February 28, 2011

Quiet moments

This weekend, I went for a walk in my favorite local park. I went for quite a few walks, actually, just to get out of the house away from the sickies. (Beerman's home today, miserably huddled under blankets, a clear reminder why I'm glad I don't have tonsils anymore! But C-man was good enough to get on the bus with his Superbowl football to show off for "S" day.) And while Harry was flying around the park, literally diving under the snow drifts to come out on the other side looking like a small Yeti, I was really, really happy in the incredible quiet.

The snow was dropping in great big giant snowflakes. Nobody had been in the park since it'd started snowing, and the animals had obviously hunkered down until it let up. The insulated quiet around me was so calm and peaceful, and the enormous flakes falling on my face were fantastic.

I'm more than ready for it to be spring. To see the trees bud out and the tulips spring from the ground. I'm ready to see and feel the sun on my face. But until then, it's good to know there's still joy to be had in the winter, too.

February 27, 2011

Weekend life

Beerman has strep, C-man has a green nose, and Harry and I have been making as many park stops as we can. The snow has been so deep, that yesterday we were true trailblazers along the lake, stopping only to de-ice a paw or two until it got dark. But now, I'm off to disinfect the house. I live such a glamorous life...

February 26, 2011

Snow globe

We're living inside a snow globe. Which is incredibly pretty, except I'm stuck inside with a sick kid and a sicker husband. The child is whining and crying because the dinner he asked for 5 minutes ago somehow became something he doesn't want to eat once I handed it to him. And the husband refuses to sleep anywhere but on the couch, so there's nowhere to go without hearing him honk and snore. I can't even do the puzzle in the newspaper, because our carrier only feels like delivering it to us once every 3 days lately. And did I mention I'm still feeling like garbage? And that my brand spanking new dishwasher sounds like a Mack truck rumbling through the house?


I'm ornery. Time to book a massage tomorrow.

February 25, 2011

Day off

C-man had the day off school. He has a day a month like this. I don't totally understand why, but I'm sure it's some records thing for the teachers. Anyhow, it was my month to be home with him.

Since I was going to be home, I scheduled the new dishwasher to be installed today, and was going to post a photo to show the new beauty. But alas, it was installed, and doesn't quite work right. (I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to rumble and squeak while running - that's why we got a new one in the first place!) Which really sucks. The good news is I called the installation guy and told him it made a rumbling noise, and he called back and said they ordered me a brand new one to be reinstalled on the 3rd. So at least I give GE an A+ on that piece - they didn't make the repair guy come out and see what was up. (American TV and Appliance could take a couple of notes!) Then again, maybe this has happened before, which could be troublesome. But that's a long story to tell you I still have a crap dishwasher.
To celebrate, C-man and I decided to take to the sledding hill. We had loads of fun until 2 little girls showed up and one kept dropping her sled down the hill. C-man was sweet and went to get it 4 times. On the 5th time, after she dropped our sled that I'd given her to be able to go retrieve her own sled too, I told him he didn't need to go again. Because I'm pretty sure at that point the little "sweetheart" was doing it on purpose because she thought it was funny.
Not letting any of it ruin our mood, we went down again and again and again. The sun is shining, it's 35 degrees, and the hill was fast. And somehow, I managed to not break my butt. It doesn't get much better than that.

February 24, 2011

Thursday thirteen things I think you should be doing

  1. Learning how to use your camera out of auto mode. I don't care if you only have a point and shoot and aren't a professional photographer. Having it in auto and using a flash when you're in a giant room is not okay. Plus, you get crap photos.
  2. Answering some daily questions over at That's My Answer during your morning coffee. It's a sweet group of people, the questions are eclectic and fun, and what else are you doing over your coffee in the morning?
  3. Buying yourself some fresh flowers to put on your end table. Trust me, it definitely makes the gloomy day a lot brighter.
  4. Planning one of your vacations for the year. We just got word that our trip to Chile is much more of a possibility to actually happen in September. Hot damn!
  5. Learning or brushing up on another language. There are all kinds of audio versions in the library, so you don't even have to spend any money on it. I'm going to be brushing up on my Spanish again. (See #4)
  6. Purging your closet of stuff you haven't worn all winter. Spring's coming, after all, so who wants to pack away stuff you don't wear anyhow? I just got rid of 50 items out of my closet and feel way better.
  7. Singing at the top of your lungs in your car. C-man and I do it on the way home from school every day, and it's a ton of fun.
  8. Donating to a local food pantry or shelter. (I suggest this one if you're in Milwaukee.) This winter in Milwaukee, there have been 34 nights of emergency shelters. (That means it's been less than 10 degrees, so those who aren't typically overnight shelters get to become them for the night). As a result, they're desperately low on food.
  9. Checking out Salt. (No, not her.) It's a Christian, faith-based site, but don't let that put you off if that's not totally your thing. It's really much more about spirituality through art and music.and they write beautiful posts about daily life stuff.
  10. Sledding down a hill, screaming your foolish head off the whole way. While it doesn't necessarily do the body good, it sure helps the soul.
  11. Exercising until you sweat. I don't like working out. Although I do really like yoga. (I'm still working on finding a place close to home with classes I like that aren't at 10 a.m. on a weekday.) But let's face it, how many times do we have to be told that our bodies need to move more before we believe it?
  12. Watching Modern Family. I really think it is the funniest show out there right now.
  13. Playing Words With Friends. I can't help it, I'm an addict and could use some more friends to play with me.

February 22, 2011

I need a drink

What once was a cool protest about what is or is not a right has turned into crap from both sides.

No, Rachel Maddow, Wisconsin does not have a budget surplus. Your numbers are based on the next 2-year budget, of which this is not affecting. And all those of you quoting her - bah!

And no, this is not about balancing a budget, but about Governor Walker making good on his promises to those who financed his campaign. Those of you behind his positions without even knowing who the Koch brothers even are and what role they play in this state's government - bah!

It's not cowardly or weenie or wimpy of the left to flee the state. It's the state version of a filibuster. For the record, I don't like federal filibusters either. I think they are dumb and wasteful and often just delaying the inevitable. But they're a part of our democratic system. Just like the ability to push through votes while they're absent.

I've worked for unions, I've helped organize unions, I work for an anti-union company and help them stay that way. I get both sides. Really, I do.

But all this back and forth, sigh... It makes me tired. And want to drink.

In the end, what makes me the saddest are those arguing "I have had my wages or benefits cut, so they should too." Because they need to look up the word Shadenfreude and think about what is they're really saying to the world when they take that position.

February 21, 2011


The heavy wet snow makes for a beautiful sight out my window.

February 20, 2011

Legal documents

just in case the current political climate gets too crazy, we can all make a run for the border, eh!

February 19, 2011

Best gifts

As I was getting ready to go to C-man's martial arts class, he came running into the room to hand me this. It might have been one of the best things I'd ever been given.

February 18, 2011

Duck parade


This past week I was in Orlando for work. I had the pleasure of staying at the Peabody. At 11 and 5, the famous ducks do their parade in and out of their fountain.

I skipped out of a session to watch the Grand Duckmaster parade the ducks along their red carpet, and of course, take some photos of them.

Being a duck isn't always such a bad thing.

February 17, 2011

Done Tripping

I'm home again. And while it was sunny and gorgeous in Florida, and home is gray, foggy and in the 40s, I'm really, really happy to be back. Because it was still work, and airports are still airports. And home is where I get to hug my husband and little boy and have my dog sleep right next to me because he missed me too.

February 15, 2011

Patient Saint

I'm still in Orlando in the sun, but will leave you with my favorite garden statue who is patiently awaiting spring.

75 and sunny

As I'm lounging by the pool in the bright shining sun, I'm hating Orlando just a tiny bit less.

February 14, 2011

Love Day

From ours to yours, Happy Valentines Day!

February 13, 2011


I believe whether we are natural optimists or pessimists is mostly a result of our personality. But I firmly believe whether we see the world as half-full or half-empty is ultimately our own choice. It's something I've thought a lot about lately, in particular as I see people deal with the events of their lives. I'm not a half-full girl by nature. But as I watch those who move, sometimes trudge even, toward the only possible direction, which is forward, I am truly inspired. There are so many things around us that are so unimportant. That's why I think at the end of the day it's mostly about recognizing the few that really are and focusing on them.

February 12, 2011

An early love day

In case you hadn't looked at your calendar, Valentines Day is Monday. The same day I'll be on a plane flying to hell Orlando. So in lieu of the actual day, we're celebrating today. And I came home from my workout (after only 40 minutes because I was super dizzy and ill - apparently just being fever-free isn't the same as being well) to receive 2 dozen roses - one set from C-man (in orange, of course) and the other in deep red from Beerman.

I don't care what people say about Valentines Day and its Hallmark made-upishness. Getting roses is awesome. And having 2 men in my life I love is even more so.

February 11, 2011


I'm still feeling achy and shaky today, but don't have a fever. Yet. And my vision is back to normal, which is highly positive. So I'm working from home again today and can't stop singing one of C-man's songs that he made up... "Little Whaley Guy, Little Whaley Dude..." (Because it's too much work to embed right now, it goes to the tune of: F#, F#, G, F#, high C, F#, F#, G, F#, E - eighth, eighth, quarter, quarter, half; eighth, eighth, quarter, quarter, half) I'm always bad with the earworms, but know I'm sick when I can't get something out of my head.

So here's to making it through the week! I'm raising my glass of Alka-Seltzer on my end. Raise whatever you've got on your side of the screen.

February 10, 2011

It's dang cold

I feel like I've crawled back from the other side of the River Styx. Yesterday, I was running a 101. I barely moved from the couch, shivering under 3 blankets, woken up only by one phone call (Beerman making sure I was alive) and the dog walker (who must think I'm the laziest thing ever, having the dog walker come to walk my dog when I'm home). And even then, my only movement from the couch was to insert Wall Street into the DVD player. Thankfully, the fever broke later in the afternoon. But I feel totally drained today. Thankfully, I have non-stop meetings today, which means I have to think very little, and just manage a nod now and then to make it look like I'm "leveraging my skills" and "partnering with others".

And, of course it's "freaking cold" as my 5 year old put it. (Yeah, we put a stop to THAT saying pretty quickly, but only after I managed to suppress a snicker.) Warmer days are coming, I just know it. And if not, the polar bears can vacation here, because there is no ice melting!

February 8, 2011

Looking ahead

It's February. The month that sees fashion move to fourth on the list behind warmth, comfort and warmth. It's the time when I go through lotion by the gallon. It's the month when it snows 2 inches and everyone looks out at their driveways and says, "It's only 2 inches. It'll eventually melt." It's the month when I have to make my annual pilgrimage to the hell that is Orlando. (The whole dang city gives me the willies - the creepy animated characters walking around, overpriced everything, the angry driving, and throngs of tourists. At least there should be sun, though.) The month of writing out 2 Valentines a day until we get our whole class done.

But February also means that winter is turning the corner and nearing an end. (It HAS to be, right?) It means we're closer to Spring than we are to Fall. It means the days are getting longer and spirits are getting a little higher.

And this year, it's meant a fun Superbowl win. (C-man is so excited to now have his very own Superbowl football and hat that he'll grow into when he's about 14). And it's the middle of my path back to a healthier lifestyle and mindset.

So this year, I'm not hating February like I usually do. Instead, I'm looking ahead. Because it's only up from here.

February 7, 2011

I take complete responsibility for the win

Beerman is completely hoarse, tired, and happy. He sat in the end zone, and actually got in the stadium on time and had a seat. (Something that apparently wasn't that common for a wide number of people). We're just happy that he's on his way home today. C-man can't WAIT for it to happen, because he knows he's going to get a Superbowl-related something or other. What a nice thing to have happen in boring, cold, snowy February.

February 6, 2011

Waiting for 5:30

It's snowing. Again. So thankfully C-man has no desire to go anywhere today, save swimming lessons. He even turned down going out for breakfast. Instead, we're hanging out, playing games (I 3-starred the entire new Angry Birds level), watching movies, and singing Packers cheers. Oh, and I painted the kitchen. That felt good to check off the list. Almost as good as having cleaned behind the fridge. Wow- was that a hellish sight! I'm tackling the living room next, but need to get some Aleutian blue first.

We're invited to 2 parties today, but I don't really feel like it. I still feel like garbage, and to be honest - I'd much rather feverishly knit in the peace of my own home during the game than listen to some armchair coaches.

Beerman called to wish us a good morning. It sounds as if he's taken Dallas by storm - going from parties at Billy Bobs to chatting with Bart Starr (My happiness for him turned a little to jealous over that one) with a bunch of crazy stuff in between (VIP tickets to see Drake at the House of Blues, the Flying Saucer, and rooming next door to Wendell). Today he is at a tailgate all day until the actual game. I'm curious to hear where he gets to sit, because I've got to guess, it's not in the nosebleeds.

Go Pack Go!

February 5, 2011

The last time

One of C-man's classmates is going to have a sibling soon. The school parents very thoughtfully organized 3 months of twice-weekly meals, of which we have an assigned date. (Beerman's response to this was, "Doesn't she have a husband?" Seriously - God bless that man.) They finally got all the dates organized and emailed the mother to let her know. The mother responded with one sentence of sincere thanks followed by a whole paragraph of complaints about her pregnancy. And I almost lost it.

I've never had much respect for mothers who complain about their pregnancies during their pregnancies. I feel that those who complain about their impending births are about as disrespectful and ungrateful as a person could ever be, both to that child and the miracle that has happened in their family's lives. Planned or not, suck it up, because this is a child. I feel even stronger about this if it's not the mother's first child. Because let's face it, you knew exactly what you were getting in to, and exactly how you got there in the first place.

But now add in the fact that I just tallied up the past year's expenses in invasive procedures and futile fertility medicine attempts that we can't even deduct on our taxes ($24k and change in case anyone is counting), receiving an email of someone's complaints because she's having a baby doesn't really sit so well with me. I was so angry I almost emailed back and canceled out of our assigned date.

Thankfully, before I sent the horrible email to the woman who is actually quite a lovely person, I realized that this bout of irrational rage is courtesy of this week's infusion. In addition to the mouth sores, inability to sleep, not being able to wander very far from the bathroom for the past 3 days, and an overall complete lack of energy. A true miracle, just like I was promised.

So much to C-man's chagrin (the poor child has to be alone with me all weekend), I made him get up so we could take Harry to the park. The walk helped, but definitely wasn't enough. All I want to do is lie in bed and sob.

This is not okay. I will never, ever get another infusion of this garbage again.


On a much, much, much happier note, Happy 17th Anniversary! And might I add that it's a heck of a lot warmer today than it was 17 years ago.

February 4, 2011

Getting ready

Beerman is on his way. Well, sort of. Flights out of Milwaukee got canceled due to Denver weather, so he took the bus to O'Hare to fly to Springfield, Misery to then go on to Dallas. Let's hope he doesn't have to drive the rest of the way.

C-man has been wearing his Aaron Rodgers throwback jersey nightly. The thing is going to fall apart at the rate I've had to clean it.

And I'm in my Packers shirt, almost done with a work week, ready to go home and enjoy the weekend in a clean house, since the cleaners had to reschedule for today because they canceled due to Wednesday's weather. C-man has no baseball, and only swimming lessons at noon on Sunday.

Now if only the gnomes would do the laundry and get the groceries!

February 3, 2011

Random things about my week so far

  • It snowed Tuesday-Wednesday. A significant amount. Being north of Milwaukee and within spitting distance of the lake, we avoided quite a bit of it, but still got about 18" total.
  • Schools were closed yesterday, but not today. Which brings me back to my time in Kansas City a bit ago when 5" closed the city down for 3 days. I still contend they are total sissies.
  • It's Grandparents' Day today at C-man's school. His Nana had planned to come, but with the unpredictability of the weather and if school would even be on, it didn't justify us asking her to chance a 10 hour drive. Bummer. Maybe next year.
  • The Village took away our recycling center earlier this year because some jerk (not from our village) dropped off hazardous materials (they caught him from the surveillance cameras) in the recycling center, and now forces us to fit everything into a single can. If we have more recycling, we can pay for an additional can and then find somewhere to store the giant beast of a receptacle. Meanwhile, we get constant emails and newsletters telling us to recycle more, and how it saves the Village money.
  • We recycle every-other-Wednesday in our village. Because of the snow, the Village needed the trucks for plowing, moved recycling to today. Which was killing Beerman, because he had to wait an extra day to do put it out. Sometimes, his passive-aggressiveness is funny:
  • C-man is going to wear out his Aaron Rodgers jersey at the rate he's wearing it. If it's not on his body, it's in the wash.
  •  I had my very last infusion today. I am pretty happy to be kicking those to the curb. I feel like complete garbage afterward. And paying $5000 a pop to feel like crap isn't really something I want to continue doing. At least I got 2 hours of knitting in.
  • I also spent my time there watching Hi Fidelity. I bagged on John Cusack the other day on Facebook, and it seemed like there was a stampede of my friends to defend the greatness of his movies and acting ability. So I thought I'd give it another honest shot. Now don't get me wrong, I love a bit of sap probably even better than the next guy. But seriously people, the movies are not fantastic.
  •  With Beerman "working" this weekend in Dallas, C-man is going to have to go to the health club daycare Saturday morning. I wonder if he'll scream and cry that he doesn't want Mommy to exercise. (Mom, that one's for you)
  • I'm on Week 2 of workout. And after running for 30 minutes last night on a 12 incline (ugh), we did ab work. And everyone was grunting and groaning, except me. I'm pretty proud of that. Don't get me wrong - I'm totally out of shape. But the abs are starting to engage again.
  • I downloaded the Words with Friends app. It's essentially online Scrabble. Totally bad decision. I've hidden the iPod. I love Scrabble, and no one will ever play with me. So the idea of 24 hour a day Scrabble options with multiple players? I simply am not responsible enough to handle it.
  • I've also become kind of enamored with the show Spartacus. Not the old school movie, but the brand new TV show one. It's disgustingly gruesome, but I like it anyway. I can't help it.
  • The sun is shining today. That feels good.

February 1, 2011

Funny inside jokes

Once upon a time I wrote down a grocery list. It was at the beginning of being on my new drugs, and thinking clearly was just not possible. So I relied on my lists, even more than usual. And on this particular grocery list, I wrote "butter". 3 times. So Beerman, thinking he was incredibly funny, wrote "butter" after every additional thing I wrote when he knew I wasn't looking.

It's now the house joke. Whenever there's a list for something lying around, he hilariously writes "butter" on it in some form or other. In fact, I took this picture too early, because I even got "super butter" this time. (I'd love to see the cow that creates THAT!)

It feels good to have these silly types of ongoing jokes.
For the record, I'm totally looking forward to the paralytic storm. Bring.It.On.