Saturday, April 30, 2011

(43-277) "The Voice"

I know that there are many busy people who fore go watching TV; but I can't.  I enjoy watching TV.  I like being distracted; and I watch a good variety of shows.  Everything from a soap opera, to comedy, to drama, to reality.  I watch dance reality, singing reality, cooking reality and human reality.  And I know that sounds like a lot to some; but thanks to my DVR, I watch it all at my convenience.  Well usually...

On Tuesday night, we ran into a bit of a scheduling conflict, because we can only record two shows at a time, and watch one of the two shows.  We were recording the "Dancing with the stars" results show, "The Biggest Loser," and  "GLEE," but we also wanted to watch the premier of "The Voice" on NBC.  Since the aforementioned shows overlapped a bit, I knew that if we watched "The Voice" on the play room TV from 8 to 830, we could then record the remainder on the DVR.  Luis, Kelsie and I settled in for "The Voice," and we all LOVED it. 
If you haven't heard about it; lemme splain.  The show is hosted by Carson Daly, who thus far he has proven himself to be kind, compassionate, 
and extremely likable.  Even Luis thought so.  The judges are Adam Levine (Maroon 5,)  Cee Lo Green (whose hit "Forget You" is ROCKIN the charts right now,)  Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton; and together, they're a terrific team.  The premise of the show is that each of the judges will chose 8 singers to comprise their team.  Then the judge / coach will work with them as the show goes into competition mode.  Ultimately, one person will be dubbed "The voice."  The contestants had been pre-screened and the ones who are appearing on the show, are those that received call backs.  The singers come out onto the stage without being announced, and the judges have their chairs turned around so that they cannot see the performer.  The contestant begins singing and if any of the  judges are interested in coaching that person, they hit their buzzer which turns their chair around so that they can face the performer.  If no one buzzes in, the singer does not continue on the show.  If more than one judge buzzes in, then the singer will have the opportunity to chose which coach he/she wants to work with.  And I can tell you that the judges and their pitches are both funny and heartfelt.

Frenchie Davis
So far, each coach has chosen three singers; and I was so pleasantly surprised when onto the stage walked none other than Frenchie.  NO, not Frenchie from "Grease," Frenchie from season two of "American Idol."  I had been a big Frenchie fan back in the day.  And if you don't know who I'm talkin bout, lemme refresh your memory.
So it's season two of "American Idol" and Frenchie wows the judges.  Frenchie sails through Hollywood week and makes it to the semi-finals, but when the show start airing, Frenchie is no where to be found, because the producers had eliminated her.  Frenchie had been forthcoming with the producers and told them at the age of nineteen she had posed for some lingerie and topless pictures which had been on the Internet.  The website had since been shut down, but the producers decided that since "Idol" was a family show, it would be inappropriate for Frenchie to appear.  This steamed me then, and  since more recent contestants were allowed to compete after less forthright discoveries were made, I think that Frenchie got a really raw deal, and I'm very excited to be able to watch her have the opportunity to perform again.

"The Voice" is not aiming to be a venue for "Idol" castoffs from what I've read.  They are just trying to find the BEST voice in America.  Other contestants had stories that were just as compelling as Frenchie's.  From a painstakingly shy, 16 year old girl, who'll be working with Blake Shelton, to a young woman whose been living in her car since she travels around so much for gigs.  There are all types of  singers who perform in various genres; and what I find really interesting is that, the teams are not necessarily being built in accordance with the singer or coaches specialty.  There's a country crooner who chose to work with Adam Levine, and a rock girl who picked Christina Aguilera as her coach; and I could go on and on, but I won't.

As full as my DVR is getting, I will definitely be fitting "The Voice" in to my scheduled recordings list; and get this.  If it's too full, I WILL watch it on any TV that's available in my house; because it's just THAT GOOD.   I can assure you that  "The Voice" is not JUST another singing reality show; and it's totally worth your time, even if you have very little of it.
Till next time...

Friday, April 29, 2011

(43-276) Food Tidings

There are numerous reasons that I consider myself to be a profoundly, blessed woman; and amongst them, I include each and every one of my phenomenal friends.  Since my parents passed away when I was a teen and I had little to no interaction with my extended family; my friends have always been extraordinarily important to me, and I cherish them all.

Although I've mentioned several of my friends in previous posts, you know that there are certain local friends of mine that you hear about more often than others; and one of them, is my amazing friend, Mari.   I've dedicated a number of blogs to extolling Mari's virtues and raving about her talents and trust me when I tell you that I've only addressed the tip of the iceberg.

I last mentioned Mari when I wrote "Oh Scrappy Day!!!" I explained that Mari couldn't join us at the scrapbook convention because her 18 year old daughter had to have surgery just two days prior and she was still in the hospital.  I wrote that post on April 16, and sadly, Mari's daughter has yet to leave the hospital.  Incredible mom that she is, Mari has barely left her side; but she does still have a husband and three other children at home.  I have extended myself to Mari and her family, as I would do anything to try and make things easier for them at this time; but to date Mari has asked for nothing other than her friend's prayers.

I've felt useless.  I've wanted to find a way to help and thanks to Mari's friend Cheryl, I now know how to.  A few days ago I received an email from Cheryl (who I don't know,) and it was an invitation to sign up on Food Tidings so that we could provide meals to Mari's family in her absence. is "a place to manage meals for your family & friends in need!"  It was "designed to help eliminate some of the time and confusion in coordinating a meal schedule;"  and I was so happy to receive an invitation to assist Mari, and her family; until I experienced the discombobulation that I referenced in "ROYALLY Messed Up..."

I was so eager to participate, that I signed up for the first available date, which happened to be the third date on the list.  I knew that my schedule for the next two weeks was going to be a lil busier than usual but I really thought that I would be able to provide dinner on Tuesday 5/3, so I signed up to bring roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and a vegetable.  A while later when I went to write this down on my refrigerator calendar, I was dismayed to discover that bringing a dinner on Tuesday would be an impossibility for me, because both Nicky and Lyndzi are scheduled for Orthodontist appointments at 330 and Lyndzi and Kelsie both have a school concert at 6.  I was very embarrassed about my error and I mustered up the courage to email Cheryl to see if she could switch days with me so that I could bring a meal on Monday (when she was scheduled to.)  Cheryl was very nice when she emailed me back, but she said that she was confused because the family had not requested a meal for Monday since they were going out to eat for Mari's other daughter's birthday.  I apologized profusely for my mistake and for coming off unbelievably flaky; and I told her that I would just schedule a different day.  Sure enough, when I checked the sign-up sheet again, I found that even though Cheryl had signed up for the first date, it wasn't May 2, it was April 28th.  AGHHH!  I'm not comfortable with being so inattentive.  And yes, I know that I'm trying to do a good thing and I didn't make a mistake on purpose, and I should cut my self some slack; but this is me we're talking about, and I just don't do that.  Anyway, I removed my May 3rd menu and selected another day, on which I'll bring Baked ziti with ground beef, salad and bread. 

In the big scheme of things, my little goof up isn't worth a second thought compared to what Mari and her family are going through.  I have such admiration for their strength, courage and love; and it will be my pleasure to bring them meals and lend my support any way that I can.

Although many of you only know Mari through my blog; I'm going to ask that you all say a prayer for her and her family, as there is great strength in numbers.  As always, in the interest of (say it with me,) "The Greater Good," I encourage you to visit if you know someone who is in need of the comfort of a meal.
Till next time..

Thursday, April 28, 2011

(43-275) ROYALLY Messed Up...

For the past 24 hours or so, I've been a little discombobulated; which is HIGHLY unusual for me.  No matter how much I've got going on, I'm typically VERY organized, and detail oriented and yet; I've had a few mishaps that have made me look nothing short of flaky.  I'm going to table telling you about my first faux pas, until tomorrow; because it ties in with what I believe my next blog topic will be.   So on to, today....

It's Thursday, so I went into my office instead of working from home.  During my lunch break I logged into my Facebook and found this as Michelle M's status "In honor of the big wedding on Friday, use your royal wedding guest name! Start with either Lord or Lady. Your first name is one of your grandparents' names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on. Post yours here. Then cut and paste it into your status. =) I am Lady Elvira Kirk-Darien!"

Well as much as I have NO interest in the Royal wedding; I just thought this was hysterical,  so I decided to play along.  I posted my name as Lady Gertrude Lady-Heritage.  How AWFUL is that?  I chose Gertrude because I thought it sounded stuffier than my Nana's name, which was Anna.  (My apologies to any Gertrude's who are reading this.  I'm certain that you are all perfectly lovely, and spirited people.)  I thought that this exercise was so funny that I told my co-worker Kathy about it and when I shared my name she said "You're supposed to use Lady in the beginning."  I told her that I did, but because my first dog's name was Lady, I had to use it again.  How boring is that?   I also told her that I posted my name hastily because I had made a mistake in using Heritage.  Although the beloved Condos were on Heritage Drive, that was not in fact the first street that I ever lived on; as I resided in Yonkers on Pennsylvania Avenue for the first four years of my life.  When I gave it more careful consideration than it probably deserved; I also realized that Lady was actually not my first pet; since my parents had a bird from at least the time that I was born, and her name was Tseyndy (which is a derivative of the Yiddish word for teeth - how scary is that?)  Why would would my parents name a bird after teeth?  What the hell must this bird have done to warrant such a name?  But I digress...

After all too much consideration, it became quite apparent that I ROYALLY messed up.  My royal name should have been Lady Gertrude Tseyndy-Pennsylvania.  And after all of that, I can honestly say that it doesn't sound at all better than Lady Gertrude Lady-Heritage.  Oh butter biscuits!  How bout this one... Richie Howell had gotten our Beagle, Lady from the ASPCA.  Ironically enough, Lady turned out to be a howler herself; so Richie Howell returned her to the pound after only a week.  Not that long after, he brought home two kittens and mine was named Beau.  Since Beau was REALLY my first pet;  I'm going to go with Lady Gertrude Beau-Pennsylvania.  Still not great!  Guess I am not meant to have a royal name; but it is mindless fun.  Go on, try it.  Please leave me a comment here or on Facebook where my blog appears and share your royal name, using the criteria that I posted from Michelle's status. 
Ta ta for now.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING (now that's more like it!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(43-274) Back In The Day...

Lately I've been spending a lot of time looking at old high school yearbooks.  Not mine, but those of Arizona high schools that could be potential reunion clients.  I've been to various school district offices and high schools; and I still have several more to visit.  I'm currently looking through yearbooks of the 1982, 1992, and 2002 classes; and it is everything from amusing to provocative.  The layouts range from impossible to impressive.  The comments vary from intelligent to insane and yet they all manage to capture the very best of that high school's experience.

Today I was in the library at a high school in Scottsdale, and all of a sudden I heard "In A Big Country" coming from somewhere, followed by another 80's tune that escapes me right now; and I thought it was really unusual to be hearing music, let alone songs from the 80's.  Nonetheless, being on campus, looking at the yearbooks and hearing 80's music, made me reflect on some of my favorite songs from when I was in high school.  So tonight I'm going to share five of my fave tunes from back in the day. 

I was a big Yaz fan, and  to this day I still enjoy "Upstairs at Eric's.  The song I liked best on this album was and is, "Midnight."   LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

Who didn't like Tears for Fears?  To this day "Shout" still gets a lot of play; but I preferred "Everybody wants to rule the world."

For some reason, I don't think that Go West's "We close our eyes" was actually very popular; but there was something about it that I always liked.

I heard "This little girl is mine" by Gary U.S. Bonds, one Saturday, on American Bandstand and flipped for it.  What can I say, my taste in music is nothing if not eclectic.

There's absolutely no way that I can pay tribute to my fave tunes from back in the day without including a Rick Springfield song.  I was GAGA for Rick before GAGA was born this way, and "I've Done Everything For You," was a song that gave me great listening pleasure.  I hope it has been for you too.
Till next time...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(43-273) Kidz-R-Kool

Today all three of my kids were scheduled to have their bi-annual dental check ups and teeth cleanings.  So if you've stopped by "The Bumpy Ride" before, you know what that means... I was NERVOUS!  I've been very careful NOT to let my kids know how much I detest going to the dentist; because I don't want them to be afraid like me.  Luckily, none of them seem to have inherited my dental phobia and I credit this in part to their phenomenal dentist, Dr. Brenke at Kidz-R-Kool Pediatric Dentistry.

I've been taking my kids to Dr. Brenke for years, and he's done everything from a routine exam, to fillings, to sealants to extractions for us; and my kids have never complained, and have NEVER been scared to undergo treatment.  Dr. Brenke and his staff treat the kids with kindness and respect; and they bend over backwards to make sure that the parents are comfortable as well.  Ironically enough, Valerie, who I mentioned in "A New Crown For The Queen," left her job with my previous dentist a few years ago and has been working at Kidz-R-Kool ever since; which gives us an extra reason to be comfortable with our dental care choice.

Dr. Brenke's office is adjoined to our Orthodontist's office, which makes it very convenient if ever the Orthodontist needs to defer to the dentist or vice versa.  Like today for instance, Dr. Brenke noticed that one of Lyndzi's teeth was not going to be able to come in properly because her spacer wire was in the way.  He asked me when her next Ortho appointment was, so I checked my calendar and told him that it was scheduled for May 26.  Dr. Brenke didn't think that it should wait that long; so he personally took Lyndzi next door to the Orthodontist's office and then brought one of the techs back over to speak to me.  We agreed that I'd bring Lyndzi in on Tuesday when Nicky has his next Ortho appointment; and I was most appreciative of his assistance.

All too often I find myself telling you about the inferior service that I've received somewhere; so in the interest of (say it with me) "The Greater Good,"  I feel duty bound to recommend Kidz-R-Kool to all those who are in the Peoria, AZ area.   Heck, even if you're a little bit further away, I think he's totally worth the trip.

It means everything to me that my kids aren't fearful the way that I am, and that they have positive experiences doing the things that they NEED to do for themselves; like having regular dental exams.  I'm also delighted to report that all three of my kids were cavity free, and won't need to be seen for another six months.
Till next time...

Monday, April 25, 2011

(43-272) Four Weeks And Counting...

As I was packing the kid's lunches this morning, I glanced over to the dry erase calendar that we keep on our fridge; and then advised Nicky that his birthday was three weeks from today.  I followed this announcement up by broadcasting that they would be done with school in just four weeks.  WOOHOO!!  And I did say THAT too.

I know that a lot of parents don't like having their kids home for the summer; but I REALLY look forward to it.  I like to spend as much time with them as possible; and I sadly recognize that it won't be long before they don't want to spend as much time with me.  

After dropping the kids at school this morning, I went to register them for Swim team.     Another sign that summer is just around the corner; and I can't wait.  I know that I've said it many times, but it's just amazing to me how quickly time flies by.  It seems like just a couple of years ago that I gave birth to Nicky, and yet he'll turn twelve on May 16.  All  I can say is that if you have children, young ones in particular; enjoy each and EVERY minute, because the little things that annoy you now, will seem like nothing as they get older and their problems get bigger.  When they're little it's so easy to plan EVERYTHING for them.  What they'll eat, what they'll wear, when they'll sleep, who they'll play with etc. etc. and as they get older they make more and more of these decisions for themselves; and not always successfully.

Yes, I'm counting down the days until the end of the school year and the beginning of our family time.  My favorite time!
Til next time...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

(43-271) EGGhausted!!!

Hoppy Easter everyone!  OK, corny I know; but I've had an EGGhilarating day and I am officially EGGhausted!!!  C'mon, for as many times as I've told you how much I LOVE continuity; this really can't surprise you.

After my kids searched for their Easter baskets this morning, I gave them breakfast; then went to the Supermarket.  Fry's already had their Easter stuff marked down; and I totally got EGGcited because they had this egg spinner that my friend Lisa B had brought over to Tina's yesterday; and it was marked down to $3.49; and to top it off, I had a 20% off coupon for Easter items PLUS the $5 gift card that I'd earned last week. WOOHOO! Next years eggs are going to be really EGGtravagant!

We unloaded our groceries, packed up our Turkey, and the fixings that I needed to make mashed potatoes and we headed for Michelle M's.  Shortly after arriving, the kids decided to go swimming.  I immediately started filling five dozen, plastic eggs with money; and then Michelle and I played JUST DANCE 2.  Talk about EGGercise!  When we were ready to take a lil break, we went outside to sit by the pool and I snapped some photos of the kids. 

Around 245 we put our two, 12lb-ish Turkeys into the oven, and I started my mashed potatoes.  At 430 Luis and Michelle's brother Kyle, drove over to the park by Michelle's old house, where we've had our Easter egg hunt for the past four years; and they hid all 88 eggs that we had filled between us.  I gave a lil speech about being happy with whatever you get, and picking up as many as you could find.  We snapped a couple of pictures, and at the count off of "On your mark, get so, Go!"  They took off running.

Our Easter egg hunt turned out to be quite profitable for them.  Lyndzi earned $31.61. Nicky made $23.19 and Kelsie found $6.71 They all did an EGGemplary job.

When we returned to Michelle's house, we got the finishing touches of the cooking under way; and by 7pm we sat down to an EGGceptional, Easter feast.  We followed our meal with the cupcakes that Michelle and I had made on Saturday night and ended our holiday celebration on a very sweet note. 

OK, I'll say it...It was the Best Easter EVER!  I hope that yours was an equally satisfying EGGperience.
Till next time...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

(43-270) EGGtravaganza!

Richie Howell (my father for any newbies;) was always responsible for coloring, and hiding our Easter eggs, as well as preparing our Easter baskets.  Although I don't credit him for much; I will say that he ROCKED Easter and all that it entailed.  Interestingly enough, he was also the mastermind behind our incomparable Christmas trees, and the splendid bows and wrapping on our gifts.  It's kind of ironic that he was able to express his love in these ways; considering that he was rarely around, but I'm very glad to at least have SOME good memories of him.

Back in the day, my brother and I were never a part of the egg dying process.  We just woke up Easter morning and searched for the eggs that Richie Howell had colored.  I can't recall why Luis and I (OK, I) decided not to use colored eggs for our very first Easter egg hunt; but we opted for the plastic ones; and we've been using them ever since.

Over time, it's become our tradition to put various denominations of money in the plastic Easter eggs; and use those for our hunt with Michelle M and her son.  We also dye eggs for an activity, but we never hide them, nor do we eat them; so I'm not REALLY sure why we do it; and yet I wouldn't consider skipping it.

Today we were invited to our friend Tina's for a big egg dying EGGtravaganza.  Tina has a more the merrier point of view, so she told us to invite Jenny and her kids as well.  Knowing that we had an EGGciting, EGGercise ahead of us I boiled three dozen eggs; and headed to Tinas's around 245.  Tina had several tables set up and more dyes than I've ever seen.  It was EGGtraordinary!  All of the kids were happily coloring their eggs; and Luis, Jenny and I got in on the act too.  THEN, Tina brought out some chalk board eggs.  She had spray painted the eggs black, and the kids were able to use chalk on them.  They were EGGcellent!

I love the traditions that I've created with my family and friends.  Or should I say my family of friends... In fact, as soon as I'm done with this post, I'm off to Michelle M's so that we can commence with our Easter baking.  We've decided to bake cupcakes rather than a cake; and we're attempting Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting and Vanilla with a butter cream, Coconut, and Pecan frosting.  Calories don't count on the holidays right?

I hope that you all enjoy YOUR holiday traditions and I wish you an EGGceptional Easter.
Till next time...

Friday, April 22, 2011

(43-269) Me From A to Z

OK, I admit, I'm a comment addict.  It thrills me no end when  someone takes the time to leave me a comment.  Whether it's right on "The Bumpy Ride," on Facebook, via text or email; I am crazy for comments. And I have to say that nothing quite puts the icing on my comment cake, like a new reader sharing their thoughts with me.

After posting "100 To Go," I received a lovely comment from a woman called Sugar; so I paid her blog a visit.  I had a look around and I was inspired by something that I saw, and I decided to put my own twist on it.  So for better or worse, this is Me From A-Z:

A -  Amusing,Anxious,Active
B -  Brave,Bold,Blessed  
C -  Creative,Caring,Candid,
D -  Dancing Queen,Dedicated,Devoted
E -  Entertaining,Energetic,Empathetic
F -  Feminine,Forgiving,Friend
G -  Genuine,Gregarious,GLEE fan,Generous (according to Nicky & Kelsie)
H -  Happy,Honest,Hard working
I -  Intelligent,Introspective,Ice cream LOVER
J -  Jovial,Jewish,Jewelry maker
K -  Kind, Klutzy, Kooky
L -  Loving,Loyal,Liberal
M -  Mother,Merry,Messy, 
N -  Nice(according to Lyndzi,)Naughty(according to Luis)
New Yorker
O -  Optimistic,Opinionated,Overweight
P -  Particular,Perceptive,Perfectionist 
Q -  Queen of EVERYTHING
R -  Red Head, Reader, Ridiculous (but in a good way)
S -  Sensitive,Spontaneous,Scrapbooker,Swim & Soccer Mom
T -  Tenacious,Talkative,True
U -  Unique,Unstoppable
V -  Vivacious, Verbose,
W -  Witty,Wife,Writer 
X -  X-uberant
Y-   Youthful
Z -  Zealous

Till next time...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

(43-268) Love Gives You Courage

If you've read "The Bumpy Ride" before, then you know that all three of my kids do swim team in the summer.  All three kids are skilled swimmers; however, to date Lyndzi (my 9 year old daughter) has enjoyed the most success.  Lyndzi is an extremely fast swimmer, and she's just lovely to watch.  Kelsie is very good for a 7 year old, but she isn't quite the swimmer that Lyndzi was at that age; and although Nicky (almost 12) is VERY precise; he does need to work on his speed.  All three kids have been taking a swim team prep class for the past three weeks.  Nicky and Lyndzi practice in the same group (9-13 years)  and Kelsie practices with the younger group (5-8 years.)

Swimming has been going well.  The kids are all starting to rebuild their endurance and get back in shape; but most importantly, they really enjoy it.  They swim Monday through Thursday and I must say that yesterday Lyndzi was in super competitive mode.  The   coach had even told me how great she thought Lyndzi was doing and how much she enjoyed watching her.  It seemed like Nicky was having a good day too.  We noticed that he had swam his last lap a lot faster than usual; but when they got out of the pool, I could tell that something was wrong.  I asked Lyndzi what was the matter and she told me that she was mad at this girl (that I'll call Brenda, for the sake of this post.)  Now I'm not a fan of Brenda's to begin with.   Whenever she sees me, she gives me this phony little smile, and I don't trust her; so needless to say, I was very interested to hear why Lyndzi was mad at her, since I've never heard her say such a thing about anyone but Kelsie before.  Lyndzi explained that they had swam a lap and she finished first, then Brenda, and when Nicky finished, Brenda told Nicky that he was slow.  Lyndzi said "I didn't think that was nice and I told her that it was a very rude thing to say, and that she should apologize to my brother.  She said that she already apologized, but she wasn't sincere and she gave him this fake smile.  I don't like how she treated Nicky, and so I'm mad at her."

I was so proud of Lyndzi for sticking up for Nicky.  And what I find truly amazing is the courage that love gave her.  If the situation had been different, and Brenda would have been rude to Lyndzi; I don't believe that Lyndzi would have stood up for herself.  But with as much as Lyndzi loves Nicky, she couldn't help but come to his defense.  Truth be told, she probably didn't even think twice about it.  Her love for Nicky gave her the courage to stand up for him and I think that's beautiful.  Nicky surely could have spoken for himself, but  Lyndzi didn't even want him to have to.  I love how connected and protective they are over each other.  As a mom, it is a great reward, and gives me confidence that they will look out for each other, when I can't be there to do it. 
Till next time...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(43-267) Decision Making

I think that one of the best things that you can do for your kids is to teach them to trust themselves; and encourage them to make their own decisions.  Now of course, when I say this; I'm referring to children of a certain age; but remember that you have to start somewhere.  So yes, I was the mom that let a five year old Kelsie wear two different colored flip flops to the store one day, because that's what she wanted to do and expressing her individuality wasn't going to hurt anyone.

I want my kids to know that they are capable of choosing what is best for them; and then take responsibility for their decisions once they've made them.  And this week, Nicky did just that.

Nicky has been a Student Council rep this year, and he's absolutely loved it.  He's enjoyed working in the school snack bar, setting up for dances, volunteering at a food bank, and participating in meetings.  Nicky hopes to continue with Student Council next year, and as they're getting ready to have officer elections; he was considering running for Secretary.  Now why Secretary you might ask?  And the answer is simple.  The only positions that 6th graders may run for are Secretary, Treasurer and Spirit Coordinator.  Well try as he may, Spirit Coordinator is not a position that would suit Nicky right now, and a popular girl had already said that she was going to run for Treasurer, so rather than compete against her, Nicky was considering Secretary.

I was VERY proud that Nicky wasn't letting the two to five minute speech that he'd have to give in front of the 5th through 7th graders deter him.  We discussed the fact that although it might make him uncomfortable for a few minutes; in the long run the gain would be worth it.  Nicky was contemplating his decision to run and ultimately he decided that he didn't want to, because he really didn't want to be Secretary. Nicky thought that the Secretary position would be too much pressure for him, and speaking as someone who's held that position before; I would have to say he's right.  It's a lot of additional work and responsibility.  Nicky decided that he would wait until next fall, when he could run for a rep position, and hopefully get back into Student Council.  I respect Nicky's decision and how he made it.  He wasn't afraid to say that he'd changed his mind; and he definitely gave it a lot of thought before doing so. 

You know I joke a lot about how I have trouble making decisions; but the truth is, it's the insignificant things, like what to have for dinner that cause me to be indecisive.  When it comes to life decisions, I don't have difficulty at all.  Case in point, writing a daily blog this year.  I didn't waiver at all about doing it; although maybe I should have.  Just kidding!

As always I am extraordinarily proud of Nicky.  He's almost twelve years old, and he knows very well, who he is, and he is invariably true to himself.  Nicky is his own person and he does what's comfortable for him, regardless of if it's the popular thing to do or not.  And as his mom; that's EXACTLY what I had hoped for him.
Till next time...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

(43-266) 100 To Go!

Big fan of continuity that I am, on this auspicious occasion, I feel compelled to say, "Milestone, Milestone, who's reached a milestone?" "It's me! It's me!" "Milestone, Milestone who's reached a Milestone?"  "It's me, It's me!" "Uh-huh, uh-huh, Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh!" "100  to go!"     

Yes, today is the day that I have been striving towards for weeks.  I have now been 43 for  266 days and I am delighted to report that all is well and I'm still going strong.  Additionally,  I've now written 266 consecutive blogs; which means that in just 100 days, I will be 44 years old, my daily blog will be concluded and Lyndzi, Jackie and I will be on our way to New York.  I can't wait, on all three accounts!!
Although I REALLY wanted to write about John Travolta's appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" last night; I felt obligated to share something a bit more personal today.  I thought that it would be appropriate to tell you a few of the things that I've learned in the past 266 days, since when I first wrote "43" I said that I planned to write about things that I learned, enjoyed, or recalled. One of  THE most important things that I've discovered thus far, is that you need to take your happiness wherever and whenever you find it.  Rejoice in all things that give you pleasure, even if it's something small.  So since John Travolta makes me SO happy, and I enjoy him thoroughly, I've concluded that it makes perfect sense to write about him tonight after all.

Now if this isn't your first time at this rodeo, than y'all know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Maksim Chmerkovskiy (dancing pro) on "Dancing With The Stars," and I'm also a big fan of his partnership with Kirstie Alley this season.   You may also recall that on a number of occasions, I've mentioned that John Travolta is my favorite actor.  So imagine my sheer delight when John Travolta popped up on "DWTS" last night, because Kirstie felt that she and Maks needed the aid of "The Dance Doctor."  WOOHOO!  I felt myself smile from ear to ear when JT popped in.  Now JT didn't dance, he just gave Kirstie and Maks a lil coaxing and encouragement; but nonetheless, it was a pleasure to see him.  I knew right then and there that I wanted to write about how giddy his appearance made me; and I started to reflect on why I adore him.  I considered this "Dance Doctor" title and realized that I could think of no other actor of our time that has danced in as many movies as John Travolta has.  I'll state the obvious, "Saturday Night Fever."  Then he sang AND danced in "Grease."   There was "Staying Alive,"  then he two stepped in "Urban Cowboy," heck he even danced in "Pulp Fiction," and strutted his stuff briefly, in "Michael," and I have to give him double props for dancing as an overweight woman, in "Hairspray."   Other than "Staying Alive," I loved all of these movies, and even the ones that he hasn't hoofed it in.
Yes, seeing John Travolta on "DWTS" last night, was a perfect example of how easy it can be to get happy; and I think that we need to be thankful for all things big and small that put a smile on our faces and make life a little sweeter.

I am so thrilled that I've been able to live up to my commitment, despite the many times that I didn't think that I could.  I know that I'm in the home stretch now; and instead of fearing the 100 posts that I have yet to write; I'm going to embrace the challenge and push myself to make these next 100 blogs the best that I've ever written. 

Thank you so much for taking this journey with me.  As always I welcome your ideas for new posts and your feedback. 
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING       

Monday, April 18, 2011

(43-265) Missing Movies

#10 on my "100 Random Things About Me" list was "I love going to the movies; but I rarely go."  Back in the day, if I REALLY liked a movie,  I would see it multiple times in the theater.  I think I saw "Grease" at least eight times, and I know I made more than one visit to "Porky's,"  I had to have seen "Dirty Dancing" no less than three times; I lost count on how many times I went to see "When Harry Met Sally,"  AND "Parenthood," not to mention my regular attendance at "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

As movie prices have gone up  over the years, and my schedule has gotten so much busier, I hardly find the time to see a movie even once in the theater; but I did make an exception for "Sex and The City," and "The Hangover."  Neither of these were Academy award nominated films; but they were priceless to me.  Through the course of my movie watching life I've managed to miss several popular and or iconic films, that most other people have seen.  I touched on this when I told you in "Quite Contrary," that I had never seen the movie "The Godfather;" and I was OK with that.

My friend Hilary, sent me an email after reading "quite Contrary," and she  encouraged me to post a list of movies that I hadn't seen, as she thought that she'd be surprised by it.  I told her that I'd do so at some point; and so in honor of tonight being the first night of Passover, I'm going to tell you about twenty five movies that I Passed Over. 

Now I'm not proud that I've failed to see these flicks.  But I have previously mentioned that I am Queen of B RATE MOVIES, and I'm pretty shallow when it comes to my entertainment.  For the most part I don't like to have to think too hard when I'm watching a film.  I don't want to really have to concentrate in order to understand a plot; and I don't want to cry a lot.  I like to be entertained, I enjoy laughing and feeling  hopeful; so I guess for the most part I'm a chick flick lovin, romantic comedy kinda girl.  And with that being said; you may now understand why I've never seen:

1.   "Casablanca"
2.   "It's A Wonderful Life"
3.   "Stand By Me"
4.   "King Kong" (any of them)
5.   "Cleopatra"
6.   "Lord Of The Rings" (any of them)
7.   "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"
8.   "American Beauty"
9.   "Fargo"
10. "No Country For Old Men"
11.  "Taxi Driver"
12.  "Jurassic Park"
13.  "Lawrence Of Arabia"
14.  "Avatar"  or as I like to call it "The Avatar"
15.  "Some Like It Hot"
16.  "The Bridges Of Madison County"
17.  "Terminator" (any of them)
18.  "Black Swan"
19.  "Harry Potter" (any of them)
20.  "Singin' In The Rain"
21.  "A Beautiful Mind"
22.  "Dances With Wolves"
23.  "Schindler's List"
24.  "Scarface"
25.  "The Matrix"

I didn't include anything in the horror genre, such as "Psycho" or "The Shining," because as I mentioned told you in "100 Random Things About Me,"   "I don't like scary movies because I have a VERY vivid imagination. AND "Silence of the Lambs" was the scariest movie that I've ever seen and I still check the backseat of my car before I get in; so I can make sure that no one is hiding in there to abduct me (proving #19 right there.)"  Since I don't like Horror movies at all, I didn't want to waste a spot by stating the obvious.  I also didn't include anything Sci-fi, because the only movies that I've ever seen that would even qualify under this category are the very first "star Wars"  (which I didn't like,) and "ET'."   As I wasn't sure if "The Matrix" qualified as Sci-fi, I included it; as I have no desire to see it, EVER.

So what does this list prove?  Absolutely nothing!  Perhaps it's just a testament to how unpredictable I can be.  Wishing a zisn Pesach,( [Have] a sweet Passover;) to all those who are celebrating.
Till next time...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(43-264) Savings Of The Day

It's Sunday, so you know what that means.  I had errands to run and grocery shopping to do.  I bought a newspaper, reviewed all of the flyer's, as well as my stash of coupons; and I headed to Fry's.

I had to replace a number of staple items, since our fridge had been on the fritz last week; and I didn't have many coupons for the things that I needed, but I did have the Albertsons $10 off a $100 or more purchase; and since Fry's honors competitors coupons, they gladly accept it.  I LOVE that coupon!

After watching "Extreme Couponing," I', convinced that couponing can be an addiction; although it's not one of mine.  I do really enjoy the rush that I get when I find a great deal; but I don't think I'm quite ready for a Twelve step program, like some of the people on that show.  I'm sorry, I admire their savings abilities, I really do.  But if you're buying things that you don't even use, just because you have a coupon for it and you can get it for a good price, I think that there's a meeting that you need to go to.... But I digress.

I'm very excited to tell you about my savings of the day.  In case you're interested, you have until Wednesday to follow in my footsteps, if you use this plan... This week Fry's has Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios and a couple of other General Mills cereals, on sale for $2.79 a box.  They're offering a $5 gift card, if you buy four boxes.  I had two coupons, each for $1.00 off of 2 boxes of cereal; so I purchased four; which dropped the price to $2.29 a box AND I received the $5 gift card to use towards my next purchase.  I'm sure the extreme couponers would have found a way for the store to owe them money; but I am very content with my purchase and savings; and I hope these hints may be helpful for you too.  Happy shopping!
Till next time...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

(43-263) Oh Scrappy Day!!!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Mari asked me if I wanted to go to the CK Scrapbook Convention on April 16.  At first I didn't think that I was interested in going, since I really don't have money to spend on scrapbook supplies right now; but ultimately I decided that it would be fun to go regardless;  and I accepted her invitation.  With Mari's consent I asked Jenny to join us, along with the five other friends that were already planning to go.  Unfortunately, Mari wasn't able to make it to the convention, because her 18 year old daughter had to have surgery on Thursday.  She was sadly missed, but was certainly there with us in spirit.

Luis and I discussed the convention, and I asked if he would be alright with me spending $10 while I'm there.  Luis didn't think this was quite fair; and told me that I should be able to spend $20.  Now I know that if you've ever been to the convention, you're thinking that $20 sounds like nothing; but to me, it was plenty.  Having been to the convention before, I knew that I was only going to buy something if I thought it was special; OR if it was  a really great price for something that I'd definitely use. 

Within the three hours that we were at the convention,  I bought 2 packages of foam, glitter, letter stickers for $1 per pack, and 1 package of epoxy snowflake stickers, for $1.  If you're counting that's $3 spent so far.  The next item that I wanted to purchase were Prima-esque flowers.  For you non-scrapbookers, Prima is a company that amongst other things, makes the most beautiful flowers in all types of papers and fabrics; but they can be a little pricey.  Although they were being sold for less money than usual, at the convention; I still wasn't sure that I was prepared to invest.  Luckily, I found a booth that had flowers very similar to Prima, but for a fraction of the cost; so I bought 10 flowers for $2.  I wouldn't have been able to buy even one package of Prima flowers for that price.  Oh Scrappy day!

With $5 spent, Jenny and I agreed to share a box of Bazzill paper.  For you non-scrapbookers, Bazzill is (in my opinion) the premier cardstock for scrapbooking.  They were offering an empty pizza style box for $20.  You would then fill the box with approximately 100 sheets of the 12x12 cardstock of your choice.   I proposed to Jenny that we split a box, and she agreed.  Our friend Lisa B was also going to buy a box, as well as one for Mari, so we purchased the four together because if you bought more than one box, the price for the additional boxes was only $15 each.  Score!  My portion was $7.50 and I asked Lisa to put my additional $2.50 towards Mari's box; as did Jenny.  When our other friends saw how little I'd purchased, they found it amusing; but I was very pleased.  I managed to leave the convention having spent only $15.

We went to lunch, and then to the ribbon store.  Yes, a store that sells ONLY ribbon.  It's just heavenly.  Mari had called and asked that we each buy her a couple of yards of ribbon; which she insited on reimbursing us for.  She assigned each of us a two colors and asked that we buy her two kinds of ribbon per color.  Mine were lime green and turquoise.  I liked the ones that I'd chosen for Mari so much, that I bought a couple of yards for myself, and was still under the $20.  From there we went to Scrapbooks etc. and I bought two sheets of paper and an apple cider lollipop; but it didn't cost me anything, because my friend Julie wouldn't take my $2.50 since I'd bought her a frappe at McDonald's this morning.

With all of the scrapbook paper that we'd looked at today, the one thing that I didn't see was the ONE piece of paper that I need in order to finish the Holiday card layout that I started the last time that I cropped at Mari's.  I'm on the process of making three identical layouts for my kids, but I was only able to complete two as I ran out of one of the papers for the third.  When I got home and realized that I hadn't stopped at Crop girls, to buy my one sheet; I looked online to see what time they closed.  With  only 25 minutes till closing,  I drove over to the store; and as luck would have it, there was exactly one sheet left.   I spent all of .86 which is almost unheard of for a scrapbooker; and I was on my way.

I'm so glad that I decided to go today.  I had a wonderful time spending a day with the ladies and my desire to scrapbook has been rejuvenated.  I stuck to my budget; and I REALLY like what I purchased; so my mission was accomplished.

Speaking of mission accomplished...I want to give myself a lil pat on the back, as tonight's blog is my 400th post EVER!  Thank you so much for joining me.       
Till next time...
Queen  of EVERYTHING                                                                    

Friday, April 15, 2011

(43-262) On The Mend

Ah yes, another disclaimer: This is NOT becoming an all appliance blog; BUT, I do want to update you on the refrigeration situation that I wrote about in "Fingers Crossed."
As of this morning, it seemed that Luis' extensive dust removal helped our refrigerator and freezer; however, it was not repaired.

Luis went back to the drawing board and found some very useful information online, which lead him to believe that our fan may not have been working.  He called Sears and although the part was reasonably priced; the shipping was going to cost almost as much AND it would take five to seven days for the part to get here.  Luckily Luis found a local business that sold the part and they just so happened to be located only a few minutes from our home.

Luis removed the fan, because the very nice man that he spoke to on the phone said that he could test it for him, if he brought it in.  The test was run and sure enough; the fan was dead.  It cost approximately $53 for a new fan, and the nice man even removed the old one and attached the new one for us.  I asked the man how much it might cost to make additional repairs, if  our problems persisted; and he told me that  if ALL of the potential problems existed, it would only be about $100 in parts to fix.  WOOHOO!  I'd surely rather spend $100 then have to buy a new fridge.

Luis and I were very excited.  We bought a thermometer for the refrigerator so that we would be able to tell if the repairs had worked.  Luis installed the new fan, checked the defroster as our new, helpful friend advised; and we waited.  The freezer instantly came back to life, but the fridge was going to be a longer process.    Luis said that the fridge had been 60 degrees, and it should be between 35 and 40.  At 6pm I checked the thermometer, and  it was about 49.  The good news is, the temp is going down, so the fridge seems to be on the mend; BUT we still have at least nine degrees to go to be certain that we have fixed all of the problems.

Fast forward, to 10pm this evening and the thermometer is now reading 38 degrees.  Hallelujah!
I HAVE to say that I am really proud that Luis and I didn't just throw in the towel; or the refrigerator.  There is SO MUCH information available to the average Joe now, via the internet; that we  may have just saved ourselves several hundreds of dollars by doing some research.  How great is that!!!
Till next time...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

(43-261) Fingers Crossed

Sometimes you don't know how much you like something, until it's gone; and that's exactly how I feel about my refrigerator.  That's right, I said my REFRIGERATOR.  We bought our fridge when we moved into our house, about 8 1/2 years ago.  It's nothin fancy; just a White, single door Kenmore, with an ice maker in the freezer and a water dispenser in the refrigerator and up until a few days ago, it has been an ideal appliance.

Early last week, I mentioned to Luis that when I got water out of the fridge; it was warm.  Luis made some kinda excuse and didn't seem to give much credence to what I was saying.  But then this past Sunday night, he told me that the ice cream that was in the freezer, seemed a little soft.  I told him that we'd keep an eye on it, and reminded him about the warm water.  When I woke up on Monday, I checked the freezer and I noticed that a package of steaks was defrosting.  YES, right in the freezer!

After Luis checked it out, he was convinced that we were going to have to replace our refrigerator.  He couldn't call out of work, so he went to the hotel with the hope of leaving early so that we could go shopping for a new fridge.

Luis was able to come home just after lunchtime, and we went to The Home DepotLowe's and Sears.  None of the stores had a refrigerator that was similar to ours, but we found a couple of models that could work for us.   Not having settled on one, we picked up four bags of ice and brought our coolers in from the garage, so that we could try to salvage the contents of our refrigerator and freezer.  I happened to speak with my friend Jenny in the meantime and after telling her about our fridge, she informed me that her mom had one that she was going to sell, if we were interested.

As it turned out, Jenny's mom's fridge was 13 years old; and she said that we could just have it.  Luis and I were grateful, for the offer; and we planned to take her up on it, but before I left to take the kids to the pool, I asked Luis if he just wanted to check and see if there was ANYTHING that could be done to fix the fridge.  I went on to say that if it turned out to be something that we could have fixed, we would feel very foolish for not even trying.  Luis agreed to see if there was anything that he could do; and by the time we returned from the pool, he was hard at work.   Luis said that he went online and researched the matter; and it could be a number of things.  Luis put the freezer back together; and now we've just got our fingers crossed that what he's done thus far will resolve the problem.  If not, he's now aware of a few other things that he might try.

I am so proud of Luis and thankful for his handiness.  Luis was not always a "handy" man, but over the past 17 years; he has risen to every repair challenge that we've faced.  He's taught himself enough to solve all of our breakdowns, and conductd all  of our necessary fix ups.  I have a REALLY good feeling about this; so I'll keep you posted.
Till next time...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(43-260) POTENTIAL

According to "POTENTIAL is the possibility for achievement." 
Synonyms:  ability, aptitude, capability, capacity, power, the makings, what it takes, wherewithal; and today, I was questioning mine.

With 106 more posts to go after this one, I was questioning my ability to see this through.  I know that I have the capability to put something out there every day; but I want it to be a quality product; and I was feeling like I was starting to falter.  Couple that with my new job, and some tasks that I wasn't prepared for and my wherewithal was definitely in question.

Feeling like I needed inspiration, I went in search of some quotes, and I found ten that I found very reassuring.  So as always, in the interest of (say it with me,) "The GREATER Good," I''m going to share some of the best quotes that I found on the subject of POTENTIAL.

"To be or not to be; that is the question." - William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

“The only person standing in your way is you.” - "Black Swan"

“’What’ and ‘if’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be, but put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.” - "Letters To Juliet"

“The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.” -Les Brown

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” - Wilma Rudolph

"Man, know thyself." - Socrates

“Our aspirations are our possibilities.” -Robert Browning

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential"  ~  Winston Churchill

"Deep in most of us is the potential for greatness or the potential to inspire greatness.” ~"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

"The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world."
~Roger Williams

I feel better already.  Re-charged, and ready to persevere.
Till next time...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

(43-259) Quite Contrary...

This week is proving to have it's own challenges.  Now I'm not really into complaining, so I DON'T want to share what's going on.  Just suffice it to say, it's a garden variety of things.  I'm NOT overcome with sadness, anger, or worry; I'm just an ample amount of concerned, but I have every confidence that all will work out exactly as it should.

With much on my mind and a lot to do, I wanted to keep tonight's post really light and before I knew it I was formulating a list of ten things that I have no desire to do.  How's that for feeling quite contrary.  It's entirely possible, that I may have mentioned one or more of these before in some other context; but from where I sit tonight, these were the first ten that came to me.   

Ten things I have no desire to do:

1.     Bungee jump
2.     Eat rabbit
3.     Ski
4.     Sky dive
5.     Go to India
6.     Eat venison
7.     Watch "The Godfather"
8.     Go on a safari
9.     Eat frogs legs
10.   Hear Jennifer Hudson sing "I feel good"

I made the list prior to writing the post that accompanies it; and I have to say that I find it truly amusing. It seems that of the ten things I have no desire to do, most involve heights, and eating cute or endearing animals.  Because I'm me, I feel the need to say that my list is not meant to offend anyone who may like, do or want to do these things themselves; they're just my own personal preferences - for now.  As for "The Godfather" I only mention it, because I've never seen it and I don't have any interest in doing so.  As a matter of fact, I could probably make a list of at least ten movies that are popular or iconic, that I've never seen, nor do I want to, even though tI know that they are highly acclaimed.  But that might be a list for another time.  In regard to Jennifer Hudson; I like her, I do.  I think she's a GREAT singer; however, I can't stand her rendition of "I feel good."  I feel compelled to change the channel when she's singing it in her Weight Watcher's commercials because her version irks me.  So having to endure the full song on "Dancing With The Stars" tonight, was just unbearable for me, and fit right into my theme.  Continuity, continuity, continuity.  Now there's something I LIKE!
Till next time...