Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Plan

Hey, didja hear? Indianapolis is hosting the SuperBowl this year. If you've been living under a rock, you haven't heard. If you've been living anywhere in the United States, you are probably aware. If you are living in the Indianapolis area, you have heard about this nonstop for the last 60 days. (Not even kidding. Since before Christmas!) And this evening, my family is heading downtown to see what all the hoopla is about.

I'm looking forward to it. I know that the city has worked hard and planned for years to make everything slick and smooth. My youngest son--our resident Giants fan--is just about out of his tiny, little mind with excitement. Guess how many times I've had to wash his #10 jersey since the Giants clinched the title? He's pretty much wearing it every other day. When we mentioned that we were heading down to the SuperBowl Village, it was like his birthday and Christmas all rolled up into one shiny expensive package.

The plan is to see the Village. The plan is to head to the NFL Experience. The plan is to gaze at the big XLVI on The Circle. The plan is to watch the lucky ducks on the zipline and wish that we had tickets. Oh, yes. All of that.

But my plan is to find Jimmy Fallon. Because I love him in a totally sane, non-weird, unstalkerish sort of way. And when I do, I will yell:

Jimmy! I think you ah wicked Ahhhsome!

And then, because my plan is also part fantasy, he will have never heard that before in his life, he will find it incredibly droll and amusing, and he will yell back:

No, YOU ah!

And then I can die happy. The end.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Two Tips For Your Thursday

I don't claim to be an organizing guru. Shoot. I don't really claim to be organized. But I thought I'd share a couple of ideas that have worked for me. One is something I've done for a couple of years and one is something I found on Pinterest and had one of those slap-my-forehead-why-didn't-I-think-of-that moments.

A few years ago, my very talented Daddy made me an absolutely stunning jewelry box. The problem is, my very talented Daddy had no idea how much jewelry his hoarding jewelry-loving daughter owns. Hint: It's a lot. Because rings and necklaces and earrings don't care if my booty gets bigger or smaller. So while many of my treasures would fit in the beautiful box he made, many would not. Enter Target. Oh, Target! Have I told you lately how much I love you? I love you more than every grain of sand on every beach on every ocean in the universe. (Have you seen that video? If so, are you cringing with me? If not, sorry to do that to you. Poor kid. If someone had made a video like that for me when I was a teenager, when I was through vomiting, I would have been a very single girl the next day. Teenagers with their raging hormones and poor decision making skills should never be let alone with video making capabilities.) I digress. Ahem. Enter Target and it's Dollar Spot. I found these belt hangers there several years ago and had a light bulb moment. I thought that they would solve my jewelry box dilemma and they did!

Now I hang my more costume-y and less precious necklaces and bracelets on them and they are right next to my clothes where I can see them. My precious and sentimental jewelry goes in the beautiful box my daddy made. Problem solved.

The second idea I found on Pinterest. I found a couple of cardboard magazine holders in the Target Dollar Spot (oh how I heart you, Dollar Spot!) and used them to corral the wraps and baggies under my sink.
No more digging through the pile for the wrap I want, and it leaves me space I never had. Genius!

So, there you go. Two tips for you because you are looking especially pretty on this rainy, cold Thursday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Ride Home











Monday, January 23, 2012

The Weekend

If you are looking for me today you will find me in the laundry room. It is my penance for being gone this weekend. It is the price I must pay for having too much fun and laughing until tears streamed down my face and my cheeks ached.

I spent the weekend with some of my dearest girlfriends at a lake house, you see, and now I shall pay. I shall pay in dirty underwear and stinky socks. I shall pay in ketchup stained tee shirts and inside out jeans. Oh yes! Payment shall be dear.

But worth every last sock.

One of my sweet friends has a lake house not too far away, but just far enough to feel as if you have left your real life behind. And she is sweet and generous with her lakeside retreat. So it was that five of us gathered there--the original four plus another dear one. There were more invited, but because of various reasons, they couldn't come. They were missed. That's a certainty. Because all of our laughing and joy would have increased with each that wasn't there. But for the ones who were, time went by much too quickly--even after a half day's delay from being iced in. What a place to be iced in! I would have stayed much longer.

My own family spent a whirlwind Friday night and Saturday in Illinois, celebrating my sweet mother-in-law's 88th birthday. They stayed with my folks on Friday and feted my mother-in-law on Saturday and were home late Saturday night. I missed out on that. Truly, I did.

But the reunion I had with them all as I came in looking like a pack mule with all the stuff I carried with me to the lake was a sweet one. It was good to be away. It was good to laugh and cry and eat and pray and rejoice and praise and snort and giggle and scrape ice and see eagles and scream about seeing eagles and play games and watch movies and drink wine and miss our friends. But gosh, it sure is good to come home to sweet faces and sweeter embraces.

I leave you with pictures I took of three of The Original Four. They will all be angry with me for posting these, because they are too harsh on themselves. But they are truly some of the most inwardly and outwardly beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of calling friend. (Julie, I want to take your picture. I just figured that you wanted to be showered and not looking like you had just spent a morning scraping ice. Next time, dear friend. Next time!)

Kimlarie--the sweetest, gentlest spirit I've ever known. She is the wonderful mother to two handsome boys and wife of a very lucky man. Her voice is like spun sugar.

Margie--her eyes and heart are always focused on Jesus. It's humbling. She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 4, and heart mother of so many more. She is a model of hospitality. Her husband is a lucky man as well. (He is also my match for sarcasm. Love it.)

Linda--the owner of the lake house. My three youngest are the same ages and genders as hers and have been forced friends since birth. Her young pup of a husband must know how blessed he is to have her. She makes me laugh harder and louder than anyone else I know. She also is my best reminder to get on my knees and take myself before the Lord. She is a gracious and generous host and an even more gracious and generous friend.

This girl?
She's the lucky and blessed fourth of the Original Four. She will spend much of this week with a big, dopey grin on her face thanks to the girls she spent the weekend with. Even if she is spending most of this week in the laundry room.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


If you have spent any time at all with me--or reading my rantings on this here blog--then you know that I have my share of quirks. "Quirks" sounds much nicer than "BatPoo Crazy," don't you think?

Well, today I thought I would share a few with you. Because, um, well, frankly I have nothing better to write about. But let's just call it "creativity," shall we? Because that sounds much better than "laziness."

Quirk the first: When I go grocery shopping, I don't just toss my groceries into the cart willy nilly. (I am totally bringing back that word. And shenanigans, too. Oh! And monkeyshines! There aren't nearly enough monkeyshines these days!) I place them in the cart in an orderly fashion, like with like. And then I place them on the checkout counter the same way. In the misguided hope that the bagger will bag them the way I have arranged them. But if the bagger doesn't--and they usually don't--I never say anything. Because that would be confrontational and I am a wussy. That's right. I am an anal retentive control freak about how I put my groceries in the cart and on the counter, but a scaredy cat when it come to making sure they are bagged the way I want. Perhaps it's because I have a million billion things that cost a million billion dollars and I'm just grateful that someone is actually going to bag them for me that I don't want to make waves.

2. If there is a song on the radio that I love and I turn it up to listen and people (read: usually my children) talk through it, it makes me crazy. "Really? I want to screech? This story about who walked with who during passing period/dubstepping/video games/what your friend did during bathroom break can't wait 2 minutes? Three at the most? REALLY? Sweet Mother of Pearl? Did you not get the hint when I turned the radio up again that you could stick yourself on pause and give me 2-3 minutes of silence whereby I might derive the merest hint of pleasure from something besides your voice?" But I don't say that. In fact, I rarely ask the offender to quit talking. And I suffer in martyred silence because I am a non-confrontational wussy. Okay. There might actually be some heavy sighing on my part.

3. I cannot sleep in pajama pants. If you ever get me pajamas (But really, unless you're my mother, why would you? That would be weird. And slightly creepy.) you should know I will not use the pants. Well, I might use them when I'm not actually in bed, but I will not sleep in them. They make me claustrophobic. And do not get me started on nightgowns/nightshirts. Whoever invented them is the spawn of Satan. All nightgowns do is creep their way up your body until you are essentially clothed in a tee shirt, so you may as well wear a tee shirt--which is what I wear--an oversized tee shirt. (Me so sexy.) And they get all twisty around your legs so that if you ever need to leap like a Ninja from your bed because an assassin has crept into your room in the dark of night, you will lose. You will be dead before you leave the sheets, my friend. Nightgowns are an assassin's best friend.

4. Using the wrong word like "weary" for "leery" or, God forbid, "volumptuous" for "voluptuous". It's like fingernails on a chalkboard. But I will never correct you. I will just suffer in silence. Unless you are in my family. Then I will make fun of you mercilessly.

5. I am a top-sheet-tucker-inner. I like to have my top sheet tucked in nice and snug when I go to bed. This is only really a problem if you are sharing a bed with a top-sheet-un-tucker. Guess which kind I am married to? We leave his half untucked and my half tucked. The problem here is that my side invariably comes untucked because of my beloved's need to make sure his toes don't curl over. Sheesh. Some people! Anyway. When he is out of town, one of the first things I do is go and tuck in the sheet all the way around. And then I throw my head back and laugh the laugh of the maniacally evil. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It's awesome knowing that I'll have 2 or 3 nights of fully tucked bliss.

6. Jello is the worst food ever created. I can't stand the smell or God help me, the creepy jiggly-ness of it. I am shuddering just thinking about it. If you love Jello, that's fine. But keep it to yourself or we can't be friends.

7. I can't abide stepping on a wet bath rug. I will just about knock people over to get to the shower first so that I don't have to step on their cold, soggy footprints on the bath rug. I don't understand why my family doesn't understand that it is possible to dry off--and I mean completely dry off--before stepping onto the bath rug, but they just don't get it. And worse than that is stepping on a sopping bath rug in sock feet! Urgh! It both squicks me out and enrages me at the same time.

8. I have a near pathological fear of driving into a body of water. I'm sure I have mentioned this before. But whenever I drive I go through the scenarios in my head and imagine what I would do should such a situation arise. It doesn't make me change my route or anything--I mean, I don't avoid driving near water--but it does enter my head every single time I get into the car.

Okay. So now that you have a crush on me because yo, I am so normal, it's your turn. What quirks do you have? Hate wooden spoons? Love to bite through popsicle sticks? Wear the underwear of the opposite sex? Do share! (Okay, maybe not that last one. I mean, we're friends and all, but that might be over sharing.) Please make me feel normal and share. I promise, I won't tell.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Picture I Didn't Take

He was standing in line in front of me and was going to offer to let me go ahead of him, but we both had only a few items. We laughed together. He was dressed for chillier weather, his white hair under a cap and his weathered face breaking into a smile for each pair of eyes he met. He spoke to me of white things--snow and coconut milk and snowy owls. He talked to me through his transaction and my own and then walked with me out into the parking lot. His enthusiasm was contagious.

'Have a wonderful day!' he said.

It wasn't a trite ending to a conversation. He meant it.

So I did as I was bid. I had a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

At Least I'll Be Noticed

A while back my beloved came down from his office with the news that our family is going to have an adventure over spring break. We are going to Lake Tahoe and, if all goes well, we are going to ski. This news was met with several different responses: James was excited, Sean thought it was cool, Mary thought it would be fun, if scary, I was elated, although I haven't skied in well over 20 years, and Maggie thought it was ridiculously stoopid because, God, didn't we know that you are supposed to go someplace warm over spring break?!! Oh, the torture!

My first response was to want to smack her upside the head, because, um...spoiled brat, much? My next response was to remind her that there would be plenty of dudes on snowboards and skis to make her trip down the mountain more scenic. Her response: *eyeroll* They're going to be covered with ski gear! How will I even know what they look like? DUH! My response to her response: It is wrong to eat your offspring....it is wrong to eat your offspring...it is wrong to eat your offspring.

So. We will be heading west in late March and I am right this minute praying for fierce snowstorms out there because I understand that they are having the sort of winter that we in Indy are--mild temperatures and very little snow. I will not complain about that type of winter when I have to live through it, but when you are hoping to ski, well, skiing without snow is a bit extreme.

Now, the children have snow gear because they go out and build snowmen and snow forts and have snowball fights and just basically roll around in the white stuff as if they are polar bear cubs. I, on the other hand, am sorely lacking in the winter gear department. I haven't owned a lot of snow stuff since living in Minneapolis some 13 years ago. And so my beloved and I found ourselves at the mall shopping for snow gear for me. I was willing to wait a bit for prices to come down, but my beloved insisted that I have something now because the early bird gets the snowsuit and all that.

The first coat I looked at was a lovely turquoise. It fit well and had all the necessary bells and whistles. I modeled it and I am sure that people in the store mistook me for Heidi Klum. My beloved thought that perhaps the hot pink coat in the same style would be better. I shook my head, raised my hand to stop him in mid-sentence and put the kibosh on that. I am not really a hot pink kind of girl. I was satisfied and told him I could find some snow pants online. He, however, is a member of The Church of Our Lady of the North Face and would not be denied the chance convert me. (I am a member of The Church of I Don't Want To Pay A King's Ransom For A Coat.) I threw my head back and groaned and then I sighed in resignation (Hey look! I can act like a martyr and a teenager at the same time! I am so talented!) and reluctantly followed behind him to the North Face section.

After looking through the ladies coats for a few minutes, I quickly came to realize that they were pretty well picked over and the only styles they had in my size were a wild lime green on neon green plaid and a white coat with red and blue accents. The green one was about 20 years too young for me to even contemplate, so I tried on the white, red, and blue number. It fit me fine. Which then meant that instead of black snow pants, which might have the oddest chance of slimming my backside, I had to find white ones, which have no chance in hell of slimming my backside and every chance of making me look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I found some pants in quick order and schlepped everything to the fitting room to try it all on. Meanwhile, I left my beloved with my purse as punishment. Why should I be the only one humiliated?

After trying the gear on and deeming the fit acceptable, I donned my own clothes and brought the snow gear out. I shook my head at my beloved.

"Doesn't it fit?" he asked.

"Oh, no. It fits," I replied. "It's just that I have the feeling that people out on the slopes are going to be expecting a lot from me."

"Really? Why?" queried my beloved.

"Because I have a feeling that in this get-up I am either going to be mistaken for a retired and possibly disgraced former member of a U.S. Olympic ski team or Evel Kneivel's daughter. Yep. You can just call me She-vel Kneivel."

It has a nice ring to it. I think the name might stick. I'm hoping to find a ski helmet with red and blue stars or flames on it. And possibly a stars and stripes cape.

I don't know if I'll be any good on the slopes, but at least I'll be noticed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hi There.

Well helloooo there! I hope you all had wonderful holidays. We had a great time here at Chez Ganey. It was full of family and friends and feasting. And guess what I did yesterday for the New Year? If you guessed absolutely nothing, then you are the winner! I sat on my well-padded backside and read and played games with my kids and watched movies, only getting up to fix some grub for the family. It was wondrous.

Here it is, January 2nd and real life is back and staring me in the face. There's laundry to be done (well, isn't there always?) and groceries to be bought (and hopefully the list doesn't include cream cheese. I've eaten more than my share of cream cheese laden goodies this season.) and blogs to write. My mom asked me last week if I was going to get back to it. It's just, well, I don't really have anything to share (actually, I have one story and you'll get it tomorrow) because other than eat and open gifts and drink wine and run to the grocery for food that I only eat during the holiday season, I haven't been out of the house. It's been delightful. But for blogging purposes, that's not so great. And I've grown comfortable not sitting at the keyboard. I had to make myself get here today. And look at what you get to read because of it! Wow, are you ever lucky!

And now, because that laundry has proven time and time again that it just will not do itself, I shall stop. But, because you have stuck with me this far through this horrible post, I will share something with you: We took the kids bowling on Friday. It was fun, but I am the worst bowler on the planet. I scored a 46. There. Now you can go about your day feeling successful in some small way; if you and I bowled together, you would, without a doubt, beat me. Next time I'm getting gutter guards and I'm not ashamed to say it.