Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Once again, it is time for another edition of Thankful Thursday. What is Thankful Thursday you ask? It is where we all take a moment to reflect on all of the good things in our lives. Where we reflect and realize that even on those days where the weather is below zero, our boss is acting like a jerk and that darn needle on the scale is going in the wrong direction, we still have many things to be thankful about.

1) I am thankful that our Christmas was drama-free. I won't go into details but suffice it to say that my mother-in-law doesn't really enjoy Christmas and it sometimes seems like she is trying to make the rest of us hate it too. Some years we have lots of drama.

2) I am thankful that I got to see some of my high school classmates at a small gathering on Sunday. It was fun to catch up. I am particularly thankful that my husband was willing to take my son to an event that he wanted to go to on the same day. Even my husband enjoyed himself waiting in Boston.

3) I am thankful that my niece is so happy in her life as evidenced by her recent facebook posts. It warms my heart to see her happy in her career and happy with her beau. She is an amazing person and deserves all of the good things in life.

4) I am thankful that my son's friend was able to visit for New Years again this year. Brett moved away when the boys were in 6th grade but has been able to make it back to visit and this is the 4th year he has come up for New Year's Eve. He is a great kid and easy to have around. It is nice to see the friendship continue.

5) I am thankful that our project to declutter the family room (OK, OK. Mostly, declutter my desk area) is almost done and has been very successful. We have found a new home for our exercise bike and a potential new home for the scanner. Also, my husband has hooked up my new scanner/printer/copier combo.

6) I am thankful that everyone seemed to really enjoy their Christmas presents this year.

7)I am happy that I have a house and warm clothing on these bitterly cold Maine days. Can you say "Baby, it's cold outside"?

8) I am happy for my new crock pot and the awesome Lasagna I made. Now, if I could only get Boy-o to eat the veggie soup I made for him.....

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope that 2010 gives you plenty of time to blog, spend time with your family and is full of happiesness, health and wealth.

Here's to thankfulness.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is it just me....

I have decided to join Hallie's parade and march along to the "Is it just me" beat. Why you ask? Because I figure joining will give me Hallie points for when I meet her in 2010 (that is gonna happen, right Hallie?) and, oh yeah, it is a fun idea.

Is it just me or do other people live in homes where putting the dog out means instant deafness for the rest of the family? So many times, the dog starts barking and nobody in the entire household 'cept me hears her bark to come in. Husband and Boy-o might be on the first floor and I am upstairs. They don't seem to hear Miss Katy's bark but it is loud and clear on the second floor. Strange but true.

Is it just me or do you also notice that the people who complain the most frequently and the loudest about the song on the radio are also the same people who are most likely to sing along?

Is it just me or do some people lose all of their common sense when they turn on their GPS? Did you see the article about the couple who was lost for three days because they alledgedly got lost from following the directions on their GPS? Hello, folks. Just because the GPS says something doesn't mean it is so. Perhaps going down a deserted dirt road might not be a good idea. Just sayin' When I use the GPS, I also take a back-up map and, usually, printed directions from MapQuest. Why you ask? Because we took a GPS on a trip once and it malfunctioned. It was a trip that we had taken several times and had directions from both AAA and MapQuest. The GPS kept insisting that we take exits when we knew that we needed to stay on the highway. Did we follow the GPS? No, we used our common sense and went the way that made sense. It was the same trip that declared that we were arriving at home in the middle of the higway in Massachusetts. We live 2 states and 3 hours away from there. Whoops.

That's it for me today. Don't forget to go over to see Hallie to see what other people are wondering in "Is it just me or...."

Here's to Hallie!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

We only have a few days left in 2009. Where did the past year go? Where did the past decade go for that matter? It seems like just a few weeks ago that we were worrying about what would happen to the world when we changed from 1999 to 2000. Now we have to worry about what will happen on 12-21-2012. I imagine I will worry about that date about as much as I worried about Y2K. Not at all.

Do you make resolutions every year? Do you keep them? I always have made them but the past few years, I have actually made fewer but been much more successful in keeping them. I have started to go a bit more specific. Instead of saying "lose weight", I now have "walk at least 3 times per week". I do find that to be much easier to keep as I have very specific parameters.

My resolutions for 2010 are:

1) To use my crockpot at least one time per week. I am actually in the process of making a meal for supper tonight and am looking at vegetarian crockpot cookbooks so my son can get in on the slow cooker fun.

2) To walk at least 3 times per week. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I made that one last year. I did a great job with it for about 6 months but I have fallen off track lately. Back to it.

3) To take my lunch to work at least 3 times per week. This will help me save money and calories. A double win!

4) To accept myself and others as they are.

5) To agonize less over decisions. I usually have an easy time on the big decisions but the small ones tie me up in knots. Seriously. I put 2 items in an "Amazon shopping cart" yesterday morning and have logged on three or four times since then. I have not, however, pushed the "order now" button. We have been discussing repainting our upstairs bathroom for months. We finally bought a paint tester on Saturday and PURCHASED a gallon of paint this morning. There is hope.

What are your resolutions for 2010? What past resolutions have you managed to keep? Inquiring minds want to know.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What better day to have a Thankful Thursday posting than on Christmas Eve? Thankful Thursday is a time when I take a step back from the hustle and bustle of my life and spend time looking at all that is good in my life. Today, my thankful list includes in no particular order:

1) I am thankful that I haven't had to run around these past few days doing last minute errands.

2) I am thankful for the adults who have provided support and guidance to my son this year. These include, but are not limited to, the adults who spent time with him at the scout holiday party last night reviewing his Eagle Project booklet. It is ready to be mailed to get the district committee's approval!

3) I am thankful that my husband and I still have jobs.

4) I am thankful for karate which has taught me many lessons about myself this year.

5) I am thankful for my friends - new and old - who are always there for me.

6) I am thankful for the new people I have "met" thru the bloggie world.
Thank you for sharing your stories. You make me laugh, you make me think and you
often inspire me.

7) I am thankful that the people around me are mostly very healthy.

8) I am thankful that I live in a great town, a great state and a great country. I
feel safe, I (mostly) enjoy the weather and I appreciate the many freedoms.

9) Most of all, I am thankful for my husband, son and extended family for always loving me.

Merry Christmas to all of you that celebrate.

Here's to thankfulness.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Twofer Tuesday

What is Twofer Tuesday you ask? It is a quick post where I share two things that I am thinking about.

My mom passed away 5 days after my 22 birthday. Since I face my 50th birthday in the new year, it was many many years ago. I still miss her. I don't know if it is because of the holidays or because I am getting closer and closer to the age she was when she passed away (56) but she has been on my mind a great deal lately. I mourn not only what her loss meant to me and the rest of our family but I also think about how hard it must have been for her to leave us all. I think about dying when my son is 22 and barely out of college. It would simply break my heart. I so look forward to seeing what type of man he is going to grow into and what type of father he is going to be. My mother only got to see one grandchild. She never met my amazing niece who is a generous and kind teacher like her mother and has an amazing amount of musical talent. She never got to meet the two 15 year-olds (my other niece and my son) who are both scary smart and could easily change the world. They are also both loyal and loving kids. So this holiday season make sure that you hold your family and loved ones close and appreciate the time that you have together.

Where the heck does the time go? I mentioned a few days ago that I wrap presents every year for a friend. He and my husband used to work together. He was married and was the type of husband who would stick his wife's present in a paper bag and call it good. If he put a bow on the present, she considered it fancy! I took pity on him (really on her) and offered my services as his present wrapper. We were trying to figure out this evening how long this has been going on and realized that it is close to 15 years. My baby is now 15, his two elementary school kids are in college (and close to finishing) and the wife is now an ex-wife. I guess he got custody of us in the divorce. We had the same food tonight that we had at the first wrapping party. Pizza and beer. Some things never change. As always, it was a fun evening.

Here's to quickies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Morning Musings

As we all rush head-long into this holiday week, here are some of things I am thinking about this morning:

After almost 26 years of marriage, my husband doesn't bring me flowers anymore. However, I don't mind. I don't think he is being thoughtless or uncaring because, you see, I am now allergic to flowers. What he does bring me, however, is even better. He brings me coffee. Yup. If I have to go to a meeting or sporting event before him, he usually shows up with a large coffee for me to chug down. He has today off so he got up, took the boy-o to school (allowing me to sleep later) and brought me home coffee. Not your ordinary run-of-the-mill coffee either. He brought me home a coconut mocha from one of my favorite coffee shops. Yup. I think he is a keeper.

We watched the season finale of Survivor last night. We have been addicted to that show since the very first season 10 years ago. Next season (starting in February!) features an all-star cast of Villians vs Heroes. I can't wait to see who is on it. I would love to see "Survivor Bob" selected. He was the high school physics teacher from Westbrook Maine who, I believe, is the older winner ever. Definitely a hero in my book! If you are a fan, who would you like to see on it. This season's villian, Russell, looked like a pimp last night. Not that I have ever seen a pimp, mind you, but what I would imagine a pimp would look like. I will say, I found him to be unlikeable but I was surprised that he didn't win. He truly did out-play everyone.

My sister gave my husband a cloth pouch from Christmas to be used for baking potatoes in the microwave. It sounds strange but, oh my, the potatoes I baked last night came out great. Chili and baked potatoes were on our menu last night. Great meal for a snowy cold night in Maine.

Well, I have to dash off to work. Have a wonderful week.

Here's to thinking.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Takin' a breather

It is Sunday night and my men at at the movies, the dog is sleeping on my bed (under the covers no less) and the cat is sleeping on a chair. I am takin' a breather from the Christmas crazies and just reflecting for a few moments before I get back to work on my "to do" list.

We spent yesterday celebrating Christmas with my side of the family. My niece traveled down from "the county" and picked up her mother in "mill town" before heading south while my husband, son and I headed north to Mid-Coast Maine to gather at my brother's house. My other brother doesn't join in as he basically cut ties with the family years ago. We have a relaxing pot luck lunch before exchanging presents. It is truly "the way Christmas should be" to me. No stress. The focus isn't on the presents and how much money we spent but on the thoughts behind the presents. It was very obvious that everyone thought about what someone would want or need. My 15 year old niece picked out a wall placque for me that is the absolute perfect colors for my newly redone bathroom. My brother-in-law invested a lot of time and effort in making us all personalized hiking sticks. It was really a great day and a wonderful start to the rest of the Christmas week activities.

Monday night, we have tentative plans for friends to come over for a wrapping party. Just about every year for the last 15 or so, I have wrapped Christmas gifts for a man that used to work with my husband. At first, it was just what he gave his then wife but, since the divorce, it was been most everything. As his daughter messaged me lately, he is a whiz in assembing a computer but the paper, scissors and tape defeat him. The past few years, his girl friend comes too and after we eat, we gather around the kitchen table and she wraps her presents and I wrap Dave's. I look forward to this every year. The scheduling has been difficult this year and I hope it works out.

On Tuesday, my office is starting our annual two-day eatathon. As requested, I am bringing in what I call "Melinda's Meatballs". A former co-worker used to bring them in and someone asked it I could this year. So easy and yummy. I quickly said yes! Tuesday evening will be karate as usual. Somehow, I think it will be a great stress reliever!

On Wednesday, we are hosting my son's boy scout troop for the annual Christmas party. They are going to do a night hike and then come back to our house for Hot Chocolate and goodies. My 25 cup coffee maker will be perfect for making the mass quanities of hot chocolate that I will need.

On Thursday, we will join my in-laws for a pizza supper and also go to a movie. My son has the day off and I get out at noon.

We all have the week off between New Years and Christmas - first time ever. My son is having a friend visit from Connecticut for a few days and we are hoping to repaint the upstairs bathroom. Yee gads. I still haven't picked out the paint color!

I hope the up-coming week is fun, relaxing and blessed for you and yours. Don't forget to take some time for yourself.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Twofer Tuesday

Twofer Tuesday is where I share two thoughts for the day.

I have had more and more conversations lately with people who act like they know me and I have NO IDEA who they are. On Saturday, I was doing my best imitation as a jailer and serving pizza to the 40 high school band students between parades. A woman entered the cafe and started talking to the band director. I didn't recognize her but figured that since he knew her, I didn't need to have my husband use his phone to go online and check out the listing of known sex offenders. I went about my merry way making sure that everyone had enough hot chocolate and trying to keep the debris under control. When I ventured into her general vicinity, she commented that she was shocked at how tall my son had grown. We had a conversation about how time was passing so quickly, blah, blah, blah. The entire time I was frantically asking myself who the heck this person was and how does she know me?!?! I finally figured out that she was the bus driver but I still have no idea how she knew me. Earlier in the day at a craft fair, two women asked me "Are you Evan's mother?". Since they had smiles on their faces, I admitted that yes, indeed I was. They, at least, didn't act like they knew me but told me that they were lunch ladies in the school district. They said nice things about Evan and one commented that her son "thought the world of Evan". That was a nice mom moment for me. The benefits of a small town.

We have a doberman/dalmatian mix dog. When most people hear about the doberman part, they immediately think "guard dog". My dog is the biggest sissy on the face of the planet. No joke. She is scared of the dark. Her food dish is down in our cellar and, if the light isn't on, she will not go down to eat. She stands at the top of the stairs and barks until we come and turn the light on for her. She is also afraid to be upstairs in our house by herself at night. Luckily for her, she is also the sweetest thing on the face of the planet because she isn't earning her keep as protector of the house.

Have a great day!

Here's to short posts.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fraggin' my life away

Friday Fragments?
It is Friday and you know what that means! It is another edition of Friday Fragments. Mrs. 4444 over at is like the Santa Claus of this fraggin' workshop. Go over to her site and see what all of the other little elves have been working on.

As I lamented on Tuesday, my car with less than 45,000 miles and barely 3 years old (but just out of warranty, thank you very much) had the heater die. The quote for repair was $1200 - $1500! It was a common porblem on that year, make and model. My husband called the dealership and mentioned that it was a known issue. At first, they denied it but apparently did some research. When he talked to them a second time, they told him that they would repair the car for $100. Yup. You read that right. $100! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

My son is in the high school band. They are marching in our hometown holiday parade tomorrow at 3:00. At 6:00, they are marching in a second parade because they get paid to. I had no idea that parades sometimes paid for bands to participate. They are receiving $800. for their 40 student band to travel 10 minutes. How cool is that? The band director is concerned about how many students would return if he let them go home between parades so we basically keep them hostage in the school cafeteria. We feed them pizza, hot chocolate, soda and cookies. When I agreed to be president of music boosters, I didn't realize that my job duties would entail making gallons of hot chocolate, acting as a jailer and saving the music teachers job. Here I thought this would be an easy gig!

Am I the only one who was really shocked about the Tiger Woods' story? I don't know why but I am stunned. Other pro athletes, I expect that sort of behavior from but I always believed Tiger was above that. Not sure why I felt that way but I did. It is unbelieveable to me that he had an affair for that long without it coming out sooner because of all of the media attention. Guess his "luck" ran out. Are there any other athletes that you would be shocked to read a similiar story about? The only ones I can think of are the "Manning boys". Peyton and Eli seem to stay out of the spotlight too. Who is on your list?

That's it for today. Have a great weekend!

Here's to Fraggin'.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twofer Tuesday

Twofer Tuesday is where I share two thoughts for the day.

The other day when I turned my heat on, it only blew cold air. Not a good thing since I live in Maine and it is November/December. My husband took it to the garage yesterday and the estimate to repair it is $1200 - $1500! Merry Christmas. Hard to swallow on a 3 year old vehicle with less than 45,000 miles on it. He is taking it to the dealership today as the garage told us that this was a "known" problem with our vehicle. I checked online and found 3 websites where multiple owners were complaining about this issue. Apparently this is a plastic part (read easy to break) buried deep in the dashboard (read hard and expensive to access). We don't usually buy Chevy vehicles and this will determine if I buy one in the future. Seriously, shouldn't the heat in a car last longer than 3 years? Keep your fingers crossed for us! I know it will make typing more difficult but I will appreciate it!

Tonight I am going back to the school committee meeting as they take action on the citizen's petition to discontinue all discussions about closing our local high school. It will be interesting to see what results. The other side on the issue (a handful of vocal parents) have been very quiet the past few months. One representative was at the last meeting where we presented the petition but did not speak. Hopefully, they will respect the wishes of the vast majority and let the issue die.

That's it for today, folks. Have a great one!

Here's to short posts.