>Super Sunday

>I have a Super Cold. My plan for Super Sunday includes:

  • Claim the Super Couch as my turf.
  • Curl up with magic blankie.
  • Run the Super Humidifier all day.
  • Drink Super Fluids and eat Super Oranges constantly and often. Is that an oxymoron? Fine. So be it.
  • Rest.
  • Read the newspaper, including Super Bowl predictions.
  • Renew my friendship with the Neti Super-Pot.
  • Correct and record school papers, still on the couch.

  • Review plans for week with Chuck. This week looks to be more “normal” and less emotionally wearing than the last. (Crossing fingers and toes)
  • Convince Chuck to clean Buttercup’s litter box. Even in my stuffed up state, I can sense a bit of malodorous atmosphere eminating from her cage. In order to heal my inflamed sinuses and exhausted body, I need to rest.
  • Watch the Super Bowl! On the menu: Super Burgers (Chuck’s specialty), chicken soup (to fight my cold), and the continual ingestion of mega-amounts of fluids.

And now — drumroll, please — my predictions for the game!
The Colts are the stronger team. They have the technique, the talent, and the depth. Taken only on football stats, Peyton Manning should lead his rookie coach to victory.
But…. the Saints have momentum and emotion on their side. Drew Brees is more than a quarterback; he’s a leader in motivation, not just in passes caught. The Saints’ defense isn’t rated as highly as most Super Bowl teams, but think about the NFC championship game; it was the defense that came through and sealed the need for overtime, which sealed the victory.

My prediction: Between the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Tebow controversy and the eTrade baby, there will be one exciting and dramatic football game.

Meanwhile, I’m going to pour myself a glass of Airborne to fight this Super Virus.

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>Playoffs? Are you kiddin’ me? They matter in our home.

>Playoff standings matter not just because we’re Packers fans, but because Chuck’s workload and work schedule and potential travel schedule all depend on the playoff picture. He and his boss have become regular visitors to NFL.com to see the playoff pictures develop. Now that the postseason is finally here, we’ve bought our chips and pizzas and we’re ready to watch the game. I mean, now that postseason is finally here, the folks in Television Land are working out the possibilities and charging up the camera batteries.

With a win, the big, bold men in Green and Gold will stay in the running to play a second game. This game could be in Minnesota or possibly at home against Dallas. Sorry, Philadelphia fans; I feel your pain. I do.
The location of the next game matters because Chuck’s station would send him to the Metrodome with the satellite truck to cover pre- and post-game shows. If the game happens in Dallas, they’ll get their video from a Dallas station. If it’s played in Lambeau Field, he’ll have to work, but he call stay at home instead of hitting the road.

But then….then what? I’m glad you asked. If Aaron Rodgers calmly leads his team to Miami for the Main Event, my dear husband (bless his heart) will have to drive the station’s satellite truck to Florida to cover not only the Super Bowl and the build-up, but the Pro Bowl as well. He could be away as long as three weeks, perhaps more.

On the positive side, I plan on sending a Flat Stanley with him. My class will love it.

On the negative side, it’ll be lonely around here with just me and Amigo. La Petite will be back at school, very likely hosting her own Super Bowl party, faithful cheesehead that she is.

If the Packers (gulp) don’t win, Chuck may have to change an appointment on Tuesday in order to help record the coach’s show. It would be a minor inconvenience.

But we won’t talk about the L word. Go Pack Go!!

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>We can never be too wealthy or too tolerant.

>Apparently wealth and tolerance are the main traits to be considered happy – well, for your state to make the Happy List.

Wisconsin ranks near the end. Say what?!! I beg to differ. In defense of the Badger State, here are ten reasons to love living in Wisconsin.

10. We rarely miss our chance for a white Christmas.
9. Tiger Woods doesn’t live or drive here.
8. We can ride bikes without worrying about hills.
7. Women in Wisconsin know football as well as men in the other 49 states.
6. We support Brewers – in baseball and in beer!
5. Bratwurst (preferably grilled) is one of the basic food groups.
4. Our state university’s band is as important as the football team.
3. The best cheese is made here; the kind we eat, and the kind we wear on our heads.
2. We can wear Packer gear to work and still be considered professional.
1. The Green Bay Packers, win or lose, are always entertaining. Go! Pack! Go!

All right, my lovely readers. What makes your state a happy place?

Thanks to Kristin at Going Country for the link to the article.

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>Take me out to the ball game!

>One great reason to take my daughter to the ball park: Her pictures are far superior to mine! These are from the Donald Driver Charity Softball Game. We had a good time watching – me, watching over my box of popcorn; La Petite watching through her camera viewfinder. These incredible athletes, these huge – GIANT – men, playing softball instead of football. I even had trouble recognizing some of these gridiron stars without their helmets and jerseys!

AJ Hawk up to bat – look at that hair!

Donald Driver batting: pretty good form, for a football player!

Above: Nick Barnett up to bat for the defense early in the game

Below: Barnett lets his hair down and bats for the defense again.

The game was called after six innings due to rain. These guys can bat, but don’t field quite as well. The final score was an outrageous tie – 38-38, I believe. We were running to our minivan for cover as the game ended; I didn’t pay attention to details!

All photos above by La Petite.

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>Date night – kinda

>I left a voice mail on Husband’s work phone. “Honey, how would you feel about going out to eat tonight? I have a coupon for Chicago pizza.” he called me back later, asked for directions, and met us (me and La Petite) there. He was waiting in the bar when we arrived.
It seems my phone call left at least one person, his co-worker, confused.
“She wants to go out to eat? Are you in the doghouse? Is she mad?”
“No, she sounded happy, in good spirits.”
“Are the kids driving her crazy? Is something wrong with the kids?”
“No, one is at camp, one is home from college and working a lot.”
“So…why going out? All of a sudden like this?”

It seems the coworker caught on to all the potential for innuendo, all the underlying reasons for a husband-wife dinner out, except one: I just didn’t want to cook. I had a lazy, tired, low energy day. Slept late, spent most of the day lazing on the couch with my laptop on and CNN in the background, and finally got out of the house to run errands just before 4:00. That left me with virtually no time to cook anything decent even if I did have the energy or inspiration to play in the kitchen! So I took my $5 coupon for Uno Chicago Grill and decided we were headed out to let someone else cook.
It was perfect. Appetizer, good meal (rosemary chicken: I highly recommend it), and husband had a beer or two that we don’t have in the fridge. He swiped the Trivial Pursuit box off the bar and we entertained ourselves and each other while we waited for the food. La Petite, now a young adult, joined us in dinner and the Pursuit of Trivial Knowledge.
After eating a meal I didn’t have to cook myself we split up. La Petite went in to work for a while, and Husband and I searched the nearby Goodwill store for a deal. Then we went home, satisfied and relaxed, and watched the Brewers game while a brownies baked themselves in the oven (Okay, I stirred the mix first) and Husband snored on the couch. I woke him with my cheering when Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the ninth. Oops!
No one was mad. No one was in trouble.
All was well with the world. We even brought home leftovers.

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>In the Headlines

>Reactions while surfing news channels until Amigo’s favorite shows come on:

Image of Jesus spotted in tub of ice cream
This won’t end up on eBay, will it? How on earth would it ship?

Obama wants everyone to speak Spanish.
This crawl was misleading. Obama recommends that American students learn a second language; I agree. But that could be a whole post of its own!

And then there are the random discussions with Amigo, who isn’t quite the news junkie he was when he was younger.
“Mom, is A-Rod married to Madonna? They’re talking about A-Rod, Madonna, and divorce.”
“No, honey, Madonna might divorce her husband, and she and A-Rod are friends.” Well, I’ll try. But Amigo is 16, and he’ll figure it out. He doesn’t read tabloids, but he likes comedy shows. He’ll hear the whole story — if there is a story here. A-Rod has a local Little League field named after him because he did some of his minor league play here; not exactly a role model right now, is he?

“Mom, who’s Jesse Jackson? What did he say to Obama? Was it racist?”
“Well, it was really crude, so I’d rather not quote him right now.” (We were out for lunch in a downtown restaurant) “It was inappropriate, though, and he has to apologize. No, it wasn’t racist.” Well, race was a factor, and how do I explain this? Amigo claims to hate politics, so there’s a point at which he’ll tune me out. I do want him to know that there are limits to what people can say, even a famous leader.

And don’t forget the stories that remind me of random trivial lines from TV shows…
“Sam & Ella? Who’re they?” (M*A*S*H*)

And the headline you thought I’d link, the story you know I’ll follow until it ends…. No, I don’t believe Favre will play again. But that’s, my friends, a post in itself. Brett, please say it isn’t so!!

So now, with all that in mind, I think I’ll make an extra strong pot of coffee and start reading the Sunday paper.

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>Ten Things I Never Seem to Learn

>(Inspired by the incredible Kelly at Mocha Momma)

10. How to dress fashionably. Not going to happen. Don’t even think about it.
9. Remember to scrub my nose in the morning. Since I’ve developed a snoring problem (quiet up there in the peanut gallery!), I’ve used the funny nose strips that football players wear. They seem to help me breathe better at night, but the adhesive is a mess. I am constantly waking up in the morning, tossing the strip in the wastebasket, blowing my nose, and ending up with a schnozz covered with sticky tissue remnants.
8. Master all the features of my cell phone. I can call out, receive calls, text message, and even take pictures with the camera setting. But there are all kinds of shortcuts, like a text message dictionary, that I’ve discovered and I haven’t used. Yet.

7. Housekeeping. Carol Brady had Alice; I pay a cleaning service to come in once a month and do the basics. Maybe I have learned this one; I learned to pay someone else to do what I can’t.
6. Keep on track with appointments and regular checkups. My hearing aids need service, I’m behind by one dental cleaning, and if I think about it, I’ll realize there’s more. I’ll choose not to think about it, instead.
5. How to eat spaghetti without spilling sauce on myself. I’m getting older, but I’m not Old. Dinner shouldn’t be all over my shirt — yet.
4. Going to bed early means wake up early. If I’m extra tired and go to bed half and hour early, it’s inevitable that I’ll wake up an hour before my alarm.
3. Going back to bed means bad dreams. Always. I’m better off getting up and (if possible) taking a nap later.
2. A little goes a long way. Especially when it’s chocolate, even more when it’s dark chocolate. But if that small piece tastes fabulous, more would be heavenly, right? Uh-huh.
1. Get to know and cheer for a new Green Bay Packer quarterback. Well, give me time, okay? I can do this. Heck, I recovered after Bart Starr left. But I was a lot younger and more resilient back then.

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>Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

>It’s not unusual during Spring in Wisconsin to watched a little baseball and then go to a hockey game. The annual Teddy Bear Toss has become a family tradition. It’s almost, but not quite, a regular hockey game. You can tell it’s not a typical game because…

The passenger on the zamboni is stuffed, and not with popcorn.

The goalie, dedicated soul that he is, remains in his stance while surrounded by teddy bears. Fans throw new teddy bears on the ice after the Green Bay Gamblers (the home team!) score their first goal. They (the bears, not the Gamblers) get donated to a local children’s hospital after the game.

Volunteers gather the bears, bag them up, and get them ready for donation to a local children’s hospital. The Gamblers won, 3-2, and the organization collected over 5,000 bears.

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>Random thoughts on playoff implications

>It’s almost a good, bad, ugly scenario. The Good: The Packers could go to the Super Bowl! The Bad: Husband would have to follow them in a satellite truck! For weeks on end! The Ugly: I’m soooo envious, even as I look at the schedule and call in the reserves (a.k.a. Grandma) to help.
But luck was with us. Not only did the Packers win their Showdown in Snowtown, the NY Giants did their jobs, too, handily beating the Dallas Cowboys. I jumped out of my chair and shouted “YYYEESS!” so loudly that I think I scared the rabbits. I may have scared Husband, too. We were both relieved, though. He didn’t have to pack his bags and hit the road for Dallas, Texas today as feared. Instead, he’ll make sure his long underwear is clean. Game time temperature Sunday is expected to be in the single digits. Brrrr.
So for the last week, with the potential for a sudden “business trip” hanging over our heads, we’ve been tense. We’ve stressed ourselves over preparations for the trip that might or might not happen.
I checked and double checked Amigo’s final exam schedule, arranged one of my rare personal days to cover the day that Grandma couldn’t, and hoped that La Petite’s sleep routine isn’t totally messed up by her short vacation with her roommate and she can help out, too. I cooked a good meal every night, knowing that Husband would be eating too much fast food on the road. I made sure all of the laundry was done. I almost (I stopped myself, don’t worry) counted his underwear and socks to see if he had enough to last the three weeks.
Then I stopped and thought. For this I went through the feminist movement of the seventies? We’ll all benefit from decent meals, and I’ll take the leftovers to school in my lunches. But underwear? Forget it. The man is capable of washing his own if he runs out. In fact, he could cook the meals, too — better than I can — if only the TV station didn’t run him so ragged with overtime hours.
Oh, no, now he’ll be embarrassed that I blogged about his underwear. I’d better get off the Internet and go cook a meatloaf or something.
Meanwhile, I’ll make sure all of my green and gold attire is clean. Shoes, socks, hair ribbons, or sweaters, I’m ready. I will display my team colors every day this week. (…but probably not on my long underwear)

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>Favre can throw a snowball, too!


You might live in Wisconsin if:
it looks like this outside

and it looks like this inside!

Update: Husband, who worked at Lambeau Field yesterday, describes the weather as “…near white-out conditions.” In his sideline job during the game, he had plenty of opportunities to look up and watch the sky. As he watched the huge flakes drift down to the so-called Frozen Tundra, he had a random thought: “If I were out in the woods right now, it would be downright peaceful!” Well, peaceful it wasn’t, but exciting it was. Next on the list: Go Giants! Why? Home field advantage actually matters as much to our family as it does to the team.

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