Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gather Around the Table

Blessings from across the miles


May you find yourself surrounded by love


And plenty of reasons to laugh

funny pictures of cats with captions

more animals

Love & Laughs from Meg's Garden

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My high school years were never this much fun!

I love to tell stories- I enjoy entertaining friends & coworkers with anecdotes about my rather extensive & eccentric relations. Some might even say that I have entirely too much fun at my family’s expense; but fair is fair- they really do make it easy.

Winter Ball 2008

[A brief & embarrassing preface- my son has not had a girlfriend (or even a date, that I know of) in nearly 2 years. As cute, charming, & funny as we all know Sam is, his open, friendly nature combined with the baby-face of a 14 year old seems to keep him in the “I really like him…as a friend” category with the majority of females.]


The premier high school social event of the season is the Winter Ball, which is held in January at a location in San Francisco. None of my children has ever gone to this dance- mainly because it is a “Girl’s Choice” event; Jess wasn’t interested in doing “high school” stuff, & Sam, well, has never been asked.

Until now.

About a month ago, KN, the girlfriend of Sam’s tricking buddy MC, unofficially asked Sam to accompany her to Winter Ball (I say unofficially because there is evidently a whole ritual that is involved with the certified “official” invitation to Winter Ball, the mysteries of which we are not allowed to delve). This unofficial invitation was proceeded by a series of protracted negotiations between KN, MC, & Sam; you see, MC has graduated & therefore is not allowed to attend the dance, KN is a senior & wants to make a last splash with a safe escort, & Sam just wants to help a friend without getting his a$$ kicked. This process took several days of trading phone calls, IM’s, & notes between the principals (“Are you sure this is okay with you?”) before being settled, & then the planning began.

Being a helpful & encouraging Mom, I told Sam to remember that first & foremost, he will be KN’s life-sized Ken doll, so forget about having any say whatsoever in his attire for the evening. Since transportation had already been prearranged (a charter bus for 20 couples), the restaurant selected (some place in Japantown), & the tickets purchased by the inviter, his responsibility was to ask what style & color dress KN would be wearing, so he could order the appropriate corsage, & to show up on time, showered, shampooed, & shined.

I guess I overestimated his role.

Following Mom’s sage advise, Sam sought out KN a few days later to pose the color scheme question; he told me he got as far as, “Hi”, before KN barked out the following orders:

“Good, you saved me a call; you need a black suit, a maroon shirt with a collar, & a gold tie- a straight one, not a bowtie. I’ll need an orchid wrist corsage & a second one for my hair- this flower shop already has my order on file.”

Yes, Ma’am!

Maroon shirt. Gold tie. Ugh.

I asked him if that was gold colored or actually metallic gold- he said he didn’t know & frankly was afraid to ask; I reminded him it could be worse- she could’ve said a maroon tuxedo, ruffled gold shirt, & a rhinestone studded bowtie.

After a week or so, I found a website that carried all manner of formal & uniform wear at reasonable prices, including gold ties- plain & lamé- & tuxedo shirts in a rainbow of hues. Since shades of color are a particularly subjective idea, Sam agreed that he should request a close-up photo of KN’s dress fabric to help make a match- one person’s maroon could be another’s burgundy or plum, & we don’t want any last minute disasters- as well as a clear directive about the tie. The next week, he sends an IM & gets the following response:

“Another girl on the team (volleyball) bought the same dress, so maroon is out; now it will probably be the purple strapless, or maybe the gold halter. BTW- what do you mean gold colored? Gold means metal!”


Purple shirt & metallic gold tie.

Double ugh.

The official invitation & acceptance have not been made at this point, so I’m beginning to wonder if Sam is going to bail out. Perish the thought, Mother Dear- he is a good sport & looks at the exercise as good practice for his eventual wedding day; besides, he knows that she’ll probably change her mind at least two more times before the actual event.

A week passes; then it’s Sam’s turn to throw a wrench into the works.

He gets himself a girlfriend.

Yep- Studley Do-Right scores himself a cutie after a two year drought.

I had been hearing CA’s name pop up in conversations for a couple months, but did my very best not to pry- my only question was “CA who?” Turns out she is one of the gymnastic instructors for the gym where his dojo is located & attends the same high school. They’ve been “talking” & “hanging out” at school for a few weeks now, & Friday evening made the couple part official.

Now, Sam would never consider backing out of going to Winter Ball with KN- she’s his friend & he promised MC that he would look out for her. CA has known all along that Sam is planning on going to Winter Ball with KN- she’s perfectly fine with that arrangement & hadn’t planned on going in the first place. The problem now is KN.

KN says Sam has to take CA to Winter Ball.

She has refused to issue the “official” invitation & has opened negotiations with boyfriend MC on another acceptable escort.

I told Sam he should sue for breach of contract, with punitive damages for emotional distress & fashion violations- it could pay for the rest of Senior Year activities!

He said he’s going to duck & cover for the next 3 weeks, until invitation season is over- let the women hash it out.

Yesterday, in Sam’s 6th period class, this was delivered:


 Fall 2008 017

Fall 2008 018

It was from CA.

She says he should pick the colors since she’s color-blind.

I think I’m going to like this girl.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life after Vacation

Sam's taking his driving test in December~ is this my future?

funny pictures of cats with captions

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Two more people laid off at work...

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Chris got up & into the shower, before realizing it was only 3:30 am

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Saturday work is back on the schedule, but I have managed to squeeze in a little knitting time~ here's Chris' vest he requested

Fall 2008 006

Fall 2008 008

I am rather pleased with the results & he's even worn it out in public Wink The next week or so must be dedicated to completing a pair of mittens for a swap due December 1st, then I'll be finishing up some small Christmas gifts & a package of hats for Larkin Street Youth Services; it's true that a woman's work is never really done- she keeps taking on more even though she should know better! Tongue out

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Own Velveteen Rabbit Tale

I’m back & reasonably refreshed from my travels this weekend; it helps that I don’t have to be back to work until Wednesday morning & the guys are both occupied. Can we hear it for alone time?

I spent the past 3 days in Louisville, Kentucky, participating in my very first ever “Girls Weekend Getaway”. The most exciting part wasn’t just spending time with a group of great women, but that I was meeting each one of them for the first time. Yep, you read that right; self-professed shy person Meg flew across country to spend the weekend with people she’d never met- talk about a leap of faith!

Now, these ladies weren’t strangers to me; it was a gathering of blogging friends that I’ve come to know over the past two & a half years. Most of us started our blogs around the same time, & came to know each other through our writing, swapping comments, & emails. Over time, phrases like “If we lived closer, we could…” or “Wouldn’t it be fun to…” were sprinkled through our conversations, so it seemed a natural step when the idea of a get-together was introduced six months ago.

So, Friday afternoon, I was met at the Louisville airport by the others & we embarked on an adventure in friendship. The first order of business once reaching the hotel was taking pictures & exchanging gifts; I brought small collections of seasonal stationary, local jam, apple butter, & honey, as well as small hand-knits for each person. Then it was off for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory, a favorite spot for each of us, followed by a real surprise treat: a horse-drawn carriage ride thru downtown & back to our hotel! It was the first time for a couple of the girls & even though it was pretty chilly, we had a rousing good time.

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before heading to Louisville Stoneware, where we spent a couple of fun hours painting our own ceramic pieces,. The pieces will be fired, packed, & mailed to us within a couple weeks. We took some pictures with our creations, & explored the store & museum, before heading down the street for an awesome lunch at The Cafe.

Later, it was off to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby; this was a real treat for me, as the love of horses runs strongly thru generations of my family. We saw the horses paraded around the paddock in their racing silks, chose our favorites, & even made a couple of small wagers. One race was watched from the track rails & another from up on the second level; we even had 3 winners (talk about beginner’s luck!) before doing some souvenir shopping in the store & heading back downtown to the Fourth Street Live area. Some of us wandered through the bookstore & a couple others walked down to the Louisville Slugger Museum (which unfortunately had already closed), before meeting again for dinner at the Hard Rock Café- another first for me. We wound up the eventful day by talking & laughing until the wee hours of the morning- my stomach still hurts!

Sunday morning meant getting ready to go home to reality; we all had breakfast together at the hotel & then began taking girls to the airport- two had to be there at 10:00, & another at 12:00, so after they were seen off with hugs, pictures, & tears, the remaining three of us went to lunch at the Cracker Barrel & a bit of last minute shopping. We said our last goodbyes at 2:30, with plans to get together again, possibly out this way next time; I would be tickled to be the hostess & be able to share the wonders of my part of the world. A long, uneventful 7 1/2 hour journey found me back home with my guys & felines, all of whom needed some attention. Evidently, Chris has been sick since Friday evening- head, chest, & the full spectrum of gastro-intestinal distress- so both he & Sam did little more than watch movies & order in food. Oh darn~ I am sooo sorry to have missed out on all that fun!

So, there are my escapades in a nut shell; today was spent cleaning up, unpacking, doing laundry, & running some errand, while the guys went back to work & school. I’m so glad I was able to able to schedule in some down time to recuperate, but you know that it was all worth it. Thank you, girls, for creating treasured memories of becoming Real!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Over!


I cannot tell you how glad I am that this election is over- contentious, vicious, duplicitous, deceptive, posturing jackanapes- and that was just the media!

Seriously though, no matter what your feelings are about the outcome (no, I’m not telling who I voted for- I don’t talk politics & my choice is nobody’s business but mine) it is time to put the campaign rhetoric & partisan politics aside, joining together as a nation to support this man as he takes on the most difficult job in the world, President of the United States. If you don’t think it is tough, just look at some of the “before & after” photos of our former leaders- they age much more than the 4 to 8 years they serve in office.



Wouldn’t you know it: just one day after completing the unclaimed property reporting (safely with in the deadline, thank-you-very-much) & heading into the first of the month craziness- not one, but two separate auditing organizations turned up for our annual checkup. What was already going to be a hectic short week (because I’m headed off to the wilds of Kentucky on Friday) has turned into a three-ring circus, complete with dancing elephants & creepy frenetic clowns. Honestly, I’ve had two simultaneous conference calls going on, while trying to answer email questions, collate data lists, & locate billings from last December.  I swear- if my supervisor comes by my desk to ask, “So, how’s it going?”




I will not be responsible for my actions.



The physical therapy is going well- I’m able to straighten my arm much further & the strength is slowing increasing- but no answers on surgery as of yet. The ortho specialist wants to “wait & see” a few more months, taking x-rays periodically to track any changes in the damaged area. I’m okay with the “not going under the knife right before Christmas” part, but I am a bit concerned that further degeneration of the area will nullify any potential improvement the surgery might bring me. The doctor essentially “pooh-poohed” my apprehensions (have I mentioned that she doesn’t have much of a “bedside manner”?) but my therapist has told me she wants to continue seeing me at least monthly to monitor my condition.

Okay, I really need to get busy- I have work to get done, laundry to finish, stuff to pack- & I’ve been hanging around here stalling long enough. Have a wonderful few days & I’ll be checking in after I return on Sunday.