The Trunk

How do you know when it's okay to let go of something?

If someone takes the time or makes an effort to give me something, I will find some way to use it, and will probably never get rid of it. I also have this same problem in regards to things that remind me of certain situations, time periods or my children.

If they draw me a picture or write me a note, you KNOW I will be keeping it.

The trouble comes in trying to find space to KEEP all this stuff. I mean, its not to the point yet where I have stacks of stuff lining the hallways and emergency personnel will have a difficult time getting the gurney in should I need help. But I feel its getting close.

I have been trying to clean things out and widdle down to things I ABSOLUTELY love. I'm tired of "stuff" I just want nice, clean, spaces.

But we've come across a....I don't know what word I'm looking for here. But I have a trunk, I want to keep it, Bill wants Goodwill to get it.

So for now it sits in a trailor awaiting its fate.

He sees HIDEOUS.

I see:

A new beginning.

  • We were just coming out of a VERY ROUGH few years. We had both gotten to the point where we were done with living the way things were, and if we were going to make our marriage and our family work, LOTS of things had to change.
    And they did.
  • I had just lost custody of my oldest son, and it nearly sent me to the brink of despair. But had to then come to the realization that I had to snap out of it for all involved, my self pity wasn't going to do him or me or anyone any good. It was what it was and I had to make the best of it.
  • I was pregnant with Awesome Austin.

I saw the trunk at a yard sale down the street from the apartment in Little Mexico. They were asking $20.00 for it. I wanted it DESPERATELY. It was a Friday morning. I did not have .20 cents let alone $20.00. It stayed there.

The next day, when we went out for our walk again, I noticed it was still there. I stopped to look at it again, and the person having the yard sale said, "you can have it for $5.00." I said I'd have to come back, as I didn't have money with me (or at home or anywhere else for that matter). I spent the next few hours so nervous someone would come along and buy it. Bill FINALLY got home from work and I told him about it and how much it was, he told me I should go buy it, and gave me 5 bucks from the paycheck he had just cashed.

Bill stayed with the kids while I FLEW down to that house. It was still there. I gave her the money and dragged the trunk home. I set it up as an end table by the couch. I placed some magazines on it that my mother had given me, and put a little plant on it. I felt like I had just made the literal transformation to
Suzy Homemaker.

Every time we have moved, it has made the move with us, and most of the time it has been spent being a coffee table.

1995: The Apartment

2001 Halloween: The Rental House

2007 Dominic: SE Valley House
(lower RH corner you can see the edge)

You know what?


Who knew doing this post was going to be such an emotional rollercoaster for me?

Once again, I win!
(not that I'm keeping score or anything.)

Off Topic: Last night I made this Peanut Butter Pie. OMG!!! SOOOO good! I added shaved chocolate on top...to die for. You people need to stop already with the good recipes-this "Troll-Body" can't afford to gain anymore weight!



So, about six months ago, the girls start begging for a new pet.  I tell them "NO.  I think 93 dogs is enough."

They keep pleading and bugging over the next few weeks.  I finally give in and say they can get another fish.   So one day, I dropped them off at PetSmart while I went to Wal-Mart so they could pick out their new fish.  When I pick them up, they come out and they are both just GRINNING from ear to ear, "We got Shrimp!"  Now if you knew my daughter Holly, at this point you would think,  Shrimp, of course, it makes PERFECT sense.

There was four shrimp, and they set up their home on the bathroom counter, as the bathroom is common domain.

Well, I thought they'd live a couple of weeks, and then we'd be done.

OH NO.  Those suckers live forever.

Or so I thought.

I had held off on relocating them, hoping they would die, so I could just wash out the tank and be done with it.  (again, another nomination for Mother of the Year!)

So Emmy is with me last week, I was downstairs and she was upstairs. 

I finished what I had been doing, and went up to help her.  I see her in the bathroom leaning over the tank with the Shrimp food shaker.


Emmy:  "I'm feeding the shrimp.  Oh mom, you should have seen them, I got here in JUST the nick of time.  They were almost dead."

I was THIS close to being free of having that tank on the counter.  ARGGHH!

So I breathe a heavy sigh and come to the realization that the shrimp and their habitat will be relocating as well.  So yesterday I put them in the car and when I got here I brought them in and put them on my bathroom counter for the time being.

This morning I was giving Muffin a haircut and Emmy came in and saw the tank.

E:  OHHH...Yay.  I didn't know they were here.

Me:  Yeah, I brought them yesterday.  See, I'm a nice mom after all.

Emmy peers into the tank, then she lets out a shreek-




and she runs to her room, furious with me.

Add Murderous Shrimp Killer to my LONG list of names.

FOR THE RECORD:  I guess the rocks on the bottom of their tank, shifted back and forth in the car and they must have got caught up in them.  I did not cut them in half.


The Olympics

So, Emmy has had to follow the Olympics, specifically Wrestling, for school. So we DVR, than watch when we can. Cause really, who has an extra 17 hours a day to watch them?

I'm REALLY embarrassed to say this, but I am TOTALLY confused.

I thought they were for amateur athletes.

I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, but really, isn't that what they used to be?

I really enjoy watching them, but then when I read the news or listen to recaps on the radio, I get lost.

Like this morning when I ran Em to school.

On the radio they were talking about them, "Michael Phelps...gazillion gold medals...girls gymnastics...blahhh...Venus & Serena Williams....



TOTALLY confused.

Aren't Venus & Serena tennis Pros?

I'm not into sports too much, but I read enough to know their names.

Why are they in the Olympics?

And how does Michael Phelps earn 5 million dollars last year and is still considered an amateur?

I'm going to go "Bone Up" on my Olympic knowledge, because this is really bugging me not knowing the criteria.

Um.....apparently I'm NOT soooooo busy.


Holy Schneitters!!!!

Who knew this was such a SENSITIVE subject.

This was the first response I found when I googled: 

Question:  "Are the Olympics for Amateurs or Professionals"

Answer:  The Olympics hasn't been about Amateurs since 1988. Look it up, moron.


they're for both amateurs and professionals and I'm a moron.

Case closed.


As I've stated on this blog about oh, I don't know, maybe a thousand times (sorry) I am a HUGE music fan, I LOVE it. And a favorite at my house is one Amy Winehouse. In fact, if you were to go on a Road Trip with me and my fam, there would be 3 things you could be guaranteed of: Amy, Garth and Kid Rock. oh...AND lots of Bathroom Breaks. Anywhoo, where was I.....

Ah yes, Amy, or as a site I go to, calls her, The Crackie of Camden. Anyways, EVERY TIME i see a picture of her or a headline with her name, I'm sure that its going to say she's dead. It's such a shame she can't get a hold of her life, she is SO talented. I love her!

Yes, this was kind of a random post, but hey, I'm busy. Cut me some slack okay.



It's Sunday Morning, I've been up for a couple of hours now, and everyone else is still asleep. Not sure why, but I just got to reflecting about things, and my thoughts turned to Mandy, our little yorkie we lost about this same time last summer. And since this is the closest thing I've ever had to a journal I wanted to write about it here. For those of you that know the story or are heartless non-animal lovers here is your exit opportunity.

My birthday is July 6th. Every year our vacation usually falls around this time. Last summer was a little "vacation crazy", we had sent Dominic, one of our older boys, to Europe for a month, Holly had girls camp, and Bill had wanted to do a cruise. Since we had already been to the Carribbean a few times, and a European cruise in the summer did not interest me at all with all the tourist and the heat, so, we decided, we would go on an Alaskan Cruise. Everyone was excited but me & Dominic, who decided he did not want to go, and would just stay here and recoperate from his trip. Now, I AM NOT an outdoors-y kind of girl. I mean, I always end up having a good time, because that's how I choose to be, but nature is not my first choice. So to kind of balance things, Bill took me to NYC for a few days. We had a girl from our church come stay with the kids, and her family lives just down the road from us. She's stayed with them several times when we've gone away, the kids LOVE her and so everyone was SUPER excited. As usual, we told them they could e-mail us as much as they wanted but to limit cell calls to an emergency only basis. (to be honest, the first "I miss youuuuu call is kind of sweet, but every hour gets a lee-tle bit old. I know, I'm mean & heartless)

So, Bill & I are in NYC having a GREAT time. We get the nightly e-mails from the kids, and all is well. Until Sunday. We were going to see Mama Mia for the 2:00 matinee, so that morning we got up and decided we would go do some shopping for the kids beforehand. We went and got the girls some things from American Girl Place, then went to Nintendo World for Aus and was just having a really nice time. We stopped back by the hotel to drop off our bags before the performance and as soon as we open the door to the room we see the red light flashing on the phone. Bill goes to check it and I pick up my phone to see if there are any missed calls. There was 20. (We had BOTH forgot our phones in the room.) I look at Bills, and he also has 17 missed calls.

My heart was racing and I was in complete panic mode.

We called home, and Emmy answered the phone and the first words she said was "Mandy's dead"

She cried, I cried, we couldn't be there to comfort them, it was very hard. She handed the phone over to the babysitter's mom who had come to the house. The mom proceeded to tell me what happened.

On Saturday night one of the kids decided to take a bath, when they were done they forgot to drain it. On Sunday morning every one was up and getting ready for church, Emmy went to take a shower and when she opened the door, she saw Mandy, dead and floating in the water. Mandy was Emmy's dog.

It was one of the saddest experiences of my life thus far.

NOTE: Since this IS my blog, I can't leave on such a serious note. I try to find humor in any & all situations that happen in my life. That is THE ONLY way I can cope. In this situation the humor came from an unlikely source, my great-niece Savannah (Shanell's daughter) On that Sunday, since we were not able to come home, the "greatest sister EVER" came and got my kids and took them to her house for Sunday dinner and to get their minds off of things. While they were there, they kind of had a "tribute party" in rememberance of Mandy. They wrote notes and drew pictures, I tried to find Savannah's picture, but it is packed up so I'll just have to describe.

8.5x11 piece of white cardstock.
Black marker to draw shape of bathtub.
Brown marker to draw dog in bathtub.
RED marker to draw "splotches" around dog.
Caption coming from dog that says "HELP ME!"

She was 5, and it came from her heart and it was the sweetest thing.


Pink Lemonade Pie

Due to popular demand (ummm...okay, maybe just U.K.) I am posting this recipe that I originally got from Shanell. I LOVE it! It's SUPER EASY and CHEAP to make. (I think I spend about $4.00 and it makes 2 pies) But try and have more self-control than I have. I have been eating this all summer long!

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
Cool Whip (regular size)
Pink Lemonade Frozen concentrate
2 Graham Cracker Pie crust (or you can just use 1 of the "+2 Servings" size Crust, and make it extra full, I think that's what Shanell does)

1. Let ingredients thaw to room temperature.
2. Mix together.

3. pour 1/2 into each pre-made Graham cracker crust
4. put in freezer till frozen
5. eat & enjoy!

Tip: You can use ANY FLAVOR of frozen concentrate. I just really like the Pink Lemonade. But I bet it would be great with Limeade (Key Lime Pie-esque) or you could try orange juice, or cranberry juice, or whatever your fancy is!


Thanks Megan for tagging me!

Here it goes:

i am: totally happy with my lot in life!

i want: other people/kids to treat my children nicely.

i have: a tiny mole/skin tag whatever the heck you want to call
it, on the underside of my chin. It keeps growing. About a week ago I thought maybe I would see about getting it taken care of, but then a few mornings ago when I woke up, suddenly it was gone! Well most of it. Now I worry what's going to happen to me.

i wish: I could help everyone, but I know that is not the answer to life's problems.

i hate: that almost EVERY SUNDAY night there is no Law & Order on so I usually end up having to watch some "boy movie" and it never fails that it usually is ones with either Steven Segal or Jean Claude Van Dam. Every. Single. Week. (Oh, and don't say something "profound" like, Why don't you guys just put in a movie? or Why don't you just watch one of the GaZillion episodes of L&O that you have saved on your DVR? Because that would make sense and sometimes you just go with the things the Universe throws out there and Sunday Night Bad TV is one of them)

i miss: the body I had at 20, but didn't realize that I had it.

i fear: furry rodents.

i feel: like I hit the "LIFE" jackpot!

i smell: me. And let me tell you, its not too pretty.

i crave: The Pink Lemonade Pie I made last night! It's been about a week since I've had any!

i wonder: How they come up with the names of things. Like "milk" or "pillow." You know, just everday things.

i regret: I say "regrets do no one any good" But truth be told, I have a list a mile long, and this post box isn't big enough for all of them. So I'll just say, Regrets do no one any good!

i love: Denny Crane.

i care: About what my children will think of me in 20 years.

i always: carry my keys dangling from my front pocket. Keys tucked inside, Eiffle Tower & LA Fitness keyfob on outside of pocket. Always. If I don't, I spend the next hour trying to locate where I put them. I am definatly my father's daughter regarding all things absent-minded.

i am not: a follower or a leader. I am just me doin' my own thing.

i believe: in say what you mean, mean what you say, but try not to say it mean.

i dance: like Elaine on Seinfeld.

i sing: like nobody's business...in the car. Otherwise, not so much. But in my mind, I am a Big, Black, Soulful Woman who can rock the joint!

i don't always: spend my time wisely. (Example: the pimping of this Tagged! post)

i fight:
with myself internally non-stop about certain situations.

i write: the songs that make the whole world sing. I write the songs of love and sp-eeee-eee-cial things.

i lose: my patience rather quickly, especially during that "oh so special" time of the month.

i win
: at BINGO on cruises! Oh wait, maybe not. Maybe I just THINK i win and yell out BINGO randomly.

i never:
play the lottery. Ever heard the name Jack Whittaker? No thank you.

i listen: to all kinds of music and love it all! (Except jazz & blues)

i am scared
: to verbalize what I'm scared of for fear that it will ACTUALLY happen!

i need: to pee. Thank goodness I'm almost at the end of this.

i am happy about:

No, not the cute little doormat that I got last week at Target for $13.88 on clearance. But I am happy about all the dead little crickets surrounding it! That means when the bug guy was hear a couple of days ago, he had the "real" stuff in his sprayer and not just water like I'm convinced they try to use most of the time!


Do you hear that?


My productive life coming to a screeching halt because my "internets" is up and running again.

And that, my friends, means I'M BACK!!!!!

But apparantly non too soon, because you guys are all losers and are FIRED!

Except U.K.

She can stay.

But the rest of you are SOOOO L.A.M.E. What the heck?


I still have tons to do and sites to check on, but wanted to leave you with this.

If I ever run off and have an affair with a "politician/wanna-be-the-President-of-the-US/MARRIED with a wife who has CANCER/and way too perfect hair" can someone PLEASE make sure that People.com gets a better photo of me than they did of THIS woman.

Thank you.

UPDATE: In the comments section, Chelsea made a BRILLIANT observation about the uncanny resemblance of the Mistress and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith circa 1990's. I did an image search, and she is dead-on. There were several images to choose from to make that point, but I chose to go a different route. This one doesn't really show how similar in apperance they are, but it is priceless non the less. Ladies & Gentlemen I present to you Steven Tyler: Rock God!


Ok, I'll be the first!

This is U.K. Yankee, aka Ax, aka Annike, one of Lana's e-friends. I love this blog, and I hope Lana comes back soon! In the meantime, I thought I'd take her up on her general invitation to guest blog...

I absolutely adore my blog; I've said before it's my substitute baby for the moment! I tried very hard to be a playwright in college - not sure what the ending to that story is going to be - but my blog gives me a chance to get stuff off my chest when I'm feeling particularly witty or clever...nevermind how un-witty or non-clever it turns out sometimes! I've poached ideas off of my friends and family for fun gadgets and gizmos to post, and I put up my favorite songs and favorite pictures I've taken. Since we found out we're moving to Sydney, I've tried to post a new poll each week about Australian slang, and I've even got a visitor counter to see who loves me and where they are!

Through my blog, I've met and been able to stay in touch with so many truly awesome people - like Lana! She is my cousin's husband's aunt, and there is no way we would have got in touch had she not found my blog through my cousin's blog. I've also met a very sweet woman named Carrie, who is an American living in Sydney, who found my blog while doing a Google search for another cousin. I've re-connected with an old childhood friend, two college roommates who I'd completely lost touch with, become better friends with several of my cousins and their spouses/future spouses, and stayed in touch with tons of friends from college. I've also been able to feel like I'm still a part of the events in my mom's and siblings's lives, even though we're so far apart now.

Living in England, and not having gobs of money for phone calls and plane fares, this is my way of staying in touch with people who matter to me. It's also my way of making new friends and sharing common interests. So while it may seem silly to some to count people as friends before you've met in person or when you haven't seen them in years, they keep me connected to things past and familiar, and help me get excited about things in the future that are sometimes pretty scary.

Thinking about all this, I'm so grateful for our cyber-community and the way the world is so small nowadays! I know there are plenty of people skeptical about putting your life out there on view for everyone, but personally, I think it's great. I love seeing what adventures my nieces and nephews get up to, how my college friends are handling the transition to real life and marriage and families, and feeling like I'm not out of their lives because I'm so far away.

In the spirit of sharing, and in keeping with the idea of globalism and multiculturalism (and for the rest of you who like a good laugh), I will end now with a favorite YouTube video for everyone's enjoyment...This is Peter Kay, one of my favorite British comedians, and possibly just as funny, if not more so, than the Python boys. Here is a commerical he did for John Smith beer, which always makes me giggle! (Hopefully everyone can understand him with his accent, if not, leave a note in the comments and I'll come back and translate.)


P.S. Come back soon, Lana!