"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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Regularly Scheduled Blogging To Return After This Vent

Money problems fucking suck.  More specifically, working your ass off, cutting all corners you can cut, and still living paycheck to paycheck and one disaster away from financial catastrophe suck. Like all government workers, my husband hasn't received a pay raise (not even a cost of living raise) in three years. On top of that, our medical insurance has gone up, our grocery bill has gone up 50% in the past year (and that's with cutting back and going generic on everything we can), and, God knows, gas has gone way up. It is killing our budget. We don't use credit cards, so no debt there. But, because of our fridge disaster earlier this year and the emergency vet bill for Freddy we had to pay off, we are behind on normal bills. If we could just catch it up, we'd have everything covered but trying to find extra to catch up is hard when everything costs so much right now.

My mom is going to be the principal of a new private school next year and she asked me if I was interested in teaching art 1 1/2 days a week. Those 1 1/2 days plus a small gas stipend would be worth $175 a week. On the surface, it sounds like the solution to our problem. But, the school is 70 miles away. Given the shitty gas mileage my aging van gets, it would take a full tank of gas to make those two round trips each week reducing take home to approximately $100...and that's not even accounting for the wear and tear on my van. The schedule is doable but just barely when you factor in school schedules for my 3 kids but it would totally blow up in my face if anyone was running late one morning. Damn it, why can't her school be her in town? The sad fact of the matter is that I've been out of the work force for 12 years and, with the levels of unemployment, it makes it incredibly hard to find any type of job that would work around the kids' school schedule (and that is a MUST because child care is scary expensive around here). And, honestly, I'm a bit worried about me not being 100% available with Marty re-entering school after the hellacious time he had before.

The other option is for Vic to find a third shift part time job. Remember, he works nights and, since he works 12 hour shifts, he works 7 nights every two weeks. Vic says he is willing but this scares me. His diabetes is just getting under control and the thought of him over working himself scares me to death.

Of course, Vic and his two (bio)siblings inherited a piece of property in Puerto Rico. If it selss, whatever money they get will be split three ways and, because of Puerto Rican inheritance laws, it will be TAX FREE. But, of course, thanks to the fucked up economy recession depression we are in, nothing is moving in the real estate market down there.

Honestly y'all, it frustrates the hell out of me that we scrimp and save and still have these issues. I know others have it a lot worse. Vic has a job, we have insurance, we have a roof over our heads...I just wish we didn't have to struggle to pay for the essentials. If you mad it this far, thanks for listening to my rant and thanks for letting me get it off my chest. And, if any of you come across a spare million bucks, did I tell you about the hole in my pocket and the money that fell out?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Some Gave All

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. For many people, this means a day of picnics, water play, and relaxation. It should mean more. Over the relatively short history of our country, many brave men and women have chosen to join our military to defend our freedom. Each and every one of those people gave of themselves, their blood, their sweat, their tears. Some gave more. Some lost their lives fighting for our country. Some gave all. Today is the day to remember each and every fallen hero.

Now, I can hear some of my friends and even a few family members saying "But we don't support this war. We think this war is wrong." Well, Memorial Day isn't about just this war. Memorial Day is there to honor all the lives laid down for this country all the way back to the war that let us become the USA. And, while you may not support the current war, you can still support our soldiers. The men and women who have lost their lives are not the ones who picked this war. They chose military service which supports our country even in times of peace and, for that, we owe them our respect.

Today is a day to remember our fallen warriors for without them there would be no Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

And, if you have an extra moment, check out this Memorial Day Tribute too.

In memory of my grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Martin Iverson, USAF and my father-in law, Command Sergeant Major Sigifredo Cruz-Vega, USArmy.
In honor of my father, Major Owen Joseph O'Donnell III, USAF.

Get the Google TV Experience

The marvelous people over at Aiming Low have partnered with Dish Network to bring you a chance to win the GoogleTV experience. Go read about it here...but don't enter because I want to win and, if you enter, my chances are less.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday Spin: Turn 3 (on Sunday)

Today's selection was picked by Katie from The Happy Hours. She picked Book 1 (soundtracks and rock), Disc 3 (Forrest Gump Soundtrack), Track 5 (The Fifth Dimension Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In)

Audio book winner

A huge congrats goes out to Tillie of a nuttier life. With the help of random.org, she was selected as the winner of the audio book  copy of The Story of Beautiful Girl.

Sorry I forgot to post this yesterday but I found myself answering the siren song of summer and took my kids to the pool.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I finally got my veggie plants into the dirt. I planted 3 squash plant, 3 zucchinis, 3 peppers (don't know what kind of peppers though), either 1 beefsteak and 2 heirloom or 2 beefsteak and 1 heirloom tomatoes, and a jellybean tomato. I actually already have a bloom on one of the squash.
  • Speaking of veggies, I had a lettuce plant that made it through the winter and grew again this spring. Very odd.
  • I resurrected my crackberry. About a week ago, the track ball fell out. I found a new track ball and a protective case for under $8.
  • Today, I took the children's art gallery off the wall and hung new stuff up. Gabe has some really cute stuff he made in preschool this year and Joey has a few amazing pieces of artwork. Joey brought home this amazing still life done in sort of a modern art style. I would show you a picture but I have to find the cord to attach my crackberry to the computer. After I finished the art gallery switch, I asked Gabe if he liked having all his stuff up on the wall. My sweet boy hugged me and said "Mommy, you make me happy."
  • I was truly possessed earlier this week. I commented on each and every blog on the May ICLW list...all 140 blogs.
  • I'm running a giveaway for a $55 EdenFantasys gift card. Don't miss out on a chance to win.
  • I finally got my husband writing on his blog again. Stop by and welcome him back please.
What's been going on with you guys?

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    You're Not My Mother Anymore

    Gabe has been in a mood all day today. He's been complaining about being tired all day and, when we hit the evening, it went down hill from there. Everything I said or did was cause for argument from him. He got pissed when I told him it was too close to dinner for a snack. And, after dinner we were hanging out and watching tv. A little after 7:15, I told him that when Jeopardy was over it would be time for his bath. I should have known it was a mistake to tell him that ahead of time with the mood he was in. Gabe asked how much time was left and, when I didn't answer in the 2.3 microseconds he allowed, he grabbed the remote and started pushing buttons so he could see how much time was left in the show. Well, because he was pissed, he hit too many buttons and almost erased a show.

    Me: Gabe, Gabe, give me the remote.
    Gabe: ignoring me
    Me: Gabe, no, stop pushing the button and GIVE ME THE REMOTE.
    Gabe: sullenly hands over the remote
    Me: rescues the show and puts the remote on my chair
    Gabe: Give me the remote. I want the remote back.
    Me: No, I'm just going to leave it he.....
    Gabe: But I WANT it back...
    Me: No, we aren't goin....
    Gabe: LISTEN TO ME.
    Me: I am listening to you. I'm just not agre...
    Gabe: LISTEN TO ME
    Me: I am listening to you. I'm just not agreeing with you.
    Gabe: increasingly irritable NO...
    Me: I do not like how you are behaving.
    Gabe: Hmmmph...you're not my mother anymore.
    Me: Half laugh Okay
    Gabe: almost crying But I want you to be my mother. I want to be your boy.
    Me: You will always be my boy and I will always be your mother.
    Gabe: sniffling I love you
    Me: I love you too but I do not like how you are acting.

    After this fiasco, which took all of a couple of minutes, Gabe went back to being cheerful, promptly forgot about the bath, and went off to the den with Joey. I told him I would call him as soon as his bath was ready. Gabe came bounding in a few minutes later, was having fun, and was being generally goofy in the bath. That didn't last. I was told twice more that I'm not his mother anymore. While Gabe is like any five year old, this behavior is totally unlike him. Sure he can be argumentative when he is tired but nothing like this. After I got him changed into his pajamas, he decided that he was still hungry despite having eaten a complete dinner. Ah ha I thought, maybe that's the problem. Well, I was wrong because bedtime was a case of lather, rinse, repeat...same crankassed behavior, same *"not the mama" talk. and, all of a sudden, the lightbulb went off. See, yesterday was the last day of preschool and Gabe LOVED preschool.

    Me: Gabe, are you sad because school is over.
    Gabe: sniffle sniffle Yeah
    Me: heart melting a little Oh honey, we have all your friends' phone numbers. We can stay in touch. We'll see them over the summer. In fact, we are going to see Travis next week. You'd like that, wouldn't you?
    Gabe: in a pitiful voice Yeah
    Me: We're going to have a great summer. We'll play, go to the pool, see your friends. And, you know whats really cool when we get to next school year?
    Gabe: What?
    Me: You'll get to go to Joey's school and you'll get to make a lot of new friends.
    Gabe: in a pitiful, tiny, kind of sad voice But will I get to keep all my old friends?
    Me: Oh honey, of course you will. You'll just have more new friends.

    So, I guess I've been restored to mother status and all is at least stable in the world of Gabe.

    *100 geek points to whoever recognizes that phrase

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Get Your Sexy On with EdenFantasys

    Hey y'all, it's that time again...and, this time I'm giving it all up for you. That's right, the $55 EdenFantasys gift card is up for grabs and you can buy (or apply it toward) anything on the website...lingerie, adult toys, party favors, erotica, and more.

    The last time I wrote about EdenFantasys, I was a bit greedy and kept the gift card for myself. Sorry y'all but sometimes a gal needs to get something to make herself feel sexy and that's what I did. I bought myself a fabulous pinstripe chemise and matching thong. Let me tell you, this awesome chemise is silky, stretchy, and all around sexy. It is super comfortable and, as you've probably guessed from my rave review, it's available in plus sizes. My only caveat is about the boobage fit. While the chemise more than fits around my torso, my ginormous boobage causes my cups to runneth over in this chemise. I would guess that up through a DD cup could comfortably wear this around the house but, if your boobage goes above a DD, it will be restricted to the bedroom.
    By now, I bet you are wondering about that other picture over there on the right. Well, I got it for my husband. Oh come on, get your minds out of the gutter. Vic works nights which means he sleeps days. We've bought a few sleep masks locally and they all fell to pieces with regular use. When I was browsing to find my chemise, that mask popped up as a recommended link on one of the pages I opened...and, a light bulb went off. I was sure that anything EdenFantasys sold as part of their bondage gear would have to be better constructed and I was right. Vic has used it every day to block out the light and he's been sleeping a lot better. And, who knows, maybe some day that little mask will expand it's horizons.

    Ok, on to the real reason y'all are reading this post...giveaway rules...
    This giveaway is restricted to people 18 yrs of age or older.
    1. MANDATORY Tell us if you've ever bought something from an adult shop or, if you feel daring, tell us about an embarrassing moment involving and adult toy (think accidental discovery)
    2. Get an extra entry by tweeting (or posting on another social networking site) this once a day (you must comment with link to your tweet to get the extra entry)...Check out the fabulous EdenFantasys #giveaway from @dragondream http://bit.ly/k5P1Vc
    3. Blog about this giveaway for five additional entries (remember to comment 5 times to get your 5 entries)
    Remember, if you don't comment, you haven't entered. Let the fun begin...in other words, the giveaway starts now and entries will close Tuesday, May 31st at 11:59 pm.

      And, FCC peeps, all opinions are completely my own and are in no way influenced by getting stuff from EdenFantasys.

      Tuesday, May 24, 2011

      Vic's Story, part 5...

      How we met
      Part 1
      Part 2
      Part 3
      Part 4

      Although Vic had taken up residence in that dark pit called depression, somehow he kept going. I guess one of the ways he managed it was to spend as little time as possible at home. Between his full time firefighting gig, the part time dispatching position, and his volunteer work at the rescue squad, it wasn't too hard to avoid the house and the psycho bitch from hell who owned it. But, PBH took advantage of his absence and had Amy coming over all the time. They would eat the food he bought, drink any beer that was left around, and didn't think twice about it. Pretty soon Vic wised up to that and at least managed to cut off her beer supply. The only time he brought any of that home was when he and his dog, Leipzig, had a *pizza and beer party scheduled. Sadly, he didn't think to lock up his financial records and PBH used his frequent absences to help herself to his credit card information and ran up about $20,000 of debt in his name in a really short period of time. When Vic became aware of that he thought about pressing charges but,he decided not to for two reasons....1) because of the living arrangements and relationship history, it would have been hard to convince any DA there was really a case and 2) I mentioned PBH was a cop, right? Well, charges like that would have terminated her job and, frankly, without that job, the house was gone and Vic just didn't want to deal with moving.

      When you are that far down in the dumps, it's hard to find the motivation to make any major changes even if it's just kicking a psycho bitch to the curb. But, in his quest to avoid the house, Vic made one change that eventually led to the doorway out of the hell hole he'd been living in. Vic took on the responsibility for training the rescue squad members who wanted to work on the wreck truck. This added responsibility around the rescue squad meant Vic was spending more and more time there. He was pulling extra duty shift and came in frequently to meet new members for training. It was during one of those extra duty shifts that we met. Well, not exactly met, because we had both been in the building for meetings and events at the same time before, but it was the **first time we actually got to talk and get to know each other.

      Although that day was the start of our story, it definitely did not mark the end of Vic's story. It would be over a year until Vic and I moved in together...a year in which PBH continued to wreak havoc both with Vic's life and (almost) with his career. See, PBH may have decided to go back to her former lover but that didn't mean she wanted Vic to move on....

      To Be Continued...

      *For any of you who are worried, the dog stuck to pizza.
      **click on the how we met link for more details

      Monday, May 23, 2011

      Summer Lovin' (and a giveaway)

      or today's book review and giveaway

      Summer lovin' had me a blast
      Summer lovin' happened so fast
      I met a girl crazy for me
      Met a boy cute as can be
      Summer days driftin' away, to uh-oh those summer nights

      When I was growing up, summer wasn't about the romances. Sure, there were a few of those. But, for me, summer lovin' was all about the books I'd have time to read. I already got to read and review one book that needs to go straight to the top of your summer reading list. Now, I've read another book that epitomizes my summer love affair with books. Lise Saffran's debut novel Juno's Daughters has everything necessary for a great summer read...a beautiful but somewhat unfamiliar setting, the women (Jenny and her daughters, Lilly and Frankie) looking for love, the handsome strangers, and the drama,in this case, literally a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest.  

      Juno's Daughters immerses you in the unique community of artists and dreamers that populate San Juan Island of the coast of Washington State. The yearly Shakespeare production on this little island provides the perfect setting to explore the storm created when you mix the angst of teenage life and love with a mom whose life is blossoming again. It's so easy to lose yourself in the adventures of the San Juan Islanders and it's even easier to forget that Jenny and her girls aren't real people. Take a moment this summer, pick up Juno's Daughters, and run away to San Juan Island.
      To celebrate our summer love affair with books, I have an audio book copy of The Story of Beautiful Girl for one of my lucky blog readers. All you have to do to enter is...
      1. Comment and tell me your favorite summer read (required)
      2. Tweet or facebook this giveaway... Win an audio copy of the NYTimes bestseller The Story of Beautiful Girl from @rachelsimon and @dragondream http://bit.ly/kUVm0X #giveaway (once a day, comment each time)
      3. Blog about the giveaway and include a link to this post and Rachel Simon's website. (worth 5 entries, comment once for each entry)
      The giveaway starts right now and will end on Friday, May 27th at 11:59 pm. The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 28th.

      Perfect Moment Monday: the little things

      Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori 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." For those of you who have never stumbled across Perfect Moment Monday or who know of it but don't participate, I really, really beg of you to join in. I have been so much more aware of the special little moments in life since I started participating.

      1) Watching Nemo with Gabe and having him come up and wrap his arms around me and say I love you just as Nemo and Marlin are reunited.

      2) On Friday night, Joey and Marty were going to spend the night at their friends' house (another set of brothers)  but Joey had Tae Kwon Do sparring and they went hard enough that he was tired and sore afterward. All he wanted was some motrin and bed, no sleepover. When I picked Marty up the next day, the first words out of his mouth were "Is JoJo okay? Does he feel better?"

      3) Got my plane tickets for BlogHer and the flight times are good and the round trip from North Carolina to San Diego is only $400 including taxes and fees.

      Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

      Sunday, May 22, 2011

      Saturday Spin: Turn 2 (on Sunday)

      Book 1, Disc 38, Track 7

      She's Keeping Time by Bachman Turner Overdrive on the You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet album

      I can not find a single place online that has a video of this song or even a site that allows you to listen to this song. The lyrics are...

      Trouble comes in shapes and sizes
      Some of them are friends
      Trouble is what trouble does
      It always has an end

      I've got to keep myself together
      Got to get it straight
      I've got to find some better things
      Before it gets too late

      Then I found myself a woman
      She's the one who keeps me in line
      When I go wrong
      She's always there beside me
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time

      Failure comes before success
      Tries to bring you down
      Before you give up please call your baby
      She likes to hang around

      You got to get yourself together
      You got to get it straight
      You got to find some peace of mind
      Before it's way to late

      Then I found myself a woman
      She's the one who keeps me on the line
      When I go wrong she's always there beside me
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time
      She's keep keep keeping time

      Then I found myself a woman
      She's the one who keeps me on the line
      When I go wrong she's always there beside me
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time
      She's keeping time

      Everywhere I go
      Everything I do
      She's keeping time
      She's keep keep keeping time
      Keep keep keeping time
      She's been keeping
      She's keeping time
      Yeah yeah yeah

      Since this is is going to be a regular feature, I thought I'd tell y'all exactly how this will work. The request for a pick will go out on Thursday or Friday as part of my regular post. The first person to respond will get the possibly dubious honor of picking the Saturday Spin that week. If I get more than one suggestion, I'll save the other one for a slow day or week and run an extra Spin (on another day).

      At least this will be how it works if I get my shit together and remember to post asking for selections.

      Saturday, May 21, 2011

      Rock 'n Roll ICLW, take 2

      Hey Y'all! Welcome to my Lair and a little thing Mel likes to call ICLW. If you are new around here, feel free to poke around and click on links. I think I've hidden the bodies well enough not to scare anyone away.

      For the second time, I thought I'd kick off ICLW with a meme from Rock 'n Roll Fridays. This set of questions are based on lyrics from the "Happy Together Tour" Bands: The Turtles, The Buckinghams, The Association, The Grass Roots and Mark Lindsay.

      1. THE TURTLES… Happy Together …”Imagine me and you, I do, I think about you day and night, it’s only right…”
      Who was the last person you thought about day and night? There are a lot of people who are on my mind at least a portion of every day or who occupy at least a small portion of my mind all day but the last time that an individual took over my mind day and night was when I was pregnant with Gabe. I was so scared I was going to lose that pregnancy too and that resulted in me thinking about him all day, every day.

      2. THE TURTLES… Eleanor … “They’ll turn the lights down way low and maybe we won’t watch the show…”
      What was the last movie you made out to? Oh man, that was so long ago. See, once I grew up and had my own place, I preferred to make out in comfort. The last time I made out in the movie was when I was in high school and, sadly, I believe the movie was Ghostbusters. My boyfriend and I had already seen it and that meant we were covered if the parents asked any questions.

      3. THE TURTLES… She’d Rather Be With Me… Me oh my, lucky guy is what I am, tell you why you’ll understand, she don’t lie although she can”
      Has someone ever left another person to be with you? Yeah, but once again, it was ages ago. It was in high school also, at a summer program. One of the other girls and I went after the same guy. She "dated" him briefly but I ended up with him. It was young puppy love stuff.

      4. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Hey Baby They’re Playin Our Song… “Hey baby they’re playin our song, the one we used to hear when we used to get along”
      What song did you love to hear in your most recent relationship? Brooks and Dunn's Ain't Nothin' About You

      5. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Susan … “Susan, do ya have to be confusin’, I’m losin my mind….”
      Who is the most perplexing celebrity to you? I don't think there is any one celebrity I find perplexing. I think it's individual behaviors I find confusing. The biggest thing I find perplexing is when one celebrity spouse cheats on another. If you are unhappy, either work it out or leave. Don't cheat or whore around and mess up lots of lives.

      6. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Kind Of A Drag… “Kind of a drag, when your baby don’t love you, kind of a drag when you know she’s been untrue…”
      What’s been kind of a drag for you lately? Money. With the amount gas prices have gone up, that has sent the prices of everything else up. In the past year, our grocery bill has gone up 50% and that's with us cutting corners anywhere we can. That kind of expenditure is seriously painful when the household paycheck hasn't gone up.

      7. THE ASSOCIATION… Never My Love… How can you think love will end when I’ve asked you to spend your whole life, with me…”
      How do you react to a break up? Honestly, I've done all the breaking up in my past so I was always glad to have it done.

      8. THE ASSOCIATION… Windy… “and Windy has stormy eyes that laugh at the sun up high and Windy has wings to fly above the stars…”
      What is the worst downwind you have ever been in? Hmmm, I don't know that I've ever been caught in a downwind. I've been caught in a wind storm so bad that we thought a tornado was coming and a few hurricanes but no downwind.

      9. THE ASSOCIATION… Goodbye Columbus … “It’s a lucky day just for changing leavin the old world behind, lucky day for walkin a new road, just to clear your mind…”
      What do you do when you’re overly happy? Walk around humming or singing

      10. THE GRASS ROOTS… Let’s Live For Today… “I think of all the worries people seem to find, and how they’re in a hurry to complicate their mind, By chasing after money and dreams that can’t come true, I’m glad that we are different, we’ve better things to do…”
      How are you different from your significant other? We both tend to be very similar but he's stricter as a parent than I am. I tend to be a little less conservative than he is politically but we both fall under the Libertarian heading.

      11. THE GRASS ROOTS… Midnight Confession… “In my midnight confession when I tell all the world that I love you…”
      What is your confession this week? Ummmm, confession of the week...hmmmm...ok, how about this...I was only 15v when I lost my virginity. I was way too damned young and it scares the shit out of me that my oldest is 14 now. I hope he isn't ever that stupid.

      12. MARK LINDSAY (Paul Revere & The Raiders)… Miss America … “Do you miss America, miss America, miss America, I know I do…”
      Do you believe we should still have Miss America pageants? I really don't have a problem with pageants for teens and adults. I have a major problem with the pageants for little kids.

      13. MARK LINDSAY Arizona … “Arizona, cut off your Indian braids, Arizona, hey won’t you go my way…”
      Have you ever cut your hair or shaved a mustache/beard for someone else? Nope and I never will. I cut and style my hair to make me happy.            

      Happy ICLW everyone and I hope you come back!

      *BTW, since I was slack and didn't post until really late yesterday, I need someone to pick a book number (between 1 and 3), a cd number (between 1 and 100), and a track number (between 1 and 15). Later today, I'll post the Saturday Spin.

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      Vic's Story, part 4...

      When we last left our intrepid hero, Vic and M were finally legally separating, he was dating a fellow police officer, and he was getting ready to look for a place to live. Vic and his little woman in blue, otherwise known as Cheryl the Psycho Bitch from Hell, had gone out to eat one night and he was talking about needing to spend his upcoming day off looking at rental places. The Psycho Bitch from Hell or PBH for short batted her eyes at him and said "Since we've been getting serious and have been dating for a while, I thought maybe you'd like to move in with me. After all, I own my house." Now Vic, even though he'd deny it, is a hopeless romantic at heart and when he invests in a relationship he doesn't hold anything back. So, the next few weeks were spent preparing to move in with PBH. Vic decided that since he and PBH would be starting their life together that they should start it with some new things for the house. Vic bought a new bedroom suite and a kick ass stereo system for the house. PBH even talked him into cosigning on a loan for a brand new Mustang for her to drive. Move in day came and that's when PBH started showing her true colors. When Vic got there, PBH announced "I'm not quite sure I'm ready for this. Why don't you move into the room down the hall?" So there Vic was. He had a place to live with a backyard for his dog and was relegated to the spare bedroom with the second hand furniture while PBH enjoyed the new furniture in her room. But, Vic still took her statement at face value...she wasn't ready YET. They continued going out, having fun, and he continued taking care of her and paying for all kinds of things when she screwed up her money. PBH helped herself to Vic's credit cards whenever she felt the need. PBH definitely had a sweet deal going.

      A few months later, PBH got injured during physical fitness at work. Because of typical workman's comp bullshit, there were questions about whether the injury was covered and, if it was covered, how much they would pay. Despite the sudden cut in PBH's income, the household still had bills to pay. So, Vic stepped up. He was working full time as a firefighter (when Chapel Hill split the PD and Fire Department, Vic went with firefighting) and was putting in full time hours at his normal part time job, 911 dispatcher. The poor man was working his ass off to make sure the bill were paid. Mean while, PBH was recovering from her injury and started running all over the place with friends while Vic was at work. Sure, they still managed an occasional night out or an occasional dinner in together but she was out having fun while he was working. One evening, Vic finally got home to spend a quite night in, just hanging out with PBH. PBH had another agenda planned. Vic was greeted with the pronouncement "You are gone too often. We don't ever get to spend time together anymore." He was kind of dumbstruck. PBH knew he was working to cover the bills. She continued "I can't stand not having someone around so I've gone back to my ex-lover and her name is Amy." Vic was stunned. He'd given PBH everything. He thought they were trying to build something together. He just couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that she was so upset about him working extra FOR HER that she went back to her ex.

      This started a spiral that Vic almost didn't recover from. His first two wives had left him for other men. His current significant other left him for a woman. If you thought he was burnt out and cynical after his second marriage broke down, well honey you haven't seen anything yet. He drank too much. He smoked way to damned much. And, he never went to bed without his gun on his bedside. Vic was definitely at the bottom of that deep, dark pit known as depression.

      To Be Continued...

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      Great giveaways out in the blogosphere...

      Erin Loechner of Designs for Mankind is giving away an iPad2 with the backing of MeridaHomes. Go check out her fabulous blog and enter to win.

      Moses Siregar III is giving away a Free Kindle 3,  Nook, or a $100 gift card to celebrate hitting 10,000 dowloads of his new novella.

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Vic's Story, part 3...

      As we ended Part Two, I mentioned that it wasn't long before Vic's obsession affection for women in uniform reared it's head again. When Vic left the field work behind, he returned to North Carolina and the type of work that (years later) brought us together. Vic started working as an EMT for an EMS transport service. They did everything from short across the city transports to out of state transports. That's where he met M who was destined to be wife #2. M was a California girl who somehow ended up in North Carolina working EMS. Through the hours spent working together, their relationship grew and they decided to make it official. Vic was 23 when they got married. Around the time they got married, they stopped working together. M got a job with one of the first fully paid paramedic systems in North Carolina and Vic went to work as a public safety officer in Chapel Hill. As a public safety officer, he was primarily a police officer but he was cross trained as a firefighter and did regular rotations in the fire department. For a while, everything was fine but, when you have 2 people working high stress jobs with rotating schedules, the tension in a marriage can quickly reach a flash point. When they started having problems, Vic tried to take some time off so they could work on things. But, the PD showed their typical lack of sensitivity and denied him the time off. It wasn't so very long after that M confessed to having an affair and the man she happened to be sleeping with was the fire department captain Vic was assigned to work with. Although that was the end of their relationship, that was not the end of Vic's and M's marriage. Their finances were completely intertwined and, on the limited salaries of government employees, it would take a few years to separate everything. Those few years were emotionally rough on Vic. He was burnt out, distrustful of women, and rather cynical about anything positive in life. He was drinking too much and taking unnecessary risks when he was on the streets as a cop. Luckily, he survived those stupid risks. While they were separating their finances, M continued to date/sleep with the fire department captain and Vic dated a few women. One of those women was a fellow police officer (the whole women in uniform thing) and, around the time Vic and M filed the legal separation paperwork, things seemed to be getting serious with this fellow police officer. But, that's the next part of the story...

      Monday, May 16, 2011

      Perfect Moment Monday: my younger two

      Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori 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."

      On school mornings, I get up at 7:30 and it usually takes me at least 15 minutes (sometimes up to 30) to get Joey and Gabe out of bed. On Friday, I opened my door and could immediately saw that Gabe's bed was empty. Then, I heard voices down the hall. I walked into the living room to find Joey helping Gabe put his shoes on. That's right...not only were they both awake but they were both dressed for school already. For some unknown reason, Joey woke up at 6 am (poor kid) and, when he heard Gabe start calling for me at 6:30, Joey decided to get Gabe up and let me sleep. Not only did Joey let me sleep, but he also got Gabe and himself breakfast and made sure Gabe got dressed for school too. Moments like there are to be treasured.

      Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

      Friday, May 13, 2011

      Friday Night Leftovers

      After seeing all the fun people were having with Friday Night Leftovers (hosted by the lovely Danifred of Sippy Cups Are Not For Starbucks), I decided I had to join in.

      I got the recipe for Thai Chicken Burgers from the lovely TravelDiva. Click on the link and it will take you to her post with the recipe.
      I HATE with a mad passion websites with music embedded in them. It's a little tolerable if there is a playlist that a reader can turn off but the websites that play the music endlessly with no way to turn it off...they get banned from my bookmarks. Does anyone else feel this way?
      Le sigh...Gabe really is growing up. I registered him for kindergarten and he actually walked one of the dogs (as in held the leash all by himself) when we went for a walk the other day. I was so sure I'd have another little one by now and, as time passes, that becomes less and less likely. I guess I'll just savor the moments with Gabe.
      There are wildfires near the NC coast right now. They are putting off enough smoke that it is affecting the air quality here in the Triangle.When Vic was at work the other day, this lady actually called 911 to find out what was causing the smoke in the air around here...not report a fire, not report the presence of heavy smoke, no, to ASK why there was smoke in the air. When Vic told her it was from the wildfires, she got uptight and a bit indignant and said "Well, is it safe for adults and babies to breather?" Stupid twit...nothing can be done about it. We can't install a ginormous fan to blow the smoke back to the coast. If you are worried about it, turn on your air conditioning and STAY INSIDE. Don't bug the 911 dispatchers about it.
      Found a great goulash recipe but I couldn't bring myself to make it in the microwave like it called recommended. I doubled the recipe and the only changes I made were leaving out the caraway seeds, substituting Rotel (diced tomatoes with peppers) instead of the plain diced tomatoes, and added one tsp of basil.
      We were watching Bones this week and the show ended with them singing You put the lime in the coconut. Afterwards, Vic started singing it and said..."You put the lime in the coconut and then it turns British." I gave him my best What the fuck look and he said "well, that makes it Limey." UGH...sadly, Marty thought it was hysterical.

      Thursday, May 12, 2011

      Winner of the steamy romance giveaway

      I just realized that I had forgotten to post the winner of the steamy romance giveaway. Kakunaa from Spermination Station is the lucky winner.

      Email me your address and I'll pop the book and the bookmark in the mail!

      Wednesday, May 11, 2011

      Part Two

      Blogger's "maintenance" seems to have disappeared this post along with comments. Can you re-add your comments to this post and any others you notice missing, pretty please?

      Okay y'all, you know how some people swear they could never run for office because of the skeletons in their closet? Well, part two of his story is part of the graveyard in his closet that keeps him from ever running for office. Names in this part are changed to protect the guilty innocent.

      Here Manny was a 20 yr old guy, completely disillusioned by life. The woman he thought he loved had cheated on him and tried to have him killed. His plans for a military career got derailed by the grasping greediness of his bitchy, cheating, soon to be ex. What could he do?

      Luckily, Manny had some valuable skills and a streak of testosterone fueled crazy a mile wide. See, when Manny was in high school, his dad was stationed in Europe and that meant his JROTC unit went out in the field and trained with the active duty troops at his base. So, Manny had as much military training as most young enlisted men. Manny was also a fully trained field EMT. Through some of his buddies, word got to Manny that someone was putting together a private military unit to do some in-country black ops. It was the late 70s, almost early 80s and the drug war was raging. One area that had a particularly bad problem was the swamps of Georgia. The drug smugglers knew the area and, even though the local and state police knew there was a major smuggling ring operating out of said swamps, they couldn't gather the court admissible evidence needed to get approval to go after these drug smugglers. The cops were getting desperate because this smuggling ring was chock full of some really nasty characters. There were way to many suspicious deaths associated with this smuggling ring and the cops and local governments decided it had to stop them. The local government and cops down there in Georgia hired an ex-military man to put together a private military unit to come in and clean house. Manny was a part of this group. When he and the others were hired on, they were fully briefed on who they were going after and the fact that this was going to be a classic black op. If the private military unit got caught, they were on their own. The locals would deny any and all knowledge of the operations and that small unit would be hung out to dry.

      Manny never shared the exact details of what went down. When he talked about this time in his life, he just said they went in and successfully cleared out this drug smuggling ring. I guess he figured this was one area where don't ask, don't tell was a good policy. It really boiled down to some really good guys doing some not completely savory things to get rid of some of the baddest of the bad. Manny did share some non-operational stories of this time. Manny's deathly fear of snakes almost did him in once because he almost shot of his foot when he tried to shoot a snake that was crawling across the path he was on. There was also the time he came face to face with an alligator as they were crawling through the swamp. Luckily, the gator was asleep and Manny was able to back away without waking it up.

      This part of Manny's life didn't last too long, less than 2 yrs, and, in between Georgia expeditions, he and his buddies were bar hopping all over the place. It wasn't long after this that his obsession with women in uniform reared it's head again. But, that's the next part of the story...

      Tuesday, May 10, 2011

      A Slight Delay

      Y'all, I had intended to have part 2 of Vic's Story up today but, I am wiped out. Remember when I wrote about making an appointment to get that mole removed? Well, I went in today. I was tired when I went in but I was completely drained when I I left the doctor's office. See, my body metabolizes anesthesia incredibly quickly. I mean 9 shots to do a crown quickly, lifting my legs only 45 minutes after my c-section quickly. To make the topical anesthesia last longer, they used marcaine and added epi to the shots. Even with all that, it took twice as much as normal to numb the area and it barely lasted long enough. By the end of the excision, I was regaining feeling around the edges. The problem was the epi made my heart feel like it was beating 100 mph and was beating out of my chest. That just totally drained me of whatever energy I had.

      Oh yeah, my doc said she thinks it wasn't a mole but it was actually a dermatofibroma. A dermatofibroma is a small, benign tumor that usually causes no problems but can sometimes develop a painful sensitivity that makes you want to have it removed. It was 7mm in diameter and enough of it was beneath the skin that I had to have a couple of stitches put it...fun, fun. I get to go back in about a week to get the stitches taken out.

      I'll have the next chapter of Vic's story up tomorrow afternoon.

      Monday, May 09, 2011

      Vic's Story...

      Back when I was participating in the A to Z blogging challenge, I told a bit of the story of how Vic and I got together. I ended up getting a bunch of requests for the rest of Vic's (and my) story, so here we go.

      What would you say if you found out a friend was dating a man who had been married twice, *his divorce from his second wife wasn't finalized, and he was sharing a house (house, not bedroom)with another woman? What kind of odd would you give that relationship of lasting even one measly year? I know I wouldn't stake any money on it but that is exactly the situation I was in almost 19 years ago.

      You know how some women have a thing for a man in uniform? Well, Vic has always had a thing for women in uniform. Back when Vic was in his late teens/early 20s, he was a member of a rescue squad here in Cary. That's where he met Debbie Ann aka Wife #1. He and Debbie Ann were both volunteers and one thing led to another. They got married at a very early age and,  like many early marriages ruled by passion, there wasn't smooth sailing. Vic took their vows very seriously but, Debbie Ann, not so much. Debbie Ann, now promoted to Cheater #1 didn't seem to want to limit herself to one man. Vic tried for a while to make it work but it was hopeless. When he finally decided it was over, he started making plans to go int o the army. Vic's dad had made a career in the army and Vic thought following in his footsteps would be a good way to escape the mess of his first marriage.

      Debbie Ann was pissed. Despite not wanting to limit herself to only Vic, she was pissed off that he was the one to end it. From everything I've heard, she was a spoiled brat who thought she deserved what she wanted when she wanted it and the split wasn't in her plan (at least not the way it went down).The news of Vic's plan to go into the military made it's way back to Cheater #1. Since Vic wasn't living there anymore, he doesn't know what her reaction to the news was but we do know what went down later.

      Shortly before Vic went down to sign the papers to go into the army, his dad took him aside. He reminded Vic that when it came to spousal support, the military didn't care if you were separated. If you were divorced when you went into the military, your ex is not entitled to anything but, if you were only separated, your soon to be ex would be entitled to half your salary (and retirement). When Vic was reminded of this policy, he decided to postpone going into the military. He was at a bit of loose ends. With the military at least temporarily out of the picture, he was casting about for a direction to go.

      In the interim, he was hanging out with friends. And, one day a few of his friends came to him with news that couldn't be ignored. Evidently, Cheater #1 totally lost her shit when she found out Vic wasn't going into the military after all. It seemed like she had already made plans to spend that spousal support she would have gotten if joined the army. In fact, Cheater #1 was so pissed off that she took a contract out on Vic. Yup, she hired/tried to hire someone to kill him. I guess she figured if she didn't have the spousal support to look forward to, at least she would get the life insurance he carried from when he was on the rescue squad. With Vic made aware of her plans, she was thwarted and Vic was able to move on with his life. He did end up doing work that took him out of town but it wasn't with the military.

      To Be Continued...

      * NC requires a year of legal separation before the will finalize a divorce.

      Sunday, May 08, 2011

      How was your weekend?

      On Saturday, we got together with my MIL and my parents. I cooked dinner to spoil two of the most important women in my life, my mom and my husband's mom. I made them a fabulous dinner of Thai Chicken Burgers and *Key Lime Cheesecake for dessert. I hit the lottery jackpot when I was assigned to my mommy. My mom is a truly fabulous lady. She's brilliant. She's fun. How many mom's allow frosting fights at birthday parties when you are little and running shaving cream battles in their house when you are a grownup? She's supportive. My mom held me and assured me I was smart and beautiful and could do anything I wanted even when the asshats I went to middle school made me believe I wasn't. And, she's held me and helped me through the trials and tribulations of adulthood. My mom has more energy than many women half her age and she's still beautiful and going strong at 66. I love you mommy! And, my MIL, well, she's pretty darned fabulous too. Without her amazing strength, I wouldn't have the wonderful man I am married to.

      On Sunday, with the exception of Sunday school and church, we had a nice quiet day. I got the cutest little picture and frame from Gabe, homemade cards from Joey and Gabe, and Marty made us dinner. We had a nice family day and that's what is important to me.
      I also wanted to let all my friends who have lost children, lost pregnancies, or who are still fighting to achieve a pregnancy that I was thinking of you today on Mother's Day. I haven't forgotten you or the pain and loss many of you are still dealing with. I love you all.

      *Does anyone have a really great cheesecake recipe? The flavor of the one I made was outstanding but the texture was pretty frakked up. It set well but the cream cheese didn't completely blend with the rest of it.

      Saturday, May 07, 2011

      Saturday Spin: Turn 1

      Book 1, Disc 57, Track 5

      Since this is is going to be a regular feature, I thought I'd tell y'all exactly how this will work. The request for a pick will go out on Thursday or Friday as part of my regular post. The first person to respond will get the possibly dubious honor of picking the Saturday Spin that week. If I get more than one suggestion, I'll save the other one for a slow day or week and run an extra Spin (on another day).

      Friday, May 06, 2011

      Fun New Idea *Updated

      Since I've got my cd's all sorted out, I've had this idea for a game niggling at me. Since we have such an eclectic collection of music, I thought it would be fun to share it with y'all. But, it would be boring as hell for me to pick something out each week. So, I thought what I'd do is every Friday (and maybe more often) I'd ask you to pick a book number (between 1 and 3), a cd number (between 1 and 100), and a track number (between 1 and 15). On Saturday, We'll have the Saturday Spin and I'll share the track with you no matter how odd or embarrassing it turns out to be.

      Who wants to play?

      *Since I got this idea pretty late at night, the first choice will be brought to you by random.org.
      Book 1
      Disc 57
      Track 5

      The Story of Beautiful Girl

      I blame Rachel Simon. I blame her for the bags under my eyes and the toothpicks holding up my eyelids. And, it's all because of this book, The Story of Beautiful Girl. 3 nights this week it's had me just one more paging myself into a 2:30 am bedtime. Y'all, I have to tell you about this book. Editorial reviews describe this book as an enthralling or unlikely love story but it is so much more. In fact, by calling this book a love story, I think the editors do it a disservice and turn away a bunch of possible (read younger males) readers. Sure, The Story of Beautiful Girl tells the story of Lynnie and Homan, two people in love who tried to run away from the Pennsylvania State School for the Incurable and Feebleminded. But, their love story isn't what drives the book. The reader recognizes that despite Lynnie's and Homan's disabilities they have the same human needs and desires that each of us do. Yes, they need freedom, respect, beauty, shelter, education, and even love. With this recognition of a very basic kinship with Lynnie and Homan, the reader begins to care about these characters whose surfaces seem so different from us. Ms. Simon's ability to create characters that we identify with and care about allows her to enthrall her readers with a decades spanning story that at times horrifies with it's unflinching look at the mistreatment of the disabled. But, The Story of Beautiful Girl does not only horrify. It also delights and thrills the reader as you watch Lynnie and Homan grown and learn and become fully realized members of the big, wide world we all live in.The Story of Beautiful Girl  is a rare gem of a book and is well worth having in your library. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up a copy as soon as you can.

      * The Story of Beautiful Girl is available in available in hardback, audiobook, Kindle, and Nook editions.
      ** The author kindly provided me with a copy of her book in return for my promise to write an honest review. All opinions expressed above are completely my own.

      Thursday, May 05, 2011

      Things I Never Thought I'd See or I Should Have More Faith

      The events of this weekend got me thinking. Despite the faith I have in our military, I had begun to wonder if we would ever get Bin Laden and,not only did we find him, but we did so in spectacular fashion. This made me start thinking of all the things that have happened in my life time that I honestly never expected to see...things on both a worldwide and personal level.
      1. I never expected to see the Berlin Wall come down. - For those of you in your early twenties, unless you are a serious student of history, you may not understand why this was such a big deal. The Berlin Wall separated more than a a city. It separated families. It created a culture of haves and have nots. And, the East Germans/Soviets were willing to kill people to keep them from crossing that wall. 
      2. .I never expected to see the Soviet Union fall. - For so long, the USSR was such an ever present threat. And, they seemed bent on Empire building and strengthening their nation. It was stunning to see all the individual countries regain their freedom.
      3. I honestly never expected to see an African-American man become president. Seeing how Obama won the hearts and minds of Americans gives me hope that we can continue to conquer old prejudices and maybe one day elect a woman or an Asian-American or even an openly gay person to the presidency.
      4. I never expected to see the countries in the middle east rising up against the dictators who had oppressed them for so long and I certainly never thought a technology many think of as frivolous (Twitter) would help these rebellions succeed.
      5. After the incredibly hellish start to puberty with Marty and the active dislike for church services, I never thought I'd get to the point where he would say "Let's make sure we go to church today. I really like it and don't want to miss this week."
      6. For a long time, I thought we might not be successful in having our third child. Obviously, we beat the infertility bitch and Gabe has been with us for more than 5 years.
      I never thought I'd see all these things happen. The simple fact that I have lived to see each of these events tells me that maybe I should have more faith in the power of my fellow man and more faith in my God.  Now, I know not all of you believe in God but I know that everyone has to have at least one thing that they've seen happen that they never expected to see. What have you seen happen in your own life or on the world stage that you never expected to see?

      Wednesday, May 04, 2011

      Stretching the boundaries of what you read (plus a giveaway)

      Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys storeY'all know I'm a huge fan of romance novels. Well, in the past few years, I've branched out and started reading erotica. Well, I love to find out more about the writers whose books I am reading and I recently found out that EdenFantasys has multiple ways to explore erotica and learn about the authors. Of course, there is The Naked Reader Book Club. According to the web page, the Naked Reader Book Club allows you to "join venerated erotica publisher Cleis Press, EdenFantasys and SexIs in an ongoing online book club for inquiring minds who love to read about all things sexual—from the politics of pornography to the erotically evocative boundaries of desire."

      EdenFantasys also does interviews with a wide variety of people and recently, they did an interview that dovetails nicely with my desire to learn more about authors in this genre. They did an interview with author/editor Sacchi Green. This was such a fun and revealing read. Ms. Green answered in depth questions about the writing and editing process and she also entertained questions about her personal life.

      To celebrate reading and to hopefully drag someone else into my love of romance and erotica, I want to have a GIVEAWAY. I'm going to pass on to one lucky reader a book from one of my favorite erotica authors, Lisa G. Riley. Now, I want to assure you that this is not porn. This book is a collection of 3 stories - all with strong story lines, well rounded characters, wonderful romance, and hot, steamy sex scenes. Along with the book, the winner will get a crocheted bookmark. The giveaway is limited to people who are 18 and over. To enter, simply post and tell me what your favorite book is (no matter what the genre). You can get an extra entry by tweeting (or facebooking) each day Enter to win a book and hand crocheted bookmark from @dragondream http://bit.ly/l7VI2J #giveaway Remember to come back here and comment with a link to your tweet. The giveaway is going to run from today through 11:59 pm 5/10/11. Winner will be announced next Wednesday 5/11/11.

      Tuesday, May 03, 2011

      Things I Learned From Music

      I finally got around to a chore that I'd been putting off for ages. Since we moved here 4 1/2 yrs ago, all our music cds have been sitting in a box tucked under our table. They were accessible but not easily so. They had stayed there because we just don't have a good spot for the cd racks we use to own. So, this afternoon I pulled them all out, sorted them into music genres, alphabetized them, put them all in cd sleeves that fit in 3 ring binders, and condensed one huge ass, slightly inaccessible box down into 4 binders. I learned a few things going through all those cds.
      1. Way too many country singers use to wear mullets. Mullets are not attractive on anyone.
      2. If you look at a cd label can't tell who the artist is or any of the song titles, it is a shitty label. Artsy-fartsy  labels are all well and good but it shouldn't obscure the necessary info.
      3. We have a very bizarre collection of music...everything from opera to pop to country to classic rock with at least on disco disc thrown in for good measure.
      4. We have a ton of music...approximately 250 cds in addition to all our digital music. I wonder how long it will take to convert all our cds to mp3 format?
      5. Out of those almost 250 cds, there were approximately 21 (can't swear to my count) that were still in their plastic wrappers. I am only responsible for one unopened cd. My husband and the Columbia House subscription he had years and years ago were responsible for the other 20.
      6. I can NOT believe Vic had 20 cds that were bought a minimum of 6 1/2 yrs ago that he had never listened to.
      All in all, it was a productive and entertaining afternoon. My back isn't happy with me (sitting on the floor and sorting and putting for that long is not good) but I am thrilled to regain the space they had been taking up.

      Tasty Tuesday: help me name it

      Hey y'all. I was up to my usual experimentation in the kitchen and I came up with a pretty tasty dish. There's just one problem. It doesn't have a name. It needs a name.Help me name it please.

      2 lbs ground beef
      1 large Vidalia (or any sweet) onion
      2 cups (unchopped) baby carrots
      4 cups broccoli
      6 stalks of celery
      3 cloves of garlic
      1 tbsp oregano
      1 tbsp parsley
      1 1/2 tsp basil
      salt to taste
      2 1/2 cups water
      1 cup good red wine*

      For thickening: 2 cups cold water with 1/2 cup flour dissolved in it

      1. Brown ground beef over medium heat
      2. While ground beef is browning, dice onions, celery, carrots, and garlic
      3. Drain ground beef and return to heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Stir thoroughly.
      4. Add oregano, parsley, and basil and cook until the onions begin to become translucent.
      5. Add the red wine (I used a Cupcake Vineyards Malbec) and water
      6. Let is simmer for 15 minutes
      7. Add half the thickening agent. Simmer an additional 10 minutes.
      8. If you want your broth/sauce/whatever thicker, add the rest of the thickening agent.
      9. Add broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender crisp
      10. Salt to taste and serve over rice.
      So y'all, what should I call it?

      Monday, May 02, 2011

      Perfect Moment Monday: a little tiny miracle

      Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori 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."

      There's this blogger I've been following for a couple of years now. She's a truly fabulous lady and, sadly, she's had truly horrendous luck trying to build her family. I identify with her because, like me she's gone through many losses.Unlike me though, her losses have come at the beginning of her family building rather than in the middle of it. Today, I logged on and saw a one word post title from AnotherDreamer over at An Unwanted Path. Her post title simply says Disbelief-. I hoped, I prayed, and I was still a little afraid to click over. But I did. And it was worth it. AnotherDreamer is now more pregnant than she's ever been and, at just past 6 weeks, there's a gestational sac, a yolk sac, a visible fetal pole, and even a heartbeat. I started cheering so loudly I had to explain what was going on to my whole family. Head on over (click on the bold link above) and help her celebrate her moment which was pretty perfect for me.

      Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

      Sunday, May 01, 2011

      Sunday Smorgasbord

      See, I had a post full of randomness for you and didn't want to wait until tomorrow to post it under the heading of Monday Miscellany...love the alliteration. So, instead of Monday Miscellany, you are getting the Sunday Smorgasbord brought to you bullet style.
      • As much as I adore cross stitching, it has been absolutely ages since I have picked up floss and needle. I've been getting that itch for cross stitch lately and I may be getting it back out.
      • Yesterday afternoon was spent doing yard work/gardening. Some brilliant individual decided to put a flower bed between the driveway and the house. I thought it was a serious waste of all the gorgeous daffodils in it and, that extra 2+ ft of space would mean we could park our vehicles side by side. So, yesterday I conned Jennifer into helping me replant the daffodil bulbs after I split them. We replanted about 100 bulbs, gave my neighbor about 50+ bulbs, and I have a bunch more to go.
      • Speaking of neighbors, my kids' friends' father helped out big time with the gardening. The front garden bed that I designated for the daffodils had a volunteer tree that continually regrew right against the foundation of the house. I had taken a chain saw to it twice and it still grew back every spring. I hated getting rid of such a healthy tree but it was in a horrible location and there was no way to dig out the root ball. Dudley took a pickaxe to that bitch and ripped it out of the ground. Now the bed is a happy home for my daffodils and day lilies.
      • It's sad that the few hours of yard work I put in yesterday left me so tired.
      • Did you know that the Crest Spin Brush sounds like a vibrator when you turn it on? Well, it does.
      • After I wrote my post about Vic, mommyodyssey commented that she wanted the back story I alluded to. Vic has given me permission to tell it. So, sometime soon, I'll tell you the whole tale.
      • Today was all about maintenance too. Marty tackled the front lawn and I got Joey and Gabe to clean the den. The den still needs work but, thank God, the floor has reappeared under all the crap they had left around.
      • I think I've have succeeded in getting Marty hooked on Doctor Who. I'm so proud that I'm raising a Sci-Fi geek.
      • Teaching Marty algebra can make me INSANE. As much as I love math now, I had horrible problems learning algebra and Marty has the same issues. When we clash, we clash big (and, sadly,  I remember having the same ugly fights with my dad when he tried to teach me algebra...sorry dad). I think our latest algebra battle was not just about algebra.  I think some of it was also about him being nervous about going to high school next year.
      • When I was helping Gabe and Joey clean the den, I came to the conclusion that I need to cull the toy herd. I will have to do it when Joey isn't around because he does not want to give anything up. I know for a fact he hasn't played with the Power Ranger toys in ages but he claims "I use them to have battles all the time." I swear I think the child would keep every single scrap of everything that comes through the door of the house.
      So, what new or random is going on with your life?