Thursday, January 31, 2008


Yep - I'm day 4 of no computer. It had the blue screen of death on Saturday evening and is now in shambles awaiting my DS to put it all back together. We're all having withdrawl, and I must admit my house is getting pretty clean. I've lost all my files, too many pictures and all my favorite places! I'm at my Mom's getting a bit of a blog & message board fix. I feel lost.

In a moment of insanity, I've tackled & rearranged my craft room. It was baaaaaaaaaad. I'm lost in a pile of my junquey treasures, pictures, fabric, adhesives...

Send scones. And lemon curd.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

then & now

Olivia's been sick. It's January. I've been sick. It's been 7 degrees here on too many occasions lately. They're bored. I'm bored. And feeling like the world is passing me by as I lounge around in sweats, sipping TheraFlu. We're BORED.

One sure fire way to prevent the doldrums of winter- Dress up. Bring out the tiaras, feather boas, and assorted hats and purses... like this scrapbook page I did from another day just like this in January 2005.

And here's Liv in January 2008. She ran around in a leotard, tutu, faux leopard hat and broken umbrella for days. No need to explain bad luck to this 4 year old. She ain't buying it.

And I'm ready to get some serious scrapbooking under way. The room's almost clean. (At least by my, not so high, standards!) And the girls each did 3 pages last week. I may need to catch-up...Suddenly stuck in the house is sounding a bit better.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Yep, that's ice

And it's coming from inside. 'Cause when the water came on from the frozen lines, we didn't realize right away that the drain was also frozen. Until I heard a melody of rain on the tin roof. Only we don't have a tin roof and this was water pouring from the 3rd floor, through the ventilation system, into the storage area of the basement.

Ahhhhh January - frozen pipes, water damage, space heaters, plumbers & insurance claims.

We've been there before. This is actually mild compared to the water damage of January 1999. One little gem of advice - don't turn off the heat if you're selling a townhouse in January in PA and closing the deal that same week, unless you can handle your unit bursting at the seams and flooding 5 more units. While we slept soundly miles away at our new house.

This time, I stopped a catastrophic event by explaining to the DH that he was warming the gas line, not a water line, into the dryer with a portable space heater. And that is not a good thing.

So, I can't decide if I'm battling an ear infection, or Liv's Strep. And my kiddos' minds have been turned to Disney slush as I left them in charge of the remote on this school holiday.

Hope you'all are faring much better than we are here.

Healthy Warm & Toasts Wishes coming your way...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Romance 101

Bombarded by thoughts of chocolate covered strawberries, love letters tucked under my pillow, and tiny boxes of bling. Suck-er. That's me. I am a total victim of the glossy magazine ads and the TV commercials with the music leading up to the guy presenting a big 'ole bauble. Swoon. I want it.

I read a lot of trashy romance novels at a rather young age - which leads me to ask "what was my mom thinking?!" I've waited for my sullen pirate to ravish me, only to turn out to be the handsome and rich and attentive prince... sigh. You know the rest of that fairy tale!

I've had some near-misses with that kind of passion. Heck, I spent a decade chasing it.

My high school boyfriend - and first love - set the standard pretty high - heartfelt letters that are still tied in ribbons along with carefully pressed flowers, candle lit dinners and sincere promises for a remarkable future made with tears and a tiny diamond ring. I was 17 and thought that was the norm. He is the one that got away, only because I sent him away. And, as you may expect he went on to have that life without me. He offered to be the prince without all the agony and hype - surely that wasn't real.

My wedding at 18 years old (what was I thinking?) was complete with
a sense of doom and disaster, and many people crying real tears, surely he was my pirate. Actually he was a cad. At the very least. And I'm sure his 4th wife agrees.

I've had candle lit dinners at sunset overlooking spectacular views, a limo drive to a country inn (now that would've been nice, had that guy not got carsick!), many boxes of lingerie with satin bows, dozens & dozens of pink roses and teddy bears delivered to my office, romantic walks under the stars and on beaches, evenings with firelight and snow falls, promises and offers... all made by men whom for whatever reason, were all hype and no substance. You know the ones that fizzle out like they had a 3 month expiration date?

My husband and I have been together for almost 12 years, married for almost 10. He's not a romantic guy. His cards have always been humorous and, more than likely, have some thought of sex in there too, lest I forget about it. He hasn't whisked me away for many romantic dinners, and flowers are usually given with a sheepish apology. He's safely off the hook at buying cards as he can send the girls to the craft room and bribe them to make me something that will melt my heart (and he's right). His gifts for me are rather sensible, and sometimes funny - Lane Bryant "rock star" undies for Christmas.

So, I'm left with my own romantic thoughts - of my husband who lets me sleep while he leaves for work, and to awaken to the waiting pot of coffee. A man who goes to work everyday, without fail or excuse. It doesn't seem like much, but back in the day, I dated a few men who had too much money handed to them and not enough ambition to get their own real lives. My husband is not my pirate, nor my prince. Ours isn't a story they'll write books about, but there's something to be said for a comfortable & secure life. I bought him Sarris' chocolate and the four of us will be having a nice dinner in the dining room, maybe candlelight because the DDs will be thrilled and amazed. He's bringing them flowers. Now that melts my heart.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sweet Dreams

Well, I didn't make the wine crate (I may have had some of the wine, of course!) And I didn't make the chenille and doilies, but I rescued them from the thrift store. And used them until they became humble cutters. The bit of lace at the bottom was made by my Gramm and reminds me of the afghans that she made us all.

I had some scrap wood in the basement, and some trim off of an old frame that I stuck in my craft room with some future purpose in mind. Viola! A bunch of junquey treasures, bits & pieces came together to make a charming cottage bed, don'tcha think?

Can't wait 'til C returns home from school!

If you see the tooth fairy...

Of course, you won't actually see her, whatever was I thinking?

I just wanted to remind her to come back and TAKE the tooth with her tonight. Just leaving $5.00 will not satisfy a six year old. It will cause drama and anguish.

In addition to an email, we will leave her a note this evening telling her that it is not a new tooth, even though Cathrynn has several loose ones, but the same one from last night, so she doesn't leave more money, which would not be fair.

Santa doesn't have these issues. She needs to get her act together. There is no excuse for such sloppy work.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And these are the days of MY life, here in la-la land...

I wish I could tell you that I've spent the last few lazy days reading quietly and sipping tea.
Instead I didn't even get to watch Jane on Sunday! I'm home with a sick kiddo. But what school-kid-age mom isn't in January? Liv picked up some dear old strep germs last week - either at preschool or Walmart. If it was Walmart, they were the super-duper fast acting variety that had her losing it by the time we hit the deli. Nothing clears a path to the restroom faster than a 4 year old shrieking "my head hurts and I have to PEE". Yeah, half way through my deli order.

So, I'm home with her. And an 8 pack of Poptarts. Yeah. I'm my worst enemy. I should have just thrown myself in front of the train and bought the big box of Lucky Charms too. So, my internal talks - or as my friends may call them - the voices in my head - are complete with Rain Man circles past and back to the pantry. So far, so good. I've stuck to the WW Core ALL freaking day, 'cept for the Starbucks treat. A necessity for sitting in the car with sicko kid while her sister danced for an hour and insisted that I not abandon her there. I got the skim milk and no whipped cream. Next time, I'll do the skinny latte. Maybe tomorrow. Yeah. No processed piece of white flour with cardboard consistency for me tonight and I'll reap the reward of an overpriced coffee. I can live with that.And I'm Cookie Mom. A title that only strikes fear if you know what that means in Girl Scout terms. Yeah, I'm in charge of the cookie sales for our fledgling little troop of Brownies. So, my life will soon be consumed with Thin Mints. And avoiding actually eating them this year. My own little daughter is plotting her door-to-door cookie sale. Truly, I'd rather do just about anything else - like I'd rather clean the toilets than do it. She's a type A - must be successful type so she sold 24 boxes in the first 1/2 hour and has been begging to beg the rest of the neighbors.

My gal friends, those ditzy, bitchy Orange County housewives are on at the moment. Perfect teeth and foreheads. I'm wondering if my obsessing about food will be replaced with fitness. Botox? A boob job, perhaps? You know, just to hike the ones I already have up to where they once resided.

I'll stop here. No need to go any further in this post than my sagging breasts.

'Night all!

Monday, January 14, 2008

My American Girls

The hype. I'm the guilty party. Ever since another lifetime ago when I had a stepdaughter and an American Girl Doll, I've been dreaming of my own girl's having theirs. A mom at dance was perusing the catalog and it was the perfect gift for Grammy & Pappy to get my girls for Christmas this year.

Cathrynn decided on a look-a-like doll and Liv circled just about every doll on every page. She still loves her babies, so I thought Itty Bitty would be perfect for her. Until Christmas morning when she opened her package, looked at Cathrynn's doll with the comb-able hair, and broken-heartedly announced, "but I wanted the one that looked like ME too!" I don't know which was worse, her face or my mom's. I won't be trusted with something like this ever again, that's for sure. She wants to know how soon hers will grow up and have long hair. I can assure she'll have a long haired doll coming on April 24th for her 5th birthday!I am disappointed that the American Girl Dolls & Accessories are made in China. And that most of the furniture is pastel plastic! The same stuff I've been ridding my house of since they've outgrown that stage. A short trip to the craft room resulted in this crib. Not bad, huh? Fabric and ribbon scraps, hot glue and an old wine crate. We love it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clear your schedule for Tonight!

Can you believe our luck? The endless reruns, game shows and bad reality TV, due to the writers' strike be damned For those who love Jane!

Yeah PBS for saving me from a gloomy Sunday evening. Of course, Dana might twist my arm to attend an auction this evening instead. We'll see. Either way, I'm looking forward to a pleasant night.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

this & that

Just a bunch of random stuff today...

Yesterday I took the girls to a near by park.
Blog-worthy because:
  • It's January and it should be about 20-30 degrees here, not almost 70! Wahooo!
  • I took this picture of the girls from above them up the steep hill. I usually plant my fat arse on the park bench and enjoy watching them play, and never venture up the hills unless I have a pretty picnic packed. But, with this healthy approach - I never sat down the entire 45 minutes we were there! EXERCISE. I'm doing it. I attended a WW meeting on Saturday and am easing into the Core Foods Plan. Feeling good about it, and sleeping so much better now that I'm wiped out by 11pm, not getting my second wind.
  • The girls are dressed in baggy play clothes after Cathrynn tripped over Olivia in the school yard when I picked C up and ended up caked with mud, head to toe, and quite traumatized. My gal couldn't just let the mud dry and go with it. She was upset and embarrassed. So, we headed home for some new clothes first.
  • Yesterday, Olivia mentioned that when she grows up she thinks she'll be skinny. Or like me. She hasn't decided yet.'s that for a moment of clarity, huh?
And a quiet conversation with Olivia last night, pillow talk as her sister slept across the room...
"when will we have bunk beds?"

I'm mildly surprised, because even though their beds can be made into bunk beds, the thought never crossed my mind, so I say, "I don't know, I'll have to think about that" with my standard fail-safe answer for just about everything.

Then she demands: "when Cathrynn goes to college, guess who will have the bottom bunk!"

I'm a bit caught on the thought of Cathrynn, my 1st grader heading off to college, so she plows ahead with the answer: "YOU, Mommy! It will be your turn to have the bottom bunk!

I couldn't help but smile at the thought.

Friday, January 4, 2008

oh so pretty

I owed you a few pretty pictures, without my whining, so here's my dining room table last weekend, when my sister-in-law came to visit. It was a really enjoyable evening and the food was yummy - I made a salad, meatballs, portobello stuffed rigatoni, crusty Italian bread and a three layer chocolate mousse parfait. I hosted my family on Christmas day for brunch and dinner - but for dinner, I resorted to buffet style since we had close to 20 people here. I do enjoy a cozier time like this:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

truth time

Here I am. A self portrait no less.

January 2nd, 2008 with Liv.
I erased about 6 pix before I took this one of us. I also did my hair and make-up first.

Truth time. Nothing like the fresh start that's offered with a new year. I'm struggling with my weight. Notice that you don't see the rest of me. I had a little breakdown yesterday when Dad found some film and a pix of me that is, well, rather disturbing (and won't be shown here until I don't look like that anymore!) . So bad that I almost hyperventilated. You see, I keep looking at myself in the rear view mirror of my car (okay, okay it's a mini-van - this truth thing stinks!) and being okay with that. Avoiding the truth, and the real rear view. And I have to change that. I have to get real, my health is at stake. Heart disease runs in my family, with fatal heart attacks by the time they were all 50. I want to be here for my kids. I don't want to be fat. I want to be happy and confident again. And there's only one way to do that and that is to accept the truth.

I need to lose a lot of weight. Not 5, 10, 20.. I need to lose - here goes the truth - 50 lbs to be in the weight watchers goal weight range for my height. I weigh 65 pounds more than I did in 1998 when I married my hubby. And 40 pounds more than I did 3 years ago. So, I can't blame this on being p/g or breast feeding. There aren't any excuses. I gained this the old fashioned way - poor eating habits and NO exercise. I am writing this for me, the written word always has more impact for me. I'm putting this out there. I wore a bathing suit with a big wrap skirt around it to the pool with the girls last summer. That should've been enough. That wasn't as embarrassing as writing this all down for the world (or at least the 3-4 people that are readers here!) to see.

I was going to start a new blog about my weight loss, and some personal struggles. I didn't want to dirty up this pretty blog with my real life! But I'm not organized enough to manage 2 blogs. So, in between the junqueygal stuff and pretty pix - you might hear too much about me, my weight, my cravings, my thighs. The size 18/20 undies from Lane Bryant that my husband bought me for Christmas. That are pretty dang comfy. Soooooooo...

You're warned. Truth ahead. It ain't gonna be pretty.

Pretty in pink...

Cotton shirts.  Love 'em. Usually can't wear 'em.  Too tight. Pull at the boobs.  Or, shrink in the first wash.  And being a plu...