Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Today, here at TftC, we honor one of "our own," and her Merry Christmas present from her "unknown" gift-giver.

Hey, Fighter!  Today is Happy Transplant Day!
If this face doesn't say, "I'm KICKING CANCER'S BUTT!" ........

And a GIANT THANK YOU to her "Unknown Gift-Giver!"  Merry Christmas "Unknown."  And thank you for giving Marla (and her whole entire family & friends & community) healing days ahead!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Shopping Tip #10

Where are tip #'s 1-9--you ask??  Why is tip #10 first??  10 is my favorite number.  I make it first.  Also, I have no idea what tips 1-9 are 10 has to be first.  Der.

Naturally, it's that joyous holiday time of year when we are all out in the pleasant hustle and bustle of Christmas gift shopping............

Pleasant?  Not so much.

Hustle and bustle?  Every minute!

Of course this is the point where I tell all you blog-stalkers that, when you're out and about doing your shopping, please remember how you'd want to be treated and treat others accordingly.  Do I really need to tell you that?  No.  I don't think so.  But just on the off chance you forget, here's a reminder--BE NICE!  For you, too, may need for the store security's first impression of you to be that of a "nice lady."

Holiday Shopping Tip #10:
Because time is always of the essence--especially when you're trying to cram gift-shopping for your kids in so you'll have time to drop the present by the house and hide it before you pick them up after school--I suggest making your trip through the check out faster and easier by locating your check card BEFORE you have to unload the contents of your oversized couture handbag onto the check out counter and expose your dirty little secret addiction to the yummy, white, no-calorie powder............

Apparently, Christmas is NOT the time of year to "mess with security."  I know this because they told me so.  

But, it's all good....I "look like a nice lady who should probably clean out her purse."  

Hope you look as "nice" as I this Christmas season!!

Oh.  And----IT'S JUST SPLENDA, PEOPLE!!  What's in YOUR wallet??????

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The jobs must be done. Also? Hum a little tune.

We have a chore chart.

Here at Casa del Sassy, we do not have a full time staff, so as any good parent would do, we make the teenagers work.  Hence.... chore chart.

Every afternoon, I remind the teenagers about the chore chart.

"Who has dishes?"

Giant teenager comes down the hall..... "AWWW, I hate dishes."  (Seven and one half minutes of teenage whining ensues.  Mucho complaining about the chore chart.  An argument regarding fairness.  Etc...)

Then, the most delightful thing.  Giant teenager starts doing the dishes!  Only seconds into his chore, I hear something unexpected.  Giant teenage boy is humming, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas!'

I love, LOVE to experiment with the human condition, so as soon as dishes are done (really people, about 4 dirty cups and 4 spoons)  I assign giant teenager another task.

"Will you vacuum the hallway for me?  Please?"

(Giant moans of teenage woe ensue.  A few suggestions on who else should run the vacuum.  A request for payment.  Etc....)

Then, it happens again!

Giant teenage boy is vacuuming the hallway and humming, 'Deck the Halls!'

The vacuum cleaner belt broke and instantly the holiday humming spell was broken.  He announced an urgency regarding a pirate game and that was the last of the humming.

For now.

Merry Saturday!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Off the Top of My Head. For No Good Reason.

This morning I'm busy finishing up about 900 thousand loads of laundry. I'm not exaggerating. I suddenly thought of some stuff.

 1. Dear underwire in every bra I own,

If you're not strong enough to survive a little sloshing around in a washing machine, then you certainly are not strong enough to survive real life. I'm a mother of teenagers. I go places and do things much more difficult than one brief swishy ride in a washing machine. Toughen up!  And, also? Be cheaper. I need to replace you more often.

2. Something funny happened during the mammogram.

I'm standing, completely topless, boob smashed into a machine, holding my breath and grasping the handle for dear life..... at that exact moment, the mammogram technician complemented my hair.

3.  Happy Monday after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Melting!

Sometimes, stories are brief...even when they are scientifically related.

It's Science Fair time at this house.  Luckily, this year, Little already knows exactly what experiment she wants to conduct--which really isn't all that new of an occurrence...the girl usually ALWAYS knows what she wants from her life!

What I love about science fair time is that it's not my job to take the lead parenting/monitoring role.  That's not what my academic background supports.....I don't wipe noses, I don't clean up puke, and I don't do science fair.  I only make science fair "pretty."  But, I've been married to a medical professional for almost 18 years, therefore, I am a "doctor-by-proxy"...and, I can pimp out a science fair board better than a Kardashian can trash up a wedding ceremony!

With list in hand, I send my dynamic-scientific-duo to the local Walmarts (it's the only real place one should shop for authentic scientifically related stuff).

Within the hour, the two return with all necessary supplies and a haste to begin:

Little:  Where's Big? (my Big & Little can never enter a room without asking about the other)

Mr. Analytical:  Focus.  Don't worry about him.  Now, what is your question? (you know, because every good science experiment begins with "the question.")

Little (very slowly and clearly so as to be heard by the deaf dad):  Where.  Is.  Big?

Mr. Analytical:  you're fired.

......And so the experiment begins.........

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Poor Husband

The Bossman is such a good husband. For several years now, every time we would take the family on a trip in the pick up truck, I would be very scared. And weird. And mean. And, basically a giant pain the rear end for the entire trip. Especially the driving part.

Recently, I saw my little old doctor, and requested some medicine that would help me with this problem. PrissE was instrumental in helping me with this. I believe her exact words were, "Gurl, just go get a pill."

With that, a prescription was written, and then picked up at the friendly Walmarts pharmacy. I just needed a car trip to try the stuff out.

Yesterday, we went on a car trip.

The Bossman and I needed to take Jag on over to the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas for his annual check up. This trip would combine all my 'triggers': a long car ride, a doctor, a teenager, heavy traffic and brake lights.

We loaded up the truck and left at 3:55am. At 4:00am, only one small block from our house, the Bossman decided he forgot the GPS device and we needed to turn around. I snapped at him one time, then fished the pill from my bag and took one. Let's just see how this works.

In about 20 minutes or so, I felt relaxed. I no longer wanted to jump out the truck window and walk home to never leave my house again. It only took 20 minutes! A little further down the road, I became very sleepy. It was still dark, after all, so I reclined the seat and slept for a long time. I woke up and still felt great! I talked to the Bossman, and began a closer monitoring of the truck radio, but all was still really good.

As we got closer to Dallas, we would have an occasional conversation about the meaning of brake lights or the positioning of street signs. I think Jag and I had one brief conversation about pointing out things on the side of the road for dad to look at while he was driving in heavy traffic, but all was still going really well. I was being..... pleasant.

Instead of loud terrifying gasps from the passenger seat while I strangled the door handle and constantly checked to see if my seat belt was safely fastened, I would occasionally say, "Oh! That startled me!" And, the Bossman would laugh.

I felt so relaxed, that I found it easy to channel Dr. Phil. I would say to Jag and the Bossman something like, "You know I have this travel anxiety. Why would you (fill in the blank here of some irritating Y chromosome activity)?" Then, I would tell them that Dr. Phil would say they were working against my success. Jag thought those moments of counseling were funny at first. After a while, he put a movie on the DVR, and settled into the head phones.

I was busy trying to trick the GPS device when I asked the Bossman what he thought about the new medicine I took. He paused for a moment, then said, "Well, that pill didn't shut you up, but you're being nice and funny. I think it's worth it."

Jag decided to chime in with, "Yeah Mom, you should take them more often."

We're home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

P is for Panties

Wide-eyed. Excited to share. Obviously proud of his vocabulary skills. A very smallish little boy ran to me one afternoon. He began to poke me repeatedly with his pointer finger. (stop poking me!) This is what he said:

Kid: Did that boy just tattle on me? That boy in the blue shirt? Because I didn't say anything bad. And, I wasn't talking to him. And, I thought he was probably tattling on me for saying a bad word. But, it's not a bad word, and I don't want him to tattle on me, because it's a regular word. Not a bad word. I'm not lying. I promise.

I looked at the boy, puzzled. Waited a long time, not really knowing what to say. I wondered if he was tattling on himself or if this was a preemptive strike against the other smallish boy..... curiosity got the best of me.

Me: What did you say?

Kid: P is for panties.

Me: You're right. Don't tell anyone else. Go play.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"A Real Live Author???"

Lately, I think the universe has come to the conclusion that I have too much spare time (and I'm certain it is in NO relation to the fact that I've seen the ENTIRE series of the TV shows 'Criminal Minds,' 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The Guardian,' 'NCIS,' 'Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team,' and 'The Golden Girls' all within the last 2 school years.  Eh.  We make time for what we love!)

I've had a couple of job offers within the last 3 months--one of which I took, then "un"took....don't ask.

Recently, though, I had an epiphany--I ALREADY HAVE FOUR JOBS!!!!!  And none of those include being the mom to an almost-teenage-boy and a seven-year-old-girl-with-the-intelligence-of-a-35-year-old-woman.

I'm tired.

Nonetheless, my latest job ROCKS!!!  It's also a BIG part of why I'm scarce around these here blog-parts.


Can you believe it???  Texas Tech University Independent School District is paying ME to write for them!

ReAl MoNeY that the IRS will want a share of!  

I am TOTALLY stoked about being able to say:

"Hi.  I'm PrissE.  I'm a paid & published author.  To whom would you like for me to make out this autograph?"

Now.......if I could just get someone to pay me to lose weight...........

Friday, November 4, 2011


Living with teenage boys gives me a whole new perspective.

Exciting news from the Bossman's side of the family! Wedding in April! We couldn't be more excited. Or, could we?

Me: I think Aunt J's wedding will be this April.

Mav: Who's she marrying?

Me: Really? You know, that guy that she's been dating for over 11 years. You swim at his house. Holiday games, parties.... that guy. She's marrying him. You knew that, right? You're not clueless.

Mav: **slow consideration** I might be clueless, but at least I'm not blonde.

(Which is funny on this particular day because I had just returned from the beauty shop for an update of my natural 'blonde' status. Good one, Mav. You got me!)

In response to the April announcement, Fox's only reply was a question.

Fox: Am I gonna have to be an usher again? I don't want to be an usher again.

Me: Why not? You had fun last time.

Fox: Touching all those old people arms freaks me out.

And so, with that..... Congratulations Aunt Joyce and Steve. We can't wait to be blonde and clueless while touching old people arms.

Random, unrelated photograph. Just for laughs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Adventures in Substitute Teaching: Outside All Day

I've just discovered a secret jewel in the crown of the substitute teacher. The PE teacher. Wait.... before you roll your eyes, just listen for a moment, there are moments of awesome. Truly blissful, awesome.

The PE teacher job is tricky. It's success depends greatly on weather. I was just happily the PE teacher for two solid days of absolutely beautiful sun-shiny weather.

The PE teacher job also comes with a tool. The whistle. Fans, until you've held the whistle power, you really do not know what you are missing. Literally, dozens of children will stop in their tracks when you blow the whistle. Some of the children will watch you carefully. Very carefully watching for the moment you may bring the whistle to your lips to signal the 'line-up' time. Their only goal? To be first in line.

The PE teacher job also comes with the liberty of wearing my most comfortable, most favorite sneaks to school. After all, I'm the PE teacher. That's almost like an assistant coach, right? I mean.... they let me have a whistle for Pete's sake.....

Whistle + Sneaks + children running = Coach-like person or PE teacher. It's science. Or simple math. Either way, it doesn't matter to me, because I'm the PE teacher.... no math or science necessary.

Many of you that know me, will be wondering how I might exploit this limited whistle power. Let me just tell you, children are fun. My options are almost limitless. Let's begin.

First of all, I quickly figured out this 'first in line' thing was a huge deal. Towards the end of every class, I would 'fake' bring the whistle to my lips, and 'almost' whistle. Children would run to the line. Then, I was able to actually blow the whistle to signal that it wasn't line up time yet. I know, it's subtle humor that mostly only I laughed at, but I've got to fill the day, right?

Next, I would hold the whistle in my mouth for no reason. The children didn't like that much.

"Why is the whistle in your mouth?"


"Why is that in your mouth?"

Two very popular questions. My replies were dumb:

"I'm warming it up."


"I forgot where I left it."

I'm outside all day with children. I'm making it fun for all of us.

Even when I got a little bit hot and a little bit sun burned it was okay because there was a shade tree and a bench to sit on. Under the shade tree were also boys digging in dirt and collecting rocks and sticks. Fun stuff, mostly only little boys will enjoy. I knew they had made me part of their club when I was presented with a prize. A bug.

Tiny little boys, digging in dirt and bringing me bugs. I am super good at that.

No whistle needed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friday at the Fair or Quality Time With the Bossman

I can't even believe it myself! I was tricked! Here's the story of how I became a Ninja lamb whisperer.

Early Friday morning, I was elected (by secret ballot) to be the 'helper' to the Bossman on the day to deliver the lambs to the fair for the stock show. The children were otherwise obligated for some silly thing..... oh yes, school! I wore old clothes and old sneakers.

I climbed up into the truck still rubbing my eyes after a late night football adventure the night before. The Bossman is grinning from ear to ear, "Are you ready for some quality time?"

We pick up the lambs and get them into the trailer without incident.

(A few years ago, we spent an hour chasing a runaway lamb. The Bossman got so mad he left in his truck to go get a 'lasso' to capture the runaway lamb. By the time he got back, I had the lamb's rope in hand while the silly thing was eating hay from my other hand. I just couldn't figure out how to get that lamb through the electric fence without shocking myself. That 'no lasso needed' lamb capture is still fresh in the Bossman's mind when we begin this adventure.)

We arrive at the fair, and unload without any problems. Everything is going pretty smoothly. Then, the Bossman announces that it's time to start washing them. He decides we'll wash and shear one at a time before moving onto the next lamb. I just look at him in disbelief. "We're washing right now?"

It begins.

We start with the most unruly lamb. It's my job to hold the rope while the Bossman washes the lamb. Sounds like an easy enough task, until the Bossman turned the water on. This insane lamb starts to jump and thrash. He jumps up and almost out of the wash rack several times while dislodging the latch to the wash rack gate and almost escaping. The Bossman was impressed with my ducking skills when the lamb jumped up and almost kicked my face! I was kicked in the arm and chest but I never let go of the rope. (That's a super big deal.)

The washing and shearing goes on like this for about 45 minutes per lamb. At the end of the task, I was wet, tired and bloody. I look up at the Bossman and say, "You should have checked the boys out of school for this." He then laughs at me and says, "But then we'd miss all this quality time together. I'll buy you some lunch in a few minutes." He wipes some blood and sweat from my forehead and gives me a little kiss, then hands me a wire brush and tells me to start brushing out the legs on Southdown.

I'm greatly encouraged by the promise of lunch, so I begin my brushing task. "Her legs are still wet, the brush isn't working." The Bossman then sets me up with a blower. Now, I'm in my element! I'm blow drying and brushing out the leg wool of a lamb! This is almost like being in the beauty shop! No problem!!

I'm happily blowing and brushing this lamb's leg, when a large chunk of, let's call in 'mud', violently flies up and bonks me in the mouth! I'm shocked! Can this be right? Basically, I've just hit myself in the mouth with a giant old lamb turd? No. That can't be right. That would never happen at the beauty shop. I finish up the lamb's legs without mentioning the lamb turd to the Bossman. My only thought at that point was not delaying lunch any further.

The Bossman did buy my lunch that day. He said I did a great job of not letting go of the rope on any lamb, and the legs looked great on the Southdown. I devoured my lunch while not talking much. I was cold, still wet, still bloody and I was busy wiping the memory of flying lamb turds from my brain. I just told him to work on a better adventure for our next quality time outing. Less blood and maybe zero turds would be a good start.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day to Count Blessings

Today is a blessing. I am reminded that my daily life is pretty awesome. Mondays as a substitute teacher can be a great opportunity for gratitude. I'm not always a positive person when I'm in the middle of an unpleasant experience. Yesterday, in the middle of the worst of everything, I said to myself, 'Tomorrow you'll stamp and create projects for future events.'

A genuine smile for no apparent reason really confuses a room full of teenagers.

A few days ago, I had an extremely pleasant adventure. A whole day of holiday crafting! Early enough on the calendar to enjoy the projects without the holiday rush.

I think everyone had a very pleasant time. (I also had an opportunity to practice some indoor photography.)

These photographs represent the daily awesome that I enjoy. Sharing my passion for stamping and crafting..... it's my real job!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up On My Soapbox & It's Not Really Very Funny

Late nights. Raw nerves. High emotions. Three volatile ingredients that fuel this post. Get ready friends, I'm up on my soapbox and it's not very funny. Believe me, because I know what is funny! This. Isn't.

Jag got 'Senior' pranked. I guess the entire school got 'Senior' pranked, but I like to keep this blog mainly about me. Or my family. So, let me just tell you what happened to Jag, from my point of view. Because I'm not going to be allowed to speak to the guilty teenagers. (I've already asked.)

All of his school supplies were stolen (pranked) from his locker. It happened sometime Tuesday night, and they're still looking for everything.

Specifically, he doesn't have any notes, books, spirals, graphs, charts or handouts for Honors English, Geometry, History or Chemistry. The teachers and principal are working right now to get him everything he needs. Everything that was stolen (pranked) from 3 1/2 weeks of school work. Teachers are sacrificing their conference/lunch/personal times to make new copies just for Jag. Thank you responsible grown ups for helping Jag right now.

Here's what was stolen (pranked) from Jag that can't be replaced. His sense of time. His ability to organize. His trust. I'm just sitting here right now wondering how to replace 3 1/2 weeks of time for him. Anyone have any ideas?

He had the immense pleasure of briefly getting in trouble in all his classes yesterday for not being prepared for class. He would explain to the teachers that he didn't forget anything, it was stolen (pranked) from his locker. Everything gone. He explained it about 5 times yesterday. I can't imagine the frustration level yesterday. For everyone.

If I have to replace all of Jag's school supplies, I'll be out some cash. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Here's what I want to say about all this. Theft isn't a prank. Vandalism isn't a prank. Our kids can be arrested, charges filed, jail, probation, scholarships lost. Teenagers please think about it.

Is a Senior Prank really worth it?

Do you really want to be remembered as the kid that lost their scholarship or was denied enrollment in college because of a criminal record? Do you want to explain your criminal record to possible future employers for the rest of your life? Because your 'Senior Prank' was a crime? Really?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Anniversary of Reclamation

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, my dad was still age-eligible for "active recall" into the military should the U.S. Army see fit.  The first question I asked him when I called him that day was, naturally, "Are you okay?" to which he replied, naturally, "Yes.  In udder disbelief, but, yes.  I'm okay."  The second question I asked him--the one he answered without hesitation and still rattles me to the core--was, "Did Colin Powell call?  Do you have to go back?"

My dad's response--after a half-hearted under-his-breath chuckle:  "No.  General Powell didn't call.  I doubt he needs an old pilot with poor eyesight.....but if he did, I'd go back in a heartbeat.  Yep.  I'd sure go back."  

And so begins, from many who share the spirit of "Yep.  I'd sure go back," a time of Reclamation.

Today, we remember, reflect, and reclaim one of the most horrific days in our nation's history--September 11, 2001.

We strive to always remember those who were lost, who sacrificed, and who were left behind.  This is my friend and classmate:
CW2 Scott Jamar

But, knowing Scott, here's how he'd rather we all remember him--a well functioning gear in a well oiled team (he's the second from the right on the front row...kneeling):

Most importantly, though, is the most precious legacy he leaves behind and that defined him:

A Tribute to Storm Flight 557:

On this, our 10th Anniversary, our wounds may not be completely healed.  Our anger not completely quelled.  And our spirit of a nation-united hugely underestimated.  This year, we reclaim our tenacity and our fortitude in an effort to honor those we lost, their families, our country, and the world we welcome to our shores.  This year, our men and women breach the skyline that once was bare, but now clearly represents the resolve of this nation.  

Telling our stories is how we heal and how we honor one another.  We all have a story that connects us, in some way, to the tragic and senseless way our nation was changed on that Tuesday.  
What's your story? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Star Wars, My Sister & Football: None of these things go together.

It's the beginning of Week #3 around here. School Week #3. So far, so good. It's normally about the middle of this week, when I start to feel a little bit anxious. A little bit like, this is too good to be true, sort of a thing. Keep your fingers crossed.

The busy is starting to really amp up around here. It's a good sort of busy. Next on the agenda. Junior High football. Yep, starts this week.

Repeat after me: I will not freak out. I will not freak out. I will not freak out.

We're seriously considering medicating my sister for this. She's not ready.

I thought I was ready. After all, I've already done this one time. In my mind, I was ready for this. I kept my cool right up until the first day of full pads, full contact. Then, I found out I wasn't as ready as I thought. No worries. I didn't embarrass anyone. I worried quietly in my own home. Over eating just the right amount.... you know, the normal 'mom' response. Then, I went to a card class and shared my cell phone picture of these sweet baby boys. All the ladies gave me just the right amount of encouragement. Now, I'm fine again. For now.

A closer look at the football photo reveals a super cool, most awesome twin thing..... the boys are in the right number order for who was born first. For some reason, that is stinkin' cool to me. I hope they get those numbers for their official game jerseys.

We survived the long holiday weekend. Thank you Spike channel for the 'Star Wars' marathon. If there's ever been a better series of movies ever made, I don't know what it could be. My sister refuses to watch 'Star Wars'. Any episode. This may be my great failure in life. I somehow must figure out a way to persuade her to watch. Any ideas?

Look at us. Today is her birthday. Mom says we look alike. 'May the force be with you' on your birthday. Make your life complete by watching a 'Star Wars' movie. Go ahead and do it.... all the popular kids are watching....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today, is NOT Ground Hog Day.

That title is a bit of an inside joke. If you want 'in' on the joke, just go over to the EFFbooks and 'friend' PrissE & me. The both of us. Then, just read the public texting we did last night. It's funny.

Happy Birthday PrissE!

Believe it or not, I knew that without a test.

Also? I knew it without you constantly reminding me this whole past year.

So, one question. Will today be done over and over and over..... you know, like that movie, 'Ground Hog Day'?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School -- Pros & Cons

Oh yeah, baby. Back to school.

Pro - Back to routine. Back to normal. Back to some body else being cruise director for my busy boys. Blissfully quiet house.

Con - Setting my alarm clock every morning.

Pro - Friday Night Lights! Football fun! Band crazies! Pep rally mania! Blissfully quiet house.

Con - 95% of my laundry will be green/black.

Pro - Coffee meetings with friends. Lunches with friends. Shopping with friends. (Only on the days I'm not enjoying my blissfully quiet house.)

Con - Sub days (a 'con' that I will enjoy this year!) **fingers crossed**

Pro - Did I mention the blissfully quiet house?

Con - Well, that turns into a con at about week 15.

Adios boys! I want all the details when you get home!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Almost" 40--It's a Magic Number

Blog-stalkers, breathe.  PrissE is baaaaaaaack!  It's been a loooooong time since we've talked, so naturally I've forgotten everything I have to tell you--after all, I am "almost" 40.

I've decided that "almost" 40 is a truly magical number.

Let me demonstrate:

Scenario % (that's right.  since I'm almost 40, i don't have to use typical numbers.  you should hop on my train of thought.)  HA!!  Too much too soon??  I'll go slower....

Scenario 2 (better?):
When my knowledge of Cher is being debated by my 7 year old, I say:  I am almost 40 years old.  I believe my knowledge pool is a few feet deeper than yours, dear 7 year old (i love summer.  don't judge my metaphors).

Scenario 3:
Telling my parents I'm almost 40!  Stop 'parenting' me.  FYI:  this is not a response for the week--or the flip-flop wearing.  Almost 40 year old women in flip-flops may be able to run fast, but almost 66 year old dads can sometimes run faster.......

Scenario 4:
Feeling compelled to show off that big fancy college degree--the one I got back in 1993--when my supervisor of less than a week informs me that she'll "instruct" me on how to put a new liner in the giant plastic trash can.  Let's just say that, did I not earn the appropriate degree to change trash can liners? is not the most accepted response to an offer of instruction.  Stooooopid college degree.

Tonight, The Trophy Wives Minus One Club had dinner & movie night (because we do that whenever we get the chance, get a wild hair, or whenever we want).  It was fantastic, like it always is--mad props to the gorgeous salad bowl at McCalisters!

And, I'm gonna go ahead and give some Golden Globe & Oscar nods to "The Help."  FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC, this movie is!!!!  And nobody's paying me to say it, either!  It's just about the best movie I've seen in forever!

I laughed.  I cried.  I gave a few "witnesses" with some out loud 'Amens.'  Even the heavy-nose-breather-man sitting next to me shed a few tears and laughed till I thought he might pass out.  The movie was just that good.

And I even learned a lesson...a 'moral,' if you will:  Tell the story.

Tell the story.  Don't be afraid.  Don't worry.  You can change the names all you want.  Just tell the story.

Tonight, I learned that I'm probably really not the "high society" snob in the hierarchy of life...I'm really more like "the help."  I've got stories to tell.  Some of them are difficult, and some of them make me laugh so hard I nearly cry.  Some of them I've been afraid to tell.  I didn't want to make anyone mad, hurt anyone's feelings, or rock certain boats.  But guess what?  Keeping my mouth shut and marching to another's beat was never really one of my "gifts."  

Almost 40 has been a magical number.  It's given me a feeling of almost freedom.  I'm so close to that freedom my typing-fingers can almost touch it.  


I'm almost 40...................................but not for much longer..........

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Substitute Nail Place

I pledge allegiance, to my original beauty shop, the one and only good place to go.

Except when your sister in law forgets about you.

There have been only a couple times in the last 25 or so years that I've been forgotten at the beauty shop. Those times always have two accountable parties. Me. and She. The both of us. One time we blamed the 'force'. A temporary disturbance in the 'force' made us both forget.

Is a forgotten nail appointment by two people even an appointment at all? I digress.....

We're both doing a lot of different stuff, and family members, close friends and an occasional on-looker CLAIM there's some issues involving early onset dementia, so.... sometimes really important nail appointments get forgotten. And, as she will tell you, 'Family gets you nowhere around here.'

I'd like to raise my hands with an Amen to that statement. Sorry... digressing again.

So, because of a whole lot of un-fore-seen and forgotten reasons, I had to go to the substitute nail place. Twice. Whatever.... the second time is the funny story.

I arrived at the substitute nail place only 30 short minutes after it opened. Several, if not nearly all, of the chairs were already filled. This is the really good substitute nail place. PrissE recommended it for emergencies. I'm safe here.

I step to the counter, and request an acrylic nail fill. Tim (name changed to protect his innocence) says, 'Let me see you nails.'

I obeyed.

Tim has a furrowed brow as he says, 'You wait 10 minutes.'

Again, I obeyed.

Sure enough, 10 minutes later, Tim says, 'You sit chair 2.'

I obeyed. While placing MY OWN POLISH I BROUGHT FROM HOME at my station. Tim sits down, motions for me to give him my hands..... I obeyed (this is not my first nail rodeo). Tim then tells me that it's going to cost $2 more because of my solar nails.

Me: No, they are a-cry-lic nails. (I speak louder and slower when conversing with the Vietnamese.)

Tim: Oh. You do them yourself?

Me: No.

Tim: Oh. You friend do them?

Me: No. (Because, I'm not at the substitute nail place to let every person in the universe know my life story. Or, from whence other beauty shop I came.)

Tim: Oh. Still $2 more.

Me: Alright, but they are professionally done. They are acrylic nails. Premium Powders to be exact. The pink and the white.

Tim: These nails bad. Very bad. All crooked. Lines no good.

Me: Thanks. My regular nail girl will be excited to know your opinion of her work.

Lady beside me laughs out loud. In a big LOL fashion, as we both make faces.

Tim: You go chair 4.

I obeyed.

New nail guy has very little to say. Fills in my acrylic nails, buffs and shapes them, tells me to wash then, new nail guy leaves.

I return to chair 4, where the new nail lady polishes my nails, WITH MY OWN POLISH I BROUGHT FROM HOME, then begins to tell me that the polish doesn't look good. She recommends I use something else. I explain to her, in my slow talk, that I want this specific color because it will be pretty at my sister's wedding.

She's quiet for a moment, then with her most ugly wrinkled up face tells me that I 'need brows done, look too bushy.'

Now, I'm smiling because I think PrissE is having me 'punked' at the substitute nail place, so I decline a wax ripping off procedure and leave.

Later that day, in the car I reflected on the genius of the substitute nail place. They basically insult you until you concede to their procedures. It totally worked! Nail lady ripped 3 sets of eye brows while I was there, just by telling the gals they looked bushy.

It's fascinating.

Ya'll please don't tell my sister in law to insult me. She'll forget what she said, and I'll leave with the wrong procedure. No one wins in the insulting-dementia relationship.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Trying Something New.

I've never participated in one of Shelli's challenges before. Shelli is the fearless leader of Stampin' UP! Most of the faithful blog readers know that I've been a demonstrator for a happy 8 years and counting. I love my job!

This month's challenge was to create something to send to a friend, neighbor or family member to encourage them. A 'thinking of you' type card (that sentiment not required for the challenge.) I immediately thought about one of the samples I created for a recent card class. During the month of July, Wendy and I hosted 'bring a new friend' card classes. Classes intended to introduce more people to card making, while increasing our customer base. (This is our business!)

The classes were an overwhelming success! I'm so thankful to every customer that brought a new friend to card class. (And all friends that came without friends too! Love ya'll!) All you beautiful people are helping me SHARE my love of stamping and paper crafting, while we build beautiful friendships.

Now, my entry to the creative challenge from SoShelli:

Pool Party, Basic Black, So Saffron & Very Vanilla Card stock
In Color dsp, First Edition ssp
Basic Black Ink
'My Friend' Stamp Set
Eyelet Border punch, 1 3/4" Circle punch, Decorative Label punch
Rhinestone jewels

This card makes me think of all the friendships I've formed during these years as a demonstrator. Best of all, it makes me so excited for all the fun we're going to have making new friends while we SHARE and craft together!!

Thanks for reading today! I hope you enjoy this card, but most of all, I hope it inspires you to create something to SHARE with someone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Conversations... or, Why Reading the TV Ticker is a Great Lifeskill.

The days are passing too quickly. Summer is evaporating before my very eyes. Football starts Monday. How is this possible?

I plan on cramming every bit of summer fun into these last days of summer. Or, I might just stay home and watch movies in the air conditioning...... Let's just wait and see.

Summer has been going on long enough that I'm comfortable with my next declaration. People, I vow to you all. I declare with a loud voice. Sponge Bob stupid will not be on my TV again this summer. Amen.

I know there are 2-8 blog readers out there that like to click their feelings at the end of each post. Please, don't hide your true cartoon thoughts.

Now, on to more important summer things. Today, PrissE and I had some floating time. Seems like it's been too long since we had a good float together. I'm not talking about ice cream.

During today's float, we discussed current events with the lifeguard. Because we can people. We can discuss current events with teenagers and no one gets hurt. That's why.

Today's current event was the NFL lockout ending. I was delighted to share my current event knowledge. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: I read today that the Cowboys have released a bunch of players to get under that new salary cap.

PrissE: I'm so impressed! You read an entire article! Was it online or in a magazine?

Me: Oh NO! It was the ticker running across the bottom of the TV while I watched Sports Center. That information is accurate.

PrissE nearly drowned from laughing so hard. Now do you see why it's so important to share your current events with the lifeguard?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Routine?

No. We don't have a summer routine. This deeply disappoints two people in my house. Two people that really need a cruise director. Sadly, we didn't budget for any new employees this summer. So, no cruise director.

One of my friends asked a very interesting question on the FB yesterday. What is the most frequently asked question at your house? No one really replied with anything except me.

'What are we gonna do next?'

'Can I have a snack now?'

'Is my Under Armour shirt clean?'

Children can ask them as many times as they want. The answers are always the same.

'I'm not your cruise director.'

'Is it 3:30?'

'I have no idea.'

I was super bored one day, so I answered their questions with random answers...... for instance, to the question, 'Can I have a snack now?' I replied, 'I have no idea.'

Totally confused them both. So, true to form, one ate a snack and the other walked away with a confused look on his face.

It didn't stop there. Mav came by right before lunch with the standard, 'Is my Under Armour shirt clean?' So I replied, 'Is it 3:30 yet?' He looked at the clock, and walked away. I really chuckled, because Moms are so good at stuff like this. (Or so I thought.)

3:30 rolls around and Mav informs me that it is 3:30 and his shirt still isn't clean. What do I have to say for myself? Smiles. Walks away.

Now, I'm the puzzled one. I get up, go look in the laundry room, stand there for a second, and he re-appears. Just looks at me and says, 'It works both ways Mom.'

(Did I just get zinged? By my own trick?)

I'm just filling the day people. There's no reason for any of this.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm home.

While I was away, I think only one of the teenagers missed me. I received one phone call from the smallest boy. The one that has been attached to my hip for most of the summer. He phoned, it went a little something like this:

Me: Hello? What's up cutie?

Mav: Mom, I'm busy but I needed to tell you I made a bead sculpture.

Me: Okay, what are you busy doing?

Mav: Didn't you hear me? I just made a bead sculpture.

Me: Oh! That sounds cool. What of?

Mav: BEADS. Can't you hear me. It's made of BEADS! Little plastic circles... different colors... BEADS!!

Me: Yes, I get that. What are the beads in the shape of?

Mav: Reade, Meg and Penny.

Me: OH... how neat! Why did you......

Mav: Mom, I gotta go. Gaggy is waiting on me to go to the store.

Me: Okay, bye! I love you!


Sometimes, it's all about the beads.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It's a skill every mom possesses. I'm not always very good at it.


Yesterday afternoon, I amazed even myself.

I was sitting in my newly painted, just short of AmAzing new office finishing up swaps for convention this week. Simultaneously, while also, at the same time I was able to lead two (2) boys in the important packing of the camp bag. One week at camp requires a ton of stuff. All of the stuff is on a list. Neither of my children could stay on the same item of the list, so I ran two different check off lists.

During the important camp bag packing, I also gave verbal instruction on how to appropriately fold. Simultaneously, while also, at the same time giving the second boy instruction on what to write on his 'don't forget' post it note. Then, they switched, and I did the same thing in reverse. (Please keep hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times during this ride.)

Let me sum up all tasks done yesterday afternoon all at the same time:

1. stamp, staple and assemble 40 swaps

2. pack two (2) boys for camp

3. teach them to fold

4. check off two (2) check lists.... in different order.

5. write important post-it notes


Summer isn't for wimps. You may applaud my super power multi-tasking skills.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Movie Review

Luckily, over the past few weeks, I've been able to see a few of the new summer movies. I really enjoy going to the movies, so I thought I'd just share my feelings about some of these movies. Maybe I can help you decide if you want to see these flicks or not.

Mr. Popper's Penguins: Super cute little film. No bad words or nudity. I went with a group of kids, and they commented that Jim Carrey was a little annoying, but all in all a really nice film with a good story. Has a happy ending, which I totally love.

Bad Teacher: Eh. Maybe skip this one. It was alright. It's pretty raunchy with a few scenes that I had to hide my eyes because I don't need to see that stuff. There's a whole lot of F bombs. Justin Timberlake is 'less than' awesome, which totally upset me, because he's PrissE's secret crush. I really thought I'd enjoy this movie, because I usually enjoy a good comedy. The plot line switches quickly and for no apparent reason. Sadly, the bad stuff goes unpunished, which really upsets my sense of justice. I saw this movie with a group of teachers and we all left feeling mostly the same way.

Cars 2: We hauled the family to the drive in for this one! It's pretty cute! The Looney Toones trailer at the beginning was every one's favorite part! This sequel isn't as good as the original, but we still really enjoyed it. Had a lot of laughs and the kids are still saying some of the quotes from the funny parts. This movie makes us really like Larry the Cable Guy, but don't let your short people watch anything else Larry the Cable Guy does on cable TV. His stand up is strictly the adult variety.

X-Men Original: The second feature at the drive in was the new X-Men movie. I'm not sure of the exact title, but it's the one that's supposed to explain how it all got started. WARNING: There's a F bomb in this movie, and that's pretty much the only thing my kids wanted to talk about when it was over. I'm not a X-Man movie person, and I haven't seen the other X-Man movies, so maybe that handicapped me. YAWN. None of the adults in our group could stay awake for this movie. Kevin Bacon is the bad guy, and he's the best part of the movie! Every time I'd wake up, all the characters were still trying to kill Kevin Bacon and I began to beg to the Movie.... please, let Kevin Bacon's character die! Certainly it will be over soon after he's dead.

I soon began envying all the folks that left the drive in after the first show. They were the smart ones, not me. I say skip this X-Man movie.

Here's my disclaimer: These opinions are only MY opinions, and don't reflect any sort of payment of any kind. We bought all our own tickets with our own money, but if the X-Man people want to send me a refund, I'd take it.

Is it X-Man? or X-Men? What do you call the blue girl? Nah.... Never mind. I don't care.

The summer's not over yet! Happy Movie going!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Discovery

Fox and Mav just completed their first week at Band Camp. Fox plays the trumpet. There's a few stories about that for a later post.

Mav plays the Alto Saxophone. (Just like I did back in the old days..... Or as I like to call them, the '80's.)

Mav just discovered something EXTREMELY COOL about the saxophone. Not as obvious as the sexy saxophone curves and the wicked cool neck strap. Beyond the attractive 'sucking of the reed' and more smooth than that saxophone sound. At band camp, over half of the Alto players are girls.

(This picture snapped just after the cute one on the right asked him, 'Is that your Mom?')

I can't help it! Blog stalkers... my boys are cute! It's not ALL my fault.

Have you met their dad?

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Summer Errands, Updated to Include Children

Summer is rolling right along! There's already been a handful of camps completed and one brief and wonderful weekend trip. (Tulsa, I miss you already!)

We have experienced water parks and restaurants. Professional home cooking and the best of some really giant truck stops. In short, we're just about having the times of our lives, even if I can't figure out how to fit in Driver's Ed.

Today's list of errands included a trip to the eye doctor. Annual check ups don't take very long. Jag will be sporting some glasses soon. Dude can't really see very well. The doctor thought that would become an issue when he starts to drive. (Maybe we should say IF he starts to drive. Remember, we haven't signed up for Driver's Ed yet.) Epic parent fail.

We're in the car, deciding what to have for lunch:

Fox: Mom, can you take us to Hooter's for lunch.

Me: No.

Fox: They have a gift shop.

Me: I'm not taking you to Hooter's.

Fox: They don't have any WAITERS. Only WAITRESSES.

Me: I'm not taking you to Hooter's.

Fox: The chicken there is SOOOO good.

Me: I'm not taking you to Hooter's.

Fox: Why Not?

Me: I don't want the Waitresses to get jealous.

(Car fills with teenage boy laughter.)

We enjoyed Chick-fil-a...... and, nobody had to be jealous.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Two Things

Two things I saw today that I thought were pretty groovy:

1. The new Chick-fil-A has two ordering windows. That's totally groovy! Next, I want the drive up windows at fast food places to be like going to the bank. Maybe I wouldn't be so chubby if I was only allowed to eat what would fit into a canister.

2. The Friday afternoon traffic today was, well..... like a Friday, except hotter and WAY more sweaty. I love that I saw an elderly lady driving her giant gold Cadillac in the Mall parking lot. I especially love that she backed out of her parking spot without looking and went from zero to 40mph in about one second..... which is even more impressive when I tell you she was wearing a patch on her right eye.

Dear Universe, when I grow up, I want to be the type old lady that's not afraid to drive on a Friday afternoon with an eye patch on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


file this under: I don't understand why, but clearly this is the most fun we'll ever have with only dirt and water.

or simply answer: Because they're boys.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

*SpEcIaL* Doesn't Even BEGIN to Cover It!

June 4, 1994
A Love Story Begins.....

Happy 17 Years, Mr. Analytical!!!

June 4, 2000
My Most Precious Baby Boy is Born!


We'll just have to wait on that 'anniversary celebration' till the boy's older & moved out of the house, I think........

I love you, BOTH SO much!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

You'll Enjoy This!

There's some stuff I've been meaning to tell ya'll..... I'm gonna list it all 'lazy' style, but I know you'll enjoy it!

1. My sister finally admitted that I'm the pretty sister. She did it all public like on the famous FB. Now, I can say I have adequately influenced my sister, and she's ready to be wed. My work here is done.

2. I just had the very most exciting shopping experience at our local FOOT LOCKER! People, go drop some money in their store! Sales people found my size, saved me money, and had the merchandise shipped to ME!! Thank you FOOT LOCKER!! For restoring my faith in local merchants.

3. I'm super proud of myself because I was well behaved at a recent school event. This is especially impressive when you know that there was a HUGELY inappropriately dressed employee there. That's right people.... I passed on an opportunity to advise someone on their wardrobe. I think I'm maturing as a person..... Nah.

4. As an award for being born, I recently received a super awesome new camera. I've been having goo-gobs of fun snapping pictures of everything under the sun. I think I'll enjoy the camera more once I know how to appropriately use all its elements. Until then.... enjoy this:

5. Almost finally, I've successfully stayed on my diet for one week. I'm just slightly meaner, but it's very hard to say if that's because of the diet, or just because I'm mean in the first place.


Don't judge me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fat Free--Ch. My Wine Glass is Half-Fat!

My new personal mantra:  
When black ceases to be's time to take action.

Swimsuit season is JUST around the corner--literally.....there are 6 1/2 days left of school, and as of today, I am still swimsuit topless for the season.  This is cutting it dangerously close.

Can't you just see the headline:

Former Local Teacher Takes it 'Topless'
And we Don't Mean the Convertible She Drives....

In other economic news:  Local Pool Membership Sales WAY Up This Season.  Growing Number of Men, Teenage Boys, and Women Who Wear Flannel are Top Buyers!

Did I mention I STILL don't have an appropriate swim top for the new chlorine & Hawaiian Tropic-Huffing-Season??  

If I wore size "normal," this would be a NON-issue.  But, alas, I rock some KILLAH 'sistahs' in my 'northern region!'  And, they require special spandex-assistance.  Off-the-rack isn't tough enough to handle this hotness.  

So the great hunt begins--but not without some news of the diet that really should be on the forefront:

You see, my girl, Sassy is in a predicament of her own--because with 'swimsuit season' also comes--dun, Dun, DUNNNN--Wedding Season!  And, Sassy is making some of her own dietary changes in order to make her stunning appearance at said wedding events (as if she needed even the most microscopic of changes to be even more awesome!  I'm pretty sure it's a contradiction to the laws of physics to even think that either of us two divas could be more awesome--perfection IS perfection, after all!).

So when the going gets fat, We make a "Get Skinny Quick" plan!  **(See Disclaimer At the Bottom of This Post)**

Sassy's opting for some 'healthy choices,' including the ever popular Special K diet......Me?  Well, let's just say I'm sticking to what I'm 'skeeled' at:  

(This is a recent email response from me to Sassy regarding the depths to which we will have to go to make some head-way---or @$$-go-away---however you choose to see it):

HA!!  I been telling you there's a Special 'K'onspiracy!!!

For breakfast, I had my usual coffee and the last 1/3 of my personal-pint-chicken-salad & bagel crisps......and now I'm watering my humps like a desert camel.

I may just have wine for supper--you know, minimal calories tonight that will make their re-appearance tomorrow morning cuz they didn't have anything solid to bind to.

I'd be a kick-ASS alcoholic.  Everyone needs a skill.

I believe after I locate my shoes for tomorrow's high-powered meeting with a client, I'll copy/paste my part of this email into a neat little blog post--"PrissE Got Skeels. Wurd."


So far, I've made good on my new diet!!  YAAAAAYYY, ME!!!!

**Disclaimer:  TftC does not promote unhealthy eating choices or alcoholism in any form or fashion.  We do, however, love a good Little Debbie product and the occasional (if by occasional I mean 'nightly') bottle of wine.  Guess what?  We're grown-ups.  We're responsible.  Don't judge us.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stamp. Retreat. Renew.

We’ve done it three years in a row now. The first weekend in May, I gather up some friends and we head south for about an hour, to a ranch located in remote West Texas. We spend a few minutes unloading all of our most precious worldly belongings and we settle in for a weekend of uninterrupted creative time.

If you called it a scrapbooking retreat, you’d miss the point. It’s much more than that. Sure, lots of gals do spend the entire time adding parcels of love to their scrapbooks. They carefully select pictures, take time to organize and arrange a layout to include story telling with a visual expression of love.

I’ve tried calling it a stamp retreat. It’s much more than that. Some gals will create beautiful works of art that they will give away. It’s like sectioning off tiny pieces of your heart and spreading it out. Sometimes, gals will spend hours creating little messages of love that they intend for complete strangers. Donating their art to charity. I’ve seen it over and over.

This year, all the gals at retreat were blessed with the company of a tiny precious baby. It’s unusual for a new mom to bring a baby to something like this. She might worry that the baby would be a distraction. She might worry someone would be upset. Oh, my friends, not so. It was so terrific that I plan on recruiting a new mom every year! Having that tiny baby at retreat just made everything we experienced calmer. More precious. Can you imagine?

Retreat is a time for you. Whatever you need, seek, miss or have forgotten about you will find at retreat. I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling.

There are some things about retreat that can be explained. I can easily share the bottom line. This year ten beautiful friends created: 248 scrapbook pages, 57 cards, 7 MDS pages, 5 mini flip albums, 4 fabric, projects, 4 journals, 2 calendars, 1 basket, and 1 plate cover. We ate meals lovingly prepared for us. Delicious food that filled our bellies and our souls. We slept in beds prepared by those same loving hands. The quiet of the morning is only interrupted by birds singing or rain on the roof. (Yes! Despite the horrible wildfires and drought in our area, there was a brief morning rain on Sunday.)

Some friends stay up late and enjoy creating in the stillness of the night. Other friends might turn in early, and wake up before dawn to enjoy a brisk morning walk and quiet time at their table before the group tumbles in. At all times, there is laughter. At all times, peace. At all times, appreciation for this weekend that passes all too quickly.

I often found myself sitting at my table just watching my friends. Gals sometimes will group up and spend some time looking at a friend’s project. Can you imagine having your own personal cheering section for everything you do for an entire weekend? Share your scrapbook or card or album with one of these friends, and you will feel a deep sense of appreciation and respect. Your work is beautiful!

Retreat weekend is a blessing. Friends, mark your calendars for next year. Friday, May 4th through Sunday, May 6th. You will be richly blessed.

** Thank you to Karen C, Patsi H and Terri F for the photographs.

*** Additional disclaimer….. This is my job. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe my good luck!