May 18, 2009


My cat died today . . . while I was in NYC. We don't know why or how. He was fine and now he is dead. Of course, we don't know how old he was.

This cat was the world's greatest cat. hands down. It helped that he thought he was a dog, refused to use a litter box and would meow at the door to be allowed out to do his business.

This cat - and let me tell you - I HATE CATS - except for this one. I am really very allergic to cats. The husband worked late nights in a restaurant. Christmas week 2003, he was taking trash out of the kitchen and saw a cat that looked as if he had been starving - he clearly wasn't a very good tom cat. He gave him some scraps and went back to work. Around 1 a.m. he took the last trash out and the cat was still there. It had stayed and waited for him, when it saw him, it got excited and followed the husband back into the kitchen.

The husband, seeing he was starving, and knowing the cold would likely kill the cat, stuck him in a banana box and brought him home. My first reaction was - the cat will live outside, but since it is cold, he can be in the garage.

We didn't have food for the cat, so we fed him left over beef stew. When he stuck around the next day, we gave him more. We named him Stew because it fit.

Stew slept in the garage for about a week, whereafter he migrated to the basement. We'd let him out to do his business and he'd disappear for a long time. Each time, he'd come back matted, limping, bloody. That damn cat not only could not fend for himself in the wild, but he got routinely trounced by the neighbor's female cat.

The time for ball-removal had come. I scheduled an appointment to take Stewie to the vet. The night before the appointment, he disappeared. The morning of his appointment, just before I canceled it, I heard mewing at the door. He had drug himself home after what appeared to have been a bloody battle. His eye had been ripped open and all the vitreous fluid was leaking out. We took him to the vet. He got antibiotics, got neutered, and they put a patch over his eye. I was told to schedule another appointment so that they could remove the eye.

I didn't. His eye healed and was clouded over. He was blind in that eye. However, over the years, it appears it had cleared in spots - I suspect he was able to see light changes and shadow.

Anyway, he never roamed again. He stuck to our yard with a resolve seldom seen in cats. He waited for me to come home. He'd purr like a freight train when I'd bend down and scritch his ears.

Soon, he was living in the house and playing with the dogs. We were a big furry family. He was my cat. Seriously, I am not sure how it happened, but he was mine. He somehow knew I was allergic and didn't really rub against me or nuzzle my face. But every night, he'd climb into my chair with me and sleep. Or, he'd sit on my feet and sleep. Wonderful friend, that cat.

But the thing I loved the most, what really made it seem as if he'd chosen us to be his family was the Boy.

The Boy was barely a year when Stewcat entered our lives. He'd crawl to the cat and bite him. He'd drag the cat around the house by its leg or a tail. That cat would close his eyes, and make a face like he was smiling. he'd go completely limp and let the Boy do whatever he wanted to him. then, he'd stand up, nuzzle the boy and walk away. When the Boy was older and walking, he'd drag the cat behind him. Again, it was as if the cat would go limp and enjoy the ride. You could almost hear him thinking, "do what you want to me, but just love me." THE PURRFECT cat. He really was a special kitty.

In the mornings, he'd wake me up with a small scritch on the door to my room. I'd let him in and he'd watch me go through my morning routine. He'd sit on my bed or under my dresser while I dressed and then he'd sit on my shoes before I'd make it out the door. As if he was aware that I needed silent company in the morning. Late at night, when I worked while everyone else slept, he'd sit on a chair in the dining room right next to me and watch me work.

He was a fun kitty. The Boy once had chicken nuggets for dinner and left one on the table. The cat sat on a chair under the table and reached up with a paw and tapped and felt around on top of the table until he found that nugget. He stole it and ate it happily.

A bowl of cereal or a container of yogurt would cause him to fly instantly to your side. He was always allowed to lick the yogurt container.

He slept with the evil dog. They were best buds, playing together, sleeping together. Running through the yard together. He thought he was a dog.

He'd follow as the Boy would run through the yard, or ride his bike or quad. he'd keep a close watch on everything going on.

I can't believe he's dead and I am here. Everyone said one minute he was fine, rolling in the yard and the next he was dead. I tend to think he may have gotten into some poison.

I will miss my cat. My buddy, who would roar like a freight train and growl like a dog, at the dogs, and talk to me when it was late - as if he was admonishing me to go to bed.

If I believed in reincarnation, I'd think he was a part of my family long ago. It was as if he was a perfect fit. Goodbye my furry friend. I never thought I'd fall in love with a cat but I did.

As if it could not get worse - I asked the Boy to take care of my cat for me while I was gone. He's been a wreck since I have been gone - no one has told him about the cat. I don't want him to think it is his fault. I'll tell him when I am home. When I can be there. He loved that cat as much as me.



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April 04, 2009

Too Cool For School!

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Seriously! Too Cool no?

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March 10, 2009

Rock Star Treatment

Today - March 10, at exactly 6:50 a.m. six years ago, my baby was born. Wow! Six years! I cannot believe my handsome little man is six. He is nearly done with kindergarten, and he is great at Tae Kwon Do.

As you all know, he is my first thought in the morning and one of my last at night. He makes me laugh like no other. He loves me "to infinity and beyond plus 2000" and I love him much more than that.

He has an imagination that never ceases to amaze me. He is the one who makes me smile everyday - even on my hardest days.

Happy Birthday my little handsome man! I hope it is wonderful and that six is an year you remember well!

This was my baby when he was about 3 or 4 months old:

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This is my baby now at his Rock Star birthday party on Saturday. You should have seen them "Rock Out!"

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Here he is with some of his Rock Star Posse:

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Here he is blowing out the candles on his Rock Star Birthday Cake:

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And here he is just being adorable!

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Happy Birthday Little Man - May you get the Rock Star Treatment!

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September 23, 2008

Getting it Right

There is very little in my life that I do and do right. Challenges, relationships, jobs, projects - I manage to get most of them wrong. So, when I get something right, I want to shout it from the rooftops. Say it loud, say it proud. And I am proud of this - the only thing I've ever got completely right. :) (p.s. I love you guys for being concerned - but this was meant to highlight what I've gotten right! :p - calm down, I'm cool.)

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March 10, 2008

Birthday Boy

Today, at exactly 6:50 a.m. five years ago, my baby was born. Wow! Five years! I cannot believe my handsome little man is five. He starts kindergarten in the fall.

He is my first thought in the morning and one of my last at night. He makes me laugh like no other. He loves me "to infinity and beyond plus 2" and I love him much more than that. He can lift my spirits when they are lowest - for example, whilst taking a shower at a hotel Saturday, he barged into the bathroom and announced "Momma! You look fabulous!" Of course, I was behind a wretched peach shower curtain and he didn't even see me, which is what I replied. He said, his voice trailing as he was leaving the bathroom - "well, I know you look fabulous, and when you come out of the shower you can see in the mirror!" Sweet boy. Full of lies, but terribly sweet!

Happy Birthday my little handsome man! I hope it is wonderful and that five is an year you remember well! The below picture was taken with my cell phone on Saturday right before the out of town wedding we were attending.


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October 17, 2007


I am fixin to hit 100,000 visits to my simple blog - will it be you? I'll have to devise a gifty for the one that makes the hit! If it is you, shoot me the screen shot!

Oh, and I will leave you with this - my husband in his halloween costume - he was a "Canadian Chick-Magnet" - complete with hockey jersey and mullet wig. However, we believe it malfunctioned as it attracted a hippy (my mom).

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Oh, she is even wearing heels!

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October 01, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to a wedding . . .

So, if you read the last post, you know that my dad was in a pretty scary motorcycle accident on Saturday. He is pretty banged up and will be mending for many weeks to come. On the whole it could have been much worse. Had he been speeding, or even going more than the 30 mph he was going, he may not have been here today.

As it is he had a traumatic head injury (though not a serious one), lost a lot of blood, broke his collarbone and possibly his hip and also is littered with road rash and other bruises.

He was less than 1/2 mile from home.

So, I'm going to give you lessons from this accident, bear with me:

1. Please wear a helmet. As a first responder, I can tell you that we call motorcycles "donorcycles" and for obvious reasons we call helmets "brain buckets." I love bikes, I'm not campaigning here.

2. Be aware of your surroundings. Motorcycles are everywhere and you cannot always see them clearly. Be sure you are aware if one is near you.

3. Don't joke about not wanting to go to a wedding (which was what my dad had done . . . he got out of it, that is for sure.)

4. When riding in a helicopter to a trauma center - they won't let you look out the window, so don't ask repeatedly! (smile).

I cannot tell you how friendly and efficient they were at the trauma center. Aside from the fact that no one cleaned up my bloodied father, but rather sent him home covered with dirt and caked on blood - they were great.

The only problem was: my mom, or rather, her poor language skills. She doesn't speak English very well. Consequently, she asks many questions. Add to that the fact she was freaking out cause it was my dad, oh, and let's throw in the fact that my sister was two cars back when it happened and was still freaking out at the hospital. Essentially? pandemonium. As it is, Healthcare workers tend to get a little annoyed with the number of questions she asks.

So, my mom asks me questions to ask the staff, and they try to answer her questions while I try to ask it in plain English. It was a cluster. I think they sorta rushed us out of the hospital early so as not to have to deal with further questions. They didn't even have him stay overnight, though he probably should have. All in all, it was an interesting Saturday.

My observations of the hospital - besides their friendliness and efficiency? The surgeon was a bit flighty, sorta Izzy on Grey's Anatomy. The nurse was a cute 23 year old who was thinking of getting a bike - my dad told her that her face was too pretty to mess up on a bike. The PA was a pain junkie . . .

Anyway, they say all's well that ends well. He is alive. That counts for a lot.

Thanks for the good wishes and prayers they are very much appreciated.

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September 10, 2007


Well, the Boy has entered Preschool. I put off preschool until this year (he is 4) because I wanted him to have time that wasn't structured. Time to get some of that Boy energy out. Since I am not home with him, I wanted him to at least not think I was shipping him off to an institution while I go to work each day.

(I realize school isn't that bad, it is all me). Anyway, the Boy starts "officially" tomorrow. Preschool! Last Tuesday was the orientation day - or as I like to call it - bring your daddy to school day.

The Hubby, who is recovering from a recent surgery, was home and as such it was his duty to take the boy to preschool orientation. As typical of preschool, they sang, ate snacks, colored and they played.

In particular, they played a game. All of the kids got into a circle on the floor (my son sat next to Teacher - important for later) and they had to say their name and then say something they liked. Then they went back around and said their name and something they did not like. As this was only day one of orientation, their were only 6 kids in the class so they went around the circle several times. Well, my Boy can be shy on occasion and he didn't want to talk at first. So after they went around a couple times he was into the premise of the game.

Well, they got to the Boy at one point and it was time to say what you don't like. The Teacher, apparently was patting him on the top of his head and said "so, Boy, what don't you like?" and my sweet and well-mannered child replied:

"I don't like things on my head!"

Of course the teacher missed the point entirely and said "Oh? You mean like hats?" to which the Boy replied:

"If you say so."

My Hubby could not contain his glee when retelling this story, first because Teacher was clueless as to the actual meaning and second because the Boy actually said it out loud. Oh, but the absolute best part is that everyone else in the room got it - including the 6-four year olds!

What exactly are the qualifications for being a preschool teacher? I'm just saying!

Wish us luck - it is going to be an insightful ride!

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July 02, 2007

A Blur - Or Weekend Diary

Yet again, this weekend was a blur.

On Friday evening, I had plans to attend a concert with the Girls. Those plans fell through so rather than party with the girls, we took the Boy miniature golfing! He nearly hit a hole in one on the very first hole! Now, if we could just get him to hold the club like a club and not like a hockey stick! I finished the evening off talking to two wonderful friends!

On Saturday it was up bright and early to grocery shop, run errands, catch some sun etc. I finished a book that I'd been reading, I set up a tent for the Boy and by evening's end we were chillaxing in front of a fire and roasting marshmallows. I had a s'more or two but the Boy prefers just marshmallows.

The Husband and the Boy camped in the tent all weekend long, and intend to continue all week. The Boy is thrilled by the adventure. I am just pleased to have a King sized bed all to myself for several days in a row!!

Yesterday we finished securing munitions for the big USA Birthday party. Which brings the grand total to somewhere around $2500.00 in things that go boom - really go boom - for we limit our haul to 500 gram repeaters, large mortars, and tubes and other arials - we don't even count in that total the wimpy fountains and small firecrackers the kids like to see go off. This is split between five families of course, but will rival any local display I am sure. Let's just pray that we are not fined this year! In years past, the Po-Po has overlooked our display. In fact, one year, the state police was directing traffic while our display was going on, and last year the local cop was watching from my mom's patio. So, assuming they don't have orders to fine us this year, we should be ok. We finished the evening with some small scale fireworks to the Boy's sheer delight.

So, in all, it was a whirlwind weekend per usual. Interspersed with minor drama, a black and blue chin on the Boy and a skinned elbow, and a couple wonderful phone calls from wonderful friends. I'd call it a winning weekend. Back to the grind today!

Hope you had a fine weekend gentle blogfriends!

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June 29, 2007


My Boy is a sweet and fun child. He enjoys just about everything he does and we enjoy him for it. Last weekend, after the stinglebee - which has now become stunglebee cause it sounds more like bumblebee - he was planting flowers in our front flowerbed with my mom. Here he is:

First select the spot and dig a hole and look at mom with dirt covered face:

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Next, select a nice looking petunia to fill the hole:

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Last, place flower in hole - Voila!

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Isn't he cute?

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June 19, 2007

A Boy and His Dad

The Boy and His Dad went fishing this morning. I got the pictures to prove it!



Today, Daddy caught the bigger fish. That is not always the case!

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June 04, 2007

Stupid People Shouldn't Breed

Saturday, I was visited by my paternal aunt and her two grandsons. She has taken custody of them because her son - my eldest cousin - and his child-bride are complete wastes of space.

These children have been abused phsyically and mentally and they have no chance in the real world.

I am appalled at some of what I learned this weekend, but I will spare you the details and instead focus on something very touching.

I have told you that my son - The Boy - has a great deal of sensitivity for one so young. If you are mad, glad, sad, angry or depressed, he knows it and he acts accordingly. He is a sweet, sweet baby.

Saturday while the two relatives were wreaking havoc, they began to chase each other with a bow and arrow set the Boy has. Now, it is a toy but it still hurts to get hit by an arrow. The boys were being mean to each other and trying to hurt each other. My Boy started screaming from upstairs "Stop it! Stop it!" " Please don't!" In a fit of sobs and with tear stained cheek, he came flying down the steps and into my arms. Now, they were not trying to hurt him, they were not chasing him or even taunting him, but he was upset because they were trying to hurt eachother.

The Boy believes (and rightly so) that families are for loving not hurting. He was so overwhelmed that they would set out to hurt one another that he was moved to tears. He couldn't understand and I didn't have the words to explain it to him, except to say they were playing but could play no more.

He is such a sweet boy that it never crossed his mind that these relatives would genuinely want to hurt each other. He was beside himself with sadness. Such a sweet boy.

I must say that I was ashamed to have members of my family that have ruined these boys. I fear that it is too late for them both. Though there were glimmers of hope.

Within 5 minutes of them being in my home, they were listening, being relatively respectful and kind to the Boy. By the time they left, they were thanking me, hugging me and asking if they could return. I am no softie, generally.

I take a hard line with children who are misbehaving and was having none of it in my home. They were respectful of my wishes for the most part. I fed them, and I fed them well - something for which they thanked me. I demanded that they clean up their own messes, something they never do. I asked for apologies for causing the Boy a meltdown, which were received.

They have a glimmer of hope, but more time with their wretched parents will dash that hope for good. Stupid people should not breed, be this a lesson!

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May 24, 2007

It is the little things

So, in all my stress filled angst, I forget the little things. The Boy reminded me of some yesterday.

I'm preparing for a trip, last minute prep, food in the fridge - let me stop here and explain - My husband is a trained chef. But, for some unknown reason, when I go away even for a couple days, he forgets he knows how to cook and so he doesn't. I call and say "what have you eaten" he says "I couldn't find anything". So, I leave the house fully stocked in the hopes he will feed my son.

So, where was I, oh yes, I'm preparing. Washing and folding clothes. the whole nine yards. The boy comes out in Spider Man underwear as if he has just swung from a building, holding a small comb in his hair and says: "Mama! Don't I look sharp?" Did I mention the comb in his hair - like a pik in a banger's hair?

Much laughter ensues.

Then it is bed time, where for the five millionth time we discuss why his bed is where he sleeps and not where he goes for punishment when he says: "I can't sleep let's eat pie."

Since he is of course a boy after my own heart, down the stairs we went. The DH was getting home at that time 11:45 p.m. (my boy doesn't sleep at night). He fixed himself a meatball sandwich or two and the Boy and I got into some mighty yummy banana creme pie.

There we were, the three of us, sitting at the counter in the kitchen having meatballs and banana pie. The boy, with creme all over his face turns to the DH and says, "So, talk to me, tell me about your day." Pie shot out of my nose!

So we "discuss" recent events - like the car accident my babysitter's family was in on Thursday with my son in the car. He wasn't injured because he and their son were not in their car seats but were laying flat on the seats with seatbelts around them and arms crossed at their chests (they had fallen asleep). Had either of them been in car seats, they would have been injured! Anyway, the DH says that when he got to the scene, the police were asking the requisite questions when they asked what my son's name etc. was and he said:

"My name is [boy]. I live in [west podunk] on [our road]. My birthday is March 10 but I can't remember the year. I am four." Apparently the cop was duly impressed - as was I.

So, at 12:15 a.m. this morning we talked about current events, pretended to "enhance our mental capacity and unlock untold secrets of the mind" (too much tv, sorry) with banana creme pie and laughed until our sides hurt.

It is the little things.

So, this morning as I dressed for work and looked over at the sleeping DH and Boy - who still managed to end up in my bed - I took in their similarities. The identical sleeping pose, the hair lines - the penchant for late night pie - and I said wistfully - "It's the little things" and off to work I went.

Have a fabulous day Y'all.

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April 18, 2007

And It Begins

Well, yesterday was eventful. I received a call from our wonderful sitter at 4:30:

"The Boy fell and cut his head on a filing cabinet. He is fine, we cleaned him up and put on a spiderman bandaid."

UPDATE: So as not to give the wrong impression of my sitter - the Boy truly was fine at the time. The cut got bigger after the swelling started up.

At 5:45 I receive this call from my clueless hubby: "I sent you a text message of the Boy's head." It was fine and now it isn't, should I take him to the hospital?"

I looked at the following picture:


Looks bad enough for a stitch says I . . . but I have the insurance card and I would like to see it upclose. So the hubby comes to me with the Boy and yep, needs a stitch, probably two. The cut is an inch long and pretty deep - fleshy deep and the swelling is continuing.

So, the husband takes the boy to the hospital and we have our first official stitches. My sweet boy is stitched - oh, and for the record, I was wrong. It took 4 stitches, a boo-boo bear, some stickers and an orange popcicle to make him right again!


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April 17, 2007

Life resumes

So, I didn't mention it, but our "foster kid/cousin" - we will call him Navy Man was here for two weeks.

The Boy was over the moon as Navy Man is his bestest friend. Last night, Navy Man left for Japan and the U.S.S. Blueridge (he was formerly on the Kittyhawk). The Boy is heartbroken. I must admit, it is a little depressing having him so far away.

However! I must state that now that he is gone, all bad habits and influences must cease at my house! Seriously, since I was outnumbered in the Testosterone department by the Boy, Navy Man and Husband too, we had all myriad of bodily noises, bodily function discussions, crude language, messiness etc . . .

I hope that my Boy will forget some of the things he learned over the last two weeks from my Navy Man (and the husband as he had back-up). For example - Navy Man - (1) it is not appropriate to watch South Park with my four year old; (2) did you think he would not tell me what you guys were doing? (3) Four is too young to know what those are called! (4) Burps, farts and the like are simply unacceptable at church! (5) Will he ever eat food again? Chips and candy don't work as breakfast foods. (6) "Bow Chicka Bow Bow" is certainly not a good bedtime song!!!!!

There's more, but I need a Motrin and a cocktail first. I love my Navy "Boy" and my husband too - but I prefer to keep my sweet innocent baby for a while longer. I should have kicked his ass back to Japan, but I am going to miss him!



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March 10, 2007

Birthday Wishes.

Today is my Baby's day. At 6:50 a.m. four years ago my boy was born.

This a.m. at 6:50 I woke him up and we did the birthday dance while my hubby and I sang about it being his fourth. He has been in a good mood all day. I was gone at fire school till 5 but he still had a blast. We didn't even do cake. He didn't care. This was his day. Next Sunday we bowl for his birthday. A little late, but he doesn't mind.

So to the Boy who melted my heart four years ago today, I love you. Happy Birthday baby!



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March 08, 2007

As Heard At the Doctor's Office

"When are you gonna shoot me?"

"Hey! That's Mine! I clean that myself! *when Nurse Practitioner touches his junk*"

"I eat my boogers. *when told putting stuff in one's mouth is dirty*"

"My name starts with R. *when asked name*"

"Where do I live again? Philadelphia?"

"That's a flag? If you say so. . . *when looking at the eye chart*"

"I know it's a cup, but my daddy puts coffee in his, so I call it coffee. *eye chart*"

"Is that gonna hurt me? *ear scope*"

"What are you doing? *nose scope*"

"Is that gonna hurt? *eye light*"

"seriously, is that gonna hurt? *say ahhhh!*"

"Oh, you aren't giving me shots in my butt?"

"Just my arm? I can handle that."


"Ouch *with more emphasis*"


"I like power rangers."

Here is a picture of him waiting for the doctor to return and presenting his bum on which he expected shots. . .sorry for the blurry camera phone picture.

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Truly random comments as heard from my nearly-four-year old at the doctor's office. Three shots and many laughs later, we are fit, healthy, happy, and quite the ham.

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January 12, 2007

Daddy's Day

Today is my daddy's birthday. I've written before about how great my dad is so I won't repeat that here today, but I wanted to say this, I've made some observations about dear old dad recently:

He was the first man I ever loved;

He could move mountains as far as I was concerned;

He built the best ice houses and straw forts;

He was stern yet loving;

He was a teacher and friend;

He was the best at everything,

He could fix anything,

He made the best french toast in the world;

When he took you for ice cream the whole world's problems melted away;

He could make up a song at the drop of a hat and you'd sing it for the rest of the summer;

He found the best road trip destinations;

He always had an extra dollar for a treat;

He had a smile that could light a room;

And you could always count on him.

Now. These were observations I made when I was a wee girl. Now that I am grown, I see he isn't perfect. We have had our disagreements and we have had our knock down drag out fights, but one thing has never changed, make that two:

I know he loves me and he'd give his life to see me happy; and you can still count on him (I guess that is three).

When it comes down to it, the measure of a man isn't his size, his muscles, his intelligence, his job, it is how well he treats and loves his family and how well they love him. It is in the respect he's given for proving that his family is his most important asset and demands his attention and responsibility. It is the imprint he leaves in his grandchildren and the smiles on their faces in his presence.


My dad. Happy Birthday. May you stay healthy and live long. Thank you for being the first man I ever loved!

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December 13, 2006

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!


Have you been naughty or nice?

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December 11, 2006

Weekend fun

This weekend, we took some much needed family time. We went bowling, we made a ginger bread house. We shopped for daddy's christmas present - which is "his bery own spatula, like Spongebob has!" and we even got in some Christmas movies.

I made a real dinner last night - and because the boy has completely memorized the entire "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" book we had:

Who-Roast Beast (beef)
Who-Pudding (vanilla)
Who-Bread (italian)
Who-Hash (potatos)

and gingerbread men cookies - cause the boy likes to bite their heads off.

How was your weekend??




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November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Recap

Well, Thanksgiving was a success. We had a wonderful meal, spent time with family and relaxed. Wow, "relaxed" is a word I can't say I use very often.

On Black Friday, my mom and I braved the hordes and did the 5 am shopping - for ourselves!

On Saturday, I took my Grams shopping and she completed her Christmas shopping. Then we went to hubby's best friend's home for a dessert party. The hubby made a Pumpkin Cheesecake Creme Caramel. YUMMY! That is all I can say.

On Sunday we saw my nephew for a few and then the hubby and I got out the quads and the helmets for some trail fun. All was going smoothly until we got to a 10 foot drop off which was riddled with ruts. Hubby made it down ok, my quad started to tip forward after hitting a rut about 1 foot deep and I bailed. My hubby sat at the bottom a little startled for he had seen me inch toward the drop, turned to pull forward and when he turned around, I was rolling end over end down the hill with the rider-less quad coming toward him. In the process of the bail, I hit a stump and I've a nasty bruise to show for it. Nothing like eating dirt on a quad ride - I'll tell ya.

So, I spent quality time with the hubby, quality time with the boy and quality family food time. It was a wonderful weekend. As an added treat, I'm posting the following pics:


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October 26, 2006

World's Best Wakeup

My three year old son still sleeps with me - don't leave me comments about that, I don't care . . .

So this morning, as I was snuggling waiting for the alarm to go off - my husband was out on an early morning firecall, the Boy burst out with the most delightful belly laugh. Not a giggle, a full on belly roar. He woke himself up too. I asked him what was so funny and he said "I not know, I sleep now." He promptly fell back asleep.

Folks let me tell you, there is no sound sweeter than a child's laugh. The innocence, the joy. When they are sleeping it is so much sweeter.

So, I woke with a smile and a belly laugh to start my day, how about you?

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October 17, 2006

What I Did With My Pumpkin

We took pictures!

It is fall here too. A little chilly but fall. That means, picture time! Here are a couple good ones.

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What a cute little pumpkin!

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October 02, 2006

Pumpkin Time!

There are memories I have of my childhood that I cherish. Trips to the beach, the zoo or the fair. Picking out Christmas Trees in the snow with my daddy. Sled riding, hay baling, swingin out over the creek on a vine.

My dad or my family factor closely into each one of these memories. I can close my eyes and see my Grandma hand me a fresh cinnamon roll or I can hear my dad singing a song he made up to make us kids laugh. I catch a glimpse of my younger self swinging through the air on the tire swing my dad hooked to a pully so we'd get more air!

So I try to make the time I spend with my baby boy memorable. He is growing so quickly that I don't know where the time has gone. We are a close family. We three snuggle on the couch together and eat popcorn or ice cream. We lay, splayed out on the floor together and read books or color. We roll down the hill on a crisp fall day, because we can.

I'm blessed to be married to a wonderful man who makes certain that life isn't monotonous. I'm blessed that he cherishes every moment with our son as much as I do.

Now, I'm not always with it on these days. I usually forget the camera to capture those special memories. But I try. Even absent pictures, I hope the Boy remembers these days fondly, like I remember my childhood. I hope he can close his eyes and smell a campfire and hear the crickets chirping. I hope he can look off into the horizon and remember flying kites with his daddy. I hope we've given him a platform from which to jump off and enjoy life with his future children.

So, this past weekend we indulged. We shopped at the penny candy store, we got a toy at Toys R Us and we went on a hay ride to fetch a pumpkin or three from the pumpkin patch. Yep, it's that time of year and I forgot my camera.

So, what you get are three hazy pictures from my camera phone. They are not the best pictures, cause, well, the sun was bright, the wind was crisp and the camera was a phone. . .

Here is my Boy and his dad (doing his best redneck impression) in the pumpkin patch. They are looking for the elusive "tiny pumpkin".


Here is the Boy who has found said "tiny pumpkin" and is elated, though in this picture he looks strangely constipated . . .


And lastly, Boy and daddy with three "tiny pumpkins" a pumpkin booty to be sure!


What do you think? Will he remember these days whilst as a three year old he trudged through mud for the perfect pumpkin? Or will he forget these times which were so magical for me?

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September 20, 2006

Family Day Should Be Everyday

Tammi wants us all to write a post for Family Day, mine is coming a few days early.

I have written before about how close I am with my dad and how I thought he was a rockstar when I was a girl. Well last weekend reminded me of why.

I took my Boy and nephew to the beach for an extended weekend and to take care of some other things. My mom and dad came along. We went to Ocean City, Maryland. I love it there.

My family had taken a family vacation to Assateague Island in Maryland every year until I was married. In fact, my Grandparents took my dad and aunt and uncle there when they were kids – every year.

It was the one thing in the summer that I looked forward to the most. To head to Assateague, smell the salt water, fall asleep to the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shoreline. We always camped either in tents or small trailers and we always had a good time.

My sister was a late sleeper, as was my mom. But my dad and I would get up before the sun and watch it rise over the water. We’d sit in the sand and share a cup of coffee or a donut and watch the sun come up.

This weekend, I stayed in bed long after the sun rose but my son is an early riser. He was up with his Papa, and before I could say otherwise, had stripped down and donned a bathing suit so that he could sit on the wall at the boardwalk having coffee with his Papa. Here are a couple wonderful photos that I took from the balcony of our hotel room. They are kinda fuzzy.

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I can only imagine what the Boy is telling my dad. I’m sure it is fascinating as it was quite animated. As they sat there while the sun came up, I stood on the balcony looking down at them and remembering sitting on the beach with my dad.

He’s the same fun guy who would toss me into the water and then laugh a big belly laugh when a wave knocked him down. He’s the same guy who would take me to the boardwalk for Thrasher’s French fries and Dumser’s ice cream instead of dinner. He is the same guy who taught me to fish for crabs and who, at dinner that night would stick a claw on his nose, pretend to be in pain and then tell us “that’s what we get for ripping the legs off the little suckers!” He is the same guy who would go out of his way to make sure that each week-long vacation was the best one ever.

We only had a weekend, but he managed to make it special for the boys. He fought pirates for their treasure, took the boys to swim in the surf in their pajamas (mom wasn’t impressed), went clamming with the boys – in their underwear (again not impressed)Beach 009.jpg

Ate popcorn and ice cream for dinner and had “slushies” for dessert. Played with hermit crabs, found sea shells on the beach and jumped up and down on hotel room beds. My dad is still the same fun guy he was when I was growing up. Cept now? He’s a grandpa and the fun he makes is really just his love and joy spilling over.

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You can see it in this picture here. That’s my dad. His smile, in fact, his whole face is lit up with joy over seeing the fun the boys are having. That’s my boy in the green. If you look closely, his feet are not even touching the boat. He is jumping in the air because he was so excited that they won the treasure from the pirate. Though it was a short hour, it was an activity my boy and my nephew will remember for many years to come. Perhaps one day they will tell you about it in there own way. Sort of like my remembering those sunrise mornings with my dad. Just me and him, sitting on the beach, knowing that no one else in the world loved me like my dad did. My boy has a dad like that. My nephew does not. My dad gets to be that guy all over again, for my boy and my nephew. He’s a rockstar. There are few like him.

Just look at this face and tell me that his "Papa" doesn't light up his life!

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September 19, 2006

Aye! Aye! Captain!

Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day! But I'd rather show ye a picture of two pirates from this weekend. Landlubbers beware, tis two mates after they'd stolen some treasure from a scallywag!

(My son and nephew after taking part in a pirate water battle aboard the "Duckaneer" at the beach!)

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September 05, 2006

Weekend Files

Well, we had an interesting weekend round these parts. Where to start?

Oh, consoling a three year old child at the loss of his very best friend? Our 10 month old puppy didn't come back from playing in the woods with our older dog. We trolled the area for sign of her. She didn't lie in a ditch on any of the roads and she wasn't stuck in any culverts or hiding out in her familiar haunts.

The suspicion is that the local band of coyotes - the leader of which is an obvious cross-breed as he is positively massive - have eaten her. Ack!

The boy is distraught. He has been walking around saying "I love her though!" and "doesn't she love me anymore?" and "maybe some little boy took her home" or the kicker, "mommy, Hazel was my best friend, I miss her!"

Yep. Many tears were shed.

To help, we took the boy fishing yesterday. Damned if he didn't catch the biggest fish in the tiny pond too! he caught a 1 1/2 pound 12 inch bass - on a Spiderman fishing pool and a worm! Boy has mad-fishing skillz!

Here he is fishing with his daddy. I don't post about my DH much, but he is a blessing. He's a hands-on daddy. As you can see from these slightly distorted camera-phone pictures. He does everything with his boy.


Here is that wonderful fish the Boy caught - it is as long as his torso!


And these next two are the playground after fishing. Though the DH is six - two, he still plays on the monkey bars with my Boy!



After fishing, climbing and sliding, we went for ice cream. Nothing like topping off a day with ice cream!

Now if our pup would just come home! I think we are going to put up flyers today, but we do think she has been eaten.

I've loaded the rifle for wiley coyote. He isn't making it out of my yard alive next time, whether he took poor Hazel or not. They are simply a meanace!

On a brighter note, we have an eight-point camping out in the brush near our house, Venison this winter! Yippee!

How was your Labor Day?

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August 21, 2006

Eye Candy

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Nuff said!

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August 14, 2006

Back from the Beach!

It's Monday, here is how I feel:

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Wishing I was back on this beach! On a side note - the Boy is cute even when he's being silly!

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August 01, 2006

More from the McCutie Files

Since I've absolutely nothing to say today (too tired) and I must pay some bills,

I will just give you some pics . . . with context.

In this first picture, we have the boy standing before a beautiful fountain in Philadelphia (one I have in fact jumped in, in the past) and trying hard not to damage his retinas from the sun.

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In this next picture we capture the boy attempting to climb into the T-Rex exhibit at the Natural History Museum.

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And lastly, here is the boy, with sad face, after getting reprimanded for climbing into the T-Rex exhibit . . .

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Even scrunched up or sad - he is still a cutie-pie

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July 03, 2006

Lazy Days of Summer

Well, not quite. If working till 11 p.m. several nights in a row and then till 2 a.m. when I get home isn't enough, I'm here at work on the day before a holiday, blech!

But, let me tell you about my weekend! On Saturday evening, my son discovered fireflies! All the neighborhood kids were running about trying to catch the little lightning bugs right when the sun had left the sky and darkness was beginning to fall.

My son caught one and then two . . . I raced to get a camera, but instead joined in the fun. Around the yard we ran chasing lights! After we were tired and a little chilled, as the sun had taken its warmth with it, we sat around a campfire.

The Boy attempted to roast marshmallows, but kept burning them, so we simply ate them from the bag.

We set off some bottle rockets and roman candles to the absolute delight of two sleepy three year olds.

The neighbor boy exclaimed: "What the heckus was that ruckus!" Which caused a ring of laughter.

My son, clasped his hands together as if praying to the firecracker gods and said "OOO baby! do it again!" I cannot wait until tomorrow when they can really enjoy themselves!

See my family, and the neighbor family get together for a blowout. We each chip in for fireworks (nearly $2,000 this year) and we are festive and merry all day!

Our menu is chicken, ribs, lamb and turkey in the smoker for the afternoon, with plenty of sides and cavity pie. (and wontons too!)

I always go way out and get lots of stuff for the kiddies. This year we have three - 3 - Pinata's and lots of games. I spent yesterday putting stuff in the pinatas.

We also have glow necklaces for when the sun goes down. I'm always a hit with the glow stuff!

All our friends join us and the day is ended with fireworks to rival most public shows. Ours usually lasts a good hour or so. We have a competition with a neighbor about 3 miles away, when there is a lull in ours they start to put theirs off!

Anyway, tonight I'm taking my son to ride go carts and quads and we'll likely catch some more fireflies.

Have a wonderful fourth of July! And don't forget what we celebrate. We are free, because brave men and women fought and died for our freedom. Take a moment to remember that when you hoist your flag tomorrow.

To the men and women still serving, about to serve or to the families who've lost a loved one in service, this day still honors you - no hot dogs, hamburgers or firecrackers can overpower your sacrifice!


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June 16, 2006

Cherry Season!

It is cherry season in these parts. Tart-red cherries. Perfect for pies and other yummy desserts. Nothing puts a pucker on your face like a tart cherry *wink, wink*

Ok, minds back out o' the gutters please, we are talking fruit here!

Whenever cherry season swings round these parts I have a fond rememberance of days past.

When I was in elementary school, the son of my parents' dearest friends was my dearest friend. I spent more time with his family than my own.

His grandparents lived on a horse farm and had the best, most productive cherry trees. One late spring we - all us kids ranging in age from 6 to 16 - decided to pick cherries. We picked bushels and then set about pitting them. After we were all covered in cherry juice, someone got the bright idea to start a pit-war. We set up teams and got some plywood from the barn to use as a shield/fort. At about mid-orchard two team members squared off and walked off a good distance, like a proper duel and pits began flying!

When each side had run out of pits and went through some respective crying and nashing of teeth - "you did that on purpose!" "Moooooom!!!" "That really hurts!" "Stop aiming for my eyes!" we began gathering smooshy, rotten cherries from the ground below.

Now, the sting of pits hitting our bare flesh was accompanied by the squish of rotten fruit. But neither side let up until the oldest and the youngest on one team began a fist-fight of unknown origin.

We, to every member of each team, were covered in pits, and cherry juice and mud and grass and stickiness. We were forbidden from entering the house to change clothes. Each of us stripped to skivvies (we were younguns!) and got hosed off by a very cold garden hose.

That sunny late june day will always stick out in my mind. For that one day, all us kids, cousins, step-children and friends, got along the best we could, took out all our frustrations in an hour and managed to have a great time all day!

I haven't had much contact with the kids from that sunny afternoon. I see a couple now and then, but we have all gone our separate ways. I wonder if they remember that cherry pit war like I do. I wonder if when they stand in a cherry tree orchard they have the urge to fling rotten cherries at the nearest bystander.

My husband will attest, I enjoy flinging rotten fruit at him at picking time. Cherry picking in my house is not a peaceful event. I relive that june day to a small extent every season.

My trees are ripening now, and soon, the house will be filled with the smell of those tart cherries baking into pies. I make a mean cherry pie! But I wonder, what kinds of innocent experiences will my son have that he will remember far into his adulthood. What scent or scene will take him back? Will the smell of cherry pies baking remind him of when his momma chased him around the cherry trees pelting him with rotten fruit? Better still, will that be a good memory - or one he'll need years of therapy to come to terms with? Ahhh, the questions!

For now, I'll await my cherries and I'll sit in the orchard on picking day remembering a pit-war fought long ago.

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June 15, 2006

E.R. Stat!

Well, last night we spent the evening in the emergency room, the pet emergency room.

Our pup got a big gash in her side, from who knows what, and we took her to get stitched up.

The Boy was a little mother hen the whole way saying: "Casey, we gonna take you to the "bet" that's a doctor for doggies and the "bet" is gonna make you all better. You will feel better soon! Ok? I promise."

Then, while in the waiting room, he announced to those other pet-parents that: "Casey is my baby and we bring her here so the "bet" can fix her bloody boo-boo."

He was quite proud of himself for making sure that Casey was well taken care of.

Oh, word to the wise - the little vet E.R. visit set me back $400 simoleans. Why? Cause my son would be heartbroken if I hadn't fixed his baby. I'm a sucker for that little boy!

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May 26, 2006


Ok, a few days back I posted that my boy wants a motorcycle. Ack!

Yesterday, I came home to find that my husband had given my baby a crew-cut. He looks like a big boy now!

Here he is showing off his new motorcycle helmet:

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Here he is showing off his new tattoo:

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Here he is showing off his new crew-cut.

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Go ahead, you know you wanna smooch him!

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May 24, 2006

Its Me! Honest!

You know how I'm always saying "back when I was cute"? Well, I mean it.

Bou reminded me that I used to be a cute perky teen instead of a dumpy adult.

Oh how I miss cute!

Anywho, here is a picture of me at 16. I was in a photo shoot with some weirdo guy cause they needed extra pics for their wall of pictures and I was flirting with the other guy at the photo shop. Anyway, I was 16. Did I mention I was 16? I never told anyone that! Never. I could pass on a good day, and with a bit of makeup for 19. Gee, I can still pass for 19. So, have at it! Does it look like me? OF COURSE IT DOES! I haven't changed much - cept I'm rounder.


Oh and for those that don't know me - my hair is no longer curly, I never wear makeup (didn't here either) I look good with a tan, and I still have the same skin! I've chubbed out major since 16 - man have I ever! Oh, and the bad part about this picture? You can't see my boobs. I like my boobs.

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May 19, 2006

More Friday Fishing!

So, as ya'll know, my boy loves, loves, loves to fish! He is getting much better at it too. So I thought I'd update you periodically on his progress. These pictures are from two seperate trips.

Picture number one! Look at this fish! My baby's an angler if there ever was one!

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Click to make 'er bigger!

And here were have my baby demonstrating concentration. And trust me, when you are taking a bluegill off the line yourself, you need concentration so they don't fin you and cut open your hand. I'd say he is doing pretty good here!

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Here we have one of many bluegill hauled in on this day! Notice, he is reflecting his true redneck spirit in his camo and bibs!

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And lastly, here he is thanking his daddy for another day of fishing!

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The Boy isn't terribly photogenic in these pics but I think he looks wonderful - Don't you?

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May 18, 2006

The Dog Did It!

The Dog ate my damn phone! I don't mean chewed on it. I mean she done ate it all up. It is in pieces. It doesn't work. So, if you are trying to call my sorry ass, or are expecting a call from me. Sorry, I'm not here. Well, I'm here, but all my phone numbers and contacts? In that phone.

I hate technology. I used to know everyone's numbers by heart, now? I'm lucky if I remember my own.

Plus, now? When I do get a new phone, I'll have to buy all new ringtones. And! I lost all my cool pics of my kiddo, especially the one I just took of him fully masked up with an SCBA. Craptastic!

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May 15, 2006

I'm Soooo Outta Here!

The Boy likes all things that go, as in cars, trucks, bikes, motorcycles, quads. You get the picture.

He is three. He has not yet mastered the go - stop - go yet, but he wants to!

On Saturday I took him to the Honda dealer to purchase his first Motorcycle Helmet. (pictures later). Harley doesn't make em for small fries.

He spied a little 50cc Dirt Bike with monster training wheels and hopped right on. While making all the appropriate sounds and skids and steers, he suddenly looked up at his Daddy and said - "ok, I'm ready to go."

So, I said, "Oh, ok, we'll leave then."

To which he replied, "nooo, mommy, open the door and give me some gas, I'm sooo outta here!"

Yep, my baby said that! Where he got it is anyone's guess. After I caught my breath, as laughing my ass off was quickly expending the little breath I had, I assured him that I was not going to be buying that particular dirtbike on that particular day.

I am quite certain that my baby is going to turn my long dark hair - gray in a very short amount of time. I am certain of it!

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May 05, 2006

Flippery Fish

My husband and son went fishing the other day. I received a call at approximately 5 p.m. that my son had just reeled in a 1lb crappie. That's a big fish for my little guy! While my husband was fumbling for a camera, my son let the fish go waiving and yelling "Catch ya later!" If only the ol' man would have had the video camera!

But alas, he didn't, so here are some pics of a baby bass, and a couple sunnies too!

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April 04, 2006

Wanna Smile?

This is what makes me smile everyday. This is what gets me going and makes me wake up to the world. To see this face, this smile, makes all my stress just melt away. To hear his voice and to listen to his stories, makes life worth living.

This past weekend, I drove all the way to Virginia Beach so the Cuz could see his mom. It was beautiful. It was 78 degrees and sunny. So, I took the Boy to the Aquarium and to the Beach. He had a great time, and he made me smile!

I drove 1000 miles round trip to spend a few hours in the sun with the Boy, and all my stress and worry melted away. So, what do you do to destress?





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March 30, 2006

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 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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February 27, 2006

I Want To Bite Your Neck

My son has grown teeth! Eek! Run for the hills!

The Boy uncovered these "teeth" in a box of Halloween stuff, and insisted on wearing them to church yesterday!


And, by request (h/t Harvey): below is a representative picture of mormon undergarments. The only thing missing is the random masonic-like symbols above the breast and knee that are supposed to ward off icky-bad stuff . . .

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February 14, 2006

Little Sister

Little Sister had surgery this morning to remove the tumors in her uterus. They had shrunk to a size that was both manageable and removeable, but with all the stress she was under, she had begun to bleed a lot.

So, this morning she had surgery. Hopefully, she will be fine, and will not need a hysterectomy ever. So far, it has been difficult for her, but she is managing well.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and well wishes.

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February 02, 2006

Firehouse Redux

Well, many will remember the child issue that was brought up at last months meeting for my firehall. It has been resolved.

As expected, the President and Chief backed off of the "no children allowed" stance, though that is what they said originally. Now their stance is "we just don't want kids on the trucks and equipment cause they could get hurt and it's a liability issue for us."

Now, that is what they could have said to begin with, but did not. What they originally said was that they had a problem with little kids at the firehall. No elaboration, no discussion.

I truly don't believe it is a liability issue, but when backed into a corner, that is what they boiled it down to. And for good measure, they added that they didn't want those of us with kids to quit and acknowledged how much we do for the hall.

I'm not entirely satisfied with the result. Mostly because the original intent of the "no kids" policy was not to keep the kids off the trucks (which we do anyway). Only when backed into a corner did the issue become an insurance liability issue.

But, it is what it is. I will move on. Just thought I'd post an update.

Also, to those of you who have sent your prayers and good thoughts towards my family and my sister. Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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January 06, 2006

Fireman Problem

Ok, some of you know I have my own personal fireman living under my roof. (Bowchickabowbow).

And, some of you know that on occassion, I don the gear and get my hands dirty as well.

Being a volunteer firefighter is very fulfilling. Anyway, it has become quite a family affair. Almost all of the active members of our company are young parents. We all bring our children with us to the hall, we cook dinners and make merry and include our kids. This has seemingly never been a problem seeing as how several members are third generation firefighters, so it stands to reason that their parents took them to the hall as well.

Imagine my surprise then, when our President and Chief told us at the monthly meeting that our children were causing a problem being too close to the equipment and really shouldn't be there (that is a first!)

At first I didn't think I heard them right. Afterall, these kids are the next generation of volunteer firefighters and how much damage can a 30 pound kid do to an inch thick diamond plate rear step on a Rescue? But, alas, I think that I heard them right.

Now, as many of you know, I see my child for roughly 5% of each day. When I pull into my drive he is attached to my hip. We are a package deal. Where I go, he goes because he sees so very little of me. Moreover, since I work so much, he is often with the hubby at firehall functions.

(Also, we have a young lady who takes all the kids when something important is happening and plays with them. She is also there when we have calls and watches the kids for us if necessary.)

I was offended, and I never get offended, that someone would (1) tell me my kid's a problem, without telling me directly, and (2) basically tell me my kid isn't welcome, also without telling me directly. Seriously, don't beat around the bush with me, I haven't the time nor patience.

Those of us with small children are the most active in the department. We do all the dinners, all the fundraisers, show for all the calls, promote the hall to the community etc. If we don't come, because our kids are not welcome, the department will come to a screeching halt. Seriously! WE are the only ones who do a damned thing, mostly because our kids were welcome.

I am also an officer of the Auxilary. If my kid isn't welcome at the hall, I can't fulfill my duties to the Auxilary. Again, those of us who are active are the ones with kids. We are the only ones who do anything!

So, now that I have ranted, am I over reacting? Am I wrong to say that if my kid isn't welcome then neither am I? Am I wrong to insist that if it is my child that is viewed as a problem then I would like to be told directly? I don't see any of our kids as a problem. Each one is well behaved and none have broken anything or damaged or lost anything or even gotten in the way at any time. This is primarily because we parents take the time to watch over our kids. So really, am I wrong to be offended, annoyed and on the brink of quitting the department?

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December 29, 2005

Christmas Cookies

I love Christmas Cookies. I love baking them, eating them, seeing them arranged all pretty on a plate.

This year I didn't bake any, not a one. I was not in the mood. In fact, I wasn't in the mood for Christmas. Sure I had some Christmas Spirit in the week leading to Christmas but it was fleeting.

Now the New Year is upon us, and I didn't eat many Christmas Cookies and I've been in a perpetual funk over my job. Perhaps my New Year's resolution will be to eat more Christmas Cookies all year round and find a new job.

How about it? Anybody hiring?

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December 12, 2005

You Say That Like It's A Bad Thing

So evil soon to be ex-brother-in-law has been telling my nephew that he shouldn't want to be around me. Know why?

I'm a fat bitch. Yep, that is right. My 30 something asshat bil thinks it is acceptable to tell his 3 year old son that Aunt Oddybobo is a fat bitch.

Imagine my surprise when I was told on Friday: "Aunt Oddybobo, my daddy says you are a fat bitch and I am supposed to be mean to you. Can I spend the night?"

I explained to him, in my best fat bitch way that being a "fat you know what" wasn't all that bad. I got to eat what I wanted and no one messed with me! Then I told him, "you tell your dad, I'm fat but he's stupid. I can lose weight."

Yeah, I am so going to hell.

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December 07, 2005

Of Bread and Men

Sarah of That's Not Very Nice, had a little rant about charitable abuses during the holidays and I couldn't let it go. Riddle me this: If you were hungry, had no food for your baby and someone was offering free-day old bread to you, would you take it?

This year has been tight for the Oddybobo family. We have seen our shares of the downers the past two years and it also happens to be significantly colder than this time last year.

As you may recall, my little sister is going through a rather bitter divorce. She has one child, he is three. I love this child as if he were my own. As such, whenever he needs for anything, I try to provide it. You see, his father cares for himself only and lets the needs and wants of his child fall to the wayside.
This year, however, I cannot do for my nephew as I would like.

To make matters worse, asshat brother-in-law isn't paying his court mandated child and spousal support. Add to that a seasonal shutdown at her job, and you get broke. Now, my sister isn't the poster child for thrift. She has made many mistakes and is likely to make more. What she has wanted more than anything in her short life is to have a home with a yard for her son. Her soon-to-be ex would not provide that for her. My family has.

With the lack of funds, the sudden cold weather and a myriad of bills said ex has stuck her with, my sister is beyond broke. I bought her heating oil this week because they had none and I couldn't let my nephew freeze.

Because my sister works full-time at a very good job, she doesn't qualify for any public assistance, including heating assisstance. So, it was with great reluctance that she visited a local charity late one evening last week.

This charity receives a donation of day old bread from the local supermarket. My sister, having not even .99 cents to buy a loaf of bread and nearly nothing to eat at home, eagerly took some of this bread. She was approached by someone working for the charity who asked an odd question. "Why did you take that bread?" Now, the obvious answer is because it is free . . . but what this woman wanted to know was what the motivation was.

My sister explained her dire situation to this young lady. She was told that of all the people who had come for assistance that day, and indeed in many preceeding weeks, she was the only one to take the offered bread. Apparently day old bread is not up to snuff for the supposed "poor".

My sister explained that she would gladly take the bread as it would constitute her and her son's meal for that evening. She also said that at this point, she was there to beg and that she would take anything they could give her.

The young lady next told my sister that of all the people who had sought assistance in the proceeding weeks, she was the only one with a job, with the drive to make a better life for her son and the humility to accept that which was graciously offered to her, rather than the audacity to demand assistance.

My sister only wants to provide for her son. She cannot even afford gifts for Christmas (though I have made sure that he is without want). What she could buy this year was one gift - a pair of mittens so that his hands were covered in the snow. This young charity worker put my nephew on a gift list to ensure he has a christmas. She also made sure that a local catholic charity new of my sister's financial needs so that she has heating oil this winter. My sister hasn't asked for much, just enough to bridge the gap. Her son needs to be warm and fed, she would gladly go without to make sure that happens.

Now comes my question. What possesses an individual to seek charitable or government assistance only to turn their nose at what is offered? Seriously, I know it happens everyday. I recognize the abuses and realize that our society, with all its "social programs" has created this race of individuals who believe that they have entitlements. But what possesses a person to turn their nose at charitable giving? The saddest part is that those who work tirelessly for these charities recognize it too. They see that they are being taken advantage of but have the grace to allow it to happen in the hopes that something good comes from their help.

Having been in dire straits before, I recognize the need to accept with graciousness the charity of others. I cannot fathom demanding certain toys, foodstuffs, or assistance from those who give so freely. What have we done in this country to create such an air of superiority in those people who claim a need?

My sister is scraping bottom, accepting what little is offered with humility and grace and vowing to make a better life for herself and her son. The boost she is getting from this charity over this winter will put her in a position to fend for herself completely later-at least that is my hope. Their help won't be forgotten. As an aside, impressed with my sister's attitude, the charity has given her enough groceries to get through the holidays so that she can concentrate on removing herself from the debt abyss she is perilously close to falling into. And they will be checking with her periodically to lend personal as well as charitible support if needed. She has said she won't take advantage of their kindness and is only accepting the help to ensure her son's welfare.

I wonder, if those who walk through the doors demanding assistance but turning up their nose at free bread feel the same way.

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November 30, 2005

9 Years Today

Nine years ago today, I walked down the aisle with a decided limp (long story), to meet my mate in holy matrimony. After several attempts to speak, thwarted by a not-as-yet-finished cry, I blurted out my "lines" through tears and sniffles causing the church to erupt in tears of their own.

My betrothed, of course, laughed at me, or is it with me? No matter, for nine years we have been laughing together.

The traditional gifts for one's ninth anniversary are Pottery and Willow. (Hmm, a potted carafe of sweet wine, and willow switch . . . ahem . . .)

A contemporary or modern gift is Leather. (OOO, even better, I can get into a leather motif)

The flowers associated with the 9th anniversary are Poppies (opium, wine, and whips. sounds like an interesting evening . . .)

Anyway, my love is a quiet man who points out my faults when I need to be reminded, takes up arms (figuratively) in my honor when pushed, supports me through trying times and laughs with me through the rest. We have had a fine nine married years. How he has managed to put up with me is unknown. But I thank him for it.


Oh, and ladies, did I mention that my husband is a chef and a firefighter? AN ANNIVERSARY BONUS!


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November 09, 2005

Neither A Borrower Nor Lender Be

I must remind myself of that the next time I try to help my sibling out and she ruins my credit.

Hmm, what is that you say? Oh, once it has happened it can't happen again?

Great! Gotta love siblings. Next time I'll just help her out the door!!

*mumble, mumble. . . *

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November 08, 2005

Flashback #2

Tis the week for memories!

As I watched my 2.5 year old son and 6 foot 2 inch husband chase one another from room to room to room with foam swords, reenacting scenes from the Power Rangers, equipped with donkey kicks, growls, shouts, screams and various and sundry martial arts-like moves, I remembered having similar fun with my dad.

My dad is a quiet man. I think he wanted boys, but he got two girls. We adored him then as we do now. So, it was no surprise that we followed him everywhere.

I was a tomboy, and so was absorbed with climbing trees, shooting rabbits, trying to set things on fire, and the like. My dad saw this in me. He would rough house with me and throw me in the air, toss a ball, take me fishing, go for walks in the woods or simply run around the yard with empty paper towel rolls screaming like Ninjas and chasing one another to their "dooooom!"

Well, as I said, I think he wanted boys, at least initially, but he found that after all the play fighting, fishing, and chasing was done, we girls would cuddle on the couch with daddy and a bowl of popcorn. I think it was then that he was glad he had girls. He could teach us to do all the things boys did, but snuggle with us and watch tv. He could dance through the yard with us, or throw pretend hand grenades over a pretend wall. He could have tea with us and then engage in a dirt bike race like no one has ever seen.

At times I wondered if he was content with girls, like when I ran into a tree with the dirt bike, or when I hit a tree with the trike, or when I rolled the dune buggy into a tree, or when I got my fishing line snagged in a tree . . . Yes, me and trees didn't go together well. He would laugh a hearty belly laugh and make some snide comment about boys having depth perception, etc . . .

Oh, and he didn't want me to get a big head so he teased me like he would a boy. One night, when I was about 6 or 7 he called me into his bedroom to tell me that he didn't think I was ugly (something he would say on occassion) or mean or nasty or silly or 'just a girl' and that he wanted me to know I was one of the most special people in the world. I, of course, already knew. I knew that his teasing was always in fun. It never, ever bothered me. But he was concerned with my "feminine sensibilities" and had to reassure me (or perhaps himself) that he loved me. Once he realised I was not bothered by the teasing, we ended the evening with a game of tag and some more teasing.

As I watch my son and husband enjoy their games, I am blessed to know that my son will grow up with a dad who loves him unconditionally. I know because my husband is like my dad was. Never too tired to play, never to busy to run, always ready to teach and always available for hugs.

Tonight I get to be the Yellow Ranger and my job, as it was explained to me by my young child, is to capture (daddy) Zeltrax at which point my son, who will be the Black Ranger will engage his brachiostaff (pronounced in my home as echostaff) to make (daddy) Zeltrax blow up! I can't wait!

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November 07, 2005


Driving around looking at the leaves this weekend, I passed a familiar spot. Just off the main road over a rapid running, deep creek.

I think I was ten. My best friend Mike and I decided it would be a good day to swim but neither of us had a pool and the municipal pool was 'just gross.' So, off we went in search of fun. We loaded our bikes with goodies and we headed off to the bend in the road where one could catch the dirt path to the covered bridge over the creek.

Years ago, someone had hung a braided rope from the tallest Hickory tree and it was still there and in good shape. Off we went into the water to test out the depth. Yep, just right. The drop off was enough to keep us from killing ourselves. I climbed that rope as far as I could and with a push from Mike I was off swinging. That sensation of air rushing around me as I dropped to the creek was simply exhilarating. I did a quick prayer to keep me from hitting the ledge (or the trees) before the drop off, and splashed into the cool water. This same scenario was repeated all glorious afternoon.

I think back on it now with a bit of dismay. What if I missed the drop and hit the ledge? No adult knew where we were. That was back when you could let your kids run around outside without worry. Bygones.

Anyway, I walked that familiar path this weekend, bathed in golden, red and orange hues. The creek was crystalline and cool to the touch. It was as if I could still hear the laughter and shouts from two kids swinging on a rope that has long been removed. I could still hear the whoops of joy at finding a crawfish or chasing a water snake. I could actually see images of the two of us splashing around in that drop off in the creek and the rope still swinging in the breeze.

I smiled an old smile at the memory. Mike and I are no longer friends. We had lost touch long ago when girls, who were not me, began to occupy his mind and his time.

I wonder if he still remembers our bike trips to the corner candy store, our dirt bike rides and wrecks or our dune-buggy wild rides, sometimes into the lake. I wonder, if when he passes that bend in the road and the covered bridge over Neshannock Creek, he remembers swinging on a rope and telling 'dirty' jokes at the age of 10 or 11. Or whether he remembers dares to jump the falls or walk a ledge over a gorge.

Probably not. But as I walked in the woods along the creek bed this weekend, I remembered it all as if it were just yesterday.

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November 01, 2005

Bitchin Camero!

Here's a blast from my past, not sure what brought it up!

Remember that song? Bitchin Camero? "Bitchin Camero, Bitchin Camero, I ran over my neighbor!"

Well, for those uninitiated, the song is a treasured one from the catalog of the Dead Milkmen. In 1994 I went to see one of the last shows performed by the Dead Milkmen at the Trocodero in Philadephia. The Troc used to be a burlesque club but at the time I visited had become a venue for concerts.

Being at the height of my youth and feeling the music, I joined my fellow, frenzied friends in the mosh pit for a bit of slam dancing when my ears heard the above refrain begin.

Back in the day, I was a looker. I had a skin tight, white tank top and tight jeans on and was gyrating and slamming around with the best of them. I heard a loud smack but thought nothing of it until a girl in front of me turned around, looked at me and screamed.

Seems someone thought a beach ball was not enough and a better object to toss would be a wooden clog. Yes, a wooden farookin shoe! Well, said shoe made contact with my temple which split like the waters parted by Moses. My white tank was red and I was beginning to feel dizzy.

Being slightly unhygenic, the Troc had no first aid supplies at all. So a large bouncer lifted me with one arm and deposited me behind the bar. As the bleeding would not cease, I decided that the best course of action was to tape a bar napkin to my face! With scotch tape no less! Of course I was several beers into my buzz and probably had quite the contact high so my thinking wasn't necessarily tip top. Anyway, I taped my face shut, washed the excess blood away and decided that a good night had yet to be had and rejoined my compatriots on the dance floor to slam around to "Punk Rock Girl."

The moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of the bar napkin and scotch tape!

My friends made me go to the emergency room where my care was interrupted by a multi-car accident. My friends passed the time watching a Kids in the Hall marathon while I slumbered in a beer and blood-loss induced sleep.

The scar above my eye reminds me of that night. It twiches when I am stressed. I suppose what brought this memory to mind was that movie Clueless with Alicia Silverstone wherein a young Brittney Murphy gets smacked in the head with a shoe at a party . . .

Anyway, thought I'd share an embarassing moment from my past for kicks. Toodles!

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July 01, 2005

A holiday treat

I never leave pictures of myself lying around but here is one of my family. I have told you before about my dad. This is him trying to be all stern. I have really long, and I mean really long, hair, but I have it pulled back all schoolmarmish in this picture. I'm the fat one! Please be nice in the comments.

View image

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June 23, 2005

From My Cold Dead Hands . . .

In what is set to become a sweeping and disturbing precedent, a split 5-4 Supreme Court has ruled that a municipality can steal your property and give it to private developers for the "good of the community"

It used to be that the Constitution meant something to the law. The Fifth Amendment allowed the taking of property by eminent domain for the "public good", that is to allow for the building of schools, hospitals, roads and other "public" facilities. Never was a community allowed to steal your property and give it to a private interest so that private interest could make money. Did it happen anyway? Sure. Now, however, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped any such takings.

LISTEN UP PEOPLE! This means that your town or boro or city can take your land and home and put up a shopping mall and you can't do jack about it!

Yep, they will say the area needs to be "revitalized" to cure blight and they will steal what is yours from right under your nose. This is the liberals at their finest. And Gun Toting Lib, I don't mean you! I mean those so-called "progressives" who are really socialists in sheeps' clothing. The liberals who are all for the redistribution of private property "for the good of the people." To them I say over my dead body!

Now, I live in a very rural community that could benefit from a hotel, shopping mall, hell even a restaurant. I have 13 acres and small house. My land is prime location for such a private development, but I dare anyone to come upon my land and try to take it. When I say dead body, I mean dead body. I will take several people with me on my way out of this life. The perils of trying to steal one's castle, I guess. I will not roll over on that. I will get my family to saftey, say my goodbyes and then pick people off, one at a time, until I myself have perished. I will not go willingly, quietly or without fight.

The Constitution GUARANTEES certain rights. In some instances those rights have been expanded by the courts to include property rights, now the right to your property has been eviserated.

When your home is razed to build a strip mall you can no longer complain. Socialists with their agenda have taken your right to complain away. Oh and private developers and big business don't get off here either. They take advantage of your loss of property and benefit themselves.

I don't buy into the crap that "this will revitalize the community and bring in jobs." Here's one for ya! Hotels hire, for the most part, immigrants for the housekeeping and blue collar work. The desk clerks, at least at the fancy hotels, come from other countries and proudly display that fact on their name tags. So much for "jobs for the community." Oh sure, there will probably be a Walmart to work in, maybe even a new TGIFridays, but at what cost? The cost of someone's property and freedom to live without interference thereon.

I will never, ever visit New London, CT. I will never, ever stay in the fancy waterfront hotel, visit the museum or shop in the strip mall. I will never, ever tire in telling others to shun New London, CT. People's homes, lives, memories, are being stolen to benefit the government of New London, CT, and soon your town.

Watch your back my friends. That prime piece of real estate you sit on, the home where you raised your kids, may just be sold to the highest bidder, by your own government. Think you get some of that "fair compensation?" Think again. The government will pay you bupkiss, and then sell it to some developer for prime dollar.

Nope, you can't blame this one on our current sitting President. This is all on so-called-Judges who think the Constitution and its guaranteed protections are worthless.

Again I say, "over my dead body!" You may take my land, but not before I take some of you out!

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June 07, 2005

Been Away for Awhile

As many of you know, I have been away from blogging for a while. I have missed everyone. I haven't even gotten much surfing done because I have been so busy. To top the whole thing off, my nephew has mono and another virus and my son will probably be stricken with both very shortly.

My son and nephew do everything together. They share drinks, food, toys, nap-time, everything. You can't pry them apart with a crowbar. So it is only a matter of time before my little munchkin gets sick.

I am actually hoping he won't get sick at all. He had a fever all weekend, but it broke yesterday. Barring any complications, my hope is that that will be the extent of the sick for us.

Since he was sick, I went out and bought him extra track for his Geotrax train set, and we played "twains" all weekend. Yesterday was over 80 degrees and he felt much better, so we played outside all day. Of course this led to an entirely new problem for me:

This was me: Damn bunnies ate my flowers . . .
This was him: Shoot em mommy! Can I watch? Can I? (he has absolutely no idea it means they die)

Ahhh, my son will one day be just like me. Perhaps I will let him shoot the bunnies with water whilst I shoot the bunnies with lead! Damn flea breading, tick infested bunnies. I hate bunnies.

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June 05, 2005

It's Pizza Time!


So, here is an oldie of my little sis and me sharing a slice or two. I'm the older one. She would do whatever I said, it was so much fun ;) We were so sweet and innocent back then. Then we got older and it all went downhill from there.

Oh, and for those who are new, welcome to my new home. Those who know me, please update your blogrolls!

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