I’m not a crier. I may have mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating. I am not one to get emotional at movies, books, TV shows or songs.

Except for that ASPCA animal cruelty commercial with the Sarah MacLauchlan song playing in the background. My heavens that is like a arrow straight to the heart!  I have to immediately turn the channel or risk a meltdown and then emergency run to the Humane Society to buy up every last puppy there.

At any rate, I may not cry a lot but I do feel emotions. Despite popular opinion that I am “Hard-hearted Hannah from the South of Savannah” (cough MOM cough), I really do feel things. One powerful image I have from childhood was with a certain dragon named Puff.

Remember that one? It’s a song by Peter, Paul and Mary about a little boy named Jackie Paper who has a pet dragon and they play and have wonderful times until the boy grows up and leaves at which point Puff essentially crawls in to his cave and dies. Or as the song goes, “Puff that mighty dragon he ceased his fearless roar.”

Get your Kleenex ready…

Really? REALLY?! This is a children’s song! Come on, man! Every time I heard that song I would get sad and want to cry. Poor Puff! I have outlawed that song from ever being played in my presence again, along with the movies Fox and the Hound and Bambi (come on Disney!).

Well guess what?

My mom gave Isabella a “Puff the Magic Dragon” book today. And behold! It came with a CD of the song!

Puff, the Magic Dragon


When I saw it I gave my mom a look and said, “Please tell me this is not the original song with the sad ending.”

She assured me that no, this was a different ending, a happy one, where Jackie comes back with his daughter to play with Puff. Great! All is well in the world.

I even played the CD in the car on the way home.

It was not a new version.

It was the original version.

And the weirdest thing happened. My eyes started leaking. There must be something wrong with them. Most likely a side affect of getting older.

Isabella fell asleep so she didn’t hear most of it. Someday we’ll have to explain it to her though.

Or I could ban it from ever being played again. EVER.

Summertime One Liners

I have never picked fresh flowers from a garden.


Boy was I missing out.


I think I pulled a muscle swatting at a spider that was hanging down from my belt.

I’m so glad kids don’t inherit the fears of their parents.


I do wish she had inherited my ability to lay down and go to sleep right away without getting up 800 times or crying.

It’s amazing what a difference 10 degrees can make. 90 feels a lot better than 100.

80 would feel a lot better than 90.

Samson broke out of the backyard tonight and then 30 minutes later, after I got him home, he stole one of Munchkins’ toys.


The old boy’s got some spunk in him yet!

I still feel like that spider is still on me. Is it on me?

Magic beans do not work.

Magic Mike, on the other hand, will work quite nicely for me tomorrow night.

I’ve started adding mid-day walks back in to my work schedule.

I like it when I stumble across things like this on my walks.


The nasty blisters I developed on the back of my foot from wearing the wrong shoes I could do without.

Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, the end of Summer will be here before we know it.

Better enjoy every minute of it while it lasts.


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Random Thought Friday

It’s the end of another week. Time is flying by and you know what? I actually feel like I’m filling mine up with valuable things. This is the first year in a long time where I am really “seizing the day” and taking advantage of every opportunity. I’ve done things I never would have thought I’d do and it’s been great! Here are the various things going on in my life or occupying my mind lately.

1. One of the “bucket list” items I was able to cross off this week was going to a real life fashion show. My good friend Stacey was a model in the Cancer Survivor Night of Omaha Fashion Week and I went to support her.


It was neat to see so many cancer survivors walking the runway and showing their stuff! I was really proud of Stacey too – she did awesome!


(source: Shelley)

Another perk? VIP goodie bags!

Ok, I was not a VIP. But there were a few bags left lying around so I stole picked one up… Here’s the loot!


Some samples of beauty products…


Some coupons and gourmet dog treats…


Notice there are 5 bags of dog treats. I did not have all 5 of those in my bag. None of the friends with me own a dog so they all donated their gourmet goodies to Samson.

He scored big man.

Oh, and there were cute little cupcakes too!


I took this picture in my car, 2.5 seconds before I shoved this whole thing in my mouth.

2. Another fun thing I did this week was make my own “glass art”. Some gals from work were getting together to do it and had an extra slot so I gladly tagged along.

Here’s the gang.


No I didn’t make that lovely pumpkin I’m holding. We just grabbed random stuff for the picture.

This is what I made.


That’s what it looks like before being fired anyway. We’ll get the cooked and final piece back in about a week so I’ll post another pic then. I was going for a sunset scene ala Frank Lloyd Wright (you know, the guy who wrote “Phantom of the Opera”…or at least that’s what one of the gals thought (ehem, Nicki)). I hope it turns out!

3. If your office is like mine, people bring in food all the time. Either left over goodies that they don’t want around their house or perhaps a splurge they wanted to share with their co-workers. The gesture is nice and the goodies are appreciated but it can also get to be a bit much.

One of the very forward thinking gals in our pod figured out one way to stop the food drops: puzzles.


If there is a 750 piece puzzle on the table, no one can put food there, right?

Little did she know she was creating monsters. We all know I’m competitive and obsessive at times (wonder if that’s where Samson gets it from…?) so when the challenge of a puzzle was presented, I dove right in. There were a few of us that became hooked pretty quickly and this bad boy was completed in less than a week.

Here’s a closer shot.


It worked though! No food was brought over to our area! There was still food in other areas but most of the time I didn’t know it was around so I didn’t get the urge to eat it! Genius!

Next week we take on a 1000 piece puzzle!

4. Moving Isabella to a toddler bed may happen sooner than we originally thought. Yesterday CJ put her in time out, up in her crib. She managed to climb out, open the gate at the top of the steps, climb down, open the gate at the bottom and walk on in to the kitchen. Guess the cage crib isn’t going to hold her any longer. Toddler bed, here we come!

5. I’ve been trying to figure out little, easy ways to save money here and there and have come up with some good ones. Here’s what I’m doing.

  • Most of us use way more water than necessary. For example, when washing clothes, the water only needs to barely cover the clothes in the drum. Any more is wasted. So I’ve started setting the size to one less than I normally would. I also change the time to a shorter period. The clothes still get clean but with less water used.
  • We’ve started splitting meals when we go out to eat. Most of the time Isabella and I can share and still have plenty to go around. Saves money and eliminates food waste.
  • I’ve also started using up all the little travel sized toiletries we have lying around. I actually have a whole drawer dedicated to them in the closet:


We used to travel a lot and it’s like a cardinal rule that you have to take the little toiletries from the hotel when you leave right? But then we never use them.

Well that ends now! I literally have enough tiny toothpaste tubes to last me for the rest of the year. Plus shampoos and conditioners and lotion. And of course shower caps!

At first I was hesitant because my non-existent limp hair needs volumizing products and most of the hotel stuff is for dry hair.  But then I realized that as long as ONE of my products was volumizing, the rest didn’t have to be. So, if I use a “good” shampoo, the conditioner can be a sample and I’ll still look ok! Cha-ching!


Well, that’s about it. My mind is emptied and I’m ready for bed. Or a glass of wine. Whichever…

Have a great weekend!

And This is Why We Have Roadside Assistance

Today started off pretty normal. Got up, went to work, did work stuff and then headed out for a doctor’s appointment. 45 minutes later I was back in my car. I had to make a few phone calls and instead of turning the car all the way on, I just turned it enough to roll down the windows. Though it’s hot out, there was a nice breeze and I didn’t want to waste gas. I called CJ and my mom and then it was time to head back to work.

I turned the key in the ignition and nothing. Hmm. I tried again. Still nothing. Well poop. I tried a third time and then faced facts that my battery was dead.

I called CJ wondering what I should do and he reminded me that this is why we pay for AAA. Ah ha! I knew that brilliant idea of mine way back in October would pay off! Ok so it was CJ’s idea but I wrote the check so I can take some credit.

The lady I talked to was very friendly. She asked if I needed a jump start or a tow. Well, maybe both. What if they can’t jump it? So she put on the order that I needed both and that someone would be there within 45 minutes.

Thank god for Angry Birds! I stood outside the front door of the doctor’s office and played Angry Birds for an hour, interspersed with some texting and Facebook updates. Die little green hogs die!



Finally I saw the tow truck pull up. I directed him to my vehicle and he pulled in behind it. Naturally, because this is a tow truck, it’s not exactly small and was blocking a few cars around me, one of which had a lady in it. Neither the tow truck dude nor I noticed her getting ready to back out until she came over and said in a very snotty voice, “Um, do you mind if I back out first?” Dude and I looked at each other and nodded in a look that said, “Wow, what a bitch.”

Once that was done he got his battery test kit thingie and came over. He was a young kid, probably mid-20’s, and very nice. He was easy on the eyes too, which always helps. I was afraid I’d end up with some old creepy dude like my friend Rhonda did a few weeks back. But I lucked out. He tested the battery and proclaimed it dead. We both paused for a few minutes in a moment of silence. Then he jumped it. Wow, that sounded sexual. Anyway, he got it to start with the jumper cables and told me I’d be ok to drive home or to a mechanic but as soon as I shut it off it’d be done. I thanked him and headed on my way.

The whole drive home I was terrified that it would stall on the Expressway or Interstate and I’d be the cause of a 5 car pile-up – and I’d be at the bottom of the pile. The news story would read, “Grieving husband sues AAA for letting wife drive on a bad battery” and CJ and Isabella would be set for life. Hundreds would show up at my funeral, hoping to catch a glimpse of the woman who died such a tragic death.

But none of that happened and I made it home fine. Once I got here I scooped myself up a big bowl of ice cream and promptly ate it with Munchkin. Hey, I deserved it!

Meanwhile CJ pulled the dearly departed battery out and went out to buy a new one. Apparently there was some “ta do” at the auto parts place because the battery they originally told him he needed was not the right one and they had to scramble to find another. But it all worked out and by 8:30, my new battery was installed and humming along.




I’m so glad I have a handy husband. He can fix darn near anything around here, which is really quite convenient for me and our checking account. CJ doesn’t always love it since he’s the one doing the work but whatever. If you have the skills man…besides, I do projects too when I can, like making sure to eat all the chocolate chip cookie dough before it goes bad in the ‘fridge. What can I say, I’m a giver.

Anyway, that was my drama for the day. Now it’s time to go put my pointer finger on ice. It’s hard work catapulting those birds in the air for 60 minutes!

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The Customer Is Always Right! Right?

I have had a string of bad customer service experiences lately. I must be a magnet for them. And seriously, I am like the nicest customer. When I call in to someone for help, I say please, I listen to what they say, I give them the benefit of the doubt, I say thank you and wish them a nice day and then politely hang up.

Yet somehow I don’t always get that same respect in return.

Some of it isn’t so much the Customer Service Rep being rude but rather not having a clue as to what they’re talking about. You end up getting the run around and suddenly an hour of your life has been sucked away. Case in point: trying to verify a hotel reservation in Des Moines.

I had an incident the other day when trying to deal with my old HSA from my previous job. I had called last week to close the account. The dude I got told me they can’t do it over the phone because I have money in the account so he would send me a form to fill out. Ok fine. I got the form and started to fill it in only to realize I didn’t know my account number and couldn’t find it on the website. So I call them. As soon as the CSR gets on the phone, she asks for my account number. I tell her I don’t have it. She verifies my identity other ways and then gives me the number. She was very nice. She asked why I needed the number so I told her. “Oh we can close your account over the phone!” she says.

Oh really.

Sure! She’ll just get that done for me right away. Great! I write “VOID” at the top of my form and then she tells me that I have a negative balance so all I have to do is send them a check for what I owe and then they’ll close it. Wait, wait, hold the phone. How did my account balance go from positive to negative in a week when I haven’t used it in 2 months? She puts me on hold to look in to it. When she comes back she says it’s because I ordered checks. Um, no I didn’t. She says they have a signature card from me. Well not sure how they got that but I didn’t order checks (unless I sent the form in thinking it was for the new HSA I have – all this benefits stuff is very confusing). She cancels the order and tells me to go ahead and send in the form. But I thought you were closing it over the phone? Well I can’t do that now that you have a positive balance.

It was at this point that I turned green and popped out of my clothes as I ran down the hallway.

How much is my balance I ask? Ready for this? $1.03. That’s right. I have just over a dollar in there. I told her to keep the dollar and close my account. Nope can’t do that, I must send in the form. Well lady guess what, I already wrote VOID at the top of the form. No problem, just cross that out and send it in. Fine.

Guess what? Yesterday I got 2 pieces of mail from this HSA company. One of them was the book of checks she had canceled and the other was a letter saying I’d get my checks in 7-10 days.

I can’t make this stuff up!!

My other bad customer service experience was around our taxes. Back in April we found out that our accountants had screwed up our forms and instead of getting a refund we now owed – and owed big. I was furious. I called them and demanded that they at least refund the money that we had paid them to DO IT RIGHT! The owner agreed and said the check would be in the mail the next day. That was April 6th. We never got the check. What we did get on Friday was a letter from the IRS saying we now owed MORE money because of an amended return. So I called up the accountant today and told him 1) you still owe me money and 2) why did you amend our taxes without telling us? He stuttered and bobbled and said he’d look in to it and get back to me.

10 to 1 says I don’t hear from him at all. But don’t you worry, I’ll call him back every day until they get this straightened out. I don’t like to be THAT person but I sure can be if needed!

So I’m trying to be Zen and get rid of whatever bad karma I must have around me. I don’t like dealing with these situations and having to be a royal bitch to people but sometimes you have to stick up for yourself.

And then go home and dive in to a pint of Rocky Road.

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