Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Boredom...

The other day Lola came home with what I thought was white fingernail polish on. Upon closer inspection I found she had painted each nail with ‘Wite-Out’!!

“But Mom, I was bored! I was sitting in the class and was finished with my classwork, so I did this.”

“Which class?” I asked, almost cringing at which one she would pick that day.

“Health,” she replied.

Eeeek.

The Incident

Today Lola called me at the office upon arriving home from school and told me something happened to her at school but she couldn’t tell me until I got home. I asked if she was ok, and she said yes. I asked if she was in trouble and she said no. I asked if she could please just tell me anyway and she said “Mom, if I tell you now your hair will fall out!” I informed her if that were the case I’d much rather have my hair fall out at work where someone else can clean it up rather than at home where I have to clean it up.

…and so she told me…

Apparently while she and several other girls were in PE class someone had gained entry to the locker rooms and proceeded to steal any and every electronic device accessible from any purses/coats that were lying out and from lockers that were not secured. Lola’s telephone was one of the items stolen. There were a total of thirteen students who had items missing. I’m not fully informed about the entire issue, as the school has not yet issued any kind of statement to the parents, but from the bits and pieces I gathered from Lola there was a girl who was a student at the school who unlocked the locker room door from the inside for some kids who apparently were former students, and that is when the theft took place.

I felt badly for Lola and the others, as one of the girls had an iPod Touch that was missing, and others were also missing phones and MP3’s. I have tried to stress to Lola to make sure anything she values is in her locker (PE or school locker) and make sure it is LOCKED! All I can do at this point is commiserate with her on the loss of her phone and see what we can do to find a cheap replacement until the time comes when I will be forced to change my current wireless plan due to our company’s merger.

As soon as she told me I tried to call her number to no avail, so I then proceeded to call my wireless carrier’s 800 number to suspend her account. Perhaps the phone will be recovered, but I’m not holding my breath. At least in the interim I’m not taking any chances on unauthorized charges!

Lunchtime Heaven

As I walked down the stairwell in my office building to the cafeteria today, I could detect a faint smoky aroma of barbeque wafting up to the second floor. By the time I arrived at the food service area, I was drooling uncontrollably, my taste buds dancing in expectation of what I already knew was inevitable - - -.

…ooooooh, I just looooooooooooove barbeque…

And to find that lovely item on a plate was the highlight of my work day.

I try to never overindulge in what I consider to be on my list of ‘passion foods’. If I did, I’d be eating not only barbeque every day, but also raspberry chocolate truffles, guacamole, lemon meringue pie and lobster, and complimenting it all with gallons of orange juice and Starbuck’s chai tea latte!

…so for today, I am happy to savor every bite of my lunch even more so than usual…

De-smacky-licious!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Guess What? It's Science! : The Breakthrough

Since Lola's science teacher relocated to Chicago last November due to her husband's job transfer, Lola has been very negative about going to science class since the arrival of a new teacher. Just when she was beginning to have fun with the labs and learning cool new earth stuff, she lost a teacher she truly liked and in the process has been subjected to an array of substitutes, then finally a permanent teacher that is not well-liked by the children. Almost every day Lola comes home with a new story about how this new teacher spends the entire period yelling at the rowdy kids, or which of her classmates were sent off to In-School Suspension. Lately it seems their class has a quiz about twice per week and Chapter tests are given about every two weeks. Is this learning?? It's more like 'faster than the speed of light'. She had decided most definitely that she now HATES science.

To help salvage what love of science that had been acquired from her former teacher, when we see things in nature, at home or on TV I explain how they work and then I say "Guess what? It's science!" Usually she rolls her eyes, but I still do it anyway.

Last night when she was getting ready for bed she was doing a little experiment with a light near her bed and said "Look at this, Mom. It's science!! Isn't this cool?" Then she was quiet for a moment and said "You know, I guess I really do like science - - I just don't like the new teacher."

This morning when driving to work I drove through fog coming off the river and it was so dense and mysterious as it rose up from the water, over the bridge and up to the trees! Absolutely breathtaking! And guess what? It was science!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Since I was divinely inspired to clean out my garage last week, it seems the inspiration has lingered, so on Saturday I decided to ‘spring clean’ the main level of our townhome. Lola helped me condition the wood floors, Windex the coffee table and the dining room table, helped me put together our new gas grill, and she even replaced the doorknob and hardware on the front door! Lola has recently discovered that she loves to assemble things. She did a wonderful job on the front door.

We had invited her ESOL teacher to dinner this evening after ice-skating and the big debate for me was "to grill or not to grill". There were two factors involved in making this decision: 1) we had just assembled the grill and I was not as well-versed on the ease and comfort level of transitioning between the dearly departed electric grill to the gas grill, and didn’t wish to CHAR-broil (literally) the chicken, and 2) it had been raining for numerous days prior and it was still cold and soggy outside - - not the perfect grilling weather. OK, I admit it - - I’m a big weenie when it comes to cold weather. I am most certainly not going to stand out there freezing my nether parts off while I wait for our food to cook! The decision was made on Sunday morning that the chicken would be oven-baked. I will be doing a trial run before this week is over, so I can ‘become one' with the grill.

Lola and I went skating this afternoon and later met up with her teacher. I was trying out a “new” used pair of white figure skates and wondering why they felt so slow - - I had just had the blades sharpened and they just weren’t responding the way I had expected. Taking the idea from Petie, our cat, I decided to do the ‘aerodynamic speed test’ (mentioned in an earlier blog entry) and picked up my pace a little. Just as I rounded the end of the rink, a cute little boy donned in hockey gear a few sizes too large suddenly stopped, did a 180, and skated right into me. I did my best to either pick him up or move him out of the way, and I spun out. He hit the ice first, and I dove elsewhere so I wouldn’t land on top of him. I hit the ice mostly on my rear end (I am sooooo thankful there is a generous amount of cushion back there) and on the inside of my right knee. How funny when his dad came over to me to apologize and ask if I was ok, and I sprang up off the ice, and while doing so I asked the little boy if HE was ok…

The monumental thing here is that that fall was the very first I have ever had on ice skates! Now that it’s finally happened, I have to side with Lola - - if you know how to position yourself to land when you fall, it’s really kind of FUN!! I really don’t hurt at all yet, and I fully expected to be quite sore…

After skating, Lola’s teacher followed us home in her car and joined us for some of Lola’s famous guacamole as an appetizer, then some baked garlic chicken and yellow squash and peppers. We had fun and I, for one, truly regretted seeing her go home early at 8pm. Hopefully over Spring Break she will make a return visit and we’ll have a late night with some barbecue on the grill and a good movie - - or if it finally stops raining here in Atlanta (tell me, what color is the sky?? I seem to have forgotten, as it is grey here every day!!!) we can sit outside and enjoy the weather.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dreaming

I had a dream two nights ago that was soooooooooo pleasant I cringed when the alarm went off at 6am….so I turned it off and continued my dream for another thirty minutes! How wonderful! Now, what is the chance I can conjure up a Part II to this lovely thread of imagination?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Grill-icide

Last Saturday evening the plan was to have a couple juicy steaks, medium rare, sizzling happily on the grill. Many years ago, back in my apartment-dwelling days, I had purchased an electric grill at Service Merchandise. It was an awesome little thing, dark red and black, standing at the same height as a normal-size grill, but smaller capacity. It grilled burgers and steaks to perfection. It was easy to clean and was used many times every week during the spring/summer/fall seasons.

So on Saturday, I removed the cover, patted it fondly on its little lid, plugged it in and turned it on. It replied with a huge surge of heat and an explosion of sparks - - ka-POW! Needless to say, it committed grill-icide…

Half-expecting the poor little thing to be nearing its untimely demise after so many years of dutiful service, Lola and I had been to Wal-Mart at the end of the summer season last year and purchased a new grill, at an insanely low sale price, just in case something like this might happen. I had looked high and low for another electric grill, but was not able to find one. Instead we brought home a small free-standing gas grill. It patiently sat in its box snug in the garage through the winter and after the event on Saturday, Lola and I were anxious to assemble the new grill and fire it up for the season. Unfortunately, the new grill requires COMPLETE assembly, and since it was so late in the evening (8pm) and our tummies were hungry, I decided to put off the grill project until later in the week, and we broiled the steaks in the oven. They didn’t have the wonderful ‘outdoor taste’ but were good just the same.

Perhaps tonight we will have a nice rainy-day project. Lola is excited to help put the grill together. She likes putting anything together. Most of my furniture is that which I have assembled. I actually find it to be a relaxing (although sometimes frustrating if the only instructions provided are crudely-drawn stick-figure diagrams only understandable to the individual who drew them) hobby. Lola and I put the computer desk together. I have assembled sofas, dressers, chairs, desks, and bookcases. My next project (after I have saved the money to buy it) is one of those huge IKEA wall wardrobe units where the bed nestles in between the closet sections and has overhead storage with lighting and shelves and drawers. Most people I know who like to assemble things do it as quickly as possible. I find that it’s much more fun if I take my time. A 45-minute project like this grill may take me 1.5 hours just because I like to enjoy what I’m doing! And of course the cats have to supervise and Lola has to help and the phone will have to ring a few times during the process and it’s all good - - I wouldn’t have it any other way~!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lola's Very Bad Day

For the most part life with Lola so far has been wonderful. It’s been fun, entertaining, a bit frustrating at times, and a learning experience for both of us. She has been fairly even-tempered, with the occasional pouting session, but I think that is normal for any 11-year-old. She has not been a discipline problem, is now becoming happy to help me around the house, and learning about respect for herself and others.

There has been the occasional incident at school where she is too loud or too rowdy or even sometimes just refusing to cooperate. Her ESOL teacher has been witness to most of this and has handled it with admirable aplomb. The big surprise came today while Lola was in her ESOL class and 1) deliberately disobeyed her teacher’s instructions and 2) sassed off to her when reprimanded. Since this was the third (yes, THIRD) incident this week so far (and it’s only Wednesday!) her teacher was required to inform me of this. Lola was sent to another teacher’s classroom for quiet time for the rest of the period, and she also must have a silent lunch with one of her teachers. If she receives two more ‘citations’ such as this for the current nine weeks, she will be sent to In-School Suspension and it will go on her permanent school record.

I tried to think of something that was bothering Lola that may have caused her to conduct herself negatively. She seemed just fine this morning, we had a good conversation over breakfast as usual, and she was happy and ready to go to school. I dropped her off and not even an hour later I was informed of her behavioral faux-pas.

Yes, I know…welcome to parenthood…

After over-analyzing the incident in my head, I finally accepted that it is what it is and I would talk with her about it.

After arriving home, Lola and I sat down and discussed the events of the day (and week). She did show remorse, although a little apprehensive about verbally apologizing to her teacher. When I asked her why she behaved this way to one of her favorite teachers, she replied, “I don’t know, Mom, something just snapped in my head and I did and said all that and I just couldn’t stop!”

I think we all have days like that once in awhile. I told her that. But there are places that this type of thing just cannot happen. School is one of them. There are consequences.

She knows I’m serious about the importance of behavior in school. The unfortunate thing is that the public schools of today are full of children who display unacceptable behavior. Things are far different that when I was Lola’s age. There are different issues children face today within the family unit and with their peers. Some teachers, like Lola’s ESOL teacher, refuse to put up with bad behavior and place the responsibility back onto the child. Other less experienced teachers have a constant uphill battle, or perhaps the battle was lost long ago. I can understand the confusion about what one can get away with and what one cannot. But I will continue to stress to my daughter that no matter what she sees going on around her, she must always use her head and sound judgement to dictate her own behavior.

…it is truly a process…

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home Show - Spring Edition

I have attended both the Spring and the Fall Atlanta Home Shows for the last I-have-lost-count-as-to-how-many years and I never tire of seeing the new innovations for home d├ęcor and improvement. Lola loves the Home Show for some of the same reasons, but she has an ulterior motive in going so she can stock up on candy, pencils, pens and new gadgets like laser-light keychains and jewel-tone-colored plastic piggybanks.

We arrived at the Home Show just before they opened the doors for the day and while I was at the ticket counter Lola was preparing the plastic bags to carry home goodies. The show was fun as always, and we saw everything in a record time of 1.5 hours! She was anxious to get to the skating rink by 2pm so she could get some practice time in before her ESOL teacher arrived at 3. Lola could hardly wait to share with her the story of her first skating lesson!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Productive Day

Lola had no horseback riding today due to a charity event at the horse park, so we woke up early to go watch her friend Boris play soccer. His match was at 8:30am. We arrived about 8:45 and it was so cold we brought a very large old king-size comforter to use as a blanket/seating area/windbreaker. It was a good choice. The wind was blowing and I’m guessing the temps were in the 40’s. We even drank coffee at the soccer complex but it didn’t keep us warm for long. We sat with his parents to watch him play and caught up on all the latest news.

Boris has grown a couple inches since the last time we saw him and he now towers over Lola by about 5 inches. The two of them seemed glad to see one another this time, thankfully. The last time we went to his soccer match (sometime last fall) he never even spoke to her or acknowledged her. Her feelings were quite hurt by that and she was not sure she wanted to see him play this time, but as it turned out they were just like the usual old friends.

We all went out for a quick brunch/lunch afterward and continued getting caught up on what had been going on with each of our families since before Christmas. When Boris discovered Lola liked to ice-skate, he asked his parents if he could go sometime too. I am hoping we will see them again soon, perhaps at the rink.

After brunch Lola had her first ice-skating lesson. I had enrolled her in the beginner class for her age group, which appeared to be the only class available through the online registration, and during her lesson I realized her love for skating these last three months has enabled her to progress quickly enough to where the coaches felt she needed to be moved up one or two class levels so she will feel challenged. Next week she will be in a more advanced class, but we won’t know which one until we get there and talk with the coaches.

She did make a new friend at her lessons. Another 11-year-old girl named Jane was a true beginner in every sense of the word. Jane’s father and I spoke briefly and he said this was Jane’s dream - - to learn to ice skate. It was evident just by looking at her, too. She’d take a few steps on her skates, collapse to a heap on the ice, then get up with a smile that lit up the room. No matter how many times she fell, she always got up smiling! Lola helped her out as much as she could and whenever Jane got up from a fall both of them were laughing.

Later in the afternoon I was divinely INSPIRED to clean the garage. I guess to say ‘divinely inspired’ is much better than saying ‘sick of looking at the mess’… I was out there about four hours and lifted, carried, threw things out, designated a pile of stuff for charity, found a tub with my old figure skates, roller blades and roller skates (and they all still fit!!!!!!), found a box with my baby clothes, found some postcards of horses I collected when I was Lola’s age (she was excited I found the postcards and absconded with them to her room), and located a comfy leather-look executive swivel chair of Chris’s he said we could use for the computer desk in the basement. Lola cleaned that up and I carried it to the basement. While I did sorting and tossing Lola had fun with tennis racquets, the mini-trampoline, her bicycle, her scooter, and a basketball. Then she disappeared to her room and announced that she would return in “one hour”.

As I diligently sifted through boxes of things I hadn’t seen in decades, the neighbor’s cats came in to help. We have a new neighbor two doors down where Janine used to live. Her name is Julie and she and her teenage son, two dogs and two cats now live there. Her two cats are solid grey short-haired and both have the same Russian Blue coloring and plush fur like our cat Sebastian. The only difference is that both of her cats are smaller and have sweet little round faces like the Russian Blue. The smallest cat has the most intense eyes and doesn’t miss a thing, but she is the most loving. She followed me all over the garage as if she was either helping or supervising. The larger male cat was much shyer and would stare at me from under my car or from around the edge of the trash can.

When I finally cleaned up the mess I had made in the garage I told Lola we were going to Starbucks as a treat. She was in the car before I finished the sentence!

Friday, March 20, 2009

...so good no title is needed...

….mmmmm…strawberries and cream! Need I say more?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thought For the Day

Thought for the day:

Why sit in a chair when there is a whole world of FLOOR out there?

Lola’s ESOL teacher e-mailed me this morning titled “Lola, Lola, Lola” with the message reading “Lola is sitting on the floor!” I’m guessing she meant it as ‘I’m not surprised at this but just wanted you to know…’

I wrote back with “She gets that from me, you know.” And she does.

I sit on the floor whenever I can. At home I used to have my computer set up on a table that was just the perfect level for typing when sitting on the floor. Did it for years. I sit on the floor to watch TV, do reading, crossword puzzles, you name it. I sit on the ground outside. Hey, who needs chairs when going to an outdoor sporting event? Just take a blanket and a cooler of drinks and you’re set! There is a whole floor out there in nature to explore. The floor is my domain.

You GO, LO!!! You claim that floor as your own! Yeah!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

THE BIG FIVE-OH


This year both my auto license and my driver’s license expired, so that had to be done and I must say the two renewals were the most efficiently handled experiences in all the years I’ve lived in Atlanta. It took me only 15 minutes to get in and out of the car tag office, and 45 minutes at the DMV for the driver’s license. And what made the whole experience even more pleasant was that I was able to renew the driver’s license for TEN YEARS. Wow. It will be interesting to compare the photo on this new license with the scary little face that may be looking in the mirror back at me in ten years…

So this year was the big FIVE-OH birthday for me. I am now officially eligible for AARP, but, unfortunately, no senior citizen discounts. I’m not THAT old yet. I can hardly believe I have hit the half-century mark. I still feel like I’m in my twenties (and act like I’m twelve)!

Since I took Friday afternoon off from work to do the DMV trip, I had a longer weekend than usual and it was all birthday celebration!! Friday night a group of us went ice-skating for the evening session. Once we got there and ‘lived the experience of Friday night public skating’ I promised myself I would never go on Friday night ever again. The rink had maybe forty people, but 80% of them were teenagers and the hormones were raging rampantly almost to the point where you could see them jumping off the bodies! The boys were skating much faster than common sense dictated and they were doing quick snowplow stops dangerously close to a huddle of girls, sending shaved ice flying and evoking giddy screams. For the average leisure skater and the people practicing figure skating in the middle of the rink it seemed like an obstacle course, except in this case the obstacles were moving. We left a little earlier than closing simply because it ceased to be fun. I think we’ll stick to Sunday afternoons - - even though there are more people skating it’s generally a much safer environment.


After leaving the rink (which was about 10:30pm) we drove to three different places to find a pizza! For some reason we couldn’t find a pizza place with a dining room or pick-up desk open that late. We drove to back to the house and I called Pizza Hut and pleasantly discovered they were still open for pick up as well as delivery until midnight! I went to pick up two large pizzas which were annihilated to crumbs within minutes (four of us chowing down). For dessert - - BIRTHDAY CAKE!


Saturday was day 2 of rain and cooler weather, with the temperature barely peaking 40 degrees. Lola had horseback riding late that morning and no matter how many layers and polar fleece I put on that day I simply could NOT get warm! Afterward we went to our favorite noodle place to have lunch and thaw out and then on home to stay warm. I did a couple loads of laundry and I helped Lola study for her Social Studies test on Tuesday.

Sunday was day 3 of rain and officially my birthday. We went ice-skating that afternoon and saw Lola’s ESOL teacher again for just a little while before she had to leave the rink.
Lola decided she is now ready to take skating lessons. I had offered to let her take them back in January, but she decided at the time she would rather just skate for fun. Now that she has seen her ESOL teacher do spins and jumps she wants to learn, too. A new lesson session is to begin this week so I signed her up for Saturdays at 11:40am. I knew the leisure skates she has been using are all wrong for figure skating, so we did a quick visit to a local sporting goods consignment store and found a pair of figure skates that fit her just right. The price was just right, too!

Sunday evening was pretty quiet, with a bit of dinner, more birthday cake, and present-opening. Lola and Kimmi had gone shopping a day or so earlier and Lola knew just what to pick out for my gift. While Lola and I were staying at an apartment in Moscow in December 2007 to get her American passport and visa, we made tea and boiled water in an electric pot made just for that purpose. The speed at which the water heated up was quite impressive to me ( perhaps I’m just easily impressed) and I made a mental note to look for one when we got home. Once I got back to the states I didn’t really see any I liked as much as the one in Russia. But I must say when Lola and Kimmi went out to find one for my birthday they chose the PERFECT water-pot! It’s tempered glass and stainless steel and sits on a platform to heat up. It is both beautiful AND amazing! It now ranks up there neck-to-neck with my GreenPan no-stick cookware. Lola and I now have tea every morning for breakfast and with things being hectic getting ready for work and school it’s pleasant to know that in just about one minute we can have steaming hot tea on the table with our breakfast!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Healing Process

Lola had a very restless night. The back of her head was quite tender and she had difficulty lying down in bed with her head on a pillow. She tried it with the pillow, then without, and either way she just simply had a bad headache. I had been giving her some ibuprofen to help ease the discomfort, and she gained some relief for about an hour and then the headache was back again. I must say I kept a close eye on her all night, waking up every hour to check on her just by instinct alone to determine whether or not to pack her up in the car and take her to the emergency room. She seemed fine throughout the night albeit restless, and of course this morning she still had a headache. She went to school anyway and when she arrived home that afternoon she called and told me she was going to sack out on the sofa and take a nap. Luckily Chris was there and he checked on her a few times, then I checked on her once I got home. She was simply TIRED.

Last night during dinner Lola was looking at a canned protein shake I was drinking with my meal and asked if it tasted good. I told her it tasted good to me. She tried a sip - - her eyes got really big, she made a huge sour face, then used a napkin to wipe off her tongue. Apparently that didn’t work, so she poked her fork into a meatball and furiously scrubbed her tongue with the meatball to kill the taste, and when even that didn’t work she went to the sink and washed her tongue off with water! Her futile attempts to rid the taste from her mouth was so comical, especially the meatball remedy - - - I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face and almost fell off my chair.

I love this kid. She is priceless!

Fashion Advice

The other evening Lola and I were watching one of our favorite TV shows - - “What NOT to Wear” - - and Lola commented that perhaps the people on this show should come and pay me a visit.

I said teasingly, “Oh, so you think my wardrobe is pretty awful?” and she said, “Some of your things are cute, but most are really BORING, Mom!”

To Lola, BORING = earthtone colors, including black, brown and gray. And, yes, I do have some, but I would say about half of the closet contains bright colors and prints as well. Hey, I’ve come a long way since my ultra preppy-conservative-dressing teaching days. At least I think so.

Anyway, I told her if she wanted to come with me the next time I buy any new clothes for myself (which is close to never since about December 2007 – ha ha ha - - we both know she despises shopping, so fat chance on her sitting patiently while I try on items of clothing) she can help me choose some things. She seemed ok with that and we went back to watching the show.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Bubble Wrap Poster Child

Lola was so excited to go ice-skating today, and Kimmi decided to come with us. One of the big highlights of ice skating for Lola is when we chance upon her ESOL teacher being at the rink. Lola quickly identified a car in the parking lot as that of her teacher and was anxious to go find her. Her teacher gives skating lessons at the rink, from what I understand, as well as taking lessons herself. She comes to the rink on Sunday afternoons to practice for her lesson. She is quite an amazing woman and I must say I liked her immensely the first time I met her back in August 2008. I’m glad she is Lola’s homeroom teacher as well as her ESOL teacher.

Lola put her skates on in record time and went out to visit with her teacher. We had arrived there later than planned so we were on the ice perhaps about twenty minutes before being shoo-ed off for fifteen minutes so the zamboni could come out. Once the ice was clean Lola was one of the first ones back out there; I was about ten people behind her in line, and Kimmi was farther back than I. When I finally got my first step back in the rink I observed a man of about 30 escorting Lola to the side of the rink. Upon reaching the spot where they were standing I noticed Lola had tears rolling down her face. I realized then that she must have fallen. The man was making sure she was ok as well as getting her out of the way of other skaters. I thanked him and turned my attention to Lola. She told me a little boy was skating fast like the hockey guys do and ran smack into her, knocking her over with such force that she said she felt like her head landed on the ice before her rear end did. Kimmi and I got her out to the concession area and applied a bag of ice on her head for about 30 minutes. Apparently the incident was serious enough to be brought to the attention of the management, and an employee of the rink (coincidentally, he was also the zamboni driver that day) came out with a clipboard and an incident report form. He asked us several questions and when finished he told us to notify the rink immediately if Lola required hospitalization.

Considering all the questions he posed to us, it was odd he never asked Lola if she could identify the boy who ran into her. When I asked him if they needed an ID on the person who had sent her flying, I was told it ‘wasn’t necessary’.

Hmm….don’t even get me started on that one - - I’ll go on and on about logic and policy regarding improper conduct on the ice and setting a clear warning for other rambunctious skaters.

After the twenty minutes or so of an ice bag applied to her head, Lola decided she was still ok enough to go back out to skate and hang out with her favorite teacher. Needless to say I was, as they say in the South, ‘on her like white on rice’ to make sure there were no other ‘incidents’ that afternoon.

I told Lola that if we go skating again in the future, she must wear a helmet. I told her that her well-being was more precious to me than her embarrassment at wearing head protection. She loves skating so much she was in total agreement with this idea.

One of my friends at work had made the comment one day that I should roll Lola in bubble wrap before she does any sports activities. I laughed at the time but now I’m beginning to think it’s not such a bad idea…

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Eternal Quest for the Perfect Mascara

Every now and then I find that no matter what some products promise, they still do not live up to their advertising or my small expectations. And the sad thing is, to some people this would be a very trivial complaint. Well, yes, it probably is. But since it matters to me I’m going to put it out there to the masses (or the ten or so people that actually read this blog) and appeal for help. Here is the question - - - - - (drum roll, please) - - - -

Is there a mascara out there - - SOMEWHERE – that is truly waterproof and most of all - - - smudgeproof???

If there is, I haven’t found it.…wait, I take that back. I HAD found it, about fifteen years ago, and was happily tripping along in life without giving a second thought as to whether or not I looked like a giant blonde raccoon. What I thought to be my lifelong supply was Cover Girl Marathon Mascara in the green tube. But about two years ago it became increasingly difficult to find in the stores and I am again on the eternal quest for the ‘perfect mascara’. This stuff was amazing! I could swim in it, cry in it, stand in the rain with my face to the sky in it, and still it would not flake, run, clump or smudge. It was, in my opinion, the world’s best invention in the cosmetic industry. And now it is very difficult to find. I thought perhaps it had been discontinued, but not according to the Cover Girl website. If I truly was upset enough to cry about it, I wouldn’t even consider it now, due to the inferior stuff I’m now relegated to wear.

I have tried the other Cover Girl options, Avon, Max Factor, Maybelline, Almay (strangely enough, it’s hypo-allergenic and I’m allergic to it!!), and Clinique. All have been tested and all have failed. I am not one to spend more than about six dollars for mascara, so I am not open to the high-end items.

It seems the best option at this point is to buy Cover Girl Marathon in bulk online and stock up. I will, at the very least, postpone the inevitable day where I have to search again for the ‘perfect mascara’!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day With No Snow!

I woke up this morning about 6am and watched the local news for any information on school closings,and there it was - - - Fulton County Schools closed today. Not so much due to any accumulation of snow for our immediate area, but more because the roads had iced up overnight and the wind chill was quite extreme for this part of the country. I thought I’d let Lola sleep until her body told her to wake up. She was excited to find out there was no school! The bad news was that we still had to stick to our study schedule…

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let it SNOW!!

We woke up to rain for the fourth (or was it fifth? I lost count) day in a row, but later in the morning it actually began to snow. The flakes were quite large, and Lola was so excited she just had to go outside and play in it! I went out long enough to take photos of her and throw back a snowball, but since I had wet hair from my shower I thought it best not to aggravate the little cold I’ve been dealing with for the past couple weeks.



I guess the reason I love Atlanta is because we see four distinct seasons every year, and every now and then we see some snow, like today. The summers are about six months long and hot and perfect for swimming every day and our winters really only last two to three months and even then only occasionally does the temperature drop below freezing. We are only four hours’ driving time (five with gas and potty breaks) from the beaches of Hilton Head Island, SC and six hours from the beaches of Destin, FL. We are safely situated away from hurricanes, only see an occasional tornado, and there are scads of trees everywhere you look! My first love is the ocean, but until I retire there Atlanta is a wonderful second option!

So while Lola was out frolicking in the snow, I dried my hair and grabbed the car keys and she and I went for a drive in the snow to take more photos. We drove until the slush accumulated on the road enough to warrant going back into our house to be safe and dry, but it was an amazing thing to see!! The snowflakes ranged from dime-sized to quarter-sized and they were big and wet and slow…. ideal for snowballs or snowmen. Lola pelted me on the rear end with a small snowball and it was so wet my jeans were still damp hours later!


Later in the afternoon the snow stopped and the wind came up - - it was really quite strong. There was nothing on the evening news about Fulton County closing schools, but Lola went to sleep hopeful that she would actually have a snow day…


Our townhome after the snow - - yes, that is a Christmas wreath on the door! Lola insisted we leave it up even after Christmas because it was so pretty!