The Latest from Lola's Diner

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious. Don't know if you've heard of this 'character', but recently I've been donning the pink cape when I state the obviously obvious in an effort to not seem like I'm being insulting. Even if I don't don the cape, my intent isn't insulting, but somehow it comes off that way. Hence the need for the cape.

Wednesday, I didn't think to don the cape and just decided that the point in question was soooo obviously obvious, that I didn't need to point it out. Anastasia was removing the old dishwasher, Captain Obvious did not swoop in and ask if she had done plumbing work before and did not give a gentle reminder about turning the water shut-off valves under the sink to the "off" position. (She was working on this at 1am, I was in bed, heard a commotion and came down to investigate. I found Anastasia soaked head to toe and the parquet floor in the kitchen had quite a nice size puddle.)

So Thursday when I was on the road and remembered another situation that Captain Obvious needed to handle regarding the dishwasher installation, I phoned Anastasia after donning the pink cape. Turns out she was not aware and Captain Obvious saved the day.

So, what are some of your Captain Obvious moments?

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Randomness

Our tree is up, but still not decorated. It's on the 'to do list' for this weekend. Hopefully if our son doesn't go to Chicago I can get him to let me cut his hair and we can have Anastasia's sister take our holiday family photo. (Oh jeez! I just looked at our son as I typed this and he's cut his bangs even more! What is with this kid?)

I picked our daughter up from school Thursday and took her to her bowling match in Bolingbrook. I watched the first game. She did awesome! She had 3 strikes and picked up several spares. Some of them were after getting a gutter ball on the first throw. She's definitely doing better and her coach sent me an email praising our daughter for working so hard. They played 2 games. I went to the car after our daughter bowled the 10th frame of the first game because the bowling alley was freezing cold! I went to my car and cranked the heat to the highest setting and sat in the car until she called me to come sign her out after they finished the 2nd game. I don't know if I'm getting sick, or just getting old, but my feet and legs were freezing. Our daughter got in the car and could not believe how hot I had the car. It's just not like me...I've been known to be driving on a balmy, sunny winter day and have the a/c on.

The used gas range may not pan out. I contacted the person and they are having trouble borrowing a truck to transport the appliances from mother to daughter and the daughter, understandably, won't let me have hers until she get's her mom's old one. I did find a used one on Bookoo.com and bargained the price down, but Anastasia poo poo'd it because the unit isn't installed and therefore can't be checked (and since this one isn't free, if it doesn't work we'd be out money) and it's in a sketchy neighborhood in Joliet. (big sigh!)

Anastasia is having car trouble. This is so not the time for this. Her starter is acting tempermental, her brake fluid light is on and she broke a wiper blade the other day. She bought the part and dropped it off at her sister's car guy so we are hoping he can do it this weekend. In the mean time I will probably switch cars with her today since I only have to run our daughter to her appointment in Joliet.

Found out my tire inflation warning system really is working. I was wondering after the brake job if the repair shop forgot to connect something, but Thursday because of the big drop in temperature it signaled I had 2 tires that were low. So yay! It's working. Not so good that I have to freeze my fingers off to put a tiny bit of air in.

Hmm, will my sister call again today to see if I opened the last package she sent? The gifts inside need to be wrapped. (She ran out of shirt boxes...likely story!) Right there she should have known that I hadn't opened it. I typically wait until the last minute to wrap. Remember this post last year? Oh yeah, and when we got the snow the other day our son asked me if I was going to take out the snow thrower and blow out my other thumb this year. Nice! Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative that my sister spent the time and money to select these presents and told me that I could put Anastasia and my name as the 'from', it's just that sometimes she umm, fixates on things. (Yeah, fixates, much nicer than saying she is a pest.) (She sent a box the previous week of the gifts from her and her husband.) Yes, I've thanked her repeatedly Anastasia! Honest!

I woke up this morning feeling like crap. I'm rockin' a Brenda Vaccaro/Lauren Bacall voice and I would just rather go back to bed, but can't because I have to take our daughter to her appointment. (Didn't I say that yesterday being so cold either meant I was getting sick or getting old? I guess I should thank my lucky stars I'm not getting old. Lol!) I am so regretting that I promised to make some traditional Jewish foods on Sunday for our kids. (I'm not Jewish, their dad is and they love the things I cook.) I was going to make potato latkes and kishke. I guess I better add matzo ball soup to the menu.

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays - Christmas Past

Come join me for the next edition. Post yours Thursday, December 10th and comeback and sign up with MckLinky.
This Thursday's topic is: Christmas Past -
Time to share some Christmas memories.
Be sure to include some photos. (Photos with Santa, your family around the tree, etc.)
12/17/19 topic is Christmas Present. What are your hopes/plans for this Christmas?
12/24/09 topic is Christmas Future. What are your hopes for future Christmases?
For details on how you can submit a topic, and if used, earn 100 Entrecard Credits, click here.
Better late than never?
This is from Christmas 2007. Look! There's our son with an actual haircut, done by either me or Supercuts. (Our son is still refusing to have his haircut. He did however decide that he needed his bangs cut so he did it himself. Now he looks like he has a very bad, very thick, hairy toupee. Sadly, I'm not even kidding.) That's a real tree in the background. Nice, but I don't miss the clean-up.
Oh look, here he is again. He had to get all dressed up for Grandma (Anastasia's Mom). Yes, he decided he had to wear a shirt and tie, even though everyone else was very casual.

I was hoping to post some photos from way, way back when, but I didn't have time to go through the box of photos and scan some. Perhaps in the next few days I will have a chance

This was the first Christmas after our daughter's illness. Looking back at the photos I notice not only the amount of weight she has gained since then, but her whole demeanor is different. It's good to see her happy though, the end of 2007 was a really rough year in terms of her health.


Please post your "Christmas Past." post on your blog. Then come back to Lola's Diner and leave the actual post link here. Please grab the html code for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! Badge HERE.

Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

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Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According To Kathy Griffin

I just finished Kathy Griffin's memoir "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin". This was much lighter fare than the previous memoir I read, MacKenzie Phillips "High On Arrival". No drinking or drug stories here. In fact Kathy Griffin doesn't drink at all. I did, however, lose track of how many f-bombs were dropped.

I love Kathy Griffin and I miss watching her show "My Life On The D List". I haven't had cable or satellite in it seems like eons and I truly miss her show. Yes, she can count me as one of her gays.

Kathy Griffin's book should have been titled "Hardest Working Woman In Show Business". Talk about working hard just to get on the 'D List'! That Irish Catholic gal definitely knows the meaning of 'good work ethic'.

She chronicles her early days and hits the highlights (or lowlights, as it were) of the last few years. Her Emmy adventures, Fanning gate (as she calls it), and her marriage and her family. She drops names. (Hey Oprah!) And discusses the sitcom she was on with Brooke Shields, "Suddenly Susan" (1996). She also tells a colorful tale about Andy Dick. She also talks about her current show, "My Life On The D List" which is in it's 5th season.

Definitely an enjoyable, quick read. I would recommend it.

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting in the Holiday Mood

Slowly but surely, getting in the holiday mood. My sister has been furiously sending packages for the kids and I bought my first gift today. I'm not a regular JC Penney shopper, I'm more Targhay, but I had a couple of $10 coupons I got in the mail. I got a $30 something something on sale and with the coupon it cost me $4.99. Now that kind of deal will definitely get me in a holiday mood! I even turned on the local holiday music station on the way to the store. I had to change it back when Manneheim Steamroller came on. (Can't stand them!)

Bad camera work aside, this stuff still turns my stomach.

I had to post this because Anastasia claims she's never heard them. My apologies to all for putting your through this. Lol!

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saving The Holidays - Be One of Santa's Elves


This post is a partial re-post from last year. As the holidays approach please try to do what you can to bring holiday cheer to those less fortunate than yourself.

Now is the time to make your plans. If you work in an office and your employer has corporate matching, ask if your department or your floor can participate in Catholic Charities Adopt A Family or a similar organization that provides gifts for families less fortunate. Chip in together to adopt 1 family or more, whatever you collectively can afford. If you cannot afford to chip in money, offer to be the designated shopper who takes the list from Catholic Charities and plans the shopping according to the funds collected. Heaven knows there are a lot of people who just hate shopping and will welcome you volunteering for this task. In addition to Catholic Charities, many malls have gift trees, many local newspapers have gift drives. Be on the lookout for opportunities.

Here is my re-post from last year:

Christmas 1968, my Father had been in and out of the hospital with back problems. He had just had major back surgery. Back then it was a very big deal, he was in the hospital at least a month. My Mother didn’t drive, but she dutifully took 3 buses each way to visit him daily while we were at school. On her half a mile walk home from the bus stop she would stop at the grocery store and purchase just what she could carry and what she could afford.

My Mother didn’t work outside the home, so we had to live on my Father’s small disability check. We were forewarned not to expect much for Christmas. I’m not sure if it was my Mother’s not so subtle way of letting us know that year was different, or maybe she was so tired from her bus travel, but my Mother didn’t put up the 7 foot artificial tree. That year we had a 4 foot silver aluminum tree that my mother put on the drum table in the picture window. It was truly a hideous tree and it forever marked a very different Christmas for us.

One night a few days before Christmas our front doorbell rang. My Father was still in the hospital and my Mother wondered who on earth could be ringing our bell after dinnertime on a cold snowy night. My Mother didn’t want to open the door, but I kept imploring that she HAD to open it because as I peeked through the picture window I saw it was Santa Claus! She finally did open the door, but wouldn’t let Santa in the house. He left 2 very large boxes on our front porch. Each box was 3 foot square, about 10 inches tall. One box was full of all kinds of food. There was cereal, flour, sugar, roasts, chickens, pasta and all sorts of canned goods. The other box had candy canes, chocolates, some clothing, hats, scarfs and mittens, and some coloring books. My Mother, proud as she was, kept calling back to Santa to take back the boxes, but he waved her off and disappeared into the night.

That Christmas was very lean. It was the year my sister and I got our first Monopoly game and Mini-Mod dolls instead of Barbies. At the time we were both a bit disheartened by the lack of Christmas loot, but as the years have passed I have to say that it was the one of the most memorable Christmases of my life. I was 7 years old and Santa came to my house and made my Mother cry. I don’t think I’d ever seen her cry before that. All that food helped us get by until my Father was able to go back to work. It was truly a Blessing.

We later found out that Santa was the brother-in-law of my parent’s neighbors, Tim and Terry. They said they had gone door to door and collected money from the neighbors and purchased all of those items. Terry knew my mother wasn’t going to ask for help and she knew she wouldn’t accept charity from her neighbors. A heartfelt note from Terry in one of the boxes told my Mother it was alright, it didn’t mean she owed anyone anything. It didn’t mean she was weak. It meant she was cared about. It meant she was loved.

Do you know someone who is struggling, whether because of illness, disability or unemployment, or perhaps a single mother struggling on her own?
There’s still time.
It’s not too late to save someone’s Christmas.
It wouldn’t take much. Maybe a bag or two of groceries, or a grocery store gift card and a couple of toys.
A Santa suit isn’t required.
Just a bit of cash and a big dose of holiday spirit.
Happy Holidays!

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009
 
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