Miss Mary Mack...Mack...Mack

Oh gosh, a long weekend, warm weather, family and friends. Remembering those that make all of this possible for us.  It was a fun time around here and I hope your holiday weekend was great as well. We had a cookout, ate lots of hot dogs and potato salad, chased ants away, drank some beer, good stuff. We laughed and told silly stories. The usual, special though, because this was the first official cookout of the season.

Really the highlight of the day was the double dutch jumping! Yes, jumping rope! When is the last time you jumped double dutch? I think the last time I did was when my kids were young and we were teaching them how to do it. Yeah, a few years ago! Let me say that this is kind of hard on the knees (and hips and feet) as you get a little older. Not the same as when you are 12 years old. The people you see in this video are ranging in age from 24 to 50. There are sisters and daughters and nieces and even my husband (Ravens shirt). This was several hours and many beers in to the day so be impressed.

As you know, the women in this family are very crafty (I'm talking about the hot glue gun here!). Just give us a project and stay out of the way. One of the daughters or nieces decided we should all make our own Crunk Cups. Just some sort of cup that reflects our individuality that we would use to drink beer from. Bling, lots of bling! Here is a picture, you be the judge. Don't be harsh, I know our talent is hard to take in.

Do we know how to party or what? I know, you want to go outside and jump rope now don't you? Do you remember the Miss Mary Mack jumping rhyme...all dressed in black, black, black?

Many thanks and a bow to my Brother-In-Law, John for this fabulous video. I'm thinking we should send it to Cannes.


Someone Call John Walsh!

Guest Blogger: my daughter, The Bee

(WARNING: this post is Epic in length but totally worth the read)

For several weeks my friends and I have been kicking ass and taking names at Charm City Trivia! We're ranked first at our local - not that I'm bragging. This week my mom and Kirk came with us and as usual we were unstoppable! We won two free rounds of shots for the whole team, a $20 gift card for the restaurant and a trashy Blue Moon beer t-shirt.  A good time was had by all. But that's a story for another day.

After last night's win I decided to keep the party going (since I didn't have work the next day - who doesn't loves holiday weekends??)  One of my friends suggested a dive bar down the street that I had never been to.  I have seen this place from the outside since I was a little girl - it's the back half of a liquor store and its situated nicely between a Goodwill Superstore and a KFC.


I was hesitant but she assured me it would be fun. "They have an arcade bowling game! You'll love it."

I am a sucker for games.

So we went ... my friends Carrie & Will, my husband and myself.  I got out of the car and walked up to the front door to meet Will. Meanwhile Carrie and my husband were hanging back in the lot because my husband found a snakeskin at work that day and couldn't wait to show her ... look I never said we weren't trashy. Let's remember where we were though; it fit.

As we walked up to the front some guy was standing outside smoking and he offered a friendly greeting which I returned and then quickly lost eye contact.  I gave Carrie the stink eye for talking me into going there and she started busting up laughing just knowing what we were in for.

We walked inside and the smell was a bit off-putting. Musty old carpet and 40 years of drinking and smoking that had seeped into the wood paneling on the walls.  It wasn't the greatest but I've seen worse. So we grabbed a seat. Will went up to the bar to order drinks and asked some of the regulars if there was anything on draft or just bottles. The two regulars looked at each other like he was speaking a foreign language. They had no idea what a draft beer was. They thought he meant like Heineken vs. Budweiser; and of course they had no time for some yuppie that wanted a fancy beer. Eventually he got the bartender's attention and ordered two Yeungling bottles to be on the safe side.  The rest of the bar was populated with about half a dozen middle aged men. Alone. Drinking themselves into oblivion. This was not a social bar - it was a strait alcoholic's bar.  There was one guy sitting at a table alone that I was concerned might be unconscious, or worse, but Carrie assured me he was fine. How she knew that without putting a mirror to his mouth is beyond me but I took her word for it.

Then I realized all the shots and Mai Tai's from trivia were hitting my bladder hard.

Me: "How's the bathroom here?"


Carie: "Not bad ... if you don't mind showers curtains!"

Holy shit.  WTF does that mean?!?! Is the door to the bathroom a shower curtain? Am I expected to pee in a bathtub? I mean seriously - this was not going to be good.

I ventured around the corner to the restrooms - on the way I passed an old shopping cart in the hall. How or why that was there I will never know. I found the bathrooms. One marked MEN and one marked BITCHES. Sweet. But - at least it was an actual door. This was a good sign and I began to think that maybe Carrie was exaggerating. As I opened the door I knew I was wrong. The smell of a dead body smacked me in the face. Where I found the strength to continue on I will never know; maybe my bladder is really just that weak. As I looked around the "bathroom" I discovered what Carrie was talking about. I came face to face with two stalls - no doors - just shower curtains. And not just any shower curtains - fancy shower curtains (exactly like the picture below.) They clearly spared no expense. Although, I'm pretty certain it was one shower curtain cut in half and split between the two stalls.

Using the actual toilet was it's own adventure. The shower curtains are not on any kind of rod - they are nailed to the molding over the stall. So you can't even slide it out of the way you just have to plow through. Then once I got in position I realized that the shower curtain is hung less than an inch away from the edge of the toilet seat. So while you're sitting/squatting there, not only your knees but your FACE is rubbing up against the curtain. God knows what has touch that thing. Honestly - if someone else was to walk into the bathroom while you're on the toilet they would totally see the outline of a person with two knees sticking out the sides.

Seriously - whats the point?? The only thing this shower curtain is doing is helping the spread of herpes.

I peed and wiped and ran the hell out of there. I didn't even stop to look at the sink to wash my hands. I was surely cleaner not even touching the faucet. When I get back to the table I got some Purell from Carrie and asked if we could leave. She couldn't stop laughing and the guys were just clueless. They assumed I was over-reacting and continued to concentrate on their Keno.

I dragged everyone outside for a "cigarette break" which was really just and excuse to tell them my horror story and breathe some fresh air. I demanded that we call John Walsh from America's Most Wanted because we could easily solve about 10 murders on the spot. The DNA evidence was all over my face!

There were a few more awkward moments involving 10 homeless guys in the woods and a midget but I don't want to blow your mind so I'll spare you.

I left as soon as possible and could not get in the shower quick enough when I got home.

I texted Carrie that night and told her I had self-diagnosed syphilis. Carrie replied "Not bad. At least it's curable!"


Beat The Clock - Man Game

My husband has a new toy. Oh, no, wait, I'm sorry. My husband has a new "tool". I gave it to him for Christmas thinking it would make his life a little easier now that he is working in a new area. What I didn't realize was how much fun he would have with it. Actually Buggy girl enjoys it almost as much as her Poppy does but for different reasons.

The "tool" is a GPS unit. An electronic device that will get you where you need to go in an efficient manner. Doesn't sound like that much fun, right? I didn't think so either. Now let me tell you that my husband is a human GPS but only in the state of Maryland. He needs the electronic GPS because he drives in DC and Virginia for work. Since Christmas though, he uses that GPS every time we get in the car! I don't know if he is having senility problems or he's testing himself or what. He has even started taking slightly different routes to routine destinations. A little variety maybe?

My husband calls me every day on his way home from work. Yeah, he loves me and all that but it's really that he sits in traffic a lot and he wants someone to complain to while he does it. Every day I ask him what his ETA is and he announces the time on the GPS, he also informs me that he is certain to 'shave a few minutes off of that time'. Seems simple to me; drive faster = get there quicker. No, it's a man thing; cut down your drive time = personal  achievment. Unhuh!

I want to let you all know that he beat his personal best time today on the way home by 4.5 minutes! YES! The parade will be held on Saturday if you're interested.

This GPS thing provides hours of entertainment for the whole family. What a buy that was, no kidding. A couple of weeks ago we were driving to my nieces house in Pennsylvania, drive time about 2 hours. Of course my husband was happily trying to shave minutes and Buggy girl wanted in on the fun. She got to hold the GPS unit while she sat in back in her car seat. Husband had the volume turned up so he could hear the directions. Buggy was also directing Poppy and doing a great job, "turn on the red road on your side Pop". Then Buggy noticed that the GPS was directing her to all of the McDonald's, Subways and Dunkin Donuts in the MD/PA area!  She really needed some french fries and a chocolate donut at least 37 times between here and there.

I took over watching traffic because everyone else in the car seemed to be pretty busy.


Le' Bags

Hopefully you have noticed the slideshow over on the left sidebar. Shown are some photos of the handbags I have been making and displaying for sale. Recently I decided to lower the selling price to a low-low $40.00 each! Every one of these bags is handmade and unique. No two are ever the same even if I have used the same fabric, which I seldom do.

I can tell you truthfully that I am very fussy about the bags I carry. They MUST be functional above all else. These fit me perfectly. They function and they are really attractive. The whole package. 

I'm a fabric addict and to me, something created from a beautiful piece of fabric is a work of art. Very much like a Vera Bradley bag which these have been compared to.

Just click on the "Shop Buggys" over at the top of the left sidebar and have a look at what I have in stock. I am sewing every day so stop back frequently if you don't see what you are looking for. If you have a suggestion for a color or combination of colors just let me know.

These bags are selling really well for me in person but not getting much as far as online orders. I'm guessing that the pictures are not as good or clear as they need to be. Does anyone have a suggestion for my photography? I try to take pictures on sunny days but I think I need more than that. Any help is appreciated.


The Devil Wears L'Eggs

You read that correctly...I said L'Eggs. Pantyhose, specifically, control top because if you are of a particular age (and shape)  then you need all the help the retailers can offer. Now I know that the younger set has disdained wearing pantyhose in favor of bare legs and comfort. I get it. I'm all for the comfort. If you are in my age bracket, you were raised to understand that when you dress for an office, a wedding, a funeral, etc, in something besides a sun dress then you WILL wear pantyhose to cover your legs. Read along young girls...I am your future.

In order to go bare (legged) it seems to me that you should have those legs in fair shape. They would be somewhat toned and not Arctic white. You don't want to have any shaving nicks on the shin, no softball scars on your knees and oh, that scar from the cool bunk beds with metal rails that your kids really had to have? No. Don't pass this list of criteria? Me either. Read on.

So you are going to an event, let's say your son's scholarship awards luncheon. Important stuff, worth a new fabulous dress that fits like a glove. One that your sister, the seamstress, kindly designed and made for you. Pics will be included. Well, it fits beautifully if you include a pair of control top pantyhose and the High Powered - High Waisted Power Spanx! Beauty is pain girls. 

You shower, you powder, you primp and your hair is just perfect. It's a lovely day, sunshiny and 82 degrees which means that upstairs in your bedroom it's about 87 degrees and the air is not working. Ok, that fan is on high, all is well. Husband is shaving and you commence the countdown to liftoff. Bra - on. Pantyhose.......damn it! Get the hand lotion because you have a rough spot on your hands and you got a snag already. Ok, leg gathered and insert foot...damn it! Get the ped egg and smooth that #@?&* callus on your heel. Now stand in front of the fan because you're having a hot flash and it's physically impossible to put pantyhose on a sweaty leg. I tried it once in 1984, in July, in my car! Bad day.

Homeland Security should use this instead of waterboarding, much more effective. Those terrorist would be crying like a baby!

One leg in and pulled up and onto the second! Gather in the hands and.....damn it! You can't bend your other leg up high enough to get it in! OMG, cramp in the foot! Sweating again, Jesus H., time to chill in front of the fan. Worse than childbirth. Now your husband comes to help you bend that leg and shove it, oh so gently, into your carefully gathered handfull of sheer leg covering. Rest. A glass of wine at this point would be Nirvana. More fan time.

The Spanx. This must be like stuffing sausage casing by hand. Gather, pull and tug. Rest. Fan. Pull and tug. No slouching once the High Powered Spanx are in place because the waist band (just under the bra) might roll and that would be ugly. At this point you thank God for Super AquaNet because with any lesser product, your hair would be in shambles. Husband zips you in and off you go, sucking on an oxygen bottle.

In the car, no seat belt (are you joking) no slouching, as straight as possible. Jump out of the car upon arrival. Accept all compliments on your appearance in an offhand manner. This is my sister, Lorrie (aka June cleaver) she hates attention so please don't mention that I posted her picture for all the world to see.


Life On The Farm #3

I really need to spend some time at my sister's, it's a laugh a minute...well, for me it is! So my neice, Jess, has planted her vegetable garden and we'll see how well she does with that. She planted asparagus (yuck) I can't even see wasting good dirt for that stuff but also lima beans (yum). They have acquired 1 pig named, yes, Bacon, 2 cows, Bessie and Buttercup and a new horse, "A Horse With No Name", love that song. She is thinking of calling the horse Edward (Cullen). Now I remind you, these people have never been animal lovers particularly. They get pets and very shortly things go wrong and they give said pets away. Ok, granted these animals are not supposed to be pets, except for the horse, but they have named them. It will be a traumatic day when "Bacon" is transformed into strips and links!

Yesterday, early around 8:00 am, my niece was jolted out of a sound sleep by her mother screaming her name from downstairs. Jess ran down still in her pajamas to find that the cows had escaped the electric fenced pen. Obviously my sister wasn't planning to take care of the escapees so it fell to Jess by default. Why is it this stuff always happens when the more able and familiar folks are at work?

Jess grabbed some carrots out of the fridge and took off outside, in the rain, in her pajamas, to corral the wayward ones. The escapees were headed down the lane towards the house down the way (that's farm talk). According to Jess cows run really fast, like they are wearing PF Flyers, lightening on hooves! Off she went huffing and dripping with her carrots dangling enticingly in her hand. The cows? Not impressed with the lame carrot offering.

Jess got wet, she got muddy, she got winded, but she didn't get any cows. She came back to the house and they called, you got it, Josh! The saviour of cows and septic tanks. Josh came along and put some fresh feed in the cow pen with the gate opened and shortly the cows were inside. Ok, that's probably because Jess chased them down the lane and had them all worn out and hungry by the time Josh arrived.

They might be rethinking that solar powered electric fence. Apparently it isn't so effective on those cloudy, rainy days.


The Important Stuff

We are having to deal with some tough things around here right now. Nothing we can't handle but not pleasant either. Well, my Buggy girl came to stay over on Saturday and 5 minutes with her is enough to put a smile in my heart and remind me that the important things are pretty simple.

We picked her up on Saturday afternoon and the moment I saw her she cracked a huge smile and ran in for a hug. She announced to me with a giant grin on her face that, "Guess what Grandmom, I get to sleep at your house tonight!". She never wants to do anything much, come home, play with her friend next door, bake cookies. That's about what we did on Saturday. It was perfect.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, she was crawling in the bed next to me. We snuggled for a bit and she asked if it was time to get up. My body said "NO!" I asked her to look at the clock and tell me the time and she announced in a loud voice (just in case Poppy was not awake yet) "it's 7-1-0". I tried to squeak out a little extra time and told her we could get up when the clock said 7-3-0. She proceeded to bombard me with loud chatter for the next 7 minutes so I gave up. I gave her a squeeze and got out of bed. At that point she decided to get all stealth and insist that I not make any noise because "Poppy is sleeping!". She rushed me down the stairs.I have tried over the past six years to convince her that Grandmom needs a period of "wake up time". The coffee, the eye rubbing, etc. need to be accomplished. I turned on the cartoons and went to make the coffee. As those very first drops of liquid adrenaline started dripping into the coffee pot, she asked if I was awake yet, in a hushed voice. I looked at that face, expectant, hopeful, too cute for words. "Grandmom, do you want to play a game with me?"

Well, needless to say, at 7:32 on Sunday morning I was playing a very loud and giggly game of Wii, Super Mario and loving every second of it. We played until about 9:00 when Poppy finally came downstairs and we stopped to make breakfast. Is there anything better?

 Sometime over the weekend, Buggy saw some bits of fabric on my sewing table from a new handbag I was working on. This fabric really turned her on and she asked me if I would make her a dress with these two different fabrics. She was insistent that I use both of them. Well, you know the minute I dropped her off at home I was on my way to the fabric store to see if they still had this fabric in stock. Well, I scored and so did Buggy! I wouldn't have thought to use this fabric for clothing for a 6 year old but I think it turned out to be pretty adorable. Just a little halter dress. What do you think?


I Need Rehab

As you all know I have made the decision to try and curb my addiction to cigarettes. A big decision but one that I simply have to try because my health is suffering for the addiction. Not to mention the fact that it is nearly criminal to smoke cigarettes these days. Smokers are constantly made to feel like low class citizens. Of course, now that I have made this decision and announced it to the world, there is that additional pressure I am feeling to make it work this time. I was aware of this and it was my intention to try and use that to my benefit.

Since announcing my decision this is all I am able to think about, yes, my addiction, maybe addictions. I have found myself unable to do anything constructive or concentrate on doing the things I should be doing and instead, I am 'playing' on the computer! Games, games and games! Bejeweled, Mahjong, Dominos, Canasta, and on and on. Why? I don't know. My mind is whirling a mile a minute as I am playing. I'm not thinking particularly constructive thoughts just randomness. I'm not even able to concentrate long enough to read just in fits and spurts. I looked up addictions this morning on Wikipedia and then behavioral addictions and then addictive behavior. What I found was the following possible explanation:

"Addictive behavior is any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others physically, mentally, or socially.[1]
A person can become addicted, dependent, or compulsively obsessed with anything. Some researchers[weasel words] imply that there are similarities between physical addiction to various chemicals, such as alcohol and heroin, and psychological dependence to activities such as compulsive gambling, sex, work, running, shopping, or eating disorders.
Compulsive behaviors are rooted in a need to reduce tension caused by inner feelings a person wants to avoid or control.[2] Compulsive behaviors are repetitive and seemingly purposeful and are often performed in a ritualistic manner.
These behaviors may involve sex, food, making excessive charitable contributions, caffeine, nicotine, gambling, spending, TV watching, Internet surfing, reading, cleaning, washing, drugs or alcohol. The key point is that the activity is not connected to the purpose it appears to be directed to, and is likely to be excessive. Examples could be a person who is afraid of bonding with a partner choosing to zone out with the TV, or a person who has never had enough love filling up on a gallon of ice cream.[1]"

This made some sense to me as I see the explanation for my behavior but now I feel like I really need some serious help! I have the nicotine, the caffeine, the internet surfing, the games....I'm really sick! I had no idea! I should have just kept playing Scrabble, I would have been better off. 

So then, in order to alleviate my worries I began surfing the web again. Ok, ok, I'm better, I'll get through this. Well I just happened to Google rehab centers, actually, luxurious rehab centers. What, I'm sick! The web site says they accept insurance. This particular luxury rehab center is in Malibu, a lovely setting and I think the weather would be great medicine for my various illnesses.  I might meet some stars while I'm there. Don't worrry, I'll get pictures and I'll tell you all about it.

Do you think my insurance company will balk at paying airfare from Maryland to California? If need be I'll go Greyhound just as long as they have Wi-Fi.


My Doing Things Differently Plan

‘Once Upon A Time’ A Girl Named Meleah wanted to improve the ‘Quality Of Her Life’ so she started ‘Doing Things Differently™’. And then she noticed the ‘Little Changes’ she made every day had a huge impact on her life. And even though Meleah had a few ‘Setbacks’ she kept on forging ‘Ahead’.

While I have been wallowing on my bed recovering from my latest bout of Bronchitis, I have made a decision. The inspiration came, in part, from Meleah and her quest to Do Things Differently. Click the link above to read all about it. Perhaps you will be inspired as well or at least you will be entertained by an enjoyable read!

As I lay coughing and lacking any energy or motivation to move I realized (once again) that enduring this Bronchitis on average twice yearly is not something I want to continue. It's miserable and debilitating and takes forever to fully recover.  I believe it is time to Do Things Differently or at least make another attempt.

My plan is two-fold. First and most importantly, I need to quit smoking cigarettes. I know it sounds like a no brainer but truly it is not that simple even when I am barely able to breath with the Bronchitis. Ugh! Of course I've tried, many, many times. This time I am going to try the e-cigarette. I know, one addiction for another but far healthier. This portion of my inspiration came partly from Jude over at Mature Not Senile. She is now "Vaping" instead of smoking cigarettes and feeling much better physically.

The second part of my plan is to start getting some exercise. Again, I am going to take a page from Meleah's DTD book and start walking my neighborhood every day. I think I'll just stick with the walking, stomach crunches, eh. My body will be in enough shock, it doesn't need more.

I am ordering my "Vaping" kit today and hopefully it will arrive in just a few days. Part two of my DTD will have to wait for my recovery. I'm not walking much anywhere at the moment.

Cross your fingers for me, would you please? They say that quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things to do and I can verify that after numerous attempts! If only I had never started! Did you ever smoke? Do you know anyone who has successfully quit? Do you have any great tips for me?


Happy Mother's Day!

My daughter made a "Smith Island Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake" for me in honor of Mother's Day. I tested it and it is sinfully delicious! I would love to share this with all the great Moms that I know so please, help yourself and have a great day!


The recipe for this very scrumpcious cake can be found here courtesy of Saveur.


I Am Donating My Body

In the interest of woman kind and the promotion of self esteem, I am prepared to donate my very average body to swimsuit designers everywhere. We can make a mold of my normal, average body out of silicone, like the ones they have on CSI, (appropriate because crimes against women are being committed!) and send it to all the design shops in the world. Evidently these designers are unaware of the shape and size of normal women and they are unable to locate models to use during their creative process. Well, either that or they are all malevolent, sadistic waifs and .... no, that can't be it, right?

 Is it too much to expect that if you are designing string bikinis you probably won't make them in a size 3x? By the same token, if you are buying a swimsuit as a more, let's say,  mature woman, you want a little more fabric and you probably want your parts mostly covered and held in place. No brainer?

I am 51 years old. I am 5' 8" tall. When I was 30 years old I weighed 115 lbs. and could wear anything I pleased. I was also wearing barely a B cup. Now I weigh 1** lbs. (did you really think?) and I am more well endowed.I don't want to wear pasties, nor do I want to be forced into any extreme waxing procedures. I don't enjoy pain, the eyebrow waxing is plenty!

A couple of days ago I bought a swimsuit. I haven't bought a new one for several years and this one caught my eye. I like the colors and the pattern. I was also pleased with the style, it's a 2 piece, with a full brief covered by a little skirt and the top is full length and sort of an apron style that ties in the back. The bra portion is the typical 2 triangles of fabric and it ties around the neck. No, I didn't try it on at the store, I picked out my size and went home to try it on. In the privacy of my own bathroom, I put on the bottom, good fit, good butt coverage, cute, tremendously pleasing so far.

Well, I put the top on, expecting to be thrilled! I got it tied, I pulled and tugged, twisted around, yanked, loosened, tightened....sigh. My mid-section was delightfully covered as were my nipples. That's about it. There was all kinds of hanging out the sides going on. Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl was far more covered than my girls were. These little triangles were made in a size 2. Not a good look unless you are a super model.

I take it back...they are all malevolent sadists!  Damn them!


Life On The Farm

Well, my niece is in week number 2 of  "life on the farm" and she continues to learn about the differences between city living and the rural life. She seems to be diving in to the changes with enthusiasm, in fact, I heard the other day that she is planning to put in a vegetable garden. She can't even grow fingernails!

*blink*  *blink, blink*

Imagine, she's planting a vegetable garden on a farm, hunh, pretty innovative thinking.

Reading further is not recommended for those with a  weak stomach!

It seems that last Friday Jess noticed a pretty distinct, unpleasant odor in the house. The origin of this odor seemed to be coming from one of the bathrooms so she went in search, sniffing her way from one toilet to another. She arrived at the last bathroom, raised the lid and found nothing amiss, but the odor was very strong. She was baffled by it. On her way out of the bathroom she pulled back the shower curtain and began to gag! The tub was filling with septic backup. Yes. POOP!

I believe I mentioned before that one of this girl's most frequently used words is Eeeewww. She gags at the word barf, and yes, she always gives sympathy barfs. In some ways she is very strong but never when anything icky is involved. Well, God bless her, she grabbed a plunger and started unclogging the tub drain. She was the only person at home at the time or, I suspect, this job would have fallen in to someone else's hands. She worked that plunger like she was drilling for oil in the desert and unclogged the tub. She may have been wearing a Vicks Vaporub mask by this time, not sure, but I'm thinking. Well, she forged ahead and armed with rubber gloves, Comet, 4 gallons of Clorox and a few thousand Scrubbing Bubbles, she cleaned that nasty tub.

Just as she finished rinsing the Scrubbing Bubbles down the drain her step-brother, Josh,  came home. Josh was born and raised in this rural area so he is quite able and familiar with such problems. I imagine Josh got a pretty good chuckle out of Jess's consternation. He went to get a snake (not the slithery kind but the plumbing kind) and head out to the septic tank and unclog the main pipe to the house. Jess tagged along, at a distance. Josh plumbed and snaked and whatnot and suddenly broke through the clog in the pipe. There must have been a good bit of pressure built up behind that clog because it all came shooting out of that 4" pipe in the ground....straight up at his face! Jess rolled, Josh fumed and went to find the hose.

I need to teach that girl to carry a camera with her. Such pictures we could have had! So now when she goes out in the yard she will need to wear her camouflage hip waders, a book in one pocket, a taser in the other and a camera around her neck. That's a picture.

On a side note: Josh does have a lovely, smooth,  peaches and cream complexion!?


Lingerie League?

Wow, I feel like I've been away for a month! The weekend went well, I sold lots of handbags and drawstring back packs. It was lots of fun and exhausting.

Last week, as I sat at my sewing machine, burning up the pedal, I heard several mentions of a new franchise team coming to Baltimore; the LFL or Lingerie Football League. Yeah, really. The talk show host (male) didn't ever elaborate on the subject, in fact, he sounded rather embarrassed about the whole thing. Yesterday I decided to Google Lingerie League and see what's coming to Charm City!

According to Wikipedia, the concept originated from the Super Bowl halftime alternative television special called The Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view event. My assumption is that it isn't suitable for all prime time viewers. The league is the brain child (?) of league Chairman/Commissioner Mitch Mortaza along with his sister. It is a women's American 7-on-7 tackle football league and games are played in the Fall and Winter amongst (currently) 10 teams across the country. Played at indoor arenas.

The uniforms, as you might imagine, consist of various pads, helmets bras, panties and garters. Not exactly what you might find Ben Roethlisberger wearing on the field. "Accidental" nudity is not frowned upon.

The first thing that flitted across my mind was that this is very much like mud wrestling in those skeavy strip clubs in nasty parts of town. That was actually my second and third thought as well. Exploitation? Nope. These girls are all over it. They are lining up to audition, er.....try out for the team. If they just have a burning desire to exercise their athletic ability on the field, there is a womens football league. The players are fully clothed though.

Please give me your opinions. Am I just too old or what?


Craft Break

I've been in and out of the blogosphere for a few days and it's because I have a big craft show coming up this weekend. I'm drowning in fabric and I burned my elbow with the stupid hot glue gun yesterday! Well, anyway, I'll try to stop by here and there but I'll be back for sure on Monday. Wish me luck?


Tamps and Hoops

Today I have a guest blogger for your reading enjoyment. The guest is my daughter "The Bee" and she wrote a post last year that was actually a compilation of emails that were going around one Monday morning following a week long stay at the beach by a couple of my sisters. This post came to my mind because "Lynn" is the same sister who is now moving "Down The Farm". Let me just add that this sister "Lynn" is 47 years old. 

To keep ourselves awake and motivated at work, my family sometimes has an impromptu chat room in the form of e-mail chains. They are often insightful and always hilarious. I had to share with readers of The Bee, a snippet from the conversation today. Please excuse punctuation/spelling/grammar - this was not intended to be published.

A little warning for the boys - this is about some delicate female-issues, you may want to just stop now.

A little background for those of you still with us - when I say "my family" I really mean the women in the family. I come from a fairly large family with LOTS of sisters and daughters. A male birth has been so rare that we celebrate it with a ritual sacrifice. Not goats or chickens or anything - pretty much just pastry. Come to think of it, we pretty much celebrate everything with a ritual sacrifice. We're hard-core like that. Anyway, this past weekend two of the sisters ("Lynn" and "Louise") went on a little vacation to the beach and there were some issues with tampons.

**Buggys made an excellent point - you should know that "Lynn" is not some stupid teenager. She is in fact a grown woman with stupid teenagers of her own.

Lynn says:

Okay, here goes......and this does not go on anyone's blog......Last week down the beach I had to use them. Haven't ever used them much before and it was horrible. With the first couple I was scared to cough, and having just been sick, that was an issue, so every time I coughed I held myself hoping it didn't just rocket fire out. Then I decided I needed to use super plus. So I bought new one's. However after the first one of those, which were a little different, when I pulled it out I realized that I had left the cardboard on the tampon itself. Now it was a little unraveled due to the absorption of bodily fluids, hopefully it is all out of that area by the time I go for my yearly. I have to say they are a dangerous product and should be used by only experienced personnel!

Louise says:

I took Frank off of the email for the rest of this story! Lynn was a riot, the tampon issue was hysterical and luckily nothing rocket fired out of "the area". The first day she was quite concerned (as one might assume, having never really used tampons before). Hoofing it back and forth to the truck to get to a bathroom to make "the change" gets to be quite time consuming (and hot and exhausting). So, in her infinite wisdom, Lynn became a pro the second day. There was going to be none of that walking back and forth, sweating, losing a good parking spot, etc. So, she decided to change her tampon in the parking lot at the truck. Granted, it was ingenious, and she did quite well and came well prepared. She had JR's truck all week, so she opened both doors, hiked the right leg up on the truck, took out and put back in a new one ... INGENIOUS! She came prepared with bags, wipes, tweezers (for cardboard parts if necessary), five extra bathing suits, a sign saying "take a picture it will last longer", etc. She was a PRO after only one day. OK, there were really no tweezers, extra baby-hoots or a sign .. but it made the story sound better.

Now ... on Thursday, the waves were a bit big... fun, but bigger and rougher than normal. Lynn was sporting a pair of sterling silver hoops that JR had gotten her and wore them every day. By the way Lynn, they enhanced the look everyday, kudos! We got in the water and it wasn't but seconds later when a wave smacked her in the head and one of the earrings fell out. Upset she was ( I would be too). Michelle and I looked up on shore just to see if it had washed up, it hadn't. Next day, there she was sporting the earrings, where was it you ask .... I'll tell you. She took her bathing suit off that night (after mind you, the rest of the day on the beach and an hour and a 1/2 ride home to JR's
house), it fell out of her crotch! Now, how could ya not feel that one? Well, I guess coming from the woman who stuck the cardboard up there, you could understand why!

All was well in the world of Lynn by Friday, no tampons, earrings were in ... BUT the water was too damn rough to even get in.


"Down The Farm"

I've told you about my sisters before, I have a bunch of them. One of my sisters is relocating from suburban York, PA to a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. No really, a farm. God's country. All you see as you drive through this area is corn fields and trees, a shimmery strip of black top. She has a pig. She will be working from home (lucky beotch) in an office on the second floor of the farm house. My sister has never lived on a farm. In fact, she isn't good with animals, never kept a pet longer than 6 months. She kills marigolds. I'm expecting lots of blog material from that direction.

My niece has decided to go along rather than stay in PA. She's going to try it out, see how it goes. This is a city girl. One who enjoys Starbucks, dry cleaners and concrete. She has difficulties living with a cat. Eeeeuuuww, is one of her most used words. Yes, Mike, it is a word. 

Last weekend, my niece Jess, sent me a message on FB. She was "down the farm" and was looking out the kitchen window. She saw LT, (sisters husband, born and raised in God's country) throwing a wrench at something on the ground. She decided to go out and investigate. The object of the attack was a six foot long black snake with "huge fangs" that was staring up at her! The snake had bitten LT and so, LT quietly decapitated the critter. What is it with the men in our family, quietly suffering such dramatic injuries?

Jess was freaking and rightly so in my book. I don't do snakes. NO. I don't even like looking at pictures of snakes. A black snake isn't harmful you say? Phshaw! Harmless snake is an oxymoron.

Jess was doubting that she would ever again feel safe walking out in the yard after dark and wondering how to deal with such lurking dangers. She was turning to me for a solution as we share a very healthy, crippling fear of these slithering devils. So Jess, I say always carry a flashlight and maybe wear some tall boots if you have to walk through the danger zone at night. Maybe hip waders would be a wise choice.

 BUY A TASER!       

You might look like a moron but I say let 'em laugh honey. At least you'll be safe.


Midnight Mystery

The other day I was reading Linda's post about her extreme, 3 a.m., bloody nose. I was aghast at the lack of sympathy or sensitivity shown by her husband! How dare he crack an eye, mumble a pseudo sympathetic "ok honey?" and roll over. Where is the love? Men! It put me in mind of something that happened in my own bedroom several years ago and it made me laugh out loud. Sorry Linda, I'm not laughing at your distress, much.

Let me say first that I take my sleep very seriously. If sleeping were an Olympic event, I would have gold medals lining my walls.  I need sleep and I enjoy my slumber. My husband is one of those obnoxious early risers, you know the sort, up and at 'em, don't want to waste the whole day! This at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. It's like living with the Al-Quedha or something. My husband is kind and thoughtful. He is also wary of waking me unnecessarily. It is rumored that I will lash out like a trapped animal at such times (ridiculous).

So, we went to bed at our usual time, the alarm was set for whatever ungodly time we had to get up for work and all was right with the world. Kiss, kiss, love you, snuggle, lights out. At this time we had a large, orange tabby cat and she was in her place, sharing my pillow.  Sometime during the night Kitty was feeling restless or she heard a fly buzzing or something and leaped out of the bed by way of the launching pad that is my husband's face. Those back claws dug in and gave her really good traction! There was shock and surprise and pain and blood and a very pissed off man and he made not a sound. He did, however, chase the cat out and close the bedroom door. He cleaned his face up as best he could and came back to bed.

The next morning he woke me up as the alarm went off for the fifth time (I never hear the alarm...ever) and I opened my eyes to see my husband who looked like he just barely survived the Nazi invasion! WTF? He didn't look like that when we went to bed! Where the hell have you been all night? What in the world have you been doing. That is not a stubbed toe that you might get in the middle of the night. Dried crusty blood was all over the sheets and pillow case. There were crumpled bloody tissues in the bathroom! Twilight Zone stuff! So he told me the story of what "my cat" had done to him while I slept soundly. Oh, my poor Honey! Hey, thanks for not waking me.

Let me tell you, if that had been me acting as the unwitting launching pad it would be a whole different scenario! The whole neighborhood would have been awake as I screamed and the ambulance came flashing and honking down the street! Gawd love him.

Oh, Kitty was banned from our bedroom for quite some time after that incident. She wasn't happy about it but my husband took perverse pleasure in slamming that door just before she slid in every night.

The picture, above, is not my husband and this is the best representation I could find. I didn't take a picture of his night time war wounds because I wasn't a blogger then. Now, however....well you know.


Memories of The Bullfrog Song

I heard a song the other day that instantly brought back a very clear memory. From back in the 1970's when my best friend and I were just about 15. I'm hoping she reads this sometime today and I know it will bring a big smile to her face.

".....the bullfrog jumped from bank to banky, just because he had nothing better for to do...."

Back then, my family went camping nearly every weekend during the summer. Mom, Dad, four daughters plus a couple of extra kids. My parents were beasts, I don't know how they lived through it all. The pop-up camper hitched to the back of the land cruiser station wagon. Oh yeah, off to the deep wilderness, you know, the campgrounds with olympic pools and paddle boats and wild squirrels all about. Our favorite campground was Granite Hills just outside of Gettysburg, PA. It was not far away with plenty to do and we went there often enough that we had made some friends. 

This particular time I believe we were there for at least a week. My Dad was not with us during the week, so it was Mom and the kids (including extras). My friend, Kathy and I were hanging out, no doubt on the lookout for some cool boys. Oh, did we hit the jackpot on this day! Sunshine and halter tops and we were revelling in every bit of our barely 15 year old, hormonal, coolness. On this beautiful sunshiny day we met, nay, attracted us a couple of very cool older guys. They were every bit of 18-19 and, wait, they were musicians! Be still my heart.

They were toting around their accoustic guitars and chewing on their picks. So smooth, so sophisticated, so irresistable. They had made a pilgrimage (to the next town) and met Jim Croce's wife after he passed to pay their respects. Wow! We did the little dance, hey there, hey, your name, blahgitty, blah, blah. All the time our hearts were just a-racing. They had their own car and everything, probably a rusty Ford Fairlane or something but whatever. They sang for us, oh yes. They sang to us, *swoon*. The next afternoon they asked if we wanted to take a ride into Gettysburg to get some beer. OMG! Thinking quickly, looking at one another, we have to go, can't resist this adventure, Mom will NEVER agree to this so I guess....."Of course, we'll go!"
As it turned out, that day being Sunday, all the liquor stores were closed, phew. We weren't drinkers, don't know how we would have handled that. We were gone for quite some time though and, apparently, Mom noticed we were no where to be found. I still don't know how she moved with that much stealth but the instant our feet stepped out of that car she had us by the hair and dragged us back to the campsite. So busted and yeah, soooo worth it. 

She loosened up later and even fed them dinner, the musician thing apparently works pretty well on Moms too! Also very good manners and repeated apologies...Ma'am.


I Need To Leave Town

I need to leave town for a few weeks. Anyone have room for a guest for maybe, mmm, 7 or 8 weeks? I don't need much space and I'm good at cleaning up after myself. I'm very low maintenance, I just need a little space for my laptop.

The next 7 weeks are going to be bank breaking time around here! Actually the bank is broke before I even start. This time of year is always fun but a little challenging, around here anyway. Between today and June 20th, I have been invited to or need to provide for:

(Sung to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas)

5 Bir-irthdays
4 House Warming Parties
3 Graduations
2 Mother's Day

And a First Holy Communion

Busy much? No kidding. It's like Christmas in May. The parties will be fun but I'm thinking it would be easier to just dump all my friends and family (except for you guys!). I could probably tour Europe for less than I'll be laying out over the next few weeks. 

Anyone have any brilliant ideas? $5 Arch cards all around? What? That's thoughtful.


I Lost The Dutch People!

Last month I wrote about how my daughter met her future husband online. I mentioned in that post that there are differences in how Europeans live vs. Americans. There are also many misconceptions. Basically we are all just people, parents, raising our kids the best we can, going to work, caring for our home.

On the Saturday preceding the wedding, the Dutch people arrived at BWI airport which is 20 minutes from my house. Jen and Edo left the house to go and meet them. Arriving for a 2 week stay at my home were Edo's mom Coby, his sister Kim, his uncle Ilja and a friend of the family Garret. Everyone could speak English quite well except Garret. He had about 5 words of English. No, we had never met any of them and yes, they were all staying at our house for 2 weeks.

About an hour after leaving for the airport, Jen and Edo flew in the front door panic stricken. Jen was in tears, "Mom, I lost the Dutch people".  "You..wha...how?" "They were picking up their rental car and we got separated and we couldn't find them. What do we do now?" I told them to skidaddle back to the rental car area and search the place. Obviously they had to be there, right? Wrong.

Shortly thereafter the phone rang, it was Coby calling from a gas station about 5 miles away from our house! We went to fetch them and called the lame search party back home. So we had our big meet and greet in the parking lot of a Texaco station. Hugs and laughter all around. Coby said she just felt like she should drive in this direction and she did. Pasadena, Maryland, America and she damn near tripped over the house! Astounding.

We made coffee and began talking, laughing and becoming friends. It wasn't hard at all, these people were simply an extension of our family immediately.

This was mid March of 2003. That month, the weather was perfect, it was sunny and unseasonably warm. We spent a lot of time on the deck. My husband and I had to work during that first week of their stay and so we missed out on the sightseeing trips to DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, sigh. 

All of the Dutch people smoke, as I do and when the weather is cool or rainy, the smoking happens in the garage. On Monday morning I got ready for work, running a little late, and grabbed my coffee and went flying out into the garage to get in my car. I was greeted by 3 of the dutch folks having a morning cigarette (they roll their own) and Garret was standing there in his under drawers! Teeny briefs! In my garage! I just met this person! There were good mornings all around as I tried to decide where to look. I jumped in my car and burned rubber. Obviously I was the only one feeling any discomfort.

Right at this time, my next door neighbors were having a paver patio put in. The weather was great so the landscapers were making hay. There was a crew of probably 4 guys working over there. Since the weather was so warm and sunny, young, blonde, sister Kim decided to take advantage and do a little sunbathing. In her bra and panties. Like a bathing suit, right? Garret too, was out there in the underoos enjoying the warmth. The crew next door must have had difficulties because there weren't a lot of pavers laid that week.

Trust me here, it's a little disconcerting to walk out onto your back deck and try and converse with a near stranger who is all but nude. Who also speaks virtually no English! I kept waiting for the police to show up at my door and arrest somebody! Hmmm, maybe that's why the neighbors won't let their kids play with Buggy girl? Nahhh.

Anyway, we all became friends, the wedding was fabulous and we had great fun for every minute of that 2 weeks. A year later we went to Amsterdam to visit their family and that, folks, is a story for another day.


The Dream

The illusive desire to get in shape. Not really to get in shape more like to already be in shape. If only we could twitch our noses and magically attain those buns of steel. Oh the dream. My buns are not steel or even aluminum, they are more like....memory foam. I don't see them turning to steel while I sleep. The only metal parts on my body are my fillings.

Oh, sure, I have exercise equipment. It's all piled in the basement growing cobwebs. I shudder to think how much money I have put out for such equipment over the years. Right now I have a home gym (huge thing) an elliptical trainer and a stepper thing (I forgot what it's called). None of these items is even good for piling other useless crap on!

I looked on Craig's List this morning to see what's listed in the "Dream of Getting in Shape Category" and I found a long list of useless crap that people are trying to sell:

Nordic Trac ProMmmm, hurts the arthritic knees

Abe Machine Exer Flex - Abe Lincoln? He's dead.

Weight Bench- I have plenty of weight thank you.

Exercise Equipment - Multiple, already have that.

See Why Your Neighbors Are Getting Into Shape (Our Secret) - Telling secrets!

Super Sundah SS40 Used Tanning Bed - I could do that.

The Food Lovers Fat Loss System - Sounds like me.

Bowflex Extreme Ab Attachment - Eeewww, hard!

Ab Lounge Sport - Lounge in my pj's? Maybe.

Bowflex Brand New Still In Box - I would get tangled in this thing.

Susan Lucci Pilates Chair Susan Lucci is in shape.

P90X Extreme Home Fitness DVD Set - Extreme again-eewww no.

Total Gym Home Gym- Have it.

Red Bull Energy Drink 2 x 12 - Drink this before and have a donut after.

How many dust collectors do you own? Do you use any of it? Once you are convinced that this is really not happening (2 weeks) do you sell it, give it, trade it or hang laundry from it?


Open Season on Parents


Yesterday I heard on the radio about a criminal complaint filed in Arkansas just last week. Denise New is being accused of harassment by her 16 year old son! Apparently she read his facebook and discovered some things that disturbed her and so she changed his password and shut him down. I nearly ran my car off the road when I heard this. I'm sure there are details that will come out over time but I'm not certain I care about those details. A KID is bringing criminal complaint against his MOM because she read his facebook and found cause to become very upset. A prosecutor agreed to file the charges! WHAT? Read about it here.

What in the world could be next?

Little Billy Sues Parents For Broccoli Torture 

"Your honor she made me eat it. I didn't want to, I just wanted skittles but she said NO! She made me eat the yucky broccoli! She's so mean to me!" Sobs are heard throughout the court room.

"Your honor, my parents destroyed my life. They let me eat skittles and play video games as much as I wanted. I'm fat and sick and don't have a job and it's all their fault! I deserve this $5M in compensation for what they have done to me." 

"Your honor, she took my car keys away. So not fair. That's MY car, she gave it to me for my birthday. I failed History, that does not give her the right to take MY car away!"

The 14 year olds are sexting? Those parents...why didn't they know?

Shooting at a school? Parents fault, they should have know.

Are you concerned? What if this kid wins the law suit? What sort of precedent does that set?


The Making of a Serial Killer

Have you ever wondered how serial killers are formed? Well, I know and there are a bunch of them brewing right next door to me. No kidding!

Let me tell you about my neighbors.  Well, I don't want to judge but.....ok, you tell me what you think. The people who live right next door to us are  a couple in their early 40's. Stay at home mom and they have 4 children between the ages of 6 and 13. The boys are 6, 11 and 13 and the girl is 7. Mom is home schooling the children.

 Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor have a lovely home with a fully fenced, professionally landscaped backyard. It's an oasis with rocks and lighting, a tiny waterfall and a pond. Beautiful. I could count on one hand the amount of times they go out in their yard. I'm including the kids here. In fact they almost never go anywhere aside from the grocery store and no one comes to visit either. When the kids were a little younger, mom used to make them wear bike helmets if they went out back on the brick patio. A couple of years ago we were all out front chatting and one of the kids had a bottle of bubbles. Mom flipped! The bottle was left over from the year before and she thought they had "expired". She grabbed the bottle and poured it out. I think my mouth dropped to my knees! Soap and water FREAKO!

The kids are not allowed to play with other kids, well, at least not with my Buggy girl or the little girl on the other side of them. They are even afraid (restricted) to talk to them across the fence! This has caused some tears and confusion in my house for sure. If Buggy or the other neighbor knocks on the door, they simply won't answer.

I nearly forgot about the dog. They have a little dog that I have only seen once. Maybe a Jack Russellish type. Well, the dog is paper trained (of course) and never, ever is allowed outside! The other day panic broke out next door because the dog ran out into the fenced backyard. They all flew outside to apprehend the scoundrel and corral him back inside. I haven't figured that one out yet. Maybe she's afraid of a flea or tick stowing away on the dog? Sneaky devils.

With all this would you believe that I saw the boys out back yesterday (I know, a kid sighting!) with pop guns shooting at squirrels? What? That's what I'm saying! I'm keeping a close eye out and if I notice fewer cats in the neighborhood suddenly...I'm so outta here!


My Family - Conversations

I hope your holiday was wonderful and full of good food and family. Mine sure was. The weather was perfect and so we sat outside mostly and nibbled and talked and laughed. You know the silly, food coma induced, conversations? How many times did you hear this yesterday?

Jamie, "I'm so stuffed I feel sick. Ooh, are you going in the house? Bring me back a chocolate egg would you?"

But this?

Jess, "Aunt Don, pass me your lighter please?"

Me, "Ok, but don't put it in your pocket, send it back to me."

Jess, "I just need to light this, do you want me to play Survivor and rub 2 rocks together? Oh my God, I could never play that game, if someone tried to make me poop in a hole in the ground.....that's it, Game Over!"


Happy Easter

I made you some cookies, so please, help yourself and enjoy the holiday!


AGift for Mother's Day or Any Day

I know, what a great idea, right? A handmade, one of a kind handbag for that precious Mother in your life. No, not the @$#& Mother! Stop that. The angel who carried and coddled you. The one who has fed and comforted you all your life. For some of you it may be your wife as well. Frankly, I've been known to buy myself a Mother's Day gift. What? I'm not worth it? A shameless plug? Yep, but these bags really are one of a kind and they are truly beautiful AND functional. You'll be happy and so will your Mom.

If you let me know it's a gift, I'll even gift wrap for you. Full service! So go, hurry, upper left corner over there, click "Shop Buggys"  or click here and browse. Couple of clicks with Paypal and the bag will be on its way. Keep checking back to see what's new, I'm sewing as we speak!


All About The Comfort

 I saw this bike the other day and I kind of love it. We like to go for bike rides with the Buggy girl sometimes. She is only just off of the training wheels so I can still keep up with her. I have an old bike now but it's seen better days so I'm kind of looking around. This bike is from the Comfort Line, yes! Ok, that's me, I'm all about the comfort.

I would need to make a couple of modifications to this one to totally love it. First thing is the seat. This is a nice seat but my ass is not a size 4 anymore (throat clearing). So I'm thinking a wider one would make me happy. I'm not trying to be tortured, have you seen some of these bike seats of the misery variety? Do you never want to walk again?

The second item would be the gears. I don't have a need for gears. I wouldn't ever change to a different gear, no need. I don't do hills. I will avoid hills at all cost. I plan my route accordingly. The fact is I am a smoker, oh my God I can't believe I just said that. My dirty secret is out of the bag. Don't hate please. Smokers are not known for stretching themselves to physical limits. Vacuuming is about as far as it goes. So, strip the gears.

Last but, possibly most important, is a basket. A must have. I never travel lightly, anywhere, anytime, ask my husband. I need to have my mug full of iced tea and backup depending on the length of the trip. Perhaps a snack and of course my cigarettes because what would an outdoor excursion be without those things? Admittedly this is a dorky look. But I think we have determined that I am beyond worrying about looking dorky or old. I do wear my reading glasses on a chain around my neck. My family hates that but it makes me happy.

The only negative here is the price of my dream bike. For this plain, retro, old style bike? $499.00. Yes, astonishing, I know. Maybe I should cruise the flea markets for a circa 1955 Schwinn and do a pretty paint job on it. If anyone reads this post and would like me to do a review on this bike, I'm completely available. Just saying.


My Cyber Cafe

Yesterday two of our kids came by to visit. One of them I knew was coming by at some point because she wanted me to trim her hair. She had tried to come by the day before but I was out which, I think, annoyed her a bit. So, anyway, around noon the oldest called to see if we would be around as she was on her way home from DC and thought she would pop in. This all came to fruition around 4:00.

In comes the first born, Christina, with her tote bag on her shoulder. "Hi mom, what's for dinner, can we make dinner now, I'm starving?" She is sitting at the kitchen island now setting up her laptop as I start gathering some quick food to prevent my child from perishing. Christina says, "I need to get my resume together so I thought I would work on it here so you can help." Meanwhile I am running food choices by her because, as you know, I don't really cook. We are chicken nugget/fries people and my oldest daughter is a food snob. I don't know where she came from. I got the food into pots and pans and into the oven. Timer set.

My husband is at the kitchen table working on his laptop in front of him and another in the chair next to him transferring all of his music from one to another while watching a basketball game on tv. I snagged one of the laptops from him so I could play while the two of them are working and not talking to me.

In walks daughter #2, Jenn, greetings are exchanged and I sent her upstairs to get scissors, comb, towel for her haircut. Well, you know she snagged my chair and laptop and started playing games while I am doing her hair!

Now I'm making dinner, cutting hair and no one is talking to me. They are all PLUGGED IN! Remember that old Stephen King novel about the people in town who became computers or some nonsense? I lived that in my kitchen yesterday!


Online Dating?

Yesterday I was congratulating a friend on her upcoming wedding. She and her intended met online and formed a wonderful relationship. I commented that my daughter had a similar experience 8 years ago.

My daughter was 22 at the time and living at home, going to school. My baby, my stay at home girl. Sometime in early summer we noticed that she was virtually living on the computer. If she wasn't at work then you could find her parked in front of the computer (somewhat like what I do now). Of course I asked what was up and she said she had found a gaming site (card games) where you could partner up with other people all over the world and she was making friends and enjoying it. Her speech became peppered with what so and so from China thought and what the new thing was in India, bah, blah. All good.  

One morning, my husband got up for work at 5:30 and daughter was still assuming the position in front of the computer, still in her work clothes from the night before! She hadn't walked away from that screen for 9 hours. This became a routine and then, suddenly a web cam appeared on top of our monitor, hmmm. "What's up", I asked? "Nothing, what?" I started questioning her friends who wouldn't tell me but they did get all squirmy. I was considering the bamboo water torture when she finally (with the support of her girl friends) told me what was up. She had met Mr. Wonderful. Yes, online and he lived in Holland! Specifically, Amsterdam. And further, she was planning to get on a plane and go there for a visit for several weeks....ALONE! Are you freaking kidding me? Amsterdam, the land of legalized SIN! My little girl alone with a total stranger in Amsterdam? Oh Double HELL NO! This is the same kid who didn't even like sleep overs because she would rather be home!

Of course we talked calmly, then progressed to battle skirmishes. "But I'm over 18!". "And I still feed you and provide a roof over your head". "You can't stop me, I'm buying my own ticket." "And I recall taking your temperature and bringing you juice just weeks ago!".  STANDOFF! Even her friends were nervous and didn't like the idea.

I cracked a little and agreed to meet him (give him the evil eye) on the web cam. Well, I did, but the lighting at his end was bad and I still felt like he was surely a 50 year old, creepy rapist and was going to sell my baby into white slavery in Indonesia or something. Then someone else walked into the room, it was his Mother. She and his dad had just come back from dinner. She and I met and chatted. Yes, she had some of the same feelings that I did about these kids. She was...me, just a mom, concerned about her child making crazy decisions.

Eventually we all agreed that Edo would come here for a visit and stay with us. He arrived, we met, he stayed for several weeks. We all loved him immediately, he fit right in even though he is a crazy foreigner. One year later, I got to meet his mom, Coby, when she arrived at my house 2 weeks prior to their wedding. We became fast friends on the spot. We all had the best 2 weeks with the families intermingling.

Happy 7th Anniversary to Jenn and Edo!

There are, however, differences in how Europeans live as compared to Americans but I'll save those observations for another post.


Tribal Blogs

Are you tired of wading through blogs that don't update regularly? Or how about the ones that are so full of blinky, glittery ads that you can't even find any content? Well, we all are and Jen over at RedHeadRanting decided to do something about it.  She has developed a new networking site for bloggers and it's called Tribal Blogs. It's free to join and anyone is able to download the toolbar which will connect you with likeminded, quality blogs. There is also a premium membership available that will get your blog added to that toolbar. This site, though new, is very exciting and has really taken off. Go by and see what you think.

Here are some things Jen has to say about Tribal Blogs:

Tribal Blogs is a community of writers whose outstanding blogs set them apart from the rest of the pack. You are here because you share the following qualities with these bloggers:

* You are a gifted writer
* You engage your readers
* You share your thoughts and feelings by commenting on posts that interest you
* Your blog is inviting
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Judge Douchbag ?

The Honorable Darrell Russell Jr. is a real chuckle. Judge Russell presides over domestic violence cases which don't tend to tickle the funny bone so Russell inserts his own bits of humor. You can get a seat in his courtroom free any weekday, he's there until 4:00. Or at least he was.

In criminal cases it is the state that prosecutes, rather than an individual, so the pressure and responsibility are taken out of the hands of the victims.  On March 10th, a domestic violence case came to trial and all parties were present in Judge Russell's court. The defense asked for a postponement in the trial so that the defendant and the witness (victim) could be married! The victim had been beaten severely, face bloodied, kicked in the ribs, thrown against a wall. She told police that the defendant had threatened to kill her as well as her two children on previous occasions. Has she seen the light? He must have said sorry, right? I'll never do it again, I promise! Is there an alarm bell going off in your head right now? Why does the state step in and prosecute? Oh, right.

Russell thought it was a fine idea and insisted on performing the nuptials himself, bless his romantic heart! He postponed until the afternoon to allow these folks to get a marriage license and then invited them back to his chambers for the wedding ceremony. I guess he pulled the attorneys in as witnesses for the blessed event. Are these people on CRACK?

Upon return to the courtroom, Judge Russell called the case, the new bride invoked her right to not testify against her husband, defendant pronounced NOT GUILTY. Done. Until the media learned of this bizarre case. When the questions came a-flying, Judge Russell remarked that it must have been a slow news day!

District Court Judges are appointed......for life. With full and generous pensions upon retirement. The Judge is currently on administrative duty only. What will they come up with for him? I could come up with a few ideas.

I would like to nominate Judge Darrell Russell for Jayne's Steaming Pile Of Shit Award. I believe he's worthy.