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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our BFF Fay

I've been in Florida for one year and two solid months, and finally I get the welcome mat rolled out. Yes, we were a bit excited about our first "hurricane." Keep in mind, our family is a veteran of South Pacific Typhoons, so this one should be a breeze right?

First, you have to decide whether or not to GO. We live in evacuation Zone A, so that means we leave period. The Gov. called a state of emergency. Then, the County folks issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Gulf Beaches. So we complied. I found a couple of rooms at a local hotel in a non-evac area. We opted to stay close versus making the mad dash across the state, though we did toy with the idea of Jupiter or Orlando because projections -- all of the projections showed those areas being missed by the winds and rain.

We enjoyed the family hurricane party at the hotel. We way overpacked and loaded our cars with enough water and food and batteries to feed a small army.

But the hurricane did not come. We haven't gotten a drop of rain.

Jupiter? Orlando? They got slammed. And, now it's likely that they will get slammed again if our BFF Fay decides to actually turn into a hurricane in the Atlantic and do an encore visit to Florida. Where she will go is anyone's guess. Weathermen in Oklahoma might have those tornadoes figured out, but hurricanes are a totally different thing. Where's Gary England when you need him?

So for right now, we're all fine. Ray and I are supposed to drive up to South Carolina with the CM, but we aren't sure that's going to happen because our BFF is supposed to follow.

You know the hardest thing about evacuating? Deciding what to leave. Looking around your house and thinking, "I might not ever see this again." Yeah, I'm rethinking this whole living on the beach thing. I like the sound of a non-evacuation zone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My grandson's been an avid fan of McGruff, the crimefighting dog, since he was little. I used to have a hand puppet and M would want us to wear that thing for hours. We finally took to hiding McGruff so we would be wearing the dang thing on our hands, and talking like McGruff to boot, for hours!

But guess who we happened to run into during our trip to DC earlier this summer. You guessed it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

10 school resolutions for the slacker mom

Thought I'd share this amusing blog column by Kelly Smith and Sharon Kennedy Wynne, St. Petersburg Times staff writers

About this time every year, we fall into some kind of glue-stick trance while fawning over and stroking all those organizing gizmos in the back-to-school aisles. And that same old feeling comes over us: This school year will be different. This year we'll be on top of the chaos. We'll make perfect school lunches. We'll have oh-wow ideas for every school project. Every other mom will think we're so cool.

Oh, cut the crap.

We are so over it. Truth is, between crazy work and crazy home, we usually end up overwhelmed, tired and barely holding it together. And feeling enormously guilty about it. So this year, we're not going to try to be one of those smiling ubermoms. And we're not going to feel guilty about it.

Here are 10 back-to-school resolutions for the slacker mom. Repeat after us:

• I will not do it for you, so do it yourself. Don't like PB&J in your Hannah Montana lunch bag? Then pack something else. And this extends to basic household stuff. Soggy towel and scuzzy undies left on the floor? Fine. Hungry and Mom's stuck at work? Mac and cheese, hubby dear.

• I will not sell wrapping paper or candy. Nope, nothing. We'll write a modest check instead. Heck, we'll have all our friends and family write checks, too. Just, please, no more cookie dough in the freezer.

• I will volunteer for ONE event. Maybe a field trip. No Fall Festival booth, and nothing that involves a cash register. Yeah, yeah, we hear all the ubermoms crying, "No fair, that's why we get stuck doing everything!" So true.

• I will not nag, bicker or bribe. Homework not done? See how that goes over at school. Breakfast untouched? Gee, hope you packed your lunch.

• I will not argue over clothes. Wear whatever you want, kid. Pick it out the night before, change your mind 20 times in the morning, whatever. But don't expect to get it ironed at the last minute. That's why God made Downy Wrinkle Releaser spray.

• I will not stick an erasable calendar on the fridge. Because after we fill it in once with important dates for September, we'll never look at it again. Until December. Ditto on the color-coded file folders.

• I will make no excuses when my kid's project looks like Tinkertoys. At least compared to SuperKid's to-scale replica of the White House with remote-controlled motorcade and swinging doors. At least my kid did it herself. Sure, we'll offer ideas and support (awesome toilet paper roll thingamajig, honey!), but we refuse to do it for her.

• I will not run a shuttle all over the county every afternoon. Pick ONE after-school sport or activity: piano lessons, soccer fields or karate class.

• I will not be a hairstylist. If you choose a 'do that requires gel or braiding, you better be willing to learn how to do it yourself. We'll only get yelled at when it's "not done right" anyway.

• I will not stress about my child's reading level or giftedness. It's the teacher's job to teach and my job to create a supportive atmosphere. So there will be no flash cards unless the teacher requests it.