Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving and being thankful.

I wasn't feeling particularly festive as this Thanksgiving approached. Winterstorm Alfred left us without power and water for EIGHT days. During that time we lost Barney. I really thought he would live forever. I knew he was nearing the end and yet when it came I was completely unprepared. I know many shake their heads insisting he was just a dog. To me he was so much more. He was there for me for 12 years with a wag of a tail and a kiss. He was always happy to see me and always seemed to know when I was down and how to cuddle up next to me and make me feel better. He was here before my children. I still wake up surpirsed he's not here. Putting out our Christmas decorations of course I knew I would feel pangs of sadness as I pulled out his ornaments and stocking. He is back with us now and sits on the fireplace in his "gold package" cedar box. I miss him. Every day I look at where his bed was and I'm just a little sad. I am thankful that I had him for 12 years. I am thankful that I was with him at the end and I am thankful that he is no longer sick. I am thankful that I have Katya to cuddle now. I am thankful for a wonderful family and loving friends. I am thankful for all the blessings I have and they are so many. God has been good to me. Things are not always easy but I have so much more than most and at this time of year it is good to remind myself of that. So Barney love have fun at the rainbow bridge. God give him an extra cuddle for me and thank you for sharing him with me.

Thank you to my family and friends for sharing Thanksgiving with us. We had good laughs and a wonderful dinner prepared by so many hands. We could have held a bake sale with all the goodies we had. The first anual Black Friday lunch party was also so much fun. Olives will forever make me laugh :)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Operation Sale

Okay St. Joseph I'm waiting do your stuff! The house is officially on the market now for almost 3 weeks. Only 7 showings so far which our broker assures us is great in this market, really?

I hate this market!!!!

I know Daniella there is a chair for every ass so I'm looking for our proverbial BUTT!!!

But I suppose be careful what you wish for...where will we go and who will do the packing????

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Readying the house for sale has been a full-time job. Any one who visits right now feel free to open any cabinet, closet or drawer and you will find them all meticulously organized and neat. This has been hard work but the real work is in maintaining it. The only way to do that is to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. With school now out Christopher my human wrecking ball cannot be left in the house for any length of time without something getting un-organized. So I decided that I had no choice but to resign from the basement. I know you're all thinking that's what I wanted any way. Okay you know me so well--inside I was doing a happy dance. I had two weeks off while SHE was in the Cape on vacation. I had no intention of going into the basement alone or just with HIM because I know he had no vacation plans.

I procrastinated (it is me we're talking about) until Thursday (SHE'S due back Sunday). I call on her cell and SHE answers. I ask about her vacation only to find out SHE just got there the day before because SHE was so busy with work -- gulp. I then say in my sweetest voice "oh no I'm not going to make you happy then because I have to resign." SHE says "uhhh may I ask why." I know SHE was thinking it had something to do with Anthony and the computer work he did for them when SHE was less than professional. I tell her about the house and the kids, etc. and SHE says "I completely understand why don't you take the summer off and come back in the fall?" I am completely dumbfounded..."huh." So I am off for the summer and that makes me very happy now if I could get this house sold I would be over the MOON!!!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And now a report from the basement....

So operation healthy Alice continues although I must say it is more of a challenge than I like to admit. Old habits do die hard, unfortunately. So for now I'll keep silent on that front until I have something earth shattering to report....please don't hold your breath on this one!

Alas I have to share more basement escapades. First, have I mentioned it's a million dollar house? Yes, it is and yes she drives a lovely and expensive car and yes the girls go to private school but NOOOOOO they do not turn on the air-conditioning. It was 82 degrees in the basement today if any one cares. It was HOT!!!!

So both He and She were home this morning when I arrived. This always makes for a fun day for me. He goes outside to take a call (no cell service in the basement) and She proceeds to tell me that he has reached the end of his rope and wants to close the business and move to Florida. I'm seriously thinking that is what I want to do too, but decorum requires that I say "oh no what's going on?" He's feeling so much stress and it's getting to him. I do understand that feeling so I am sympathetic (really I am). So I mention that Anthony and I have decided to sell the McMansion and go into a much smaller home in a development where you can spit into your neighbor's windows. All our acreage is way overrated. She perks up...really where is this development? Really.... we're going to be neighbors. OMG I can't even imagine it??? I can see me as the one who is chasing the angels down the street trying to get them to go home for dinner. OIY.

Well as I walked up the stairs back out into the light of day today...I called down "if you're still here, I'll see you Friday."


Friday, May 6, 2011

Day Two and -- Friday at the Basement

Take that will-power! Today was day two of healthy Alice. I laced up my knock-off balance ball sneakers and away I went. I didn't go as far today, but I went faster. Today I was prepared. I had my healthy snack packed and I didn't go into any store. Yeah for me! So now my reward...cold savignon blanc.

I'm sure after my health update that you want to hear more of my basement escapades. I got to the basement at 9:30 this morning which is perfectly on-time. I march up the front walk-way and knock on the door and try to walk in because the door is usually open and the knock is just a courtesy. The door was locked. Mmmm I think, that's strange. I ring the bell and I hear a definite scamper of feet. This is odd. So I go around to the side of the house and peek in the garage. I'll bet you've never peeked in your office windows have you? Ah ha I see that only HIS car is in the garage. HERS is missing. I get back into the car and I call HER and there is no answer; I text and still no answer. So I decide as if I'm still in college and waiting for a late professor that I will wait 15 minutes and then leave. I was doing a little Friday happy dance in my head. Then I swear 14 minutes later the garage opens. It's HIM and he doesn't even try to fake surprise. He knew I was out there the whole time. I ask him if SHE wanted me to work today and HE just shrugs...seriously just shrugs. I then put on my professional hat and say well I'll just check my desk and see if SHE left anything if that's alright(of course). HE says go right ahead. Then HE leaves. Okay here I am in their house alone with well nothing I feel like doing. I figure out a few things to do and then HE comes back. Yikes I need to look busier. Meanwhile SHE texts me that SHE will be home in a bit. Whoo hoo can't wait. So in SHE comes like a hurricane (so cliche I know) with the two angels. SHE checks on me and then announces that the housekeeper has arrived (thus the screams from the angels)and SHE is off to get her hair done. The noise that ensued when SHE left was a caucaphony (always loved that word)of non-angelic sounds. Finally, it is 2:00 pm and I am on my way. I climb the stairs and emerge into the kitchen where I see one of the darlings sitting at the island being coaxed by the housekeeper to do her K*umon sheets. English is not this woman's first language but her eyes tell the story. Ridiculous and they don't pay me enough for this crap. I know, I feel you I say back with my eyes. Then the little cherub takes off and this woman chases her around the house. I just stood there watching--not believing what I was seeing. All the while HE was in the basement doing well I'm not really sure what. I yelled good bye have a good weekend and made my exit...Can't wait to go back on Monday-NOT!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gettin' Healthy

So I've decided to get in shape. Yes I know I've said it before but this time my goal is health rather than size. Hopefully, size will be a nice side effect of health, but only time will tell. Today is the day, I get up eat a small healthy breakfast, complete with fruit. Impressive eh? Then I laced up my balance ball bottom sneakers, drove (I know what you're thinking) to Main Street for a walk. I live on a vertical hill which would be a great work out but even my friends think it is over my fitness head. I thought about parking at the bottom and seeing how far I could get back up but decided against due to the embarrassment factor. I walked 1.6 miles -- not bad I think to myself. Please do not day I'll run a 5k really I will. Then in my infinite wisdom I decide to go to the local health food store. I needed to pick up some vitamin e oil for Julia's hands. So far so good where did it all go wrong? Well by this time it is 12:45 p.m. and my small healthy breakfast is long gone and I'm starving. Everything in the store looked good. Still I press on and I try to pick up only those things we need. I almost made it, sigh. On the way out I pass the ready-made counter, what could it hurt right? I promise to remain in control--NOT. So I decide to get myself a cup of soup, no harm in that. Yum, white bean soup. I ladle it out into the container and don't take the bread--good for me. Then I decide I should get a small container of the black eye pea salad. I'll have that later--again sadly NOT. I also get a package of organic lemon cookies--bad bad idea.

So the end result was I ate the soup, I ate the salad and a handful of cookies. The moral of this story is yes I should have the healthy breakfast, lace up my sneakers and take a walk and then go home and have lunch. I should NOT go to a food store when I'm hungry. I suppose I should know better and I should also know my weaknesses. I have NO willpower. At least I made some healthy choices and I found a cool app for my phone--cardio tracker thingy that will tell me how far I went and how fast I did it...very cool all while I'm listening to classic books on podcasts on my phone. Tomorrow again I will lace up those sneakers and do better -- really :)

Let's see how tomorrow goes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Will Captain Crunch Really Have to Walk the Plank?

Okay I admit it--I LOVE Captain Crunch especially with Crunchberries. If only Crunchberries had the same antioxidant properties as the acai berry. Thinking about Captain Crunch makes me happy and makes me think of childhood. It reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons and times when life was simple.

I'm older now and I know a thing or two about nutrition so I know that Captain Crunch is not a super-food. I know it has a lot of sugar and I know that I should eat a breakfast with less sugar, more fiber and protein. Yet the thought of a world without Captain Crunch makes me sad.

I haven't had a box of Captain Crunch in my house in, well I can't remember the last time. If however I find out that I can't get it any more I will be seriously upset. Neither of my kids have ever tried it. Neither of them have ever had the roof of their mouths cut up by eating too much Captain Crunch. This in my view prevents any one from eating too much Captain Crunch. How many other foods can say that?

So here it is I don't eat it any more, but I will be seriously annoyed if I can't eat it any more. Does that make any sense?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What is THAT in the dryer?

There was a time when my home was spotless top to bottom and I kept it that way with only an occasional gripe from my dear husband. I'll call him "Peter." He would grumble a bit after I created meticulously straight lines across the carpet about how he was to get to the couch without leaving a mark. "So do I need to be Peter Pan?" he would ask. I truly wished he could--I loved those straight lines. Well that was then, ahhh the easy, pre-small boy days. Don't get me wrong, I love my son, but he has forced me to re-think cleaning, and to come up with easy and inventive solutions I never thought I would need! I'll bet most of you have no idea how to get gum out of your dryer barrel, or sharpie off your furniture, or burnt on popcorn stains out of the microwave, and yes, I know how to get rid of pee on any surface!

So just in case you need to know I'll share a few of my favorite tips.

One morning you open your dryer and aarrrggghhhh gum. Not just the wrappers or an unopened pack but ooey gooey gum all over your dryer barrel. Panic sets in -- a new dryer is just not in the budget. Hold tight my fellow Moms there is a solution! Take a deep breath and look to your dryer sheet. Any brand will do. Grab a few, wet them, and lean into the sticky mess. Believe it or not the sheet will remove the gum. You will stand up and think to yourself, I am a hero and I fixed the dryer! The gum has been obliterated.

Just when you think you've saved your home from the small offender you look at your kitchen counter and see "oh no a SHARPIE lid and no marker." Hyperventilating, you look on the ground around the kitchen and then to your son happily coloring at your uncovered kitchen table. Aaaaaarggghhhhh please my perfect little offspring are you using the washable Crayola markers??? Those innocent eyes look up, holding that beautiful stick drawing of”our family Mommy." My heart swells and then skips a beat -- black Sharpie! I remembered when I volunteered in preschool, a teacher handing another teacher a can of men's shaving cream and the marker on the tables mysteriously disappearing. I race up to the bathroom and return with a can of "sensitive skin" cream--oh well it will have to do. I spray it all over the offending stains. I sing to myself; remark to my son on how great we look in the portrait and secretly pray that the marker is gone when I wipe. I pick up a generous amount of paper towel and wipe, and I expel my breath, it worked!!!

Burnt popcorn is the demise of many a microwave both at home and in offices around the country. I must admit that this was my faux pas. The sensor on our microwave has never worked properly so I'm not quite sure why I believed when I hit "popcorn" that it would actually cook my popcorn perfectly. I left the room--big mistake. When I returned black smoke the likes of which I have never seen in my kitchen was pouring out of the microwave. I opened it and grabbed the smoldering bag which I quickly tossed outside to try to minimize the smoke. I then opened all the doors and turned on the stove vent--what a mess. The inside of the microwave was dark brown. It was gross and I believed ruined. I tried all the standard microwave cleaning methods, boiling water inside, lemon, baking soda, scrubbing pad and spray cleaners. Nothing would remove the staining. I was so irritated. I then turned to my computer and someone suggested nail polish remover. I have to admit I was skeptical. Memories of spilling it on my night-table in my bedroom as a young teenager and my mother's reaction came flooding back to me. I knew that nail polish remover can damage finishes but at this point the microwave was ruined. I grabbed the bottle and some cosmetic pads and it worked. It actually removed the staining. I stood in my kitchen doing just a little happy dance. I can't say that the smell is completely gone but it is much better and usable. I'm still working on a solution to get rid of the smell. I let you know when I find one--better than the vinegar solution which I don't think works.

Now my most ridiculous problem. My son is not a straight shooter. Please don't hold it against him but just know that he misses the bowl more than he hits it. The smell of pee nearly knocked me out in his bathroom. I tried everything. I tried all the traditional cleaning products, including those formulated for pets and nothing worked. The smell took on a life of its own. I'll admit I have a ridiculous olfactory sense. I smell everything! The only product I have ever found that completely removed any traces of dirty public restroom is Don Aslett's XO. I swear by the stuff. It has a funky smell when you first spray it but after a bit it destroys the offending odor and leaves nothing in its stead. I LOVE this product. We recently adopted a rescue puppy and it was a lifesaver. No one would ever know she had a few accidents in the house. It is one of my favorite all time products. I've had to mail order it but it is worth it. It comes concentrated and you mix it into a spray bottle with water so a little goes a long way. I keep a spray bottle in my son's bathroom at ALL times.

So my friends I hope if you ever face any of these issues you will now relax and know exactly what to do. My beautiful boy is a source of so much joy but as we all know he is incredibly busy. Every day I have more dilemmas and more solutions to find. I'm becoming quite the expert...Move over Heloise, Alice has an 8 year old son, 10 year old daughter, one husband, two dogs and a water turtle...I know things!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Not Politically Correct in 2011

So I've made just one resolution this year and that is, drum roll, to no longer be politically correct. The older I get the more I realize that opinions matter and that there is no need for political correctness. Our country was founded on the basic premise of equal rights and I'm not quite sure when the masses forgot what that means. People what that means is my opinion is okay. I don't have to agree with you (boy am I glad I don't).

The new political correctness is creating the most intolerant group of people in history. Children are no longer exposed to anything that might potentially offend them. So I ask (rhetorically of course) how are they supposed to have any original ideas? Have we descended so far into this vanilla (a/k/a liberal) society that we don't remember how to have a respectful disagreement?

In grade school I was a Hanukkah candle for a school holiday presentation. Could that happen any where but a Jewish school today--no. That was the year I learned about the festival of lights and what it is celebrating. So I know what my Jewish friends are doing on those nights. I'll offer a little secret -- I wasn't offended, scarred, swayed or anything negative in the experience. Instead I can fully wish my friends a Happy Hanukkah and know what I am saying.

Our schools allow no mention of the holidays we are celebrating in December except the new year. That's it...any parties are festooned in snowmen (not even blue snowflakes lest a reference to Hanukkah). We have Secret Snowflake Fairies (living on the edge there--potential homosexual reference)instead of Secret Santa. Honestly, does it really matter.

Every time I see some idiot fighting against saying the Pledge of Allegiance I want to vomit. History is important both for failures and successes. The ability to reject the Pledge has every thing to do with what the Pledge represents. Are people that stupid?

Should we all agree on the leadership in the White house? For the record, I do not agree, but I respect the office. This particular Commander is making it difficult but I love this country and our system works when we allow it.

Things have gotten crazier and crazier in this country. We don't stand up for any thing of substance. We stand up for not standing up. We allow feelings to trump rights and that's just wrong. Having your feelings hurt is not the same thing as having your rights violated people.

Most importantly, we have lost sight as a country of how lucky we are. People are still dying to get here (literally). The crimes against humanity in other countries are beyond most Americans' comprehension. We are living in a fool's paradise. We have truly forgotten what it takes to be great. We have forgotten that in most other places you are not allowed to speak against the government, disagree with policy, be and do what you want. This is a right that is so important to protect and political correctness is a big threat to those rights...think about it.

Do one thing this year. Stand up for what you believe in and don't worry about offending any one--NO MORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!

And because I'm allowed my opinion WTF is Kwanza?