Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012: Five Question Friday

1. What giveaway would you like to do on your blog?
Easy. I don't do giveaways.

2. If you had to choose between natural artistic ability and natural athletic ability, which would it be?
Artistic. I've always been disappointed that I possess no artistic or musical abilities. The world can always use more beauty. Well, I suppose I could've given Pollock a run for his money because really, who can't throw paint at a canvas??

3. Do you ditch the coat the minute it becomes "spring" or are you a holdout for more cool temps?
I ditch the coat because I hate wearing them. When we lived in Vermont, I absolutely hated wearing those big, bulky, coats so more often than not, I wore my Marine Corps jacket even when we had -40 windchills, lol. I have a really nice leather jacket that I like to wear when we go out, but I can wear that year around here in California because we have really chilly nights even in July. Otherwise, I'll just wear a hoodie which I keep around all year.

4. What would you do if you won the mega millions lotto of 1/2 billion dollars?
I know this sounds totally bogus and like I'm trying to be all hoity toity, but I'd like to open up a school for kids like my Youngest child. She should be in a private school that meets her needs but we can't afford the $13,000+ a year tuition so she suffers in the public school system that is failing her miserably. So, I'd like to open a private school that has lots of scholarships and a really low tuition (ideally, I'd like it to have NO out of pocket expense for the parents) so that more families could afford to send their kids to a school that will actually help them to learn. Money shouldn't stand in they way of children learning. After I establish my school, I'm moving to Italy. I'm going to buy a really nice villa in Tuscany that's far away from everything and grow wine grapes and raise goats and alpacas. Maybe miniature horses. I'm going to send the Oldest off to a military boarding school, cuz that's where ALL teenagers should be required to go. I'm going to hire a decorator for my new villa, an Iron Chef to cook for me, a fleet of workers to clean and maintain the grounds, and a chauffeur for my new car (haven't decided what I'm getting yet though). Maybe between the school and the villa, we'll travel the world for a bit and then settle down in the villa.

5. You are at a hotel by yourself...what do you do? 
Order room service, lounge around in the really nice, fluffy robe, and watch a movie with a glass of wine. Then I'd call my husband and see where the hell is he at and why isn't he with me at this really swanky hotel enjoying the wine and peace and quiet!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Plant vs Weed: Week 2

Plant vs Weed: Week 2 Growth
As you can see in the above picture, there has been noticeable growth since the Plantweed's first post. Is that picture blurry? I'm just noticing. Sorry. Anyway, there it is. There are four different Plantweed's and then the two slender shoot things that as I said before, I'm almost definitely sure those are just weeds. I'm very tempted to pluck them out of the pot. Kind of like picking a scab. They are tempting me. But we have DRAMA!! Check it out.

Something is eating Plantweed!! The horror! I've been keeping my eye out for the culprit since I first noticed the chewing but hadn't seen anything...until this morning!! 

 Yup. We have an interloper in Plantweed's domain. You might be able to guess that since my green thumb is a wilt-y, sad, little thing, I haven't the faintest clue what to do to keep snails out of my plants. Is it egg shells? Or coffee grounds? I need to do some research. I'd rather use something organic than a store bought pesticide.

Until next week...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're Humans. Get Over Yourself

It takes a certain kind of psyche to want to be the center of attention. I am very much an introvert so this is something that is beyond my understanding. I've never had ambitions to try out for Broadway or travel up the interstate to try my hand at acting in Hollywood. Becoming a celebrity isn't anything to which I've ever aspired. I really don't get why celebrities, who are already in the public eye, consistently insist on making themselves even more noticeable by being eccentric on top of being on television or in the movies.

Have you heard about January Jones and her placenta pills?? Placenta pills made from her own placenta. She says that she takes them for energy and that it's a normal thing to do because humans are the only animals that don't consume their placenta after giving birth. Did it ever occur to her that the reason animals consume their placentas is to protect their young from predators? Animal mothers certainly don't send it off to some kook to be dehydrated, ground up, then put into capsules. How much nutritional value could possibly be left after that process anyway? That's just ICK and nothing a person says is going to convince me otherwise.

And just when I thought I'd heard it all, I see on the Today Show this morning that Alicia Silverstone posted a video of herself prechewing her son's food and then feeding it to him directly from her mouth. I'm not sure which is more disgusting, the placenta pills or the prechewing. You can decide for yourself if you choose to click on the video link. The link is from The Huffington Post and not the Today Show, just so you know.

Bottom line:  We are humans. We were given thumbs, a developed brain, and grocery stores for a reason. We're not birds!!! The human mouth is one of the most disgusting, germ-laden things on the planet. Don't expose your babies with developing immune systems to that. We're also at the top of the food chain which means we don't have to protect our young from predators wanting to eat them. Whatever happened to some basic common sense??

Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012


1. If you were free to just hop in the car and drive, where would you go? Or, if you could hop a plane and go anywhere, where?
That's an easy one:  Great Britain. Nuff said.

2. What's your most recently read favorite book?  

I've been reading Michelle Moran's books. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite. She's an exceptionally gifted historical fiction writer.

3. What's your favorite Spring Break memory?
I have no idea on this one. I've never done wild and crazy spring breaks in Daytona or whatever. I've never done anything so spectacular for spring break that one sticks out in my mind. 

4. What do you put in your child's Easter basket? Or, for those w/o kids, what was put in your childhood basket?
We don't do baskets anymore. When my girls were younger, we put candy, a chocolate bunny, and a stuffed animal in their baskets. 

5. Do you get a summer haircut?
Lol. I'm lucky if I manage to get a haircut once a year let alone a specific one for the summer. I'm lazy about maintaining my hair. I let it grow out until I can't stand it anymore and then I go and get several inches cut off. It's getting to that unmanageable stage right now as a matter of fact. I need to make the time to get my hair chopped.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Plant vs. Weed

I have a sad, wilted, green thumb. There are a few plants that I can manage to keep alive because they require little to no effort on my part:  succulents and cacti, tomatoes, peace plants, and whatever is growing in my kitchen window. Despite this, I love flowers and plants so I continually attempt to grow them and keep killing them as well. I have a trip planned to the nursery so I can restock my pots, heheh.

Last year, the Mister and I bought several plants and flowers and put them in some empty pots that I had. I put in that white crystal-y stuff that helps the soil stay moister longer and plant food in hopes that I would be able to keep this group of plants alive longer. Well, they all lasted through to the winter months then we had frost for which the weather people gave us NO warning, and I lost these lily-looking things, my lavender plant (I was most mad about the lavender plant because it smelled so good), and another green leafy looking plant that I forget what it is...err, was. I wasn't happy because I was feeling pretty pleased with myself that I had been able to keep these plants alive and well for several months. I guess it would have been about five or six months before the frost.

Now it's spring time once again and one of my pots is growing something. I'm not sure what it is but it's in the pot that had the lily-looking plants in it. If I remember correctly, those were annuals. I didn't do anything to them when they died except pull out the dead stems and throw them in the bushes. This left a completely barren pot. So, did those lilies manage to propagate on their own before having their lives cut short by evil frost or am I growing weeds in a pot???

I took a picture of the pot this morning and I will take another one at least once a week as updates and post them to my blog. You can click on the pic to make it bigger.

Plant or Weed?
The group of leafy stuff to the left, at 10 o'clock, has been growing for about two weeks now. The slender shoot directly to the right is a weed, I'm pretty sure. The two stubby things in the middle are what the leafy things on the left look like when they first break through the soil. I'd say they are four or five days old. The slender shoot on the bottom, right is the same thing as the other shoot and like I said, I'm pretty sure they are weeds.

So, there ya go. It's a plant adventure. ;)

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012: Five Question Friday

I have to apologize that the postings on my blog have dwindled to mostly 5QF posts. The things that I have to say right now are not meant something like a public blog and I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else to write about. I'm sure this is just temporary. ;)

1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
That depends on what you call a mess. I'll go to the store with minimal makeup, ratty jeans and a raggedy sweatshirt. I'll pick up the kids (because I don't have to get out of the car to do so) in no makeup, ratty jeans, and a raggedy sweatshirt. That's about as messy as I get. There have been times when I've run out covered in paint to pick up supplies or covered in dirt while working in the yard. That kind of thing. Generally, I'm dressed in something clean with makeup on, and my hair brushed though. 

2. Do you finish a book if it's boring or you don't like it?
I do my very best to finish every book that I start. When it comes to books, I'm a bit of an optimist. I'm always hopeful that it will pick up at some point and the ending will blow my socks off. With some books, it's harder to be hopeful than with others.

3. Beach or mountain vacations?
Beach mostly. We've taken several vacations that have involved beaches but none that have involved mountains. I'm not saying no to a mountain vacation though. Right now, I'd take a couple nights in a hotel downtown without the kids and school.

4. What thing/event says "winter will end and spring is right around the corner" to you?
Wellllll, we don't really have winters per se. Still, I know spring is closer when the grass starts to grow and the plum tree out front gets blossoms on it. 

5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
Couples? As in myself, my husband, and other couple(s)?? I've never done that before. I'm not saying that I wouldn't, but if I'm taking a vacation with anyone other than just my husband, I'd prefer the extra people to be my kids. 

Friday, March 09, 2012

March 9, 2012: Five Question Friday

1. Are you looking forward to the time change this weekend? 

Yes and no. On the one hand, not looking forward to losing an hour of sleep. It's hard enough to get up in the morning. On the other, I like having daylight longer in the evenings.

2. Are you getting the new iPad/would you want a iPad?
Nope. Apple didn't make enough improvements to warrant the price tag. Heck. They didn't make enough changes to gain my interest. An iPad 2 would still suffice at this point in the game. 

3. If money was not a problem, what is the one thing you would splurge on?
A vacation. A kidless vacation.

4. How did you and the Mr. (or Mrs.) meet?
My then-sister-in-law introduced us and we went from there. 

5. Summer is right around the corner. Bikini or one-piece?
Ha. Yeah right. 

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Tweens and Teens and Today's Technology

Simpler Times
I am officially the mother of two teenagers. What's more, I am the mother of two teenagers in 2012. It's a really different ball of wax being a parent in 2012 than it was when I was growing up. When I was a teenager, the Internet was brand new, at least having access in the home. Cell phones were still those gigantic blocky things with terrible reception, astronomical bills, and I thought only the rich and famous had them. Social media wasn't even a seed in someone's imagination 20 years ago. If you wanted to call someone a lying bitch, you had to either do it to their face or call from your clear, plastic phone, stomping about your room only so far as the cord would allow you to go. You certainly couldn't do it through the considerable buffer of text messages. Being a parent today has definite, unique challenges.

As such, I would love to know how other parents handle the Internet and cell phone rules as it pertains to their kids. Boys, girls, tweens or teen.

These are our rules:

  1. No texting/calling at school unless it's an emergency
  2. An adult must be in the room when kids are on the Internet (this is really hard to do IMO, but I do my best.)
  3. Until they can pay for their own phone and their own line, there is no such thing as privacy.
  4. The parents have all passwords for e-mail, Facebook, phones, etc.
  5. Failure to comply results in loss of access. 

Right now, the Oldest is the only one with a cell phone. We've tried twice with the youngest, but with her various disabilities, she keeps breaking her phones and we've decided that she isn't at a place where she can handle the responsibility. This is good for us in that we don't have to worry about her breaking, losing, or having her phone stolen. It's bad because I like having the ability of being able to get in touch with my kids at anytime, anywhere and vice versa (assuming they actually answer when I call). It's also bad because we don't have a land line which means that the Youngest doesn't get any phone calls and when her friends text, the texts come to me which is inconvenient and annoying. Still, we haven't been able to come up with a viable solution so until she matures, we don't have another option.

The Oldest has a cell. In fact, she has an iPhone which is yet another ball of wax when compared to a non-smart phone. She averages 2000 texts a month and I don't know how many talk minutes. We never go over our minutes so I don't pay attention to minute usage. We have unlimited texting and data though. It's easy to restrict access to different things with the iPhone and Verizon also has usage controls which we have on her line. However, even when I have her texting and calling restricted during school hours, she still has access to the Internet on her phone via 3G. I don't think it's a viable option for me to restrict access to apps in the morning before school and then lift those restrictions after school, every day of the week. If there's an option for time restrictions on apps, I haven't found it.

When she's grounded from her phone, I restrict all texting and calling except to her "safe numbers" which are her dad and me, 24/7. I periodically and randomly check her texts and FB messages. Still, I'm not perfect and things get by me all the time. I like the Oldest having her phone because we play games together and whatnot (and I'm a gadget whore) but at the same time, I think a smart phone gives her too much freedom and too many ways to get into trouble.

How do other parents do it? I'm beginning to second guess myself and I'm wondering if I'm too strict and controlling or too passive when it comes to my daughters and their Internet/cell phone usage. I'd love to hear other opinions, good or bad. Call me, leave a comment, message me on FB. Just don't text. This isn't a conversation for texting, lol. ;)

Friday, March 02, 2012

March 2, 2012: Five Question Friday

1. Where is your favorite vacation spot and why?
The Outer Banks. It's beautiful, historic, and I have great family vacation memories there. I long to go there again. 

2. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Gaming. Yep. I'm a girl gamer. I take time away from the stresses of life and lose myself in an MMO. I play several different games and which one I play depends on my mood at the time. I only have two or three friends who would understand this which sometimes makes me wonder if I need new friends.  ;)

3. What is your favorite fashion trend right now? Or, in the past?
I really liked the long cardigans that women started wearing about two years ago I guess. (Not entirely sure on that because I don't pay attention to fashion trends. This is just when I started noticing people wearing them.) I have no idea if they are still trendy to wear, but I just bought myself one made of 100% alpaca Wednesday night. It's lovely. It feels like I'm wrapping myself in a warm fuzzy hug when I wear it. 

4. What are your spring break plans?
My mother in law is flying out for spring break. I'm looking forward to seeing her. It's been a while since we've had visitors. I just hope my stupid jury duty summons doesn't interfere.

5. What baby names do you hate?
I don't like overly pretentious names. That's not specific since what I deem to be pretentious may just seem cute to someone else. But, I don't really like presidential-sounding names. I also don't like anything so weird that it will surely get a kid made fun of on the playground. Bullies find enough fuel without parents setting them up for failure by naming them something dumb like Princess. I know a nurse who was working the maternity ward at her hospital when a lady had twins. She named them Cinderella and Prince Charming. I'm sorry, but that's just freaking child abuse. Not entirely fond of people using car or designer names either. I think that falls under "overly pretentious".  There should only be one Coco Chanel. What's wrong with a traditional name like Jonathan or Emma?