Monday, November 30, 2009

Neither Siskel or Ebert Just Distracted

I am slowly recovering from the Thanksgiving Weekend Popcorn Incident, as we are now calling it. Although I am still fearful that we will develop black lung at some point due to the inhalation of severely burnt popcorn. I'll of course keep you updated.

Why is it that popcorn leaves a lasting smell? Even when it isn't burnt you know when you enter a room if someone has popped popcorn. But, Whoa Susanna if you burn it stinks for days.

As I am trying to avoid all talk about the Thanksgiving Weekend Popcorn Incident and the resulting hole in my kitchen table I started remembering that the kids and I saw a great movie last Wednesday and I thought I'd tell you about it...hopefully distracting me from my kitchen table woes.

It was called The Blind Side and it stars Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.

Now as you can see from this picture Tim Mc Graw and I are close, but don't let my bias cause you to think that I only liked the movie because it stared my BFF.

It was a really good movie. It tells the true story of Michael Oher a teenage homeless student who is taken in by the Tuohys, a wealthy family whose children go to the same school Michael does. It is a feel good story about what it does to someone when you give. Both the giver and the receiver's lives are changed forever. If you decide to go grab the'll need it. My son and daughter loved it too.

On a sillier note GS and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Hitch Friday night. An older movie starring Will Smith, Eva Mendez, and Kevin James. We put it in our queue a while ago from Netflix and forgot about it until it showed up in our mailbox. We just decided we needed to just watch it and move on. I am telling you it was high-larious. Will Smith and Kevin James are so funny. I think I just love Will Smith. His movies are so diverse. He goes from playing a crazy go get up alien fighter in Independence Day to a desperate giving man in Seven Pounds. Don't think for a minute that I actually saw either of those movies. If you know anything about me you know that I only like movies that star Chevy Chase and have the word vacation in the title, (with the exception of movies that star my BFF Tim.) So I actually have only seen the funnier Will Smith movies, but the trailers and previews of those other films have impressed me. Maybe one day when I grow up and become a big girl I'll be able to see those other movies.

...but first I'll have to figure out how to pop popcorn on my stove without ruining every piece of furniture I own.

...a girl can hope.

More Later
-A Ro

It Just Takes One Thing

How is it that it just takes one thing to totally put the kibosh on a great day??

In my case I was having a great day, no an absolutely fabulous day until I burnt a hole in my kitchen table. This horrible wish-I-could-be-Superman-and-fly-around-the-world-and-turn-back-time-moment happened 45 minutes before bedtime. Yep 45 minutes until I could have put my head on the pillow with a good feeling...but nope.

First lets look at the good stuff:
  • got my carb-loaded body out of bed for my 5.5 mile run
  • perfect running weather
  • went out for a nice no kids breakfast with GS
  • worked on my crossword puzzle while eating oatmeal
  • cleaned my house
  • made brownies
  • put up the garland on my banister
  • finally got the kids school pictures cut up
  • did all the laundry and put it all away
Then bad stuff:
  • burnt a hole in my kitchen table
Now I know you are dying for the here goes...please ignore the sobs as I tell this tale.

I have been starting to pop a big batch of popcorn each Sunday is a good for you snack that lasts us the know nibble here and there instead of the aforementioned brownies. Stupid MSN did a story on how microwave popcorn is bad for you cause of the "chemicals"...I should know better and realize that it really isn't the microwave popcorn that is going to do me in considering I still use Splenda like it is going out of style. However, to be more "healthy" I decided to buy some "real" popcorn and do it in a pan on the stove. Bella loves it too cause she gets to watch it pop. I'm telling you it was cheap entertainment until this new "healthy" snack caused me to burn a hole in my kitchen table.

So...(I am guessing you probably know where this is going...but indulge me)

I popped the batch and it was perfect...smelled wonderful so I turned "off" the burner to let it finish I KNOW that you know where this is going. Instead of turning off the burner I turned it up full blast. I could go into the "old" gas stove without any markers about hi and low, but I have lived with this stove for almost 5 years and would be a rich woman if I had a nickle for every time I mistakenly turned it up full blast instead of really no excuses. I saw it was burning and smoking and probably going to burn my house down so I grabbed the pan to throw it outside and it started, of course, to burn my fingers so I threw the pan on the nearest flat surface...yes we have finally come full circle...onto my kitchen table.

So there. I realize I could go tell you about the 10 places in this story where I went wrong, but my nostrils are currently full of that horrible burnt popcorn smell and I feel a little faint.

And now I must go scour a very expensive pan...full of burnt oil and a layer of black popcorn...

...and go buy microwave popcorn

...and a new sander to refinish my kitchen table

...and call my therapist

More later

-A Ro

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well it could be if I could just figure out how to regulate my blood sugar after this weekend of carb loading, too bad I am not an endurance athlete...but if I wanted to be I've got the diet all planned out!!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving day. I cooked for just the four of us. I had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (PW Cooks style), sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, scalloped pineapple, homemade from scratch oatmeal knot rolls, and pumpkin pie.
...crazy aside...if anyone knows what kind of plant that is in the background please let me know. I got it as a gift last week and have no idea what to do with it. It came with no instructions. It looks like a big onion lying in a bunch of moss. Not guaranteeing if I know what it is that I won't kill it, but it stands a better chance of survival if I actually know what to do with it.
...and of course macaroni and cheese and crescent rolls for my son. This is his Thanksgiving dinner...
Now the scalloped pineapple is a dish that my mother made each year. I would tell you the recipe, but I would have to make you all sign a waiver stating that you would only make it for Thanksgiving each year. If you don't sign the waiver you might be tempted to make it once a month or daily. Then you would need to go unpack your fat clothes...I am telling you it is that good!!

We really just enjoy each others company...

...both in the kitchen...(please excuse that 14 year old who likes to peel potatoes, but hates to have his picture taken...who's wacked out kid is that...oh yeah...mine....and at the dinner table. (now he looks like he is a contestant on a game show...go figure)Bella makes me pull out place mats from my kids preschool days. Here is Andrew's turkey hand...notice the nice neat feathers and the very precise turkey.Here is Bella's notice the very abstract feathers and the complete disregard for following the norm...that's my girl.

Still seeing that their hands used to be so little choked me up a bit...

We started out Friday with putting up our Christmas tree...I just love this activity. It is fun for us all to pull our our special ornaments that we have collected over the years and remember each one.

Such an amazing start to an amazing season!!

More later

- A Ro

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are You Ready?

I don't mean is your menu set...although you probably should know what you are fixing by now.

I don't mean have you gone to the grocery store...because in my case it really doesn't matter, I will have forgotten something.

I don't mean are you packed and ready to go if you are traveling...because I don't care how organized you are toothbrushes are still only a couple of bucks at any grocery store.

I don't mean is your house clean enough for your guests...if they truly love you they won't look under the bed or in the closets.

I don't mean is your cooking schedule figured out so that the rolls that take 2 hours to rise aren't started while someone is carving the turkey.

And I CERTAINLY don't mean are you ready for the amount of stress that tomorrow might bring. Stress over the amount of dirty dishes there will be, the lack of room in your refrigerator, or in my case oven, for all that food, or feelings of guilt for having that second helping of pumpkin pie or third.

What I DO mean is are you ready to be thankful for the food on your table, the loved ones surrounding you, and the abundant blessings that you have in your life.

Because people...that is what is REALLY important this Thanksgiving Day...all the rest will either be forgotten or turned into hilarious stories people will laugh about for years to come...either way it is ultimately a win win.

Enjoy your day

More Later

- A Ro

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Dozen...Turkey Style

Lid over at 2nd Cup decided to do her weekly Random Dozen early this week. I really respect her for this...'cause if it were me I would have just skipped it...but not our Lid...

But first an update:

This is what happens when schools enforces a policy that a child has to be fever free for 24 hours before they can return to school.

I'm telling you a lot of though went into this fort. In fact I would venture to say that she spent more time designing and building this fort than she actually spent in it.
Granted she would have much rather been at school and on her field trip then in this fort. Today I am telling you I did whatever I could to make her happy...thankfully she didn't ask me for a new puppy because it would have been hard to say no to her today. She really wanted to go on that field trip and she really was feeling much better this morning and she knew that she was probably well enough to go on said field trip but...

I stuck to my guns and kept her home for two reasons: 1. Because of the aforementioned rule and 2. Because I certainly did not want to drive the 2 hours to go get her when she got tired of swabbing the deck and the amount of fun she was having didn't outweigh the fact that she still was a little sick. I ain't no dumb guy.

Without further ado; the Random Dozen...Turkey Style!!

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinary adventurous?
In my humble opinion Thanksgiving is not the time to be creative in the kitchen. Did the original settlers say "Hey I wonder what it taste like if we didn't have turkey, but mushed these soybeans into a loaf...hey we could call it Tofurkey"?? I didn't think so...When I was a vegan vegetarian I just didn't eat the turkey...but I still cooked the traditional dinner.

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")
I am thankful for my two children and my amazing GS...

OK who am I kidding...I am thankful for my new Kitchen Aid Mixer!!! Thinking about having Thanksgiving tomorrow just so I can pull that bad boy out and mix me up some mashed potatoes!!

3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.
The way I feel every time I walk into my classroom and see my students eager to get down to work, and the new beginning I am given each and every day

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.
The first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for GS. We had just reconnected and he couldn't go home, so we invited him to join us. I was so nervous and he made me feel so at ease. He pitched and it seemed like this was the way it was supposed to be. Now it just is.

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?
I send someone out to the store because I have forgotten is a good year when I don't have to send someone out twice. This year GS told me that maybe today since I was home with sickly Bella I should pull out my recipes and make sure I don't need anything. I told him he would be bored if I did that...ha ha.

6. Do your pets get any left-overs?
nope...unless something inadvertently falls on the floor.

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?
We go around the table and tell something that we are thankful for.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?
My stuffing still comes from a box. I know a cook like me...but it is just what we do. So unless Stove Top started sneaking freeze dried oysters in their red oysters for me.

10.Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?
You know just when you believe something about history someone goes and tells you it isn't who the heck knows...Columbus didn't discover America...We really didn't land on the moon...There is no Santa is just a never ending bubble burst for me.

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?
PUMPKIN PIE BABY!!! Two of them sitting in my fridge just itching to be covered in whipped cream and's gonna be hard to wait.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)
I know I should, but I don't...

In summary: I need to stop making fun of Tofurkey, get over the newness of my Kitchen Aid mixer, have some strong words with my history teacher, maybe expand my Thanksgiving shopping list to include more that Turkey and Stove Top Stuffing, and get some PETA pamphlets, because clearly I need some animal empathy.

Have a Great Thanksgiving!!!

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, November 23, 2009

And Bella Makes Two

Nothing messes up big plans like a sick 9 year old. The sick 14 year old is a little easier to navigate because he can stay home by himself. Granted the house is a little worse for the wear, but at least I can work and keep Bella's schedule of soccer and art classes. Although Bella could run our household single-handedly she would have a hard time giving herself all that much needed love and attention that 9 year olds need to get better. She has exactly what Andrew had but she has a low grade fever.

Saturday night we had plans to see our schools production of Macbeth, which Bella filmed a cameo as an apparition in the fourth act. Needless to say that sitting through that particular Shakespeare tragedy with a splitting headache might not be such a great idea.

But the big problem is tomorrow. The fourth graders were going to go on an all day field trip to the ocean to pretend to be deck hands on a real schooner. They get to do what real sailors do. According to Isabella she has been looking forward to this trip "her whole life". She was looking forward to the 2 hour bus ride because "she never gets to just talk with her friends". She just "doesn't know how she will be able to get over this". Now I don't know about you but nothing screams fun like going to the cold ocean pretending to be sailors. I am pretty sure that their lives back then didn't involve buffets, little drinks with umbrellas, and cruise directors named Julie. Nevertheless, she wants to go and she is broken up about it.

Now I know that you are doing the math. Andrew got sick and now Bella. You are thinking that I am next. I'll have you know that I have avoided all sickness so far this year. It is odd because I don't have a spleen and doctors have told me that I am more susceptible to getting sick. The reason I don't have a spleen is a whole other post that I'll bore you with later. As my doctor always tells me I am the healthiest person he knows who is about ready to fall apart. He just doesn't know that I cannot fall apart yet. I have things I need to finish... my children's scrapbooks, losing 15 pounds, and figuring out an easy way to clean my ceiling fans.

I think I am going to be around a long time

...however next week I could be sicker than a dog.

...I'll keep you posted.

More Later

-A Ro

Friday, November 20, 2009

Baby Come Back

Not to be confused with Baby GOT Back...although I have looked in the mirror a few times lately and I do have some "back"...but that is a topic for another day!!

Now the song I reference today is how I feel. GS has gone to Iowa to visit his kids and take care of some business...and quite frankly...I want him to come back!! I know he'll be back late tomorrow night, but that is not NOW.

I would like to think of myself as an independent woman who doesn't need a man in her life...and if push came to shove I think I COULD be that kind of woman, but at this point I have an amazing man in my life and, quite frankly, I need him back.

...this has nothing to do with the fact that tonight is garbage night which means I will have to empty all the garbage cans haul it out to the bin and then haul the bins to the street.

...OK maybe a little.

BUT I miss so many more things.

I miss my good night and good morning kisses.

I miss seeing his smiling face when he walks in the door after a long days work.

I miss holding hands just because we like to be near each other.

I miss seeing my daughter's face when she hears the garage door open and realizes her object of tormenting is home.

I miss having a cooking partner...his job consists of chopping, stirring, and closing all the kitchen cabinets behind me...and sometimes the refrigerator door. I guess my dad was right when he would ask me if I lived in a barn.

I miss talking to him.

I miss the easy going personality that keeps me grounded and happy.

I miss catching him looking lovingly at me.

OK I am a diva and I admit that I need the constant attention and stroking he gives me...I am spoiled and if he doesn't come home quickly I am going to throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum... won't be pretty.

...Allegiant Air, you better get my GS home safely and on time!!!

More Later

-A Ro

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

My boy has been under the weather. His symptoms are severe headache and sore throat. No do I know...I put my lips to his forehead and just knew.

Now my son doesn't believe that I can tell if he has a fever. He thinks that my "I just know" explanation isn't good enough. I told him that I would bet him if I took 100 kids some with fever and some without I could pick out the ones with fever with 99% accuracy.

He thinks I am full of it.

I think we need to call Myth Busters.

Anyway he stayed home on Monday. He felt like he needed to go to school on Tuesday, but I ended up taking him home before lunch...and he woke up feeling worse today so I finally took him to the doctor.

Now doctors are funny to me. Andrew's only symptoms were headache and sore fever...thank you very much!! He feels around...looks around...and decides he doesn't have strep throat but has a virus...the catch all I have no idea what is wrong diagnosis.

The whole time Andrew is being very grown up. He is talking to the doctor, asking good questions and being very articulate. I think to little boy is growing up.


The doctor sees that he hasn't had his flu shot yet.

Andrew starts to whine, and beg for mercy. Suddenly the word mommy starts to creep back into his vocabulary.

Needless to say he hates needles. He completely rationalizes that it doesn't really hurt, but the needle is what gets him every time. Finally the large male nurse comes in to give him the shot and is rolling with laughter by the time he is done at the way my 14 year old son is acting.

I held his hand...promised him ice cream and all was well.

My favorite point was the nurse saying take a deep breath and starts to count to 3 but sticks the needle in him after 1...such a smart guy.


Andrew asks the doctor to look at this bump he has on the webbing between the thumb and forefinger. The doc pokes and looks and decides it is a wart and he can take care of it right there.

I swear I noticed a twinkle in the docs eyes when he realizes that he gets to get out the can of liquid nitrogen and freeze off this wart. He gets to play with chemicals...probably the one reason he went to med school and became a doctor...that and the paycheck. Andrew also gets very interested in this as well.

Then Andrew asks the question that all patients ask "Will this hurt?" And the doctor tells the lie that all doctors must tell "Maybe a little, but not much".

Do they do this on purpose? Can they not bear to tell their patients the truth?

Nope I think is it a strategic plan to keep the calm until it is to late...they ain't no dumb guys they know how it works, especially pediatricians...and we mothers appreciate their ability to lie like dogs.

Well with Andrew he kept the calm and was sort of looking forward to watching this science experiment unfold.


The liquid nitrogen was placed on his wart. Again Andrew started squirming, calling for his mommy, and almost kicked the doc in the family jewels. And I did want any good mom would do...I laughed my butt off. It was absolutely hilarious to watch him act SO un-teenage like.

That was the best spent $15.00 I have spent in a long time...I'm just sayin'

All the way home Andrew was telling me how much it hurt and that I would never understand that kind of pain...

I gave him his pity party moment, but what he fails to realize is that the reason I can tell if he has a fever with the touch of my lips is because I gave birth to him...

...a long painful birth.

...with plenty of needles.

...and other things we won't go into.

More Later

-A Ro

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Dozen...sorta.

Oh guessed is that time of the week. Lid's Random Dozen.

Here goes nothin':

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?
I know this sounds very violent and I am sure says something about my psyche that I want to keep hidden, but I want to be a kick boxer. Not that I want to hurt another human being in that way, but I just LOVED those classes and really felt great kicking the heck out of that bag.

hmmm I WAS going through a divorce at the time...coincidence or Freudian be the judge...

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?
Nope if it looks good and is in a good price range I pull the trigger...

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?
Christine Thirty-fourth street...OK that's not going to get me too far.

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?
Since I am a music teacher I would have to say favorite food, but I need to lose 15 pounds so I have had very little luck giving up food in any way shape or form, it seems. Could someone just poof pizza off the planet...then maybe I'd have some luck.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?
Spotty and more ripe...however GS needs them almost green. This works out great...he gets the bananas at the beginning of the week and I get them towards the end...plan...and if neither of us get to them...BANANA MUFFINS...its a win win baby!!

6. Your favorite tree is?
Weeping Willow...does that make me a melancholy person??? Barbara Walters would have a hey day with that answer.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you? other words if you tell me what button to push I am good, but leave me to figure it out I am up a creek without a USB port.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?
nope...(she says as she knocks on her desk.) I have had many students with it but not me or my kids...(she says knocking harder on her desk.)

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?
I question EVERYTHING.

hmmm I wonder if I answered this question OK?

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?
I'm a happy happy dog...(she says as she turns her head slightly to look at you lovingly)

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?
Just did a post on this says hiding her head in shame)

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?
It doesn't matter, the line I am in will be slower than all the rest. My only advice to you is don't pick the lane I am in.

In summary: I need to come to terms with the fact that something in me wants to be a kick boxer, this might be a good thing because with a name like Christine Thirty-fourth street I certainly won't be an actor. Don't copy my major gut instinct purchases (and lets hope it isn't something techie 'cause I won't know what to do with it) but most important don't stand in line behind me when I am purchasing it.

Hey...I just realized that my need to summarize my random dozen makes them not so random...

...that's me, I need things all nicely tied up in a pretty package.

What does that say about me? (she says in a typical questioning way)

More Later

-A Ro

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Good friends are really hard to find. No one appreciates this more than me. When I moved out to California I left an entire network of friends. In fact, I have always been on the go my whole life. When I graduated high school I moved two hours away to go to college. When I graduated college I moved 1200 miles away for Grad School. After six years living there I moved to Arkansas with my new family. After six years of living there I moved to California. I make friends...I leave...they disappear. Not that it is their is mostly mine. I tend to be focused on my new environment and push forward not really looking back. I have, through Facebook, caught a few of them and reconnected, but it really isn't the same. Some thankfully like GS have wandered their way back into my life and his case permanently just when I needed him most, saving my life.

I have lost so many dear friends due to circumstances...I miss them.

However, there is one very special friend who has not disappeared. He works very hard at keeping me in his life, and I appreciate it more than he will ever know. We met in High School and have stayed in touch since. He always had this uncanny way of knowing just when to call. He called me just after I found out my grandpa died. He called me just after I found out my dad died. He is always just where I need him. He cared for me during times when I didn't particularly care for myself, and never gives up on me or our friendship. He sends me a birthday card each and every birthday without fail. I am talking a real deal stamped and snail mailed birthday card. He makes time to have lunch with me each time I am in Iowa.

Now I know at times I am not the best friend in the world. Like I said before my life has an uncanny way of overwhelming me and I barely put one foot in front of the other to walk my way through it. Most friends fall by the wayside and get inadvertently put on the back burner. Not him...not Jason. Thankfully he always pops up and reminds me of how much I care for him and how much I appreciate his friendship. Not many friends can say they have been a constant in your life for almost 25 years. I am lucky to know him and call him my friend, and it is due to his hard work.

Except I have done something horrible...

...something that I promised myself I would not do AGAIN this year.

I forgot his birthday...I did...I know...unforgivable...unthinkable...just plain wrong.

I admit my shortcomings and I just hope that he can forgive me and keep working hard to keep me around.

Happy Birthday Jason!! I sent you a little something in your e-mail (if the internet Gods are being kind) to use for a Dolphin something or other for Schula. I can't wait to meet him.

Thank you for being my friend.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm a Putzer and I Don't Care Who Knows it

I admit it...I love to putz...I love not having an agenda and just doin' what I want. The only problem I have is afterwards I feel like I haven't accomplished much.

...I am getting over that part...

So this weekend was much to do about putzing. I did have some scheduled events but had some free time as well.

Friday Bella, GS, and I putzed to dinner at Macaroni Grill.

BTW - Macaroni Grill has now implemented a new menu complete with portioned controlled meals and nutritional information. I was very impressed. I had a large bottle of San Pelligrino and the Lasagna for about 640 calories...not counting the little bit of bread I ate...c'mon who counts bread.

After Macaroni Grill we putzed around the mall. We happened to be at the mall for the lighting of the Christmas tree and the "snow" (aka a bubble blower showering us with little is how we Californians do "snow") It was really nice even though it was crowded. We then went to Starbucks, as I told you on Saturday.

BTW - As I posted on Saturday morning I was confused why someone would wait in a drive through in a long line when they could just go into the lobby. The Bug pointed out that she likes to wait in the drive through because she can just sit in her car and listen to a book on tape. Then the light bulb when off **ding**. Not everyone in the world has two impatient kids who when in the car can only seem to find the words "are we there yet?" a whole new world has been opened up to me, she says singing Aladdin...a whole new world that I will have to wait about 9 years for.

Saturday morning I got up and leisurely ran 3 miles just to get my blood moving.

BTW - I find that when I get my morning exercise in I eat healthier during the day...coinsidence or carefully divine master plan?

Then off to Bella's last regularly scheduled soccer game, which they won!! I would have pictures but I can't find that pesky camera cord that attaches your camera to your computer. Then registered her for Spring season soccer. I was fully prepared to stand in long line, but line. The putzing gods were in my favor. The rest of the day...I putzed. I cleaned a little, I went to the market, I started some laundry, I worked on some paperwork that I needed to complete, and I took time for my favorite coffee/tea shop. I also treated to myself to my favorite sushi place before going to my favorite store...TARGET!! All in all a very nice Saturday.

Sunday morning I got up to do my long 6 mile run and I felt like I putzed through that as well. I swear there were 140 knot winds pushing against me (actually I have no idea if 140 knots is very sounds strong though...) Sunday afternoon was my son's orchestra concert (again I have pictures...but alas!!...see above) He was wonderful and it was nice to sit in the audience and be entertained!!

So you can just call me Arthur Putzerelli, or Putz-de-Leon. I should win a Putz-litzer Prize, or...

...I could just hush up now and go on with my day.


More Later

-A Ro

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Gift of Waiting

Not sure if you knew this and quite frankly not sure if you even give a darn, but the Starbucks Holiday cups are out. I just love this time of year. To me the holiday season starts and ends with these festive Starbucks cups.

...I'll understand if you can't forgive me for feeling this way. Sometimes I can't even forgive myself, but it is just the way I roll...corporate America has its grubby hands all over me.

Now my enjoyment is not nearly as much as it once was since I can no longer have caffeine, but that is a tale for another day...another sad, sad day.

Anyhoo...after running our errands GS, Bella, and I wanted a Starbucks. It is a little chilly here in So. Cal...Alright...I know, I am a disgrace to my Iowan family members when I describe chilly as being in the upper 60's. When chilly to them means...oh...say...low 40's, but this acclimated Californian can't do it anymore...I promise I fought it as long as I could...which, sadly, wasn't very long.

So we went to one Starbucks and the line was out the door. Since there is a Starbucks on every corner we decided to go to another one, 'cause...we just don't like to wait. When we got to another Starbucks down the road it happened to be a drive through Starbucks. I am telling you the line of cars in the drive through was at least 15 deep. We sure as heck weren't going to wait in THAT line, so GS suggested we go in to see if the lobby was any less of a line. Not only did the lobby have less of a had NO line...empty...SCORE!!!

By the way...someone needs to explain this phenomenon. Why in the heck would someone wait in a 15 car line when they could take 2 seconds, park, and come into the lobby??? The comfort of your own vehicle must out weigh getting on with life...I'll take your word for it.

So high-and-mighty-I-ain't-gonna-wait-in-that-crazy-line me went into the EMPTY lobby and ordered our drinks. Then in the now nearly empty lobby I proceeded to wait...and wait...and wait...the people behind us ended up getting their drinks before me, and by the time we left, the line in the drive through was gone.

You see...I just can't win.

Moral of the story: If you see me in any sort of line...go into the other one...even if it is longer. Trust me you'll beat me out of the store.

More Later

-A Ro

Friday, November 13, 2009

Oh Crap...Can I Say That on Blogspot??

**Public Service Announcement...the word Crap is used often in this post...if it is a word that offends you please don't read on...and I hope you don't watch network television...thank you very much**

In the musical Oklahoma when something goes wrong Ado Annie says...Oh Foot!

On that ever so popular TV show That's So Raven when something goes wrong Raven says...Oh Snap!

When something goes wrong in my life my expletive if choice is...Oh Crap!

My kids try to tell me that it is a bad that I say...that's crap...ha ha. Now mind you I don't want my kids to go around saying it, but they must just understand that there are some words that adults have the right to say but kids don't. In my book that word is crap.

Well today was one of those "Oh Crap" days!!

It started with us getting out of the house about 5 minutes late

**Public Service Announcement...if you leave 5 minutes late in the fine town of Los Angeles you'd better be prepared to be hours late...thank you very much**

...Not to worry I thought...the school that we pass that usually slows us up starts late on Thursdays. This means easy sailing traffic. Phew!!

"Oh Crap"
Since yesterday was a no school day...the aforementioned high school DID indeed start on time today...

Then we had a simulated Earthquake Drill and I am on the first aid team.

**Public Service Announcement...if you want anyone at school to survive an earthquake please do not put the music teacher, who cannot even decide which Band-Aid size to use and feels faint in the process, on the first aid team...thank you very much**

...Not to worry I thought...I'll just go to my meeting place and do what everyone else is doing.

"Oh Crap"
In walks a student who is instructed to be "trapped" in my room. Where did I put that pesky what to do in the event of...handbook...

After school we raced to get Isabella to soccer on time. As we were racing I realized that I didn't have American cheese for our cheeseburgers which GS had on the grill.

**Public Service avoid all last minute grocery store trips it is best to do your weekly shopping trip with a detailed list. Not just milk and bread scribbled on a Starbucks napkin...thank you very much**

No prob...the soccer practice is at our little park by our house and there is an Albertsons right next door. I'll just drop her off the park and run to the grocery store.

"Oh Crap"
Why is this security guard with a flashlight directing me and the eleventy million or so cars out of the cute little park's parking lot and to a back dirt lot to park and walk 2 miles to our practice spot? Oh I is the day that our cute little park is host to the Simi Valley free H1N1 flu know the one that people wait 4 hours in line American Cheese for Bella.

The good thing is none of the above did me in. I just rolled with the punches and walked into my house with dinner almost done and my boys waiting for me.

I think today I'll look for the "phews" during my day, you know the times that something could have gone wrong but didn't... is Friday the 13th...

...oh crap!!

More Later

-A Ro

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's All Worth It

If you have been following this blog (all six of you) you know how crazy it has been for me the last week. Our middle school production of Oklahoma! went up last weekend and Tuesday night I had my big middle and high school choral concert.

It was pretty hectic and I was pretty overwhelmed at times. However, when that first group took the stage Tuesday night and started to sing, and I saw joy and passion on their faces it was all worth it. In fact each of my groups that took the stage felt what I felt at that moment. We were a team living and breathing a work of art. It was truly magnificent and worth all the craziness to make it happen.

Including, but not limited to, the fact that I copied, folded AND stuffed 200 concert programs only to realize that the secretary put the wrong date on the front. So yes, 2 hours before the concert I had to do it all over again.
The good news is I didn't fall on stage, usually I trip on SOMETHING a mic stand, a monitor, my own two feet...I know just call me Grace.

Other good news...I had yesterday off!!!
Now I am not sure about you but a day off, especially when the kidlets are with their dad for the morning, brings to mind certain things. Sleeping in, leisurely eating breakfast while reading blogs, taking naps, reading a good book, or maybe even strolling the mall.
Not for this chick, who obviously doesn't know a good day off when she sees one, got up exercised for the longest 45 minutes of her life and then to top off the great morning went to the market.
...and then she gave her new Kitchen Aid mixer a good workout.
What you thought I was going to actually do the great day off justice?? Heck no!!! I needed to take this beauty out for a spin and make a mess.
I baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, and "healthy" oatmeal scotchies. GS loves it when I bake, however, his reward is a few goodies and a big mess to help clean up. God love him!!
We also took our favorite Veteran, GS (retired Navy air traffic controller), to Reds for a beer and some BBQ.
We had a very nice evening and looking back on my day I wouldn't have changed one thing.
So all in all the lesson I learned yesterday is that relaxation is overrated and being busy and sometimes overwhelmed can produce good results.
I guess it's really all worth it!
More Later
- A Ro

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Dozen aka Psycosis 101

Here we go again...more Randomness...and I LOVE IT!!! If you love it to go on over to 2nd Cup and play along!!!

1. What was the last song you listened to?
Well I am in dress rehearsals for my choral concert at the moment so Bist Du bei Mir by Bach would be my answer...but that sounds so "shee shee foo foo" so the last song I listened to before all of that would be Faint by Linkin is obvious that my son has control of the radio in the car on our way to school.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?
The current state of the housing situation is driving this answer today current house would be my answer to this...I won't overwhelm you with the gory details 'cause it would cause you to have to sit down...did I mention I live in California??

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)
My divorce...I found the love of my life because my ex-husband turned out to be not so good of a husband.

Boy this is another "take a long look in the dressing room mirror" random dozen!! Dare I go on??

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?
Oh, phew...this one is easy...any large balloon. It is usually so windy that day that I am just waiting for one to break free...I just love a good balloon disaster!!

Alright maybe this question too has caused me to think I need therapy...I can't win

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.
I have two...on my bulletin board next to my desk for easy reminders:

Being a teacher this is my current favorite: "Fair does not always mean everyone gets the same thing, it means that everyone gets what they need" -Unknown

Being in need of therapy this is another favorite: "Life is not the way it is supposed to be. It is just the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes all the difference" - Unknown

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention--G rating?
Writing this blog for only six people to read...ha ha...I jest...

McDonald's ice cream cones on our way home for school...I guess it could be worse I am sure I could think of something more "guilty" if I were to take another long look in the dressing room mirror of my life...but I will spare you.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?
hmmm...pumpkin pie with more whipped cream than pie...

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?
My favorite books to read to children involve singing at some level. When I taught elementary music I always had "singing" books to read. But my favorite were any of the "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" take offs. They have "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow" and "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie". Very funny without the "...perhaps she'll die..." I don't do those endings...

As a teenager I LOVED the Trixie Belden series...anyone heard or read her stuff?? She had one that was set in Des home a teenager I was sure no one had ever heard of Des Moines Iowa!!

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)
Pigs and Cows...I know the Iowa thing is the obvious reason but pigs are given in the German opera houses on opening night. So being an opera singer trained by a German teacher I love pigs...and started the tradition with my own kids and my students.

Not real pigs mind you...that would be...well just wrong

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?
I love wrapping presents...until I reach about 10 and then...stick a fork in me I'm done!! And go to gift bags or really crappy wrapping.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?
I had this friend in elementary school and she lived down the street and we would go to her house after school and play Monopoly. We would keep the game going for weeks. Very fun...interesting enough we weren't "in school" friends...

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? When you're fishing, do you feel for the fish??
I don't even get that far...I feel for the worm.

So in summary: I am an advocate for divorce...need to get the heck out of a good balloon disaster...and am a sucker for worms, whipped cream with some pumpkin pie, and a good long game of Monopoly.

...oh yeah and I need to call my therapist!!

More Later

-A Ro

Where to Begin?

First I have to say I've missed you all. I have missed visiting your blogs, participating in memes and writing about my mundane and usual life.

I know...good times...good times.

But the good news is I am back and ready to join the blogging world again.

Here are some quick updates:

A wonderful person whom I love very much who shall remain nameless gave me this last Friday...

Was it my birthday?


Was it an anniversary?


Did I win it on Pioneer Woman Cooks?


Even better...this fabulous person gave it to me - just because. Those are the best kind of gifts and...Oh My was I excited!!! I was so excited I baked sugar cookies on Saturday for the crew of our musical.

Now I know what you are thinking..."weren't you awfully busy this weekend to do that?" and the answer to that is -yes I was at school until 9:30 on Friday night for our opening night...then on Saturday I went to my daughter's soccer game...and had to be back at school at 5:00 for our second performance.

But the call of that new mixer was so whispered to me all day Friday and all night..."use me"..."mix something"..."I am so super cool"..."did you see all my attachments"...

So I succumbed and made these:

Get it...Oklahoma!...cowboy boot and sheriff's star...I know...I know too cute. They were a big hit backstage and now my new mixer has had it's maiden voyage...and I love it more than I thought I could love cold hard steel...

Here are the beautiful flowers that the cast gave me after our show. It was a very busy but rewarding weekend. To see my middle schoolers perform to such a high standard was wonderful. They worked so hard and I am so very proud of them!!

What's next you ask?

Well only my big choral concert tonight...showing off 5 of my choirs.

Yes Sonny and Cher were right...the beat does go on!!

Wish me luck!!

More later

-A Ro

Monday, November 2, 2009


It probably took you a few times to realize that the title says Oklahoma...oh if only my blog could sing....

Anyway this week is tech week for me for our Middle School Production of Oklahoma!...

Putting the words middle school with anything that involves a week and then add musical numbers, costumes, props...well needless to say I am not going to be around much this week on this here blog.

A dear friend of mine once said that teaching middle school is like herding cats. It is so very true and I love every minute of it.

Here is a commercial that shows exactly what my week will be like:

Wish me luck and hopefully I'll be around a little this week...if nothing else to post a few silly pictures of my cute kids.

If you don't hear from me please send help...or catnip!!

More Later

-A Ro