Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I've Moved!

I got all crazy today, and decided to move this blog... and rename it.  The Silver Lining is now:
Julie's View
Same stories, same nonsense, same julie b.  I'm easily confused, so bear with me as I figure out this new place.  Thanks so much for joining me at my new digs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Stuff

All the Stuff That Went Right Today:

1. It wasn't bitterly cold this morning as I stood around in my front yard waiting for my dog to perform his morning duties.
2. I found a suitable hat to hide my wake-up hair - as not to embarrass my children in the school drop-off lane.
3. The walk that Henry (my dog) and I took today was more of choreographed waltz than drunken cha-cha - which is what it looks like most of the time.
4. I rediscovered a mighty fine play list on my ipod that I had forgotten about.
5. All breakfast items requested by my children were present in my cupboards and refrigerator.
6. A good friend stopped by to visit and she was good natured about the dreadful smells my dog was passing around in her personal space.
7. I think I actually heard the angels sing when I opened the doors to my new refrigerator that was delivered and installed today.  Nothin' like a new appliance - only happens once or twice in a blue moon around here.
8. My dog did not escape and head for greener pastures when he had the chance of a lifetime today.
9. I lost my appetite for Butterfinger and Babe Ruth fun size candy bars.
10. When I thought I was going to have to clean up another more substantial dog mess today, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was only Model Magic that my son had carefully colored and shaped to look exactly like... well... a substantial dog mess.
11. The sun was out all day.
12. I have two children who are worn out from a day well done.
I'm sure I could add more to the list, but I'm about to wind it up for the night.  Thinkin' makes me tired.
13. Oh yeah, one more thing: the dead bird souvenir the dog picked up and smuggled into his lair was confiscated and no one even lost their lunch when a little bird bone fell on the floor.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beauty Tips

I know where you can go to get a complimentary facial.  I know this because I received one today, without even requesting this service.  Follow these steps carefully, and you too, could be the lucky recipient of a special effervescent treat.
1. Be in a hurry for no good reason.
2. Stop off for a car wash even though you are in a hurry for no good reason.
3. Don't pay any attention to the car already getting "The Elite" wash in the bay ahead of you.
4. Quickly, roll down your window to select your wash and pay your money.
5. Slide your debit card into the wrong receptacle  - the one where "Speedy Car Members" ONLY put
   their reward cards.
6. Be annoyed... and a little nervous.
7. Make sure your entire upper torso is now out of the window trying to diffuse this debit card melee.
8. When you hear the unmistakable sound of a horn honking, look up and face the car ahead of you that is presently receiving the "Total Turtle Misting Rinse."
9. Wait for a gust of wind.
10. Aah... enjoy the benefits of misty droplets that smell like cherry chap stick spraying your face.

Another quick tip for fresh breath:
Make sure to adjust the strength of the new automatic air freshener you just purchased while holding it so the nozzle is pointing directly at you.  Then inadvertently yawn and enjoy the clean, crisp flavor of a mountain spring.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What I Don't Do: Part 2

I don't parallel park.  There is something amiss in the spatial relationship department of my brain.  My worst fear would be having to parallel park a pick-up truck rigged up with a boat trailer along a public street.  In fact, just writing it down strikes fear in my heart.  I do remember my Driver's Ed. instructor giving us very specific directions and tips on how to effectively park in a parallel fashion.  During this very crucial time of instruction, I also remember becoming tremendously distracted by the new Dairy Queen that was being erected directly across from my high school.  Would I be able to dart across the four lane highway, order up a Butterfinger Blizzard, slurp it down, and run back to the school in the twenty-four minutes of allotted lunch time?  I became lost in my thoughts.  This is the only time I can recall where ice cream was a detriment.
Not so long ago, after shifting into PARK, I actually jumped out of the driver's seat of the momvan, scurried over to the curb, and waited for my sister to leave her back seat position and take over my parking responsibilities.  I didn't think this was a bad idea until I realized I hadn't communicated that thought to my sister.  She was still seated looking out at me from inside the van, wondering where I was going.  This is what I'm telling you: I don't perform this task under any circumstances.  I've been known to park twelve blocks away from my favorite spice store in the dead of a Minnesota winter just to avoid the dreaded deed.  If I can't slide up and just drive in, it's not happening.
I don't know if it's because I'm left-handed... but it seems like a decent explanation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I Don't Do

I do not sew.  I wish I did and I admire those that do.  I will tell you why I don't sew.  To begin with, my sixth grade Home Economics teacher (do they still even have that class?) spent an entire semester pursing her lips and sighing loudly through her nose down at me every time she had to come untangle my unsuccessful attempts at threading the sewing machine.  That was the year I became close friends with kid who had a rap sheet at the tender age of twelve.  He had skills in the area of threading, tying and rolling small bits of material... and hot wiring unattended vehicles.  Just what I needed every time I found myself in what my teacher so eloquently called, "a left handed mess."  It was the first time in my life that I found myself in a dead heat for last place - in of all things - a race to manufacture a drawstring bag.  I think I was scarred for life.
Therefore, I have tried to rid myself of this sewing scourge through the next three decades of my life.  Those attempts yielded a pair of clam diggers that did not close properly exposing the side of my hip and a tube skirt sans a kick pleat.  That skirt eventually was the cause of an unfortunate incident involving an icy sidewalk and quick, small, running steps during passing time as I rushed from one side to the other of my college campus.
So as I have just squeaked by another Halloween without having to fashion a costume that needed more than a sheet and scissors to be properly scary, I was sitting here enjoying a big breath of relief.  Then I made the mistake of thumbing through some of my favorite home magazines.  And darn it all, they're jam packed with all the most bedazzled and beautiful Christmas presents and decorations you ever did see!  And again, I allowed myself to become delusional as I started dreaming of beautiful table settings with sixteen different kinds of golden plates, advent calendars fully pocketed with glittered treasures, and wreaths complete with live cardinals.  However, I am slowly nearing a point in my life where the muddled projects and "great" ideas have started to overtake my storage areas and it's becoming more and more difficult to forget that I can't sew.  Not that many weeks ago, I finally put to rest what could have been a very striking grapevine wreath. It was supposed to be adorned with multicolored felt leaves and acorns.  Fusing was involved in the process, and somehow, I unknowingly fused one of the place mats that was in harm's way on my dining table, to a limp pile of carefully cut, felt, maple leaves.  I moved it aside and threw away my mistake pile (in the outdoor garbage... under the recycling), but hadn't given up on the idea that I could still make a go of it.  Soon enough, I found myself throwing out the dried up mums and sunken jack-o-lanterns from the front step, and at that point, I realized the wreath of beauty would have to wait until next year... or go in the kids' craft supply box.
So tonight I am willing myself to stay away from all ideas that involve more than hot glue and ribbons.  I can't get into too much trouble tying and gluing... can I?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wear Those Bruises Proudly

This morning I had some one on one time with my son.  I took him to a dentist appointment.  We were exiting the van in the parking lot when I heard a sound that I've heard before.  It's the sound of plastic slapping back on plastic.  What happened you ask?  I looked over at my son as he made his way toward me between the parked cars.  He was giggling and rubbing his upper arm.  I knew immediately what had just occurred.
Me: Are you ok?
Him: Yes. (giggle, giggle, snort)
Me: What happened? (already knowing)
Him: Mom, I just smacked into the mirror on that car... I'm just glad it didn't come off!
Me: Did you hurt yourself? (now giggling as well)
Him: No. My arm just hurts a little. Mom?
Me: Yes.
Him: I bet you've done that before, am I right?
Me: What would ever make you think that? (smiling)
Him: Well, you know how you have bruises in weird places?  I bet it's from doing stuff like that.
Me: You know me well.
Him: I am your son.
This is true.  He is my son.  And although he was born to another mother on the other side of this earth, he, luckily, has been blessed with my uncanny ability to hurt myself in rather odd ways.  I am so proud.  And as stupid as that sounds, I actually am oddly happy about that.  I certainly don't want him to have to explain to his friends or co-workers one day in the future about how he's missing half of his eyebrow (from an unfortunate incident with a gas grill) - or how in the world did he ever cut his nose on his jacket zipper (don't ask).  I'm just saying I'm glad we have a common bond - one that builds character.   And that, my friends, is one of the pure and simple reasons I love being a mom - I can pass on these indelible traits of honor without even trying.  I can see my work here is done

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snickers Anyone?

This year I bought more Halloween candy than I ever have.  Why?  Because I had huge hopes that hoards of little children in dragon costumes and princesses with wands would be stopping by to say, "Trick or Treat!"  You want to know what I got?  A wayward little lemon and a skittish ninja.  That's it.  So now I have a barrel of chocolate that is haunting me.  I have hidden if from myself three times this morning already.  The problem is that I was blessed with a tremendous sense of smell... no matter where I put that darn bowl, I can smell it!!!  And I am so telling you that my mid-section does not need twelve pounds of "fun size" anything!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another Lovely Spa Experience... at My House

Do you know what this is?  I'll give you a hint - I haven't needed it since my youngest child was about four years old.. and wet.  This is no regular, throw-it-on-the-floor-when-the-hook-is-staring-you-in-the-face-towel... no... this is the magic hoodie towel!  Translation: regular bath towel + wash cloth sewn strategically to side = hooded towel for slippery toddlers.  Why do I still have this?
I hadn't paid much attention to its continued presence in the rotation... until this past weekend when a house guest was searching for the towel I had forgotten to put out for her, and ended up with this treasure. Using this special towel when you are unaware of its hidden potential, is much like trying to stick your hands in your pockets when your gym shorts are on backwards... if that's ever happened to anyone before... hmmm....  Anyway, it's an awkward experience.
So I made an executive decision - it's time to move this (along with the turtle wash mitt) on to someone else.  I think I thought that if I hang on to this stuff long enough, my kids will magically get little again.  But as luck would have it, that didn't work when I kept the Winnie-the-Pooh silverware set or the little pink hat with ear flaps either.  These items just mark another rite of passage... one that my house guests shouldn't have to experience along with me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Should Need This... I Just Don't

Who are we kidding here?  The last time I ironed something, I'm pretty sure it wasn't clothing.  I'm thinking it was a melted crayon project or a "simple" iron on patch to something that was "simply" ripped.
I used to be more attentive to the wrinkles in my life.  During the first year of wedded bliss (when we thought mail addressed to "Pizza Lover of the House," was actually naming one of us specifically) I was very determined to get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.  I ironed my husband's shirts, my skirts and blouses, and even dinner napkins.  Then somewhere starting around "Oh, my gosh, we're having a baby!" and ending at  "Get your shoes, where's your coat, don't look at your brother, and quit slurping your go-gurt!" the ironing got left in the dust.
I really do admire those die hard ironers out there.  My mom is one of 'em.  She can iron like no other.  I went through a ruffle stage during the '80s - and by golly, my mom smoothed out each and every one of those ruffles attached to most of my Jessica McClintock collars or hems of my Gunnie Sax skirts.  And therein lies one of the differences between me and my mom - she truly embodied June Cleaver.  She took those duties very seriously and completed each task with perfection.  I, on the other hand, have taken to hoodies and yoga pants for my daughter and track pants and t-shirts for my son. Nothing like a little spandex/cotton blend and some swishy nylon to make a kid feel special.
Anywho, I should probably keep it around... in case neck ruffles and pirate sleeves come back into fashion.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Search for What I Don't Need

Things to get rid of.  I was reading about how people "strap on their tombstones" and keep waaaaaay to much unneeded stuff.  I was thinking this probably doesn't apply to me, since my husband has a fierce aversion to bruised apples, socks with thinning heals, and the last squeezings of the toothpaste. Surely, I have nothing in this home that has become outdated - other than myself.  So I went on a hunt.
It didn't take long to find something.  You know how the experts in spice-ology say you should never keep your spices past their expiration date?  And you know how you rarely check an expiration date on cream of tartar or poultry seasoning?  Well... if you have eaten a baked good in the last sixteen years from my kitchen, I guess you should consider yourself lucky.
I have had this bottle of fine Mexican vanilla since... well... a couple of presidencies ago.  My question is this: Why would anyone sell fine vanilla in a two gallon vat - for home use?  I was quite happy when this was gifted to me from a trip my parents took to southern Texas.  I never predicted that it would take up residency in six different kitchens over the next quarter of century (almost).  I've had this vanilla longer than I've had a husband... and there's still some left as you can see.  I could indulge my "waste not, want not" mentality and whip up twelve double batches of chocolate chip cookies complete with vanilla frosting today... or I could just rip off the band-aid and toss it in the recycling... or I could press my luck and see if this fine bottle of delicious flavoring can make it through my 5th grader's college entrance essays.
What have you held on to past its prime?  Stay tuned.  This week, I'll be posting more "treasures" that have outstayed their welcome.