Category Archives: Random Ramblings

Help Save the World – Don’t Wear White After Labor Day

I was recently having the age old fashion conversation about whether it is okay to wear white after Labor Day.  The short answer is no.  And the long answer is…no.white-after-labor-day-420x315

You can choose to disagree with me and I won’t judge – but you would be wrong.

There is plenty of speculation about how and where this unwritten rule originated.  I, however, am convinced it was created with the intention of giving us boundaries as a society and to help us from falling victim to the same fate as many civilizations before us.

The very survival of our culture depends on people putting away their white clothing and shoes after the first weekend in September.  If you want to question my logic then just look at some of the cultures that have come, and gone, before us.  The Roman Empire fell once everyone started wearing white togas after Labor Day.  And what about the collapse of the Ming Dynasty?  Contrary to the popular myth that it was inter-tribal feuding, it was actually their refusal to put away their white sandals and move to transitional fall colors in their footwear.  (You history majors can back me up on this, right?)

It’s so simple and easy – just don’t wear white after Labor Day.  Many people use the excuse that summer temperatures still exist after Labor Day so they feel comfortable still wearing summer clothing. I’m not saying you have to break out the winter wardrobe.  Certainly common sense must prevail, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t try to dress like it is still the middle of July.  Just ask the Mayans. Oh, wait you can’t. Their civilization collapsed when it became common practice to wear white after the “official end of summer.”

Contrary to what Vogue or Cosmopolitan magazines may say, you are not a fashion forward trend setter for wearing white in the “no white after Labor Day zone.”  You are, instead, guilty of hurling our culture toward certain disaster and ultimately destruction.

Don’t let anyone tell you that this rule is old fashioned or out of date.  Don’t fall into the trap of believing that one little lapse of wearing white capris won’t matter.  It will; because it’s just a short and slippery ride down the slope to linen and sear sucker, my friend.  And then we are doomed for sure.

(In case you’re confused, my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek while writing this. However, I was NOT wearing white!)

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Has It Been Enough?

I passed another milestone this week and, in retrospect, I think I might have rather passed a kidney stone.

I took my oldest son to register for his college classes.

Want to know the painful part? We bought the text books!

Seriously, I’ve been kidding myself all summer that I was ready for this and that I was going to be okay when the time came. Well, the lump in my throat tells me I’m not. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter if I am ready or not. The real question is – is he ready?

More importantly, did I do enough as a mother to prepare him for this moment?

In exactly one month, his father and I will help him move into his dorm and eventually we will drive away, leaving him there with more freedom than an 18-year-old should probably have.

In the end, I have to trust that he really did listen to all the speeches, lectures, instructions and pearls of wisdom I shared with him over the last 18 years. I have to trust that he will do the right thing when faced with issues of integrity, honesty and sincerity. I have to trust that he will study, make good grades, eat his vegetables and be in by curfew.

In the end, I have to trust that it has been enough.

In the end, I just have to trust.

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Filed under All About Me, College Life, Random Ramblings, The Boys Are Back, You Gotta Have Faith

New Favorite

As holidays go, Christmas has always been high on my list of favorites. However, this year, I made a discovery. I discovered that Christmas Eve is my new favorite.

I have finally realized that I like the waiting. I like the build up, the hype, the anticipation that occurs on the day before Christmas. I love the last minute shopping, wrapping, cooking and running around that Christmas Eve inevitably brings with it.

Now don’t get me wrong. I still love the magic of Christmas morning: getting up way too early because three boys can’t wait another minute to open their presents, listening to the crackle of the Christmas morning fire and smelling the much needed coffee brewing in the kitchen. Being surrounded by my family and feeling the strong sense of contentment that loving them brings me.

All that being said; I still like Christmas Eve more.

I look forward to taking care of last minute details; tracking the progress of Santa and his reindeer so that little boys know when they need to go to bed. I love Christmas Eve church services with flickering candlelight and “Silent Night” being sung by voices young and old.

I treasure the late night gift wrapping sessions with my Hubby and trying to sneak through the house without waking anyone. Finally laying my head down on my pillow, thankful for another year of God’s blessings, and realizing that I am wide awake, can’t sleep and in less than five hours, three boys will be bouncing on our bed in an attempt to wake us up.

I imagine the expectation that Mary must have experienced as she waited to hear the cries of her baby boy; the way she must have felt as she prepared to give birth to the Savior of the world. I think about the anticipation that generations have felt as they wait for HIS return.

Waiting for something that is worth more than any other gift you can receive.

I ponder the vastness of an eternity spent with no more waiting.

But for now, I wait. And I like the waiting.

Yes, Christmas Eve is officially my new favorite.

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Be Good and You Might Get a Skittle

I was talking with some fellow moms the other day and and our conversation turned to the recent “back to school dentist visits” that our kids had endured lately. We all agreed that it seemed like our kids had more cavities than we did growing up. Of course in an effort to discover the root cause and ultimately solve the issue once and for all for all of mankind we each threw out what we suspected to be the culprit.

There was the old stand by about our kids drinking more bottled and filtered water and therefore not getting enough fluoride. We even lamented over the overall lack of dental hygiene that most kids practice, but the one thing we could all agree on was the candy.

Our kids and their peers consume a lot of sugar and a good portion of it in the form of candy. And that’s because candy has become society’s reward system. Kids learn at an early age that if they behave well in certain circumstances they will receive a sweet treat.

Teachers use candy to reward good behavior, good grades, good attitudes, good attendance. Good grief!

Stop in any local bank, hair salon or doctor’s office, and you will find a bowl of lollipops just daring your kid to be bad.  I think the dentist himself is the only place in town not serving up candy for good behavior. I’m sure it’s not for a lack of desire either; they just have to keep up that whole “healthy mouth” thing that they have going on.

Our church is even in on the conspiracy, because I’ve seen the kids lined up to go into Children’s Worship and what does each one of them get handed at the door before they go in? You got it! A piece of candy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have been known to silence a screaming toddler once or twice in my day with a promised candy bar in the grocery store check out line. Heck, I’ve been known to silence my own screaming with a Three Musketeer or four. They don’t call it “point of purchase” for nothing.

All in all I think a few cavities is a small price to pay for well behaved kids. Besides doesn’t everybody really win in this scenario. The dentist gets his new sports car, the kids get their sugar fix, and mom and dad enjoy the blissful silence of well behaved children.

That is, until the novacaine wears off. Somebody pass the skittles, please!

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The One Where I Try to Catch You Up On Everything

Summer is almost gone. The boys will actually start school a week from Monday. I feel a small twinge of guilt because we haven’t been able to find any time to take a vacation together this summer. A lot of other events have taken place though:

  • Two weddings – nieces on both sides of our families were married this summer.
  • One of those did require a trip to St. Louis. Does that count as a vacation? Didn’t think so.
  • Mother-in-law finally agreed to move into assisted living and created more drama than a daytime soap opera.
  • Sent three boys to church camps, one to running camp, one volunteered at vacation bible school, one had a summer job, one started piano lessons, one watched too much TV and they all tried to eat me out of house and home.
  • Spent a really fun day on the lake with neighbors and friends.
  • Lost Hubby’s dear Aunt Barbie after a long battle with COPD. She was a dear lady and she will be missed terribly.
  • Applied to go back to college to finish my degree and was accepted.
  • Attended my family’s annual reunion. Ate too much.
  • Watched my first baby get his high school senior pictures made. Cried a little.
  • And watched another summer slide quickly by as our busy lives left no time to mourn its passing.

So much has happened in such a short period of time that I haven’t had a lot of time left over to blog. With school starting back and routines and schedules looming on the horizon, I hope to get back into the groove of writing.

Believe me, I have missed you as much as you have missed me. All two of you that is!

Thanks for sticking with me and while I can’t make any promises, I will try to give my blog more attention.

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Is It Safe?

There is a whole lot of talk about the safety issues of talking on cells phones while driving. And now we have to worry about TWD (texting while driving). Both of which I am guilty. Although, I will say that I use my speaker phone/hands free feature almost exclusively while talking  and I almost always text while sitting at red lights. I know – I said almost.

I am a huge advocate of safe driving, but I also have to admit that talking on the phone and texting are probably the least of my safe driving violations. In fact, while talking to Sis the other day, she reminded me of some of the things we used to do while driving.

Of course the first two things I perfected while driving were eating and drinking. That may not seem like a big deal, but it was to me at age 16, especially in a car with no cups holders (’66 Ford Mustang). I did finally resort to one of those cup holders that you have to roll your window down to hang on the door. Yes, I was VERY cool!

Later I impressed passengers with my ability to eat and drink while driving… a five speed! It is not easy to juggle a drink, fries, a steering wheel and a gear shifter all at the same time. It’s a gift, people. A gift!

I was also able to remove my t-tops and throw them in the back seat on sunny days while sitting at traffic lights. I had actually forgotten about this, but Sis reminded of this talent because evidently she was in car with me one time when I did it. What can I say? I like to feel the wind in my hair.

And as a woman driver I have applied make-up while driving. I don’t really recommend doing this unless there is a cosmetic emergency. Trying to apply lip stick and mascara are both dangerous activities to attempt while driving. So unless you want lips that look Bozo the Clown or want to risk losing an eye, I say put on your face at home in the safety of your bathroom. Besides, the lighting is much better there!

I think the riskiest maneuver (on many levels) that I ever made while driving was removing my pantyhose in a car with a manual transmission. In rush hour traffic. My only defense is that it was a hot summer afternoon and my air conditioner wasn’t working. Or maybe I had taken the t-tops out at the last intersection. Who knows? Either way, I realize it was a risky move and not the safest thing to do while driving.

So when you see me coming in my big SUV, texting and talking on the phone (hands free!), let me put your mind at ease by saying, I hardly ever wear pantyhose any more!

How do you multi-task while driving? Tell us in the comments.

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Concentrating On My Laundry Detergent

I’ve never really had any brand loyalty when it comes to buying laundry detergent. I’ve always been persuaded to make my purchases based on cheap prices, pretty packaging, and the promise of clothes that smell like “the mountains in springtime.”

I’ve always been a sucker for that “mountains in springtime” smell. Not that I could tell the difference between mountains in spring and mountains in summer. I could totally be getting ripped off by paying for springtime smells when in reality the laundry detergent folks are passing off summer scents.

And somebody please tell me why my clothes are getting just as clean (or cleaner as some would claim) when I’m using  less detergent. It seems all the laundry soaps have gone to a 2x, or in some cases 3x, concentrated formula.

I’m not sure what that means except that I can now lift the bottles of detergent off the shelf at the store and put it in my shopping cart without giving myself a hernia. And I no longer have to rent storage space to house my family sized box of laundry detergent.

Am I getting a better deal? Probably not, because I usually feel the need to use more soap than what the directions call for. I can’t help it. I just don’t feel like the stinky, sweaty, dirty clothes that my boys leave in piles all over the house are getting clean by using  half a tablespoon of laundry soap.

Supposedly the concentrated versions use less water to manufacture, less packaging to ship and store, and are, therefore, better for the environment. And they are supposed to get my clothes as clean, if not cleaner, than the original versions.

All of that may or may not be true, but none of it really matters if my clothes don’t smell like the mountains in springtime.

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