Valentine’s Day: The Gift of Time

Recently, I have fought winter snark. A prevalent symptom for this condition includes increased cynicism in the way I view things I read, hear and see. So, here I sit. It’s Valentine’s Day; the holiday when my heart is overflowing with the love I feel for family and friends. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family and friends more than words could ever express. And, I do believe it’s important to express those feelings often.

My cynicism about this holiday is mostly directed at the push to give stuff. I love receiving candy, cards, trinkets and flowers as much as any other human. But, to me, the greatest expression of love or affection is the gift of time; quality time. If I had to choose, I would skip the candy, bottle of Barbera (maybe not), and jewelry in exchange for some extra hours of fun with my husband, children, parents, sister, extended family, and friends.

What about you?


Classic Wine Cooler Recipe from Whole Foods

This wine cooler recipe from Whole Foods might work well for your holiday celebrations this weekend or for Mother’s Day. 

1 bottle white wine

1 cup raspberries

1 liter sparkling water

Mix ingredients in your favorite glass carafe or pitcher, add plenty of ice and serve.

Get a Grip: Stay on the Bright Side

Yesterday, I stepped into my local Kinko’s/FedEx store. The blue skies and warm sunshine had me on the bright side where time was my friend and people were smiling. I was still mentally humming Black-Eyed PeasMissing You while thinking about Sanders, the next stop on my errand list.

My stay was intended to be brief: a run-in, run-out kind of deal. I was blind to the invisible, dark, Grinch-like forces amassing to the right of my self-serve copy machine.

As my copies ejected, I glanced around. The impatient lady waiting in line hovered. She was ready to pounce as I prepared to leave. Unfortunately, my credit card became stuck in the card reader.

Signaling a Kinko’s employee for help, I held my breath. Despite the reality of my card being inside the card reader, I searched through my purse. After all, it is the holiday season. Perhaps Neptune, the elf, my family recently adopted, would put a thumb up his nose to make my card magically reappear.

Neptune’s magic didn’t work. So, I succumbed to reality and sat my purse on the work counter to my right. My credit card was stuck in that reader. Time was no longer my friend. Minutes clinked off the clock.

Then, as if my situation wasn’t dire enough, the impatient line-waiter transformed herself. Venom shot from her eyes.

She shouted, “Will you please get your stuff off of my counter?”

Get a grip my inner voice said. Then, as an added buffer to the Grinch-like darkness swirling to my right, there was a happy, smiling woman to my left.

She said, “Look at the beautiful, bright sunshine. Isn’t it a perfect day. I’m taking an extra long lunch.”

I sucked in all the snarky, anti-holiday comments I was about to hurl at the Grinch lady and said, “You’re right. It is a beautiful day. Enjoy the extra long lunch.”

Riff and The Big Hairy Man in the Red Suit

In addition to making my daily 1,600-word NaNoWriMo quota, writing newsletter copy, gearing up for teacher conferences, and dodging snow flurries, my children — Issa and Riff — are talking up a storm about that big hairy man in the red suit.

I don’t know about you. In our house, discussion has centered upon top items for their wishlists, Santa’s arrival date and time, and where Santa should leave their packages this year. It’s almost like the guy lives out his days on CNN and in the National Enquirer.

Just today, Riff asked…

  1. Will Santa would get me off the school bus when I get home today?
  2. What happens if I wake up and see Santa on Christmas Eve?
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365: Weekends and Sick Days

Fever-Ravaged Weekend

It all started on Friday with Riff. He took the day off from school to battle a bad cough, runny nose and his newly-organized closet. Riff is not the easiest patient because he refuses to nap when he feels yucky. This translates into cranky, wrecking-ball-like behavior. Hence, the closet I spent cleaning last week, now looks like the Tasmanian Devil ripped a good one in there.

After running all over the place with me, Saturday, Issa started showing signs of illness. I pulled out the thermometer. 102.7 degrees. Go figure. I had just made reservations for she and Riff to hunt Easter eggs at our local nature center on Sunday afternoon. Admittedly, Issa’s quick turn for the couch and her favorite movies blindsided me. Earlier, she performed her gymnastics routines with zeal and enjoyed reading about the solar system during a visit to the library.

In addition to the egg hunt, our fun-packed Sunday plans had included dinner with my parents. It was sad to postpone this date because Grandma and Grandpa have been in Florida since the end of February.

Sick Monday Giggles

Hot temperatures were not exactly raging outside our home. In fact, we received about two inches of wet snow. But, inside, Issa’s fever spiked along with her interest in procuring a metal detector.

While eating lunch, Issa was watching Journey to the Edge of the Universe. A metal detector advertisement comes on and prompts Issa to ask if I want one. I tell her no. Issa then says she’ll need to figure out how to get one. In other words, a plan is in the works for attempted parental manipulation. I can see it now. The rush is on to unearth the riches of beer cans and bottle caps at Stoney Creek Metro Park this summer.

Defiance Test Review

The “professor” evaluated my solution for problem #3 on that Defiance Test I am taking. So far, it looks like a viable solution. Issa came home with two days of “good” behavior reports from her teacher. I know my husband and I have more problems to solve on this test. But, at least, we earned a break and can move forward to the next problem.