Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My plan for next week

Here are my plans for next week, when I have been told by my surgeon I will need to stay in bed or rest the whole week.
  1. Read. I have a stack of, oh, 15 or more books. That should hold me.
  2. Watch movies. It is a pre-requisite of any sick day that I must watch:
  3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and/or
  4. The Spider-Man Trilogy and/or
  5. The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy and/or
  6. The Back to the Future Trilogy.
  7. Sleep. I see no reason not to sleep whenever I feel like it, right?
  8. Drink coffee. This might seem on the surface to conflict with #7, but it's an essential part of being able to relax for me.
  9. Surf blogs and other interesting internet sites.
  10. And then, once I feel a bit better:
  11. Begin planning next year's school year.
Wow, I'm getting tired just thinking about all the stuff I have planned!

Two days until I'm gall bladder-free.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

As random as my day so far

Three days from now I will minus one gall bladder. I talked to a lady at church who had her gall bladder out a few years back, and she said she ran a marathon two weeks later. I don't, however, think those two things are related. I expect I'll be just as unlikely to want to exercise next month as I am now.

Hey, is anybody else's Disney Store closing? I was in the mall this morning, and they were selling off everything but the decorations. How sad. I always thought of it as my little slice of Disney World for when I couldn't go to Florida. I got a good deal on some Cars undies, though, so the three year old is happy.

We also saw one of the free family movies at the theater this morning. It was Evan Almighty. I really enjoyed it. The kids all liked it, too. Any movie that can entertain a 12 year old and a 3 year old is pretty good in my book.

I still have a list of things I need to do by Thursday. And now, on top of everything, we have a tenant moving out next week. Well, next week is no good for me. Great timing, huh?

Okay, so I'm off to get some stuff done. Hopefully the boys will calm down and help. Ha ha.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Movie Monday

Welcome to Movie Monday, where I pull a random DVD off my own shelf and review it for you. If you'd like to join in, just pick a movie you own and tell me three things: Why did you buy it? What's it about? What's your favorite line?

Today, I used to a random number generator to choose my movie. And it's a good one.Bowfinger stars Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy. I actually can't remember if I bought this movie before seeing it, or if I saw it and had to own it. Either way, I would definitely watch it again. Steve Martin wrote it as well as starred in it, and he is at his comedic best here.

The story revolves around Bobby Bowfinger, who wants to make a movie starring the world's biggest action star, Kit Ramsey (played by Eddie Murphy). But he's not available. So Bowfinger decides to follow him around and film him anyway. Hilarity ensues. Honestly, you can't even imagine some of the truly hysterical scenes in this movie. My favorite is probably when Eddie Murphy is running across the highway for a scene. They don't stop the cars or anything, they just have this poor guy run across the highway. Absolutely hilarious.

As for favorite lines, well, pretty much anything that comes out of Christine Baranski's mouth is a gem. Not just the line, but the way she delivers it. When she goes up to an already-paranoid Kit Ramsey and starts talking about aliens, it's just priceless.

If you're a fan of movies, the making of movies, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, or if you just want a good laugh, I recommend Bowfinger. It is rated PG-13, so watch responsibly.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Honeymoon of horror!!

You know how people always say you'll laugh about something later? Today is my 16th wedding anniversary, which got me thinking about our honeymoon. We didn't laugh about it much at the time, but sure enough, it makes me grin now. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • The honeymoon suite at our chosen hotel, booked six months in advance and confirmed beforehand, had been given to someone else when we got there.
  • We were ignored for over an hour in at least two different restaurants (maybe more and I've blocked them from my mind) - one of them the night after our wedding when neither of us had eaten all day.
  • The van we had borrowed to make the trip from MD to TX couldn't really back up uphill. Consequently, at one campground when we tried to back up, it caught fire.
  • So I went screaming through the campground yelling, "FIRE!" until someone gave me a fire extinguisher.
  • By which time Hubby had found a towel, dunked it in a nearby creek, and beaten out the fire.
  • The van also had carburetor problems and we had to rebuild the carburetor... I'm thinking twice, maybe more. We had to use nail polish to seal it at one point.
  • I got a very painful UT infection and went to the hospital. Only to find out it was the wrong hospital (I am not a Cherokee Indian, so I can't use their hospital), and we had to travel half an hour to another one.
  • One day when the van was broken down, we had to walk four miles to an auto parts store in 95 degree weather. Fun.
  • Somewhere along the way, we stopped at a hotel where they charged us more for two people in one room than they would have for two separate rooms with one person in each. We wouldn't have stayed, but the van was broken down again.
Those are just some of the highlights. Of course, we had plenty of good times, too. We saw some beautiful scenery between here and Texas, visited some wonderful places, and just enjoyed being together. Because after all is said and done, we were finally together and that was the most important thing.

Happy anniversary, honey! I love you!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


This morning I am supposed to go talk to the orthodontist about how much it's going to cost me to fix my older two sons' teeth. I have a feeling we won't be talking about trips to Disney or Busch Gardens again any time soon.

Not looking forward to this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Make room for Mommy

Since the announcement of my June 27 surgery date, Hubby has been working hard to complete the floor in our new master bedroom. If the floor is done in time, we will move our bed over there and I can recover in relative isolation.

This room has been four years in the making. Which is not to say we've worked on it for four years, because we haven't. But we did what we could when we could. Now it's down to the floors. Tile will cover one end of the room, where we will have our laundry and a small kitchenette. The rest of the room will be bamboo planks.

So far we have about 1/3 of the tile down and many rows of bamboo. We plan to finish the tile this weekend. Incidentally, anyone who tells you tile floors are easy to install is LYING. I think we've now installed every type of flooring there is - hardwood, carpet, laminate wood, vinyl - and tile is harder than any of them.

Which is not to say we won't do it again sometime. We're gluttons for punishment that way. But we won't be doing tile in any of the rental houses.

We'll see if we can get moved in there by next Friday. My original deadline for the room was December 2004 (the baby's due date). Yeah, missed it by THAT much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dog days

We went to one of our rental houses the other night, and the tenant has a puppy. My six year old had such a fun time running and playing with him, it became obvious that this boy needs a dog.

You may remember that our dog died back in January. He hasn't stopped talking about how he misses her. At least once a week, he'll say, "I miss Zelda," with a sad look on his cute little face.

As for me, while I'm not consciously aware of wanting another dog, I do keep dreaming about them. My dogs show up in my dreams all the time. And I'm always freaked out because, of course, they're dead. But other people in the dream will look at me funny and tell me, "No, they're not."

Once, right after we buried Zelda, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of her collar jingling and the feel of a wet nose on my foot. Then I woke up for real. Freaked.Out.

Did I ever mention the movie Pet Sematary totally screwed with my head?

So a puppy might be in the future for us. I hope the cat will understand.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Movie Monday - MIB

Welcome to Movie Monday, where I review the movies on my own shelves. If you'd like to join in, just grab a movie you own and tell me these three things:

- Why did you buy it?
- What's it about?
- What's your favorite line?
This week, I've chosen Men In Black, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. What The Princess Bride did for fantasy movies, MIB did for sci-fi. I can't remember if we saw this movie before we bought it, or if we bought it solely on a friend's recommendation, but we've watched it over and over, so it was definitely a good purchase.

Men In Black or MIB (you have to say MIB in a high, squeaky voice - don't ask me why) is the story of a cop who gets recruited to join a top-secret non-government organization. That organization's purpose is to keep people on Earth from knowing that aliens exist, while at the same time policing those aliens who have chosen to live here. A very bad alien, simply called a Bug, lands on Earth, and starts doing very bad things. One of my favorite parts of this movie is watching the brilliant Vincent D'Onofrio play the rapidly decomposing Edgar.

Director Barry Sonnenfeld seems to delight in drenching his actors in all sorts of disgusting goo. His commentary is well worth watching. It's a visual commentary, so he talks and draws on your screen. Too funny.

My favorite line? After Edgar goes out to see what the noise was (it was the Bug's ship crashing), he returns as the Bug wearing an "Edgar suit." Edgar's wife (played perfectly by Siobhan Fallon) asks, "What was that?" Edgar-Bug replies, "Sugar." "Never seen sugar do that," replies the wife. It's one of those lines we say all the time around here. It's multi-purpose. And hilarious.

**FLASH** The blog post you've just read was not about aliens. It was a reflection caused by pockets of swamp gas. You will have a nice day.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Talking to another mom in the church nursery, she told me that her oldest daughter, age 12, had been asking how babies are made. So her mom sat her down and they had "the talk." She's a nurse, so I'm sure it was all very anatomically correct. She said her daughter seemed pretty disgusted my the whole thing (as she should at 12).

When she finished, her daughter asked if she was planning on having any more babies. Her mother said no - they have five, that's plenty.

"That's good. I bet you're glad you don't have to do THAT anymore!" her daughter said.

We had a good laugh over that one!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cholesterol Control Act of 2010

There's a line in a Quantum Leap episode I always remember. Sam is somewhere in the past, sitting at a picnic eating fried chicken. Al (the hologram who only Sam can see and hear) is in the future, circa 1999, watching Sam eat, and drooling.

"Look at that fried chicken!" says Al. "I haven't seen food like this since they passed the Cholesterol Control Act!"

A couple of weeks ago, I sat in our local Cold Stone Creamery watching my six year old eat his free birthday cone. We don't normally go there (six bucks for one ice cream? Are they kidding?), so I perused the menu. Everything sounded SO good.

Then I noticed something else.

Only one in every ten people coming in there was what I would call normal weight, that is to say they were not noticeably overweight. Everyone else was certainly in the obese category, including most of the children.

Suddenly I had a vision of the future: a scanner had been mounted over the door of the shop. As people entered, they had to stop in the scanner for a height and weight measurement. If their BMI was over 25, they were turned away.

Imagine a world where you scan your health card along with your credit card at the grocery store, and if your cholesterol is too high, you can't buy those chips. Or if there's a family history of diabetes, the candy will have to stay in the store. People will steal other people's identities - not so they can score credit cards, but so they can score cupcakes.

What a world that would be. I think I feel a science fiction short story coming on...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What I wouldn't give for some celery...

Yesterday was a good day - no nausea, no pain. Today, not so much. But that's okay, it's only two weeks and two days until my surgery.

In the meantime, my diet has been weird. I have found that I can't eat raw vegetables without triggering a massively painful gall bladder rebellion. I used to eat a salad for lunch every day. Instead, I've been eating cottage cheese and fruit. Not as filling. So I snack more. But again, I was used to snacking on raw vegetables (broccoli with hummus - yum!). Now it's fruit, or cheese and crackers (Kashi, of course).

I know for a few days after the surgery, I won't be able to eat "normally." But after that, I'm really looking forward to going back to my healthy eating habits. This gall bladder thing has turned out to be a pain in more ways than one!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

This is my reality

Julie mentioned The Next Food Network Star the other day, and I thought I couldn't watch it because we don't get Food Network. But then I checked out our On Demand list, and there it was! So last night I watched people trying to prepare food in less than 45 minutes while on a moving train.

While initially it seemed like a pretty daunting task, I soon came to realize that not one of these chefs would last ten minutes in MY kitchen. Here's how dinner time goes:
  • Roughly one hour before, all three younger boys begin asking for snacks, ranging from frozen waffles to chicken nuggets, all to be prepared by me
  • For the entire dinner preparation time (10-45 minutes, depending on the meal), they will continue to ask for snacks
  • For the same period of time, I will continue to repeat, "We're eating dinner in a few minutes! And even if I wanted to make you a snack, I've only got two hands and I'm making dinner right now!"
  • Every time I pull out a dish, open a can, or chop a vegetable, many little hands want to "help."
  • Every time one little set of hands is allowed to help, more little hands appear, demanding equal time.
  • Then I have to clean up the spills which the clash over ingredients inevitably causes.
  • Or bandage the cuts because, "Don't put your hand there, I'm chopping vegetables" apparently is code for "Minor cuts get you lots of sympathy. Get a hand in here!"
  • Or run cold water over the burns, because we all know a pot isn't hot unless you test it yourself.
  • Then I have to dodge little bodies on my way to and from the refrigerator or pantry. And they move a LOT, almost guaranteeing someone's foot will get stepped on.
  • Which means more time out for hugs and apologies.
  • And assuming I can actually get them to stay out of the kitchen, I have a lovely soundtrack of screaming and fighting to accompany my cooking.
I would like to see these chefs do that every night! And then, they think the Food Network critics are tough? They should try serving a six year old and a three year old!

That would be a great episode, wouldn't it? Hey, Food Network, send your contestants to my house for dinner! That will REALLY test them!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Movie Monday - the beginning

While watching a new movie the other night, it occurred to me that it would be fun to go through my video library and review the films on my shelf. Not only would this give me a chance to watch the ones I've bought and not viewed yet, but it might give you people with Netflix accounts something to do, and the rest of you some good ideas for what to rent and what to avoid at the video store.

So, without further ado, I present {TRUMPET FANFARE} Movie Monday! I hope you'll join in and post about your favorite movie, either in the comments or on your own blog. If enough people join in, I'll even make a spiffy little graphic.
Today's movie is The Princess Bride. I'm choosing this because I just watched it last night. Now, honestly, if you haven't seen this movie, run out and buy it right now. Don't bother renting it because you're going to want to watch it again and again.

Told as a fairy tale read by a grandfather to his sick grandson, The Princess Bride is the story of Buttercup and Westley, their love, and the obstacles they face before they can be together. This movie also has some of the most interesting supporting characters ever. Who could forget: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." There are so many great lines in this movie, I couldn't pick one as my favorite. Superbly well-written by the same man who wrote the book, this movie is supremely quotable.

But, like the grandfather says in the beginning, this story has something for everyone. Sword fights, danger, humor, and more humor, and a beautiful romance. Girls will love it. Boys will love it. Adults will love it.

So, what's your favorite quote from The Princess Bride? What's that - you don't have one? INCONCEIVABLE!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

PPL - Diamante

Mid-month Every Month at PENSIEVE
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This month's poetic form is the diamante. We're writing about either the great outdoors, or emotions. Hmmm...

Warmth, heat
Burning, shining, beating
Life's light, life's fuel
Soaking, drenching, filling
Wet, soft

Power, stealth
Stalking, creeping, pouncing
The predator, the prey
Running, hiding, dying
Tiny, dead

(that was in honor of the "gift" my kitty brought me yesterday)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Unexpected delight

I am a big fan of Steve Carell, so when I saw that the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin was playing on Oxygen the other night, I recorded it.

Now, I expected it to be raunchy, and it was. I expected the foul language, and in its original, not edited-for-tv form it has PLENTY. But what I didn't expect was the wonderful message this movie delivers.

The main character, Andy, spends the whole movie being teased by his friends because he's a virgin. And even though he has several opportunities during the movie, he stays that way right up until the end. What happens at the end? He gets married - and THEN he gets to "know" her.

Did you hear me? They waited until they got married! Not only that, but the movie does an excellent job of showing all the negative things that can happen when people don't wait until they're married. I was truly shocked. Who would have expected this from Hollywood?

Now, I'm certainly not recommending you go rent this, especially not if foul language and nudity in movies bothers you. But if it happens to be on tv in its edited form again, try to catch it.

Oh, and the Hair parody at the end - just priceless!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How I felt about my workout this morning

My workouts have been sporadic lately due to the random pain and extreme nausea from the whole gall stones thing. So yesterday when I "only" had a headache, I went down and did my workout. This morning, again, I have a headache, but I decided I should work out anyway.

So I put in my Tae-Bo Amped DVD, which I love. It's fun, I get a great workout, and I find Billy Blanks to be very motivational. But because I just did it yesterday, my arms and legs are pretty sore, and even though I chose a different one of the five workouts, I was really feeling it.

Twenty minutes into the workout, I wanted to stop. It hurt. And then I heard Billy say, "No obscenities!" Wow, did he read my mind? I never heard him say that before and I've done these workouts many times. Not that I would use an obscenity, but that was just how I was feeling when he said that!

And that's when I realized he had actually said, "One more set of these."

Laughing at the silly way my brain works got me through the rest of the workout.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Two kinds of crab

Saturday we were on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland for my cousin Holly's wedding reception (they got married in Feb. in the Caribbean). The weather was beautiful, but hot. Holly wore her wedding dress, which she'd had altered to a wearable-for-special-occasions length. Smart. Mine will probably never be worn again.

The food was A-MA-ZING! Let me tell you, you have not had a crab cake unless you've had one in Maryland. Jumbo lump crab meat just perfectly seasoned, and no Old Bay at all (Old Bay is a crab seasoning for those of you outside the area - it's good, but when the crab meat is that perfect, you don't need it).

The only down side of the weekend was having to drive that far with my whiny, crabby 3-year-old. This child loves to complain, and to argue. He will argue just for the sake of arguing. When I finally stopped arguing with him, he literally started arguing with himself. Unbelievable.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Marriage Monday - Our Wedding Day

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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Welcome to Marriage Monday! This month's topic is Our Wedding Day. I happen to have been a June bride, and this 20th will mark 16 years of wedded bliss. Let me tell you about our wedding...

Since I was finishing college that year, I left most of the details to my parents. I knew they'd make everything perfect because they'd been in the wedding photography business for a long time. They'd seen what worked and what didn't, what was unique and what was cliche, and they had very definite ideas about what I should have at my wedding. Of course, they consulted me, but I don't remember raising any objections.

The location we found was a hotel/restaurant on Pier 6 in Baltimore. Not only did they have the best prices we'd seen for a reception, but they would let us have the ceremony out on their patio for no extra charge! We had a perfect day for it, with the sun behind the clouds to keep us all from being too hot, and sail boats gliding in and out of the Inner Harbor.We stayed in the hotel, and had stayed up too late the night before. Hubby and I met out on the patio where the ceremony would take place and talked for hours. I helped him finish writing his vows because, of course, he'd waited until the last minute! Then I went to bed, and he stayed up most of the rest of the night talking to his brother!

But you never would have known it. The ceremony went beautifully. I still think there were too many songs, though. My mom wanted particular songs, and I wouldn't budge on having the two I wanted: "I Will Be Here" by Steven Curtis Chapman, and "Love With Me" by Keith Green. So it was a lot of singing. But all beautiful, so I hope the guests didn't mind too much!

The reception took place in a beautiful octagonal room with windows all around, so the guests could take in the view of the harbor. We had chicken and crab cakes, and while I heard they were delicious, I didn't really get a chance to eat much! We walked around greeting the guests and talking to our friends, many of whom had come from pretty far away to be there with us.

All in all, it was a perfect day. I can't think of anything we should have done differently or could have made better. Now, the honeymoon is another story...