Archive for the ‘blended family’ Category

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On blended families

October 10, 2007

Do you think they call them blended families because the way you make them is by throwing men, women and children in an actual blender (or food processor for that matter) and pushing the “grate” button until everyone is chopped to hell?

I found this online today and can identify.

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Introduction

A blender is one of those essential countertop appliances. Used for making smoothies, shakes and malts, it also comes in handy for pureeing, chopping and even crushing ice.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy (Author’s Note: Bwahahahahahaha)

Steps

Step One

Measure the space where you plan to store your blender. Pay special attention to height.

Step Two

Decide on a metal or plastic base. Metal is more durable and keeps the appliance more steady when it is in use, but generally costs more.

Step Three

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Choose a glass or plastic jar. Blenders with glass jars are generally more stable, but also more expensive. A glass jar is also quite a bit heavier than plastic.

Step Four

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Check the number of settings available and decide which most closely fit your needs. A pulsing function is especially useful. (Author’s insertion: Oh, you know I just want to comment on this one!)

Step Five

Look for special features on the lid that will make it possible to add ingredients while the blender is running.

Step Six

Choose the color you want. Colors are generally available only if you choose a plastic base.

Step Seven

Study warranty and service options.

Step Eight

Before buying, read the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure the blender has all the features you are looking for.

Tips & Warnings

* Blenders with push-button controls are notoriously difficult to clean. Check for special cleaning features that will make cleanup easier.

Anyone know where I can get some special cleaning features?

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Happier stuff

September 25, 2007

“Anshee, the ban is blue and gray — a light blue gray. You gonna love it.” (referring to the van that Jon rented when he flew down to visit this last weekend. As much as we tried to tell LJ that it would be just Daddy visiting, all of us were feeling the separation, and he kept waiting for Babs and me to show up. I had a good cry over it after this conversation.)

“I’m sure I would, Sweetie. I wish I could be there with you.”

“You gonna love it.”

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And now for something completely different (er, almost)

September 13, 2007

For those of you who are not interested in the topic of persuasion, please click here. Otherwise, here you go courtesy of The Carnegie Success Connection Tip of the Week and their High Impact Presentations seminar. I’m hoping that by posting this that I will remember to come back and look at this again and again as I continue to learn the gentle art and skill of negotiations. I may be brokering arms deals after all this.

This is the e-mail I received back in April that I stumbled upon “coincidentally” today while looking for something else, which is, of course, my favorite way to find something. It begins with a reminder and plays on my last post. Cheers!

“Experience teaches only the teachable.”

Aldous Huxley

Dear Angela:

The use of evidence is an essential part of an effective presentation. A question often in the mind of audience members, albeit one that may seldom be expressed, is, “Why should I believe you?”

It is not the audience’s responsibility to be convinced, rather, it is responsibility of the presenter to convince the audience. The greatest tool with which we might do this is the evidence we’ve discovered that made us believers in the first place.

This list provides a great model for the successful delivery of any such information that may help sell your case and conviction:

Demonstrations
Examples
Facts
Exhibits
Analogies
Testimonials
Statistics

If you are fascinated by (or are needing more information on) this topic, as I am, I heard a wonderful presentation a couple of years ago by master negotiator Herb Cohen. I have yet to read his book Negotiate This! By Caring, But Not T-H-A-T Much. I do, however, think it’s time to take it off the shelf and give it a good read. Right after I dust it.

Here’s to win-win!

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p.s. I hope that if Herb stumbles on this blog that he gives me some kickback for any book sales. 🙂 Just a request, since we’re negotiating, right? Note to self: hock Diesel’s book at first opportunity.

p.p.s. For those of you wondering how the roller coaster thing worked out, it was okay. Just okay. I saw a train in the park and got entirely too depressed and all in all wish we hadn’t gone without LJ. It just wasn’t the same, and while I had a couple of moments of living in the moment, it was pretty much a bust. I did learn, however, that trips with only one kid aren’t nearly as fun as trips with both, so I can use that for future ass-melding to the couch on the weekends when we don’t have both. Just keeping it real.

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On love, loss, placating and jealousy

September 6, 2007

“Love may be blind but jealousy has 20-20 vision” – author unknown

Hi, Kids. My heart is sad today, so I thought I’d write about it here and hopefully take the sadness from my heart and put it into the computer.

LJ’s mom says she’s decided that since LJ is unhappy when he comes home to her that perhaps he shouldn’t spend time with us anymore.

For the record, I think LJ’s mom is probably Borderline.

She also says she thinks he may be autistic. As someone whose best friend has a daughter who actually is autistic, I think that LJ’s mom may be mistaking sadness and anger for autism.

When he was on the phone last month crying because he didn’t want to go home to her, my heart broke. Not because he was sad. He’s been telling me for six months that he doesn’t want to go home. I’ve been coping with that sadness for a while.

I was sad because of the way she spoke to him when he told her he wanted to stay.

How can we be so insensitive and disrespectful to our children?

Don’t answer that. I think I have a pretty good idea.

I want to tell her that she’s hurting her son. I want her to see that there are better ways of relating to people than the ways she chooses. I want. I want. I want.

There we go with that wanting again.

*Deep breath*

We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, and sometimes I get very, very tired.

LJ’s mom can’t keep us from seeing him, but she can make it difficult, and she is: not returning phone calls, refusing to okay a date to fly there and see him, telling Jon that she wants to go back to the original court-ordered agreement put together when he was a baby, which was two days a month with Jon because they were never married, never lived together and in short, didn’t know each other.

In a nutshell, her particular brand of crazy is wearing me out, folks.

Filing a contempt of court is stressful and a pain, not to mention costs money, and I’m hoping that she and Jon can work it through because my peace-making skills are tapped at the moment, and I’m needing to regroup.

If you think of it, would you send up a good thought for Jon and LJ? That anyone would try (and has tried) to keep them separated is a tragedy, for my husband, but even more so for this little boy who just wants to be with his dad.

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Not exactly the Brady Bunch

August 30, 2007

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But you already knew that, didn’t you?

First of all, there is no housekeeper (as you have heard me moan about on numerous occasions). This little fact is painfully obvious if you came and saw my house right now. We’ve been home from vacation for two weeks and every person’s bag is still sitting right where we dumped it. I think this means we have too many clothes. That and that we’re shitty housekeepers. Once again, please consider yourselves warned. If you drop by for tea unexpectedly, it will not be nice and neat. If you call an hour ahead, please don’t open the closets as all the clutter will be stashed there until after your departure, probably long after your departure.

Secondly, the color of my kids’ hair matches. This actually comes in handy, and I wouldn’t like to be more Brady in this way. It’s helpful not to always have to explain that it’s Jon’s son and my daughter, as if somehow we don’t all belong together because of the timing. When people see me I can sometimes see them thinking to themselves: “Ah, it’s the mother that’s blond.” I normally don’t correct them unless it feels appropriate.

Thirdly, I work. I work hard, dammit – as hard as I can work with a desk job, anyway. So there’s no casserole in the oven or PTA meetings (or even a chance to break lamps, because we all go our separate ways during the day — except when LJ is here, and then he and Jon try to pack a month’s worth of living into a week).

Fourthly, and most importantly, there is no ex-Mrs. Brady and ex-Mr. Florence Henderson in the TV show, and they are most definitely there, in all their brilliance, in my real life.

Back and forth. Give and take. Joy and nail-biting. Ramifications of their choices. Ramifications of our choices.

Take the lid off. Stir the pot. Put the lid back on and pray for the best.

And you may look at my life and think that it looks neat. Because I like to show you the neat parts. And in many, many, many, many ways I am blessed.

But I’ve been thinking lately that I haven’t done a good enough job of showing you the shit side of my life. The side that has me wondering why everyone is so upset about Larry Craig. Isn’t that just what people do? Oh, I know that there would have been a day when I would have been semi-shocked (if not totally shocked), too. I guess going through something like that changes the level at which you find things shocking. (I love to refer to myself in third person when I’m feeling verklempt.) Oh, you didn’t know I had gone through something like that? Whoops. I guess that’s because I didn’t tell you.

What else would surprise you about my life? Would you think the same of me if you knew the things I don’t tell you? What do you think of me now?

For all the pretty pictures, both mine and those of the Brady family, it helps to remember that the latter is fiction (and the lives of the actors were, in reality, just as difficult as any of ours) and the former are chosen because they are the best parts of my life. I could spend a lot of time transcribing the fights that Jon and I have or rehashing old, hurtful stuff, or post pictures of Jon and me in our glasses, sweats and dirty hair (our regular weekend attire). But as so many people say, “Life is just too damn short.” For the good, bad and everything in between, thank you, God, for letting me have this life — dirty house and hair, fish tank with green water, difficult exes and all — because it’s mine.

From season one: “The Honeymoon”

Desk clerk: Oh, Mr. Brady, you have signed this Mr. Brady, Mrs. Brady and family.
Mike: Hmm, I forgot. It’s force of habit. Kids aren’t with us.
Desk clerk: But you did ask for the honeymoon suite.
Carol: Oh, it’s quite alright Mr. Pringle. You see …
Mike: [interrupts her] It’s quite alright darling. No need to explain. It’s obvious that this gentleman doesn’t dig the modern generation.

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My own particular brand of crazy

August 29, 2007

Have you every noticed patterns about yourself? Quirks that seem to come up over and over, even when you’re willing them not to? It could be that you have to turn around before opening a door, or that every year around a certain time you find yourself more accident prone than normal.

For me, whenever we’re having problems with LJ’s mom (as we are now), I start feeling pregnant.

Now, I realize that nausea can be the result of stress just as much as pregnancy, so I do try to talk myself out of thinking of the pregnancy scenario by telling myself that it’s just plain silly to think that I might be pregnant. Of course it’s just stress and wishful thinking.

And I am keenly aware of the fact that subconsciously (and perhaps not so subconsciously) I wish that the kids were ours and that we didn’t have to share. There. I said it.

So there it is, welling up in my gut in the form of nausea that is not entirely a stress reaction to LJ’s mom’s recent move with no forwarding information, no address, no phone and no plans for any future visits: the biological desire to have a child all our own that can only be screwed up by our imperfect parenting instead of all the help we’re getting on the side.

“Yes, waiter. I’d like a screwed up child with a side of guilt. Make that a double, would ya?”

I’d love to write more, but I have a smashing headache and feel like I need to go pray to the Porcelain God for a little bit. I haven’t actually thrown up yet, which is quite comforting. As much as the idea of a baby thrills me, I don’t think I’m ready for an actual baby.

Hopefully this will all pass in a couple of days. If not, I’ll keep you posted.