You all right, Mate? Doing Great, thanks!

Keeping busy….keeping busy.

A little over a week ago, the boys and I tagged along with Hubby to England. It was the boys’ first trip back since we moved home in 2008.  I was really surprised how little T&M remembered. During the short ride from Manchester Airport to our town, T&M would say over and over “I never saw this!”  I turned around and said “BUT YOU HAVE!! Instead, please say, ‘I don’t remember’.”

It was a short trip–about 5 days. During those days, Hubby was working, so the boys and I were “on our own.” We stayed with a lovely family who we didn’t know very well. But that has now changed. During our short stay, our host family has become one of our closest friends.  T’s best friend’s mom (or should I say “mum”?) was kind enough to host a party with our closest friends. EVERYBODY showed up–all my friends, their husbands, and all the children. I think there were about 40 people total.  It was an amazing, amazing party.  I bought 8 bottles of champagne to celebrate our friendships.

On Monday, T&M attended class in their former school. I was overcome by the warm welcome we received.  Although at the start T&M didn’t remember some of their classmates, they had a fabulous time.  We have a few more addresses, and will be sending more letters!

When we arrived in the UK, I sent a FB message “Hellooooooo UK Friends!!”  One responded “Welcome Home!”  It really amazed me how much like “home” it felt, and how seamless our transition back was.  It was hard to believe it had been 3 years. When seeing all those wonderful people again, it felt like it was 3 weeks.

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I am now the proud mum (yes, the Britishness hasn’t left) of a pair of 5th graders and a 1st grader.  The boys are done with school, and I am so proud of how well they did this past year!

The other morning, I watched from my bed as Little Guy was brushing his teeth, and had already dressed himself. All without me asking or reminding him. 

“Little Guy—come here and give your mommy a hug!” 

“Why, mommy?”

“Because I’m so proud of you for getting dressed and brushing your teeth all by yourself today!”

“MOMMMMMMM……I’m a FIRST GRADER now. Of course you don’t have to tell me.  But those 5th graders, you still have to tell them!”

I love that Little Guy!

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I’m baby-sitting 4 goldfish this week.  I haven’t done the best job remembering to feed them. Their feeding schedule is slightly off–both in time and quantity. One day I fed them WAY TOO MUCH. The next feeding, barely anything. I’m also not sure how much time I should be spending with them.  Do they prefer human companionship? Should I sing to them? Toss a ball into the tank? DO they care?

The not so great things about the UK

Just before you (especially BFF) start to think I’m moving back, I thought I should provide a more “balanced” view of the UK—talk about the not-so-great-things.

  • How the School System is Set Up–First, I want to state I LOVED the primary school my boys attended. I have no gripes about schools themselves, just the way the system is set up.

             Children enter Primary School at age 4–into Reception class. They remain in Primary School through Year 6 (that would be the US equivalent of 5th grade).  At age 11-ish, for Year 7, children move onto the High School until they turn 16. So there is no middle school. I really believe there needs to be an in-between. The kids are just too young to head onto HS like that.

             The next part is still confusing to me, so bear with me. At age 16,when a child finishes HS, they are no longer required to go to school. They can graduate HS and be done with it—enter “the grown-up world.” Seriously. At age 16, who’s ready to be an adult. So although I love how kids get to be kids in the UK, and they are respectful, there is a problem at large with the “unmotivated” youth (they call them YOBS) who hang out on street corners drinking and become nuisances.  If a child wants to continue with their education, they go to “Sixth Form”. My understanding is that this is more like a Junior College thing. They go for 2 yrs (?) and then take “A-levels” which are exams to graduate. The students can concentrate on a specific area of study while in 6th Form.  After 6th Form, they can go onto Uni (i.e University).

  • Dentists—never saw one while in England. Why? They are not known for their dental care. Or maybe I should say the English are known for their lack of dental care—both personal and professional. There aren’t enough dentists, and the culture has been that teeth don’t matter. It’s supposed to be changing, but I didn’t see it. We saw our own dentists on our trips back home.
  • Doctors and the Health Care System—this, in my opinion, is a matter of “you get what you pay for.” England has a national medical system provided by the NHS (National Health Service).  It was nice to see the doctor and go to the hospital and not get a bill. But it would have been nice to have greater faith in the system providing me health care.  Some examples….

             When you move into a town, you must find a GP office and “register.” GP=general practioner. There are no pediatricians or OB/GYN, unless you have a serious problem and you are referred to a pedi or OB/Gyn specialist. The whole family goes to the same practice. And you aren’t assigned one doctor. You see whoever is available. A little hard to build a relationship and have the doctor “get to know you.”  If you become prego, your GP sees you or a mid-wife, and a mid-wife delivers the baby in the hospital.

              Now I’m going to get into why PEDIs are important.

              Shortly after recieving a Meningitis C vaccine (req’d in the UK, and it was OK’d by my US pedi), T’s body turned red. A reaction to the vaccine? A virus of some sort? Went to the GP. “I Don’t know what it is. Watch it for a few days. ” Nice.

           One day after preschool, Little Guy “dislocated his elbow.” Actually, it’s called nurse-maid elbow and is fairly common in little kids. All you need to do is “twist” the elbow back in place.  Sounds a lot worse than it is. T had the same condition when he was a baby. Really, not a big deal. I called the GP office….go to the hospital I was told. The ER doctor tried 3 times to twist the elbow back, no luck. Sent us to X-rays–all negative. Doctor tried again, still no luck. He tells me “Take little guy home, let him sleep on it, and maybe it’ll pop back in place.” Your kidding, right? The little guy can’t move his arm!! But what can we do? For the rest of the night, little guy did not use his arm, and IT DID NOT pop into place.

           Next morning, I made an appt at the GP’s office, hoping a doctor there can help. The doctor takes a MEDICAL BOOK off the shelf, finds the page on “Nursemaid Elbow”, reads what to do and tries to twist the elbow. No Luck. (are you surprised yet?). He sends us back to the hospital for wrist xrays.  Another set of xrays, and 2 other ER doctors later, the darn elbow is twisted back in place. What a horrid 24 hours. (and as a side-note here…..little guy got nursemaid elbow here in the US about 4 mths ago. As it was after hours for the pedi, we went to the emergency room. The Xray tech twisted the elbow back in place. We never saw a doctor)

            Kids don’t get well visits either. If they need a vaccine update, they see a “Sister” which I believe is just a nurse, not an actual Nun, but I never verified that. Eye, ear, and height/weight checks are done with a nurse that comes around to the schools once a year. Parents are welcome to come to the child’s “appointment” and any developemental issues brought to the nurses attention by the teacher is discussed with the parent.

             One more story you’ll get a chuckle, or at least a “HUMPH”, from…..last spring I developed pneumonia. It started out just not feeling well, maybe strep throat, can’t remember. But  on my 2nd trip to the doctor, he diagnosed pneuomonia and sent me for chest x-rays as a “just in case”….but here’s the kicker….the x-ray report won’ t be ready for 3-4 weeks. Some good those x-rays do, then, huh?

So for all these reasons I’ve experienced I’m a bit hesitant to go to a National Health Care system. We have it too good here in the US.

The other “not so great” UK points I want to make are rather minor in the grand scheme of things, but rather annoying……..

  • Beef—The Thomas family loves beef. In England, the beef tastes like lamb. And if you’re not a fan of lamb, the beef is just not going to be good. And unless you buy mince (aka Ground beef), the cuts are very tough. I braised and stewed  and roasted for hours and it all I got was tough beef. Blech. Needless to say we ate a lot of chicken and pork during our 2 yrs in England. HOWEVER…..once every 3 months or so, we’d go to the Manchester Costco (YES WE HAD A COSTCO!!!!!) and splurged on Aberdeen Angus steak. At the time, due to the currency conversion and the strong British Pound, we paid about $50 USD for 3 pieces of steak. But it was soooo tender and tasty. The body needed the iron. MMMM. But still not as good as the US. But a nice substitute.
  • Sweets and Crisps—the predominant “snacks” given to children, unless you opted for fruit and veg. The kids there LIVE on sweets and crisps (aka Candy/chocoate and potato chips). No goldfish, wheat thins, teddy grahams. The cheerios had a sweet sugar coating on them. The granola bars were different. We did find ritz crackers and nutrigrain bars. But you know when you go to an american grocery store, the Potato chips are on one side of the aisle? In England, Crisps line BOTH SIDES of the aisle. It’s realy incredible.
  • Weather—of course. For those of you reading this from the Boston area, do you see the weather today (or yesterday for that matter)…gray, drizzly, about 50 deg….that was our weather for 2 summers…yes SUMMERS. It sucked. The best month each year was April—-sunny and 75ish. On the other hand, the winters were milder than Boston. The temperature rarely went below 32 deg F overnight, and the daytime temp was between 45-55 deg F. If it snowed it was a thin layer that melted within an hour or two. However, those winters had this bone-chilling dampness which wasn’t great. But I didn’t wear any HEAVY sweaters or my ski jacket, which was nice for winter. But there was our first summer, where I don’t think little guy wore any shorts….humph.
  • Reservations—this was a bit difficult to get used to. Unless you are going to a pub or McDonalds, we needed to make reservations at restaurants, like TGIFridays (yes, they are in the UK). We had to make reservations to go bowling. Or to go ice-skating. To swim at the town pool during “family swim time” only the 1st 25 people were allowed to go in. Try exlpaining/apologizing to 3 young boys all excited to go swimming that you were 5 minutes late and couldn’t go!  I think that unless you participate in one of the 3 major UK past-times (soccer, rugby, or shopping) what’s left-over can’t accomodate all the people in the UK, so reservations are required, or careful planning. Whereas here, we have baseball, and hockey, and football, and basketball, and dance schools on every street corner, and karate, and gymnastics….a lot more to do…and a lot more to schedule….which is maybe why we here in America are always running around and exhausted, and less family time. Hmmm…I might be on to something.

Well, thank you for letting me share. And no, I don’t believe we’re moving back (can’t promise or predict anything). But I hope you understand why I wish I can take the Best of America and the Best of England and mesh them together.

The Best the UK has to Offer

I started writing this yesterday, but the Jet Lag overcame me. I didn’t know what day it was or what country I was in. I was making no sense whatsoever. Blogging lost. Why? you ask?

I had a VP Weekend Away in ENGLAND!! Whoo-hoo. Before you think we have an unlimited travel budget….well, umm, close. …

My friend Irene, whom I’ve known for 16 years(!), wants to move to England with her tween daughter. She was using Mem Day weekend to go look at houses. I asked if I could join her, if I could get a seat on her flight(s) using Hubby’s Frequent Flyer Miles. Guess what? I did! So, the actual travel portion didn’t cost too much.  And each year, the VP gets a 2-4 day pass away to “relax, rejuvenate, and refresh.” As you all know, if you’ve been faithful readers, I was DUE!

I stayed the  first night in London with Irene, and then took an early morning train to Wilmslow to see my friends. I stayed with my BEF (Best English Friend), who arranged a hair appt with my Fave Hairstylist and organized a Night Out with all my English friends. The weather was absolutely fantastic for England….Wilmslow especially…all blue skies, no clouds, no showers. I got to experience the BEST England had to offer! 

I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome it was to see my friends. It was really like I had never left! We got into the rhythm of conversation effortlessly. We arrived at the pub at 6:30, left after 11:30. At that point, there were 7 of us left, and 7 empty bottles of wine on the table. It was awesome. I am truly fortunate to have made such wonderful life-long friends!!

I also had the opportunity to reflect on life in England. Yes, I know I’ve blogged about it, but I was removed from it.  When I returned to London Sunday night, Irene and I discussed my findings and agreed with me.

  • Life is simpler. I witnessed 7 yr old girls playing “paper airplanes” and looking for snails outside.  I then got to see a sneak performance for a talent show try-out that was self-choreographed by the same 2 girls. My BEF lives on the same street I had lived on. I got to see the same bunch of kids all playing outside together—young, old, boys, girls. Running around, kicking balls, playing hide & seek. Unlike the neigbhorhood kids here who “hang out.” I realized that when my kids played with these older children over a 2 yr period, not once had they come home whispering that they learned a swear word from one of the older kids. Unlike here, where they have picked up a litany of swear words from classmates.  Because of the nice weather, BEF and I went to the Carrs Park. There were so many FAMILIES there enjoying the weather and each other’s company—playing in the playground, picnicing, taking walks, the dogs enjoying their leash-free time, kids playing in the river. Seriously, when was the last time you knew an American family who packed up lunch for a picnic in the park with the WHOLE family? When I called hubby back home, I begged him to take the boy on a picnic. He came close—he took them fishing. Good man!
  • Kids are more respectful. My BEF has 3 children,  a son aged 14, and two daughters 12 and 7. The 14 and 12 year old have mobile phones but don’t use them to text or talk on the phone all the time. They know that it is for “emergency” puroses. While out at the pub, the 14 yr old called his mom to ask if it was OK to have a Dr. Pepper soda. Can you believe that? Whereas my 8 yr old barks out his “Sprite” or “coke” order to a waitress before she asks what we would like to drink (and my boys aren’t allowed to drink soda). And this isn’t just my BEF’s children. There are several pre-teen or teen children who are respectful. Even the younger kids, I noticed while I was there. Wheras my kids ran around like wild banchees, Brit kids hold their mums hand and walk alongside (peacefully). I can’t figure out what is done differently there.
  • There was less stress.  While we lived in the UK, my boys attended school from 8:30am-3:30pm. They both had soccer on Fridays, Swimming on Thursdays, Rugby on Sundays, and T had Drama on Tuesdays. I was driving Little Guy to/fro preschool 3x a week. Plus I was PTA president, and I was invited to weekly (bi-weekly) coffee mornings. And we had ONE car. But nearly every night when the boys were in bed, hubby and I would have a cup of tea or a glass of wine and we were RELAXED. Since returning to the US, the boys have less committments, I have less invites, and yet….hubby and I are half-passed out on the couch from EXHAUSTION each night. I just don’t get it. Someone told me it’s just like this on the East Coast. Life is simpler in the South. Really? I so wish I could have the relaxed life style I (we) led in England. I was a much better mommy there. Even my kids have told me.

I’m sure there’s another point or two I can make. But I think the darn jet lag is kicking in again. And little guy is calling.

So, just to wrap up….the shopping was great. I bought a whole new summer wardrobe. The men of Thomas Inc seemed to miss me, but totally enjoyed their time with their Dad (and time away from me). I came home to big, huge hugs, a clean house, and I am happy I went away. I’m looking forward to a wonderful summer with my fam.

I love England. And I wish I can bring much of it back to the US. I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit my friends. Hopefully I can go again next year. Or better yet, my friends can come here.

Oohhh, did I mention I was upgraded to Business Class on the plane ride home?? Definitely a great trip!

Wild Animals

Heh, heh….you probably think I’m going to write about my BOYS…but I’m not. I’m actually going to stick to the 4-legged (most) variety.

It seems like I am not the only one who has woken up from a winter slumber. Our home is surrounded by woods. Every now and then we see a small herd of deer. A couple of times I’ve seen a fox trotting through. But, man, the last week has brought all sorts of critters around to pay us a visit.

Next to our home is a ditch. In the spring, when the snow has melted and those “April showers” deluge us, it becomes a duck pond for a couple of days. Mr. and Mrs. Duck came by last week for a swim, a snooze, and some snacks. They lasted about 4 days, or until most of the water evaporated.

There might not be enough water for the ducks, but the frogs are back. And they are a popular draw for the neighborhood kids. One girl actually WENT INTO the ditch to do some frog-huntin’. Ummm….I wouldn’t put my bare feet in there.  (yes, I kindly asked her to get out fearing a lawsuit on my hands).

Three deer came to pay us a visit…and not just “in the woods>” The 3 deer came OUT and nibbled on our lawn for a bout 30 min.  AWWWWWWW.

Next….one of our neighbors told us that before our home was built the neighborhood was FILLED with wild turkeys. I had never seen one. I hear these strange bird sounds in the woods, thinking “Turkey?” but I’d never seen one. We returned home from a run to the store last week, and Tman says “Hey, when did you put a turkey statue in the woods?” Good Question. Looks like Tom Turkey finally decided to pay the Thomas’ a welcome visit.

Today, I spotted a big ol’ fat raccoon bolting into his den……

Who’ll pop by next?

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Speaking of animals, I recently saw Frommer’s (??I think…i’ll have to check??) list of top zoos in the world. I’m putting my plug in for Chester Zoo, in Chester UK….which actually did make the list….and it beat out San Diego, which is heralded as a “Fabulous Zoo”  (It is, but Chester Zoo is much better IMHO!!).

So, if you are in the UK, or plan on visiting the UK, DO TRY to make it up to Chester Zoo. It is so FAB! It’s so good…it’s the only place I ever bought a year family membership to. Whenever someone came to visit, that’s where we took them.

Off to enjoy the sun and warmth….Cheers!

What’s been going on…

Drinking Games

Seems like my 8 yr old twins were trying to get mom and dad drunk last night

Daddy pulled out a bottle of bubbly to celebrate a new position he was promoted to.  Well, the boys were excited about their health class and learning about the digestive system. They decided to play their version of “Jeaopardy” with us. However, their version involved the person that incorrectly answered (or didn’t answer) had to take a sip of champagne.

How funny is that?

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Moving on to little guy……..he offered up a conundrum of sorts today.

On the ride home from preschool, little guy was telling me about his day.  One of his classmates had brought popcorn as a snack, and unfortunately spilled some on the floor. Little guy informed me that he helped clean it up, even eating a few off the floor.

I explained that “honey, we don’t eat food off the floor, especially when it falls down.” (I wasn’t about to get into the 3 second rule with a 4 year old). But he had one better!!!

But mom, it’s ok for the dogs to eat off the floor when something falls. Why not me?

Hmmmm. I got nothin’

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I’ve been a wonderfully devoted Pilates student since January. Yay me.

After today’s class I did a little evaluation, and decided that I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin. But that always hadn’t been the case.

Once upon a time, way back when, I wore a bunch of skirts/dresses, my legs were my best feature. I got *tons* of compliments on my legs. Didn’t hurt that I’m 5’8″. But then I started wearing pants for some reason. Comfy mommy clothes, maybe?

For a long time I didn’t like my hair color very much, because it was a “dirty” blonde (hated that term) not a true blond. But you know what? I’m 37 yrs old and have never colored my hair. I have very few grays (amazing with 3 boys) and those that I have blend nicely with the rest. Ha!

Never liked my straight hair because it is thin and flat and unmanageable. I”ve been perming it since I was 16 for “volume” as well as the fact I could do so much more! Well, the last time I permed it was 2 years ago. I had a FAB hairdresser in England that gave me a great haircut/hairstyle, so I’m actually liking the straight-do.

I”m proud of myself for the weight I lost while living in England. I’ve gained 5 pounds back, and they are a *stubborn* 5 pounds, but overall, I still look pretty damn good for being a mom of 3 boys (must insert–twin prego belly). I only wish I had moisturized my belly or something while prego with the twins. I have some UGLY stretch marks!

I’m also pretty happy with the way I dress (minus the shoe-thing). I guess I always knew what “my style” was but I felt funny around all the uber-fashionistas or the uber-casual moms out there. But I am who I am, and I dress the way I like, so there. I’m lucky that while in England I found a bunch of clothes in “my style.” Hopefully, they’ll last me a while, cuz that’s one hell of a long-distance shopping trip.

My brown eyes. I always wished I was blond and blue-eyed. Nope. I have dark brown eyes. I used to call them “mud brown” but changed it to “chocolate brown”…sounds much better. Little guy inherited them. Wow! It’s great having a “unique” feature.

Oh yeah, the boobs. I loved the size they were when I was pregnant! Loved it! But now I’ve learned with the right bra and the right top, I can get a similar look. Just love me for myself.

I’m glad that I finally woke up and realized that, hey, I’m not all that bad!

Misc. Monday Musings

Cheers, Mates!

Today’s MMM will take on an English flare. Yes, I have England on the brain again. Sorry if this topic bores you, but my 2 years in Jolly ‘ol England have truly became a part of who I am. And I *really* hope my kids remember (a bit) their experience there. And by writing it down, hopefully I will too.

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A few weeks ago, my friend Sarai was getting her kids ready for World Book Day. She asked if we “celebrated” it in the states, as well as some other UK things. Short answer–no—but I think some things would be great to “import” here…

  • World Book Day—a day that English schools celebrate Books and reading. The students are allowed to dress up in storybook characters for school (i.e no school uniforms!) It’s Halloween in Spring. It’s especially cool because in England, Halloween has yucky, scary, gory costumes, unlike here in the US where we look forward to Princesses and Firefighters to ring our bell on Old hallows Eve. So, on World Book Day in England, you get the Princesses and the 3 Little Pigs, and the Pirates. It is so cool!
  • Grocery Store Vouchers–this is a great concept–very much like the “box top” collections they have here. However, I never remember to save the box tops or the Campbell Soup  labels. In England, grocery stores hand out “vouchers” for computers or sports equipment based on the amount of money you spend. Near the end of the promotion, the cashiers just hand over bunches to the customer. Then, the parent gives the vouchers to the student to deposit in a box at school. The school then exchange the vouchers for the computer or sports equipment. I don’t know how many vouchers a school needs to collect, but it’s a great program!
  • Red Nose Day–an annual event–most recently held last friday march 13th. It’s a nation-wide event to raise money for poverty stricken areas in England and Africa. People buy, sell, wear red clown noses. I believe there’s a TV telethon too. If I remember correctly, in the US, we once had a “Comic Relief” fundraiser? What happened to that?

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Last night Little Guy was remembering life in England. Not sure where it came from, considering he’s remembered very little since last July. He remembered a girl who would play with him during the school discos. Her name is Charlotte. He remembered that Charlotte helped him buy juice and crisps. I asked Little Guy if he knew what crisps were….and he yelled out “CHIPPIES.” Not sure if he really remembers Charlotte, but he does remember crisps. I’ll take that.

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The Big Guy is there right now. He rented a car. A Vauxhall Zafira…the same “people carrier” we had while living there. A very nicely thought out “MINI” van. Big Guy joked that the Zafira could fit in the glove box of my Odyssey. Hahaha.

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I was reminded today about the bad parts of England—customer service and wierd rules. I was hoping to do some shopping (LOVE UK CLOTHES). However, the store NEXT would not let me place an order on my UK bank card because it is not “registered” to a UK address. It has UK money it, but that didn’t matter. Nor do they deliver to hotels. Humph. So much for me improving the British economy.

Reminded me of the crabby person (i’m inputing a much nicer word than what I want to use) at the Toys R US in Stockport. I always used my US visa card to pay for stuff, because our UK card didn’t have enough money in it. I had no problems at the Altricham or Warrington stores. But there was this one sales clerk at Stockport who *refused* to take my US Visa card because it didn’t have a “chip & pin.” Long story short, I flipped out at her because on the door it said “Visa, MC, AmEx” accepted. Visa is world-wide. I actually enjoyed seeing her at the register so I could give her a hard time. Me bad.

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Since the Big Guy is gone, I’m in charge of baths/showers. This is when Daddy gets some one-on-one chat time with his sons. So I decided to do the same. I asked M to name one adult and one kid from England he misses the most. He answered “the nice mommy.” Hmmmm. Um, not what I expected. And I don’t know what to say to that.

T overheard and said, “Well mom, we did fun things, went on fun trips.” Yes, we did. But we do that here too. But I can honestly say that I was much more relaxed in England. I think it’s because I had more friends, more socialization, more adult interaction than I do here. And life was simpler and slower.  I need to recapture that.

And with that….I’m off to finish my cuppa.

Misc. Monday Musings

Welcome Back to another edition of Misc. Monday Musings, brought to you by a silly blond Polish girl.  Today I’m going to focus on good vs. bad, positive vs. negative.

1. A while ago I mentioned that I was switching to powdered laundry detergent, because I was finding my love of  Tide liquid waning. Clothes just weren’t coming clean. I switched to Gain powder. It took a while to get used to the strong scent, but I’m giving it a thumbs up. Jury is still out if the clothes are cleaner (maybe a little bit), but if the mfr. suggested # of loads is accurate (and I’m not about to keep a tally) then it is a much better bargain than liquid Tide. So the Gain stays.

2. Being more budget conscious in economy, I also switched dishwasher detergents. I’ve always been a Cascade girl (yes, I like top shelf, brand name items). But in England they don’t have (or had very limited choices) on liquid or even powder dishwasher detergents. Instead, they use these little tablets. And if they did have liquid/powder, the tablets were more economical. Being on a TIGHT budget in the UK, I bought the generic Tesco-store brand. They worked fabulous! But in the US, those darned tablets are more expensive! So for 1 bottle I switched from Cascade to Finish (which actually is a popular British brand). Much cheaper. And it was HORRIBLE. Left a cloudy film on everything. Hubby complained. Thumbs down. So, I’m back to Cascade and everyone is happy (except the wallet).

3. We had a 50 deg. weather day yesterday. Lots of snow meltage. Happy to report that the side street we take to the main street is now a foot wider on both sides….2 extra feet! Driving is getting better! POSITIVE!

4. Went to Costco today. Love Costco. But it’s a money trap! I get totally swept up in all the “new” things they have on every visit. And I”m slowly returning to the “buy in bulk” mom I was before we went to UK. I came home with 3 boxes of misc. STUFF which I’m not sure I needed. It’s a DRAW.

5. In a way I’m having a shitty day. Why you ask? I picked up 2 bags of dog poop. Eww. And then, Little guy pooped in his undies today. 2nd time in 3 days. Double eww.  So, thumbs down.

6. Let’s see if I can end on a positive note…..Went to the gym today. Since the new year, I have been to 3 Pilates classes, 1 day of cardio, done a ton of shoveling. Hopefully it’ll work on those ugly jiggly bits that have found me. It is so hard to be in control here in the US with all the choices and large portions. I’m hoping the thaw continues so I can start walking in the neighborhood rather than a treadmill. But I do want to give a big WHOO-HOO holler to Nancy at the Zimmer Zoo who’s been dieting and has lost over 15 lbs!! I know how hard it can be, and she’s still a few pounds shy of her goal, but I know she can do it.  And I can’t wait to see how she looks!  THUMBS UP!