Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Holiday Decorations Celebrate the Season
" Did you bring the booze? We have some inside, but this year, it's not the "good stuff". Go on in and help yourself".
"We weren't so bad. Give us a break. It's hard being a snowman in Scottsdale, Arizona!"
"I'll keep those guys in line; hurry up and finish your speech already, the sun's about to set and I don't want to miss it".
It's Official: I'm Hot Shet!
First, writing a blog is great fun. Many people have said to me recently that I always seem to be in such a good mood. Well, it's true. Thinking funny thoughts and then blogging about them keeps you in a happy frame of mind. Even the more thought-provoking and sad posts can be invigorating.
Second, trying to learn the "business" of blogging is still a daunting task for me. Attaching widgets, twittering, adding html language to the template are still not easy for me. Thank goodness I have Dwight at Gettingraphic to help me out on a weekly basis. I hope everyone blogging has a great web designer (and fixer) behind them like I do! Also, I want to understand the affiliate programs and try to be more successful at generating more revenue from the blog this coming year.
Third, I have learned that while there are millions of people blogging every day that are also millions of empty nest Moms and Dads who have never blogged. I have friends who read the blog and want to comment, but they have no idea how. I literally go to their homes to show them how to "do it". The fun, empty nest niche is pretty wide open but that also means that there aren't as many fun, empty nest people to blog with! This year I will be focusing some of my attention on beginning blog seminars for the empty nest crowd. (Kind of the blind leading the blind, but it's sure be a hoot and a holler for all those in attendance).
Fourth and finally, I am in total awe of the blogs that I have discovered and read this past 4.5 months. There are beautiful sites, hysterical sites, naughty and nice sites. I will continue to do my single blog stalking in 2009 as it's simply the best way to get to know a particular blogger.
I am humbled every day by other bloggers (you know who you are) and wonder about who I'm missing. Why just this week I came across Becky C. of Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever. She has been writing on this blog for a little over two years and was celebrating her 2 Millionth profile viewer at the same time as I had my 1000th. (Talk about being deflated). But she's got a really fantastic site with interesting pictures and you tube videos and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. How did I find her? Well, I was looking around for bloggers in Arizona, of all things!
Well, I went to make a comment on Becky C.'s blog even though I was slightly intimidated and feeling rather small with my small following but when I got down to word verification, this is what came up:
Call me Pollyanna, but I think someone "upstairs" was giving me a little signal. Or at the least, some encouragement to continue writing and enjoying my life with my blog in the year 2009. Let me see that again:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Can't a Girl Have a Little Peace and Quiet?
Take this morning, for example. I wake up have my coffee and some cookies (oops...sorry Casey and loyal HASAY friends) and start remembering being in Girl Scouts and selling their cookies. And suddenly, without warning, the topic of the day pops in my head and there goes the next two hours! The questions: why does the girl scout pledge require you to stick three fingers up? Did I ever challenge the oath and the hand signal when I was young? Didn't the boy scouts use only two fingers? Why?
Well forget it. Not today. I can ask my Mom these questions and she'll have the perfect answers because she was my girl scout leader for years.
I am simply not going to spend 30 minutes asking myself why the boy scouts are taught to "Be Prepared" while the girl scouts are focused on being "honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring......". I am not at all curious why its so important that we teach little girls to be door-to-door salespeople selling cookies by the truckload, while we teach the boys to be "physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight". I happen to think the people behind these two organizations are decent and don't believe they have plans to set up the two sexes in some sexist fashion. But the mind can wander...
All I want to say here is that for so many years, Moms and Dads work hard to bring up their families, make money at their jobs to support their families and drop dead into bed nightly. Just read all the wonderful younger Mommy and Daddy blogs out there and you know it is exhausting!
Once the kids finally leave the nest, can't we have a little peace and quiet? No thoughts, no new ideas. Just a little blank space in time where nothing needs to be done or understood? I don't think that's too much to ask.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Empty Nest Mom Dictionary, Pt. 1
When the teens are still living in the house, you hear the accepted words and can figure out their meanings by the way your kids use them. But once they leave the house you can forget which terms are okay to use, which ones you should know but should never use yourself and which words are no longer acceptable. I cannot imagine my divorced friends telling me they hooked up with so-and-so last weekend and I doubt they see a difference between seeing and dating someone, for instance. So, today I start over.....
If you haven't discovered The Urban Dictionary yet, you should. But, be prepared to get a little frustrated and you may even leave the site more confused than before you clicked over! Take the word "Boyfriend" for example. There are over 61 definitions for that particular word. My advise is to only read the 3 definitions with the most 'votes'. Here are the top three for the word 'boyfriend':
boyfriend 1720 up, 428 down
a great guy who make you feel good bout urself... a protector, and ur best friend
keep ur hands off my boyfriend, bitch! he's mine!
by Temptrezz Oct 13, 2003 share this 4 comments
1050 up, 340 down
Non-essential male counterpart. However, with the aid of a magical diamond attached to a golden ring, the boyfriend may transform into a more revered creature named "husband."
My boyfriend proposed last night; he's the most amazing man I've ever met. Note: the usage of "man" here indicates status raise.
by marm Sep 25, 2003 share this add comment
723 up, 116 down
A male whom a female begins a relationship with. He is not essential to making the female a better person, but more so a person she can depend on for emotional support, sexual comfort, or life lessons. 1)A boyfriend, depending on how the girl feels about him can make a girl feel beautiful, special, a better person, and dependant on the happiness she recieves from him if he is a proper man. 2)A boyfriend can also be an enemy that the female cannot get herself away from because she feels as though she "needs" him, even though he may cause her physical, emotional, or psycological pain. 3)A boyfriend can be a wonderful or a horrible thing, but either way, they are always welcome
1)Hey, this is my boyfriend, and I love him to death 2)My boyfriend isn't so bad, you just don't know him like I do
by Melissa Jan 14, 2005 share this 1 comment
On the contrary, if you are 'seeing someone', this has only one meaning:
58 up, 5 down
'Unofficially' going steady with someone. Dating without the boy/girlfriend 'label'. Is sometimes used to describe a relationship where individuals are having casual sex and are not actually 'item'.
Guy- "Do you have a boyfriend?" Girl- "No, but I'm sort of seeing someone"
dating seeing somebody boyfriend relationship sex by Jamzy Feb 15, 2008 share this add comment
WTF??! To this old Mom, 'seeing someone' sounds more intense and tight than having a 'boyfriend'. And having casual sex and not actually being an item in the same sentence is something I do not even want to discuss right now. I continue my education by moving to Wikipedia....
The term for boyfriend is simple enough:
Trying to find the meaning for 'seeing someone' is anything but simple! The first entries took me to the TV show, Desperate Housewives, and how one of the character used this term, so I did not bother to read it.
When Laura was defining this relationship to me, should I have asked if she was placing a space between boy and friend? Also, Wikipedia provides a paragraph of the scope of the word, the history, etc, etc. Don't go there, it'll just mess you up!
My final source is my girlfriends (meaning, possibly out-of-touch friends who are female and have children with similar ages of my own). They were a better source when the kids were in high school. There are regional difference to the meaning of these words, you know! The collective knowledge is she is dating this boy, as we would have called it back when we attended college.
Anyway, it really doen't matter because Laura has informed me that I shouldn't be so curious..so nosey about this topic of her status with Chris or Tyler or anybody else for that matter. Well, you know how I respond (in my head) to her: I can be as curious, as nosey or my favorite word (look it up!), as INTERESTED as I want to be when it comes to someone that I have delivered into the world from "the hole between my legs" (acceptable Google AdSense language).
Still, it's fun to be educated using these new sources!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Chapter 11's Not So Bad
Hello Mr. Obama:
I have not received your phone call asking me to be your Republican Mommy Blogger Consultant yet, but I completely understand. There are so many issues for to be be focused on these days; my appointment can wait.
I heard your written response regarding this last request for an emergency bailout for the American car companies. I thought it was probably a clever way to cover your bases on a difficult situation. I know you don't want to anger the unions who bought, er, worked hard, to help you get elected, and you also know that it's right before the Holiday Season and it's hard to give bad news at such a time. I have a suggestion that just might work and at the very least, worth examining with people smarter than myself.
You see, I have an interesting perspective on this because of what my husband's company is currently going through as we speak. It's called Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I know, I know....it's sounds awful when you say it out loud, but with your speaking skills, I know you can make it sound like a picnic to the worried public.
We land bank for home builders and when these companies got into trouble (some sub-prime mortgage issues, some foreclosures and others affected by the market), they returned all the lots back to us. Then, we could not handle the $95 Million worth of lots and the bank loans we had in place, so we were thrown into Chapter 11. You see, most people believe the housing market will some day bounce back and more homes will need to be built, so the judge has told us if we can do a few of the deals, slash our salaries and hunker down for awhile, we can stay a company and not have to close up shop (Chapter 7). And yes, people may not buy quickly from a home builder that is may also in Chapter 11, but they will eventually forget about that and buy a home in the area they choose. I feel this example is very similar to what would occur in the auto industry.
First, the American auto industry has a lot of contracts with the Federal government and these can stay in place and the government could even give them slack in getting the products finished in a timely manner.
Second, the general public will forget the company is in a bankruptcy situation months from now, when they drive by the dealerships and see everything running as usual. If we want our Ford pick-up, by damn, we are going to buy it.
Third, most people are like Bill and me and would much prefer to figure out how to live with a smaller salary then be out of a job. Can't you wield your magic over the unions about lowering the current pay programs and salaries? I find it ironic that the unions that were once put in place to support the workers may now actually hurt these hardworking individuals.
Fourth, we had to recognize that our value as a land bank company is not what it once was and to stay competitive, we've had to change the ways we do business in the future. The car companies maybe could consider thinking the same way. They have done a great job in keeping their workers overpaid by industry standards, so they should feel proud of those accomplishments.
Finally, old George is considering approving emergency money because he's afraid of going down in history as leaving the country in a bad way. Well, it's too late. Can't you speak to him and tell him you've got this one under control? Tell him that so many industries are in the same boat and we will survive. Tell him, once the car companies are in Chapter 11, he can shower them with money and forgiveness of the debt they have accumulated over a decade or more.
Give this idea some thought. If you need me, I'll be at my computer working on a few new posts. Why just today, I've asked my readers to choose a villa on the island of Mustique for a vacation for my sister and I on the 'Vacation with Sis' page. (Feel free to vote!)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sperm Research and Camping Survival Tips
Does every man have warm to hot sperm once it has ejaculated? Is it hottest when you are younger or the other way around? What exactly is the range of temperature and has this ever been researched? A scientific mind like mine wants.......needs to know.
I have always thought that it would be important to have at least one guy attend every camping trip held during the colder months of the year. The warmth could keep you from getting frostbite, not to mention the calorie supplement that could also be provided.
What kind of doctor are you if your primary focus of study is on sperm and sperm heat? I was married for ten years to a doctor and I cannot believe that this question never was discussed.
I bet you'd be invited to a lot of cocktail parties if you had a career in sperm research. The hostess would giggle a little when she asked you to "please come". And I bet that animal testing would be out-of-the-question because you'd have a slew of male volunteers and you wouldn't have to offer them a stipend to participate.
Naturally. all things sperm-related are discussed in the blog underworld. The Bloggess has posted on the topic many times and is somewhat of an expert, I believe. But I haven't read anything to date about why it comes out so warm.
Of course, now that I think about it, I am glad it's warm because wouldn't that feel awful if at the end of some fantastic sexual encounter your partner pulls his special part out and lands a blob of what's equivalent to a melting ice cube right on your stomach! That could really wreck the mood. Cool you right down..........Which might be nice if you're stranded on a desert or live in Arizona. And maybe my "research" has not been extensive enough and there are men out there that produce cool to cold sperm.
There are so many unanswered questions, and so little time. Oh wait, that's right. An empty nester like me has lots of time to ponder life's probing questions. Maybe you can provide me with the facts of your own research and I can add it to my data.
(Should be an interesting time before the college kids come home for the holidays and winter break, don't you think).
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Don't go calling 911 or my sister because it's not like I am wishing to end my life. On the contrary, I love every single day that I wake up and breathe. It's just a tiny little thought that snuck out and is surrounding me this morning.
You see, my hands are freezing cold. And remember, I live in Scottsdale, AZ where it's probably going to be 65 degrees today. They are just icy cold and I cannot seem to do anything about it. I drank three cups of coffee; I tried sitting on them until I got a little excited and that was distracting so I put on my leather driving gloves but it was impossible to type, so I'm back to square one. I start visualizing my death and dying in general.
So, my circulation is clogged up today, so what. So, I start to think about that day that I discover that I have a fatal disease or cancer and how I will process this information. Will I write a post about this discovery and then email it out to my family members? Probably not. I will talk to all my loved ones individually. I have a will and I am set up in the financial categories and I'm glad because that would be a real bummer to have to work on those details in my last few weeks or months of living.
I'd like to think that I wouldn't change my lifestyle and go on a "rest-of-my-life vacation" or stay inebriated for days at a time because if that's really how I want to live, I should be acting that way right now. Why wait until we're near death to do such things?
Now that I think about it, my hands are frosty cold today to serve as a reminder that life is precious and there's no time like the present to live it well and with meaning. It's time to put these Popsicle hands to good use.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Men: Stay out of the Doghouse with Speak Jewelry
Yes, you're welcome.
Click on the Speak Widget (black widget to the right) and order your wife/girlfriend/sister a great piece of jewelry RIGHT NOW! They can ship to anywhere in the world. It's that easy.
I discovered Speak jewelry just recently and I love the quality of the pieces I bought and more importantly, I loved the price I paid. I got cute silver drop earrings, a pearl bracelet and a simple necklace and I find they are becoming my "go-to" pieces of the jewelry box.
Speak and Company was conceived by two good friends, Peg Speak and Michelle Hall, one a creative spirit and the other business minded who enjoy wearing handcrafted jewelry. The two new empty nesters, looking to branch out, decided to fill a niche in an otherwise under-served market for high quality, handcrafted jewelry at a value price.
Located in Scottsdale, Arizona the company creates fashionably designed jewelry for everyday wear. They cater to the discriminating buyer looking for premium jewelry at reasonable prices, giving women a sharp, individualistic , personal piece of jewelry that looks and feels great and compliments any outfit.Most of their products are designed, created and assembled in Scottsdale and most of the materials they use are either made by them or by talented artists and companies they have partnered with. Their products are available in limited quantities making them very special.
Okay, you can leave my site now to buy your Holiday gifts and when you come back (next day or so, I promise) there will be a special "gift" on this site just for you. Let me know in the comments of this post after you have ordered your gifts.....
Friday, December 5, 2008
Men, Stay Out of the Doghouse
Men, are you troubled about what to give your wife/significant other for Christmas this year? I thought I'd give you a little heads up on a place we women know all about, just 'cause I love you! This video came to me from one of my favorite blogs out there, called Liquid Illusion.
I have your back covered, too. Because in about 3 or 4 days, I will have a widget/ad from my favorite jewelry maker on this site. All you have to do is click, select, pay (they're priced just right) and the perfect gift will be sent to your home. It's that's easy to be good and not in the doghouse!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Here's My Holiday Newsletter, Don't You Want to be Me?
The topic: The Holiday Newsletter................
Howdy friends and family, remember me? I know I haven't spoken to some of you since our college days and we have some catching up to do. So, I thought I'd share every waking moment of this very special year with you in my holiday newsletter. Go ahead, fix yourself a nice hot cup of cocoa and settle down into your favorite chair and throw blanket as you won't want to move once you get started.
The Southworth family has been blessed with so many opportunities this year. In January, Bill's company was given back $95 Million dollars worth of home lots from the home builders we land bank for since there was already a glut of homes not selling and they didn't want to add more to the inventory. The banks we had borrowed from could not wait and wanted their money or the lots right away. Immediately, we cut our salary/bonus in half. January will go down in history as the month I 'lost' my shoe fetish and learned about on and off peak times with the electric company. Our golden retriever, Wrigley, now 4 months old, learns how to 'sit' and 'drop' for biscuits.
Cancelled the winter vacation in February and studied the remote control on the TV. After weeks of unsuccessful attempts, the TV was on and I had discovered several hundred channels of shows to watch. Who knew? Wrigley learns how to 'stay' and 'wait' for biscuits.
In March, we stopped getting dividends from our investments in the company and learned that probably most of this money set for our retirement will never be seen. Drove over to Walmart for the first time to check out the ages of their greeters. Wrigley learns not to jump on people who come to the front door to visit, for biscuits.
Our daughter gets accepted into the college of her choice on April 1st and we ponder the joys of having two kids in college next year! Started reading frugal blogs. Wrigley learns how to 'leave it' for biscuits.
May was sex-orgy and new-sexual-position month at the Southworth's as we discovered just how big a turn-on it was to be broke and stuck at home every night. Wrigley gets neutered.
June and July are a blur as we get Laura ready for college and us for our new empty nest status. I decide to start a blog about becoming an 'emtnester' and to help out with our financial situation. Look out Heather at Dooce, here I come! Wrigley is delirious and crazy most of the time. He likes to chase and capture his own tail.
In August my blog goes live and I write my first story about Bill penetrating only to find out later its best not to discuss sex with your husband on your blog. I leave it up because I like the story. Wrigley has 'puppy mush' and has to re-learn all the commands he perfected months ago.
I have severe withdraws from my children who are all back at school or working and miss them terribly but it gets unnoticed as Bill's company goes into Chapter 11 in September. Bill and me play 'The Crying Game'. Wrigley takes his afternoon naps in my office and likes to rest his head on Bill's feet at night.
We suspect that all wine companies have reduced the size of their bottle by 25%, or something like that, as we find we have finished the first bottle before we even get to the second course in dinner, in October. Wrigley 'counter surfs' during the dinner hour when we are (oblivious)...er, not paying attention.
We learned in November that while there are actually 3 whole numbers between # 7 and # 11, they are actually very close and very similar when it comes to bankruptcies. We study all the homes for sale in our area. Wrigley stops chewing on the baseboards in the hallway.
Which brings us to the magical month of December and holiday festivities. We'll know whether Bill has a job, whether I will be getting a new job and learning how to blog while working. But we'll be enjoying this together, and my children will be home for the holidays bringing their spirit and their joy of their lives back to their empty nest parents. And we'll find time and money to give to those less fortunate than ourselves and remember what the true meaning of Christmas is all about after all. Wrigley's holiday stocking is filled with biscuits on the mantel. He is sitting, waiting, dropping, leaving it, staying and not jumping up for the biscuits, just like the perfect dog we all have come to know and love!
Merry Christmas to all and may next year be.....well....different!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Ode to Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels
Twas the night before December 3rd, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a golden retriever named Wrigley.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St 'Joe' soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds at college,
While visions of straight A's and parties danced in their heads.
And Bill in his ‘Vineyard Vine' jammy pants, and I in my Victoria Secret pj's,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.Away to the window I flew like a flash,Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the grass with no snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a bag boy from Trader Joe's, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,I knew in a moment it must be St 'Joe'.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the bag full of dark chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, and St 'Joe', too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St 'Joe' and the bag boy came with a bound.
They were dressed all in green, recyclable clothes, from their head to their foot,
And their clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of 'buttery smooth caramels drenched in Belgian chocolate, sprinkled in rock salt' was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in a panic,
And the smoke must have been, something organic.
He had a broad face and a flat little belly,
That was rock hard when he laughed, like a bowlful of rocks (of course)!
He was fit and healthy, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings with the chocolates, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,"Happy dark chocolate Sea Salt Caramels to all, and to all a good-night!"