Monday, December 10, 2007

Gnomes Gone Bad

Okay, so I got a little sidetracked after Thanksgiving. My middle daughter had an emergency appendectomy the day after Thanksgiving. As if that wasn't bad enough, we were about three hours from home visiting my in-laws, so she and I were camped out in the hospital for three days away from home.

ANYWAY, all is well now and I thought I'd talk a little about gnomes. I happened to find these pictures online and thought I'd share. Is this what happens when the Travelocity Gnome can't make it to the next pit stop on Amazing Race??

My first thought was, "what is he doing?" My second thought was, "where is the factory that makes these priceless gems?" I mean seriously, somewhere out there in some country, maybe New Gnomeland, there are people getting paid to make these things! Is there really a large market for this sort of thing? I think Gnomes are a little creepy anyway and I certainly don't want this one anywhere near my yard!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Favorite Christmas Music

Here we are on the verge of Thanksgiving and ready for the downhill ride to Christmas. At the risk of sounding cliche, time just goes by so quickly! I've been pulling out all of the Holiday decor today and I'm reminded of how much I love this time of the year. It's not just Christmas, but this season in general. I love fall and winter. I love the smell of smoke in the air, fall leaves (except when I have to rake them), pumpkins, football and the Holidays. I'm one of those people who has a minor let down in January. I love the fresh feeling of clean around the house after the decorations are gone, but at the same time it feels rather empty. Then it's time for me to nest in my big chair with a cup of tea and a good book.

I pulled out all of holiday CD's and have been listening to Christmas music non-stop. My husband and children just don't appreciate a good Christmas song. I get those eye rolls. I remember as a child, my mother would start with her Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams Christmas albums around the middle of November. What great Christmas music. Johnny's version of "Silver Bells" makes me think of my childhood house, with mom in the kitchen cooking and singing, although not very well. The singing, not the cooking. My mom is a great cook!

My new favorite Christmas music is by Peter Brienholt. He truly has a pure voice. His Noel album is simply beautiful. I also love all of the Mannheim Steamroller albums as well. Their version of Silent Night brings tears to my eyes almost everytime I hear it. I once played it in my college dorm room while a few of us were studying and there wasn't a dry eye in the room when it was over. We were all thinking about moms, home and Christmas. And my last new favoite Christmas thing is the movie Elf. If you haven't seen this movie, do so immediately. I love Will Ferrell in this movie. It's just so sweet.

So, don't just sit there! Go find those Christmas CDs or put in your favorite Christmas movie and get ready for this blessed season!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pet Peeves

I have some pet peeves that I would like to write about. We all have them. I thought you might like to hear about a few of mine. Yes, there are more than these few.

I hate it when people say "pitcher" instead of "picture". A pitcher is a water bearing vessel, okay?

It aggravates me when people spend money for personalized license plates and then put the type and/or color of car they are driving on them. I can already see that on the back of your car. RED GTO--no kidding?? I'm not sure I could have figured that out unless you spent the extra $45 to advertise it on your bumper.

It bothers me when people chew with their mouth open. Do we really need to see your food being processed for digestion?

I hate it when people do private grooming rituals in public, i.e. combing your hair, flossing, or clipping your fingernails. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard for me. I once sat through an adult Sunday School class with a "gentleman" clipping his fingernails behind me. I can only imagine where all those clippings were going. In my hair, I'm sure. If he started to take off his shoes I was going for his throat. There is a reason that a bathroom is a small room with a door. It's meant for privacy. One person. Alone.

I hate it when my husband clinks his spoon against his bowl. He does this eating ice cream or cereal. Do you really need to scrap the cereal bowl clean? Clink, clink, clink.... He's a decent guy. I love him. He takes good care of me and our children, but this little ritual makes me want to take that spoon and stick it in his nose. He knows this. That is why he has trained each of our children to do it as well.

And here are a few more to end on....

Feet. (thanks Dad) I just don't like them.
Misspelled words while typing. Spellcheck, people.
Tailgaters. Not the football game kind, but the kind that ride your butt on the highway because you are going too slow for them. Again, might be directed at my husband.

I just need to vent once in awhile. Pet Peeves. We all have them!

Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm a writer....

I enjoy writing and telling stories. Having said that, I should say that I also like to add details to make more stories more interesting. My mother would call it "embellishing" my stories. My oldest calls it "lying". She's pretty harsh. I call it "being Feliciaous" (that's my name, get it?) I was telling a story the other day when my daughter stopped me and said, "Mom, that's not exactly how it happened. She didn't say that! You're lying!" My step-daughter, bless her little heart, stepped in and said, "Lee, Mom is a writer (much emphasis on writer).. She adds details to her stories to make them more interesting." See, she gets me!

Anyway, I like to add more depth and detail to a story. It's not about me! It's all about entertaining the listener or reader, correct? I mean if I told you that I met the most interesting little Irish lady yesterday at the hospital where I volunteer, that's okay, but a little boring. But if I tell you that when I came into her room, she was sitting in her wee little chair wearing a little plaid housecoat with a cute little gray bun right on top of her head and that she just looked as fun as a little leprechaun, and then she said "Top of the morning to ya!" that's much more interesting, isn't it? Okay, she really didn't say that. I was just being "Feliciaous". But she did have a plaid housecoat and a bun, okay?

She's Toying with me...

Now I think she is just toying with me. I really am convinced that it is the job of a teenager to try and drive their parents crazy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Clown in My Pantry

That title will make you read this post, won't it? So, Sunday afternoon my handsome husband comes upstairs and says, "Get your camera and go look in the kitchen". Well, ya don't ask questions when he tells you to get the camera! I grabbed it and headed downstairs, camera in hand, ready to shoot... As I get closer to the kitchen I hear a child rummaging in the pantry. Not unusual. I also hear this same child singing, presumably to a song on her I-Pod that she alone can hear. Again, not unusual. As I round the corner, I see this.

Of course, I snapped the picture immediately. Now that IS unusual. Should I be alarmed? I don't know.... Is this a phase? "I want to be a clown, mom" or "I'm joining the circus" or "I'm thinking of a new hairstyle-Orphan Annie meets Jimmie Hendrix". Of course, since she is a teenager, she rolled her eyes at me, took her snack and sauntered on upstairs to her room, still singing. I guess maybe I'll get answers later. Then again, maybe not.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Great Book!

I just finished reading a great book titled Logged On and Tuned Out: A Non-Techie's Guide to Parenting a Tech-Savvy Generation by Vicki Courtney. My two older daughters and I went to see her speak in Joplin, MO last month. I bought the book because my 13-year-old has just started her own MySpace page and I felt like I needed to keep up with the latest technology. I highly recommend this book if you have children on the internet. It addresses the issues of MySpace, FaceBook, cell phones, IMing, etc... She gives practical solutions to problems that can crop up with a teens and technology. I learned several things and my oldest and I were able to sit down and have a talk about her MySpace account. I feel like I'm on top of technology now!

Mrs. Courtney has also written several other books. I have also started reading her book Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World. She talks about raising daughters in our current day and age. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of "hoochie momma's" myself. Check out her blog at if you don't know what a "hoochie momma" is. I know she has another book geared towards sons as well, called Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World

It's hard parenting teens in this day and age. I'll take all the help I can get!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Man I Love or My Life as the Straight Guy

To give you better insight on my life, I thought I would give you few details about the love of my life, my husband. He's a comedian (or likes to think he is). I married him because he made me laugh. My roommates at the time would say, "you really think he's funny??" That should have been my first clue.

For example, we were recently discussing a local news story about a truck of cattle that had overturned on an interstate ramp dumping a load of bulls in downtown St. Louis. Several had died, but others had escaped and were roaming the streets of St. Louis. A few days later they had captured all but one of the free bulls. Our conversation went something like this:

ME: One of those bulls is still on the lam.
HIM: He has a sheep with him too?

So, that's the type of humor I deal with daily. His favorite joke is this:
HIM: I'm going fishing.
ME(playing the straight man role): Have you got worms?
HIM: Yea, but I'm still going fishing.

He has every member of his immediate family trained on this joke to play the straight man part, even his mother! He loves to pull this one out at all family gatherings or when he has a new audience. he loves a fresh audience because his material has been the same for 25 years or more!

I was just interrupted by a phone call from my dear husband.

ME:I'm working on my post all about the man I love.
HIM: Really,... who's that?

Everyone knows the straight guy always got paid more.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Things Aren't Always What They Seem....

My husband and I went on trip to Chicago last week and left the kids here with grandma. They usually do very well on their own, but sometimes the pets get neglected just a little bit. So, when we returned home on Sunday, and both dogs started following me around, I assumed they were just really glad to see me, until I went upstairs to my bathroom. They both followed and jumped in the shower and looked longly at me. They hate baths so....Okay..... I checked their water. Yep, the bowl was dry. So, I gave them water and fresh food, gave the hamster food and checked on the cat. She was good. Then I went to check the hermit crab. When I picked up his shell, a small dead curled up hermit crab thing fell out. Woops!

I thought, oh well, I didn't really care for that thing anyway. I left him there and went to do other things. I'll deal with him later. I planned to take care of him on Monday. Clean out the dead curled up thing and put the bowl in the garage for storage, but I forgot about it after 15 loads of laundry.

This morning, my 8 year old finished her cereal and came upstairs and asked "Do hermit crabs shed?" I don't know, honey, why??
"Because my crab is in his shell, so I don't think he's dead." Interesting.... I went to check and he was curled up in his shell. The "dead crab" was actually just a dry husk! My forgetfullness or God's intervention had saved his life! I would have pitched the husk and put the whole thing out in the garage.

I had lunch with my friend Jennifer today and she asked what I would be blogging about next. I told her the hermit crab story and she said "Yeah, that could be a metaphor for life." (She's smart!) I hadn't really thought about going with the whole metaphor thing, but I guess that's true. So, the moral of this story is: don't hide in your shell all day, or someone might take you to the garage and really let you die. Or maybe, don't leave your dirty clothes laying around, or mom might threaten to kill you. I don't know which I like better.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

An Admission

Okay, I'm going to admit something that not everyone knows.......

I love Lionel Richie!!

So it's not a really dirty little secret, but it could be kind of embarrassing in some circles, I guess. You couldn't really hold it over my head and blackmail me with it, however.

I had one request for my birthday this year. I wanted 'Lionel Richies first album, appropriately titled, Lionel Richie. You know the one. It has "Truly" on it. I fell in love with that album when I was fourteen and babysitting. I used to sit for this couple who were real partyers. (My mother doesn't know this! She does already know I love Lionel, though.) They would go out and wouldn't come home until the wee hours of the morning. So by the time I put the kid (yes, just one) to bed at 9, I would have at least 5 hours of uninterrupted time to watch "Saturday Night Live" and other shows I wasn't allowed to watch at home. However, this was the "olden" days, as my kids call them. There were only 5 channels on the television and the "Star Spangled Banner" or "Taps" or whatever it was played at 1 am and they were gone. So, I was left with several hours to kill. Because I was a goody-goody, (Gee, I'm admitting a lot in this post!) I was afraid to fall asleep. I thought they would come home and find me asleep on the couch and be mad because I wasn't watching the kid! Looking back now, I realize that they were so stinking drunk at 2 am, they probably didn't know they had a kid, much less what my state of awareness was.

ANYWAY, back to Lionel! I discovered the cassette tape on top of their stereo on night. Do you remember that the stereos used to be the size of a bookshelf with twin tower speakers on either side? I put it in and put on the mongo doughnut headphones (didn't want to wake the kid! What was that kid's name, anyway???) and heard the beginning stains of "Serves You Right". I was hooked! After that it was me and Lionel forever! I actually bought my own cassette and wore it out by my senior year of high school. I wasn't babysitting any more, but I was still jamming with Lionel! I will forever remember him as the guy that kept me company those nights.

So, this year, I asked for that album on CD for my birthday and my husband, who follows most gift-giving instructions to a tee bought it for me. I love it just as much now, as I did then.

This prompts the eye-rolling from the children. Again. Oh well. Having said how much I love Lionel, I need to say as a mother, (getting on my soapbox) that I'm not pleased with his child-rearing skills and the morals he has instilled in his daughter, but that's a whole other story......

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Have A Crop Circle In My Backyard!

Yes, there is a crop circle in my backyard! No, I don't think it was made by celestial beings, although I certainly believe that God did make other universes and there ARE aliens out there somewhere. My Dad always wanted to be an astronaut, but unfortunately his eyesight was too bad, so he had to settle for aerospace engineer and savor each and every issue of Aviation Weekly. Our family vacations were centered around space launches. So needless to say, he instilled a healthy belief of other-worldly beings in me!

However, MY crop circle is the home-made kind. Yep, we did it ourselves. We had one of those wonderful, huge inflatable pools in the back yard all summer. It was great for the kids. They loved it! When we set it up we read the usual warnings on the box....Don't swim while blow-drying your hair......Swim in the appropriate attire. Just because you are in YOUR back yard, doesn't mean no one can see you....., but I swear that no place on the box did it mention leaving behind a smelly crop circle. Oh yea, it's a given that it was going to kill the grass, but they don't mention the smell that is left behind from dead suffocated grass and wet mud. It's a cross between a dairy farm and that stuff you spray on your flowers to keep the rabbits from eating them. It's very lovely drifting across the deck to you on a nice fall breeze! I'm sure the neighbors are impressed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My First Post!

Okay, I've made it to the world of blogging. I'm really not sure what I'm going to talk about here, so I guess the name, Flea's Market is appropriate. You'll never be sure of what you are going to find. Actually Flea is my nickname. I've had it for about 30 years now. My dad called me that until the day he died. So, it seemed like an appropriate name for a blog that might be very random! My husband doesn't call me Flea. I guess he never liked it. He actually calls me by my maiden name, which is "Luter", which tends to get some interest in crowds. People will look at me and say, "what did he just call you???" (looking at this first paragraph now, I realize that I use the word 'actually' quite a bit. No wonder my 8 year old always starts her sentences with "Actually, mom...." Note to self:watch the actually's)

So a little about my life. I'm happily married (have been for 16 years) and we have three beautiful daughters ages 13, 12 and 8. I'm glad we have more than one bathroom. My husband says he is going to take out shares in Tampax.

If you had asked me 20 years ago what I would be doing today, I can assure you that it wouldn't have been this! Somewhere I took a detour to ordinary. I was going to be extraordinary, or so I thought at the age of 18. I was going to be a "journalist" or as I now know they are called, "the on-air talent". I was going to move to Boston (or New York) and work for a major television affiliate. Of course once I was seen on-air and out in the trenches reporting the tough gritty news, I was going to be noticed by a very handsome, rogue detective who was going to immediately fall for me, although we weren't going to like each other much at first because I was the nosey reporter trying to get the story. Then, of course, he was going to have to save me from some perilous situation or bad guy and it would be happily ever after! This whole scenario was fueled by my 18-year-old hormonal "Miami Vice" fantasies.

But that's not really what happend.....So here I am, with two middle-schoolers, one grade-schooler, driving the SUV, packing lunches, working on school projects, cleaning up dog barf, driving to basketball practice and piano lessons and in general doing the tough but ordinary job of mother. I also do things that used to embarrass me when my mom did them. Like for instance, just this morning, I went outside in my jammies and yelled at my middle child as she left for the bus, "Glasses, Flute, Lunch?!!" She rolled her eyes and said, "Yes, mom!!" and gave me that "go back inside" look. I get that a lot these days. Not very extraordinary....actually.