Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sharing The Love

     In two months I'll be celebrating the one year anniversary of my blog, and what a year it has been! I've had more success blogging than I ever imagined, and am humbled by the support I have received from family, friends and fellow bloggers. Most recently, I have received several nominations from the blogging community for awards that I am honored to accept and excited to bestow upon other bloggers I believe worthy of recognition. The people I have chosen have made me feel very welcome in the blogging community. I have kept up with their blogs and enjoyed getting to know them.
     I chose a variety of blog winners for their diversity and creativity. The subjects range from motherhood to politics, poetry, menopause, photography, fashion, sexuality,writing tips, aging, fatherhood and the single life. With each award comes a set of rules and some pretty strange questions that I was reluctant to answer...but it's all in fun and in the spirit of the award, so what the heck--- I answered them all.
     I was graciously given 3 awards, and would like to address them one at a time.  The first is the Kreative Blogger Award, given to me by Roe at
Thank you, Roe!

     The rules for the award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to the awarding blog.
2. Answer 7 questions about yourself.
3. Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.
4. Hand the award to 7 deserving others.


1. What is your favorite song?
     Impossible to answer this since there are well over 1000 "favorites" on my iPod playlist. Christmas music always puts a smile on my face. Problem is people look at me funny when I'm humming Jingle Bells in July. I guess my all-time favorite song is an oldie called, "Moonlight Serenade",  because of its sentimental value.

2. What is your favorite dessert?
     I can only pick one? Napoleans. No, make that warm apple pie a la mode. Wait, no, I like chocolate fondue. Or key lime pie. Okay, okay, it's really chocolate eclairs...I think. What was the question again and why am I so hungry?

3.  What do you do when you're upset?
     You don't want to know. Just back away slowly and pretend we never had this conversation.

4.  What is your favorite pet?
     This is like the dessert question. I can only pick one? I like pugs. I also like koala bears, barn owls and kangaroos, but apparently I'm not allowed to own any.

5.  Which do you prefer, white or whole wheat?
     It depends on what we are talking about. Bread? Pasta? Pancakes? I can't imagine ANYONE wanting to know the answer to this, but I'll be a good sport and tell you that I PREFER white. When you get OLD, you are expected to eat twigs and bark to keep your body "regular" (keeping your plumbing in fine, working order). So I eat whole wheat. There. That should make my doctor happy and my bathroom busy.

6. What is your biggest fear?
     Drowning. Flying. Cockroach stampedes.

7. What is your attitude mostly?
     That depends on how caffeine-infused my body is at the moment. If the levels are high, chances are you'll meet a chipper/hyper menopausal mother. If the caffeine level is low because someone else beat me to the last dregs in the coffee pot, then you're going to encounter a woman who is one step away from needing a straight jacket.


1. I was raised on classical music but I love Dubstep. Skrillex is my favorite to listen to while tackling the grout in the shower stall.

2. I have 6 pet chinchillas and a rabbit that I let run freely in my room while I sit on the floor with them and read the newspaper. Perhaps I'm related to Dr. Doolittle.

3. I was involved in 6 car accidents my sophomore year of high school---never the driver, always the passenger. No one wanted to drive with me anywhere after that.

4. I was THAT girl in the red satin disco pants and sequined tube top at the microphone, belting out tunes in the early 1980's.

5. One of my greatest accomplishments was winning the blueberry pie-eating contest at the Presbyterian church when I was seven...with my hands tied behind my back.

6. I am obsessed with squirrels, much to the embarrassment of my family. My house is decorated in  cottage-style, faux squirrel habitat.

7. I threw up sloppy joe sandwiches in the first grade, and to this day when I look at a "Manwich",  I still feel queasy.

8.  I was raised in a household with parents who were wine connoisseurs, but I'll drink any rot gut that comes my way.

9.  I love butter and mayonnaise and make no apology for it. Eat your heart out, Paula Dean.

10. I am a Disney World aficionado. There is no place I'd rather be, and I really do believe it is a magical place, pixie dust and all.

Theresa @

     The 2nd award I won was the Sunshine Award, from Sandra at
Thanks, Sandra!

     The rules are as follows:

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog page.
2. Answer (10) questions about yourself (oh God, not again!!!).
3. Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers.
4. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blog, letting them know about the award.
5. Share the love and link the person who nominated you.


1. What would you most like to change about yourself?
     My stomach. I'm tired of carrying around a ten pound food baby. After having four kids, I don't want to carry around a fifth one.

2. What's your theme song?
     I'm torn between Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and One Republic's "Good Life".  I grew up feeling like I was a little different from everyone else (my sense of humor was always a bit "off"). Can't help it--I was born this way. Then I met my husband and found a soul mate who shares my skewed sense of humor. We gave birth to four children with diverse personalities and the same warped humor, and they provide the fodder for most of my blog entries. Together we have created a good life.

3. One part of your life, a memory, action, etc. that you wish you could surgically remove from your brain?
     Can't believe I'm admitting this to the entire blogosphere, but at my 35th birthday party ( long ago and far away..) I drank a stupid combination of champagne, vodka and cranberry juice. It didn't sit well with me, and I was wearing a white outfit...the dry cleaners never could get that pant suit clean. I have no recollection of the party because I could barely stand up on my own, let alone eat a piece of birthday cake. Cranberry juice has never tasted quite right since that incident.

4. What generation do you wish you had been a part of?
     I wish that I had been a teenager in the 1950's. Poodle skirts, Saddle shoes, T-birds and drive-in theaters. No microwaves, cell phones or computers. The simple life.

5. What was your favorite childhood toy?
     These small, rubbery dolls called Kiddles. I was obsessed with them---collected every size, shape and color they came in. I was a Kiddle hoarder, and I was fiercely competitive about my collection. I opened up a lemonade stand on my street, earned enough money to buy out the corporation that produced them and built my own Kiddle empire.

6. What is your favorite housecleaning chore?
     Does such a thing exist? Do people other than Snow white's Seven Dwarves actually smile and whistle while they work? I don't like ANY part of it. The only time housework is fun is when I'm cleaning out the refrigerator and stumble upon someone's hidden piece of Mississippi Mud Pie. "Finders keepers, losers weepers".

7. Do you Twitter?
     Isn't that what birds do in trees? Sorry, I don't have wings or live in a nest, therefore, no Twittering.

8. Any goals?
     Yes, to finish answering these strange questions as quickly and painlessly as possible.

9. Do you really drink margaritas all the time?
     Huh? That came out of left field. I prefer mojitos, but no, I don't drink them all the time because if I did, my tYpInG would be slurrrred on my bog#@*! blog...

10. ***This question was missing from the blog site that gave me the Sunshine Award, so I'm just going to make up one of my own.***    What is the ugliest car you've ever driven and were embarrassed to be seen in?
     A 1994 Previa minivan with missing hubcaps. It looked like a giant hemorrhoid on the street.

Mara Paz@
Noir Ha@

     Have fun all of you, answering these questions!

     The third blog award, known as the Fabulous Blog Award, came simultaneously from 3 different bloggers. Thanks to Gossip_Grl at,  to Susan at, and Brian @

      Rules to the Fabulous Blog Award:

1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you and share the link back to the awarding blog.
2. Name 5 fabulous moments in your life.
3. Name 5 things that you love.
4. Name 5 things you hate.
5. Pass the award to 5 deserving bloggers. ***Since I won the award twice, it's only fair that I DOUBLE the amount of blog nominees!


1. The day that I got married. I was late to my own wedding (gave my husband a good scare!) because I was busy slugging down mimosas to calm my nerves.

2. When we bought our first home together---a ginger bread, cottage-style house. Pink. My husband went out and bought paint right away.

3. Giving birth to my four children, putting myself knee-deep in diapers and debt...and loving every minute of it.

4. My 50th birthday costume-required party. Nothing like seeing a bunch of middle-aged people wearing ill-fitting costumes and dancing to Lady Gaga.

5. Becoming a grandparent for the first time and realizing that I am officially older than dirt. Time to buy orthopedic shoes!


1. Animals---my husband accuses me of being an animal hoarder because we have 10 pets. Noah and his Ark have nothing on me!

2. My Family. They are my top priority as long as they don't interrupt me while I'm blogging/eating/napping/reading/watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

3. Chocolate. It doesn't matter if it's dark or milk chocolate, bars or chunks...I love it all. Just don't ask me to share.

4. Coffee/energy drinks. It enables me to do more stupid stuff at a faster rate.

5. Cooking. I'd give away my Ove Glove just to spend 10 minutes with that hottie Guy Fieri!


1. Ear wax and dirty nails. Go take a damn bath!

2. A dirty dish drain. I'd rather sell my left kidney on the black market than clean that thing out.

3. Left turns at major intersections. That oncoming traffic looks like a rushing herd of buffalo stampeding toward me. If the whole world could just move in a clock-wise motion, everything would be just fine.

4. Snoring. My husband snorts like a pig in a trough when he sleeps. He has several remedies for this situation---he wears a special boot for his Plantar's Fasciitis, two wrist bands for Carpal Tunnel and a nose strip for snoring before he comes to bed. He is beginning to resemble an NFL linebacker or The Terminator. All he needs now is the CPAP machine for his sleep apnea---then he can go to bed looking like something out of "Alien".

5. Clutter. Random cups, socks, toys, sandals, beer bottles, candy wrappers...when I see these things  scattered around my house, I go into full-blown menopausal madness. Someone needs to restrain me before I gnaw through the leather straps.


Honest B@
M  Monaghan@
Belly Dancer@
Nash Nordin@

     Congratulations to all of my blogger friends, and good luck with the questions. Show the love and pass it on!




Saturday, June 9, 2012

Shapely Shopping

     My husband thinks I'm every man's dream wife. Is it because I have blonde hair, bake an amazing rum cake, get drunk pretty easily or because I've learned to keep my mouth shut when he's watching a basketball game? Absolutely not. I'm the dream wife because...I HATE SHOPPING! A lot of my lady friends (yes Brigitte, I'm talking about you!) will think I'm nuts for admitting this, but I could care less about designer labels, sexy stilettos or sparkly bling on my fingers. My idea of shopping is lounging on the sofa and thumbing through a Squirrels R Us catalog in search of rodent play accessories.
     The Christmas holidays are a nightmare for me, because I'm forced to go shopping to pick out stuff for OTHER people. This always leaves me feeling a bit queasy and guilt-ridden (for buying them stupid stuff like macrame pot holders) or frustrated for not saving myself some time by getting a handful of generic gift cards. I'd rather have a root canal than troll the malls like a pack mule with numerous shopping bags looped through my arms.
     I am seriously wardrobe challenged, but there always comes a point in my life when I have to go shopping, because my clothes are:

     1)  Out of style (yeah, I know, shoulder pads went out years ago when Dynasty went off the air in 1989).

     2)  Too tight (okay, I promise I'll stop getting that extra dollop of whipped cream in my Starbuck's coffee).

     3)  No longer intend for pregnancy (um...the last kid was born sixteen years ago, but oh, I love those elastic waistband maternity pants!).

     4)  Easily recognizable from being frequently worn. At parties, people keep telling me they like my outfit, and they notice that I must like it too, since I'm still wearing a red Christmas vest with embroidered reindeers on it in the middle of July.

     5)  Worn out. My clothes have more holes in them than a bullet-ridden Model T driven by gangsters during the Prohibition Era.

     Once the clothes in my closet look like they were salvaged from the trunk of a junkyard car, it's time to visit the "house of horrors" I call the local shopping mall.
     Walking through  crowds of cheerful women holding armloads of dresses and men thumbing through stacks of sports jerseys, I find creative ways to avoid the clothes racks. I'll visit the book store, grab a cup of coffee (hold the whipped cream, please) sniff a few Evergreen-scented candles and idly pick lint balls off the store carpet...before I realize how much time has passed and that it's WAY to early to start the cocktail hour.
     First I pass the lingerie department (yeah right, like I'm going to try to squeeze myself in to a hot, pink number the size of a rubber band just to please my husband), which leads me to the aisle where all the bras are hanging like double boulder slingshots (definitely NOT trying on one of those). Shoe section, jewelry, maternity outfits..."Oh, look at those cute, faux denim stretch pants designed to hide a pregnancy bump..." I self-consciously rub my stomach...nope, no baby in there...just the jelly roll the last kid left behind.
     Eventually I pick out a few items (actually, it's twelve, because I grabbed a sampler platter of three different sizes of each outfit). I have no idea what the size du jour is going to be, since my mouth decided that "diet" was a dirty word.
     Wishing to God that I had a shot of vodka to bolster my courage before stepping into the torture chamber (a.k.a dressing room), I loiter around the clearance rack (looking for more lint balls to pick) until a skinny, perky salesclerk approaches me. Her chipper tone sets my teeth on edge when she asks if I'm ready to try on my new clothes. Can't she see that I am breaking out into a hot flash sweat over the moment of truth when my actual dress size will be revealed?
     I am ushered into a mirrored cubicle the size of Thumbelina's closet and told to "have fun" while trying on the clothes. I'm too busy looking for a mini fridge with a bar in the dressing room to respond to the clerk.
     Peeling off my old, comfortable clothes is the hardest part of all. Unless you're built like a model instead of a middle-aged mother of four children, this is where the true horror begins. Because I have to view myself in panoramic 3-D funhouse mirrors that display my front, back and sides. But unlike a carnival, these mirrors aren't warped. My body is.
     Oh. My. God. This is when I experience THE MOMENT; those awful, first few seconds of not recognizing the reflection staring back at me. Immediately I experience an identity crisis---am I a pear, apple, or a pale jellyfish bobbing on the surface of the ocean?
     Deciding that the department store must have gotten a really good deal on mirrors from a traveling circus, I begin weeding through the pile of clothing. One floral print dress fits me like an oversized shower curtain. An orange blouse makes me look like an Oompa Loompa, while an ill-fitting pair of jeans has my flesh oozing out over the top like pale Playdough from a squeeze tube. To make matters worse, the entire act of struggling into torturous clothing designed to compact my muffin top is all done under the unflattering, fluorescent lights that mercilessly expose every fold, flap, bulge and scar bestowed upon the body from childbirth and years of yo-yo dieting.
     I quickly grab armloads of clothing that promise to lift, tuck, flatten and flatter the body...and everything comes in one shade. Black. So what if I end up looking like Batman's grandmother or a widow in mourning for a year? At least I'll look thinner, tighter and slightly squeezed into place like a stack of Pillsbury biscuits in a tube roll, ready to pop.
     I leave the store with a triumphant smile on my face and a bag of clothing resembling the wardrobe in a mortician's closet. Thankfully I won't have to go shopping for awhile. My new clothes should last at least until the Mayan Calendar ends.


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