Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What am I doing wrong?

Today I was told once again by the littlest member of our home that the lunch I prepared tasted like the dog's feet.

Don't know if I should be more worried that I served something that lousy or the fact that he evidently knows what the dog's feet taste like.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Give me a "P"

Had a nice dinner this evening with my PW friends. We have been a "group" going on 13 years now. We talked tonight how we have really grown up together and how our friendship is one of the healthiest things in our chaotic worlds right now.

We have come a long way from when we were labeled "the cheerleaders" at work way back in 1994 by a disgruntled co-worker. At the time, all of us found the nickname rather insulting, except Nikki because she really was a hockey cheerleader - Go Falcons!

After the cheerleaders, we moved on to the title, "part-time friends" because we saw one another at work everyday and had a life outside of the George Jetson looking building we worked at where we hung out with our "full-time friends".

Eventually we ended up with the Piggly Wigglys during a weekend getaway after meeting a bunch of ladies who too met at work in about 1959 at the Piggly Wiggly. Our husbands don't really think much of the name, but we really don't care. The name is unique, like us. I mean do you know of any other group of friends named after an antiquated grocery store? The Red Owls or the Hy-Vees just don't have the same ring.

So thank you my friends for many good laughs, honest feedback and as we always say, not judging one another about anything...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yes, we actually did give him a big stick and told him it was ok to hit people

JG, NB and MO started "big boy" hockey. Watch out world. They are the youngest of the group, but are doing well. JG scored a goal last night which, "was way cool."

Harry Potter Party - just try saying that fast 3 times

AE and I went with our good friends and neighbors, the Roses, to the last Harry Potter book release hurrah. We had a great time, the kids got their faces painted, ran around answering trivia, learned how to make potions and all other kinds of fun things.We were #546 in line for a book and managed to get out of there in less than an hour after the official release at midnight.

Our friends the Roses, all decked out in Hogwarts attire, sorting hat and Mad Eye Moody garb.
AE learning how to make bat's breath potion, gotta remember those safety goggles.

AE and NR round about 11:48 p.m. this standing in line thing is old already...

Still can't believe they managed to line up 800+ people in an orderly fashion throughout all of the books at Barnes & Noble. Our "line leader" honest to Pete could do voice overs for Julia Child if that talent is ever needed, we couldn't help but giggle every time she walked by barking orders.
FINALLY, book in hand at 12:55 a.m....

They're playing basketball - We love that basketball...

AE, KB and AP went to their 2nd Janet Karvonen basketball camp last week. They had a great time and were completely wiped out each night after 6 hours of ball each day. So we definitely got our money's worth.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A recommendation from a long lost friend...

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy your children a Webkinz, or two or three or in our case FOUR. Because you will never get to use your computer during daylight hours again.

Just take my word for it. Since Cocoa, Flip Flop, Kirby and Luna Lovegood (from Harry Potter) entered my children's lives I have not seen my blog, which I love so...

Being of sound mind (most of the time), as a parental unit in the Schmidt House I will be instating a computer time limit tomorrow of minor Schmidt children in order to re-instate said parental unit's sanity and link to the outside world.

Monday, July 23, 2007

One more thing...

I got the job.

Haven't really fallen off the face of the earth...

but am too tired to possibly write anymore right now.

Will update tomorrow, must go to bed now. Small child has tennis lessons at 8:30.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going to the zoo is hazardous to your health

I am embarassed to say this has happened at our little Como Zoo.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Take me out to the ballgame

What am I going to wear?

OK heard back from the IT director, sourcing guy and have a meeting with my former client and another person on Friday. The position is actually 8-12 weeks - which is perfect. Just enough time to see if I still have it.

The one thing I know for a fact I do not have is appropriate attire. This stay-at-home gig really doesn't do much for the wardrobe. Don't think I can show up in my mom uniform of Gap Cargos, flip flops and Banana T.

What do you think?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Best $1.25 ever spent

The other day JG and I went to go pick up AE at one of her friend's house. While we were waiting for AE, JG spotted some squirt guns at a neighbor's garage sale. Little man went over and worked his JG magic by batting his long eyelashes and ended up walking away with a bucket load of Super Soakers for $1.25 (it's all he had).

JG, NB and MO had a blast. I have never witnessed the three amigos stick with anything as long as they did yesterday...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A change might be a comin'

You know that feeling you used to get when you were waiting for the first day of school or that acceptance letter from college? Yeah, that butterfly feeling with a tinge of trepidation. Trepidation is for what might not happen like you have it planned so perfectly in your mind.

Well, I am on the verge of one of those times right now. I had been toying with the idea of maybe going back to work a bit in the fall when little man enters kindergarten. So I have been out scrounging around looking for a part-time job maybe at the library or for the school district. Some of the jobs look like they may be fun - others not so much.

I didn't really look at the pay as being the fulfilling part, but more so getting out of the house and having more adult interaction that does not turn confrontational, like on the tennis court. DLS had a good point when I brought over a job description for the library, "Why do you want to go work three hours at a job where you spend all of your earnings on a nice lunch and a Starbucks?" Very true.

So, I started to think about this contracting thing my good friend Jody is doing right now for our former employer. She is able to pretty much set her own hours, have the summers off and name her price. That said, I emailed a couple of old work collegues to see what might happen.

I only sent out two emails and received interest from both. One was to my old client and friend who I worked with for 8+ years, he emailed back in less than an hour with a potential contract position at a large company here in the Cities. It would be a 3-6 month gig, flexibile hours (so I can get tennis in) and I could work from home. The job he described was exactly the job I did for many years, I told him I was having deja vu, however my neighbor Paul said, "That's not deja vu. That's experience."

I have sent my resume to the IT director guy and am waiting for a response... I am nervous I won't hear from him, but think I am more scared if I do.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

God sure must be a good hairdresser

Little man's best friend NB has all of these little curls on his head which many times have a mind of their own. JG has been fascinated by NB's hair for quite some time especially since JG's is so straight and sticks up in multiple directions at any time during the day based upon the activity of choice.

JG stated the other morning during breakfast after much thought, "Mom, God must be really busy if he has to come and put curlers in NB's hair every night to make it look like that."

Can't even imagine his awe in God's hairdressing techniques if we ever run into Miss Diana Ross on the street. Then again, I think we might be pretty safe here in Maple Groove from a Supremes invasion.

Art, bugs, tennis, softball, t-ball, swimming, golf and can't forget hockey

We have had a very busy week and am looking forward to the weekend and maybe resting a bit. JG went to Bug Camp with his bestest buddy NB, they seemed to have a good time and will go for a few days again next week.

AE went to a Kidz Art camp through the local school district with a few of her good friends. She had a fabulous time and created many beautiful pieces - I must say I was impressed. There was even a final art show today where AE and her friends showed off their many accomplishements.

The Last Summer (of You and Me)

Just read the new Ann Brashares book and put in my two cents.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Oh how I miss our little chats

My grandmother is going to be 94 next month. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She grew up during the Great Depression in a small town in southern Minnesota where her father published the local newspaper. She then graduated from the U with a journalism degree and moved to little Aitkin, MN where she met my grandfather, the county attorney - later judge - and fourteen years her senior. They married, had four boys in five years and she settled into a life of being a mother and volunteer.

Every summer starting about the time I was 14, I would spend time with her. I hung out with Esther, Elsie, Naida and Eva going to bridge and coffee. Even in college when my friends were planning getaways I got in my car and drove to be with her on the weekends. We always had the most amazing time, doing nothing really. Maybe we would play Scrabble or do the crossword. She even taught me how to drive in her 1964 Buick Skylark at the deserted fairgrounds with the Virgin Mary on the steering wheel as our co-pilot. Most of all we laughed - a lot. She has the quickest wit and amazing sense of humor. I remember when Hallmark first came out with Shoebox cards we stood for the longest time at Holder Drug just laughing until we cried.

Well, I am crying right now because I just found a letter my grandma wrote to me while I was in Japan in 1987. It has brought back so many memories of how things used to be, before she started to slip and not remember things too well. She always remembers me and that we spent time together, mostly she remembers little man. She loves him so because I thinks he reminds her so much of her sons. So here is that letter grandma wrote and it feels like one of our long ago conversations about the most mundane things, on a most ordinary day - twenty years ago.

My Dear Susan,

Your Mom called yesterday afternoon and gave me your address so I thought I'd surprise you before hearing from you. Scrounged around in my desk and came up with this "skinny" paper. Thought I had some other light weight paper sheets but this will serve the purpose.

Elsie and I went to a 45th wedding anniversary open house Sunday afternoon and the Bromans were there. Mr. Broman inquired about you and I told him you were in Japan so you wouldn't be visiting me this summer. A week ago I saw the Small sisters who had just come from Arizona to spend the summer at the lake and they asked about you. So you see people are interested in what you are doing.

I spent a quiet 4th... shampooed my hair in the morning, dusted the furniture, picked up branches and twigs around the yard, shopped at the Red Owl, baked a couple of rhubarb breads, had my dinner and then watched the 1st of four Saturday night movies of Michener's SPACE. Re-runs I guess.

Just had interruption. John Solien came up to take a picture of my car for insurance purposes. Had to change companies since Security Bank is no longer representing the St. Paul Companies. He thought it best to show the condition of my Skylark as the company might think I had a 20 year old junker.

Now it is time for lunch so I'll take another time out. Mission accomplished. Just called Elsie, curious to know how she got the coffee out of her dress. A woman sitting next to Elsie yesterday afternoon spilled her coffee on Elsie and fortunately a soaking in cold water and washing in Woolite saved the day. I told Elsie I was writing you and she said to tell you are thought of often...mentioned specially at the Hail Marys at bridge club. Do you remember Doris Dakins, another bridger? She suffered a stroke a couple of weeks ago and is in the nursing home.

Our Tuesday bridge club is meeting tomorrow. I've missed the last two sessions so it will be six weeks since I've played.

When I walked past MacDonald-Wold on my way to noon mass last Friday - Georgiana came out and asked me if I would crown the senior queen this year. Told her I didn't have a formal and she said no one else would be wearing one. Think she said the pageant would be in the evening and that I would be a guest at the dinner beforehand. I thinking I am getting to be more of an introvert all the while as I dislike parading before the public. Have visions of me tripping across the stage and placing the crown on the wrong candidate. The big event is set for July 22... a Hail Mary from Tokyo would be appreciated!

Am expecting John and Margarita this weekend for John's 30th class reunion. Don't know if Karen and Kim are coming... depends on whether or not they make the playoffs in their softball leagues.

Have a busy schedule this week... errands this afternoon, bridge club tomorrow, congregate Housing board Wednesday noon, Aging Committee meeting to revise the by-laws Thursday morning, Mass at Alcota in the afternoon, PHP Insurance meeting Friday, afternoon at Maryhill and John's here on Saturday.

I hope you are enjoying your experience.

Lots of love,
Grandma G.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

So happy - Venus won for the fourth time...

Now if only Andy had been able to beat Federer it would have been a perfect day. However he lost to the French guy who then lost to Federer so will have to wait until the US Open and hope Andy isn't in the same bracket as Roger and then will be able to beat everyone to make the finals. Then an act of God would need to happen and Federer would need to completely implode - then Andy would win...

A girl can dream right?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Shelly and Susan's 29,382 cents

I have been wanting to add a Schmidt House tangent for quite some time now. Karen and Bobbi have inspired me with their offshoots of creativity and the time has come.

So here's the question: What more is there to write about? I already feel that I could go on forever with the more than enough fodder generated right here in my own home. But, does anyone really want to read more about some of the hair brained ideas I've tried that ended in disaster, or how AE is 9 going on 29 or that JG is driving me insane with his wwhhiinniinngg? Really, more Schmidt drivel?

Then it came to me...I catch myself many times during the day thinking like many of you: I should share this experience with someone. Example: a good book, movie, music, restaurant, shop, new product, new dish etc. I searched around the web and found some good examples of other women sharing their two cents on the most mundane things and decided sharing my two cents it would be.

I find myself telling many of my recommendations to one of my best friends Shelly and she in turn does the same. We have the best time going on and on about one thing or another. Lord knows neither of us is ever at a loss for an opinion. I am sure both of our husbands would concur wholeheartedly.

I called Shel and threw out the idea to her and she loved it, she only had one caveat - she is able to swear in her reviews - I agreed because all of you who know Shel, it's just who she is and you know exactly where you stand with her, so why filter?

So my friends, there it is. We (Shel and I) are going to start a tangent giving our two cents on whatever we feel like. Please feel free to let us know if you would like to add anything to the site.

Now we just maybe need to come up with a catchier name - I think I might leave that to Shel, isn't that what she makes the big bucks for? Well, here we go...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Beta's Tale: Life at the Schmidt House for an aquatic vertebrate

In a moment of weakness last weekend I told the kids they could each get a fish. I did this because both children had plastic cups filled with tadpoles wanting to take them on a two hour journey home. So, what do I do? I say: "We can get fish when we get home."

Monday bright and early we traveled to PetSmart to purchase a green fish for JG and a pink fish for AE. We soon determined we didn't want goldfish, but two beta fish. Less work, less food, plus they come in these cool little tank things. We drove home anticipating a long, fulfilling life for Trixie (AE's fish) and Sponge Bob Super Rock Star (JG's fish) because beta fish are "supposed to be easy" according to our friendly sales guy.

It is Thursday and the one positive thing I can say about Sponge Bob Super Rock Star is that he lasted about 23 hours longer than AE's first fish Josie.

JG evidently tried to see if his fish formerly known as Sponge Bob Super Rock Star could do any cool tricks. What tricks you may ask? The world may never know because the littlest member of our family is not talking and the other witness has been flushed away.

You know I do sympathize with little man, I too was an accomplice to a goldfish's demise when I was around his age. My friend Viki and I thought it would be a good idea for our Barbies to have a fish accompany them to the beach and thought her brother's goldfish should wear some of Malibu Skipper's clothes. Let's just say it didn't end well, Viki's mom busted us when we were trying to revive the fish after his outing. We also couldn't explain why there was a pair of sunglasses and swimsuit floating in the deceased fish's bowl.

We have taken the appropriate precautions with AE's fish. Trixie is in protective custody (aka AE's closet) until the fascination of fish tricks has subsided.

The 70 Year Old Club

AE can't get The Doodlebop's theme song out of her head thanks to JG. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone in our home, JG decided he HAD to watch the Doodlebops for the first time EVER. Go figure.

I asked AE why they chose to watch this particular show this morning. Here is the answer I got: "Well mom, we didn't have much choice. There was Go Diego Go, The Doodlebops or The 70 Year Old Club."

I asked for clarification and determined, "The 70 Year Old Club" was actually The 700 Club which is on immediately following America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC Family.

AE said, "Oh, I thought it was named that because you had to be 70 years old to be on the show. Who knew?"

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

4 July 1987

Well, it's the 4th of July and I am sitting here halfway around the world. Happy Birthday America! The more I see of this country, I know I wouldn't want to live anywhere else than the U.S. I like the openness of home here you have no privacy.

I feel so out of it. I don't even know what's going on in the world. Today is the last day of Wimbledon and I don't even know who is in the finals! Now that's sad. I have to go to a tea ceremony and flower arrangement lesson today sometime. I think Yuki is going too. The sun is finally shining - I can't believe it.

I am so glad I have this journal - I don't know what I'd do without it. This book is my best friend right now - sometimes I can't wait to get home to write in it. Ten years from now I'll look back and read this and probably laugh at how stupid I was. I wonder where I'll be in 1997? I'll be 26 - that is too scary to think of, I don't think I want to know.

Did I mention I can't stand being so close to all of these other people? I couldn't live my whole life like this. I can't wait to get home and be able to sit with no one else within 20 feet of me. Japan is so different. I don't understand why I had a totally different picture in my mind of what it would be like. I wish I could stand out in the middle of nowhere all by myself.

Well I better get showered before this tea thing. Oh, just found out who is in the men's final - Ivan Lendl and Pat Cash. I bet Ivan wins. I am sad Boris Becker didn't make it.

Only 46 days until I go home to stand in a field - by myself.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

JG has found his calling

JG has informed us that after he graduates from college he wants to go to Mexico and work in the buffet line at an all inclusive hotel...

Why you may ask?

Because they get to wear fun, parrot colored shirts and get free food and drink - most notably flat Naranja (orange) Fanta in small plastic cups and burnt french fries.

There's no place like home...

All of us are finally together, including Mimi, in our own home for the first time in 9 days... Sigh.