Previous month:
April 2011
Next month:
June 2011

Entries from May 2011

Knitting Progress Y Otras Cosas


Here's where I am on the dress now. I think it's looking so cool. I can't wait to wear it!! It's double-knit, thick wool, so unless I develop coolant in my blood, I think it will be relegated to Winter wear after all.  I'm fine with that.

We didn't do a whole very lot this Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, we... Hm. Lay around in the un-air-conditioned house and moaned about how hot we were. On Sunday, we did the same. Today, Monday, we actually managed to get to the pool for some respite from the heat. Five minutes into that excursion, I was whining about being bored and having forgotten my knitting. After an hour, I gave up and walked home, leaving Rob at the pool with the kids. I grabbed my knitting and, still soaking wet and wrapped up in my towel, I lay on the couch with my project bag and... promptly fell asleep. For like, four hours. Awesome. Go me.

Part of that sleepiness might be from what is an enormous change I've made in my life, as of yesterday: I gave up my major Diet Coke habit! I have multiple reasons for doing so, including economic, health, and environmental ones. If you want me to go into more detail, say so in the comments. I won't bore you with those here.

But I'm out of iron and unloaded from caffeine, so I am quite the drowsy girl right now. It sucks. All I want to do is clean the house, but it's far too hot, and I'm far too tired, and I've done exactly nothing on that front.



Excuse the kids sitting around in their drawers, but it really is frickin' hot in here. Anyway, this is them starting on our new Top Secret! Adventure series from the Highlights magazine people. We're starting with Australia. So far, they're semi-into it. Maybe I can make it more interesting for them this week, because we have the China package to do next, and the third one should be here soon. Should be a fun way to explore geography, though!

Right now, while the AC is out of commission, You Take The Cake! is on hiatus. For one thing, it's too hot to bake, and for another, all my goodies will melt! So that stinks, because I am really eager to kick it into high gear.

And on a final note, we're trying to get out of our house. Anyone want to assume our mortgage? We don't even want to make any money on it; we just want OUT of here. Stat.

And on that note, have a lovely week. Think cold thoughts for us!


Sunday Stealing: The You Can't Be Missed Meme, Part The Last

Sunday Stealing 

Link up here if you're playing along this week! And now for some thievery:

46. Would you ever try to quit one of your addictions, or better said: Bad Habits?

Of course. If it's a bad habit, I would try to quit it. I have several I've tried giving up, like eating crap for food (doing well) and swearing a lot (doing a shitty job).

47. Could you ever kill yourself to save someone else?

I'm a mother. It goes without saying. But they aren't the only ones I would step in to save.

48. Does it matter if break up with someone or have them dump you?

I would rather be the dumper than the dumpee, and I have almost always been.

49. Would you rather have a turtle or a frog for a pet?

Hm. I'm not much for herps (reps and amphibs), but probably a frog. Less maintenance. I don't have a lot of turtle experience, though. I hear they're cool, but you have to be a crazy hand-washer if you pick them up.

50. Would you rather spend a day with Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus?

Oh, God, what a choice. Lady Gaga for certain, though. Would you really want to hang out with that snotrag little girl?!

51. Would you rather learn to play piano or guitar?

I learnt how to play piano as a kid. I would adore guitar lessons. I would love to be able to both play every instrument and speak every language.

52. We're going back to the day. Where did you get your kicks?

Honestly? At school. It was my refuge, my shelter from the storm.

53. What Asian country would you like to visit the most? Why?

Japan. Hello, it's Japan. Not that there's anything wrong with all those other Asian countries, but Japan? I yearn to see it.

54. Have you ever thought that a passer-by was the one (think James Blunt, here)?

No, but cool idea.

55. Ever told someone that your fake jewelery was really real?

Hahaha, no, I wouldn't do that.

56. Where are the worst public restrooms?

Sonic restaurants. GROSS. Probably not what you meant, but sirrusly.

57. What song was the latest one that got overplayed really fast?

Not the latest, but the one that jumps to mind is "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train. I still like it, though!

58. What Friends (American TV show from the 90s) character are you most like?

I'm a mixture of all three girls. I'm a total space cadette like Phoebe, a total OCD control-freak like Monica, and silly and goofy and fun like Rachel. 

59. When's the last time you had a Popsicle?

I think about six years ago, when I gave birth to Sophia. I could be wrong about that, though.

60. What TV show from way back would you love to see reappear?

The Dukes of Hazzard! That defined my early childhood, and I would love to see my kids getting into it, too.

Have a lovely holiday!


Sparkle! Progress

I can't remember if I ever posted here that I was going to knit myself this dress from Vogue, but I think I did:


I got the yarn back in February from The Loopy Ewe yarn shop in St. Louis, remember? It's "just" Cascade 220, but since I've never used that wool before, it's exciting to me.

Anyway, about a month and a half ago, I cast on for sparkle! and managed to complete four whole rows of the front. Then I put it down, expecting as usual to get right back to it, but there it sat while I moved on to other busyness.

This past Wednesday night was the first of what will be bi-weekly Craft Nights at a very special, cool, awesome, crafty place in downtown Norfolk called 757 Creative Space. If you are a Hampton Roads local, and you are a creative type, you simply must join in the fun.

I decided to go, after debating about doing that versus cleaning house. The house always needs cleaning. Always. MIL reminded me, via Facebook, that it would still be there and implored me to go to Craft Night.

I'm so glad she did! I met some wonderful ladies (and a gent or two) who do so many different, amazing things with their hands. I brought Chloë, too, and even she got her craft on, learning to finger-knit from a fabulous girl whose name I didn't catch, and make button-and-felt flower bouquets with the incomparable Michelle from Gymbohannah.

Anyway, I chatted and networked and laughed so much, I barely got two rows done in the whole three hours I was there, but that's okay, because I got my knitting mojo back and have been picking up sparkle! in every spare moment I can grab. And here I am now, 29 rows in:


It's coming along nicely, if I do say so myself. I can barely wait to wear it! At this rate, it will be a Winter dress, maybe with a red turtleneck and/or red tights underneath, but that's okay, because, hello? Wool? In what promises to be 100º weather this summer? Not terribly smart.

So coming up in a mo', Sunday Stealing, and then back to my sparkle! Because I know you can't wait to see me wearing it. Ha.



Saturday 9: Looking For A Love


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

1. When you were single, or if you are single, what's the best way to look for love?

I met my husband online. I heartily recommend it!

2. Have you ever cruised online personals, even if you're married, for fun? What was the reason?

Yeah, for fun. I like looking at the gay personals on Craigslist. Some of them are so outré!

3. Have you ever put up an online personal? If so, how was your experience?

I did, just the once. Two months later, he put a ring on it!

4. Have you ever answered an online personal? If so, how did it turn out?

I haven't. I'm a girl who likes to be pursued.

5. Have you ever had a good experience with online dating? If not, have you had a friend/family member have a good experience? Tell us about it!

Well, considering we had our 10th anniversary in January, I guess it's going pretty well. Sure, we have some (major) ups and downs, but we're happy together and, I'm fairly certain, we'll last.

6. Have you ever had a horrible experience with online dating? If not, someone else?

I met someone in a chat room once, years ago, and decided to go out and meet him for drinks. He turned out to be a devil worshipper. That was exciting...!

7. Back in 2004, a friend threw her husband out because she found out that he was having cyber affairs/sex with 2 women in states FAR away from them. Do you think that cybersex is actually cheating?

Absolutely, without a doubt, it is cheating.

8. Do you have any suggestions for someone as to how to stay safe using a dating service?

I don't guess the safety rules are any different in this situation as any other, so no, I've got nothing new to add to that. Just know yourself and be aware of your limits.

9. I've heard someone say, “There's and then there's everyone else." Is this true in your experience or someone you know?

I don't know, we used and it was all right. Hey, I thought eHarmony was the best? lol

Have a good weekend!


Road Trip: Florida!

So two weeks ago, the kids and I left for another hotel & resort mystery shopping spree, this time in Florida. The trip had been on the books for months, before my grandpa died, and I had planned on staying longer and going all over the state, including an extended visit to see him before... before I didn't have much time left with him. I tried not to be depressed the entire time and dwell on his absence, and in reality, I didn't have to try too hard because I kept myself so busy with the work I had piled on myself before I left.

We stopped overnight Monday at my dad's in South Carolina, to break up the long trip for the kids' sake - and my sanity. On the way there, we visited with an old friend from back home, J:


We connected in a way that we never had before, so it was pretty great, and I'm really glad we were able to stop in and see her - and her younger son and four poochies!


J has three "weenie dogs," as my kids love to call them, and an older dog, Daxton (I think?) who was just a love. My kids wore those poor doggies out, and I complimented J on just how zen she was about the whole kid-under-ten infestation in her overly lovely home. I'm the very tense-all-the-time sort, and I hadn't remembered her as being so... calm. I wish I could be that way. Especially when strange children are tearing up my beautiful house!

Anyway. So we got to Dad's much too late for his liking, and he was annoyed with me. Meh. What are you gonna do? I don't know when I'll be able to see J again, so it was worth the side trip to go.

That night didn't go over so well with Dad, because Sophia was up half the night, getting into things. She does that. It's the reason we have locks on half the things in our house that normal people don't have to lock up, like the fridge and the pantry and the bathrooms and things... She's extremely active, and he's neither used to it nor fond of it. I woke up around 0430 with him shouting at her, "What kind of kid are you? What the hell is the MATTER with you, anyway?!!" and her absolutely in hysterics, halfway to hyperventilating, and just broken.

I cuddled her and calmed her, tried to calm my agitated father, and resolved not to stop there as planned, on the way back up a week later. And we didn't. Nope, we didn't. But I don't want to get much more into that.

We were on the road to Florida by 0520.

And we were pulled over so Mommy could nap a little in the front seat by 0600! Hey, I was tired.

The kids woke me up about half an hour later, but by 0730, I was drowsy again, so I pulled off the road once more. This time, they let me sleep for two hours, while they sat in their car seats and watched a movie on the DVD player. After that, I was good to go, so aside from various rest stops and an emergency oil change in South Georgia, it was a straight shot into the Orlando area.

Where we sat. And sat and sat and sat in the bumper-to-bumper crazy traffic that has always made me loathe driving through the Orlando area. I did it quite a bit when I lived in the St. Pete/Tampa region, and I hated it then. Anyway, blah blah. At long, long last, we made it to our first hotel, in Maitland, outside of Orlando. There wasn't time to do everything Disney-related that I'd planned for entertaining the children (all free, too! Check out the DisBoards if you're headed there and have questions), but we were able to head to Downtown Disney for a couple hours.


When we got into all the Mickey-themed scenery and the lights and the action, the kids were beside themselves. They wanted to GO! GO! GO! and as it was packed, I wanted them to Wait! Wait! Wait! It was a bit hairy trying to keep my eye on three of them at once as they went off in all different directions to see what there was to see, and it was getting dark, to boot. Ahh! Fun times. But they were having a ball, so it was all good.


See Stitch, up there? He squirts water out at the passers-by. My kids noticed this right away and spent at least five minutes standing there, getting wet. My kids LOVE to get wet. Thankfully, it was warm, and they could afford a little soaking.


I told the kids they could each spend $5 at Downtown Disney (DTD), so we went into the shops to look around. When she arrived at the silly hats department, Sophia wanted to try on every.single. one. And she tried! Here she is looking rather... goofy.


I'd told Jack there was a Lego store in DTD, so he wanted to make a beeline for that inmediatamente. We tried. We got sidelined a billion times by things the girls saw, and he wanted no part of delays. Poor thing. He has a skewed sense of fairness sometimes. He doesn't realize it's not always all about Jack. Anyway, we eventually made it to Lego, and he went absolutely crazy looking at every brick, set, and display in that store. 


I tried like mad to convince him to do the "fill a cup with all the Lego pieces you can fit in it" deal that was a huge bargain, but he wanted NONE of that. He was bound and determined to get a small set. In the end, he wound up with a boat set for $4.99 (woohoo), but the next day, he was asking me, "Hey, Mom, next time we go to the Lego store, can we do that thing where you fill the cup..." Uh-huh. It sunk in, just a little too late!


Meanwhile, the girls were not bored in the store. There were plenty of build-it stations for them to play with the Legos on their own, and they enjoyed that. I was so thankful for them, too, as I had to follow Jack 'round and 'round until he settled on his boat set.


Chloë outside the Lego store


We walked and walked, looked and looked, shopped a teeny-tiny bit for the girls and my souvenirs, and when it was all said and done, we stopped for a short breather. I sat next to Chloë and admired her curls blowing in the wind, not for the first time in her life.



When we got back to that night's hotel and I had done my mystery shop work that I could do, it was time to settle down and get the kids to bed.  This is how that turned out. Not unusual. My kids have stayed in a LOT of hotels in their short lives, yet they never lose their enthusiasm for it!


Sophia doing pull-ups on the bell cart - she did about a dozen without stopping!



We checked out the following morning and headed over to Sarasota for the remainder of our trip. Along the way, I did a lunch shop at a popular chicken chain, so we visited a park to eat it. Apparently, Jack wasn't so thrilled with something, but I can't remember what it was! This time...


After we checked in to the first Sarasota hotel, and I did the shop stuff I needed to do straight away, I let the kids have a swim in the hotel pool. Boy, were they ready for that! They could barely wait to get in the water and have a swim. It was difficult to get them out for dinner later in the evening.


I just noticed Jack kept his shoes on in the pool, looking through these pictures. Silly boy!


Bright enough for ya, kiddo?



Here's something you rarely see: Sophia LEAVING the pool. But then, maybe she was just standing there splashing on the top step and then turned around and went right back in. Yeah. That's probably it.


Later on, when it was getting dark, an old friend of mine from St. Pete, D, met up with us for some fun in the beach area of Sarasota. First, I had to go for a drive. In 1998, I'd done my Biology internship here at Mote Marine Lab, so I needed to go by the old place and see how it looked. Unfortunately, it was dark and closed up for the evening, so I couldn't see a whole lot. But it felt good to be back, even for just a few minutes!


This was going on right across the street. I had to send a pic via SMS to Rob right away. He wanted me to win one. Ha! Fat chance.


Down the road apiece, we stopped at The Colony, where I used to work at night during my internship. I worked in the catering division with my friend M (who was also a University of Miami alumna as well as an intern at Mote), and we had an absolute blast.  Sadly, I found The Colony to be closed down and in a sad state, which I didn't expect, considering how glorious a place it was back in those days. According to their website, they shut down last summer over property disputes. Bummer.


After The Colony, we drove back to St. Armands Circle, where there are all kinds of cool must-see shops and restaurants. If you're ever in Sarasota, don't miss St. Armands. Just... leave your wallet at home! We spotted this leaf dress in the window. I thought it was cool! We had ice cream at Scoop Daddy's and walked around, chatting with various tourists and locals, window shopping, and having ourselves a grand old time.


Sophia, being Sophia - she is forever on the move. It would not surprise me to see her in the Olympics in the future! Watch out world, here she comes!



My friend D wanted to walk down by the beach, so that's what we did. The kids couldn't wait to peel off their shoes and run toward the water. I had to give them a stern warning about getting in too far, because of the very real danger of sharks at that time of day. They heeded the warning and stayed up in the bubbly surf. D was macking it with some girls from North Dakota when he wasn't insisting on taking pictures of me:


Me, protesting the photo-taking of The Self



All right, fine. Here's your picture. I ain't perfect, not by a long shot. All I see is the yucky stuff. Judge if you will.


Later, while Jack was busy burying Sophia in the sand,...


...Chloë was making sand angels. And then they were on the move again, toward the water.



Jack claims not to like the beach. Do you believe him? Yeah, me neither.


Sophia loves to write in the sand. Chloë, too.


I believe this is the, "Get out of my face with that camera!!!" look.


I know. I have ugly feet. I've been told. But there they were, in the sand, so a picture was taken.



By contrast, here is a thing of great beauty, looking inexplicably sad.


A classic Sophie face


Rinsing off in the showers as we left the beach. Oh, did you think I had brought towels with us, so we wouldn't soak up the van? No. No, I didn't.


Jack doing his monkey face as we sat down for a very late dinner that barely got eaten

Florida Trip 

Dinner was delicious, but like I said, not much was eaten. D isn't into "raw fish," as he called the seared ahi tuna I love so much, so he grimaced over my choices. Oh well, more for me later! We did enjoy a healthy portion of our adult beverages, however, so there was more walking before it was time to drive back to that night's hotel.


The next day, we checked out of the second Sarasota hotel and moved into a resort on Bradenton Beach for two nights. The first thing the kids wanted to do was swim, so I did what I had to do and then got them right into the water. The resort was small, compared to the other ones we've been doing for this company the past 8 months or so, but they had lots of pool and beach toys for the children. The kids love their pool noodles, so they were delighted about that.


Even Jack gets in the water when floaties are involved!


Lunch that day was leftovers. Why should you care? Well, I don't know, but that tongue just makes me giggle, and I thought you might like it, too.


Just to show I fed the girls, too, here they are eating leftover mac & cheese and heavily engrossed in some television cartoon or other. When we travel, they get to watch "regular" TV, as opposed to whatever's available on Netflix streaming to the Wii. (Which, more often than not, we require to be educational, like Nova features, for example. But they're fascinating, so check 'em out!)



After lunch, they wanted more swimming, but this time at the beach that abutted the resort property. We forgot buckets, so how nice that they provided those for us, too!


We were initially prepared to stay the rest of the day at the beach, but as you can see from the sky behind Chloë, Mother Nature had other plans. We managed all of ten minutes or so before the downpour started in earnest.


The boy-child made the most of it. He may complain about the water - as with everything else - but he gets in there with the best of 'em! We always wanted to have water babies for children, and for a while, it didn't seem like we were going to have ANY. Now, it seems, we have three. Phew!


Sophia started a seashell collection during this trip. She proudly showed me each and every one, ad nauseum, while I acted like they were all more beautiful and amazing than the last. The teeny ones captivated her more than the most colorful or the most interestingly-shaped. She is the baby, and she likes baby things.


See that color there, the middle level of blue-green? That's my favorite color in the world. Always has been.


It might be hard to see here in this picture without enlarging it, but she has such a muscular, athletic body. And she is so strong. She's a physical girl, has been since birth six years ago, and she'll be a force to reckon with when she finds her sport(s). I think I've said it before here, but it would not surprise me in the least to see her at the Olympics one day.


Meanwhile, this girl has skills of her own.


After the rain, during which the kids complained bitterly about being cooped up inside during their vacation, we walked down the road a small ways to catch the free trolley that ran around the beach and next-door neighbor, Anna Maria Island.


Chloë desperately wanted to take my picture, too, so after much coaxing, I relaxed enough to hand over the Nikon for a moment. 


The closest trolley stop was in front of a Circle K, so we stopped in there to get some Diet Coke for Mama. To my supreme happiness, all drinks, all sizes, were only 69¢ each, so I bought the kids their own drinks, too. That's a rare treat for them, getting lemonade or punch instead of milk or water. They don't look thrilled here, but maybe that's because they were sick of waiting for the trolley. It did seem to take forever!


These two insisted on sitting next to each other. It's how I know they really do love each other, though they fight like nobody's business. I'd be more worried, except I did the same with my own sister, and yet we've always been close.



We rode the trolley around the beaches until we spotted a playground at the oceanfront. "Let's go there!" they insisted. So we did.


I don't remember ever having to learn to pump my legs to ride the swings, but I guess I did. Anyway, it seems like it's taken forever to teach the kids, and they still want that "get me started" big push. Except Jack. Can't get him near swings.


Love the look of concentration on my little boy's face


"Mom, over here!"


Before long, they tired of the playground equipment and wanted to go back to the water. Which was fine, except we weren't at the resort and still had a long ride back on the trolley. I cautioned them, "Don't get your close all wet! You'll freeze on the trolley!" but they refused to heed my warnings and, before long, were soaked. Absolutely soaked.


Happy beach babes


I love this picture. It's just so... authentic. Real. Joy.


After a long time, the sun went down, bellies grew hungry, and it was time to go wait for the trolley to take us 'home' to the resort. And yes, they froze. And yes, they complained the entire time. But they survived.


The first thing they did when we got back, therefore, was take a hot shower. That's another thing my kids love about staying in hotels: I let them take all the hot showers and baths they want. Until they get piggy about it, that is - otherwise, I'd never get them out!


Florida Trip

A quick dinner, and then bed. It wasn't long before, for once, these three kiddos were knocked OUT. They're so sweet when they sleep...


And then, your faithful blogger, here, (or not so faithful, as the case may be lately), chatted via Instant Messenger with the patriarch of Team Odette for hours and hours, until I couldn't take it anymore, missing him so much. I woke up the kids around 0500 and checked out of the resort about five hours ahead of schedule, to get home to him that much faster. And we drove straight through, about 17 hours, stopping only when necessary, to get home to Daddy.


And so, Florida, until next time...


A Saturday In May

2011-05 (May)

(Click collage to embiggerate.) 

We had a busy weekend, of sorts. I had to make those cookies from the previous post Friday night and Saturday morning, get them delivered by noon, and then get the house cleaned for the company we were having that night.

Which wasn't really "company," per se, but keeping two kiddos overnight so their dad and his new wife could have an adults-only wedding reception. They are both in Scouts with our kids, so we know them well enough that it was easy-peasy and comfortable. Still, I hate my house. My husband and kids are total slobs, and I'm, like, the only one in this house who seems to be bothered by the constant mess.  But I don't want to go there; I already went on a rampage a few hours ago!

After we straightened up, I let the kids play out front with the garden hose. They got soaked, and so did I! When the little girl who was staying overnight arrived, I was in the middle of filling up a bucket of water balloons for them to throw around. There's just something special about water balloons, isn't there? I think they should be a part of every sad occasion, to make things fun and happy. Like, at my grandpa's funeral a couple months ago, if we could've just thrown some water balloons, I probably would have cried less.

I don't claim to make sense.

So here are a few of my favorite pictures from that day, taken out of the collage so you can see 'em better, because I know you aren't going to be clicking on anything to embiggerate. I know your type. I can see it in you.


Sophia watering her 4th-birthday Crepe Myrtle Hopi


Sophia, again, having a drink from the hose


This photo just makes me happy. Like I could just reach in that squishy pile of balloons and hurl one at ... you?


A surprise attack from Daddy!


Nothing better than watching a Dad play with his kids


Later, we took our kids and the little girl (her brother was still at camp and got dropped off much later) to Baskin-Robbins for dessert, since I had won a $10 gift certificate from a Facebook contest of theirs a little while back. All six of us ordered a kid-sized cone (mine was sugar-free, natch), so for some odd reason, the very nice Indian lady running the store at the time decided to give us a half-dozen empty double-scoop cones "on the house." Really? For... what? It still makes me laugh.



Providing another giggle was that each was labeled, "DUBLE HEDER" - I don't know why that amuses me so much, but it does.


This little stinker... I had decided I would use those cones for something cakey for You Take The Cake! when Jack asked me if he could look at one. Next thing I know, he starts chomping away on it! What! Jack!! So this was his expression of, "Hey, I didn't know!" that kills me so much.

That's about it for pictures from Saturday night, which passed quickly for the overnight kiddos and not so fast for Team Odette. THEY were exhausted and fell right asleep. MINE were too excited about the sleepover/living room camp-out to settle down. They wriggled and writhed in their sleeping bags for half the night, keeping me awake next to them on the couch. And then the overnight kiddos woke up, hungry and raring to go, at 0630! *Groan* I was so not ready to get up then, but I managed.

I made pancakes and then realized, to all six kids' dismay, that we were out of syrup. Ugh. Overnight girl commented, "There's not much to eat around here!" after that. So we scrounged and managed to feed them, but man, their energy was limitless that morning compared to the rest of ours.  We took everyone outside to the lake across the street, driving PowerWheels around the lake and fishing with Rob.

It wasn't that disappointing when I realized I had to duck out for an hour for a blood donation appointment at the Red Cross. I'd made that date before I knew about the overnight, and I was behind in my donations, so I didn't want to miss it. I like to give my six times a year like clockwork, and I was already a month late. So, sorry, Honey! Rob was all, "Thaaaaaanks."

(On the positive side, I wasn't deferred for low iron and was able to give, so yay! I'm often deferred...)


Later, I played with my camera a little and captured this halfway-decent self-portrait. I have yet to take one that's clear and with good lighting, though, and that's because I haven't really figured out the timer or the remote control on my new camera yet. But hey, if this is what 35 is going to look like for me, I think I'll take it!


Skipping ahead to our equally-busy Monday, I started off the girls with a page in the workbooks their Grandma gave them so I could get myself settled, and I asked Jack to bring down his Legos and K'nex set to build me some kind of transportation. Anything he wanted. (We've been studying transportation this year as our social studies exploration.) He chose to make a hot air balloon, and this is what he came up with. I was very impressed!! Rob later told me he had instructions to follow for it, which deflated me considerably, but at the time, I was super pleased! After that, I asked him to make this, that and the other thing, and he did, coming up with something new and cool each time. That boy is so mechanically inclined, it'll be interesting to see what he does with it in the future. I hope he doesn't waste his talents!

I think I'll keep blogging. I have a lot of lost time to make up for with you!


Disappointment On The Cookie Front


Remember the woman who ordered the logo-truck cookies for her mom a few weeks ago? Well, originally, she had commissioned me for these princess party-themed cookies. Two dozen of them, so this picture doesn't show all of the ones she received. Just most.

I went back and forth on how I wanted to ice her cookies and finally decided to go with the Royal Icing, color flow technique that she had been so happy with for her mom's cookies. Adding a generous helping of colored sanding sugars to go with the theme, of course.

Well, I just hate the way they came out. I haven't heard back from her about them yet, and I'm nervous to ask. I know I should... and I probably will, tomorrow (today), because I know she planned to order yet more cookies from me for her upcoming baby shower, and I want to keep in her good graces!

Personally, I think these suck. I'm sure they tasted just fine, but they look like poo in my opinion, and I hate them. Bah.


Well, at least the packaging was cute.


Nutella: The Opposite Of Mustard

I decided that last week. As far as appeal and desirability and the wanting to have it near me and, too, IN me, it's the truth. Don't you find?

I'm eating a salad right now. We went to Florida all last week and the traveling food put me up on the scale a few pounds, so I'm trying to knock them back off. I even dragged the family along on a walk to 7-11 for a Diet Coke run on Saturday, instead of driving. Jack complained the whole time. He doesn't like to walk. He doesn't like to run, either. He just likes to ride. Lazy, he is. He gets it from his mother.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Nowhere, really, except that I checked out my Google Reader blogs tonight for the first time in ages and noticed that I've posted almost nothing but memes lately. I know y'all hate that, so "here my am!" (A three-year-old daughter of a once-friend said that upon emerging from her house, and I found it so darling that it immediately went into the Things-I-Will-Remember-Even-If-I-Have-Alzheimer's Vault. You have one too, don'tcha?)

I have an early-morning appointment with Chloë's dentist, first of all, to fix the appliance that she broke quite by accident last night, and second, at the Naval hospital, to have a skin check for various squamous cell carcinoma-melanoma-Oklahoma type things I have going on in various places on my person. I planned on pulling an all-nighter so I don't oversleep and miss them both. It's not unusual for me to do that; I average 2-3 a week. Suddenly, though, I am yawning. I just got back from 7-11 with my Coke refill and that salad, and I dove headfirst into the salad. Since I can't drink and eat at the same time anymore, thanks to Oscar, my caffeine-loading has plummeted. As long as I keep up a certain level of caff in the system, I can go indefinitely.

I never shoulda stopped the Caffeine-Free Lifestyle of which I was once so proud. It all started last summer, when I went freebie-blog/homeschooling-prep/Girl Scout Leader-prep crazy and had no time or energy for anything. So I had a cup of coffee one night, and whammo! It woke me UP! I liked that. I made myself sick on Mountain Dew while cramming for a final exam in college one time, so it had been ages since I'd really had a decent amount of caffeine. Well, now it's all over, and I am, sadly, addicted. Gots to have it.

Speaking of which, the other day we were leaving the afore-mentioned Naval hospital after Sophia's neurology appointment (which is a whole 'nother post, by the way), and I saw a poster in the hallway about a study on caffeine-induced psychosis. "Stop, kids! Wait!" I demanded, so I could peruse the poster for a quick sec. I didn't really glean anything important from it other than, "Hm, maybe I shouldn't drink so much of this shit, but since I already knew that for other reasons, I will carry on and ignore this lovely piece of information."

And speaking of psychosis, I had a tearful breakdown to Rob the other day, in which I confessed that I think more is wrong with me, mentally, than "just" bipolar disorder. Which isn't "just" anything, and I seem to have a particularly nasty case of it myself. So I really don't need more bugs in the attic, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I got myself all convinced that I have schizophrenia or dissociative disorder or some other fun problem, and I'm going to totally break from reality, and ruin the lives of everyone who ever met me.

Hey, I wonder where Chloë gets her Drama Queen tendencies? I don't know.

Anyway, so I have this skin check tomorrow. I thought it would take at least a month to be seen, between getting an appointment just to have the referral put in, and then the specialist appointment, but it's all happening very fast. Which ought to freak me out, but it's having quite the opposite effect, actually. I was so freaked out, having talked myself into a Stage 4 case of Malignant Melanoma (which may or may not even be an actual, eh, stage of this type of cancer), and then the wheels moved very quickly, and now I'm being seen imMEjutly, and I feel like, wow, people are paying attention to this problem I'm having and it's going to be taken care of, and I'll be okay. Either way, I'll be okay. I just feel better knowing that my symptoms are being addressed expediently and with the proper level of seriousness, rather than dismissed the way I usually feel my concerns are. Know what I mean?

So let me drink some of this delicious beverage, and I'll be back with some pictures of stuff. I know ya like pictures of stuff.


P.S. Could someone put away the rest of this salad for me? My arse seems to be glued to this chair at the moment. Kthxbai.

Sunday Stealing: The You Can't Be Missed Meme, Part Three

Sunday Stealing 

Link up here if you're playing along!

31. What is your absolute favorite dessert?

Cheesecake, followed closely by good chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

32. What can someone do to make you smile, no matter what?

A baby being funny or sweet usually gets me, even at my worst moments.

33. What do the hip people think of you?

Who cares?

34. What was the last gift you bought someone?

I bought a 39¢ Lindt truffle for my husband tonight, does that count?

35. What was your favorite class in high school?

Biology, followed closely by Spanish.

36. How many spouses would be about right?

One, I should think, if you're lucky.

37. What would you say was the most embarrassing moment of your life?

Oh, gosh. There have been a bunch. Maybe one time when I was crossing the street as a teenager, and a car sped up. So I sped up, and the guy driving leaned out and shouted out in front of the whole (small) town, "Look at the fat girl run!"

38. Have you ever donated money to charity?

Of course.

39. Has porn ever had a positive place in a current or recent relationship?

Yes, I think it can.

40. Would you ever dump the one you're with for someone who makes an obvious play and is MUCH hotter?

If the one I'm with is based on absolutely nothing, maybe. And oh, I was fourteen, too.

41. Have you ever disowned one of your relatives?

Yes, but I didn't tell him or stick to it. So much for that.

42. Would you think it's OK to cheat on someone if they've already cheated on you?

Two wrongs don't make a right. 

43. Did you ever consider becoming a teacher?

Yes, and I was a teacher for a while. And a sub. Oh, and I suppose I am still, since we homeschool our three children. Forgot for a sec. Heh.

44. Would you ever give a hitch-hiker a ride somewhere?

I have, but I was alone and it was a mom alone with her two daughters. In most cases, I probably wouldn't.

45. Would you ever try fasting for a whole week?

Why on earth would I want to do that? I could go without food, but not something to drink (other than water).

Und zat's zee end.


Saturday 9: Rain


Link up here if you're joining Crazy Sam and her cast of Niners today!

1. It's Spring, grilling begins! If you plan a picnic, do you bow out if it rains?

Yeah. There are just some things I'm not willing to do, and eating soggy sammiches is one of them.

2. Do you prefer food grilled on a charcoal or gas grill?

I really don't give a crap. I'm not a big fan of barbecue, anyhow. I do like to make meals en papillote, though, and have made some delicious ones over the years.

3. We're at the first grilling picnic. What's your meat order?

Chicken or fish for me, please. But only something I haven't worked with. I can't do grouper, for instance...

4. What side dishes do you want?

Rice and pastas are out for me, so a salad would be good - fruit or vegetable.

5. Now, where do prefer to eat: at the picnic table or inside?

Outside, of course! Who eats inside at a picnic? Well, unless it's raining and you're on the living room floor.

6. You were asked to bring a dish. What do you bring?

Dessert. I always try to bring a dessert, or a bread. Something baked.

7. Does it bother you to have citronella candles burning if you are eating or cooking outside?

No. Not much more I can say about that... 

8. What fellow bloggers do you want to meet at the picnic?

Well, I would love to meet Nicole, and Becca, and Gloria, for starters! (Links not working all of a sudden, but you know who you are, yes?)

9. Does there need to be a pool at the picnic, your choice?

Water is always welcome, but not a requirement for a picnic. Waterguns and balloons are fun, too, for the kiddamarinky-dinky-doos.

Anyway, that was a nice diversion, but not too very thought-y.


Faces Of The Future

Disclosure: I was entered for a chance to win a gift card in exchange for this post.  No monetary exchange took place.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), in partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, has launched the Faces of the Future campaign (, designed to raise awareness about the importance of digital literacy. The campaign features youth from across America who have been positively impacted by the Club Tech program and shows how technology can transform lives.

Historically, Boys & Girls Clubs have been known as safe, affordable places where parents could send their kids to play sports, swim and get help with their homework. But now they are much more than that. The Club Tech program helps prepare young people through technology, tapping into the potential of future journalists, graphic designers, engineers and photographers.

Boys & Girls Club members, age 6-18, learn various skills from word processing and presentations to music production and filmmaking. Nearly 1 million kids and teens participate in the Club Tech program at more than 3,600 Boys & Girls Clubs around the world. Research has shown that participants not only learned the fundamentals of computers, but they also discovered how to harness technology in a way that made them more literate in current affairs and other topics that spill over from school and home.

Throughout the campaign, the Faces of the Future Showcase will feature artwork, music and films created by youth using the Club Tech digital arts curriculum. People all over the world will have the opportunity to see what young people can accomplish through technology when given access to the right tools and opportunities!

Speaking of accomplishments, Boys & Girls Clubs of America needs your help in reaching an important milestone--35,000 fans on Facebook! For every 10 likes they get, a Club member will receive Microsoft Office 2010. By clicking the "like" button, you're not only showing your support for an amazing cause, but you're literally putting tools in the hands of children who need them most.

So go over now and click! Thanks for reading this post.


Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed" Meme Part Two


Link up here if you're playing along today!

16. What was the last thing you did that was totally selfish, yet you feel no guilt?

Put the TV on for the kids and let them wash while I took a nice, hot bath by myself. Ahhh...

17. Tell us about a film fave of yours that we probably have not seen.

Chasing Amy - have you seen it? I like it.

18. When was the last time you kissed someone that you shouldn't have on the lips?

Today. I kissed Sophia. I should have known better. She always sticks her tongue out!

19. When was the last time you cooked something for someone not in your family?

Couple nights ago, I made my friend D some spaghetti.

20. When was the last time you danced like a crazy person?

Probably within the past week. I do it a lot, actually!

21. When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible?

Not only invisible, but non-existent - on Tuesday. That was a rough day for me. Rough!

22. When was the last time you got a gift you absolutely hated?

I can't think of a gift I've ever hated. My husband gave me an anniversary ring once, which I wasn't especially fond of, but it has since grown on me immensely, and I love it.

23. When was the last time you got into a physical fight? (If NEVER, let us know about a time that you got close to a fight.)

Right before Halloween 2000. My then-fiance and I pushed each other around, and not for the first time. It ended with him slamming my face into a bookshelf and breaking my two front teeth. I kicked him out and never looked back. Just over two months later, I married my husband!

24. When was the last time you had to sleep with a light on?

Last night. I do that all the time, too. I'm skeered of the dark!

25. When was the last time you were under some serious stress?

Tuesday night, that night I wanted to be invisible - no, non-existent. It was AWFUL. Some bad shit is going down.

26. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie?

I don't know, I have several favorites, but I havent' seen any of them in years. Years!!

27. What song did you most recently download?

Hmm. Let me think... I think it was a bunch of old Michael Jackson songs, like "Bad," "Beat It," and "Billie Jean." Pretty sure.

28. What would you say is your favorite hobby?

I'd say just hanging out with my family, but that's not really a hobby, is it? So knitting... although maybe baking cakes is right now. I'm having a ball with that!

29. What is your favorite thing to do when you hang out with friends?

Just laugh and have fun! We used to have Game Night with certain friends of ours that no longer are... that was a riot. I miss that part of things.

30. What would you rather do: shower or bathe with that celebrity that you are crushing on?

Well, both have their merits, but I think a bath would have to be sexier. As long as it's a nice, big tub. If it's not, then a shower can be pretty hot, too! ;)


Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed" Meme Part Two


Link up here if you're playing along today!

16. What was the last thing you did that was totally selfish, yet you feel no guilt?

Put the TV on for the kids and let them wash while I took a nice, hot bath by myself. Ahhh...

17. Tell us about a film fave of yours that we probably have not seen.

Chasing Amy - have you seen it? I like it.

18. When was the last time you kissed someone that you shouldn't have on the lips?

Today. I kissed Sophia. I should have known better. She always sticks her tongue out!

19. When was the last time you cooked something for someone not in your family?

Couple nights ago, I made my friend D some spaghetti.

20. When was the last time you danced like a crazy person?

Probably within the past week. I do it a lot, actually!

21. When was the last time you just wanted to be invisible?

Not only invisible, but non-existent - on Tuesday. That was a rough day for me. Rough!

22. When was the last time you got a gift you absolutely hated?

I can't think of a gift I've ever hated. My husband gave me an anniversary ring once, which I wasn't especially fond of, but it has since grown on me immensely, and I love it.

23. When was the last time you got into a physical fight? (If NEVER, let us know about a time that you got close to a fight.)

Right before Halloween 2000. My then-fiance and I pushed each other around, and not for the first time. It ended with him slamming my face into a bookshelf and breaking my two front teeth. I kicked him out and never looked back. Just over two months later, I married my husband!

24. When was the last time you had to sleep with a light on?

Last night. I do that all the time, too. I'm skeered of the dark!

25. When was the last time you were under some serious stress?

Tuesday night, that night I wanted to be invisible - no, non-existent. It was AWFUL. Some bad shit is going down.

26. When was the last time you watched your favorite movie?

I don't know, I have several favorites, but I havent' seen any of them in years. Years!!

27. What song did you most recently download?

Hmm. Let me think... I think it was a bunch of old Michael Jackson songs, like "Bad," "Beat It," and "Billie Jean." Pretty sure.

28. What would you say is your favorite hobby?

I'd say just hanging out with my family, but that's not really a hobby, is it? So knitting... although maybe baking cakes is right now. I'm having a ball with that!

29. What is your favorite thing to do when you hang out with friends?

Just laugh and have fun! We used to have Game Night with certain friends of ours that no longer are... that was a riot. I miss that part of things.

30. What would you rather do: shower or bathe with that celebrity that you are crushing on?

Well, both have their merits, but I think a bath would have to be sexier. As long as it's a nice, big tub. If it's not, then a shower can be pretty hot, too! ;)


Saturday 9: My Best Friend's Wedding


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. Have you ever lost a friend after he/she got married?

Yeah, I have, but not necessarily because of that. I dunno.

2. Do you make friends easily?

I'm shy, but I guess I still do, as long as it's with people I see frequently, like at school or work or other frequent gathering-type things.

3. Do you have many close friends?

I have a few. I wouldn't say many. Who has many CLOSE friends, really?

4. Tell us about your oldest friend.

That would be Ursula, whose mom babysat my sister and I when we were really little. We're still friends! She's a nurse, and a wife, a mother of three, and a great girl. And she's super tall!!

5. Tell us about your newest friend.

Hmm. That would be Christine T. She started a gardening club for a bunch of us homeschoolers. I'm absolutely in LOVE with her! She's like, this total gardening guru, and she's so calm and ... zen. Really zen. When you're around her, you feel like you're in this welcoming, comforting realm. I'm so glad I decided to join up. From now on, I'll be taking the kids with me, too, so they can benefit from both the gardening lessons and the calming presence.

6. Do you hang out with your friends often, or just occasionally when you can find time?

When I get a chance. I'd love to hang with my friends more, but there just isn't lots of time. Gotta make the time sometimes weeks in advance!

7. What's the furthest you've traveled to visit (or vacation with, etc.) a friend?

From Miami to Central NY. More than once.

8. What's the biggest or best thing a friend has ever done for you?

Dropped everything in her life, which was a LOT, to fly halfway across the country and be with my family through a major crisis. Actually, several of my friends did this same big thing. I have some pretty awesome friends, now that I think about it.

9. What's the worst or most hurtful thing that a friend (or an ex-friend) has done to you?

My son died, and about, I dont know, a couple years later, she asked me when I was "going to get over the 'dead baby' thing." I have since forgiven her for that, but it took a very long time.

Happy weekend.


Sunday Stealing: The "You Can't Be Missed Meme" Part One

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Sunday Stealing

1. Which state do you consider to be the most boring state?

Ha! I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I haven't been to all of them yet!

2. If any chef from the Food Network (or any well known chef) could cater your wedding, who would it be?

I would rather have my wedding catered by my talented Bro-in-law, Mike Odette, chef and part-owner of Sycamore in Columbia, Missouri. GO!!

3. What's the last thing you ate that was red?

Uhhh... red... It would have to have been a cherry or a strawberry, I'm guessing, although I really can't recall.

4. Have you ever questioned the sexual orientation of a close friend?

A boyfriend or two, even! (And I turned out to be right about one of them, although I still think the other one is iffy, too. Hee.)

5. Everyone loses a friend after some big fight. Tell us about one.

I lost a close-ish, but I would no longer call her a "good" friend, in November. She had been showing her true colors for a while before then, with Hubs urging me to cut ties with her, but then we went on a trip together and she was the epitome of an inconsiderate pig. I was disgusted and could not get away from her fast enough. Good riddance to bad rubbish, as they say!

6. Have you ever washed an iPod or mp3 player in the washing machine?

I don't know about those things, specifically, but yes, I've put some expensive electronics through the ringer. I couldn't scold Hubs too much when he recently dropped his iPhone in the toilet - because I've pulled that one, too!!

7. Have you ever screamed / yelled angrily at a boss?

Heavens, no. Unless you consider the hub and kids my "boss," which I do not.

8. Have you ever cried yourself to sleep?

I'm a 34-year-old female. The question is, have I done it this week?

9. Have you ever regretted being in a relationship with someone?

Absolutely. The guy I was engaged to before I met my husband - the one who broke my two front teeth? I regretted that relationship from the very beginning. Honestly, I only stuck with it as long as I did because I needed help paying the rent. Sad but true story.

10. Have you ever acted like you understood something when you didn't have a clue?

No, but I have pretended the opposite on more than one occasion.

11. Have you ever thought someone must have been insane? If yes, tell us something about the person.

TBFH, aka my evil former stepmother, definitely had shit wrong with her cerebrum. She sure went insane on ME on a daily basis. She taught me the finer points of being a shitty mother. I'm living her lessons every day and trying to undo them. It's so, so hard.

12. Have you ever pretended to be younger than what you are?

Nope. I love getting older. Absolutely adore it.

13. Back in the day, did you ever cry because you were turned down for a date?

Yeah, I did. Ha... I asked a few boys to a few different school dances and most of the time got turned down. Whatever, I'm just proud I had the balls to do it, then!

14. Have you ever (or your significant other) had a pregnancy scare?

Oh, for sure. Fun times!

15. Have you ever pretended to like someone when you didn't?

Sure, you have to sometimes.  Gotta get along in this world, right?

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! Love those babies - life is short.


Apparently I'm An Artiste

As you know, I've started what was originally just going to be a cake-decorating business, You Take The Cake!, but it has morphed into an all-around dessert and treats thing. Which is fine by me. I can't be confined, you know. I'm just that big a deal. Pretty soon I'll be walking down the street and people will be yelling out, "Hey, Smelly!" And I'll give my pits a little sniff, because, you know, but no, it'll be because me and my fabulous cakes and desserts and treats and stuff are so. damn. good.

Whoa. So not where I was going with this post. Which, by the way, is brought to you via the magic of Firefox, since IE seems to be the Typepad picture-uploading problemator, and not Typepad itself. Ugh. So back to my original subject...

It all started when someone responded to my cake-biz post on Craigslist, asking if I could make iced cookies for her daughter's birthday party in a few weeks. Sure, I can do that. I've been making cookies since I've been old enough to turn on the oven, after all. Then she came back a day or two later, asking if I could make some cookies for her mom's new errand-running business, as a present to her mom for Mother's Day.

Sure, ah, well, what exactly did she want?  Turns out she wanted her mom's logo, which was this:

ErRuns Express

on some kind of truck cookie. Well. Now. That's a whole different ball of wax, kids. I'm not all fancy-schmancy with the equipment (though, oh, how I would like to be), so I told her, em, uh, yeah, I don't know if you would like me to actually draw the logo on there and see? She wanted to see what I could do, so while I was putzing around making some practice fondant roses, like so:


I drew (with edible marker, natch) the fondant mock-up pictured at the top. I figured she would withdraw her request on the spot, but she was actually delighted! Whaa? Okay, then, so she came out and signed her work order and put down her deposit, and it was a go. Yippee!


So last night, I finally got off my arse and got started, since she's picking them up at noon today. Baking the cookies themselves went smoothly, but any ol' monkey can do that. (Thanks to MIL, who gave us a box of 101 cookie cutters about 9 years ago, I already had a truck one. Woot! Those 101 cutters have come in handy on about a billion occasions.)


After outlining and "flooding" the cookies with icing, I had nothing to do but sit around and wait. And wait and wait and wait. You're supposed to let them sit overnight, but after about four hours, I lost patience. Fortunately I had made a few extras, so if I goofed up, I could afford to lose a couple. I did, too. Not on the drawing, but because I leaned on a cookie and cracked the nice crystallized icy-icing coating. Can't fix that! (Rob suggested spackle, but Client's Mom's customers probably wouldn't enjoy that so much.)

Just in case those didn't turn out well, I made some "Go Mom, You're Awesome" cookies as a back-up for the Client, so she would still have a gift to give her. She had okayed that, too. But we've eaten several of these, actually most, so hopefully she likes how they finally did turn out!


And this is them. Each one painstakingly drawn and painted in by hand, with the marker and with custom-mixed icing paint, details dotted in with toothpicks. It was a long, long process, and I definitely low-balled myself on the cost. I'm half-hoping she comes back and orders more - and my cramped hands are half-hoping she doesn't!

Maybe I'll be back later with more stuff I've been making lately - or you can just go look at the pictures on the shop website! Or maybe both, I've been quiet lately.



Saturday 9: Let's Roll

Still can't add photos, which is why the blogging has crawled to a halt here. So frustrating!!

Anyway, link up here, yadda yadda...

Let's Roll!

1. Where were you when you found out the bin Laden was killed? How did you find out?

Sitting right here, looking at Facebook. Suddenly it was on every other post, every other status update. It was hard to believe for a minute, wasn't it?

2. One of your best friends turns out to be saying hurtful and untrue things behind your back. What would you do?

Have one less 'best' friend, I guess. Who needs that?

3. You instantly become a star. What is it that made you one?

My amazing vocal skills. Hey, I can dream...

4. If you could be ANY sex symbol (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Marilyn Monroe. Because, c'mon!

5. Where is your favorite place to eat out?

I like trying new places. I don't have a favorite. I just like to go and experience whatever's new, has some fun menu choices, and definitely is NOT a chain.

6. Are there any current (that began before 2010) television shows out there that you've watched regularly from the very beginning?

Nope, we don't watch TV. We're pretty much living an "opt-out" lifestyle, and I like it that way just fine.

7. When is it time to just let it ('it' can be whatever you choose) go? How do you know? What do you do?

When it no longer does you ANY good to dwell on it, because it can't be changed, repaired, or improved, then it's time to move on. I'm a quick mover-onner.

8. Pimentos-- in Olives? Useless decorative effect? ...or something you maybe enjoy? ...and is there something you can only stare at and wonder about at the snack bar?

Much like this question, I really don't care. I hate (green) olives, and pimentos are yucky. I don't know about the snack bar, but... pork rinds? Really? The Nast.

9. Why do you think we as a civilization can't seem to get along with one another?

Because we are intelligent.

That's the end, yabba dabba do! Now go see what's new over here!


Sunday Stealing: The Questionable Questions Meme

Okay, seriously, Typepad? I haven't blogged in how many days and you still haven't fixed the no-picture thing? Lame.

Link up here if you're thievin' today.

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?

Well, I'd be hurt and angry, duh. Only a crazy person would be deligh... oh. Wait.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?

I was going to say, "No one would die until I was ready," but that sounded horrible. Because, let's face, who wants me to say, "Okay, I'm ready for you to die now"?! So my dream would be that no child ever gets mistreated, abused, neglected, unloved, or otherwise unfairly treated. Once they turn 18, though, fair game. (I kid.)

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?

There are a lot of things that bug the ever-living shit out of me, but I think people smoking around kids has to be that one thing. Seriously? In 2011? Knowing what we know? You. Big. Asshole.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

I'd be sensible. I'd get a good financial advisor and invest it smartly, so that we could live off the interest. I'd donate a large portion of it, ensure the children all had trust funds, and give a million to everyone who kissed my ass I love. I would get all my extra skin cut off and get some bangin' new boobs, and clothes to show them off. And then I'd skip town with my best bud and the kids we made. Forever.

5. Could you fall in love with your best friend?

Done deal. Really, is that so surprising a possibility?

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?

Ooh, that's a good one. The ones who don't think it through will automatically say "being loved," I think. But loving someone, truly being able to feel real, deep, enduring love, so strongly that you give up your own desires for the good of someone else? What an amazing feeling.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?


8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?

Cry, cry, cry. And flirt shamelessly. Hell, you only live once.

9. If you'd like to act (movies, stage) with someone, who would it be?

Ah, but you said "if." But if I had to, I think it would be Jon Lithgow. He could make a potato credible.

10. What do you expect of your loved one?

Be true to who you are, and be true to me...

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?

Holy crap. I can't even imagine myself at 44 years old. Seriously? I thought I'd be dead by now, truly. Nope. Can't imagine it.

12. What’s your fear?

I have Anxiety Disorder, so the question is, what's not? I'm afraid of success, and I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid someone might not like me (but many don't, and I know it). I'm afraid of attention, and I'm afraid of not getting any. I'm afraid that I am going to go completely looney-tunes and be aware of it at the same time...

13. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?

Come on. That's so cliché. I've been everything but married and rich, how 'bout that for a change??

14. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Go back to sleep until my bladder revolts or Sophia pries open my eyelids.

15. Do you ever hold back in a relationship?

Sure I do, but not a real-love one.

16. If you fell in love with two people simultaneously, how would you pick?

I have been in that situation. It's no fun for anybody; I don't recommend it. If everybody loves everybody, then you pick the one you've had kids with. If that's not an issue, then you pick the one who picks you. If that's not an issue, then don't ask me. I have enough issues.

17. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

No matter what??! No. The last guy broke my two front teeth. He was out of my life exactly zero seconds later. And if "that special someone" hurt my child? He'd live to regret it.

18. What are your three most important expectations in love?

Didn't I answer this question already? Okay, let's pretend I haven't. If I'm in love with you, and you're in love with me back, then I expect: (1) to laugh all the effing time, (2) to drive you crazy and be driven back by you, and (3) to be in it until the end. Forever, the end, amen, let's eat.


P.S. And for Pete's sake, won't someone leave a comment on my new business website, already? I make good eats, people!!