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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Memories

This is a re-post from last year. Why? Because I lead a really dull life and this is proof positive that wasn't always the case.
I think the most memorable New Year’s Eve was back in the ‘80’s. I was 19 or 20 years old. (The legal drinking age back then was 18.) I had arranged to bar hop with friends by bus. Each of us took a bus to our first stop, which was Wendt’s Bar in Milwaukee. Even though the idea was to bar hop, we stayed there most of the night.

Lei’s, party hats, streamers and horns were aplenty. So much so, that my friends and I wore multiple hats and Lei’s. After ringing in the New Year at Wendt’s, we walked about 2 blocks to another bar. At some point my friend Cindy's mother picked us up and was going to give me a ride home, but there was some arguing going on between Cindy and her Mother. I ended up asking to be dropped off at an intersection about 3 miles from my parent’s house. (Yes, I still lived with my parents.) Taking the bus at that point wasn’t an option because the end of the bus line was less than a mile ahead.

I began walking and stopped at the next bar just to warm up, or so I thought. Apparently wearing 2 Tieras (one forwards, one backwards) a Fez type Happy New Years hat in between them, about 8 lei’s, and more streamers and confetti than I’ve ever seen since, makes you the life of the party. Having never been the life of the party before, I rather enjoyed the attention. Every single patron (and there were still a heck of a lot of people out at the bar at that hour) had to buy me a drink and wish me a Happy New Year. After a very short while I had to switch to plain soda because I could not possibly drink any more alcohol. Around 5:30am I decided I was close to being sober enough to walk the 2 miles home.

So picture this (and I am so glad that I didn’t know anyone at that bar and that no one had a camera.) Picture this, I am walking home (more like stumbling), it’s nearly 6am, the sun has already come up, and I am still wearing the 3 party hats and I still have about 4 Lei’s and streamers and confetti all over me.
I am a freakin'
New Year’s Eve party!
Somehow I managed to walk down 3 streets in our subdivision without being seen by anyone. I also managed to get in the house and into my room, without my parents seeing me come in. The issue here isn’t underage drinking, I was of drinking age. The issue is not having my parents see me looking like a New Year’s Eve Party threw up all over me. My friends thought it was cool, after all, they had just as many party hats, leis, streamers and confetti as I did. Somehow I don’t think my parents would have been impressed.
As you contemplate your New Year's Eve celebration, please:
Use public transportation (some cities over very reduced rates certain hours on NYE/Day or
Designate a driver or
Have a house party and let your guests sleep over.
Be safe!
I want to see you all back to blogging bright and early New Year's Day.
(Ok, maybe after you sleep a little late and have a couple aspirin.)
What was your most memorable New Year's Eve?
Please post it in my comments section.
(If you don't have one yet, please don't try to imitate my exploits.
The hangover for the next day and a half was excruciating.)

Lola's Diner

New Year's Resolutions/Goals

I don't do resolutions. To me they're just a few days or maybe weeks of keeping to your plan, whether it's weight loss or quitting smoking or whatever. If you can do them and stick with them, more power to you.

I thought this year maybe I'd make a few goals. Goals that maybe without much effort I could accomplish.
10. Figure out what "auld lang syne" means. (It means 'times gone by'.) (Looky there, I already knocked 1 off my list!)
9. Figure out what mimes are saying. (Perhaps I could become I highly paid and sought after mime interpreter.)
8. Not top Octomom. (Actually, I must admit, not having a uterus does help on this one. Not to mention being a lesbian.)
7. Not have an affair with Tiger Woods or Jon Gosselin. (Again, a no brainer...lesbian here!)
6. I will "check for paper" when entering and leaving the restroom.
5. Bring back disco. (Come on, you know you loved it!)
4. I will start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store.
3. "Role play" with Gina Gershon.
2. Live this quote from Twin Peaks: Dale Cooper: "...I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee." (Damn! I sure could go for a slice of cherry pie and a good, hot black coffee. I loved that show!)
1. Have my picture on People Of Come on! It'll be a hoot! Anyone with me? Got any ideas? (Preferably something that doesn't require heels...or facial hair...or daisy dukes. Lola does not rock daisy dukes!)

(I apologize in advance to Anastasia about #3. Gina's on both our "lists" anyway, so I should be ok.)
Lola's Diner

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to my little guy!

Ok, at almost 6 feet tall, he's not a little guy anymore, but he's still my youngest.

If you missed my post last year, check it out Happy Birthday to My Baby to read about one of his more infamous exploits.

Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kitty Quirks

Irish and Maddux are getting along better. They still chase each other like mad, but Irish hisses at Maddux much less now. It's really funny how Maddux won't give up on having a play friend even though Irish is clearly at least twice his size and basically could care less.

Maddux has gotten into a bad habit though. His favorite place to catch a snooze is the recliner. So you're thinking, 'oh that makes sense, catching a snooze in the recliner'. Ummm, no. His favorite place to snooze is under the recliner. Yes, somehow he manages to squeeze his fluffy little orange and white bundle of cuteness underneath the recliner. Every time someone sits in it they have to tip it forward whilst someone else checks underneath. How do we get him out of this habit, when we don't see him sneak in there? We like our orange and white bundle of cuteness fluffy, not flat!

Irish has a bad habit that is driving Anastasia crazy. Instead of having a regular kitty meal, she likes to snack. Her habit is to take her paw, flick a piece of cat food out of the dish and chomp it down. The thing is, apparently she gets distracted sometimes and flicks the cat food out and then doesn't eat it. Or perhaps it doesn't appear to have as much crunchy goodness as the other pieces in the dish? Anyway, this makes for lots of dry cat food littering the floor. Maddux on the other hand is neat as a pin. Not a single piece of kitty food litters the floor by his dish.

Oh, and 'some kitty' has figured out how to turn off the power strip the wireless modem is connected to. Grrrr.
Lola's Diner

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday 9 - What Did You Think of 2009?

What did you think of 2009?

Welcome to Saturday: 9 . What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Saturday 9: Sam's Last Stand of 2009

1. What did you think of 2009?
Very hard year....

2. What do you think was the news story of the year?
President Obama.

3. What happened this year that you never want to hear another word about?
Sarah Palin, Tiger Woods, Octomom and Jon & Kate.

4. What was your favorite song of 2009?
I don't really think I have a favorite....

5. What did you accomplish this year?
I made some new bloggy pals.....

6. Did you learn anything new this year?
Probably, but will I remember it and learn from it? Ha!

7. What are you looking forward to in the new year?
Good things.

8. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
We usually stay home.

9. What's the best thing you ever did on a New Year's Eve?
Last year we had a hoot watching Janet Davis's drunken a** on television....Can't wait to see this year. Is that sad? At least we amuse ourselves, right?
Here is a clip from her last year:


12/26 – 6 thing you are looking forward to in 2010

1. Being in a better place financially.
2. Hopefully a real job for Anastasia.
3. Watching the kitties grow.
4. My kids maturing... (Will that ever happen?)
5. More fun online
6. Five is enough. Low expectations are best. Less disappointment. Lol!

Lola's Diner

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Randomness

I just don't feel like doing "If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays - Christmas Future", so I'm not. Suffice to say next year I hope our daughter continues to be doing well and I definitely hope that I'm better prepared for Christmas next year. (I wish that every year, but every year I'm up on Christmas Eve until I finish wrapping all the gifts, because I just couldn't wrap a single one before then.)

So yes, it's true, still not a single Christmas gift wrapped. I could have started last night, but I was in such a foul mood that I just could not start.

Why am I in such a foul mood? Our new(er) stove still isn't installed. We have made literally 10 trips to the Ace and Lowe's, come to find out that the gas pipe coming up from the floor by the stove has to be re-piped with a 1/2" fitting because they no longer make adapters for the size pipe end we have. I called the handyman recommended by the township and he called back and Anastasia spoke to him, but apparently the job he was on lasted longer than anticipated and he never made it out to us yesterday. I'm hoping he calls us first thing today and can come out and get the job done. This is just so frustrating and it's possibly the worst time of year to not have a working stove.

Yesterday I went out and bought 1 of the Christmas gifts Anastasia said she couldn't find in stock. She power shopped Tuesday night and went to 2 Meijer's, 2 Walmarts and I forget the rest. Anyway, I got it on my first and only Walmart stop. While I was there I picked up a 2 pack of disposable cookie sheets thinking they would fit inside my Nesco Roaster and we could bake 2 sheets of cookies at a time with the rack inverted. They don't fit. Today I will be cutting them down to size. I'm going to have Christmas cookies if it kills me. (And I mean more than the 9 cookies at a time that fit in the toaster oven!) I also need to figure out how I'm going to make the Sfinconi. I'm thinking the 9x13 baking pan will do, even though the sides are too high, I know it fits in the Nesco Roaster, so it should work. Why does everything have to be so difficult? Wahhhhh!

Speaking of difficult...I went to bed around midnight. Fairly early for me. Just past 1am, not quite asleep I hear an awful banging on the front door. It's Anastasia. She dropped her keys through the crack between the house and the porch. Had to wake up our son and he had to shimmy on his belly in the snow and mud to grab the keys which Anastasia thought for sure were lost forever.

Sheesh! Sounds like all I do is complain. Maybe it's time to whip out "Monty Python's Life of Brian" and listen to "Always look on the the bright side of life" and turn this around.

The kittys are crazy! All they do is chase each other at top speed and Irish hisses at poor Maddux. How long before they get along? Ok, that's a dumb question I guess. That's like asking how long before your teens get a long, right?

I hope everyone has a nice Christmas. Take it easy on the eggnog. I hope that those of you who visit family have a safe trip and enjoy your time together.

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Gingerbread House

Not quite wordless. Anastasia and the kids made this. I was only the photographer. I just wanted to point that out.

Does snow really melt like that???
Oh well, it's a first attempt and at least they had fun!

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

We are currently completely stove-less. Anastasia disconnected the old one and attempted to connect the replacement. She bought a new flex gas line but it didn't come with the proper connections so I was sent back to Ace to purchase adapters. I explained to the geezer at Ace what we were doing. I was very explicit about the fact that we were replacing a gas range, already bought the flex line and needed adapters. I didn't know at the time, but he sold me the wrong parts, which I did not know until Anastasia installed them and we had a gas leak. A very late night visit from Anastasia's niece (who is a contractor) confirmed we were sold the wrong parts. Can I say how brisk and refreshing it was to open up windows and doors at close to midnight to get the gas out of the house? No, I can't, we were freezing our arses off. Anastasia went to buy the appropriate part today, so hopefully she can install it sometime on Tuesday and we can again live like normal people, instead of trying to figure out what we can cook in a microwave or toaster oven. (I packed away the Nesco Roaster on Sunday because I thought we were done with it and someone was complaining about how much space it was taking up on the counter.) Arghhh!

Our son had his IEP meeting at the crack of dawn this Monday. Had I known it was a late start because of final exams I would have scheduled it closer to the start of the school day. Instead, I had to take him to the meeting, go home for 2 hours and then drive him back. His IEP went very well. His grades are awesome. I found out the math class he is taking is the regular ed class, just at a slower pace and he is borderline A/B. His final will determine whether he gets an A or B. We are very proud of him. I got his case manager and the social worker on my side about getting him into an after-school activity, so come January he will need to pick something. Yay!

Anastasia has not finished Christmas shopping. In fact I think it's fair to say that she hasn't gotten me anything yet. In fact, I don't think she has done much shopping at all. Can I say politely that she currently resembles the Grinch or Scrooge? A wee bit cranky. Ok, more than a wee bit. Monday afternoon she left early and went shopping and called me in a panic because the store she went to was out of one of the items on my list. I told her it was ok to order it and have it delivered after Christmas. I don't mind really. I'd rather get the item at the better price (because then she can buy me more stuff on my list) and have it be exactly what I want, than to order the uber expensive item that is not exactly what I want. I'm a grown-up, it's ok. Honest!

I still don't have a single gift wrapped and I have no idea when I will be able to begin. What with Anastasia sleeping quite late and our daughter being home on winter break already, I don't have a clue. By the way, she's already driving me batty. She wanted me to look up movie times at the local theatre. Hello! I told her I can't leave until UPS comes Monday or Tuesday. Not to mention that I really don't have any money to spend on going to the movies.

Lola's Diner

Friday, December 18, 2009


I am still battling my sinus infection and I'm crabby as all get out. I have been running like crazy since last week. Last week 2 trips to Naperville to pick up our daughter. This week 2 trips to Naperville, 1 for her IEP meeting on Monday and then bonus...Thursday she missed the bus. Since I knew she had a project she was supposed to work on and it's deadline was Friday (last day before winter break), I knew I had to drive her. (Ok, I will admit it, I really wasn't in the mood for having her stay home either. I've got 2 weeks of that to look forward to.) Needless to say I was not a happy camper.

Our son in his infinite wisdom has decided to ditch his dad this weekend because he is oh so under pressure because final exams are next week. Who wants to bet that he spends the entire weekend playing video games, or playing with the kittys and doesn't even crack a book? I will admit that he does have an ulterior motive. The ex is moving in with his 'fiance' this weekend and was going to be relying on our son to be one of the movers. He's not hiring anyone, only having some of his fiance's friends help.

Trash pick up is today. We put our old dishwasher at the curb yesterday and it was gone in under two hours. I hope we can say the same for our stove when we put it out there. We are picking up our replacement stove Saturday.

Anastasia was all busy on her birthday installing the folding door. After she left for her caregiver gig I gave each kitty a chance to have a run of the first and second floor. Maddux is crazy. He was running under the tree, batting the candy canes on the lower branches (who put those there?), then running behind the sofa and then into the kitchen, sliding across the parquet floor and flipping over. Sorry, I didn't the Flip handy then, but I'm sure this will be a regular sport for him. Irish was more subdued. She investigated, but kept going back up to the master bedroom where she has been staying. She'd come down and check things out, then back up again. She wasn't as excited about the new found freedom as Maddux was. I did manage to get Maddux on the Flip playing. For such a shy guy, he's got a lot of energy. Lol! (You may want to turn your sound down. The bell is rather obvnoxious.) Wasn't it nice that our son just dumped his stuff. Yes, he's too busy studying to put his things away or do any chores.

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas came early at the diner

In the form of 2 cuddly new family members. Yes! Two!

I'd been working on Anastasia for the last 2 weeks. Today after running some errands and a doctor appointment I called her and asked if she wanted to go to Giordano's for lunch. She said yes and I picked her up. Afterward we went to Kmart and she asked if we had time to go to TLC. I jumped on it. (Who knew that Giordano's was Anastasia's kryptonite?)

One 9 month old kitten immediately picked Anastasia. (We originally were only getting 1 kitty.) She did meet one of my kitty's siblings, but he was a wild child and her kitty just kept beckoning her.

So....without further is Anastasia's kitty, Irish:
And now...7 week old Maddux:

Sorry Maddux's photo is a little blurry. He doesn't like the paparazzi as much as Irish.
Here is his photo from the shelter:

Right now Maddux is laying on my chest as I try to type this. He's purring up a storm and he is investigating all this clicking going on. Lol! He got lose when we got home from buying supplies. (Who knew supplies for 2 kitties would cost so much?) Even though we put food out he kept scrambling for under the sofa or loveseat. It was great sport watching both kids try to corner him. I was lmao!

For some reason our son who has been begging relentlessly to have s adopt a dog, has latched on to Maddux and now says that he doesn't mind if we don't get a dog.

Tomorrow I'm off to Lowe's to buy a folding door to keep the kitties out of the basement. (We have no door at the back of the kitchen or at the top of the stairs, so since space is at a premium, a folding door is the best option.

Lola's Diner

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

What is up with AT&T? My daughter's phone keeps getting the service cut-off. We have a family plan, it's paid in full and only her phone has been affected. I've had to call them twice in less than a week and spend nearly an hour each time while they futz around and get it back working. Is this their way of hinting that I should be upgrading her phone? Any recommendations for a flip phone with a camera or slider phone with a camera?

Dishwasher installation was finally completed over the weekend. It's so nice to not have all the arguing over who's turn it is. Now they just started fighting over what side of the couch is theirs. Jeez! Moms can't win!

Looks like we will be getting the free gas range. I heard from the lady today. Now we just have to get one of Anastasia's relatives with a truck and coordinate when they can pick it up with when the lady is home.

Our son spent Hanukkah weekend with us because his dad bailed on him and didn't even bother to call. Then in a phone call on Sunday he blamed it on every one of us because none of us called him. So each of us took turns hanging up on him. I more than made up for it though. I roasted a huge chicken, made potato latkes and mock kishke and I bought the last packages of chocolate Hanukkah coins. Even though I'm not Jewish, I rocked it in the kitchen! I was going to be making Matzo Ball Soup today, but instead I am off to the doctor because my cold has turned into a sinus infection.

Had our daughter's IEP meeting yesterday. It went very well. Our daughter insisted that Anastasia go with me. She did, even though it just about killed her to get up at that crack of dawn when she's used to getting up in the afternoon because she is caregiver for her brother well past midnight 4 nights a week. Afterward we did some Christmas shopping. It was almost like a date.

Anastasia's birthday is on Thursday. She was dropping birthday gift and Christmas gift hints all over the place yesterday.

Looking forward to New Year's Eve for the drunken Janet Davies local coverage. Anastasia is too. (We're both sick that way. Lol!) Yes it's a few weeks away, but sometimes you need something to look forward to...even if it is a bit of a stretch. Lol!

Lola's Diner

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Children's Christmas List

Our kids know that this year will be a bit different from the rest because this year is very different in terms of our finances. We're not making it obvious, like my Mom did (hello 4 foot aluminum Christmas tree), but we have hinted and we have set limits.
We've been asking since Thanksgiving for lists from them and we've asked them to prioritize their list to let us know what their most wanted items are. I finally got our son's list this past Sunday. Our daughter has waved her list at me several times, but didn't actually give us a copy until Tuesday night.

Do you ask your kids for 'wish lists'?

If you do, what was the biggest ticket item they asked for?

If you do, what was the most unusual thing they asked for? How old were they?

My kids have always made lists, even before they could write, they used to cut the pictures out of the ads and paste them on paper.

I don't recall any really high ticket items, although video game systems have been on their list since they became aware of Nintendo 64.

Most unusual, I don't really recall any unusual, other than this year, the kid who grumbled and groaned at trying out for the golf team and who refused to 'listen' to the coaches tips during lessons and league has asked for a very expensive driver for Christmas. So in keeping with one of our daughter's favorite things, we've decided to play Let's Make A Deal. If he participates in golf lessons and leagues next summer, makes every effort to be 'teachable' and follows the coaches direction and makes an honest effort to try out for the team and if he makes it, he follows through and participates for the season we will get him the driver next year. We're not making it contingent on making the team, but he has to do his best. How will we know? His attitude, feedback from the coaches and how he golfs with Anastasia. How can we make a promise to buy a bit of a big ticket item? I'm the queen of deals. Last year I got some awesome deals on the very expensive driver and irons that I got Anastasia over the last year.

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

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 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

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!


Lola's Diner

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

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Meme

Ok, there's tons of memes out there. I decided to create my own holiday meme. Here goes:
1. What is your favorite holiday show/animated show?
Sentimental - "It's A Wonderful Life", Funny - "Christmas Vacation", Animated show - "Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer".

2. What holiday character do you think you're most like?

3. What holiday character does your spouse think you're most like?
The Grinch.

4. Favorite Christmas/holiday song?
"The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.)

5. Most hated Christmas/holiday song?
"Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" by John Lennon. I can't explain it, it just grates on my nerves. I love just about anything else he did.

6. If you have an all holiday music radio station when do you start listening to it?
I tune in now and then, depending on my mood.

7. If you have an all holiday music radio station do you love it or hate it?
Depends on my mood.

8. Have you ever wrapped yourself as a Christmas present? Come can tell!
Umm, no.

9. Who is Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer's father?
Let's see what you all have to say. I already know the answer.
10. Do you drive your neighborhood or one near you at night to look at other people's holiday decorations?
Guilty. Our kids always ask when we're going to do this. When we lived in Chicago we always drove around Sauganash. They had the best decorations. Santa in a tree house and a working, fully lit carousel.
11. When you see a heavily decorated house do you think, 'oh that's lovely'? Or do you think, 'oh criminy, that looks like Christmas threw up all over their lawn'?
Umm, yeah, totally Grinch here. Christmas threw up all over their lawn. Unless they have some one of a kind, spectacular item in the display (like the Santa in the tree house or a carousel), I think Christmas threw up.

12. Are you counting the days to Christmas with excited anticipation or dread?
Dread. Nuf said.

13. When was the last time you had your photo taken with Santa? Did you sit on his lap?
Our son's first Christmas when Marshall Field's sent their best Santa to our apartment to make up for the bad Santa at their State Street store. Read read all about it here.

14. Do you make a Christmas list for your spouse or significant other or do you rely on them to pick your gift(s) without a clue from you?
Anastasia asks me to make a list. In fact she prefers that I find a bunch of items online, find the best price and give her the links and then she picks from that email what to get me. She usually does add an item that isn't on the list, but she does prefer this way and I don't have a problem doing it.

15. When do you put up your tree?
We'll be putting it up Saturday, December 5th. Normally we do it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but our son was at his dad's and our son is the one who goes up in the attic and brings everything down.

16. Real or fake?
Fake. Last year I spent nearly all day on Black Friday shopping for the perfect pre-lit tree that met Anastasia's specifications.

17. When do you take your tree down?
The day after Epiphany. Sometimes New Year's Day.

18. Do you shop the day after Christmas sales? What do you shop for?
If I have the money, I shop for Christmas wrap for the next year, sometimes ornaments. I also may spend any gift cards I've gotten and sometimes shop other items on sale.

19. Is your work/office having a holiday party this year? Will you attend?
I'm not working, so there is none to attend.

20. Do you have your New Year's Eve Plans set yet?
No plans as yet. I haven't yet discussed it with Anastasia.

Feel free to steal (copy) this meme and complete with your own answers.
Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!


Lola's Diner

Thursday, December 3, 2009

If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays - Favorite Cartoons

Come join me for this week's edition. Post yours Thursday and comeback and sign up with MckLinky.
This Thursday's topic is: Favorite Cartoon -
When you were a kid what was your favorite cartoon/animated show?
Why was it your favorite?
I will transfer 100 credits on Thursday as a thank you.
For details on how you can submit a topic, and if used, earn 100 Entrecard Credits, click here.
I think my favorite cartoon when I was a kid was "Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner".

And no, it wasn't because enjoyed how the Roadrunner always outsmarted Wile E. Coyote. It was because I was rooting for Wile E. Coyote. As a kid I couldn't understand how Wile E. Coyote couldn't come up with a more fool-proof way to catch the Roadrunner. And Wile E. Coyote was certainly the epitome of resilience. When he failed, he got up and went right back to hatching another scheme to try to catch Wile E. Coyote.

Did we ever really know why Wile E. Coyote wanted to catch Roadrunner, had to catch him, made it his solitary goal in life to catch him? I mean, obviously a coyote would want to catch a Roadrunner for food. It is a bird after all. But why was he so single-minded? Weren't there any other animals in the desert for food? (See, even when I was a kid, I had a very analytical, logical mind.)

A few Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner trivia questions:
1. What did the E. in Wile E. Coyote stand for?
2. How did Wile E. Coyote pay for all those Acme gadgets and devices?
3. When Wile E. Coyote was asked in a Cartoon Network commercial why he insisted on purchasing products from ACME Corporation when all the previous contraptions backfired on him, how did he respond?
4. Why is it ironic that the name of the company Wile E. Coyote got most of his gadgets, devices and contraptions from a company named "ACME"?

So, now it's your turn. What's your favorite cartoon from your childhood?

Please post your "Favorite Cartoon." 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!

1. Elenberry.
2. Wile E. Coyote worked for Acme Corporation.
3. Wile Coyote responds with a wooden sign (right after another item blows up in his face): "Good line of Credit."
4. Because ACME means the 'highest point, as of achievement or development'.

Lola's Diner

Google Page Rank Happy Dance...Again!

I happened to be scrolling down my blog to see if I had any outdated widgets and I noticed that Lola's Diner's Google Page Rank went from 3 to 4! Woo Hoo! I wish that it meant that I was actually earning money with Google Adsense (I have yet to earn enough for a payout on any of the advertising stuff on my blog), but it doesn't.

Lola's Diner
Free PageRank Checker

Fire Crotch Rocket remains at Google Page Rank 2.

Lola's Victory Garden has yet to be recognized by Google Page Rank. :(

Thank you to my new followers 4 new follower! (since 11/17/09.)

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Drummer Boy Aka Metallica-head Strikes Again

Well not really's almost continuous. He was playing the drums for about an hour this morning, so loud that we could hear it clearly with all the doors and windows closed and I could hear it above the sound of my television in the living room. And let me tell you...that's really loud because this guy is across the street and we both have large front lawns in between the 2 lane street. Anastasia was sleeping (or trying to, because she is at her Moms until 1am or later taking care of her brother). I knew it wouldn't be long before she blew a gasket and let's face it, the sound was annoying the hell out of me too.

So...I called the County Sheriff. Yup! They actually showed up 10 minutes after I called. By that time Drummer Boy Aka Metallica-head had stopped drumming and had turned on his stereo really loud. I spoke with the Sheriff's Department officer who showed up and told him what we go through on a daily basis and he said he would go talk to him, which he did.

We'll see if this has any affect on his behavior. I wouldn't be surprised if this is like the loose dog problem and it will take numerous calls and Sheriff's visits before he learns a lesson.

In any event, it is blissful quiet in the hood right now...ok, except for the douchebag with the leaf blower.

12:45pm, an hour later...the music is blaring...then the drums again. I called the County Sheriff again, they are on their way and I will be filing a complaint. What gives this douchebag the right to play his music so so loud that it disrupts other people?

Same Sheriff's Officer came back to my house, as we were chatting a supervisor pulls up. Now there are 2 Sheriff's cars in front of Drummer Boy Aka Metallica-head's house. Both Officers again talked to him and the first Officer went to talk to my neighbor (not Mr. Friendly, the neighbor on the other side). The first Officer told me that Drummer Boy Aka Metallica-head said he was on disability. I told the Officer 'so what? I'm on disability too, but I don't disrupt my neighbors at all hours of the day with loud music playing and loud drums and guitars on amplifiers.' Yes. I actually said that to the officer.

I was given phone numbers to call for the State's Attorney's Office and Zoning. I'm waiting for the State's Attorney's Office to call back. Basically there is no noise ordinance in the unincorporated city where we live so we have few options. We can continue to call the Sheriff and if they can send a car they will chat him up and tell him to knock it off. We can try to get the State's Attorney's Office to file a complaint, or we can file a claim in Small Claim's Court. In any case, I will have my Flip Camera at the ready so that I have video tape proof of the magnitude of the noise.

Lola's Diner

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, we laugh a lot! Anastasia barely got these photos. But of course it was mostly her fault that we couldn't keep a straight face. This is my sister and her husband from Thanksgiving 2008.

(Don't forget...If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays returns tomorrow with "Favorite Cartoon".)

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

I found out the wedding is 2010, not 2011 as the kids had told me. Still too much time for our daughter to ruminate about this. And his evil fiance refused to acknowledge me again when I went to pick up our daughter from the meeting place in Tinley Park. She won't even look at me. So rude! It's not like I want to be her bff (not a chance!), but she could at least be cordial.

Our daughter got a ball and bag from her coach. The ball is purple and smells like grape. She got to try it out today and said it worked out well. She wanted to pick it up on Sunday but the pro shop was closed. They had to etch out the "b word" that was painted on it and polish it. Who would have beyotch (other spelling) written on their bowling ball? Anyway, now our daughter is all set. The first match is tonight after school. Oh joy, Saturday mornings now I will be up at the crack of dawn to drive her to school to catch the bus for Saturday matches.

This weekend is designated as trim our tree weekend. We still have to figure out where it will go. This should be interesting...

Both kids are driving me up a tree as I type this arguing about who is supposed to do the dishes. (Yeah, the dishwasher's not working either.) Must they argue about it all night and ruin my evening? I mean...not that "Shrek The Halls" hasn't already ruined it.

Still waiting on that gift card. Wonder how long that takes?

"Shrek The Halls" sucks bad. Who makes these crappy Christmas shows? Where's "Frosty The Snowman" and "Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer"? Please tell me this new stuff isn't going to be considered 'classic' Christmas fare in 10 years. Ughh!

Lola's Diner

November Top Commenter Winners!

Very close this month. Harriet wasn't even close to being in the running. Was it something I said???

Here are the results:
1st Place - Lin @ Duck and Wheel With String 1000 Entrecard Credits.
2nd Place - Stacey @ All Stace, All The Time 750 Entrecard Credits.
3rd Place - Auntie E @ At Home With Auntie E 500 Entrecard Credits.
Congratulations to the winners! Entrecard Credits will be in your accounts shortly.

Just a reminder to everyone that my Top Commenter Contest will be running in October, so now is your chance to stake out your spot at the counter or grab a booth.
Lola's Diner

Monday, November 30, 2009


I came across this old post from Lin Thank You, God - Duck and Wheel With String. It made me think of this crazy thing Anastasia's family was doing a few years ago. It went on for years. I guess you could call their thing the Traveling Bunny.

They had this white bunny that they would sneak and give it to someone else. One time Anastasia's sister Sybil stuffed the bunny under the blanket Anastasia was sleeping under. Another time, it was put on her car seat.

One Christmas Anastasia and I took a wardrobe box, stuffed it with shredded paper, put Traveling Bunny in a box somewhere in the middle, then wrapped the box.

The pièce de résistance was when I Fed-Ex'd Traveling Bunny to Sybil. For some reason that was bunny's last trip. I'm guessing because it couldn't be topped.

Lola's Diner

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ingenuity Saves The Day

We had 2 casualties during our Thanksgiving meal preparation. Our oven took a dump. Last night when the kids made refrigerator biscuits it took almost an hour. I thought maybe they were playing, but when I put Anastasia's tray of stuffing in the oven and she checked on it 45 minutes later the oven shelves weren't even hot. (The oven was set to 375 degrees and we later raised it to 450. Still not hot and the burner was lit.) Anastasia didn't think anything of it when she took out the pumpkin pie and it wasn't set yet, she thought we'd pop it back in after the stuffing.

How did I save the day? My gas grill! It has a thermometer on the hood so I was able to get some temperature control. (More than the damn oven!) So when it got up to temperature I popped in the tray of stuffing and the green bean casserole. Later I swapped out the casserole and popped in the pumpkin pie to finish. When we took the pie out the pyrex dish cracked. (2nd casualty.)

Thank goodness the gas grill Anastasia got me for Christmas 2 years ago had a thermometer on the hood. And thank goodness for my Nesco Roaster that I had the turkey in.

Everything was delish! Hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving.

We skipped going to Anastasia's Mom's house. Don't ask how we got out of it, I don't even know. Anastasia thought she was going to have to do her sitting gig tonight and was looking forward to the usual triple holiday pay, but the client's daughter told her to spend Thanksgiving with her family. Arghhh! We were looking forward to that bit of extra money, now we will be short because she didn't work today.

I didn't even run to get a holiday paper for the ads. I figured the less I know about what I'm potentially missing the better. Lol! I've decided Friday will be craft day instead of crazy Black Friday. Our daughter is looking forward to it. (Our son is with his dad.)

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grocery Shopping Crazies

Why do all the crazies come out to shop for their entire Thanksgiving meal the Tuesday before the holiday?

I had less than 10 items on my list. I knew exactly where everything was, except for the Durkee Fried Onions. There were people standing in the spice aisle like a deer in headlights. I have no idea what spice they were looking for...maybe they didn't either, but there were about 6 people blocking the spice aisle just standing there looking up all all duh-like. Maybe they were looking for help from above?

I saw people with large frozen turkeys. Just how do they think they're going to manage to defrost those suckers this late in the game?

One woman was in a daze in the dairy section blocking the entire selection of creamer products. Finally she got a clue and asked if she needed me to move. I said 'yes please, I need half and half'. She moved her cart directly in front of the half and half, so I had to repeat myself. Finally she moved.

Heaven help anyone who has to pick up a few things at the grocery store on Wednesday. I'm sure it's going to be much worse. The hard core procrastinators will be shopping.

Lola's Diner

Random Tuesday Thoughts

How's everyone's plans for Thanksgiving going? Anastasia made room for our 16 pound Turkey tonight, so I still may be doing the water bath thaw method (frantically) on Wednesday. We are currently having a bit of an issue with the stuffing. I have made my mother's stuffing for the last 25 Thanksgivings. It's (ahem!) a tradition. It's your basic stuffing (bag of stuffing; celery, onion, gizzard, liver, heart finely diced; chicken or turkey broth.) It's delicious. No funky business, no fruit, no meat that didn't come from the turkey. I used to add diced roasted chestnuts, but Anastasia doesn't like them. This year Anastasia wants to make her Mom's stuffing recipe. Let's just point out that Sunday night Anastasia told me that her favorite comfort food that her Mom made was to brown a pound or 2 of ground beef and add it to a jumbo can of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti. Not exactly my Mom's Bracciole. Anyway, Anastasia wants to do the stuffing with pork sausage and use toasted bread instead of store bought stuffing cubes.

As I type this in the early am on Tuesday we still don't have a definitive pick up time for our son. The ex is going to leave him hanging...till the last minute no doubt.

I just heard one of our kids talking about the wedding to one of their friends tonight on the phone. "My dad is re-marrying. The wedding is in 2011." So if the wedding is not next year, why is he even saying anything now to our daughter? This means she has almost 2 years to ruminate about this. Damn this pisses me off!

Our daughter is making progress at bowling. She's pretty much a newbie at it, but definitely willing to learn. Saturday we met one of her teammates at the bowling alley and she bowled a game with the girl's family. Nice people. I remembered them from the golf banquet.

Our daughter's coach told her she was going to get her a ball last week. I told our daughter that hopefully she meant ball and bag 'because otherwise you'll have to carry the ball loose'. Right away our daughter said, 'oh no, I can't do that because my school would deem it a weapon.' I was only joking. It was pretty funny though. I found out today a bag was included.

Anastasia played Clark W. Griswold on Saturday. She took the lights off the huge spruce in our front yard and reversed them. (Shhhh! Don't let her know I told you all. She put the lights on last year with the male end of the cord at the top of the tree, therefore, we couldn't light the lights. If you've ever tried to put lights on a 16 foot (or larger, I'm guessing here) tree, it is a real pita.) I picked up one of these babies from Ace Hardware:

It's a telescoping pole that extends 11 feet. Last year her and our son were out there for several hours with a ladder and a lot of swear words. This year she got the job done in under an hour. Well, she didn't exactly play Clark W. Griswold. She just did the tree, put some lighted garland on the porch and a lighted wreath on the door. We worked with what we have since there's no money in the budget to add on new decorations this year. Still, it will be nice to have that big tree lit this year.

Both Anastasia and I are pretty depressed about the holidays. We worked the numbers last night and it's pretty grim. I did manage to order a gift card using reward points I earned with my debit card. That would be awesome if the card came by Wednesday, but I'm doubtful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though since Black Friday is usually the best deals and that gift card will go further.

I've taken at peek at the Black Friday ads and there really don't seem to be any 'must haves', so I don't really feel like I'll be missing out on anything. That makes me feel a little but better. Lol!

Lola's Diner

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Check out my guest post

Be sure to check out my guest post @ Good Mourning Glory.
It's part of Diane's Coexist Celebration Of Peace.

Lola's Diner

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pay It Forward Holiday Cheer

I had insomnia again Sunday night. The last time I looked at the clock it was 4:01am. When I have insomnia, I often thing about future posts. (What else is there to do when you can't sleep?) I came up with this one. I hope you like it and I hope you'll jump on the bandwagon.

With the economy the way it is, I'm sure everyone is scaling down their celebrations and scaling down their gift giving. When you're one of the people doing this it's hard to be of good cheer. It's depressing.

I thought why not take the Pay It Forward idea and adapt it to the holidays.

What you do to Pay it Forward doesn't have to cost money. It can be time or effort. It could be baking an extra batch of cookies to share with your elderly neighbor. It could be offering a ride to the grocery store to your neighbor who doesn't have a car. It could be shoveling a neighbor's walk. You could be in line at the grocery store behind a mom with her kids and she's a couple bucks short to pay for her groceries. Whatever it's some kindness to spread holiday cheer.

Whatever it is you do, you ask the recipient to Pay It Forward in whatever way they choose.

The way I'm Paying it Forward is through baked goods. In our house, baking ingredients are staples and we always have them on hand. It's easy and not terribly expensive for me to bake an extra batch of cookies or an extra bread. Of course I'll be having Anastasia deliver whatever it is to Mr. Friendly, because she's the charming, friendly, bubbly part of this duo and I'm the ogre. Lol!

I was thinking of including a note card with a poem about Pay It Forward Holiday Cheer, explaining the concept, but I'm not a poem writer. Any ideas?

So what do you think of Pay It Forward Holiday Cheer?

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So What's Your Thanksgiving Drama?

Er...I mean, what are you serving for Thankgiving?

No, wait...what is your Thanksgiving Drama? Or maybe you don't having Thanksgiving Drama.

We don't yet know what we'll be doing. The family matriarch (honest, I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just avoiding the use of 'mil' because technically Anastasia and I aren't married and even though her Mom ok'd me calling her Mom, I think she might spontaneously catch fire if I referred to her as 'mother-in-law'.) Even though I tried out 'Mom' just last week (yeah, it's been years, and I just snuck it in now...yes...I'm a big chicken!) and got a hug from her. Anastasia's eye's about popped out of her head when she heard me do it in front of one of the homophobic family members. Ok, now I'm ramblin, but you get my point. The family matriarch has declared that she's not doing Thanksgiving this year, but 'we' can come over. The thing is...she's told this to virtually all of Anastasia's siblings, which in effect means she IS doing Thanksgiving, but which also means it could be a huge debacle because she said she wasn't doing it and she will no doubt forget some of those conversations with the other siblings. No, I'm not kidding. This has happened before. And yes, no matter what it's always a debacle because we are all Irish and there is alcohol involved.

So this means that our Thanksgiving plans are up in the air. I will still be making a turkey dinner with all the usual trimmings, it's just a matter of when. Our menu rarely changes, except maybe adding a new dish. Lola's Thanksgiving Menu. Our daughter is insisting I make the Roasted Brussels Sprouts. She loves them.

Add to this drama, we have the ex drama. Our son will be with him for Thanksgiving, but the ex is trying to manipulate our daughter who, due to the current visitation order cannot travel to his Thanksgiving. This stipulation in the order is to protect her because of issues with previous visits. He knows this is the arrangement, yet he continues to try to manipulate her, which obviously causes her problems. He's even tried to solicit the help of our daughter's school counselor, who has repeatedly told him to cease the Thanksgiving talk, as have I, but as usual, he ignores all of us. Anastasia is about ready to have a conversation with him. Let's just say that...well..that wouldn't be pretty.

Sunday night as I typed this I was watching Grey's Anatomy repeats on late night. They aired one of the Thanksgiving episodes. The one where O'Malley has to shoot a turkey. I always love the Meredith Grey voiceovers. They're so well written. So poignant, sometimes profound. Here are just a few from the end of the episode:
"Being grateful for what you have...whatever that is."
"Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know...and maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know."
"At the end of the day if we had courage enough to still be's reason enough to be thankful."
Frankly I can't wait until Thanksgiving is over. But then I'll only be more depressed, because I'm historically one of those crazies out there on Black Friday. Our budget doesn't allow for Black Friday shopping this year so I'm going to have to find some other way to amuse myself from 3am Black Friday until 5pm. Any ideas?

Lola's Diner

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Can you believe it? 517 posts! I didn't even notice when I reached 500. I guess times flies when you're having fun. And we're at 242 followers! Thank you to all of you and give a shout out once in awhile in the comments. I'd love to hear from you!

All weekend was spent frantically trying to find a free twin bed frame because our son did who knows what to his old one. Anastasia just told me not to look, not to ask questions, just to know that the old one was bent beyond repair and I just needed to find one. Thankfully I got one off Craigslist and it was brand new still in the box.

When I wasn't working on that I was dealing with our daughter who wanted me to be her entertainment committee, whilst the whole time being indignant and refusing to do chores. Still trying to figure out how that works.

Today I get an email from our daughter's school, bus transportation for bowling was not arranged. I made numerous frantic phone calls and emails and it's finally arranged. Why does there always have to be this drama surrounding her after school activities? Why don't the school/coaches/special ed department/transportation get their shit together ahead of time? What if I was working, how could I possibly have made this many phone calls and emails to get this fixed?

Our son hasn't shaved since Halloween. He thinks he's rockin' the Seth Rogan scruffy look, but he's not. It just doesn't go with his Shaggy from Scooby Doo hair. He's insisting he's not shaving until he has a full beard. Umm, hello, that could be years. He's just got sideburns, hair under the chin and his neck. No mustache, no cheek hair and nothing on the chin. He looks ridiculous.

Isn't it great how the government has decided that women in their 40's don't need mammograms? (Women In 40's Advised Against Routine Annual Mammograms - Chicago Tribune.) No doubt that decision is a precursor to what we can expect from the Obama Health Plan. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for every legal United States citizen having healthcare, but if you're going to downgrade the medical necessity of certain tests and procedures to make it happen, then what is the point of it all? I'm just sayin'...

Monday night was Code of Conduct at the high school. Our daughter went last year. It's only necessary to go once in your high school career. I insisted our son go even though he continues to drag his feet about an activity. I had to go to the high school for a parent's bowling meeting afterward, so why not get all the pain over with at once? Yes, there was arguing and grunting, but I held my ground and I have his signed Code of Conduct Contract to prove it. Yay me!

Did anyone catch the Wanda Sykes show on Saturday. They seemed to have changed the format from last week. Not sure what I'm thinking of it yet, other than it is fresher than SNL. Of course that's not saying alot.

Dave Letterman needs his eyes checked. What the heck happened to Sharon Stone's face? I didn't even recognize her. Well, until she spoke...very distinctive voice.

How come my Mafia in fb keeps loosing fights and I keep losing so much money? Curses to Anastasia's niece who got me hooked. Like I don't spend enough time in this black box.

Still waiting hear about Anastasia's job interview and we are biting our nails here wondering why we haven't heard anything. Please keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer, send some positive energy out into the universe our way...whatever you can do we would greatly appreciate it.

Lola's Diner
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