Friday, March 26, 2010


“When you are inspired by some great purpose,
some extraordinary project,
all your thoughts break their bonds:
Your mind transcends limitations,
your consciousness expands in every direction, and
you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world.
Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and
your discover yourself to be a greater person by far
than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”


Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am somewhat ‘anti-social’ when it comes to Social Media outlets.

I’m a pretty typical INFJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging -- Hello?! Myers Briggs Personality Test. Get with the program.)

If that means nothing to you, let’s summarize it by saying that I am a fairly social introvert. I need lots of alone time and time at home without too many social interactions or my energy evaporates. I often find casual conversations exhausting and I don’t seek out social interaction often – but, having said that, I’m in no way shy in most social situations. I can find something to talk about with most folks.

It’s hard to be a social introvert on social media. It takes a lot of my energy to engage with people in blog comments, Facebook, or even via email. There is so much room to be misunderstood and the effort required to maintain all of those (fairly) casual social outlets seems exhausting to me.

Sure, I can answer your email call for information or I can post a ‘I’m sorry that happened’ or ‘Whoo hoo!’ in your blog comments or in reply to your Facebook status but engaging in extended conversations or planning to comment on blogs, facebook, etc feels really hard.

I like to dig deep when I’m talking to someone. I don’t like to argue, and I try not to pry (even though I really like all the details). I try to figure out where you’re coming from, why you think that way, and if we have common ground.

That’s hard to do online. There’s the time lag, the problem with lack of tone, the potential to be misread or to misspeak and my sense of humor relies a lot on tone of voice, so it’s hard to convey my own funny. It makes for a lot of awkwardness. A whole wall of awkwardness I have to climb or tunnel under before I can chat with you via your choice of electronic media.

Adding to the awkwardness are my privacy issues. I don’t want people on twitter to know exactly where I am. I don’t want random people to be able to identify my kids from pictures on my blog. I don’t want to publish all the details of my life. The idea of doing so makes me make a squirmy mess.

The thoughts I choose to share are probably very telling in themselves. No doubt people can tell all sorts of things about me from my writing that I didn’t intend to reveal but I can live with that risk.

So, that leaves me feeling like the most Anti-social Social Media participant ever. I will chat, but only about x,y,z. I lurk and rarely comment. I’m on Facebook, but I might only leave a status update once a week.

I blog, but I sometimes go long stretches without saying anything -- although usually that's because I am just so darn busy with all the wee ones. And since there are certain topics that I won't blog or Facebook about to avoid getting into too much into the details of my family’s life. Sometimes that leaves me with not knowing what to talk about.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Mississippi River crested -- not as high as expected -- but still enough to make a massive mess of Harriet Island...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dust It Off

I love the song "Dust on the Bottle". Everything about the song is a fabulous trip down memory lane. Reminds me of awful 90's man hair, carefree high school experiences -- hanging out with friends in one of our basements, dancing at winter formals, cruising in the car trying to look as cool as we thought we were...

It also reminds me of an extremely dear friend who took his own life a couple of years ago at the excessive young age of 29. Can't say much more. The memories are bittersweet.

Dust on the Bottle
~ David Lee Murphy

Creole Williams lived down a dirt road
Made homemade wine like nobody I know
Dropped by one Friday night and said can you help me Creole
Got a little girl waitin' on me and I wanna treat her right

I got what you need son, it's sittin' down in the cellar
He reached through the cobwebs as he turned on the light and said

There might be a little dust on the bottle
But don't let it fool ya about what's inside
There might be a little dust on the bottle
It's one of those things that gets sweeter with time

She was sittin' in the porch swing as I pulled up the driveway
My ole heart was racing as she climbed inside
She slid over real close and drove down to the lake road
Watched the sun fade in that big red sky

I reached under the front seat and said, now here's something special
It's just been waiting for a night like tonight

There might be a little dust on the bottle
But don't let it fool ya about what's inside
There might be a little dust on the bottle
It's one of those things that gets sweeter with time

You're still with me, and we've made some memories
After all these years there's one thing I've found
Some say good love, well it's like a fine wine
It keeps getting better as the days go by

There might be a little dust on the bottle
But don't let it fool ya about what's inside
There might be a little dust on the bottle
It's one of those things that gets sweeter with time

Monday, March 22, 2010

Race Ya!

Our Girl Scout Troop's Unit hosted its first (and hopefully annual) Powder Puff Pine Wood Derby. The girls purchased derby car kits from the Boy Scout Council Shop and designed, cut, painted, created their cars from scratch. It was awesome to see all of their creativity in action!

E decided to make her car look like a PENCIL and it turned out fabulously. My heart was bursting with pride when I saw her little car flying down the track.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Experts are predicting that the Mississippi River near downtown St. Paul, MN will reach a top crest level that will go down in the record books as one of the top 5 to 7 highest crest or flood levels since they have been keeping records!
Here is one of the picnic pavilions on Harriet Island that is completely submerged in the waters of the swollen Mississippi River. You can see the picnic table tops, but not the benches. The water is several feet up the light poles.
This picture shows that Lilydale Road is already under water (where the white poles are in the water). This was taken on Sunday and the Mississippi isn't even expected to finish cresting for for a few more days -- until later this week.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tell Me A Story...

I have a desire for my thoughts and memories to always be readily available to my children.

Don’t you ever wonder what our legacies will be? If more than only our records will be kept? If our stories will be told? In an age of emails and texts that are quickly read and discarded, or blogs that are written and deleted and lost in server crashes, what are we keeping to remember our family members by? What are we holding on to? Passing on for our families to find a hundred years from now?

I am always the picture-taker in our family. I am the scrapbooker. I am the one who records moments, big or small, that make us a family. However, I don’t always know the stories to write them down.

I've been wondering about the lives of those ancestors who are a part of my story. I want to know more about my grandparents... not just my memories of them, not just the documents that show where they came from, but the stories that shaped them into who they became. I’m wondering about my grandparents with many “greats” before their titles. Where did they come from? What were their struggles, their joys, their interests? Did they love to sing and dance and read like me? Did I miss the gene that made them good at math and cooking? Did they have dreams that were too big for their lifetimes, or did they accomplish things in their lifetimes that were bigger than their dreams?

As much as I want to know the facts, I want to know the stories.

It makes me want to start digging, even though I have no idea where to start. What about you? Do you know your history? Your lineage? Your ancestors stories? And have you made sure that you’re telling your own?!?!?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Way You Love Me

I love Faith Hill. Her voice is so fantastic! She is drop dead gorgeous! Hello?! Plus I love that her and Tim McGraw, her fab hubby, appear to have a very grounded marriage despite their crazy, celebrity lives. Also, the lyrics in "Way You Love Me" are so tender!

Please disregard the awful YouTube video. I couldn't find a copy with Faith Hill singing, so we are stuck watching a million kissing scenes from a soap opera just to hear Faith Hill's beautiful voice. Enjoy!

The Way You Love Me
~ Faith Hill

If I could grant
You one wish
I'd wish you could see the way you kiss
Ooh, I love watching you
When you're driving me crazy

Ooh, I love the way you
Love the way you love me
There's nowhere else I'd rather be
Ooh, to feel the way I feel with your arms around me
I only wish that you could see the way you love me
The way you love me

It's not right
It's not fair
What you're missing over there
Someday I'll find a way to show you
Just how lucky I am to know you

Ooh, I love the way you
Love the way you love me
There's nowhere else I'd rather be
Ooh, to feel the way I feel with your arms around me
I only wish that you could see the way you love me
The way you love me

You're the million reasons why
There's love reflecting in my eyes

Ooh, I love the way you
Love the way you love me
There's nowhere else I'd rather be
Ooh, to feel the way I feel with your arms around me
I only wish that you could see the way you love me
The way you love me
The way you love me

Ooh, the way you love me
The way you love me

Sunday, March 14, 2010

To Wii or Not To Wii

I have been struggling with my THREE-YEAR olds addiction to Super Mario Brothers on the Wii for several weeks now. It's ALL he EVER wants to do. A small Wii-addicted monster has been created. I have always been against too many video games or too much television viewing or too much of any type of electronic engaging. Not because I am anti-technology. On the contrary, I love all of the conveniences technology offers, but whatever happened to children just running around outside from dawn to dusk?! Getting fresh air, playing pirates and whatever else strikes their imaginative fancy? So, I was greatly amused when I read this blog posting from Sushi & Pizza.

To Wii or Not To Wii

To Wii, or not to Wii: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler as a parent to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous pleading,
Or to take arms against a TV of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To spurn—to scorn,
No more; and by scorning to say we end
The twitches and the thousand natural tics
That kids are prone to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To spurn, to scorn;
To scorn, perchance to play — ay, there's the rub:
For in that rejection of video games what envy may come,
When we have played Guitar Hero with friends,
This must give us pause—there's the fun
That can bond a family while strumming "Livin' On a Prayer."
For who could blame the parents who would join
Their children in revelry and laughter
As the adoring crowds applaud the avatar to Star Power!
The mirth of play, and the merrymaking
That patient dexterity of hand and eye!
Oh, what then when Rock Band calls to you?
Not only guitars, but drums and microphone join
To make music and fun together as a group!
But that the dread of something after playing--
The tantrums, the craziness, the hyperactivity which,
When endured, can cause the parents' hair to grey.
The refusal to settle down and sleep in a room
From whose bourn no parent well escapes, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience (together with economic recession)
Does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great fun and merrymaking
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the act of purchase.

To Wii or Not To Wii?

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Daylight Savings Time is just something I take for granted. I have never given it much thought -- except to praise the extra hour of sleep in the autumn and curse the lost hour of sleep each spring. However, I have recently become curious.

Why do we adhere to DST? Who decides that it is best for our bodies? Our productivity? Our Circadian sleep rhythms?

It appears there are crazy antedotes about things that happen because of DST.

In any case, please remember to set your clocks FORWARD an hour before you go to bed tonight. And think of me as my alarm clock reads 5:12am on Sunday morning -- but my body tells me it is only 4:12am as the children are jumping on my head.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ski Masks

Last weekend, the family is driving in the good ol' mini-van towards a big box store. We are on a tight budget. Funds are limited. Mom is extremely stressed about money.

Gracie (age 4): Mom! [Pointing out the vehicle window] I want Frucky Fried Chicken.

Me: No. Gracie. Sorry. We don't have money.

Gracie: Mommy! [Pointing out other side of vehicle] I want Arby's.

Me: No, Grace. We don't have money to eat out.

Gracie: M-O-M! I want to go on a ride at Wal-Mart.

Me: Nope. Sorry. Still no money.

Gracie: MOOOOOMMMMY! I want Sonic!
Me (slightly, okay! truthfully -- an extremely exasperated voice): Grace! I said, 'No.' We are only going to Target and we are only getting the 5 items on my list. See my list?

Gracie: Well, we could get a pretzel and cheese at Target?

Me: [SIGH!] NO! We do not have money for any of that stuff.

Gracie: Oh! We could go to the bank and get some money. They will give us some!

Me: No, they won't. Not unless we go in with ski masks on.

Husband cackles next to me while Gracie looks confused and asks, "Ski masks?"
Fast forward to today. I am standing inside the bank at the teller counter with Gracie and her younger brother making a deposit. Gracie, who was previously playing shy with the chatty teller, suddenly yells out at the top of her healthy lungs . . .


The teller looked at my confused as I shrug and say, "What did she just say? I didn't catch it..."

At least she didn't add the word "ski" in front of mask -- or perhaps I would have been typing this from the local federal penitentiary.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Albert Einstein once said:

"A question that sometimes drive me hazy:
Am I or are they crazy?"

I find myself asking the same question...

Me? or Them?!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Come Away

I adore Norah Jones. She is a goddess with a phenom voice. This is one of my favorite songs of hers.

Come Away With Me
~ Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they cant tempt us
With their lies

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows
So wont you try to come

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And i'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

Sunday, March 7, 2010

More Drama

Don’t you hate it when you look back on an interaction with your child and find yourself wishing you’d handled it differently? Lately I’m finding myself in this situation a lot with my four year old, "Little G".

For example: a few days ago, Little G had a complete meltdown because when she asked for another child in the family, I said no.

“But it’s not fair!” G crossed her arms, wrinkled her nose and yelled out her protest at the top of her tiny, but healthy, lungs. Then the tears began to flow. “I want someone else to be the smallest,” she continued. She stomped her feet and kept her eyes on mine to see if she would get a reaction.

Truth be told, she does have a younger sibling... D is 14-months younger than she is, but because she is such a peanut, her bro is a couple of inches taller than she is and at least 3-5 pounds heavier.

Now on any given day, G tends to suffer through at least six or seven monstrous injustices. Each of these is met with the level of drama she believes to be appropriate, meaning as much as drama as she can possibly muster. So when I didn’t rise to her bait on the topic of bringing another child into the family, she took it to the next level: her mouth opened and her eyes screwed up tight, she dragged herself from the kitchen, into the living room and let loose full-throated wails of misery.

No, I didn’t give a millimeter on that new child thing.

Later, however, after G had gone to bed, I recalled her complaint and I empathized. Not about the request itself, which is obviously not her decision (!), but about the feelings that led to it. I can imagine that it must be tough to always be the smallest in the family, the least competent in many areas (when compared to her 3 older sisters), the one who gets scared more easily than anyone else, and so on. When I had the chance to think about it, I could see that being in that position day after day would be difficult and G might actually deserve some sympathy and TLC to make her feel better.

But G got neither sympathy nor TLC from me. Instead, she received a show of complete indifference, because her method of delivering her message was so obnoxious, so rude, and so oft-repeated that I couldn’t get past it to see the legitimate, hurt feelings behind her attitude.

What’s wrong with this picture? Aren’t I supposed to be the grown-up here?

As I’ve mentioned before, G is a bona-fide drama queen who can over-emote in any situation, turn ANY minor mishap into a volcanic, lava-strewn, the-world-is-ending, Armageddon situation. She’s got the whole adolescent thing down-pat already and she isn’t even five yet. (When I say that I’m terrified of her tween and teen years, I’m probably understating my feelings.) In short, she launches into her the-world-is-ending routine and I tune her out, over and over again.

I guess I need to reconsider how I am handling these situations. My daughter’s having the temper-tantrums, but I need to do a better job, too. I’m the grown-up; damn, now I need to act like one...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Funky pictures that my sister doctored up with her spectacular mobile phone. For the love all things holy... we were obviously extremely bored ON A FRIDAY NIGHT.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Salad Gone Wild

I was happily making a salad for dinner when G and D decided to help. Their very favoritest thing to do is tear the lettuce into small pieces and throw it into the salad spinner. Well, for some reason, (I can't remember what sparked it) D decided that we weren't doing things correctly or to his liking and all of a sudden, he crawled onto the kitchen table and started jumping around, shrieking like a banshee. It was a spectacular show of epic proportions. All I could do was run for the camera and starting snapping pictures.

It was hysterical and horrendous all at the same time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I have no idea who Adele is. I am totally out of the loop with music stuff, but my sis said that this was an "Ann song". I do adore Adele's voice, but this video is straight up FUNKY. I am not a fan of the video but the lyrics are interesting...

Chasing Pavement
~ Adele

I've made up my mind
No need to think it over
If I'm wrong I ain't right
No need to look no further
This ain't lust
This is love but

If I tell the world
I'll never say enough
Because it was not said to you
And that's exactly what I need to do
If I'm in love with you

Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?
Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere?

I'd build myself up
And fly around in circles
Wait then as my heart drops
And my back begins to tingle
Finally could this be it

Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?
Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere?

Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there?
Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


This year National Read Across America Day falls on Dr. Seuss' birthday -- March 2nd! Take a moment to read to your precious children, or curl up with a good book for your own enjoyment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Business Humor

I guess some business owners think they have a sense of humor... The below messages were found on public business' signs.

In a podiatrist's office:
'Time wounds all heels.'

On a septic tank truck:
'Yesterday's Meals on Wheels'

On another septic tank truck:
'Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises'

On a Plumber's truck:
'We repair what your husband fixed.'

On another Plumber's truck:
'Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.'

At a tire store:
'Invite us to your next blowout.'

On an electrician's truck:
'Let us remove your shorts.'

In a non-smoking area:
'If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.'

On a maternity room door:
'Push. Push. Push.'

At an optometrist's office:
'If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.'

On a private home's fence:
'Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!'

At a car dealership:
'The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.'

Outside a Car Exhaust Store:
'No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.'

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
'Drive carefully. We'll wait.'