Monday, January 31, 2011

Smiles from Monday

Strange day today, what with Snowmageddon bearing down on us.  Still, a few smiles made a welcome appearance:
  • Walking into Court this morning fully prepared and ready to do battle with a formidable opponent -- who, after debating the merits of our respective positions with me, opted to postpone the hearing.
  • Recalling a December day of generator hunting with one of my favorite people four years ago.
  • Hearing that my best friend started her day off with some encouragingly flirty texts.
  • Spoiling myself with some goodies from Office Depot so I can spend my anticipated snow day getting all organizy.
  • Multi-colored Sharpies.
  • Hearing about how sweet and thoughtful my kiddo is.
  • The quiet of the night when I walked outside a little while ago. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This Weekend's Smiles

This weekend consisted largely of Susie playing the role of Domestic Engineer.  (I was going to say "Domestic Goddess," but my look was far from glam for most of it, so I can't rightly claim that mantle.)  So, the smiles derived mostly from minor victories 'round the house:
  • Sunshine most of the weekend!
  • 2/3 of my house being CLEAN, not just neatened.  (Well...the kitchen floor WAS clean, 'til Pringle tracked mud across it.)
  • Fixing the X-box.
  • Encountering all of West County at Wal-Mart, Costco, Lowe's and Dierberg's today (in anticipation of The Storm of the Century), and not feeling the urge to scream.
  • Getting the Christmas lights down off the roof, and stored away 'til next year, and verifying that the roof apparently sustained no damage from last month's big storm.
  • 4 loads of laundry -- done, folded and put away.
  • Walk/running the dog.
  • Discovering the magic of Mr. Clean bathroom scrubbers.
  • Living close enough to my best friend that running popsicles over to her sick kiddo is a no-brainer.
  • Finishing and e-filing my taxes.
  • A snoring dog and two snoring cats snuggled on my bed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Smiles from Friday

A little late with this entry, but determined to post it before the Sandman takes hold:
  • Waking up to a warm house.
  • Being productive at work.
  • Bat signals.
  • Girlfriends and PJ's.
  • TP's and TT's and other phrases/terms that aren't fit to print.
That's all I got.  The Sandman is calling.  Happy Friday!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday - Smiles

You know it's going to be an uphill battle when the day starts off with the realization that the furnace is, yet again, on the fritz and you follow that up by tripping a GFI while attempting to dry your hair.  But smiles find their way into even the cruddiest of days, so I'll give them their due:
  • The hug Riley gave me when she turned and saw me wrapped up in her furry blanket this morning while we watched out the window for the bus.
  • Phone calls from friends checking on me.
  • Giggling in Debbie's office.
  • Snagging some great shots of the sunset.
  • Telling Riley I've known the guy who just fixed our furnace since we were her age.
  • Finally getting Riley's Try-It's ironed on her Brownie vest (just in time for group pics tomorrow!)
We'll call it a day, and hope Friday's got a more forgiving incline. 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday's Smiles

They were a little harder to come by today, but there were still a few:
  • Riley making her own scrambled eggs for breakfast.
  • Her sartorial splendour.
  • News that the Highlander should be ready early next week -- I miss my car!
  • Victor's description of an imagined herd of Deans.
  • A phone call I'd been waiting for.
  • Chris Medina's story on AI.
  • Steven Tyler.
  • Finally writing a new chapter in my long-stalled novel.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Over Easy

If you absolutely have to spin out, slide off the road and down a hill and wind up sideways in a ditch, I highly advise you do it the way we did.  I've said it repeatedly since, but we actually were quite lucky, all things considered.  We weren't going all that fast to begin with, and, as strange as it must sound, it truly was a "gentle" accident.  Although...the Highlander might beg to differ.

Still, the seatbelts did their job, and we weren't much tossed about.  The hardest part was reorienting myself once we came to rest so I could figure out how to get the moon roof open, because we certainly weren't going to be exiting via any of the doors.  God bless the kind gentleman who ran down and helped me climb out through it, then reached in and unbuckled Riley and helped ease her down out of the now-skyward passenger seat and out through the moon roof, as well.  He had the presence of mind to reach in and turn the car off, and later, went back down to the car to retrieve my purse and a few other items, losing his own keys in the snow in the process.  (Fortunately, one of the officers was able to help him find them.)

We both emerged relatively unscathed -- just a few sore muscles.  And, aside from the inconvenience of being temporarily Highlanderless, life has pretty well gotten itself back to "normal". 

I've sat with it a couple weeks, trying to figure out what I want to say about our 1-11-11 adventure.  It feels like there should be something...profound, but I don't know that there really is.  There are certain things -- impressions really -- that I've been left with:  The dead calm that came over me as we lost control; the absolute faith my daughter placed in me when I held my arm out to her and told her to stay calm; how amazingly brave and patient she was while she remained suspended up in the air by the seatbelt for those first couple of minutes after we tipped; the utter relief I felt that, when I called her dad to tell him about the accident, I was able to tell him we were 100% okay; the kindness of those who stopped to help; the concern of friends and family.  We really were lucky.  Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest unlucky of all. 


Now, onto Tuesday's smiles:
  • Kind words and encouragement from my "step-wife".
  • Sweater dress, tights and boots - my new favorite "look".
  • Lunch.
  • Words with Friends.
  • The Glee Wedding -- what a way to celebrate!
  • Giving Riley a mani-pedi.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday's Laughs

Yes - I'm going with laughs today.  Because if I couldn't laugh at it all, I don't know what I'd do:
  • The fuse that blew at around 1:50 a.m., requiring me to get up, move my dresser, fumble with the reset switch on the outlet hidden behind it, and move my space heater so that it was on a different circuit from the one in Riley's room, while we tried to stay warm compliments of the non-working furnace.
  • The sound of complete exasperation in the voice of the nice lady from Parkway's Transportation Department when I called this morning to check on why the bus was 15 minutes late, and she explained that most of their buses were running "half an hour late because of the black ice and traffic!!!" 
  • Finally hearing from the furnace tech who advised he could come out between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.; only problem being I was scheduled to be in court in Belleville at 9:30, so we'd have to push it back to between 11:00 and noon.
  • Getting to Belleville right at 9:30, (good thing I left at 8:15!) only to discover that the court had decided to continue our status conference to a later date because they were starting a trial (but hadn't bothered to advise us).
  • Realizing as I was leaving Belleville that I'd forgotten to take the trash and recycle cans out to the curb this morning.
  • Racing back to my house from Belleville to meet Furnace Man who, upon examining the thermostat and the "new" batteries I'd put in it yesterday after first seeing the "lo bat" warning, determined that they were, in fact, dead as doornails.  (Nothing like a $60 service call charge to change out a couple AAA's!)
  • Realizing at 4:30 that I'd forgotten to call the Parkway Community Ed line before 4:00 to see if I could get Riley enrolled in the KidzArt program that starts tomorrow.
Yep.  I'd call that a Monday!

No - really, there were lots of reasons to smile today:
  • That we stayed warm enough last night even without the furnace working.
  • All the kids from the bus stop tromping into our house to stay warm while waiting for their very late bus. 
  • The nice gentleman who helped point out the "safe" places to walk on the sidewalk on the way into court.
  • Getting home before the trash collectors made their rounds today.
  • Furnace Man showing up when he said he would.
  • The fact that neither the furnace nor the thermostat had to be replaced.
  • The funny jokes Sam shared with me this afternoon.
  • Hopey no longer feeling "zarfy."
  • Riley helping carry the groceries, check out, and cook dinner -- she's trying so hard to show me how responsible she can be (so that she can get her ears pierced).
  • The sweet card I got from Cari.
  • Riley's immitation of the girls vying for Brad the Bachelor, "O-M-G!"
  • The Castle kiss.
See?  That wasn't so bad after all. 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Smiles

This weekend's smiles brought to you by:
  • Teaching Riley to cook bacon the "real" way -- grease splatters and all.
  • Shopping with her for ideas for her upcoming room redecoration.
  • Getting her input on how to solve the shower tile dilemma.
  • Seeing the awe on her face at the size of the bags o' cheese at Costco.
  • Coming back and finishing strong in 2nd place at Trivia Night.
  • Mishearing the lyrics to Pink's "So What" as "I got my right boob."
  • The combination of Trinity Lutheran and The Country Club.
  • Driving in the snow without leaving the road.
  • Going 2-0 with my picks today.
  • Steelers in the Super Bowl.
  • Even with a broken furnace, my house stayed warm enough today with our little space heaters that Riley and I didn't have to leave.  I guess that's the benefit of having a very small house!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday's Smiles

See?  I'm already falling down on the job.  Way too tired last night when we got home to pen another installment.  But there were reasons to smile yesterday, too, so add them, I must:

  • Riley's phone call yesterday morning asking about sledding with her cousin, Elizabeth, on Art Hill - I told her to call her Aunt Julie to ask, and she did.  I love that she's old enough now to make her own calls - and that she's not shy about doing so.
  • An unexpected text from a friend.
  • Brewhouse bacon cheeseburger - with A1 sauce.
  • Very kind words of encouragement about my writing from my friends.
  • Knowing what my next substantive blog topic will be.
  • Hour long trigger point massage.  Actually - that may have made me wince more than it made me smile.  Still, it was nice.
  • Riley and Elizabeth all bundled up like Ninjas, getting ready to sled.
  • Manicures and dinner at Chevy's with Julie and Di, while Mike took Riley, Elizabeth and friends sledding.
  • The fact that my brother-in-law is the kind of guy who's willing to take four girls sledding on Art Hill on a Friday night, when it's FREEZING cold.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hmm...I can already see that coming up with clever titles is going to be a bit taxing if I do this daily, but I won't let that deter me just yet.  I actually have some ideas of substantive topics I'd like to write about, but I think they're going to have to wait.  Unfortunately, I seem to have developed a headache, and don't much feel like waxing poetic (or would that be prosaic?) at the moment. 

So, what made me smile or laugh today?  It's a shorter list as, honestly, I didn't do much:
  • Snow day!
  • Loaded nachos.
  • Watching pretty much the entire season of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," though admitting that forces me to hang my head in shame.  (But it's so....GOOD!  And, oddly enough, these MOST obscenely wealthy and MOST plastic ladies are the ones to whom I find myself relating MOST?!)
  • Brett Lowenstern (for being himself - what a beautiful thing!)
  • J.C. Badeaux (for possessing one of those rare singing voices that can only be described as a work of art.)
  • Seeing the collective groan issued on Facebook as soon as Parkway and Rockwood called it for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My sister got me this lovely book as a stocking-stuffer for Christmas.  It's called "What a Woman Needs," and it's a cute little compilation/list of all sorts of things we girlies need from time to time. 

One of my 2011 resolutions was to write more, and I've found I'm already slacking a bit in that department.  So, I had this sudden inspiration -- to use the book as a springboard and write a bit about each item on the list.  (With full attribution to its author, of course.  Her introductory comments really touched me.  Something tells me she and I have walked some of the same paths.)

So, I set about drafting the first installment of my little-list-book-inspired blogs.  And then it dawned on me...there might be copyright issues if I were to go that route.  Not that my blog's widely-read enough to really matter, I suppose, but the lawyer in me thought better of it.  And so, sadly, I abandoned the idea. Kind of.

I've developed a couple new obsessions of late -- purses and page-a-day calendars.  And I was thinking I'd really like to compose a blog-a-day -- even if some entries are brief and inane.  So, what could I find to blog about on a daily basis?  Where to turn for such inspiration.

It came to me tonight:  I've been trying quite hard of late, to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.  To laugh at the way life seems intent upon keeping me off balance and discombobulated.  And, in keeping with another of my resolutions, to focus on what I have, rather than what I don't.  What better way to tie resolutions No. 2 and 5 together than to make a point to write, each day, about the things that made me smile and laugh that day?

Today's inspiration:

  • Hitting "snooze" several times, and not having to get up at 3:00 a.m., like yesterday.
  • Driving Diane's Grand Marquis again, rather than that crazy, unfueled, low-tired, out-of-wiper-fluid, Ethanol-requiring HHR rent-a-car that served as my ride yesterday.  (Another blog entry lurks in that mis-adventure.)
  • Buying a $20 Amazon gift card for $10.
  • Laughing with Hopey and Sam over things I can't repeat here.
  • Spicing up my stir fry with soy sauce and rice noodles.
  • Watching the premiere of AI - Season 10 -- most especially, seeing the tears of joy and relief on Travis Orlando's face when he made it through -- I know it was designed to, but his story really did touch me.
  • Hearing the smile in Riley's voice when she called to tell me about tomorrow's snow day.
  • Watching the snow make the world look pretty and clean again.
That's it for today.  But it's more than enough.  And a fine start.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kleenex: Tornado Proof!

Those who know me won't be shocked to learn that the Kleenex I first noticed had dropped onto my driveway out of my car a couple days ago remained there as of yesterday morning.  I kept forgetting about it until I was already in my car heading out on this errand or that.  And so there it lay, crumpled, forelorn, begging to be scooped up and deposited in the proper trash receptacle.

And all but forgotten in the excitement that was New Year's Eve meets Twister.  The Ballwin edition of the tornado hopped, skipped and jumped its way from the golf course through my parents' subdivision, but spared my house (just down the road) all but some knocked down limbs and a couple of destroyed furnace filters I'd unwisely stored out in the carport to keep them safe from Hurricane.  (That's my cat, by the way.  Not another face of Mother Nature.  He has a furnace filter fetish.  He attacks them viciously wherever I stash them.  So I've taken to tucking them behind the trash can outside.)  

As Riley and I left to meet the family for brunch this morning, I noted that our Christmas reindeer were slightly askew, as well, compliments of yesterday's mayhem.  When we returned, I walked out to set them straight and noticed the oddest thing:  There, on the ground, quite close to the buffeted reindeer, lay the Kleenex.  Utterly undisturbed.  

There are several large limbs strewn about my yard.  My reindeer (which were fastened into the ground with metal stakes, mind you), were knocked sideways.  But that darn Kleenex held its ground!  Naturally, I had to take a picture.  And I opted to leave it there for the time being -- a monument of sorts. 

Now I know -- if you're ever caught out in a tornado, lay down in a ditch.  And cover yourself with a Kleenex.