I Got A Gnome In The Backyard. I Put It Right On The X-Mark.

I have been looking for a garden gnome. And believe it or not, have had a hard time finding one. At least, have had a hard time finding one that doesn't look like a garden gnome on meth. "Shhh. La lee La lee, Ice Head." Sorry, couldn't resist that little outburst.


Today, our day was packed with appointments, errands, action, adventure, meals, more errands, getting Connor on the bus, getting Connor off the bus.......you get the picture. After a long, weary day. We came home and found this guy. Quietly, eargerly awaiting the arrival of his new family. Much to my glee.

I used to hate them. But I admit, I cracked up each time they popped up in 'The Full Monty' and loved the storyline behind it in 'Amelie'.

He's just a wee one. I need to find him a suitable older brother.


The Wind

There is a Fall wind blowing outside of my house tonight. It's the kind of wind that usually ushers in a dramatic change. It's the kind of wind that will eventually rise to a crescendo. This is the 'prewind'. You can feel the tension building. It's the beginning of something. In each gust, brings with it a little cooler temperature. A different smell. The tide is changing. I know tomorrow, the air will be changed. There will not be tomorrow what there was today.
Somehow, today, I could feel a change. I don't know what it is. I don't know what it will bring. Whether it will be good or bad. Or just merely something indifferent. I just know that I feel something about to break.
"I listen to the wind
to the wind of my soul
Where I'll end up
Well I think only God really knows
I've sat upon the setting sun
But never, never, never, nerver
wanted water once
No never, never, never"
Cat Stevens ~ "The Wind"
I would hardly call myself psychic. And if I did, you would all call me crazy. I prefer to call myself perceptually gifted. However, there are times when I can pick up vibrations. Miniscule changes that no one else can detect. It's a feeling that resonates within my every tissue. I can feel things in the air, I can feel them wafting off of people. It's almost as if I can see straight through them. And I barely even have to think about it. It just comes to me. Like my next breath.
It sort of reminds me of sharks. They have small pores, that look like black dots on their bodies. They're called ampullae of Lorenzini. They are used to detect electro-magnetic fields - vibrations in the water - to detect dead and dying prey. Because of the ampullae of Lorenzini, they are able to sense, to pick up on these vibrations. They can't see what it is, but their bodies are built to pick up these vibrations. Granted, I'm not interested in finding prey. But I believe my body is built to pick up people vibrations. ( I told you back here that my favorite class was Oceanography in high school - super geek, that's me).
There are times when I can see something. Like a snapshot inside my head. Almost as if it looks as though it's been filmed on 8mm film. Then replayed inside my head. Sometimes it's as clear as a picture - sometimes it's like I'm looking through Swiss Cheese. Sometimes it's as if it's shown to me on purpose - other times on accident.
Whether I am just highly perceptive - or just down right nuts - I don't know. I just know that when these things come to me, I listen. The finality is in my gut. It feels like a brick. Once I feel that, I know to stop & wait. See what happens.
So, with this wind tonight, I feel a change. I have the feeling in my gut. I'm waiting for the input. Every sense is awakened & waiting......
You can call me crazy. But there are plenty that know all of this to be true.......


Best Of All Possible Worlds

I've been waiting for the day when I will open my mailbox & find a package containing a substantial monetary gift bestowed upon us by some philanthropic benefactor. However, while I'm waiting for that, here is a random sampling of some other prizes I've found...........

*today: stuck in the soundhole in my stereo speaker: a matchbox car.
*a hairclip precariously clipped on to the underside of the bracket which holds our banister into the wall.

*various crumbs of snacks nibbled on by our kids in our bed. There's nothing like laying in bed & hearing 'cccrrruuuunnnccchhhh'.

*various blocks, matchbox cars & other kid paraphanalia hidden under our blankets/pillows.

*the other day: a penny in our toilet. I guess the kids thought this was a fountain/wishing well.

*a bottle of children's tylenol buried under my newspaper recycle pile. Clever. That one was clever.

*again, various toys/blocks buried in my sock drawer. I think I have a pack rat.

I'm sure there are others. But these are the ones that stick out most in my mind.
Damn kids.

Oh, and I've found 4 Ravioli children who stashed themselves away in a dog crate at the inlaw's. They're not all our Raviloli's........2 are ours.......the other 2, our neices.


You're A Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder

A few months ago, I purchased a Playstation game for Connor for $19.99. It was Lego Star Wars. I figured, it was a game where you run around building things out of Lego's & they happen to be StarWars related. I knew Connor would enjoy it. Well, the game is crazy addicting. At night, Ravioli & I would hurry the kids off to sleep, make some snacks & sit down to play hours of Lego StarWars. We're pathetically geeky. Well, we were all heartbroken when we completed the game. Connor, from time to time, would still play. But it just wasn't the same.
In the early summer, Ravioli heard rumors that a new Lego StarWars game was to be released - based on the original trilogy. Sweeeeeeeet. So, on Tuesday September 12th, Lego StarWars II was released. Much to our glee. As was the routine with Lego StarWars I. Ravioli & I play every chance we get. As does Connor.

Today, while I was away, shuttling Grace to school, the boys (Ravioli & Connor) were home, playing Lego StarWars together. They had just started up the game & Connor says to Ravioli, "What level are we going to next? Where are we going?" Ravioli says, "To the Ice Planet." Connor says, "You mean Hoth?" How freaking coolishly geeky is that?!?! I revel in the fact that Connor enjoys StarWars, Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter as much as we do. It's so awesome to hear him ask about Frodo & Gandalf the Gray/Gandalf the White.

And I about blew soda out my nose awhile back when eating lunch with Connor he asks me, "How many Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers are there?" Oh my goodness. Let me just tell you about DADA, Connor. You have NO idea.

And as many of you who have already heard this story.........I was a proud, mortified mommy in the grocery store when Connor referred to an unattractive older lady as an "Ugly Chewbacca". And I love hearing him, as he's sitting in his carseat in the car, talking into his sleeve calling out "Echo Base, this is Rogue 3. Do you read me?" - using his sleeve as his 'comlink' (I'm not sure I spelled that right). There are so many of these little Connor-isms.

Some parents would be a little aghast. But I love it. In fact, I encourage it. I mean, there are lines to be drawn. There are certain scenes of these movies that we skip through. But I believe that all of this is great for his imagination. And if it makes him feel good about himself, can it hurt?

Geeks of the world unite. There are young Padawans out there who need our guidance.


Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

These are the people you will find in my inner sanctum. The ones who are my glue. They keep me together when I'm cracking up and falling apart. I couldn't make it one step without them. It's a lot of weight to carry. They know how crazy I am ~ and love me anyway.

"I've been with you such a long time. You're my sunshine. And I want you to know that my feelings are true. I really love you. You're my best friend. Oooo, you make me live." ~Queen "You're My Best Friend"

"I thank the lord there's people out there like you.........And I thank the lord for the people I have found. I thank the lord for the people I have found" ~Elton John "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters"

The Great Melatonin Debate

Connor has never been a great sleeper. It's all we can do to get him to go to bed, let alone stay asleep. Since the day he was born, he's just never been a restful child. We've done everything to soothing music, activity to 'wear' him out, to a consistent bed-time routine. Nothing works. We've been given the suggestion to try Melatonin by both is pediatrician and his doctors at the Behavioral Clinic. They both expressed concern that possibly Connor's body wasn't able to regulate his sleep patterns properly. That Melatonin was a naturally occuring hormone and that it wasn't like taking a medication with side-effects. It would either work or it wouldn't. So, we chewed on the idea of Melatonin for awhile. And finally decided to take the plunge.

The first week, we gave Connor a very low dose. I'm talking 1/2 a mg. It seemed to make him fall asleep pretty quickly, but he would wake up throughout the night. He didn't know where he was, he was basically walking and talking in his sleep. This was a little alarming. We finally got a dose that we think works. He falls asleep about a half-an-hour after taking it & stays asleep....at 2mg.

The thing is, that I sort of feel like Nurse Ratchett. I mean, we took our time making the decision. We're doing it at the advice of many doctors. We're giving him relatively low doses, but we've had family members express their opinions on it & when asked to administer it to Connor one time, they refused.
The other night, we ran out of Melatonin. I called the health food store where we get it from, to see if they had it in stock. Even the worker there went on listing the concerns regarding administering Melatonin to a young child - under the age of 18.

Is something that occurs naturally in our own bodies that dangerous? Would the pediatrician & the therapists at Behavioral Clinic recommend something that was harmful? I understand there are risks with everything. We've gone four years with interrupted sleep. That's not good for us & it's not good for Connor. He needs his sleep. When he doesn't sleep, he is a mess. Emotionally & physically. I hope people realize that in doing this, we're trying to help him. Just as if he had a cold, cut, burn or disease. We would want to give him something that could potentially help him. Not hurt him.

Is it wrong to give him 2 mg. of Melatonin to help the sleep along??

Do any of you give your children Melatonin?

*****Added on*****
I found this here:

"Sleep disturbance is common in childhood, and is particularly problematic in children with neurological problems such as learning difficulties, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy, as well as children with visual impairment (partial or complete). This is probably because these children have difficulty recognising and attuning their sleep cycle to the outside world's sleep-wake cycle"


Every Rose Has It's Thorn

Is this or is this not the most pathetic picture you've ever seen? Not many people have seen this picture. I couldn't bear to put it in any photo albums because everytime I looked at it, I could feel the labor pains. I found it tonight, stashed amongst pictures that I had forgotten about.
For whatever reason, I'm in a sharing mood & figured since I haven't really shared this with anybody, I'd share it with everybody!
How embarrassing. However, as Connor gets older, I can whip this bad boy out & lay on a little guilt when necessary...........I'd never do that. Not me.

Steady As We Go

2 years ago, Bryan got hired by the State as a Probation & Parole Officer. As part of the hiring process, he had to attend their "Academy" for 12 weeks. As the class progressed, his fellow 'classmates' would rib Bryan about his last name & the fact that people had a hard time pronouncing it - for whatever reason. And being that he's Italian, he was nicknamed Ravioli by his classmates - his now co-workers.
I love it. I think it's perfect. It cracks me up & I don't know why it took me this long to use that as his name on my blog.
And, I love Ravioli's - except when they're stuffed with 'meat'. Bleck. Anyway......I think Bryan prefers it when I call him 'man-meat' on here. Which is funny & all. But I like Ravioli.

A few months ago, some friends & I got together & we all brought our wedding albums to share with each other. As everyone was looking at mine, they were asking all of the typical questions. And I would respond with answers regarding the details of our wedding. The good, the bad, the funny. And I became so overwhelmed with emotion reliving that day with them. So, as I'm talking about our wedding, one of the women says to me, "Jeez, you talk about your wedding like it was the best day of your life." I look at her, thinking, "She sees how I've lit up & how emotional I've become....she's being sarcastic." I waited for a second......and she was dead serious. How odd. So, I replied, "Well, it was. That & the birth of my babies. It was the best day. There were things I wish had gone differently. But we had our hand in every detail. Our wedding was exactly what we wanted." I mean, was this a joke? I couldn't believe that statement.

I never thought that a guy as good as the Ravioli would ever be in my future. I thought I didn't deserve it. And marrying him, with Connor at our side in his little tux, was the absolute highlight of my life. Planning our quirky little wedding & then marrying him was beyond awesome.
And little details come back to me. Like our friend Alex....he was a groomsmen. His then girlfriend (now wife), Liz, was living in London & they weren't really together at that time. We were cutting the cake & we had picked Adam Sandler's "I Wanna Grow Old With You" during the cake cutting. Well, Alex called her on his cell as we're cutting the cake & held the phone up for her to hear what was going on. And I believe, across the pond, they had a moment at our wedding via a cell phone. How cool is that?? (They just celebrated their 1 year anniversary at the end of July)
Whenever I hear "The Imperial March" (the Darth Vader song), I always get goosebumps. That was the song we walked in to our reception as the new Mr. & Mrs. Ravioli & Raviolette. The lightsabers that we distributed to our wedding party are still floating around here & there.

Sadly, Connor's buotonneire is still in my refrigerator. Crumbling away to nothing.

We've only been married 3 years. 3 great years. It's flown by. But it also seems like it's been an entire lifetime.

I hope that I don't ever get to the point where I don't 'care' about our wedding day anymore. I LOVE looking at our wedding photos. I love that it's still a fresh memory. I don't want to be 10, 20, 30, 40 years in & think back on that day with a bad taste. And at that point, I hope that I'm not the person sayin to a young, happily married woman, "Jeez. You sound like it was the best day of your life." Because the day that you promise yourself to the love of your life, your best friend, your partner-in-crime, your equally important polar opposite better half, should be the best the day of your life.

The day that the Ravioli & I got married was the best day of my life. I would love to do it all over again. We had so much fun & the people that meant the most to us surrounded us, congratulated us, danced with us, laughed with us and wished us well.

I was, and still am, as high as a kite.

Roll On

I'm exhausted. Gracie is sick. Connor is on the brink of sick. My Ravioli & I are working through some stuff. And I haven't had sleep in the past few days. I'm working on a post.

And feel bad that I've left that depressing one up for so long. It took more out of me than I realized it had. I'm glad that it touched some of you. It was something that has taken me two years to share with anyone and I'm glad it had an impact.

Anyway.....I'll be back shortly with something a little more upbeat! Enjoy the beautiful weather!!!


Life Is Sweet

This is a heavy, depressing post. So, if you came here to be uplifted, to chuckle, to read about the mundane - you'll have to keep shopping today.
My aunt (by marriage) has been watching her father battle cancer for sometime now. It hasn't looked good for quite a while & he's nearing the end of his very long battle. Hospice is now involved, and my aunt's family are all spending the nights in their parent's home.
I was visiting over at my mom's house tonight with the kids & my uncle (my mom's brother & the husband of the aunt I'm speaking of) called. I overheard my mother talking to him in a hushed, sympathetic tone. My heart felt heavy. I feel for my aunt & what her family must be going through.
My mom & my stepfather have taken in two of my stepfather's siblings when they were battling cancer & were there when both passed. I was not around much when they were caring for the first of his siblings, but I was around almost everyday with the second.
My stepfather's sister stayed with them for almost a year. She was battling breast cancer - for years. It got to the point where the doc told her there really wasn't much else to be done. The doc gave her the option to proceed with chemo, but felt that it really wouldn't help her anymore. She decided to not continue with chemo, but that she would continue to fight. She said, "This doesn't mean that I'm giving up." However, her little body had fought as hard as it could for as long as it could.
I remember sitting with her around Halloween. She used to love watching Turner Classic Movies. "The Bad Seed" was on. And she was sitting up, eating, talking about how wicked the little girl was in that movie.
A week later, she could barely sit erect. She was a shell of the person I had seen a week earlier. I was stunned and sad.
Connor always looked out for her when we went down there. He would hang out near her when she was sitting in her big recliner and chat with her. Whenever we walked in the house he would say, "Is Kas here? HI, Kas!!!" Near the end she could no longer speak. She couldn't swallow, she would sit in a wheelchair for just a few minutes at a time b/c she was too weak to sit up.
One evening, the kids & I walked into the house, and Kas was sitting in her wheelchair visiting with her sister. She didn't look anything like herself. Connor looked around and said, "Where's Kas?" And she shrugged the saddest shrug & all she could muster was the saddest "hrumph". I could see on her face that her worst fears were realized in that simple little question from a two-year-old boy.
She was going.
I will never forget that moment as long as I live.
I have never been around someone who was terminally ill before. And I have to say, watching someone leave this world & enter into another is sad, heart-wrenching, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. And as a mother, it is terrifying and completely scary. In ways you'd never imagine. Until the moment you have a life dependant on yours & you even fathom for a second having to leave it.........forever.
Your worst fear is leaving your children. I got to thinking about how fast time goes. As I watched Kas slipping away from us, I got to thinking about how one minute, she was holding her newborn babies in her arms. Time seems forever. Her whole life was ahead of her. And then, in what seems like less than a blink, it's done. Even though her kids were all grown with their own families, I can only imagine the panic she must have felt, knowing she was leaving them behind.
My mom & stepfather took care of her everyday. And that, I know for a fact, took it's toll in ways I will never comprehend. They saw things I will never see. They experienced death & mortality in a way I never have. But I remember how drained I was at that time.
And as the anniversary of her passing approaches, I feel reflective of it again. It's something I feel I need to keep close. To remember how fragile we all are. That the ties that keep us together need always remain strong. I try to keep it close to remind myself how much I care, how deeply I do love and how fleeting this all is.
Stupid fights are stupid fights, misunderstandings are misunderstandings. But there are things that are bigger and better than all of that. And we are fools if we go through everyday without reminding ourselves that Life Is Beautiful, Love Is Beautiful. And those we care for most are beautiful, fleeting things. It's not forever. No matter how young, blessed, or purposeful we think we are.
She was good to give me that lesson. Not to say that I don't need to be reminded. I slip. But this time of year, as excited as I am as Fall approaches, will always remind me of her. Kas's fight and my lesson learned.
Godspeed, Kas.

They told you life is long
Be thankful when it's done
Don't ask for more
You should be grateful
But I tell you life is short
Be thankful because before you know
It will be over
Cause life is sweet
And life is also very short
Your life is sweet
~Natalie Merchant "Life is Sweet"

I'm all dried up........

This is what Tabitha said to me this morning, just before she asked me to post a "guest spot". I told her that I wouldn't know what to say, that I couldn't do it. But here I am, typing away. I probably shouldn't be writing anything, as I usually get myself into trouble when I open my mouth. Apparently I'm just not happy if my foot is not in my mouth. Speaking of feet, I'm not sure if Tab ever mentioned how we first met, so i will. We were working at a summer camp together. It was her first summer as a counselor and it was my 4th, I think. I must mention that from the moment I saw Tabitha I was totally smitten. She will tell you that I was a totally cocky a-hole and that she hated me from the start. I won't argue with sometimes being cocky, but I know she wanted me from the get go too. We were doing staff training, some game where everyone had to move across an area with only 2 people touching the ground at the same time or something like that. Being that it was my 4th summer, and I was in a quasi-supervisory position, I began to dictate how I thought we could, as a team of course, solve the problem (you can see why she would call me a cocky a-hole). I volunteered to be one of the two people touching the ground in the marked area. Everyone else was walking across our feet to get to the other side. I believe that it was my idea to do so, although I must admit that I'm not totally sure anymore. As I said, I was at this point completely bewildered by Tabitha's beauty and personality and had been trying to work up the courage to speak to her all during our training. As she was coming across my feet, I though it was the perfect opportunity. I struggled to quickly think of something to say. As she stepped onto my foot, I noticed she was wearing the same sneakers as I was. Weird, I thought, that she would be wearing men's shoes. But here was my chance and I wasn't going to waste it. Mustering up all the courage I could, I opened my mouth to say how beautiful she was, how amazing I thought she was, and out it came, "nice shoes".


Harvest Moon

I love this weather. I love the new crispness that is in the air. T-shirt and jeans weather. That's my uniform. Always has been. I'm sad to see the summer go. I don't get desperate for it until January. But I love the Autumn. I love sleeping with the windows open. I love snuggling up to my Ravioli (man-meat, Bry) on these chilly nights. I know that Autumn is not completely here yet. We'll probably get a few more days of warm temps. But I love these preview days. It gets me in the mood for apples, pumpkins and the beautiful foliage.
As a little Autumn side-note the kids (well, Connor) is getting all amped up for Halloween. He wants to be a StormTrooper. Great. I have no problem with him being a StormTrooper. It's finding a StormTrooper costume that will fit him. I did a little 'window shopping' online & found one his size for $60, which does not include shipping. I don't know if I want to splurge that much. As soon as Halloween was over last year, that's all he's talked about. Getting a StormTrooper costume. I'll probably buckle & buy the blasted thing.

I'm attempting to make Gracie's costume. I got a pattern to make her the infamous blue gingham dress that will transform her into Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I've never sewn clothing before beyond buttons & hems and popped seams. Quilting? No problem. Making my own design for a quilt? No problem. But looking at this pattern & trying to comprehend it. Problem. I have issues with reading directions anyway. I'm a visual person. Show me how to do something, it's downloaded into my permanent files. But me try to read something & figure it out on my own. Bad. Really bad. We'll see how this turns out. Wish me (and Gracie) luck. I hope she doesn't look totally ridiculous. This reminds me of the Cosby episode where Theo wanted this designer shirt, but it was too much $. So, Denise convinces him that she can sew a shirt to look exactly like it. And the thing was hideous. One arm was way long, one shoulder was puffy, the collar was all askew. Anyway.......I've rambled into a ridiculous tirade.

The Very Young At Heart

Here is a post in images of things which my child(ren) enjoy. And sheepishly, I do too. Not saying I'm proud. Just an admission of guilt.

Today is ADHD Awareness Day

Take a minute to learn more about ADHD. Many people, including myself, have preconceived notions about this disorder and not a lot of good information. So, check out this and learn a little bit more. Too much knowledge never hurt anyone.

I could write all day regarding this disorder and how it affects those who have it, their families, their school and social situations. But I don't want to get all preachy. I just know that my views have changed since living with a young child who has it.


Natural Beauty

Few people are truly enthusiastic about what they do. Few people actually get to do what they love to do and what they are passionate about. And when you see someone who truly does love what they do, are living their dream and are beyond enthusiastic you have to stop and say, "Wow. Good on ya. That's wonderful and amazing."

I have felt a sadness that I can't describe upon hearing that Steve Irwin passed away. Bryan & I were watching the tribute to Steve Irwin on Animal Planet yesterday. And we both sat there shaking our heads and going, "Hm. I can't believe it. I still can't believe it. How unbelieveably sad." I feel bad for saying at one point, "Well, you knew with him, it was just a matter of time." How many people can die that way. Living every moment to the fullest while living their dream?

I don't usually get overly emotional when celebs die. But this was different. I feel for Terri, Bindi and Bob. I feel for Australia Zoo. I feel for all of his workmates. I feel for all of those animals who got used to Steve caring for them, fighting for them, and educating the world about them.

He leaves behind a legacy that will not be easy to fill, he leaves behind a family to try to pick up where he has left off, he leaves behind a zoo and the animals in it that won't know what to do without him, he leaves behind droves of fans that will miss hearing him yell, "Crickey! Take a look at this little beauty. Isn't she gorgeous?" And of course, "Crocs Rule!"
I felt that I had to post this to get it out. Soon, this will be 'old news'. And I had to acknowledge the sadness that I feel today - and everyday since I heard the news.

Steve, wherever you are, "YOU RULE!" and you'll be sadly missed.


As promised, here is how I launched two different vehicles into two different houses:

Collision I

I was about 4. It was the early 80's. My Aunt & Uncle were living in Slower Lower. That's what we Delawareans call Sussex County. It was, I believe, a Saturday. My Aunt was running errands and babysitting me. We pulled up outside the Post Office. She looks me in the eye, points to the gear shift and says, "Don't touch that." Well, what the hell do you think a 4 year old is gonna do when given a warning like that? She leaves me in the car, unattended, to go into the post office. I hop in the driver's seat (I used to love to pretend to drive). I 'touched the gear shift' and away I went. I coasted across the two lanes of traffic, barreled over a curb, into someone's yard and yup, into the corner of the house. My aunt comes running out of the post office, across the street & has words with the lady whose house has been (minorly) damaged. It was a horrible scene. My aunt was shaken, I was (inside) like "YES!!!!" and she forbid me from ever telling anyone. Now I'm telling everyone. For those of you who don't already know the story.

Karma....it will come to get you.......

Collision II

I was living with Bryan. It was January & I was on my way to work. I went outside to warm up my vehicle. Which was at the time a POS Jeep Cherokee, stick-shift, with a soon-to-be-found-out faulty emergency break. So, I start the jeep, run inside for something which I forgot. I run in our room & say to Bryan (as a joke), "Can you look outside to see if the Jeep is ok. I wouldn't want it to drift down the driveway." He got up, looked outside and said, "Uh, well, it's in the ______'s yard." I said something along the lines of , "Shut the f$%# up, stop joking." He was like, "I'm not." I look outside and there is my vehicle, crashed into the corner of their house. And the whole family looking like, "What the f@#$?" We go out there, they're having a cow, I'm having a cow. The police were called, as well as the fire department being dispatched. A few tickets were handed over to me, along with future court dates which led to restitution and paying back ridiculous amounts of $. The thing is...the real rub and there are a few, are these things:
-the ______'s and Bryan's family do NOT get along. So, of all houses for my rolling vehicle to hit. This one was perfect-o
-the County policeman who arrived on the scene insinuated that I had done this on purpose. Yeah, ok. I don't know them. I only know them as the neighbors that we don't talk to. Sure, fuzzball. I intentionally want to go to court, pay all kinds of $ I don't have just to break a piece of their vinyl siding. That's how I roll. Could you imagine what I would do to someone who I really didn't like?? Gimme a break.

So, there it is. Now for those of you who read my blog and don't know. Now ya do.



I saw this on Thinking About & thought it was a neat idea.

100 Tab Tid-bits:

I've launched 2 different vehicles, at 2 different points in my life into 2 different houses
(for those not in the know, I'll explain later).
I hate raisins, but love Raisin Bran and cinnamon raisin toast.
I love children's literature.
I love looking at the illustrations in children's books.
I'm a fiesty fireball.
I'm of Irish, English and German descent.
I don't have a favorite color.
I love all colors.
I am fascinated by Korean culture.
I love Korean food.
I can read, write and speak Korean.
I have a tattoo.
I love horses.
I would love to own and operate a farm.
I am trained in operating a forklift and a Bobcat.
I have never broken any bones.
I barely passed my senior year in high school because I was too busy skipping school.
I was in the National Honor Society.
I played Varsity Field Hockey for 3 years.
I ran relay in track.
I was always the shortest kid in school.
I had the same teacher for 3rd and 4th grade.
I still keep in touch with her.
I am good at remembering numbers.
I am a freak about always having my toenails painted.
My biggest peeve (well, one of them) are simple spelling mistakes.
I was in a spelling bee.
My favorite subjects in high school were History and Oceanography (an elective).
I received a Presidential Academic Fitness Award (whatever that is).
My fist job was an Associate at Sears.
I was diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia in 1998.
I had a goiter in 1998.
I have never tried a recreational drug.
I am terrified of lightening.
But I love to hear it raining outside.
I have worn glasses since the 7th grade.
I've had shin splints since high school.
They won't go away.
My 1/2 brother didn't know my 'real' name was Tabitha until he was 6.
My dad's side of the family only refer to me as 'Jess'.
My husband does not.
I love to sing.
I have a horrible singing voice.
I didn't learn to swim until I was 9.
I'm afraid of heights.
I hate for my hands to be dirty.
I love getting dirty.
I enjoy landscaping.
I majored in Horticulture.
And Education.
But I still have not finished earning my degree.
I wanted to name my daughter Cadence.
My water broke with Connor.
But not with Gracie.
I've fired a shotgun more than once.
As well as a handgun.
I used to go hunting with my Dad.
I fell out of my mom's car once while it was in operation.
I almost fell out of my dad's truck.
My mom caught me.
I like loading the dishwasher.
I hate unloading the dishwasher.
I'm anal about only washing whites with whites.
I was an only child until I was 11.
I do not like speaking in front of people.
I feel very uncomfortable in certain social situations.
My eyes change colors.
I am stubborn.
I enjoy things that are tedious.
I love to snorkel.
I almost fell off a chartered boat in Hawaii while trying to take a picture of a sea turtle.
I am very misunderstood.
I always try to be fair.
I really do not enjoy conflict.
Breakfast is my favorite meal.
I cannot eat eggs without toast/bread.
I am (still) a fan of Ron Hextall.
I am totally grossed out by saliva, drool and other bodily fluids.
Even when it belongs to my kids, other people and especially dogs.
Irises are my favorite flowers.
When roasting marshmallows, I enjoy mine burnt to black, please.
My mother-in-law taught me how to quilt.
I've always wanted to learn how to play the Violin.
I enjoy watching Andre Reiu concerts when PBS airs them.
I do not enjoy the feel of newspaper.
I have a dislike/disdain for mice that is of Biblical proportions.
I think too much.
I would rather be outside than inside.
I do not enjoy playing volleyball.
Or baseball.
I have sat in club box seats for a hockey game and a NASCAR race.
I do not enjoy NASCAR.
I cannot ride on rides that spin in circles.
I love rollercoasters.
I can only watch scary movies in the daytime.
I love pottery.
I love my babies.
I want to be more than just a 'mom'.
I love my husband.
I thank God for meeting him.
And marrying him.
I can be a music snob.

The Boxer

What do you do when ridiculousness takes over? When you've each receded into your corners. But the bell hasn't rung for you both to re-enter the ring. And truth-be-told, you don't even want to be in the ring. But there it is. You're there and there they are there. A move must be made. Who makes it? Do you let the the bell (fate/time/the infinite) decide? Do you sit there, wiping away the blood, the words, the sweat, the guilt, the shame, the anger? And just wait? Or do you take matters into your own hands and walk out there. Knowing you could be a lamb to the slaughter. Knowing you could be defeated and rejected. The fact that you have to put up a front and pretend to fight. Can't they see it? Can't the opponent see you don't want to do it? It was somehow, someway a huge misunderstanding. And you thought you both started off on the same side. But somehow ended up going toe-to-toe. The battle is as much mentally exhausting as physically. All of the questions. All of the guessing. You feel beat up. You beat yourself up as much as they have beat you up.
You decide to take the shot. Early. And the response is not good. The opponent is stunned. But you figured that if you're both in the ring, on opposite sides that you were engaged. You were wrong, somehow. It sounded like a fight. It looked like a fight. But somehow it wasn't. But it really was. It was a sucker punch followed by a big hug and a 'good job'. No wonder there's confusion. Fight or flight kicked in. You decided to fight. No, not even a fight. A solid stance of defense.
No one will leave the ring. It's stalled. The crowd is dispersing. They're no longer interested. And yet you have to wrap this up. How? It's not a matter of 'right' or 'wrong'. Winner or loser. You want to walk away with understanding that somehow you both made a mistake. Yes, you both walked into that ring. You both engaged each other. But you can see in their eyes there will be no resolution just because you want it. It will be on their terms.
You decide then that the fight isn't worth it. You turn to leave, and take the defeated walk of shame. With your head held high. And proud that you backed down from something so ridiculous. Let them have the 'W' (win).

Baby's Got Sauce

Ingredients for a perfect salad:

no spinach here. no e coli, either. all fresh from the farmer's market.

yummy carrots, tomatoes and fresh green beans

Mmm, Chiantia red wine vinegar. The BEST

This adds a little zing w/ the vinegar. Aww, sheeaatt.

Self explanatory.

Needed for great BBQ Chicken:

Brutus the $45 clearance charcoal grill. He's a bad mutha.

BBQ'd chickety-chicken lovingly prepared for us by my man-meat.

Needed to quench my thirst:

MMmmmm, Yuengling. Not my first choice, but a good one. No doubt.

Why Should The Fire Die?

For those of you who read my blog before all of my 'original' posts went missing you already know about The Farm. For the rest of you - my grandmother owned a farm. My dad's boyhood home and where he lived after the divorce. So, I stayed there on weekends with my dad as a girl. And The Farm feels like home - then, now and forever. Though I have a home with my own family now, The Farm will always hold my happiest memories of my childhood. My grandmother had to sell The Farm a few years ago. Much to my heartbreak.
Now you're all caught up to speed.
So, today I got to thinking about The Farm. Something about the smell in the air. The way my curtains lazily swayed against the breeze coming in the window.
I walked through the house, in my mind, once again. In my mind, I can see myself walking up the stairs. Like I have done hundreds of times before. At the top of the steps, I scan the hallway. Looking at familiar doors, carpet, pictures hanging on the walls. I can even smell the faint odor of the mothballs my Grandmother was diligent about keeping in her closets.
I come back from my 'tour'. To feel sad, nostalgic, happy that I ever got to spend time there, and regretful. Regretful that I didn't soak in more. Regretful that the last time I was there (and the only time Bryan was ever there) that I didn't show him the fields, walk in them like I used to do. Regretful that I didn't walk along the grapevine, under the fruit trees and down to the pond. Regretful that I didn't take one last walk down the loooong driveway - or lane as we bumpkins would call it. And regretful that I will not spend anymore time there - ever.
The days are long gone where I will swing from the tire swing, that I will stand next to the pond (that the new owners have now filled in) and feel small, that I will run down the 'lane' and feel like it is a 'big hill', and that I will chase butterflies with the butterfly nets my Grandmother always had on hand. And gone are the days where I can wish for the time that I can share all of those things with my children there.

The powerball is up to 150+ million. I have to buy a ticket or two. I know I'll probably never win. But the first thing I would buy - or try to buy back would be........

The Farm.



Last night & today (so far) have been beyond weird. Here's what I've seen that has me questioning whether really I am awake or if I'm still in bed, dreaming away in the delicious softness that is my bed:

~watching The First 48 with my man-meat. Our neighbor's dogs start to bark. So does Scout. We look outside to see a lady walking across our neighbor's yard. No biggie. Then about 1/2 hour later or so, we see the lady accompanied by a gentleman, talking loudly - having words - with neighbors across the street. Now, keep in mind, it's after 9 p.m., it's pouring it's ass off. Bry jumps in the car and follows them down the street. They are ladden with cleaning supplies, plastic bags & other weird articles. As Bry proceeds down our street, he sees this weird couple going up to various doors, talking to people. And sees farther down the street a County Cop. Ok, so something is going on....but what? The weird couple didn't solicit every door. As they did not come to our house or our neighbors on the other side of us. Bryan sees the County cop a bit later, go down our street. He jumps back in the car, goes down there, identifies himself as a Law Enforcement Officer, tells them about this shady couple. The policeman informs my man-meat that he's looking for them. That they're up to something. That's the end of that. Apparently, this couple was selling 'cleaning supplies'. Yeah, ok. Selling cleaning supplies. 9 o'clock at night. In the pouring rain. OOooooookkaaayyyy.
Bry wanted me to add here that because he's a Law Enforcement Officer that that is why he followed the strange couple.

~Today, 1:10p.m. Got Connor on the bus & was heading out to do some grocery shopping. I head outside, swap cars around & am taking my in-law's truck that the were kind of enough to lend us. As I'm making my way outside, I see this huge SUV, driving slowly down my street. I just happen to look up & see a guy driving and a female performing a b-to-the-j on him. I was stunned, sick and aghast. I come in, tell Bry & he says to try to get the tag. I jump in the truck, look in the rearview mirror, and here they come (no pun intended) AGAIN! I pull over to the side of the street, pick up the cell, call Bry, tell him they're making their way down the street. He instructed me to call the police. They drive by me, she's still doing her 'job'. And turn around. To head back down the street. Unbelieveable. By this time, I'm on the phone with dispatch, give them the location, vehicle description and tag #. She then asks for descriptions of the people. I said, "Well, from what I can see of the female she appears to be caucasian. But I can really only see her hair/head. " I mean, the entire course of the conversation is one that I never thought I'd hear myself having. I explain what the man looks like. Confirm my address, my number & hang up. Seriously though, WTF?? They can't find some other place to go? Was it the thrill of doing it around where people can see? Whatever it is, I don't want to know. But they need help. Bry would like me to add something here: we live not far from an area known for prostitution. He wanted me to clarify that we don't just call the police for nothing.

~I saw the 'cab' part of a tractor trailer with a satellite dish. Yes, a satellite dish. Has anyone else seen this? Have I been living under a rock too long? I've seen shacks with huge satellite dishes in the Bahamas and thought that was pretty funny. But this took the cake.

~I said 'excuse me' or 'I'm sorry' for being in people's way in the grocery store like 50 million times today. Only two people could come up with a response. And what is funny is that these people are the same ones that complain that no one has manners anymore. Guess why? I hold doors open for people, I say 'excuse me', I say 'please' and 'thank you'. And nothing. Nada. You know what, I've decided to walk through stores and be an asshole. I'll see how many people have words for me then.

~(added on)Connor gets off the bus yesterday (Thursday) and tells me that, "Larry says he's gonna get me dead." Larry is a kid on his bus & I believe they are classmates, as well. You can look at this kid and see he'll either be on Cops or America's Most Wanted. I don't mean to sound like that. But I call 'em like I see 'em. Now, Connor is no angel. But for him to come home and tell me that another 4/5 year old is saying he's going to 'get Connor dead' is very disturbing. I'm trying not to be one of 'those' moms. But I also pride myself on being a concerned, proactive parent. So again, WTF?????

I believe that I experienced some more weirdness, but there was so much, I can't remember it all at this moment. If it comes to me, I'll have to add it on.

Ants Marching

Have any of you ever seen "A Christmas Story"? Stupid question, right? Who hasn't?
Remember the one scene where they are all sitting down to dinner, the mother is serving everyone and Ralphie is talking about how in "twenty years, my mother hasn't had a hot meal for herself." Everytime she would go to sit down & eat, someone would ask for something else. That's where I'm at. Everytime I go to sit down to eat, sit down at the computer, sit down with a cup of coffee...My ass is just starting to hover over the seat & the kids pipe up, "Mom, I need......", "Mom, can you get me........?" It's just getting to me. Maybe I'm PMS'ing, maybe I'm tired of climbing over the baby gate that we have up to keep the kids out of the kitchen. Maybe I'm just lazy. And I don't know what bothers me the most. That it's everytime I go to sit down OR that I'm not thinner from running around gophering.
I occasionally work at UofD in their Graphic Communications Dept. And I get so excited when I get to go into work & eat my dinner there. I've told my coworkers this & they chuckle. One in particular asked me why I like eating dinner at work. I told her it's because I actually get to sit and eat in peace. How pathetic.

In unrelated blogging conversation.....I'd like to send this question out into the void. Sort of a little quiz. Can anyone tell me what the common thread is between most of my post titles? Should be pretty easy to figure out.

And Bry, no chiming in on this one. And you know I'll know if you did or not - so stay away from commenting.


Oh, Domino

Your Birthday: October 7

You are an island. You don't need anyone else to make you happy.And though you see yourself as a loner, people are drawn to you.Deep and sensitive, you tend to impress others with your insights.You also tend to be psychic - so listen to that inner voice!
Your strength: Your self sufficiency
Your weakness: You despise authority
Your power color: Maroon
Your power symbol: Hammer
Your power month: July
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?
I Stole this idear from Maigh, who stole it from someone else, who got it from someone else, etc...
This is interesting & pretty accurate. Thanks, Maigh. And I would say July is my power month considering a birthed two children that month ;)

Thursday Thirteen Songs

I've never done a 'Thursday Thirteen' and may never again. Who knows. But because of Pippajo's theme, I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon. For now.

Thursday Thirteen Favorite Songs (as I can choose them today. Tomorrow would probably be different):

1. Natural Beauty - Neil Young
"A natural beauty should be, preserved like a monument, in nature. Don't sell yourself too short my love. Or someday you might find your soul endangered." Just a beautiful mantra that I try to recite often.
2. Lie In Our Graves - Dave Matthews Band
""When I step into the light. My arms are open wide. When I step into the light. My eyes searching wildly. Would you not like to be. Sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free." The music in this song is just so upbeat and fun. And these first few verses just fit into an empty spot in my mind. If that makes any sense.
3. Long Way Home - Norah Jones
"Oh, I love you baby. More than the whole wide world. I'm you're woman. You know you are my pearl. So let's go out past the party lights. Where we can finally be alone. Come with me. We can take the long way home. Come with me, together, we can take the long way home." Sheesh. Beyond beautiful. This song was written by Tom Waits and Norah Jones sings it with such longing. I love, love, love it.
4. I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. I keep my eyes wide open all the time. I keep the ends out for the tie that binds. Because you're mine. I walk the line." That song is perfection. There's nothing more I can say.
5. It's No Good - Depeche Mode
"Gonna take my time. I have all the time in the world. To make you mine. It is written in the stars above. In the God's decree. You'll be right here by my side. You can run. But you cannot hide. Don't say you want me. Don't say you need me. Don't say you love me. It's understood. Don't say you're happy. Out there without me. I know you can't be. Cuz it's no good." Ahhhh, spoken like a true, arrogant stalker. When I feel like I need to get my courage on, or feel like a bad-ass momma. I listen to this song.
6. Shiver - Coldplay
"So I look in your direction, but you pay me no attention, do you. I know you don't listen to me. 'Cause you say you see straight through me, don't you. On and on, from the moment I wake. To the moment I sleep. I'll be there by your side. Just you try and stop me. I'll be waiting in line, Just to see if you care. Did you want me to change? Well I change for good. And I want you to know that you'll always get your way. I wanted to say. Don't you shiver?" Good lord. There was a time when I could relate to more of that than I care to remember. It's so raw. And damn good.
7. No Other Way - Jack Johnson
"When your mind is a mess so is mine. I can't sleep. Cause it hurts when I think. My thoughts aren't at peace. With the plans that we make. Chances we take. They're not, yours and not mine. There's waves that can break. All the words that we say. And the words that we mean. Words can fall short. Can't see the unseen.......And know that if I knew all of the answers I would not hold them from you. No, all of the things that I know. We told each other. There is no other way......" This song reminds me of so many nights, laying, sighing, tossing and turning. Then looking over at my husband & we both unload. This song is beautiful from every simple note to every simple lyric.
8. We Are Nowhere and It's Now - Bright Eyes
"If you hate the taste of wine. Why do you drink it 'til your blind? And if you swear there is no truth. How come you say it like you're right? Why are you scared to dream of God? When it's salvation that you want. You see stars that clear have been dead for years. But the idea just lives on....." The song seems shrouded in confusion and contradictions, but in that are answers. To questions in my head that I've had for a long time. It's comforting to me.

9. Little Deuce Coupe - The Beach Boys
Not adding any lyrics here. The song reminds me of happier, simpler times.

10. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
"Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend. I want to guard your dreams and visions.
Just wrap your legs 'round these velvet rimsand strap your hands across my engines. Together we could break this trap. We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back. Will you walk with me out on the wire? `Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider. But I gotta find out how it feels. I want to know if love is wildgirl. I want to know if love is real......" Awwww, sheeat. This song gave me goosebumps when I listened to it on my Rainbow Brite record player and it still does. Bry laughs at me everytime I crank this mutha out.
11. Satisfy My Soul - Bob Marley and the Wailers
"Oh please don't you rock my boat. Cuz I don't want my boat to be rocking. Oh please don't you rock my boat. Cuz I don't want my boat to be rocking. I'm telling that you oh I like it. Like it like this. So keep it steady like this. And you should know. You should know by now. I like it. I Like it like this. I Like it like this. You satisfy my soul. You satisfy my soul. Every little action. There's a reaction. Oh, can't you see. What you've done for me. I'm happy inside all of the time......." When I want to feel airy, light, and randy....Another simple, happy song.
12. Appletree - Erykah Badu
"See I picks my friends like I pick my fruit. My ganny told me that when I was only a youth. I don't walk around tryin to be what I'm not. I don't waste my time tryin to get what you got. I work at pleasin me cuz I can't please you. And that's why I do what I do. My soul flies free like a willow tree. Doo wee doo wee doo wee. And if you don't want to be down with me. You don't wanna pick from my appletree. And if you don't want to be down with me, you just don't wanna be down....." Damn, another mantra or two that I constantly sing to myself. And now Gracie enjoys it. So, we get down and get funky to that song.
13. You're My Best Friend - Queen
From the first time I heard that song, I loved it. Still do. I play it whenever I need to be reminded of all of the great people in my life.

checking something


Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?

Ok, so I made the switch. With moy moy trepidation. I switched to Beta blogger. I'm skerred. As a side note: Slackermommy & I will now be able to post comments 'normally' now. Wooohoooo! She kicks some mommy ass.

Kind and Generous

My mom called me the other day & said she had just seen the 'perfect' bumper sticker for me. (Note: I have never owned a bumper sticker - just to clarify)

"Irish Temper and German Stubborness"

Yep, that'd be me. Thanks for the reminder, mom.


Five. As In There's Onetwothreefourfive.

5 things I could always eat:
*Ice Cream
*Good Bread
*Gam Ja Tang
*******I had to add 2 alternates to this category******
*Bul Go Gi

5 Foods I Detest:
*Green Bean Salad
*Refried Beans
*Cottage Cheese
*Country Gravy

5 Things I Could Always Drink:
* Gatorade
*Ice cold water with lemon
*Green Tea
*Gin & Tonic

5 Movies I Could Always Watch:
*Garden State
*Whale Rider
*Pulp Fiction
*Love Actually
*American Graffiti

5 Songs I Could Always Listen To: (this one is exceptionally hard)
*Satisfy My Soul - Bob Marley & the Wailers
*Any Norah Jones
*Spring Love - Stevie B. (yes, I'm a fool for freestyle music)
*The Wind - Cat Stevens
*Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - Elton John
Damn, that was HARD.

5 Things I Could Always Read:
*To Kill A Mockingbird
*The Great Gatsby
*Little Women
*Any David Sedaris

5 Places I Could Always Travel To: (that I've already been)
*Maui, Hawaii (Kapalua Bay Hotel)
*Gatlinburg, TN
*Busch Gardens, Virginia
*The Grand Canyon
* Flushing, Queens, NY

5 Places I Would Love To Travel To:

5 Show That I Could Always Watch:
*Sex and the City
*Six Feet Under
*Dog The Bounty Hunter
*My So-Called Life (go ahead, laugh)
*The Cosby Show

Fall Is Here. Hear The Yell. Back To School. Ring the Bell - 2

Monday was Gracie's first day of preschool. And the wonderful mother I am, I had to write for three days about music & not acknowledge this right away.
Not much to report other than I'm feeling the pangs of my littlest baby growing up. But realize that it's good for her & me.
She wasn't happy when the actual seperation happened. But we were assured that after a few minutes, she stopped crying & played her little heart out.
Just give my little Italian/Irish lass a few weeks. Then they'll never know what was thrust upon them!!!