Friday, March 31, 2006

Karma gives back

As you know, I volunteer at my son's school on Fridays. I also volunteered yesterday to help out with spring portraits. I come prepared, spray bottle full of water to knock down those crazy cowlicks. I know as a parent I would like to have the best picture possible of my child and I tried to make that happen for them yesterday. We have over 1400 students at my son's school, so I helped quite a few of them put on their best smile.

Today, as I was wandering the halls, I had the pleasant surprise of "random hugging". As I went into classrooms, I'd be surprised by little arms going around my waist with a sweet hug for me. I don't know these children, but I helped their classes yesterday and they certainly seemed to like me! I'm glad they feel comfortable in giving me those hugs - I might not know their names, but I do care for my little friends.

Then when I checked my email this afternoon (the one time I don't check my email in the morning), I was notified that I had won $100 from a opinion website to which I belong. How cool is that?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Real friends

My best friend just had a baby this past Friday. She had a C-section, so even though she is now home, she is definitely not at 100%. Unfortunately, she has a had a run of bad luck since coming home. Her hubby took time off to help with the baby, but instead got a stomach virus and has puked for the last three days. (Sidebar: a woman would not allow herself to be sick in this situation - she would swallow some Tums and suck on some ginger candy but would not get sick. Mothers have this superhuman ability.) She can't drive herself anywhere, yet so I've done some shopping for comfort foods for her hubby while she cared for the baby. Another neighbor has been able to go over during the day to give her a hand as well.
Yesterday evening I got a call from her - she was having chest pains and needed to get to the hospital STAT! Hubby couldn't drive her - he barely could stand. She was able to get in touch with her mother, but she needed someone to care for the 5 day old baby while she was at the hospital. Luckily, I was available to help.
When I got there, she was crying. Not because of the pain in her chest but because she has to keep asking her friends and family for help. I had to laugh at her because what is the definition of a friend? I believe it is someone will stick by you in good times and in times. She can only look at things that are happening right now, that she thinks she is a burden on us. Where as I see it as payback for all the help she has given me over the years. It is her house we stayed at for over a month while we waited to close on our house (she was pregnant and due to have her baby at that time too). It is her house I'll be at for company while hubby goes away on business trips for the next month and a half. As I see it, I'm just continuing the circle.

Note: My friend came home from the hospital - she is OK.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

To TP or not to TP

Tell me something, faithful readers, have you ever toilet papered (TP'd) a house? Was it a friends or someone you did not like?
I ask this question as this past Saturday, my neighbor's across the street were visited by some nocturnal female guests, those who were carrying armfuls of Charmin'. Number one son was kind enough to notify me of these actions, as was watching from his bedroom window. Of course, he was supposed to be sleeping, but that is neither here nor there. So I, the perpetual nosy neighbor who can not mind her own business walk across the street, up to one of the girls and say, "So, what do you think you are doing?" She drops here TP and starts to tell one of the other girls to get down from the tree she is in. The leader of the group, a girl who lives 2 doors down, tells me her sage - one of being wronged, cheatin' boyfriend JR and revenge.
Now, I don't see anything necessarily evil about the act of TPing a house, but I knew my neighbor would. She moved here from a different country and has different beliefs, values, and ideas about what is appropriate for children to do or not do. I told the girl that I understood where she was coming from, but if Jr's mom asked me who did it, I would tell her. The girl couldn't understand why I would do such a thing. I tried explaining how Jr's mom would be the one cleaning it up, how it wouldn't be fair to her, etc. The girls got the glossy eyed looked teens get when listening to an adult and then promptly took off.
Needless to say, Jr.'s family came home, they knocked on our door to see if we knew what happened, we told, Jr's mom and dad then went to the girl's house to tell her mom. It took those girls over 2 hours to clean up the mess. I hope they learned their lesson.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lurking in the woods

As I've mentioned before, my family and I go "geocaching". If you did not read that post, it is where you take a portable GPS, enter map coordinates from the geocache website, and then search in the great outdoors for a "cache" that has been hidden by some individual. Last weekend we went on a search for treasure, and boy did we see some unexpected things.
The coordinates that we had led us along a off-road path, that looked to be frequented by all terrain vehicles on a regular basis. To the left of this winding path there was a berm and on the other side of that, a bayou (which is really just a very large, natural drainage ditch). As we closed in on our target, we had to veer off the path and up the berm. Hubby had the boy and I wait while he went up, so he could check to be sure that it was not a sudden drop off or anything dangerous.
Hubby goes up, hubby quickly comes back down.
(ME) "Is it clear for us to go over?"
(Hubby) "No, we better wait a few minutes."
(ME) "Why?"
(Hubby) "There are people there, and they need a few minutes"
(ME, the dense one) "What are they doing - did they find the cache?"
(Hubby) "No, they are busy."
(ME) "Huh?"

(Who knows what they were doing? Anyone, anyone?)

(Hubby in a whisper so the boy doesn't hear, since boy is now getting antsy)
"They're having sex!"

Ohhh. Well I lead the boy off to the an area a little bit to the left and actually found the cache. The couple soon left on their ATV, and we were able to finish our walk. I bet that couple never expected company when they planned their rendezous.
As a side note, Hubby and I both were itching with some severe poison ivy from that trip. Ours was on our legs (we both had worn shorts), I can only imagine where the two lovebirds were scratching!
their poison ivy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Vacation bummer

I just got back from the dentist - no cavities but I do need two crowns (I had many cavities when I was much younger). $2200, not covered by insurance. Yikes. At least I'll be back at work next week, so that'll cover costs, right?

Wrong. It seems there was a directive sent down from headquarters that all stores had to cut payroll. It doesn't matter that our store was $30,000 under budgeted payroll. We still have to reduce. Which means I work two days next week, and no days the week after. Another vacation, only it won't be paid. I'm upset but not too badly. Yes, I would like the money so I can fix my teeth, but if it had to happen, now is a good time. I have no day care cost right now, my dear friend is expecting her 2nd child any day now, hubby will be away and I'll be able to get things done during the day, and the weather is very mild and pleasant so I can enjoy myself outside.

Plus, we've always budgeted on hubby's salary alone, that way in case things like this happen we would not be in trouble. Many of my friends laugh at me for this, but I'm frugal for a reason. We had this sort of thing happen 2 times before and we learn from our experiences. So, I'm going to go plant some flowers, weed my garden, and just in general enjoy my day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Vacation..or is it?

My work is closed this week, so I have a week off to get everything done on my "to do" list which I've have been slowly adding to for the last few months. I don't know why I think I can get the list done other than the fact that I'd hate to waste my week and I know that hubby will be gone for several weeks which will leave me no time to do any of the things on the list.
It is such an exciting list - paint walls, wash all windows (inside and out), plant flower garden, wash down all woodwork in house, clean blinds, finish mailing out tax documents, give blood, etc.
I have actually written down fun things as well. Our museum of Natural History is hosting Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, which I can't wait to see. I'll even use my new knowledge of public transportation to get there.

Friday, March 10, 2006

fright meets sight

As I have mentioned in the past, my eyesight leaves something to be desired. In fact, if I don't have my glasses on, you need to be at the most 3 inches from my face for me to see clearly. So, in a sense, without my glasses on I am blind, blind, blind.
This leads me to a story from when hubby and I were just married and had recently moved overseas. I was still getting used to the newness of the country and to the fact that he kept leaving for 2 weeks to months at a time. I had heard lots of rumors about how Americans were often targets of burgalries, and how we should keep our windows locked tight.
Well, it was summer time and hot; so my my windows were open - their heavy wooden blinds rolled up and gigantic windows propped all the way open. Hubby was away for training, and it was just me in our sparsly decorated Italian apartment. Needless to say, I was a bit paranoid and jittery. I had finally fallen asleep only to be awoken by the sight of a dark figure near my window. My eyes, which had been half open, sprang wide and I screamed at the top of my lungs. (Up to this point I never knew if I was going to be to scared to move or say anything if this type of situation were to arise. I now knew the answer) The figure jumped, turned around and started saying in English (1st clue)"What, what is it?!?" and "It's me, honey, it's me." Well, after a quick fumbling with the nightstand I found my glasses and saw my hubby, who had come home early from a training exercise. Whoops. I was thankful that no other folks were living in our apartment building at the time. I can only imagine what they would have done if they had heard my blood curdling scream.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I've been thinking of the subtle differences that exist between Southerners and Northerners and have tracked down their origins. What I am referring to is the extreme friendliness of Southerners. If you are walking down the street, going into the market, or coming out of a restaurant, you can often find yourself being greeted by perfect strangers who insist on looking you in the eye as they greet you. It is not just "hi" or "excuse me" it is "how are you doing today?" or "it sure is a beautiful day, isn't it?". As a transplanted Northerner, I still find this disturbing. What ever happened to looking at your feet as you pass a person and the slightly gruff "thanks" or simple nod of the head you would give in acknowledgement to a stranger as they held the door open for you? Why be so personal? Southerners also tend to hang out in their garages a lot. You'll see people with their lawn chairs just sitting in an open garage, watching the traffic go by. Again, up north, garages are for cars and junk. There usually isn't room for a sittee, never mind leaving the door open to watch the traffic go by.

As I said earlier, I have traced the roots of this behavior and now know the answer as to why there is such different behavior among the states. Simply put, it is the weather. Southerners spend much more time out doors, since they are not freezing their keisters off during the winter time, so they interact with society much more often than Northerners. The garage social scene is a way to enjoy the day, but not get too hot in the sun. Northerners, on the other hand, are used to rushing from one building to the next or from the car to the store in an attempt to stay warm while being exposed to as little cold air as possible. Who has time for friendly conversation when your nose is about to fall off from the cold? They need to conserve heat, not make new friends.

So, I'm off to go enjoy my warm March weather. Perhaps I'll take a walk around the neighborhood, greeting every person I walk by including the garage society.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I finally got my flowers - yesterday at work I had a special delivery. It seems hubby decided to go with another company, one more reliable. The delivery person was under strict instructions that only I could sign for them, so that there could be no confusion over who and where they got delivered. I had figured the flowers were a thing of the past, but hubby felt that I deserved them, even if they were 2 weeks late. He definitely earned some points for that. I'm so lucky to have him in my life.