I feel the need

I feel the need

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not everything happens TO ME, especially this holiday season, but it's still funny.

Good morning!

So it's Christmas Eve Eve.  It's that weird day before the day before the day many of us have driven ourselves to madness over.  (My college creative writing prof would hate that sentence!)  My presents are wrapped.  My dough for the final round of baked goodies is currently chilling, and my house will smell fantastic in a couple hours.  I have gathering with work folk later this evening and much cleaning to do because people with cat allergies are braving my house.

But mostly today is quiet. I'm off work early...it's pouring rain...and my hands are in screaming pain thanks to the damp weather and the wearing off of the cortisone shot earlier this week.  (There was no wearing off. There was a cliff.  I felt no pain...and then fell off the cliff and now I have PAIN!)  The quiet gives me a little time to reflect on some of the fun I've had this holiday season.  I made a huge effort this year to look outside myself and try to give back, try to be more patient, try to see joy in even the small things. Big change from the endless case of everything rage I had last year, right?

I found myself seeing humor where I used to get angry. I found more energy to do things, instead of hiding on my couch the minute I got home from work.  And you know what?  This is a very, very funny world we live in. I have had a BLAST laughing in stores at over heard conversations and general silliness that last year would have sent me into a rant.  And I'd like to share some of this with you.

"And the benefits of exercise are what, again?"

Most of you know I joined a gym back in September and didn't use it until November. But since I'm out to prove P-Aaron the personal trainer wrong, Hubby and I have been dragging ourselves out of bed early every weekday morning and getting a good sweat going at the gym long before our brains and bodies have a chance to realize what we're doing and figure a way to stop us.  I've run into some interesting characters in the last few weeks, for sure.  But I have noticed that my body is a bit more sore lately, a fact I was sharing with Hubby last night. And here's how this went"

Me:  My lower back/upper butt is sore tonight.

Hubby:  Do stretches.

Me:  I know, I know.

Hubby:  See, you're sore from working out.  So you have to do stretches so you're not as sore.

Me: (Realizing this conversation is about to get silly)  So because I'm exercising now I have to...exercise more?

Hubby: (Perfectly straight face, not realizing we are in silliness now) Yes.

Me:  So exercising means more work for me then.

Hubby:  Yes.

Me:  So why bother with any of it?

Hubby:  So you feel better.

Me:  I feel lousy. I'm in pain.

Hubby:  But you're healthier.

Me:  Being in pain is healthier than not being in pain?

Hubby:  Sure.  It means you're working.

Me:  But before I wasn't working...and I wasn't in pain.

Hubby: Well it's cheaper anyway.

Me:  How? I wasn't paying for a gym before, now I am.  

Hubby:  On your healthcare.  You're healthier so you feel better so you have less healthcare.

Me:  But I feel like crap and you keep telling me to get all the stuff the hurts looked at.

End conversation. I think I won!

Senior citizens spell out new technology.

This conversation was overheard a couple weeks ago at a Blaines Farm and Fleet. I was in the Christmas aisle looking for ornaments when I heard two lovely old ladies discussing Christmas lights.

Old lady 1:  there, you want those.

Old lady 2:  What, those L. E. D. lights?

Old lady 1:  Yes,  But they're called LEEEEEEED lights.

Old lady2:  But it's spelled LED.

Old lady 1:  Right, but they're called LEEEEEEEEED lights. They burn cooler and brighter. LEEED lights.

Old Lady 2:  I'm so glad you're up on this stuff.

And cut to me stuffing Christmas stockings into my mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

How do you say, "Idiot" in Chinese?

Proof that I'm not the only one who runs into trouble at local big box stores, I got this story from the lovely lady at my favorite Chinese take out place. (Spring Garden on Delafield and East Moreland in Waukesha.  I don't know what they put in their Beef Chow Mei Fun, but it's AWESOME!)  Anyway, here's her story.

"I sent my father to Target last year two days before Black Friday. I wanted to find out if there was going to be a big sale on this one TV.  he came back after three hours, and he was very angry.  No one in the store would talk to him. They said they couldn't understand him and they told him to go away.  So I went to Target to ask the same question. My father told me I was wasting my time.  It took me a long time, but I finally got someone to stop and talk to me. I asked him about the deal on the TV.  I had heard there was going to be a big sale on this one TV, but I didn't have a flier.  He told me he didn't know anything about any sales on Black Friday, he only knew about prices today. (two days before) I asked if there was a flier around that he could find for me.  He said no, there were no fliers, there were never fliers with Black Friday prices and if I wanted to know what the sale was going to be on something I would have to come back on Black Friday."

Now, sure, this lady has a pretty heavy Chinese accent. Still, she speaks English correctly and slowly enough that I understood her. But I was cheered by the fact that I'm not the only one who gets ignored and talked down to at stores. I wonder how she does at pharmacies.

And finally, don't leave this up to the children!

Just before Thanksgiving I was in line at Hobby Lobby.  The lines there can be slow sometimes, and in this case I was behind a young mother who apparently was buying ALL of the boxes of ornaments in the store.  Her two young children, a boy and a girl, maybe 5 and 6, were amusing themselves at the rack of candy near the register.

Boy: Mom, can we have this?

Mom: No.

Girl:  Can we have this?

Mom: No

Boy:  How about this?

Mom: No.

At this point the children have built quite the little pile of candy on the floor, all of which mom has said no to.  I should note, the girl has a sucker in her mouth.

Mom:  Put the candy back. We have all kinds of candy at home from Halloween.

Boy:  But can't we have some candy now?"

Mom: When we get home, you can have a piece of Halloween candy.

Girl: So we can have this?  (She holds up a candy bar.)

Mom: NO. You can have a piece of candy from your Halloween candy.

Boy:  Okay, so can I this?  (He holds up a candy bar)

Mom:  (Looking at the children for the first time.) NO. Put that away. You can have candy from your Halloween bags when we get home.

Boy to girl:  So what should we have?

Girl:  I don't know.  

Boy:  I think I want chocolate.

Girl: how about if I pick out your piece and you pick out mine?

Boy:  No.  You'll just pick out a big piece for you and a little one for me.

Girl:  No I won't.

Boy:  Yes you will.

Mom:  I'm almost done here.  (No she's not. She's got like ten more boxes of ornaments.)  Come stand by me.

Boy:  But wait, I want to look at one thing.  (He touches a bag of candy on the display)  Can I have this?

Mom:  I told you ten times, no.  You can have one piece of your Halloween candy when we get home.

Girl: but he wants chocolate.  (But he's pointing to Skittles.)

Boy: Yeah, I want chocolate, like these coins. (He starts poking at a bag of chocolate coins...which are not as securely in the bag as they should be...and which fall to the floor.)


Boy:  Can we get them?

Girl:  Yes, can we?  I haven't had candy in a long time!  (Her sucker isn't even half gone.)

Mom:  No, pick that up, and come on!  ( She leaves half a dozen boxes on the counter and stomps out of the store.)

Ah yes, the holidays....

So my friends, as you make your way through the next few days, try and find some joy in your holidays...and if you can't, try and find something to laugh at. Because humor is all around us, even this time of the year!

My Christmas PSA to you: Five holiday movies that get it right.

Merry Christmas to all!

And if you celebrate something other than Christmas, then happy holidays to you!

Today I'm rerunning one of my favorite (and yours) holiday posts.  Not because I'm too lazy to write a new one, that's coming, but because once the presents are opened, the food is eaten and the carols are sung, what's really left of your Christmas celebration?  I'll tell you what...staring at relatives.  So this post is to help alleviate that uncomfortable time of "well now what?" at your Christmas gathering!  

It's the holiday season, and regardless of what you celebrate, this is the time of year when everyone loses their minds.  Need proof?  Head on over to 1029thehog and listen to Bob and Brianread their listener's holiday horror stories.

Personally, this is the time of year when I really just want to sit in my comfy chair, stair at the Christmas Tree and watch holiday movies.  I'm not going to be allowed to do that because, you know, work holiday parties, family holiday parties, extra church services, social gatherings,  all of that.  And oh yeah, get the novel in some sort of shape so that I have a prayer of getting it out before the end of 2015.  LOL!

You can lose yourself in holiday classics that "It's a Wonderful Life" or "White Christmas"  (My favorite of all time.)  Or maybe you like the funny family fantasies like "Elf" or "The Santa Claus" films. But there's a whole genre of holiday films that look at the other side of this time of year...the darker side of things, and they are hilarious, heartbreaking, and spot on truthful.  These are my top five favorite because I identify so completely with what's going on.

5) Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

Based on a very short, not read enough novel by John Grisham (Skipping Christmas), "Kranks" looks at Christmas from a different point of view:  That of a man who has ceased to understand the point of all the traditions and MONEY shelled out for the holiday when all he really wants to do is spend time with his wife.  But hey, it's the holidays and there is no law in the land stronger than the bind chain of traditions.  Frantic, non stop, hilarious and touching.  Sure, the book is better...but not by much.
4)  Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. (1987)

This is a Thanksgiving movie...sort of.  Steve Martin, John Candy team up for the buddy road trip picture gone horribly, horribly wrong.  Written and directed by the late, great John Hughes, this one hits all the marks in hellish American travel.  While the
technology might not hold up...much of the problems could be solved today with a smart phone, the frustrated panic that is a natural by product of holiday travel is spot on and eternal.

3) Home Alone (1990)

I know, I know.  Everyone loves this film.  Yes, well, take away the cute kid battling stupid thieves and what do you still have?  That's right...you still have a horrifying amount of family dysfunction and holiday travel.  Again, written by John Hughes, which means it's going to be awesome, and directed by Chris Columbus, which means it's going to be very pretty, "Home Alone" gets it so right in so many ways when it comes to big families, airports, holiday travel, creepy neighbors, and skeevy Santas.  

2)  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

I'm going to argue that this is the best movie in the Vacation collection.  Clark Griswold, determined
to have the PERFECT Christmas?  Both sets of grandparents visiting?  Crazy relatives?  Too many Christmas lights? (As if there is something like that.)  And, of course, the stress of waiting for a work bonus that may, or may not show up.  Any Christmas party that involves chain saws and police is going to be winner.

1)  Home for the Holidays (1995)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, and I'll say it until I die...this is the best holiday movie ever made.  Sure, it's technically a Thanksgiving movie.  But for any of us who have had to go home for the holidays...and live under our parents' roof for
more than ten hours while we're still trying to keep a grip on our own lives as they spin...we know.  We just know.

One movie I wanted to add to the list, but simply can't, thanks to TBS's 24 hour run every Christmas Day..."Christmas Story."  There is so much very, very right about that movie, from the cursing father to the frazzled mother to the younger brother who won't eat...it's a classic, but unfortunately is so omnipresent in the US that to put it on any
list with would seem pointless because we are all going to tune in on Christmas Day and just let it run all day.  We know we are, don't deny it.  
So that's my list of must see movies.  Oh sure, I'll pop in "White Christmas" because it's beautiful and the music is great and I spend days this time of year humming "Sisters."  But when I need to know there are others who feel the way I do when it comes to the insanity of the holidays, these are the films I find hilarious and comforting.

(ALSO, just in case you're looking for more movies, my fellow author, Linda Schmalz, and I have just released our first in a series of movie review books!  

Available in paper back now on Amazon, and coming soon as an e-book!)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Five for Friday: Things I've noticed at Xperience Fitness

Good afternoon all!

So, I've had a membership to Xperience Fitness since September 1, but I've only just really started using it in the last four weeks. In that amount of time, I've observed a few things...now, not all these things are singular to Xperience Fitness, some are, some aren't.  But here we go:

5)  The movie theater is COLD!

Like Gold's Gym, Xperience has a cardio cinema.  Unlike Gold's, there are no treadmills in there so I can enjoy a leisurely stroll while viewing some PG-13 family flick from the 90's.  Nope, it's all ellipticals and bikes and you'd best be moving because otherwise you're get frostbite. It is at least 15 degrees colder in there than it is in the main gym.  It's also pretty removed from the rest of the gym, and there's an actual door there so the casual movie watcher (or personal trainer who has nothing else better to do) can't just lean against the wall.

4) There's a bike on the second floor....just for me!

Since I've had my Fit Bit, I've been very aware of how many flights of stairs I climb every day.  I don't get nearly the flights on a treadmill I do on a sidewalk...even though I do use the "rolling hills" program, so I'm always looking for ways to add to my flights of stairs. So thank you, Xperience...for putting two stationary bikes on the second floor, overlooking the rest of the main workout area.  Not only can I get my sweat on in relative privacy (even though most people are looking up, they're looking at the multiple banks of televisions suspended from the ceiling.) I can also feel like a true Princess, riding on a tall horse, overlooking her kingdom.  And I get one flight of stairs.

3)  It doesn't smell when  it's busy.

I've had memberships at several different clubs, Golds, Wisconsin Athletic, Curves (and I'm not thin why?) and all of them had one thing in common: If they were full, they were funky.  I workout usually between 6:15 and 7:15 on weekdays. It gets pretty busy in there, but it's never smelled like anything but a very clean space.  There are spray bottles of cleaner and paper towel dispensers everywhere, and everyone is pretty good about wiping down their machines after they are done.  (Except for yellow noise cancelling headphones old man. That guy NEVER wipes down his machines.  I made the mistake of following him through the weight resistance circuit earlier this week...yuck!)

2)  Some skinny hag is always leaving the scale set to 101.

Why?  No, I know why.  Hey if I weighed 101, heck if I weighed 201, I'd leave the scale right there. I'd probably drag people over to it and say, "LOOK!  That's my weight!  LOOK how thin I am!"  This is not something I've just noticed at Xperience...it's at all gyms. Some underfed lightweight weighs herself and then leaves it set to her weight so that the rest of us (and I like the mix of underfeds and fluffies there in the AM) can sit there and say, "Well, I'm going to have to move that weight thing way past that number....nope, not feelin' it."  We get it. You're skinny.  Stop advertising.  You don't see me announcing how I always smell coffee fresh because I still have grounds in my shoes, do you?  No.  Stop it. Weigh yourself if you must, you dainty hummingbird of a human, and then push the weight thingy back to zero.  Oh, wait, unless you're not strong enough to do that?

1)  The stair climber machines are always busy...and everyone looks like they're miserable on them.

I don't know what sick, demented, jackwagon invented the stair climber, but he...oh it's definitely a he...it's probably the same guy who invented high heels with pointy toes and then insisted women's ankles look thin and magical in them...must be stopped.  Xperience has three or four of these things and they are always in use.  Sure, I tried one.  I thought, hey, great way to get my stairs in. 

Nope. Not for me.

It looks like some sort of escalator, but it feels more like you have to push the stairs down in order for them to move. You're not climbing stairs, you're doing battle with the machine. Chances are, based on my one minute, yep one whole minute, on the thing, if I didn't push DOWN, the stairs might just fly UP and attack some poor sot on the stationary bike in front of me.

And here's the thing:  Those stair climbers are always busy and everyone...EVERYONE looks miserable on them.  Most of the people I've watched using them (while I'm up on my second floor bike, pedaling away and watching everyone working out) wear a hoodie and have the hood up, covering their faces. I can only guess this is because if we saw their expression, we'd think they were possessed and call for a priest or something.  

The few people who don't cover their faces look almost worse.  And I swear I heard one guy chanting to his deity of choice, "let me live, let me live, let me live."

Maybe stair climbing is some sort of penitence for a religion I'm not familiar with. Either way, I feel sorry for those folks, those stair climber faithful.  Glad my God isn't all about the calves.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

What...where do you keep your coffee grounds?

Good afternoon!

Well, it's really starting to look like the holidays around here.  We have our Christmas lights up, as do two other houses on our side of the block:  The mean hoarders, who don't actually put lights up on the outside of the house, but do have four table top Christmas trees well lit in their front window, and ramp guy down the street who must own shares in twinkle lights because he has lights and inflatable decorations and all sorts of greatness on his yard for all the holidays.  We do have a new comer, ramp guy's neighbors, who have taken a stab at decorating, and I give them props for that.  As for the rest of our side of the street for half a mile in either direction...putting a single light bulb in your window does NOT constitute holiday lights.  


Those of you who know me know a couple things:  1) I do enjoy more than my fair share of coffee and 2) I am not graceful most of the time and I'm a complete disaster early in the morning.  Those of you who don't know me...now you know that.

Hubby and I have developed a bit of a morning ritual the last couple weeks. I get up, jump into my workout clothes, which I have lying on the bathroom floor so that I can get dressed without having to look for anything, and then I wait for him to get ready...one of us is really concerned about combing his hair and brushing his teeth and being all perky looking and what not.  The other one is me...sitting there, saying, "Let's go. If my body realizes I'm up and moving at this hour it's going to revolt."

I thought I'd try and help Hubby trim his prep time for the gym by making the coffee and getting that going so that there would be the aroma of hot, steamy bliss when we got back from our work out at Xperience Fitness.  

Tuesday I emptied the coffee maker from the day before and cleaned it. I found the liner and filled the water.  Then I looked for the coffee itself.  

We. Were. Out.

Before you panic, no, we weren't actually OUT out of coffee...we were just out of ground coffee. Hubby likes to grind his own beans (that's a funny think to say) from time to time, so there were several bags of whole beans there.  I've never operated the coffee grinder. Here's a tip:  The time to start is NOT before 6:30 AM on a Tuesday.

I assembled the grinder and plugged it in.  Then I put the beams in the grinder. Then I poured half the beans back into the bag because I'd put way too many in the grinder. Then I pushed down there the arrow pointed. Nothing.

I tried again. Nothing.

Now, I've operated small kitchen appliances before. No, really, I have.  I was not about to let this thing get in the way of my coffee.  And besides, Hubby was still combing his hair for the gym.  (If you saw how short his hair is, you'd sort of wonder why it was taking more than four seconds.  Ad then you'd wonder whom he was trying to impress at the gym.  I've seen those people, It's all old men and women who look a lot like me.)  Anyway, I jiggled things around a bit and wonder of wonders, I was GRINDING coffee beans!

Ah, the aroma!  Ah, the feeling of dominating yet another machine!


As I opened the top of the grinder, my morning clumsiness took over and I exerted far too much force on the top of the grinder.  The lid fell off onto the counter and the freshly pulverized grounds were free to fly about the room.  Most of them decided to fly into my open gym bag, located on the kitchen floor.  

I won't tell you what I said.  I will tell you most of the words that fell out of my face at that point were blue and had four letters.

So there I was, holding the bottom half of the grinder, the air full of the smell of freshly ground coffee, staring at my gym bag which was now home to two-thirds' cup of black and tan coffee.

And there was no coffee brewing.

Exhausted from all the swearing, but undaunted, I picked up the pieces and ground more beans. This time I was able to get them safely to the coffee maker.  As I turned the button to "brew" hubby came down the hall, really to go to the gym.  "What happened here?" he asked, watching me dump black dust out of my gym bag.

"I was doing something NICE!"  I growled.

We got into the car and went to the gym.  Because it's winter now, we have to have a change of shoes with us to use on the equipment. I carry mine indoor shoes in my gym bag.  Do you see where this is going?

Yes, as I sat on the bench, attempting to stay out of the puddles left by the early morning swimmers, I realized I had a goodly amount of dry coffee in my workout shoes.  I couldn't dump them on the floor, I didn't want to walk across the room to the garbage can and dump them out (I mean, I was at the gym...I had a work out to get to. I couldn't spend time WALKING) so I dumped what I could into my bag and put on my shoes.

That was Tuesday.

Funny thing about sand/gravel/coffee in your shoes: you never really, truly get that out. If you wear your shoes to the beach you know you're going to have sand in them forever.  The same is true, apparently, in this case. It's Thursday.  I've been to the gym twice since Tuesday morning and I still have coffee in my shoe.  And each morning I leave a little coffee on the floor of the locker room.  I don't know of the nice lady who cleans the locker rooms wonders where the coffee comes from, or if she doesn't even notice.

I like to think I've given her something to ponder during the day.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Let's keep the CRABBY out of Christmas and see what happens.

Good morning!

I know, I've been away a while. I'm not saying nothing funny happened while I was not blogging. I'm saying after I released  "Missing in Manitowoc"  I spent some quality time on my couch binge watching "Scrubs."  

I'm back now and I have to say, I've noticed a few things, now that we're in December and it's a holiday season for pretty much everyone...

We are a crabby bunch.

I don't know how it is in other countries, but here in the US it really seems like the minute they start playing, "It's the most Wonderful Time of the Year" on the radio, we all get crabby and by the time we get to the month of December, getting in your car and going someplace feels a lot like being a participant in "The Hunger Games."

Case in point:  Earlier this week I ran to Woodman's, our fantastic grocery store, to pick up a few things.  I tend to go right after work, at about 1 in the afternoon, because it's a little less crowded and as you all know I don't do well in lines at stores.  I picked up my few things, along with one of those bags of food they sell for $6 to help the hungry. Seriously, let me through down this challenge:  It's $6.  I challenge everyone who shops at a Woodman's  (That would be a lot of people in Wisconsin anyway) to pick up one of those bags every time you go to the store.  It's $6.  You're going to spend that much on wine and beer and you no you are...don't deny it...it's the holidays and we all drink our body weight in wine and beer and vodka slush just to get through the endless stream of parties and family gatherings.  So everyone who shops at Woodman's, every time you go in, pick up one of those bags and do something nice for another family this season.  And if you don't live in Wisconsin then I challenge you to add $6 worth of non perishable items to your cart every time you go to the store and put that in the bins they have there for your local food pantry.  They have them there.  Do it!  And while you're at it, those bell ringers?  Give them a buck. Every time.  So that's $7.  Not even the price of a movie ticket.  Pretty much the price of a venti Starbucks anything.  You don't blink twice at those purchases...do this.  For the poor, for the needy, and for your own peace of mind this holiday season. You have no idea how great it makes you feel to put food in the bin or toss a buck in that red bucket.

Where was I?

Oh, right, so I'm at Woodman's, and I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy because I bought a meal for the needy and put a buck in the bucket. That's when I decided to do something nice for my husband, who was on vacation this week, but had to tie up a few loose ends on Tuesday so he spent the morning at his desk.  I was going to pick up lunch for us both at Culvers. I was craving a cranberry bacon blue salad and he wanted a chicken sandwich.  Since Culvers shares a parking lot with Woodman's this was a no brainer.

This is the part of the story that gets complicated, so stay with me.  

I pull forward out of my spot, (I always park in a way so that I don't have to back up) and I start driving. The parking lot is loaded with stop signs.I stop for the first one, then make a left. I stop for the second one, which is a four way stop. I wait  my turn, and I go, except the person to the left of me thought it was his turn and nearly hit me.  To be honest, the guy to the left of me barely slowed down for the stop sign and apparently didn't see me making my turn as he was in the process of blazing through the intersection.  his response?  he honked at me and flipped me the one finger salute.

Okay, well, maybe he missed the sign and thought he had the right of way...no problem...no one got hurt.

The I come to another stop sign, another four way stop. I wait my turn. In fact, I'm halfway into the intersection when a woman in a mini van flies up to the stop sign and looks like she was just going to whip around the corner when she saw me at the last minute and had to slam on the breaks.  As I drive past her, I can read her lips.  If I repeated what she was saying my mother would come over here and wash my mouth out with soap.  

So now I'm in front of Miss Mouth and it's very clear we are both headed to Culvers.  It's also very clear to me that her mission, her one goal in life, is to get there before me. She's weaving around behind me, trying to figure out a way to get around me.  This is all happening in a the span of about 150 yards.  We get to the Culvers, and there are two entries to the lot.  I signal to turn right into the first entry, but at the last moment I have to not make the turn because a supply truck barrels forward, taking up the entire entry.  While I was signalling my right turn, Ms. Mouth was swerving left to get around me and get into the next entry, but when I didn't turn she nearly rammed into my drivers side.  And there are more readable comments.

I drive another 15 feet to the next entry and turn in. Ms. Mouth does as well, only she then makes a hard right to get around the parked cars on the far side and get into the drive through lane. I make a left to follow the arrows to the drive through, but in doing so I must drive in the lane between parked cars.  And that's when car #3 decides to back out, very nearly into me.  I'm moving at about 4 miles per hour at this point because I've almost been hit three times by two cars, and this guy backs out of his space Steve McQueen style. I hit the brakes inches from him and I wait.

I can't back up because there's someone behind me.  I can't go forward because McQueen Wannabe is at an angle in front of me.  So I wait.  McQueen Wannabe is looking at me, cussing so hard the air in his vehicle is actually turning blue.  I smile and say, "Try using your mirrors next time. Oh, and I can't move so you're going to have to straighten out and drive slowly like a normal human person."

It takes some moments for him to figure out how to undo what he's done.  Meanwhile. the person behind me is honking and the woman in the minivan has driven by me, with a triumphant one finger salute in my direction.

Geez, all I wanted was a salad.

By the time I get my salad and hubby's lunch I'm crabby and exhausted and I have to lie down.

So my point is this:  how about we try a little patience and tenderness this holiday season?  It doesn't matter what religion you
are, what skin color you have, what age you are, what your medical status is, none of  that matters.  Take things slowly. help someone you don't know with something, no matter how small.  Shovel your neighbor's front walk, not because you know they're going to wait until fifty people have crushed the snow and then they'll just dump a pile of salt on it and it'll make the whole block look terrible, but because it's a nice thing to do, you're out there, and what, it's going to take you an extra five minutes.  Buy food for the food pantry. Donate a new toy to a toy drive.  And maybe, when you're in a parking lot, chill out.  Culvers isn't going to run out of anything...and it's unlikely that if you get someplace 15 seconds before I do that your life is going to be measurably better.

And maybe let's stop looking for reasons to be upset. Starbucks red cups?  Really?  This is how we're going to celebrate the high point of the religious and secular year?  By getting all up in arms about a red cup, and by getting up in arms about people who are upset by a red cup?  How about if, instead, we buy a beverage in one of those red cups for the guy behind us in the drive through and see how that feels? There are real problems in this world people.  Red cups are not one of them.  Maybe I can't change the planet with my little blog here, but I tell you what I do sometimes to make someone else's day, and it makes my day brighter, too.

Peace on earth, my friends, goodwill and less finger flipping to all.

Fun Fact Friday: Now that it's dead, Sarah reveals a childhood dream.

Happy Friday all! What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why....