Blogger Backgrounds

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pirate Names

Thanks to this blog for the great Pirate Kitty picture!

I'm finally getting around to real pirate names for our furry family. Here are the new names along with review on the two kitties who already had pirate names.

New Names:

Miss Dampier (formerly Pirate Wench Puppy). She is named after William Dampier. He was a member of the Royal Navy, managed a Jamaican plantation, was a pirate on the ships of Captain Bartholomew Sharp, Captain John Cook, as well as many others. He also commanded some of his own ships. At one point, he was marooned and spent 5 years alone on an island. I named her after him because she has also had a life of many changes and many moves.

Major Stede (Formerly Pirate Puppy). He is named after Stede Bonnet, a former Army Major - also known as the Gentleman Pirate. He basically decided one day that he was bored and wanted to become a pirate. So he bought a ship and paid his crew - a very unusual way to run a pirate ship. At one point, he met Blackbeard, and the two became friends. They cruised together, but Blackbeard tricked him into giving up his ship. He eventually got his ship back and was later hanged for piracy. I named my dog after him because he's got a very sweet personality, but he's not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, if you know what I mean.

Brave Bonny. She is named for the pirate Anne Bonny who was a tough girl with a violent temper. She was said to have beaten an unwanted male suitor so badly that he was bed-ridden for many days. She was tried for her crimes of piracy, but was not hanged for them. Historical records are sketchy, but she may have lived out the rest of her life quietly in Colonial America. Our little cat used to be a wild farm kitty, but is now living a quiet life in our home. She has been known to put up a pretty good fight when being "suited" by Captain Kitty.

Previously Named:

Captain Kitty. Here he is at his favorite "watering hole" - the bathroom sink. I mentioned his name in this previous entry, but here is what I said:
He is named after Captain William Kidd, another famous pirate in history. He sailed the seas as a pirateer for England. He turned to piracy after a killing one of his crew members in a dispute. He captured one of the largest pirate treasures in history. I chose this name for our new kitten because he can quickly go from being calm and loving to attacking and biting (mostly me).

Old Captain Paulsgrave. Here he is, mid-scratch. It was just about impossible to get a picture of him facing me today. This is the best you're going to get. He just turned 14 this month, but here's what I said about him back in September of 2009:
Old Captain Paulsgrave - the blog name of my 12 year old Siamese mix cat. A wise old cat with a long, colorful history. I named him after Paulsgrave Williams who apparently became a pirate at the ripe old age of 38 - midlife crisis, perhaps? He was a silversmith (or goldsmith from one report) who left his wife, children and job to form a partnership with Samuel Bellamy. They started out as treasure hunters, but turned to piracy in the ultimate get-rich-quick-scheme.

So there you are. Our pirate pet family.


The weather has become incredibly nice around here. I've spent a lot of time outside enjoying it. Last night, I had this image of sitting outside on my front porch with something warm to drink, just enjoying the warmer morning air.

So that's what I did this morning.

I got dressed in my favorite lightweight black palazzo pants and a plain white t-shirt with my Hawaiian sandals.

I made myself my favorite warm drink. Hot Horchata. (I need to try this recipe one of these days. The version I've been drinking is a powder mix. I put a couple teaspoons of it in milk, then heat the whole thing up. Mmmmmmm...)

I grabbed the baby monitor and a good book and headed outside to my comfy camping chair that's on my front porch. (Still missing my porch swing that got stolen in Montana when we were moving the first load up here. My swing is the only thing that would have made this morning even better.)

It was perfect. Nice cool breeze, not too chilly. Birds singing all around me. I could even hear a woodpecker. The only car that passed by was my neighbor (sure don't miss the busy street we lived on in MT!) I enjoyed my book, my drink, peace and quiet and the wonderful sensation of spring finally being here.

And then I had to laugh at myself.

It was 38 degrees outside!

Both where I lived in Montana and when I lived in Utah, 38 degrees would have kept me in the house! I certainly wouldn't be on the front porch in sandals and a t-shirt thinking about how nice it was outside!

Yep. I'm acclimated to Northern Middle of Nowhere North Dakota.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stupid Criminal Saturday!!

First of all, I have no idea why this is underlined.

Second, I would like to thank the Eye on Annapolis website for the lovely picture above. I really like it, and I think it needs to be the start of all my Stupid Criminal entries.

This one is really good:

Gangster’s tattoo showing murder scene leads to his conviction

If Anthony Garcia wasn't regretting that huge tattoo inked across his chest before, he sure must be now. That's because it was the Los Angeles gangster's body art that tipped off law enforcement to his role in an unsolved murder--and ultimately helped lead to his conviction. In short, as Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Faturechi notes, Garcia drew cops a map of the crime scene--on himself.

In 2008, Kevin Lloyd, a homicide investigator with the L.A. County Sheriff's office, was looking through photos of tattooed gang members, when he came across Garcia's (above). Garcia had recently been picked up on a routine traffic stop and soon released, but the image on his chest caught Lloyd's attention.

Back in 2004, Lloyd had been working as a sergeant at the Pico Rivera station when he was called to the scene of a shooting outside a liquor store, in which 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down. The murder was never solved.

But Lloyd quickly realized that the tattoo on Garcia's chest showed the scene. It wasn't just the image of the liquor store itself. It was the artistic details: the Christmas lights on the roof; the street lamp in the corner; and the murder victim depicted as a peanut, which is a gang terminology for a rival gang member. And above it all was a banner reading "Rivera Kills"รข€”a reference to the Rivera-13 gang.

Lloyd and his colleagues soon found Garcia and arrested him. Then, a detective posing as another gang member was placed in Garcia's jail cell--and soon got him talking. Before long, Garcia was bragging about the liquor store shooting--unaware that the undercover detective was recording him.

That recording would later be played for a jury, which convicted Garcia of the murder.

It's not unusual for gang members to get tattoos that reference events in their lives--either symbolically or literally--as a way to impress their peers. But Homicide Lt. Dave Dolson said a tattoo that actually laid out its owner's involvement in an unsolved murder was something new.

"I haven't seen it before, and I haven't heard of anything like it either," Dolson told the paper.

Captain Mike Parker said cops had Garcia himself to thank for wrapping the case up. "Think about it," Parker said. "He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this."

Article by Zachary Roth of Yahoo News

I really like this one.

I've heard of people being proud of their crimes. I've even heard of people getting tattoos that commemorate their crimes. But to get the CRIME SCENE tattooed on your body??? Now THAT is bold! What's next? A serial killer who has the names of all his victims, dates of their murders and where he disposed of the bodies tattooed on him?

Some people are just plain dumb.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pirate Munchkin is 7!!

We had talked a little about what to do for her birthday this year. Last year, we had a huge party at a big activity center and I spent hours and hours and hours working on the cupcakes.

I wanted to do something smaller this year, but still something that she would find a lot of fun. I suggested a sleep-over, and she was thrilled.

We had it last weekend. She invited three of her closest friends. Two of them weren't going to be able to spend the night, but they were all able to come!

I planned lots of projects to keep them busy (thank you to all my online friends who gave me suggestions!) We made homemade pizzas, painted flower pots (that I'll get around to planting with flower seeds and delivering one of these days), and had a yarn maze they had to follow to get prizes. We had rented a movie, but the girls opted to skip the movie in order to play dress up and hide-and-go-seek. And then there were the standard cake (in this case, a small cake and cupcakes to go with it) and presents.

They had a blast, and it was declared "Best Birthday Party Ever" on several occasions.

I know. I rock.

Very little sleeping was actually done overnight (no surprises there), and the morning brought pancakes and more playing.

Her actual birthday passed much calmer. But there were still plenty of goodies. Brownies for the class at school, more cupcakes for us, and more presents.

She was pretty well spoiled this year.

She deserves it.

Flashback Friday

See that girl on the far right with the sunglasses and the drum?

That's my mom.

Isn't she cute?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I love Thanksgiving. Ever since the first year that I tackled cooking my own turkey, I've looked forward to cooking a big, fat bird every year.

One spring, I found myself craving turkey again. So since then, I always try to buy two turkeys at Thanksgiving-time when they're so much cheaper - in order to have one in the spring.

So last week, I made our spring turkey. (Kind of like a Spring Chicken, but different.)

I would have stripped all the meat off it for freezing earlier, but I've been planning Pirate Munchkin's birthday party that we had Friday night.

Yesterday, I promised Surfer Pirate I would get it done. I make some pretty amazing turkey enchiladas with leftover turkey, and he was very concerned that the meat would spoil before I could make any for us. But yesterday, I was pretty much in party-recovery mode. I took a long nap and spent a lot of time sitting down. He and I made supper together and we all spent time together as a family. Everyone went to bed, but I knew I couldn't go to bed until I'd taken care of that turkey.

So about 11:00 last night, it was silent in the house, and I found myself stripping meat off a turkey. The only sound was the sounds of the meat being pulled off the bones.

And it occurred to me that there is something very primal about removing meat off a dead animal's carcase in the dark of night.

Yep. I'm a carnivore, through and through.

A Note on Google Image Search:

While I thought about this blog posting last night, trying to figure out what I would say, I was too tired to grab the camera and get a picture to go with it. So I used one of my favorite tools to find a picture for me - Google Images.

But could someone please explain to me why when I entered the words "partially eaten turkey" that this picture of Michael and Janet Jackson would come up?


That's just creepy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Puppy Love

(It's really sad how long I've been blogging and I'm just now figuring out how to post more than one picture at a time. My mom says she learns just by clicking on things. I've got to get better at that.)

Pirate Baby was having his tummy time. Generally, he hates it and will cry most of the time. For some reason, this time he was perfectly content to lay on his tummy and study the world from floor level.

But Pirate Puppy (I've REALLY got to get around to finding better dog pirate names) has serious issues with people being on the floor. I think he finds it completely wrong and doesn't quite know what to do when that happens.

Combine his floor/people neurosis with his complete obsession with Pirate Baby and you get the pictures I've got here.

We got a really cute picture frame as a baby gift, and I've been trying to figure out what would be a good shot to go in the frame. I've seen family pictures with everyone on the floor before and thought this would be a good time to do that. Kind of hard to do with a dog in the middle of things!

For the record, I did get a couple of good ones of my two cute kiddos together.

Without the dog.

Blue Sky

Yesterday was the most beautiful spring day we've had so far. The sky was the most gorgeous crystal clear blue. The sun was out. The air was warm. There was a light, pleasant breeze blowing.

Surfer Pirate came home for lunch ("dinner" around here. Still not used to that). When he was leaving, he suggested that I take Pirate Baby for a walk. Just another case of us reading each others' minds because I was thinking the same thing!

Pirate Baby and I went for a long walk and then we sat out on the porch soaking up the sunshine. He took a nap and I read a book. Then we both had a little snack.

Aside from discovering I had missed some odd spots when I had put on my sunscreen (as proven by my weird sunburn), it was a perfect, perfect day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mmmmmm... Doughnuts...

Who doesn't love doughnuts?

Man accused of stealing truck full of Krispy Kremes

A man who told Ocala police officers he stole a doughnut truck because he was tired of walking and wanted to sleep was arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft auto and possession of marijuana of less than 20 grams.

Police said two vehicles bumped into each other Thursday and the drivers thought the mirrors might have been damaged, so they stopped in the 400 block of West Silver Springs Boulevard and called police.

At the scene, Randall Travis Roberts, 20, of Davenport, told officer Leonard Griggs he had stolen the 2011 GMC box truck owned by Gulf Florida Doughnut Distributing in Tampa from a Walmart parking lot in Haines City.

Griggs secured Roberts and called for backup. Officer Nigel Hardy arrived and confirmed that the truck had been reported stolen.

Roberts told the officers he had gotten tired of walking and that his feet hurt.

He said he saw the truck, with the keys inside, parked behind the Walmart and took it “because he needed somewhere to sleep.”

Inside the truck, Hardy found 338 boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the back, along with 10 grams of marijuana in a plastic bag on the floor near the driver's seat.

Roberts said the marijuana did not belong to him.

He was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail.

It is not known if he ate any of the doughnuts.

Somebody had a serious case of the Munchies.

Picture found here. Article found here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's a Start

Hey! Some of that white stuff is gone!

It's been really nice the last few days. I even spent a little time on the front porch with Pirate Baby - soaking up some sunshine.

I sort of remember that long skinny stuff that was hiding under the white stuff. I think it's called grass.

It's not green yet, but it's not white either!

That's an improvement!

And for the record, I saw robins yesterday. Lots of them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It started when I was a baby and I would suck my thumb.

When I was 4, my mom decided it was time for me to stop that habit. She told me "big girls don't suck their thumbs." We agreed that when I turned 5, I would be a "big girl", and it would be time to stop.

I turned 5 and quit sucking my thumb.

(Although after my parents split up the next year, I would sometimes ask permission to do it again when I was extra sad.)

But I still couldn't keep my hands away from my face.

I started biting my nails instead.

I bit them all the time. I would even bite them so short that they would bleed. People asked me all the time if they hurt. Most of the time they didn't because I was just used to them being like that. I was also a bad influence on my best friend - she started biting her nails because I bit mine. Sorry B!

Somewhere around junior high I think, I really started actively trying to quit. It took YEARS before my nails looked nice more often than they looked bad. Somewhere along the line, the biting mostly turned to picking. I would pick at them and fiddle with them until I'd torn them short again.

And then I realized the condition of my nails was a direct reflection of my stress level.

When my stress level was fairly small, my nails would be long and pretty. But once the stress started piling on, I would pick and pick and pick at them until there was nothing left.

(My nails were mostly always short during my first marriage. They got much better after we split up.)

Then I got pregnant with Pirate Baby. Pregnancy hormones are AMAZING!!! My nails were longer and thicker than I could ever imagine! When he was born, I was so stressed during the time he was in the hospital that I destroyed them again. But it didn't take long for them to grow back out. I've now gone more than 3 months with them always looking pretty. I actually even have to cut them back sometimes! (I don't think that's happened more than a couple times in the past!) I think this is the longest I've gone with them constantly looking nice. I used to have a problem with them peeling once they'd been long for a while - hasn't happened in over a year. Life is just pretty darn good these days. I have an incredible husband, two great kids, a nice house and a quiet life. Those balance out the other hard things of Pirate Surfer's health issue and my dad's death.

I feel pretty blessed, and my nails are a good reflection of that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Just Because

I don't want to be looking at that Bubba guy's face first thing when I pull up my blog, so I'm including a video of my cute little guy. I hope this works.

Soon after filming this, Pirate Baby rolled over for the first time. I managed to get him to do it on camera minutes later, but I say his name on that video, so I'll keep it off my blog. This one is just him being generally cute. This was filmed March 25, when he was 3 months and 3 days old.

Sunday Also Starts With an S

It's been pointed out to me that so many of my postings lately have been sad. Since I just posted yet another sad one tonight, I thought I should lighten the mood a little.

I know it's not Saturday, but will you forgive me for a Stupid Criminal Sunday?

(This story is from I edited a little to take out details I don't care about. You can read the whole article here.)

James Stewart arrested in Florida

Two-time AMA Supercross champion James Stewart Jr. was arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer Monday near his home in central Florida.

A spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol said Stewart, 25, who is known as "Bubba," was driving a black 2008 Toyota Tundra on State Road 417 in Osceola County when he approached a car containing two off-duty Florida state troopers and an off-duty Osceola County sheriff's deputy.

Police said Stewart turned on red-and-blue flashing lights on his dashboard and the off-duty officers pulled to the side of the road. When the truck pulled alongside their vehicle, one of the troopers in the car identified himself as law enforcement, and Stewart sped off, police said.

The off-duty trooper phoned 911, and a short time later an Orange County Sheriff's deputy and Orlando Police officer pulled over the truck driven by Stewart at Orlando International Airport. Stewart and his passenger, 44-year-old Quinalt Thames Jehrrod of Los Angeles, were arrested. Police said they found the lights in Jehrrod's luggage.

Sergeant Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol said Stewart told officers he bought the lights at a flea market.

Stewart was charged with impersonating a police officer and Jehrrod was charged with tampering with evidence. Both charges are felonies.

Stewart's truck was seized.

Dude! I just went to the flea market and spent my TV money on this cool thing at the flea market!
(Seriously, the guy has his own TV show!)
Police lights! Man, that's awesome!
Let's go drive around and pull random people over just for fun!
Great idea! There's no way THAT can go wrong!

The One I Don't Want to Write

I've been really quiet lately for good reason. The last month and a half have been really hard. I've had the flu followed by a cold, Pirate Baby has had the same cold, and Surfer Pirate has been struggling with some of his own health issues.

But the hardest by far happened on February 26, 2011. A very special man was called Home to his Heavenly Father.

When my mother was in college, she met and fell in love with a very sweet and funny man. Differences in priorities led them in different directions. They both moved on, married, had children and went through divorces. More than 3 decades later, he found her on their college alumni association website, and they communicated via email for a few years. In 2000, they decided to "grow up and get married." So in June 2000, this great man became an official member of our family.

Dad loved his family more than anything in the world. They were everything to him. I felt honored that he considered me as much his daughter as his own daughters. He took great joy in his grandchildren and loved spending time with them. He stepped into the role of our family patriarch with the wisdom and respect that the job entailed. We were all greatly blessed to have his love and support.

He also loved God. Serving the Lord and learning more about His plan for him were very dear to his heart.

His other great love was fishing. He looked forward to getting out there and catching the biggest salmon in the river. You can see the pure pleasure in his face in the above picture - fishing and spending time with his oldest grandson.

In 2005, a major heart issue left him paralyzed. Once he recovered, he never let it slow him down. He was always coming up with ways he could do things he'd previously done, just with his wheelchair. Even fishing. He was very excited when he found a place he could fish from his chair.

His heart continued to give him problems through the years. This winter, it finally was too worn out. His last days in this world were spent with family.

And I can't write any more than that because my heart can't take it. His loss is deeply felt in our family and we feel privileged to have known, loved and been loved by him. I miss you Dad.