As November 2015 Ends…


Another year ending, resolutions unmet,

I didn’t get organized,  slim, or worst yet –

I don’t even where I put that darn list.

I must  try and find it!   shaking a fist.

I sigh, I’m defeated.

I cannot remember,

But what is the point?

It’s almost December.

Hey nobody’s perfect!

well, okay

I  failed,

to go to the gym or to block  junk email,

to be nicer and read more but hell, it’s all lies.

A wishlist for dreamers

who still want to try.

I ‘ll go get a pencil

and paper

and tea

I’ll sit in a chair to describe the new me

For next year! Why not?

I cannot resist .

I’ll drop a dress size  –

It’s #1 on my list.


I wish Anthony Williams lived next door.




Even if you are not a fan of Project Runway, you should know Anthony.    He was the kind of contestant that would take lemons and make lemon chiffon pie.   Now I know that it’s all in the editing, but that being said – so are next door neighbors.  I’m certain the neighbors on either side of my house are not always the pleasant happy people I know from borrowing cups of sugar, but that’s the best part!  We say hello, enjoy the exchange of pleasantries and part with a wave and a warm fuzzy feeling.

So why do I wish Anthony Williams lived next door?  I like my neighbors, but sometimes I replace them with people I know from tv.  Wouldn’t  it be fun to  have ‘that person’ move in, just for a while?   The imaginary moving van has delivered a dozen people in and out of my neighborhood and not all of them good.  I thought about sharing property lines with all kinds of people from from Jimmy Fallon to Robert Durst, what would it be like if they lived next door in my middle class neighborhood in the middle of New Jersey?

So now that I’ve revealed that weird quirk, I thought I’d share one of the people I’ve thought about in ‘next door neighbor make believe’.  Anthony Williams was a contestant on Project Runway Season 7 who made me feel good from the moment he moved into those Atlas Apartments in Midtown Manhattan.   I just love his attitude.  He handles himself with the absolute best sense of humor, he’s talented, kind, and has great teeth!  What more could you want in a neighbor?

So meet Anthony who made me think about a kinder way to be today, and sprinkle yourself  with a little humor Anthony Williams style. 

“Our color palette is bright yellow, red and black. So, at this point, I think we are designing a gown for the vice president of McDonald’s. However, everybody needs a dress.” — Commenting on his teamwork effort with a fellow contestant.




Whale always love you


It seems fitting that I am writing about birthdays today, since today is my birthday.    When I turned 50 the only thing I wanted was  NOT to be 50.   I did not get what I asked for.

This year (having gotten over the 50 hurdle) I told my family that I wanted the house to be cleaned without me having to clean it.  I did not get what I asked for.

I did however get a full day to work on a project that I really like, Sunday Supper made and cleaned up without my involvement, a birthday card for my scrapbook, and a video of my oldest daughter singing my favorite song – all that just for me.   I also got a birthday hug this morning from one of my kids who isn’t really a hugger so I took the note  to memorize how gently she holds people, and how her hair smells like fruit and flowers.    I will have that with me all day today.

I guess my point is to resist complaining about NOT getting what I asked for because the house is still messy, but MAYBE that’s just a sign that they know better.   When they aren’t picking up dirty discarded socks near the sofa, they may be doing something more important.

It reminds me of the scene from Freaky Friday when Tess (speaking as Anna) offers her 17 year old perspective through the body and voice of her mother:

“Do you know why adults are so tired all the time? Because they spend their time obsessing over stupid, lame things they don’t have to do.  Like cooking.  I mean have you never heard of takeout?  And cleaning.  Let’s don’t and say we did!”

So today I won’t  notice the mess in the house.  What the heck, I might even toss some dirty socks out there by the sofa.  Evidently that’s where they belong!

Holy ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ Batman!


The other day I learned the origin of Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.   In Vegas you could once get a chicken dinner for $2 and place a bet on a blackjack table for the same amount of money.  If you won, the dealer would call ‘winner winner chicken dinner!’  I guess if you stopped gambling right there you’d eat on the house, but chances are they gave our more bills for $2 than they gave two dollar bills.

Colloquialism or Idiom?  I’m  not sure what the difference is but it got me thinking about other phrases I use and one thing led to another as it usually does on Google.  I tried to find the origin of Holy Cow which is either unknown, or goes back to a Hindu Sacred Bovine.

Stream of consciousness going full steam, I remembered Batman and Robin episodes where Robin would say “Holy (everything/anything)  Batman!   One search on You Tube and I found 109 Holy exclamations on this video.  Thank you A Pennyworth whoever you are.

Batman and Robin fans, enjoy.

Please Don’t Rearrange My Supermarket


Milano CookiesAfter I dropped off my kids this morning, I checked on my friends house and fed her cat.  After that I ran through the list of things I wanted to do before noon today.  Get cat food and cereal, make two phone calls, work on a writing assignment and exercise – check, check, check.  So I stopped at the store  on my way home and did my nomral route in the store –  produce aisle to cereal ailse,  meat department, then circle round for milk, eggs and butter  …

But today they moved the butter.

Dear Shoprite – today you moved the butter.  When you do that, you force people like me to find a person to help them find the butter.   This morning that inquiry lead me into an aisle that I rarely visit.  I  have worked hard over the years to ingore the cookies, to pass by the Milanos and Oreos without a glance because they are delicious and irresistible to a girl like me.   My kids ask for them but I never go down aisle 14.  But today you moved the butter. 

So I came home today with a bag of Milano and no cat food.

Sorry kitty.  I  hope you like cookies. 



Taco Night



Last night I was in the supermarket staring at a recipe and wondering if I had mayonnaise at home. A petite young brunette, all of 26 years old was looking at me. When our eyes met she said “I’m making Taco’s tonight and I have no idea….help me out. I need you to help me out.”

I had such a rush of cool importance at that moment, I imagined I was a Food Network Star. We reviewed her shopping basket contents which was full of fresh herbs and vegetables but no taco shells, only flour tortillas. We walked over to the international foods and I showed her the hard shells I would buy, and then I said I usually buy the kit with both kinds of shells, sauce and seasoning mix for the meat. She was so excited to find a kit with seasoning mix she practically hugged me. “Wait,” she said “so I really don’t need to spend money on all this garlic and cumin and cilantro and stuff?

I always made taco’s for friends. It’s interactive fun eating and it’s pretty cheap for a petite young brunette on a budget. I wish I could know how her night turned out but tonight, we’re having tacos.


New School Year

It’s back to school time and my favorite moment of every day is 7:36 AM when…

Theory –   everybody has what they need for the day and is happily off doing their job as high school students.

Practice – they are suffering through a ridiculously early start time missing sleep, homework, and breakfast.

Reality –  if my phone has no text messages, it’s a good morning.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” – Albert Einstein.  Can we please bring Albert to the next school board meeting?  Or Father Guido Sarducci?


Sing – A Happy Suggestion

I believe that music has power, but what I’ve discovered recently is my old suggestion of making them sing is still viable, but in a new and unexpected way.


When ever i have a problem i sing


When my kids were little and angry with each other (or more likely me), I made them sing until everybody was happy.   This was typically a nighttime event because they were young and tired and slightly irrational little beings, so they’d go off on really small issues and at that moment, no conversation would work.

I sat in their rooms, encouraged them to sing a song with me and they never agreed right away, so I sang  ‘You Are My Sunshine’ all by myself.  I refused to leave until they were singing it with me and it only took about a minute before they were happy again.  My goal wasn’t  to resolve anything between them or me, I only wanted to lighten the mood enough to have a rational conversation, or at the very least have them go to bed happy and not all pissed off over something really small.

It worked every time.

It still works, but not in the same way.

Now if I ask them to sing they just get more angry.  Of course I’m relentless about this and I won’t stop singing until they at least stop throwing things at me.  Eventually one of the sisters comes by to ask me to stop as well, and as a last resort they join forces to take me down.  I eventually do go down, but never easily.

The downside to this is that they rarely agree to sing with me nowadays. The upside is that they see how working as a team can accomplish things for their greater good and by the end we’re all laughing (most of the time) and whatever was in the storm cloud has gone away and I can get some rest.  It may not make the issue go away for good, but it definitely makes us realize that we can deal with the small stuff in a small way, count blessings instead of keeping score, and gets them working together instead of at odds.

So yeah, I believe music has power, and sometimes in the weirdest ways.


Ducks on my Dashboard (okay they’re turtles)



There are three rubber ducks in my car, each a different color.

I took a seminar once about color and personality  and at the time my personality was called orange, so I  assigned the orange duck to my oldest daughter because  she’s the most like me.   The other two girls have a specific duck too, but for other reasons.

When we’re in the car and two of them are at “high argument” status, I arrange them accordingly, and when the argument is over, I lay them down due to battle fatigue. If one of the girls does something special (like empties the dishwasher without being asked) her duck gets alone time and the others get put away for a bit because let’s face it, at that moment I have a favorite.

My daughters all understand the duck system and normally all three of them are on display but sometimes one finds herself riding in the console. The duck punishments are never long but it gets the point across that mom is not happy.  It’s on those occasions they soemtimes ask what they can do to get out of the console and back on the dashboard.  I say, “Well, why are you in the console?”, which usually  leads us right into a conversation about better behavior followed by a slow and deliberate climb of the duck to the coveted center spot.  I know this sounds a little crazy and maybe it is, but parenting teens requires creativity, patience, persistence and anything that works – even if it’s a bunch of rubber ducks.


It’s Another Monday

I just made my Monday list of things that need attention.  Just like every other Monday, the list is long.  Add to that a lack of structure in my house this summer and I may as well sprinkle everything with apathy.  It only seems fair.

As I listed grocery shopping, errands, and doctor appointments, I remembered that my car has a recall notice which reminded me that it needs an oil change, which reminded me that I have to look up how to raise the volume of my GPS, which reminded me that the GPS needs to be updated… you get the picture right?

So how do you manage to get things done when everything needs doing?  I have a very organized friend who uses a steno pad where adds tasks line by line and crosses them off when they are completed.  When the page is completely crossed off she tears it out.  She told me about her process in an effort to help but my first response was “Good idea but I would lose that notebook by lunchtime and then I’d stress eat – so then two problems instead of one.”

I’ve tried all sorts of things be more organized and productive but so far it’s just a exercise in futility.  I’ve decided to try my friend’s steno pad technique, slightly modified to accommodate my attention deficit disorder (and my lack of a steno pad) and I just made a list of everything I can think that needs to be done as of right now.   Even though my first instinct is to go back to bed right now, I’m going to power through this and select 5 things to put in my planner for today.  I’m taping one ongoing list to my desk where it stands the best chance for survival and I’m being realistic about what I can do throughout the week.  My hope is that instead of falling into a bag of despair tonight disguised as Lays Potato Chips, I can feel deserving of a bubble bath and chapter or from Target’s book selection of the month.

Have a good day and set the bar low.  It’s easier to jump once you’re really good at high stepping.