Sunday, May 31, 2009
This morning, Jade, downloaded "Weird Laws" and started rattlng off a list of amusing laws... BTW, I'm curious how they enforce this! :) -->
* It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church. (Good to know!)
* Putting salt on a railroad track may be punishable by death! (Guess throwing salt over your shoulder isn't always lucky.)
* In Glendale, it is illegal to drive a car in reverse. (They really had to make a law for this, huh?)
* It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
* In Pacific Grove, "molesting" butterflies can result in a $500 fine. (Uh, wow!)
* It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license!
* In SF, it is illegal to wipe one's car with used underwear. (Was this really a problem?)
* In Logan County, it is illegal for a man to kiss a woman while she is asleep. (So much for the fairytale fantasy.)
* It is illegal to dispose of used razor blades. (So, what do you do with them?)
* In New Britain, the speed limit for fire trucks is 25 mph, even when going to a fire. (What is the point then? You better live right next to the station.)
* In Hartford, it is illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday. ("Breaking the law, breaking the law")
* In Miami, it is illegal for a man to wear any kind of strapless gown. (But spaghetti straps are fine?)
* In Sarasota, it is illegal to sing while wearing a bathing suit.
* In Quitman, it is illegal for a chicken to cross the road. (Or what? That's it-- off to KFC.)
* It is illegal to change the clothes on a storefront mannequin unless the shades are down. (Even mannequins have their rights.)
* In Pontello, it is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy & depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city's reputation. (So much for authenticity.)
* Boxes of candy given as romantic gifts must weigh more than 50 lbs. (Yes, you read that right. Forget shopping at Godiva!)
* Monkeys are forbidden to smoke cigarettes in South Bend.
* In Gary, it is illegal to attend the theater within four hours of eating garlic.
* In Natoma, it is illegal to throw a knife at anyone wearing a striped shirt. (Jade said she would have only striped shirts if she lived there.)
* It is illegal to remarry the same man 4 times. (Guess the 3rd times a charm)
* In Portland, it is illegal for men to tickle women under the chin with feather dusters.
* In Rumford, it is illegal for a tenant to bite his/her landlord. (I think that's illegal anywhere.)
* In Baltimore, it is illegal to wash or scrub sinks, no matter how dirty they get. (What?!)
* In Halethorpe, it is illegal to kiss for more than one second. (Law made by bitter single people sick of PDAs.)
* In Boston, is is illegal to take a bath unless ordered by a physician. (That stinks.)
In Arkansas, a man can legally beat his wife, but not more than once a month. (I bet I can bet what time of the month.)
In Jasper, Alabama, it is illegal for a huband to beat his wife with a stick larger in diameter than his thumb.
In LA, a man can can legally beat his wife with a leather strap, as long as it is less than 2", or she gives him permission to use a wider strap.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I've been enjoying the Shakespeare Festival annually for nearly a decade now. It's great to be able to bring your own gourmet picnic. The last couple years we also took the kids to the free Young Shakespeare matinee performance as well.
Our fav place to stay in Tahoe with the kids is definitely Embassy Suites. $169/night for 4-star 2 rm suite. Best of all it includes the complimentary manager's reception (all you can drink :) and a breakfast buffet...when you have 4 kids you can't beat the price!!
Friday, May 29, 2009
In comparison, last fall we took our family of 6 on a fun-filled Disney Cruise (Western Caribbean) for not much more...an additional $125/day ($20/each) included 2 state rooms (privacy)--with bathrooms, all we could possibly eat anytime of day, and activity options galore...swimming, cooking / health classes, comedy shows, Broadway plays, movie theater, health club, dance, games /contests...and a trip to 4 tropical islands. For a reasonable additional fee, we also tried wine tasting, tandem para-sailing, helmet scuba diving, hair braiding, arcade games, a couples cabana massage, and their adult-only gourmet Italian restaurant. They also have a world-class spa. The best part is the option to do family or adult-only activities. A vacation with the kids 24/7 isn't really a vacation. They have fun kids clubs for every age group (infant - teens)-- and free pagers to stay in touch with your kids. There is an adult-only deck (pool/hot tubs), clubs, restaurant, & beach. Of course, airfare could be an issue if you don't earn frequent flyer miles.
I understand the value of nature, but I also appreciate the value of the dollar...and I want to feel like I'm getting the most bang for my buck. If we want the whole organic experience, it can be found for a fraction of the cost. For example, last summer we stayed at the Big Basin Redwood tent cabins for $65/night (or $455/week). They were really nice, with 2 padded double beds, table/chairs, & a wood stove. Not to mention it is a beautiful park (18,000 acres!) with several waterfalls, near Santa Cruz & the ocean. So, we could take the $2076 we saved by not going to Emandal and decide how we want to delegate that to meals. You could even hire & house a personal chef for the week if you really didn't want to cook...& still save at least $1000.
And it you want to get fancier, Yosemite now offers a variety of tent cabin options including fresh bedding, housekeeping, an electric light, a bathroom, heat, & breakfast (ranging from $56-$126/night).
Or last but not least, you could always check out a vacation rental site such as VRBO or Craigslist. Rent a remote cabin with a view or a pimped out waterfront pad to party with your pals. Heck, for $2500 you could rent a villa for a week!! I just found this beautiful 300 yr. old Tuscan villa (sleeps 8) for $1720/week!! http://www.villabaldasseroni.com/
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It's what's fa dinna tonight (w/ toasted homemade bread)...
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons butter
2. Add the asparagus and 6 cups water; season generously with salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, until the asparagus is bright green and just tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender until very smooth. To prevent splattering, fill the blender only halfway, and allow heat to escape: Remove the cap from the hole in the lid, and cover the lid with a dish towel. If serving right away, stir in the cream and lemon juice.
Excerpted from Everyday Food Copyright © 2007 by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The subject was on just-in-time (JIT) vs. just-in-case (JIC) thinking, much like "Law of Attraction". The belief behind just-in-case is that "Everything good is scarce!" In contract, just-in-time is the assumption that "Everything good is readily available". We live in an abundant environment. Believing that good things are scarce leads to a host of dysfunctions that can all be summed up in one word: excess. Most of us are living in some form of excess...working too much, eating too much, shopping too much...we just keep doing & accumulating more.
The most common issues are:
People who starve themselves, by dieting or poverty, automatically activate their bodies just-in-case mechanisms that store fat on the body to get through the next "famine".
Just-in-case thinking triggers impulses to hoard good stuff. JIC attitudes combined with a superabundant culture lead to clutter. There have been several cases of people who have taken this take this belief to an extreme. Recently in Shelton, Washington, a woman suffocated under a pile of her own possessions. To recover her body, police had to climb over clutter half way to the ceiling on their hands & knees.
Having lots of money doesn't quiet scarcity-based JIC anxiety. A German billionaire lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the recent financial crisis, despite his existing fortune he threw himself in front of a train.
Just-in-case thinking destroys relationships. It triggers excessive attempts to control our supply of love-- that is, other people. Anxious lovers have their lovers followed. Parents micromanage their children. People-pleasers try to manipulate others into liking them. This is all a fear-based belief that love is scarce. If you have ever been on the receiving end, you know it makes you want to run, not bond.
The great news is one simple mental switch to a just-in-time mindset ("Everything good is readily available") restores health & balance. By focusing on the abundance of your environment, switches your psychological settings so that your life automatically improves in many areas that you many think are unrelated. A leap from fear to faith...that we'll be able to get what we need when we need it.
I know from personal experience, that when you let go of strict dieting the body can let go of its panicky fat-storing mode and into a state that helps it shed excess fat.
Choosing just-in-time confidence can eliminate clutter and achieve a wonderful, spacious feeling.
Trusting life, even in the current economy, will bring clients out of the woodwork.
It often seems nothing short of miraculous, perhaps this is why the Bible included the story of the wandering Israelites who were given manna from heaven, but only permitted to gather enough to supply their needs for the day (except on Friday when they could gather for their Sabbath). Otherwise, the manna would rot or melt away.
Just-in-time confidence keeps supply lines clear and prosperity flowing.
I've done my share of just-in-case controlling when it comes to love, still do sometimes. I am learning that I can respond to someone as he or she really is, instead of trying to force them into my box.
If we can reroute a few simple brain habits, our lives will improve almost effortlessly. We wouldn't need to drudge up childhood tramas or hook up an anti-depressant IV. We can just flip the neuro-logical switch from fight-or-flight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest-and-relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system). Animals experience this switch in response to environmental conditions. We, as humans, possess the unparelled ability to switch it with our thoughts alone. It's almost too easy. The best way is to use these 3 simple exercises:
- List ten times you thought that there wouldn't be enough of something and you survived.
- List ten areas where you have too much, not too little.
- List 20 - or 50, or 1,000 - wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part. Start with the little things (oxygen, sunlight, a song on the radio). You'll soon think of bigger ones. Many of the most important things in our lives show up this way.
Once you focus on all the abundance (try a gratitude journal), you'll be overwelmed by all the good things that show up like manna in the desert. You will find yourself struggling less and acomplishing more. Don't beat yourself up for not starting sooner, you're just in time. :)
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
We should trademark the phrase ("Pour Mi Amour").
Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary (crystal).
So my Dad's theory, which I am adopting, is that an anniversary is the most significant holiday of the year (including birthdays) because it is the only one you choose...year after year.
This concept will help to justify my plan to renew our vows somewhere new every year.
It's a fun way and good time of year to take a vacation.
Initially when we were planning our wedding, we narrowed down a location...then started calculating the thousands of dollars and considering all the dysfunctional family/friend dynamics...and opted on short notice to just elope on a gondola in Venice! It was fabulous.
Both of our first time to Europe and Venice was just surreal. I'm so grateful we did it, especially before both our babies were born. However, my older daughters were still anticipating "the wedding" so we decided the next year to courageously take a action-packed family vacation to Maui and tie the knot on the beach with the older two, the baby, & another baby on the way. Not relaxing by any means, but a beautiful ceremony.
After both weddings, we neglected to file our paperwork...so our 2nd Anniversary was a trip to the county recorders office to seal the deal. Which, now brings us to this year...which we decided the renewal of vows at Marriage Encounter was close enough. Then just for fun we had an old time photo done to commemorate our 3rd Anniversary.
Someday we will elope in Reno (like my grandparents that were married for 56 years before my papa passed)...Dave suggested Niagara Falls...there is funky drive-thru chapel in Vegas (with the option to get married by Elvis in a pink Cadillac)... Couples/Sandals resort... a hot air balloon... Dave suggested sky diving, but I'm not sold on that one... there is an amazing ice chapel in Sweden... Greece would be great... I've always wanted to visit Tahiti... on an elephant in Phuket, Thailand :) ... a nude wedding (LOL!)... or we may just get tired of saying "I Do". For now the prospects are fun & exciting. We could even write a book highlighting each one...
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Mrs. Fenton, our store is considering banning your family from ever shopping with us unless your husband stops his antics. Below is a list of offences over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras.
MEMO Re: Mr. Bill Fenton - Complaints - 15 Things Mr. Bill Fenton has done while his spouse/partner is shopping:
June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.
July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in house wares..... and watched what happened.
August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on lay away.
September 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.
September 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him, he begins to cry and asks "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose.
November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, asked the clerk if he knows where the antidepressants are.
December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly humming the Mission Impossible" theme.
December 6: In the auto department, practiced his "Madonna look" using different size funnels.
December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"
December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"
And; last, but not least!
December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door and waited a while; then, yelled, very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"
Monday, May 18, 2009
But the questions keep delving deeper...& eventually all couples left with deeper understanding and connection with each other. I would recommend it to most, unless you're a total atheist (as there is a God emphasis).
One of the main tools to continue communication and connection, was daily dialouging. Choosing a question (they gave us 90 to start us out), each of us is to write our answers in seperate notebooks, then set 10 min. to get together and exchange notebooks. Then pick another question for the next day. The questions range from "how do I feel about"...your/my hopes, highs/lows, hobbies, temper, fav movie/book/song/food, Christmas presents, my/your age, discipline, my/your job, budgeting, prayer, sex...
I have several question books (somewhere) that I used to pore through when Dave & I started dating. I think our girls would probably enjoy doing something similar as well...maybe it could be new dinnertime conversation material.
They also talked about a Newsweek cover article on "Prayer". It stated that a study (still looking for the article) indicated that couples who pray together frequently (& have sex together frequently) report significantly higher marital satisfaction. I'm sure the latter is obvious, but the prayer intrigues me...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Do you notice anything important missing in these anatomy pics?
I'll give you a hint...it's on the female (or should be). Evidently, it's still not considered to have a significant enough function to make it into sex ed, even in this PC age.
It's actually quite a shocking omission.
Most girls don't even know there is a buried pleasure to be had.
I would say it's pretty important with 8,000 sensory nerve endings (as much as the entire penis)--more than anywhere else on the body. Unlike the penis, it is capable of multiple orgasms, in some cases 100!
How many times in your life are you going to focus on sex as procreation vs. recreation? I think they should call it reproduction ed...then senior yr. teach SEX ed.
Sex ed could focus on sex as a fun & vital part of a happy, healthy relationship (ideally but not limited to marriage)...happy marriage = happy family.
Focusing on sex as dangerous, dirty, or purely for reproduction is hardly a healthy foundation.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Today was the first day my middle daughter (Isis) has begged to do home school for a year. Home school?! She is social, a leader, isn't having any particular issues at hand...although I am personally very upset that her teacher is being fired for no apparent reason. (In the Waldorf schools the teacher travels through the grades with the students. They have had this teacher for 3 yrs.)
Wow! Home school is a big obligation. I've never really considered it. I could do it, I'm just not convinced that it would really be in her best interest. It would take alot of extra time, patience, education, & dedication. In the Waldorf curriculum, the children are guided on making all their own artsy main lesson books (no text bks). They do watercolor painting, chalk drawing, form drawing, play flute, knit, learn via games, plays, & lots of stories, and celebrate numerous seasonal, cultural, & religious festivals.... all new to me. I would be willing to commit myself to the challenge, but I think I'm going to continue to encourage her to stick with all the Waldorf-trained teachers at school.
I will admit it is very tempting because she can be such a help with the babies.
I think she may just be craving more attention. We do family dinners every night and I could work on more connection at bedtime. We need to start implementing their "special day" each month and maybe designated weekly family time... a fraction of the extra effort that homeschooling would necessitate.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
http://diaryofanineyearold.blogspot.com (two more months till 10 yrs)
Evidently I am the head of the flock.
Friday, May 8, 2009
A priceless shot today would have been Beau molesting the lingerie manikins at Macy's. He kept magnetically being drawn back to them with a beaming smile & a twinkle in his eye, while I tried desperately to distract him in vain. "I want to touch their body", as he fondled their butts and peeked at their rear. Oh no, is the testosterone already kicking in?
Today, I'm wrapping up the details for our Mother's Day. Every year there is a debate over where to make brunch reservations. My nana's fav place is Raddison's buffet--which is like $32/adult. However, my millionaire uncle doesn't want to spend that much, so we have ended up a handful of other suckie places for Mother's Day. This prompted me to propose to the men that this year they step up and shock all the women with a groundbreaking brunch prepped, cooked, & served by them!! This may not be a big deal to some but I don't believe it has ever happened in the history of our family. Initially it was like I had suggested they all get vasectomies together. I promised my brother's that I would do my part and trade out their Martinelli's for mimosa's. I guess I'll wait till next year to propose making this an annual event.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
I chose "hot mama", because that's what my mischievous 2 yr. old son randomly calls me. Probably heard it from dad and it stuck. And I chose "hotmamainthehouse" because every blog name I wanted was picked years ago by flaky people who didn't blog more than a week. Too bad they don't expire. Hopefully that won't be me. :)