Monthly Archives: February 2012

Romantic Re-Writes


I was sick and in bed most of the day.  I woke up and thought OMG American Idol is coming on soon…. and my next thought was OMG I haven’t posted anything on my blog yet!!  I’m doing NaBloPoMo, which is short for National Blog Posting Month where you are supposed to post every day during the month.  So I started writing at the same time I was watching Idol.  As soon as it was over and I sent my post I kept thinking….. why do I feel like I’m forgetting something????  Then it came to me!  Oh yeah!  I have a guest post for you guys for Leap Blog Day!

Marianne from wrote up today’s post!  Click here to read the other blogs that are participating.

When Donna asked me to guest post for My Garden Blue, I was so honored! A talented writer had sought me out to share my alcohol-infused voice of irreverence and ineptitude. Not one to shirk my responsibilities, I carefully reviewed Donna’s blog in order to fully appreciate her niche. That’s when I got really nervous.

Donna is kinda crafty.

And romantic.

And she reads more than just People Magazine.

Oh crap. I am the kind of person who outsources her kids’ projects to family because I’m bad with glue. My husband and I show our devotion to each other not with romantic love notes, but rather by getting up from the couch during Dexter to microwave some popcorn. Worst of all, the only book I have picked up in recent memory is my Weight Watchers Guide to Eating.

I am a blog embarrassment.

Still, I trudged on. I had made the commitment. I was a woman of my word. So I asked Donna if there were topics she preferred. She kindly suggested a story on how I met my husband. My palms got a little sweaty and I wondered if I should fabricate a nobler version of reality. In deference to editorial integrity and pitiful first-meets everywhere, I opted for truth.

I met my husband at the Old St. Pat’s Block Party in Chicago (as seen on TV’s Oprah). My girlfriend and I were three sheets to the wind when another over-served attendee approached. He smiled at us, nodded his head, and asked bravely: “Hey ladies. Want a bratwurst?”

That’s right. My future husband, father of my three children, charmed me with an offer of sausage.
Since that fateful day, I have suggested to Joe that we twist the tale a teensy bit and tell our kids we met at church (which isn’t exactly a lie…the church was right there). He remains quite comfortable with how our first introduction went down. No creative license necessary. End of story.

I’m not sure what this tale reveals about me or our relationship. Despite our inauspicious start, we are pretty happy with how things played out. We get along well. We like to golf and watch Pawn Stars. He cooks, I clean. He kills spiders, I handle the parent-teacher conferences. He saves the city from disaster as a Chicago fireman, I save my children from killing each other.

A match made not in heaven, but rather at the western gate of the Chicago Loop.

(If you are interested in reading more from Marianne, please visit at either or her Chicago Parent Magazine blog, Failing with Gusto (link to

Crazy TV watcher


That’s me.  I can’t believe this.  I am one who NEVER watches TV.  I always have so many things I want to do that I can’t just sit still.  When I go to the movies I just keep thinking of all the things I could be doing.  I haven’t been to the movies in quiet a while.  The best movies to watch at the theater involve space, planets, and spaceships!  I loved watching Star Trek movies at the theater.  I am really more of a music person.  I actually have a really hard time typing “theater” without reversing the er at the end.  I am more of a “theatre” going person.  There is this little place downtown called the Empress Theatre where you can go watch plays, listen to great music, and watch some fantastic dancing of various types.  I would much rather go there than sit and watch a movie.

Anyway, now that American Idol 11 has started I am addicted!  Of course my TV is connected to a computer with media center and that computer is old and has issues.  I had completely forgotten how to even use it so I had to ask one of my kids for help.  When something goes wrong they are like Scotty on Star Trek who has to fix the engine or get weapons or shields back online before everyone dies.  American idol was about to come on and they were back there clanging around and changing out spark plugs or something.  I was about to freak out like the Tasmanian Devil if I didn’t get to see every minute of the show, including the 5 minute introduction that is the same every time.  That is how bad I am.  Now my kids get the TV all set up on Idol nights well before the show comes on.  They mute the TV and give me both controllers before taking off to their rooms.  One controller is for the TV and one is for the media center on the computer.  I think there is another for the toaster too.

This is actually the first season I have ever watched on TV.  In the past I have waited until it was all over and watched the highlights on youtube.  Sometimes I watch it years later.  This past winter I watched Season 10 first and then I watched season 9 in bits and pieces on youtube.  When I heard season 11 was starting I decided to actually tune in this time on TV.  The auditions are a little boring but the actual show just started yesterday and it was great.  There are so many great singers and so many of the ones they cut were great too!    I was like a guy watching a football game shouting “what!?!” or “oh, come on!”….at the TV.

There is this little guy named David Leathers that is 17 (but looks like he’s 12) and sounds like a young Michael Jackson.  He is amazing but he didn’t make it into the top 24.  I know there has got to be more ways to “make it big” for these great young people than American Idol.

Last night I watched the 13 guys sing and they are all really good.  A few of them I didn’t like as much but it wasn’t because they weren’t good; They just sing music I don’t like.  Funny thing though is I really like HeeJun Han but he mostly sings R&B/Soul type music and I really don’t like that type of music at all.  He just has this smooth voice with a bit of a rasp that I just love.   For his audition, when he said he was going to sing “How am I supposed to live without you” by Michael Bolton I thought, “oh gag” but I loved it!  He just adds something more to it that wasn’t there before.  I did end up voting for him though but there are several others that I would hate to see get booted off the show.  Like Jermaine Jones!  He has an awesome deep voice and sings with such emotion.  There is also Phillip Phillips, Creighton Fraker, and Colton Dixon.  There are so many great talents to choose from!

Last night I watched each person sing and just had to vote for my favorite HeeJun Han!  When he sing Angels he gave me goosebumps!  Although, his reason for choosing that song (at the end of the video) was what really got me.

(for some reason my post got cut off here and I have to rewrite the rest.  I’m really not happy with wordpress today.)

Well I can’t remember what all I wrote about the girls but basically they were all really good except Bambie… I mean, Baylie Brown.  She is a beautiful girl with her boobs cinched up tight in this pink gown but her singing wasn’t good.  Her notes here off and it sounded like bad karaoke.

I voted for my favorite Shannon Magrane but it was a hard choice because there were so many talented girls!

Tomorrow will be rough because they will be making a lot of cuts.

Music in my heart


I’m addicted to music.  I listen to music all day long.  Lately I’ve been listening to older music and loving it.  I just love the Beatles.  A friend just told me about a website called The name of the website does not make me think of music but I won’t say what it does make me think of.  Anyway, it is a music site where you can pick a time and listen to the music from then.  It was great.  I clicked on the 60’s and the first song was “Hey Jude”.  I listened to that for a long time today and then took some cold medicine and took a huge nap.  I’ve getting sicker now.  My son passed it on to me and I’ve been coughing my brains out all day.  I couldn’t miss American Idol though.  That is the only thing I watch on TV.   I loved today’s show.  I love it when they get to the big stage and they can sing what they want to sing.  I like almost all of the singers and it is hard to select only one as a favorite.  I was glad to see they brought Jermaine Jones back but I still like Heejun Han the best.  I just love his personality and of course, his voice.  I’m curious to see what happens tomorrow.

My son Jared is in the newspaper today.  There is a large picture at the top of his team (in blue shirts) studying at the Academic Decathlon.  Jared is up  at the top – the skinny one with glasses next to the blond girl that is facing the camera.  Of course they misspelled his name but he doesn’t seem too upset about it.  I still can’t believe my BABY is that big.   He was always crazy smart but when he was little it was much more noticeable.  What is frustrating is his grades are not very good.  He just coasts along and does the least he can get by with.  He told us one day that he only had to do 70% to pass so why work harder?  I just wanted to choke him.  I was always the type that got upset if I didn’t get a perfect score and where I went to school  79% was a failing grade.  His scores at this competition prove he is capable of so much more!  He brought home 5 1st and 2nd place metals in various subjects, in addition to the one for the team, and there were a lot of kids there from all over the state!  I am hoping this thing will help him see how much farther you can get by doing your best.  He got a $1000 scholarship and since he is a numbers man and is already crunching the numbers on how much college is going to cost him, I think he might start trying to do better.  Next stop is New Mexico and I think he’s hoping to snatch up a little more money for college.

Another school shooting


My heart is just sick over what has happened at the school in Chardon, Ohio.  One young man is dead and 4 others are wounded.  I just think of my two sons, one who is a senior this year and the other who is in 8th grade, and I just want them to come home so I can hug them both.  I can’t imagine this happening to my child but it does happen and will continue to happen.   Are we supposed to install metal detectors in all of our schools to insure the safety of our kids and teachers?  I remember when I first heard about a school that installed metal detectors and thinking how crazy that was but now I’d be all for it.  Heck, I want to build a metal wall around my boys to always keep them safe but of course that isn’t practical.  I don’t want my boys or any of the kids, friends or not, to be hurt or killed.  I think they need to add a school psychiatrist to every school to evaluate each child’s potential for instability.  No one seems to see these things coming or if they do know there is an issue they don’t do anything.  Every child deserves to live a full life, even the child who is struggling on the inside.  We need to help those children before they lose themselves.   Parents are often too concerned with themselves, especially those dealing with divorce, and most don’t really understand how these things impact their children.  Too many children are physically or mentally abused or neglected.  We need to do what we can to help these children cope and heal before they mow down their classmates in the cafeteria.  Who knows why it happens but something has got to be done to try and stop it.  Maybe, if we can help them while they are young, they won’t grow up to become criminals as adults.

My heart goes out to the parents of the students that were hurt and the parents of the boy that died.  But, I also hurt for the parents of the child that did this.  I hurt for that child too…. because there is obviously something going on that is bigger than anyone knew.  My prayers go out to them all.

Silly mom…


I was actually worried about my son going on this trip to Anchorage.  Sure, I know he’s a big boy…. sure I know he’s almost 18 and all.  Sure, he was enrolled in school and in gifted & talented classes since he as 3 years old (on doctor’s orders).  He was a little OCD too and they helped with that.  He is the same kid that told his grandma that she was “dilapidated” just after his 2nd birthday.  Yes, he did know what it meant then.  He told his grandma that it meant she was “old and fallin’ apart”.  I really don’t know why I worry.  He knows his way around and learns very quickly but I guess its just natural for a mom to worry.  This boy is not normal either.  He actually gets excited about tests.  He passed the SAT when he was 12.  Now he wants to take it again just because he knows he would get a better score.  So, I shouldn’t have been surprised when they asked him the join the Academic Decathlon team.  Its just that it was a week and a half before the event when they asked him.  One of the team members couldn’t make it at the last minute and the team wouldn’t have had enough players.  They won last year at State so they didn’t want to give up.  They barely had enough time to get Jared signed up which is why I was worried.  All of the other kids had been studying the material all year.  Jared stayed after school a few days and all day Saturday and Monday (when there was no school).

Jared is not the kind of kid who studies.  He does his homework on the bus or in class.  He puts in very little effort and some how always does okay.  He is so laid back when I would have been freaking out.  That is so frustrating!

Jared never called me the whole time he was gone.  He just texted me a few times to answer mine.  I didn’t want to call because I knew the group would be going out to eat or studying.  I expected him to call me when he was free…. but no.

So I worried more.

Well, they won.  Jared came home with 6 medals and a scholarship.  Now they go to New Mexico for the next competition.