Friday, January 30, 2009

Foodie Friday

I've had some random experiences today, all involving food. For instance:
  • a friend of mine was Twittering about an awesome chocolate covered strawberry that she was enjoying
  • another friend posted about a cheesecake personality test (I'm Snickers, by the way)
  • I had lunch with my friend Liz today and enjoyed a delicious deli sandwich

The irony is that I'm trying to cut back on my food intake. I've been pretty successful - between not eating piles of Cheez-Its and walking 23 flights of stairs daily, I've seen some results, both on the scale and in the fit of my clothes. I still have miles to go but it's motivating to see the results after a few weeks.

With this weekend being Super Bowl, it will be impossible to turn around without encountering something deep-fried or covered in cheese (or both!) The trick will be to sample, but not overindulge. The other trick is to not beat myself up if I happen to eat a little too much. I'll just do an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill and get back in the groove.

However, if they have those cheese-filled tater tots, it's all over. What's your Super Bowl favorite?

Thursday, January 29, 2009


After being interviewed by RA, I then interviewed Sheri and Kelli. I asked them each the same questions, but their answers are quite diverse. Sheri is a mom of three living in the Midwest, and Kelli is a 20-something hot single girl living in big bad Boston.

If you haven't already, add their blogs to your frequent-reader list.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Alone

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Candy Priano of This non-profit organization is working toward changing police pursuit policies and hopefully saving lives.

Her daughter, Kristie, was killed in 2002, as a result of a police chase in a residential area.

Ms. Priano recently wrote an article praising Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent for his sweeping policy changes, which went into effect January 1, 2009. She contacted me to let me know that PursuitSafety was publishing this article, and asking if I wanted to comment, and also wanted to give me an opportunity to put the story of Jessica and Kelli on their website. A link to that story is here.

I've read some of the stories, and it's doubly hard for me, because I know how these people feel.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Members Only

You may have noticed a button on my right sidebar under the heading "Members Only Jacket." (Do you recall Members Only jackets? Here's an example, along with a gratuitous Goonies reference):

Anyway, that button signifies my membership in The St. Louis Blogger's Guild. Don't let the name fool you, however - we don't just blog. We are parents, professionals, photographers, tech geeks and radio personalities, all of whom bring to the table expertise in diverse areas.

As diverse as we are, we do share a common goal - to promote blogging in all its forms, and to share our knowledge, not just within the Guild, but in the community as well. This is a very important part of the Guild - especially since I am now the Outreach Coordinator (I think that's my title).

Have I got you interested? If not, then answer the following questions:

If you answered "yes" to any of these, then check out the Guild, and try to join us at our next meeting on February 14 at 11:00 am (NOTE - this might change to February 7). Meetings are held in midtown St. Louis. The $5 non-member fee can be applied to your annual membership dues of $40, if you decide to join. The dues cover costs of webhosting, publicity and promotion of the Guild, and meeting costs. We also offer financial assistance if necessary.

So, after all that, do you still have an excuse not to join? Or at least check us out by attending a meeting?

Any questions, let me know. If I can't answer them, I'll put you in touch with someone smarter than me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interviewed by RA

I was recently interviewed by RA. Here is our Q&A. She asked some pretty good questions.

If you'd like me to interview you, leave the request in the comments and I'll send you an email.

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging after reading several blogs and thinking "hey, I could do that!" I've always liked writing, and have been told on occasion that I write pretty well.

When my marriage began crumbling, it became an outlet for my feelings, especially since no one really knew about it. After my daughters died, it became more important to me to share my stories and my life. Blogging really got me through a lot during the first few months after they died. Even just writing about organizing my junk drawer helped, because it was a sense of normalcy. Not everyone can identify with losing a loved one but a junk drawer is pretty universal.

2. What's the best thing about where you live? The worst?

The best thing about where I live is that it's got a small town feel, but we have the amenities of the big city, like a 24-hour Wal-Mart. I'm also 15 minutes from St. Louis, for baseball games, the Zoo, and cultural activities like The Muny and The Fox Theatre.

The downside of my city is that parts of it are getting a bit rough. And those rough sections seem to be growing in size. I'm not so naive to believe that just because we're not a major metropolitan area doesn't mean we don't have drugs and crime, but it worries me that the perpetrators of those crimes seem to be getting younger. I just hope that I can educate Maddy, and keep the lines of communication open with her, and hope and pray that I'm raising her to make the right choices.

3. What would your teenage self think of the person you are now?

My teenage self would be impressed with me, I hope. She might also be disappointed in me, in that we didn't become a famous writer (but I'm still working on it!) The teenage me would also be surprised that our parents knew what they were talking about when they lectured us on manners, respect, and the importance of clean underwear. She might also be shocked that we make our bed every morning after swearing once we moved out we'd never make our beds again!

4. If you could hire a personal servant, who would you choose?

I think I'd like a secretary, to keep my correspondence and calendar organized. I envision a capable young woman, like in the movies from the 40s, dressed in a pencil skirt, crisp white blouse and kickin' round toe pumps, coming to me in the morning with her steno pad and reminding me of my daily engagements, letters to be sent, and invitations which need replies. Perhaps I should also stop watching so many Bette Davis movies.

5. What skill do you wish you had?

I wish I was able to crochet or knit. I don't think I have the patience or hand-eye coordination. I admire people who can take a ball of yarn and turn it into a sweater, or scarf, and not have it look like it was done by a 6-year old at camp.

Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens when a Diet Pepsi gets too close to the freezer part of the refrigerator. I'm lucky it didn't explode.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Perfect Ten

The birthday party weekend extravaganza was a rousing success. The sleepover went well, I only had to get all "what in the wide wide world of sports are you doing down there?" just once. When I'm yanked out of a sound sleep at 1:30 am to the dulcet tones of screaming girls and slamming doors, I get a bit testy.

The Krispy Kreme cake was a hit. And, no baking! Bonus! And you can eat leftovers for breakfast and no one will judge! Double bonus!

On Sunday, her actual birthday, we went to Shogun in Fairview Heights for dinner. This is the kind of restaurant where the chefs flip knives and spatulas with death-defying skill, and the food is sliced, diced, julienned, and cooked in front of you. The food was fantastic, I highly recommend it. Our chef was a lot of fun, and had some great tricks. However, after trying twice to flip an egg into his hat and failing, he settled for flipping it into his pocket. He also flipped broccoli into Maddy's mouth. Apparently I'm going to have to learn this trick to get her to eat vegetables.

I told the hostess it was her birthday, so she received a seranade in Japanese as well as a piece of cheesecake, a headband, and chopsticks. She asked if she should eat the cheesecake with chopsticks and I suggested she go ahead and be American and use a fork.

I think her favorite present actually came on Monday, after her birthday. Craig and I spent days searching the web and even had several people throughout the metro-East searching stores for Rock Band, to no avail. We finally decided maybe Wii Fit would be easier to find, and also more fun for her, and something that we would all use more often. Of course, after we made that decision, Wii Fit was nowhere to be found. Craig found one on Wal-Mart's website on Thursday, and it arrived today. And there was much rejoicing.

We had a great time Monday night challenging each other on the various games. I rocked at the hula-hoop game, spinning three hoops at once and racking up 150 spins. That game kicks my hiney, but it's a lot of fun. Also, as someone who can't hula-hoop in real life, it's nice to be good at it in the virtual world.

My baby is 10. Happy birthday, Maddy. Here's to many, many more!

Friday, January 16, 2009

That's How Much She Loves Me

Maddy said to me, "Mom, if you were lost, I would ride and ride my bike until I found you, because that's how much I love you. I don't care how long it takes, I would keep riding."

This was said in such a serious and earnest tone, I was very touched.

So I replied, "Maddy, if you were lost I would ride and ride until I found you too. That's how much I love you."

She retorted, "I have to ride my bike because I can't drive yet, Mom! I could find you faster if I drove."

And that is how much she loves me.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


As I was taking Maddy to school this morning, we watched my ambient temperature indicator (or "thermometer, if you want to go all vintage-speak) drop from a starting temperature of 52 degrees inside the garage to 0 degrees, in about 5 minutes. People, that's cold.

Or as PaPa says, it's colder than a well-digger's butt out there.

So tell me, what are your favorite eupheisms for bone-chilling cold? Leave 'em in the comments.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Clickin' It Old Skool

When I was young, my Mammaw got a Polaroid camera. Back in the day, those were the best cameras. No more taking a few random shots just to finish a roll, no more waiting a week or more for developing. Now, just load in this square cartridge, push a button, listen for the "clickwhrrrr" and out came the picture. It was dark at first, but just shake it for a few minutes and magically the image appeared.

Now Polaroids are going the way of the cassette tape, being replaced by digital cameras. For those of you wishing for the good ol' days, now you can have them again, complete with the sound effects.

Thanks to Dana, I also am addicted to Poladroid. Simply download the software, drag and drop your existing picture file and "clickwhrrr" out comes your image. You can even "shake" it on your desktop. Here are a couple of shots I've done in the last few minutes.

I guess eventually, everything old is new again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Delurking Day and Random Updates

Today is National Delurking Day. Did you forget to send me a card? No problem, just leave a comment.
I won a prize at Hola Isabel. I can't wait to get it.
I accomplished a lot on my to-do list this weekend. I did get my nails done, I am able to park my car in the garage, and I reorganized some cabinets and shelves. Next up, the basement.
Today is my first stair training. I feel pretty good about it. However, ask me how I feel tomorrow - it may be a different story.
Enjoy your Monday!

Friday, January 9, 2009


It's Friday, finally. Man, working a full week after a couple of three days weeks takes it out a girl...oh, wait, I only worked four days this week.

Moving on, I have big plans for this weekend, and only part of them involve the house.

Tonight, I am going to see Bride Wars with two friends who are also getting married this year. We are involved with the others' weddings also, so it will be interesting to see at what point in the movie we exchange glances and think "I will SO DO THAT to you if you don't watch out!"

The high point of my day Saturday? I am going to get my nails done again. I stopped getting them done before we moved, because I knew with the packing and the lugging of boxes and the stripping of wallpaper, I was just asking for a nail-related injury. However, I'm tired of my hands looking like a disaster. I also feel good after a mani-pedi. Time to reward myself a little.

On Sunday, though, it's game on. I am participating in an organization challenge thrown down by my good buddy ABunsLife. You'd think that since we just moved, I'd be all organized, you know, assuming I organized things when I unpacked. Well, I did in some areas but the garage and basement became our "why the &*^% did we move that?" dumping ground. My goal is to park the cars in the garage after this weekend. Next goal, the basement.

The basement has to be done because...someone named Maddy has a birthday next Sunday. She will be 10. TEN! Her first decade birthday! She is having some friends over for a sleepover and a Rock Band challenge (assuming I can find Rock Band 1 for Wii before then. I've got some co-workers on the hunt this weekend, here's hoping they are successful).

Enjoy your weekend and pamper yourself a little. You deserve it!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


As part of my lifestyle change to find some peace, I recently joined a bible study group with some friends of mine. We are studying The Numbers of Hope, by Max Lucado. It is a study of the famous John 3:16 bible verse.

One of our group discussion questions was something along the lines of why we felt hope was in short supply these days. My answer was that we are bombarded daily with bad news. Go to your favorite online news home page and count how many uplifting, happy stories you see there. Turn on the TV news this evening and see what story leads off the broadcast. I bet it's not about puppies and rainbows.

As I mentioned yesterday, I tend to see only the negative already, I don't need the mainstream media aiding and abetting my bad habit.

Another group discussion was to talk about your biggest disappointment in life. The obvious answer is the deaths of Jessica and Kelli, but as I thought about it more, I amended my answer to the unfairness of life. Why was my mom taken away at 47 by a disease that ravaged her mind and body and left her a vegetable in her last months? Why were my kids yanked away in such a violent and senseless manner? Why are innocent children abused? Why are young men and women being killed in wars? The list of injustices goes on and on.

So, to have hope in the face of all that - impossible, right? It's easy to throw up your hands and say I quit! I can't take anymore! The world is going to hell in a handbasket and I'm just along for the ride!

No. It's not impossible. If I can go on, you probably can as well.

Keep your hope, your faith, your belief.

Tell yourself, just for today, I will try to believe there is good in the world, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.

Just for today, I will remember there is a greater power at work.

Just for today, I will put my worries aside and focus on the positives I have in my life.

Try it, just for today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year where we make our resolutions and try like hell to stick to them.

So, for what it's worth, here are mine. I prefer to call them "lifestyle changes" - perhaps a new title will help me stay on track:

1. Lose Weight/Eat Healthy. I actually started this one back in December, and all the packing and moving and home improvement and being busy as all get-out helped me to stay active and not eat Cheez-Its and watch bad TV all night. I actually lost a few pounds over the holidays, and I'm sticking to my "don't mindless eat crap at night" mantra.

Also, now that my kitchen is finished, I can go to the grocery store, buy real food and cook dinner, instead of relying on the drive thru and delivery guy. I'm going to also try new recipes and also look for old favorites that have been made healthier. If someone can send me a mac and cheese recipe that doesn't have a frillion calories and fat grams but does still remain tasty, please do.

2. Master the Met in Less Than 13:48. As some of my long-term readers might remember, last year I participated in Master the Met, a stairclimb of 42 floors at the Met Square building. My time last year, after about a month of training, was 13:48. This year I am starting my training two months out, and hope to beat last year's time. I will set my goal after my first full training session.

If you would like to support me in this worthy cause, please visit my page here. The event is sponsored by the American Lung Association. All donations are appreciated, and are tax-deductible.

3. Find Some Peace. I need to find my inner peace, my Chi, my happy place - whatever you want to call it. I feel overwhelmed and pressured by all that's going on around me and I want to find a way to quiet the voices in my head, if you get my drift. Writing helps sometimes, but that's not always possible in some situations. Like traffic. Or a 10-minute line at Wal-Mart.

4. Enjoy The Moment. I am by nature a planner. I live for lists. Sometimes I think I get too caught up in the planning and the execution (or frustrated at the lack of execution) that I forget to take a minute, step back, and admire that which I have accomplished. I tend to focus on the negative. Luckily I live with two people who remind me, daily, not to take myself so seriously.

5. Be Nice. I will try to smile and say hello to the cashier at Wal-Mart even after standing in line for 10 minutes while she looked up a price. It's not her fault the customer argued with her that it was on the clearance rack for $1.99. I will try to be patient with the co-worker who asks me the same question twice a week. I will try to not wish evil thoughts on the Bi-State bus driver who pulled out in front of my car and cut across three lanes of traffic to make a left-hand turn before the light changed.

So, there you have it. My personal goals for 2009.

Monday, January 5, 2009

And We're Back

Here we are, January 2009. We made it.

Boy, last year kinda zoomed by, didn't it? It was a busy busy year for me.

So, here's what I've been up to these last couple of weeks (with visual aids):

Christmas Day finally arrived - yay!

We worked on the house - no more pink striped wallpaper - yay!

We went to my dad's, stayed in a hotel, and jumped on the beds:

We went eagle watching:

We met Elvis:

We are tired now:

So, what have you been up to lately?