"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, November 30, 2010

Random Thoughts from a Scattered MInd

I'm still not going to bed on time. When Vic is at work, it seems pointless and, when he's home, I want to hang out. The lack of sleep is kicking my butt.

Emotionally, I'm dealing better with him working nights. PMS can seriously screw with your emotions.

I am having so much fun making that dress for my friend. I absolutely adore the pattern and I am going to get it in my size. I LOVE the pattern. For inquiring minds, I'm making pattern 4790 from Butterick. I'm making it in black crepe back satin with a few small alterations. The skirt is being shortened to just above knee length. I'm adding an underlining of black organza and I'm narrowing the shoulder straps. I think I will be done by tomorrow night.

Gabe will be 5 yrs old on Thursday. I'm making cupcakes for him to take to school tomorrow. I've got a question about the cupcakes. They are completely cooked. They taste great but the look weird. Can anyone explain why they look like this...

Despite being sick, my dear, darling, wonderful husband picked Joey up from school today so I could have an extra hour or two to work on the dress I'm making. My husband is incredible and I'm a very lucky woman.

I think I'm going to put my Christmas lights up this weekend. It will be December and I'm ready to start decorating.

I'm reading Anthony Bourdain's latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. I'm enjoying it but I don't think it's quite as engaging as Kitchen Confidential. The parts where he talks about his daughter and the effect she has had on him are so incredibly sweet and touching.

Does anyone know where I can get a dress form that is adjustable to different sizes at a cheap price? I've decided I really need one if I'm going to keep sewing clothes. One of my friends found one at a yard sale for only $5 but, over the years, her kids broke it. I looked and, sadly, the only ones that adjust to accommodate my ginormous boobage cost about $170 before shipping and handling.

I made the yummiest turkey calzones with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, broccoli left over from our vegetable tray, a can of mushrooms, half a block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, and about half a cup of my yummy homemade pizza sauce. I think I will have to spend a morning making and assembling various flavor combinations of the calzones and freezing them.

I have a huge pot (and I do mean huge) of Turkey stock cooling in our fridge so I can separate off the fat. It is going to make the best turkey soup and there will be plenty of stock to freeze.

What's going on with you  guys?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: He's grown up

Welcome to Perfect Moment Monday sponsored by Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart (formerly Weebles Wobblog). 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."

This was such a simple moment, one you might not even realize was important if you didn't know my oldest son's history. See, I was ready to pull my hair out because Joey (the middle kid) was in whinefest mode complaining about how he didn't like to stay home with Dad because Dad would get mad at him for nothing. Marty saw me stressing and asked what was wrong. I explained what was going on and Marty looked straight at me and said, "I don't know what his problem is.  Dad is cool to hang out with." This little moment was truly perfection because, when Marty first hit puberty (around age 10 like Joey), he decided Vic was eeeeeevil personified and he was out to get him and he was unfair, and, and, and.... Now, less that 4 years later, he has grown up and is starting to see what a great guy his dad really is.  It gives me hope for Joey.

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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Explanation for Everything

I should have known better. I should not have pursued that train of thought. When Marty comes to you late at night with a seemingly innocuous line of questioning, all sensors start screaming "Danger Will Robinson Danger." But, for you my faithful friends and readers, I entertained his train of thought.  This is what happened...

Marty: "Mom, you know how the Bible says we were created in God's image..."
Me: "Yeah"
Marty: "and you know how some people look at us and say that must mean God has a good sense of humor..."
Me: sensors are starting to scream at me but I'm in too deep already "Ummmm, yeah" thinking I'm a little scared to see where this is going
Marty: "Well, I've figured out what the Big Bang was..."
Me: oh shit, I can only imagine where this is going "What was it?"
Marty: "The Big Bang was God going through puberty. After all, we know how bad it is for us, imagine an omnipotent being going through it."
*Me: Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha I never, ever learn, do I?

*of course, I called Vic at work to tell him and his only question (after laughing his ass off) was "Lightning hasn't struck the house yet, has it?"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An Ode to my Boys

Please forgive the cheesy poetry. I actually had an entirely different post planned but just as I was sitting down to type it, poor Gabey woke up coughing and sneezing. By the time I got him settled back down, the post had fled from my brain and this was all I could come up with.

Now I lay you down to sleep
Across the floor my feet do creep
A load of dishes, a load of wash
In a vain attempt to quash
the growing piles created by three.
Oh damn, what is that I see?
A sock I missed,a fork you stashed
Ah hell more things that need to be washed
It's a good thing I love each and every one
Because truly my work is never done.
A cry from a darkened room I hear
a sigh, a moan, a cough I fear.
my little boy is still sick you see
so I bring him over close to me
the dishes can wait as can the clothes
for these are the moment a mother knows
her children need her to hold them tight
and love them through day and night.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Last night, I had a sick little boy in bed with me. Gabe has got a horrific cold. His nose and upper lip are red and raw from all the wiping and the only good thing I can say about his coughing is at least it is limited. Despite all this, he refuses to slow down. I give him medicine because he is so obviously miserable with the drippy nose and runny eyes but then the medicine makes him feel just better enough that he goes bounding out the back door after his brothers. If he would just slow down a bit, he might get better faster. Somehow, I just don't think that's in the cards.

This morning, I woke up with a horrific headache, maybe not a full blown migraine but bad enough. I was drained from our fun and fabulous holiday celebration and, I suspect was trying to catch Gabe's cold. I took some medicine and spent the morning curled up on the couch pretending to be awake and coherent. Luckily, the cold seems to have been beaten back by that fitful rest but the remnants of the headache hung on until late afternoon.

Tonight I find myself sitting here and enjoying the quiet. Joey's been in bed for a while. Marty just went to bed a  little while ago. And Gabe, my snuffly nosed sick little guy is asleep and waiting in my bed. While the quiet is to be savored, that's not the only reason I'm still up (and probably will be for quite some time). My husband is at work, working what appears to be a permanent night shift schedule. The reasons for this will fill up a whole other post. Overall, it's honestly a good thing. But, we are only one week in and I miss him at night. I miss having him there next to me when I climb into bed. I miss having him to snuggle up to at night. I feel like such a spoiled, selfish bitch even moaning about this because I know other people are missing their spouses for far worse reasons. I have to figure out how to deal with this new schedule because right now I'm exhausted because I'm missing him at night.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I am blessed in so many ways and I have so very many things to be THANKFUL for.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband who loves me and makes me laugh.

I am thankful beyond belief for our three healthy children. They are sweet, smart, wonderful, and frequently drive me insane.

I am thankful that, despite the financial hardships our country and many of us have gone through, my husband has a secure job, we have a nice house, and a full pantry.

I'm so thankful for all my friends (and, yes, that DEFINITELY includes all of you in the computer) and all the people I've recently reconnected with.

I'm thankful for the wonderful smells wafting through my house.

I am thankful that our kitty Freddy finally decided to come out of hiding (he went into a funk when he realized Max wasn't coming back).

I am thankful that I get to spend today with my family.

I am thankful that I finished all my prep work for Thanksgiving dinner last night. That means that I can relax and enjoy watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

For a number of years, I have always brined my turkey.  It produces such a moist, delicious turkey even with a *frozen turkey. Even if I bought a fresh turkey (which sadly isn't in the budget), I would still brine it. Yes, brining is that fabulous. When working with a frozen turkey, the easiest way to brine it is to combine the brining and the thawing.  Break out a cooler that is big enough to contain the turkey, put the turkey in it,  mix up the brine, cover the turkey in the brine, and add ice. The idea is to keep the brine at a fridge temperature. That way you are essentially thawing the turkey in the fridge and brining it at the same time. The turkey needs to be taken out of the freezer and put in the cooler either Sunday or by Monday morning at the latest so it will thaw all the way.

I followed all these rules.  The only thing I did differently this year was adding a turkey breast to the cooler.  You can never have enough turkey cooked. Soooooo, last night I figured I'd do a quick check on the turkey. I opened the cooler and saw no ice cubes but the water was still pretty cold so I thought "Excellent, the turkey should be well on its way to being thawed." I was so wrong.  I looked a little closer and realized that while the ice cubes had melted, they had reformed into a solid block of ice around both the turkey and the turkey breast.  I had to drag the cooler to the sink, put my hands into the "OMG that's fucking cold" water, haul that big ass block of ice (22 lbs of turkey + a large butterball turkey breast + ice) out of the cooler and chip it away.  Thank God I checked on it last night or I would have been totally screwed when it came to preparing dinner.

Speaking of turkeys, I got a great turkey recipe in my email yesterday.  Take a look and tell me what you think...

1 whole turkey
1 large lemon, cut into halves
salt and pepper to taste
butter or olive oil, whichever you prefer

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Rub butter or oil over the skin of the turkey until it is completely coated. 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.

Take a knife and gently separate the skin from the breast meat;  
 Slide  lemon  halves  under  the  skin  with  the  peel  side  up, one on
each side.  This way the  juice from the lemon will release into the breasts.

Cover and bake for 30-45 minutes.   Remove cover and continue
to roast until juices run clear, basting every 15-20 minutes.

If you've followed these steps correctly, your turkey should  
look like the one in the picture.

Bon Appetit!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quick and Easy (and cheap) Christmas Gift

I don't know about you, but I love getting handmade gifts at Christmas. Thanks to the people at Glade, I have found a way to make some uber cool paper craft Christmas ornaments for an extremely cheap price. Best of all, it is so simple that even you non-crafty types can do it.

To make ornaments like these lovelies
simply click on the picture above and, once the Glad page opens, click on the create now button.

Then, pick one of their 5 holiday scents (apple cinnamon, bayberry spice, french vanilla, sugarplum fantasies, and peppermint crush) to inspire the patterns on your paper

Once you've picked among the scents, you will get to chose between 5 patterns (different patterns for each scent). These are the patterns that are inspired by the apple cinnamon scent.

After you select your pattern, you pick which of the 6 ornaments you want to make. Or, if you don't want to do ornaments, you can make cutouts (to decorate your walls or presents), table settings, cards, wrapping paper, or wallpaper for your computer.

Finally, you *print out the pdf and follow the simple instructions to make the ornament.

From this one little application, you have the potential to print out and make 150 different paper craft ornaments.

*you can also save the individual pdfs to your hard drive and keep this as a project for next year
This review is completely my own opinion and I was offered nothing in exchange for it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary Honey

Can you believe it's been 16 years already? It blows my mind when I think of our relationship in those terms. There are so many times when it seems like just yesterday when we met and became a couple. Then, one of our three hellions rugrats lovely boys comes dashing through the room and the reality hits...we really have been married that long. I wouldn't trade one single moment we have had together. Sure, we've been through some pretty hellish experiences, but I learned long ago that as long as I have you by my side, we can survive and even conquer anything.

I sometimes wonder if you realize how very proud I am of you and the many sacrifices you have made for our family? I try to remember to tell you often but I don't think I could ever say it enough. You are an incredible man who has achieved so much and have worked your ass off to provide for us. I wish the universe had cooperated and there hadn't been so many physical roadblocks thrown in the path of your career development. Seeing you work through each of these roadblocks and seeing you overcome them in order to continue on an outstanding career path has set a wonderful example for our boys and has taught them so much about having a strong work ethic.

Vic, I love you more than I can put into words. I wanted this to be eloquent and beautiful but I have so many thoughts swirling through my head. They are fighting to get out onto the computer screen and, instead of a polished love letter, you are getting a mish-mash of heartfelt sentiment.  Just remember that I love you.  I need you. You mean the world to me and I hope we have 50 more  years together.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My weekend in pictures

I promised pictures from this weekend and here they are. For the family birthday party, Joey wanted a cake with a Trojan helmet on it. So, I found a picture of a Trojan helmet...
and, I did my best to replicate it. It wasn't great but, Joey had requested a non-buttercream frosting and it was much harder to work with.
and, for his birthday party with his friends, I made a cake with a sword and did the Greek alphabet around it. Once again, I was working with that other frosting and it was much more difficult to make things neat.

We also had Joey's Space Derby for Cub Scouts this weekend. We had both been slack and hadn't started making the rocket until Friday evening for a derby that started at 9:30 Saturday morning. Since his Cub Scout pack collects pop tops to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, we decided to decorate his ship with pop tops.

Joey placed 3rd in the Most Unique category. I think he and I did a pretty good job considering what a rush job it was.

And, tomorrow when my brain will hopefully be working better, I'm going to write my Happy Anniversary post. I know it will go up 1 day late but it's the best I can do.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

So I don't blow NaBloPoMo...

I was going to edit birthday pictures and tell you all about the space derby but I am too damned tired. I promise I'll post tomorrow and have a bunch of pics to show you and stories to tell you.


Friday, November 19, 2010

It's reversed...and some randomness...

Once again, my week seems to be reversed. My weekend is far, far busier than my week and it all started tonight. Joey got Tae Kwon Do sparring gear from my parents for his birthday and the last of it came in today. That meant I got to spend 2 hours at the studio tonight...1 hour for regular class and 1 hour for sparring. Then, Joey and I came home and worked on his rocket for the Cub Scout space Derby which happens to be tomorrow morning. Right now, I have a cake in the oven and, at some time tomorrow, I need to vacuum. So, tomorrow morning, I get to get up at 7:30 (oh yuck) so Joey and I can be ready and at the derby by 9 for the Webelos race at 9:30. I'm praying we will be completely done and home by noon (hopefully 11, bwahahahahaha) because I have to finish frosting and decorating the cake for Joey's birthday party with his friends. The party starts at 2:30 and we'll be officially done at 4:30 but I can guarantee the kids that live in the neighborhood will probably hang around later.
Is it wrong to admit that I was kind of hoping the sparring gear would take a bit longer to get here? I wanted to go hang out with my crafting group tonight but I had promised Joey I would take him to sparring class when the gear came in.
I just finished the newest book by Rick Riordan, The Lost Heroes. This is the first book in another series that focuses on the demigod children of Olympus. The story is just as captivating as the original 5 Percy Jackson books and it promises to be a hell of a lot of fun.
If you live near a Kroger and still need a turkey, they have turkeys on sale for 39 cents per pound. You have to buy $25 worth of groceries including the turkey to get that price but, since I needed things anyway, it was a great deal for me. I got a 22+ pound turkey for about $8.
Why do children going through puberty pick one parent to be the enemy? When Marty was in the throes of puberty, Vic was the Eeeeeeevil Dad. Now, Marty says "Dad is pretty cool to hang out with." It's Joey's turn now and he has elected Vic to the evil Dad position too.  If it wasn't so frustrating to deal with, I'd be laughing my ass off.
I offered my services as a seamstress to a friend who needs a bridesmaid/party dress in early December.  She, being the awesome individual that she is, offered to pay me. While I love the idea of being paid for doing something I love, I had the hardest time asking for a decent price.  I asked a friend who is a major fashionista and an incredible seamstress what she would charge (including materials cost) and just about croaked at what she mentioned.  I finally settled on a price and, even though it felt really weird to ask for it, she didn't hesitate. I am totally looking forward to doing this.  She has promised to show it off after I finish it for her.
Hehehehe, one of my kids' friends made a funny crack this week.  He asked my boys if they knew who he routed for in car races...and then cracked up and said he routed for the wall.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

He's settled in and taken over...

Joey's little kitten, Butterball, has settled right in and he fits in with the crowd. He likes to watch video games...
He tried to steal Gabe's chili from right out of his dinner bowl. And, he's already staked claim on a bed...
Hehehehehe, Butterball's kitty bed supports a variety of sleep positions too.

It's a good thing Freddy is as mild mannered as he is because Butterball has adopted him and feels perfectly at ease in following him and climbing all over him.

Joey is doing better but we are still having moments when the loss of his Max hits him hard. It's nice to know my boy can love so deeply but it sucks seeing him in pain.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A rare regret

From the very beginning, I've blogged under my real name. In the beginning, even the family members who knew I blogged didn't have my url and weren't the types to go searching for it. For the first time since I gave family members the link to my blog, I'm regretting it. I have a rant I am dying to let out but it would create a shitstorm and it just isn't worth it Hmmmm, maybe this warrants a post over at Mushroom Printing? If you haven't checked out Mushroom Printing, you should.  Sometimes it's funny.  Sometimes it gasp inducing.  It is always entertaining.

Escape with Giulietta

Imagine a world in which Romeo and Juliet weren't just characters from literature. Imagine they were real people who live in 14th century Siena and their story was filled with twists and turns and pathos and backstabbing than even Shakespeare could conceive of. Now, imagine that the descendants of their famous familes are still being affected by the infamous curse of "A plague on both your houses." Throw in some mystery, a lost treasure, and a storybook romance and you have the basis for Anne Fortier's debut novel, Juliet.

While many people refer to Ms. Fortier's debut novel as a romance, I think it's primary strength lies in the fresh twist added to a 6 century old tale. Even if you've never read it, almost everybody out there has at least heard the basics of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Fortier takes the tale of Romeo and Juliet back to it's origins in Siena and balances that ancient tale with the story of the modern day Tolomei, Marescotti, and Salimbeni families (the families in the first writing of Romeo and Juliet). Ms. Fortier presents her tightly woven tale by alternating between the ancient tale and the story of the modern day.  Despite bouncing back and forth in time, the story never veers off course and never fails to explore and of the twists and turns toe story takes.

Most reviews of this novel are glowing but I have seen a few people complain that, while the first half of the novel gripped them tightly, the second half disappointed and left them a bit cold.  Honestly, I found it a bit of the reverse.  I thought Juliet got stronger as the story grew and developed and by halfway through I could NOT put it down.  In fact, I loved it so much that I was up until 2:30 last night finishing it. Juliet holds something for just about every reader...family drama, intrigue, mystery, a teensy bit of the super natural, and, yes, romance.  For all of us who are incurable romantics, there is a modern day Romeo to go along with the main character of Julie Jacobs aka Giulietta Tolomei

If you love reading as much as I do, take a chance and pick up Anne Fortier's debut novel.  When you reach the end, I guarantee you'll come away wanting to read more by this talented author..

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Super Gabe

Today we are having Perfect Moment Monday on a Tuesday. Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart (formerly 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."

Joey's birthday was on Monday (PLEASE go wish him Happy Birthday in the post below if you haven't already) and my parents had ordered him Tae Kwon Do sparring gear and a re-usable breaking board for his birthday. Given the vagaries of the US Mail, miraculously, the sparring gear actually arrived on his birthday. That was it's own little sweet moment but the really great moment was when all three boys went back into the den and they took turns breaking the board. Yes, even Gabe took a few turns. Check it out (and pay close attention, it is quick)...
Gabe was so tickle that he actually broke that board and he was thrilled that he impressed his brothers. I mean impressing your big brothers is GOLD if you are the youngest. Hell, I was impressed because breaking that board is the equivalent of breaking a 3/4 inch thick board. Just to show you how strong the board really is, I recorded this a little later in the evening (again, only a few seconds long)...
Go check out the other perfect moments at this week's Perfect Moment Monday on Write Mind Open Heart.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Dear Joey

10 years ago today, I thought I had 4 weeks left until I welcomed my second son into the world. I was wrong. Joey had his own agenda and he decided he was ready to be born almost 4 weeks early. I have to say that despite the fact that puberty has reared its UGLY head, Joey has grown up to be an incredible young man.
Joey is having a great year in school and is really discovering that he can have likes and enjoyment that differ from his big brother. Joey has discovered that he is really good at math and seems to really enjoy it. His artistic skills are also flourishing. What is really fun to watch is how well Joey interacts with Gabe. Joey not only plays incredibly well and is very tolerant of his baby brother but, he will also get up with him on weekends and let me sleep in a bit. Can we say heaven? Joey is also learning to cook and does really well cooking sausage, eggs, and toast. He occasionally surprises us with breakfast in bed. Joey is kind and empathetic but he is also a really strong kiddo Vic and I are so lucky to have Joey as our son.

Happy Birthday Joey!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A terrible, horrible, no good , very bad day

Last night, Saturday night, while we all slept peacefully, our sweet, wonderful, weird kitty Max died. Max was actually Joey's kitty and all the kids are devastated. Hell, I'm pretty damned torn up over it too. Even now, almost a day later, I can't type this or look at his picture without starting to cry. I know it may seem weird to some of you that I'm getting this upset over a kitty's death but my animals are all part of my family and an unexpected death hurts. I was a little concerned about Max on Saturday night because he was walking weird but I thought he had just injured his leg. Now, despite his young age, I think maybe he had a stroke. When I got up this morning, I found Max lying on the floor right in front of the food and water bowls. When I saw him so still, I knew immediately he was gone. See, Max was never still. He was full of energy and even when he snuggled up for some petting and love, there was an ear twitching or you could hear him purring. I knew without considering it that Joey would just be crushed and I didn't want him to see Max sprawled out there. I also knew I couldn't hide Max away from him. So, I found a box and a towel and put him in there like he was sleeping. It was so very hard to go in and tell Joey what had happened. Seeing Joey's pain was just as hard as knowing a loved pet was gone. Since Max died peacefully, I asked the kids if they wanted to see him. Marty wanted to see him but couldn't handle being to close. Joey and Gabe both did. In fact, Joey wanted one last chance to hold and pet Max and to say goodbye. He was so torn apart by losing his kitty but it was so important to him to be able to say goodbye and to take care of Max one last time. And Gabe, poor Gabe was a mess.  I know he was aware of things when my FIL passed away 2 years ago but, for the first time, Gabe fully grasped what death means and it was so hard.

There were very few things I was glad about this morning but, there were a few. I was and am eternally thankful that Gabe and Joey did not get out of bed before me as they frequently do on weekends. I would not have wanted Joey to find his kitty. I was also very thankful that today was Joey's family party. It gave Joey something to look forward to despite him tearfully saying "I just don't feel like it's right to be happy or have fun today." The party also meant my parents were coming up and, that gave me an opportunity to help distract Joey from his grieving. See, Max came from my parents house (his mom was a stray that got dropped there) and there just happened to be a few kittens at their house currently who needed a home. Joey desperately wanted another cat immediately, not to replace Max but to give him a warm, fuzzy, kitty to love and pet. So, my parents brought Butterball up with them when they came for Joey's party...
So, although the tears still come and we all wish Max was still here with us, this cute little fuzzy guy is helping to distract us.

And, to add insult to an already shitty day, my BIL's father died this morning too. Due to a convoluted and screwed up family history, my sister Keri's husband John only found his father 3 years ago. Very recently, John's dad became extremely ill and John had flown out to California  to arrange for his dad to come back home with him. Sadly, John's dad died before he could ever make the trip east.  My heart is just breaking for Keri, John and their girls.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Like A Chicken

I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off today. Gabe had a fabulous time at the birthday party he went to. T's mom has my undying admiration because she actually managed to organize that gaggle of 4 and 5 yr olds and had them playing games. She also had a clown their who did a cute little magic show, told corny jokes that had the little guys howling with laughter, and did face painting.

When I got home, I ran right back out and picked up the last of the cub scout popcorn we needed to fill our orders. Then, I baked the cake which tastes delicious but it rose a little oddly. Luckily, that is an easily fixable problem. I also started really looking at a map of Greece (what Joey originally said he wanted on his cake) and decided that all the islands and bays and what not would be a royal pain in the ass to render on a cake. I mean, I could do it but it wouldn't be fun in the time frame I have left. So, I convinced Joey to let me go ahead and do a test run of the helmet ancient Greek helmet design. 

Once I finished baking the cake, my kids had this demented notion I actually needed to cook dinner and feed them. Hmmmph, the nerve of them. I got them back though. After dinner, I cracked the whip and made them clean a bit. Luckily, there wasn't a huge amount of cleaning to do and we were still able to get the kids into bed on time. Since they went to bed, I put the first layer of icing on, made the rest of the icing, and now, I'm talking to y'all.

Gonna finish it all in the morning because right now my bed is calling.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Whatcha doing?

So y'all, what are you guys doing this weekend? This is going to be a pretty busy weekend for us.  Tomorrow, Vic has to work a 12 hr shift from 6a to 6p.  While he is at work (oh joy), Gabe has his first non-family birthday party to go to. Gabe's buddy T from preschool is having his 5th birthday party tomorrow and Gabe is so excited about going. I also have to do a little cleaning and bake a cake because we are having Joey's family birthday party on Sunday. I can NOT believe my boy is going to be 10 (on Monday, the 15th). We are doing the family party on the 14th because my nieces and my sis who live way over on the South Carolina side of Charlotte, NC will be around. Joey's birthday party with friends won't be until next weekend because two of his best buddies are out of town this weekend. Yeah, that means 2 parties and 2 cakes. Oh yeah, that's something else I have to do tomorrow...bake and decorate Joey's birthday cake. Joey has become obsessed with mythology, particularly Greek mythology and Joey has asked for a cake with a picture of Greece on it. It shouldn't be too hard as long as I have the cake baked and cooled before dinner tomorrow. On Sunday, we have Sunday school and church. We'll at least make it to Sunday school but church may go by the wayside if I'm behind schedule for the party. I have a feeling I'll be ready to collapse on Sunday night but it promises to be a fun weekend.

So spill it...whatcha doing this weekend?

Do you want fries with that?

Y'all know I'm not a prude. Hell, I've even reviewed adult toys from Eden Fantasys. However, I've run across a story that even has me snickering.  Alabama, specifically Huntsville, has debuted the nation's first sex toy shop with a drive through window (Link NOT Safe For Work). The owner of the sex toy shop said she added the drive through windows in an  effort to remove the stigma from sex toys. Now, I'm all for adults enjoying and exploring their sexuality but there were a few really amusing thoughts that ran through my mind when I heard about this.
  1. The article mentions that patrons can order from a menu of items.  Does said menu have pictures or are you just suppose to know what a Roulette Lucky 7 (Link NOT Safe For Work) is?
  2. Since Alabama only allows purchase of a sex toy for specific reasons, what exactly constitutes a purchase as being for a "a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose"?
  3. And, more importantly, can you supersize your order?
Have you run across any news stories recently that really amuse you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To all those who served...

To all those who served our country, THANK YOU. You gave time and, in some cases, your life to ensure our country remains string and free. You've faced horrors that some of us can't even conceive of. Without you, we couldn't continue to live free. For that, we owe you and, for that, I thank you.

In honor and in memory of all those I know who have served...my dad; my FIL, Sigifredo Cruz-Vega; my grandfather, Martin Iverson; Monica Mingo; Erica Bunker; Adam Credle; Suzy's dad, both of her grandfathers, her uncle, her FIL, and her husband's cousin; Mrs. Gamgee's grandfather; Quiet Dreams' dad; and all others.

Please add any names you would like recognized in the comments.  I will add them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Are these the values we want to teach?

Y'all, I have to tell you that I rarely run across something that I passionately hate. I found something that trips that trigger and, of all things, it's a commercial. I don't know if you've seen the new commercials for the Toyota Highlander but I FUCKING HATE THEM!
Little Riley Thomas Stewart is cute as can be but his character in that commercial is a spoiled, self-important, snobby brat. Implying that parents aren't doing a good enough job if they can ONLY provide a mini-van, that they are failing you if they can't or don't buy a Highlander...well Toyota can go FUCK themselves. These are not the values we need to teach our kids and Toyota has made damned sure that I will NEVER, EVER buy a Highlander.

So, do y'all hate it as much as I do? Am I over reacting? Have you run across anything you hate as much as I hate these commercials?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Random Bits

Lots of little tidbits to share but none of them are worthy of a full post...
  • I'm reading an awesome book called Juliet by Anne Fortier. It's a great story with lots of intrigue, a bit of romance, and, yes, it is THE JULIET in the title.
  • Sadly, our plumbing fix wasn't one. We had to pay a plumber (and, oh boy did we pay). A clog in the main line leading away from the house + 3 boys does not = a good, wholesome living environment.  
  • The plumber said it wasn't anything we did in the 4 years of living here. It was caused by 30+ years with no decent preventative maintenance.
  • Don't refuse to help during an emergency, *claiming lack of funds despite having enough spare funds to make a large frivolous purchase, and then feign enough concern to call and see if we found someone to help.
  • My parents are the most incredible, kind, caring, giving, generous people around. Other people could learn from them.
  • My kids ROCK.  I woke up with a raging migraine on Monday.  When I got back from dropping the younger two off at school, Marty asked what was wrong and, when I told him about the migraine, he said "Give me my school assignments and then go back to bed.  I'll be fine."
  • My house is rebelling.  In less than 2 weeks we had to fix the dryer and pay a plumber for a grand total of over $700.
  • The anniversary of our church wedding is on the 11th of November and the 16th anniversary of our marriage is on November 21st.  I am lucky enough to be married to my soulmate and I can't believe we've been married that long..
  • Gabe and I get to have breakfast at his school tomorrow.  They are having a pancake breakfast for  the parents and kids so we can get to know each other.
So,  what's going on in your life?

* This is not referring to any of you guys.  Yall are awesome.  Sadly, I don't think the individual it refers to would have a clue it is addressed to them.

    Monday, November 08, 2010

    A Kitchen Conversation

    I went into the kitchen to get a drink and grab a small snack. Vic was standing in front of the sink. This is what went down...

    Me: poked Vic in the ass as I reached by him to get a piece of bread out of the bread box
    Vic: You're going to have to stop poking me in the ass.
    Me: Pshhhh, why would I do that?
    Vic: Because I told you to...
    Me: I haven't listened to you in 18 years. Why would I start now? Wait, wait...you know why I won't start listening to you now?  Because it might give you a heart attack.  You might die from shock and then I would have to go out and get a job and support these yahoos myself.
    Vic: looks on in disbelief You would find someone else.  I have faith in you.
    Me: See, I don't listen to you because I'm looking out for your health.  I looooooove you.
    Vic: shaking head That is the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard. 
    Marty: from other room You two are really messed up.
    Vic: What did you do?  Go get the biggest bull you could find because that is truly a load of crap.

    Sunday, November 07, 2010

    Where's Mario when you need a plumber?

    Earlier this evening, My hubby was sitting at the computer and my SBC Jennifer, Marty, Gabe, and I were in the living room.  Joey was taking his shower. We heard a loud crash from the den (kinda like the cat knocked over the food bin) and Joey's cat came streaking out of the den. After a few minutes, I asked Vic, "So, do you want to go see what got knocked over or should I do it?" My dear hubby got up to check and I heard the cursing begin. As it turns out, the cat didn't knock the bin over. It was one ginormous fucking mess. 

    See, earlier in the evening, the boys made a comment about a weird noise coming from the toilet.  It was periodically making a glub, glub noise.  It sounded like maybe some air in the pipes or something.  It sure as hell didn't sound serious. Evidently, when Joey started taking his shower, something somewhere backed up.  The water that was suppose to be flowing down the drains decided to come back up through the drain in the shower in the den bathroom.  We don't use that bathroom.  It's only used for storage and the shower stall filled up with water and was running over onto the floor.  It was an UNBELIEVABLE mess.  Luckily though, the floor out there is a cement slab so we didn't have to worry about the floor being damaged while we were trying to dry things up.  It took about an hour and a half to get the floor completely cleaned up and we resorted to using the steam cleaner to get all the water out of the shower stall so we could pour some clog buster crap down the drain.  I'm currently praying the clog buster stuff we poured down all the shower drains does the trick because I don't think I have the time or money to deal with a big plumbing bill with all the birthdays and holidays we have coming up.

    Damn, I knew the floor needed to be mopped but this sure as hell wasn't how I planned to go about it.

    Somehow, I never remember...

    Somehow, I never remember just how damned cold it is inside the RBC Center during a Carolina Hurricanes game. Last night, the Hurricanes hosted their Family and Scout night with reduced cost tickets for all scouts and $1 hot dogs so families could afford to feed their kids at the game. We gave Joey a pair of tickets as an early birthday present. He and I joined the other kids from his cub scout den and watched the Hurricanes stomp all over the Florida Panthers. It was a ton of fun but, OMG, even in the nosebleed seats, my nose and fingers were freezing.  One of these days I will remember to bring my gloves when we go to watch them play. While we were stuck in traffic after leaving the game, Joey saw a shooting star. He was so excited.  It was cute...when I wished him a happy early birthday, he said "I got two birthday presents today...the game and seeing the shooting star.  Last year I wished I would get to see a shooting star by my next birthday and it happened."  I thought that was such a sweet sentiment.

    Saturday, November 06, 2010

    Artistic Ideas Needed...

    Hey y'all...I'm asking for advice again.  I am making a quilt out of unusual material and I need help figuring out what motifs I am going to quilt onto each block.  The quilt is done in bold Fall colors and each block is a solid not pieced.  There are 36 blocks in the quilt and I need at least 6 motifs.  They need to be objects that can be represented with fairly simple drawings.  So far, I have come up a leaf, a squirrel, a turkey, an acorn, and a pumpkin.  I need one more motif and I am sort of stuck.  I am thinking about an ear of corn but I'm not set on that.  Anyone have any ideas?

    Bueller?  Bueller? Anyone?

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Shopping without spending a dime

    Hey y'all...I know that with the holidays coming up, many of us are looking for ways to earn a little extra cash.  My friend Rys told me about Amazon's textbook buyback program. Once you log in to your Amazon.com account, click on the textbook section of the book category, visit the textbook buyback page, enter the ISBN of any textbook you are done using, and Amazon will tell you what they will pay you for your textbook. All you have to do is find a box and package up the textbooks because Amazon pays for the SHIPPING AND HANDLING. Any money they offer for the textbooks will be credited directly to your Amazon account once they receive the books and you can spend it on anything on the site.  I only had 2 books from Marty's homeschooling last year that they wanted to buy back but that got me almost $40.  I got Gabe a birthday present, the set of gel food coloring I need for decorating the upcoming birthday cakes (Joey's and Gabe's), and a book for me. 

    A Quiet Night?

    Welcome to the new edition of Show & Tell blogger style hosted by wonderful and fabulous Suzy at not a fertile myrtle.  I decided to entertain y'all this week with a bit of the ridiculousness that goes on around here on a regular basis.

    If you are a long time reader, you'll probably remember that I told you that my boys are not quiet sleepers. Not only do they talk, argue, sometimes yell, and even sing in their sleep, but they are also physically active in their sleep. You truly never know what position you will find them in when you go in to wake them in the morning. And, one time when Marty and Joey were really little, they were sharing a bed because we had company and one of them pushed the other out of bed while they were sleeping. Gabe seems to have continued that tradition. Yesterday, I stripped his bed because it was time to wash his sheets. I didn't quite get them dry before bedtime so I let him put a sleeping bag on his bed. Not only did he get out of the sleeping bag while he was asleep but he totally changed positions on the bed. This is how I found him when I went in to wake him for school this morning...
    Head on over to Suzy's to check out the other Show & Tell entries this week.

    Thursday, November 04, 2010

    For shame, for shame

    We all know that there are students out there that plagiarize shamelessly but, did you know that according to Judith Griggs, so-called editor of Cook's Source, it is not only ok to plagiarize but authors such as Monica Gaudio of Gode Cookery should thank Judith Griggs for such action.  In fact, when Ms. Gaudio confronted Judith Griggs, Judith Griggs had the nerve to respond as follows...
    But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”
    I'd like to thank Sarah of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for bringing this crap about Judith Griggs to my attention.

    *What we are doing here is similar to pulling a John C. Mayer but, instead of trying to get my page listed higher on Google, we are trying to get Judith Griggs' name associated with the definition put forth by SB Sarah.

    Takei speaks out

    I am a serious sci-fi geek and I have a HUGE soft spot for Star Trek and all it's cast members. This video by Mr. George Takei takes a serious subject and presents it with a bit of humor. Mr. Takei kicks some serious ass and has risen to new heights in my regard.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    I need help y'all...PART 2

    I transferred all votes to this format.  I wanted the people who voted to be able to see the results.

    These are my favorite posts.  Which one would you pick for the Creme de la Creme?
    The father of my children...
    Is this my last first?
    Perfect Moment Monday: He's Still My Baby
    Stripping Away The Disguise
    What makes you happy?

    Tuesday, November 02, 2010

    I need help y'all.

    Mel has put out the first call for Creme de la Creme submissions. The Creme de la Creme is a collection of the best posts of the year in the ALI community and EVERYONE (yes, that means you) is invited to participate.  Last year, I had no problem picking a post but this year I have NO clue what to pick.  Please, please help and tell me what post of mine you like the best.

    Rock the Vote...

    I don't care who you vote for. I don't care if you are liberal, conservative, libertarian, or something else entirely. I just care that you exercise your rights as a citizen of these United States.  Get your ass in gear and


    Monday, November 01, 2010

    A Night With The Classics

    Lori over at Weebles Wobblog (soon to be Write Mind /  Open Heart...read the reason here) 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." Even though Lori is temporarily taking a break from Perfect Moment Monday due to her blog overhaul, it's still important to notice them.

    This weekend we had family movie night on Saturday and we gave the kids free rein to pick a movie from Netflix (I freakin' love Netflix instant streaming). My kids made me so proud when they picked The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie. Do you know what was even better than them picking a cartoon movie that brings back memories of my childhood Saturdays? The best part was watching them laugh and cackle and snicker at all the things I found funny when I was their age...and, watching and listening to Joey watch something he finds funny is so much like watching Vic.  It was all pretty perfect to me.
    Btw, I've signed up for NaBloPoMo. Who wants to join me?

    You can get this nifty little badge over at Suzy's blog.