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Entries from March 2013

Knitting For Vinnie

I mentioned that I've been knitting for Vinnie, Stim's (Stephanie and Tim's) younger son. He's allergic to all synthetic fibers (which is fine, since I'm sensitive to at least acrylic, too), as well as cotton and other plant-based fibers, and some animal fibers, including alpaca. (He has some food allergies, too.) Poor babe breaks out in horribly painful rashes, especially in the diaper area, which is why Steph dresses him in mostly 100% wool, along with some silk and cashmere. This makes for an expensive toddler to dress. Since I have a pretty decent-sized stash of some excellent wools, as well as wool-silk-cashmere blends, many of which I stashed without a purpose in mind, and since I also adore knitting itty-bitty-sized things, I've taken it upon myself to clothe the child for the upcoming Summer season and, hopefully then, into the Fall and Winter. I do plan to take some time off to knit a sweater for each of my kids for Christmas, since it does get a little cooler here in the Winter months, but for the time-being, it's All Vinnie, All the Time. Here's what I've made so far:


I loved knitting this heavily-cabled vest for Vinnie, although at first I did not like the colorway. I'm usually not a fan of such crazy colorways, either, but I think I got this at a steep discount and figured somewhere, some way I'd find a use for it. Well, I'm glad I did, because when I finished and seamed it all up, I absolutely loved it! It reminds me of a mix of hot peppers. The pattern was super-fun to knit up, too, and went very quickly. I made it a little big so he'd have room to grow. The only problem with this pattern in this colorway is that, unless you're actually holding the thing in your hands, you can't see the cables and ribs! Certainly not in pictures. But that's okay, because there's the element of surprise if you're lucky enough (ha!) to behold it in person. Anyway, Vinnie looks great in these colors, and Steph likes it, so I'm happy with it all the way around.


Since I had enough yarn left over, I made Vinnie a pair of socks, too! Steph said he only had a few, and these fit perfectly. Win!

After that, I started a 64-different-square afghan for Vinnie, since the only one he has is the "Bandaid Blanket" I'd given to his older brother, Lucas, three years or so earlier! It's also cabled, but it accidentally got felted, and either way, it's much too small to cover the babe. So I'm making that, too. I'm about 8 squares in and having lots of fun with that, but I'll hold off on posting pictures until they're all finished. The fun part is, Steph has some yarn from other projects for Vinnie (and maybe Luke, too; I forget), and also, I have some yarn left from the NYC trip we (Steph, me, and my three kids from before she had bebes) went on in 1998. She helped me pick out some of that yarn, and it's purple (her favorite color), so it works.


Next, I made another vest. Smaller, this time, it turns out, but this time, it fit just right. The collar looks a little wonky in this picture, but I think it's partly because it hadn't been blocked yet, and partly because of the odd position in which I caught him. The fun part about this one is that, though it's again hard to see in the pictures, there are owls on the front! I never knit owly cables before, but they turned out so cute. What a fun motif. Look, you can see it better here:


You see it, right? Isn't that cute? So twee.


I had some yarn left over from this yarn, too, so I knit another pair of socks. Well, first, I started to knit a hat and got well into it before it became clear that I was going to run out of yarn. And since this was a discontinued yarn, I had no hope of getting more to finish the project, so I had to frog it. (If you're not a yarn enthusiast, you might be wondering what in the world that means. What do frogs say? Ribbit. When you frog something, you rip it. Get it? Rip it = ribbit. Hey, I didn't make it up!)


I couldn't find another pattern for a sock that fit the thickness and amount of yarn that remained, except for the same one as the last yarn, so I made it again. Appropriately enough, the pattern called for exactly this yarn! I made it a little longer in the foot, so he could have some room to grow. I like this less-crazy colorway, too; so pretty!


Lastly for now, I made Vinnie another owly knit, this time an earflap hat for him to wear next year. It was supposed to have long i-cord ties for under the chin, but I ran out of yarn, so I had to adapt the pattern to make it button instead. And I added embellished eyes, in the form of embroidered French knots, to go with the blue button. I nearly died when I got the hat on Vinnie; he looked so stinkin' adorable in it!! The boy was made for hats. Hats were made for Vinnie.

That's it for now, but there will be many more to come, as well as an Eastery post later. Cheers!


Time For Some Fun... And A Little Retail Therapy

Snacks, Miami-style, seen at a local gas station convenience store

After our disappointment at the realtor's office Friday, we decided that we needed to branch out from the internet, regarding our home-hunting search. We'd stopped in several stores, both drug and grocery, to look for the Apartment Guide and similar resources, but we haven't found any. I told Rob we should go up to my alma mater, the University of Miami, and look for the campus newspaper. I knew that classified ads for rentals were placed there back in my college days, so I thought we might be successful with some leads that way.


When we got to UM, we parked near the UC (aka University Center, the school's student union), where I knew we'd find a paper and maybe some bulletin boards. The first thing out of Penelope (our Honda Odyssey), the kiddos wanted to chase around some Muscovy ducks that were visiting Lake Osceola. They were successful, as you can see from the photo, despite my protests.

So, I found The Hurricane, our student-run newspaper, but no ads of any kind. Since it's not quite summer rental time, I'm not completely surprised, but a little. However, we want to find something long-term instead of just a sub-lease for the summer, so it's probably for the best. Hindsight is 20-20, though. 

The kids wanted to see more of the campus, since they scarcely remembered our last visit there in 2007, and of course I was happy to oblige. We still had about 20 minutes left on the parking meter, so I showed them around the UC and Lake Osceola. Back in my day, most things were white with green and orange trim. I noted to Rob that everything has not only been upgraded, but changed to completely orange and green, with a wee bit of white trim. UM has gone full-on 'Canes décor, that's for sure!

After the UC and the lake, the kids wanted to see my dorm. I'd pointed out a couple others within view of the UC, so that piqued their interest. We drove over to Mahoney and Pearson residential colleges, the later being my dorm, and I pointed that out in addition to the dining hall where I took most of my meals. They loved it all, of course, and so did I. Ah, the memories... if we can afford it by the time the kids are in college, I'd love to continue the legacy with at least one of them. It costs a fortune, though, so who knows?


After the very brief tour of UM, I thought the kids would enjoy a ride on the city's MetroRail, the overhead subway that goes pretty much in a straight line from South Miami to Hialeah. I was right, of course, though I should have expected Jack to be scared of the high platform. He was terrified, cried, and clung to me for a while, even though he was excited to ride the train. 

After a little bit of quick math in my head, I figured out it would be cheaper to get Day Passes for each of us, rather than go the pay-as-you-ride route. $25 later... ouch! Prices sure have gone up in the last 15 years. (I can't believe I'm that old, either!)


Finally, Jack relaxed enough to let me take a picture with him and Rob. I think Rob looks so cute with his shaggy, very white beard... ♥ (My sister is not a fan, but she's not married to him, so pbbbh! It does tickle, though!)


We decided to take the Metro into Coconut Grove and walk the mile or so down to Coco Walk, one of my favorite hangouts back in college. It hasn't really changed at all! I thought the kids would enjoy playing the "right" songs on the jukebox at Johnny Rockets, remembering how the wait staff would get up on the counters and dance to "Respect" and other fun hits. Well, they still had a good time, but the jukeboxes are broken now, and the staff said they only dance when the place is full. Bah. It was nearly empty at that point. The kids donned their paper hats and Jack said, "We work here, Mom!" So cute.


Sophia and Chloë had grilled cheese sandwiches, Jack had the chicken fingers (well, really a bite of chicken and most of his fries, the stinker), Rob had a cheeseburger, and I ate my old standby, a tuna melt. Oh, and we got milkshakes for the kids, which they loved  - in no small part because the server spun the lid of the straw jar for them and made the straws spin out prettily! They're suckers for the little things, just like me.


After dinner, we decided to walk around Coco Walk for a while before heading back on the Metro. We found a fountain, and I had enough pennies for everyone to make a wish. Can't tell you what we wished for, but one person on Facebook guessed mine easily! Can you? ;)


Upstairs, I spotted some Britto luggage in a window and practically ran to go look at it. I haven't seen a Britto merch shop since we were in Charleston, and I do so love to look at it. The store sold Crocs, too, and Sophie fell in love with some Hello Kitty ones, along with a set of Hello Kitty Jibbitz that she just had to have. I debated for a while before deciding to get her some pink Crocs that she chose (the HK ones were too small for her piggies) and the Jibbitz, for her 8th birthday in two weeks. I might give them to her earlier, since the flip-flops I'd picked up for us girls at Walgreens are uncomfortable for her.

Anyway, the shopkeep at the Crocs store said there was another shop down below that sold a lot of Britto merchandise for cheaper than anywhere else he knew about. You know we ended up there, eventually, right?!


First, though, we kept looking around upstairs. We came across a Pan Am store (what's up with that?! Is that a thing, now?) that sold lots of vintage-y Pan Am merchandise. They also had some old Pan Am displays set up, including this one of an actual plane interior. Chloë posed, and I taught her to say, "Buh-bye. Buh-bye now." Remember those old SNL skits?

Jack found a paper glider set there he wanted, and it was only $5, so I was going to get it. Then he found a miniature replica of a real Pan Am plane, but it was $30 - I said No Way, José! Not after all the loot he'd just scored for his 10th birthday. He was so disappointed, he cried. And then, of course, the $5 gliders weren't good enough either, and I wasn't going to buy him something just to buy him something. I explained it to him, and he understood, but he was still moody for the rest of the night. I did find $5 handmade necklaces at a kiosk down below for each of the girls, so I told him he could spend the same amount, but he found nothing he liked. Later, he asked me if he could just add the $5 to the $26 he already had saved up (and let the movers pack, by accident); I found this to be entrepreneurial and accepted. He brightened when he realized that he'd have enough to buy the miniature replica when he got his money back!


Finally, we made our way to the shop that sells Britto merch on the cheap, Sparkle Plenty. Wow!! What a sight to behold. There was so much goodness in there, it's like I died and went to heaven. I decided that, to go with our Deep Night Romance giclée by Britto, we should stick with kissing fish only. There were several options, including an $80 picture frame (not now, thanks!), and an $18 luggage tag (also a nyet), but we went with these:


a cute little toothbrush holder that I plan to use to hold scissors, if they fit, or something else if they don't, on the computer desk, and this:


a fishy teapot that will look great in our future bright and cheery kitchen, no?

Awesome. We love you, Romero Britto!


At the counter in the same shop, while paying for our goods, I came across these packs of gum and had to snatch a photo. Silliness. There were more, but I couldn't them all in the shot, and these were funnier.


After the shop, Rob said it was time to go back to the hotel and tend to our kitties. I had asked several people if the Metro Day Passes I'd bought could also be used to ride the bus back to the station, but no one knew. Finally, I spotted an Information booth, so we strolled over there to ask. The three uniform attendants said, "YES!" in unison, so I gave them a double thumbs-up and said, "Right answer!" The kids were so not up to walking back, and we were all relieved. Woot!

Sophia found this guitar art standing up near the bus stop. She immediately had to start 'playing' it, Sophie-style. What fun!

We rode the bus back to the station, and then we got up to the platform to ride the station back. No sooner did we get there, though, before I started to convince Rob we had to go back down to the store across the street. I was DYING of thirst. Dying, I tell ya! I told him we'd get back in time for the train that was coming 17 minutes later (they run less frequently at night, and it was about 10 PM by that time). Well, guess what? We didn't! Oops.

So 20-some minutes later, we caught the next train and rode it back to the University station. Or so I thought. It completely skipped over our stop, and I looked up just in time to see the words "South Miami" flashing by as we approached the next station. Um, what?! No one at the next stop could understand why that would happen, but it did, so we had to get back on the Northbound train and ride back again. The kids weren't dismayed at all, thankfully, because I was dog-tired by that point and not up to another battle.

After we disembarked from the train a third time, we got over to Penelope and tried to start her up. Only, the battery was dead and the parking lot was now deserted. Greaaat. I told everyone to be quiet for five minutes, and I prayed. Then I tried the ignition again. Started RIGHT UP. Thank you, GOD!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We got back to the hotel, where all five of us promptly climbed into bed and fell asleep.

I can't tell you what happened most of Saturday, because I slept through, having come down with a bad cold, until nigh on 6 PM. I know Rob took the kids swimming at some point, but that's all I'm aware of. Now it's Easter, and I need to get the kids' baskets. It's 2:30 AM now, so I'll wait a couple more hours and then hit up a Walgreens for those and some newspapers. Surely there will be plenty of houses-for-rent ads in there, too.

So that's our adventures for now! I'll post more frequently than I have been in the past several months, now that we're here. Comment, sil vous plait. 


Expedition: House-Hunting In Miami


On Thursday, we visited two properties in Homestead, well south of Miami but still in Miami-Dade County. That's pretty much where we've concentrated our efforts so far, but we'll start covering more ground come later today or, today being Easter, on Monday. This was our favorite so far, but the leasing agent who was supposed to show us around never came back to her office that day and has yet to return my calls. Boo! We're running into a lot of that down here, and I know from experience that that tends to be part of the culture of Miami. Suckage, but true.


This was the large lake in the center of that development. The picture doesn't do the neighborhood justice; it's an absolutely beautiful property.


This was a house in the second development we looked at on Thursday (we did do some househunting on Wednesday, but nothing panned out, and apparently I forgot to take any pictures). The leasing agent made an appointment with us to come back at 1:00 PM on Friday, but we ended up rescheduling the appointment. Hopefully we can still have a look this coming week, since it was also a beautiful neighborhood.


On Friday (since it was after 5 PM when we finished looking on Thursday, by which time most places are closed to prospective renters), I called an agent, Moronica, to ask about several listings on her realtor's site. There were plenty, and they looked promising. We were supposed to meet her at the first of four properties at 11:00 AM. However, Cuban time - which I mention now since we'll encounter it over and over during the course of our life in Miami, and you'll get familiar with the concept if you keep reading along here - dictates that one is always much later, so it was no surprise that Moronica said she was running about an hour behind schedule. I told her it was no problem, and we would go grab some lunch.

I stopped at a Cuban pizzeria to pick up some food for my hungry family: Cuban sandwich for Rob, Povo y Queso (turkey and cheese sammy) for Jack, yuca frita (fried yucca with a yummy garlic dipping sauce) for me, Cuban cheeseburgers for the girls (seasonings they're not used to, with julienned papas fritas - French fries - on the burger)... and I think that's it. It went over with the kids like a lead balloon. Haha! They've been asking for McDonald's and such since we got here. No dice, kiddos. Get used to it.


By 1:00 PM, we still hadn't seen hide nor hair of Moronica. Oh, we'd tried. She got to the house by noon, and texted me the address about a hundred times, but no map would pull it up. I finally said, "Are you sure it's NE? No map will pull it up." She replied with, "Oh, SORRY, SORRY, SORRY, it's SE!" I was pissed, since we'd wasted nearly half a tank of gas looking for a non-existent address. Then we finally got to the development, with the correct address in hand, and there was a gate that required a code. Rather than just give us the damn code, Moronica said, "I'll be there in five." When she hadn't showed up 30 minutes later, I told Rob to drive away. I gave up. I was beside myself and ready to fire her. We got to a gas station with a Dunkin' Donuts, and I went in and got some food for the kids (who were starving and still refusing the Cuban food I'd bought earlier) and some iced coffees for us. I needed soul-soothing refreshment after our frustrating day!

Well, after a few sips of my coffee, I was calm enough that we decided not to give up entirely on these promising-looking properties, so I had called the realtor, pitched a fit about Moronica, and asked him and have another agent meet us at the Dunkin. He was terribly apologetic and said Zippy (so-named for the way he drove his little blue Miata) was in the area and had just finished up with another client. He'd meet us there soon. And guess what? He was there within five minutes. Amazing!


This was the first house Zippy showed us, of the four planned. Rob and the kids absolutely LOVED it. I liked it but was underwhelmed. Rob gave it 5 out of 5 *****, and I decided it was worth four stars. We told Zippy we liked it but wanted to keep looking around. He agreed.


This was the second house. It was okay, but we decided to pass on it since there were people still living there and we wanted to move in right away. We may consider it yet; we'll see.


This was Casa Numero Tres on Friday; Rob didn't care for it too much, saying it was acceptably shabby on the outside, but way too shabby on the inside. I trusted his judgement and didn't even get out of the car to look. (One of us had to stay in the van at all times, since we had to leave the air running for the four cats we'd brought out of the hotel with us; the cleaning people attend to our weeklong stay just twice a week, and we didn't want them to, um, find six cats there...) 

After that, Zippy told us that we were going downhill and would probably not like the neighborhood or the house for Number Four too much. I trusted him enough to say that we really liked the first house and what do we do now? He told us that we needed to call Moronica (UGH) to do the paperwork. 

Well, we returned back to the hotel to deposit the cats there and then headed up to Kendall (a lovely area south of Miami where former Florida governer Jeb Bush used to reside; I don't know where he lives now) to visit the realty office for paperwork. Rob went in to fill that out while the kids and I stayed in the van. I couldn't face Moronica. Hee! 

It was just as well, because here's the breakdown: We'd have to pay $100 application fee and still wait another week to see if we were approved to continue. After that, the neighborhood HOA needed another $100 application fee - and three or for WEEKS - to decide whether we were fit to live there. What?! So after a month of waiting, and $200 in fees, we could still be turned down. Double UGH! I was so verklempt. We took the paperwork home with us and are still debating about what to do, but in the meantime, we wanted to go have some Friday night fun.

More about that in the next post! Stay tuned...


I Can't Drive 55!


It only took 9½ months, but just days before our move to Miami, we finally got the rest of our stuff out of the Virginia Beach house and over to the Portsmouth house. Well, most of it. We did have to leave some stuff behind, but I don't know what, and Rob wouldn't tell me because he didn't want me to be upset about it. We have waaay too much stuff. The movers, when they showed up to the Portsmouth house where everything was stacked up in boxes all over the place, were not pleased. Ah, well. It's done now, right?


On Monday morning, the trucks came to load up our belongings. Two were needed: one to shuttle things from our driveway to the 2nd, main one that will actually be transporting our goods, because the street and driveway were too narrow for the big truck to remain. We must have had traffic blocked off in both directions about six or eight times that day. Sorry, folks!


Finally, in the evening, it was time to go!! We filled up the gas tank, and off we went! First stop: Saritah's house in north central North Carolina, to say our last goodbyes. We had planned to spend the night, but our situation required that we get to Miami as fast as possible, so we had to abort that mission. After we left, two hours after we arrived (and many tears later), we drove straight through to Miami with minimal stops. The kids, who had not slept well for days, slept all through the night. That certainly facilitated the quick drive south!


We got to our hotel around 2 PM on Tuesday afternoon. (I guess I can stop using military time, now that Rob's retiring from the Navy, right?) The total drive from Saritah's house there, including rest stops, took just 17 hours. Not bad, not bad at all.  The kids have declared about 9,000 times since we arrived, in breathless tones, "Miami is beautiful." I have to agree.


Our six cats fared pretty well. I thought we were going to listen to all of them meowing constantly for the duration of the trip, but they settled down and napped for most of it. One cat had a poopy accident and another peed, but for the most part it wasn't too bad at all. They're having some trust issues after being shoved into boxes and spending two days there, but they're letting us cuddle them, so it'll be all right soon, I'm sure.


Tinkerbell, our mama kitty, stepping out of her carrier for the first time


Ginger, Sophie's sweet-but-dumb kitten, allowed her to snuggle him right away after he finally stepped out of his cage.


Rob took the kids to the pool while I started our massive house-hunting efforts. More on that later. Sophia, naturally athletic, went right in the chilled water, while Jack continuously grumped about "hating Miami because there aren't any indoor pools." The kid grouses constantly like that, but we're used to it now. Chloë dipped in briefly, but she got cold quickly.


There are a few vending machines in our hotel, outside the pool area, including one for ice cream. I treated the kids to some cherry-watermelon pops after they swam, before it was time to get back in the van and go look at a property that turned out to be a dud.


For lunch, we went to Pollo Tropical. I hadn't been there in years, and of course, the rest of the family never had. I want to immerse them in the local culture quickly, and this was a good way to start even if it's a chain. We had Flan and Tres Leches for dessert, and they LOVED it. 


Pajama Party!

Next up, a post about our house-hunting so far. It's going...slowly, but going...


Sunday Stealing: The Two-In-One Meme


Link up here if you're playing along today!

1: Who is your favorite musical artist from when you were a teenager?

I couldn't pick just one if I tried! I've always been a fan of pop music - lame, I know, but it's so singable, and I love to sing. Take your choice!

2: Who is your favorite game show host?

Jeopardy! is my favorite game show, and Alex Trebec makes the show what it is.

3: Who is your Favorite Blog hosting service?

I've only ever used Blogger and Typepad, and the latter is far superior, IMO, but I hear Wordpress is the place to be!

4: If you could meet anyone again from your childhood, who would it be?

I left a lot of pals behind when we moved away from Monroe, NY, when I was six. I'd love to see those guys again.

5: Where did you want to live when you were growing up?

Anywhere but Syracuse, with anyone but The Bitch From Hell (aka my evil stepmother).

6: What is the most interesting piece of trivia that you know?

Hmm. I think that's pretty subjective, but it probably involves shark behavior if you ask me. I don't know.

7: If you could live in any point of history when would it be and why?

I'd love to live in the 50s, with the cars and music and dancing. That seems so fun!

8: What is the most interesting job you have ever had?

There is no job more interesting than being a mother to these three clowns! ;)

9. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share. 

I've told this one before in this blahg, but I'll share again: In 7th grade, I was in the library on the computer, and I didn't want to get up and lose my spot. I had to go to the bathroom badly. Finally, it was too late, and I peed my pants. I was 12! It took forever to live that one down.

10. What's your favorite Beatles song?

I like many of them, but I love Let it Be.

1. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?

Flip-flops by Crocs, my pink pajama pants from Old Navy, and a tank top. I gave those Crocs away because my feet shrunk, though, so I really need to get a new pair for Miami!

12. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?

As much as I'm a control freak, I'd much rather be a guest. Hosting makes me a complete nervous wreck! Like, panic attack level. I hate that.

13. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?

I don't think that'll ever happen. Traditional books are never going to go away. There's just something about cracking open a new book, smelling that smell, feeling the pages in your hands, that you just can't get from an e-reader.

14. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?

I've never learned by listening - ever. Reading is great, but hands-on experience is the best way. I try to do a lot of that with my kids in our homeschooling, too.

15. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)

Smoking and being racist or other -ists. Gross. Just gross.

16. Snacks. Salty or sweet?

You mean I have to choose? Chocolate, preferably milk, with nuts, maybe.

17. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?

The only thing I forgot was there was my U. Miami baseball cap, which I've been wearing every day lately. Not because we're in Miami and I want to blend in with other fans of my alma mater (although there certainly are plenty), but because my hair has grown to the point where it spikes straight up. Not a good look for me.

18. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?

Loved him in Magnolia!

19. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?

I'd probably just give it to my kids to use. They're not too particular at this point!

0. Your favorite spring comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)

I don't really base my diet on the seasons, you know? I'm loving Latin food so far this Spring, though. Yuca Fritta? Yes, please!

Happy Easter, folks!


Saturday 9: I Don't Want To Wait


Link up here if you played along today!

1. Are you impatient?

Heh. You could say that. It's probably my most salient personality trait, at least on the negative side, I'm afraid.

2. Do you believe some people have a gift for predicting the future?

I don't know. I really don't. I have done it myself, through dreams, but I can't conjure up the ability to do it whenever I want and have never met anyone who could.

3. The microwave is a great invention for those who don't want to wait. What's the last thing you prepared in yours?

Since we're living in a hotel in South Miami until we find our new digs, we're using it an awful lot right now. I think the last thing I heated up was a microwave meal from Barilla.

4. This was the theme of the TV show Dawson's Creek. Michelle Williams, a costar on the show, went on to earn multiple Oscar nominations. Name
another performer who started out on TV and then became a movie star.

Tom Hanks came to mind first. Love him - and Michelle, for that matter!

5. What's the last bit of advice you received?

Unsolicited: Not to move to Miami - haha, obviously we didn't listen! So far we've seen a cop chase a guy down on foot and draw his gun on him, among other things.

6. What's the last advice you gave?

Solicited: I advised a new mom not to supplement her breastmilk with formula. She didn't listen, either, and now she's having trouble with her supply. :(

7. Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What leaves you feeling refreshed or rejuvenated?

A good nap, or a trip to the beach. I had the former today and hope to experience the latter pretty soon!

8. Easter is also recognized as the start of the spring season. What are you looking forward to this spring?

Before our move to Florida, that was it. Now that we're living in a hotel, I'm really looking forward to finding a place to live!

9. Which would you rather find in your Easter basket: yellow marshmallow chicks (aka Peeps) or a chocolate bunny?

Peeps are so gross. Chocolate for me, please!


That's it for S9 - be back soon with Sunday Stealing! ;)


Missions Links From Smiley360

In the spirit of sharing, I have a few things to tell you guys about, from my current Smiley360 missions. ( is kinda like BzzAgent, for those who know it.)


First, there's the Orajel survey. Take the survey for a chance to win a $200 gift card. I know I could use that! Woohoo!


Next up is Children's Mucinex, of which I received a sample in the mail to use for when my kids got sick. Only, they never got sick, so the movers packed it up in our shipment of household goods. Of course, right away, my kids got sick, and I don't have it! What's a mom to do? Well, like you, I can use this coupon here to get more. I hope it works!

Finally, we have Campbell's Slow Kettle style soups. I was given a sample (and have since bought more), coupons, and even a warm and fuzzy pair of socks to wear! Fun. If you'd like to try it, there is a $1-off printable coupon here. Let me know what flavor(s) you try, if you do! SO delish.

That's it for now, folks! Try, and tell me how you liked these!


Jack And Robby's TENTH Birthday


March 22nd marked ten years - a decade! unbelievable - since our beloved twin boys were born. As many, if not all of you know, Robby (seen, above, at three days old, so close to the end) died, so we have a little angel baby in heaven waiting for us.


And here is our little Peanut, Jack River, along with Chloë, Rob and me, on April 22nd, when Jack finally came out of the NICU after a month's stay - which is great, since they were 31-week preemies. He was expected to stay a month longer. And he's been a little scrapper like that ever since!


A week ago was their birthday. We celebrated Jack with a small party at Stephanie and Tim's house, along with their boys Luke & Vinnie.

Can I just take a moment to say how great Stim were to us during our last few weeks in Virginia? They had us over to eat two or three times, offered to let us spend the night when our house was cold, dark and all boxed up with nowhere for us to sleep (we would have taken them up on it, too, but they both had headaches and we felt it was just too much to ask), watched the kids several times while we were with the movers, and... I can't remember what else, but I know there is more. Thank you, guys! We are so grateful for all the help.

Steph took some pictures on my iPhone while I served Jack's cake:


(Hey, check it - my hair is growing back!)

We all sang to Jack, of course, and I had to remind him to stop and make a wish before he blew out his ten candles. It's a secret, of course, but I'm guessing it involves LEGOs! The boy is obsessed.


Making his wish - and IMHO, Rob looks so cute in this picture! I love him with longer hair and a beard. Ahh, the retired life!




We all had our ice cream cake - even me, which was not a good move, but hey - it's my faaaaave. I got so sick afterward. Was it worth it? Hells, yeah!


I played with Luke after cake - and omg, I look so much like my dad here, it's ridick! Ugh!


I'd given Jacky several presents, including his beloved LEGO City sets, during the month of March, but I hadn't saved anything from the packers to give to him on his actual birthday. D'oh!! Mamacita to the rescue - she sent books that arrived just in time for his special day. All three kids enjoyed reading them on the way down to Florida!


As for Robby, this year, in honor of the 10th anniversary of his passing, we've decided to shake things up a bit. We're doing Random Acts of Kindness in his memory. I got this idea from one of the many pamphlets left on my hospital bed after he died. I read through them for the sole purpose of finding something to do for his birthday, and I'm glad I did! I love this idea so much. We haven't decided whether to do these acts for a week, a month, or the whole year, but I love the idea of doing them in his name. We started right away, and it's been grand.

Happy birthday, boys. We love you both. ♥


P.S. I'm going to knit for Vinnie now, which I've been doing for a few weeks since he's allergic to many things including most fibers. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with more pictures and posts - and hopefully some kind of good news - about our move and house-hunting. Cheers!

Miami Move Mathematics


Hey, you guys! What's up? Well, as for Team Odette, I'm now coming at you from sunny South Florida! Woohoo, we made it - and we could not be having a grander time.

Our move, by the numbers:

0 = Number of times we want to do that again

1 = Different homes we want to have this time around

2 = Homes Rob almost single-handedly moved us out of to get us here

3 = Kiddos in our Honda Odyssey, Penelope, for the drive down here

4 = Times I saw groups of deer next to the highway, mainly in the Carolinas

5 = Times we had to fill up the ol' gas tank to get from Virginia to Florida (Penelope was loaded from rooftop to undercarriage, and we got horrible gas mileage!)

6 = Cats in carriers we brought along for the journey

7 = In thousands, times we heard, "Can you put a new movie in the DVD player?"

8 = Actual hours the kids slept straight through on the trip - really! They did faaaabulously well. Thank you, God!

9 = In tens, fastest speed I drove while en route - but only until I realized. Swears!

10 = Approximate number of times I cried while saying good-bye to our Virginia/Carolina friends. I won't list you guys, because I'm sure to leave at least one person out, and I can't deal with the hurt feelings that would cause!

11 = Total number of poopers in Penelope for the drive. Dudes. That is a lot. I don't recommend it. (On a related note, only ONE cat had an accident, compared to 2½ PEOPLE on the trip, including yours truly. As Chloë hilariously put it, "I have to go to the bathroom. I have to go to the bathroom. Oh, no. Oh, no! Oh, noooooo! I went! I pooped my pants! Wahhhhhhh!" And call me a bad mother, but I really did laugh listening to her. So did Rob. Quietly, to ourselves, natch, but come on! It was funneh!)

1,000+ = Miles logged on this journey. Hey, I got a free buck for from the iPhone (not sure about Android) app, Ride, just for having it downloaded and running in the background during the trip. I could have saved it, but you know, I'm not so good at delayed gratification lately.

4 GB = Notification from AT&T I literally just received, saying I've reached my max data usage and am now going over our plan limits. No free wi-fi in the Motel 6, y'all. Sucks! On the other hand, Personal Hotspot rocks so I can bring you this post (and the following ones, I'm sure) until we get set up in a new place with innerweb service.

Hey, that was fun, recounting all that... pun intended. Stay tuned for more pictures and posts!


Saturday 9: Hakuna Matata

Link up here, too, if you're also late to the party!
1) Sam is crazy for The Lion King. Do you have a favorite Disney movie? 
Can you guess? I'm a marine biologist... my favorite is Finding Nemo, of course, followed by The Little Mermaid!

2) The song tells us that Hakuna Matata "means no worries." Is something worrying you right now?
Yes!! We're moving in just over a week, and I'm worried about that, the funds for doing so, where we're going to live when we get to Miami, and whether or not anything will be broken in the process. I'm quite anxious at the mo'!

3) Who is the most optimistic person you know?
My youngest honeychile, Sophia. She is definitely a good time girl; I bet she'll party in college and still make A's. And yes, she is always optimistic.
4) Elton John wrote "Hakuna Matata" but didn't record it. Name a song Sir Elton is famous for singing.
My favorite Elton John song is "Sad Songs" - they say so much, you know.

5) Can you play the piano?
Not really. I took lessons for several years, but I am terribly slow at reading music, so I didn't progress very far with it. I can still play from memory, though.

6) Congratulations! You just won a guided African Safari Tour! Eight days in Zambia and Botswana for you and a friend. All expenses paid, and allowing you access to breathtaking, unforgettable sights. It takes at least 30 hours to get there, and before you go you'll need yellow fever and hepatitis vaccinations and medication to prevent malaria. Are you up for it?
Are you kidding? Absolutely! Sign me up!! I want to see the entirety of this planet before I kick the proverbial bucket.

7) There's been a mistake. You really won a 4-night Disney Bahamas Cruise for two. Are you relieved or disappointed that you'll be partying with a guy in a Simba suit on the Lido Deck instead of observing a real lion in the wild?
We plan on taking a Disney cruise next year, but I'd still be very disappointed. It's incomparable. Plus, I really freaking hate the Bahamas. Hate it. That and Tampa, Florida, are two of the very few places I definitely do not like.
8) Let's bring this back to real life -- do you have any vacation plans? 
Oh, I just told you about that, didn't I? ;)
9) Describe your luggage. Is it durable and high quality? Or are you like Crazy Sam, who has been known to use an Old Navy shopping bag as her carry-on?
We have a set of red luggage that needs replacing. It's definitely not high-quality stuff, though the fact that it still exists depite the kids' best efforts to destroy it must mean it's halfway decent. Almost all the zipper pulls have fallen off, which drives me crazy, and some of the zippers are starting to unzip from the wrong end. It'll get us through the move to Miami, but I don't have many hopes for it after that.
On to Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: The Memphis Meme, Part The First

Link up here if you're one of the fun guys!

1. Be honest, who texted you last?

My husband sent me a hee-hee.

2. Do you sleep with the bedroom door open or closed?

What is this, a hotel? I have an open-door policy.

3. Do you drink tea?

Iced tea, not on your life. Hot tea, only if I'm sick.

4. Do you have plans for tomorrow?

Tomorrow being Monday, yes, we are going over to our house and packing up the rest of our crap. Time to go!

5. What's worse: dry skin or chapped lips?

Ooh. That's a really good one for me, since I haaaaate both! But definitely dry skin. Can't stand having it, but I for damn sure don't want someone with it touching me! Ick.

6. Would you be surprised if Facebook started charging?

Facebook already does charge, for some things! Meh. It's a free countr...oh. Wait.

7. Would you rather go to Canada or California on vacation?

I don't know, both have their appeal. There are plenty of areas in both that I desire to see!

8. How many social media sites are you registered with?

Let's see... I have a MySpace (maybe?), but I don't ever, ever go there anymore. Does anyone? Facebook, natch. Here. LinkedIn. Google+. Twitter. Foursquare... yeah, that's enough. I'll hush now, it's embarrassing. Would you believe I'm pretty introverted?

9. Are you wearing jeans, shorts, sweats, or PJs?

I'm wearing my super-comfy University of Miami garb. Sweats.

10. So, what if you changed lives for one day with the person you texted?

Ew, I'd have to join the NRA. NO, THANK YOU!

11. Last person you told a secret to?

Hm. Probably Rob (hubs), but I'm not going to share whatever it was here!

12. What are you listening to at the moment?

"Down," by 311

13. Where was the last place you fell asleep, other than your bed?

I napped in my daughter Chloë's bed at least twice in the past 24 hours.

14. Is there someone that you believe you will always be attached to?

Sure, lots of people. Everyone I love, who doesn't shit on me in return!

15. Are you going to any concerts this year?

So far, none are planned, though I have a feeling if Taylor Swift comes to Miami, I'll be taking Chloë to her first show. There are a number of acts I'd love to catch, but budget constraints, y'know...

16. Do you believe in Karma?

I believe a lot of things related to it, but maybe not that per se. I'm Christian and stuff.

Welp, that was a quickie for me. Are you satisfied?


Saturday 9: Midnight Train To Georgia

Hey peeps - if you like this, click on over here to see more answers!
1) Have you ever been to Atlanta?
No, I never have, yet. I've been to GA many times, but not there so far. Well, except through the airport a bunch of times, but that doesn't count!

2) Do you enjoy traveling by train?
I love it!!! The last time I rode a train was in September, 2011, for my oldest kiddo's 10th birthday. We rode the train from Newport News, VA, to Washington, DC, and stayed in a hotel there. I took her for a shopping spree at the American Girl store. It was way cool.

3) "Midnight Train to Georgia" is Sam Winters' signature number at the karaoke bar. What's your go-to song when you take the mic?
I've actually never done that, but it's on my bucket list for sure. I know what I want to sing: "What's Up?" by Four Non-Blondes. I think I'll kill it - if I can keep my voice from shaking!

4) Do you drink tea?
Only when I'm really sick; otherwise I can't stand it. And NEVER iced, blech!

5) What's the most recent thing you purchased for your home?
Some organizer bins from my friend LJ - 2013 is the year of storage and organization for us!

6) Are there dishes in your kitchen sink right now?
Always, dudes. Always. We have no dishwasher in this house, so you do the math.

7) Have you ever been fingerprinted?
Twice. Once when I became a sub teacher in Tampa, FL, and again this past month when I needed my signature notarized onboard the Navy base.

8) What was the last check you wrote?
Hell if I know. I haven't written a check in ages upon ages!

9) What color are your eyes?
My sister always tells me she misses my shit-brown eyes. (Hers are beautiful blue, and she's also the one who named me Smellyann. I still love her.)
See y'all tomorrow for some thievery!

Fun Family Splurging - On The Cheap

I've been doing a lot of mystery shops again lately, so we have been out and about as a family frequently. On Thursday, I had stacked about seven shops back-to-back, and I did not relish the idea of going back home, tired and worn out, to a messy, half-packed, midst-of-moving house. So I broached the idea of getting a hotel room for the night to Rob, and he was all in! So I went on the app on my iPhone and booked us a room at The Aloft in Chesapeake for a heavily discounted price.

We had actually never heard of The Aloft, so we had no idea what to expect, but all five of us were delighted and impressed! It was a really neat hotel, with great service (say hi to Justin for us if you go - the night clerk at the Front Desk) and awesome details. We liked it so much, and the off-season rate was so great, we ended up staying for two nights!


While I rested, and then worked on mystery shop reports, Rob took the kids to the hotel pool two or three times. Sophia is swimming like a little fishy now - okay, like a puppy, since she still doggy-paddles for the most part - and does wonderfully in the water.


Meanwhile, even Jack has finally decided to start swimming! Yay, Buddy! He can't go too far, or for too long, but it's a start. On the other hand, Chloë is still quite timid in the water and barely manages to jump in from the side... but I know she'll get there.


On the second night, I stopped by the bar to get drinks for Rob and me. However, the bartender (hey, Lisa!) was closing, so I got him a bottle of beer to go and ordered this Bahama Mama for myself. It was delish. And strong. I got so plastered by the third sip! Thankfully alcohol hits me hard and fast, and gets processed by my new system just as quickly, so it had worn off almost by the time I got back to our loft and needed to work on reports!


After my buzz wore off, I was quite thirsty, so I asked "my favorite child" to get my Coke out of the fridge. Naturally, all three of them decided they were that child (and they were right!), so they went, giggling, together to the fridge and fetched it, delivered it, and presented it with smiles as a team. Love my funny gang! ♥


On Saturday morning, before we had breakfast and checked out, I went to the pool to see the latest swimming exploits and knit (and, okay, snooze some more) while the kids swam with Rob. I loved the atmosphere in there... definitely want to return to another The Aloft in the future. Sometime.


On Monday, Steph and Tim babysat for us while we went out for a date/mystery shop at a restaurant bar. We went to the Walmart around the corner from the restaurant afterward, ostensibly to pick up a load of cat food, but we were looking around and came across a whole bunch of super-duper clearanced toys that we knew the kids would love. When we went to pick them up from Stim, we left their new toys in their car seats and let them discover them upon returning to the van. What joy! What glee! What fun! Here is Sophia's newly updated Lalaloopsy collection, with April Showers (the newest one) in the center.


On Tuesday, en route to lots more shops and other errands, we all found ourselves very hungry for dinner. So, we took advantage of the Kids Eat Free special that day at Chili's and had a really inexpensive dinner, with Rob and I getting the combo dinner and all three kids eating for nada. The chips and spicy corn guamacole were SO good!!


And yesterday (Wednesday), we had LOADS of fun. While Rob and Jack went to Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach to get Rob a haircut, I took the girls to Sunshine Smiles, A Kids' Spa around the corner. I had given Sophie a gift certificate to spend $20 there (which I'd actually gotten for FREE on LivingSocial!) for Christmas, and it's just taken this long to get time to get her in there. The girls were so hilarious during the visit.


For her money, Sophia was able to get a manicure and make two lip glosses (an experience she shared with her big sis), and the first thing she did after the way-awesome Michelle set her up was soak her nails and hands. She sighed dreamily during this experience. Goof!


Michelle quickly realized that Sophia was going to be quite a little wiggle worm during her mani - as she ALWAYS is, but even more so because she was so excited to be there - and she and I kept bursting into laughter about Sophia's hilarious antics and attempts to stay still. Such a goose. Here, she was having some kid crap (glue, maybe?) removed from her hands.


Sophia happily looked on as Michelle painted her nails a lovely shade of sea blue-green (my favorite color!) that Chloë helped her pick out. Poor Michelle had to touch up her nails about five or six times, because she would NOT STOP MOVING!

I love her cute little pudgy baby hands - the only thing about Soap that's still wee, I'm afraid - and her pretty nails. 

Sophia was dying to lie down on the spa lounges and let her nails dry, so she inveigled her way into that with Michelle after promising not to smudge her nails. She was sooo happy, even if she didn't also get the cucumber slices on her eyes that she also requested!


Chloë chillaxed next to Sophie and did her usual model pose when I asked to take her picture. Always preening for the camera, that one!

Finally, when the nails were sufficiently dry (and after more touch-ups), it was time to go to the lipgloss-making station. They were able to pick their own colors to add to the balm bases and put lots of glitter in there, too. Of course, both of my girly girls wanted to use shades of pink.


Glitter time!  Sophie added the pink and the silver to hers for some major sparkle.

Then, the girls were given sticks to apply their new lipglosses to their puckers. Chloë did a pretty good little job not getting it all over the place.

Sophia, meanwhile, had quite a bit of trouble getting hers just so and not glopping it all over the lower third of her face, so Mama had to step in and help her out after she wiped off the first attempt. It actually looked pretty good on her!
So that was that fun-ness, and all for the cost of just a tip to Michelle! Thanks, Sunshine Smiles!

After that, it was Jack's turn for some fun, since this is his tenth birthday month, and we are celebrating him all month long! I had $20 in gift certificates to Build-A-Bear Workshop, (five for his birthday present and the other $15 from rewards for the Christmas gifts I'd gotten from there), so I instructed Jack on from which three least pricey stuffies he could choose - after all, the goal was to go cheap or go home - and he picked a pooch!

The store employee helped him stuff his dog, and he was sooo excited to fluff him up. He worked that pedal pretty quickly!

The employee then had Jack pick out a heart for his dog, and rub it on his face for smarts, cheek for cute, etc. Jack had a ball doing this and was giggling his little peanut head off! It's so great to see him genuinely smiling, since he's kind of a grump usually!

Next it was time for an air bath to keep the newly fluffed and minted puppy clean. More real smiles from the boy!

After a bath, Puppy needed some new clothes. Jack chose the camouflage outfit, which he seems to be into lately. Like his Dad!
Daddy helped dress the easily-frustrated Jack's dog. The two of them are so cute together and have really been male-bonding a lot lately. I love to see it!
Lastly, it was time to adopt Roger, the dog, into Jack's growing BAB family. He was thrilled, and I peeked in on him a couple times during last night and found him clutching Roger tightly in his sleep.

After that, I had to do some more mystery shopping in the mall, but once again, everyone had gotten hungry. I told the kids we could grab just a little something to eat in the Food Court first, so we headed upstairs to snack on samples (hey, free belly filler) and then pick what we wanted to eat. Jack actually wanted to ride the escalator upstairs, which is unusual because he's terrified of it. And he still balked when he got over there, but then, he did it! He got on and rode up on his own (usually one of us has to carry him)! Yay, Jacky!!
Well, call us pushovers, because when we got to the top of the escalator, Cold Stone Creamery was right there, and Sophie shouted out, "Ice Cream!" Rob and I quickly conferred and decided to have an upside-down meal: dessert at the mall, then dinner later at home. The kids LOVE when we do that, of course!
We only got small (still going for cheap) kid-size ice creams for then, with one mix-in each, but they didn't seem to care. Or notice, I'm not sure which. Ice cream is ice cream, right?
After the kids had their ice creams, I wandered around the Food Court (leaving Rob with the children) to figure out what I wanted to eat. Usually, it only takes a few sample bites to fill me up these days, so I wasn't really expecting to buy anything. However, I came across Cupcake Central - and, lo and behold, it was their Happy Hour Wednesday special! Amazing cupcakes for a buck each! Sweet. (heh, no pun intended) I bought six, because I couldn't bear the thought of having an empty hole in the box. When I walked back with the box, I told the kids they were for later, but I let them have this sneak peek!
However, after a few minutes, Sophie wanted to look at hers up close, so I let her. Isn't she funny?! She kills me. And even though these were supposed to be "for later," the next thing I knew, she had peeled off the wrapper and shoved almost the whole thing in her face at once! I dropped my jaw and then died laughing, which made her laugh and spit cupcake out of her mouth all over the place. Oh, man. I was in total hysterics.  Sophie is just as nutty as I am!
I did my last shop at the mall after that, and then we headed home. Rob fed the kids some mac & cheese for dinner, while I took yet-another much-needed cat nap. 
When I woke up, the kids were getting ready to go to bed. However, Sophia got into her lip gloss again and came jokingly stomping in to the room, blurting out, "Still can't get the hang of it, Mom!" I took one look and begged her to let me take this picture. 
Ahhh... good times, good times... and y'all know I love a great deal!

Sunday Stealing On A Tuesday

Linky linky is here, pals, friends and chums!



101. What does happiness/joy feel like physically? 

Warm and fuzzy, like an itty bitty bunny ... ♥

102. List five things you love starting with the one you love the absolute most. (My interpretation: People aren't things, so I'm not including them!)

A - Yarn. Natural, vibrant, soft, knittable YARN.

B - My iPhone 5!

C - The beach

D - Singing a great song at the top of my lungs while driving with the windows down on a warm day

E - Itty bitty babies, whether they're people or other animals

103. How many movies have you gone to see this year? 

We just went to the movies on Thursday for a mystery shop! Once, so far in 2013. It was Escape From Planet Earth, and I really liked it. It was surprisingly good! I want to get the DVD.

104. If you could have 3 wishes...but none of them could be for yourself, what would you wish for? 

A - I would wish for lots more money for my husband. ;) (What? I didn't SAY he had to share!) (But he would.)

B - I would wish for an end to all the world's "issues" caused by the exponential population growth of human beings.

C - I would wish for mandatory parenting classes for all first-time parents. I've seen some bad shit, man.

105. In what ways do you relax and de-stress when you are really tense? 

If it's that bad, I have to pop a Klonopin. And then, if I can't nap, I'll read a bunch of magazines and/or knit something mindlessly simple.

106. How much money would it take to get you to sell your blog address?

I don't know. At least tuppence.

107. Have you ever been hunting?

LOL I thought that said "hurting," and I was all, have you met me?! No. I have never been hunting. I never will, either. Bambi's safe from me. 

108. Have you attempted this 5000 question meme in the past?

I don't know, but probably. I've been blogging for a while now!

109. What do you think of cloning? 

Everything in moderation. The world doesn't NEED another me or you, but repetition certainly has its place.

110. Do you read or watch TV more often? 

Since we don't have TV, it's pretty much reading by default.

111. With all this talk of terrorism going around are you willing to sacrifice rights and freedoms for increased safety?

Pfft. If you're not constitutionally allowed to go into a crowded movie theater and yell "FIRE!" then even the 2nd Amendment has its limits, thank you so much. Anyone who thinks that the right to bear arms should be absolutely limitless is a TOTAL FUCKING MORON, and I have no problems saying that to ANYONE. And yes, this is a bit of a passionate issue for me. ;)

112. What is the punishment you would have come up with for Osama Bin Laden if you caught him alive? 

I don't know, an eye for an eye, I guess. So would I put him on a suicide plane mission? No. Would I put him on the plane as a terrified passenger? No. Top of a tower about to be hit by a plane? Nope. I would make him love someone with all his heart and soul and then have to bear the pain when that person was tragically ripped from his life forever. Worst pain ever. I know.

113. Have you ever named an individual part of your body?

No. However, I am an odd duck, and I feel bad for my left hand for not getting as much use as my righty, so I often favor it to give it more attention. Wow. I can't believe I'm admitting such kookiness so publicly! 

114. Have you ever been on the radio or on TV? 

Yeah, both. I posted here recently about the rug store commercial I was on when I was a kid. I have also been interviewed on a radio station about my charity in memory of our son. Twice. That was pretty cool.

115. Have you ever won a lottery or sweepstakes? 

I have won a few things, but I'll be darned if I can remember any of them at the moment. Oh, and when I turned 18, I won about $3.50 the first time I played the lottery. The next two weeks, I didn't win anything. Haven't played since.

116. Have you ever won a contest or competition? 

Similarly, yes, several things, but I'm hard-pressed to name them!

117. Have you ever watched The Joy of Painting show with Bob Ross (check out this link if you don't know who he is. 

Yeah, but I like the South Park version of Bob better than the real one! 

118. Do you know what your grandparents and your great-grandparents did for a living? 

My mom's dad worked at Tingue Brown as a factory laundry installer for many years. He was a hard-working man up until he died. 

My mom's mom was ... a stay-home mom, I guess? I really don't know if she worked before I came along, ever.

My dad's dad also did hard physical labor, but I can't remember the specifics. Both he and dad's mom died before I was born.

I haven't a clue what the greats did. However, my great-aunt (dad's side) was a longtime secretary for Exxon corporate.

119. Is there anything really interesting in your family history? 

I tend to think so. My dad's side of the family came from Germany to the Caribbean island of Saba several generations ago. It's a very tiny, not well-known isle, with historically unfriendly harbors, so you have to fly to get there. My dad's father was born there, along with his older sister. The great-aunt, Amy, mentioned above, was born in New York City, though. So I'm a 2nd generation American, right?

On my mom's side, my grandparents met just before World War II. My grandpa asked Grandma out, but she turned him down. She did NOT like him. Then he left to join the Navy and go fight in the war. When he got home, she had had a change of heart and started dating him. Three kids, five granddaughters, and six great-grandkids (so far) have come from that union!

120. Is there anyone you trust completely? 

Do I trust anyone 100%? Hmm. Not myself, definitely; I'm too impulsive. I couldn't think of anyone I trusted completely for a while, but now that I think about it, I trust my therapist that much. Maybe she's an odd choice, but she is absolutely fabulous. I'm really sad to be leaving her behind when we move in a few weeks. We've talked about doing remote therapy, though...

Oh, wow. I didn't realize I was at the end, here.

Welp, have a great week, y'all! I'll have more to post soon. 


Saturday 9: It's A Sunshine Day

Yep, I'm late again - but link up here if you're late, too, 'kay?
1. Do you know the lyrics to The Brady Bunch theme song?
Of course! Who doesn't??
2.  Do you have any step-relations like the Bradys?
Um. Heh. Well, yes. I grew up with a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters (Cinderella story, much?)... and now they're gone, gone, gone out of my life. Whoop!
3. Did you have a major pre-teen crush? Who was it?
Oh, come on. I grew up in the 80s. Of course it was this guy:
4. Which TV character do you wish lived next door?
Hmm... I would have to say... Fonzie! Because, hello, the Fonz! What's not to love? Heyyyy...
5. It's a sunshine day. Describe your sunglasses.
Big. Brownish. Um, a little bedazzled. And did I mention big?
6. How do you spend a 90-minute flight - napping, reading, looking out the window...?
If I can't knit, then probably all of the above at some point!
7. Do you have a favorite brand of toothpaste?
I like Colgate, but that's mainly because it's not Crest (ie, of the evil Proctor & Gamble empire). So, no, not really.
8. How many keys are on your key ring?
House key, old house key, car key. Three.
9. What do you miss about summertime?
Shorts. Flip-flops. Warmth. Sun. Beach. Swimming. All of it!!
Well, that takes care of that. I think I'll do Sunday Stealing another time. Just not feelin' it right now. :\