Jelly Belly – and not the bean

I am a tad addicted to Starburst JellyBeans- the “original” little jelly masterpieces. If Easter doesn’t come fast and get them out of the middle of the isle at Meijers, I will probably die of overdose. Seriously. So not kidding.  

If the stores would sweetly put out the holiday stash just before the said holiday – overdose would never become an issue.  We’d have a big and wonderful splash of holiday sugar cheer and move quietly along.

But no.  The store isles are out to get me.  The bags leap into my cart.  I dont know how I come home with not one, but two, bags on grocery outtings, but I do.  They mysteriously disappear and I want to say it is sooooo not my fault!  See, the only time of year they put these precious beans out for sale is at Easter time.  They even once discontinued making them because “jelly beans” are not huge in sales overall as a candy product.  So they only put them out there when the sales are highest – can you guess when??  Right!  Easter.

So see – It’s not really my fault they cause me to feel the need to horde and get as much of these juicy and precious beans.  It’s because they withhold them from me all the rest of the year.

Plus – get this – they have zero fat.  Wonder what else is on the list, now that you made me look at the back of the bag…  Oh, no Sodium, no nasty cholesterol, and no ridiculous Vitamins or minerals.  It doesn’t get better than that (as long as you leave out the fact that there’s a slew of sugar in it… sugar is energy and energy not burned is stored as fat.  Okay – insert fingers into the ears and sing loudly – “LaaLaaLaaaaaa”  I am sooooo not hearing that!

Now, go do something besides reading this blog.  It’s over.  Done.  Quit reading will ya…I can’t feed my face and type proficiently at the same time, and one of the two things must go… beans or blogging.  As much as I love you – you just dont amount to a hill of beans.  No offense, of course.



More than Mad

If we had just had all of our tax check put onto a specialized debit card, so it would be “protected” and yet at the ready – for emergency medical visits, prescriptions, bills, and whatever would come our way… HOW, may I ask, was it “empty” less than a month after we got it?  Because we were hit with Identity theft.  Several thousand dollars of our security net for the rest of the year was just gone.  It was enough to give me a migraine just taking it all in.

When I called in to report it, I found that just a few days ago I had apparently done the same thing.  Hmmm…  and apparently they sent ME a new card, which was in turn used at multiple ATM’s a state away.  I never lost that card, as it was in hand, and I tried to calmly reassure this man that I had NOT been in MI today, and I was sure I was who I said I was.

I have always been on the technology band wagon… but I am hesitant to be so ready to pull out even pre-paid plastic… which is all I really believe in.  If you don’t have it, you cant spend it.  But I digress…

Did you know that someone can use a machine thingy and pull the numbers off the credit pump – any swipe machine out there technically in any store, shop, or eatery?  Did you know someone can steal your info just by walking through the mall or even strolling through the park if you have a wallet in your pocket?  Yeah.  It’s true.  It sounds fabricated, futuristic, and nuts… but it is very true.  I never gave it much thought, till today.

Now, much lighter in the pocketbook – I am not just frustrated.  I am mad.  I have to now provide fourty two thousand different forms of Id, bank info, and proof that we are who we are… while this thief just somehow waltzes away with my money – probably never to even be pursued.  I will be praying to get my money back, while this perp got away with thousands more than we will make in months.

I want to just cry – scream – rage – and storm around mad… but it will fix nothing.

So I will submit info – and wait.

And really?  Money is so fleeting…  today is proof of that.  I still have my amazing husband, kids, dog, family, and we still have our home, and our lives.  In the end, money is just paper and plastic.  It all burns up in a second when put to the flame… but I hope my life, legacy, and my impression will withstand the heat and be made stronger by it.

I hope you’re week is flame free – but if it heats up – get out some marshmallows.  Use it for good and refuse to let it burn you.

Anybody got some chocolate?  I got lots of marshmallows to roast and I might as well make the best of it!

Smiling sidewalks

My 13 year old is refreshingly far from too old for spring-day-sidewalk-chalk marathons.  The spring weather always brings out the chalk at our house and my sidewalks go from boring dirty grey to colorful masterpieces.  Unlike some parents who find it annoying to have walkways covered in graffiti art – I find it just as lovely as the flowers that bloom near by.

This year, however, they were not just colors and stick figures.  They were smiling faces of very specific friends.  

Lindsey grabbed her pastels (the expensive stuff) and ditched the cheap chalk and began blending and birthing life into some old childhood friends she loved.  Muppets!  I know she does great art – but It sorta surprised me.

When did she, and her art, grow up so much?  She’s doing a lot of that growing up thing lately, and it’s making me just nuts!  I simply cant keep up – not even with the sidewalk evolutions.  Every time I turn around it’s something new, and I swear she changes a bit each day as she leaves and comes home off the bus.  I remember my parents saying they were going to put a brick on my head… but this is ridiculous  🙂

Here are a few snapshots of my front walk…  so far.  She plans to progress on up the walk with new smiling faces each square.  We have had collections of neighborhood kids and parents all standing and watching her, bikers stop, and rubber neck drivers.  The smiling faces she creates are leaping from the walkway and putting smiles on faces of all who pass.  It’s fun to watch.

The yard was full of kids all day.  They’d ride their bike around the block over and over and over so they could catch a glance of her work… shy to just stop to gawk.  Then mom came next time and it was time for a chat with mom  🙂  I had to brag a bit right?  That’s what Mom’s do.

So today, her dad and I went out while she was at school and looked for chalk.  We found some one place, and then another.  We ended up with a slew of new chalk of different sorts…  all not even touching the cost of her precious pastels – but we’ll leave getting those till the real deal… The Chalk Walk entry at the Three River’s Festival in July…  She’s going to enter this year!  More than likely – it will be Muppet faces smiling up from her square.

So Lindsey – I know you read these blogs – Know how proud your Dad and I are of you.  And I just had to show you off a bit!  Love ya sweetie!!  



Can I have the keys ?!

I feel like I have been transported back to the days before I was allowed to drive.  I remember asking my Dad if I could drive us home from Church, and those were the days when we lived a whopping 4 or 5 blocks from the church, and oddly, now that I think about it, we often drove it.  Probably because my dad was the pastor and we were the ones with the keys and we opened and locked up the church most sundays, and did most everything else it felt like.  Often we were running late on being early for church.  Yeah – you CAN be late to be early – I promise you that… as more than once there was an older lady waiting on us to open up so she could be the first one there.

But I was a kid – what did I know about anything – except that I wanted to drive??!

I remember the first time I drove – ever.  My dad and I were in the car alone.  He pulled into that church parking lot and got out.  I was befuddled till he went around to my car door and opened it and told me to get out.  I did, mostly because I was completely thrown off and then he got in, sat down, and shut the door.  The windows were down, and he looked at me and said, “Drive home.”  I stood there just looking at him for a moment.

Nervously, I nearly jumped over to the driver’s side and he walked me through the process of driving home.  It was the longest and best 5 blocks of my life that day.  Oddly I still remember being that girl like it was yesterday.

Now, speed up to March 2012.  I can be found in the passengers seat every time we go out, anywhere.  I have had my keys taken away.  I’m 37, not 87…and I figured it would be my kids who’d take my keys someday…  not me.

That’s right.  I took the keys away from me.

It went something like this:  I drove home one day, sat in the driveway, and realized I didn’t remember where I drove from, or how I got home… Wow.  This wasn’t like how you can do the same commute over and over and sometimes forget kinda thing. No, this was the foggy, simply cant remember at ALL kinda thing.  As much as I didn’t want to, it was time to turn in the keys.

I am on some new medicine that will hopefully put a huge dent in the number of migraines i get due to the Chiari Malformation I was diagnosed with last May. Though much of the medicine I am on is working great,  I still get an average of 15 migraines or more a month.  This month, I am betting on the “more” side of it.  The side effects are nearly as bad as the thing they are trying to stop.  It is supposed to get better.  At least that’s what they say.

I am weaning on to this new medicine, and it will take over a month and a half to be fully on it, and 2 more months before I will know if it will begin to help.  I am on week 3.  Sigh.

I was doing okay with the whole no driving thing till my daughter was at her wits end with my key grounding, herself.  She wanted a girl day and Dad’s dont drive when you go on girl days.  Boys aren’t allowed on girl days.

There’s no more quick running out for stuff, sneaking an ice cream cone when no one is looking, or even just going stupid grocery shopping, which I loathe.

I know I will get through the crappy stuff and someday it will be so much better – but I am tired of feeling like a teen hoping for the keys, and getting caught driving in my subdivision (picking up my kids from the downpour after school) by the bus driver!. Though, it was a good laugh when she caught me again – the same day – at the grocery store.  In my defense I knew I could do it because the medicine was nearly worn off and I needed to take it again in a half hour.  Look at me – I’m like a kid caught driving without permission!

One day there will be a handle on pain, migraines, and feeling normal.  But till then, I will have to work at making all this seem like a bump in the road and somewhat of an interesting ride so I dont go crazy waiting to hear, from ME mind you, that I can drive again… because no one but me will know when it’s safe to drive again, or ever.

Dang – it’s tough to be a grown up sometimes!  Worse than having to beg your dad for the keys!  🙂

No one is nibbling my limbs off…

“Mom! The new fish is nibbling on ‘Fan’tastic’s tail…” (our old fish).

So what was I supposed to do about it? Do my dear children get that,
although I am AWESOME, and I can do a lot of things, I can not actually put
wayward fish in “time out” for nibbling on each other? Please don’t tattle on
the fish. I can barely deal with the onslaught of sibling tattling as it is.

There was no explaining this, however, in a not-so-frustrated way. NOT
today. Today had won in round three with me today. It was one of those
days where you reached your level 15 on a 10 point scale by 8am. Knowing
this, I made it easy on myself and just nodded, saying, “Thanks for letting
me know.” It simply is far easier to thank them sometimes than explain.
See – now we BOTH had “won” by doing this as we were all happy.

When I came inside, I glanced into the fish tank, just because it was on the
way down the hall where I was headed. Not, understand, because I was
worried about the naughty fish. I promise. Really, I do. That’s when I
noticed that the fish being nibbled, however, was flat out DEAD – not just
getting harassed. Well that is a whole ‘nother story! I stated this fact out
loud and it drew a comment from my 8 year old.

“I KNOW. That’s why I told you that.” Then he went on to wonder, “What if
people did what the fish do? We’d be like, ‘Hey Mommy, Daddy’s dead,” and
we’d be nibbling on his arms and legs and stuff.”

Ewww! What the??!!

Okay, so I see where he got from part A to part B… (the nibbling on Dad’s
arms part) but it sorta knocked me around a bit as he did. I was grossly
unsettled and I couldn’t let that comment go. Ick!

There have been many days that have sorta kicked me around, seemed to
“win” and left me wondering if I was just fish food…

But that isn’t where it ends. God sees those bad days, and he sees us. He
goes to bat for us when it feels like no one notices that the fish are nibbling
on us. He moves ahead into tomorrow and He’s waiting for us. He’s there
to help us through that day, and the next, and the next. Don’t mistake a

bad day, a bad week, month, or heck, even a bad year as God forgetting us.
He’s always right there, walking with us, or even carrying us through.

I know it sounds simplistic, but the reality is that it’s really true. He’s
fending off those fish, saying that we are still very much alive and far from
done yet.

So, no matter how yucky it may get… just keep in mind… the next time you
wonder if you are dead yet from the load your bad week piled on you, (and
it’s bound to happen), if no one is nibbling on your fingers or toes, you are