Saturday, May 30, 2009

50 Years

On May 30th, 1959, my parents were married. They were high school sweethearts in Olean, NY. They started dating when they were 17, circa 1955.

After high school, my mom went to Ithaca College. My dad went to SUNY (State University NY) Alfred.

Two years later, my Grandad (mom's dad) was getting ready to retire. My grandparents decided they wanted to retire to Scottsdale, AZ, and spend their days golfing, traveling and having cocktail hour every afternoon.

They wanted my mom to come with them. She didn't want to go. They finally bribed her to come with them by bringing my dad here also. Upon arriving in Arizona, they both enrolled at Arizona State College, which two years later would become Arizona State University. In May of 1959, my mom graduated with a bachelor's degree in education. My dad graduated with a degree in engineering. I think college was cheaper then. Two weeks later, they were married.

My dad went to work for Motorola as an engineer, which is the only major job he ever held. He worked for Motorola until he retired after 40 years. My mom taught physical education at a local high school. They rented a house and saved their pennies. Sometime during this period, my mom also earned a master's degree in education. They bought a new home in a little town called Tempe in 1965. Two years after that, my mom resigned from her teaching job and had a baby. That would be me.

Two years after that, there was another baby, my little brother Steven. My mom stayed at home with us until I was about 16 years old. At that time, my mother went back to work. She worked at Motorola in inventory control. The original plan was that her salary would pay for my brother and me to go to college.

I went to college, my brother joined the military instead. My mom worked at Motorola for about 15 years and then retired.

My parents always lived below their means. But my brother and I never wanted for anything. We played sports, went to summer camp, and basically had a great childhood. I never knew that things like sports and camp cost money when I was a kid. I found out when I became a parent. I have no idea how they did that, because my kids sure as heck know that stuff costs money, and that I don't always have it. I suppose things were different then.

They haven't done a whole lot of traveling. In the early 90s, they did spend a month in Germany and Austria, when my brother was stationed in Frankfurt. Other than that, their main trips have been to Virginia and now North Carolina, to visit my brother and his family.

They have four granddaughters. My three girls, and my brother's daughter Makenzie, who is 3 1/2. And totally adorable. I need to find a picture of her to post.

This Wednesday, my parents are taking a week-long trip to Hawaii. My mom belongs to a community choir, and the choir is making this trip. Their anniversary just happened to coincide with the choir trip, so this is also their anniversary celebration. I'm very excited for them. Even if I do have to drive them to the airport at 6am on the same day that my baby is graduating from kindergarten.

Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks for giving me a great childhood, a wonderful brother, and parents that I can and still do depend on. Thank you for putting me through college. Thank you for telling me, just today, that you think I've done a great job raising Danni. That means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for volunteering to let her live with you so she can finish high school here. That means more to her than you will ever know. And I know she's in good hands.

Happy 50th anniversary, Mom and Dad. I don't know how you did it. I think any two people who can stay together for 50 years without killing each other should get a prize. A big prize. Like a lottery money-type prize. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii. I love you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Tonight, Kylie's 8U team played for the league championship. And they won! It was very exciting. And I am SO dang glad the season is over. It's hot out there, y'all. Tomorrow night, swimming party at the coach's house!

Kylie getting ready to hit...

Look at that concentration...eyes on the ball all the way!

Playing catcher

Lining up to collect their first-place trophies

Kylie receiving her trophy from Coach Rick

The champs, The Lil Saints!

Kylie with her trophy

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Product Does Not Work As Specified

Dear Revlon,

A few weeks ago, I purchased some of your Age-Defying concealer and foundation. Normally, I wouldn't shell out a whole $12 for makeup, since Cover Girl makes some cheap-ass stuff. However, the Age-Defying makeup was on clearance at Target for like $2.78, so I figured what the hell, I'd give it a try.

I've been using the Age-Defying foundation for three weeks now, and I have to say I'm disappointed as it's done nothing to defy my age. My birthday arrived today, on schedule. Buying an item on clearance should not alter its properties, so don't use that as an excuse. Your product sucks. I'd like a refund.

No love,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Random Act of Kindness

We hear that phrase all the time, don't we? It's on bumper stickers. We have even been urged by our new president to perform random acts of kindness. To help and encourage each other. It sounds great, in theory, but how many people actually go out of their way?

Yesterday, I was the recipient of a random act of kindness. The act itself was small, but it left a huge imprint on me.

I went to the Water and Ice store to grab a couple of bags of ice. We need a lot of ice. We did finally just break our streak of 14 100 degree days in May, which was a record, by the way. So I'm standing in line to buy my two 79 cent bags of ice.

There was an older gentleman in the store, with his granddaughter maybe? They were getting some ice cream, and he was directly in front of me at the cash register. As he was paying for his ice cream, I heard him say to the cashier,

"And her two bags of ice also, please," pointing back at me.

The total of the two bags of ice was all of $1.62. It wasn't the amount, but the gesture that really got to me. When I arrived at the store, I was not in a good mood. I had just finished yelling at Shannon that there are only 6 days left of school, and by God she'd better get her Language Arts grade up, or else. I was hot, frustrated, and tired.

After I had a stranger randomly buy my ice for me, my whole attitude was different. I went home and told the kids what had happened. They thought it was kind of random, but nice nonetheless. I just couldn't even be mad after that. That man's act changed my whole day.

So thank you, nice man in the Water and Ice store, for your random act of kindness. In the coming days, I will make it my mission to do the same for someone else. I promise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Craigslist Brings The Crazy

We just got Danni a new car. Well, not a new car, but a new-to-her car. Since we're leaving the state, and leaving her here, we wanted to make sure she had something reliable, and not the rolling deathtrap '93 Intrepid that she was driving. That car had no air conditioning, and she already suffered through one summer with it. Driving a car with no a/c in Phoenix in the summer is, metaphorically speaking, hell on wheels.

Anyway, this isn't really about the old car, or the new car, but the crazy that always comes with trying to sell something on Craigslist.

I posted a selling price for the car. It was more than I wanted, because I knew that the garage-sale haggling would come. Not only the haggling, but every single person that called me had a sob story about why they needed me to lower the price. I know times are tough, but seriously.

This morning I had a call from a guy who wanted me to lower the price to $600. I was asking $1000. I said in the ad the a/c didn't work. We discussed on the phone that the a/c didn't work. Well, the fan works, but the air it blows is definitely nothing close to cold. It's a lot closer to hot.

He wants me to lower the price because he has four kids and they're desperate and they just need a vehicle. He is going to have to pawn his wife's wedding ring to pay for it. But they really just need a car. This smelled like bullshit to me from the beginning, so after I gave this guy directions to my house, I called my dad. I was home alone and I wanted someone else there. Now granted, my 73 year-old dad isn't exactly intimidating-looking, but he can be a cranky old bastard when he wants to be. Plus, he always could have smacked the guy with his cane.

So my dad comes over to back me up. The guy with the sob story shows up. He's a young Hispanic guy (too young to have four kids) with a shaved head, expensive sunglasses, and he's full o' bling. He also drove to my house in a relatively new-looking Jeep SUV-type thing. He looks at the car, we turn it on, and the engine turns over quite nicely. He turns on the air, and seems surprised when it blows out hot. I'm sorry, didn't we discuss this? Oh yes...we did. Thankfully, he did not ask to drive it. He told me he needed to think about it. Dad and I go back in the house, and watch out the window while he sits in the SUV and talks on his cell phone. After a while, he leaves. Whew.

Tonight, I did sell the car! To a kid and his girlfriend that Steve had talked to yesterday. They called back today, came over and drove it around the neighborhood. I guess the guy liked it, because they left and then came back with cash about an hour later. I didn't get quite as much as I wanted for it, but frankly? I'm just glad the damn thing is gone.

After I went online and registered a sold notice, I went to my email to get my Craigslist postings to delete them. I didn't check this particular email address for any inquiries on the car, because I put my phone number in the ad. I figured any reasonable person would just call, rather than wait for an email. So imagine my surprise when I opened my email and found this. I swear, this is copied word for word:

"Interested in trading for a Norinco 9mm Chinese Military pistol with 2 clips and $400 cash?"

He also included a lovely picture of the gun for me:

I'm pretty sure that isn't legal. Please tell me that's not legal. I'm guessing if he wants to trade it for a car that it's not registered and I don't want a gun of any kind. I don't think I want someone coming to my house that's packing a Norinco 9mm Chinese Military pistol. I'm trying to decide if I want to reply to this email.

"Thank you for the lovely picture of your gun. Unfortunately, the car has already been sold. But we appreciate your entry into the 'Inappropriate Ways to Pay For a Car' contest. Have a great day, and please...let's make today a murder-free day. Take care!"

Have I mentioned how glad I am the dang car is gone?

Friday, May 15, 2009


So, what do you do when your boyfriend comes over after school, and promptly falls asleep on you?

Well, you continue fixing your makeup, of course. In fact, his back made a nice little shelf for her compact.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Getting Better, I Think

She doesn't look sinister, does she?

As we edge towards the 14 1/2 mark, there are days when I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Then the train smacks me.

Kidding! She really is getting better. I think. I love this picture

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top Ten Lists

I don't really have anything to say, but since it's been a week since I posted, I thought I'd share the top ten things I will miss about Arizona, and the top 10 things I will NOT miss.

Top Ten Things I Will Miss About Arizona

1. My daughter
3. A few very close friends
4. CHS football games
5. ASU football games
6. My daughter
7. Watching Danni dance
8. Watching Danni play softball
9. Really good Mexican food
10. Hanging out with Jen and Gracie at the ball field on Friday nights

Top Ten Things I Will Not Miss About Arizona

1. The heat
2. The sun
3. 100 degree days starting in May (or April, this year) and lasting through October
4. Burning my hands on the metal parts of my car
5. Cactus
6. Dirt/dust
7. Rocks
8. The color brown
9. Palm trees
10. Did I mention the sun?