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Sunday, June 27, 2010

I've Learned...

I got this in an email and had to share...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Craziness...

My #1 is at a band honor ensemble this weekend.
From the beginning it's been a bit disorganized, but I thought it was because we came into the game pretty late.

Last week I got the packing list that included a black suit. He doesn't have one of his own, but he is borrowing one and that will have to do. I thought we were the only ones who were getting the packing list so late, but I discovered that everyone got their packing list very very late... In the organizers' defense, this is the first time they've ever done anything like this, so a little disorganization is understandable.

I dropped #1 off the other day - they did not have name tags for the boy, but they did have a place for him to sleep.  I was a little annoyed, but since there were kids who didn't have rooms or beds, I decided that the name tag was the least of my worries.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sent an email asking for chaperones. I told them I would be more than happy to do that. They told me they needed me on Friday and Saturday.
I arrived there yesterday morning - at 6am. (This meant I was out of bed at 4:30 and on the road shortly before 5am - not to mention that I woke up at 3:30 because I was afraid I'd sleep through my alarm.. you know how it is.)
I was the first chaperone there.
I was there before the organizer - that's fine.. I actually arrived 10 min. early.
I chatted with the organizer and then a few other parents showed up - one had come from a different hotel, others had arrived late the night before, but they were there to chaperone. Lovely, I thought.

The organizer asked me if I was driving. My answer - ummm... no.. I don't drive in DC.  (Basically my thought process was this: Are you kidding me? You want me to drive to DC NOW? It's after 7, the traffic is horrendous, there is no parking, and I can't take the HOV lane... If you had wanted me to meet you at the Capitol Building why didn't you say so two weeks ago??) 
He said, "Oh, Okay."
We loaded the kids on the buses - checked 'em off as they got on.
There were few seats left for chaperones.
Some chaperones without seats decided to pay for a shuttle.
Not me.
I found #1, handed him the camera, gave him a hug, and told him to have a great day.
I went home.
I got a bunch of band stuff done.
I hung out with my girly.
I took a much deserved nap.
It was a lovely day!  It sure beat walking around DC in 95 degree heat.
Today they said they probably don't need me.
I'm not driving 40 miles each way to find out.
Instead, I'm attending an engagement party for the daughter of a friend and then I'm going to polo.
See - now it's all about me.
:-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

So tell me...

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

 If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia , would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States , would you have said that he is clueless.

If George W. Bush would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in Texas , would you have thought he was a self important, conceited, egotistical prick.

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America , would you have approved.

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 10 months -- so you'll have three years and two months to come up with an answer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A map of MY country

A friend sent me this in my email...
I thought it needed to be shared.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND A MAP OF MY COUNTRY

My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Civil War, my father watched as his friends died in WW II, and I watched as my friends died in Vietnam.  None of them died for the Mexican Flag.  Everyone died for the U.S. flag.
Just this week, in Texas, a student raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole; another student took it down.  Guess who was expelled...the kid who took it down.

Kids in high school in California were sent home this week on Cinco de Mayo because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.  Enough is enough.
The message below needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America.  We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough.
I'm taking a stand.  I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country, and for the U.S. flag, can't stand up.
If you agree, stand up with me.
If you disagree, please let me know.
I will gladly remove you from my e-mail list.
And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.

             A Map Of My Country:
Let me make this perfectly clear!
 THIS IS MY COUNTRY!
And, because I make this statement 
DOES NOT
Mean I'm against immigration!!!

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY!
Welcome! To come through legally - just as members of my family did:

1. Get  a sponsor! 

2. Get a place to lay your head!

3. Get a job!

4. Live By OUR Rules!

5. Pay YOUR Taxes!

And 
6. Learn the LANGUAGE like immigrants
have in the past!!!
AND
7. Please don't demand that we hand over our lifetime 
savings of Social Security Funds to you.

 If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone,
Then YOU'RE  PART OF THE PROBLEM!

When will AMERICANS STOP giving away THEIR RIGHTS???

We've gone so far the other way...

bent over backwards not to offend anyone.

But it seems no one cares about the
AMERICAN CITIZEN
who's being offended!

 WAKE UP America !!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

People Watching

I love to go to Polo because the people watching is phenomenal!

This week there was a group of people in one of the very expensive boxes in front of us - we have the cheap seats, but we get to watch those who occupy the expensive seats.
At 7pm a young very pretty single mother arrived with her two kids in tow - literally... they were in a wagon. Excellent choice!We were impressed with her ingenuity.  We admired her dress and her large purse which we think doubled as a diaper bag. She parked her wagon next to the box and went in.

The kids were pretty well behaved most of the night until it got to be 9pm.  The kids are little - as in 2 and maybe 4 years old.  (There is one thing that parents should never fool with and it's bed time. Bed time in this house was sacred until the kids got to be 6 or 8 years old and even then we didn't fool with it unless we didn't have a choice.) 
At 9:05, the youngest started whining.   The young mom wanted to hang out with her friends and party. It was pretty obvious to any bystander that the mom wanted to stay.
At 9:06, the older boy started acting up. He was jumping, hanging on her, pulling her dress, whining, and generally being a very tired little boy.  She got upset with him. 
(Kids get bored at parties and at polo.  If you don't bring any toys or activities, eventually, they get bored and tired and you've got nothing for distraction purposes.)
Please note that all the other parents of younger kids left at 8:45 when the first match ended...
At 9:10 she put them both in the wagon - there was hope that she just might take them home.
At 9:11 she handed the oldest a sippy cup and the youngest a mostly empty water bottle.
At 9:12 the oldest started sprinkling his sister with the beverage in the sippy cup.  The sibling retaliated with hers. The mother got angry and grabbed the sippy cup away, but left the water bottle.  Yeah.. like that's gonna work...  She proceeded to chat with her now uncomfortable friends. 
At 9:15 she started pull the wagon away - away from the parking lot.. Just when you think there's hope, there's not.
At 9:20 she finally left. The kids were both crying.
What, exactly, did she accomplish? 
She didn't get to spend as much time with her friends as she would have liked.
She ended up ignoring her kids most of the night.
The kids ended up upset and in trouble.
She ended up frustrated.
Wouldn't a better choice be to simply get a babysitter?
Yes, they are expensive, but honestly... the price they all paid was not worth it.
I paid many babysitters. I didn't have a lot of money, but I certainly didn't bring my kids out when it was an adult party.  I'm not saying that Polo is an adult activity, but the box where they were partying was full of adults - not one other kid was in there.
Polo is a family event - when you want it to be.  But, if it's not family time, leave the kids at home, you know?

But if she had left the kids at home, I would have told you about their box - their topiary centerpiece, their caterer who worked his read end off all night, their kabobs, their wine selection, their unending supply of enormous strawberries and more... but I got distracted by the drama.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Scrapping

I'm behind.
Okay... I'm very behind in my scrapbooking.
I am going to start getting my pictures in order so I can crop them...
Baby steps...
I like to crop them before I put them in the book - it works better for me that way.
#1 has a sectional at the school and of course he needs an adult present.  I figure I can crop and get the pix in order in that hour and a half...
Then - when the kids are off at camp - after I shovel out their rooms, of course - I'll get down to putting the pictures in the book. This is the part takes me forever. I can slice and dice a picture in a split second, but how it gets placed on the page is such a challenge. (Not that anyone but me really cares!!)
But, I'm running out of time.
I've got to get caught up!

#1 is graduating next spring and I need to be caught up so that I can put his books out during his party - you know... to totally embarrass the poor kid.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clocking In

Searching for an alarm clock has been an eye opening experience.
I need a regular old fashioned alarm clock for #1 to take to camp. It seems that clock radios are not allowed. I'm fine with that.

FYI - if there is one thing this house is not short on - it's clocks. Gram and Grandpa are clock watchers as am I. There are coo coo clock, grandfather clocks, atomic clocks, clock radios, battery clocks, electric clocks, self wind clocks... you name it - between the two families here - we've got clocks covered.  BUT, I don't happen to own a plain old fashioned alarm clock.  I gave that up when I got my first clock radio when I went to college all those years ago. 

I am sure that if I go next door, Grandpa has 2 or 3 plain old fashioned alarm clocks in various colors to choose from, but I thought I'd see what's out there - just for kicks and giggles.

There are clocks without radios out there.  They call them travel alarm clocks. They just happen to run on batteries. Batteries are not the most reliable source of power for a 17 year old boy when it comes to hauling his rear end out of bed. Batteries in his iPod - fine. Batteries in his Ds - fine. Batteries in his alarm clock - not so fine.  I KNOW what it takes to get this boy out of bed and it's not one AA battery - he needs full fledged electricity with a really annoying buzz.

Do you know what they call plain old alarm clocks that run on electricity? Retro.
I'm feeling particularly old at the moment.
And yes, I'm going shopping in Grandpa's garage for an alarm clock - as soon as the clock next door chimes 9.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What to write??

I have no idea what to write about today.
School is out for the summer. And boy are we glad about that! You'd think that with 13 days of no school in February, we'd not be quite ready to get out... umm... no - we were ready 2 weeks ago!

I've got to pack #1 for 2 camps for next week.  He has an overlap - of course. But, his Chem Camp organizer has given him the okay to leave early to do the MENC Honor Ensemble in DC.

My job is to get him packed and organized so that on Sunday we can blast out of here knowing he has everything he needs. Wish me luck.

At Chem Camp he needs shoes - real ones. He also needs shirts with sleeves and collars - polos fit the bill there, right?  Oh yes, and dress shorts... I'm hoping his plaid shorts fit the bill there. He needs extra long twin flat sheets - no fitted sheets allowed.  Oh and white towels and face cloths... Did you know that he has to be clean shaven? He had better be sure to toss his razor in there on Sunday morning.  He doesn't need to get in trouble because he looks like a billy goat!

For the other camp - I have no idea what the boy needs other than a saxophone. I'm thinking plaid shorts and polos for that one, too. It makes packing so much easier!

Trust me, it's not all fun and games around here - #1 is trying to get his college essays written before he leaves for his summer of fun.  Doesn't that sound like a great way to start the summer? Yeah, I thought not...
But, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Now, let me go wake the boy up so we can get this party started!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Last Day

Today is the last day of school.
My #1 becomes a senior...
When he arrives home he will be busy. He has to practice for the MENC Honor Ensemble - he's playing at the Kennedy Center on the 27th. He also has to start his ROTC Scholarship application, write two college application essays, and generally get his rear in gear. He will be home for exactly one week and then his real summer starts!
LLB will catch up to him in July.  They will be gone for weeks at a time with less than 24 hours turn around time in between all summer. As we told them both - enjoy it now.  There won't be too many more summers when they can camp hop like this!
Don't worry. I'll keep myself busy. I'll shovel out some rooms. I'll clean out closets that are in desperate need of cleaning. I'll organize the pantry.  Heck, I'll probably even sleep in once (or twice), meet friends for lunch, go shopping... Oh, excuse me - ahem... I mean... I'll pine for my children every second they are away....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rude People

Make me crazy...
I was hauling water out of our storage trailer yesterday morning - alone. Our storage trailer is a 2 classroom trailer that is no longer used for classes.  There are doors at both ends of the trailer - one on the street side with stairs and the other in the back with a "handicapped" ramp.  I had the street side door propped open and my car directly in front of the stairs with the tailgate open.

As I exited the classroom with a case of water a man walked by me.
Excuse me, Sir, can I help you?
I'm passing through. - He said this with a tone... I don't do tone.
I'm sorry, this is a storage trailer, not a pass through. This is not open to the public. - I was cordial...
Well, how am I supposed to get to the other side?
(I've been up since 3am. It is currently 6:15am. I've been carrying water since 5:20am) Well, you can do what everyone else does and go around. - I said this with a smile...

He snarled, Nice Attitude!
(Nice attitude? Are you kidding me? It's graduation, which is supposed to be a happy day, and you've started it off by snarling at me!)
My next comment to him - Don't start! - Trust me I was in no mood.  He turned on his heel and left. Had he stayed one more second, I would have ripped his lips off. I also think that had I not been alone, he would have gone around.
As he exited the back of the trailer, I had to chuckle to myself... the ramp makes the walk twice as long as it would have been had he just walked along the side of the trailer.
That, my friends, is what you call karma!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

H2O

I'm off to C*sct* today to get water for the band to sell at graduation this Saturday
We had hoped the local Pepsi plant would come through and donate some, but that hasn't happened and we are out of time.
I need 25 cases - good thing I don't need more, because that's all I can fit in my car.
The other things I need are light and small, so we're good.
I emailed the band director to tell him that we'd be hauling water to the school today. He told me that he could meet me at 12:30 to help unload my car. That works. There is just no way that I'm unloading 25 cases of water by myself...
And there is no way that Gram will be unloading water.
She's done her share of Band Stuff over the years and hauling water is out of the question.
I will, however, let her buy me lunch.

UPDATE:  I was on my way to purchase the water when I got a call - Pepsi came through with 15 cases of water! Yippeee! I only had to purchase 10.  Thanks, Pepsi!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Bear Wuz Here!

The other day, Mr. went outside and discovered that our heat pump/air conditioning unit was off it's block - literally!  The plastic slab it sits on was half way out from under it.  This is unusual as the unit itself weighs a ton! Two grown men can barely lift it.
How could that have happened? Vibration? Maybe... not!
Gram noticed that there were dirt marks on the top and sides of the unit. She asked Grandpa if he'd put his hands or leaned there after gardening?  Grandpa informed her that he'd been gardening in the back of the house and that no - he'd not been over there at all.
Suddenly it came to them - it was the BEAR!
Sure enough, the slab had claw marks on it where he pulled it out.
Bear is strong!
But really, why would the bear want to get into the A/C unit?
It's simple...
Honey.
When they started to push the slab back under the unit - with much difficulty, I might add - they were attacked by bees... angry honey bees. 
Yes, the bear wanted the honey...
Kinda sounds like Pooh lives around here, doesn't it?
Silly old bear!
Needless to say, the bees have been removed and the unit will be serviced today to be sure it's all okay.

Friday, June 04, 2010

XProTeX Sports Gloves

We residents of The Crossing are not athletes.  We have friends who are athletes and we live vicariously through them.  One of our friends has a daughter who plays softball. She loves softball. She plays year round. She's phenomenal!

I got an email from Aimee of Dotted Line Communications asking me if we wanted to try out these new XProTeX sports gloves. She said that the gloves help spread out the forces of a ball hitting the bat. Now - I'm no athlete. I can't catch very well and Lord knows I can't hit.  When I do actually get a hit, it does hurt. Yes, I'm a big baby and I know it.  So, I contacted my friend and asked her if her daughter would like to try out these gloves.

This girl, I'll call her Kelly, it turns out, loves to be a guinea pig and will try almost anything. So I got the gloves, and passed them on to her. She LOVES them!  They take the sting out of the pitch.  She says they work!  (I think they are very stylish, myself. Hers are white and hot pink and yellow.)   Her coaches love them. Her teammates love them.

Here is what the manufacturer says about them:


XProTeX, the company redefining traditional methods of sports protection, today announced the launch of its breakthrough line of batting gloves, designed to protect baseball and softball players from injury to their hands and wrists. Utilizing A.I.C. (Advanced Impact Composite), a patented material specifically developed for use in impact applications in sports, the gloves significantly decrease the risk of injuries to the hand and wrist area by reducing the impact of a 100 mph fastball down to the equivalent of a 40 mph ball. The first batting glove offering this level of protection, the XProTeX line is available for players of all ability levels, from youth and recreational leagues to Major League Baseball.

“Injuries among all types of athletes are on the rise, creating a real need for innovation in protective sports gear,” said Jack Kasarjian, CEO, XProTeX. “Specifically, hands and wrists are among the most vulnerable areas of the body and generally under-protected in all sports. XProTeX picks up where traditional batting gloves have left off by providing protection that enhances a player’s game without sacrificing performance.”

XProTeX is ushering in a new era of innovation, safety and protection to the sports of baseball and softball, with a goal of achieving a culture where sports participation includes education around injury awareness and prevention. Launched after 30 months of research, development and testing, the foundation of the XProTeX line of batting gloves is A.I.C. (Advanced Impact Composite) a patented material that provides a lightweight, flexible, and non-restrictive solution to body protection with increased impact resistance. XProTeX’s A.I.C. also provides greater coverage of vulnerable body parts, which is key as athletes of all levels are currently under-protected in many vital areas, especially their hands and wrists.

“Being hit by a ball in the hand or wrist area has the potential to sideline a player with an injury for months or even entire seasons,” continued Kasarjian. “No athlete, from little league to major league, can afford to be injured and out of the game. Our goal is to better protect athletes; keeping them healthy and playing the sport they love.”  

XProTeX chose to harness  its A.I.C. technology for batting gloves as the first product in their line of advanced sports protection not only because the hands and wrists are currently under-protected in batting sports, but also because they’re one of the most complex parts of the body and one of the most susceptible to injury. Small bones, blood vessels, nerve endings and tendons lie just underneath the surface of the skin without much muscle or fat to cushion them from an impact.

“With over 35 years experience on the field, both playing and coaching, I have seen too many players sustain serious injuries taking a ball to the hand or wrist in the batter’s box,” said Reggie Smith, MLB veteran, US Olympic Coach and USA Baseball Coach. “There is a real need for a product like XProTeX that’s going to give players the protection they need. It will give them the batting confidence to perform at their peak.”

For more information about XProTeX and its line of batting gloves, visit: http://www.xprotex.com

So, if you have a ball player, you might want to invest in a pair of these. They work... they really really work.  And, they are wicked cute!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

That Kitty... is

Naughty!
Mini Kitty is simply naughty...
And she knows it.
She asks to go outside.
We let her out.
The next thing we know, she's asking to go out again.
We let her out and don't think a thing about it.
This happens a few dozen times before we catch on.
I have not let her in.
Mr. has not let her in.
The children have not let her in...
 She is going out over here and getting Gram and Grandpa to let her in over there.
Over and over and over again.
Suddenly we realize what is happening. We have caught on.
We are not the brightest bunch, but once we figure out the pattern, we put a stop to it.
She is currently outside.
She is sitting by the door.
She is looking at me with sad big eyes...
It isn't working.
She cannot win.
Not even with big ol' saucer eyes... nope.
sigh...
okay...
I'll let her in, but I'm not letting her out.
She can go next door and get them to let her out.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Just when you think...

It can't get any busier -- it does!
I looked at my calendar today - for the next 2 weeks, I won't be home very much.  It's all end of the year fun stuff like tonight's International Thespian Honor Society induction and dinner for #1 or tomorrow night's Brass Ensemble performances for the top 10% of the graduating class that LLB has to play for, or Saturday's Tag Day fundraiser, or next Monday's first Marching Band rehearsal.  See? It's all fun!
Well, it's not all fun... they both have projects due next week, but they've got them mostly done. We're going to go through them this afternoon to figure out what they've got left to finish since this afternoon is one of the only afternoons they'll be home right after school.
Actually, #1's project is very interesting. It's a personal history. He has questions to answer and questions to ask of family members and friends. He had to ask his grandparents some questions about their lives and the answers were pretty neat!  He had to ask how we felt about different times in our lives -- Mr. did that because he was raised in Montreal and his answers are from a totally different perspective. It was a fun family assignment -- not that we needed homework on top of everything else, mind you.
LLB's project is about King John of England - not very exciting, but... what are you going to do? Not all assignments are fun. At least she learned something. (She'll probably forget it all right after she gives her presentation.)
They both have to bring food in on the day they present their projects -- and yes, they are presenting on the same day in 2 different classes at the same time.  Parents are invited to attend #1's class and I intend to be there!  He has to bring in a favorite family recipe. He has class in the morning - as in 7:30am.  Chili isn't what I had in mind for breakfast. I'm thinking pizelles instead...  LLB is supposed to bring in something they would have eaten during King John's time. I'm thinking pizelles might be good.  I don't know if they ate them, but they should have! And, that's what I'm sending.