"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Never A Dull Moment

Today has been an interesting day. We've made two abortive attempts to go to the pool. Every time we have been about ready to go to the pool, one of the widely scattered only 30% chance of rain thunderstorms has hit. Booooo hiss.

And, my wild child has yet another self inflicted accidental injury. Gabe had dumped his jumbo magnetic letters all over the living room. Of course, I told him to pick them up and, of course, he couldn't do it normally. Instead of calmly bending over and picking up each letter, he was bouncing around the room and jumping at the letters. It was all good until he misjudged the distance and slipped and his face and the coffee table had a chance encounter. His right eyelid is puffy and red. I wonder if he'll look better or worse tomorrow. (click on the pics to see a bigger version)
And, to cap it all off, one of the older two kids went out to get something off of the tree fort. The stairs were wet and a bit slippery and he slipped and fell off the stairs. That was bad enough as it left him sore but what made it worse was his right arm ended up in dog poop. Ewwwwwww.

So, did anything interesting happen to you today?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: the Damn Duck

I'd like to introduce you to the world's fugliest stuffed duck...
Not only does this duck have some of the most gawd-awful bright colored clothes, but he is one of those cheap, hard stuffed animals you get at bad fair games. This duck's bad looks are not even redeemed by him being soft and cuddly. This duck has belonged to Marty since he was only 2 years old. The funny thing is that the duck's fugly appearance isn't the most unique thing about him. This duck's most unique quality is his name. To do the name justice, I have to tell you a short story.

When Marty was about 2, we joined some friend's of ours for an evening of mah-johng and adult company. The 6 adults hung out in the dining room and had some wine and played mah-johng and the 7 kids ran rampant through the house. You can only imagine the mess by the end of the night. At some point, Marty showed up with that duck and declared that he couldn't live with out it. My friend Chris *generously gave it to him. However, by the end of the evening, Marty had lost the duck somewhere in the house. The only way we could get Marty to calm down and willingly go home was to have Chris promise to look for the duck over the weekend and I promised we would stop by and **pick it up on the way home from work.

The next Monday, Chris called me just before I left work and told me that she had found the duck. As Marty and I were walking out to the car, I said to him, "Aunt Chris found the duck."
And, Marty started chanting, "Aunt Chris found the duck." The bad thing is that Marty was in a stage where he wanted me to answer him by saying to him EXACTLY what he said to me and, if I didn't answer him that way, he got louder and more insistent. By the 13th time he chanted "Aunt Chris found the duck", I felt myself snap. As I opened my mouth to answer him, I knew it was the wrong thing to say but I couldn't stop myself. I said, "Yes, Aunt Chris found the damn duck." And, Marty promptly launched into a volley of "AuntChrisfoundthedamnduck AuntChrisfoundthedamnduck AuntChrisfoundthedamnduck etc.etc.etc." Now, you know how the duck was christened Damn Duck and how my son learned his first curse word.

*I know she let him have it so she didn't have to look at it anymore.
**I worked as a nanny and Marty came to work with me.

I also wanted to show you this short 40 second video of the storm we had come through the other night. Nature is just awe inspiring.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Quiet Principle

This was first posted over at Weebles Wobblog on July 10th when I guested blogged for her. I decided to post it here too because it's too good of a story...

If you haven't said it, I know you've heard someone say it..."All of a sudden I realized it had been too quiet for too long and I discovered him in the X." You would think after 12+ years and 3 kids, I would realize that too much calm and quiet does not equal a good thing. It equals a kid up to no good. But, even the most experienced parent has moments when they savor the quiet...and, pay the price later. I had one of those days not too long ago.

It was a horrible rainy day and Gabe and I were stuck inside. I was trying to get so work done for my *design company but kept getting interrupted for mommy duty...getting a drink or putting together a puzzle or reading a book. Right before lunch, Gabe came up and said he wanted to wash his hands. When I got up to help him, he told me he wanted to do it on his own. Normally, I try not to let him go into the bathroom unsupervised because he ends up making a mess but I was so thankful to not have to get up (I was on a role designing) that I let him go. I was really in a groove with my design work and, without even realizing it, 15 minutes had passed.

Aaaah, the glorious quiet. But wait, I don't hear Gabe. I don't hear water running either. What could he be doing? I went to find Gabe and this is what I found...

I can understand how the toothpaste got all over the counter but how did it get in and on his ear? Never mind, I don't think I want to know. I guess this was karmic payback for when I finger painted my bedroom walls with **Crest toothpaste when I was 2.

Gabe was thrilled to get to have a bath in the middle of the day. Water + toys always equals a good time in his mind. And, I got a nice shiny, clean counter out of the whole incident.
So, remember the Quiet Principle...Never succumb to the bliss of uninterrupted quiet time. You will pay for it later.

* My bff and sister by choice and I have a cross stitch design company, Cuppa Joe Designs, that we launched just a few months ago.
** Did you know the Crest toothpaste of my childhood would remove paint?

Let's Go On An Adventure

Come and travel with me. Let's go to foreign land, go on flights of fantasy, and meet tons of interesting new characters. Yeah, I'm talking about books. Y'all know I love to read and I have found two wonderful new resources online. The wonderful ladies over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books pointed me to a site that has over 100,000 free eBooks. Project Gutenberg has eBooks available in multiple formats and the downloads are FREE. Additionally, my dear friend Rys introduced me to LibriVox. LibriVox has over 2130 audio books available.

Can you believe it? Books for free!!! Take advantage of both these sites and consider helping them out as both these sites are volunteer driven.

So, what's your first adventure going to be?

Monday, July 27, 2009

And then I cried UNCLE! + BlogHer question

My garden beat me. I hate to say it because my plants started out so beautifully.
I worked hard and prepared the garden bed.
All my gorgeous pea plants dies shortly after being put in the ground. That should have been my first clue something was up. And, then this little friend and his family started making regular trips to my garden.
Even though my green bean plants didn't seem to grow much once they were in the ground, they were producing beans buy Mr. Bunny and his compatriots ate all but 2 of them.
My corn is only about waist high but already has tassels on it. It should be a lot taller. And, all that grass I removed, evidently, I didn't get all the roots so it came back with a vengeance. And, after the torrential downpour we had at the end of last week, the grass held in so much moisture that the plant that produced my one squash started to rot.
I am pretty sure the pH in the soil is screwed badly and that is why the peas and the tomatoes died and the corn is so stunted. I'm holding out hope for the corn but I decided the rest is a lost cause. I mowed it down and I'm going to start prepping it for next year. The first aim is going to be killing off the grass, roots and all. Hopefully, next year, my beautiful plants will have a gorgeous , well prepared plot of dirt to grow and thrive in.


BlogHer '09 attendees...how much did it end up costing on top of hotel costs and conference fees? I'm trying to start planning for next year. If you don't want this info publicly available, my email addy is in the right hand column of my blog.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Motivation or where has it gone?

I have so many things I need to do...
  1. The lawn needs to be mowed and Vic can't because he is recovering from carpal tunnel surgery. front lawn done
  2. The den is a disaster because Gabe went on a rampage.
  3. I need to clean off the counter (why oh why does everyone pile SHIT there?).
  4. And, I need to make beds and fold laundry. load washed, our bed stripped and sheets washed
  5. And, I told Vic that since he couldn't mow the lawn, he needed to clean the kids toilet. toilet is cleaned
So far, the list stands because my motivation has fled the scene. I would much rather settle in to read or crochet or sew the binding on the quilt. Oh well, I at least need to get dressed because my high school friend is coming over and, I really should be dressed before she gets here in 2 hours.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Please go give Stacie some love...

Stacie over at Heeeeere Storkey, Storkey! could use our love and support. One of her precious little men had to go under the knife tonight. Go offer her your support and prayers.

Homemade Girl Scout cookies...

LittleBirdhouse stopped by my blog and, when I went to check her blog out, I found a post about her making homemade Samoa Bars and Tagalongs. With the exception of Thin Mints, those are two of my favorite Girl Scout cookies. LittleBirdhouse found the recipes for these homemage versions of Girl Scout cookies on a blog called Baking Bites. In addition to the Samoa Bars and Tagalongs, Baking Bites also has recipes for Do-Si-Dos, Thin Mints, and regular Samoas. Who wants to joing me in a Girl Scout cookie bake along sometime in the next few months?

And, check out this fantabulous giveaway over at Trying Our Best. Those bags are perfect for crafters and parents alike.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hey y'all...

Nothing really deep and insightful to post today. Its my beautiful niece Kayla's 12th birthday today and the boys and I drove done to my parents' house to help her celebrate. Vic stayed home because he had to go in and get the stitches removed from his carpal tunnel surgery. We all went out to the pool on the Air Force Base to swim and then we came back to my parents' house for cake and ice cream. We capped the day off with grilled burgers and dogs, watermelon, carrot and beans with dip, and corn...YUM! A little while ago, the kids all settled in to watch Marley and Me as they drift off to sleep. Right now it is blissfully quiet and I am enjoying a little me time before I go to bed.


One a totally different topic, I may actually get to go to BlogHer next year. I was joking around about running away to Chicago this weekend and, when I told my mom why, she said they could give me a significant chunk of the cost of BlogHer as a birthday present. I have the world's best parents.

Mom and Dad, you totally ROCK!


Oops, I may have spoken too soon about the quiet. I hear a lot of giggling from the next room. Guess we hit a funny part of the movie.

Have a wonderful evening/night/weekend y'all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: how to cheat...(recipe clarification)

...in the kitchen. I love to bake from scratch but there are times when I want to crank some cookies out quickly. The best cookie cheat is making them from cake mix. Yes, that's right. You can make cookies from cake mix. All you need are two boxes of cake mix, 2 lg eggs, and a cup of butter or margarine, softened. The little helper is optional. Gabe and I made Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cookies the other day and they were wonderful.

Just dump it all in the mixing bowl and stir it up.

Drop it by the spoonful on an ungreased cookie tray.

Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. While they are baking, let your helper clean up for you. And, once they have finished baking, cool cookies on a wire rack.

With this wonderful little cheat, you can turn out 4 to 5 dozen cookies in under an hour.

Another great option is using spice cake and raisins.

To make peanut butter cookies, substitute a cup of peanut butter for the butter and add an extra egg.

To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.


You absolutely can cut the primary recipe in half - 1 box, 1 egg, 1/2 cup butter. Also, if you only wanted to make half the peanut butter cookie recipe, you could use 1 box yellow cake mix, 1 egg, 1/2 cup peanut butter, and 1/4 cup water. The extra egg added to the peanut butter cookie version is there more for moisture than anything else.

No Less Than A Woman

I want to send a shout out and a HUGE THANK YOU to Echloe for finding this song and introducing me to it. Here is a beautiful, wonderful song about infertility by the reggae artist Lady Saw...

No Less Than A Woman (Infertility):
Infertility is a word that a lot of people are ashamed to mention
A lot of people are so illiterate when it come to that word
They act as if it's a crime if you can't have a child
But I don't think so, I don't have a child, I may one day
But in the mean time I am going to share all my love.

Not having a child don't make me less than a woman,
You see I got so much love to give, to so much unwanted kids,
You can say all you want about me trying to ruin my reputation,
But I have so much love to give to so much unwanted kids,
Listen to my song

Verse 1:
I may not know the joy of giving birth,
May not experience the pain and all the hurt,
But I know how it feels to lose a child,
And if pain is pain then I am hurting inside
If infertility makes me less than a girl,
What would I say to many women in this world
Would you tell them have faith,
Would you tell them be strong
Or would you tell them that they're less than a woman?

Not having a child don't make me less than a woman,
You see I got so much love to give, to so much unwanted kids,
You can say all you want about me trying to ruin my reputation,
But I have so much love to give to so much unwanted kids,
Listen to my song

Verse 2:
I would give anything to have a child of my own
But in the meantime let me share my happy home
With the less fortunate, take away some of the stress from a child
Who has never known love and happiness
Miscarriages remind me of baby carriages
Broken hearts bring failed marriages,
The pain never go away, we try to keep them at bay
Oh I wish if my baby could have stayed

Not having a child don't make me less than a woman,
You see I got so much love to give, to so much unwanted kids,
You can say all you want about me trying to ruin my reputation,
But I have so much love to give to so much unwanted kids,
Listen to my song

Verse 3:
Some people have kids and wish them never did,
Some kids grew up hating the life weh them live,
Some have it easy, some have it hard,
Some mothers abandon dem pickney like dawg
But wanti wanti dem can't get it
And getti getti get and run weh lef eeh
Me nuh have none so you know me will take eeh
Me have a lot of love so send me little pickney on

Not having a child don't make me less than a woman,
You see I got so much love to give, to so much unwanted kids,
You can say all you want about me trying to ruin my reputation,
But I have so much love to give to so much unwanted kids,
Listen to my song

You see, what I am saying is this song is dedicated to all the females who have been trying to have children but never succeed. Some have miscarriage just like myself, but you know what, don't give up, have faith, one day you may just succeed. You know what I'm saying, and don't feel you are less than a woman because you don't have a child 'cause once you give you love to other children that counts. You know what I'm saying.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My favorite time of the month is back.

Yup, it's ICLW time again. Last month, I sucked at ICLW. A dear friend's mother had a sudden and precipitous decline in her health and worrying about my friend Kristi and her mom deep-sixed my motivation. Barring disaster, I plan on getting back on track and actually reaching Iron Commenter status again.

The past few months, I've used the ABC's of me as my ICLW intro. However, I am not feeling nearly that organized. So, here are some random thought...

*I am in the throes of a major case of BlogHer envy. I desperately want to go. I desperately want to meet all my favorite bloggers.

*I am hopeless when it comes to resisting scrumptious piles of yarn or yards of gorgeous fabric.

*I am certifiably insane when it comes to crafting. I have never looked at a craft and said there is no way I can do that. I taught myself hardanger and quilting and I intend to teach myself to knit next.

*I really, really want one more baby but events have been conspiring against it (hubby's diabetes going all wonky this year and his surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome).

*I take an INSANE number of pictures. This was true even in the pre-digital era.

*I love, love, love planning secret projects and big surprises. Use the email link in the right column(under my pic) to find out all about it.

*I can talk for hours and hours and hours. My friends Rys, Kristi, Pam, and many others can testify to that (um, errr, *cough*cough* a 5 hour phone conversation once)

*You can read about my infertility/family building history here.

*Believe it or not, in a land far, far away and a time long ago, I use to be quiet, somewhat shy, and not very confident. I am very glad those days are gone (mostly).

Anyone have any questions for me? I'll answer anything.

edited to add - I made it through # 40 on the ICLW list. However, 14 of the first 40 blogs are already on my blogroll so that's not as impressive as it sounds. Hi, my name is Kristin and I am a blog addict.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday...friendship

I got to talk...I mean really talk...to a close friend for over an hour last night. Although we always touch base with each other, it's been ages since we've really talked. Yesterday, she trusted me enough to tell me about the wonderful woman who has come into her life. This woman loves her, treats her wonderfully, makes her happy, and loves her children. To really hear my friend happy for the first time in forever, to have her trust me enough to tell me the cause of her happiness, and to get to talk to her for over an hour...those are 3 awesomely perfect moments.

Check out all the other Perfect Moments over at Weebles Wobblog.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Random Shit and a giveaway...

I woke up to the sound of Gabe tormenting Joey and with a screaming migraine.

My migraine is mostly under control but is still lingering in the background.

We had a fabulous day at my parents' house yesterday. We were celebrating my sister's 34th birthday.

My baby sister is 34. She claims she feels old. What does that make me?

After a wonderful grilled chicken dinner, we all (including Gabe) roasted marshmallows and made s'mores.

My other sister and her hubby are going out to CA to visit her FIL. This is their second visit after they found him.

Yes, found him. My sister's MIL took John (sister's hubby) and left the FIL 40 yrs ago. FIL had searched for years to find his kids and never could find them (MIL changed name) . My sister lucked out an found him after searching for a few weeks. What a blessing and a miracle.

I picked up their car from the airport. It was a lot of fun to drive.

I took lots of fabulous pictures yesterday and will share them with you soon.

As soon as I log off, I am going to work on the memory quilt. It is almost ready to have the layers put together and quilted.

We are having homemade tacos for dinner. What are you having?

*****Check out this awesome t-shirt giveaway at StickyFeet Reviews.*****

I am tired of hearing people bitch about what was left out of the Harry Potter movie. If they left everything in it would have been at least 6 hours long. Get over it!

If you want to read a debate about the Harry Potter book that will alternately have you cheering the brilliant points and shaking your head at the cluelessness, check out the comments on last weeks Sunday Sweets: Harry Potter post at CakeWrecks. Its worth looking at the Sweets pics from last week and this week too.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday 7/18

I've been working on a very special quilt this week. I'm making a memory/baby quilt for a very special lady and I wanted to show you a little of it.

I know you can't really tell much from the pictures but I really want the design to be a surprise for this lovely lady. Also, it will be her story to tell once she gets the quilt.

Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Involuntary fertility control...is it ever a good idea?

What would you say to someone who published a book that said that, in order to save the planet,
• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation's drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who "contribute to social deterioration" (i.e. undesirables) "can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility" -- in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational "Planetary Regime" should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans' lives -- using an armed international police force.
I don't know about you but those ideas are fucking terrifying to me. The idea of our incredible country being turned into a draconian dictatorship like that is mind boggling to say the least. What would you say if that same person also said, "Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society." The fact that this person thinks measures like this could possibly be legal under the Constitution is terrifying. And, what would you then say if I told you this man grew up to be John P. Holden, our new Science Czar?

Yes, our new Science Czar was co-author of a book called Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment that proposes all these ideas to control population growth that he believed was out of control. All of this was reported in an article in FrontPage magazine and was discounted because no one had proof and surely any ideas so bizarre must be being made up to discredit him. Well, someone got a hold of an intact copy of the book, scanned pages, and posted them for all of us to see. Go ahead...go check it out...I'll wait for you to come back. When Holden was questioned by Senator David Ritter, (paraphrasing here) Holden said that he no longer felt he could predict what a decent population level was so he didn't want to discuss it. Ummm...in my mind, that is nowhere close to disavowing the the ideas he proposed in that book. In fact, this man still lists Ecoscience as part of his Curriculum Vitae. That is a damn long way from disavowing the ideas he and the Ehrlich proposed back in 1977.

Women have fought long and hard to be recognized as equals in this society. Women have fought long and hard for the right to control our own body (ummm, Roe v. Wade...its all about controlling our own body). And, for all you prolifers out there, don't think this doesn't affect you. This man proposed forced abortions. This might be the one issue prochoice advocates and prolife advocates can agree on. This man, this scary man, at some point advocated measures that would remove almost all control of our bodies and our reproductive rights from us. This man has been given a position of power and importance in our government. It scares me that a man who publicly supported such ideas could influence government policy. It scares me that a president I had such high hopes for is willing to give a person like this an influential position. Stay aware, stay educated, and watch things closely. Be ready and willing to fight for our rights. And, push hard to get this man to STRONGLY and PUBLICLY disavow the ideas proposed in Ecoscience.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: inspiration in the kitchen

As I've said before, I like to cook and I rarely cook from recipes. Today, I had actually planned ahead (ok, get over the shock y'all) and had the chicken for dinner thawed out early early in the day. I was getting tired of baked chicken or even chicken marinated and then baled. I wanted to make something different. I pulled out a cookbook and found a recipe...but it looked a little boring to me. So, I started pulling things out...

and, I turned 4lb of chicken thighs, 3 qts of water, 6 sm to med potatoes, an onion, two cans of mushroom, 2 cans of tomato paste, a little salt, 2 packets of Sazon, black pepper, garlic powder, 4 bay leaves, oregano, 2 cups of frozen green beans, and two cups of frozen corn into this...
The sauce thickened quite a bit as it cooked and I believe it will be excellent over rice.


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

The Great Swimsuit Giveaway

The most amazing FatChick is sponsoring a giveaway along with swimsuitsforall.com. If you win this contest, you get a $100 gift certificate to swimsuitsforall.com.

I went over to the site and browsed and they have an amazing selection and there are suits for everyone from a size 8 lovely to a size 34 Rubenesque beauty. If I am lucky enough to win, I will have to narrow down my selection because, right now, I am in love with these 4 suits...

So, head on over to FatChick's corner of the blogosphere and enter her contest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The World According to Gabe

With Gabe, you honestly never know what he is going to do next. It makes life interesting and maybe a little bit scary.

I took this picture back on the 8th...
This was a formerly pristine Harry Potter lunch box that we had actually got from Australia (yay eBay). On the 8th, I went into the kitchen to get dinner ready and turned the the oven on to preheat it. A few minutes later, Gabe came into the kitchen and opened a hot oven. I shrieked at him to close the oven because it was hot and he looked at me and said, "Then get the cookies out of the oven." My first thought was "Oh shit" because like I said you never know what Gabe is going to do. I opened the oven and found the lunchbox inside. In the few minutes the lunch box was in the oven, the handle melted (and it stretched waaaaaaay out as I pulled it out of the oven) and whatever was stuck to the lid got charred. Luckily, I got it out before the handle was melted onto the floor of my oven. Need less to say, I had a long talk with Gabe about how dangerous that was. I hope he remembers. Today, he decided that handle made a good pretend tool. First, it was a pair of glasses and, then, it was a comb.

On Sunday, I had to bungee cord shut all our backyard gates. Why pray tell would I have to bungee cord shut the gates? Because, Gabriel decided the grass needed mowing...IN OUR NEIGHBOR'S FRONT YARD. He had been out back playing with the dogs and I had checked on him a few times. Well, about 10 minutes had passed and I was getting ready to check on him again but, before I could, the doorbell rang. My neighbor came over to tell me that Gabe was in her front yard. OMG, he had opened the gate, closed it behind him so the dog couldn't get out, andwas out front with his toy lawn mower. I think that child is bound and determined to give me heart failure before he turns 5.

Today on the way back from the pool, Gabe was singing to us. First, he sang pat-a-cake. Then, he sang pat-a-cookie...then, pat-a-vacuum...then, pat-a-underwear. He wrapped it all up with the very special rendition of pat-a-doodoo. Ah, the wonderful minds of boys. I think I should be very, very scared that he is coming up with things like this at only 3 years old.

Heaven on Earth

Oh man...I reached nirvana last night and in the process I discovered that size really does matter. Yes folks, I got my Cherry Bombs from Frank's Big Ones. Frank's Big Ones is the etsy shop of that sexy hunk my dear friend Kym is married to. Cherry Bombs are described as being "every bit as dangerously sexy as it sounds. Premium, roughly-chopped dried cherries do the tango with crushed bits of Skor chocolate-covered hard toffee candy and solid chocolate chunks. Light the fuse on this one for an explosion of sweetness that's guaranteed to please." Look at this cookie...

After Gabe tasted the cookie, he started petitioning to have cookies for dinner. I guess you could say they were a hit. I have shared the cookies with my kids but I seriously considered hiding them and not sharing at all...LOL. Do yourself a favor and go order cookies from Frank's Big Ones.

Monday, July 13, 2009

You Are Beautiful

In today's world, it can be awfully hard for a woman to have a good image of herself. We are constantly surrounded by pictures of size 2 models strutting down a runway and gorgeous women like Jessica Simpson are called fat when they gain a few pounds. I don't know what you think but Ms. Simpson looks pretty damned marvelous to me. Hell, when Cosmo will airbrush inches off of someone like Cindy Crawford, there is something seriously fucked up with our countries standard of beauty.

When you are fighting infertility, fighting to get your body to do something it is suppose to do, it can become even harder to think positively about your body. First of all, your body is betraying you by not letting you achieve your very heart's desire. Secondly, it can be very easy to gain weight when you are pumping your body full of hormones and meds to hopefully, please god, have a baby. And, if you are really lucky (tongue in cheek sarcasm here folks), you'll complete the trifecta with depression which destroys body image and causes weight gain.

Well, you know what...fuck it all. Screw society and their love of near anorexic looking women. The people of *Operation Beautiful and I are here to tell you that you are beautiful just the way you are. What is Operation Beautiful you ask? Well, it's the brainchild of a wonderful woman named Caitlin and all you have to do to be a part of it is leave a note somewhere telling someone she is beautiful.

I joined in the fun today. I just finished reading a wonderful romance with a supernatural storyline. Its a brand new book with a long waiting list at the library so I know it will get checked out within a day or two. I left this note inside.
Its simple and to the point but I hope it will make someone smile and remember that they are beautiful.

People are having a lot of fun with this. One person put a note up saying that beauty is not defined by body size and left it in the diet food section of the supermarket. Some people are leaving notes on magazine covers or on bathroom mirrors. I went out and bought two packs of post it notes (hearts and butterflies) and left my first message today. I want to challenge you to join in. Not only will you feel good but you will make someone else smile. Who knows...it could be someone who really needs a smile.

Thanks to my friend Tammy for bringing Operation Beautiful to my attention.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday 7/11

Here are the two things that let me retain my sanity this week. Click on pics for close ups. I finished the tote bag Murgdan won ages ago in my giveaway.

And, I made a huge amount of progress on the star afghan. It's almost time to add the second set of points. I went from this...

to this...

Check out what everyone else has been up to... Stitching Post Saturday on MiPa's blog.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vic's Surgery

Vic's carpal tunnel release surgery went perfectly. He was sent home with vicodin to manage the pain for the first few days. His doc says pain relief and tingling should happen quickly but, because of the severity of his carpal tunnel syndrome, it will take up to a year for the numbness to completely go away.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Random Smattering of Us

Vic is having surgery for his carpal tunnel syndrome tomorrow. It has gotten so bad that the pain is waking him up at night and it iss starting to affect his range of motion for his arm. Yeah, I know cts is normally associated with numbness and tingling in the wrist and hand but, the nerve that is affected runs the entire length of the arm and, when the nerve has enough pressure on it, the arm's range of motion is restricted. It sucks. So, once again, someone in the Cruz household falls on the losing side of medical odds. Admittedly, this is not a life and death issue. I'm just a bit tired of us having weird and esoteric medical shit happening.


My garden is languishing. The bunnies are having a field day and eating lots of yummy stuff. And, all the grass I got rid ofdecided to grow back once I tilled that land. I guess I didn't get enough of the roots...ugh. Oh well, at the end of the season I will completely cover that area in heavy black plastic and kill off all the grass and weeds. I will consider this year a learning experience and count any veggies I get as a bonus.


My vacuum cleaner died last night. I am pretty damned sure it will never run again. The burning odor from the motor is a strong indication of complete motor death. In a house with 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 boys, a broken vacuum cleaner is NOT a good thing at all.


My boys can sleep through a smoke detector going off. That is also not a good thing. When the vacuum motor decided to fumigate the house with that noxious odor, it set off the smoke detector. None of the boys even flinched. Guess its a really good thing noises like that always wake me up.


Marty is a total bear if he gets really, really hungry. I know we all get cranky when we are hungry but Marty takes it to a new level...to the point where he was almost in tears over an argument he was having with me over stupid shit and he didn't even realize half of what he was saying. Once he ate something, he was a different kid.


I may have pictures of two things to show for Stitching Post Saturday. I may actually have Murgdan's quilted tote bag completely done by the end of the weekend...maybe even by Saturday. Look for pictures soon. And, I have made huge progress on the 6 pointed star afghan I am crocheting. I will definitely have pictures of that up on Saturday.


Anything weird, wild, or wonderful going on with you?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: my first Marty

The first Marty in my life was my Grandpa (and, yes, that is where my son's name came from). He was such an incredible man. My Grandpa spent 30 years in the Air Force. He is one of the few people that started out as an enlisted man and was promoted to colonel before he retired. My Grandpa fought in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was involved in spy missions that the US flew over Russia (not the U2 missions). My Grandpa Marty was even with a squadron that almost got lost in the Bermuda Triangle. He was a true patriot and a hero to our country but, most importantly, he was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather. I remember him hopping into the guest room at their house pretending to be the Easter Bunny one of the last Easters we spent with him. I remember playing Backgammon against him for hours on end and I remember how thrilled I was when I finally got good enough to win. I remember him as a larger than life figure who I miss desperately even though its been more than 26 years since he died. My grandma lived for about 20 years after he died but never found anyone that could even hold a candle to him. Last week when I was down at my parents' house, I had the opportunity to scan a few pictures of him and his flight crew from WWII that my parents had. I'd like to share them with you. Please click on the pics to see a bigger version (they will open in another window).

Great Ashfield England - Jan or Feb 1944
Back row L to R: Radio Operator??, Waist Gunner - Sgt. Foster, Ball Turret Gunner??
Waist Gunner - Sgt. Ramey, Tail Gunner - Jerikus, Crew Chief - Valvano
Front Row L to R: Pilot - Lt. Sr. "Pat" Patrissi, CoPilot - 1st Lt. Ed "Mac" McCreary,
Navigator - Lt. Gilbert "Gil" Shapiro, Bombardier - Lt. Martin "Swede" Iverson...my Grandpa

England 1944
Celebrating the completion of 30 missions
Patrissi, Swede (my Grandpa, isn't he handsome!),
and replacement copilot (Mac was in the hospital)

England 1944
Swede (my Grandpa) and Valvaro
by the tail gun of the "Charlotte Ann"

England 1944
My Grandpa in the nose of the "Charlotte Ann"
This is my favorite picture in the group.

Graduation at George Field, Illinois July 1943
Lt. McCreary and his lovely wife Charlotte...
possibly the namesake of the plane

England 1944
Salvatore Patrissi - pilot of the "Charlotte Ann"


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

Treasure your time

Treasure every minute of everyday you have with your loved ones. And, if you ever need a reminder of just how precious a minute or an hour can be read this post by Matt Logelin or this post by Mike Spohr. Just a heads up...have a tissue available.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Supernatural Fiction...my escape into the paranormal.

I love, love, love to read. Yeah, I occasionally read to expand my mind but, most of the time, I read for the sheer enjoyment and escapism I get. One of my favorite guilty pleasures genres to escape into is paranormal fiction. I have a whole list of favorite authors but I'm always on the look out for more.

I love all the books I have read by Anne Bishop so far. All the books in The Landscapes of Ephemera and The Realms of the Blood are amazing. I have yet to read her other series. What you have to know going into the Realm books is she has taken a very traditional storyline and set it in a world that many consider the dark side of fantasy. The characters are often demon or occasionally even demon-dead. One of the main characters is named Saetan and he is the high lord of Hayll (yeah, it kind of slaps you with the similarities to the dark side of Christianity). However, she is not glorifying evil. She is showing the triumph of morality over evil. These books suck you in and EVERYTHING else gets ignored while you are reading them.

I absolutely adore Christine Feehan's journeys into the paranormal. Her Dark series are some of the best vampire tales around (and they get better and better as you progress through the series). Her Drake Sisters novels feature an amazing and unusual group of sisters.

Lori Handeland's Night Creature novels are wonderful. There is a lot of imagination and quite a few new twists to the traditional werewolf lore.

MaryJanice Davidson writes the Queen Betsy/Undead series, the Wyndham Werewolf series, and the Gorgeous series (plus a few others that I haven't read). Her books are light, fluffy, and a hell of a lot of fun!

Kathy Love has a series of 4 werewolf/vampire books that are a lot of fun.

Shanna Swendson has a 4 book series revolving around a magical company lead by the infamous Merlin and its set in modern day New York. They are really good books and not nearly as light as you would think they would be.

CT Adams and Cathy Clamp write an amazing series about were-beings. I have devoured all of them.

Charlaine Harris writes the books the HBO series Trueblood is based on. .I love her character Sookie Stackhouse and am quite disappointed to hear her roll has been seriously reduced in the series.

I also highly recommend Prince Ombra by Roderick MacLeish. It is an unusual fantasy novel and I have frequently wished he wrote more.

I also recently discovered Kerrelyn Sparks' Love At Stake Series and its been fun so far. I also had a lot of fun with Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands and want to reed the other books in her Argeneau series.

I have to admit that I haven't read the Twilight series yet. I know, I know...some Vampire love I am.

Do you have any other recommendations for me?

Great article on Vampire fiction at Salon.com...thanks Cecily.


I knew I should have gone to bed before 12:30 last night. 12:30 isn't that late for me but I had to get up at 5 am this morning to take my dad to the airport. My mom has been in California for a week for a conference and my dad is flying out to join her so they can have a week of vacation time together. So, I'm sitting her yawning due to my inability to go to bed on time and my kids are wanting to do things that require brain power. Hopefully, I can muster the brain power to play a game with them :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dark and Dreary Monday

It's gray.
It's cloudy.
It really is a dreary day.

All I want to do is sew, sew, sew. I'm finally finishing the tote bag Murgdan won from me ages ago. And, after that, I am ready to start the quilt I've been planning. Unfortunately, my kids seem to think I need to do things with them. Hmmm, wonder what kind of bribery it would take to get them to let me sew?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Mojave Desert War Memorial Cross

This story came to my attention today and it is just criminal what they want to do to this memorial.

"The Mojave Desert Memorial Cross has stood proudly for over 75 years, honoring our American war dead. Or it was until the ACLU stepped in and got a judge to rule the memorial to World War I veterans unconstitutional. They covered the cross with a bag, and when that didn't work, they boarded it up in a plywood box. Now, they're threatening to tear down this national monument because they don't believe America should have religious imagery anywhere on public property.

If they win and succeed in tearing down this monument, what's next? Imagine what could happen at the Arlington National Cemetery. Will they put bags over all the crosses that mark the graves of our fallen heroes? What about the 20-foot Canadian Cross of Sacrifice?

We believe America should remember and honor her veterans; and were taking our case to the U.S. Supreme Court to tell the ACLU that they can't tear down our freedom!"
Please take a moment to go by the web site, Don't Tear Me Down, and read all about it and sign the petition. And, fyi, this memorial was privately funded..." In 1934, WWI Veterans erected a monument to honor their comrades who had died in battle."...and the monument has been cared for and maintained by a private citizen named Henry Sadler. The complaint is that it is on public land.

And, while the land was originally public land, I found this info..."According to LC the Memorial Cross has long acted as a site for religious services. Easter services were held there occasionally up until 1984, after which they happened regularly. Due to these gatherings the National Parks Service deemed the War Memorial a sort of religious shrine, and so it thus disqualified the site from the National Register of Historic Places. To preserve the site, Congress enacted a series of laws which culminated in a land exchange that transferred its ownership from the Parks Service to the VFW." This means the cross is now on privately held land...land owned by the VFW...and they are still trying to have it taken down.

Found it on Life Site News

Also, feel free to disagree, just keep it civil and polite like the lovely Bean and fabulous Dora have so far. :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Birthday to the USA!

This is one of my favorite renditions of our national anthem...

and, this is just so typically American that it really amuses me. Besides, how can you not love the Muppets...

Finally, I know if you are close to my age, you learned the Preamble the same way I did...from Schoolhouse Rock!

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Cost of Camp...

  1. Registrations fees
  2. a set of sheets because someone (ummmm, Marty) forgot his sleeping bag
  3. 2 pillow cases because someone (ummmm, Marty) completely forgot to take them off the pillows when he packed his stuff
  4. 1 set of glasses sacrificed to the ocean gods when someone (ummmm, Marty) got tired of not being able to see when swimming
  5. 760 miles = about 13 hours of driving
But, the kids had an absolutely FABULOUS time and are desperate to go again next year. Marty came back with an incredible tan (it is soooooo not fair that my sons all tan better than I do). I think Marty liked the odds at beach camp. There were 3 boys and 9 girls...LOL. Hehehe, in fact, I think he's chatting with one of the girls from camp right now.

My only 2 requirements for next year are a safety strap for Marty's glasses so we don't have to replace them again next year and make sure the boys camps are on different weeks to minimize back and forth driving during the week.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Time for a Disappearing act...

Well, not really. I hope to be able to use my parents' computer to check in on y'all tonight and give you an update of my crazy week. In about an hour, I have to leave on the first leg of the 300 mile drive for today. That drive will take me from my house to my parents' house, from their house to the beach to pick up Marty, and from the beach back to my parent's house where I will collapse until tomorrow. Thank God tomorrow is my last driving day for the week...only 100 miles total tomorrow.

Have a good day y'all!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

SHOW AND TELL: he rocks...he really does!

Have I mentioned lately just how much my hubby ROCKS? Vic is incredible on so many different levels but, what brought out the mushiness tonight was that his awesomeness in the past solved my Show & Tell dilemma for tonight. I was stuck my friends. I didn't have a clue what to show and tell tonight...until I remembered this...
That one little disc holds the results of approximately 4 years of photography. It contains the contents of these two file cabinet drawers...
Can you just imagine how much it cost to develop all those pics? Thank God for digital because I take more pics now than I ever did back then. My rockin' hubby sat and scanned each and every one of those photographs. Each envelope has its own file on that disc and I can easily find the pictures I want without having to search the drawer and then the envelope.

Since I have access to digitized versions of all those pictures and because I'm feeling a wee bit sentimental and because my now taller than me 12 yr old is halfway across the state instead of here driving me crazy, I can show you these pics from the day Marty was born...

Vic with his dad, Sig, and his mom, Ruth

Two of my BFFs, Christine S. and Jennifer B.,
with Vic and my mom, Karin

No, that is not another baby in there. Its a boob...
a scarily huge boob.

My beautiful boy


To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.