The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

My husband is one of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet, truly.  Everyone loves him.  He’s friendly.  He’s handsome.  He’s loyal.  He’s thoughtful.  He’s a great husband, a great son, a great (read:  patient) father and now, a grandfather.  

He also is a name-maker-upper for us at home.  For instance, if I’m ironing a shirt, he’ll find me down in the basement.  “Hi, Iron-y!”  If I’m cleaning the bathroom, he stands behind me, “Hi, cleany!”  (All the time.  He does this all the time.)  If I get home from shopping, “Hey, shoppy!”  Cooking:  “Hey, cooky!”  I think you see the pattern. 

While silly and goofy, those names aren’t harmful in any way.  They don’t hurt my feelings.  Silly and goofy were two of my “husband” requirements, as a matter of fact.  He has those two qualities in spades, people.  In spades.    He just comes up with something on the fly.   

He’s really creative like that. 

The birth of “the list” list was created several years ago out of necessity.  We were newlyweds, and ever mindful of developing FWS (fat wife syndrome) I was standing in the kitchen having a low carb snack after work while I waited for the coffee to get done.  He came in the door from work, big, happy smile on his face, and the first words out of his mouth were, “Hi, porky!”  

No.  I am not kidding.

credit:  akarakingdoms
This isn’t me but it sure is cute.
I was eating low carbpork rinds, not twinkies.  And he saw me eating pork rinds, and in typical creative fashion, said that unfortunate word.  In quiet protest, I did not make dinner that night, and in addition (just in case he didn’t get the hint) maintained a stone cold, icy silence for the rest of the evening, which is my preferred method of communication when I am upset.  (Who’s with me?)   

The list” was born.  There have been remarkably few additions here and there, because ol’ what’s his name has learned his lesson.
 

Or has he? 

This morning I was getting ready for work, hurrying as usual, running around our bedroom slapping on deodorant and finding my shoes.  I grabbed my body spray (what I call smellgood) from Victoria’s Secret and was spritzing it on.  I always try to arch my back and shake my hair as I do this, like the VS models do, but even the dog doesn’t take me seriously.  My husband wandered in the bedroom to grab his gym bag, saw me spraying, and says cheerfully, “Hi, smelly!”   

He realized right away what he had said and looked like a rabbit with his back foot caught in a trap, trying to get away.  Fortunately, my steely gaze pinned him to the spot. 

LIST.” 

It must be time for a refresher course.

 

 

 

 
In the early part of August, 2012, I got an interesting phone call while at work.
Daughter:  Mom, if you had to hear some big news, would you want to hear it on the phone or in person?
Me:  (at work, busy, surprised and happy to hear from the child.  Yet somehow I know exactly what it is she’s about to tell me.  I’m cold all over and am able to astrally project to her location and smack her on the back of the head, hard.)
Daughter:  Are you there?
Me:  What.  WhatWhat is it?  Just tell me.  (Even I can hear the desperation in my voice)
Daughter:  Well, (tears start) I took three pregnancy tests and they all were positive. 
Me:  (I’m unable to speak.  I fumble for my insurance card and touch it several times for comfort.)
Daughter:  Mom??
Me:  I’m here.  And if three tests say you’re pregnant, then you’re pregnant
Although I’m still in shock, I make the appropriate it’ll be ok noises through frozen lips and hang up to call the insurance company.  Oh, God.  Although marriage has been talked about, they haven’t made it official, and now there will be a baby. 
Babies are a blessing.
The next few months fly by and I see her figure blossom from a lithe, lanky camisole & tight jean-wearing 20 year old to looking like she was shoplifting a big pumpkin. 
Feeling the baby kick was new and magical.  The baby squirmed and pummeled her bladder mercilessly.  Privately, I alternated between crying, being excited, and giving thanks that the baby was healthy. 
It is a girl.
I want to tell my daughter all the things that would change when the baby came.  Number one on the list that will change: 
1)  EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG, FROM NOW ON, FOREVER. 
As you can see, it’s a short list.  As a new mother, running to the store, running anywhere, takes on a whole new dimension.  You can’t just hop in the car and go.  You have to orchestrate it just right, which means to say you leave once the other parent tags in.  You’re done sleeping.  You’re done thinking of things to do for the weekend because you already know it’s going to consist of diapers and formula. 
I also want to tell her that despite the lack of sleep, the endless feedings and diaper changes, the 200 pounds of equipment you need everywhere you go, there are also moments of absolute bliss and they far outweigh the bad stuff.  The sweaty, solid weight of your child against your collarbone.  Their unbelievably good baby smell.  The tiny, trusting hand resting on your chest as you rock.  The first smiles.  The first words.
I try to tell her giving birth is going to hurt but those of us who have given birth know it’s a pain unlike any other and therefore hard to describe.  I also don’t want to scare the living daylights out of her.  I needn’t worry.  She listens respectfully but tells me that the tattoo she has going down her side from boob to butt was really painful and if she can get through that, she can get through this.
I listen and laugh.  And later, privately, I cry.  She doesn’t know.
I’m so glad for her when she comes home after work on her birthday and there’s an engagement ring hanging off the Christmas tree.  They’re happy.  That’s a wonderful thing.  I help her paint the baby’s room, roam through Babies R Us, plan her baby shower, and fall a little more in love with this granddaughter I haven’t met yet with each ultrasound picture I see.
This latest picture looks exactly like my daughter.  Exactly.  Same cheekbones.  Same forehead.  Same nose, lips, chin, and hands.
Her due date comes and goes.  She’s so big that MY back and feet hurt to look at her.
at 2 weeks pregnant.  (Just kidding.  More like 29.)
I have been eating for two her entire pregnancy out of nervousness.  I don’t tell her all the bad things that can go wrong.  During pregnancy.  During delivery.   I find myself in tears now and then and pray for an easy pregnancy and safe birth. 
I’m scared in a way I haven’t been in a while.
Finally, her doctor has her admitted on a Sunday night to have her cervix dilated.  Twelve hours later, the dreaded pitocin drip is administered.
The word pitocin sends chills up my spine.  It’s not pretty.  I remember doing backbends in labor with the force of a pitocin contraction.
It’s not long before it kicks in, and I hear her low moans start up.  The daddy, me and my other daughter have all been in the hospital with her for almost a whole day.  I’m grimy and tired from spending the night in a chair.  She’s in more and more pain and I hunt down the anesthesiologist in the hallway, because he should have been in there half hour ago. 
My daughter’s in pain, I tell him.  I watch him like a hawk as he administers the epidural block.  He doesn’t want me to watch because he says I could faint.  I tell him I’ve had two spinals myself but he says it’s different when it’s your child.  He’s right but I watch anyway.  He cautions me that if I faint he’s going to administer New York CPR.  I’m not amused.  He says, do you know what that is?  I just kick you til you wake up.  It’s not funny but I appreciate the effort.  I only laugh at his feeble joke because she’s not in pain anymore.
We’re told it could be a few hours now, so my oldest daughter and I run home so I can shower and change clothes.  I take a hurried 2 minute shower and while dressing, I get the phone call that a certain someone is about to meet her grandmother and if I wanted to be there, I’d best get down there quick.  What happened to “it’s going to be a few hours now?”
We’re there in no time, stopping on the way to quickly buy three stamps and jam three state tax returns into the post office box so they’re not late.  It’s tax day.  Way to procrastinate.
They’re ushering visitors out of her room and into the hallway once we get there.  She is about to begin pushing and my other daughter and I each are in charge of a leg, as she won’t be able to move them very well because of the epidural.  We are given instructions to push her legs backward to help with each contraction.  Dad stands, wisely, at the head of the bed.
Everything happens quickly.  She is told to take a deep breath and hold it and puuuuuuuuuuussssshhhhh!!!!! 
Unfortunately we too hold our breath and push with her.  As embarrassing as it is, I believe I pee a little.  My oldest daughter, holding her breath and the other leg, almost faints. 
I’m amazed at how hard the obstetrician grasps the baby’s head and pulls with each contraction but before you know it; the little shoulders are slipping out.  The proud daddy cuts the cord with shaking hands.  I’m a snotty mess.  I have not only just witnessed the unbelievable miracle of birth but also the birth of my first grandchild.
The Alyssa bun, fresh out of the oven.
At 8 pounds 2 ounces of beautiful, little Alyssa Rose makes her way into the world.  I’m amazed at how roughly efficiently the doctor and nurses handle the baby.  They competently towel her little slippery body off, throw drops in her eyes, diaper her tiny butt, weigh her, wrap her in a blanket and give her a hat with a bow before handing her to her tired, happy mama.  I begin to take pictures with my phone and those waiting in the hall see pictures of her on Facebook before the child is even 10 minutes old. 
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  My tears are streaming, uncontrolled.  I feel honored that I got to watch the birth.
The new mother tells me later that I kissed her big toe repeatedly during Alyssa’s delivery.  She seems to think that is hysterical.  I seem to remember that it was the only safe place to kiss during delivery. I felt I needed to help her relieve her pain in some way and kissing a safe area, i.e. the big toe with the freckle on it, seemed to be the only way I could do it.  It made me feel better, in any case.
Time passes quickly.  The baby is now 6 weeks old.  Each time I see her, I fall a little more in love with her.  It’s funny, because I told my husband that after I met him; I was done falling in love and I meant it. 



How could you NOT love this little face?



But you can fall in love again.  I was wrong.  I didn’t know how a grandchild could make you feel.  How hard it hits you in the stomach when you lean in close and croon, “How’s Grandma’s girl?” and you’re rewarded with adorable crinkly eyes and a big gummy smile.  Ermehgerd.
Between then and now, I bet I’ve taken 1000 pictures or more.  My friends and family and coworkers can back me up on that.  I say I’m taking them for my family who lives south of Rockford, but it’s not true.  I just can’t believe how amazing and perfect she is and want everyone to see her.
 



say Cheese!!

I believe she is easily the most beautiful child ever birthed, and although I am certain I am not the first grandmother to think that, I am the only grandmother who’s actually right.

Would you rather: 
a)  Slam your hand repeatedly in a door?
b)  Poke your eye with a sharp stick?
c)  Cover yourself with honey and lay on a fire ant hill or
d)  Take care of your husband/boyfriend when they’re sick.  
e)  a, b, AND c.  Or virtually anything to avoid the petulant, mewling infant masquerading as your husband/boyfriend.
“You have never been this sick.”
Recently, my husband underwent surgery to correct a deviated septum.  For months, he has been unable to breathe at night through his nose, and instead resorts to a cacophony of puh’s and rhythmic, sinus-y, repeated “noooooood” sounds. 
Sorry, ladies, he’s taken.  Guys like this are snatched up like *that.
I invested in earplugs, and have gotten to be somewhat of an earplug expert, as I am able to put them in while still sleeping, when my beloved begins his discordant nightly lullaby.
Thursday, Day One.  Surgery Day.
The surgery went very well, and we were told prior to the surgery that he would have nasal splints.  Yes, splints in his nose.  What we weren’t told is that once we got him home, our house would resemble the inside of a slaughterhouse.  Bloody tissues, bloody washrags, bloody nose, fingers, nasal spray, and face.  Joe’s in a constant haze of Vicodin, saline spray and antibiotics. 
The first night, Thursday night post surgery, went fine.  I was kind.  I was solicitious.  I was loving.  I play an excellent nursemaid to my poor, poor honeybear, for my true love has stitches and giant plastic splints in his poor schnoz.  “Is there anything I can get/do for you” become a mantra.  I fetch, carry, soothe and kiss.  After all, this is why I am off for two days from work; my boo-boo bear has a sore nosey-poo and I’m needed at home to help him!  He doesn’t have much of an appetite, poor dear.  I feel bad going to sleep because I know he’s going to be uncomfortable on his recliner.  I hope he sleeps ok.  ***
here’s the Poor Dear.
Friday, Day Two.



Joe did not get much sleep.  I thought that might happen, and gosh, I feel so bad.  I bet he’ll sleep today, take lots of naps.  And since I’m off work, I might get some writing done.  This might be a good thing.  It will be like caring for a newborn; he will sleep, eat, poop.  Sleep, eat, poop.  I prepare a wonderful lunch.  After one bite he pushes it away.  Poor baby.  I guess the Vicodin is making his tummy hurt.  I take the uneaten lunch back in the kitchen and begin a never ending, cycle of providing tissues, squirting him with nasal spray, cleaning out his nostrils with q tips (only gagging once) fetching antibiotics and Vicodin, and taking pictures.  I feel needed.  I don’t get much writing done and resort to playing games on my phone, most of which I can’t finish because he needs one thing or another, but that’s ok.  He sleeps on the recliner again.  I “go” to bed but don’t “stay” in bed, because he urgently needs me for one thing or another and wakes me up approximately 32 times.  I’m tired but I love my pookie pants so I get up mostly to offer him moral support.
Happier times.  In the chair.
Saturday, Day Three.
It comes back to me how exactly a newborn sleeps.  I am crabby from lack of sleep and both pinch myself and swill coffee regularly to stay awake.  It’s not hard because the second I start something (including resting my head on a pillow) Joe’s Superpowers of Interruption kick in.  I have given up trying to write.  I have given up trying to read.  I have given up playing games on my phone, even Ruzzle, which is a two minute game. It is for the best because my eyes are watery and red.  I make a really good dinner which goes uneaten (by Joe, because he has no appetite and by me, because I’m full already—of resentment).  I endure another day of nostril cleaning, Vicodin fetching, and making meals that Joe won’t eat.  I hide in the bathroom with a can of Pringles and a Snickers bar but he finds me.    
…and Saturday Night.
The worst night of all.  Like, nightmare bad.  Due to clotting in the bad nostril, Joe is completely unable to breathe through his nose at all.  I don’t understand why this is a problem and tell him so.  I must have had a tone because he looks wounded.  I don’t even try to go in the bedroom tonight but rather bring a pillow to the couch out in the living room near Sniffle Snifflepants.  He struggles to breath.  I tell him, “breathe through your mouth, honey” except “honey” somehow came out as “stupid.”  I tuck the blankets around him, ensure he’s got tissues/nasal spray/headphones, turn the TV onto Soundscapes and lay down.  I think now he’s going to be able to rest because after all, he’s gotten about one hour of sleep in the past three days.  He lies there for approximately thirty seconds before he throws the covers back, sighing, and tells me, “I’m confused about how I should be breathing.”  I stare at him in utter disbelief and wonder if I should use the pillow from the bedroom to smother him or just use one from the couch.
…and even later Saturday night.
He gives up on the recliner and lays on the sectional at a right angle to me.  No sleep for either of us.  He’s convinced the splints have come out and he will choke on them in his sleep.  He might be right about the choke part but it won’t be the splints doing it.
Sunday morning.
I have given up on all pretense of kindness.  I am surly.  I am unkempt.  “What can I get/do for you” has died a mucous-y bloody death.  I am suffering withdrawal from Facebook, Twitter, Words with Friends, and Ruzzle.  I know now why I stopped after three children; I can’t do anything for more than two minutes without Snuffolupagus racing after me with nasal spray and/or Q tips and I can no longer stand the serene notes of Soundscapes without wanting to weep.  Crankypants is hungry but won’t eat.  Any patience I had is gone.  I make him a sandwich he is not going to eat and it makes me feel better when I poke a hole in it with my finger on my way into the living room with the plate.  He’s a manchild.
Sunday afternoon.
I’m not going to name names but it appears someone has been dicking around with the Q tips without me and has caused a torrential flood of a nosebleed.  I am instructed to call my EMT brother in law and find out what the best way is to stop the nosebleed because even though I have had first aid training and the aforementioned three children and have stopped enough bloody noses to last me the rest of my life, it’s not enough.  I grit my teeth and call and I’m given the magic instructions…pinch bridge of nose, put a small roll of gauze in between frenem and top lip and ice the forehead.   The nosebleed stops but the whining does not. 
Sunday night.
I am a broken woman.  I wish I’d never heard the term “deviated septum.”

Present day.
Pookie Pants Honeybear is now two weeks post-op.  He’s doing great.  He’s slept more in the past three nights than he has in a very long time.  
We both have. 
***most of this is not true.

My husband asked me the other day for a Christmas list.  I hemmed.  I hawed.  I wrote a total of:  two things.  One, a good pair of silver hoops for everyday wear (read:  days when I’m too lazy to look at my earring “shirt” and find something color coordinated) and also a soft, comfy black cardigan.  Oh, I may have mentioned “a ring” too.  In that silly, girly, breathy I-want-sparkly-jewelry sort of way. 

Are there other things I want?  Sure there are.  However, I’m the one who does the most Christmas shopping (I’m a control freak) and when I see something around Christmas time that I want, weeeeeellllll, pretty much I get it. 

Case in point…ordering from Kohl’s online today.  Got everything I needed for other people but WHAT’S THAT???  Pajama pants with penguins on them?  Yes, please.  Click!

I’m a procrastinator.  I don’t do my Christmas shopping like a lot of people, which is to say that I do it much later.  As of right now, I’m only about 50% done and instead of being out shopping right now…I’m writing.  And thinking seriously about a glass of wine.  But really, my kids are old enough now that they would rather have gift cards.  And how long does it take to go get a gift card?  They don’t run out, they’re always the right size, and the kids really, truly appreciate them. 

I buy gift cards as opposed to the jeans or shirts I would get them once upon a time that would sit in their closets, tagged, until they were outgrown and given to Amvets, mostly because those ba$tards at Plato’s Closet buy everyone else’s stained, torn clothing but not my new stuff that has tags on it.  People at Plato’s Closet, pay attention.  Stop buying crap from your friends. 

I buy gift cards for the kids because I don’t have a personal shopper.  Because I am not very good at picking out things that my children would actually wear.  The only things I’m pretty safe buying for them are camisoles (for the girls, and maybe one for me) and funny t shirts (for the boy, and maybe one for me).  I don’t really have any sort of sense of style or color matching ability.  What this means is I wear black pants a LOT.
 
Popular gifts for the youngsters:  McDonalds gift cards.  Victoria’s Secret gift cards.  Walmart, or Target, or Plato’s Closet gift cards (for those children who like Abercrombie jeans without the Abercrombie price).  Gas station gift cards.  A gift card at virtually any store that would actually prevent me from picking out actual clothes, thinking, “Oh, (fill in name of unfortunate child) would just love this.  It would look so great on them.  So smart.  She/he could even start a fad.”*

*Note to my mother:  nothing that you said would start a fad actually STARTED a fad. 

And of course, in their Christmas stockings, it’s pretty standard:  candy, scratchoff cards, body wash, a Christmas Pez thingie.  An orange.  A candy cane.  Hope they’re not looking at this because then they’d know what’s in their stocking.  Again.  For the fifth year in a row.

(Actually, thinking about this, why the orange?  Why, because my mother used to put one in my stocking.  Sometimes we’d poke the candy cane IN THE ORANGE and suck out orange juice.  We were hardcore like that.  I also remember my sister and I getting Leggs.  Remember?  pantyhose in the egg container?  Good times.)

No matter what you gift your children with, or how soon or late you shop, it’s a wonderful time of year for sharing with friends and family.  That’s my focus.  In the hustle and bustle of baking, shopping, holiday parties, etc, it’s really easy to lose sight of that.

And that leads me to remember one more thing that is on my Christmas list, every single year…that my family stay happy and healthy.  It is really the most important thing in the world to me.  Every year I hug my family a little tighter.  And next year, there will be a little granddaughter to celebrate with!  I am literally quivering with joy.

Merry Christmas!

What is fall bringing with it this year besides lower temperatures, frost on the pumpkin, and defrosting your car’s windshield in the morning?  As far as Krystine Vermeer of Infinitely Sweet is concerned, it’s “Stripes, Stripes, Stripes.  Chevron is still hanging in there.  Prints in general are pretty hot this season.  Long maxi skirts are here for a while too.  Knitted sweaters, dresses and cardigans are perfect for fall and winter.  They keep us warm and look stylish.  And now, with knits as a trend, there are plenty of knitted items available, in all possible colors, prints, and lengths.”
can you believe the choices?
 I have to photobomb a little bit here; bear with me.  There are so many good pictures I’m having a hard time picking just a few. 



Cool, right?  You never want to leave.



Infinitely Sweet is participating in the Cider and Cinnamon weekend at Edgebrook Shopping Center, Rockford, IL, so you could drop by there and see what I’m talking about.
  

 

decisions, decisions.





One more, if you will bear with me…
    

Bring your jukebox money.  You’ll want to spend it on this instead!!!
oh, yes.






spoiler alert…(don’t read if you don’t want to know who was voted off.)

Joe and I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time.

It’s the day the 25th season of Survivor starts!!!

We look forward to a lot of other shows, but those are a post for another day, because tonight was all about one show.  Survivor.

We had beer–Michelob Ultra, 95 calories, 2.6 carbs.  We got two pizzas from Papa Murphy’s–cowboy pizza, it was delicious, so don’t ask about the calories or carbs.  It’s the night Survivor starts, dammit.   We did skip the cookies, however.  Only because there aren’t any.  We’re not saints.

We selected the exact place on the couch we should park ourselves for maximum viewing pleasure…and then of course the dog had to go out, three times.  The pizza was delicious, the beer refreshing, the dog aggravating, the show interesting.

We marveled over how well you get to know the players now as opposed to other seasons, where the players were all nameless rabble until the final 10 or so.  Then you got to know them really well.

Not this season.  We got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly tonight, right off the bat.  I discovered that Jonathan, one of the medical evacuees who was allowed to return, sounds exactly like Alan Alda.  We like the petite brunette with the short hair who is a sex therapist.  We did not like the blond in the yellow bikini (a student, who ran track, and was miss former teen whatsit) or the brunette in the yellow bikini (a know-it-all investment banker, lying that she’s an executive assistant.)   They’re too giggly and have no idea what this show Survivor is all about…and didn’t even recognize Lisa Welchel, who played Blair on Facts of Life. 

They probably weren’t even born when that show was on.

Russell, another evacuee bought back, said he refused to take the leadership role, all the while forcing himself down the throat of his fellow campmates as…their leader.

No one else really stuck out, except for Zane, whom I we pretty much hated on sight. 



Jeff, welcome back to our humble living room.  Where you belong.

He was an idiot from the beginning, making alliances within the first 40 seconds with every single girl on the island.  Then making other alliances with other people.  And telling everyone everything.  Every time he got a shot at being on camera alone, he crowed about how he owned the game.  Apparently he’s never seen Survivor, because everyone who’s ever said he “owned the game” in fact did NOT own the game and were quickly sent home.

Zane was no different.  Bye Bye, Zane! 

Stay tuned for next week, when there will be a different delicious dinner, a new episode of Survivor, perhaps a new and unique place to sit on the couch but most importantly, we’ll be one week closer to Halloween! 

And I’ll be waiting.  AAAaarrrgghh, Maytee!



Soooooo ready for Halloween.  11 more days til D-Day…Decoration Day.



Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done…done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to “keep house”, it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That’s what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn’t. 

I’m being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the “zone”, where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone’s stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It’s just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I’m brainstorming.  I’m developing my characters.  I’m plotting out the next great American novel.  I’m not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I’m being lazy. 

I’m afraid.
I’m futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.
The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.
I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don’t I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.

As weekends go, it was a pretty fun one, to be sure.  After an excruciatingly LONG four day work week, Joe and I slept in Saturday morning, getting up at a leisurely 8:30 a.m.  (I think.  I had the wrong glasses on.)  Into the living room we went to map out our garage saleing for the morning.  Aside from a few promising prospects, there weren’t as many as normal; although there was one with 8 homes on one street, though, and we were sure to score something there.
We didn’t score anything there and in fact, there was one house where the clothes and various dirty household items were strewn about on rickety tables with no prices.  Ew.
People, if you’re going to hold a garage sale, there are ten rules.
1)      You’re trying to get rid of it, right?  Price it that way.  Otherwise you will be packing it all back up again.  If it means that much to you, don’t sell it.
2)      Group like items together attractively.  Make sure they’re clean and if electric, make sure they work.
3)      Put a price on your items.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  People attending your garage sale tend to walk away from something if it doesn’t have a price. 
4)      Signs.  There can never, ever be enough signs to gently guide me, the garage-saler, to the exact location of your garage sale.  After all, if you’ve gone through all the trouble to have a garage sale, let people know where it is.
5)      And if you advertise a garage sale, then hold a garage sale.  We have searched high and low for a particular sale because of what was promised in the ad, only to find a closed garage door.  It wasn’t pretty.
6)      When said sale is advertised, please don’t just say “too much to mention.”  Give us poor coffee-swilling; diehard garage sale fans some idea of what you are selling.  My idea of miscellaneous is household/clothing/glassware.  Yours might be quilt blocks, pictures of cats, old baskets, and embroidered, raffia’d toilet tissue (For Decorative Use Only).  Neither one of us would be happy, right?  Right.
7)      Having a cooler of water/soda or a lemonade stand on a hot, hot day is a stellar idea.  Just don’t charge more for the drinks than you do for items on the table.  And if you are charging more, they have better have liquor in them.
8)      Have a “free” box and put something in it.
9)      If you have colorful children’s items, line them up and down the driveway.  It catches our jaded garage-saler’s eye and makes us more apt to stop and browse.
10)  It never hurts to have friendly people manning your garage sale.  Throw on the radio.  Turn on a fan for circulation in a hot garage.  It does make a favorable difference in your garage sale ambience. 

Yesterday on our Saturday “hunt” we found:  a cool Schlitz sign, a unique square plate, a bag of pretty  headbands, and a ceramic heart decoration. 



the headband on the left is for when I go hunting.  Not.
Jos. Schlitz.  Too cool for school.
new fruit plate.  new heart thingie.
We also, despite our complete zig- zagging around Rockford, found that we came across the same husband/wife couple at three consecutive garage sales in three different neighborhoods.  When we saw them the last time, I mentioned that we weren’t going to map out garage sales next week; we’d just follow them around.  The wife responded by slyly grabbing up all of the cool dog toys that I didn’t see.  The husband retorted that we’d have to be willing to go to breakfast first and pay the bill in exchange for their knowledge and expertise. 
We laughed.  As the husband passed my husband on the way to the truck, he told Joe that he and his wife were going to do a little tweaking to their current garage sale schedule so that he could, and I quote, “see if he could shake us.”
I’m sure he was just kidding.  He probably just didn’t want us to get all the embroidered toilet tissue.
Game on.  See you next Saturday.



Despite being wracked with grief over the impending divorce of Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise, we were able to have a lovely Fourth of July*.  Busy?  Yes.  Fun?  Yes.  Family?  Some.  Beer?  Yes.  Oh, yes, please.
Not only did we have today off, about a week ago, after work, Joe and I packed, got our routine “drive” coffees and some candy, and then drove to his sister’s house in Wisconsin, arriving around 7:30 pm.



Yes, we actually stayed here.  It was gorgeous.



There, we met up with two of my husband’s sisters, Anita and Carla, and Joe’s mother Mary.  Also present:  Anita’s boyfriend Ron and Carla’s hubby John.  (Missing:  the last sister Lisa, her three kids, and all three of mine.)  Sadly, work schedules are extremely prohibitive sometimes.  L


Hey, turn around.  I’m taking a picture here.



But I digress.
We were there Thursday through Sunday afternoon.  A typical day consisted of getting up and having coffee, then taking a nice hour long walk looking at the pretty scenery.  It was also very hot.  It is beautiful, too, as you can see.  



Woops, wrong picture.  But still pretty darn cute.


That’s better. 

Did I mention it was hot?  By the time we got back, it was almost beer: thirty.  Time to get on the bathing suits and head down to the refreshing water after packing up a cooler and some reading material.  I was able to finish the book “The Litigators” by John Grisham (it was good), and Carla worked on the last book by Stieg Larsson, which I believe is “The Girl with the Tattoo Who Played with the Fiery Hornet’s Nest”.   She recommends it highly. 

We read.  We walked.  We ate.  We laughed.  We floated on our backs, on rafts, on noodles.  We hogged the cookies.  We drank one or two beers.  (cough *an hour* cough)  We played games of Sequence every night before the sun, fresh air, and liquid beverages caught up with us…then woke up to do it all again the next day.

We were on lake time.



A very serene Sunday except for the Loch Ness Monster sighting.

In short, it was an awesome (if somewhat abbreviated) vacation.  Good for the body, good for the soul. 

Not so great for the waistline.  Those vacation calories waited until I was asleep before slapping themselves all over my sunburned self. 
Stay tuned for the next article, tentatively entitled “The Girl Who Lost Weight by Running Away From a Hornet’s Nest.”
*interesting note.  Tom Cruise also starred in the movie “Born on the Fourth of July.” 



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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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