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Monday, March 31, 2014

Five Minutes With Dracen...The Gum Swallowing Myth

I am beyond thrilled that spring has finally decided to make its grand appearance around here today and, according to the forecast, is expected to stick around for at least the next several days. I even got motivated to start "spring cleaning" this morning though I never made it out of the kitchen. I have never been fanatical about my housekeeping and don't usually feel the desire to embark on a crazy cleaning frenzy when spring rolls around each year but for some reason this year (maybe it was the looong drawn out nasty winter) I've decided that no surface will remain untouched. 

Maybe (if I'm really ambitious) I'll be finished some time before Christmas. 

While I was wiping the oven down after the self-cleaning cycle Dracen came in from Momaw Pat's. (Today was an early release day from school and he went over to her house for a little while. I think he was hoping Popaw would take him fishing but he had too much going on)

I never know what new fact or profound words of wisdom he is about to bestow upon me at any given moment. One day last week, on the way home from school, he asked me if I was aware that there are insert-some-crazy-big-number-here-that-I-can't recall different types of mucus in the human body.

My response was that I was indeed not aware of that and really didn't want to be so could we please not talk about it. Of course we talked about it anyway. 

So today when he came in to find me wiping down the oven, he asked me if I knew that swallowing your gum will not constipate you. (I've been telling him this all his life) He proudly announced to me that this is all just a myth. Then he said, "Think about it. There is no nutrition in gum so the body doesn't have to do any work to digest it and filter out the nutrients. It just tries to get it out as quick as possible."

My reply was something like, "Well. I guess that makes sense." 

Then he added, "That would be a lot of work for nothing and why would you want to do that? I mean you're cleaning the house because you will get a clean house out of all your hard work, you see?"  


And then he went off in search of a box to use as target practice for his airsoft gun. 

After I told this story to Charlie when he came in this evening, I decided that I really needed to start recording some of this Dracen knowledge I've been acquiring and couldn't think of a better place than right here on the blog. He has informed me that he knows I blog about him (He Googled his name and well, how many Dracens do you know?) and didn't have a problem with it.

So a new series is born...Five Minutes With Dracen. 

Get ready to be enlightened,

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

This, That, and Baseball

Why I haven't been able to get back in the swing of blogging is beyond me because believe me, it is certainly not for lack of material...

Dracen took a bad spill on his skateboard a couple of Saturdays ago and, of course, I was not in walking distance of him as always seems to be the case when that child of mine is involved in an "incident". He was at the park with Devin and some friends and luckily, was aided my some moms who saw him fall. Devin called me on his cell prompting me to jump in the car and tear across town like a bat out of h.e. double hockey sticks, shaking the entire way. 

Turns out he was just scraped up. A lot. And probably left a bit of his skin on the pavement but it was nothing a little love, ginormous band-aids and antibiotic ointment couldn't fix, although I have to admit I did my share of fussing during the doctoring process because he went down a hill he wasn't supposed to be going down while not wearing a helmet he was supposed to be wearing. He still insists on learning all his lessons the hard way which I am convinced is adding to my unwanted collection of gray hairs and forehead wrinkles. 

When I was almost done cleaning his wounds and applying his bandages I noticed he was chewing on a piece of gum so I said, "Have you had that gum the whole time? How in the world have you managed to keep that in your mouth through this entire thing?" He didn't seem to have an answer at the moment but I could tell he was pondering it. About that time Shana (who was home from school for Spring Break) and her new boyfriend (whom we had not yet met) came through the door. We joined them in the sunroom a few minutes later and Dracen (fully calm now) began his story.

Turns out he was almost to the bottom of the hill when he panicked or "wussed out" as he so eloquently put it and made the quick and most unfortunate decision to jump off the skateboard that was carrying him at a speed his long spindly legs (as fast as they normally are) could not quite match. I expect him to have at least one scar to help him to always remember that bad decision by and, hopefully and God-willing, keep him from making again in the future. 

But the very best part of this story came when he looked at us all with the most serious of faces and said (as he pointed to his mouth), "You know this gum and I have really been through a lot together." 

In other (not so priceless) news, I had a little fender bender at the high school after a baseball parent meeting a couple of weeks ago. I've been driving now for a good 25 years and (knock on wood) have never had a serious accident nor have I caused an accident while on the road. I'm normally very defensive in my driving which I know has prevented many accidents-about-to-happen. It's like I have some sort of sixth sense when somebody is about to do something foolish on the road in my presence. 

But for whatever reason, twice now in the past year and a half, I have been the initiator of stupid-moves-in-school-parking-lots. Remember when I rolled into the back of that BRAND NEW CAR the year before last in the middle school drop off line and had to get out in front of God and everybody in my cropped sweats and sparkly shoes? If not you can read all about it here. Thankfully there was no damage that time. 

Well this time what I did was even more stupid. 

I was in the lane to turn right out of the parking lot and there was a whopper of a pickup truck in the lane to turn left. I couldn't see around him so I inched up a little but saw a car coming and thought I was sticking out a little too close to the road so I backed up. Without looking. WHAM. Ohhh....snap! Both boys were in the car and Devin just buried his head and mumbled something I'm glad I didn't quite catch and I got out to assess the damage. (in front of God and everybody once again)
I had slammed into the truck of one of the boys from the varsity team and there was a pretty huge dent in his bumper which he informed me was already there but the little reflector light was broken and something was bent around it.  We sat there while everyone was forced to go around us until his dad got there. It was probably no more than five minutes but felt like five million.   

Super fun times. 

Thankfully though, everyone was kind, an estimate was done and I wrote a check to cover the damages. The tiny dent in my own bumper was the least of my worries. I think it complements the baseball dent in the hood and the cleat marks in the dashboard. Also, I just this minute realized that all the damages to my car (that I've owned for seven years now) have a common denominator and that common denominator goes by the name of Baseball.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weather, Daylight Savings, and FREE HAM

Saturday cannot get here fast enough! If this forecast is correct, it will make that losing of a whole hour go down a whole lot smoother. I didn't even realize that was this weekend until Devin piped up on the way to school this morning (which is rare since he always puts his headphones on immediately upon entering the car) and said, "How do you move time?" 

I was at first completely baffled but then I remembered daylight savings time. How is it time for that again already? Remember when it didn't happen until April? He had seen it on the town's digital sign when we were at the stoplight. I said, "Is that this weekend already? Gah!"  Then I had to try and explain to him what it was all about and why it started (sort of) since I really don't understand why we still do it. Why do we have to mess with time? 

Then he said (as we were pulling up at the school), "You know time doesn't really exist, right?"  and then went on to attempt to explain to me why this is. I just turned up my Wonder Woman mug, guzzled some  more coffee and nodded right along with him because it was way too early in the morning for me to be engaging in teenage boy philosophical shenanigans. So I just mumbled something about eternity and how he may just be on to something and then, "Have a good day. I'll see you after ball practice." 

And then I drove back home to Dracen who is on sick day number 2 with a man-cold-in-training. No fever...just a stuffy head, mild cough kind of mess but let me tell you, the boy knows how to work a cold to his full advantage. You best believe he's going to get all the miles he can out of this one. 

In other news, I received a "FREE HAM OFFER" in the mail yesterday. I was so excited I could barely contain my enthusiasm. Right. I almost threw it straight into the recycle bin without even opening it but this was just too good to be true. I mean it's not like free ham offers come around more than once in a lifetime surely. So I decided to rip into it.

I don't think, even if I'd been given 100 tries, would I have ever guessed that the letter was regarding...

An opportunity to receive a FREE Fiber Optic Otoscope Exam (a "completely painless prodecure") at the Miracle-Ear Center and (on top of that!) an offer for "up to" 50 percent off any hearing device the test may just determine I need...

And oh yeah, by the way, just for stopping's a ham, ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Because that makes perfect sense.


And because I'm on the subject of ham and there's lots of talk about Dr. Seuss this week since his birthday was March 2nd, I thought of this...

via Pinterest
So wrong.

But so funny.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wiener Dog Wednesday...Milo and Bonedigger

The other day Charlie somehow stumbled across an online article about a lion and a pack of Dachshunds that are BFF at an exotic animal park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. I was at first appalled for the obvious reason that an itty bitty wiener dog would probably look like a delicious afternoon snack for a ferocious beast like a lion. So I said, "That is insanity! I would NEVER put my babies in a pen with a LION!" 

I decided to google more about it myself and here's the basic rundown:

*Bonedigger (the lion) was born with a metabolic bone disease that has rendered him mildly disabled.

*Milo (the Dachshund) and his litter mates were first introduced to Bonedigger when he was just a four week old cub. They have been inseparable ever since.
image source
*Milo, for whatever reason, seems to have formed the tightest bond with the now 500 pound Bonedigger and even licks his ginormous teeth clean for him.

*They all break bread munch on raw meat together. Yum-yum.

* Don't nobody mess with Bonedigger's homies for this maketh for a very angry lion. 

* The Dachsies sleep on his back. 

* Milo has apparently learned to speak Bonedigger's lion language and imitates his puffing which is some sort of growl they use to communicate with other prides. 
image source
I knew Dachshunds were smart but color me impressed.

Unlikely friendships are often the best kind. Or at the very least, the most fascinating.

But I still don't think I'd trust a lion around my wieners.

I'm just saying,

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Notes

Hey March, January called and wants its weather back. 

I don't think I can recall a time when I was ever more over winter than I am right now. We had another little one day teaser on Sunday with sunshine and 70 degree weather. I even got motivated to go out and clean my flower beds along the fence out and was surprised that my tulips are already beginning to sprout. Then I looked out across the yard and saw that many of the daffodils were in full bloom! Not sure when or how that even happened since it has been such a frigid winter but there they were.

Then yesterday happened. Temperatures started out around 60 and by early afternoon we had rain, wind and temperatures hovering right at freezing. This morning the sun is shining although it was 20 degrees on the drive to school. I looked out the window at the daffodils and their little heads are drooped over, no doubt frozen to death by that insane temperature plummet. And there are several patches of solid ice on the deck from all the rain that fell yesterday and then froze over last night.


But it has been my experience that no amount of whining and complaining is going to change a thing. Especially where the weather is concerned. 

So here are a few little tidbits of happy I've found over the past few days...

This Photo
I stumbled upon this in my camera roll. This basket hung right outside the sunroom door, on the deck, the summer before last (last year it rained all.summer.long). I set it as the background/wallpaper on my iPhone. It gives me something to look forward to because I am convinced that we will not have record-breaking rainfalls two summers in a row and that I will therefore be able to grow beautiful flowers once more.

This Redbird
 (Yes, I know it's called a Cardinal but it will always be a redbird to me.)
I looked out the bedroom window yesterday morning, just before time to take the boys to school and spotted him perched on the feeder. I grabbed the camera and tried desperately to get a good shot through the window though it was a bit dark and the flash washed everything out. I finally managed to get a pretty good one. First male one I've seen in a awhile. Never fails to make me smile. Even at 0 dark thirty.

Brisco (Big Boy) Darling's Sound Recognition
Let me explain. Yesterday morning, after I snapped that first shot of the redbird, he came bolting down the hallway eager to get in his chair by the window because he has apparently learned that when I'm snapping photos in the bedroom there is almost always something worth watching at that feeder outside the window. And he was right because, in addition to the redbird, there was a squirrel eating seeds off the ground underneath. Love that boy. 

Observation of Hole-Digging
(They have no idea these photos exist because I have a zoom lens and I am sneaky.)
Sunday afternoon, when we were having the spring teaser temps, they walked out the door together as if they were about to embark on a serious, top secret sort of mission (Devin was sporting aviator shades and sucking on a straw). When I asked where they thought they were off to they said in unison, "We're going to dig a hole." Of course I interrogated them to death and told them they needed to clear this with Charlie first. Turns out they were wanting to make a fire pit, something we've been putting off forever. Charlie told them where they could dig although it turned out to not be the best spot because they came to him at one point and told him they'd hit the water line. He was so happy to find they had not hit the water line that he didn't even seem upset that they had hit a drain pipe. He says he can make it all work so I guess it's all good. 

The real 'happy' in all this is that they somehow managed to do it without bickering. Not once did I hear any bickering and nobody got taken out with a shovel or anything. And then they went skateboarding. Together. Maybe there is hope after all. (Knock on wood. Hard.)
(Not sure where the aviator shades went but the straw is still there so you can imagine them on his face. It was sort of priceless. I really hate I didn't get a shot of it.)

(by Pharrell Williams)
I first heard this in Zumba class a couple of weeks ago and now it seems to be everywhere. I may get tired of it eventually but right now, I can't get enough. I absolutely cannot listen to this without dancing, even sitting down or driving down the road.
It's just so....happy!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Have You Tried Stitch Fix?

It's been over a year now since I signed up for Stitch Fix and I still get over-the-moon excited when I get my monthly email informing me that my fix has shipped. If you haven't heard of it, it's an online personal styling service where you answer a few questions about your sizes and style preferences and then for $20 a month (or per fix since you always have the option to skip a month) a stylist will choose five items for you to try along with a prepaid mailing envelope to send back the ones you don't want within three days.
If you buy at least one of the items, the $20 fee comes off the price of that and if you should happen to keep all five items, you receive a 25% discount on everything (this has happened for me twice). What I love about it so much, besides the anticipation/surprise aspect, is that I have acquired several pieces that I'm not sure I would have ever even tried on if I had seen them on the rack but that I absolutely love. 

I received my most recent fix on Friday afternoon and finally decided I was going to try and snap a few selfies as I was trying on the items in an attempt to share with y'all here. Well. There is a reason why I don't have a fashion blog because I felt like a total dork, I couldn't get the lighting right in my bedroom and everything was a little blurry but nevertheless, I've decided to press on because this is something I love so much that I've wanted to pass it along here since I started it over a year ago. 

Do not laugh.

Inside your box will be a note from the stylist and a card with suggestions on how to wear each piece. Here are the five items I received in this fix... 


I do typically go for this style of dress but something about this was amiss once I put it on. I felt sort of frumpy in it so I removed the sash and while it was an improvement, I noticed it was not laying right on the sides and then I realized why. It has pockets. Never have I seen side pockets in a dress and now I know there is a reason for this. This one went back.  (The photo I snapped of this one was just too out of focus to share and plus, there was that whole frumpy issue going on)

2. Next I tried on the Mumford Beaded Ombre Collar Necklace (Who knew an accessory could have such a long, important-sounding name?) 

No card comes with the jewelry but here it is on me...

I thought it was really pretty. Just not on me. It seemed to overwhelm me somehow. Back it went. 

3. Next I tried on this Embroidery Detail Knit Top by Lyssa.

I know this picture is not the greatest but I'm sharing it anyway. Against my better judgment. 

And here's where I attempt to show you that the embroidery detail continues in the back. I know, I know. But I think it's just in focus enough to make it out. 

And this is where I got Devin's text that he was ready to be picked up at baseball practice so I left wearing it. But it was okay because it was a keeper. 

4. When I returned I tried on the Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse by 41 Hawthorn. I have a few Stitch Fix pieces from 41 Hawthorn so I had high hopes for this one. 

The color was perfect.

The fit was almost. But not quite.

Something was off in the sleeves. It sort of tugged and binded so I had to say no which made me sad because I loved everything else about it. 

5. Lastly, I tried on what turned out to be my favorite of the lot, the Lucia Embroidered V-Neck Jersey Top.

It had me at jersey. Because I am all about the comfort and this felt like a pajama top. 

And that's it. After you're done trying on, you simply check out online, giving feedback on the items to help the stylists get to know what you like and don't like a little better, put the unwanted items in the prepaid bag, seal it up and drop it off at the post office within three days. Easy as that. 

If you'd like to give it a try, click HERE  for my referral link.

Happy Styling,

*note to self: If you ever get the notion to do something like this again, recruit Dracen as your personal photographer or at the very least, clear the clutter out of the background.  Selfies are not your strong suit.