Previous month:
May 2012
Next month:
July 2012

Entries from June 2012

Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant


Huggies recognizes that there is a dynamic and talented community of moms who strive to make life as a parent easier and more enjoyable every day.  Now in its third year, the Huggies® MomInspired™ grant program celebrates the natural creativity of moms, who solve real parenting challenges every day in innovative ways.

  • Grant recipients will receive $15,000 in seed capital as well as business resources to help turn innovative ideas into real-life inventions.
  • Applications for the 2012 Huggies MomInspired grant program are currently being accepted through July 31, 2012.
  • Moms can learn more and submit original, innovative and viable new business and product ideas now at
  • Grants will be announced and awarded in fall 2012. 

By visiting the website you can also read about the stories of past grant recipients and their product ideas.


So what are you waiting for? If you're a mompreneur, get your grant application in now!



Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link the selves up here if you're fragmenting this weekend!

Whew! What a week it's been! I don't even know where this week - nay, this month - has gone! Has June flown by for y'all, too?

So I finally went to the ER on Wednesday for the wrist I sprained, oh, a month ago. It's been hurting plenty, sure, but I simply have not had time to go to the doctor about it. Finally it got to the point this week where I couldn't even pick up a slip of paper without wincing, so we headed in. I was kind of surprised by my "beautiful x-rays" that showed no fracture, it hurt(s) so bad, but I did get a nice wrist brace out of the deal. Forgive any typos I miss, by the way. It's hard typing in a brace.

So I should probably post a "You know you've moved to the ghetto when..." entry, but I don't want to offend my entire 'hood readership. I'm sayin', though. GHETTO. CITY. My friend Mommy of Many keeps reminding me that it's only temporary... and really, I don't mind. Mostly, stuff just makes me laugh and/or shake my head.

And no, 4 weeks later, we still haven't finished moving. Our furniture is still at the old house. Don't ask. I'm peevish about it.

The kids and I are headed up to New York (state) tomorrow morning, for a long mystery shopping weekend I can't really share much about at this point. We're going to see my sister's family, too, which is the whole reason I took the shops. So excited!! It's been a year and a half, according to her; I haven't done the math, but that's entirely too long!

Hubs isn't going with us, since his convalescent leave ends tomorrow and he has to head back to work. I'm nervous, because he'll be riding the motorcycle and hasn't attempted that since surgery. Send prayers and good thoughts his way, if you would, please! Fortunately, I'll still be in town by the time he gets to work, assuming everything goes according to plan, so I'll have that much peace of mind, anyway.

As soon as we get back from NY, I'm going to administer the kids' end-of-year assessments, which we need to demonstrate progress since last year. If they don't do well, we get put on probation, but I'm confident they will, even if we are a bit behind where I wanted to be in Mathematics.


That was me on Wednesday. (My hair is pulled back, halfwayish.) I'm trying like crazy to grow out my hair, but it's like watching the paint dry. Sophia has my hair. Unlike the rest of the family, who have lots of FAST-growing crazy hair. Jealous, me? Why yes, yes I am.


I'll leave you with this last little tee-hee. What were they thinking??? Of course they meant the car, but how dense can you be? hahaha...

Have a great weekend, folks!


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you've got a question for us this week!

My question for you this week is:

Have you or your kids ever had lice?

I know, ew, gross question. If you read this post about my daughter acting on TV show recently, you'll see why I'm asking. It's the most tenacious critter on thick, curly hair - I hate it so!!!!!!!

FYI: Don't bother with the $25-30 drug store treatments. Instead, give coconut oil & tea tree oil mixed in your shampoo a try. That's our next planned step. If that doesn't work, the kid is getting a buzz cut, and I ain't jokin'!!


(Not So) Wordless Wednesday IV: Tasty Tapas And Tempting Treats


If you're ever in Virginia Beach, check out Central 111 Tapas off Great Neck Blvd - it's got a sophisticated vibe, yet children are welcome. And so are certificates!


Cosmos were, like, ridiculously cheap since we were there at Happy Hour. Um, I had two.


We've ordered the Tuna Tartar before; it's always delicious and never disappoints.


Likewise, the Spring Rolls are exceptional.


Jack is ALL about wings lately, so we ordered a small plate (duh) for him. For the girls, we ordered their usual cheeses platter, with crackers and fruit, but I didn't photo that for some reason.


After tapas, as usual, everyone was still hungry. I decided to use the BOGO Cold Stone Creamery coupons I've been holding onto for lo, these past eight years, and spoil the kids some more. They were, shall we say, thrilled?


Wordless Wednesday III: Lunch With The Littles


More pictures from May... on this day, we had a lunch mystery shop. We really enjoyed these gliding tables. They cost a fortune, but maybe Handy Rob can build us one sometime. =D


I think this is one of the more adorable pictures of Sophia in existence. Do you?


The lunch was at a local marina, so of course we all walked around looking at boat post-meal. The dream lives on...

I won't link up any more WW posts this week, but look for I and II if you need linkage! ;)


Of Doubloons And Dirt Babies...

What the what?! Dirt babies, yes. You'll see what I mean soon enough if you read on, unless of course you already know.

This past weekend, we took a little jaunt up around the Fredericksburg area of Virginia. You know how there are so many Groupon-like deal sites springing up all over the Interwebs? Well, first, I had gotten tickets to the annual Virginia Renaissance Faire (in Spotsylvania) on Certifikid, good for Mother's Day weekend only. It was a great deal, and I'd never been to one, so I didn't want to pass it up. Then, also on the same site, tickets for a family pack to a farm not too far from there popped up for the same weekend, so I grabbed that and a night at a cheap hotel as well, and bam! Mother's Day plans for less than a hundred bucks, with loads of edutainment involved.

The trip up to the Ren Faire didn't go off exactly as planned, because, for one thing, we overslept and got a later start than planned, and for another, I had half a dozen mystery shops planned for along the way to cover our meals on the road. We got lost, we got lost some more, and by the time we finally arrived, there was only an hour left for the Faire to be open, and they let us in without even asking for our tickets. Bah! But, I was determined to make a go of it and have the best fun, so onward we went.


The first thing the kids wanted to do was play this game, so we let them do that. I wanted to make the most of what little money we had with us for the trip - since my credit card number had been stolen the day or two before and our bank account emptied! - while maximizing the experience for the kids. Happy kids = happy Mama, at least in this family. And so, we let them play the game.



None of the kids scored a prize, but there was so much else to do, see, look at, explore, and touch, that they didn't seem to care. We moved right along, stepping lively so we could see everything we wanted to see in our quick 60-minute tour of the Faire.


The girls were each allowed to pick out some inexpensive beaded jewelry - you can see Sophia's bracelet there - and then we were on the search for a Jack souvenir. While looking, Sophia found these, which at first she wore like handcuffs. Hmm. Now, there's an idea...


At first we thought Jack would go for a wooden sword, but then he decided against it. He looked at lots of things that afternoon and rejected them all. He wanted a pocketknife, but it was a double-edged knife, and Daddy said no, that wasn't appropriate for a nine-year-old boy. What do I know about knives? Not much, so that was that.


This lady was most amused by the kids' interest in her mink stole, about which I did my best to hide my disgust. I even touched the thing myself. Wait, no, I didn't, I just peered at it closely. Yeah. I don't do fur. But I did find using the mandible of one mink on the right end as a clip to hold it to the left side quite ingenius...


Oh, heck, I splurged another buck each on these paper fans for the girls to pretend to be ladies on the verge of fainting spells, too. Which meant Jack's budget went up, too. My lady-babies got a lot of joy out of holding their fans up and blinking at each other flirtatiously. Chloë was entirely too good at that. She gets it from her dad. He's a good blinker.


Sophia, and then Jack, found these ribbon-stick thingies and spent a few minutes twirling and swirling them around. I expected Chloë to do the same, since she wants to join rhythmic gymnastics next year instead of "regular" gymnastics like they're doing this year, but she didn't. It amused me that the boy-child did. But he didn't want one of those, either.


I liked this sign on the recycling bin as much as I liked the fact that it even existed. (Yay for recycling!)

2012-05-13 (2)

I loved these swirly-twirlies as much as the children did, and we stood and watched them spin, fascinated, for a good few minutes before moving on to the next tent. They weren't in the budget, and I have nowhere to put one at this house, anyway, but I secretly wanted one just the same.


At another stand, these mineral butterflies caught my eye. How pretty!


Even the Welsh Corgi at that butterfly stand had a Renaissance costume on, for Heaven's sake! He was a cutie pie. Speaking of cutie pies in costume, check out this young lad's get-up:


Four or five years old and dressed to the nines in period garb! I loved it. Loved it.


Jack finally found a few things, like this ship, that caught his interest, but they weren't for sale. Of course. He was growing very frustrated. And cranky. What, Jack cranky? I know. Hard to believe. Not.


This letter was on the table in front of the ship. Not the neatest penmanship, but amusing nonetheless.

044 045

Jack forgot his grumpiness momentarily while this blacksmith showed him some of the tools of his trade. Jacky wanted to use them, too, but he wasn't allowed. That was okay; he was just as thrilled to watch.


Speaking of grumps, this kid wasn't too thrilled when the kiddos visited his village in yet another tent and started looking at and - gasp! - touching the buildings. What was the point, then? Apparently not to enjoy them, but just to display them. Meh.


Guess who?


(Note: I began this post 1.5 months ago. Oops. Time to pick up.)

Jack tries his hand at hooping it up!


He's not half-bad - nay, he's all bad.


Soon, one of the kids spied this giant hoop - you may have seen a similar one more aptly demonstrated on "So You Think You Can Dance" in recent weeks - and invited the other two siblings to try for a group hoop. It didn't go well, but fun is fun, and this was that!


At the Swelter Shelter, patrons and players alike could take a load off, out of the hot, HOT sun.

May 2012

Shortly after that, we headed out, but not before I snagged a few last pictures of some of the wonderful costumes out for viewing!


In my ongoing obsession with what people put on their vehicles, I had to snap the back of the van parked next to our minivan. I'm only just now reading everything on there!

After the Ren Faire, we stopped at a small flea market and had a look around, but we found nothing interesting, so we headed to our ghetto hotel. The kids were hungry, of course, so we went right back out again, to the Super Target down the road, to purchase some victuals for everyone's consumption. It's been so long, I don't remember how we passed the remainder of the night, except that there was shouting outside in the middle of the night, and I felt a wee bit unsafe...


Mother's Day, the next day, we arose and checked out, had a little breaky, and then made our way to the Cows and Corn farm where I had another Certifikid certificate. I thought it would be much bigger, more well attended, and generally just... MORE... but it ended up all right in the end. And it was nice not battling crowds.


After we checked in and got ourselves situated, the first thing the kids opted to do was make their own butter. It wasn't the kind you make from mixing heavy cream at fast speeds in a mixer; fresh, uh, squeezed milk from the farms' cows, in little tubs, which the kids had to shake! shake! shake! until it turned into butter. Sophia, naturally, was the best shaker, but they all made it eventually. Time for a taste test!


The farmer's wife, whose name I forget, showed us what the butter looked like when it was about finished. Mmm, creamy!


I think everyone tried the butter that the kids made, but Jack especially enjoyed it. Every chance he got, he was back under that tent, begging another crackerful!


After the butter-making experiment, Jack was running tail-over-teakettle toward this gigantic hay play area. It had mazes, towers, pipes through which to climb, etc. I barely had time to catch up with him and grab this shot of him entering one of those pipes; he's fast when he wants to be!


And there he was, jumping out the other side, in no time!


Soon, he was joined by Chloë; Sophia arrived quite a bit later.

  2012-05-13 (3)

Between the hay and the trains, there was no shortage of fun climbing opportunties for the kids. Can you see the one with Sophia's feet sticking straight up? That child... so funny.


Soon, we were hollered at to come join the hayride about to tour the farm, so we made our way, quick like bunnies, over to the launching point. And if you're looking at this picture and thinking, "Daggone! It looks like that 7-year-old child is almost as big as her father!" well, you'd be right. Quite right.


The sisters sat next to each other on the ride; we could barely keep Jack sitting, let alone near us! He was all over the place, a la Sophia.


Sadly - to me, anyway - we were told that the calves were taken from their mamas shortly after birth (3 days? 3 weeks? Three-something) and put in these little calf-hut thingies. They were bottle-fed mama milk and supplements after that, with huge bottles sporting nipples the likes of which (enter no-good comment here), while the cows were kept in the barn for milking.


Soon, we were approaching an area of the farm that housed the manure. It did NOT smell good; I am so glad I captured this image of Jack's reaction to the odor. Priceless!


The cows, showing off their "earrings," as the announcer called them, devouring their feed. That made me sad, too. I think I'd make a very bad cattle farmer. Everything made me sad for them!  I'm sure they're fine, but... and I've done my share of fish tagging, and dissecting, and alladat, but... what can I say? I'm a treehugging librul type.


The yellow brush in the middle remains inactive until bumped by a cow. Then, it starts brushing, rubbing, and grooming the cow as she moves around to get it on all sides. It stops when she moves away. Now that, I liked. Maybe I'll install one in Chez Odette?


Well, helloooooo there, Number 4666!


After the hayride ended, we ran over to watch a puppet show. All the kids complained that it was too babyish for them... until it started. And then, they were leaning forward in their seats to catch every word. Of course!


It was a pretty cute and well-thought-out little demonstration of the difference between mammals - namely cattle - and birds - namely chickens, without being education-shoved-down-your-throat about it. I was impressed.


Of course, all the kids' favorite part was when it ended, and they were allowed to pet the chicken. I forget her name, but the girl holding her said she was 15 years old! (The chicken, not the girl. ;)


Next up: The kids all ran to the cow train and were pulled around the farm by the same tractor driver who drove our hayride. They loved it and wanted to go again and again, but it was a one-shot deal. (Not really, but that's what we told them. Hee.)


True to form, Chloë and Jack rode at the front of the 'train,'...


... while Sophia brought up the rear. What fun they had!


At last, after the ride, it was time to go find out what in the heck these Dirt Babies were!


First, they were given the foot of a pantyhose leg and told to scoop compost-rich dirt into it until it was full. This would form the "head" of the Dirt Baby.


Oh wait, my bad. Very first, they had to fill the bottom of the sock, or top of the head, with seeds similar to chia. This would eventually grow, with proper care, into the "hair" of the Dirt Baby.  Then the dirt came into play.


After that, stickers and markers were brought out for making characters out of the as-yet-undecorated DBs. The girls, of course, went all out, while Jack stayed simple. He's our little Minimalist, in so many ways.


Case in point.


I forgot the names of these two lovely ladies who provided us with our next mini-adventure, but the woman was lovely and patient and informative, and the sheep was lovely and patient, too.


Because she was behaving so well (imagine!), Sophia was chosen first to spin the yarn of the ewe, which was freshly sheared and ready to be added to the yarn already being spun for these demonstrations. I, myself, have yet to learn to spin my own yarn, but you can be sure it is somewhere in the top third of my Bucket List. (Well, I would say that about ALL the things on my Bucket List, which is rather well populated with things I really-super-wanna do! But I digress...) Sophia did very well for her first try and was able to produce a nicely spun segment of yarn!


Sophie's yarn was broken off, and she was instructed to select a bead for a bracelet. The goal of the activity was to make a present for the moms, it being Mother's Day and all, but Sophia opted to keep hers. I was neither surprised nor, therefore, disappointed!


Jack had a turn, then, and he was surprisingly adept at handling the fleece while nice, patient lady, woman pedaled the wheel.


He chose the green bead because it's both his and my favorite color, yet somehow Sophie was the first to model the bracelet he made me. I don't remember how that happened, but no worries. I got it next!


I think I was perusing the lovely lady's lovely handspun yarns (which elicited a big fat "NO!" from the Husbeast) when Chloë was having her turn at the wheel, so I have no pictures of her big moment. However, I was touched that she chose a whale for her bead for my bracelet, because "it was the closest thing to a shark I could find, Mom." I vowed to keep my bracelets on forever and ever, but you know what? Like all wool, they shrink and felt when improperly (depending on your desires) treated, and once I forgot to take them off before I showered. That was the end of those. I still have them, somewhere, but now they'd fit a baby. Wah, wah, wah.


After the spinning demo, I dug into my satchel and found just enough money left for the kids to share one ice cream, made from the milk of the farm's cows. It was bound to be delish, so I decided to go for it. Off to the wash station we went, for cleaning and sanitizing. It's a constant on a farm - you can bet if/when I run a farm, there will be lotion everywhere for when the dryness sets in. But anyway...


There was a bit of a walk back to where the ice cream shoppe was located, and along the way, Jack and Chloë made a game of tossing Sophia's shed flip-flops around. I'm pretty sure the Little Girl participate, too, but she doesn't show up in my pictures. Hmm.


We were allotted two scoops for our one serving of ice cream. Since one kid (Jack) always wants chocolate, one kid (Chloë) always wants vanilla, and the last kid doesn't care as long as she's being fed on a near-constant basis, we chose one scoop of each. It's always fun to give dessert to these guys. If you ever do, put it carefully in the middle and then step aside, lest you get eaten in the frenzy, too!


Even though it was the day of moms, it's pretty clear This Dad enjoyed himself, too.

Overall, with getting away for the weekend, my first Renaissance Faire, the farm field trip, and everyone enjoying themselves with minimal fighting, I'd have to rate this Mother's Day amongst the best I've ever had as a mom. Yippy Skippy.

Hm, now I wonder what I should catch you up on next? Will you stay around?


In Which I Humbly Accept Anotha Blahg Award For My Awesomeness ;P

Fabulous Blog Ribbon2

That's right. My blog is fabulous. Take that, unnamed-beyotch who called it insipid all those years ago! Kelly over at Dysfunctionally Functional thinks otherwise, and I value her opinion ever so much more than yours. Hmph. I humbly accept, and here we go with the requirements for acceptance:

In order to accept you must:

  1. Post the rules on your blog.
  2. Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the
  3. Name five things you love.
  4. Name five things you hate.
  5. Pass the ribbon on to five other bloggers. (Leave them a comment to notify
    them of their win.) 

5 Fabulous Moments

  1. The day I eloped with my husband of 11½ years.
  2. The three days I gave birth to my four children.
  3. The day I graduated from the University of Miami with a B.S. in Marine Science.
  4. Every time someone calls me "so tiny!" since my gastric bypass.
  5. The first time I fit into size four jeans after afore-mentioned surgery.

5 Things I Love (I'm gonna exclude people, 'cause they're not 'things.')

  1. My iPhone
  2. My Keurig
  3. Diet Coke
  4. Hummus
  5. The Internets

5 Things I Hate

  1. Diet Pepsi - blech!
  2. Those drivers who will drive up on the shoulder to bypass a long line of traffic and then expect to be let into the lane ahead of you - as if!
  3. Our toilet, which doesn't flush and needs to be plunged every. single. time!
  4. Chloë's stupid, non-user-friendly Blackberry.
  5. The person who gave my kid freakin' LICE - especially while she was in the middle of a big acting gig! >:( Grrrr...

5 Other Bloggers who are all outstanding & deserve so much more than this award ribbon!

  1. Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time
  2. Susan and Janice over at 5 Minutes for Mom
  3. Stacy over at Stacy Uncorked
  4. Harriet at Harriet & Friends
  5. E over at Cinco de Mommy
    Now begins the arduous task of notifiying these lovely ladies of their big, fabulous win, in which they get... a button. Woot!
    Have a lovely!
    P.S. I just love it when Typepad formatting refuses to work. :\

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Parts 4-6

Sunday Stealing

Okay, so I haven't been keeping up. I'm making up for it this week. Link up here if you wanna play along, too.

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Four

61. Ocean or pool?
Ocean, always, all the way
62. Fridays or Ruby Tuesdays?
Six on one side, half a dozen on the other
63. Did you want to go to college?
I did and and I did.
64. What did you buy last time at a mall?
Gifts for my husband and friends, for mystery shops.
65. Which close friend have you known the longest?
Lisa, my BFF in NY, from HS.
66. Why do you like the music you do?
Because I can sing along to it
67. Do you read much?
I read all the time, constantly. I just rarely have time for actual books.
68. Favorite country?
I don't know; I haven't been to all of them yet.
69. What is something you wish you were better at?
Keeping my cool in tough situations.
70. What’s your favorite album/CD?
It changes frequently. My last absolute FAVE was Cee Lo Green's "Ladykiller."
71. What's a good dinner order?
For me or for you? I'm partial to a tapas restaurant we frequent, so we can try different small plates every time we go.
72. Planes or boats?
Both! Love both.
73. One rumor that’s been spread about you:
That sort of implies they're not true...
74. Who is your newest friend?
I'm working on the neighbor's daughter upstairs :)
75. Have you ever sat on a rooftop?
Sure thing.
76. Was your last text useful?
Yeah, but it wasn't awesome.
77. Favorite soda?
Diet Mt. Dew or Diet Coke
78. Do you like yourself?
I'm working on that...
79. The worst weather: Hot or cold?
Cold! I can't stand to be cold. HATE it.
80. Do you play an instrument?
I took organ lessons after my mom died, since she played, but I never got really good at it because I swear I'm LD when it comes to sight-reading music.
81. What’s your favorite action movie?
The Lethal Weapon movies, I guess, I don't know. Not my favorite genre. Maybe MIB.

82. Have (or are) you ever been involved someone much older than you?
When I was 21, my beau was 42... I think that's the biggest spread. No pun intended. :\
83. Do you believe in lust at first sight?
Duh, of course.
84. Favorite type of venomous snake?
Yeah, not really applicable.
85. Do you drink alcohol? 
Not often, but yeah.
86. If you wanted to talk to someone who'd lift your spirits, who'd you call?
My sister or husband or Lisa.
87. What do you wear to feel sexy?
A dress or skirt, usually, and a simple top if a skirt
88. Do you like to learn?
I love it. I'd be the perpetual student type if I could.
89. Have you ever been hit on by someone who really overestimated their attractiveness?
OMG yes.
90. Where did you last go on vacation?
Williamsburg, VA. Going up to NY next weekend, hopefully seeing my sis. :)
91. Dallas (as in J.R. & Bobby) returns this week. What film or TV series would you loved to be resurrected?
"The Dukes of Hazzard"!!!
92. Explain your karma beliefs.
I believe you reap what you sow.
93. When do you think that you have a hard life?
Often. I have had a hard life. But, like most things, it could be much, much worse.
94. Favorite comic strip?
"Baby Blues" - that is so our lives.
95. Have you ever broken a heart?
A couple
96. Should pot be legalized?
I plead the fifth. I really don't care. It doesn't affect me, directly.
97. Have you ever gone skinny dipping with someone that you shouldn't have?
I don't think so?
98. What do you do when you're down?
Cry, and make sure I've taken my pills. :P
99. Last time you were really angry?
Thursday. Wednesday, too. I was PISSED.
100. What is your favorite flavor in general?
Flavor and scents - citrusy ones. Love those.
Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Six
101. Name 4 things you always have with you.
My iPhone, pills, keys, and a Diet Coke/Dew.
102. How many SERIOUS exes do you have?
I don't know and don't feel like counting. Half a dozen or so.
103. What causes you to you admire people?
Anyone who perseveres in the face of great adversity and accomplishes their goals is a hero of mine.
104. Do you like sports?
Yeah, but I like sports like gymnastics, figure skating, diving, and the like. The only time I care about the more traditional team sports is when it's my alma mater playing.
105. Would you have sex after marriage? Why or why not?
Huh? Aren't you supposed to...?
106. What is your favorite male name?
I'm partial to my son's name: Jack River, although I love the names Jasper and Sebastian and would've named Sophia one of those if she had been a boy.
107. Do animals go to Heaven?
It's not for me to say. I would like to think so.
108. Last time you had a great time with your dad?
Hmph. We're not on good terms at the moment. I'd really have to think hard. I guess a year ago, we had a decent but not wonderful time.
109. What is your favorite hair style?
Who cares? If it looks good, I like it. I want to learn to fishtail braid Chloë's hair... I think it'd look awesome on her.
110. Do you like your name?
I do now; hated it as a kid.
111. When was the last time that you quit your job?
October, 2009? I worked part-time while the kids were still in public school. They wanted to give me fewer than 10 hours a week. Um, not worth my time.
112. When you wake up, what is the first thing you think?
"I hope it's before noon."  Hehe
113. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter?
Many, many times. Last night, in fact.
114. What is the perfect day for you?
Beach. No fighting amongst the kids. Great waves. No sunburns. Just a beautiful fun day with my family.
115. Last time you cleaned the bathroom?
I haven't cleaned the bathroom in the new home yet, but it's on my agenda for tomorrow!
116. Have you ever failed a grade? Why?
No way.
117. Have you met anyone online?
My husband, for starters.
118. Have you ever smoked?
I tried it a couple times. Hated it. I was drunk. It was stupid. I hate smokering.
119. Do you like celebrities?
Well, not all of them, certainly, but I find many of their antics entertaining, I suppose.
120. Do you like traveling?
I LOVE it. I live for it. I could do it all the time. Forever. Always. Ahhhh.
And that's a wrap!

And That's A Cut!

So I'm going to present this in chronological order of the events as they happened, to make it easier on me to keep track of the days. Otherwise, my memory of the shoot will come out all as one big jumble, and that won't be so fun to read. M'kay? Here we go:

May 31: Chloë goes into the actors' studio in Va Beach to audition for a role in a project we have sides, or a small part of the script that pertains to that particular actor, for, but no real knowledge of the role otherwise. The role is "Sarah," for something that has to do with hauntings, but we don't know if it's a play, movie, TV show, or just what at this point. K, the Man In Charge, explains to the 8 or 12 Sarahs who show up what is happening each scene they will be demonstrating for him, and he describes how the audition process will unfold. No parents are allowed in the small room where they go, first in pairs, and then individually, to audition. I can hear giggling when it's Chloë's turn, so my whole thought is, "Yeah, she's blowing it." 

When she steps out of the room, for the first time (seven other Sarahs have gone before her at this point), K comes out and nods at her mother. At that point, he explains the follow-up process and thanks everyone for coming out, though six of the other Sarahs have already been dismissed. I decide, hey, this might be a good sign, despite her giggling during what are serious scenes. (She gets that from me!) We leave.

June 7: K calls me to tell me that they are still debating on the role of Sarah, asks about Chloë's availability for shooting the following week, and explains that I should hear something by the following day. I totally forget about Rob's hernia surgery and say, "Yes! She's available every day!" which does not win me brownie points with Hubs. I'm on pins and needles and inform Chloë of the latest news. She glows.

June 8: K calls back and informs me that they've chosen Chloë for the role of Sarah. I coolly (for me) thank him and hang up before going ballistic. At this point, we've learned it's for an episode of the Discovery Channel TV show, "A Haunting." I run outside to where Chloë is playing and tell her the exciting news. We do the Happy Dance. Over and over. For hours. She hasn't worked in about three years, between losing eleventy teeth at once and then getting braces, so we are BACK, baby! Woot!!

Later that night: Lisa from the production company calls me to say that Chloë/Sarah will need to come to the film studio on Monday morning to meet the Director, D, have a rehearsal, and then meet Amy in Wardrobe that afternoon. I'm to bring a wide variety of clothing and shoes. After I hang up, I flip out and start working on laundry like a madwoman, since a huge mountain of dirty laundry has taken over our entire upper floor. Eek! Rob and I subsequently decide we have to maintain a "work" wardrobe for Chlo, if she's going to be back in the game, after I discover that she's grown out of all the good stuff and stained and/or torn all the rest, and we have no current budget to go out and shop for new. I spend the weekend painstakingly putting together clothes and shoes that I know Amy (Wardrobe) will just HATE.

Monday, June 11: We drop The Littles off at Steph's house for babysitting and then head out to Suffolk, where the production company is situated. I did not know it existed and am surprised to see posters of all kinds of crime dramas and such all over the walls of the reception area, immediately realizing this ain't no small thang. This is the Real Deal. Mah babeh's gonna be on tay-vay, y'all!

First, we meet the 2nd Assistant Director of the show, X, and Lisa, who had called me Friday night, and go over the day ahead. X has me fill out paperwork aplenty and seats us at a conference table, where we meet some of the rest of the cast: Sarah/Kay, her "mother", and some other players I won't name, because I don't want to give away any details of the show!

Soon, we meet D, the Director, and he takes us back to a warehouse-like open area for rehearsal with her set mom, dad (Kevin/Chris), and himself. The other players are sent to a corner area to rehearse by themselves for the time being. D takes them through several scenes, working especially with Chloë to show her how he wants her to play certain lines. He gives lots of direction to all three actors; I can tell Sarah/Kay and Kevin/Chris, along with the other players, are real pros and am proud and pleased for Chloë to be part of such a production!

After D has decided Chloë is ready to start filming the next day, we are dismissed and sent to find Amy (Wardrobe) hours ahead of schedule, since she's free at the moment. I bashfully present the clothing I've culled to her, and she says they're perfect and calls me "her hero." I'm extremely relieved. Whew! Chloë falls madly in 'like' with Amy, and I think the feelings are mutual. They have a great rapport right off the bat, which continues for the remainder of the shoot. Amy has Chlo try on various outfits and takes pictures of her in some, for her "Wardrobe Bible." Chloë has 16 wardrobe changes, so she keeps most of the clothes and sends us home with a very small percentage of 'rejects.' We go find X, who tells us we were supposed to get a lunch per diem at noon, but it's ten 'til, so we're SOL. I'm all, "okay, whatever, I don't know how this works!" and we head out to pick up The Littles.

Tuesday, June 12th: SUCKS. Not at first, but eventually. We get on set, which is in the Ghent section of Norfolk, in a real house, and it's all hustle-and-bustle everywhere. We find X, do more paperwork, and then get the Call Sheet (what scenes are filming that day with which actors in which order, etc.) and sides for those scenes. Chloë is sent into wardrobe and changed for her first scene, and then she's called back to Tia, the Hair & Makeup, uh, person on set. Tia starts to work on Chloë's massive mane of hair and then steps back and mouths the words, "She's got lice" to me. My jaw hits the floor, in shock. WHAT?!!!! I'm instantly in freak-out mode, inwardly. How? When? Where? Why?! WHY NOW?!

Tia radios J, the set Line Production Manager, aka Fire Putter-Outer, aka D's wife, to let her know of the situation. An hour passes while they debate what to do: treat her on set, or send her home to be treated. Chloë and I are trying not to sob, worrying that they will fire her post haste. We cry; X comes up, as does Amy, and soothe us, telling us this happens, they see it all the time, blah blah blah. Still, it is MORTIFYING. Words cannot describe how I felt, especially after Tia and J come up and tell me they've decided to send Chloë home for the day to be treated, after rearranging the entire production schedule. Yeah. I feel awesome.

The rest of the day is spent rushing home, collecting all my CVS Extra Care Bucks, Walgreens Register Rewards, and Rite Aid Wellness Rewards money, because we are totally broke and have like, six dollars, which doesn't touch the cost of the lice treatment we were instructed to buy. Hooray that I have a lot of the above, though, so the kids and I go out and get ... lots of it. Rob comes home and showers Jack and Sophia, who are relatively easy for me to treat, but not before Rob shaves Jack's and his own head to simplify things. We treat ourselves and Chloë next, along with all four cats. Rob goes out to the new house to bomb it for bugs, while I continue going through Chloë's hair strand by strand by strand. She has SO MUCH FREAKING HAIR, I want to kill myself.

In the end, while she goes over her 98-page script, I treat her hair seven times. Seven. We stay up until 0300 that night (well, morning, whatevs), combing nits out of her hair, until exhaustion takes over and we crash, praying they'll let her return to work the next day. Oh, but not before we transport the kitties over to the new house (to their reluctance, which I still have the scratches and scars to prove), and go back to bomb the old one. I spend the entire afternoon puzzling over the source of the lice, which has seriously loused up our week (heh, sorry, I couldn't resist), and finally realize that it's probably the 7-11 guy I've been driving to work for the past many moons. He's been scratching his head a LOT lately, but I didn't think anything of it. So I treat the van, too, but still need to get it deep-cleaned... I tell him that night that the rides are OVER, but not why because I don't want to, frankly, and that's the end of that.

Wednesday, June 13: We return to the Ghent set and are greeted with open arms, smiles, and hugs, from everyone from the Director, to X and Amy, to Tia, who I tell about the seven different treatments, should she still find nits in C's impossible hair. She does, but I assure her they are dead, dead, dead. She decides Chloë/Sarah is going to spend much of the shoot in braids, just in case... which disappoints me (whose opinion doesn't count), because now her luscious curls will not be on display. And they match Sarah/Kay's, her "mom," so wonderfully, too. Bummer. But she's still working, so okay! Yay!  Before long, her clothes are on, hair and make-up are done, and she's called down to start filming her first scene with the family, including three "brothers": Jo, Ja, and Br. I can't remember their character names, ever, and don't want to use their real names without their parents' permission, y'know?


Here they are filming Chloë's (and the rest of the haunted family's) first scene together. That's Chlo in the daisy dress, which she wore for Easter last year! The director is the guy with the white ball cap on, looking my way. All the guys in the foreground are Props, Lighting, Grips, and so forth. We parents are always instructed on the best place to stand so we can watch - though not always - and, more importantly, be out of the way. I start getting used to hearing the commands, "Lock it up!" "Rolling!" "Quiet on the set!" "Still rolling!" "Action!" "CUT!" and, from the various assistant directors and other crewmembers with radios all over the place repeating my title phrase, "And that's a cut!!" which means we parents can all start talking again. Which we do a LOT. Hehe.


Re-filming the same scene, which THEY do a lot. During production, they make lots of little, and sometimes big, changes, to lines, or expressions, or whatever else you can imagine. Then they do the same scene, once they got what they've liked, from 27 different camera angles. For us parents, it's a lot of boring standing around and waiting for "And that's a cut!" so we can resume our conversations. It's a lot more exciting for the actors, but even more so for the crew, who are always busy setting up and re-setting up. I learn what "sticks" are - a tripod. I learn not to trip over these sticks. Quickly. (They're much bigger than mine.)


The actors taking a break under a tree, since it's about 900º that day. Make-up girl, Heather, is constantly dabbing at their sweaty faces right before "ROLLING!" The guy on the right, with arms folded, is the father of the oldest brother, Jo. He's an oncologist/hematologist; I bug him on Friday about all my iron issues. He plays along nicely. His wife is a pediatrician and shares that they get it all the time; I imagine they're not struggling the way we are!


At last, later on Wednesday, they start filming in the ground floor inside the house, which has... four floors? It's not teeny. When we're not shooting, the actors, parents, and X hang out on the 2nd floor, along with Wardrobe, Costumes, and Hair & Make-up. When we are shooting, on this day, I'm busy snapping these photos on my silenced iPhone, to send to a very proud papa.

At the end of the family's scenes, the rest of the kids are wrapped for the day, and Chloë goes back into Wardrobe to change into PJs for her big scenes. We have some time to wait until then, so we spend a lot of time out back at craft services, snacking, relaxing, and... waiting. Soon, the rest of the cast and crew break for lunch (which is at 5:30 PM, so you can imagine how hungry they are), and I fix Chloë a meager dinner of broccoli, bread and butter, and a teensy piece of lasagna. I can barely get her to eat, as she's filled up on fruit snacks since I didn't know about the whole lunch thing. After lunch, I go around snapping pictures of her with some of the folks on set:


Chloë hamming it up with Amy, left, from Wardrobe, and Brittany (sp?), Costumes - very cool chicks! (Oops, I lied, she obviously didn't change into PJs until after lunch!)


Chloë/Sarah with Sarah/Kay, her gorgeous set mom


Posing with Tia, the poor Hair/Make-up queen who was the unfortunate discoverer of the damn lice


With D, the Director, checking out "her" bedroom for the first time


With Kevin/Chris, her TV dad, fresh out of his latest wardrobe change - he must have had dozens of them!


Chloë posing with THE coolest 2nd Asst. Dir., X, who was HEE-larious. I loved him! So did she; we had a great time hanging out with him.

After these pictures, THEN she changed into PJs and was sent upstairs to the 3rd floor to start filming her big scenes with Kevin/Chris, and... more characters who shall not be named as of yet. ;) I didn't get to see much of it from my perch on the stairs leading up to the fourth floor, so I talked to C, the Asst. Dir. who was D's right hand woman. C is all but gushing; her facial expressions tell as much as her words. "She's fantastic," "She's a natural!" "I'm so excited watching her; I can't take my eyes off her on the monitor!" are some of the things C had to say about Chloë. Finally, just before 2200, Chloë is wrapped for the night, and I go pick up The Littles from an exhausted Stephanie. I'm absolutely thrilled about all the awesome feedback from both C and D, whose comments escape me at the moment...oh! I remember. When they were filming the outdoor scenes in the first pics above, he told me, "She's amazing. She's stealing it!" I later learned from J, his wife, that he was talking about Chloë to her at home, too. That's gotta be good, right?!


After we got home that night, I treated Chloë for the lice two more times. She was less than thrilled, but it gave her time to work on her scenes for the following day.  Her hair is normally curlier than this, but it dried as I was combing and re-combing it, leaving it partially straightened. I love her Farrah Fawcett look!

Thursday, June 14: We've spent the night, again, at the new house in Portsmouth, to be close to the Naval hospital where Rob needs to be at 0530 for his surgery(ies).  We get about two hours of sleep after all is said and done, so I'm worrying about Chloë's readiness for filming later that day. I'm also worried about how the whole day is going to play out, because I've got to stay with Rob, get Chloë to set, and worry about The Littles, who cannot be on set. My fifth babysitter eventually has a (true) emergency and cancels on me, leaving me in panic mode. Fortunately, Chloë doesn't have to be on set until noon, but this emergency comes in around 10 AM, leaving me without a sitter for Jack and Sophia.

So, not knowing what else to do, I call X and explain the situation to him. He tells me to take care of Rob, and bring Chloë to set at noon, with a note signing her guardianship over to the crew so I can leave her unattended by me. It's not ideal for anyone, but it works out. By the time Rob is released from the hospital around 1600 (!), traffic back to the old house, where he had planned to recuperate on the couch, is bumper to bumper: all stop and no go. I quickly make the decision that we'll have change course and go to the set, leaving Rob and the Littles in the running van, with A/C and movies playing. It's a crappy plan, but I had to get there! As soon as I'm cleared to enter the set, before I even see her, Chloë's voice rings out, "Mom! What are you doing here? I don't want you here! Go back to the hospital with Daddy!" Ha. She's having way too much fun without me, I can tell. I later learn someone asked her who was in charge of her that day, and she answered, "Everyone is."

I find X and explain the current situation to him, asking if my family can come to set to use the facilities if the need arises. Instead, he's extremely sympathetic to Rob's pain and agony and instructs me to go take him HOME where he belongs, along with Jack and Soph, and get back "whenever I can." And so I do, getting Rob and the kids settled on the couches with movies, food, and everything they need to survive until we get back much later that night. Rushing back to set, I find Chloë all a-giggle, waiting to film her last scene of the day, and absolutely hyper beyond words. Greaaaat. I go around apologizing for this to everyone who's had to put up with her shenaniganizing, and they all reassure me that she's been "fine."


Chlo with E/Cindy, who had also tried out for Sarah and is instead on set today to play the part of her BFF in two scenes. They get along well. Coincidentally, E's mom is the lead for the following week's episode. (Funnily, to me, several people over the course of the week ask me if I am also an actor, which makes me laugh. Um, no. Literally, I was in hives when Chloë was filming her big scenes, trembling and on the verge of throwing up. Can you imagine if it was me? Hells no. I do not have that kind of poise.)

After the girls are wrapped for the night, we rush home and check on Rob and the babes. He's ... okay, but hurting. They're... okay, but starving. Tired, thankful that that last day of shooting is around the corner from our old house in Virginia Beach where we are spending the night, I go out and scrounge up more food for everyone. And then we crash.

Friday, June 15: The last day of filming takes place 8 minutes from us, at another real house whose occupants are evicted during filming. It's a cool house. This time, craft services and tents for waiting between scenes are set up on the front lawn. Jo, the oldest "brother" has arrived on set with not just Dad this time, but also Mom and maternal grandparents. Ja, next older brother, also arrives with older sister. I feel bad that my fam don't get to experience filming, too, as it's such a great experience for Chloë and me. Anyway...

The first scenes, which the kids aren't in yet, take place on the side lawn. Several times during "Rolling!" we parents, now all old friends - and Facebook friends! - are shushed and told we can be heard on camera. Oops! We talk, then quiet, then resume talking repeatedly between "action" and "cut." When the "family" goes inside to film their indoor scenes, we are kicked out of the house and left to fester under the tent. No worries, we'll see what happened when it airs, right?

Speaking of which, Director D has told me that it will air on a new channel, the name of which might be "Green" something but he forgets exactly, in a few months. And the show will be renamed "American Haunting." It's Episode 41, called "Dark Dreams." And that's all I know about that; I'll keep you apprised when I know more!


When the kids are wrapped for the day, we grab the parents for a "family" photo op, seen here. Everyone hugs good-bye, and off we go... back into real life, waiting for the next call, the next big thing. Hopefully, fingers crossed, there will be more opportunities in Chloë's future here and, especially, in San Diego. She has caught the acting bug, and as long as she's loving it, we will continue!

And that's a wrap.


P.S. On Sunday, Rob and I ran into her TV dad, Kevin, at dinner while we were on a mystery shop. He's already back at work on another series, for a different production company I didn't know about locally, this week. Good for him!  And now, I bid you adieu.

Random Snaps


Just a few pix to post before I get to the one about Chloë's most recent acting gig: Here is said child, asleep in a bin, while we were packing for our current move from there to here. All done!


Can you spot the three children in this picture? No? They're all asleep in the children's waiting area on Rob's surgery day last Thursday. We had to be there at 0-dark-thirty, and they were sooooo super tired. A kind nurse brought blankets. Thank you, Kind Nurse!


I didn't get a good shot of him without a flash, because the flash picture scared him right away after this was taken; anyway, this baby 'possum was looking in our rear door windows as we packed up the other night at the old house! I don't care how little they are, though - they're still fugly! I'd save another one if I had to, though. God's creatures, and all...


The next day, while we were doing more packing - four of us, anyway - this is what Sophia was busy doing. A friend called her "The Next Gaga!"


Tonight, Chloë was sportin' quite a 'fro, so this 'do was Rob's solution. Yes, it really did stick straight up in the air. Sophia tried to mimic the 'do in her own fine, straight hair, but it didn't quite have the same effect, so I didn't photo it. Silliness, though.

'Kay, time to go edit the photos from the TV shoot, so I'll be back in a jif!


Saturday 9: Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?


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

Saturday 9: Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

1. Do you ever have trouble making up your mind?

Does a bear shit in the woods?

2. Do you think you always learn from your mistakes?
Nope; not always. I try, but sometimes they do need to repeated, y'know?
3. Have you ever felt that you were either older or younger, for your age during a particular time?
I definitely don't feel like it's possible I could be turning 36 this year. Holy crap! Aren't I still in college??!
4. Have you had trouble losing weight?
Psht. See my answer to #1. I didn't have much trouble dropping a quick 200+ lbs after my gastric bypass surgery, though!
5. Who's the most "wholesome" rock artist that you like?
Is that not an oxymoron?  I think Jason Mraz, though I'd not sure I'd label him that way...
6. Do you like to party or are you more of a homebody?
I guess if those are the only two choices, I'd have to pick homebody, but I'm never home, so it really doesn't apply, either!
7. Do you feel the need to share your burdens?
I'm learning not to push them down and bottle them up anymore, but people don't always appreciate that sharing, so I've become more selective. ;)
8. Do you know the lady next door?
At our old house, sure, on both sides. We've just moved, though, so not quite yet. I don't even know the lady who lives above us in our duplex!
9. Do you ever feel inferior?
Again, see #1. I have a bit of a complex...
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up here if you're fragmenting today!

My word! My last blahg post was FF two WEEKS ago!!! I have had so much going on, something had to give, and I suppose this time it was blogging. I'll try not to do all my catching up in THIS post, else YOU will disappear for a fornight. ;)

My husband is turning 40 at the end of August, and - half because I've been waiting two years for this and half because everyone is so far away, I wanted to give interested parties time to plan - I set up the event and sent invites last night on Facebook. Too soon? Hey, wanna come?? :D

When last I posted, we were well into a move that still continues. We're now into week four. I actually had friends and plans to rent a truck lined up to finish the job tomorrow, but a big bill that I had forgotten about came through our account yesterday, leaving us with, like, 43¢ to our names. Awesome! And since I'll be away for a big mystery shopping gig next weekend, who knows when the rest of our stuff will ever make it over here?! I'm so peevish about the whole thing. Friends, take it from me: Never decide to move the day before you actually do. I know at least one reader here who will at least think, "Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance!" And she'd be right.

I also told you that my oldest child, Chloë, was up for a role in a TV show. Well, she got it! It filmed all last week. I want to devote a whole post to that occasion, so stay tuned if you're interested in hearing more about that. I will say it was a great opportunity for her to grow and learn as an actor, and for me as a young actor's mother! The cast and crew were like family, and we really miss them.

It deluged this afternoon, and now we're stuck in our new house with the road flooded out. Good thing our house - and van - are situated on high ground, so no concern there, but we did interestedly watch several vehicles try to go through about 4' of water, including an emergency vehicle, at rather high speeds uncalled for in the situation. One got stuck and had to get out and push for a minute. Rob, my hubs, didn't get out and help, because...

He had a quadruple surgical hernia/hydrocele repair last week and is still in major pain. (As opposed to usual when he IS a major pain. Kidding, that would be me.) So he watched from the window and kept a runnng commentary on the poor sap who tried to drive through a flood. Anyway, if you were wondering, he was recovering nicely while still on narcotics, but his pain levels are not well managed now that he's run out and refuses to ask for more of those delightful drogas. We rival each other in stubbornness nicely.


We transported our son Robby's urn over to the new house without mishap, I'm happy to report. I was anxious about it for days and did NOT want to place my baby in a box with foam and bubble wrap (he might suffocate! thinks the irrationally bereaved part of my mind), so I finally found the right trip when Rob didn't have much else to worry about and let him carry Robby, er, his urn, in his arms. It worked perfectly, and our baby boy is now safely perched in our closet until furniture comes. Hey, he can breathe in a closet.


(I've edited this picture down over and over, to no avail; it wants to stay this way.) Rob snatched this picture for me on his iPhone after I spotted it on the interstate: "GIGIDDY." Are you fans of the TV show "Family Guy"? If so, you'll be amused, too. If not, carry on, then!


I snagged this one in the McDonald's drive-thru lane. A nice, cheery message; I like it!


This was my room last night, covered in clean laundry that couldn't be put anywhere until we brought the hangers you see in the foreground, there, over from the old house. I've about used all of those up, so the job is only half done until the dressers are brought over here, too. I hate it!


Welp, that's about all from me, so I'm going to make like Sophia here in my beret and Peace OUT!!


Aloha Friday


Howdy, friends! Yes, it is actually me, back on the scene. Whew, it's been hell hectic! Link up here if you've got questions for the rest of us!

My question for you this week is:

What's the longest you've gone without posting on your blog?

I think this past two weeks, which I just realized, is my longest stretch. I've missed it and have had SO much to share but no time to share it. Since our recent downpour flooded us in, and there isn't much I can do, I'll try and catch up tonight. Stick around. ;)

Now you.

Have a great weekend!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up here if you've got bits and pieces to share with us today!

I'm afraid I don't have a lot to share this week, so I'll have to spare you, for once, and be quite brief, compared to my usual blather. That's probably closer to the real point of this anyway, though, right?

We're still not moved into the new place. Oh, a tenth, maybe more, but not much more. We've run out of boxes, don't have the water turned on there yet, and still need to rent a truck to do it. I was hoping that would all happen by the end of this week, but it's looking like not. Gah! So until then, we're stuck between two places, and let me tell you, I HATE IT!

You ever have a good friend, a really good friend, whose kid(s) you don't really like? I have that situation going on now. It's a little nerve-wracking, because of course you can't treat the child any differently (than one you like, lol), but it makes you want to spend less time with the friend, doesn't it? Advice??

Speaking of good friends, my girl Jenny From the Block's husband left the night before last for a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan - just as I'm in the process of moving away from her. Granted, I'll still be well within reach, but not right around the corner like I am now, if she needs me. I kind of feel like crap about that, because this is so rough on her, and it's only the beginning. :(

I came downstairs from up in my room this morning, to find Sophia, my 7yo (youngest), hiding under my desk and eating a part of a very dark chocolate bar and drinking a can of her daddy's Coke. Um, let's hope this isn't a gateway drug. What's next? Snorting Pixie Stix and chugging Red Bull?! :\

I can't remember if I shared with you last week that Chloë, my 10yo (oldest), had auditioned for a role in an episode of a TV show. We were supposed to hear by Wednesday (two days ago) whether she got the part, but when no word came, I assumed she didn't get it. Welp, just a little while ago, the casting director called me and asked for more information on her stats and availability. They haven't decided yet, and she's still in the running. Cross everything you can, please - she really wants this gig!!

I guess that's all the bits and pieces floating around in the ol' noggin at this point, so I'ma letcha go now. Hopefully I'll get around to actually reading some more FF posts this weekend for once, since we are in moving limbo! Cheers and happy weekend, y'all.


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you've got questions that need answerin' today!

My question for you this week is,

Have you ever written a letter just to get something out of your system, but never mailed it? (Wanna share?)

I've done it, but I'm afraid a couple times, I DID send the letter and burnt a few bridges. Ah, they needed burning anyway...

Have a great weekend!


Dearly Beloved, Episode I Don't Know

Yep, it's time again for another edition of letters-to-whomever; I just hope I can remember everyone I wanted to address, because I store these things in the ol' cranium until I spit them out here on this page. So, with that, let's have at it, shall we then?


Dear Next-Door Neighbor,

You know, leaf blowers have to be the stupidest invention ever, but think about it: We live in connected townhouses, and the grass that you've mowed in your postage-stamp size front yard that you're now blowing OUT of said yard? Um, guess where it's going? Right. MY driveway and yard. I don't really give a feck, because leaving grass clippings on the lawn is good for it, and it'll rain in five minutes and wash away off the driveway anyway, but still. What if we had one, too? Where do you think it would go? Shall we play dueling leaf blowers? Gah. Give it a rest. It's bad enough you share your lovely ciggy smoke with us and keep me from leaving my windows open for some fresh air.


The Chick Who Always Looks at You With One Eyebrow Raised


Dear Clueless Drivers,

For the LOVE OF GOD, it's now Hurricane Season, and the downpours have begun in Hampton Roads; turn on your damn lights!! There's nothing I love more (not) than not being able to see you until it's almost too late to keep from crashing into you, or vice versa, because you're too stupid to realize you're practically invisible in a deluge without your headlights ablaze. Turn. Them. On.


Woulda Failed You on Your Driving Test


Dear Thoughtless Drivers,

It's late Spring, which means the growing families with their multiple ducklings and goslings are all over the neighborhood, especially by the lakes. I realize they don't always get out of your way fast enough, but have a heart and don't mow them down. There's a special place in Hell for those of you who intentionally swerve your car to hit a Mallard or Canada goose who isn't moving fast enough for your tastes. And while I'm on the subject, the nabe speed limit is 25, not 50. Kids abound in these streets and sidewalks. Take it down a notch, will ya? This ain't the autobahn.


Would Rather Not Find ANY Offspring Squished in the Street, Thanks


Dear 7-11 Lady,

I realize tactfulness is not a prominent trait amongst Asians and Hispanics alike, generally speaking, but telling me "You've gotten fat! You gain a lot of weight! Look at my body, I have five children and my body never change!" is not exactly the way to win people over. And FYI, it's not fat, it's called a HERNIA. I have no control over my belly sticking out, until I get it fixed. Geez. Thanks for ruining what was otherwise a pretty swell day.


Taken Aback


Dear Morning Radio DJ-ess,

The Dude carries the show. Have you ever listened to yourself? Every other so-called comment out of your mouth is, "Mm-hmm!" Really? Give me the job. I can think of a few more things to say than that 87 times an hour.


The Dumb One Who Listens to You Anyway


To My Bosom:

Pick a hemisphere, preferably the Northern one, please. And while we're talking, can I just say, would the two of you decide whether you're going to pop out the top of my bras or the bottom? Not knowing where you're going to show up next is disconcerting at best.


You (Don't) Lift Me Up


Dear Stupid People,

You know who you are. Oh, wait. You probably don't. I guess it really isn't your fault, then, so let me just paraphrase Shakespeare and say I'm not going to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. When you hear me going, "Yeah. Uh-huh. Mm-hmm," like a certain afore-mentioned radio DJ, that's me really thinking, "You're too much of an idiot to warrant a proper retort from me."


Rolling Eyes Heavenward


Dear New Neighbor Lady,

Yeah. You have neighbors now, and have you seen our driveway? It's a nightmare, but still, you don't own it. For Pedro's S8ake, PLEASE pull forward, or park somewhere else, anywhere but the exact point where I can neither get in nor out without ripping something off the bottom of my van. I swear, if you're parked thataways again today when I bring over another load of household wares, you're going to see me knocking on your door with a saccharine smile, asking you to Move. It. Now. And that won't be a basket of muffins I'm carrying. Just sayin'.


Really Now.

Dear AT&T Tech Support Guy,

You are my new hero. When my iPhone went down for two days, and I was stuck borrowing Chloë's Crapberry, it was sheer misery. I hated every second of it. All of y'all out there using a Blackberry who have never had an iPhone, I pity you. I do. Do yourselves a favor and switch, because your phones suck hairy butt. And that is not fun.


An Apple A Day Keeps The BlackBerry Away

On that note, I have to do something that involves all the prunes I ate last night, ahem, so I'm going to close this edition and, uh, grab a magazine. Hee!


Four Feline Friends, Or, A Pussy Posse


The kitties, of which we have a quartet, have been a little clingy to their mama since we started packing and moving over to the new place. (They're still at the Va Beach house.) So I've been photographing each one, in turn, as they come and sit by me for a scritch and a belly rub. Here's our mama (probably a grandmama or more by now) kitty, Tinkerbell. She'll be 8 next month!


This is Star, the next oldest. We guess her age at about six. She's the most aloof of the bunch, usually hanging out upstairs in the master bedroom, but even she has been downstairs frequently lately.


Cupcake, aka Cuppy, is one of our twin kittens. They've just turned a year old. She's the teenier of the twins. Jack told her the other day, "You're like me, you don't grow!" It was an "aww" moment for me. ♥


And finally, we have the other twin, Muffin (aka Muffy), who jumped up on the office "window" (a pass-through from the kitchen) just in time for me to snag her photo, too.  I had to hurry; she's an active one, like Sophia, and often on the go. And indeed, she did run right after I grabbed this pic!


Muffy and Cuppy canoodling, as they often do... ♥


And speaking of moving, we still have a LONG, long way to go (I'm taking a packing break at the moment, since I'm currently out of boxes), but here's a sneak peek of our new digs. The kids were supping excitedly in the living room. I say "excitedly," because they're delighted to be moving and love our new "dump," as Rob calls it. It's really not that bad... in fact, I rather like it myself. Except for the driveway, which sucks bollocks.

Anyway, more to come, as I plan on playing blahggy catch-up tonight!


Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Third Part

Sunday Stealing

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Three

41. Growing up, who was the easier mark: Mom or Dad?

Neither was an easy mark, but I guess if I had to pick, it was definitely Dad. 

42. What is the stupidest pet that you ever saw?

Anything exotic that interferes with the natural fauna of an area and/or is endangered by being a 'pet.'

43. Tell us about a band whose every CD is a “must have”.

The Presidents of the USA are always fun... 

44. Where you surprised when Jim Parsons came out?

This is the first I'm hearing of it. Guess I am, but not a lot.

45. Have you ever shoplifted?

Only once, and by accident. I was holding a toy and inadvertently walked right out with it. I was a teenager, so I was too freaked out to go back with it and risk getting into trouble. I still feel bad about it!

46. We currently have a person who plays both this meme and Saturday 9 who signs in to Mr. Linky every week. Yet, if you click on that link, you are told that only “members” can read the blog. Why do you think that person even bothers to sign in or for that matter, do the meme? (Don't misunderstand, we have no rules and we aren't angry. But it is damn peculiar, no?)

I have no opinion on that. I guess it's weird, yeah.

47. Have you ever driven a Ferrari?

No, but that would be fun, certainly!

48. What do you call those little plastic things on the ends of shoelaces?

Aglets. Everybody knows that, even if they don't watch Phineas and Ferb, don't they??

49. Have you ever walked more than a mile?

Oh, yes. I've done a ton of walking in my day, out of necessity more than anything else.

50. Do you believe in magic?

It's entertaining, but it's not real.

51. Have you ever been arrested?

Nope, but it's also on my Bucket List. For something environmentally-related, I hope!

52. Have you ever skinny dipped?

Naturally. Heh. Pun intended, sorry.

53. Explain what you think about hippies.

I think I need to change my contact lenses, because I thought that read "nipples." LOL! I probably would've been one if I'd been alive then, for sure. I love them.

54. New York or California?

I'm from New York, but in 9 months, I'm headed for California. I plead the fifth, therefore!

55. Have you ever been dumped?

Sure. It sucks, doesn't it?

56. What are you wearing right now?

An orange tee, gray U-Miami sweat pants, the usual under-garb, my wedding and engagement rings, my nose ring, contact lenses, and a ponytail holder on my right wrist. Was that detailed enough for you?

57. John Edwards had a mistrial. How do you think he conducted himself after the verdict?

I'm so over hearing and talking about it, I reserve the right not to answer the question. I respect that he apologized for sinning and misbehaving, though.

58. Did you watch the series finale of House?

Nope. I suppose I would have if we hadn't been without TV for the prior three years...

59. You may need to go back a long way if you are old like Harriet. Who was the last person who asked you out?

LMBO! Poor Harriet! Hmm. I guess technically that would be my husband, right?!

60. Do you have any collections?

I'm finding an awesome collection of dust, in the midst of my packing to move this weekend! I don't suppose that's what you meant. I also collect shot glasses, spoons, magnets, and formerly keychains, although I gave up on that last one when I realized, wth am I going to do with them all?! Oh, and fine yarns. And we're infested with children and cats. Seven total, combined. ;)

I hope you have a fantastic week!


Saturday 9: Crown Of Creation

The link is here, if you're a 9'er today!

Saturday 9: Crown of Creation

1. Do you understand a belief model based on creationism?

Understand, yes. I don't believe evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

2. Is your house run more like a dictatorship or a democracy?

Neither one. It's somewhere in the middle. I don't think either one is the proper way to raise children. They should have a say on some things, but not equal footing with the parents. Nor should totalitarian rule be the name of the game. We do the best we can, what can I say?

3. Are you likely to forgive a transgression and give someone a second chance?

Most of the time. As long as they genuinely apologize, I'm pretty forgiving. Until that point, though, it takes an awful lot of work for me to let go of a grudge. And time.

4. Is religion a big part of your life?

There is a difference between religion and spirituality. I'm Christian, but my relationship with Christ is personal and private, and my walk with God is one I don't tend to share about often, because it's MINE alone.

5. Do you feel your job (or your spouse's if you work at home) is safe?

Well, he's in the U.S. Navy, so... ish? He hasn't deployed during our relationship, but there's always that chance. He's safer than many, if not most, in the military, and I'm thankful.

6. Do you believe in gay marriage? Why?

I support it. I think it's ridiculously absurd to dictate otherwise. Everyone should have the right to unify with the one they love and be given all the rights, privileges, and sucky parts thereof! ;)

7. Do you think the current U.S. war will lead to a more peaceful world?

Interesting concept, war leading to peace. I don't think there will ever be peace in the whole world at once. A sad fact of life, I guess.

8. Do you like people with swagger?

That don't impress me much, to quote Shania.

9. What kind of budget do you live on, is it tight or carefree?

It's tighter than tight. It's painful. We're working on it. One day, we'll be more carefree. Or not, whatever, we have each other and that's good enough for me.

Have a happy day!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up with Mrs. 4444 if you're playing along this week!


That's all I have to say.  Not, you know I have more.

So, you may or, more likely, may not have noticed I haven't fragmented again in a few weeks. Our lives are always, well, let's be honest, chaotic at their calmest, but things have been even crazier lately. For example, this week:

Monday: Rob had the day off, and I was exhausted, so I slept much of the day away. Nothing newsworthy there. But...

Tuesday: We decided to move.

Wednesday: I hunted around and found a potential place.

Thursday: I met the landlord inside the house with the kids, decided to go for it, signed the lease, paid the rent and security deposit, and got the keys.

Friday (today): We can move in.

I'm a little dizzy, but that's how we roll. Well, that's how I roll, anyway. Hubs is a tad bit freaked out by the whole thing, but we'll be aiight.


I'm still on Project Vanity Plate, and this is today's find. Hopefully they're talking about God and aren't egomaniacs! If you missed it, I posted a whole bunch of them on Wednesday here.

Today, in addition to checking out the house and stuff, was total nutballs. I took Rob to work at the buttcrack of dawn, and then I was supposed to take the daughters o' mine to the dentist, but I ended up konking out on migraine medicine and missing that appointment. Gah! I woke up just in time to shower and go meet our new lord of the land.

After the new house visit, I stopped to get the kids a semi-celebratory lunch (thank you, Wendy's Dollar Menu), zoomed home to update Chloë's résumé and grab her new headshots, and then dropped Sophie and Jack off at Jenny From the Block's house before racing to Chlo's audition. I didn't get to watch the actual audition, but I'm still tremendously proud of her. I was a nervous wreck for her, shaking and trembling, but she was confident and relaxed. How?! I don't know; she didn't inherit that from me, but hopefully her nurturing has had something to do with that poise.

Anyhoo, it's for an episode of a TV show I can't name at the moment, but we'll find out Wednesday if she got the part. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed! She really wants the role. I'm highly biased, but I think she was the cutest kid there, and she did great practicing her scenes for me. Stay tuned!


After the audition, I raced to pick up the Littles before heading to pick up Rob, two hours late, from work. We headed over to the BMW place to pick up his supposedly 'fixed' motorcycle, a month after it was put in for repairs. After a freakin' MONTH, you'd think it'd be in excellent shape, right? Ha. More on that in a mome.


We went straight to a Thai restaurant for a semi-celebratory dinner (not really; we just have not much food in the house currently, and we had a gift certificate to use there). Aren't these roses so cute? They were the straw wrappers atop each of our drink straws. Love!


We ordered family-style. This was my dinner. Well, that and a wee Spring roll. It may not seem like a lot, but apparently it was too much for me, because I didn't keep a single bit of it down, dang it. Um. It tasted better the first time. I probably could've kept it down, but I had the Jasmine rice with cashews, and, stupid me, I should've known better. I can never eat rice. It just looked so good. Anyway....

All was well and good after dinner. Rob hopped on his motorbike, the kids and I buckled into the van, and off we went toward home. Only, I zipped into a 7-11 on the way home to refill my giant keg of Diet Dew and, well, hurl, and he followed me into the parking lot. By the time I restarted the van, his bike was smoking and leaking more fluids than a ... ah, skip that. Every metaphor I can think up is gross and graphic. Awesome. So not only was the BMW not fixed, but a freakin' panel was missing off the side, too! Really?! I'm way disenchanted with the place that had it for so long. They can bite me hard, right on my hindquarters.

So, short story long, we sat there for an hour while Rob yapped on the phone to our insurance company, who basically solved nothing, and then watched him make the necessary repairs himself. I've dated some pretty useless guys before, and lemme tell you single ladies this: Marry a handy guy. I don't care what else you like about him, you will appreciate this advice. The other day, our toilet handle broke, and My Guy fished one out of his "pile of crap," as I not-so-tenderly call it, and fixed it on the spot. Pretty good. Back to the bike. While he was working, I went back into the 7-11 and bought a big bag of White Cheddar Popcorn. The kids pretended they were watching a movie while they ate it - and Dad was the show. I don't know how he felt about that, but I was entertained, and that's what counts, y'all.

I don't know what else to tell ya. I have a million and one anecdotes I could share, but (a) you probably don't care, and (b) I should probably start packing. To move. Because we're doing that. Eek.

Have a fab weekend, folks!


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you want. You know, I can't force you, and stuff.

My question for you this week is:

Do you groom your eyebrows? If so, how?

As for me, I'm a habitual plucker, but I didn't start until I was 25! I had wild 'n' crazy brows before that, but I didn't realize how bad until after I had my firstborn. Now I'm constantly tweezing away at them. Now, you.