Monday, August 30, 2010

A shout-out to rude, obnoxious drivers from a protective Mama Bear

Just look at that sweet, nervous face - how can you people be rude to him??

My son got his learner's permit last week.  He has only driven a few places so far, and we have been trying our hardest to teach him how to drive safely.  

We are trying to teach him to pay close attention to the speed limit signs.
Not only because our county has recently acquired unmarked police cars and because we cannot afford a speeding ticket (and the subsequent raise in insurance rates), but because we want our son to be safe when he drives.  We do not want him to be in an accident.

So to those of you who pass, tailgate, honk your horns and glare at my poor, nervous, sweet boy - Thank you.  


We are trying to teach him to keep a safe distance between the car in front of him, so he has time to react.  

So for those of you who pass (especially the ones who have been passing in a no passing zone) and swinging into the small space between our car and the one in front of us, and then slamming on your brakes (I can only assume this is to "teach him a lesson")...Thank you.


Because so many drivers these days run red lights, we are trying to teach our son to pause a moment when the light turns green and look both ways to make sure that everyone has stopped.  For those of you who take that one second pause as a personal affront and begin honking your horn...Thank you.


For all of you who speed, run red lights, tailgate and exhibit aggressive, unsafe driving techniques - Thank you.


If you recognize yourself in any of those scenarios, please stop and think.  You are not the only one on the road.  My son - my baby boy - will soon be out there too.  All alone.  Without Mom and Dad watching him.

I trust him.  I am trying my hardest - in spite of YOU - to teach him how to be safe.  He is nervous enough already (so am I, for that matter!) and frankly, you're not helping.

You have developed unsafe habits and aggressive tendencies which endanger my child.  


Please.  Slow down.  Take a deep breath.  Get a grip.  Be safe.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Night Lights

Last night Mr. Wonderful and I found ourselves suddenly and happily child-free for an evening.  C went to the high school football game and P was at a sleepover party.

We wondered what we should do...

A romantic evening of dinner and dancing?

A movie?


It was a rainy Friday night.

I had a lovely glass of wine and an indulgent, luxurious bubble bath.
Then I put on an old, comfy nightie and I settled in with my wine and a book.

Trust me - it's a huge treat for me!

Mr. W watched some TV and read his book.

Can you tell that we've been married 20 years?
Can you tell that these days it is more of a treat to have a quiet evening at home than to go out on a rainy, crowded Friday night?

Sad, isn't it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

A cornucopia of miscellaneous odds-n-ends about nothing much

 Last night was the Open House at the high school, where we (the parents) have a chance to go to all of the classrooms and meet the teachers and hear a bit about what they will be doing this year.  Unfortunately, they only allow us 10 minutes in each class and none of the teachers were able to finish what they needed to say before a bell rang to move us (the parents) along like a herd of cattle.  I felt like I was back in high school.  

At one point I found myself shuffling through the crowds in the hallway, trying to find the next class, walking next to my steady guy (Mr. Wonderful, of course!) completely zoned out.  A friend whom I haven't seen in a couple of years was waving at me and trying to get my attention and I was just gazing blankly into space as I shuffled my feet and trudged along looking for room 322.

I felt as though I had traveled back in time 30 a few years!

I liked all of his teachers, although to be fair I liked them all last year too.  They all put on a good show for the parents and say what we want to hear at Open House.  Whether they follow through or not remains to be seen.  Still, I think most of C's teachers seem enthusiastic and organized, and if any of them are psychotic spawns of Satan (like a certain teacher my poor child had to deal with last year!), then they must have taken their medication last night!

In other news regarding C, the kid now has his learner's permit.

He tries to play it cool and act like he isn't excited about this at all...but HE IS!

How did this happen, that I have a child old enough to learn to drive?

Last night, after cleaning all day and stirring up dust and pet hair, I decided it was a good night for me and my allergies to take a Benadryl before bed.  I reached under my extremely organized and clean bathroom sink for my travel bag (which is where most of my medications are still residing after our trip to the beach a month ago) and placed it on the counter.  I found my Benadryl and pulled it out...and a humongous freaking roach was there and it crawled on my arm!  Oh my God - IT TOUCHED ME!!!  IT TOUCHED ME!! And then it jumped off MY ARM and ran around the bathroom in a menacing manner and I SCREAMED!!  IT TOUCHED ME!!!


Mr. Wonderful jumped off the bed and came running into the bathroom as I screeched in an unbecoming manner and jumped around and generally had a hysterical hissy fit.  P (with Lucy at her heels) came running at the sound of my screaming...

Only P was truly sympathetic to the horror I had just experienced.

Mr. Wonderful was a bit...well, he...kind of...LAUGHED AT ME.
He said that I may have overreacted at bit.
After all, it was "only a bug."

Only a bug.





Mr. Wonderful did save the day in spite of his less than sympathetic response to my crisis.  He got the can of Raid and attacked that hideous monstrosity.

The monstrosity is dead.

I am sharing this story with you to remind all of you who live in cooler climates without hideous man-eating roaches, that there is a price to pay for living in Florida.  We have hurricanes.  And Roaches.

Oh sure, it doesn't snow here...and we have this gorgeous view...and winters here are great compared to what ya'll have to deal with.  But we have roaches. It doesn't matter how clean your house is, or how often the bug service comes to spray - roaches will find a way into your house.

You may not have picked up on this, but I HATE ROACHES!  They freak me out.

And one touched me!

I hope I have managed to convey to you the absolute horror of last night.  Because it was more than a BUG.  It was my worst nightmare.  

I survived it.

And now I wonder, if surviving this horrific event will make me react less hysterically the next time I see one of these nasty creatures.  Hmmm....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The glass is half...something....

Yesterday afternoon our realtor contacted us to let us know that someone wanted to look at our house today.  They gave us 24 hours notice - I was ecstatic to have so much advance warning (for a change)!

We woke up this morning and got to work.  Mr. Wonderful mowed the lawn, transplanted some flowers, cleaned the guest cottage and prettied up the yard.  I shampooed the carpet in the kid's rooms, steam mopped the entire house - even under the furniture, and cleaned and organized and dusted and vacuumed the entire house...with help from P!

The house is gorgeous.

It glistens and gleams and smells delightful.  The glass sparkles, the wood glows, the pillows are all plumped and there are even flowers on the table. It looks totally unlike the way it usually looks.  

So guess what happened at 2:30 this afternoon?

The phone rang.

It was our realtor.  That's never a good sign.

The people cancelled.

Supposedly, the wife isn't feeling well.

Supposedly, they will reschedule.

On the glass is half-empty side of my brain I am sad, and dejected, and exhausted.

On the glass is half-full side of my brain I am satisfied that the house is clean, and I am proud of all of us for working so hard today.  Which reminds me of how exhausted I am...

Have I mentioned lately how much fun it is trying to sell a house in today's market with?  

Murphy is alive and well and enjoying knocking the VK's off their feet every chance he gets.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A typical evening



I don't even know what to say about this one!

Her brother had something to say though...

And I don't think she liked it!

She may not have been amused, but he certainly was...

She tries to subdue him using some moves she learned in Taekwondo...

Unfortunately, she forgot that HE also learned these moves in Taekwondo.

Yeah, that didn't work out so well.

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

One of the benefits of living on the water is being able to go out on the boat after school

C likes driving the boat!

Uh Oh...looks like we'd better hurry

"OK, C can ski first...then I'll go"

P's turn....


Sorry P.  Maybe you can ski tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just sit right back, and you'll hear a tale....

The other day P and I were talking about something and I said, "Just like on Gilligan's Island."  She just looked at me blankly.  I started singing (trying to refresh her memory, because it is inconceivable to me that she doesn't know Gilligan's Island)...

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour....

My voice trailed off as P continued to stare blankly at me.  "P", I asked her, "Have you ever seen the old TV show Gilligan's Island?"

She hadn't.  I was appalled.

My poor child had no idea who the Skipper and Gilligan and the Professor were.  She was clueless about Ginger and MaryAnne, and Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

I started thinking about how my children don't really have iconic shows that they grew up on like I did.  I mean, do you really think that 30 years from now they will reminisce about The Suite Life of Zack and Cody  or Hannah Montana?

God, I hope not.

I don't think Barney and Teletubbies will have the same nostalgic appeal as Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo and The Electric Company.

I began asking P about other classic shows...because I know she has seen some of them thanks to TVLand...

I asked her if she had ever seen Green Acres...

She replied, "Wasn't that my clubs routine song?"

My heart sank at the thought that that was the extent of her knowledge of Green Acres.  She was right though - when she did rhythmic gymnastics back in the 2nd grade, her clubs routine was to the music of Green Acres (without lyrics, of course).  Mr. Wonderful and I would always start singing the lyrics under our breath whenever we heard the music.  

 It's not a complete loss, however.  My children (again, thanks to TVLand) have seen, and loved The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family and other staples of my childhood such as...

Still, they've never seen HR Pufnstuf, or The Sonny and Cher Show, or experienced ABC After School Specials.

  They don't know Archie Bunker, so they don't know what I'm talking about when I say, "Stifle yourself, meathead!"  Whenever I see a plane and say in a thick accent, "De plane, De plane!"...they just think that Mom is being weird again...they've never visited (through the magic of television) Fantasy Island.  They have never taken a trip on The Love Boat...
This saddens me.

"Love, exciting and new 

Come Aboard. We're expecting you..."

I can trace my childhood through the television shows that were on.  I hear the theme songs and am instantly transported back to that era.

My first "crushes" were all on TV...

Davy Jones...

Lil' Joe Cartwright...

Keith Partridge...

The Hardy Boys (especially Shawn Cassidy)

and the Battlestar Galactica dudes.

This poor deprived generation of kids...who is there for them to have crushes on?

Justin Bieber?


I learned how to deal with life from television.  For instance, if one boy asks me out and then another one that I like more asks me out, I learned (in 30 minutes), that I should NEVER tell the first boy that "something suddenly came up"...because Marcia did that, and it didn't end well.

I know that magical personages (Samantha and Jeannie, for example) have evil cousins or twins who delight in stirring up trouble.  And they usually wear dark wigs.

I learned the Preamble to the Constitution and parts of speech from Schoolhouse Rock.

Life lessons were learned from the ABC Afterschool Specials.  

My mission now is to seek out DVD's of old television shows so my kids can have some frame of reference for when their parents start singing along to elevator music...

Green acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide.
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.
New York is where I'd rather stay.
I get allergic smelling hay.
I just adore a penthouse view.
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue....


Hey, Hey We're the Monkees......

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a difference a day makes

I played with my new camera all day yesterday.  I read the manual, I looked at information about aperture and shutter setting and ISO online, and I took lots and lots and lots of pictures.  Most of these I quickly deleted, and at first my family was patient with me in a mildly amused way as I clicked and clicked and clicked.

The two males in my family lost patience with the picture taking rather quickly...but my girl stuck with me...

Unfortunately even her patience eventually wore off, and I had to move on to practicing on less "sensitive to the paparazzi" members of the family...

As you can tell from the expression on Gus's face in the photo above, even they got a bit sick of me after a while.


I really wanted to play with my new toy though, so I was forced to focus on inanimate objects by the afternoon...

This one is my favorite.

I'm not going to let my grumpy, camera shy family bring me down however.  I'm going to keep taking pictures - they just may be of certain family members snarling or grimacing at me.  And if they do that, I just may feel the need to share them with you on this blog.  I'm just saying....

I have to take lots of pictures and practice to try to figure out this camera!

For those of you who questioned this note that C left on my birthday...

I will leave you with this image (of our two boy kitties) as explanation. 

Happy Monday, everyone!

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