Hope There’s Wifi in Heaven

As you might imagine, Father’s Day isn’t on my top ten list for favorite holidays.  I like Groundhogs Day. I can even get into the Festival of Extraterrestrial Abductions (March 20, by the way). Now, don’t get me wrong. Dads are super important and definitely deserve a day just like Mudders do.  For me, it’s just kind of a ‘down in the dumps day’ ( which is a phrase my dad taught me)

So, I’m going to cowboy..er.. cowgirl up today and try to make it a positive.  So here are the Top 50 reasons that my dad was pretty cool. If you knew him, some of these will probably strike a chord. If you didn’t get to meet him, you’ll probably have a pretty clear picture of what he was all about.

Top 50

1.  He introduced me to a variety of food. In fact, his goal was to make sure that if someone ever said, “Have you had _____?”- I would get to emphatically says, “Yes!” I’m not sure why that was important, but someone, please ask me if I’ve had pickled pig feet or kim chee. Because I assure you, I have.

2. I learned how to sink to the bottom of the car, like I was tying my shoes, when we drove past people I knew. Ever seen Uncle Buck?  Those cars were what my dad drove.

3. He fought for the underdog. He believed in protecting those that couldn’t protect themselves. I’m thankful that these are lessons that I’ve picked up and have carried on.

4. He knew the first two lines to a million songs. He couldn’t sing an entire song, but he surely knew tiny portions of them. He would sing one and then hop over to the lines of another song he knew.

5.  He showed me how to change my oil, change a tire, and check all the fluid in my car. He never wanted me to need help for something that should be common knowledge.

6. He was truly generous with money. He would do this pantomime like he was cracking the safe holding his wallet closed, then he would imitate moths flying out once he opened it. But Dad was good about giving when he could. He just liked to make a show of everything.

7. He happily drank eight hour old coffee… with cheap powdered creamer and no sugar.  Just heat it up in the microwave and everything was happy.  Now, I’m a coffee drinker, but we would have to be pretty heavily involved in some sort of war with a strong rationing going on for me to happily suck down my java like that.

8. He liked to take me fishing. By fishing, I mean he liked to take me to get a sunburn by the side of a lake. I once caught a fish, but I’m pretty sure that it was looking to end its life and used the available means.

9. One of my favorite memories is driving his old van back from PA. Now, #1, I had a permit but probably wasn’t ready to be driving that van.  I turned a corner, and the pin that held Dad’s seat in place popped out. All of a sudden, Dad is doing a headstand between the two seats of the van because the seat is only being held in place by one leg. He can’t get upright and is pushing against me in an effort to right himself, which is causing me to swerve the van.

10. Dad taught me to garden. He loved nature and being outdoors. I can remember putting down fish oil and coffee grounds for our garden. It stank, but surely grew!

11. I learned to cook from Dad. At a very, very young age, Dad would tell me what to throw in the pots. I could make chili, soups, and stews when I was just a kiddo.  And now, when I make them, it’s continuing the tradition.

12. He believed in hard work. His health was so bad that he should have stopped working twenty years earlier, but he continued on. He believed in the power of hard work and dedication.

13. Saturday nights were: Cops, Cops, then America’s Most Wanted.  Want to know why my house is locked up like Fort Knox?

14.  Dad loved history and knew about everything that had happened at any point, especially when it came to the military. He believed that remembering what happened was a way of honoring the sacrifices those people made.

15. We had Taco Bell every weekend. It was something his picky daughter enjoyed, so he ran with it. If we drove past T.B on the way to another destination, he would pretend that the car was trying to pull into the drive out of habit.

16. You couldn’t hang around with him without laughing. It wouldn’t be long before he was doing or saying something to get an audience.

17. We watched Forrest Gump a million times. He always got angry at Jenny for breaking Forrest’s heart.  He would also get annoyed when I quoted the movie while it played.

18.  “A real man doesn’t leave the house without a watch and a hat on.”

19. Every weekend, Dad would have a pack of Skittles for me. He would pick them up during the week and hang on to them until I got there. Many times during our drive, he would crinkle the package in his coat pocket, so I would look over. He would quickly look over and pretend to hide the candy. Then he would crinkle it again, then hide them again.  (On a side note, when The Fiance & I went to visit The Sister… she had a pack of Skittles that magically appeared on our bed while we were visiting. Warmed my heart that she remembered.)

20. He would sing along with the oldies station while we drove. I knew every song on 105.7

21.  He wore velcro shoes because his ‘stubby fingers’ couldn’t tie the shoes so they would stay.

22. He really, really wanted to be organized. Really.

23. Dad believed in the power of summer sausage and cheese to make a summer day a good one. (The Fiance shares that belief- it makes me smile to see that similarity. So long as The Fiance doesn’t start eating limburger cheese, we’ll be fine.)

24. He loved his mama something fierce. You wouldn’t expect it from such a burly man, but he was a mama’s boy through and through.

25. When he died, I found boxes and boxes of drawings that I had done as a kid. He saved pictures, tests, projects- anything!

26. He knew that giving me a stuffed animal (‘tuffed aminal) to hold on to was a sure way to make me feel better.

27. Dad loved Chinese take out. As The Fiance can attest to, I also love it. There’s nothing better than eating out of those lil’ folded containers while watching a movie.

28. Dad always remembered when it was one of ‘the kids’ birthdays. We would sing happy birthday to them, even though there were so many years since he had seen them last.

29. He didn’t believe in the traditional girl roles. He taught me to hunt, fish, and camp. I would help him break fix his cars. He liked that I could handle it all.

30. When doing laundry, he would always ask if they were actually my clothes or was I washing my doll’s clothes. I would giggle and giggle.

31. Dad could tell a story like no one else. He would start with a truth..something that happened..and you would know it happened because you would be there. But soon, the story had morphed and become much bigger and funnier than what you first remembered it.

32. Dad survived (and volunteered for) two tours in Vietnam and before that he went to Korea to deal with the aftermath of the war. He was proud of his country. No matter how sick he was, he had the flag out on holidays and inside before the light fell from it.

33. When we would travel to PA, we would sing songs. Looking back, they were peculiar songs for a kiddo to sing. I know all the choruses from  “The Caissons Go Rolling Along”as just a little bit. He would also explain the parts of the song. Who cares what MacDonald had going on in his farm, if the Army wasn’t there to protect it in the first place.

34. The Fiance would have gotten Dad’s stamp of approval. The Fiance had to ask my ma for permission, and I know she believes that Dad would have said yes. Dad had no time for sissy men and my future husband is pretty tough. I dare say they would have gotten along just fine.

35. Once he couldn’t work anymore, Dad had too much time on his hands. He would call at random times to report the most bizarre things from tv. Life wasn’t the same once he got cable.

36. He was always willing to help someone out and have a lot of friends because of it. At his funeral, the people that came were a rag-tag bunch (think: group of folks coming from the local carnival), but they celebrated all that he was. They all seemed to owe him a lot of money too. I received a lot of I.O.Us from them.

37. Dad had a steel-trap mind. He remembered that for his 3rd grade play, he had to tell everyone that shellac is secreted by the female lac bug. Now…fast forward even further… I remembered that dad told the audience about the lac bug. We loved useless information.

38. Dad was pleased as a peacock to learn that he was a grampa. He loved how unique the girls are and would be proud to know they are both in college. He would always say how he had “two granderkids”.

39.  He had very specific movements about him… the way he held his cigarette in his hands and sorta pointed at you when he talked. Very specific movements and sound about him. It’s heartwarming to see my siblings doing something that is so very Dad. The three of them each have unique traits that are very tell-tale Dad.

40. It’s been almost six years since he died, but I’ve never had to once question if he loved me. He made it clear that no matter what else- I would always be his little girl.

41. He would have rolled his eyes and put up a big show about me getting married, but I truly believe he would have been excited by the idea of it. I can hear him now, talking to The Fiance, “Are you sure you want to deal with her for the rest of your life?”

42. Dad knew the power of a nickname. He made instant friends by giving each person a new moniker. Something usually generic started it off- “Heavyduty” then would move into specific “Roquefort” (That was my brother Chuck’s nickname. He had the misfortune of looking vaguely like the cartoon mouse when he was a kiddo).  Many of his friends didn’t know that my given name wasn’t actually Mirmar (The niece of Moamar Kadafi).

43. He would leave the most bizarre voicemail messages… truly odd. He would sing or leave imitations of people. You never really knew what you were going to hear.

44. Dad taught me that I never needed to depend on a man to survive in this world. He wouldn’t stand for me to be wimpy. He strived to make sure that I was tough and wouldn’t let the world run me over.

45. He was a big softy and would get his feelings hurt if he didn’t get enough hugs during a weekend visit. Nevermind that the man looked like an ex-prison convict, he was sensitive.

46. He would tell me stories from when he was a kid. He gave life to those I had never met and let me carry their stories on with me. Dad would bring back boys who had died in Vietnam- letting them survive in my memories. He knew that no one was really gone as long as someone remembered them.

47.  He was my buddy. He never missed a weekend with me. Ever. He would take me along to whatever was going on and was proud to have me around. And now that he’s gone, I often check to see if my life is one that he would be proud. Is it a life ‘you can hang your hat on?’

48. He taught me to play with the English language. We had made up phrases and terms for all sorts of stuff. I think it’s what started me to enjoy the language, which has led to so many things.  ‘Hank do, Dad! Hank do very much!

49.  He drank PBR by choice. Who does that?

50. Dad believed in the power of education. When he was on life-support in the hospital, I was telling him about a procedure that the doctors wanted him to do. He wrote out, “how long?”  It took a couple minutes, but Ma & I figured out he wanted to know how long he could survive if he went ahead with it. Then he made a square over his head and pointed at me. He wanted to know if he would be able to live long enough to see me graduate from college. He didn’t make it to graduation, but I knew he would have been proud to see me get my degree. He knew that if I had education, I would be able to stand on my own two feet against this world.

 

I was lucky to have had such a powerful influence in my life for as long as I did. It’s been hard since he’s been gone, but so much of who I am is because of Dad. It makes me grin with pride when someone says, “You are your father’s daughter.”

I’m also thankful that in the absence of my father, there have been men along the way who have filled in that role in my life.  My brothers have kept an ever vigiliant eye on me since Dad’s been gone.  Matt will walk me down the aisle at the wedding- a role that is fitting for the way he has stepped up and watched out for me throughout the years. My cousin Doug was such a strong influence while I was growing up, though he may not know how much it mattered.  I’m also grateful that I will soon have Mark as a pops-in-law, who just this morning made my heart happy by calling me his daughter while on the phone. It feels good to fill a little bit of that part that has been missing over the years.

 

Happy Father’s Day! Now go eat something yummy and hug someone.

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Letters Never Sent

Recently, The Fiance & I vacationed in Florida. My younger niece graduated from high school (with honors {this is my overly proud aunt moment}), so we made sure to get there to see that.  Afterward, The Fiance and I traveled to Orlando because it was imperative that I see Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Over the five days, there were many times in wish I could write a letter to people that I interacted with.  Perhaps a letter would have cleared up an awkward situation or remedied another’s poor choice in behavior.  Allow me to share some such letters:

 

Dear Rather Rotund Man Sitting Next to Me in the Model Airplane We Flew In,

I apologize for grabbing your upper thigh. It was not my intention, I assure you. In fact, I tried to give you as  much space as possible, as I know we do not get to choose small, medium, or large when it comes to airplane seats.  Be that as it may, when it came time to bring my seat back forward… I misjudged the location of the armrest button and certainly gave your gam a good, ol’ tweak. Whoops!

Thank you for not looking at me, as I assure you I wanted to crawl under my seat cushion/floatation device and stay there. Also, I want to apologize for repeatedly baring down my weight on the arm rest, whilst trying to shift my body. I didn’t realize your leg was wedged under there. I bet that hurt.

Sincerely,

Awkward Girl Sitting Next to You

 

Dear Woman in Tiny Aqua Blue Tube Top Dress at Your Child’s Graduation Ceremony,

Come on. Not okay. Nine inch heels? C’mon- this isn’t Wal Mart. You can’t wear things like that! I can see the bottom of your rumps. I can see the three rolls of fat that surround your stomach…perhaps your pre-stomach, stomach, and post-stomach. Bad parent, bad!

Love,

Girl Dressed Like a Puritan Next to You

 

Dear Man Who Mocked Me at H.P World Because I Was Excited That the Stuffed Scabbers at the Store was Missing a Toe,

Furnunculus (you know..it’s the curse that causes large boils to break out all over your body.)   You obviously never read the Harry Potter books otherwise you wouldn’t sneer and say, “gee that’s important.” I’m sure your kids are having a great day with you. You should have stayed home and scowled at the neighborhood children as they laugh and play…maybe mock your wife or something. We don’t want you here in this magical place. Go read a book, philistine.

Love,

Wide-Eyed Adult in the Gift Shop Oohing and Ahhing Over Her Surroundings

 

 

Of course, there were many more, but one can only write so many internal letters whilst on vacation.

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Top Ten Reasons Why Raptor Day Would Suck

 

#10.  None of my students will be around to achieve that moment that I keep threatening them with- “one day, you’ll thank me.”

 

#9. I haven’t read Finnigan’s Wake yet.

 

#8. Dinosaurs and Cheese hasn’t hit big enough that I can quit my  job, lounge in my pajamas, and train pug dogs to do my bidding.

 

#7. I still don’t know how to do the “Thriller”, nor have I managed to sing along to all of the lyrics of “It’s the End of the World” by REM.

 

#6. I never got my dogs- Mac & Cheese , nor have I gotten ridiculed yet for naming them so wickedly-awesome.

 

#5.  We didn’t get to do any of the  fun wedding crap like taste-test cake and register for stuff.

 

#4.  We would never know who the mother is in “How I Met Your Mother” or who the new boss is in “The Office”.

 

#3.  The Indians and Browns have yet to win a championship, a title, er.. a game.

 

#2. I’ve never actually reached the weight it says on my driver’s license.

 

And the number one reason why it would suck if tomorrow is the day of raptors?

 

#1. HPADHP2 (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows Part 2)

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An Ode to Me Mudder

Thinking about Mudder’s Day has me contemplating what it takes to be a ma. Surely there is more to it than the act of giving birth (a process that we’re not going to think about because it gives me the royal heebie-jeebies. Good at ya women who have decided to go through with that. I’m biding my time until The Fiance can do the birthing.).

So, what better way to discuss the ma-ness of my own mudder than to make a list?

50 Things That I love About My Mudder

1. She decided that I was worth the work and kept me around.

2. She calls me “Lil Girl” and probably will until the end of time.

3. She’s self-sacrificing. (Except when it comes to mice. Once, while we were checking out the backyard, she asked me to pick up an overturned birdbath. The birdbath was one of those that you filled with sand to make a heavy base. Well, as I picked up the base, a mouse scuttled out of the birdbath.  We both bolted. My gallant mother threw an elbow and pushed me out of the way in an effort to get in front of me.)

4. She’s really good at making peculiar hodge-podge meals.  She can take 4 seemingly unconnected food items and turn them into a seamless meal.

5. She has a fused left wrist. I have a fused right wrist.

6. She has a birthmark on the back of her knee. Me too!

7. She has spent a lot of energy trying to make memories for my brudder and me, even to the extent of inducing panic attacks. But then again, when Chuck and I think about the holidays- we always include the Xanax-moments of Ma, as well. Well played, Ma, well played.

8. She really, really, really wants to be organized.

9. She can tell by the tone in my voice what mood I’m in and can often predict the reason for my malcontent.

10.  She has raised The World’s Most Neurotic Dog.  She wasn’t too far off with the neurosis with the other kids either. (Have I ever told you that my various foods cannot touch one another?  Seperate bowls or sufficient space between each object, please.)

11. Ma understands when I say that I feel safer when I’m surrounded by books. In fact, Ma is the one who introduced me to the idea of ‘shopping’ at the library.

12. Ma dropped cigarettes cold turkey on request of my brother, but started up her coffee-love on some innocuous day.

13. Despite being taller than most of her peers, she stands up straight and shows pride in the way she carries herself. She said that that was a gift from her father who always reminded her not to slouch.

14. She’s quite crafty- she can make things pretty with the simplest of materials.

15.  Ma is a natural peacemaker.  Nobody can bicker too long without Ma coming in to solve the problem. In fact, her legendary intro is, “I know it’s not my business but…” (Her epic peacemaking event was when my dad was near his end.  The last five years, my dad and his sister had not spoken. Ma innocently lied to my dad, saying that my aunt apologized.  Dad mimed {life support turned my father into a circus performer in the last stage.} he was sorry too. : Boom:  Everyone was happy.)

16. She has gorgeous frizzy hair ( The Fiance added that one. He may have, once, insulted my ma’s hair.  Naturally, he has the rest of our marriage to live that down.)

17. She understands that my brother and I are severly different people and doesn’t try to make us the same person.

18. We use to dance in the kitchen.  When I go home…we’ll still dance in the kitchen.

19. My ma and I spent a lot of time driving us back and forth when I was in middle & high school.  Suggest a song that was popular in  2000. We can sing it. We knew all the songs.

20. She has the prettiest green eyes and knows how to use makeup to accent them.  I was lucky enough to inherit some of the color.

21. She’s proud of herself when she watches a movie.  Sometimes she goes years between seeing a flick.

22.  She saved my dad’s wedding ring. On the day I graduated from college, she bought a new silver chain. She put the ring on the chain, which I wore as I walked across the stage. She explained that I had a part of each of my parents with me that day.

23. She appreciates my sarcastic humor.

24.  Sometimes I can get her really laughing and then she does this howling-hoot sound.  I always get a sense of pride when that happens.

25. She taught me how to be a good daughter by the way she took care of her own ma.

26. Ma can appreciate the little things in life- such as the trees of Texas or the houses of an old town. She will also announce her appreciation  for things ad nauseum.

27. She never jumps to conclusions. (Such as The Night of the Elephant in which a wooden elephant was put away for Christmas, but did not resurface. She did not become hysterical and assume that the very large wooden object had been thrown out. Oh no, there were no hysterics for my ma.)

28. She has ‘adopted’ my three oldest siblings and truly loves them. She always says with a smile that she would have been their step-ma if the timing had been right.

29. She holds strong to her faith.

30. She named me after my grandfather, which made me feel connected despite him passing away just before I was born. My darling grandma would say, “I have my Andi back”. Again, a perfect connection that I could have, just based on my name.

31. We really want to read Anna Karenina. I’m on page 8. Ma has looked at the cover.

32. She loves kiddos.

33. Ma has a knack for picking out the best, unique presents for me.

34. She can fix a lot of household stuff. Who needs a man? ( “Minus cleaning a vacuum cleaner” The Fiance just interjected. C’mon now- have you ever washed each compartment in your vacuum? The Fiance has an odd obsession with clean vacuums.)

35.  She gives me great advice, even when I don’t exactly want it.

36. She volunteers and feels better when she does.

37.  Ma is close with her sisters, even though they are all very different.  I know she hopes I will learn from her example.

38. She’s proud of her niece and nephews- she’ll tell me pieces and parts about their lives since I’m not there to experience it.

39.  I’m allowed to store my stuff in her house.

40. She helped take care of my dad when he was really sick, even though they were divorced.Despite the divorce, my ma encouraged me to have a relationship with my dad. She always said she knew that a kid needs to have both parents even if the relationship was challenging.

41. We have ‘Coffee Mornings’ when I come home which consists of us sipping coffee and reading books on the couch.  Since we’re away from each other now, we sometimes schedule coffee mornings where we call one another while we drink coffee.

42.  We have spaghetti for our holiday meals because we had spaghetti when my dad came to our house for his last holiday. She wants to hold on to his memory.

43.  Once upon a time, she was afraid that the computer would explode if she touched it. Now she is fairly competent!

44.  She is the end-all-be-all of medical knowledge. Folks call her for medical advice and I know more medical based words because of her.

45. She loves her grandkids Melissa and Mel, despite not really being a biological gram.

46.  She understands my longing for a big extended family. She always does the, “Well, you’re the youngest child of the youngest child of the youngest child,” which explains why most folks in the family are a generation older than me and everyone else is…well…um.. beyond this Earthly realm.

47.  Ma loves The Fiance, the idea we’re getting married, and  The Fiance’s family.  She may bust from her love.

48. We talk for our dogs. We find this normal. Dewey has a voice. Noni has a voice. Thankfully they only talk when Ma and I are together.  The distance between quirky and insanity is a very fine line.

49.  She has taught me to eat healthy and exercise. We use to tease because when Ma was on a diet, we were all on a diet.  Mmm rice cakes.

50. She and I talked on the phone at least three times a day. She’s also adjusted her call-time because of my new life with The Fiance.  She’s ready to adjust to my new life without sacrificing the relationship she and I have.

 

In the end, my list is not because of what my ma did as an actual mother, but because of who she is.  Perhaps it’s not the  parenting techniques one employs, but how real you can be with your kids.  She is truly my best friend, through and through.

Now go hug someone.

(P.S- Did you forget it’s Mother’s Day??  Make your ma a card and include a list of things that you love about her. She’ll love it and it’ll keep you from getting the cold stare….Moms are so good at that look.)

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Obsession overload

:Circus music:

This is me juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle and dodging flying beach balls. Got that visual?  Good~

Needless to say, assuming that you can take my visual and figure out the feeling of multi-tasking, that I’m feeling a bit under pressure.

Recently, our household has been dominated by 3 things:  Workouts, weddings, and wcoupons (The ‘w’ is silent. I wanted the alliteration, but couldn’t think of a ‘w’ word for coupon clipping. Again, I have the English degree- I can do what I want).  Today, we did all three of these things.

Let me tell you about INSANITY in case you aren’t in the know.  It is, exactly what it’s named for.  The Fiance and I are huffing and puffing during the warm up.  Forty minutes later, we are on the floor in puddles of sweat and self-esteem.  Needless to say, it’s a bit intense.  We finished Day :drumroll please: 2.  It promotes itself as a sixty-day program which will leave you with a ‘beachbody’.  Now, I don’t know about that. What I do know is that if I have another day of walking with 4 inch steps because of the searing pain in my calves (Poor baby cows!), INSANITY may just be a three-day program.  I’m just saying.

(On a side note: I have a great burst of satisfaction when I see the folks on the video starting to fall out towards the end of the dvd. )

Weddings:  Feels like everything we do is somehow tied into that magical day of undetermined date and location.  I’ve read two wedding books this week and am well into my third.  Did you know that old wedding rhyme has some reasoning behind it? Here ya go:

Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue:

Old as a guarantee that the love and affection she enjoyed before her marriage will endure,

New for success in her new life,

Borrowed as a symbol that friends may always be helpful when needed,

Blue to designate her loyalty and devotion to her groom.

Of course, we could have figured that out, even without the research to back it up. I just like that traditions come from somewhere.  I’m looking to find something to add a little pizazz to the ceremony.  Here’s another good one:

In Christian ceremonies the bride stands on the grooms left.  This was started when it may have been necessary for the groom to reach for his sword with his right hand in order to keep someone from riding up and stealing his bride during the wedding.

Of course, I am sorta’ hoping that The Fiance just skims this post because if he reads carefully, he’s going to get it in his head that he needs to have a sword in order to protect me from masked bandits and armed assassins…in Michigan…in non-downtown-Detroit, Michigan.

Right now, as I write, The Fiance is looking up venues for us to visit when we head up North.  He has, thankfully, jump headlong into the wedding planning.  I’m so thankful that my PIC (partner in crime) is totally onboard with helping out.  I know a lot of grooms take the “oh let her decide” view, but I’m lucky to have a future hubs that wants to be involved. 

Our last obsession has been couponing.  This is something that we started up months ago, but have gotten into big time over the last few weeks.  Our coupon book has finally been completed, which has made it a lot easier to deal with coupons albeit nerdier.

Go big or go home

Today though, we made a killer transaction.  We’ve been stockpiling coupons for cleaning stuff, knowing that Walgreens was due for a sale. And today, we got ’em!  A bunch of their stuff was buy one-get one. We also had coupons for money off.  AND, we did a few smart moves and received $10 in Walgreens in-store credits.  Ultimately our total was over $40, but we paid only $9.

I have to admit to you though, that things have gone from that vow we made a few weeks ago (See post: “New Obsession”)…..

Digging through the recycling to make sure he didn't throw out one of our valuable coupons...

Yeah…. we may need an intervention soon.

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Will you marry me?

:We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog:

So as we walked down the beach, my mind was full of “la la laaaa beach beach….wish I had some coffee…la la la.. beach, coffee, la la la”

Our path down the beach

The Fiance? Well, he looked a bit sweaty and twitchy and was having trouble making conversation. I just figured it was because it was 6:15 in the morning and his brain didn’t start until at least 6:45.

At last, we stopped walking and he said that he wanted us to remember this for the rest of our lives.  He hugged me, then got down on one knee (his left one, by the way. Did you know that that is the knee that guys are suppose to propose on? Also, if you plan to be knighted soon, that will also be the knee you’ll use. Keep it in mind).

So once he was on one knee, he stared up at me, reached into his pocket and pulled out a purple Easter egg.

“….” (This is the part where he blinks, then I blink then he gulps then I raise a confused eyebrow)

“………”

That was the point where he stared up at me and I stared down at him, but he forgot the part where he was suppose to talk. 

Naturally, I figured he was messing with me….remember the hotel bit from last post?  So I :mumbles: I pushed him over a bit.  Not a lot! Just a little. You know like a little shove-stop-pretending-to-propose sorta push over.

That must have woke him up a bit because he opened the purple Easter egg and showed me the ring.  He told me some lovely, mushy stuff and slipped the ring onto my finger.

Collective ‘awwww’ please.

While the whole thing was amazing, perhaps the best part was that once he had the ring on my finger, the sun broke through the clouds and cast rays of sunlight onto the water.

Our rays of sunlight!

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Andi.. will you..uhhh…

That’s right folks, The Boy has now become (drumroll please…) The Fiance!

Last weekend The Boy The Fiance planned a surprise trip for me.  For a few days, I was convinced that we were going camping. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but I  was hoping for relaxation over bugs and armadillos.

It just so happened that The Fiance knew exactly what was in my head (he always does it seems) and planned a trip for us to Galveston.  Now for you geography whizzes, you know that Galveston is right on the gulf. So as soon as I figured out where we were going (we were heading south…it narrows it down quite a bit), I was looking forward to sand and surf.

Our first stop was to the aquarium at Moody Gardens. Why, you ask? Because they have penguins!! Some of you may know my affinity for penguins- I understand their plight of being a flightless mammal. I too am a flightless mammal.  Perhaps my fella wanted to soften me up with a trip to see those cute little creatures. Regardless, our weekend was starting off on the right foot.

My Penguiny Brethren

Okay, so we get to the hotel. No wait. If The Fiance didn’t believe himself to be funny, we would have gone straight to the hotel. Instead, we leave the aquarium and drive down the road to a hotel that looks as though it were taken straight from a horror film.  He pulls into the parking lot, I gulp and put on a happy face. He pulls into a park lot and says, “Here we are!”…and after a few seconds he says, “No…this place isn’t good enough for my Peanut (I dare you to mock my nickname)”.  And down the road we drive.

Three other places. THREE!  He does this thrice…including spending five minutes stuck in the middle of the road trying to turn into a hotel’s parking lot, which wasn’t even ours.  He did upgrade each hotel he tricked me with, so I have to give him that.

Ultimately we wound up a really, really nice condo by the beach. It was newly decorated and didn’t smell like rotting corpses (I tend to be a bit frugal with my hotels. When I choose hotels, they tend to smell like rigor mortis has set in and generally the police tape is still hanging on the walls.), so I was loving it!

After a terrific meal and an even terrificer bubble bath (Yes, terrificer. When you have an English degree, you have justification to play with the language a bit), I was amicable to a sunrise walk on the beach.

So Saturday morning started (early, I may add) and I was affably awoken and convinced to get up.  I even managed not to be a crab about the whole thing.

That which I wasn't, thank you very much.

 

So we ambled out to the beach and walked along the shoreline.  It was quite cloudy and early and windy and early, but we were there.  In fact, I had managed to get my contacts in that morning, so I was feeling pretty good about the whole walk idea.

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::Tune into tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of “Geez this post better be good or I’m going to be pissed that she made me wait for a mediocre rambling of her weekend.”::

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Spring

The birds are out, the temperatures are up, I’m obsessing about my weight. Must be springtime!

I’ll admit it. I have freak outs about the way I look. And The Boy generally has to pick up the pieces.

Here’s my issue: I eat right and I exercise. Alright, so I don’t do extensive exercises, but I walk/ jog/ Wii/ stuff that looks like I’m burning calories. Besides, I’ve got a great personality and I brake for animals. It should count right?

Recently, The Boy and I have begun jogging again. Yippee frickin skippy.  I loathe jogging. It makes me feel stupid and it hurts. And and, well, darn it, it’s hard! My joints ache and I don’t see instant results.

See the basis of my problem? I want instant turn around.  And any person older than 20 knows that that’s just not going to happen. 

The Boy and I tend to eat pretty healthy when we’re at home.  Even when we eat out, I try and find the better option.  And yet, I’m still the same.

What’s the solution? Well push through! Work harder! Push it!  If you want results, then you need to work for it.  Water, water, water. Calories in vs calories out.

Reality?  I keep hoping I twist my ankle so I don’t have to exercise anymore.

(By the way, I wrote this post during my allotted exercise time this evening.  Whoops!)

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A New Obsession

Well shit.

Yeah. I said it. Shit.

I innocently pick up the remote, flip to TLC and :bam: there goes life as I know it. Gone. Out the window. Never the same again.

Whilst snuggling with The Boy (his teefers hurt because of the veneers- that’s a whole other story), we started watching Extreme Couponing.  Now, we’ve been clipping coupons for a few months now. We have a subscription to the newspaper and we get it delivered every Thursday-Sunday (because in my mind, that’s what adults do). From those papers, I clip coupons, put them into my ghetto-rigged coupon holder* and use them when we’re at the store (but only if generic isn’t cheaper).

We though we were doing well. We were proud.

Wrong-o.

Did you know that we were doing it all wrong? Did you know that there are people who are absolutely obsessed with coupons? Did you know that there are hundreds of websites dedicated to couponing? 

So enter my, “Well shit.” statement again.  With this knowledge, I’m in for a very large paradigm shift.  For The Boy looked at me and said, “We could do that.”  Now if you know him, you recognize that gleam in his eye and the dedication in his voice.

Can I get a “well shit” from the crowd?

So now, I’ve spent the last two hours learning that I need to get a binder with baseball card inserts to organize my coupons (why didn’t I think of that?), and I also need to find out which stores allow you to double coupons.  From that…well, we’ll take it slowly.

I vow not to stock pile 40 years worth of deodorant in my garage. I also vow not to overtake our spare rooms and refer to my supplies as, “My Beautiful Catch” or some other freaky phrase. 

I will maintain my composure. I will not have a meltdown in the check out line. I will not check out using 9 carts. I will not.

* My ghetto-rigged coupon holder is actually an envelope that holds lil’ alphabet dividers. Everything falls out. I will admit that I once had a minor-to-moderate meltdown because Jeff Gordon…er.. I mean, The Boy took a turn at 84mph and all my coupons spilled out of the holder and scattered throughout the car. It was ugly. : Phew: I feel better for confessing that. Thanks Reader.

Got any tips for your new Coupon Diva… er… Princess…um…  Clipping Cadet…. nevermind.  Let me know if you have a trick for me.

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Family Tree

They say that you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. (Who is they anyhow? Ugh, that’s a whole other rant. In any case…)

Recently I’ve started a quest to find out what I can about my family tree.  I’m the youngest kid of youngest kids, so I’m basically a generation behind the other family. My first cousins are my parents age and such.  With that big of an age gap, I feel a bit of pressure to get as much info as I can while folks are still handy.

Today I received a package from my aunt which included a list of birth dates, death dates, and off spring going back to my great-grandparents.  She even had the names of my great-great grandparents…well, one set at least. 

The thing that is interesting about it is all is the great chasm between the two sides of my family.  My mom’s family tree goes something like this:

“Well… your great-grandparents came over from Poland..or Russia…or maybe Slovakia.. but then it was Czechoslovakia… so maybe we’re Czech..or..well.  And some of your great aunts and uncles were born overseas and then moved to America.”

And that’s where the trail ends. We can’t even figure out if we’re Polish or Russian…but I’m half of whatever it is… or maybe not.

My dad’s side though has been in America for a very long time, so the trail takes me further. Because of my aunt’s ingenuity or perhaps organizational nature, I have a great start with finding out where I came from.  I remember my dad saying that my grandpa was a boxer that fought under the name Benjamin Ross.  I learned today that he took his pop’s name and his ma’s maiden name and voila- Benjamin Ross.

I don’t know what will come out of this search.  There have been some positive things already:

1. There are no repeats of maiden names/married names amongst the women. Guess who isn’t a result of incest! This girl, right here (The one with only two thumbs, neither of which are sticking out of my forehead).

2. The Boy’s relatives’ names do not show up anywhere on the list. Guess who’s not related!  Hooray!  Our future, hypothetical children also won’t have appendages growing out of their noggins!

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