Sunday, February 28, 2010

March is Here!

There's something about the arrival of March that gets me excited. Despite the snow covered ground, I know that the treat of Spring is just around the corner.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is in town, and unfortunately I will not be able to make it this year. I always look forward to getting some new ideas for the landscape. I'll just have to cross my fingers that the rose bushes survived all this snow. Last summers rain gave them an awful fungus which stuck around till August. And the year before that, those darn beetles ate them for breakfast. I don't claim to have a green thumb, so I could sure use a little help from Mother Nature every now and again.

There's another possible snow storm on the horizon. Everyone is hoping it goes the other way, but our recent luck with the white stuff leaves me thinking the kids will be home again another day this week with Mommy.

Is anyone else out there having a problem with all this snow. If so, are you getting anything done. I have a list a mile long, and something tells me I won't get to the bottom until the official announcement of Summer!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cabin Fever? That's Just the Half of It!

Two days ago, I finally started getting excited about Spring. The temperature was in the mid 40's and the snow had melted enough that parts of our front yard were visible once again. My famous Mickey Mouse statue which stands proudly in my garden was able to wave at me as I walked by.

I refused to listen to the weathermen: "Pending Winter Storm Warming Tonight!" No, not another one I thought. The great melt down was occurring and all the weather stations could report were: Blizzard conditions, blustery winds, and 6-12 inches.

In my mind, the pool was already open. I sat on my raft floating on the clear water. Cocktail in hand. SPF 75 slathered on my body, and the cool sounds of Jimmy Buffet playing in the background. It was the perfect setting.

Return to Reality: It's now Friday (2 days later) and still snowing. My pool is hidden under 3 foot high drifts. Oh, Vancouver would be jealous! Wind gusts are 40+ miles an hour.

That's Just the Half of It! I woke up yesterday with a cold. Luckily, my husband was able to work from home and help me out, since the children didn't go to school. I slept most of the afternoon. Despite feeling a little better today, I'm still exhausted, and of course, the children are home again.

But it gets trickier. Tomorrow is Scooter's fifth birthday. We were expecting about 10 people. We have not gone grocery shopping, and that won't even be possible until my husband pulls out the snow blower. Looking out the window only gets me more worried. It's still snowing. I'm unsure if anyone will show up tomorrow, or if we will have any food to offer. Worse case scenario: we will serve pop tarts and Ritz crackers. Nothing like a "Clear out Your Pantry Party!"

So I'm crossing my fingers. At least Supermom was wise enough to go to Party City and buy all the supplies 2 weeks ago. Once I'm done this blog I plan on turning that dining room of mine into a Star Wars play land. We may not get any guest tomorrow, but there's one Jedi that won't soon forget his 5th birthday. Happy Birthday Scooter!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Great Doubloon Story

If you think you're suffering from a case of deja vu; you're right. This is one of my favorite post, and in honor of Mardi Gras I couldn't help myself but post it again this year. Have a great day.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday! I don't know what it is about this day, but ever since I taught Kindergarten I felt the need to celebrate it like only a Mom can. Since my kids are still fairly young, I can get away with this silliness. But before I go into one of my tangents, I decided that I would share how we celebrated Mardi Gras last year (which by the way, shall go down in history).
Potter was in Pre-school, and thank goodness his teacher was just as crazy as his Mom. Anyway, he spent the day doing Mardi Gras crafts, then was super excited when he was sent home with beads and doubloons (Which he swore were actual gold coins). Who was I to tell him differently?
We were having a great afternoon, until I heard a scream coming from the bathroom. What could possibly be going on? I opened the door only to find Potter with his pants down leaning over the toilet. "Are you sick," I asked.
"Mommy, my gold coins are all gone," he said.
"Well where did you put them?" I asked.
"Mommy, the toilet took them. When I flushed, they slipped out of my hand, and now they're all gone. You got to get them Mommy. Use the plunger."
On one hand it's nice to think that you're children believe that you are capable of anything. On the other hand it can really suck when your children think you're capable of anything.
I looked at the toilet, then looked at Potter (face still streaming with tears).
I grabbed the plunger, and went to work. Ten minutes later, with perspiration running down my back, I decided to quit. (No doubloons).
Hence, the Great Doubloon Story created and told to Potter, Mardi Gras 2008:
Once Upon a Time there lived in the deep ocean a very poor fish named Marty Graz. He wasn't able to afford all the nice things that his other fishy friends had, but he was still a very happy fish.
On the other side of the world there lived a very happy boy named Potter. Potter lived a very rich life, so much so that he carried his gold coins wherever he went. One day by mistake, Potter left go of his gold coins while using the bathroom. They were flushed and never seen again.
The coins traveled through pipes, streams, rivers, and finally to the deepest depths of the ocean. It was there that a little fish by the name of Marty Graz found the gold coins.
"What to do, what to do,"he thought. "I know, I'll have a parade and call it Marty Graz. And I'll share my new found fortune with my friends.
The smile on Potter's face was priceless.
Being a storyteller has it's perks. Being a poor fish at sea has it's rewards. But being a Mommy is the best job in the world!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too Smart For His Own Good

While sitting on my lap during the Super Bowl this past weekend, Scooter brought up a few things to ponder:

"Hey Mom, is this football game alive?" He said.

"Alive?" I questioned. "I think you mean live Scooter. Yes, it's going on right now in Florida."

"Florida?" "That's where Disney World is Mom. That's where we are going! Can we see the football players when we go? Are they in Disney World?"

"No Scooter, the football players are in Miami."

"Can we go to Your Ami when we go to Florida?"

(Laughing hysterically) "Not Your Ami, Scooter. Miami!"

(Confused) "That's what I said Mom! Your Ami!"

"No Scooter, we cannot go to Miami when we visit Florida."

(Pause) "Will it be gone too, like the football players?"

"No Scooter, it will still be there, it's just too far from Disney World."

(Pause) "Maybe you can ask Daddy to drive?"

"I like that answer too, Scooter."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's Wrong With Your Blog?

The phone rang around 8pm last night. It was my mother.

"What's wrong with your blog?" She asked.

Quickly, I rewound the day; trying ever so anxiously to remember my last post. "What had I released into bloggy land this time?" Occasionally I speak of controversial topics, but lately I've laid pretty low. One cannot avoid rubbing elbows when a controversial topic is brought about. But I'm like the rest of you. If we can keep our mothers at bay, we do so with the greatest of ease. Tip toeing on hot coals is not the way I want to spend the day.

I have received these calls before. It's funny how they rarely come when I expect them. It's generally my low key articles (or those I believe to be low key) that make the hair stand up on the backs of others.

So there I am last night waiting for the ball to drop when my mom tells me to log into my blog. She says: "There's this advertisement right over the middle of your writing, and it keeps following me when I scroll down the screen."

I had no idea what she was talking about.

So I logged on. And let me just say I was shocked. My blog design had disappeared. What remained was a stark white background. And just as my mother had reported, there was an advertisement that chased me to the bottom.

"What had happened?'' I thought. I was just logged in a few hours before and everything was fine. Now I was starring at a total mess. I didn't even know where to begin. Was this the work of some clever hacker? Had someone discovered my password? Or was it possible that before I turned off my computer my normal clumsy self clicked on some secret button which sent a message to the bloggy underworld requesting an immediate deactivation of services?

So what did I do? I turned off the computer, and watched TV. Honestly, these problems looked way too big for me to solve, and I wasn't about to pretend I knew where to start.

When I woke up this morning I couldn't wait to turn on my computer. The cliche "Time heals all wounds," is without a doubt a truth. I don't know how to explain it, but things were back to normal. My background reappeared and there were no funny advertisements running up and down the middle. Go Figure!

So what lesson did I learn from all this drama? Well, even though my readership may not be that high, I can still count on my mother to be my number one fan. Mother's are the one's that will tell you when your skirt is too short, your makeup too dark, and of course, your blog, totally screwed up.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Nice To Be Home

Well, I just got back from New York City, and what can I say? I think I'll start with: "I'm glad to be home."

Don't get me wrong. New York has some wonderful things to offer, and I took them up on a few. But I must say, it's so different than the lifestyle I am use to in Pennsylvania.

Let me begin with my arrival at Penn Station. It was like a cattle call. Everyone seemed to know where they were going except me. And despite all the signs, not one said: "Follow Me Mary!" Surely they were expecting me. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

My husband joined me for this trip, and, well, Thank God. I likely would have picked a corner to curl up in if it hadn't been for him.

Off to the taxi stand we strolled. It was only 17 degrees outside. That whole thing about "New York Drivers" is true. If you want to see your life flash before your eyes, by all means, hop in a taxi. The arrival at the Grand Hyatt was like landing at heavens door. Bon Voyage Yellow Car!

Most of my weekend was spent in the SCBWI Conference (Society for Children's Book Writer's and Illustrator's). Which by the way is never disappointing. It gives me time to reflect on why I need to focus more time on my writing, and a little less time on my blogging. What can I say? I'm a bit scattered. I think my husband said it best: "It doesn't sell sitting on your desk." Oh, don't you hate it when they're right.

The rest of the weekend was spent eating (my favorite),walking (not so much), a Broadway show (awesome), and shopping (need I even add an adjective here?).

The quote for the weekend came from my husbands lips: "I think my eyes are frozen." (Spoken ever so softly at around 7pm Saturday while walking to our show. It was 12 degrees at the time).

We followed the rest of the cattle back onto the train Sunday afternoon. With all the hustle and bustle of the weekend, the train ride was absolutely the most peaceful moment.

I have to tip my hat to you New Yorker's. You move at a pace that only my treadmill understands. It's always nice to visit. But gosh, it's much nicer to come home.