Makes-Me-Smile Monday: 10 Things I Can’t Do Without

picasso-flower-bouquet-logo-copy2.jpgWelcome to the 10 Things I Can’t Do Without edition of Makes-Me-Smile Monday. Since coming back to Florida, I’ve been catching up on some Alias viewing. I wish I could say I can’t do without my disguises and spy gear and the 15 languages I speak, but, unfortunately, most of you know that I am just a mom. Wait, wait, you say, JUST A MOM? I thought she was one of our neo-feminist Mothers-of-Destiny? But that is a topic for another post. In the meantime, here are 10 things (not people or immaterial concepts) I cannot do without:

10. Thanks to the spending moratorium, I was able to weather (the principles, not theodyssey.JPG delivery — that was un-weather-able; Powerpoint presentations are basically satanic in origin) the Self-Sufficiency lesson yesterday in church. Dick said he started feeling a little guilty over our car (since it is a debt). I did not. I am confident that this beautiful little minivan would come down to the depths of hell for me, were I to be consigned there for my blatant idolatory.

9. Did I mention that my minivan has a portable DVD player?

8. Oh, and Barbie (yes, Barbie) dvd’s to go with it. (The Princess and the Pauper is the best — so far).

7. Chapstick. Surprisingly still quite necessary in humid Florida.

6. All other grooming/hygiene products, including concealer and some lipstick, but not including any other make-up or torture devices.

5. My Nike zip-up vest that I wear sometimes if I’m around people who might be offended or might get the wrong idea if I were to want to be comfortable and able to breathe freely for some freakish reason (i.e. if I’ve already taken off my bra because I have been home for … oh, 5 seconds).

4. The Kids Korner at the YMCA (even if they have succumbed to that awful forced visual alliteration and don’t know how to spell “corner”).

3. Whipping cream and hot chocolate. Which I would be happy to give up if caffeine-free Mountain Dew were available.

2. The Internet. Too bad computers (or computer-like gadgets) are necessary for the internet — talk about satanic in origin.

1. Guidebooks to Africa. Or France. Or South America. There are six kinds of people in the world. Those who don’t want to travel, those who think they are too cool to want to travel, those who think travel is a waste of time and money, those who want to travel someday, those who want to travel but get almost as much of a thrill planning trips and reading guidebooks, and those who think travel means going to Hawaii. Me, I have to know that there are places I could go. Places I might see, any day now.

Hope you want to tell us what 10 things you can’t do with out. No editorializing necessary, but you know I can’t help it. Sorry. See the MMSM link above if you have any questions. Happy Not-Doing-Without-Things-ing!

Makes-Me-Smile Monday: Save our carnival or Retire it with honor?

picasso-flower-bouquet-logo-copy2.jpgI’ve really enjoyed the Makes-Me-Smile Monday carnival, except for when I haven’t. Those haven’t times have been when I didn’t feel like writing, not ever when I was reading your posts (which I always like). And even when I don’t initially feel like writing late on a Sunday night, by the time I’m halfway (ok, maybe two-thirds of the way) through a post, I’m enjoying myself again.

The topic for this Monday, July 30th is Ten Things I Can’t Do Without. Marcy better post this time; I don’t care if she is going to Lake Powell on a houseboat; she could write early or something and I’ll link the darn thing up. It’s getting pretty scanty here. You’d think I could get some support from one of my favorite sisters. Sheesh. See the MMSM link at the top of the page if you have any questions.

Happy Birthday Grampa, Rachel, Karin, Liz, Sandra Bullock, George Bernard Shaw, and Beatrix Potter

Tis the Season for birthdays. I made a couple pineapple upside-down cakes for Grampa’s 72nd birthday. Boy was it tasty. After realizing that I somehow didn’t gain any weight during the four-week sojourn into gluttonous other-people’s-food land, I’ve rethought my resolution to cut out sweets for a month. Maybe if I have to pay for a few cavities…


And here’s Grampa with his amazing Fly-Lady-sparkling sink — beautifully empty and shiny on no notice!!


Happy Birthday Grampa! And Rachel! And Liz! and Karin! (Karin asked for a tribute on her birthday, but then she said she was just kidding. I guess we’ll have to see how much energy the kids require tomorrow; don’t know if I’ll be in tribute-mode or not).

“Your kids are so good” “Your kids are the spawn of Satan”

I flew with my three girls on Tuesday. From Salt Lake City to Albuquerque, and from Albuquerque to Tampa. It started out not so bad. Spot was, as usual, quite content. Sally was okay except when complaining that her younger (by 3 1/2 years!) sister was tormenting her. Susan was … well, Susan was Susan. Picture middle child, terrible twos, left-handed-spawn-of-Satan (just kidding on the Satan part; the left-handedness is getting pretty certain).

I knew it was bad when I started lusting after the In Touch magazine of a passenger to my left (no jealousy over the Sudoku also to my left — I wasn’t that far gone).

An olderish gentleman (old enough to know better, young enough to not require complete old-age-pandering) sitting in front of Sally kept turning around and glaring at me. I made eye contact the first couple of times, because, you know, you’re on a plane and sort of in this communal experience. Maybe the guy has a question, maybe you can help. But after a couple encounters with his sour, disapproving glare, I looked elsewhere. He said, “Ma’am, you’re going to have to get those children to stop kicking our seats.”

Dude, if you think that is kicking…

We sat on the tarmac an extra hour in Albuquerque for refueling. I was saving the life-giving waters of the portable DVD player for hour three, and while the girls colored and Spot gnawed intermittently, mostly-asleep at my breast, I managed to read 86 pages of Orson Scott Card’s Empire. The noise and movement Nazi in front of Sally was particularly upset by Susan’s exploration of large crayon stippling. Apparently he isn’t much of an art appreciator. BIG surprise.

As we waited to leave the plane, several (okay, at least two separate) passengers complimented me on how well-behaved my kids were. So there.