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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


When I first heard they were putting cameras in cell phones, I thought it sounded like a neat idea, but figured I'd never really use it. The first phone I had that had a camera was not impressive. I much preferred my digital.

Time passes. Technology improves.

*Mike Birbiglia, one of my favorite comedians talks about cameras. Here's a clip of it, including some jokes about rap. There are a few naughty words, but they've been bleeped out.

This morning, I needed to run some errands. When I pulled into my driveway, I caught a glimpse of this monarch butterfly through my neighbors' fence. The digital camera was in the house, but as always, I had my phone.

I had to reach way over the fence to get this shot, but I caught the butterfly right as he turned towards me. I was like he said "Oh no. Get this side. This is my good side."

I sat and watched him (I'm assuming. It may very well have been a girl butterfly) for a while, and then he flew away. But instead of just going somewhere else, he flew around me several times, coming within a foot of my face at one point.

Beautiful little show-off.

Just for fun, here's another funny bit by Mike Birbiglia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Wacky World of Internet Dating

First of all, I should announce that Pirate Baby got his first tooth last Wednesday!! It's still not all the way out, and the poor guy has been extra miserable today. Which means his mama has had an extra rough day as well. I'm enjoying the calm peacefulness that I've finally got in my house today. I'll be glad when that tooth makes it's full appearance (and when our Hylands Teething Tablets get here!)

So while we're on the subject of things that bite...

Internet Dating!!

*I'm only sort of kidding. It was too good of a segue to pass up!

One of the blogs I read all the time was talking about internet dating today. It reminded me of a story I've been meaning to tell on here for a while.

When I found myself newly single in 2007, I decided I would give internet dating a shot. My sister had met her husband online. My mom and step-dad had found each other again online. I figured I had a pretty good chance with the internet.

I had a very specific idea in mind of what kind of man I was looking for, so I signed up on a church based dating site. I was nervous when I set up my profile. I tried to be as honest as I could without revealing too much information (I was fairly internet phobic back then). I finished, clicked done, and tried to be patient.

I started getting responses quite quickly.

Each one seemed to be a little more odd than the one before.

What I came to discover was that apparently the guys who have been shot down by everyone else stalk the "New Members" listings, in search of new blood. They're like very creepy little sharks.

But they also make for fun story material.

Before I get to my favorite story from that batch of men, I'll throw in another doozy. Dave* was a 49 year old, twice-divorced father of 2. I informed him right away that nothing would be happening with us because he was much too old for me. (The age range I had entered was 31-41. I was not about to get involved with someone 8 years past that range!) But he was sort of entertaining, and I didn't have much else going on at that moment, so I stuck around to talk to him online. He told me that he was looking for a young bride because he wanted more children. He was an odd duck.

But now we're up to my favorite story. After a week or so of being bombarded by strange long-term members (creepy little sharks), I got a message from a guy named Jeff*. His profile listed him as being new like me. He hadn't posted a picture yet, and he wasn't quite done entering information, but I saw he had listed that he was going to culinary school. I always thought that seemed like a fun thing to do, so I was curious. We ended up instant messaging, and he seemed like a nice enough guy. Eventually, we got into the discussion about his culinary school. I asked him what his focus was - what type of cooking he wanted to do (French, Mexican, pastry, etc) - trying to get an idea of what he wanted to do with himself after he finished school. I was expecting to hear something like he wanted to become the head chef at a 5-star gourmet restaurant. Or maybe a cruise ship chef. Heck, even short-order cook in some little cafe. So how does Jeff answer the question?

"I like meatloaf."



My mind was reeling...



Did you... did you really just answer a... a question about your schooling... did you really just tell me... the answer to why you're paying tuition someplace... to learn how to be a chef... is that you LIKE MEATLOAF??

I decided that any sort of romantic relationship with Jeff was not possible. He just didn't seem all that bright to me after such a ridiculous answer. On top of that, I hate meatloaf. (Both the food and the "musician".)

I was so stunned by this guy that I had to tell my friend about him. We decided that he had big dreams of opening a restaurant that serves only different varieties of meatloaf. He's going to become famous for his meatloaf.

We started referring to him as Jeff the Famous Meatloaf Chef.

And I ignored further messages from him.

Eventually, I noticed he'd put up a profile picture. Jeff weighed somewhere around 400 pounds. Guess he really DID love meatloaf!

I never did find romance on that site, although I did make some friends. When my contract time ended, I decided not to renew my membership. I wanted to take a break from finding Mr Right and just focus on Mr Right Now. I opened a Myspace profile, and that's where I met Surfer Pirate.

Guess online dating was still the right way to go for me.

*Names changed to protect the crazy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

8 Months!

What's that in your hand, Mom?

It looks really interesting.

Can I see it??

His ear isn't very tasty.

Getting kind of bored with this guy.

That looks like more fun over there.

But I'll give you one good shot first.

And now I'm OUTTA here!!

This looks like fun.

What else can I get into?

I finally just gave up and switched to video mode to catch all the action. Enjoy!

Something Fun

One of the very few pictures of Pirate Baby taken at the hospital. So much of the five days we were there was a complete blur. I believe he was about 3 days old when I took this one. He was very jaundiced, so that lovely blue glow is called a Bili Blanket.
(And please admire my lovely purple pants.)

A friend (she knows who she is) suggested taking Pirate Baby's pictures with the same stuffed animal every month to track how much he's grown. It's great advice that I've followed, but I wish I'd had the sense to take his picture with it as soon as we got home from the hospital. Oh well. Live and learn, right?

*I bought the rhino Pirate Baby poses with when I was in college. I adore him, and I always swore that I would give him to my first baby. When Pirate Munchkin came along, the rhino was buried in a box in my basement, and she already had so many toys that I decided I'd wait for my first-BORN baby instead. So Pirate Baby is the owner of my beloved Rodney.

One Month
You can see he's still quite jaundiced.

Two Months
A little more alert, and actually fitting into his clothes!

Three Months
Just hanging out while wondering what his weird mother is doing.

Four Months
While doing this photo shoot (my, how fancy!), he discovered his feet for the first time.

Five Months
I forgot to take the five month pictures at the time, so when I remembered to get them done, he was almost 5 1/2 months. Oops.

Six Months
Mommy's Little Pirate

Seven Months
Daddy's Little Surfer

Each month, it takes longer and longer to get through these photo sessions because he's getting so active. This month, he was so busy that I had to switch the camera to video mode. The whole series of pictures is really fun, so I'll put those in a separate posting.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Is Love?

A rare glimpse of the sometimes mythical Surfer Pirate foot!

As soon as the title of this entry popped into my head, I got this stuck in there as well.

Miss Dampier is a daddy's girl, through and through. She gets really needy when we're gone for a while - but especially when her daddy is gone. When we went to Montana, she was apparently afraid that we would never come back because she's hardly let her daddy out of her sight since then.

I think this year's harvest season is going to be hard on her.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Adventures of Brave Bonny, Part 2

We were thrilled to discover that it's only $6 more to add the football package to our cable. Last year, we got to see not quite half the Green Bay games for Surfer Pirate. I only got to see maybe 2 of my Falcons games. But this year? It's Football City around here!!

Brave Bonny has gotten caught up in the excitement of the start of football season.

She's decided she wants a career in the NFL.

She wants to be a wide receiver because she is fast and can jump. I have to disagree. I have yet to see her catch any of the flies that manage to sneak into my house. But that's her dream, what can I say?

Here we see her resting after a hard practice. (She uses the football pillow because she can cheat and sink her claws in it, but don't tell her I said so.) She's also stolen my favorite chair. She already thinks she's the star.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The One Where I Either Creep Everyone Out or Convince Them I'm Insane

I never used to believe in ghosts.

All that changed one summer when I was in high school.

I won't get into the story right now because it gets me all spookified and nervous, and I don't like to talk about it in my home, especially at night.

But the point is, I have no doubt that ghosts are real.

As the years have passed, I've come to accept it as just a fact, and can recognize that not all ghosts are bad. I think a lot of them just (for one reason or another) enjoy being around the living.

So when we bought our 107 year old house last summer, I didn't bat an eye when the previous owners told us about our ghost. She's non-threatening and doesn't bother me in the least. Surfer Pirate has the ability to see things like that, and has communicated with her from time to time. There was even an interesting detail about our neighbors that she told us last summer that my neighbor unknowingly verified for me recently. It was actually quite entertaining.

But I've had to accept over the last few weeks that she's not the only extra "being" in our house. There is at least one more, and I seem to be the only one who it wants to know about it being here. I've seen it twice out of the corner of my eye. And I've been hearing strange things.

Voices. Lots of times. More times that I can keep track of, I've been walking up the stairs, convinced that Surfer Pirate has the TV on in the bedroom. But when I get to the top of the stairs, it's obvious he's sound asleep and everything is silent. And again today, I came in the back door after letting the dogs out and thought I heard the TV on in the living room. But when I walked from the kitchen to the dining room, I noticed the living room was silent and Pirate Munchkin was upstairs playing in her room.

So, someone is definitely talking in my house. It's creepy and interesting and kind of entertaining at the same time.

Stinky feet couches, stained carpets, and now ghosts. Don't everyone come rush to visit me all at once, ya hear?

Monday, August 15, 2011


The sexiness that is this picture found here.

Dear Fellow Mommy Blogger,

I've been reading your blog for well over a year now. Your blog is beautiful and thoughtful, and usually quite fun. I have enjoyed watching your kids grow and hearing what they're doing. A while back, life threw you a curveball and...

Okay, wait. Just made a baseball reference. I hate baseball, so that can't happen. How about this instead: life tackled you like Clay Matthews from the Green Bay Packers * (yeah, I like that better) and instead of laying there on the field, injured, waiting for the coaches and trainers to come scoop you off the field, you got up and kept playing the game of life. I commend you for that. You've really made a name for yourself in the blog world. You've been interviewed countless times and have been asked to speak at different conventions all around the country. And advertisers love your blog.

And you blog daily. I admire that. I've made that a goal to try to do that. But if I were to blog every day right now, it would become a boring list of my daily accomplishments (or non-accomplishments some days). "Hey! I did 5 loads of laundry today!" or "We went to the store and bought groceries today! Woo hoo!" And no one wants to hear what tedious things I did from day to day. I know it can be done. It is possible to post something everyday and have it be something people actually want to read. But for now, I just blog when I have something to say. Sometimes, that's a few times a week. Sometimes, I'll go weeks without saying anything.

But I've noticed in the last little while that your life has become a little too.... well, perfect. You have a wonderful life: great husband, great kids, you live in a beautiful place. I'm happy for you, really, I am. But my life isn't always great. While we're both moms of young children, I can't relate to you anymore. My life has flaws that you don't seem to even have a concept of.

And the ads. I have no problem with side banner ads. I used to have them. They disappeared with one of my background changes, and I've been debating whether or not to put them back on. As long as they're not flashy and annoying, I can peacefully ignore the banner ads. But you've been putting advertisements in your postings. You have great taste. The things you show in your blog are lovely things. I wouldn't mind shopping at some of those places. But having to see those things on so many of your postings just reminds me of how I don't have the money for that kind of stuff right now.

I have a long list of blogs that I read, and I try to check in with them every day. Lately, I've noticed that checking in with your blog has become a chore. Your postings are long (can't complain too much about that, I write pretty long posts myself). If I can't get to my favorite blogs every day, I have a hard time catching up with you.

I'm giving myself permission to walk away.

It's nothing personal. I still think you're great. I wish you well in your life and your endeavors. But I'm done. When I finish with this entry, I'll remove myself as a follower of your blog and delete you from my bookmarks.

You have so many readers, you won't even know I'm gone.

*I really wanted to make that reference to my Atlanta Falcons and my beloved Tony Gonzalez, but it just wasn't going to work for my analogy. Feel free to go here to see the yumminess that is Tony Gonzalez.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stupid Criminal Saturday, August 13th Edition

I have no idea what is going on in this picture, and it has nothing to do with the story I'm about to share with you, but it's too full of awesome not to use.

On to today's Stupid Criminal Saturday Story:

2 Colo. officers get desk duty after wild ride

DENVER—Two Colorado police officers traveling to represent their department at another lawman's funeral are on desk duty after authorities say they took an alcohol-fueled ride through Wyoming with their emergency lights flashing and a beer cooler in the back seat.

Aurora officers Bradley B. Bickett and Gerald Kirby, each with more than 30 years on the force, are accused of speeding past traffic with their emergency lights on and tossing trash from a window on their way to the South Dakota funeral of a fallen police officer.

Their squad car was pulled over Wednesday after a volunteer firefighter spotted the car driving erratically on a state highway outside Torrington, Wyo., about 50 miles northeast of Cheyenne. Bickett was charged with driving while impaired, careless driving and speeding, while Kirby was charged with littering.

"The acts of the officers who were en route to represent the department at a funeral are embarrassing to us as an organization," said Bob Friel, spokesman for the police department in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Friel said Bickett and Kirby received permission to travel to Rapid City, S.D., to represent their department at a funeral for one of two officers killed in a shootout earlier this month. Bickett knew an officer in the department, Friel said.

Goshen County Sheriff's Capt. Bryan Morehouse told Denver's KUSA-TV he smelled alcohol and found beer in a cooler inside the car when he stopped them.

Goshen County Sheriff Donald J. Murphy said Friday that Bickett's blood alcohol level tested at 0.08 percent, the level at which he said a driver is presumed to be under the influence. Another test determined his level was 0.077 percent, Murphy said.

Bickett's speech was described as "slurred" in a booking report posted on the Goshen County Sheriff's Department website. He was released on an own recognizance bond early Thursday.

Two Aurora police officers went to Wyoming to pick up Bickett and Kirby. They were placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation, Friel said.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates personally apologized to Murphy, Friel said. Oates also spoke to the 600-member department about what happened, Friel said.

Murphy said Friday he's received some complaints from officers in other departments about the arrests. But he insisted his deputies had no choice.

"My guys felt really bad and embarrassed that they were doing field sobriety on officers from another agency, but at the same time they did what they were supposed to do," Murphy said.

"We had a complaint, we stopped a vehicle, we investigated, and we acted from there. So I think that my officers did exactly what they were supposed to do, and commend them for having the nerve for doing what they did," Murphy said.

In Rapid City, Heupel said Police Chief Steven Allender was aware of the arrests but that department had no comment.

The funeral for the fallen officer, Nick Armstrong, 27, was held Thursday. Armstrong and Officer J. Ryan McCandless were killed in an Aug. 2 shootout that erupted while they were trying to question four men walking with an open alcohol container, said Rapid City police spokeswoman Tarah Heupel. A third officer, Tim Doyle, was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds.

The suspected gunman, 22-year-old Daniel Tiger, was shot and killed in the confrontation.

Wow. Just wow.

First of all, my heart goes out to the families of the fallen officers. I couldn't even imagine how difficult it would be to be married to a police officer or a soldier. I would worry every single day.

I don't know whether to laugh or be extremely angry about this one. Not only were 30 year veterans of law enforcement drinking and driving, they were doing it on their way to the funeral of a fellow officer. AND they were behaving in this manner in a patrol car. Just blows my mind.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Adventures of Brave Bonny, Part 1

Ball of Cat rests after a tiring morning of killing flies.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bodies of All Types

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a picture of a girl and a truck together where she's not dressed skanky or a Size 2?
Thanks to this site for the cute picture!

We're a truck family. I'm only 5'5", and I get claustrophobic in traffic, so I prefer a truck because I can see over other vehicles. It's also just the kind of girl I am. I like tools and know how to use 'em!

My very first "car" was a 1981 Chevy Blazer. I loved that truck more than life itself. It was two-tone blue with one primered fender when I bought it, and my birthday gift to myself that year was to have it painted. When the ex and I lived in Salt Lake, the engine blew. He talked me into selling it rather than repairing it, and I always regretted that decision.

I swore one day, I would have the money to buy another one, and I would even have it painted the same color.
Mine looked like this, only not that tall, and it was blue.

Years passed, and while the ex drove our beautiful pickup every day, I was continually talked into buying cars. (I think it always bothered him that I was the kind of girl who was into trucks. He wanted a more submissive, little sedan kind of girl.) We replaced my blazer with a 1988 Acura Legend. I do have to admit I did kind of enjoy driving that car. It had a sunroof and was a little sporty, but it still had that awful problem of giving me serious claustrophobia (especially on Salt Lake freeways!).
Mine looked just like this one

We sold that one before moving back to Montana. There, I had the joy of being pushed into buying a 1989 Dodge Caravan. Not only was it a mini-van (something I swore I would NEVER drive), but it was the color of dirt. It also had an annoying engine problem that would cause it to completely overheat when sitting at an idle.
Ain't it a pretty site?? (Excuse me while I go throw up.)

When we tired of that one's issues, this time he talked me into a 90's model (totally forget what year it was) Dodge Stratus. Or as I called it, the Dodge Stratus POS Lemon. It was evil, and no mechanic could ever figure out what was wrong with it. I hated that car after about the first week.
You'd never know evil lurked beneath such a mild exterior.

*None of the above images are pictures of my actual cars. I got them off the internet. I refused to take pictures of those ugly things.

So when Surfer Pirate and I first started dating, I had just traded in the Lemon for a 2002 Chevy Silverado. I was in heaven having a truck again! Surfer Pirate's Mitsubishi Montero had just died, and he enjoyed driving my truck as much as I did.

Shortly after we got married, I was driving to work one morning, and was stunned to find a Blazer on the side of the road that was almost the same color as my old one! And better yet, it had a For Sale sign in the window!!! We really did need a second vehicle, and this one was a dream come true! We borrowed the money from my parents, and bought it. As soon as it was safely home in my own driveway, I actually hugged it. (Not kidding, I really did.) It was like I finally got my old friend back - only this time, it was even better because it was a little newer and had a big beefy grill on the front.

So now the battle was on to decide who got to drive which vehicle.

Originally, Surfer Pirate wanted the blazer, and he set about covering it with window stickers of things he liked. But then he would decide he wanted the pickup, and covered THOSE windows. I finally got fed up, and told him he needed to pick one and stick with it. I loved both trucks and didn't care which one he wanted to be "his", but I needed to have one that was mine to do with as I pleased.

He settled on the pickup, and I happily went out and took all the stickers off the blazer that I didn't like.

This is one of the ones I kept:

I debated about it at first. It seems like the kind of thing that would be on a man's truck, not a woman's. But I realized that I related to her. She's a tough girl with attitude (the little designs on the "fishnet" are actually dirtbikes). And she's curvy like me. So she stays.


the whole first part of this entry was not what I originally intended to write.

This entry is actually about self-image, and I was using the girl on my blazer as an example. The rest of it just sort of a tangent.

Welcome to the weird way my mind works.


I haven't been very happy with how I look lately. I think I mentioned before that I'd put on a lot of weight during my first marriage because I was so unhappy. I lost a bunch after the ex left, but I put it all back on with the stresses that life threw at me over the last few years. Then, I got pregnant with Pirate Baby. Morning sickness took some of the weight off, so by the time it was all said and done, I'd only gained 12 pounds in my pregnancy. Which I promptly took back off.

Until I realized last month that I'd put 5 more pounds back on.

I noticed I'd gone back to my bad habit of giving in to all my sugar cravings late at night. I wasn't exercising, and I was eating WAY too much during the day. Something had to change NOW.

The other really important thing about this is that I have a daughter. Pirate Munchkin is 7, and pays attention to everything. I don't want her to hear me say "I'm on a diet because I'm too fat." Instead, I've been telling her that mom needs to be healthier. She's picked up some terms from other girls that I'm not happy about. The child told me one day that she doesn't like how fat her legs are. I told her that her legs are just right for her age, that she's healthy and pretty. Seven is FAR too young to have bad body images, and I am not going to add to what she's already having to hear other girls say at school. (For the record, she is tall and thin - not even what could be termed as chubby.)

*Edited to add: I don't think anyone has been calling Pirate Munchkin fat. I think she's been hearing other girls say that about themselves, and she's repeating what she's hearing.

I'm not a dieter. Every time I've been on a diet in my life, I put the weight right back on as soon as I went off it. So I knew that wasn't the answer for me. But I knew better than to do what I was doing. I cut back on portion sizes, tried to make better snack choices, and the biggest key was figuring out WHY I crave so much junk food late at night (I'll spare you the drama, but I can't believe I didn't realize it sooner). I'm not eliminating anything from my diet. If I want ice cream, I have it - just a (much) smaller portion than I was having before. If I want cookies, I let myself have a couple - I just don't let myself have 10 or 26. And I started making exercise a regular part of my day. I try to walk every morning, and then I try to do another form of exercise sometime during the day. (My favorites are yoga and bellydancing.)

I started actively working on getting healthier exactly one month ago, and in that time, I've taken off 2 pounds and 3 1/2 inches! I've given up my old goal, realizing it's really not necessary or realistic. (I used to always aim for the size I was when I got married for the first time back in 1997. But I've realized that my waist, while super-tiny back then, was disproportionate to the rest of my body. I've upped my original goal by about 10 pounds.) It's going to take a lot of time to get where I want to be, but that's okay. It basically took me 6 years to put it all on in the first place, I'm okay with it taking a year or two to get back there.

Now if you'll excuse me, there is a serious issue at my house. We don't have any cookies.

Most of them will go in the freezer for another time, but I will have some today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My sister always had a ton of blankets on her bed - even in the summer. I thought she was crazy. How could she stand all that heat? Turns out she liked all the weight of those blankets.

I still thought it was odd, but it made a little more sense after that.

I was treated to her special way of working with blankets a couple of times.

When I was 7, I broke my arm on the playground at school. I basically knocked my rotator cuff loose. It was extremely painful. Pair that with the fact that I was wearing a shirt that had to go on and off OVER MY HEAD. When I complained to my teacher that my arm hurt, she took me into the bathroom to look at it - requiring the shirt to come off. And then of course, go back on. Then I went to my after-school babysitter's where she did the same thing.

I don't remember the logistics of it, but eventually, I ended up at home with my sister before my mom got home from work. After all the repeated abuse to my broken shoulder, I was pretty worn out. My sweet sister proceeded to build me a virtual THRONE of blankets and pillows in our living room chair. It was especially comfy, and I felt like a princess.

(Mom got home, took me to the doctor & all was well after that, but it's not really part of my story here.)

Another time, I was really sick. She pushed our two matching chairs and footstool together so they made one long lounge chair. (We were constantly moving furniture around the living room to build forts and etc. Thanks Mom, for letting us destroy the living room on a regular basis! It was great fun!) She then piled it with blankets and pillows and had me climb into it. She handed me the remote control and let me watch whatever I wanted. I don't think I've ever been more comfortable.

While I don't think I could sleep with all that weight on me year-round, I definitely appreciated how she could make me feel better.

Last night, Pirate Baby slept in a romper that can best be described as a hooded sweatshirt with legs. I didn't think it would get cold enough to worry about his feet, but I was wrong. While his body was nice and warm when he woke up, his little toes were like popcicles! I wrapped a blanket around his little feet while he ate, but they were still cold when he was done. I laid him on the floor with his blanket and some toys and went to get myself some breakfast.

I came back in the living room to find Pirate Munchkin had wrapped him up nice and snug in HER blanket as well.

(Her blanket is the pink one with the stars on it, obviously. His blanket that's being used today is red on one side and has PIRATES on the other side - because my friend J. is AWESOME.)

I just find it so amazing how much my sweet little girl is so much like my dear sister.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I Did This Summer

Image found here.

I never actually had a teacher give me that assignment, and I think I always wanted to. My summers as a kid were spent running around Jackson Hole, WY with my cousins. We had hidden forts in the bushes, snuck peas and raspberries out of my grandmother's garden, jumped on the neighbors' trampoline, went shopping, rode the Alpine Slide and went to the shootout. (I seriously need to write a post just about summers in Jackson.) I always knew the other kids would be jealous.

As an adult, summers aren't nearly as fun. For a stay-at-home-mom, summers are often a countdown to the day school starts up again. So when I got a chance to take a trip back to Montana to show off Pirate Baby - getting out of my routine, I jumped at it.

**Someone please remind me to try to cram that much stuff into a single weekend again! That was INSANE! I spent so much time trying to make sure I saw everyone, that I didn't even get to go to Sonic. {big tear} I drove past it, but didn't have time (or room in my stomach since we'd just eaten) to stop and enjoy my giganto cherry limeade. Oh well, next time.

But it WAS wonderful to see everyone. I only regret that I ran around so much I didn't take many pictures.

I did get some shots of the bigger highlights.

First of all, this is how my kids spent much of the weekend:

Eventually, the trip out there started to weigh heavily on the youngest member of our family. (The rest of us felt it as well, but as a baby, you get the benefit of being able to scream and cry whenever you feel like it.) In order to distract him, we introduced him to his first taste of licorice:
Hmmmm... this is interesting

Some time was spent screaming at the licorice and thrashing it around. Gotta teach that candy who's in charge!


This is good stuff, Mom!

Sticky baby!

The main point of the trip was to introduce my dad to his new grandson.

Grandpa has lots of hair to pull!

Grandpa trying to hold onto both grandkids at once. Not an easy task, trust me!

It was nice to see everyone. I've missed my friends and family there. I do NOT however miss the air pollution, noise, crazy rude drivers and over-crowding. I missed my quiet little town, people who aren't in a hurry to get everywhere, and my beautiful star-filled sky. I especially missed my animal babies, who were just as happy to see us as we were to see them.

As you can see, life has returned to normal around here:
Notice the new (non-fur-covered, non-stinky-feet-smelling) couch.
Also notice that Major Stede is on the FLOOR, not the couch.
(Brave Bonny, however, is another story.)

It's good to be home.

*Yes, my living room walls ARE orange, why do you ask?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This picture is complete awesomeness of a swooning woman, but the picture is from a website talking about the non-funny subject of panic attacks. That bums me out a little.

I have a new man in my life.

Don't tell Surfer Pirate.

It's quite the love affair.

He's even a Sugar Daddy! He's a physician!

My new love?

His name is Rug Doctor.

When I was a little girl, my mother bought a Kirby vacuum. Kirby's are NOT cheap, but they seriously last forever. I think my mom's is somewhere around 30 years old and still going strong.

It came with all kinds of really cool attachments.

Including carpet shampooing stuff.

I have ONE memory of mom breaking out that bad boy to shampoo our carpet. I remember foam. Lots and lots of foam. You know in cartoons and movies when someone puts too much soap in the washing machine and the entire house fills up with bubbles? That's pretty much how I remember it. It seemed like it took FOREVER for the carpet to dry enough for us to walk on it. I thought I would never be able to get off my bed.

It was kind of cool.

It was also traumatizing.

Time passed.

When I had my first house, I ripped most of the carpet out to expose the hardwood floors. The remaining carpet could have seriously benefited from being cleaned.

But I was cheap.

And I was intimidated. Carpet shampooing involved massive amounts of bubbles and insane drying time, remember?

(Geez your memory is bad!)

I will never understand people who have white carpet installed in their houses. Almost as bad as white is beige carpet. My house has beige carpet that is basically a small-weave berber.

Beige carpet + lots of animals + kids + husband who is both a mechanic AND a farmer + North Dakota's famous black mud = really dirty carpet.

I have to admit the biggest stain on the carpet was my fault. Surfer Pirate had fixed himself a big cup of coffee, and he'd left it in the kitchen. I decided I would be a nice wife and bring it to him where he was sitting at the dining room table. Except I didn't quite clear one of the chairs, crashing the very full cup into it. The full cup dumped all over him and his clean uniform (minutes before he had to leave for work - he had to go change), all over the dining room table, and all over the floor. We're talking a big blob of a stain about 3 feet long and 18 inches wide.

Yeah. When I make a mess, I REALLY make a mess.

So to shorten a seriously long story a little, we decided to rent a Rug Doctor today and I went to work cleaning our carpet. I was surprised at how easy it was to use, and really impressed at how well it worked.

My carpet looks almost brand-new!

I'm in love.

I think my affair with the good doctor is going to become a regular thing.