Tuesday, March 31, 2009

freedom of speech

My dad is an amazing man. He epitomizes integrity. He has worked very, very, very hard to be where he is today. Both my parents have said, "the best part of making a lot of money is the ability to give it away and make a difference." They have made a difference in millions of people's lives. They haven't won academy awards or made headlines with their good deeds, but they have sure made a difference on this earth in so many positive ways it's impossible to list all of them.

The leaders of our country are now berating wealthy people in such a horrible way and it is downright disgusting. They live in their government sheltered world, not living under the same rules as the working people of America, and they have NO idea what it takes to run a business and provide jobs. I ran a business. I provided jobs for several young designers right out of college. Every year I would see my company's profits being sent to the IRS...after working from 6am to 2am many, many, many days.... The possibilities for entrepreneurship and small business ownership is why so many people immigrate to this country. But yet, we are being told by the media and leaders of this country that "wealth is bad" and "rich people are greedy" and we should not pursue careers to make money....

People who say this have obviously no clue how important "rich people" are to this country to keep important charities functioning, education at its best and the arts and sciences continually the most innovative in the world. And that is horribly wrong to be so out of touch with reality.

My dad was finally fed up listening to people tell him, basically, how "evil" he is and he "SHOULD have his taxes increased!" because he "won't miss the money anyway". So...he decided to write an ad for the Wall Street Journal to put his money where his mouth is -- and use our great country's constitutional right to "freedom of speech". My entire family reviewed and edited the ad (almost everything big in my family is done together as a family). I designed and laid it out so that it would be easy to read and fit in the dimensions given to us by the Journal (which was difficult considering the small space and how much he wanted to say!). The ad was in today's Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, March 31st, in the lower left corner (quarter page ad) of page A4, front section (you can also go to the blog I set up for him: Technology OnSite Services).

I'm extremely proud of my dad. I wish I could tell everyone every single incredible thing he has done to make the world a better place. But I won't. He wouldn't want me to anyway. That's how most "greedy rich people" are...behind the scenes making the world a better place. The ones in the headlines (Madoff, etc.) only make a bad name for the countless more who are doing good.

Not all people who make the world better are rich, but not all rich people are greedy.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

pamper time

There is nothing better for a wife and mother than a good pampering once in a while. And, if you add a most wonderful friend, your mom and sisters to the pamper time, well, it just doesn't get any better than that. I won't go into the logistics of last weekend, because it is way too boring to explain, but, basically, I went away for five days -- two and a half with a good friend and two and a half with my mom and sisters. Half the time in Kohler, WI at "The American Club" and half the time in midtown Chicago. All the time thoroughly enjoying myself and feeling incredibly lucky and refreshed and renewed. I will say it again, there is simply nothing better for a mom than to get away from the hubby and kidlings every once in a while. If you haven't done it, do it. If you have done it, you know you need to do it again. And again. And again.

Here are some images of my dreamlike five days away (I was way more interested in relaxing than taking pictures, so hence, I don't have very many).
Upon arrival, we immediately put on our robes -- who wouldn't? We wore them the entire two days we were there. That alone was delicious.... The lovely people who hosted us (it was like living in "happy land" -- they were all so nice!) gave me a bottle of champagne -- too bad neither one of us had any interest in drinking it! It made for a good photo-op anyway!

My toes before my "chocolate pedicure"...thankfully they are covered up by the luscious slippers. I felt very sorry for my pedicurist...she had a loooooot of work to do on my feet!! It's been a while since they've been pampered!

My toes after, with the yummy pjs my mom bought all the sisters (I took this photo a few days later since I forgot to while I was in Kohler -- too much stress to think about actually DOING something!!).

Being in Kohler, I just had to take a picture of at least one sink and faucet! And another of me in my robe of course....

Our last day. Sadly, we had to leave.

My mom took plenty of pictures from the time in Chicago with the sisters -- I was way too relaxed/lazy to take any of my own -- but I haven't received any yet and I was sick of waiting...so I went ahead and posted this without a record of the rest of the dream of a weekend.

If anyone reading this is jealous of such luxury, no need to be. You've got plenty of time to make it happen at some point in your life. This was the first time I have ever had such a luxurious weekend, but I can tell you right now, it will not be the last.....

I finally received the pictures from my mom and she was so very excited that I might be posting them, so I couldn't disappoint her!!

We had dinner at a fancy schmancy restaurant in Chicago, Spiagga, to celebrate my sister's 50th birthday (which is the whole reason we got together in the first place).

The birthday girl.....

Then we went to another fancy schmancy place, Signature Room, for after-dinner drinks overlooking Chicago on a crystal clear night...it was spectacular!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Happy St. Patty's Day!!
Today was one of my all time favorite St. Patty's Days...although none will surpass the one when I went on my first date with Mr. Incredible...that was definitely one of the better days in my entire life.... But I digress....

What made today so great is my wee boy and his stories about leprechauns.... Y'see, he found a leprechaun footprint outside -- just one, but it was definitely a leprechaun footprint. He then told me the size of a leprechaun mouth ("why" you ask? I have no idea....). Leprechauns have two favorite colors: green and yellow. If you are quiet, you can hear leprechauns because they make very, very quiet "mouth noises" (I just might have to video tape Soren making the mouth noise...it is hilarious). The house of a leprechaun looks like lots of little castles. Leprechauns love to "hide around things".

So anyway....I made soda bread today (of course!) and Soren asked that I save some for the leprechaun because they LOVE soda bread. I said of course I would save some! Well...at dinner time he was very worried we were going to eat so much of the bread there wouldn't be enough left for the leprechaun. I was thinking he thought the wee fellas had big appetites...until he took some and put it on the stool in our kitchen. Here is what he saved for the lil guy (with Soren and Anna Clara pointing to it to give an idea of the size):

The BEST part was that Soren left the morsels on the stool and every time Soren came to check on them, there was less and less of the bread. Neither I nor Anna Clara had taken any and Soren knew this....so it MUST have been the leprechaun! They are sneaky lil guys! Not one of us ever saw anyone take any of the bread away -- so we have proof that a leprechaun lives in our house. And you can only imagine how excited Soren is about that!!

(Remember...we have a dog....a very sneaky and smart dog.... BUT, not one of us ever saw her take any swipes at the bread, so there very well could be a lil green guy dwelling in our home.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

love burst

I'm working at my computer during nap time and hear the pitter patter of feet coming down the stairs, peaking into my office, and then continuing on to the kitchen. The pitter patter continues back into my office and my lil boy says to me, "Mommy, you need to go look on the counter, the brown counter, and you will find something that I wrote." He then proceeds back upstairs to his room without hesitation.

I go into the kitchen and see what he wrote:

See now, that is a "love burst". Every single mother (and father) has felt it in a moment like this. It is overwhelming and it makes you feel the word "love" in every single particle of your body.

I go upstairs to tell my boy how very much I love him and how very much I love his note. He says, "Did you see how the eyes were all colored in with lots of coloring? That's because I'm wearing glasses because the sun is so bright."

This is the kinda stuff that happens to a mother that makes all the hard stuff seem like small stuff...and "one of those days" turns into but a speck in the universe compared to how big love is.

ps: I just showed my boy this post and he immediately said, "You can't see the smile." He points to the picture of him and says, "See...you can't see my smile."
That's my boy. He's got his priorities straight. There is nothing more important than seeing a smile.

Monday, March 9, 2009

one of those days....

Today was "one of those days"...although, thankfully, I don't have days like this very often. This was a pretty bad version of "one of those days". I am usually not one to talk about my bad days -- unless they are really bad. When I started this blog, I was planning on writing literally only about "breathtaking moments" that I don't want to forget. Well...funny how life rarely, if ever, turns out the way you think it will. Today is a day I think I want to forget.

But...sometimes, not always, but sometimes, life's bad days are so bad, that they become funny.

Today was one of those days...although I'm still not completely convinced it will be funny....

Here is my day chronologically:
8:45am: leave to drive Soren to his pre-school, 10 minutes away
> On the way to school, my car did a donut, hard, into a snow drift and I was stuck. Very stuck.
> I did not have my phone with me. I always have my phone with me...but not today!
> A snow plow happened to be driving by...actually, on a day like today, there were probably more snow plows than cars on the road.
> Thankfully, he happened to have a chain to pull me out. He thought he didn't, but looked and looked, and found one. This was the very best moment of my day, and, believe me, I was very grateful for the luck at the time....but even moreso as the day went on....
> Oh dear, another small donut. This time, I got out myself.
> Oh dear, I couldn't make it up the hill leading up to the pre-school. I was stuck. Again. Another snow plow came by and helped me out -- this time by plowing around me. Thankfully, it worked and I got out, and up the hill.

9:30am: drop Soren off at school a half hour late and 45 minutes after leaving my house, about 4 miles away.
I decide to proceed with my morning plans to renew my car registration at the Town Hall after getting a $100(!!!!) fine yesterday for not having it renewed -- and it expired ONE WEEK AGO!!!!! That seems just a wee bit harsh to me...that's a LOT of money for being one week late, and not getting anything in the mail warning that it needed to be renewed. Nothing. I honestly can't believe it happened -- I mean seriously, what's wrong with a warning, a heads up, 30 days to renew, whatever.... I wasn't speeding, going through a stop light... nothin'. I just happened to pass a keen-eyed cop who noticed I hadn't renewed my registration. He should be a fighter pilot with those eyes.

And, get this, after handing me the fine, he said, "the good news is that I'm not having you towed." WHAT???? TOWED????? For being ONE WEEK LATE????? With no warning? Nothing?? What the heck is that about???? I was in shock. Jim was livid -- but he wasn't in the car. I told him when I got home. He was not a happy man since he is anal retentive about staying on top of things like that. He is reeeally good at paying for everything on time cuz we both hate paying fines, and he was as shocked as I was that we got no warning, no heads up in the mail, nothing.

Anyway...so back to my trip to the Town Hall...well, I tried to get there. But I didn't make it. Yet another hard-core donut into a snow drift. Another very nice New Hampshire trucker-guy helped push me out. This time, I couldn't find anywhere to turn around to get back in the direction I was going, cuz, of course, there was so much snow everywhere, so I kept on going in the direction of home.

Upon arriving home, I went to the bathroom. Oh boy. Note to self: look in car mirror if you have been outside pushing your car out of the snow before you let anyone see you.... Now I know why one of the snow plow drivers said in his phone, "there's a bunch of people stuck on a hill here and one of them is a real mess." I thought he meant the woman behind me cuz she seemed to be having a tough time getting around me and wasn't letting anyone help her and wasn't letting anyone get around her -- there were about 5 cars waiting for her to get out of the way. After looking in the mirror, I'm pretty sure he meant me.

11:45am: leave to pick Soren up from pre-school. The roads are better, so after picking Soren up I decide to proceed with my original plans to renew my registration. I was determined. I also didn't want another $100 fine. Who knows how many other cops have fighter pilot eyes....

12:15pm: arrive at Town Hall. Open door to Town Hall and see it being locked up as I am entering. The woman leaving says, "we close every day from noon to 1pm, don't you know that?" Ah yes..... government workers. Somehow they are all born from the same seed. How does that happen?

12:15 to 1pm: kill time at the library across the street and take kids to get something to eat. I'm not known for my determination for nothing. It's my middle name...or at least it should be.

1:15pm: arrive back at Town Hall and, long story short, discover that I don't have the correct papers, so I need to go to the DMV in Epping, NH -- a half hour away.

1:45pm: arrive at DMV and, long story short, discover that JIM has to come, not me, to retrieve the correct papers. Even though I'm married to the guy -- and have a friggin' license with the same last name, I can't get the dang registration.
> So I call Jim and fill him in on all the lovely details. (I remembered my phone. Yippee!)
> Jim, aka Mr. Incredible, says he will leave work right away and take care of it.

2:30pm: arrive home and realize that it is too late to put the kids down for their nap and I still have two loads of laundry to do. Yippee.

4:30pm: Jim arrives home and immediately leaves in my car because, as he said, after checking the tires, he decided we need new ones because they are practically bald, so we might as well do it right away because, with registration comes inspection, and they will no way pass inspection. (Do you have any idea how much tires cost?? Four brand new tires. That'sa whole lotta dough.)
> He also mentioned that he couldn't renew the registration because he had to pay in cash. Who the heck has $250 in cash in their wallet?? And, not to mention the, once again, comments from the Town Hall idiots like, "That's how much it cost you last year, how could you not know that?!" Do they seriously think all we think about is our car registration???? And, of course, they closed at 4pm and Jim arrived just before closing, so he couldn't run to an ATM and back because, again, government workers are all from the same seed. You know very well what happened. But....they opened again at 7pm, so he could come back. That's convenient, right?

Anyway....back to getting new tires....oh yes, it may be 6pm, but there is so much more to this horrid day....

6pm: Jim arrives home from getting new tires and proceeds to get the snow blower out to clear the driveway.

6:15pm: Jim walks inside very angry.
See, last Thursday a freak accident occurred in our garage and a full bag of bird seed fell on top of a 5 gallon container of gasoline. That container spilled all over our garage. I had cleared everything out of the garage that had been soaked in gasoline because it smelled so freaking yucky. I put it all out in the driveway to get the smell away from inside our home and also to wash out the gas and then dry everything out. One of those things was a thick, part metal, part hard-brush door mat to get all the mud off our shoes before we walked inside our home.

That mat had been lying in the driveway. Hidden under the snow. It was now entangled in our brand spankin' new snow blower. A really, really nice snow blower that Jim was so very proud of since he found it on Craig's List for a pretty good deal. Lotsa horsepower 'n stuff.

6:30pm: we finally eat dinner after the pork I was cooking took 60 minutes, not 20, like the recipe said it would. Remember, my kids skipped their nap. Remember, my 2-year old can whine like nobody's business...ESPECIALLY when she is tired. And hungry. Actually, I'm not sure "whining" is the right word for what she was doing. "Screaming" would be a better word. For oh, 45 minutes straight perhaps? Yes. Yes she was. Remember, it was that kind of day.

Jim leaves for the Town Hall to pay the dang $250.

8pm: both kids are in bed. While that was nice, that was the least of our worries.... Jim had yet to tackle the mat stuck in the snow blower...the brand new snow blower....

This picture doesn't do it justice but I didn't want to be taking pictures of Jim lifting it up and showing the gory details because, well, he wasn't really in the mood for pictures.

9:30pm: Jim comes in swearing like a sailor cuz the snow blower can't be fixed...by him anyway. He has to take it in somewhere, who knows where for who knows how much, to get it fixed. Our brand new snow blower. Lots more money to spend. Does someone think we have lots of money to spend? If so, where the heck is this money????? We could sure use it right about now.

Meanwhile....but wait, oh yes, there is more.... Jim had arrived at work this very morning to find that his computer had a virus. So he couldn't get any work done. It had just been fixed when I called about the registration issue.

When Jim tried to check his email at home, as he was especially anxious about a particular email that he has been waiting for about yet another horrible thing that happened -- and there is no way I will get into the details of that (seriously, I am truly not making ANY of this up, or even exaggerating anything). And, guess what... his home computer had a virus. Ok, what are the chances of BOTH his home and work computer getting a virus the very same day when they don't share ANY files or anything?? Taking away access to his computer is pretty much like chopping off his right arm and watching it bleed. Or, for a less gory description, bulldozing his garden right when everything is ripe for the picking. His computer or his garden..... it's a toss-up which is more important to his sanity.

It is now 11pm and I'm pretty sure he is going insane trying to fix it. Poor guy. I know we all have bad days, but this one...well...I don't have days THIS bad very often, that's for sure. I am very very grateful for that.

ps: he never got his computer to work. He called the tech guys and -- after being on hold for an hour -- while they were telling him what to do, he was cut off. That was the last and final sign that it was truly time for bed. Today was a day that it would have been a really good idea to have never left our bed. I wish we had known that when we woke up.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Wee sprouts coming out of the earth. Melting snow. A daffodil. A tulip. A bright sunny day with a touch of warmth. Daylight savings "spring forward". Easter. These are all the first signs of spring.

In the Kappelman home, this is the first sign of spring:

The Mad Farmer/Scientist at work with his seedlings.....

Yes, those are tweezers and some teeny tiny seeds.

You have no idea how very, very happy this man is right now.

This is only the beginning my friend....only the beginning.

For the next 6 months, I will be a "farmer's widow". Ba bye Mr. Incredible. See you next fall.