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

Monday, April 30, 2012


Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A
My oh my what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headed my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A

Mister blue birds on my shoulder
It's the truth
It's actual
Everything is satisfactual

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A
Wonderful feeling
Wonderful Day

from Disney's Song of the South

by dumbledad
When I started the A to Z Challenge, we were still in the throes of Marty's never ending migraine. I was miserable watching my son suffer. Marty was miserable because he was in pain and his intense sensitivity to light and sound meant he couldn't do anything.

But, today, as I wrap up the A to Z Challenge, we're not in that miserable place. It's more of a zip-a-dee-doo-dah day. Marty is better. Marty is back to his normal self and I couldn't be more happy about it. The noise level in my house has gone way up and it truly is music to my ears. Now, I'll be honest and say I probably won't be feeling the same way about the noise in another month but right now I love it.

Yesterday, for the first time since the night of February 26th, Marty went back to his normal activities. He spent 3 hours at church with the kids from the youth group that will be going to the national Lutheran Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer. They went out and walked, had dinner together, and did all kinds of trust building/team building activities. He came back exhausted but who wouldn't be after almost 2 months of no activity. And, today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining and all my kids are healthy. Today, Marty and I went to see The Hunger Games. I'm not sure what I loved more...the movie or the fact that my son was able to see it with me. Today, I am truly happy and loving life.

How is your day going? What have you been up to today?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Eye Candy: DWTS Edition

Sunday is the day we thank our Lord for the things he's given us and I want to thank him for the hard bodies he created that are displayed weekly on Dancing With The Stars. As one of my friends said, I'm married but that doesn't mean I'm blind...and you'd have to be blind not to notice the bodies of some of the men on that show. I have pictures for your enjoyment...pictures from the show...and, I won't confess to sitting in front of the tv with my camera and my finger poised over the pause button in order to get these pictures. I also won't confess to searching out old episodes of DWTS in order to get the best picture of Maksim I could possibly get.

The first bit of eye candy for your enjoyment is Derek Hough.
Derek not only has a phenomenal set of abs but he's been steaming up the dance floor with his hot, hot, hot routines.

Up second, is the amazing Maksim Chmerkovsky.
I think I'd like dancing with Derek more but, omg, do I ever like looking at Maks.

On to the contestants...I never thought I'd utter these words but, wow, Jaleel White is hot.
Who would have guessed that the kid who played the nerdy looking Steve Urkel would grow up to look like this.

And, Donald Driver has one of the most amazing bodies I've seen in ages.
He is hot and that ink decorating those gorgeous muscles just makes him hotter.

Finally, there is the sizzling hot William Levy. Y'all know I have a thing for hot Latinos and William definitely fits that description.
All I can say is hot, hot, hot.

While I take a moment to thank the good Lord for the beautiful sights he created, can y'all take a moment to tell me about your favorite eye candy?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You Never Know

by takomabibelot
If you told me 10 years ago that I would be able to connect to the internet on a device smaller than my hand (thinner too), I would have told you that you were crazy. But, that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm here in BarnesAndNoble on my iPod touch and I'm blogging. It is beyond cool.

Technology has moved so quickly that it makes me wonder what's coming next. When Vic and I bought our first computer back in 1996, the sales man at Sears was exclaiming over how big the hard drive was..."It has 1gig of storage space. You'll never need more than that." Now, I can get that much storage space on a micro sd card that is smaller than my fingernail.

Technology has let me make friends, dear friends, with people who live so far away that I might never meet them. Technology helped me find the solution to my infertility trials. Technology even allowed my family to reconnect with the surviving member of my Grandpa's flight crew from WW II and the families of the ones who passed on.

I am in awe of how far we've come and can't help but wonder how far we'll advance in the next 15 years.

What are some of the things that surprise you about life today and what do you think the future will bring us?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Xanth or Bust

by geishaboy500
My first real foray in fantasy fiction was way back in the summer of '84. I met my second boyfriend that summer at the NC Governor's School...one of those summer program's for brainiacs. Just like me, he was a geek through and through. He introduced me to Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy, Piers Anthony, and many other things. Piers Anthony and his Xanth books are what stuck with me the longest.

Xanth is a magical land in which every creature is born with a specific magical talent. If a Xanthian is found to be lacking a magical talent, they are banished to Mundania (the real world) and it becomes almost impossible to return. The reason it is so difficult to find the way back to Xanth is the peninsula of Xanth, shaped similarly to Florida, is not tethered to a specific location on the globe. Sometimes, it seems to be where the real Florida is.  Then, other times, a person leaving Xanth might exit into New York or maybe even some other country entirely. This keeps the real or mundane world from invading the magic of Xanth.

As expected, the Xanth books contain all the typical mythical creatures like harpies, golems, ogres, dragons, and centaurs. But, what makes these books truly special is their whimsical nature. The whole series is rife with puns and plays on words. Piers Anthony's love of word play shows up in the names of other creatures like the Night Mares who bring bad dreams and the titles of many of the books, like Isle of View (say it out loud...doesn't it sound like I love you). And, while puns usually make me groan, there is something about the way Anthony weaves them into the story that keeps me turning the pages and searching for the next one.

Xanth is truly a fun, engaging series and I think I enjoy it as much today as I did when I first read it. For those of you who hate to see a series end, Xanth is the series for you. The 36th book in the Xanth series just came out this year and Piers Anthony shows no sign of slowing down.

Do you have a favorite series, any genre is cool? Tell me about it, please!

What The Fuck Wednesday (on a Friday)

by Xurble
Welcome back to a very special edition of What The Fuck Wednesday brought to you on a Friday by the atozchallenge and the letter W. What The Fuck Wednesday is the prime location to read about products, items, and events that make your head snap around and your mouth utter the phrase "What the fuck is that?"

If I'm being honest, this is posting today instead of next Wednesday because I desperately needed a W post and was brain dead. The brilliant and delicious Mrs. Spock sent me an email a while back with a picture of something she'd found that she thought would be perfect for What The Fuck Wednesday. I couldn't agree with her more. Here for your amusement is the Viagra Key rack...
available on Etsy through Coat Rack Designs by martinreilly
While it truly does make me do a double take and makes me wonder what the fuck they were thinking, it also appeals to the perverse side of my sense of humor. It amuses me greatly to think of the reaction my children would have to this hanging in my house. I can also think of a few family members who would be rattled by this.

What's the funniest, weirdest, or most unusual thing you've seen lately?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


by takomabibelot

Family values, family tradition, and espousing faith over fear, these are all things you would think a religious school would be proud to support. These are all things Dominic Sheahan-Stahl believes in. Dominic is engaged to be married and he is respected in his community.

Dominic and his brother are the third generation of their family to attend Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic school, and Dominic was invited to speak at the graduation this year. Dominic was looking forward to speaking to the students about placing faith over fear, pursuing their dreams, and the bright future ahead of them. He was especially thrilled to get this opportunity because his brother is graduating this year. Sadly, Dominic's invitation to speak has been rescinded.

See, around the same time Dominic was sharing the exciting news about speaking at his brother's graduation, he was sharing some other thrilling news with his Facebook friends, the news of his engagement. Dominic recently got engaged to his partner, Nathan, and was understandably proud and excited about their engagement. The officials at Sacred Heart were less thrilled with that news. In fact, they were so less than thrilled that they couldn't even be bothered to give Mr. Sheahan-Stahl the news in person. They called his mother and told her that her son was no longer welcome to speak at graduation. He was no longer welcome to speak simply because he was too openly gay for them.

I completely understand that the Catholic church is a private entity and they have every legal right to have who they want speak at one of their schools' graduation ceremonies. I understand that many churches believe that homosexuality is against the word of God and is therefore a sin. I also know that the new testament of the Bible clearly says that you should not judge other people unless you want to risk judgment yourself. When Sacred Heart Academy rescinded Dominic Sheahan-Stahl's invitation to speak because he was too publicly gay, they were passing judgment. When they didn't even give him the courtesy of telling him of their decision personally, they were taking the coward's way out.

While it is certainly the church's right to disapprove of homosexuality, if you believe in God and believe that the Bible is the word of God, it is not our place as Christians to judge someone because their sexual preferences. Rescinding Dominic Sheahan-Stahl's invitation was certainly a judgment of the most public kind and I believe it was wrong. The unfairness of this judgment is compounded by the fact that Dominic Sheahan-Stahl has been living as an openly gay man for years and had no reason to believe SHA didn't know about that when they tendered the initial invitation.  It would be understandable is Dominic was hurt by this situation. It would be understandable if Dominic angry about the situation. It would even be understandable if Dominic lashed out. Instead, Dominic is expressing his hurt and disappointment with eloquence and grace. He is using his voice to spread the word and promote discussion. He is exhibiting the very traits that Sacred Heart Academy should be proud to see in their graduates.
Dominic, I would be proud if my sons grew up to be men like you. I'm sorry you are facing this discrimination and pray the officials at SHA can move past.this and rise above the dictates from the bishop.

If you support Dominic, here are a few ways you can add your voice to the discussion...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Y'all know I am a huge fan of romance novels. I definitely don't hide my love for these books and I just love the warm fuzzies I get from reading a happily ever after (hea) story. Sometimes, in addition to the hea warm fuzzies, I find a book that makes me think and that's always an unexpected treat. I got this experience just about a week ago when I picked up Twice a Rake by Catherine Gayle.

At first, Twice a Rake comes across as a well written but rather typical romance novel...a young society lady ends up getting pushed into a marriage with a young, good looking, but disreputable lord. They face challenges thrown at them by their own misadventures and they overcome them to achieve their happily ever after. But, Catherine Gayle takes this book so much farther than just a pleasant read by tackling two topics most people run from - abuse and infertility.

Quin, the hero of Twice a Rake, isn't just a rake because of being a spoiled young lord. Quin has been running from marriage because he's afraid of becoming his father. He's almost paralyzed by the memories of the abuse he and his mother suffered through.

Aurora, the heroine, is running from marriage because of her parents too. However, Aurora is terrified of ending up in a loveless marriage like her parents were. She remembers her mother's depression and sadness and the completely separate lives they led. Then, Aurora discovers that is wasn't a loveless marriage that caused her mother's suffering. Instead, she found out it was the agony of infertility, repeat pregnancy loss, and infant loss that paralyzed her mother and led to her parents' misery. At this point, Aurora is no longer running from a potentially loveless marriage but she's running because she's scared she won't be able to fill the role every young society lady is expected to fill - the role of mother to the heir.

While I was gratified to see a romance author tackle the effects abuse can have on someone, it was Ms. Gayle's handling of infertility that really made me think. Infertility is so hard to deal with in the modern era but the thought of having to deal with it in the 1800s when there were no answers, there were no treatments, an the woman was almost always blamed is daunting and terrifying. I simply can't imagine dealing with the losses and problems I went through without the support I found and that's what women in that era faced. I can easily imagine getting stuck in a cycle of depression like Aurora's mother did if I had gone through infertility in that era. It makes me very thankful that all the modern treatments and the online ALI (adoption, loss, and infertility) community were available to me when I was dealing with infertility.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Twice a Rake. Ms. Gayle created strong, appealing, and realistically flawed characters who many of us can identify with despite them living in such a different world and, she did so while dealing with two difficult topics with style and grace. If you're a romance fan, pick up a copy of Catherine Gayle's book. I think you'll love it. If you've never read a romance, this book would be a great way to start.

Do y'all have any books you would like to recommend to me?

* I received nothing to write this review. I simply wrote it because I loved the book.

Have UTERUS, Will Travel

Do you remember when I told you about the move to knit or crochet a uterus for a senator in need?

Well, I finally finished my crocheted uterus. I used the pattern I mentioned in the original post but I did make one rather major change. I added ovaries and the connective ligament between the ovaries and the uterus.

Now, I just have to decide which worthy NC politician will get this uterus to remind them to keep their laws away from mine.

If you want to see more of these lovely handmade lady bits, check out the Government Free VJJ page,  the Government Free VJJ facebook page, and their twitter account

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Western Frittata

I love frittatas. There's a rustic charm about them. They are super easy to make and they are just as delicious as omelets without any of the fussiness.

Now, when I make frittatas, I usually end up making at least two...one with fewer ingredients for Gabe and Joey and one with all the good stuff for Vic, Marty, and me. I prep everything I can together, split it for the two frittatas, and then add the good stuff to one. This makes enough that I have leftovers even though I'm feeding 3 growing boys and 2 adults.

Western Frittata 
plus a Sausage and Cheese Frittata
  • one large onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb sausage links, browned and sliced 
  • one large bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • a large handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
  • one 8oz can of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 sticks of string cheese, cut into slices
  • 1 doz eggs
  • 2 cast iron (or oven safe) frying pans, 1 8in and 1 10in
  1. saute onions and garlic in butter over medium heat until onions are translucent
  2. split onions and garlic between 2 bowls
  3. brown and slice sausage; put half in each bowl
  4. saute bell peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms until you get a little browning; add all of it to one bowl
  5. split the shredded cheddar and add to both bowls
  6. slice the string cheese into 1/4in pieces and divide between bowls
  7. break 5 eggs into bowl with just sausage and cheese; break 7 eggs into the other bowl
  8. mix thoroughly
  9. pour the sausage cheese mixture into a lightly greased 8in cast iron frying pan
  10. pour the western frittata mixture into lightly greased 10in cast iron
  11. preheat oven to 375
  12. while oven preheats, start cooking the frittatas on the stove (cook over medium heat until the outer edges start to set)
  13. transfer frittatas to oven...if your cast iron frying panhas a wooden handle, make sure you remove it...please don't ask me how I know that needs to be done
  14. cook frittatas until eggs are completely done and the top of frittatas are slightly brown

Do you have a favorite egg based recipe?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Answers to Your Questions

Thanks to those of you who came up with questions to ask me. It was a lot of fun answering them...even the ones I thought would be difficult to answer.

From Mrs. Gamgee:
  • Coffee or tea or neither? While I like tea, coffee is my lifeblood. Coffee deserves it's own food group. I must have coffee!
  • Chicken or Ribs? Hmmmm, that's really hard. I have chicken dishes I adore but I'd take a dish of nice, tender, fall off the bones ribs any day, especially with a smoky barbecue sauce.
  • When it comes to Marty and Joey, are their personalities what you thought they'd be? In comparison to who they were as toddlers/preschoolers? While I can't pretend to have anticipated it all, both boys are very much like I thought they would be. Even when he was tiny, Marty always seemed older than he was. He was the type of kid people would describe as being an old soul. Despite his goofy side, Marty always had a very serious, precise, almost ordered personality and that is him today. And, Joey...Joey always had a stubborn streak a mile wide, even as a tiny baby. That stubborn streak showed up when he taught himself to ride his bike without training wheels. He fell and got back up and fell and got back up over and over until he conquered it...and he was only 6 when he did that. Joey was also always my social kid when he was little and he still is much more social than Marty today.
  • What kind of person do you envision Gabe to be when he's older? My little wild child is going to grow up into a fascinating young man. He is so smart and absorbs so much knowledge that it sometimes stuns me. I know he's going to have a hellaciously funny sense of humor. He's going to have the brains to do whatever he wants. And, I'm a bit scared of the effect he's going to have on girls. Any child who looks at you and tells you how you make his heart super happy and that you are so pretty and on and on and on has the potential to turn into a sweet talker of a major degree.
  • If you could take your boys on one big trip... money being no object... where would you take them and why? I would love to take them on a trip through Europe and Asia. I'd want to both stay in fine hotels and camp and hike. Living in the US, it's hard to really get a sense of the long history of people because we are such a young country. I would love to be able to take them to all the historical sites and the modern marvels. I'd love to take them to the places the geniuses of the past like Da Vinci and Gallileo and Newton worked. I'd love to take them to see the artistic masterpieces and the sites the artists created in. I'd also love to visit historical sites related to politics, war, and religion. And, I'd love to bribe/talk our way in to see things like the CERN Hadron Super Collider. I think a trip like that would teach them both how small a single person is and, yet, how massive the contribution of that one small person can be.
From Justine:
  • HOW do you DO it?! Everything you do. Which seems like pretty much everything. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I often don't sleep all that much (and end up having to catch up later) and my house is chaotic to say the least. I'm not trying to be modest but I really don't feel like I do anything that remarkable...but, thanks for saying that it seems like I do pretty much anything.
From St. Elsewhere:
  • Do you believe in first impressions? Mostly, but I do believe (almost) everyone deserves a second chance if they get off on the wrong foot. There can be extenuating circumstances.
  • If I put you on a strict diet of eating only one thing for three meals for a whole year, what would you choose, and what would you never choose? Hmmm, if I could only eat one thing for all three meals for a year, I'd want it to be something with a lot of variety...maybe a salad with chicken and fruit and sunflower seeds and a nice vinaigrette. It's something that could either be served traditionally cold or warmed and slightly wilted. The only thing I would totally avoid choosing is something with no variety, with only one or two ingredients. That would bore me completely.
  • Any funny boyfriend story you want to share? Does the story about getting caught in my boyfriend's bedroom in my nightgown by his mother yet still convincing her that nothing was going on count as funny?
From Lavender Luz:
  • For you, what was the first PG movie you saw? Or R?  The first R rated movie I remember seeing was Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. I remember watching it over and over again on HBO and thinking how wonderfully romantic it was.
If anyone else has any further questions,  the floor is still open.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

(Another) Saturday Night

When I was a student at Duke, one of my favorite things to do was listen to The Pitchforks perform. The Pitchforks are an all male a capella group and they were (and still are) fabulous. One of my favorite songs they did was Sam Cooke's "Another Saturday Night". Sadly, I lost all my Pitchforks tapes I got in college but, thanks to the wonders of youTube, I've found a video of Sam Cooke singing that song and a a few videos of the newest incarnations of The Pitchforks...

Sam Cooke's "Another Saturday Night"
The Pitchforks performing "Some Kind of Wonderful"
The Pitchforks performing "Save the Last Dance for Me"
Have you ever listened to a capella music? If so, what is your favorite song or group?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Okay, okay, I guess my question post wasn't the most popular post. I'm leaving open the offer to answer any questions you want to ask me. Feel free to be serious or ridiculous...either works for me. Now, on to my random thoughts...
  • I'm in a bit of a brain dead space. Marty's starting to feel better. The younger two are at the beach with my parents. Me, I'm just relaxing. It feels kind of good not to have the weight of my world on my shoulders.
  • The little blue men from The Twilight Zone have finally taken pity on me and my camera has reappeared. It was in the bottom of a bag I checked multiple times. I refuse to believe my brain has been so addled by what's been going on that I missed it that many times.
  • I got an idea the other day for a series of t-shirts. It all stemmed from my husband's comment that we should celebrate Easter by watching zombie movies...after all, Jesus raised from the dead after about three days and that is about the time it takes for zombies to raise from the grave. The t-shirts are funny as hell but I know there are loved ones they will horrify.
  • I'm totally kicking butt on my yearly reading challenge and I credit having a Nook for that. It makes it so easy to take my book anywhere with me. 
  • I've read 49 full length books and 7 half books (50 pages or less) since January 1st.
  • I love the role Jamie Lee Curtis is currently playing on NCIS. She is the perfect, classy foil to Mark Harmon's Gibbs.
  • I just found out that my dear friend, Rachel Simon was at Duke University writing her book Magic Touch at the exact same time I was attending school there. Very cool!


There are so many things they don't tell you about parenting before you become one. One of the most fascinating and, at the same time, maddening things you experience are the questions you get from your kids. When they are little, the questions are fairly easy to answer but, as kids get older, the questions frequently get more challenging.

When they are little, you face the typical questions...Why is the grass green? Why is the sky blue? Why does it rain? None of those are that hard to answer and, when I didn't feel like answering, my two favorite answers would suffice. The stock answers "because God made it that way" or "so you would have a question to ask" work as answers to almost every why or what question in existence,

With my kids, you truly never know what question is going to come out of their mouths. Lately, Gabe has reentered the why phase and it's about to drive me insane. Seriously, have you heard the old saying that someone has been vaccinated with a phonograph needle? Well, that is Gabe and I 'd have to say that 90% of the words that come out of his mouth are somehow tied to why or what. But, even Gabe sometimes throws a question my way that simply can't be answered and the funny moments come when he decides he has the answers anyway. A couple of weeks ago, Gabe asked me what God's phone number was. He's really into calling people and chatting. His favorite victims people to call are Grandma, Aunt Jennifer, and Aunt Becky. I guess he decided to ass God to his list of phone buddies. Gabe was rather put out when I told him I didn't know God's phone number and I wasn't sure he had one but he was mollified a bit when I suggested he ask our Pastor about God's phone number. However, like most kids, Gabe is impatient and I guess he found the solution himself because he informed me (later that day) that he had God's number and that God and Jesus shared a phone number. When I asked him how he knew they shared a number he told me that they both called him and it was from the same number.

Marty also went through a challenging question phase. But, the challenge from him wasn't the quantity of questions. It was in the sheer complexity of the questions. For a couple of years, the arrival of summer heralded the arrival of a seriously difficult question from Marty. The three most memorable questions of the summer happened in three consecutive years. The summer before Marty entered 2nd grade, he asked me what a dimensional rift was. Can you imagine trying to explain that in terms a 7 to 8 yr old would understand? Then, the summer before 3rd grade, Marty wanted to know why some stars became black holes when they collapsed and some didn't and what would happen to our sun when it collapsed. Thank God my mom was a science teacher because I could only remember about half the answer. Then, the summer before 4th grade, Marty asked what would happen if we exploded an atom bomb inside a black hole. Hell, I never mastered theoretical physics. I didn't have a clue how to begin to explain that answer. I still can't decide whether I'm disappointed or relieved that the questions of the summer seemed to die out. I think I'm mostly relieved. Can you imagine what they would be like now, 5 yrs later, if he was talking about theoretical physics before 4th grade?

What's the weirdest, funniest, or most interesting question you've been asked by a kid?
Do you have any questions, seriously any, that you'd like to ask me? I'll come back later and answer them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Prayers: answered

My prayers have been answered and I have so many of you to thank. Marty is almost better...really! Within this last week, we've seen phenomenal improvement. Really bright lights still bother him a bit and super loud or sharp noises still hurt but he's on the mend.

I can't even begin to express how relieved Vic and I are at this moment. I really almost cried when he said "I think in another few days I'll be fine." Part of me was terrified that, once again, a loved one of mine would fall onto the wrong side of the medical odds. Part of me was truly terrified Marty's migraine would become one of these horror stories that went on for years and years. But, all I could do was keep on hoping...keep on praying...and those prayers were answered.

It's kind of funny but Marty has himself completely convinced that the only reason he is doing better is that we've had a break from the horrid weather fronts rolling through on a daily basis. I am sure that has helped but I also believe the prayers, the chiropractic care, the vitamins, and the meds have helped. However, I don't really care what he attributes his improvement to as long as he keeps getting better.

I can't even begin to express how much I appreciate all the support y'all have given us through this. The prayers, the ideas, the love...that's what's carried us through all this. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you with a few special shout outs...to Julia Crane, thank you for the k12 recommendation. He'll be finishing up his freshman year through them this summer & to Dora, thank you for the magnesium info. He's been on a mega dose of magnesium and that corresponds with when he started improving.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Odd, Odder, Oddest...

Welcome back to a very special edition of What The Fuck Wednesday brought to you by the atozchallenge and the letter O. What The Fuck Wednesday is the prime location to read about products, items, and events that make your head snap around and your mouth utter the phrase "What the fuck is that?"

I saw a commercial on TV tonight. Odd is about the mildest thing I could call the commercial. Fucked up, twisted, weird...those words all apply too. Sadly, it's not some risque product in this commercial. No, the commercial is about pop tarts. Seriously y'all...my husband and I did a double take after seeing this commercial and asked each other if we really saw that or was it some unknown force working on our brains to make us hallucinate the commercial. Take a quick look and tell me if you can figure out what demographic could possibly be targeted in this commercial. The only answer I came up with were consumers high on hallucinogens.

So, two questions...1) what demographic did this commercial target? 2) have you seen anything, heard anything, or read anything that made you say What the Fuck lately?

Monday, April 16, 2012


One of my favorite types of poetry is nonsense verse. Yes, nonsense verse. Sometimes it incorporates plays on words, sometimes it makes grammatical sense but little else, and it often incorporates made up words. Some of the best known authors of nonsense poetry are Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, Mervyn Peake, Colin West, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and Spike Milligan.

Well, I know most of you are familiar with at least some of these authors. I want to introduce another favorite nonsense poem of mine...

by *Joey Cruz

Baseballs with sirens
Bats without handles
How can we ever play
Scissors singing
Airplanes eating
What will we do about that
Fire trucks swimming
Tanks playing game boys
How can we handle that
Bionicles playing baseball
Dogs doing construction on the Empire State Building
Silliness rules everywhere

Do you like poetry? Who is your favorite poet? If you don't like poetry, what's your favorite genre of literature?

*Yes, Joey is my son. He wrote this poem back in the 1st grade. To read more of his poetry, check here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Marty

My son Marty has had a rough go of it. This last fall he had finally reentered public school after 2 years of homeschooling. He had overcome his nervousness due to the bullying he suffered from in middle school and was settling in. He found a fabulous group of friends through ROTC and was working so hard in all his classes.

And, then he had that totally fucked up reaction to his allergy medicine and it took months to get him back on his feet. Despite fighting through all that, he finished the first semester with good grades and he was ready to rock and roll when the second semester came around. Marty was really kicking ass this semester. He was pulling straight As and was getting back into the swing of things with ROTC. Then, this damned, never-ending migraine from hell hit him. It's been going on so long that we're having to reactivate our homeschool, withdraw him from this semester, and have him get the credits he needs to advance to 10th grade through k12 online this summer.

Somehow, through his whole difficult reaction to his allergy medicine, Marty maintained an amazingly positive outlook on things. But, this migraine has been a lot tougher on him. He's got a tough enough personality that he could deal with pain but the light and sound sensitivity has been kicking his ass. And, he still can't focus on anything small without triggering a worsening of the migraine so reading has been out. He's tried multiple meds, IV pain relief, and even chiropractic care. It's been disheartening for both him and Vic and I to see one attempt after another fail at breaking the migraine.

Now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm really seeing improvement since the last medicine switch, but I'm sort of afraid to let myself believe that the end is in sight. Marty acknowledges that things are a bit better but isn't willing to credit the medicine. All he's willing to say is that maybe the better weather is giving him a break. Frankly, I don't give a damn what's causing the improvement...just that it keeps happening.

I would love it if you could send him a message of encouragement or a joke to make him laugh. That would mean so much to me.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Love and Marriage

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can't have one without the other

Come this November, Vic and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary. In August, we will have spent 20 years of our life together. It blows my mind when I think about it. It seems like no time at all has passed since we met but, it also feels like he's been part of my life forever. I guess I have to own up to the almost 18 years of marriage since the living, breathing evidence of our years together are sleeping down the hall.  For me, love and marriage to Vic definitely go together. I can't imagine my life without him.

Love and marriage, love and marriage
It's an institute you can't disparage
Ask the local gentry
And they will say it's elementary

Loving Vic is elementary. He is my heart and soul. He makes me laugh like no one else does and holds me tight and makes me feel safe when times are tough. Marriage, well marriage isn't so elementary. Marriage is a hard ass road and, without the love and laughter, the effort it takes to get through the hard times will wear you down.

Try, try, try to separate them
It's an illusion
Try, try, try, and you will only come
To this conclusion

I really can't separate love from marriage. Love is what leads you to do the little things for your partner. Love is what gets you to do the dishes when all you really want is to go to bed because you know it drives your partner crazy to have dishes in the sink over night and you don't want him to feel like he needs to do dishes the minute he walks through the door from work. Love is what gets you to say, "If you need something, wake me up instead of your mom, she needs her sleep" even when you need your sleep too. These little things are what keeps a marriage running smoothly even when life keeps throwing shitstorm after shitstorm at you.

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like the horse and carriage
Dad was told by mother
You can't have one, you can't have none, you can't have one without the other!

If you find someone you truly love, whether it's a man, a woman, or a three legged alien, that love can lead to one of the most miraculous of all things, a long term, happy marriage. Somehow, knowing that there is someone whose always got your back, who will support you completely, who loves you beyond reason, well, that makes you feel like you can move mountains and conquer the world.

Do you think marriage is important or is it just a piece of paper to you? Have you found the partner you want to spend your life with?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kitchen Gadget Madness

I am in kitchen gadget heaven. I spent part of the day with my mother-in-law and, while I was there, she decided it was time to get rid of some of the kitchen stuff my *brother-in-law had bought. I came home with all kinds of goodies. I had an entire bag full of yummy drink mixes, a bag with soup mixes, and some kitchen gadgets (pictures are clickable links to products).

Every time we went over to visit Jose, my kids would go gaga over his soda maker. Yup, my brother-in-law had his own soda maker. You start with plain tap water, use a CO2 cartridge to add the carbonation, and then add your flavor of choice. My mother-in-law remembered how much my boys liked it and sent it home with me so the boys could have something to remember Uncle Jose with. We made root beer tonight and it was delish. Joey said it was better than the store bought root beer and Gabe just laughed hysterically at the farting noise it makes while it carbonates the water.
I also came home with my very own whipped cream maker/dispenser. You know those aerosol cams of whipped cream you can buy at the grocery store? Well, this handy little gadget lets you have that at home without all the chemicals and crap they put into the commercial version. Sure, it's really easy to make whipped cream with a blender but this gadget is pretty damned cool too. I don't think I ever would have bought it for myself but I definitely like having it.
The last kitchen gadget I have to share with you is something I actually bought for myself last month. I was looking to replace my Swizz Prozzz food chopper that I bought last year. I loved that thing and used it almost every day but, sadly, it broke (not a fault of the product...my dishwasher overheated and warped it). When I was searching, I found the Chef'n VeggiChop Hand Powered Food Chopper. It was significantly cheaper than the Swizz Prozzz and it had two features I really loved. The little arm that is designed to keep herbs and small pieces of veggies off the bottom so they will continue to get chopped is permanently affixed. My Swizz Prozzz had one of those arms but it was removable and it always fell off and finally broke. The Chef'n VeggiChop also has a much larger capacity than my Swizz Prozz. I got the Chef'n VeggiChop and I love it. I use these hand choppers so much more than a full sized food processor. They are so east to clean and don't take up nearly as much counter space or cabinet space.

What's your favorite kitchen toy and where can I get it?

PS...this post is sponsored by no one. I'm just telling you about products I like.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Just Because

I am so tired and can't really figure out what to write so these snippets are things I want to share JUST BECAUSE.
  •  Have you heard that old saying that someone got vaccinated with a phonograph needle? That old saying was used when someone talked a lot. Well, Gabe has been vaccinated by that needle. OMG, that kid can talk more than anyone else I know. The other weekend, he talked all the way from Cary to Charlotte...the entire 3 hours. Add in the fact that he has reentered the why stage...well, it's been enough to drive me up the wall. There have been many times when it's been all I could do to keep from asking if he could just shut up for a minute. I seriously love the kid's inquisitive mind but I have much less patience that I normally have (all the shit going on with Marty has got me wound tight) and the consta-questions are driving me insane. It makes me feel like not such a good mom.
  • We had a bit of good news with our electronics. The kids' desktop computer is back up and running. That means that we are back up to a three computer household. Our two desktops and my laptop are all running...wooohooooo.
  • There is one downside to the good electronics news. I have come to the firm conclusion that in order to maintain the balance in the electronics universe, I am only allowed to have a certain number of electronic devices in my possession. See, my big, lovely, fabulous new camera...it disappeared somewhere in my house, specifically my living room, and it disappeared 2 days before I found my long lost iPod. How in the hell I can lose something that big is beyond me. Sigh...at least I know it's in my house. I blame the little blue men.
  • My parents totally rock. They were here for Easter and my dad noticed that the recent chaos of our life had prevented me from mowing the lawn. So, my dad came up yesterday and cut my grass...one less thing on my to do list.
Is there anything you want to share JUST BECAUSE?

Extra, Extra: Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Tonight, when I was cooking dinner, I discovered I was missing something vital from my pantry...barbeque sauce. So, I decided to whip some up. Marty and I both loved it. Gabe and Joey thought it was too spicy. I guess I'll have to make two batches next time.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce
3/4 cup of ketchup
1 8oz can of tomato paste
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp of Goya Adobo
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly (I used my small food processor).
Apply half of sauce to ribs 20 minutes before they are done. Return to oven.
Add remainder of sauce to ribs 5 minutes before they are finished cooking.

*Adobo can be found in most grocery stores on the Hispanic food aisle.

**Spiciness can be reduced by simply reducing or eliminating the cayenne pepper.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

Y'all, there is a very, very sad thing going on in my kitchen. I have a gorgeous, beautiful ice cream maker. I've had it for over a year. It still hasn't been used. This is sad. No, it's beyond sad. It is tragic. I really think I need to fix this sometime soon. Now, I just need to figure out what recipe to make.

One of my favorite ice creams in the whole world was made by Godiva back before they broke my heart and stopped making ice cream. This decadent, divine indulgence was known as Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream. I've missed it enough that I'm toying with trying
to recreate it. All it would take is a kick ass chocolate ice cream recipe, some truffles chopped up to mix in, and some raspberries and raspberry syrup. Seriously, what is better than raspberry and chocolate?

My other option for breaking in my ice cream maker is a recipe developed by the lovely Susan over at She's Becoming Doughmesstic, Caramelized Peach and Ginger Cream Cheese Caramel Swirl Ice Cream. Susan first
introduced this recipe back in July of '09 and just recently posted it again to celebrate the release of the frozen dessert cookbook. There are two big benefits I can see to this option...1) I'd have a recipe to follow and 2) if I'm really lucky, the name will scare my kids off and that means more for me.

Which flavor would you pick for me to make first or do you have another suggestion entirely?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Hallowed, Heavenly Hawaii

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to live in and visit a number of fabulous locations. My dad spent 21 years in the Air Force and I wear the title military brat proudly.

I think one of my favorite places we lived was Hawaii. Hawaii is an unbelievably beautiful place to explore and having 2 years there was truly amazing. I remember walking down to the canals and going fishing, picking mangoes from our neighbor's tree, and the hours spent body surfing at Bellow's Beach.
Bellow's Beach - picture from a travel website
Bellow's Beach is a military owned beach and it was one of the best body surfing beaches on the island. For me, one of the highlights of body surfing at Bellow's Beach was taking our dog with us. Buffy would get out there in the water and, just like the people, he'd watch the waves over his shoulder. When he saw a good wave, he'd launch himself (usually at the same time as the people) and he'd ride the wave all the way into the shore.

We also loved visiting Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a fabulous snorkeling location. It is so well protected from the waves that the water
Hanauma Bay - picture from a travel website
was almost waveless and crystal clear. As long as you swam slowly and carefully, the gorgeous tropical fish living in that bay would swim right up to you and would even let you touch them occasionally. I'm really glad to hear that Hawaii has taken steps to protect this beautiful spot and preserve it for generations to come.

We also managed to take a trip to the Big Island while we lived in Hawaii. While we were living in Germany, my parents had met a lovely couple who lived on the Big Island. Since we had a place to stay over there, we got to see the black sand beach at Punalu'u before they were destroyed in the
The Black Sand beach at Punalu'u - from a computer wall paper site
never-ending explosion of Kilauea Iki. We also were able to explore some of the famous Hawaiian petroglyphs without hiking too far into the mountains
copyright Yves Rubin
because our wonderful hosts' had some practically in their back yard. It was so cool knowing that you were seeing and touching the exact spot someone touched a very long time ago.

I really hope I can share these amazing locations with my children someday.

What is your favorite place that you've either visited or lived? Or, where do you fantasize about visiting someday?

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Gifts and Glory

I'm sitting here on the night before Easter, the day Christians are truly touched by the Glory of God, trying to remind myself of the many blessings I have in my life, the many gifts I have received from my Lord and Savior. I'm having a lot more success with those thoughts now than I was earlier in the evening.

Earlier this evening, I hit a meltdown point. All my stress over everything that's happened just came to a head and I sat here crying and ranting to Jennifer about how I was so tired of having people I love be sick, how tired I was of not having a quiet, peaceful week in my life since as far back as September, how done I was with all this shit. Truthfully, it wasn't that anything new or different or bad had happened today. It was just the simple, little stuff that pushed me over the edge.

For me, holidays are such an important time. It's a time for tradition, family, and friends. And, when it's such an important religious holiday, that adds another whole dimension to the meaning of the day. I always try to do special things for Easter. We always dye eggs, have a fabulous dinner, and really cool baskets for the kids. This year I fell so short of the standards I set for holidays in our house. We totally missed out on dyeing eggs, I was shopping completely last minute for the Easter baskets, and my house was a mess.

Now, I've tamed the emotional monster that was riding my shoulder and beating me up for all I didn't get done. I am better able to appreciate the gifts I have, the blessings I've received. I have the gift of my family. Sure, there have been health issues and struggles but I have them all with me and we will be together to celebrate Easter. We are blessed to have a roof over our heads, food in the pantry, and friends who support us at every turn. And, we are blessed to have insurance that has allowed us to deal with the health issues and my parents who are insuring we can access the schooling options we need to keep Marty current with his classmates.

Since I've managed to tame the demons  that had me in meltdown earlier and have been able to truly appreciate the gifts I have in my life, I find myself in a much better place to truly celebrate and recognize the Glory and majesty of what Jesus did for us...how his death, burial, and resurrection brought us redemption from sin and everlasting life with God.

Happy Easter to all my Christian friends.

And, I hope all my Jewish friends have a glorious passover.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Frustrated, Frazzled, Flustered...

rustrated, frazzled, flustered, fraying at t he edges...all those words describe me right now. I recently had to wipe the hard drive on my beloved laptop and reload EVERYTHING from the operating system on up. She had been working fabulously (another f word). In fact, she was running better than she had since I inherited her from my mom. I was so happy with my laptop. I am not so happy now.

Being good, responsible computer owners, we always make sure to run regular windows updates and we always inoculate our 'puters against the latest viruses. When I went to bed last night, the laptop lovely was running beautifully. Then, my husband got home and downloaded the windows updates and updated the virus protection and, for some reason, this pissed off Madame Laptop. She pitched a bitch fit this morning and was having a myriad of issues from not letting me click on the Facebook like button to not loading all the pictures on my blog to refusing to load the post editor properly.

We tried everything including going back to a restore point from earlier this week. Nothing worked. It makes no sense whatsoever that a simple windows update would fuck my computer up so horribly but that's what happened. At this point, the only solution is to wipe her once again.

Maybe the fact that another piece of electronic equipment is giving me such a hard time means that my camera is going to come out of hiding...surely that's not too much to ask!

What F word (heheheheheh, I said F word), describes your mindset today?

Thursday, April 05, 2012

E is for Eden

My life has had a lot of not so happy stuff going down lately...mainly the never ending migraine my oldest has been dealing with and I'm just so tired of blogging and thinking about such a depressing topic. So, for today, I'm swearing off sad, frustrating, and depressing. Instead, I want to talk about things that make you feel sexy.

EdenFantasys is my go to location when I want or need something to help me feel sexy. And, y'all, I'm not just talking about their mid boggling array of sex toys. Unlike many stores, EdenFantasys acknowledges that plus size women want and need to get their sexy on too. Yes, that's right. You can find beautiful plus size lingerie (up through 4X) at very reasonable prices at EdenFantasys. You can also find a wide selection of body and beauty products at EdenFantasys and what woman doesn't like to look good and feel good.

Truthfully, there is so much more to feeling sexy than sexy lingerie, pretty make up, or even fabulous massage products. Feeling sexy starts with being comfortable in your own skin whether you are a size 2 or a size 20. Feeling sexy can come from that certain look in your lover's eyes or a caress as you walk by. Feeling sexy can come from making your partner feel sexy. There's no bigger turn on than the knowledge that you did that to your partner.

To celebrate feeling sexy, I'm giving away a $60 EdenFantasys gift card. Just click on the more link below and enter via the Rafflecopter form.

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Brought to you by the letter D

rained, dark, dreary, and, dare I say, depressed.My son is on day 38 of his migraine. The last time we went into the neurologist, they put him on topamax which is an FDA migraine preventative drug. While on the topamax, there has been some improvement but not nearly the improvement we want or need to see. I called the neurologist today and he wants Marty to up his topamax dose for at least the short term (he has another appointment on Monday, April 9th). When I told Marty this he got agitated and said that since he's been taking the topamax and especially since we doubled the dose a week ago on Tuesday, it's been getting harder and harder for him to get to sleep and he's been waking up easier. So, I look it up and sure enough, difficulty sleeping is a possible side effect of topamax.

The one fucking thing that has seemed to help at all and it's causing a different problem...damn it all to hell. It just isn't fair. Marty already went through that fucked up reaction to allergy medicine that caused all the problems last semester. He had been working his ass off this semester and now we can't catch a break when it comes to dealing with this migraine.

I am seriously worrying that he won't be able to finish out this semester. While I'm sure we could probably get it wiped off his record, that would still leave him a semester behind and out of sync with his friends. And, summer school isn't really an option. Because summer school isn't like it was when I was in school. Because of the economy and horrible budget cuts, there are only 30 summer school slots available at each school that offers summer school. That means that at Marty's high school of over 2200 kids, there are only 30 slots. And, freshmen are at the bottom of the totem pole for getting one of those slots...not to mention that it is impossible to complete an entire semester in summer school because of the way it's structured.

And, that is why today my post is brought to you by the letter D...d is for drained...d is for dark...d is for dreary...and, yes, d is for depressed.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

C is for Cookie

Now what starts with the letter "C"?
"Cookie" starts with "C"!
Let's think of other things that starts with "C"!
Uh. . .Uh. . . Who cares about da other things?!

"C" is for Cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
Oh! cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!
Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies
"C" is for Cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
Oh! cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!
Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies - by Joanne Fluke
found in her book Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

1 cup butter (2 sticks melted)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 beaten eggs (beat with fork)
2 1/2 cups flour (not sifted)
2 cups crushed corn flakes(crush them with your hands)
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips

Hey, You know what? A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a "C"
A round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a "C" but it is not as good as a cookie
Oh, and the moon sometimes looks like a "C" but you can't eat that
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Rack in the middle position.
Melt butter, add the sugars and stir. Add soda, salt, vanilla, and beaten eggs. Mix well. Then add flour and stir it in. Add crushed corn flakes and chocolate chips and mix it all thoroughly.
Form dough into walnut-sized balls with your fingers and place on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard sheet. Press down slightly with a floured or greased spatula.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on a cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack until they’re completely cool. (The rack is important – it makes them crisp.)
Yield: 6 to 8 dozen, depending on cookies size.
Hannah’s Note: If these cookies spread out too much in the oven, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and do not flatten before baking.
"C" is for Cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
"C" is for cookie that's good enough for me,
Oh! cookie, cookie, cookie starts with "C"!
Cookie Cookie Cookie Starts with "C"
Cookie Cookie Cookie Starts with "C"

This is one of my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. What's your favorite kind of cookie and do you have a recipe to share?