You've been a part of my life for a long time and I've got the dental claims and extra pounds to prove it. Recently, I stumbled onto your Extra Creamy Milk Chocoate with Toffee & Almonds Nuggets. It's as though someone crawled into that section of my brain that thinks of chocolate eight days a week and knew that I would LOVE that combination.
Now, I know it's healthy to eat slowly so I eat them in two bites rather than all at once. It makes such a difference. And it's great that I don't have to go to a special boutique chocolate shop to purchase them. They're right there at the grocery store or drug store.
However, my thighs recently chatted with me. It was easy to hear them now that they rub together. They told me to lay off the Nuggets. My right thigh suggested I sue your company for making such a terrific snack-size, gotta-have-it, incredibly addictive bit of heaven since it seems to have overpowered any willpower I once had. My left thigh quickly stepped in (heh) to point out if I were to win the lawsuit I would no doubt negotiate the payment in chocolate rather than dollars and we (me, myself and my thighs) would be no better off.
The economy is still fighting its way back and while I hope your stocks don't suffer, I'm going to have to listen to my thighs and cut back on the Nuggets for awhile before one of my chins decides to speak up as well.
Hugs & Kisses (of course!),
A growing fan
PS. I still love you, you little devil...you know I'll be back.
WTF...Where oh where have the road workers gone? I think our construction guys are European and have taken the month of August off. Earlier this summer we were warned given notices that construction would take place from 7am until 7pm Monday through Saturday. Apparently, not every Monday through Saturday.
We passed the one year anniversary of road construction--and yet there was no celebration--or a driveway we can use. They're not building a stadium for the Olympics--they're doing street construction on three city blocks. Oh, and I emailed my councilperson for an update last week and after an initial "I'll check and get back to you" I've heard nothing.
WTF...I recently heard "oh Jethuth" (through a pacifier) in addition to "oh dammit." Perhaps Bug overheard it when his parents were talking about the road construction...oops.
WTF...Why do pharmaceutical ads say "product has greater risk of death." Isn't death 100% for everyone? I get what they're saying but it's goofy.
WTF...How can the summer be over winding down and I've not spent any time with this little sweetie:
While I realize plenty of people would read the blurb below and not think a thing of it. I'm not one of those people.
MADONNA AND JESUS GO ON A CRUISE Most of us would have been happy with a cake and the good wishes of a few friends and family. But for her 51st birthday, Madonna opted for an altogether more exciting affair - and brought her 22-year-old lover, two adopted children and daughter along for the ride. The celebrations began on Sunday night when the singer hosted a sumptuous dinner party in the Italian resort of Portofino, where she is staying with her boyfriend Jesus Luz, her adopted children David Banda and Mercy James, and her daughter Lourdes. (The Daily Mail)
I find it curious and a bit annoying that there are two mentions of Madonna's children being adopted. They are her children--simple as that--no qualifier necessary. Now I know I'm a bit sensitive to this issue but the fact that they're adopted isn't part of the story.
During one of our pre-adoption groups, it was once mentioned that there was a write-up about George Burns on his deathbed with his 70-something-year-old adopted son at his side. Really, after 70 years "adopted" is still mentioned? Makes me crazy.
Okay, no back to my regularly scheduled crabby mood.
Have you read Laura Moriarty? I picked up her first book when it came out, The Center of Everything and shut off the rest of the world until I turned the last page.
A couple of years ago I was at a convention and passed a booth where Moriarty was scheduled to do a signing of her second book The Rest of Her Life. I ran back to the booth shortly after the appointed time (slowing before I got too close so I would look like a regular convention attendee and not a freaky fan) and sure enough there she was and there wasn't a line. I calmly walked over to her and blurted out, "I loved your book" and then froze. (I'm always so original and demure...remember how cool I was when I met Springsteen? Sigh...) Once again, silently, (who knew I had a mute button?) I was reliving scenes from the book...the pain I felt for Evelyn as she was walking during the "shoe" scene or my uncomfortableness during the family dinner wishing I were at the table and could spill something to divert attention away from Tina.
I somehow regained my composure and we chatted. She was lovely. I gushed about her book and I stopped short of reciting the first sentence because I didn't want her to call security she might think that was weird. She was gracious and probably a bit flustered with this stalker fan babbling on. She thanked me then laughed a little when she realized she signed my book twice. I skipped off--clutching a signed book to my chest.
While I'm Falling, Moriarty's newest book was released earlier this month. Do you see where this is going...
Thanks to Rachel at Hyperion, I have two copies of While I'm Falling to give away! I'll announce the winners (2 copies = 2 winners) on August 31.
Leave a comment for one entry. If you're a follower you'll get two entries (but you have to leave a second comment...last time I had to add extra entries for followers and it required me to pull out math skills that were hibernating in my brain that proved to be a bit taxing). You can get another chance if you post about the giveaway on your blog and leave me a comment letting me know. Oh, and the winner must be in the US/Canada. So, there you go. Interested? I hope so. Here's a bit about the book:
In While I’m Falling, Laura Moriarty presents a compelling depiction of how one young woman’s life changes when her family breaks up for good. Ever since her parents announced that they’re getting divorced, Veronica has been falling. Hard. A junior in college, she has fallen in love. She has fallen behind in her difficult coursework. She hates her job as counselor at the dorm, and she longs for the home that no longer exists. When an attempt to escape the pressure, combined with bad luck, lands her in a terrifying situation, a shaken Veronica calls her mother for help—only to find her former foundation too preoccupied to offer any assistance at all.
But Veronica only gets to feel hurt for so long. Her mother shows up at the dorm with a surprising request—and with the elderly family dog in tow. Boyfriend complications ensue, along with her father’s sudden interest in dating. Veronica soon finds herself with a new set of problems, and new questions about love and independence.
Darkly humorous, beautifully written, and filled with crystalline observations about how families fall apart, While I’m Falling takes a deep look at the relationship between a daughter and a mother when one is trying to grow up and the other is trying to stay afloat.
Reviews “While I’m Falling deftly captures the moment a child realizes that growing up means being responsible for your parents’ mistakes—and preventing yourself from making the same ones. Laura Moriarty keeps getting better and better.” —Jodi Picoult, author of Handle with Care
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.
Pick your Artist: Bruce (obviously)
Are you a man or a woman: Jersey Girl (okay not really but when talking Bruce I'll claim Jersey)
Describe yourself: Spirit in the Night
How do you feel: Tougher than the Rest
Describe where you currently live: Nebraska (Avenue...I swear we didn't buy the house for the Bruce connection.) Actually, with all the construction noise when they decide to show up it should be called Thunder Road.
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Where the Bands Are
Your favorite form of transportation: Pink Cadillac
Your best friend? Red Headed Woman
You and your best friends are: The Ties that Bind
What's the weather like: Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Favorite time of day: Night
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Trouble in Paradise
What is life to you? My Beautiful Reward
Your fear: Racing in the Street
What is the best advice you have to give: Take 'Em As They Come
Thought for the Day: My Love Will Not Let You Down
Our vacation is over but I'm lazy and only now getting around to putting the photos online and posting photos after the tan fades is kind of like reliving the trip. After the first day on the Cape, Bug would often spread his arms and say, "This is Cape Cod." Just a few short hours after we were home, Bug looked me, spread his arms and said, "This is NOT Cape Cod."
Once upon a time the orange popsicle was mine...
Leaving for the beach...
On the beach...
Thinking of reasons why we shouldn't leave the playground...
Apparently, Bug had seen me with food in my mouth on the whole trip that he thought I should eat some of the crap food we purchased to feed the chickens...
My favorite house on Cape Cod. Every year I comment on this house. It's not big or showy, just lovely. Sigh...
One a bonus photo of our little girl who probably enjoyed the peace of quiet of NOT being chased by Bug...
Check this out...another giveaway!
Irregular Tammie is hosting an awesome giveaway sponsored by Just Wine Racks, a store that carries tons of bar accessories, everything from bar glasses to wine racks. Stop by and enter for a chance to win! Hurry though, the giveaway ends Friday August 21 at 8:00 AM (EST).
I wish I were a Broadway star. Not because I can act, sing and/or dance; I can't. I don't want instant gratification of a live audience (I have stage fright) or my name in lights. I'm not looking for fame or fortune (well, I wouldn't refuse fortune!) or a Tony. I want to be a Broadway star because I want an understudy.
Wouldn't it be great to have someone fill in for you every so often? I'm feeling like now would be a good time for that. There's not any one thing that's happening but there are a few things swirling around in my poor little head all bumping into each other and making noise. This isn't anything new for me--or anyone else--but every so often don't you feel like shouting: ENOUGH--bring in my understudy!
Maybe it's re-entry after vacation.
Maybe it's trying to figure out that whole question of "should we move?".
Maybe it's that we called our realtor to come and look at our house and tell us what we need to do IF we decide to put our house on the market--and getting the house in some sort of order for the realtor to see.
Maybe it's that I'm planning another trip to visit my mom and always feel that I don't get enough time with her no matter how long I'm there.
Maybe it's guilt for not taking Bug with me on the trip. (I really can't figure out a logical way to do this. He's too active to hang out at the nursing home without wanting to run the halls--20 minutes proved to be his max on the last visit. I think if I took him I would have to squeeze him into a daycare during a chunk of the day so I can spend more time with my mom. She's in a wheelchair so getting both of them from one spot to another seems challenging at best. Any solutions out there?)
Maybe it's that my mom is talking about my dad in the present tense and he's been dead for nearly 12 years. It's heartbreaking to remind her Dad's no longer here.
Maybe it's that Donnie has a couple of trips coming up.
Maybe it's adding one day to my work schedule.
Maybe it's that I can't go to the bathroom without Bug crying outside the door or bursting in (today I had to kiss his toe because he had a boo boo...and it's a boo boo that's been kissed many times before).
Maybe it's that I was feeling good about my running schedule until vacation hit and I can't seem to get back on track--so to speak.
Or maybe this happens every 24-28 days and after all these years of being a girl I should get used to the little hormonal swing. In any event...where's that understudy...I feel like taking a nap.
Last night I finished The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie but knew I couldn't jump into another book when I was already reading with one eye closed. I shut off the light and thought about books, which led to thinking of favorite opening sentences. Here are a few that came to mind:
I do not love mankind.
The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head.
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall
The day we won the lottery I was wearing wax lips that my father had bought for the Nose Picker and me at a truck stop.
The Rich Part of Life by Jim Kokoris
My sisterfriend (she's not my sister but should be) surprised me with a copy of The Giant's House and this woman knows my book tastes so I always trust I'll enjoy the books from her. She's never steered me wrong.
The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint was a treasure to find. I was wandering around a bookstore and from a distance saw the cover. I picked up the book, read the first sentence and was hooked. In fact, it's the only time I've emailed an author after finishing a book...and he responded!
I stumbled on The Rich Part of Life the same way. I knew nothing about the book or author. Maybe it was the wax lips on the cover that drew me in.
I'm starting While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty as soon as Bug goes down for his nap and am so eager to pick it up. It's still in the bag because I don't want to tempt myself until I can spend a little bit of time with it (please Bug take a nice 2-hour nap for Mommy). I've been patiently waiting for its arrival and now I'm ready to dive in.
I'm sure plenty of you have already received these awards--but not from me so here you go.
Random stuff of the day:
While we were driving to work this morning, there was a pedestrian darting across the street after the light changed. It reminded me of taking my driver's test to get my permit oh-so-many years ago. The driving/written exams were given once a month so you had to remember to get it done or wait another four weeks. I was 15 (in SD you can get a permit at 14 but I waited a year) and the question on the written test that I missed was:
If you're stopped at a red light and it changes to green but there's a pedestrian still in the crosswalk, what do you do?
It was a multiple choice test and this is the answer I selected:
Tap lightly on the horn to let the pedestrian know you're coming.
What, that's not correct? You should let the pedestrian cross the street before proceeding? Oh okay, fine. Lucky for me the driving test man didn't make me parallel park or I might not have a license yet.
I'm going to travel to California for work and have to book my flights soon. All I can think of is an In-n-Out burger. YUM....
Tonight Donnie and I have a mini-date! We're going to an author reading at Donnie's suggestion. Richard Russo is reading That Old Cape Magic.
No doubt the date will end with a trip to the grocery store. I'm not sure why but it seems all our recent dates wrap up by stopping for a few essentials before heading home. Not to worry, the romance is still alive it just needs to stop for milk and yogurt first.
Do you know about Shawn's swap? I'm almost late in posting this but click on the button and check it out:
The swap is in honor of Shawn's birthday! Who doesn't like birthday stuff...I'm thinking cake will be involved--or maybe I'm just hoping. Anyway, time's-a-wasting because I should have posted this sooner so visit Shawn and sign up for the swap.
We're home...and this time the drive was nine hours--so much better than twelve. Bug was terrific! He asked to hear Bruce early on (and I don't nudge or pinch him to do it, I swear, it's all on his own!) and then if Donnie turned it off Bug promptly asked for "my Bruce" again. Way to go, little man! Donnie finally told him that Bruce needed to take a nap.
Anyway, after nine hours on the road, we pulled up to our house (well, not our house, we pulled into a little space near the school across the street so we could unload our many bags and toys, and lug them through traffic, around concrete barriers, an 18-inch drop and over 1/2 a newly-paved road with a four inch gap between the road and our driveway [WTF?] because our street is still under construction and now even if we wanted to use our driveway it's impossible--sigh).
But I digress...we arrive home and Bug cries and cries and screams because he has to get out of the car. Huh?
A couple of nights ago I had a bit of a restless night quiet time...from 2am until after 4am. I was actually kind of happy when Bug cried around 4:20. I grabbed my pillow and blanket and quietly told Donnie, "I'll just sleep in Bug's room." I found out that Bug is quite a chatterbox--full of compliments (Mommy, I like your hair, I like your eyes, I like your shirt, I like your ears...) and gas (phew!) in the wee morning hours.
During the two hours on my own, my mind wandered and I thought about Mama-Face's post on Blog-Ignoramus about dreams. I, for the most part, love my dreams. I usually feel a bit disappointed if I don't remember something from a dream when I wake up.
I had an interesting dream the other night. Here's a bit of background:
Real life: Donnie and I are thinking of leaving the city and moving to a smaller town. There's just something appealing about a smaller area for us. The town is about 65 miles from the city. We've been visiting Small Town for about 18 months looking at houses and just checking out the town. We just found a house that makes us drool (it's an older house and just has a nice feel--not too big but comfortable). ST is appealing for a variety of reasons: direct train route to the city for Donnie, good schools, it has a university in town, I would see about working from home but that probably won't fly so I will most likely quit my job and be with Bug and there's a terrific bakery. It's possible that Donnie can have a slightly varied schedule so that's appealing too. The commute is the big issue so we'll test that out in the coming weeks. We intended to try the commute a few months ago but Bug got sick and since then it just hasn't worked out. Now that we like a house it's a bit higher on our list.
Dream: Donnie and I were renewing our vows at a diner in ST. Our realtor was going to officiate the ceremony. It was very low key with just a few guests. I thought I booked the town hall but for some reason I was told the day of our ceremony that the hall wasn't available. I asked if we could have the reception in the diner so it all worked out.
So does our wedding ceremony represent that I'm ready for a commitment/new beginning in ST? The realtor/officiant sealing the deal?
This morning Bug woke us up at 5:30 (his "I'm awake" time on vacation...yawn). Donnie told me to stay in bed and he would hang out with Bug downstairs (i.e., watching DVDs as quietly as possible). During that time I had a dream that I met up with some of the people whose blogs I follow. Mama-Face, MiMi, Funnyrunner and others got together at the Dairy Queen. Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) was behind us in line and I grabbed his arm and asked him to stick around because I wasn't sure we had enough money on us to pay for our treats. Tough girl, aren't I?
The other night we (Donnie's parents, sister, brother-in-law, Donnie and I) were sitting at the table having pie and ice cream (I know AGAIN with the eating thing!). I commented that the Four Seas' ice cream containers on the table were instrumental in Bug becoming part of our family.
During the adoption process, we had to prepare a scrapbook of our lives--or as I like to call it "the biggest marketing piece of my life"--to share with birth mothers. Our contact at the agency said that it's often surprising the connections that are made through the introductory letter and photos shared. You never know what's going to strike a chord with someone. (Translation: no pressure!)
We made our book and the agency shared it with various birth mothers. Some of the women chose other families and some chose to raise the child on their own. No one picked us. We kept asking if the agency received feedback on our book. "Do we need to change anything? Should we update the letter? Are there too many/too few photos? Should we include more family? Is the Hawaiian party photo too much?" The questions could go on forever. We were told when the match was right the connection would be made and there was simply no way of knowing what it will be. Be patient--the right baby is going to find you. (Yeah, sure, okay...)
When we received the call that a birth mother had selected us we found that among other common denominators there was a mutual love for Cape Cod. She had many happy memories of time spent on The Cape and in our scrapbook there was ONE photo of Donnie, my father-in-law and brother-in-law finishing off ice cream from Four Seas' containers and a one sentence reference to our fun times on The Cape.
It's not as though I needed another reason to love Four Seas (cantaloupe ice cream, remember?!) but I certainly look at those pint and quart containers much differently now! AND great news: we found out their ice cream has no egg in it so Bug was able to enjoy ice cream with us as well!
We had this ornament before we had Bug and no surprise that it's one of the first that goes on our tree every year.
PS. Really, all I'm doing is eating...with a little bit of napping, hanging at the beach and reading. We're on Cape Cod and I've had steak twice. I know, no lobstah yet but that's okay I'm more of scallops girl and those will come soon enough.
Thanks to my in-laws there was a pint of cantaloupe ice cream waiting for me when we arrived (after a TWELVE hour trip...gotta LOVE late night road construction where all lanes merge to one teeny tiny lane on major roads...fun!). It was 2am when we arrived and Bug had just awakened wanting to know where the sun was. He was beach ready--but luckily only for a little while before he went back to sleep. For the past two days after Bug's gone down for a nap my lunches have been cookies (great frosted cookies that I can't find in my neck of the woods). And I'm eating chocolate at the moment. I love vacation!
I've run once since we arrived so the balance is clearly off but I'm really okay with that.
Mag lives with her husband, Donnie, and son, Bug, who was born in 2006 and their bulldog, The Little Girl, who still tries to run the house when Bug isn’t keeping up his end of the job. Email Mag at firstname.lastname@example.org