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Entries from July 2012

Sunday Stealing: Too Tired To Think Meme, Part The Second

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! Anyway, link is here if you're playing along today! Here we go:

26. What type of errands do you like running?
I like running errands in general; the only ones I dislike involve doctor visits. Unless it's me going by myself. The children NEVER, ever behave at the doctor's office. I don't know what it is...!
27. Have you ever eaten snow?
Please, I grew up in Syracuse, NY. It was like a major food group, y'know?
28. What color are your bedsheets?
Some are yellow and some are, well, yellow! Ha. I just realized. They're darker, though.
29. What’s your favorite flower?
The tiger lily... it was bittersweet at the beginning of the month when we went up to New York and they were all over Pennsylvania and NY, because we rehomed our dog, Tiger Lily, to PA, and she died on New Year's Eve. The flowers made me think of her the whole drive there and back.
30. Do you do ballet?
I did from 8 to 15. I would've continued, but my stepmother decided I wasn't worth paying for anymore. I was good, too.
31. Do you listen to classical music?
Yes, sometimes on my own, and always when we do school, especially Art. When I forget to put it on, the children ask for it. How much do I love that?!
32. What is the first TV Theme song that pops in your head?
The Flintstones. Showing my age, eh?
33. Do you watch Sponge Bob?
I really try to avoid it.
34. What temperature is it outside right now?
84 deg. F at 1950.
35. Do people consider you smart?
Well, I do and that's all that counts. (I almost forgot the 'o' in that word. That wouldn't have been so smart.) Oh, and Hubs does, too. We one-up each other in the brains department all the time.
36. How many piercings do you have?
Nine. My nose, and four in each ear. I never wear earrings anymore, though; they're so sensitive now.
37. Are you signed on [to] AIM?
Not since, like, 1998!
38. Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together?
I've done it without trying, fairly successfully.
39. How do you feel about your family?
The family I helped create? I adore them and would go to the ends of the Earth for them. The family in which I grew up? Let's move on...
40. Do you have an iPod?
Yep. Sho' do.
41. What time do you go to bed?
Never before midnight, unless I'm not feeling well. I haven't felt well several times this week, and I slept a full night. It was an odd feeling, being refreshed like that. I should try it more often, no?
42. What CD is currently in your CD player?
Do they still make those? Hm. The last song that played on my iTunes was "Someone Like You" by the lovely Adele.
43. What movie do you know every line to?
Grease and Dirty Dancing
44. What is your favorite salad dressing?
Cardini's Caesar dressing. Oh, it's heavenly.
45. What do you want for Christmas this year?
What do I always want? Yarn. No, really, that, and for my family to be happy.
46. What family member/friend lives the farthest from you? Where?
They're all over the place, dude. I've got 'em everywhere. Facebook keeps us closer, though.
47. Do you like hugs?
It depends. I really have to like the person, and I have to be in the mood. I hate it when someone I can't stand puts me in a big bear hug. It happens more than you'd think. I'm little, and it's unavoidable sometimes. Ugh.
48. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
Honestly, last week, when I was giving the kids their end-of-year tests for homeschooling. I had no idea how they would do. I just got the results in the other day, and they did SO well: all in the 90th percentile. I'm so proud!
49. What’s the way people most often mispronounce any part of your name?
Oh, I get everything. It's Melanie, which you'd think was in Chinese for some people (who aren't Chinese, obviously). I get everything from Melody (most often, when they've misheard me) to Me-lany, from people who read it. And my last name is Odette, which people are always pronouncing to rhyme with "spaghetti." It's ridick. At least my middle name is easy (Ann), but now I'm giving you too much.
50. Last person you hugged?
That would be Sophia, my youngest. She's very huggy lately.
And that's the end.

Saturday 9: Moves Like Jagger


Well, it is Sunday and I did miss this one, so I wasn't going to do it, but when I saw what album was covered, well, come on! Adam Levine...! So. the link is here, if you want to check it out. And let's begin:

1. Who makes the best moves in your life?

Well, it's my life, right, so that would have to be me. I make some pretty dumbass moves, too - don't get me wrong... but I've made some pretty awesome ones, too.

2. Tell us about a time where you had to be selfish with your time, and felt guilty about it (whether it was time taken from your children or a significant other).

Well, I "selfishly" take time for me every day, because I have to or I'd go COMPLETELY insane, and I'm already close. But I don't feel guilty for that. When I did feel guilty was when I was pregnant with the twins, and Chloe was only a year old... she had to play by herself a lot then and became pretty independent. And then again when I had Sophia, she nursed constantly, and I had to put the older ones on hold a lot. I felt bad about that, but we made due.

3. Do you feel that you can create more sex appeal or that it's just a given?

I do think it can be created, and also learned, when there is none. I don't think you're either born with it or you're not, and I do believe some people need to be taught! But definitely, it can be vamped up, right?

4. Do your religious beliefs really influence your behavior?

Yes, but perhaps not as much as they should...

5. Do you feel there are some things in a significant other that you can't change because of their sex?

Absolutely. Men and women are differently wired; it's a fact.

6. Do you see a younger, less secure person when you gaze in the mirror?

No, but after losing all that weight (over 200 lbs), I do still get surprised by what I see in the mirror. I expect to see a much fatter version of me and sometimes, even still, I forget!

7. If you have ever been pregnant, or have been with a woman who was, how did it affect your sex life?

We went from all the time to not at all. LOL Poor Hubs! We had our babies back-to-back-to-back, too, so he was... SOL. I have NO libido when I'm pregnant.

8. What would you like to work on to become a better person?

Ohmigosh. How much time do you have?? I'll leave the answer to work on during therapy, thanks.

9. When did you think that you understood the sacrifices that people in the military make on behalf of their country?

Probably not until I married my husband at 24. He had 8 years in the Navy at the time. He'll retire next year. In the past 12 years, I've learned what it means, for real.  Not just through my own family, but through my military family on the whole. It's pretty intense at times.


Sunday Stealing: Too Tired To Think Meme, Part The First


1. You have 10 dollars and need to buy snacks at a gas station. What do you get?

A piece of fruit or two, some peanut butter M&Ms, maybe a cheese stick, and a small bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Oh, and a Diet Coke. That should cover it.

2. If you were reincarnated as a sea creature, what would you want to be?

A shark, definitely. Either a Wobbegong or a Port Jackson.

3.  Who's your favorite redhead?

That would be my neice, Hanna Leigh! She's got flaming hair, for sure!

4. What do you order at IHOP?

Usually a cheese, egg, and spinach omelet or something similar, of which I eat about 1/8.

5. Last book you read?

All or just part of? If just part, The Bible. If all... probably The Kiterunner, like three years ago! So much to do, so little time for leisure reading... :(

6. Describe your mood.

I'm dealing with a migraine; nonetheless, I just finished a fun knitting project I loved, so I'm a little giddy from finishitis at the moment.

7.  Describe the last time you were injured.

I cut myself shaving. Seriously. Meanwhile, I just showed my almost-11-year-old how to shave her legs, and she did it without a booboo. Go figure.

8. Of all your friends, with whom would you want to be stuck in a well?

Well (heh), since Hubs is my true best friend, I'm counting him in - he's resourceful, somewhat of a survival expert, and well-versed in First Aid. He's the one.

9.  Rock concert or symphony?

Oooh, that's a tough one for me! If it's someone I haven't seen in concert before, than I pick the concert, since I have been to the symphony many times. Now if you'd said the opera...

10.  What is the wallpaper of your cell phone? And your phone number?

Pfft. I'm an airhead, but I'm not that dumb. Although y'all would be welcome to text me, I don't want the trolls I know are out there with my digits. Wallpaper: at the moment, the one the iPhone came with, because I had to reset it recently. I'll have to remedy that; how boring.

11.  Favorite soda?

It's a tie between Diet Coke & Diet Mt. Dew. I switch back and forth regularly.

12. What type of shirt are you wearing?

A tank top that really needs something under it aside from the sports bra I'm wearing, because it droops really low, and I keep having to fix it. It's muy comfy, though.

13.  What if you could only use one form of transportation?

I love to fly, but I would travel by boat/ship. Nothing beats being asea; the ocean is where it's at for me.

14.  Most recent movie seen at the theater?

I saw that Pirates movie, something or other starring Hugh Grant's voice. I took my afore-mentioned daughter to see it as a reward for something I no longer remember...

15.  Name a celeb for whom you've had the hots.

C'mon. You know it's Matt Damon. Damn.

16.  What's your favorite kind of cake?

Cheesecake!  (I'm a New Yawka, what can I say?)

17.  What did you have for dinner last night?

Nothing. I went to bed early, feeling sick and migrainy.

18.  Look to your left. What do you see?

The pattern and finished knitting project I mentioned above. Totes cute!

19.  Do you untie your shoes when you remove them?

I'm all about the Crocs flip-flops right now, so not applicable. I rarely wear shoes that tie, but I tend to think I just kick them off without untying.

20.  Favorite childhood toy?

I had many favorites at different ages, but I loved this dumb little stuffed red-and-white puppy, Snowflake. I wish I knew what happened to him.

21.  Do you buy your own groceries?

Do I look like Jennifer Aniston?

22.  Do you think people talk about you behind your back?

Oh, I know full well they do. And that's not just my paranoia talking. I give 'em plenty to yak about!

23.  When was the last time you had gummy worms?

Probably within the last 2-3 months, having stolen one of my kids'!

24.  What's your favorite fruit?

I like my melons. Ah, what I mean is, um, canteloupe.

25.  Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel?

No, but I have a picture of myself... ugh. I got nothin' funny. No.

Have a grea week, y'all!


Saturday 9: I Saw The Light


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

1. Has something ever made you "see the light"?

Sure, I've had an epiphany or twelve over the years.

2. Do you believe you have any control over your luck?

I don't know that I even believe in "luck," per se. We all have free will.

3. What is something you have had difficulty rising above?

The death of my son. I don't know that I'll ever be the same again since that happened.

4. Would you want to be rich?

I would like to be comfortable, but I would be very philanthropic if I were rich. Right now, it would be nice to be filthy stinkin'.

5. Tell us about a current or old song that helps you "face the world."

"Kiss" by Prince always gets me pumped, whatever my mood.

6. Has any dream of yours come true?

Sleep dreams? All the time. Day/pipe dreams? Yes. When I really want something, I go after it until I get it, usually, and I've been successful many times in pursuing my dreams.

7. What would you change if you became "the king or queen" of your country?

Oh, if you've been here a time or two before, you know what I'll say: Make recycling mandatory and ban cigarettes.

8. How do you feel about LGBT rights?

I'm fully supportive. I abhor discrimination.

9. Have you ever been disappointed in yourself?

Sure. All the time. I have high expectations and am way too hard on myself.

Welp, until next time, folks...


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up with Mrs. 4444 if ye be fragmentin' today!

I've got thoughts pouring out of my head like crazy right now, so I hope I can get them all down here before I forget some. I'm sure I will, though; some always escape. But where to begin? At the end, I think.

Thursday, after a week or 10 days of being seriously ill, I finally felt well enough to finish testing the kids for their end-of-year homeschooling proof of progress submission. I did the math tests with all three kids individually, as opposed to Language Arts, which I managed to run more or less simultaneously, so they could concentrate better. Each missed 2 or 3 answers at most, so overall they did extremely well, and I'm very happy, proud, and pleased to be finished!!

I got them each an m&m cookie from 7-11 as a quick reward for finishing and doing well, but tomorrow will be the real reward. Depending on the weather, we're going to hit the beach for the first time this summer! If it rains, then my back-up plan is melting all our (TONS OF) broken crayons down into new, fun ones. We're just going to use simple muffin tin this time around - no fun shapes - because we've never done it before, but I'm excited to finally make use of all those broken pieces they don't deem fit to use!

My CPU bit the bucket earlier this week, and of course I didn't have all my files backed up, so I'll be stressed about that until I get a technician of some sort to retrieve them for me. Do you back up regularly? I don't. I just can't be bothered, and then I kick myself every time something like this happens. Of course. It's so me.

Speaking of being sick, I went to the hospital Friday, Monday and Tuesday mornings for various procedures. My entire GI tract is all messed up and revolting against its owner at the moment. I admit, I spent a week wearing (and very necessarily so) adult diapers because of it. That wasn't fun, and now that I'm back in my own undies (thank you, Imodium, for finally kicking in), I am relishing the joy! ;P

I finally went to the doc on one of those days and got the prescription lice treatment from the kids' pediatrician, and guess what? They are STILL alive in Chloë's hair. So I did something rather drastic and chopped about 8" off, which was traumatic for her, but far less than the head-shaving I was (semi-seriously) threatening. She went from this:


to this:


The next day, when she saw how cute (and easy to take care of) it was, she felt much better about it. I think it makes her look soooo much younger! Do you?

I cut her sister's hair (and my bangs, lol) while I was at it:


I've since straightened hers up a little bit, but I think she also looks cute and younger than she did before, with the shorter 'do.

Three packages came in the mail today, including some new shirts we bought for Rob's retirement days starting in a few months, a bunch of Jafra goodness for various clients and me, and this:


Lovely yarn for a project a friend has commissioned from me. I can't say much more than that about it at the moment, but I'll show you the finished works when I can! It's always exciting when good fiber shows up in the mail!

Well, I'll leave you with this image snapped by Rob for my license plate project, since I lost all the ones I had captured in the CPU debacle:


I don't know why eleventy-nine % of the picture is pavement - that crazy hubs!

Well, I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and I apologize being bad about responding to comments and getting around to other fragmenters (always, but especially lately). It's been a bad time with whatever's goin' on in mah belleh, y'all. Hope you forgive me.


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you've got a question for Kailani and friends today!

My question for you this week is:

Have you ever been to Hawai'i?

I couldn't think of a question, so this was inspired by the actual meme. ;D While I haven't been to the islands in the sense that I've STAYED there, I have flown through the Honolulu airport on our way to and from Guam in '02 and '03. I'm dying to go back fo' real.

Now. What about you?

Have a jolly weeked!


Scenes From A Thursday Morning At Home


An awful picture of me, having stayed up all night once again, yet feeling oddly refreshed. Could I have a worse expression on my face?!


A newly-shorn Chloë, still dreaming...


Jack's still zonked, too, after a wild night of chasing kittens.


Sophia, also newly-shorn and sucking thumb, perusing a good book...


Cupcake, posing nicely for her mama...


Barbies, posed by Sophia outside the bathroom; was there a line in the doll stall?


Heading outside: Rob's kayak taking up space on the front porch...


Oops, there's mah shadow, interrupting the snap of our stairway...


There's a fungus among us.


The crappy "driveway" that is the current bane of my existence...


The inexplicable cement surround for one of our trees... but I like it!


Green. Lots of green = love.


Weeds + beer caps mean I have some work to do outside.


And last but not least, a pop of color I almost smushed walking around.

What do you see in the mornings?


A HUGE Pain In The Ass


I'm sick, y'all. Very, very sick. Let's just say I'm glad now that I have those Depend Silhouettes, because they're coming in very handy at the moment. To further elaborate, I have to have a flex sig on Tuesday morning to rule out stuff like colon cancer and other such niceties. To put it bluntly, I've been crapping my brains out for a week straight - I've had about 10 accidents, even (all but one at home, thank goodness, and that other one was at Walmart, of all places!) - much like my 3½-week nightmare of December 2011. I'm MISERABLE. I'm hating life. I'm crying, I'm hurting, I'm barely able to eat and am just keeping up with hydration.


It's true. It's how I'm feeling right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly suicidal... I just want out of this misery!!!


If I post again soon, as planned, it will be much more upbeat. I promise. I just really needed to get that out!


Saturday 9: Don't Talk To Strangers


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1. Has talking to a stranger ever caused you a problem?

Hmmm... Yeah, I've had a few not-so-successful outcomes from some such interactions! My friend Jenny From the Block says I'm quick to get angry; I don't like hearing it, but she's probably right, and it doesn't always serve me well. Well, or ever...

2. Have you ever gloated or wanted to brag over success?

Sure, but I try not to go overboard. I don't like to be boastful so much as ... I don't know. Pride cometh before a fall, and all that, so I do try to be humble.

3. What do enjoy most about your life?

The knowledge that I have of how fortunate I truly am, compared to so many in this world. I have a compassionate heart, and I'm blessed with empathic children, as well. My husband ... I could go on ad nauseum about how lucky I am to have him. My family, I guess, is the short answer.

4. Do you ever overthink a situation in your life?

Is the sky blue? This is my M.O., yo.

5. Tell us about your best friend.

I call her Dr. Lisa, but she's a P.A., not an actual physician. I 'use' her far too often for all our various medical issues, and she tolerates it altogether too much. I keep telling her to bill me. ;) Anyway, we met in 6th grade, so we've been friends for 25 years, almost. Wow. She's a 'good girl,' someone I admire as far more virtuous than I, and she married someone I dated first. They make a much better match! Oh, and she makes precious babies. ♥

6. How important is intelligence when picking (or having picked) a mate to you?

Intelligence and a sense of humor were absolutely crucial. I lucked out.

7. What's the closest situation that you've had to dealing with an enemy?

I'm not entirely sure I understand the intent of the question, but let's say I have stared the devil in the face, and I lived with her for ten years before I escaped. I'm still living with the fall-out, but I've got an excellent therapist helping me through it, now! ;)

8. What was the circumstance that led to your most recent utterance of "aha!"?

Hmmm, my latest 'aha' moment... Well, our driveway is terrible, and I discovered a new way to navigate it yesterday so as to do the least amount of damage to my van (it's that bad), and yes, I know this was a terribly boring answer!

9. Have you ever tried getting even?

Yeah, especially with the person discussed in #7. I'm really not about revenge, though, and I was not successful, unsurprisingly. I don't like that whole negative frame of mind that getting even entails.

Well, another one done, another week down, another Saturday to do who-knows-what... see you all on the flip side!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Howdy, folks! Link up here if you're fragmenting along with Mrs. 4444 this week!

I'm pretty sure it's Friday, but this week has been such a blur of suckitude that I'm not entirely sure. Since Aloha Friday (answer my previous post about hatin' if you're game) and FF are both up, though, it must be, right? Of course, I could be dreaming this too, like all the weird dreams I had last night (I was eleventy months pregnant; I had long, long white hair; I married someone else; I won big money on Let's Make a Deal... and more I can't remember), but I don't think so. Now that was a weird fragment.


Speaking of weird fragments, hey Mrs.4s, what happened to "Favorite Friday Fragmenter?" I loved that part. ;D

Don't read this if you're eating or are easily grossed out. I'm serious:




Last Chance....




So last December, I had the runs for about 3½ weeks straight. It was miserable and depressing, and my quality of life when straight down the gutter. I don't think we did any school that whole time, or at least not much at all. Well, fast forward to now, and I'm on day six of the same infirmity. I have put back on about 10 pounds since my rapid 206-lb weight loss, so I'm eating a lot of salads these days. This, uh, whatever it is that's going on, is so aggressive that 20 minutes later, there is straight-up chewed lettuce floating around in the toilet bowl. Nasty! (Kind of cool for a biologist like me, but still gross, I know.)

And it's immediately sent me into the same plummeting mood state that it did the last time, so I saw my GI doc on an urgent basis this morning. (Yes, Mamacita, I actually made myself a doctor's appointment in a timely manner, if you can believe it!) I have to have a "flex sig" (flexible sigmoidoscopy, like a mini-colonoscopy) next Tuesday morning to rule out, you know. Bad stuff.

The only thing that's different than usual and the same about both incidents is that it almost immediately follows a trip involving a waterpark. Coinky-dink? I really don't think so, but who knows??


I came across this when I was looking for a picture to go along with the last fragment. Disgusting. I absolutely abhor this small-minded thinking....ugh.


Gotta admit I rather enjoyed this one, though. Not that I wish cancer on anyone, but whoever still smokes in July 2012 has got to know the risks, amiright?

We're halfway through the kids' end of year testing - um, like 1½ month later than I planned, but ah, well - and have finished up all their Language Arts sections. Now it's just math. I'm happy to report they're all kicking butt and taking names on LA, and proudest to report that so far as I can tell, Sophia's gotten 100% on hers! Woot woot!! Go kids!!

They could get zeroes on their math scores, and the composite score would still be high enough to keep us off probation, so yippy-skippy for Team Odette! ;D

I made this card last night, and it's one of the hardest things I've ever had the pleasure to make. I fought tears the whole time. Of course, I purposely made it for boy-girl twins so there would be no chance of it being for identical twins. That would be too much for me... guess after almost ten years, I still have my fair share of healing to do. (I know it's not that 'professional' with all the handwriting and stuff in it, but it felt like it needed to be made that way, and so I did.)

We brought our dryer (and other stuff) over from the old house last night, and Rob is still recovering from his hernia surgery(ies), so I feel immensely guilty that he's in discomfort now. I didn't ask him to do it, though; he insisted, but I should have put my foot down more. Besides, it's the washer we really need; clothes can air-dry, but I've no interest in hand-washing load upon load of clothes.... Heh.

Some of you may know, I'm a Jafra Consultant, but I'm really not meant to be a salesperson. I do my best, but mostly I just wear my awesome complexion and Jafra pin and let the people come to me about it. Anyway, I got an order from a new customer through my website last night, and when I called her, I totally upsold the order another third of the total! Woot! Go me. I know she'll love the products, so I have no shame in my game, because it really is good stuff. But I was seriously patting myself on the back, yes, yes I was.

There are days when I think we have four cats too many. Of course, there are days when I feel like I have four cats, three kids and maybe even a husband too many, but then I count everything I'd miss, and that feeling goes away faster than you can say "being alone sucks!"

I was boohooing the other night, missing our old house, our old neighborhood, and our old surrounding region. There's a lot there that we don't have here, and I didn't get lost anymore like I have twice this week, and ... and... and. But I've ventured around some more since then and, you know, this place isn't so bad, once you go a few streets this way and a few streets that way. And our Lord of the Land is kicking our upstairs neighbors - the bane of my existence at the moment - out, so there's another plus. Even if we get new neighbors that suck, we'll now be Big Man on Campus. Ha.(Seriously, if you knew the driveway/parking dilemma we deal with on a daily basis, you'd understand how exciting that prospect is...)

The lice are STILL HERE.

It has been a MONTH, and I have treated it a dozen times. Can I say WTF on this post?! Because WTF?! I am so OVER it. We have treated it with OTC stuff (Nix and its generic counterpart), combed nits for hours upon hours upon hours out of Chloë's curls, and are now using a triple-threat combination of tea tree oil, coconut oil, and Fairytales shampoo... yet they're STILL THERE. I totally give up. I can't take it anymore! Do y'all think most kids' hairdressers would professionally treat this crap?? Because that's my next move. UUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH.


Anyway. This week's license plate, the only one I could safely capture, is:


which I can't really say anything snarky-amusing about, but the one I wish I had been able to capture was a breast cancer survivor plate that read "ALIVE." I loved that. Almost made me tear up a little.

And that's all she wrote, kids! Have a fantastic weekend!


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you have a question for Kailani and friends today!

My question for you this week is:

Are you an equal-opportunity hater, as my husband says?

What the heck?

I mean, if you're going to talk sh** about a bad driver, is it harder for you to do so if they drive the same make as a vehicle in your household, or does it not matter?

I know this is the most ridiculous question, but it came up today, so I'm asking y'all. As for Hubs, he's equal-opportunity. But if I see a

like my Odyssey, or a


like Hubs' F650GS,

it's harder for me to go, "oh, you stupid Honda driver!" On the other hand, I can cuss out a Ford pick-up truck driver (especially one with the Confederate flag plastered all over it *ahem*) with no such qualms. So, if you think about it, what about you?

Have a great weekend!


Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme Conclusion

Sunday Stealing

Argghhhh! I was to the LAST question when Typepad ate my whole post! Dammit! WHY did they stop doing the awesomeness that was auto-save? Uh, what I mean is, link up here if you're playing along this week! ;)

Cheers to All Us Thieves! 

181. What's the BEST rock band that you have seen live?

They ALL have been great, but I absolutely LOVED the Blue Man Group concert. So. Cool.

182. Could you image being in a situation where you would run from the police?

If I was in a developing country, I could think of lots of scenarios for that. Here in the US, not so many, since I'm (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint) white... unless I were a baddy. But I'm not a baddy.

183. Have you ever been asked for an autograph?

Sure, every time I use my credit card. I did dream the other day that Chloë was, though! (I seriously do wonder if she'll ever reach the stage where she's recognized as, "aren't you from that...?" though!)

184. What would you change about your living room?

I'd move the furniture from the old house into it, for starters! Larger would be nice, too, of course...

185. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home?

I drink out of my plastic keg most of the time... AKA my 7-11 Xtreme Gulp. Diet Coke FTW!

186. Last hug?

From Sophia, about 1½-2 hours ago... she's a hugger, especially of late.

 187. Have you ever had to make up your mind?

Yeah, like whether to answer dumb meme questions.

188. What is on top of your refrigerator?

I had to go look: Several First Aid kits, Jack's box of shot needles (um, that's probably redundant, but I don't care), and our popsicle kit. Quite the menagerie.

189. Did it work out for you in terms of kids? (Meaning how did it work out & are you  happy? In other words, from “Have none, wanted none” to “8 kids & 3 grandkids)


Yes and no. From the outset, Hubs and I agreed that we wanted "two and only two, unless the second time it was twins." Well, the joke was on us, because the second time it was identical twin boys! Only, Robby died after three days, and after that, our arms felt so... empty... so we proceeded to have #4. Now neither of us can have any more, but I'd have another 10 or so if I could! Time will tell if we're meant to have more another way...

190. Are you afraid of the dark?

 At 35+, I always have been and remain so. I'm not ashamed to say it, either! Scary things can and have happened in the dark. (I didn't say I wasn't afraid of broad daylight, either... ;))

191. What if you had three wishes – what would you wish for?

I'm the hippie tree-hugger type, so right now, I'd wish for: (a) peace in all lands, (b) peace and contentment within my own heart, and (c) global smoking bans and recycling mandates. Ask me tomorrow and I'd probably have three different answers, though.

192. Do you feel sad often?

Well, as many of you know, I have Bipolar Disorder, so not sad so much as, well, depressed, obviously, and also completely and totally broken-hearted beyond words. I feel my emotions more strongly than most, both the good and the bad. It's a blessing and a curse, a total double-edged sword. But I'm babbling. Next!

193. Have you ever been in lust for an extended period of time?

Another blessing/curse of mine, yes. I struggle, admittedly, again...

194. Do you shower daily?

More like five or six times a week. I could not 'go European' in that regard! The only reason I miss that 7th day is usually out of pure laziness.

195. Have you ever prank called someone?

Short answer long, yes, and I'll happily admit that Rob and I will still do it when we think of something that amuses us terribly. One that comes to mind is from when we were at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival a few years back. The hotel where we were staying displayed a sign advertising that they accepted pets. Rob called up and deadpanned, "Do you take sheep?" He kept it up for a while, too, with me in hysterics next to him!

196. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?

Dude. Not here, but we have a shed at the old house, and that is wholly Rob's domain. I won't even venture to look in it. Too skeered. *shudder*

197. You are about to die. What do you do with your worldly possessions?

Mostly, I don't care and Rob can decide - I'll be dead. There are a few things, though: Chloë, who missed sharing my birthday by a day, will get all my sapphires. Sophia, my April baby, will get all my diamonds. Stacey, my sister, will get everything that once belonged to our dear, departed mother. Science will get my corpus. I hope my brain holds the answers to some secrets for them!

198. Tell us about the first time that you bought a car.


It's not my favorite story, and it doesn't end well. I don't feel like getting cranky, so you'll have to ask me for The Rest of the Story later. Anyway, it was my dad's policy to give each of us four girls $1,000 toward our first cars, and I had money saved up since I started working at 15. My dad's car-savvy, so he did the scouting for me. It was September of '93, and he found me a red 1991 Ford Escort wagon. Not bad! It was supposed to have belonged to a little old lady, but I discovered soon after we bought it that when the sun hit just right, you could see the outline of the Coca-Cola logo...hee!

199. What is your favourite type of music?

Everything but country (sorry, y'all), but I'm a BIG fan of the über sing-alongable pop music. Is that lame? (That was rhetorical.)

200. What's your family like?

I have a wonderful husband who is about to turn 40 (the countdown is on and the party scheduled - wanna come?) and who will retire from the Navy in about 8 months! I have four kids, including Chloë, almost 11 (!!), Robby (my angel baby), Jack, 9, and Sophia, 7. We have four cats: Tinkerbell, Star, and the twittens (twin kittens, lol), Cupcake and Muffin. We put the "fun" in dysfunctional, fo' sho'! (My growing-up family was also dysfunctional after Mom died when I was 7, but there was absolutely no fun in that. :\ )

Whew! We've reached the end!! Have a great week, peeps!


Rockin' Rock Stars Who... Uh... Rock


The girls named themselves that, not me. Because I am way not more clever than that at naming things.


The girls  have been playing together so well lately, and yesterday was no exception. They decided to form a band, just the two of them (Jack didn't care; he was busy either playing with his LEGOS®, or watching YouTube videos about LEGO® creations, or deciding what LEGO® building set he was going to save his money for next...), and they practiced for, gosh, it must have been, oh... five or ten whole minutes before they were callling us all in for their first-ever concert.


They took turns guitaring and drummering, improvised songs that amused us and intrigued us, and generally made it possible for me to play with lots of settings on Picasa.


This is the 'comic book' setting, which I kind of love, because it reminds me of the Archie Comics I used to read often as a kid myself.


Who says you can't cheer for yourself? Not Sophia.


This one is Chloë's favorite picture. It is fun.


Seeing this one, Chloë said, "Wow, it looks like you drew that one!"

To which I naturally replied, "Well thanks, Captain Obvious!"

and she responded, "You're welcome, Lieutenant Sarcasm!"

We do that a lot.


And finally, we have Sophia's favorite. Not just because it features her, but also because of the yellow vignette. She has been saying her favorite colour is yellow for many moons, now, which is a switch from the pink-and-purple obsession both girls had for years.

They're already planning their next concert. No, they haven't practiced yet, and no, I don't have any earplugs. Not that I would do that. At least not in both ears.


I Done Been Creatin'


For the last four days or so, I've been working on this purdy li'l thang. I finished less than an hour ago!


The sweater, technically called a "sacque" because I don't know why, was the first piece I made. I almost ran out of the light pink on this, but not quite.


The bonnet, on which I pretty much did run out of the light pink, was next, followed by the booties. I hate crocheting booties. I don't know why; they're just not my favorite a-tall. But they turned out nicer than the picture shows, so all is good, right?


The soaker (a cloth diaper cover) was the last piece. The pattern looked harmless enough... it's not really crooked; I just didn't notice I laid it out that way when I took the photos.


My favorite part is the ruffly tushy!! So cute! Deceptively yarn-, time-, and labor-intensive, I was fixin' to give up when I finished the first one and saw how adorable it looked. Can you imagine this on a wee baby girl? I so wish I had a model... le sigh.

Anyway, this-here's what's been keeping me up nights. Well, this, and caffeine, anxiety, stress... ;)

You like it? I like it. Good enough.


Saturday 9: Whatever Gets You Thru The Night


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

Saturday 9: Whatever Gets You Thru the Night

1. What helps you get through the night?

Since I'm often awake, pills, the Interwebs, yarn, my friend Mommy of Many if she's up... and loads of caffeine. :\

2. Do you ALWAYS keep an open mind?

No. I'm pretty intolerant of intolerance. And I loathe smokers who pollute my clean air and people who fly the Confederate flag (especially those who have, like, 10 of them on their beat-up pick-em-up trucks), so, no.

3. Who is the wisest person you know?

Mamacita, AKA my MIL, is pretty sage. I go to her for advice probably far too often. I drive her nuts, maybe.

4. Who is the strongest person you know?

Based on what people tell me, um, me. I think I'm weak, really, but having been through so much shit, and the fact that I'm still alive, well, maybe I'm wrong?

5. How would we tell by your behavior if you are having a bad day?

Oh, honey. You'll know it when you see it. There won't be any guessing.

6. Does your ego sometimes get in your way?

Sure, I suppose it does for everyone, sometimes. The thing that pisses me off the most is being considered "just" a woman, or "just" a stay-home mom. I'm a whole lot more than that, and I could have spent time collecting degrees and fancy little letters after my name, too, but instead I chose to be happy and have a little family. Not that I won't get those letters eventually, because I will, when it's time. ;)

7. Do you believe in Zen? If yes, can it be mastered?

I'm not the right person to answer this question. I'm not really 'up' on my Eastern religions, as far as all that is concerned. I guess my answers would be "maybe" and "sure, but not by me!"

8. Do you believe you could teach someone, like your child, to be competitive?

I think that's mostly innate, but like most things, it can be nurtured as well. A little healthy competition is a good thing at the right time, so why not?

9. Do you believe home is not a place but rather a state of mind?

I don't think they have to be mutually exclusive; it's both, I'd say.

I'm pretty ambivalent tonight, eh?

Have a great weekend, fogies!


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up with Mrs. 4444 if you're torn to bits today!

I hope all of you Americanos had a nice Independence Day! I didn't. It's my favorite holiday, but Hubs was being a jerk in the morning and ruined my day, along with my desire to go do anything celebratory. Humph. Didn't even see a single firework, though I heard plenty of kabooms near the house!

Still not done moving. It's getting to be a big, fat joke, ain't it??

New York was fun, yet fast and furious. Lots of work for me, yet lots of fun for the kids. Here's a quick sneak peek, since I have yet to write a post about it yet on the blahg:


Poor Jack, he loves being squididdled by his sisters SO much!! ;)

After the theme park shops were done, we got to go see my sister and watch my nieces' soccer game. It was a good one, really exciting. They were by far the underdogs, but they lost 2-1 in double overtime, which was great for them. Here are some pictures, if you care to see her lovely ladies!

After the game, we went back to Stacey's house and had dinner before heading back home to Virginia. They have SO many pets, most being bred for selling or feeding those that they're selling. We're talking, like, a hundred ball pythons in the basement, for starters. They won't tell Stacey the true number, so I could be way off in either direction, but a LOT!

Anyway, it was wonderful seeing my sister after 1½ years apart, which was the main perk for why I took a shop so far away. ;)

I drove all night to get back in time to let Rob drive the van to work Monday, since his motorcycle ride didn't go too well last Friday after all. He's still too sore after quadruple hernia surgery. So now I'm way off my sleep schedule and have been up all night and sleeping much of the days since. Sucks, but I'm going to have to break this cycle starting TODAY and get back to moving, moving, moving...

Guess that's all in my head right now. I don't have any license plate photos this week. Been too busy recuperating and hibernating myself!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Aloha Friday


Link up here if you're playing along with Kailani and pals this week!

My question for you this time around is:

Do your kids suck their thumbs? Ages? If no kids, did you?

All of mine still do!!! They are 7, 9 & 10. I sucked my thumb until I was nine, and nothing would break me of the habit, so... I guess we'll just wait them out. But sheesh! Our orthodontic bills are already mounting. Fun stuff.

Have a great day!


Sunday Stealing: Surprise July 4th Meme

4th of July

Link up here if you're playing along today, and happy Independence Day, America!

Sunday Stealing: TheImaginary Meme, Part Eight

141. What's the difference between Stealing and other memes that you do?
This one feels more like a family, along with Saturday 9. The others... are more random people, it seems like. Does that make sense?

142. Best cartoon show ever?

Gotta be the Smurfs!!

143. Does it matter to you if your significant other smokes?
I would never, ever, never marry a smoker. He quit for good for me. ;)

144. Do you ever use your full name?
Mmm, mostly if I do, I use my middle initial and not my full middle name. I only give my full name for legal paperwork-type stuff.

145. Do you get annoyed easily?
Yeah, I'm quick to irritate. But I bounce back quickly, too. Oh, the joys of Bipolar I.

146. Indecent proposal: Would you sleep with an attractive billionaire for millions of $?
If my husband agreed, heck yeah. Sue me.

147. Where do you draw the line?
In the sand??

148. Have you ever been on a road trip?
That's like asking if I breathe. I've put over 40,000 miles on my 'new' van in less than two years!

149. What’s your favorite drink?
Alcoholic: I like piña coladas, mai tais, and rum runners. N/A: I like Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew best.

150. Which is better, amazing eyes or an amazing smile? Why?
Oh, gosh, I think they go together, but if I must pick, I'd say the ... ah! I can't pick. The eyes are the windows to the soul, yadda yadda, but you can't beat a genuine, gorgeous smile, can you? They're contagious, after all.

151. What was your first thought this morning?
I guess I won't be sleeping tonight!

152. Have you ever wanted to go to sleep and not wake up?
Yeah. And I've tried to ensure that, to no avail... :(

153. Would you try to take over the world?
Nah. My microcosm is crazy enough. I don't need to spread it to the entire planet, thanks.

154. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you?
I think it was our 3rd wedding anniversary; Rob rented a room at a beach resort (in the winter, mind you), hired a babysitter, figured out how I'd nurse the baby before his bedtime and in the morning, went to the hotel ahead of time and spread yellow rose petals (my favorite colour rose) all over the bed and everywhere, lit candle upon candle, and the whole bit. He blindfolded me and drove me there, and when he took off the mask, the first thing I saw were the petals and candles, and then he ran a bath in the jacuzzi... I'll leave off there, m'kay?

155. Have you ever been asked to do something disgusting?
I've had many a pet and a bunch of kids. My life IS disgusting.

156. How much cash do you have right now?
Not even close to enough.

157. Tell us something totally random about yourself.
I can go a month without shaving my legs, and you wouldn't know it without feeling them and/or grabbing a magnifying glass. I'm not a very hairy gal.

158. What really turns you off?
Smokers. People who throw away recyclables. People who live for money and more, more, more. Abuses of all kinds. Undeserved arrogance (is it ever?)... shall I stop there? Okay.

159. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yes, I've been told I'm a ringer for Molly Ringwald, at least when my hair is redder and shorter.

160. You’re having a bad day. Who do you want to talk to?
My husband, my sister, my friends... in that order, depending on the sitch.

161. Have you ever studied the Bible?
Yeah. I never get very far, though. I've read the first 6 or 7 chapters of the New Testament about eight times, but then I lapse. One day I'll read the whole of it.

162. What really turns you off?
Repeat questions in a meme.

163. What's a goal that you'd like to achieve?
I have a hundred "would love to's" in my head, but I really want to get my law degree and be a family court judge. Ask me if I achieved it in about 15-20 years. Also, I'd like to learn to tie cherry stems with my tongue.

164. Name one celebrity you hate, and why.
I don't know or care about any of them enough to hate them, FPS! Lindsay Lohan can shape up or ship out, as far as I'm concerned, though...

165. What’s your favorite store?
The Loopy Ewe, maybe?!!

166. What's one goal you’d like to achieve this year?
I'd like to run a 5K - or at least be able to if I wanted, without gasping and dying for air.

167. What's the first thing you notice about your preferred sex?
Ethnicity, maybe.

168. Who is your oldest friend? How long have you known them?
If my sister doesn't count, than that would be Ursula, whose mom babysat us when we lived near NYC. I've known her for about 33 years!

169. Do you like photography?
I love it! I wish I were better at it. I need a tutor.

170. Pain or no gain?
Um... pain, I guess. Anything worth doing takes work, right?

171. What's something people say that you generally find annoying?
Ending a sentence with "with," as in, "Can I go with?" PEOPLE, PLEASE! I don't care who you are, what you say, or where you got your degree. That is NOT proper English! GAHHHHHHH. (Yes, it drives me THAT crazy.)

172. How often do you change your myspace/facebook/etc profile?
Does anyone still go to myspace? I probably change my FB profile monthly or bi-monthly, I guess. That doesn't include status updates, right?

173. Do you ever cook?
Sure. I'm a good cook. But I'm a better baker.

174. Have you ever been on a boat?
I have a B.S. in Marine Science, so... please tell me you can figure that one out, hmm?

175. What do you do most when you’re bored?
I don't get bored. Boring people get bored, and I am anything but that. ;)

176. What is your favorite musical instrument?
I'd love to play electric viola, like my professional musician pal, Shana. Jealous of her musical talents! (And the fact that she got to play with Josh Groban, but I digress.)

177. What’s your phone ringtone?
It's different for everyone, as are my text tones. It's "Near You Always" by Jewel for Hubs, for instance.

178. Have you ever been in a movie? (Either amateur or professional.)
Um, no, I'm not a porn star. But my daughter has two movie credits, one of which is on imdb, here.

179. Describe your life currently in five words.
We're not finished moving yet!!!!!

180. Where did you last fly to and why?
Either Los Angeles or NYC for an audition for Chloë; I can't remember which was the last, but I want to say Manhattan.
And we're done here. Ciao, peeps.

Umm, Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part 7

Sunday Stealing

So, I went away for the weekend and am just now catching up on these oh-so-important memes. Link up here to participate in this one - and stay tuned for another special-edition Independence Day one!

Sunday Stealing: The Imaginary Meme, Part Seven

121. Have you gone rock climbing? If not, would you?
Not the type you're probably meaning, but sure, I'd do it! Hubs is a big-time outdoorsman, so he could show me the ropes.
122. Do you believe in forever love in a romantic relationship?
Abso-freakin'-lutely! Of course!
123. As a kid did you ever sneak anyone into your house?
Yep. Yep. Yep. Heh heh.
124. Do you personally know anyone homeless?
No... :(
125. Do you believe in aliens?
I believe the possibility exists, and that's all I know about that.
126. Have you ever killed someone?
127. What would it take for you to sell your soul to a devil?
I would never. Never.
128. Top or bottom?
Haha! If you're asking what I think you are, nunya!!!
129. Are you happy with your career?
I'm a stay-at-homeschooling mom, and I love it, but I look forward to furthering my education and embarking on a career in family law one day.
130. What's your favorite store to buy clothes? Why?
Old Navy, I guess, because I can get awesome clothes for a steal when they have their crazy-good sales.
131. What is your eye color?
They used to be "shit brown," as my sister would say, but they're now lighter brown and ringed with green. Maybe they'll eventually be all green, like by the time I'm dead. Don't hold your breath, though.
132. Watching or playing sports?
I'm not remotely athletic, and not terribly interested in most 'traditional' team sports, but I'll watch my 'Canes football and the Olympics six ways to Sunday!
133. Would you have plastic surgery?
Yes, and I plan to - but not on my face. Never, if I can help it!
134. Name one website that you visit daily. Why do you read it?
Aside from Yahoo! mail, I guess Facebook. Gotta keep up with my buds, y'know?
135. Are you going on vacation this year? If so, where?
I just got back from a working vacay to Western New York. It was fun and a lot of work, all rolled into one.
136. How do you align yourself politically?
I'm an earthy, hippie tree-hugger type in most regards. Do the math.
137. Do you have any pets?
Four housebound felines. They poop a lot, FYI.
138. Do you believe in soul mates?
Yeah. I have some o' those.
139. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
I'm very harsh on myself. I don't treat myself kindly at all. I am working on it, but when you're told that you're no good for 10 years of your identity-building adolescence, it's hard not to believe it.
Well, on that note, onto the special 4th episode of this-here meme!

Uh, Wednesday's Saturday 9: Just Like A Pill


Link up here if you're eleventy days late, like me!

Saturday 9: Just Like a Pill

1. What was the last pill your doctor prescribed?  Why?

My cocktail of bipolar meds, which is pretty self-explanatory, no?

2. How well do you swim?

I'm no Michael Phelps, but I do all right. And, I could tread water for weeks, I think, thanks to my grandma's insistence that we learn at a young age!

3. Who has a big mouth that you like?

I have to admit, I like Kanye West and Howard Stern. ;P

4. Do you believe in political correctness?

To the extent that it's not utterly ridiculous, yes, yes I do.

5. Do you ever patronize people?

Only when they deserve it. ;)

6. Do you or someone you know strive constantly to be perfect?

I do, and my elder daughter does... I'm trying to break both of us of that need!

7. What song are you totally sick of and why?

Anything by Nickelback, because they suck bullocks.

8. How old were you when you got cocky? Or did you never go there?

Cocky, huh? Hm. Maybe when I was in late elementary or early middle school and realized just how brilliant I was. Only in that regard; I am a true intellectual snob, admittedly.

9. When you compete with someone, have you ever gotten hostile?

Well, yeah! Is there any other way to be? I jest, but yes, I have been known to get vicious when something important is on the line!

Happy 4th, American friends!