Sorry Mom, I broke my promise

Sorry Mom, I broke my promise

This year my mom told me all she wanted for Mother’s Day was for me to not get her anything. Because I love my mom, I agreed. She’s in another city today, celebrating Mother’s Day with her own mom, which I think is awesome. Mother’s Day doesn’t have to mean mothers spend every minute with their kids, right? Mother’s Day should be about showing your mom you love her by letting her do what SHE wants for a change instead of what her kids want. That’s why I agreed not to get her anything for Mother’s Day.

But I lied a little bit.
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Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Clearly Google+ Does Not Understand Religion

I have had a Google+ page for a long time, but like many people with Google+ pages, I often forget about it. Today I happened to go there by mistake when I was trying to check my Gmail, and this picture was among the items in my feed:

Jedi's Witnesses. Do you have a moment to talk about the Force? You will open the door. You will listen.

Being exactly the kind of geek I am, this made me laugh. So I shared it to my Google+, like you do. For some reason, Google saw this and said “Hey man, I heard you like religion. Check this out! I totally understand you now!”

Communities you might like: Top Positive quotes, Knowing Jesus, The Bible

No, Google+. These are not the communities I’m looking for. Move along.

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


Signs it is time to clean out your desk

If you know me in real life, you probably know that I am a bit of a pack rat. If you know me REALLY well, then you probably also know that last sentence is a bit of an understatement. I like to collect things that make me happy when I see them, including but not limited to books, movies, and geeky objects. I also have a hard time throwing away useful things, because I worry that one day I will say “gosh, I could really use a thingamajig right now, but unfortunately I just threw it away last week when I was having a clear out.” Believe it or not, that has happened to me more than once, which only makes it that much harder to get rid of stuff.

For instance, I have this smallish plastic tote bin under my desk at work, which I use as a footstool. I have had it for years – I bought it when I was working at my first long-term office job back in 2004, specifically because I needed a footrest for my desk but I also needed a place to keep extra pens and stuff. Plus, it was on sale and cost less than any of the footstools in the store. I have brought this bin with me from one job to another over the years, and have never really sorted through the stuff that is in it, unless I need something.

And so it happened today, when I got to work and realized that my sweater had a HUGE hole in the elbow, I pulled the box out from under my desk, because I was almost certain that I had a sewing kit in there. Unfortunately, I did not have the sewing kit in it. I probably used it at my last job and put it into my desk drawer instead, which means it is most likely still in the box full of junk that I cleared out of my desk when I left that job last month. That’s an adventure I will have to tackle another day.

HOWEVER, I did find a plastic baggie containing an international calling card and assorted foreign currency from our trip to England & India in 2007.


And it's all at least 8 years old, so that makes it ANTIQUE money, and therefore more valuable, right?

Altogether, I have 2 pounds, 82 pence, 79 rupees, and 50 paise. So I guess I’m all set if I suddenly have to fly to England and/or India. Maybe when I get there, I can pay someone to fix my sweater.


Sven and the art of anniversaries

At the beginning of March, my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary by ditching the kids and taking a road trip to Sioux Falls, SD. Sven (my selfie stand-in) came along to help me document the trip with photos.

Here we are, waiting patiently for our morning coffee before we hit the road:
Sven waiting for coffee

We arrived in town pretty early so we had some time to see the sights before we checked into the hotel. We ate some delicious sushi at a restaurant downtown and stopped at a little bakery to get some cupcakes for dessert later. We noticed there were a lot of sculptures scattered around the downtown area, and I thought it would be fun to take pictures of Sven with them, but we decided to wait until after we got checked into our hotel.

Sven was mighty impressed with our hotel room. To be honest, so was I; it was nicer than a lot of apartments where I’ve lived:
It's a really nice hotel room, but I guess you will just have to take my word for it.

After checking into our hotel room, we enjoyed a nice swim in the hotel pool before heading back downtown to Washington Square, where we had tickets for the Empty Bowls fundraiser. We each got to choose one of the myriad lovely bowls that had been handmade just for this event (Sven and I shared), and ate our fill of delicious soups, breads, and mini cupcakes which were provided by sponsoring restaurants. Here is one of several tables lined with bowls for the attendees to choose.


Sven had a hard time choosing just one

Afterwards we spent some time checking out the art galleries at Washington Square. Then we decided to go see a movie, because when you’re out of town without the kids, it seems like a wasted opportunity if you don’t go out and do stuff, right?


In the morning we drove down to Falls Park. None of the buildings were open but we did get to see the eponymous Sioux Falls. It was a warmish day, so the water was actually flowing around the ice in some places.


On our way back to the car we saw this sculpture, which Sven decided was just dying for a little company.


American Farmer by Sondra Jonson

Next we decided to go back to Washington Square and take photos of the sculptures around the area. At first I didn’t think to get the names and artists of the sculptures, so I’m just going to have to make up some names for these.


Off Kilter
By Martin Eichinger

This one was right next to Off Kilter, but I couldn’t find it on the Sculpture Walk website. For now I’m just going to call it “Whatcha Reading?”


title and artist unknown


Trojan Horse
By Dale Lewis

Sven really liked this one. He actually made me stop on the way back to the car and take his picture with it again.


Taking Attendance
By Ken Newman


By Martin Eichinger


Walrus and Calf
By Dollores Shelledy

Sven was a little disappointed that he couldn’t reach the pedals on this one. Maybe one day when he’s all grown-up.


Fat Tire #4
By Lance Carleton

This one is not technically part of the Sculpture Walk. It was in front of a bank which just happened to be near some of the other sculptures.


Not part of the Sculpture Walk, we just liked it

Sven and I don’t really “get” a lot of modern art, but we did enjoy the lines of this piece.


Zinger by Gregory Johnson


By Gary Monaco


By Josie Campbell Dellenbaugh


Bacchus by Sherri Treeby


World's Her Canvas by Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby


Friesian Rearing
By Martha Pettigrew


By Bobbie Carlyle


The Eagle and The Hawk
By Joellen Domenico

And to bookend the whole trip, here is Sven, once again posing with his favorite sculpture:


Taking Attendance (again)

So there you have it. We certainly enjoyed our time in Sioux Falls, and I’m looking forward to the next sculpture walk. Maybe we will make it an annual trip. If you’d like to learn more about any of these sculptures or the Sculpture Walk, check out their website.


Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Life in General


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How my teenager improved my day without saying a word

Parenting teenagers can be really difficult sometimes. They don’t listen. They talk back. They scream at you. You are the worst mom in the whole world. So-and-so’s mom would never make her kids do that. They hate you. You ruin EVERYTHING. They can’t wait to move out of your house and live their own lives without you breathing down their necks all the time.

But then…. sometimes a little thing can happen that makes you forget all of that, even if it’s just for a little while. You get a tiny breakthrough.

Today I let my 16-year-old spend the night at a friend’s house, and as a surprise I brought them some pizza and a 2-litre of his favorite, highly caffeinated soda. His friend’s mom was thankful and we had a brief chat while the boys gathered plates and cups. My son came over and said thank you, which was nice. BUT THEN…. he gave me a hug. Not just a half-second, one-armed teenager-in-front-of-his-friends hug, but a real, two-armed, “you are the best mom ever” kind of hug (in full view of his friend!)

*Cue exploding heart*

Day = made.

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Posted by on February 8, 2015 in Family Life, Life in General


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Have you tried picking it up and putting it away again?

Have you tried picking it up and putting it away again?

Even if you’ve never watched The IT Crowd, you’ve probably heard the “Have you tried turning it off and then on again?” solution to technical problems. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just go to Google and type “have you tried turning it off and then on again”. You won’t even get past “have you t…”


Part of the reason it’s so funny is because it is so often exactly the right solution to the problem.

Sometimes I feel that parenthood is like being in the IT department, except instead of computers we are fixing, it is life. Much like IT support, we are often underappreciated and misunderstood by those we serve. Also like the IT Crowd, we often find we repeat the same suggestions over and over again.

For example, let’s say your child has misplaced something. A schoolbook, perhaps. As a mother, my first assumption when my son says “I am missing a textbook and I need to bring it back to school or pay to replace it” is that it must be somewhere in the blackhole formerly known as “the bedroom”. So I say to him “Clean your room, and then we’ll talk.” His response will of course be “I already cleaned my room. It’s not in there.”

A quick glance into the room will tell me that his idea of “clean” is obviously not the same as mine.

Five minutes later, after a very brief search through the room, I emerge victorious, holding in my hand none other than the missing textbook, which 10 minutes earlier I was told could not possibly have been in the bedroom. Even though it totally was there the whole time, not even in a hard-to-spot location, but sitting on a bedside table, underneath a small stack of looseleaf papers.

So remember kids, when your mother says “have you tried cleaning your room?”, what she really means you is “Have you tried turning it off and then on again?”

And when it turns out she is right, let her smile knowingly and say “I told you so.”.

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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in Uncategorized


Why don’t you say what you really think?

Why don’t you say what you really think?

A friend and I recently had a conversation about the ubiquity of flowery BS language that is used in business. For example “We built our business on the foundation of individualized personal service for our customers.”  Well, duh. Doesn’t every business want to brag about how much they love their customers? My friend observed if he ever saw a website that said “We hate people but will help you anyway”, he would give them his business just for being honest.
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized