"" Lulu's Sandbar: April 2009
Welcome to my sand bar - trying to push past my boundaries and serve up humorous observations on life...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Budgeting Time and Money

Dear Fives and Tens,
That's all I've done this week - budgeted time, money, resources.  Isn't that all we really do anyway?  When was the last time that you truly did nothing......and twittering doesn't count.  Nor does blogging. :)

It's budget time at the Huge, and I swear that I'm ready to take the CPA exam because all I've done this week is crunch numbers on spreadsheets, and that's not really my job description.  And it's all about getting out the Ouija board and guessing who and what and which I'm going to need for next year, and then defending keeping the Who's who live in Huge McNormous Lulu Department Whoville.  It really is very Seussian.  Mostly the Grinch part.

And then I need to find time to clean and get ready for the not-begone relatives, to arrive sometime during the afternoon tomorrow, while I'm getting grilled by the Huge CFO - because nothing says fun like defending keeping your employees and the one pen that you have everyone pass around to save money- on a Friday afternoon.  Before the relatives arrive.  Who will probably - when asked what their plans are for the weekend - answer very cheerfully, "We don't care - just show us the local attractions!"

So of course, Mr. Lulu and I have already had the requisite pre-not-begone relative argument over - toilet bowl cleaner.  I guess that was the 'budgeting for resources' part of the post.

Please don't ask.  Just feel free to make up funny stories and post them in the comments to cheer me up, while I'm trying to find time to watch just one episode of something reality tv.ish.

But first - off to fire up the humidifier.

Weather is here - wish you were beautiful!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Relatives are NOT Begone....

Oh no.  The humidifier did not work.  The relatives will be back next weekend, to bring the manboy from the last visit, back to live here.  Luckily, not here here....not here in the center of the universe, Lulu's Sandbar, paradise ground zero.  

So the parents are helping him move and have oh-so-nicely asked if they can hang out here for the weekend.  Because of course, they know that we're deck.  And it's cool, truly - it's a cousin relationship, not a sibling thing, which automatically takes the angst level down a few notches.

But c'mon!  How many times do I have to put out clean towels and sheets and the welcome mat and clean the toilet this year???  And put the toilet paper ON the holder, not propped on top like it is at Miss Yvonne's house?  Seriously people.  I'm busy drinking wine and crafting.  I cannot be expected to be a Merry Maid as well.

I've always wanted my own Alice, since the days of The Brady Bunch.  Wouldn't that be great - plus, with her boyfriend Sam the Butcher providing us with prime steaks and all to go with the wine - sweeet!  Where are the Alices?

Anyway, as a result, Mr. M and I spent our wedding anniversary weekend cleaning, power-washing, painting and purchasing.  Fortunately, because it is the anniversary, we pinky-swore not to argue, just to slog through and get it all done in this 90-degree heat.  Plus he still has a cute butt, and certain other promises were made.  Not that I'll have to follow through because he'll be asleep on the couch in just about 30 minutes from now but hey, I did MY part.

I'm such a giver.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Giveaway Winner

.....IS (drumroll...drumroll....impatient tapping.....heavy irritated sighs.....) Miss Yvonne, with lucky number 6!!!  WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!  And, I'm going to let her pick from the Amuse Series, for her giveaway prize.

So Missy, get to work!  Let us know what your pick will be and get me your info and I'll get it right out to you.

Did everyone have the most gorgeous 95 degree day today?  

I actually got up earlyish, got the house cleaned, went to the Farmer's Market and picked up all the flowers for my front porch pots and got them all planted.

And did some crafting.

And grilled.

And now I'm drinking some wine and checking out all my bloggy friends and did I mention crafting?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Relatives Begone!

So our last boarder relative left Saturday - but he'll be back in two weeks....long story.    He's a nice manboy and seems to be responsible and won't actually be living with us.  But I did find out how to get relatives to leave.

Use a humidifier.  Yes, you'll see...

Friday night, he went out with his new roommates to get to know them and meet some new peeps.  They went downtown, hung out, and he was the DD because he was sucking up to them and allegedly he wasn't drinking because he had to find his way back to our house. Riiiiiight.  So they close a few bars and then he drives them all home, turns around and tries to find his way back to our house.

At approximately 3:30 ish.  AM.  Remember those days?

Yeah, me neither.  Except for the last time I was in Vegas, where there are no clocks, ergo, no time.  And all my brains had to stay there because there's that vegas vortex.

So the manboy is lost and drives around for an hour trying to find our house.  And no, I didn't give him the wrong directions.  Finally found his way home, uses the garage door opener to get in....and of course, the door was locked.  He tried knocking.  And calling our cellphones, which were not in our bedroom, where we were sleeping.  With the humidifier on.  (see?  You knew I'd get there!)

And knocking. And calling.

Didn't ring the doorbell, though, because it was so carefully hidden right next to the door, with a bright light on it.  Tough to see and all.  With those beer goggles on.

After we discovered him on the doorstep, he did crash out for a few hours until he got up, febreezed his shirt, and left to sign his new lease, and then drive 14 hours to get home.

Finally got the stinky manboy, bar smoky beer funk, AXE cologne smell out of his room late Sunday.

By using....wait for it......the humidifier.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fan Award, a Great Day and Helloooo...did I mention Giveaway?

Giveaway.  Don't forget.  See below.  Hey, you might win.  And  you could send the collage to your mom or your momish-type person of honor for Mother's Day and pretend that you made it!  Because it would be yours, and you can do what you want with it.

Also.....tough to be inside today - it is a beautiful, 80-degree day, so I'm only taking a break from hanging outside, relaxing, acting like I'm working in the yard.  

Plus, I just finished a cool book about Barbie and her inventor, Ruth Handler and wanted to post about it. It's deck, and provides interesting insight into a remarkable woman who was really ahead of her time, and was truly the driving force behind Mattel.  Despite any mixed feelings you might have about Barbie, Ruth set standards for women in business.

Last, I received a 'Fan of your Site' award from Kim - look over there on the side, see?  Thanks Kim!

I'm off - outside for more chillin'.  Or warmin'.  Whatever it takes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

THANKS!!! And .....drumroll.....A GIVEAWAY!!

Thanks for the shouts!
First is Fran's blog and Fran's website.  She has some very cool paintings and she writes too - multitasking wondergirl that she is - she deserves a place at the hipster table but she might be too cool for me.  Thanks for the feature, Fran.

Also, one of my posts has been listed on Midlife Bloggers - another deck site with a lot of very seriously good writers.  Please check them out - thanks Jane.

Ok - now for the giveaway.  It's pretty simple, and starts today because well, some lucky poster will get an extra tax return in the form of a mixed media collage from my Amuse Series.  Because it's April 15, yo and some of us might still be banging on the post office door at 11:59 pm.

The giveaway winner will be chosen by random number generator.

Here are the rules.  And I'm totally stealing-ummm...benchmarking the fine print from Wendi's giveaways.  Because she's funny and it works.

1. Go to my Etsy store
2. Pick out a favorite item
3. Come back here to the blog
4. Write a comment to this post, listing the item and why you like it
5. Extra entries if you have a blog and post a link to my blog with the giveaway.  (Like extra credit in school)
6. Giveaway starts tonight, April 15, and ends April 24.  Because I'm giving all y'all some extra days to comment.  Because I want to and it's my giveaway. 

Fine print:
It's more small print than fine. Giveaway starts as soon as this is posted. It ends at 5pm on Friday, April 24, 2009 est. One entry per person - unless you post a link to my blog on your blog. In that case, you'll have one additional entry. Additional posts must be verified. If I cannot verify your post, your extra entry is toast.  Dude, I told you I was tough.  This contest is open to you - whether I know you or not. By entering this giveaway, you agree to abide by the rules I've stated or not stated, and I can change the rules whenever I please. It's a Lulu prerogative.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Gates of Hell...in the chairs

Where?  The Department of Motor Vehicles, of course, more commonly known as the DMV.

So I had to get my license renewed.  Not a big deal, just had to pay, read the letters and the road signs on the viewer, get my picture taken and I'm out of there right?

Not exactly.

First, I had to find the building and then find a parking space, while listening to Edith (the GPS) yell at me for turning the wrong way.  Is the female voice better than the English butler voice?  Discuss.

Ok, then I had to wait in line to listen to the lame DMV jokes that I heard from the same guy - who is 10 years older than God - that I heard when I had to change the address on my license in November so I could vote.  Same guy, same jokes.  I think there's a string in his back that is pulled in the morning so the little recorder in his back will keep repeating the same phrases - like a Chatty Cathy doll only older and creepier.

Waiting in line got me a number, like at the bakery, and I was asked to wait "in the chairs." I was given a card to review the traffic signs.  And it's only 8:30 in the morning, and my number is 115.  And they're only on number 90.  But the weird thing is there are only about 5 other people waiting, and only one person sitting at a cubicle with another DMV guy.  I don't mean to get too mathy, but that.....doesn't quite add up.

And there are a lot of train pictures around....an eerie omen?  You bet.

Hello.  Gates of Hell.  

So I'm waiting in the chairs as requested.  This nice young guy in military garb comes in, gets a number and sits down near me.  He asked where the review cards were located, and I told him to take mine, that I was done with it.

The words are still in a word bubble over my head, and the woman on my other side, says - as if we were in the middle of a conversation - "Yeah, I was in here yesterday?  I had to take a driving test - you know, with a car? - in order to get my license back, and well, bummer but I couldn't because well, my car wouldn't pass the emissions test well actually I hadn't gotten it checked in a while so I had to go do that you know?  Because I really need my license because I need to be in court on Thursday.  So yeah."  And she nods and turns to the woman on her other side, who just sat down.  In the chairs.  Starts to talk to her, same story.

I have to ask - what triggers people to start conversations like that?  In the chairs.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lulu's Home for Wayward Relatives

...as one set of relatives leaves, another steps in to fill the void - because apparently, there is a vortex in my home, sucking in the 'laws.

This week, it's the son of the nephew of the cousin-in-law's barber's manicurist.  Or something like that.

He's staying with us while he's looking for a job in this area.  So I had to clean the bathroom again.  And put clean sheets and towels in the room.  again.

Big, heavy, martyred SIGGGGHHHHHHHHH.  My life is so hard. 

I'll have to reread some of Yo Mama's blog to get tips on how to make these renters pay.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nothing says Easter like Deviled Eggs and Sugar and TicTacs

Easter randomness....and my birthday, the Masters, and the in-laws going home.  And books and magazines fresh from the bookstore. 

Yup - all those things happening today.  The in-laws left this morning at 0 dark:30.  I can talk out loud on the blog now.  Turned out to be a pretty decent week and apparently a success, as at least one of the 'laws has skin like mahogany now, so the tanning was good.  And everyone has cheap t-shirts.  So that's got to count for something.

And it is my birthday today and the neighbors stuck birthday balloons on the mailbox.  Sweet.  Even though they probably felt like popping them after the 'law's car alarm went off at midnight.

My mom called at 7:30 am as I was trying to sleep in from the 'law departure, to tell me the story of my birth, as usual.  That she had relatives from Canada visiting, and was in labor most of the day, and had to iron my sisters' play jackets before leaving for the hospital.  And that she had an emergency appendectomy  4 weeks after I was born, and when she came home from the hospital my dad was all proud because I was sleeping through the night - but he had unfortunately left an unwashed bean casserole pot sitting out for those two weeks and the house was stinky.

Then my sister called to remind me that the next-door neighbor actually watched me quite a bit while my mom was in the hospital, and that she and my other sister went over and stole me back because they thought she'd kidnapped me.

My other sister left a message - I know I'll talk to her later - we're both hooked on TAR.

MyfriendTeri called yesterday AND today.  She sets the notices on her blackberry for 24 hours, and for a few years she kept calling me on the wrong day to wish me happy returns, so she's decided that my birthday is actually April 11th because that's easier for her.  And she made deviled eggs (a huge deal, she doesn't cook) and has eaten a lot of chocolate and deviled eggs and TicTacs (apparently, she raided her mom's purse during church...) (at least she WENT to church with her mom) so she is all hopped up on a weird food combination.

My brother called to tell me that sadly, his father-in-law passed away today....here's to you, Mr. A.  He was a really nice guy.

Mom called twice more to tell me that he died, and that he's gone straight to heaven, because he was such a good guy, and always went to church.

She's a travel agent....specializing in guilt trips.  

Other famous birthdays today - Claire Danes, David Letterman, Vince Gill, David Cassidy and Andy Garcia (yum).   Along with 627 fellow Etsians - Happy B-Day!

Oh yeah - one other gift.  From Mother Nature - because why let even one holiday / event go by without crazy hormones and cramps?  

New stuff in the Etsy store tonight and then I PROMISE - the giveaway starts this week!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is it wrong to drink champagne at 5:30 pm?

Well....is it?  I have a bottle of opened champagne - which, btw, you can keep fresh and sparkly by putting a spoon into the top and letting it dangle.  I don't know why it works but it does.  Try it.  Why waste champagne?

But - we've given the 'laws a break, and come back home from the beach place to our house for a few days.  They'll come back for the weekend before heading back to the snowy Midwest.  

And I think that we're all a little happy and relieved.  My sister-in-law is a great woman, she's really nice and we both married into a quirky family and she's dealt with a lot, blah and etc.

But I now realize that she's a bit of a clean freak and I'm sure that my housekeeping is not up to her standards.  Good news - our little beach place will probably be cleaner than it's ever been.  Bad news - she thinks I'm a sloth.  A sloth who drinks champagne at 5:30 pm.  A drinking sloth with dark roots.  A drinking, dark-rooted sloth who spends too much time on the internet.  A drinking, dark-rooted, blogging sloth who's addicted to reality TV.  A drinking, dark-rooted, blogging reality TV sloth.

That's Lulu.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Vacation Karma UPDATE

....and yes - today on VH3 (Vacation Hostage Day 3) - we have, for your enjoyment - a tornado AND gastrointestinal distress while we were trying to punch the tourist ticket with a visit to the alligator adventure farm! The hits just keep coming...

The cool thing is that my nephew is teaching me to play Call of Duty - Worlds at War Nazi Zombies, so I'm keeping up on my hand-eye coordination while we mow down the bloody bad guys. And my niece bought a bunch of salt water taffy for me.

So that's pretty deck.

And I think I'm going to announce the Etsy store giveaway tomorrow - OTT!

UPDATE: And because I have time to blog around the internet looking for deckter hippy blogsters to read, here's a new member of the cool table FoN at Kids and Daquiris.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day Two - Vacation Hostage

Well, we've got several punches in the outlaw tourist ticket - the local grocery store, the Dollar General, the ABC store, the pool, the alligator by the side of the pond and.....the beach. Where we found seashells, accidentally stepped on two live crabs in the water and got sand in every imaginable...ummmm...body part.

Everyone seems to be settling into a comfort level - I truly want people to feel comfortable enough to treat my home as their home and and....not true. I really just want people to wait on themselves so I don't have to do it. And we're getting there.

Cloudy this afternoon - think I'll get out for a run and leave them with homemade salsa, chips and adult bevvies. For better addytudes for all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


sneaking in a post while on vacation with the outlaws.....

Lulu held hostage Day one.

Drove three hours to get to destination. Family from MI. They want to 'tan.' All day. even though it's only 64 degrees and windy. (which I totally get, btw, having lived in MI most of my life and understanding that spring break truly IS a break from the winter, but still.)

Done tanning for today. So far.

Fam sitting around looking at each other. Waiting for me to tell them what to do.

They don't really want to ask me that.....

Updates to follow. Stay tuned

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dancing with the Starfish

So dinner for my work peeps was really great, actually.  We laughed and had some good food and a fair amount of adult bevvies - although not too many, everyone was safe to drive - and it was good!  

I am really lucky to be surrounded by a fabulous team of people who work hard AND smart, and they make a difference in the lives of everyone at work while consistently making me look good.  I tell them so all the time, and try to give them credit wherever I can, especially outside of my department.

So no drama or puking or stolen silverware - just fun and teasing and food and drink.

Plus - we had a dance contest during our staff meeting.  Ok - during a break in our staff meeting, in the event that anyone from the Huge is reading this post. 

Y'all, you haven't lived until you've seen my dance team rock a gangsta hiphop version of the Chicken Dance - or The Angry Chicken, as it came to be known.  Deckster sweet!  All the judges were laughing so hard they simultaneously blew cafeteria coffee out their noses.

Perfect score, three tens - take that, Len Goodman!

Work karma, yo - pay it forward.