Can I Imagine a Life Without . . .?

With Caller ID, I’m not sure why robo-callers bother anymore. If we don’t recognize the number, we don’t answer. Simple as that. Even the kids know that. Duh. [Do people still answer their phones in a devil-may-care way?]

However, tonight something changed. Gallup was calling. This is the second time in the last couple of days that I noticed them on the Caller ID. What did they want?

Did they want my thoughts on the last Presidential debate? Did they want to know if I was one of the mysterious women listed in the infamous “Romney Binder”? What was it? What did they want to know?!?

Well, Gallup wanted to know  . . . .  actually, my bank wanted to know if my last contact with them was pleasant. Gallup was acting as the nosy best friend. Gallup wanted to know if I liked Such&Such Bank and if I wanted to “go steady”.  B-o-o-r-i-n-g. Ho-hum.

Yes, curiosity killed the cat. I know. No need to gloat. I definitely won’t take the bait next time.

However, since I answered the phone, I decided to act happy that someone gave a shit that what I thought about anything was worth noting. I happily answered poor Randall’s questions. I mean, Randall was just doing his job. It’s not his fault that the majority of the questions were ridiculous. The one that made me laugh out loud (really loud) was, “Can you imagine a world without Such&Such Bank?”. I lost it. I wasn’t sure how to answer that one. He giggled too. I told him I wasn’t sure how to answer that so he took care of it. Do they have  a “giggle” option?

I have honestly been with the same bank since I was sixteen years old. Okay, not exactly the same bank ~ my bank keeps getting bought out. Maybe my new bank should be worried – I may be bad luck. They could be the next target of a huge acquisition and become something that is “too big to fail”. [Large intake of breath.]

But, on the bright side of things, unless you really, really piss me off, I’m pretty loyal. Let’s see . . . . 16 and I’m now 47. Uh, wow, 31 years! That’s pretty loyal, right?

BTW,  I can imagine a world without my bank because I’ve lived in a world without my current bank and have been perfectly happy. What a weird question.

Good question: “Can I imagine a world without Mocha Chip ice cream?”

The answer, “NO!”

Good question:  “Can I imagine a world without wine?”

The answer, “NO!”

Now, those are good questions.

Maybe Gallup can’t advise their clients that their questions are asinine, but they really should. Help a brother out, Gallup. Really.

One Flew out of the Engledow’s Nest

Well, we did it. We pushed Birdie #1 out of the nest. Yay, for us! We rock!

Oh, all right. It wasn’t really a push. She pretty much flew out by herself – she was ready.

That’s good, right? I mean, if she wasn’t ready then we would probably be wondering what the hell happened, reviewing where we went astray, and then coming to the conclusion that it was my husband’s fault some how (kidding).

I’m just not ready for her to be ready, you know what I mean? As parents, we spend eighteen years preparing our children to leave the house. It’s our job. Cliche alert ~ Boy, those eighteen years went by in a blink.

After hashing it out with my one of my besties, I’ve determined that I’m not actually worried about my daughter managing on her own. She’s smart, strong and amazing. It’s the fact that this is the beginning of the next chapter in our family. We add the kids, the kids leave and then it’s back to just me and the hubs (unless the kids move back in because they can’t find a job). It’s the arc of life.

It has been a slow adjustment to our family dinner table of four instead of five (It hasn’t even been a month yet. Give us a break, people!), but you know what has helped us? Technology. Love, love, love technology! Since instantaneous communication is so abundant, our daughter has been connecting with us regularly and she’s only asked for money twice!

In addition to the frequent texting, stalking her on Facebook has allowed me to see that she is making friends, having fun and adjusting to her new life. Seeing her embracing her new adventure had improved my state of mind since we left her standing in the dorm parking lot all alone (stifling a sob). Now, when people ask me how Rachel’s doing, I can answer without completely breaking down. Just don’t ask me how I’m doing. I can’t get through that one yet.

Click here to watch a short film by one of her new friends who happens to be a film major. My girl is in the striped sweater. Fun, right?

The Family That Paints Together Stays Together

The original saying, “The family that prays together stays together,” was a slogan invented Al Scalpone (not to be confused with Al Capone) and was first uttered on March 6, 1947 as an ad during the radio program, Family Theater of the Air (click here for more info).

You’ve probably just learned something new.

You’re welcome.

The two-story blank wall in our entry way has always been the bane of my husband’s existence. Blank walls really get on my husband’s last nerve. He’s an architect. I think that sums it up.

After ten and half years in this house with this blank wall, my husband finally decided that he had had enough. It was time to do something about it. He’s a professional on deliberation especially when the decision is important (it took nine years of dating before he decided that I was the one). During Christmas break of 2011, Mike and the kids brainstormed and the solution was the Family Art Wall (FAW).

This solution was presented to the Family Manager (moi) and was approved with reservations.

It’s a two-story blank wall, people.

However, I really wanted to be viewed as encouraging whimsy in our house since I’m usually dubbed, “the funsucker”. (Say it carefully.)

The FAW was to be done by December 31, 2011, but due to multiple delays (we all got hit with a long-term mokus) it did not get done until this summer (around the 11th anniversary of living in this house).

It turned out really well and we all love it. When we tried describing it to our friends and family, some were like, “cool” and some were like, “huh?”. Those in the “huh?” category were probably worried we were turning our household into some weird liberal-art colony-free love-free thinking hippie commune. Maybe we did and maybe we didn’t (wink, wink).

Without further ado, I present to you, my loyal followers, the Family Art Wall:

In order from Top to Bottom:

Jack’s creation: He combined his love of making a mess with his love of Origami.

Rachel’s Creation: Her piece is a thinking person’s piece. The phrase is in contrast with the background – very artsy.

Mike’s creation: His piece is a compilation of the people in his life. Not to be too cliché, but family is important to him. He really could give Ward Cleaver a run for his money.

My creation: If you have been a long-time follower of this blog, you know that artsy stuff is an extreme challenge for me so please don’t judge too harshly. One of my friends said it looked like a gay foodie poster which wasn’t my original intention, but she does have a point!

Maddie’s creation: The girl LOVES to bake so this is a perfect representation of one of her many interests.

As you can see, the kids have taken after their father in the creativity/art department! Aren’t they talented?

Next project? The other blank wall in our house. It’s located our fancy living room that we never use (and only one-story). Look for an update in the summer of 2013.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

This week’s challenge is taking photos of purple things. Purple is my favorite color!

Here is a traditional photo with purple:

And, here is a non-tradtional photo. I was trying to do something funky. It didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted, but it was my first try with something like this. I took the photo in monochrome and just colored the bucket.