Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today, I took my girls to see the new Muppets movie. It was totally worth the 40 or so dollars it cost to enjoy the film and even the 25 minutes of previews couldn't dull my spirits. I think I looked forward to it more than they did. I miss the Muppets. I loved the movie. I loved that show. I wish it would come back on. Right now, as I'm typing, Linus is complaining because he's lost his blanket and Charlie Brown just ran into a tree. One of the most simple cartoons ever created - I wonder if that's why it's a classic. I can't imagine a Moxie Girls Thanksgiving or a Pokemon Christmas special. I think the reason I miss things from the past is because they were easy and simple. Nothing seems simple anymore. Remember when a movie had a caroon and a few previes instead of 12 commercials before it started? When a kids show was for kids and wasn't racy or inappropriate? I would love those days back. I would love my kids to have it as simple as Charlie Brown. Heck, if they'd let me, I'd watch Sesame Street every afternoon. I don't care how old I get, if Maria and Gordon can still sing songs, so can I!!! I think some of these TV and movie people mess things up when they change them. I waited until the Smurfs ran in the $3 movie theater to see it. Why? Because I knew I wouldn't really like it. I knew they would mess it up. My sister likes to remind me that I was a huge Smurfs fan. But that was back in the day - when they were normal and not animatronic. Those things freak me out - like that movie Polar Express or those awful Alvin and the Chipmunks. Ugh! I just saw a trailer for that and it has the girl chipmunks shaking their butts and singing "I whip my tail back and forth." And then they sing Lady Gaga. Wait, isn't this supposed to be a movie for children? I wonder if things were a little less complicated, kids today would learn to slow down and appreciate life more. Like, can we live in a world where going to McDonalds is a special treat and not a once-a-week occurrence? Maybe just for a little while it would be nice to live in a world where frogs and pigs get married?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. One of the reasons I know this is because I've been hearing a lot of people talk about things they are thankful for. To me, you should thank God every day when you wake up. Thank Him for letting you wake up and letting you breathe and letting you have a home and a car and a job (or the ability to not work) and a family and food and all the other things that you take for granted and then vocally express thanks for in late November. Waiting until Thanksgiving to be thankful is like waiting for Valentine's Day to show someone you love them. Why do you need a day on the calendar for that? I just thought it would be a hoot to get a little more sarcastic today and mention what I'm not very thankful for. --I am not thankful for hangnails. --I am not thankful for dry skin. --I am not thankful for dog poop. --I am not thankful for migraines. --I am not thankful for wet socks And I am certainly not thankful for stink bugs. Now you're probably saying to yourself, "Um, Liz, I'm not too thankful for your sarcasm." But that's just a service I provide free of charge. No need to thank me! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011


This morning, I was discussing Veteran's Day with my youngest daughter. Her dad was in the Navy and her impression is that he lived on a ship and had a gun. Well, no, honey, he didn't have a gun. So how did he shoot the bad guys in the war? Hmm. How do you explain to kids that we have a military for reasons other than war? And do they really even understand what war is? I probably thought the same thing when I was her age. I knew my Dad was in the Army and that he had been in Germany. I probably had visions of him fighting Nazis even though he hadn't been born until after the end of World War II. I know they will learn all about these things in school as they get older. The anniversary of 9/11 gave them a horrible taste of war and terrorism and tragedy. It's weird - they are far removed from it but it's still so much a part of their lives. For instance, they have shelter drills in school. I knew about fire drills and then found out about evacuation drills but this one was new to me. My daughter told me something about sitting on the floor, bending down and putting your arms over your head. She asked how many of those drills I had as a kid. Of course, the answer is none. I do remember seeing "fallout shelter" signs in schools. Do you remember those? That yellow circle with black triangles? You never really knew what it was for because we didn't have those kinds of drills in the late 70s and 80s. We just had the simple-fire-drill-walk outside to the parking lot-be quiet-and go back inside kind of drills. There was never any reason for us to lockdown a building and put red or green signs in the window depending on the level of danger. There was no reason to line up near a wall away from any windows where glass could shatter. None of that was ever an issue. Now I am part of the safety team at my oldest's school. As I sat in that meeting, my stomach started to turn. I listened to the teachers and staff make plans for disaster. They were calm and matter-of-fact and very thoughtful and organized about it. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry because I couldn't get over the fact that these drills are now just a common part of life. I'm not upset about the drills. But, I'm upset that they have to exist. I'm upset because there are crazy people who do stupid things like go into a school and hurt people. I wish my kids didn't have to know that bad things like that exist. But I am also glad that I live in a country where there are men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting me and my family. We take our freedom for granted but they still provide that freedom for us. Thank you to anyone who has ever been a part of the U.S. Military. You are a blessing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

To shop or not to shop

Okay, I have to admit it - I think there is something wrong with me. I may have to hand over my key to the secret women's clubhouse and rip up my superior gender membership card. Here's why - I HATE SHOPPING! Seriously, I hate it. I don't like it a smidge. Today, I was at the mall with my 9-year-old daughter looking for boots. Not snow boots - she has those. But, cool boots - you know the kind with zippers or buckles in leather or suede or something kind of tweenish but not too little girlish. Here's the problem with that - it's very hard to find shoes for this child. Her feet are on the large size - they are long and thin and flat. She fits comfortably into women's sizes but most of the boots she liked in women's sizes have heels that are not going to be on my child's feet! So, six stores later, she was done. I was done after store number two, but I'm no quitter so I would have gone into every store in the Poughkeepsie Galleria if I had to. I even bought her a fancy chocolate bar hoping that would give her enough energy to run the marathon. Heck, I even saw guys in Payless that were more excited about shoe shopping than I was. No one in my family likes crowds - did I mention that the Christmas decorations are up and it seemed like a lot of people were doing Christmas shopping already? Nobody wants to wait on lines - and there were a lot of them. And we're not big fans of noise - a cheerleading squad was there doing fundraising so we got to listen to them cheering while we were trying on boots. People who know me well know I hate to shop. I would rather go into a store, grab 10 things and try them on at home. Really. I would rather return stuff than stay in the store an extra 20 minutes trying things on. So I was thinking about how much I hate shopping and then I looked at my daughter. Does she hate shopping because I hate shopping or because it's boring? She doesn't mind shopping in a store like Claire's. Oh, don't get me started on that store. That place is torture. I don't know how people do it. It's so cramped and crowded and when you turn around your purse hits the display and knocks over the rhinestone belly ring display and the lip gloss rack and then your kids beg and beg for the $15 gummy bear earrings that you know they are just going to lose the minute they get home. I have this fantastic idea for the next time I'm at the mall and my kids want to go to Claire's. I will find a teenager and give her five bucks to stand there with my kids in the store. I will wait outside and watch but the lucky girl can help them sift through day-glo rubber and feathers and glitter. Then, they can buy their items and we'll all be happy. Ten minutes of her life for $5? Not a bad trade-off! I'm sure my disgust is rubbing off on her. She must feel my anxiety, my angst, my loathing. Poor girl I told her she needs to go shopping with her dad's sisters or cousins because those girls are serious about shopping. They know where to go, when to go, what to buy and how to buy it. Me? I'll wear the same pair of shoes every day. And, I'll wear brown shoes with a black coat. I just don't care. Poor Caty. We came home without boots but she didn't seem to mind too much. She wanted to go back for another chocolate bar!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lights out

Wow, it's been a super-long time since I blogged. I meant to do it and then, well, this freak October storm came and ruined those plans! No power for a few days and, honestly, not having a computer was the least of my problems. I don't even mind not having lights and other electrical things. I do appreciate the generator to keep the fridge running and power up an electric heater, but really, it wasn't so bad. I was amazed by how many people would give hourly Facebook status updates complaining about having no power when today, four days later, I still have friends in the dark. I think the thing I hate most about the power going out is not having hot water and worrying about the septic system. I never dealt with that growing up in a city. You could still flush the toilet in a blackout. So, my version of roughing it was boiling water on the stove and pouring it in the tub. My kids thought I was nuts. But then I reminded them about their grandpa and how his grandmother lived in a cold water flat and this was common practice. And I reminded them that their grandmother had an outhouse when she was a kid, so what was the big deal? Still giving me the crazy eyes so I told them how, in the "olden days" people would get one bath and the men in the family would go first and then the women and then the children and by the time the kids got in there it was so dirty, they invented the expression "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." They still thought I was crazy but they were racing to see who could get in that tub first, I'll tell you.l I hope all those affected get power back soon. I hope you didn't have any major damage from the storm and that your food didn't all go rotten. I hope you'll also go check on an elderly neighbor who might need some help during a time like this or that you'll be more patient and stop at the blacked out traffic light instead of considering it a free pass and speeding through it. Maybe you'll even smile at the workers up in the cherry pickers trying to fix the lines. A wave, a thank you, a plate of cookies? We're all in this together, right? Stay warm, friends and pray we don't see snow again until Christmas!