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Monday, September 19, 2011

Truth in Advertising

First, and most important, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!

In honor of today, Pirate Baby and I are wearing pirate-themed clothing. As you can see, he's passed out from the excitement of it all.

I also thought it would be a great day to talk about my newest purchase!
If you've paid any attention to my blog, you've probably noticed my cute little avatar up here. I found that picture a couple years ago when looking for different pictures to use here. She's cute and spunky, but she isn't me. She's just a model for a costume company. But I fell in love with the hat and swore I would have it one day.

A couple weeks ago, the price was right, so I bought it!

I tried to get an artistic picture of me in the hat - showing off my new hair color, but avoiding my face. (I don't want my face on my blog for obvious privacy issues.) It wasn't working. I couldn't get a decent shot.

Plan B was to get Major Stede to model it for me. I thought it would be funny, but he wasn't having it. He ran away from me like I was trying to spray paint him pink or something!

Plan C was Pirate Baby:

Hey, this thing doesn't fit. You're going to have to hold it up for me, Mom.

Ooh! Pretty ribbon to yank on!

Sideways is a little weird.


Okay, I think I've got it now.

Yep. I'm cool!

So there ya go. While you may not be able to see what I look like in the hat, rest assured that I do indeed own it and will be wearing it from time to time. (When I'm not hiding it from Brave Bonny. She thinks it looks like a great place for a nap!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

That Magical Pixie Dust

Gorgeous Image from Here

My sister and I always had different taste in men. She favored blondes while I preferred dark hair, and we even differed in our taste in facial structure. Many times, she would be drooling over some guy, and I would NOT be able to see what she found so attractive. I'm sure she felt the same way about my taste, but we were pretty careful not to insult each others' preferences.

So when Ice Ice Baby popped up on the charts in 1990, I can't say I was terribly surprised to see that my sister was in love with this guy:
Blast From the Past found Here

...and I did NOT understand the attraction.

At all.

Years passed.

Surfer Pirate and I met online and got to know each other that way for a few weeks. (Good ol' Myspace. We used to joke that we should do Myspace ads similar to the EHarmony ads.) Then we had our first real date, and something just clicked between us. I had sworn after my divorce that I would never date anyone exclusively again until I had an engagement ring on my finger. But just 2 days after that first date, I was done seeing other people. I sent my sister a picture of my new boyfriend. Her response?

"You do realize you're dating Vanilla Ice, right?"

It made me laugh, but I do have to admit, I was slightly insulted by that comment. Vanilla Ice was certainly not someone I had found any sort of attraction to in the past.

But I just chalked it up as a compliment - which coming from her, that WAS a compliment - and moved on.

Then one day this past year, I was channel surfing, and I saw that there was a show on called The Vanilla Ice Project. I was curious, so I switched over to that channel.

...and whatdaya know??

She was right!

I married Vanilla Ice!!

Somewhere along the line, the odd looking, really weird-haired guy from the early 90's had turned into this complete hunk!

Yumminess found Here

The resemblance between them is uncanny! They could be brothers! If you were to take Surfer Pirate and his brother* and combine their two faces, you would have Vanilla Ice.

*Surfer Pirate's brother. I don't know if Vanilla Ice even HAS a brother.

I suddenly had a new appreciation for this guy that my sister had liked for so long. (Even when he was getting lots of bad press and had become somewhat of a joke, she still always loved him.)

But tonight, that appreciation grew.

Turns out, in Kent, England, Vanilla Ice is playing a PIRATE!!!

For More Info, go Here

That makes me so insanely happy I can hardly stand myself!

Who wants to buy me tickets to go to England to see this in person??

Monday, September 12, 2011

You Get What You Pay For

Subtitle: An Ode to Clairol's Nice 'N Easy

I discovered my beloved haircolor brand when I was 14. Like many teenage girls, I found fault with a part of my body and wished I could change it. In my case, it was my hair.

I'm convinced my hair is mildly schizophrenic. When I was a baby, it was red, then it went blonde, then dishwater blonde (such a lovely name - gag) with some brown, then eventually a much darker brown - about a shade lighter than Pirate Munchkin's. I can probably blame the light to dark phenomenon on my father's genes. The men in their family start out platinum blonde, then go dark brown around the time they hit puberty. (Which is why Pirate Baby could eventually become a brunette.) My sister used to claim that she had found every color of the rainbow in my hair, sometimes pointing out a blue or green hair.

Anyway, when I was 14, my mother agreed to let me change my hair color. I wanted a true blonde. We selected a pretty blonde shade of Clairol's Nice 'N Easy haircolor and went to work on my hair.

It came out red.

I decided I liked it, and stayed a redhead for years.

My ex, among many of his other weird issues, didn't approve of me coloring my hair. But after we split up, I went right back to playing with my haircolor. Aside from the occasional professional jobs, I've usually done it myself - with my beloved Nice 'N Easy.

With the help of some friends, I've managed to find some places to get free coupons and free samples of products. It's become a game to me to see what stuff I can get to show up in my mailbox that I didn't pay for. So when I saw an offer for free haircolor, I jumped at the chance.

We're limited to a lot up here in Northern Middle of Nowhere, North Dakota, so my little local store doesn't even carry this particular type of haircolor. And even though this particular style of haircolor has lots of color options, I didn't have a lot of choice for colors where I COULD find the style. I usually go with a lighter brownish red, a little darker than strawberry blonde. I couldn't find anything in that color range, but I did find a darker brownish red that looked good. So I used my free coupon and took it home.

I decided I would make a spa day of it, in celebration of school starting up again. I did a pedicure and did my hair that day. My toes looked gorgeous, but my hair...

Let me just say, you get what you pay for.

First of all, my hair is long - about halfway down my back. I usually have more than enough color in the bottle to completely cover my hair, plus a little extra. In the case of this new stuff, I had just finished covering my scalp when I realized I didn't have any color left in the bottle! I was not about to leave the house with half-finished hair. Plus, even if I could make do temporarily, I would have to drive another hour away to pick up a second box. On top of those issues, Pirate Baby was crying and needed me NOW! I did my best to lather all the color in and went to soothe my little boy.

Nice 'N Easy has you leave the color on for 25 minutes. I was happy to see this new one was only 10 minutes. When the timer went off, I jumped in the shower to rinse it out. You're supposed to rinse your hair until the water is clear. But the water never did run clear!!! I probably could have stood in the shower for an hour, and it STILL wouldn't have gotten all the extra color out. I blow-dried my hair like I always do, so I could see how the color turned out, and...

I had leopard spots.

The old color and new color were drastically different, and the new color had not covered all my hair. I had patches of light brownish red mixed in with this rather odd red. (Surfer Pirate referred to the new color as Gothic Red - meaning it looked like the kind of red a girl who wore gothic clothing would dye her hair.)

I called my mom for advice (she's been coloring her hair for decades), and she suggested washing it right away with dish soap to strip the color out, and conditioning the heck out of it. I followed her advice. The dish soap did nothing. For the last 3 weeks, I've kept it pulled back or braided to try to hide how weird it looked. It faded a little, and the patches weren't quite so obvious.

Meanwhile, it took a week before my rinse water ever ran clear. My towel has reddish colored stains on it, and even my beloved Ikea chair has red streaks on it from where my hair dripped on it. (Hopefully they'll come out next time I throw the cover in the wash.)

And then yesterday, standing in the sunlight streaming in my bathroom window, I noticed my hair had taken on a rather PINK hue.

Um... yeah.

Not happening.

This morning, as soon as Pirate Baby went down for his morning nap, I fixed my hair. It's now a very pretty darker brown with some red highlights in it. I love it. I can't stop looking at it.

As far as the free stuff is concerned, I was sure it would be fine. It wasn't like I was trying some weird brand I'd never heard of. It was just another style made by Clairol. I won't use the name because I won't have it linked to my blog and I refuse to come across as endorsing it. But I will say that my Instincts tell me that someone thought if they put the word Natural on the box that people would think it was good for their hair.

By the way, I am not being paid to endorse Clairol's Nice 'N Easy. But if Clairol WANTED to pay me or send me free boxes of the stuff, I would love them even more than I already do!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Teenage Me Should Be In Prison

So maybe I'm not feeling all that patriotic today. It's been 10 years since the attack on the World Trade Towers, and that's all anyone can talk about. Pirate Munchkin and I had a long talk about it yesterday, and I was sad and emotional. But today? I just can't deal with it. There are just too many horrible things going on around me lately with my friends and loved ones, and I just can't deal with a tragedy that happened a decade ago. A family member of mine is being admitted to the hospital today for some scary reasons, a dear friend's son is in the hospital after a football injury, another friend just found out some devastating and horrifying news about one of his family members, and I've got another friend who's dealing with court proceedings over something that shouldn't even be in court. Life is not fair. On one hand, I'm really glad that none of the drama is going on with my own household (can't take anymore of that), but on the other hand, I have so many people I'm worried about. So many people in my thoughts and prayers right now.

So I'm taking a break from the sad to talk about something kind of funny.

I graduated from high school seven{ahem}teen{cough, cough} years ago, and when I was in school, things were different. Things that were considered no big deal back then would get a kid in serious trouble now.

1. Nowadays, I would be labeled as someone with Columbine-like pre-attack behavior.

In junior high, after a little ongoing battle with a group of kids at school who were bullying me, I had written my frustrations down on a sheet of paper at home. I was so amazed with myself at my cleverness at how it was written that I brought it to school to show to a friend. On this piece of paper, a couple of specific names were mentioned, along with a specific threats that I wanted to make to them. The piece of paper accidentally fell out of my bag and, to my horror, was found by a friend of one of the people I mentioned. Next thing I knew, I had a war on my hands. This group of other kids made the whole rest of that year a living hell.

In high school, I carried a knife everywhere I went. It was a fishing knife that my mother had found in the seat of a used car she bought. It had a very pretty pearl handle and a blade that was about 5 inches long. I sharpened it all. the. time. (It was so sharp that one time some friends and I were out for the weekend and their mother had packed them an extra large deli-style sandwich. She hadn't cut the sandwich into individual portions, and had forgotten to pack a knife for them to use. I let them borrow my knife, and it sliced cleanly through that sandwich like it was warm butter. We're talking thick French bread, several layers of deli meat, plus lettuce and tomato! We were all a little stunned.) I really wasn't sure if I could ever use the knife on someone if I was attacked, but it made me feel a little safer in an unsure world.

In schools now, any weapon - even a tiny little pocketknife - would be confiscated, and you could even face possible expulsion. Combine the fact that I carried a weapon in school AND had made previous threats on other kids, and I would have probably had the FBI down my throat. The (1st) irony of this, of course, is that I've never been in a physical fight with anyone! I've never punched anyone (well, technically. I've punched Surfer Pirate when we've been playing around), and I've certainly never used a weapon on anyone! I never even fired a gun until I was in my 30's!* The 2nd irony of these stories is that at least two of the boys involved in my junior high incident have previously been, or are currently in prison.

2. I was also a stalker.

I've always been "boy crazy". The first crush I remember was when I was 6 years old, and was in love with a 15 year old. From then on, there was always some boy I was pining over. I had connections at my high school who could get me addresses, phone numbers and school schedules of whoever my latest crush was. I would walk past houses, visit jobs (luckily for me, most teenagers have jobs with easy public access - like fast food and pizza places), and arrange my routine in the hallways between classes in ways that would put me in the path of my latest dream man. I even once managed to get the address to a high school out of state where I guy I liked transferred after moving away (and no, he didn't move to avoid me. I wasn't THAT crazy).

*Picture Samantha Baker in Sixteen Candles mooning over Jake Ryan. Good examples in this clip at moments 0:44, and 1:05. For the record, I did have some younger annoying short guy bugging me on a regular basis as well!Link
In my defense, I wasn't the only one. I remember an incident of a friend of mine who would regularly stand outside his ex-girlfriend's house at night waiting for a glimpse of her. He was heartbroken when she broke up with him and was having a hard time letting go.

Nowadays, that behavior is called Stalking, and people go to jail for that kind of thing. In my case, I was actually quite shy (something that people who knew me in later years would never believe!) I never had the nerve to go up and just talk to some guy I liked, so instead, I would just open up the opportunity for THEM to talk to ME. If I was in the hall where they were, or passing by their house, maybe they would come up to me and confess their undying affection for me.

...never happened. But I girl can dream, right?

So there you go. My confession of being a hardened criminal.

*I have since fired many different kinds of guns, including an AK-47! Let me tell you, there's nothing that releases tension when you're having an extremely bad day than shooting a semi-automatic AK-47!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Funniness As Distraction

This kick-ass picture came from here. The picture is titled "Booty Call". How funny is that??

I just got some potentially bad news from a friend of mine. I can't deal with it right now, so I thought it would be a good time for a funny story.

As I mentioned recently, internet dating can introduce you to some interesting characters. (Wow, that was a lot of 'i' words for one sentence!) This seems like a good time to tell about one of the other more unusual ones from that time in my life.

As I mentioned before, I was on a church-based dating site. One night, I was browsing around the site searching for Mr Right when I had an instant message pop up - from a woman. Uh......

This person kept saying things like I looked like a very nice person and I was pretty, etc. Disturbing to say the least. After some probing questions, the person on the other end of the conversation explained that he was not a woman. His sister had let him log in on her account to check out the site in order for him to decide if he wanted to join. (That would have been helpful information BEFORE commenting that I was pretty, don't ya think??)

I can't for the life of me remember his name right now, so I'll just call him "David".

David had apparently found what he was looking for in me because he never did join the site. He was odd, but didn't seem dangerous, so I allowed him to contact me via email. We sent emails back and forth, and sometimes we would chat via instant message. He told me he lived in Ghana. Odd, but... okay. He claimed to work for a company that had offices in the US, so that explained why his written English was almost perfect. He sent me pictures of himself. Some of them were from the 90's, so that was strange. Eventually, he asked for my phone number.

*By this point, I definitely found the whole thing a little fishy. The claim of being from Ghana always made me think of those scams where you're supposed to send money to some Nigerian prince. The first time he called me, the claim of being from Africa was pretty much verified. His accent was extremely thick, and I had a difficult time understanding him.

I kept waiting for the bomb to drop. Somewhere along the line, he was going to ask me for money.

After a while, he dropped the L word on me. I almost laughed myself silly on the other side of my computer screen. Here it comes, I thought! The money question. Is he going to ask me to pay for a trip to come see me? Is his sister trapped somewhere, needing the funds to get home? What's the game here?

Nothing. Still no catch to this odd game. This little "romance" wasn't costing me anything more than my regular monthly internet and cell phone bills. I was driving myself a little crazy trying to figure out where all this was going to go.

Then one day, he announced he was coming to the US for business! He was going to be working in Alaska, and he was hoping to be able to try to fly in to Montana to see me. He even called me from Alaska one day. It was a different phone than I was used to, and when I asked him about it, he said it was his boss' cell phone. (He had told me earlier that his boss was from back east somewhere - I forget.)

But when I did a reverse phone number search online, the number was a land line in Georgia.

He never did come see me, and the next time I talked to him, he'd gone back to Ghana. He was sorry he hadn't been able to squeeze a trip to Montana in before he had to go back. This went on for months. Nothing. No asking for money. No other scam of any kind. I knew he was full of crap, but what KIND of crap??

Eventually, Surfer Pirate and I started seeing each other exclusively, and I told David that I didn't want him to contact me anymore.

I still have no idea what that was all about.


I'm not including a picture with this posting because the subject is too sad to include one. This is a news article from this past Sunday:

Newborn fatally mauled by family dog near Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — A two-week-old Houston-area boy has died after being mauled by the family dog.

The incident happened Saturday night as the baby sat in an infant carrier on the floor of a room in the family house. Harris County sheriff's spokesman Thomas Gilliland says the dog, a Labrador mix, began sniffing the child and attacked him before the parents could pull it away.

The child was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died early Sunday. Animal control officers have taken custody of the dog for quarantine.

This is horribly tragic for those parents. I'm sure they never thought there was any danger in leaving their baby in his car seat near their dog. My heart just breaks for them.

This is why you can't leave your babies (and small children) unattended with dogs around - NO MATTER WHAT BREED THEY ARE.

The common thought in our society is that the only dogs who would do such a horrible thing are pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans, etc. The big scary guard dog types. But Rover, the sweet lab? He'd never hurt a fly! Labradors are the most popular dog breed because they're always so gentle and good with children. They would never hurt a child!

Not true.

This story proves that.

Unfortunately, these kinds of stories don't get noticed as much in the news. This article was just a little minor side note I noticed while reading a much bigger story. If the dog had been a pit bull, it would have been front page news. ANY dog can attack. ANY breed can snap under the right circumstances.

Miss Dampier is a pit bull. Major Stede is part rottweiler. They're both very sweet, gentle, protective dogs. I know my dogs love my kids, and I don't think they would ever intentionally hurt them.

But I never leave them alone with my baby. And I teach my daughter how to behave around animals so she doesn't upset them or scare them - which could cause them to snap at her.

Breed means nothing.

Never leave your babies alone with a dog.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Boy and His Dog

Major Stede is a serious Mama's Boy. I chose him over his siblings because he had the coolest spotty tongue. Pirate Surfer wanted me to build a bond with him, so I was completely in charge of his training from the day we brought him home. And it worked. This dog is completely devoted to me, and I'm pretty darn attached to him as well.

So it worried me when I got pregnant. Would Major Stede be jealous of the baby? I wasn't too worried about Miss Dampier. She's always been very maternal, and even started snuggling with my belly long before I was even showing! Major Stede never seemed to notice that my belly had even grown. I was just his mama, that was all that mattered.

When we got home from the hospital, I left the baby safely in his car seat in the mudroom while I went to greet my sweet dogs. As expected, they bounced and jumped and wiggled and made all kinds of happy noises, thrilled that we were home. Once I felt like they had gotten their greetings in, I went to get Pirate Baby. I put his car seat on the table (safely out of doggy reach) and unbuckled him. I cradled him in my arms and turned around.

What I saw behind me completely stunned me.

My two crazy dogs who had been bouncing all over the house just seconds before were COMPLETELY STILL. They were both sitting obediently behind me, staring in awe at the tiny person in my arms. They knew this was a time to be quiet and gentle. I let them briefly sniff the baby, telling them that he's part of the family.

From then on, they have been super protective of him, and always gentle.

Major Stede and Pirate Baby have a very close bond.

While Miss Dampier will give kisses and wuvvins if Pirate Baby is in my arms, Major Stede will play with him and love on him every chance he gets. It's a constant thing around here.

July 25, 2011
Doggy ears are fun to yank on

Must eat doggy!

Doggy loves his baby

August 5, 2011
Baby makes a good pillow

His mouth smells good, too.

It's ok, kid. I don't mind if you pull my ears.


I so love my two little boys!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Everything...Not So... Smart

This cute little goat came from here.

I'm reluctant to title this as a Stupid Criminal article because I'm not quick to call children stupid. I save that for adults who should know better. Maybe that's why I never sat down and did this entry yesterday - being my usual Stupid Criminal Saturday.

So maybe we should call this one Not So Smart Sunday.

Anyway, this story was brought to my attention by my friend J. It comes from our neighbors in Minnesota.

2 Minnesota girls in pajamas take stolen goat for walk

MANKATO, Minn. — Mankato police probably never expected to get a call like this.

The 911 caller said two young girls, dressed in their pajamas, were out for a walk with a goat about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. The girls told the responding officer that the goat lived in their bedroom closet and that they regularly took it out for late-night walks.

The officer walked the girls and goat home to talk to the parents. The girls, both under the age of 10, had been at a birthday party at the Sibley Park Zoo earlier that day and had come up with a plan to take one of the goats home. The Free Press ( says police don't know how the girls managed to free the goat.

I absolutely love that they told the police the goat lives in their closet!! That's just awesome. Stealing a goat is wrong, but you've got to love the creativity of these two little girls!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Death By Cat

You'd never know to look at him, but this little guy is a cold blooded killer!

Pirate Baby was sitting on my lap, playing his favorite game of Let's Push Buttons On Mommy's Computer. To distract him, I let him have my water bottle.
Yes, I know it's not politically correct to reuse this type of water bottle, and I don't care. Find me a reusable water bottle with this kind of top on it, and I'll happily use it. Until then, I will continue to use this kind. I drove all the way to Montana to get this particular kind, thank you very much!

He was happily playing with the bottle, trying to drink out of it, and enjoying the sound of the water sloshing around inside it.

Meanwhile, Captain Kitty was contentedly asleep near my feet.
I have to describe this step by step to get the full effect:

1. Pirate Baby bounces the water bottle too hard, dropping it. This may or may not have been on purpose. It could have been an accident, but then again, he was pretty mad at me that I wouldn't let him push buttons on the computer. Payback? Who knows?

2. Water bottle falls off my lap, hitting the floor, inches from sleeping Captain Kitty.

3. Captain Kitty freaks out from the attack from the sky and goes flying to a safer location.

4. Captain Kitty's claws are in full attack mode, ready to kill whatever fell from the sky.

5. As Captain Kitty flees the danger zone, he has to pass by my foot. Previously mentioned claws tear their way across the top of my foot.

6. I say OW!

7. I look down to survey the damage.

8. Blood oozes out of my foot.

I'm scarred for life. The kid tried to frame the cat for my murder.

Excuse Me While I Step Up on My Soapbox

Every once in a while, a little "game" will pop up on facebook. They're supposed to be fun and sort of secretive - confusing people in the name of "awareness."

They're always for Breast Cancer Awareness.

There's a new one going around now. You're supposed to imply that you're pregnant and say what you're craving.

My blogging friend posted something tonight about how this new game needs to stop because it hurts those of us who have gone through (or are still going through) infertility and baby losses. I posted what she said because it fit me as well.

I have 3 issues with this particular game.

1. Awareness?? Really?? You would pretty much have to have been living under a rock for the last 15 years or so to not be aware of breast cancer. Everywhere you go, you can find something pink that is either for awareness or support of breast cancer research. There are marathons everywhere for breast cancer awareness and a celebration for the survivors of this disease. Yes, I agree that it's a horrible, horrible disease. Cancer is really scary, and I hate it more than I can ever express. But is there really anyone out there who isn't aware of breast cancer?

2. Why does is always have to be about breast cancer? Yes, it is far too common of a disease. Men and women both are stricken with it, and it's awful. But it's very commonness is central to the fact that the survival rate for breast cancer is now more than 80%. If you're diagnosed with breast cancer, the doctors KNOW what to do to treat it. The procedures have been tested and tried over and over again. Isn't it time we start spreading awareness and focusing on research for other cancers? My sister died at 35 years old from non-smoker lung cancer. The survival rate for that is ZERO percent. ZERO. As in, if you get non-smoker lung cancer, you're going to die. Period. Where are the yellow ribbons for Lung Cancer Awareness? I've yet to see yellow kitchen appliances in stores, or marathons where everyone wears yellow.

3. This new game wants you to imply that you're pregnant and having cravings. Unless you have been through it, you have NO IDEA how painful it is to watch everyone else around you get pregnant when you're dealing with infertility or have lost a baby. It's hard enough to deal with all the real pregnancies that happen all around you, don't make it worse for someone who is suffering by pretending you're pregnant. It's not funny to those of us who've been there.

When you jump into a game in a public forum, please be sensitive to those around you. Some of them may seem completely innocent, but tears are being shed that people aren't aware of.

And please forgive me for my soapbox this very, very early morning. Pirate Baby woke me up at 1:00 this morning and wouldn't go back to sleep for almost 2 hours. And now my brain is having a hard time shutting off.