Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Gift That Keeps on Giving


I love to laugh.  I don’t believe this could possibly be a secret to anyone.  Lets face it, the internet is filled with funny, ridiculous stuff always ready to give a good laugh (or cry).  But, every once in a while, I come across those items that make me laugh not once, not twice,  but over and over again. I  keep track of these little gems for times when a laugh is desperately needed…like, on a daily basis. I refer to them as the gifts that keep on giving.

The other day, my son was having a bad day.  Why?  Well, because he is a teen and some days are just like that.  So I searched out one of my recent favorite gems.

“Hey, Teen, come here and watch this with me.”

“Why, I’ve already seen that one.”

“I know, come anyway.”

A few minutes and several views later, with laughing tears streaming down our faces, life did not seem so bad.

Good even.

That, is a gift.

Here is my gift to you.

Love, Sweet Spot

Pajama Party at The Post Office


pajamas in public

I have one really big personal rule – I never go anywhere in public wearing pajamas!  Not on a coffee run, for a quick school drop off, on an airplane, to the bank, grocery store, pet store, DMV and nope, not even to Wal Mart (even though I would be so not alone there).

However, rules were made to be broken, right?

To truly understand my story of rebellion, though, you must first grasp the workings and plight of the small town post office.

In my town, many of the residents only option for receiving mail is to collect it at an assigned P.O. Box inside the small town post office building.  It is not such a bad system.  I can collect my mail from the combination box during business hours, or even later as the door to where the boxes are located is left unlocked into the evening.  However, the boxes are small, and well ancient

Don't I belong in a museum somewhere?

Don’t I belong in a museum somewhere?

and thus any item bigger than the standard letter must be collected from an actual person, at the window, during Post Office business hours.

So here inlays the problem -the plight of the small town Post Office, or should I say, the slow extinction.  In order to cut losses (and pay for Michele’s new bangs), the independent government agency responsible for U.S. Mail is slowly whittling down and closing small town post offices (which makes people mad, and let me just tell you, this is not a good idea -‘cause country folk have guns, and lots of beef). Anyway, in a move one step closer to closing altogether, my small town post office hours of operation were recently reduced to only 9am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday and 7am to 9am on Saturday.  I think you see the problem.  You can pretty much forget about ever getting packages again unless you are out of work, too old to work, playing hooky from work, or allergic to work.

And this is where my situation stood last Saturday.  My post office was holding hostage several of my packages that had come in during the week, which since I don’t fall into any of the above categories, (although I am seriously lobbying for the allergy angle), I was unable to collect during the limited business hours.  Thus on Saturday, when I awoke at 8:45 am (15 minutes before post office closing) the idea occurred to me to break my long standing pajamas in public rule.  As I jumped out of bed and threw on my coat, I reasoned “how bad could it be?”  The postal lady knows me and will surely excuse my break with decorum showing up in rumpled pajamas.  But just to be on the safe side, I donned dark glasses on the cloudy morning in the attempt to hide my bare face, draw attention away from my pjs/ bed head, and protect from the traumatization of small children, old people and stray dogs I may encounter along the way.

When I arrived at the Post Office just prior to closing, I quickly stepped to the window trying my best to hide inside my coat and behind my glasses, ready to make a joke at my own expense, get my packages and steal away home.  But, to my surprise and horror, the clerk was NOT the familiar face I expected to laugh with me about my public pj exposure (which I suddenly realized looked disturbingly like long underwear – Beverly Hillbillies here I come!).  No, the postal clerk was new, a guy, someone I had never seen before who was surely wondering what side of the bed I had just rolled out of (um, the left?) and why I was all Corey Hart wearing my “sunglasses at night.”

But, nonetheless, I wanted my packages. So, I quickly formulated a new plan –  grab my packages quickly, keep my head down, and run out the door. Then maybe, just maybe, the new postal clerk guy would not recognize me if we chanced to meet in public later when I actually had clothes on… and mascara.

But then, before I could even put my new plan into action, the new postal clerk guy blurted out excitedly as he handed me my packages…

“HEY!  You live at 467 Smith Street?!!!” 

“Um, Yeah” I answered with trepidation.  Was he sending the fashion police to my house?  Stacy and Clinton? The Moms Who Have Let Themselves Go Intervention Team?

 “I’m your new neighbor!  I move in next week!”

Some rules were just not meant to be broken.

Like, ever.

“We Got to Let Love Rule”

Accademia Bridge

The Love Locks – Venice, Italy

I think I may have mentioned we were in Italy last November (I promise to shut up about it after this post, maybe).  But one day, walking across the Accademia Bridge in Venice, my sons and I noticed rows of padlocks lining the hand rail up and down the bridge. We were intrigued (‘cause what is cooler than a bunch of unexplained hardware on a historic landmark?) On closer inspection, we discovered the locks were inscribed with names and sentiments of love – which I found adorable, and my boys found just plain embarrassing for the poor schmucks involved.  As we began to notice these locks secured on other historic bridges around Venice, including the famous Rialto Bridge, our curiosity grew.

And thus, through deep investigation (aka google search) we were able to solve the mystery of what we found out was called The Love Locks.

So, this Valentine’s day, if you want to say I Love You Italian-style, here is how it is done.

Accademia Bridge - Venice, Italy

Accademia Bridge – Venice, Italy

1.  Choose a romantic and/or historic bridge as depicted in the 2006 novel responsible for the current craze, “I Want You” by Italian author Federico Moccia. The preferred romantic locations seem to be in Italy – Rome, Venice, and Florence – although bridges in other countries such as Ireland, Germany, France, Canada and Russia seem to qualify as well due to the locks massively appearing.  Heck, a bridge anywhere will probably do the trick.

The Love Locks

2.  Get a padlock. Go fancy by engraving it with the name/initials of you and your lover and maybe some gooey sentiments.  Or do a poor man’s version by hand writing names and message of everlasting amour on your padlock (sharpie , nail polish, whatever is handy).  Then lock the padlock onto a historic/romantic bridge and throw the padlock key into the canal or body of water while thus swearing eternal love and devotion to one another.

But pay heed to #3…

The Love Locks2

3.  Seriously, here is the most important part, so don’t zone out yet.

Once you have put your lock into place and thrown the key into the water, run like Willie Nelson from the IRS!  You see, the truth is, putting the locks on the historic bridges is, in many places illegal due to the fact that they are considered by some to be an eyesore and also damage the old stone on the famous bridges as the locks begin to rust.  Getting caught locking your love to a bridge could be accompanied by a heavy fine, and in some cases, jail time (um, you have seen Midnight Express, right?).  All in the name of love.

However, don’t despair because…

The Love Locks3

While it is true that your padlock of eternal love could end up victim to massive bolt cutters in the night by authorities cleaning up and protecting the historic bridge (making the whole eternal thing a little less everlasting), there is still hope.  In true love Italian-style, authorities have in some places near or on the preferred historic bridges begun to install fences or special bars on which to hang the locks of love legally, without damaging the bridges.

You know what they say (or, well,  Lenny Kravitz says it – which is good enough for me),

“We Got to Let Love Rule!”

Happy Valentines Day from Sweet Spot!

Other Valentines Day Posts: True Love By Way of a Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

I Once Had an Awkward Moment, Just to See What it Was Like


dos equis guy

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Have you ever asked your kids this question?

When my boys were little, I would ask the question and get cute, dream-big answers such as; “an astronaut”, “a fireman”, “Tim Lincecum” (um – without the weed?), “rich”, “anything that does not require college” (there goes that whole ‘rich’ idea).

But when my boys reached a certain age, it became ‘uncool’ to answer this question and my inquiry into their future plans was met with blank stares, I don’t knows, or scary answers meant to silence me from asking the question ever again such as “the garbage man” or “a guy who mutters to himself”. It worked.  I quit asking.

But, last weekend, as we were driving around in the car,  Pre-teen,out of the clear blue sky (which is where he likes to draw ideas from) exclaimed,

“Being an ice cream tester would be a cool job”

And that was when I had one of those brilliant Mom moments aimed at tapping into the illusive psyche of my Pre-teen and Teen.  Ok, well it may have been my only instance of brilliance to date. Be that as it may, I quickly jumped into pre-teen’s musings.

“Really?  What other jobs do you think would be really cool?”

And without hesitation, Teen and Pre-Teen, in complete and full agreement with one another (thus the 8th Wonder of the World was established), fired off for me a list of their ideal and sought after cool jobs (and various accompanying colorful comments).  As follows and in the order they were given to me:

Video Game Tester

Super-Model Photographer (“Now there is a job you wouldn’t mind working over-time!”)

Sports Announcer

Body Guard for an Actor (“Someone cool and funny – like Johnny Depp”. I sense some possible perks for Mom here.)

Secret Service

Bouncer (“’Cause, you know, you get to be all buff and stuff”)

Any type of Professional Athlete except Curling (unmovable they were on this point of specification)

Olympic Athlete

Monster Truck Driver


Gun Designer (what can I say; we live in the country…)

Scientist for Black Cat Fireworks (not placing a whole lot of value on protruding body parts)

Car Tester (I didn’t have the heart to break it to them, crash test dummies pretty much have that job all sewn up)

And lastly, of course what all kid must want…or maybe it is just mine,

The Actor in “The most interesting man in the world” Dos Equis Commercials

And here, was the end of Teen and Pre-teen’s list of future aspirations.  Really, though, where else does one go from there?

Surely, as a Mom,  I am so proud.

And in some cases, possibly a little sorry I asked.