Don't Call Me Miss Hannigan

As I write this, there are ten 4th- and 5th-grade girls singing along to Mamma Mia in my family room. They're here for a Girl Scout troop sleepover and movie night. The plan was for the movies to be progressively quieter and sedated-er. Yeah, right. After they've sung the last sing-along song, I'm putting in Miracle on 34th Street or the Polar Express.

If you don't hear from me in a couple of days, send out a cyber search party. I'll probably have drowned in little girls.


Droidel Droidel Droidel

Even though Hanukkah is over for 2008, here’s a link to a fun craft project. The Droidel! Yes, I spelled that right. It’s a dreidel in the shape of R2D2. So turn your printers on, get out the scissors and start singing,

“I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play”

Now everybody sing the chorus!

“Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play”


All Over But the Snortin'

[Note to self: Check the “other” email account more often.] I have an off-line friend who’s been reading my blogs on a daily basis. How do I know this without his/her hometown showing up on the FeedJit list? Easy. My Blogger account is set to automatically email him/her a copy of my blog.

Well, said friend knows a lot of my jokes before I type them. But s/he still gets a kick out of them. Only problem, I forget to check my “other” account. Then when I do, there are lots of replies, comments if you will, on the blogs. Little inside jokes and the like.

S/He’s the master of blithe one-liners. If I save up enough off-line retorts to my blogs, I can have a really long laugh. Even if I do read them on a daily basis s/he’s able to do something that not everybody can. More than making me laugh, s/he can make me snort.


Mommie Dearest?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Joan!


You are a Joan -- "I need to succeed"

Joans are energetic, optimistic, self-assured, and goal oriented.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Leave me alone when I am doing my work.

  • * Give me honest, but not unduly critical or judgmental, feedback.

  • * Help me keep my environment harmonious and peaceful.

  • * Don't burden me with negative emotions.

  • * Tell me you like being around me.

  • * Tell me when you're proud of me or my accomplishments.

What I Like About Being a Joan

  • * being optimistic, friendly, and upbeat

  • * providing well for my family

  • * being able to recover quickly from setbacks and to charge ahead to the next challenge

  • * staying informed, knowing what's going on

  • * being competent and able to get things to work efficiently

  • * being able to motivate people

What's Hard About Being a Joan

  • * having to put up with inefficiency and incompetence

  • * the fear on not being -- or of not being seen as -- successful

  • * comparing myself to people who do things better

  • * struggling to hang on to my success

  • * putting on facades in order to impress people

  • * always being "on." It's exhausting.

Joans as Children Often

  • * work hard to receive appreciation for their accomplishments

  • * are well liked by other children and by adults

  • * are among the most capable and responsible children in their class or school

  • * are active in school government and clubs or are quietly busy working on their own projects

Joans as Parents

  • * are consistent, dependable, and loyal

  • * struggle between wanting to spend time with their children and wanting to get more work done

  • * expect their children to be responsible and organized

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy


The Christmas Miracle

It’s a good thing we didn’t have company come for Christmas dinner this year. I ruined the meal.

It all began when I over-trimmed the fat from the beef rib roast. Fat is good for some things, like keeping the meat moist while it cooks. Oops.

Then there was the salad. I was born in the wrong era. I’m really a 1950s housewife living in a millennial world. Every holiday meal in our house comes with a congealed salad of some kind. The kids usually get to pick the flavor. This year, with my head elsewhere, I forgot to buy the ingredients for a congealed salad.

That’s when you stand in front of the cupboard and just stare are the cans as if with enough mental telepathy they would transform into exactly what you needed for your favorite salad. No go. So I improvised. The congealed salad turned out okay, but nothing to write home about. The flavors were too subtle to stand up to mashed rutabaga, turnips and potatoes; Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, onions and garlic; and roast beef with a horseradish sauce.

But the pièce de résistance was my steamed pudding. How many years have I been making steamed pudding for Christmas dessert? And what happens this year? I burnt it. Not just a little too brown around the edge. Nope, I had to do it regally. The entire bottom, which is actually the top when it’s inverted on a plate, was black. And hard. We’re talking charcoal hard. And the sides too. I’ll bet I cut off more than half of my pudding. The whiskey sauce couldn’t cut through the ashy flavor. Neither could the port.

But my kids were angels. They all remarked at how good it was. And they all finished their pieces. Miracles do happen. Especially at Christmas.


What Were You Doing When

What were you doing when…?

Princess Diana died – 31 August 1997
I was seven months pregnant and couldn’t sleep. I went to the den, turned on the fan, and lay down on the couch to watch Saturday Night Live. I thought they were doing a sketch until I realized it was really the news.

The U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union team – 22 February 1980
Sitting in the floor of my parents’ den with my eyes glued to the set. It was the best hockey game EVER.

Anwar Sadat met Menachem Begin in Jerusalem – 19 November 1977
My father called me in the house from playing in the back yard to watch some big jet plane land on a runway and two men shake hands. I was upset because I wasn’t outside on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

The World Trade Center was attacked – 11 September 2001
I was putting the expenses in a spreadsheet as the chair of the Christmas parade. I thought I heard a gas line explode somewhere in the neighborhood. I walked outside to see if I could see anything. My neighbor called me to come over. She said one of the towers had collapsed. I couldn’t believe it and ran to her house. We were both standing in her living room watching the news report when the second one collapsed.

President Kennedy was assassinated – 22 November 1963
For that one, I’ll have to pass. I wasn’t even a gleam in my father’s eye at that point in history.


God, Buddha and a Roman Emperor

I saw a wonderfully thought-provoking tee-shirt last week. It read, “God isn’t a boy’s name.” Shocking!

If you could be a fly on the wall of my house, you’d soon see that I am the great questioner and my husband is the all-powerful answerer. Questions aren’t really questions, so much, as they are statements to segue to conversations.

My all-time famous segue being that the universe itself (whether you believe in the Big Bang theory or in creationism) proves the existence of God. My assertion is/was that all that matter and energy had to come from somewhere. What was there before eternity? If the universe goes on to infinity, how can it be expanding? What is it expanding into if it’s infinite?

My husband grows tired of my questions at times and begins quoting the stoics and the Buddhists. He has engrained in my mind the first truth of Buddha – all life is suffering. His other famous quote is from that stoic Marcus Aurelius who cautioned against spinning like a top after things in the nether realm.

As my husband has found out, being the all-powerful answerer doesn’t guarantee that I’ll accept his answers. I just want a lead-in to a discussion. Sort of like the tee-shirt.


How To Make Me Cry

Dear {Gaelic Wife},
We here at St. {insert your favorite saint’s name}’s want you to know that we are thinking about you and praying for you, knowing that this holiday time may be difficult. Holidays are poignant times, filled with tradition and memories.
As you find your way through a holiday season that may be very difficult and bittersweet, we pray that the light of Christ, that shines through the darkest nights, light your path, and bring you comfort and peace.
If we can be of any help to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
In Christ,
{Priest Associate+}


Playing Favorites

In response to an earlier blog where I mentioned phoning my favorite aunt, an offline friend asked me what makes her my favorite aunt.

She’s married to father’s younger brother. Daddy was the eldest of five with a girl in the second slot. I grew up around all my aunts and uncles from both sides of my family. But of all my aunts, yes, she’s my favorite. And unlike your children, you can rank your aunts and uncles.

There were many evenings when my aunt and uncle would come for drinks with my parents. I’d lie in my bed and hear the lilt of a conversation punctuated with laughter every now and then. I didn’t know what they were saying; I couldn’t discern the words. The smoke from their cigarettes would cloud into my room. Lights would flood into my room as the hall light came on for them to retrieve their coats. Those evenings added up. But the event that pushed her into the favorite slot happened when I was pregnant with my first baby.

When I was four months pregnant with our first, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Glioblastoma multiforme grade four, to be precise. No one was sure whether she would live to see her first grandbaby. All she ever wanted was to be a grandmother.

There was nothing I could do. The least I could do was let her spend as much time with my growing belly as possible. But that was hard to do since I lived over 800 miles away. At the time, I was working for my hometown congressman. He let me work out of the district office while I moved back into my old bedroom. My husband stayed at our home and held down his day job.

At three o’clock one night I awoke to find all the lights on and my father rushing around the house. My mother was having a seizure and he needed to take her to the doctor which was an hour’s drive away. Without thinking, I told them I was going too. But when I went to the bathroom, my water broke. Oh no! How could I get to the hospital in my hometown?

I called my aunt and uncle. They came right over and took me to a hospital in one direction while my father took my mother to a hospital in the opposite direction. My husband was busy making airline reservations for the first thing available.

Bless her heart, she meant well. But my aunt wasn’t my Lamaze partner. She didn’t know about the breathing. I gave up trying to use what I learned in class. The baby was coming whether I breathed rhythmically or not.

She stayed by my side all morning long. She held my hand. My uncle would give me updates of my mother from my father's phone calls. Finally at 11:30 a.m. my husband burst into the room with the boom box and tapes that we made for my labor. It was unnecessary. They were already wheeling me to the delivery room. The baby came at noon.

It wasn’t until the third daughter that we named her after my aunt. But they both know she was named after her grand-aunt.


Writers from Lake Wobegon

My husband has been editing his company’s 2009 legislative outlook that goes out to all the clients as well as everyone in the company in the tax line of service. When he was handed the draft on Friday, it weighed in at 48 pages. Last year’s outlook was 24 pages. As one of the partners at the firm likes to say, “If I’d had more time, I’d have written a shorter memo.”

It’s not that with the new administration there’ll be that much different from last year. It’s that some people in the world just don’t write well. Their technical skills outpace their ability to communicate in a clear and precise manner.

To paraphrase Carrie Fisher’s character from When Harry Met Sally, everybody thinks they can write well but they couldn’t possibly all write well. It seems like Lake Wobegon increases its population every year exponentially.


Hail Mary

The Trifecta. The Grand Slam. The Troika.

My "baby" was the Blessed Virgin in the Christmas Pageant this year. Resplendent in her blue robe and veil. She just didn't know Joseph's name.

My eldest daughter began the tradition. Joseph so impressed her that she didn't remember who he was two weeks later. Better than my middle daughter. She "divorced" her Joseph.

It's sort of bittersweet. This is the last year we'll attend the children's service during Advent for the pageant. We've graduated to the main service, the "adult" service, the eleven-o'clock service.

Three daughters, three Marys. I am changing my name to Anne.



Am I sad because it rains or does it rain because I'm sad? My mood and the weather have been on par the past few days. Misty.

As a full-time mom, I spend a lot of time in the car running errands, running kids places, what have you. "Stay-at-home mom" is a misnomer.

Usually my routine would be that when I'm in the car I use the time for phone calls. Okay, don't lecture me on the hazards of driving while on the cell phone. That routine was shattered several weeks ago.

My favorite drive-time phone buddy was my father. We'd talk about nothing, and everything. Since I've been back home, my drives have been much lonelier.

Yesterday as I was driving around in the drizzle, I picked up my phone and had to stop myself from pressing his speed-dial number. Instead, I started calling anyone else I could think of. Almost all of my girlfriends have office jobs and couldn't talk. My other friends were out of pocket and couldn't be reached. Moving down the list, I called my favorite aunt. My uncle told me she was out shopping. She doesn't own a cell phone. I love my uncle, but he's not who I wanted to talk to.

When will the sun come out?


It Came From Under the Table

Last night as I was checking emails and cruising the net for shopping ideas, I was stretching my legs from the morning's exercise session on the stationary bike. Having propped one foot on another chair under the table, my foot began to rhythmically flex and point to a tune in my head. The room was completely dark save for the light from the computer screen. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it happened.

Sharp claws digging through my socks. Ouch! That darned cat!

But its claws were stuck in my sock. Flex. Still there. Point. More so. Finally I jerked my leg back, dragging the cat onto the chair, which scared the cat. The cat howled. The claws dug deeper. I howled.

I traded the R for an M. Damn cat!

The cat literally ran in a circle under the table using the tablecloth as its runway, its claws holding onto the fabric. Then up my leg. Claws still out. When it hit my lap, I knocked it onto the floor.

After regaining my composure, there were other emails to read. By that time the cat had returned to my lap to apologize by curling up and purring away. Can someone tell me why I put up with the kneading claws of a purring cat on my lap but not the playful claws turned weapons on my foot?


The other night our church celebrated its 200th Anniversary. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States preached and celebrated the Eucharist. Following the service, 500 congregants broke bread with the Bishop.

Being good Whiskeypalians, cocktails were served before the dining room was opened. Yup, free bar. Red and white wine? Check. Beer? Check. Bourbon on the rocks? Check. "Can you do a martini?" "Vodka or gin?" But, egads! The bartender put a lime in the martini because he didn't have any olives.

Your choice of red or white wine was offered with dinner. I saw some people ask for and receive both. The problem with drinking on a school night is that if you drink too much you still have to appear to function the next day.

After three drinks I was three sheets to the wind. As I told one friend, one drink, one sheet, two drinks, two sheets, etc.

There's another problem that most people don't seem to suffer from. I guess it's only me. My computer doesn't recognize when I shouldn't be typing emails due to alcohol intake. Coming home from the dinner, I sat down to check my email and started zipping off emails to folks. It was only after suffering through a painfully parched workout the following morning that I realized there were some emails I probably could have been a little more tactful on.

So here's my semi-public mea culpa. I'll try to restrain myself next time from emailing while intoxicated. At least I wasn't guilty of Blogging Under the Influence.


Here Kitty Kitty

I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail a few weekends ago with a group of outdoorsy-types. Fabulously beautiful scenery. Spectacular stillness. Warm camaraderie. It was a rare weekend without any family members around.

If you've never backpacked a through-trail, there are some things you need to know before you head out.
  • You have to carry everything out that you carry in. Everything. Take a minute for that to sink in. Everything. Bingo! Even your toilet paper.
  • You can only carry so much water with you; which means you have to collect and purify water along the trail.
  • If water is such a scarce resource, and you have to carry out everything you carry in, washing dishes is elevated to an art form.

We had some of the best meals on the trail. Two ladies had Pad Thai. My tent buddy, another woman, and I shared lasagna and a berry crumble for dessert. Dehydrated meals are not what they used to be. But they leave your mess kit covered with the sauces.

What to do? Wipe your plate/bowl down with a paper towel that you have to pack out? Or find out how Yours Truly got her trail name?

Remember when you were little and would lick the bowl of ice cream or, if you were really lucky and your mother wasn't concerned about salmonella, cake batter? Ever watched your pet lick the bowl for the very last morsel? Getting the picture yet?

I didn't realize that I was creating such a spectacle of myself by plopping down on a rock and licking my plate clean. But I didn't have much washing to do afterwards. And no traces of food particles that would attract visitors during the night.

So my trail name? If you haven't guessed it already... Kitty.


French Benefits

Why is it that French men can be so romantic without breaking a sweat? Case in point... I was procrastinating about writing Thank You notes to my father's pallbearers (they were six of my cousins, the Probate Judge and the Circuit Clerk of my small hometown). What better way to waste good daylight than to surf the 'net for soft-porn news? Calm down, you prudes out there. Soft-porn news isn't what you think. It's that fluff stuff that we waste so much time on: the Top-Ten Most Caffeinated Cities, 7 Ways to Lose Belly-Fat, 5 Gas Sipping Trucks. You get the idea.

I came across 100 Things to Renew Your Faith in Love. Just what the estrogen-heavy demographic needs to put off what we should really be doing.

One man, from Paris no less, said that he loves his girl because "she is comfort; loving like an embrace. Her eyes look like home." Do they teach this stuff in school over there? Do guys learn it from their fathers? No wonder they're world-renowned for being such great lovers!

A lot of our guys could use some pointers. If you want to get somewhere with your gal, talk to her. Tell her she looks terrific. Tell her other things as well. It's amazing what words can do to a woman. And you'll be amazed at the fringe benefits to which the simple act of talking will lead.


Toilet Roll Christmas

My aunt visited the Holy Land and brought my mother back a beautiful olive-wood creche. It had all the main characters as well as the supporting cast of sheep, cows, shepherds holding lambs, shepherds leaning on their staffs, and others I don't remember. Heaven only knows what happened to that creche.

Over the past month, I've been longingly looking online at olive-wood creches. Lusting after them in my heart. But then I look up at the mantle and see our current creche.

It's an old shoebox turned on it's long side with the short sides cut so that it resembles a stable. The empty manger is a matchbox with X's glued to its sides to make it stand on the raffia "hay". Baby Jesus, who's stowed behind the "stable" until Christmas Eve, is a wine-bottle cork wrapped in a scrap of white cloth. Mary and Joseph are on the bookcase on the west side of the room, while the Three Wise Men are on the piano on the east side of the room. All five, plus the shepherd on another bookcase and the angel at the stable, are made from toilet paper rolls with different squares of cloths glued to the top as their scarves and their faces painted with water colors to differing degrees of human likeness by my then-preschool-aged children.

How do you trade in such a masterpiece as a handmade toilet-paper-roll-and-shoebox creche for a hand-carved olive-wood straight-from-the-Holy-Land creche? Two simple words.

You don't.


Women Prefer Bonds

[Editor’s note: British spelling due to the nature of today’s blog.] I must be the last person in the entire world to see current movies. I’m still waiting to see Prince Caspian. My kids just told me it’s out on video. So much for keeping abreast of popular culture.

I saw
Quantum of Solace last night. For those of you who haven’t seen it, would I be spoiling anything if I said that one scene looks like it is straight out of one of the early Sean Connery Bond movies, except for the main color?

Speaking of that luscious Scotsman, Daniel Craig has displaced him as my favourite Bond. In order of hunkiness,

1. Daniel Craig
2. Sean Connery
3. Pierce Brosnan
4. Timothy Dalton
5. George Lazenby
6. Roger Moore

Who’s your favourite Bond? (And for the guys, your favourite Bond Girl?)



Your result for Survival Test...

Weekend Warrior

16% Death and 67% Survival!

Way to go, you are awesome! Although it has been a rough go, you probably have made it out in one piece...you are alive!

If you are a man you are sure to catch the eye of some fair maiden and sweep her off her feet with those skills...good going.

If you are a women look out, some man will snag you up for your willingness to get out there and rough it... Ooo Baby!

You sure do have some great knowledge, but you might want to brush up on a few things to be a "survivalist". Grab a buddy or two, take all you need to survive and then practice in a safe environment. You guys are amazing!

There are many resources on the web for wilderness survival, please check them out. However, my personal favorite is Hoods Woods.... but decide for yourself.

I would appreciate it if you could vote on my test. Thank you

Take Survival Test
at HelloQuizzy


When Is Christmas?

On December 23rd one year, a Jewish storekeeper was about to close up shop early when a distinguished-looking man hurried in.

“May I help you?”

“I need to buy my wife a Christmas present.”

“Well…” she proceeded to show him some different things that might be of interest to the man’s wife. Finally, he picked out a gift and waited for the woman to ring up the sale.

“You must be very relieved to be finished with your Christmas shopping,” she said.

“Oh, I’m not. I’m just starting,” was his reply.

The Jewish woman stopped. She thought about all the Jewish holidays, keeping track of when they all fall. She remembered all the baking she did for the different holidays. Holy days on the Jewish calendar move around the calendar from year to year much like Easter does on the Christian calendar.

She looked at him with piercing eyes and said, “You know. Christmas is on the 25th.”

“I know,” the man replied in despair.

“And just to give you a heads-up, it’ll be on the 25th again next year.”


Walk the Wine

My children's piano teacher is also a friend of the family. She lives two blocks away and we are her only students. She has a "real" job during the day.

So when she arrived for the lesson last night, we learned she had a really long day and offered her some wine. But alas, like a sloshed Mrs. Hubbard, our wine cupboard was bare, except for half a bottle of some really nice port. (Note to self: buy wine.)

"No thanks. That'll put me to sleep."

I have another friend who has a similar response to red wine. Darn it, but nightcaps don't work like that for me.

When I was little, my mother would give me a cup of warm milk at night to help me sleep. Now the thought of warm milk is accompanied by an involuntary gag reflex. Until I realized that the latte that I like so much is more hot milk than hot espresso. So rather than take a bottle of red wine with me to bed, I'll slowly decrease the amount of espresso until I can drink the warmed milk like I could when I was a child. Nothing like warm milk (or good sex, but that's a blog for another day) to help you sleep.


My Hero, The Rat

A close friend announced at a board meeting recently that her son has an adopted rat. And not just any rat. A mine-detecting rat!

We were incredulous until she sent the link to the website. Apparently, the rats detect TB as well as land mines. Ever since Princess Diana got involved with efforts to ban land mines, my awareness has been piqued.

Here’s one small way to help ensure that land mines are found and removed safely before they kill or maim any more men, women, and children. They are indiscriminate in their killing and maiming.

Canal Street

Four years ago during Spring Break for our local schools, I was having lunch with my father, my husband, and our three children at Ruby Foo’s in Times Square. That big round table near the back. Back towards the ladies’ room with the attendant. You know the one. She always turns on the water for you and hands you a towel. And you always feel guilty if you don’t leave her a tip. Just before the entrees arrived, my cell phone rang. It was the mother of one of my eldest daughter’s lacrosse teammates calling to see if we had practice that week. When I told her we were in New York City for the week, she began to regale me with what great bargains she found in purses down on Canal Street.

The first thought that crossed my mind was, “I’m there.” In New York I always feel nickel-and-dimed to death, as with the restroom attendants and every other person who opens the door for you, hails you a cab or takes you on the tourist-trap carriage ride through Central Park. The flip side is the plethora of stores. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Barney's, Bergdorf Goodman, not to mention the stand-alone designer stores in mid-town and up Madison Avenue. Having perused the wares at several retail stores, I was interested in finding a bargain. But alas, I never made it to Canal Street at all that trip.

The following Christmas I went with my husband to a post-holiday open house at one of his colleague’s. I just happened to plop down in a chair near another woman from the office and her husband. I told them about our trip to New York, the shows that we had seen and the shopping that I hadn’t gotten to but wanted to. You would have thought I’d announced that Osama bin Laden was my godfather! I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the merchandise that is hawked by the vendors along Canal Street is all fake. (That, I knew.) That it is basically stealing from the authentic brands. (That, I knew but didn’t focus on too much.) That buying the fake merchandise from the vendors along Canal Street not only promotes illegal activities but can also go to funding racketeering and even terrorist organizations. (Okay. That bothered me.) I decided then and there that, no matter how much I coveted the latest Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbag, I should wait until I could (if ever) afford to buy it. And then only from the Gucci store or a department store that carries Gucci bags. No supporting terrorists or black marketers, thank you very much.

On subsequent trips to New York, my husband and I drove down Canal Street to Broadway. I looked at the cute purses hanging along the storefront windows and laid out on blankets on the sidewalk. But that picture of Canal Street was from several feet away, and from a moving vehicle. It wasn’t until I took my Girl Scout troop to New York three summers ago that I ever encountered Canal Street up close and personal. I lead twelve fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade girls out of a subway stop and right into the middle of chaos. Street vendors were trying to sell videos of movies that hadn’t even opened in the theatres yet. There were my darling Gucci handbags. And Chanel sunglasses. And Rolex watches. But we weren’t there to shop. I was trying to get to Little Italy for a midday gelato-and-pastry snack. And coming up from the subway on an overcast day, I couldn’t tell which way was north to save my life.

So I asked one of the street vendors, “Excuse me, which way is Mulberry Street?”

“Sorry, don’t know,” was the response. Hmm, you’re selling your goods on Canal Street and you don’t even know which way Mulberry Street is?

I asked another, “Which way is Mulberry Street?”

“Don’t know.”

By this time, I was beginning to get a little anxious. Perhaps looking somewhat desperate with all those little girls huddled around me looking desperate too must have melted at least one of the street vendors’ hearts. At least enough for him to whistle at me and nod his head to the left. As I walked past him, I thanked him. Perhaps that was the most genuine thing that I saw on Canal Street that day.

So imagine my surprise when I logged onto my computer the other day. When my front-page website had loaded, I hopped over to MSN and scanned the “Today's Picks”. “Top 10 Cities for Shopaholics” was one of the offerings. Just my thing to read while I took a break with my cup of tea.

“1. Bangkok”, in my dreams. My husband and I are looking at three college tuitions fast approaching. I can’t be blowing money on a shopping spree on the other side of the world.

Two through Five weren’t any more reasonable for me either. Let’s move on to page two and see if there’s anything in the U.S.

“6. Los Angeles,” but it’s on the other side of the country. Might as well go back to Number Five, London.

Aha! “8. New York.” I can take the train for the day, albeit a long day. Let’s see if there’s anything I haven’t heard about.

There, in the first sentence, is Canal Street. Sure, the paragraph mentions other neighborhoods and a wide range of stores. But it actually said the goods along Canal Street were knock-offs. Doesn’t MSN know that those street vendors are skirting the law? Doesn’t MSN care that they are basically advertising an illegal activity? Isn’t MSN the same company as Microsoft? What would Microsoft do if the latest version of their software was laid out on a blanket on Canal Street ready to be gathered up at the corners whenever any possible federal agents walked by? How should I teach my children about what’s right and wrong if one of the largest corporations doesn’t see the harm that they do with a few words in one single sentence?

I suppose I’ll teach my children about drug cartels and terrorist groups. And hope that they’ll buy me a real Gucci handbag someday. Maybe on my way to Bangkok. Well, I can always dream, can’t I?


First Things

Making a break from something is always difficult. In deciding to jump ship, I made the conscious decision that I wasn't the captain. But I'm not a lemming. I have friends who're already in the water; some friends who have one leg over the railing; and other friends who just ordered another round of Margaritas from their deck chairs.

So here I am, making a new nest for the time being. My to-do list? Let's see...
  • Hang curtains
  • Put out the welcome mat
  • Put on the tea kettle
  • Send change-of-address cards

Come in and sit a spell.