What A Cookie Can Do

2000 boxes of cookiesThat was the theme for this year’s Girl Scout Cookie Sale, and I can tell you what it can do…send the cookie mom to the crazy house.

The year started out in the midst of being Cookie Mom for my six-year-old’s Daisy troop. When 2000 boxes of cookies arrived at my home and filled a room, my kids thought we’d won the lottery.

This is what heaven looks like to Cookie Monster.

Stupid lady saying yes I'll do itI got all excited at the word “cookie” and screamed “I’ll do it!” without first reading the job description. The fine print that should have been included:

Two months of your life will be sacrificed…you will never get them back. Your house will fall apart while simultaneously being transformed into a warehouse. You will do more math than you have seen since High School and the red tape of paperwork rivals that of the Pentagon. You will also gain 10 to 15 pounds thanks to the convenience of purchasing Samoas from the comfort of your living room at 2am so good luck with that.

2012 suckers guide to selling cookiesSeems simple. Just sell cookies. They practically sell themselves, but there is an entire notebook full of paperwork and rules to follow. Inventory to track. Incentives and patches to order.

After a month of presales was complete, a month of booth duty followed. This consists of loading up cases of cookies, a table, cash box, and two 6 year olds who have the cuteness factor working for them.

I remember being a girl scout and wanting that 100 cookie sale patch so badly I could taste the thread I would be using to sew it on. It never happened. My daughter gets the 250 box patch! She’s cuter, a better salesman, and much more determined. Needless to say I did not go into sales.

The trash men are probably trying to get a glimpse of the crazy person who is eating cookies by the case. This was a light day with only 3 boxes.

Then there was all the excitement of constantly counting money with distractions.
counting cookie money

If that wasn’t enough to do, this is the time:
bad hair

  • My oven died
  • My daughter decided that cutting Barbie’s hair wasn’t as fun as taking a chuck out of her own…to the scalp. This photo is the painful regrowth process we are enduring.
  • Taxes
  • Millions of practices for 4 MPA (Music Practice Assessment) performances for 2 kids (band AND orchestra)
  • Little one lost her precious blankie.
  • A million other distractions keeping me from blogging – including addictions to Scramble and Draw Something.

So now that I’m officially done with cookies, I hope to be here more often again. This post is to remind me next year to just say “no”. I did my time.

Preppy People, Meet The Hot Topic People

If the names L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Chris Craft, or Benetton bring back some bad memories, you aren’t alone. I spent the better part of my middle school days lost in the midst of the “preppy era” where pink and green were the “IN” colors of the day. I spent hours staring into the Benetton store window admiring all the bright colors and dreaming of owning one of those sweaters.

preppy example

Yes I'm embarrased to admit I scanned this from my very own copy of the Official Preppy Handbook. Not only did I own it, but I colored it in according to the directions which means I actually read it. Why did we think this was a good look?

I have a theory on how the preppy thing started.

A rich fashion-designer-type is sitting around his posh home sipping a brandy when his poodle throws up some crushed florescent crayons on an imported corduroy rug and inspires the Spring collection. We have Rover to thank for looking ridiculous for years.

Signs of Preppiness…

Bear with me on the real awkward photos of me that follow. I’m sure it was just bad lighting and Photoshop didn’t exist yet. Be gentle.

Corduroy Pants

If your florescent green wide corduroy pants caused the cones in your classmate’s retina to scream and shut down in color overload, your popularity was practically guaranteed to increase tenfold.

Animal logos

The Izod alligator was the badge of coolness. Higher than the alligator on the fashion evolutionary scale was the horse, and the smell of the guys’ Polo cologne filled the hallways thanks to Ralph Lauren.

Calvin Klein, Jordache & Gloria Vanderbilt jeans

(This is not me…it’s Brooke Shields in case you were confused.)
Who doesn’t remember the famous line?

If you didn’t have to lie flat, struggle, tug and then finish with hopping around to squeeze in them, your jeans weren’t tight enough. OK now I feel guilty for complaining about my daughter’s skater jeans and see I’m getting payback.

Recently my mother arrived at my house with a surprise. My old pair of Jordache jeans that I had painstakingly sewed up the inseam to make them tighter. *Deep sigh* A treasure that my not-impressed-with-the-vintage-jeans daughter tossed off to the side. How dare she! They sit patiently on my dresser in the hopes that one day I can fit more than my arm in there and re-live the magic.

The add-a-bead necklace

fake add a bead necklace

I dare you to question their authenticity.

Remember that necklace? Each bead was 18K gold, so even the tiny little beads were like $18. I remember walking to the jewelry store in the strip mall beside my neighborhood and laying a pile of change on the counter hoping I had enough to cover the tax so I could add one more tiny bead. By the time I got home, it already had a dent in it. That’s how you knew they were real.

While the rich kids paraded around with 3 strands filled to the clasp with the large mm beads, there I was with my 3-5 measly 3mm and 5mm beads that were so small you needed a microscope to see them.

That’s when you mistakenly fall into the fake add-a-bead necklace trap. Look! I have 23 large beads. Yes they are turning green but just look at ’em!

preppy outfit

Who needs good hair when you have what is really important...the real add-a-beads (the shorter smaller necklace) and the fake ones and my only preppy shirt. I would have worn this every day if I could have. Thank goodness for slow laundry turnover.

My parents were sensible and didn’t frivolously spend money on fads. In order to cease my begging for name brand clothes, I got about $20 a week allowance that I had to use for my activities and all my clothes, and I learned to stretch my dollars by digging through the racks at TJ Maxx in hopes of finding something name brand even if half a pocket was missing.

The real thing out of reach price-wise, preppy status was looking unattainable. Then it happened. The day I found one green Polo shirt hidden deep within the racks. I practically screamed in delight and ignored the tiny hole under the sleeve! It became my prized possession. Making the most of it, I wore it twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays – as well as in every photograph for the next two years. Just because it was long sleeve didn’t stop me from wearing in in 78 degree humidity. Something about wearing that horse made you feel like you were sitting high in the saddle, and it was always a great day.

Bermuda Bags

bermuda bag

These are still popular and even cuter today. Photo credit to Allaboutyoudesign.com where you can buy them. Now I want one!

My favorite fashion accessory and a must-have was the bermuda bag. The covers were exchangeable so you could match whatever you were wearing. This lead to another popular trend that caused an issue for me…


Everything could be propelled to an even cooler status if they were embroidered with your initials. This was a problem. I don’t have a middle name. Really. My mother explained the reason behind this was because she went by her middle name, but was constantly called her first name. To avoid such confusion, she didn’t give people any choice but to call me Melinda. Thank goodness I wasn’t the product of celebrities and stuck with Zuzu.

This was an issue when having a sweater embroidered since 2 initials throws the monogram off balance. After learning that lesson with a sweater, I opted to ditch the initials on my purse cover.

The Baseball Shirt

the baseball tee

The baseball t-shirt. Always look fashionable while tangled in a phone cord.

Penny Loafers, Duck Shoes, Leather Moccasins and Sperry Topsiders

It’s hard to tell in the picture, but I’m wearing penny loafers. You never know when a penny is going to come in handy, and you conveniently have 2! That’s practically 1/4 of a gumball.

penny loafers preppy look

Under my only cable cardigan? Oh there's that green shirt again. Again it's all about distracting from the bad hair.

The IZOD shirt. The hair got better eventually. I just felt I had to prove it.

The only thing worse than growing up in this label-conscious society was not being ridiculously wealthly during it. It didn’t really bother me that I didn’t have $1000s to spend on my school wardrobe like so many of my friends who had a closet full of the “in” clothes with the tags still on. That just made my few items I did have worth that much more to me. I appreciated what I had and looking back my parents taught me a valuable lesson about fads. Don’t get sucked into them. It’s a waste of money. This is why I love consignment stores and the thrill of the hunt.

Today’s Preppy

Out shopping for clothes for my son’s birthday, my soon-to-be-fourteen-year-old daughter mentioned “Hot Topic” people. I listened and learned how teens that wear Hollister and Aeropostale clothes are the preppy equivalent of today.

“Preppy” people apparently have no business stepping foot into Hot Topic which is reserved for the hard core music fans of the music of Lady Gaga, Falling in Reverse, Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, and other bands that I couldn’t spell. She considers it “cheating” on Hot Topic to walk into Hollister. The only exception to this rule is you might have to go there to a preppy store to purchase brightly colored pants which are all the rage. Hmm…that sounds scarily familiar. They come in green and pink, too. *Flashback*

I’m told it is all about being bright and colorful or going completely opposite by wearing all black.

As we approached Hot Topic, she began salivating at the thought of what’s new in there.

“Sorry we can’t go in there,” I said.

“What?! Why not? I want to see if they have new Lady Gaga shirts.”

“Your rules. Excuse me but, YOU’RE wearing Hollister.”

She looks down and screams “Ahh!”

I didn’t really get a good feel for what is Hot Topicish and what is preppy as it all seems to be mixed together to me. Perhaps if they had the updated version of the Preppy Handbook, things would be clearer.

Were you in school during the preppy era?
Did you have this book?

the preppy handbook

Avoid Ghostly Surprises By Calling Ahead

Invaded by ghost ants AGAIN, the exterminator had to return to my house last week. I dreaded the possible awkwardness this would cause due to “the incident” last time.

Two weeks earlier…

desk windowInnocently hanging out at my computer working, I was unaware that the bug man had arrived and was working his way around to the back of the house.

Next to me is a sliding glass door that leads to the porch. Despite the lack of view, I opened the shades to enjoy the beautiful day.

Suddenly he appeared at the door. We both jumped and I ran out of the room mortified. Much to my relief, he didn’t knock on the door once he was done and instead left the bill on my door.

Important lessons were learned that day:

  1. Call before you spray a person’s house
  2. Don’t sit by the window wearing this…(see below)
face mask surprise

This must have been how I looked. Surprised.

Community Network Meme 2011

community network meme

I don’t usually do memes because I can’t even pronounce the word correctly. This leads to the fear that someone will ask me what I’m doing today. Rather than saying it correctly, I mumble “mrrmmsm” followed by panicked pointing while shouting “Hey there’s a cute puppy!” to distract them because that works every time.

I barely knew what it was when I participated in my first meme last year. It was like I said “Yea sure I’ll go deep sea diving. I know what I’m doing because I own a figurine of a dolphin.”

It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had as a blogger because I met some great writers, so I’m really looking forward to blog hopping today.

I present you with the 2nd installment of Tom Baker’s Community Network Meme 2011 where I have to answer twenty questions, most of which came from Cherlyn Cochrane of Over A Cup of Coffee who I just adore. Enjoy.

  1. As a blogger, what do you draw inspirations from for your posts?
    Everyday life. Stuff seems to just happen to me. I’m a Murphy’s Law test dummy.

    Turns out it also comes in handy for forcing good behavior. More than once I’ve avoided situations by shrieking, “Don’t make me blog about this!”

  2. If you could swap blogs with another blogger for a post, who would you switch with and why?
    Greg from Telling Dad. We both have 3 kids almost the same age and have similar experiences. I could practically plagiarize his whole blog and it would be relevant…except the muscles part…oh and the owning a fire truck…and the fact that he’s more glamorous. I think it’s the hat. It’s hard to compete with that professional-model-ish pout that oozes coolness.
  3. If your blog had a theme song, what would it be? Why?
    “Drop it Like It’s Hot” for many reasons.

    • Because I drop so many things including myself.
    • Because I like to torture my children dancing to that song.
    • Who doesn’t want Snoop Dogg doing their theme song?

    When I first looked at the above shot of Snoop Dog, I thought, “Wow! He has a huge tongue! And has been eating a purple popsicle!” A few minutes later I realized “Ohhhhh it’s his chin and beard.” Anyone else see it that way?

    This explains why I can’t see the image in those 3D eye puzzles that you have to stare at a dot in the middle.

  4. What is your writing process for a post?
    After realizing no one is going to invent a brain-to-wordpress plugin that you can export stories directly without the need of a USB connection (cough cough…Andy), I just sit and rattle off what’s on my mind. Then I let it sit for a few hours before rewriting most of it. The first pass just gets my mind working like the first pot of coffee.
  5. Your blog requires a cute, new, mascot – what would it be?
    Sock monkeyThat’s easy. A sock monkey.

    He already takes over a big portion of my life entertaining my six year old so he might as well have a job. Right?

    He accompanied my daughter and me to The Muppet movie last week.

  6. Do you feel you express your “true self” on your blog?
    Absolutely. It is 98% me with 10% embellishment on occasion to make me look cool. To distract you from the math…here is a cute puppy. ——————->
  7. What is your biggest online pet-peeve?
    Just filtering out spam.

    Apparently my post about botching the Thanksgiving turkey (“Why Cooking A Turkey is Like Being in a Horror Film…or at an OB-GYN office“) helped numerous people on their school research projects, which leaves me confused at what they could be writing about. I’m going to assume they are going to “school” in their pajamas.

  8. If you could live in a fictional universe, where would you live? Why?
    I would live where everyone played Call of Duty as their job under a palm tree at the beach, and robots did all the work. There would also be bottomless coffee pots and trees that drop dark chocolate bars (the good kind).

    Always in need of a few more hours in the day, I’m going to insist on 30hr days on my planet so I have time to dust. Oh I need more sleep too, so let’s make it 35hr days. Wait robots are doing all the work. Agh! This is too many decisions for me. I’m just going to move to Kelley’s Breakroom because she always has cool stuff there.

  9. You’re having a bad day, you’re upset, you’re angry, or you’re sad – what is your go-to comfort?
    My kids are my comfort. They have the ability to make worries melt away in laughter. Reading my favorite humor blogs for a chuckle or an hour of xbox will also cure anything.
  10. What is your favorite inspirational quote?

    “Have a sense of humor about life – you will need it. And be courteous.”
    – Peter Jennings

    I think that sums up everything you need to know about life. The world would be a better place if people followed this simple advice.

  11. If they were to make a movie based on your life, who would play you, your leading lady/man, your best friend, and your rival?
    I would want Jennifer Aniston to play me because she plays a good bumbling klutz and makes it look cute. If you read my blog then you know Brad Pitt would HAVE to be the leading man…but that could cause some problems with those two so I will leave out a leading man.

    My best friends would be played by Sandra Bullock, Kristen Wig and Taylor Lautner (Yes he’s eye candy! It’s my movie!).

    I would also like Kermit the Frog though I have no idea who he is suppose to be. Maybe my imaginary friend.

    Glen Close is so good at playing evil roles, she would have to be my rival.

    Don’t We Look Fabulous

    my movie

  12. Do you think the world is going to end in 2012?
    No, but I imagine a few political careers will. Oh yea that is every year. Wait a second! Why would it be ending in 2012? Is there something I don’t know about? I get all my news from Bikini Bottom and don’t recall there being a topic on this. Should I be hording essentials like coffee, Sun Chips, and Spanx?
  13. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
    I would want super charged energy to work out more. I now realize just owning a yoga DVD doesn’t do anything. I’m slowly getting there since my 6 year old and I are doing a daily fitness challenge together and walking to the mailbox doesn’t count.
  14. What is your favorite season and why?
    Summer because I’m a warm weather person that doesn’t like when the temperature drops below 70. Bundling up in layers of clothes makes me feel stiff, uncomfortable, and unproductive.

    Summer brings with it a kick-your-shoes-off, laid-back attitude. My solution for staying in a summer frame-of-mind all year round? Wearing flip flops.

  15. You’ve been bitten by a vampire. Would you fight it with all your undead being or would you embrace it for all it is worth?
    Embrace it! Then run out immediately to purchase a cape.

    (I’m team Jacob…so I would prefer to be a werewolf thank you.)

  16. Have you personally met any of your blogger friends?
    No. There are many I would love to hang out with. I would skip the mascara because I would be laughing too hard over lunch. Who am I kidding? I don’t even own mascara.

    There are so many similarities between a few of us that I swear we’re related.

  17. What does your favorite pair of underwear look like?
    lace free zoneHmm…favorite? It is just a necessity and I can’t confirm that I could ID it in a lineup. I didn’t know there was going to be a test like this or I would have purchased something exciting to write about.

    Itchy is not sexy. That’s my motto and all I can share about this subject. There’s nothing to see here…please move along.

  18. Have you ever drank something right from the container in the refrigerator knowing other people will have to drink out of the same container later?
    No. I’m a germaphobe that way.
  19. What is your favorite word and explain why?
    AWESOME. Who doesn’t love anything awesome? Everyone should try to put some awesome in their life on a daily basis.
  20. 2011 is soon coming to a close, is there anything you’d like to do different on your blog in the year 2012?
    Write more. I’ve been extremely overwhelmed with too much to do. I would like to learn to say “no” more often and focus on the things I truly love rather than spreading myself thin. I’m changing my phone number.

You are still here? Now go meet some new people:

2011 Community Network Meme Participation List

Betwixt And Between
Insignificant At Best
Kay At The Keyboard
Words Fall From My Eyes
Courage To Change
Jackie Paulson ~Writer
I Shall Be A Toad
Over A Cup Of Coffee
Morpho Designs
Broken Sparkles
Curiosity Killed The KAT
Life Of Carbon
Walking The Labyrinth
Conch Saladesque
Blue Jellybeans
Disjointed Rhymings
The Real Sharon’s Blog
How Can I Complain?
Morning Erection <-- Thanks so much Tom!!!!!!!!! 2tha9s

String Theory, Albert Einstein, and My Floor

Am I the only one that thought this company was ScanDisk?

SanDiskIt’s SAN not SCAN. I have no less than 15 of these things floating around in various electronics, and I would have bet money on the name…and lost. Which explains why I don’t gamble and why I began to question all that I thought I knew about the world around me.

I have more than you.

Strange things are happening at my house, and my dusty, science thinking-cap (if you can call it that) was reinstated in order to sleuth out an explanation.

Usually having more of something is a good thing not to mention bragging rights. This is not the case.

I have a surplus of gravity at my house.

In a world full of fascinating scientific-breakthroughs, I never imagined I would find myself in the middle of a NOVA episode, and I’m not sure what to wear. Things fall to the floor way above the national average on a daily basis in a Bermuda Triangle type phenomenon. No boring statistical charts are necessary to uncover the facts.

Observances of this physical phenomena

On any given day you can find 4-10 pens/pencils laying on the floor around the house. I’ve never been to anyone else’s home and seen a pen on the floor, so simple logic dictates that something different is happening here.

People aren’t just walking through the house and dropping a pen without noticing. Right?

This is clearly closely-related to string theory, the persistent clinging of strings to the floor, sweaters and the dog.

The Stronger pull of gravity explains many things:

Why lying on my side on the floor innocently playing Barbies with little one looks more like a nap. I simply cannot fight gravity that close to the epicenter of strength.

Why I’m so sore from my workout yesterday and can barely lift my legs. Laughing? Well you try doing squats with extra gravity. It’s like adding 15lb weights in your hands.

Towels that ever so slightly overhang the shelf are pulled to the bottom of the linen closet in mass quantities.

I’m beginning to understand what Sheldon is talking about in “Big Bang Theory“.

Whiter Towels

F = G(mass1*mass2)/D squared.
OK everyone get out your Physics textbooks and turn to page 55 please.
Note: There is no college credit available for reading this article.

albert einstein

Oh the irony that his hair defies the laws of gravity.

Einstein’s theory of relativity predicted that objects with great mass deform space around them, causing light to deflect into them.

This explains why the bathroom’s linen closet is a mess (deformed space) and why my towels are looking brighter (light deflected into them).

Suddenly it all makes sense.

Got extra gravity?

How to Fall Out of a Car Gracefully

A Guide on Playing Off Embarrassing Moments in Life

Soooooo…a few weeks back I got the call that my car was ready at the shop. Excitedly I zipped over to my favorite gas station, the one with the fast pumps, to put gas back in the rental car.

Used to stepping DOWN from my SUV, I believe it was the awkwardness of the lower vehicle combined with my dangerous flip flops that caused the following scenario to occur.

Getting out to pump gas

arrive at gas station

My flip-flop gets caught and I tumble out of the car

It was in slow motion to make sure all saw...

Laying flat on the ground between the pump and my car.

laying by the gas pump

If you ever find yourself in this predicament, this is the point where you attempt to look like you were checking a leak under your car and are lying on the ground completely on purpose.

Then stand up, check for bloody knees, and proceed to pump gas as if that did not just happen. It’s all in the execution of looking purposeful.

A quick glance around made me think I had actually gotten away with it. I was on the end pump, and no one seemed to be paying attention. I began pumping gas and lowered my sunglasses onto my face like no one would recognize me. My knees were burning as they were scraped and a giant bruise was already blackening on my palm where I caught myself.

Then I heard it…

“Are you OK?”

Turning to look behind me, I see a pleasant looking gentleman sitting in his car where he had been putting air in his tires.

I turned and did a wave while saying, “I’m fine thanks!”

SHOOT! Well I was until I realized someone had seen it.

CREDIT FOR MY STICK FIGURENESS: I snagged one of my 6 year old’s drawings of me after giving up on her ever drawing the figure I requested for this article. My artist on staff is unreliable, especially when sitting next to a pumpkin full of candy.

Ever fallen out of your car?

What’s Your Theme Song?

theme music for lifeThis morning while my daughter sat in the car waiting for me to take her to school, I dramatically strutted to the car with “Stayin’ Alive” blasting from my iPhone. I believe everyone should have theme music surrounding them like a live clip from a movie. As soon as I got in the car, I realized my keys were inside and proceeded to complain how my whole entrance was now ruined.

You have to love a child that tells you to wait in the doorway while she cues up your song…and…ok…wait for it…ok now go. Returning to the car to my music again the scene was saved.

We giggled thinking how shoppers in the grocery store isle would react to us strutting down the aisle for a bag of sugar. “You’d have to try it,” she challenged. It is tempting, but it would have to be in a city I don’t live in for both our reputations’ sake. I love this girl who is my partner in absolute craziness.

What is my song?

She and I try to pick ringtone songs that match the person. She of course is Lady Gaga, and so what did she pick for me?

Madonna? No.
Coldplay? No.
Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO? Yes! What?

Imagine her hanging out with a group a friends when “I’m Sexy and I Know It” plays from her phone. As she reaches to answer she mentions “Oh that’s my Mom calling.” I guess I should take this as a compliment?

This image amused her until the day I actual DID call and her friends were standing around. I heard a whispered, panicked voice say “OMG I forgot I had that ring tone! I was standing in the middle of the gym!”

Songs Make You Feel

It is funny how songs emit a personality, spirit, and mood like nothing else. One push of a button and your mood can sway in the opposite direction simply based on some notes.

Music fills my house

Here is the part where I do a little mom bragging so excuse me.
My son plays piano and violin, but my daughter plays piano, violin, drums, electric guitar, and now saxophone. She also annoyingly plays the kitchen counter if that counts. There are days where my house sounds more like a jazz club, and I love it! Jamming out to her playing Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine on the guitar, I’m her biggest fan.

After having the saxophone for only 2 months, here she is in last night’s duet with a friend. They both learned the song by ear…no music. I present “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes. When she’s famous one day, you can say you saw her here first.

My good friend Karen mentioned that she is looking forward to our having front row seats to something in the future as my musician rocks a stage somewhere. I’ll being looking for that shirt that says “I’m With the Band” that I can tie up in a knot on the side all “groupie” style.

What is your theme song?

Driver Error or Plain Bad Luck?

car towIs there anything more frustrating than car troubles?

This morning I bid my car farewell as it began its short journey to the dealership for repair. It was my first experience having a car towed. Other than the good-looking tow truck driver, it wasn’t as exciting as I imagined.

Last night the girls and I piled in the car to attend my son’s orchestra concert, and when I turned the key I got a frying electronic sound, a spark, and no engine coming on. Two more attempts produced the same results.

These things only happen:

  1. After car places are closed for the night.
  2. When I have a packed schedule of places to be.

I Need A Rental Car

Patiently waiting in line, turns out I was behind the area manager for Starbucks. After mentioning my addiction to that place, I informed him that I own at least 2 chairs at my local shop.

Taking pity on me (I guess because of my addiction issue), the Enterprise rental manager gave me a free upgrade to an SUV. Sweet! Happy to have access to a car again, I headed off to run a few errands.

Noob Driver Alert

Immediately I noticed the engine was revving up to 6 RPM before struggling to shift to the next gear. Since I wasn’t driving a race car, I thought that was kind of odd and considered turning around. Instead I went to the grocery store and took the dog to the groomers.

An hour later I was convinced there was something seriously wrong with the transmission, so I returned to the rental office.

“I think something is wrong with the car,” I stated while handing back the keys.

With all the gentleness of a Kindergarten teacher, he replied “You might be driving it wrong.”

“Really?” How could I be driving it wrong? I have over 25 years of driving experience under my belt.

At his request, I got in the car and put it in drive.

“You are in manual mode.”

“What? Manual?”

I learned to drive using a stick shift and drove one for about 10 years. Arriving at the DMV as a teen, I found the instructor bewildered because no one ever shows up in a manual for their license test. Needless to say I only had to drive half the course before he stamped “PASS” on my file.

manual automatic driveTurns out some new cars have a manual mode. I was in first gear…all morning long…about 25 miles worth of errands. Nicccceeeee. I felt sooooo stupid.

See the +/- on the left. That’s the manual section.

This is a public service announcement. If this saves one experienced driver from feeling like they are 16 again, my job is done.

I’m trying to understand when you would want to be in manual mode unless you live in the Rocky Mountain area.

Grabbing my shades, I’m off to test out manual mode and rev up the engine in my cool sports car. Can’t you just see this soccer mom car peeling away at a light?
kia suv

P.S. I’m taking applications for a best friend who is also a mechanic. This is due to the fact that dealership called to tell me my car arrived safely…and started right up.

Am I the only one that didn’t know about this?

Stepping on the Daisies

daisy dollTonight was little one’s first Daisy meeting. I didn’t know there was anything in Girl Scouts before Brownies. Daisies are K-1st graders, and she’s been counting down the days for a week.

Making First Impressions

Being the first one there, I introduced myself to the troop leader and proceeded to become her least favorite parent.

Offhandedly mentioning that I wasn’t aware of this level of scouts, I recounted my days as a Girl Scout and Cadet (the middle school version). According to my experience, Cadets do not wear their uniform to school on meeting days but instead covertly stand behind a tree until Mom leaves the carpool drop off lane at which time they cram the vest into a back pack. This is called smart planning to avoid getting beaten up.

Her snarled, annoyed response to my story was “It’s only as cool as you make it.”

At this point I realized she was saying that for the benefit of her close-to-middle-school-aged daughter that was sitting on the couch behind me. Attempting a recovery, I quickly mentioned “I loved the cooking badges.”

Since she was never a girl scout herself, I forgive her for the lack of first hand experience with this horror. I’m sorry but there is no making that sash cool in middle school. That girl is going thank me one day for my wisdom.

Boy was I glad to see my friend walk in the door so I could leave that conversation behind.

It’s all about the cookies

Amazed at not having been thrown out, I sat on one of the couches, and the meeting began. Raising my hand to ask the most important question, I was thrilled to hear that we would be selling Girl Scout cookies. Whoo hooooooo!! My son later asked if that meant we could purchase with a discount. Sadly that isn’t how it works.

I hate camping.

Not a fan. My idea of camping is a tent in the living room and me not in it. I like electricity and don’t find it relaxing to act out pioneer days.

My dislike of camping ironically stems from childhood experiences at Girl Scout camp. The brochure would have described it as:

Enjoy a rain-filled weekend in a mosquito-infested, muddy campsite featuring a three hour terrifying tour of the inside of the car during a record-breaking lightning storm.

Your taste buds will delight in a non-melted s’more cooked over a wet bonfire.

Experience chaffing from wearing wet clothes while hanging up clothes to dry on our state-of-the-art clothes line.

Wait till you see our latrine! Doesn’t it just sound fancy?

With all the fun included, it is hard to believe you also take home with a BONUS camping badge for the back of your vest where your long hair will cover it for the next two years.

Worth it?

Absolutely not.

So you can imagine my horror when I scanned the agenda’s list of upcoming events and saw the word “CAMPING”. I started eyeing the exit door options and plotting an escape plan until I learned that Daisies aren’t allowed to camp overnight. Great! They only go from 7am until 7pm. What? 12 hours? I’m a one hour and go kinda camper. I made a mental note to plan a “vacation” for that day. “Sorry we have plans that weekend. Darn because I was really looking forward to that.”

After forking over $44 in cash, I was handed a vest and a stack of patches. Back in the day, everything required sewing on patches by hand. Thank goodness for the invention of iron-on patches because I’m about as handy with a needle and thread as an elephant.

Little one couldn’t wait to get home to transform the plain vest to the patched version, so I warmed up the iron and spent the next ten minutes getting them out of the vacuum-sealed containers.

How hard could they be to iron on?

The first patch was a breeze.

The second ended up turned at a 45 degree angle. Crap!
daisies try 1
The more I looked at it, the more I knew that was not going to pass inspection and we were going to get kicked out. Luckily you can reheat the patch and unstick it.

With attempt number two, I only managed to reverse the problem.
daisies patch try 2

Third time is the charm…I think. At this point I can’t even tell if that is straight or not.

Next meeting she will earn the center of the daisy patch for reciting:

The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

With all eyes on her, I envision my little girl nervously rambling the chorus to Lady Gaga’s Judas by accident.

I hope we can hang in there until the cookies arrive in February/March.

My Bucket List and Life With Rosie

Rodie and me

Rosie and I relaxing since the floor is clean.
Good times.

A month ago I watched the movie The Bucket List. Not having a clue as to what I want to accomplish in life, I still felt a burning urge to create one.

Jumping right on that task four weeks later, I present:

My Bucket List:

  1. Own the Jetson’s Rosie the Robot.
  2. Go to Paris again – my favorite city.
  3. See my kids graduate from college.
  4. See my kids happily married with kids.
  5. Put the sheet on the bed the correct direction the first time.
  6. Visit the pyramids.
  7. Get fired by Trump in the board room.
  8. See my bathroom counter toothpaste-goo-free for more than 1 hour.
  9. Have a good hair day.
  10. Find the scissors in the drawer where they belong.
  11. Win something. Anything! I’m not picky. The free toothbrush in the dentist goodie bag doesn’t count.
  12. Getting the prime parking space at the mall in front of Barnes & Noble.
  13. Have lunch with Larry David, Wanda Sykes, Will Ferrell and Jerry Seinfeld.
  14. Becoming Mayor of Walmart.
  15. See the night sky with all the stars like I remember seeing as a kid before giant city lights.
  16. And last but not least…

  17. Know someone with a fire truck.

OH YEAH! I get to cross off the last goal with minimal effort thanks to Telling Dad and his purchase of a fire truck! Thanks Greg!

Waiting for Rosie

For 30+ years I’ve been impatiently awaiting the Jetson-like future where kids fly to school in a personal saucer and dinner magically appears from a hole in the wall. The drive-thru window is as close as it gets.

No Rosie? Well the next best thing is iRobot.

Vacuum cleaners have a life expectancy of six months in my house due to:

The shedding dog that is living forever just to spite me.


Don't be fooled. This IS his idea of being active - sitting upright. Don't strain yourself.

Constant small child disasters
messy room

Toddler Richter scale: 10 Catastrophic.
Little one (then 2) dumped the entire contents of her room onto the floor in fifteen minutes while I clueslessly cooked dinner just 10 feet away.

I’m certain that investing in a vacuum worth more than $50 is the answer.

My only concern is Rosie’s being able to move around the stuff on the floor.

roomba obstacles

Navigating the Sea of Crap, Rosie’s durability and maneuverability will be tested at Olympian levels.

Warned to allow three hours for sitting and watching it in amazement, I look forward to Rosie joining our family. By the looks of her face, I’m guessing she feels the same.

Happy Rosie

Happy Rosie...I think.

What Am I Missing on the List?