Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Because it makes me happy...

In my continuing Christopher Walken love-fest, (having posted the link to Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice" over at Purelight, and having struck a nerve with Tracey at More Than A Minivan Mom), I started thinking about this gem from Pennies From Heaven.


Monday, July 30, 2007

New Music, II

You'll have to head over here to hear the new song by Joe-Henry. Charley recorded him last night. He's playing electric guitar and singing, and it starts out very Thomas Dolby, then sort of devolves into a song about private parts and gross out things, finishing with an AWESOME fart solo.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Things You Shouldn't Say...

To a perimenopausal woman with pms who has run out of Lexapro:

"Well Ma'am, you really should order them before you run out. I don't think we'll be able to get your prescription taken care of until after the weekend."

"I know the recording SAID they'd be ready after six p.m. last night, but it still takes 24-48 hours to process the prescription."

"Like I said, you really SHOULD order them before you run out."

Oh, and these gems should be avoided as well:

"We're out of coffee"

"You made it last. How did you NOT KNOW we were out of coffee? "

"Why are you crying?"

And depending on how you say them, these are no good either:

"Hi!", "Hello!", "How's the job search going?", "Can I have a drink of water?"

Just f.y.i.

This public service message has been brought to you by the crazy ass bitch who lives in my body until Monday.

You're welcome.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How to Deflate My Ego In One Sentence...

"Are you his grandmother?"

The thing is, the kid who asked was so young, and so well meaning, and he was so mortified when I laughed and told him that, no, although he is Grand, he is not my Grandson, I thought he might actually implode. I couldn't get angry at him for being so tactless, because I have stories about things I said to people when I was that age that still keep me awake at night. Perhaps now that I've been asked this question (twice), I can let myself get over my long-ago mistakes. Apparently I need that missed sleep.

I still feel kinda like I want to cry, though.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Cue the Heavenly Choir.

It's here. Finally.

After waiting for a year and three months and two days, the invasion of the Swedes has hit Portland.

What did I purchase you ask? Oh, I spent large, friends, I spent LARGE.

A trash can for my office. Because I'm tired of leaving my trash on the floor and then realizing that no one will clean it up for me.
A cheese grater for my sister, as well as a gift certificate for her birthday tomorrow.
A little thing for my mother-in-law that I can't tell you about in case she reads my blog.
And not one, but TWO little rugs to put over the carpet where Lulu routinely takes a crap every morning.
When she shits on it (and she will) I can just throw it in the wash, and put that other one down. just. like. that.


Where was Joe-Henry during all this capitalistic hedonism? Why he was in Smaland(does anyone know where the umlauts are on the qwerty keyboard?) playing amidst the other urchins in the trees that hung from the ceiling and the large wooden shoes, and I walked away with only a beeper to keep me company. It didn't tug at my shirt, or whine about being hungry, but I got used to it.

And there were meatballs and ice cream cones to celebrate at the end.

Ikea. The only big box store that doesn't give me hot flashes. Ahhhhhhhhh......

Time Capsule

The last few days have been spent watching old videos of Joe-Henry as a baby. It's not that I was feeling particularly sentimental and sought it out. I just happened to be unpacking a box from storage, and ran across this one tape that had about three hours of our life from about five years ago. I plopped it in the vcr when he was eating breakfast, and when it was over it was time for lunch. We both were mesmerized.

There was our first apartment! There was our old condo, the first piece of real estate we were ever lucky enough to purchase with the generous aid of my in-laws! There were our friends, and their children as babies, and we all looked so young. I was so patient and focused and loving, so much more even tempered than the drill sergeant I seem to be today. And there was Joe-Henry, all eyes and cheeks and tummy, naming everything in sight, saying "Lalu" and generously giving slobbery kisses to anything that moved.

Watching it has made us both a little more loving with each other now, even as he tests me, even as I skirt the rapids of perimenopause. Oddly enough, it's made us both a bit more present. It's made me more aware than ever that this time is fleeting, and even though six is a far cry from two, it's also a far cry from twenty.

Right now, he's on the couch, freshly awake, wrapped in his train blanket playing "Prince of Persia" on his Dad's old cell phone. "MOM! I got the WHIP! Yay!!!"

Someday, in the not-so-distant future, that memory will make me just as gooey as "Lalu Mommy!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hillary, Part Two....

Yesterday, I decided to step away from my probing insight about parenting and hot squirrel sex, and did a little fluff piece about a conversation I had with my mother-in-law about something that only affects the future of the known world. I had some great responses, and because you are all so smart, I decided to post a few of your answers, as well as my response.

Plus, I'm lazy, and this saves me time I could spend playing Jeopardy! with my boy.

I also know that many of you (okay, maybe it's just me) will MAYBE read the first comment and skip the rest, and I thought these three comments (and, tooting my own horn) my response were worth reading. This is, after all, a conversation that affects us all, and while I'm so very Lutheran in my fear of confrontation, I am also terrier-like when I need to be, and people, I'm feelin' the need.

So here, in part is what you you said in response to my post, and in total, my response to your responses. I promise a return to pretty flower pictures and posts about Jeopardy! will follow!

Love you all - AnnieMcQ

Suttonhoo said:
"after crushing hard on obama for a time, I'm definitely in the undecided camp (about so many things -- the presidential race being just one among many ;) -- but girlfriend, this post gave me chills."

Tracey said:
"I'm torn on Hillary, to be honest. The feminist in me totally and completely agrees with your mil, but then the feminist in me ALSO believes that there is something somewhat anti-feminist about wanting a person to be president just because she's a woman. Like, shouldn't women be seen as equal, so why should we push for a woman, ANY woman, to be president just because she's a woman? Why can't we automatically assume that the other 50% of the population could be included in the "best possible candidate".

But then the realist in me says if that was the case, we would have already had a woman president. And I start back at square one with the the feminist in me just wanting a damn woman in charge of the country.

I love most of her policy, although I'm still pissed at her for originally supporting the war."

To which Donna added:
"I agree a lot with Tracey on this one. I am not sure that I want to vote for a woman JUST to vote for one. Or just because she has more congressional experience. Part of me keeps hearing the old guard in the companies I have worked for saying, "Well, that's not the way we do it around here. Stick around for a while and you'll come to accept it."

I don't have enough info yet to decide, but I will not rule Barack out simply because he has not done hard time on Capitol Hill yet. The President is a leader, not a ruler, and a good leader, surrounded by a great team can get the job done. Shortsightedness and singlemindedness have gotten us into a deep hole. I want the next president to show that he or she will be thinking outside the political box, because what we have now ain't workin'!"

To which I reply:
Donna - that was my argument to my mil, but frankly, it's a weak argument, a distraction really. Or maybe it's the way my mother-in-law said "WHY NOT!!? WHY NOT vote for her just because she's a woman?" There was something in her voice that made me listen hard to the rest of her argument.

In addition, I'm enough of a realist to know that politics is a machine, and she's been doing it long enough to know where the machine needs grease and what to do to make it run smoothly. I do believe that she is an incredibly intelligent, powerful woman with the heart and soul we need now. She has the wherewithall and experience to, if not right all the wrongs done to America in the last eight years, at least set us on the path. That is where Obama as Vice President comes in. He would spend the next four (eight?) years learning from the best.

I also believe that whoever inherits the Presidency is in for a thankless job, and possibly a huge dent in their political future. I think she's in a place where that won't matter to her - Barack is at the beginning of his career, and inheriting the country in the shape it's in could ruin him.

And as for your argument about the President surrounding himself with experienced old hands to make up for his inexperience..... Hmmmmm... where have I heard that argument before? Look where that got us.

Believe me when I say that I LOVE Barack. I do. I think his political future is brilliant. And I'm pissed at Hillary for her initial vote on Iraq. But I think she's the only candidate with the balls to wrap this mess up, and the grace to restore our good standing in the international community.

Also, if Suttonhoo, who has had the longest running crush on Barack in recorded history can be swayed to even CONSIDER Hillary, then I think it's gotta be worth going to the mat for her. Because Ms. Hoo is a woman of intellect, heart and deep soul, and I don't take it lightly that she's giving it some thought.

Maybe when Barack inherits the presidency from Hillary, he'll choose our Ms. Hoo as his running mate.

I'd vote for that ticket in a heartbeat.

Monday, July 23, 2007

For Dolores

Recently, my mother-in-law was in town, having brought Joe-Henry home from his hedonistic, popsicle and gumdrop fueled frenzy that is a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house. She returned him to us, happy and healthy and except for his desire to get a toy EVERY TIME HE BREATHES IN, pretty much as spoiled as he was when we left him there.

We started discussing politics, which, considering that they've been Republicans for most of their adult lives, not at all painful. For the most part, we're on the same page about things, the main one being that George is the worst president we've ever had. Ever.

My mother-in-law is one of the most passionate feminists I've ever met. I don't always agree with her about that either - having come of age in those heady days just after all the hard battles were won, I can sometimes be a snot about things. But we started talking about Hillary after reading this article by Anna Quindlen. I stated that I thought Hillary was incredibly bright, but I didn't want to vote for her just because she was a woman, if I vote for her I want it to be because she's the right choice.

"Why NOT?! Why not vote for her just because she's a woman? If we don't do it now, when? She's got more experience at running the country than any of her opponents, she has experience with foreign policy from just having been in the White House, and don't you think we need that now? Barack will have his time, but it's not now, he's not ready. She's been in it her whole life, and has risen above all the shit they've flung at her. We need someone with her experience to clean up the mess Bush has made of this country. Besides, Dad listened to you when you begged him not to vote for Bush. Even DAD is going to vote for Hillary!" (Note to my father-in-law: I promise that no one on your city council reads my blog).

It was this last plea that did it for me. "I want to see a Woman President in my lifetime. I think she's my last shot, and she would be amazing."

When I first met them, I was struck by the collection of political buttons they had in a shadow box on their wall. It was heavy on Reagan, and while not entirely absent, noticeably shy of Democrats, so over the years, we've added to their collection. Because I was a snippy little know-it-all, I thought I could peg them just by looking at that little box. I thought I was so much smarter and wiser and politically savvy. But luckily, I've managed to learn from their wisdom, from their passion for service, and their willingness and openness to change. We still have our disagreements, but I'm not so quick to pat myself on the back for being right.

I'm not telling anyone who I'm going to vote for.
But Dolores, I'll say this - You've convinced me, but even if you hadn't, I'd still do it for you.

Wild Kingdom

Yesterday afternoon, while I was at my kitchen sink avoiding doing the dishes, but feeling like I should, so I could work up a real case of guilt, a couple of squirrels chased each other along the retaining wall/fence that separates our property from the neighbor next door. Right outside my window, these two decided to go at it.

At first it was just tusslin', chasing each other along the fence and then, as if they knew I'd really appreciate it, right back in front of my window. They wrestled with each other for a good five minutes, mounting each other, but the tails kept getting in the way. One would flip the other over, as if they were checking to make sure they had the right parts, then it would be back up and at it. I don't believe they ever achieved nirvana, or even penetration, but they did entertain me nonetheless.

I finally called JH in to the kitchen, when it seemed that they would never actually get it going and I wouldn't have any 'splainin' to do, so he came in to watch, and as he laughed, he shouted out "HI SQUIRRELS!" This was enough to send them up the Hazelnut tree, where they could have a little privacy.

After they left, Joe-Henry lost interest and went back to playing his game in the living room, and I was left to contemplate the dirty dishes again. But it wasn't long before one of the squirrels came back down from the tree, and I kid you not, stood up on two legs, with one little paw leaning on a vertical branch looked me right in the eye, as if to say, "Could I bum a cigarette from you?"

Who needs Animal Planet when you have exhibitionist squirrels outside your window?

Saturday, July 21, 2007


We took a bike ride to the park today, the whole family. There's a great farmer's market on the weekends, as well as a playground filled with kids. We made our way through the crowds, filling our little bag with peaches and cherries, and just taking it all in.

After we made it to the park, we watched Joe-Henry and about thirty other kids manuever the slides and swings and monkey bars, kids of all ages and abilities from toddlers to kids of about seven or eight. There were some big girls on top of the monkey bars, looking down on all the little kids, and some parents pushing little ones on the swings.

"Logan", she called out, walking slowly around the playstructure. I only noticed her because there wasn't really a choice - she was large and wearing a light pink jacket, and my eye naturally went to her. I went back to watching Joe-Henry on the swing, finally, finally figuring out how to pump the thing by himself.

Logan!" A little louder now, as she circled again, looking into the pipe structure, and under the slide.

"Way to go, Joe-Henry! Great job - look how high you're getting!" His Dad shouted, looking at me, to see why I wasn't chiming in.

"LOGAN!" She paced through furiously now, her face getting red, as she whipped out her cell phone to call someone, I'm not sure who. "LOGAN! LOGAN! LOGAN!!!" I walked up to her, as did about four other moms and dads - "What does he look like?" I asked, without even looking at me she said "Blue shirt, brown pants, grey shoes, three years old. He's only three" One of the dads looked at me, "What color hair?" "I don't know" Why would I know? I think he was afraid to ask her, she was so panicked, she looked like she might have exploded, sending us all to the far corners of the park with the blast. "He's blonde" I heard someone say.

By this time, Joe-Henry has jumped off the swing, in his blue shirt and brown pants. I'm glad he's six and tall with brown hair, just so that, if in the frenzy, some well meaning someone grabbed him like a trophy and shouted "Here he is!", I could prove he was mine. Joe-Henry wants to help find the little boy, so we go looking through the market.

By the time we came back, unsuccessful, she was no where, as though she had vanished into thin air. There were no police, there was nothing but fear in the eyes of parents, watching their children like hawks. Our worst fear too close for comfort.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

His Daddy's Boy

Went to the toy store today with extra money from Grandma.

Guess what he got?


And still, I managed to post this.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Beginners Luck

I am slightly, shall we say, competitive, when playing games. I have had to tone this natural inclination down since having a child, and have done my best to model good sportsmanship. He makes it easier, because he doesn't gloat (usually) when he wins, and congratulates the winner (usually) if he doesn't.

But I didn't have to tone anything down recently when Grandma bought the game of Yahtzee and we played it with him for the first time. We explained the rules, and how hard it is to role an actual Yahtzee, and what does he do, the very first roll? Ever in his life?

He rolled a Yahtzee, that's what! We all screamed, and he laughed so hard, looking from face to face, and I think he knew how incredibly rare and exciting it was. He beat the pants off of us, rolling another Yahtzee later in the game. And tonight, his first night home, was a repeat of that first game. He rolled all ones the first shake, and managed to get another later in the game.

I don't even mind not winning when I get to see his face after Yahtzee.

Monday, July 16, 2007

the party's over...

Time to clean up the booze bottles and get my underwear off the lamps.

Joe-Henry comes home tomorrow.

I'm a little mad at myself that I didn't go get my hair cut like I wanted to, nor did I visit a spa. But I did see two movies with my husband, the last one tonight. "Once". It was such a little gem of an indie movie. I loved it so much, and we had a brilliant time together. There've been times in our daily routine when I wondered what we'd talk about if we were alone together. I mean besides Joe-Henry. Turns out we can still have normal, witty adult conversation, and I fell in love with him all over again.

I painted JH's room (yellow, his favorite color), and painted his dresser and side table (bright blue), and managed to clear out one giant moving box full of toys as well as a large trash bag full of stuffed animals. Don't worry - he still has more than enough, and he did just spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa, so I'm pretty sure they had to fill an extra suitcase to bring it all home. My mother-in-law asked me today why we didn't take more of his clothes home with us when we left, so they could fit all the toys in one bag. I said, "because there is no way, even if I took home ALL his clothes that he'd make it home with everything in one bag after a week with Grandma and Grandpa." Their job is to spoil him rotten, and they do it very, very well.

So, time to get the nose back to the grindstone. The ol' routine. Cooking, cleaning, keeping him busy. Better dust off all my "No's", and practice my best firm mommy voice (even though I did use it on Charley a few times, to great effect!).

The first thing I'm going to do is smell his hair.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who I Am

While I've been thoroughly enjoying this play time away from my little boy, I was struck the other night with just how much of a "mom" I have become.

We went to see "Shampoo" with my brother and his girlfriend, and after we went to this great restaurant for dinner. I was savoring a lemon drop, as well as the adult conversation, when I heard a baby squeal. I looked over at the table next to us and there was a beautiful baby, about six months old, sitting on her mommy's lap. She was such a little Gerber baby, and she smiled at me like she had my number. A few minutes later, I saw another baby, this one fresh out of the oven, truly it looked like it was born that morning. The new mom and dad were completely doting, as was the new grandma, who was probably only about ten years older than me. As they got up to go, the other mom with the older baby looked at her friend and oogled the brand new baby, like she could hardly remember her little one being that tiny.

I know how she felt. I also couldn't shake the feeling that if something went down and those babies needed me, I was there. I had my mom badge in my purse, and could step in and take over should they need me to.

As we got ready to leave, an beautiful little girl in a white dress and sparkly shoes held the door for us, as well as anyone else who happened to be passing through. She was just a bit younger than JH, and as I was thanking her, and reminiscing about Joe-Henry going through his "door" phase, my cell phone rang. It was my boy, and he sounded so old. After we all talked to him, my brother's girlfriend, whose daughter is getting married in October, said "isn't it nice to still feel needed?" She had taken her daughter shopping for her registry, and said it felt so good to be useful to her.

I'm not sure how much Joe-Henry needs me now - he's having a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, and tonight he didn't even want to talk to me.

But I'm still his mom. I've got my badge here somewhere.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

That's more like it.

Free Online Dating

Now we're talkin'.
Free Online Dating
I got a PG.

But Joe-Henry's out of town. Let's see if I can spice it up a bit....

Dildo, dildo, sexy dildo
Do it to me
Hot, hot sexy, sexy, sexy.

I keep adding sexy because every time I go back to check it's still PG. It's not even COUNTING dildo! Or the F-bomb.

Sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy sex.

Home again, home again

Well, I am childless for another few days.

Hmmmmm. How does it feel, you might ask?

The first day was the hardest, as the day before had involved a trip to the ER for Joe-Henry, who for the second morning in a row had experienced pain in his shoulder and ribs, culminating in a pain that hurt when he breathed. Visions of a hospital stay, or at least him having to come home with us rather than stay on a few extra days at G&G's danced in my head. I did my best to stay Zen about the whole thing, and managed not to get too freaked out. They did a chest x-ray, and there wasn't anything there, his heart and lungs sounded good, so he thought it might be some gastric reflux. We filled a prescription, and he seemed to feel better. So we stuck to our plans to leave the next morning early for San Francisco.

This is something I'd been looking forward to since we planned the trip. I managed to wait three hours before calling the in-laws to check on the boy, and after the initial call, he called us about ten more times. Not asking us to come back, not crying, just checking in. I had time alone in the car with my husband, walking around San Francisco hand in hand, after messing up the sheets in the hotel, windowshopping, eating a good meal. All of that, and a game of Yahtzee to boot. Some things have changed since we were able to have this kind of time together - instead of Victoria's Secret, I got my panties in a wad at The Container Store, but hey, don't knock it 'til you've tried it. But other things remain the same - the way he makes me laugh, the kind of conversations we can have, about anything, as well as the easy, contented silence that comes from years of common experiences.

We ate a great dinner at North Beach Lobster Shack, and hit City Lights Bookstore, where I had to step out twice to answer my cell. Joe-Henry was a little lonely for us that first day or two, but I think he's getting used to this. I had to call HIM today, and when I asked him the same question twice and he didn't answer because he was too distracted by the fun he was having, I decided to let go of the worry and anxiety and enjoy this time fully. We drove home all the way yesterday, listening to two Michael Connolly books on tape, enjoying the gorgeous scenery and each other's company in ways we haven't in a long time. It's nice to know that under these parent costumes we wear, we've still got it as a couple.

We're going to see Shampoo with my brother and his girlfriend tonight, and I weeded my garden today until I didn't feel like it anymore. Charley tried to talk me into a bike ride this afternoon, but I managed to talk him into something else. Tomorrow he goes back to work, and I get some major, uninterrupted time to do stuff to my house. I want to paint JH's room while he's gone to surprise him. I've got big plans for the next few days.

But if all I do is read a book and work in the yard, that's okay too.

It's nice to be back.

But I still automatically look to see if he's there when I pass his room.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Whoever said it's the journey, not the destination...

...clearly has never been lost in Hollister, CA during the motorcycle rally.

Not that we wouldn't have LOVED to get out of the car and look at the bikes and chat with everyone - we would have!

But we'd already been in the car for a day and a half.

That beginning of the road trip excitement had worn off, and now it was just hot and Grandma and Grandpa were only six hours away if we could only figure a way out of this mess!

We figured it out, eventually, but not before I got to take a lot of pictures of sky (for you, D!),

and the one blessing in all of it was that JH FINALLY took a nap.

He'd been up late for over a week, and was so excited to be heading to G&G's, which really is like Disneyland compared to the bootcamp that is home, that he had become like a parody of a whiny child in the backseat, repeating "how long until we get to Grandma's?!".

Before Hollister, we did manage to have our lunch at Casa de Fruta, which has been our stopping place for years. It's an amazing little oasis that grows every time we go.

It was first a stop for fruit, then lunch, and then when Joe-Henry came along, the playground and a train ride, but now they've added a carousel.

We managed it all in an hour, and asked what the traffic problem was (the bike rally in Hollister) that had kept us at 10 mph for the last hour. Even with this information, we managed to go further into the belly of the beast and get ourselves incredibly frustrated for a good couple hours. Luckily, Joe-Henry managed to stay pretty calm through all of it.

But we eventually found our way to the 101, and later to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and the hugs and kisses haven't stopped since.

We traveled to LA to see Joe-Henry's doctors, and some dear friends, and this morning, we managed a trip to the ER, but that's a post for a later day. Tomorrow, Charley and I will head to San Francicso for a little R&R, then home for a little more. Joe-Henry will be here for an extra 4 days, the longest I've ever been away from him, being loved to bits and pieces by his amazing Grandparents. I hope he still will want to come home. Because as much as I look forward to the alone time (and OH! I look forward to that time), I know I am going to feel like I'm missing a limb the entire time. But watching him with his Grandma last night snuggled up watching Winnie the Pooh and laughing so hard, I was so glad he'd have that time with them alone. Time to get spoiled rotten, and hugged and kissed until he squirms.

Friday, July 6, 2007

If You Were The World's Best Mechanical Engineer....

...you could answer questions about mechanical engineering until the Dew runs dry. But you might have a few questions for a six year old boy about stuff that a six year old boy might think about.

Here are the answers to your questions, World's Best Mechanical Engineer!

1. Who is your hero?
My neighbor Vic. He saved me when I fell down and went and got mom and dad. (after some pouting from his mom, he guessed his mom and dad are his heroes too.)

2. What is man's greatest accomplishment?
God. (It's that Lutheran Preschool he went to)

3. Who's your favorite cartoon character and why?
Daffy Duck & Sylvester, because they talk with lisps, like Thufferin' Thuckotash.

4. What is your idea of a perfect day?
Spending the day at my grandma and grandpa's house.

5. Are you ambidextrous?
No, I'm left handed.

6. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would tell people it's bad to smoke cigarettes.

7. Do you think man will ever go to Mars?
Well...I don't think so. Well.... maybe I guess. Okay!

8. And most importantly: what is your favorite junk food?
Carmel and Doritos and Pixie Sticks.

But, sadly, not Mountain Dew.

The World's Best Mechanical Engineer had one more question for the boy, and it's this:
What's the best thing about being a six year old boy?

It's thinking about the good stuff you get to do when you're a grown up.
Oh. And playing.

Thanks for the great questions, World's Best Mechanical Engineer. You are the World's Best!

Happy Birthday to my fave Minivan Mom

It's Tracey's birthday over at More Than A Minivan Mom, so in her honor, I dug out my old copy of "You Are Your Birthday"

Here's what it says if your birthday falls on July 6th:

You are inclined to question established procedures and respond with an emotional commitment to work your heart out for "the cause". Whatever "the cause" may be, you stay with it until your late years bring you "the effect."

You are impatient. Childhood domestic responsibilities and financial circumstances curb your individuality. You surround yourself with inspirational talkers and group energies which bring out your very generous and very selfish attitudes. Men who relate to your early years, particularly the father, may be too authoritative, secretive or aloof or may not be reliable. Your self-motivation and inventiveness are challenged by youthful experiences, and you will desperately want approval. There is a tendency, as an adult, to allow yourself to be alternately dominated or dominating. A change before age forty opens doors to a fast-paced life-style that encourages you to discover a truer you.

A tranquil marriage, a career that maks a meaningful contribution and deep-seated friendships are high on your list of lifetime goals. Expressive and socially aware people add their interests in music, community welfare, and home improvements to your heavy sense of personal idealism. You enjoy upgrading and maintaining a consistently comfortable atmosphere. You take pride in your background, your family and your personal discrimination. Be tolerant of your opposites.

In later years you would be wise to realize that opposites are the desirable ingredients that provide the necessary grit to encourage change. You keep working. Be expansive and ready to teach and learn. Don't expect everyone to be just like you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Grilled sausages, potato salad, smores and beer.


Oh, and did I mention they're big on fireworks here?

But we had the best little neighborhood parade. And Joe-Henry had a lemonade stand to raise money to send to Fisher House Phone cards for the troops. Our neighbor's youngest son is serving in Iraq, and it's his first 4th of July away from his Dad. He told us about the phone card idea, so that's where we're sending it. Joe-Henry was quite the entrepreneur. I think he might have raised $5.00. But it was the coolest thing going on a hot July afternoon.

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'd like to thank the Academy...

The lovely newlywed Lolabola nominated me for this fabulous Rockin' Girl Blogger award.

I don't know which makes me happier - that someone thinks I ROCK, or that someone thinks I'm young enough to be called a girl? Either way, she's a lovely person, whose judgement is clearly rosy because of that honeymoon high she's still on.

Thank you, my dear. you are too kind.

And now, to MY nominations (apparently this little award just comes with the caveat that you have to nominate 5 other bloggers.)

So in no order, here are my nominations:

Franklin, because even though she's on some cicadian posting cycle, she still rocks when she does. She was also one of the first people I didn't know to comment on my blog. She's super witty, incredibly smart, and she makes me laugh so hard I snort coffee out my nose. And she led me to...
More Than A Minivan Mom, who rocks, oh yes she does, on a daily basis. The girl's got soul, and a passion for life that I admire.
Suttonhoo, because even though she was also nominated by Lolabola too, there doesn't seem to be any rule that says I can't nominate her too! Her blog travels - as does she. And someone who travels a lot has interesting things to say. She's also the only one here who is an "in real life" friend, and I consider that to be one of my greatest treasures.
iRodius. I know. He's a guy, but I'm making him an honorary girl for a day. He's a great writer, and one of those funny, sensitive guys, and we all know that needs to be encouraged.
So just in case it chaps your butt that I'm nominating a guy, check this out. My last nomination is for....
Purelight, who just happens to be Rodius' mom. I didn't know that when she first commented on my blog. Her comments always make me smile, and her blog - her blog gives me hope for the person I might be in a few years. Also, did I mention she's Rodius' mom? She's an amazing person, who is interested in life and is just the kind of person I want to be when I grow up.

There's my nominations.
Rock on, people. Rock on.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pet Peeves, Part Deux

I put that in French, because I am a snob. An UnAmerican, Culture Loving SNOB.

I don't watch reality tv. (Except for The Biggest Loser which I got kind of hooked into and it made me cry).

I only listen to NPR on the radio.

And I have had it UP TO HERE already with the f#$in' FIREWORKS.

It's not even the Fourth! It's been going on for a week here, because it's legal the week before the 4th, and my neighbors like things to blow up GOOD.

So it's like a war zone here. I swore last year that we'd be gone this week, but because we have a vacation coming up soon after, we are here, with our helmets on and buckets of water at the ready.

I feel like such a dork - my neighbors all love this stuff. Every other time of the year, I feel so grateful to have the neighbors I have, but this time of year, I just feel so out of place. They spend literally hundreds of dollars to light it on fire and listen to it go boom. If it were just for one night, I might love it too. But DEAR SWEET JESUS IN HEAVEN - EVERY DAY AND NIGHT FOR A WEEK? I think they do it to try to send us back to California. I have news for you - WE'RE NOT GOING. We live here now, and watch out, because we will find others like us, and we will change these stupid laws that let people blow shit up for days and nights on end.

I am such a pussy. But luckily, the rest of my family is too. Joe-Henry said tonight as he was trying so hard to go to sleep, "Fireworks just steal PEACE!"

The thing is, I LOVE the real stuff that happens on the 4th. I love the big, beautiful community fireworks and the giant ones that don't make any sound and then do that huge BOOM that you feel in your stomach. Those make me "oooooooh" and "aaaaaaahhhhh" with the rest of the patriotic goofballs that think that once a year dressing in red white and blue will make up for the fact that we're not paying attention to what's going on in our country.

I even like sparklers, and I had lots of fireworks as a kid. I loved them, and I hope that Joe-Henry will too. I don't want him to be a grumpy old man before, say, age eight. But if he's too tired to stay up on the 4th because he hasn't been able to get to sleep before 11:00 p.m. for a week because every goddamn whistling pete ever made is going off right outside his window every goddamn night, I am going to be one angry mama.

Like I'm not already. And yes, I STILL have pms.

Can you tell?