Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking back at 2012 and some lessons that I have learned

2012 was an interesting year.  Sucked a lot but over all it was ok.   So here is what I have learned:

1) Wine is good to have on hand all the time
2) 9 year olds still wake you up at 2 am.
3) technology is really cool but way too expensive.
4) when the nail polish bottle says DO NOT SHAKE, don't toss it in your purse and hope for the best.
5) carry safety pins on you at all times
6) airports are funny places
7) its really cool to go to the rental place and see your name on the GOLD board.
8) always keep chocolate in the house or mama will get crazy
9) Dance Mom drama isn't just on TV.
10) gallstones suck
11) Google Maps on my phone = AWESOME!!
12) Wine is good.
13) Just because a tin hat tells you something doesn't mean its right.. or even true.
14) I will only use Fountain Pens if I can
15) heels suck
16) I love my Kindle
17) Vodka Tea will do fine if no wine is available
18) Coffee is a must.  Don't care.  coffee is good.
19) Airport terminal seats are uncomfortable
20) There are never any plugs near the bed in the hotel room.  why???  I have a phone you know
21) Airport  terminals need cushioned floors.  Like dance studios.
22) When they say "Free WiFi" it really means sucky poor speed if you can connect at all.
23) my Husband is really cool

2013 - i promise to not bitch so much..  well..  i'll try. But some people just have it coming.

Friday, December 21, 2012

redemption and wine

The kids performed today - 2 shows.  And they listened. They were quiet.  The only issue was the really little ones.. they were tired and were super good for the first show and lost it for the 2nd.  I can't blame them.

And the older kids relaxed a little and we cracked some jokes.  This was good.

Now, I am exhausted.  Work, a doctor's appointment, dress rehearsal, 2 shows and clean up.  WINE!!  And we do it again tomorrow at a Senior's home.  I think I need a vacation.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

rules for backstage

I am a backstage Mom.  Not a Stage Mom.  There is a clear difference.  I work backstage to help with the costume changes for all the kids, call the order, make sure they smile, pin and sew when needed, tie toe shoes and tell them when they are mumbling on stage.  Sure.. I praise them but I'll be damned if they go on stage and mumble. My training to put on the best possible show won't let that slide.

I have been in a number of shows in Junior High and High School. Never the star.  I was an understudy.. and  Chorus. Lack of Confidence was my downfall and I always preferred to not talk or be in a crowd.  I helped back stage and even was the student director.  Blocking, calling lines, making sure things can be heard... that's my bag. Making it seem real.  I paint a mean set.

So when my kid got bit with acting/musical theatre bug, we ended up somewhere where I happen to know the studio director.  She was my best friend growing up.  Now she owns her own performace company - not a dance studio.. a performance company.  Singing, acting, dance, play-writing  design...  the whole package.  There is one small problem.  Staffing.  She can't really afford to pay for staff like you normally would.  So the moms and dads help out where they can.  I.. am the Backstage mom.   I call the numbers, help get them ready, keep band-aids  pins and tissues on me. I have been known to yell... at rehearsals.  I use the Mom voice.  Why?  There are 2 basic rules in the theatre that need to be followed.... period.

1) You MUST be quiet in the wings and backstage.  NO TALKING
2) You have to pay attention and move fast. Timing is everything.

There are more but these are the 2 the kids have the hardest time with.  They are pokey and can not for the life of them keep quiet.  Everything is a joke.  I love them all.. but they need to learn this hard lesson.  Many of them want to make performing their career.  If they can't handle these 2 rules, they will never see a call back.

Some of them try and do really well.  Others..  not so much.

I want nothing more for these kids to succeed. And I have to be a hard ass for them to get the idea.  I don't do this because I want to... I do it because I have to.  Discipline is lacking in today's kids. Harsh tones are "cruel" and you hear "why do you have to be so mean"..   Stern is mean and bitchy.  Well you know what, if you did what you were asked to do, I wouldn't need to correct you.  They need to be obedient - the director calls the shots... not you.  Little to the parents know of what happens back stage.  I know some of the kids don't like me.  I know some do. They call me Mom. I have seen many of them improve and get it.  Others do the same antics at every show.  If you don't want to play by the rules don't play.

This weekend we have 3 shows.  Friday 2 are back to back with a dress rehearsal.  1 on Saturday for the Seniors..  I feel like I am wrangling cats.  I think I need that on my shirt "Official Cat Wrangler"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I have booked travel for 2 back to back trips.  Both trips I leave on a Monday and come home on a Thursday.  This shall be my test of sanity.  If I can pull this off..  wait.  If Tim and Erin and I can pull this off, we are in the clear.

Back to back..  gee. But it is what is it is.  And I hope for more Airport entertainment.  I love Airport entertainment.  People amuse me when I'm travel.  I always seem to be the person that seems to know what is going on, where things are.  I have "that face".  I need to remember to bring my earphones...plug them in and not turn them on.

Time to earn some miles and get over my travel anxiety.  I managed to drive in Malvern PA (and get lost a few times but I have GPS now so its all good).  I can do this.  I can.

i want a cookie

In the Pre-Christmas hustle and bustle, I haven't been writing.  I plan to but never seem to get back to the blog to write. Work is in full swing and I'll be traveling soon so that whole change to the normal is taking over.  Not to mention the fact E is performing this season with her Performing Company.  This means extra rehearsals.  And who can forget the cookies and shopping.. apparently me.   With my travel at the beginning of this month, all of that got pushed to this week.  Thank God for online shopping.

The cookies are done - chocolate chips and peanut butter blossoms. Enough for us.
The shopping is done - waiting on one package
the Family baking will be Saturday and Sunday - that is if the world doesn't end on Friday.

But in all of this craziness, I was blessed to sit for 30 minutes with my husband and watch Flash Gordon.  We giggled. We made fun of it.  It was the best.  I love those moments.. he's so awesome.  Of course now I can't stop singing the song and re-casting the movie in a current remake.  How cool would it be to have that movie redone with CGI.

I digress.

It's time to get a move on at 7:15am - kid to school and start working.  School Concert is tonight..  whee!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today is Thanksgiving.  For me, it is 2 days off from work which I am very thankful for.  It is not a HUGE deal for dinner - just a bigger turkey and more sides... and dessert.  Mom is cooking for which I am VERY thankful.

But today should be a day of giving thanks.. so her goes.

I am thankful for the following (in no particular order)
my Husband and child
my mom
my brother, his wife and my nephew
all of Tim's siblings, the spouses and all the kids.
Ribbon and Mr. Teeny Tiny Butt
that we have a roof over our heads
that we have food in our belly
that i have coffee
we are mostly healthy
we have jobs
we have friends who think of us as family
that my neighbor looks out for me
we have health care
we have freedoms some don't
and I am thankful for the men and women who fight for those freedom.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red red

wine!!  I do love a nice glass of red sweet wine.  So tonight, the night before Thanksgiving, I am thankful for living in a state where we make great red sweet wine in a box.  It may seem petty and selfish but if you know me.. you'll understand.   Bring a box of Banty.. and everything will be better.


All I want for Christmas is...

nothing.  Yes, I sound like my Mom. But there is nothing that I want for Christmas. There is nothing I need either.  But new paint brushes are nice, linen too, some blank journals, a book, a new friendly garden gnome, candles, ooh, wine or chocolate, something hand made....these are little tokens of friendship, family and love.  I don't expect any of them but they are always things that make me smile.  yes, I love garden gnomes and statues for outside.

All I've heard for the last week from Erin is "Oohh! I want THAT for Christmas...." Her list is long.  And expensive.  Does she need anything?  No.  Would it be nice if she got a new Monster High doll or game?  Sure..  but do we really need any of it?  No. Does she expect them?  sure.    This year, I'd love to be able to make the presents..  but time barely allows me to do what I have to do for the holidays.  Will she get any of it? Some..  but she will only get a few items.. small ones and her big gift.  and cookie dough.

In this age of STUFF, I think we have forgotten the simple things.  Its getting worse..  the bigger TV, the faster phone, the newest gadget.  Erin called iPhones overrated.  AWESOME... but then she turns around with  this list of STUFF.  STUFF!!  ARRG!!!  I really need to think about this...  this season of giving .  I think its time for a change.   what that is.. I don't know.  Just thinking out loud really.  I guess I've reached a whole new level of "Its all be done before"...  but there will be cookie dough.

Monday, November 05, 2012

On the road again..

I'm traveling today to VA for business.  My original flight was scheduled to leave at 6am.  I have a meeting at 2 that I need to be at so early is always the option.  So I wake up to a text message at like 2:30am indicating my flight is CANCELLED.  WTF??!!!

After a cup of coffee and a phone call to my travel person at work, I'm booked for an 11:15 flight to a different airport in hopes I'll get there just in time.

NO SUCH FREAKING LUCK!!  I get a text and email... Congratulation.. this flight is DELAYED until like 1:30pm.  Hello?  Excuse me??

So there is a chance now it will be earlier..  it's now listed at 1:05pm.  Better..  not great.  But what can I do?  Nothing.  But drink coffee, surf the net, do some work and wait.  Yep.  Wait.  At least I have a rocking chair.  And an outlet.

More to come in this freaking adventure I call work.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dear South Park High students crossing Southside,

Do you see that pole on the corner?  See the button?  It says "Press to cross..." PRESS IT!!!  Cars will not stop for you.  If you press the magic button, the light will turn red in your favor...  then you can safely cross the road.  And oh...  cross at the corner... NOT THE FREAKING MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!!  And you wonder why cars don't stop...

Concerned driver...

PS...  fuzzy pj bottoms are not appropriate for school.  GET SOME REAL PANTS!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

The next level of Hell

The whole puberty question came up again today.  So I went for it... while I was driving home.  Why?  I keeled over with cramps and the girl child was concerned that I would need to go to the hospital.  Since she had gone with Tim for his gall stone attack, she thought I was going to die.

Nope. Not dying..  just wanting to ripe my uterus out for a bit.

So I took the whole medical route on what happens.. every damn month.  She has heard the terms but didn't know what they were.  Now,.. she knows.  Her big question to me..  why I never said I was going through the pain each month.  She doesn't like to see me in pain so she felt bad. Because she hangs out with a lot of older girls  at her performance studio... the "its that time of the month" has been tossed around.  Now, she knows what it means.

Some will say,..  "she's only 9!  Why are you bringing this up with her?"  Here's why.. 1)she's in a training bra.  2) she's heavy for her age  like I was.  3) I was like 10/11 when I got it..  I do not need her freaking out when it happens.  I'm just glad I'm over this hurtle...  one more to go. I'm gonna hunt down a drink.. I need it.

Friday, October 05, 2012

No sweetie, its called Hell.

A delightful conversation with my kid as we drove home from dance last night

Erin:  Mom, do girls go though Puberty?

Me: Yes.  Why?

Erin:  I thought it would be called something different.  

Me: (trying not to laugh).  Nope, same name as the boys.  Some of the same stuff happens too.. hair in funny places.  We get  the whole boob thing and some other stuff too (thinking to myself - please don't ask.. please don't ask...  )

Erin: It must tickle to shave your underarms.....

Oh the joys of being a Mom.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Pros and Cons

I have worked from home now for nearly a year.  And I love it.  But there are some Pros and Cons to it.

I don't need to shower and do my hair right away when I start my day
World's shortest commute
Don't need to worry about driving in the snow
I can do the laundry while I work.
I have a full kitchen for lunch
I can open the windows
I can step away for fresh air
My kid can take the bus home
I can take a nap on my lunch hour

I drink way too much coffee
I tend to work later than I really should
Oh..shiny - distractions can happen
Frequent interruptions from a cat and kid
I talk to myself way too much

Would I go back to working in an office?  Nope.  I like being a Work at Home Mom.  And I'm thankful I can do it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

New jeans.. thrifty style

I'm about 10 pounds shy of my next weight goal.  I've lost 20 pounds so far and want to loose 30 more.  I can totally do it but it will take time.  No fast loss here..  saggy skin is something I want to avoid.  I also want to have my body realize the new smaller size is actually NORMAL.   So far its working.  But my jeans are way too big. Like falling off my butt big.  I've used a belt but it looks dumb.  The pants are just plain too big. Its not a bad thing.

I know deep down I can get really good jeans and clothes at AmVets and the Salvation Army.  But it was something I never really did in earnest.  Sure, I'd go and browse and find a skirt or maybe something for Erin.  But to buy new (to me) clothes for a purpose?  Yes.  When its $5 for a pair of Lee jeans that run anywhere from $25-$40...  HOW CAN I BE SO FREAKING BLIND!??!!!  And there were a ton of brand name jeans (in really small sizes) from Banana Republic, Apple Bottom Jeans and Aeropostale.

So 2 pairs of $4.98 jeans came home with me.. a size 12.  Granted, its the stretchy jean fabric but they are 12s and they fit.  I DON'T CARE!!  This is huge for me.  

With School pictures coming up, I got Erin a new shirt and skirt..  each was $3.98.  New outfit for $8.  Screw the mall.  I got voted best Mom.  So next paycheck she gets $20 to spend - the task,  New Pants.  She's already planning on trying to get as much as she can.  When I start to travel, I'll need new pants so it will be a bit until then as I don't want too buy dress pants then find they don't fit.

Oh AmVets.. you rock.

Snickers Dip

I found this recipe online... and made it..  AND IT WAS A HIT!  I got tired of regular pot luck food so I made a dessert.  Snicker's Dip.  Ready?  Its super easy.

2 8oz packs of Cream Cheese
1 8oz tube of Cool whip
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 chopped up Snickers Bars.

 Get it?  Mix it all together..  that's it!   I took a Hershey bar and grated it on the top.

let it chill for a couple of hours and serve with Graham crackers... YUM!!!

We're not killing Bambi

Me: Erin, can I ask you a question?  What do think about hunting?

Erin: I'd like to go.

Me: Really?

Erin: Yeah.  I really want to go hunting. It would be fun.  

Me: So you are OK with killing animals for meat?

Erin: Yeah.  Killing them for no reason is wrong.  For food is ok.  I'd really like some deer meat.

Me:  You know, some people may tell you that you are killing  Bambi

Erin:  Moooommm.. you don't kill the babies.  There's no meat on them.  That's just wrong.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ho hum.....

Yes. there have been a lack of posts.  Either nothing is going on worth posting OR...  I'm clearly too lazy to post it.  School started for the kiddo and its all going well.  She loves the new grade and teacher.  There are added responsibilities for homework as well (can we say lunch detention if your homework isn't complete?).

Work is an adventure and I'm starting a new role so that means training.  No travel just quite yet but its coming.

Ribbon (the cat) loves being the sole cat to rule the roost but we think she's going senile. Entertaining as it is, by poor girl is getting up there in age.

yeah..  pretty boring.  I know.  It happens.  once i get through this weekend of fun I'll post more.  promise.  really..  i mean it..  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

home and into confusion

Vacation is supposed to be a time to relax.  Not so with me this time.  I received a life changing call the day before I took my vacation... my job is changing. I could have said no.  I didn't.  I'm taking a leap.  I'm going to give it a try but it will change everything.  There will be weeks I am not home.  This means Tim will be the lead.  I know he can do it... but we are supposed to be a team and I feel like I won't be pulling my weight.  The only other option is to be unemployed and HOPE that I can get something.  I can't do that.  So I opted for change.  Now my heart  is heavy with worry and anxiety. I want to try this ... I know I can be good at it. But I feel selfish.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Charity Case

Cats Together...
Originally uploaded by melblackrose
This past Wednesday, we had to say goodbye to our cat Charity. She was our black Halloween cat. Not fond of people at first, but then she'd take over your lap.  When we moved in, she was here with her "Sister" Ribbon so really, we rent from the cats.   They belonged to the woman who owned the house and with her passing, the house went to my Sister In Law.  To live here, we got the cats.  Not an issue for me!

She was a good but insane cat. But they all are. At Halloween she'd sit in our front window with the Halloween decorations. Trick or Treaters thought she was a decoration, then she'd move. It was awesome.

She was my snuggle bunny. Her big thing was to lay on my legs so I couldn't move at night. Yes. And on my chest when I was working.. or anywhere she could lay on me.

My bed was very empty last night.  Sitting in the lazy boy was very lonely too.  But we have Ribbon still. And I will spoil her rotten.

Sleep well kitty.. we think of you every day.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

What the...??!!!

Will someone explain to me what the heck happened to kids today?   Here's the story.

Erin and I went swimming  at the local indoor city pool.  I was swimming width laps and was waiting for Erin to catch up to me.  Two kids, a boy and girl, both maybe 7, were hanging onto the wall going around the parameter.  I was leaning on the wall waiting.  Then I heard "get the hell out of the way".  From the boy.  I turned to him and said "Excuse me?".  He turned red then proceeded to "talk" to his sister ignoring what had happened.

All I hear lately on the playground and on the street are Cussing and verbally abusive language. From 7 and 8 year olds!!   My mother  would have washed my mouth out with soap if I talked like that.  Do these parents not discipline their kids?  I fear for that generation... And heaven forbid I say anything.  I get yelled at by the kids!!  WHAT 10 YEAR OLD IN THEIR RIGHT MIND YELLS AT AN ADULT?!!!!  That's it.  I'm moving to a commune...  Anyone want to join?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

99 things

Yes, I'm passing this one along.. live with it.
Speaking of..  I better get cracking on this:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David  (I'm counting this, there is a statue of this in Delaware park)
41. Sung karaoke 
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life 
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby 
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


This weekend was our end of year performance for Erin's Musical Theatre and Jazz dance.  Its a big production overall and the director strives for a professional performance.  This means a backstage crew.  We are the eyes and ears of the director.  So I am the mean mom.   During my time on Stage Left, I pissed of several performers and moms.

We have House rules.  These are not our rules but the building we are in.  We ALL have to follow them.  We have Studio rules.  This goes without saying.

I enforced these rules.  And people got mad.  Really?  Have we reached a point in our society where rules are now optional? You can do what pleases you?  No.  Sorry.  no. I'm not sorry.  You messed up. You didn't do what you were supposed to do. And yes.. we did put ALL of this in the news letter and Performance prep sheets we passed out and emailed to you.  If you didn't read them or listen to us repeat have no right to be upset with me.

I stood my ground and won.  My backstage was well run and all the quick changes went off  without a hitch.  Suck it Dance Moms..  Abby Lee is waiting for you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm not old.

Yes, I am now 37. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to act. And as a matter of fact, I don't look like my age either. Thanks to both Mom and Dad and their Dorian Gray genes, I'm mistaken for a 25 year old. Yes. Awesome. I know. So I'm going to keep doing what I am doing. I don't care.  I like putting my hair in pig tails.

Friday, June 01, 2012


Yes.. thats me.. in the middle.  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??  I did a bit on being the Mean mom and setting rules.   25 reads so far....  I'm going to freak out for a min.  thanks.

my odd bird

I have an odd bird.  She's 9.  And she's my kid.  This leads to some unfortunate issues.  Like making friends.  Its not that she's unfriendly or mean.  She's too smart for her own good.  We've always exposed her to things not in her age range.  When she was 1-2, we exposed her to the Muppet Show and Doctor Who.  Because of this, she now loves Alice Cooper and will scream "DON'T BLINK" when we drive by statues.

We also exposed her to a lot of animal documentaries and science shows (Yes, Mythbusters was a must for us).  So because of this, the questions she asks on field trips and in the classroom will often catch the adults off guard and make the kids look at her funny.   She loves to go to museums.  She loves hands on experiments.  We took a group of her friends to our Science Museum for the CSI exhibit and it really seemed that E was the only one really into it.  She had to help some of the Older girls.  I was shocked and proud at the same time.

This leads us to why she doesn't get along with kids her own age.  I was the same way.  I hung around with adults more than kids.  She does too.  My friends are a lot of geekiness through and through.  From Teachers, to IT folk to you name it.  But this lends it self to a whole set of issues.  Her friends don't get her. My friends do.  The kids poke fun at her because she likes to talk to the teacher.  E gets super frustrated with her peer group when they just don't see it her way or how they just don't know something so basic to her.  Its no one's fault - the kids just haven't been exposed to the same things she has.  Try explaining that to a 9 year old who was determined to make her school project Catapult shoot marshmallows as far as possible so it went through a redesign phase.

My odd bird was asked yesterday why she was wearing "funny clothes".  She was trying on some Medieval based garb for a fundraiser we are doing this weekend.  Our hobby is medieval living history (the SCA).  She loves it.  So when challenged with this question, she answered the same way I do.  The girls who asked it gave her a funny look.  Then I stepped in and repeated what E said and the girls were understanding.  Coming from an adult, it makes sense.  From a 9 year old.. she's off her rocker??

I know I'm not alone in this.  Some of my close friends who have kids are challenged with the same thing.  Kids too smart for their own good.  So I'll keep re-enforcing that 1) Science and Math are cool 2)Always ask questions 3)explore 4)the friends you have now are not the ones you'll have when you are older and 5) Don't Blink.
learning why a huge marble sphere can spin super fast with water flow at the Botanical Gardens

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Easy isn't better sometimes

I just read this article from the Mirror.  And I have to say.. it makes sense.

We have SOOO many modern conveniences.  Dishwashers, washers and dryers.  Toss stuff in and its done.  Propelled lawn mowers and snow blowers.  Spray and leave cleaning solutions where scrubbing isn't needed.  The desire to make it easier for women and men has left us bigger. On top of the modern home conveniences, we have tons of fast food options to make it easier for us.  It reminds me the passengers in WALL-E.  Always on the go.  

When was the last time you heard that someone did their laundry by hand? or scrubbed their floors once a week or more? Or used a push mower (no gas or electric here kids, just pure muscle power)?  I remember using a push mower at the cemetery and it was hard.  I used one when we first moved in since the lawn mower we had died.  It was hard.  But it felt good.  I often opt to shovel instead of snowblow .. (I hate dealing with her. she only likes Tim and not me).  Its hard!  Especially when the snow is wet and heavy.

I noticed when I was on a cleaning rampage, my spent calories was way up.  Somewhere between 700 and 1000 for the day.  That's a lot!

So think about it.  Modern cleaning conveniences, fast food and a busy schedule = thicker middle and spending extra money to try to get rid of it.

Doing chores the old fashion way (elbow grease) + ditching the fast food = me loosing a few inches.  I know it works.  I did it.

Go ahead..  bring on the arguments that the new vacuum cleaners, washers, dryers and so on are great time savers freeing up time to do other family things.  There is nothing like a good dance while I hang laundry with Erin.  Or a talk with Tim while we do the dishes.  Or the smiles I get when we tell Tim Erin helped cook dinner.  Now granted, I won't give up the lawn mower or snowblower.  Those are Tim's toys.  And no, you can't have my new washing machine and dryer.  Just move a little more, scrub instead of spray n'leave and skip the drive thru.  That's my plan.

HULK Smash!

for those that follow me on facebook, you know we've had issue with a girl down the street.  Erin has been very brave about this whole thing.  And today, some words against me were spoken by said girl and well, Erin had enough.  She ended it and there were tears and more words.

In the end, I ended up at this girls house  to talk to the mom.  She in fact was not told the whole story and I played the message for her.  She was shocked and embarrassed by what her daughter did.

As we talked like moms, I was told the girl has ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  It made sense. She was clear it wasn't an excuse for what the girl did.  And I believed her.  And it really sounds like this girl has a learning disorder on top of things.  I'm not a clinician... but from everything I have read, its a possibility.  ODD paired with ADHD is hard.  Now that we know it, we can work with that.  But I called a time out for a month.  When school is out, we can re-group and try again.

So now we have to teach Erin how to deal with ODD and ADHD.  This is something that isn't in the Mom Handbook.  There is no chapter on "How to deal with my ODD friends".  I have books on how to deal with "difficult" kids.  They came in handy with Erin when she was little - simple tricks on how to defuse the situation.  But how can a 9 year old be asked to do that?  I told Erin the honest truth about ODD.  She wants to give it a try.  She wants to try again with this girl knowing that the ODD is out in the open and there ways to stop the conflict. She wants to help.  I think I did something right with Erin.

Friday, May 25, 2012

still here

I am still here.  Just off doing other things.  Its crunch time for the kiddo's dance school.  Not to mention exams for school.  So life has taken the front seat.  But its calming down now so I thought I'd get this in while I can.

We took a trip to Rochester to the Strong Museum of Play.  A friend of Tim was part of the Super Hero exhibit so we stopped by to see it.  They had a video game up in that section.. yes.. my loves together playing a video game

There is a full Video game room as well.  We turned the kid on to Gauntlet.  YES!  3 is way better than 2 when you are playing that game.

And of course, she had to ride the Merry Go Round... but she opted to sit with 2 little kids in the round spinny seat.  She wanted to make sure they were ok.  

She  struck up a conversation with kids and made sure she sat by the door.  So they wouldn't fall out.  I must have done something right with this kid.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

picture perfect


Wouldn't you love to live here??  Sigh.. planning my next trip already


(I just really like these photos.. the lighting and color was perfect)


I love to sew.  My closet in my dining room proves it.  I have fabric and notions all over the place.  But look at this:


And this

general store Fabric

How awesome is that?!  Pardon me while I drool..

I love this Kitchen

Originally uploaded by melblackrose
This is from the Octogon house located at Genesee Country Museum. Circa late 1800s. The crocks on the floor, the open layout and the tile floor. Love it!

Is it time yet?

I know I have to wait a bit longer to get the garden going.. but I need to behave.  Made a stop at Home Depot today to pick up a plant for a teacher gift.  I know, I know.. Support the local grower.  I will.  But Home Depot was there and I had time while Erin was in Dance.

The herbs and some veggies are out on display.  Lemon Verbana smells soo good.  But what the hell do I use it with?  I want more Rosemary, Basil, Mint and Thyme.. stuff I use all the time.  A tomato plant for Tim and lettuce for Erin.  My strawberries need to be moved into a bigger pot and I'm thinking of blueberries so I can freeze them.  I'd like to plant some carrots in pots so they have room to grow.

And the flowers...  oh I really need to get into my garden. It needs to be weeded and expanded and fenced...  Oh! Maybe corn....  that would be interesting... Corn.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

One week to go....

In one week, Erin makes her First Holy Communion.  This is HUGE for her.  Dress, Party, no longer missing out on the whole Mass.  The kids had retreat today then Rehearsal after.  Some 25 kids.. that's a lot.  In fact, each kid has its own WHOLE PEW.  The kids and those family members that can fit in the pew make up more than HALF the church.  That's a lot of kids.  She didn't get selected for May Crowning (boooo) but she was OK with it.

Now on to the taste test of the Host. HAHAHHAHAH!  They were given an unconsecrated host to practice with and she did not like the taste.

So next weekend..  this will be my little girl.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

So long hedges!

We have these privacy hedges that border our front yard. For the last few weeks, I have cutting them down to chest height (my chest, not Tim's).  Today, I am pleased to announce IT IS DONE!!  My hands are numb from using the hedge trimmer for the last 2 hrs to finish off the last big section but IT IS DONE!!

I just hope there is no karmic backlash for hacking off a foot or more of the hedges... that would really suck.

Friday, April 27, 2012

And they call it... Puppy love....

I just dropped the kid off at a friend's house (not the nasty one down the street who was extra nice to me today after she apologized for hanging up on me).  They got a new puppy - 8 week old lab boy.  SO STINKING CUTE!!

I got some puppy kisses and snuggles in... my day got better.

There is something to be said when an animal snuggles with you..  especially when its a puppy...

Mother Nature is a fickle bitch

Well.. she is.  I love Mother Nature.  I get 4 wonderful seasons.  But this 80 degree temps in March and 30 degree/snow combo when its almost May has got to stop.  Get your Daily Planner in order woman.  I wear flip flops on day and the next I'm bundled up in my winter coat and boots.  Does that seem normal to you?

It is currently 34 degrees and it was snowing as we waited for the bus.  There is a FREEZE warning issued (because of the crops, no other reason.  If you are home gardener and already planted your garden you are nuts.  This is Buffalo remember..  ).  The temps should be rising this week and settle in around 50-60 or so.. that is NORMAL SPRING WEATHER.

I'm going to go hide under my blanket until this gets straightened out.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kids Today....

We've entered into the realm of BFFs...  and cat fights.. and phone calls.. and tears.  SHE'S NINE!  When I was nine, I was still playing with my Smurf figures and Barbies.  I had a curfew, I had a bedtime.  I had RULES that I needed to follow or there would be hell to pay.  We all knew it.  That is just how it was.

I am raising my kid the same way.  In before its dark (7:30pm now -  as the sun stays up longer, we adjust it).  Bedtime on school nights in 9pm.  Dinner is at around 5:30pm. If its nice out, get out of the house and go play.  There is no sleeping over on school nights.  If I say its time to go home, that means it is time to go home.  Somehow, I am the only mom in the neighborhood that has set these kinds of basic rules.   Yes.. I am that mom who .. enforces the rules.   Most of the girls the kid hangs out with have no bedtime.  I see one drag her sorry butt to the bus stop every morning.  She's out of school more than she is in.. or she's late. One other girl asked Erin to "beg" me to let her go and play when we got home from Dance.  Homework wasn't done, she needed a shower and it was dark already.  It was PAST CURFEW.  She wanted Erin to BREAK THE RULES.  Not to mention this girl was pissed when she called Erin to come over and Erin was out.  Its like "how dare she go play with someone else".. really?  And when she called, it was at 5:20pm.. on normal days, that's dinner time.  Thursdays its time to leave to for Dance.  Did she not understand that Erin couldn't come out to play?  And she called my cell phone 10 times.  And to boot, she never left a message.  Not one.  Do these kids not know phone etiquette? Leave me a freaking message!!

This drama should be occurring in a few years.  Not now.  I am proud of my kid too.  She refused to break the rules. She knew if she did, there would be consequences.  She voiced her opinion too to this one girl on how she saw the situation and how she was being treated (the 3rd wheel in most cases.  ignored).  Golden Rule Kids.... Treat others as you would want to be treated.  This is something these kids don't do.  Its all about 1)who has the most Monster High Dolls.
2) who has the newest MH doll
3) who can spend the night the most
4) who has a cell phone

As a mom, I look at what is going on and have to make a decision.  Do I butt in? Do I rescue her?  Do I let it play out?   I hope I have armed her with enough common sense to do the right thing.  I need to make sure there is chocolate in the house to help mend some wounds.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring as Sprung.. sort of

Spring Flower show Tulips
Originally uploaded by melblackrose
I've been off in real life of late. Work, Ice Dragon, getting ready for first Communion, Confirmation... so the blog took a back seat. There really hasn't been much to blog about anyways.. nothing over the top funny or worthy of going "Hey, did you hear about the time... "

We just got off of spring break at for the kiddo and we made a trip (down the street) to the Botanical Gardens. I love to go there. Especially during the Spring Flower Show. I love the colors and smells.  There were a ton of different flowers this year.

Spring Flower Show

See.. pretty!    But I think this guy is my favorite:

Hosta Bonsai

It is a HOSTA BONSAI!!!!!!  I didn't even know they had them!  I need them....   I HAVE TO HAVE IT!!  I do love my hostas..

But today, I sit in the house, buried in my blanket fort because we got a Nor'easter and its cold.. and wet..  and was hailing..  we did have 80 degree weather last week.   I love my blanket.

Monday, March 12, 2012

9th Birthday Salon Party

9th Birthday Salon Party
She's 9 years old. 9!!! Can you believe it? In short, we survived the Salon party and sleepover. I'm still running on very little sleep from the girls midnight chattering and musical sleeping spots. But the Salon visit was a blast. The girls (6 of them) got their hair, nails and eyes done. They all looked beautiful! The salon is actually Continental School of Beauty.. a long standing beauty school who offers Birthday parties! How cool is that! Each of our girls had 1-2 students working on them. We get service, they get lessons. Its a win-win if you ask me. SAM_1549



And here is the cookie Cake I made.. with the Monster High symbol on it.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Enough is enough

My girly girl celebrates her 9th birthday this week. To celebrate, she is having like 8 girls of her choice to join her at the salon school for a makeover and then a slumber party.  Some girls are upset because they were not invited.  I can understand them being upset but that is no reason to get into my kid's face about it and tell her to uninvite someone so they can go.

This whole popularity contest with the girls in her grade is getting out of hand.  There are 15 girls and 2 boys in her class.  So you can imagine the spats and bickering that goes on.  Petty issues get blown out of proportion beyond all belief. I feel sad for her teacher.  And most of the Erin's friends are in the 4th grade.  This makes matters worse.  Even if we give out invites out of school, the girls all talk... "are you going to Erin's party??"... We can not simply please all the girls!!

Lord knows that Erin hasn't been invited to parties.  At first she was hurt then after having to go through the whole thing herself, she totally understands you can't have everyone over.  Space and cost.... 2 factors we can't get over.

The moral of the story..... Suck it up buttercup.  You can't win them all and you won't be invited to every party.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No Tofu Fun

I tried the fried Tofu today.  It was ok. Not great, but ok.  But one hour after eating, I was itchy.  My cheeks were red and itching.  Then my neck and scalp.  Then my legs.  DAMN!

Can you say allergy?

So now I am on benadryl.  There are no hives, just warm and itchy.  I'm going to go whine in a corner and try to not scratch my legs raw.

Tofu Fun!

First and foremost, No.  I am not any type of Vegetarian.  Nope.  Never.  I love bacon and steak and meat wayyyyyy to much to give that up.  But I am bored with some of the standard sides I have been making.  Potatoes or plain rice are boring. Not to mention meat can be crazy expensive.  So can a metric ton of veggies during the off season.

Today I try Tofu.  Its something I have wanted to try for a long time and I'm willing to NOT SUBJECT the Husband and Kid to it for a full meal.  Some of my friends say stay away from it.  Others offered some wonderful ideas.  I've only had Tofu cleverly disguised as Chocolate Cheesecake and I ate it.  I completely understand the magical properties of Tofu where its all about the flavor.   There is a brick of the Wegmans Extra Firm tofu sitting in my fridge.  I will fry some and bake some.  An open mind is what I really need right now.  I had tried Quinoa and it was ok.  I love Hummus and some veggie spring rolls are really good.  So my taste pallet is going to expand damn it.  I will learn to like More food.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Veggie Yumminess

I don't care if Yumminess isn't a word.  It is now.  I made myself lunch today consisting of veggies.
Carrots. Red and Green Pepper. Potato. Zucchini.  Toss it in a bit a olive oil and add Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle (it has everything I love so its my go to).  Roast for about 20 min at 425 degrees.

YUM! Freaking YUM!  The carrots were way sweeter than I thought they would be nothing was over or undercooked.   I'd say this was about 2 cups of veggies.

See Mom! I Ate my Veggies!!

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Friday, February 24, 2012


We made the trek to David's Bridal today to see about a Communion Dress.  We tried JCPennys and that was a failure.  So it was David's as we thought the dresses would be truer to size.

The Dress Gods were with us!!  Right off the rack... an Ivory dress with rum Pink accents.  Her size and ON SALE!!  BAM!  Off the dressing room.  She put it on and was glowing. No joke.  She was grinning from ear to ear.  And the most wonderfulest part... we didn't need to buy a crown and veil.  My wedding dress just happens be .. Ivory and Rum pink.

It SOOOOO needs to be made shorter and that will be accomplished soon enough.  But the veil is just the right length!!!!  BONUS!!!  So instead of her wearing my 1st communion headpiece, she is wearing my wedding one.  Win Win!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Lent is a time of sacrifice and reflection.  We give up something that we probably shouldn't be doing in the first place.   For me, it's Sugar.  Mostly chocolate and candy.  But I'm giving up excess sugar in my coffee and limiting what I eat that has sugar in it.   Do I need it? no.  Do I really want it?  yes... Its an addiction.  Time to break the habit and go cold turkey.

No if you will excuse me, I need throw out a piece of cake and some ice cream that is just way too freaking tempting.  Damn temptation...  

Friday, February 17, 2012


Originally uploaded by melblackrose
We met a growing up milestone today. My little baby girl..... is now wearing deodorant. She's not a baby anymore...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Buh Bye Sugar

We (Tim and I) always give up Chocolate and candy like snack things for Lent.  We do it too.  Now, its not been an issue the last few years as I don't tend to keep Candy in the house - except for the bucket of sweets Erin gets from parties, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Easter..  we are usually munching on Halloween candy well into the fall.

Well this year I'm taking it one step further.  No Sugar (Working on refined white sugar first).  So no sugar in Coffee. No Candy. No Chocolate.  The issue is with coffee creamer.  I use various ones that tend to have the sweeteners in it (come on, its Hazelnut).  Nope.. they must go.  I need keep on hand 2% milk.. Skim doesn't cut it for coffee.  

The other issue issue is with all the High Fructose additive that gets added to just about everything.  I started reading labels over the last few months and I was floored.  No wonder good high quality natural food taste "different".  

I've taken some steps already. I've decreased the amount of sugar in my coffee (some days I don't put any in).  Tea is being made and I'm working to use no sugar at all - the German Rock Sugar is used but just a smidge to sweeten it a bit.  I found a wonderful Acai Blueberry Green tea at RiteAid of all places.  and I drink it Hot too!! I know!! ODD!!

I know some of you are asking why (Mom, I know.. I know).  The reason - just cause. Sure, there are all the reports of how Sugar should be regulated like alcohol, but that won't happen.  I just want to see if I can do it.   Tim and Erin's birthday will be interesting but I'll manage.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Birthday Cake Attempt = HELL YA!

It's Tim's  birthday today.  So as a treat, I made him his favorite dinner - Irish Chicken.  Cooked Chicken over noodles with a Mushroom Bailey's sauce.  

I found the recipe a few years back and I make it for special occasions.  Not to mention it is SUPER easy to make.  If you like mushrooms and Irish Cream, its a hit.

Erin on the other hand didn't like it at all so she had plain chicken. 

But the kicker of the day was the Cake.  BOSTON CREAM CAKE.  Yes, you read that right.   

Again.  Easy to do.  All you need is a boxed Yellow cake mix. When its done and cool, cut it in half to do a layer cake. 

Then, make Vanilla pudding.  When its good and chilled, use that as your filling.  Be careful to not go overboard or it will spill out the sides when  you put the top layer on.  

The Chocolate Glaze is last.  Its butter, vanilla, chocolate chips and Corn Syrup.  Melted it in the Micro and poured it over the cake.  Chilled for a bit and WHAM!!  Cake!!  So freaking good. 

Happy Birthday My Love..   enjoy the Cake!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

More bread

The kid just pounced on me asking me "How do you do it?!!"

She was referring to the bread.  I made another load of the No Knead bread and this time it worked (the trick, use the Kid's room to let the bread rise).  I just made it this morning.  Its already gone.  3 slices are for dinner, 2 slices I used for a sandwich.  I had to taste it this morning..  and E just decided she needed a piece.  That leaves one little piece left.

What have I done?  I need more flour.  The recipe is so freaking simple that I have no issue making it.  The only issue is that it is gone the minute I make it.  I'm just happy it does get eaten..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

We LIVE Hockey.. its Buffalo!!

Me and the girl child at a Sabre's hockey game.  This is something I am very fortunate to be able to do for her. I won the tickets and when I can win them, I take her.  I never went to a hockey game as a kid because the tickets were so expensive.  So are these ones.  There is NO WAY I'd buy tickets to see a game in the seats we have (they are really nice seats... just about center ice).  

But what kills me is the price of the food.  $4 for just about all the food and pop.  $4 for a freaking bottle of pop.  Really?  But hey..  I take her maybe once or twice a season so I will splurge on it.  But anyone who has season tickets...  how the heck can you afford to eat there?

And parking????  $15 -$20 for parking right near the arena.  You can chance it by parking near the arena on the side streets but with the recent snow, that was going to be a challenge.  So our other option was to park further North near the convention center and either park free on the street on in the ramp. We had to go with the ramp because all the free parking was taken (Auto show was going on too!).  $5 for parking isn't so bad.  And we got to take the train down which is always an adventure for the kiddo.  

All in all, we had a good night.  Girls night at the Hockey game.  Now, we defrost. Its cold out there!

Friday, February 03, 2012


Bread!!! on Twitpic

Bread!!! Look! I made Bread!!

Its the No Knead Recipe and I've made this before. So yummy and easy. I want it.. now. But no.. Its too hot to eat. Drat.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


We are looking for a dog.  Why?  It's time.  And we found a little guy who melted our hearts.  His name is Barley.  He's a pup still so size is a question.  He won't be huge, but its a mystery still.  Now..  we don't have him.  There is a process we have to follow but we were lucky to meet him in person.  He gave the sweetest puppy kisses.  And how could you abandon this?
People amaze me as to how stupid they can be.

Regardless... Erin is in love with him and is really trying to grasp we MAY NOT be the right fit for Barley.  Trying to get her to understand we have to do what is best for the dog is a challenge.  She wanted to take him home last Saturday and was ready to cry when someone else was looking at him.  We have talked to her and she "says" she understands and there will be a dog out there for us.  But she wants him.

The cats know something is afoot.  We cleared out a spot next to my chair and placed a blanket with some dog toys.  They sniffed.. but left it alone.  The funny thing was were petting a bunch of dogs on Saturday and when we came home... the cats insisted on laying on us.  Reclaiming us apparently.

If this little guy does join our family, we'll be very happy and lucky.  But if its not a good fit, I really hope he finds a good forever home.