The Luck of the Draw

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Melissa picked the topic. Have you ever won anything? If so, tell us about it. If not, tell us about something you’d love to win.

I don’t win much, because I don’t enter much. As in contests, drawings, or lotteries. I go in with the mind set that the odds are most likely stacked against me, so why bother? I know, it’s very pessimistic of me.

There have been exceptions to this rule, however. When I was 11, I wrote a very brief paragraph on my amazing pet poodle (actually, the poodle wasn’t mine per say, but my grandparent’s) and submitted it to Dog Fancy. I’m sure I got published because of my age. How many 11 years old read Dog Fancy? I received $50 and figured I was well on my way to becoming a freelance writer.

Then there was the first time I ever went gambling, and won. I had recently moved to the Midwest and checked out the casinos over in Council Bluffs, IA. I was on the Wheel of Fortune machine, and suddenly the machine shut down and nothing worked. I was pissed off, to say the least. I figured it was a mechanical error, but when one of the employees stopped over to check on things and I informed her that the Wheel of Fortune was broken, she started to laugh. “Honey, you won!” I couldn’t believe it, and I still couldn’t believe it $750 dollars later! I’ve had no luck in the gambling industry since.

In more recent years, I find myself winning goodie bags or prizes when I donate funds to my son’s elementary school. The best win was a free night’s stay at a local hotel. My husband and I scored a babysitter for most of the day, and then he graciously let me stay in the hotel room, alone, no kids, just me, myself, and I. Although I didn’t get much sleep, it was nice laying around in a comfortable bed and watching tv in peace and quiet, a total rarity for me.

I’ll occasionally surrender to the “enter your information to win a free car!” propaganda from some business, knowing full well that I’ll get a call a month or two later from the business, claiming I’ve won a prize- not a car, but a _________________ (you fill in the blank. Home security system. Lawn service. Home repair. Window replacement.) I don’t really see this as a win for me, because I know good and well the business is merely trying to dredge up more business by dangling a carrot in front of me. I’m usually good at steering clear from this, yet I’m sometimes suckered right back in.

What about you? What have you won?

 

Jump Into Fall

benjump
At Vala’s

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, I found inspiration from the changing seasons. What are some of your favorite colder weather traditions?

Colder weather was never a friend of mine, not for many years. It might be because I’m a summer baby, or that I don’t take too kindly to any temperature below 75 degrees. Either way, the hotter the weather, the happier I was.

I’ve lived in Nebraska over a decade now, and I’ve changed my perspective on the climate. I have to. It’s sink or swim, or in my case, sled or avalanche. I’ve found a way to appreciate the positives of cooler weather, holding firm to a sunnier disposition even if there is no sun. Some of my favorite traditions when the weather turns:

Hot cocoa: There’s nothing more soothing or comforting than a steaming hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows. It just doesn’t feel right in the warmer months, but is the perfect go-to drink when it’s cold outside.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch: I’ve been taking the big kid to Vala’s since he was 2. We go once a year, every year.  It’s a family tradition and we always end the trip with the boys picking out a pumpkin to take home.

The big guy when he was 3, with a pumpkin to call his very own
The big guy when he was 3, with a pumpkin to call his very own

Juicing: I know, this is an odd one, yet I don’t juice much in warmer months. I stick to smoothies. Once the weather cools off I stow the blender away and replace it with my juicer. I try to juice once a day and I have the boys help out by picking what produce they want to throw in. My goal is to juice every morning. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m working towards it.

Children’s Museum: When it’s nice out, my kids spend more time outdoors than in, which is why we usually don’t visit the Museum until it’s cold outside. We try to hit up the Museum at least once a year, sometimes twice. It’s a great place to go and it’s entertaining for my four-year old as well as the nine-year old.

Martin’s Hillside Apple orchard: We do this once a year, too. Since the big kid was 3. It’s a smaller orchard and that’s what we like about it, although this year the place was packed to capacity! I love the cornfield maze and the butterfly corner, along with the stuff for the kids to play on or play with.

Through the maze, Big guy, 3 years
Through the maze, Big guy, 3 years

Fall cleaning: I know, it sounds exciting, doesn’t it? I try to clean out what we don’t need or use to make way for the new stuff we’ll receive during the holidays. It’s become a necessity with two boys who have gobs of toys, and it’s nice to donate what they don’t play with. I do this in the Spring, too.

Wool socks: Cold weather is here when I slip on the ol’ wool socks. The salesman at the local running store told me how phenomenal wool socks are for running during the winter months, and how they don’t even need washed for days at a time since they wick away moisture so well. I casually glanced down at his shoes and wondered just how stinky those things were- but he had a good point. Wool socks are the bomb, and important while running in snow.

Trick or treating with friends: I can’t think of a year we haven’t gotten together with good friends and trick or treated, not since the big kid was in diapers I’d imagine.

Little guy last year
Little guy last year

The holidays: For us, that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m getting excited just thinking about the delicious food, the time spent with family, and I can’t forget the annual holiday party we throw at the beginning of December. This will be our 3rd year of potluck, friends and karaoke. What could be better than that?

The hubby and I at last year's party
Me and the hubby at last year’s party

What are some of your favorite cooler weather traditions?

 

Ghosts

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Denise picked: Ghosts.

 

Fitting for this time of year.

I used to watch horror flicks religiously as a kid. The all-night benders with friends, stuffing our faces with popcorn and candy corn while screaming in terror when some boogeyman showcased itself on the television. While I’ve steered clear of scary movies as an adult (why give myself nightmares? There’s enough scary shit in the world to keep me up at night) a select few  have never left the recesses of my mind. Whenever October rolls around I’m reminded of the ghosts and goblins of my youth. I figured I’d share a few.

1. The Amityville Horror

Pure evil. Based on a true story, which you know is the absolute worst scary movie to watch. The whole time you’re waiting for the kitchen cupboards to swing open and for blood to ooze from your own living room walls. I made the mistake recently of watching a documentary on Amityville on Netflix. I had to stop it after half an hour.

2. House

Ding dong. You’re dead.

Even as a kid, I thought this movie was complete cheese ball, but it made it more palatable. A horror writer moves into his aunt’s house and gets way more than he bargained for.

3. The Shining

The image of Jack Nicholson is enough to scare the crap out of you, but the story line is even scarier. A haunted hotel. A family snowed in. You do the math. Not to mention it’s a Stephen King classic. “Honey, I’m home!”

4. Candyman

I don’t know if this counts. Technically, Candyman isn’t really a ghost, per say. But he’s scary as hell. My sister and I still talk about Candyman on occasion. Neither of us had the balls to ever, ever say his name in a mirror five times, so maybe in a sense he’s our scary ghost.

5. Stir of Echoes

Talk about a rough calling. The guy never asked to have the ability to communicate with the dead. I have never heard the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” the same way after hearing the song in this movie.

6. Poltergeist

Who didn’t have the fear of being sucked into the television after seeing this movie? The sound of the old woman saying, “Carrie Anne”… now that haunts my nightmares.

7. The Sixth Sense

“I see dead people.”

And if you’ve seen the movie, and the person you’re watching it with hasn’t, don’t ever give away the ending. Do you remember how much of a snafu that was back in the day?

8. The Blair Witch Project

I saw this in the theatre. Not only did it make me extremely nauseated (the camera is very shaky and unsteady), but it scared the shit out of me. You just don’t know what’s going on.

9. Christine

Oh, you know. It’s just the story of a haunted car that falls in love with it’s owner. Totally normal, standard, creepy stuff.

10. Ghostbusters

I know, this isn’t really all that scary, although it was to an 8-year old little girl when she saw it for the first time. To this day, my husband and I will quote from this movie all the time. And sometimes when my kids are being particularly nutty, and they holler, “Mommy”… I retort, “There is no Mommy. Only Zuul!” No, they don’t get it, but that’s okay. I do.

Happy Haunting!

 

 

 

 

Would You Like Some Ice Cream With That Virus?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

For this week, Tracey’s topic choice: It’s that moment where . . .

When the little guy was recently afflicted with a some random cold virus, I did what most moms would do. I let him cuddle up on the couch with his favorite blankie. He requested the tablet so he could watch his newest obsession, Milo and Otis. I made sure to give him a dose of Tylenol in order to bring his fever down, which really wasn’t skyrocketing, but I wanted him to be comfortable. Comfortable kid, comfortable mom, you get my drift?

As I fluffed a pillow behind his head, I soothingly asked my sick baby boy: “Do you want me to go to Culver’s and get you some ice cream? Will that make you feel better?”

As soon as the words left me, I wanted to clamp my hands over my mouth. I looked worriedly up at my husband who was smirking at me.

“Did you just hear what I asked our son?”

My husband nodded his head in agreement. “Yes. You asked him if he wanted ice cream. I wasn’t going to point it out or anything….”

Ice cream is the one true vice in my life, and I blame my Grandma. No, she isn’t sitting next to me and coaxing a spoonful but her voice is in my head whenever I don’t feel well, when I’m sick and tired. When I’ve had a bad day. For most of my childhood, Grandma swooped in with heaping spoonfuls of strawberry swirl with the occasional twist of peppermint when the season called for it. In fact, she’d often tout peppermint’s many healthy attributes.

“Sarina,” (which is what she called me instead of Sara, it’s a long story) “is your stomach upset? Here, eat this bowl of peppermint ice cream. Did you know that peppermint helps to settle the stomach?”

I’m not the only one in the banana split boat. My kid sister was right there with me through the years, feeding her ailments with any ice cream that had chocolate in it. To this day, we both marvel at the powerful grip ice cream has over us, and it’s extended out to other forms of sweets as well. I’ll feel satiated with pie or cake, too.

I knew in that exact moment that I’d planted the seed in my little guy. He perked up a bit and told me that yes. Yes, he’d love some ice cream. Part of me felt guilty. I am sure there are better ways (and foods) to feed my ailing kid, but a larger part of me felt loved.

Grandma meant well. She loved me enough to try to make me feel better. It was a treat when I’d get strep throat and she’d take me through the drive-thru, anticipation for a milkshake outruling the ridiculous pain in my throat. She raised me a good many years of my life and although there was a lot of ice cream, there was a lot of healthy foods, too. She made a mean salad right from her garden, and she supported my ban on butter, chocolate and oily, greasy foods. (I didn’t like the taste for those foods then, and I wish I still didn’t now!). Her ice cream splurges weren’t a constant thing, but an occasional thing. I was a healthy kid.

My kids are, too. They moan and groan through spinach-based salads and are constantly asking, “What’s that?” when I try to sneak something into a lasagna or soup. They tow the line when it comes to eating healthy. I’m in support of living a healthy life yet knowing that moderation is key when it comes to what we eat. We don’t eat sweets very often at all, so that begs the question: What’s a spoonful of medicine, er, I mean ice cream every now and then?

 

 

 

Rockin’ Girls Workout- And A Burpee Challenge!

It’s not often I’m able to work out with a few of my lovely lady friends. We have children. We have busy lives/schedules. Somehow, everything lined up on Monday and Tuesday, and I created a work out routine from my fitness tool belt (the weights I have lying around my house and the Sirius player with batteries inserted).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After a warm up (few minutes of marching in place, moving our arms in time to the music while another friend laughed at our march and chose to jog around the backyard instead) we did this:

SET ONE: (one minute in duration. Go through routine twice, and set up 5 stations where friends can rotate)

station 1: push ups

station 2: plie squats with 15lb or 30lb kettlebells (or without for modification)

station 3: shoulder press with 5lb, 8lb or band

station 4: stomach crunches with 9lb medicine ball (or without for modification)

station 5: run/walk length of yard

SET TWO: (90 seconds in duration. Go through routine twice)

station 1:  tricep push ups

station 2: squat step outs with kettlebells (or without for modification)

station 3: bicep curls with weights or band

station 4: russian twists with medicine ball (or without for modification)

station 5: sprint/jog length of yard

SET THREE: (30 seconds in duration. Do once.)

station 1: squat jumps with medicine ball (or without for modification)

station 2: swimmers with weights (or without for modification)

station 3: back fly with weights or band

station 4: lunges with kettlebells (or without for modification)

station 5: leg lowers

Cool down for five minutes by marching in place, stretching out the muscles, or walking around the yard

Starting now: I’ve signed on to participate in a bupree challenge! It starts today

479x479xOMG-Burpees-October-1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.V7wRuC91JO

 

A Mom On The Run

Adventure Culture

Encouraging Daily Adventures & Lifestyle Fulfillment

They Will Climb The Walls

Exoricism Through Writing

Beyond Definition

Questioning and seeking the unknown

Diatribes and Devotions

An amature blog about life, marriage, military, excessive crazy, kids, pets, houses, luck and anything else...

The Life and Times of Spontaneous Kate

A place smooth out my jumbled ideas.

WIL WHEATON dot NET

50,000 Monkeys at 50,000 Typewriters Can't Be Wrong

Anne Wheaton dot Com

Accepting that I'm more of a nerd than I thought, one piece of technology at a time.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 68 other followers