Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's Eve classic tale

Some occasions just beg for the telling of the same story over and over again. In our house, New Year's Eve is one of them. Amazingly, I've never told this one here so tonight I thought I'd share.

We have a grocery store near our house that used to have a lobster tank. Every time we went to the store with Robbie there was a certain routine we had to follow. First, a stop at the bakery for the free cookie. Then off to the seafood/meat department to see the lobsters.


Our crustaceanic visit was never long. Just a minute or two to see which lobster was moving that day (not always guaranteed) or which was the biggest. But there was no setting foot into that store without making an appearance at the lobster tank.

So one year when Robbie was about three years old, New Year's Eve rolled around and Mike and I were trying to think of festive ways to celebrate the occasion at home. We decided it would be fun to have lobster for dinner (and fish sticks for the kids). We couldn't wait to tell Robbie that we were going to pick out a lobster.

The morning of New Year's Eve, we told Robbie we were going to the store to pick out a lobster and asked if he wanted to help. Well, of course he did! So we went to the store, made the obligatory stop at the bakery, and headed to the lobster tank.

We picked out our lobster and asked the guy behind the tank to cook it for us so we could pick it up at dinner time. For the record, that's the only way I'd ever serve lobster in my house -- pre-cooked.

Later that evening, Mike went back to the store to pick up the lobster and bring it home. We put it on a white platter, where it's now-bright red shell stood out. Robbie was so excited. He picked it up and looked at it up close before putting the lobster back on the platter.

About 10 minutes of final dinner prep went by and we sat down to eat. Mike was the first to start in on the lobster, taking a large claw in his grasp and ripping it off the rest of the body.

This was the point at which the screaming of bloody murder started. It wasn't the lobster, who was sufficiently dead and cooked. Instead, the screaming came from Robbie. We tried to assure him it was ok as I took my turn to messily remove another claw, which led to more tortured screaming.

Eventually, Robbie became so inconsolable that I had to take him to his bedroom. It wasn't until the kitchen was quiet again that we figured out what had upset Robbie so badly. Poor kid thought we were bringing home a lobster to be a pet. And then we proceeded to tear it from limb to limb!

And the story has become a New Year's Eve classic, told every year at least once, sometimes more often. Oh, and we've never brought another lobster home again.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Adventures in sleep

On Wednesday night I had a sleep study. I've done plenty of studying in near states of sleep, but sleep was actually the point of this endeavor.

I'm not a stranger to the world of sleep study. I had one about 5 years ago, which resulted in me becoming the owner of a space-age looking CPAP machine. But I'd gotten away from using the machine after I lost a good amount of weight. Since I've found all that weight again, I found myself doing the wakefulness and near-choking that comes with sleep apnea. My fatigue had gotten so bad that I actually pulled the machine out to use again.

That would have been a great idea, except now the machine makes a really loud and annoying noise. Mike actually said he'd rather hear my snoring. So I called the sleep clinic to find out how to fix it or get a new one. Of course, they couldn't talk to me without a referral from my doctor. So I called my doc who said that since my study was so long ago, she wanted me to have another one. It was like one of those books -- "If You Give a Girl a CPAP Machine..."

So, all that resulted in me checking in to the sleep clinic at 8pm on Wednesday night. I packed light -- jammies, toothbrush and two books to read. I used the jammies and the toothbrush, but the books stayed in the bag once I found The Holiday (Jack Black's best role ever!) on the Lifetime Channel. My mother would have been appalled, though, that my pajama shirt had two small holes in it. I think wearing jammies with holes in them to a sleep study is somewhat akin to having dirty underwear on when you get into a car accident.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppFor you mommies or wives or women in general who need a little getaway, may I recommend a sleep study. I mean check out this room built for relaxation:

Ok. So there is no jacuzzi tub or in-room massage (both of which I'm going to recommend on my satisfaction survey). But there is a clean room with no dirty laundry on the floor, a television that only turns to Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network if you want it to, and absolutely no way for an 8-year-old to climb into your bed during the night.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAnd there is a Sleep Number bed. Is that brilliant marketing or what? Here you have a captive audience of people who are clamoring for a good night's sleep, so why not give them a bed that's custom comfort? The most firm setting is 100. One of my FB friends suggested that I try a level 5 just for kicks. As she said, it's like trying to climb out of a deflated raft. It turns out that my sleep number is somewhere around 55.

 Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppAbout an hour after I got settled in, Sheila came in to get me hooked up. Talk about being wired for sleep! I think I had a dozen or so wires pasted to various parts of my body.

Then there were the chest straps to measure my breaths, the microphone on my throat to record my snoring (as if I snore!), and the wires going up my nose. I snapped a few pics of myself pre-nasal wires. It's a lovely look, I know.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Once my movie was over, I was ready to sleep. After a few tests of the equipment -- Sheila called them in over the intercom -- it was snoozeville. I fell asleep pretty easily (I always do), but woke and tossed and turned several times over the next two hours.

At about 1:30am, Sheila came in to hook me up to the CPAP machine, which they do for people with "severe apnea episodes." No big surprise there. She set me up with a this mask that just plugged right into my nostrils. Not too bad. But then she asked if I was a mouth-breather. Well, duh, aren't all people who snore? So that earned me a chin strap to keep my mouth closed and another back of the head velcro something or other. I was really sleepy, but I distinctly remember thinking "Being fat is so not worth all of this."

Once the CPAP was set up, I fell back to sleep within a few minutes. And then I SLEPT. No waking. No coughing. No tossing. No turning.

When Kevin, the night supervisor, came in to wake me, I felt good! I would have felt better if it was 8am instead of 6:30am -- seriously, for what that night's sleep probably cost me (or at least my insurance company), I should have gotten to stay 'til 11am with a room service breakfast). But still, I felt remarkably rested. As he was removing all my electrodes, he stepped back and said "Oh! I forgot you have blue hair." We both got a chuckle out of that and I told him how the blue hair came about. He said "When I saw your blue hair when you came in, I thought to myself 'I bet that lady's fun.'" Love it!

I asked how often I was waking per hour. I got the coy "You had several wakeful arousals, but your doctor will get the specific results in the next week." I hate that. It's my information for crying out loud. I know for sure that cozying up with a CPAP machine is in my future.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Whatcha reading?

I like to read for fun, but I don't read often. Usually, I read one or two books over Christmas break, a handful of books during the summer, and maybe another book or two at other times of the year. I think the last book I read was The Help, which I read before the movie came out last summer.

Such an on-again-off-again romance with reading often leaves me unsure of what books are worth my time to read. I used to read all the John Grisham novels, until they got so formulaic. I like Elizabeth Berg, but have read most of her stuff. I read the entire Harry Potter series, but have no desire to read The Hunger Games, which seems to be a popular series these days.

So yesterday, I posted this on Facebook:

I'm kind of itchy to read something. I generally like historical fiction, chick lit, even young adult reads. Nothing heavy or depressing. Any suggestions?

Let me tell you, if you want a lot of chatter on your Facebook page, ask people what you should read. I got 39 responses, including some farcical suggestion from Mike that I read some dumb star Wars book. Mike's comment aside, I hated to lose such good suggestions or to keep them to myself.

So here you go: what to read if you don't know what to read:
  1. Jen Lancaster memoirs 
  2. Highlander by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Beverly Lewis Amish series
  4. Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, Emily Giffin
  5. Real Vampires Hate Their Thighs by Gerry Bartlett
  6. Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
  7. Marian Keys, Jane Greene, Elin Hildebrand, Kristin Hannah
  8. Bossypants by Tina Fey (honestly, I've started it and am not loving it)
  9. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
  10. The Virgin Cure by Amy McKay
  11. Killing Lincoln
  12. James Patterson
  13. War Horse
  14. Becoming Marie Antoinette
  15. Sarah's Key (which I've read and loved!)
  16. The Help (again, read it, loved it)
  17. Secret Daughter
  18. The Secret Life of Bees (I've read it, but just might read it again)
  19. Me and Emma
  20. The Kite Runner
  21. Sharon Kay Penman - Here Be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, The Reckoning
  22. When Christ and His Saints Slept trilogy
  23. The Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King
  24. Tana French
  25. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by
    Laura Hillenbrand
  26. The Aquanet Diaries by Jennifer Nivens
  27. The Brides quartet by Nora Roberts
  28. Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert
  29. The Next Always by Nora Roberts
  30. Water for Elephants (one of my favorites)
  31. Blaize Clements -- apparently good for people who like cats and mysteries, an odd combination
  32. Catherine Coulter
  33. The Legacy by Stephen Frey -- someone has a video of the JFK assassination from the other side of the grassy knoll and tons of people want to get it
  34. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
  35. Hangman's Daughter
  36. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  37. 11/23/63 by Stephen King
  38. Philippa Gregory
  39. Jean Plaidy
  40. The Story of Beautiful Girl
  41. New Found Land -- about the Lewis & Clark expedition
I'm going to highjack borrow Annie's Nook and download a few books. I think I'll start with Prairie Tale -- who wouldn't want the dish about Little House on the Prairie? Then The Aquanet Diaries, which is a memoir about growing up in Richmond, Indiana where I lived for a few years when I was a little girl. After that it's a toss up between The Legacy and Unbroken.

So, what are you reading? Anything else I should add to this list?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A grievance against the elves

Elfin Grievance Form -- NP123

Date: December 26, 2011

Grievance filed by: Amy M. (aka The 4th Frog)

Nature of grievance: 

___ Shoddy worksmanship   ___ Poor packaging   ___ Wrong item sent   _X__ Other

Please provide details of the complaint:

Our son Charlie received a basketball shooting game for Christmas. He was thrilled. Unfortunately, the elves in the sporting goods department must have slipped the box into Santa's bag before Santa could notice that they didn't actually assemble the game. Luckily, Charlie was kept plenty busy with his other Christmas gifts that he didn't seem to mind that the gift was still in the box.

The day after Christmas, Charlie opened the box, assuming that he would just need to unfold the game and it would be ready to go. Ha! If only we'd been so lucky. The box was filled with no less than 247 individual pieces that required significant assembly.

There were more than a dozen metal pieces that had to be put together to create the frame. To the elves' credit, these were all clearly marked and actually matched up with the numbers included in the instruction booklet. If only the bolts were as clearly marked. Yes, they were separated and labeled initially, but once the package was opened it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between a #24 bolt and a #25 bolt.

I started the assembly with Charlie helping me. That lasted about 17 minutes. Then it was Annie to the rescue. She and I matched metal poles and nuts and bolts and washers, hoping that the entire contraption would not collapse on top of us. Annie kept saying "Aren't there people who get paid to do this?" She is her GoGo's granddaughter!

Mike called us to lunch and we emerged from the basement, not yet finished, amazed to find that we had been working on this little project for more than 2 hours!

After lunch, we had to tighten up the bolts, install the hoops, hang the backboard, install the scoring system -- and oh, yeah -- find batteries, something else those elves forgot to do. All told (some unscrewing and correcting of erroneous building), it took us about 3-1/2 hours to put Charlie's gift together. I'm thinking the elves could have had it done in 45 minutes or so.

I suppose it was a character building experience. It was some mother-daughter bonding time. In the end, what really matters is that Charlie is having fun with his gift. And so are the rest of us. 

But, I do think that someone might want to have a word with those sporting goods elves.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, over and out

PhotobucketAs a Christmas gift to myself and my family, I'm logging off the internet for the next 24 hours or so.

It'll be a challenge to not run to Facebook to post funny stories or make lamentations about awkward family moments. But I'm giving myself presence as a present. And as much as I'd like to believe it's not true, I'm pretty sure the whole of the internet will not come crashing down as a result of my absence.

So Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa, I'm the one with the blue hair

Dear Santa,

I know you'll be making your big flight tomorrow and I didn't want you to get confused when you peeked in our window and saw some lady with blue hair sleeping in my bed. It's really me.

You might have heard that I promised to dye my hair blue in exchange for donations to a little girl's Make-a-Wish Fund. Well, we got the donations and I kept my word. Let me tell you, it was not an easy process. I was at the salon for 5-1/2 hours! But Shana was a good elf and did a great job.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppFirst, she put bleach on the parts of my hair that were going to get the blue. Then I sat. Then she wiped the bleach off and put more on. Then I sat. Then she wiped that bleach off and shampooed my hair.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppIt was so weird to see myself with blonde hair! I'm pretty sure I prefer being a brunette, but it was fun to see what a little yellow would look like.

After the bleach was all gone, Shana put some stuff in my hair called "Prepare." I had my own little prepare concoction, too. It wasn't the margarita that I had envisioned, but it turns out Almond Snickers do almost as good of a job calming pre-dye job jitters. So does a visit from a social media buddy, Chris Theisen, who works nearby and thought he'd come offer a little support, which was nice considering he's one of the two people who got me into this in the first place.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App After the preparation, it was time do the blue. Shana dried my hair completely and then it was time for the bluification to begin. As if on cue, the other person who was responsible for getting me involved in helping make Kamylle's wish come true walked in the door. Leilan aka BgKahuna made a louder entrance than Chris and was his usual entertaining self. Plus, he acted as the official blue hair photographer.

PhotobucketLook at that gorgeous color!

Shana said they do a lot of reds and pinks, but I'm the first person to ever ask for blue. I love being a trendsetter!

Photobucket That's Shana in the picture putting the blue on my temporarily blonde hair. Shana was even wearing blue for the occasion (well, I like to think that she was anyway). It turned out that a couple of my neighbors were in the salon that day too. I offered to share the blue with them, but neither of them took me up on it. That's too bad, because they are both blondes (or closer to it than I am) and it would have been a much easier process.

PhotobucketOnce Shana got the blue dye where we were going to put it -- bangs, temples and some subtle (as subtle as blue gets) highlights in the back -- she put me under the dryer to set it. BgKahuna joined me there. Except he had no blue dye. He also has no hair (his contribution to the Make-a-Wish effort). We had a very Zen experience.

Twenty minutes later, it was time for the wet reveal. My blue locks drew plenty of attention from the other "elves" at the salon, all of whom said they loved it. I don't think they were lying -- you know, trying to stay on the Nice List and all, Santa.

Are you tired yet? Because by this point, I was getting there. But Shana still had to touch up the rest of my color (apparently blue and gray together is not a good look), then wax my eyebrows (which were in desperate need), then do the cut and style.

Whew! But it was so worth all the effort. Well, I hope Shana thinks so because my effort consisted of sitting there, eating Almond Snickers, playing Words with Friends and updating Facebook on my phone.

Here's the final product:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App 

It shows up differently depending on the lighting. Here's a pic my sister took the next day in her office under much brighter lights:


I think I might be a little addicted to color now. It's so fun, isn't it?

The reaction from other people has been pretty varied. Some people -- Mike included -- love it. Others are disappointed that I didn't do my whole head. Several people wanted to know if I was going to last night's Colts game (Nope.). Random people have commented that they like it. A few people looked at it and didn't say a word. I guess they are of the "if you can't say anything nice..." school of thought.

The best response came from the kids in Robbie's class. A little girl looked at me and said "What happened to your hair?!"  I played dumb and said, "What do you mean? What's wrong with my hair?"

"It's blue!" she shrieked.

"It is?!," I said, playing shocked. "I knew I shouldn't have kissed that Smurf yesterday!" Of course that elicited lots of shrieks about Smurfy PDA.

What do you think Santa? Is my new 'do gift-worthy? Not that it matters. The gift has really been in the experience and in knowing that a little dye on my head helped create happy memories for a very sick little girl.

So, have a safe flight, Santa. We'll be waiting for you here. And please be sure to leave something nice for each of my friends who contributed to Kamylle's Make-a-Wish fund.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 cool things that are blue

  1. Clear blue sky on a spring day
  2. Fresh blueberries on vanilla ice cream
  3. The Twitter bird
  4. Navy blue walls in my family room and kitchen
  5. Sapphires
  6. Crystal blue oceans
  7. Cheese, bleu that is
  8. Butler Blue II (see below)
  9. A favorite pair of perfectly broken-in jeans
  10. My hair -- I hope. Time will soon tell!
butler bulldog blue II Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1 day to blue hair

Can you believe it's been almost 6 weeks since I offered up my brunette (and gray) locks in exchange for donations to Kamylle's Make-a-Wish fund? I was supposed to undergo the dye a few weeks ago, when fever struck. But tomorrow is the day!

Tomorrow I'll submit my head to the capable hands of Shaina at Allure Salon -- now re-open in their pre-fire location. I admit, I'm a little bit nervous. But it's just hair, right?

Shaina and I have done a little strategizing and have determined that blue streaks/highlights are probably the way to go, not because I'm unwilling to go full-headed azure, but because she's afraid the dye on bleach might do some damage to my hair. Yikes! But it's just hair, right?

I'm envisioning my first trip to Target after the blue-ification. "Mommy, why is that lady's hair blue?" Maybe I should have some business cards made that answer the question. Maybe no one will notice, what with everyone scurrying around finishing their holiday shopping.

At church, maybe I can pass it off as an homage to Mary the Mother of God? I figure the one place I'll really fit in is Annie's school, where hair colors change almost as often as the weather.

What if it's awful? It's just hair, right?  I can cut, re-dye it or invest in a collection of hats and scarves.

Better yet, what if I love it and want to keep it up? I suppose in just 1 more day I'll know. And so will you. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where are you, Christmas?

Here we are, less than a week away from Christmas, and I find myself asking "Where are you, Christmas?" 

I've listened to the all-Christmas-all-the-time channel on the radio. I've fired up the Christian Christmas music on Pandora while I'm at work. I've wrapped Christmas presents. I've watched Christmas movie after Christmas movie and still I'm just not feeling it. 

I feel guilty over the fact that we haven't baked cookies or gone caroling or made any kind of Christmas memories that my kids will recall in years to come. But a combination of too many places to be and too much effort to make has done all that in.

I've tried to be charitable, to be in the spirit of the holiday, but dropping a gift under a tree for someone I whose need I can't see and whose face I won't experience feels so impersonal. I've handed money through the car window to the people on the street corner with their signs of despair. Yet, it's not enough. I feel like I want to get out and learn their stories. 

I think I'm overwhelmed by all of the stuff of Christmas. And the fact that nearly every paragraph of this post starts with "I" isn't lost on me. I'm feeling a very physical yearning to make some personal connection that will touch the Christmas place in my heart. How do I get outside of my own head?

I have six days left to make it happen. Six days to find Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Extreme fragments

Mommy's Idea

Today, I'm taking Friday Fragments to the extreme. I'm sure our hostess, Mrs. 4444s, won't mind.

First, let's start with an extreme Christmas tree. It's my brother's tree.

Why yes, that is a flatbed trailer he's using to haul the tree to his house. 

And yes, that is his 6-foot, 4-inch friend standing there dwarfed by the tree. 

Is that awesome or what?!

Then let's throw in some extreme temperatures. Today is December 15. The high here today was 59 degrees! Holy tropical heat wave, Santa!

For extreme temps of a different sort, this time last week I was running a temp of 103.8 degrees! I think that is the sickest I've been in my adult life. I feel much better now, though I've had some extreme bedtimes trying to get my energy back. How's 7:45pm and 8:30pm grab ya? AND, I slept all night long! Terrible for getting things done, but awesome for the body.

This weekend, we're going to be doing some extreme housecleaning. We have a dumpster scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I'm giddy at the thought of just pitching so much STUFF.

Finally, my extreme hairstyle is scheduled to appear next Wednesday. I was supposed to have it done last week, but that's when I was sick, sick, sick.

And now, I am extremely tired and ready for bed. Have a good one!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How do I find "Idunno?"

This time of year, it's not unusual for us to be thinking of places far from home.

Visions of the North Pole occupy the minds of small children who dream of meeting Santa on his own turf. Candy cane streetlights and gingerbread doorways. Rooms overflowing with colorful papers and ribbons and bows (yes, Mom, I know, Santa does not wrap presents). Entire teams of elves whipping up hot chocolate and snickerdoodle cookies.

Grown ups have their own fantasy locales. Tropical beaches where the sun is warm and the drinks are cold.  Where the only things on the to do list involve taking naps and reading for pleasure. Elves of a different sort bring food not cooked by you on dishes that don't have to be washed by you.


But I don't want to go to either place. No, I'm more interested in finding the magical, mysterical (yes, I just made up that word) land of Idunno. For it is there, in the land of Idunno, that -- apparently -- all the forgotten and lost items find a home.

I ordered Charlie a school basketball sweatshirt. I think it was gray. I'm not sure, because it was delivered to school, given to Charlie and never seen again. When I asked him where his new basketball sweatshirt was, he said "Idunno." Did he bring it home from school? He's not exactly certain. He checked the lost and found (after I asked him to, of course. Does any kid ever go to the lost and found on his own?). No luck. So where could it be?


I loaned Annie my new, not-yet-2-weeks-old winter coat to wear to a retreat at church. She came home coatless, but certain of where it was. We went back to look. No coat. We checked another coat rack and the lost and found. No luck. Well, Annie, where could it have gone?


Robbie is not immune to the allure of the Land of Idunno either. Apparently his tennis shoes up and walked there with his Nintendo DS. Charlie's lunchbox decided to tag along, too. As did Annie's blue and white scarf. And probably a whole host of other things I haven't even realized are missing yet.

And if I ever find this elusive destination of Idunno, I hope I find my sanity waiting there for me as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A better use of your time than my whining

Earlier this evening, I published what was intended to be a funny and whiney post about all that I've imagined ails me.

Then I opened my e-mail to several messages from our parish prayer tree requesting prayer for people who are experiencing real suffering and even death. Can you say "perspective?"

So please, take a moment if you will to pray for all those who are waging battle against sickness, disease and tragedy. I can suck it up for them.

And if you know of someone in need of those prayers, please feel free to leave a request for their needs so we can all keep them in our prayers.

Who's the hypochondriac now?

Apparently the illness doesn't fall far from the tree. In the past 24 hours, I've had:
  • The flu
  • Thyroid disease
  • Anemia
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Kidney stones
  • Slipped disc
  • Menopause
I'm hot. I'm cold. I'm achey. I'm tired. At one point, I was pretty near death (or so it seemed). Today I'm at least upright.

Still, I recommend you go wash your hands after reading this.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


*Bloggers' Night Out

It's been a little while since I've gone to a bloggers' event. My last opportunity was the Container Store, which sadly, I had to miss for some reason that was very important then, but that I can't remember now.  So when I got the invitation to attend a night hosted by Plum District (a mom-to-mom deal company), I was happy. When I realized it would take place at one of my favorite stores -- 4 Kids Books & Toys -- I was thrilled.

The purpose of the event was to help area bloggers get to know Plum District and vice versa. Oh yeah, and to eat and leave with swag bags and prizes.

I saw some familiar bloggers (shout out to DesignHerMomma, The Average Parent and In Good Cents). I also met some new-to-me bloggers. One woman, Erin Wilson, is the founder of a company called CupCase. Can you guess what she sells?  No cheating. Guess first, then click the link.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Travel cases for your bra. Yes. That's exactly what I just said. Truthfully, I thought she was nuts. Who the heck needs a case for her bra? Shove it in the suitcase and be off.  Erin said she gets a lot of that, but she also talks to lots of women who are on her same wavelength and love the idea.

But she was a hoot and she was also one of the only other moms there who was beyond the diapers-preschool-little people stage. Plus, her contraption did make one cute little purse. She said they currently come in sizes A-B and C-D. I suppose if you are a GG, you could carry one as a bowling bag instead of a purse.

So after some wine and a few snacks (yes, I did make myself eat some veggies), it felt like a good time to go home. But there were the prize drawings, so I decided to wait. My name was the last one drawn (everyone got a Plum District deal as a prize) and if I had been my own mother, I would have been appalled at my behavior.

Some of the other ladies got frozen yogurt deals and bounce house passes and other fun stuff. Me? I got two Pilates sessions. My gut reaction kicked in before my be gracious reaction and I made a face that looked more like I'd just won a free pap smear. About 60 seconds later, I came to my senses and feebly said something about "maybe I'll give it a try." Geesh! One plastic cup of wine and all my manners went out the window.

The night ended with me finding that my keys were locked in my car (on purpose, but that's a boring detail). So Erin offered me a ride home. It was fun to get to know her better (raised in West Lafayette, Indiana University grad, athlete), even if she does put her bra in a protective case.

Oh, and if you're interested in the Plum District deals, check out the widget at the bottom of my blog.It's an affiliate link, so if you click it and buy the deal, I get some money. I'm not planning on getting rich from it, but if it pays for a Diet Coke from time to time, I'll be happy.