Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looks Can Be Deceiving..or Do What You Do Best!

I love cupcakes and it seems like everyone else in the world loves cupcakes these days too.
There are cupcake bakeries and specialty shops popping up all over..a cupcake lovers dream.
I was passing a Cinnabon last night and they had simply amazing looking cupcakes in their display case. Who knew they baked cupcakes?? They looked like cupcakes right out of a glossy magazine advertising a very posh party. As a matter of fact they are on the home page of their website.
They called my name and I bought the vanilla one with the white frosting flower with the blue center on it. And this awesome looking cupcake... tasted like it was made out of glossy paper from my favorite magazines.
Cinnabon makes delightfully delicious cinnamon buns, but if all of their cupcakes taste like this one did, they need to do what they do best...make simply awesome cinnamon buns...and leave the cupcakes to Magnolias and least for now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kicked to the US Curb

If you missed the 60 Minutes story on Nadia Prouty, check it out today.
After years of top flight service to the United States does the mistake she made as a 19 year old deserve the huge price she continues to

Friday, March 26, 2010

Forget Neiman Marcus, Let Me Loose in Home Depot

I want to bottle and sell whatever is in the air at Home Depot. The minute I cross their threshold I feel like a master contractor. The second I enter the garden section I feel like I can tackle any dry barren piece of earth and turn it into, if not the Garden of Eden at least a lush, green, multi-hued photographers dream backdrop.
One piece of tile, held in my hands, in the aisle of a Home Depot becomes a floor covering, a fireplace wall, a kitchen backdrop, the cover for my picnic table..the list goes on and on. Their color palette makes me believe those tints were personally developed for my walls alone.
I, almost without fail, make a purchase every time I am in the store, but more importantly, even as I exit, I am planning my next visit.
Home Depot lives their tagline, "You can do it...we can help".
Home Depot makes me feel competent and creative.
Home Depot "gets" it!
I wish it were

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Yesterday I went to about a hundred sporting events...and it only took about two hours, and I never left my kitchen.
On the "we're moving to-do list" was a one liner... it read "pack up trophies."
The trophies represent countless hours of watching my kids and their teammates play games..all kind of games. There were team trophies, individual trophies and even ( I confess)..the first and only trophy that ever was awarded to me!
The trophies were posted to Craigslist under the "free" heading, in the hopes that they could perhaps be recycled for young Twin Cities athletes. Within three hours I had three takers...all coaches. Before I gave them to the softball coach ( he coaches THREE teams) I took them down from the high shelves above the stairs where they have lived since the mid 80's and cleaned off years of dust. While doing this, the plates on the bottom once again became I read...and in that way re-visited the events where they took place. I could not remember all of them, or even which ones belonged to which child..but there were a few that stood out and those memories totally made my day. These included the very first trophy ever to enter our house..we were all so proud of David's first (4th place:)) Little League trophy..who knew then that plastic trophies multiply faster than rabbits? I laughed out loud when I took one down that was facing the wall, and remembered how Molly insisted that it go that way because it was a trophy for "Double Consolation Winner" in a 6th grade basketball tournament..and she insisted it only meant her team on that day was the best of the worst! The (one and only) academic trophy was from a pre-sixth grade summer reading contest entered by David and three of his classmates. I cannot remember the questions or the score, but I hold in my heart the memory of the teacher who would call them "her" students but not until September..who attended and cheered them on to victory. As I dusted the plates off of the trophies, the memories flooded the kitchen, of past games, teammates, tournament weekend drives, hot dogs eaten on the fly between games (except for the youthful vegetarian who would only eat ketchup on a bun),selfless coaches and fun (and funny) parents who shared parts of their lives with me as we shared the sidelinles of events.
I'm glad that the trophies will get to sit on someone's shelf again instead of ending up in a landfill. I'm proud of my kids for not needing a trophy as proof that they were part of something bigger than themselves and were good at it.
However guys...the mom and family historian in me surfaced at some point during the day..and I pulled out and saved one trophy for each of you... and hopefully if you look at it years from will be a reminder of all those who were part of the village that raised you, and the time they spent enjoying it..and you!
But that is for the future and I am off to find a box for those reminders of times well

Monday, March 22, 2010

And in the off season....??

It was a baseball kind of weekend that included a tour of the new Twins stadium and the re-signing of Joe Mauer. The stadium is every bit as wonderful as all the advance hoopla promised and I can't wait to enjoy watching the boys of summer play while the sun warms my face and the skyline of Minneapolis serves as the backdrop.
Really glad that the Joe Mauer will be behind the plate. I think he is a tremendously talented athlete and probably an even nicer person but I have to at least ask it ANYONE worth that much money?? For playing a game?? The good news is that baseball is a relatively short season, so maybe in the off-season Joe can work on finding a cure for cancer or solving world peace.
At least that is what I

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm Waiting for the 7th Generation ....

Lately, it takes even longer for me to get out of the house in the morning than it used to. Something rather time consuming has been added to my usual routine of tooth-brushing, dog feeding and making sure my shoes match.
Now before I even begin to search for my car keys and grab my diet Coke from the fridge, I have to find a plain brown wrapper and some tape to wrap my Non-iPhone in so that I can avoid the embarrassment and pain that comes from having a phone that does not have 75,000 apps available to it…(and therefore to me).
I used to love my PDA… I got to play Bubble Breaker while sitting in waiting rooms, standing in elevators and during the change of innings at Twins games.
That was then….This is now…
Everyone sitting around me in those waiting rooms, standing in elevators and during the change of innings at Twins games is breathing into the microphone on their iPhone so they can blow up a virtual balloon (Bal-Loon), virtually doing their book club reading (Classic) or turning their friends into Bobbleheads (Bobble Head)..and as for me….
I am holding something wrapped and taped in a plain brown bag…playing Bubble Breaker.
Who would believe this is still true... now?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Money or Minutes??

In these days of belt tightening many of us are feeling economically challenged... there is way too much month left at the end of the money.
For others, the bank balance remains in the black... but the "to do" list still looks pretty intimidating at the end of a day that was crammed full of activity.
If you could choose to have a surplus....would you order some extra dollars for your bank balance or a watch that moved more slowly through your day?
I'm thinking about how to find those extra dollars and that extra

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dear Words, Hope You are Having a Good Time on Your Vacation

Some days the words rush out of my head, push each other out of the way and spill onto the computer screen efortlessly, moving at what seems to be warp speed and way ahead of my haphazard typing skills. Other days it seems as if the individual syllables need to be squeezed out of my fingertips and painfully deposited on the screen.
And yet even on those days when my brain seems capable of no more than one syllable words and two word sentences, my love affair with words continues and my passion for the written and spoken word remains.
Today will be a day devoted to things other than writing, as it seems to be a day when the words cannot be coaxed from the recesses of my mind and I have temporarily misplaced the key to unlock least for now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Channeling Free Time

I am not fluent in tv. It pretty much takes an event like the Olympics for me to sit down and watch. Even as a kid I never thought cartoons were funny or entertaining and rarely watched tv. When the conversation turns, as it does, to who is winning Idol, or what happened on The Office I can add nothing to the spirited and opinionated conversations that take place around me. For years I have followed several tv series based only on the conversation of those around me.
TV is not a huge factor in my life and not because of a religious, philosophical or educational view of television.
I am not and never have been (especially at 8 years old) been interested in making a political statement by not watching. If anything I didn't even bring it up as it seemed almost un-American to not know what was happening in the Cheers bar or in the Friends apartment.
When I lived alone weeks went by without the tv even being turned on. question is..WHAT do I do and what have I accomplished in the hours, days and weeks that the rest of the world watches tv?
Um..I am not really sure..I know what I was not doing. I didn't find a cure for cancer or the common cold, I didn't figure out if there is life on Mars, and I have yet to run a marathon or run for political office.
I read a lot but not enought to fill ALL those hours, crafts and cleaning (neither of which holds my attention for very long) don't do it and I don't have the financial means to travel whenever the urge hits.
Recently I found that social networks were taking up a huge chunk of my time but that is a story for another day.
I think I will probably never be able to account for all that time I didn't spend watching tv...but after reading Seth Godin's blog post for today But it's better than TV I know how I will be trying to use that!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Joke is on Me!

We all have stories of the the friends or relatives who died with a houseful of possessions that were the "good" ones, the ones they were saving for a "special" day. The fine china that collected dust in the hutch, that great bottle of wine in the cabinet or the outfit that looks awesome...if only anyone would have ever see it worn!
I never EVER saw myself as one of "those" people.
BUT....for the last 15 years I have been walking on and living with carpet that could generously be described as "a little worn". I looked forward to the day when floor covering in a warm, fashionable shade would welcome guests into my house.
The house will be on the market in a few weeks...with brand new wonderful chocolate colored carpeting to greet friends and family of the new owners.
I am laughing at myself as I realize that I was indeed one of "those" people as I get ready to rip up the old!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well…I Meant it at the Time…

At some time in our lives, everyone has said something that in the end was not followed through. I don’t think any of us, (or at least most of us) were telling a lie. Because at that moment, it seemed the right thing to say, be it that we were trying to cover an awkward or painful experience, make someone feel better, or that we really did think it would happen. Things change and often these statements and semi-promises don’t happen.
Here are some that have been said countless times over by many of us. I think we all meant them, probably more than a little, at the time but….

“Let’s do lunch.”

“You guys would be PERFECT for each other.”

“I’ll call you next week.”

“I’m sure they allow pets, you should get a puppy.”

“I bet you would look cute with” (choose one…or more) “short, red, straight, permed, streaked, punk-rock hair.”

“I mean who can object to a tattoo, especially such a small one?”

“Gym memberships are on sale, I’m going to get one and start working out every day.”

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

“If you don’t like it, you can always return it.”

“We should have an opening coming up soon, we’ll call you.”

“It’s so easy, anyone can do it.”

“I would NEVER do THAT.”

“You want to get WHAT pierced? Make the honor roll this year and we’ll talk again.”

“No, really, it’s fine.”

“We’d like you to be in charge of a special project, you’d be really good at it and it won’t take much time at all.”

“I left the map at home, but I can remember how to get there.”

The list can go on and on and it would be fun to hear from you about any I missed.

What I try to take away from this is that, no one deliberately sets out to tell you a lie, hurt your feelings, or make promises that end up in the black hole of our memory banks, but things change. The best of us forget things, make mistakes, don’t follow through, and do or say things we never thought we would.
That’s life, it is a growth and every day we get another chance at it…
I’m all for that, I am a huge believer in second chances… it is why you won’t get crossed off my list if you don’t follow through but at the same time it is why I am trying to be more careful of the words that come out of my

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'll Take Two Silicone Ones Please

Silicone spatulas, that is. I LOVE them. They make me happy. Sometimes the right tools for the job can make a rank amateur feel like a pro. Silicone spatulas do that for me. When I am waving them around in my kitchen they make me feel like I could give Emeril and Paula Deen a lesson or two.
Do I care that silicone rubber is generally non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from -55°C to +300°C while still maintaining its useful properties (according to Wikipedia)? Not so much...
Do I care that the spatula has been around since 1525? Only in that it has had time to be first generation spatula for me!
Do I care that silicone spatulas come in all the colors of the palette? And in all sizes, including special mustard and mayo spatulas? And that they can be engraved to say anything I want? And that almost every store sells them? And that every cake I make is way more fun to make with a bright burst of color on the edge of the handle?? Yes, yes, yes, yes and YES!
Can't say it enough...silicone spatulas = fun.
Oh and as for that other silicone product...there was a time when I might have taken two of those too, but that was then and this

Closet the box? Or in the heart?

Changing a residence... in my life I have moved across town and across the country...some people do it with far more frequency than I have become accustomed to...after seven moves in four years it has now been TWENTY SIX! years since I hauled out boxes and had to judge all my "stuff" with discerning eyes and decide which will become part of the next move and which will find homes somewhere else...some ..even (gasp) in the trash! Closets and drawers, long just kept shut as museums to no longer needed stuff must now be visited and sorted.
In the attempt to become one of those people who move on, it seems, almost effortlessly and seamlessly from adventure to adventure and place to place because they realize that "stuff" is just..."stuff" I check, sort and toss with determination and my own brand of common sense.
Will the decision making about what to keep or toss get easier as I get older because the weight of some of that past baggage is no longer relevant, or just a little too painful to be carried to the next destination? Is it because I want to keep all the joyful times in my heart instead of in a closet? Do the happy times sing louder if they are not taped up in a box, but instead let free to go round and round in my head?
I feel blessed to be able to agonize over these decisions. The populations of Haiti and Chile, the victims of floods and fires, the homeless and the about to be evicted have those decisions yanked from their power and decided for them in minutes.
How grateful they would be, and I am to be able to grab another box and fill

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday...

Two months of Monday's ago the work week started when I grabbed a few Diet Cokes from the fridge,left the house and danced in the car to the oldies all the way to the office.
Since then the work week starts when I grab a few Diet Cokes from the fridge, stay in the house and head out to the computer in the porch.
I miss the feeling of "belonging" somewhere, the hum of activity that naturally happens when people share space and the proximity to the latest news in the business world.
However... in this moment there is no cattiness, although there IS a feline who watches me from his spot in the sunshine atop the couch, the golden retrievers are both too busy playing with tennis balls to indulge in office politics and positioning and I finally work out of a corner office with a least for now.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who Put the Rotary in My Life Map??

Sometimes life happens to you and sometimes you make things happen in life...I am currently in the middle of that place where both sides of life are in turn assaulting or cradling me. The trick is to navigate to where the acceptance of one and the energy of the other do not engage in combat, but instead learn to live at least semi-harmoniously in my head and heart. It is neither a positive place or a negative place...but instead a place to just be and process and enjoy... there is no magic mapquest to here, and I am the one who must write the plan for how to make it my own but it is a place I call home... at least for the now.