Monthly Archives: November 2012

Pay Attention in School, You May Win the Lottery Someday

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winning the lottery

Powerball-mania!!  Do you or your kids have it?  Well then, I suggest you share with your kids a cautionary tale I wrote about on ParentSociety!

Do your kids complain about school? At times, do they just not want to go, do the work, be bothered with it, get out of bed in the morning, pay attention, apply, learn, concentrate, etc.? I mean, what kid doesn’t have those days (or weeks, months, or even years)?

But, every once in a while, a real life story comes along that plays right into the little parental hands. I love these moments. And even though my kids probably secretly hate them, this particular cautionary tale about why they should always pay attention and stay in school was pretty hard to deny!

OK, so here is the  story…

What?  You didn’t think I would put it here.  No, you will have to go to ParentSociety.com to get the whole story.  It is a good one, I promise!

Go here

A Tricky Way to Get Your Kids to Pay Attention in School.

A Boy’s-Eye View of Italy

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Italy is awesome!  Or so, my boys have proclaimed.  Seriously, what is not to appreciate about a country that has so much to offer a boy’s sensibility – especially from a Teen/Pre-teen boy perspective.  Please, allow me to explain:

1.  You get to learn about crazy people.

The Pieta (The Pity) Statue by Michelangelo, Vatican City.  Yeah, yeah, this statue is beautiful, impressive, stunning, etc.  But, did you know it is encased in a plastic protector because in the 1970s, a “mad geologist attacked the statue with a hammer.”? (say what??) Right, well, apparently, any way you slice it this story was clearly cool enough to spawn a steady laughter invoking exchange for the remainder of our trip such as the following:

“Hey Mom”

“Yeah?”

“I am a geologist and I am really MAD…GET ME A HAMMER!!!!

ok, it still makes me laugh…

2.  You get to throw stuff

Trevi Fountain, Rome.  Let’s face it – any opportunity to throw stuff…legally… is well worth a long plane ride. But take note – don’t even waste coin after coin after coin trying to nail the Trevi seagulls, they are way, way too saavy to be caught by such an assault (and I suspect, have had to learn the hard way!).

3.  You get a drink, for free, anytime you want.

Random fountain in Rome.  Just pray, the water isn’t as ancient as the fountain…

fountain rome

4.  You get to play in the dirt

The Colosseum , Rome.  Sure, the whole Colosseum thing is crazily impressive and all,

But even better is collecting some ancient Colosseum dirt to bring home.  Just be warned – apparently a bag of dirt in ones backpack is cause for suspicion and, if you hazard the attempt to bring home said souvenir, you will be detained at every single security checkpoint along the way.

colosseum

5.  You get randomly photo bombed.

Navona Piazza Street Performer, Rome. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere – you never know exactly when it is happening.  It won’t be until viewing pictures at some later date you will realize you were, yet again, photo-bombed by a statue’s bare butt (or other random, bare body parts) making for endless amounts of humor opportunities.  Ah well, you know, when in Rome…

navona square

6.  You get to spit on stuff.

Venice, Italy.  What better attribute does a hotel have to offer than the ability of customers to be able stick their head out of their very own hotel window and spit right into a not so clean canal of water that can’t be hurt  by a few dribbles of spit, anyway.  Pure genius, I say.

venicevenice

7.  You get to handle wild animals.

Venice, Italy – some piazza somewhere.  From a boys perspective, never underestimate the entertainment value of handling a rodent with wings (i.e. pigeons).

8.  You get to eat good food.

Venice, Italy. Pizza for breakfast, Pizza for lunch, Pizza for dinner, Pizza with french fries…need I say more?

9. And some things, are just plain cool – graffiti and all!

The Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

Rialto BridgeFor more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Saying No Sucks!

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We all know there are aspects of parenting that really stink, don’t even try to deny it!  Today, on ParentSociety.com I reflect on  complain about one of my least favorite responsibilities of parenting.

Go here to find out what I am whining about!

Saying No Sucks!

Travel Magic

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No matter how much I travel, it always seems like pure magic  you can get on a plane, sit there for some hours, and arrive at a place like this:

VeniceVenice, Italy

Or this:

RomeSt. Angelo Bridge, Rome, Italy

And even though I may get cheated by a taxi driver (hey, I can now say I have been cheated on two continents!), have to sit by a guy who snores (I sleep next to one on a daily basis, so no biggie), get practically run over by a scooter (it is Italy after all, maybe he was hoping for more than a brush of the elbow?), or have to beg a waiter on bended knee for a few pieces of precious ice… I will continue to test the magic – time and time again.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

A Life Lesson, The Easy Way

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tom sawyer

We have a huge pecan tree in our yard.  And when I say huge, I really mean it — as in if it fell, our house would be reduced to rubble.  Every 2 to 3 years, the pecan tree decides to drop thousands of pecans all over the yard.  The squirrels, in these years, do a little happy dance knowing their future is secure.  But for me, I feel compelled to do something about some of those nuts littering my yard.

All I wanted was the pecans in my yard picked up – or rather, to find a way to get my kids to pick up the pecans in my yard.  I didn’t expect to get a life lesson out of it, too!

Check out my latest article on ParentSociety.com

Teaching Kids About Money:  A Life Lesson, The Easy Way.

Bag Lady Goes a Job Hunting

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I have been job hunting. And when I say “job hunting”, I mean random-resume-submissions-online-from-which-no-result-occurs.  However, finally, I received a phone call requesting my presence at an interview…with, like, people and stuff.

The fact that I had not been on an actual job interview in a ‘coons age (Country-slang for a long, long, loooong time) should have paralyzed me with fear, but I confess it did not.

On the day of the interview, I selected my clothing carefully – dress, nylons, heels, the whole works – and packed them into my car to be changed into after I ran to the hair salon to have my emerging grey hairs vanquished.  Possibly, this detour was the beginning of my folly. But, I tend to think it was my venue of choice for changing into my interview attire – Home Depot.

Yep, you read that right.  Apparently, a stop at Home Depot for husband was unavoidable.  But, hey, the Women’s bathroom at Home Depot is big and virtually unused. However, the moment I left the bathroom in full interview attire, my trouble began.  You see, as soon as I started tromping through the Home Depot aisles towards the exit in my high heels, I began to feel a slippage.

Ok, hold on, allow me to explain.  I hate panty hose as in; I detest the feel of the ‘panty part’ under clothes.  Therefore, I have long opted for the stocking scenario – the kind that has an elastic/rubbery band to hold them in place on your thigh.  However, not having occasion to wear stockings much, it had been a while since the last wearing of this pair.

So again, there I was marching confidently to the front of the store heading to my interview when I began to feel slippage of one of the stockings.  Quickly, I ducked behind a display of sockets to inspect the problem.  When I looked down, I found to my dismay the band of the offending stocking was bouncing, exposed around my knee!  I quickly pulled it back up and in my haste ripped a run down the entire length.

My first thought was, surely I had but failed to pull the one stocking up enough the first time. So, I can just hide the run in the back and take care to never turn around in the interviewer’s presence – it won’t look that weird when I back out of the door to leave, right?

But, I did not even it make to my car in the parking lot before the stocking band was slipping down again, now making it to my ankle.  And although the guy who tried to solicit “gas money” from me in the parking lot did not seem at all alarmed by my wardrobe malfunction, I was completely horrified.

I jumped into my car and started driving to my interview.  I began to worry.  What if the stocking starts slipping while I am trying to think of answers to the interviewer’s questions?

“What is your strategy for handling a problem?” (You mean, like, your stockings falling down in Home Depot?).

“What do you consider your strong points?”(Um, surviving this interview with droopy stockings?).

“Where do you see yourself in the future?” (Well, in the next 5 minutes, I see myself walking out of here looking like a Bag Lady with stockings puddling around my ankles).

And that was it, full-on panic took hold.

My mind began to race.  If only I would pass a drugstore on my way to the interview.  I could have just enough time to run in, grab a pair of dreaded pantyhose (not a stocking type place), change in the car and make my interview on time.  If only…

And then, like chocolate from heaven – there it was!!  A Walgreens Drugstore right off the highway – a bit of a back track from my exit, but still possible in my time frame!  I was saved!  I sped to the Walgreens, whipped into the parking lot, searched for the entrance.  It was only then I discovered it was a Walgreens Infusion and Respiratory Center.  Yeah, I have no idea what the heck that is – all I know is, they do NOT sell pantyhose…I checked.

At this point, I knew I was sunk. Going “nylon commando” was not an option as I had neglected shaving … and tanning. So, I reluctantly drove on with the top band of my stocking now getting stuck on the gas pedal when suddenly, within a block of my interview, where no self-respecting store should be, stood- like my very own “beacon of hope” – a Dollar Store.  You know, where they have dollar knick knacks, dollar pet toys, dollar toothpaste and apparently, dollar pantyhose…two pair in a pack.

A speedy superhero-like change in my car, an unavoidable flash to a guy walking by my car window (you’re welcome) and I was on my way again.

And thus, I made it to my interview on time, answered questions brilliantly, with pantyhose securely in place, completely professional and positively no Bag Lady overtones whatsoever.

Or so I thought.

For, it wasn’t until after the interview, driving home in my car, I noticed the white cat fur confidently clinging to various parts my dark colored, interview appropriate dress.

Next time, perhaps I will get dressed at home.

Or, just bring a shopping cart to the interview.

For an update go here – Bag Lady Gets a Job

Destroy This Note After Reading

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I try to be home when my kids get home from school.  It is a time I enjoy, hearing about their day, getting the skinny on happenings at school and any drama ensuing.  But, on this particular occasion last week, I knew I would not be home until a few hours past when they had arrived home.  Therefore, being the responsible, sweet and awesome Mom I am (hey, somebody has to say it), I left them a few instructions for when they arrived home and a special after school snack.

Apparently, my husband felt my note needed a few additions.  He is just lucky I love a good laugh!

Cat Meets Fish

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My son recently got a fish for a pet – three guppy fish to be exact.  We decided it was no use actually naming them until we saw how our cat, Lulubelle, was going to embrace their existence and residence in our her house. Thus, a formal introduction was arranged.

Lulubelle paced around and around the bowl.

Sniffed the contents.

Looked wide eyed at the moving objects inside.

Batted at the glass.

Tested the water with a paw.

It was touch and go there for a while.

Would the poor defenseless fish actually survive our heartless, survival-of-the fittest cat?

And then it happened.

Lulubelle stuck her head into the bowl and…

… drank the water.

cat meets fish

I am thinking, in the end, she decided it was too much work for such a small prize.

Oh and probably, she was thirsty.

Besides, Take Out Delivery is just so much more convenient.

Word-Up: We’ve Got Big Balls

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Cat

As a Mom I am ready to embrace the teen years, more to the point, the boy-teen years.  Heck, I was born ready.  Well, not really.  Actually I was born pink & squishy…and bald.  Be that as it may,  growing up with three teenage brothers must have had some lasting effect – or damage.

So, here is what I have discovered recently.  Apparently, part of being baptized into male teen-dom involves the embracing and appreciation for all humor involving anatomical innuendo (honestly, for me this is not such a hardship).  At the current stage of development, we are heavily into Balls – sport balls, that is, and all implied.  Recently, I was schooled in the infinite innuendo possibilities for the word Balls.

I believe the introductory lesson went something like this:

Mom, you know, the word ball can be pretty funny.

Oh, really, how so?

Well, at baseball practice, say we are going out to warm up and one of the guys asks me “Do you have a ball?” and I will answer, “Yeah, I have two.”

And because the mind is a terrible thing to waste – well that and never being one to leave a good innuendo well enough alone -we brainstormed some more.

Try these on for size, no pun intended (ah, what the heck),  pun intended!.

Does anyone have a ballYeah, big ones

Does anyone have a ballWhat? You don’t?

Hey, grab a ball while you are over there. You’re sick!

Always keep your eye on the ball. aaawkwaaaabrd

Basketball players have big, orange balls.

Soccer players like to kick balls.

Football players have oddly shaped balls.

Baseball players have a lot of balls.

Golfers have little tiny balls.  (sorry golfers,  just  could not resist that one).

It is not a sport without any balls.

Can someone get me some balls, I don’t have any.

And lastly,

In sports, you have to get the balls a little sweaty.

Here I thought Poop would always be the funniest word in the English Language.  I guess I should have known the shift was coming, what with the whole Weenus debacle and all.

And, don’t even get us started on the word,  Nuts.

For more word abuse, check out these earlier posts!

Word-Up: Show Me Your Weenus

Word-Up:  Poop

Word-Up: Opus Anyone?

Word-Up: Get a Yob!