Friday, January 30, 2009

Sports bra give-away

Ravings of a Mad Housewife: Boobs A-Bouncin' (and a giveaway)

Let me start by saying that I have large bazooms. And I am old. And so I occasionally trip over my nipples. And that hurts.

I also always plan to exercise. This is a great plan and I will do it. Someday. One of my excuses reasons not to exercise is that I cannot find a good sports bra and if you don't have one, you can do serious damage. Ask Jaci in her post above.

I can't remember if I mentioned that I had to have a nuclear stress test a while back. They pump you full of radioactive stuff and make you walk on a treadmill. (Everything is fine other than my bank account.) The instructions said wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. I have comfortable clothes, but they are not fit to wear outside the comfort of my bedroom. So my husband and I went shopping!!!!! I bought a cute little exercise outfit and swore I'd start exercising. This is because the cute little outfit cost almost as much as the stress test (not really) and I felt guilty (really.)

So now, when I'm looking for underwear or panty hose or socks, I run into that cute little outfit sitting lonely and unused. I feel guilty again. Guilt is not exercise. That's too bad, cause if it was, I'd be Kate Moss.

The thing is, if you put a cute little exercise outfit on over a crappy ancient wrung out bra, it isn't so cute any more. Trust me on this. I have bought exercise bras that look and feel something like an ace bandage. I have bought some that are made for someone other than me --- my ten-year-old son maybe. I have never found one I like.

So now, I want to win this bra. Even if I don't (and I haven't won anything yet), I think I'll go buy one. Hey, it's tax season. I may not have time or energy, but I do have some money. And what better exercise is there than shopping for a sports bra?

Monday, January 26, 2009

15 minutes of fame

Last night, I woke up at about 12:30 listening to Entertainment Tonight. SOMEONE had left the television on. Before I woke up enough to get up and go potty and cut off the TV, I listened to a pathetic story about Michelle Obama's college freshman roommate and how she needs to share her pathetic story even at the cost of embarrassing her mother and herself and of (possibly) hurting Michelle Obama just a little bit.

This woman called up some reporter and told them that she had been Mrs. Obama's roommate at Princeton, but that her mother had raised holy hell that her daughter had a black roommate, and had her roommate changed after the first semester. The woman, a lawyer in Atlanta now, said she didn't think Michelle knew why she switched roommates.

OK: Question number one: Why do you feel the need to tell her now?

Michelle Obama is a strong, successful woman who probably responded by saying, "Who?" But there is a chance that this reciting of a 30 year old slight will cause a small sting. I'd like to think I'd brush it off, but I'd probably get ticked.

Question number two: Does your mother know you are talking about her on national television?

She said her mother was not "like that" anymore. That's nice. So what is she like that her daughter feels the need to embarrass her now?

I know people whose parents did the same thing around the same time. I won't mention names or circumstances, because it is a shameful thing and it is past. Do we need to teach the history? Yes. Do we need to share personal failings and meanness from our college days? God, I hope not. It's bad enough to share pictures of my hairdo(s).

Question number three: Is it worth it to you, sweetie? Is the 15 minute interview on Entertainment Tonight going to bring in enough legal business to make up for the embarrassment and hurt?

I know that I don't know this woman, and she may be a great lady. She may be trying to make amends. She may have been feeling really crappy all these years and needed to get it off her chest.

However, I do not like public confessions that harm others. I think they are selfish. I think people do them to pass their burdens to people who don't deserve to carry them. There are exceptions, but this, I don't think, is one of them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Losing my religion... or finding it... whatever

I am going to church this morning. Not to do their accounting (although I do plan to work on that this afternoon.) I am going to the church service. Then, later, to a class on How to Be An Episcopalian. I don't think that's the title. I think the title is something like, "Inquirer's Class." That's nice, I'm all about inquiring.

As I mentioned at some point, I was raised sort of Catholic at the behest of a father who didn't believe in God, but did believe, a little, in the Catholic church. And who recognized that in SC the first question someone asks is "What church do you go to?" and you better have an answer. My mother, also an atheist, was raised in Congregationalist, Methodist, and Unitarian churches. She didn't care, as long as we didn't answer the phone on Sunday morning.

I realized a long time ago that although there are some things I like about the Catholic Church --- the Marys, for instance, there are a lot of things I don't like. One of them is the Pope. That, my dears, is a deal breaker in the Catholic Church. You can be a cafeteria Catholic, but you have to take the Pope.

My husband's family is Methodist, and so I tried that. The people are loving and kind. They were (at least at this church) socially active in a way I liked. They have nice music, in a "white people can really ruin gospel" kind of way. But to me, there wasn't enough "there" there. And nobody knows the Marys much, except at Christmas and Easter, when they trot them out like a very very old grandmother or aunt. Nice, but no one is sure how they are related.

I had avoided Episcopalians for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it is a very established church in SC and has been known to attract social climbers. I'm not a social climber. I'm not even a social step-ladder climber. I'm afraid of heights.

The other reason is that my father's family is IRISH Catholic, and that part of me lived in constant civil war with my mother's WASP ancestry. It took me a long time to realize that my ancestors came to America for a reason, and it was not so I could carry on ancient blood feuds in my own body. Screw that. I am what I am (to quote Popeye.)

And so, lead by a good friend, by way of a good job, I have felt welcomed at this church. I am looking around (inquiring, as it were) to find a place where I can share my beliefs and maybe get help clarifying and refining them.

And here we are. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday morning and I ain't got nobody

It is Saturday morning and I am reading blogs, playing Scramble on Facebook, making to-do lists for my family, and thinking about getting ready for work.

My to do list is simple: clean the public areas of the house, as if we were going to have company. I'm not asking much, company level 2. My sister or brother. Level 1 is my niece or my children. That's not really clean, just get the crap off the floor. Level 3 is Bob's parents. That's when you open cabinets and clean. So level 2 shouldn't be too much.

Yesterday, I benefited from the weak economy by buying a bunch of books at a Waldenbooks that is going out of business. I couldn't afford it, but then at 40% off, I couldn't afford NOT to buy them. (If my husband is reading this, he is rolling his eyes.) I did get a couple of books I probably would have bought anyway. Other than that, I grabbed books I probably should have gotten from the library. Oh well. Maybe I'll have a book yard sale in the spring.

In general, tax season is in swing, although not what I'd call "full swing." My cold is gone, leaving only a hacking cough behind. It's supposed to be warm and rainy today. Maybe we'll have clients who are willing to come out in the rain.

Off to work...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Goodbye Leo

My niece Roslyn's dog Leo passed on last night. We are all very sad, and will miss him a great deal.

Leo came into our lives about four years ago right before Christmas. I was taking my son to school and I saw a beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel running down a busy street. There didn't seem to be anyone with him, so I stopped & opened the minivan door. He jumped in as if he belonged.

I assumed that he had gotten out of his yard and that his people were frantic. He was a sweet, well-mannered dog & I couldn't imagine that he was homeless. His tag was from a local animal shelter, so I called a reported that I had him.

We kept him overnight, but our fence had a hole in it and our cats did not like the DOG in the house. I imposed on some loving friends, Butch and Cathy, who fostered him. They are known to say things like, "Oh well, what's another dog for a couple of days?" But as we know, another dog is ANOTHER DOG, and I couldn't tell them how much I appreciated their help. And we thought I'd be getting a phone call any minute from a grateful owner.

A few days passed and I called the shelter again. They told me that a woman had recently adopted him, and they gave me her address. We drove to the address, but it didn't exist. We found a similar name in the phone book and left a message, but no return call. We thought she might be a student gone home for the holidays, and expected her to call in January, but no.

Coincidentally, fortuitously, my niece Roslyn wanted a dog. She was even then filling up her chore chart with stars in order to prove to her mother that she was responsible enough for a dog. And here was THE DOG. Ellen was skeptical, since Cocker Spaniel was not what she was thinking, but Leo won her over.

We assumed by Leo's energy and spirit that he was a young dog, but the vet told Ellen that he was at least 10 years old, maybe older. He lived with Roslyn for the last years of his life. I have no idea what his life was like before we found him, but I think most of it must have been good. How else could he have such a loving, trusting personality?

So goodbye Leo, thank you for being with us. We love you.

Monday, January 19, 2009

writers and witches, and words...oh my!: announcing...

Happy Day to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's Life & Legacy!

For now:

Go to this blog

writers and witches, and words...oh my!: announcing...

Comment and enter to win 13 things to get you through winter. I am really counting on winning this, though, just to warn you! :-)

And tell Annie I said HI!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What has happened - part one Robert's birthday

My cold is breaking. Now I am just hacking like a one-woman TB ward, but at least I feel better. Except when I blow my nose & accidentally blow out my ears and feel dizzy and deaf for a few minutes. Other than that, I'm great.

In the massiveness of the new year, tax season, and my bad cold, I forgot to mention my oldest's son's birthday. Poor thing, it's like this every year. It's just after Christmas, so everyone is tired and broke. It's the beginning of the semester, beginning of the tax season, beginning of everything, and we miss the beginning of Robert's life.

Robert was born 23 years ago on January 10.

Thursday, January 9th, Bob and I were at the Family Mart with a couple of weeks worth of groceries. The grocery clerk was either sick, slow, or very conscientious. I remember she did a price check on just about every other item. Just as the last box of cereal slid through, I felt a trickle down my legs. It wasn't a gush, like I'd come to expect from old movies and older wives. I knew what it was like to pee on myself --- I'd done that enough. This was different.

I stepped away. Bob glanced at me nervously as he wrote the check for the groceries. I smiled weakly. The clerk asked for his ID. He gave her his driver's license, but she wanted more. He searched his wallet for another ID. She called the manager. I shifted from foot to foot, discretely (or not so much) patting my skirt to see if it was wet. Finally, we buy our damn groceries.

When we get to the car and start putting the bags in the car, I tell Bob my water has broken. He wants to drive to the hospital. I insist we go home, put away groceries and call the doctor.

We go to the hospital. Bob calls our parents. My mother & my sister go to a candlelight vigil for a young man who will be executed the next morning... or was it midnight? I think, Jesus, take his poor soul and don't send it into my baby. OK, that was selfish, but what would you do in my position?

My water has broken, but I don't go into labor. Friday morning, I begin taking god-awful medication to induce labor. Robert was born just before the doctor would have performed a C-section to prevent infection or whatever. I heard them talking about it and demanded a C-section right there and then. They laugh at me. Apparently, they are used to this kind of thing, but I still think I should send them flowers afterwards.

Robert was a wonderful baby, but very demanding. He wanted to be held, he wanted to be looked at, he wanted to be with the tall people. In many ways, his son Brendon is like that too. I smile.

Robert is now a man with a wife and two sons. He is finding his feet, being a man, being a good man. I have no doubt that he will weather these hard times we all share, but which are hardest on the young. I see his strength, his kindness, and somewhere somehow, his wisdom.

Happy Birthday Robert: late but heartfelt.

(And I never did go back to that Family Mart.)

Monday, January 12, 2009


I am siii-yuck. I have a cooooold. My nose hurts, I coughing up junk. I am taking generic mucinex & coricidin HBP and drinking lots of water. But I am siii-yuck. And I am at work. And I have to work at my OTHER job tonight. And have a meeting tomorrow night. Or is that Wednesday? Any way. I am sii-yuck.

I just thought I'd whine a little and let you know what's going on. I hope you are all well and warm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Photo tag

Four is a sacred number in many cultures and religions including the Zia tribe of New Mexico, The Four cups of wine drunk during Jewish Passover, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. We have many examples in biology and nature. The four chambers of the human heart, a four leaf clover, hmm, it's wonderful to meditate on this.

I have been tagged by Diary of a Wicked Stepmom.

1. Go to the 4th picture folder on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in that folder.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 more people.

It has taken me several days to get the picture to upload, and now it's not where I wanted it, but what the heck?

This is my grandson Gabe with a bear given to him by Aunt LaLa. It is still bigger than he is... OK, it's almost as big as I am.

I am tagging these people, because they might think this is fun, as I did.

  1. Balance in Life

  2. Four's Flights

  3. The Redbook of Westmarch

  4. writers & witches & words, oh my... (If you've already been tagged, oops... I'm a little behind.)

Best laid plans

This morning I am taking my son to the dentist (regular check-up) and the doctor (ear ache.) I am not sure about making the poor baby get his teeth cleaned while his ear hurts, but who knows, maybe it will help.

This means: I am not at work. Not at Work 1 and not at Work 2. This means that tonight and tomorrow I will have MORE work, because no one else is going to do my work.

I realize that makes me sound like a bad mom. My poor child has dirty teeth and an ear ache, and all I think about is work. I would look down on myself, if that were physically possible.

My very fine counselor has suggested that I need to pass off some things. We were talking mostly about my wonderful teenage son who is very comfortable at home, not working, not going to school. The idea is that we need to make him less comfortable (in a loving way). It has been noted that this will be easier for me if I pass to my husband, who is pretty comfortable saying, "no, you can't have the car and twenty bucks."

I realize that when I look at my middle son, or my oldest, or just about anyone, I want to take them and solve their problems. I want to make a list of things to do, suggest alternatives, help them. I realize that 1) I can't solve the problems, 2) I get very stressed feeling that I need to solve every one's problems, and 3) I have trouble trusting people to take care of themselves.

And so: pass. I will pass the problems with the boys to Bob. I will just pass on the problems of every Tomasina, Dick, and Harriet that come into my life. I will listen without feeling responsible. Or at least, that is my intention.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Here we are

I did go shopping, and Mark is wearing pants that will fit very well in about 5 lbs. They do not have holes in the knee at present. (I don't think they do... he wore them all day, so I ought to check.) They are a little ratty looking. Why can't I buy kids pants that look new but don't look like school uniforms? He says he's a "camo kind of guy," but why does the camo have to look like it's been through a war? Why do I have to pay extra for frayed edges? And what's with the jeans that look like there is ground in mud? Who thought that was a good idea?

It's been a long day, so I'll have to leave these important ponderings for another time.

I read Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich & laughed out loud. Bob thinks I was laughing at his comments about the football games, but I wasn't. I need another good book. Maybe Boards that make a difference. Or not.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The New Year

It is a cold, misty Sunday morning, and I really don't have much to say. I am trying to squeeze the last day of the holiday until there isn't a drop of time left. Tomorrow Mark goes back to school. Joseph goes down to Midlands Tech to get advised and sign up for classes. Bob will go back to work and face the mountain of e-mails and phone messages from people who are not familiar with the concept of Christmas holidays. I will go to two jobs and try to get everything done to close out the old year and start the new year.

Right now, I am thinking about cleaning my house, thinking about laundry, thinking about paying bills.

I won't take the tree down until Wednesday, so it sits, still glittering. It's sort of a sad, lop-sided tree. Not Charlie Brown sad, but shy, leaning back into the corner. A good tree for this year.

I guess I'd better go see if Mark has clothes to wear tomorrow. He is in between sizes, so it is a real question. I may have to hit the store this afternoon. I shake my head in denial. No more shopping! Haven't I done enough?

I guess this is the lull between Christmas and back-to-normal. From looking at other blogs, I'd say I'm not alone in this lull... the doldrums. Sitting and waiting for a wind.

God, I'm depressing myself... Back to work.

Friday, January 2, 2009



This is a fun blog in general, and a cool give away. Chocolate is involved.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Month's Resolutions

I have decided that I am not good at long term goals. I have decided that is OK. So, after 48 years of thought, these are my resolutions/goals for January.

1) Be kind and patient, even with the stress of tax season. Do not roll eyes at clients, employees, my boss, my husband, my children, board members, parents, grocery store clerks, or anyone else who is watching.

2) Walk at least 4 times. I know this doesn't seem like a lot, but with tax season & closing the books at the church, I won't have a lot of time, even for things that are good for me. And four times is better than what I did in December: 0.

3) Eat a good breakfast every day.

4) Take my medication every day.

5) Continue to write, in the blogs or my journal (theoretical as it is) or even a story.

6) Read for pleasure and information. Not necessarily at the same time. (This is sort of a softball goal, like "breath every day.")

7) Have lunch out with someone at least once in the month, tax season or not.

8) Get both female cats spayed. SOON. Tomorrow. Yesterday. NOW.

I'll leave it there, since eight is my favorite number. I wonder if I should print this out and stick it on posty notes?