Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh no...It's dinner time.

My husband and I -or maybe just me with my husband going along to keep the peace- have decided our kids need to learn better table manners, but the process is killing us. Our once semi-pleasant dinner hour is now mommy’s critics corner where violators of the agreed upon protocol are reprimanded continuously from the time we start the meal, until the time the meal is over.
And at the end of the meal, we usually just stare dumbstruck at each other as our rule breakers happily go off to play.

So what brought about our worry concerning our beloved children’s table etiquette? Several things really, like observations during meals out, and then paying more attention to how my kids were eating instead of how much they weren’t eating. My son is a rather picky eater right now, so my main concern has always been in the amount of food he is getting and not in the fact that he chooses to use his fingers instead of his fork. But after painfully witnessing and enduring several dinner blunders, I quickly decided that I had to set a standard of decorum when it comes to sitting down to a meal, and I decided on the following:

  • Forks not fingers will be used to bring food to our mouths, and the only exception will be designated finger foods such as pizza. This rule also includes using the serving utensils instead of our appendages to put more food on your plates
  • This has started to be a real problem in our house, and most of it, I think, is due to just laziness. I can’t tell you how many times I repeat this during one meal, but when I pay attention to what I’m eating and look back again, their fingers are once again on their plates! I remember saying that no one would want to sit next to them at lunch if their hands were constantly in their food, and I got the, “Everyone else does it too” response.
  • While singing at the top of your lungs may be enjoyable to you, the rest of us could use a break, so please refrain from doing this at the table and anywhere in our general vicinity.
  • I would love to sing Christmas caroles with you, but I don't want to be doing dishes at 9:00 PM, so let's eat.
  • Coughing without covering your mouth with your elbow is strictly prohibited. I don’t care if you don’t have the H1N1 virus-no one wants you to spew your germs all over their food.
  • This is driving me crazy because I have repeated this over and over! I know the kids have had the “cough in your elbow” thing drilled into them since pre-school, and I know they follow this rule faithfully in school, so why do they think I want to share in every illness that they have?
  • Everyone should wait his or her turn instead of trying to out-talk or drown out another person’s conversation. Everyone has the right to have his or her say in the dinnertime chitchat, but patience is preferred over sulking or tantrums when someone else is talking.
  • This has been a real problem because big sister wants to monopolize the conversations and then finish her brother’s conversations as well. He was a late talker so my daughter took on the role of his interpreter, only now he would like to talk for himself.
  • And speaking of talking, we all would appreciate it if you refrained from talking with your mouth full of food. We prefer to eat the meal without seeing it in an altered state from within your teeth and gums.
  • This one is better left unexplained.
  • Don’t just reach for the dressing, ketchup, or other item on the table. Ask and someone will pass it to you and do so nicely.
  • I refuse to respond to “give me this,” or “give me that,” and my kids are pretty good with this one, especially after a glare from me.

I introduced a number of these rules to my kids over the years, but none of them have really sunk in and harping on them during dinner is giving me a constant case of indegestion, so that brings us to plan b: consequences for actions. My kids and I are off one more day so we are going to undertake a craft project-a chart of expectations and consequences for mealtime behavior. If this doesn’t work, my husband and I are either going to change our evening meal beverage to wine or we will look only at our plates, but personally I'm in favor of the wine...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mommy Overload

My mind at this very moment feels like a pile of mush-there is no neuron activity happening whatsoever, I am staring straight ahead, and I haven’t blinked for about a minute now. I am experiencing “Mommy Overload,” I know there is no real cure, and I am hoping to regain a semi-conscious state after my kids go to bed. They are now sitting in front of the TV watching the new Tinkerbelle movie we rented, but because watching this causes even more brain inactivity in adults, I chose to blog about my Mommy Overload instead.

I really don’t know what causes me to actually shut down, but it stems from an inordinate amount of time alone with my kids, especially my son. I feel awful about this, and I wonder if maybe things would be different if I wasn’t a working mom. I mean do stay at home mothers have the ability to hone their tolerance skills more than working mothers just because they have always spent a large amount of time with their kids, or is this just a skill that I lack? I wonder about this a lot, but I still don’t have any answers.

Both the kids and I are off today through November 30 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and I always have these rosy colored visions of what my time with the kids will be like. I envision us all getting up early (but not too early), and I am at the stove busily making chocolate chip pancakes. Everyone is smiling and laughing and we’re talking about all the fun activities we will do together, but then the reality of the day sets in. My son got up when he heard my husband getting ready for work, and since my son gets a little freaked out being the only one awake, he does everything in his power to wake up the rest of us, including the dog! Because I am awake when I didn’t want to be, I am not the happiest of mommies, so cereal and Pop Tarts replace chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and the smiles and laughter from my dreams become grunts and groans in real life.

Then there are the mundane activities that must be done during the course of the day-the dog needs to be fed then taken out and it’s pouring down rain, you have to tidy up the kitchen after breakfast is over, the kids need a bath, and I find out that I am going to have to run a load of whites through the wash. Before you know it, lunchtime is here and the routine starts all over again-fix lunch, serve lunch, then clean up after lunch. The fun activity today was to go shopping for a Christmas present for my husband, but we didn’t have much time because I needed to go to the bank first, and my daughter had practice today. And once again, my picture of shopping for “daddy” did not include my kids running through the store aisles, having them continually spinning a rack full of DVDs until I told them to stop, having them touch anything that wasn’t nailed down, and losing at least one kid at different times in the store because something else caught their eye.

We finally finished our shopping, I dropped my daughter off for practice, and I was alone with my son. Now don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with him, but too much one-on-one time, especially after the wonderful experiences I had in the store, can be a challenge. I usually like to have his sister around as sort of a human buffer, because my son will talk non-stop to an audience of one, and he started the moment my daughter got out of the car. Here are some excerpts from our many conversations:

“Yes dear.”

“If you could be any super hero you wanted, who would it be?”

I named the first super hero I could think of-Thor. Lame, maybe, but I do think the guy gets no respect at all...

“You want to be Thor? Not Superman, or The Hulk?”

“I like Thor so I choose him.”

“Ok, but do you think he would win in a fight against The Hulk?”

“Yes, I do because he could change the weather and suck The Hulk up in a tornado.”


There was a slight lull in the conversation while my son mulled that over in his little brain, and I decided I should stop by the grocery store on the way home. My son almost immediately started in on a new topic, but this time he didn’t ask for my opinion, he just wanted to relay the latest superhero episode that he watched yesterday, and he told me everything, down to the most minute detail, about the story. I am not sure whether my son knows that after a while I really don’t know what he is talking about-a person can only take so much.

I was then hit with even more “conversation” on the way home, but now he wanted answers to questions, but there were so many that I couldn’t recall them even if I wanted to, but I can tell you that they were along the lines of “why is the sky blue?" I could feel the numbness in my head start, so I quickly immersed myself in getting dinner ready and thankfully my son went off to play. My husband came home, and at last I had my buffer, but it was short lived because when he left to get my daughter, my son decided to stay home with me-yea? Now I am explaining what exaggerate means, and I am asked to spell seriously, and my son starts reading to me from the book Kooks in the Cafeteria while I am trying to type up an entry for tonight’s blog-but it’s no use because there are pictures to see, and questions to answer, and the book to ponder…

So here I sit, quietly basking in the glow of my computer, my contacts feeling like grains of sand in my eyes, when my son calls from his bedroom. It seems he has “forgotten” to go to the bathroom before he went to bed. I listen as he gets out of bed and heads to the bathroom, and I strain my ears for the flush and the sound of running water, two things of vital importance to every mother I’m sure. But I didn’t hear him go back to his room, and as I was turning my head to look down the hall I notice him standing beside me, and after he utters something he forgot to tell me earlier, he gives me a big hug and heads back to bed. I am smiling now despite my mental state, despite the cereal for breakfast, despite all the running around I did today, despite the fact that I forgot to put the laundry in the dryer and will now have to put them through a short wash-despite all my shortcomings, my son still loves me and that’s the greatest feeling in the world. Goodnight everyone and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Zhu Zhu Pet Giveaway at My Charmed Life

I you have given up on getting a Zhu Zhu pet because you can't find any in the store and are unwilling to shell out $50-$100 to those looking to make buck this Christmas, why not try once more. There is a giveaway at My Charmed Life that you might be interested in. Give it a shot-what do you have to lose?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tunes for Tuesday

This post is going to do double duty tonight. I really can't remember when I first heard this artist sing, but these two songs touched my heart and whenever either was played on the radio, I would turn up the volume and croon along. (My daughter even likes them, and we both have them loaded on our MP3 players.)

So without further ado, here are two songs to get you thinking about your family this holiday season, sung by the man with a funny name (I still don't think I pronounce it right.) Here are Home and Lost videos from Youtube, by Michael Buble .

*He starts things off doing Home in a country twang (not good), but it's just a joke, so be patient and wait for the magic...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lucky Number 7

If you are like the majority of people, there are numbers that mean certain things to you, good or bad, and people have been making these associations since the beginning of time. As I said in an earlier post many people (including me) do not like the number 13-in fact, businesses skip over this number when counting the floors in their building, and I can’t remember when the number 13 adorned a racecar. But the number 7 is a very different story.

If you’re a mathematician, you might like 7 because it is a prime number (a number only divisible by itself and 1) or because you can link a hexagon together 7 different ways. If you’re a chemist, you may relate to 7 as the atomic number of Nitrogen or for the fact that there are 7 rows in the periodic table. If you are into computers, you know that there are 7 layers in the OSI model, and if you are a Christian or Buddhist you relate the number 7 to the 7 virtues that everyone should strive to pattern their lives after. There are also 7 continents, 7 wonders of the world, often 7 spots decorating a ladybug, and for the artist in all of us-7 colors in a rainbow.

I could go on and on listing the significance of this number, but I wouldn’t have room in this one post. Numerology experts’ say that certain numbers follow us through life and are often associated with important dates and events. The reason why I’m bringing the number 7 up in the first place is so that I may tell you how it has a special meaning to me- I was married in the 7th month of the year, on the 27th, and both my kids share the same birth date on the 7th. In everything that I do and will do in the future, these three associations mean the most to me, my two children will always be my greatest achievements, and the number 7 is without a doubt my lucky number.

Nancy at if evolution really works, recently presented me with an award, and even though Nancy didn’t require me to do anything in return, since the number 7 is involved, I couldn’t help myself. The recipient of this award is supposed to list 7 personality traits, so here are mine:

Optimistic: I like to think of myself as a “half-full” type of person, meaning if I see a glass with some liquid refreshment inside (for some reason wine is popping into my head-it was a tough week), I look at that glass as being half full instead of half empty. My husband will say I’m the opposite, but that’s only because he hears me rant and rave about work problems and kid problems, and problems in general.

 Indecisive: I tend to over analyze everything. If I have a problem, I rewind things inside my head over and over again while I try to find a solution, and this need to see every angle often causes added stress and a lack of sleep.

Bossy: I asked my daughter how she would describe me to a friend, and she said that I act like the queen of the house. Well, when it comes to decisions about the kids, I like to think that my husband and I work together, but I think I do lay down the law when it comes to taking care of our house-no one else around here seems to care like I do, but that’s for another post. (*Note to self: never ask your tween daughter for a personality trait after you tell her she can’t do something…)

Extremist: I don’t do anything half way not matter what it is, and this is both a blessing and a curse. Even though I know it would be much simpler to stop at a bakery and order something for my daughter’s Halloween party at school, somehow I find myself in the kitchen after a long day at work rolling out dough to make ghosts-and they can’t be just plain sugar cookie ghosts, they have to be decorated. Let’s just say I worked on them for two days and didn’t get to bed before 11 both nights…

Direct: I am honest almost to a fault-I can’t lie because when I do my left eye twitches! No one else can see it, but I know it’s happening, and although this might seem like a good thing to some, it can cause problems. There is also a thing called “diplomacy” that I often lack. I often tell someone straight out when something is bothering me and I often appreciate when someone does the same, but sometimes a situation is better handled delicately, and I realize this when it’s too late.

Imaginative: I pride myself on having a good imagination because I can visualize the end result, although sometimes I don’t know how I am going to get there.

Unique: This one is from my daughter as well-she’s trying to butter me up now so she can get on my computer, but I’ll take this one anyway. I would like to think that even though there may be someone who resembles me somewhere else in this vast world of ours, there will never be a person who laughs at corny jokes as I do, sneaks up on my daughter to tickle her only when she “least expects it,” and looks at things in the same way. In other words, there will never be another me, and my husband says thank God for that!

Now I am supposed to pass this one off to 7 other people but I'm a little tired right now, and my daughter is bugging me, so I'll save that for later. I hope this gets you thinking about your strengths as well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tunes for Tuesday

Tonight we are going to travel back in time to 1975 when this song was sung. The country had just been through the Vietnam War and Watergate and former Vice President Gerald Ford was now our President.

The first time I heard this song wasn't on the radio-I heard it at school in 1976. My not-so-ordinary English teacher, Mr. Farmer, played it us to on a (cough) record player as a way to explain narrative poetry, and I remember thinking that I had never heard a song so beautiful. Of course, I had an insane crush on my very young (he wasn't more than 24), long haired/mustached English teacher, partly because of his look, partly because of his avant-garde approach to teaching literary works, (I mean, we were listening to popular music in English class!) but mostly because he was the first person to tell me that I could write, and I loved him for that.

When I started substitute teaching I wanted to thank Mr. Farmer, but I found out he took a job with another school district a few years after I left middle school, so this song goes out to all of you and to Mr. Farmer, wherever he may be-thanks for your support. Now close your eyes and enjoy Wildfire, by Michael Martin Murphey.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Unlucky No. 13

I don’t remember ever having any particular fondness for one number over another, but having the 13th fall on a Friday certainly gives me the willies, and I can blame some of my superstitions about this number from my family. (The Irish are extremely superstitious-I remember my mother running towards me in an intense panic when I opened up an umbrella in the house, and she was near tears when my sister dropped and broke a compact mirror!) Now while I don’t have paraskavedekatriaphobia (phew)-a morose, unreasonable terror of Friday the 13th that about 21 million people in the United States alone are afflicted with, I am not without my qualms when this day is approaching.

No one knows how or why the fear of Friday and the number 13 converged. The Norsemen and Hindus thought it was unlucky for 13 people to gather together, and in Christianity Christ had 13 disciples until one betrayed him. And Friday has been considered unlucky for religious reasons as well-the great flood happened on a Friday, pagan Rome carried out their executions on Friday, and Christ was crucified on Friday. Then there are the unexplainable things that happen on this day, like when a British hospital does a study and finds that admissions to the hospital on Friday the 13th are 52% higher than on any other day. If you put two and two together, you get double the dose of bad luck with Friday the 13th.

According to some, both bad and good happens every day, so if you’re looking for something bad to happen on Friday the 13th, you won’t be disappointed. Well, I had one heck of a Friday the 13th, and be it chance or not, I have just recently calmed down about it thanks in part to having a pretty good day today. Now don’t panic because my family or I did not come to any bodily harm on Friday, but there were more than just a few disconcerting events that took place.

As some of you know, I teach high school, and a day filled with teenagers can be stressful at times, but it isn’t usually normal for an entire class to go bonkers! I had been nervous most of the day, and by 8th period, I seemed to be home free, but then I met with the last class of the day-my broadcasting class. We were finishing the curriculum on interviewing, and I asked the class to write a formal thank you letter to the teacher they interviewed. They were to write a rough draft, then type the letter according to my specifications (I had a layout displayed on my smart board), print it out and give it to me by the end of the period. It was if I had asked them for the world, but I only wanted two lousy paragraphs! I also found out rather quickly that most did not know how to write a formal letter, let alone a formal thank you letter. (I did this when I was in 5th grade!)

They were arguing about why they were to use a colon in the salutation instead of a comma, why they couldn’t indent their paragraphs, and why they had to do this in the first place-because it was the right thing to do didn’t convince them, but because I said so and this is being graded did. I wasn't happy with the final results though-there were many finished papers that still had sincerely on the right side of the page, some didn’t center the letter at all, and there were more than a few that signed their name under their typed name! There is no way I am going to give these to the teachers, so on Monday and Tuesday, much to their delight I’m sure, I am going to teach this bunch how to write both a formal letter and formal thank you letter properly. One step forward, two steps back...

I was glad it was the end of the day and I started getting excited about the weekend-I had rented two movies for my kids this weekend (I did it online at Red Box), and I couldn’t wait to surprise them. I hurried home and waited in our van for their bus-and I waited… The normally prompt bus was almost 10 minutes late, but I didn’t let that phase my mood, especially since my children were running towards me with big smiles on their faces-that is until they stepped into the van! In fact, I could see the scowl start to spread across my daughter’s face the instant she got into her seat.

I immediately gushed about the movies we were picking up, but only my son was as excited as me. My known-to-be-overly-dramatic daughter’s bottom lip started to quiver because she didn’t like either of my movie picks-she wanted that second (and I hope I won’t offend any of you) stupid Tinkerbelle movie. We had seen the first in I guess what is now a series, and I could feel my brain cells drying up as I watched! And the thing is, our movies for movie nights are supposed to appeal to everyone, and watching Tinkerbelle is not something my son wants to do either.

I think I gave some sort of speech about being grateful that I even did things like this and how disappointed I was at her behavior as we drove down the road. My son tried to back me up which led to my daughters yelling at my son and me yelling at her for yelling at him and then telling my son I could handle things. We arrived at the Red Box at our local Walgreen’s, and as I was entering my information into the machine I didn’t notice where my daughter was standing-right smack against the area the movies slide out! I looked up to see one movie trying to come out but her shoulder was blocking it. I quickly moved her away and retrieved the first movie, but the other refused to come out, and the machine wouldn’t take my debit card any more! We had a line forming behind us as I waited for customer service to take my call. The verdict was that the other movie was stuck-Ice Age III, the movie my son has been trying to rent for a few weeks now-and I wouldn’t be charged. Gee, thanks lady.

I looked over and saw my son’s face start to crinkle up, so I told him we would try the grocery store on the way home-and I was bracing myself for a possible ugly scene. Thankfully “his” movie was there, so we rented it quickly, and I decided to head to the deli to pick something out for dinner because I was not going to cook. They say that all’s well that ends well, but as I opened up the right rear door to our van I noticed two huge scrapes from the back bumper all the way to the front-someone or something had scraped the van. I was almost sick because the van is only a couple years old and we had already repaired a ding in the back bumper when I ran into something in the garage!

I got the kids in their seats and they immediately started arguing about I-don’t-no-what, when a call from my husband came in. Do you remember that commercial about Calgon bath beads back in the 80’s? There was a hectic mom about ready to lose it and she says,
Calgon, take me away.
The next thing you know she’s in a luxurious bubble bath and there are no kids, no phone, just a tub and millions of bubbles, and this is what I wanted right now.

The evening did get better-the kids stopped fighting, my daughter enjoyed my movie choice, and my husband is pretty sure a grocery cart scraped our van, but unfortunately we didn’t see anything and I’m not even sure it happened on Friday since I hardly ever open up both rear doors. But whether you believe in bad luck being brought on by the evils of Friday the 13th or not, it is Saturday, the 14th, and everything is well. I hope all is well with you too. Goodnight everyone.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tunes for Tuesday

It's time now for the second installment of Tuesday Tunes.  I traveled back in time for today's tune choice. You will see George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Elton John and Jeff Lyne all on the same stage. This song has always been a favorite of mine and since this was one of the last performances by the late George Harrison, it makes it all the more special. So take a moment and hear how George's guitar cries out in "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Sage'ness

A sage is someone, according to Webster, “wise through reflection and experience,” so I want to share my sage ness with you by rambling on about my personal beliefs, and what I understand, have come to understand, or don’t understand about my life-see if you can relate to any of these.

  • Dirty clothes belong in the laundry hamper, not on the bed, or worse under the bed-it’s not going to get clean if it stays in these places.

  • The way things go into the laundry bin is the way they come out of the dryer with the exception of used kleenex- that doensn't belong in either place.

  • And continuing with laundry (do you see a pattern developing?), if I’m going to lug your things to the washer, sort them, treat them for stains, wash them, dry them, lug them back upstairs, and then fold them, the least you can do is put them away.

  • After years of denial I am ready to face the facts-I am turning into my mother and it is both a blessing and a curse all rolled into one.

  • Designate a spot for everything and put things back when you are through with them-how am I supposed to know where you took your shoes off last-I am not your feet

  • And on that same note (this is one for me), no one has moved your things-they are right where you left them last, waiting for you to remember where.

  • If everyone can reach the light switch, why am I the only one who can turn the light off?

  • Don’t do things in “extremes”-the key to health and happiness lies in doing things in moderation.

  • I am not paranoid-someone is stealing my socks because I have fewer pairs after I do whites than I do before.

  • It may be your room and you prefer to live in squalor, but it is my house, and your room is a reflection on me, so clean it up.

  • Treat others the way you would want to be treated, and this includes your mother and father.

  • And here is my personal belief to go along with September Mom’s post about Sunday Citar: If you can visualize it happening, be it a small task or lifetime dream, and you want it bad enough, you can make it a reality-failure is for those who never try.

  • Be sure to check out my Friday post dealing with organization (or the lack of it). If you have trouble keeping it all together, know that you are not alone, and come on over for some laughs. Goodnight everybody!

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Organization is the Key

    I am not an organized person-there, I said it, and isn’t that the first step in overcoming a personal shortcoming? I wish it were that easy. I read somewhere that neatness is not a hereditary trait, but I strongly disagree-I am the product of two slightly disorganized parents, sister to three disorderly siblings, and I have attracted an equally unsystematic spouse, although he will never admit it. He often quotes the phrase, “Organization is the key,” whenever I am in a panic over some misplaced item, but he never finishes this saying-he stops there and I want to know the key to what? Is it happiness, success, individual fulfillment-maybe knowing the answer to this could help spark a change?

    I am not an organized person and I wish I could change all that, truly I do. Somehow I do manage to keep it together at work, often resorting the “pile” approach for student papers and paperwork-this pile needs graded, this pile can be handed back, and this pile is, well, um… it’s “miscellaneous.”

    However, I am not an organized person at home, and I often refer to my husband and myself as Mr. and Mrs.“Piles” because there are more areas than just our computer desk that have a pile of papers. It’s almost as if these piles are reproducing, you know, this pile got together with this other pile and they created these piles? And these papers do not belong to either one of us-these papers come from the little people in our lives and are various graded assignments, fliers about soccer and cheerleading, information about upcoming events at the school, and artwork of various shapes and sizes. If you are the proud parents of a primary grade student you know exactly what I am referring to. Every day I empty at least 10 papers out of my son’s daily folder, so multiply that by 5 days, then 4 weeks, that’s 200 papers a month and one heck of a lot of trees biting the dust!

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am not an organized person so I can’t blame my children’s school for my lack of organizational skills. Once a week I sort and purge things down to one pile by my computer, and sometimes this is an insurmountable task, but I get through it and get things ready for the new piles the next Monday. I have to be a little sneaky when it comes to the school papers though-my son is very proud of all his work and doesn’t want to part with any of it, even the drill exercises. If I let him have his way, we might be living inside one of those piles of papers, so I put these papers inside other paper piles when I am actively tossing, and as long as he doesn’t see them sitting in the trash, I am home free. (I didn’t do this once and he came running into my room waving his papers and demanding to know why I threw them out-no amount of explaining eased his hurt feelings so I still have these-somewhere in a pile…) I have also learned to be more selective when it comes to what art pieces I keep because even though I love that macaroni collage with its missing macaroni pieces, I reserve space for the bigger projects. I can do this after child number two but couldn’t with child number one…

    So what started me ranting and raving about how I am not an organized person (did I say that already?)? Well I had everything else organized on Thursday-I got home early, got dinner together and we ate early, helped the kids with their homework, and I was planning on taking a long, leisurely bath (my time out for Theta mom) when my husband jumps up saying he forgot about the soccer registration (the last day to register was last night). So I helped get the shoes and coats while my husband looked in the files for our son’s birth certificate, but then the looking turned to searching, and the searching turned to panicking because the elusive birth certificate could not be found anywhere. We had my daughter’s birth certificate, we had both baptismal certificates, marriage certificate, you name any other certificate and we had it. My husband went to register anyway and the coach gave us a two-week reprieve, but it’s a $10 replacement cost if we don’t find it-which I guess is not that bad, but we know that thing's in this house somewhere. And what about my leisurely bath? My husband does not have the best searching skills (just ask his mother), so I was sure I would find that blasted piece of paper while he was gone, but I couldn’t find it either, and it took so long to put everything back in order that I had to settle for a measly shower instead. (Disorganization =1, Susan = 0, but maybe I shouldn’t keep score...)

    Sigmund Freud once said,
    "Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
    Maybe all of this is a sign that I need to develop a better system for organizing our stuff, or maybe it isn’t. Maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow-now where did I put that store list?