Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not the day I expected

21 days ago, I posted this picture. This is Sheryl Hatton. Olivia's teacher.

I was getting into the car after aerobics this morning when I checked the messages on my phone. There was one from Raine's mom telling me to call her about some things going on at school.

I called back immediately. Raine's mom said, "Well, I don't really know how else to say this. Mrs. Hatton died this morning."

I had to pull the car over. Surely I must have heard wrong. She had been out since Thursday. Olivia said she had a sore elbow. (I guess that's why you shouldn't get your info from a 4 yr. old.) Apparently she had caught something that had been going around the faculty and just couldn't shake it. She was admitted into the hospital yesterday and passed away early this morning before school even started.

I called Steve immediately to tell him. As it turns out, he found out when he dropped O off at school. He ended up staying for about 45 minutes. Several parents were there and a few grief counselors. In the end, most of the kids in O's class were doing pretty well. The older kids at the school who had her before were the ones who were having a hard time. At O's school a child stays in the same class with the same teachers for 3 years.

Surprisingly, I'm the one who's been struggling. I've been an emotional wreck today. I keep thinking about how much Olivia loved her. Last year when O had some fear issues, Mrs. Hatton took her under her wing (maybe too much so.) She would take O on *special errands* and let her be the *helper.* Just last week Mrs. Hatton said to Olivia, "Hey, Olivia, do you want to stay all day for Kindergarten?" Then she winked at me and said, "Boy is she ready for it!" What a turn of events from last year.

Last week, 2 days before she was out because of her cold, she led a really fun activity. She read the kids The Gingerbread Man. Then they went to the cooking room and baked gingerbread. When they opened the oven door, the gingerbread man was missing. They went on a hunt around the school for him. They finally found him in the Principal's office in a time out. He was *found running in the hall.* The principal explained a lesson on not running in the hall. They also made finger puppets that went along with the story. Olivia talked about that all the way until bed time. It has been her favorite day at school by far.

It's so sad for me because I know how much Mrs. Hatton "got" Olivia. And appreciated her. And liked her. Similar to my mom. Now, they are both gone. (here come tears.) So, although it appears O is fine, I am not. Who knew this would rip the band aid off of my wound? Just when I thought I was healing up so nicely.

Life. sigh

Monday, September 27, 2010


It was THE PERFECT weekend away.
We hit the road with our four other friends late Friday morning and arrived in Gatlinburg, TN early evening. The car ride was fun. Lunch on the road, glorious. No crayons. No trips to the potty (to wipe little buns). No spills. No tears. Just pure adult conversation, sans interruption.

We arrived and unpacked at our UH-MAZING cabin (shame on me for even calling it such a name.) Because this cabin was three stories, each with a wrap around porch. Gorgeous. And ridiculously affordable since we were there on a non-peak weekend. What a treat.
We headed into town for Steve's official birthday dinner. He has a *favorite* place in Gatlinburg (I think he's been to Gatlinburg four times in his life but somehow has a *favorite* place?!) The Peddler. It was a nice steakhouse. Weird, but nice.

The weekend was filled with shopping, eating, football, games, reading, relaxing and even...
a short hike. Amy is 8 months pregnant and Sally, Steve and I wore flip flops. So you can use the work hike loosely if you like.
We did.

But it seemed shameful to not at least get out of the car and take a picture with a tree behind us. I mean, if you're from our part of Ohio, you don't get to walk up something steeper than a speed bump too often. I would not recommend, however, walking too far up the Smoky Mountains in Croc flip flops, though. I had some sore ankles the next morning.

I had to include a few photos of our cabin.
Just to prove that this cabin was nicer than my home.
It was gorgeous.

With amazing views.
From every window. This one happened to be from the door frame of our bedroom on the third floor. In front of that window was another small living room. Wish I'd had time to use it.
Yes, I may be relocating soon.

But then I'd have to buy some better shoes.
Guess I'll stay put.

Check back later for a post on some of the ridiculousness that I found in Gatlinburg.
There was a plenty.
Enough to require a second post.
Ain't y'all lucky? (I'm practicing in case I do get some new shoes and re-locate.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

on top of a mountain

In about t minus 2 hours, I'm packing myself into our mini-van with Steve, four friends and an obscene amount of food for two days and we are headed off to the mountains.

I'll be back Monday with pictures.

In the meantime, go check out this hilarious video.

happy weekend

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

some days are a 2 post day

Last night Steve hung the last picture. Ahh, it feels good to have our downstairs back after a few weeks of craziness.

I have to say, I'm so pleased with how it turned out. The whole room (which is a combo dining/living room) was a foam green since we moved in. A fine color. But after seven years, we needed a change.
Its hard to tell in the pictures but we went with a gray. In some lighting it looks gray, in some it looks blue. Which is actually perfect because I walked around with both blue and gray paint swatches FOR WEEKS because I couldn't decide which way I wanted to go. This is the perfect marriage of the two colors. I couldn't be happier.

The previous owners had also painted the ceiling in the dining room green (I'm not sure why) and included a green paint border on the ceiling in the living room (and I'm really not sure why on that one.)
Which meant poor Steve had to prime and paint both ceilings. Making the project even longer.

But all in all, it was worth every long night of work. The room looks bigger, brighter and more modern.

I called Steve this morning and told him one more time how much I LOVE sitting in our *new* living room.
I also had him put together a new collage of photos in a spot that a different picture had been. I love it.
I tried to get rid of clutter as well. And some big toys were moved to the play room upstairs.
Now the only thing to do, some day, when we get rich, is buy a new (preferably black) dining room table. Oh, and another sofa. One that does not require a slip cover.
But until we get rich, a fresh coat of paint will carry me a long way!

If I believed in Jinxes

So I had to go and do it. The other day I wrote about how nothing noteworthy had gone on around here. Which must have been an open invitation to the universe to *bring it on.* Because later that day, I got a phone call from my dad assuring me "everything is fine" but he incurred $4,200 worth of damage to his car when a deer hit him. Yep. He didn't even hit the deer, the deer hit him. There's my little old dad, minding his own business when he heard an explosion and the next thing he knew all the glass on his driver side window/the front windshield blew plus a whole bunch of body (to the car) damage occurred as the deer bounced off into the distance. He claims, "Another six inches, I would have had a deer in my lap." Grrrreeeaaat. I guess the Lord knew I could not handle losing both parents in less than 4 months. Thank you, God.

Then, Tuesday morning I was getting Olivia up for school. We were snuggling for a few minutes before she got dressed. Steve showered and was getting ready when I heard a muffled, "mmmshp." After a few seconds of contemplation I thought I'd better check it out. There I found Steve white as a ghost and pouring sweat. He informed me he thought he was about to lose consciousness and that it felt like something *ruptured* in his abdomen. (We would later argue if that statement was actually ever uttered from his lips. I'm here to say YES! YES it was.) I mean, why would I make that up? It's not like I like to embellish a story for affect or anything. Sheesh.

I asked him if I should call 9-1-1. To my surprise he said yes. I tried really hard to not go into panic mode but by then all three kids were up and clamoring for stuff. I managed to keep my cool pretty well, if I do say so myself. Somehow (it *might* have been the Lord once again) I got them all corralled onto our bed and had them wait there until the ambulance arrived.

By the time the paramedics got there, Steve was looking better. He even managed to make it down the stairs and be dressed for their arrival. In the meantime, Turner was in hog heaven. An ambulance with lights flashing right in front of our own house. Cool.

After assessing Steve with a bunch of questions and not much else, we all decided he should go to the ER to get checked out but to Turner's disappointment, a ride in the ambulance would not be necessary. (Actually, the decision was made right after Steve heard, "You'd save yourself a lot of money if you found your own way there.) 'Nough said. So we loaded up the car, took Olivia to school, secured a good friend to bring her kids over and watch the boys, drop Steve off at the ER, drop kids off at home and me head back to the ER.

Where we would sit for the next 4 hours.

Thankfully, at the end of the visit, the Dr. concluded everything was fine. Why something felt like it had ruptured (or didn't depending on who is telling the story) is a mystery.

All I know is, I'm not mentioning another boring day on this here blog for a very long time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Trying to focus

It's been a stretch of days since I posted. No real reason why. Fun things have happened. Mundane things have gone by. But nothing really stood out as blog worthy. Not even a slightly annoying situation to put a funny spin on. I watched Steve paint a lot this weekend. I helped, a little. A very little, in fact. Its mostly finished. Now its a matter of re-arranging furniture, putting switch plates back etc. (Now do you see why I've struggled to make a post from this?)

Pictures will follow soon.

Steve's big 40th birthday is on Sunday. I have arranged a getaway with two other couples to Gatlinburg, TN. We've rented a luxurious house in the mountains. I'm REALLY looking forward to this. It felt like a whole ton of pressure to provide the *just right* 40th birthday experience for Steve. You know the dilemma... do you go surprise party with 100 of his closest friends and a few long lost ones traveling from far and wide? Or do you skip the party and go expensive gift? Or maybe go the funny route? You know the "Ha! Ha! You're so old they should just bury you" kind of thing.

All seemed wrong for my husband. (And quite frankly, for me- since naturally, Steve's 40th birthday IS all about me.) As the party thrower, all of the above seemed to make me want to run away and hide. So back in July I thought long and hard about what would Steve really want? Then it dawned on me... time with his best friends, with out kids, in a nice place we don't have to do any work on. Voila, the Great Gatlinburg Escape was hatched.

I managed to get 2 of his best friends (and their wives) to buy into my plan. Then I secured Grandma and Papa as babysitter extraordinaries. I double checked with Steve on the coin we had to drop without revealing the exact plan. I secured our spot here and told Steve. He was touched and excited. You see, I'm not one to make plans two months ahead of time. I'm not one to pursue a good price on a lodge and dare I even say, haggle. So there you have it, it is love!

I guess that's why I'm just humming through my days right now. Not really living for Friday, but just getting excited.

And by the way, since your 40th IS all about me, Steve, here's a hint. My ideal 40th involves tropical islands, no kids and more than a 2 night stay. I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As you may be aware, we live in Downtown Dayton. In case you think that is glamorous, remember, its Dayton. When we moved here it was fun and exciting to live *Downtown.* I guess it still is. You also may be aware that we've toyed with the idea of fleeing to the suburbs like most normal people. But thanks to the housing market, that decision was made for us. I could go on and on about the things that I get INSANELY jealous of when I go to a friend's house in the 'burbs. You know, the spacious back yard. The trampoline roughly the size of an igloo. The cul de sac their kids ride their bike on. I could go on and on but I'll spare you.

I could also go on and on about the things I lreally like about living in the city. The diversity, both racially and economically. Our cool historic home. The fact that our street may end up on the local news crime report most nights. (Oh, I kid! mostly)

Recently, our newspaper reported that homelessness is up 200% in our city. That didn't really surprise me. Our neighborhood is about 900 ft. from an on ramp to one of the highways. And beginning about a year ago it became a hot spot for pan handlers. I'm not exactly sure why, but I have my theories. There are several homeless shelters nearby and my guess is many of the panhandlers stand on our corner by day and sleep there by night.

Sometime in the spring I decided to start buying a boatload of bars (granola, fiber, chewy, whatever I can get for real cheap) and keep them in the van. Whenever we stop at a red light and someone is there, we give them a bar. Most are appreciative. All accept. I had a similar plan when I lived in NYC. Loads of people pan handle on the subway. Because I couldn't be sure where the cash would go, I always kept some bars in my backpack. I could always tell the truly needy from the swindlers by who would graciously accept the bar and who would laugh me off the train. Its interesting how here, nobody refuses.

Its also interesting that for the past 7 or so months my kids have gotten into the act. WHENEVER we see someone on the corner (even when its a far away corner or an opposite corner that would be impossible to reach... outside of launching a Fiber One Bar at their head) they all three start yelling "Give that guy a bar, mom"!!! Depending on how long the light is or how safe I feel, we even ask for their name and let them know that we'll pray for them. As we drive away we pray for the person by name.

Today the boys and I were on our way to pick Olivia up from school. We got off the highway and stopped at a light where a guy was sitting. His sign read, "Anything helps." So I rolled down my window and told him we had a granola bar to offer. He was a young guy with a very pleasant smile. The boys (Ummm... Quinn) was yelling, "Ask his name, MOM!" The guy heard and he got a delighted smile on his face and asked me, "Did he say he wants to know my name?"

I said yes and explained that we like to give out bars to people in need and often we get their name and pray for them on our way. So I asked for his name and he told us he was Jared. I rolled down the windows and the boys yelled, "Bye, Jared!" Jared smiled and waved.

And then a semi came barrelling down the exit ramp, the light turned green and the truck honked so loud the boys started crying.

the end

Yep, I love city life!

** disclaimer** lest you think this is a toot my own horn, look at me, I'm such a good person post, its not. I just wanted to express my thoughts on one practical way we can look out for others right where we live. There are about 10,000 other ways I really suck at this, just fyi.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This is my aunt Sherry. She's my mom's sister. She lives in Arizona and spends the summer at a cabin in Upstate New York.

She has always been a really cool aunt. When I was growing up, she lived in New York City. In fact, she may not even know this, but she was a bit of my inspiration for moving there out of college.

During the summer of 1984 I went by myself to visit her for about a week. It was a really cool trip. She sure knew how to show a junior higher a good time. She picked me up at the airport in a stretch limo. I distinctly remember people in Manhattan trying to get a peek into the car to see who we were. (Boy, they sure would have been disappointed had they found out.) We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, saw 42nd Street on Broadway and I remember my first brush with *fame* happened as I spotted a soap star- Wallingford- from Search for Tomorrow. He was easy to spot since he was a dwarf.

My aunt is VERY funny. She has an infectious laugh. My mom and she were extremely tight. They were 18 months apart and battled rheumatic fever for years growing up. That meant they were quarantined to their room for literally much of their childhood.

They really loved each other. And they really laughed together. I remember some of the best Christmas' and summer vacations for this only child being when Aunt Sherry and my two cousins, Gennifer and Jay, would come to *Granny's house* and although they were quite a bit older than I, we would have so much fun laughing and playing together. Fond memories.

Aunt Sherry is also a bit of a trend setter. My cousin, Jay, is an Apache Indian and she and my uncle adopted him in the sixties before it was *cool and hip* to adopt. (You know, like me. I'm cool and hip, right? RIGHT??) I feel an extra connection to her because we share this unique bond of being adoptive mothers.

While my mom was in Hospice, Aunt Sherry and my uncle, Tom, were driving through Toledo on a previously scheduled visit. They extended their stay by several days so that she could have as much time with my mom as possible. While excruciatingly painful, they were sweet days that we'll never get back.

My aunt was a rock and a source of strength for me. And although neither she nor I intend for her to take the place of my mom, she serves as a precious piece of my mom (and of Bebe for my kids) that I see as a true gift from God.

My kids ADORE her. And even though there is not a picture of Sherry and Turner here (when asked to take a pic he answered, "No want to." Cute at 2, rude in the not too distant future!) they all think she (and especially her English bulldog, Snorts) are pretty cool. She got the kids piggy banks and all summer she has sent them cards with money inside. They have loved it.

I am thankful that my kids will grow up and get to know my aunt. I'm sad they won't get to know my mom. But hopefully between the two of us, they will.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another attempt at family fun

Saturday after O's ballet class we loaded up the van and headed up to see my dad. It had been about 6 weeks since we were up there and it was a good weekend to go since my aunt and uncle were driving through and spending the night.

On the ride up, O started saying she didn't feel good. By the time we got there she had a fever and looked terrible. Naturally, she hadn't been sick since March but because we were going out of town, it was a *great* time to get sick.

By Sunday (after a REALLY long night of almost throwing up) she was nearly back to normal. So once we sent my aunt and uncle on their way (they are doing a several week road trip back home to Arizona) we headed to an apple orchard. I grew up going to this orchard and it was a lovely day to pick apples.

Well, because we have impeccable timing, apple picking doesn't begin until NEXT weekend. So instead, we walked around the store and came out with a 1/2 bushel of apples and a little pumpkin. Hey, there's lots of fall ahead of us. I just thought it would be more fun to pick apples when it was 75 degrees rather than 40.

After *shopping* we headed to the little water fountain and enjoyed some of our newly acquired apples. Everyone accept Quinn (I don't like apples) and Pa.

But Turner is my biggest apple lover and he ate his down to a nub.

When he was done, he threatened a swim or two in the pond. How about Quinn here? Doesn't he look like a big boy with his hands in his pockets? He probably had just gotten finished telling on Turner for something; his favorite past time.

We wrapped up our time by finding a hill to roll down. Unfortunately, there was some freshly mowed grass on the hill and we spent the rest of the afternoon finding grass in some *interesting* locations.

After watching my kids make several embarrassing attempts to roll down the hill (sheesh what kind of city folk are we?) I got down on the grass and showed them how it's really done.

Thankfully, there are no pics to prove it. It was fun and Olivia was wide eyed afterward and asked, "How did you goooooo so fast?" That's years of practice, kid!
She got the hang of it, finally and giggled and rolled her way down too.
Me? I have a rash all over my belly today from the itchy grass. (I was even pulling grass out of my bra hours later.) There's a reason some things should be left to the young!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ballerina take II

Olivia's second attempt at dance class= success.

She did great. And loved it.
There are only 3 girls in her class. The other 2 came 10 minutes late. I feared disaster.
As it turned out, she loved the private lesson.
Parents aren't allowed in. So I stood at the door and peeked through the crack in the door. She was so serious and intent. And dare I brag? Graceful.
And don't you just love a new pair of shiny tap shoes?
And some baggy ankles to go with?
It was a great start to a great weekend.

Friday, September 10, 2010

a make me feel better- letter

Dear mom,
There are a million things I'm dying to talk to you about this week. You loved reading my blog and although I know you are all too busy gazing at the face of Jesus, for me, I needed to write to you and let you know some things.

Olivia went back to school this week. You would have HATED her outfit (it's not really the kind of thing you would have picked out) but you would have LOVED how happy she was to wear it. And you would have loved that she and Raine planned it out. Such a grown up thing to do.

When I picked her up from school today, her teacher paid her a huge compliment. She said that Olivia is doing so well this year and that she is going to be a big help to have around the classroom. Naturally, I was beaming. So proud. We would have laughed and joked about what a waste that counselor was. You would have told me I did the right thing by *breaking up with her.* Mrs. Hatton told me Olivia is a great role model. But we always knew that!

She had school pictures today. I let her pick out her outfit for that too. She did a better job this time! She even practiced smiling this morning. You remember the disaster from last year!

Steve and I decided to paint the downstairs. It's a cool color of gray. It's going to take us forever because we are painting at night and you know that I can't make it much past 10:30. I think you would have sent us a check to get a new table cloth or curtains or something. Better yet, we probably would have hit Target when I come to town. You would have driven the motorized cart and taken out a rack of bras and after you got done cussing, we would have had a good laugh.

Speaking of coming to town, we'll be in tomorrow around 1 (Dad's already asked me what time we'll be in about 5 times. You would be sooooo annoyed!) We won't get there until lunchtime because Olivia has her first dance class in the morning. She's going to try it again. I think she'll love it this time around. She is doing a ballet/tap combo class. Of course she is, because the tap shoes cost extra! We would have re-hashed the story of the time I took tap and was a frog at the recital. I cried the whole time and stole the show. I don't remember exactly, but I do because you told me the story so many times.

We're coming to visit because Aunt Sherry and Tom are headed through. They are done at the cabin already. Can you imagine? It seems like yesterday they were on their way there. And only yesterday that you were expecting them. But you were in the hospital and worried about not being able to get the Lebanese food for them. Thankfully, you were moved to Hospice before they arrived. It was so lovely there. And a nice place to visit. We had a nice week together. The kids ran around, Turner broke a statue and we never did get billed for it.

I can't believe it's been exactly 3 months to the day that I said goodbye to you for the last time. I miss you so much. There is so much I want to share with you. I find myself wandering around my house wondering who to tell. Stories that no one else (not even Steve) would care to hear.

I am comforted by the fact that YOU are not missing a dang thing. You are fulfilled. Complete. Happy. Pain-free. Walking- no- Dancing. You lack nothing. And for that I rejoice today.

I love you, mom. I miss you. O and I pray every night that Jesus will give you a hug and a kiss and a blow kiss. So that's what I ask now. I think that's the kind of thing He wants to do.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

from the Because We're Idiots file

When we decided to take our house off the market several weeks ago, I guess we also decided to embrace the fact that we are staying put at least another year. Which is quite fine by me, I really do love our house.
For instance, we've talked for several years about how we need to re-paint our downstairs living space. Which just feels overwhelming because it's a large area and I basically become paralyzed when deciding anything *final.* As in, Once this color is on the wall, we're living with it come hell or high water. It also means having things out of place and trying to keep the kids out of wet paint for however long it takes. Ugh. Shoot me now.
Thanks to the Sherwin Williams Labor Day paint sale, we made a decision on a lovely shade of gray and went for it.
But thanks to the innovative decorators who lived here before us (8 years ago) we have to prime all kinds of stuff, including the ceiling that they thought should also be the mint green that was on the walls.

This is a job that we (ackhem, Steve) are doing on our own. So, basically, its an *after the kids go to bed* kind of thing. Translate, start at 8:30 end at an ungodly hour.

The first night, Steve was up until 12:30 priming the ceiling. I would like to give myself credit for helping prime the edges. I did a fine job if I do say so myself.
We're thinking at the rate we're going, we should be done sometime in October. Which is fine with me but is killing Steve.

And of course there's the usual kid stuff to deal with.
More noodles went on the chair than in the tummy that night.
Yeah, we're idiots. But its who we are, its what we do!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who stole my baby?

One year ago today, we set the alarm, jumped out of bed and took a million pics. My little 3 year old was off to school. And why did I not realize how adorably tiny she was? Who let me send that little thing off to 1/2 day school, five days a week?

Well, this morning we set the alarm, jumped outof bed and took a million pictures. Only this time my baby girl seems an appropriate size for her back pack AND she is too cool for school!

Also, you can see by the photos (and the smirk on her darling little face) WHO won the argument of what she was going to wear the first day of school. I hope when she is 30 and yells at me for *dressing her in that skirt* you all will be there to defend me.

Because, really... she should not be going to pre-school in that outfit. She should be clogging at the county fair.

It is actually fun to have O back in the same school, in the same classroom with the same teachers and friends from last year.
This is the only other pre-schooler returning (all of O's other friends from last year are now kindergartners. Which means they are still in the same classroom, but they stay all day.)
O is good buddies with Esteban. One of the first things she told me about school last year was, "Esteban is in my class. He's a hugger!" And sure enough, last thing he did today was give O and his teacher, Mrs. Hadden a great big hug. Love it.

The reason I finally gave in to *the outfit* (other than the fact that THIS was not the hill to die on) was that Raine called my cell phone last night and left a message asking if Olivia could wear her *pink fluffy skirt* to school tomorrow so that they could dress the same.
How's a mama gonna say no to that level of cuteness???
And so it begins, not just another year of school but another step in allowing my daughter to become her own person and eventually leave the nest. sniff sniff.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Super fun

It was a really great holiday weekend around here. We did lots of fun stuff, including two different cook outs. And best of all? Neither cook out was at my house. Meaning I didn't cook nor did I clean up.

And while it may appear we got our holidays mixed up, my kids did NOT go trick or treating this weekend. Instead, we got all dressed up to attend our friend, Simon's, 5th birthday.

Susie is one of my good friends who happens to have kids close in age to mine and is very creative. She raised the bar for kiddie parties in our circle of friends. In addition to making dinner for the kids and their parents HERSELF, she also did homemade/decorated super hero cupcakes and...

had a craft table set up where they could make their own masks. Each kid also went home with their own handmade cape equipped w/ their initial on it. My kids have yet to take the dang things off. They are going to be so disappointed when this mommy shooes their buddies out the door after their parties with a goodie bag of fruit snacks and swift kick in the rear. (Shoot, that's if the even GET a party this year.)
It was a super fun thing to do this weekend and for some reason Quinn just can't quit singing, "Happy birthday dear Simon, Happy Birthday to you." Yes, I know it sounds cute, but right around the 55th time today that I heard it, it stopped being cute. Well, I gotta run so I can go to bed... Olivia starts school tomorrow and that alarm is going to go off wayyyyy too early.

Friday, September 3, 2010

You'll have to use your imagination

I was going to do a post about how I found THIS amazing recipe for peanut butter popcorn from Pioneer Woman's blog (I added some chocolate so it's actually peanut butter/chocolate popcorn at my house- plus I started w/ fat free popcorn, so it's a health food too, right?) I was also going to include pictures, but when I went to down load them, my computer told me that my device malfunctioned and could not be recognized by my computer.

To that I say, SHUT UP! This is the same camera that you've downloaded a million pictures from, stupid Dell. But I dare not yell too loud. It's already not allowing me to hook up to my Outlook for some reason, therefore, I have to check my email through the internet. Annoying.

You'll just have to imagine the yummiest bowl of popcorn you've ever seen.

Then there's the teeny tiny situation of the hinge on our screen that is about to rub through the cord that runs through it (who knew there was a cord that runs through it?) It's literally hanging by a thread. So instead of following my instincts to yell and get annoyed, I will tenderly and lovingly forgive our Dell because now is not the time we need to plunk down some casheesh for a new computer.

All of my computer woes will not get me down, though. It is gorgeous out my window... that I have OPEN. The sky is blue, its a holiday weekend and we have some fun stuff with friends planned all weekend. And my daughter goes back to school on Tuesday to boot. Its gonna take a lot to get this lady down.

I hope you have some fun stuff planned on this *unofficial end to summer* weekend. Don't you just hate it when people say that?