Too much gravity at our house..everything ends up in the basement!

Does anyone else have this problem?  Every house we have owned seems to have too much gravity.  The house seems to find all the excess stuff we have lying around and pulls it  into the basement.  The “stuff” has no issues with infertility because it breeds overnight and at a rapid pace quickly filling any empty spaces.

I am declaring war on the gravity, the incessant “stuff” breeding and cranking up the number of garbage and recycling bins we own!

Grown kids stuff is on its way out.  Actual quote from my daughter when I loaded her van with 3 bins of HER stuff

( and there is more to come).

Julie:”I don’t want this stuff.”

Me:  “Well its yours and I am no longer in the storage business.”

Julie ( with a big sigh)  “I hope you are giving  Sarah ( her sister) just as many boxes of her crap as you are giving me!”

Good grief..does sibling rivalry never end?  Truth be told her sister took all her stuff ages ago.  I did keep her really breakable keepsakes because she has two very active boys that don’t mix well with breakables.

Next up, our son, Michael.  For some reason he has less stuff.  He is home on vacation from working overseas so I grabbed the opportunity to present him with his boxes to go through.  He wants to chuck it all.   Somehow I see myself just checking to make sure he is not throwing away anything valuable.  Arghhh

By the way if you are in the same space I am ( move it out and reclaim the basement) make sure you go through the pockets of pants and coats.  I am making a small fortune on forgotten money left in pockets.  Yeehaw!

Last on the list is the hubby.  This will be a true test to see if he ever allergy reads this blog.  His loves to say  ” don’t get rid of that, it may be valuable someday.”   I wish I had a  funny example but since he says it all the time my mind is a blank.  Think of your own funny example and paste it here ( oh and put it in the comment section, I could use a good laugh)

My teenage years as champion eye rolling queen come in handy when he pulls out the “valuable someday line.”

Here are a few rules when cleaning out “stored” items with the hubby.

  1. Don’t do it together.
  2. Moving and cleaning out basements often lead to thoughts of doing bodily harm to the other person.
  3. See rule #1
  4. Clean it out and donate it before he even sees it.  He will never know its missing.   ( okay..ya gotta play fair here)  No throwing out his favorite really ugly shirt or running shorts..he will miss those.  I am talking about real nice because paybacks are really ugly.
  5. Again, see rule #1

We have rule #1 for wall papering as well but since we don’t plan on ever doing that again I think we are safe.

I want to test the house for this excess gravity and get some sort of remediation done before the show “Hoarders” shows up.

It might be easier to confess that some of the stuff is mine and needs to go.

Julie just called..had a burning question about “House Hunters”  (spoiler alert)

Just so you know they ALWAYS pick the empty house because  it has already been bought before the filming started!

Her brother just arrived to visit and I asked:
There are more to come :)
” So did you get the boxes I sent?”

“What boxes?”

“The boxes of YOUR stuff”   ”

REALLY MOM?  REALLY?  ( audible eye rolling)  Teehee..there is more to come!

I would post photos of the mess but its way too embarrassing.


A little wine with Wednesdays Whine!

I make it a rule not to post on Facebook or blog when I am especially crabby.  Not that I think all posts or status updates should be cheery.  I maintain this boundary to mainly protect myself from getting in a heap of trouble which I do often enough when I open my mouth before I engage my brain!

Originally I was going to just name this weekly post Wednesday Whine but then I happened on some really amusing wines and thought I would share them with you each week.

After all if I am going to whine I might as well amuse myself with some wine  or at least share the humor with you all.

Let’s start with a little wine.

Cheap red wineIf  this really reflected the real me it would read “Cheap White Zinfandel”  .  My best friend actually thinks I should call it “swill” since that is what she claims I drink.  Hey I never claimed to have discriminating taste in wine.  Besides the joke is on her  because  when I break out the “swill” she breaks out the good stuff which I am more than happy to drink!

On with the whine:

Incredibly bad customer service.  I could write a book on this but here are a few:

  • Love my dog groomer since my dog sheds enough for 4 dogs and the de-shedding helps keep it at bay BUT the last time I tried to make an appointment I couldn’t because they were celebrating their first year anniversary.  Did you forget to invite your customers that kept you in business?  I am always up for a party not to mention I have sent you a ton of customers.
  • Websites that make it difficult to make a purchase.  Want my business then make it easier.
  • Those dang press 1 for repair, press 2 for more frustration.  The first time is bad enough but if you have to call back several times and go through it again and again…well there is just not enough wine to justify this.
  • Teeny Tiny hotel trash cans.  Seriously?  All hotels do this.  It is a secret way to hate on the guests and the housekeeping staff all at the same time and do it without being obvious..kinda clever but REALLY annoying.

And of course I cannot do a Wed Whine without at least one whine about facebook posts:

  • Mystery posts.  These posts are either very clever or just annoying or both.  At first they intrigue me but if a person does more than two then I know she either trying to get attention or just having fun annoying the crap out of everyone.

The most recent ones go like this…  “Am I smart enough to…?”   That’s other info  Or..Can I take the first step…?

Perhaps the joke again is on me and I should quit wasting my time on Facebook OR here is an idea  unfriend her.

Just one more.

The facebook posts that  threaten to delete you as a friend.

Shaking in my boots.

Time for more wine.  In honor of Fathers Day ..the following was right next to  “Cheap Red Wine”Dad's Day off

and right next to it was….Cheap BastardSomeone at the liquor store at the beach has a sense of humor.  In full disclosure and because he reads my posts ( because I make him) my hubby rarely takes a day off, is not a cheap bastard and buys my cheap wine AND puts up with me and my whining/wining.

I’m up for hearing your “whines” and any great wine labels you run across.  I have a few more but I am bound to run out.

Here’s to the Wed Whine..Cheers!


Motherhood Deja Vu or why I needed a do-over for the day at 8am

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and I have had a real life reminder of how EVERY Mom deserves breakfast in bed, a massage and a vacation.

Monday morning found me starting a week of being in charge of  three of my grand kids ages 6, 5 and 5 months.

Piece of cake or so I thought.

By 8am I wanted a do over.  Just so you know the day started at 6am  with Summer, age 6, reminding me what time the bus came so she wouldn’t miss it AGAIN under my watch.  Evidently I made quite the impression when she missed the bus because of me last September.

Oh the pressure!

Had the morning routine mapped out.  Everyone fed, dressed, baby diapered, lunches packed, diaper bag ready, backpacks ready and we head out the door.

Almost.  The baby, Tristun needed a diaper change at the last minute.  No problem.


It was at least a 6 wiper, all up his back and all over his outfit.

Back on track we head out the door.  I should mention that Summer is reciting the time to me every 30 seconds and reminding me that the bus is coming.

The plan was to drive to the bus stop even though it is spitting distance from the house.  This way I can head straight to the pre-school with Bella.

Problem #2.  Can’t get Tristun into the car seat.  The straps are way too tight.  WHAT??

I have a few choice words for car seat manufacturers that cannot be repeated.   After a few minutes of struggling with the car seat I realize I need to take Tristun AND the car seat back into house to fix the problem.

Summer is still reciting the time.  I sit her on the front step to watch for the bus.  I struggle with the car seat.

How hard can this be? I have a college education I should be able to this.

NOT!  Now I am sweating.   And then I hear it!  THE BUS, THE BUS.

Oh crap…she missed it.   Not quite.  The bus driver was kind enough to stop in front of the house and pick Summer up.

Phew.  Figured out the car seat, got to pre-school, got home and seriously thought ”  I KNOW its five o’clock somewhere”

As the song goes “My Mama said there will be days like this”

Tristun gave me a toothless grinTristun  7 weeks and I remembered one day many years ago when his Mom was three, wanted popsicles for breakfast, her brother was 10 days old, I locked myself out of the house, had to get a locksmith to open it up spending money we DIDN”T have and found the popsicle box on the counter and a huge puddle of former popsicles all over the kitchen floor.

And I survived.

The rest of the week has been much smoother.  Julie and Louie are here in the evening so I am not on 24/7.

Still I think it should be Mother’s Week and not day.

I consider it a successful day here if everyone is fed, happy and reasonably clean.  Its extra special if I get a shower.

Deja Vu for sure.

And to my daughters, Sarah and Julie.  Happy Mother’s Day!  You two are my heroes.

May Mother’s everywhere be honored and loved this Sunday!  ( and get a shower lol)


It’s “I may not be fast but at least I am Fashionable” Friday

We all have our addictions.  For many women its shoes.  I have a slight big addiction to cute and colorful workout wear.  I knew I had a problem when looking through my closet I actually had more work out wear than regular clothes.

Guys definitely would not get this.  I generally wear my work out gear once and then wash it .  My husband claims you don’t need to wash it after every work out because you are just going to get it sweaty again.

There is some logic in that but not much.

I like the friends I work out with too much to subject them to working out next to me in really ripe workout clothes.

Actually I like myself too much to put on smelly work out clothes.

I am also inclined to go for a run, bike ride or head to the gym if I like what I am wearing.

I ran a 10k in April with a really fun training group from Active Life Fitness.  One of my favorite team mates Jeannine, showed up in this bright pink floral running skirt with matching arm sleeves.  She looked awesome and it really added a festive spirit to our team.

Her comment to everyone that day was “Well, if I can’t be fast at least I am fashionable”

Thanks , Jeannine.  You inspired me to share migraine some of my favorite  work out wear and where you can get them.  I will do some bargain shopping as well since we all like to save money. for cute work out wear..this could be dangerous.  Nothing like feeding an addiction to support my blog.   It’s a sacrifice but I think I am up to it .

My sisters are probably scratching their heads over this new found interest in fashion since it has never been a passion of mine.  Don’t get me wrong, I  clean up real well but I do like to be comfortable.  Maybe that is why I became a nurse.  Nothing like a pair of comfy scrubs and tennis shoes to make your day more enjoyable.

Here are a few samples from Running Skirts Who wouldn’t want to run while wearing these cute outfits?us-clover_stk-white_paisley_1

I am a big believer in wearing cute colorful sports bras.  If its chilly I may start off with a shirt but more often than not it comes off.

Here are few more sports bras from running skirts that caught my eye.


Love the scrunchy look of this next one.


And last I am in love with this tangerine running skirt!

rs-cerise_mandarin_webI would like those abs as well..sigh.

Please share your favorite styles or patterns for workout wear!  Have a fashionable Friday!


Why Women Should Hire Secret Service Agents!

I have been resisting writing this post but I can’t keep quiet any longer.  I guess the Secret Service Scandal is now considered “old news” but I am still scratching my head over the stupidity of these “chuckle heads”

I am not naive enough to think that this is the first time this has happened.  This just happens to be the first time they got caught.

My guess is they thought they had a good thing going UNTIL a new guy joined their little soiree and thought it was bargain night for Colombian hookers.

I can’t help but wonder about the screening and hiring process the Secret Service uses where they end up hiring  a bunch of guys to protect the President and at least one of them thought it was extreme couponing night in the red light district in Columbia.

That is just plain wrong on so many levels.

How can you protect the President with any credibility when you can’t even figure out that if the woman is charging $800 you can’t get away with paying her $30.  You are in Latin America, you have tapped into the dark side of Columbia, and you are still looking for a bargain?


You are lucky you just lost your job and not part of your anatomy.  Ever hear of Lorena Bobbit?  If not, google her.  She was one angry Latina who took it upon herself to give her husband an extreme circumcision.

I know there are also women on the Presidential Secret Service detail just to be fair.  I am confident they have more sense than this particular gaggle of men protecting the president.

That being said I do believe the Secret Service would be wise to hire an all women panel of screeners for potential new hires.

These women should be at 45 yrs or older, survived at least one teen-age son and have a very reliable BS meter.

They certainly could do a better job than whatever process the Secret Service is using now.

I can’t help but chuckle over the potential questions that might come up in the interviews.  Using the popular style of questioning it might go something like this:

“Tell me about a time when you hired a hooker and tried to get away without paying her”

And while I don’t support the “world’s oldest profession” my guess is this woman more than earned that $800.

As for the Secret Service agents, Forrest Gump said it best “Stupid is as stupid does”



Why Facebook is alot like riding in your car.

Yes I am on Facebook.  Yes I have a love hate relationship with it.

I love connecting with friends I might not see, offer love and support during trying times and laugh at everyday mishaps.

And yet  some of my friends post things that make me scratch my head.

So why is facebook like riding in your car?

Take a good look at your car and tell me what you see?  Wait..stand outside and look at it.  Less stress that way because it won’t remind you that you really need to clean it out or maybe I am the only one that feels like my car sometimes resembles a rolling trash can.

Well my guess is your car is like ALL cars and there is a front window, a back window and several side windows.  Windows that you can see through.  Sorry..another “cleaning reminder”  ( thank God for rain or my car would never get washed)

So you are riding down the highway and you glance over and you see all kinds of things..people eating, people singing, people talking on the phone ( argghhh) people doing gross things which I will leave to your imagination but noses and fingers come to mind ( and that’s one of the mild ones)

So whats my point and how does it relate to Facebook?

For SOME reason we forget there are windows in our cars that OTHER people can look in and see what we are doing.

For SOME reason we forget that ALL of our 200, 300 or 1,000 facebook friends can read our posts.

AND I don’t care how great your privacy settings are..friends of friends, future employers and most anyone you DON’T want to read your posts really CAN see them…believe me I am not tech savvy enough to know how but I KNOW they can and do.

So I have a few personal rules about posting on FB ( rules on what you can and can’t do while driving will posted at a later date)

I expanded them and just thought I would share and maybe you all can share your favorites.

1.  When I am in a bitchy bad mood .. I stay away from the keyboard and actually FB in general.  No one really wants to read my cranky pants posts and I am certainly don’t want to read posts about how great your life is when I am unbelievably crabby.

2.   Its okay to post that you love your kids and you are soooo very happy to have them home for the 10th day in a row due to snow, illness or major disasters ( we had an earthquake AND a hurricane in 2011)

Its NOT okay to post that you love having your kids home for the 10th day in a row when you are really going stark raving mad, out of wine, pms’ing and the hubby is out town to Florida no less  and you are going to clear the snow for the bus yourself if you kids say  “we’re bored, hungry, …  one more time.

A little sincerity please.

So just as a side note..if I go a long time without posting just assume I am either without a web connection or in dire need of an attitude adjustment . Translate that how you will but it sometimes involves liquid encouragement and my friend master card or just a good chat with my BFF.  And I hate to say it because some of you will gag..but a good run, workout or bike ride.

3.  Photos…post only flattering ones of your friends and family.  You may think its funny to post that really awful photo of your sister or friend but payback is right around the corner.   Let’s go easy on the travel photos.  Less is more.   New babies?  More more more.  Nothing sweeter.  50 photos of Mt Rushmore..not so much.

3a.  If you tag me in a really awful photo of myself and I untag myself ( yes you can do this and its wonderful) do not keep retagging me.  One its just annoying and two..maybe you are really a frenemy and not a friend???

4.  Absolutely NO photos of gaping wounds( seriously) or giving birth ..I mean actually giving birth.  This is coming from a nurse who gets to see the miracle of birth on a regular basis but trust me..those photos are for your viewing only.

5.  Hateful posts..if you wouldn’t say it the persons face then it doesn’t belong on a bad mood?  See rule #1.

6.  Letting everyone and the world know you are away.  I have heard although I have not checked it out that there is a website called  “Rob my house” and it features ways to rob people they know are on vacation via..drumroll…their Facebook posts!!  Pretty much a no brainer.  Might as well leave the key under the mat for them and a light on.

7.  I was never happier then when I learned how to hide all those Farmville requests and now any game requests.  I have nothing against them except they were annoying and I was tempted to find out and possibly join but I knew I would get addicted.  I can manage to fritter away my time on my own quite nicely…any help in this direction is not needed.  Currently I am avoiding Words with Friends….because I know I would love it and be good at it as well.

8.  Actually as of the moment those are all the rules I have.  I am sure I will come up with a few more.  Feel free to add any you might have in the comments section.   Coming soon to a post in this blog..the ” do’s and don’t’s of conductiog “business” in Starbucks and Panera’s  otherwise known as “get a real office”.

Off to check facebook  🙂   as in See Jenn Tri to waste more time!


Gifts of the Heart

I had a gentle reminder last week about the importance of gifts from the heart.  First when I witnessed it and second when I saw the photo that captured the simple joy of giving.   My grandson, Cristiano, gave his mother some “flowers” for her birthday.

It was a sweet moment for both of them.

The immense joy on Cristiano’s face tells a story of  the joyful act of giving  .

After seeing this photo I started to think of gifts I have received that still stay in my heart and bring a smile to my face.

Some of those  gifts include:

  • time together
  • listening
  • someone’s undivided attention
  • prayer
  • a small act of kindness
  • a “real” piece of mail
  • a smile or helpful hand from a complete stranger while out and about
  • a random compliment
  • gratitude
  • a hug
  • a gentle reminder of all my blessings
  • laughter
  • being there
  • shared tears ..joyful and sad
  • support
  • inspiration

Cristiano gave me a gift as well.  I will never look at those “dandy” lion flowers again without smiling.

Forsythia is another flower that brings me joy.  Not only is it one of the first signs of spring but it reminds of the a piece of art work my daughter Julie brought me from pre-school.  Admiring the brown painted stems with globs of yellow paint at the end I asked Julie..”Wow Julie are these forsythia?”   She scrunched up her face and said “No!, they are for you Mommy!”

Yet another gift that brings me a smile…each and every spring.

What  do you receive and give on a daily basis, not just to others but to yourself as well?

We  know the importance of exercise and good food to nourish our bodies but don’t forget to nourish your spirit as well.

Go pick a few dandelions and put them where you can see them to remind you to give and receive gifts of the heart.

I am going to get mine now…it will do my heart good, yours too!



Would you like fries with your latte?

I used to be a proud non-coffee drinker.  Couldn’t stand the stuff. I really wondered what the fuss was all about .

My husband disliked coffee as well so when coffee drinkers came to our house they were out of luck.

When I gave a party if a guest offered to bring something I would ask for coffee…

and filters….

and the coffee maker…

and most important of all…. a person to make the coffee.

And then it happened, gradually but it happened.  I  fell off the non coffee band wagon .

It would be easy to blame Starbucks.  I was feeling a bit left out.

It seemed like everyone was meeting at Starbucks, drinking coffee, connecting in person and via laptops.

It was the “cool” place to be.

It was cool to act like “Sally” from “Harry Met Sally” and order a venti, non fat, whip, light foam, double shot, hazelnut latte.

To order a tea seemed so , mmm, ordinary, uncool.

I spent ALL of my adolescence being  “uncool” with a VERY cool older sister so NO I was not going to be the “uncool” one again.

I discovered with enough milk, sugar, and flavoring,  a latte was palatable.

My favorite drink rolled off my tongue like I was born at Starbucks and had lattes in my baby bottle.

The caffeine grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

My husband was starting to think I might need a 12 step anti- coffee anti- caffeine program.

No worries.  After  an amusing incident this summer I am climbing back on the non-coffee wagon.

I discovered McDonalds is serving specialty coffee  as in “would you like fries with your latte?”

So in a “I have no other choice but to get my latte at McDonalds” moment  I  ordered a latte at the Golden Arches.  Twenty minutes and much confusion later I walked out with an iced coffee iced dishwater.

Ding, ding, ding…an “aha” moment for me.   A few nuggets from my noggin to…

McDonalds...stick to what you do best…clogging arteries and contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Starbucks….do NOT start serving burgers.  Do what you do best …draining peoples wallets and pushing caffeine.

As for me ( and possibly some of you) I am going to stick to what I like and do what I do best.

Oh and if you come to visit you may want to bring the coffee….and filters…and ….coffee maker.

I am going back to tea.

Shhh..don’t tell my sister..I hear it’s the next “cool” thing!


Aren’t we all kind of a Big Deal?

This photo says it all.  Little Miss Ava is a charmer in every way, beautiful blue eyes, a head full of curls and that wonderful toddler attitude that the world revolves around her,and ONLY her.

Put her in this tank top and the package is complete!Ava Grace is kinda a big deal

I just laughed when I saw her sporting this affirmation of who she is and what she is about.  We all think she is a big deal with or without the t-shirt !!     Wouldn’t it be great if we all had the self confidence to sport a shirt like this???

Why not?  Aren’t we all kind of a big deal??  No “kind of” about it.

When was the last time you gave yourself credit for anything and everything??

I am constantly amazed by the people I know and the people I meet who overcome incredible obstacles, follow their dreams despite all the naysayers, and just keep plugging away!!  They are a BIG DEAL and deserve lots of credit.

BUT so do you!!

We are great at giving ourselves credit for the big things.  What about the little everyday things??

Give yourself credit for taking out the garbage.  Take it from someone who left old shrimp in the kitchen garbage while away for a week-end.   I thought we would never get the smell out of the house!

So your assignment for today is to pretend you are wearing Ava’s tank top!   You ARE a BIG DEAL.  Start making a list of things you do and give yourself credit for them..give yourself an “ata boy or ata girl”  Keep the list going and look at it when the sun isn’t shining in your heart.

I’ll start…I am a BIG DEAL because  … I ate healthy this morning, I vacuumed up the dog hair, I wrote my blog ,  I  laughed, I replaced the toilet paper without yelling at someone and I was patient with myself!!

And lastly copy this quote and put it on your frig to remind yourself  how really wonderful you are!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  M. Williamsom

Make it a really BIG DEAL day!!!  Smiles,


Back in the saddle again

Its been awhile since I wrote a new blog post. Have I ever mentioned that I have turned procrastination into an art form?

Actually procrastination is not the right word. There is no right word for this but a phrase “putting what I love to do last on the list”

Turns out I have plenty of company in this unofficial club which consists mostly of women. We have good intentions but our daily to do lists are impossibly long and if the things we truly love to do make the list at all its at the bottom.

Since it is now July, all tried and true procrastinators are now finding time to make their 2010 New Years resolutions and mine is to put what I love to do at the top of the list. So the good news is you’ll be seeing more blog posts. That could also be the bad news but hey there is always the delete button!

Feel free to join me on this adventure of making New Years resolutions in July.  Its fun to break the rules!  Put what you love at the top of the list.  Make an appointment with yourself and KEEP them. Think of yourself as your friend waiting for you to keep the lunch date, movie date or whatever and make it a priority.

In addition to my New Years in July resolution I am embracing a word for each season to keep me aware of the many pleasures the different seasons bring.

My word for the summer is “savor”  Savor the summer and all its delicious offerings.

  • Take in the sun
  • Eat juicy fresh fruit and vine ripened tomatoes
  • Buy outrageous fun flip flops
  • Catch fireflies
  • Picnic…at a park or in your own backyard
  • Teach someone to swim
  • Do nothing
  • Watch the sunrise and the sunset
  • Put yourself at the top of the list and SAVOR your own loves!!!!

And in the words of those famous infomercials “but wait there’s more” There is always something more to savor, take a look around and drink it in, long cool sips of what you love about yourself and this season.

I’ve had quite a few adventures this summer ( some on purpose, some not) so stay tuned!