Monday, February 28, 2011

To Job or Not to Job

Our Brenna girl has a new job. I debated whether we should let her get another job, but in the end I decided she has to make her own choices. This is her second job, she worked for a couple of months this fall at Carabbas Italian Grill. She was a hostess and she seemed to like it in the beginning, but sort of approached it in the same way she approaches her chores. Both earn her money, which she likes, but both impinge on her social life, which she doesn't like. So it was the eternal battle - social life and fun vs. work and earning money. When the shifts were convenient and didn't interrupt her life she was happy to work, but when they didn't... I tried to explain to her that was what work was. Working, even when you didn't want to, even when you were sick. Otherwise, it's called "play" and they don't usually pay you for that. But in the end, she had to work it out for herself and she moved on from Carabbas.

So, I was a little hesitant about her getting another job. But, I've come to view this year as sort of a trial run for college. This is the time for her to practice making decisions. After all in 2 weeks she'll be 18 and in less than 6 months she'll be leaving for college and can pretty much do whatever the hell she wants with no parents anywhere around. So, we've been letting her run her own schedule, homework and social life. Don't get me wrong she still has to tell us where, when and who she's with. She still has a curfew and basic rules and guidelines, but I'm trying to let her fly on her own. It's not easy. As a matter of fact it's down right scary. But I must say for the most part, she has stepped up to the plate and really handled things well. Occasionally she'll break out the bitchitude, but for the most part she's turned into a delightful young lady.

So, she got a new job at a Mom and Pop type pizza parlor. She's a waitress, not just a hostess and she's just jumped in with both feet. I'm so proud of her. Never waitressed, never run a cash register, but she just stepped right up and never looked back. I still remember the days when we couldn't take her anywhere new without a panic attack, when we had to sit in the daycare room and wait until she said it was okay for us to leave and now look at her. I guess they do grow up in spite of us!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weather, Walking and Weighted Vests

We have been enjoying unprecedented weather here in Va for the last three days, 60's and 70's and wonderful sunshine. So, I have been walking my ass off with the dogs, not literally... unfortunately. A good 90 minutes at least each day in my Reebok Toners! You know the cute ones, not the old lady ones. The ones that according to the TV will make all the handsome young men stop and watch as I walk by! They said it on TV so it must be true. Today I decided to go ALL OUT... Reebok Toners weighted walking vest! They handy dandy one that will "pump up the volume" and help "melt the fat away" turning me into a lean, mean, toned walking machine while looking stylish and athletic. That's what the magazine said so it must be true. What???
Anyway, so the vest, it's 4lbs with 4- 1lb weights you can add to the vest to "pump it up" even more. I'm not crazy so I just wore it straight up, no added weights. I'm not sure it did much of anything except make me look bulky so in turn I probably walked a little faster in order to get home and take it off!
Unfortunately Cooper and Zoey seem to be casualties of the increased walks. They have raw sore pads and are limping when we walk. For whatever reason I can't imagine walking without them, it would seem a little pointless. So I find myself investigating Paw Wax and Dog Booties??? Really... do dogs wear shoes? I have always sworn up and down that dogs don't wear clothes - no sweaters, no jackets, no Halloween costumes. Clothes make Cooper look gay and Zoey look fat! But, now I'm looking into booties for the dogs, oh how the mighty have fallen. Just wait until I put Cooper in a sweater and booties, he'll never be able to hold his head up in the neighborhood again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Aunt Clare's Day

It's "that" day again. I've made no bones about the fact that I HATE Valentines day. Always have since middle school or high school at least. I won't go into the details, but basically it's a holiday crafted to make 90% of the population feel miserable. Either you don't have someone special and you wish you did or you do have someone special but they are a schmuck or like me you have someone wonderful, but it's too late to make up for past "injustices" :o). Either way you have to listen to people swoon and simper and goo and gush. It's enough to make one vomit! Bleeck... so anyway, I had the most brilliant idea in the shower (it's one of the few quiet, private places - I do some of my most brilliant thinking there). Not only is it Valentines Day, but it is or was my Aunt Clare's Birthday. Sadly she died just a few months ago and has left us a much sadder, duller world. She was one of the most kind, generous, loving giving women I ever knew.
John always called her Mrs. Claus. She had 6 of her own children and I can't even begin to count the number of grand and great-grand children. But the most amazing thing is that she treated all of her extended family as if we were her children. Birthday cards, anniversary cards, get-well cards, and a Christmas box that rivaled Santa's bag. It was never-ending. So, who better to usurp Valentines Day, than the most generous, loving, self-sacrificing woman I know. Henceforth... I will no longer recognize Valentines Day, but instead will celebrate Aunt Clare's Day by trying to live up to her example of loving, giving and generosity of spirit.

That being said, much to my dismay I can't just ignore the day. Just as I attempted to not pass on my prejudice about brussel sprouts, soggy cereal and vacuuming to my children; I have tried not to ruin Valentines Day for them. Therefore, everyone received a new toothbrush, with a loving note! :o)

John also jumping on the "can't just ignore Valentines day" bandwagon, bought me my favorite candy and included a loving note! :o)
That's the way the HyzyHouse rolls on Valentines Day... Toothbrushes and PostIt notes. We are "stickin' it to the Hallmark Man" one Valentines Day at a time!
And henceforth we will be able to celebrate whole-heartedly Aunt Clare's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So we have another snow day today... I'm not complaining, I'm just puzzled! I took a ruler out on the deck today and if I squint real hard, it looks like we might have 1/8 of an inch. I mean the windshield wasn't even fully covered???
I know all the rationalizations, it's a big county, icy road potential, keep the kids safe etc... but really? We've had 5 snow days so far this year and according to my reckoning... one was for rain, one was for a "predicted" storm that didn't hit until 6pm and this one was for what could only generously be termed a dusting of snow.
Don't get me wrong I don't mind a nice snow day, especially when the weather is nice and I'm not inconvenienced at all. With a 17 year old and a 12 year old they both sleep until noon so it's like they are at school anyway. It would be doubly nice if I could go back to sleep like they do, but once I watch the news, waiting for the closings scroll to go by at least twice since I can't freaking believe it actually said CLOSED, then I sneak in and tell the kids to turn off their alarms, then the dogs are up so I have to feed them and let them out - I might as well stay up and have extra quiet time in the morning.
So, while I'm enjoying the quiet day scrapbooking, blogging and catching up on my shows - I'm embarrassed that all the states with real snow and going to be making fun of us and we will be the laughingstock of the nation.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

We're back...

Well we made it back safe and sound, no fiery crashes, no terrorists taking hostages, no flesh-eating bacteria, no icebergs - you get the picture.
We had a very nice time. We sailed on the Majesty of the Seas and discovered once we got there that it was the smallest and oldest ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet. We also discovered that the median age on this particular cruise was about 70! Not that it mattered to John and I since we were in bed by 930pm most nights. We're not big drinkers or big dancers so we played all day and were exhausted by night time, so it didn't matter that the disco's were playing Frank Sinatra and the shows were geared to the Golden Girls theme! :o)
We still enjoyed the drinks, the sun, the pool and the beaches and it also meant if we were willing to take the stairs we could beat the elevators down and be first in the dining room! The elevators were slow with all those walkers and canes loading in. It also made me realize maybe we're not as old as we feel. These people were still cruising and they were at least 20 years older than us. The one thing I will say is those old people can dance! You slap some Frank Sinatra on the old turn-table and those oldies will cut a rug!
Key West was our first stop and we really like it. We hit the Southernmost Point, Butterfly Conservatory and Hemingway's House. It was very cool. A bunch of fun touristy shopping and lots of neat places to eat and drink. Unfortunately we had to leave at 230pm so we didn't really get to sample the night life. I could go back and spend a couple of days at least.
Dinners on the boat were very good. We actually ended up not having anyone at our table. It was a small table for 4 and the other couple never showed up, it was actually not a bad thing. We didn't have to make awkward small talk and we weren't stuck with people we didn't like. I've never been very good at small talk, so it was nice to be just us. The food was fun, but nothing particularly weird or unusual.
The best part was just being able to sit in the sun and read and relax. John actually had a book he was reading so he was happy to just sit and veg as well. We kept imagining the snow and cold at home and felt very lucky to be able to relax and enjoy the sun. Another plus... when your on a boat with LOTS of old people, you feel pretty good in your bathing suit!
Tricky part... finding people who could work the camera and take picture of us! I know that seems stereotypical, but the first few "older" people we asked to take our pics... not such a great job. It helps to have your face in the picture. So, then we made a policy.... we'd only ask people who were less than 25 (preferably teenagers) to take out pics and we ended up getting some of my favorite pics of us.

Probably one of my most favorite parts, my Sea Lion encounter! We actually got in the pool with the sea lions and got to pet, hug, kiss, rub down and generally hang out with the sea lions. It was so awesome! I want to grow up to be an animal trainer! I'd scoop all the poop in the world if I got to hang out with the animals as well.
They were so sweet and gentle. And didn't smell fishy at all.
All in all it was a great week. Beautiful weather, lots of relaxing and a very enjoyable cruise. I think I like the idea of every "ten" we cruise. We did it on our 10th anniversary, 20th anniversary so here's hoping I don't kill John before 30!