Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Shave November Mid Month!

I know I PROMISED to blog every day regarding  No Shave November  EVERY day. However, this EFFING arthritic flare/heinously bulging disc has been taking up much of my free time -- dr.s, drugs, and such. Not to say I haven't found time to piss away some time on Farmville, but that has diminished. I am REALLY hoping that the event owner grants me permission to post a razor giveaway on his page--wouldn't that be cool? Very interesting to see if there will be responses. EVERYONE WHO IS INTERESTED, PLEASE ASK TOM!!

Anywho, back to the issue at hand. Apparently, I have the shittiest looking neck of a 42 yo that HASN'T been in a horrible car wreck. I have been seeking treatment through chiropractic and medically, and still, the pain and nerve damage persists. I really wasn't entertaining the thought of surgery (the mere thought of a cadaver bone FUSING a couple of my vertebrae just made my stomach lurch). When I went through, with the neurosurgeon, line by line of my MRI and SAW the almost flattening of my spinal cord, I was floored and scared at the same time. When I went to my appointment yesterday, the neurosurgeon had mentioned that he was consulting my case with one of his colleagues who thought I was the perfect candidate for a replacement disc (removal of the bad one, and insertion of a titanium one) that would still facilitate the movement that a fusion would prevent. Further, even though the discs above and below the worst disc were still damaged, therapy , traction, etc, would make it so that the chance of having to have further surgery in the future almost 0% (which is not the case with the fusion). I left very encouraged, and am now awaiting the call for my appointment to see the surgeon about the specifics....I really can't take this pain anymore, and I don't want to keep having to go to the ER or keep asking for pain pills (that I really can't take and effectively live my life!!!). PLEASE cross your fingers!

In the mean time, I will leave you with this. Your mid-month fuzz doesn't have to look this cute, but for cryin out loud SHARE! Inquiring minds want to see your patchy fuzz!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rocking The Beard (Or Not...Whatev)

No Shave November!!! Do you know where YOUR facial hair is??? I do ;). And, thanks AGAIN to Mr. Rich Germain and Mr. Boyd Tracy -- without them, none of these fascinating facial hair blog posts would have happened....THANKS AGAIN, gents for the inspiration!!! (WAVEY WAVE!!!)
As I was (AGAIN!) loathing admiring my stache this morning, I began thinking about people who can ROCK facial hair. I am not one of them, but thankfully, my fuzzy upper lip doesn't detract from my dazzling smile, so that point is moot for yours truly ;). The absolute first person to enter my mind was the one and ONLY Mr. Chuck Norris . Second to come to mind was the one and ONLY Sir Sean Connery . These are the ONLY two celebrities that can pull it off WELL--and, quite honestly, there is absolutely NO age either of these men would reach that would make them any less sexy while rocking the facial hair! And--you know what?? Other celebs "try"...they really do. But, compared to these two, all of the others (TAKE NOTE, Joaquin Phoenix!!!!) look like this in my eyes...just sayin'.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sideshow Freak? Or BADLY In Need Of A Good Pair Of Tweezers?

Just a quick post to remind you all that No Shave November is going on in full force! I wonder who, at the end of the month, will share on the wall of shame fame their furry month's growth? We shall see ;). At any rate, Please join me in again thanking Rich Germain and  Boyd Tracy  for inspiring my smart-assy month long fun fest (and while you're at it, request them as a friend! Tell them I sent you ;). Oh...wait....I actually don't know either of them, so that may be "creepy"...ahhhh what the hell go ahead!!!
I wish I could make money as a sideshow freak ... EASY money!!! This woman laughed all the way to the bank after letting people ogle her unplucked/unwaxed facial hair. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Rumplestiltskin!!! BOO YAHH!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

EGADS! Is That A Long Beard, Or Are You Happy To See Me?

No Shave November is now in full swing! Thanks again to Mr. Boyd Tracy  and  Mr Rich Germain for the remarks they left on this event page making me WANT to have fun with the event. So far, I'm resisting any temptation to de-fuzz my face. YAY me for following through! I know it's only 3 days in, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless....I wonder how many people have already caved?

Mmmmm....sexay!!!! In many of the world's cultures, facial hair has been long revered on men because it denotes virility (high testosterone, high sex drive, high ability to procreate), as well as wisdom.  I wonder how many women really actually liked their men with a beard that was longer than the hair on their own heads? face and thighs both cringe at the mere thought of the beard burn that this baby would cause ;). Bruce has more follicles on his face that grow hair than he does on his head--which I don't mind at all. He normally keeps a goatee, but that's because he thinks he has a baby face with no facial hair. Alex calls his goatee "pokey pokes". He also has more hair on his back than on his head--which, I actually love--it kid of adds to his teddy bear appeal ;). Never cared for "Man Pelts" when I was younger, but now that I am older and wiser, really don't care. I'll take a man with a carpet on his chest and patchy fur on his back over  Rumplestiltskin any day ;).  And, hey, any man who doesn't bitch (and actually respected my decision and goaded me on too!) when I don't shave my legs or pits (or remove my facial hair) because "It's the principle!!" is A-OK in my book! I wonder how many women are lucky enough in the US to have a significant other in their life that doesn't care if they're furry?

That's all for today, my loves. Remember--keep your chins up and your razors down!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Snidely Whiplash

No Shave November, Day 2!!!   Thanks again to Rich Germain and Boyd Tracy  for their goading me into my month long tribute to keeping facial hair!

 What a day! I can't seem to keep Sedona clothed, but at least  she's starting to use the potty (yay!).

A VERY interesting discovery today! I was examining my stache with the magnifying mirror (curse those things....DAMN THEM!). I was actually counting the hairs   HAHAHAHAHA. Anywho, I happened to noticed that on the one side, a couple of my stache hairs are CURLED UPWARDS! What the hell!?
And, since I have absolutely no shame (first pregnancy pretty much eliminated any pesky shame I DID have), I will share a pic!
Now, nobody seems to notice the stache but me (again--CURSE that blasted magnifying mirror!), but isn't it interesting the way those two stache hairs curl up?? Sticking it out til December 1st though! Who knows...I may FINALLY perfect my Snidely Whiplash impression! Drat! DOUBLE Drat!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hirsute Haiku

Hairs like cold steel wire

Roots like anchors in my chin

Why can't you let go???

No Shave November is upon us! MY  MY  MY where has the year gone?!?!?!?!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Tom Just  -- but for your creation of this event , this blog posting would be entirely about something else (perhaps something mundane, perhaps something meaningful, we'll never know!!! See what you set into motion???) . Also, a HUGE thank you (again...) to my fellow attendees Mr. Boyd Tracy and Mr. Rich Germain --without their goading, I would not have even CONSIDERED creating a month-long ode to this event! If you haven't already, please help me thank them for their inspiration on the event wall

  Day one, and not only did I FORGET to Nad's the stache last night, but I also found a couple strays on my neck (MY NECK!!! WTH??). It's like the hair gods are shooting me a big "EFF YOU!!!".  I stand by my vow, though. No shaving (OR plucking!!). I sit. Nerve pain at a dull roar (right arm sporadically dropping to my side when the numbness travels down it...). Chin hairs that I KNOW are going to multiply at an astounding rate daily. Leg and pit hairs that really hardly ever get "the treatment" anyway--and when they do, Bruce thinks he's in for something special!  All this being said, at least the kids are in bed, and I was able to come up with a haiku (how many of YOU thought up a haiku tonight???).

That's all for now! Keep your chins up and your razors down!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Shave November Preview!!!!

SO very excited about this! I was lamenting the fact that I can't really tweeze my chin hairs because of the goings on with my neck and the pinched nerves. My dear friend Maureen Matz invited me to the No Shave November event that was created on Facebook to make me laugh. BOY did it make me laugh! Well, we both posted on the Facebook wall of this event that we were attending, and a little while later, a gentleman named Rich Germain posted that women were to be excluded from participating! As you can imagine, Them's fightin' words to someone like yours truly! I decided to run with it and state that I would indeed be participating, and not only would I be participating, I would be blogging about it as well!  In the meantime, I am inviting all the women I know to "attend" this event . Why can't we not shave too?

Today, a gentleman named Boyd Tracy posted on that event page stating that he was one of Facebook's legal council, and that if I wanted to make any blog posts about other body parts, I "may do so independently" but that the page was for facial hair only. To this, I guffawed. Yes, you read that right...guffawed. Not only will I be blogging about not shaving WHATEVER I DECIDE NOT TO SHAVE, but every day, I will be mentioning BOTH of these gentleman by name as well as linking back to the Facebook event. What began as a funny with one friend trying to cheer the other one up has now become a crusade of sorts.

Again, for all who want to "attend" this event, please do so here and click "attending" . Participation is purely optional, but I sure would love the support in giving mysogyny the what for!!!! Besides, they have over 300 men who haven't even answered their "invitation" to the event. We can build the ranks!!!

Oh...I would also like to personally thank Mr. Rich Germain and Mr.  Boyd Tracy  for the impetus for my November Blogging Exercise!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Handmade Toy Alliance Blog: Press Release: The HTA Reaffirms Commitment to Buy Handmade and Local

Handmade Toy Alliance Blog: Press Release: The HTA Reaffirms Commitment to Buy Handmade and Local

Mix Pup Palooza!!!!!!

Meant to blog about this sooner, but time has been slipping away from me this month, BUSY BUSY BUSY!

I was fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to host a party to introduce the Mix Pups line by Jazwares.  Aren't they supercute!?!?!?!?!
In attendance at this red carpet event were Miss Sedona Hess, Mr, Alexander Hess, and a few of their closest friends (Brianna,Robyn,Maddie,Genna,Alika,Heather,Jaymee,and RaeAnn). The Pawty van was a HOOT for the kids!! We help them set it up to take a picture, but this cute little scene lasted all of 47 seconds after the camera flashed!
In keeping with the spirit of mixing and matching, what I decided to do was to place all the rest of the pups and accessories into a bin and let the kids do some mixing and matching of their own! Here, Alex is ready for some Pawty cake!
And Sedona is trying to take over...
THIS is where we we began seeing the slight problems with some of the Pups. They are designed to have their legs pop off to be able to change costumes, and pop back on. What we FOUND on several of them was a small defect that prevented some of the legs from staying attached to the Pups (I and the other two moms were kept pretty busy taking care of this. Here is a picture of what a "normal" Mix Pup looks like when you pop off their legs...the little nubs are both the same size and are extended far enough from the body to keep the leg in place when it is popped back on.
Here is a pic of an example of a pup with an "abnormal"nub set up...see how they are close to the body and one of them doesn't even extend enough to hold the leg on! In fact, this gal came out of the package with the back left leg unattached, and you can see why-the nub is barely visible...
This next gal came out of the package with BOTH legs unattached, and neither would reattach...BOTH nubs were barely there....
BUT...that doesn't keep her from displaying a WONDERFUL "can-do" attitude on her cute little puppy face!! I think we should make one of those little carts to attach to her hind quarters!
This NEXT gal....well, it just freaked the girls out...but Alexander LOVED it. It came out of the package with it's "neckbone" showing! We tried to push it back in, but the "bone" itself would just not go any further either into the body OR into the head. 

Interesting, yes, but it made the head just keep coming off. least the "neckbone" was in the shape of a cute little heart!
Now, this one's actually being set aside--seems like Alexander thinks it's an awesome Halloween decoration!
All in all, though, most of the Mix Pups we received in our party pack were perfect, and the kids had a WONDERFUL time with their Pawty! 
In addition to their Mix Pup set that each child got to play with, one lucky child (Genna) received this small "doorprize", but unfortunately, she had to leave before her name was drawn due to a rather heinous potty emergency--I had to give the goods to her mother a few days later...
I definitely love the concept of these SUPER CUTE toys, and am REALLY hoping that they can work out the manufacturing kinks so more of the Mix Pups can keep their limbs! The kids all want more!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October is here! 31 days of crochet!!!!!!

I have deemed October as the month I begin posting some of my crochet projects and project updates (with perhaps an article of jewelry or two thrown in for good measure...). Since I have been having problems with my connectivity for the last several days, I will summarize the last few days' worth of projects.
Baby Starghan Coverlet  made from a SUPER soft Angora Rabbit/ Lamb's Wool blend harvested from a thrift store sweater using this pattern .
Starghan made for Alex using this pattern ... BOTH of these were begun using the pattern, and then I crocheted as many rounds as I needed for the size I wanted.

Earflap hat  made for Sedona from some very soft blue boucle acrylic yarn harvested from a thrift store sweater and pink fuzzy yarn from my stash.

Today, working on some gifts (beginning another couple starghans and some kitchen towels), and also in the tedious process of deconstructing another GORGEOUS Angora Rabbit/Lamb's Wool blend sweater (cream color).

ShoestringMuse: American Craft Week!!!

ShoestringMuse: American Craft Week!!!: "American Craft Week is upon us!!!!! Why the excitement? I'll tell you why--from Oct.1-Oct 10, individuals, small businesses, and organizati..."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

30 Days of Brenda Day # 30 ("One Last Moment")

One last moment....eesh. All these moments. Well, I will just take this moment to THANK YOU for bearing with me through this month-long exercise! It's been great! A little frightening, slightly embarrassing, A LOT cathartic! Hopefully you will stay with me through my October -- I've been crocheting like a fiend, looking forward to everyone's feedback!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

30 days of Brenda Day #29 ("My Aspirations")

My aspirations....I don't aspire to "greatness"--at least not in the most widely interpreted sense of the word. I DO aspire to leave my mark on this earth, no matter how small or large. I think the bigger question for me would be "How would I like to be remembered?".
In answer to THAT, I would like to be remembered as kind, loving, intelligent, and confident (not to mention being remembered as DEAD SEXY by my husband ;))

Friday, October 1, 2010

30 Days of Brenda, Days #26,27,28...COWPIES, fears, and yearning OH MY!!!

So today is a consolidation of sorts....I have been a busy beaver the last several days crocheting my hiney off. 3 days in one post!!! I did it before, I can do it again ;).

Day #26..."My Fears"
Another hard one to really "sum up" succinctly, but I'll give you the short list of things I fear intermingled with things I do not (no longer/never have feared).

Since watching my daughter die, I no longer "fear" own end will me no match for the devastation and pain of losing her.
I no longer "fear" my father...
I DO still sometimes "fear" the dark. You know, in that way that sometimes, you get "spooked", climb under your covers, and don't even peek out.

Day#27..."My Favorite Place"
Oh, THIS is a fun one!!! HANDS DOWN, my favorite place in the WHOLE USA would have to be the The Cow Pies outside of Sedona, Arizona--aptly named, because, from above, they look like, well....COWPIES!!!  Just imagine--hiking to the top of that one right in the middle of this picture, just sitting there, and being so encompassed and enrobed in not only the sheer beauty of your surroundings, but also the ancient energies that are just humming around you. To say it's an awe-inspiring experience would be a gross understatement. I DID hike to the top of that Cow Pie right there in the center, and was both overwhelmed and humbled at the same time. I truly felt my own significance AND insignificance in "the grand scheme of things" (don't ask how that's possible, but it is--just sit on the top of a Cow Pie, you'll "get it" ;)).

Day # 28..."Something I Miss"
There are a lot of things I have "missed" on and off over the are a few:
Seinfeld....What's the deal with that??
Little "Mom & Pop" shops that sell tons of penny candy

American Craft Week!!!

American Craft Week is upon us!!!!!  Why the excitement? I'll tell you why--from Oct.1-Oct 10, individuals, small businesses, and organizations come together in recognition of the countless ways handmade objects enrich our national aesthetic and economy. You  may ask,"Why is American Craft" important?". The Handmade Toy Alliance pretty much sums it up :
"Buying local, living within our means, supporting small business and the US economy – these are all things that many of us are doing more and more often these days.  With money being so tight, we are all living with less, and putting more thought into the purchases we do make.

So, this lends the question, what are we doing to improve all of our situations, build up American businesses and put our money where our mouth is (literally)?  What can each of us do to help charge up the economy and support each other?  We certainly have less than we did this time last year, so how can we look ahead to the future and still buy, well, things?
Buy handmade – it’s as simple as that.  We can’t afford to buy as much as we used to, but we can make conscious choices to support specific businesses.  We can go to the local mom and pop toy shop, rather than the big box store.  Sure, we might only get 2 items, rather than 4, but those products will generally be better made, more thoughtful items.  And, a local company will benefit from your choice, rather than a large corporation.  We can choose to frequent farmers markets and craft shows.  These events allow us to meet the maker and hear the story behind the product.  It instills the value of American craftsmanship in our families and our children.  We can choose to look to Etsy and the Handmade Toy Alliance for gift items.  Our product options and the sheer beauty of the items we find will be multiplied ten fold to what we find in large department stores.
If everyone made the pledge to buy just one hand crafted product for someone on their gift list this year, think of the thousands of businesses that will grow and nourish our communities. It may mean reframing how we go about our purchases, taking a little more time to choose what we need, or want, going back to a simpler way of life.  But, it will be so worth it."
Baby steps, steps. For ever person pledging to buy at least one local handmade item for someone on your holiday gift list, there will be at least one more locally made item that is being enjoyed by someone. ONE more handcrafted item (made with  love and skill by a local AMERICAN artisan) will be appreciated. One more local AMERICAN artisan will be better able to support their family. 
This economy has SO many people trying to find the "best deals" and the "best ways to save money"--How about stopping to take a look at the BIG picture of how our growing dependence on "big box" and "discount" stores increases our dependence on foreign made cheaper (both in price and quality) products. If our nation would actually SUPPORT itself by making more of a commitment to buy local and handmade , perhaps our dependence on "cheaper" products would lessen and we can actually be the masters of our OWN domain and crawl out of this economic hell that we put ourselves in ;).
If you are interested in taking the pledge to buy at least one local handmade good this holiday season for someone on your list, please go here . Feel free to pass it on!! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda # 25 ("A First")

I wonder which "first" I should talk about here?

I know! The first time I realized that my family life was anything but "normal".

I had gone to a friend's home after school to play (1st grade, I believe).

 When I was there, it didn't go unnoticed by me that there home was clean, they were clean, their parents didn't swear and scream at their children and call them names, and there wasn't a hand raised to hit or punch when the girl I was playing with did something wrong. Her parents were very openly affectionate with their children, and also VERY nice to me. I didn't want to go home. This was utopia to me!

Then, it was back to reality when I had to go the yelling, the hitting,the hair pulling, the name calling, the animal feces randomly dotting the rooms, and the "never really enough" food.

Ahhhhh, the memories.....and the saddest part about that memory is that I just KNOW that today, somewhere, SOME little girl or boy will also experience a brief respite like this before having to return to whatever hell awaits them at their home.  Sometimes, I used to wished (while growing up) that I had never realized exactly how "wrong" my childhood was--at least then, I wouldn't have always had my inner voice always crying "Why?Why is this happening?" . I think, also, that it was after this young realization that I became more ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid--because after seeing "the other side"... the side without pain and hunger, I had this bittersweet  yearning of "WANTING" to be on that side of the fence, but the punishing knowledge that I would never be "good" enough to be anywhere but on the hungry, painful, hellish side of the fence that I was on.

Of course, that was then. Now, as I reflect, I realize that BECAUSE I experienced that "first", I was implanted with the drive and desire to break the cycle I was born into. That drive has led me to make sure that my own children will not know pain at my hands, will NOT wonder if and when they will eat, and will NOT question whether they are "good enough" for anybody or any situation. Because I experienced that "first", (even though I didn't appreciate it at the time), I hide nothing about me "in shame". Because of that "first", I am more keenly aware that, as a survivor of abuse and neglect that went unchecked, I have a moral obligation to keep my ears, eyes, and mouth open in the event I encounter another unkempt, quiet, and unbathed child that is hesitant to go home.

Remember, apathy hurts....please don't think that it's "none of your business" --wouldn't you rather speak up and be wrong, than stay silent and, at the expense of another child, be right? I would ;).

30 Days of Brenda # 24 ("Something That Makes Me Cry")

Many things make me cry...songs, poems, movies, books, memories, someone I love dying...

The things that make me cry are far too many to mention by name. I hate crying, but I'm glad that I "can" least I "have" emotion.

30 Days Of Brenda # 23 ("Something That Makes Me Feel Better")

This can be summed up in ONE word--CARBS!!!!! In particular--ANYTHING potato related!!! I don't care WHAT "they" say....Carbs are NOT my enemy ;).

Saturday, September 25, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #22 ("Something That Upsets You")...Sheeple are assholes...

Oh JEEBUZ it would be easier to just post something that DOESN'T upset me (but that's for the next post ;))

I really get upset by FAKERS and SHEEPLE.   "FAKERS" really piss me off. Really. How hard is it to be "yourself"? It would seem to me that it takes more energy to perform for people than to just be yourself. Who cares "what people think"? If you can't be the real "you" around a person, than that person is not worthy of the real "you"...period. SHEEPLE---Sheeple are just assholes. Quick description of a SHEEPLE--OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB. SERIOUSLY---if she says "READ IT", her sheeple READ IT!!!!  Don't be a's not a good look for anyone ;). Break away from the flock ;).

30 days of Brenda #21 ("Another Moment")...Morans!!!!

This one will be short and sweet....I'm sharing another FAIL!!!!!

I would upload the actual pic,  but since Google Chrome is being fussy at the moment, the link will have to do ;).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #20 ("This Month")

Short and sweet. This  month began with my observing yet another of Holly's birthdays without her (her 20th!). I weathered that day (somehow!!), and actually didn't melt down completely (which would have been ok, I give myself permission to, and my family knows to expect the unexpected on certain days of the year...I honestly wasn't afforded the luxury of time to "break down" due to the high maintenance of the yungins lately).

I've been crocheting more frequently (YAY!). Actually, I have been "making" the time to start and complete the projects I have been wanting to do. Still have several lovely sweaters in my stash to frog, and I WILL get that sewing machine set up by the end of the month, I WILL!!!!! I've been putting it off WAY too long...seeing as how I haven't really sewn since Jr High....but I REALLY have some upcycling projects in my que that require it, so time to actually use that bad boy (still brand new, haven't used it since I got it almost 2 yrs ago!!).

Trip to Ocean City and Assateague was LOVELY!!!! SO happy to get to spend some time together as a family... with Bruce working nights and spending so much time helping his mom slowly go through her house in preparation for her move to Shelly's home, it has been almost impossible to have any kind of quality time together. It was great! Bruce was SO relaxed, and it didn't go unnoticed by him that the kids were ALL about him during the mini vacation (ESPECIALLY Sedona!).

Getting back into our routine, looking forward to the Autumnal Equinox to herald my most FAVORITE time of year!!!! Harvest Moon tonight (technically, won't be completely full until 5:17 AM EST...).

Hoping the month continues to go by with me feeling all "productive" and such... the closets could use some love :).

We'll share another "moment" tomorrow ;).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #19 ("Something I Regret")--or lack thereof...

Ahhhhh, regret. I think all of us, at one time or another, experiences regret. And I think the instances and severity  of regret we feel evolve with our age and personalities. There have been many times in my life where, upon reflection, I have regretted many things.

At one time, I "regretted" not just "sticking it through" a marriage (for the kids' sake) that included a husband who couldn't keep his dick out of other women, and who didn't (and still doesn't to this day, as far as I'm concerned) seem to know the meaning of the word "truth", and wouldn't ever really know it even if he were bitten repeatedly and severely in the ass. But then, I saw past my regret to realize that I had two daughters to raise (at the time), and I did NOT want to raise them thinking that a woman is supposed to accept that kind of behavior or to be a doormat--so I filed for divorce.

At one time, I "regretted" not being able to speak up or put him in his place when my father would beat me and my siblings. But then, as an adult, I realized that by feeling "regret" about that, I was carrying guilt that wasn't mine to carry, and by carrying it, I was STILL giving him and the abuse he inflicted power over me and my life. I am a strong and loving  (and non-abusing I might add) woman/mother not because of the abuse he dealt out, but in SPITE of it, and I will be DAMNED if I will ever give him an ounce of me --any "regret" regarding that abuse will be his and his ALONE to carry.

There was a time that I "regretted" not following my dreams and veering off of the original course I set for myself when I was younger. But then, I most definitely would not have the world view I now have. I also loved being a young mother, and love even MORE that I don't "look" old enough to be the mother of a 22 yo ;). But I I didn't make a career out of the Navy--big deal? If I had, would I have been able to enjoy the childhoods of my older children the way I was able to? Most likely, NO. Besides, veering off-course ultimately led me to "here". And I like "here".

There was a time that I "regretted" not saying "I Love You" (and hugging and holding her) more to my lovely daughter Holly who passed away in 1998 at the age of 7. But then (a long LONG time later), I realized that I DID tell her I loved her all the time, just like I tell the other children. I did hold her just as much as the other children were held. I was far too emotional and far too overwhelmed by the void her loss caused to understand this, so my days were consumed by this "regret".  When you lose somebody...ANYBODY... that you love, you realize that you didn't have enough time with them, and begin to fantasize about what you would do with just a little more time with them. It's SO hard to think of your existence in terms of being without them. It's a "process" as they say. But I did learn after many years that to focus on those feelings of regret kept me from appreciating that she DID know she was loved...all of my children have (and ALWAYS will) from the time they were born. While I most definitely didn't have enough time with her, I no longer shoulder what was my initial gut-reaction to her loss. I mourn the fact that she was taken from me too soon, but you know what? I sure revel in the wonderful 7 years that I did have with her shining self ;).

I suppose one "could" say that I now lead my life with no regrets. Why should I "regret" anything? If I send a small gift to somebody who will never express thanks or even appreciate that the gift was even sent, do I regret thinking of them and giving them a gift? NOPE. Let them live with their own air of self importance and condescending nature--Karma takes care of that kind ;). If I say something in conversation  that I fail to measure before it comes out of my mouth, do I "regret" it? NOPE--not for one single minute. Do I apologize PROFUSELY if I see I have caused someone hurt by something I have said or done? ABSOLUTELY!! The only way a person can learn humility is to experience the consequences of your actions.

At any rate, thank you for reading my diatribe on personal  "regret" :). Stay tuned for tomorrow, where we will recap the month of September!!!!! I'm giddy...GIDDY!!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #18 ("My Favorite Birthday")

My absolute favorite birthday would have to be my 38th birthday (previous to that one, my favorite birthday was my 20th....which came right before Heather was born!). I was just about due with Alexander. My birthday is the day after Valentine's day, so we normally combine the two into a dinner out. My husband took me out to dinner, and honestly, I could barely eat anything (Alex was a big baby, took up a LOT of room, so I had CONSTANT heart burn), so most of my dinner ended up in a doggie bag). The reason it happens to be my most favorite birthday was the fact that on that evening, I had a crying jag(not the sad kind, but the happy-pregnant kind when you are feeling all sappy and such). I had suddenly realized that I was 2 yrs away from 40, and I was feeling the same way I had when I was almost due with Heather 18 years before (Heather was also born the month after my birthday). It was like my life had come around full circle, and I was beginning my life "Part Deux".

After the divorce and spending several years back "out there" (and trust me when I say this..being "out there" in your thirties is NO picnic--pickins are slim!!), I had come to a point in my life where there was a realization that I would not be having any more children, and that I could focus my beautiful girls as they were becoming women. then, BAM.....all of that had changed. All of a sudden, I had become part of an "Us" again, and, then, DOUBLE BAM---I WAS STILL FERTILE AFTER ALL (who knew??? I had been told that the years of Depo shots had pretty much killed any chance I may have of having any more children)!!!. Oh...AND...2 years later, I was celebrating my big 4-OH while pregnant with beautiful Sedona :). Life is good, and good Karma does return to you when you send it out ;).

Isn't it funny how so much of who I am and what I love about my life centers around my children?

30 Days Of Brenda Day #17 ("My Favorite Memory")

I honestly cannot peg any "one" memory as my single most favorite memory. BUT....I can honestly and unequivocally state that all of my favorite memories involve my children :).
~The days they were all born, their "firsts", Heather's graduation...
Sometimes, these memories just pop in from time to when I just happen to get a glance of Heather (the first born) and marvel at the beautiful (inside AND out) woman she has become, but my mind's eye can only see the flash of her toothless smile as she is sang any one of her favorite songs back then.
Of course, it goes without saying that any and all memories that involve my wonderful husband is "among" the favorites, since he had "something" to do with the younger two children ;).
I would like to think that whenever this particular incarnation of my essence ends, I will go out with a lifetime of memories of my children not flashing, but playing slowly, in an infinite reel in my mind's eye...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda Catch-up! (days 10-16)

Sooooo....after returning from the mini-vacation to the beach and celebrating the anniversary, I am going to catch up on my "3o Days" posts!

Day 10 (What I wore today)
This day was a traveling day--the uniform of the day was comfy gouchos, flip flops, and a t-shirt--which evolved into a bathing suit for beach time!

Day 11 (My Siblings)
My siblings--I have a twin brother named Brian (I'M the oldest, though, by 5 minutes!!), and a younger sister named Heather. I never get to see them enough, and that is particularly hard since (as none of us really have a relationship to speak of with our parents) we are pretty much all the "family" that we have...ah well, we all have our own families, too. LOVE them with all my heart, though!

Day 12 (What is in my bag)
eesh...honestly, it would be easier to discus what ISN'T in my bag! Since I am the mother or a preschooler and a toddler, I have more things in there for THEM than for me. I have the following currently in my bag:
10 Hotwheels cars
a ziploc bag full of wipes
2 diapers
a bib
my wallet
my keys
6 different packs of gum
2 tins of sugar-free altoids
2 Littlest Petshop Happy Meal toys
all kinds of hair ties (for me AND for Sedona)
3 playlist cd's
2 different kinds of lip balm (Rosebud Salve and Eos)
3 different lip glosses
an eyeliner/eyeshadow pen
my ipod and earphones
tons of random receipts
a bracelet
my phone (which I can never seem to find in the black abyss of the purse! Think I'll make a bright cover for it!)


Day 13 (This Week)
Short and and anniversary (going on a delayed "night away" on Oct 2nd-hehe can't WAIT!!!!

Day 14 (What I wore Today)
Well, this was a  post-trip decompression  day (AND the anniversary!), and I honestly stayed in the t-shirt and jammie bottoms ALL day! Didn't even wear a bra!!! Cooked a wonderful dinner, though!

Day 15 (My Dreams)
My Well, quite honestly, the only "dream" I get to live a long and happy life enjoying my children and (hopefully one day) grandchildren alongside my wonderful husband.

Day 16 (Your First Kiss)
My first kiss (a peck, really) was as innocent and unsophisticated as they come...I think his name was John, and we were both in the 3rd grade. He gave me a quick peck on the lips (I honestly think I was grossed out by it to tell you the truth!).

My first "REAL" kiss....(you know the one I'm talking about--the one you wait your whole teen life for)--I also remember being kind of disgusted by. A girl spends a lot of time thinking about her first kiss, and romanticizing about it. LOTS of time imagining herself as the heroine on the cover of a trashy romance novel being duly kissed by the handsome hero. What they GET is usually far from it. What I got was a kid who opened his mouth (think Edvard Munch's "The Scream" painting) quite wide, came at me that way, and sloppily planted one on me. This is the same boy who had his best friend tell me that he was breaking up with me (...jackass...).

Anyhoooo.....LOTS of kisses since then! when I became single again and spent a few years "dating" and being "fixed up", it really surprised me how many men there were that actually reached adulthood STILL kissing with that same sloppy, awkward teen boy technique (...ew...). Is it too much to ask that adult single men put just a LITTLE effort into learning how to properly kiss a woman? least I don't have to worry about that anymore--I was fortunate enough to marry an AWESOME kisser ;).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #9 ("Your Beliefs") beliefs. Before I can even talk about my beliefs, I have to set the stage for how my current belief system evolved. PLEASE do not take anything that is typed here as an attack on any person's personal faith or belief. I am merely stating my beliefs and how they came to be :).

Well, I don't believe that my belief system falls into any one "niche" anymore. I was born and raised Catholic (and by "raised" Catholic, I merely mean I was baptized as a baby, and attended Catholic school, and had all the Catholic sacraments up through my "Confirmation"--the hell hole I was raised in was anything but religious...). My marriage to the first husband sparked a dalliance in Protestant denominationalism that lasted several years....the last few of which I was already disenchanted with after my daughter was scolded in Sunday school after proclaiming that she (at the time) wanted to be a Paleontologist when she grew up (as they were all discussing what they all wanted to be when they grew up)...apparently, that was "UnChristian", because dinosaur bones were "of the devil", and placed here to create doubt in man as to "the TRUE "word" of "God" (Make sense?? Didn't to me either, so how the hell could that statement make sense to a 6 year old??). Eesh..up until that point, I thought the Catholics were bad for having Sister Bon Secour cram "The Rythm Method" down the throats of my 6th grade class (god, I remember that coming up in a religion lesson, and looking around and not seeing even one boy that didn't disgust me in some way)---they had NOTHING on the killers of a child's dream.

I think that was the point that I really began to examine my "faith"...because, after all, weren't all of Christianity  (Catholics, protestants, etc....) merely just "interpreting" words on some scrolls? Weren't all of these different denominations also then merely just perpetuating their beliefs on subsequent generations making their offspring believe that their beliefs are the ONLY and RIGHT beliefs?

I was actually at a point in my life where I was trying to figure that all out when a bomb was dropped on me. A life altering, earth shattering bomb. My daughter died. And she didn't just die--she was taken from me and all who loved her.

POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE MATERIAL COMING UP...Just take it for what it is--my raw emotion and beliefs, NOT attacks on any person's personal beliefs :)

Well, let me insert here, that I applaud people with "faith" in their chosen belief system. When you have a concrete base, you can cling to it to give you comfort. In my case, I didn't have any kind of concrete base to which I could (or even wanted to) cling to. To me, at that time, when all I received were those platitudes (you know the ones..."They're in a better place"..."They're with God now"..."You'll see her again one day when you die and go to Heaven"...yadda yadda yadda....), all I could think was "What the HELL kind of good and loving "God" kills your child?" "No, she's NOT in a better place, she SHOULD be here with me instead of in a casket...." and "SHUT THE HELL UP already....Where was your "God" when my baby was struggling for every breath??"

Now, you are in the mindset of a person who has been shaken to the core. Now, you are in the mindset of someone not so much looking for an answer (which to me, seems what the different faiths of "men" gives them "a reason" for the "unexplainable") but looking for some means of comfortably understanding something......

This all being said, that occurrence pretty much cleared my slate, so to speak. I was really unencumbered by any pre-set notions that might have been there previously, and all of a sudden, I was able to explore and cull what I needed from SO many World religions....Buddhism....Judaism...Islam...Shammanism...Paganism, Hinduism, Druidism, not to mention the many beliefs of many different cultures native to North America.

I also am a Darwinian with shades of Hawkings and Sagan.

I( really from the time Holly died), decided that I wanted my children to decide (when they are old enough to make an informed decision ) to explore and understand something so esoteric as "faith" and "belief". I can't say whether that was a wrong decision or a right decision, because both of the oldest ones are still at an age where they are trying to find what it is that THEY believe in (and not just because someone "told them it was so"). I can't attest to the fact that this is the best (or worst) choice as far as parenting. What I can say, though, is that my kids have and are being taught a moral compass that includes a love for their earth and a love for their fellow human being  (not this hate crap being spewed by that crazy bastard Terry Jones).

Thank you for letting me share :)

Days 10 thru 14 will be posted Next week when I return from a mini vaca with the family :).

Friday, September 10, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #8 ("A Moment")

epic fail photos - Needing a Paternity Test FAIL
see more EpicFail

A moment....depending on what the circumstance, a "moment" can seem like either a nanosecond or hours. I couldn't decide what "moment" of my own to share, but thanks to Fail Blog, I can just share some poor schmuck's embarrassing T.V. moment :). Thank you, Maury, for reminding me (yet again), that there are many people worse off than most of us, and that they will unabashedly put it all on national t.v. in exchange for airfare and a decent night in a hotel room :).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

30 days of Brenda #7 ("Your Best Friend")

Well, I have had many "best friends" since I was a little girl...and, quite honestly, I have come to the conclusion that the "best" friend I can ever have is also my own worst enemy...MYSELF!  Mind blowing, right????

Really, though...a "best friend" :
Never judges you, always lifts you up, is always "there" for you, sees you at your worst AND your best and STILL loves you.

"They" always say that the best things you can EVER do for yourself are to not judge yourself too harshly, keep looking on the bright side, pick yourself up/dust yourself off, and LOVE yourself no matter what!

I have learned (especially after my recent massive depressive period) that when you learn to love yourself, you would be surprised at what else in your life falls into place ;). Go on--try may be amazed :)

Stay tuned for tomorrow, where we will share "A Moment" -- excited?? I am ;).

What Matters To Me...

What matters to me most in this world is my family. They are my world, and they are the only thing on the planet I would undoubtedly give my last breath for. When Holly died, while I was overcome with grief, I had to also consider what I had to do to get the other two girls (Heather and Kimberly) on the road to processing their own grief. Through an acquaintance I made at a Compassionate Friends meeting (and subsequently through my sister in law at the time, who also worked for St. Francis Hospital who is a major sponsor of the camp) about Camp Healing Tree   (which is not a Comfort Zone Camp). The cost, at the time, was a little much, but the camp also offered  scholarships which we thankfully received. When she returned, she openly discussed the tools she was given to help her, and actually seemed to want to talk more about the death of her sister ("more" meaning more than the "no" talking she had been doing...). I can tell you from personal experience how difficult it is to process and deal with your own grief at losing a child (or any close loved one, for that matter), let alone trying to make sure your children are ok and helping them to process theirs.

The one thing I learned through that process is that your children may not want to "talk" about their grief with you for fear of making you upset at the mention of your loved one's name or their death--they don't like to have to be responsible for seeing you upset. They really need a "safe" place (or person) to be able to freely open up about their own feelings without being encumbered about concern for you.  

I created a What Matters To Me slide show here showing a mere 5 pictures to show my immediate family, and for each person who "likes" it, $1 will be donated to Comfort Zone Camps ( a fun and SAFE place for grieving children). 

 PLEASE creating that slideshow, I was automatically entered into a drawing to win a trip for two to Aruba, which will be refused if won. I just like the idea of the camp and that $1 will be donated on my behalf to Comfort Zone Camps for every "like" :). ALSO....every blogger (who is a MOMSELECT member) who blogs about this has the potential to win a $150 American Express gift card--which I have already  EXPRESSLY asked to be taken out of the running for. 

What would be GREAT, though, is if you visit my little slideshow and "like" it -- I would love to rack up a WHOLE LOT of "likes" so that that a whole lot of $$ will be donated to Comfort Zone Camps....I know first  hand how wonderful these kinds of camps can be for children.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #6 ("Your Day")-Hump Day Havoc!

Hi all, and Happy Hump Day!!!!  Today we get to re-visit my day. We had to drive to Allentown Airport to pick Heather up from her flight back from Florida. She went to visit her sister Jessica, (and of course her dad and step mom ) who is recovering from a horrible leg injury sustained in a bad car accident.

Before we had left, Bruce had surmised that it would only take about an hour each way of travel. He also thought we should "all" go to pick her up (Bruce, me, Alex, and Sedona). Both of those decisions added together created a slightly pissy attitude from Bruce on the way back to Harrisburg, due to the delay caused by (A)him missing the PLAINLY signed road to turn into the airport, (B) the fact that it took a little over an hour and a half to get there, and (C) the fact that we had to stop to both go to the bathroom and feed the yungins (how DARE they want to get OUT of their car seats and want lunch, right?!?!).

Normally, even given all this, he wouldn't have been "that" pissy, but he was also having to make the drive out to Pittsburgh with his mother for the funeral of his great aunt this afternoon (at least 4 hrs). They should almost  be there by now, hoping to hear from him soon.

His attitude changed as he was on his way out the door kissing me goodbye (he must be looking forward to jumping into his uncle's pool tonight). You know, since our very first date, we have never gone 24 hours without seeing each other...and even though he normally doesn't make it home from work until about 4am anyway, it will be particularly hard to be alone tonight. No Heather (she's gone to be with her boyfriend tonight(after not seeing each other for 4 days, I don't blame them ;)--young love, right??), and no Bruce--just me and the little ones (and NO CAR!!! HE HAS IT!!!).

Sedona wouldn't take her nap today, so I knew she would be hitting her wall early. Alexander did his nightly meltdown early tonight (probably because he was angry that daddy and Pama "forgot" to take him too, as he stated OVER AND OVER this evening...) so they were set up with their pre-bedtime movie (Winnie The Pooh) by 6:30.

WHOLE body hurting today (not sure what's going on there, hope I'm not catching anything!!), waiting for the Aleve to kick in, then, I think I'm going to hit the Ambien because I foresee a very difficult night getting to sleep.

Which brings us pretty much up to the minute with  my day--hope it was as "fun" for you as it was for me! ;)

Stay tuned for tomorrow, where you will get to learn about my "Best Friend"  (I know you can't wait!!!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #5("What is your definition of Love?")

Hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend...I enjoyed some much needed time with Bruce!

How does one really "define" love? What kind of "Love" are we defining? The love for your child (UNFETTERED AND UNCONDITIONAL)? The love for your family? The love for your friends? The love for your significant other? I hate that old break-up excuse (I love you , I'm just not "in-love" with you... Seriously, WTF??). For the purposes of this exercise, I will be addressing "spousal" love.

At 19, I thought I found "love".... and honestly, if it weren't for his lying and cheating, we would have remained together to this day--he's someone else's headache now, and, for the life of me, I can't understand why she has not gotten rid of him throughout his years of deceit and cheating with her, but hey, not everyone is strong enough to realize that they are better off without a person who drags them "down" instead of lifting you "up".

At 25, I thought I found "love".... but what I found was a companionship that never should have evolved into a  marriage and should have remained a friendship.

At 36, I found "Love".... examples of which are:

He sees me at my best (physically AND emotionally) and my worst (again, physically AND emotionally), and still decries how beautiful I am and how much he loves me.

I think we have both gained about 40 pounds since we met, yet it in no way affects our mutual attraction.

He's a Republican (who comes from a long line of Republicans) and doesn't mind my extremely opposing political viewpoints.

He will gladly eat (WITH full compliment!!) even my most disastrous recipe experiments.

I could go on and on, but you get the gist ;).

Defining "Love" is really hard to I really can't fit something so esoteric into something as concrete as a definition. What I DO know, is that now, in my 40's, I realize that when a person experiences "True Love", they aren't afraid to feel it OR express it :).

Stay tuned for tomorrow, when you will read about "My Day".

Monday, September 6, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda #4 ("What I Ate Today")

Well, let's see...this gets to be a short and simple post. So far today, I have had a glass of orange juice, a sesame bagel w/cream cheese, and a Lactaid tablet. Drinking some water right now. Not feeling much of an appetite today, probably because I am very "down" today. Will likely make leftover pasta or pizza for dinner tonight--time to clean out the fridge!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

30 Days of Brenda #3 ("My Parents")

Hm....My parents. Lets see. How in the world do I describe Dennis and Geraldine (Clinton) Weinhold. Well, no better way than the brutally honest way, right? He was an extremely physically abusive sadistic bastard and she was was a cravenly bitch who allowed the children she carried and bore to be brutalized.

The two people who conceived me and my siblings (I can't even really use the term "parents" for them--they don't deserve it), are, quite simply, abusive alcoholics who really shouldn't have been allowed to procreate, but since nature "allowed" them to, they are, by default, my "parents".

I would like to think that if I were a child in this day and age, that somebody ... SOMEBODY...would pick  up on the signs that the three of us always seemed to exhibit and save me and my siblings (at least now, more and more people are LEGALLY obligated to report suspected abuse...), but when I was growing up, everyone seemed to just mind their own business.

At any rate, DON'T feel sorry for me or my siblings....we survived. AND, more importantly, the three of us are (I like to think!) wonderful parents who love and take great pleasure in our children. Please, though....tune into your surroundings, and tell someone if you suspect that a child is being hurt. I would rather speak up and be wrong, then to say nothing and be right.. Remember.....APATHY HURTS.

WHEW! THAT'S out of the way!!!! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Stay tuned for tomorrow, when you will find out what I have eaten for the day!

If you want to to a "30 days of...", Here are the topics--I and many others are on day #3

Day 01 – Introduce
Day 02 – Your first love
Day 03 – Your parents
Day 04 – What you ate today
Day 05 – Your definition of love
Day 06 – Your day
Day 07 – Your best friend
Day 08 – A moment
Day 09 – Your beliefs
Day 10 – What you wore today
Day 11 – Your siblings
Day 12 – What’s in your bag
Day 13 – This week
Day 14 – What you wore today
Day 15 – Your dreams
Day 16 – Your first kiss
Day 17 – Your favorite memory
Day 18 – Your favorite birthday
Day 19 – Something you regret
Day 20 – This month
Day 21 – Another moment
Day 22 – Something that upsets you
Day 23 – Something that makes you feel better
Day 24 – Something that makes you cry
Day 25 – A first
Day 26 – Your fears
Day 27 – Your favorite place
Day 28 – Something that you miss
Day 29 – Your aspirations
Day 30 – One last moment

Saturday, September 4, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda day #2 ("My First Love")

Starting to like this idea more and more--sharing and baring for 30 days. The topic for today is "Your First Love". This is a very strange topic for me to revisit, but what the hell, you only live once, right? I'm going to be either brave or stupid by using his actual name--Troy Rudy. There...I said (typed) it. I don't even know if HE knows that I consider him that, but I do. Let me tell you a little bit about Troy. He was actually on my radar for a couple years ... in the summers, he lived in the same area I lived (he went to school in Philly) and frequented the same pool. I always thought he was cute (even though I don't think he considered himself cute--he was chunky and very aware of that fact), and had a HUGE personality...GINORMOUS personality! I honestly didn't think he ever noticed me in "that" way--until after he graduated. He came home, and he was not only BRIMMING with self confidence (not the fake, boisterous over-the-top kind of brimming, but genuinely smiling form the inside out!), and he had lost a bunch of weight--NOT that that made him any more attractive in my eyes, I had always thought he was cute. Out of nowhere, he asked me out. WOW.... I liked that! Now, allow me to reiterate, I had always kind of had a thing for him...and at that time, I was actually in this sort of pseudo-"relationship" (you  know...the high school kind...),  but that did NOT stop me from accepting his request. First it was movies and dinner, then it was Midnight Madness at the theater over by the Berkshire Mall (was it a Fox theater?? IDK...), then it was spending all available time with each other (including those "scenic drives" up to Skyline Drive to "pull over" ;) ). I had ended the aforementioned pseudorelationship and was really  head over heals for Troy. I met his mother (don't don't know if she really liked me...), his father (who he had a really strained relationship with) and I already knew his brother (not well, but he was in the same circle of friends). To me, Troy was SUCH a beautiful light in my life. My home life was horrible....HORRIBLE (more on that on another day) and Troy and I had a VERY strong mutual affection. You know how many teen romances end, though.....and sadly, ours did. Every relationship has its ups and downs, and ours did as well, but I have always (ALWAYS!!) thought of him fondly through the years (we haven't seen each other since 1986). He got me through a LOT of ugliness with my family.... He actually tracked me down on Facebook and contacted me (and sent me a friend request), and while I would  LOVE  to either write or talk to him and see how his life has been, I think he just wanted to find me, see what I was up to, but not really "communicate" -- which is fine, whatever he is comfortable with :). At any rate,with all this being said, I truly hope that my  "first love", Troy Rudy, is leading the happy life that all of us deserve.

Boy, do I feel all nekkid and vulnerable from baring and sharing right now!   Stay tuned for tomorrow's topic, "My Parents" <<<  eesh.....

Spa Cloth & Other Musings

Crocheted this spa cloth a couple days ago--made from this pattern I found on the Lion Brand website . Very Loofa-y!!

I was SO happy that I got to get a little "me" time this morning--I used it to go browse through The Heaven & Nature Store  ...  I'm having a nose-gasm as I'm typing because I am smelling the White Patchouli perfume oil I came home with that is on my wrist pulse point--wonder if Bruce will like it as much as I do? We'll see ;).

Friday, September 3, 2010

30 Days of Brenda

I have seen this floating around the blogosphere for a little bit, so I have decided to jump on in and give you 30 days!

I will break it up over the next 30 days, but to start, I am:

a 42 yo SAHM who is on what I call, parenthood part deux with my Soul Mate! We have been together since the very first date (and will be Married 5 yrs on September 16th!!!

I'm SUPER in love with my children (from 2 all the way up to 22!) always have my inner MaMa Grizzly ready in case something threatens the (No, not Sara Palin's grizzlies...the "others" that she "didn't" speak about).

I laugh, I cry, I make fun of people  (and myself too! Don't judge :)

More Baby Crochet!!

Love this! This was just something I whipped up to use up a small amount of that wine color that I had. It's SO soft and cuddly with a chenille-like feel. Loved using this yarn -vs- the double cotton strands for the previous bunny (which is cute, but a little stiffer--not that a baby would care.).I'm really hoping things will take off soon...although I really think I need to either build a photo box or break down and buy one so that I can have some better photos. At any rate, stay tuned!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bunny Love!!!!

Found this on the Lion Brand website yesterday and decided to whip one up last night. ISN'T IT CUTE????  Think I'm gonna make some more!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So....long story short, Heather lost her wallet today. She was FRANTIC!!!! After retracing our steps to look for it, we came home. She was getting ready to make her calls regarding her cards and such, when she saw there was a voicemail. Luckily, she checked her voicemail before cancelling her cards--A truck driver who had just left a dealership after dropping off a load of cars spotted her wallet and its contents scattered on Jonestown Road (near the on ramp from I83). HE (60 yo man!!) PULLED HIS RIG OVER...GOT OUT (IN LUNCH TRAFFIC!!!) AND GATHERED UP HER WALLET AND ALL OF ITS CONTENTS (which were SCATTERED all over the road!!) !!!! He saw (on her license) she was young and thought she would be frantic about it, called the State police, who told him to take it to the local police dept (which he couldn't do, seeing that he really couldn't drive the 89 ft rig through Lower Paxton Township :)). He then saw there was a business card from where she purchased her car in her wallet,called them, gave them her information and his number, and decided to stay pulled over until he heard back from someone. The car place found her information in their files, called her and left her a message (after trying to track her down where she works, which didn't work because she was off today!) with the truck driver's number. She called him right away, and arranged to meet him about 5 min. away from here (I went with her). We met up with him and he was REALLY hesitant to take ANYTHING, but he did finally take $10 and 5 free MetroMint water coupons that I had grabbed before we headed out :). We don't even know his name, but are SO THANKFUL that there ARE honest, NONJERKS left in the world! 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Lifelock ... an opinion

Last month,I was invited by to participate in a Lifelock campaign(I am a "bzzagent"-which means I am offered products/services in exchange for my honest opinion).I was offered a whole year of Lifelock Identity Theft protection for a WHOLE year for FREE! While I do feel somewhat safer that I have a whole year of my identity being guarded(...I said "somewhat"...),I still don't get why, since the technology IS available, EVERY US citizen isn't guaranteed a safeguarded identity.I am an average citizen,and the current economy doesn't afford me the luxury of spending what we work very hard for on this service (Though, their infomercials w/Montel ARE compelling),and I have to say in all honesty that, even though I feel some level of "safeness",this is not something I would use my discretionary income on.NOT because I believe the services aren't "worth it", but because I loathe the mere principle that only people who can afford it in our society will have their identity safeguarded to the level that Lifelock offers.I recommend this service IF you can spare the cash (after feeding,clothing,and caring for your family in economy which is very unfriendly to the working class).I know some nay sayer might suggest, "Can you afford NOT to protect your identity?", and to that, I can only say, "Well,sir (or ma'am),after paying my housing/insurance/grocery/electric/water/housing costs,I really can't "afford" to protect my identity...".

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Yes! It's true! I love Stride gum. When they first came out with the Shift flavors, I was intrigued. So much so that I actually had my own taste off between the two Shift flavors (Berry Mint and Citrus Mint). For two weeks, I channeled my inner Violet Beauregarde and diligently chewed both flavors, devoting equal time to each. Now, as you know, Stride Gum is TRULY ridiculously long lasting, and BOTH flavors fully lived up to that expectation. However, my winner was (HANDS DOWN!!) the Citrus Mint. I just fell in LOVE with the initial citrus burst that slowly transformed into minty freshness that lasted all day. Here's the deal...I have 3 packs of Stride Citrus Mint Gum that I will give away. I will choose 3 random ShoestringMuse followers who (A)Comment on this post by telling me about the last time they were pleasantly surprised, and (B)Post a link to my giveaway on either your Facebook page or your Twitter feed!!! (Just add a link to your method of sharing to your comment). I will choose 3 winners at random on Friday, July 16th, and will post the names of the winners by midnight EST on July 16th. I will also contact the winners via a message to either their Facebook or Twitter page that they post a link to on their comment ;).


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Neutrogena UltraSheer® Liquid Daily Sunblock Review

Sedona, at the playground recently helping me test my Neutrogena UltraSheer® Liquid Daily Sunblock (spf 70). Check out the review I posted on The Giant Wave Pool!

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for 
free for review purposes from Tidal Labs. I was not required to write a positive 
review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in 
accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides 
Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."