Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rats or Cats Update

I had a conversation this morning with friends about the rats and cats situation here on base. My friends' neighbor had been ill for a couple of days and hadn't left her house, thus she hadn't started her vehicle. It seems rats chewed through the hoses in her car, rendering it inoperable, just like what happened to our neighbor's truck during his vacation. And the real kicker here is that this woman owns a cat! Evidently her cat doesn't enjoy rat cuisine, or perhaps the rats are so big and vicious that they're scaring the cats, thus the reason we find them, and/or the footprints they leave behind, on top of our vehicles. Or perhaps the cats and rats have become friends, a thought that has crossed my mind, especially after seeing this...

Further evidence...

I understand housing personnel are telling folks they need to at least start their vehicles daily, even if they don't drive them anywhere, just to ward off these pesky critters. I suggest people stop feeding their cats and they'll learn to love rat cuisine and actually do their jobs! And if they're going to hang around my house and leave their paw prints and scratches on my car, they could at least get rid of the dadgum rats! Okay, all you cat lovers out there... don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm only kidding... well, sort of.

Animals can be trained to do all kinds of things, right? Why can't we train all of these feral cats to take care of the rats around here?

This is what we have now... a bunch of losers, willing to just give it all up...
Here's my question... What do we do when we're going to be away from home for an extended period of time? We'll either be driving a vehicle or leaving it at the airport, but what about our other vehicle? What do we do with it? Leave it to be destroyed by the rats?

I actually googled "rats under hood of car" and I was amazed at the number of internet postings about this problem. Apparently rats roosting under the hoods of cars and causing major damage is quite a common occurrence. I was not aware of that. (See? A person can learn something new every day if he's open to it.) A few suggestions for getting rid of rats included...

1) RAT POISON (But then they could die inside your car motor and that could be a big mess),

2) MOTH BALLS (Some say those don't work and imagine the smell inside your vehicle!),

3) SONIC PEST DETERRENT DEVICES (Rats evidently hate the noise),

4) LEMON JUICE AND/OR PEEL (Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."),

5) CLOTH SATURATED with FOX or BOBCAT URINE (Um... WHAT?! And where would I obtain fox or bobcat urine anyway?)

and my personal favorite...

6) an M-16 (Probably not allowed in base housing... In fact, I'm SURE of it!)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rats or Cats?

One of the first things we noticed upon moving here was the wide aluminum bands around the trunks of the trees, particularly the palm trees. I remember having a conversation with one of our neighbors about these strange bands, and he told me the purpose was to keep the rats out of the trees. I thought he was totally pulling my leg. He wasn't.

Seems there are some pesky little critters in the area that are drawn to the nuts in the top of the palm trees. I caught sight of one of these tree rats one night, but it was dark and I didn't get a good view.

This could be one of the gang right here, up to no good! Not only do these varmints enjoy the nuts in the palm trees, but word has it they also crave the rubber hoses and whatnot under the hoods of parked vehicles, especially ones that have been sitting for a while. Our neighbor went on vacation and when he returned, his truck wasn't operable because of this nasty little rodent's handiwork.

What can one do about these tree-lovin', rubber hose-eatin' rodents? Well, I have one word which seems to be the best suggestion... CATS! Now, I like cats well enough, but I'm really more of a dog lover. We haven't had the same problem with the tree rats that other folks have encountered, therefore I do not feel the urge to run out and adopt a cat anytime soon. Besides, there are plenty of them roaming around the base as it is.

This is where the cats around our house like to perch. Yep... right on top of my car, the one we just bought a couple of months ago! We find paw prints all over the hood of my car at least once or twice a week. I'm not particularly thrilled, but I have to wonder if the reason we don't have a rat problem is due to the fact that cats hang around here. Which would I rather have... rats or cats? Hmmm...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Outside right now...

I took a few photos outside today and wanted to show you this strange tree just beyond the fence line of our yard. It had ginormous leaves when we first arrived... Workers came a couple of weeks ago and trimmed the trees. Can you tell? I was hoping they'd cut this thing down and put it out of its misery, but no one seems to cut down trees in Spain... something about all of them belonging to the king.

Here's another strange, unattractive tree located on the side of our house, just outside our yard. It's not as homely as the other one, but it's hardly a tree I would choose to plant in my yard.

Seriously... are these the ugliest trees or what?

What do we have here?

Hmmm... looks like we got some mold goin' on. Joy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I went to the mailbox for this?

I think I've told you before that getting mail is a very big deal here in Spain. First of all, mail is often very slow in arriving from the States, so the anticipation is enough to make me revert to biting my nails again. Secondly, mail is not delivered to our homes here, so we have to drive a couple of miles to pick it up. Not that a big a deal, I know, but it does require some effort on my part. Mail is also only delivered Monday thru Friday... no Saturday mail... and if you happen to receive a notice in your box saying you have a package to be picked up, you can only retrieve it during certain hours of the day (Something like 7:30-8:30am, 11:00am-1:00pm and 4:00pm-5:00pm). Again, not a big deal in the scheme of things.

But what is a big deal is when I drive to the mail center to pick up my coveted mail, only to discover there's just one measly envelope in my box, only to further discover it's not even for me... It's for the other family with the same last name. That's just wrong.

Product reviews

Thought I would share with you a couple of products I've recently tried for the first time, with much success I might add...

I noticed these in the commissary, and all I could think about were the delicious, mouth-watering cheddar biscuits from Red Lobster. I had to have some immediately! Instant gratification was the name of the game that day. I made them, and while they weren't exactly like the yummy biscuits at Red Lobster, they were still quite good and my boys even liked them, which was certainly a bonus. We will definitely be serving these for dinner again sometime.

Remember when I whined and complained about my ailing back a few posts ago? A friend had mentioned these Icy Hot patches to me, and I'd actually forgotten about them until I spied a box in the commissary. Again... instant gratification won out and I bought a box to bring home with me. I figured if they're good enough for Shaq, they're good enough for me! These babies are simply wonderful... very soothing and comfortable. And of course I find it humorous to say, "I'm on the patch."

There you have it... product reviews for the week. Take this information and do with it what you will... save it in your memory bank for future reference, or dump it as useless drivel. I'm just tryin' to provide a service here, that's all.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Basketball begins!

Saturday our boys played in their first basketball games here in Rota. Each of them is playing for the Lakers, however, they're in separate leagues because of the age difference. Is my husband, the die hard Celtics fan, happy that the boys are playing for the Lakers? Not so much... but it's intramurals and they won't play for the Lakers forever. He can get past it.

The little man's team won by one point, making for a very exciting game. He had an okay game, but needs to practice a bit on his dribbling skills as the ball was stolen from him nearly every time, but fun was had, and that's what's important, right? Never mind that we made him run laps for missing that shot. I'm just kidding!

To his credit, little man played some pretty good defense. Look at this defensive stance! See that kid behind mine? He's the reason we won the game. He made most of our baskets.

Big man rode the bench at the start of his game. He looks pretty comfortable there with his legs crossed, chatting with his teammates.

I have a feeling the reason sitting the bench was comfortable is because his shorts don't fit as they're entirely too big in the waist. His shorts were cinched up as tight as they could possibly be, but he continually tugged at them and fiddled with the drawstring throughout the game.

Of course he managed to finally untie the drawstring altogether, and thankfully it was toward the end of the game, because all he could do at this point was constantly pull up his shorts. His team got spanked by a team that is filled with older, more experienced kids. The only thing I have to say about that is... Why bother with skills assessment if you're only going to allow this to happen? Can anyone answer that question? All the kids know this team has the advantage, so they're intimidated and parents are upset. Gotta love kids' sports!

Friday, February 20, 2009

What do you think?

Here's an old Target ad from a few years ago. I came across this while searching for some old photos of my youngest son. What's the significance of this ad? Take a look at the next few photos and tell me... do any of these photos resemble the little boy in the ad? (Click on the ad or any of the photos for an enlarged view) Are they all the same kid? What's your best guess?

Okay, I'll come clean. The little boy in the ad is not my son. My son is shown in each of the following photos. Someone showed us the ad when it first came out and thought our kiddo looked very much like the little boy pictured. At the time, we could see a resemblance too. I never would have thought to have my kid pose for photos in an ad. I suppose he could have lots of money in a bank account by now. Oh well, his preschool photo is forever captured (at least for now) on the website of a photography studio where we used to live, however, the only money involved was when I paid for the photos we ordered. Hmmm... there's something wrong with that picture... no pun intended.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sweet Surprises

My husband is always very thoughtful of me on any special holiday, be it my birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, our anniversary... and of course Valentine's Day is no exception. He's fairly predictable too, and in no way is that a negative comment. It's just a statement of fact.

I like that I can pretty much depend upon receiving a box of chocolates, a sweet card (as well as cards from each of our boys, cards that he takes them to pick out for me) and being treated to a romantic dinner. There's usually a larger gift too, sometimes flowers or cologne, or perhaps something else I've mentioned wanting, but more often than not, it's a gift card to a spa, something he knows I really enjoy.

I know my man has very little time to devote to shopping, and let's face it, our choices here in Spain are limited. It's pretty much the NEX or the NEX. Take your pick. And by the way, NEX translated = Navy Exchange, for all you non-military types. It's our version of a mini, mini, mini Wal-Mart. Comprende?

Anyway... back to my Valentine's Day story.

My hubby had been traveling the week of Valentine's Day. He returned on Friday the 13th, the night before the big holiday. (Doesn't that seem a little wrong... that Valentine's Day, the day of love, was preceded by Friday the 13th?) The next morning, he got up and made breakfast for everyone, only my plate was a little more special... I hope I'm not getting my husband in trouble with his buddies here. I'm not trying to make other husbands look bad by bragging on mine. Can I help it if my husband is a good guy? Why should I hide that?

We exchanged gifts, and as irony would have it, we gave one another gifts cards to the same spa. He likes a massage every now and again, and since I had NO CLUE what else to give him, that seemed like the obvious choice. I gave him chocolates and a card, and he gave me chocolates and a card. He took the boys to get cards for me and I made him the special Smilebox photo slideshow I showed you a while back... simple and easy, but fun and he loved it, as I loved the cards from the boys, both thoughtful in their own right.

We made plans to go out to dinner at a restaurant we'd both been to with other people, but not together as a couple. We called a taxi so we could actually be comfortable in drinking some wine without being afraid of being pulled over for a breathalyzer on the way home. Little did we know, the restaurant in which we'd planned on dining is closed to the public on Saturday nights, as are several restaurants in town, so we were told. Evidently Saturday is a big group party night. Who knew? Well, we do now, but we didn't know then.

Of course the taxi had already left, and we had no idea where we were going to eat. We asked the nice folks in the original restaurant if they had any recommendations, and they gave us a couple. We ended up walking a few blocks to a hotel/apartment complex called La Espadaña Aparthotel, and the restaurant inside is called Los Olivos. Turns out this place was the perfect choice!

La Espadaña was really cute and clean, and at least a couple of the employees spoke English, so that was a bonus for us. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera, so the only photos I can share with you are internet photos of the outside...

Once inside the restaurant, we were seated right away as we were among the "early dinner crowd" at almost 9pm. The restaurant had a bar area with a separate small dining room off to the side. I looked around the room and noticed there were valentine decorations, which were a pleasant surprise, as I didn't expect to see these in Spain. There were red felt heart-shaped napkins rings with a small red acrylic bead in the center and multi-sized red crepe hearts hung from the ceiling throughout the room. Each table was adorned with a bud vase containing one long-stem red rose, baby's breath and a wooden red heart with a ladybug (lovebug) on a long pick. A beautiful floral arrangement of red, pink and white carnations with huge pink lilies and baby's breath sat in one corner of the room. It was all very pretty and tastefully done.

We were treated to nice background music, not too loud, not too faint... just right. It was nice to hear a familiar tune by Michael Bublé (Perfect for Valentine's Day, wouldn't you say?). Of course I would have chosen to skip Cher and the Dixie Chicks, but that's just me.

We opted for a bottle of Merlot, which was really good, and I'm not usually a red wine drinker. Dinner was served in courses... king prawns with a delicious sauce for starters, followed by a salad consisting of salad greens, pistachio and pine nuts and orange slices with a yogurt dressing. We were also served slices of cooked zucchini with a tasty meat sauce. I ordered sea bass with a shrimp & mushroom sauce and my hubby ordered a pork dish for the main entree. Served along with my seafood were a combination of sauteed onions with red and green peppers. Dessert was a delectable chocolate brownie with nuts, ice cream, whipped cream and a creamy sweet sauce drizzled over the top. Champagne topped off our meal and we were absolutely stuffed afterward.

We decided to walk along the boardwalk for a while after leaving the restaurant. We enjoyed clear skies and a relatively warm night as we strode hand in hand, talking about anything and everything. I wish we had more opportunities to do things like this together... to be totally relaxed, in no rush and having each other's full attention. We should celebrate Valentine's Day more often.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm a finalist! I'm a finalist!

Okay, I'm only kidding here, but there are those days when, you know, you feel like you could wear the crown (or in this case the shirt) proudly... sort of.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Did anyone see me?

I had a couple of errands to run on base late this afternoon. After I'd finished taking care of business, I went to get back into my car and head home. When I reached the car in the parking lot, I noticed that the doors were unlocked, which was strange because I always lock my doors. It's just a habit of mine.

I thought, "Hmmm... oh well, I must have only thought I'd locked the doors."

I got into the car, and turned to put my purse and a bag in the passenger seat, and was confused as there were unfamiliar items in the seat. I looked in the back seat and saw even more unfamiliar items.

I thought, "What in the world is going on here?"

It finally dawned on me that this was not my car, but rather someone else's car which happened to only look like my car.

I immediately jumped out of the car I was in, hoping beyond hope that no one, particularly the owner/operator of that car, saw me getting out of one car and hopping into its mirror image in the next row.

Yes, my car was parked in the next row, where I found it locked and completely familiar, which made me feel safe and secure once again.

Please tell me things like this happen to you occasionally. Lie if you must, but make me feel better about my mental stability, will you?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Isn't she lovely?"

"Isn't she wonderful?" Can't you just hear Stevie Wonder? Sing it, Stevie!

I asked my brother to post more photos of my beautiful niece on his Facebook page, and he graciously fulfilled my request. I "lifted" a few photos for my blog. It's okay, I'm her Auntie Marva and I have certain privileges. Miss B is already three months old and I so wish I could see her in person. We have bonding to do and I want her to know how crazy I am about her. I'll share with you a few of the very many faces of our sweet girl...

This is Miss B with her momma, my sister-in-law, who I think is making a wonderful mother. She and my brother waited a very long time to become parents. They were more than ready!

Miss B poses with her daddy, my younger brother. I know he's in seventh heaven and madly in love with his little girl. He and his wife relied very heavily on their faith in the Lord to see them through their long, and often painful journey to parenthood.

Look at Miss B hangin' out in her crib with her furry friends! I wonder what was going through her mind when this photo was taken.

Miss B poses with her parents at Christmastime. It warms my heart thinking that this little lady will grow up knowing how much she's loved.

Miss B is simply stylin' in her Santa hat. Santa never looked so good!

Awww... sleeping babies are absolutely precious, aren't they? And Miss B is no exception. She looks so snug and comfy in her car seat. Do these come in my size?

I have some new photos of Miss B that came in last week's mail and they are so cute. I'll have to share them with you once I've had a chance to scan them into my computer. You'll see... The Gerber baby's got nothin' on our girl!

Friday, February 13, 2009

WANTED: A Full-Time Baker

Can we talk? I really need to vent here. I'm feeling the urge to yell, "BACK OFF!" at a couple of folks, but I know I won't actually do that, so maybe I can get it out of my system and off my chest here at Sanity Check. What better place, right?

I'm bombarded with fundraisers! Now let me clarify this for you... I happily support virtually any and all organizations in their fundraising campaigns on base. I understand how challenging it can be to raise funds. Been there, done that. It takes lots of volunteers to make a fundraiser successful and it's certainly not easy to drum up those volunteers. It seems the same core group of people in any organization are almost always the ones to volunteer every time a plea for help is made.

Living here in Mayberry, where the base population is quite small, you can imagine how difficult it can be to conduct a successful fundraiser. First of all, there isn't a huge pool of people from which to beg for help. And second, seemingly every organization is out raising money at the same time, so folks are "hit up" on a regular basis... hit up to support the organization by volunteering their time and/or purchasing whatever they're peddling. I can only speak for myself here, but frankly, I'm experiencing a serious form of volunteer burnout.

Allow me to make a point, if you will...

In less than a 2-week timespan, I have been asked to do the following:

1. Participate in a valentine cookie fundraiser, the biggest fundraiser of the year, and it's for the Air Force squadron, so it's important to us as well. That's cool. I'm there!

2. Participate in two bake sales for my son's Boy Scout Troop, which is raising money for summer camp, so this is pretty important too. My son wants to go to camp in England, and we'd naturally like to help offset the cost, and do our fair share of the work.

3. Participate in a burrito sale for my other son's Cub Scout Pack, which is also raising money for future events. We're on board for that and understand the importance of pitching in. By the way, this coincides with one of my older son's bake sales and I'll be single parenting that night. Okay, I guess I can juggle those balls.

4. Participate in a 6th grade bake sale to raise money for the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduation, and of course this is certainly a worthwhile cause. I don't have many opportunities to volunteer in my son's class since he's older now and parents in the classroom aren't so cool or necessary at this stage. Mommy guilt runneth amok if I don't help out here.

5. Provide both a cake and a pie for the Cub Scouts' Blue & Gold Banquet, which is yet another way of raising funds for the Cub Scouts. The cake is supposed to be a "Dad/Lad" contest, but the dad part of this duo will be out of town until late the night before the event, and we'd need to get started sooner. I don't want to disappoint my little man, so... guess it's going to be a "Mom/Lad" entry. And I suppose I could make a pie too, since I'm already making a cake. Sure, yeah... I guess I can do that too.

I'm seriously thinking of hiring myself a full-time baker to make all the baked goods I've been asked to provide. Honestly... ENOUGH ALREADY!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm blind and out of commission!

Yesterday I spent some good quality time in the base clinic for a couple of reasons. I just want to share with you my experience.

I drove to the clinic for an eye exam scheduled for 9:15am. My eyes were checked and it was determined, as I'd expected, that I'm gettin' old and my vision ain't what it used to be. I have two options for now... getting a stronger prescription for my glasses, the ones I'm supposed to wear when I'm reading or doing anything that requires close-up work (i.e. blogging, needlework, etc.) OR I can just bite the bullet now and get bifocals. WHAT?! Bifocals? Are you kidding me? I'm only 43 years old. I can't possibly need bifocals at this stage of the game... can I?

My eyes were dilated (Note: The word is "dilated," NOT "dialated," which is one of my pet peeves, but I'll save that for a different post sometime in the future.), which I didn't know was going to happen. I was alone, therefore I had to drive myself home with limited vision. I had stopped at our mailbox to pick up mail (The absolute highlight of any day!) and couldn't see the numbers on the mailboxes. Thankfully I knew the location of the mailbox, and got lucky when the key actually fit into the first box I tried. I usually go through the mail while on the spot in the event that we accidently receive mail that belongs to someone else. It happens rather frequently as there's another Air Force family here with the same last name. Of course I couldn't see the writing on any of the mail, so took it all home with me, only to later discover that there was, indeed, a card for the other family among our mail.

I hope I didn't run anyone off the road on the way home. Lord knows my vision was significantly diminished as a result of the dilation. I would venture to say people are considered legally blind after having their eyes dilated. I walked inside the house and realized I was unable to read or blog or Facebook, so I plopped into bed and watched TV (sort of) and took a nap.

I woke up, ate some lunch and could see a little better by then. I had my second round at the clinic at 1:30ish. I managed to hurt my back a week ago doing something I do every single day... stooping to retrieve the mouthwash out of the lower cabinet in the bathroom. I felt this "pop" in my lower back and knew instantly that I was in for a day of pretty intense back pain. A week later, I'm mobile, but certainly not agile, and I'm still hurting. I've been nursing my back with 800mg Motrin and alternately using a heat pad and ice pack, but I wasn't feeling much better as of yesterday, so at my traveling husband's suggestion, I made an appointment to get myself checked out.

Long story short, the doc thinks I have a back strain. I've been doing all the things he told me I should do, but in addition, he says I should have my lower back gently massaged, don't do any heavy lifting and I need to continue taking Motrin as well as a muscle relaxer. That's great, except there's no one here to massage my lower back as my husband is currently MIA due to his most recent TDY, and the boys... well, let's just say I don't want to feel worse than I do now. No heavy lifting? Okay, my older son can at least push the clothes hampers into the laundry room, so I guess we can manage there. Motrin? Got it covered as I recently got a refill for the 800mg version for my monthly cramps, which happen to be coinciding with this back injury. I realize that's TMI, but I'm just paintin' the picture for ya, keepin' it real. Taking a muscle relaxer? I'll get to that in a sec.

I went to get my prescription for the muscle relaxer and while I was waiting in the lobby, the doc who performed my well woman exam a couple of weeks ago walked right past me. I had never seen this man before my well woman exam, which was great for me because, well... this place is like Mayberry. Everybody knows everybody and I don't want to have to see the face of my gyno everywhere I go, you get my drift? So who's the first familiar face I see in the clinic yesterday? My gyno, of course! I acted like I didn't see him. I'm sure he's accustomed to being shunned by women all over base, don't you think? But if that bothers him, perhaps he should try this approach with his patients...
I took the muscle relaxer last night with dinner, as advised, and for a while I didn't think it was going to affect me at all. I took my youngest son to Scouts, came home and took care of a few chores, tucked the boys into bed, and then crawled into my own with the remote to the TV, a book and my heat pad. In one fell swoop, I was down for the count. My husband called to chat and I have no recollection as to what we talked about. NONE! Note to self: I might not want to take a muscle relaxer if I have to remain alert and functioning.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

General Eye Protection... Who knew?

I recently took my kids to the optometry clinic on base for their yearly eye exams. I sat in the waiting room reading a brochure called "Your School-Age Child's Eyes," sponsored by the American Optometric Association, as the boys had their vision checked. There were some very important safety rules listed on this brochure, and thank goodness I read each and every one of them, otherwise I might not have known to tell my children...

1. to keep away from targets of darts, bows-and-arrows, BB guns and missile-throwing toys;

2) not to run with or throw sharp objects;

3) to wear appropriate eye protection in activities at school and at play in which there is a risk of eye injury, especially when using chemistry sets, powers tools, fireworks and household and yard chemicals.

DUH! What's sad is the fact that there are people who have to be warned against these various dangers. There must be documented cases where children have been injured doing the very things mentioned here, consequently, the need to include this information on the brochure in the first place. Can you imagine someone not realizing these things are dangerous?

Freedom Calls Foundation

I subscribe to an online blog written by Karen Klasi for the DC Military Families Examiner.. Karen posted the following article on Thursday of last week. It warms my heart to find these occasional "feel good" stories, particulary when the military is involved. It seems we generally hear more negative than positive, so I was more than happy to read this...

"Freedom Calls Foundation makes it possible for deployed dads to attend the births of their children"

February 5, 2:16 PM
by Karen Klasi, DC Military Families Examiner
It's no surprise to a military spouse to hear of a child born with his or her father deployed overseas. While unthinkable to civilians, it's simply a fact of our lives. I know women who have delivered multiple children without their partner, their love, their other half by their side. When shown the proper sympathy, outrage, or disbelief that they dared this monumental feat on their own, they just shrug and drive the conversation onward. Military spouses are a tough breed, accustomed to bearing their burdens with little or no fanfare.

Thankfully, the Freedom Calls Foundation works tirelessly to ease this particular burden. Last weekend alone there were five births in the United States beamed overseas to military service members.

According the their website, The Freedom Calls Foundation employs, "state of the art Wi-Fi, VOIP telephony, Video Conferencing and Satcom technology to enable our troops to communicate free of charge from their base camps with their families at home by internet telephone, instant messaging and video conference." By doing this, they provide military families more than 2,000 family video conferences and more than 1.5 million minutes of free telephone calls each week.

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article tells the story of Connor William St. Clair, whose dad joined in his birth from Al Kasik, Iraq. "He was right at my shoulder through giving birth," said Tracy St. Clair, "I could see him."

Freedom Calls is a 501(c)(3) designated non profit organization and is supported entirely by donations from the public. The teleconference and Internet connections are free to military families and cost the organization around $1,000 a day.

Should you be interested in reading more of Karen Klasi's blog articles, visit her site here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cleaning Poem

My mother-in-law sent me the following poem, and it made me wonder if she somehow knows what goes on in my house on a daily basis.

Cleaning Poem

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been "computering,"
And I had to answer "yes."

He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work.
I didn't mean to "click."

But click, I did, and OOPS! I found
A real absorbing site.
That I got SO way into it.
I was into it all night.

Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No sense crying over milk, spilled or otherwise

This is the kind of milk we buy week after week in the commissary. No matter the variety of milk... whole, 2%, skim... it all comes in a carton. And half-gallon cartons are the largest size available. There's no such thing as a gallon of milk in a plastic jug here.

Okay, so milk is only available in half-gallon sized cartons. So what? I'll tell you so what! These cartons are hard as the dickens to open! This little fact frustrates me to no end! I tell myself every time I have to open a new carton that THIS TIME I will open it without problems. Inevitably, the carton rips or I have to get a knife or pair of scissors to poke a hole in the "spout" to get it opened. Have mercy! Honestly, nothing should be that difficult!

Now that I've complained and moaned about the challenges of opening the milk cartons around here, I'm happy to share some good news. I was actually able to open the last carton without difficulty. I didn't have to rely on the use of any sharp, piercing devices. I didn't lose my temper, nor did my blood pressure rise several points. You can't know the empowerment this has brought me. Seriously. It's sometimes the little things that can simply make one's day.

And while I'm in my happy place, I'll also say that seeing this on our milk carton week after week is rather cool.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This is what we woke to this morning. Wow! Imagine that! It's raining here today. What a big surprise - NOT! What happened to sunny Spain? It's been raining all week and it's on my last nerve. Our youngest has been awakened by storms twice in the middle of the night during the last week, and has ended up crawling in bed with us as a result, not exactly making for a restful night's sleep for any of us.

It's just another lovely day in the neighborhood. My husband and I think this gloomy weather could very well be our doing. After all, extreme weather tends to find us wherever we roam. Need proof? We lived in Delaware twice, and both times the state experienced record snowfall. We may have to move from Spain to spare the poor people residing here, you know... to protect the innocent.

Oh, look! Here comes the sun! (Cue music... Here comes the sun, and I say, "It's all right.") Maybe the sun will shine today after all. I'm all about optimism.

I spoke too soon! This is what it's doing outside right now...

I'm trying to embrace the rain today though. I've even changed my music to go along with our current theme. And in the meantime, I've got to get crackin' on the blueprints for the ark I feel sure we'll no doubt need if the rain continues.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Seriously... UNCLE!