Monday, December 29, 2014

An Interesting Problem to Have

My friend's mother-in-law just sold some property.  She lamented, "Where am I going to put all that money?"  Quinn is experiencing a similar conundrum.

Post Christmas Post

The children are nestled all snug in their beds - because it's only 8 am. 
I'm itching to pack away the Christmas tree - because it's collecting dust.
Mike is recovering from a Christmas cold and I'm sorting through the year's photos.

I hope both of my readers had a joyous Christmas. 
We did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Eve of Christmas Eve

Now that the kids are older, Santa's visit doesn't produce as much enthusiasm.
But we are enjoying the day anyway.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Three Days Before Christmas

When making caramel corn and a little boiling caramel is accidentally drizzled over your hand, DO NOT LICK IT!  The boiling caramel sauce will be immediately transferred to your tongue, which will then be in as much pain as your hand.  The deliciousness does not take away the burning sensation.  Let this be a lesson unto you.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's the Fifth Day Before Christmas

Mike just repaired something in the toilet tank using a paperclip. (Do not use the half-bath!)

Quinn reported that he has a proposal ready in case his wife is a smoker.  He will put the ring in a cigarette box and say, "Marriage-you-wanna?"  It's funny, he says, because it sounds like, "marijuana." (romantic)

I participated in a flash mob at the local mall.  At the exactly 2:10 p.m., we all started singing Joy To The World.  I reminded Quinn and his friend that there would be no actual "flashing" involved. (They were disappointed.)

Friday, November 07, 2014


Mr. Rellim says that if there is such a thing as reincarnation, he would like to come back as a bra. 
A push-up bra.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rock Dent

Quinn came home from his delivery job and said, "I got pretty good tips tonight, but I got a dent from a rock."  I wondered if that was one of the tips he received - like someone threw a rock at his car or something.  We live in a college town, you know.  (One evening a coed flashed him her pierced nipples, but that's a post for another day.).

So I looked at the passenger side door with the aid of a flashlight and didn't really think much of it.  Then I looked at it the next morning.  The dent was sizeable and more of a massive scratch.  Certainly no one threw the rock that caused this damage.  Plus, there was something else wrong, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  So I asked Quinn again about how it happened.

The story went something like this, "I was pulling out of the dark apartment complex and someone started coming right at me, so I made a quick right turn to get out of the way."  We visited the site of the incident the next morning.  The video tells all.  And we found the part of his car that was missing.


Mr. Rellim wore a pink polo today to church.  He said that he wanted women to know " . . . that I am aware of their breasts."  I told him that isn't exactly what Breast Cancer Awareness Month was all about.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hot Pants

As the President of our local area speech-language hearing association, I complained about the cost of speakers for our events.  I strongly suggested that someone from within our group put together the next workshop - free of charge.  All eyes looked at me, so FINE - I volunteered to do it.

The workshop was yesterday, titled The Best Things We Ever Learned.  It was a compilation of favorite tips/techniques/resources, etc from members within our group.  Our national association even approved it for five hours of continuing education credit - sweet!

Nervous?  Who am I kidding?  More like excited!  An entire room full of people  - a captive audience - who had to listen to me all day.  I mean, I tend to ask a lot of questions during these events anyway and make many comments to my neighbors, so why not be the one with the microphone?

I think the event was a success.  We had the biggest attendance in recent years and no one left early.  Plus, there was a lot of laughing.  The biggest bout of laughter came at my expense, however.

I drank some coffee at lunchtime.  I never drink coffee at lunch.  I hardly ever drink coffee at all.  Most of my coffee consumption would be classified as "coffee creamer."

After lunch, the presentation began with some of my favorite items for therapy.  Instead of describing how these techniques/items could be used, I decided to demonstrate.  This was not in the plan.  So I demonstrated how a book with rhyming words could be "rapped."  I encouraged vocal percussion sounds.  I demonstrated how my white monkey puppet named Jingles could be used to motivate kids.  Then Jingles started backtalking me, insisted that he try on some of the items in my sparkly pink shoulder bag - and before I knew it, Jingles was dressed in drag and telling the audience that he was born that way.

But that's not the most embarrassing part.  After encouraging Jingles to take a break from his performance, I returned to the Power Point and clicked on a link for a website with many activities for kids with autism.  My Firefox browser opened, "churned," then finally popped up a website for SEXY HALLOWEEN HOT PANTS."

I was shocked, but it was funny, so I just said, "What?!  I have no idea how that got there!  I swear it's not mine!  I've never seen it before in my life!  I'm not even dressing up for Halloween this year!"

So far, I have received no phone calls from the national office.  And I'm not sure if I've violated anything in our code of ethics. But if you have a need for a speaker to entertain your group, I got a monkey for you.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Why I Work

1.  As I led a Kindergartener to my speech/language therapy room, he said to me, "I like your bedroom."  Yeah, it does feel like I live here at times.  I just smiled and said, "Thank you."

2.  During a whole-class lesson, one Kindergartener pulled a wad of used toilet paper out of his pants and shouted, "Hey!  Who put this in my pants?!"  I briefly turned to gag and laugh at the same time - an unusual combination of emotions - while others in the class started feeling around in their pants.  I suppose they wondered who would do such a thing and hoped it hadn't happened to them.


My niece, Evelyn found a mushroom in her backyard.  You never know what you'll find in the Northwoods.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Tree Play (There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly)

It was birthday time for the Rellim Triplets.  No less than 11 cousins and 12 adults arrived for the festivities which included a bonfire, hay rack ride, mulch-pile climbing (king-of-the-mountain style!), biking, farm animal chasing, eating (of course), and a fun game called "ladders."  To play ladders, a person throws a pair of weighted plastic balls that are joined by a cord, toward a four rung ladder.  Points are awarded based on whether or not the balls catch on a rung and dependent upon which rung is caught.

Before long, one pair of balls is noted 30 feet up, tangled in the branches of a nearby weeping willow tree.  "No problem," said our Mr. Rellim, who then proceeded to toss a basketball  toward the stuck pair.  Unfortunately, the basketball toss only succeeded in knocking the balls to a branch 50 feet up in the air.

Mr. Rellim then started using a javelin-like technique with a large push broom to dislodge the balls.  Three throws later, the push broom was resting amongst the dense branch foliage.

Not to be discouraged, the basketball toss was re-employed to knock out the push broom.  Cousins scattered as small, dry branches started raining down - followed by the push broom.  The push broom handle then exploded upon impact with the ground.  But Rellim men (even the younger ones), know how to use their duct tape.  Voila!  New push broom handle.

Yet still, the balls dangled.  Repeated basketball tosses succeeded only in spraying the play area with more tree debris before ultimately entangling the basketball itself in the uppermost branches of the weeping willow.

But these are FARM BOYS!  Bring on the challenge!  With no more basketballs to toss and knowing better than to risk complete obliteration of the newly-repaired push broom, a new tool was found.  It was spotted near the bonfire.  It was a large rake - minus the rake.  (Well, minus most of the rake.  There was still some rusted metal head-of-the-rake parts screwed on the end.)

Warnings were shouted.  Cousins were cleared from the area.  Javelin-tossing ensued.  Pair of balls were rescued.  Rust-tipped rake handle weapon, however, remains in the tree, awaiting a strong wind.

I don't know why she swallowed the fly.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, it is the only time we've got." 

— Art Buchwald

And it's time for me to go to bed, but if I don't tell you these things, they will slip my mind.

1.  Quinn has been taunting me for months that he is going to go to the pound and rescue a dog.  I don't want a dog.  They make me sneeze.  They make him sneeze, for goodness sake!  He tells me frequently, "Dad and I are going to get a German Shepherd behind your back." Oh!  What a day that would be.

2.  During a short road trip, Quinn learned that large orange barrels trump painted white lines in construction zones.
3.  Quinn was outside buffing his right front fender.  He said, "I'm trying to wipe off the Arby's drive-through."  I was trying to figure out how he spilled ketchup or whatever on the front of his car, and then I thought - Oh!  - the actual drive-through.
4.  On the way to the allergist this morning, Quinn was excitedly talking about the different breeds of dogs he was going to rescue.  He is actually looking forward to beginning immunotherapy.  Then he started spouting off about something else and I just had to correct him.  In response, he shouted, "HEY!  I might be an idiot, but I'm not stupid!"
5.  Look!  Quinn is still allergic to stuff.  Lots of stuff.  And that is just his right upper arm.  Allergists find lots of places to poke.  The doctor is pointing to the cat and dog test spots.


Sunday, July 27, 2014


The sermon was about patience, forbearance.  About how we can try to be more like God and try to maintain emotional calm during times of disquiet. 

I must say that the kids did not honk the horn this morning as they waited (patiently) for Mr. Rellim and I to exit church.  And I did not raise my voice when I found a bra in the backseat of the car.

Apparently, this was Rachel's silent objection to her extended wait.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Thoughts about Dorm Life

My daughter will be moving into a dorm next month.  This will be the first time she has had a roommate.  As I contemplate how I can help soften her transition, I realize that she is just going to have to jump in and experience it and hope for the best.

When I was living in a dorm, most people had small refrigerators, an occasional girl had a TV, and no one had a personal computer.  Oh, how things have changed.  I even found information in her Residential Life handbook limiting the amount of electrical appliances one can have in a room.  Of particular interest is the list of Forbidden Appliances:

Space heaters, fog machines, halogen lamps, air conditioners, sunlamps, open-coil heaters, immersion coils, deep-fat fryers, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, electric skillets, electric woks, pizza ovens, anything with an exposed heating element or burner, large power tools and any other appliance deemed by staff to be hazardous are not permitted.

You have to smile, because you sorta wish you could have been there the night the college ascertained that fog machines and large power tools had to be included on the list.  And it kinda makes me want to look for a fog machine - because HOW COOL IS THAT?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dear Telemarketer

1.  When I answer the phone, I expect that there will be someone on the other end.  Do not wait two or three seconds to start speaking.  And especially don't say, "hello?" back to me.  You called me, remember? 

2.  Speak clearly, caller from Cardholder Services.  My son thought you were from a "Carnival Circus."  (But . . . he isn't the best listener . . . so I guess I'll give you a pass on this one.)

3.  If you ask for Mr. Rellim and a male voice says, "Sorry, I'm dead," just hang up.   You are not speaking to a phantom.  He cannot donate to your cause.  The man is just messing with you and is not going to buy whatever it is you are selling.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

My Geeky Boy

Rachel bought a tablecloth.  She calls it "a tapestry for my dorm room."  I told her that it looks like an evil pegasus.

Quinn commented, "It's a unicorn.  Pegasi have wings, unicorns have horns, and elicorn have wings and horns."


I announced to my children that I brought my small laminator home for the summer.

Rachel corrected me, "You mean illaminator."

I corrected her, "Laminator.  You are thinking of the illuminator that Professor Dumbledore left Ron Weasley in his will." 

We are Harry Potter fans.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rachel's Graduation

We were expecting a solemn ceremony to celebrate Rachel's graduation from high school.  We were wholly unprepared for the basketball-game-like atmosphere of the event.  The graduates piggy-backed each other down the aisle; a cap was bedazzled; Cheetohs were chomped; spectators whooped and hollered, then walked out after their graduate's name was called; a beach ball appeared for the graduates' entertainment; speakers' topics were not inspirational, but filled with impertinent remarks about fellow graduates and teachers.

The good news is that Rachel graduated with honors and did receive her diploma.  The a cappella group's rendition of the National Anthem was spectacular.  And we are very proud of her.

But I'm still going to write a letter to the editor.  I believe that a high school graduation should have some sense of decorum and that a higher standard should be set for both participants and spectators.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Note to Self

You can really learn who is paying attention to your conversation when you respond to a question like this:

"Oh, Mr. Rellim, you remember her.  You slept with her dad in New York City."

Instead of responding like this:

"Oh, Mr. Rellim, you remember her.  You and her father shared a hotel room when you chaperoned the high school chorus trip to New York City."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuition Deposit Received

Rachel is to be a Viking!
Get used to that winter coat, girlie.

The job search?  Well, she has a two-hour gig cleaning a family business on the weekends, intermittent babysitting, and a likely sub sandwich delivery driving in the works.  The food service job at the hospital is full at this time.  The movie place interview was short and sweet.  They like her but won't hire someone who won't be around in the fall  :(  I'd be out pounding the pavement, but my Little Rellim is a laid-back kinda gal.  She totally gets that from her father.  They just know that something will come up..

Monday, April 07, 2014


We told Rachel that we will send in the tuition deposit at her college of choice as soon as she gets a job.
(Oh, please, please get a job!  Get a job soon because the deadline to send in the deposit is May first.)

Many years ago, my great aunt put an ad in the local newspaper for a handyman - without my great uncle's knowledge.  He worked several random jobs before learning about the secret advertisement.

Makes me feel less guilty about filling out two job applications for Rachel tonight.  But I did tell her from whom to expect phone calls.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

She's Back!

Mr. Rellim and I worked in the yard for quite a while today.  Happy Spring! 

And Mrs. Neighbor timed it perfectly to intercept me on the way to the backyard.  I just knew she was going to complain about something in our landscaping.  Instead, the conversational topic surprised me.  As odd a conversation as it was, it was still a new topic.

Mrs. Neighbor:  Oh, hello!  I'd like to put a little thought in your brain.  I have so many things I've been saving for my "girl," but my son is more interested in test tubes at this point.  He has no room for women in his life - at least for now.  And I've been saving and saving things and I just need to clean house.

Me:  (Please, please don't ask me to buy your stuff.  Please, please don't ask me to come into your house.  Please, please don't ask me to set up your son with a friend of mine.)

Mrs. Neighbor:  So, what do you think about a neighborhood garage sale?  Do you think we could put together something like that?

Me:  Well, I'm sure you could have a successful sale, but we don't have much to contribute.  We donate items on a regular basis.

Mrs. Neighbor:  So, do you think it should be in May, June, July or August?  No, not August (fanning self).  That would be much too hot.  How about the first or second weekend in May?

Me:  Well, the high school graduation is the second weekend in May, so that will be a busy weekend.

Mrs. Neighbor:  Why don't you talk to some neighbors and see when would work for them.

Me:  We won't be participating in this garage sale, but I'm sure you could pull it together.

Mrs. Neighbor:  Well then, that's settled.  You go talk to some neighbors and get a date set for this to happen.

Me:  (walking away with a puzzled look on my face, searching frantically for Mr. Rellim who had conveniently disappeared to the other side of the house.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Siri: Reader Discretion Advised

I received this text from Mr. Rellim:
     "You look like a hockey today."

Apparently, Siri hasn't taken to calibrating his speech well.

I wanted to text back something about a puck, but decided that would be of poor taste.

So now it's here for you to giggle (or gasp) about.

Handy Down

That's how my friend's daughter says, "hand-me-down."  I was about to correct her when I noted that her mother says it the same way.  Now I just smile.

And I smile when I get hand-me-downs too.  Perhaps it's because I'm the oldest in the family.  Heck!  I'm the oldest grandkid on both sides of the family, so I didn't grow up receiving hand-me-downs.  I suppose what I'm getting now are hand-me-ups.

The latest hand-me-up:  A 2003 Impala.  So it needs a muffler and some brakes?  Midas does that!

Quinn said he would drive to Wheaton to pick it up, but he doesn't know how he could drive two cars back home.

And he's the smart one in math.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nine and a Half Weeks

Mr. Rellim and I walked into the waiting room for the follow-up with his orthopedic surgeon.  It has been about two months since his shoulder surgery.  On the way in, I noticed a teenage boy who had the tell-tale signs of a fresh ACL repair.  Mike walked to the receptionist to check in while I stopped briefly to chat with the young man and his father and encourage him to keep his chin up.

After speaking with them, I turned around to look for Mike, who (I thought) was already sitting in the back corner messing with his iPhone.  As I slinked into the chair next to him, I leaned on the shared armrest, clearly into the man's space, to check out what he was doing on his phone.  It was at that time that I noticed two bandaged fingers on his left hand.  I gasped and said, "What did you do to your fingers?!"  (I mean, how could Mike have hurt himself and gotten bandaged up all in the short amount of time that I had spent chatting with the other waiting room waiters?)

Then, my brain kicked in and I realized that this phone-surfing gentleman was not Mr. Rellim.  I quickly stood up and said, "Oh!  I'm so sorry!  I thought you were my husband."  I scanned the room for Mike and found him still standing at the receptionist's desk with his back to me, slowly shaking his head.

An older lady giggled.  The man whom I had frightened did not.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Still Waiting

We are still waiting to hear from the college of choice regarding the complete financial aid package.  But I did peek at her mail today and learn that Rachel has been awarded a $2,000.00 per year music scholarship based on her vocal audition.  Hooray! 

I know Rachel really wants to accept the offer and send in the tuition deposit, but I am holding out for the official financial aid letter.  Perhaps tomorrow.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


The sermon was about how Jesus gave up everything for us.  And how he arranged for the care of his mother in his last moments on the cross.  The pastor talked about how we need to be more selfless.

On the way out of church, Mr. Rellim said to someone, "Well, I'd love to stay and visit, but we have an Illini game to watch.  And I realize the irony of my situation."


The sermon was about forgiveness.  After church, I walked over to talk to an older gentleman that I hadn't seen for almost two years.  He looked a bit more feeble and I was sort of worried that he might not remember me.  I greeted him and said, "Hello!  I've been thinking about you and I'm so glad to see you this morning."  Without missing a beat, he asked, "Why?  Am I someone you need to forgive?"

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Better than the Wet Sock

When I was 19 years old, my parents took my three younger sisters and me on my last family vacation.  The six of us drove to Orlando, Florida to experience Disney World.  This was a generous vacation for any child to experience, but unfortunately, I was extremely ungrateful.  I'm sure it was because of my age - and now I finally understand that!  Or maybe it's because six is a crowd in any standard hotel room.

One evening, after a rainstorm, the power went out and the only light source was a Mickey flashlight, whose current new owner was my youngest sister, age twelve.  We needed the light to shower and use the restroom, but she wouldn't let anyone touch it.  Instead, she insisted on standing in the corner of the bathroom, holding the flashlight.

The humidity got worse with the showering, and then the air conditioning unit started leaking.  One of my sisters complained of this and my father pretty much told her to be quiet.  A few minutes later we heard a loud "THWACK!"  I laughed because whatever it was sounded funny.  My dad lunged toward the laughter, because he assumed the person laughing had thrown the wet sock (wet from the puddle of water near the air conditioner) which had hit his face, making the loud "THWACK!"

With the chaos, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but no one was injured.  The power was eventually restored and we lived to tell the tale.  My dad says that vacationing with five women is enough to kill a weaker man.  I'm still uncertain which of my sisters threw that sock, but my dad still believes it was me.

But this post was really to tell you about the night in the hotel room with the Rellims on Friday night . . .

We were all snuggled down for a long winter's nap, when what to my wondering ears should be heard, but the simple question, "Where's Quinn?" asked Rachel.

I knew a few moments ago that he was lying in the bed next to Rachel.  No one had opened a door.  No one was in the bathroom.  And the room was pitch black.  That could only mean one thing - Quinn was on the prowl to scare the crap out of someone.

I assumed my defensive stance  - fetal position, under the covers, eyes closed.

Mr. Rellim was not so forward-thinking and took a small punch in the gut from the invisible man.

I know I shouldn't laugh, but it really was funny.

Another Visit

We are home from another college visit.  This time, Rachel had an interview for acceptance into the Honors Program and a vocal audition.  This is  her school of choice, but we haven't confirmed yet because we are waiting to hear about the financial aid package - and of course, whether she is awarded a music scholarship.

How do people afford college?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


"She just never found her netsch in life, I guess."

The SLP in me just could not stay quiet.  I asked the speaker if she was talking about a bird and if so, the word was "nest."  If not, the word was niche.

BTW, I have a close relationship to the speaker and she understands me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Currently Salivating

Mr. Rellim read much of this book aloud to me yesterday.  He was very much impressed with the creative use of one of his favorite ingredients.  His only criticism:  "They should double the amount of bacon in every recipe!"

Monday, March 03, 2014

It's True

At 8:01 a. m. a coworker said, "Mrs. Rellim, wait!  You have something on your pants."

At 8:03 a. m. I used the bathroom mirror to deduce that the "something" was a tear - a long vertical tear.  Too bad my underwear did not match my pants.  I just kept my sweater pulled down low.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

New Driver

"But, Mom!  I didn't even know the car was getting close - until I hit it!"

So . . . is that an excuse?

I'm considering never driving a newer car ever again.  But perhaps my children are taking care of that for me.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Use This Word in a Sentence


"I'm having a gleeful time eating my bacon and egg sandwich.  Don't tell me to wipe my mouth."

(I didn't even know it was a word.  And I certainly didn't think it would be used in conjunction with a breakfast experience.  But then again, I must remember the genetics into which I married.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Heaven's New Resident

My grandma, Grace Annabelle.  I miss her, but smile when I think about the reunions taking place!

She was a talented vocalist before Star Search could find her.  
Today, she might have been a multi-millionaire.
She was a wife and mother back when that profession was honored as it should be.
She was a modern woman before her time – widowed into single motherhood with five kids at home.
She was a single mother before it became a protected status.
She was a strong woman who worked hard to support her family when women were not appreciated in the workforce.
She raised five children who love Jesus.
She may have inadvertently invented the crock pot by slow-cooking a roast in a big pot on the back burner for a couple days.

She was present and involved with family events and activities.
She baked a mean pumpkin roll.
She spoke her mind.
She loved.

And she found love again when she married Russ in 2004.
He has lovingly cared for her since that time.

She was beautiful her entire life.
And I can only imagine her glorified body as Jesus will see her.
She lived well.
She is loved.