Monday, June 22, 2009

Observations On A June Summer Night

Does your house have a front storm door? Mine doesn't, and it's so foreign to me not to have one. I really thought it was standard equipment on homes.

As a kid, I remember my mom spraying Windex on our front storm door at least once or twice a week, especially in the summer. As soon as I finished my Rice Krispies, I was in and out of that door dozens of times, sometimes alone, often trailed by most, if not all, of the kids in my neighborhood. The handprints weren't just mine, and I probably left my mark on many other doors within a bike ride of my house.

Speaking of bike rides, my friends and I would roll up our beach towels with a dollar tucked tightly in the middle, and convoy up to the local pool. That dollar would buy me an afternoon's swim, a Suicide (a shot of every fountain soda flavor in one cup) and a Zero bar, and I'd still have fifteen cents left over to put in my dad's change jar. Occasionally I'll run across a Zero bar in the candy aisle, and immediately I smell chlorine and Coppertone and hear Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."

After we came home and dried off, we rushed through dinner so we could all meet under the street light to play TV tag or hide and seek. Our parents would sit on the porch and watch, or all congregate at one house or another while we ran amok. We could always tell whose back yard they were sitting in, by looking for the cloud of cigarette smoke and listening for the clink of ice in highball glasses.

Finally, when it was good and dark, we'd get our jelly jars with holes poked in the lids, or if you were really cool (like me) you had an official bug catcher jar, and catch so many lightening bugs you could use it like a lantern. Of course, we also took the glowing parts off the bugs and smeared them on our faces like indians, or wrote our names on our arms. PETA forgive me, I knew not what I did.

And now I watch my daughter ride her bike up and down the street with her friends, bang in and out of the garage door, and take her cool bug catcher jar and stalk lightening bugs. I do have to drive her to the local pool, but I hope that when she's older, sitting on her back porch watching the fireflies light up the yard, she fondly remembers her childhood summers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hey Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Last year I participated in the Whip It Up challenge. Maddy and I had a great time finding and preparing new recipes. The best part is always the eating! For the most part we were successful and didn't ever make anything that required us to order pizza.

This year's challenge begins June 28, and I'm already looking for new and exciting recipes. I want to try new grill recipes, other than the basic steak and chicken. Maddy is looking for desserts.

I love that Maddy is into learning about cooking, and also isn't afraid to try new foods. It's a fun and educational way to do that quality time parenting thing, you know?

Stay tuned for our experiments. Maybe we'll cook something you'll want to try, too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

The Second Annual Jessica and Kelli Uhl Fundraiser will be held July 19, 2009, from 6-11pm, at the KC Hall in Collinsville, Illinois.

Our theme this year is Pineapple Paradise. I'm encouraging everyone to dress in prom attire - especially vintage! Also, if you have gently used prom or bridesmaid dresses, please bring them for donation to Big Brothers/Big Sisters for their Diva for a Day event. Young girls are given a dress, a hair and makeup session, professional photograph shoot, and then can keep the dress for their prom. Jessica and Kelli loved playing dress-up, so this event is something they would be proud to be associated with.

We are also collecting non-perishable food items for the Collinsville Area Food Pantry.

Of course there will be dinner and dancing, as well as a silent auction and various raffles. If you have any items for donation for the silent auction or raffles, please let me know.

Prior to the fundraiser, we are hosting a blood drive in honor of Jessica and Kelli at SIUE on July 14, 2009, from 2pm to 7pm in the Conference Center, 2nd Floor. If you can donate, the Red Cross would certainly appreciate it. Supplies are dangerously low right now.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by contacting me, or can be purchased at the door the night of the event.

Thank you for your support in memory of Jessica and Kelli.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well, Damn!

I didn't get the job.

I'm okay. It wasn't meant to be, there's a better opportunity just around the corner, when God closes a door he opens a window, etcetera etcetera etcetera! (said in my best Yul Brynner voice)

Thanks for all your support and prayers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Working and Waiting

I'm temping this week, and really enjoying it. Maybe because I know it's just temporary, maybe it's because I don't have to fight too much traffic on my commute, or maybe because I don't have to make sure Maddy is up and dressed and fed and has her backpack/art project/library book and do the "come on we're late" dance with her.

I have to admit, I've missed working. I've missed the sense of accomplishment I get when I turn off my computer. Not to say this has been a cakewalk - I spent 15 minutes yesterday looking for a file, which is frustrating enough. However, I also managed to open a file cabinet drawer too far, which caused it to get off its track. Of course, if one drawer is open you can't open another one, (stupid OSHA rules) so how was I supposed to open the next drawer to find the missing file? I finally got it back on track and managed to grease on my hand but not on my suit. I also found the file, which was not in that cabinet. Ah well, lesson learned - don't do the filing.

Back on the permanent job front, I had my second interview earlier this week. I met with two of the attorneys I'd be working with, and I think it went well. However, they have another interview on Thursday, so I won't find anything out until Friday at the earliest. It's driving me crazy, as I am not a patient person.

I really want this job. I have the skills and the ability they need - I just hope I was able to convince them.

I'll keep you posted....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Looking Ahead

I've got a busy week coming up. First, I will be temping for a friend of mine while she is on vacation. She works for an attorney in Belleville, so this will be good practice to get back in the swing of that work habit. You know, like getting out of bed, putting on pants and lipstick, that kind of thing.

Speaking of work, I have a second interview next week as well. Hot damn!! I might just mess around and get a job.

Also, Maddy will be going to stay with her PaPa next week for a few days. She is very excited about the prospect, because my dad lets her mow with his riding lawn mower. I'm glad she's going. I have great memories of spending time with my grandparents in the summer.

If you don't have plans for next Thursday night, stop by The Royale for the Girls Guide to the Galaxy Relaunch Party. We will have giveaways, various demonstrations, and probably just a real good time. I will be giving away a $300 makeover - all you have to do is leave a comment on my post here at Girls Guide. So what are you waiting for? For more information, click here.

As for today, Maddy and I will be going to the local waterpark, then coming home and getting ready for the church picnic tonight. We walked by yesterday to scope out the rides. Once she discovered there were bumper cars, I knew my money would be well spent.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I was shopping today for a birthday. It was never easy to buy for her to begin with, and now it's even harder. What do you give a girl who can't have anything?

I read over the cards but never find the one that says I miss you. I settle for one that says "Once a princess, always a princess." That's about right. I will sign it and laminate it so it will withstand the elements for a while.

I find some pink silk flowers, some pink balloons and ribbon to tie them down. At the checkout I grab a bag of Skittles, her favorite candy.

As I flipped through the albums looking for a picture to share with you, I found myself remembering all the scenes, the clothes, the toys. I still have a lot of her things that I hoped she'd use for her children.

20 years ago she looked like this. I never dreamed I wouldn't have her anymore.
Happy birthday, Jessica.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Wow, this is my 300th post. Who knew I was so prolific?
The job interview went great, and I'm cautiously optimistic I'll be called for a second interview. I've enjoyed my time off and I'll be sad to leave Maddy, but right now a paycheck would be a welcome sight.

My new writing gig over at Girls Guide to the Galaxy is going well. Note the pink badge on yonder sidebar - mark your calendar for the Relaunch Party on June 11 at The Royale. Stop by and say hi, and you might win some fantastic prizes! Like what? Well, stay tuned and check me out at GGTTG - more details coming soon! While you are there, take a moment to enjoy one of their signature cocktails, such as my favorite, the Subcontinental. Bombay Sapphire, cucumber and lime juice and a splash of Cointreau - delish!

Today was Maddy's first full day of summer vacation. Nothing says summer like a slip 'n slide!