Category Archives: Catching Up

My Life in Holds

I have a love-hate relationship with the library. Love, because, well, it’s a library, and I can borrow things that I have no intention or desire to ever actually own. Hate, because I inevitably end up with fines since I typically misplace only those materials on which someone else has placed a hold. Library karma? And then there was the time that the library actually sent Marc a collections notice for his outstanding fines…alas, a different story for a different day. (To clear his name, though, I should tell you all that they lifted the fees after much ballyhoo on Marc’s part.)

So what does all of this have to do with My Life or My Holds? I’m getting there. Today, I checked my e-mail and found a hold notification for a few DVDs I requested for Max (yes, I let my toddler watch television…sue me!). What caught my eye, however, was a new area on the notice that read, “To protect your privacy, we cannot publicly display your name on materials being held for pick up. The Hold Shelf will be organized by Hold ID.” It went on to list my very own, personal Hold ID number. And it got me to thinking…is this really such a problem? As I was getting ready for bed, I told Marc about the new Hold IDs, and he said, “That kind of sucks.” “What part sucks?” I asked, to which he replied, “Well, it was just another clue.” I laughed…mainly because he was right.

Creepily enough, library holds are, indeed, a clue to what’s going on in someone’s life. I remembered a time that Marc came back from having lunch with a friend he hadn’t seen in awhile. As he recapped their time together, he told me a story about how he and the friend talked about having children. At some point, their conversation turned to how it took awhile for me to get pregnant, and the friend said to Marc, “Yeah…we wondered if you guys might have been having trouble getting pregnant because Nat kept noticing that Karen had a bunch of books about infertility on hold at the library.” What?!?! His wife’s last name also starts with an “M” and is just a few characters off of our own. I even grabbed one of my on-hold books at the library once only to find a note from her on a due-date receipt…it was sweet, just a quick note to say hello and that she hoped we were doing well. It never really occurred to me that someone might draw their own story of my life from the books I put on hold.

Marc and I got a good chuckle out of the nature of my holds over the last few years. So what did my on-hold story tell? Well, during the spring of 2007, they were all about getting ready to “try” to get pregnant. At that point, we thought it was going to be easy. There were books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility and others about “getting ready.” When it didn’t happen right away, there were books about changing your diet for fertility and yoga for fertility. Still nothing…more books…Infertility for Dummies, books about when to call a doctor, even more about what happens if it doesn’t happen. And then, voila! Anyone casing my spot on the on-hold shelf would have noticed books about pregnancy starting the following summer…a few months later, they were books about labor and delivery…next up, caring for newborns…throw in a few Dr. Sears’ books here and there, and one would know that we right on track for Max’s arrival in January of 2008. Over the last year and a half, there have been books by Anabel Karmel about The Top 100 Purees for Baby, Baby Super Foods, and Meal Planners for the Picky Eater; CDs ranging from Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants to For the Kids (1, 2, & 3!); and just today, I picked up a couple of new Elmo’s World DVDs.

It was kind of fun to see our journey through the lens of the Dewey Decimal System and a metal shelf at the local library. From now on, though, I guess it will just be a story for us, alone. Well, us and the librarian.

To protect your privacy, we cannot publicly display your name on materials being held for pick up. The Hold Shelf will be organized by Hold ID.

Your Hold ID is:
MCA 8282

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Snippets

It has been an unfortunately long amount of time since my last post, so I thought that I would just write a few mini-posts—snippets if you will—about any recent happenings that seem even remotely blogworthy.  So here you go…

A Whale of a Tail:  Forgive the crude designation I will soon apply to a spectacular visual Marc and I beheld yesterday while driving through Broad Ripple.  (You’ll get what I mean soon enough.)  As we drove down Broadripple Avenue past La Joya, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye that was astounding.  Just to the right of our car, perched at near-eye level on the outdoor patio was a full on whale tail.  For those of you who are not familiar with what that is…just picture an obtrusive view of one’s scanty underthings emerging from the back of one’s pants.  Think Sisqo’s song—okay, if I must say it…it’s a thong protruding from a person’s jeans!  I’m sure you’ve all had to bear witness to such atrocities before.  (I almost made Marc drive back around the block so that I could snap a picture and include it as my Wacky Wednesday Photo Fun, but Marc decided that might be too voyeuristic.)  Typically, the whale tail is displayed by wayward teenagers who think it’s cool.  But, as Marc noted, “That was a mom!”  And, as I noted, it was way too far out of the lady’s jeans for her not to at least be feeling a bit of a breeze that might call for a short pause and a “hmmm…why do my my cheeks feel so, I don’t know, exposed?”  Put that away, lady.  Put…that…away.

Revoltingly Sweet…Yet Surprisingly Addictive!:  Troy and I just entertained a five or so minute conversation about “sugar cereals” this morning.  And he came up with a rather poignant observation—whether you were deprived of sugar cereals (Troy’s childhood) or allowed sugar cereals (My childhood) as a kid, you still crave sugar cereals down the road.  Between the two of us, we managed to list off about 15 cereals that fit the bill.  Cocoa Pebbles, Trix, Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, Honeycomb, Corn Pops, Cookie Crisp….this list goes on and on.  I have always been a cereal fan.  Growing up, that’s what I ate for breakfast just about every morning.  And today, I admit that I still buy cereal to eat in the evenings when I get a sweet tooth.  Usually, I will refrain from going too far overboard and try to stick with cereals that have some redeemable qualities—Frosted Mini-Wheats or Fruity Cheerios (a nice hybrid between good-for-you Cheerios and not-so-good-for-you Trix)—but I did buy a box of Star-O-Saurus the other day (the store brand of Lucky Charms).  Mmm…marshmallow-y goodness!

Soy Dream Come True:  I am an ice cream-aholic.  Seriously, if I allowed myself, I could eat it almost every day.  However, my cholesterol level—yes, I have the skinny body/bad cholesterol issue—dictates that every day ice cream eating is not necessarily in the best interest of my overall health.  So, in my search for reasonable alternatives…I stumbled upon Soy Dream “ice cream.”  Yes, ice cream is in quotes because it’s not really ice cream.  It’s soy cream…I guess.  And no, it’s not disgusting.  In fact, the Chocolate Brownie Soy Dream is just about my favorite thing ever.  We get it at the Sunflower Market in Broad Ripple, and it tastes good enough that I generally have to give myself a pep talk to stop eating it.  “Mango…put the spoon down.  You can do it.  Good girl.”  Just thought I would offer a little product endorsement and a shout out for the best ice soy cream ever!

Putting that Bottle Rocket Where the Sun Don’t Shine:  That’s what Marc and I were ready to do to a few raucous neighborhood boys yesterday who decided that May 29th was the new July 4th.  From the time that I got home until late into the evening, we were treated to the sounds of firecrackers being exploded inside of soda cans.  Lovely.  As the evening wore on, they switched over to bottle rockets, which were actually being launched towards neighbor’s houses.  It’s always hard for Marc and me, because we realize that kids will be kids.  And as Marc revealed, boys love fireworks.  He said that he and his friends probably would have done the same thing when they were young.  The difference, as he pointed out, is that when he was younger his parents—or someone’s parents—would have put the smack down on shooting them at people’s homes or firing off an excessive and annoying number of firecrackers.  Not wanting to be the bitchy neighbor lady…I let it slide.  Not so for our neighbor who eventually called the cops.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

Say What?

Okay…so it’s been a LOOOONG time since I’ve posted, and I’m feeling like a big slacker. But, truth be told, I’m having a bit of writer’s block. Enter this post–a collection of totally random happenings from my life lately that make up a giant hodge podge. Here goes, a collection of mini-posts to get me jump started…

(1) Alphabet Soup: Marc has become increasingly interested and involved in ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) during his MSW studies. Therefore, I (by default) have also had a great deal of exposure lately to this paradigm [that buzzword was for you, Troy]. Last week, Marc and I attended a conference in Schaumburg, Illinois at the invitation of a fellow church member. The focus was Communities of Shalom–a program through the United Methodist Church that focuses on uniting communities and congregations…at least that’s what I gathered. We attended three break-out sessions–two of which were led by Luther Snow, an ABCD consultant. It was uplifting to realize through our contact with Luther’s ideas and teaching that much of what we are doing at Broadway UMC [that which seems very intrinsic and second-nature to us] is actually quite progressive. Not only did we walk away with an appreciation for those things that Broadway is doing to truly celebrate its community, but we also brought home some pretty awesome furniture from IKEA!

(2) Goodbye #3: Many people who know me at all know that I am a complete dentophobe. I’m not sure if it was a bad experience as a child or the fact that I brush constantly and still have multiple cavities, but the dentist really freaks me out. So I ended up putting off (for years) having work done on tooth #3–your first molar on the upper right for those who don’t know. Finally, after an abscess at the beginning of ’06, there was no getting around it. Tooth #3 won the battle, and I was heading to the endodontist for a root canal. The only problem was that the tooth was still going to have its way and continued to give me problems. At the beginning of December, I finally broke down and called the oral surgeon. By 3:00pm on January 5th, Tooth #3 was merely a memory.

I was so nervous about getting my tooth yanked [or extracted, as the dental-type say], that I actually called Marc crying on my way home BEFORE the appointment. Thankfully, the procedure only took a couple of minutes–I think it took longer to get the shots to numb me up–and I was headed out the door, gauze in mouth, only a short time later. Marc’s mom graciously escorted me to my appointment and let me crash at their house afterwards. Later that evening, Marc showed up with pudding and Jello…just what I needed to get me back on the road to recovery!

(3) Doin’ the ‘Do: Last Friday, I visited our friend Wayde at his and his partner David’s hair salon, Common Tribe. My mom, dad and little sister all chipped in to get me gift certificates to the salon for my birthday in December, and I finally decided to make good on a new haircut. I’ve been growing my hair out for awhile and love how long it’s getting, but it was definitely time for a little sprucing up. So I fought off all of the crazy northside traffic after work and made my way to the super cozy salon for my new ‘do.

Wayde took great care to make sure that he knew exactly what kind of cut I wanted before he got started and then went on to work his magic. I jokingly told him afterwards that he should think about cutting hair for a living. Note to anyone looking for an extra-fabulous haircut…go see Wayde!

(4) Get out of my Fac(ial): If you remember back to my post in September, my mom, sisters and I play in a golf tournament every fall. This year, my mom and I both won gift certificates for manicures, pedicures, facials, and a shampoo/style at Kokomo’s mecca of high fashion, Rudae’s Beauty School. Knowing that the certificates expired soon, we made appointments for Saturday, and I headed to Kokomo for our Day of Beauty. We were well aware of the fact that we would be tended to by students, but who knew that our experience might bring to mind a certain song from the movie Grease? At the end of the afternoon, my facial left me feeling a bit icky, and my mom’s manicurist actually asked her if she wanted to have her nails polished…this after not filing them or even trimming her cuticles. I know, I know…it would be wrong to think that we would walk away having experienced the high-quality pampering of a professional salon, but I also didn’t think that I would feel the need to wash my face after the facial. I think my mom would agree that the best part of our “spa day” was the hour we spent at the ice cream shop afterwards laughing about our time at Rudae’s.

(5) That’s How I Roll: When Duane mentioned that his sister had a spot on Indy’s newest sports team, The Naptown Rollergirls, Troy decided that he wanted to celebrate his birthday at the bout on January 13th. So we packed up the crew and headed to the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the inaugural “Cherry Stomp”…crude, I know. Marc and I were amazed by how the athletics really did outweigh the theatrics, although there was plenty of that, too! I could elaborate on the night’s events, but I’ll just point you to the website and let you use your own imagination.

Well…there it is. A few little clips to catch you up on my whirlwind life of the last few weeks. More to come–I promise.

Deck the Halls with Random Factoids

Because I have been slacking lately on my blogging duties, I’m using this Holiday “Get-to-know-you” List to get back in the saddle. You can check-out responses from fellow bloggers Troy (Growing Sense) and Jennie (Trim and Fashionable) by clicking to the right.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? — Definitely hot chocolate…and when I’m feeling really crazy, I take a spoon, load it up with marshmallow cream, and dunk it right in. Better than regular marshmallows, in my opinion, which is saying a lot, because I LOVE marshmallows!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? — Oh, Santa is a wrapping machine! I love to wrap presents, so my mom would tape the boxes shut and let me help with the gift wrapping. Even the oddly shaped packages get wrapped in something. I don’t know that we’ve ever had unwrapped gifts under the tree.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? –I choose white for my tree/decorations at home; growing up, our family tree always had colored lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?–No, but my grandma always hung mistletoe in the archway between her living and dining rooms. It had little windchime-type thing that hung down, and the kids would always try to jump up to ring it.

5. When do you put your decorations up?–My goal is to get them up by the end of the weekend just after Thanksgiving. I do a pretty good job most of the time.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?–I love, love, love my mom’s greenbean casserole and her deviled eggs. My sisters and I fight over them! Another favorite was always my grandmother’s chicken and noodles. They always looked so perfectly yellow and yummy…I’ll never forget the look on my sister’s face when she found out that my grandma put yellow food coloring in them!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?–Going to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Christmas Eve.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?–What truth?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?–When I was little, we spent Christmas Eve evening at my grandparents’ house. We would exchange and open gifts from our extended family that night. Everything else was “Do Not Open ’til December 25th!” In fact, it wasn’t until about two or three years ago that my mom stopped waiting until after we went to sleep to put the gifts under the tree. Now that Marc and I are married, we usually spend Christmas Eve day/evening with his family and do our gift exchanging then. Late on Christmas Eve night, we drive up to my parents house to stay over for Christmas morning. Before bed, each of us “kids” [although we are adults now] gets to open one box, which contains our matching Christmas pajamas…that’s right, we match, and we like it!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?–My picky side comes out when the tree goes up, so I’m pretty particular about how the ornaments go on. Usually, I have a color scheme, but there are a few special pieces that go up whether they match or not…like the two little felt elves that used to go on my Grandma’s tree. They look so cute, like they’re sitting on the branches watching over the living room while we’re out.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?–The way I see it, snow should fall on Christmas Eve and melt the day after Christmas. So I guess I would say I dread it.

12. Can you ice skate?–Yes, but not very well at all. Marc used to play hockey, so he skates circles around me…literally. I haven’t gone for a long time, but I would probably end up in a body cast if I tried.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?–One of my favorite gifts was a huge [about 3 1/2 feet tall], white stuffed bear that I named Bozwell. I circled it in the JC Penney catalog but never thought that I would get it. But then there he was on Christmas morning…thanks Santa!!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?–Hanging out with our families.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
–Chocolate fudge with walnuts.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?–Perhaps it’s picking on my little sister, Kimmy, about opening the last gift. She always wants to have the honor of opening the last present of the day, so one year we even went so far as to hide one of our own gifts to steal her thunder. I don’t feel bad telling you all about it, because I know she thinks it’s funny, too! (Right, Kimmy?)

17. What tops your tree?–Right now, nothing. We bought a great tree-topper a few years ago when we had a real Christmas tree. Now that we’ve switched over to the evil world of artificial trees, the darn thing is too heavy. I know that there’s a way that I can rig it up, but I just haven’t found it yet. Some of the girls at work used to joke that I could “MacGyver” anything…hmm…I’m thinking maybe a couple of chopsticks and some twisty-ties just might do the trick.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
–Now what will that say about me if I tell you I prefer receiving?!? But truthfully, I really do like giving gifts, as well. Actually, my favorite part is taking extra care to wrap the presents in a way that makes them look special. I’m a wrapping fanatic, so I always have to have the perfect paper and the bows just right.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
–O Holy Night…no contest.

20. Candy canes! Yuck or yum?
–I must confess. I’m not really a fan of candy canes (or Brach’s Starlight Mints for that matter). Usually, I only make it about an eighth of the way through before I throw it away. Strange…because I do like pepermint flavor.

Lazy Jane

I love Shel Silverstein, especially his poem “Lazy Jane.” For those of you who don’t know how it goes, let me enlighten you:

Lazy
Lazy
Lazy
Lazy
Lazy
Lazy
Jane.
She
wants
a
drink
of
water
so
she
waits
and
waits
and
waits
and
waits
and
waits
for
it
to
rain.

In a nutshell, that was my weekend. It seems like Marc and I have been going 100 miles per hour lately, and this was the first weekend in a long time where we didn’t have anything formally planned (except dinner at a friend’s house on Sunday…and I wasn’t cooking, so that didn’t really count). On Friday night, we hit the Thai Cafe for dinner and then headed home to watch Network, the 1976 film featuring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall. Even if you haven’t seen it, you know of it…it’s the film that includes the famous line, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Now that we’ve “fallen back” with Daylight Savings Time, it seems like it’s much later than it really is. When we were driving home from dinner, I told Marc that I felt like it was 10:00 even though it was really seven. By the time the DVD ended at 10:00, it felt like it was midnight (which is, ashamedly, past my bedtime). So we turned in for the night.

On Saturday, we hit the road for a visit to Kokomo to see my family. It was chilly day and kind of gloomy…perfect for sacking out on the couch , which was exactly what we did at my parents’ house for the entire day. It was nice, though, to just sit around and catch up since we hadn’t been up for a visit since September! (Shame on us…like I said, we have been extra busy.) I baked a pan of brownies to satisfy my chocolate craving. And when dinner time rolled around, I offered to make the sweet potato soup that I love so much. Nevermind that I’ve made this soup several times…I somehow managed to completely forget the first four or five steps of the recipe, leaving us with 3 1/2 pounds of boiled sweet potatoes and nothing to do with them. My mom said she might freeze them and make a casserole later. I felt so bad! They joked that if I didn’t really want to cook, I should have just said something. We ended up ordering pizza, and after about three pieces, I had miraculously forgotten all about the bisque incident.

I brought a bag of dog clothes that Judy’s dog, Cooper, willed down to my parents’ new puppy, Barnum. He gladly put on a little fashion show for us, displaying how chic he looked in his new sherpa-lined corduroy overcoat. Bailey, my parents’ first-born and dearest dog son, was less obliging when it came to trying on the new duds. When we strapped him into the Isaac Mizrahi doggy trenchcoat, he pouted in the middle of the room and refused to pose for pictures. I always love to spend time at my folks’ house, and it was a really great visit.

Sunday, we managed to arrive at church just as it was starting. Marc’s mom and dad were joining us that day, and they called to see where we were. Marc said he was surprised that they beat us there, but I reminded him [as we stood in our kitchen] that church was starting in approximately two minutes. I’ve come to realize that living so close to the church can be both good and bad. Bad, because we tend to let ourselves sleep in too late; and good, because it only takes half of a second to get there. After church, we had lunch with Marc’s parents and then headed home to watch the Colts almost get spanked by the Buffalo Bills. I think I lasted until the third quarter before I drifted off to nap-land. Later that evening, it was off to the dinner party and the absolutely wonderful Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie that Jack made for dessert. It was quite a way to cap off a weekend.

So I guess that for two people who had nothing planned, Marc and I still ended up with plenty to do!