Friday, August 26, 2011

Bright Side Friday - School's Back

Since I work in an elementary school, I am very lucky that I don't work over summer break.  I thoroughly enjoyed being with my two boys all summer long.  We had a great summer.  We spent alot of time outside when it wasn't too hot.  We had quite a few picnics.  We slept in a few times. They both learned to swim.  We participated in the library reading program.  We had a very full and satisfying summer.  Even though I enjoyed all the unstructured time, I am quite content to have the school year starting again.  The boys are excited about school and really enjoy going to the after-school program, which alleviates guilt for me since I can't pick them up right after school.  Their bedtime has moved up a little bit so that they are rested for school, which gives me some more time in the evenings to collect myself and get organized for the next day.  We're falling back into a comfortable pattern of purposeful activities.  I'm looking forward to hearing about all the new things they'll be learning and all the things we'll have to talk about.  Happy Friday of the first week of school!

S -)

What is your Bright Side? Are you ready for school to start?

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday: Scarp


This is an example of a scarp that we saw in the U.P. of Michigan. It was absolutely beautiful, and at the time, I didn't know that there was a name for it. Now we know! 


noun \ˈskärp\

Definition of SCARP

1: the inner side of a ditch below the parapet of a fortification
2a : a line of cliffs produced by faulting or erosion — see fault illustration  
b : a low steep slope along a beach caused by wave erosion

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Vent - Stupid Drivers

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to vacation in the U.P. of Michigan with my kids and sister-in-law and her kids. It was a great trip, but the double digit hours on the road, gave me plenty of contact with stupid drivers.  In my perfect world, there would be a point system with drivers. Drivers around you would be allowed to decide if you get points deducted or awarded. I'm sure it could all be done electronically. If you lose too many, you are no longer allowed to drive because even though the police haven't taken away your license, you are obviously a hazard on the road. You could earn points back by being a courteous driver. Sounds fair, I think. Until then, I just have to do it in my mind. Here are a few of my mental points deducted and awarded. (Please keep in mind, that most of the driving was on roads that had only 1 or 2 lanes of traffic in each directions.)

Points Deducted From:
1. Left Lane Slow Driver: The left lane is for PASSING people in the right lane. NOT the other way around. If you want to drive slower than the 50 cars behind you, get over to the right.

2. Left Lane Driver Driving the SAME speed as the right lane: Again, refer to #1. You are now succeeding in blocking BOTH lanes of traffic. In fact, I think you are WORSE than #1 because we can't even pass you on the right.

3. Drivers who Pass Me and then drive slower than I was in the first place: Seriously? Feel free to pass me, but if you are going to pass me, you'd better have a pace that's faster than mine.

4. Left Lane Slow Driver until I try to pass on the right: Really? NOW you speed up? And just enough to block me out so that I can't pass you? Jerk.

5. Clueless Drivers: This one has to do with the fact that my sister-in-law's car died on the top of an off-ramp in the left turn lane. The doors were open, the hood was up, the hazard lights were on, we were standing outside of the car, and drivers STILL pulled up behind us to wait to turn left! Even when we waved them over, they were confused. It took a State Police car with lights and orange cones to finally stop the stupidity.

Bonus Points Awarded to:
1. Drivers who passed in the left lane and then moved back to the right lane.

2. Left Lane Drivers who saw faster traffic approaching behind them and moved over to the right.

3. Drivers who passed me and continued to drive faster than me.

4. Good Drivers that didn't make me feel like running them off of the road.


Now it's your turn to vent!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday - finial

Image borrowed from :

I was unscrewing the metal piece that holds a lampshade in place in order to change the lampshade.  My sister commented that I could also change out the finial if I wanted to.  She had worked in a department store in housewares and said that it can also refer to the decorative ends of curtain rods.  Apparently this may be a familiar word to people in decorating.



noun \ˈfi-nē-əl\ 

Definition of FINIAL

1: a usually foliated ornament forming an upper extremity especially in Gothic architecture
2: a crowning ornament or detail (as a decorative knob)

Origin of FINIAL

Middle English, from final, finial final
First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with FINIAL

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bright-Side Friday - A new job

It is the Friday before I start a new job on Monday.  I am very excited yet very anxious.  I am so thankful that I was offered this position.  It is exactly what I had been looking for.  The butterflies in my stomach have been getting quite a workout in anticipation of my first day and now here it is before me.  For me, changing jobs at this point in my career has significantly changed my career direction.  It was quite nerve-wrecking to go through the interview process but I firmly believed it was the right time to make a move.  Now, I will get a glimpse at whether or not this decision was the correct one.  Hopefully, my first day won't turn into a Monday Vent!!  I'm just kidding, I don't think it will.  That will come later after I've been there long enough to see the flaws in the organization. :)  Have a happy weekend!
S -)

Now it's your turn! What is your Bright Side Friday?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday - Fribble

Today's weird word is fribble. I came across it when my screen saver was active. Usually, I know the words that it shows, but not this one. I was excited to see it, because I knew it was a great Weird Word Wednesday word. Fribble doesn't even show up in my spell check dictionary. It doesn't recognize it as a word, but it is in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, so it's definitely a word. I like the word because it sounds like a silly made up word, and can be used in place of "goof around". As in, "don't fribble" instead of "don't goof around".  I plan on using it regularly!

Enjoy your new weird word, and please take some time to fribble now and then! =)



verb \ˈfri-bəl\

Definition of FRIBBLE

transitive verb: to trifle or fool away
intransitive verb
1: trifle
2obsolete : dodder

Examples of FRIBBLE

  1. <somehow, he managed to spend the whole morning fribbling instead of doing his assigned work>

Origin of FRIBBLE

origin unknown
First Known Use: 1633

Related to FRIBBLE

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Vent - Hobbies

My husband goes through phases with various hobbies.  He generally cycles through the same ones.  His most recent phase has been an electric guitar.  I actually encouraged him with this hobby.  I knew, from a financial standpoint,  once he actually had the guitar and amplifier, the only additional expense would be various strings and cords, nothing really pricey (unlike his other hobbies).  He also needed a good, clean hobby.  I had forgotten that the last time he had a guitar, we did not have children and he had his own “hobby room” in which he could play to his heart’s content.  Now, however, his hobby room is a bedroom.  He has chosen our living room to be his studio.  Although he has headphones he likes to hear it in the open air.  I get that, but for how long do the rest of us need to be subjected to hearing him practice parts of songs?  Apparently, the answer to that question, in his book, is 6- 7 hours on a Saturday with time out for meals.  I was trying to be understanding because he had just gotten it and was very excited about it.  But the longer he continued, the more I began to fume because he was being completely selfish by playing so loudly and by monopolizing the main room in our house.  In addition to that, I was doing housework for most of the day which only added to my irritation.  I know that even though I enjoy playing my piano, I would never play for an entire day and completely ignore everything else going on in the house. 

One of the ironies of this situation is that he’s always telling me that I need a hobby.  I always respond that he and the boys are my hobby and that I don’t have time for anything else.  I also can’t think of a hobby that would make me feel okay about being completely self-absorbed for hours at a time.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Bright Side Friday! Friends

My Bright Side Friday has to do with my son and his friend.

When my son was 3, he was in pre-school. He made friends with a boy named Ryan. My son and this boy were inseparable. At times I was worried that my son would never make friends with anyone else because he and Ryan were so attached. Before my son could start his next year of pre-school, we found out Ryan was moving. My son was crushed. He started the school year sure that he didn't have any friends. It was a really rough time for him, and me. I had to constantly remind him that EVERYONE liked him and that he should just play with everyone. So tough to do when the children, who had obviously noticed the exclusive pair the year before, would just assume my son still wasn't interested in playing with them. Heartbreaking to watch when they are only 4. After a bit of encouragement things worked out better for my son that year, but he never stopped talking about Ryan.

I spoke with Ryan's mom and she told me that Ryan never stopped talking about my son. They still had family in the area, so when they came back to visit, Ryan's mom suggested we get together. When the two boys saw each other, it was like they had never been apart. We realized that this is no ordinary friendship, it is something special.

It is now years later, and the two boys are still best of friends and look forward to the visits. In fact, Ryan just left our house last night after staying with us for 1 week. Two buddies, never leaving each others side, staying up late, for 7 days and not one disagreement. Smiles on their faces the whole time.

It still amazes Ryan's mom and me. When she came to pick up Ryan last night she said "It's like they knew each other in another life." The friendship is amazing and I'm so happy that my son has been able to experience a friendship like it.


Now it's your turn. What is your Bright Side?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday - otiose

While pondering my frustrations with a male relative, I came across this wonderful word that is appropriate to describe him.

otiose - adjective
1.  producing no useful result: futile
2. being at leisure: idle
3. lacking use or effect:  functionless

"While listening to my sister I become angered by her husband's otiose lifestyle  which forces her to be the only adult in the household."

I am sure each of us knows an otiose person.  Now we can say it to their faces without them understanding!


adj \ˈō-shē-ˌōs, ˈō-tē-\

Definition of OTIOSE

1: producing no useful result : futile
2: being at leisure : idle
3: lacking use or effect : functionless
oti·ose·ly adverb
oti·ose·ness noun
oti·os·i·ty noun

Examples of OTIOSE

  1. <since you haven't read the book, I suppose that it would be otiose to inquire what you thought of it>

Origin of OTIOSE

Latin otiosus, from otium leisure
First Known Use: 1794

Related to OTIOSE

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Vent - Parenting Skills

Spending time with extended family who have questionable parenting skills is painful.  Watching the impact these poor skills are having on my beloved nieces and nephews is painfully frustrating. 

1.       When your child has a difficult time transitioning and you tell them it is time to leave, you need to leave.  You don’t just sit there for 35 minutes saying, “get your shoes, it’s time to go” while your child alternates between screaming “no” and ignoring you. 

2.       When your child, who is not potty trained although they are well past the appropriate age, refuses to have their diaper changed, that is not the time for bargaining, bribing, and cajoling.  That is the time for decisive action to complete the task with minimal fuss.  You do not necessarily need their permission.

3.       When your child hits their cousin, you should not say in a sickly sweet voice, “oh sweetie, don’t hit, that’s not nice”.  It’s called a time out.

4.       When your child says “no” to you,  that is not the time to get a “deer in the headlights” look on your face and back down.  You need to understand that you are the adult and that you need to teach your child.  You are not doing them any favors by letting them become spoiled rotten children who believe everyone should comply with their wishes.

5.       When 6 adults in a family have finally agreed on a restaurant, the complaints of a 12 year old should not change the decision, regardless of her pouting prowess.

6.       When a child refuses to eat anything but potato chips, the chips should be removed.

I have a lot more, but I think the vent is over for now.   To be continued…

S -)

Your turn! Can you relate? Share your vent. You'll feel better... really!