Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week

This is Holy Week, the most glorious week in the Church year.

In honor of such, and in the spirit of sacrifice and family, I am observing a break from all media. No blogging, no Facebook, no Word Challenge. (I'll still check my email from time to time though.)

Have a happy & joyous Easter!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Count on it

A warning to D & K: I'm about to go off on your favorite four-legged member of the J family. But she deserves it.

Three, no, FOUR things that consistently happen when a major holiday is right around the corner that will necessitate us boarding The Dog:

  1. Mr. J will have to be out of town on business at least one night which means I am on 24/7 dog n' kid duty.
  2. A lizard will get into the house. Even if the freezing winter here has drastically reduced their population, the hardy survivors continue to make valiant attempts to find their way indoors.
  3. One or both kids will have about 23,000 things going on, a major test, and/or a fight with their so-called best friend.
  4. The Dog will develop a sudden and disgusting illness that will include any or all of the following: sudden diarrhea, total incontinence, unexplained vomiting, a giant hotspot, stinky fur.
Items 1-3 I can handle on my own, because I am a Mom, and everyone knows Mom can do anything. Item number 4 is the kicker.

I came downstairs Thursday morning in the midst of my tightly scheduled and highly efficient morning routine that allows us to get out the door to school. I was immediately assaulted by a crying doggy and the most foul sinus-clearing stench ever. At first glance it seemed that every corner of the wood floor (Praise God we don't - and never will - have carpet) was covered with some type of doggy-related accident. On second glance it was just the downstairs loo, the fireplace hearth, both doorways, behind the couch and on our old upstairs sunroom rug, which was enjoying what turned out to be a very short-lived trial run in the Awkward Front Window area of the living room.

Let it be known that I have very little compassion for any creature that consistently befouls my living area(s) resulting in me on my hands & knees employing my holy trinity of cleaning products. Plus there is no obvious reason for her doing this: she is not allowed outside unsupervised anymore; she hasn't been to a dog park; she didn't eat anything crazy off the kitchen floor.

So now I'm trapped at home, afraid to leave her because I don't want her to mess all over everything again. And worse, I will either have to take her to the vet where they will immediately want to run $1800 worth of tests on her and provide her with 45 days worth of medicine that I will have to give her three times a day, 'cause I don't have anything better to do with my time or money OR I will have to omit fudge the truth outright LIE when I board her and say she is fine or they probably won't let her in without the aforementioned $1800 of tests and meds. I will bet that we had a large part in funding the vet's office renovation last year. As long as Fizz lives they have a guaranteed income source.

Disclaimer: Lest you think I am a heartless, careless, irresponsible dog owner, please note that she does this roughly once a month. If she was having one of her pancreatitis attacks we would recognize those symptoms immediately and get her to the vet. All this other stuff is, I believe, largely psychosomatic and no tests have EVER conclusively pointed to a cause. And we have spent untold thousands testing her. And there is never anything wrong.

Okay. I've vented. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm dreaming of....

Spring fever! After this long, cold-for-Florida, damp winter I'm ready for some spring sunshine. It's finally warming up during the days and I'm thinking our house might just break into the 70s this week! Yay! Soon I'll be complaining about the heat and the a/c and our horrendous electricity bills, but for now I'm enjoying the moment and loving the beautiful weather.

A few things on my mind for Spring:

1) Iced tea
2) Limes! Limes! Limes!
3) Angel food cupcakes (on my to do list as soon as Lent is over)
4) Lounging on the porch
5) Homemade granola
6) Fresh cut flowers for the house
7) Spring cleaning the closets
8) Getting out the warm weather linens and packing away the down comforter
9) New swimsuits for everyone
10) Picnic breakfasts at the beach

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life skills

Ten (Random) Things That My I Will Make Sure My Kids Know Before They Leave Home:

10) How to cook a chicken
9) The importance of dental health
8) How to balance a checkbook
7) How to make a budget & a savings plan
6) How to make cookies
5) How to wash the dishes
4) How to ride public transportation
3) How to write a real letter (on paper!)
2) How to shop in a grocery store without loading the cart with processed food and junk
1) Families are forever!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Got milk? Goat milk!

My BIL & SIL in Kansas just opened an online store for their wonderful, homemade, handmade, all-natural, amazing goat's milk soap! And get this: every bar is made with real goat's milk from their very own goats. We were lucky enough to receive a package of soap (and equally amazing body butter and shaving soap) for Christmas this year and I can totally attest to their amazing moisturizing properties. You will truly never want to use store bought soap again. And if dry skin is an issue, like it is for me, your skin will never look or feel better!

They get a FIVE STAR recommendation from this beauty product addict!

Go check 'em out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Toy takeover

I don't really need further proof that the kids' toys have taken over the house, but I will say that my favorite vase is now being used as a "garbage chute" for Anders' Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and C3PO toys.

That is, until I buy some Gerbera Daisies and reclaim it. Luke, Han & Co. will have to find somewhere else to play.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweet land of liberty

Wake UP America. Mr. J and I are watching breathlessly as the Government attempts to take over the American health care system. It is sickening.. the shenanigans, back-door deals, meaningless promises and utter corruption of the great American legislative process. Meanwhile, we will have a health care bill shoved down our throats that will most likely bankrupt the American economy and, in the process, create a whole new class of institutionalized entitlements unlike anything this country has ever seen.

Nice, huh? Not exactly change that I can believe in.

The brilliant Alcee Hastings (D-FL) said it best: "There are no rules. They're making it up as they go along." What more do you expect from an impeached federal judge who now sits on the House Rules Committee. That's just one example of the fine leadership the Democratic party has shown this week.

Next up for this Government:
1) Health care
2) Immigration "reform"
3) Education
4) Gun control
5) Term limits (mark my words)
6) Media control?


Friday, March 19, 2010


It's Live Oak Pollen Season here in sunny Florida. I long to open the windows and let in the fresh air, the sunshine and the warmth. I am afraid to also let in the dreaded yellow-green Death Dust.

Since I hate all Rx allergy meds -- no one here needs a repeat of my severe ALLERGIC reaction to Claritin (seriously. do you know anyone who is allergic to allergy meds?) -- I take regular ol' OTC Children's Benadryl. Grape Meltaways, to be specific. One first thing in the a.m., one at noon if needed, one right before bed. It doesn't make me woozy, takes the edge off the symptoms AND I get a real good night's sleep.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yes, please!

I've got a Brownie meeting, gymnastics, furniture shopping and a whole bunch of nothin' on the menu today.

But I did see THIS over at Summer is a Verb:

I think I'm in love. Cake Monkey. Have I mentioned that I. Love. Cake. Drroooool.

Sorry about the weird and random caption at the top of the photo. Don't let it distract you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three more days!!

Liberty of London at Target opens Sunday....I'm so excited! I'm stalking the Targets in the area today to try to guess who is going to have the best selection:


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I bit the bullet

Tired of my un-pretty utilitarian wardrobe.

I just placed my first order for some Boden dresses. And, I can't believe it, but I also ordered a TUNIC. What?! There may be no item of clothing ever invented that is less "me" than a tunic. But I was sucked in by the print, the colors and how easy it looked to just throw on with some great sandals and GO. (This summer, that is. Still cold now.)

I'd never have done it 'cept they've got free returns in case I look as ridiculous as I've always imagined I might in a tunic.

Need to lie down now.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Give me Liberty!

March 14 is the opening date for Liberty of London at Target!

Teapots, cute plates, and ohmygravy, did you see the BIKE? I don't even ride and I want one.

Liberty prints are some of my very favorite in the whole world, as far as prints go. Yay!

Friday, March 05, 2010

What I should be doing

I should be....
  • Vacuuming
  • Weeding and pruning our pitiful yard
  • Finishing the laundry, of course
  • Cleaning out our master sunroom
  • Organizing the Girl Scout stuff which is starting to take over the laundry room
  • Cleaning the bathrooms
  • Baking some bread for this weekend
  • Washing the MomMobile
  • On my way to the Mall to buy a new Sunday- best dress (I can tell you right now that I'm NOT going to do this and that I already know I'll be so angry at myself come Sunday morning when I want to wear a pretty dress and all I'll have is my black dress pants that I've been wearing all winter anyway.)
Instead I'm making batches of lemon, lime and orange curd. Our fridge is full of yummy tangy citrus curds, homemade Irish Cream and Girl Scout cookies. And asparagus. The first of the asparagus was in this week and I am SUCH a sucker for it. I love lightly steamed asparagus dipped into soft-boiled eggs. Or w/ a poached egg and thick cut bacon on a homemade English muffin topped w/ hollandaise. Or tossed with penne, gorgonzola and a little lemon juice. Or grilled with a little garlic oil.

I could go on and on. But someone's got to vacuum.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


I just bought these jeans:

They are by Kut from the Kloth at Nordstroms - my most favorite brand of jeans ever. I already have a pair of their regular straight leg jeans and they are even better than Levis. They have the perfect rinse, stretch, rise, etc.

The ever-helpful sales staff at Nordies spent hours with me (and entertaining Anders) while I tried on jean after jean looking for the perfect comfy pair to replace my aging Ralph Lauren jeans which are so saggy-baggy-washed-out that they might as well be sweatpants. They finally sold me on these K.F.T.K. "boyfriend jeans" -- they are a great dark wash, nice straight leg and soooo comfortable! The only problem is that they are made to be worn with the leg slightly rolled up, which I normally never do. I've been wearing these with t-shirts and cardigans, but what shoe is best? Ballet flats? Sandals? Espadrilles? Wedge heel? ANYTHING but sneakers, which I detest. Advice?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bucket list

My little sis just completed her first marathon. Way to go D! What an accomplishment!

Made me think though... what have I accomplished lately? Have I put my heart into anything? Gone all out? Can't remember..... so I think not! It's easy to brush it off as part of being a mom to young kids (although lots of moms to young kids run marathons). Then there is my excuse that Mr. J works very long hours, and is often called away suddenly since he's at the mercy of the court system. It makes it hard to plan things except for waaaay in advance or schedule large blocks of "me" time. I also don't have any children old enough to babysit so any time away from home usually involves sitters. I tried to get active playing tennis in the evenings at a local club, but after a month or so, it just got too hard to schedule or predict Mr. J's schedule. And I couldn't justify hiring a sitter (plus picking up, taking home) for me to play tennis for an hour in the evening.

As for actually going anywhere.. HAH! The law is a harsh mistress. Defense attorneys are all about billable hours, so vacations and trips can only be taken once your billables are secure (NOT the case with Mr. J's firm this year -- or a lot of defense firms in general in this economy).

That said, I've formulated a short "bucket" list of things I'd like to do (preferably with Mr. J and/or other family members) in the next 7 years:

  • Safari in Botswana - note, I don't NEED to do an Abercrombie & Kent trip, although that would be nice, no? I do want to go to Botswana because 1) it's family friendly, 2) it's a relatively politically stable country and 3) Okavango Delta & Victoria Falls!
  • Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage - while probably the most affordable and least physically taxing item on my bucket list, it's also the most far-fetched. Why?Because it's a 30 day pilgrimage so the kids would most likely NOT come along. So I would need someone to watch them for a whole month. Yeep.
I set a goal of 7 years because I'd really like to do these things before I turn the big 5-0. Mr. J and I think it is HILARIOUS that we'll qualify for AARP before Anders is even in middle school.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


On the upside, the prolonged cold weather has meant my seasonal live oak pollen allergies have been delayed! Maybe until June!

Our church/school Festival is March 11 -14 -- I hope we have great weather by then!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Do I need them? Do I want them?

Do you like Anthropologie? I do! Their clothes are so very pretty! The dresses and skirts are beautiful! But I can't really wear their clothes. I'm a bit over their target market's age (and, ahem, size) and also their clothes could be best described as romantic and whimsical, two things which I totally am not. Sporty and tailored? Check. Practical and comfy? Sure! Plain and jane? Yup. But ruffles, tiers and sheer make me look crazy. So I do a lot of lookie-looing to see what I would buy there if I were 5'9 and 115 lbs. (or if I were my dear sis Jenn who-- being tall, slim and FANCY-- looks FABULOUS in their clothes) but I've never even considered buying anything.

But their housewares? Oh. My. Gravy. They are to die for. I love them all! I guess I AM romantic and whimsical when it comes to housewares. Especially:

Orquidea tea set

Fleur de lys dinnerware

Cockatoo cocktail napkins (oh whatver, I'm just going to order these right now!)

Preening teapot

Nile delta tumbler

Fleur de lys tea cup & saucer

Birdwatcher dessert plates

Plus, pretty much any and all of their linens and those whimsical plates with the octopi and owls. So cool. Maybe I'll sell all my current stuff (8 place settings of Pflatzgraff and 10 settings of Pottery Barn Emma) and go romantic and whimsical for Spring!

And their bed & bath collection? Swoon.