Friday, April 20, 2012

RAOK #39 - You're never done.

I LOVE laundry . . .

NOT.  Actually, I deplore laundry... it is the most unpleasant chore that I have to do and the worst thing about it is YOU ARE NEVER DONE unless you do your last load naked.  It's the most unfulfilling perpetual household task.  Ever.

I even have one of those mamma-jamma washer and dryers too, which you would think would make it less painful. Not a chance.

Last year a sad sad day came . . . my washer broke.  I don't know about your house, but at my house with four kids, if you have a broken washer for any length of time then laundry will soon be spilling from every orifice of your home.  The repair people were booked, so I had to go almost two weeks with a broken washer.  This is just NOT acceptable.

So . . . we schlocked laundry to the laundromat.  Not something I've done much of in the last 25 or so years.

I did this in college a lot.  No one has a washer and dryer in their dorm room, of course, so as soon as the students run out of clean underwear, they are at the laundromat.  In my case, my boyfriend, best friend, and I went to the laundromat every Friday night.  We never ran out of underwear.  Obviously, we were not very exciting.  On Friday nights, almost every other college student was either on a date or out partying and therefore the laundromat was deserted and there were plenty of washers.  We were the good kids, can you tell?  At least there aren't embarrassing pictures out there of me doing stupid things in college that could ruin any future political career on which I might decided to embark.  Also, my kids cannot justify any ill-advised behavior by using the excuse "Well YOU did it".  I'll be happy if they follow my example by spending their Friday nights in college at the laundromat.

The adult foray to the laundromat was just annoying.  What a waste of time to sit around there literally watching clothes dry, thinking of all the things you could be getting done while washing clothes at home, being bugged by the preschooler for sugar drinks and a plethora of candy from the many machines there, and listening to the teenagers gripe about why they had to waste a Saturday at the laundromat.  Uh, because your teenage sister put an earring in the washer again and it ripped the rubber boot and now we don't have a washer that works.  Go complain to her.

Now, I don't know about any of that stuff I just wrote about from personal experience. You thought that I went to the laundromat?    Ha!  I missed all that fun because the husband went with the kids instead of me to save my back from lifting.  I'm married to a great guy aren't I? No, you cannot have him . . .he is ALL mine!

RAOK #39 is for the college students, broken washer people and washerless people.  I made a special trip to the laundromat, went to a machine, filled it with quarters and put one of my little cards on there.  Let us observe a moment of silence please in respect for all of the people who have to schlock laundry to the laundromat to do a task that is yucky even at home.

Thank you.  Thank you very much.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Touching Base...

I'm in the middle of a weekend celebration honoring my mom's 70th birthday!  So fun and we're having a blast, eventually I will put up some pictures of all the crazy decorating I did.  But I'm getting some complaints that I haven't posted anything in a few days and some of you are disappointed which makes me happy.  Yeah, that's messed up, isn't it?

I like it that you miss me when I don't write every day!!  Thanks for caring and thanks for liking me.

Anyway, welcome to some new readers also.  I linked up my Spring Subway Art (here) to some craft blogspots that I read and I've had all kinds of people bouncing over from other blogs to check it out and hopefully print it to decorate their homes and doors.  Very sweet, thank you new people!

Stay tuned for some posts coming up detailing the rest of my RAOKS for my birthday and then I am doing a giveaway at the end of the birthday RAOKS . . . you won't want to miss it, it will be fun!!

Until I get a minute break from partying with my mom and sissy and family . . .TTFN! (For those of you who don't speak "Tigger" language from Winnie the Pooh . . . that's Ta-Ta-For-Now!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

RAOK #38 - Spring Subway Art

I'm cheating just a tiny bit.  Just a teensy tiny bit.  I've been posting my Random Acts of Kindness that I performed for my birthday mission - 46 in all to match my 46th birthday.  My last post was RAOK #37 and I have nine more about which to write.

However . . . I've wanted to update my front door wreath with some Spring Subway Art and I just couldn't find anything that I liked.  So, I made my own!! And I have some wonderful new friends that are following me from Pinterest and I just know that they will like this artwork.  The only problem is that in order for someone to "Pin" something, it has to be posted on a blog or website.   

RAOK #38 is for my Pinterest followers and anyone else who would like a fun colorful Spring decoration.  It is NOT one of the original 46 RAOKS, so I will actually post 47 RAOKs for you so you can see all the originals.

Do you even care about this numbering thing?

In case you aren't a Pinterest user, I highly recommend you do NOT start using Pinterest . . .because if you are like me, you will love it and it will be one more thing that you end up wasting time on your computer.  But, I have to say I really have referred back to it several times and purchased, cooked, and crafted ideas that I have gleaned from there. It is actually quite fun and very addictive.

As a bow to Pinterest, here is my Spring Subway Art.  Right click on it and "save as" a picture (to a file you can find later).  Then go to the file and print it out as an 8x10 photo.  It was built as an 8x10 so it should print out well.  It should fit lovely right into a beautiful white frame that you can then display on a mantle or put inside a wreath, which is what I did.  Note this is for personal use only and please Pin back to my page and my original artwork.

Monday, April 9, 2012

RAOK #37 - Why do my kids think they can operate a crane?

One thing that is neat about having kids around is that they haven't been tainted much by disappointment.  They think they can do anything because, so far, life hasn't kicked them in the tush much and beaten them down yet (you know, like all of us adults!).   While the rest of us are hanging up motivational sayings in our offices, reading books about how to get over our latest hang-up, tagging inspiring words on FB and pinning them on Pinterest, the kids are just going out and trying stuff and thinking they can.

Ignorance is bliss sometimes, isn't it?

I think I could do with a little more "getting out there and trying it" versus "sitting around here and trying to motivate myself".  How about you?

Anyway, you know those silly crane machines where you drop down the hook and are rewarded with a stuffed animal when you pick it up? (You know... like in Toy Story).  Those really look like fun to the kids, except for the part where you never can actually hook anything so it is a waste of money.  Of course, the kids don't know that part of it.  Somehow they think that they have magically developed the skill of a crane operator or of the character "Tank" played by James Garner in the movie Space Cowboys. Remember the part where he operated the crane and won himself a toy?  Yeah, well he was trained by NASA, kids!

With four kids of various ages, I've been plagued for about 14 or so consecutive years with children intermittently wanting to play with those machines at the front of the store, the fair, a carnival, or wherever else they are placed to inconvenience parents and try to part us from more of our money.   Of course since I say "no" all the time, they get the hint and quit asking for the most part. 

I've tried explaining what "the odds" are, and what that means anyway.  Pointless, especially to the under 16 set who aren't working yet.  Vegas analogy?  No good for a 5 year old.   Hey little sweetie, when you are putting money on the roulette wheel, there is only a 1 in 38 probability that you are going to win against "the house".  Isn't it obvious if they can afford a humonguous building that they are making way more money than the people who are gambling and therefore gambling and operating this crane are both a big waste of money?  Mom, what is roulette, probability, and why are you calling a humonguous building a house?  I've never seen a "house" that big.  And what do you mean we don't have "money" for that? Just go get more from that little machine at the drive-thru.


RAOK #37 was for the poor tired mom or dad who had to drag the little one to the store with them and the kid saw the "crane" machine.  I taped some money on it so the parent could just, for once, not have an argument about why the crane machine is a waste of money.

And if the kid actually operated the crane, won a prize and beat the house?  More power to him!

Friday, April 6, 2012

RAOK #36 - Someday I won't need these . . .

So far, these organs have served me well.  For you squeamish people, I didn't put a real heart picture up there because I couldn't find one that wasn't graphic.  You're welcome.

I used to really struggle with my mortality and the fact that someday I am going to die.  I'm still not terrifically fond of the idea of course and I'm hoping it doesn't happen anytime soon, especially before my 5 year old hits adulthood.  But what makes my heart quiet and my soul rest is the fact that I know what is happening to me after I die.  Not EXACTLY of course, I think God has a sense of humor and doesn't want to ruin the surprise by giving us too many details of the awe-inspiring events.  I do love surprises.

It seems a perfect day to post my RAOK, which I will discuss in a minute, because today is Good Friday.  However, in the wake of the Easter bunny and Cadbury eggs *love*, the true meaning of this weekend has been lost.  I've tried not to make my blog "preachy" because my husband used to be an atheist (he's now a die-hard Christian) and he says the "hit me over the head hard with the bible and 'religion' " approach always turned him off.  It was my soft way of discussing my thoughts and beliefs with him, non-judgmentally, that actually made him curious about Christianity and started him on a path that he's walking on now.  It has to be each man or woman's individual choice and I'm not trying to cram mine down your throat.

However, I didn't want to let Easter pass without sharing the "good news".  Jesus is real . . he walked this earth as a man . . . he was perfect and sinless and he willing went through terrible pain and separation from God his father in order that you and I might have our own sins and shortcomings forgiven and forgotten.  He rose in 3 days from the dead.  Scoff if you want to, but I know in my soul that it is true.  I've felt Him, I've connected, I'm His, and I know what is happening to my soul someday when I die. 

As far as my body, well, I'm not going to need it where I'm going.  So RAOK #36 was my act of becoming an organ donor.  I've always wanted to but I have now informed my family officially and sent a directive to my attorney (Hi, Troy!) to put a letter in my file with my will.  He did inform me that I should go to the donor registry in my state to make it "official".

I think the act of giving life to people who are ill with no hope of recovery has to be the greatest act of kindness there can be to them and their family.  So assuming I don't die of some stupid disease that destroys my organs, they will go to several desperate people who need a second chance and will hopefully use that second chance to carry on the RAOK.

Think about it . . donating. . . .your organs to humanity and your soul to Jesus.  I know it will change your life, and probably someone else's too. 

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RAOK #35 - Please shut up. I have a kidney stone.

I don't have one right now!  (And I am not normally fond of the words "shut up").  But in my lifetime, I've had several.  I've also gone through labor to bear children and I can't decide which pain is worse - at least when you go through labor you get something at the end of it!  It's sort of ironic that the pain of bearing an 8 lb child is about the same pain as pushing a stone smaller than a BB through your renal system. 

I digress.

One of the things about having a kidney stone is that there is no relief from the pain except for those amazing drugs they drip through the IV when you finally get attended to at the ER.  It doesn't matter how you sit, stand, or lie down, the pain is ever present. This can make you physically sick but it definitely makes you EDGY.  Any noise is like a clanging cymbal, and light bears into the back of your eyes right through your brain to create a spectacular headache to go along with your generally miserable disposition.  Of course, since kidney stones are not life-threatening and car accidents or profuse bleeding are, you oftentimes find yourself waiting for hours at the ER while they take the cases that are more urgent. 

Point being, you are sitting in the ER and it seems that inevitably there is some poor soul who is also there but they had to bring their kids along with them.  Or perhaps the kid is the one who is ill.  Either way, as you sit there in excruciating pain with a horrible headache and trying not to vomit, the kids are screaming, fussing and generally creating all kinds of havoc because they are bored. 

On any regular day, I have an AMAZING tolerance for noise with my four kids and all their friends.  Sometimes there will be other adults over and they will comment "Doesn't all this noise drive you crazy?"  Nope.  I have a finely-tuned and much developed skill set for totally ignoring it.  I honestly have had 20+ teenagers here at one time and I wasn't one bit fazed or frazzled.  Cool, huh?

However, the one exception is this kidney stone ER visit thing.  When I am feeling that bad, I can't stand the noise. 

So RAOK #35 was borne out of the memory of the desperation of those times!  It was designed to provide relief for both the ER patients in the waiting room as well as the parent who is sick or desperately trying to entertain their little ones.  I created several "activity boxes" with a variety of fun and safe items (that I mostly picked up for way cheap at Party City and the Dollar Store).
Cars, crayons, activity books, little puzzles, Rubik's cubes, and some fun toy animals

I bought some cheap plastic shoe boxes and created a label for the boxes, then assembled and delivered them to my local ER:

Cute girls at the ER admissions desk!
They seemed excited to have them but the only bummer of the day is when they told me that they would not be comfortable "re-using" the boxes because of the spread of germs and no one to sanitize the items.  So instead of having boxes that can be enjoyed over and over, I provided them with five boxes that will just be given to a child in need, which is still a good thing.

In retrospect, I might just make some of these boxes and store them somewhere here at home to grab on my way to my next ER visit.  That way I can give it directly to the little noisy buggers myself!  (Just kidding... kind of).