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Friday, December 30, 2011

Because It's That Time of Year Again...

I did it last year, and I feel the OCD need to do it again this year:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Breastfed my son in the hallway of the high school because he wouldn't stop screaming through his sister's school concert. I was totally covered, but it was still really awkward. There were also a few 6th grade girls who were stunned by what I was doing and couldn't stop staring.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do resolutions. I try to make a regular attempt to improve my life, but I don't do it on a year-to-year scheduled basis. (I still like last year's answer to this one.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Many. I seem to be at a time in my life where everyone around me is having babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My dad (well technically, he's my step-dad) passed away right after my birthday last year. It was really hard, and I miss him all the time.

5. What countries did you visit?
None yet, although one of these days, I'll get my passport and visit the exciting country of Canada, eh.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
My memory back. Baby Brain is a real thing, people!

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
See #6. I have no memory.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Maintaining sanity through MOST of the year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still don't have my bookshelves done, but the plan is to get those done by the spring.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just to my pridde.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
DiGiorno Pizza. Lots and lots of DiGiorno pizza.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Surfer Pirate. I am super, super proud of the things he's accomplished this year. The man continues to be my hero.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Every politician ever, probably.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, bills, bills, bills... and DiGiorno Pizza.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Days when I didn't have to cook!

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
Yeah, um. This question is just dumb. Although I will admit there was a song that fit last year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder?
Happier. I have such a fun family, and I love my life here in this little town.

iii. Thinner or fatter?
Sadly fatter. Let's just say I took the pediatrician's advice "Nursing Mother's shouldn't try to lose too much weight" a LITTLE too much to heart.

v. Richer or poorer?
Tacky question.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Getting all my big projects done. There are still no new bookshelves, storage shelves, pantry shelves built in my house, and I still haven't finished the wedding gift I started working on last spring. Oops!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? eating pizza?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
(Edited because the original question was to be answered before Christmas.) We were home!!! Just our little family, nice and quiet, just the way I like it.

21. How many one-night stands?
I hate this question. Did this meme originally come from Myspace?

22. What was your favorite TV program
That changes constantly, but the top runners are Big Bang Theory, Robot Chicken and World's Dumbest. I'm also working my way through the seasons of King of Queens.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Another stupid question. I don't hate people.

24. What was the best book you read?
Does it count if I'm not quite done reading it yet? I'm rereading Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. I love that book.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Probably Shine Down. I swear the lead singer of that group and my husband are kindred souls. Almost all his songs match with Surfer Pirate's life.

26. What did you want and get?
Snow! Finally! We've been seriously lacking snow this year, and we finally got dumped on last night.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
No clue.

28. What did you do on your birthday?
That was a really hard day this past year. There was supper at a nice restaurant, but other than that, the day kind of sucked.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Yay! My gray pants fit! I'm so glad I didn't get rid of them!

30. What kept you sane?
I have two main things that keep me sane - peace and quiet and time with Surfer Pirate. As long as I get those two things on a regular basis, I'm good. (Same answer as last year because it's still true.) Although snuggling with my kids is a good sanity saver as well.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chelsea Handler. She never fails to make me laugh. And Beavis and Butthead!! THEY'RE BACK!!

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Politics - Blech

33. Who did you miss?
Same as last year. Always my sister. It kills me how much I miss her.

34. Who was the best new person you met?
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
How to make a really good cherry limeade.

So there ya go. 2011 in a nutshell. Bring on 2012! I'm ready!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ol' Fallback

Since my sister passed away, I've sort of adopted a few sisters. They're my sisters because I love them and we all watch out for each other. They're also my sisters because their families are insane and my mom is the greatest mom on the planet - so everyone wants to be her daughter. My "sisters" are B, J and my newest one AB!!

Anyway, I was talking to J last night asking her for suggestions for my blog. I've been having some pretty major writer's block lately and needed ideas for fun things to talk about.

Then this morning, I was reading my (real) sister's blog and was inspired by a meme she did back in May of 2005. Since I love meme's, I figured this would be a good way to get back on the blogging horse. Here it is:


1) My uncle once: got his foot stepped on by a bear when he was camping.
2) Never in my life: have I smoked a cigarette. Although strangely enough I craved them in college when I was stressed.
3) When I was five: I met my "sister" B! (Love you!!)
4) High School was: crazy and fun and entertaining, and I'm sure glad I don't have to do it again.
5) I will never forget: "Gimmie a 'poon right now please! NICELY!" (family joke)
6) I once met: Chad Brock - former professional wrestler, turned country singer, turned disc jockey, turned potential politician. My ex and I saw him in concert in a small club in Salt Lake City. He spent a good part of the night checking me out - much to my ex's annoyance.
7) There's this girl I know who: has been married 3 times, engaged to at least 3 other guys (that she didn't marry), had 4 kids (that I know of) with 3 different guys (only 1 that was actually her husband), all before she was 35 years old. And she once tried to strike up a conversation with Surfer Pirate in order to talk to me. I ignored her because I don't want to get sucked into her weird life again.
8) Once, at a bar: I found out how small the world really is when I got to hear about the Karma Bus coming after a guy who was my bully in the 8th grade.
9) By noon I'm usually: starting to wake up - even though I've been out of bed for hours. Oddly, I used to be a morning person!
10) Last night: I talked to my "sister" J! (Love you too!)
11)If I only had: a bathroom on the main floor of my house. Oh, and a garage... and a wood shop... and a greenhouse.
12)Next time I go to church: I hope the roads will be clear (it's a long drive)
13)Amy Winehouse*: isn't talented enough to be in the 27 Club.
15)When I turn my head left, I see: my daughter reading a book and using the dog as a footstool.
16)When I turn my head right, I see: Christmas stockings.
17)You know I'm lying when: I blush and look away. I hate lying.
18)Right now I'd rather be**: taking a bath. Or a nap.
19)If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: Much more eloquent that I am now. (I like my sister's answer. I'm keeping that one.)
20)By this time next year: I'll be very busy.
21)A better name for me would be: QUEEN
22)I have a hard time understanding: why they had to mess with Geometry by adding Algebra to it. Geometry was the only math in high school that I could really understand!
23)If I ever go back to school I'll: focus entirely on classes I want to take instead of getting stuck in classes I feel like I have to take.
24)You know I like you if: I blather on to you about my whole life. I talk too much.
25)If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: God. Unless I win a Grammy. Then in all likelihood I'll thank my Dad first. (Also keeping my sister's answer here.)
26)Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: Would be fun to have dinner with. (Gotta keep this one of hers as well.)
27)Take my advice, never: marry a guy with commitment issues.
28)My ideal breakfast is: Stella's Surprise at Stella's Restaurant in Billings, MT. (Minus the onions.)
29)A song I love, but do not have is: Erotic City - the George Clinton version. Verizon doesn't have it in their song list. :( I want it on my phone.
30)If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you go to Softies for yummy ice cream. Get a toasted coconut dipped cone for me, k?
31)Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars: would make for a very weird salad.
32)Why won't anyone: design a pretty digital watch? I might still wear a watch if I could find one.
33)If you spend the night at my house: don't mess with the ghosts, and they won't bother you at all.
35)The world could do without: most of the politicians
36)I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: eat meatloaf.
37)My favorite blonde is: a toss-up between my husband and my son.
38) Paper clips are more useful than: rocks.
39) If I do anything well, it's: make steak! I used to not be able to make a steak to save my life, but I've recently mastered it.
40) And by the way: Listening to Erotic City right now. Thank you Youtube!

* Originally, that question was about Terri Schiavo - showing how old that meme is. Since it's not really current news, I figured I'd go with a memorable death from this year.

**There wasn't a question 18, so I made one up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My waffle iron died a while back. It made me extra sad because it made heart-shaped waffles! They were fun and cute and made me smile. On Valentines Day, I liked to throw some strawberry flavoring and red food coloring in to make them extra special.

But when your waffle iron starts shooting flames out the back of it, it's time to throw it away (once it's no longer on fire, of course).

Money is tight around here, and a new waffle iron was just not in the budget. I had borrowed one (and kept it WAY too long! Oops!) but as often as we all like to have waffles around here, we really needed our own.

Then, I noticed that one of our local stores was changing out their small appliances, and their previous display model was on clearance. I mentioned it to Surfer Pirate, and I guess that idea stuck in his head because a couple weeks ago he declared "We need waffles! I'm going to go find out how much that display one is." He got a killer $10 deal, and brought it home.

We've been back in Waffle Heaven around here.

So Sunday morning, I made waffles. I made a big double batch of waffle batter, but I was too hungry to make the whole batch all at once. I made enough for everyone to each have some, and then I sat down to eat.

For the record, if you've never had peanut butter and maple syrup on a waffle, you need to try it. It's all kinds of awesome.

I finished my yummy waffle and went into the kitchen to rinse off my plate. There, I was hit by the most offensive smell! It was like messy diapers, moldy bread and rotten cream sauce all at the same time!

Gah! What is that???

Figuring there must have been something bad in the garbage, I took the garbage out.

There. That'll do it.

Too lazy to make more waffles right then, I took the measuring cup I'd been using as a scoop for the waffle mix and set it on a plate where it wouldn't get my counter dirty, until I could start dishes later. I covered the waffle mix and put it in the fridge. Then I went into the living room to join my family in watching some TV.

I returned to the kitchen later, and was met AGAIN by the horrid smell!!

Gah!! What IS that???

I started looking all around, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. Nothing seemed amiss.

Back to the living room I went.

Again later, HORRIBLE SMELL slapped me in the face as soon as I walked in the kitchen!

GAH!!! What the h*ll is that????

Could it possibly be the scooper from the waffles??? There was a bread smell in the nastiness. I bent down to sniff it. Slight bread smell, maybe, but was there a rotten smell? Not sure. I ran it under hot water to clean it off and then went to the fridge to make sure nothing terrible had happened to my bowl of waffle mix and I just hadn't noticed (can't destroy my dreams of waffle goodness for later!) Nope. That's fine.

Huh. I don't get it. Another search of the kitchen came up with nothing odd.

By yesterday afternoon, either the smell had gone away, or my nose was just so offended by the nasty smell not going away that it decided to ignore it. Either way, I didn't notice the smell anymore.

So last night, Surfer Pirate requested baked potatoes with supper. I'm all for some tasty baked potatoes!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm..... buttery potato goodness....

I opened up the bag of potatoes on the counter and started selecting the best ones.

And then it hit me!

Nasty icky smelly disgusting knock you down the stairs and beat you senseless smelly smell!!

One mean little nasty rotten potato was hiding down in the bottom corner of the bag.

I threw out its offensive little self and scrubbed the heck out of all the other potatoes.

My kitchen is safe for noses once again!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Go me!

These two are such buddies they even sleep alike.

For 7 painful years, I worked retail. Back then, I always swore I would be done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. And I pretty much succeeded with that goal back then. But there is life after retail. Eventually, the madness didn't bother me anymore. I still don't shop Black Friday, but I don't worry too much about being done that early.

In fact, quite often, I do my "Santa shopping" a week or so before Christmas. Usually, the gifts will be purchased in an okay time frame, but I don't buy the stocking stuffers until the last minute. But today, not only did I get the Santa gifts, but I also got the stocking stuffers! The only thing missing is the oranges and nuts that go in there, but I'll get those later - so they're fresh.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my dad's coat. Thankfully, he hasn't been booked up too much this year, so he doesn't need it right away. I should be able to finish it this weekend so I can get it mailed to him. I'm also in process with my bookshelf project. As I was sorting through the piles and piles of boxes of books in my basement, I came across my mom's and my old record albums. I was telling her about it, and we discussed getting a turntable that hooks into a USB port so I could start saving digital copies of all those records. She jumped right on that idea and bought one and had it sent to my house. It arrived today. So now I have that project to add to my list. Some of my other projects for when I have free time (Ha!) are as follows:

Previously mentioned dog coat

Pirate quilt I started 3 years ago

Wedding gift for my friend who got married last March. I'm hoping to get that done by at least their first wedding anniversary

Scan in the huge box worth of old pictures I have on loan from my dad

Shelf in Pirate Munchkin's room for her dolls

High shelf in Pirate Baby's room to run track for my mom's old model train

Rebuild the pantry shelves in my basement

Sort through all the boxes of random schtuff in my basement

Build storage shelves for all the schtuff I decide to keep

Build storage cabinets and bench in my mudroom

Curtains in almost every room in my house

Sew lots of fun new (vintage style) clothes for me

Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Germans and Gingerbread

This gorgeous gingerbread house is not the one I made. I found it here.

I was telling my mom this story tonight, and she suggested that I blog about it. So here you go.

Christmas of 2000 found me living in Utah. My oldest step-son had just come to live with us (14 at the time), and I had a very sweet and smart 2 and 1/2 year old German Shepherd.

I had decided I wanted to build a gingerbread house from scratch. I put a lot of time and effort into measuring and preparing to make sure it was just perfect. It baked perfectly - not a single crack. As soon as it was cool, I started assembling.

Once the frosting holding all the walls and roof together were set up, I started the fun part - decorating it. I had already chosen Andes mints for the roof. I loved the idea of the striped brown/green/brown look for the roof "shingles". I spent probably an hour getting all the mints on the roof. It looked gorgeous! I had to start getting ready for work, so I set the house in the middle of my dining room table with plans to finish decorating when I got home that night.

I was just getting out of the shower when I heard "Zeus* NO!" My heart dropped. I hurried out of the bathroom to find the gingerbread house in pieces on the floor with frosting everywhere. While I had been in the shower, my step-son had gone downstairs for something. The dog had taken his chance to go after the gingerbread house. I was horrified at all my work being destroyed, but not nearly as horrified as I was when I realized that half the roof as gone - including all that chocolate!

I was quite thankful that the other half of the roof was intact, and I quickly counted the remaining mints to see how much he had eaten.

THIRTY Andes Mints!

I called the vet, panic in my voice, while I said to the receptionist "I have a problem." She had already started chuckling a little as she said "Let me guess. Your dog ate chocolate."

The calm and humor in her voice put me a little at ease. It may not be as bad as I had thought.

What kind of dog is it?
German Shepherd

What does he weigh?
90 pounds

What did he eat?
30 Andes Mints

...I thought she was going to die laughing. She laughed so hard! I felt soooooooo much better.

So then she told me I needed to get some ipecac and hydrogen peroxide. I was supposed to take the biggest serving spoon I had and force a spoonful each of peroxide and ipecac down his throat. If he hadn't thrown up in 10 minutes, I was supposed to do it again!

So I hurried to the pharmacy and bought ipecac (I already had the peroxide), then I came home and gave my baby his medicine. I finished getting ready for work, and after 10 minutes, nothing had happened, so I dosed him again as instructed. I told my step-son to call me at work when Zeus had thrown up, and I left for work.

After a couple hours, I still hadn't heard anything, so I called the house.

Has he thrown up yet?
Nope. He just keeps belching!

That crazy Zeus never did throw up, just had the burps all day long. It's my own fault. He was my spoiled baby, and since he was little, I had always given him gingerbread cookies whenever I made them. He was also EXTREMELY smart, which came in handy when it came to training him, but not so handy when he wanted to do something he wasn't supposed to do. (The process of keeping him locked in his kennel when we were away from the house was insane because of his super intelligence. He was a Houdini Dog - and could get out of anything!)

I still gave him gingerbread cookies every year, but I haven't attempted making a gingerbread house since.

*His real name wasn't Zeus.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today, I learned that burnt coffee smells a lot like burnt hot dogs.

Today, I was reminded that a breastfed baby with a cold means boogers in places that you don't want to know about.

Today, I found a used band-aid on a string, inside my old diaper bag.

Today, I enjoyed momentary peace and quiet while everyone else was either asleep or out of the house.

Today, I cried over people who weren't with us this year for the holidays.

Today, I bought two gifts and spent a whopping 38 cents thanks to Swagbucks!

Today, I got an early present from my cute hubby - a TON of tools for the house in their own carrying case!!

Today, I listened to my daughter make up weird songs in her boredom.

Today, I finally caught up with all my blogs I read. Really - all of them!

Today, I put my wedding ring back on my finger after having to wear it on a chain since Wednesday. (I got into something, and have had some kind of chemical burn that itched when my ring touched it.)

Today, I laughed while the boogery baby sneezed on Surfer Pirate.

Today, I managed a blog post! Yay me!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

And the Funk Continues...

First, you have to admire how adorable Pirate Baby is in his pirate jammies! The big update here is that he's growing! When these first arrived from Grandma a couple months ago, they were HUGE compared to him and I was starting to feel like he would never fit in them. But they are on, and they fit! He's 11 months old today (which reminds me, I have to take 11 month pictures today), and is just getting into a size 9 month clothes, but at least we're finally showing progress! He's starting to plump up again too, thank goodness.

I also included this picture to show my blog readers who don't know me IRL that I really DO have a pirate obsession. It isn't just a thing I do on my blog. There are little pirate details in a lot of parts of my life. My mom recently even bought me a pirate purse! I'm having so much fun carting that around now. Plus, for Pirate Baby's combination birthday/Christmas gift from her, he's getting a rocking pirate ship! (Think rocking horse, only this is a little wooden pirate ship with rockers under it.) I'll take pictures of it once it's here and assembled.

Life has continued to be a little crazy. Late last winter when we'd had so many hard things happening, I'd gotten on my knees and told the Lord that I couldn't take anymore. I was at my absolute limit, and I needed a break from stress in my life. He lovingly gave me many, many months of peace and relative calm. Then, a few months ago, I started noticing everyone around me was having difficult things happen to them all at once. It was like He was saying to me, "Okay, you've had some time, let's see how you deal with these issues. Then we'll get back to the crazy things that need to happen in your family!" (Not to downplay the difficulties of my family and friends' issues lately. They certainly were NOT about me!) Anyway, just as we were getting Pirate Baby's growth issues handled, Surfer Pirate's health issues took a forefront in our lives again.

He's okay. Let's start with that.

We've got some answers to something we've wondered about for several years now, and the good thing is now we know how to treat it.

He's got another health issue that also needs to be dealt with, but that's still in the "what do we do about this?" stage at the moment. It will also be handled and be okay. It's just been a little stressful.

That's why I've been so quiet.

Meanwhile, life continues as usual in our pirate household.

Pirate Munchkin continues to do beautifully in school and reads as many books as she can get her hands on. She's also showing even more signs of being my sister's little Mini Me. This child is obsessed with game shows! When she gets a chance to pick whatever she wants to watch, I'm only subjected to kid shows about half the time now. (Seriously? Who writes that drivel?? Even the adults over-act on those shows!) When she's not watching Nick or the Disney Channel, she's got Game Show Network on! It's been pretty fun to watch some of the OLD shows on there. Family Feud from the very beginning, those old panel-type games that always had all the celebrities on them in the 60's and 70's, and some of the ones I remember watching back in the 80's when we only had two (and then three) channels in our home town. She and I play along and enjoy it when we would have won prizes if we'd been on the show.

Snow has returned to Northern Middle of Nowhere North Dakota. Which means the farming season is done again, and we have our husband/father back! He had asked for an X-Box for his birthday/Christmas gift to help him get through the long winter. I asked for a new cordless drill so I can get started on all the building projects I want to do around our house. He has a really hard time waiting to give me gifts, so he'd already declared he was going to be giving me my drill early this year, and wouldn't it be nice if he could have his gift early too? (Not even slightly subtle! LOL) My drill was supposed to be here yesterday, so I'd already planned on him getting to open his present then. The drill was delayed a couple weeks - it's supposed to arrive on his birthday. I didn't think it was fair for me to get my gift early when he wouldn't get his until his birthday, so I let him go ahead and open it last night. He spent most of the evening playing and figuring out all the ins and outs of this new video game system. (I'm excited that I should be able to use it to watch live-streaming Netflix movies!)

And now, as previously promised, Halloween costume pictures!

The finished Indian Princess costume!
She was THRILLED with how it turned out, and thankfully, it wasn't too cold this year, so she didn't have to wear a coat over it.

A close-up of the jewels.
It's interesting to me how much she looks like my cousin Wendy in this picture.

I do not know how the women manage to get those necklace things that hang over the forehead to stay in place! I tried using bobby pins in her hair to hold down the chain, but it still moved around a lot. Maybe they use the same kind of glue they use on the bindi (the face jewels).

Pirate Baby still fit into his snow suit that was too big on him last winter (he's since outgrown it!), so he was a teddy bear this year. Although we kept joking he was Big Scary Bear - GRRR!

I do have a better picture of him in it, but he's sitting on Surfer Pirate's lap, and I don't feel like editing pictures right now, so this is the best you get today.

Alright. I have to get back to work. My dad is part of a Victorian Christmas Caroling group, and I've promised him a new coat for his costume. I'm using this pattern, and I'm making it from a light brown/tan sort of suit fabric. I think it's going to be very nice. I made a GORGEOUS vest for him a couple years ago for a different music thing, and he wears it for the Victorian stuff now. I'll have to post a picture of it on here one of these days because I'm really proud of how it turned out. It's probably my 2nd favorite piece of clothing I've ever made (the 1st being a Southern Belle gown - complete with hoop skirt) The vest was from that same pattern, but we altered it. He wanted the collar to come down lower and we made it double-breasted. It's beautiful, and I'm super proud of it.

So off to the sewing machine! When I finish his coat, I have to make a coat for Miss Dampier. Her short fir is NOT good for our winters. I never thought I would be one of those people who would put clothing on my dogs, but I can't let her freeze. After that I get to start on my new clothes! First up? Navy pinstriped pants from this pattern!

Monday, October 17, 2011

STILL Missing in Action

It's been a pretty tough time at our house.

All 4 cute little baby teeth are in, and the cold is gone, but all is still not well with Pirate Baby.

He hasn't grown since he was 6 months old. For a while, he just didn't gain weight. But then he started losing it. The nurse practitioner we see here in town thought he might have a really serious disease and did some testing. Thankfully, the tests came out negative, but we still didn't have answers. We were referred to a pediatrician 2 hours away, and went to see her on Thursday.

Thankfully, the answer is pretty simple.

Pirate Baby is a breast-fed baby, and it looks like I'm just not producing enough milk. We figured out a plan of attack, and hopefully we'll see him start plumping up again very soon.

The best part about this doctor is she suggested herbal supplements instead of prescriptions. This is a doctor after my own heart!

The long and short of it is I have been very stressed and worried about Pirate Baby for more than two months now. It's exhausting! Because of it, I haven't felt like being very chatty - here on my blog or in real life. I'm hoping to be back to myself soon. I have a couple of fun ideas for entries, but I just haven't been able to get the enthusiasm to write them.

A few things that I should mention:

1. Today is Pirate Surfer's and my 3rd Wedding Anniversary! No exciting concerts this year. We're just going to have a quiet night at home as a family. After this last harvest season, the idea of all of us home for a meal and a movie together sounds like complete luxury!

2. Aside from the issue of his growth, Pirate Baby has been progressing beautifully with his physical developments. He's right on track for a baby his age (not even counting in that he was a preemie!) He's a very fast crawler. Surfer Pirate was stunned to discover how fast he is! One night after Pirate Baby managed to crawl into the dining room before Surfer Pirate noticed, he joked that we could put him at the end of our driveway, and by the next morning he would be in Montana! He can also pull himself up to standing, wave bye-bye, walk with assistance, and he REALLY wants to climb on things (although thankfully, he hasn't figured that one out yet!)

3. Pirate Munchkin and my mom and I have all had a great time figuring out her Halloween costume. We got a catalog from this company in the mail several months ago and have been drooling over their beautiful costumes. I really fell in love with this one because Pirate Munchkin comes from Aztec ancestors. But her favorite was this Indian Princess costume. It's a gorgeous costume, but much too expensive. So I've been looking at how to make one for her. I told my mom about my search, and in true Grandma-loves-to-spoil-her-grandkids fashion, she bought all the fabric and supplies I needed to make one. It's almost finished! I still need to sew the hem on her pants and do some embellishments on the neckline and it will be complete! Pirate Munchkin was very excited to get up this morning and see it was almost done. I can't wait for her to try it all on. I'll try to post pictures here, although it may not be until Halloween when she's got her hair done and all the jewelry (including gems on her forehead!)

4. I'm in process of changing over my "look". I've always leaned towards a more classic look rather than following trends, but I've decided that I'm not happy with anything I'm finding in stores right now. Instead, I'm going to go back to the Old Hollywood kind of look. The styles from the 40's, 50's and early 60's were so feminine and classic. The few places where you can buy that style of clothes are very expensive. Thankfully, the pattern companies recognize the need for that kind of style and those patterns are available again. I'm not done buying patterns, but I've already got quite a collection! I can't wait to get started! My sewing machine is going to be VERY busy over the next few months!

Anyway, that's the update on our household. Hopefully, I'll be more of myself and can get back to regular postings soon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Missing In Action

I've been neglecting you, my dear readers. I'm very sorry. I have had my hands very, very full lately.

You see, Pirate Baby has had 4 teeth come in during a time span of 4 weeks. When that 4th tooth had just barely broken the surface, he also got a nasty little cold. He's been one miserable little boy.

One unhappy baby.

There's something about a child's scream that gets into your spine and turns it into mush.* I'm so exhausted lately from all the crying and screaming out of this (normally) cute little guy. I'm lucky I manage to get real clothes on during the day, let alone get anything done in my house and... I don't know... get a shower?

*Somewhere, there is a quote about that kind of thing. I swear it's from Bill Cosby Himself, but I can find it. If you know which quote I'm talking about, please find it for me. I'm losing my mind trying to figure it out. K'thanx.

I have managed some major accomplishments during that time (mopped my kitchen floor, and have baby-proofed my living room for our new crawler!), but not much else. We won't discuss the condition of my dining room or the looming pile of laundry in my bedroom. I'm afraid the dirty clothes are going to attack Surfer Pirate some morning when he's passing by them in the dark!

{alarm goes off}


shuffle, shuffle, shuffle



{muffled sounds}


*sorry. Like I said. I'm tired.

Anyway, so you'll have to bear (bare? Don't know which one is correct right now) with me if I'm sort of quiet these days. I'm fine, just a little worn out. Processing thoughts isn't really my best thing right now.

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.

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.