Thursday, November 30, 2006

All I want for Christmas is a cool laptop

Queen Bee filled out her Christmas wish list tonight. It consisted of three things: an EZBake Oven (she had one before and didn't take care of it), a Video Now player (that plays like one thing only), and, get this, a laptop computer.

Yes. You read right. She wants Santa to bring her a laptop.

Of course, Santa will have to be bribed to NOT bring her a laptop computer, but I decided to pop over to Coupon Chief for coupon codes to see if there were any hot deals on the other items that she is asking for.

The Queen would LOVE this, a pottery wheel. And of course, Target has its hot deals on coupon codes. And I just ordered a few things last night, not even thinking that I could utilize Coupon Chief. Yes. I am a moron.

But not enough of a moron to allow Santa to buy the Queen this. That is something that Santa would bring Mommy ... and Santa could go to the coupons for Dell ... hint hint, Santa. I KNOW you read my blog!

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Take a picture; it'll last longer

My MIL is a picture FREAK. She takes a camera EVERYwhere she goes. Yes, she does scrapbook. But most of the pictures end up in photo albums. 100s and 100s of photo albums. I would tease Ace that she has a picture of him at every band performance of his life. Every. Last. One. You think I jest? I don't.

So when it comes to pictures, she has them. All of them.

And she doesn't just have a camera. She has two cameras: a digital and a regular camera. She sends me all of her pictures that she takes. And she doesn't really need to do that because, while I scrapbook, I don't need THAT many pictures. I have boxes upon boxes of pictures that I am just not going to do a thing with, and I am not going to put them in an album. I don't like them because they are impersonal to me. I would rather have them in a warm looking scrapbook... at some point in the picture's life.

And we don't just get pictures of Queen Bee scoring a goal, or the Monkey blowing out candles. No. That would be good enough for me, but it isn't for her.

We also get pictures of them. Fishing. On their boat. Holding up a fish. Going to a covered bridge. Shoot, I even have a few of them in their, ahem, bathing suits.

Now seriously. WHAT am I going to do with a picture of my MIL and FIL in their bathing suits?

I was pondering putting all of the pictures that I have pulled out of them in their own photo album, and handing them back to her. I don't NEED these pictures. I don't. I have pictures of them (that she has taken, mind you) with my kids. And that is all I really need.

But what really chaps my arse is this: when she emails me and asks me for MY pictures that I have taken at an event. Take Thanksgiving. She had both of her cameras there, and she wasn't letting any opportunity pass her by with that camera. All the good for her so she can have all of those pictures.

But when you ask ME for MY pictures, that doesn't cut it. Those are MY pictures, and if you weren't there for the moment (read: there are pictures that Ace took of the kids playing at the park; I am SURE that she is feeling left out of those photo opportunities because she couldn't go and snap every single moment on film), then really, you don't NEED those pictures. Because who is in all places at all times?

I am good. I forward her pictures of the kids at programs that they aren't able to attend. I forward her pictures of photos I have taken here at the house that are cute.

But when she is in the same place as I am, and she doesn't get the picture that I got, then so be it. That is just too bad that you aren't getting THAT angle.

And the reason I sound so bitter about this: when I had the Monkey, I was on the table, had my little operating hat on, and the nurse was holding the Monkey up so I could get a peek at her. It was MY moment. Ace took a picture of it, and that is mine to keep.

When my MIL was looking at the Monkey's birth scrapbook, she pointed at the one photo ... that one ... and said "oh.. I don't have THAT one."

You know WHY you don't have that one? Because that is MINE. And you aren't getting it.

Apparently, Ace didn't get that memo. And now she has it.

So now she has about every picture that used to be sacred to me.

And nothing is really mine anymore.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TT # 19

I am known to kill a computer or two. The first time, it was an electrical surge that fried my motherboard. The second time, it was a lightning strike that took out my whole computer. The third time, it was the fan in my computer that completely shut off and fried my motherboard. The fourth, and most recent time, it was the hardware that decided to stop working. So I am on my FIFTH work computer in a matter of 8 years. Needless to say, I have become quite adept with problem shooting a lot of things.

But when the computer is just dead, I concede defeat and look forward to having a few days of downtime as they "build" my new computer half-way across the United States to ship out to me.

This week was one of those times. I had been off of work since last Tuesday, so it was nice long vacation for me. so here are:

Thirteen Nice Things About My Work Computer Crashing

1. I got to sleep in (well, until I had to get up).

2. I got to knit more.

3. I didn't have to take off for my bedroom as soon as dinner was done last night to work.

4. I didn't have to worry about whether subject matter jurisdiction had been established, or whether the patent in question was valid, or whether the defendant had exhausted his administrative remedies before filing his writ of habeas corpus.

5. I could spend more time with my kids.

6. From 2 to 4 on both Monday and Tuesday, I sat on my BUTT in my chair and channel surfed.

7. I didn't have to hear the hum of my computer so early in the morning.

8. For two days, I could pretend that I was kept housewife. Ok. Not kept.

9. Because I didn't have access to my work email, I didn't have to read about the triple bonus this week, or about the leftover cake that was in a lobby 2000 miles away.

10. I had a free day on my birthday on Monday! Happy Birthday to ME! Best present that company has ever given me.

11. I could tell my kids that they couldn't go back and play on my computer because it was broken.

12. When my sister would call me, and ask me what I was doing, I could say "nothing" with reckless abandon.

13. I could blog and not worry about the time I was taking away from work. Yeah. And by the looks of my blog, I NEVER work.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Six Weird Things About Me

I've been tagged by The Mind.

The Rules:

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. I have this huge fear of people running straight at me, especially when it is dark in the house. I used to wear contacts, and when I took them out, I could see nothing but fuzz. So when I would be asleep on the couch (if a kid had kicked me out of bed, or the husband's snoring did), I would be in that half-asleep mode and think that someone had broken into our house, and I would open my eyes in my dream, and the person would run straight at me. But I never was able to see their face. I still have this dream and fear.

2. I have what is not politically correctly called Indian Rubberman Syndrome. This means that my joints, especially in my ankles, are really elastic. I can walking along, step on something, and fall down because my ankle gave way. It is rather embarassing ... especially when I go all the way down. In the mall.

3. I can't stand things on skin. Like cracks or gashes. Anything that looks like it is too symmetrical FREAKS me out! Yuck. I would never make it in the healthcare industry.

4. I can't stand holes in things. See # 3. My Dad has this clock thing that a friend of his made for him. It has these little holes in it (it is the type of wood he used), and I can't stand to look at it. Yuck again. I have to turn it to the back so I don't look at the holes. My Mom is the same way, mind you.

5. Some people think toadstools are enchanting. I think they are disgusting. I can't stand something that comes from nature that looks that perfect. Man. I'm getting the heebie jeebies right now thinking about it.

6. I cried when my mother sold her 1978 poop brown Volvo. Stood on the CORNER and CRIED sobbed my eyes out as the new owner drove it away.

I now tag: Robin, Maggie, Kelly, Bellezza, Jenn, and Awesome Mom!

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ONE more Thanksgiving story, and I promise to stop

This has nothing to do with inlaws or cousins or place settings or hair or peeing in a bag. I promise.

This is a short one, but it is a good one.

I dosed the kids up with their Drammamine on the way down, so they were pretty quiet the entire way to our first leg of the trip down. When the Queen started to come down off of her medication, she started talking. And it was a hoot.

The best comment from her on the whole trip:

As she was reading the names of the fast food places and gas stations at all the exits, she exclaims:

"MOMMY! There is a place back there called BeerFood. What kind of place is THAT?"

I nearly needed the bag myself.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So you tell me ....

Do you agree with my MIL that this child's hair needs to be "shaped up"?

When Queen's hair was growing out, she had a few little curls here and there, but nothing to write home about. Her real hair defining moment was when she was about nine months old, and she looked like a certain German dictator. Seriously ... her hair was a spitting image of Hitler's. I said if it wasn't in such poor taste, I wanted to glue a tiny little moustache on her...

But I digress. I seem to do that a lot.

When the Door Man was about one year old, his head of gorgeous curls stopped people in their tracks. They LOVED his hair. I LOVED his hair. Then I made the mistake of listening to "other" people (not mentioning who ...) and had the stylist "shape" his hair, i.e. had her totally trim it down. His hair no longer grows in those beautiful curls. It just grows straight now.

So I have been VERY reluctant to get the Monkey's hair "shaped." I know what will happen, and I will not allow it. She was bald up until she turned two years old. Then she started growing this gorgeous, curly hair. And I won't touch it.

Yes, there are days that she resembles this man....

There is one picture in particular from her preschool open house that I love to look at because her hair is SOOO wild.

So this was the basis of a discussion in at least three different conversations I had with my MIL. Well, let's not call them conversations because I wasn't doing much conversing.

"She really could use a professional stylist's help in shaping up that hair."

READ: Stop touching your child's hair with scissors just to take off a certain portion of hair that grows longer than the other.

"Boy.... she really needs a haircut."

READ: You apparently are not listening to my words of wisdom, so I need to repeat myself.

"Are you going to have her hair cut?"

READ: Damnit ... why haven't you made that long distance call home to schedule her appointment.

"I think those curls will bounce back after getting her hair trimmed."

READ: Oh yeah. Now I remember what happened when the Man's hair was cut.

It was SO maddening.

And guess what? The Monkey doesn't have a hair appointment in the foreseeable future.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Nobody under 21 admitted

I had mentioned the tradition that Ace's family celebrates ... where the men go off on their bonding trip and their women stay behind and cook everything. It really isn't as bad as I make it sound because, well frankly this year, I was a baby holder and that was about it. Mind you, I did ask if I could be of any help, but you know the old saying: too many cooks in the kitchen. So I adhered to that mentality, and I stayed out of it.

The tables were set. Because of the sheer amount of people in attendance, we had to have three different tables in three different rooms. One was the formal dining room with all the good china. The other two rooms had nice plates, and plastic cutlery that looked like real silverware. Really no big deal.

So the men AND the kids return from their trip (and it sounded like a really good one), and we gather around for the blessing. First, however, the host and hostess (Ace's cousin and his wife), thank us for coming. And there is one thing that they ask....

Noone under 21 is allowed in the dining room.

Mind you, I don't mind directives. We all have our idiosyncracies and needs that have to be met. To Ace's cousin and his wife, it was important that part of their meal resemble a formal occasion because that is what the wife wanted. And I respect that.

However, what I do not respect is basically telling me that, if I wanted to be part of the elite, over 21 crowd, I had to abandon my children at the "kid table" and eat my Thanksgiving dinner with the adults.

What ended up happening was the cousin and his wife sat that the heads of the table, and the older generation (my inlaws and the aunts and uncles) filled in the seats on the sides.

I guess the one thing that I can take away from that experience is how I would not direct people where they could or could not sit because it alienated those of us with small children, and the grandparents of those small children.

And another thing I can take comfort in: this cousin and his wife ... they are having a baby in June. Sweet justice will be coming their way.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Do you fight it?

While I have never been directly affected by the terrible and horrid disease known as cancer, I have been touched by it in a lot of ways.

My aunt had a complete mastectomy because breast cancer runs in her family. Her sister was diagnosed with it, and is a cancer survivor. However, my aunt's mother, her aunts, and her uncle were not quite so lucky. Every one of them passed away from what started out as breast cancer.

My other aunt is the director at a women's total health center in the Windy City. She is a staunt advocate for yearly mammograms after the age of 35, and monthly self-exams.

Christy Thomas died from neuroblastoma, and I still follow her parents' blog to this day.

An online friend of mine is witnessing the decline of a dear friend's three year old son from medullablastoma.

My Dad's and sister's boss recently passed away from what started off as kidney cancer.

So, no matter how much I say I am not "affected" by cancer directly, I have been greatly affected by it.

So I Fight Cancer. And I hope that you do, too. If you would like, you can click on the button on the sidebar to be taken to the American Cancer Society's website.

And if you would like to grab a button for your blog or website, check out the I Fight Cancer buttons. I really hope that you do.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

About that plastic bag

It was NOT me who used it. So no worries there.

We had taken off around 3 CST for Nashville ... actually, Franklin, TN. We were having good traffic conditions down through 65 into Tennessee. Then Ace's dad radios back and says "I have a feeling the bubble is going to burst any minute now."

And sure enough, stand-still traffic. Nothing horrendous because there is a major interchange outside of Nashville with 65 going one way, and 40 going the other (which is the route to take to Memphis). So we got out of that pretty unscathed. I was keeping the kids pretty well occupied throughout that leg because it was just sundown, the lights were on, there are those new digital billboards on the side of the road, and the lights of downtown were mesmerizing. We commented on all the buildings, especially the one with the two spires. The last time we were in Nashville, I think it was the Verizon building? I can't remember anymore.

Anywho, we started off on our other leg... the final one before Franklin and I hear this voice in the backseat. The Monkey exclaims "I HAVE TO GO PEE PEE!!!" I told her she had to wait because we had nowhere to pull off at that moment as the van was reaching a maximum of 4 mph and stopping every 3 seconds.

That placated her. For five minutes.


Well, ok then. I look around. We don't have any leftover cups. The only thing we had was the cooler, which Ace suggested, plastic bags, and water bottles.

The thought of my child peeing in a cooler was not a cool one to me. So I decided to give the plastic bag a whirl.

But it couldn't be ANY plastic bag. It had to be one with an eraser-sized hole at the bottom.

Well of course it did.

So I tied up that end, threw a bunch of napkins in the bottom of it, and had the Monkey unhook from her carseat. She came on up and we pulled her pants down, inserted her tiny legs in the handles, yanked the bag up as far as it could go, and she sat on my lap.

She is not an instant peer under the best of circumstances. So you can imagine the distractions of (1) sitting on your Mom's lap (2) with a plastic bag on your butt (3) looking out the window in a traffic jam and (4) sitting under the Nashville Airport's air traffic pattern on the night before Thanksgiving.

She FINALLY peed. And I thought "WOW! We could do that all the time! I AM THE CHAMPION!!!"

Until I pulled the bag off my leg and saw the wet spot. And had to sit for the next 20 minutes, holding a bag of pee.

But the best part was walking into Ace's cousin's house, carrying a plastic bag of pee, and watching Ace place that pee in their trashcan!!!!!

And now that I think about, I never washed those pants.

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Friday, November 24, 2006

1000 plus miles and three days later...

we have returned home.

The kids were wonderful. There were some dicey times when I just wanted to pull into the nearest gas station and sob my eyes out because I couldn't stand listening to another knock knock joke, but all in all, it was a good trip. I can't say it was a relaxing one.

Too worn out for a blog entry of any interest or humor tonight, so I leave you with this teaser:

Plastic grocery bags + Nashville rush hour/Thanksgiving travel traffic = one good urinal.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I leave you to discuss this

This morning, we will embark upon our trek across Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee to share stories and turkey with people we haven't seen for over four years. Certainly blogging stories will abound, so I will keep my eye open for those opporunities.

However ... I leave you with this as a matter of discussion:

Would you have told her?

I was listening to our local AM station this morning like I do every morning. This morning, however, there was sad news. Our police dog, Flip, was shot and killed after he had wandered away from his owner's/fellow police officer's house. The neighbor who shot and killed him admitted that the dog was showing no signs of aggression.

Flip had made appearances at our local program called Safety Town. My kids loved him, as did all of the kids.

I wasn't going to tell Queen Bee of Flip's demise.

But guess who walked back here about 20 minutes ago, tears streaming down her face, clutching the picture of Flip that she had cut out of this morning's newspaper?

I called Ace back here, who informed me that Queen saw the picture and inquired as to why Flip was on the front page. So he told her.

She is eight. And she is sensitive. She will look at someone and start crying.

I told him that I wasn't going to tell her at all but when faced with having to tell her, I told him he could have lied and said Flip won an award.

But that is lying. Right? And we don't want to teach our kids to lie.

However, it isn't like the dog was hit and killed by a car. He was shot and killed.

So ... what would you have done?

I can't believe that I am sitting her admitting that I want to shield my child from the harsh realities of this world. I remember clucking my tongue when my sister told me that they hadn't told my niece that her grandfather had passed away until the DAY of the funeral. My niece was 13 at the time.

So.. some fodder for discussion until I return. Have a great Thanksgiving, Y'all!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Why I feel the need ....

That is Queen Bee's idog. Queen Bee's idog has been neglected for a few days.

So what am I doing? Like the good enabling mother I am, I am "feeding" the dog his music.

Why? Well because I have nothing better to do with my time.

Or maybe because I'm a technological loser.

Your choice.

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Did he or didn't he?

So the burning question is this:

Did Tom borrow Sly Stallone's shoes?

Or is Katie bending at the knees?

Because the last time I checked, he was suffering from small man sydrome.

Really, I am SOOOO not into this couple or him or her. But, she is a hometown Ohio girl (Toledo) and I can only feel sorry for her. Who wouldn't get caught up in the glitz and glamor of him? Who wouldn't get caught up in the money?

But he has gone over the edge. Seriously. Gone are the days of the "wantable" Tom from the 1980s. I admit... I had to wipe drool off my face when he put those sunglasses on in MI. I admit ... I LOVE Top Gun because of Tom Cruise.

But that is it. He is just a loon to me now, and I can only have pity on poor Katie.

And don't even get me started on the life of that poor child.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

I'm at it again

Ok. So I was looking at someone's blog a few days ago (Kailani's renter, The Foo Logs, I think is the name), and he had mentioned another site that pays you to review different sites or blogs. It is called ReviewMe and it works a little differently.

You submit your application and your blog, and the service will determine if you are an eligible blog. It will then assign a dollar amount to your blog. This dollar amount is what the advertiser will pay you, the blogger, to review their site or their product. It can be a positive or a negative or a neutral review. Advertisers cannot force you to leave a positive review.

One thing about ReviewMe is there has to be up front disclosure that you, the blogger, are being paid your "going rate" for leaving a review for this advertiser.

If you are interested, you can go to the ReviewMe site, sign up, and be assigned a dollar amount. Then you put your blog in their marketplace, and you wait for the advertisers to contact you. You can accept or reject any offer that is presented to you.

Yes, I am being paid to write this post. But hey .... it's all in good fun.

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Dear Mini Martha AKA Yo, sis

Dear MM:

While I love you dearly, please keep this in mind: the last time I checked, I am not the Avon representative, nor am I the Pampered Chef consultant.

I am your sister.

Yes, I have more of an opportunity to see the people to whom you and your daughter sold your wares. And I did deliver some of them yesterday. I have already apologized for not remembering to pick up your daughter's delivery and your delivery on my way to church this morning to deliver to my friends in choir. You see, I didn't sing in choir this morning as I have work that I needed to come home and work on after the first service. I have already explained that to you.

So when I make the comment that I am sorry that I didn't get YOUR items delivered to YOUR customers, and that it was easier for me to get it to them but that I didn't get it done, DO NOT AGREE WITH ME.

Instead, try this:

Stop beating yourself up, sis. You took the three deliveries to MY and MY DAUGHTER'S customers yesterday. That was a HUGE help to us. So really, it is absolutely NO problem that you didn't get OUR orders to OUR customers this morning because I do know that you are living a pretty hectic life right now between a full time job, three kids, and leaving on a large trip tomorrow for the holiday.

Really. That will go a lot longer way than the route you chose.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Silly Me

I think I failed to mention....


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PPP Love

About a month ago, I was reading one of Kailani's entries at The Pink Diary where she talked about PayPerPost, a site for consumer generated advertising. I had heard of it, but didn't think too much about it. But after reading Kailani's story about how she had used the money she had earned to buy one of her girls some books, I thought "what the hey! I'll check it out."

I submitted my application, and waited to see if my blog would be approved. And I have to admit that I waited in anticipation. It didn't take long for them to approve it; I was just over-excited about it, I guess.

So once I was approved, I started looking at the opportunities. I have already taken part in a few, and they have been FUN! It really is easy, and you can choose what you want to talk about, and you can do it in any manner that you like. I like to look for things that I want to do, not things that I feel like I have to do.

It has been fun, and I find myself checking once a day to see what new opportunities that might be out there. I figure if someone doesn't want to read about it, they don't have to read my blog that day. I am not going to go hog wild with it ... it will fit my needs.

And I need to decide where I am going to spend that money .... new yarn? A new magazine subscription? Some new scrapbooking need? Or that mixer.... hmmmmmm.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Speedy Delivery

I sat on the bed in anxious anticipation yesterday afternoon. Will the secret be revealed? Will we find out why he left in such a hurry on Monday when the word "divorce" was mentioned? Will we ever get to the bottom of the issues that this man has?

But the questions were not resolved in that episode. I will have to wait another day to see if the answers to my burning questions are resolved. Again I will tune in today at 1:00 p.m. to see if those raw feelings will be exposed.

Not Tad from All My Children.

Not Jack from The Young and the Restless.

No. I speak of Mr. McFeely.

I didn't think that I was so engrossed in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood this week until I found myself having a 10 minute ... yes, a 10 minute ... conversation with Ace last night about the happenings in The Neighborhood this week. I was telling him about how Mr. McFeely stopped over on Monday to have Mr. Rogers play a piece of sheet music he had found. That led to a flashback of Mr. McFeely's wedding, and Mr. Rogers making a comment about how some marriages end in divorce.

Mr. McFeely's response was curt and he quickly left.

I found that I made a comment to the Monkey, who really could have cared less because she's only watching to see what's going down in the Land of Make Believe.

This isn't the first time that I have found myself having an adult conversation about Mr. Rogers. I specifically made a phone call last week to a dear friend of mine to have at least a 15 minute conversation about the characters and their whacked out names, or the semi-scary looking drag queen, Lady Elaine.

Is it that I don't have anything else to occupy my adult brain in a day filled with elementary kids and a preschooler? Possibly.

But I think the biggest thing is this: Mr. Rogers was a staple in my life. He taught me things in a kind and gentle manner. He came into my house every day for a while, and I learned cool things like How to Make Crayons.

I think that Mr. Rogers was especially endearing to me because he was a friend of my Dad's best friend. My dad's best friend and Mr. Rogers knew one another from Pennsylvania because both of them were Presbyterian ministers. Mr. Rogers reminded me a lot of Mr. Nye, and now that Mr. Nye has passed away, Mr. Rogers television program brings those happy childhood memories back for me.

I cried the day that Mr. Rogers died. I didn't want to think that I was that invested in him. I attributed it to the hormones of being pregnant with my third child. But I now know that I truly was upset that Mr. Rogers had passed away. He was the last of the true gentlemen.

Today I am happy to be able to share those memories with my children. Well, with the Monkey really because the older two are "beyond" Mr. Rogers. And they should be. But the Monkey and I will tune in every day at 1 to see what is happening in the Land of Make Believe ... because it is such a good place to be.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

TT # 18

Last week I sat out of Thursday Thirteen as I was sicker than a dog. I couldn't even have one coherent thought, let alone sit at a computer and type up something that was remotely interesting.

This week, I return. I don't have illness to blame for my sheer lack of creativity tonight. But oh well ... sometimes you have that.

13 Random Thoughts Coming from My Brain Tonight

1. CRAP! Next Thursday is Thanksgiving!

2. CRAP! Next Monday we take off for our whirlwind tour of Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

3. CRAP! I haven't started packing for that whirlwind tour.

4. CRAP! I turn 37 on the 27th! Thank goodness I am not sharing my birthday with the turkey this year. I was actually born on T-day in 1969. At lunch. My brother still holds it against me that (1) I was the reason he got no turkey that year and (2) I wasn't a boy.

5. I need to buy Robin's daughter's birthday present for Saturday.

6. I need to make brownies and chocolate chip cookies for the trip next week.

7. Why does my choir director hate me so? I can sing. Really, I can. I have a decent voice. So why is it ALWAYS the Jim, Leann and Wendy show? WHY?!?!?!

8. Man I can't wait until Ace returns with that sundae from Friendlys.

9. CRAP! I didn't get out to get any pumpkin bars at the Cafe tonight at church.

10. I wonder how Mini Martha did on her first Pampered Chef party tonight? I wonder if Mini Martha (AKA my vegan sister) will serve meat at these parties?

11. I wonder if my BIL found the long, lost mortally wounded deer today.

12. Where is Ace with that sundae?

13. I MUST remember to pack underwear for myself on this trip.

Happy TT to everyone! I will not be up next week because we will be in Tennessee, oohing and aahing over one of the cousin's new babies, and asking the other cousin if she is having morning sickness yet. That and corraling my kids, getting ready to use the excuses of "she's just really tired" or "it takes a while for the Drammamine to wear off, so he will be like that for a while" or "it must be allergies."

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Please welcome my new roomie for the week!

Hot House Mama!!!! Welcome!!!! Click on the thumbnail at the top right of my blog, and go check her out!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Vegan and the Hunter

About seven or eight years ago, my sister checked out Marilu Henner's book, The 30 Day Total Health Makeover. She read the whole thing from start to finish, thinking that a lot of the ideas could be put to great use.

At the same time, she was also reading Mad Cowboy. After reading this book, she became enraged and enlightened. She wanted to make a choice in her life.

So she quit. Quit meat. Quit dairy. Quit animal products altogether. She cut down on her sugar. She learned to make dishes with tofu and nuts and beans. She has incorporated vegetables and fruits into her life. She has made herself a happier person.

A few years ago at this same time, she and I had gotten into a little fight about turkeys. She was trying to inform me of the life of a turkey. I was trying to inform her that turkeys are stupid. That turkeys will go out in the middle of a rainstorm, turn their head up for a drink of water, and drown themselves. She informed me of the deplorable conditions of turkey farms.

She is empassioned in her life pursuit of living a vegan life.

It would all be the picturesque life of perfection if it weren't for the fact that her husband bagged his 10th buck with his bow this morning.

In her garage are 10 deer heads, two turkey skins, rifles, hunting and fishing gear, deer stands, and a fish that sings "Take Me to the River."

In her backyard is a target for practice, and a foam deer, implanted in the ground.

On the wall right before you walk into their house is a calendar with the following slogan: Top of the Food Chain.

She tries, but sometimes you just can't change everyone.

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Like my doll?

Dress Up Games, Doll Makers and Cartoon Dolls @ The Doll Palace

I found this site called The Doll Palace, where they have a program for Dress Up Games and Dollmakers. I have to admit ... I love Blinkies. I love little avatars ... they are a lot of fun, but I have no creative bone in my body to even try to make them myself because I can't figure out the publishing software. Let's face it: I can't even get through Paint Shop Pro for Dummies.

So after finding this site, I thought "what the hey!" So there she is ... hippie girl. She's so fun. She's so me. And she isn't wearing a shirt under that vest... at least, I don't think she is.

I could have chosen her:

or her:

or her:

But I decided that those girls just aren't me. But hippie girl ... other than that blonde hair and that bod ... lots of fun!

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Monday, November 13, 2006

The Bottom of the Story

I know I left some of you hanging with my last comment of having to borrow underwear from my MIL. It is a sad, sad fact, but a true one.

We were at Ace's uncle's house for an annual Labor Day get together. They only lived about 30 minutes from where we lived at the time, so we didn't do too much preparing to get there.


Because I forgot my underwear.

And I wasn't going to go without it.

So I had Ace go out and ask his mother if she had any to spare, and she did. I was BEYOND mortified.

And I can't believe that I just told this story on the Internet.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

T Minus Nine Days And Counting

Every year, Ace's family has their annual Thanksgiving get together. Ace has two uncles (my FIL's brothers), and they have two and three children a piece. Two of those kids have two kids of their own, one of the kids has a baby, the other is expecting, and then there are our three yahoos. So, if you really want to add up how many people will be shoved into one house, here is your total: 23, at the least.

23. That thar is a lot of people.

The number of people isn't what frightens me on these trips.

This Northerner scratches her head every time I have to indulge in this Southern tradition of theirs: the men go "bonding" and the women stay behind and cook for their men.

READ: The men are told to get the heck out of the kitchen because all they want to do is eat everything before it makes it to the table.

Now that grandchildren who are mobile have been added to the picture, they are taken on these "bonding" trips, if it is appropriate. I know Queen and the Man will be going. Not sure about the Monkey, though. It depends on what the activity is.

And the activity always has to be some Mission Impossible secret. Nobody can know where they are going, or what they are doing. I am sure at some point in time, this bonding trip resembled more of a fraternity hazing activity than anything else. But now that smaller children are added to the mix, they have toned down their trips to things more "kid-friendly."

I have suggested a number of times that these bonding trips should be more female-oriented, i.e., the WOMEN should get to go shopping, even if it is just at the local Wal Mart or Target, and the MEN should stay behind and do all the cooking and preparing.

But this is a trip that Ace looks forward to, and we haven't been able to make one in a while due to work schedules or the sheer amount of distance that we need to travel to make it. This year, we are going down to close to Nashville, TN. That is a jaunt for us up here (probably a 10-12 hour trip, all put together), but we have built-in stopping areas along the way, one being the cabin with the stairs from hell.

So we will depart on this endeavor next Tuesday morning, if not Monday night (to make it to stop # 1, Louisville, KY).

I'm packing the Drammamine and the DVD. To heck with anything else.

Oh yeah. And my underwear. I don't want to relive having to ask my MIL for a pair.

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Friday, November 10, 2006


I am not a big magazine reader. I have gotten Good Housekeeping for the last few years, and it never is read. Ever. I don't know if the content just doesn't interest me anymore, or if I just think I don't have the time to do it.

I have started checking out Creating Keepsakes magazines from the library, and while I love the idea of having those back issues available, there is something ... I don't know ... not satisfying about being able to keep the magazine myself. I will look at a layout and want to rip it out of the magazine, but have to pull myself off of the idea when I see that bar code across the front of the magazine.

And knitting magazines ... don't even get me started. My library carries NONE, which totally bums me out.

So I started looking around, and found this site AND I found Creating Keepsakes and all of these knitting magazines.

So I think instead of the stand mixer (which I would LOVE to have), I think I am going to treat myself to some magazine subscriptions. Because I don't think I need something else to dust around on my counter. I just need magazines that I can move around my house.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ticked or not?

Faith Hill Poor Loser at CMA

So.... do you think she REALLY was po'ed? I just can't think that she would have acted like that on national television. I did not see it first-hand, but have seen this clip of it.

She denies that she was being disrespectful. If you were going to have a hissy fit, I guess the best place to have it is on national television.

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A week without Thursday Thirteen

I am SOOO under the weather. That virus ... I got the worst of it so far. Hung over a trashcan from 5:30 last night until about 11. Pleasant night had for one and all, actually.

So ... nothing from me today. Happy TT to everyone else!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I SO Need This

Ok. I am not one to say I NEED something. But those standalone mixers... the ones that make you look like a professional just because you have it sitting in your kitchen on your counter ... I need that reputation to spread around town. That I am a domestic goddess. That I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer.

And not just ANY Kitchen Aid Mixer... THIS one:

And THAT color. It goes with nothing in my kitchen. I mean ... nothing.

Then there is this one:

I mean. Seriously. Wouldn't I be the talk of the town with my Apple Green KitchenAid? I know I would be the talk of my family ... what does she think she is doing with that thing? Better yet ... WHO does she think she is with that thing?

They have them at Target, and if you go to Coupon Chief, you can get really cool coupon codes. So if you go to Target deals, you can find a 10 percent off coupon code right now on orders through November 30.

It IS tempting ... it could be my Christmas present to myself.

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Calling the Queen Out

All right. Door Man is feeling fine. He is actually getting on my last nerve because he wants to go out and play. He also wanted a big bowl of macaroni and cheese I made using Rachael Ray's recipe. We LOVE it. It is the best. But he wanted it, and I knew that he couldn't stomach it, so I had to listen to a six year old, crying at the table about how he wanted, no he NEEDED a bowl. I told him to eat three more bites of his ABC soup I made for him, and he could barely handle that.

So I decided that I could blog.

I am blogging to call out my friend, Christie.

You see, Christie was crowned Queen of the Crop this past weekend. That means that she submitted a page to be judged, and she won. We won't get into the details of how much work was put into it by another interested party because I can well imagine the controversy that caused on the way home.

Being crowned Queen of the Crop is quite the honor. This means that she has won free admission to the next Queen that she attends. I am INSANELY jealous, but I have already started saving my moulah for that trip. I will have to take out a small business loan to also make Crop a Doodle Do, but that is ok.

But the reason I am calling her out is because she has not updated her blog since the end of October. I don't mind that she doesn't post every week. Or every two weeks. Shoot, once a month is fine with me.

But when you win such an honor, Christie ... I EXPECT to see that winning layout!!!!! So get on it, girl!

And if you all want to go egg Christie on, just click here to see her blog.

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Nothing witty today

I have the second casualty of the virus that the Monkey contracted from some source running through the Man. 6:00 a.m. vomit wakeup call. Nothing pleasanter! But thankfully it was 6 and not 2.

While you are here, why don't you go and check out my renter, Expressions of Love, and give her some love. Thanks!

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pass the Torch Tuesday

This morning, I woke up with a headache. It is raining and nasty outside, so no wonder my head was throbbing. I thought some coffee would make it go away, but the caffeine had no effect.

I was sitting here at the computer, getting some work done while the Door Man works on his journal book (all self-imposed), and the Monkey watched Dora on the television (the Monkey is on a sick day as she decided to vomit in my bed yesterday morning, lie around all morning, and have tummy trouble before naptime yesterday .... she is 1000 percent better today, but not going to preschool).

I asked the Man to go get my purse because I had some Advil in it, and I asked him to bring me a cup so I could get some water out of the sink.

He was taking a little longer than normal, but I just waited for him. Knowing that he has a heart of gold, I knew he was doing something extra on his errand.

And sure enough, he showed up with a Tupperware cup, lid attached, and a straw to help me drink the water I needed to take my Advil.

He will make an excellent husband one day.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

How much DO you love me?

Over the weekend, I kept thinking about my friends going to the cool Queen of the Crop. I wondered what cool things they were making. I wondered what cool products they were buying. Better yet, I wondered what new phrase would come out of this trip that would be added to "shut yo mouf" and "it doesn't matter what state we're in."

So I decided to drown my selfish feelings of not being able to go with a few Creating Keepsakes mags from the library. I discovered these a few weeks ago, and why it took me that long to figure that out is beyond me.

I sat at the jr. sized table in the kid's part of the library as the Man entertained himself with board books, puzzles, and playing on their computer. It is a great time to just unwind, especially when you have only one kid to lose in the stacks.

I opened up the October issue of the the magazine, and instantly found this:

I jokingly looked at the Man and said "do you think Daddy would buy that for Mommy?" and he instantly said HE would buy it for me.

You see, we are space challenged in this house. Maximum amount of crap vs. minimum amount of square footage. This would be the PERFECT solution for our small house. It could be an armoire all folded up, and a scrapbook haven when opened and utilized to its full potential. It really is a sweet setup.

I couldn't wait to get home and look it up online.

And then my bubble burst. Any guesses?

Ace said "I love you .... " and walked away.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Star Wars: Fix You

To show you that I am a true Star Wars geek.... I was stoked when I saw this commercial on Cinemax today. Ace is a HUGE Coldplay fan (and I like them too), but this was the perfect combination for both of us. So .... enjoy. If you don't want to, you are missing out on probably the best experience ever. Yeah. Ok. Maybe not.

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Overheard at our house

Ace: Queen, what are you doing in the bathroom?

Queen: Washing something.

Ace: What are you washing? (walks in to see what the object of her cleanliness is)

Queen: This beanbag of the Monkey's. (holds up rice-filled beanbag)

Ace: Why are you washing it?

Queen: It just ... smells.

Ace: What does it smell like?

Queen: It smells like .... rice.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Birkenstocks Made Me Do It

I claim to be a Fly Lady dropout. When I initially signed up, I was a mother of two. I thought "sure... I can do this. Let's have at it."

It worked. For about a week. I was working on my 15 minute hot spots. I was turning on my timer on the microwave, and cleaning those areas for 15 minutes. I was shining my sink before I went to bed, and it was nice to wake up to a clean sink. I was taking a shower before I did anything in the morning. Now, I did not heed the command advice of wearing lace up shoes when I got dressed in the morning. I thought "well why? Seriously, I don't wear them in real life, so why start now."

The philosphy behind it was to make sure that I didn't sit down and kick my shoes off and get comfortable. And not do my 1000 little tasks that needed tending to.

When you join Fly Lady, they send out emails on a Yahoo group. A LOT of emails. And when I say a LOT, I mean like 10,000. A day.

Clean your hotspot.
Don't forget to drink your water.
Don't forget to take a shower.
Prepare that dinner now!
Today's hot spot is your entryway! Clean it ... NOW!

Now, I make it sound more militant that it really is. But .... it does have that sense of urgency. That if you don't do what they tell you, your life is going to implode because you didn't drink your water.

So. I dropped out. I couldn't stand the sheer amount of emails that flooded my inbox. They tell you that the nice thing about the emails is is there is a delete button to take them all away and get rid of that "clutter." Well, I have to READ through all of those emails in order to see if there is anything worthy of my attention. And when I have to read through all of those emails, I do read the subject line. And then I start to feel like a failure because I am too lazy to incorporate the suggestions into my daily life. Because it is easier to remain unorganized than it is to become so. At least in my opinion.

But I decided to give it a whirl again this week. Have I done what I am supposed to? Well, I have gotten into the shower in the morning before Ace goes to work as opposed to scrambling around at 8:30 when I have to get the Monkey to preschool at 9 on some mornings. And it has allowed me to get out and get errands run before I would have done them had I not showered.

Those shoes, though. I think that is why I failed the first time. I blame it all on the Birkenstocks. But not enough to not wear them anymore. And there the Fly Lady will have to concede defeat.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

It's my blog and I'll spam if I want to .... spam if I want to...

You would spam too if you knew the reason why.

I have joined up with some online friends and fellow Work at Home Moms/fiber artists and we are putting on a week-long auction. We are trying to raise some money for a little boy named Nat, aka The Professor. You can read more about Nat and his recent diagnosis with a brain tumor here.

More than anything, they could use prayer, positive thoughts, and well wishes.

I have a few items up for auction, and they are pretty "baby" oriented. However, there are some other things over there that are ageless.

If anything, just stop by and take a look. Click the lady below to be taken directly to the cart site.

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Respecting other's property

I have a child who has a problem with boundaries. A child who has determined that everything in this house is hers. A child who is eight years old. I child who really should start to understand that there are consequences to the actions that she takes.

This morning, I was greeted by the Queen telling me that she had broken her brother's glasses.

The screw just fell out. I promise, Mommy.

This is the same person who was told not TWO days ago to not touch her brother's glasses. They are HIS. ONLY his. Noone else's. And they are NOT a toy. So don't EVER. Touch. Them. Again.

Acknowledgment was received.

But this morning, instead of getting her morning cereal, the Queen decided to retrieve the Man's glasses from his case, and shove them on her head.

And as she is explaining to me that she didn't mean to break the glasses, she is wearing her three year old sister's skirt. Shoved on her eight year old butt. A skirt that I have told her is not hers, and I was to never see this skirt on her body again.

So this morning, this eight year old who should have known better than to touch her brother's glasses has had a trip to Libby Lu taken away from her.

She tells me that I promised to take her. I didn't promise. I said we would go.

But that was before I had to deal with paying for a new pair of glasses for her brother, and having to deal with the insolence that was being displayed to said brother when he started to cry about his sister breaking something that he had been doing such a good job of taking care of.

I told her that she would be paying for 1/2 of the glasses because she needed to, it was her responsibility to do so. Her comment to me:

Will you pay me back, because if you don't, that would be stealing from my account.

Hmmmm.... just like you stole your brother's ability to use his reading glasses. Yeah. Don't feel too much guilt about that one.

Anyone have any good book suggestions for BOTH of us?

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

TT # 17 - Bacon ... I Smell Bacon!

We all need a little Bacon in our lives. Especially this one...

As previously stated and promised, this week I bring you

Thirteen Six Degrees of Separation of Kevin Bacon

1. Sissy Spacek:

Sissy Spacek to Tommy Lee Jones in Coal Miner's Daughter

Tommy Lee Jones to Will Smith in Men in Black

Will Smith to Kevin Kline in Wild Wild West(or whatever that was called)

Kevin Kline to Sally Fields in Soapdish

Sally Fields to Gary Sinise in Forrest Gump

Gary Sinise to Kevin in Apollo 13

2. Andrew Dice Clay:

The Dice Man to Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink

Molly Ringwald to Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club

Emilio Estevez to Kiefer Sutherland in Young Guns

Kiefer to Kevin in A Few Good Men

3. Jake Busey (son of Gary Busey):

Jake Busey to Tom Skeritt in Contact

Tom Skeritt to Tom Cruise in Top Gun

Tom Cruise to Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men

4. Gary Busey:

This one is almost too easy, but I decided to throw it in there: Gary Busey to Tom Cruise in The Firm

See # 3.

5. Reese Witherspoon:

Reese Witherspoon to Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line

Joaquin Phoenix to Mel Gibson in Signs

Mel Gibson to Helen Hunt in What Women Want

Helen Hunt to Jack Nicholson in As Good As it Gets

Jackie Boy to Kevin in A Few Good Men

6. Keanu Reeves

:Keanu to Hugo Weaving in the Matrix movies

Hugo to Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta

Natalie to Julia Roberts in Closer

Julia to Tom Skeritt

Tom to Tom

Tom to Kevin

7. Billy Baldwin:

Billy Baldwin to Kurt Russell in Backdraft

Kurt Russell to Richard Dreyfus in Poseidon

Richard Dreyfus to Olympia Dukakis in Mr. Holland's Opus

Olympia Dukakis to Tom Skeritt in Steel Magnolias

Tom Skeritt to Tom Cruise in Top Gun

Tom Cruise to Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men

8. George Clooney:

George Clooney to Julia Roberts in Ocean's 11

Julia Roberts to Tom Skeritt in Steel Magnolias

Tom to Tom

Tom to Kevin

9. Patrick Dempsey

Ok. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy so is this the guy you were talking about, Kelly? If so .. here goes. If not, then he's an extra:

The only movie I remember him being in was Mobsters ... it was a baaaaad movie but oh well... and the only person I can think of in that movie other than him was Christian Slater... Patrick to Christian

Christian to Winona Ryder in Heathers

Winona to Alec Baldwin in Beetlejuice

Alec to James Earl Jones in Hunt for Red October

JEJ to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams

Kevin to Kevin in JFK

10. Danny Bonaducci

Ok, I have to admit this one has me REALLY stumped. I can't think of one single movie where I have seen Danny, so I am going to try this from the television angle, at least at first to get Danny out of tv.

Danny Bonaducci to David Cassidy in The Partridge Family

And that is where I get stuck. I just don't know enough about the Partridge Family. I know that Shirley Jones was the mom, and I am sure that she appeared in an episode of two of The Love Boat. But even trying to get THAT connection out of there is too hard. I will have to think on this one. So I will admit defeat on this one.


Ok. I think I have this one figured out. I did have to cheat just once ... to see if I knew that this person was actually in this movie. So this one really can't be claimed a victory, I don't think.

Danny to Shirley in the Partridge Family

Shirley to Gavin McLeod (isn't that him ... Captain Steubing) on The Love Boat

Gavin to Mary Tyler Moore in The Mary Tyler Moore Show

MTM to Elizabeth McGovern (this is where I cheated) in Ordinary People

Elizabeth McGovern to Kevin in She's Having a Baby

There. I did it.

11, 12, and 13 I will play tomorrow with people you, my readers shout out to me. I am tired. It is late, and I intended on being in bed over an hour ago.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Ode to Kevin

Ok... I have a few people who have submitted their challenges.

I am still having a hard time with ADC, but I WILL prevail. I swear.

So ... if you want me to include your actor or actress in the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon challenge, post a comment here and include the person you want me to link Kevin to for my Thursday 13 tomorrow.

So far I have:

Andrew Dice Clay
Sissy Spacek
Jake Busey
and for the fun of it
Gary Busey
Reese Witherspoon

That is only five, so I need eight more (there's my high math skills for you .. and I had to make sure I was right about twice. So ... inept at math or OCD about checking myself).

Some that are running through my head right now:

Matt Dillon
Ralph Macchio
C Thomas Howell
Yes.... I just watched The Outsiders yesterday ...
Patrick Swayze

And there are others ..... but add yours if you want.

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WW # 4 - Sometimes it crosses my mind, too

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The Lovely She, that is me!

I'm a mom of three peeps ... Queen Bee, The Door Man, and the Chandelier Monkey, and wife to Ace, the Helpful Hardware Man. I created this space to get away from the people known as my inlaws, and because life with three kids and a hubby is all Unexplored Territory.

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The nine-year-old who seems to be growing older every minute, has an opinion and a comment for everything, and has a true servant's heart.
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The seven-year-old who loves the organization of things, will someday be someone's therapist because of his kind soul, and will more than likely be living with us until he is 40 years old.
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The five-year-old with the 13-year-old attitude, who has a dictator's personality, asks you to watch her all the time and say "hold on" to keep your attention, and will someday come home on the back of some dude's motorcycle with 10 tatts and a body piercing or two.

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The man of the house, the fixer of things, the winner of prizes, and the only person in his family to escape the South.

Retiring the Blog
A Blast from the Past
Just nothing today ....
Move over, Mom
Because life wasn't exciting enough....
Mystic Pizza
Starting off on the wrong foot
A convo at our house
My 6 am dreams
This, my friends, is the true definition of TMI


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