Previous month:
September 2010
Next month:
November 2010

Entries from October 2010

Sunday Stealing: Hey! Another Meme About Me!


Linkage is here, for you joiners!

1. What inspires you to blog?

The voices in my head are what make me do it.

2. What’s the best thing about blogging, for you?

Comments! What else?!

3. What is your favourite book of all time?

I suppose half of you will say The Bible.  I'm not that kind of Christian. Mine is Evergreen, by Belva Plain.

4. It’s 9pm and for some reason you’ve been hungry all day, despite the three square meals. What do you rustle up?

Make it midnight, and I'm running to 7-11 for a Diet Coke (Super Big Gulp, natch) and a turkey and cheese sub, of which I can eat about a third or less...

5. Who are three of your style icons?

Do I have those? Let me think. Balki Bartokomous, Punky Brewster, and Moms Everywhere.

6. What’s your current favourite song/piece of music?

"Kiss" by Prince is bound to get me dancing in the car, no matter my mood or level of The Tired.

7. What is the last book you read?

A dirty, dirty book. What of it?

8. What is your current favourite recipe?

Uh. Now you're reaching. Hummus. I concocted my own personal hummus recipe, and I lurve it. I'm pretty fond of my mashed 'taters recipe, too, although I haven't made it like that since I was a newlywed. My new hubs didn't like it!

9. Who or what first inspired you to set up your own blog?

I don't know, all the cool kids were doing it, so why not me? I may not have a lot to say, but I can use up a lot of words not saying it!

10. What object could you not live without?

My iPhone. I think it is Krazy-glued to me, for real.

11. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Older. Hopefully wiser. Probably chewing this same old piece of gum that I've been working on for too long now...

12. Who or what made you into the person you are today?

Well, come on, I'm not in the mood for serious questions. Let's just say I had a lot of help becoming the Me I am today, and I'll need a lot more help to become the Me I want to be.

13. What have you learned from blogging?

If you don't want people to read about themselves in your blog, use a nickname or initials, FPS!  Also, people are always saying to me, "Please don't write about this in your blog..." Really? I know I'm the Queen of TMI, but I write about ME and MY life. Your shit ain't mine to share. Just sayin'.

14. Knowing what you know now, what knowledge would you pass on to your past self?

Don't skip that math final. Don't answer that knock.  Return that phone call. Write to Grandma more. Don't apply for any credit cards in college! Don't believe doctors know everything; get a second-third-fourth opinion.

15. Sunday roasts - lunchtime or evening meal?

Roasted what? I don't eat mammals. Can you roast a fish?

16. What has been your best blogging-related experience so far?

Full circle: every time I get a lovely comment, that's the best thing so far.


Saturday 9: Elected


Click on over here if you played with Crazy Sam today (or, well, yesteday)!

1. Many of my friends have commented they cannot discuss politics with co-workers, family, friends and others without conflict rearing its ugly head. Do you feel you can talk with your family and friends about this particularly divisive election?

Nope. I don't understand jerks Republicans, and I don't want to talk politics with anyone, really.

2. Do you know who you're voting for in next week's election? How did you decide?

Nope. I haven't followed this election at ALL. I'm going to go to the polling place, with the kids, because I feel it's my duty, but I will have to do some serious newspaper-reading first!

3. What do you think is the most important issue in next Tuesday's election?

I honestly don't know. The most important issue to me, though, is the environment. Whatever else happens, save The Earth! ;)

4. Can you go a day without laughing?

I suppose so; I went 10 years without laughing. Okay, that's a lie, but yeah, it's possible. By the way, I won the award for Class Giggler in 3rd grade, and I'm super-proud of that!

5. Do you think that you can chose who you want to love?


 6. Have you ever been on stage? For what?

Sure, lots of times. In 5th grade, I played the Caterpillar in our school's production of Alice in Wonderland. I stole the show! That was largely thanks to the mad sewing skillz of my step-mother (yes, that one).

7. Would you ever live in a different country? If yes, where?

Sure, I would love to live somewhere else. We lived in Guam once for four months, does that count? If Canada moved south of the US, I'd go there in a heartbeat!

8. Any plans for Halloween?

On Saturday, we had the kids' costume portaits done by JL Keeney Photography, and then we went to ZooBoo for trick-or-treating and a haunted hayride. Sunday, (I have to donate blood and then) we'll either TOT at the mall or in our neighborhood. Or both, what the hell?

9. The last costume that you wore, what was it and why did you choose it?

In 2006, we went to Disneyworld for Halloween. The five of us dressed up as The Incredibles, which was so fun! We went TOTing at the Magic Kingdom. Good times; good times.


P.S. I had a stronger word in #1 at first. I had a change of heart. ;)


Sunday Deals and Steals

In the interest of having SOMETHING to post besides memes, I'm going to try to post about the deals again. I know I have some people really interested in figuring out the couponing game, so I'm going to do it not only to help you out, but also to organize my receipts and pictures, to get a bigger picture about what exactly I'm spending on what, and where.

So here are the deals I picked up today for the big 3 drugstores, with credit as usual going mainly to Collin at Hip2Save for helping me put them together. Hers isn't the only coupon game in town (I also read Tara K. at Deal Seeking Mom, Crystal at The Thrifty Mama, and a couple others), but in my opinion, it's the definite must-read of the pack.

So, off we go!



This picture of my RA purchases represents two separate transactions. I actually could have done better than I did (which was certainly okay), but I did something I almost NEVER do: planned only the first one and then impulsively did the second transaction with NO coupons after I got to the store, even though I already knew there were coupons and deals for the second transaction on which I was missing out. Why? I can't explain it. The Halloween crunch time got to me, I guess. Here are the deets:

Going in, I had a $2.63 RA gift card from last week's transactions, a $10 RA gift card that was given to me a month or two ago instead of a SCR (Single Check Rebate), a $16.99 SCR from September's deals, and $6 Wellness-Plus rewards.  As you work these deals, you will go through lots of these things!


- (3) 35-ct bags of Utz Halloween pretzels, $2.99 each, to get my total up to the $16.99 needed to use the SCR. The kids are like termites with these things. Whoooom! They're gone!

- Skittles, 2.17-oz bag, on sale for 50¢. I had a November Rite Aid Video Values (RAVV) coupon for another 25¢ off, making this 25¢ (What just happened there? I have no idea...)

- (2) Xtra 75-oz laundry detergent, on sale 2/$4. No coupons, just needed to get my total up, plus we were out of detergent.

- Nivea Happy Sensation Lotion 13.5-oz, on sale for $5.99 and kicking back a $5 +UP Reward, making it net 99¢. Plus I had a $1 MQ for any Nivea lotion, making this FREE!

- (2) Halls Sugar-Free Honey Lemon Cough Drops 25-ct, on sale 2/$3. (I'm sending lots of these SF cough drops to my diabetic grandpa right now, since he's having throat problems. I have a big box full to send him!) I had a $1/2 MQ and a 50¢ RAVV for the Halls, which you can stack for bigger discounts, and buying 2 generated a $1 +UP reward coupon, making these 25¢ each net (reg $2.69)!

- (2) Right Guard Sport deodorants, which I'll also send to Grandpa if Hubs doesn't like them, reg. $2.99, on sale BOGO FREE. I had a $1.50/2 MQ, making these 75¢ each!

- I had a $4-off-$20 RA SQ from watching 20 RAVVs in October. Make sure you watch all those videos each month!

- Subtotal after all SQs and MQs, with tax: $17.89. Used the $16.99 SCR from September, making my OOP for this order 90¢! Plus, I received $6 +UP rewards for #2, so it was a $5.10 MM!


- This week, you can get a $10 +UP Reward for spending $25 on ANY candy advertised in the ad, so I decided to go ahead and get a bunch of candy. We get a ton of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, and I had nothing yet!

- 42-oz bag of mixed chocolate candy (good stuff like Twix and Hershey bars), reg. $12.99, on sale $9.99

- (6) bags, (2) each of snack-size Kit-Kat, Snickers, and Reese's PB Cups, on sale 2/$5

- (3) Act II Popcorn Balls for my 3 kiddos, 33¢ each, to make up that $25 candy total

- I used a $1 RAVV earned from the November videos, and $13 in +UP Rewards from Trans.#1 and last week. I think there should only have been $12, so unless I'm misremembering or miscalculating something, I think the cashier may have scanned a $1 one twice by accident?? Not sure...

- Total with tax: $12.60. Used $10 GC and $2.60 off $2.63 GC, leaving me a whopping 3¢ on that GC! Plus, I got back the $10 +UP reward for the candy purchases!

So for everything I bought from Rite Aid today, I spent 90¢ OOP and came back with $10 for next week. Not bad!

{Also, I made buddies with the cashier, C. I'd met her just once before, several months ago when I first started couponing at Rite Aid. She was a new cashier then, and very nervous about coupons. She's come a long way but still doesn't know how to coupon herself, and as a single mom of two kids, she's working 2 jobs to make ends meet. So I not only gave her all the different blogs and web sites to check out to help her put together some great money-saving (and -making!) deals, but I gave her my "Mama Card" with my personal info on it, so she could contact me with any questions. I hope she uses it! It'll be nice to have a couponing buddy locally - especially one in Rite Aid!}



The deals at CVS are usually much more exciting, but they're pretty lame this week. That's fine; we were due for a slow-down right about now. So I just had one small transaction:

- Ivory 3-bar soap packs, reg. $1.99, on sale for 99¢ each. I had (4) 25¢ MQs, so I picked up four packs for 74¢ each. This is Rob's favorite soap, so definitely stock-uppable!

- (3) 20-oz Cokes, FREE with My Coke Rewards points coupons. Yay for free Coke!

- I had $6 in ECBs (Extra Care Bucks, CVS' reward program) from last week, and you don't get change back, so I had to spend more money. We needed milk, so I grabbed a gallon at $3.39. I saw this big box of freeze pops behind me at the register, reg. $3.99, on sale for 39¢!! I decided to grab a box, and save them for the inevitable round of sore throats coming this winter.

- Total OOP: $1.17. No ECBs for next week, sadly! ;)


Some good deals at "Wags" this week, but I shot myself in the foot. I'll explain: Unlike the ECBs at CVS, the Register Rewards generated at Walgreens don't "roll." In other words, when you get RRs back from a purchase, you can't then spend those RR on the same item again  and get more RRs to do it again. If you spend the RRs  on the same item a second time, you won't get them again. And I forgot about this, although I have known it well for a long time, making me lose out on nearly $10 in RRs that I should have in my pocket right now, for next week's deals. Argh!!! I can't decide whether I should go in and return the items and have them re-rung to get the RRs, or just let it go, having learned my lesson. I'm pretty lazy, so it'll probably end up being the latter. Don't make my costly mistake!

I went in with $12.60 in RRs from last week, which is a pretty good amount for me. That was on six different catalina coupons, each worth $2 except for the sixth, which was $2.60. These count as a manufacturer's coupon, and you must have at least the number of items in your transaction as MQs, so you sometimes need "filler items" if you want to use a "real" MQ and a RR for the same item. Make sense? Let me know if you need clarification on that.

#1 and #2 were nearly identical.


- (4) cans of Campbell's Chunky soups, on sale for4/$5 with in-ad SQ, plus I had (2) $1/2 MQs, making them 75¢ each.

- (2) 24-oz bottles of Propel Water, on sale 5/$5 with in-ad SQ, plus I had a BOGO FREE MQ

- (6) boxes of Royal gelatin, on sale 5/$1 with in-ad SQ, as a cheap "filler" to increase my item-to-MQ ratio

- Contac Cold & Flu medicine, on sale for $6, plus I had a $2 MQ, plus it generated $6 in RR, making it a $2 MM!

- Colgate Sensitive toothpaste 6-oz, on sale $3.49, plus I had a $1 MQ, plus it generated $3.49 RR, making it a $1 MM!

- Trident Layers gum, on sale for 99¢ with in-ad SQ, plus I had a 75¢ MQ, making it 24¢ - and I *love* this gum!

- (2) bottles 15-ct Mentos gum, on sale for 99¢ with in-ad SQ, plus I had (2) $1 MQs, giving me 2¢ overage toward the rest of my order

- 3M tape, on sale for 49¢ with in-ad SQ, for more "filler"

- (1) Act II popcorn ball, on sale for 39¢ with in-ad SQ, for more "filler"

- TOTAL OOP for this order: 76¢, plus it generated $9.49 RR for the next order! (Total savings: $38.15.)


- Same as #1 for (4) Campbell's Chunky soups, (2) bottles of Propel Water, (5) instead of (6)Royal gelatin for filler, Contac cold & flu med, Colgate toothpaste, Trident Layers gum, and (2) Mentos gum. Same MQs as #1, plus the $9.49 in RRS.

- TOTAL OOP for this order: $2.09, and I *should have* gotten another $9.49 RR for the Contac and Colgate deals, but since I used the same RRs generated from #1 on this transaction, and RRs rarely "roll" at Walgreens, I didn't get any back for next time. Could have been a great money-maker. :( Maybe I'll go take them back. Yeah. I think I will, especially since we need more cold/flu meds and toothpaste like we need a hole in the head, 'round here. We're fully stocked up!

So that's it for this week. I doubt I'll make a Target run, but maybe, since I do have some Target gift card (GCs) to use and we can always use the groceries....


Sunday Stealing: The Something-About-New-England Meme

Sunday Stealing 

Link up here if you're playing along this week!

1. Have you turned the heat on in your house yet this fall?

I turned it on last night. It was freezing!!! It had to be in the 40s! lol...

2. Do you allow your pets on the furniture?

 Our two cats have the run of the house, sure. Well, except for the kitchen counters and table, although they try to get up there, too.

3. What were your final words for September?

Oh yeah, I remember that.

4. What are your first words for October?

What the hell kinds of questions are these, anyway?

5. Do you think you’ve ever seen a ghost?

No. I don't believe in them, anyway. Watch, now I'll be haunted by one tonight.

6. What is the one color that represents this time of year?

Burnt Sienna

7. Which of your senses do you think is most sensitive this time of year?

I'll tell you what, these are some of the dumbest questions I've seen in a meme... and yet I continue.

8. What is your favorite thing to do at the county fair?

I love everything about the fair, but my favorite thing is to go on the rides. Tilt-a-Whirl, anyone?

9. What do you like when you have a cold?

Nothing, anymore. I can't eat chicken soup or drink OJ, so it's just a crappy two-weeks for me, huh?

10. Are you willing to spend over $100 for a piece of winter clothing, like boots or a coat?

 If I had $100 to spend on a winter coat, I would probably buy yarn and knit myself a sweater instead.

12. What do you have too much of in your kitchen?

Those copper Jell-o molds. I need to redecorate...

13. What gripes do you have about this time of year?

Nothing but the cold. I don't "do" cold. I swear I was meant to live on the Equator. Or, well, the Sun.

14. Other than yourself, are you responsible for getting anyone ready in the morning?

Ready for what? If we have to go somewhere, I wake up the kids and, depending on whether we're on a leisurely pace or in a mad rush to get to a field trip or something, I'll either sing "Rise and Shine" or shout, "Get dressed! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!"

15. When was the last time you cleaned your gutters?

Never in this lifetime.

16. So, it’s after Labor Day. Will you still be wearing white?

I don't give a crap about any of those silly rules. Besides, what are you supposed to do with thick, wooly white sweaters? I have one or two. Or white winter coats? Or white boots? Or white glo... well, you get my point.

17. What shows are you most looking forward to this Fall?

No TV service here, but we do have Netflix. We're catching up on Dexter right now. Gawd, I ♥ that show.

18. What three things have you just not gotten around to from the summer, but probably should do before snow flies?

Putting away the Summer clothes and setting the kids up with their Fall wardrobe, and, uh, that's pretty much all I can think of, other than making asking for the 40th time the hubs to weed whack the front 'yard.'



Saturday 9: I'm So Proud


Link up here if you're playing along with Crazy Sam this week!

1. What are you proud of?

I'm so proud of my three kids. What more can I say?

2. What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize? How did you win it?

Hmm... In February, I think??, I won up-close tickets to the Black Eyed Peas concert here. It was awesome! I won it through a newspaper contest.

 3. Tell us about something you've done that in retrospect was a waste of time.

The first thing that jumps into my mind is trying to clean up and organize my husband's side of our room, including rearranging his closet and dressers so that all of his clothes and things would have a proper place. That lasted about 5½ seconds, after taking DAYS.

4. How old were you when life changed the most for you? How did it change?

I was 24 when I met my husband, married him two months later, and had our first baby girl not quite 9 months after that! :D (And no, that's not why we got married - she came 3½ weeks early!)

5. Tell us about a place you that you've been that you considered to be very tranquil.

At the very end of Key Biscayne, outside of Miami, there is a state park (the name escapes me, but I'm sure I'll think of it as soon as I hit 'publish') where I used to escape when I needed to think, commune with nature, and be by myself. I did it routinely, during and after college. One time, I was sitting on the beach, watching the waves, when a manta ray came soaring up almost entirely out of the water and seemed to hang on the air for a few moments. It took my breath away; I'll never forget that. It was like it happened just for me.

6. Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?

I don't watch the news anymore, so I can't even think of anyone. I used to love Wayne Mahar, though - the meteorologist in the city where I grew up. I talked to him online once. It was a small thrill.

7. If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it? Why?

The idea is so uninteresting to me, I can't conceive of a name. Not something I really have any desire to do, sorry!

8. What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?

What makes someone be terribly mean and cruel to a child?

9. When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?

I wish I could figure that one out. Other than chemical assistance, I mean...


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments 

Link up with Mrs. 4444 if you're fragmenting today!

I haven't done this in ages. I've been soo busy, since we started homeschooling this year and I started a Daisy Girl Scout troop, too. With those things, a return to regular mystery shopping, and everything else that life entails, I've barely had time to blog. So... happy to be back. I hope it sticks!


I spotted this sign on the door at 7-11 yesterday, and it just made me giggle. Am I the only one who sees the humor in this? The clerk didn't find it so funny when I mentioned it... but I guess she wouldn't!


Chloë's hair has gotten super-long again. Just above her tush. Well, it was, but after this, I chopped about 2-3" of dead ends off, and now it looks much better. She was upset at first, but then she looked in the mirror and couldn't even tell the difference, so I was spared a fit. Phew!

Self portraits 007 

So, here's some big news: I've lost 200 pounds!! I finally hit the mark, and I'm ecstatic. On January 26, 2009, I was a size 26. Now, all these months after my gastric bypass surgery that day, size 8s are loose on me! Woohoo!! After I get all my loose skin cut off (hopefully in the spring), I'll be in a 6 for sure - if not a 4!


The Fall Product sale for Girl Scouts is in full swing, but WE are not! I have been very lazy (or forgetful) about taking the girls out to sell, so they've only gone this one time, here. Historically, Chloë has carried her troop for this and the cookie sale, but not this time if we don't get our butts in gear. Hopefully this weekend will be nice... but anyway, isn't Sophia the cutest Daisy ever??


And in her 5th year of Scouts, Chloë is now a Junior! Hard to believe; it's going so fast. Of course, she's still Daisy-sized, so she looks pretty teeny up against her fellow troop members!

On Sunday morning, I crashed my new Odyssey. I'm upset, but I would be more so if I actually felt an affinity for Penelope (that's its name). I really don't. I miss Vanna, my old van, which I loved infinitely more than Penny. I just keep reminding myself that she's super-safe, and that's the most important thing. And I can't even get her fixed right now, because I'd have to be without a vehicle for goodness knows how long, and we can't afford to pay for a rental. It's a suck-suck situation, all the way around.


Tonight after the regular meeting, I held an Investiture Ceremony to welcome my Daisies officially into Girl Scouts. It went really well, and the girls were adorable! What made me happiest, though, was that our audience was absolutely packed with proud family members. Such support made me so glad. I have great parents in my troop!

Flower small

I'm looking through the pictures that Jeff and Lisa Keeney took of our family in May right now, and there are just so many favorites, it was hard to pick just one to share with you. So here's one I love... would you like to see some more?

And now, a few cute kid quotes:

Sophia, 5½, was watching a documentary about the fauna in Antarctica when she suddenly exclaimed, "Mommy, look! It's a beach beaver! A beach beaver! Wait... oh, no, it's just a sea otter..."

Chloë, 9, proclaimed, "Elbow macaroni is America's favorite macaroni. I will NOT eat any other macaroni."

Sophia was explaining to someone about how she lost her two front teeth: "It didn't hurt when I was hanging ON the treadmill. It didn't hurt until I fell OFF the treadmill."

(Which I thought was hysterical - the explanation, not the fall!)

Going door-to-door, selling for Girl Scouts, Sophia wanted to know why she couldn't go by herself. I answered that she was much too young, and Girl Scouts requires a girl to be 13 before they can do so. She replied, "Mommy, can you hide so they know I'm old? Can I pretend I'm 8? I mean, 10?"

Chloë said about Jack, 7½, "He doesn't even like brown sugar - and that's, like, the best sugar there IS!" when telling Daddy how to make Jack's oatmeal.

Have I told you this one, before? We were in the mall, walking along, when Jack shouted, "LOOK, DAD! THE ESCALATOR STOPPED!!" all incredulously. Rob looked back, stopped, and then said, "Those are stairs, son."

I died.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday Stealing: Another 50Q Meme, Part II

Sunday Stealing 

Link up with the gang here if you're playing along - even late, like me!

26. Do you like someone?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I'm not 13.

27. The last song you listened to?

"What's Up?" by Four Non-Blondes

28. What time of day were you born?

I scarcely remember being born, and why should you care?

29. What’s your favorite number?

64, always has been

30. Where did you live in 1987?

Baldwinsville, New York

31. Are you jealous of anyone?

Yeah, hot mamas who can kick out a bunch of babies and still have a flat tummy without surgery.

32. Is anyone jealous of you?

No one ought to be.

33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?

In the hospital, four days after my first was born via emergency Cesarean. She was still in the NICU for another week or so after that. It was a rough time for us.

34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?

I get pissed, man. Don't you?

35. Do you consider yourself kind?

I try very hard to be. Sometimes I falter, but I keep trying.

36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

Maybe my shoulder, I don't know. I doubt I ever will; it's just not me.

37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

I used to be much more fluent in Spanish, pero he perdido mucho... I'd love to be fluent in many languages, like so many Europeans. French, Italian, German... and Japanese.

38. Would you move for the person you loved?

In a heartbeat, without a doubt. Wherever he wants to go, I'll go.

39. Are you touchy-feely?

Yeah, pretty much.

40. What’s your life motto?

It has always been, "If you want something done right the first time, you've got to do it yourself." I'm thinking of changing it, though.

41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

My iPhone, lip balm, and a pen

42. What’s your favourite town/city?

Miami - my heart belongs there. Although I could easily be persuaded to change it to Venice...

43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?

Our babysitter's services on Friday night

44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?

Does it count if I helped my son write a letter to our ex-dog, who we rehomed with a friend of mine this past summer, tonight? They've been writing back and forth. It's pretty cute.

45. Can you change the oil on a car?

I did it a couple of times on my '81 Honda Civic wagon, with a friend. I could never do it on the Odyssey, though.

46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?

My very first love was Matthew Buffalo, when we were both five and in kindergarten. I moved away in Grade One and have never heard of him again. I've searched for him online many times!

47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?

Quite a bit. My father's family were a lot of seafaring captains, from Germany. We're Pennsylvania Dutch... my dad's dad was born on the Caribbean island of Saba, where there are a lot of Simmonses (my maiden name). Dad's aunt wrote a historical book about it. It's pretty cool. I'd love to visit Saba with my dad someday. I don't really know that much about my mom's side, which is a shame.

48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?

Friday night, when hubs and I did a mystery shop at an upscale steakhouse you've probably heard of. I wore black tuxedo pants and a nubby black-and-white sweater. The pants were much too big. I've shrunk out of everything; they're all falling down now!

49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?

My neck and shoulders have been aching lately. I got some heat wraps from the drug store today, and I wore one while I napped. Seemed to help a bit.

50. Have you been burned by love?

I'm almost 35. I'm guessing almost everyone my age has, haven't they?

Until next time, my dears...


Saturday 9: Spooky

So I'm two days late and a couple bucks short. Sue me!


Link up with Crazy Sam here if you played along, even late! They won't mind...

1. Does anything about Halloween “spook” you?

I can't do scary. I still get nightmares. I'm, like, eight years old that way - such a chicken!!

2. What is the favorite costume you have ever worn for Halloween?

Oh, gosh, I don't know... maybe a clown? I've never been anything really cool. I've never been invited to a Halloween party, either - as a kid or as an adult. If I were, now, I'd want to be really vampy and sexy!

3. What is your favorite thing about Halloween?

Handing out candy to little kids. Love it, love it, loooove it! (The ones that don't dress up, though? Lame!)

4. What one topic is (or was) the most painful to discuss with your parents? Why?

I could never talk about my mother's death at age 33 with my dad. We have rarely even talked about it now, though I'm an adult.

5. What was the happiest day of your life? Do you think you'll ever top it?

The day hubs and I ran to the courthouse to get married before it closed was the best yet. Could we top it? I doubt it. That was sheer bliss.

6. What animal would you like to be able to communicate with?

My husband. :| He's not terrific at it...

7. In what way do you come nearest to perfection (as you define it)?

In every way, of course. Oh, all right. In no way. I am perfect in no way, and though I have always striven to be, I no longer want to be. It's not good for anyone.

8. Do you have any recurring nightmares?

Yes, and they are also memories. 'Nuff said.

9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?

That's a laugh. Everything, after Mom died when I was 7. I would change every damn thing. It was awful. The only thing I wouldn't change is having my sister with me. She's the only thing that made it bearable.


Saturday 9: Spooky

So I'm two days late and a couple bucks short. Sue me!


Link up with Crazy Sam here if you played along, even late! They won't mind...

1. Does anything about Halloween “spook” you?

I can't do scary. I still get nightmares. I'm, like, eight years old that way - such a chicken!!

2. What is the favorite costume you have ever worn for Halloween?

Oh, gosh, I don't know... maybe a clown? I've never been anything really cool. I've never been invited to a Halloween party, either - as a kid or as an adult. If I were, now, I'd want to be really vampy and sexy!

3. What is your favorite thing about Halloween?

Handing out candy to little kids. Love it, love it, loooove it! (The ones that don't dress up, though? Lame!)

4. What one topic is (or was) the most painful to discuss with your parents? Why?

I could never talk about my mother's death at age 33 with my dad. We have rarely even talked about it now, though I'm an adult.

5. What was the happiest day of your life? Do you think you'll ever top it?

The day hubs and I ran to the courthouse to get married before it closed was the best yet. Could we top it? I doubt it. That was sheer bliss.

6. What animal would you like to be able to communicate with?

My husband. :| He's not terrific at it...

7. In what way do you come nearest to perfection (as you define it)?

In every way, of course. Oh, all right. In no way. I am perfect in no way, and though I have always striven to be, I no longer want to be. It's not good for anyone.

8. Do you have any recurring nightmares?

Yes, and they are also memories. 'Nuff said.

9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be and why?

That's a laugh. Everything, after Mom died when I was 7. I would change every damn thing. It was awful. The only thing I wouldn't change is having my sister with me. She's the only thing that made it bearable.


Size Matters.

Rings 004 

So after losing 198.5 lbs (give or take), it's pretty clear that I need to have my rings sized. They look like I'm a wee lassie trying on my mum's jewelry. I haven't been able to wear them for months and months, ever since I went on a lunch date with Bunco-Linda and, while gesticulating as I'm wont to do, they went flying across the dining room.  That was the end of that.

I miss them.

The sapphires I've been wearing in their absence are growing too large, as well. Pretty soon I'll be finger-nude. Can't have that.

Rings 003

By the by, I'm vain, but not that vain. I hate these pictures, because they make my fingers look even shorter and stubbier than they really are. These rings are a size 8, which was perfect nearly ten years ago when I first got them. Now, they need to be a 5½. They look fatter than they are, here, because I've got as much loose skin on my fingers as I do everywhere else on the bod. I want to get a lot of the skin cut off, but I'll stop at the phalanges, thanks. Who would do that? Carnie Wilson? I don't know.

I have small hands. I don't know many, if any, adults with hands smaller than mine. I wear kid gloves. They don't make plastic dishwashing gloves or latex hospital gloves small enough for my fingers. Which is precisely why I don't do dishes or, um, change bedpans.

Anyway, we were wondering, after they size rings down, what do they do with the extra gold? Give me back a nugget?


The Virginia State Fair

On the first of the month, the kids and I drove up to the State Fair, just north of Richmond. I woke them up at the buttcrack of dawn, because I had four early-morning mystery shops to do along the way. (Actually five, but we didn't make it to that last one in time.) En route to Doswell, we drove through Gloucester, Tappahannock, and Richmond. Those first two towns looked liked they'd be really cool to go exploring on another visit, so we plan to do just that.

After those four breakfast shops, I had lots of coffee, sandwiches and hash browns that none of us wanted to eat, so I put on my thinking cap to figure out where we could deliver them. Aha! What about the local fire or police department? Seemed like a good plan, so I did a quick search on my trusty iPhone for the nearest one, and a fire dept was nearby.

A half-hour and four false starts later, we finally arrived at the fire house. I had three little ones in PJs and me, all carrying a bag of food. When they opened the door, six fire fighters (including a female captain, woohoo!) all greeted us with smiles and curious looks. I explained why we were there and how I came upon all this unwanted food, and they were happy to take it off or hands. I did have to apologize for it not being as hot as it might have been, since I got lost so many times on the way there, but they didn't seem to care.

The chief who was visiting asked if we had time to take a tour of the trucks, and even though the Fair was now open, I said sure. Why pass up a chance to have a personal tour, even if they've all been before? One can always learn something new.

Unfortunately, I'd left my camera in the car, so I have no proof of this visit, but the kids had a blast trying on gear, talking into the trucks' headsets, and exploring all the equipment. The chief even gave them each a plastic fireman's hat to take home. When they were finished, we went back inside to say our good-bye's, and they thanked us for bringing them breakfast. All-in-all, it was a pretty cool impromptu visit.


We got to the Fair early enough that traffic and parking weren't so bad. We got right in, bought our tickets, and headed up to the area where all the animals were. After all, this was a school day, and technically I wanted to count this as a field trip, so it had to be at least partly edumacational. The first thing we ran into - after I spent a small fortune on a slice of cheese pizza for each of us, and Sophia promptly dumped her entire piece upside-down on the ground, to my extreme annoyance, that is - was the farm equipment. Jack, of course, was thoroughly delighted. He really wanted to climb up and see each machine, but that was definitely not allowed. The best we could do was get up close and take a few pictures.


This thing was massive! Jack was in awe. One nearby vendor's booth had models of many of the farm machines for toys, and Jack was enraptured. I'm definitely getting him one of them for Christmas, either a combine or a tractor. He hasn't decided which he wants for sure, so I guess I'll just pick one myself and start a collection for him.


After the tractors an' sech, we went into the first big tent, which was full of all kinds of farm animals on exhibit. We found some adorable bunnies, which immediately set the kids talking about missing Bounce and getting another pet rabbit. I'd love to, but we just re-homed our dog because she was one too many mouths to feed, so getting a bunny wouldn't quite make sense right now!


Besides, if I do get another pet wabbit, it's going to be one I can harvest for the fur! And then I'd have to learn to spin it...


Sophia made me nervous the whole time, because she just couldn't seem to hear me (and various other bystanders) saying, "Keep your fingers out of the cage!!" Thankfully, she didn't lose a single one. That time.



You can't really tell from the picture, but this bull was ENORMOUS. I couldn't stop looking at him.


Ass ass


These nursing piglets were sooooo cute!!! ♥


Thankfully, there was plenty of hand sanitizer all over the place in there. We used a LOT of it.


The kiddos were really excited when we went over by the alpacas and the owner had food for them to share. Sophia and Chloë kept laughing about the tickling sensation when they ate!


They're just so funny-looking! I really need to learn how to spin; alpaca fiber is among my favorites.


The chicks were also a big draw for my spawn. On the other side, there was an incubator with some still in the shells, some just emerging, and some fresh out of the shell. Those newly-hatched birds were flopped over, slimy, and unable to walk yet. The kids were so upset, thinking they were all dead! So I had to explain to them about that, and now they know. See? I told you a trip to the fair was going to be educational!


Big ol' pig boobs. I thought I had a hard time finding a bra that fits!


We don't have any floor fans, so the kids have never really had that classic experience of talking into a high-speed fan. When we walked by this one, I couldn't resist the opportunity to yell into it before inviting the kids to do the same. It was hard to pull them away, but we had so much else to see!


The next tent housed nothing but rabbits. They were all entered for ribbons and whatever prizes, so there was specimen after perfect specimen.  This guy was a blue ribbon winner. I don't know what happened to the other pictures, because I really wanted to show you a Lionhead rabbit, and I can't find them. Wait, there's always Google Images:


So silly looking!! I'd love one of this kind too, please.


After the bunnies, we visited the Pigeons and Doves tent, and Sophia, our resident bird-lover, was in seventh heaven. She would have stayed in there all day. I forget what this kind of pigeon was called, but they were really pretty. Sophia spent the rest of the entire weekend cooing like a dove. It was cute - for the first 19 hours...

2010-10-02 (3)

We looked at a few more animal tents before heading back to the center of the Fair for one of those ice cream cones that is squared and covered in chocolate & nuts. Remember those? I used to love those when I was a kid. They were about $4 each, so I bought only one for them to share, and they were quite annoyed with me for that. When I told them it was either that or rides, though, the choice was clear. On the way to the rides, we found these posing boards, and they had a bit of fun there. My favorites were the Sesame Street and King Kong ones!


I hadn't planned on taking the kids on any rides until after 9, when Daddy had joined us after work and when ticket prices went down to 60 for $20. On our way out of the animal exhibits, however, a nice older couple stopped me and asked if we were going to go on the rides. I told them we were, and they handed me $50 worth of tickets!! They said they weren't going to use them and thought we looked like a nice family, so take them and have fun. I about kissed their feet. Thank you, nice older couple!


After we used up all the tickets they gave us, Chloë was absolutely begging for a funnel cake. I tried to talk her into fried dough instead, but she stood her ground. They wanted cherries on top, so this is what we got. Waaaay too many freakin' cherries, and none of us wanted to eat them. In the end, the four of us were only able to eat about half of this, and it killed me to throw the rest away when I knew Rob would have tore it up. 

Of course, I shouldn't have eaten a single bite of it, and Oscar (my pouch) proved it by making me run to the (very far away) bathroom to puke it up. Ugh. I still do it at least once a day, but it never fails to exhaust me. Since I hadn't slept the night before, I immediately needed a nap. I'd gotten the kids up so early, and they watched movies instead of napping in the car, and their feet were killing them... so not one of them complained when I said I needed to go back to the van for a nap. 

And so we went. I turned on a movie for the kids and immediately fell asleep myself. I don't know if any of them slept at all, but I think they did for a little while. The next thing I knew, a policeman and some other guy were rapping on my window to wake me up. It took me a minute to come to my senses enough to be able to roll down the window! They were just checking to make sure everything was okay, since the kids were awake and moving about the cabin by that point, and I was passed out in the front seat. I explained and thanked them for checking on us, and they left. 

By that point, the kids were restless, hungry, and tired of waiting for Daddy. I'd expected him around 1700, but it was 1900 by then. He didn't end up arriving until 2100, because of traffic, so that sucked. I should've just made him stay home!


To kill time before Daddy arrived and the ticket prices went down, I took the kids through the Expo halls. They didn't really like the arts and crafts one, because I wouldn't let them touch anything. I was annoyed to find at least three or four crocheted and knit pieces entered for prizes, made from famous patterns I recognized. Really? Aren't they supposed to be your OWN creations? Or am I misunderstanding things? Because if you can use famous, established patterns, then I'm totally entering next year.

Anyway. They love fish tanks and are always begging me to get one for them. I would, but where on earth would we put it? Tinkerbell and Star would love one too, I'm sure.


After the more educational hall, we went to the last one, which was all the cool stuff different vendors had for sale. The roasted nuts were right in front of the entrance. Tricky, tricky. I made a beeline for them, and they gave each of us a yummy sample. Sold! I bought us a small bag, and the kids pretty much inhaled them before I could blink twice. Hungry, much? Right next door was the Virginia Lottery booth. We couldn't do much with the kids there, until we came across Lady Luck here, ready to pose with the children. Jack wanted no part of that, and the girls were confused when they couldn't keep the magic wands. Kinda lame. Oh, well.


Jack was thrilled about this race car, but he doesn't look it here because he was absolutely starving. And I think maybe he was mad that he wasn't allowed to get in it, too.


In the same hall, we came upon this guy selling these cool hair wraps, made by hand out of polymer clay. The girls were all over those, so the guy convinced me to let him wrap the girls' hair with them. We didn't buy them, but I got his card and am going to get them some for Christmas from their website, here.  The had a whole bunch of different charms for the ends of the wraps at the Fair, but I don't see any online, so I emailed them about it. 


Sophia was up next. Isn't this exactly the kind of guy you picture doing little girls' hair?!


I thought it was sufficiently cute that I whispered in the guy's ear to give me a card so I could order these for Christmas. I don't know why I bothered to whisper, though, since I've since had the girls pick out which colors they want, off the site!


This guy's whole exhibit was these balls of goo that went SPLAT! when you threw them down or at the wall. My kids loved it, but there was no way I was plunking down even a dollar on that stuff. Makes me wonder if he even made enough money to pay for his booth. (Sophia loved it, though. I had to grab her arm mid-splat after the 15th time, to get her to move along.)


Finally, we left the exhibits and went outside to use the bathrooms. I think it was after nine by then, so I bought a sheet of 60 tickets for the rides. The kids were chilling in this Ferris Wheel seat, set up just for this purpose, when Rob called and said he'd arrived. At last! 

He couldn't find my van in the throng of cars, so the poor guy had to carry his motorcycle gear all over the fair with him. Less than fun.

2010-10-02 (2) 

The kids were excited that Daddy had come for more fun on the rides. We spent the next couple of hours all over the Midway (well, the "Kidway,") since they're not big enough yet for the "real" rides). Sophia, ever the bravest, coaxed us onto the high-flying, fast-soaring ones that she was tall enough to on, while Chloë and Jack continued to play it safe. We made ourselves sick on cheesy fries (YUM, my favorite fair food) and other stuff I can't remember, and generally had a really great time.



When the Midway finally closed, we were among the last people there. We yanked Chloë out of the bouncy house she was in, and were headed out, when she reminded me I promised they could play ONE game. Oh, yeah. You remembered that, huh, kid?


Of course I picked the balloon darts, because they were a guaranteed-win game. I thought I could do the 3-for-$5 and have each of them throw one dart, but then we would only have been able to get one prize. Shoot. So I had to pay two bucks per dart, which is just outrageous IMO. The fair these days... whew. Those guys are making BANK.


They all popped a balloon, which is great, but check out this lady's face when Jack threw his dart. Hee! That makes me laugh every time I look at it.

And so, we close the place down. During the day, I had made an unplanned stop to the fire department, thrown up, gone completely broke, been questioned by the police, and gained about three blisters... and it was fantastic. I LOVE THE FAIR!!!!


P.S. The rest of the story wasn't so great: I was nearly falling asleep driving, so I pulled into the first rest stop I could find for a short "nap." Only, I ended up sleeping the whole night through, as did the kids, never realizing I'd forgotten to turn off the lights! We were broke, starving, and I was still so exhausted that it didn't occur to me that there were other options besides having Rob drive back up to jump the battery with his motorcycle. D'oh!  

Sunday Stealing: Yet Another 50Q Meme, Part I

Sunday Stealing 

Link up here if you're playing along!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

Damn, I'm cute.

2. How much cash do you have on you?

I don't know, some change and that's it.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?

Four, like your age for asking this dumb question.

4. Favorite planet?

Jupiter. I thought I was the only one who had a favorite planet! Hee.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

Not that you honestly care... but it's the lady in my son's Cub Scout pack in charge of setting up the popcorn booth sales.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

I don't have any but the ones that came with my iPhone. Is there some way to get custom ones on it? I'd really like to know...

7. What shirt are you wearing?

This one I got from Old Navy, like, a year ago. It's enormous on me now, but I don't have the fundage right now to replace my Fall/Winter wardrobe, even from the thrift store. Sigh.

8. Do you label yourself?

I'm uncategorizeable.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?

Crocs flip-flops. Super comfortable. Bright green and pink.They go with nothing, but I lurve them.

10. Bright or Dark Room?

Bright. I'm scared of the dark, and I don't care who knows it.

11. Did you do anything to celebrate John Lennon's 70th birthday yesterday?

No, did you?

12. What does your watch look like?

I don't wear a watch, but if I did, it would be my big ol' dive watch with the orange face. It's Teh Awesome.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Farting around online, as usual at that time, I think.

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?

Nosy, aren'tcha? It was from the hubs, saying he calls our skinny cat Star "kitty cat" because he doesn't want to call her "fat ass." (Our other cat, Tink, is a heifer.)

15. Where is your nearest 7-11?

About 3 blocks away, and there is another one just a hair further in the other direction. I visit them both regularly, often in the middle of the night, for a 44-oz Diet Coke refill for 99¢. There are a TON of 7-11s 'round these parts.

16. What’s a word that you say a lot?

Like. Awesome. Fuck. Shit. Whatever. I have a stellar vocabulary, don't you think?

17. Who told you s/he loved you last?

Either the hubs or my not-so-wee baby girl, Sophia, on her way up to bed.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

Nunya bidness! Ha!

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

Just my two scripts, I think. You ARE a nosy bird.

20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?

Oh, I'm sorry, did I trip and fall into 2001?

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

I like 34 so far. One thru six were pretty good, too.

22. Your worst enemy?

Right now, the entire Seminoles football team! ;P

23. What is your current desktop picture (extra points if you post it)?

One of our family portraits taken by Jeff and Lisa Keeney earlier this year. I don't look like this anymore, though:

Smaller one 

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"What's the matter, Baby Girl?" to Sophia, who came back downstairs (at 0030, with a hungry belly. This is not unusual).

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

Fly. I've always dreamed I could. It would be amaaaaaazing, wouldn't it?


Dearly Beloved, Parte Dos


Dear Miami Hurricanes,

Please don't suck against the FSU Seminoles tonight, like you did a few weeks ago against the Ohio State Buckeyes. I'm sorry I'm not there in person to root for you in this game of games, but please, don't let me down.  Now that I've decided to keep up with you again, get out there and kick some boo-tay!


A Loyal Alumna


Dear Seminoles,


Also, this.


A Loyal Talla-hater


Dear Contact Lenses,

It really doesn't work when you jump out of your cases and get mixed up. Then I can't even see to fix you. Well, unless I close one eye and cross the other, tilting my head a little to the side. And you know what? I really can't drive that way.


The Moron Who Refuses To Take Responsibility


Dear Father of Two Cute Boys,

You're handsome and all, and I know I'm pretty much adorable right now, but I saw that ring on your finger. Did you see the one on mine? Keep it in your pants.


Not Gonna Happen


Dear Diet Coke,

I'm going to leave my husband for you, and we'll make beautiful babies together. It'll be historical, a human-carbonated beverage mating. Our kids will probably be sterile, but delicious. What do you think?

Yours Truly,

The Addict


Dear Hubs,

When you run out of gas once, it's understandable and forgiveable.  When you run out of gas the second time in the same week, it's a lot more annoying. And then the third time, an hour after the last time, when you're on your way home for my shrink appointment, that I'm now going to miss? Maybe you shouldn't be so surprised when I'm a little bit pissed. I'm just sayin'.


The Ol' Ball and Chain

P.S. I totally waited over a half-hour for the kids to wake up, before I came to rescue you. Sorry.


Dear Money,

Please jump into my wallet.


Broke Mama


NOT Playing Dead, For Once


And apparently, I never posted about this sad little 'possum, either. The other night, around 0300, I went out to make a Wal-Mart run. I had run out of printer ink and needed it pronto. On the way out of the neighborhood, I came upon this sad creature, stuck in a deep puddle in the middle of the road, which had flooded from the many days of rain we'd had recently.

Of course, I couldn't just leave him there to die. I pulled up right next him, and he just stared pitifully at me.  Like 'em or not, opossa are God's creatures, too, and therefore meant to be protected. Unlike mosquitoes and houseflies, which of course are the Devil's spawn...

Three police cars drove by me while I sat there and debated with myself about what to do. Rather than think for just a minute about why three police cars would be passing me at 3 in the morning, I tried hailing each of them down for help. Finally, the third one stopped and the copper stuck his head out and yelled, "Call animal control!" I started to ask him about that, but he just shot back, "Sorry, I'm on my way to a priority call!" and took off. Oops. Silly me, thinking this half-dead rat would take precedence over yet another who-knows-what around the corner from me. (Kinda wish I knew. I do live here.)

I tried to wake up Rob, but he was passed out, and Animal Control wasn't open until 0600, according to their answering machine. I called the emergency vet's office, where we took our late bunny, Bounce, and they gave me a number where someone actually responded. They said they'd send someone right out.

Nearly an hour later, when I returned from Wal-Mart, Mr. Poss was still doing the death stare in the middle of the road. Stupid Animal Control. Bah. Time to take matters into my own hands.

And by that, I meant waking up the hus-beast. Did you think I was actually going to do it myself? Well, it's true, I would have, but I had nothing to at least scoot him off to the side of the road with.  I had a couple pieces of paper with me, and that's it.

Rob wasn't thrilled to be woken up at that hour about a dying 'possum, but he took one look at my face and knew I wasn't going to let it go. So he went out to rummage around in the shed for something to help the possy with, and I drove back to the scene of the crime to protect my new burden.

Some guy walked out of his house and came over to see what the heck I was doing. He stood there for about five minutes before he finally said, "Oh, it's a 'possum! I was wondering what the hell that was!"

The Bob eventually came down with a pitchfork and the kitty carrier he'd rescued a couple weeks earlier from the side of the road. He told me the poss started for him, but I don't think so. He hadn't moved, except maybe a little drifting around in the flood, for an hour and a half now. He surely couldn't be sitting there for the fun of it, could he?

So we argued a bit over who would take the creature to the side of the road. I wanted to do it, but he wouldn't let me. Eventually, I just sat in the van and waited while he did whatever he did. Next thng I know, he's opening the side door and sticking the cat kennel in.

With the 'possum in it.

Um. Excuse me? I do not think so. No bloody, wild animal (unless it's a duck or something cute) is going to be sitting, getting funky up in my brandy-new Odyssey - kennel or not!

So I made him take it out. I mean, I didn't want him to get hit by a car (again), but there are limits, people!

He ended up taking him to the side of someone's house and dumping him out of the kennel. When he returned with the kennel, I told him he was out of his mind for thinking I would ever let him use it again for an actual pet of ours.


And we went home.

Where we had ourselves a good, hearty laugh about the idea of leaving him on the side of the road, in the kennel, with a sign that read, "Free kitten." Imagine someone's reaction when they reached in there... "What the HELL?!!"

Good times.



Jack's Belt Loops


Apparently I never posted about this? At Jack's last pack meeting for Cub Scouts (he's a Wolf now!), he was given these three belt loops, for BB gun shooting, archery, and soccer. He worked on these at camp over the summer. I didn't take him to the meeting - his Daddy did - but I heard he was super-proud of himself when he was called up to get these. Yay, Buddy!


Just A Little Tip


This picture of Chloë at the State Fair didn't turn out very well, but that's not the point. I wanted to share a little hint I heard about a long time ago (and several times since): When you take the kids somewhere like this, where they can easily get lost, always take a picture of them at the beginning so you know what they were wearing and how they looked that day. That way, you can quickly get a very up-to-date picture, with a closing description, to the police if the worst should happen. I try to remember to do it, and this time, since Rob wasn't with me and I knew it would be even harder to keep track of my trio, I did. Fortunately, it never became necessary to show these pictures to anyone... except y'all.

The pictures of Sophia and Jack were pretty cute, though, so I'll show you those, too:


Nevermind the bad placement, with the sign behind her. I think Sophie's hair looks so cute in ponies and piggies, and every day I hope that she won't cut it again!


And how cute is the expression on Jack's face?! He is so adorable. I can't help it;  know he's my child, but he is so flipping cute!!


Super Pooped


Last weekend, we drove down to the Outer Banks for a hotel mystery shop. We stayed in Kitty Hawk, NC. Since we're doing a transportation unit study, I had planned to take the kids to the Wright Brothers museum there, but time and money constraints meant we had to shelve that plan for another time. The only non-shop-related picture I managed to take was this one of the kids sacked out on the hotel's hallway floor. I forgot what room number we were supposed to be in and sent Rob back to the front desk to find out, and they all plopped down like this at once.


On The Catwalk

(Remember, you can always click on pictures to embiggerate.)

Last night, Chloë said she wanted to be a model for Halloween, and she asked me if she could wear make-up for it. I said sure, why not? and asked her if she wanted to do a trial run make-up session. This is a girly-girl who LOVES all things cosmetic, so she about leapt out of her seat at the chance.

Here are some before-and-afters, again with and without flash:



Her first reaction, upon seeing her image in the mirror, was, "Oh my gosh, I am SO HOT." I had to agree. But seriously, she's only nine. Eek! We are in for some trouble.

She then pranced about the living room for the next hour, totally in model mode.

Now we have to figure out what she's going to wear. I guess a trip to the thrift shop is in order!


Ivory Soap Experiment

I just got an email from Aurora of Supercharged Science to go get a bar of Ivory soap and stick it, naked and on a plate, in the microwave for less than two minutes.

So, I sent the still-awake Chloë upstairs to find a bar of Ivory soap. I knew we had some. Success!

We stuck it in the microwave, and here's what it did (both with and without flash, since I can't seem to figure out the settings on the 'new' camera Tabitha gave me yet):

Ivory Soap Experiment 003

Sorry about the oatmeal grossness...  She stuck it in the microwave without me, or I'd have cleaned it out first!

Ivory Soap Experiment 004

Pretty cool!

It was dry when I felt it, and a little hot but not too hot to touch. It came off easily, and we piled it all on the plate:

Ivory Soap Experiment 006

It's all flaky and, well, feels like dry soap flakes.

Chloë LOVED it and can't wait to do it again tomorrow with her sibs. Ten minutes later, she's still yakking on and on about how it was "the coolest thing EVER."


P.S. I don't know if I'll still keep doing the homeschooling blog separately from this one, since I can't seem to keep up with either one at the moment. I might just put that stuff here. Thoughts? 

Saturday 9: Hush


Click on over here if you're gonna play along today, Willises!

1. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?

It depends on the people with me, but if I don't know them all well, then I'm usually pretty quiet with people. If I know them, like at Bunco, I get hyper and loud and goofy.

2. Do you take compliments well?

Good heavens, no. And I've gotten lots of complaints about that!

3. Are you judgmental?

To an extent, as much as anyone else. Okay, yeah, I am.

4. Do you think more about the past, present or future?

All of it.

5. What do you hate?

Seriously, I really, truly hate when someone takes forever to do something that should not take a long time. I'm pretty impatient.

6. Use three words to describe yourself.

Freaking rock star!

7. Do you celebrate Halloween? Explain:

I take the kids trick-or-treating, but I'm not all gung-ho about it. I don't see anything wrong with that, as a Christian. The Christians who think it's all Satanist and whatever need to get a grip. It's just for fun.

8. If you were mixing up a witches brew, what would be in it?

Um, I would never do that.

9. If you're in a room with two beds, which one do you sleep on?

Whichever one the kids haven't messed up yet. I don't have a "thing" about it, like closer or further from the door or AC. Wherever I land, that's where I go.

Kinda boring this week, no?


A Closer Look


I haven't been posting much here lately, except for the memes, really. I know that's pretty lame. I have TONS of stuff to talk about, and lots of pictures to share, but no time!

One thing that has been going on here is my return to therapy. I've been going twice a week, for about a month now, to a new therapist I'll call "MC."

MC is seriously good at her job - she's probably the best therapist I've ever had, and this ain't my first time at the rodeo - but I'm not entirely sure I want to stick with her. I guess I probably will, because I'm pretty far into it now, and I do NOT like to change therapists or find a new one. But I really don't think I like her very much, as a person, and she annoys me on a regular basis.

So while I feel like I'm making some serious progress into fixing ME, I'm a little conflicted about that. But like I said, I'll probably stick with her to avoid having to find yet another new shrink.

Evidently, MC feels like there is quite a lot going on inside this ol' brain of mine, because twice-weekly therapy isn't something I've experienced often; I don't even remember going that often when Robby first died! Maybe I did... It has been a long time.

It's kind of hard, obviously, to post about going to therapy. It's taking up so much of my time, both in and out of MC's office, because I am actively working very hard on changing myself. I want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better me to myself. Oh, I know, we can all make improvements, but there are some things I really do not like about who I have become, and I want to eliminate them from my life.  Yet, to post about those things here would be very revealing, and although I am the self-described "Queen of TMI," I am not sure I'm quite ready to lay my soul bare to the world like that.

And at the same time, I feel like I need to talk about it, outside of my 45 minutes (because she's always late, and yet she cuts me off at the "right" time regardless) with MC. I feel like I need to unload, and maybe I feel like I need to be more accountable for my progress. Maybe I need to share with someone else the changes I have made within myself.  Maybe I just want you to know that I recognize I am flawed, and while I no longer aspire to be perfect, I want to fix those things about myself that can be hurtful to the people I love.

So, basically, we are working on undoing all of the damage that my ex-stepmother (aka TBFH or "The Bitch From Hell," as I've long thought of her) did to me for 10 years of my childhood. She continues to control so many parts of me, many of which I'm only now realizing. It's kind of shocking, actually. Every new thing we talk about, MC and I, every little thing we uncover, we can trace right back to TBFH and her cruelties. Who knew? Who knew that the reason I hate being late so much was because of her and what she did to me on a regular basis?

I can't even go into the details. It's hard for me to even discuss them with MC, in a protective environment, because it is so painful to recall. She asked me today, what do I think of, when I think of TBFH? And I couldn't. I don't. My mind ricochets around so quickly through those 10 years of my past, and it refuses to settle on any one thing, because it hurts. I mean, it fucking HURTS. It's traumatic, a little bit, to be relieving all of that. And we haven't even scratched the surface. We've talked about rather little things, but not the really nasty stuff. Maybe I should take a Klonopin or two before doing that, so I can relax enough to delve into it. Or something. I'll ask Dr. P. about it...

In the end, I left TBFH behind half my life ago, exactly, and yet she still has a strong hold on my personality. She controls me from afar, without even knowing it, and oh, my God, that sucks. For me, because I continue to be unkind to myself in so many ways, and for my family. In some ways, it's like I am parroting what TBFH did and said to me, to my own family, and that is so not who I want to be to them. I do not want to be a bitch. I do not want to be mean. I do not want to be cruel.

It's my goal to be kind and loving, tender and gentle. I want to be happy and content, and I want to be a source of the same in my husband and children. So, we are working. MC reminds me that it will take time, because this has been going on so long in my life, and that I must be patient with myself. It's hard. It's very hard. I am definitely already improving, but I am taking a lot of mis-steps along the way. I just have to keep picking myself up, recognizing what went wrong, and strive to do better the next time.

Not just for them. For me.

MC tells me at least once every session that I am a good person. She seems to really believe it. It makes me cry every time she says it. Maybe, one day, I will believe it, too.

I hope so.


Saturday 9: Friends, Again


Link up here if you're playing along today. And how young do they look?!

1. Do you make and keep friends easily?

No and no. Well, sometimes. Sort of. I don't know. I've burnt a lot of bridges, I guess, but I don't know if it's really more than the average person has. I mean, I have a LOT of longtime friends.

2. Who was your very first friend?

Ursula :D I could tell you a lot more about her, but maybe she wouldn't want all her identifying information on my blog, you know what I'm sayin'? So I'll just tell you that her mom, Olive, used to babysit my sister and me when we were really young. And yes, we're still friends. ;)

3. Who has been your friend the longest now?

Well der, that would be Ursula! Unless, of course, you count my sister, Stacey.

4. Tell us about your best friend.

Lisa is my very, very bestest-best friend. We met in 6th grade, and we were always friends, but maybe she became my very-very-best in high school. I had two BFFs, and so did she, me and another girl. It was kind of a weird dynamic. But anyway, Lisa. She's the greatest. She gets me in a way that very few people have EVER gotten me. She laughs at all my silliness, and she makes me laugh, too, hard. Those same few people have made me laugh that hard. Ahh. Love my Lis.

5. Tell us about the friend who gets on your nerves the most, and why.

Um, really? I'm supposed to say that? What if they're reading? Well, let's just say that this person can be pretty controlling and demanding, and it's always all about her, and it always has to be her way. The couple of times I've tried to assert myself a little with her, it's like the Cold War all over again.

6. Tell us about the last time you let a friend down.

Hmm. I'm thinking, I really am, and not to toot my horn or anything, but I can't really think of anything recent! I try not to do that... but if I did, please let me know.

7. Tell us about the last wonderful thing a friend did for you!

My friend Tabitha, from Bunco, gave me her camera! She upgraded hers, and she know I was stuck with a POS, so she just gave me her old one. It's nice, and so is she! :D

8. What was the last 'friend' thing you did?

I don't even know that I understand this question. Last thing I did WITH a friend, or for a friend? I hate ambiguity.

9. Have your ever been jealous of a friend's S/O?

Again with the ambiguity. Jealous of the friend, for having that S/O (yes), or jealous of the S/O, for some reason (why would I?) ??