Raindrops on Roses

The direction of this blog keeps changing every time I sit down to write it.  My first inclination was to do a spoof of Oprah’s Favorite Things and give you Andi’s favorite Things.  However, unlike Oprah I can’t afford to give my audience everything on my list – all 25 of you (including my family, a few friends and the stray German guys who keep leaving spam in my comments).  Also my favorite things list doesn’t really sparkle as much as Oprah’s.  Oprah’s favorite things this year cost over 17 thousand dollars plus the cost of a new VW Beetle (which hasn’t been released yet so price isn’t available) and the cost of a cruise on the worlds largest cruise ship (destination and cabin size to be determined).  So basically Oprah’s favorite things cost more than I make in a year.  Had I been fortunate enough to be in her audience that day however I’m not sure what I would do with an $1100 sweater and matching blanket from Ralph Lauren  – although I would have liked the Ipad with the Scrabble app.

That being said… what is on Andi’s favorite things list?  Well we’ll get to that in a minute.

Every year, about the same time as Oprah’s favorite things, you will always see a news story on the current cost of the 12 Days of Christmas.  You know the song, “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me.”  Every year financial analysts sit and figure the cost of the 12 Days of Christmas and the level of inflation from one year to the next.  It actually disturbs me that in 2010 we are using a partridge in a pear tree to measure inflation.  However the 12 days of Christmas will run you just under $100,000 this year.  The 12 Days of Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas songs and always has been I think because it drove my grandma nuts to sing it over and over.  But also because in 1st or 2nd grade part of our Christmas Music Program was singing the 12 Days of Christmas with kids acting out each part of the song.  Originally I was just part of the chorus but something happened to one of the 8 maids a milking and a few minutes before we started there were only 7 maids and I got picked to be the 8th maid.  Not due to my awesome vocal ability but because my mom had dressed me in some frilly dress and the other maids were dressed in frilly dresses.  (Note to my daughter who hates frilly dresses – sometimes they get you picked out of the crowd)

Sadly however the 8 maids a milking aren’t doing so well this year.  Everything but the pear tree, the geese and the cost of 8 maids a milking increased this year.  According to the Indianapolis Business Journal the wage of 8 maids a milking hasn’t increased in the past year and will set you back a whopping $60 for an hour – for the mathematically challenged that means that a dairy worker earns about $7.50 an hour.  And has earned $7.50 an hour for about the last 3 years even though the cost of milk keeps going up.

So this detour into my favorite things led me to ask the question – Why does everyone wonder about the cost of the 12 Days of Christmas and not Julie Andrews Favorite Things.  So in all fairness to the Sound of Music here is what Julie Andrews Favorite things will set you back:  Raindrops on Roses ($29.99 1-800-FLOWERS for 12 roses, rain is free), Whiskers on Kittens ($95 adoption fee Indianapolis Humane Society) Bright Copper Kettles ($89-$95 http://www.lehmans.com), Warm Woolen Mittens ($40 http://www.smartwool.com), Brown Paper Packages ($18.26 2nd day air UPS from Indiana to Illinois) Cream colored ponies ($800-$3000 for a Palomino pony http://www.bestpony.com), Crisp Apple Strudels ($39.95 shipped http://www.guglhupf.com), Door Bells ($43.95 wireless battery door chime http://www.lowes.com), Sleigh Bells ($19.99 http://www.amazon.com), Schnitzel with Noodles ($4.75 kids menu at der Rheinlander restaurant http://www.rheinlander.com), Wild Geese (free on any retention pond in Indiana), White dress with blue satin sash ($61.99 http://www.pinkprincess.com) Snowflakes (free – a lot lately) Silver White Winters that melt into Spring (free, but if you’d like to see it happen faster $87 one way airfare to Ft Myers http://www.airtran.com).

Well the Sound of Music favorite things will definitely cost you less – around $3000 depending on the price of the pony.  By the way cream-colored ponies are hard to find so I had to go with a Palomino.  Also the wild geese are free, but a hunting license runs $17 and you must have a waterfowl stamp for $6.95 – but I’m pretty sure she’s not singing about hunting them.

What about Andi’s Favorite Things………. hmm….maybe tomorrow!

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Inspirational Chocolate

Hmmm…. the title sounds like a really bad Celine Dion cover band doesn’t it?  This blog was a challenge.  I usually don’t accept challenges however one of the greatest books ever written was written on a challenge.  His editor bet Theodore Giesel (a.k.a. Dr Seuss) $50 that he could not write an entire book using only 50 words.  The result… Green Eggs and Ham. Yes Green Eggs and Ham is one of the greatest books ever written – don’t try to argue that point with me because Dr. Seuss is one of the best authors of all time.

Anyway, the challenge came from a coworker who buys chocolate wrapped in foil with inspirational sayings on the inside.  The challenge was that I couldn’t write a blog using all of the wrappers inspirational messages that we have collected.  I actually completed this task and it goes:

Feel free to be yourself because you are deliciousBe a little naughty with the nice and sleep late tomorrow.  Forget the rules and play by your heart because we all must indulge in the moments that matter the most Life is tough so give yourself a break and laugh everyday – it’s like “inner jogging.”  Don’t settle for a spark – light a fire instead and this will stir your sense of pleasureLive well, laugh often and love much so you may indulge in your every whimSmiling is free so love every moment and discover yourselfWhen you embrace the positive you shine because those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

O dear God that was painful!  For anyone needing to make a graduation speech this year please feel free to copy the above paragraph.  There is a definite correlation between how much chocolate is in the candy and how much sugary sentiment gets added to the wrapper.  So challenge aside… I started looking at these wrappers while at work and came up with some much better advice (insert devil on left shoulder here).  Keep in mind these pieces of advise come from someone who could be your only line of help in an emergency so take them seriously!

Feel free to be yourself – however if being you involves riding in tricked out Mitsubishi with neon lights and glass pack muffler be prepared to get pulled over by a police officer.

You’re delicious – but I do NOT need to hear why someone thinks that!

Be a little naughty with the nice – If I did that on a daily basis I would be fired before noon.

Sleep late tomorrow – Also will get you fired.

Forget the rules and play by your heart – this works for some things however if your heart wants a $300 Coach purse there are rules – like you have to pay for it before leaving the store.

Indulge in the moments that matter the most – this does not mean you may become so involved with your child’s sporting event that you start a fight with the other parents, coach or referee.

Laugh everyday it’s like “inner jogging” – laughing just became exercise…dammit!

Life is tough – give yourself a break – wait isn’t this a Kit Kat commercial?… totally ripping off the other chocolate!

Don’t settle for a spark – light a fire instead – this is bad advice as lighting a fire is considered arson.

You make everything lovely – and if you don’t your neighbors will complain about your 1990 Chevy Caprice with 4 flat tires being parked on the road.

Live well, laugh often and love much – just don’t love too much or you will end up on Jerry or Maury on one of the paternity test shows.

Indulge in your every whim – see the Coach purse incident above.

Discover yourself – in the privacy of your own home and not in a public park or shopping mall parking lot.

Smiling is free – but not if you have a child with braces.

Happiness looks good on you – but the glitter spandex pants should be taken back to the store.

Live your dreams – but only the ones rated PG.  Does anyone know where I can find a flying blue tiger? (note to self stop eating spicy food before bed)

You are exactly where you are supposed to be – Really?!?!?!?!?! I see myself in a more tropical climate.

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves – well there you go – that would be my problem!

Daydreaming is free – it’s also free to have to explain to your boss how come you messed up your job in the middle of your daydream.

When you embrace the positive you shine – wow that must be why 911 centers are generally dull and drab.

Compromise is a sign of strength not weakness – whoever wrote this does not have a teenager.

I will leave you with my own little piece of inspiration…..this is the picture i took out the back door the other morning.