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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The ultimate freedom

I love how one blogpost leads to a new prompt. Actually, a comment of a wonderful friend who read it. Thanks, E! 

My ultimate (hour of) freedom… is kind of a buzzword. The carrot that I want to have, but never seem to be able to catch. 

Just the other day I felt I was so very close. Worked till noon, had my laundry done the previous day, groceries shopping and other chores done as well, and with the hockey season over I didn't have to pick up Colin in the middle of the afternoon, sandwiches made, gym bag packed. 

I went to the mall, yes, "B" on the map, yes, it's quite a drive, and yes, I really like it there. 

I sat at SBUX, notebook charged, connected to one hour of free Wi-Fi, typed a title and a couple of words… when in walked an old coworker / friend. 

"Hi, good to see you, how are ya?" 

"Actually not so great…" 

Never mind. Close that lid. 

I'll get my hour. Next time! Right?

By the way, is it freedom from or freedom to? Both? 

Back when there were no notebooks where your text could be saved, I wrote an essay on freedom. I was a college student, and I wrote with one of those fountain pens. Yes, it was in the last millennium.

Years later, I had moved apartments a couple of times, and I got sick of moving countless boxes that never got unpacked, I threw away all the old school stuff. That's why I don't have that freedom paper anymore, or the one where Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean-Paul Sartre overrode time and space and argued about coincidence and destiny. I would love to read that again.

Here is what I can remember writing: 

It included the Eiffel Tower elevator scene, and how I wandered the streets of Paris all on my own, from Arc de Triomphe all the way down Champs-Elysées, until it was time to catch the Métro and get back to my group. 

For some this might be a horror scenario. Being all by themselves in a foreign country where this impossible language is being spoken, the exchange rate is tricking you into thinking you're actually doing great, oh and those smelly bums in the underground stations making you feel awkward… 

Why was this so liberating for me? I think it was about not having to follow other people's plans, schedules and rules.  Who was I kidding, dutiful person that I was, I made sure to be back in time for dinner, hoping that everybody would think I went places with the other group. It worked!

When the 18 year old me wrote about the ultimate freedom, she included the Camel Man. You do remember him, right? Brawny, curly hair dude, fording rivers? So not my type - but surely he must enjoy the ultimate freedom! 

I am still proud of the 18 year old me, because as she was writing, it dawned on her... that in order for his jeep or motorbike to go places, he needed gasoline just like the rest of us! 

As long as our credit card is not being declined, we can get all the gas we need, right? No? We depend on our own government's negotiation skills and the oil sheiks' goodwill? Dang! So if not us, then they have the ultimate freedom, they get to decide who to ship their barrels to? Right? 

That's how far I took it back then. My professor liked it. Getting an A is kind of an ultimate success :-)

Today, let's go one step further… Isn't the oil sheiks' ultimate freedom constrained by religious rules? Think "no alcoholic beverages"! Take that, sheiks -  can't have it all! 
(Should I state at this point that I have dear Muslim friends, so absolutely no disrespect is intended? I think i should. Just as when I half jokingly say I might get admitted. I know it's nothing to joke about.)

And this, my friends, is the moral of the story. It's sad: 

There is no ultimate freedom! Especially the ultimate part of it.

Colin's school dedicated a special projects' week to opposites. Groups did activities on "sweet / savory", "indoors / outdoors", "courage / fear", you get the picture. He was in the "black / white" group, and they painted a Yin and Yang symbol.

Even if, let's say, the black half, stands for freedom - the white dot prevents that freedom from being ultimate.

The good news? Just like Santa, perfect love or fat burning pills, there is the illusion of it!

And I want to encourage you to go for it! 

I know that you are tired of the daily grind. Your workload is heavy, your boss demanding, your kids whiny, you don't have time to do what's important to you, your laundry basket is full, your car gas tank and fridge empty, and don't get me started on your bank account.I hear you!

Let's take a minute and remember the basis from which we strive to achieve that ultimate freedom: we do have a job, a family, interests to follow, clothes to wear, a car, we don't go hungry, and usually there's always that spare buck somewhere. We have it all, really, but maintaining all of our achievements and possessings stresses us out, and we get ungrateful and greedy.

Maybe having less would give us more freedom? You may have heard the story of the fisherman and the rich guy. It's pasted on the bottom of this post.

Last week I came across the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge, and I figured it was exactly what I needed to do: noticing the little things. By taking pictures and posting, they become important. Just by looking through a week's worth of little things, I've come to realize, I am pretty darn lucky, and my every day life is full of little freedoms! 

And maybe, the sum of 100 little freedoms add up to an almost ultimate freedom? I will let you know by July 1st - that's when my 100 days are over. I may be gone fishin' by then...

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.  Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.  The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while". The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos.  I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part.  When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire.  Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

Last year I was so on top of all things holidays… Doing leprechaun crafts, painting our very own rainbow and celebrating in style with fancy food.

This year? Not only does Colin spend more time in Kindergarten and we can't just do stuff together all the time, but I also felt like I was out of ideas and energy. 

I had to force myself to get those boxes from the attic and do some decorating on Saturday. At least I had boxes with stuff from the previous year(s)!! Plus my mom was over and told Colin and his girlfriends a story so I had some time to set everything up.

How very Irish do you think the redhead is?
Well, none at all. Still looking fabulous!
Sunday we had visitors with six legs in total, and it got late. We totally forgot to set the leprechaun trap. Also I had absolutely no ideas what pranks they could pull. I had used up all my aces.

Marc & Libby vs Hockey Guy

When Colin went to school this morning, I made at least a "dress" for Valentine Barbie and wrapped a couple of things in green. I hid everything and was going to position them tonight. Then I had to go and make lunch. We had my old friend, Christine from Seattle, over. Did she want a cheese fondue? Raclette? Some other typical Swiss food? No! She asked for fish sticks! C came home, kicked his shoes off and said 

"Mommy? What about the leprechauns? Were they here?"
"Not that I noticed?"
"But moooom! Today is St. Patrick's Day, right? March 17?"
"They must be so busy, I guess they will come tonight? Did you set the trap?"
"We should have done it last night?! I forgot!! They won't come the night from the 17th to the 18th! It's too late! We missed it! We'll have to wait for a whole year!!"

There was horror in his voice and tears in his eyes.
Bad Mom Moment.

"Maybe they were here and couldn't see any gold, so the left again. But I am sure they will give it another try tonight!"
"What if they do-o-o-on't?"

Now he was really crying. Crocodile tears and more. Inconsolable. 

Where is Happy-go-Lucky when you need him? Come on now, I made brownies! At this very moment, I would have paid for a leprechaun visit!

Instead Christine arrived, and we had lunch.
10 years no see!
Wait, that's not true, she was here last March, too!
No corn beef, stew or soda bread.
A little turnip cabbage shamrock had to make up for it!
Take a good look at this table ice hockey game!
You won't recognize it later ;-)
Visitors with at least two legs HAVE to play! 

Today was a gorgeous spring day. Blue skies, 20°C = 68°F! We went outside with his bicycle. 

When she had to leave for her next visit, C stayed outside and played soccer with the neighbors' boy and some other (older) boys. They wore him out, he fell asleep nicely when the time came.
But for now it was time for me the leprechauns to get busy! Here's what they did before I had to make dinner:

Penguin, gone green
Body Lotions, gone partially green.
One says "Today Irish, tomorrow hungover"

TP roll leprechaun crafts, upside down

Hockey sticks line up in the rainbow
Ice rink covered with lawn
Let it be spring!

Hi there,
Patricia ;-)
They must have confused Valentine's with St. Patrick's Day?

Barbie's Valentine's dress reappeared in a little
gift box that also contained a brand new - green - plane!
Chocolate Gold coins in all the shoes 

Colin was delighted, and so was I. Those leprechauns did a fabulous job! 

Here's another brownie! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The coveted Liebster Award

What a Sunday morning that starts with the information that my "use your words" buddy Carol at Battered Hope nominated me for the coveted Liebster Award. Thank you so much! My favorite post that I've read from you is called Push yourself out of the comfort zone - I should do this at least once in a while. Oh, and the chocolate mousse cake? I still want a piece, please!

So where there's an award, there's rules. Here goes:
  • List 11 facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions by whoever nominated you
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 (don't ask me why not 11) bloggers with less than 200 followers; do not renominate the blog who nominated you
  • Go to their blogs and tell them they have been nominated
  • Have fun!
This award should actually be called "challenge". How am I supposed to come up with 11 new facts when I've already shared 7 in the Sunshine Award and 9 in 9 Facts about me? I feel like I've said it all...

So when you have nothing to say… let the music speak for you! A friend and I recently shared our life's soundtracks. Songs that have a special meaning to certain stages in our lives. Most songs are connected to happy and sad moments in relationships, so I have customized the original list and came up with 11 songs / facts about me. Enjoy!

Flashdance, what a feeling, Irene Cara

My girlfriends and I watched that movie when we were bunch of 13 year old girls attending jazz dance classes. We all had a girl crush on Jennifer Beale, (I still think she has a kick-ass smile and gorgeous curly hair! Also I wouldn't mind having some of her other body parts) and even though none of us seriously believed in becoming a professional dancer, we preventatively wore leg warmers and practiced removing our non-existing bra with the sweater still on. We performed our version of Flashdance at the re-opening party of the newly renovated nursing home in our town. I still know some of the moves!

Walking on sunshine, Katrina and the Waves

I listened to it over and over in order to avoid all the Air Supply and Bryan Adams because that only dragged me down, and I needed to get over a relationship. I got two chances with him: when I was 15, and again almost 10 years later. Now was it a blessing or a curse that I didn't know about that in the first place? It was still not meant to be, but we are close friends today. And the song? Has become my all-time favorite feel-good song.

Private Dancer, Tina Turner

I chose Tina's to represent all the great, great 1984 hits. Just think… Self control, Laura Branigan, Jump, Van Halen, Purple rain, Prince, Wouldn't it be good, Nik Kershaw, Careless Whisper, George Michael, just to name a few. To me, 1984 was the best musical year ever. It was a good year in general. Tina was also on the car radio when Dad took me to Munich, Germany, during fall break. We went to the movies and had a pretzel and a wheat beer at the Oktoberfest. It tasted yucky, but it made me feel real grown-up ;-)

En rouge et noir, Jeanne Mas

Gee, it's hard to write in English while listening to French music! I learned those lyrics by heart around that time when we got to spend a week in Paris - yes, France - in college. We had several assignments during that week. Doing research on different French newspapers, visit museums to see Monet, Cézanne and Gaugin, taste a bunch of croissants in bakeries... We had a lot of fun! My most memorable moment though was to lose my group on purpose (we were supposed to be at least three people when we went places) - that Eiffel Tower elevator door was closing too quickly for me to jump in, I swear!  I guess this was my "hour of ultimate freedom" I'm still trying to re-create in my life!

Groovy kind of love, Phil Collins

The guy I watched this and many other movies with, made me feel even more grown-up than going out and having a beer with my father. Over night, so to speak. He was my college and beyond boyfriend. Many other songs would deserve to take this slot in my life's soundtrack, but at some point last year when I went through my CDs, I started calling him Buster guy. We even met after all those years, and he gave me his old shoe cabinet.

The living years, Mike + The Mechanics

Mid 90s my brother left home. Ever since my mother - who was born in Israel - took him there for the first time, he announced that he wanted to go and live there. He applied for citizenship and in return gave two years of his young life to serve in the army. He met his wife and they have three kids. Although the lyrics are about unresolved issues between a father and a son, this is a song that reminds me of my brother. Fortunately he is healthy and alive - and only a 4 hours' flight away!

Candle in the wind, Elton John

Princess Diana was part of my life since I was a little girl. I watched her getting married in St. Paul's Cathedral and thought she was a real princess. Well, she was! I didn't care for Charles, and I wasn't impressed about that Dodi guy either. I think she was a sad woman who did a lot of great things for many people. When I heard about her car crash and that she actually died in it I couldn't stop crying. I still miss her and have great hopes in William to pursue his mom's legacy.

Touched by an angel, Gloria Estefan

Late 90s I was on a vacation in Florida with Markus with whom I almost missed our flight home because we couldn't find that rental car return location. We were enjoying the good life cruising from Miami to Key West and back in our convertible. This song was being played a lot on the radio, and the sun was shining. Until that really scary thunderstorm was approaching. That top was suddenly closing soooo slowly ;-)

Perfect day, Hoku

Another feel-good song. I watched the movie and listened to the song while living all alone with three interesting roommates (describing living with them would alone make for a fun post) in San Diego, CA. Just like Woods Comma Elle, I had recently been dumped, so I could relate to her. Packing up and leaving my home country - even though it was for a shorter amount of time than I had planned, no thanks to 9/11 - was the most courageous and fabulous thing I have done in my life. I still want to go back!

Clocks, Coldplay

If you are a regular to my blog, you have read about my Starbucks immersion program in Seattle. What I didn't mention is my favorite song that was being played in the store a lot. It was also on a Hear Music CD I purchased and listened to all the time in my car during my first few months in my new job. I was completely overwhelmed and practically lived at the office and the stores. This song helped me to calm down and sort out my thoughts and worries. 

Chiquitita, ABBA

Are you confused why this song, clearly from the 70s, is the last one on my list although I have been neatly following the timeline? You are right, actually I could have started out with it. ABBA was the first band I was a fan of when I was 9-11 year old. I was hoping to snatch Björn from Agnetha. 
It was also what I was listening to when I was a brand-new mom who had this beautiful baby and crying for no reason. Go away, postpartum depression! It did. So glad!!!

11 Questions that Carol asked me:

1. What is your favorite type of food and why?

Italian! Pasta, pizza, risotto, saltimbocca,... It's also the only cuisine I claim to master. 

2. What is your dream job and do you think you will get it or do you already have it?

Fortunately as a part-time working mom who carves out time for blogging, I am pretty close to it. Once I manage to carve out more time, I would like to write and publish a book.
Otherwise it'd be nice to be a party planner with an unlimited budget and staff.

3. What is your best childhood memory?

Advent calendars, birthday parties, these kind of things. Surprises, friends, gifts, cake - what's not to love? Oh and roller skating, I had those cool red, white and blue disco rollers. 

4. What was your most embarrassing moment - if you dare…

Haha, I just shared it as a comment on That Time I Showed A Chiropractor My Hoo-Ha:
My embarrassing moment happened at that new gyno's BEFORE I had to get naked. Here goes: The new doc came to greet me at the waiting room. What a gentleman! "Go right ahead" he told me as he opened the door to his office, "take a seat at my desk first." Sure, first we talk, then I undress. So far so good. I walk AROUND his desk and take a seat on HIS leather swivel chair. The moment I look up it hits me: wrong side of the desk! Wrong chair! All wrong! He was very cool about it. "That's OK, just stay there. We'll do it a bit differently today. You get to ask the questions!"

5. How often do you blog and how long have you been doing it?

Whenever it hits me and I can make time to write. On average I publish once a week. I've been blogging for almost two years, and I think I have become more courageous in my writing.

6. What is the best advice you ever gave anyone?

Don't focus on improving your weaknesses. Love what you do - do what you love!

7. What is the best advice you ever received?

Rome wasn't built in a day. Take one day at a time. In the Starbucks world it was "one cup at a time".

8. Do you enjoy blogging challenges? If so, anyones in particular?

I do! I like the ones that leave room for interpretation, so my vivid imagination can run riot! "Use your words" is fabulous!

9. How many children do you have? Can you tell me about them?

Our son Colin turned five and a half today on St. Patrick's Day. He is the cutest and smartest kid. I'm sure all the other moms agree ;-)

10. What are you the most passionate about?

Does sleeping count? OK then, traveling, writing, eating, taking pictures, watching movies, baking

11. What would you want to the world to know if you could stand on a soap box and be heard?

As I am the exact opposite of you, Carol, I don't like to speak in public. So I would make it quick and say "do the right thing!" It may mean something different to every one, but if they all did something good, the world may become a better place.

Gee, that was a lenghty post! Thank you for seeing me through! Now on to the nominations; you will find my 11 questions to you at the bottom of this post:

Whoa! Susannah, because she totally nailed some topics like As a wife I'm guilty of these five mistakes and you probably are too and I’m guilty of these five parenting mistakes (and you probably are, too)

Carrie aka Chockababy for her positive attitude and her pieces How to be an awesome mom to a food allergy momHaving 3 kids is awesome and Say no to husband bashing

Eli aka Coach Daddy for sharing his ET sighting and educating us about how many brothers Johnson has, if soda stains and what curmudgeons or glassholes are .

Alyssa who shouts hand over the cookies! Since moving from Chicago to the South she's been busy being a mommy not only to a pre schooler and a toddler but also a bunch of chickens.

Stephanie at When crazy meets exhaustion for letting me say "wanna be a f*** rib-eye" and other not so nice things - for a legitimate reason ;-) Plus I can always, always relate to her posts!

Emily knows that all you need is love! After giving birth to baby Andrew, she is determined to get back in shape. The first step? Shopping for work out gear!

Beth aka Writer B is me has a tendency to maneuver herself into dicey situations like when At least-I was wearing-a bra. Sometimes she is wearing more and isn't afraid to show it: fuzzy socks and beat-up sweater

Zee Monodee - I am not a frequent visitor on her blog, but I do love to comment on her FB posts! Alone the fact that she lives in Mauritius makes her very interesting. Her guest blog about tips to make time is my favorite.

Chef John at I will keep nominating him until he notices me! I think he's a genius. He likes his tuna melt and a bowl of tomato cream soup. So he goes and creates this recipe for creamy tomato tuna penne pasta and tells us "you are the boss of your sauce!"

Here are your questions:

  1. What are the most important things you hope your kids learn from you?
  2. What's on your bucket list in terms of things you want to achieve, places you want to go? 
  3. You get the chance to invite a couple of people (they may be dead, celebs, fictional, your choice) over for dinner.  I'll cook. What would you like to eat, and more importantly, who would you love to share that meal with?
  4. What is the most courageous thing you have done in your life?
  5. Have you ever had a déjà vu situation? Tell me about it!
  6. What bad habits do you have?
  7. What was your most conflicted emotional moment?
  8. What do you and your significant other tend to fight about?
  9. Do you have that one person you can talk to about everything? Who is it?
  10. "I'll be forever grateful for what you did for me!" Who says that to you and why?
  11. You are on that remote island.  A drift bottle is being washed ashore. What does the note say?

Thank you for reading and playing along!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Use your Words - Fruitcakes and Crayons

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
school ~ kids ~ cartoons ~ glass ~ surprise

They were submitted by Follow me Home... - thank you, Michèle!

I always wonder how my blogger buddies come up with a certain combination of words. Do they have a story in mind and want to find out if you're taking the same way? Do they open a book, close their eyes and point at a word?

Hi there, kids! In this post you are going to read about stuff that they wouldn’t tell you in school – that even I didn’t know before I started writing this. Important facts like what cartoon character I would be - if I was one. And – surpriiiiise! That there’s more to glasses than wearing them in order to see better. You can drink from them. Or break them. But you knew that. 

Ready? You’ve got your snack and a cushion? OK, let’s get started. 

I always enjoy that writing prompts force me to visualize words and do research I wouldn’t get the opportunity to otherwise. For this one I took a dozen of quizzes to find out about my cartoon character - only to learn that I must have multiple personalities. I got so many! Tweety, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, just to name a few! 

But that's OK. I guess it just means that I am a diversified and adaptable person. I also happen to be in excellent company because I have some wonderful imaginary imaginative friends who would - just as an example - meet in rubber room tent city for cocktails and bouncy ball throwing, or claim that they would eat froot loops out of the Stanley Cup if they won it!

Speaking of personality, let me share something I got for my birthday: 

B – be yourself
 I – invite new challenges
R – recall past achievements
T – trust your judgment
H – have faith in your abilities
D – desire only the best
A – affirm your strengths
Y – you’ve got what it takes

The surprising thing is that the person who sent this to me, doesn’t know me. At all. But every birthday I get some inspirational phrase. I don’t even remember what Facebook game I added them for. Sorority Life? Mafia Wars? Yes, way back when baby C took the occasional nap, I played those games. It was a time before blogging. I guess there’s a time for everything. Had I not played those games and added that buddy, what would I be writing about today? 

Those words hit home. 

Whereas last year I kind of bragged about how I was exactly where I wanted to be in life and bursted from energy to bake and do crafts, this year I have been feeling vulnerable, and I don't always have faith in my abilities. Being myself feels like being all over the place sometimes. I still function and wing everyday life, though. 

Well, almost. As of today I haven't even decorated for St. Patrick's Day, and I love that holiday! 

Instead I have been analyzing love song lyrics, feeling sorry for lonely socks, buying a barbie, planning a fictional date and crying because they were out of pancakes (temporarily, as it turned out) and, more importantly, because my baby is growing up so fast. Oh, and let's not forget that rookie product purchase I made.

Midlife crisis? I always thought it only affected men. You know, that time when they exchange their 40ish wife for two girlfriends in their 20s, drive a sports car and take up a jackass hobby like bungee jumping?

She is right. Right??
For the time being, I refuse to blame aging for my moodiness. Instead I will

Cherish your own emotions and never undervalue them. 
Robert Henri (painter)

So - a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to beat that blues ride those waves!

Retail therapy… purchasing that leather jacket!
Oh, and raising that glass of Champagne
just because I love those bubbles so much :-)
Joining Hockey Guy in his post-season activities:
Zumba for Kids! 

(OK, technically I didn't participate. 
I took pics for our village gazette)
Having myself a little baking* helper!
Who remembers this guy's name?

*Hey, I did some baking after all!
My coworkers wanted some birthday cake.
Listening to really loud feel-good music in the car wash!
Ice hockey goal horns qualify as "music", right? 
That's what DJ BackSeat was playing!
If you don't care about hockey, feel free to skip it. 
It's just a 5yo recognizing goal horns within the first 2-3 seconds

Pimping that lasagna with lots of wine and roasted asparagus

Looking at those gold bunnies. Yes, just looking!
It's all part of that #savorthewait exercise I'm doing.
Visiting a new city, Bremgarten.
Hubs pretended to push me into the river,
Colin burst into tears and cried "I want to keep mommy!"
Taking a trip to IKEA.
Keep those meatballs coming!
And yes, the sticker goes on my leg ;-) Right, Beth?
Stopping and smelling the spring flowers.
This is for all of you whose yard is still snow covered :-)
Or mud, for that matter. Hello, Lorinda!

Getting naked with another woman!
Just checking if you're still paying attention. 
She's my dermatologist. 
I had a melanoma removed last year, 
and I am happy to tell you 
that I am free to go for another 6 months.
So, kids, before you have to go and do your homework for school your own education so you can become what ever you desire, I promised you a surprise about what to do with glasses.  I think  it’s almost as entertaining as a cartoon, and pretty impressive, too. Plus it gives this whole half empty or half full discussion a whole new meaning: 


Now, you fellow fruitcakes and crayons… yes, also those who feel pretty sane… go and check out what words the other bloggers got and what they did with them:

Baking In A Tornado 
Follow me home . . .       
Confessions of a part time working mom  
Spatulas on Parade            
Someone else's Genius               
The Bergham’s Life Chronicles