Thursday, September 25, 2008

What will YOUR obituary say?

When people die, others reflect on what their life was and meant. I suppose it is a natural thing. Or maybe it is not. Perhaps it is more likely that because during a wake or memorial service people are eulogized and maybe people try to think about what will be said? The brain works in odd ways, or at least mine does. So, I can see a brain going down that path. To make a long story even longer, my father in law sent an email out to his immediate family (including me, of course) about an obituary. You can read the obituary by clicking here. Since then I have been thinking about this woman and the impact she made on her children. I then (naturally?) thought about my relationship with my children. As parents, my husband and I tend to be very strict with our children. Sure we are loving, but we have rules and expectations that may be a little more rigid than other families. In fact, yes, I can say with certainty that is the case. While other children are running around restaurants, ours sit perfectly well and are well behaved in a social setting. While other children will tug on the leg of their parent and loudly interrupt them while they are in a conversation, ours (for the most part) will quietly say “excuse me” and wait for a response. Are our children perfect? Of course not, though they are perfect for us! My point is, reading the obituary really made me think about my role in the lives of the people I love and also in society as a whole. I enjoy making others feel happy and perhaps filling needs of theirs. I love to volunteer and donate my time to those causes and I try to teach my children the same. For example, I am the PTA president for the second year in a row for my J's school, I was room mom last year for D's class, I always volunteer to make food for new parents in the neighborhood or people who are very ill, 3 years ago I made goodie baskets for the fire dept., police dept. and all 14 departments (including the janitors) of the hospital that were open for Christmas. I spent a full week with my kitchen looking like a mini version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I baked cookies, candies, made Hershey kiss roses and the whole family piled into the mini van and delivered them on Christmas day. J was too little to understand but D helped! I don’t think he would remember. We should do it again this year… All this and I still worry what my children will think when I go… I hope I never lose that fear and I hope it encourages me to hug my kids a little more, snuggle with them more at night and be more patient with them when my day had been long.

Have you hugged your kid today?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To weed, or not to weed? That is the question!

This year on the 4th of July we had great fun! We invited over another family, the Solomon-Altwargs, for our little neighborhood parade, lunch, dinner and fireworks. At first we all thought it would be way too long a day to spend with one family. It turned out to be a TERRIFIC day! We had so much fun with them. They have a little boy that is D’s age and a little girl about a year younger than J. To prepare for the day I had to set up a few activities. The Parade was first. I believe the pool was shortly after. Then we had the kids make fireworks t-shirt (and yes that is my comment on the link from LAST year) that were ready for them all to wear in time for fireworks. Then for dessert, we had a watermelon seed spitting contest. It took me a few stores to actually get a seeded watermelon but I finally found one at Harry’s, of course! We all joked with the kids to not swallow them because a watermelon will grow in their belly. And they joked with us that we will have a family of melons under our deck. Then there were fireworks and then they went home. GREAT DAY!

If you have read my last post you will know I have started to nanny for two children. Yesterday, I let them play in the back yard. E is 5. He said, “PJ, did you know you have a watermelon?” I let him know it was just a weed that had been neglected. He said, “ No, it is a watermelon.” I went to look and SURE ENOUGH, it was a watermelon between the size of a softball and a football! It just goes to show you, don’t pick your weeds! You never know what you will get. I cannot WAIT to eat it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PJ 911

This is my first "trial week" as a "nanny" (hence the title of the post... sorry if it scared anyone :P) for my good friends 2 children. So far all is good! It is a lot more running around and life seems a little busier despite the fact the extra children keep mine entertained for the most part LOL. I am also the president of J's parent association again for lack of volunteers, and I am co-chair of a big event at D's school. Needless to say, life is a little hectic right now. But, we will have 2 kids in private school next year and we have to try to make that work. Right now it is looking impossible. So, though I am doing the nanny thing to help out my friend, it doesn't hurt to make the few extra dollars doing it.

As if I am not busy enough, you guys that know me know I like to give gifts that are personal. Well... I am planning on giving a birthday gift to J's best friend at her party this weekend. I have the materials but forgot to get sandpaper. IF I actually finish and get to take pictures I will post them. I have made this item before and NOW am doing 2 this time because D went to a birthday party a few weeks ago and the present was inadvertently not brought. So, I figured I would do something a little more special instead of send in the Hannah Montana DVD game for the little girl. I so much prefer handmade items. It is so much more personal. AND I am still knitting the baby blanket and matching hat for my soon-to-be nephew Jordan who is overdue!

Nah... I am not busy... ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gouging on Shabbat! :-o

Last night we had Shabbat dinner at Kathy’s. We had a BLAST! She made matzo ball soup and hot dogs for the kids. I brought a rotisserie chicken, a sun-dried tomato and green olive garnish for the chicken, organic challah and sautéed fresh corn with Vidalia onions as a side dish. It was all delicious! Then the kids were able to play while the adults sat and talked. Kathy bought Bud Light Lime too! That stuff was really good! I didn’t expect light beer to be good LOL. So after a while of talking, a neighbor came to talk to Kath on her back porch. Apparently there was no gas left in the city of Roswell because people went CRAZY over the thought of a hurricane hitting Texas. The gas stations started to panic at the amount of panicked customers and started to raise prices… also known as GOUGING which is illegal. On our way home (which my wonderful husband drove because I had 4 of those yummy beers :P) we saw our regular station was up to almost $4.50 a gallon! That was more than a .75 increase from that morning. My hubby went out to find reasonable gas after he dropped off me and the children at home. He said that the station he pulled in to was JUST taking down the price to put up a new one. The previous one said $3.68ish and that is what he ended up paying. “People were pulling into the gas station at 40 miles an hour”, he said. Later that night, “Governor Perdue signed executive order activating a state statute against price gouging that allows prosecution of stations that raise prices excessively”. I remember when the gas prices here were the lowest in the country at .90 a gallon! Can anyone say “alternative energy sources”?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


A friend of mine in California told me about a new liqueur called Voyant, a Chai Cream liqueur. I am a HUGE fan of the chai flavor so I started calling around. The website said the distributor for Georgia is National Distributing Company. I went to my local store to see if they had it. No luck but he said he deals with them all the time and would ask how much a bottle would be. He takes my name and number and the next day (today) I get a call. He said the bottle would be nearly $29. My friend in Cali said he paid $22 but has seen it as low as $18. I told the man "No thank you. I have found it less elsewhere." I called National myself and asked who would have it in the area. They gave me the names of 2 other stores. I called Old Milton Beverage at 4045 Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta. They had one left in stock, price $24.99. The second place I called said they could get it but it would be much more than $25. So, I called National back. APPARENTLY I was transferred to who I believe was the director of sales, Tom something or other. I told him my dilemma and asked if I could possible get a price on a case from him and was it possible to buy direct. He chuckled and said I could not buy directly from him but he would call the place that has one more on the shelf and tell them to sell it to me for $19.99. So I walked in and Eric (the guy I talked to originally) indeed sold it to me for $19.99. We also got to talking about vodka which is typically my drink of choice. He TOTALLY knew his stuff! He took me to the vodka section and pointed out some of the flavored vodkas. He said that most flavored vodkas are artificially flavored (like my wonderful Passion Fruit Smirnoff in the freezer at the moment!). He showed me the 2 vodkas that they carried that were infused vodkas. One he did not recommend to me because he said it had a very fiery bite. But he said Hangar One is fantastic. It was reasonably priced too. I will be trying that next after my other alcohols are gone. I had mentioned to him that I usually go for Grey Goose because it has a light bite. He suggested that it has a chemically aftertaste and is very pricey considering that. This will be my new bottle shop :)

As for the Voyant, I am currently having a glass with ice. It is quite good! It is very smooth and creamy. It contains milk so it needs to be refrigerated after you open it and cannot be combined with acidic mixers. It is 25 proof so very easy to drink straight. I don’t usually like anise but I believe it has a slight twinge of anise in it which blends very well with it. It is similar to a Kahlua and cream with a LOT more flavor.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

STAND UP to cancer

Today is the first day you are able to download the single "Just Stand Up" on iTunes. This song features Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Melissa Etheridge, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield, Keyshia Cole, Ciara, Leona Lewis and LeAnn Rimes. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the proceeds go to cancer research. This Friday, September 5th, 2008, all the women mentioned above will be performing their song on a television special that starts at 8pm on NBC, ABC, and CBS SIMULTANEOUSLY AND COMMERCIAL FREE! I will be watching and I hope you will all as well. Since one in three women and one in two men will get cancer during their lifetimes, is something we are all touched by personally or through someone else. Both of my grandmothers have gone through it and my husband's bubby, my very good friend lost her entire right arm to it just after she had her first child, my best friend's mother with a mastectomy and the loss of all her hair due to chemo, another good friend's husband survived it with throat surgery and chemo, one of my neighbors survived it in her mid 30's with a double mastectomy, 3 other neighbors have gone through it including one that lost his life to it, my friend's wife has survived it with a double mastectomy, and the list goes on and on and on. Help the world in this fight. Make a difference!