Monday, March 31, 2008

Baseball Widow

Today is the first day of the 2008 MLB season. The Arizona Diamondbacks are Q's team. The evidence is inside his t-shirt drawer. All his shirts are red or black. He also has a bunch of purple ones left over from before the team changed their colors.

Q also watches the D-Backs games everyday...even reruns! And if a game isn't televised, he'll listen to it on AM radio. I guess that's why he once told me that he didn't need a CD player in his car. It has AM AND FM." :-)

Anyway, see ya in October, Hon...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Convertible Weather

Somebody call the Chamber of Commerce:

The next week looks nice as well:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Report Cards

Today was report card day for the boys. They both made Honor Roll--all A's and B's. Yes, I like eating fruit from the bragging tree. :-)~
Kyle got A's in Language Arts, Social Studies, Science (!), and a subject called Technology. He got B's in Math and PE. He's always had trouble with math so this B is major. As for PE, I don't put much stock in least not in the program at this school.
Lucas got A's in everything except Reading. He got a B there. And that's not too bad, considering that he's in the accelerated reading group (SAGE). This program is held separately from his regular class. In addition, he has to miss SAGE every Friday so he can participate in Band.
I just hope they can keep it up for the final quarter. It's a little hard since it's 80 degrees outside, and spring fever has firmly entrenched itself in our house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sick Child Rigamarole

All last week, Lucas was fighting a head cold. On Saturday afternoon, he complained that his left ear hurt. I smell an ear infection.

The doctor's office was most likely closed, and I didn't want to make Lucas wait until Monday. So I decided to take him to the Minute Clinic inside CVS Drugstore. The nearest MC is located 5 miles away. And I figured that if it didn't work out, there was an Urgent Care place across the parking lot.

We got to the Minute Clinic, and I was pleasantly surprised. There was nobody waiting. In fact, the nurse practitioner on duty was talking on the phone. When she saw us signing in, she promtly finished her call.

The nurse, "Jackie" was very friendly. She took the signed treatment consent form, and processed my insurance card. She also asked a few basic questions--symptoms, other medications taken, drug allergies, etc.

She examined Lucas and he did indeed have an infection in his left ear. Jackie prescribed antibiotics and ear drops to relieve pain. She also had a copy of her diagnosis report sent to Lucas' primary care doctor. We were in and out of there in 15 minutes.

I probably should have had the prescriptions filled at CVS, but I opted to go to the Fry's Pharmacy near our house instead. They know us there. Besides, I simply prefer to have all our family's prescriptions on file at one place.

I was told that Luke's medicine would be ready in 20 minutes. No problem. I have other shopping to do anyway.

When we returned to the pharmacy, the line of people was 5 deep. Four of them were there to buy allergy medicine, which is now kept behind the pharmacy counter. So instead of filling my son's prescriptions, the pharmacist has to check ID, have customers sign a ledger, and ring up their drug purchases. Yes, there was a technician working too, but she was taking phone calls that appeared to be business-related.

I was incensed. These insipid meth-heads have made it impossible for regular people to buy Claritin right off the shelf. Instead, we have to jump through countless hoops...all in the quest for allergy relief. This causes valuable resources to be expended. And the pharmacist--a highly educated professional, who should be mixing antibiotics for my sick child--has been relegated to the role of gatekeeper for Sudafed.

On the bright side, Lucas' medicines cost the princely sum of $2.17. I even put my debit card away and paid cash. He's also feeling much better. The ear pain was gone by Saturday night, and he didn't have to miss out on any of the family Easter activities.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Dishes: Harlequin Egg Cups

Harlequin Single Egg Cups.

Harlequin Double Egg Cups: the 30's colors.

Harlequin Double Egg Cups: the 40's colors.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday 13: Everyday

Thirteen things I do everyday:

1. Wear or use something pink.
2. Kiss my husband.

3. Utter the phrase: "When we remodel the kitchen..."

4. Tear the house apart looking for a misplaced item (keys, glasses, pens, shoes, flash drive, etc.)

5. Look for Harlequin double egg cups on eBay.

6. Say something nice to the boys.

7. Remember something that occurred during Q's hospitalization. It could be something major and painful like his second surgery. Or it could be something pleasant like the smiling old guy who played piano in the atrium of Mayo Hospital.
8. Be at a loss for words.

9. Contemplate new ways to display the dishes and/or rearrange the furniture.

10. Crave chocolate

11. Eat chocolate

12. Get annoyed

13. Worry about a homework assignment that's coming due.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Before and After: Chair

One of the courses I'm taking this semester is an upholstery class. For this class, I had to come up with a piece that fit the following criteria:

--It had to be easy to recover.
--It had to be easy to transport.
--It had to fit in my car.
--It had to look cool in the house
--It had to be VERY affordable.

For that, I chose this chair:

There was only one thing wrong with it. It was beige. Boring, boring beige. This wouldn't work with my decor.

This is the finished product. Big improvement...HUGE!

This was my inspiration piece. The above photo was "borrowed" from

Now, I have to find another project for the rest of the semester. Hmmm...back to the consignment shop!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Thanks to abundant winter rains, the greater Phoenix area is now now being treated to the best wildflower season in years. Yesterday, we took a nature walk through Thunderbird Park in north Glendale. Here, we got to enjoy the acres of brightly colored flowers that covered the hillside like a carpet. This area of the park burned in a wildfire just three years ago so many areas were closed for revegetation.

Click on the photos to view them larger. They look better that way.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I call this my Shamrock Shamrock.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sticks and Stones...

I think my Scrabble Blast board has resorted to name-calling:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday 13: The eBay Edition

Thirteen items I have bought on eBay:

1. Video games. Buying used video games saves big money. The trick is getting the boys to wait for the package to arrive in the mail.

2. College textbooks. I was too lazy to drive to the campus bookstore. Anyway, I think I saved a few dollars this way.

3. Legoland passes. The savings was considerable.

4. Dishes. Lots and LOTS and LOTS of dishes. I wouldn't have a Harlequin collection without eBay.

5. Cell phone accessories. Cheaper than going to the Verizon long as you can find a seller who doesn't charge inflated shipping fees.

6. Glow stick bracelets. I give these out at Halloween instead of candy.

7. A Genie Wireless Keypad. The boys haven't been locked out since we installed this thing.

8. Clothing. Ebay is a great way to get gently-worn designer items for a pennies on the dollar. It also beats facing disappointment when the Anthropologie sale rack has nothing cute in your size.

9. Yu-Gi-Oh cards. These are now sitting at the bottom of a drawer.

10. Pink Legos. Years ago, Kyle wanted more variety for the Lego City he was building. The city has since been dismantled, but he still has the little house I built using the pink Legos. It's now covered in dust.

11. A leaf canister for the pool. What did we ever do without this thing?

12. Vacuum cleaner filters. I couldn't find them locally.

13. A St. Joseph statue that you bury in the ground when you're trying to sell a house. And yes, it worked.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hello, Diction Police...

The other day, I heard a radio commercial in which a semi-famous, basic cable TV house flipper was selling copies of his book. Or was it a tape? Or a book on tape? Whatever.

Anyway, the guy began giving his "rags to riches" testimonial in which he stated that years ago, he rolled into town on his "last tank of gas".

This got me thinking, and I realized something: I'm on my last tank of gas too!!!! After the current tank is empty, there is no more. I don't keep spare gas in the trunk with the spare tire. And I don't keep a private cache of regular unleaded stashed in a shed out back.

No, I will have to drive to the corner station for a fill-up. In fact, pretty much everyone I know is in that same boat.

Obviously, the book flipper guy was trying to convey that he was broke. If that was truly the case, he should have substituted the word "TANK" with "GALLON". Even Lucas--with his 4th grade public school education--was able to make that deduction.

I'm certainly not immune to incorrect word use. I'm even guilty of the occasional typo myself. But I'm not the one who's out there trying to hawk a product. My words are not meant to be heard/seen/read by millions of listeners/watchers/readers.

Attention to detail, People. Choose your words wisely and edit your material with a fine toothed comb. Correct any and all errors before exposing your work to the public at large. Anything less makes you appear apathetic and uneducated.

*The preceeding message was edited no fewer than seven eight nine ten times since its initial posting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Double Fleeced!

Ever feel like the whole world is trying to swindle you out of your money? That's how I felt yesterday when I was overcharged not once, but twice...and at two consecutive points of sale.

In the morning, I went shopping at Wal-Mart. Not my favorite store, but they do have these cool flower pots that come in the same bright colors as Fiesta ware. While there, I also picked up some miscellaneous items we needed for the house.

After I left Walley World, I went to Q's office and picked him up for lunch. As we headed to the restaurant, he was checking my Wal-Mart receipt for any FSA eligible items.

"You bought three boxes of allergy medicine?" he asked.
"No, I bought two: one for day and one for nighttime use. Why?"
Q inspected the receipt further: "They double-charged you for the generic Benadryl."

I was going to just let it go. I really didn't feel like driving back to Wal-Mart, hassling with parking, standing in line, etc. Anyway, it was only $4.78. My time is certainly worth more than that. Anyway, it's time to eat.

We ate lunch at a place called Native New Yorker. Both of us ordered from the lunch menu, where every entree was $5.99. The service was slow and the food was mediocre. In fact, I've had better pizza in a hospital cafeteria.

When the bill arrived, I noticed that we had been charged $8.99 for the spinach and feta salad. Obviously, this was the dinner price. I was POSITIVE this item was on the lunch menu!!!! We made the waitress adjust the bill.

As we drove back to Q's office, I was miffed. I felt like everyone was trying to take us for more money than they were entitled to. After I dropped Q off, I decided to return to Wal-Mart and get my money back for the Benadryl I didn't buy.

The guy at the customer service desk (who looked like he could be Ashton Kutcher's little sister) was very nice about it. He gave me back the overage--$5.18 after tax--without problem. I have a feeling this happens all the time.

It had to be done. While we're not poor, that $5.18 means more to us than it does to the giant Wal-Mart corporate machine. I mean, with that money, I can buy a gallon and a half of gas!!!!! Or maybe a brightly colored flower pot.

Monday, March 10, 2008


--As of today, I am now classified as being in my "mid-30's". Before, I could get away with "early-30s"...even if it was on a technicality.
--I am no longer part of any target demographic. The world is busy catering to teenagers and old people. A perfect example is the store offerings at Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale.
--Screen-printed novelty t-shirts are cute...when worn by other people.
--I am now old enough to run for president.
--I know how to drive a stick shift, use a sewing machine, and operate AutoCAD. But I can't get the hang of texting.
--My day is not complete until I have watched the news.
--A good moisturizer that contains sunscreen is of utmost importance.
--So far, I have managed to elude that first gray hair. Let's see how long THAT lasts!
--I am now of cougar age. I may no longer be a puma, but at least I'm a long way from sabre-tooth.
--I am seemingly the youngest Mustang driver on the road.
--Speaking my mind is a whole lot easier than it was in my 20s.
--The oldies station now plays music from my lifetime.
--A wild and crazy night consists of Chinese take-out, chocolate martinis, and making snarky comments about the clueless naifs Property Ladder.
--I no longer care if my clothes are trendy...just as long as they're comfortable and make me look thinner than I really am. .

--In fact, by age 35, trendy is no longer trendy. Period.
--My driver's license will expire in exactly 30 years.
--Instead of a weekend in Vegas, that extra cash is spent on new tires, veterinary bills, and getting the garage door fixed.
--I have wrinkles AND acne.
--News articles about real estate have become a form of entertainment.
--Being one of the older students at school is fun. I can teach these kids a thing or two.
--I am now older than Christopher. (Enjoy it, Hon. 'Tis it will only last for a few months!)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pranksters: Kyle's Joke

The boys usually get home from school around 3:45. Around 3:40, the phone rang. It was Kyle, and he told me that he was in detention.

"Oh, really! What did you do?" I asked.
"I got in a fight," Kyle answered. (I knew it wasn't true...I'll explain why in a minute. At this point, I'm just playing along.)
"Why? And who were you fighting with?"
"'Frankie' happened on the playground at lunch."
"Why didn't the school call me?"
"I don't know."
"So, do you need me to pick you up?"

One Mississippi...two Mississippi...


Three Mississippi...four Mississippi...

"I know you're not in detention."
"Yes I am, Mom! I got in a fight with Frankie and got in trouble and..."
"You're at Kolton's house?"
"No, I'm not. I had to stay after school in detention!"
"Then how come Kolton's phone number showed up on the caller-ID?"

Laughter rang out in the background.

Aside from the caller-ID display, Kyle's fight story was full of holes. For starters, had there really been a fight, I would have been called by the principal, and asked to come down to the school. Second, Kyle wouldn't be able to make phone calls from detention. And third, he had me on speaker phone so Kolton could hear the conversation. Lastly, Kyle doesn't get in trouble in school.

Nope...not MY kid!!!! :-)~

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stranded at Home

Tonight when Kyle came home from playing with his friends, he came in to tell us that the garage door was bent. WTF?

Q and I went outside to find the boys' friends gawking at the house. The garage door was half open at that point. Q pushed it shut in a quest to investigate and make any repairs.

And he found the problem: a broken spring and a bent track.

But there's a bigger problem: the door is now stuck shut. And both of the cars are parked inside. Oops!

And the biggest problem of all? It looks bad hideous. I am hopelessly embarrased by the sight of our house. I don't want to go outside in case a neighbor is walking by. Yes, I am THAT vain.

Luckily, Q was able to find a garage door repairman who is able to come out early tomorrow morning. Good thing because I have class in Scottsdale at 11:30, and I'd hate to miss it. It's my last class before Spring Break. Q's lucky. He can do his work from home.

So in the meantime, we are stuck here at home. We weren't planning on going anywhere tonight, but that's not the point. Even if we wanted to, or God forbid, NEEDED to, we couldn't.


My boys like to play jokes on me. These jokes aren't really mean, but they do raise my blood pressure about 20 points. In a nutshell, they like me to think they got in trouble in school.

For example, once when Lucas got home from school, he slammed a piece of yellow paper down on the table next to me, and stomped out of the room. The paper was a "think sheet"--a teacher-issued citation that is given to a student when he commits a minor to moderate infraction at school. The parent must sign the sheet and return it. Receipt of too many think sheets would warrant a parent-student meeting with the principal.

The think sheet stated that Lucas had "stolen another child's snack" and "lied to his teacher". I was shocked. He lied AND stole? These are NOT characteristic behaviors for my child. I was also disappointed. If he wanted to have a snack at school, why didn't he just bring one from home?

I called my son back in the room. "Lucas, WHY?" He kept his head down and shrugged. That boy would absolutely not look at me.

As I signed the think sheet, I began to contemplate a suitable punishment. Then I was just about to give the paper back to Lucas when I took one last look: "Wait a minute!!!!" When he saw that I had figured him out, Lucas released his bottled up laughter. The think sheet had been left on the bus by the real lying snack thief. Lucas had erased the boy's name and replaced it with his own.

Tomorrow: Kyle's prank.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Dishes: Protest!

I'm often told I have too many dishes. I wholeheartedly dispute that claim.

Last night at 6:30, we ran out of clean dinner plates.

Here's the empty hole where the plates are supposed to live.

This simply can't continue. More dishes must be bought at once!