Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Thursday, October 29, 2009.....

About 8 years ago, my sister and I started an annual (well, almost) tradition this time of year -- we go to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts.

It's been 2 years since our last journey, but I'm really missing it this year. I know, I can hear people saying, 'Oh, LMB can't go away to an amazing spa for one week. Boo hoo - Get a life.'

I get it. In fact, I constantly say the same thing to me. However, I have to tell you what I really appreciate about this trip is that it gives me the time to truly reconnect with me.

I journal, catch up on reading by a glorious fire, try out new lifestyle changes, eat healthy, exercise, and yes, I fully embrace spa treatments.

The management and staff are wonderful -- always smiling, always nice.

So, for one week, I take 5 days of it to regroup, and it is wonderful. I come back refreshed and also with some great tips to live the life I want. In addition, I get to refocus in a beautiful location with no interruptions or nasty people to push my buttons.

Today, I am going to try to recreate this scenario for 24 hours. My husband will be out-of-town tonight and I planned a day I might have had at the spa. I'm unplugging my phones, t.v. and computer for 24 hours. If this goes well, I might consider doing this for an entire weekend right before the holidays gets into full swing.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting and pampering me with NO interruptions.

Till Friday....

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 28, 2009....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Monday was the perfect weather - 65 and sunny. I took advantage of it and went for a nice walk.

Rave: I love sleeping to the sound of rainfall. My only issue is getting up in the morning.

Rave: I'm going to meet some bloggers IRL this weekend. I'm treking into NYC to see OP run in the NYC Marathon and hope to connect with Otin, Midtown Girl and whoever else Otin connects with. I'm very excited!

Rave: My first food pantry dinner was so much fun it may require it's own entry. How can you capture the magic of potatoes in a can and seahorses in 2 lines. You just can't.

Rave: The meeting with the people at my mother's nursing home went well last week and I believe the resolution will protect my mom from being hit in the future.

That's it for me. Can you believe no Rants? Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fashion Faux Pas....

Thursday, October 22, 2009....

Yesterday, I blogged about finding a heavenly pair of slippers. I'm all about comfort and having worked out of my home prior to becoming unemployed, slippers became the preferred footwear in my office.

Although I love my new slippers....

....and have a been a bit out of touch with the latest shoe fashion, I do know not to wear them outside my home. I'm pretty confident my wonderful slippers will not be worn by the models on any runway at Bryant Park during fashion week.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a woman wearing my same slippers the other night. Seriously, I wanted to ask where her Snuggie was, but didn't. Instead, as I waited for my name to be called for the focus study, I couldn't keep my eyes off her feet.

Did I miss the memo about slippers becoming the hot new fashion for outer foot wear?

Even if I did, I still don't think I would wear outside the home. Sometimes, no matter how much something is considered 'in-fashion', I'm a rebel and go against the grain of every fashion magazine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 21, 2009.....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Tomorrow is my first Food Pantry Dinner Club. I've lost 6 lbs and will be donating 36 lbs of food to the local food pantry.

Rant: Jules and her out-of-tune Tuesdays this week. I have insomnia tonight and her version of When I'm 64 with wimpy-ass Ken in a pink car keeps going through my mind. Thanks a lot Jules.

Rave: My Brussels sprout plants are starting to sprout. I bet you're saying who cares --- well, I do.

Rant: I suck at blogging lately, but promise to do something about it.

Rave: I participated in a focus group the other night, but because I was an alternate, I had to wait 15 minutes before they decided they didn't need me and I was paid $100.

Rave: A meeting is setup with my mother's nursing home and the Ombudsman person tomorrow. There is a resolution to the issue with the resident who hits my mom that is far better than their original suggestion.

Rave: These were sent to me the other day from Cabela's -- the world's best slippers. They weren't supposed to arrive until today, but appeared on my doorstep 5 days early. My feet couldn't be happier.

Rave: Loving that the nights are getting are colder. I love to sleep with the window open. Sure, it drives hubby nuts, but I LOVE it (maybe if I didn't steal most of the blankets he'd appreciate it like I do).

Rave: Some bloggers (Midtown Girl, Tasha, Kys, Baker Girl and Jenny Mac) thought of me and my little blog. Each gave me a cool award which I will be posting about in a future post and I want to thank them. Thanks :-)

Rave: Apparently, the answers to my last meme have me appear as a very sweet and innocent blogger. Hmmmm...I like that.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shout Outs...

Monday, October 19, 2009....

Over the weekend, two people accomplished amazing feats that I want to recognize.

IRL, my friend Sue, an amazing athlete who come rain or shine, works out at 4:30 a.m. daily, placed 2nd in a 4 woman boat coming in 2 seconds after the first place winner.

When I was texting her the other night, she was disappointed and I quickly pointed out that she could row an amazing race and come in 2nd or sitting on the couch watching t.v..

Sometimes people don't recognize their accomplishments and need lazy couch potatoes, like me, to remind them how AWESOME they are.

Sue, does not have a blog, but the other shout out I want to give does --Living and Loving in LA who ran in the Nike Women's Marathon this past weekend.

My favorite tweet was this: "Mile 11 and all we can think about is beer. Oh, and the finish line! Only 15m to go!"

If you have a moment, stop by Erin's blog and congratulate her. I've walked a marathon and remember the months of training and what it takes. IT'S HUGE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm in a Meme Mood....

Friday, October 16, 2009.....

Yeah, yeah, I know another meme, but I'm in a meme mood these days. Miss Nobody posted a meme (actually two) and I couldn't resist this one.

Guilty or Innocent?

You can only answer the question with Guilty or Innocent. If you play along, please let me know, I'd love to read your responses.

Oh yeah, I am not allowed to explain anything unless you message me and ask - but there is no guarantee I'll answer

You're supposed to copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers, type in your answers and tag to your friends to answer this. I'm not tagging a soul. Steal it if you want.

Asked someone to marry you? Innocent
Ever kissed someone of the same sex? Innocent
Danced on a table in a bar? Innocent I think...
Ever told a lie? Guilty.
Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back? Guilty.
Kissed a picture? Innocent
Slept in until 5 PM? Innocent
Fallen asleep at work/school? Guilty
Held a snake? Innocent.
Been suspended from school? Innocent.
Worked at a fast food restaurant? Guilty.
Stolen from a store? Innocent.
Been fired from a job? Innocent.
Done something you regret? Guilty
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty.
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Guilty.
Kissed in the rain? Guilty
Sat on a roof top? Guilty
Kissed someone you shouldn’t? Guilty.
Sang in the shower? Guilty.
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Guilty
Shaved your head? Innocent.
Had a boxing membership? Innocent.
Made a boyfriend cry? Guilty.
Been in a band? Innocent.
Shot a gun? Guilty.
Donated Blood? Innocent.
Eaten alligator meat? Innocent.
Eaten cheesecake? Guilty.
Still love someone you shouldn’t? Innocent

Have/had a tattoo? Innocent.
Liked someone, but will never tell who? Innocent.
Been too honest? Guilty.
Ruined a surprise? Innocent.
Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards? Guilty.
Erased someone in your friends list? Guilty.
Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? Innocent.
Joined a pageant? Innocent.
Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? Guilty.
Had communication with your ex? Guilty.
Got totally drunk on the night before exam? Guilty.
Got totally angry that you cried so hard? Guilty.

That's it....Have a great weekend

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14, 2009....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Sunday was my 1 year anniversary. We had a very nice weekend and when I asked my husband if he would do it all again, he said "yes".

Rant: hard is it to merge on the highway?! Seriously. I was driving home the other night on I95. Construction was going on and we had to merge down to 1 lane. I HAD thought the rule was to let one car in front of you to keep traffic steady. I had let a tractor trailer in AND a minivan (who couldn't comprehend I let him in and was driving 1/2 in lane, 1/2 in shoulder -- I missed this driving technique in driving school). However, some YA-HOO from NJ decides to drive along the side of my car. He was in my blind spot and there was no way I could let him in without getting into an accident (the shoulder was closing in on him). Eventually he realized what I did and WAITED HIS TURN. Folks, just because I let 2 cars in, doesn't mean I'm going to let EVERYONE in. WAIT-YOUR-TURN. When did we lose this concept?

Rave: The state omnibud's person for Long Term Care. We're having a situation with the nursing home my mother is in. She was struck by another patient (not the first time) and their solution was to move her into a different wing, a semi-private room because it is easier for the staff to do this then address the issue. The omnibud speaks on our behalf, but with the weight of a hammer, not a feather duster.

Rant: I'm mad at me. With the recent events of my dad, I'm not recognizing his lying is really not lying, just a person who is older and their memory is going. I witnessed his lies and went ape-shit on my sister because, well, I thought he was lying. After talking with him last night about a particular situation and thinking about it overnight, I realize he wasn't lying in his mind, he really didn't remember.

Rant: Going through my dad's voicemail. He didn't know how to access it. Guess what? 160 phone messages is time consuming. Most are sweepstakes calls, but the scams they use to have him call them back is scary. Some people claim they are with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Affairs, one person just said he was an officer, several claimed they worked for either UPS or Fed-X and had an urgent package to send. After I finish listening to them all, I will go in and block his telephone # on the do-not-call directory.

Rant: My Red Sox are out and I have to listen to my hubby go on-and-on about his Yankees until they get knocked out.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Monday, October 12, 2009....

Did you ever hear the expression: Gloating causes wrinkles? Well, it does.

My husband is going to be very surprised when he wakes up in a few days looking as though he's 95.

It's one thing to gloat about his Yankees winning, but I don't need any reminders about my Red Sox.

Maybe I should purchase some Geritol or Depends to go with his new look.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Awards Sunday

Sunday, October 11, 2009.....

If I'm posting on Sunday, it must mean another Blogger Awards Sunday. Host: LMB dressed in her finest bathrobe. Setting: Sitting in front of laptop, properly accepting a lovely award from another blogger and paying it forward.

Today's award is from Living and Loving in LA. She may not even remember bestowing the Sugar Doll Award, but I haven't forgotten....okay, I'm just slow. Heck, I was busy the past month and a half doing lots of nothing....

Without further adieu, lets get down to the show. I must now, according to the rules, tag 10 other bloggers and list 10 interesting facts about myself. Assuming you can handle such information, here goes nothing:

1. I need a lot of pillows to sleep. I've been known to steal from others. Wait. I don't steal, I openly take them from others. Two pillows is NOT enough.

2. I trained dogs for the circus to jump through hoops of fire. Okay, I didn't. But, it sounds much more interesting than telling you at one point in my life I was in the insurance industry.

3. I don't drink real coffee. Mocha, caramel yes. But, I'm a tea drinker.

4. I have never watched a Rocky movie and plan to go through life without seeing one.

5. I own a small wine collection which include some 1965 Chilean wines and 73 Saint Emilions.

6. I was in the Guiness Book of World Records in 2006 as being part of the most sea kayakers launching simultaneously (303) - heck, the event is even in Wikipedia.

7. I'm a big lover of Guiness (figured I'd tied this one in to #6).

8. I have a friend that can touch her nose with her tongue (look everything doesn't have to be about me)....

9. I love old movie classics.

10. I used to love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches as a kid.

The 10 bloggers I choose to know more about are:

Adorably Distracted
The Sorority
Stereos & Souffles
very married
Eyes Wide Open

I can't wait to know more about you.

Update: I just read Edder and was informed the I Shoulda Been a Stripper Award should really be the Premium Meme Award and asked that the bunny be replaced with the right award, correct picture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Over the Top and Through the Moon

Thursday, October 8, 2009....

I know it's not Awards Sunday, but this award came with a meme that I couldn't resist. The fantabulous Actual Scale has bestowed upon me an award.

So the rules are:
Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. You must use only one word answers!

Once you have filled it out you then pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers and alert them that they have been awarded.

1. Where is your cell phone? Living Room

2. Your hair? Brunette

3. Your mother? Alzheimers

4. Your father? Spidey Man

5. Your favorite food? Brussel Sprouts

6. Your dream last night? Horrible

7. Your favorite drink? Diet Cola

8. Your dream/goal? Balance

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Varies

11. Your fear? Rodents

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? On Earth

13. Where were you last night? home

14. Something that you aren't? President of the United States

15. Muffins? Cranbury Nut

16. Wish list item? Financial Security

17. Where did you grow up? By the WWE

18. Last thing you did? Blog

19. What are you wearing? Clothes

20. Your TV? 36"

21. Your pets? Dead

22. Friends? Great

23. Your life?Turmoil

24. Your mood? Varies

25. Missing someone? Nope

26. Vehicle? Passat

27. Something you’re not wearing? condom

28. Your favorite store? William Sonoma

29. Your favorite color? Green or Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed?

31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

32. Your best friend? Several

33. One place that I go to over and over? Supermarket

34. One person who emails me regularly? sister

35. Favorite place to eat? At a table

The six bloggers I want to pass this on to are:

Sunshine Meg
Miss Nobody Scribbles

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7, 2009....

Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Started a dinner club that will not only create fun evenings with friends, but help out the local food pantry.

Rant: Scumbag that tried ripping off my dad with a fake sweepstakes scheme (posted about this Spidey Man and the Bandits)

Rant Gourmet magazine going out of business. I LOVE that magazine.

Rave/Rant: I caved in and am now the owner of the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. I've read so many bloggers having great results with it, but don't think they got results from sitting on the couch, eating some coconut gelato and just watching it. Yeah, I did that. Coconut gelato is heavenly. I actually plan to do the program, but wanted to know what I was signing up for.

Rave: Got to see gf yesterday for lunch and was able to eat outside by the Saugatuck River.

Rave: I was bestowed with the Over the Top Award from Actual Scale that has this crazy meme attached to it. I'm stoked. One word answers reminds me of 'What is Jeopardy Alex'? and I love Jeopardy. I'll either post this meme tomorrow or on Award Sundays.

Thanks Actual Scale.

Rant: Insomnia. It's back and larger than life. I could rant about several other things at moment, but am just too exhausted. Worst part, when I have been able to sleep the past few nights, I dream about people who have been really mean to me in the past and wake myself up. They're in my past for a reason and I don't want them visiting me when I'm trying to get some sleep.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday. I hope it works again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today is Free Food Day Tuesday.....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009.....

No. This does not mean I'm cooking anyone dinner tonight.

Every Tuesday I weigh in, and every Tuesday, I don't count a single calorie or log my food in my journal. I've mentioned that I want to concentrate more on the process than the actual goal of this weight loss journey (probably because I haven't decided what I want as my goal) and not feeling as though I'm depriving myself is part of the process.

I also realized the WW promotion ends October 17th (they give $1 for every pound you lose up to $1 million dollars) and was a bit saddened by this, so I did something about it.

Yesterday, I decided to organize a monthly dinner with a meaningful purpose. I've asked guests to bring a pound of food for every pound I lose the previous month at Weight Watchers which I will deliver to the local food bank.

The monthly dinner parties are limited to six people and I'm already booked for this month with one on the waiting list.

One gf is traveling 40 minutes to come, but has asked if she and her daughter can come with me when I deliver the food. I'm so touched by this request.

I'm down a total of 5.8 lbs (3.4 weight loss this past week) and am highly motivated to lose more for others.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spidey Man and the Bandits.....

Monday, October 5, 2009....

Last Monday, I posted about a scam phone call I received (Mish Mash Monday) and many posted comments about how scary this was because elderly people would probably get taken.

When I was reading your comments I never imagined that Spidey Man (my 87 year old father -- see Spidey Man Intro for better peek of my dad) would be the victim of such scam artists. But, he was.

Spidey is very protective of his personal information and when Publisher's Clearing House called to tell him he won $2.5 million dollars, he was thrilled. Luckily, he shared this tidbit with my other sister as he was driving her home from the train station Friday night.

He told her they were coming to the house Saturday to go to the bank with him where he'd give them a check for $350 and they'd make the transfer of $2.5 million into his account.

She lost her mind (rightfully so), but couldn't be there Saturday to greet the scam artists, so she called me.

Bill and I called the police department the night before, not much could really be done, but we were to get license plate #. My other sister arranged with the neighbor for us to park in their driveway so the scumbag, oh, I mean scam artist, wouldn't know we were there.

We go to Spidey Man's early Saturday a.m., Bill armed with a camera and me with a lot of sorrow and disgust knowing there are people who would rob an old man of his life savings.

Bill stayed by the car because he wanted to surprise the scumbags, oops, there I go again, I mean scam artists, and I went in.

Luckily, my dad listened to my sister and thought about what she said. The fake Publisher's Clearing house people called and when he told the person he hadn't mailed them the check and a trusted finance person told him not to do this, the representative told him to hold for the President of Publisher's Clearing House.

The "President" also tried to convince my dad what a great deal this was, Spidey told them under no terms not to come to the house and no check was going to be mailed to them. Publishing Clearing House hung up on him.

We had a long chat. I learned they wanted him to mail a check for $350 to a residential address in Charlotte, NC to handle the mailing expenses of the $2.5 million dollar check. Oh. My. God. Really? Has anyone paid $350 in shipping charges to send an envelope via UPS? Besides, if they were already coming over to go to the bank with my dad to give him the check, why does he have to incur a shipping charge?

Things I learned from my dad about this call:

1. When the scumbags (okay, let's just call them what they are) called, they told him they were from Publisher's Clearing House in Syosett, NY (I explained to Spidey any info can be found on the Internet).

2. They wanted $350 for shipping via UPS (asked my dad had he ever incurred a shipping charge that high for mailing a package....and asked him if he thought it fair to pay upfront for a winning).

3. My dad asked me how they knew he had submitted entries to Publishing Clearing House (I explained they probably didn't, but because he was receptive to their statement they went with it).

This was a close call. He had a check in an envelope ready to go (I ripped into pieces) and I gave him some info about scam sweepstakes to read. I told him the best defense was to be armed with knowledge.

Spidey is afraid, okay paranoid, about someone getting his personal info and we discussed what had happened. I explained once they had his banking info they could steal and worse case scenario remortgage his house and default on the loan. He thought the bank would stop someone from electronically withdrawing funds from his account and when I told him it wasn't their responsibility to do this, his ears perked up.

He went to the bank with a list of checks that he had written and froze the account (except for these checks). He was going to close it out and open a new one.

Only after explaining to him how other elderly people without children could be taken by these scumbags did he easily give up the info. I think he was embarrassed for falling for such a scam, but I assured him, others of all ages are being taken.

I just don't know what to really do with this info to make a difference and stop others from being taken.

I wonder if UPS or Publisher's Clearing House have gotten complaints from similar scams?

It broke my heart to see my dad, a man I leaned on growing up, be taken. Things will be changing for him and I hope he'll be able to cope.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Awards Sunday

Sunday, October 4, 2009.....

Today is the first of several Sundays where I will properly accept and pass along the wonderful awards other bloggers have given me while sitting in my oh-so-chic bathrobe sipping my diet coke (don't judge, early morning fix and I don't drink real coffee)....

Edder from I Don't Care for Your Tone gave me the I've Shoulda Been a Stripper Award.

The guidelines of this award are to list 7 of your personality traits, as evidenced on your blog and then pass the award on to 7 other blogs with notable personality. I’ve also been told that you are allowed to keep a copy of said award on my sidebar forever. And ever.

I've already listed my 7 personality traits in a previous post (I posted about it here), but need to acknowledge the 7 bloggers I feel could not only ride the pole, but master it.

They are:

Jenny Mac at Let's Have a Cocktail
Yvonne at Yo Mama's Blog
Deborah at The Peach Tart
Candice at Life According to Candice
LiLu at Livit Luvit
CheekyMonkey at Lacochran's Bloggery


The Organic Meatbag

Sorry, no bills will be put in your G-String and I will not be asking for any lap dances.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Five Simple Words

Friday, October 2, 2009....

Joanna at The Fifty Factor posted this great entry about using five words to help you know someone.

It's a meme that caught my eye. Here's how it works. Joanna was given 5 words from another blogger and she did a post about the words she was given (which I've linked to above). She then offered to give 5 words to someone else. I thought it would be fun, so now I'm going to post on the five words she gave me. If you want to join in, tell me in the comments and I'll send you your own five words!

1. Cooking: If you're new to my blog and have not read my profile, you would not know that cooking is my passion. Cooking, like breathing, is crucial to my existence. I own over 200 cookbooks and LOVE them all. In May 2009, I realized I really hadn't a clue how many books I really have and decided instead of just counting the books, I'd choose 4/5 recipes from 5 books a month and cook them. May went well.....June went into July and into August (I guess I forgot the power of hot summers killing the desire to be around a hot stove) but I'm back in the groove and am doing a month of healthy/low fat cooking.

2. Grateful: Several years back, I had a health issue which was life threatening. It was during this time that I realized how lucky I was to have such great people in my life. Over time, both good and bad stuff has happened to me and I recently got sucked into letting the bad rule my emotions. I had trouble seeing the good in any situation and it really clouded my judgement.

Years ago, I saw Jerry Posner speak at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA about the practice of gratitude and how it changed his life. For 7 years, he kept a gratitude journal. Everyday he wrote down 5 things he was grateful for in his life and after 7 years noticed his life had shifted. His positive energy was infectious.

I had read about the benefits of the practice of gratitude in many books, but I got to see the first hand results. After his speech, I kept one for about 1 1/2 years, but in the past year, stopped. I was consumed more with what I didn't have than what I do. I couldn't do it because I guess I let the negative shit in my life control me.

About a month ago, I started it again. Some days I find it hard to do, but I have noticed a shift in thinking is going on again. Before blowing up over petty stuff, I ask myself is this really going to impact my life? Most times the answer is no and I let it go.

3. Travel I miss it. I miss it a lot more than I thought I would. Being unemployed has eliminated my ability to travel and explore new places. I've been to England, walked a marathon in Dublin Ireland, lounged on beaches in Mexico and Aruba, taken a mini-cross country excursion out West helping a friend move, hiked the Grand Canyon for 7 days and explored many other cities. Each hold special memories for me and I know I will travel again. I'd love to bike through the countryside of France, kayak in Alaska and cook in Tuscany. These are just a few places I plan to visit.

4. Goals: I have big ones, small ones, long term and daily goals. Over the years my goals have changed to reflect where I am in life. For now, I'm striving to find a job that excites me every day to get up; lose weight, try 44 new things my 44th year of life, declutter and streamline my home, run a relay with my two sisters, and cook many new recipes.

5. Marriage: If you asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have said crippling, lonely and miserable. I was with my ex for 15 years. We met and married young. I was in a marriage with the wrong man. He was in a marriage with the wrong woman.

For so many reasons this marriage ended. Once divorced, I realized how happy I was and it was better to be happy and alone, then remarried and miserable. I expected to be single the rest of my life, but then I met Bill.

One morning I woke up and knew I wanted to grow old with him. Next Sunday, October 11th will be our one year anniversary and I consider myself blessed to have found such a wonderful man.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

When in Doubt -- A Giant Inflatable Rat is Always the Cure for the Blues

Thursday, October 1, 2009....

Yeah, you read right -- a giant inflatable rat will cure the blues. Bet you didn't know that. I didn't. But, my friend Alison was wonderful in educating me on this fact.

Last week, I received an email message entitled: "I think you'll appreciate this".

I open the message thinking it was some cooking thing (because of my love of cooking) or a joke. Wrong. It was a link to an article about giant rats greeting shoppers at the Big Y.

Funny part, I didn't read the article, only her message. I didn't need to read the article because I've been greeted by a giant rat when Wild Oats first opened and didn't allow their employees to join an union. She was fascinated by the giant rat and wondered if there was a business for it. She cracked me up with her comment of:

"I wonder how much it costs to buy or is renting more economical? Do you think I can use them for other functions than union protests? I know I'm a sucker for buying stuff on TV but, I don't know -- I think I want one!"

Without skipping a beat, I emailed her back with the suggestion of the 'Holiday Rat'.

Around my area, people hire some company to place a life size plywood character cutout for a person's front lawn or street corner which includes a personalized message in a mouth bubble (ya know, the bubbles you see above a cartoon character in the comics showing his thoughts). It is supposed to be wonderful, but reminds me of the waiters that come to your table and sing Happy Birthday. I hate that stuff! Anyway, I digress....

This becomes our email exchange:

Me: Would you put them in front of people's houses with happy birthday or congratulation signs because I'm thinking nothing says love like a giant rat - NOT....

Now, a giant chipmunk would be most excellent.....

Alison: Ooooo --- I like that idea - now I REALLY want one!

Take it a half-step further and dress him up for holidays: New Year's Baby
Easter BUNNY
Uncle Sam for 4th of July/Memorial Day/Labor Day/heck, any day!
Christopher Columbus (? )
Thanksgiving Turkey
Rudolf - or another of Santa's Reindeer
or Chanukah - he could wear a bedazzled and themed apron holding a plate of latkes!

or you could do seasons: Winter Spring Summer Fall
put him in a bikini holding a surfboard for Summer --- woo HOOOOOO!

or special occasions like - birth of a son or daughter which of course would include a pink or blue baby bonnet and diaper and bouquet of balloons, Birthday includes party hat and noisemaker and a cake (not edible), Bon Voyage includes a Hawaiian shirt, vacation-style hat and suitcase, Get Well Soon includes a pot of chicken soup (not edible) and bouquet of flowers while wearing a yellow Smiley Face shirt, etc. etc.

If you want "in" on my new business venture, just let me know. If you don't know what my new business venture is, why it's selling giant inflatable rats and seasonal outfits for the rat. It's only fair to give you first dibs since you came up with the idea of outfits.

Me: 1...I guessed your venture. Scary to say, I guessed it.

2....You can't rent the rat out for President's Day (well, you could, but I'm just thinking it might be wrong).

3...You might get protesters with giant rats on your front lawn if you go into this business.

4...Rats scare me, so I'll pass.

Out of curiosity - how would logistically dress the giant size rat? When deflated or inflated?

Your husband could also post pics on Facebook or videos since he has 1000 friends (NOTE: her husband has an insane amount of contacts on FB. He keeps adding more everyday) and that'd be great word of mouth marketing.

Too bad you didn't have the rat today --- you could put it on R's lawn since today is her birthday and I BET SHE'D LOVE IT... LOL....

Alison: You're right about President's Day! Unless of course the rat is looking sheepish while trying to hide the axe behind it's back and there's a felled cherry tree. Or he's holding a freshly baked cherry pie (not edible).

No need to be afraid of THIS rat! He'll be dressed while fully inflated I suppose.... I haven't thought that far in advance and am not sure if he'll need specially made clothing or if he'd fit in people clothes.

Maybe next year R could get a Happy Birthday Rat, if someone REALLY loves her a lot!!

My husband's up to 1,112 friends right now - a marketer's dream, huh?

As we were exchanging emails, I noticed I was the only one she sent this idea to....and I really thought I had the voice of reason....I'm guessing not. If I had, I wouldn't have been to respond so quickly with a great concept.

Now, if any readers steal this idea, Alison and I will track you down and demand royalties for our idea.