Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

I'm really late getting this together this week. I really should scratch the title - since it is now the afternoon. But it's morning somewhere.

Not only am I late, I'm having a ridiculously hard time picking a song. I have quite a few in mind. And would like to post them all. But not one in particular is grabbing me. So, rather than list the lyrics today for one song, I'll just list the songs that are lighting my fire today:

Redemption Song - Bob Marley & the Wailers (and no one else will do. I have listened to several covers of this song & none of 'em cut it. That's how well old Bob does this song - in my book, anyway.)

Humble Me - Norah Jones (such a pretty, pretty song.)

Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield (makes me feel all mushy & hot inside ~ and a little naughty)

Man In Black and Walk The Line - Johnny Cash (wonderful, wonderful songs.)

Let It Be Sung - Jack Johnson feat. Matt Costa

I tried
- Matt Costa

J'ai Deux Armours by Madeleine Peyroux - (I have no idea what the song is about. From the limited French I know, it must be something about having two loves or something similar. But, the song has such feeling & is thick with France & jazz that I fall in love too.)

So, there you have it. I'm cheating BIG time today. But really, I couldn't choose just one. Really.


You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid - Or At The Very Least, Insert Your Foot Into Your Mouth

Gracie has discovered the delights of the movie, "A Christmas Story" this year. Which I totally don't mind. I can't get enough of that movie. In fact, the end of the 24 hour marathon on TBS marks the end of the Christmas season for me. Once that is over, I know Christmas is officially "over".

Well, upon watching the movie 500 times, Gracie has come to recite some of the lines. Like, "Hey, kid." (Which Randy says to some random kids that knock into him on his bloated-tick walk to school.) And I've heard her say, "I double-dog dare ya!" more than a few times. But her newest line is, "HO........HO.........HO.....". She repeats it exactly as the department store Santa says it. With perfect space in between each HO. God love her.

Yesterday we were on our way to see Alex & Liz up at Alex's parent's house for a fine evening of much needed socialization with some most interesting folks. On the way, we were in the car & Rav was trying to get Gracie to say, "HO.........HO.........HO......". So, we started playing this game with it. And I said, mommy says, "NO..........NO..........NO......". The kids started laughing & I think Connor said, "What does daddy say?" To which I replied: "Please............Please............Please........". However, Rav was not to have that.
Then Rav said, "Mommy says: 'Please.........Please........Please...........' and daddy says: 'YES...............YES...............YES.........". Probably not the smartest move on our part, on the way to a nice, family dinner.

Rest assured, the kids will be repeating this. It's only a matter of when & where. This will certainly come back to bite us in the ass.


Diamonds On The Inside

I think, even in today's "progressed" society, that the expectation put on women to mother - to enjoy it 24/7 is an unrealistic one. And I think that is especially true for those of us who make the choice to stay at home. (Let me just say here, the choice for a mother to work is a personal one & this is not the SAHM vs. the working mother. I'm talking about society as a whole here.)
If we complain - or talk about the trials and tribulations of our work, we commonly get the, "Well, why don't you just go back to work then?" or "That's the price you pay." or "I wish I got to stay at home all day, everyday. You don't know how good you've got it.".
Yes. Yes, I made that "choice" - if you'd like to call it that.
No one makes those snide, condescending remarks to a person who makes the "choice" to work. You don't hear someone say to a working person who is mentally worn out from work, "Well, you chose to work, so deal with it." And the other ugly truth is that it is wrong for a mother to say, "I'm sick of my kids. I'm sick of the tattleing. I'm sick of wiping asses and noses and fingerprints off of everything. I'm sick of feeling sucked dry by constant caretaking. I'm sick of not showering. I'm sick of fixing mac 'n cheese, hot dogs, PB&J's, chicken nuggets & cuppies. Day in. Day out. I'm sick of everyday looking the same despite the seasons changing. I'm sick of all day, everyday being work. I get no break. I get no recognition. I get no stimulation. And people don't ask me 'How's your job going? What's new with you?' They ask my kids. They ask my husband - because he has a job. But they don't ask me. I'm the last in line for everything. For breakfast, for getting dressed, for getting cleaned up, for lunch, for TV, for reading, for dinner and for bed. I get no sick time, no vacation time. Oh, and my hours suck."
I mean, if someone goes to work - or is merely employed, they have the right to complain about their boss, their coworkers, their underlings, the secretary, the commute, the fax machine, the copier, the long hours, the flourescent lighting, or whatever.
But we're not allowed. It sounds cruel. How can we say those things? We are mothers. We are soft and good and motherly. Saying those things is an abomination.
Why is that??


Food For My Oft Wild, Wandering Mind

With this post, Jen over at oneplustwo gave me a suggestion for a book to read. I was chomping at the bit to read this based on her suggestion. However, I was bogged down with reading "necessary" materials for research papers & tests and the like. So, it stood to reason that this book would have to wait a bit. And as I was steeped in reading out of necessity & not for pleasure, this meant that the other two books that I was trying to read for pleasure had to wait. And not only could I not read for pleasure, I also felt that I couldn't go out purchasing books higgeldy-piggeldy simply because I wanted to read.

I had come up with the suggestion to Ravioli that when drawing up our Christmas lists this year, we write down 5 CD's, 5 books (we both enjoy reading & he is a book carnivore. Eating up books faster than anyone I've ever seen. I always joke about 2 good visits to the throne, and he's done with a book.), and 5 movies that we want. Lists within a list, if you will. So, at the top of my book list - on my master list - was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Ravioli indulged me & bought the book for me as one of my gifts. I picked it up on Christmas, while the kids were asleep & from the first line I knew I was in trouble. I knew that I would ingest this book like I would a good Belgian white ale or nice glass of red. I got pretty far in & in the wee hours of this fine morning (2 a.m.), I finally put the book down after finishing it.





I don't like giving book reports. When I do, I feel like my mother beating me with her scriptures. Telling me which ones I should read.

But D-A-M-N. Probably one of the best books I've read in a looooong time.
So, Jen. Thank you, dear one, for suggesting the book. Your suggestion & the delayed gratification were simply delicious.


Excellent Notion

First, let me say that I'm sorry I had to forego the 'Sunday Morning Song of the Moment' segment of my blog today. It's probably my favorite posting day. I look forward to sifting through the songs that are on repeat inside my noggin & sharing them with you. My devoted readers. My bloggy love-kins. I will make it up to you. I will. I've barely had the will and/or the energy to sit up-right today. I am fighting one nasty beast of an upper respiratory something-or-other. And I thought I would purge the following Christmas Eve thoughts & post a song post tomorrow or Tuesday.

I have been running through the drug-induced (OTC drugs) checklist in my mind. Everything is wrapped. Some stockings stuffed. The carpet cleaned. And two batches of so-so cookies baked. But I got to thinking about the gifts I have bought for my nieces and nephew. I got one practical gift, one toy gift and one book for each child. And then I got to thinking about the book as a gift. And how it probably is a crappy gift. That it'll probably get a few weird looks. I think back to the story that Rav has told me about how his Aunt gave him & all his brothers some hieroglyphics set or something. They all still joke about that gift & how horrible it was. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. But what if the book-as-a gift garners myself as the 'Aunt who gives us books every year'. Is that bad? See, I have this think about books. Especially children's literature. Books of all kinds speak to me now. And they spoke to me as a child. And though my love of this may not be shared yet by my own children or my neices and nephew, wouldn't it be cool if, in years to come, I am remembered as the 'Aunt who introduced me to some really cool books.'? I guess I feel it is my duty to spread a little book-love. Just as I feel it is my duty to spread a little music love on Sundays (usually).

So, I don't know how the whole thing will go. I guess to some, a book is a lame-o gift. To me, there is no gift better than spreading a little book-love.


Growing Up - Mothers Be Good To Your Daughters

Without getting too much into how backward & dysfunctional my mom's side of the family is, I'll just say that it always felt like it was me and them. Or them & me. I love my mom & her side of the family the way you love breathing. They were not at all encouraging, positive or "right". I somehow always felt smothered & any move I made in a positive direction would land me with remarks like: "you think you're so much better....", and "just because you do _____, don't think you're any better than us.", and "you're going to end up pregnant at 16, just like you're mother." Yeah. Needless to say, that my mother carried on her own traditions of negativity & smothering. I felt like the very essence of my personality was something to be extinguished. And man, did she (& they) try. It was with that, that I became rebellious. Actually, the whole chicken & the egg theory could apply here. Based on genetics, I think I had a very strong pull towards rebelliousness, but by trying to do the very thing she didn't want, my mom ended up with that exact thing. Fundamentally, on every level, my mom & I are just far apart on everything. She's ultra-pure conservative. I'm ultra-liberal. She's bible beating religious. I'm more of a spiritual-to-myself type person. She's not into anything intellectual. I am. And so on, and so on. My mom & I have traveled a long, hard road together. Me feeling uncared for, pushed aside, trampled on & barely provided for, emotionally, as well as, my mother's keeper. I imagine my mother has her feelings too, but I can't speak for her.

When Ravioli & I got pregnant, I vowed to never inflict any of the madness that I was exposed to on the baby-to-be Connor. None of the instability, the emotional warfare, the stifling of the personality. And that's just the stuff that I can mention here. I vowed a different life for my children. 5 years later, I falter. I stumble & bumble & barely can find my way sometimes. But I know that I am in-tune with my children.

Last year was a tough year. I felt all alone as a parent, as a woman. I was fighting innumerable battles in my attempt to find help for my son to overcome whatever was going on with him. I knew in my gut 'something' was going on. But everywhere I turned, I got the "you're crazy.", "he's just a boy.", "he's immature." and the like. It got old. It got old feeling so alone. Through so much strife and toil, we finally figured out what was going on with Connor, got him some help, got him in a preschool program that fits him & all is well. I'll never forget how vindicated I felt when we finally got a diagnosis & lastly, when we finally got him into the preschool. I didn't want a public declaration that I am "The World's Best Mother" or anything like that. I just wanted people to say, "You are his mother. You know what's best for him. Good for you for fighting the good fight for him." In a word: validation.

And most of all, though I had given up on the notion long ago, validation from my mother. To her daughter. As a (now) mother. I never thought the day would come. But it did. And it felt better than I ever thought it would. And I needed it more than I ever thought I would.

We were on the phone (my mom & I) and she said how she ran into an old acquaintance, who had asked about Connor & Gracie. My mom told them how they were doing and said, "Tabitha has done such a great job with them. I couldn't have asked for a better mom for those two kids than her. She does such a great job." I was stunned when she told me. And maybe the friend scenario didn't happen. That may have just been her way of relating the story. All I know is that my mom has grown up. I am still growing. And that is a huge step along the road that my mom & I have traveled together.


The Christmas Noose Is Beginning To Tighten

This Christmas season has been flying by & I feel that I've barely been able to take it in at all. For one, the weather here on the East Coast has been relatively warm. It is very hard for me to get in the mood of Christmas when it's almost too warm for a coat.

Bryan & I have been so preoccupied with our 'stuff' that I haven't taken the time to stop & enjoy the season. He's busy with work & wrestling. And up until last night, I've been busy with my school work. I haven't watched "It's A Wonderful Life" yet, I haven't baked my cookies. Hell, I still haven't plugged in the lights that are set-up outside yet. We've been traveling through our days barely aware of what's going on. Not a good way to go throughout our days. So, here it is December 21st & I'm just now getting into the spirit of things.

I don't celebrate religously. But I enjoy the 'magic' that happens this time of year & I enjoy creating that 'magic' for my kids. Yeah, the whole buying things for the sake of buying gets to me. But, I still enjoy the season. I enjoy baking cookies with Connor to put out for Santa. I enjoy decorating our artificial tree with the kids. I love snuggling up on the couch at night with all of the lights off, except for our Christmas tree lights, and basking in the soft glow that our tree lights produce. I love that we slow down. Even if it takes us almost the whole month to do so. In our house, the emphasis is on just spending time with each other. Doing things that make us happy. And nobody else. Truth be told, the kids will only be this little once. We won't ever get this time back. And I want to spend it the way we want to spend it. Everyone else will just have to wait. Rav & I only get to create this magic for but a brief period of time. I want to revel in it.

Last night, we heard all of these fire engine sirens. Which is not unusual, as we live pretty close to a firehouse. But these sirens were a bit louder than usual. And it hit me what was going on. I jumped up from watching a movie, grabbed the kids, wrapped them up in a blanket & we stood outside. Coming down the street, on the back of a fire truck, was Santa. Waving, looking happy & passing out candy canes. As I do when this happens every year, I began to cry. It doesn't matter how many times Santa has visited our neighborhood on the back of the fire truck, it gets me everytime. And that's what I'm talking about. Just taking the time to enjoy these precious moments in time with the ones we love beyond all else.

Now, don't get me wrong. That moment lasted that long. A moment. Not even. This morning, I awoke with my right eye twitching because I'm dancing along the line between insanity & insanity. Yes, that's what I meant to type. I'm sick, Connor's sick, he's been home from school all week & I've been stuck in the house all week with both of the kids. I'm ready to blow. I'm not kidding anyone. These kinds of days suck. But I'm trying to grab hold of the good ones, the good days, the good moments & hug them so tight that their eyes bug out a little.


Tell Me Again...

How much does sanity cost? I REALLY need some!


I Can Tell That We Are Gonna Be Friends

Last year, I ran into my former best friend. We were best friends all through middle-school & partly through high school. However, she went her way & I went mine. There were no hard feelings. We just became two different people.

So, like I was saying, I ran into her last year & we had a catch-up session. She told me what everyone from high school was up to now. And as she was talking, it occured to me that she was still friends with her popular crowd from our high school. A whopping ten years later. They all married each other or are still dating. They are all still friends.

This completely freaked me out. I mean, it's like she progressed not at all. She went to our local University with the rest of the 'group'. They all partied together, married each other & are all still friends. I guess on one hand that seems kind of nice. But the majority of that just really freaks me out.

And I've seen other people around me that are only friends with a set group. And no matter what you do, you can't inch your way in because you don't 'do what they do' or 'talk how they talk' or 'act like they act'. Am I just miserable & antisocial? Or am I snooty? Or do I just prefer to be around people who embrace all people? I'd like to think I am the latter. But I'm wondering......I mean, you know when you click with someone & when you don't. And that's ok. That's just chemistry. But why do grown adults still find themselves in high school cliques? And refuse to let anyone enter? It really just freaks me out & grosses me out. I guess it goes against my whole 'conformity' thing. Having to be this way or that way, so that I can be accepted. Not gonna happen. So, am I doing the same thing? Like reverse discrimination. They discriminate against me because I'm not like them & in turn I discriminate against them because they are 'cliquey'. Jeez, I guess the sad truth is that I must not have progressed either. Man, that hurts to say that out loud. But I did. And my fault is noted.


My Mojo Is Broken

Ok, I'm twenty____ & Rav is twenty minus 2 of my age. And tell me, oh tell me why we are too damned tired to do any canoodling?!?! We're both beyond frustrated. There just never seems to be enough time in the day & not enough energy in the jo of my mo. I wish I could get my mojo working. Now granted, the energy process involved for the guy is not like that of the woman. It's a little easier for men to postpone their energy losses & get things going. However, I don't have that kind of drive.

What's the deal? I feel like I should be in my prime. The kids are sleeping through the night. It's not like I'm dealing with being up at all hours. But I'll be damned if I can keep my eyes open past 10p.m.

I think a weekend away from the house & kids is definetly in order. I'll take that in my stocking for Christmas. With a heaping side of a good canoodle or two. Or three.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment - it's been one long moment for this one

**I apologize for posting early......**

There are just some things you know. You know when you don't like a politician. You know that you don't like brussel sprouts just by looking at them & the way that they smell. You know when you click with someone & when you don't. And you know when you have fallen in love.

When Ravioli & I got together, it was against my better judgement. It wasn't because he was the 'bad' kind of guy. He was just all of the things that I did NOT look for. I was involved in a psuedo-relationship for longer than I should've been when I met Rav. Rav thinks he kicked good game. I say he kicked bad game, but was at a point where that kind of game was somewhat amusing. As we started dating, I fought hard against the forces at work. But I knew deep-down that something magical was happening.

When I finally admitted to myself that I was in love with Ravioli was on a night when he & his brother, Craig were playing guitars & singing the following song. They were harmonizing & strumming & I fell in love with Rav. Right then & there. Now, I don't care for The Eagles. But this song forever will remain one of my favorite songs. Because it marks the night that I finally gave my heart away to the man I love. Though our courtship, becoming parents & getting married was not conventional, there are just some things you can't fight. And the way it all worked out was right for us. Beyond that, nothing matters. Forever & ever, babe.
So here goes, my Sunday Morning Song of the Moment:

Peaceful Easy Feeling
by: The Eagles

I like the way your sparkling earrings lay
Against your skin so brown
And I wanna sleep with you
In the desert tonight
With a billion stars all around
'Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won't let me down
'Cause I'm already standing on the ground

And I found out a long time ago
What a woman will do to your soul
Ah, but she can take you anyway
You don't already know how to go
And I got a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won't let me down
'Cause I'm already standin' on the ground

I get this feeling I may know you
As a lover and a friend
But this voice keeps whispering
In my other ear, tells me
I may never see you again
'Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won't let me down
'Cause I'm already standing on the ground
'Cause I'm already standing
On the ground


Guest Spot- Where Are We Going?

Tonight, Tabba and I were watching one of our new favorite TV shows, The First 48. It is on A&E, Thursdays at 9pm. Each episode focuses on 2 separate Homicide investigations. The camera follows the Detectives for the first 48 hours of the investigations. Statistically, after the first 48 hours, the odds that a Homicide will be solved decreases by 50%.

Anyway, each episode is pretty sad, and they usually catch the killer, but not always. Tonight, a mother and her two year old daughter were shot and killed by the mom's boyfriend. He shot the mother twice and shot the daughter once. The daughter was on the front porch of the house. The killer had a long history of violent crimes, and domestic violence.

I just don't get it. I am a probation and parole officer. I supervise some offenders who are on probation for domestic violence. We have a domestic violence unit, whose officers specialize in handling these cases, but not all cases "qualify". I guess beating your wife once, isn't enough. The other day, I was in court for a violation of probation hearing. My offender had violated a no contact order issued by the court. Unfortunately, the court misplaced the report I submitted and it was not in the Judge's file. So the violation was dismissed. This time, the offender did not beat, threaten or harass his wife. But what message does this send to him? He walked through a no contact order and there was no consequence. Now, he is going to be more inclined to do it again. And next time, maybe he won't be so nice. The way these cases are handled is ridiculous.

I see people who spend more time in jail for having a little pot, than people who beat their spouses or children. And these offender's generally already have superiority complexes. They feel that they did not do anything wrong. And we let them keep thinking that. I just don't know where we are going. Just the other day in downstate Delaware, a man killed his estranged wife in front of their 9 year old son. He stabbed her 20 times with a screw driver. She had a protection from abuse order in place against him.

What is going on here? Things are not looking good for us. But here we are, tuning in every week to see the murder and the mayhem up close and personal.

Let me say here that yes, we're tuning in. But I know I don't 'enjoy' what is happening to innocent people. My heart aches & my body screams on the inside for all of these victims. Is tuning in horrible? Maybe. But I know this is happening. I feel that by seeing what is going on that it makes it real for me. I know that something needs to be done. I think what is horrible is that I know this is happening, but I am not part of a solution. The most that I can say I've done is that the kids & I have taken coats, shoes, hats, gloves & clothes to a women & children's shelter. Does that help someone leave their abuser behind? Does that change the mind-set of that poor battered woman who knows nothing else but abuse & pain & black eyes? Does that speak to a child who feels invisible? The child that wants to save their mommy. Do a pair of 2nd hand shoes make them feel bigger than they feel on the inside? Kids always seem to think that a new pair of shoes makes them run faster & jump higher. Do you think that the kids who put on shoes worn by our kids feel that way? I bet they're feet feel a thousand times heavier. They've walked a walk some of us only see on T.V.
Rav, you are in a position to try. Your efforts may not always bear fruit. But you are in a position to try to help, try to make a difference everyday. But it is easy to become jaded. Doing what you do. I don't think though, that the 'system' is successful in always helping or reforming. On paper, maybe it's supposed to. But it's not happening. Something is wrong here.

How Can I Argue With That??

Being the narcissist that I am, I awoke on this foggy morning & checked my statcounter. And I found that someone found me by googling: "hot mom next door Tabitha".
I'm just sayin'...Awwww, sheeat.
Now, it may or may not be true. Hotness is in the eye of the beholder. And they may have someone else in mind. But damned if that doesn't make your head swell up to the size of the Goodyear blimp & send you on your way with a happy, little smirk on your face.
I'm deplorable. I know it. But that kind of flattery will get me everytime ;)
*Added later, upon request the following image. This is the best that I can come up with, as I have very little pictures of myself. Since I'm generally the one taking pictures. It's certainly not the greatest. That's for sure.*


Eh......My Hair Hurts

I got nuttin', honies.
My brain has been shot the past two weeks from academia. Good thing for you all, this is pretty much my last week of serious studying/paper-writing/etc. So, all projects are wrapping up. And who knows, I may be able to think clearly again. I may be able to put together a some-what entertaining post. Wait. I never could do that......
Smoochy bootches.


Tabitha Twitchit

Julie over at the blog formerly known as thinking about, - through a story of her own - inspired me to tell my story of someone with the same name.

In 2nd grade, we got a new girl to our class. Her name was Christy R_____. Which was my last name at that time. I didn't think too much about it. It's a rather common last name. However, a few months later my mom had come across something funny on her credit report. Come to find out, Christy R_____s' mom was Donna M. R_______. Which was my mom's full name at that time. Weird, huh? Not to mention, they lived only two blocks away from us at that time. Well, it gets even more weird. It turns out that Christy has a younger sister & Donna has another daughter. Named Tabitha Ann R______. My name at that time. Now, how freaking weird is that??? My mom got her credit report cleaned up - it was something that had to do with a mix-up between this woman's name getting attached to my mom. Easy thing to do.
We moved away. I'm sure they moved away & we didn't really think that much more of it.
Fast forward oh, I'd say about 15 years or so.

My mom works at an organization that provides employment to Autistic adults. They were hiring. I was looking for a job. I go in, fill out the applications, get the drug screening paperwork, the background check paperwork. No problem. A few days later, I get a call from the Human Resources lady & she informed me that "something showed up on your criminal background check." I was completely puzzled. Beyond a few tickets spread out through many years, I have never had any police contact. Let alone have been arrested for anything. I call our State bureau of Identification, request a copy of my criminal history (I feel like Alice's Restaurant should be playing in the background while I'm telling this story) and review it. In black and white, I read that I apparently have been arrested for assault and I believe, terroristic threatening. I'm looking at the dates & the age that they're claiming I was at the time. It doesn't make sense. In the meantime, I'm in contact with the Human Resources woman at my mom's work & am trying to explain that there is a mistake. However, she is no longer taking my calls & it is clear that I'm not going to get the job.

My next course of action was that I contacted a Detective with our State Police. I explain the situation. Every time I explain that there is another Tabitha A. R_______ and her mother is Donna M. R________ and that yes, that is my name and yes, that is my mother's name - there is, however, another set of them in this state. But that they're not us. The detective, in his snide way, says, "Well, that is an awfully big coincidence. Don't you think?" You know what, screw you dude. Not everyone you come in contact with lies. Most of them do. But I'm not.

I then have to contact the Attorney General's office. They advise me to go into Family Court and review the records (the other Tabitha was a minor when she was charged). Bryan & I roll into family court, take a look at this girl's file. I'm sure you could guess by now, that her file was pretty thick. I'm looking at all of the info. There's my name. There's my mom's name. But I've never lived at these addresses. I've never been involved in criminal activity. For the 40th time - this is not me!!!!

Through painstaking perseverance and traveling through the levels of bureaucracy, we finally got the charges moved off of my record and put them lovingly where they belonged. Apparently there was a mix-up where they somehow transposed the numbers of her state i.d. number with mine & that's how this had happened.

As I've indicated, I didn't get the job. Even after I sent Human Resources the paperwork indicating that there was a gross mix-up. I always felt that there was something wrong with that, as the HR woman (up until my background check came back) seemed eager to have me employed there.

So, that's a day-in-the-life of me. Formerly known as Tabitha A. R______. This is my version of a happy ending. Because once you really get to know me, you will find that this sort of crazy shit seems to happen to me all of the time.


Is It Just Me? - My Dirty Little Secret

When PBS airs anything Andre Rieu I'm all over it. That probably makes me a freak. But I don't care. I love it. I could eat it up like candy. What makes it worse, I think, is that I would love, love, love to see him & the Orchestra live. Does that send me into a whole other level of freakishness? Probably. But again - I don't care. You know of my love for music. And the fact that he encourages dancing in the aisles plus his obvious passion - it gets me. Everytime. Go ahead, laugh your little heads off. I'm an old lady wrapped up in a late-twenties body. I've made my peace with it.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Before I get to my song, I 'd like to offer this up to Jen & Mad & all the social justice ladies out there. From me to you.

Ok, so let me get into the latest song. It's pretty new to me, but when I heard the first two lines, I was hooked. So, let 'er rip.

Hold On, Hold On

by: Neko Case

The most tender part of my heart is for strangers

I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous

Hangin' round the ceiling half the time

Hangin' round the ceiling half the time

Compared to some I've been around

But really I tried so hard

That echo chorus lied to me with its

"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

In the end I was the mean girl

Or somebody's in-between girl

Now it's the devil I love

And that's as funny as real love

I leave the party at three a.m.

Alone, thank God

With a valium from the bride

It's the devil I love

And that's funny as real love

And that's as real as true love

That echo chorus lied to me with its

"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

That echo chorus lied to me with its

"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"


My wedding Gift

Jen and Mad are participating in a marriage of the minds. What a wonderful idea. And we have been requested to give a social wedding gift. And when I say social, I mean a social injustice - not a social disease. Gross. So here is mine. I have not put as much time into this as I'd like. But this is the best I can do for now. So, if you'd like to participate or simply read about some girl on girl brain action check out what's going on. By clicking on the hyperlinks I have above.
Foster Care in America is floundering. Better said, the children of the foster care system are floundering. Read about some of it here. This problem is largely overlooked. These children are bounced around from home to home. And have a terrible time forming attachments because of constant upheaval. What these children go through is barely recorded when you do research or google searches on 'foster care'. You get statistics of how many children are in the system, how many have left the system and so on. There is no discussion of therapy of mental health/emotional issues. I beg you to click on they hyperlinks and read what is there as my words can do this issue absolutely no justice. All I can say is that the foster care system in this country desperately needs to be overhauled. There are children who are suffering silently everyday and at the age of 18 are thrown out into the wind & left to their own devices. And more often than not, repeating the same destructive cycles.


Hold Me Back - Part II

Ok, remember just last week I was in a huff over my neighbor running the reds on Connor's bus? Yeah, well today Mrs. Incredible got to school her neighbor chick on the bus laws.
Yes. Yes, I did.

The bus aide had just sat down in her seat from securing Connor in his car seat. The bus driver was saying something to me & I was backing away from the bus. I noticed that the girl was behind the bus in her car. And there it is. She begins laying on the horn. I thought to myself that this was the perfect opportunity to have the conversation I had been wanting to have with her. I left the bus driver in mid-sentence and I'm ashamed to say, with Gracie in my arms, I walk to her car. She has her window up, so I'm speaking loudly as I fully didn't expect her to put her window down. I said, "Just so you know. This is a special needs bus. These children have to be secured in their seats. So, it takes awhile to put them on. I called the cops last week & reported your vehicle when you ran the reds." To which I got: "No I didn'" I said, "Yes, you did. You honked the horn. Then you passed on the left side of the bus when the red lights were on. It is a law that you cannot pass a bus with the red lights on." Her response: "I didn' honk the horn and the stop sign wudn't out." To which I said, "Yes, it was." "No, it wudn't." "Yes, it was." "No, it wudn't." Me: "I'm not going to argue with you. The bottom-line is that you don't pass a bus with it's reds on." To which I got her driving away and as she rolls up her window she says, "F!#$ing B#tch. Whatever." I said, "Yeah, whatever." Yup, went better than planned. As Bryan was expecting me to have my arse handed to me by the ghetto rats or whatever he called them. I'm not a physical fighter. But I think if I had to, I could throw down. That is besides the point, because I'm not interested in that. My immediate next-door neighbor saw what happened & asked what the deal was in her Queens accent & hand waving way that I so adore about her. She's the cutest. I explain it all to her. She says, "Ugh. Nothin' but trouble down the'(there). Always fight-in' and carry-in' on. Good for you for sayin' something." Thanks, sista. I know you'll have my back if she wants to bow up and start a brawl. Anyway.....
I walked in the house and called Bry. I told him the cops may be called to our house. He says, "Oh god, what did you do?" (Like I'm out there breaking laws everyday or something). I explained the story and said, "Look, if I call you and tell you you have to come home, don't ask me any questions. Just get your ass home." So far all has been peaceful. Stay tuned however, as I'm expecting slashed tires, egg on our car and sugar in our gas tank.


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen children's books that I read to my children, but yet, I enjoy as well. In no particular order.

What could be better than reading something that allows you to bumble over your words on purpose?? Silly, silly fun.

Yes, Yes. There will be enough room. Skit skat doodle doop flip flop flee.

This one gets me everytime.

I am a whore for the Fat Controller - or what we call him here in the States - Sir Toppem Hatt.

As soon as I saw the front cover of this book, I was all over it. It's simply precious.

Who doesn't like going to blueberry hill to romp around with a bear?

Do you know where your wild things are??

I love the illustrations in this book.

I-Spy books are great. I like looking for the little objects. I'm sure that in a few years when my eyesight is even worse, I won't enjoy these all that much.

The illustrations are marvelous. I like the vintage look the book has. It's a cool 'treasure hunt' book. If a book has semi-decent illustrations, I'm hooked (most of the time). However, I do like a good story.

Madeline. Need I say more?? Two straight lines. A 'naughty' little girl. A French nun in an orphange. I'm all over that.

Olivia is my hero.

Miffy's magnifying glass. I love this simple board book for the 'surprise' ending. My kids still laugh at the end even after the millionth reading.


Feels Like Home

This is Alex and Liz. They are dear, dear friend's of ours. Alex is from Delaware. Liz is from Liverpool, UK. They met here in the U.S. while working at a sleep-away summer camp in CT. They dated, long-distance. Had some good times. Had some great times. Had bumpy times. But love prevailed. Alex moved to the UK and they were wed in July 2005. We couldn't be happier for them, but miss them terribly! They are so wonderful to our kids & are just simply put, wonderful friends. I was ecstatic when I learned through an IM conversation that our lovelies are coming home for Christmas. It will be a rather short visit. But we'll actually get to see them, nonetheless. We're thrilled.
So, in a few short weeks, I'm sure we'll be drinking it up & reveling in all things Alex & Liz. I'm sure Al has some great tales to tell.
As an aside - you may have to 'talk amongst yourselves' for a few days. I'm totally stressed & bogged down with regular life, research and writing papers. So, go ahead. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: "Equal Rights Amendment" & why it wasn't ratified. I'd be interested in your view/opinion or knowledge.
Oh, and YAY for Alex and Liz!!


Heart of Gold

Remember how I was saying that someone stole Connor's scooter from our yard? Of course, this is sad to me for many reasons. One being how we discovered that it was stolen. Connor wanted to show his cousin, Manny, his Spiderman scooter. When we went out to find it, it was gone. The second reason being, that this is what Connor does while he's waiting for the bus everyday. He scoots. And lastly, we're convinced that it was stolen, not by someone who 'needed' a scooter for their child, but by 'kids' who were looking for something 'stupid' and 'rebellious' to do.

Friday afternoon, Connor & I are gathering up his coat and backpack. And I notice that he has a clementine in his hands. I told him that he couldn't take that to school, that it needed to stay here. He looks at me with those huge, brown eyes that he got from his daddy, and says, "I know. I want to trade. I want to give those people that took my scooter this orange to have & then they can give me my scooter back." (As I'm typing this, my eyes are welling up with tears). Can I tell you how proud I am, that my four-year-old has the purest of pure hearts. That as much as I worry about him ingesting too much violence or me not being the perfect role model, he has managed to see past the 'bad' of the situation. He wants to, offer up kindness in the form of a round, orange fruit. In a simple exchange. Clementine for scooter.

As sweet as his heart is and how simple and perfect the solution is, how could I explain to him that this wasn't going to work? That in, a perfect world, it should be the most perfect solution. And somehow I feel that I've corrupted that pure, kind heart. Just by merely having to tell him an unpleasant truth.

Hopefully, though, that won't deter him from wanting to spread love, kindness and mercy rather than, hate, hurt and anger.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

"The Coffee House", Sirius channel 30, introduced me to Madeleine Peyroux. I don't know how I missed her, as I'm sure she's on XPN's playlist. But seeing as how I could not tell you the last time I listened to the radio, I guess it makes sense that I 'missed' her.
Her voice is amazing. Think Billie Holiday with a bit more richness.
I'm showcasing a rather odd song. She has so many that I could've chosen from. But I chose this one for a very specific reason. It is fun. Most of the songs I've chosen so far are rather deep or serious. And that does tend to be where I lean in my musical tastes. But this song makes me want to throw on a Flapper dress and cut some major rug. But, well, I can't. I have no rhythm. So, I am one with this song! I have yet as to find it on an album of Madeleine's & I'm thinking she must have showcased this 'oldie' on Mountainstage or something. The lyrics are rather short, as her version of the song, is basically these few lyrics over and over. The original version has 'extended' lyrics.

"I wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate"

Madeleine Peyroux
Oh, I wish I could I shimmy like my sister Kate;
She shimmies like a jelly on a plate.
My mama wanted to know last night,
What makes the boys think Kate's so nice.

Now all the boys in the neighborhood,
They know that she can shimmy and it's understood;
I know that I'm late, but I'll be up-to-date
When I shimmy like my sister Kate.
I mean, when I shimmy like my sister Kate.



For the past few months or so, Connor has been most interested in two things: a) Going to a museum & b) getting a telescope. On one rainy, soggy Sunday we pack up the heathens & head out to a local museum. Watching Connor in the back seat before we got there was almost worth the whole experience. He just couldn't contain himself.

We get to the museum, we pick up a scavenger hunt worksheet for Connor. I know that this is the only way we'll get him to last more than 10 minutes in this place. The thing with him is that I thought he was mesmerized by the idea of the museum - not what the museum actually has to offer. He wasn't all that excited by staying at any one exhibit for more than 2 seconds, but the scavenger hunt gave him a reason to atleast look at everything. He did well with finding what he needed for his paper, he took it all in. Connor-style. As excited he was by the whole experience, nothing could compete with the museum gift shop. After what we thought was adequate soaking-up of all things educational, we head into the gift shop.

Within two minutes, Connor sets his sights on a blue telescope. Ravioli & I were hesitant to give in to this as it was a planned gift from Santa. We couldn't tell Connor that. The damn thing was only $20, so of course, we caved. We left there with the telescope. Now, it being said that this telescope was only $20, it isn't of great quality & as Connor was trying to get acquainted with it, he broke the plastic knob on it within 5 minutes. But he was not to be stopped in his pursuit of gazing at the stars.....

A few hours after we get home from the museum, I'm heading up the steps and I happen to glance into Connor's room. There on his train table, is a cleared off corner. And in that cleared off corner is his telescope. Facing out his bedroom window, with the curtain pulled off to the side. I smile & thought to myself, "awww, Ravioli & Connor did a nice job setting that up." I head into our bedroom where Ravioli is relaxing on our bed & I ask him about the telescope. He says, "Connor did that all on his own. After he opened up the box, he turned to me and said, 'Dad, I'm going to set this up.' So, he took it upstairs and did that himself." I swear, just when I think my heart can't explode one more time out of love and joy for my children, they find yet another way for it to swell-up, melt a little and then implode all in on itself. I complain about these kids more than I should, but little things like that pick me up & carry me through.