Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome, Sweet Summer!

Why is this little guy smiling?

Because it's going to be 108 degrees in South Carolina...

...and he lives in Michigan.

Welcome, Sweet Summer!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vanity, thy name is Chris

I'm checking out my Facebook news feed and I see this picture:

Underneath the picture in the comments section, I read:

            Erik Bard: Did ChrisZimmerman get a dog?

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Intellectually I know that Erik knows that this is NOT a picture of ChrisZimmerman.  I know this because he is a friend of my daughter's and this is a picture of her.  Clearly he has NOT mistaken me for this stunning young woman.  Intellectually, I know this.

Emotionally, however, it's a different story. In my mind, I still look sixteen.  Every time I get a glimpse of myself in a mirror, it shocks me to see the me that others see.  Inside, I look like this picture of my daughter.  (Only I never wore shoes with heels so high that I had to climb a ladder to get into them.  How does she walk in those?) 

For a split second, I tricked myself into the thrill of thinking that someone else saw a glimpse of the "real me."  I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Erik for that.  Thank-you, Erik!  (And no, this is not my dog.)

The next thing I knew, I was having this flashback to the late 1980's.  Jack, who must have been all of forty at the time, was telling us about his morning.  On the way to work, he decided to swing by McDonald's drive-thru for coffee. The worker at the window was twenty-something and she was flirting with him outrageously.  She was a cutie and he was quite flattered.  Then, as she was giving him his change back, she winked at him and said, "I gave you the senior's discount."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Speaking of Clean...

My friend was talking to me about his cousin who washes every load of laundry twice and changes the sheets and blankets of the beds in her house daily.  While he was talking, I was day-dreaming about how wonderful it would be to greet sleep wrapped in fresh-smelling sheets every single night of the week.  Somewhere in the background of my reverie, he said, "She's a raving neurotic."

So. Does this make me a raving neurotic wannabe?

Speaking of clean, I'm going to Michigan next week to stay with my daughter and her family for five full weeks.  During this time, I will be cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and playing with my grandson while we await the arrival of his baby brother.  Then the fun starts!  Sounds kind of perfect, right?

Why is it that I can get so much more done at someone else's house?  I think the reason is that there's less distraction.  The stuff isn't mine so I don't get knocked off-track so easily.  I'm not really sure though.  That's just a theory.

What does a toddler do when his mother is nine-month's pregnant?

Anything he wants to!

This time my work's cut out for me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Creative Idea

I read this book called How to have Kick-Ass Ideas by Chris Barez-Brown and was so enchanted by the notion of having creative thoughts that I read it again.  Then I waited.  And waited.  And waited...  What would my first kick-ass idea be?  Would it bring me wealth?  Fame? it turned out I won't be receiving wealth OR fame this time. Today, while I was in that twilight-time between sleeping and waking, I had my first kick-ass idea.
A small idea, yes, but it's a start

Turns out that merely putting a towel under the watermelon before I cut it is a practical solution to an annoying problem - thus qualifying it as a kick-ass idea!  The towel absorbs all the juice that normally would be running off the cutting board, over the counter, down the cabinets and finally pooling on the floor,  generating massive clean-up efforts. I will not miss wiping up that sticky mess.

It's so simple!  I wonder why I didn't think of this before?

Thursday, June 14, 2012


"I do so hate wrinkles" my mother-in-law said to me in the late '70s.  It was during the permanent press craze when all you had to do was shake the leisure suits out and hang them up right out of the dryer.  Her statement amused me because I didn't hate wrinkles.  I didn't even notice them.  I was too busy chasing children and worrying about if my bikini made my butt look fat. 

Times have changed.  I don't have to wonder any more how my butt looks in my swimsuit because I already know.  I'm about the age my mother-in-law was when she uttered the wrinkle statement and now I get it.  These days I actually iron tee shirts and linen pants upset me on several levels.

I refuse to buy myself any clothes that say 'dry clean only' on the labels.  I don't want any garment enough to drive it somewhere, drop it off, wait a couple of days, drive back, pay, then drive back home again.  That's too much effort.

I am, however, the first one to run to the car and rush dress shirts to the laundry.  $1.65 per shirt seems a cheap enough price to pay to stay out of divorce court.  Jerry gets grouchy when he has to iron his own shirts and even grouchier when I iron them.  (Ironing is not one of my gifts.)  It's far from win-win at home but, for a small fee, we can keep this item out of the marital spat arena -- and we have enough issues in there already, ya know?

Since dry cleaning and dress shirts are off the table, the prima donnas in my laundry world are those garments that say, "Machine wash, gentle, lay flat to dry."  They are the bane of laundry day for me.  Half the time, I throw them in the dryer by accident.  They end up being dried to a crisp and come out looking like misshapen Barbie clothes. 

Vibrant orange, anyone?
Check out the shoes!
Even when I do wade into the laundry stream and rescue fragile clothing between the washer and the dryer, the 'lay flat to dry' part is still left.  Here in Humidity Village, SC, if you leave something out long enough for it to air dry, you've also left it damp long enough for it to smell sour, thus negating the entire washing process.

I bet you I could buy vintage polyester leisure suits on eBay.  Do you think Jerry would look better in baby yellow or powder blue?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


 I was exploring the Flylady's cleaning website when I stumbled upon rags for sale in their e-store.  This seemed counter-intuitive to me so I was forced to look up the word "rags" on  The first definition was:  a worthless piece of cloth, especially one that is torn or worn.  Exactly! 

Cloth diapers coming?
In fairness to the Flylady folks, their rags are purple, which, if I were going to actually buy a worthless piece of cloth, would be my preferred color.  But, of course, I am not.  There's no reason to buy rags at our house, we generate our own all the time.  (Bonus!  Anything the South Carolina clay soil touches automatically is rag material because it's discolored for all time and eternity, no exceptions.)

Now I know that what these flypeople are actually selling are not rags at all, but cleaning cloths.  I'm not buying them either.  That's what holey underwear and old undershirts are for, although back in the day the gold standard of cleaning cloths used to be cloth diapers. 

Kind of makes ya nostalgic, right?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Even in the saddest moments in life, there is humor.

Linda lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer and slipped peacefully into the next world while being held by the love of her life and with her daughter lying by her side.  It was a gentle exit to a stormy life. 

This was a fiesty chick with a quick wit and when I think of her I think of laughter.  Linda knew she was dying and she made two requests. "I want a helluva wake,"  she said, "and no bimbos in my bed."  I believe she intends to haunt Doug if he doesn't follow her wishes. 

Words of sympathy fall short so we do what we were taught to do: bring food.  Our neighbor was dropping off a casserole and Linda's four-year-old grandson answered the door.

"We don't need that,"  he said.  "We ordered pizza."

Rest in Peace
Linda Santorum
1951 - 2012

Doug and Linda with Grandson Grayson

Linda, Hope and Doug

Granddaughter Emma


To say a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles is challenging is a dramatic understatement.  It's brutal!  There are always huge lines, too little staff and employees that seem to take fiendish delight in thwarting sincere attempts at being card carrying, law abiding citizens.

When we arrived at the DMV, there were only three other customers there.  What's wrong with this picture?  Had we entered the Twilight Zone?  The place is normally crazy-crowded and getting your license, registration and new plates is guaranteed to be stressful, squared.  With only three people here, how long could it take?  

Our branch offers a unique little twist - before you can approach the actual license bureau line, you have to talk to a pre-screener whose job description must be to force you to leave the office empty handed. I think she probably gets a performance bonus if tears are shed during the process. 

Katie had researched what she needed and she arrived at the office well prepared. She took her social security card, her Ohio driver's license, her passport and a copy of our 1040 tax form from 2011, all to prove that she was who she said she was and that she was living in our state. As additional proof of identity, she also took her mother. It was not enough. 

 "We have to have an original of the tax document; a copy won't do" said the pre-screener.  I could hear triumph in her voice.

Kate, who had devoted a significant portion of the morning on her hair-do for the photographic portion of the process, was undaunted.  We went back home, got the entire packet of tax forms and came back to the DMV again. Of course now the place was jam packed - and people were not oozing friendliness, either.  I toyed with the idea of bursting into song, but as I was mentally going through my repertoire searching for something suitable for my debut, suddenly it was our turn.

This time as the pre-screener green-lighted Kate for the license bureau line, she also told me - with nothing short of sheer joy in her voice - that in addition to filling out an intimidating and ridiculous form for new license plates, I had to go to another city to pay personal property tax on the vehicle before I could purchase the the plates and tags.  And, of course, it was too late to make that round trip today.

The picture on Kate's new South Carolina license is very flattering, which is lucky because she will be carrying that very same license for the next TEN YEARS!  It doesn't expire until 2022, making the $25.00 license fee the bargain of the decade, I'm pretty sure.

I couldn't resist humming a happy tune as we left the building.

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