Friday, May 30, 2008

We took a little vacay...

Very early last Friday morning (think 2:00 am), I discovered the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge. It's not nearly as fantastical as I would have hoped. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for the green road sign, I would have missed it entirely. But then, I really wasn't looking for it... in Pennsylvania.

It was located just south of the Pennsylvania Turnpike - the most horrid excuse for a road I hope you never have to travel. Last year, upon paying my few dollars to enter this poorly maintained stretch of pavement, we asked the toll-taker if we could request that the money we gave her be used to improve the road surface. She said no (fabulous sense of humor on that one). And so, it came as no surprise that the road still sucks. I'm guessing that all of the money that they collect from the poor souls who have to travel that stretch of endless potholes and uneven surfaces ends up maintaining the call boxes found at each and every mile-marker. I bet they get a lot of use.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

See me evolve!

In a recent comment, dear Kjae implied that I don't post enough pictures in my blog. I think she's right. Except for Gimme an "E"!, The end of an era..., and For Erin, this blog has consisted entirely of words. It's amazing that so many of you are still reading!

So, as a thank you to my loyal readers, I have decided to steal an idea to give my blog a little more visual interest. Tonight, you will find my first Wordless Wednesday post. I am going to put my own little spin on the idea however, in that my posts will be actually completely wordless. No explanation, no commentary, no credits, nothing. I will however respond to any questions or comments regarding the picture (or life itself) in the comments. Please don't feel that the wordless suggestion applies to you as well. ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No thanks. I think I'll just fly.

Television: The waste on this cruise ship is 100% recycled.

Marly: How do they recycle poop?

John: They serve it to you as food, cleverly disguised with paprika and other spices.

Monday, May 19, 2008

By God or bottle, blonde is blonde.

So, I went here, and downloaded a copy of a Barenaked Ladies song from their new children's album, "Snacktime". The title of the song is "7 8 9", and my first thought, given the title alone, was to wonder why they would start so far into the number sequence.

I then started to play it, but missed the first few seconds because the volume on my computer was turned all the way down. But even with it turned up, I really couldn't hear much anyway. The television was on, the dogs were clamoring (you know, like dogs do), and John was talking. So I just heard a little:

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, ten!"
"What about nine?"
"Seven, eight, nine."

I was thinking the lyrics were kind of strange, when John stopped talking and started to chuckle. "Cute song," he says. I tell him is BNL, and he says, "Cool!" Over-stimulated auditorily (and the commercials were over), I stopped the recording, and went back to watching "The Office".

The next day, I sat down with JJ, and we listened to the song again... right before lunch.


Cute song!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

He's a good time, this little person of ours.

My mother says I should be recording more of what JJ is doing. She's probably right (after all, she has done this before). And really, what better place is there to record JJ's milestones and amusing behavior than in a public forum which future friends will be able to view and make fun of for eternity? Therefore, things JJ likes to do:

* Spin around in circles until he falls down. Repeat, this time singing, "La, la, la..." (with no discernible tune).

* Walk backwards (not looking, of course) until he crashes into something- usually one of his toys, which he has made it very clear DO NOT belong in the toy box, but rather, strewn throughout the entire first floor of our house.

* Cover his eyes while John and I ask, "Where's JJ?" and pretend to look for him. This is especially funny for him, as he peeks through his fingers and giggles, no doubt wondering why the state hasn't come to take him away from these two crazy big people who like to kiss him all the time.

Developmentally appropriate? Probably. Adorable? Without a doubt.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

For Erin

Our home... last winter... while it was snowing... because it's the only picture I can find... and it's dark now:

I believe I totally and completely missed Erin's point.

I'm going to be a sister!

My tall, dark, and handsome brother just proposed to his beautiful girlfriend. (I don't want to get ahead of myself, but if these two ever have kids, they'll be freakin' gorgeous!)


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yeah, he's our kid.

If you know John and I, you know that we are both foodies. We love to eat, and have a tendency to get more excited about a new cheesecake flavor than we did when JJ started walking. (Sad, but practically true.) And, in true foodie fashion, we also frequently experiment and mix foods that many people wouldn't normally think to try. I, for instance, have a passion for chunky peanut butter and sweet pickle sandwiches. And in a restaurant in KC, I once ordered a burger with peanut butter and bacon on it - simply because it was on the menu and sounded interesting. It was actually pretty good.

Not all things turn out as well... country pork ribs do not compliment spaghetti sauce, and teriyaki steak does not mix well with macaroni and cheese. But alas, you take the good with the bad.

So really, it should come as no surprise that JJ is into food, too. He will eat anything and everything we put in front of him. And considering the fact that toddlers are notorious for eating nothing, I'm thinking we're pretty lucky. In addition, just like his mommy and daddy, JJ has inherited the tendency to mix foods.

You see, when preparing a meal for him, I usually end up putting a handfull of finger food in front of him to buy a little "non-whiny" time. For instance, when preparing oatmeal for him in the morning, I usually sit him in front of some Cheerios. So really, I think it's only natural that JJ started saving a few Cheerios, and now dumps them into his oatmeal when I get to the table. Adding crunchy oat cereal to creamy oatmeal seems like a fabulous idea to me. I also understand his desire to put Kix into pretty much any flavor yogurt. The combination of green beans and Goldfish, I don't understand quite so much.

But where I really have to give JJ credit, is his ability to follow through with his unique food decisions. When John and I find that we have really made a gross food error, we will actually throw the dish out. But a determined JJ recently finished an entire bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce... and strawberry Yogos.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Now, I'm just angry.

Because we live so far away from our mothers, and they both really enjoy flowers, John and I have come to rely on the services of (You'll notice I'm not linking you up here. Keep reading...) several times a year. Sending flowers can be expensive, but I can usually find a coupon for them, and they have a rewards program I have found quite handy. Today however, they have hurt not only me, but someone I love. And I am irritated enough to bitch about it publicly...

Now, I have mentioned before that I am kind of lazy, so it shouldn't be too surprising to find that I ordered Mother's Day flowers for both John's mother and my mother on Saturday. The aforementioned flower service offers same-day delivery, so it really should not have been a problem. And for my mother, it was not. I ordered the flowers to arrive on Mother's Day, and they did. And from what I hear, they are beautiful. (Love you, Mom!)

For the area in which John's mother lives, Sunday service was not available, so I chose Saturday delivery. I also had to check a box requesting a Sunday delivery, should they not have time to deliver on Saturday. No problem - I'd rather have them delivered Sunday anyway. After finishing my order, I received my email confirmation, and all was happy. Until a call to John's mom last night confirmed that no flowers had been delivered... ever.

So, I called said company this morning. After nearly 20 minutes on hold (apparently they are experiencing unusually high call volume), I finally was able to speak to a customer service agent. After putting me on hold for another 10 minutes, she told me that the florist didn't have time to deliver the flowers on Saturday, so the order was cancelled. She then put me on hold for another five minutes to find out that the charges had not been credited back to my card. After yet another five minute hold, she returned to tell me that the charges should be credited back within five business days. Frustrated, I told the agent that I wanted to have flowers sent to John's mom immediately. I then asked if she could at least give me a credit for $10, because the coupon I used (in my original order) for that amount expired yesterday. Another five minute hold later, she returned and told me that she couldn't honor the coupon, but her manager would be happy to give me 15% off of my order. A quick calculation showed me that in order to equal a discount of $10, my order would have to start at nearly $70. I told the agent that would not be satisfactory, especially considering the fact that, had they informed me that my original order was cancelled on Saturday, I still would have had time to use the $10-off coupon on Sunday. Another five-minute hold for the agent to check with her supervisor produced no better results. Completely exasperated, I finally just said, "So in the past hour, I have learned that you took my money, cancelled my order without telling me, ruined my mother-in-law's gift, can't return my money in a timely manner, and now are refusing to honor a deal that your company's actions caused me to miss. Please feel free to look back through my account, consider the fact that we're still pretty young, and calculate for the powers-that-be the amount of money they will not be receiving due to the fact that I will now be searching for a new floral provider."

She said, "Okay."

The moral of the story: If you want to send flowers, don't go to Pass it on...

Follow-Up, FYI: I ordered flowers for John's mom through (That link gives you 15% off. Irony, anyone?) this morning. Two hours later, she called to say she received them... and they're beautiful. (We love you, Mom!)

Lesson Learned

I stopped in to my friendly neighborhood Rite-Aid a couple of days ago to redeem a few coupons for some free items, and take advantage of a rebate offer. The cashier was a dear, elderly lady whom I have seen many times before. She's not exactly the brightest crayon in the box, but she is very sweet.

In the process of checking me out, she rang all of my items up, and then proceeded to enter the coupons. For the free coupons, she needed to enter the prices of the items. The first two weren't a problem, because the item prices still appeared on the small computer screen in front of her. The third item price had already been edged off of the screen however, and she was unable to figure out how much the item cost. So, she asked me if I remembered what the price was. I told her I did not... and she just stared at me, obviously unable to figure out what to do next.

After a few seconds of awkward silence, I turned around and quickly walked back to the shelf, where I found the item price: $7.99. I went back to the counter, and told her what the shelf said. She entered the discount, and I paid the total, which was a little lower than I expected.

When she handed me the receipt, I looked it over, and found an error. Although the original price for the item I checked was $7.99, it was actually on sale for $6.99, so I received an extra dollar off. Now, I like this checkout lady, and I've seen her co-workers complain about her level of competence before, so I was immediately concerned that she would get in trouble for this error. So I said something, figuring that I would be told that Rite-Aid could handle missing the dollar.

When I pointed out the error however, she did not understand, so she called a co-worker over to help. Her co-worker was also unable to figure out what to do next, so she asked me to wait while she went to find a manager. Several minutes later, she returned, and explained that the manager told her that if I just give her a dollar, she could ring it up as non-taxable.

So, I gave her the dollar, saved myself the six cents, and learned a lesson for next time.

That dear, sweet lady is going to call for a price check. ;)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

I'm what's hap'nin. I'm it!

My dear friend, Penny, over at A Little of a Lot, has tagged me with yet another meme. I'm starting to feel like one of the popular kids!


I had just experienced my life being turned completely upside down by a person with whom I was very much in love. And through all of the pain and heartache, I came to know a little more about who I am, and what a relationship means to me. I also learned a lot about the power of friendship, and how, when all you want to do is sit in the dark and cry, it's your girlfriends who break into your apartment with a flashlight and a box of tissues. Oh, and a bottle of wine. Always with a bottle of wine!


Things to do:

Help John find a job.

Things accomplished:

Matched sales and coupons to create a shopping list
Shopped 'til I dropped
Fixed lunch and dinner
Emptied, and then loaded the dishwasher
Washed, dried, and folded laundry
Cleaned all three cat boxes
Fed, bathed, clothed, changed, and cleaned up after JJ - repeatedly


Things with lots of sugar and fat - preferably deep fried.


There is a particular non-profit organization I know of that helps adults with disabilities find and perform meaningful work. I have been moved by their clients and their mission. It would be an honor to alleviate their financial burden, and to help them grow. Also, I would travel. And I would take care of those who have ever, in any way, been kind enough to take care of me.


I'm not sure if I'm officially a procrastinator, or just plain lazy. Either way, it's bad.
I am an absolutely horrible eater. Those snacks I enjoy? I enjoy them regularly.
I have a tendency to think a little too much with my heart, and not quite enough with my head sometimes.


Merriam, Kansas
Bemidji, Minnesota
Shawnee, Kansas
Easton, Maryland
Preston, Maryland


Newspaper Deliverer, Babysitter, Product Sample Hostess, Easter Bunny, Photographer, Car-Hop, Retail Clerk, Day-Care Teacher, Office Assistant, On-Air Personality, Staffing Coordinator, Health and Safety Instructor, Substitute Teacher, Customer Service Provider, Dance Instructor, Nanny, Program Coordinator, Community Inclusion Manager, Development Director, Stay-At-Home-Mom


Nikki at Notes from Nik
Frozen Star at Under Construction
Carrie at Money Saving Methods
Kjae at Our Many Mumblings

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dear Mike Rowe,

If you would like for me to leave John for you, it would prove beneficial if you showed up on our doorstep with Kirsty Alley. Apparently, in that case, I would then be free to do whatever I want.

Who knew?


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Better late than never...

A few weeks ago, Carrie at Money Saving Methods tagged me with a meme. I am now supposed to reveal seven random and/or weird facts about myself. Well, that should be easy, huh? Let's go:

1. I prefer my feet covered. I have never been really comfortable with them bare. For instance, it is currently (kind of) late at night, and I am sitting and relaxing with my computer - and my shoes are on - because I like it like that.

2. I like to watch crappy adult cartoon television. Garbage like "Family Guy", "American Dad", and "South Park" are tops on my list.

3. I own a compound bow, and am a crack shot... point-of-aim (without a sight).

4. Sometimes, late at night, I steal sleeping JJ out of his bed, bring him to our bed, and cuddle with him for a while.

5. I don't like chick flicks. There is enough in life to make me cry. If I'm going to pay to watch something, it had better make me laugh.

6. In college, I studied Tae Kwon Do. I only earned four belts, but I broke boards with both my hands and feet.

7. I totally have the hots for Mike Rowe, of "Dirty Jobs" fame. He has an incredibly sharp and brilliant sense of humor. Although, if he showed up on my doorstep, I *probably* wouldn't leave John for him.

So, now I am supposed to tag seven more people to make them reveal "strange but true" facts about themselves. But, I am in the process of developing a headache, and am going to take the easy way out by stealing a slightly different idea... I am tagging all of you, dear readers. In the comments section, leave at least one oddball fact about yourself. And make it good... no pressure. ;)

Monday, May 5, 2008

We watch entirely too much television.

I just want to take a quick moment to appreciate my blogging friend, Frozen Star, for her unyielding faith in my abilities - even when I question those abilities myself. If you were closer my dear, I'd take you out for lots of drugs and substances we could enjoy legally - like coffee and Nyquil.

Because, even with this essentially blind backing of my skills, I am still convinced that dealing in illegal drugs is not for me. Why now? The answer can be found in another television show we have been watching almost nightly: MSNBC's Lockup. In this series, we have been able to explore the inner workings of many of America's finest prisons. And let me tell you, prison is not for wimps.

Did I ever mention that Wimp is my middle name?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Just call me a black pot.

After a particularly intelligent (read: stupid) move this morning, I looked at John and said, "Well, I guess I'm not the brightest bug in the... lightning... storm... cloud of... bugs." I just couldn't stop myself. More and more ridiculous drivel continued to spew from my mouth, and I had no idea what I was saying. Finally, I just sighed.

John said, "It's okay, honey. I think you've proven your point."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trees, Grass, and Dust

A conversation had this morning:

John: I got some new bandages.

Marly: That's nice. Why did you get the latex-free kind?

John: I'm allergic to latex.

Marly: No, you're not.

John: Really? What am I allergic to?

Marly: Penicillin.

John: Oh.

He's not allergic to penicillin either. ;)