Thursday, November 30, 2006

Who is this lady?

On Thanksgiving, my son Sir Rowland, sat to my right. He was so excited about the Holiday, and the meal, that almost burst into a million pieces. When I sat down the final preparations, we offered a prayer, and then I made everyone sitting at the table give thanks for at least one thing.

Sir Rowland: "My room, and Thomas the Tank"

Pink Ninja: "Beans" (don't ask, we do not serve beans that often to have her be thankful for them)

Pink Ninja: "Daddy? What aw you tankful foe?"

AWTM: (teary) BlinkBlinkBlink

Daddy: "Well I am thankful for Pink Ninja, Sir Rowland, and Mommy"

AWTM: "I am thankful for each of you as well, and I am thankful Daddy is home, and I am thankful that we are all healthy. I a thankful for Daddy's good work at his job, so we have yummy food, and a warm house." "OK, we can eat"

Sir Rowland, puts his arm around me, and tells me "Mommy, this is sure a good Thanksgiving, everything looks yummy, you outdid yourself." (he is rubbing my arm with his little hand...)

(tears in my eyes) Blink Blink Blink...

Today this woman reappeared again.

We all woke to celebrate Pink Ninja turning 3 years old...

I had stayed up last night, and decorated the kitchen with pink balloons, and streamers, I even put a fancy white damask table cloth on the table with peonies. DH and I got all of the presents that we had bought, and relatives and sent, and we put them on the far end. Everything pink, white and soft, and bows....

I put out good dishes, to make her Birthday Breakfast look special...

When she woke this morning, she came out of her bedroom, smiling.

Like every morning. She almost always is full of joy...

We all tell her she is 3 today, and she smiles even bigger, her eyes disappear...

AWTM: (tears) Blink Blink Blink

Her Daddy turns on the kitchen light for her, and she stood and gasped. Seriously gasped like it was Disney World.

Then she spun around and grabbed at my knees, and said "Tank You Momma, I love you."

AWTM: (tears) Blink Blink

The sweetness is making me cry.

When did this happen to me..?

I do not cry.

Crying is not productive, it is a sign of weakness, I do not cry..... (I don't care if anyone else cries, I just do not do it)

I have sent my DH to war without tears. I have buried my Mother, with a few...I do not cry. I have worked hospice and had many close patient pass...With no tears....I have lost so many relatives, that the Eldest member of my tribe is my Father...I have done it with very little in the way of tears...I have seen my Husband reunite with his children and have done it all without a tear...

and now I am a crier...I am crying at reunions on TV, songs, sweetness, commercials, I cry watching other families reunite at the airport, I cry about everything, and anything....

I look in the mirror at this lady and I recognize her, she looks older, and "curvier" ( I will call it curvier) Where did she come from? And what is she going to do, when something happens, that necessitates tears?

She has nervous hospital written all over her...

Cookies and Candies, and bars OH MY!!

*This will stay up at the top!! for a couple of days!! I WANT YOUR RECIPES!!*

Calling all BAKERS, Calling all bakers!!

Tis the Season for baking and making, and shaking.

I am in need of some SOLID people pleasing cookies, candy, or bar recipes!!

So I have an idea. If you are a blogger post it, we want your recipe. If you have a photo, even better.

I will be linking all of your Recipes!! A sort of Christmas Online Cookie Recipe EXHANGE. If you do not have a blog to post your recipe, please put your recipe in my COMMENT section!!

Also, send and e-mail, or use a trackback, or comment, so I KNOW you posted a recipe.

Lets try and get this done this week too. So Friday night I can link these up for the weekend!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Third Birthday Pink Ninja

*The following has been transcribed from my pregnancy journal. DH and I spent the evening perusing through it.*

April 5, 2003

Got 3 preganancy tests at the grocery store. They were all positive!!
I called your Dad and told him over the telephone, I COULD NOT WAIT until he got home. HE WAS THRILLED.

April 20, 3003

I am still SO sleepy, things are starting to "smell", and the aversions are on the way. The grocery store smells. Fruit and cold sandwiches taste best. Unable to cook, the cats food smells terrible, I am dizzy. Your Dad is taking over getting groceries for now.

August 2, 2003

Sir Rowland and I took a 3 hour nap today!! We 3 desrved it, You were a real mover today!

_We have gotten word that your Daddy will be deployed with the 39th Infantry, possibly be gone for the next few months, maybe a year.

I am going to fasten my seatbelt and hang on. We will do what we have to do.

Nov 4, 2003

Drs. appointment. 1cm, and 50% effaced. Getting nervous. Very tired after appointment.

November 29, 2003

I have had contractions all day. I went to grocery store, came home, unloaded groceries. Made a big batch of ham and bean soup. I made Sir Rowland lunch and decided I just did not feel good. I thought I had better change the cat box, call DH's Mom, and ask her to change her flight, called DH (who was pre-mobilizing in Texas).

Contractions through day. Most uncomfortable standng or walking. Called a girlfriend over at 4:00pm. I wanted her to help me time contractions, to see if this was false labor. Contractions never did get regular. She stayed for dinner, we had cornbread and ham and bean soup. She gave Sir Rowland a bath. She left at 10pm. Both of us nurses, and presuming labor was false. I put Sir Rowland to bed at 10:30pm. 11:00pm, I got into the bath, thinking hot water might relieve contractions. The bath did not, I almost couldn't get out of the tub. After climbing out, I was frozen at the end of the bed, crying for about 20 minutes. Some of it pain, some of it fear, not having your Daddy with us.

November 30, 2003

Got to hospital at 12:30am, called Doula. Contractions 2 minutes apart, showed up at labor and delivery at 9 1/2 cm, fully effaced. I was warned "Do not move, do not push, stay put"...I did as I was told...I was scared.

I did talk to your Daddy about 3 times, I was so calm, and even...He did not realize how far labor was.

By the time I got admitted, and a room and changed, I am unsure of what time it was...

a very easy labor.

3:41am baby girl born.

8lbs 3 oz
20 3/4 inches
skiff of light brown hair
looks like Daddy and Sir Rowland
covered in lunago
excellent latch

She looked sooooo teeny.

And gorgeous!!

So Happy Birthday little one. I am lucky to be part of your day to day , you are one of the brighest lights in this World, and have so much JOY to share...I am lucky and blessed to be your Mom.

Enjoy 3 baby.

I love the smell of fresh teeth in the morning...

It smells like victory....

I feel victorious today, like some warrior sent off to slay enemies or monsters. I was so victorious in fact, that I felt like I needed skulls on a stick when I walked into the house. Victory is mine...

This Dental visit was a success in my book.

The x-rays not obtained at this time, due to Sir Rowlands highly charged gag reflex.

No cavities

The visit took the normal amount of time.


The bright lights seemed to bother him more than anything. Which can be helped if you shut your eyes. However shutting your eyes is hard, especially when the Dentist happens to be showing The Price is Right in the opposite corner of the room.

Sir Rowland was pleasant and his conversations with the staff were entertaining. They told him to hold the little bite wing thing in his mouth like it was a piece of candy. He replied immediately with, "you mean a vegetable? Because candy is not healthy for your body." They also offered him stickers, "stickers" thrill almost every child I know. Pink Ninja got an entire years worth of stickers after her dental visit, and left thrilled. Sir Rowland, hates stickers, he hates wings they give kids at the airport, he hates tattoos (temporary and otherwise), he does not like costumes, or face painting. The hygenist seemed surprised at his refusal of a gift, and then she said. "Sir Rowland, I have just the thing, how about a certificate for a pizza?" He immediately smiled, and said, "I love pizza, especially the FREE kind." His hygenist loved him, and wanted to keep him.

He also got a token to spend in a toy machine. He said to Pink Ninja, "I love you a lot Sissy, what do you want? Take your pick." She picked out a ring, and he gave it to her, the Dentist thought it was such a big boy gesture, he got another coin. He got a small plastic snake to scare his Dad.

When we departed, I felt so puffed up and confident, that I thought "hell, I might as well take these kids in for a haircut."

Mind you one of these "outings" 6 months to 2 years ago, would have been IT for the day. Sir Rowland....he is the one that has made these trips exasperating. Pink Ninja, always fine, even ALMOST shy during these visits. Taking Sir Rowland to these sort of events has been exhausting to me in the past. There is me anticipating a freak out, or dealing with said freak out.

see here...#1 haircut post, another haircut post, another haircut.

In fact the pre-blogging days, the trips to salons were frequent, and rarely good. There is the time DH tookSir Rowland (wondering HOW on Earth a haircut could be so hard for me to deal with) .....and he brought the poor kid in the house with 1/2 a haircut. Yes 1/2 a haircut.

Those days are gone. I can breathe during trips to the Dentist, and Barber...

I can breathe....and both of my children, sat tall in the chair for the entire time.

And I will end with this, a part of me is THRILLED, and the other part of me is crying her eyes out...

We're off to see the Dentist

Sir Rowland has to have his teeth examined.

Pray he does well.

He told me this morning, he hates the bright lights, and the crinkly chair. I told him to close his eyes and think about something nice.

Taking Sir Rowland to the Dentist reminds me of putting an eight legged cat in a bath tub.

I want one, I want one...

Straight White Guy tries his hand at "live-vlogging". So I went over and chatted with him this morning. He didn't brush his teeth, or play the guitar.

He does mention that this would come in handy, if my DH is deployed again. The software is free.

Who knew?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The sun will come out tomorrow

I woke this morning to find all of the sidewalk, leaves, and driveway damp with rain.

I had planned on taking The Collective to the zoo. I am glad I had not told them, because it was a wash. We do not have nearly enough "indoor" exhibits to make it worth our time.

I went to the gym to work out, we mailed Grampanios birthday gift, and then it was back to the house.

Although it was only misting, and not cold I couldn't bring myself to play outside today. I wasn't in the mood for muddy shoes, and wet clothes...not today.

So we played Candyland. I made a big pot of ham and bean soup. I dusted, and arranged some more Christmas decorations. I had intentions of making bread and cinamon rolls, but I never did get around to it.

If the sun comes out, we will get to the zoo in the morning.


*One of the firt photos from my new camera, I am still trying to figure the speed, and color settings out...

Even after almost 6 years in this state, (give or take months at a time) I still cannot believe how beautiful fall is here.

I am unsure of temperature, it was so nice I did not care.

I spent most of the day raking in the front yard. The challenge here is not raking. It is keeping an eye on The collective in an unfenced area. Although today they proved to me, that they have come a long way!! I was able to rake 5 bags. Which between the jumping and the playing, and the running through my piles, the bathroom breaks, the lunch picnic, the wardrobe change. (Sir Rowland wanted his dress sweater on this monring)

I raked and raked. Pink Ninja was in charge of collecting downed sticks and small branches. She managed to surprise me a couple of times by carrying branches comperable to her size.

I raked so much, I was sweating. It is November, I had a t-shirt on. How cool is that? The raking also had to be a good workout. And I needed it after this week, in which I consumed enough gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes for a developing country. So the raking took place of my workout tonight.

The other good/bad news is we live in a forest. Really. My Sister could not believe the number of leaves on the ground, and still hanging on to the trees. Heck we are Nebraska born, there is a reason they call it The Great Plains. We are so surrounded by trees, I never get to see the sun setting.

Oh, and Sir Rowland played a trick on me today. Pink Ninja was in charge of bringing me new bags, to replace the ones I carried to the curb. We could not locate the darn box of lawn and leaf bags. We looked all over, and Sir Rowland throws himself on the ground laughing. He then announces "ha, ha, I played a trick on you, the box of bags, is in the bag of leaves you just took to the curb. HA HA!!!"

Yeah he is hilarious that one. And after digging to the bottem of the leaf bag, I did find them.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Look Mom no cavities...

I had to take Pink Ninja to the dentist last week. She was an absolute GEM!! She didn't move around, she followed instruction, there was no coaxing, or warming her up to the idea.

In fact at one point, she almost fell asleep in the chair.


She will be 3 on November 30th.

Why didn't they think of that?

I read this intriguing story over the weekend...

Updated: 9:32 p.m. CT Nov 24, 2006
LONDON - Emerging with a shock of white fur, a cat stunned cargo workers in England as it jumped out of a goods container after a 17-day sea voyage from Israel to Britain, a journey of more than 2,000 miles, an animal charity said Friday.
even better is this...

Staff said the cat — named Ziggy because it had eyes of different colors, one green and one blue, like singer David Bowie and his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust — fled from staff when the container was opened, hiding for over five hours.

*hint, next time you folks try and catch a starving cat, try opening a can of tuna, and some water...

Daddy Deathwatch 2006 or If this was Scotch, it might be ok.

*the following is a transcription of a phonecall between my Dad and I from a few days ago. *

Dad: "I was in the basement the other day, and found some tomato juice your Mom canned."

(keep in mind here I am not a horrible daughter, I thought I cleaned out all of the canned foods)

AWTM: "really....?"

Dad: "I went ahead and opened it, it smelled ok, so I drank it. It was delicious."

AWTM: "what was the date on the jar?"

Dad: "you won't believe this, the date was 1983."

AWTM: "you do realize I would have been 13 then right?"

Dad: "your Mom sure knew how to can."

AWTM: "Dad it isn't wine or scotch, to drink 23 year old tomato juice is just not right. You could have died."

Dad: "It was good. If it would have been bad, do you think I would have drank it?"

AWTM: "yes."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I need it

Aunt Leggy...

Do you think your Mother would dare give me the apricot cookie recipe?


I want to make them this year.

They are the best cookies in the WORLD

I need them.

I want to make them.

I am sure they won't be as good qs your Moms, but I am willing to TRY!!


Also on a side note...

*I want the corn casserole recipe that you made for us when I spent Thqnksgiving at your place.*


The Christmas stuff was retrieved from the attic by DH the other day. I went through all of the boxes, I cannot use about 75% of it. It is either antique or glass.

I believe in making the Holiday a pleasent one for all of those involved. So I kept most of the things in their boxes.

I did remove last years "non breakable ornaments", and managed to sneak a few breakable ones out for the tip top of the tree. The collective loved helping with the tree.

However, I automatically noted there were some very important items missing

1 plaid tree skirt
1 hand embroidered Christmas Goose made by DH's Grandma
1 luminary style nativity
1 wooded LEON
(it really is a Noel thingy, but my Mom and I used to call them "our Leon's" because we think we are funny)
1 sak of faux holly, and garland
1 small nativity scene
1 glass Santa plate

For 2 days I have been freaking out, wondering where this stuff went to.

I asked DH to look again in the attic.

Today I found a box in my kitchen, as I was about to open it, DH entered the room, and said.

"I am surprised at the accuracy, in which you recalled the missing items. They are ALL in this box".

The only thing
I was surprised at, were the rope lights, 5 boxes. DH purchased them last year after Christmas. Otherwise I had recalled the missing items. Piece by piece.

Not to shabby for someone with about 20 large boxes of Christmas stuff to go through.

Now if I could rememeber what day of the week it was, I would be dangerous!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Damn You Hasbro

Those Damn people at Hasbro have created THIS.

For the mere price of $238.00 I can be Pink Ninja's favorite person in the WORLD, forever. And let me say this, in her sweetest sing song lilting voice, she keeps requesting this "pony", every time she sees the commercial. Which, thanks to the ingenious marketing folks at Hasbro seesm to be EVERY SINGLE time we turn on the TV, turn the corner, open the newspaper, open the mailbox, start the car, use the toilet, there is the beloved Butterscotch.

"The BUTTERSCOTCH pony will amaze kids and adults alike with her level of "awareness" and realism. She can move her head up and down, and back and forth, and her eyes open and close. Sensors enable BUTTERSCOTCH to respond and interact with the child. When her mane is brushed, a child will hear contented whinnies. When her ears are tickled, she will turn her head and try to find you. When she gets hungry, she'll happily "eat" her very own carrot. And, when she's had enough, she'll shake her head to let you know she's full. Petting her muzzle will cause her to sniff!

"Hasbro has created a breakthrough product that both continues the success of the FURREAL FRIENDS line and defines the future of the toy industry," said toy and children's lifestyle expert Chris Byrne, also known as The Toy Guy(R). "BUTTERSCOTCH is both a marvel of engineering and technology and a classic 'dream toy'--a virtually real horse that girls can love and care for."

With built-in light and sound sensors, the BUTTERSCOTCH pony can tell what is happening around her. If it suddenly gets dark, she may become frightened and need a hug from her caregiver. She will also turn her head in response to noises, and relies on calm, soothing voices to settle her. Whether grooming her, playing with her or even climbing on her back, pretending to gallop into the sunset, the BUTTERSCOTCH pony can be a child's best friend and a parents' solution to satisfying their child's greatest dream without having to build a barn. "

Now folks, is that a toy or what? Go HERE to find out more.

What little girl does not want a pony? The bonus? This thing does not require food, there is no poop to clean up like "Poop Scoopin Barbie", it is not a "slutty horse" unlike "The Slutz Dollz".
This is a great wholesome toy, no poop, no short shorts. This is an American toy, it says Cowboys, wild west, Western Expansion, property ownership. It also says, "Mom has $238.00 dollars and loves you so much she bought me for you, even though there is a chance you may end up bored with me. I could end up in the corner collecting dust in 2 weeks time."

Friday, November 24, 2006



Tonight DH and I relax. We have a date in front of the TV with The Boondok Saints.

It was a long and busy day.

Camera bought.

DH managed to go through the garage, and dispose of some things.

DH carried box after box of Christmas thigns down from the attic.

DH boxed up clothing and donated.

DH even went to work.

The highchair is moved out of the kitchen. (a painful step for AWTM)

Grandpa's birthday present located, and boxed.

Took the kids for a wagon ride, that about killed me.

Played with The Collective at the park.

Christmas tree is up, lit and decorated. (which doesn't sound like a big deal, but I had help you know)

4 loads of laundry washed and dried, most of it folded. feels good to get that much done in an afternoon.

*I did happen to note, that I have several strands of lights, that need replacing, I will do this the day after Christmas.*






pack a picnic

get DH, and The Collective hair cuts

Go to Petite Jean Mountain Man Rendevous for the morning.

Riddle me this

So where should I go today if I loathe crowds, am easily irritated with "joe America consumer", and am disgusted by bad driving?

The answer is: Black Friday

Yeah, call me and IDIOT.

However, if you read about 3 or 4 posts back you will note my digital cameras died. It was a first generation digital camera, about 6 years old. It was old. 2.1 megapixels, which was the shit 6 years ago. It was a Sony, and I was very pleased with it, even though after 6 years I think I finally figured all of the features and settings out.

Anyway, I NEED a camera, I use my camera daily. So it was something that could not wait.

So I found a very inexpensive "door buster" camera, with features better than my first generation camera for $59.oo. I am frugal. I am especially frugal. I woke, brushed my teeth, did not brush my hair, threw a cap on, sunglasses, DH made me a to go coffee, and I was out.

Well the damn things were sold out. Damn. I guess the company only sent 30 of these things to the store.

Anyway, I ended up getting the same camera for $20.00 more, at the fourth store I went to. Whatever, I needed a camera. And well $78 for a camera that is smaller, (smaller than my empty wallet) and more effecient than my old one is still a grand deal in my book. It also has video with sound capability. Which might come in handy with The Collective. Maybe I can start vlogging!!

So it is a done deal. I bought my Christmas gift early. I also went at it alone, no cart, no Collective. So, I can't complain, the trip only took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. And that includes a pretty decent drive into Little Rock both ways. I did not mess around.

I will say this, the black Friday shoppers are an odd bunch in my book. I saw a family of 5 women with matching sweatsuits, and little ball caps that said "shopping diva" on them. Ick. That is just weird. If you are shopping at KMart in matching sweatsuits, I do not know if that classifies you as a shopping diva.

I also saw several girlfriends in pairs shopping in pajamas. Shopping in pajamas? On the busiest day of the year? Is that odd or is it just me?

I heard a wife telling her Husband that all gifts had to be wrapped in siver and red this year, because they should match the tree. For Gods sake.

I overheard a lot this morning, and I need a shower....


I know better than to go out on this day to shop.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I managed to get a portion of my cooking done yesterday. Which always pays off. The turkey has been stuffed with a stick of butter, a carrot, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper. The oven is serving a dual purpose this morning, taking the chill off of the air, and cooking lunch.

Thanksgiving is has to be one of my favorite days of the year. There is the Giving Thanks part. Which requires its own post all together. There is also the meal. It is my favorite meal of the year.

Thanksgiving holds wonderful memories for me, and most of those memories are associated with tastes, and smells. The memories of Thanksgivings past taking place in kitchens, and around tables, like any good Midwestern born and raised woman.

The menu this morning is reflective of Thanksgiving past. All fairly Midwestern working class fare that I could not go without this year. None of it fancy. Just standard comfort food. The MOST COMFORTING meal of the year. Because with every item I cook, I can recall the women of my past preparing those dishes. It is my way of having these women with me today.

There is my Grandma Tessie's pumpkin pie. She did not have a recipe, and alzheimers took her, when I was young. And while I do not recall her pumpkin pie, because she did not cook much, and suffered from alzheimers for so many years. I recall the talk of her pumpkin pie being the BEST AROUND. I remember her today. I recall her favorite combination of blonde hair, and brown eyes, and I hope she can see these beautiful grandbabies, and is pleased.

There are the mashed potatoes, the kind my Grandma Vera made. She too an excellent cook, however most of my memories of her as well center around her being older as well. Parkinson disease making her art of cooking a difficult challenge. Which seems so strange, because most of her life as a daughter of German immigrant farmers required she learn to cook for a farm full at an early age.

There is the cranberry relish that my DH's Grandmother introduced me to, this was DH's Grandad's favorite. It has become one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

There is my Mothers stuffing, which there is no recipe for. It is made by taste, and look. As I type this, the neck and giblets, are being simmered in butter with onions, celery tops, salt and pepper.

All of these people from my past gone....Each of them. All of them passed on... And as I prepare my meal for my family, I recall dining across from each of them, cooking side by side with them, giggling with them, and praying with them.

So, today as I sit around my little table full of food, and see my little group of four, it seems like there are more. If I listen hard enough I can hear them. I can hear prayers offerred by them, I can hear laughing.

I have so much to be thankful for. I like to think I practice giving thanks daily, but today I really do have all of my family with me, even if it is in thought. And we have all been blessed.

Another Pretty Salad...

*Aunt Leggy's recipe*

This is a very delicious, and pretty salad. My Father who does "not eat salads", will actually eat this one. It also looks lovley in a crystal bowl on your Thanksgiving table.

-I think the last time I prepared this I used sliced almonds instead of cashews. I also used grated Romano, instead of Swiss. It is such a delicious and versitile salad have fun.

-Also I mix my dressing in "old mayonaisse jars, just shake well....."

-One more thing, as always dressing can be served on side.......

1 large bag of pre-washed Romaine lettuce (more if serving a large number)

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 cup cashews

½ cup craisins ( sweetened dried cranberries)

1 red Gala apple (cubed/not peeled)

1 red pear (cubed/not peeled)

Dressing (Mix in a blender)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2/3 cup oil

1 tablespoon poppy seed

Mix the lettuce with the cheese and craisins. I mix the apple and pear in the dressing so they don’t discolor and add just before serving. Also add the cashews just before serving so they don’t get soggy. Might not need all the dressing. It depends on how much lettuce you have. If you increase the lettuce, increase the cheese etc. The ingredients for the salad don’t need to be exact except for the dressing ingredients.

So Long Coco Channel , and hello pumpkin?

Tis the season for pumpkin pie baking...

I read this study
Each of the 30 odors produced an increase in penile blood flow. However, not all increased arousal to the same degree. The combined odor of lavender and pumpkin pie had the greatest effect, increasing median penile blood flow by 40%. Next in effectiveness was the combination of black licorice and doughnut, which increased arousal by 31.5%. And so on, all the way down to cranberry, which only increased penile blood flow by 2%. Depending on the man’s age, they may have reacted differently than their counterparts to certain smells. For instance, older men tended to respond strongly to vanilla.

*watch out in the kitchen today ladies. No wonder they used to keep pies in safes!*

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I was one of the first to have you.

You have been there for every single important breath taking moment. You have witnessed more pain, and joy. You witnessed birth, death, hugs, homecomings. You documented the growth of my growing belly and my children.

You have been thrown in diaper bags, my trusty purse. I have dropped you on cement, into sand, you have been swiped by curious little hands, and your buttons pushed.

You could even shoot short film, you saw chubby little legs take first steps...

I had plans for us this Thanksgiving.

I guess I know what Santa needs to bring AWTM (although I had other plans, I am also asking the appliance gremlins to knock this shit off already. Please, you are getting expensive)

*seems appropriate that the last photo taken with you was Pink Ninja at her first dental visit...

Snicker if you will

Today my site has had a few hits for this recipe in my archive.

Here it is. It is a great "salad/dessert" to take to an event where you know they already have a plethera of food. No one else will probably bring it. It is EASY, FAST, and you NEVER have to worry about leftovers!

Snicker Apple Dessert!!
If you like caramel apples, you will LOVE this!

This is another one of those recipes, people will beg you to bring!! You will never have any leftovers with this. NEVER.



1 small box instant french vanilla pudding

2 small boxes instant butterscotch pudding

1 large (12 ounce) cool whip

6 Snickers candy bars, cut into chunks (chill in fridge, easier to cut)

8 granny smith apples with skin left on, cut into chunks

1 cup milk


Mix puddings, whip cream and milk. Fold in Snickers and apples. Chill.


If you want to make this look special, drizzle caramel topping, chocolate topping, and sprinkle peanuts on top.

Ding Dong the rabbit is dead!!


This couple needs you to go over and give them a HAZAH!

They have been practicing FOREVER!

Mom of the year!!

The gorgeous and very Martha Stewart like Gretchen wants the Moms to throw down!!

She announces the contest here!

Rules are simple...
Post a link to your favorite "Mother of the Year" story - yours or someone elses - in the comments. If you don't have a blog, but would like to play, e-mail me the story and I'll post it. December 1st, we'll read though and determine the "winner" - I mean, we're all winners, aren't we? The only thing - it had to happen in 2006. Have fun. Life wouldn't be any fun if we were all perfect...

And by Mother of the Year...
We mean stuff like mistaking chocolate chips for poop.
Not getting picture of the little darlings until after trick-or-treating.
Deciding to take a nap.
Or letting your kids eat "Chicken in a Biskit" for breakfast.

Pick your favorite post from your favorite Mom blogger and enter it now!!

I nominated AirForce Family, who provided me with laughs HERE!!

The Whole Hog

Sir Rowland consuming ribs. I ordered an whole rack, and divided them with The Collective.

Sir Rowland ate an entire half rack of ribs. An entire half rack. That is more than I ate. Holy Moses the kid can put away some ribs.

As Sir Rowland filled his belly, he kept sinking further and further down into his seat. The other patrons were very entertained.

One tip with The Whole Hog, if you ever go, go early. Even with the new expansions this place is packed at lunch. Popping at the seams packed. Service is quick, and the ribs divine.

In my cup....

This is my third night in a row drinking this tea, it is delicious. Oh and it smells as delicious as it tastes. I have been putting honey in ours.


Oh and if you do not believe me, you can order a "free sample" HERE
Cinnamon Apple Spice Herb Tea

ground cinnamon and juicy, red apples delivers a harvest of sumptuous flavor and delectable aroma. The tradition of celebrating life's bounty each autumn with a spicy beverage cThe delicious taste of freshly omes alive again when you fill your cup with 100% natural Cinnamon Apple Spice Herb Tea. Beckon the spirit of crisp autumn days, and envelop yourself in the warmth of steamy cinnamon apple goodness.

About the Tea
100% Natural
This product contains all-natural ingredients and flavors, and no artificial colors or preservatives.

Naturally Caffeine Free.

Available in 20 a count box.

Ingredients: Cinnamon, hibiscus, chamomile flowers, roasted chicory root, orange peel, roasted carob, natural cinnamon flavor, natural apple flavor, and other natural flavors.

Contains Soy lecithin, Kosher Dairy. Gluten Free.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 tea bag (2g)
Makes: 8 fl. oz.
Servings Per Container: 20

Amount Per Serving

Calories 0

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 0g 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Potassium 25mg 1%

Total Carb. 0g 0%

Sugars 0g

Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wiz Bang...

It appears my Blog- Momma, nominated me for "Best Diarist"....
Normally I would say aw shucks, I am not the "best diarist", but heck I am not going to this time.

I need something cool to happen to me.

The only other thing I have won in my life, was a poinsettia at a Christmas party. Which I was afraid to take home, because I thought one of the "babies" might eat it and and die when I wasn't looking. I guess there is the big mac I won in kindegarten for saying "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun" faster than anyone. But that only proves I was probably watching way too much television. I also did not even get the big Mac, I think my Mom or Dad ate it.

Yeah I need to win something, just so I have a story to tell when I am in the nursing home. Winning a centerpiece in a raffle, is not exciting yawl.

So voting begins next week, and I am begging for votes. Heck go over and nominate me again, so I can at least intimidate the other diarists.
I will take anything!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Do You Want To Do Something?

I was visiting Mary Ann, and saw this....

From The Wreaths Across America site:

Our Mission: Remember - Honor - and Teach

Remember the fallen;

Honor those who serve;

Teach our children the value of freedom.

2006 will mark the 15th anniversary of holiday wreaths being sent from the State of Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. Each year the folks at Worcester Wreath Company make and decorate wreaths that will adorn over 5000 headstones of our Nation’s fallen heroes - in what has become an annual event coordinated with the Cemetery Administration and the Maine State Society.

Row after row of bleached white stones, with evergreen wreaths and red bows – it is a stirring image to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

What started over 15 years ago, as one's man's dream to honor Veterans with Maine wreaths for the holidays, has become an annual event cherished by many. Humbled with a new understanding about the impact the Arlington Wreath Project has made, not only in honoring the dead, but recognizing the sacrifices of the living, Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company committed himself to doing more, by reaching out across the country.

New in 2006!

Spurred by the tremendous outpouring of letters and interest, and to celebrate the 15 years of giving, Worcester Wreath Company solicited Civil Air Patrol and its members to help expand the reaches of the Arlington Wreath Project with Wreaths Across America – the placing of memorial wreaths during a special ceremony at each of the over 230 State and National Cemeteries, and Veterans Monuments across the country.

Morrill Worcester - President of Worcester Wreath Company explains his desire to develop the Wreaths Across America project:

"Our goal is to expand the recognition of those who serve our country, both past, present, and future, as well as their families who deserve our support. Without the sacrifices of our veterans, there would be no opportunity to enjoy the freedoms, the life we live today."

Worcester Wreath invites you to attend the annual wreath-laying at

I can do this. I can also take The Collective with me. They can help too.

Visit this site, and note when they will be in your area.

I almost forgot!!

There is also getting this group coiffed, and dressed, and smiling for a Christmas picture, for the Christmas cards!!

Oh and a trip to see Santa!!


The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions

Thanksgiving is in how many days?

Holy Moses.

Christmas is when?

For the sake of Pete.

So I have a few things, that I have let slide, I need to get on top of and SOON.

First of Pink Ninja has her first Dental appointment tomorrow. This should be interesting. Whereas Sir Rowland will not consume sugar readily, Pink Ninja should wear a feed bag filled with sugar around her neck.


However, her visit, should be less time consuming than Sir Rowlands all day visit. She loves being fussed over, the Dentist will feel like the beauty parlor to her.

There are also thank yous to write. To those of you I owe thank yous I AM SORRY for being late. The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.
They are on the way.

Also I need to be making my Christmas Card list. So if you have moved, or you sent me your address EVER ( I probably lost it.) If you recieved a card last year, resend your address. You know who you are, and you know how I lose things. I am not good at managing paperwork. DORK!

I also have a couple of small packages that need mailing. That must be done this week.

There are drawers of clothing that no longer fit "The Collective", also summer clothes are ready to be moved out as well. (low priority)

I also must get back to the commisary this week for a few last minute things for our Thanksgiving meal. Which is my favorite meal of the year, to prepare and eat!! YUMMY!!

I am going to go old school, and cook what DH and I grew up eating. I will post the menu this week, it is a pretty standard "working class midwest menu"...

Oh and there is preparing the house for Christmas. Making a list of what is left to do, etc. Plus, I have Pink Ninja's birthday, my Dads birthday, my twin nieces birthday, Sir Rowlands birthday. A lot of shopping, and things to do.

I did decide that the neighbors will be getting wine again. I do not think I have time to bake for everyone, and it will take a little pressure off. So there is that. I also am blessed to have DH home for this Holiday, and we will celbrate alone in our home. Of course there is an open door policy, if DH has any military men that are alone for the Holidays they are always welcome.

I better get off my duff and MOVE!!


Retail angels

I woke this morning to find this in my mailbox!!

A sale!!

Not just any sale, a $25 sale!

Imagine my surprise, when I find the "dress" I have tried ordering 2 times!!


I have been wanting this dress for a while now.

I talk about it here,(it sold out) and here.(The post office damaged it, and when I tried to reorder, I found it would be late for the event) It simply began to look like I was not supposed to own the dress. I even thought the dress might have a jinx on it. Sort of like the little Hawaiian tiki thing Greg, from Brady Bunch found while surfing.

However, it looks like the curse is reversed!

So now the dress is available for $25, which is less than half of the original price. The bad news is, I do not think I have anything coming up, no opportunity to wear it out.

However, I have sweatshirts that cost more than that, and I clean toilets in them. SO I suppose I could wear it to clean the house. I could wear my pearls and everything. It would be like Leave it to Beaver, or I Love Lucy!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I am pleased to present....

My Blogdaughter...Now go over and welcome her into the World!! How exciting is this?

Oh and add her to your blogroll!

Has anyone ever died doing this?

The die hard yoga lady, is missing her yoga. I also think the instructor noticed, because she has been throwing enough yoga into class to make me happy. Long sun salutations with weights, which is very challenging.

This new class I am taking, is crazy, every day I show up, we are using a different set of props. Thursday was the stability ball and weights . Every time I hop on to this thing, I immediately just think danger. There is a red light blinking in my brain. The actuarian in me starts calculating risk etc. I seriously asked my instructor if she has ever fallen, or worse, had a student die on the damn thing.

She assured me no one has ever been hurt. HA!

So we do this move in the photo. I forget the name of it, I was too busy trying to stay alive. I do think she referred to it as a pike move or some damn thing.

It hurt, 10 of those things about killed me. But I walked away breathing, well kind of hunched over...but I did not die.

What also kills me, the fact that 10 years ago, if I did these results would have been immediate. I did not require any exercise to look fit then.

And now I spend hours literally afraid I am going to die from these crazy exercise props...

And I cannot tell I am working my ass off when I stand in front of the mirror. That is some unfair shit. Aging is great emotionally, but physically it is sooo unfunny, I cannot even begin to tell you.

If you are 20 something, enjoy being smoking hot with little suck.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I need one of these.

I need to get the video camera fixed. I need to start vlogging. The Collective are hilarious, and I need to prove it. Andi, got a phone call mid vlog. That is much hipper than what would interrpt my vlogging. Just think my vlogging could get interrupted with things like "Moooo'm, wipe my butt." That is exactly what the vloggosphere needs.

~like reality TV only worse.

Totally 80's

Totally 80's

Tammi begged the question "What is your Favorite 80's song?"

So hard to choose, a lot of great music. So I will choose Ceremonty by New Order....

Now go over and let Tammi know what your favorite 80's song is!!

Do I know you?

DH is home. I managed to sleep in. We have already seen each other more this morning, than we had this past week. We are all in such a state of shock, that we are all still in jammies. We have things we should be doing, but we just want to sit and lounge this morning. Feels very strange. All of us here, no company, and it is not even dark out....

Friday, November 17, 2006

It is never too early to teach The Collective to mock the French...

Two days ago it was so cold and rainy that I let The Collective choose a movie. They picked Flushed Away.

This movie delivered the best movie line of the year.

Le Frog: "Action"

Henchmen Frogs: "We surrender"

It made me laugh for the rest of the day.

I didn't even know I was pregnant

It appears I am a Blog Mom? Wow!

Its a girl! A fellow military wife, and i will only "out" her when she is ready!!

I swear, blogging is pretty decent therapy!


I might be speaking too soon, but it appeaars that my machine is in proper working order!!

*frantically gathering laundry and linens*

Sir Rowland Says

I took The Collective and Sissy out for BBQ at The Whole Hog yesterday. When we hit downtown Little Rock I heard Sir Rowland say....

"This Place is a dump!".

If that was not enough, we had to head into Hot Springs to stop at The Toy Chest, to put some Christmas to "talk to them about what to tell Santa when he comes". *cough*LAYAWAY*cough*. Anyway Sir Rowland was soooo excited about going to his favorite toy store, he was beside himself. When I FINALLY found a parking place he says...

"Where did you get your license anyway?"

My Sissy about peed her pants laughing.

This morning when the "new" repairman came. Sir Rowland says, "Did you at least bring a repair manual??"

Back to our regular scheduled programming

My Sissy left this morning, before the sun was up. She let me sleep, and DH drove her into the airport.

I will try and recap the visit here. Honestly it was not uber exciting, as there were a lot of holiday errands, and the like.

How the holidays hve snuck up on me, I have noooo idea. I am not done with my sewing projects...

If I were Emma Peel.....

I would certainly be rescued from the throes of this washing machine fiasco.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I just had a call.


The best the repair place can do is tomorrow.


The machine is full of clothes, wet kids clothes.

An entire load of kids clothes.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good Naked?

George, [at Monk's with Jerry]: "So she coughed."
Jerry: "Coughing... naked... It's a turn-off, man."
George: "Everything goes with naked."
Jerry: "When you cough, there are thousands of unseen muscles that suddenly
spring into action. It's like watching that fat guy catch a cannonball in his
stomach in slow motion."
George: "Oh, you spoiled, spoiled man. Do you now how much mental energy I
expend just trying to picture women naked?"
Jerry: "But the thing you don't realize is that there's good naked and bad
naked. Naked hair brushing, good; naked crouching, bad. Hey, there's Hanke."

Hey, lady at the gym. I do not want to try and brush my hair, while you stand naked and apply your makeup. Go put some clothes on for Gods sake.

Live From The Laundrymat/Weak Signal

*Warning* lots of nasty language, lots of it.

The wash machine repairman came to the house today to "fix" my machine. He came while I was at the dentist. So when I returned to the house, I put a load of clothes in the wash machine. AHHHH....clean clothes and bedding fresh from my machine.

And then I see, there is fucking water leaking out from underneath the bastard.

Tonight I should be out for one of my "pissed off " walks. The kind of walk where I crank music, and go until I am DONE. Because I should not be allowed to talk to a soul. I should not. I should smile I grit my very clean teeth...

What I thought, was a night of catching up with however much laundry has been generated, having a drink with my Sissy and playing scrabble has gone awry.

It seems as thought the M'er F'er repairman, did not "repair" anything. My washer is doing the same thing it was doing prior to the "fix".

So fucking thank you repairman. Thanks for listening to me, when I told you it was a "computer problem" and not a pump problem, thanks for wasting 11 days of my time. Letting me wait for the pony express to deliver a part that did not need to be fixed in the first place. You had better be here in the morning, and the next part that needs to be "ordered".

*On a positive note all is well with my teeth and gums, no cavities.*


Today the clothes washer repairman is supposed to be here before noon to fix my machine!!!

Thank God I have A LOT of laundry this morning. Thank God my Sissy is here, it should not take long to catch up.

I also have a dental appointment. My annual cleaning, and check. I am praying all goes well.

I am dreading the annual "have you ever thought about braces?" discussion, that has taken place since I was 8.

I always want to say, "no not me I love my crooked teeth!!"

It is doubtful, that at this time in my life I will be getting my teeth straightened.

Still, I dread the fact that it will even come up.

So here is to a working was machine, and clean teeth!!!


It is raining, pouring, thundering and lightening.

I love the sound of it, and I am going to sleep.


The news from yesterday has left me a little spent.

By no fault of anyone else but AWTM, me. I will accept full responsibility,

I like to always be prepared for whatever news may come. I do not do well with surprises. So the latest "news" left me stewing for the last 24 hours.

Stewing does not achieve much, unless one is in the kitchen. I know this.

There is still no news. None. It is very shhhshhhh down here.

So here is what I am gonna do. Prepare for the worst thing, and hope and pray for better.

It does no good to stew, and it is exhausting. I have learned a lot from the last 24 hours.

I will share a couple of those things.

I cry now, yes I even recognize when I am about to cry. (This is sort of amazing, because I have made it regular practice not to cry for the last 5 years.)

I am not "tough cookie" lady like I think.

I need to reorganize all sorts of things, and have my house, and family prepared for such an event.

I have really good friends, and family.

~there is no "real news re: deployment at this time"

so breathe...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Eon Flux

I am enjoying having my Sissy here. We have been enjoying a drink in the evenings and playing Scrabble, and laughing. Listening to 70's music, which for some reason I know all of the words to. She is my senior by 7 years, and she always had a stack of 45's and a radio going. DH is about to go batty from all of the Lou Rawls, Earth Wind and Fire....and the giggling.

I had to a lot of small things to catch up on round here the past few days. There is also preparing for Pink Ninja to turn 3, Thanksgiving...

Sissy and I were in transit today, and I spoke with my Dad...

Me: "Dad you will not believe what song is on the radio?"

Dad: "what"

Me: "Jerry Reed, she got the gold mine, I go the shaft." (Sissy and I dying of laughter, because not only is it a ridiculous song, we both are "country enough to know all of the lyrics)

Dad: "Have you seen the news?"

Me: "No"

Dad: "I just heard Arkansas might have to go back to Iraq."

Me: "Well yeah, this is a long fight, we figured it would probably be 2 years, I haven't heard anything. When DH wants me to know, he will tell me. Because finding out about an upcoming deployment, changes things. It makes things weird."

Dad: "Yeah"

Me: "Well have a good day, we love you."

Dad: "Love You too"

End Scene....

Tonight DH came home

DH: "Did you watch the news?"

Me: "No" (I do not watch news in front of the children, this was a habit I started while DH was in Iraq, I watch news when they are in bed)

DH: "Well I had a lot of phone calls today, it was busy."

Me: "why?"

Blum said he believes that Guard combat brigades are prepared and willing to make a second trip to Iraq if needed.

He said the first units to deploy in the war such as the 30th Infantry Brigade from North Carolina, the 76th Infantry Brigade from Indiana, the 53rd Infantry Brigade from Florida and the 39th Infantry Brigade from Arkansas would probably be among those first called for a second tour.

"Logic would lead you to go back to the ones that went first, and start going around again," said Blum. "But that's probably not exactly how we'll do it" because the decision will depend partly on what types of units are needed.

Blum also said the Pentagon will no longer break up the brigades and send them to war in smaller units. He said Guard brigades are more effective working as teams.

So now I feel like I am 10 steps behind myself, trying to mull everything over in my head. This is too much for my head today. To much to think about. I am proud of DH, and this mission, but I was not quite prepared for this news today. I knew there would be another deployment. I just did not know when.....heck I still do not know when. The waters are murky. There has been no definitive answer, or timeline...

I can hear Dh behind me chewing his gum, and working on his laptop, and it is quiet in my kitchen tonight, too quiet.

*UPDATE*addressing an e-mail I was sent. I am aware the war on terror is not two years old. To clarify, I thought my DH would not have to be re-deployed for about 2 years. Oh, and my biggest problem with this, is the way we ALL found out. A press release? A press release? This is how we inform American families? That bothers me.

Wow Valour IT

I stopped in over at FBL's place only to see....WOW!! Look at those numbers.
So to all of you that gave, distributed flyers, I thank you, from the bottem of my heart.

Must See

Did anyone catch Company of Heroes tonight on Fox news..

amazing spirit

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Well just got a call from DH, no deer, and he did not get a bear, or get eaten by a bear. All is right in my World.

damn, I guess this means I must go shopping.

oh this one is nice

this one would go with almost anything

Golly those are pricey.

$375.00 for a bear claw necklace?

Tis The Season

Veterans Day also marked the opening of Deer Season, here in Arkansas.

I haven't heard a peep yet, so I am not sure how it is going.

Last year he ran across a black bear, I am kind hoping he gets the bear instead of the deer. A bear would make a much better story, there is also the bear claw necklace, that I could wear around.

Sunday Night

I recieved an important message from Andrea Shea King today, it READ

Conservative radio show host Melanie Morgan and Gold Star Family Joe and Jan Johnson, will join me on the radio tonight. The Johnsons have just returned from Iraq.

Melanie chairs Move America Forward, the organization that arranged for several Gold Star Families to secretly travel to Iraq this past week.

Conservative radio show host Melanie Morgan and Gold Star Family Joe and Jan Johnson, will join me on the radio tonight. The Johnsons have just returned from Iraq.

Melanie chairs Move America Forward, the organization that arranged for several Gold Star Families to secretly travel to Iraq this past week.

Melanie co-authored a just released book, American Mourning, which features the Johnson family who went to Iraq to see for themselves what is going on over there and to tell the troops that there are Americans who support and believe in their mission.

While in Iraq, the Gold Star Families were on hand to witness the reactions to Saddam's death sentence, the democratic takeover of Congress, and Rumsfeld's resignation. In addition to meeting the troops, the families were able to meet with many high-level Iraqi government officials. For more on the trip, go to Move America Forward.

The Andrea Shea-King Show, produced by Mark Vance, airs on Sunday nights in Orlando and can be heard live on the internet on WDBO 580 AM at 9 PM EST. Join some our listeners in the live in-show chat room. And you can call the show toll-free at: 1-800-329-5858
Tonight at 9 EST. It will be interesting. Promise.
I will be joining the chat room tonight. I want to hear what these families experienced in Iraq .

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Today I spent hours at the airport. Hours...And I was proud.

I watched, as family, after family welcomed home loved ones from Iraq, Afghanistan, and boot camp. I saw signs. Some made with glitter, others made by a computer, some in a child's hand, and others in a Mothers hand. There were a lot of balloons too.

And I stood at the side, watching. Not participating this time. I watched at least 10 of these "Welcome home" scenes today. Each one made the tears come to the surface.

I guess I was transparent looking because twice I was asked "are you waiting for your Husband?"

"Nope, he is home this year"...

I stood and watched, and smiled, and cried, and I was so happy that these brave men and women were home.

I watched Mothers kneel to the floor thankful that they get to touch them for real. I watched Dads give sons tough guy hugs, with so many tears held back that these men looked like pain had overcome them.

I saw couples run into one another's arms, and people frozen.

And I saw kisses that everyone should get at least one of in this lifetime.

I watched Daddies meet babies for the first time.

I watched and I wept.

And I am proud.

Thank You Veterans.....

Friday, November 10, 2006

VALOUR IT, get the word out on the streets!!


Is there any doubt who's team I am on? I had the great pleasure of spending last weekend with Mrs. Chuck Z. Who had this to say about PROJECT VALOUR IT over at SpouseBuzz!! She says...

What is Project Valour-IT, you ask? Well, I am here to tell you all about it so please read the entire post... you won't be sorry that you did!

Valour-IT means "Voice Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops." The project provides laptops and voice-activated software to wounded service-members who are unable to use "conventional" computers and keyboards. In other words, if a wounded service-member has wounded or amputated hand(s), he or she will be provided a laptop and voice-activated software from Valour-IT. But here's the kicker... these laptops and software can not be donated to our wounded service-members without the amazing generosity of the American people who have donated (and continue to donate)to this project. As of October 4, 2006, 650 laptops and software packages have been donated to our service-members!!!

The Evolution of Project Valour-IT:
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my husband was seriously wounded in Iraq last year. Both of his hands/arms were badly wounded and he was unable to use a computer. Using a computer was important to him because he wanted to continue writing on his blog, which he started while deployed, as well as keep in touch with family and friends. Although I was keeping his blog readers and our family and friends updated, it just wasn't the same. HE needed to reconnect with the world outside of Walter Reed.

Soldiers' Angels sent my husband a laptop, and one of his faithful blog readers sent him "Dragon Naturally Speaking," which is a voice-activated software program. All of a sudden, an idea was born (in collaboration with another one of his blog readers - THANK YOU, BETH!!!). My husband and Beth wanted to find a way for other wounded servicemembers to receive laptops and voice-activated software. Project Valour-IT was welcomed with open arms by Soldiers' Angels. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Project Valour-IT was created in honor of my husband's father, SFC (retired) William Van Ziegenfuss. My father-in-law died of cancer in 2000, two months after our son was born (his first grandchild). My husband wanted to honor his father's memory and life as a proud NCO in the United States Army. For more information about my husband's father, please click here.

Now is a great time for you to check out some more about Valour-IT by going to the website. Right now, Valour-IT is having it's second annual fundraiser "competition" in the two weeks prior to Veteran's Day. And it's a FUN fundraiser! The competition is between branches of service (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines). When a person donates to Valour-IT, he/she can choose which branch of service to "donate to" - and on Veteran's Day the winner will be announced! (Last year the Army won!) No matter how much money is raised in each branch of service, ALL OF THE MONEY RAISED goes toward the purchase of laptops and software for ANY WOUNDED SERVICEMEMBER who qualifies for the project - there is no branch discrimination in Project Valour-IT!!!

If you know someone who has been wounded and could use a laptop and voice-activated software (only if they are unable to use a conventional computer, as mentioned above), please click here to request a laptop for that wounded servicemember.

I want to personally thank Soldiers' Angels, Beth, and the many, many Americans who opened their hearts and embraced Project Valour-IT. Without you, this project would not be possible. THANK YOU and may God Bless our servicemembers and their families.

I am also going to make the suggestion, that we take this to the streets. I have enlisted people all over the country to pass out flyers, FLYERS that can be downloaded HERE!!!

Beth offers these suggestions:

Suggestions for Flyer Distribution

Be sure to get permission if necessary. But once you know it's okay, try the following places:

Grocery stores
Places of worship (church, synogogue, etc.)
VFW halls and other offices of veterans' organizations
The community bulletin board in your workplace lunchroom
Community events like Fall Festival, Halloween parties, etc.
Vehicles that display "Support the Troops" magnets/stickers
Any business that gives you permission
Share them with co-workers
Community organizations like Boy Scouts, Shriners, Business clubs, etc.

I'm sure the list could be much longer, as this is merely off the top of my head. These are general-purpose flyers and not exclusive to the fundraising competition, so go crazy and get the word out!
Does anybody really know what sucks?


for 2 weeks this damn thing has been stuck in my head.

Of all things. Of all bands.

Of all songs...

So I am putting it here, so maybe it will get stuck in your head.

I hate sufferring alone.

Guess Who is coming to dinner?

My Sissy arrives this morning!! I am headed to the airport to pick her up, with The Collective. Blogging will be light, unless of course it is SOOOOO blogabble I cannot manage to stay away.

I miss my Sister a lot, and The Collective cannot wait to see her.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Veteran's Are Our Living Heroes"

Before reading further please go here, and watch THIS

I will wake tomorrow in quiet surburbia, DH stateside.

I have many people to thank for that...

I did find this over at and I do think it is a must read.

A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

Celebrating the Veterans Day Holiday

If the Nov. 11 holiday falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — a complete schedule can be found here. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non-government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state or local government operation determinations.

One of the best things I have found over at is Veteran's stories, letters, photos, and journals from the front. Go over and read some first hand accounts.

Lastly, I am going to bed in quiet surburbia DH, by my side, thankful to those who have made it possible. Including my Dearest Husband.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Its a Wash

You may recall me mentioning that I am currently awaiting a part to my beloved Fischer and Paykel wash machine. Up until this time I have had 0 complaints about this wash machine. I was in fact almost in love with the damn thing, until I returned from Texas to find it leaking and not working. "A pump" being the culprit.

Tonight I am at the "coin laundry".

I have not been at the laundry mat for about 8 years? Who knows. My favorite laundry mat was in Lincoln Nebraska, on 27th street in the middle of tea town, where DH and I, also lived. The place was called Laundry Land. It was full of students. Some sort of desert southwest theme running through the place. Fairly clean. They had pool tables, (which I never used) , there was a snack bar in the damn place if I remember right, each table had its own television. I was working 3-11 shift at the time and attending college, my DH was also working, I think at the city jail 11-7 and then going to school full time. Our schedules were uber wacky and we rarely got to see one another. The Laundry Land was always buzzing, always busy.

Normally I did the laundry, although there were times DH did manage the laundry. Once in a while we would go together. I honestly, did not mind going to the laundry mat. I could do 8 loads at one time, I had it down to a science. 8 loads, wash/dry/hang/fold, all done within a 2 hour time frame. I miss having all of my laundry done in 2 hours. I really do. I spend that amount of time doing wash every day.

So I am sitting here tonight under heavy fluorescent lighting, listening to the beeps and hums, 4 people in here, sitting FAR AWAY from one another, no eye contact.

There is Mr. Tidy. He has 1 load of laundry. 1 load of laundry! (ahhh) He is watching a movie, even thought ahead and brought Quiznos, and some soup.

There is a silver haired lady hanging up her very neat looking clothes, 4 loads. Smiles, but hasn't spoke.

There is the mandatory lady with the huge lawn and leaf bags full of laundry. I am not sure how many loads, she used the "big load" washers. I think there are at least 8 of them going. She looks tired.

There is "the dude" throwing all of his wash into whatever machine despite color or setting. If his Mother were here she would be telling us all, she taught him better than that. Then she would tell him, that he "might not be Wednesday night in the laundry mat alone if he learned to wash his clothes properly".

Then there is me. Sitting here clicking, and trying to entertain myself, unable to read blogs tonight, because I cannot seem to steal a wireless signal from this area of town.

I can recall a hilarious story about DH doing the wash in that Lincoln Laundry Land.

DH goes to the Laundry Land to do wash. Not a bad place to go, the place is full of coeds, I am sure he was entertained. He washed all of our fine laundry, puts it in dryers...And waits. BUZZZZZ....Laundry done. So he gets his little rolling basket and proceeds to unload the dryers. He is folding clothes, and then comes across some very sexy knickers. He is thrilled with what he thinks is "my new purchase", and he gives them a spin, and folds them. He finds new panties after new panties, he is smiling, and happy. I am sure he was looking forward to some fashion show, probably grinning happily.

Let me pre-empt this with this...DH embarrasses easily. Not me. Imagine that, but DH, OH MY, he is fair skinned, and can quickly turn very red, very fast. So keeping that in mind, imagine his surprise.....when....

.... He looks up to see two frightened coeds, and if I recall the "manager" of the Laundry Land, staring at him as if he is some sort of pervert. He quickly explains, he is a married guy, which frightens them even more, and then

tries to explain that he thought these were his wives panties.

Sure pervert sure...

BWAHAHAHahahahha, still cracks me up to think about it.

No Sulking...

*Sir Rowland proves the sky is the limit

OK...I am done sulking.

*Sir Rowland and I on the Merry Go Round at the Fair, for some reason this did not load the other day.

I am headed to the park, with "The Collective", we are going to play, and enjoy the FRESH air. Skies are bright and blue.

An in house soccer challenge is in order.

*The collective milking a faux cow at the fair

*itty bitty lizard found in my kitchen the other day

*Pink Ninja JOY!!

For some reason, I did not sleep well

"I don't really consider ourselves at war," Pelosi said. "We're in a struggle against terrorism throughout the world..." (Newhouse News Service, 5/6/02)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I had the pleasure of meeting Heidi a couple of weeks ago. It was a hard meeting for me. I've been reading her blog, mostly lurking for a very long time. She quilts, she is trying to knit. (something I will not attempt) And upon meeting her, I noted she was warm, sweet and even more beautiful than in her pictures. It seemed strange to me to see her, without an exotic location behind her, and without her Husband Sean at her side. As I am used to seeing them so much as a couple in photos. And no little man, who I have seen in photo after photo, in his little sunsuits.

It has been two years, and I never know what to say, but when I go over and read her I am reminded to count my blessings, be gracious, vote, travel when i get the chance.....

Heidi, just so you know I voted....

More growing pains...

Yesterday was certainly a challenging day here at Casa De Dust. Pink Ninja, and Sir Rowland, managed to push all of my buttons all day. Nice.

They did seem to improve as the day went on.

However Sir Rowland will be 5 in January. This is a struggle for him, and Dear old Mom. I am not ready for 5. Five? I have a 5 year old? Holy Moses. When did this happen? Was I not paying attention. Sir Rowland has started to act his age part of the time, there is "that struggle" that happens. I remember hearing my girlfriends talk about the "smart mouth", and "talking back" thing that starts happening around 5. Yeah it has started here. He also likes getting in the last word. Which is always infuriating, because I want the last word. I am currently trying to get him to say "Yes ma'am" as his final word. That way, he gets the last word in, and I am happy, and he looks polite.

He is waking at night with leg pains, and foot pains. I guess DH did the same thing. I do not recall having these "growing pains". Poor little guy. Sometimes they happen at dinner. It is always legs and feet. He is growing fast.

He is going to be 5?

I remember the day he arrived, like it was yesterday. Most of it not good....That is another post all together.

But last night, before bed, as we sat here reading his book on the Atlantic Ocean. He looked at the unmarked map of Continents, and Oceans and he pointed to the great Lakes and said...

"Mom, that is Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Eerie, Lake Ontario."

I stopped for a moment, and said, I think you are right buddy, but lets check with your Dad. (I have tendency to transpose

-yeah he was right, and I have no idea, when he memorized it. When he was looking at the globe in his room? Was he looking at a book? Did he learn it watching the weather channel?

I have no idea.

10 minutes later I am cleaning 1/2 a bottle of baby shampoo off of every surface in the bathroom. This was done by the same kid that just amazed me by identifying and naming all of the Great Lakes.

His punishment?

$1.oo for shampoo wasted
$1.00 for labor


Monday, November 06, 2006


Please go vote today. I had the good fortune of voting early. This was the first year I did not have "The Collective" with.

Normally I do take them, I make a big deal out of going, however...I just wasn't in the mood for wrestling and voting the other day.

I remember going with my Mother when she would vote. Voting would take place in my schools library, and it was ALWAYS a mystery to me. My Mother NEVER told me who she voted for, although I have an idea what party she was affiliated with, it was not discussed. She probably feared me opening my big mouth and outing her. I did have to stand "behind the blue curtain". Voting day was a day I could not wait for, and I have not missed an election since I have been able to vote.

This was probably the only time I vote sans "The Collective", because I think it is important they see me participating. In fact if you have a school aged child, I would encourage you to take them with you. What a fantastic tradtion to start.

*Do you remember when people used to dress to vote?*

Monday Morning SAHM blues....

*The following post does involve language that may not be suitable for all readers*

*I do soooo love my children and my life, this is a rant, simple as that.....*

It is not enough that my flat size 5 tummy 123 pound body has been sacrificed at the alter of Motherhood. Leaving me with this marsupial like bag of flesh that I work like mad to rid myself of. There are also those wonderful breasts that used to be closer to my shoulders than my current pouch. 15 months of breastfeeding per child. Oh and the "leaking" that happens to every newly nursing Mom, which makes you want to crawl in a hole. The strechmarks, the 12 hours of hard labor, due to Sir Rowland being "sunny side up", which is a horrid way to labor. Oh, and there is pride, that I no longer have. I now show up at places looking spooky, on a good day I might have "half" of a hair do, at least foundation on, maybe some bronzer to make me look as if I am a lady of leisure. Oh and I am sure when I delivered my placenta I lost a few brain cells...That are now gone forever.

Some of you may be saying this today...

"she should be thankful."

I am, but damn'it

"What is your fucking problem AWTM...?"

Well, it is rainy out AGAIN, so I decided I would take the kids to McPetrieDishOFilthLand for ice cream, and play time. However here was the rule.

Sir Rowland's room had to be picked up. That was it.

So I am having morning coffee, and on the phone. They are supposed to be cleaning up.

I walk in to check on progress.

I find a room with white powder all over the floor, and the bed, and the toys. Powder? Oh and a little bit of water drizzled in. (Remember my clothes washer is out of order, I am on day 9 of waiting for a part)

"Huh, powder?"

Oh folks, not just any powder. Plaster of paris powder.

"Where in the hell did they get plaster of paris powder, AWTM you know better?"

Yes folks, I do know better, and the plaster of Paris in mention was actually in a handprint kit, on a top shelf, however I am still stunned, that The Collective" knew enough to add water to make an EVEN bigger mess for me to clean.

Anyway, so I walk in only to find them covered in white powder, white powder EVERYWHERE. It looks like studio 54.

So I seriously was shocked.

And someone should have came to my rescue, with a Haldol injection.

So we "discuss matters" and then I hear this...

"So if we clean up, we can go to McDonalds right?"

I wanted to say this...
"You have got to be fucking kidding me, after the tirade that just flew into this room, you kids have the biggest balls I have EVER seen."

Instead I explain to them, that THEY are GROUNDED. I tell them, no nothing, no TV, no MOVIES, NO leapsters, no NOTHING, they do not go to the park, do not pass go, and do not collect $100. "

"The Collective" are grounded. Which essentially means I am grounded to.

They need to know that Mom is as serious as a heart attack. I do not play.

So I am currently supervising Sir Rowland as HE vacuums his room.

I should have taken pictures, it was a big mess.

I should have also recorded me blowing a gasket.

I think I may have had a stroke.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

If I were Emma Peel.....

I would be dressed to kill, in my fox hunting ensemble.

"I guess thats why they call it the blues...."

Venomous Kate, has an interesting Sunday Question...

She is trying to compile a list of "The most depressing non-sucky songs"So I pop in and start to leave a list, and note I LOVE depressing songs. This strikes me as odd, I am not a depressed person. I do not mope about. But oh how I love a sad song, one about unrequited gone bad. Those are the best songs. I love sad songs...

I went over and started to make a list, and it struck me that I could spend the day over there making a list of my favorite songs.

So go on over, and add to the list.

Listen to some of the saddest songs on the planet

~Oh, and before I leave..some of the best "sad song lyrics" go To The Cowboy Junkies

Your body for my soul
Fair Swap
Cuz cheap is how I feel
~Micheal Timmons

Even in dreams....

The other night at dinner...

And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
~Wish you were here/Pink Floyd

A couple of nights ago Dear Husband and I were having a late dinner alone, which is unusual. It was also a nice treat. To sit and talk at a reasonable volume, across the table from one another. No cutting meat, no reminding people to sit up straight ad naseum. Just us..talking.

And I am not sure how it came up, but we begin talking about dreams. He tells me that upon his return to the U.S., the most immediate emotion he felt was relief. Relieved, that the children and I were safe. This surprised me. Worry?

Read the rest over at SpouseBuzz

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Gobble Gobble

It is Saturday, a boring Saturday. The Collective's German farming genetics had them up at like 5:oo'sh. Ickkk...

Today is craft day, we are going o make "hand turkeys" with googly eyes. Here are a lot of Thanksgiving ideas for you that have little ones at home.

I have some Thank You notes I NEED to get out ASAP. I really ought to be ashamed. I also have some Christmas hand made gifts that I am working on, these need to get DONE!! ASAP. HURRY!!

We are waiitng for the out of doors to warm up!!
I need to run them around the block. Perhaps a household soccer tourney is in order.

So, today I am going to ask my "lurkers" (those of you who read, and never comment to say HI publicly!! Yes, that means you. While you are saying HI, I want to hear what you are doing today for fun.

Please delurk, I want to know who a couple of you people are!!

Have a great Saturday, I need to take pictures of the leaves they are gorgeous!!


The French turkeys say: "glou glou"

The Spanish turkeys say: "clou clou/goro-goro-goro"

Guilt ...

I wrote a post called "Dancing" the other day. And in it I expressed, the feeling of guilt I have for "not wanting to hear THE STORY" of just how lucky I am to have DH. A part of me feels as though in protecting myself, I have let him down, and have really shown weakness.

You can read the original post here.I woke this morning alone, DH is away at Guard this weekend. I hate these weekends, they are LONG.

So I open my e-mail and find this.

AWTM: this comment was was added to your post SpouseBuzz.

Let me down? I don't think so.

I did not have a cell phone that would call back home during most of OIF2. The majority of the calls home were made at one of the contracted phone trailers. Inside these were twenty-odd fabricated phone stalls that were covered with the most wonderful "Joe" graffiti in the world. What constantly amazed me while sitting there during each phone session was the atmoshpere all around you. Every range of human emotion would be going on at the same time. Two phones down from yours, there would be the new baby phone call. The phone behind you there would be a fight. On your left would be someone crying, and on your right would be three Indonisian contract workers using one phone to call their village back home. Someone would always be talking way to loud, and someone would always be listening to you as well. I will admidt to adding quite a bit to the artwork in these places - but always had positive messages for others to read.



I am blessed...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Did I ACTUALLY say that?

Andrea was kind enough to have Andi and I on CPR, to talk about SpouzeBuzz, Valour IT. We even got to talk about Sew Much Comfort.

Did I really say "cheetos and snot" Andrea?

Yeah I thought so.

You can dress me up, but you cannot take me anywhere....

I need to stop entertaining myself.

Valour IT Must READ of THE WEEK

My fellow spouse, friends, has something to say about Valour IT...