Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Queen of EVERYTHING P.I.

After posting "Forty One Candles" I received some comments from GC. The comments were very nice, and assured me that I had nothing to be embarrassed about; however, there was cause for suspicion as to if the comments were actually submitted by GC himself. Now, Queen of OVERTHINKING that I am, ultimately kicked into operation as Queen of EVERYTHING P.I (I mean, why not - Richie Howell was a P.I so it must just run in my blood... right??) And as most P.I's don't work alone (remember Charlie's Angels, Magnum etc) neither did I. I had myself one cracker jack team; (who the hell, says that? I really am in P.I. mode LOL) anyway, Michelle (she´s been sending me emails with her last name actually listed as )K, Jackie, Jessica, Kate and Rachel all attempted to help me figure out this mystery.
So this was the sitch...
1. I received a total of 3 comments that were all variations of the same comment, but they were left on 2 different posts and at 3 different times.
2. The first of the 3 comments was left by 85Dutchmen (just like his very first comment on the other blog;) and the other 2 were from Dutchmen85.
3. All 3 comments asked me to say Hi to JV and I had no idea who JV was.
So, I ask you; given these facts, would you have been suspicious? Well, anyone who actually knows me personally, must know that my stomach was in a knot the entire time we were trying to figure out this conundrum. It's not that I WANTED the comments to be left by GC (no offense GC;) it was just that I didn't want them to have been left by someone else; and after the whole experience with the BL, I was nervous. I mean I am just a woman who is pursuing her dream and I didn't understand why someone would feel the need to tamper with that. Well, after a few days of torturing myself; and everyone else around me - I decided to do something that I thought was impossible for 27 years; and I called GC (Oh, yes I did!) OK, now it's not just like I HAD his number - I was able to find it on Zaba Search. I felt like I was in high school again, when I dialed those numbers and I just kept telling myself that it was for MY greater good. It took all the strength that I had, but I did it. I left a message and said something like"Hi, this is Paige and we went to Tappan Zee high school together and I was hoping to talk to you because I think that you left a comment on my blog etc. etc." I know; I'm crazy - but as with any problem, the first step is admitting it.
Anyway, I was really proud of myslf for facing my fear and leavng the message. NOT because I wanted to talk to GC so badly after all these years (no offense GC;) but because I went far outside my comfort zone and did something that was scary to me in order to preserve what I'm trying to build with this blog.
A little over 24 hours later GC left me a message and told me to call him back; so I did. Again I was nervous as I dialed his number; not so much to talk to him, and admit that I'd written about my crush, but more so because I didn't want to find out that someone had tampered with "TBR." Ater saying hello, there was a momentary pause and then he asked "So what about this blog?" "OMG! He has no idea what I'm even calling about" I thought; but then he said that he was only kidding and that he knew all about it; and he couldn't have been nicer.
As it turns out, all 3 comments in question, were in fact submitted by him. Mystery solved - score one for Queen of EVERYTHING P.I.
GC and I had a very nice conversation. He's happily married (put your Aw's aside - because so AM I;) and he really wasn't looking for naked pictures of himself when he came across my blog; and since many of you asked - he may even supply me with some pix (clothed of course,) so stay tuned.
So what has this experience taught me (other than that I may have a future as a P.I. if this writing thing doesn't work out...)
1. Proceed with caution (especially when using people's names in my blog.)
2. Most times what you imagine is far worse that what actually is.
3. If something is important to you; NOTHING should stand in your way - including fear.
4. A little embarassment won't kill you; it will just make you stronger.
5. Friends are invaluable. (But this I already knew!)

I hope that these lessons will prove useful to you too as we head into 2009. If anyone can find comfort or assistance from the experiences that I share, then a little embarassment now and then it is all the more worth it to me.
I wish you all happiness, health and prosperity in the New Year.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When Ya Gotta Go...

DISCLAIMER: For some this just may be a little TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

After arriving at my in-laws, we were promptly fed copious amounts of food. Carne Asada, rice, beans, guacamole, tortillas and Diet Coke. I think that it is a commonly known fact that Coke in Mexico, tastes different than the Coke in the states; and by different I mean better. I don´t know if the syrup is sweeter or what exactly makes it better; but just like Domino´s - it just is. I had told Luis before we left for our trip that although I LOVE Mexican Coke (That doesn´t sound right - does it...) that I was not going to drink any because I am ONLY drinking Diet soda and one sip of the regular and I knew that I would be hooked. So imagine my surprise, my delight, to find that Diet Coke is ALSO much better in Mexico - YAHOO!! or should I say Arriba, Arriba, Arriba!! Which according to Luis is the Spanish equivalant to Yahoo! Hmm, and I always thought that when Speedy Gonzales said that; he was telling the other mice to go Up, Up Up! LOL.
So, as I was saying - The Diet Coke is DELICIOUS; and trust me when I say that I never thought that delicious was a word that I would use to describe a dietetic, carbonated beverage - but I must!

My in-laws have a very modest, very large, home. Well, basically I guess you could say that it is more like a compound. There is an enclosed patio at the entrance, a small living room, kitchen and 2 small bedrooms. The bathroom and shower are outside in the courtyard, but they are enclosed and the courtyard is also filled with various plants and trees. There are 4 apartments on the ground floor, each with its own shower and toliet at the back of the house and on the upper level of the house, there is a beautiful terrace, 4 more bedrooms and another living room and kitchen.
Typically we stay upstairs but as the apartments are currently vacant; we chose to stay in one of those instead. When given the choice it was a no brainer for me, because even though we rarely go to the bathroom in the middle of the night; it seems inevitable at my in-laws, and all of the bathrooms are downstairs.
When I saw our apartment I was thrilled with our decision and made a mental note of how MUCH easier it was going to be to go to the bathroom. I woke up in the middle of the night and I had to pee like a racehorse. (It must have been from all of the delicious Diet Coke.) I happily went to the door, anticipating how much quicker and easier I was going to make it to the bathroom and I was horrified to find that I could not unlock the door. I know (now) that it required some kind of twist and pull action; but with my legs crossed and the pressure building, I just couldn´t figure it out. So, in a moment of desperation I grabbed a cup and proceeded to pee; right there in our kitchen. As I am the Queen of CLUMSY, it took me quite a few attempts to get the cup in the right place; and about 4 pee and dumps (yes, I still LOVE the Diet Coke) and finally; I was done. I cleaned up the floor, cleaned out the sink, threw away the cup (I hope;) LOL, (No, I know that I threw away the cup;) and went back to bed sans pajama pants, which got slightly wet during the first few "attempts." A few hours later I threw on some shorts, successfully unlocked the door and went to the bathroom again. In 41 years, I have never been so thankful to unlock a door in my life. You would have thought that I was Geraldo Rivera opening up Capone´s vault and actually finding something in there.
Oh, why is it that I am willing to sacrifice my privacy and my dignity for the sake of this blog? Why do I repeatedly share my mishaps, and acts of utter stupidity with you? I guess, I am just trying to adhere to that old addage "write what you know."
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vallarta Bound...

Advisory: No picures available at this time. Please check back for photos at a later date; sometime afterJanuary 3rd 2009.

We left Peoria at midnight on Friday night; destination - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Luis had napped a bit during the day and for several hours prior to our departure; so he was well prepared to drive through the night. Since I had been up since 410 am, it was well past my bed time but Luis understood that I was going to need to go to sleep pretty much as soon as we left the driveway; and I did.
We made it to Nogales (the border) by 330 am. I took the kids to the bathroom, and went back to sleep. By 730 we were in Hermosillo and in search of coffee. We stopped at Walmart (yes, Walmart) in Ciudad Obregon - to buy some Bolillo (hard rolls) for the Roast Beef and Turkey that we had packed in our cooler. We ate lunch, and drove on. We were making great time until we reached the fruit & vegetable inspection station, followed by the military checkpoint and concluding with a toll. The traffic was bumper to bumper.
At 430 I took my turn at driving so that Luis could get some rest. I kicked it up to 70MPH, and it felt like we were flying (God only knows what speed Luis had been driving. I really wasn´t paying attention, but let´s just say we don´t call him ¨The Snail¨ for nothing. And I did comment to him that Jackie would be proud of me; (Since she is the fastest friver I have ever driven with.) It felt like I was making some headway until we suddenly found ourselves once again, in stand still traffic. We sat long enough for it to turn from daylight, to dusk, to pitch black darknes. Approximately 1 hour wasted; waiting to pay a $1.80 toll. Oh my goodness - I would have gladly added $2.00 if not more on to the previous or next toll just to avoid this delay; but alas, the choice was not ours, and so we waited.
Now, one of the stipulations of me driving was that I would not have to drive at night. I am NOT the Queen of DRIVING IN THE DARK and I know this FOR CERTAIN; however, it had only been 2 hours into Luis´rest period, and I AM the Queen of FAIRNESS, so I put on my big girl panties and drove on through the darkness (without so much as a Xanax.)
We made it to Cualican at approximately 745 pm and promptly found a Domino´s pizza. I am personally NOT a fan of Domino´s in the states, but there is someting about Mexican Domino´s that hits the spot. Maybe it´s the different salsas that they give you (although in the states I never put salsa on pizza; nor do I particularly like spicy food) but regardless of what it is - it is GOOD!
Both of the previous times that we have driven to Vallarta, we spent the night in Los Mochis; which is about halfway between Peoria and Vallarta. However, in my opinion, there is only one decent hotel in Los Mochis and on our trip down last year, this "decent" hotel forgot to advise us upon check-in that there was not going to be any hot water for an undetermined amount of time. With this said, Luis wanted to by-pass Los Mochis and spend the night in Mazatlan, which is approximately 4 - 4 1/2 hours from there; and 6 hours to Vallarta.
At 845 when we finished at Domino´s Luis said that he thought that he could make it to Mazatlan (approximately 2 hours away) as long as I stayed up and talked to him. Now as much as I like to talk; I´m sure tht you´ll be surprised to know that this was not a promise that I felt I could make. #1 I was tired and #2 For as much as I DON´T sleep at home; the minute that I am in the car for more than an hour long trip, I seem to fall asleep. I mean can´t keep my eyes open, heavy, drooling SLEEP.
I told Luis that I didn´t feel like I could "PROMISE" not to fall asleep but he was still willing to give it a try. I think I said something to the effect of "Oh, I should be able to stay up for a while since we just ate¨ but I don´t think I made it more than 15 minutes before I was asleep. Maybe it was the stress of the night driving that I´d done. Maybe it was the fact that I was content, and happy and safe; or maybe I was just really, really tired. I woke up about half an hour later. I immediately asked Luis if he was OK and he said that he was. And, although I rarely eat candy (though I´d be hard pressed to pass up a piece from a Hershey´s Pot of Gold or anything better) I pulled out the Twix Java that I´d been toting around in my purse for over a week and devoured the whole thing. I thought that I seemed wide awake and I told Luis "after eating this sugar and caffeine, I should be able to stay awake for a while." But no sooner had I licked the caramel (that I don´t even like,) off of my fingers; I was snoozing away. I think I woke up just as we were approaching the Mazatlan exit. Luis said "OK, now I really need you to stay up and help me read the signs," but I swear I think I came down with a sudden case of narcolepsy because I was barely any help at all. I forced myself (after Luis had pleaded with me) to stay awake and we found our way to the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort which I had researched a few weeks before. We went in, got a room, showered and though I wouldn´t have thought it possible -I immediately fell asleep.
Saturday morning we had a lovely breakfast in the hotel restaurant, overlooking the ocean. Luis commented, ¨Now this is a hotel.¨ To which I said ¨This is how I used to travel when I was single,¨and he said ¨You mean before you went broke with me?¨ LOL, We both got a good laugh at that one; and we hit the road.
The drive from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta can only be descibed as exquisite. Winding mountains, canopies made of trees, ocean views, tropical flowers - it is just breathtaking and relaxing beyond compare. Luis kept commenting that the views were like something from a fairy tale, and I would have to agree.
We made it home by 530pm Vallarta time; and I can already say that I would definitely do the drive again. Any takers?
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ask The Queen

It has been absolutely nuts at my house during the past few weeks (yes, even more so than usual.) About a week before Thanksgiving, Luis decided that he did in fact want to go home to Puerto Vallarta for Christmas. He traded shifts with a co-worker so that he would work a double on Thanksgiving, and then be free and clear to be gone for the holidays; and we have been scrambling ever since, to get ready for our trip. We're going to drive (approx 24 hours and 1,000 miles each way;) so we've had to do all types of upkeep on our minivan, go shopping for relatives and their various requests; in addition to going to 5 soccer practices a week (between the 3 kids,) attending 3-4 soccer games a week, celebrating Kelsie's 5th birthday on the 11th, Lyndzi's 7th birthday on the 18th, having their birthday party, Nicky's holiday show, Luis' holiday party, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, I thought I would challenge myself and see if I could actually manage to get a blog out in the midst of all else that I have been doing. I should have been packing 2 hours ago when I finished work, but hey - I HAVE PRIORITIES; and "The Bumpy Ride" is one of them.

So, in the interest of getting on with all that I have to do; I am going to challenge myself yet again, and I am attempting to keep this brief. (Smelling salts anyone - LOL)

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced the idea of trying my hand at an advice column. I've set up an email address, in case anyone wants to give me a try. Please send all questions to AsktheQOE@gmail.com If for some reason you do not want your question published, that's fine with me; just let me know. OR if you want to wait for my response before you decide about letting me use your question / my answer,that's fine too. This is all new to me, so we can give it a try together; and hopefully it will bring about some GREATER GOOD for all of us.

Now, as if the advice column portion of the blog wasn't enough; I took a big leap and set up a group on Facebook, called The Bumpy Ride Fan Club (at the risk of sounding arrogant.) I described the club as a " A group for people who enjoy the blog "The Bumpy Ride" by Paige Ramos. Discuss the blog, Ask the Queen of EVERYTHING for advice, share ideas for the GREATER GOOD or just show your support while Paige Pursues her dream of becoming a published author." And I am SO excited to say that within less than an hour, I already have 5 members - YAY! So if you are on Facebook PLEASE join my group; AND tell / invite your "friends." OK, and now here's the biggest surprise of all - I actually invited Maks (DWTS) to join the group. I discussed it with Michelle (the New year is coming and she's still not legally) K and after hemmng and hawing I decided to invite him - What has come over me?? Heck, I'm a fan of his; so why shouldn't he be a fan of mine - "right?" she said squeamishly. And you thought the crush reading the blog was a big deal - just you wait...

So there you have it. This is basically just a little housekeeping before I go away. There is a little Internet place up the street from my mother in laws house, so I am planning on doing my weekly blog; if not more while I'm away - hey look at me , I'll be ON LOCATION; and I'll hopefully have plenty of stories to share.

In the meantime I do wish you all the happiest of holidays. I hope that you are able to squeeze in some moments to enjoy all that is wonderful at this time of year, and savor your memories as you are making them. As for me; I'm seriously thinking about adding Festivus as a holiday tradition; the airing of the grievances sounds like it's got my name ALL OVER IT.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING













Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Forty One Candles

Although I am not a fan of music on blogs; I am seriously considering adding my new theme song to "TBR" so that when you open it up, you'll hear "Oops I did it again," by Britney Spears - LOL. OK, OK, I'm totally NOT going to do that - but you get the picture. Maybe I should just consider changing that to the name of the blog - either that or I've got to check myself before I wreck myself. So you know this is a big one with an opener like that - right?

A couple of weeks a go I posted a blog about the lesson the dreaded, blogging lurker taught me (don't use people's names.) Well, I guess that I learned this lesson a little too late to save me from one of the most mortifying experiences of my life. Let's just say that if I get the hiccups, I now have a NEW, most embarrassing moment to think of.

Last Thursday night I arrived home and sat down at my computer, and much to my delight I found a comment waiting for my approval. You see ever since the unpleasant comments left a few weeks ago by the BL, I now have to approve the comments before they are published; sorry. Anyway, there was a comment on my blog that was entitled "what's in a name;" which ironically enough is the blog where I disclosed my real name and those of my family members. The comment was left by 85Dutchmen. Well, I graduated High School in 85 and our football team was called the Dutchmen; so I thought "Now this is getting interesting."
The comment said "I read post from July 07...I was mentioned in this post with Maks, and noticed you took a picture with him, but not with me. I guess I was only good from a far." GC

OK, now panic set in. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because if I had posted the picture of me and Maks (from "Dancing with the Stars",) then this comment had to be left by none other than the guy that I had a crush on throughout high school.
A "Crippling crush," to quote that particular blog. - Oh yes, I put it all out there for all the world to see (never imagining that they would.) No, I didn't hold back a a thing. I described to you, how the crush was so bad that I couldn't even say hello to him when I saw him in the hallway, because I just liked him THAT MUCH. I wrote that I was overwhelmed by my feelings for him; and now,the unthinkable has happened; HE has read the blog!

Oh at first I thought it was Big V playing a joke on me; but she has assured me that she has not; and I won't go into greater detail, but suffice it to say that I am PRETTY sure that it's him and not a prank. Well Michelle (...) K can tell you; I was freakin the _____ out. I was trembling, I was giddy, I was EMBARRASSED. It's as if he read my diary; and oh yah - I handed it right to him!! I mean never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that he would come across my blog - but HE did. I don't know if he was Googling himself or if someone else Googled him (like god forbid his wife,) but regardless of how; the bottom line is - HE READ IT; and that in a nutshell is the utter craziness that is my life. I haven't said this in a long while - but you know you're going to say it with me; "Who could make this stuff up?" I swear, I feel like Molly Ringwald in "Sixteen Candles" when she found out that her friend's brother paid to see her underwear. Or Andrew McCarthy in "St. Elmo's Fire" when Ally Sheedy found his box with all the pictures of her and realizes that he has been in love with her - OY, My life is a teeneage angst movie and I'm 41. Well, not when it happened anyway, so I guess I should cut myself some slack; but we all know that if I did, I wouldn't be the Queen of BERATING HERSELF; the Queen of BEATING HERSELF UP. Damn I could sell tickets to a boxing match just me against myself, LOL

My friend Jessica has been trying to convince me that I shouldn't feel humiliated but instead proud; because I probably made him feel so good when he read about how amazing I thought he was. I would LOVE to believe that this is true and make some lemonade out of my HUMONGOUS lemon; so perhaps he'll leave another comment and let me know.
In the meantime I'll take pleasure in knowing that this is just another unforgettable tale in the saga that is my life.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Sign

Once again I would like to extol the virtues of Facebook:
1. If it were not for Facebook, I would not have reconnected with so many of my wonderful friends from back in the day; and for today in particular I am referring to my friends Jeff and Joyce (brother & sister;) who I met through my friend Judy; who I grew up with in the condos. I spent a lot of time at Jeff and Joyce's house my senior year of high school and I became close with their mom and dad as well as with them. We lost touch for many years, but, thanks to Facebook, we have all met up again AND when I spoke to Joyce for the first time in forever; she told me that her mom and dad had actually moved to Arizona a few years ago; and as it turns out, I only live about a half an hour from them.
Well, I promptly reconnected with their mom & dad and my kids and I met them for lunch on Saturday (Luis wasn't able to make it because he was getting my brakes fixed.) It was so amazing to see them. It felt like no time had gone by at all, even though it's probably been 18 year since I've seen them. I was so proud to have them meet my children and I felt privileged to have my children meet them.

2. If it were not for Facebook, my brother and I might not be getting along as well as we seem to be getting along right now. Typically our relationship is tenuous at best, but Facebook and reconnecting with all the condo alumni have given us some common ground and some very good laughs; and I am really thankful for that. So Saturday night,we were instant messaging each other on FB, and he writes "You know there's this invention; and it's called the phone." And 2 seconds later he called me. I think we were on the phone for about an hour just laughing and kidding around; and while we were talking he told me about this photo of him with ridiculous 80's rock band hair. I was familiar with the picture and encouraged him to post it on FB for a good laugh; and much to my surprise, he agreed and put it up. He then shared the picture that I have posted above. This is a picture of my beautiful, mother and Richie Howell. I decided that I was going to post this picture on my Facebook and I am so glad that I did, because the response has been overwhelming.
3. If it were not for Facebook, I would not have received the most wonderful , heartwarming comments from people who knew my mom when they were growing up; nor have shared their memories which have been so honest and touching. Anyone would be proud and delighted to be remembered the way that people remember my mom and it is a true testament to who she was.
With that said, these comments could not have come at a better time, because today is My mom's birthday. It would be easy for me to sink into a dark, sad place, but instead I choose to revel in everyone's praise of my mother and celebrate who she was. I even had a little chat with her, and OK; a good cry. I told her how much I missed her, and how I felt like I kept making mistakes and that I wanted to keep trying to be a better person; and then I asked her for a sign that she thought I was doing a good job because I needed to know that she was proud of me.

So when I got home, I checked my email and there was a message from Barbara (Jeff & Joyce's mom;) and part of what it said was "It was a JOY to spend the afternoon with you and your Wonderful children. Hopefully next time we can get to meet Luis. One thing I can tell you for sure is that your mother would be very PROUD of you and how you are raising your family." Oh my god; well I guess I got my sign. I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe that she could give me what I needed and asked for so quickly; but that's a mother for you - always looking to heal her child and make everything better for them. (Did you get chills; because I sure did.)
I am so grateful to everyone on Facebook who has commented on my mom's photo and I welcome all of your comments as well. If you ever get a chance to stop by my Facebook page, just take a look at the comments and you'll see for yourselves that everything I have portrayed my mom to be is 100% accurate and then some. My mom was a Great LADY with a presence that was undeniable. She was warm and kind and funny and cool - to quote most. I have made a commitment to myself to follow in her footsteps and honor her memory by emulating her example.
I am so grateful that Facebook has brought so many thoughtful, kind, souls back into my life.
I am ever so grateful to Barbara for being the vessel for my mom and for sharing her warmth and kindness with me and my children. And I am thankful for all of the friends who have tried to support me today and make sure that I was OK . Your love and compassion make me feel like the richest of women.
Please remember that life can be short and we need to make the most of it while we can; so don't sweat the small stuff and think about the greater good.
Till next time...
Queen of EVEYTHING

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Rules

I have this fantasy about becoming a professional writer. I'm calling it a fantasy because other than writing this blog, I'm not doing anything to make it a reality just yet; but I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it is that I should be writing (besides "TBR".) Although I have always thought that I would write a book one day; I know that day is not today. No, a book seems like a very arduous task; one which I do not have the time or inclination to endeavor (at the moment;) so, I move on... And I've been thinking that for today I might be good at writing articles (from an observational humorist standpoint of course; ) or short stories (oh, OK, LONG, short stories;) or a column. Hmm, I can hear your brains whirling now - "What kind of column your highness?" OK, well, what kind of column would someone who is concerned about the greater good write? And of course the natural answer (at least to me,) is AN ADVICE COLUMN. (You all know how much I love to tell everyone what to do - HAHAHA just kidding.) So, OK, yah, I don't think that it's just that easy. I don't think that someone is standing around waiting to hand out jobs for advice columnists, nor do I think that just anyone should have an advice column; but yah I'll say it; I think I could. What a perfect combination of my writing skills (whatever they may be) and my social work/counselling background; and besides, I ALWAYS seem to know very well; what is best for everyone (but me.) I can help you with the biggest to smallest problem, dilemma or quandary; yet somehow I never seem to know what to make for dinner. Yup, I'm an advice giver; I'm a listener, OK, I'm a HUGE talker too; and I know it - but since I can't sign, how else would I give advice? Well, now I can write it too.
In my opinion there are several kinds of advice. There is advice that is given when someone asks a direct question, and then there is unsolicited advice (the kind I give ALL THE TIME on "TBR" ) like my tips on things that I think are for the greater good - and under this category, I would like to share "The Rules."

When I was in college my favorite professor would start off each semester by explaining "The Rules." 1. - Don't sweat the small stuff. 2. It's all small stuff.
And 3. If you can't flee and you can't fight; FLOW.

Well, the other day I came to share this advice with a good friend of mine and I realized that these were valuable rules for everyone and I felt compelled to incorporate it into today's blog. I often times have to remind myself to just flow and although I've been aware of the rules for more years than I would like to admit; it is very easy to forget them - but not anymore. I've turned over a new leaf - I want life to be more carefree even though we are constantly hustling and bustling. I want to hear the wind in the trees and savor each sip of coffee, because sad as it is to say; you never know when you are going to have done either for the last time.

And so today I offer you this challenge - follow these rules. Don't sweat the small stuff (and when you're thinking yah, Paige, that electric bill ain't such small stuff; ) move on to rule 2 - It's ALL small stuff. I have every confidence that anyone who reads this blog (myself included) is NOT going to wind up living in a cardboard box or eating dog food on the street - NONE of you would let that happen (even with today's terrible economy.) I KNOW that you would all do whatever it takes to protect yourself and the ones that you love and in doing so, you need to remember to remain calm, keep a level head and when you can't flee and you can't fight (because those always are options;) FLOW! I'm also going to add to those rules a side rule of my own; and that is PUNT! Yah, I like the punt - it's what you do when you're flying by the seat of your pants and making lemons out of lemonade and flowing which ever way the breeze takes you. Yes, punting brought mine and Michelle (...)K's families up to the Grand Canyon on Saturday and we (my family) had never been there before. It was a brief trip, but I'm glad that we went; not only because it really was beautiful in a very peaceful type of way but because now, I am free and clear to move out of Arizona with the satisfaction of knowing that I have seen the GC (since I lived in NY for 26 years and shamefully admit that I never saw the Statue of Liberty.) NOT that I'm planning on going anywhere at the moment;but hey, you NEVER know when I'm gonna feel the need to punt!

If you've never tried living by these rules before, and you decide to accept my challenge, I would LOVE to hear how it's working out for you. In the interest of trying my hand at the advice column gig, I wanted to establish an email address so that if anyone was in need of any advice and they wanted to give me a stab at it, they could email me - but as I must remind you I am not the Queen of the Internet, I have yet to figure out how to create a second email address on my account (OK stop laughing;) SO if anyone has some advice for ME on this matter, let me know and we can give it a whirl. Once I've got the email address I will post it, and you can email me your silliest, simplest, or most serious questions and I'll do my best to offer up some fabulous advice. OR this could go the way of the I'm taking requests segment, or the Ask Luis (Presidential election questions;) YOU decide and I'll just flow...
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reasons to be Grateful (and a SMOKIN TRAVEL DISCOUNT OPPORTUNITY)

Well, Thanksgiving is upon us, and although it is sometimes easier to remember what I "Have not," I would like to focus on all that I do have. Just the other day I was telling Nicky that a number of people have recently commented to me (on FB and "TBR") that our family appears to be very happy. (This delights me no end btw.) Anyway, I explained to him that no amount of money in the world can buy happiness, or love; (although I have heard that there are some ranches in Nevada where you can try - LOL) Yes, when it comes to love and happiness, we are VERY rich and very fortunate; and I am most definitely, so VERY thankful.

I am SO grateful that I have: 3 wonderful, healthy, children. They are all that I ever thought I wanted, and more than I ever could have hoped for. Nicky, Lyndzi and Kelsie never cease to amaze with their wit and wisdom and I am INCREDIBLY proud to be their mom.
When I'm with my kids, I remember to appreciate the simple pleasures and enjoy each and every moment.
And then there is my handy, HUNKY, husband who puts up with a lot more than one man should have to and loves me despite of it. From slaying bees, to scaring skunks, showering me (while we camp) and coloring my hair; not to mention making world class Guacamole - I truly am married to the man of my dreams; and his name AIN'T Maks!

I am most appreciative of my VERY messy, love filled, home. Though no picture will be provided as it is my VERY MESSY, love filled, home.

I am so blessed to enjoy the friendship of many thought provoking, entertaining, caring, men and women who challenge and inspire me daily and who lift me up when I am down. (And as I am so lucky, to have my cup runneth over with friends; there is just not enough room for all of the pix that I would want to include.)

I am thankful that "General Hospital" still thrills me the way it did when I was 11. (I know; it's sad - but a little escape never hurt anyone; except maybe "Nurse Betty.")

I am grateful for James Spader and the verbal feast that is "Boston Legal." Don't you just love a show that is smart AND daring? I don't even want to think about the fact that it's the last season (remember, I'm giving thanks for what I HAVE.)

I am ETERNALLY grateful for the gym; and to Michelle (...)K for encouraging me to sign up last February. I have now lost 33lbs (haven't weighed myself in a few weeks though;) and I feel GREAT!
You all know that I am EXTRAORDINARILY grateful that the people of America will be inauggurating President Elect Obama this January - Woohoo!! And I've already said ALL I need to say about that.

Materialistically speaking, I am crazy, thankful that I waited to buy a new purse. I had been carrying a white purse THAT I LOVED; well past Labor Day (and I was NOT happy about it,) but I couldn't find anything that I liked enough to put the out of season bag away. (That is an added perk to living in Arizona - the seasons aren't quite as binding and no one probably even noticed the passe white except me; I hope.) Nonetheless, when Rachel was here in October, we literally conducted purse quest. I came close to a purchase in Macy's when I found a Sunflower Yellow Kathy Van Zeeland purse that I fell in love with. Alas my wallet did not fall in love with it; as it was FAR out of my purse price range - so my quest continued. I bought a purse a few weeks ago, (after convincing myself that time was of the essence;) and then I promptly returned it a week later (I'd never used it.) I returned it to yet, another ROSS, hoping that I would see something new there and then much to my surprise I found a FANFRIGGINTASTIC, purple, Kathy Van Zeeland purse for only $39.99 and as if I didn't know it was MINE the minute I laid my eyes on it; when I turned it around, it had a little crown charm hanging off the zipper. Did that have my name on it or what? T he picture certainly does not due it justice; but I know that at least Rachel will want to see it...
Now, we all know that I could probably go ON and ON; but instead; in the interest of the (say it with me) "Greater good," I would like to share some finds that I have been grateful for this year.
1. Del Monte Fruit Naturals Red Grapefruit - I have NEVER really enjoyed grapefruit before but this grapefruit is sweet as can be (and a natural appetite suppressant.) OK, I'll say it... Yum-o!! Totally 2 thumbs up.

2. SaraLee Cheesecake bites -(Thanks Rachel.) These are not the Cheesecake squares you may be thinking of; but pop in your mouth little bites that come in a variety of flavors. They have about 18 calories per bite, so a serving of 5 is only 90 calories; and trust me when I tell you that 5 is sufficient if you find yourself with a sweet tooth or just needing a little smile. (At my Walmart they are under $4 per container)

3. Candy corn and dry roasted peanuts - (Thanks Lori) Now, I have never had ANY use for candy corn AT ALL; but a couple of weeks ago we went to Lori's and she had a bowl mixed with candy corn and dry roasted peanuts. I asked her about this as I had never seen this before, and she told me that it tasted like a PAYDAY (not that I had ever had one of those either;) and she said it was delish. Well, SHE was right! We recommend 3 peanuts to 1 candy corn. It's actually a pretty good snack when you consider there is no fat in candy corn and peanuts are a protein. YES, I know it's sugar and it does have calories - but EVERYTHING in moderation, I say...

Now I know that when I previously thought about doing this list, I had a lot more on it, then just food; so chances are we will be revisiting this topic again; but in the meantime I give you the biggest treat of them all:
4. A Smokin Travel Discount - OK, so let me tell you about this. For my job that actually pays me, I work for an internet travel consortium and they have established a Friends and Family website which means that any of MY friends and family can make reservations and A. Not pay a service fee (like ALL other sites) and B. (and this is the best part;) YOU'll get 5% commission on your booking. Now, we only do hotels, so I can't help you with a discount on airfare or cars; but we do sell hotels around the world and the prices are typically very good (before the kick back.) So if any of my friends or family are interested, please leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to give you the info to hook you up. Once you're done, you are going to get your own referral # and then each time you make a booking, you'll receive a check for 5% of the room revenue (room rate only, not tax.) after we receive the commission from the hotel. Now sometimes it does take MONTHS to collect the commissions; but rest assured, once we've received it; so will you.
I hope that some of these finds will make you as happy as they have made me; and if they do, please leave me a NICE, little comment.

I wish you all the Happiest of Thanksgivings (and as I've told you many,many,times - I am so thankful for the time that you take to read "The Bumpy Ride;" and that you give me the opportunity to share my thoughts, opinions, and mess ups.) I encourage you to be thankful for what YOU HAVE....
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING
















Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Big Lessons

I want to start by thanking everyone who read my more politically slanted blogs and honored my request not to leave opposing comments. I COMPLETELY understand that as this is a blog, people do like to make comments both positive and negative and this is something that I still have to get used to. Nonetheless; I am most appreciative for those who resisted the urge to slam me for my views.
Unfortunately, today, I had the experience of receiving a very negative comment from an anonymous reader. The commentor was upset with me for stealing the garage sale sign and failed to see that I myself had come to understand that my behavior was inappropriate and I was being karmically punished. I deleted the comment because I found it to be hurtful and cruel and I didn't think that anyone else needed to see it. I then changed the setting on the comment area so that no one can leave an anonymous comment any longer. The anonymous author then logged in as "Blogging Lurker" and went on to criticize me for everything from the length of my blogs, to my arrogance and my poor choice to use people's names in my blog. I had to think about this one for a while and I know EXACTLY what the lurker was talking about; and although most of his/her comments upset me greatly, he/she did have a valid point. I made a gross error in judgment when I wrote my Newman blog. I MISTAKENLY used the first name of the person that I was writing about. (I have since removed the person's name and now refer to her as So and SO.)
Trust me when I tell you that ANYONE who knows me, can tell you that I am the Queen of OVER THINKING. I edit this blog to the Nth degree; and there are times that I re-read a post's after they've been published and even though most of the readers have probably already seen it,I go back and edit whatever typo I've found. I mention this because I would NEVER intentionally use the name of someone that is not a friend; as I don't have the right to. When I wrote that blog I was in full swing of telling the story, and somehow missed that I had done this; and so believe it or not, I am actually GRATEFUL to the lurker for pointing this out to me. I have learned several BIG lessons. today 1 - DEFINITELY don't mention unauthorized names. 2 - Although I am attempting to be funny; there are a number of posts which may be construed as cruel or mean and that really is not what I'm here for. And 3 - There will be people who don't like my blog and don't like me and they will feel compelled to tell me about it. Well, it's 3 that I would like to address. At this point in time I am going to request that if you read my blog and you don't like it - please just keep on truckin. Don't leave me a comment and tell me why you hate me (or the blog;) just don't read it again. Not every blog is for everybody; just as not every book or magazine is for everybody and though I know it's your right to comment; I am asking you not to.

I hope that everyone understands; I'm not running for office, and I'm not trying to win a popularity contest; I'm just trying to become a writer. I like to entertain you with the insane stories of my life, and provide humorous observations; not because I'm perect or arrogant; just because I can - as can you on your own blog; if you would like to have one. And, yes, in addition to trying to put a smile on your faces I am also attempting to provide you with information that I think may be helpful; not as someone who thinks they are better than someone else but from one person to another; heck when other people pass good information, deals, recipes,treats on to me - I am PSYCHED and I want you to be too. I mean where else have you found techniques for bee removal. the recipe for Diet Coke chocolate cake, and a cure for hiccups ? It's all one stop shopping here at "THE BUMPY RIDE."
So at the risk of being accused of being verbose; let me conclude by thanking EVERYONE for taking the time to read my blogs. Thank you to everyone who does leave me positive feedback; and thank you to my friends for supporting me in my decision to keep on blogging. Thank you for your tolerance; as I'm still learning and I'm usually pretty good about not repeating my mistakes. I leave you with both my thanks and my apologies.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't tell Luis...

A couple of months ago Michelle (...)K and I decided to go garage sale-ing. I've had garage sales before; but I'd never actually gone to someone elses. Although we could have just cruised the area and found a bunch, Michelle (...)K wanted to take the organized approach so that we could maximize our garage sale experience; God love her. She looked online for sale ads and strategically map quested our morning.
We started at my house, hit a couple of sales in my vicinity and then headed out per our dossier for a sale that was advertised for 7AM.

As we were driving through the neighborhood of the advertised sale, we luckily saw a couple of people putting up signs. We made our way to the home and arrived at 7:21 to find the man of the house just beginning to pull things out of his garage and onto the driveway. The front door was open and in it stood A woman and her son. Michelle and I hesitantly approached the house and stood on the driveway, but no one said a word to us. After a few minutes of just standing there feeling stupid; the woman spoke (but not to us.) She asked her husband what time it was; but he said that he didn't know. Good Samaritan that I am , I announced the time, and then the woman said to her son (DEFINITELY not to us;) "Well, we're not starting till 8." OK, so Michelle and I removed ourselves from their driveway and proceeded to rehash the situation.
So you put an ad online for 7 am (and sure we all understand running late;) but you don't even have the courtesy to say "I'm sorry ladies; it's still going to be a while" or anything? Instead you act as if we're wrong for showing up at your home and you behave so rudely... Oh no, no, no. We were ANNOYED!
We started to drive off and just as we were going to turn onto the main road; Michelle said "Let's steal their signs." And we did! Michelle got out, pulled the stake out of the ground threw the sign in the car; and I drove to the next one. We stole the only 2 signs that we saw, which means the only 2 signs that ANYONE would have seen and we drove off laughing hysterically. Hmm, I wonder how many people showed up at 8 after that...

Now I know that this action is about as far from the greater good as you can get - but boy did it feel good. Revenge REALLY is sweet.
Now I know that some of you are probably shocked by this admission and I know that losing your favor is the chance that I take, but just as "revenge is sweet" is and expression; so is "Payback is a bitch;" oh, and never fear our good friend karma saw to it that I had myself a nice big plate of pay back shortly thereafter.

On Oct 17th Rachel (SFTIO Rachel) came for a long, overdue visit. On Sat, we kicked off our soccer season (No pun intended - OK, yah, you know ) with 4 games for my 3 kids and then we went to Michelle (...) K's that evening for scrapbooking. Now typically we don't have a theme for our monthly crops but as Autumn was technically upon us, we thought it would be fun to have a comfort theme for the night, so all the broads brought over their jammies to change into.
Shortly after we arrived Michelle offered me a Margarita. (Now what's more comforting than that?) I gladly accepted but (lightweight that I am ) I thought it was too strong and I sadly told Michelle that I couldn't drink it. She tried to doctor it up for me; but it was still too strong so I decided to take a pass.
The night went on and I put on my jammies, and not that it was THAT KIND of pajama party; but Michelle asked me why I left my bra on, and I replied "well, I still have to drive home. What if I get stopped by a cop?" OK, what if? I'm not really sure what difference it would make. I guess I just thought I'd look more respectable and so, just to put my theory to the test... Yup, I got stopped by a cop. (And the crowd gasped...) I got stopped by a cop and I wasn't even speeding. Lord knows that I've been on my best driving behavior since my photo ticket and my $195 driving class.
The officer came up to Rachel's window and asked me if I had been drinking. I said "just diet soda. I was scrapbooking at a friends; hence the attire." He said that I had briefly crossed over the lane line and then moved a way when I saw a truck. I explained that I moved away because I was going to get off at the exit. He said "OK, I'm just going to give you a warning." OY! Just what I needed; a warning - but thankfully, not a ticket. He returned to the car with my warning and asked if I had gotten a lot of scrapbooking done. Thank god I resisted the temptation to say "No, I was too buys drinking." hahaha
The next day I told Michelle what had happened because the irony was so delicious. I also told her that I wasn't going to tell Luis, so she shouldn't tell Mike. Now, I don't ever keep secrets from Luis, but I just didn't think that this was something that he needed to know. Sometimes it's good to keep the husband on a need to know basis - LOL

To celebrate Luis' birthday we had a poker game at Michelle (...) K's house. We were using chips but we weren't playing for money. My stash of worthless, chips was dwindling and so I announced "I need to win the next hand." And, I did - Big Time. Michelle said "That's amazing! You said that you needed to win and you did; just like when you knew that you were going to get stopped by a cop." UM, OK does anyone besides me see that big elephant in the room? The silence was palpable and Luis said "Lucy, you got some splaining to do." LOL

OK actually he said "What cop?" And I gave a good ole Lucy WAAAHH!
OK, actually I explained; and he took it in good stride,
but I know that Michelle felt terrible.
So, did one of these incidents REALLY have anything to do with each other? Probably not; but if you believe in Karma (which maybe I should have thought about before stealing the signs;) I say they do. Then again, this really just is par for the course for me. Regardless; now you know why why I want all that good karma on Facebook - LOL
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING






















































Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"I Don't Know"

DISCLAIMER A: You must have read (Or READ) the Blog entitled "Stitch Strikes Again," before reading this.

DISCLAIMER B: No children were injured in the making of this blog. (Well, not that we're aware of now anyway - I'm sure I'll be getting a big ole therapy bill in years to come.)

OK, so I got the keys out of the car just about a half hour before I had to pick Lyndzi up from school. Kelsie seemed to think that just because I had gotten the keys out of the car; that she was no longer being punished; but this was not the case. Kelsie mulled around trying to find something to do (since I wouldn't let her watch TV;) and she was thrilled when she found out that it was time to pick up Lyndzi.
We came back home and I was in the kitchen with the girls. I was watering a plant, and I gently squirted Kelsie's dress with the sink sprayer. She started to cry and overreact; in inimitable Kelsie style (God, I love my daughter.) She was crying and saying "That's not nice Mama." And so I said; in my most June Cleaverish voice; "Ask me why I did it;" and she said "No," (sob, sob) and so I repeated (again Cleaverish) "Ask me why I did it." And then she said (sob, sob) "Why did you do that Mama?" And I said (in my most whiny Kelsie-esque voice,) "I don't know!" LOL Well Kelsie definitely didn't think this was funny; but oh boy, I sure did. OK, so June Cleaver I'm not ; Roseanne - MAYBE.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING

Stitch Strikes Again

Once again this was NOT the blog that I was planning on writing today; so you know what that means - BONUS!
When Kelsie got up this morning, I asked her if she was going to be a good girl today (she is prone to the naughty you know;) but she said "yes."
Our day was going along just fine. I was busy at work at my desk, and she was pretending to be a kitty and crawled under my desk and proceeded to meow incessantly. I got her out from under my desk with the promise of a snack and while she was enjoying it, Luis called. His question was typical "How's Ball Ball doing?" Ball Ball is Kelsie's alter ego, (or at least one of them.) It's what Luis has called her ever since she was a baby; when she is NOT in Stitch mode. Anyway, I replied "she's fine." and I told him that she claimed that she was going to be a good girl today. Luis recommended that I speak to her on a DAILY basis, and encourage her good behavior (as if I don't already do that? Thanks Dr. De Spock.)
Next, Kelsie came in and wowed me with her rendition of "When I Grow Up" A La the Pussy Cat Dolls, but in her version, when she grows up she's "gonna be a dentist, gonna be a jet pilot, gonna be a doctor; when she grows up she's gonna be a dentist, gonna be a nurse, gonna be a rock star." And of course, each thing was repeated about 50 times. (Well, at least she has high ambitions; but doesn't it figure that she'd wanna be a dentist - the thing that I'm afraid of most; and she wants to be one - HAHA) Anyway, it was at this point that I thought some lunch was in order. I was dying for a fountain, diet soda, so I suggested that we go out quick. We decided on a place to go, and Kelsie went to get in the car; while I went to the rest room. Next thing I know, Kelsie came back in and said," I can't get in; the door is locked." Now, at first I didn't worry because I've had this happen before. The back door is locked but the front doors are unlocked (OH, did I forget to mention that it is my usual practice to leave the keys in the UNLOCKED car?) Anyway, I told Kelsie not to worry because my door was probably unlocked, but she said that it wasn't. Now I was concerned; so I went into the garage, and sure enough; SHE had locked the keys in the car. I asked her WHY she locked the keys in the car and I got the standard Kelsie response "I don't know." Best I can understand, she tried pressing the buttons to open her door; because God forbid she should have waited 30 seconds for me; and next thing ya know, the doors are ALL locked.
I had hoped that I could somehow reach my hand in to unlock the door; but the windows were not open nearly enough for me to get my hand in; (like the time that I had locked the keys in the car with the car running.) Anyway, Wife of McGyver that I am; I looked around my garage to try and find something that I could fashion into a rescue device. I found part of a fishing pole and attempted to slide the keys onto it but there was nothing to keep it on the pole. I gave up for a while and went back inside to rethink this (and beat Kelsie - ha; just kidding. I didn't lay a finger on her.)
After speaking to Luis, I decided to take another stab at it. This time I found a golf club. I attempted to unlock the car by pressing on the button with the club but that didn't work. I tried the fishing pole with a piece of masking tape, but the tape wasn't strong enough. Then I went inside to see what else I could come up with. I got a hanger and asked Kelsie to find a jump rope. She didn't know where one was, but suggested (of all things) the rope from her "Angel" costume from her Christmas play last year. Ironic that her angel costume would rescue her inner devil; but alas, it worked. I got the keys out; and of course Kelsie took the credit for the idea since she got the "angel belt." Oy!, Stich what am I going to do with you?
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING






Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Know You Have a Problem When... #3

You Know You Have a Problem, When ... You get up an extra 20 minutes early; just so you'll have time to check your Facebook account. LOL
OK, now to some this might not seem like a problem; but my extra 20 minutes occurs at 410AM. Now, I'm not complaining; I'm just reporting on the ridiculous; (as usual,) observational humorist that I am. So, on Sunday my brother called and informed me that I was addicted to Facebook. Well, he's not telling me something that I didn't already know. I am addicted and I admit it. "Hello, my name is Paige and I'm a Facebook addict." I'm addicted to how good it feels to re-connect with old friends and remembering times gone by. Oh yes, I am the Queen of KEEPING IN TOUCH; but sometimes friendships fade away, even when you don't mean for them to. So for me ESPECIALLY - Queen of MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS; Facebook has been ideal. I have found not just people that I knew - but friends. People that I cared about, and many, of them who knew my mom; which you know is just HUGE for me. So yes; I'm addicted; but it's not like I'm on Facebook instead of making my kid's lunch for school. I'm inconveniencing no one, but myself.

Now I'll admit, there are a lot of applications on Facebook, and I have fallen pray to some of them. First there is the status. Now, I tried to only update people on things that I thought were valuable (just can't get away from that Greater Good - can I?) So I thought that it would be a good idea to post when I was going for my mammogram; this way others would know I was going and hopefully be encouraged to go themselves - and I thought it was a good idea to post my status when I was writing a new blog; because I was (as always,) hoping to increase my readership; but perhaps I didn't need to post when I was waking the kids or getting my hair cut. Then again, for those who you are reconnecting with; the status gives you a glimpse into the every day lives of those who's lives you haven't been in every day for awhile. Nonetheless, I have resolved that unless it is REALLY important (inclusive of new blog notices ) or freakin funny as heck - I'm not going to be reporting my status from now on. Second, as with most addictions, there is some element of shame involved and so in the "I am feeling ashamed category" - I give you the accepting and giving of gifts. OY! the gifts. There is something for everyone on Facebook. Just so far alone I have been given: Starbucks, Drinks, Cupcakes, Pumpkins, Halloween Candy, Halloween Treats, Christmas Trees, Christmas Ornaments, Christmas Decorations, Christmas Stockings, Christmas Presents, Snow Globes, Smiles, Plants for my Lil green patch (which I love,) Sea animals for a little blue cove, Farm animals, Endangered Animals, Pokes up the wazoo, Baby Muppets, Dunkin Donuts, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Flair (which I love), Good Karma (which I love), quizzes, quizzes and more quizzes, Animated Gifts, Italian gifts (whatever those are,) Louis Vuitton gifts, Girly girl gifts, Fly Fashionista gear, Baby seals, a dog, and a 3-D puppy (which my kids love). I have been asked to play Duck, Duck Goose, Go bowling, add a visual book shelf, and I've been kidnapped And I KNOW that there are a bazillion more applications that I have yet to discover (and possibly enjoy;) but who can keep up with it all? It's fun; but what I see happening is, that you get all of these gift requests from friends; they send you something so you feel like you should send it back; but due to time factors (at least for me) you wind up stockpiling them and when you finally find the time to take a look at them and start sending some back it looks like you're some crazed Santa Claus going gift crazy and sending everything and anything to everyone you know AND their mother; and I don't feel good about that. All of your friends can see every time you've sent something and I'm not feeling comfortable with this; so from here on out; people can send me whatever they want to send me; because I am MOST appreciative for the thought, but other than Lil green patch items, Good Karma and some Starbucks; I don't really plan on sending things back. I can't resist an endangered animal, so yes, if I get one, I will send one back and my kids are in LOVE with my 3-D puppy - Tootsie; so we will be taking care of her and if I see that your puppy needs to be cared for; of course I'll throw your dog a bone; no pun intended. Oh, OK, who am I kidding - of course there was a pun intended. LOL I think (like with anything) it takes time to get your bearings straight when you try something new. And now that I know what I want from Facebook; (My friends and a lovely Lil green patch;)I am all set to start a new.

Now for those of you who are not on Facebook; it must either sound like I'm speaking a foreign language; or I've totally convinced you not to get on it; but let me say again - I LOVE it! I LOVE FACEBOOK and I'm thankful for it. Facebook has brought some wonderful, old friends back into my life - friends who challenge and stimulate me; friends who inspire and delight me; friends who remind me how good the old times were. Facebook allows me to keep up with all of my partners in crime (Past and Present) and gives me a place that I can post pictures of me and my family so that I don't have to email them every time I've got a new photo. Facebook allows me to join my past and my present so that I can enjoy my friends who remind me of where I come from and my friends who remind me of where I'm going. Yes, Friends are such a blessing and are so very important to me; so MAYBE it's not that I'm addicted to Facebook; but I'm addicted to my friends; and FACEBOOK is just my means to an end. I thank everyone for their love and friendship over the years; and look forward to all that we have yet to share.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING




Artwork courtesy of Lyndzi Ramos (age - Almost 7)










































Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Think I'm Someone's Newman


I am the Queen of OVER COMMITTING MYSELF. The Queen of CRAMMING AS MANY ACTIVITIES INTO ONE DAY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, The Queen of GETTING INVOLVED, The Queen of GO-GO-GO -
OK, The Queen of EVERYTHING.

When I registered Nicky and Lyndzi for the swim team last summer; you had to agree to volunteer at one meet per season (per child;) so I was prepared to help by giving out ribbons, or being a timer; or whatever they needed. But, then it happened... Shannon (The Head coach,) who also happened to have been Nicky's second grade teacher AND a friend of mine; put up a sign that she needed a volunteer to announce the home meets. "Volunteer" ughh; that's my kryptonite. I have such a hard time ignoring a call for help - let alone from a friend. So, you all know what I did. That's right; " I volunteered." But, I did tell Shannon that I'd do it "if" she couldn't find someone else. And guess what - she found someone else; BUT she still needed me. Oh yes; she had a VERY special (and by special I mean nerve racking) job for me. I was going to be an officiant. I was going to sit at the table with the announcer and determine which order the kids placed in and record it - OY- The Pressure! But I don't back down from a challenge. I met the task head on; and by the second meet I had recruited Luis to help me, (because we really needed another pair of eyes.)
Now we were all set; Dave (or as Luis liked to call him; "Loud Guy,") me, and Luis were the efficient officiants for the kid's swim team.

Everything was going well for the efficient officiants until one HOT Thursday when DURING the meet , this young, thin, overly blond, woman approached our table; (I knew who this woman was because her son had just been in Kelsie's pre-school class.) and said "My daughter came in first and they gave her a second place ribbon." Through our conversation with her (which by the way was taking place while we were supposed to be watching another race;) we determined that her daughter had swam in a relay. So the 3 of us explained that although her daughter may have finished first; her lane must have finished second. She of course disputed this; which really was pointless because if she would have told Shannon; I know that Shannon would have just given her a first place ribbon; but NO - she just went on and on ; say it with me "While we were supposed to be watching another race." She finally gave up and went away; but she had the 3 of us so shaken up; that we were second guessing ourselves for the rest of the afternoon - so much so that "Loud Guy" even had to announce at one point that we had made a mistake on one call and re-announce the results for that race - which I'm sure just convinced her EVEN MORE that we had made a mistake in her 6 year old daughter's race.

When I saw Shannon I told her what had happened and how horrible this woman was; and she knew EXACTLY who I was talking about before I even pointed her out; and she told me what a nightmare this woman and her kids were. As it turns out, by the end of the meet she had yelled at me, Luis, Loud Guy and 2 of the coaches. Shannon urged me not to give this woman a second thought and informed me that Luis and I were now committed to these positions for as long as our kids are on the swim team. Guess how happy Luis is. - LOL

So swim team ends and back to school we go. Thankfully her son is not in Kelsie's class this year, and when we see each other, neither of us says a thing; although her son says hello to Kelsie, each and EVERY time we see them.

At the end of last soccer season I was recruited to join the board; so I did. Why? Because I have a problem - but we've already established this. I then in turn, recruited Michelle (...)k and we are now respectively the U-14 and U-6 division reps for our kid's soccer.

One evening we were working at registration and who do you think walked through the door? If you're guessing "nightmare woman; " you're right. She saw me sitting at the registration table and she kinda took a step back. You just know that she had to be thinking "What's with this god damned woman? Every where I go; there she is. I'm at swim team - she's officiating the race (not that I think she knows that word;) I go to register for soccer, she's taking the registration - what a freakin nightmare." Anyway, as fate would have it, I was the next board member available, so lucky me - she was ALL MINE. I was VERY polite and tried to help her; because she had a series of problems. First - no birth certificate for one of the kids (and of course - we REQUIRE one.) I spoke to the registrar (because I was sitting right next to her and I told "Nightmare woman" that she could get a copy and just give it to me at school. (How nice was that?) But wait - there's more. Her next problem (which she didn't even know she had;) was that her son (the one who goes to school with Kelsie) was too young to play. Of course I had to be the one to inform her of this. So I asked the registrar if he could play, and she said "Only if there is a coach who's willing to take him." So I said to "NW" "We can let you register him and if we can't find a coach who will take him; we'll refund your money for him - Is that OK?" She said "yes;" but went on to ask if Kelsie played. I said "yes" but explained that her birthday is before the cutoff. I must have re-iterated the terms and conditions of this registration a good 3 times; just to make sure that there were no misunderstandings. I was NICE. I mean Boy, was I NICE. And then as soon as she left, Jill (the registrar) said "No way in hell am I looking for a coach for her younger son because that woman and her kids are nightmares. I sense a theme here. This woman really has SOME reputation.

One morning, a few weeks ago, I was signing Kelsie in at pre-school and her teacher started venting to me about people who don't follow the rules. Well, you know she didn't mean me; because I am the Queen of FOLLOWING THE RULES. I think she just told me because she is familiar with me since she had been Lyndzi's teacher too. Either that or it's just because people just tend to tell me stuff. I don't know which; but nonetheless I didn't give it a any thought.

When I went to pick Kelsie up, her teacher started talking to me and then excused herself as she looked past me and said (in a harsh voice) "So and So, did you get my message?" I turned around as So and So started talking (I think that's human nature; or maybe I'm just a nosy bitch;) and I don't know why I was surprised, but So and So was none other than NIGHTMARE WOMAN. (I was giddy.) When the teacher started talking to me again I said "Is that who you were talking about this morning?" and she vehemently nodded YES. It was at this point that I knew; she is the most hated woman in Peoria; and I am her Newman. Remember Newman on Seinfeld? He was Jerry's nemesis and every time Jerry said "Hello Newman," he said it with such disdain. Well; I'm So and so's Newman - Everywhere she shows up; there I am - and no matter what she's doing; I'm doing more. First swim team, then soccer, now she has a problem with the staff at the school and I'm the witness. I'm probably the last person that she wants to see ANYWHERE. So, I bet it came as no surprise when she got to the fall performance at the pre-school and saw Kelsie's name in the program. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree ya know. We're just a family of Do-ers.

Perhaps next time I run into her (And you KNOW there will be a next time;) I'll just say (in my best Seinfeldesque tone) "Hello So and So;" to which I'm sure she'll respond "Hello Newman." Or more than likely - she'll say nothing at all; but her son will say "Hi" to Kelsie.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING


































Congratulations America!

This was not the blog that I was planning on writing today. Not because I thought Obama would lose but because I thought that I had said all that I had to say (as if that's ever possible...)
To quote John McCain (yes, you read that right;) "America has spoken and spoken clearly." And I thank god for that.
Senator McCain delivered a humble and respectful concession speech that gave me hope that he will serve our President Elect and this country well. In return President Elect Obama spoke very highly and admirably of Senator McCain and his service to our country and it was refreshing to feel that the glaring separation between Democrats and Republicans may now be put to rest as EVERYONE comes together to repair OUR UNITED States of America.
I fully agree with Lori's comment (on my election day post) as I am hopeful that now that a President has been chosen, everyone will lend their support and stand together (say it with me) "FOR THE GREATER GOOD!"
This is a monumental victory for Barack Obama and I have every faith that it will be a monumental victory for the Unites States of America.
I am so thankful for everyone who voted yesterday and for the first time in a very, long time I am optimistic about our future and I believe that we should expect change for the better. YES WE CAN - and WE DID!!
Congratulations President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden. Congratulations America!!
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING



















Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Take My Challenge ...



This month's "Scrapbooking from the Inside Out" kit club them is GRATITUDE; and one of our current threads is to mention something that you are grateful for. After returning from voting; I wrote "I'm grateful for the chance to make a change and the possibility of promise." And not to toot my own horn; but I thought that was kind of eloquent and profound - OK, I'm tooting; I know - but I really thought that these were ideas worth sharing - ESPECIALLY today.
I woke up at my usual 415am and I worked for a half hour before leaving to vote. I waited in line and was 19th to cast my ballot. I felt a great sense of satisfaction and an even bigger sense of hope. I am hoping that this country makes the choices that will lead to changes that will benefit the majority and put us little guys back on track to pursue our American Dreams. I am fearful that bigotry and fear will prevail. I am fearful that uninformed, voters will cast ballots or that people will make decisions based on "The worst thing that they have heard about one candidate." You know what - No one is perfect. I am supporting Obama and have I heard stories and opinions that are cause for concern - absolutely; but I have heard more of these types of stories about McCain / Palin and I would truly abhor the idea of Sarah Palin becoming our President; god forbid McClain was elected and died. I am imploring you to think of this scenario if for any reason you are undecided about how to vote.
With that said, I am VERY late for work; but I felt that it was SO important to share these ideas with you; that I'm willing to work late today so that I can get this out.
At this point I want to issue a challenge. It is one that I have already taken myself today, in a number of different ways and the challenge is "DO something that scares you a little. Step out of your comfort zone and take a leap. Do something that is going to promote change for the better in your life. Even if it is the smallest step." Now I'm sure that you're wondering where this is coming from, so please remember this is "The Bumpy Ride;" you know I come out of left field ALL THE TIME. But here it is. DO you think that 35 years ago, little Barack Obama believed that he was going to be President of the United States of America in 2009? My guess is probably not. How many chances do you think he had to take to get to this point in his career? And even if he doesn't win today, I guarantee that he is all the better for the journey. His life will never be the same; and he will not give up. These are things that I believe whole heatedly; and I would like to encourage you to follow his example and do something to promote yourself today. Dwell in the possibility of who you can become and take your first step today, or your second or fifty ninth - just don't live in fear.
So what have I done? Well, step one, I voted. I would have voted no matter what, but I had to find my new voting place today and I HATE going places that I haven't been before. It makes me very anxious; but I did it (and I didn't even take my Xanax.) Step 2, I wrote this blog, instead of working;because it is my passion and what I hope to parlay into my full time career; but also against my bettter judgment because I have come to believe that my readers enjoy the funny, Paige telling crazy stories about her life more than they do my opinions and theories on "The greater good;" but I'm taking a chance that you'll see the benefit in these words and suggestions and believe in how much I WANT for you all. So go ahead; take my challenge and let me know what and how you do. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Have I Become?

I'm actually a day ahead of schedule this week. I've committed myself to writing my blog every Wednesday (at the least) but as the 29th is The Big Guy's birthday; and by The Big Guy I mean Luis - I thought I'd try and get this out today.
So now, I'd like to call your attention to the photo above. This photo, God help me; is actually a picture of my feet on our last camping trip (Columbus Day weekend.) "And the chorus gasped!!" And by the chorus I mean ANYONE who knew me prior to my first camping trip in June 08'. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In my day; and by my day I mean the 80's, 90's and heck - present day; I'd like to think (barring this faux pas;) I was quite the good dresser. Some might even say JAPPY; OK; yes, some did say JAPPY. But as I liked to say back in the day (College, mostly) I had JAPPY clothes but not a JAPPY attitude. And just as a refresher, for those of you who do not remember or are not familiar with the term JAPPY - it is a derivative of JAP - Jewish, American Princess.
OK, so I'm sure you must be wondering (because HELL, I am) what in the world would possess me to wear socks with these flip fops. And the answer is.... The Big Guy, decided to wear my Hot Pink Crocs, and it was cold. Necessity was the mother of invention and hey, it worked. My feet were comfy (and warm.) I was so appalled by myself, and the fact that I even considered this footwear, that I HAD to take a picture to share with you; because you all know how much I LOVE making an ASS out of myself in public. Rest assured that I did remove the socks in the car, BEFORE we went into the local Sam's club. God knows, I wouldn't want anyone in the real world to see me attired like this. Luis on the other hand planned to wear my Hot Pink Crocs into Sam's until I mentioned what a real man he was for doing so; and he thought better of it and decided to trade back with me. Yes of course ALL of this means that Luis and I can share shoes; just yet another pathetic part of my life - The curse of the extraordinarily, long feet. (Yes, I know - at least I have feet...) Too bad The Big Guy isn't a cross dresser; then I might actually get to wear some cute shoes. And the crowd just gasped again "Did she say - Too bad her husband isn't a cross dresser?" In theory people, in theory - it's too bad. I'm actually VERY thankful that he is the lovable, Hunky, Big Guy that he is. We had a GREAT camping trip with the Kalka's. That would be Michelle ( The other day I did hear her trying to convince her husband to change his last name to hers in stead of her becoming legally) K's family. (God I crack myself up sometimes.) We went to Lake Pleasant; which is about 35 minutes from my house; but it was PERFECT. We saved on gas; it was clean (that's right, I said clean.) It was rocky, as you can tell from the picture, so we were not NEARLY as dirty as when we camped up north. We did trade in some scenery for some cleanliness; but I'm all good with that. We're talking flush toilets people; and no one had to hold the door open so you didn't pass out from the stench. True the camp host could have done a little better job making sure the flush toilets flushed at all times - but I am NOT complaining.
We relaxed, we played Bingo, we made smores - Life was good; until...

I heard my cell phone ringing at about 315am on Monday morning. It was all the way across the tent, and by the time I realized what it was - it stopped. But then, an hour later it rang again "Zip a dee doo dah", Zip a dee ay" I heard; and realized it was the alarm. I got up to turn it off, and I heard something outside our tent. I was FROZEN with fear. I said "Luis, honey, there's someone outside our tent; going through our stuff." And then what I heard, astonished me, It was a loud voice, and it said "Go!" And then it said "Hey, that's ours, leave it alone!" And it took me a second to realize that those sentences had been uttered by my husband. I was shocked. Not because he said them; but because he said them in a deep, white guy voice. White guy? What happened to my "Ricky Ricardo?" I had never heard him sound like this before. I also never saw him get up so quickly before. Usually it takes an act of Congress to wake this man up. Anyway, he started looking outside the windows of our tent. I was SCARED; truly SCARED and then he said...
"It's a skunk. A BIG skunk." Whew- was I relieved. Partly because it wasn't a person rifling through our stuff; and partly because there WAS something out there; so I didn't look like a complete, raving, lunatic.

Just as I never would have thought that I would EVER put my feet into an ensemble such as the one pictured above; I never thought that I would like camping. BUT I have to say it - I LOVE IT!! I LOVE the quiet. I Love the fresh air. I LOVE being with my family; uninterrupted by the TV, or errands and I love getting back to basics with my family and friends - cooking on the fire, and playing games, making smores (Yes, I know that's the second time I've mentioned them- the smores that is - notice no weight loss reported in this blog - hahaha) For me it was heaven. I would have stayed longer if we could have. I know that this confession is a shocker to my Oldies but Goodies; and by Oldies but Goodies I mean my friends; but hey, the times they are a changing and I'm changing with them.
I wish my wonderful, Hot Pink Croc wearing, husband the happiest 38th birthday EVER
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING