Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Clause 1, 2, 3

Christmas is coming and for the past week ... I've crawled into bed by 8 pm each night to watch the yuletide specials. There's been Santa Clause 1, 2 and 3 and multiple Hallmark Channel specials, but so far have not seen the perennial "It's a Wonderful Life".

But no fear. If worse comes to worse, I'll pull out the videos of the ones I missed and watch them locally. Somehow, it's more fun if they are on TV. But the video is still close at hand.

Each day, I've unpacked more of the Holiday decorations -- giving hubby a new surprise each night. The tree will wait until the sons come home to help decorate.

Our only casualty so far has been the lovely pointsettia I bought for the front yard. You would think it would survive in Arizona, but a brief span of 40 degree nights quickly brought it to its knees.

I pulled the plant inside yesterday, but fear it may not recover. It looks pretty wilted, but is now sitting beneath a window covered in sunshine. We will see. If it recovers, it will become an indoor plant. Can always get something plastic for the yard.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Countdown is on ...

Considering that my son at gave me a plug on his blog, I suspect I should start trying to write more often. But it's tough going ... when morning and night are both dark and daylight hours are packed full of work.

All of which leaves me prone on the sofa at night with a glass of wine and not much incentive to post.

The good news is that both sons will be home for Christmas! Arriving a bare 8 days from now ... which also means the housecleaning, dog-washing, package-wrapping, bed-making and cookie-baking are way behind schedule. But I'm not daunted a bit ... where was that wine glass?

Hubby has also been home on a Christmas time break, finishing up all kinds of projects on his list. Between putting up new towel racks, tiling the bottom of kitchen cabinets (a grand idea from one of his buddies) and hanging pictures for me, he's out of breathe too.

Just picture us ... stretching out on our Lazyboy sofa. Cheers.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The List of Lists

Hubby has a new game. And he's enjoying it tremendously. He'll stand over me while I'm seated, bend his head down to my ear, and murmur sweetly:

"Oh look! I have bags under my eyes!"

He is such a charmer.

Excuse me, while I go burn his dinner and hide his remote.

We were compiling our "Top 10 List" and couldn't decide whether to call it "Things That Make Us Laugh", "What Were They Thinking", or "Dumb, Dumb and Dumber". You decide.

10. Somalian pirates firing on French naval flagship. Oops.

9. Bank robber who swipes his ATM card before handing teller the hold-up note.

8. Congress passing bills without reading them

7. Actually, anything Congress does ...

6. That $25,000 electric Cupcake Car in the Neiman Marcus' Christmas Book

5. Bathroom Breaks Before Boarding -- on Nippon Airlines

4. A dancing Tom DeLay -- and those red pants

3. One-Child Rule: China's Gender Imbalance Leaves 30 Million Men Without Wives

2. Rare Hunk of Elvis' Hair Up for Auction

1. NASA bombing the moon

Who do the descriptions make you think of? We picked our choices; send us yours.
  2. WE LOVE TO ABHOR: Tie between Nancy Pelosi and Michael Moore
  4. NEXT OUT THE DOOR: Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings (we hope)

Young Fogeys ...

Just got off the phone from talking with a longtime girlfriend. And we both wound up lamenting those sudden aches and pains of old age.

And we're both only 23 ... or 24 ... well, give or take a few decades that we won't talk about.

Forgetting the pains, there are multiple advantages to aging ... one being all the fond memories you acquire.

I still recall 5-year-old son, Alex, sitting on a hilltop at the town fair one cool summer evening. We'd wandered past all the arcades, he had ridden all the rides and now we were enjoying greasy hamburgers from the food court.

But when he looked up at me and said "this is the best-est hamburger ever" ... one of those moments was made.

While that moment is only in my memory, others are in the myriad boxes of images and negatives stuffed in my closets. Lately, I've been repackaging our photo albums, trying to get these into some semblance of order. But it is slow going -- trust me, there are a LOT of pictures.

We all go through stages in life, and growing old is just another -- but maybe one that is much more entertaining. We can wear loud colors and bright purple hats with enormous feathers. We can eat, sleep, drink, and - most importantly - shop when we want. We can be as eccentric, outspoken, cranky or opinionated as we want. We get a reprieve and can practice all that early childhood behavior we once learned to control.

And what happens? Everyone chalks it up to old age. If I'd known it was this much fun, I would have turned old long ago.

The only thing I have not figured out is this business about weight. I always thought when you got old enough, it wouldn't matter what you weighed. Who would care. You could get fat.

But, sigh, I must not be that old yet. For all the fun and hollaring, am still on a diet. Go figure.

Maybe in another 10 or 20 years ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hula Hoop, Anyone?

Today, have decided to turn a new positive leaf ... and am trying to find a Hula Hoop. Have been reading that the newest, old trend is the Hula Hoop.

Regains your sense of peace, energy and youthfulness while trimming off some of those excess pounds. Sounds like my cup of tea! (Why is it my conversations always turn to food or shopping?)

This weekend, I plan to find a hula hoop in the local toy store. Lots more reasonably priced than the huge exercise machine my hubby wants to get me. "I'd never use it, " I tell him. "It would just gather dust or become a clothes hanger. Besides, where would I put something that big?"

He is just as sure that it could sit on the patio (and get rained on?). But summer is too hot, winter too cold, days too short and nights too dark for exercise -- and mornings? Way too early.

Am a pro at explaining why I didn't exercise. There's also the excuse that I don't have leotards ... or do, but can't stand wearing them out the door. Someone might see.

Bless those people who love to run and sweat. Am happier -- maybe lumpier -- but certainly happier sitting here with a glass of wine, some cheese and crackers. And maybe by the weekend, a Hula Hoop!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Told my hubby last night that I'd started a blog and his reaction was "OMG, will they know who you are."

"No, not really," I responded. "Well, maybe. But I've only started. No one is reading me yet."

~ ~ ~ ~

Watched Bill O'Reilly and heard the discussion about John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc. Seems he wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal, offering some reasonably sound suggestions for health care reform.

Because he had the audacity to oppose Obama health care, he is now being denigrated by numerous sites and has even been targeted by a Facebook group formed to boycott Whole Foods grocery stores. The group claims to have 22,000 members as of today.

What did he say that was so awful? Try —

Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. — Wish we had that when we were paying for our own insurance

Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. — Which means we can pick the company and plan we want across state lines

Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Come on folks. Perfectly obvious and simply rational.

By the way, have you tried to read the House Health Care Bill?

A shambles of addendums and changes to changes for incomprehensible reading. And when they do make a statement, it is so obtuse, it requires two or three lawyers in the room to decipher.

On a humorous note, read the section on REQUIRING INFORMATION TRANSPARENCY AND PLAN DISCLOSURE (page 39 of SEC. 133):

"PLAIN LANGUAGE.—In this subsection, the term ‘‘plain language’’ means language that the intended audience, including individuals with limited English proficiency, can readily understand and use because that language is clean, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing.

GUIDANCE.—The Commissioner shall develop and issue guidance on best practices of plain language writing."

Now, who's going to explain it to him?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

During my high school years, I wrote a column for the school newspaper using the pseudonym "aicram llennoccom" -- easily identifiable. But for me, it was just enough to make me feel I'd masked my identify and could lose my sense of shyness. After all, aicram wasn't me ... or was it?

These were tongue-in-check, Art Buchwald-esque columns with humorous approaches to things political, social, and of the moment. And, of course, all were decidedly liberal since I was a product of mid-state Illinois in the 1960's. We were the tiny band of Democratic rebels in the Bloomington/Normal twin cities.

My aunt introduced me to the local political party while I was in college, with party meetings at Lucca Grill -- still a Market Street corner landmark.

Times have changed mightily since then.

Living long enough, causes questions in not just your beliefs but your political affiliations. Today, I am a liberal -- which means I will vote for whom I believe is the "best" person and will try to filter all the information available to reach that determination. Sounds highfalutin, right?

Not like the old days, when (hate to admit) I would vote a party line. How many of the "bad guys" did we put in office that way?

For some time, I've seen things happen that made me want to applaud or yell or counter or just plain talk about. And blogging seems to be the new media.

So once again and for the first time, Aicram is about to blog. Real or funny, we'll see what happens.