Jul 29, 2007

Jul 28, 2007

Beer & Chocolate

I’ve been tagged. Actually, I was tagged ages ago but am just now getting around to it which is ironic considering the assignment is to write a post about productivity and any tips I may have to share on the subject.

Stephen asks me to: “Write a post on your best productivity tips. Challenge yourself by picking your single best productivity tip (although this isn’t a requirement; you can give us more if you want!)”

A productive day for me is something quite different than what it is for a lot of folks. In fact I’m still thinking I can really define it however I like. It could be a long day spent at the beach talking about shells and fish and the clouds and sea weed and eating corn dogs and wearing Ella out. That is a day filled with experience and education and activity and is productive. Or it could be a day where I sit Ella in front of two back to back movies with Play Doh while I do dishes, floors, bathroom, and get all the toys picked up and books re-shelved. That is a day spent toiling over chores that will need to be redone again soon but no less productive than the former. Or it could be a day in which I keep Ella entertained with crayons and hopscotch while updating many websites and doing laundry.

Now after I’ve thought about it, I suppose it matters not what I am doing when I am productive, what he is really asking for is something everyone can use, no matter what their post. Even when I was working in a professional office environment these held true. So, I give you, in order of importance Bombadee’s tips on being productive:

1. Get enough sleep. There isn’t enough coffee in the world to make you feel productive if you’ve had crap sleep. Unless you are working at getting a good nap.

2. Make a list of things you will accomplish in the day and then scratch them off as you go. It’s really satisfying.

3. Tell peers you are going to do a task, it helps you make the commitment to actually doing it.

I don’t know if those are revelations for anyone or not. I will also say it helps to love what you do. There are certain hobbies I have that will keep me up late into the night working in creative ways that mystify even myself. Or years pass by and it seems like just yesterday I started a thing. If you aren’t feeling that about what you do, keep looking and striving to find what it is that will give you passion and productivity will be the least of your worries. That's all I have, how about you? What makes you productive?

Jul 26, 2007


After the movie last night – “That’s it! We’re one Michael Moore movie away from moving to Canada.”

When we picked Ella up – “She drew a picture of you walking to the post office... with dog poop on your shoe.”

From the backseat of the car – “Mom, we need to get a real baby brother. I don’t want Arthur to be imaginary anymore.”

Jul 25, 2007

What?! I Wasn't Even DOING anything!

Illinois just became the 19th state to ban smoking in public. Letters to the editor are pouring in from smokers who feel it is their God given right to spew second hand smoke. I wonder if those same people beleive it was ok for Andrew Speaker to walk around in public with TB.

Glenn Barr

Jul 24, 2007

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

I told Ella we were going on a bear hunt. She wrangled her sandals onto her feet, found our sunglasses a bottle of water and a net and we set off. We walked all over the neighborhood, encountering one little old lady getting her mail who wished us luck on our hunt even though she hadn’t seen any bears in the neighborhood lately. We crossed two “rivers” and found many treasures including; fairy earrings, three walnuts one of which a “beaver” ate but would be perfect to “lure bears” with, three dandelions that would be put in a vase at home, a strange spherical seed pod and one rock for hippity hop scotch. We put them in our net for safe keeping. We walked all the way to “Wisconsin” where we found ourselves standing at the edge of “The Underdog Park”. After a rest and some water in the shade and a short detour to the edge of a real corn field where we procured two pinches of corn silk to put in our net with the other riches, Ella politely asked me to give her an underdog on the swing, after all we were at The Underdog Park. As I ran underneath the swing propelling her as far as I could with my arms she yelled “I’m not even scarred!” Three more underdogs and we were exhausted and ready for the long walk four blocks home and jelly sandwiches with black berries on the side. It was a good and expedition even though we didn’t catch any bears.

Jul 23, 2007


I watched Little Ice Age: Big Chill on the History Channel yesterday. If you get a chance to catch it, I recommend it. It made me wonder why we never learned this sort of thing in history class. I just remember trying to remember dates belonging to the Tet Offensive and the New Deal. While I recognize those events as important, they seemed quite dwarfed by “…a period of cataclysmic cold... It froze Viking colonists in Greenland, accelerated the Black Death in Europe, decimated the Spanish Armada, and helped trigger the French Revolution… New York Harbor froze and people walked from Manhattan to Staten Island, Eskimos sailed kayaks as far south as Scotland, and two feet of snow fell on New England in June and July during "the Year Without a Summer"…” It seemed to me that this is kind of a big deal in history.

Jul 20, 2007


I read in the Rockford Register Star, about a very nice family trying to open a drive in theatre just behind the Old Ghost Town. I spoke with the wife last month and she expressed to me that they run a family business and plan to play family movies. I was very excited. I imagined packing my family into the van with blankets and stuffed animals ready for a double feature. I imagined the kids catching fireflies while neighbors caught up with each other standing in line for snacks before the new Disney movie started. I imagined my daughter sitting in the seat next to me munching popcorn and sipping coke with her head on my shoulder and her feet in her Dad’s lap while she drifted off to sleep with cartoon hotdogs and candy dancing across the screen beckoning us to buy more snacks. I imagined my daughter sleeping in the back seat while my husband and I cuddled up in the front to watch the second feature. Best of all I imagined a five minute drive home. Can you imagine a night out with the family for under $50.00 right in our own backyard? Our county board can’t.

God forbid something fun not be located out on East State Street. It just makes me sick to my stomach to think we LOST the opportunity for such wonderful family entertainment not to mention the sales tax from folks that may stop for ice, gas and snacks on the way to the show. I even called my board members to voice my support for the theatre. What were they thinking when they voted NO?

Voting against the drive-in theater proposal were Frank Gambino, Angie Goral, Paul Gorski, Bob Hastings, Pearl Hawks, Pete MacKay, Tom Owens, Mel Paris, Rick Pollock, Jim Webster, Mary Ann Aiello and Doug Aurand. County Board Chair Scott Christianson broke the tie vote with a "no".

Shame on you Doug Aurand, shame on you Paul Gorski. What were you thinking? You have my e-mail, tell me what were you thinking?

For more on the story you can read it in today’s RR Star letters to the editor at


or the story at




FEMA again

FEMA Ignored Risk Toxic Trailers Imposed on Katrina Victims
Date Published: Friday, July 20th, 2007

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) failed to test
FEMA trailers for toxic levels of formaldehyde even after the agency’s field workers warned the trailers might be linked to health problems. FEMA’s own emails show that the agency’s lawyers rejected testing because they were afraid doing so would expose FEMA to liability if anyone living in the trailers became ill due to exposure to the toxic air. The trailers were given to as many as 120,000 displaced Gulf coast families after Hurricane Katrina. About 60,000 families are still living in the trailers..."


I just spend the last three hours reading about site maps and web crawlers. I’ve realized how important it is for me to be in a classroom, I had to actually imagine someone reciting it to me before I could absorb and understand the information I was re-reading.

Jul 19, 2007

Thursday Night

Stretch and tone and warm the muscles,
Strap on skates set to tussle,
Stride and sweat, pull and shove,
Smile and laugh, joy and love,
Exertion exhaustion one more lap,

Skating hard to close the gap,
Between the years behind you,
And expectations that bind you,
Between your goals found again,
And your everyday mundane,
Divas flying strong and swift,
Effortlessly spirits lift.

Jul 18, 2007

Kashif I love your dance!

Scooter Libby is golfing today as the senate pulls an all nighter in efforts bring our soldiers home. Polar Bears are still drowning, people are storing barrels of nuclear waste without lids in an earthquake zone and women still only make 70 cents on the dollar in America. Instead of shaking my fist upward into the air, I share with you the mesmerizing talents of KASHIF! The passion! The fervor! The dance! The much needed distraction! Oh yes, I voted for Kashif last night. The poetic justice of an everyday guy winning a million dollars with his raw passion, gives me hope. Kashif I love your dance!

Jul 16, 2007

Lu.u.u.u.ke, I a.a.a.m Yo.u.r Fa.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.a.ther

"Mom! Talking into the fan makes my voice really scrummalie"

Jul 15, 2007


Ella and I dressed in our Friday-night best and went to the theatre with freinds Friday night. The Tot's picked us up for our triple date and when we arrived and Sugarlips popped out of the car dressed in his best and said “La we hafta hold hands.” I couldn't get my camera out fast enough.

We meandered up to the ticket booth and admired the giant structure whose ceiling opens up like a lotus flower to the stars and waited for Judo Boy and Mrs. BlahZeeBlah.

We had seats on the isle just like we requested and despite the anticipation of running to the potty and coddling in the lobby the children sat enamored on our laps waiting to see what happened next. The dancing was spirited enough to inspire La to hop up and down in her seat and of course I cried at the end of the first act when Peter asks the audience to believe in fairies and the children crowed "Er-Er-Er-Er-ERRRRRR!" the whole way out to the car. Next time I think I’d like to venture closer to the stage, now that I know my date would allow it.

Jul 13, 2007

They Jump so High, They reach the Sky

Ms. Mary teaches at the grade school in the next town over. She needed extra money so she started a play date business in tiny town. For $10.00 a child she’ll have a chocolate teddy bear tea party with your kids and the neighbor kids and whoever else signs up that day. At first the going was tough, but once word got out about how fun Ms. Mary was you had to sign up weeks in advance. Ms. Mary was a hit.

Ella and I walked downtown yesterday to mail a T-shirt to AZ and we saw the brand new sign Ms. Mary put in front of her play shop, it read “Preschool Registration Now Open”. Ms. Mary wants a small class so there are only ten spots open. Ella filled the ninth spot this morning. She’ll start in the fall and go twice a week. We are thrilled.

It could only get better if an internet coffee shop opened up next door.

Jul 12, 2007

Jul 11, 2007

Holy Grail of swimming suits

I went swim suit shopping yesterday. I brought my three year old with. She was great when I got frustrated in the dressing room and threw a tantrum; she patted me on the back and said “just chill Mom”. I just can’t believe there isn’t a suit out there that covers all my bits and doesn’t feel like an exhaustive exercise in picking fabric out of my butt for less than $135.00.

I ended up buying a two piece with boy shorts and plans to alter the top. I need to take it in around the rib cage and then lengthen it by adding some light gauzy fabric to it. Like a ruffle underneath the main structure, turning it from a bikini top that puts my belly on display for public viewing and critic, to an empire wasted, hide it all except the cleavage, mini dress with boy shorts that match. The custom empire wasted tankini that doesn’t cling will be the Holy Grail of swimming suits.

I’ll take pics of how it all turns out just in case Tommy or Ralph would like to stop in and see what women really want to wear to the beach. We just don’t enjoy standing around in the sand in a sausage casing, even when the sausage casing covers all the appropriate bits, it’s just not comfy. I know men have already realized this, confirmed by their lack of Speedo use. Stay tuned to witness my sewing genius or to watch me render a perfectly good swim suit into a strange concoction with threads hanging everywhere.

Jul 10, 2007

I Like Spam on Toast

Recently I figured out how to forward all the e-mails I have to the one I read most often and now on a daily basis I get at least 40 offers to make my penis larger, stronger and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound which is amazing since I don’t even own one. I cranked my spam filter up to 11 this morning and I think I’m running the risk of missing the junk mail I like. There are a few bands, a couple of restaurants and a few casinos I like to get offers from.

Jul 9, 2007


This would be the portion of my summer that is too busy to blog. Given the decision to either write something short and incomplete or nothing at all, I choose nothing at all. This is the exact character flaw that could turn me into a hoarder/pack rat. I wait for the perfect opportunity and the perfect situation to take care of projects and if they never present then I continue to procrastinate. The project grows and becomes so daunting it’s even easier to put off. So let me give you the list and I’ll break it down into bite sized pieces for myself.

Visit from AZ
Coco Key Water Park with our favorite buddies
New roller derby recruits
4th of July fireworks with the family
Concert at Krypto
Hippity Hop Scotch as a sport
Mom’s brand new house
Pearl Lake
New Clothes
S’mores around the fire
Last minute sushi, shopping and salsa dancing
Petunia parade injuries

With that all said, I really need to clean house today instead of blogging.

Jul 6, 2007

It's for you

I was going to get up and have a fabulous rant about politics this morning, instead the sun shone down, Ella woke me up with the phrase said “Good morning sunshine”, Dan made coffee and the beach called the house and demanded we get our swimmy suits on and head over immediately for sandy popsicles - mmmm.

Jul 3, 2007

Typical Monday

Yesterday Ella and I walked through the neighborhood down to the river that goes through tiny town and we threw rocks. This is like the best thing in the world to a three year old, how far, how fast, how many, if the fish see them. I also took this picture and realized what Ella will look like when she grows up. Heavy sigh.

In the afternoon we went to the fabric store and bought ½ a yard of orange shiny goodness, 1 yard of pretty ribbon, ½ yard of those poofy pink balls and then we rushed home and made a cape for “Super Girl” Her super powers include extraordinary river rock throwing, hippity-hop-scotch deluxe, making up songs on the spot about anything in the world, and super cuteness.

Jul 2, 2007

Finding your own luck