The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘rockford’ Category

Attention all Poets!
In Print is holding several writing contests this year!!  From now until February 28th, we are taking poetry submissions.
Sharpen those pencils, grab your ballpoint pens and a clean tablet of paper and find a quiet place to write.
Are there prizes, you ask?  Of course there are!  Good question!  The prizes are as follows:  $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place.   In cold, hard cash.  Not only that, you will get recognition at the In Print meetings, on our website, and in our newsletters. 
Winners of the poetry contest will be announced at our April 13th meeting, where local poet Christine Swanberg will be our special guest.
If you are a member of the wonderful writing group In Print, there is a $20 per fee piece, which includes judges’ feedback on your musings.
If you are not a member of In Print, the fee is still $20 per piece, but no judges’ feedback…unless, of course, you decide that In Print is a splendid writing group to join.  You would be write.  Er, right.  When you join you not only get judges’ feedback but all the valuable benefits In Print offers. 
We are holding two other writing contests this year.  One is the non-fiction writing contest.  Submissions for that are accepted May 1 through June 30 with winners announced on August 10, and the fiction contest accepts submissions from September 1 through October 31, with winners announced at the December 14th meeting.
In Print has a panel of 5 qualified judges to read and critique submissions, and of course declare first, second, and third place.
For more complete instructions on how to enter check out the In Print website and to submit poetry, just use the In Print submission form by either clicking on this link.

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!

Oh, friends, do I have pictures for you.  Tonight, before Joe and I forced ourselves to go work out because it’s good for us, we stopped at One of a Kind, which is truly a one of a kind shop right next to Barnes and Noble at the Cherry Vale Mall. 

The Christmas Open House at One of a Kind is going to be from 7am to 9 pm on Friday November 23rd, Saturday 8am to 9pm, and Sunday, from 11am to 6pm.

For every $50 you spend, you’re entered into a drawing to win a basket positively stuffed with good schtuff, and if you spend $25, you get to spin for a gumball and if you get the purple one, guess what.  You’ve automatically won a $5 gift card to One of a Kind.

There are tons of things to see at this store.  I will share some pictures:

This is all kinds of aromatic bath salts and lotions.

You should probably have some coffee beans on hand to give your nose a good clearing out so that you can go on to the next thing to sniff.  Trust me, it’s hard to choose between scents.

candles, lovely, good smelling candles.



and you can never have enough jewelry.



Here are some pics of the cutie pie tie dye.  I’m such a poet.

she’s saying, take me home!  I belong on your windowsill where I will watch you wash dishes!

Here are some of Linda’s bottles!

Embellished Accents.  A great addition to your holiday table!
toward the back of the store, where there are bows, bottles, and handmade cards.



Here’s a shot from the back of the store toward the front, with Judy blissfully unaware that she’s having her picture taken.  You’re welcome.

So a big thank you to Judy for letting me come and disrupt her business to snap pics everywhere and ask question after question, all the while exclaiming over all the cuteness that is One of a Kind.
My mother and I will be there on Saturday to begin our Christmas shopping.  Come join us!  See you there!



As promised, here are some pictures that go along with the Infinitely Sweet article (part one.)  For some reason, the Examiner.com website is not allowing me to do a slideshow, which I planned out meticulously, and then am unable to use. 

The result is that I’m going to photobomb my blog with pictures and link this up.

Let’s start, shall we?
 

Squeal!  Rockford Sock Monkey clothes!!! 

 This side of the store makes me want to go get a bunch of babies and dress them up in these adorable clothes.  Is there anything cuter?

Check out these headbands:



these little girl headbands are absolutely DELICIOUS.   And quite artfully displayed, as well.

And these socks!  Can you believe all of these socks?  Could these things be any more adorable?  I wanted to buy all of them.  Thankfully I had the small car so I wouldn’t have been able to fit them all in.  Plus, I just rearranged my own sock drawer. 

And these!  There are little dresses of all shapes and sizes and colors.  Not to mention, there are accessories to match.

Hair bow, anyone?  How about a hat or a barrette?



 At any rate, I am doing an article in a couple of parts on Infinitely Sweet.  I really love going in that store, both for drooling over all the baby clothes and seeing what’s in style for the fall on the teen/tween/junior side. 
But that is a story for another day.
****Examiner…get your slideshow uploader to work.

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.





jennifer ellison/freedigitalphotos.net
I’m sure the storm looked exactly like this.  However, I was snoozing.



Our power went out at 5:30 this morning, in the midst of an enormous, rainy, loud, crashing thunderstorm.  Unconcerned, my husband and I snuggled a little tighter, listening to the soothing sounds of the rain, which we could hear ever so much better because the central air conditioner and our ceiling fan were not moving.  Le sigh.
Soon, thanks to the stagnant air, “snuggling” became “sticking”.   We untangled ourselves and hurried to get ready for work.  (We take showers at night).  I couldn’t see to put on makeup and had no power to blow dry my hair.  No problem, I thought.  I’d doll up in the car and straighten my hair at work in the bathroom.
First, though, my husband and I had to deal with something we didn’t think would be an issue, to wit: 
a)      The side door to our garage is always locked. 
b)      The big garage door won’t go up when the electricity is out. 
c)      You can’t open it by hand unless you’re inside the garage.
d)     You can’t get IN the garage unless you have a key for the side garage door.
e)      We can’t find the key for the side door, and….
f)       My car is in the garage.
He tried all the keys we had.  None worked.  We sipped furiously on our tepid, weak coffee, plotting our next move.
I tried unsuccessfully to McGuyver the lock with a Swiss army knife and a bobby pin but decided I’d better quit screwing with it before I snapped the bobby pin off inside the lock, making a bad morning even worse.
Long story short, we found the garage key.  Sometimes, luck is on your side.  Or hanging up on the key rack.
This marks the second time in a week that we’ve lost power…last Wednesday night; ten minutes after I had applied hair color to my head and eyebrows, a furious thunderstorm came ripping through the neighborhood, knocking our power out.  I ran shrieking into the bathroom to wipe the color off my eyebrows, ensuring I didn’t turn out like Burt & Ernie. 
Hair, I could fix, recolor, cut, or hide under a hat.  Eyebrows?  Not so much.
Dominos made dinner tonight, as the power was still out at dinnertime.  However, the power came back on (let me say that again, because the words are so delicious, the power came back on) around 8. 
Thanks, Dominos.  The pizza was delicious.  Thanks to Com Ed for getting the electricity up and running again.
I’ve got the Power!!!
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.



Get it?  Get it?  Red box???



Ok, first, it would behoove you to go online at home and reserve the movies you want first, before ever going to the Redbox kiosk.  One and done.  The only thing you have to do when you actually get to the Redbox dispenser is swipe and wait.  Swipe and wait, people, swipe and wait.  Much easier.
If you are still in the dark ages and don’t own a computer, or you just happen to be out and about and decide to pick up a movie on the way home, let’s be a little more considerate.  See below.
a)      Are your hands clean?  The Redboxes are a public use item, which means who knows what cultures might be growing on the kiosk screen.  I don’t want to use the screen after you’ve been eating Cheetos, or some big greasy hamburger, or mining for green gold, or trying to pick the apple you had for lunch out of your teeth. 
b)      The places of business putting out these kiosks also should make antibacterial wipes available just like they do next to the grocery carts.  Why?  See above.
c)      Place your phone calls before you lean on the box, head under the screen, and start cruising for a movie.  Do not call home three different times trying to get a popular consensus on what you should get, you flipping moron.  More importantly, do not call someone and leave a message, then linger in front of the screen waiting for a callback.  You’re a big boy and it’s only a dollar.  Live dangerously.
d)     Please, for the love of all that’s holy, read the trailer information for movies some other time, like at home while you’re choosing your movies beforehand.  I was once behind a man who read the synopsis of at least 16 different movies to his phone friend.  I was just trying to return one movie before the 9 o’clock deadline.  He ended up not renting anything.  And I had to pay extra because of his obnoxiousness.  My printout receipt showed 9:01 pm.      
e)      Speaking of deadlines, try to avoid the 8:55 pm rush.  It’s not pretty.  Whoever lost the fight has to return the movie, and obviously the clothing choices reflect that.  People, please remember that you will be seen returning the movie, oh Unshowered One.  Wearing orange piggy flannel pajama bottoms and a red Wisconsin sweatshirt while rocking striped spa socks…I am judging you, and I am not alone.  That schnit doesn’t fly.  You’re making Walmartians look like fashion icons. 
f)       If for some unusual reason I have to stand at the kiosk and choose instead of having reserved my movies at home like I normally would, don’t you dare stand too closely behind me.  It does not make me go faster.  It skeeves me out and gives me butterfingers, causing my fingers to slip because it makes me nervous…
g)      …and threatened.  If I feel threatened, it could also force me to break out my professional ninja moves and karate chop your solar plexus.  It’s very possible that I could miss and deliver a massive blow to your junk, making you miss YOUR 9:00 pm deadline.  Oops.  Just stay the hell back.  You’ll get your turn.
Easy enough, right?  You would think.  So many people, however, observe no Redbox etiquette whatsoever.   I’m merely here to gently guide them.
Enjoy your movie.

*thanks, Jenny-Wren, for your input…

Below you will find a copy of the true essay I had published in the anthology “Red Silk”, put out by Womanspace of Rockford, IL.
“Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Five simple little words.  Yet, if used properly, you will find that although both small and simple, those words are powerful.
I have always been a reader.  Growing up, I was attracted to books and the world they allow you to inhabit.  Summers when I was out of school, I would ride my bike up to the public library, where I would while away the long afternoons in the cool quiet library basement, reading biographies of famous people, spiders who spin webs describing fantastic pigs, and wrinkles in time.   My vocabulary grew and grew, as did my imagination.
A fun writing assignment on parodies I turned in for an English class in high school turned out to be an example the teacher couldn’t wait to read in front of the class…and the attention I received…well, let’s just say I was hooked.  Validated.  I could write.
As I grew older, my tastes changed and I began reading more grown up fiction; romance novels, mystery, and terrifying novels about things that go bump in the night.
I also began journaling.  I have been keeping a journal and writing down dreams (both awake and asleep) since I was 15 years old.  As I grew older, it became less a dream journal and more an outline of what was going on in my young life; what I wanted, what was happening in my life, all my dreams and fears, doubts and triumphs.
A few years later, I was a single, overwhelmed mother of three; I still journaled.
It was a time when I was unhappy, lonely, self conscious and a complete nervous nelly.     However, I loved the freedom of being able to take out my frustrations of daily life safely, secretly in pen and paper, whenever I needed to 
I also began a wish list.  Before anything like “the Secret” became popular, I remember toying around, drinking a cup of coffee, making a list of attributes of my dream man.  I was extremely detailed, (must like children, must be kind, must be funny, and must like fishing…) right down to having him be a great kisser.  This “man” list wasn’t my only one; by far…I had lists of things I needed to do around the house, ways to lose weight, ways to make money…lots of other things filled this journal but my dream man list was fairly memorable, and I reread it often, sometimes adding and subtracting attributes.
A few years later, I was given a book to read that outlined exactly how to ask for everything you could possibly want.  Like a brand new computer.  A new freezer.  A car.  The perfect weight for your body.   The perfect man.
Just write it down, trust that you will get it, let it out into the universe, and close your notebook.
I did this, rather tongue in cheek, and filled several notebooks.  Couldn’t hurt, right?
Actually, no.  It didn’t hurt at all.  As a matter of fact, one afternoon I went to pick up some Market Day at the elementary school.  To my utter shock, my name was listed as the winner of a brand new freezer.
A guardian angel of a loan officer helped me buy an adorable green Honda that my sister had for sale.  Nine years later, it’s still adorable…but a little rusty.
I applied for a $1000 grant to buy a computer to help with college schoolwork.  I didn’t win the scholarship, but received a phone call informing me that although I didn’t win, my application had been taken to heart by the woman running the contest.  Within two weeks I received a brand new Gateway computer/printer/monitor.  For free.  (Thank you, Linda Lael Miller.)  It should be noted that my computer was the exact same Gateway computer setup that I had written down in my journal…right down to the color and brand name. 
I found a diet that worked for me, and the time/motivation to exercise.  I lost 65 pounds, reaching a good weight for my body type.
It could be argued that all of these really, really good things happened because I wrote them down, because some magic happened; that I asked for them in such a way that the universe was obligated to answer.
It could also be argued that writing those things down not only released into the universe that I wanted them…but ALSO released into the universe the idea that I finally thought I deserved them.  That in the end, even if it was subconscious, I finally realized in some way that the only thing standing in the way of getting those things was ME.  If I placed value on myself and what I wanted, I got it.  What a revelation.
I grew from a timid, shy, overweight single mother into a confident, slimmer, better version of myself, all due to the power of writing, of valuing myself and what I wanted.
Whether or not writing down your wishes and dreams puts everything into motion, it certainly does open a portal.  Seeing the written word is powerful.  Opening your journal and seeing what you have asked for, over and over, reinforces in your head that what you’re asking for is not only valid and attainable, but also a foregone conclusion.
As you can see in my situation, I had several examples where my writing was powerful enough to me that it manifested things I wanted.  
And that list of attributes I wanted in my perfect man?  I met my husband Joe on eHarmony.  Wouldn’t you know it; he met almost every single one of my detailed requests…the lone exception being he doesn’t like to fish.  In the scope of things, this is an extremely minor detail.
What I still find even more amazing is that I had written it down, asked for it, put it away, and just trusted that eventually I’d find my perfect guy.  And I did.   


  • None
  • 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!

Categories