Entries categorized "Horsing Around" Feed

Daughters, Sisters... Friends.


These girls.

They're like typical sisters when they argue. They fight over everything related to sharing a room and a bathroom, especially the Wet Brush I bought Chloë, along with her 'it's a 10 miracle leave-in' conditioner, to tame her crazy, wild curls. Never mind that she decided to straighten it today with the flat iron I gave her for Christmas; none of us knew that I would be blogging about the two of them tonight!

They do get along famously well most of the time, don't get me wrong. But just like my sister Stacey and I did when we were younger - and, unlike the 3½ years that separate my daughters, we were only 17 months apart - the arguments can get rather bitter and nasty.

Sophia never puts things she "borrows" back in their proper place. Including my scissors, which is why I have five different pairs. Including my Sharpies, which is why I jumped on a recent hot deal to get a 24-pack of all different colors at Office Depot for eight bucks and change and came home with an announcement that they were MINE... until Sophia decided to help herself and then either not return them, or else leave the capless marker where I could find it, all dried out. So I know all too well the pain-in-the-buttness that is my youngest child, but Rob and I have come to embrace it with the hashtag #BecauseSophia. We use it often.

Tonight, the altercation started over that damned Wet Brush again and continued when I needed plums for a tart I'm going to make. Both girls decided to come along for the trip to the store. (Which meant, by the way, that a simple run for plums turned into the additional need for peaches, strawberries, and avocados. All money well spent, to be sure, but not what I had intended!)

Both girls like to ride "shotgun" when I'm driving, so they take turns when the three of us go out together. It doesn't matter that this works out to Even Stevens on taking turns riding there; a fight happens regardless when it's time to return to the car and switch spots.

Then, one of the girls will get huffy over a song on the radio that the other chose, because one likes it, and the other doesn't. I usually let whoever is riding up front pick what we listen to on the radio, while retaining veto power. So all this nonsense over first a hairbrush, then a seat position in the car, and finally choosing this song or that song on the radio, devolved into a perfectly icky sisterly squabble.

I know it's normal. I know it's even natural. But if you're a mom of teens and/or tweens, you know that it is annoying AF.

I decided to devise a way to get them back on the same team, Team Odette, without their really even recognizing what I was doing: by blahgging about it.


Sophia Lorelei.

My youngest child, at 11½. Still doesn't even know how to spell her middle name properly half the time, nor does she particularly care. She's going to be a bit of a wild child when she's grown up, I just know it. A little party girl.

She denies it, but when she and I are alone in the car, we start jamming along to loud beats and club mixes on the radio together. She bops her head to the music and encourages me to join her - so of course, I do!

I can totally picture her in the club, 21 years old, and maybe dancing with her hair swinging around on tabletops and counters. And the bar, a la Coyote Ugly. (Hopefully not drunk and nekkid!)

[Side story: Once upon a time, in 1997 or '98, my friends Kristal, Shana, and I were on Duval Street in Key West, out to have some fun. I was 21, had just graduated from college, ready to party it up a little bit, right? No harm, no driving, just fun. The three of us started off at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, where I had a big salad and, of course, a big ol' margarita. Salt on the rim. All delicious. Then we wandered around, bar-hopping, and having different drinks in each one. I forget where we were when the bartender sent over a shot of tequila to the three of us. Down the hatch! We ended up somewhere where Kristal, who is Trinidadian, taught me to "wind" during a Caribbean-based song. The two of them sat at a table nearby, probably laughing at me, while I danced barefoot in the middle of the bar, alone and having the time of my life, completely inebriated. Next thing I know, someone handed me a big cup of Guinness beer. I drank that too, of course. I didn't like beer at all then, but certainly not a dark beer on top of all that other crap I'd had. After downing it on the dance floor with some unknown male, I immediately had to run to the bathroom and lose everything, complete with my Margaritaville salad at the end. What a shame; it was a really good salad the first time. Eww, I know, but this is all to say, I don't judge Sophia for her future doing much of exactly this sort of shenaniganizing. As long as she's 21, not driving, not doing ANY drugs, and please no smoking... then I'm all for it. Live it up while you can, girl!]

So that's my Sophia. Wild, unpredictable, spontaneous, but full of joy. She is my "carpe diem" child all the way. 

Tonight, at Walmart, she was wearing her nightgown, had unkempt hair... broken arm from being bucked off her horse during a lesson, and did not have a care in the world. Why? "Because I can."

Her favorite song right now is this one:

She knows all the lyrics and puts me to shame when I try to sing along with her. And I love that.


Chloë Raine.

She'll be 15 in the beginning of September, and she acts every bit of that and more. Most of the time, she's respectful toward her parents, sweet, and willing to help around the house without too much huffiness. She cares about her appearance very much and is about as vain as her mother. Heh. She's well-spoken and possesses the vocabulary of someone much older, but a lot of it is mispronounced because she learns the words first from reading, then tries them out in her speech.

When a club-beat song comes on the radio and Sophia and I start jamming to it, Chloë sits in the back seat and rolls her eyes, waiting for a calmer song to come on the radio. Not always patiently, I might add.

If she did any of that club-scene wild-child partying stuff I mentioned above for Sophia, I would be shocked but not completely surprised. No, Chloë has it all planned out. We're currently working on her curriculum for 10th grade, which she's heading into this year, and then her junior and senior years will also be planned out in advance. She's looking at northern colleges where she can be in a pre-vet program in a much colder, snowier environment than sultry Miami here in the subtropics. After graduation, she wants to get into a top-notch vet school and concentrate on the health and care of cats. (We already call her the Crazy Cat Lady.) One of Sophia's horse instructors, Celia, would prefer Chloë to be an equestrian vet instead; apparently there are a shortage of good ones and she'd make bank doing it.

Chloë even wants to marry a potato farmer and live somewhere in Idaho, while she's out vettin' cats (or horses or whatever). She is half-joking about this, but I wouldn't be surprised if that is how it plays out for her.

Her favorite song on the radio right now is this one:

... which should surprise no one, since she's a complete Swiftie and would love to be a part of Taylor's squad!

So there's no shocker about these two girls not getting along over the minutiae of life sometimes, right?


To end their post-shopping trip squabble, I asked the girls about their favorite colors, let them each pick which fruit to buy (Sophia wanted strawberries; Chloë preferred peaches), and asked them to tell me which song was their current favorite.

And I asked them to pose for this series of staged photos, for this blog. Between the back-to-back angry posing and discussing things that pissed them off about each other, and then this one where Sophia is sharing a strawberry with Chloë, who is holding her sister's broken arm comfortingly, my ploy worked. 

They smirked. They giggled. Then they couldn't stop laughing. Paco photo-bombed the first shot of them sharing a berry, because he loves those things. Hysterics ensued. They hugged it out, without my even asking them to do so. They shared headphones and earbuds, and they came up with a song they both love the most right now:

I had to laugh. This song came out in, like, 1999 or something. Two years before Chloë was even born! And they're always dogging on me for loving my old music from the 80s and 90s. Haha, joke's on you, girls! You like music even I thought was lame when it first came out almost 20 years ago!

But enough of that. They are getting along again, and they're doing it amazingly well. And all I had to do was ask them about music and have them pose for a few silly pictures. Yeah. I call that a legit #MomWin, don't you?

Let's see how long it lasts this time.


Wordless Wednesday: Bucked By Lacey


On Friday night, Rob took Sophia to her riding lesson. She was heading to a jump with her horse, Lacey, when Lacey decided to skip the jump and started bucking. Sophia didn't have her foot properly in the stirrup, and she (in Rob's words) tried playing Superman. She landed on her face and arm. They tried putting her back on her horse, but the arm wouldn't cooperate. Hours later, and x-rays showed a complete fracture of the radius, across the bone and up to the growth plate of the hand. So, she's in a cast for 4-6 weeks and off her horse for 6-8 weeks. She's been "over it" since about 5 minutes after that prognosis was given and can't wait to get back on Lacey again!


Feeling Wordless yourself? Link up here with Create With Joy for Wordless Wednesday to join the rest of the crew!

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Wordless Wednesday: A New Lease On Lacey

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Sophia decided she was ready to stop riding Buddy exclusively after five months, and she switched to a more challenging mare instead this past week: Lacey! ♥ Welcome, Lacey! ♥


Feeling wordless today (okay, so it was yesterday; shh!) yourself? Link up here with 5 Minutes For Mom to participate in the fun!


Wordless Wednesday: Heritage Horse Show

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Day One

This past weekend, Sophia entered her first equestrian show in Plantation, Florida. We arrived around 0745 on Saturday for her first five classes in the Hunters division for Beginning Crossrails.

[Yeah, yeah, this entry is supposed to be "wordless," but rules were made to be broken.]

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The tent where Sophie's stable, Miami International Riding Club, was situated

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Sophie's instructor, Daniela, tying her back number around her show coat.

[She was #398.]

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Almost ready to start warming up

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After a few canters around the warm-up arena, Sophie was ready for her first Beginning Crossrails Flats class.

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Anne-Marie and Meghan letting Sophie and Buddy out of the warm-up arena

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Sophia and Buddy waiting with Meghan, Anne-Marie, Delfina, and Dani

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Waiting to be judged in Beginning Crossrails - Flats

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Next up, Sophie entered the Beginning Crossrails jumping portion of Hunters.

Heritage Horse Show

Sophia and Dani hugging it out after the Medals class

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Waiting with Anne-Marie to find out her standings in the five classes of Hunters she entered on Day One

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No matter what, Sophie was thrilled to have been at her first horse show!

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For Day One, Sophia received two 6ths and a 7th place!

~ ☼ ~ ☼ ~

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Day Two

Sophia watching while Anne-Marie tacks up Buddy

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Dani making sure the stirrup lengths are just right for Sophie

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Remember, Sophia: Heels Down!!

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Walking Buddy, flanked by Daniela and Anne-Marie, to warm up before her next five classes

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After a great warm-up in the practice arena, Sophia and Buddy were ready.

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Pats and smiles for Buddy

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I could tell Sophia was nervous for her second day, but she was all smiles just before entering the Hunters arena.

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She and Buddy took a 5th Place ribbon in the Flats portion of her morning.

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For enormous Buddy, Beginning Crossrails isn't much more than a step over the jump!

Sophia at Heritage Horse Show from Melanie Odette on Vimeo

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Look at that ginormous grin, greeting Dani for the first time after riding her Medals class! She knew that ride felt great.

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Anne-Marie giving Sophia a huge hug after Sophie learned she took 2nd place (Reserve Champion) in the medals class on Day Two. There were definitely tears for Sophia!

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Letting Buddy-Budster graze in the grass after an amazing morning

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Sophie rigged up her ribbon and medal after we arrived at home. [Missing: an 8th Place brown ribbon]

~ ☼ ~ ☼ ~

Feeling Wordless (or, well, not) today? Be sure and link up with 5 Minutes For Mom here to share your photos with the rest of us!

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Wordless Wednesday: Sophia's First Equestrian Show


So I'm not quite going to be "wordless" today, because I never am. You guys know.

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Our Sophia, 11, has been taking horse riding lessons at Miami International Riding Club for eight months. This weekend, she will be exhibiting her skills at her first equestrian show. The first things she needed were some bows! These were just the beginning; when I say that I got to work making bows, I got to work, y'all!

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Sophia takes English riding lessons, and she will be riding Hunters on Saturday and Sunday. We finally pulled her show clothes together, with some help from friends, and... ta-da!


Sophia and Anne-Marie, one of the showjumping instructors at Miami International Riding Club

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For the first time, Sophie riding Buddy in her show clothes:

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She's looking beautiful for her first show, no? Dani, her team instructor, Anne-Marie, and Celia at MIRC: We hope to make you proud, no matter the outcome!

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Rob and Sophie giving a little lovin' to Argentina on the way out of the stables Tuesday

Feeling a little wordless - or like me, eh, somewhat more verbose - today? Make sure you link up with Create With Joy this week! She's sharing a wonderful set of photos of her Maine Coon cat, Magellan, and a fun new habitat we might join her in making for our Maine Coon, Pepper, too! (Or Muffin, or Sugarplum, or Henry...)

See you 'round the Interwebs.


Sophia Lorelei Is ELEVEN!

(I haven't been around the blogosphere for a while, because I've been in intense pain from Fibromyalgia. I'm trying to rally and come back, though, starting with this post in celebration of our youngest daughter Sophia's 11th birthday today.)


















Feeling Wordless today, too? Be sure and link up with 5 Minutes For Mom to join in the fun!

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Sunday Stealing: How Are Ya Today?

Hey there, folks. Link up here if you're playing along today!

Cheers to all of us thieves!!! 

How Are Ya Today Meme

Stolen from: Love me some surveys


Okay, here we go. How are ya today?

This was me today: SLEEPY. I don't know why; it's been a very sleepy week for me since last weekend. Hoping to rev up tomorrow!

  1.  Have you ever been so happy you felt invincible? 


Actually, yes: The day Hubs and I eloped, nothing could stop us. That's the reason for this blahg's link byline: You and Me Against The World. Unfortunately, it only shows up as "...wo," and I can't change it, or I'd lose all my connecting link-ups!

  1. Would you ever refer to something as ‘bitter sweet’? 

Aside from these candy hearts? Actually, yes. I will be posting about this more next month, but giving birth to two beautiful, identical baby boys and then losing one twin was absolutely a bittersweet time for me. #Understatement

  1.  Is there a person in this world you don’t think you could ever figure out?

Probably, but it's not my job to try to figure people out. I either like them or I don't.

  1. When was the last time you were freaked out? 

The last time I was freaked out was a little embarrassing: We were at the horse farm where my daughter Sophia takes showjumping lessons. Her horse was lame, so she was walking him around the pasture to eat grass. I parked myself under a nearby tree for the time being. Right after I sat down, a black-and-white lizard came up out of the grass and bolted toward me, and then behind me, and then crawled up my right arm from the back! I was wiggling and screaming, and people were watching me! I couldn't help but laugh at myself after that!

  1.  Do you learn from ‘every’ mistake you make?

  1. I make a ton of mistakes. Sometimes, more than once, sometimes even bigger than the first time, and then I learn the lesson. So... maybe?
  3.  Do you sometimes think that you’re too nice?

Absolutely. At home, I'm not at all, but out in public, I can be a bit of a doormat. I get accused of this all the time. But when I feel I am wronged, then I speak out, in a BIG way.

  1.  Is there something you’re dying to tell someone?

Yes, but referring back to the previous question, I will never tell ______ that he is truly an asshole. I just may not mourn terribly when he dies.

  1. Do you think you have a unique name? 

Ha. Melanie? Not so much, but people seem to have a devil of a time either pronouncing it when they read it, or spelling it when they ask for it!

  1.  Do you usually try to find the good in people?

Absolutely. That is my whole MO, my quest in this life: Find the good - and BE the good - in everything. Sometimes I fail, but I try again. Always.

  1. Do you look back on embarrassing moments and laugh about them?

Generally, yes, unless there was something hurtful about it.

  1. Have you ever laughed just to save yourself from humiliation?

I do try, but as Hubs can attest, I dwell on those things for the next 20 years.

  1. What are you doing in 2 hours? 

Hopefully, by then, I'll have cooked an amazing vegetarian meal. And so, eating??

  1. What is the last thing you ate?

We received some more beautiful kohlrabi from our local organic farm, in our latest CSA share, so I bugged Hubs to make chips out of it. I ate them ALL. Every last one. In my belly.

  1.  Do you love your job?

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Mom to these three S'mores-munchin' knuckleheads? I LOVE it!

  1. When is the last time you showered?

I took a bath yesterday, so Friday, I guess. I'm due.

  1. Who is the last person you texted? 


Sophie's riding instructor at the farm, Dani, to let her know we'd be there yesterday. Oops, she was supposed to be there again today, but I forgot! :O

  1. When is the last time you were in a hospital?
  2. Last week, on Wednesday, I took a friend to the ER. She was deadly sick. Turns out, she has the flu. Now I'm trying to come down with it, or so it seems. Nooo... I don't have time for The Sick!
  4.  The last time you went out to eat, what did you order?

The last time we had food out, I ordered a bean burrito from Taco Bell. Does that count?

  1. Do you tend to have a lot of those moments where you forget something that you wanted to say?

ALL. THE. TIME. I am the queen of saying jacked-up things. Ask Hubs. It's a longstanding family joke.

  1.  How long have you known the last person you text messaged? 

Well, since that was the afore-mentioned fluishly sick friend, I guess about a year. She's still sick, poor thing.

  1. Will this week be a good one?

Definitely. I intend to make it so.

  1.  Anything happen to you within the past month that made you really happy?


It's been a slow news month, but the kids have been in the kitchen doing a serious amount of cooking and baking for the family. It brings me great joy that they are learning so much from their dad and me about not just academic subjects, but also how to take care of themselves at home and in the world around them.

  1.  Do you prefer to take showers at night or in the morning?

Whatever time I wake up, I prefer to shower. Except today. Today, I haven't.

  1. Have you been to New York City?

I was born near NYC, and my whole family is from NYC (both sides), so I have spent a great deal of time there, actually. Mostly Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Less time in Brooklyn and Queens, but I've been there, too.


Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday Stealing: Puzzler Meme

What's up, fellow thieves? Link up here if you're puzzling along with the rest of us!

Puzzler Meme

Stolen from: Love me some surveys


What time is it? 

Right this minute, it's 8:08 PM, a time that my high school boyfriend, Ben, and I dubbed "Digital BOB time." It was OUR time to think of each other.

  •  Quick. What’s the first green thing you see? 

I have four bottles of JAFRA Nail lacquer on my desk in front of me. I have ugly feet, with stubby little toes, and I'm always wearing flip-flops. Those toenails MUST be painted. I don't know why; it's like a law.

  • Do you like those Sudoku puzzles?

I went through my Sudoku craze a while back, when they were immensely popular. I'm a fan, but I wore it out.

  •  Do you own a plaid shirt?

I have a couple. That same boyfriend, Ben, used to wear plaid flannel shirts in high school, and I stole a couple. They'd be too big for me, now. What is this, Ben Day?

  • What’s your favorite kind of pie?

If you've never had (my) Apple Cream Pie, then you are seriously missing out on some taste bud delight. I love any fruit pie, though. I could get all kinds of chubby again on pie alone!

  •  Have you read a book today?

Unless going through the stack of magazines that came in the mail yesterday and today counts - before relegating them to the donation pile - then I haven't read diddly. P.S. Does anyone want a thousand new issues of as many different magazines? Will not deliver. ;)

  • Do you like going to museums?

love museums! I'd be too timid to do something like this, though. I'd be afraid to piss off a docent!


  •  Have you ever been to Washington D.C.?

  • I have been several times. It's always exciting to visit, but I hate the driving there!
  •  Have you ever been to the state of Washington?

Not yet; it's on my "must" list. Hubs lived there before we met. I think he misses Rainier Beer as much as anything from those days!

  • Do you like apple juice?

I love everything apple, juice included. My favorite kind was the big $10 glass jug of organic apple juice from the little organic shoppette in the Virginia Beach Farmer's Market. (Definitely worth a visit there and across to the fishmonger, Uncle Chuck's, for crab cakes if you're in town!)

 How cold is it outside? 


It's 69ºF here in Homestead, at the butt-crack of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Don't hate, but I'm freezing.

  •  Have you ever taken a course in Chemistry?

Here's a little history lesson: At the University of Miami, I double-majored in Marine Science and Biology. I wanted, too, to triple-minor in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Spanish, but they wouldn't let me if I wanted to graduate in three years as I did. So I picked Chemistry. The short answer to this question is Yes, plenty. And I loved it. My sister-in-law, Jessica, is a Chemist.

  • Do you like to draw?


 I like to doodle, but my 10yo daughter, Sophia, is always drawing. Sometimes she'll do something like this, with My Little Pony characters, while other times she invents her own characters with all kinds of background into who they are. Right now she's working on a story about some of those; I am eagerly awaiting its arrival in my email inbox! She has a bit of a loyal fanbase on Facebook with her doodles. I'm quite proud of her, as you can tell!

  • What do you put on your french fries? 

That ^^^ is so true, isn't it? Historically, I only put a bit of salt on my fries, but I'm learning to appreciate the addition of ketchup. Unless I'm at a fair, and then I want tons of melty, gooey cheese and a whole lotta vinegar on them. YUM!

  • Do you like everything to match?

Not necessarily, but I like things to at least coordinate. I love chaos and spontaneity as much as I love symmetry and order. Call me crazy (and I am)!


  • Do you like mustard?

I detest mustard. I loathe and abhor it. No. I just can't even.

  • Would you ever work at a movie theater? 

I don't see why not, if I needed a job and they were hiring...

  •  Do you have a phone charger in your car?

Yes. Is it just me, or do they never charge as fast as the block in the house?

  • Have you ever slept through an alarm?

Uh, yeah. Last night, I couldn't sleep at all. It was about 0500 this morning when I finally crashed. I set my alarm for 0900, and I missed it. I had so much today today, and I accomplished exactly none of it. GO, ME!

  • Do you like pineapple on pizza?

It's my favorite, favorite topping. Hold the ham, please!

  • Do you like to hold hands? 

Generally, only when I'm not in a hurry. I'm always in a hurry.

  •  Do you want a tattoo? 

I don't know. I feel like I should want a tattoo, because I have piercings and those go kind of hand-in-hand, but I don't like the permanence of a tat. I am so capricious and want to change things all the time about my look, and I have so many ideas I'd want to incorporate into that one perfect thing, so... And that is my struggle. Haha! Hubs has nine and wants a hundred more.

  • When is the last time you ordered from a catalog?

I maxed out my Victoria's Secret card around Christmastime. Sophia and I live in their yoga pants all week, and the three of us girls love their sports bras! ;) #AngelForever

 Do you know anyone who has a collection of old records? 

Hubs and I each had some. The Eric Clapton one was mine. Many of ours were damaged in our last move, from Virginia Beach to Miami. Those packers were something else...!

What’s the name of the gas station you last stopped at?


Racetrac, for $10 worth of gas at $1.69/gallon. Come on, 99¢ gas!

  • What was the first song you heard today? 

"Kiss," one of my favorite songs by Prince. I have it on the I♥Radio 80s station today.

  •  Have you ever gotten a magazine subscription as a gift?

Yes; most recently, my sister-in-law Gail gave us National Geographic. She gave the kids the Jr. version. Love it!

  • What was the last video you watched on YouTube? 

Okay... please don't make fun of me. Okay, go ahead! I'm a huge fan of Justin Bieber's current, newist album. I love every song released so far. I was looking for an explicit version of "Love Yourself" on YouTube out of curiosity, but I couldn't find one. Lord help me; I'm turning into a 2016 Belieber! o_O

  • Have you ever sacrificed something for someone you love?

Hey, listen. I'm a wife. I'm raising three kids. I have two dogs, and we have four cats. I love them all, so there is a lot of sacrificing going on. Most recently, I ignored the incredibly strong desire to pick up some delicious Publix cannoli in favor of putting more gas in the car. Sophia's horse, Buddy, is injured right now, and she needs to be at the farm every day to take care of him. That takes a lot of gas. The cannoli can wait.

  •  Have you ever had your picture in the newspaper?


Growing up, I had in the paper a few times for various academic achievements. I don't think I have since then, but that's probably a good thing!


Thanks for stopping by!



January '16 Wrap-Up


Black-and-white portrait of the man I love, Robert Allen Odette

So, I haven't blogged as much this infant year as I had planned, because I became even sicker than I had been all throughout the latter half-plus of 2015. That sucked. Basically, I had my iron infusion chemotherapy on December 21st and 28th, and I did not react well to it. I had a semi-kinda-fake-it-'til-you-make-it rally on New Year's Eve, when we went to South Beach for the big par-tay. And then I rested a whole bunch on New Year's Day, before we drove up to Orlando on the 2nd of January to celebrate Rob's and my 15th wedding anniversary.

Well. That sucked. That was actually for a mystery shopping assignment and fun though it was, I almost did not make it home. I had to stop and rest several times along the way, once for several hours, because I was in excruciating pain again. I never did complete that report. That was a Sunday.

By Tuesday, I was calling my father and my BFF, "Dr. Lisa," to say my good-byes. No, I did not call my sister yet at that time, because I knew she would rush down if I told her that I needed her to come help with the kids and Rob after my demise, and I was hoping for a Hail Mary.

Well, obviously, I got my Hail Mary! We still aren't sure what happened yet, because my ER lab results and my primary care doctor are calling it iron toxicity from an overdose of the chemo, but my hem/oncologist swears that I received the correct dose. So, I have no idea, other than that my death definitely seemed imminent but was clearly averted.

Whew. Anyway!

I spent a ridiculous amount of time lying on the couch recovering from that episode. I felt like I got NOTHING accomplished for the whole month other than recuperating. I did, however, manage to take a bunch of pictures of stuff, and lo and behold, as I discovered last night, that means I actually did stuff worthy (at least to me, so, good enough folks!) of that photography. I'm going to share it all here because, uh, that's kinda the purpose of this interwebular space, amirite?


Black-and-white profile of my sleeping beauty, Sophia Lorelei


This is from the 8th of January, when Sophia was feeling poorly from a yucky cold virus, and I was feeling poorly from all the aforementioned whatever-the-feck. We were lying together on Rob's lap, if you can discern his camouflage trousers in my sepia tones. A selfie? I asked. Of course, she responded. Snap


I rarely wear jeans, and never wear boots - certainly not leather ones - so when Rob pulled out my man-made pleather knee-highs from the depths of our closet, I decided to go for it and rock the cowgirl look at one of Sophia's showjumping lessons. Or something. No stetson atop my head, though. The big accomplishment here, though, is that I was up and about, ready to attend her lessons again!


That night, I felt like crap again and learned that my recovery would not come all at once but in slow bursts and small backslides each day and night. I rested and kvetched about how miserable I was... so much so that my awesome hubs asked what he could do to make my awful night better. Five minutes later, he was giving me his first pedicure. Not a bad job, either!

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Puppy love from Otterbox (Otto von Dieter) and the Doodle (Paco)


Rob and I, starting our 16th year of wedding bliss, are connecting on a whole 'nother level lately. Our marriage has had some really high highs and some really low lows, but right now we are absolutely soaring. It takes work, every day, absolutely. But we are both crazier about each other now than when we first began this story of true love.

January 2016

Rob and Jack both received NERF guns from Grandpa Al & Grandma Denise (thanks, y'all!) for Christmas, and Jack received several more from Ye Olde Maw an' Paw, so the boys were thirsting for an old-fashioned (water) gun fight! Okay, so that wasn't truly an accomplishment of mine, per se, but at least I got up off my duff and out the door to take some piccies!


On Wednesday, my neighbor drove Sophia and me to see my hem/oncologist. Sophia had a lesson right afterward, and I could not drive. The visit went well, I had blood drawn, blah blah blah. Afterward, our vecino, Frank, insisted us taking to the Sports Grille next door for a bite to eat before her lesson. Selfie time for me and Sophie!


And here's that neighbor, Frank, with me watching Sophia's lesson that day. He absolutely loved watching her ride Buddy. Frank clapped and cheered, and he called her a champion! It was really fun watching it through his fresh eyes, and it's true. On Wednesday, Sophie really did an amazing job!



Sophia walking Buddy to get saddled up


Buddy doesn't like to get his riding gear on, and he gets a little nippy. Once ridden, though, he's a gentle giant. He loves Sophia, though - and that might be due in no small part to her bringing him a treat at the beginning and end of each lesson!

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Sophia had achievements in January, too. She and buddy jumped together for the first time, and she got up to a canter, too! Way to go, kiddo!



It looks so freeing...


This is the only picture I have gotten of Sophie and Buddy jumping so far, but there been many perfect jumps since then. Gosh, I'm so proud of how far she's come in just four short months!


Sweet sign made by one of the other 'horsey moms'



Craftiness happened this month, too. I was bound and determined not to let the extreme pain in all my joints stop me from doing what I really love and find so calming: knitting. So... I started with this top for myself (and yes, some champagne might have been involved in a few mishaps there):


But, they're fixable.


I'm pretty happy with it, even though I would do a Small instead of a Medium next time, and extend the belly ribbing so it covers more of my, uh, mommy pooch... lol. But it's good. I might even wear it out one day?!


All the kids got onboard with Mommy knitting again, and all have asked for projects for themselves. We had a bit of a cold snap there, and Sophie already loves gloves and mittens, so together we picked out a pattern that's a combo of both.


Meet Tatiana. Yes, there are booboos and it's a bit tight, but my fingers are out of practice and frankly, my eyes just don't see as well anymore! But Sophie is happy and that's what matters. Now to work on the bottom halves some...

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Speaking of craftiness, Jack and Sophia received their Tinker and Doodle Crates for the month, respectively. Their arrival is always a fun day.

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For Jack's project, he had to build a gravity game. He really enjoys doing the Tinker Crates along with the YouTube videos for each one, so his tablet was trotted out for the assist.

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I told Jack that if he could get the ball into the 50-point hole at the end, he could have a day off from Math work. Guess who had the next day off from Math?!

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Sophia's project was about Watercolor Painting, which is something she knows and loves.

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She had to learn about color gradients, which was new and challenging for her. And then she painted some dishes, including my FiestaWare, which, um... was NOT okay with me!!! (But now I can laugh. A bit.)


For a bit more craftiness, Sophia fashioned these awesome sandals out of fallen palm fronds. I got a kick out of it!


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I needed a lot of help to get out to Bee Heaven Farm this month, which is where we get our weekly CSA shares, but Rob, Sophia, and Frank were happy to help me get there and get our box of fresh, local, organic goods!


You know what fresh food means? Cooking. This first dish, I went pretty simple: Salad. I wilted the kale first and did a stir-fry with some watermelon radish, some kind of pepper I forget the name of, and then just threw it together with pecans and shredded Colby Jack. Meh, it was all right, but Rob had to finish my dose portion.


A made-up dish: fried egg with (also-fried) French Couscous, topped with a conglomerate of stir-fried veggies from Bee Heaven Farm. And Spanish peanuts. I guess I was going for a whole fusion thing? I dunno, but it was tasty.


Kitchen Sink Mashed Potatoes

I don't think any of this was comfort food fare was from the farm, but that's okay. During my recuperation from the chemo debacle, I ate and ate and ate like a mofo! I've never eaten so much in the seven years post-op. And I still lost weight! It was cray-cray. Anyway, I used to make this in my poverty-ridden days as a vegetarian college student: loaded mashed potatoes. I add corn, sautéed Vidalia onions, cheese (I loves me some cheesy goodness), garlic... and all kindsa' salt, pepper, milk and butter. Mmm. So. Freaking. Good!


I made Ethiopian food for the first time ever! This vegan Gomen Wat was soooo good, I ate like five platefuls. Okay, maybe six? I'm definitely going to make it again. And no, I didn't serve it on a beautious bed of injera, because... um. Because and that's why.

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Southwestern Chili Mac


Chloë wanted to hone her cooking chops in the kitchen with me one night when I was too manic to cook, so I somewhat crazily guided her through the recipe from Hello Fresh for Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto with Feta and Pepitas. She somehow, despite my sabotage, managed to pull off a stellar dish! Rob and I inhaled the goodness she made. Way to go, Chlo!


Sophia wanted to join her sister in preparing a meal the kids would actually eat, and she lovingly put together a vermicelli and sauce dinner for the three of them. (There was supposed to be garlic bread too, but Mom forgot to keep reminding her to check the oven and, well, I'm just glad we didn't burn the house down.) Well done, ladies! ♥


I baked a scrummy loaf of bread, nothing fancy but tasty as all-get-out.


Jack and the girls pal around with the neighborhood kids, so one day while they held yet another NERF gun fight, I baked them up some peanut butter cookies to share with their friends. That plate came back EMPTY. Go, Mom. (Yes, I did diligently check for allergies first.)


Plátanos fritos

 I had never fried plantains before, in all my years of living in South Florida, though I sure have enjoyed eating my share of them! We did a quickie grocery trip to Publix and talked about making our own, at which point I just thought, Why not now? Some super-green plantains, a bunch of kosher salt, and a healthy squeeze of lemon, et voilá! Talk about tasty. I'll definitely be doing that again!


One week, our CSA box came with two of the most beautiful, juicy red grapefruits you ever wished to have. Oh. Em. Gee. (NO accomplishment here, I just wanted to drool over it some more. Moving on...)


I had planned on making these Honeyed Butternut Squashes from the CSA box myself, but after chopping up two good-sized gourds, I was petered out. Rob had to finish the cooking for me himself, and he did an amazeballs job. They ended up too sweet for my grumpy pouch, Oscar, and I experienced a lot of Dumping Syndrome. But I swear, I would've eaten them all if I could have!

January 2016-001

And lastly - but surely not least - on the cooking front, I made some of my favorite Artisanal Rustic Pizzas. The dough recipe comes from a back issue of Martha Stewart Living but the toppings are my creation. The kids don't like my fanciful ideas, so I made them a plain cheese-and sauce one. Only, we only had cheddar in the house and no sauce, so I had to improvise and make some sauce from scratch. Jack didn't care for it - he's no cheese fan (tha' heck?!) - but the girls devoured every last piece of Pizza #1.

Pizza #2 was the same but with a bunch of roasted organic scallions from the BHF CSA box on top. I unvented a different homemade sauce for that one. Rob is lucky he had any of that one, because I snatched up every last piece after he had his share!

Pizza #3 was way more unconventional: a third different homemade sauce, using torn-up fresh organo from the CSA box. Cheddar cheese, natch. And for toppers? I threw on chopped walnuts, pea sprouts from BHF, capers, and a drizzle of honey. I didn't think I would like that. My scale says the opposite! (Rob loved it, also.)

Whew. Now I'm getting hungry!



Random January blooms in the neighborhood


Rob and I were startled to find Jack, Sophia, and a neighborhood boy carrying a box with this "abandoned" duckling in it one day. They insisted its mother had left it and gone swimming with the rest of her brood. Of course, I had my camera with me. They took the ducky out of its box, I snapped a picture or two, and then... he waddled off, like a bat out of hell! Ahaha. So much for being helpless.


Here, leezard, leezard... 

Just an anole visitor who ran away from me at the horse farm after I let out a belly-bursting sneeze

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Lest you were thinking you'd get away from me without sharing some puppy pix... heeeeere's PACO! ♥

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Otterbox is really a beautiful GSD, but he's hard to photograph well sometimes. Anyway, this month, Robert declared that he has chosen ME as "his person," which about blew my heart up with joy. Our previous German Shepherd, Tiger Lily, was supposed to be my dog, but she chose Rob for her person. The exact opposite happened this time. And I love Otty-bot soooo much. He was a bit of trouble at first, but now he is just the most fun, loving, sweet thing, and I'm glad he is a part of our wackadoodle family!

And that's about it for the round-up! Here's another cookie, if you read the whole danged thing.


Sunday Stealing: The 2015 Year-End Meme

Stealing today? Link up here to join the rest of us!


The 2015 Year End Meme

From the archives!


  1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? 
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In October, when we went up to Missouri to visit my in-laws, I took my son Jack and went to visit my father-in-law in his hotel room. For about two hours, we had a couple of beers together and talked, laughed, and really related for the first time in 15 years. It was pretty freaking great. I will cherish that time.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My only resolution for 2015 that I can even remember (I usually make a few) was to look things up more. I have always historically delegated that task to Hubs, so much so that in years past I dubbed him "Look-it-up Boy." Except when I haven't been able to do it, like when I'm driving or something, I've actually kept this resolution pretty well and have been looking shit up all by my big grown-up self this year. I know. I'm so proud of myself.

I'm still chewing on what to make my main goal for 2016. I promise it'll be just as huge.

  1. Did anyone close to you give birth?
  2. My amazing friend Erin had her first baby, Alden, with her husband Brian in March. I'm still ecstatic for her. Alden is nine months old today, and he's just the most beautiful wee boy!

  3. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2015?
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  5. I have no filter. I'm a blurter. I say whatever the hell comes into my brain, sometimes before I know it's there. I swear, my tongue has a mind of its own, with no connection to the actual brain up there. SO... sometimes this gets me in serious trouble, as you can imagine. After nearly four decades of living, I am finally starting to learn to shut the f*** up. It's VERY hard for me.

  6. What was your favorite new TV program?

I really don't take the time to just sit on the couch and watch television, except for my week-nightly date with Hubs to watch Jeopardy! and, on Thursday nights, The Big Bang Theory with Chloë. I have too much of nothing else to do. Ha!

  1. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?


  1. Better control of our family finances. We've never been good at that.
    1. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
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    3. Maybe this past Wednesday, December 23rd. We decided to bite the bullet and lease a horse for Sophia. She's taking English riding lessons and really seems to connect with Buddy. We'll be spending lots of time at the stables in 2016!

    4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    5. I really did not feel well for the better part of the year, and so my achievement list is woefully short. However, there were a few times when my family, my kids, really needed me to power through those tough times and be Super Mom. And I did. I managed to do what they needed me to do, despite feeling like utter crap. So I'll give myself a quick pat on the back for that.

    6. What was your biggest failure?

    I signed on to become a Master Knitter, about this time last year. Ohhh, that was one of my other 2015 Resolutions. Yeah, I accomplished exactly zero things toward that goal. Fecking health problems!

    1. What was the best thing you bought?
    2. 20150813_175851

    In August, my dad took a nosedive, and it scared me half to death. Our relationship has had a lot of problems, but he's my only living parent, and I love the old fartacus. He wasn't buying any food and therefore wasn't eating any. Nothing. We pretty much flew up to South Carolina, where I promptly bought half the food at ALDI (first-timer there) and cooked for days to stock up old-man-size portions in his freezer. He's been raving about the food ever since, and I am SO happy that he's eating at least!

    1. Whose behavior merited celebration?
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    3. I'm seriously proud of all my kids, but I'm going to give this one to 10-year-old Sophia Lorelei. As the baby of the family, she is not the one used to being in charge of anyone, or anything, else. And we have tried various athletic pursuits with her, because she is an active girl and needs an outlet, to no avail. So when I got this Groupon for the riding lessons, I could see something in her right from the start. There was a new determination, a new drive to succeed that I had not seen in her previously. She did not have the ability to control a horse when she started, of course, and these are very large, sometimes determinedly stubborn
    4. animals. Not only did Sophia learn the basics of how to ride a horse in the latter months of the year, but she found something within herself that showed her the way to be firm, speak up, and take charge of a situation new to her. Way to go, girl!

    5. Whose behavior made you appalled and disgusted?
    6. Oh Em Gee, Donald Trump. Seriously, people, this guy could be our next flippin' President?!! You all have got to be out of your ever-lovin' minds to support this mother-freaking jackhole.

    7. What song will always remind you of 2015?


    1. Probably "Wildest Dreams" by Taylor Swift. My 14-year-old, Chloë Raine, is a huge Swiftie. Last Christmas, we gifted her with tickets to T-Swizzles' Miami concert here at the end of October. When the night finally arrived, my girl was beside herself. Absolutely beside herself with excitement. That had to have been her Best Night Ever (at least of 2015), and I'm thrilled I was able to be there with her.

    2. What do you wish you’d done more of?

    Math with my homeschooled crew. Seriously. Math. With my being sick, structured schooling time was a little less... structured... and Math is what we got a little more behind in than I'm proud to admit. We will absolutely be doing more Math in 2016. Heads-up, chirren!

    1. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    2. IMG_20151221_084043

    Sitting in effing doctors' offices, being traded around from specialist to specialist, giving way too much of my precious blood to find out WTF is wrong with me, and getting no real answers. That sucked. SUCKED, I say!

    1. What was the best book you read?

    The best book, hands-down, was Preston and Child's Relic. I have the next four or five books in the Agent Pendergast series to read next, and I just haven't taken the time to dig into them. There, that's one Resolution for 2016 on the list.

    1. What one thing would have made your year measurably more satisfying?
    2. Seeing a new place I haven't seen before... I really want to go to Cuba or somewhere I have not been yet in the Caribbean, because it's nearby and way more economic for us. Dominican Republic, Haiti, Saba! Rob, honey, are ya with me on the next plane?

    3. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

    From Lean On by Major Lazer:

    "What will we do when we get old?
    Will we walk down the same road?
    Will you be there by my side?
    Standing strong as the waves roll over

    All we need is somebody to lean on
    All we need is somebody to lean on..."


    Rob is my somebody to lean on, and I'm lucky enough to have three more proven up-and-comers to help out when I really need help. Thank you, Family of Mine. Thank you.


    And thank you all, too, for coming by here and reading these posts of mine that go off into the ether after I hit "Publish." I know I'm not the best Visit-Back Blogger lately, but that will be another Resolution for my 2016 list. I'm gonna work on it.


Sunday Stealing: Christmas Q&A

Link up here if you're stealing on Christmas this weekend! 

Christmas Questions Meme

{From the archives...}

1. Have you been naughty or nice this year?

I guess it would depend on whom you ask!

2. What do you want most for Christmas?

Call me cheesy if you want to, but what I really want is for my family to be happy, my house to be clean (har har, that'll never happen while I live with these folks), and Peace on Earth.

3. What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Miracle on 34th Street; I haven't seen it in years! I wonder if it's on Netflix?

4. How many Christmas cards do you normally send out?

I sent out almost a hundred this year. It's one of my favorite things about the holiday preparation. I still have some to send; would you like one?

5. Do you still get a stocking?


That's all 12 of ours this year, hanging on the wall around our Christmas "tree." Yes, we each get one (including our angel son, Robby, whose white one on the bottom left I crocheted the year he died, and also including our six pets)! I yearn for the day when we own our own decent-sized house once again and can put up a true tree with stockings not, you know, tacked to a wall.

6. What is your favorite Christmas song?

"The First Noël," because my mom sang it beautifully, and that's a wonderful memory I have of her.

Following that, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," because my grandfather and mother did a gorgeous duet of it around the piano annually.

Good times. Good times. *sniffle*

7. What is your favorite Christmas tv special?

Charlie Brown Christmas, because its message is heartwarming. ♥ 

8. What is your favorite way to wrap gifts?

Theoretically, I would love to use entirely natural and around-the-house found objects to wrap all the presents. In practice, it never works out that way, and I invariably rely heavily on store-bought paper. This year, since I have been so weak, Chloë has taken over the vast majority of the present-wrapping duties - even her own. Kinda sucks, and it breaks my heart not to do it a little bit, but it is what it is.

9. What do you look forward to most at Christmas?

Joy. Simple, simple joy.

10. What did you do for Christmas this year?

Well, it's ongoing. We do Advent all month long. I haven't posted too much about that, because of the aforementioned energy issues, but I have a little bit. We're most looking forward to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. It's a favorite.

11. Who do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?


I'll take this cutie every day of the week! #LoveMyHubs

12. What kind of Christmas tree do you have?

One day, when I can have a themed tree in every room, I'll have a turquoise-and-pink one like this beauty, here. In the meantime, it's the wall tree we have above. Thank you, Pinterest!

13. Did you take part in a Secret Santa?

Not in the past few years. Maybe I'll just have to organize one myself, for next year! I've never done that...

14. Did you go to any Christmas parties?


Yep. We went to the party at my daughter Sophia's horse stables this year. It was super-fun. I didn't faint this time, like I did at the Halloween party, so much less embarrassing. A good time was had by all, I think!

15. How early do you wake up on Christmas morning?

Whenever. We roll with the flow 'round here when it comes to waking up, y'know?

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Yule, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and all the rest! Enjoy!


Saturday 9: Chuck E's In Love

Hey, guys and dolls! Welcome back for another fun weekend of Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing posts! Link up here if you'd like to join in on the Sat9 fun this week!

Saturday 9: Chuck E.'s in Love (1979)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Chuck E.'s friends look for him at the pool hall and the drugstore. If we want to find you on a Saturday afternoon, where should we look?

It depends on the Saturday! For instance, this weekend, our afternoon will be spent at The Falls (a fairly cool local mall) having cookies with Santa, followed by the Christmas party at the stables where my daughter Sophia takes her horsey-ridin' lessons.

2) The lyrics tell us his friends know something is up with Chuck E because he's even combed his hair. So here's a question about your hair: do you usually use a blow dryer or let it air dry?

My cut is pretty much wash-and-go, so I let it air dry. However, when I want it to look really nice, I blow-dry it and use a flat iron to make it sleeker.

3) In this song, Ricki Lee sings that she spotted Chuck E. at the Pantages, a grand old Los Angeles theater. Nearly 100 years old, the Pantages was originally a movie palace and was renovated in the 1980s for concerts and theatrical productions. Tell us about a cool landmark in your town.

Here in Homestead, FL, in the Redlands farming area of town, we have the famous Knaus Berry Farm. I have yet to take the family, but it is crucial we get there to go for not only some berry-picking, but their cinnamon rolls are apparently to-die-for, too! YUM!

4) "Chuck E." is a real person. Chuck E. Weiss is a blues musician and DJ who hung around with Ricki Lee and her boyfriend ... until he fell in love. Have you ever had a friendship fall by the wayside when one of you entered a romantic relationship?
Yeah, I think it's a normal phenomenon, actually. You have a novel experience happening that should be making you feel good... of course you're dwelling on those feelings and experiences more than normal for a while.

5) Rickie Lee was once married to a French musician named Pascal Nabet-Meyer. Say something to us in French.
Je ne parle pas français, mais je serais ravi d'apprendre!

6) When her popularity was at its height, Rickie Lee appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone twice. Who have you seen on a recent magazine cover?
I saw Ellie Goulding on the cover of Shape or some other "body" magazine, and judging from the picture, I really was confused as to that cover selection. Sorry, Ellie.

7) Rolling Stone called Rickie Lee "the duchess of cool." Who is the coolest person you know?
Me. I'm freezing, actually, I'm that cool. ;)
8)  1979 was a good year for Rickie Lee, what with her big hit record and the Rolling Stone covers. But it was a terrible year for The Who, because eleven of their fans died during an Ohio concert. What's your favorite The Who song?
Either "Who Are You?" orrrrrrrr.... "The Kids Are Alright"

9) Rickie Lee moved to New Orleans, a city she fell in love with after a visit. Have you ever gone to a vacation spot and wished you could just stay there forever?
When we lived on Guam, it was like a tropical paradise on Earth. Some bad things happened there, pregnancy- and weather-wise, that for a long time colored my perception of Micronesia, but now... now, I am ready to go back.

Wordless Wednesday: Sophia's Riding Lesson With Cloud Nine






Sophia's fifth lesson at Miami International Riding Club on the beautiful gelding, Cloud Nine, took place on Tuesday afternoon. Her confidence is growing by leaps and bounds!

Are you Wordless today, too? Link up here with 5 Minutes for Mom to join in the fun!

Thanks for stopping by.


Sophia, The Horse Lover


So I bought a Groupon several months ago for a trial session of Show Jumping horse-riding lessons from Miami International Riding Club for Sophia, 10, the horse lover of Team Odette. It expired on Chloë's birthday, which was Monday, so I thought I better get on it and book the lessons. She took the two trial lessons on Monday and Tuesday of this week.


The first step was picking out her helmet in the tack room.


Next, Miss Celia asked Sophia if she wanted a big horse or a smaller one. Sophia chose big (no surprise there!), so they went to get her horse together.


Meet Freckles, Sophia's horse for her first two Showjumping lessons.


Sophia and Freckles took to each other right away. He's a good lesson horse!


Mounting Freckles for the first time



Sophia was terribly excited, as you can maybe tell here!




Heading into the paddock for her first lesson


First, Miss Celia taught Sophia how to position her feet in the stirrups and herself in the saddle.


Next, they walked around the paddock a couple of times to get Sophia used to riding in Freckle in the right position.



Sophia had to reach waaaay back to Freckles' tail while walking, in the next exercise.


After that, Miss Celia asked Sophia to reach down with her hand to the opposite foot while walking Freckles.


Finally, Sophia learned the four positions of riding, starting with the Half Seat first.




Doing the Half Seat while with her hand on her hip was the next lesson.


Two hands on hips!





So focused and determined


Seriously enjoying herself, I could tell!


The second position Sophia learned was Posting, up and down, up and down...


Miss Celia showing Sophia how to hold her hands on the reins properly



Learning Posting while Freckles walked around the paddock



Sophia had to learn Posting with one hand in the air. At first, she shouted, "Yeehaw!" causing us all to giggle at her enthusiasm.


Put your hands in the air if you don't care!


Sophia's arms got tired, so Miss Celia allowed her to rest them on her helmet while she rode.


Back to two hands on hips



Learning the Two-Point position


Lesson One is finished!


Sophia giving me the thumbs-up to let me know that she was ALLLLLL into the horse-riding thang. Yep. I knew it!


A birthday selfie with my birthday girl, who turned 14 (!!!) the day before my birthday, which was the first day of lessons


Lesson Two, the next day, started with a review of the four positions: Half-Seat, Posting, Two-Point, and Sitting.



Sophia was leaning a bit far back in the saddle while Freckles trotted with her on his back for the first time, but Miss Celia corrected her.


Two hands on hips while trotting


Ah, now we're sitting up a little taller in seat. Nice job, Soph!



Trotting in the Half-Seat position


Lesson Two ended a bit early, as Sophia developed a bruise on her leg that Miss Celia didn't want to open up into a sore. Still, Soph was all smiles as she dismounted Freckles!


Freckles gave Sophia plenty of kisses after their lessons, and she rewarded him with some sweetness of her own. She'll have to learn to ride various horses, so I'm not sure when we'll see Freckles again.


Sophia and I talked with Miss Celia after the two lessons about continuing, and we all agreed it was something she should do. And so, Celia sent us to Sunset Feed & Supply in Kendall to get the proper starting attire for her lessons. At the store, Jack was the same size as the little jockey statue upstairs... I've long been telling him he should be a jockey!


Sophia has tried on her paddock boots, half-chaps, and gloves approximately a thousand times since we bought them. She's has also asked me as many times when her next lesson is. It's Tuesday... so stay tuned for more photos of new skills!