Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Round 2

We are off again for another 5 days just a little southwest of where we live (but there is no way we are crossing the border, because I worry they won't let me come back!). I guess there are still a few bottles of wine left with my name on them so I have to go. Can't waste good wine!
Have a Happy New Years Eve - I will raise my glass to you all at midnight!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Miracle baby in distress

I know I have asked for a lot of prayer from all of my (5) readers, but since it is the Holiday Season, I feel like I can ask one more time...

My friend Jennifer aka MckMama is at Children's Hospital right now with her miracle baby Stellan (the one that wasn't supposed to live because of in utero heart failure, but lived because we all prayed so hard - and is now 8 weeks old) is suffering from a very severe case of RSV, as well as hypercapnia (too much carbon dioxide in his blood). So severe that they are currently sedating and placing him on a ventilator. His healed heart is suffering too because of all of the trauma that comes with RSV.

Please, if you have it in you to give one more gift this holiday season, give it in the form of prayer for Stellan and Jennifer!

5 days with no internet - and wine

You should try it sometime. Wine kills the jonesing fairly quickly, and the conversation you drum up - OH the conversation!

I had a very pleasant 5 days with no internet!

I had more conversations with real live people face to face than I have had in a long time. It made me long for the good ol'days when the only way to chat was face to face!

I consumed more wine this past week than I have in ages. But it was all in good company, and I found some new favorites, and a few I would prefer never be bottled again! I even tested a bottle I had in my kitchen far too long - apparently opened quite a while ago - because it was more of a vinegar than a Merlot!

I found a bottle that stood a little over 3' tall - in a beautiful cobalt bottle, that was a German Reisling. We dubbed it "Ricola" and consumed the entire thing in less than the first sitting at dinner!

Memories spilled during the visit(s) - OH the memories! We celebrated 20 years with this lil darlin':

we even let her "win" almost every round of Catch Phrase (even though clearly she did not!).

We exchanged a few gifts - but in no rush - just a few here and there.

The kids had a blast playing the Wii at will this weekend - with very little bickering.

There was far way too much mom..., mom, um mom, mom, mom, mommy, mom, m-oooooo-m, mom, ma, mom, mom, momma, hey mom, mom, yo mom, mom, mom, mom?, mom, mom!, ma-am, mom, mom *&$#, mom!?!?!?! And my personal favorite, "why mom?".

One cute 6 year old with his middle finger waving in the air at his sister. One adorable yet highly irritable 11 year old prancing around swinging her hips and tossing her hair like a super model with the attitude of a pms'ing teenager, and the attention span of...

Wait... what was I talking about?

But that was only because they wanted to shower me with love and devotion for the godess mother that I am, and not because they needed something.

Well, one could only hope!

Hope you had a wonderful Holiday with your family!

If I disappear this weekend, you can almost guarantee where I am - because round two begins on Wednesday! If only I could convince my husband it would be a great time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We are hitching a ride on Santa's sleigh for a destination just a tad bit further south than we are to spend a lovely 4 days at my grandmothers - just me and the kids (Jim will be there tomorrow).

I wish you all the merriest of holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Its Sunday night and it has been a loooonnnnggg few days. So I am going to start my list of things that were not done by lil'ol me last week now in hopes that I have them done by tomorrow morning! If it weren't for MckMama's free therapy sessions, I think I would be bankrupt from the psychologist payments!

This entire week I did not even once go into work a 1/2 hour late because I was being lazy. Of course my assistant was back this week so it would not have looked good if I had done that!

I did not eat lunch half of the week because I was using that time to get POMAD up and running.

I did not calculate and recalculate the cost of the kids big Christmas present that my aunt got us an amazing discount on and was sure we had the money to cover it.

I did not miscalculate by a rather large amount of money, and had to just now call my aunt and ask her to bless us one more time with her help of not cashing our check for a few more days.

I did not just tell the entire internets (or all 5 of my readers) that last statement because it would be far too embarrassing.

I did not about lose my mind, toss my cookies, have a stroke laced with a heart attack and then a mental breakdown when I saw that Jim's paycheck was almost $200 less than we calculated it to be. It could mean one of two things: either he didn't turn in paperwork, or they lost it. Either way, there is a very large chance we will never see that money.

I DID sell two pieces this weekend to friends husbands - which was cool because the guys were SO happy they didn't have to shop for stocking stuffers and these two ladies sent me emails telling me which pieces they were thinking about buying for themselves. Now I have to stave them off this week to be sure I don't blow the surprise! I also saved a boat load of money on teacher and daycare presents by giving them jewelry (two teachers, two TA's, a para and daycare). I am still working on a piece for the lady who cuts my hair.

I did not scan the 60+ pictures my mother in law asked me to scan this weekend and down load them on her new digital photo frame that my brother in law roped us all into giving her (after he bought it no less - without asking if we wanted in), and I have to have it done by Wednesday because she leaves for the winter on Friday (YAY US!) (wait, I did not say that...).

I did not cry when my dad couldn't come down this weekend because we have been in an eternal hell of had a lot of snow, cold, and blizzardy weather this entire last 5 days (ok I really did). I did not cry (again, I really did) because it would have been the last time I would get to see my dad until early April, as he too leaves on Friday for the winter.

I am not a daddy's girl, and talk to him at least once a week. I will not be sad that it will be over four months before I talk to him again. Oh - who am I fooling, yes I am and yes I will!

I did not take pain medication yesterday afternoon when I got home from our AMAZING Breakfast with Santa event at our club because I had moved some furniture and was on my feet all morning (definitely not on my ok to do list with a broken rib and ruptured disc). I did not then go back to the club (in a blizzard) to watch the AMAZING band that drove from Madison, WI (in a blizzard) and have a few too many adult beverages and get really looped up.

I did not wake up hung over this morning at 10 AM, and then fall asleep in Jim's recliner at 1 and sleep until 4:20.

I am so not the rock star I hoped I still was, but really, did you need to clobber me that hard over the head to prove your point?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Im so excited!


Susan (my friend/photographer) has downloaded my pictures on her website, and I have now gotten my blog site updated with all of the newest pieces!
I have quite a few more pieces in my mind, I just need to get them made. Susan and I have worked out a deal that she will photograph as I make so there is little to no down time.

Fingers crossed both of us get some business out of this venture (and her a good grade on her final!).


I finally went to the doctor on Monday afternoon. After an exam and a series of X-Ray's it has been confirmed that I have one rib that is fractured, and one that is broken - however, not the bone itself, but rather broken from the cage itself. It cannot be reset, it has to find its own way home. Based on what he told me, and what I have read, it could take from 3-12 weeks to heal.

In the meantime I need to be careful what I lift, how I lean, not to lay on that side, and not to be too strenuous with my breathing. And since I am suddenly relapsing with my cold - I fear I will find myself in a band by the end of the week. It may not be a bad thing. Just a little constricting. But maybe I will be able to sleep better.

The spasms have already gotten better. Maybe I am used to them, maybe I am already healing. Lets hope it is the latter.

I do feel pretty good all things considered.

We got 5" of really fluffy snow today - fluffy because it is colder than hell when it freezes over. The snow when illuminated glistens and sparkles. It is an amazing sight. It sounds like we will have several more days of spotty snow showers - which I love - because unlike many of my fellow state dwellers, I love the snow, and winter - just not these really really cold temps.

Oh, and get this - the Postmaster who helped me up last week when I fell... well he did not file a formal report, and when he heard I was going to the doctor ripped me a new one. Went all postal on me (pun intended) about how all these little old ladies who can't see anything, and shouldn't (I believe his words were "have no right") being out and about keep complaining about falling on his sidewalk. Well, Mr... I ain't no old lady, I do have a right (as do they), I fell in your lobby, not on your sidewalk, and YOU WERE THERE and helped me out, so please, do not act all mighty and unknowing. I am not suing you, so back off!

Off my soap box!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Baby its cold outside. And its Monday. And that means there must be some things I didn't (or did) do last week that I need to get off of my chest. Because this is so much cheaper than my therapist (my pretend one - because there is nothing wrong with me, so why would I need a therapist - really, how dare you think otherwise).

I did not go in to work late ev-er-y day last week. Arriving at 9:30 rather than 9. I am responsible, and would never do that.

I did not consider almost every day last week, leaving early. Only to find myself shutting the lights and the door much later than I needed to, therefore making up for the late hour for which I did not arrive each morning.

I did not take a long lunch on Tuesday because I was wallowing in my own self pity after falling in the post office earlier that day. I did not come home to two kids for whom school was called and a husband who was on partial layoff, all sitting around in their pj's asking me what was for lunch. I did not bite my tongue, pull out a bix of cereal and tell them to have at it. I did not then make myself something much tastier once they started slurping down their toasted o's.

I did not even once wish that someone would get sick so we could stay home this weekend rather then travel in bad weather. I did not wish that, and then feel bad about it, admit it to my husband, only to have him say the same thing to me.

I did not stall as long as possible on Saturday morning waiting to hear someone cough, rush to the bathroom, or exclaim they had an upset stomach, only to give in and get ready to go, causing us to leave 45 minutes later than we had planned.

I did not say "oh God", or potentially drop the "F bomb" 3,927 times this weekend when I had a spasm in my left side/side of my chest this weekend. I did not hear my sister in law nearly insist we go to the hospital she worked at for an xray, after the doctor she called told her it sounded like I have a bruised/cracked rib from my fall in the post office.

I did not go to the hospital however. Instead I took more Vicadin.

I did not let my brother in law slip me a few shots of Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and Tequila Rose Cocoa.

I did not then request both items from Santa. W-a-ow - are they smooth. And chocolaty. Mmmmmm.

I did not play front seat driver most of the way home today. I did not completely come unravelled when Jim passed two slow moving cars on a really slippery road where we really could only go 40 and be safe. In his defense - they were barely going 25. In my defense, there was a hill and a curve, and a car coming at us. At a crawl, but it was coming at us.

I did not wish this afternoon that I would have gone to the hospital that my sister in law works at. I have not decided if I will go in tomorrow, or wait it out another day or two.

I did not feel a pang of nausea roll across me when I got an email today from a business member telling me one of our main street staples was closing their doors. Instead I felt a lead ball in my stomach. I have since gotten more information and understand more the need to close. I also hold out hope that because it was not for financial reasons, someone else could come in and purchase the business if they wanted to with no strings attached. The owners needed a break, and they have worked out a deal with another local business. Its sad, but its not as devastating as it could have been.

Anyone want to move to my small town and open a fabulous gift shop?

School is going to be at minimum 2 hours late today, but that doesn't get me a get out of jail free card, so I must get motivating.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let it snow, let it blow, 40 below!

The title says it all. (don't you love blog posts on local weather forecasts?)

This morning we left from St. Cloud in a rush. In a vertiable blizzard. We didn't want to get stuck up there (in laws ya'know). So we left with a radar prediction that we would drive out of the bad weather within 40 miles.

First 30 miles: driving 30-40 mph. Blinding snow. 30 degrees
Second 30 miles: driving 45-55 mph. Pouring rain. 34 degrees
Third 30 miles: driving 40-50 mph. Sleet, rain mix. 32 degrees

The first 5 miles of the last 30 - the temp dropped LITERALLY 17 degrees.

The last 30 miles: driving 30-35 mph. Sleet, blowing snow, wind gusts over 40 mph. Ice on the highways. White out conditions.

Since we have been home, it has snowed. Blown. Howled and whistled. Right now it is blowing at about 40 mph steady with gusts over 50-60.

Tomorrow morning, the windchill is predicted out here on the prairie to be minus 40 -50. That is below zero for your warmer climate people. Tomorrow night our temperature (minus windchill) is predicted to be 11 below zero.

Let it snow, let it blow, 40 below!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good bye friend.

It was really great to know you. I will miss your smile. Your wit. Your sense of humor. Your humility. Your humanity. Your faith in people and in God. Your kindness, and your caring for others. Your incredible knack for making me wonder - "did he mean it? was he serious?" Because everytime I joked about giving you my resignation and you patted me on the shoulder and said "good luck", I wondered - wow, this time he seemed serious! I will miss teasing you about your accent.

Everything that made you who you were.

Thank you for blessing our lives here in our small town.

You have left a mark - and really big shoes - that no one can ever fill.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Its always worse somewhere else

In all of my whining and moaning about pain and how I am tired of it, somewhere there was a voice screaming "QUIT! Someone else has it much worse than you do!". I had this feeling like I was being selfish. Selfish for not sharing the good things - only the bad. Whining when I should be rejoicing that we are still relatively healthy, we still have a home, and we still have some sort of semblance of jobs. Money is tight, and yes, I have not been feeling well. But someone has it much worse than me, and I am being childish about my woes.

And then the phone rang. My friend Sue called to tell me the horrible news.

Tom, former Director, and just this year, the President of my Board -- who just recently left his job in our small town late this summer for reasons that aren't important - resigned himself to moving south - to Texas - to manage a larger facility in the field he loved. His wife Kristen planned on staying here a little longer. Maybe until their daughter Verva graduated, maybe longer. Kristen loves her position as Director of a childrens organization. So Tom went to Texas. As a God faring family, they knew they would survive any separation, because they have strong family values - and a love for one another that space cannot divide.

Just before Thanksgiving Tom got what he believed to be a bad sore throat. The condition continued to worsen, causing body shakes and eventually pain in his arms and legs. It was not a cold. It also was not what the doctors believed to be Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Tom was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms vary in severity. Tom's were the most severe. He was unable to move from the chin down. He could not respond to bodily movements, only eye movement. On Tuesday doctors placed a central port to do a plasma exchange. During the procedure, Tom suffered a massive stroke.

As yesterday and today have gone on, Tom has worsened. There is no way of knowing if he will now survive this disease that normally has a 90% recovery rate.

On top of the stress of Tom's failing health, he had only worked one day at his new job. And Kristen used all of her sick and vacation time for surgery she had to have on her heart just this fall. They have no income, and two households to maintain.

Our small town is devastated. I am devastated. Tom helped me establish myself in the position I am in, and with honor accepted the elected position as President in 2008 because he knew we were doing great things. Tom also managed Jim's grandfathers care at the nursing home. I always felt that we received special care while Tom was there because we knew he cared about our family.

So this afternoon a small group of people who have special attachments to Tom and Kristen gathered in the backroom of my favorite coffee cafe and met to brainstorm ideas to help them in ways that people in small towns do. And the group got bigger and bigger as time went on. By the time the meeting started, our small group went from 8 or 10 to over 20 people, crammed tightly in the small room, eating lunch and sharing ideas. By the time we left the meeting, we planned three special events that includes Christmas Caroling by the small children Kristen has overseen for the past three years. It also includes a benefit in January.

There was not a dry eye when the meeting adjourned.

If only the energy that filled that room could be bottled up and sent to them. Sent to Tom and injected - with all of its love and prayer - to heal him.

As I walked back to my office hunched over, I reminded myself that someone has it worse than me. I reminded myself that I still have it pretty good - I still have my life. I still have my home, and my family, and my job. And I still have tomorrow to look forward to.

I don't know if Tom has that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life comes back to bite you 20 years later...

This goes to show that almost anything you do at any stage of your life - even before the internets - can come back to haunt you.

My cousin Sarah who is graduating 20 years after I did at my alma mater posted this on my facebook wall last night. It is a video yearbook of the 1988 graduating class - but there I am a junior (class of 1989) - in my 1980's hair glory right in the beginning (located at 20-23 seconds in) noticing the camera, and casually slinking behind my locker...

DO NOT waste the whole 9+ minutes - I did - and while I knew many of the people in the video (in a school of over 3,000 students) and I am sure I know who filmed it, the shining star happens so early on that the rest is just - well - just filler! (Kim, this is for you) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

When the chips are down...

Trip her with a rug.

Alternately titled: The biggest clutz in the world

I have literally spent a good 10 minutes crying my eyes out in frustration - wondering when the chips will be back up. Because I keep believing that this will get better.

Bam - splat - Oh God (I think actually came out of my mouth) - the rug in the Post Office was just askew enough to catch my dragging foot (one of the side effects of this pain is that my right foot hasn't always been cooperating with my leg, and doesn't lift as far off the ground as it should). So down on the brick paver floor I went. Right knee slammed straight on. There was no graceful save, there was no quiet pick up, it was down.for.the.count. Tears rolling, me sitting there, in the entry, the Postmaster gathering my mail and keys - me climbing the wall to get up.

I feel like I am losing my friggin mind. I want to go home and crawl back in bed with some major painkillers with a side of Jack Daniels (which I don't like, but maybe it will kill the pain). Fact is, I was already in some major pain this morning, so maybe this new pain will distract me from the other. Who knows.

But with my assistant gone this week, I must push on. Dry mine eyes and suck it up.

Or wallow some more, close the doors and not care.

Ok, well maybe not.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me! Monday

If you are reading this on December 15th you will find that my linky didn't work, and you got sent here instead! Click on my header and you will find my December 15th "Not Me's"!

I don't much like Mondays, only because it means getting out of my Pj's and going back to work.

But I do love my free therapy sessions that happen only on Mondays! Its that time people for another list of things I didn't (or maybe did) do last week!

Let's start off by saying I did not totally write a cold hard fact confession yesterday on my blog.

I did not stay up way too late a few nights last week to get work done that I should have completed while at my desk during the day. I am not a procrastinator, so there would be no need for it.

I did not more than one time on Friday wish that my assistant was not in Hawaii for 10 days so I could have stayed home on my normally non work day.

I did not wallow in my self "have to work on Friday" pity in a bag of Cheetos for breakfast. Ok, well not a whole bag...

I did not get really really upset at Mantha's concert last Thursday when the parent's were in the audience chatting it up during the entire performance. I did not especially want to stand up and yell "shut it" when the solo performers were on stage. I did not because I was sitting next to my Mother in law.

I did not spend all afternoon Saturday trying to come up with the right concoction of meds to make my pain go away only to give up and take only Vicadin yesterday.

I did not tell Jim when he called me on Saturday at o'past dinnertime to tell me there was not one of my favorite chickens in the roaster at my friends husbands grocery store that he should go to their house and knock on the door and tell them to whip me one up. I wouldn't do that because I know my friends husband is out of town, and she was at the club partying it up with the girls for her sisters 50th birthday. Instead I made him come home, drive me 10 miles away to take me out to dinner at another friends restaurant to a neighboring really really small town where the lady who cut my hair so nicely a few weeks ago whipped me up the most amazing petite filet.

Small town living people, small town living. Your fireman is also your mechanic who sidelines as your doctor every other Thursday and third Monday.

I so did not just write a paragraph full of run on sentences and bad grammar.

Its 8:34 and I am sitting here in wet hair, so I had better make my way towards the hair dryer.

I did not totally think about calling in sick (to myself) this morning because it is snowing and I am in more pain than I care to admit. But then I remembered my assistant is in Hawaii for 10 days. Dang her anyway! ;)
I did not just run out of hairspray on a blustery day. UGH!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Rebel For A Cause Contest

I am a week late in posting this, but I don't want any of my friends to miss out on something absolutely incredible!

A prize give away so big, that you will be amazed! Check out these prizes:

Brand spankin new, shipped to your home, BEFORE Christmas! It could be a wonderful gift for YOU for Christmas. Maybe a few gifts for others, or one great big gift that you can send to me! (I can always try...).

Here is how it works. MckMama of My Charming Kids, and Aimee of Heart Smiles have put together a Raffle-Way.

All proceeds of this Raffle-Way will be donated to:

String of Pearls, a beautiful ministry that offers a nurturing and safe place for families as they navigate the path following a fatal prenatal diagnosis that will result in the death of their baby prior to, or shortly after birth. String of Pearls provides guidance, compassion and practical suggestions as plans to honor the life of pre-born babies are crafted.

No Hands But Ours. No Hands But Ours is a China adoption resource site, specific to special needs adoption. It was created to provide information, encouragement and support for families of the children who wait and for those who wait no more. It is their hope that God would use this organization to encourage and equip ordinary people to do an extraordinary thing in the life of a special needs orphan, to give the gift every child needs and deserves...a family.

The Elison Project helps to provide grants to families adopting special needs children from China, and collaborates with No Hands But Ours. Proceeds of this Raffle-Way will allow families to make an incredible difference in the life of a child. Your donation will help to bring His children home.

All you have to do to enter to win this AMAZING prize package is click on the button below which will direct you to MckMama's blog. At the top of her blog is a "ChipIn" button where you can make a donation. For each $10 donated, you will receive a separate raffle number and entered in the grand prize drawing. Shortly after you make your donation, Aimee will email you your ticket number (s). Then you just sit back, and wait.

But wait - there is more to this extravaganza - if you post this button on your blog, and a quick note about the contest (you don't have to post as much detail as I did), you will also be entered in another contest to win one of these from Suzanne Meyers:

If you decide to participate, and especially choose to post on your blog about it, please leave a comment to either MckMama or Aimee so they can get your name in the drawing for the Charm Necklace.
I thank everyone who is willing to consider helping these ladies raise money for these wonderful causes. MckMama posted last week that when the causes found out this was going on, they were beyond excited (read: I believe the words "nearly crapped their pants" was used).
In this wonderful world of blogging great things happen when you have a network that is endless. Thank you for reading this far!
Both contests end one week from today - so far they have raised over $10,510!!!

Getting very real

Vicodin and Torodol are not doing the trick today... Yesterday was so unbearable when I got home from our open house at the club that I thought I literally bore a hatchet in my lumbar.

It scares me.

It scares me that I am back in this place I was a few weeks ago where nothing was helping, and my options have been deemed limited by insurance because of an overzealous doctor that didn't listen to my symptoms - that guessed that I was wrong about what I was feeling, and then gave up on me when she discovered her hunch was off.

What scares me even more is that I am now going to have to succumb to the recommendation by my insurance to start a very strong regimen of physical therapy on a full time basis - more than one or two visits. More than an hour or two a week. I fear I am headed back to where I was two years ago: 2 hours a day, three days a week.

I don't have the time, and Lord knows we don't have the money. PT where I go now will cost me $35 a day. That is $105 a week. I have no idea how much it will cost me if I can get thet referral I am waiting for in the small town next to my larger small town.

And here is where it gets real personal, and it gets really real...

Jim is on partial layoff. Not enough time to keep us in the black, and too much time to collect unemployement to make up the difference. They won't work with his schedule to allow him to work part time for my cousins husband. Guaranteed money. But he cannot risk them letting him go since he is the keeper of our insurance.

There is no two ways to look at this any longer. That 43% that stares back at me on my sidebar is a serious reality to us right now. I fear we won't make it at all if the economy turns any more sour.

We had some equity built up in our home not that long ago. But when the housing market tanked, so did the value of our home. And now we are in the red - no equity, officially upside down. We aren't concerned about it becoming a liability because we are solid when it comes to our mortgage - but we are sick that we don't have that equity any longer. Equity that we could use to help us pay off these darned medical bills.

And this brings me back to the beginning of this post. I know what I need to do to get rid of this pain - but I know we can't afford to do it. And the really scary thing is, the fact that surgery is potentially looming off in the not so distant future makes it even harder.

How do you qualify the need for relief?

Owed To Joy

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Friday, December 5, 2008

"How to talk to girls"

I watch the Early Show on CBS in the mornings. Its not a confession, just a statement. Ha!

This morning Harry Smith interviewed the most adorable little boy named Alec Greven, about his new book "How to talk to girls".

It was the cutest flippin thing I think I have ever seen (well almost).

Who would have thunk a 9 year old understood us females. He did. I was shocked. If only all men thought like he did. We would all be pampered well adjusted women!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fa La-La-La La La-La-La-La

Tonight was Mantha's Christmas concert. Let me start off by saying - the kids did an amazing job. I may not sound appreciative of their hard work if you continue to read on, but really, they only start practicing in November, and the performance is pretty incredible for such a short amount of time.

That being said, I wouldn't be me if I didn't share those things that drove me ape shit about the evening...

It was rather uneventful for us for once. We arrived on time and not frazzled - a milestone in the baum household... We sat near the front in really uncomfortable seats made for young people with narrow hips and normal rears - not two ton Annie and her clingy 6 year old.

Jon on the other hand did not show. First time in 6 years he has not come for one of her concerts. He had a very good reason - Amy was in the hospital. But, Mantha admitted to crying in the shower. She is used to her dad dropping everything for her, and this time he couldn't. Secretly I think she was hoping I would let her skip school tomorrow and go home with him a day early (its his weekend with her).

The kids as always were very talented. I was especially impressed with the 4th grade class. They are a talented lot. As were the 5th and 6th. But when the 4th grade class is more in key, more in tempo, and more into the spirit of singing to a large audience, it makes the others dull by comparison. Of course I realize that 5th and 6th graders are starting to become "too cool" to have to perform by choice. I mean really dude - its so lame!

The band, well, I hope that I will be a proud band parent at the concert next year, but maybe Mr. S the band teacher does feel the same way because he introduced one of my former religion students as the "only Oboe player in the entire school". While my 11 year old OBOE PLAYER was on stage (on the choir side). I thought she was going to cry. Apparently he forgot about that other girl he has private lessons with on Tuesdays - as the only other Oboe player in the entire school. That same 5th grade girl that sat in his band class for the past 2 days, and has been in the same seat since the start of school.

Just a minor technicality if you are the band instructor. A major insult if you are my 11 year old daughter.

The talking never stopped - parents yapping away like they were at reunions and not a concert. Did people not hear the "principal with the lisp" explain before the concert even begins that the children have practiced long and hard for their performances, and we need to be considerate of them - in other words: "shut up, sit down, turn your cell phone off, control your whining kids, and be quiet."

Then there is the matter of 1/3 of the 5th grade class missing from the performance. Last time I checked a concert is not a "show up if you want to" kind of gig. It was pathetic. Of the 84 students in the 5th grade, only 59 showed up!!! The 4th and 6th grades out ranked the 5th grade class, which is one of the largest classes, by nearly perfect attendance.

And the layout... The band on one side of the stage, the choir on the other, with a very large baby grand piano in the middle. So if you didn't find seats in front of the choir - which is where ALL the kids sang at some point, but instead found yourself by the band, you only got to see live action for about 15 of the nearly 60 minutes of live performances.

I sound so bah humbug, but when you are in a firetrap of a room (this school was built in 1908) with several hundred parents, grandparents, whiny and screaming kids, it sure would be rockin if at minimum the adults acted their age!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank you, POMAD and PT

Thank you so much for your kind words the other day. Some great perspective was shared, and I was really glad to hear I am not the only mom that fights with their kids.

Jim and I had a huge blow out yesterday afternoon before the kids got home - specifically about how he needs to stop placing me in the middle of situations I shouldn't be in. I will not stand any longer for his berating her when he doesn't like how she has done something - I reminded him that she is only 11, and also expressed her concern that he didn't want her here with us. My biggest fear is that she will change her mind and ask to go live with her dad. It would kill me. I told him that I think she and I fight so much because she is trying to see whose side I am going to take.

So far, the last two evenings have been a little more peaceful. Fingers crossed it isn't temporary!


I finally have my jewelry blog up and running. Mind you, I only have 5 pieces posted so far.

My battery is dead on my camera, so hopefully I will have more in the next few days.

I have a friend who is going to school for photography and she asked if she could use my pieces (28 and counting) as her stills for a "product" project. Hopefully I will get her to take some before the end of the weekend and I can fill my blog with fun stuff to sell!

If you are so inclined, pop over and let me know what you think!

I had someone email me last winter when I first posted some of my pieces why I named my "business" POMAD. It stands for Pieces of Me Artistic Designs. I have used the name since 2003 when I started making Relay For Life "Hope" bracelets. I needed something to put on the checking account that I used for the purchases that were donated. Pieces of Me was in homage to my mother for whom I started making the bracelets in memory of. I was giving a piece of me to her memory everytime I made a bracelet.

A friend of mine owns a gift shop and has offered to sell some of my pieces on consignment, but I am not sure that I should go that route - what if it doesn't sell? I have sold several items on Ebay and Etsy, but paying listing and then not have something sells is a bummer. So I am going to try this for a while. Maybe it will take off, maybe it won't. If it doesn't, it just means I have more fun stuff to wear!!!

I am not as good at making things on demand as I am making them when an idea comes to me. A few years ago I got referrals for weddings (4 in one summer) and I got so bogged down that I couldn't keep up. Word of mouth is wonderful, yet scary at the same time. It has been a year since I have done a wedding, so I am hoping maybe in 2009 I will get two or three. Its nice to have that extra coin to buy more supplies!


I hosted a Marketing Class this evening that was held by a regional foundation for my business members. This time I asked several other local Chambers to spread the word to their members. Several people came from other communities which is exciting, because many of them also do business in my small town, so they could be potential new members for me.

But even better than that... I sat across the table from a new Physical Therapist who just moved into the small town next to my slightly bigger town. The best part is, she does less manual manipulation and more excercise training. She takes my insurance, so now I just need to have my old PT sign off on my care so insurance will allow me to change clinics. I am sure he won't mind. I have been telling him that I don't feel like I can do manual manipulation much longer as makes my Fibromyalgia flare severely. This then makes it hard to find relief in my back which is the whole reason I am going.

Wish me luck! I have a feeling with my schedule, and the referral and insurance junk it will be next month before I get to start, but it will be worth the wait!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Failing miserably

Hi there. Its me. Over here. See me? Over here? In the corner. Sobbing lightly. Facing the wall. It may be hard to see me for that thing on my head. That humiliating white adornment that labels me. That cone shaped cap.

There I am, thats me.

Because when you get an "F" in parenting, you get to sit in the corner and wear a badge of dishonor.

I am failing miserably at rearing an 11 year old girl that is so much like me, yet so different. All of the insecurities are the same, but the drive and the desire is so different. If she doesn't want to do something she will choose one of the two options: 1. Do it, but do it with no regard, 2. Not do it at all.

Either option has the same reaction from Jim, who most often needs to be reminded that she is only 11. And similarly, it causes me to have to choose. Which one to I have to "talk to" about the choice. Her for making it? Him for getting mad at how she did or didn't complete the task.

Both options send me into a tailspin.

Both options leave me either in tears, or hoarse from "working it out" sometimes very loudly, and mostly pointless. Respectively sick to my stomach as I lose more control of the situation.

So as I sent my daughter off to school again this morning, I found myself even more deflated..

When you fail at parenting, you fail at everything, and it sucks everything from you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Whirley Popped Popcorn

I had one comment and three emails asking me what it was... Oh, have I got a treat for you!!!!

This little wonder makes the best popcorn!!! Click on the picture to read all about it! One bit of advice - if it doesn't say "Original Whirley-Pop" or "Whirley-Pop" on the lid, dont buy it! I bought a knock off once, and it was worthless! It didn't stir the kernels properly because it had a wide blade that would crush the kernels underneath and cause serious burnage!

I bought one of mine at Target, and one at a local gift store. I have seen them at large retailers also (Kohls, Hergergers, JCPenny, Kohls). It works over campfires and grills if you have a grate to rest the popper on!

You don't have to buy all of the little "extra's" they recommend - I have always used Orville Redenbachers Popcorn Oil, and popcorn. It also makes that boyscout popcorn taste especially numptious!!! Of course any good white or yellow corn will taste good in this maker! Especially with lots of real butter!!!

I don't get kickbacks from these company's, so I do accept tips! Just leave'em in my jar!

Not Me! Monday

Good morning! Its Monday, and I really want to go back to the sofa and pretend it is still Sunday, or better yet, Saturday and veg out for a few more days. Because I love me some veggin'!

Its time for that Monday Carnival of things I did not do (or maybe I did) last week - as always hosted by MckMama at My Charming Kids!

I did not just go over to grab the button and see how far down the list I am slipping each week because I am not getting by butt in gear bright and early!

I did not holla out a big "yay me" when I finished my 30th daily installment of NaBloPoMo. I did not then tell everyone I was considering doing December too, and then tell my self - NO WAY!!!

I did not miss some of my travelling blog friends this weekend... I mean seriously, can you please get a wireless card from your cell provider or something so I can be entertained whilst sitting on my ars all weekend??? Com'on!

I did not go into a food coma this Thanksgiving. Really I didn't. I did however sit in mashed potato's at some point in the meal, and no one told me. Not a single soul. ALL DAY LONG. I was wearing black pants people, what did you think it was? I am not Monica and I do not know Bill, so there is nothing else it really could have been. And it wasn't a small amount either. Its quite possible by the size of the evidence that I most likely sat on the whole friggin bowl! I didn't notice it until I was taking them down to the laundry Saturday morning. Humph!

I did not make lunch one day last week that made me toss my cookies later that evening. I mean really, I am not a bad cook. Maybe it had something to do with tasting it before it was cooked all the way through...

I did not wait until the last minute to send out an email to all of my members on Wednesday when it should have been sent out on Monday because I lost my big red "to do" list.

I did not also put off once again, for another week, my quarterly newsletter because I got a wee bit lazy last week and instead read blogs, visited shopping websites, emailed and IM'd friends whilst bored at my desk. I wouldn't do that when I am getting paid to work. Shhhh don't tell my boss, I hear she is a real biotch.

Oh wait, thats me...

I did not take torodol and vicadin together on Wednesday night. And then again on Friday afternoon. I wouldn't do that because it isn't responsible.

I did not take lots of naps this weekend. I did not sleep in past 8 at all (not even today - bwahahaha), and I did not stay in pj's all weekend (except when I went shopping).

I did not just write the most boring post ever!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gunmetal, silver, burnished brass and copper...

I have been a jewelry makin', idea swirlin, making and remaking, loving and hating it all fool the past few days...

Now I just have to photograph them so I can get my website (which may end up being a blog) back up and running. That is usually the part that takes me the longest, because I am never happy with the pictures. I may just take standard shots on my black form and edit them when I have more time. Hopefully they will sell either way...

Last year I listed several pieces on Etsy and Ebay, but found they sold better when I got the word out locally (friends and family). I am hoping that it will once again work because I don't want to get tied up in listing and selling fee's if nothing will sell. Does that make sense?

You can see some of the pieces I made earlier this year by checking here. This were photos that I ended up doing quickly for someone, and I hated them. But a girl's gott'a do what I girl's gott'a do.

Now on to something that is really exciting to me... I made it through a challenge I clearly did not think I would be successful at. I survived NaBloPoMo and didn't miss a single day! I even multi posted some days. I am going to challenge myself to continue it, however I am not promising I will succeed. Some days were pretty brutal! Now the dilemma is this... Since both Kim and I passed the test, and neither of us lost the bet... who is going to pay for lunch at The Good Earth??? Hmmmmm.....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday snipnet...

My Christmas shopping is almost done!!!

Several of you asked me to post a haircut shot, here it is

Thats all I got for today! I'm pooped! :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Haircuts, naps, popcorn and snoring cats

This morning I finally was able to get a much needed hair cut. This past year, I have been leery to make the appointment because I have become superstitious of the scissors... Here is why:
  • Last October I went to my old stylist for a trim. Within a week I was in Rochester in horrendous pain, and all sorts of tests looking for Lupus and MS (ended up being Fibromyalgia.)
  • Last November (beginning) I went to my regular stylist for a repair (I didn't like the cut I had gotten in October). The next day I was on the operating table with kidney stones.
  • Last November (end) I went back to get a color, and Jadon a hair cut before Bruce's funeral. Three days later he was in Children's Hospital for 9 days.
  • I did not get my hair cut again until March because I was starting to get superstitious. Thankfully nothing happened this trip.
  • In July I was in desperate need for a trim. It was hot and I had been already wearing my hair pulled back for several weeks. Onthe 13th I went in for a cut. On the 15th I was in the hospital for the start of 3 kidney surgeries for stones and excess scar tissue.

I am sure you can imagine, I have not been back since.

On Wednesday I was telling my friend Jennie (who is also Jadon's daycare) that I was so tired of wearing my hair back and was ready to go "under the scissors", but was feeling a little leary about doing so. She convinced me to make an appointment, this time with her sister, for this morning.

I am not kidding you, within 2 hours I was in so much pain I thought I was dying. Granted I couldn't hold the haircut at fault because I hadn't had it yet, but seriously...

I got it cut this morning - loopy from being on Torodol for 3 days again, and not sure what I wanted done, I told her "do whatever, I am easy - but make it something that looks good in a hospital bed just in case!". She did a really cute cut, that even toss dried looks styled. She took nearly 5 inches off! Hair that was sweeping just past my shoulders this morning is now not quite clearing my chin line, and barely a whisper at the nape of my neck. You know the cut - that one that you do not recognize in a mirror, and stopped short in your fingers when you lathered, brushed or ran your fingers through. Yeah, its that kind of short.

But I think I may like it.

Pray that I am safe from more hospital visits...

My 17 year old cousin Sarah (who is more like a sister) had come back with us last night to stay over and hang out (because I am "cool mom" you know - just dont tell my kids). When I got back from my cut, she was sprawled out on the sofa waiting to watch a flick and eat my famous whirly popped pop corn (they come from a far for the best tasting popcorn ever - come on over, I will whip you up a batch!). We decided 10:30 may be a little too early to eat popped goodness, so instead decided to watch 1/2 the movie first. It was a mighty fine nap. We aren't sure how the movie was however - and we missed 1/2 time.

My cousin Danielle was going to be picking Sar up around 1:30 and we still hadn't had our buttery snack, so we had it for lunch before she left. Man was it good. My whole house smells like a buttery popped movie theater - only the popcorn here is much better!

I am not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but I am feeling another nap coming on. Maybe its that orange and white cat deep in melodic snoring slumber over yonder in front of the roaring fire...

I love Black Friday!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last year Dayna listed "Thankfuls" from her kids and herself - one for each year of life. Because I am often unoriginal, I hijacked her idea. But we are real life friends, so I think she forgave me.

This was my list from last year.

Interestingly, much of my list is the same this year. Only one year longer.

1. For my marriage. It has been a tough year, but amazingly, we still keep plugging on.

2. For my husband who daily gives me reasons to keep trying to make it work even when I ready to give up.

3. For my children. I may not always appreciate their shenanigans, but I wouldn't have it anyother way.

4. For my friends. They get me through good times and bad. They make me laugh, cry, and celebrate.

5. For my freedom. More and more I realize how lucky I am. And more and more I realize how much others sacrafice for that freedom.

6. For the forgiveness of my mother long before her passing

7. For the wonderful years of friendship that followed

8. For my step father Bruce who loved her more than his own life, and made the end of her life precious

9. For my belief in the afterlife - I know one day I will see those I have lost again.

7. For the love of my father, the one person whose every opinion means more to me than most even when the truth hurts

8. For the family I am lucky to have - we may not all agree all the time, but in good times or bad, I would never trade them for anything.

9. For the family I married into - they bring a new life and character to my life.

10. For experiences that may not always be pleasant, but that all are a part of who I am.

11. For prayer. Because when all hope seems lost, there is always Someone left to turn to.

12. For faith. Because without my faith, I wouldn't turn to Him in times of need.

13. For good neighbors. People who truly care about my family.

14. For my past. It has given me character, charm and even a few scars.

15. For great food - and for my culinary taste in all kinds of it (just dont tell my hips)

16. For my creative spirit that allows me to make beautiful things

17. For the lessons I have learned that have made me a better person

18. For my "little sister" Chrissy who has made me feel worthy to so much - including my mothers memory

19. For my aunt Mary who has held so much of my mother dear to her still

20. For a job I still like to go to most mornings - a job that gives me freedom to do what I love.

21. For honesty

22. For love

23. For honor

24. For chocolate.

25. For clean drinking water.

26. For the release that writing a blog gives me - its therapy for the soul.

27. For the inspiration you all give me daily.

28. For answers to prayer. They remind you why it is important to pray in the first place.

29. For the comraderie and support that this scary place called the internet allows you to receive.

30. For trust. Without it this world would be a scary place.

31. For my home. It may not always be clean, but it is still beautiful.

32. For good music. It gives me something to get lost in when stress gets overwhelming.

33. For good books. They take me away to another place for a short time.

34. For good movies.

35. For the arts.

36. For the generosity of others. Without them we wouldn't be close to a cure for Cancer; Foundations to help kids, and families in need; food on foodshelves; blood donors, plasma donors; and good people doing good things for others.

37. For YOU!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Secrets and blessings

More than half a lifetime ago something major happened in my life. Something so profound, that while in the midst of it I thought I had super human power, a will of steel, and knee dropping humility.

Something so life changing that I kept a secret.

A secret that got bigger as each day passed. A secret that bore the roots of relationships; destroyed trust, broke hearts, mended fences and blossomed a lifetime of happiness and joy. A secret that I thought only I knew for nearly 7 months. A secret that bred new secrets that others kept, but did not share.

That secret manifested itself into truth 20 years ago.

In March of 1988 two young people did something young people do, and sometimes regret later. I don't know that I can ever say I regret it. Because from it came something so precious that honestly, one cannot doubt Gods plan.

From that act, came a life.

The signs were obvious to any observer. The sickness - 5 months of daily non stop trips to the bathroom. Pale clammy skin, weightloss and exhaustion. Then came oversized clothes, an insatiable appetite and excuses. Stories of why although I hadn't eaten most of the summer, I still gained weight in obvious places.

I was living 1500 miles from home. So the people who knew me best were not seeing the changes in me. By the time summer was over I felt I had devised a plan that would prove that while only 17, I knew what the right answers were.

Then I came home.

I came home to a mother who was hurt that I still could not confess to her my secret. The secret she had known all along. The secret she kept for me, and knowledge of from me. And she had other secrets too. She had told someone. Someone who wanted more than anything to have a child of her own but could not.

I came home to my boyfriend. The young man who I had been with for almost a year. The boyfriend who had come to visit me in that far away place during the summer, but still didn't know my secret. The young man who I would date for two more years even after the secret was revealed, but was too naive himself to notice the changes in me.

I came home to my father. The man who blamed my mother for it all happening. The man who felt defeated and felt a failure. When my mother told him my secret I thought my world would end. But instead he put his arms around me and told me it would be ok. It wasn't however. Because this was the last straw that unravelled their already unravelling marriage. Not that my secret would have made a difference in the grand scheme of things. Most likely made him stick around longer than he had intended, to protect me from more harm.

Everyday my secret grew bigger. When I was forced to leave my school and go to a school for other girls with secrets, my life as a senior at my school ended. My friends didn't know how to deal with my now out in the open secret. They were afraid to talk to me, instead found it easier to talk about me.

It was hard. I was the muse to my boyfriends family. Paraded about as the girl who almost ruined their son's life. The girl who was taken to holiday parties and then made the blunt of jokes about basketball's and overeating. My secret became their joke.

As December rolled around, promises were made, plans were developed, papers were signed, and the waiting began. At the time I had no idea how this secret turned blessing would change my life forever.

The day my baby was born is etched forever in my mind. The following days however are a blur. I didn't see her, hold her, or say good bye to her. I didn't want to. I was afraid I would not be able to follow through with my decision. My boyfriend however spent as much time as he could with her. Letting her know that we both loved her, and that we made this decision to better her life.

The day we left the hospital we both cried. Not because we thought we made the wrong decision, but because we knew that our lives would never be the same. Innocence was never to be reclaimed. We wore the mark of children who bore a child. But we got through it together.

And our baby girl entered a life filled with love, and joy, and pride and more than she could ever wish for. She has been offered experiences most have never been offered. She has travelled places many will never see. She is receiving an education that is beyond my wildest dreams with opportunities that are abounding.

11 years ago the secret that was held by many, known by only a few, and spoken about by no one finally was revealed. Just before her 9th birthday, she asked for and received the knowledge she had been seeking for many of her young years. She found out that one of her closest family members, not much older than she, was the same person who gave her life. Once known only as her cousin, now known as so much more.

Our relationship has blossomed ever since. While she never shared a home with them, she has 6 siblings. My children, Mantha and Jadon, absolutely adore her, as she does them. They have grown up knowing her as their own. Her birth father has 4 children, all siblings to her that she has only met once, but she has created a relationship with their family that will last for her lifetime - when she is ready to explore it further.

For now, she is a successful Sophomore in college - a brilliant student who has a brilliant future ahead of her - planning to study abroad, and making more friends than I have ever known in my own lifetime.

In just over a month, my secret turned blessing will celebrate her 20th birthday.

20 years ago, I never would have imagined this day. 20 years ago I never would have imagined how much pride I would have in her. How much love I would have for her. How much she would change my life.

For 20 years I have thanked God for her life. For 20 years her parents (my mothers sister, and her husband) have thanked me for her life. For 2o years we have been blessed by the child she was, the woman she is becoming, and the future she holds in her hands.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Me Monday

Its time for another installment of therapy confession things I didn't do this past week.

Join me in MckMama's Blog Carnival of revelation to the things that maybe you did, maybe you didn't do. Its great therapy, its fun, and best of all, you find out you are not the only one that didn't do anything!

Last week went fast. I did not feel great the beginning of the week, but I finally did get my pain medication under control and was able to function quite well by Thursday. But it was touch and go for a couple of days...

I did not over sleep on Monday. And I did not take the kids once again, in my pajama's, literally crawling out of bed and getting into the car.

I did not go home at lunch and take a nap either. Because that would mean I did not have my pain meds under control. And I am always in control!

I did not purposefully schedule appointments at 9 am to guarantee making it to work on time.

I did not go to a meeting in another town on Tuesday, driving in pain the entire time when I should have stayed home. I did not then calculate the amount of time I would be at the meeting, discover it would be enough time, and then take a Torodol the second I sat down at my spot. I certainly did not yawn through the entire meeting. I would not do that because as Vice President of the Board, I need to keep my wits about me.

During that same meeting, I did not rush through my turn to share in order to end it early. I did not because it did not mean I would be back in town 2 hours early, and therefore would allow me some time to sneak home and take a nap before my next appointment. I did not do it.

Wednesday I did not tell my assistant to take the afternoon off to go shopping for a new winter coat because I wanted her out of my hair to take an afternoon off, but rather because she had worked extra hours for me a few weeks before while I was home ill.

I did not go home on Wednesday, rinse and repeat Monday and Tuesday. Because again, that would mean that I was not in control of my medication.

Thursday I did not leave my office at all so that I would avoid sleeping for the 4th day in a row. Its just not good for a girls mojo to have to depend on naps in the middle of the day.

Whoa, do you see a theme here? YOWZA's!

I did not get all up in the face of a fellow Board Member of the club when she insisted we lower our ticket price for live entertainment. I did not tell her that until she started to actually participate in, and be a part of the events we have going on at the club, and until she starts doing her part for publicity, her opinion meant nothing to me. If it were not for the fact that she is extremely opinionated hard to work with too busy - there really is not a positive word for what she is, so take your pick... I would have gone easier on her.

I did not try to resign my position on the Board after the conversation, only to be told that the rest of the Board needed me.

I did not then have a biotch session with the entertainment coordinator via email about her afterward. I would not do that - although he would! (bwahahahahahaha)

I did not have a blast on Friday when I went to the cities. I did not enjoy lunch, the company was miserable, and I did not at all like the movie!

And if you believe that, have I got a bridge for you!!

I did not however go to round two of Turkey Bingo. Just couldn't do it. Maybe Jim and Mantha will get lucky tonight. Jadon however was too tired (aka didn't want to eat what I made for dinner, so asked if he could go to bed instead).

I hope you had a great week not doing anything, and here is to a short week of not doing even less!


Because several of you asked me to post the article with Mantha's essay, I will post it today - but will remove the link by Wednesday. Again, its a lot of information to "put out there", but as a proud momma, I will share with you my friends!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bring it on!

I heart Thanksgiving dinner for one reason and one reason only... ok, two reasons. Wait, three reasons...

1. The desserts! I love love love pumpkin pie! I could eat it until I am green. And I make an awesome banana split dessert that I bring to holiday parties galore yo! (and at home in between because it is soooooo tasty)!

2. Scalloped corn. You have not had good scalloped corn until you have had my aunt's scalloped corn. It is made from the sweetest of sweet home grown sweet corn from my uncles farm. I could eat nothing but scalloped corn, and I will get all kinds of it on Thursday!!!

3. Stuffing. There is nothing like stuffing from the bird. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Its like ice cream to my palette. Oh baby, come to mama!

The rest of it - meh. Could do without the bird, the potato's and the green bean casserole. Give me the good stuff and I will always come back for more!

So do you want a really good frozen dessert? I am willing to share. If you send me some tasty pumpkin pie!!!

Banana Split Dessert:

3 Banana's sliced no thicker than 1/2" thick the short way (circles people, circles)
1 Jar Chocolate Fudge (ice cream topping, must be fudge)
1 1/2 gallon block of Neapolitan ice cream
1 16 oz extra creamy Cool Whip
Graham Cracker Crust

Works best in a 10" spring form pan, but can be made in a high sided cake pan.

Make your favorite graham cracker crust (is really good with a pretzel crust too).

Layer the crust in the bottom of the spring form or cake pan. Layer banana's. Open carton of ice cream completely so the whole block is exposed. Slice ice cream in 3" thick slices (2" if you are using a rectangular cake pan). Layer the ice cream over banana's, and press into shape of pan (this part is messy). Layer chocolate fudge over ice cream (if you can freeze the dessert overnight, then slightly warm the fudge so it spreads easier). Layer cool whip over the top of the dessert.

Freeze in very cold freezer for at least 6 hours. The ice cream will start to melt while you are preparing the dessert, so the longer you can re-freeze it, the better for cutting and serving.

I drizzle chocolate syrup over the slices before serving for added pretty (and taste you know...).

Warning, this is addictive, and it is easy to over eat it - just don't hate me if you eat the whole thing!

What is your favorite part of the meal?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Can't a man do that?

Tonight as we lay snuggled up in Jim's recliner, searching for the perfect mother-son movie to watch, Jadon starts to slide down the chair.

Me: Where are you going?

Jadon: Nowhere, I am just stretching. Can't a man do that?

Well, I guess a man can. Especially if he is a 6 year old.

So we started watching Transformers, and he got bored. We have now switched to the all time classic E.T., however it is 9:06 and I am dozy, so I am thinking we will instead record it to the DVR and watch it tomorrow.

I was supposed to go to a friends surprise 40th birthday party tonight, but after dinner I wasn't feeling well at all. Hopefully my friend Jenn had a good time, and is willing to forgive me my lameness, but I really didn't think she needed me spilling my guts (literally) at her part-ay!

Off to watch *some* of E.T., then off to snuggle with my bug in bed. I think we will be a party of three in the king size bed tonight. Hopefully daddy won't mind.

A big contest Smallfry style!

By now you know I am a follower of many (see my sidebar), and a leader of none (not even those in my blog header). Make me a leader for one day, and follow me to one of my favorite places to curl up on a cold day and read over at SmallFry's - ok, well, really, MckMama's.

While neither of us are McD's fans, she always delivers a tasty order complete with a BigMac, MckNugget, a SmallFry, and for those days when you want a breakfast sandwich anytime of day, a MckMuffin!

Today she is serving up a big contest with a prize package that you can read about over here. The most wonderful part of this contest is that even if you have never read her blog, even YOU can enter to win!

So pop on over, check out SmallFry's contest, and receive an adorably blown baby girl kiss!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tired, full and a good samaritan

Today I made a trip to the cities to meet up with my pal Kim. We had a wonderful lunch at Twin Cities Grill - shared stories - had wonderful conversation - felt like we had known each other forever.

Then we took a walk to the theater (which was located on the way other side of the Mall [of America]) and purchased VIP tickets to "Twilight". A rockin good movie that ended with you wanting more.

If you live in the cities and have access to MOA, I highly recommend VIP tickets. For a few dollars more, you are allowed the luxury of reclining, wide seated, comfortable high back rocker seats. Tables and raised arms at every second seat, and WAIT STAFF who take your order, and deliver it with a smile on a cute little compartmentalized tray that fits in the cup holder - right within reach yet without the butter stains on your lap!!!

If you need to use the restroom? Well they are there to guide you on your way. After the film, they ask you if you enjoyed yourself, and get this, actually thank you for coming!!! In the evenings after 6 you are also welcome to purchase adult beverages (rather high priced, but the novelty may be worth it).

The only thing we decided was that they needed foot rests and blankets, but then again, we never asked, so maybe they had'em!

Driving in the dark was mesmerizing. There was a deer laying in one of the lanes of traffic on my way home. I almost hit it - living out on the prairie we don't exactly have street lights on the highway. Luckily I was successfully avoiding dozing off and saw it just before impact. The car behind me was merging over from the other lane, so I was worried they would hit it. I saw them swerve from my rear view, and decided that it was emergent enough of a situation to call 9-1-1. It is a little disconcerting, yet also comforting to know that by the time they answered they had already locked in my signal and knew exactly where I was. Of course I hadn't stopped, so I had to explain in some detail where exactly said carcass was. But they ensured me a squad car was on its way to clear the debris.

All in all it was an awesome trip back up to my old stomping grounds. Kim is a delight - she is exactly as I expected. Charming, funny and full of life. I can't wait until we can do it again!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Outraged and sad all at the same time

This morning in our local paper there was an article titled "Christmas Wars" to remove God start early. Of course curiosity got the better of me so I read on. And now I am outraged.

This is the article our Editor was referring to. The ad is more than offensive, and looking at the website is even worse. Of course by looking at the site, and by even posting about the ad I am giving them the recognition they are looking for, but I feel that it is my duty as a believer in God, that warriors on His behalf combat this ludicrous campaign to the best of our ability!

Can you believe this is on buses in Washington D.C.???

I am just flabbergasted by this... Maybe end of times are drawing near and the battle lines are being drawn. I for one know Whose side I am on!


And now for some strangeness to cool you down a little:

If this doesn't convince you to wash your hands, I don't know what will... Worm

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gone with the wind

Alternately titled: When is it going to stop?

I have said it before - life on the prairie is well, breezy. We down here liken it to a slow moving hurricane sans the water. Today we are enjoying 40 mph winds, with gusts up to 50 mph.

I can handle rain, I can handle snow, I can even handle cold. But I cannot handle wind. Especially when it is combined with any of the above. Today it came with cold. Mind blowing, bone chilling, skin numbing cold. On a non windy day, it may feel more like an average November day. But today it feels like the pits of hell in January. So cold that all day I have not been able to warm up. So cold that my cuticles are splitting when I type because my hands are so dry.

The kind of cold that makes me think of restaurants that serve really hot food, rather than restaurants where I like the kind of food that is mostly cold.

The kind of cold that makes me wish I liked turtle necks and wool pants. The kind of cold that makes me think that it WAS God's plan to make me fat so I didn't freeze even more!

And its only just begun (do you hear that diddy playing in the back of your mind? I do - now I have to think of another song or I will never sleep because I only remember the chorus...).


A friend of our is in Canada hunting for a week. He asked us to dog (or in Axel's case moose) sit for him. For the next 6 days we will be a household with two kids, two cats and two dogs (or one short leg and one moose). Can you say "Calgon take me away?"

At night and when we are gone, Daschel - our one year old Corgi - is in a pen - a gated off hallway that is approximately 6' x 8'. Tonight he has been in his pen a little more than usual because he felt the need to make his territory known if you catch my drift. Axel - our friends ten year old black lab - is now also penned off by our back door. They are on two different levels of the house - but they are acting like they are right next to each other - being all territorial. We let them play together for a little while, but Dash is literally a third of Axel's size. At one time Dash got cornered behind Axel who was very excited to see the kids - tail a waggin and all. Poor Dash took a snout lashing over and over and over. Poor little guy. He tries so hard to be the bigger dog, but sadly, there aren't too many his junior!

So pray my friends that the boys will settle down so mama can get some sleep!