March 31, 2006

Art of the Flirt

Yesterday, the family and the Cuz went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Dinner was good. And, my son learned the art of the flirt. All you guys know this art well. Pretty waitress + sweet guy = free stuff. For his first dinner-flirt, the Boy did well. He scored a cowboy hat and a cookie! Isn't he cute? The Cuz has a goofy look on his face, but he's cute too. Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, this whole week while the Cuz has been here, the Boy has been plastered to his lap!



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March 30, 2006

Is that so?

Rep. Cynthia McKinney punches a cop using her cell-phone as a weapon and it is because - White Cops harass her cause she changed her hair style. That's a good one.

I wish I was as assinine as Cynthia McKinney so I could pull the race card for every time I breached security at a heavily guarded Federal Building. "Damn You! *Shakes fist in air* I'm asian, you are targeting me! Oh, I was supposed to stop at your metal detector or show you my credentials? Why didn't you just say so?"

Let it be known. Cynthia McKinney is an asshat! Oh, and an unintelligent one to boot!

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Choco Kindom

Took the Boy to the Chocolate Kingdom the other day. We picked out Easter Candy, sampled chocolate yummies and took this really cute picture. This picture was taken on my phone, so it is a little blurry.

Can you pick the sweetest treat of all out of this picture? I can.


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March 29, 2006


I've exposed my blog to a friend. Now, I usually remain fairly anonymous here in blog land, but I showed my face, so to speak, to a friend. None of my friends here at home, nor my family, know about the blog. Yikes!

Should be interesting to see what, if anything, she comments about! Yikes!

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March 24, 2006

Can We Get A Single Girl For This Looker?

Here is the Cuz who I discussed yesterday. This picture is nice, shows off his big wrench! He is an MM on the Kittyhawk in the Navy, permanently forward deployed (for another year) in Yokosuka, Japan.


Here he is snowboarding!


Picking him up at the airport tomorrow! We are all very excited to see him! Tell, me, is he not just a cutie-pie?

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March 22, 2006

Home Again!

Remember a while back I told ya'll that my mom is convinced I'm selfish? Well, I was thinking about that this past weekend.

On Saturday, my baby cousin is returning from a two-year stint in Japan with the Navy. He has been away and has missed the Boy growing into such a little pistol and he is anxious to come home.

When I say "home", I should elaborate. Cuz was born into a Navy family and so has lived many different places. His mom and dad live in Virginia Beach and we, that is, the rest of the family, live here in PA.

Cuz calls my house - "home". The story isn't that complicated, Cuz got into trouble as a teenager, as teenagers are wont to do, while experimenting with a little weed and a lot of alcohol. This experimentation caused him to get sent to a school for wayward boys. In addition, it caused his father to decidedly overreact and kick his 15 year old butt out of the house.

In the year that followed, Cuz lived with friends of the less desireable sort and ended up dropping out of high school. After seeing me at Christmas, wherein I told him if he ever needed anything at all, just call, he called.

Cuz felt like he was drifting away. At 16 he hadn't a home or a loving dad. At 16 he was directionless and it scared him. I was in Virginia by the following day. My husband and I moved all of his things into our spare room. His mom signed over guardianship so that I could make legal decisions for him and he became, for lack of a better term, my foster kid.

Cuz was given three very specific rules: 1) he had to have a job; 2) he had to do his own laundry; and 3) he had to contribute a very insignificant sum of money for "rent" to teach him responsibility.

Beyond these three rules, I felt he was nearly an adult and was free to do as he otherwise wished.

Cuz was a dream. He simply was longing for structure, for any rule at all and for love. He and my husband bonded and became fast friends. We ate dinner together most nights. He got a job at Ikea and was employee of the month shortly thereafter. And we told him everyday that we loved him.

When he turned 17 I decided that he need to learn to drive. Once we mastered driving - something his dad had refused to teach him - we went to an auto auction and he bought himself a car. Funny thing was, he was afraid to drive it and so continued taking the bus to and from work. When I noticed he was starting to get bored, I began talking to him about what his plans were. We decided together that he would take his GED and that he would maybe go to college. So, he began studying for the GED. By 18 he had taken and passed the GED.

He then decided he was going to join the military. I'm convinced that his joining the navy had more to do with seeking love and respect from his father than anything else, but it was a decision I was proud he was making. He convinced the navy to allow him to join on a GED. He gave his car to his momma and he has been gone since shortly before he turned 19.

During the time he lived with us, I conceived and the Boy was born. Cuz adored the Boy. We send him videos, cards and pictures so that he can see how big the Boy has gotten. We show the Boy pictures so he never forgets Cuz. They share telephone calls and gifts.

All of this is important since he is coming home on leave this weekend. My son has already explained that he has big hugs saved up for Cuz. He is coming home to us because we gave him the love and support he needed so much.

I'm proud of what he has become. He is a good man. He has forgiven his father, even when his father hasn't asked. He will be visiting to see his mom and say hello to his dad while he is here on leave. But his heart seems to remain with us here in PA.

So, this weekend, when others are having a beer and watching tv, I will be waiting at the airport for my foster kid to come home so I can wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I missed him and love him and bask in the joy that he has become a fine young man who loves his country and the Boy more than anything else!

He once asked me how he could repay us for giving him a home when he needed it. My response has always been to be there for his family, to one day love his wife and children well and to never forget that we love him. Seeing him grow from a troubled youth to a fine young man is payment enough.

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March 21, 2006

What's Your Warning Label?

Oddybobo may explode without warning


h/t Ogre

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Where is spring!

I'm cold. I'm tired of being cold. It is dreary out and I want sunshine.

That is all.

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March 15, 2006

Pictures Please!

Harvey tagged me with this intriguing meme. The directions are as follows:

1. Choose a search engine (e.g. Google), click "Images".
2. Pick 5 random blogfriends.
3. Think of a word or phrase that you feel describes each friend.
4. Do an image search of that word or phrase.
5. Pick an image that makes you say, "Aha! That's it!"

I'm stealing Harvey's idea, so if I chose you as a random blogfriend, you are hereby tagged! So, here goes:

Ogre: On the outside he's an Ogre with a bad disposition. On the inside he likes pretty birds and he's kinda fruity! Don't let him fool you, he's a sweet ogre afterall:


Sarah: Her poetry is bad. Really, really bad. But I love it!


Richmond: Because she and I have the same certifiable sense of humor!


Laughing Wolf: Because I am convinced that a wolf laughs thusly:



Because when she isn't chasing toddlers, doing Yoga and cleaning the Casa de Dust, I imagine she rests in this fashion!


There you have it. The pictures that my minds-eye sees when thinking of these random blogbuddies!

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March 13, 2006

Hoppy Birdday To Me!

That's right folks! It's my birthday! Yippee!

I wish for rest . . .

That is all.

Happy Birthday to me!

Oh, yeah, I'm 30! Hooray for the thirties!

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March 10, 2006

The Day You Were Born

I never wanted children. I realize that is a blanket statement but I never did. I loved children, but didn't see myself as being a very good mother, so I had decided I was not going to have children. My husband and I talked about it and kept dismissing it. But fate had something planned for me.

In 2002 I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. (I say first because now I want more!) After an uneventful 8 months, I was looking forward to the birth of my baby. Then, I started to have problems with my blood pressure, abnormal weight gain and dizziness. On March 6, 2003 my doctor was set to induce me, but decided to wait a few more days. Three years ago today, The Boy could wait no longer.

Labor wasn't typical and I will spare all of you the details of my "natural" childbirth experience and the trauma that led to the baby's stay in the NICU.

The Boy was going to be named Samuel. I always liked the name and so we had decided that should we have a boy, his name would be Samuel. In the delivery room, the nurses handed my Better Half our son and they bonded. My Better Half announced to those of us still in the delivery room that his name would not be Samuel. My husband chose his name right there as they gazed into each other's eyes and made a father-son connection.

Three years ago today, my life changed. Three years ago today, a piece missing from my soul was returned. Three years ago today, a little ray of sunshine - no, wait, a lightening bolt of energy entered my world. Since that day, our little trio has been blessed.

There is not a day that goes by that my son does not make me smile multiple times. I wake early so that I can stare at his peaceful face. When he beats me to the early morning, I awake with him gazing at me and smiling. I get a "good morning mommy, it's a beautiful day!" And he is right. Everyday with him is a beautiful day!

So, I am going to leave work early today to take my son to dinner and bowling. Just us. A little thank you to him for blessing me and making me whole just three years ago today!

Oh, and I'm adding the picture below so that you all can see a little of what makes me smile everyday! Happy Birthday Buddy! I love you more than I can express in words!


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March 09, 2006

A New Arrival Swims In!

Phin's baby boy has made his entrance into this world! Congratulations. God's precious miracle just graced you with his presence!

And! He is gorgeous. Here is a picture.

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March 08, 2006


Me? A benevolent leader? HMMMM.

h/t VW

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March 07, 2006

I think it was over cookies . . .

It was April 1996.

I was working as a legal secretary in a law office which consisted of two male attorneys. We'll call them "Tom" and "Dan".

Tom was a by the book, middle-aged, Catholic man who was kind and fatherly and smart. He had two striking boys still in elementary school. Tom would drive me home after work when it would get dark early so that I didn't have to walk through my dicey neighborhood alone.

Dan was an eccentric, old-line, Philadelphia Quaker who left the office everday at 2:30 so he could pick his three daughters up from elementary school. He was intelligent, quirky and fun.

All five kids attended the same Quaker school in Philadelphia.

These two men treated me a little as friend and a little as family for the four years I was in their employ. I grew quite fond of them and of their families, especially their kids.

Dan's three daughters would come into the office when they had a day off and clean. They would clean the office from top to bottom, entertaining me for the day. These girls were striking in their beauty. The oldest and youngest had soft features and dark hair and freckles. The middle child - the wild child, had wispy blonde hair. All three were fond of my chocolate chip cookies.

It was over a batch of chocolate chip cookies that we bonded. One sunny afternoon, the girls were in to clean. I knew they were coming and so I baked a batch of my chewy-gooey chocolate chip cookies. The girls entertained me and ate cookies and very little cleaning got done that day. When it was time to leave I received sweet thanks and three very heartfelt hugs. We quickly became buddies.

Over the last 10 years, I have had the pleasure of watching these three grow. I got to read letters from camp, attend plays, parties, and family cookouts. I got to sit in their kitchen and share lemon and sugar crepes or make sushi. I learned the proper way of diving off their diving board and where the best bread shop was in Chestnut Hill. I watched Some Like It Hot in their living room on an old film reel and projector. I saw Gladiator in the theatre with the oldest and we both jumped out of our seats when the tigers came after Russell Crowe. I learned how to harvest honey, watched as a wooden canoe was built from start to finish and was the recipient of candles and dough-people for every holiday.

I was witness to the prank started by their dad one day that grew into a way of life. Dan decided he would annoy his children by becoming a vegetarian. It did annoy the girls - at first. Then, one by one, each kid became a veggie - unless they caught and killed it themselves, a story for another day.

Oh and the driving lessons!

Now, while I have moved far away and two of them are attending college and making memories, I get to connect with them again. I mentioned the other day that the oldest of the three girls is on an Antarctic expedition. And now she's dodging seals and drilling cores! My how they grow!

If you haven't already, take a peak at what this remarkable young lady is up to these days! Pardon me while I go read up on icebergs!

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Another fine friend

I had dinner last night with the beautiful Trouble. She was here in da 'Burgh on business.

Let me tell you! There is nothing nicer than meeting a fine blogger on a chilly day for some good food and wine!

We had a very good time chatting over dinner and teasing a trio of college boys, and while we needed to cut it a bit short - we have a standing appointment for dinner the next time she is in town.

I'm stepping out of my shy little wall-flower box these days and meeting new people and it is really fun!

Well, now back to the grind that is my daily life . . . .

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March 06, 2006

Pretty Please???

If you haven't already, please sign my map.


and Thank you!

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Meme'd By A Tiger?

I must not be entertaining enough to Blue Tige as he has created, yes, I said created, a meme which he expects me to complete!

Well, the directions were simple enough, and I'll do as asked, however, Mr. Tige didn't even answer his own questions so he'll be the first I tag! After that Contagion cause I haven't done enough to annoy him today and Caltechgirl cause no one ever meme's her! There, I have tagged my three, now on to my answers. . .

1) Two favorite colors. Purple and Green

2) Two least favorite colors. Yellow and Pink

3) Favorite fast food restaurant. Arby's (and Taco Bell)

4) Favorite day of the week. Saturday

5) Least favorite day of the week. Any day but Saturday and Sunday

6) Best thing about your significant other. His cooking

7) Least favorite thing about your significant other. He chews snuff

8) Your significant others favorite thing about you (without asking them). Everything, I'm perfect *wink, wink*

9) Your significant others least favorite thing about you (again, without asking them). That I always have to be right?

10) Black or white? Blue

11) Red or blue? red

12) Day or night? Night

13) Favorite part of your body. My hair

14) Least favorite part about your body. My legs

15) Do you like walking in the rain at times? Yes, as long as it's a summer rain

16) Do you have a tattoo? Not telling . . .

17) “Short and sweet” or “long and hard”. I only like my donuts short and sweet. . .

18) Favorite kind of car. I like trucks

19) Favorite kind of ice cream. Mint Chocolate Chip or Homemade Banana

20) Trix or Lucky Charms. Lucky Charms but my son would call them "Chucky Larms," as in "stop eating my Chucky Larms Momma!"

Now, that I have completed this pointless exercise . . . what's next?

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March 03, 2006

Say . . . Do You Know The Way To Antarctica?

I have a beautiful young friend who is just starting out on a journey that most of us would never undertake, much less desire to undertake. She has started a blog to document her travels. Go visit if you are interested!

I have watched my young friend grow into a beautiful and intelligent woman. She is taking part in a research expedition to Antarctica (where, incidentally, they no longer allow sled-dogs).

Let me tell you about Carrie! When she was still in highschool, she spent an entire year (a whole year, in Pennsylvania no less!) sleeping in a sleeping bag, in a hammock, in her yard - wind, rain, snow, sleet, sun etc. . . didn't deter her! To say the boys were impressed is an understatement!

When, I think, a junior in High School, she undertook a trip to Alaska-Alone! Not just to any part of Alaska but to the remote reaches of Eagle Alaska and beyond. She worked on a sled-dog team that trapped wolves as its main business. (Sorry Laughing Wolf, but it is a business in the sprawl of the great yonder). She lived in a tent!

This girl is kick-ass. Let me tell you. During her off season from college she works as a trail clearer in New England. She walks trails with Ax in hand and clears them and keeps them free of debris and managable. She's like a mini-lumberjack.

And don't go thinking she is all crunchy granola either. She isn't. She once found a freshly dead skunk in the woods, thought it was pretty so she brought it back to her dorm to tan it! Another time, she and her woods-friends found a recently dead moose which they butchered up and then proceeded to eat. Not bad eating I'm told.

Underneath all of that though, she is a beautiful young lady. I'll be visiting her blog everyday to hear about her travels. I encourage you to stop by now and then as well! Oh, and she is good people, she gobbles up my chocolate chip cookies like there is no tomorrow!

P.S. I'm doing the happy dance because it is almost the WEEKEND!!

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March 02, 2006

Do You Have That Sick Feeling?

Science has discovered a new illness and treatment is being delivered daily. If you have any of these symptoms, call 1-800-ADLTAGN immediately! Therapists are standing by to help you.

"do you suffer from the - I forgots?"

"do you refer to the toilet as the potty?"

"do you refer to your significant other as 'mommy/daddy' when discussing business with clients?"

"do you have an urge for chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast?"

"do you sit on your couch holding a stuffed bear?"

"Can you spot someone who is about to puke before even they know it?"

"do you randomly respond to questions with 'because mommy/daddy said so!"

"do you ask random strangers questions in a sing-songy voice?"

"do you see a stain on your clothing and recognize it as the pudding, icecream, ketchup or cheese your child had for dinner?"

"do you right toys you accidentally knock over?"

"do you find it perfectly acceptable to discuss bodily fluids, functions and or noises at a dinner table?"

"do you instinctively know a baby, which isn't yours, is crying or fussing without actually hearing it?"

"do you sing songs from cartoons or movies while driving to work?"

"does it take you until 4pm to realize you have been sporting a Dora bandaid on your forehead for an imaginary boo-boo?"

"did you just say boo-boo?"

If so, you are suffering from TODDLERITIS. Call the number at the bottom of this screen and a kind adult will talk to you in kind adult words about the adult world. The therapy is just a phone call away . . .

1-800-ADLTAGN That's 1-800-ADLTAGN

Therapists are standing by!

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March 01, 2006

Excuse The Rant

Ok, so, I have been in a perpetual bad mood since about Tuesday of last week. Family issues.

You all know my sister is dealing with the after affects of a health crisis (she seems to be fine, by the way, thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts). As a result, she has missed a lot of work. Coupled with the fact that she has bills from her marriage which remain unpaid and still needs to live, she is in over her head.

She recently kicked out the good for nothing boyfriend who took with him his television set. So, my mom, knowing full well that sister has a list of bills so long it rivals the national deficit, buys her a new tv. Not any tv, mind you, but a $900 HDTV.

This irks me like no one can imagine. It is always the same song and dance. Little Sister takes advantage of everyone's generosity and then profits immensely. The parental units see she is lacking in something and rush out to buy it for her. Whenever I question it, I am told I am "acting like a spoiled three year old brat" or that I am "selfish and only care about material things."

This all stems from the fact that my sister has taken advantage of my parents for a lifetime. She was living with them, rent free, but they thought it would benefit her to have a home of her own for her custody fight with the soon-to-be-ex. So, what do they do? They buy a farmette for her. Oh sure, she is suppossed to be renting it, but I have yet to hear that she has paid a rent payment.

See where this is going? The parental units complain - nearly nonstop - that little sister is immature, incapable of handling bills, or that she just doesn't pay her bills period, including those she owes them. They harp about her mismanagement of money all the time. Yet, they bail her out of every bind, they give her every material thing she could ask for and they even support all her bad habits.

Now, lest you too, my dear readers, should think I am sounding like a jealous woman, let me tell you how my folks treat me. When I was buying my first home, my mom lent me money for the down payment. Every month before my payment was due her (because unlike little sister, I actually pay my folks back) she would call to remind me that I owed her $200 that month- in case I forgot. When I was in transition and needed a place to stay, she graciously opened her home to my family. The caveat? I had to pay for garbage removal, half the water bill, the dsl, etc . . . you get the picture. When I owed nearly $5,000 last year on my taxes because of a mistake at my husband's employer, I asked if I could borrow $5,000 from mom (cause she always has money) her response? No. I don't have it. Yet, she rushed out and bought a car for my sister in May right after she left the husband, and the farmette shortly there after.

I borrowed the money against my home, and it has since been paid off. However, when I am in need, it is always a big production. I'm told that I am well off, have a good job, suck it up. When little sister wants something, never mind the need, she simply asks and receives.

Look, I don't care about the tv. I really don't. My folks could buy my sister five tvs and I wouldn't care. What I care about is that she owes so much money to so many people. She hasn't been working steady and she can't make ends meet. To top it off, she used my name for a credit card, and she isn't paying the bill. That goes against my credit! That $900 spent on the tv would be better spent elsewhere.

I don't think I would care about the frivolous spending on the part of my folks except for the fact that they remind me daily that little sister has no money and that "I" should really help her out! Me! Selfish Oddy!

Two weeks ago, when my sister had surgery, I went to the grocery store and bought her food for a week. Now, I'm not rich, so my family went without for the week, so I could provide for her and my nephew. When she started her divorce proceedings, I borrowed against my house so she could hire an attorney. When her son needed new clothes because he had suddenly grown out of all he had, I bought his new clothes. I don't mind giving. I don't. My family has gone without extra so I could help her out. But my folks think I'm the selfish one.

Am I being totally out of line here? Am I mad over nothing? Wait before you answer that, here is another doozy.

Both my nephew and son have birthdays next week. My nephew will be four. My son will be three. My mother called to inform me that she had spent a lot of money on gifts for my nephew and that she wanted me to know because she did not buy my son anything. NOTHING!!! She said she will deposit money into his bank account.

While that is all good and fun, my son is three. When grandma walks into my nephew's birthday party with an armload of gifts, he will not understand. (Oh, and she said she isn't coming to my son's party anyway). He will think to himself, "she didn't get me anything." Trust me! I know my son. He is a smart cookie. I was wrapping gifts for my nephew this weekend and when my son asked who they were for, I replied for the nephew. My son, sweet as he is, began to sob. When asked why he was crying his reply was ____ gets everything. You never buy me anything. While an exaggeration, I could see his point. I then showed him all the gifts mommy had bought for him (thank goodness I'd wrapped them). He was happy. He will not be happy when he sees all the stuff grandma got for the nephew and when he realizes she didn't even get him a tiny gift.

Look, material things don't matter to me. My son's happiness, emotional well-being and all around level of comfort do matter to me. When I take him to the store and buy him a small trinket his first question? "Is this for me or for (the nephew)." A three year old shouldn't have to question those things.

Now, I'll ask again . . . am I overreacting? Should I mind my own business or continue to spew my opinion? Did I mention, no one in my family is talking to me because I'm "a selfish bitch who only cares about material things?"

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