Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Shape in the Sink

We live in the country and have for almost 10 years now. I guess I should be more used to having various critters coming in the house but I can’t say that I have. I was washing my face in the kitchen sink earlier and I didn’t have my glasses on. I do not see very well without them. As I was drying my face I saw a dark shape moving in the corner of the sink. I tried to get closer to see what it was exactly but I couldn’t figure it out. My glasses were in the other room and once I put them on again I didn’t go back to investigate the mysterious shape. I guess that I was kind of hoping that either it was something innocuous or it would get up and walk away while I was out of the room. Later I came down to put on some baked beans for Mr. Awesome’s dinner. As I was rinsing the can out I remembered to look for the shape in the sink and that’s when I saw what I thought was a spider. I glimpsed it for a second and saw a long brown body and multiple bent legs. I got so freaked out I started shrieking and Piper came down from her room to see what I was yelling about. I knew that Glenn was coming home any minute so we waited for him on the back stoop because I was too scared to go back in the kitchen again. When he got home he quickly dispatched the critter out of the sink. He said he didn’t think it was a spider, probably a cricket of some kind. I want to know how something that big got inside the house in the first place??!!

This kind of reminds me of one night when Mr. Awesome woke me from a sound sleep. He did this just to tell me that he had just seen the biggest spider he had ever seen in our basement. He got into bed and promptly fell asleep. I of course laid there in the dark and tried to forget what I just heard.

UGH!! I’m going to be a little freaked out about that for a while now . . . just give me a minute, ok?


Channel Guide

My parents have an enormous TV and they seem to subscribe to every single channel known to man. This includes the naughty ones for some reason. Their cable provider Cablevision has a couple of Adult programming channels placed right before the block of children’s channels. This means when you are sitting there on Saturday morning with your 7 year old daughter and 79 year old mother looking at the channel guide to see what cartoons are on you see titles like:

Blindfolds N BJs
Tiger’s Got Wood!
Explode in Mama
Bros Luv Big Racks
Black Beaver Bang
Your Mom’s Ass is Tight
Um, I think we watched The Suite Life instead.
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What’s the one thing you dread the most?

Right now, it’s my Dad being mad at me. I know, I’m 44 years old and I’m still worrying about what this crazy old man thinks of me. We had a phone conversation earlier that didn’t end entirely well. I’m pretty sure that he is mad at me. We are getting ready to go there this weekend and I dread the thought of getting Mad Tony at the start of the visit. You usually end up with Mad Tony in the end but at least you get to have a little of the Happy Tony at the beginning. I’ve pretty much shot all chance of that to hell. We’re going to be getting off the ferry at around noon time and we were thinking of getting something to eat on the way to their house rather than rushing there hungry. We’re not going to have time for a lot of eating in the morning before we leave and I try to avoid buying the crummy pricey snacks on the boat. My mother wants to make a big deal and have lunch ready and waiting for us and I tried to tell her that we’d be doing something else. Then my father gets on the phone to ask me about something else and at the end says that we’ll all have lunch when we get there and sounds all hurt and insulted when I tell him our plan. You’d think he was freaking Emily Post from the way he acts. What a phony. Growing up our family was a train wreck. Where were all these niceties then? By the time we got off the boat, drove there and get inside with our stuff and eat it will be waaay after lunch time. Then we have to sit down and eat a gigantic dinner a couple of hours later as well. How many more ways can I diss him? Let me count them! I’m so so tired of this crap. When we were growing up we all tried to avoid upsetting my father because when he threw a tantrum he put babies to shame.

Even though I have such little respect left and even though I’m a grownup with my own family and even though I still have so much anger towards him over Mike . . . I still can’t stand it when I think he’s mad at me. I hate myself for this. Ugh, I am filled with DREAD.

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Like a Fish

We went to the pool on Sunday and my daughter got to show off her new mad swimming skillz. She is just learning to swim at camp this summer and seems to be progressing very quickly. She just figured out how to swim underwater this past week and can already manage lots of fancy tricks and can hold her breath for vast time periods (12+ seconds)! We all had a great time at the pool. It was wonderful to see her really enjoying herself. She has learned so much in such a short time. It was only last summer that she was clinging to us in the pool and still afraid of getting her face wet. I am looking forward to our upcoming trip out to the Island where she can try swimming in the salty bay.

I am very excited for her. I distinctly remember when I started to learn to swim underwater and what a big deal it was for me. My parents were not swimmers. My mother doesn’t know how to swim and barely goes in the water above her knees. My father was always full of excuses when you asked him to come in the water. He would tell you how he didn’t want to get his hair or ears wet. Getting them to play with you in a pool was like herding cats. When I started to swim underwater I could entertain myself in the pool for a long time. Even though we only swim in places staffed with Lifeguards we don’t let Piper “swim” by herself in even the shallowest of water. It’s amazing to me how much the times have changed. If I had to wait for one of my parents to take me in the water every time I never would have learned to swim at all. No one taught me to formally swim and I never learned to do any strokes. But when I was underwater I could swim really well. When I started to go to sleep-away camp I found that I had to bump up my swimming skills. We all swam in a lake and you needed to prove yourself before you could go any further than the first two roped off sections. There was a floating dock out in the deep water (about 12 feet probably) that was the ultimate destination for campers and counselors alike. However, you had to pass swimming tests in the two shallower sections before you were allowed to even attempt the rigorous test for the dock section. The final test involved an exhaustive swim (for me) in open water to get to the dock and back and then several minutes of treading water. I wanted to be able to swim out to the dock so badly but didn’t pass the test until my second summer at camp. This was a great accomplishment for me. Having access to the dock also meant that you could take canoes out on the lake for tipping. My friends and I enjoyed this particular activity immensely. I especially liked the echo-y sound your voice made when you were inside the space created by the overturned canoe on the surface of the water.

We tried to go to the pool two weeks ago but when we got there we found that it was closed for a swim meet. Mr. Awesome cleverly suggested that we try to see if there was still room in the parking lot at Lake Minnewaska. Lake Minnewaska is part of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve and is a gorgeous lake surrounded by cliffs and miles of hiking trails. Luckily we got there just as they were opening the lake for swimming and didn’t have to park too far away. We didn’t expect to have to do any hiking and were all wearing flip flops. It was so wonderful to get to swim in a lake again. The water was so clean and felt so soft and light as you moved your hands through it. It smelled good. It has been so hot around here lately that it wasn’t too cold either, just cool enough to be delightfully refreshing. Piper got to swim and really enjoyed it but was a little nervous about putting her head under the water in the darker-than-the-pool lake water. It was such a special treat and one I hope we get to do again before the summer ends.

I told my daughter that this was going to be her best summer ever and I think I was right.


The Mean Mommy

I tried something new with my daughter this morning. She has a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Now even though summer has started she still has to get up in time to get ready for day camp. I find myself in her room in the mornings droning her name while she lays there and ignores me. Usually I end up nagging her out of bed or telling her she’s going to lose privileges, etc. I HATE this entire routine. I hear myself and I hear my mother trying to get my brother and I up out of bed. This morning I decided to try a different line of attack. I realized that if she doesn’t get up in time to get her stuff done then that is not my problem. I wake her up with plenty of time but if she wants to sleep later and waste half that time then obviously there may not be enough time to do everything she wants or needs to do. Again, if she runs out of time – that is not my problem. My new mantra – not my problem. She laid in bed and ignored my pleas to get up so I went downstairs. I did a couple of things and then called upstairs to tell her that she might miss breakfast. She came down and put her head down on the table. I know that she was VERY tired this morning but she still has to get out of bed. I’m very determined to get over this hump before school starts again. She got off to a late start and had a bowl of cereal before she ran out of time. It was time for her to go and get dressed. I could have allowed her to squeeze in another small bowl of cereal but I stuck to my guns. When I told her that she couldn’t have any more cereal it was like I stomped on her favorite toy. When she was very small we were so concerned that she eat and gain weight that if we didn’t feel that she ate enough at a meal we’d follow her around the room with spoonfuls of food and beg her to please eat. She was simply shocked that I was telling her she couldn’t have any more cereal and that she needed to go and get dressed. It was a major struggle complete with back talk, hitting and lots of huffy mad faces and she was pretty mad too. Oh, it was grand! Just what I want to do on a summer morning.  It was hard and I anticipate more hard mornings and I have become the dreaded Mean Mommy but I think we’ve crossed a line or rather I’ve drawn a line. Wish us luck tomorrow!!

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Mary Jane, Snail of Mystery and Other Updates

There’s been a lot going on around here lately so I thought I’d fill you in with some updates.

Snail porn

Our Mary Jane is not quite this sexy looking

We recently acquired a new member of the Roolalenska family – Mary Jane, Snail of Mystery. The snails are actually called Mystery Snails or Apple Snails but I prefer to think of her as a our own little Snail of Mystery. It makes me think of snails wearing dark glasses passing important documents in cafes. I picked her up while I was out grocery shopping the other day. I kind of liked walking around the store with her in her little bag of water in the top of the basket. She’s Goldie Dorothy’s new neighbor. I made sure to ask at the store if the snail and the goldfish were a good match and was told yes. I definitely don’t think I got the right information. Unfortunately Goldie is not exactly setting up the welcome wagon for her newest tank mate. Frankly, she’s quite the bully. I fear that she’s nipped the poor snail’s antennae off. Goldie likes the snail’s food (yummy algae wafers!) and when I put a couple of small pieces in the tank Goldie gets very excited. This morning she revved herself up and raced around the tank before acting like a battering ram on Mary Jane’s shell. I’m hoping that the snail doesn’t get so stressed out that she decides to stop living because I’m enjoying having her around. I like watching her “speed” around the walls of the tank.

Boy, my feminine christian attire look is really getting around. I was recently informed that Robes et Jupes – A Gallery on Flickr had added my photo to their collection.

She looks HOT! No, really kind of warm.I'm not sure how I feel about this one.

Pleats!Go Feminine Christian Attire!

Looking at some of the pictures I’m not sure if the person that created the Robes et Jupes gallery has as pure intentions as the feminine christian attire person. I’m also not sure if this is a bad thing. On a somewhat related note we saw a large group of Orthodox Jewish girls at Lake Minnewaska yesterday. They were all on mountain bikes riding the challenging trail around the lake. Even though they were on bikes in the dirt they still maintained the modesty rules in their dress. All of them wore tops with three quarter sleeves but all seemed to be made of thin high-tech fabric for keeping cool and skirts below the knee with either leggings or pants. I admired their punky yet prim attitude.

Once school ended we relaxed our TV rules here at Chez Lenska and I definitely think that it was a mistake. During the school year we limited Piper’s TV watching to after school on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. When school ended she kind of jumped right back into the deep end of TV watching. To be fair she is at camp during the day until 4pm so it is not like she is watching 24/7 but I’ve definitely noticed the difference in her behavior. She’s been a lot whinier and seemingly unable to entertain herself without some kind of multi-media for company for any length of time. She plays games on the computer and on the Wii and they don’t seem to have the same effect on her that the TV does. She had no TV today at all after camp and I already see a great improvement. We’re going to have to manage the TV a lot better from now on. I for one prefer to watch the action in our fish tank.

Not really an update but I need to vent. I’m frustrated that I can’t figure out what I did with Piper’s bathing suits. She’s got at least two or maybe three perfectly good bathing suits from last summer. My mom gave her two new ones in the spring and I’m so glad that she did. I have looked every where but have not been able to find them. It’s like I have a mental block or something. I hope they turn up soon because I’m getting tired of having to constantly wash and dry the two bathing suits so she’s got something to swim in at camp. I get very annoyed with myself when I lose things in my own house . . . . . oh where oh where can they be??

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The Best of 2007: Mrs. Devil

Mrs. Devil

Originally uploaded by roolalenska

I’ve been working on a new video of our pictures from 2007. While there isn’t a lot to celebrate about that year there were a few bright moments. When I saw this picture again I was reminded of how much I loved this whole idea and outfit. Sadly I didn’t win the office contest with my Mrs. Devil get up. The winner dressed as a bag lady complete with blacked out teeth and freaked the receptionist out when she tried to come in the locked front door before the office was open to the public. Yep, I’m definitely still bitter.

In fact I’d like a redo on the entire year of 2007 please. To quote Heather Armstrong, “it sucked and then I cried”.

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Because I love ya!

I’m a little busy this morning packing the cutes up for her big camp sleepover but I wanted to share this. Where else are you going to see a giant starfish that looks like Hitler getting its ass kicked? It’s no big. It’s just because I love ya!

Have a great day and stay hydrated.


Product Review: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock

I was doing my part and cutting the grass in the back of the yard for my husband a couple of weeks ago and decided it would be the perfect time to try out the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock. I shook the bottle and heard the ball bearings inside moving around, like spray paint. I kind of love that sound so it was an immediate plus for me. I pulled the cap off and apparently pulled a little too hard because the cap came apart into two pieces. The white cap and the blue insert that snaps down inside it. At first I didn’t realize that I had done that and I threw away the blue piece. I had to fish the blue piece out of the garbage can afterwards when I realized that the white cap wouldn’t stay on the bottle without it. I was initially surprised at how thin the liquid looked but after I got it in between my fingers I realized how substantial it really is. It went on evenly with easy strokes. The finish on my skin felt soft but a little bit on the tacky side. I prefer a little smoother finish from a facial moisturizer. I know that this is meant to be a daily sunscreen so it is a little bit of a different product. I have a naturally darker skin tone to begin with and my skin tends to tan and not to burn but my nose will get red if I haven’t protected it properly. Even so, I do not purposely tan anymore. The sun feels so much stronger than it used to and you have to be very careful no matter what the color of your skin. I try to keep my face out of the sun as much as possible. The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer worked great during my lawn cutting in the bright sun. I didn’t even wear a big hat. We just stayed in the yard that day and I felt that my Ultra Sheer kept on protecting me. Next I want to try it under my makeup in the place of my wimpy 15 SPF moisturizer. After that the big test will be on my “driving arm”.

Would you like to review products, too? Then go to!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free for review purposes from Tidal Labs. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Driveway 7:30 AM

I’m in the camper. Bumping noise. Cat meowing. I look out, don’t see him. I look up and see a paw trying to get in through the ceiling vent.

I just love that little guy.

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