Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, folks, I've decided to up and move my blog. But I'm not sure if I like the new place or not. It's very big and complicated, and I feel very small and simple while I'm there. But go visit and tell me what you think:

Sticking with what I know.

Something seems to be out of whack with my comments. (Oh, isn't that the truth!) No, let me say that differently, something is out of whack, not with the comments I write, but with the comments I receive on my blog. Some come through immediately and I publish them as soon as I see them, and others don't show up until the next day. And it irritates me. However, having no earthly idea what I'm doing on here, I cannot fix it. I can just complain.

But I'm very, very good at the complaining.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is tying shoes back-breaking labor?

Lately I've been overcome with an inexplicable desire to sleep. And sleep, and sleep, and sleep. But not in a depressed, I'm going to hide in my bed because I can't face the world kind of way, but more because I'm just plain exhausted at the end of the day and morning always comes an hour or two too early. It's not a dull kind of lethargy, it's a bone weary tired. The kind you get after a long day of physical work. But I'm not engaging in any back-breaking physical labor.

My husband is getting very frustrated by my desire to go to bed immediately after the children. He wants me to stay awake and interact. He wants to watch a little TV together, have a little late night snack together. He's been very vocal in telling anyone, once the subject of sleep comes up, about how I'm in bad before the sun even sets. He always says it with tone of voice that says, can you believe it? And I always shrug and say I've always been an early to bed kind of gal.

But really, I'm starting to wonder why I've been getting so exhausted. I know the whole dynamics of energy and rest, and that if you use a lot of energy you will need a lot of rest. And I also am very aware of the fact that being constantly on (and vigilant) with children all day takes a lot of energy, to say the least. But I didn't get this tired before. I seem to remember only getting very cranky by the time the end of the day rolled around last year, but I do not remember being so tired that I collapsed into bed. This year, however, I am tired.

I'm not really sure if I have a whole point in telling you this. There's not a story to regale in any of this . I am just confounded by my fatigue, and I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Riding off into the sunset...*

*actually, it was away from the sunset, but they're riding all the same.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Actually, I love you, McD's.

Dear McDonald's,

First of all, thank you so very much for the Happy Meal. I mean, who would have ever thought that putting the very same food the children would not be very enthusiastic about eating at home into a box with a cheap toy would mean wonders to a child and have them screaming for McDonald's every time they pass one? (Which, I might add, we do every five minutes or so because they are conveniently located near everywhere and everything .) Who would have thought? Why you, of course, you clever, clever marketing genius, you. So thank you for that.

Now onto the reason for this letter: I would like to say that I agree that making the talking Shrek toys you are currently placing in Happy Meals was a very good idea on your part. Not only does it promote the movie (now showing at a theater near you) but it also makes the kids want more, more, more! And we as parents are helpless to their cries of more and bring them to McDonald's every week for a new toy, buying them more, more, more! But while they are cool and all, I have to ask, why are they so loud? (And by loud, I mean, holy crap, make that thing stop!)Is it because you think we parents are no longer able to hear well after being trapped inside a vehicle with the children screaming for your food? Is it because you don't think the children can hear well after all of their yelling? Is it because you have a test group of deaf children testing the marketability of your toys? Am I even close?

Whatever the reason, I just wanted to give a hearty THANK YOU for putting loud Shrek toys inside your wonderful Happy Meals. Genius, pure genius!

Yours ever so sincerely,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Even better than being smart...

Have you read this article: How Not To Talk To Your Kids?

It's a long read, but very, very worth it. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait here.


When I first started to read the article, I was getting the impression that I wasn't supposed to praise my children, that I should give more constructive criticism, and I was worried about making them feel like they could never please their mother. Then I read more and realized that it was not really saying that at all. It was saying I need to give more specific praise; praise for what it is they do, not just for what they are. And that is information I can really get behind. It goes on to state that in studies, children who were told they were "intelligent" did not apply themselves as much as children who were told they "worked hard". The "intelligent" children didn't apply themselves as thoroughly because they were then afraid of not appearing as intelligent if they tried and failed, so they just opted not to try. The children who were told they "worked hard", when confronted with a project that was difficult, worked even harder. They knew they had the ability to work hard, and therefore had confidence in their abilities.

I can see this being played out in my very home. My daughter is so very smart. She really is an intelligent girl, and we've heaped boatloads of praise onto her. But she lacks any self confidence, often refusing to try anything she knows she won't ace on the first go 'round. She's afraid she'll look stupid. My son, on the other hand, is also intelligent. But he's had problems with his reading and we've always praised him extra whenever he tried harder, went beyond what he thought he could do. He's not afraid to look stupid. He just tries even harder.

Now, don't get me wrong, both of my children are children, and therefore they want to give up on things that require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. They want us to do it for them. But I have noticed this pattern of working/not working, trying/not trying in their schoolwork. And you can bet I'm going to be heaping more praise on my girl for the work she does; more specific praise for how hard she tries. And I'll be telling them both about how they can exercise their brains and make them bigger (and smarter) by trying harder things. Also, I'll be telling them that not being able to do something at first just means you have to try and try again. They tell my son that in his Tae Kwon Do class - "Do not give up!" they shout, "You can do it!"

Yes, kids, you can. And now I can help you.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

One more.

You guys, I really shouldn't have access to something like YouTube. I mean, I have much better things to do with my time than watch videos of really useless, senseless things, but I still can't seem to tear myself away. So to heck with better things, I'm going to spend all of my time watching videos on YouTube. Who's with me?

After the success of yesterday's misheard lyric video, (at least one person liked it, so I consider it an overwhelming success) I wanted to show you another that I found. This one is for Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam, which is an amazing sounding song, but I've never known what the lyrics were. Obviously, I'm not the only one.

And now I'm all done, I promise. (With the videos, not YouTube. Can't. Tear. Myself. Away)

Not Fallin' for It.

I came across this video while searching for the lyrics of that Fall Out Boy song - the one about the arms race or something or other. (Before I knew the title, I thought they were saying "dead horse race.") I'm not a big fan of the song, but it gets stuck in my head. In fact, I am not a fan of Fall Out Boy in general.* I just don't get it. And seeing that one guy (Pete Whatshisname) plastered all over the gossip columns with his eyeliner and women's jeans on just doesn't help their case any. Add to that the fact that I do not know what they are saying in this song, and it annoys the crap out of me. So, anyway, I searched. And I found this:

(warning: could be considered mildly offensive)

*A little while ago I had a friend request on MySpace from someone who called themselves Fall Out Boy's Biggest Fan (or something like that) and I denied the request. I couldn't help but think that I wouldn't want to be friends with their biggest fan. We just wouldn't have much in common. But then I started to wonder if it was someone who was an old friend, someone who I'd lost touch with and might want to renew a friendship with. Then I felt bad for denying the friend request. So if by any chance you are reading this, Fall Out Boy's Biggest Fan, email me. And I'm sorry about denying you on MySpace. But I'm really even more sorry that you're their biggest fan.

**Also, the boy can now ride his bike! He got on yesterday and wobbled a little, then took off. We still need to work on turning around and starting by himself, but by golly, he's got the whole balancing (and braking) thing down! I knew he could do it...meanwhile, the girl is qualifying for land speed records - fastest girl on a pink bicycle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I still feel like I'm so young sometimes. Sometimes I feel so old.

So far 32 is pretty darn nice. I've been spoiled rotten by friends and family, and that always makes a day even better.

B took the kids shopping last night for a birthday gift for me, and they ended up giving it to me last night as an early present. I think he wasn't too confident that the kids would manage to keep the present a secret. (Also, I think he was excited.) They got me an MP3 player and now I've officially entered into the 21st century. I'm still trying to figure out how to use the darn thing, but I have managed to download a couple of songs - Give It To Me and Move Along. (Move Along was per my son's request. My daughter wanted me to rip the entire Kids Bop 8 CD, I declined. Give It To Me is because I'm a secret Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado fan - shhhh) Now anyone know anything about these here players? Got any hints for me? (Mine's a Zen V plus, if that matters.)

Now I must go and play with my new toy some more.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On your bike.

I feel like it's been a while since I've had time to sit down at the computer and do more than check the weather (and various gossip sites, of course.) I'm woefully behind on my email and, also, my blog. It's been what, a few days? *gasp*

We've been busy around here. We haven't been doing anything important, I mean, there's no cure for cancer here at our house, but busy all the same. The weather is nice and here in suburbia it means that the children all play outside. (Well, you have to kick them off of the XBox first, but then they play outside.) And while our children are now old enough to go out and really get into some playing, they are not yet old enough to just shove out the door and wander the neighborhood. So that means they need parental supervision. And, hello, I'm the parent.

We did cross a major childhood milestone on Sunday - my daughter learned to ride her bike without training wheels! And my son, too - sort of. We've tried several times in the past to get them riding. We took off the training wheels amidst their cries of protest. We stood at intervals along the street and had them ride from one parent to another. We kept them doing it even when they wanted to go inside. We tried and tried. And we failed several times. They would walk their bikes to park them around back, holding their heads down, while we tried to tell them how much fun it is to ride a bike. I don't think they believed us. So we left the bikes parked for several months. We even pondered putting the training wheels back on. But we didn't give in. We knew, just knew, those kids would ride eventually. We were just hoping that it would be before they turned 12.

Well, this past Sunday we mentioned, again, that we would take them to the store and let them pick out whatever kind of bike they want if they would just learn to ride. My daughter finally thought that was a good idea and she strapped on her helmet. (As an aside, who the heck promises their child they can pick out whatever bike they want? I can see her pick now, a big purple Bratz bike with a matching gaudy helmet. Oh man...) My son was not as enthusiastic, but we kind of made him come out and try. "Just try," we said, "and you'll see it's not that hard!"

It took my daughter about three times going back and forth before she just took off and went. Once she figured it out, she was off like a shot. She even talked our neighbor into going around the block with her. And now she lives to ride.

My son, on the other hand, didn't like it one bit. He did ride a couple of times with me running alongside, but he didn't like the feel of going fast. He's much more of a leisurely stroll kind of guy and careening down the road on a piece of metal that he doesn't know how to stop just isn't his idea of fun. (And the brakes, well, he knows the concept, but the practice just eludes him.) We made him come back out last night to try again, and he did a little better. He even emerged from a crash with his hands held high in the air in triumph after a successful ride down the street. So maybe after nightly practices he'll have it by next week. Maybe.

And before you get worried about the poor boy who is being forced (forced!) outside to ride his bike, know that he will never willingly try anything like this. As an example, he was once scared to death of water. But after repeated exposure and a lot of convincing, he finally went into the pool. And now we can't keep him out of it. But, um, he still doesn't really know how to swim, so maybe that's not the best example.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Soooo not alone.

After my post yesterday, my husband couldn't help but wonder if I had finally tripped over the thin line I've been teetering on right into full blown crazy. I told him not to worry, that I'm not quite there yet. And I feel like I should just tell y'all that I don't normally find stuff like that funny. I don't usually laugh out loud at pictures of cats with bad captions on them. But for some reason, for these past few days, I have found that stuff hilarious. HILARIOUS!

(Okay, so maybe I am in Crazy Town - Population: a whole hell of a lot of other people. So at least I'm not alone.)

And a real post, with more than one paragraph, will follow sometime soon(ish). I've had a couple of things rolling around in my head that I've wanted to write about, but I haven't had much of a chance to sit down and get it all written. This life thing - it keeps getting in the way!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm not sure what it says about me that I've been following this saga - it's been cataloged at that site, but you can search lolrus (on Blingo!) and see it on And OMG it's hilarious! And teh catz, OMG teh catz!

Okay, so maybe you don't think it's so hilarious.

(Or maybe you do!)

Out of the mouths of babes.

"Mommy, you are skinny."

"You know, you've always been my favorite, son."

But I think he may have to go have his eyes checked. Soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

That child.

My son has been having a hard time at school lately. Not with his school work, he seems to be doing well with that, but with another student. When he came home yesterday and told me that he was in trouble, I was so mad. I tried to remain calm and talk it out with him and get to the root of the situation, but all I managed to do was stammer out some sort of punishment - removing the Xbox and computer games - and send him to his room.

Then when I got the remaining kids involved in something (okay, I just told them to go outside, GO!) I took a minute and gathered my wits and tried to think of a solution to the problem. I managed to come up with a little something: he had to write apology notes to both the child at school, and the teacher. He also had to go apologize to the child in person, nicely. (That last one was my husband's idea, and a much better one than mine, I admit.)

He has been having a hard time with this child ever since the child came to school here mid-year. The child was not a bully, per se, but someone who was insecure about being in a new school and acted out. The child is a rough-and-tumble child who acted tough to hide the insecurity. And now my son has it in his mind that this child is a bad child, and is acting on that by not being very nice.

It's given me pause, this whole situation; made me sit and think about the kind of childhood I had and the kind that my own children have. In raising your children, you try to give them all of the good from your own upbringing, and also remove what was "bad". (And I say "bad" in quotes because I didn't have a bad childhood. There were just certain things that were harder for me because of who I am and also because of situations I was in.) I want my children to have the good things in life and never feel like they are out of place; like they don't belong. (Tall order, I know.) But I also do not want them to be spoiled brats. So they don't get everything they want, but they do get extras. They do not go everywhere they want to go, but they do visit special places. They don't necessarily get all of the latest things (like Crocs, for one - I hate those things) but they do have nice clothes and nice shoes. And I think I had a point here but I seemed to have lost track of it...

Oh...I don't know how to say what I'm trying to say without getting knee-deep into a lot of psycho-babble that I just don't want to write about. Let's just say that I've never been on the other side of making a child feel bad, and my son was that child yesterday. That child who may have made another feel bad in school, and I really don't like it. No one should be made to feel bad in school. It happens, I know. But not from my child, ever again.

(I hope.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pictures (finally!)

While the hotel we stayed at had many a beautiful thing (seven or more restaurants, two pools, waterfalls, fountains, ballrooms, statues, bellhops in nice white uniforms...,) they did not have a battery for my camera. So I don't have any pictures of it. (Which, by the way, may be a good thing. I think I would have embarrassed myself by taking pictures of all those things while exclaiming, "Look! Wow! I've never been anywhere this fancy, y'all!") But I do, however, have pictures of the zoo because we had to go eat at a McDonald's for breakfast - $7.95 for a bagel and juice at the hotel(!) - and there was a Walmart across the street from the McD's. Walmart kicks all kinds of hotel ass when it comes to camera batteries.

Here's the girl being a bear(?):
And the boy being a bear(?) also. A very surprised bear:
Now they are spiders:
See how spidery they look?
Here's the boy on the carousel:
And the girl, who couldn't take her eyes off of herself:
There we are in the butterfly chair. Don't we look pleased? Excited?
The boy and the girl:
Again, boy and girl:
And here I am looking haggard:
And again with the haggard:
This is where we tried to lose them in the minotaur maze, but they found their way out:
They also built a tee-pee. Well, she did. He just aimed the sticks at people:

Weekend wrap-up (lite)

I hope you had a happy Mother's Day. And if you're not a mother, I still hope you had a happy day. Happy days all around! I had a wonderful day. I spent it surrounded by family, watching the kids play with their cousins and just generally relaxing. It's was the perfect kind of day.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have the day off today - woohoo! for days off - and I'm going to spend it browsing around a book store and doing some other general relaxing. Oh, and I've also got chores to do because of our weekend away, but I'm not going to think about those right now. Nope, right now I'm just going to la-la-la-la-la-la my way right to the mall.

Pictures from the ZOO coming soon. That's right, zoo. Now five bucks* to anyone who can guess where we went on Saturday after our luxurious hotel stay...

*not really, because I don't have five bucks. But you can just pretend.

Friday, May 11, 2007


We're headed out of town tonight for an over night trip. My husband reserved us a room at a ridiculously nice hotel in a town not too far from here. We're not going to do anything special, just hang out in a different town. And I'm so excited!! Sometimes the need to get out of town is so strong...

I still don't have a battery for my camera. Need to get right on that.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I went to Target yesterday to buy a new battery for my camera*. And while I was there, I was in the swim aisle picking out kickboards for the kids when I heard, "Will you do me a favor and bring me the pink one?" Sure, I thought, but I'm holding a blue one and a purple one. Which one do you think is pink? I looked up at the person who wanted me to bring the non-existent pink kickboard to them and she smiled at me and said, "I think it'll be better if maybe we go away in June versus August."

Now this, my friends, had me totally flummoxed. I didn't know this woman, yet here we were planning our vacation together in the middle of Target. I did not understand. But while I stood there with my brow furrowed and my mind feverishly trying to figure out what to say to this obviously crazy lady, she turned around and I saw the little phone attachment connected to her ear. And this is when it dawned on me that she was talking on the phone. She was having a conversation with someone who did know her (and who obviously had something pink she wanted.) And that someone was not me.

So I continued on with my shopping and stewed in my emotions a little. I ended up leaving the store teetering on the mad side; a little pissed, if you will. I mean, I know that she did not do anything intentionally mean to me. Nor did she even try to be rude to me specifically. But what made me mad was that I felt like a fool. Because she looked me in the eye and smiled and spoke, I thought she was talking to me. How silly of me.

At least when I have a phone conversation in the middle of the store--oh yes, I do it. I am not the paragon of politeness I wish I was--I have the decency to cower at the end of the aisle so no one thinks I'm speaking to them. I do not make eye contact unless it is absolutely necessary. And I don't have one of those attachments that makes it look as if I am not on the phone at all. You'll know if I'm speaking on the phone because of the phone attached to my head; the universal signal for I'm not speaking to you, I'm on the phone. In other words, I do the exact opposite of what this lady was doing.

*And I still don't have a battery for my camera.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


A little boy was over at our house and had a toy that he pretended to be a ticket puncher. He was punching tickets for people to ride on his imaginary train. As he took each person's ticket, he called them by the name that was "written" on the imaginary tickets. "Thank you, Mr. Stinky Pants." "Yours says you are Miss Stinky Socks." Etc...

My daughter was getting a little tired of all the "rude words" (as she called them) and wanted to be called something nice. "Say something nice for mine," she asked. And when her request was ignored, she tried to be more specific. She demanded, "Say 'beautiful' before mine! Say BEAUTIFUL! BEEAAUUUTIFUL!"

So fearing for his well being, the boy timidly said, "Thank you, Miss Beautiful Pants." And she replied, "Awww, thank you! You're so nice! You called me beautiful!" She said it as if she had been paid the biggest compliment, and it was totally unsolicited; as if she didn't just yell at the child and demand he say something nice.

Sometimes I don't know what to do with my daughter. Sometimes she gets a little* bossy and demanding. But I console myself by thinking that, as she grows, she won't be afraid to ask for what she needs. And if she needs to be called "Miss Beautiful Pants" then, by golly, she'll make sure she's called that.

*by little, I mean, a damn whole lot.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I just bought a chocolate orange.

And I plan to eat the entire thing all by myself.

That's what kind of morning I'm having.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Restless, schmesstless. I think I'm just tired of the hum-drum.

I haven't posted lately because I've been waiting for inspiration to hit - I didn't want to post the same old, same old - and I have yet to be inspired. In fact, lately I have been hit with a very big bought of restlessness and have not been able to sit down and concentrate of much of anything. I want to be doing something else, but what, I'm not exactly sure.

We had a busy weekend, and maybe throughout the week I'll tell you about it. But when I sat myself down to write about the baseball game on Friday night, I just couldn't focus on anything to say. It was fun, and that's all I've got right now, just fun.

I'd like to post pictures because that's my regular go-to post when all else fails, but the battery on my camera has died. And going to the store to get one is evidently much too hard for me to do. (Also, batteries for my booklight are much too hard for me to get. My eyesight is going bad from trying to read a book in the dead of night with the teeniest, tiniest of beams of light shining onto the page, one word at a time.)

So if you have any cure for restlessness that get me moving and focusing on something - anything - let me know. I sure could use some help.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


My mind is racing around in several different directions today. And while none of those directions is really important in the whole scheme of things (like world peace or saving the environment,) I thought I'd share. Because y'all know how much I like to share. (Unless we're talking chocolate, in which case sharing time would be over. Because I never said I was selfless.)


Give a one and a half year old a bowl of cereal, and he will give you a mess. Maybe you knew this, and deep down I really think I knew this, but today I was shown, again, how true it is. But...if it's Apple Cinnamon Cheerios he's eating, he'll smell like an apple cinnamon muffin when he's done. Yum. And it's causing intense muffin cravings for me.


After several days of 90 degree weather, the fact that it's now barely making it into the 70's is very, very nice. And tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler. But we also have tickets to a baseball game (football to you, my son) and I hope it doesn't get rainy and too cold. Baseball is just supposed to be enjoyed in warm weather.


Having a cold makes my son the world's grumpiest child. I should put that in all caps - THE WORLD'S GRUMPIEST CHILD. And it also makes his eczema flare up. So not only is he grumpy, he's also all red and inflamed looking. And snotty. Good Lord, the snot that comes out of this child.


McDonald's has put double cheeseburgers on its Dollar Menu. Which makes my husband a Dollar Menunairre (or whatever the heck it's called in that commercial with the guy from Married...With Children. And have you seen that commercial? Doesn't that guy look awfully tan? Maybe even kind of orange? Like maybe he got a little too liberal with the self-tanner?) Anyway...what I'm saying is that my husband is very pleased that he can get a double cheeseburger for only a buck. And apple pies for a buck. Don't forget the apple pies. (He's drooling right now. Aren't you, honey?)


I want to go to the beach. My husband wants to go to the beach. My kids want to go to the beach. And we live about an hour and a half away from the beach. Yet we cannot get ourselves to the beach because mother nature will not cooperate. Or sometimes it's our bank account that will not cooperate. Or sometimes those pesky kids' friends have birthdays and they will not reschedule them and cooperate. Cooperate, damn you, so I can go to the beach before Memorial Day, when everyone and their mother will be at the beach, cluttering the place all up with their coolers and blankets and umbrellas and radios and buckets and floaties!!!!

(Sorry, I think I may have spit on you a little bit when I was saying that. I got a little emotional.)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In ruins.

Hey guys, I am tired. T-I-R-E-D.

I got up last night with my stomach growling and my head feeling very hurt-y and went downstairs to get something to eat. I ended up eating three peanut butter crackers and going back to sleep on the couch. Also, my husband's CPAP mask (for his sleep apnea) had sprung a leak and no amount of nudging him could get him to wake up enough to re-situate the mask and I couldn't sleep with the constant BRWWAAAHHHEEEEE sound it was making. So couch it was. And while the couch is perfectly comfortable, and somehow soothing to my achy back, it is still not the same as being all snuggled in my bed. And I did not get my beauty sleep. So today I am not beautiful. In fact, I am so very far from beautiful that I feel like...well, like I'm far from beautiful.

Ever have those days? When you do the same things you normally do to get ready (brushing, drying, makeup-ing) and you still feel like cow dung? I do every time I haven't had enough sleep. I really does ruin my whole perspective on things.

So, um...I guess I just wanted to tell y'all that. I may have had a point I was going to make when I first started to write, but I don't remember. Apparently, lack of sleep also ruins my memory.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How does your garden grow? (really, I'd like to know)

The nice weather has brought out the desire to "beautify" the outside of my house. I love the houses that have beautiful flowers growing in the yard and hanging baskets with lots of blossoms overflowing over the edge. The only problem is, I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to gardening.

This weekend we planted some daylilies. And even though the name should have been a big clue, I didn't realize that the daylily's flowers only last a day. But there are supposed to be lots of them, so it's not just a one day show (I hope.) I picked them because they're pretty red, and also because they're perennials (which means they grow back every year) and I also heard that they are pretty easy to grow. That right there sounds like it's right up my alley. Now just keep your fingers crossed that they manage to take root and grow.

My mother-in-law is a whiz with this garden stuff. She's got several beautiful flowers growing in her yard, and has promised to come plant some stuff here. I can't wait! She came last fall and she and the kids planted some daffodil bulbs. This spring the daffodils came up big and bright and yellow. It made me so happy to see them out there. I never knew seeing flowers would make me so happy.

I'm full of ideas on what I'd like to see in my yard, but I'm not even sure where to start. And did you know that while the flowers themselves may not be too expensive (unless you get a whole bunch of them,) the dirt, tools and other essentials will end up costing you a fortune? I mean, we went to buy some dirt to re-plant our tree in the front yard and left the store with only one arm and one leg left. It was horrendous.

So maybe my ideas will be of the gradual kind - gradually the house will have some flowers and landscaping.

Probably just in time for us to sell the place and move on.