Delta Get to Trouble Master Game. The goal? Be the first person to successfully complete Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Guess Who?, and, finally, Trouble. You can't move on to the next board until you finish the first. We were neck and neck through C&L, I pulled ahead during Candyland, I cruised right on through Guess Who, and had a commanding lead in Trouble by the time Henry joined in. But anyone who has played Trouble with Henry knows HE is the master. Has been since he was four. The kid is unstoppable.

The result? After a rousing game, he ultimately came out on top. The Supersonic Delta Trouble Master. Congrats, kiddo.

Think Faith Popcorn has a job for me?

I've noticed a trend in my life: I seem to always be three steps ahead of the "next big thing," yet I either never do anything about it, or by the time it becomes big no one seems to know or remember that I was doing it/talking about it/using it weeks/months/years ago.

* In high school, I got the idea to trim the bottom edge of my jeans with eyelet lace. Anyone seen any embellished hems recently?

* When I started scrapping four years ago, I used string on my very first layout. Did I think to submit the idea to any magazines? Did I post on any boards? Not for another year would it occur to me to do either.

* Two years ago I briefly thought, "Stencils! That would be cool on a LO!" Then I never bought any, didn't try it, and now look at the stencil trend. Another little thing I used on a page back then? Parentheses. And now? That little {} is everywhere!

* Two years ago I told Marc, "I'd like to start a scrap web site, but instead of having retail back-end I would offer kits. A design team would use the kit and then for that month only the kit would be available for sale." But at the time we didn't have the money or space to start something. Several months later, BOOM. Kit clubs.

* When Marc and I got married in '96, I wanted cobalt blue and sun yellow/periwinkle and butter. It was nowhere to be found, so we registered for lots of khaki. Six months later? Everything was cobalt ... periwinkle ... yellow. And since then, that has happened several times with color. Pink and brown? Did that four years ago. Orange? So last year. I was talking about this with someone the other day and she said, "What do you like now?" I said, "Eggplant and celery or a nice golden maize." You watch ... within a year there will be lots of eggplant, maize, and celery.

*Also about two and a half years ago I had a thought for a scrapbooking idea book based on interior design. I talked to a couple of girls who were on a design team with me at that time and they loved the idea ... finding your scrapping style through your home style, etc. And then a little later ... Chatterbox came out with Scrapbook Interiors. And the Two Peas creating garden theme this month? Interior design!!!

Bleh. I need to start listening to my own ideas and intuition and start putting myself out there more!!! One of these days I'm going hit on something pretty phenomenal and it's going to slip through my fingers.