Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not To Court-martial!


A follow up article, though minuscule and hidden, to the court-martial of pregnant soldier's in combat debate came after a backlash of criticism about the policy issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo. Needless to say, his old corps ideas were squashed, undoubtedly due to the increasing numbers of women in the ranks. My solution to the 'increasing problem' of pregnant soldiers in combat can be found here.

What's your view?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas in the Country

We're packed and ready, waiting on Fed-Ex to deliver that one last item so we can go. This year we are heading to the country, the bayou country! Christmas in the south may not be white, but it's cold and wet all the same. We are looking forward to bundling up and having some fun, then coming home to the Florida sun ;-)

I'm wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Be safe in your travels and enjoy your loved ones.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

To Court-Martial, Or Not To Court-Martial

WOW! What's your opinion on this? Pregnant Soldiers Could Face Court-Martial

I think court-martial is a bit harsh. Given the limited duty pregnant soldiers are put on I would say add the amount of time of pregnancy and maternity leave to the end of their service requirements; therefore extending their active duty time to "pay back" the time missed during combat. It's a contract flaw on the military as far as I am concerned. If they put this in from the get go then there will be less individuals to worry about.

Yes, at that point in time it leaves the command in combat short handed, but it's no different than if a soldier gets wounded and is unable to perform his/her duties. Either situation leaves the command with limited resources. They replace the wounded, they can replace the pregnant. This will also keep the unnecessary paperwork pile down.

Tell me your thoughts on this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Friend

This week's Friday Friend is my beautiful Beth.

1. What's your name and who were you named after? Mary Elizabeth- mom & dad prayed for so long to have a child that when I was born they decided to name me after Mary & her cousin Elizabeth.

2. Where are you from originally? Denham Springs-Where else

3. Married? Describe how you met and how he proposed. Married for 5 years. We met when I was 14 & he was 16. But our lives have crossed paths since before I was born. His parents used to live behind us when he was a baby. Then when I was 14 my cousins introduced us. We did the whole week thing & went our separate ways but saw each other all the time. Then when I was a junior we got back together, went on to college & had our first child. Split up for almost 4 years & then got back together since he grew up. So here we are 5 years later with 2 bad boys 12 & 4. Really the proposal- Well we went to dinner & then were going to the mall to get him a new hat. So while he was driving he took the ring (which I picked out & brought home, he paid for it) out of his pocket & said so do you want to marry me or what. Yes he is such a romantic. Guys need a script, it swear! I think I'll start writing 'How to Propose' tips ;-)

4. Kids? 2 very rotten boys. Chance is 12 & Jo is 4. Chance is just like his daddy very laid back & takes a lot off of people. Jo is just like me, you piss him off & he will knock the crap out off of you. I would have loved to have one more but I think God knew that these 2 boys would be what we could handle. And sometimes I would love to put them outside with a free sign but they are pretty cute so I keep them. :) Chance will always have a special place in my heart. I remember when you found out you were pregnant and you told me you wanted to name him that. It made me smile...made Brandy Lee ball her eyes out, but she was happy ;-)
5. Favorites:

Beverage/Food- Dr. Pepper/Tie between Chinese & Mexican
TV Show- Biggest Loser
Music- Anything-to an extent
Actor/Actress- Actor: The Late Heath Ledger & Brad Pitt Actress: Angelina Jolie & Drew Barrymore
Quote or saying- Live your life to the fullest
Time of day- Not a morning person unless the kids are still sleeping & I can get housework done, but I do like the 10-2 time frame

6. Worst fear? Why? Heights & probably every parents fear that something will happen to my boys. Heights-I have no idea why I am afraid it continues to get worse as I get older. Bridges even freak me out, especially if I can not see on the other side. So I guess us going skydiving is out of the question?

7. What is one dream you'd like to make come true? Cure for cancer, too many family members have lost their lives to cancer. Also too many other people have lost their family members. Amen

8. If you won the lotto of $1 million what would you do? Pay off all of my debt, buy a house, build my daycare center. And pay off your favorite Sissi's student loans...?

9. What did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher-which I should have become. It's never too late ;-)

10. Any regrets? No regrets, never regret anything. I made bad choices but not regrets

BONUS: How did we meet and fondest memory of us? In high school probably in gym class. Damn the fondest memory, we had plenty. I remember a party at your house & you taught me how to do the stroke. Then there was your run in with the bus, you scared the hell out of us Crash. Senior year was awesome, except for when we were on the outs. I don't even know why that was, do you? I remember the pep rallies, the jerseys (why was I DC Dazed & Confused). I also remember one of the senior things you sent me said even if you hate me I will always love you. I never hated you, I always loved you too. Oh just remembered the DC thing, my license plate that DJ gave me. I'm not for sure, but I think it was over you and DJ and how he was back then. I'm glad you ignored my advice ;-) Some things are indeed worth fighting for. I learned that lesson because of you, Brandy, and Anitra. Seems I was on the outs with all three of you then, so I'm pretty sure it was me. I'm so blessed to still have all three of you in my life ;-)
There she is readers! Some day we will all make it to a reunion and have some more stories we can't tell about each other. Shhhh!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Politics Baby!

Yes, I know, it's never a good idea to tackle politics or religion on a public platform. However, lately I've been more aware of my elected officials (on ALL sides) and the really dumb decisions they make.

I'm not going to get into the heavy hitting stuff of the White House on here, nor attack a particular party as I am not one to start a shouting match (no really, I just don't back down from it). I do however want to ask the viewing audience what they think on the following:

(1) Fort Hood Tragedy and Government's response

(2) Navy Seals being charged for giving terrorist a fat lip

(3) Terrorist trials being held in NY

(4) Seattle cop shooting

(5) Gitmo detainees being brought to the US

You don't have to take on all five, but I'm really curious to see the different views on these. My biggest issue with all of them is the ties they have to our elected officials. We vote for them because they promise to represent us and our beliefs. This has not been happening for some time now.

I'm frustrated, disappointed, and to the point of running for any elected office just to try and make a difference with a louder voice. Being one of We The People lately makes me feel ignored and and left in isolation when it comes to the decisions of this country, the decisions that are really up to us.

There's no crying in blogging so any attacks on other responders needs to be tasteful, or you better be able to take what you dish ;-) So let's hear it, what do you think?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Explosion

It's that time...you know, the one where you crawl into the attic or back of your closet to pull out the decorations. Each year we seem to add to our Christmas collection with ribbons, lights, and ornaments. This year we are adding three more trees. Yes, you read that right, THREE more trees.

We have a 12' tree that I am usually in charge of erecting and decorating every year, and now we have two 6' trees and a 3' tree to add to the forest. We decided to start a new family tradition of each having a tree to decorate in a theme that reflects us, our likes, and our family. Over the next umpteen years we will add more ribbons, lights, and ornaments to each tree and when the boys are married and starting their own families they will take their trees for their "first" Christmas...away from home *sniff*.

It's a silly gesture perhaps, but its a way of keeping something from their past and adding to their future; keeping a piece of holiday from home to add to their own traditions.

By the time I am finished decorating while my Mom is in town it will look as if Christmas has exploded in our home. We will not be here for Christmas day itself, but get to enjoy it until them and for a few days after when we return to celebrate with Hubs' family.

What is he off doing while I'm setting the Christmas mood? Shopping of course ;-)

What different traditions do you have for this time of year?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday Blues

Woe is me and my rush to get a good deal! I'm usually not the type to even step foot out of my house on Black Friday due to the traffic and crowds, but this year is an exception. We are strapped this year, as are many of my peers, and need to play the retailers Black Friday Door Buster's to our advantage. I have a unique case for my woes though. My oldest son is going in at 6:00 A.M. for surgery on none other than BLACK FRIDAY!

Yes, pity me. I am so excited though, not because he has to have surgery, but because a few stores that I wanted to hit are starting the sales EARLY! I will be one of 'those' people who are camped out BEFORE midnight on Thanksgiving at Toys R Us in order to get my soon too be tonsil-less...(sp) child his big gift. He wants the iPod Touch decked out, and this store will not only have it on sale, but will be giving out $50 gift cards at time of purchase! That works for me because my little guy is having a birthday two weeks from now that I can use $50!


I've been searching sites, checking fliers, and doing some military operation style investigating to find out the best plan of attack. It's not finished yet, but once my Mom gets in to town tonight we will set our game plan.


One article I came across gives 11 Ways to Survive Black Friday. There are many others that you can google if you are new to the Black Friday chaos like me. Best of luck to those tempering the masses!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Friend Post

TGIF! And today I have my friend, Brandy, as my Friday Friend!

1. Your name/nickname and how you got it.
Brandy Lea Lossett Jackson, nicknames are mom, mommy, bitch and the devil :) I don't know where Brandy came from but Lea is from my grandmother on my father’s side. Jackson, well I picked that name up when I married the love of my life. And those who know me, well they can contest to the bitch side of me and Trey says all women are the devil...Oh and I almost forgot...Brakeless Brandy!!! Well I hung around this girl in high school named Sissi (Name dropper!). Her nickname was Crash Buckley due to ALL the wrecks she some how ended up in. Then one day, I get in a wreck myself due to my brakes going out and Brakeless Brandy started. I wish I still had my jersey. Sissi do you? I sure do. I put it away, far away, with other things from my past that I never need to explain to my boys ;-)

2. Where are you from?
I live in Watson Louisiana. I am originally from Baton Rouge, LA and moved to
Denham Springs when I was 17. When I "ran off" and got married after high school, I lived in Cheyenne, WY. Boy, I will NEVER live somewhere again where it snows that much!!! We moved back to Louisiana a couple years later where we bought a house in Watson. Never in a million years did I want to live that "far" out but now, I wouldn't live anywhere else! I never thought I would miss living in a small town until I traveled the world and realized there is no place like home...I still never moved back! LOL! Although I would prefer back home to any place cold.

3. Married? Describe how you met and how he proposed.
I have been married for 13 years. I actually meet Trey at daycare when we were lil tots! We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same high school for a couple of years. Our first date was for his senior prom. I was a sophomore at that time and actually ended up with my friends that night and not him. I was so not interested! Well he enlisted in the Air Force and moved to Cheyenne. It was then that over a year of many phone calls and hand written letters that our friendship grew into so much more. He proposed to me my senior prom night on the tailgate of his truck and put the ring on the wrong hand and I have been his ever since. So romantic huh? Yeah, he's a pretty good catch and spoils you rotten ;-)


4. Kids?
I have one daughter, Gracie. She is the best thing I have ever done! After 6.5 years of fertility and 2 miscarriages, the Lord brought her to us. She makes my world go round.
She is such the lil drama queen. Just a word to those who have no kids yet, yeah well when your mom wishes kids on you that are 2x's as bad as you, you actually get it x's 10. Being an only child means two words: SPOILED ROTTEN! I have a couple like that...I blame their father!

5. Favorites:

Beverage/Food- Diet Coke & Spaghetti
TV Show- Greys Anatomy... McDreamy need I say any more Mmmm, McDreamy!
Music- Old Country would probably be my favorite
Actor/Actress- Reese Whitherspoon & Vince Vaughn
Quote or saying- Always make sure you have on clean panties (What my mother use to tell me) And with our driving that proved to be invaluable advice!
Time of day- I am so NOT a morning person. I am a night owl. Some things never change ;-)

6. Worst fear? Why?
Worst fear would be something happening to my family. Treys a fireman so I worry about him at work all the time, and as a mother I worry about my child day and night! AMEN!

7. What is one dream you'd like to make come true?
My biggest dream is not a realistic one. It would be to have my mother back. Even though she is at home with our Lord, she was taken away from us to soon. Loosing my mom when I was 28, her 49 and Gracie 1.5 was by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Being a first time mom and not having your mother to turn to has been one of my biggest obstacles. Your mom is looking over you beaming with pride at what a wonderful mom you are. I know I'm proud of you!

8. If you won the lotto of $1 million what would you do?
I would pay off my current house. Build a new one (not a big one though). Buy me and Trey both new cars. Make sure Gracie’s college would be paid for and put the rest in the bank. Nothing exciting. In these economic times paying off anything is pretty darn exciting!

9. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pediatrician. Well yeah that didn't happen, but my life is the way it should be. Yeah, my dream of becoming a vet came true. Though I was meant to be a Veterinarian, not a military veteran...just as good ;-) LOL!

10. Any regrets?
No regrets. Just lessons learned. Well put!

BONUS: How did we meet and fondest memory of us?
We meet in high school 14-15 years ago… man we are getting old, Sissi PFFFLT! I have such a bad memory. But I remember the days we skipped school; I remember sleeping and messing around in that music class we had first hour *our teacher loved us, we both got A's; I remember your big party where people whom we didn't like where riding up and down the road hollering at us *jealous beotches; I remember hanging out at Dodge City while you where at work *sniff* Doc was the best and toughest boss I ever had, may he rest in peace; I remember we got into a huge fight, but cant remember why *you "ran away" and didn't like my advice...which you ended up taking anyway. Other than that I don't remember; I remember "running away" to your house *I forgot what we told my mom that kept her from calling yours...; I remember your dad and mom’s bad ass old car *the old mobster car and '29 Mercedes...oh yeah. But most of all, I remember how much you meant to me; that you were and still are one of my oldest, closet friends that I could always count on *that's why we are called 'friends'. You'd do the same for me ;-)



There she is ladies and gents, Brandy Lea; who also happens to have the same name as my big sister, except the middle names are spelled different. That's the conversation that started our friendship. It's he small things can make the biggest impact. Brandy and I have definitely made an impact!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Banana Nana Fofana

BANANA PUDDING TIME! I love the holidays for many reasons: time off, family, la dee da...my favorite though is all the delish dishes we get to enjoy! One of them being THE Banana Pudding. This is not just ANY banana pudding; it's paradise. Or a diabetic coma...which ever hits first!

Here's the recipe:
1-1/2 cup of milk1 small pack of instant banana cream pudding1 small cool whip (8 oz)1 can of sweetened condensed milk1/2 cap full of Vanilla, at least 4-5 bananas and a box or two of Nilla wafers.

Mix the milk, pudding, cool whip and condensed milk, then add vanilla and stir. In a separate bowl or pan layer the "Nilla" wafers on the bottom and sides. Then layer sliced/diced bananas on top of the wafers. Pour half of the mix on top of the wafers and bananas. Add more wafers and bananas for a second layer and pour the rest of the mix on top. Smooth it out with a spatula or spoon.

Take two wafers and crumble them on top, adding a rim of wafers along the sides for decoration and taste. Voila! Banana Pudding Paradise! It can be eaten right then or it's best when chilled for a few hours. It's even better the next morning for breakfast. And even better that night for a late snack. Oh what the hell, it's good any time of day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

This is a nostalgic week for me. Yesterday we celebrated our 234th Marine Corps birthday and today we honor our Veterans. My husband and I come from WWII and Korean War era families who fought proudly in the U.S. military. His father was in both the Marine Corps and Air Force; he served at the tender age of 16 in the Korean War, one of the Frozen Chosen. My grandfather was a US Army paratrooper who landed in France on D-day; my father was a Marine; my step-father was in the Navy; my uncle was in the Army.

The years in the Corps brought me closer to my family, made me long for travel, and I found life long friends. It's hard to find the closeness with new friends that you have with childhood and military friends. There's a bond that forms with them regardless of where you come from in your civilian life. It's not easily explained, but it's known among Veterans.

My husband and I often talk about how we miss the Corps, then we see our two young sons and wonder if they will follow in our footsteps. We proudly display our Marine Corps flag just below our American flag. It's a part of who we have become and our drive to succeed to become better.

On this day I want to challenge each of you. I challenge you to seek out a veteran and thank them. Hug them. Tell them their sacrifice of service to protect your freedom, our way of life, is appreciated. It's a small task compared to the experiences those who have served and are serving have been through, but it means a lot to them.

God Bless America and thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Coffee

Good Monday morning...wait, *sip* ahhhh. Okay, now it's a good morning. Yes, I'm one of those people who need coffee in the a.m. to function. Well, not so much function, but to guard my patience. It may be hard to believe, those of you who know me, that I have very little patience. This happened over time. I'm the youngest of my clan, always having to wait my turn. In the service we had to have patience, the difference meant life and death. In motherhood and marriage I've lost it. I KNOW! You'd think having kids would put the P in patience, but not in my case.

No, over the years I have had to consume a morning cup of coffee in order to put on a "go ahead, it's safe to speak to me now" face. My children understand this. My hubs is usually gone to work before seeing this (key part of our happy marriage). My co-workers are lucky enough to see me after my second cup...hell, they're lucky to even see me at this point (side note for later).

The funny thing is I drink coffee to jump start my day, but I can also drink a cup at night and sweet dreams are soon to follow. My body tolerates caffeine better than most. I can also take a Tylenol PM and sit starring at the ceiling for five hours. Ambien...PFFFLT. Basket case of sleep walking while I'm awake; and yes, that is possible. It's called the zombie effect. Never, nada, nope, not gonna take that crap again.

Coffee is my morning mojo and a nice night cap. Here's some interesting coffee facts to ponder:
  • The Coffea plant is native to subtropical Africa and southern Asia

  • Brazil remains the largest coffee exporting nation, but in recent years, Vietnam has become a major producer of robusta beans

  • Coffee ingestion on average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe.

  • Coffee was initially used for spiritual reasons.

  • Studies have shown apparent reductions in the risks of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout.

The amount of bad vs. good effects of coffee is not enough to sway me from drinking it every morning. Hey, at least I don't smoke with my coffee...I save that for the afternoons when work has thoroughly run through my supply of patience ;-)

How do you get your mornings started?



Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Friend Post

There's a new addition to my weekly posts! Each week (Fridays) I will be hosting a Q & A session with on of my dear friends. I have been blessed with an abundant supply of wonderful people to ask questions, not to mention the answers are...well, let's just say that some may need censoring!

For the virgin post I'd like to introduce one of my girlfriends, Ginger. She and I met roughly three and a half years ago at a friend's party. If you've read previous posts then you are familiar with some of the chaos we cause in order to have a great and memorable time. Ginger will tell a bit about herself, but you will see my response to her reply in stiletto red *evil laugh*. Let the fun begin!

Q: What is your full name, and who were you named after (if anyone)?

A: My full name is Ginger Jeanette Burroughs...well...OBVIOUSLY, my parents were fans of Gilligan's Island!!!!! LOL...Kidding! My middle name was given to me after my Grandma Jean, other than that...my dad just loved the name Ginger.
SAI: Our nickname(s) for her are Ging, Ginger Spice.

Q: Describe your physical self:

A: Geez Sis...really? My physical self, blond-ish red-ish hair...this month anyways, hazel eyes, freckles, and a ghetto bootaaaay...lol

SAI: Yeah, no. She’s a petite lil’ thing with a J-Lo butt. When you hear the song “I like big butts and I cannot lie…itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face…” That’s Ging. She has a fabulous haircut that always looks fresh, a pixie shaped face with a wicked smile. I say wicked because she has subtle vampire fangs that Twilight fans would kill for. Here’s a recent pick of our spicy Ginger and hubby:


Q: What is your profession and do you like your job?

A: I am a Massage Therapist at Transformations Salon and Day Spa. I do love my job....I waited 15 years to do it.

SAI: For those of you familiar with massages, triple the relaxation and serenity with Ging. She’s made the 15 year wait well worth it!

Q: Are you married? If yes, elaborate.

A: Joe and I have been married for 9 years, together for 16 yrs. We were high school sweethearts. We met at a favorite hangout called Garibaldi's. A popular Italian food hand out. We had a mutual friend (Bob) who introduced us. We hit it off and have been together ever since. WE have defiantly been on a roller coaster ride for 16 yrs...I LOVE roller coasters!

SAI: Awe! Roller Coaster of love!

Q: What is your home life like?

A: Our home life is hectic...in a house that is to small for us...but less to clean right???? NOT! We live the typical family life...work, school, meals, chores, homework, practices, more chores for mom, bath times, bed times, puking in the middle of the night, bad dreams, loose teeth falling out, kids crawling in our bed, head lice, more chores for mom, hurt feelings, apologies, kids who think they know more than you, kids who realize they DON'T know more than you, quiet moments(almost never but once in a GREAT while) hugs, kisses, compliments, jokes, and Happiness! Wow...and that's just this week so far!!! We love to be at home...hang out with the kids. There's a lot of laughter, a lot of drama...(4 kids and all), but it's filled with Love!

SAI: All too familiar! Granted I am blessed with only two kids and that does me in. Whew! I’m worn out just reading this answer!

Q: Kids? (Nicknames only)

A: Brand, BobBob, B: He has a very kind and soft heart and is sensitive...he definitely takes after me.

Jake, Akey, J: He is our comedian/witty...he is a funny FUNNY kid..he can cheer me up on my worst day. He gets that from Joe.

Vana, Sovina, Savey, SunShine, VanaGirl: She is our entertainer/out~going. If she could sing in her sleep, she would...actually I think she has before :) I was a singer growing up, but she gets the out going part from her daddy!!!

Jos, Josy, Love Bug, Lovie: She is the lover. She is always asking for hugs and kisses, telling us she loves, telling me how pretty she thinks I am. She is full of compliments for everyone! I think she gets that from...ME! Although Joe always compliments me too.

SAI: Not to mention how gorgeous all four of them are: Blond-haired, blue-eyed, and can charm you with a smile!

Q: Where are you from originally and how did you end up here?

A: I am originally from Elgin IL. I lived there for the first 27 years of my life. We decided to make the move to Florida to "start over". It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my whole life, but one of the best decisions Joe and I have ever made.

SAI: I agree 100%. After all, how else would we have met?

Q: What is one of your favorite hobbies?

A: Finally an easy one. Photography!!! It is my favorite thing to do in the world. Why do I not do this as my career? I did that back in Chicago, and it became a job...I love it to much for that to happen!

SAI: As a personal reference, her pictures are amazing! She has an “eye” that puts the phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ into perspective.

Q: Have you ever been arrested? If so what for? If not, why not?

A: LOL...nope I've never been arrested...and only because they never caught me!

SAI: Um, I recall driving without lights at night, lost in your boss’ neighborhood for your company’s first Christmas party. The same company you had only been employed at for what, two days? Yeah, formal was literal, not jeans and a scarf. LOL! Not to mention the sheriff’s car that was following us and the alcohol we had stuffed in our purses. Ok, I won’t mention any more than that…

Q: Is there anything you regret?

A: I have a TON of regrets. They sneak up on me sometimes...but they were lessons in my life that I have learned from. They are the past. I spent a lot of years tormenting myself, but I had to let go of the guilt. Like I said, they sneak up occasionally, but you have to move on or be stuck. I don't want to be stuck! I have been forgiven by HIM so in HIS eyes I am free from those mistakes/regrets. Now it's about forgiving myself. It's a struggle everyday, but I'm working on it!

SAI: Something the majority of us can relate to.

Q: If you had a bucket list name the top 5 things on it that you'd want to do before you die.

A: 1. Marry Joe AGAIN, 2. Travel with Joe and the Kids (Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Spain, Bahamas(cruise), 3. Go BACK to Hawaii ALONE with Joe for the honeymoon we never had! 4. learn to ballroom~Latin dance...and be really good at it! 5. Be Miss Fitness 2010...never...lol...kidding! Ok..really #5 would be to go on a Generations trip; Me, My Mama, and My Girls!

Q: What is the one thing you'd like people to remember you for?

A: I would hope when people remember me...they would laugh, cry, and be happy happy! I would like them to remember how much I love my family. My sensitive heart..maybe giggle remembering how I cry about EVERYTHING! Remember how my quiet demeanor never meant I didn't have a voice..I just was not as loud as everyone else was. How much I cared about my friends. I loved helping people feel better(massage therapy). How great of a photographer I am :) I guess, that I was a good person.....a big pile of mushy, sensitive, creative, loving loveliness!

SAI: *sniffles*

Q: What is one of the craziest things you've ever done?

A: Well, I would have to say back in the day getting into a fight with a chick twice my size in a bar parking lot and throwing her on top of a moving car, continuing to beat her up until my husband ripped us apart and my BF stepped in! We really were not that type of girls, but this chick was ridiculous and SHE STARTED IT!

SAI: Seriously, to know Ging, she is the quietest and shiest of my friends. Ah, it IS the quiet ones you have to watch!

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: My biggest pet peeve is farting and liars!!!! LOL!

SAI: Yeah, these two are on my pet peeve list too.

Q: What do you think your weakness/strengths are?

A: I think my strength is my sensitive heart...I think my weakness is...my sensitive heart!

SAI: So very true.

Favorites:

  • Food- french fries

  • Beverage- ice water w/lemon or wine...it's a toss up!

  • Color- pink and turquoise

  • Smell- Lily of the Valley (flower)

  • Sound- the ocean or thunderstorms/rain

  • Actor- Ryan Gosling

  • Actress- Angelina Jolie

  • Book- The Bible and Captivating

  • Movie- I have too many favorite movies! Passion Of The Christ, Remember The Titans, All Rocky movies, Rudy, Titanic, The Colour Purple, Gia...ok the list goes on and on, LOL!

  • TV show- depending on the season, American Idol, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, oh this list is even longer than the movie one..haha!

  • Place to shop- Ross or TJ Maxx or Marshals

  • Website- FaceBook of course.

There she is ladies and gents! My Friday Friend, Ginger!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No More Gloating...

Remember a few posts ago when I was gloating about the perfect weather here in Sunny Florida? Well, kick me. I am sitting here sneezing my head off from the pollen/ragweed that is floating amok in the air. I never had issues with my allergies until I had kids. I blame them. I also blame this perfect bloom-all-year-long weather we have.

Claritin D is my friend. I have a very important meeting this week that I cannot go to sniffling and sneezing every time I try to answer a question. That makes for a bad first impression, no?
After my sneezing rant I did a little research:

Tomorrow for Elm/Ragweed/Grass the count will be 9.4 which on a scale of 1-10 is a tornado followed by a four day hurricane! PFFFLT!

Thursday for Elm/Ragweed/Grass the count will be...get this, 5.0! If only I could switch the meeting date.

Now where is my allergy spray when I need it? While my northern friends complain of cold and rain with some snow already, I am here to tell you it's not always sunny in the Sunshine state; but for the majority that it is there are pollens lurking...waiting to attack your sensitive sinuses at the most inconvenient time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Did I say that out loud?

Ever have one of those moments where your mouth speaks before your brain has a chance to process and censor? or you hit send instead of delete?

I call it PTS, Periodic Turrets Syndrome, because periodically I have outbursts that I could have controlled, but chose to ignore. My angel on one shoulder devil on the other spontaneously combusted after I had kids and left the discipline of the Corps, so now I have a little halo clad imp with protruding devil horns.

I find myself covering my mouth after saying something in reply to friends and family, questioning whether I really said what I was thinking or just thinking I said what I was thinking. Only after I see their reaction or hear their reply do I realize my dark side has found an escape hatch.

Do you have PTS?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween's not over yet?

Every year we attend a friend's birthday bash that is aptly titled 'Texas Hold'em Massacre'. We play cards, drink and eat great food, enjoy the company of great friends, and best of all we dress up. It always falls the weekend before Halloween so after the preparation and anxiously waiting for the party we tend to forget that Halloween is still a week away!

A great Saturday of writing with my STARs at our annual retreat, the birthday bash that night, and day of recovery on Sunday, I realized today that I have yet to buy candy/goodies for this coming Saturday! *sigh* Are you sure Halloween's not over yet? I mean, there's Christmas decorations up already.

Today I got a little frustrated trudging to the store to buy candy. The small bags of the good stuff (M&Ms, Snickers, Reese's, etc.) were $2.50...SMALL is an understatement! The large bags were nearly $10 for roughly 40 pieces! Come on! Kids grab HANDFULS of candy, not one or two!

I was tempted to try the Dollar Tree to see if they might have the chintzy toys to add to the bowl. Instead I came home and got on here to rant. The price of holidays are too high. Everyday living has gotten too expensive. To add extra costs to our already tight budget for candy and toys that will end up getting thrown away in a few weeks is making me pull my hair out from the huge wast of time and money. I use to enjoy holidays, but I'm really becoming a Humbug.

Any ideas on inexpensive yet worthwhile Halloween treats is greatly appreciated! Mind you I work full-time, school for me and my boys, and have roughly 5 days. Any ideas???
Oh, and because I promised, here's a couple of pictures from the party:











And yes, my gay biker husband, a.k.a Sweet Cheeks, won the costume contest as well as the poker tourney ;-) How we're going to top this next year I have not idea.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Old Wives Tales

In modern society we may take for granted the old wives tales we hear. They are just sayings, right?

I have to admit, I'm a bit superstitious when it comes to some of them. For example, yesterday my right hand was itching. I told hubs and like a true man he replied, "Then scratch it." He gave me the 'you silly hick' look when I told him I couldn't. He knew what was coming; another southern saying that only us folks from the deep south understand.

The old wives tale about your hands itching goes something like this:

If the palm of your right hand is itchy, money will be coming your way. But, if you scratch the right hand while it is itchy, it’ll keep the money from coming.

If the left hand is itchy, you will be paying money to someone, and you should scratch away to do away with the payments.
Well, not to gloat (I'm gloating, gloating, gloating), but my right palm was itching last night. I explained the 'silly superstition' to hubs; endured his guffaws and disbelief. Not twenty minutes later, as I ran to the store to pick up a few things I also brought in our lotto tickets from the weekend before. Yep, I won $24.50! Not exactly the jackpot, but significant enough to prove my 'silly hick' point.

This sparked my curiosity at other old wives tales. There are quite a few that I've heard growing up. There are even more that I've never heard of until surfing the web last night. Here are some I found interesting and links following to take to you the longest flippin web domain I've ever seen! Check it out:

SNEEZING:

If you do not wish your soul to escape while sneezing you should place your hand over your mouth.

Be sure that someone says “God Bless you” when you sneeze to drive the devil away or he may enter your body.

Here are the old wives tales for every day of the week and the meaning of your sneeze:

  • Monday means danger.
  • Tuesday means you will kiss a stranger
  • Wednesday means you will receive a letter
  • Thursday means something better is coming
  • Friday means sorrow.
  • Saturday means you will see your love tomorrow.
  • Sunday means that the devil will be in control over you all week long.

Even how many times you sneeze in a row has meaning:

  • Sneeze once for sorrow.
  • Sneeze twice for joy.
  • Sneeze three times for a letter.
  • Sneeze four times for a boy.
  • Sneeze five times for silver.
  • Sneeze six times for gold.
  • Sneeze seven times for a secret that will never be told.

TATTOOS:
The old wives tale says that you should not tattoo the name of your lover on your skin, or the relationship is destined to fail.

DROPPING SILVERWARE: If you drop a spoon, a baby is coming/someone in your family is going to have a baby.

If you drop a fork, a woman is coming. When you drop a fork that means that a woman is coming to your door. It could be a friend, a family member, or even just a delivery person.

If you drop a knife, a man is coming. This is the same as for dropping a fork only it will be a man.

MONEY: If you always pick up burnt matches instead of leaving them laying you will find money.
When you peel onions, burn them and you will never by empty handed.

At the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, while holding money in one hand, kneel and pray and you will have money the remaining of the year.

If you see a shooting star, say money, money, money and you will soon receive money.

If you see bubbles in the rain, you will receive a lot of money.

Wrap a penny in paper and carry it with you this will make sure you never go broke.

If you make money on Monday, keep it and the amount will increase during the remainder of the week.

Here's a couple of websites that have many more:

Old Wives Tales site 1

Old Wives Tales site 2

Old Wives Tales site 3

What are some old wives tales you've heard and/or believe?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Meaning

There are a lot of sayings that have pretty universal meanings, such as "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water" or "Don't count your chickens before the eggs hatch". We know that these mean "Don't jump the gun"...er, I mean don't get ahead of yourself.
One such saying has taken on a literal meaning in my life. "Tan your hide", normally meaning a good butt whipping, now means Tanning Your Hide. Well, not YOUR hide, but my hubs' hide. Yes, you read that right, I have to tan my hubs bum/buttocks/rear end/derriere/etc. Let's just say his Halloween costume requires direct attention to his very white rear end.

The conversation we had while running errands earlier started with, "Maybe I should have you spray tan my ass," with a few bad puns thrown in, and a knowing that he will either have to sit the entire party or suffer the undoubtedly numerous gropings from our friends. The conversation ended with him saying, "Wow, I really have to take care of my ass this week." *roll eyes and groan here*

I had the butt whippings as a child, and figured someday my kids would drive me to "tanning their hides" (none so far), but I never thought I would literally be tanning my husband's hide.

What (if any) sayings have another meaning in your life?

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Loving Gift..and Bleeding Ears

I love the Santa Shop they have at school. My oldest gets some money every year to buy a little something for whomever he wants and every year he always buys me some form of jewelry.

My absolute favorite is the rhinestone tennis bracelet that he bought me in first grade. Second grade was a fabulous replica of the first rhinestone bracelet that met it's untimely demise when it fell apart and slipped off of my green wrist down the kitchen drain. Third grade was a different bracelet of linked silver stones with sweet words etched on them (i.e. believe, love, live, laugh, hope, etc.). Fourth grade (last year) he bought me yet another bracelet with a charm that says '#1 Mom' and a beautiful pair of difakeamond stud earrings.

Well, today I f0und I am a bit more sensitive to fake jewelry than I realized. It started this morning when I couldn't find one of my real gold studs, so I just grabbed the difakeamonds and put them in as I headed out to run errands. About a half hour later my ear started itching. I twisted the post and squeezed the back a little to loosen it away from my ear lobe. Another hour or so goes by and I start to feel it throbbing. Huh. So I take it out, rub my ear a little then put it back in. Shortly after this my other ear lobe starts itching. I go through basically the same scenario.

After wearing the difakeamonds for a day I had to take them out. No, I don't mean just take them out of my ears; I mean take them out ninja style with a one-two chop, quick twist to get them out of my ears. It was like pulling a bandaid off a hairy leg kind pain! At some point during the day the back of the earrings fused itself to my ear lobe. OUCH!

When the sting wore off I peeked at the damage and saw my tender little ear was bleeding. These too met thier untimely demise...this time the dog ate them. Don't hate! I really have them hidden away in my jewelry box! I love my son, and love the gifts he surprises me with every year, but if he gets me another pair of Chinese torture devices disguised as earrings I will just have to be sure hubs buys me a real pair that looks just like them. Yeah, that works for me!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiders, Poo, and Dead Squirrels, OH MY!

Sometimes I wonder how I ended up with a house full of men who: are scared of spiders, can't clean up dog puke/poop, and feels sorry for the steak they are about to consume.

This is the story of my life. A Daddy Longlegs (mouths are too small to bite humans) crawls out of the shower drain and my 11 year old tough guy runs screaming, "MOM!"

Our dogs gag on a frog/lizard/some other bug they ate, and pukes on the tile. My hubs runs screaming, "HON!"

This evening our dog, Nixon (Golden Retriever), finally catches the squirrel that often torments him from the pool screen. Hubs couldn't even walk over to check on the poor thing, let alone get Nixon away from him as he chomps on his little squirrel leg. He grabs Bam (our toddler) and comes in shaking his head saying, "Hon, I can't go over there." A look of worry and disgust on his face as I call 'the boys' inside.

Ugh *sigh*. I grab the dust pan and hand broom; trudge outside to the tree where the little guy was left to die. It's never a dull moment...he was gone. The little squirrel had played dead to get the dogs away. I waited a bit just to be sure he hadn't pulled himself under a bush in the yard, then let the dogs loose again. They searched high and low trying to find him, but the trail kept leading up the same tree he had missed earlier. Good for him!

So until the next spider, dog poop/puke, or caught squirrel, I'm off to relax with my Diet Dr. Pepper and Oreos.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Costume Ideas

The more I ponder a costume the more I come up with to choose from! Here are a few more ideas that can be added to the list:
  1. Fat B***ard and Skinny B**ch (couples): either the guy or girl wears the blow up suit (like the sumo wrestler costume) with a kilt--this costume is available online and hilarious--and the other wears a tighter version of a kilt and Scottish accessories.
  2. Bed of Roses: attach fake roses all over a bed sheet, drape it around you like a toga, carry or attach a small pillow to the costume.
  3. Goldie Locks: wear all black, get the little gold locks and hang all over the outfit; a blond wig may help with hinting at what you are dressed as.
  4. Book Worm: use two or three sheets of poster board to fold in half (like a book--be really creative and write on it or paste magazine pages), wear a solid color as to not distract from the 'book', wear big fake reading glasses.
  5. Invisible Woman: (very easy) buy a sheet of cammie netting; when people ask what you are dressed as, wrap it around you so they can't see you.

Still waiting on suggestions! Happy Halloween Costume Hunting!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sissi's Costume Ideas: first 20

As promised, here is a list of twenty costume ideas I have yet to find on any costume site. I have three or four faves that I need to choose from for the Texas Hold'em Massacre. Take a gander at them and vote on what you like:
  1. Roasted Marshmallow: Big white t-shirt, stuff it with pillows or foam fabric, spray paint brown/black flame marks on it, wear brown tights; you can also use a wooden dowel or real stick to put in the back.
  2. Jail Bait: jail house stripes (dress/shirt & pants) and fish hooks/etc. on a fishing hat.
  3. Calendar Girl: Get a calendar and pin the different months all over a shirt and pants.
  4. English muffin: Wear a size too small jeans so you have a muffin top, get a plain t-shirt and use a paint pen to color a British flag on it, and talk with a British accent. :-)
  5. Party Animal: any dog/cat/bear/etc. mask, a toga, a beer mug.
  6. Hula Chic: wear a grass skirt and lei with a hula hoop around you
  7. Beewitched: (duh) bee costume with a witch hat.
  8. Physical: (ode to Olivia Newton John) leotard with leg warmers, belted waist, and 80’s hair with head band.
  9. Diet Dr. Pepper: scrubs, face mask, slim fast (any diet bar) pinned to scrubs, chili peppers (necklace/or pinned to scrubs), optional stethoscope (did this one in 2006)
  10. Afro-American: Afro wig with Indian costume (did this one in 2008)
  11. Archangel: angel costume with golden arches (McDonald’s anything)
  12. Fallen/Broken Angel: angel wings, bandages/crutches/brace/etc.
  13. Blackberry: wear all black, use any type of plastic berries (paint them black) and hang on costume or as necklace, use pipe cleaners to make antenna for head.
  14. Redheaded Step-child: (for Rayna) red wig, plastic step stool to carry/hang, and a pacifier.
  15. Ying Yang (couples idea): one wears black sheet with white dot painted on it, the other a white sheet with a black dot. (Did this for Bobbie and Erin one year!)
  16. Faux Pas: Any sweatshirt/t-shirt will do, just add fake fur in the shape of a paw (get it, paw/pas…)
  17. Teepee’d: Wrap yourself in toilet paper, add face paint like a Native American and a feather headband for comical accessories.
  18. “Yoga”: dress in yoga gear with a Yoda mask (this was funnier when I first thought of it).
  19. Voodoo Doll: wrap up in a sheet/toilet paper/ace bandages, and then stick Styrofoam balls with pipe cleaners to look like large pins; Use face paint for effect. You can draw a heart on the chest and label other body parts to stick.
  20. Fat Tuesday: Instead of Wednesday Adams…wear a Goth outfit with the dark makeup, a black Mardi Gras mask, and stuff it for padding unless your like me and can pull it off as pleasantly plump :-)

Last year's winner was the hostess with an awesome Smurfette costume (blue from head to toe!), and in 2007 I was conveniently eight months pregnant, taking the title for a last chance to pull this costume off: Magic 8 Ball


Top hat and accessories $7, Paint for belly, $2, eight months pregnant to pull it off...lifetime of trying to out do this blasted costume!


Being Neglectful

I've been neglectful. My blog has been dormant this week. I'm working on a post for costume ideas as a friend's annual Texas Hold'em Massacre party is right around the corner. In order to play I must be wearing a costume; not to mention there is a prize for best costume at the end of the night. So stay tuned....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Strike Three

Here's the last post in the three part blog from today...and it's not even 5:00!

Driving to the store hubs and I were discussing Halloween costume ideas. Every year a friend of ours has a birthday/poker/costume party as it falls right before Halloween. We all look forward to finding the most original costume for the contest as part of the buy in to play cards goes to the best costume. Not to mention the rules, in order to play cards you have to be wearing a costume.

I asked him, "What costume would you pick for me?"

He thinks for a minute then answers, "Frankenstein."

He could have said an angel or Greek goddess...

Strike Three.

Strike Two

Sitting at the table looking through the ads in the Sunday paper, I cam across one for Nutri System. Mind you I am now and will likely always be a big girl (I'm not talking fat, I'm talking Amazon-ish). I go through phases of gaining or losing 15 pounds, but the past year has been hard after having my little guy and trying to get back into a routine. He's 21 months and I gave myself to the 2 year mark to be back in my size 8's. I'm still a 12.

Hubs and I talked about going on this program before when we were both a bit larger, and we decided not to bother because of the cost and partially because in the back of our minds we knew what it took for us to drop the weight. I showed it to him and again he says, "I was thinking about doing that."

I replied, "It's as much to do this diet as it is our regular food bill. If anything it would be cheaper to buy groceries for the boys and the diet for us."

He says, "Oh, I wouldn't do it. I was talking about getting it for you."

Strike Two.

Strike One

This is a three part post today as hubs is on a roll. He is famous for sticking his foot in his mouth though his intentions are sincere.
He fell off the ladder last night in the garage trying to fix the overhead light. He bruised his toes pretty badly as he was wearing flip-flops. He was on the phone with his cousin, who is a Master Electrician, and wasn't much help when he fell as he was laughing too hard. Hubs yelled for me, but I was in the back of the house with our youngest giving him his bath. Woman's intuition, I knew he would get hurt doing that because he is (1) afraid of heights, and (2) NOT and electrician. Falling or electrocution was bound to happen.

This morning he is playing the sympathy card saying his foot hurts and can't do this or can't do that. Something that was closer for him to do than to call me from the other room kind of sympathy. Yeah. So when I give him 'the look' he says, and I quote: "What!? My foot hurts. I was trying to fix the light out there for you so you could do laundry".

Strike One.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Mom Finger

It's been a long time since I literally laughed so hard that my drink squirted out of my nose. Last night at supper was one of those times. Just for a back story: I'm a mom to two boys (11 and 21 months); hubs and I met in the Marine Corps over 12 years ago and humorously find a new reason every day to appreciate our chaos; and I have two dogs, both males. I'm outnumbered! Also the disciplinarian--by nature, I was raised in a predominantly female home by a single mother--so my reputation with the family is not just Mom, but Yes Ma'am.

Last night was a prime example of my MOM rep. We were sitting at the table for supper, trying to enjoy a conversation with our 11 year old, when Bam (our 21 month old, appropriately named) kept throwing his food to the dogs...across the baby gate into the next room! We kept sitting him back in his chair, and he kept pitching his food and giving us the stink face. Finally I had enough, gave him a stare, snapped my finger and pointed at him to sit. He immediately put his head down and whimpered as if I had spanked him. My oldest across the table said, "Ohhhh, he knows the Mom Finger!"

Oh my God, he has a name for it! I was laughing so hard at his comment that I couldn't choke down my Diet Dr. Pepper in time before it shot back up my throat into my nose! My husband nearly fell out of his chair. It was funny. Perhaps a 'you had to be there moment' unless you are a mom and know exactly what I am talking about. And I know you do ;-)

Aptly named, The Mom Finger, I have decided to coin this phrase in honor of my preteen son who never ceases to make us smile/scratch our heads/understand why other species eat their young/and mostly love the moments like these.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some People

Avoiding the issue only gives it time to fester, so I am attacking it head on...like popping a zit. The issue is some people...as in people who have no clue, or DO and just doesn't care, what they look like going out in public. I'm not talking about no makeup, ponytail, flip flops and dark sunglasses kind of look. No. The look I am referring to can be found at http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/; yes, it is an actual site.
My DH hits upon some pretty outlandish sites, but this one takes the cake in my book. It's not too racy (though parental guidance is advised when viewing in the company of children), but it does contain some pretty disturbing photos of what you may run in to (if you haven't already) at your local Wally World.

I recently viewed this site at a friends house the other night. We all sat around with our beer and wine laughing our butts off at the photos and declared a peopleofwalmart war. Basically whomever can get the best photo of the most outlandish Walmart dweller. In this day and age of technology it is fairly easy to do so with discretion. No need to go 'mission impossible' about this, although sneaking through the aisles as we stalk the latest fashion victim humming the tune to...oh God, now the tune is stuck in my head: dun nuh nuh, dun nuh nuh, dun na...nah nah nahhhhh nah nah nahhhhh na na. And now it's stuck in yours.

Sadly, I now check this site regularly to make sure I or someone I know is not on it! I declare this war, that has already begun, to run through to Halloween when the really good pictures are sure to pop up! Happy Hunting!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cereal Killers

Oh the horror!!! I started my 'diet' this past Friday as experts say it is the best day to start a new eating program; something about making it through the first weekend is the hardest, blah, blah, blah. Mind you, I love my chocolate, so ANY diet I pursue must/will have chocolate included in my daily intake. I am good about small portions and drinking water (though alternate with Diet Dr. Pepper when my caffeine levels drop).

I don't live off of bread, or other easy carbs, but if I have them I keep it simple and try to eat more of my chicken/steak (insert meaty animal here). I love fish, but rarely enjoy it due to non-fish eaters in my house.

Breakfast is usually a quick-fix of coffee and whatever cereal I have handy, or I swing by my local Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and bagel. Well this morning threw me for a loop when I actually took the time to look at the side of the box on the cereals in my cupboard. The four choices were Raisin Nut Bran (RNB), Cookie Crisp, Special K w/berries, and Marshmallow Mateys (like Lucky Charms). I'm thinking the obvious choice would be Special K or RNB...obviously not.

To my surprise, and horror that I had been depriving myself of cookie or marshmallow flavored cereal every morning, the two "healthy" cereals weren't the lowest in calories or carbs. Here's how they compare:

Raisin Nut Bran - 220 calories w/skim milk, 4g protein, 38g carbs, 5g fiber

Cookie Crisp - 140 calories w/skim milk, 1g protein, 22g carbs, 1g fiber

Special K w/berries - 160 calories w/skim milk, 3g protein, 26g carbs, 1g fiber

Marshmallow Matey - 160 calories w/skim milk, 2g protein, 25g carbs, 1g fiber


The rest of the diet world may do this differently, but I count calories before anything else and so far the Cookie Crisp is winning me over. Then I look at the amount of protein and think, ‘hey, maybe the RNB isn’t so bad’ until I look back at the calories. Then the carbs…well that puts the RNB out; and the fiber is somewhat important although I don’t have a problem with irregularity. I was disappointed. Trying to eat right and what do the sneaky food companies do? Disguise the good stuff as kids’ cereal and give adults the bran crap that you have to eat with watered down milk and STILL isn’t as healthy as Cookie Crisp!

As you can see from the picture I opted for coffee and a bagel. If I’m going to be consuming 220 calories or more then it better be worth it!


Friday, September 11, 2009

I Remember

Normally I post on Thursdays as that is my work week Friday. I decided to wait until today to post in order to honor the fallen heroes from 9/11/01 who gave their lives to save others. To honor the men, women, and children who died that day as they went about their business in the towers, and waiting to return home or to their destinations on the planes that crashed. To honor the men and women who served, serve today, and will serve in the future to protect and defend America. God bless all of you.

In the recent months of our current administration there has been a great divide among parties, friends, co-workers, etc. on numerous issues. Previous administrations have endured similar scrutiny.

Regardless of party affiliation and personal beliefs, today is a day that needs to be remembered for the atrocities brought against our nation. The likes of which sit in history with the Oklahoma City bombings, the attack on the USS Cole, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This is not our first rodeo, and will likely not be our last. The men and women serving our country face these horrors on a daily basis, most without the comfort of family and familiarity near by.

Looking back eight years ago I am thankful being here today with my boys. After the attacks numerous recently discharged soldiers were called back to active duty to fight in the war on terror. Finding words to explain to their children that they had to go away again, telling new jobs and new friends they had to leave, it was heart wrenching as much as it was an adrenaline rush to be able to do what you were trained to do. Some shipped overseas, others were sent to fill support positions of those that shipped overseas. All of them spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with strangers that soon became part of their military family, a bond that lasts a lifetime.

I’ve seen the camaraderie of our troops first hand and know the pride in protecting my country, my family, and my beliefs. I ask out of respect for those who serve overseas and here on the front lines that you take a moment to remember. Take a moment today to thank a veteran, a soldier, a policeman, a fireman, and God (insert you own belief) for being able to live in a free country. I thank God for the opportunities he has given me, for the family and friends that love a support me, and for all the things I have the freedom to complain about.

I’ll never forget.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Word(s) Count

In my journey to write a best seller, or even just a seller, I have found that it's as much about the number of words you can type as it is the quality of the words. My latest manuscript has relateable characters, a good confrontation, a plot "to die for", very good pacing (I've worked hard to get this), and it's loooooong. Seriously, I am just past the halfway point and already have 75k+ words. I figure my new goal (old one was 95k-ish) is 120k+. It's certainly doable.

The big issue for me is editing the current chapters in order to keep my momentum. I have easy conversations, sexy scenes, and need to find synonyms for some of the more...er, crass words. It's important to keep the voice of the writing but quiet some of the tone; that makes sense in my head so just go with it.

Need is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes; however, in this instance words are the mother of a great book. Words count. They count in the use and format, and they count in the amount. I have to go make them count now as I have two contests to enter by week's end!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and Happy Writing!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hit 'Submit'

Today is my "submit" day. I have a completed manuscript, two contest entries, and a synopsis from hell entry. It's a good day to finish things up. Tomorrow/Saturday are the last chances to mail out your entries for Launching A Star.

If you have the first 25 pages of a great romance--single title/series contemporary/ fantasy/futuristic/young adult/novella/paranormal/inspirational/suspense that you would like to get feedback on, then you've got to enter LAS. It's a wonderful opportunity to be seen and 'heard'. Just click any of the links posted in this blog and you'll get all the details. Come on...you know you're dying to see if you have what it takes to compete with moi!

Launching A Star

Friday, August 28, 2009

Off kilter, and sideways

Ever have one of those days? What about one of those weeks? Yeah, well it's been a month of "those" for me. Besides the recession kicking our rear, we've had one sick child after another only to be followed by a sick hubs. My writing group--the one day of sanity I get a month--met on the weekend that hubs ended up having to work the launch...that still hasn't launched after nine days. Not to mention I have been a single mom for those days as he is working 12's and sleeping 5's, if that, only to turn around and head back to work.

My classes started which gives me homework--no, I am not smarter than a 5th grader--which takes up my writing time (both are becoming a labor of love). Hubs wrecked the truck which ate a hole in our funds with the deductible in order to get it fixed. Work took a left turn on Stupid Street and is now heading south on Huh Drive.

My youngest son was up most of the night running a fever--here we go with the sickness again. To top it all off, my oldest son is turning 11 this weekend which means not only are we dealing with raging hormones and girls, but we are also getting old! I have three other obligations to complete by the 31st (today is the 28th).

So much more is going on, but believe it or not I do keep a great deal private. In the midst of all of our chaos and off kilter days, I am very thankful. I have a wonderful family, home, friends (that I wish lived closer!), and opportunities that so many others don't. Instead of getting knocked down when we take a step forward, we are now getting knocked sideways, which I suppose is better.

My ultimate goal, besides winning the lottery and chasing down my sanity, is to remember my purpose, my priorities, and why I am so darn blessed. Don't forget to be thankful and humble for what you do have, and stop whining for what you don't...instead get off your butt and go get it ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brouhaha

I read the news every morning online or turn on the TV if it's an off day to see what the world has to offer. Today I read through a few different news sites (conservative, liberal, and fence) and in all three of them I saw the word "brouhaha" mentioned. This made me laugh as the last time I heard this word was at a Halloween party when someone was making Brew...ha ha. It was one of those 'had to be there' moments.

In light of my daily news intake I am making my word for the day to be BROUHAHA.

Definition:
brou⋅ha⋅ha 
–noun
1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall.

2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes.
Origin: 1885–90; < F, orig. brou, ha, ha! exclamation used by characters repr. the devil in the 16th-cent. drama; perh. < Heb, distortion of the recited phrase bārūkh habbā (beshēm ădhōnai) “blessed is he who comes (in the name of the Lord)” (Ps. 118:26)

How would you use the word?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Blast from the Writing Past

WOW! I'm cleaning out my computer files to separate my newer writings from some that have been on the back burner for quite some time. This is an excerpt from one of my first attempts at historical romance...it's pretty self explanatory why I now write chick lit and paranormal!

This one was called Provocation:

The castle doors swung open as if the mighty hand of God had done so himself. The sheer force of the battering ram easily toppled the five clergy men that held fast against it with their shoulders.

“Run, Lady Malina,” she hears Father Markus yell as the doors give way, knocking them to the floor. His voice wrought with pain, Malina knows she can’t leave him and his brethren. A dusty steed stormed past the battering crew, past the trodden priests and into the grand foyer just below the stairs. Malina was almost to the top of the stairwell when she heard the beast nay, whirled around with fiercely clenched fists and nearly fainted at what—or who—she saw.

Sitting atop the brown warrior horse was the most gorgeous male being she had ever laid eyes upon. His slick black hair hung loosely at the broad ridge of his shoulders; chiseled features encircled the fiercest black eyes the devil himself could claim; and his bare chest heaved against the taught muscles that seemed to grow with every breath. He eyed her with such intensity that Malina almost fell, weak kneed and blushing.

Oh, no, no, no, what was she thinking?! Run, turn around and run, dammit! Her feet and legs betrayed her. She was frozen in place, but not out of fear; it was much deeper, grappling at her insides.

Yeah...it was 2001 when I wrote this according to the date stamp on the file. Again WOW! Luckily my writing has improved a bit since then. I have one completed manuscript, two partials, and a million ideas for more. My first submission is getting positive feedback and I am waiting for that magic phone call to say 'YES'.

There are some fantastic contests coming up (ahem, Launching a STAR!) that I am getting ready to enter, and hoping to get as much writing time in as possible now that school is back in session and my house is back on a routine!

What was some of your first writings like? or if not a writer, some of your other firsts?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sky Gazer's Treat

The annual Perseid meteor shower is upon us! If you're a sky watcher, as am I, then you will want to enjoy the front row seats to this awesome display of Mother Nature. According to space.com the best time to watch the light show in North America will be between midnight to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. I will likely still be up, but I don't think I'll wake the boys...Momma needs some peace and quiet too.

For more info you can check it out at http://www.space.com/ under "Perseid" or the yahoo link to R.R. Britt's article HERE.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Finding Balance

Life gets away from us sometimes when we pile on work, school, and family obligations. We forget the small things that use to make us happy, and fret about the ones that we have no control over. It's often too late when we realize this leaving an empty feeling or regret.

Vacations become a last priority and you end up missing your kid's game or practice because you had to work overtime so you could bring home extra money. It becomes a routine and we get complacent with not having the happiness, instead we settle for contentment (or a resemblance of just being okay).

We still have our dreams of what we want for our lives, but seem to forget how to make those dreams a reality. My dreams of finding a job where I can use my degree (and make my student loans worth the monthly payment), getting one of my books published, and making sure my kids have every opportunity I had and more are still very much alive in my heart.

What I know now is that it doesn't take one to make the other happen. I don't have to work at a job that consumes me in order to provide a wonderful life for my boys, or have a best seller on the NY Times list (any seller will do!) to prove I am a good writer. Finding balance put my priorities back where they belong. My family may not be sporting the newest gadgets and clothes, or drive the fanciest cars (although my Jeep is pretty damn cool), or have the most interesting jobs...but we have each other.

Friends and family deal with the same issues just in different ways. We are not alone in these hard times anymore than the good times. It just seems that way because we lose our balance. Finding balance can make a world of difference even in the toughest of times.

Have you found yours?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Writing Again

I wrote THE END on one book, and now have to get started on my other WIP that was interrupted by Angel at Dusk. How do I go back to writing the suspense when I just finished with paranormal?

I sat down in my little hole in the back room, lights off, TV muted (for the purpose of ambient light and a distraction for my youngin as he fell asleep), my glass of wine and keg of water, and my mini to type. I read over the first 36 pages I had written to catch up on where I had left off, and started brainstorming on how to move forward.

“Let’s recap what exactly did happen,” she said as she eased up from the couch. She was standing rigid in front of him with fire in her eyes. “I was on my way to walk down the aisle to a man that loved and cherished me. A man who did not second-guess his feelings for me.” She started pacing, “I recall being stopped at the foot of the church steps by you professing your undying love for me after you had all but walked out of my life the year before stating you could not be with someone like me.”

Connor started to fidget at her version of what happened. She continued.
“Then out of nowhere this crazy son of a bitch comes at us with a gun, shoots at you as I’m being tossed into a truck! On my wedding day! Why exactly was I kidnapped? Oh let’s see, someone had the hair brained idea that they could get what they wanted from you by hurting what they thought was important to you. Ha!” She became louder as the story continued. “Little did they know you were a coward who didn’t know what love meant and couldn’t fathom what my soon-to-be husband, who did love me, was going through!”
“Mel,” he tried to interrupt.


“Oh, no,” she snapped as she stopped pacing to face him, “let me finish. I wouldn't want to bury these feelings again.” She continued pacing, “so here I am, trying to keep the horrible visions of my death from clouding my current predicament. The bastards knock me around a few times until I pretend to be unconscious, and as I’m lying there with the heel of a boot on my throat, I hear them discussing the next step in their plot for revenge.” In her ranting she never considered that her son and his friends might hear what was going on. Again Connor tried to interrupt, “Mel, please just…”


“Let me finish,” she said through gritted teeth. “They put me in a wooden box, dropped me into that dam mine and I was left for dead.” She was trembling. “I know why they wanted to come after you. I know whom they were working for. You lied to them to do what you thought was right and I was hurt because of it. I had told you before what was going to happen and you ran from me. All you cared about was your precious story, and you ended up dragging me into it anyway.” “Mel,” he stood up this time and grabbed her to make her stand still. “I’m sorry.”


And that's as far as I got...*sigh*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cow Tipping at Chick-fil-A

Today I treated myself to my FAVORITE fast food joint: Chick-fil-A. I ordered my 'usual' #5 with a Diet Dr. Pepper. Yum. As I passed the drive-thru to get in line to go through the drive-thru (yeah, that many people waiting for the delectable delights) I saw the giant blow up cows by the main road. 'Cool' I thought, wandering what it would take to get one for my front lawn...


Finally driving through to place my order, I glance over to see the cows again and had to take a picture of them. One had been blown over by the wind or perhaps fell off balance from heat stroke. I jokingly told the smiling goober at the window that someone has already gone cow tipping. He didn't get it. I'm still thinking of a way to get one of those cows...