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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Freedom did not come cheap.

We all slept until almost noon Saturday.  No.  I am not kidding.

I woke up at 2 am with head congestion and took some nighttime cold medicine so that is my excuse.  I can't speak for the rest of the family, however. 

The Dracenator was the first one up.  He came into our room and announced that he had already eaten breakfast. 

"Really?  What did you have?", we asked. 

His reply:  "Strawberry ice cream"

Us:  "Well, that's not a very healthy breakfast."

The Dracenator:  "Well, I had a really crazy dream and strawberry ice cream was the only thing that could make me stop thinking about it." 

He would not elaborate on the dream so I suspect there really was no crazy dream at all.  Rather, he seized a once in a lifetime opportunity (because I swear we never, ever sleep that late) and had his dream breakfast.

One would think that sleeping a 12 hour marathon would make for a productive Saturday but one would be wrong.  We did take down most of the remaining wallpaper in the kitchen, which entailed balancing on the sink while gripping with my toes like a circus monkey in order to get above the cabinets. 

This morning in church, we were blessed with a special Memorial Day performance by one of our very musically talented members who played guitar and sang Trace Adkins' Arlington as we were shown a very moving powerpoint presentation. 

Every year Memorial Day kind of sneaks up on me, especially this year since school is in session here tomorrow for a snow makeup day. 

I was reminded once again during that performance this morning just how very much most all of us take for granted on a daily basis.  So many Americans have given their lives so that we have the freedom to live where we please, say whatever we want about whomever we want to say it about, even our government, and to worship (or not) as we choose.

While all the Memorial Day sales and cookouts are all fine and good and fun, let us not forget the reason why we celebrate this day and give our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the countless freedoms we are blessed with each and every day of our American lives.

~Happy Memorial Day~

For love of country they accepted death... ~James A. Garfield

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ~Joseph Campbell

All we have of freedom, all we use or know -
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fancy Friday...Fantasy Edition

I had no creative ideas or plans for my Fancy Friday post today so I came in late last night from little league and decided I would do this whole fantasy edition.  My mother always said I had expensive taste because no matter what we were shopping for, my favorite would always turn out to be the most expensive one of the bunch and I would, of course, make a compromise. 

So, I thought it would be super easy and fun for me to just go crazy surfing the net for extravagant, fancy items that I could never actually buy.  Turns out I was wrong.  I had a bit of a hard time finding things that just blew me away and I have been wasting away my morning searching.

But I did find a few things to share with you...

I have never been drawn to designer handbags really but I did find a couple at Neiman Marcus that I thought were cute and fancy and outrageously priced! 

The first one is the Saffiano print tote by Prada...

This is the Valentino Laceland Tote and it can be yours for only three thousand four hundred and ninety five dollars!  I'm dead serious.  Does it clean the house, do the laundry and pick up the kids from school? 

I've always had a strong love for shoes but never in my life have I spent anywhere close to what the following three pairs I found at Bergdorf Goodman cost.  Trust me, you don't even want to know.  I don't have a clue who this designer, Christian Louboutin, is but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he becomes the next designer to team up with Target!  

I also found this four thousand dollar sheer tunic dress by Marchesa there. 

I fell head over heels in love with these aquamarine and tourmaline kaleidoscope earrings at Tiffany & Co.  You will have to click on that link to see them though because Tiffany has some testy photos.

I thought these Diamond Concentric Circle Earrings at Neiman Marcus were also beautiful though they really don't compare to the Tiffany ones...



My birthstone is the diamond but I have a thing for rubies.  Check out this ring and bracelet from Blue Nile.


A forever fantasy item of mine has been an antique grandfather clock, similar to this one...

And finally, my fantasy dream car...

And that's all I've got for today.  I must now leave my fancy fantasy world and head back to the reality of housework. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writer's Workshop...I can't seem to follow directions

Last Thursday I jumped on Mama Kat's  writing workshop bandwagon and wrote the chapters of my life though after I went back and read some of the other entries and reread the directions, I discovered that I didn't even follow them.  I sometimes struggle with following directions...I blame it on my right brained side.  

This week I read all the prompts very carefully but none of them spoke very strongly to me:

1.) Describe a time when you had difficulty communicating with someone who speaks a different language than you.
2.) If you could do your wedding over, how would you do it?
3.) Who are you giving a timeout to?
4.) What do you dream about? Explain a dream you’ve had recently without using the words ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘drunk as all get up”.
5.) What’s so good about it? Write an interesting poem or piece of writing where the last two words of the writing are ‘good-bye’

As for number one, I deal with this every day since Dev and the Dracenator speak an entirely different language than I do and clearly, I'm not alone on this since I read some of the other entries from moms of boys.  I often do not understand the male species at all and I think that is why God gave me teach me, to challenge me. 

They just communicate differently than females do.  They'd rather you punch them in the arm or wrestle them to the floor than to give them a hug or a kiss.  It's in their wiring and it is how they show affection which is often hard for us girly girl types to understand. 
They also spurt out random sounds and words too...Soldya Boy! is Dev's favorite.  They can't resist a mud puddle or a pile of dirt and almost never consider consequences before acting but I love my crazy "mom of boys" life and wouldn't trade it for anything. Really. 

Number two...the wedding do-over.  I used to ponder this question after I married Darin but losing your husband to death less than 7 years after marrying him has a way of putting things into perspective for a person.

I was lucky enough to be blessed with another wonderful man who wanted to marry me and things didn't go as planned that day.  I wanted to get married outside in front of the church but God had other plans since a great big thunderstorm rolled up just before the wedding and forced us to move it inside.  In the end, it doesn't really matter where or how you get married...that's the easy part.  What matters is how you treat each other after the fact. It takes a lot of love, patience, understanding and compromise to keep a marriage healthy and happy. 

Number three...Who are you giving a timeout to? I think the better question is who am I NOT giving a timeout to?  Dev and the Dracenator are constantly in timeout for fighting (see number 1!), shouting (see number 1!), and just not listening (see number 1!).  Maybe they just aren't understanding my language...yeah, that's probably it. 

Number four...Okay, I am not nearly creative enough to tell about one of my dreams without using I or me since me, myself and I are always the main characters in my dreams so I'm just gonna skip over this one all together.  Besides, y'all might declare me a straight up nutcase if I told you about some of the things I dream about!  But everyone has freaky, weirdo dreams, right?  

And number 5, an interesting writing or poem ending in good-bye. I should warn y'all that I am not feeling particularly creative today, as if you couldn't already tell, but here goes:

It's late Thursday morning
and I've now spent too much time
working on this little blog post,
complete with words that rhyme

I haven't bought groceries yet
and we're out of milk and bread
I should be doing that now
instead of trying to get my blog read

Zumba is today at noon
and y'all know how I love that
cause I get to shake some booty
while sweating off some fat

Back to the ballparks tonight
which has just reminded me
that I need to soak those ball pants
with the mud stains on the knee

I'll be back again tomorrow
with my Fancy Friday finds
but for now I'll say Adios,
Au revoir and Good-bye!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We Survived

I've had a busy couple of days what with baseball games, baseball pictures, a sinus headache from you know where, obsessing over home decor and just all those other hundreds of things that being a mother entails.

And that is my big fat excuse for putting my little blog on the back burner for a couple of days.

I still feel like such a newbie to this blogging thing but I am truly loving it and just keep discovering more and more awesome blogs.  There are some really talented, not to mention hilarious, stay home mom bloggers out there!

I just discovered another one who hosts a little thing she calls Wordful Wednesday where you just pick a photo and tell all your little heart wants to tell about it. 

I chose this one...

This was my Christmas card photo in 2004, which also marked the one year anniversary of my first husband, Darin's, death.  My mother took it for me at her house one Sunday and I can't say how many shots we went through before I was satisfied with one.  Here are just a few of the others...

I love that one of  Devin laughing his head off where the little toddler Dracenator is trying to get away...again!  

This photo was important to me and I think this was about the third different session and day that year I had tried to get a good one.  My dad had taken a few of us in Santa hats at Thanksgiving on our front porch swing but the Dracenator wouldn't stop crying and the lighting was bad and then my friend, Shirley, tried again in front of the Christmas tree another day but none of them seemed right.

But this one... 

It captured something for me. 

 I had just survived the hardest year of my life and though I was still grieving, I was beginning to breathe again, to live again, and I had prepared the most heartfelt letter I'd ever written in my life to go along with it and I'm sure I have a copy of that somewhere.  If I knew where, I'd post it here.

I was still having those big grief wave moments that come on you like a ton of bricks and knock you to your knees, sometimes accompanied by tears that seemed to go on forever, but those moments were becoming fewer and less painful and I was darn proud of myself and wanted the world to know it.   

I had made new friends, other widows with young kids, and I was (as scary as it was for me) starting to think about getting back out there and dating again, after 10 years, and this time as a single mother of two very young boys.  

Yes, it is bittersweet, this little photo. Two beautiful little boys who were thriving and growing every day, a woman who was coming into her own and strengthening her relationship with God, as she battled grief and learned how to stand on her own two feet once more and to be a single mother to those two precious little boys. 

To me, this photo says...

I Survived.  We survived.  

And it makes me oh so thankful to be where I am today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Love My Wieners.

Yesterday was the big North Carolina Wiener Roast at Castle McCulloch in Jamestown. It is put on by the Dachshund rescue groups, Almost Home Dachshund Rescue Society and the one we adopted Brisco and Charlene from, Dachshund Rescue of North America

I was in Dacshie heaven.

There were raffles, silent auctions, the selling of Dachshie merchandise and wiener dog contests galore.  You can imagine the fun that can be had with the many endless wiener jokes and believe me, Charlie kept himself entertained with them all day long.  His inner 12 year old was having a field day. 

We saw a night shirt that he said I needed.  It read, You wish I'd treat you like I treat my dog.  I think he was trying to tell me something. 

He did not realize how good he had it, however, after we met a couple there with four beautiful longhaired Dachsies who told us that they sleep in separate beds now because all four of the wieners sleep with her and there just wasn't enough room for him.  She said, "well at least I got him his own bed...he doesn't have to sleep on the couch..he sleeps in his bed with his golden retriever".  BAHAHAHA!

Bless his heart.

Seeing all those sweet wieners did make me long for another one though but I will hold off until we get that king sized bed. 

When we first got to the event, the Darlings (especially Brisco) were all gung ho and ready to go, go, go.  There was a lot of butt sniffing which is just the equivalent to a handshake in the doggie world.

There was a costume contest. First place went to the Chiquita Banana.

While Jaws took second.

This little Alice in Wonderland wagon of four Dachsies took 3rd, though I personally thought they should have won it.  Just the embarrassment alone that these proud Dacshies had to endure!  They were all just too cute though.  

And check out this little guy with his hotdog stand...

 There was a smallest wiener contest, which Charlene entered but didn't win.  It had to be close though.  I think her fur lost it for her against some of the short hairs. 

There was also, of course, the biggest wiener contest though I couldn't get a good pic of that one and various others, including the most colorful wiener.

The event was wrapped up with the wiener dog races.  I signed Mr. "I'm so full of energy and excitement that I think I'm going to explode" Darling up when we got there but as the day wore on, I knew he was not gonna be up for any racin' because that little wiener was flat tuckered out.  

We tried it anyway.  Here we are at the top of the hill.  I knew we were done when Brisco Darling was sitting on his rump and the wiener two down from us was having to be held back by his person as he whimpered and pawed his little feet in the air ready to burn up the track.  (I was right too cause he won out of our group)

Big Brisco Darling Boy ran about two feet, stopped, sat down and turned around and looked at me like, "Aren't you coming too?"  Bless his tired little wiener heart.  I picked him up and headed back down the hill and that concluded our 2010 wiener roast. 

We'll get 'em next year. 

Here are my babies sportin' their new fancy duds I bought them yesterday...

I love my wieners!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fancy Friday...Summer dresses that don't make you look pregnant

It's Fancy Friday time, it's Fancy Friday time

Sorry, I realize how lame that was, especially since I was singing it to the tune of that old Howdy Doody theme song...It's Howdy Doody's Howdy Doody time!  

And no, I am not that old but I do remember seeing a few old reruns of it when I was a kid and my mom was a huge fan of that showI think Howdy Doody was to her what Sesame Street was to me.  Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Snuffaluffagus, Oscar the Grouch and the Cookie Monster were the center of my word when I was 4 and 5 years old. 

And the mention of Sesame Street just reminded me of an absolutely hilarious stand up routine by Dave Chappelle.  If you want a good laugh, click on that link but I warn you up front, there is foul language so if you are offended by such don't click on it or if you have kids around or are at work, hold off until you can watch and make sure you go potty first cause that stuff is straight up funny!

Okay, okay, back to Fancy Friday.  My mind is 'a wanderin' today, which is, by the way, still Thursday when I'm writing this because I have a first grade field trip to Patterson Farm today to pick strawberries so I planned ahead.  

You're welcome.   

When Michelle and I were out shopping last Saturday, she was in search of  a few casual summer dresses since she plans to spend a lot of time at the park and the pool this summer and I'm all about some comfortable summer dresses so I was helping her look and thinking I may find myself a couple too. 

Well, I don't know if y'all have seen the casual dresses that are out in the stores right now but the majority of them seem to be tailor made for twiggy, Olive Oil body types which most of us are not, and thank God for that. 

Many of them looked a bit maternityish and let's face it, no unpregnant woman ever, ever wants to wear anything that could put the "is she preggers?" question in anybody's mind!'s Fancy Friday is all about casual, summer dresses that hopefully will not give that impression.

First up, is this little summer escape dress I found on Athleta.  On sale for $44.99 and comes in four colors.

Also found this Santonrini dress there.  Love this one.

These next three I found at Nordstrom... That white one makes me long for the beach.

I found this long surplice knit dress at Garnet Hill.  It has an easy silhouette with a Grecian "twist". Graceful neoclassical style highlighted by twisted shoulder straps. Fitted crossover surplice bodice with a front and back V-neck. Flowing maxi-length skirt. Made of a stretchy cotton/rayon blend. I couldn't have said it better myself, so I didn't.  And you will have to click on that link to check it out because the pic would not cooperate and I'm now trying to watch Grey's Anatomy while I'm doing this and a crazy, psychopath is shootin' people up all over the hospital. 

I was pleasantly surprised at the following three I found at Victoria's Secret.  This  off the shoulder tee dress comes in 9 different colors and is on sale for $29!  I love the melon floral print best.  

This strapless bra top dress also comes in nine colors and supposedly gives enough support to keep the girls up.  I have some doubts about that but I'd be willing to try it.  

This embellished v-neck one comes in 3 colors.  This would make a great swimsuit cover.

The next four can be found at Boston Proper and I love them all! But you will have to click here to see one of them because it was another photo that just would not cooperate tonight and this episode of Grey's has got me way too on edge to troubleshoot right now.

I found this sexy embroidered maxi dress at Venus.  I love the fancy little crochet trim.  I didn't know crochet could actually be sexy.  You learn something new every day.  And it also comes in black and turquoise.  I think I'd have to have mine in turquoise. 

This cotton embellished number with the cute little rope belt can be found at Macy's.

 And lastly, I found this wood-embellished swing dress at Spiegel.  Very beachy.

And that concludes this edition of Fancy Friday.  
Hope y'all have a great weekend. I am headed to the North Carolina Wiener Roast (a great big Dachshund festival) so I am super psyched about that and will be back Monday with plenty of Dachsie pics!