Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Birthdays, Floods, & Mating Maxwells

So, it has been a while since I've blogged.  10 days.  That's kind of a lot for me!  I've been working more lately, so I think that accounts for some of it.  Some. 

I had an interesting weekend.  Friday night Jack & I went to see Grown-Ups.  It was pretty funny... mostly in a clean way, which I usually like better than dirty humor.  I think anyone can tell a dirty joke and be funny, but it actually takes TALENT to be funny in a "clean" way.  Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  It was a good movie; not something that I would say is a favorite, but I'm glad I watched it.

In other news, I went back to Maquoketa for the annual birthday bash of one Ms. Martha Schwartz.  She turned 90 on Friday!  CRAZY!  This picture is from Memorial Day weekend 'cause for whatever reason I didn't take a new one of us at her birthday party!  I love her!  She is the one who gave me my wonderful cooking abilities.  I must also add that I have found in recent years that I think I may have developed some of my sharp wit from her.  She must have withheld that from me when I was a child, but she sure doesn't hold back her sauciness anymore!

While I was home I also gave Destiny and Easton their birthday presents since I don't think that I will get to see them again before their birthdays.  Here is Little Man speeding away from the mess he made while opening up his presents.  LOVES himself some wrapping paper!

Easton & Destiny also liked jamming out to Destiny's new Justin Bieber cd.  Yes, I actually bought that for her, as much as I might be against the J. Bieb's.

We went to Bluff Lake for Grandma's birthday dinner, just like we do every other year.  I had to post the picture below because I can not figure out what Preston, Destiny Matt & Kim are all staring at!  They look like they are concentrating really hard on something.  Too funny.

If you can't tell, I love my family!  Now, let me tell you what I don't love.  My basement flooding.  Jack called me at 6:30 AM on Sunday morning (while I was in Maquoketa) to let me know that our (finished) basement was flooded.  NOT cool.  My house now smells musty and gross and we are still (2 days later) trying to shop vac. all of the water out of the carpet.  I'm pretty sure that we are going to have to replace it.  We didn't have any issues last year or this year yet, but this last rain must have been the straw that broke the camel's back.  We are supposed to have a whole week of sunshine!  Why couldn't it last through one more rain spell?  LAME.

In other news, we got a free load of firewood tonight!  That is a good thing!  I was not looking forward to paying for firewood this fall, but I HAVE to have fires.  LOVE them.  (Anybody know a good chimney sweep in the area?  I need one before this fall!  I want someone similar to Dick Van Dyke if at all possible...)

Lastly, the book challenge starts in 2 days!  Check it out.  I hope you all will be cheering me on!  I lack motivation people!  If you know me at all, you know this much to be true, so I need you!

Oh wait!  One more thing!  I saw a partnerless Mating Maxwell today in lieu of one Ms. Kate Bowman's birthday!  It may not have had a partner, but it still made me think it was just there to celebrate for Kate!  (If you don't understand the paragraph, then you don't need to.  I  mean that in the most polite way possible.)     :)  It was an amazing bluish tealy color.  LOVED it.  So did Kaiah.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Goose Goose GooseGooseGoose

I don't have to work today so that means that you all get to read a new blog!  Yay for you!  I guess technically I did do some work emailing this morning but other than that I get the day off.  We had tornado sirens and storms this morning so I was looking forward to a nice relaxing day of reading and being lazy.  NOW the sun has decided to come out so I suppose I will have to go out and take Kaiah for an adventure.  I suppose that's good... for both of us.  Either way, I was REALLY looking forward to being a lazy P.O.S. today.

Note to readers:  I'm going to start back up the YESS book club.  I know that I no longer work at YESS, but I like you gals and it's going to happen whether you like it or not.  Expect an email soon.  Also, let me know if there is anyone in the DSM area that is not a former member that would like to join.  [Perhaps one Ms. Kaci Sloss... :)  I would say that you fit both qualifications, but let's face it... being an employee at YESS is no longer a qualification. (The other qualification is that you read, of course... and that you're not annoying, so I guess there are three.)]  P.S.  I WILL be posting these aforementioned qualifications in the email, so be prepared to meet the needs of the group.  Also, any group members with requested qualifications, please notify me ASAP.

I've decided that starting up the book club again only makes sense (for me, personally) since I should be reading at least 4 books per month.  Why not make one of them a book club selection and get some of my favorite socialites back together?!  Let's face it people, you are the main reason I worked there as long as I did (no offense to YESS or it's uninvolved employees!)  :)

I feel my blog has been lacking in the picture department lately so let me leave you with this wonderful picture that Kaiah posed for so that we could try out mobile blogging (which failed miserably several times).  That means you get to see her show off her goose now.  :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


If you aren't following my other blog yet, then you wouldn't know that I am asking for any and all recommendations for an entrancing premier book for my challenge. Help me out folks.  Go to my other blog and post what you think I should start my reading extravaganza out with!

Much love!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Things You Might Know & Things That You Don't

*Everyone knows that I love pickles!  You might not know that I love cotton candy!
*Everyone knows that I love to cook.  You might not know that I have a recipe arsenal.
*Everyone knows that I like the idea of living by vegetarian principles.  You might not know that I have a strong desire to eat raw beef! (It's true!)
*Everyone knows that I love all things rock music (from indie to hard rock).  You might not know that while driving I sometimes only listen to classical music
*Everyone knows that I am an animal lover.   You might not know that I HATE opossums!
*Everyone knows that I love kitchen utensils.  You might not know that I want to collect mortar & pestle sets (but I own only one!)
*Everyone knows that I have celebrity crushes on Mark Ruffalo, John Corbett & Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  You might not know that I have a closet crush on Jonathan Safran Foer
*I like to read Jodi Picoult, Jonathan Safran Foer & Nicholas Sparks.  You might not know that my favorite reads are Tolstoy & Dostoyevsky.
*Everyone knows that I love giving gifts.  You might not kow that I'd rather give a gift than receive one any day!
*Everyone knows that I love spending time with my friends & family.  You might not know that I'm a major homebody.
*Everyone knows that I say what's on my mind.  You DON'T have any idea what I'm filtering!
*Everyone knows that I usually appear to be quite chipper.  You might not know that on average I get a migraine about once a week.
*Everyone knows that I LOVE sleeping.  You might not know that I get very little of it!

A few more things you may not know:
*I'm addicted to storage.  Yep.  Tupperware, baskets, you name it.
*I used to collect pogs.  Remember them?
*Justin Timberlake is my guilty pleasure.  I like his music but it embarrasses me to admit it.

I'm sure I will add to these lists in the future, but for now this is what you get.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A New Goal. A New Blog.

I've started a new blog friends!  I am going to attempt to read 50 books in the next year.  Read about it in my very first post on My New Blog.  Check it out!  I am taking any and all suggestions to help me complete my goal!

Reading this blog entry will waste your time.

I think I'm officially addicted to blogging.  Maybe that means it's time to take a break from it.  Is blogging almost every day too much blogging?  I do know that I've only written 3 sentences prior to this one and I've used the word "blogging" 3 times.  Now four in four.  I'm on a roll.

If I'm using my computer & doing absolutely nothing productive and I can hear that my fish tank is really loud (because it's right next to me and in need of some more water), does it make me lazy for just sitting and being annoyed instead of getting up and filling it?

I don't even know why I'm blogging.  I clearly have nothing to say.  I'm sorry readers; you should have read my blog title.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sadness Took Over My Musical Soul

I cried for a little bit of my old self tonight.  Not in sadness.  Not in happiness.  I don't know in what... reminiscence maybe?  You all may judge me and choose to have dramatic public readings of my blog after you read this (you know who you are), but I'm okay with that.

Tonight I was watching Journey:  Live in Milan.  Not old epic Journey; new Journey with the new front man that is younger than the age of the band itself.  Anyway, that is beside the point.  I was watching Journey and completely singing and dancing to "Separate Ways" (probably my favorite Journey song), and it made me cry.  I wasn't crying because I was happy.  I wasn't crying because I was sad.  I mean, the crying it what made me sad, but it wasn't a sad cry.  If that makes any sense.  It was like sob-singing.  I couldn't stop singing along but was definitely crying while trying to do so.  I would be willing to put money on the idea that this happens to everyone at some point in their life.  You just aren't willing to admit it.  Anyway, I know it sounds cliche.  I know it sounds super cheesy when people say they just "feel" the music.  But I was feeling it. 

It made me cry just like it does any other time I hear that song.  I love it.  There are just those songs that will get you every time, no matter how often you hear it and it will get you even worse if you're trying to sing along.  It will get you even more if you watch a tv performance of it, but it will get you the worst at a live concert.  I would be willing to bet that I have cried or nearly cried at almost every concert that I've been to, and for those who don't know me as well as others, there have probably been a LOT of live performances that I've seen.  Music is just powerful like that.

An artist is always going to find a way to connect with the audience.  It's not art if it can't connect with someone, even if it is just the artist himself.

I've always loved music and I love the rush that I get from it.  I've never drank before a concert I really cared about seeing, as a lot of people would, because I get such a physical high from the live performance.  I love songs that I feel I connect with and I love songs that represent the ideal me.  I'm sad to say, however, that I miss music.

A lot of my life used to be dedicated to finding bands to call my own (the lesser known bands that are just coming around); I used to be the person that my friends would come to first if they heard a new song and needed it identified.  There was not a band that a person could stump me with.  It's weird now for me to reminisce about it because I feel so out of the loop anymore.  My search for the ultimate song ended when I started spending all of my time with a certain man.  Let's blame Jack!  That's what I get for getting involved with boys.

I also put an end to concert-going last year in order to do adult things, like pay for a house and all of those fun little expenses that come along with it.  That's what I miss the most.  That is ultimately what made me sad tonight.  Watching that performance from Journey made me remember how much I love going to concerts.  I know that I am old now and could no longer handle some of the crazy crowds I've been a part of (how many of you have been to a concert with me where I didn't get you on the front gate directly in front of the stage?), but still...

Please faithful readers, tell me which songs give that feeling to you: that ultimate "hell yes" moment.  I need to know I'm not the only one.  (Tell me your favorite live performance you've seen too.  I need to live vicariously through you.)

P.S.  If any one of you want to attempt to knock on my love for Journey; go for it.  Try and tell me that you don't like Journey.  If you say that you don't, you're a poser.  There is no shame in loving Journey.

Cater to ME

If anyone cares, I've declared it my birthday weekend.  Yes, my birthday was May 2nd.  BUT, Jack's was June 2nd and he claimed the entire week/weekend as HIS birthday week(end) and he had to be catered to.  So, with that being said, this weekend has officially become MY birthday weekend and I request to be taken care of.  ALL weekend.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What shall we wear today dear?

I went to go visit the new Nixt twinseys today at the hospital.  They are quite possibly two of the most adorable babies EVER.  I didn't steal them, even though I took my big purse just for that very purpose.  I guess I developed a conscience in that amount of time.  Bummer.  (Watch out Zoe & Colton... I will be back for you.)

While at the hospital I was talking to Jenni, Eric (the proud parents) and Christon & Lesli about how I felt it was inappropriate to dress the twins in matching outfits.  I have always had an issue with matching outfits on family members.  Particularly on twins, but also on married couples.  NOT OKAY.

Well, then while I was on my drive home, I spotted this cute little elderly couple walking down the sidewalk.  He had on gray slacks & a yellow dress shirt with a black vest over it.  She was wearing a gray slacks with a yellow blouse, a yellow visor & a yellow beaded necklace.  I know you are just waiting for me to tell you how annoyed I was by this.  Quite the opposite.  It made me smile.  A really BIG smile.  I couldn't help but think how cute they were.  PLUS, they were holding hands, which only made them more adorable.  I can only hope that Jack will still want to hold my hand when we are that old.

The point of this story is that now my heart is torn.  Is it appropriate to wear a matching outfit?  Is it only cute on the elderly?  And maybe on babies?  What about Jack & I?  Should we start matching?  Okay, I am not really wondering about Jack & I (we will NOT be doing that), but still I am at a crossroads over this issue.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

So, last night I was being entirely too lazy and didn't feel like going upstairs to get one of the several books that I am currently reading.  I decided instead to grab one off of the shelf that I have been wanting to read for quite some time.  That would be "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer.  (I'm aware of the inappropriateness of using quotes as opposed to underlining the title of the novel.  I do NOT feel like changing any formats and since blogger doesn't feel the need for an underlined text option, you shan't be getting underlines!)

As many of you know, one of my favorite books of all time is "Everything is Illuminated" by the aforementioned.  Love, LOVE, LOVE!!! this book.  Love it.  Anyway, I've been wanting to read "Extremely..." for quite some time but I have this weird policy that doesn't allow me to read books by the same author next to each other in sequence.  Don't ask me why.  I just don't, okay?

The reason I tell you all of this, is that "Extremely..." made me laugh out loud within the first two paragraphs.  Books RARELY make me (literally) laugh out loud, let alone that early on in the novel.  I've only read the first chapter and I'm already in love with this book.  I think the character Oskar reminds me of myself with his ever-so-obvious ADHD and that makes the book super intriguing for me.  I felt this to be blogworthy news.  You're welcome.  I'll be sure to give you my final thoughts when I finish the book!

P.S.  For those of you that have seen the movie, but have not read "Everything is Illuminated", do yourselves a favor and read it.  I know everyone always says that "the book is better than the movie" and that is pretty much always true, but this movie truly does not reflect the beauty of the book.  Read it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Now that this blog is written, how will I prevent myself from napping?

It's blogging weekend.  How about that?  3 days in a row?  A personal best!  (I think... I'm not going to go back and count to be sure though so sorry if I'm a liar.)

I went to Grandma Mad's today while Jack golfed.  I pulled weeds & re-mulched.  For 4 hours.  FOUR HOURS.  That's right.  I pulled weeds at Jack's grandma's while HE golfed.  Doesn't seem right, does it?  I would do anything for Grandma Madeleine though and she deserves it!  However, I am tired and cranky.  Does this make me old or does this mean I'm pulling a Benjamin Button and just need a juice box and a nap?  I would definitely take the nap. 

Instead I sit here blogging.  I need to keep all of my 8 fine followers posted!  That's right people... I have 8 followers now.  (Thank you Smashley for upping my numbers!)  I suppose this is unfair of me to say about myself because I know that I have well over 8 followers, as I have well over 8 people who comment to me about my blog.  I should say that I have 8 followers who are willing to admit they are followers by "joining" my blog.  HA!  Whatev.

Anyhoo, I don't have a whole lot to say today, other than that it is 4:00 PM so I feel it is inappropriate to nap, which means I must blog in order to keep myself awake.  Sad, huh?  I'm pathetic; I'm aware.

I will add a note about Memorial Day weekend.  I know I said I wouldn't blog about it because Pam did, but I will mention that I got to see some of my favorite ladies from high school.  We learned that night that I hadn't seen any of them since Kate's birthday shindig last year (June '09).  Super unfortunate and pretty lame of me and more lame of them for not coming to visit ME!  :)  On that note I will leave you with a picture to commemorate my evening with Season, Kate & Lacey.  I love you ladies!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Smiling Stranger

I like people who smile at strangers.

I smile at strangers.

This may surprise those of you who know my bitchy nature.  Yes, I am full aware that it exists.  Sorry, but if I make a bitchy comment toward you, it is probably true and I most likely mean it.  What does this say about me as an individual?  Maybe I am blunt.  Maybe I speak my mind.  Maybe I lack somewhat in the filtering department.  At the same time though, I feel that I am able to filter when I feel it necessary (even if others think I should filter a bit more often.)  My point through all of this rambling is that I am not bitchy to just anyone.  If I'm rude to you, there is probably a reason.  I'd like to say I'm sorry for it, but I'm really most likely not.

I like most people.  I feel I get along with most people.  This brings me back to the intention of this blog.  I like people who smile at strangers.  I like it when strangers smile or say "hello".  I try to smile and say "hello" to the people I come across as well.

The reason I bring all of this up is that society really surprises me.  This is as bittersweet as a comment could be.

I find it sad that people are sometimes so startled by someone they don't know just saying "hello".  My intention is never to startle someone, but it happens a lot and this fact makes my heart break a little for these people that must be used to being ignored.

Then of course there are those people who think "hello" is a cue for a 20 minute conversation about topics which neither party really care about.  These are usually the same people that get so overjoyed by your smile that they would leap in front of a moving car just to get closer to you.

Then there are those people.  You know who they are without mention.  They snarl at any sign of friendliness.  You could scream "HELLO!!!!" right in their ear and they would either snub you or continue walking like they never heard you in the first place.

There there is me.  If someone says "hi" to me on the street it makes my day.  I don't care who that person is, what they look like, or what they are doing.  They took the time to be friendly.  I smile and say "hello" back to them and we both go about our day. 

It's like the free version of paying it forward.  If someone smiles at you when you walk past them, aren't you that much more likely to smile at the next person you see?  Just think if everyone did this.  We would all walk around smiling.  It is a known fact that the very act of smiling instantly makes you a bit happier no matter what your circumstance.

So, smile at the next person you see, whether you know them or not.  Say "hello" to a stranger on the sidewalk.  Smile right now even if no one is around.  And show some teeth, would you?  You liked it, didn't you?

[Here's a little bugger that makes me smile.  (My nephew, Easton.)  He's smiling too, if you didn't notice.]

Friday, June 04, 2010

Canasta Hair Bunny

Time for a new blog.  I feel like I am slacking in the blogging department.  My apologies peeps.  Not a whole lot for me to blog about.  I could tell you about my Memorial Day weekend, but you can read about it here, because my sister beat me to the punch.  I shan't retell the story as she did a mighty fine job.

(However, I will share this picture with you as she failed to do so and it is my new most favorite picture of my grandma, Rose, that I think I've taken.)  I must also add, since Pam only mentioned that Canasta was played, that Grandma Rose and I kicked Pam & Grandma Martha's butts at it.  Right Pam?  :)

Ah yes, one more picture must be shared!  Jack's Grandma Madeleine started making these creations called "Hair Bears" for Jack's niece, Ava, because she was obsessed with hair when she was little.  Madeleine would sew hair from the beauty supply shop on to stuffed animals for Ava.  Well, now my nephew, Easton, has also become obsessed with hair, so naturally I told Madeleine about it.  She made Easton a "Hair Bunny" that had human hair coming out of it's ears.  It was a rather unique creature; I wish I would have taken a picture of it in it's full glory for you.  I can share one of Easton with it though!

Seriously, he loves the thing.  You can't see the bunny as well as I'd like you to be able to, but you get the picture.  I absolutely love it.  Easton loves it.  Clearly.
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