"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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some Gave All

In honor of my dad, Major Owen Joseph O'Donnell III; my FIL, Command Sergeant Major Sigifredo Cruz- Vega; my grandpa, Lt. Colonel Martin Iverson; and in remembrance of all the men and women who have given their lives to keep us free.

Please take a minute to click over to History.com and view this stunning video tribute to all our military heroes...
Without the bravery of these amazing men and women, our country wouldn't be what we are today. They protect our freedom, our lives, our everything. Remember them today and always.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So, whatcha doing this summer?

Here we are facing the end of school and the beginning of summer. Are you doing anything special this weekend for Memorial day? Have you planned any vacations for this summer? What are y'all planning for this summer?

This weekend we are planning on going to the pool tomorrow and Monday and we're probably going to grill on Monday. I'm sure we're going to be spending a bunch of time at the pool this summer. We've already been once but OMG was the water cold.

I just got my kids signed up for all their summer camps. The Town of Cary has a most incredible recreation and parks department and they offer scholarship help if you need it. Joey is going to a week of BMX bike camp and a week of basketball camp. Marty is going to a history camp, the Civil War Experience, and (if it isn't full) a cooking camp.

Marty also has a week long confirmation camp through our church and both the older boys have been invited to my sister Keri's house this summer. Keri and her family live less than 4 miles from Carowinds so I'm sure they'll end up going once while they are visiting.

Most importantly, I'm going to BlogHer in August.

So, spill it. What are your plans this summer?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Photo Friday: Black and White

Welcome to Photo Friday sponsored by the brilliant and beautiful Calliope of Creating Motherhood. I was so excited when she announced the theme of Black and White. I have two very different but equally striking pics I have converted to black and white that I want to share with you. The first photo was taken during a trip to the local park...
on the jungle gym

and, the second shot was taken when my middle son Joey was about 11 months old (you can see the original in color here)...
my beautiful boy

Now, head on over to Calli's y'all and check out everyone's photos this week...and, break out those cameras and participate next week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bizarro World

We all know kids say and do strange things. You just don't realize how strange your conversations are destined to be or how weird the things you'll pretend are happening will be until you interact with a young child on a regular basis.

Today, I had to drive one county over to pick up a copy of Marty's birth certificate. It turns out I'm right and I'm stuck. I have to claim him because my name's on there. Well, Gabe decided he wanted to ride with me. I tried halfheartedly to talk him out of it because, well, a half an hour of silence sounded kind of blissful. Gabe stuck to his guns and rode with me. Let me tell you, man oh man can that kid talk. He talked non-stop from Cary to Hillsborough. When he wasn't talking to me, he was talking to his three imaginary friends Geo, Yoshi, and Sparta. We covered all kinds of topic from volcanos to explaining the girls have muhginas (his version of the word) not are muhginas. He wanted to know why Marty calls their cousins, Kayla and Bri, the girls and immediately launched from that to "Kayla doesn't have a penis. She has a muhgina because she is a girl." A couple of times he had to interrupt our conversation to yell at Yoshi because Yoshi wash poking him. When Yoshi didn't stop for him, he asked me to make Yoshi stop. I guess he did because we didn't have any more yelling. And, when we got to Hillsborough, he started laughing as we got out of the van. He said "Look mommy, Sparta's sitting on my head like a *gargoyle kitty." In the short trip from the van to the building, we discussed the parking deck, the rusty truck down there, the extra long grass, and some webs he happened to spy. He kept chattering with my on the way in and, luckily, he didn't seem at all upset that the woman who helped us didn't notice Sparta sitting there.

Everything was a bit quieter on the way home. A bribe of Mickey D's french fries and a small soda works wonders. I'm very grateful he didn't ask me to buy one for each of his friends that traveled with us.

*I have short posts on the footboard of my bed. When the kitties perch there, we say they are being gargoyle kitties.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More Random Shit from Me

Suzy over at not a fertile myrtle has this meme up and I really liked it because it had some different questions. Join in the fun and answer one or two questions in the comments or, if you are really enthused, post it on your blog.

Apple juice or orange juice? apple

Are you a morning or night person? Definitely a night person...but my 3 hellions force me to at least function in the morning.

Which do you prefer, sweet or salty foods? If I could only pick one, it would be salty. However, I love the two together because they balance each other out and neither is overwhelming.

What was your favorite childhood television program? I loved Sesame Street and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood but the theme song that sticks in my head is from Pinwheel, a Nick show that my sister's watched...

Are you a collector of anything? Dragons (stuffed, figurines, books, even socks), books, yarn, fabric, and other craft stuff

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I'd love to be a dolphin...swimming through the oceans and jumping through the air sounds heavenly.

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? It honestly depends...sometimes a project I'm working on, sometimes what is planned for the next day, etc

What’s your favorite color? Green and purple

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? Absolutely...I don't necessarily believe they've visited here but I personally think it would be awfully arrogant of us to believe we are the only planet with sentient life in this huge universe.

Do you believe in ghosts? Yup

Ever been addicted to a video/computer game? Oh yeah, I was thoroughly obsessed with Toontown

You’re given 1 million dollars, what do you spend it on? Hmmmm, presuming it was 1 million post tax, I'd pay off our house, sink about 200 thousand into the house for improvements/expansion, pay off my parents' house, buy my hubby and I new cars, put about 400 thousand in IRAs and investments, and the little bit left would be mad money.

Have any bad habits? Picking my nails...sometimes I break the habit for months at a time but then one breaks or cracks or peels and it goes to hell.

List 3 of your worst personality traits: I procrastinate with certain things (like housework); as my friend describes herself, I'm a clutter queen; I can be impatient.

Have any celebrity crushes? Oh yeah...John Barrowman from TorchwoodList 1 thing you wish you could change about yourself: My weight

Any tattoos or piercings? Pierced ears...two holes in one ear, 3 in the other & 2 tattoos

What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex? Eyes

Are you mostly a clean or messy person? Messy

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Right here where I am but I'd love to be able to travel a lot.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Ireland, Puerto Rico, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island...want to eat in the underwater restaurant, Paris...I need a few days just for the Louvre, DC...I need a week for the Smithsonian, Russia, Peru...I've always wanted to see Machu Pichu, Australia

List 5 goals on your life’s to-do list: 1) Make a real go of my design company 2) lose weight 3) paint the interior of our house and make Roman shades for all the rooms 4) Make a memory quilt for each of my kids and myself out of the outgrown baby/toddler clothes 5) Travel to Europe with my husband

Name 1 regret you have: Not working harder and getting better grades in college.

Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid: The absence of serious responsibility...no bills especially.

Name 1 thing you love about being an adult: Being married to my soulmate

What’s your favorite song of the moment? Soul Sister by Train

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? My favorite thing is to go out to eat with my hubby...just us. The second favorite (and most common) is hanging out with my family and sister by choice, Jennifer.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Read or stitch

Each and every one of you NEED to GO READ THIS...

Actually, there are two posts by the same fabulous blogger that I really want you to go read. Dave Hingsburger from Rolling Around In My Head is one of the most fabulous writers I have found in a long time. I stumbled across his blog when he participated in ICLW a number of months ago and I've been going back almost every day since then. Dave's writing is so incredible and so powerful and it just grabs you and doesn't let you go. Any of his posts are worth reading but there have been two recently that really spoke to me...Real Life, Real Lessons and What? What? These just beg to be read.

Do yourself a big favor and take a few minutes to go check Dave out.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Watch it crash and burn...

We all know storks are associated with babies and, for many of us who've gone through infertility, the sight of storks can bring up all kinds of angst. Here's a fun way to get rid of the stress and angst and, well, to watch the stork crash and burn. It's so simple that it's stupid but it's kind of addictive (think of popping bubble wrap)...Come on and Walk The Stork

Monday, May 24, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Let Us Eat

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."
My new-to-me stove/oven/range (orwhateverthehellyouwanttocallit) is working. The temperature of the oven is absolutely perfectly calibrated. It only cost me $80 and 3 gallons of gas (2 trips to the Craig's List seller). The purchase and subsequent issues with this oven added the name and number of a scrupulously honest Craig's List seller to my address book. Not only am I cooking the first dinner in it, but I actually did all the diagnostics that figured out the problem and I switched the power cord from our old one to the new one. Yay me!

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Weebles Wobblog.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

There are some good guys left out there...

On Thursday, our oven died. We knew we were going to have to replace it soon. It's had a host of problems but we were trying to make it last as long as we could. Thursday was the end of that. Marty and I were making a mulberry pie (we have 3 mulberry trees in our yard)...
All around the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel;
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,
Pop! goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle—
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Oops, sorry, got off track there. We were making a mulberry pie and had it ready to pop in the oven. I turned the oven on to pre-heat it and NOTHING happened. The burners on the stove top worked but the oven was dead. So, on Friday, I hopped on Craig's List and started looking. I lucked out and found someone who is in business selling used appliances and found a GE range for only $80. I was seriously stoked because it was in great shape and it was cheap.

Once I got it home, I switched the power cord from our old oven to the new-to-us oven. The burners worked, the oven was getting power. Everything appeared to be in great shape. So, I preheated the oven and popped the mulberry pie in to bake. It was suppose to bake 15 minutes at 400 and then we were suppose to reduce the temperature. After only 10 minutes in, the top crust of the pie was burnt. So, I bought an oven thermometer and off to the Google Appliance Repair School I went. After following the instructions to try and reset the temperature controls, I realized that nothing I was doing was having any effect. Even if I set the dial to only 250, within 20 minutes the temperature in the oven was almost 600. The thermostat was busted...and, thermostats on older ovens are PRICEY.

At this point, I honestly expected to be out 80 bucks and still have no oven. But, we had the guy's phone # and I figured we had nothing to lose by contacting him. My jaw hit the floor when he said he would be happy to exchange the oven for us. I guess the reason he was willing to make good is he does this as a business and isn't just a random individual Craig's List seller. So, tomorrow I'm off to get our next new-to-us oven. Hopefully this one will be in complete working order.

It's really nice to know there are some good guys left out there.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photo Friday: TTV

The brilliant Calliope of Creating Motherhood is sponsoring this weekly opportunity to indulge your inner artist and take artsy fartsy photographs. This weeks theme is TTV or through the viewfinder. Now, there are many people who actually take pictures through the viewfinders of antique cameras. However, it is pretty easy to mimic this technique with digital photo editing. I think I went a little bit overboard this week and I had a hell of a lot of fun. As always, all photos are clickable to see larger images.

I used 3 filters found on the TTV Flickr group...1, 2, and 3...and I created one of my own.

Now, head on over to Calli's y'all and check out everyone's photos this week.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sometimes Sharing SUCKS

My children have been sharing with me. They've shared this DAMNED cold with me twice. Spring time colds suck and it sucks even more when you get rid of it once only to get it back a few days later. I looked and felt so bad this morning that Marty told me that if I wanted to go back to bed that he would watch Gabe for me. God I love my son...guess he really did learn what I've tried to teach him (although I'm sure the promise of a day off of school sweetened the offer). NOw if I can only teach them to be a little greedy and a little less willing to share...especially things like this cold.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Decayed Beauty

the decayed remnants of the tower at Heritage USA...
I hope MorningStar Ministries can rescue it
and use it for good.

Go check out the rest of this week's Wordless Wednesday entries at the Wordless Wednesday page.

*I'm not a member and have no association with either ministry group. My sis lives right near there and it has a great area to walk with the kids.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little of this, a little of that, and book stuff...

This past weekend, I introduced my older boys to the National Lampoon movies and Die Hard. They both loved both movies.


It was after watching National Lampoon's Vacation that I had a "Damn, he's grown up" moment with my oldest. I showed him a picture of Christie Brinkley today and he said, "Damn, she's still hot" and quickly followed it up with "Guess that goes to show you what a lot of money and plastic surgery can do for you."


We've all had our first round of springtime colds here. It has royally sucked.



I got a beautiful set of earrings in the mail. I won them in a giveaway. These lovely earrings were made by String Bean Studios. Go check them out. They have lovely pieces.

I also got in 2 wonderful books I got in another giveaway hosted by the author Barbara Knobova through Coffee Times Romance. I can't wait to read Tales for Delicious Girls and The Delicious Girl's Guide to Self-Love.

I also got my next item to review from Eden Fantasys. I think this has been a pretty damned good mail week.


Finally and most importantly, BlogHer is pairing with Bookrenter to donate up to 1000 books to Head Start. Head over to Blogher right now and tell them in a comment the book that has had the greatest impact on your life.

One comment = one book and, one post added to the Linky = one more book.

Come on y'all, I know most of you like to read. Go help out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: Lettuce Eat

Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

This year, I wasn't going to have a veggie garden. Last year's garden started off great but, the minute I put my seedlings in the ground, they bit the dust. As near as I can figure, there is a pH imbalance in my soil. But, I didn't get around to getting my soil tested so I figured a garden was pointless this year.

Back in the first half of April, my sis offered me all the plants she had left over after she planted her garden. She had a handful of pots I could use so all I had to do was get the rest of the pots and the soil.

This is what my potted veggie garden looked like last Monday...
and this is what I picked yesterday...
Thanks to my sweet baby sis we will be enjoying fresh veggies all summer long.

Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Weebles Wobblog.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Celebrating Nature's Wondrous Sights

Springtime seems to be when people stop and admire nature and all her beauty and majesty. Today, I wanted to share two of the wonders of nature I love looking at the most...
Jared Padalecki

Jensen Ackles
and, the best sight of all, these two fine specimens of manhood shirtless.
These oh so yummy pieces of eye candy play the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester on the most awesome of shows, Supernatural. On the show they are funny and snarky and sexy as hell. Oh yeah, in addition to getting to watch these miracles of nature, you get to do it all to the most bad-ass classic rock soundtrack a show has ever had.

So, is this eye candy sweet enough for you?

PS...the first two pictures are clickable so you can see all that yumminess up close.

The Celebratory Society

Once again, Mel's brilliance is shining through. Mel has come up with the idea of the Celebratory Society. The Celebratory Society is an online festschrift (click here for a more complete expalnation) for a blogger- a way for you to tell me what my blog or actions mean to you.

Think of this as a call to delurk. Tell me how you found me and what attracted you to my blog...why you keep coming back. But, this isn't just about me. The Celebratory Society is all about getting and giving warm fuzzies. That means you need to head on back to your blog (but not until you are done here), write your own Celebratory Society post, and add it to the main project list. This will give me a chance to tell you what an awesomely, wonderful and totally kick ass person I think you are.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blogging Without Makeup Day

I heard about this when I was checking out things on Facebook. The brilliant Mel had a blurb up about her Blogging-Without-Makeup-Day post over at Blogher. This was the brain child of Jodie over at Mummy Mayhem and it was her idea to show the world our real, unretouched (I swear it's a word, really) face. I figured what the hell. After all, a bare face is nothing new for me. While I have it in me to be a girly girl, I usually worry about my hair and not much else. If you decide to join in, head on over to Mummy Mayhem and add your post to the Linky thing.

So, here I am in all my non-makeup glory...Hope the lack of makeup doesn't scare any of you off. Now, come on and join the few, the proud, the barefaced bloggers.

Photo Friday: Inside My Fridge

The brilliant Calliope of Creating Motherhood is sponsoring this weekly opportunity to indulge your inner artist and take artsy fartsy photographs. In keeping with this weeks theme, here is my selection...
inside my fridge
They say you can learn a lot about a person by looking behind closed doors. What does the inside of my fridge tell you about me?

Now, head on over to Calli's y'all and check out everyone's photos this week.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A trip into the outlandish

My kids and I were watching the recent MythBusters episode about duct tape earlier today. While Jamie and Adam were making a bridge out of duct tape, I went looking for pictures of prom dresses made out of duct tape. What? You didn't know people made dresses out of duct tape? Every year, Duck Brand duct tape hosts a Stuck At The Prom contest and the winners get scholarships.While looking at the duct tape dresses, I stumbled across wedding dresses made out of toilet paper. Yup, these came about as the results of another contest. cheap-chic-wedding.com sponsors a yearly contest for toilet paper wedding dresses.
And, then I found the most amazing dresses made out of condoms which were created by Brazilian artist Adriana Bertini for the "Dress Up Against AIDS: Condom Couture", an exhibition hosted at UCLA’s Fowler Museum...Seeing all these wonderfully creative and definitely non-traditional uses for everyday objects got me thinking. I think it would be fabulously fun to crate a top or maybe a dress made out of a duct tape or something equally creative (this year some girl made the bodice of her prom dress and her boyfriend's vest out of gum wrappers). Duck Brands web site has a section called Ducktivities and they have instructions for making a ball cap, duct tape fabric, wallets, and really cool bookmarks. I also found a site that teaches you how to make game boards (chess, checkers, and backgammon) out of duct tape.

What would you make out of duct tape or some other non-traditional material? Would you be willing to wear or use an object made this way?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Answers for you

Yesterday I opened the floor to all and promised to answer any questions you asked. In addition to the questions from yesterday, I have two left over from the last time I did this.

Mrs. Gamgee from Hobbit-ish Thoughts and Ramblings asked What, if any, recipe/food/style of cooking has been the most difficult for you to master? Is there one that you haven't quite gotten right yet? One that is eluding you? Most creative things (and I include cooking in this) seem to come pretty easily to me. I've never tried to make a souffle and I imagine that might be a bit difficult. Also, there have been a few individual items (like lace cookies) that gave me fits.

Maria at Immoral Matriarch asked If you live in any era of the past, any country, as any gender or race or class or whatever - basically just choose your life and how you lived it, where/what/who would you be? There have been times when I've fantasized about living in another era...maybe Victorian England with the gorgeous clothes or on a plantation with all the horses...but I can't imagine living without all the options and privileges we have during this era. I also like being a woman too much to want to be anything else. I think the one I would change if I could is my financial status. I would love to be able to live without any concern for money whatsoever. There are so many things I would love to do and so many charities I would love to support and being independently wealthy would allow me the freedom to do that. Even if I could snap my fingers and be wealthy, I would still want to have a career. I can't imagine being an idle rich bitch. That would be boring as hell. The only thing I would change about my physical person is I would install my aunt's hyperactive metabolism so I would never have to worry about my weight.

Now, on to the questions from yesterday...

Mrs. Spock asked What is your "just-right" family size and why? When I was growing up, I always imagined having 3 children (but I thought they would be girls like me and my sisters). However, when I was pregnant with Joey, my middle son, I began to have a gut feeling that there were suppose to be 4 children in my family. Whether you want to regard it as a message from God, a message from the universe, or my own insanity kicking in, that little internal voice kept saying "There are suppose to be 4 children." Honestly, at the time, the idea of 4 kids scared the shit out of me but the more I tried to ignore the idea, the more I tried to beat that voice into submission, the louder it got. When I finally said "Ok, there are suppose to be 4 children", it was like all was right in the world again. Sadly, our hellish bout with infertility and issues with my hubby's diabetes have made the arrival of that 4th child doubtful at best.

Sandy from Between Lightning asked me What's your favorite guilty pleasure? My all time favorite guilty pleasure is a full day of pampering at a day spa...manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, etc. I rarely get the time or extra money to do any of these things but god is it wonderful when it happens.

Another Dreamer from An Unwanted Path said What is your guilty book pleasure? What do you read, or have read, that is embarrassing? I think we all have something ;) I guess I would have to say Erotic romances...but, honestly, it's more a case of needing to be careful about who sees them than being embarrassed. I know many people think of Erotic Romance in the same category as porn but it isn't. When it's well written, there is a great storyline, a great romance, and red hot sex scenes. Reading is for escapism and pleasure and erotic romances are a hell of a fun way to escape.

Jen from In One Ear wanted to know would you come down here and help me? I've procrastinated and run out of time...help Umm, if you can add a few days to the week and invent a transporter, I'd be glad to come help.

Lynn from Wistful Girl asked What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? I honestly don't know how to answer this question. I've seen quilts that take my breath away. I've seen things involving my kids that make me stop and thank the lord I got to see it. I've been blessed enough to see the end of rainbow. I've also seen shoes that make me salivate and dream of wearing them. I can truly appreciate beauty in just about any form.

Kakunaa from Spermination Station asked me What was the most perfect day of your life? And you aren't allowed to say your wedding day ... too easy. I could say the day my oldest child was born but, to be honest, there were hellish moments. I was on mag sulfate because of being pre-eclamptic which stopped my full-term labor which got me started on pitocin which didn't work quickly enough which caused me to need a c-section and made me bleed like a stuck pig afterwards because they forgot to turn the pitocin back on so my uterus would contract. I could also say the birth of my post-IF baby but itching like hell from the after effects of the anesthesia kind of knock it down the list. I really think there are a few days that tie for the most perfect and they were all days when it was just Vic and me hanging out together. The days that tied for the most perfect were the days of our last pre-baby vacation. We never got up too early. We spent the days relaxing, seeing beautiful sights like Grandfather Mountain, the Linville Caverns, Linville Falls, and went panning for gemstones. We had nothing we HAD to do and did whatever we wanted. It was so wonderful having NO demands and just getting to enjoy each other.

Another Dreamer from An Unwanted Path wants to know What is your favorite child's fable, or fairy tale? I don't know if I can pick just one. My all time favorite books on my grandparents' book shelves were the collections of Aesop's Fables, Hans Christian Andersen's tales, and Grimm's Fairy Tales. I really love Snow White and Rose Red, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, and Beauty and the Beast. While I do enjoy the Disney versions of all these, I loved the originals.

Anything else y'all want to know?

Winner of the uPrinting.com Business Card Giveaway

With help from random.org, a winner of the uPrinting business card giveaway has been selected. Tanyetta from Days Like These is the lucky winner of 500 free business cards. uPrinting makes the most fabulous business cards. I love mine and I hope you enjoy the ones you get.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's empty or at least it feels that way...

My brain is devoid of things to write about. Normally, between my kids and everyday life, I am swimming in ideas but not today. I have a bunch of artsy-craftsy projects in the early stages but I don't feel quite ready to write about them. I'm only at the design stage and I don't think that's too interesting to many of you. I have a garden started but there isn't much to tell there yet.

So, ask me questions...profound questions; weird questions; intrusive questions; artsy questions; weird, esoteric trivia questions...anything goes and I'll do my best to answer them.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

To all the women in my life...

Happy Mother's Day

Yeah, I know there are some of you who haven't yet had that dream come true or who have lost a child. I want you guys to know I'm thinking of you and holding you close today.

For all the mommies I know, I hope you are having a fabulous day today.

And, for my mommy, thank you for always being there for me when I was growing up. Thank you for allowing the massive slumber parties and the birthday party that degenerated into a frosting fight. Thank you for drying my tears through junior high and supporting my dreams as I went off to school. Thank you for somehow always finding a way to get us to the summer camps and programs we wanted to attend. Thank you for the many, many years of running Mom's Taxi and not minding when the pick ups ran late. I hope I can be half as great a mom to my kids as you were to me. I love you to the moon and back mommy!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Photo Friday: My Desk

Welcome to Photo Firday hosted by the brilliant and beautiful Calliope of Creating Motherhood. She is sponsoring this weekly opportunity to indulge your inner artist and take artsy fartsy photographs. This week's theme called for us to take an honest photo of our desk. I must admit that my photo isn't that artsy fartsy this week but I promise it is a pic of my desk as is. I did take the picture from an angle that hid a bit of the mess but that is all.
Don't you love all the dragons on my monitor? I don't know what I'm going to do when I finally get a flat panel monitor.

Now, head on over to Calli's y'all and check out everyone's photos this week.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Nobel Prize For Awesomeness

Aunt Becky has inspired me to create the first Nobel Prize for Awesomeness. While I am sure we can all agree that Aunt Becky is full of the Awesomeness herself, I am giving this first award to one of my bestest friends in the whole world, my sister by choice, Rys from Confessions of a Clutter Queen.

I met Rys years ago (pre-infertility days) on a ParentsPlace (now rolled into iVillage) bulletin board. We've now known each other for about 10 years and she is even more awesome today than when I first met her. Rys is the Ethel to my Lucy. She brings out my kookiness and inspires my warped nature creativity. Why just today we combined to come up with this...

Go ahead, click on the picture above. You know you want to see the close up details and fine workmanship.

Rys can always make me laugh, even on days when the kids need to be given to 1800GypsiesRUs. She's my partner in crime. Hell, I know I couldn't count on her to bail me out of trouble because she would be up to her neck in it with me. Rys is the definition of awesomeness and definintely deserves this first Nobel Prize for Awesomeness.

Fellow Blogger Nominated For Women's Health Award

Mrs. Spock wrote the following and has asked for help in spreading the news...
Over at Our Bodies, Our Blog, the annual Women's Health Heroes Awards are in full swing. This year, one of our own has been nominated for an award, Jenni Saake at Infertility Mom. Currently, she's in third place. Jenni has written the book " Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss", and is the creator of Hannah's Prayer Ministries.

Infertility is often overlooked when it comes to women's health (who gives a hoot if you can't be a mother, right?)- and I think it would send a fantastic message- one that says "Hey, there are a lot more of us than you think!"- if Jenni made it to the top spot.

Just click on over, leave a comment, and hit the "thumbs up" button at the bottom of the post.

Vote for Jenni- and pass it on!

**Updated- She's #2!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What would you have on yours?

My hubby and I have seen some of the coolest personalized license plates lately...

BVWYQWT = Be very quiet (said with an Elmer Fudd accent) This one made me laugh and, funnily enough, it was on a volkswagon. I wonder if their other car was a VW Rabbit?
DFIGRVT = Defy Gravity I saw this one this morning. No neat tie ins to the type of car...I just thought this was extremely cool.This one is self explanatory. And, funnily enough, it was right in front of the car telling us to DFIGRVT.

This last one is my absolute favorite and I truly would like to meet the person who came up with it and managed to get it without triggering any alarms. See, all DMVs review personalized license plate applications to prevent any lewd phrases or curse words from being put on the license plates...but this one got through...

STFUNDR = Shut the fuck up and drive Love, love, love this one!

Seeing all these got me thinking.What would I put on a personalized license plate if I ever got one? What would you put on a personalized license plate for your car?

All license plate images created through ACME License Maker.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Take 2: Truly Tempting Truffles

Not only are these truffles tempting but they are sooooo easy to make.

Oreo Truffles
  • 1 package of Oreos or similar chocolate sandwich cookie
  • 8 oz (1 package) cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 bags chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or mint extract, or, hell, whatever flavor tickles your fancy)
  1. Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder...or, if you don't have a food processor, *open each cookie, remove and save the cream filling, and put the cookies in a heavy ziploc bag. Seal the bag, taking care to remove any excess air. Use rolling pin to crush cookies to a fine powder.
  2. Using a mixer, combine cookie powder, cream filling, softened cream cheese, and extract. Mix thoroughly. There should be no trace of white cream cheese left.
  3. Chill for half an hour
  4. Roll truffle filling into balls and place on wax paper lined cookie trays
  5. Put trays in freezer for an hour (you can skip this step if in a rush but freezing makes the dipping so much easier
  6. Near the end of the hour, dump both bags of chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Heat one minute at a time, stirring in between until chocolate chips are fully melted. Fully melting two bags should not take longer 3 minutes.
  7. To easily coat truffles with the melted chocolate, add truffles, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Then use two forks to roll truffles in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove the truffles with forks and allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl before placing truffles on waxed baking sheet.
  8. Cool at room temperature. Store in airtight bowl in the fridge.
* you can try to crush the cookies without separating them from the cream filling but it is almost impossible to get them finely crushed that way

A Warped Kumbaya

We have many nicknames for our dog Jack. Among the nicknames that he will answer to is the name Goomba. This morning, Joey changed that nickname to Goombaya which totally cracked us up and inspired me to start singing...

Goombaya my dog, Goombaya
Goombaya my dog, Goombaya
Goombaya my dog, Goombaya
Oh help us, Goombaya

He is barking again, Goombaya
He is barking again, Goombaya
He is barking again, Goombaya
Oh help us, Goombaya

What a spazzy dog, Goombaya
What a spazzy dog, Goombaya
What a spazzy dog, Goombaya
Oh help us, Goombaya

Just another warped morning in the Cruz household.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Call To Arms

I have two things today that I really feel the need to bring to your attention. The first story is the sad case of Clay and Harold. Click on over and read about it and then come back to hear how you can help. Seriously, GO READ and then come on beck.

I found out about this case while reading my WildFire newsletter from AllRomanceEbooks and Omnilit. I can't tell you about it any better than they did so here it is...
Sometimes the best ideas come from out of the blue. Spur of the moment flashes of brilliance triggered by something we stumble upon in life. That is how ARe's most recent charitable venture came to our attention.

It all started early one morning with an email from book blogger Teddy Pig. The subject line read "Good Deeds and Dumb Ideas". Needless to say, we were intrigued. In spite of the comical title, the email contained a heart wrenching story and Teddy's reaction to it, a reaction we at ARe immediately shared.

To sum it up, there is a court case happening in Sonoma County, and until you read the details for yourself, you'd be hard pressed to believe that something like this could happen in the year 2010. Harold and Clay were partners for 20 years, doing everything they thought legally necessary to insure their future and security together. However when 88 year old Harold was hospitilized, his wishes and his power of attorney in the hands of the 77 year old Clay was not enough. The County of Sonoma declared everything the couple had built in their life together, as Harold's property alone, and auctioned it off to pay the bills, leaving Clay destitute.

We suggest you read the story HERE and form your own opinion.

Teddy was deeply affected by this story and immediately made a personal donation to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) who is now working to get Clay back what was taken from him. Then Teddy, who is an avid reader, remembered that author JM Snyder had a book with the theme of this story for sale at ARe. Wouldn't it be great if we could capitalize on this book to somehow help, he asked? He was right, it would be great, and when ARe decided they wanted to help, and approached the author it all came together. JM Snyder was not only willing to donate a portion of the proceeds from her story Henry and Jim, she wanted to commit all JMS books for the cause.

JM describes the story for us. "Henry and Jim is a story I wrote with my grandfather in mind. He died of Alzheimer's Disease when I was younger, and I wanted to write a story about an older couple because so many M/M authors just deal with young, gorgeous characters who don't realistically portray today's gay men or their relationships... The story centers around two men, Henry and Jim, who have spent a lifetime together. Old men now, Henry reminisces about the love they've shared as he learns to cope with Jim's fading memory and his own fear of being forgotten."

During the month of May, 25% of the proceeds from ALL JMS Books will be donated to NCLR and ARe is matching her commitment and will be donating 25% of our proceeds as well. Readers who shop at All Romance/OmniLit and buy JMS Books by J.M. Snyder during the month of May will not only be getting a great read, they will be contributing to a great cause.
I've already bought my copy of Henry and Jim (it's only $1.99...wow) and I'm going to buy another book or two when my hubby gets paid. Even if you don't read romances, this is a great cause. Go buy a book! And, book challenge participants, in order to help get you to support the cause, this eBook (only an 18 page PDF) will count as a whole book!

*HaBO: the Anissa Mayhew Edition

This is a much happier cause to support. I know a lot of you have been following Anissa's story. For those of you who haven't been following her story, why the hell not here is a quickie summary. Anissa is an amazing woman with a cast iron willpower who has seen one child through pediatric cancer and is now recovering from a nasty series of strokes. I haven't met Anissa myself but people I care about deeply introduced me to her blog and her story and I am totally hooked.

While Anissa has come phenomenally far in her recovery, she still has a ways to go. Her husband has decided to apply to Extreme Makeover Home Edition for help. Anissa's recovery would be helped immensely if they had a more disabled friendly home.

What I want you to do is go read about Anissa's journey and check out her return to blogging. If you feel even half as inspired as I do by her story, CLICK HERE and get the info on where to send a letter supporting their Extreme Home Makeover application. I know y'all can write. After all, most of you are bloggers. Even if you don't personally know Anissa, every single letter helps.

Now come on and HaBO. Anissa is most deserving

*Habo stands for Help A Bitch Out, a phrase I got from the lovely ladies at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Stripping Away The Disguise

To most of the world, I appear to be a normal woman. Sure, I'm a SAHM in a world where that doesn't happen often. And, yeah, I'm a fat mom in a world that reveres thin, shapely bodies. I'm also a mom who has been married to the father of my children for more than 15 years. What the world sees is a mom to 3 happy (mostly), healthy, and sort of brilliant children.

The world doesn't see the infertile.

The world doesn't see the woman who has been pregnant 11 times but only has 3 children.

The world doesn't see the woman who got dragged so very deep into the dark pit of depression by loss after loss after loss while trying to have her third child. Thank God she had her first two children to ground her and keep her tied to everything else that is important in her life.

The world sees the field trip going, kid schlepping mom who loves her life.

The world doesn't see the mom who aches to have a fourth child and who knows that may never happen because of the delays caused by infertility.

The world doesn't see the mom who never got to hold her daughter.

The world doesn't see the woman whose heart shattered over and over again.

The world sees the woman whose life is blessed beyond measure. I am blessed with a spouse who loves me beyond measure and children who are growing into fine young men. I am blessed with a fabulous family and friends I treasure like family.

The world sees me but not all of me.

This is me with the disguise stripped away.


Today is the last day of National Infertility Awareness Week...April 24th-May 1st 2010. Click on over to the NIAW page and the Resolve.org homepage. According to the CDC, about 12% of people of childbearing age experience infertility. That is more than 1 in 10. That means that someone you know has gone through this. Educate yourself.