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Entries from July 2009

Saturday 9: Rain


Link up with Sam today if you're playing along!

1. What do you typically like to do on a rainy day?

Knit. Mess around on my computer. Watch TV. Read a book.

2. Tell us about the last time you did something you later regretted, that you can share with us.

Very few things fit those criteria - hee! Let's see... well, staying up all night almost every night this week instead of taking my sleeping pills was pretty stupid. I do regret that!

3. I recently got an email from a lover from a very long time ago. I was asked "Have all your dreams come true?" If it were you and it was from someone you remember fondly, how would you answer the question?

I would say no, because I have a lot of as-yet-unfulfilled dreams, but I'm mostly happy with the way things are now.

4. If you had a job interview and were asked, "If you were an animal, what kind would you be (other than human?)" How would you answer that question?

I would be a mako shark, because then I'd be an apex predator (ie, at the top of my game), and I'd be one of the fastest fish in the sea (ie, well adapted for taking action and getting results). (Blah, I don't know!)

5. Do you think it is a good idea to share with a new lover stories of your past lovers?

Hell-to-the-no. Who wants to hear that?

6. When do you think it is permissible or even important to lie?

When the truth will hurt the other person unnecessarily and only serve to ease your guilty conscience.

7. What was the last thing you did that you never thought you would?

Um. I ate bacon. Real bacon. Never thought I would. I've since switched to turkey bacon, but it's a piss-poor subtitute if you ask me.

8. What is one important lesson that you learned from your mother?

How to be a loving mother.

9. What is one important lesson that you learned from your father?

I'm trying to think of something that's a good thing. I know! I learned how to weed dandelions. Not that I do it, but I sure know how.


Friday Fragments


Thanks to Mrs4444 for starting Friday Fragments & letting us unload all our random thoughts from the week. Click over for more fragmenting fun - and join us.

☼ Things I'm sick of this week (some are obvious, but too bad:

  • Sitting in 100º+ heat and not having air conditioning. We're sitting around naked, and some of us don't look good that way. 
  • Not having my van since February. Not good for the mental health to have my freedom taken away for so long, you know?
  • Having the living room stuff in the office, the office stuff in our bedroom, and a soaking wet rug in the living room. It's been three weeks since the new floor was put in the office, and that's plenty of time to have had the other room packed up and completed. Argh!
  • "Staycation." We get it already, the country's broke and no one's going anywhere. But this is one new term that can go the way of the dodo, as far as I'm concerned.
  • "I'm just sayin'." It was cute when I read it here or there on occasion, but now it's cropping up on every other blog I read. Overused much?

☼ Now that I've moved everything for CARE Package over to the new domain, it's time to revamp the site. Not only that, but I have made one decision: After I do my knitting for Steph's baby Luke, I am going to design at least ONE thing for CARE Package volunteers by the end of this year. I don't know what, but it will probably be small and crocheted. It might not be good, but at least I'll have made the attempt!

☼ I asked Rob to buy milk for the kids for two days, and he kept forgetting. He apologized to Chloë - the only kid there at the time - when he had to leave for work with, again, no milk in the house. When he left, she told me, "That's okay, it's more important to love Daddy than milk." I thought that was sweet. ♥

That's it this week. As soon as 1100 rolls around, we are walking to the pool. Gotta get out of this oppressive heat!


Aloha Friday


Thanks to Kailani for starting this fun Friday link-up - be sure and visit her for more Aloha Friday fun!

My question for you is a little different today. I just purchased a new domain name for our charity, CARE Package, Inc., and will be revamping it over the next few months.  So in an effort to get people to visit, my question for you is,

Would you please visit CARE Package and sign the guestbook today?

Thanks so much!


Poor Camel

The last straw today was when Sophia and Jack poured out some of the laundry detergent that I just bought (which is probably irrelevant) onto their bathroom floor.

Chloë told on them. I called  them down. I yelled. I spanked. I never spank. I don't believe in it. We won't go into that here. Don't chastise me, I know, I know.

But that wasn't enough. After Chloë put it back on the washer for me, and I sent the three of them to keep cleaning their rooms... she ran right back down to tell me that they'd just done it again, in Sophia's room.

I snapped. I mean, what the hell?! (Obviously, spanking doesn't work, so I won't be doing that again.

I was very upset. I sent them upstairs before I could inflict further bodily harm (after all, these are my children, and I do love them and don't want them to suffer what we did growing up), and turned around on my heel.

I packed. My purse, my phone, my knitting. When Rob came home shortly thereafter, I sprung from my chair.

"I'm leaving. I can't take it anymore. I don't have my car! I need my freedom! We're going nuts here! Look at this house! LOOK at this living room, the kitchen, upstairs, LOOK! I don't know where I'm going or when I'll be back."   I was very tearful.

(Our house is in pieces right now because the floor renovation is not yet complete.)

I got out to the car, decided to go to the bank to deposit some paychecks, and realized I'd forgotten my purse. I really didn't want to go back into that hellhole house, so I tootled the horn a couple times. Rob came out, brought my my purse. He looked very concerned.

"Are you leaving me?"

No. Of course not. I just needed a break. A breeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkk.

And so I left. I did my banking, fighting back the tears all the way there. My dead phone was now charged enough to call Stephanie and see if she wanted company. She did. I headed over. It's not a short drive, she lives way out there. And there was a downpour. The interstate turned into a parking lot, so I texted Rob to tell him where I was going, and he texted back that the hellions kids were cleaning, and he was packing the living room. At last. Maybe I should leave every night.

So Steph and Tim hosted me for the next give-or-take four hours. Steph worked on putting her pictures in frames that she painted and decorated, while I knitted. Tim did computer stuff but made dinner. I didn't eat, because they were having beefy tacos, but I sat there with them and worked on the sweater while we chatted.

It was fun. It was light and easy. And thank the good Lord above, it was QUIET. Even with two big dogs (ours barks a lot when people are over. Theirs don't. Although my white t-shirt didn't stand a chance against Rosie)!

I so needed that tonight. I made a lot of knitting progress without having to stop every ten seconds to attend to needs or messes:


It's coming along decently. Blocking will make it look great. I hope.

So that was the craziness. Y'all didn't tell me whether I should or shouldn't go back to Jeff, my old therapist. I need input. Steph says yes.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping it doesn't rain yet again, so we can get out of this house and go swimming and to the park. And that Rob makes it a priority to come home early and take his fucking truck to get inspected. And that it passes.

Hope with me.


Years Of Tears

This post is going to be about something that very few people will relate to, unless you were a little girl whose mother died too young.  It's mostly a post for me, to get the feelings out, since they've been holding me down and rendering me useless. I'm sans therapist right now, so... here we are.

Speaking of therapists, I've been considering going back to my old therapist, Jeff. If you were there, oh... 3-3½ years go, you might remember that things didn't end on a good note with him. In short, I hadn't seen him in a while because I'd been doing well, until one of my then-close friends said, "When are you going to get over the dead baby thing?" at which point, I needed him badly. He never called me back, and I was desperate. It was a bad time. Another thing that might be hard for the non-bereaved to understand.

So I thought about extending the olive branch to Jeff, because he was really great for me, but I'm torn. On the one hand, I seriously do not want to give the whole of my life story to yet another therapist who may or may not end up working out, but on other hand, there was that whole drama. I just don't know what to do.


I'm turning 33 in just over a month. Every time I think about that number, I fall to pieces. I've been anticipating this birthday for 25 years, since I was seven. Now it's here, and I'm absolutely crumbling.

One April Friday in 1984, my mother came home from work, exhausted. She went to bed. She stayed in bed all day Saturday and Sunday, she did not really wake up. By Monday morning, she was dead.

There are so many "why"s that can never really be answered, and of course, this was a pivotal event in my life. We were Christian Scientists (which I always explain is not the cultish Scientology at all), which my dad still is, so we didn't go to doctors. But if your beloved spouse fell into a coma, even for one day, and you had two young children,  mightn't you think about getting her to a hospital this one time?  And why did my dad not let me get her a glass of water when she begged me for one, since she was so thirsty? I remember him saying something about her having enough to drink. Why??

And please, if you ever have to explain death to a child, do not tell them that their mommy/daddy/anyone "went for a walk with God." I spent a year sitting on the porch, waiting for my mother to come back from her walk.

And please, if that person is autopsied and the cause of death comes back to be untreated diabetes -or whatever -  talk about it with that child. Tell them. Do not let them spend years wondering what the hell happened to her. It's much easier and kinder to the child to tell them the truth about these matters.

I spent my childhood - and I still, in my heart of hearts, harbor the fantasy - thinking that my Mom had just left us to live another life somewhere. That she'd grown tired of us but would come back one day. I used to think the school bus would stop in front of my house, and there she would be, in the middle of the road with her arms outstretched, waiting to embrace me and be my mommy again.

I digress.

Mom was 33 when she died suddenly. Ever since, I have been convinced that the same thing is going to happen to me. I'll turn 33, and two months later, I'll be dead. It doesn't matter that it's not rational. It doesn't matter at all. It's what bereaved children often believe, and I know because I researched extensively into the subject for my child psych class in college. (I think I was supposed to do an 8-page paper and turned in a 40-pager...) I gave the paper to my sister as a gift that Christmas, and she cried and thanked me for validating the same thoughts, fears and feelings she'd always had but never discussed with me. It was amazing.

On Halloween of this year, I will have lived longer than my mother did.

It's crazy, absolutely crazy. At seven, and 17, and 27, 33 seems old enough. And definitely far away. At 30, things start to become more real, more immediate.

And now the time is here, and I realize that 33 is not old at all. Oh, God, no. I still feel like a kid. At least a college student! It's impossibly unfair; I still have my whole life stretched before me, to grow up my children and see their children and maybe theirs. To accomplish all the things still left on my bucket list. How can I be 33? How can the end of my life be near? I just learned to drive five minutes ago! I just graduated!

Imagine what it must have been like to be lying in bed, possibly aware that you were about to die, and you had 7- and 8-year-old daughters in the next rooms. Unaware that the most important and loving human being in their lives was about to be taken away, forever. She was a good - no, a great - mom, and that must have torn her to shreds if she was cognizant of it. I'm praying now that she wasn't.

Thirty-Three. Much too young.


Sleep Don't Come Easy

Yep, it's 1:25 AM and I'm wide awake. What the heck else is new?

So the most exciting thing today didn't happen at all.

Huh? What's that you say? Come again?

Rob fixed his truck - did I mention that yesterday? He was going to take it today for inspection, which of course he must have in order to drive it but especially in order to drive it on base. I waited all day for him to come home and take it in. The anticipation of getting Vanna back was absolutely killing me.

He came home.

Changed out of his uniform.

Got in the truck.

Drove it away.

And... it died. Before he even left the neighborhood.

Somebody please, shoot me now!!!!

I don't have anything else fun to report. We did laundry. I went grocery shopping, sorta. We needed, oh, laundry detergent. So I went to the store, with a coupon for that and nothing else, and no list. Came home later with $100 worth of nothing special. It was absurd. I don't know why I did that.

So I've decided, after poo-pooing the whole of the blogosphere being at the big BlogHer '09 conference this past weekend, that I want to go to BlogHer '10 in NYC next August!

I mean, meeting everyone and exchanging cards and going to parties sounds fun and all that - but, I doubt anyone would really care to meet me - but what I really want to go for is the swag! Hello, swag!!!  I hear it's pretty awesome.  And NYC? I'm always up for a reason to go.*


*Unless you call me, shouting in my ear, about a casting call for my daughter that's three days away...

R-O-C-K In The USA

First, a few odds and ends:


Did I ever show & tell Luke's baby hat? I finished it a few days ago and have cast on for the sweater. I was going to do the mitts next, but I needed to order the correct size DPNs from DROPS first. They've gotten here, but I'm already embroiled in sweater Fair Isle work, and I'm not really one to have several different projects going at once.  Anyway, here's the wee hat. It's so soft and cute. I hope it looks darling on him.


Remember this painting? You can look back from when it finally arrived to now that we - at last - have it up on the wall, and see that the yellow fish has moved. Rob seems to think that hanging it up knocked that heart in the bottom right out of place, too, but it looks to me like it had already fallen when it got here. So we're sending it back to be fixed. For Pete's sake. They are very apologetic over there in Britto-World and are going to pay for all shipping and repairs, at least. I just hope it doesn't take another eternity to get it back.


I am kind of in the doldrums lately for one reason or another, and I haven't been very productive at all. But I did manage to make up some yummy pizza dip. Tabitha and her daughter have brought it to Bunco a few times, and I love it. This is the third time I've made it - it's the Pampered Chef recipe and it's online if you want to look it up - and finally it turned out just right. Rob and I devoured the whole thing in two days with some whole-wheat crackers. Yumma!


Photo-0028 Photo-0027(2)
So, last night's concert.

Of course, you're not allowed to bring cameras into these things, so this is what I got with my celly. (And then we saw at least half a dozen people there with humongous cameras and lenses - how did they get in?!) So up there, one of those is the John Mellencamp set (with the lighter background), one is Willie Nelson, and one is Bob Dylan.

At least Rob brought binoculars so he could enjoy himself and see a little better:

And that he did.

First, The Wiyos opened for the three headliners. I loved their sound! Very cool harmonies and fun melodies. In fact, they turned out to be my favorite act of the night. I would have bought their CD, but it's not in the budget right now. So, I shall stalk them on Project Playlist and maybe add a few singles from iTunes. Check 'em out!

Willie Nelson played next. He's getting on in years, and it's showing, so he played a pretty short set. His pipes are still magnificent, though, projecting that clear signature sound. He talked to the crowd a lot and seemed really pleased with all the fans' adoration. Rob had seen him 2 or 3 times before, so I guess that's why he got up then to get drinks and the t-shirt I insisted he must get himself. (Never mind that he got himself an $8 beer instead of the $4 Coke I was expecting. Whatev.)  Anyway, Willie threw out a number of bandanas into the crowd below and kicked the occasional wayward beach ball back out to them, too. He was fun.

John Mellencamp came out next, and his was the longest and most energetic set by far. (What ever happened to the Cougar?) He played some songs we knew and some we didn't, but they were all good. He didn't play this post's title song or "Jack and Diane," though, so I was a little disappointed, but he was still great. He's a huge dork, though! We realized he's a bit stuck in the 80s when he kept pumping his fist to the music and jumping wildly in the air to get the band to stop. It was cool that he was so into the music, though, and the fans loved it.

Bob Dylan closed the show. Rob was peeing himself over getting to see him, so I was really excited to just sit back and watch him. He's a huge Dylan fan. (My man does not listen to young people's music, nosiree.) I really don't know Bob Dylan stuff, except for a few obvious hits like "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Lay Lady Lay," but really, he was absolutely unintelligible last night. I quipped on Facebook that I wouldn't want to be Robert Zimmermann's court stenographer at his trial, but apparently no one understood that was about Dylan. He's not known for his vocal clarity, but when we were driving home after the show, our local radio station (Bob FM) was playing a "concert rewind," and they played songs from all three acts' sets last night. Every time a Dylan song came on, I said to Rob, "He sang this one?" and Rob was like, "I guess, I didn't think so..." and wasn't sure! I thought it was absolutely hysterical. Not to crack on Dylan, but, well, I guess I am cracking on Dylan. It's just not my thing.

And throughout the show, I knitted. Until my yarn got tangled up in a huge ball from being dumping in my purse. I didn't get a whole lot done, but I got through all the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, which I find tedious. Especially on circular needles. I'd zip through this thing much faster on my straights, but I don't have the right size and I've already bought 6 sets of needles for this project! So circs it is. Lots of people looked askance at my knitting during a concert, but hey. It's not exactly like I was jumping up and down on my feet the whole time, and I would have been stressed about the wasted time. I put my circs down to clap when appropriate, and I cheered and hollered a few times, too, so I was still "present."


When we got to Linda's at almost midnight (and we'd dropped the kids off at 1600!), Sophia was passed the eff out, Jack was fighting sleep in Tony's arms, and Chloë was quietly watching a movie. Tony likes to bed down early, so he was relieved when we finally got there. Linda doesn't have texting so I couldn't tell her we were still at the concert, but she didn't call so I wasn't too worried about it. Rob carried the sleeping babe into the car, and I hustled the others out while chatting with the ever-loquacious Linda.

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The older kids managed to get upstairs into their bed, but Rob lay down with Sophie on the couch and fell asleep next to/ on top of her. It was pretty sweet. I absolutely love looking at my sleeping children. When I showed these pictures to Sophia today, she thought it was hilarious that she had her hand down her shorts! Hey, I sometimes sleep like that too to keep my arm from flopping around.

I stayed up all night last night, and I didn't fall asleep until 0900. I slept 'til about 1500 while Rob and the kids worked on his truck and played outside. And guess what? Hallelujah, his truck is running again!!!  He still needs to get in inspected, so I'm biting my  nails over that one. And he can't get a base sticker (or, well, drive it) until it passes inspection, so he still has Vanna. But that's a huge step in the right direction, and I'm ecstatic!

I don't have any other news from today, 'cause I fell asleep again around 1730 and slept for nearly four hours. Heh. Guess tomorrow will be catch-up-on-laundry-and-housework day, since the pool's closed on Mondays.

And with that, I bid you adieu.


Sunday Stealing #2

Okay, still can't find those photos, so here goes another stolen meme. This time from the "official" Sunday Stealing blog by Judd:

Sunday Stealing: The Heretic Meme

1. Who was the last person of the opposite sex you lay in a bed with? Rob. My husband. Who else?

2. Where was the last place you went out to eat? Central 111 Tapas, an awesome restaurant here in the beach

3. What was the last alcoholic beverage you consumed? A few sips of a strawberry martini at Central 111; I really shouldn't have any alkie, because I process it much differently now.

4. Which do you prefer - eyes or lips? Oh, gosh. I love both. Lips, I think. I love full, soft lips.

5. Medicine, fine arts, or law? For me, law. I might go into it. Maybe. We'll see.

6. Best kind of pizza? Plain cheese or pineapple. I love me some piña on a peez.

7. What is in store for your future? That's a darn good question, Meme. I wish I knew. I hope it involves more cashflow, though.

8. Who was the last band you saw live? Well, it just so happens that tonight we saw Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson play - but my favorite was the opening act, The WIYOS!

9. Do you take care of your friends while they are sick? I've never really had that opportunity, but I definitely would!

10. How many songs are on your iPod? I don't know, do I have to count? I guess a few hundred. Way less than it holds.

11. Where is the last place you drove to? The Norfolk Tides' Harbor Park, for the concert. Well, and back to Linda's to collect our brood afterward.

12. Where did your last kiss take place? At the concert, during Willie Nelson singing "You Were Always On My Mind"!

13. What were you doing at 11:59 PM on Monday night? Probably sitting right here on my bum.

14. Are you a quitter? Only when something is worth more to me unfinished than finished. Like, I'll quit working on a project that isn't turning out right and needs to be scrapped, but I follow through when it's important to finish and it means something to me. Ya dig?

15. Who was the last person you had in your house? Stephanie and her two charges, but only briefly. They came over to go swimming with us, but I wasn't feeling well by the time they got here.

15. What do you think about people who party a lot? Honestly, I don't have much respect for it, but to each his own.

16. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable? Nope. Many of you know this. Hee.

17. What was the last CD you purchased? No clue. I rarely buy them. Maybe Norah Jones' first album.

18. What are two bands or singers that you will always love? Eric Clapton and Jewel

19. Which of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of? Well, all of them, at one time or another.

20. How is your last ex doing? Don't know, don't care. Good riddance.

And another, because I don't feel like sleeping yet, and what else is there to do at Pi AM?

Sunday Stealing: The Double Stealing Meme

1. If you could turn back the hands of time to correct one wrongdoing, what event would you choose and why?

The details are for me to know and you not to find out, but ... well, I'm going to keep it completely private. I hurt someone I love very deeply, and I wish I had never caused that person so much pain.

2. Are you one for tradition? If so, what traditions do you strongly believe in? If not, what makes tradition hypocritical?

Wow. Well, I never used to be until I got married and had babies, but now they are important to me. I like to use traditions to give my kids a memory that will be added to as they grow and last their whole lives. We have a lot of things we do at Christmastime, for instance, and I want them to think back on Christmas and remember there were some things we always had to do as a family (making cookies, decorating the tree, reading "'Twas the night before Christmas," etc).

3. You were taking part in an event and you had to crossplay, who would you crossplay as and why?

I don't even understand this question. What? Is that like cross-dress?

4. If you only had one day left to live, how would you spend your last day? Would you be tempted to live fatally if you knew you were to die the next day, and if so, what extreme measures would you take?

If I were going to be truthful here, I'd probably spend the day crying and telling everyone I know what I wanted them to know about how I felt about them. Maybe not everyone. Maybe just the good ones. ;) And maybe I'd finally go jump out of that airplane with Rob - but only after he'd safely landed on the ground, for the kids' sakes!

5. What are your top five sinful materialistic items, ones you'd expect from others including those closest to you? Why are each in the position they are in?

Sinful materialistic items? I don't really understand this one, either. So my top five material possessions are: my computer, because I am completely lost without it and live from internet connection to internet connection; my scrapbooks, because I worked so hard and long on them and because they tell our story like nothing else; my cell phone, I think for obvious reasons; my yarn and needles and hooks, because (a) I love the soft, smooshy goodness, (b) I'm proud of being able to create beautiful things and it's good for my low self-esteem, and (c) sitting, knitting along greatly reduces my always-high stress level; and my camera, because there are so many wonderful moments in our lives that I'd forget about without it. (I should really learn to be better at photography.)

6. I am... not even remotely tired, and it sucks big hairy balls.

7. I feel... like eating a big gooey doughnut, but I'll never do that again in my life.

8. I see... that Tiger Lily (dog) wants to come back inside from going potty, but darned if I don't feel like getting up right now.

9. I need... to eat more protein. I used to be great at getting my 90g in a day. Now I'm lucky to get half that.

10. I love... my husband and kids with all my heart. Truly, I do.

11. I wish... Sophie would go back to sleep. Seriously, it's 3:30 AM. She's too much like her mama.

12. I think... that drug humor is stupid, likewise saying someone needs to smoke a joint just because they're stressed out all the time. JMO, though.

13. I hear... The WIYOS singing on Project Playlist

14. I crave... knowledge, for knowledge's sake. I really don't care if it's helpful to humans; I want to know everything there is to know anyway.

15. I fear... bugs landing on me when I haven't invited them to do so.

16. I hope... that when I go back into the working world, I find the right "fit" for me... and make a shitload of money doing it, too. We have places to go, things to do!


Sunday Stealing

I'm doing this meme in lieu of a "real" post because I can't find the pictures I just saved to my computer. They've vanished - wth?

I got this Sunday Stealing Meme from Rebecca at Becca's Backyard:

Sunday Stealing: The "Leave It to Meme" Meme

1. Who was your FIRST date? Ken M. My sister was ALL OVER me afterward for details. And there were details! hehe

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? I guess my first real "love" would be Ben P., and yes, we still talk occasionally. On Facebook. I'm hoping to see him when we go up to NY - next month? - and meet his little cutie boy!

3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Goldschlager. Urp, I could puke now just thinking about it, but I drank a loooot of that stuff.

4. What was your FIRST job? Aside from babysitting and working at my dad's office, it was at the Big M (grocery mart) on State Fair Blvd in B'ville, NY. I loved it!

5. What was your FIRST car? '89 Ford Escort wagon. The seller told my dad it had belonged to a little old lady, but when you looked at it just right, the sunlight showed a removed Coca-Cola logo on the side!

6. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Probably from Syracuse to Newark to visit my grandparents. I'm not sure, though, I've been on lots of plane rides since I was wee.

7. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? Victoria Dixon and no, I haven't talked to her since I moved away from Monroe at 6 years old. That would be cool, though!

8. Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time? The first I remember was my dad's marriage to my evil ex-stepmother, in which we four girls were bridesmaids. It was in our backyard.

9. Tell us about your FIRST roommate. In college, her name was Jenn and she and I got on like old chums until she had a breakdown. She moved out of our room and shortly thereafter quit school altogether. Gee, I hope I didn't cause it...

10. If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)? Tough one. I think maybe I would wish for inner peace.

11. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? Aside from the answers to questions I still have about Robby, I would want to learn many, many things. I want to learn all things financial, I want to learn every language there is, I want to learn to do sit-ups without farting on the person holding down my feet! Hahaha

12. Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with? No way. But definitely the last, I hope!

13. What were the first lessons you ever took and why? I took organ lessons. My mom was an excellent keyboardist, and we kept her organ after she died. I decided to take lessons so I could be just like Mom.  I'm musical and can carry a tune, but I really struggle to read sheet music, so I didn't go very far with it.

14. What is the first thing you do when you get home? Hang up my keys on my key hook.  It's a sacred ritual to me. I can't even shut the door first!


Saturday 9: Fast Car


Be sure and link up with Sam if you're playing along today!

1. What’s the furthest trip you’ve taken by automobile?

That would either be from Syracuse to Miami or Virginia Beach to central Missouri, not sure. Both long-ass rides.

2. What’s the worst pick up line you've ever received?

Hmm. I don't know that I've actually ever gotten a bad line. Nothing memorable if I have.

3. What’s the best pick up line you’ve gotten?

See above.

4. What was the last gift that you received?

Uh... *thinking* oh! That would be my knitting book from the Yarn Harlot, that MIL sent to me. Oops I don't think I ever finished the last quarter. Maybe I'll settle in with that tonight.

5. What was the last gift that you gave someone?

I think it would be the little colorwork dress in Malabrigo, along with the pink and multi-colored blanket, that I made and gave to Tabitha's baby, Lily.

6. Tell us about the last time you cried.

I'm going to save that for another blog, maybe tomorrow or later this week.  The feelings are still there and I don't feel like crying right now...

7. Tell us about the last time you laughed uncontrollably.

These are hard questions this week!  I can't remember, but it probably wasn't too long ago. Rob makes me laugh until my insides hurt on a regular basis, and so do the kids sometimes. We laugh a lot. ♥

8. Do you suffer road rage? What are your thoughts on it?

I have a healthy amount of road 'annoyance' - I wouldn't call it rage. I'd never go up to someone in their car and pull them out and throw them in the street like I've heard done! But I do have my share of annoyances while driving. People who take half a decade to make a right turn top my list. Just GO already!
Oh, and 98% of the time, at least around here, when someone is driving like a total douchebag, you pull up to pass them ... and they are on their phone. When I "have" to talk and drive, I pay attention to the road way more than the convo and will throw my phone down if the need arises.

9. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?

"Just put your pickle on the plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me." - Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing


Caution: Swearing Ahead

If you don't like it when I drop multiple f-bombs in a post. Turn away now.

So I'm not doing great today, for various reasons I won't go into here. But I didn't need this:

I got a call this afternoon from MMG saying Chloë had a casting call for H&M in Brooklyn. On Monday.

Um, I can't make that, so I emailed them back and said we had other plans.

They email back, can you make it Tues or Weds?

I say, sorry, no, we can't afford it right now, on such short notice. (And by that I meant short notice for taking flights, because I know that is standard notice for castings.) Which is true. We can NOT afford it. Plus, she's not even really into it right now, and I am not going to force her.

Well, the fucking bitch from MMG calls me and proceeds to YELL in my EAR, saying, "Um, we have people flying out from California, and you can't make it from Virginia? That's ridiculous. I don't like looking like an idiot when I submit her and they request her, and I have to tell them she can't come. Blah blah blah. If you can't afford it, I'm going to stop submitting her [Fine! Go ahead, duh!] right now until you can. That is standard notice for a casting call. Normally you receive one-day notice for castings, and we expect you to make it," and she kept reiterating the same spiel.

To which I said, "Uh, I really do not need to be yelled at right now. I just don't need it. I don't," and I hung up.

So they might drop her because I hung up on her. Oh well! Don't come fucking yelling in my ear. The money is NOT there. Are they going to pay our way up, AGAIN, just to be told she didn't get it, AGAIN? I thought not.


There, I feel better now.


Restaurant Review: Central 111 Tapas

I've written about Central 111 Tapas before, but it's time for another review.

We went there again last night, while the kids were at Vacation Bible School. They're definitely friendly to kids, but it's not really a place for children, so if you can go without them do!  We had yet another certificate for Central 111, so we figured a child-free night was a great time to use it.

(Head on over to now, to get $25 restaurant certificates for only $2 with the code "NAPKIN" before this deal expires in a few days!)

So anyway, if you've never had tapas before, they are "small plates" and are a Spanish thing. You get multiple plates and share them, and Central 111 has a wide variety of delicious offerings, to please even the pickiest palates.  You can certainly go with a budget in mind, if you're using a certificate, and stick within that budget. We've done it three or four times now, and they're always gracious about accepting the certificates.

But that's not all!

When we went last night, we didn't know that Thursday was ladies' night. They are going all out for the ladies!  In addition to the yummy tapas you can get with your awesome certificates, they are offering women:

  • $2 specialty martinis! (I got the strawberry one, and whoo, was it strong. I had about 2-3 sips before giving the rest to Rob, who got plastered between that and his beer) That price is good from 5-8 PM; they go up to $4 from 8 PM to close.
  • Free cheese and cracker plate
  • Free chocolate fountain
  • Free manicures
  • Free massages, in a massage chair like at you see at the mall

Isn't that awesome?! If you're a woman in Hampton Roads, get thee to a Central 111 on a Thursday night pronto! (Be prepared to be surrounded by The Beautiful People. They descend upon that place in droves.)

It's just a really cool restaurant. The lighting and décor are fantastic, the music is fun, there are great seating options, the food and drink rock, and ... well, I just can't say enough about it. Go!


Aloha Friday


Visit An Island Life if you wanna answer more questions today. At least answer mine, though. I had a good question for y'all, but I've forgotten it. I asked Rob for suggestions, but he didn't have any decent ideas. So this is what I've come up with:

Have you ever kicked a guy in the nuts? If not, have you ever wanted to?

I have. I was a teenager and my friend Mike P. was picking on me. He's my ex-boyfriend twice over, but I'm not sure he was at that time yet. Anyway, a whole bunch of us were playing some sport with a ball in a park, and I was pissed and hauled off and caught him square in the nads.  I immediately regretted it when I saw his reaction (I didn't grow up with any brothers, y'see). Sorry, Mike P. Thanks for not kicking me back in the cooch.


Friday Fragments


Be sure and visit Mrs4444 for more fragments today!

☼ I'm grouchy. I took Chloë with me to the store at 10:30 PM, 'til midnight, because I didn't feel like being alone. She chattered my ear off the entire time, which was nice, but the manager saw us all over the store with my handful of coupons. She came up to the front when we were checking out so she could monitor all my coupon activity. What is she, the savings police? Irritating.

☼ I think physical attributes should be an all-or-none proposition. For instance, at dinner tonight, there was a young woman (well, older than me, but still young) who was a butterface. You know? Everything looked good but her face? I hate that. You should either be totally hot, or you should be ugly with a gross body. (Rob thinks I'm cute, so I guess I don't fit my own rule, since I have a yucky body.) Likewise, I absolutely HATE it when I see someone with a fat body and nice, thin, shapely legs. They should be fat from head to toe. Consistency is key, people!

☼ Sophia fussed about going to VBS tonight and last night because she didn't like the "mushy face class." I've been trying like hell to figure out what the heck mushyface meant! We had to coax her in with chocolate milk and bananas yesterday; today was much smoother although she still complained about that mushyface. Turns out it's one of the girls in her class. I don't know what makes her a mushyface. I can only guess. Hopefully it's that she had something mushy ON her face, and not a mushed-up face. Then I would feel bad.

☼ Rob is forever insisting that he has a little head. He does not. He has the same 21" head circumference that I do and forever tells me that I have a big head. Hello?! AND, he's got a little teeny-tiny body, and a skinny, narrow face. So his head looks like an ice cream cone. And throw his body in there, and he's like a helium balloon bopping around on a string. Small head, indeed.

☼ I took the kids to their new, pediatric dentist yesterday. Sophia cried desperately from first thing in the morning when I informed them they would be going, until they were called in from the waiting room in the late afternoon. She was traumatized by losing her teeth last year, y'know. (For non-regulars: she is four and lost them when she hung upside-down and fell last summer.) Anyway. It turned out to be a FABULOUS visit. I absolutely LOVE the new dentist and his office! Like night and day from our last dentist, Dr. M. From beginning to end, I was impressed, and kept gushing over them while still there and later on the phone to Rob and to my sister. Seriously, if you're a Va Beach local and you have kids, take them to Dr. Cox on the Boulevard!  (These are long "fragments" this week, eh?)

☼ I had my six-month post-surgery check up today. I didn't weigh myself this morning, but I'm between 108-110 lbs lost in that time. Yay! Dr. Clark was thrilled with my progress but warned me that the honeymoon phase is over and now I really need to work at it to lose and then maintain.  I need to keep the protein really high (higher than my blood test results said they were, oops) and my carbs low, which I generally do, and add lots of resistance training to my exercise routine. And my Vitamin D was low, so I need to add a supplement. Can't I just make like a lizard and sit out in the sun on a rock all day? Iron was good, though - yay!

☼ Rob went to take another motorcycle test yesterday. Because he has two failures already, they wouldn't let him, saying he needed instead to take the $120 class that he has already taken - and also not passed. Sigh. I gave him an ultimatum: Get that thing on the road by the end of August, or I'm getting rid of it. I mean, we've been paying for it a year now, man!!  (I guarantee you I wouldn't do that, but I might kick it a couple times when I walk past it, that's for sure.)

☼ I haven't seen my regular shrink in a while, since I've been doing well on just meds lately. I'm having a problem I really need to talk to her about (will blog about that sometime soon, I'm sure), so I called today to make an appointment. Lo and behold, she has up and retired without telling me! Can people do that? Make drastic changes in their lives without informing Queen Melanie? I think not. Now I need to find yet another therapist. It's only a matter of time before The Crazy comes back, and I better have someone waiting in the wings when it does.

☼ No Cute Kid Quotes this week. It's not that the Odettelettes were unfunny; they were amusing as ever. I just didn't feel like doing anything remotely like work this week, and writing shit down counts.

Happy Friday!


'Cation Biber School


I can't really think what we did during the day yesterday, so here are a few pictures to get you started. And... I just realized that cushion is on backward. Nice. I will say that the exhaustion I've been feeling lately continued into the new week, so I canceled almost all of my mystery shops for the remainder of the month (great thing for a new Gold to do, not) and will be taking it easier unless something really great comes up. I need a little break.

100_1585 100_1586 Rob has quite a collection of Harley Davidson t-shirts, and yesterday's mail brought two  more for the collection from his sister, Gail. He wore the white one immediately!

100_1587 100_1588 After I finished folding some laundry yesterday (I do, on the rare occasion, do a little housework around here), the kids played "train" with the laundry baskets. They were having a grand old time!

So this week all THREE of them are going to Vacation Bible School (or what Sophie calls it, in the post title) in the evenings. Which is freaking awesome. I swear I'm going to be one of those moms that goes around and signs their kids up at various churches week after week, to get that daily break! That would be SWEET.

Today, they drove me absolutely nucking futs, with the whining and griping and neediness. I didn't sleep well, which compounded the problem, so I was probably unfairly grumpy with them today. Sorry, darlings. Tomorrow is a new day.

So, so much for stealth knitting!

Steph came over today with her two daycare charges to go swimming. Thank God, because it gave us a good excuse to get right up and out of the house, instead of sitting in the sweltering heat all day (I've shut off the AC to stop that damned dripping all the time, and at midnight now it's 81º in the house) making each other crazy.

The pool was fun, Steph and I talked at length while playing with this torpedo toy she brought. The kids swam and ran around (when mine weren't clinging to their mama) and mostly enjoyed themselves until hunger struck.  So we didn't stay long enough to really wear them out but good, but ah well. Tomorrow's another chance!

Anyway, I left the knitting progress out on the desk, and Steph asked to see it. You know I can't keep a secret to save my life, right? Well, a GOOD secret that I'm excited about, like a present... so I made her promise to act surprised at her baby shower, and I showed her all the goods. Here's the pattern I'm working on for wee baby Luke:

5b-2_medium  5-2_medium Is that not the cutest darn thing you ever saw in your whole life?!! I love it so. I just hope I can do justice to it. For now, I am working on the hat. After she left, I finally got some of the red into it:

100_1597 So I'll be working on that after I'm done here, hopefully finishing it up tonight before working on the next piece. I don't know which piece I'll work on next, but I'm thinking the mitts. You know, get the small stuff out of the way first so I'm good and used to the tiny yarn and needles.

While the kids were at VBS tonight, I napped. I meant to nap for maybe an hour, but it was over three by the time I finally popped awake, wondering where my family was!  Rob was picking them up from church, and they ran in all excited about tonight's activities - and the snacks. If there's one thing my kids love, it's snacks!

I had to leave after that - at 2130! - to do an audit of a popular kid-friendly restaurant chain in Chesapeake. It paid well, so I kept that one, being as it was for Gold-only shoppers. My first Gold-only!  That went quickly and now I'm home... wishing Rob was awake for some quality time, but he's getting some well-deserved sleep after cutting the front "lawn" today. All five inches of it. Hee.

Stay tuned for Wordless Wednesday!


It's Raining, It's Pouring...

So this sucks.

Our house is falling apart. Literally.

We can't even finish the floor because, suddenly, it is raining IN OUR HOUSE ALL DAY LONG. We have pots on the floor. In the living room. Catching the rain.

It's not really rain, of course. It's the air conditioning giving way. After a few days of the constant drip-drip-gush-dripping, Rob finally called the AC people to come have a look-see. Today, they did. The news was not good.

Our AC is completely rusted through and about to fall through the ceiling. No, we do not have a few thousand dollars to spare to fix it. So... unless our insurance once again steps up to bail us out, I don't know. I guess we'll buy some fish to pretty up those pots a little?

And I can't even show you what I've been knitting on and off all day. That's the nature of stealth knitting, see. It's seeeeeeeecret. But so soft and wee!


Well. Never Mind, Then.

I was just coming on here for a second to post this question: If you were Rob's tickets to a very important concert (Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp & Willie Nelson) playing this weekend, where would you be hiding?

But one thought led to another, then another, and another... and then I found them. Right where I tucked them away for safe-keeping during all the floor upheaval.

So, carry on, then. Don't mind my little intrusion into your day.


Sometimes I'm Just So Tired

Well, yeah, so the rain ruined our month-long plan to go to Water Country USA today (the big waterpark up in Williamsburg).  It was cool, too, so just not a great day for that.

But it was just as well.

My whole life, I've had the habit of go-go-going until I practically drop dead from exhaustion.  We've really been on the run a lot lately, and today, I slept. Rob decided we weren't going to go to the park, so he let me sleep. I didn't wake up 'til 11.

After less than half an hour, I napped again. I ended up taking three back-to-back naps today, sleeping until 8 pm!

He had the kids outside all day with him while he worked on the truck (no, it is still not running), so I could sleep.

And now? I'm ready for a nap.  Hopefully this will all be over by tomorrow, when I'll be on the go again.  Geez, I hope this isn't a growth spurt! ;)


Saturday 9: Heat Wave


If you're playing along, be sure to link up here!

1. It’s July. How has the weather been where you are?

Pretty hot, but not unbearable. We have AC everywhere, and water everywhere else, so it's all right.

2. What is the best way for you to beat the heat?

Swimming, without a doubt. I could be in the water 24/7, if my kids were up for it!

3. “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Do you buy that?

To an extent, yes, but I've been in some pretty sweltering dry heat, too.

4. Do you like hot tubs or saunas?

Hot tubs are okay if they're not toooo hot, but I'm not really a fan of saunas. Maybe if I could knit in there. Otherwise, I'm bored to tears.

5. What’s the hottest you’ve ever been?

That would be my college years in Miami, both in temperature and in looks! Oh wait, maybe in temps, that would be the four months we lived on Guam. Yeah, maybe so.

6. How many times do you hit the beach in the summer?

Well, we live at the beach, so we should go more than we do. At least once, though. We've already been a couple times this summer, though.

7. When you were a kid, what did you do in the summer?

Swim. Swim. Oh, and Swim.

8. Surfing. Have you ever gotten on a surfboard? Body surf?

Nope, I've never been on a surfboard. I think I would be terrible at it. I've body surfed, though - if you could call what I did that.

9. What’s your favorite summer song?

Oh, I hate these types of questions. I'm not good at picking favorites. Anything I can sing along to works for me!