Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meme Tag

I've been tagged.

The meme: Share 6 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

1. I twirl my hair. There is this piece in the back of my head that is the go to piece. I do not twirl any other part of my hair. Apparently, hair twirling is a family trait. My maternal grandma twirls a piece of hair in the front. My son twirls his hair in the back like me!

2. I don’t like people touching my elbows. No idea why by I will jerk my arm away so quick if you do.

3. I am anal about keeping boogers out of my kid’s noses and wax out of their ears. My husband thinks I am obsessed!

4. I didn’t eat red meat or pork until about 3 or 4 years ago. Not for vegetarian reasons or anything like that. I just didn’t like it. Still not a big fan but I will eat it when prepared certain ways.

5. Like Greta, at Kiss My Gumbo who sent this meme to me, I have never had a cavity. We had fluoride in our water in Ohio. LA should give it a try! I also have never had braces.

6. Most people are shocked to know that I once lived in a cabin in the middle of the West Virginia mountains with a wood burning stove as our sole source of heat. I would wake up freezing in the morning and stoke the fire so it would be warm when I got out of the shower. We lived on a river and had canoes for recreation and emergency floods.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where is Arthur?

The death of my paternal grandmother has left me feeling rather strange and uneasy. It was not a complete shock and I don't feel completely sad, but I think I am sadder than I feel.

I think my brother is too. He has called myself,my parents and my husband every day. He is the type that you could go a month without hearing from him. My brother was probably closer to my grandparents than I. Only because he was older and lived with them for awhile when my grandfather was not well and helped my grandmother take care of him. I was off in college and then on to West Virginia in those years. My brother has a myspace account and so do I. Daily, I watched his mood status comment. "I am sad." "Thinking about grandma." "Missing Grandma". Seeing that brings tears to my eyes. He even made his profile pic a picture of him with our grandma holding up a cake. We celebrated his 37th birthday when we went to visit her last September. It was a great visit as the whole family made it (knowing it may be the last time) and she got to meet my youngest for the first and last time. I have great pictures of her with the kids and my oldest really remembers and knows her now.

Anyway, we get a call from my parents who are still in Virginia taking care of business related to my grandmother's death. They tell us they don't know where my grandfather is that passed away 12 years ago. "What do you mean?", I ask. Turns out that his ashes are not in the grave site like we thought. Or at least we aren't sure yet. The cemetary has no record of them ever being placed with his headstone that exists there. Apparently, there is a fee to bury the ashes and their records don't show that ever being paid or that the burial ever happened. My grandmother donated my grandfather's body to medical research and then had him cremated. So it was a few months after his death when the ashes were returned to her. There is record that the ashes were indeed returned to her. No record of what happened after that. And no recollection of every actually seeing them by anyone in my family.

So now, Grandma is gone and she is the only person who would know where Arthur (my grandfather) would be. Did she bury him in her back yard? Did she spread the ashes in the lake? Did she spread them in the farm field near their house? Or did her Dimentia mind just throw them in the trash when she moved to Virginia at age 84?

I guess we will find out if she will rest beside him when they put her to rest. The mystery still remains.

Republic/US AIR bad customer service

Yet again, another post about bad customer service. My husband wrote this letter after the flight but ended up not sending it. Instead he called the CEO of Republic and dialed by name. He actually answered and after two seconds, conferenced in his VP of Customer Service and told him to solve the problem and they give him a free roundtrip for his troubles.

"I boarded the flight on time and according to the zone I was assigned. I could not find bin space for my carry-on, which is size compliant and fits in every overhead compartment I encounter in my 100k miles of travel annually. I turned around in the aisle and headed back to the front of the aircraft where I calmly explained my dilemma to the flight attendant in the forward cabin. The name on her US Air ID card was Tara. I asked Tara for a gate check. Tara abruptly told me "I cannot do that on this aircraft." There was no polite couching like "I am sorry sir, but we cannot arrange the gate checks on this flight, but I can help you some other way..." I asked for an alternate option and the only one offered was a bag check all the way through to New Orleans, my final destination. I accepted this solution, gave Tara my bag, and returned to my seat 5D.

Tara asked for my name after taking my bag. She confirmed my final destination as New Orleans and walked out the door of the aircraft and into the jet way. Within 3-4 minutes Tara returned with my bag and told me "I don't trust the people in Philadelphia with your bag." I was now given my bag back and told that there was, in fact, bin space for it. I calmly explained that I thought otherwise, but was given no other options. I then walked back to the extreme rear area of the aircraft looking for this bin space I was told existed.

When I arrived in the rear area of the aircraft I saw a 2x2 foot area in one bin. I was glad to see it was a possible area for my bag. I began trying to fit the back into the space. It did not fit, although I had only tried for 30 seconds max, and I was then approached by a second flight attendant who was very unprofessional and shoved a white plastic bag at me and nearly yelled "Consolidate your bag!" This person, whose name I didn't have the chance to learn due to her ID not being worn!!, then proceeded to stand there with her hands on her hips audibly complaining about me and how I was going to cause a delay that the crew would take the heat for. Other passengers were clearly uncomfortable by the stress this was creating. I sensed the tension and tried to use a sense of humor in defusing the situation. "If you could give me a hand with consolidating my bag, we might get done quicker because I am not a good packer, ha ha."

Her response was furious! She shouted the following in one of the sharpest tones of voice I have ever encountered. I quote her following tirade to me... "I am not here to help you with your bag! I am 4 months pregnant and I can't lift your bag for you! I deal with 80 something passengers a day and can't help them with their bags!" At this point I was completely humiliated and concerned this would escalate, so I asked her to calm down, finished moving items into the plastic bag she had shoved at me earlier, and returned to my seat.

The rear area flight attendant then proceeded to stomp her feet so loudly it caused others to comment on her sprint to the pilots cockpit area. After a minute or two complaining to the pilots about me, she stomped back down the aisle and stopped at my seat. She violently tapped her fingernails on my overhead bin and shouted to Tara, "This one right here! 5D!" She stormed back to the rear area and was mumbling complaining all the way back there at one point yelling "If I don't like it I can take my bag and get on the next flight!"

As we taxied down the runway, Tara approached me to tell me that they "Almost removed me from the plane." Tara told me this in a volume that allowed the passengers around me to sort of chuckle and comment. At this point I feel so humiliated, so embarrassed and so "criminal" I cannot explain it with words. I fly all over the planet, multiple times weekly and encounter, on balance, good service by the professionals at the major airlines. I have never been treated in the manner I was treated by these two individuals and have made a decision now to avoid your airline at all costs.

To add insult to injury I was given 866-523-5333 to call and voice my complaint by a manager at the gate where I made a connection. Upon calling that number I was told by a recording that no one was available to help me. I was instructed to go online and fill out this form!

US ranks dead last in customer service in the industry. Now I know why.


Scott J. Dalton"

I vow to my readers to post positive customer experiences too! One positive for every negative. I owe you two!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jesus is the president

"Hey Mommy! Do you know who is on the one dollar bill?"
"George Washington, our first president."
"That's right! Do you know who our president is now?"
"Well, what happened to George Washington?"
"Oh honey, he died a long time ago. So, do you know who is president now?"

Setup: While shopping at Target my daughter spotted a very trendy sequined (sparkly) tank top. She told me that is what you wear if you are a star.

"Mommy, the TV has this thing called quit trim."
"Quit trim. You go there and lose weight."
"Oh. You mean Quick Trim."
"Yeah, you could go there and lose weight."
"Do you think I need to lose weight?"
"Only if you want to wear that sparkly tank top at Target and look like a star."

My regular readers, are you seeing a trend here? My daughter is more obsessed with my weight than I am!

Northshore Recycling

I received the following in an email from a friend. I thought it was important enough to post here for any northshore readers.

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 12:53:01 -0800
Subject: Northshore Recycling Program

You have gotten this email because you have expressed interest in recycling service on the Northshore. If you know anyone who may be interested, please forward this email to them and have them send us their info so we can start to evaluate routes. Rest assured, we will not share your info in any way with anyone else.

We have set up this email account so we can better monitor interest and start to develop routes. We took a similar approach in New Orleans and had enough response in 6 weeks to start offering service; we anticipate a similar response in St Tammany.

I'd like to thank all who came out on the 17th. We did not make it easy by changing venues, but it was necessary, due to the meeting outgrowing the room at Capital One. It was that or cancel and we felt like moving the meeting was preferrable. There were a lot of great points raised and we appreciate the opportunity to hear what is needed to cover as much of the Northshore as possible. There is a lot of ground to cover, but I think we can start to offer something soon.

I'll pass along any pertinent info and you do the same.

David McDonough

And Death Do Us Part

My very last post last night at 11:49pm was titled Marriage Proposals.

5:15am - My mom's cellphone rings. I get that pit in the stomach and run to answer it since she couldn't hear it. I miss the call and check the number. 252 area code. Don't recognize it. Figure it is wrong number and go back to bed.

5:30am - My home phone rings. I know something is up now. I run to get it and catch it just as the answering machine picks up. It is my uncle from Virginia. He has called to tell us that my Grandma passed in her sleep last night.

Even though you know the day will come it still choked me up to hear it.

She would have been 93 in August.

Sun worshipper

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Marriage Proposals

My girl has 10 boys and 4 girls in her class. So her birthday party was mostly boys. I had one mom tell me when rsvping for the party that her son always says he is going to marry my girl so they wouldn't miss her party!

At the party another mom told me her son says he too is going to marry my girl.

The teacher at school told me yet another boy confessed his love for my girl to her. And he actually said, "I love (my girl)! I really love her."

I told another mom from the class the story today and she laughed and said,"Those boys better get in line because her son was already set to marry my girl. And he has first dibs because they have been together the longest." This is true.

So at bedtime today my girl asks me how she can stop herself from growing up. I asked why. She said because J.S from school wants to marry me and I keep telling him I don't want to. "Mommy, I don't want to grow up and get married. I just want to be with you." Sniffle. Sniffle. (from me of course)

What's in your favorites? Part 2

I recently wrote a post called "What's in your favorites?". It was a sneak peek into my hefty treasury of favorite links. I promised you more so here ya have it!

Jacquie Lawson Cards
My aunt and uncle always send these incredible animated cards from this site. I finally decided to check out the cost and I couldn't believe annual membership was only $10! Real cards aren't cheap and neither are stamps (they are raising the price on those again soon - in case you didn't know) so this may be my new route for card sending. Plus, it saves a tree and we know society is pushing us to be more "GREEN!". Most importantly, I think these cards are better than the paper version.

Divine Caroline
This is a site for those who love to write and those who love to read people who love to write. All kinds of topics. Geared toward women. Nice site. Great articles. If you love to blog or read blogs you will love this site too. Not just for professionals!

Pottery Barn Baby Photo Contest
This is an ongoing contest. I always submitted my kids but they never were chosen, but it is cute to see who is. Submit your 18 month or younger today! If chosen, they have a little feature pic in one of the catalogs.
I've been told this is the go to site when planning a trip to disney. I have yet to go but once when we were considering it I started reading this encyclopedia of info on Disney and got so overwhelmed, but learned a lot.

Courtney Zeller's Cakes
If you live in the New Orleans area this lady makes AWESOME birthday cakes and the actual taste of the cake is delicious too! Affordable!

Well, that's all for now folks. Feel free to leave comments with some favs from your own favorites!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ripped about Rips on the Lake

Yesterday we had family come into town. Since it was a nice day my husband decided to take everyone to Rips on the Lake in Mandeville. They have an incredible view from their dining porch. However, I can't say our experience there was incredible.

This was my 3rd time there and I wasn't crazy about going back this time but hubby wanted to go there. The first time, the experience was ok, but we went as a group of 8 women who didn't know each other and had to split the bill. They wouldn't bill us individually. Kind of a pain since some just had apps, others had entrees, some had water, others had cocktails.

The second time, was ok too, but I was not crazy about the menu choices and the food I ordered was just ok. Same as the first time I was there. I felt like I was paying for the view more than the food. For the price, I was not impressed with the food.

Then, there was yesterday, the third time.

We arrived after picking up everyone at the airport at 1:45pm. We thought that would be a good time as the Sunday lunch rush would be over. There was no wait, but since we had a group of 6 and wanted to sit outside we had to wait for two 4 tops to open up so they could push the tables together. The lady assured us several tables were close to leaving so we told her we were happy to wait - even though we were all starving and had two little kids in tow!

The sun was out so we sat on the stairs with the kids. Started to notice tables leaving and then suddenly people seated with menus in those tables. Hmm? I wondered. Then after 30 minutes I inquired with hubby. He said he too noticed. We continued to watch as another table got up and left. We inquired with the hostess on what her game plan was for us. She said, "As soon as that table next to the empty one pays and leaves we will push the tables together and seat you." Ok. Thank you. I return to the stairs and sit down with the kids. A couple walks by and I turn around to see the hostess seat them in the empty table. I go back and inquire. "I just sat them there because the table on the other side of the couple about to leave will be leaving soon and I will push those two together instead." Now, I am getting very irritated and it is going on 45 minutes (remember, there was no wait initially!)

So hubby speak to the hostess. He tells her we have been very patient and that if she keeps seating people in every open table there will never be two open for us to sit at. So she tells him she is now waiting for the 8 top up front on the deck to leave so we can sit there. He says, "the story plan keeps changing everytime we ask." He asked to speak to the manager. He told her what was going on. She told him he just needed to be patient. He said we have been patient for 45 minutes! She turned her back to him and started to walk away while throwing her thumb up in the air pointing at the door behind her and said, "Well, leave then."

That is exactly what we did! We took our rather hefty lunch bill to Friends in Madisonville. (Apps, Entrees, Drinks all around!) Friends seated us quickly, served us nicely and we enjoyed the view from their deck instead.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One child in this world listens

If you are a parent you will be so amazed by the story I am about to tell you. It blew my mind and I am serious when I say I missed the opportunity for an autograph.

I was in Chick-Fil-A with the kids enjoying their indoor play structure and killing time during the witching hours. A young boy came in to play and had on a t-shirt with his schools name on it. It happens to be the school where my girl will start Kindergarten next year. So I ask his name and what grade he is is (First Grade) and introduce him to my daughter. I tell her he will be in her school next year but a different grade yada yada yada.

A little while later a striking man pops his head in and calmly says, "Jay, time to go." And then turns and goes back to his seat and lets the door slowly shut behind him. The boy I was talking to was "Jay" and he sits down, puts his shoes on and walks out politely saying goodbye on his way. I catch the eye of the mom sitting across from me and say, "Unbelieveable." She laughs.

NEVER in my parenting life have I actually seen such obedience. The child actually did exactly what his father told him too do. And I mean immediately! No hesitation. No whining. The father did not have to return to the area and REPEAT HIMSELF!

I literally wanted to run out the door and ask that man for his autograph. He wins the parenting award of the year. I want to know how in the hell he managed that!

Hmph! My girl would whine:
"Okay, but just let me go down the slide one more time."
"I can't get my socks on myself so you have to help me"
"Let me say goodbye to that girl"
"I am not ready to go yet."

or the best is what she actually said to me that night when I told her it was time to leave - ready for this one? - "I'll tell YOU when it is time to go."

Needless to say that one landed her a quicker exodus!

How ya like me now?

Hubby is out of town. Kids are in bed. You can tell by this post and the next one that I decided to take a little "me" time tonight and have some fun.

I got an email from to try out different celebrity hairstyles.

So here I am. How ya like me now?

Original Photo:


Monday, February 11, 2008

What is your life soundtrack?

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie.

You will be surprised by how many of them seem to fit.

Quando, Quando, Quando -Micheal Buble & Nellie Furtado

Rainbow Connection - Sarah Mclaughlin

The Best of My Love - Eagles

Afterglow - Sarah McLaughlin (seems appropriate)

Outside - Stained (yeah! Take it outside!)

Most of the Time - Bob Dylan (Most of the time HE is wrong, right ladies?)

You're Beautiful - James Blunt (awwww.)

Baby you're the best - Carly Simon (Thanks Carly, I know.)

Crazy Love - Van Morrison (couldn't have been a better pick!)

Make a Memory - Bon Jovi (From the LOST HIGHWAY album!)

Put your records on - Corrine Bailey Rae (records are definitely a flashback)

And so it goes - Billy Joel (another appropriate pick)

Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (*snicker*)

Ain't No Sunshine - Al Jarreau ( well, at least for the first few weeks.)

Hotel California - Eagles

Coming around again - Carly Simon ( if you believe in reincarnation)

In the Arms of an Angel - Sarah McLaughlin ( Ok that just scared me!)

Beautiful - Moby

Ok. that was fun and crazy! I couldn't believe some of the selections that came up for the designated category! I have to say the last one was a nice ending though.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I am the most popular!

I am officially nominating myself and awarding myself "The Most Popular Member of My Family!"

I am so popular in fact that every time I walk by my daughter she has to say my name in admiration. Most times in request of a snack, drink refill, tv channel change, blanket, shoe removal, etc. But none the less she is requesting ME! the most popular family member.

The boy, he admires me so much he runs around the house all day yelling out my name in a repetitive banter. Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! MOMMA! (that is his extra loud screech meaning you better respond "Mrs. Most Popular Member of the Family!) I would say he showers me with admiration at least 4000 times a day. It is incredible!

Just last night while settling the kids down before bed we decided to watch Matilda together. Both kids were admanant about sitting with yours truly. Not Daddy! Yuck! They even fought over me! It was so thrilling. They just hopped up into the big gold comfy chair and snuggled up to me. I don't think I have ever had anyone actually FIGHT over me.

The best is that even the dog thinks I am the most popular. She does not get out of her bed or leave our bedroom until THE QUEEN (me) has risen. Daddy can be up showering, making coffee, up with the kids, but the dog will not move until I do. My daughter complained tonight that the dog won't stay in her room at night. She leaves when I leave. Yes, I am sooooooo wanted by all! Even the dog!

And last buy not least, my hubby (like the kids) thinks I am the best snuggler too. Except not on the gold chair watching tv . . .

So with dark circled eyes, a weary smile, dishes in the sink and nine loads of laundry to do I proudly accept my award of "The Most Popular Member of My Family!"

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What's in your favorites?

I was doing a little computer housecleaning and noticed I have a ton of crap in my favorites. I will share just a few and every now and then share a few more cool links I have saved. So share yours too! What's in your favorites? Tell us. It is like emptying your purse for all to see!

Photofiddle - I've never used it but hope to one day when I have time to sit down and explore.

Fraction to decimal conversion - this bookmark gets used on occasion when I am doing print layouts and need to setup some odd dimension and put it in decimals.

Greater New Orleans Immunization Network's Bus Schedule - If you are a parent in the NOLA area and don't know about this you should! I use it all the time. It is clean, convenient, quick and most of all FREE! Why pay a co-pay for shots when you can get them for free! - A human-powered search engine. Check it out!

A reward chart for kids - I recently found this to use for my daughter. I liked that is was simple and blank. I added not only chores, but behavioral goals.

That's all I will leave you with right now. Another day I will tempt you with even more interesting and useful links - straight out of my very own FAVORITES!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Our best Mardi Gras Parade ever!

Well, Orpheus rolled tonight on the northshore and we had a grand time!

We met up with friends at 5:45pm just before the roads closed at my hubby's office which is right on the parade route. We had the traditional Popeye's chicken (which I waited in the drive-thru for 30 mintues to get!), coleslaw, mashed potatoes, red beans and rice, honey baked ham, bean dip, cornbeef rollups and of course King Cake from no where else but Nonna Randazzo's!

This year we caught the parade from a midpoint rather than the beginning or the end of the route and let me tell you we got some loot. We were with 2 other families and had a great spot on the West Causeway Approach. Just our family alone collected 4 moon pies (which we have never caught at a parade before), 12 stuffed animals, 4 footballs, 1 rotating sucker, 1 wind sock, 1 Indian spear and 1 bat and ball set. And all the ladies got great mardi gras braclets. And one mom who was visiting form MN and with us got a great Mardi Gras Boa! The mound of beads we caught was incredible and the quality of beads blew our minds! The Orpheus guys were much more generous than the ladies of the Krewe of Eve. For Eve we walked away with a shopping bag only a quarter the way full of beads, 1 rose and a toy. Tonight it was different! We had my son's stroller and it was so loaded with just our families stuff we couldn't put him back in it to stroll him back to our car!

Here are some pics to enjoy!

Some of my favorite beads we caught:

Laissez bon temps roule!

New Orleans based businesses you can support no matter where you live!

I've had this list on my blog left side bar for some time but thought it might be a good time to make it a blog post! These businesses offer their products via their website or provide a service that can be utilized by customers nationwide. If you know of a business that meets the above criteria and should be added please email me at Thank you for supporting New Orleans based businesses! (I do not make money on these listings. This is just free promotion!)

AngMarie Jewelry
Hand-made and beautiful!

American Tradeshow Services
Registration, attendance tracking, products

Audubon Dermatology
Order skincare products online!

Bayou Country Store
Everything Louisiana!

Blue Roof Denim
Premium denim boutique for men and women

BSI Comics
We’ve got issues!

Crescent City Packaging
Your total packaging solution!

Framin’ Place Gallery
New Orleans Art and Custom Framing

New Orleans World Famous Bakery!

Haydel's Bakery
Home of the world famous Cajun Kringle!

Imagination Movers
Featured on Disney Radio and TV!

Johnette Downing
Music and books for children!
Officially licensed beer and liquor apparel and accessories!

Mamas Little Monkeys
Handcrafted items for children and adults!

Mignon Faget Jewelry
Everyone in New Orleans collects this!

Old Town Parline & Gifts
Pralines, New Orleans Gift Baskets and more!

Orient Expressed
Children's Clothing, gifts, home decor.

Cajun, zydeco & New Orleans kids music!

Cajun Clothing Company!

Randazzo's Bakery
King Cakes and more!

Ross Downing Autos

SGM Baby Bags
Create your own custom baby bag, blanket or other accessory!

SJRP Custom Creations
New Orleans artist - Slate, Canvas or Pottery!

Toledo Enterprises
Butterfly chairs, directors chairs and more!

Whitewood Farms
Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Marmalades, Butters and Gifts!

Wireless Broadband Internet
Sprint wireless cards for laptops and pdas!