"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

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Can you believe that tomorrow we will officially be 1/3 of the way through the year? Seriously, 1/3 of the way through the year. How in the hell did that happen? And, OMG, I am sounding like my Grandma..."The older you get, the faster the time passes." Hehehe, it's kind of funny because I got into this discussion with Marty the other night. He was telling me about talking to my dad about how fast time seemed to pass sometimes. The Marty said, "I guess a year seemed like such a long time when I was 2 because it was half my life. Now, one year is only 1/14 th of my life. Of course, it seems like it would go by faster." Although I've thought the same thing myself, I've never heard it phrased in such a cut and dried manner. And, he claims he hates math.

I guess the Zoinks could also apply to me making it through this month of alphabet posts. There were a few times it was a stretch to find topics that started with the right alphabet letter but, overall, it was a good experience. I think it made me stretch a bit as a writer and I hit on some pretty good topics in other cases.

Now, I'm sure I could stretch this post out a little bit longer but I have never tried to write a specific amount. I just write until it feels good. And, right now, I'm fading fast. I spent the whole afternoon doing heavy duty yardwork and I need to go to bed.

Nigh y'all!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Y, Oh Y

I like words. There is nothing better than a rich, descriptive passage from a book that grabs you and pulls you into the world you are reading about. So, I thought about words when I was trying to decide what to write about for Yday. Well, initially I thought about writing about yarn and the sheer delight of plunging your hand into a bin full of lovely colors and feeling the caress of the bamboo and silk yarn as it plays across your fingers but, I decided that wouldn't interest anyone except other crafting nuts. So, words it is.

I went searching for some new and unusual Y words to add to my vocabulary and I found a site called The Phrontistery. Per the site's header, it features obscure words and vocabulary resources. There are enough unusual, different words from all the corners of the earth to keep a *logophile happy for years. I found words like

yabba - large Jamaican earthenware or wooden vessel
yaffingale - green woodpecker
yahrzeit - Jewish remembrance of the first anniversary of someone's death
yapok - an amphibious opossum of South America
yarborough - hand of cards containing no card above nine
yarnwindle - tool for winding yarn into a ball
ylem - in alchemy, substance from which the elements developed
yonderly - mentally or emotionally distant; absent-minded
Do you have any favorite unusual words? They don't have to start with y.
*logopihile - noun a lover of words

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for XStitch

or more specifically cross stitch. I learned to cross stitch in college. I think it was my sophomore year. There were a bunch of people in my dorm who stitched and one of my friends offered to teach me. Of course, I could line up all the people in my dorm who stitched and you would never, ever guess who taught me. Bobby was this big burly guy...half Japanese. He had the build of a football player (a little short though), somehow managed to get the university to allow him to keep two katanas over his bed, and he stitched the most beautiful things.

I quickly fell in love with stitching and my interest just grew and grew. I always have had the tendency to put my own spin on pieces I've stitched. I changed colors, altered design parts to make it into something I liked more, and eventually started designing my own pieces. Here are a few of the pieces I've done over the years (all pics are clickable for close up viewing)...
my house
mail art I designed...and, yes, I did send this through the mail

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for...

W can stand for so many wonderful things. W can represent my friend Calliope's beautiful son. It can stand for wooly mammoths, whale, wizards, witches, and even wisteria. It can stand for wine, watermelon, wind, waterfalls, and women. It can stand for wages, windmills, walruses, and even wagon. But, not today. Today W stands for WTF!

Today, I went with Joey's class on a field trip to Old Salem. Because of the distance we had to travel, we weren't stuck with riding on a school bus. We got to ride on a nice, cushy charter bus. There was one little problem with the buss though...the upholstery. The upholstery in that bus was loud enough to make your eyeballs bleed. And, it didn't just cover the seats. The entire ceiling of the bus was covered with the psychedelic fabric from hell. I mean, seriously, would you like to look at this for 2 hours straight...
That is an actual picture of the ceiling of the bus. All I could do is shake my head and say "What the fuck?"

When we got home, I was looking around online and I've come to the conclusion that there is a strong demand for psychedelic bus upholstery fabric. Either that or the charter bus industry is supporting the artistic endeavors of the hippies from the 60s who had their brains fried by lsd. I guess we need to send a serious shout out and say thank you to Sardo Bus and Coach Upholstery because they seem to have provided gainful work for the formerly drugged out hippies who might otherwise have trouble holding
down a job. Two out of the three examples of the scary fabric shown here were put out by the artistic geniuses on staff there.

What have you seen lately that's made you shake your head and wonder "What the fuck?!?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm outta here...

at least for tonight.  The 4th graders from Joey's school are taking a field trip to Old Salem tomorrow. It's about a 2 hour drive so we are leaving the school about 7 am (and that means getting up at 0 dark 30 in the morning). For some bizarre reason, they trust me to chaperone a group of kids around there so I shall be off messing with the malleable brains of our youngsters.

My mom is on Spring Break this week so she is coming up and picking up Marty to take him to the Science Museum in Raleigh. Vic is driving Gabe to school and then Gabe gets to go home with his buddy Travis for the afternoon. Gabe is really looking forward to that.

I think all I have to do to finish getting ready is pack our lunches and locate my dramamine. The bonus to needing dramamine is that I will probably get to sleep all the way there.

See y 'all tomorrow evening...same Bat time...same Bat channel.

V is for Victor

He is my partner, my husband, my lover, my soul mate, and my hero. Almost 19 years ago, I was lucky enough to really get to know and start dating my husband. See, I had already met him months before but on that August day in 1992, I went down to the rescue squad with my roommate (we were both members) and, while Aleta was taking care of the paperwork she had to complete, I hung out by the picnic table out back and talked to the guy who was manning the wreck truck with another friend of mine (Kristi). You know how when you just click with someone, you end up talking about everything. Well, that's what happened to me and Vic. I think Vic was shocked he ended up telling me an abbreviated version of his life story and I didn't run screaming (LOL, that's a story for another day).

Later that evening, I got a call from my friend Kristi telling me that Vic wanted to ask me out and asked if it was ok to give him my phone number (we had an unlisted number). She told me that after I left he looked a bit upset and, when she asked him what was wrong, he said that he had just met someone he wanted to ask out and he was worried he had scared me off with his life story. She assured him it took more than that to scare me off and put us in touch with each other. Between his crazy schedule as a firefighter, our volunteering at the rescue squad, and my working weekends, it was hard to find a night we could both go out so I invited him over for dinner and a movie at my place.

I honestly wasn't looking for a relationship. I was only 6 months out of a long term relationship and just wanted someone to have fun with. The day night of our first date, I cooked a simple but delicious dinner, made sure I had some of his favorite music playing, and had a copy of Backdraft to watch. We had a great time...good food, lots of good conversation, and a good movie to watch. It turned out that despite his concerns, our 10 yr age difference was unimportant because we had so many of the important, fundamental things in common. I honestly think he didn't say a single thing wrong that night. When it was time to call it a night, Vic gave me a kiss and, man, oh man, what a kiss it was. I know that was one of the hottest kisses I have ever had. Then he looked at me and said, "There's only one problem now...." and I said, "What's that?" Vic said, "I don't think I want to leave now." I smiled and said, "Well, I'm not asking you to leave."

After he left to go to work the next day, I was hanging out with my friend Kristi. Of course, Kristi wanted all the dirt and, even though there was a lot to tell, the first thing that came out of my mouth was "I'm going to have to be careful with this one." Kristi had to know why. She wanted to know whether she got to laugh her ass off at me or whether she needed to kick some ass for me. I told her that if I wasn't careful I was going to fall hard and fast for Vic because he said all the right things and was everything I wanted in a man. Kristi did what any true friend did and laughed her ass off at me. But, it turned out I was right. Within a month we were planning how to spend our holidays together and we never looked back.

It definitely hasn't been smooth sailing. There have been moments we've driven each other crazy and many moments life has thrown a shit storm at us. But, I can honestly say I am more in love with him now than I was on the day I said "I do."

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Understanding: Bust an Infertility Myth

Myth: If you already have one child, you know you are fertile and will have no problems conceiving and carrying to term again.

Hi, my name is Kristin. I'm a wife and a mother to 3 boys. I am also INFERTILE. Yes, you read that right. I have given birth to three children and I am infertile. See, infertility isn't just the inability to conceive. Infertility, whether primary or secondary, can also be defined by repeat pregnancy loss.

In many circles, I was one of the lucky ones. When trying for our first child, I got pregnant during the second month off of birth control.  And, despite some issues with mild pre-eclampsia, I gave birth to a full term, almost 9 pound baby boy. When Marty was about 2 1/2, we decided to try again and quickly got pregnant again only to lose that pregnancy almost immediately. Technically, it was classified as a chemical pregnancy (a term I fucking HATE) and it was my first miscarriage so none of us thought too much about it. After that loss, it took about 4 months (it seemed like a lifetime but was nothing in reality) to successfully get pregnant with our second son. Once again, I was one of the lucky ones. Despite Joey being born 4 weeks early, he was 7 pounds, 20 inches, and was breathing on his own immediately. Overall, I'd say my faith in my body's ability to reproduce had been restored. Boy was I deluded.

Our descent into infertility hell came when we decided to try for our third baby. It took almost 3 years, 6 miscarriages, 3 D&Cs, 626 lovenox shots, 207 progesterone suppositories, and more heartbreak than I can quantify to conceive and carry our third child to term. If we were ever blessed with another pregnancy that led to our 4th child, I would have shots and suppositories to deal with yet again. I'd say those stats place me firmly in the infertile camp.

Those years of infertility fucked with me mentally like nothing before or since has. I lost all faith in my body and it's ability to do what others took for granted. I developed serious white-coat hypertension. It literally got to the point that I would walk into the elevator leading to my OB-GYN's office and I could feel my heart rate and blood pressure go up. The deep and abiding desire for another child coupled with the repeated and abject failure of my body to cooperate sent me into a deep depression. I was use to being the one who could always help others but I found myself at the bottom of a deep, dark pit I could not claw my way out of. And, despite the huge shit pile infertility gave me, I was again one of the lucky ones. I was lucky because it only took about 3 months of chemical help to lift the awful depression I was in. I was lucky because my doctors were able to diagnose and treat the cause of my secondary infertility (the lovely one-two punch of luteal phase disorder and my own special variation of a clotting disorder). I was lucky because I had insurance that covered the meds I needed to treat my issues. In the end, I was lucky because I got my Gabriel, my post infertility baby. Many women are never that lucky.

It's a myth that if you already have one child, you know you are fertile and will have no problems conceiving and carrying to term again. I am living proof of that.

Understanding Infertility
Check out the history of National Infertility Awareness Week

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What a beautiful day...

For my friends that celebrate Easter, I hope you had a happy and blessed Easter. For everyone else, I hope you had a wonderful Sunday.

Above all powers, above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms, above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure
What You're worth

Crucified, laid behind a stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
Above all

Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Treats

Tomorrow is Easter and each of the boys will be getting an Easter basket filled with treats. Every year, the Easter Bunny stocks their baskets with eggs filled with jelly beans, a chocolate bunny, and a variety of chocolates. This year, the Easter Buy enlisted my help and asked if I would be willing to make some of the chocolates for their baskets. Now, I'm not brave enough (and I don't have a bunny mold) to make the chocolate bunnies but I did decide to tackled chocolate covered peanut butter eggs and I pulled out the old favorite of Oreo based truffles. And, let me tell you, the Oreo truffles can not be any easier.

Oreo Truffles

1 16oz package of Oreos
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 16 oz package or chocolate chips

1. Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. If you have a food processor, the cookies can be put in there intact and they will be able to be crushed. If you plan on placing the cookies into a plastic ziploc bag and crush them using a rolling pin, first open the cookies and scrape the cream filling into a bowl. Save the cream filling.
2. Thoroughly blend softened cream cheese with crushed Oreos (and the Oreo cream).
3. Roll the resulting mixture into small, bite sized balls.
4. Place truffle filling balls onto a wax-paper covered cookie sheet and thoroughly chill (you can place them in the freezer if you have space).
5. Dip truffle balls into melted chocolate and return to wax-paper covered baking sheets. Allow chocolate coating to harden (if it is humid, you may need to put them in the fridge to aid the hardening of the chocolate shell).

To melt the chocolate chips
1. Put chocolate chips into microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave for 30 secs at a time, stirring  after each 30 sec heating, until you get to desired consistency.
3. Can be repeated as needed throughout truffle making.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs(sorry no picture)

2 cups peanut butter
1 8oz package of cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla
2 16oz packages of chocolate chips

1. Mix first 3 ingredients until creamy.
2. Form into egg shapes and place on a wax-paper covered cookie sheet and thoroughly chill (you can place them in the freezer if you have space).
3. Dip into melted chocolate (see directions above for process to melt chocolate)
4. Return to wax-paper covered baking sheets. Allow chocolate coating to harden (if it is humid, you may need to put them in the fridge to aid the hardening of the chocolate shell).

Friday, April 22, 2011


I've always loved birthday parties and the whole idea of celebrating an individuals life. I think part of the reason I love birthdays is my mom always made a big deal out of our birthdays for us. I've carried on that tradition and we always have a great time with birthday parties around here.

Almost 12 years ago, when Marty was 31/2 and I was pregnant with Joey, Vic was turning 40. Now, 40 is one of those milestone birthdays that deserve to really be celebrated and recognized. I had thought about throwing Vic a surprise party but that possibility got derailed when I found out Vic was scheduled to work on his birthday. But, I started thinking (yeah, yeah....no cracks about how me thinking is dangerous) and decided to go for it anyway. I called up Vic's shift commander and asked him if I could bring a cake in to Vic at work. Not only did he say it would be fine, he decided to amp it up. Vic shift commander told me if we got there around 7, he would arrange for Vic, his guys, and all three other stations to be there at head quarters. Marty and I rolled up at just before and as we headed up to the training room in fire headquarters, we hear Vic's voice and it sounds like he is teaching a class. As Marty and I walked through the door with the cake, all the firefighter's started applauding and Vic looked stunned. We truly caught him by surprise. And, the cake...the cake was a thing of glory. It was a gigantic sheet cake decorated with an over-sized gravestone that said Rest In Peace and we had a full 40 candles ablaze on the cake. Of course, there were all kinds of crack about it being a good thing the party was at a fire department because there were enough candles to light a house on fire.

When Vic got home the next day, he told me how his shift commander had arranged the whole thing. When Vic got to work that morning, his boss announced that they had added a training class to the schedule and it needed to be done that day. So, Vic started to do what they usually did and scheduled a time to visit each station to do the class. His boss told him that they couldn't do the class at each station. Everyone had to come to headquarters that night. Vic said he was really frustrated by that because it made no sense and he just couldn't understand why the boss man was insisting it be done that way. Vic also said that not only was it a great surprise when we showed up with the cake but it explained the insanity of the day. It was so much fun pulling one over on him.

Have you ever thrown a surprise party or had one thrown for you?

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Posting retroactively is what you have to do when all of a sudden you realize "Oh shit, it's after midnight and I haven't put up my Thursday R post." Posting retroactively is what you also have to do when you realize you never put up a post for the start of ICLW. If you are here for the blogging A to Z challenge or you are really new to the ALI blogosphere and you don't know what ICLW is, go click on that turquoise rectangle with the little dog picture off to your right. That is linked to an explanation of the madness that is ICLW.

Since I was a major slacker and didn't do a cute intro post or a really good R post for the start of ICLW, I am going to open the floor for questions. I will entertain all questions and, if I don't feel like giving a real answer, I'll make something up. No, seriously, there are very few topics and questions I won't entertain so fire away.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q is for Quilt...with quilt dimensions added for Genevieve

Quilting is a craft I discovered by accident. Ever since I learned to sew those many eons ago, I had done some small piecework projects but I had never made or quilted anything larger than a pillow until about 7 years ago. The cross stitch bulletin board I belong to was making squares for a quilt that was to go to a member whose son was ill. There was a fiasco (not worth going into) and we ended up having to start all over. At that point, I just wanted to make sure it got done so I had everyone send the cross stitched squares to me. I just didn't tell the ladies on the board that I had never assembled a quilted project larger than a pillow. That first quilt had a few flaws but, over all, it turned out pretty well and I was hooked.

Quilts are more than something to just keep warm with. Quilts can be true artwork. Quilts can also be an expression of love and caring. Each and every quilt I have made for my boys not only keeps them warm but reminds them how much I love them. Quilts can also be a form of remembrance. When we were mired in the hell of repeat pregnancy loss, the same lovely ladies from the cross stitch board who collaborated with me on my first quilt made me a quilt to remember the babies I had lost. Even though they said they hoped I could one day wrap a baby in it (and I did), I could never bring myself to give that quilt to Gabe because of the meaning and memories it holds for me. Every time I hold that quilt, I am reminded that I'm not the only one who remembers the babies I lost. Quilts can also be just plain old fun. With all the fabulous patterned fabrics and textures that exist, a quilt can be anything you want it to be.
Speaking of quilts, my friend Sheila finished that gorgeous patchwork quilt she was working on. She gave me permission to show the finished product to y'all. The binding barely shows around the edges of the pic of the whole quilt but it is a satiny chocolate brown material...

54" wide x 69" long
and it's backed in fleece
Both pics are clickable so you can see a larger image and the colors in these pics are a lot more true to life. Sheila promised me she would let me know how the quilt was received but it is going to be a while until we hear about the recipients reaction. Sheila is going to be out of town for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for Pooh Bear

I've always had a soft spot for Pooh Bear and his buddies from the 100 Acre Wood. Maybe it goes back to the fact that the one nickname I have carried with me through my whole life is Pooh Bear. My dad started calling me that when I was tiny and he still calls me that today. The other night, I was looking for inspiration for a P post and I was in a bit of a sentimental mood. I ended up browsing through Winnie the Pooh stuff online. It was late and I was tired so my mind started to wander. Just for giggles, I started wondering if I could link one of Pooh's friends with each of my close friends.
Obviously, since my childhood nickname is Pooh Bear, I would fill that role. My friend Kristi is the one responsible for introducing Vic and me. I've known her for almost 20 years and Kristi is high energy, always seems to be doing something...most definitely our Tigger. My dear friend Rys is a wonderful person but, due to some asshats she happens to be related to, there is a dark cloud that sometimes follows her. She is our Eeyore (who is my favorite character). Jennifer, my sister by choice and friend for nearly 27 years, is our Piglet. When I first met her, Jennifer was rather meek and quiet but she definitely isn't anymore. I know Piglet isn't an exact match but I think I like it. Pam who is another dear friend of mine (who I haven't seen in way too long) is our Kanga. I'm not even entirely sure why but Pam always brings forth the image of the uber mother and Kanga is the classic mom. I don't really have anyone in mind for the roles of Rabbit or Roo? ANy of y'all want to fill that role?

So, if you had to pick a set of cartoon characters to represent you and your friends, which group would it be? And, which character would you be?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday: Appreciating My Kids

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."

Moment 1: Marty mowed the front lawn and tomorrow Joey is going to do the back lawn. It is so nice having someone else (2 someone elses) to help out with that chore.

Moment 2: Joey has been teaching Gabe a lot of things this week. I love that he is taking the time to work with his little brother...I just wish he wasn't such a boy when selecting what to teach. See, he has been teaching Gabe to spell words like butthole and poop. Hehe, I have to bite my tongue whenever I stumble across them doing this because all I want to do is laugh and I really don't need to encourage them.

Moment 3: Marty went down to my parents this weekend and they went out to dinner the other night. My mom told me how scrupulously polite Marty was when they were out. She said he thanked the waiter, the busboy, everyone. I am so glad to know the manners I teach him have sunk in (even if I rarely get to see them).

Moment 4: On Friday, when I picked Gabe up from school, one of Gabe's teachers told me that it has been an absolute delight to have Gabe in class this year...that they have really, really enjoyed having him as a student this year.

Moment 5: I took Gabe to a birthday party Friday evening and the parents of two of the kids in Gabe's class told me that his volcano obsession has rubbed off on their kids and they are watching shows about volcanoes and checking out volcano books from the library. It is so cool seeing your kid teach other kids things (especially things that don't get them in trouble...more on that another day).

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

Ode to my ChipShot

Warning: what follows is crap masquerading as poetry. Really, it's going to be pretty bad. If you love poetry, look away before your eyes begin to bleed. I'm feeling a bit silly and, well, this is the result. This butchered attempt at poetry is for anyone who has ever bought an "As seen on TV" product and loved it.

*Ode to my ChipShot
Knives and spoons and gadgets galore
but it's not enough., I still want more
I want potatoes cut thin and cooked hot
To do that I really need my ChipShot
It really is odd, kin of funny looking 
but damn does it help with potato cooking
It slices them cleanly, smooth or with ripples
so papery thin they won't cover my nipples
Since potato pasties have been ruled out
I'll cook them divinely and you'll want to shout
Thank Gawd for the ChipShot
and potatoes so hot!

*no nipples were assaulted by potatoes in pursuit of poetic inspiration
And...I warned you it was BAD!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

N is for nothing, nada, zilch

You thought I was joking? Really, N is for nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, bupkis...as in I got nothing for you. That's what happens when you stay up til nearly 3 am writing a post singing the praises of all the bloggers you love...and then have to get up at 7 am.

Yes, it's Saturday, the first day of our Spring break and I willingly got up at 7am. No, the kids weren't awake. No, the smoke detector wasn't blaring. In fact, it was blissfully quiet...silent even...and I still jumped out of bed after less than 4 hours of sleep.

Last week, I had the opportunity to go to a multi-neighborhood yard sale and I consciously decided to sleep through it. What could possibly convince me that it was a good idea to get out of bed that early on a Saturday? Well, free shit, of course. Yup, stuff that cost me nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, bupkis. One of the churches here in Cary has a yearly event called The Great Giveaway. People donate all kinds of stuff and all you have to do is show up and claim whatever you can get your hands on. I made out like a bandit. Seriously, it felt like I was doing something wrong claiming so much cool shit. What did I get you ask (come on...surely someone out there is asking...please tell me I'm not talking just to talk)? Well, since I'm being a totally lazy shit, I'll just have to tell you because I don't feel like taking or editing pictures right now. Here's what I got...
  1. 2 amazingly large bags of fabric (if you've seen the White House Black Market totes from BlogHer, I got enough to cram 2 of those full to bursting)...I got Christmas fabric (one bag obviously bought for a quilt), the coolest spider web fabric, some fabric suitable for clothes, and more
  2. a little bag of decorative buttons
  3. 3 skeins of Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds yarn
  4. 3 pairs of jeans (1 for Joey and 2 for Marty) 
  5. 3 pairs of shorts (1 for Joey and 2 for me) 
  6. a pair of soft fuzzy brand new socks with the tag still on
  7. a beautiful sweater I can wear next winter
  8. a starter jacket from Super Bowl XXX that is in great condition
  9. a denim shirt and denim jacket that I thought would work for Joey (they turned out to be too large so they are going to the dad of one of Joey's friends)
  10. 3 soft, fuzzy, sweet teddy bears and a squishy stuffed gorilla
  11. a Matryoshka doll that was actually made in Russia
I am definitely passing on some of the bounty. There is so much fabric that I am taking it with me to the quilting/crafting group on Tuesday and am letting the ladies pick some out.  But, there are 2 things I had intended to pass on to others. I had meant for the stuffed Gorilla to go to a friend who collects them (but Joey has claimed it) and the Matryoshka doll was going to be a gift for a friend who speaks fluent Russian and actually spent time studying in Russia but Gabe became entranced by it and informed me that "We HAVE to keep it."

Despite the lack of sleep and the resulting sleepies hitting me, I thing this nothing was definitely worth getting up for.

Thank You, Thank You...I'm not worthy!

I feel like such a slackard because two lovely ladies have given me blog awards and I haven't gotten around to thanking them. First of all, I need to thank the lovely Lynn from Wistfulgirl's World who gave me the Stylish Blogger Award.
As with most of these awards, there are a few rules that go along with this. I'm not always really good at following the rules but, I guess I'll at least tell you about them (don't know if I'll manage to follow them). Here are the rules for the acceptance of the award:
  1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you the award.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Award 15 other bloggers.
  4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.
 So, I guess I need to  to come up with something to tell you about myself without boring y'all. I feel like I've told you just about everything and don't want to keep spewing the same stuff out.
  1. There are times when I feel like I should have done something more with my life but, honestly, I can't think of anything that would make me happier than being Vic's wife and the mother of our boys.
  2. I met Mikhail Baryshnikov when I was in college and I was in full face paint after a Duke basketball game.
  3. I am a total sap for the holidays, especially Christmas. And, the funny thing is, my love of Christmas carries over to my reading choices because I have a HUGE soft spot for romance novels set around a Christmas theme.
  4. I believe in psychic powers. Now, that is not saying I believe every store front psychic is real. Most of them are frauds. But, I know without a doubt there are people who know things they have no way of knowing. There are people in my family that seem to have this 6th sense.
  5. I once got into a huge argument with my parents because they wouldn't let me buy the bikini I wanted to buy. I was so pissed off that I actually stormed out of the house. They were so right to not let me buy it and I was so wrong.
  6. If fertility and money weren't issues, I would have gladly had 6 kids.
  7. I have a vindictive, slightly twisted streak. The eeeeevil bitch comes out if you hurt someone I care about. Luckily, for others, I rarely give into it. One year, we had a family get together down in Florida. An out of state family member said something rather rude about my husband's weight...to my husband. I was furious, livid, and out for blood. I decided to be sneaky about my payback and disguised it as a gift. I picked out the most obnoxious, irritating, want to gouge out your ear drums with a pencil toy, searched online until I found it, and sent it to him as a gift for his grand kids to use when they were at his house. I have it on good authority that the grandkids loved the toy and he was sighted stocking up on cotton ear plugs.
Now, the 15 wonderful bloggers I want to pass this award onto are...
  1. Keiko over at Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed. Keiko is an amazing advocate for women's reproductive health. She's smart, passionate, and just plain amazing.
  2. Melissa over at Full Circle. Melissa has more patience and love and understanding in her than I could ever conceive of having. She has helped so many kids through fostering and I hope one day she will be blessed with her forever family.
  3. mommyodyssey over at her blog of the same name. I found her through one of the recent ICLWs and was instantly taken by her funny, snarky outlook on life. And, then I scrolled to the top of her blog and saw the header. BTW, mommyodyssy owes me a keyboard because her header made me spew coke all over mine.
  4. Vee over at Three Little Birds. Vee is just well Vee. She is strong, resilient, and is showing her little boy what a wonderful place this world of ours can be.
  5. Lori over at Write Mind Open Heart. Lori is a passionate advocate for adoption. She is raising two phenomenal kids. And, she has taught me so much about looking at the beauty in the little moments.
  6. JJ at Reproductive Jeans. JJ is a fabulous mom, a wonderful hostess, a damned fine writer and her husband Mook has a car I'm lusting after.
  7. Jen from EPBOT. I have a serious case of mad, geeky girl love for her. Anyone who can name her blog Experimental Prototype Blog Of Tomorrow and introduce me to the glories of Steampunk has my undying admiration.
  8. Dave from Rolling Around In My Head. Dave is an incredible writer and can paint such a vivid, moving picture with his words. He has opened my eyes to things I never thought about and I believe he has made me a better person.
  9. Suzy (and her husband Ike) from not a fertile myrtle. Suzy is all around fabulous and she makes the most gorgeous bracelets (which can be had for a steal in her Etsy shop). Suzy is truly a good and genuine person, and after her knight in shining armor post, I had to mention Ike too.
  10. Aunt Becky over at Mommy Wants Vodka. Now Becky, I know you don't usually do these awards but I want to make sure your awesomeness permeates every corner of the internet.
  11. Kym over at I'm A Smart One. Kym is finally back from her little bloggy sabbatical and I think she needs a little reminder that we know her for the true warrior she is and that we love her.  Not to mention that she is one of the most phenomenal writers I know.
  12. Kir from The Kir Corner. Kir is a phenomenal mom and is turning into a truly amazing writer. Check out some of the writing challenges she's participated in lately. There are some really incredible pieces in there.
  13. battynurse from Tales Of A Batty Nurse. battynurse is a beautiful, kind, wonderful woman and it has been truly wonderful to see her take charge of herself, her career, and her body. It's also pretty damned amazing to watch her inner sexy emerge!
  14. Shannon at Musings of a Fat Chick. It has been so inspirational watching her pursue her dreams and heart's desires. And, it makes me melt every time I read about little TA.
  15. Sandy from Between Lightning. Sandy's blog just speaks to me. She's a talented author and possesses a wry wit. She's also the awesome mommy to a truly adorable little guy.
Contacting all these lovely people will just have to wait until tomorrow later today when I've had time to sleep a bit.

I also want to thank the lovely and talented Deirdra of A Storybook World for giving me the Beautiful Mommy Writer award.

Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Mick

Mick or Mickey

1. Slang: Usually disparaging and offensive - a slang name for an Irishman or a Roman Catholic

2. My Dad

Yes, my dad, an American of Irish Catholic descent goes by the name Mick...specifically, Mick O'Donnell. Even funnier is that it was his mother's fault he carries that nickname.

According to family lore, shortly after my Grandma Aggie and Grandpa Odie got married, they started trying to have children. While they eventually went on to have 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl, that first baby, my dad was extremely slow to come. My Grandma had a little picture of a baby that she kept in her kitchen (think or a Gerber baby picture) and, as she got frustrated over their unsuccessful efforts to have a baby, she started shaking her fist at the picture every time she walked by it.And, every time she shook her fist at that picture, she would say "When are you going to get here you little Mick?" Well, when my dad was born, he carried on the family tradition of being named after his father. He carried the rather unwieldy moniker of Owen Joseph O'Donnell III. That wasn't what he was called though. From day one, he was my Grandma's little Mick or just Mick. That has led to a lifetime of "No, I'm sure. My name isn't Mickey or Michael. It is Owen." I think sometimes even the family forgets that his given name isn't Mick.

To the rest of the family he is Mick, Uncle Mickey, or Grandpa Mick. To me he is simply Dad.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Lovely...or admirable, adorable, alluring, amiable, attractive, beauteous, bewitching, captivating, comely, dainty, delectable, delicate, delicious, delightful, enchanting, engaging, enjoyable, exquisite, fair, good-looking, gorgeous, graceful, gratifying, handsome, knockout, lovesome, nice, picture, pleasant, pleasing, pretty, pulchritudinous, rare, scrumptious, splendid, stunning, sweet, winning. Such a sweet, simple word can have such a wide range of meaning and can describe so many things.

Lovely can describe the wild violets that bloom each spring in our yard and make me so reluctant to cut the lawn for the first time...
It can also a hand crocheted Christening set that's been worn by all 3 of your boys...
or a delicate piece that combines some of the traditional hardanger stitches and motifs with a bit of cross stitch into the modern biscornu (a lovely eight sided pin cushion)...
Lovely can also describe the sweet post written by a dear friend or the surprise card via snail mail from your sister by choice...the card that reminds you just how lucky you are to have her in your life...
Thank you muchly Lynn and Jennifer. Y'all are great for my ego.

What do you have in your life that you would describe as lovely?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kristin

See, I had all these grand ideas about writing a brilliant post about names and what they mean to us (Mel's and Kir's brilliant posts about nicknames and names were my inspiration) but I'm coming up with a great big old blank. So, instead of an eloquent, well thought out post, it's going to be simple and sweet.

I've always been lucky. Despite the fact that no one ever seems to be able to *spell my name correctly, I have a name I like. My name is Kristin Andrea. Kristin means consecrated to God and Andrea means courageous. My first name is spelled with a K at the beginning and in at the end because that is the traditional Scandinavian spelling. Also, my initials K. A. were chosen because my mom and her sister both had those initials. My name is solid, somewhat traditional, but definitely not average. Honestly, I've never wanted to have any other name than the one my parents bestowed on me.

Do you like your name? Have you ever wished to have a different name? Do you know what your name means and why it was chosen for you?

*my absolute favorite misspelling was on my junior beta club certificate when I shed the ordinary and became Krystyn.

Helpful Hints from Evil Mom: Tip 4

Welcome one and all. Evil Mom here and I have to apologize for the long absence. Today, my knucklehead son was home from school sick. He had been on the computer in the den and came out to the living room snickering and laughing. He holds out the shirt I brought him from New York last summer and this is what I saw...
It goes without saying that Evil Mom was a bit pissed (especially since last week I had told him not to color on his clothes with highlighters). My first thought was "Crap, I think that's marker." I was even less happy when he told me it it was crayon. That waxy crayon can be a real bitch to remove. In a move of desperation, I googled "remove crayon from fabric" and found a link to the Crayola Crayon stain remover page. Did you know that a little WD-40, liquid dish soap, and a stiff brush will take crayon out of just about anything? Seriously, spritz the stain with the WD-40, pour on a bit of liquid soap, and scrub it with the brush (I used an ancient, retired toothbrush). When the stain appears to have lifted, rinse it out and check. If necessary, repeat. After a trip through the washing machine, the young knuckleheads t-shirt looks like this...
So y'all, what's the weirdest cleaning tip you have to share with Evil Mom?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jack O'Lantern

Now, I know this isn't the right time of year for Jack O'Lanterns but Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I also figured that after the ire inspiring nature of my last post we could all use something light and fun. Like most of y'all out there, I started out carving boring nice, normal Jack O'Lanterns like that cartoon to the left. And then, one Halloween quite a number of years ago, I stumbled across a miraculous thing in the grocery store. It was a pumpkin carving kit and, for less than $8, I too could create intricate, amazing Jack O'Lanterns. I started with some of the simpler patterns but I've gotten more daring every year. Last year was the most spectacular year yet. Here are a few of my Jack O'Lanterns from the previous few Halloweens...

Harry Potter

Puss 'n Boots from Shrek

a werewolf

I want to try something like this for Halloween 2011 if I am brave enough.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Incensed by Idiocy

How fucking dare they?!?!?!? The ass clowns that run Chicago's Little Village Academy public school (story here) have decided that the school lunches are more nutritious than brown bag lunches from home and have banned, yes BANNED, students from bringing lunch to school unless they have a documented allergy. This offends me on so many different levels that it isn't even funny. First of all, what happens to the families that don't qualify for free or reduced lunch costs but still live on a really tight budget. In that school system, full price for lunch is $2.25 in elementary school. That's $11.25 a week...$45 every 4 weeks...or $405 for a standard 36 week school year. And, what if that family has more than one child in school? That is a potential budget killer. I know damned well a ham and cheese sandwich, an apple, a handful of baby carrots, and a drink won't cost me that much to put together. Secondly, what if your child is an extremely picky eater or even has food issues due to some disorder (not an allergy). Their dictate from on high makes no provisions for that. Third, what happens to the Jewish family that keeps kosher or the traditional Indian family that doesn't eat beef or the vegetarian kids? I know the first two examples won't be covered and I've seen the crap most school systems try to pass off as a vegetarian option. But, the most important issue of all is that those children at that PUBLIC school all have parents or guardians who are responsible for making decisions about their health and welfare. Last time I checked, we don't live in a nanny state and we haven't given the public schools the authority to dictate what our children eat. Those school officials need to dismount the damned pedestal they've put themselves on and remember that they are EDUCATORS not substitute parents.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Random Shit and a few questions...

I heard the BEST quote from a most unlikely source. Vic and I were watching Web Soup on G4tv and, after watching someone commit an epic fail (preserved forever on the net), the host said, "Warning, ideas in your brain may seem more awesome than they actually appear." LOVE IT!

Speaking of hearing, my hearing is back to normal. I was right and I had an ear infection. I tried to let my body fight it off by itself (wanted to minimize antibiotics usage if I could) but that didn't work. 2 days of good old amoxicillin has done the trick though.

Joey's African Dwarf Frog has a name. Joey is the proud owner of a frog named Bacon. My sis Jen said he needs another frog to keep Bacon company and we should name it Eggs.

Under my D is for Dragons post, Barb asked if I had ever been to Dragon Con. Sadly, I have been deprived of that joy to this date. Not only would a trip to Dragon Con feed my love of dragons but it appeals to my geeky side. Also, Barb asked if I had read Dealing With Dragons. That's another no Barb.  Is it a good book? Do you recommend it?

I made peanut butter and banana cookies today. I loved the flavor but I'm not happy with the texture yet. They are too cakey. Guess I'll play with the recipe soon. All I have to do is hide a bunch of bananas from my kids long enough for them to become overripe.

I also made some delish Cheddar Onion bread to go with our spaghetti and meatballs tonight. I've used the basic bread recipe before and it didn't rise enough that time. I had to double the yeast but it turned out perfectly.

I know not all of you enter to win the Eden Fantasy gift cards when I post them. For those of you who do, when I decide to keep the gift cards, would you be interested in an "adult" crochet item as a prize instead (think the sperm items, a mini boob key chain, the crocheted condom)?

What are you interested in me posting about? Do y'all want geeky type stuff like how to embed links and bold face things in your comments? Do you want crafty stuff? Got questions you want answered? Anything?

Saturday, April 09, 2011

H is for Horses

Like most little girls out there, I fell in love with horses. I spent years reading about them (anyone remember the Black Stallion books?), even more time dreaming about them, and plenty of time riding them. My parents were fabulous and catered to my whims and the huge number of hours I spent at the stables. One of my first and best riding instructors was Mrs. Johnston. I remember her old, green boxy car and her slave driver tendencies but most of all I remember her installing in me a deep and abiding love for Arabian horses. The first horse that truly captured my heart was a grey Arabian mare Mrs. J owned named Frenesi. All the horse I rode before that seemed lesser in comparison. Frenesi had the beautiful arched neck and the delicate teacup muzzle that Arabians are so famous for. She had the smoothest gaits and riding her was pure pleasure. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of her to show you right now (they aren't accessible) but she looked a lot like that beauty to the right. I think leaving her when we moved from Florida was almost as hard as leaving some of my friends.

I rode some during high school but there were no good stables or instructors where we lived. It wasn't until I was in college, that riding became a huge part of my life again. I joined the Equestrian Team while I was at Duke and, believe it or not, that led to my first job after college

I spent the summer after college training horses at an Arabian farm just north of Hillsborough, NC. Yeah, that's right, add former professional horse trainer to my resume. I got to spend the summer working with former United States Equestrian Team member, Laurie Visser. I lived in an apartment above the stables, spent my days working my tush off with the horses, spent some nights nursing horses through colic (unlike colic in babies, colic in horses is life threatening), got a concussion when the young stallion (he looked like that handsome guy to the left) I was riding decided I didn't need to be on his back, and, all in all, had an incredible time.

If I ever win the lottery or get left a fortune by a long lost relative, I am going to buy a couple of horse (since a dragon is out of the question). I want at least on Arabian and I'd love to adopt a Mustang from out West and a wild horse from Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland (best known from the Misty of Chincoteague book).

I think Shakespeare captured what I feel for horses the best...
When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare, Henry V