Wednesday, December 31, 2008

happy new year y'all

All the best to your family in 2009~
ps- Look closely at the bottom of the picture. That's sweet little number 5 tipping her glass and saying "Chezz".

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

pass the popcorn

A cult movie. This is how the movie Office Space was described to us by my Netflixed brother-in-law. We watched it. It was funny. But, only about as funny as a Saturday Night Live skit after the band plays for the first time.
However, in the days which have followed, it has gotten funnier. It's humor has "cured" if you will. The lines from the movie have made their way into our daily activities and created wonderfully fresh mirth.
This leads me to another thought. This was the first movie we've seen in forever, so I think King and I need to watch more funny movies in 2009. We need to laugh more. We get stuck in such a routine and wallow in our misery, and I think more than ever, '09 will be a year that we will need to lighten up and giggle more.

yeah...... great..... thanks for that

Electronic musical toys. Santa brought a keyboard with a microphone which magnifies the human voice. Grandma brought a musical "radio" AND a "guitar" which makes absolutely THE. MOST. ANNOYING. SOUNDS. EVER. Thanks guys.

On a separate note, come see me in my new pad.... Cell 3 of The Nuthouse. I'll be the one wearing the always fashionable all-white ensemble. We'll be ever so comfy in my room with padded walls and floor.

all good things must come to an end

Nirvana: an Oriental term for a state of perfect inner stillness and peace
Eden: any place of complete bliss and delight and peace

Christmas vacation: a time of complete stillness, peace, and delight.... until which point the children get tired of being trapped in the house due to a rainy late December. At that point, things quickly digress.

Hell: The place of eternal punishment, inflicting guilt and suffering; fiery and painful; extreme torment; a cause of difficulty and suffering

Monday, December 22, 2008

the drummer boy - cutest version

Number 4 was singing along to "The Little Drummer Boy" the other day and y'know the part where it goes, "par um pum pum pum"?

He thought it was, "rub a dub dub".

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Recently, King, Number 1, and I went to Orlando for a regional Irish dance competition. After a long day of travel, we went to eat dinner in the hotel's restaurant. When we returned to our room, the housekeeping staff had gone in, turned down the bed, left chocolates on our pillows, and turned on the grooviest feature of the alarm clock: crickets chirping. I thought it was cool so I left it on. As it turns out, it is the most relaxing sound in the world to sleep to. I don't know if it taps into a prehistoric disposition to sleeping outdoors or just what. But, I'll tell ya, it's better than popping a Tylenol PM! (Not that I do that, mind you. Not very often anyway.)

Even better is that when we get home, I checked and King has that same exact feature on his alarm clock. We've been sleepin' like cavemen, baby!

nothing like waiting til the last possible minute

This simply is not like me. I usually take the Christmas card picture during Thanksgiving weekend and get it printed up and sent out the week after. I just took the picture Friday! Got the pictures back and spent this afternoon addressing/stamping them. King just ran them to the Post Office so that maybe they will get to where they are going by Christmas Eve... but, I am betting that most of them won't be in time. Good thing there are 12 days of Christmas, huh?

Also, this year I sent out a Christmas letter. I know, I know. There is nothing more obnoxious than reading about someone else's kids and how wonderful they are, right? Yeah, I know. Now people can take a turn and read about my wonderful children. Turnabout is fair play and all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

hey, y'all

whooooooo hoooooo

shhhhh... don't tell

Guess what my girls and I will be playing this Christmas break?

a recommendation

RUN, don't walk and get the Celtic Woman Christmas Celebration CD. It is a goosebump producer.
Also, I think that my third born will replace the girl who runs around on the stage playing her fiddle one day.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

from out of the ashes

On Thanksgiving (to break up a fight actually) I had the three oldest kids sit down and write thirty things for which they are thankful.
I typed them and printed them and cut them into strips. Each child has his/her own font. Then I made them into a paper chain and put them on our tree. It only goes halfway down, but I think each year I will get them to add more to it so that eventually it will cover the whole tree.
Very cool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


As Catholics, we are so blessed to have this sacrament. There is nothing like the feeling of coming out of the Church after confession. Your soul is light and it is reflected in your steps. Your heart has wings and soars upward. Better than any drug known to man.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

a nearly perfect day

9 to noon - retreat at Church
12:45 - gave son a haircut (way overdue)
1:00 - all went to see son play basketball (they got clobbered, but he played well)
3:00 - cleaned a pile of clutter off dining room table
4:00 - got ready for Mass (son was altar serving for the very first time tonight)
5:00 - sat with a new friend and her three beautiful children at Mass.. her hubby just went to the Middle East until June... she's due with her fourth child in April. God bless her and give her strength.
6:30 - drop oldest at a friend's house
7:00 - have dinner with a couple (also new-ish friends) and laughed our rears off
11:00 - thanking God for such a faith-filled, fun-filled, friend-filled day before bed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

like a merry-go-round out of control

I bought the most wonderful Advent wreath. All around the pewter base, it is embossed with the Jesse Tree symbols. Now if it were as easy to purchase valuable time together as a family each night to read the scriptures that accompany each symbol.
Tonight, however, will be catch up night. There are a zillion things that could be done, but none of them have to be done, so we are going to shut off all forms of entertainment - radio, tv, computer, phone - and spend time in scripture looking at God's beautiful plan for our salvation.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

dateline: from somewhere off the face of the earth

I seem to be in orbit around the Earth. Somewhere, somehow, I misstepped and have found myself here. Somebody throw me a trail of breadcrumbs, quick.
OH, and somebody please teach me how to say NO!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

bad math

George Forman grill + marshmallows = disaster

three nights running

Today, due to the fact that I had been awake until 2 a.m. for the past 2 nights embroidering stuff for the school's Christmas bazaar, I looked in the mirror and was shocked to see that I looked like an escaped convict.

Note the time of this post. *sigh* Three nights running.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

cupping my hands at the well

I have been in a spiritual slump now for a couple of years. I wouldn't say it is as dire as Mother Teresa's unquenchable thirst, but it is a noticeable low point. To see the low for what it is, I must first describe the high point.
About four years ago, we were in a parish that we loved. We had much admiration and respect for our pastor; in return he made us feel appreciated by asking us to turn up our level of stewardship by sharing our leadership talents (that we didn't even know we had!!!). We saw that we could be disciples and share the Gospel with those around us. We garnered confidence as Christians and stronger Catholics. Our spiritual well-being was healthy.
The parish is a very historic church built in the mid 1800's, is sheer heaven. There is almost no other way to describe it. You walk in and all your senses are delighted. The woodwork, the marble, the lingering smell of incense, the quiet reverence - all, plus the enveloping sense of Christ's presence in the Eucharist in the tabernacle, it's just an overwhelmingly beautiful experience. We were part of that heaven on Earth for 11 years.
We had the opportunity to visit our old parish this weekend. As I knelt to pray after communion I wondered why I still was having a hard time getting used to where we are now. "I had such a mountain-top experience, Lord, why can't I have that now?" I long for that spiritual high, near ecstasy, I had then. Then I heard what surely was the voice of God asking, "What do you know, scripturally, about mountain-top experiences?" Well, let's see. Moses had one. The Ten Commandments were given to him to share with the Israelites. The other I thought of right off the bat was Peter, James, and John's experience on the mountain during the Transfiguration of Christ.
Now I was being asked what these mountain-top experiences DID for Moses, Peter, James, and John? How did it change their course? How did it impact their lives? Did it give them a renewed zeal to bring God's message to others? Of course it did. It also gave them a well of strength to draw from when their journey became a little dry.
I was quite thankful for the visit to our old church. It was great to see our old parish family, soak in all of that goodness, to remember the mountain-top we used to be upon, to hear God's voice, and to draw water from the well of our past experience.
I hope I won't go as long as Mother Teresa, but at least for now, I see it for what it is and how God wants me to use it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

not-so-black friday

Yesterday was my first real experience with post Thanksgiving shopping. Although some might argue that I am not an official "got-the-t-shirt-for-surviving-black-Friday" member since I have never gotten up and been at a store before 4 a.m., I did get out of the door by 7:30. I did actually elbow my way to the mall and I even used coupons!
Before my trip out on retail heaven... or hell (depending on which side of the cash register you are on and/or if you have Dr. Scholl's gel shoe inserts) I was not in the mood for the holidays. I had been sick at Thanksgiving, there has been too much going on, I haven't been generous enough with my time to properly prepare my soul for the Advent season, much less Christmas . Beyond "going through the motions".... it's more like I was stuck in a wheel and being dragged behind the dadgum wagon.
However, black Friday fixed all that. Most of yesterday I was shopping for my favorite people.... they are people I don't know.... unnamed family members on the Angel Tree at church. Each year I pick out one angel for each kid we have. I try to choose things for these children which I would get for my own kids. I never fail to have a misty-eyed moment when I close my eyes and pray that they will enjoy the things I so carefully select for their Special Morning.
Turns out it was much-needed, intense, break-out-the-paddles-type retail therapy for someone who really needed to get a "move on" when it comes to getting ready for celebrating Our Savior's birth.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

feelin' green

Guess who has the tummy bug that King just got rid of?

ugh. I swear! I have not been able to do anything for the past couple of weeks for one reason or another. I had wanted this week/weekend to be all about getting out and about, going to the gym, etc.

Y'all 'scuse me, I gotta .......

Sunday, November 23, 2008

winter's comin'... time to pack on the pounds

I swear, I have been eating like a bear preparing to freakin' hibernate all winter. What the heck?!?!?

file under: homonymn

All day long today I've been tired. Yesterday I had to get up at the butt-crack of dawn (that is 4 a.m. for those of you not "in the know") and drive two and a half hours to an Irish dance competition. It went long - way long- and we didn't get home until after midnight. Needless to say, my rear is draggin'.
Now, I am also fighting a bad cold. So, I'm sick.
And tired.

Fast forward to an hour ago, when the little kids were going nuts because it was bedtime and they were past due for rest as well. His royal highness, number 4 was wailing because I wouldn't let him read a book, and the usually good-natured number 5 was screaming her head off because.... well, I have no idea what set her off. Then I was just "sick 'n tired'.

Sick 'n tired AND sick, and tired. Two phrases that sound the same but have different meanings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

working for marcies

Numero cinco is just starting to potty train. Lately, she has done "stinky" several times in le toilette because her mom has been alert enough to notice the "signs" that she needed to go. (Good mom!) But, today we turned a corner, she actually asked to go "tee tee" and held it until we got there.
I have stocked the cabinet with Smarties. She giggles whenever I get them down and tell her how proud I am that she went potty. The cutest thing about this whole potty training experience is that she calls her rewards "marcies".


New cowboy boots and a big pile of leaves to play in. Other than a pumpkin pie in the oven, what could be any better about this time of year?

Our family has so much to be thankful for. King and I are looking so forward to next week: kids being out of school, time spent together with no constraints on our time...

What are some things your family is enjoying/thankful for this season?

a bit wrapped up at present

I haven't been able to be online much lately. I've been busily monogramming scarves for our school's Christmas bazaar in addition to the million-and-one things I normally do, which consists mainly of laundry, dishes, diapers and otherwise running the "circuit" of my downstairs.
Now, mind you, I am not complaining about doing this. Not one bit. I am thrilled for the opportunity! Not only am I sharing my time, talents, and treasure with our parish-affiliated school, it gets my name out there as someone who monograms as a hobby. And, truthfully, there is a small ego trip about crafting an item that someone wants to give as a gift.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

dodging bullets

Today we were graced with the presence of a sweet little three year old who came for a play date. She is so adorable and looks just like a very young Julie Andrews. With a smile like a kewpie doll and a sweet disposition, she is one of my favorite little people (other than my own, of course!!). Ennyhoo, so, my friend, Nanny McPhee, was getting ready to take her to "bala-lay" class and gets her all dolled up in the complete bala-lay ensemble: tights, black leotard, and black, gossamer-like skirt. We make a big ordeal over how adorable she looks. Then I pull her hair into the ever appropriate "bala-lay-do" and off she skips with Nanny McPhee to the to her chariot.
So, pan the camera to my green-with-envy three year old who is also suffering from a major case of I-need-a-serious-napitis. He is like a Looney Tune character as I see the look of "oh, yeah, that's a good idea" run across his face and *whoosh* off he darts upstairs. A couple of minutes later, he comes downstairs just crushed, crying, then screaming, "Mamma, help me find a ballet, I mean, bala-lay outfit."
For nearly 20 minutes he hoots and hollers about how he wants to go to bala-lay and how I need to find him an outfit like his friend's. At one point, the pressure was so intense, that my hand, no doubt haunted by the spirit of Billy Elliot, started to reach for the phone to call and see if they took 3-year old all-boy dancers in cowboy boots. Then the thought of my son in tights snapped me back into reality and I very carefully started weaving a white lie: "Well honey, actually, bala-lay class is only for girls, there aren't really boys in her class. But if you want, I can show you some bala-lay or the next time your friend is over, we can ask her to show you some of her dances."

Satisfied with that answer, Cindy Lou Who, er.. I mean Number 4 toddled off to his bed for naptime. Whew! I dodged the bala-lay bullet and during his naptime, I even got Whoville a little spiffed up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

for those of you "in town"

This will be the second year I have monogrammed stuff for our school's Christmas bazaar. Last year it was scarves. They turned out to be a hot commodity. I enjoyed doing it and it was a small way I could donate some of the three T's.. time, talent, and treasure.

As a teaser for those of you who have shopped the bazaar... not only am I doing the scarves again (in case there is anyone left in the world who doesn't have one), but also, these neat travel coffee mug things. They are so cool. The women who are organizing the sale bought some really neat, fun fabrics, and I am monogramming them with common letters. I have one here as a sample and each piece of fabric I finish, I pop into the mug and put the lid on to get the full effect. Very cool.

If you want to get an idea of what I am talking about, google "monogrammed coffee mugs". Ours won't be nearly as expensive. Sadly, there is a limited quantity.

Friday, November 7, 2008


This morning, King had to go out of town right after he took the kids to school. I usually try to get to Curves 3x a week (M,W, F) by 7 a.m. to be home by 7:40 so that he can get the children out of the door to school. Half the time he stops back by the house to do a little more on the computer (a.k.a. drink a pot of coffee) so I am able to get a quick shower.
So, this morning my option was Curves with no shower afterward (PU!!), or shower only. I opted to bathe.
Whilst in said shower, I was thinking about the million and one things to do today. Got out, blow-dried hair.
"Hrm... must need another haircut, my hair is not doing what I am trying to make it do."
After I get downstairs, it seems as though my hair is getting "heavier" by the minute. What in the world?!?!?
DUH! I forgot to shampoo it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

something shiny

Though you can't tell by my last few emails, I am the type of person who tries to see good in every situation. "Every cloud has a silver lining" is so true in my book. Even if it is more of just a glimmer, it is still there. In my doom and gloom over the past few days I have searched to find something bright and shiny about the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is our president-elect. Weary from obsessing over the fact that no one seems to care that there is a huge chance that our country could become a communist (at worst) or socialist (at "best") nation, I just had to look at things from a cheerier viewpoint. (Don't believe me? Think of this: Obama, Pelosi, and Reed... there are NO longer checks and balances. The powers-that-be go unchecked.. especially if he gets to appoint people to the Supreme Court.)
When I was watching the massive crowds celebrate "The One" (these are Oprah Winfrey's words, not mine) being chosen, and just after I gagged watching Jesse Jackson's tear-stained cheeks (which he would not wipe, something which drove me to distraction, and which made me even more repulsed because it made it look insincere) I saw that "hope" that each of those people had voted for.
The black Americans in that crowd really do believe in Obama. They may not have a clue as to anything he believes in, but they believe in his ability to lead the nation. I saw a joy that was deeper than just "we won". This led me to realize how much it meant to them that he win. I saw in their joy the need to prove that they can "give birth" to a leader for our United States.
It's no secret that I disagree about him being the right man for the job, but taking my opinion out of the formula, he remains their hope. No matter how flawed their reasoning or how much these voters lack knowledge about their candidate, the fact remains that they are excited about this opportunity.
I just hope that he can live up to their expectations. I hope he makes them proud and doesn't let them down. I hope he really takes this role seriously as so many did before him. (OK, so not Bill Clinton, but prolly the rest of them.) IF he turns out to be good for America, (and not weaken her to the point that she is unrecognizable) and IF he can do more good for race relations (God, please protect him from being assassinated!), then he will set a fairly good precedent.
Though I am mostly skeptical, I must create this bright, shiny facet to focus on over the next four years. My children are depending on me to help them feel safe and secure. Their peace of mind depends on how I cope with what may come. I can't let them down. I am their hope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

stick to the mantra, girl

Despite the fact that my last two posts have been gloomy ones, I also have a firm resolve that no matter what the election outcome, no matter if the worst nightmare from the other night were to come true (insert shudder here), I am soothed by reassuring scripture as well as the fact that God has not abandoned us. We are still His chosen ones, safely under his protection. He will not forsake us.
So, I shall stick to the mantra that always gets me through rough spots, "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." St. Julian of Norwich

election day blues

Today is a rather blustery day. King, looking out the window comments, "Man, it's breezy out there."
"Hrmmm," I mumbled, "those are the winds of change."

Monday, November 3, 2008


ALL night last night I dreamt several vignettes about election day riots, in each our family was in grave danger.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

clever clever girl

My mom always comes to visit each of her grandchildren on their birthday. She takes them birthday shopping and then we all go out to dinner. They LOVE the special treatment and extra attention they get.
So, today is number 3's birthday. She is an extremely bright and cheerful girl who loves animals and is an encyclopedia when it comes to animal trivia. I knew the day she was born, 9 years ago now, that she was a very clever girl. When the nurse placed her in my arms and she looked up at me with both eyes and checked me out for the first time, chills literally ran up my spine and I looked up at King and said, "We've just been outsmarted. This one is brilliant." I can't explain how I knew. I just did.
Ennyhoo, back to the present. So "Fluffy" as my kids call her, gets here yesterday and the kids are all over her like ants attacking a picnic. Number three asks if she had any "lip chap" in her purse. Of course she does, she's a grandma, right? So they take a dive into Fluffy's purse.
"What's more fun than a grandmother's purse?" my mom quips laughingly.
Without missing a beat, said birthday girl says, "Her wallet."
Yep. Clever, clever girl.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Guess who we caught last night?

ps- in the comments, Bia asks if it was Fievel that we caught. Actually, no. It was either Rishon, or his brother Ravid. Just as long it wasn't Ibrahim, we should be doing well.

early voting.... it ain't for sissies

Well, although it took me three hours, my ballot has been cast. Now, if the polls have tumbleweeds and the sounds of crickets chirping on Tuesday, I am going to be quite peeved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

squeak squeak

OK folks, it is officially fall and cold weather has hit. Time to bait the mousetraps. 'Cause I don't know about your house, but the second night of cold weather brings the little buggahs inside. Don't believe me? Set one!
Also, as told to me by a very good friend who never wants me to say her name for fear she will fall down another flight of stairs: "Um. I hate to tell you this, but, they come in pairs."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

you know it's a bad day when.. use the word "devoid" before 8 a.m.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ironic that Bia just posted this about Martha and Mary. Just last week I was really beating myself up about the fact that I am such a Martha. In my frustration, I told King that I'd like to swipe all the surfaces of my home into a trash can. So many giblets and pieces of paper that represent responsibilities or things to decide upon. So many sentimentals. It's enough to drive someone up a wall, when all they really need to do is go to the foot of Jesus. It IS what's important.

There are a constant attack of projects to get done for a stay-at-home mother of 5. Laundry always. Kitchen for the millionth time. The floors which somehow are never clean. The list goes on and on ad nauseum.

However, I do recognize that there needs to be a balance. Until I find it, I beg God's mercy. Tonight, for example, we were supposed to have the time to pray the Rosary together. I locked my keys in the car at the dance studio and the kids are getting ready for bed. *sigh* King and I will be praying together on the way to unlock my car I guess.

have you had yours?

Mammogram tomorrow! Have you made an appointment to have your mammary glands checked this year?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

homemade sauerkraut?

OK, while surfing other folks' blogspots, I ran into this about making your own sauerkraut. It piqued my interest, so I went to youtube and watched a video about it. Very cool.
Any of you ever done anything like this? The closest thing I've done as far as playing with "good bacteria in the kitchen" is making homemade yogurt.

Anybody want to try it with me? C'mon, It'll be fun. I'll even get King to grill out some kielbasa.

on sports

Thank GOD there are only a handful of sports played around here. We have recently finished volleyball season. We are in the midst of soccer and football. And number 2 has just decided he wants to try out for basketball! (insert: Marge Simpson-style growl here) I don't know how much more "scheduling" I can handle.
With dance being a twice-a-week event, and fiddle being right after school on Thursdays - on the OTHER side of town, I am stretched just about as far as I want to be stretched.

Ok, I know I sound like a babyhead. Whine over.

never too old to say really cute stuff

Number 3, my beautiful third grader is making her birthday list (she'll be 9 on All Saint's Day) and wants to buy some "lip chap" with her birthday money.
I just simply don't have what it takes to correct her. I know that is probably child abuse, or neglect at best, setting her up for embarrassment later down the road... I don't care. It is just plain adorable. Who knows, she may even know it is really called chap stick.
When she was a wee thing (3 - 4ish) she called a knife a "life". Finally I told her once that although the correct word for said object was "knife", I preferred her to keep calling it a "life" at least while she was at home.
I know. Go ahead. Call DFCS.

survey question

The stem end of a banana: "pop top" or "handle"?
I've always used the top (stem) end as a pop top to peel a banana. My adorable, but in this instance odd, husband uses it as a handle and opens it from the blunt end. While it is a neat concept to use the stem as a handle, you get banana peel goo in your thumbnail. I had never before met anyone who does this. Please feel free to weigh in on this poll.

Monday, October 20, 2008

...until next year

Here you can barely see the mountains in the distance. Yes, it is good to be home, but I still long to have at least one foot in the "no diaper zone".
Though my mom has no computer, doesn't want one, wouldn't know what to do with one if it gave itself freely to her, I wanted to still thank her here on my blog for her generous gift: time away from my life as a wife and mother; time spent with her and my sister, now that we are all adults (thought you'd never get there, Liz - LOL!!! jk).

don't make me leave

OK, I am home (noooooo!) from THE spa. Ohmigosh! It was the most fantastic, relaxing time ever. Mom, Liz, and I laughed and laughed. I thought we were going to float to the ceiling like Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins at one point.
Thankfully, there was no lemon-infused water incident, though there was a close call with a cup of java.

One of the funniest things was on the way up the mountain, when we were wishing there were a "therapy room" in which we could all three be in to enjoy our back massages. Don't know who it was who came up with it, but we figured what we were wanting was a massage a trois. It caught all three of us off guard and we nearly drove off the side of the mountain laughing about it.

We ate lots of good food. We relaxed in the whirlpool. We relaxed in the lounge. We even relaxed in the relaxation room (no, really, see for yourself... we decided this must be what Heaven's waiting room must be like):
The Relaxation Room at Westglow Resort Spa
We did actually get a bit of exercise (treadmill and aquacise class) and I got a hair cut. But, for as much as we crammed into those two and a half days, the weekend went way too fast.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the "look"

Sometimes a stern look is all it takes when you are dealing with children. With adults, it's a completely different story. Take our "Laughing Ourselves Skinny" group, for example, when they say they will be there at 6 p.m. and I go, and I'm there, and I climb on the treadmonster, and I wait... and wait... and wait. It is so much more fun when our whole group works out - we laugh and cut up and before you know it, 30 minutes has flown by. Notsomuch fun when you're by yourself.
OK, girls (insert stern look here) don't make me get out the bullwhip! We simply cannot rename our group to "Driving Ourselves to Failure Whilst on the Way to the Ice Cream Store".

Monday, October 13, 2008


Ever tried to put the padding in a pair of football pants? Gee whiz. I did feel on top of my game this morning.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

don'tcha love the rumor mill

I was intrigued to read this about urban legends. I remember believing some of those early emails, especially the one about the underground black market of internal organs. Nowadays, I'll decide by the subject title. If something sounds too good or too wacky to be true, I just delete it. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone followed those same rules? There'd be a lot less spam, I'll tell ya.

Recently, I received an email entitled "Are these the end times?" The email portrayed Obama as the anti-Christ and tried to "prove" that we are in the end times. Look, whether he IS or ISN'T the anti-Christ, if it is the end times people, then so be it. There "ain't" a damn thing we can do if we are in the end times. Get right with God and there's nothing to worry about.

I have a friend who had a yard sale today and was planning on selling the entire contents of her home so that she and her husband could move to NC where she will be closer to the mountains. She is putting all her trust in her belief that we are getting ready to see the end of the world. Scripture has told her to escape to a cave. As nutty as it sounds, I gotta love her for who she is. She's convicted. She's one of my dearest friends and always will be. I'm not going to sit in judgement of her decisions. I am just going to pray that she will somehow be comforted by Christ's peace, no matter where she is living. What else is there to do?

I have another acquaintance who tends to go overboard on this type of urban legend/rumor stuff. A real "the sky is falling" type of personality. Paralyzed with fear. Perhaps I've said this before on my blog, perhaps not, but it bears repeating. In the Catholic Mass, during the consecration of the Eucharist, the priest prays the words: ".....and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ." Can it be any more clear than that? If we pray this in earnest every Sunday (and every time in between that we attend Mass), are we doubting that God will deliver on that request? No, He will protect us from anxiety for as long as we allow it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

grab a spoon

Number 5, and her adorable curly-headed, sweet self, is running around the house this morning with a pair of toy binoculars pressed against her nose saying, "I see you."

Just doesn't get any cuter than that.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Among the overwhelming frustrations this week, I have tried in vain to get my house clean. To no avail. The wee ones in my life and a few of their friends are like a professional demolition team.
At lunch today, for example, it came to pass that I had baby food carrots all over me, the floor, the oven door and cooktop, the lower cabinets, and oddly enough, the upper cabinets - so far up that I couldn't even reach to clean them without the aid of a stepstool. All due to just the right "land" when a container of Gerber pureed carrots went *splat* onto the floor. Wanna know the most ironic thing of all? The container was still more than halfway filled - no lie!
After crying out to God aloud and getting everything wiped up, as I was eating my now cold soup (I know, poor me, right?) I kept thinking about a time not too far off in the future when I will be free from all stresses of these four walls.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

season opener

The two middle kids both had their first games tonight. Number 3's game (soccer - our first experience with the sport) was at 6:30. She did great the first half and then by the end of the second half, she was daydreaming a lot. Makes for a yelly kind of Mom. But, by the time she walked off the field, don't worry, I didn't scold her. I told her how great she did the first half. I said, "I noticed in the second half you must have been getting tired or something, because you weren't watching the ball." I encouraged her to stay focused for next time.
Number 2's game (football - God's favorite sport) started at 7:45. We were able to get there right after the first couple of plays. The score was already 6 to 6! He plays on both offense and defense. The game was 20 - 20 at the end of the game, so they went into overtime. His team scored a field goal, but the other team was the first to score a goal. Even though they lost, it was a pleasure to watch those boys play. Might be a chance he broke his finger though. eek.

Monday, October 6, 2008

taking myself by surprise

I jogged a mile tonight at the gym!
whoooo hoooo - - go me!
Next stop, 5K

Sunday, October 5, 2008

that, too

Took numbero uno on a retreat yesterday. Most all of her 8th grade class plus the CCD kids from Church went. It was at a nearby lake and some of the activities (team building stuff) were in a wooded area.
So, when I got home I told King that he might want to check me for ticks (an inside joke which probably needs no explanation). Number 3, without missing a beat, says, "Yeah, and I can check you for tocks."

newest acquisition

King told me a couple of months ago that all he wanted for his birthday was a bike for me. How sweet was that? Well, his birthday came and went. I got him 2 outfits, but no bike. (I actually have an antique bike that one of my favorite cousins bought for me several years ago. It is a lime green cruiser. It needs a tune up. It is great to use on flat ground.) Since our neighborhood is filled with hills, I needed a bike with gears so that I can burn several calories getting to the top. So, after lunch today, we went to a local sports store and found a hybrid bike. Basically a geared cruiser.
We got home and I had to absolutely sit on my hands until we went for a ride.
Number 1 babysat for us while King and I went for a ride. Going up those hills was killer, but fairly easy with the gears. (I've never understood the concept of bike gears until today.) I got a fantastic workout and now I wish I could be biking right this very moment.

Lemmie just say, coming back down the big hill is WAY more fun than the way up! Whooo hooooo!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

yeah, right

A postcard from Comcast cable tv company... spend 40 dollars a month to restore family value.

Translation: Further corrupt your family values with the crap that is on tv by taking "advantage" of this this "great" family value. (as if it was)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

preaching to the choir

What it's all about. (see video)

small reassurances

I have a sinking feeling that the state of the world is about to disintegrate swiftly at least for awhile, and in order to stay calm and not get caught up in the panic, I have decided to make a list of small ways in which I am reassured that "all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well". (The Eucharist, the Mass, etc. are givens. Constants. And go way beyond a list of things)
This is a list I am going to try to add to each day. Feel free to join me in sidestepping chaos and clinging to the little things that keep us going throughout each and every moment. Also, help me to remember that this is a list of non-material things which go mostly unnoticed so that I don't get too lofty.
  • clean sheets
  • the way the sunlight dances in a child's hair
  • giggles
  • laundry dried outside
  • seeing leaves fall from trees in Autumn
  • the sound of wind chimes from the distance
  • a genuine smile
  • birds playing in a puddle of water
  • having the kids and hubby home all at the same time

Oops, baby's awake..... more to follow as time permits.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

on being fahrty-one

Yay! Happy birthday to me.

Here are the highlights from my special day:
  • handmade kid cards
  • sweet card from King, who worked from home all day today (reassuring having him here even though he is downstairs in his office)
  • two e-cards from special people
  • lunch with King and a great friend (the one who likes to fall downstairs and whom shall remain nameless)
  • hearing my mother and my favorite sister sing happy birthday on my answering machine
  • Bonefish Grille gift cards from a friend with a really keen sense of gift giving
  • got to go to Curves this morning....
  • AND "le grande gym" this evening where I jogged 1/2 mile on the treadmill

Monday, September 22, 2008

today totally mostly sucked

fannie mae
freddie mac
world's gone crazy
hold me back

what am i doin'?
spinnin' wheels!
no one knows
the stress i feel

kids are crazy
runnin wild
"you must obey,
my dear child"

weight loss stalled
what was the plot?
hard to focus
hurts a lot

world is crumbling
all around
must try to see
what blessings abound

Sunday, September 21, 2008

shhh... not so loud

At the end of Mass, number 4 (the one who both keeps me young AND makes me old all at the same time) says, loud enough for everyone to hear, "YAY! It's oooooover!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

smells like road trip to me

If only my plants would grow as fast as #2. That boy has "taken a growth spurt" like none I've ever seen before.
King noticed that clothes were spilling out of his chest of drawers a couple of weeks back and I've been trying to get the time to go through it all, weeding out what doesn't fit and refolding what does fit.
This afternoon, he finished his homework early and I handed him an empty laundry basket and told him to clean out his drawers (muah ha ha ha). He brought it back overflowing with stuff. He tried on every single thing and we filled a big garbage bag full of stuff.
At present he has NO jeans, NO dress pants, a ton of shorts, and another ton of long sleeve t shirts.
I smell a road trip to da Gootwheel!

a moment

Tonight, before she ascended the stairs to get ready for bed, I told my oldest (aka #1) how proud I was of her for being conscientious, smart, beautiful, sweet, kind to others, etc.
She smiled a humble smile, said "thank you", then hugged me.

And then, in her truly blonde fashion, she looked at me, and smiled a vacuous smile and said, "You smell good."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

some beanstalk

Over lunch, Number 4 told me that he had found some magic beans outside. He said that he and his sister (#3 for those of you keeping up or taking notes) planted them. He said they had patted them and that they were hidden under the mulch. His sister must have told him not to stomp on them, because he swore he didn't.

"Dey gonna gwow, Mommy." Through a bite of cheese sandwich, he added, "Big beanstalk."

"Oh yeah?" I mused, "Well, are you going to climb the beanstalk and see the giant?"

"Nope, I gonna see Jesus."

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Today after Mass, King and I were determined to take the day completely off from work. We desperately needed some rest and some time together. The past few weeks have been whirlwind for both of us.
We got the two littl'ns down for their naps and we piled up in the bed. I got as close to him as possible (with clothes on that is) and snoozed while he read the current National Review. As a result, my "batteries" are fully charged and my spirits are elevated.
Y'know, somebody should make a law about not working on Sundays. (heh heh) Ennyhoo, I hope you had some down time that recharged your batteries, too! If not, schedule some soon - it is well worth it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

now that's good news

As seen in an article in a recent paper:

More Brides Seek Modest Gowns

Oh, praise God! There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I won't have to make three wedding dresses after all. Whew!

love ya, booger

Happy anniversary, honey!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

my choice

Not that it will matter in the lives of others one iota, but here is why I am a McCain/Palin supporter rather than an Obama/Biden (note how closely that resembles Osama Bin Laden!) fan.
A cousin, an aunt, and a sister of mine (the one that is my favorite) are all in an email dialogue about our political choices. Sadly, the cousin is one of those on the other guy's team. Although he is displaying liberal tendencies, he swears he is not gay. And he does NOT eat quiche, and he is allergic to pink. Just be careful not to take away his Starbucks coffee in the morning, ok? ;o)

Ennyhoo, as I wrote in my last email: The thing that scares me the most about a future with "President Obama" is not his inexperience, his stance on taxes/big government, or the fact that he seems slicker'n owlshit. Its the "unknown". We don't really know this guy. He has not been in public office long at all. Face it, whether the media downplays it or not, the dude runs with some really scary characters. Violent friends. Some who talk a big game, others who actually do violent things. I think a race war - unlike anything Rodney King could get us out of with his wise, yet crack-induced words - is a distinct possibility.
I am glad I don't live in Atlanta or Chicago or Detroit (Well, I am anyway for the fact that I despise a big city, but for the sake of this argument as well.) because Lord help us all if the man is assassinated in office. Riots and conspiracy theories will be more rampant than a case of head lice going through a class of first graders.
I wasn't a McCain supporter during the initial stages of this game (as in before the primaries), but I do think he picked a very strong VP candidate in Sarah Palin. Aside from the whole race war thing, I feel very confident in McCain's ability to make sound decisions.
Obama...mmmm.... notsomuch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the countdown begins

It won't be long now..... the second "gathering" of the weekend getaway.

...and your hand over my mouth

Y'know what is uncomfortable? and occasionally disappointing? It is brought to the forefront about this time every four years.... political differences.

It never fails. Though the following is a hypothetical situation, something like it has happened more often than I'd like to remember.
So there I am in full soapbox mode about something I feel strongly about and lo and behold, someone I thought I knew well is standing in the opposing team's dugout. Perhaps not too vocal in his or her opinions, but dressed out in full uniform. Gulp. I immediately go from soapbox mode to crawl under a rock and hide mode.

"Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth!"

happy birthday to da hubster

Happy birthday dear King. Today we celebrate you! I love you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

looking toward autumn

Each year I look forward to the day that I wake up to find the sun is just a smidgen different on its axis. It is the day which brings hope that fall is on its way. It isn't always a cooler day, but the light that is cast is just a little different. Last year it came in mid-August. It was a scorcher of a day, but I knew that I could hold on a little longer.
I have been so busy the past month, I haven't been alert enough to pay attention to the sun and how it sits on its axis. And, in fact, it has been so wonderfully rainy the past two weeks, that we've hardly seen the sun at all. (I am hoping to hear that all the rain has brought up the level of the nearby lakes.)
But, in case it hasn't happened already this year, today could certainly be the day. This morning brought a few more of the senses (sight and touch) on board to herald the impending fall season. Though humid, it was cool.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

on health and aging

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect." Rom 12:1-2

.... offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. "Your body is a gift not only from Me to you, but to Me from you. Take care of it. Respect it. Treat it with extra special care. It is a holy place. Treat it as such. Remember the Ark of the Covenant? Your body is that special."

Do not conform yourselves to this age. In other words God says, "You ain't gonna be a teenage forever. Not 25. Not 30. Not 40. You are going to keep getting older and older. The sooner you face it and embrace it, the easier it will be for you to hear My Voice." transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God. Or, "At each age I have a new assignment for you. Ever changing. Keep up or take notes, people."

....what is good and pleasing and perfect. "Did I mention that there will be a test on this at the end of class? Do your very best. At all times. I do not grade on a curve."


I felt sorry for the people who sat around us during Mass today. Poor unsuspecting creatures. Our two little ones, hyped up on sugar from the birthday celebration weekend I suppose, were wild. Setbacks, really. Number 4 has been so good lately. Usually the only time he has to be taken out is if he needs to go to the bathroom. But today, he was loud and did not listen to any of my forty thousand requests to please be quiet.
Though I was distracted I realized that God sent me this wonderfully-created soul in the form of a three year old. God's creations are good. Which means, therefore, that my distracted mind must be a good thing. I was left trying to see the good in being distracted.
What could be good about that I asked the Lord?
The answer: As a result of not being able to completely sit through Mass, I have an overwhelming desire to be closer to the Lord and to hear His word. To be with Him in the Eucharist. To thank Him for the awesome sacrifice.

Simple. Good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

happy birffday dear child

Happy birffday to my most favorite-ist 'shree' year old!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

bare feet

I walk around barefoot all the time. But that shouldn't be a free-for-all for the little people in my life to step all over them. No joke, these people stand on MY feet when it would be easier to just stand beside me. Odd. And rawther painful, too, I might add.

Monday, August 25, 2008

all is quiet

Number 4 started Mother's Day Out this morning. He was so excited. Last week we went to meet his teachers and see his classroom. He did not want to leave!
He and I packed his little lunchbox and put a change of clothes in his backpack, "just in case". It was so neat to see his enormous smile as we pulled up. Bless his heart, I know he gets bored here with me ALL of the time. This will give his sweet little brain a break from these four walls and challenge his mind a little more than I do.
A friend swears I am going to miss him. And I know she is right, but more so I am happy for him. This way he will have scheduled "outside play times" which don't get put off because of baby sister's nap schedule, the mosquito factory in our backyard, or countless other stupid blockades.

So, here I am. Baby is asleep. All is quiet. Where do I start?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

angry eyebrows

Picked up a VHS movie from "da Gutvill" last week which has caused great mirth in our family.
From the producers of Veggie Tales, it is called LarryBoy: The Angry Eyebrows. We have had the best time watching that thing and pretending to have 'the angry eyebrows'.
An evil villain, Awful Alvin, and his inanimate floor lamp "sidekick", Lampey sick furry unibrows (which fly like bats) on all of the residents of Bumblyburg. Even LarryBoy gets a case of the angry eyebrows until he remembers that God wants us to let go of our anger.

This morning I awoke with a case of the angry eyebrows. Couldn't seem to shake them. Wonder why that is? Some days I am on top of the world. Some days EVERYTHING rubs me the wrong way. Very often the angry eyebrow day correlates with trying to get out of the door for Mass. What's up with that? Thank God, by the time we get to the part of the Lord's Prayer (if it hasn't already gone by then) and "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" I can feel them lifting off and flying away.

What about you? What gives you a case of the angry eyebrows?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

something new to google

I wonder if there is a correlation between extreme humidity and depression?
I can't seem to get out of my own way today, and can't attribute it to hormones.
I think I hear a nap calling.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

funkaerobics week two

OK, this week was not NEARLY as bad as last week. I was able to keep up and I got such an incredible workout that my clothes were (no exaggeration) soaked by the end of class. While I still didn't make it "perty" and you won't see me out clubbin' anytime soon, I managed.

Oh, and just in case you need a mental image of what a funkaerobics class may look like... think Paula Abdul music video choreography.
Yeah. That.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

a plea to fathers

Fathers, please demand that your sons speak to their mother with respect. I have noticed lately vicious, angry, hateful tones coming out of the mouths of young men I would imagine knew better.
I remember King telling me that when he was a teen, the one and only time he chose to backtalk his mother, he was left with a hand print across his cheek. Too severe? Maybe. Maybe not. I can guarantee you he never did it again.
The reason for my plea is purely selfish. I do not want my future sons-in-law to speak to my daughters the way they speak to your wives. My husband and I have set the bar for our kids as to how marriage is supposed to be. King and I speak with respect and love to one another 99.9% of the time. (0.01% = we are human, after all!)

That, and it will avoid an embarrassing situation for them later down the road. Because I can promise you, I have huge mother grizzly bear potential.


Every single time I pick up a jug of bleach, no matter how c-a-r-e-f-u-l I am pouring it, I will always splatter it on my black pants or my shirt.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


We had a Church picnic tonight after Mass. Lots and lots of yummy food. I think I need to get some indulgences for not being indulgent.

I had to keep thinking, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny. Nothing tastes as good as healthy."

I couldn't even look at that chocolate dessert that looked like some bubbling, gooey, chocolaty goodness. Well, maybe I did peek, but I swear, I didn't taste it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Let's just suffice it to say there's a Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy here. All that needs to be known is yes, Virginia, funkaerobics is a good workout.

The fact that I am an old, fat, uncoordinated white woman was rubbed in my face too many times for me to count.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the 'master'

Out of respect, and while still facing the master, you must bow and back away, and bow and back away, and bow and back away, until you are out of the room.

The StairMaster: sissies need not apply
PS - That's Mr. StairMaster, thank you very much!

free to move about the cabin

At the beginning of summer, we buckled our proverbial seat belts. I knew that there was a potential for turbulence. The kids were excited about the end of the school year, and yet, they needed a "place to land" in the daily routine here at home.

Things went fairly well, all told. There was a great deal of down time, but we also were able to get out of Dodge for a couple of trips.

Yesterday was the first day of school. They "took off" bright and early and are swiftly approaching their "cruising altitude" for the new academic year. I am loving the fact that we now have a routine going, and we have direction. Whew!

The pilot has turned off the seat belt sign and you are free to move about the cabin.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

shimmy shimmy ko-ko-bop shimmy shimmy bop

Know what this is?

It is an accessory to only the world's most intense cardio workout. A belly dance scarf.
"Big gym" offers belly dance cardio classes. One of my workout cohorts and I decided it might be fun to try our make that our abdomen at a class on Saturday.
If you took ALL the workouts I have done for the past month - both cardio and strength training - and rolled them all together in a big ol' bundle and held it up against this hour-long belly dance class, they couldn't hold a candle to it.
I am telling you, there is not one muscle I did not use. This is no exaggeration, my hair was soaking wet! I was able to walk to the car to leave the gym afterward, but by the time I got home I crawled to the front door.
One lady said at the beginning of class that it was addictive. Yeah. Right. Masochist!
But you know what? Within an hour of being home from it, as tired and sore and worn out as I was, I was also so excited to get such an incredible workout that I got in my car and went and bought a noisy belly dance coin scarf, one nearly identical to the one in the picture. I can't wait to go back!
And, King? Well, let's just say that he thinks it is a really good idea.

ps- next up: Funkaerobics! Call 911 and tell them to bring the paddles and a stretcher!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

twenty years part two

Today marks the 20th anniversary of my father's funeral. 8/8/88. By this time we were wiped out. None of the family had slept worth a damn for the past 2 nights. We were weary.
The night before, the hotel where I worked offered our extended family the meeting rooms at no cost. We all gathered and spent time together. Some of us still had unstoppable tears, others (mostly my uncles - men, who perhaps don't let people see themselves cry) were playing cards. "Hmmfph, how could they be playing cards at a time like this?!?" I wondered. One cousin had recently gotten married and had brought her wedding photo album. Looking back on it, I know that she was trying to help lift the mood of the room, share her joy. But, still reeling from the pain of knowing my father would never meet my future fiance, nor walk me down the aisle, all I could think about was my own misery. I became over-the-top emotional.
We had a two hour drive from "the new town" to "the old town" which is where the cemetery plots my parents owned were. I barely remember being on the highway. Such a blur. I do remember thinking, "How could people in the rest of the world go on about their daily lives? Why does life have to keep moving?" I was impressed, briefly, at how people pulled over for the procession behind the funeral home vehicles. Not enough salve to begin to touch the open wound of losing my sweet Dad though.
The (very) small church where we had been parishioners for many many years was filling up. Mom, Liz, and I formed a line in the narthex and greeted well-wishers, old friends and extended family whom we had not seen in a long time. My father was a very well respected member of the community in the "old town". He had been involved in a lot in the nearly 20 years we'd lived there among which was youth league and high school football. He also helped to get a group home built, which helped transition high-functioning people with mental retardation from institutional settings into the community. My heart wanted to be overjoyed to see these long lost friends, but the sadness prevailed.
Despite the fact that my father had not converted to Catholicism (yet.. though he was attending Mass each week with my sister) he had a Catholic funeral Mass. The priest who celebrated was a very close friend of the family. I have no idea if that was within the "rules" or not, but that's neither here nor there. "On Eagle's Wings" was sung. I wept. To this day, I cannot hear that song without getting choked up. Can't even whisper its lyrics.
I was dreading the graveside service. I figured it would be the most horrific part of it. Final. As the funeral procession slowly entered the cemetery, my heart started racing, dread took up residence over my head, my hands were sweaty. I didn't want to be there.
After the prayers were said as well as the goodbyes to the people who had taken time out of their busy days to share this moment with us, the cemetery workers began lowering the casket into the ground. I felt a gentle breeze in the air. It felt good against my numb, tear-stained face. The same cousin, who had unknowingly been so callous the day before stood there beside me. It was just the two of us. I have no idea where anyone else was, nor was I aware of what they were doing. The downward motion of the casket, the breeze, and my cousin.
"He's in a better place now." Hers were simple words. I have no idea if she elaborated or not. The one sentence is all I heard, all I recall.... and the peace which followed. I gulped a huge lungful of air. I could feel the first twinges of healing.

just remember

When you are putting your Thomas unders on, "tag go-ins back".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

twenty years

I was home from college. The only quarter I ever took off. Miss Nose-To-The-Grindstone never could see the logic in taking summers off. But, this particular one I did.
My parents had just moved. We had lived in the same small town in NC for nearly 20 years, but Dad got a new job. So my first time driving home from college (Auburn) to western NC was odd. I was driving to a place I'd never been before. My new home. But, I had no idea how to get there.
Once off the interstate, I had to call to get directions. My Dad figured out where I was and drove to meet me and I followed him to the new house.
Wow. Steep driveway. Nice house. Different than anything I'd ever lived in, but, still very traditional.
That summer I spent trying to get my bedroom decorated. I got a part time job as a hostess at the local hotel's restaurant. I met a couple of people who were around my same age and although we never hung around together outside of work, it was fun to joke around with them during work.
One night my sister and I were staying up late watching some movie on tv. I don't even remember what it was. I do, however, remember one of the commercials - a public service announcement. It was about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. What to look for, when to seek medical attention. I took the information in and tucked it away to use "someday".
The next day ("someday") dawned. Our family - Mom, Dad, Liz and I, spent the day together just goofing, relaxing, playing games. We were planning on grilling out that night. I had a "first date" that night and the guy was going to come over and eat steaks with us.
Early in the afternoon, Dad mentioned that he must have pulled a muscle in his chest. "It feels tight," was his explanation. Remembering the PSA I had seen the night before, I said, "Hey, Dad, maybe you should go get seen at the ER, you could be having a heart attack." And I proceeded to regurgitate the information I had learned from the commercial.
"Nah, I've had this before. It'll go away. Your Mom and I are going to lie down for a bit. Take a little nap." Time passes.
We are all busily preparing for grilling out. I remember the steaks were top notch. We were all looking forward to a delicious meal and I was really looking forward to my parents meeting Tony. He was a good-ol-boy who had grown up in the small town in which we now lived. The son of a farmer. I could imagine him on a tractor. He had a really nice smile.
Doorbell rings. I am still upstairs. Putting on mascara. I hear my Mom answer the door and I holler down the stairs "be right there!" Tony introduces himself to Mom and Dad and the two guys decide to go out and light the grill. I hear the back storm door close.
Then I hear Tony's voice telling my Mom to call 911.
I knew.
I turned to my sister and said, "Dad is having a heart attack."
I ran downstairs and Tony and I performed CPR. I remember the sound of the air coming back out of his mouth. Don't leave sweet Daddy.
The EMTs got on the scene some time later - seemed to be days - and though they did the paddle thing several times, gave him heparin (I think that's right) shots. They loaded him into the ambulance and drove - slowly inched along - to the hospital where they took him into the ER and did more of the same.
The doctor came in to tell us that they did everything they could for as long as they could and his heart never responded. He said we could go back there and spend as much time as we wanted to.
I remember walking in and just staring. My sweet Daddy. Lifeless. "Ok, Dad, this isn't funny. Please suck in a huge lung full of air and do that silly face and say tah-dah." (He loved to do magic tricks.) The EMTs had to remove his shirt to do the paddle things and I noticed that all the blood had pooled along his back. Now I knew it wasn't a magic trick. My insides were screaming, "NOOOO" and my legs were weak. Before we left, my Mom asked a nurse to help her remove the wedding band that had been there more than 20 years.
We lingered as long as we could and then in silence drove home. We had not eaten dinner. We stared at the uncooked steaks that we had been looking so forward to. None of us were hungry. We stood there in the kitchen and wept. After awhile, weary from the day, and knowing the next few days were going to be an unwelcome whirlwind of activity we climbed the stairs and prepared for bed. None of us wanted to be alone. I wondered, "How could Mom get into bed? The same one she and Dad had just taken an afternoon siesta in just a few short hours ago? Would she be scared? Lonely? Frightened?"
For some odd reason, I had to shave my legs that night and I remember sitting on the edge of the tub, my teardrops mingling with the water swishing around the drain. My sweet Daddy. He'll never meet the boy I am to marry. He will never bounce his grandchildren on his knee, never tell them jokes and delight in their laughter, he will never do magic tricks for them - not even the infamous watch-my-balled-up-napkin-disappear-after-dinner trick - or the even more famous trick: Pull My Finger.
After finally climbing into bed I prayed. I remember learning recently that we must praise God in all things. Not just praise the good stuff and bitch about the bad stuff. All things. "Lord, I have no idea why you decided to take my sweet Daddy home today. You must have a reason. I know that I cannot even begin to see the bigger picture. Thank you, Lord, for keeping him safe and please continue to protect us and get us through this nightmare. Perhaps in time, Lord, I may use this experience to help someone else who might be going through the same thing."

Twenty years ago. Seems like yesterday. Seems like forever.

thje imprint of 'brick' on my forehead

Why is it that if I were to eat a slice of cheesecake (a slice, mind you, not the whole thing) I would automatically gain five pounds by the next day.
But, when I don't eat a slice of cheesecake, or anything else bad for that matter AND I work out like crazy for a whole month, even (!), I won't budge an ounce.

I suppose it is fairly obvious that I optimistically stepped on the scale this morning and whatever loss I had last week has been found this week. I swear! I am really starting to lose the plot. I am so tired of spoon feeding the "you are building muscle, replacing the fat" pablum to myself, that I could just throw up. I can understand that excuse applying to the first week or two of exercise, but after nearly a month of it. Pffft.

So, downtrodden and smarting from the brick abrasion on my forehead, I am forced to suck it up and keep going. I'll keep waddling in that gym with my Churchillian girth and repeat to myself "Never give in. Never give in."

"....this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." excerpt from a speech given on October 29, 1941 at Harrow School

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Had. good. workout. last. night.
Hurt. is. good. Right?

Monday, August 4, 2008

dull roar

Wee one, who will be 17 months old tomorrow, is starting to talk. She is so sweet with her little words. My favorite is the way she says "LO" for hello.

With an occasional setback (accidental and/or otherwise) number 4 is doing very well with his potty training. Once or twice, he stole the baby's paci and went and hid and did what he used to do in his unders. I had to just throw them away. Hopefully it made enough of an impression that his Thomas underwear went into the trash so that it won't happen again.

The three oldest kids are enjoying a few days away with cousins before school starts next week.

King and I down to two kids for a bit. Amazing. We want to do so much, but know the time will slip by.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

the norma jeane mortenson of the fruit world

My apologies to other fruits if this statement hurts their little feelings, but face it, kiwi fruit is gorgeous. Originally named Chinese Gooseberry, they were introduced to New Zealand in the 50's where someone thought they might rename it. Just like Miss Mortenson changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, a clever little man from Auckland gave her a new moniker: Kiwifruit. Gorgeous.

feelin' lighter

I dared to climb upon the scales this morning at Curves, and I have lost a few pounds (yay! and there was much rejoicing). Also, I got an awesome and much needed haircut this afternoon. (Bridgit rocks!) And then, King said that he could see a difference and that my hard work was paying off. (whooo hooo)

So, suffice it to say I am floating a little above the ground today.

wings vs pitchfork

Ugh... it is 6:30 a.m. I just went to sleep five hours ago. For the past several weeks now I have done a Curves workout in the morning from 7 -7:30 and then after a full day with kids, then making dinner, etc. I head to "the big gym" at 9 p.m. and workout for at least two hours.

Due to some busy-ness we have going on, I won't be able to get to Curves or the gym until Monday.
So, here I sit. Dressed and ready to head up to Curves.... after a wicked-good workout last night (thanks, Liz, for the tip to do cardio warm-up, strength training circuit, then a huge chunk of cardio). But I am so sleepy I can hardly type these letters. I know I need to go, but dang, a little siesta on the ol' couchiepoo wouldn't be so bad either.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

don't tell him he's wrong

"He who must be obeyed" comes up to me this morning and tells me that he thinks the fact that I am making him breakfast is a gye-dea. (translated: good idea.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

gym rule # 23

Never eat any sort of bean or legume prior to exercising.

playing with our food

Until I ran across this picture a bit ago, I had forgotten that we had made these last month after a really yummy summer meal - complete with fresh corn. Come on, you know you want to say it:
What a corny craft idea.

doc doc goose

Is it just me or do you feel like you are getting ready for a first date when it is time for your annual pap smear?
  • showered
  • underarms shaved
  • legs shaved
  • privates so clean you could ea...... er, nevermind, you get the idea.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

laughing ourselves skinny

I know it sounds like the beginning of a joke: Four friends walk into a gym together.....
but it's no joke. We're having a blast together, three friends and I. We are managing to do gradually increasing amounts of cardio followed by at least an hour of strength training.
Usually we go at night, after those of us who have kids with a bedtime get the little monsters settled down.
We are amazed, in all honesty, how much fun it is to have a big "girl party" that doesn't involve male strippers or alcoholic drinks! Although we do muse about such things. We laugh nearly non-stop and often involve (disturb?) others around us.
It is fun to watch the faces of the poor women who venture into the Ladies Only room, unsuspecting creatures that they are. One, a black woman with gorgeous dark chocolate, velvety-soft looking skin, beautifully coiffed hair, lipstick, and the perfect figure, was going at a fairly good clip on the treadmill when all of a sudden she disappeared. Doubled over with laughter at our shenanigans she was.... good thing she was holding on!
Ennyhoo, we have named our journey "Laughing Ourselves Skinny". Look for us on the Comedy Club circuit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

why, oh why, oh why

So, ennyhoo, I joined a second gym to supplement the Curves workout last week. This one is a very serious gym. It is located in an old grocery store space if that gives an indication as to how large it is. There must be 5 million dollars worth of equipment in there. On one wall alone there are about 20 treadmills. Thankfully, there is a "ladies only" room with a handful of cardio machines and a full circuit of strength training machines.
I have decided to go after 9 when the kids are settling down and King is at home to watch over their slumber. Last week I was able to go four times, and I just got to go again tonight. I decided after I did my "routine" in the ladies only room, that I would venture out into the large room with people who are already in shape and try out some for-serious-people-only ab machines. I went to the front desk and asked someone to show me how to do them.


the moral of the story

Just got finished watching "The Last Mimzy", which is an odd little kid oriented sci-fi movie. If you have not seen it, this post will be jibber-jabber. At the end, the credits were rolling and the kids and I were scratching our heads trying to make sense of it all. I asked #3, the 8 year old, what she thought the moral of the story was.
"What do you mean?"
I knew I was taking a chance asking her, since I don't know if she had ever heard the term "moral of the story".
So I asked the question another way, "What can we take away from this movie and apply to our lives..... what to you think was the REAL thing that saved the future of the universe?"
"Love." She continued, "Like, I don't think it was really the girl's teardrop that saved the universe. But probably the love that made the teardrop."

I'll sit down and shut up now.
Did I mention she plays the violin?

Monday, July 21, 2008


My almost 3 year old woke up this morning and eagerly informed me that his little sister was now named Mavis. I got so tickled. We don't know anyone named Mavis, and it is such an unusual name I was taken aback, but still, it struck me as really funny. But, he didn't stop there. He said my name isn't Mommy anymore, it is Scullery. OK, that is fitting I reckoned. But, how does he know what a scullery maid is? When he got to his new name and called himself Diesel, I began to get suspicious. This boy has been watching too much Thomas the Tank Engine.

When we got downstairs, I went on a website that describes all the characters from Thomas and Friends. Then, I really got goosebumps, this boy is GOOD at his new-found "fortune telling" gig. Here are the descriptions of the three of us (now that we are trains):

Mavis - Mavis is a feisty young diesel engine. She is high-spirited, often doing things without thinking about their consequences. Her lack of experience often leads her into trouble, but she's smart and learns from her mistakes. She has a lot to learn about trucks, but, with Toby's help, she is learning to be a Really Useful Engine.
Skarloey (though pronounced Scullery by a 2 year old) - This bright red engine is dedicated to doing his job well and is always eager to work.
Diesel - Diesel is a devious diesel engine, who is always scheming and ever ready to stir up trouble.
Mavis Skarloey Diesel

Friday, July 18, 2008

not stressed

Had a treadmill cardiac stress test this morning. My dad died at 46 of a massive heart attack, so this is an attempt to at least get a baseline. Also, to rule out "trouble" for an odd pain which I kept having about 4 months ago. (Turns out it was probably nerve pain.)
Even though it wasn't the fancy schmancy nuclear stress test, doc says all is well.

(Be sure to remind me of that when you call me but we are both temporarily deafened by the ear-splitting screams of #4, won't you?)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

call it "eclectic"

When I am working out.... and have my little earphones on.... I sometimes listen to Christmas music. But not cheap, secular Christmas music. No "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" for me. Nosireebob. More meaty stuff. Like that Josh Groban or Luciano Pavarotti. My favorites are their versions of Ave Maria. Or Panis Angelicus.

picnic disaster

Picnic disasters. I imagine the propensity was handed down, genetically speaking, by my mother.

To this day, if you mention the word picnic to my mom, she will no doubt tell you about the only time she planned one for my brother, my sister and I. She packed homemade fried chicken, biscuits, slaw, potato salad, etc. and loaded up the family and drove to a park for a picnic. (And she was NO June Cleaver, so this was a big deal!) In her mind it was going to be sheer perfection. No sooner had we gotten there than the gentle spring zephyr turned into gale force winds. The sun was still shining beautifully, but the wind was formidable! Mom swears the crust was blown off the chicken! The memory of this picnic to her is just plain disaster. Sad, really, because I remember what fun it was to be on a picnic (our only) with my family.

I love taking my family on picnics. The funny thing is they mostly are disastrous not unlike the one and only from my childhood. Take today for example. We were planning to go to the Science Center but it was very close to lunchtime, so I stopped and got us McD's salads. We head to the Science Center and find a gorgeous parking spot in the shade. All the picnic tables are empty and shaded. There is a gentle breeze. The perfect day. As we launch into our salads, remarking to one another about how beautiful the day is, we began to feel raindrops. There was not a cloud in the sky, so I figured it was just one of those freaky things that wouldn't last long. We kept feeling drops, but it was still a mystery as to where they were coming from (I thought at one point we were unknowing participants in a Science Center hidden camera experiment) until we noticed that the raindrops were actually soapy and there was the faintest smell of Clorox. Turns out the Science Center, connected to a 15 story apartment building, was being pressure washed today. Even though the pressure washer dude was ALL the way at the VERY TIPPY TOP, those soapy, bleach-laden droplets were raining down onto our lunch. Into our drinks. Onto our shirts.
I was livid.
I cursed.
Out loud!
Then I remembered "The Picnic" and I had to laugh.

Hopefully my children will remember it fondly and with the humor God must have intended. Unlike my Mom, I will not swear off picnics, but I will try to continue to approach them with the attitude that we are together as a family and this will make a GREAT story one day.

So, what about you? Do you have any picnic disaster stories?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

sum sum summertime

My kids and I have a different perspective on how the summer is going. When someone asks them "How's your summer going?" They always give a positive answer.
When I am asked the same question I pause, roll my eyes and say, "It's going!" I am mentally comparing this summer to last when we did lots of neat things like visiting a glass-blower studio, going to a cheese factory, walking around historic Old Salem in NC, etc. We haven't done as much this year. I sort of feel guilty about not being a better "activities director".

Thirty years ago or so, summers for my sister and I were low-key. We were responsible for our own fun many times, unless we were visiting family. We would begin each summer by spending a week camping at the lake with the whole fam-damily- like I'm talking extended family even! Then we'd be adopted for several days by each of our dad's sisters (he has 4) and then finish the time off by spending a week at my grandparents'. I can remember swimming, going to Stone Mountain for the light show, and one aunt even got me art lessons because she somehow knew that I loved art. But the most fun of all was being with our cousins. During the rest of the year, we were 6 hours away, but during the summertime, we got to spend lots and lots of time with our very favorite people.

So, when I look at the summer of 2008, it's no wonder my kids give a resounding thumbs up. They have gotten to spend a time with each of their cousins and are planning a couple more in a week or two. And, my job as Family Activity Director is probably a fairly secure position.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

eight legged beasties

Every morning when I walk down the back stairs to go to the car on my way to Curves, I walk through at least one spider web. No matter if I wave my arms in front of me or not, I always get it in the face.

Even when I skip Curves and the kids and I are going somewhere.... it matters not how many wee ones go before me, I will be the one who walks into the web!

I'm thinking they are smarter than I previously gave them credit.

a black cloud kind of day

hrrmmpfh... I want to be a spoiled brat today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

like anesthesia

Bia is making everyone in her life write haiku poetry. (Japanese poems with 3 lines. The lines have 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively.) I wrote this one for her. Musta been the cappuccino I just downed.

Thunderstorm tonight!
Ah, the kids are in bed.
Where is my pillow?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

summer fare

YUM! Here is what I have been enjoying this week:
  • tomato aspic - made with shrimp, green onions, avocado, carrot shreds, capers, and celery
  • watermelon
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • spinach soup
  • Heroin chicken (named so because it is addictive!)

And for the rest of the family:

  • meatloaf
  • corn on the cob
  • sliced tomatoes
  • salad
  • watermelon
  • Heroin chicken
  • cream cheese and cucumber sammiches

Monday, July 7, 2008

setting the record straight

After helping #4 put together a "specially-made" for toddlers puzzle I asked, "Who's that a picture of?"
He replied, "Dumpty".
Close enough. It was Humpty Dumpty to be exact. And he was sitting precariously on the edge of a wall, arms outstretched to show the action which was just about to take place.
"What's he getting ready to do?" I inquired.

Friday, June 27, 2008

new definition of clean

Sour is the new fresh.
As beautiful as my front loader washer and dryer set is, frankly, I hate it. In any given load of laundry, there is no uniform "good smell". You will have one article of clothing that smells great and one that is sour. Then the rest are somewhere in between. With smoke and mirrors, the "earth-friendly powers that be" have convinced us that you can get clothes clean with little to no water and relatively little detergent.
Because of my keener than normal sense of smell, I have noticed that other people must have "energy efficient" washers as well. I have never before smelled so many people whose clothes aren't so or should I say have taken on the odor of the "new fresh". My sister tells me that they now sell packets of stuff for your washer that deodorize it. Why? I never had to do that with my old washer, may it rest in peace. Growing up, my mother's washer never had to be deodorized.
One of the things I love living in the world during this time is the fact that we can bathe on a frequent basis. We don't have to wait a year, having to heed the "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" warning. We can bathe once a day or more if we so choose.
But, now with this altered definition of clean, this different take on the concept of freshness, we may as well sleep late and become more energy efficient selves. I'm thinking about the greasy-haired hippie look. Perhaps nappy dreadlocks. Oh, and I'll be sure not to forget my soured Bohemian-gypsy skirt and mildewed hemp shirt.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ABC's and 123's
A is for age: 40
B is for burger of choice: Fuddruckers is alright, so is Back Yard Burgers
C is for what kind of car you drive: GMC Yukon XL (and when it is completely filled with gasoline, I am behind the wheel of a weapon of mass destruction!)
D is for your dog's name: no longer had a dog, but used to.... her name was Beanie (short for Beatrice)
E is for essential item you use everyday: hair dryer (otherwise my hair is quite flat)
F is for favorite TV show at the moment: n/a Although I am looking forward to the return of 24 as well as the next season of Criminal Minds (even though I don't like it as well without Mandy Patinkin)
G is for favorite game: football; to play: Balderdash, Pictionary
H is for Home State: born in AL, grew up in NC, now call Jawja home
I is for instruments you play: Catholic mother guilt
J is for favorite juice: orange juice if I have eggs to go along with it, otherwise, cran-grape
K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: why can't K be something different? In fact, how about Kisses... as in Hersheys
L is for last restaurant at which you ate: Ryan's
M is for your favorite Muppet: does it have to be from the actual Muppet show? If so, I like Professor Honeydew's assistant, Beaker
N is for the number of piercings: ears only
O is for overnight hospital stays: five (as in when I had the kids)
P is for people you are with today: see "O" as well as King and a friend who rescued me from the tire place (and also hurt her ankle after a fall which was caused by my putting her name in my blog after she asked me not to)
Q is for what you do with your quiet time: if it is quiet, I am usually nodding off
R is for biggest regret: not being more physically active as a teen
S is for status: married 16 years
T is for time you woke up today: 6:15 then got out of bed at 6:30
U is for what you consider unique about yourself: quirky sense of humor (I think in Far Side cartoons)
V is for vegetable you love: I have a current love affair with eggplant
W is for worst habit: the need to be right
X is for x-rays you've had: got one on my hand when I sewed through my finger with the sewing machine and then jerked back after it went in... needed to make sure there was no part of the needle still in there.
Y is for yummy food you ate today: #2 made me a very delicious omelette this morning, that sweet boy!
Z is for zodiac sign: Libra