Tag Archives: wine

And Another Thing…

My most recent podcast episode featured a rant about the things that drive me crazy on Facebook. Maybe they annoy you as well. But somehow, I failed to include the biggest thing that was currently grinding my gears at the time and was the inspiration for the episode to begin with. So, this post today is my addendum to that episode. And if you haven’t listened to it (or maybe you’re on of those people who haven’t listened to ANY of them, in which case, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? HMMM…???) please tune in because it’s funny and we’ve shortened each episode to fit into your busy days. So…that means NO excuses, people. Check it out. You will be so happy you did. 🙂


How could I forget to include the MOST annoying post that is BLOWING UP my Facebook feed? It was the reason for my most recent podcast episode and yet, I failed to include it. In that last episode, I went on a bit of a rant (one of my favorite things to do) about the many…MANY things that drive me crazy on Facebook. But I completely omitted one of the things that currently has me screaming at my newsfeed: the live cams. O.M.G. STOP POSTING THESE THINGS PEOPLE. JUST STOP. I don’t care about the giraffe who apparently has been on the brink of delivering the first baby giraffe in a hundred years. Well, I’m assuming it’s been that long because people are going absolutely BESERK over it.

Last week, a Facebook “friend” (I’m definitely redefining that word), was in a frenzy of panic thinking she had missed the momentous occasion. “Oh nooooo, did I miss it?” Her despair over that possibility made me wonder if she spends all day staring at her computer just waiting…waiting…waiting. And I could only imagine that she might have needed to use the bathroom and in those fleeting minutes, MISSED the giraffe birth. Thank God, someone immediately soothed her growing panic by assuring her that, No, no nothing had happened. She hadn’t missed anything. The mom giraffe is still laying in the corner of her giraffe pen. We’re all still waiting. THANK GOD.

In addition to the (supposedly) impending birth, I am seeing random pictures of giraffes now, too, because people are now super enamored with them. Really?? I’m beginning to suspect there might be something more sinister afoot; possibly some giraffe lobby which has begun to fear that the general public was SOMEHOW losing interest in giraffes and SOMETHING had to be done to correct that.

But, I’ve learned that giraffes are not the only phenomenon the Facebook population seems obsessed with. The other live cam barrage I’m experiencing is the Eagle Nest. I’m not sure if it’s a particular nest we’re all watching or just eagles in general. I know eagles are pretty cool but I’m eagled-out not only because of the endless, relentless, unremitting, continuous, and interminable (yes, I consulted a thesaurus for emphasis) live-cam posts on my newsfeed, but I also happen to be the recipient of nonstop photographs of eagles by an insane FB eagle-photographing aficionado. I want SO badly to comment: OMG we GET it…you like eagles.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you until a future podcast episode. You’ve been warned…


You can find the podcast two super easy ways:

Click on the Podcast App  on your Smartphone and type in the Search Bar: where are my glasses

 Or by going to our website:   http://www.wherearemyglassespodcast.com/      

 Oh, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

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Join My Rant And Share The Love…Or Whatever

  I’ve been busy podcasting my little heart out and would LOVE for you to check it out! In a nutshell, each episode features various rants, raves, and laughs with a little true crime and reality television thrown in for fun. Perfect for listening to during your commute to work, running errands or to brighten the dreariness of household chores. Join me as I laugh at the absurdities of life. And PS: DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE!! It’s free and acts as a tool to help us keep track of downloads. 

Episode 6 is up! I’m on a real rant in this episode: Hate your cable provider? Need tips on getting away with murder? And….why did FB ban me? Tune in to find out the answers. It’s super easy!!! Just click on the link below. You’ll be so happy you did. I promise 😊

Where Are My Glasses Podcast:  apple.co/2jrw5lk

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Five’ll Get Ya Ten…Whether Ya’ Want It Or Not


I hate coupons. I hate when I strategically choose a checkout line based on a carefully formed algorithm I’ve devised: number of people in said line, approximate number of item in carts, the gender of said shoppers (sorry, women take longer), and the checkout clerk on duty, only to find myself  behind someone sifting through her (yes, her) neatly sorted organizer. And this display always occurs after I’ve emptied my cart and several people are behind me in line. At this point, I come to the crushing realization that I’ve been deceived and am now trapped. Kill me now. Why? Because what will unfold next is as predictable as a made-for-TV movie. After a relentless search for one or more coupons for each item on the belt, there is ALWAYS an issue with one (or more) leading to an insistence on the part of the customer that, YES, this coupon IS good for .25 off the purchase of four Suave deodorants on top of the posted sale sign on the shelf and the helpless clerk responding that, sorry, it did not ring up at that sale price, all the while thinking “I hate my job.” This leads to the clerk sending out an SOS to anyone within earshot to please go check the deodorant shelf for confirmation. Slow motion the next five minutes (because apparently, I’m the only one who is ever in a hurry), the messenger returns with the sign clearly stating the sale was, in fact, for Secret deodorant. The indignant customer then accuses the store of deceptive marketing because the Suave and Secret deodorants are neighbors on the shelf and bear a remarkable resemblance, and as a result, the sale price should be honored on the grounds of pain and suffering she endured during the whole checking-out ordeal. Time to cue the manager and for me to roll my eyes, heave a huge sigh and play Candy Crush on my phone in a feeble attempt to keep my composure.

Who are the real victims here? That’s right: me and all the other poor schnooks who were tricked into thinking this would be a quick in and out trip to the store. Finally, my moment has arrived. After ringing up my items, the clerk asks the inevitable question: “Do you have any coupons? Would you like to become a member of our Savings Club? You could save 20% off your first purchase and receive offers for huge savings throughout the year.” NO! NO! I do NOT want to save money. I just want to pay a lot more for my stuff and get the hell out of here. That’s when I see the look of gratitude on the clerk’s face and my suffering line-mates. Their eyes say it all. Thank you. Thank you. I nod back in a show of solidarity and a silent encouragement that they, too, will get through this.

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Why I Hate The Elf


Well, it’s that time of year again. I’m not sure why it always seems to sneak up on me. I think this year, after suffering through last year’s horror of the Polar Vortex, I just couldn’t face the fact that winter would return. Again. I know…I know…the alternative isn’t much better. I’m pretty sure, anyway. So, I donned my mask of denial and refused to acknowledge the signs. Temperatures in the teens? Impossible. Snow? Don’t even THINK about it. My Winter-Denial-Mojo was in full swing. Unstoppable. Even the insufferable Christmas commercials on television were easily snuffed out with a click of the remote. Yes, this year would be different. No layering of clothes until I look like a stuffed sausage. No furry boots. No gloves, hats, scarves, long underwear or snow shovels to cramp my delusion. That’s what I thought, anyway…until I met my Waterloo. The ultimate obstacle. That’s right, I’m talking about that evil Elf on a Shelf. There is NO escape from that creepy stalker.

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Happy Mother’s Day…Or Why You Should Be Happy The Kids Are Gone

Mothers-DayHappy Mother’s Day! Someone remarked to me recently what a good mother I am, to which I responded that it’s easy when the kids aren’t around. My children are slowly growing up and moving away from Mom and Dad. Does that sadden me? No. It makes me happy and proud. That’s what’s supposed to happen. My oldest son, Mike, is married to the lovely Laura 🙂 and living in downtown Chicago. Brian is finishing up his second year of grad school at DePaul University and also living downtown. He has started working on his thesis, which will be the final piece of his graduate studies and will take him well into the next school year. As his mom, I would love if he could make his career in Chicago, and that could happen, however, I know that his field may very well lead him to other parts of the country. And that’s okay, too. If that happens, we’ll miss him terribly, but he must follow his path. My two youngest, Peter and Mary Kate, only have a short time left to be together, as students in the Percussion Studio at University of Iowa. Peter is set to graduate next Saturday and then, together, they will embark on the Steel Band Tour the following week. (Since it’s Mother’s Day, I will boast that Mary Kate is the only freshman who will be going on the tour…so that’s pretty cool 🙂  As a girl drummer, she totally rocks!) The University of Tennessee in Knoxville then beckons Peter to begin his graduate studies in the fall, a short six hundred mile drive away…

Today, I will spend my Mother’s Day in Iowa City for Pete’s final recital. As a music major, he was required to perform a formal Senior Recital, which is much more than simply a performance. It involves choosing the music, researching the composers and the background of the pieces, creating arrangements of pieces and, of course, a perfect execution of the music for an audience. Pete chose to perform a recital his sophomore, junior and senior years. His formal Senior Recital was nothing short of awesome. The recital which I am attending today, is what he has termed, his “fun” recital. I’m not sure how many kids would voluntarily perform an extra recital, just for fun. I’m guessing not many. And I can’t wait to hear and see him play. My husband and I made the three-hour drive to Iowa City two nights ago to see the last Steel Band Concert of the school year, and, more importantly, the last concert Mary Kate and Peter will perform together. Today, we will see Peter’s  last performance of his undergraduate career. And we can’t wait. Next Thursday, I’ll make that drive again to move MK out of her dorm and into her brother’s apartment as they prepare for their tour. I will then return on  Friday for the graduation on Saturday. After sending four children to the University of Iowa, the drive is second nature. Like running to the grocery store. “I’m going to Iowa. Be back in six hours…Need anything while I’m out?”

So, yes, I’m celebrating the fact that my kids are leaving me. You should be too. And, if your kids are still young-uns, remember that this is the goal.

So, on this Mother’s Day, I will leave you with my unsolicited advice on parenting (in no particular order):

1. Don’t be afraid of the word NO. It may very well be the most important one in your vocabulary. Just ask my kids…

2. Instill a solid faith in God. It’s what will get them through the tough times.They may stray, but will hopefully return if they have something to return to.

3. Let them know that there WILL be tough times. I will repeat the wise words of a priest at church: “Parents, teach your kids that life is not fair.”

4. Laugh. Laugh loud and often. Tease and allow yourself to be teased.

5. Expose them to everything – sports, music, chess, books, theater, etc and see what excites them. And then encourage them to follow their dreams. 

And most importantly…

6. Do not discourage or quash their spirit. “Every child is an artist until they are told they are not”  John Lennon

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Hey Music, What Have You Done For Me Lately?



Why would anyone study music? I know these words have been uttered countless times by miserable high schoolers, forced to take a Music Appreciation class or participate in Band. I would venture to say that most kids who make up the various bands in school do so because:

1.  Mom and Dad are making them do it.

2. They have an interest in playing an instrument but have no plans to pursue music, because…HELLO… they plan to actually make money.

3. It’s a social outlet. These kids, by the way, are the thorns in the sides of band directors everywhere and the few kids (like my own) who take it seriously, because they NEVER practice. And…

4. They love music and want to live a life in music.

To those who fall into category #4, the following is not only understood, it is fully embraced. But it is to the rest of the school band population, as well as the population at large, who often question the sanity of someone who would choose to study music, that the following is addressed. Hopefully,  they will come to appreciate the complexity of music and, perhaps, understand the wonderfully rewarding answer my musician son gives when asked the question he’s heard over and over again: What are you going to do with that degree? Answer? “I’m going to be happy for the rest of my life.”




It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.


It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.


Most of the terms are in Italian, German, or French; and the notation is certainly not English but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.


It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek, and facial muscles, in addition to extraordinary control of the abdominal, back, stomach, and chest muscles which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.


It allows a human being to take all these dry, technically boring to some (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling, emotion – call it what you will.


Not because we expect you to major in music.

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life (though you certainly can!)

Not so you can relax.

Not so you can have fun.

But so you will be human; so you will recognize beauty; so you will be sensitive; so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world; so you will have something to cling to; so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good – in short, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living, unless you know how to live?




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We’re Reading WHAT For BookClub? Just Kill Me Now…


So, this is how it all started…I was happily enjoying a conversation over breakfast with my BWB partner when we were approached by neighbor who told us that she was forming a book club and asked if we would be interested in joining. It was going to be quite exclusive (as I later learned that our subdivision already had an official book club which we were not invited to join, so ours was going to be sort of underground, which appealed to my dangerous side). Naturally, we were reluctant to commit on the spot, but Linda promised that this book club would be unlike any other we’d heard about. “Would we be required to host meetings  in our homes?”, we asked. “Well, yes, but…”  “OOOOHHHH, that may not work for us because, well, we don’t want to do that,” we quickly interrupted.  “Here’s the thing, though,” she said, trying to win us over (well, in all honesty, I think it was my BWB buddy who was really in demand. I just happened to be there, and so was included by default).”You see, these will be our rules:”

1) Do not clean your house for us. If your house has been freshly scrubbed, painted or re-carpeted, you will be exiled from the club.

2) If you’re dressed in anything better than comfy sweats, you’re overdressed and will be duly scorned.

3) Snacks will absolutely not consist of ridiculously extravagant catered items. Simple chips and dip are perfect.

4) There will be alcohol (which probably should have been Rule #1, but we all understood it as the first rule of book club, so it really didn’t even need to be listed as a rule)

And, finally, 5)  You don’t have to read the book”

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NUMB’S The Word…Well, Except In Reviews, That Is…

NUMB book coverReaders, Followers and Admiring Fans of Box Wine Budget: Good news! I am currently in the process of penning my second novel. I know you’ve been awaiting this announcement for some time now. Possibly with bated breath…I’m not sure about that. Our first novel, NUMB (Casey Quinn, Petrina Collins, Amazon, 2013), was…well…our first attempt at such a literary undertaking. It tells the story of a desperate woman  trying to balance a professional life, motherhood, marriage and the slow, but sure, loss of her mother into the abyss of dementia. Her coping skills are unconventional, to say the least, as she finds herself reverting to a quite illegal method of stress management. When an old friend confronts her about his suspicions, he learns a deadly lesson in minding his own business. Friend or not, she cannot risk her secret exposed.

NUMB does not harbor any pretensions of being an “important” book nor a classic literary work. It is simply an easy read with some interesting characters (we hope) and begs the question: would or could someone like Dr. Cynthia Howell ever really resort to such extreme measures? Truth??? Maybe not. But, we are all familiar with stories of the perfect neighbor next door whose dark side successfully remains hidden until one day police and news crews dominate the street. It could happen… And, in the course of an investigation into the murder of a prominent surgeon, our  readers meet the Chicago detectives who eventually connect the dots, leading them to their unlikely suspect.

This book marks a departure from Box Wine Budget’s first literary publication, Living The Dream On A Box Wine Budget (Casey Quinn & Petrina Collins, Amazon, 2011), which was a collection of short humorous essays about family life. Though NUMB deals with a darker subject, it is sprinkled with humor, mainly because while we, at Box Wine Budget, love a good murder, a chuckle is always welcome, too.

So, “Book Number Two” begins where book one left off, an ending which will not be divulged. And, in writing this blog today, I would ask your indulgence to give NUMB a read. Quite honestly, as a first effort, we are rather proud of it, while recognizing improvements to be made in our current work. If you think you might be interested in checking it out, I would ask if you would also be so kind as to leave a review on Amazon. A promotion of the book is in the works, and having reviews on the Amazon site is very helpful.  We already have a handful and would love to see more. The following is a direct link to NUMB: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ELICULY

Thanks for allowing this brazen plug and we look forward to hearing from you.

PS: NUMB is available for download on Kindle & Kindle apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC, Mac, Blackberry & Android-based devices. You DON’T need a Kindle to read a Kindle book!!! Just download the FREE (yes – FREE!) Kindle app and you’re ready to start reading!!    Just click here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

THERE! Box Wine Budget just did all the work for you. Why?? Cuz we really like you…

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Family Vacations…Or How To Destroy Childhood Innocence In One Easy Lesson

This post was actually written by a friend of mine. She shares the hair-raising tale of Robert the Doll. Read on, if you dare…

kids-terrifiedMiriam-Webster defines the word “vacation” as a time of respite.  Jim and I have different definitions.  Well, actually, Jim is right on board with Webster’s definition.  He’s just not so sure we’ve ever accomplished that, probably due to my definition of the word.  I love to be scared.  I love scary movies, ghost stories and haunted houses.

Therefore, when we choose a vacation destination, aside from considering the more conventional tourist attractions – you know, sunny skies, white sand beaches, museums, water parks, historical landmarks, etc. – I always look up local lore and make sure that at least one attraction is guaranteed to result in sleepless nights.   So, naturally, when I planned a family trip to Key West, FL, it seemed, on its surface, to be a perfect spring break get-away.  What I didn’t tell anyone, though, is that Key West is considered to be the most haunted place in the United States.  I really scored big on that one, although it proved to be the last time my family would indulge my disturbing past-time. Continue reading

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The Slippery Slope…Or How I Became A Halloween Scrooge…

HAUNTED HOUSE PICHalloween has always been on of my favorite days of the year. Better than Christmas? I think so. The planning was all-consuming: costume, clandestine meeting place and time, Trick-0r-Treating routes, and, of course, locating an ample-sized pillow case for the anticipated spoils of the night. Paper bags would do in a pinch, if Mom tackled you on your way out the door with a pillow case in hand. In my neighborhood, once you reached a certain grade in school, starting somewhere around 6th grade, store-bought costumes were out of the question. We refused to be humiliated in those plastic molded masks with the small eye-holes, two microscopic punctures for respiration and maybe a slit at the mouth, all held together with that flimsy, ultra-thin elastic band that ALWAYS broke away from the staple holding it securely in place. ALWAYS.  The older kids were so much cooler because they wore the classic stand-by costumes of the Bum – old clothes, a pillow for a belly, and a “beard” crafted from Mom’s make-up bag and, for the girls, a Gypsy – old dress, lots of jewelery with hoop earrings and heavy make-up. Yeah, that’s what the cool kids wore. Continue reading

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