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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Images That Come to Mind While I Wait for the Mortgage Banker to Call Me Back










"I am so sorry, but we cannot pull up your loan at the moment.  May we call you back in a few minutes?"

waiting............

waiting............

waiting...........

Go ahead and do what you need to do; this could take awhile...................................URGH!!!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Are You Going To Cry at the Wedding?

I had dinner with my future daughter-in-law this evening.....Andy's in Hawaii on business and Bill had a business dinner tonight, so Kim and I went over to Scottsdale Quarter and checked out the newly-opened Eddie V's for a little bite to eat.  (It's very nice.  Way darker than the old Eddie V's, FYI).  Anyway, it was our chance to talk all about the wedding without being cut off by the boys. 

The subject turned to who might get emotional at the wedding and the events surrounding the wedding.  It's an interesting topic in that most Moms are going through some obnoxious phase of menopause when their children are getting married, so yes, pretty much all of us are going to have some sort of dramatic experience during our kids' weddings!   Up until tonight, I hadn't really thought about whether I will become emotional or not.  But, for the past few years when I actually attend a church service, I break out and cry every time the choir sings. Our choir happens to be incredibly good, but breaking down and sobbing is kind of ridiculous, don't you think?  People around me are probably thinking that I have recently lost a loved one.  That's not true, but truth be known, I AM probably thinking about my Dad who passed away a decade ago. 

I would understand it more if this occurred during one of the President's speeches (crying that is....except today's speech was maybe one of his best...surprised even me), but I cannot explain all that happens in a woman's body during this "special" time frame.  (Don't you get all emotional now, I still think he is a disaster just waiting to happen........................)

If I were a betting kind of person, I would put odds that I will be a blubbering idiot and cry throughout the entire wedding ceremony, but I will be fine during the reception and rehearsal dinner.  They will be tears of joy.....of happiness.  Happy to see one of my children find such joy and happiness for his life.  But, I should look into waterproof mascara!

We have two months before the big event and while we are planning out every last detail it is interesting to think about how it will all sink in and how we will react during that very moment when my oldest son gets married and officially leaves the nest forever.  These are lofty thoughts.  These are special moments to be cherished forever. 

I can almost feel the tears welling up already..........................

 
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Friday, March 25, 2011

I Should Be a Tester for How to Follow Directions

Notice anything different about my site?  Yep, I managed to erase my wonderful logo background and turned my header box into and blank box.  I was following the simple and easy directions to add the new cool share buttons.  See, aren't they cute?  Never mind that they aren't placed where I was trying to put them......

I placed a call to the best graphic designer in town, Dwight Getting of Gettingraphic, but he hasn't called me back yet.  I think he's on a spring break with his kids.  Without his help, I am just pathetic. He's going to kill me....I've done stupid things like this in the past.  Why don't I just say "Sorry, Dwight" in advance and in public!

You can click over to any one of my other blog pages to see my little empty nest background with my little birds children flying off........

Today, I am participating in the Over 40 Follow Friday group today....I love this group, BTW.  Many funny bloggers to read.


Anyway, I am back into a 'no-sleep from 3-4:30 am' mode again and its wrecking havoc with my day life.  I did, however, come up with two new cool app ideas last night around 3:55 am. I don't know much about apps myself and have downloaded only a few myself, which is kind of funny that new ones came to me from nowhere, like a gift from above.

I was watching a show like 'Sunday Morning' and they did a story on this 12-year old boy who was very ill and during his time at home recovering, he created his own app and got it sold for a lot of money.  Now, seeing that I have zero talent in the do-it -yourself department for all things computer, I am going to need some help.  Anyone out there have any suggestions about how I go about creating and selling my apps for a large sum of money?  (Call me)

I need a nap so bad I can taste it. When I am wealthy from my cool apps that everyone will soon be downloading and playing with 24/7, I am going to buy a hammock and stick under the tree back by my jacuzzi.  I am going to take naps in the middle of the day without feeling stressed about all the work that's left untouched. Now that sounds delightful!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wrigley, My Guiltless Dog



It never gets boring around here with my dog Wrigley. And yesterday was no exception.  We were on our early morning walk with his best golden retriever friend Tucker and owner, the two standard poodles Rudy and Sassy, their owners and later picking up Cairo, another golden and her owner.  The golf course we live on allows us to use the course for walking our dogs before and after the golfers and they can run free (or at least no one tells us we can't..at least not to our face).  It's a wonderful privilege that we would all sorely miss if it went away.  






Which brings me to yesterday's adventure............about halfway through the hour long walk, we are noticing how immaculate the course looks and we hear about the big three-day woman's tournament that was to take place.  The workers were busy running around, grooming the course and setting up stations for the ladies to have water.  As we passed the Clubhouse, we see a larger set-up with orange juice and coffee, but we don't think much about it.  We continue walking.  And by 'we', I mean all of us EXCEPT Wrigley! 


Wrigley has gone over to the table and has discovered that although it's only 7 am, they have already put out large platters full of FOOD.  Big cut-up chucks of cheese...just for him!  Wasn't that nice of the club to do for me, he says to himself.  About that time, we are all looking around for each dog and as we turn back, we see that ole Wrigley is counter-surfing and trying to help himself to this glorious treat.  I yell, "No, that's not for you".  I zap him with his collar but he's way too focused on cheese for it to have any effect.  So, I sprint over to pull him from the table.  We are screwed....I am thinking.

Luckily, he didn't get too much.  The platter was decorated with lots of fancy linens and sitting in about the middle of the table.  Leslie and I fix up the table skirting and scattered cheese chunks that Wrigley has destroyed while David holds Wrigley tight.  It takes a village when a dog like Wrigley is involved! We are all frantically looking to see if anyone from the club was watching.  We see no one.  We are very lucky.....

Now, in Wrigley's defense, how was he to know that this beautiful table wasn't set up for the dogs?  They live a wonderful life.  We have several people who walk each morning by themselves but have baggies full of dog treats.  The dogs run from person to person with the high hopes that a treat will be given to them.  We have awesome neighbors!  The golf course maintenance crew all seem to love the attention the dogs give to them and they stop working to pet the dogs.  Tucker and Wrigley always check the carts for leftover burritos which they have discovered on many occasions, too.  Perhaps he thought this was a special day and an extra spread was put out just for the four-legged creatures.

Anyway, we start back walking and Wrigley is bouncing along, not a guilty bone in his body.  He is smiling and probably telling the other dogs about the cheese he managed to scarf down!  Dave sends me this video about a dog who has eaten something he shouldn't have and watch how guilty he looks.....so cute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8ISzf2pryI&feature=player_embedded#at=11

I think I am going to make Wrigley watch it.....
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Humurous Political Comics and Future Comedians

A little political ranting early on a Sunday morning never hurt anyone, right?  Just keeping it light, though.  Sometimes the political comics that clever people create can really sum it how you really feel about particular issues.  This weekend is no exception.

Take this weekend's comics from FedUpUSA.org with my two favorite selections:


I was hoping to hear from the President this week on his plan for our country in regards to warlike activities we may or may not get into around the world.  I couldn't care less what his NCAA brackets looked like.  I am guessing he wouldn't care about my selections, either.  If I was a mother of a soldier, I would be downright angry.......


From the very beginning, I used to say that Mr. Obama might be a formidable candidate once he had some serious experience behind him.  I knew he was too green a player to be able to properly handle all that would be thrown out at him as President.  But no, we had to elect him because he speaks well (?) and his Father is Black (?).  Well, I couldn't care what color or background a candidate is.  It's not the what's on the outside that is important, it's what you have on the inside.  You know, your brain, your heart and yes, your gut.  The brain and the gut need practical application...ie, experience, to truly be effective. This next comic shows perfectly how I (and now most of the global society) think about our President:

Finally, the best comic of the week isn't a comic at all.  Seriously, it would be hard to think of something so funny than this story and quote from Senator Dodd:

In a bid to stem taxpayer losses for bad loans guaranteed by federal housing agencies Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) proposed that borrowers be required to make a 5% down payment in order to qualify.

His proposal was rejected 57-42 on a party-line vote because, as Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) explained, "passage of such a requirement would restrict home ownership to only those who can afford it."


Now, THAT IS HYSTERICAL!  People should never own a home that they cannot afford.  And 5% is still such a low number.  I remember my first little house I bought in Minnesota.  We had to put down 20% on a house that costs $57,000 in 1983.  That was the norm back then.  We are so off kilter now.  At least Chris Dodd has a back-up profession when he retires (as a stand-up comedian!) 


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Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Dollar Short and a Day Late

Inner Mongolia: reign of sandImage by chinadialogue.net via FlickrIt's 4:30 am on Saturday morning and I am just getting to writing my post for the 40 and over Follow Friday group!  (Click on the picture to find out more).  Eight hours late has pretty much been the story of my week.  It seems I get three important things done, but there were nine more important items left untouched. (Which naturally my 'Zemanta' source is providing me with a picture of Horse Riding in Inner Mongolia!  WTH?! Does anyone else find that hysterically funny?)

But maybe that's exactly what I was missing this week.  A little break from the real world work that is piling up my desk next to the computer.  Just a nice simple horse ride in Inner Mongolia.....

It's been an interesting week, with a nice little St. Patrick's Day celebration thrown in there.  It started at 7 am, when some great neighbors got up very early and made us the best Irish Coffee concoction.  They handed us these drinks over their backyard fence in cups to take along while we walked our dogs on the golf course.  It was a perfect start to the day, if you ask me.  Then I proceeded to waste away the remainder of the day until I met my husband and his work buddies for a few too many beers.  (I would show you pictures but I brought the camera without the battery. URGH!)  Let's just say....cars had to be picked up on Friday morning!

So, my to-do list includes finishing the website content for this fantastic landscape company, some serious spring cleaning around the house, complete more details for my son's wedding, and oh yes....I need to rob a bank!

Procrastination is a sneaky thing.  Mine comes in the form of a laptop and an internet connection.  But I am strong....I am invincible....I am an empty nest woman!  I will keeping plugging along and with any luck, I will sleep better. 

Have a great weekend!
 
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recording St. Paddy's Day Traditions

Saint Patrick's Day by Enoch BollesImage by bollesbiggestfan1 via FlickrLots of people make extraordinary effort to document and record a family history through pictures and video recordings.  They frame the pictures or put them in a Shutter Fly book.  Special effort is made on important dates such as birthdays, holidays or anniversaries.  I have never been very good with such things.  From my second wedding, we have just one picture of us at the ceremony on the beach in Hawaii, taken from a small camera.  The memories are still very much intact, though.  I am happy to say, that I am a little better with documenting my life experiences through my blog posts.....

I have been writing this blog since August of 2009 and I have recorded two St. Patrick's Day celebrations since then. I think it really shows just how different each year can be. On March 17, 2009's pub crawl:

I spent the day in a semi-drunken state with my husband's co-workers.  It was a tradition with his old boss and we always had a great time. Then, unfortunately I was on a diet on March 17, 2010 so, it was a boring pub crawl (at least for me).

This year, one of our neighbors got up super early and made my group of friends who walk our dogs on the golf course, delicious homemade Irish Coffees  with fresh whipped cream, a little ground nutmeg and green sprinkles on the top (thanks Kevin and Gretchen!).  They were so tasty.  The dogs were all trying to get a taste of the whipped cream, but to no avail.



It's now 9 am and the buzz from the coffee is starting to wear off, and I am wondering what special memories will be made today.  I do not have any planned activities, but sometimes that is when the most fun memories occur.  To be sure, many pictures will be taken of friends getting together to celebrate a holiday most people know very little about.  Memories will be made and recorded so that we can remember and share later in life.  As you get to be older, like this empty nest Mom, the memories sometimes get all jumbled up, so I am thankful I am writing this blog...to help me remember and enjoy the good ole' days!

I think today calls for wearing a big green hat and meeting old and new friends after my work is done.  I'll try to remember to bring the camera and to remember to actually take pictures!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and your family!
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can Our Great Nation Learn From Others?

神奈川沖浪裏 Kanagawa oki nami ura ("The Great ...Image via Wikipedia
Like most of the world, I am glued to the internet and television coverage of the disaster that has occurred in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami. Mother Nature's force is beyond belief.  My heart is heavy just thinking about all the grief and anxiety this tiny nation must endure.  But, at the end of each day, the thoughts that consume me revolve around the character of the Japanese people and how strikingly different it seems from my fellow Americans.  

Generalizations are tricky things....of course there are wonderful people everywhere.  There were kind neighbors in New Orleans who took friends in and fed and clothed them, too.  But that was not the norm.  Looting and taking what was there for the taking was closer to reality after that disaster.  But, after watching story after story, from the poorest rural towns to downtown Tokyo, I am so impressed by how the Japanese people have reacted to these most trying of times.

I was saying to friends this morning, "wouldn't it be nice if we (collectively) could learn how to cope better in the future by watching the stoic yet kind people of Japan".  You know, learning by example.  One friend said, "so many young people can't even tell you where Japan is on a map", and she's right of course.  Did you ever used to watch the David Letterman bits when they questioned regular folks on the street about things everyone should know?  Japan, heck, they hardly knew who Obama was! I can only hope that these people are watching and witnessing the dignity and behavior of these people.

Each nation seems to have their strong points and it would be delightful if a person could capture only the good characteristics from each nation:
  • From the USA: Our competitive nature and entrepreneurial spirit;
  • From France and Italy: Our sense of style in fashion;
  • From Germany: Our serious nature and persistent nature;
  • From Greece and Brazil: Our ability to relax and enjoy life;
  • From Norway: Our determination and giving nature;
  • From China: Our attention to detail;  
Mix it all up and you'd have terrific way to live this short life we have on Earth!  I may not be able to persuade others to be better people...to improve their character, but I can begin at home....on myself.  It starts at home, then grows to your neighborhoods and towns.  Soon, a whole state could get the reputation of behaving with good characteristics.  It could be infectious and before you know it, the United states of America is seen as a nation with good values, loving nature and have the capacity to withstand anything Mother Nature brings her way.  It could happen! Good character could rush over us like a giant tsunami!  One can only hope and pray.................................
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Monday, March 14, 2011

An Engineer's Faulty Design or It's the Miu Miu's Fault

I am not one to complain or file lawsuits or blame others when I have done something wrong myself.  Normally.  But today, I feel compelled to blame just about everything within a 5-mile radius about my little car incident this past week. For, I am not a 'woman-driver'.  Yes, I am a woman (just checked) and I do drive my car (but only when I have to).  I used to be proud of my no ticket, no accident record (at least where I am the one being hit) and that I could drive a stick-shift as good as any good old boy out there.  But my pride is having to take the back seat lately. I have started to do dumb things in my car like backing out of a parking space, only to see a car driving past me, so I put the car into forward and skip over a curb..............(not a hypothetical scenario).,

Seriously, if I was standing around watching me, I would have laughed my ass off.  Especially when I then proceeded to put the car back into reverse and try to muscle the car off the very odd shaped curb (more on this later).  Or when I stepped out of the car to access the damage of the front bumper and proceeded to fall over the curb myself and down the dirt hill in my cute little Miu Miu shoes.  Did I mention they have a 4" heel?

I know what you're thinking but NO, it was not a 'drinking lunch'!

So, I called my husband to come save the day, just like every woman driver who skips curbs would naturally do and he came and he got my car over the curb safely and then flew back to work with his cape flying in the wind.  Now, don't get me wrong, I was very thankful.  It's just a few years ago, I would have figured it out myself...and in my 4"heels to boot.

Now about this crazy curb.....who designs a curb that is actually a retaining wall to hold up the dirt hill with a 90 degree angle and is 6" high?  And there was no concrete bumper to stop crazy loons like me from driving straight into and over the curb! I'd like to give partial blame to the curb.

Finally, why I wear these silly shoes is a mystery.  They have heels made of hard wood and could come in handy if I am ever caught in a gang fight and need to protect myself.  Perhaps I enjoy looking taller.  I feel thinner when I wear high heels, too.  But, I am pretty sure that the foot pressing down on the pedal with these babies, is partially to blame for my curb hopping.

All I can say, is that I hope this is just one lousy phase in my life.  Am I destined for a life of cushy, comfy, automatic cars?  Must I only buy and wear ballet slippers on my feet from now on?  Perhaps, I should just walk to my lunches out.  I hope not.....................
 

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do You Hear That?

Photo taken by my daughter, Laura Stone.

I think I just heard, "you look beautiful today"..................

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Hot Buttered Toast, Anyone?

Reading the Wall Street Journal after my morning walk with Wrigley, is apart of my everyday routine.  I get a little politics, a little economics and sometimes, like last week, I get a rip-roaring belly laugh from their articles.  And apparently, most of the nation was "stirred" by the story about the Northwestern University professor and his after class curriculum.  Everyone had to weigh in on J. Michael Bailey's decision to host a live after class demonstration and whether he should be fired or stay on and now it's my turn..........................  

So, sipping my coffee, I read that a professor teaching a psychology class in human sexuality at Northwestern University, decides that one afternoon after class a couple will perform a sex act with an "electrical devise".  Perhaps because of the time of day, I immediately visualize a couple standing up in the kitchen having sex over a toaster......


But in my day dream, it's not just any toaster!  It's a racy...hot and sexy-styled toaster..........


I picture the couple getting all hot and bothered as they wait for the toast to pop up....sort of 1970's 'Anticipation' like.  They build up to the dramatic finish as their classmates watch and learn from this important aspect of their college education.

Wait...wait.....wait for it................


"Yes, yes baby.  Yummy toast for breakfast".  But just then, I imagine the guy urging the girl participant to go one step further................"hey baby, how about we add a little butter to this tasty treat?" 

Well, a toaster IS an electrical devise!

There were, of course, multiple levels of hilarity in this story.  For one, I see a picture of the couple who "volunteered" for this assignment......her name is Faith (!) and has a smirk-like, come-hither look on her face.  He looks like the kind of guy older, empty nest Moms like me are afraid of but the younger women think is cute.  He is wearing a bandanna on his head with an anchor print on it.  I am LOL at this point.  I am thinking who volunteers for this "work" and now I understand why the 'man upstairs' steered me away from the field of psychology  and into a safer political science/economic degree!

Next, I read that about 100 students out of about 500 choose to attend this after class live demonstration and I start laughing again.  Most college students know how a couple uses a sex toy and they figured they could just go off and have their own live demonstrations in their dorm rooms. (They probably would have more attendees if they used the toaster!).  Which brings me to my main beef with the whole event.....the fact that the teacher chose such a lame demonstration in the first place.

  • Wouldn't it have been more provocative if the female used the sex toy on the male?  That would at least be something new for the kiddies.  It's like the standard and very boring story lines of every XXX-rated movie.  I expect more from the college professors from such excellent schools like Northwestern!
  • Why not have two males and a sex toy....only half of the kiddies know about this procedure.
Well, I'll tell you why (not based on any real facts, of course): I think Mr. J. Michael Bailey is probably a very sad and lonely professor, living in college housing with only his tenure and defined benefit plan to keep him warm at night.  It's a Thursday afternoon and he has not a single plan for the weekend.................and he has forgotten to order his supply of adult films, so..............he conjures up this after class live demonstration.  Seriously?!

I have no beef with adding special events after class for any subject, including human sexuality.  But, I expect these events to be thought-provoking and stimulating at the same time.  The professor gets a "F" in my book for his lack of creativity. 

Hmmmmm, have to go.................... as I am suddenly hungry for some hot, buttered toast!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MOTG Diet Starts Today..Feel Free to Join in the Fun

It's the first of March and hope you remembered to say "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" when you woke up....'cause this is going to be one hectic month and we are all going to need all the LUCK we can get!  Right?!

I have officially started the MOTG wedding diet......alert the media!  It's been almost a year ago when I ended my HCG diet and reported the exciting measurements from the beginning to the end.  This time around, I am taking a more spiritual approach (thanks, Gabriella for the book).  That's BS, you say?  Well, let's find out. 

I have motivation to lose, and I have a short little lady working in the woman's department at Saks Fifth Avenue to thank.  You see, I went to try on a few dresses, take my picture and then show them to my sister to decide which one I should buy for the wedding in May.  I asked her if she minded taking the pictures for me....her mouth said yes, but her eyes and body said, no F----G way!  Seeing as there was no one else around I begged her and she dragged that lumpy little body back to the dressing room with me.

I will be the first to admit that it's no real treat attending me in the smallish dressing room, unless you like seeing naked strangers in odd lighting and gigantic 3-way mirrors!  I tried on the greenish one first and it kind of reminded me of Elizabeth Taylor....in her latest years!  I was pouring out in every direction.  And it kind of reminded me of a sleeping gown you might have worn on your honeymoon night...back in the '50's!  She took 3 pictures and said she needed to gag or something like that....and left the room for a few minutes.

Next, I put on the beautiful coral dress.  It has rouching all around which I thought could hide many areas of trouble.  Turns out 'rouching' actually means "placing dramatic emphasis on a woman's most vulnerable areas".....I think! The color was nice (Mom was right) and maybe I could get it for my next Halloween costume as all I saw in the mirror was a 'HUGE, round and rouching PUMPKIN'! 

My friendly sales person came in and giggled or was that her throwing up in her mouth?  It was kind of hard to tell; she looked pained.  Again, she took a front, side and back side picture, handed me the camera and ran out the door to find a paying customer.  "Thanks", I said.......For making this middle-aged, empty nest Mom feel just fabulous while trying to find the perfect dress for her oldest child's wedding! 

The next day, I flew to my sister's house for our WORTH Collection trunk show.  I hadn't taken the time to see the shots.  And here is number #4-Million why I love my sister more than life........

We pulled up the shots on her computer and she said, "Pretty colors for spring.  You are going to look great at the wedding.  You can find better dresses, though....that material will be too hot for late May, in Arizona!"  And that was that.  No, ha ha...look at those fat arms.  Or, are you pregnant?  Thanks, Sis!

I do want to look great for my son's wedding; doesn't every Mom want that?  At least, look the best I can.  So, I am focused on eating right, sleeping well and exercising.  A lot!  ( the exercising part, not the eating part!) When it's time, I am going to search out that one woman and make her help me again, for the fun of it.  Looking back, I think she's probably a kick...just stuck in a job that's less than fun sometimes.
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