Friday, October 29, 2010


"ick" as quoted by a friend of mine...that's exactly how I feel.  Down with allergies.  Be back soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One fine day...

Let the rain kiss you.

Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.

Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

~Langston Hughes

The morning was dark and cloudy, warm and muggy, all at the same time.  It began to sprinkle and then gave way to a heavy downpour, leaving a large puddle in our yard.  It cleared up and the sun came out.  So, out to play we went.

My son had a fine time with his boats.

Of course, Max had to have his say in it too.

Sunshine is delicious,
rain is refreshing,
wind braces us up,
snow is exhilarating;
there is really no such thing as bad weather,
only different kinds of good weather.
~John Ruskin

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hmm, on a lighter note...

Photos from the weekend... 

I thought it was so cute the way my husband and
his mini-me dressed alike for church on Sunday!

Aren't they sweet?

Why the wood?  It was just interesting.

Got an eye? Could I vent for a second?

Where's the sun, dag on it?!  I hate these clouds covering up the golden rays of the sun and the season just can't make up its mind.  Yesterday, I had on shorts and a t-shirt.  Today, it's jeans and my favorite fleece jacket.  On days like this, I dream of the hot, sunny desert.  Or even a cold, sunny desert.  OK, maybe not cold. 

Why don't I live on the sunny West Coast, you ask?  Well, all of my family's here and while I love 'em, sometimes they drive me absolutely batty and I wonder what it would be like to live far, far away where I know no one!  Sometimes, this thought excites me.  Sometimes, it scares the pants off of me!  I have lived in the same small town for the entirety of my life.  Crazy, isn't it?
Other things that especially bother me on crappy days...finances, babies, career (or lack there of, I should say.) 

Finances - well, that's just always a topic of discussion, or argument.  We won't go there.

Babies - my husband wants 2 more.  I don't.  On a good day, I think maybe one more.  Then, I come to my senses.  To me, kids are like puppies, fun when you see them and hold them.  A few years later, when you're arguing about money and itching to go back to work, you still have a while before they go to Kindergarten and you're wondering 'how much longer do I have to do this?'  Don't get me wrong, I'm good at being a mom.  My kids are bright, ahead of their classmates, extremely well behaved and I've worked with them a lot.  I cook, LOVE to cook.  So, every one's good around here.  Everyone but me.

I'm at the point in my life where I feel a strong desire to find myself and so far, I just feel like a mother.  Unappreciated, inadequate, overworked, under payed, criticized and trapped. 

There are things that I would like to do with my life, career-wise.  Being a stay-at-home mom, my work experience dates back to the dark ages and I'm not interested in the degree that I have.  It's not my passion. 

I can remember meeting with the guidance counselor in high school to discuss my career.  My answer: chef, I wanted to be a chef.  It was plain, simple and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  She smiled at me, the kind that says 'Are you serious?  That is just hilarious!'  My feelings hurt, heart broken, I went to college and got a degree in IT.  I didn't decide what I would study until I went to register and meet with the college counselor to work on scheduling my classes.  She asked "What degree would you like to work towards?"  I scanned the list, decided I'm awesome at electronic stuff and computers, that's what I'll do. 

I hated it.  Still do.  Don't get me wrong, I still love electronics.  It's just not what I want to do with my life.

On the other hand, I feel like there's never any time for me.  Is that selfish, to want "me" time?  To once in a blue moon, want a night out with the gals, drink a pina colada and laugh the night away - without feeling guilty?  Take some photography classes?  Go to culinary school?  Figure out what I want to be when I grow up?  Go back to work? 

There is never time. 

It's easy for people not in the driver's seat to say, you have to make time.  Well, tell that to my kids who have activities, to my husband who travels and never has a set schedule, and to the me that wants a rest when there's a minute to spare.  It would be impossible to go back to work because he leaves at the crack of dawn and gets home when it's dark.  By the way, he also has a life and things he likes to do, too.  Who would take the kids to school, watch them in the afternoon, feed them, help them with their homework?  There are very few people that I trust my kids with.  I can count them on one hand.  (Part of the reason I stay at home.)  Therefore, feeling trapped.

One day, I'd like to find me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

I could not include the forwarded part of the email on my last post.  If you are interested in participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, either as a walker or a crew member, the discount code is CURE2011 and it expires on November 23, 2010 at 11:59CT.  Registration is open online or 1-800-996-3DAY.

2011 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Schedule
Boston July 22-24 Cleveland July 29-31 Chicago August 5-7
Michigan August 12-14 Twin Cities August 19-21 Denver August 26-28
 San Francisco Bay Area Septemeber 9-11 Seattle September 16-18
Washington, D.C. September 23-25 Philadelphia October 14-16
Atlanta October 21-23 Tampa Bay October 28-30
Dallas/Ft. Worth November 4-6 Arizona November 11-13
San Diego November 18-20

Recruiting and promoting...

Just thought I'd share this email that I'm sending out, and of course, crazy, crazy photos of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  You must know that anything goes at the 3-Day, there are people wearing the silliest outfits you've ever, EVER seen!  But it's all in good fun and the walkers get a kick out of it.  When I walked in 2009, I had 6 (yes, SIX!) blisters and at times, in agonizing pain, to smile and laugh at some of the things we saw, meant the world to me.  It gave me the extra uumph to keep going.  I hope you enjoy!

Hello everyone!  I apologize in advance for the length of this letter, but I wanted to tell you a bit about my 3-Day experience this year.  I also wanted to forward this email is a $35 discount on the 2011 registration for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, meaning the normal rate of $90 will be reduced significantly to $55!  It's true, this WILL be the best discount of 2011.  Other discounts will be offered throughout the upcoming year, just less off.

This year, October 7th through the 10th, my mom, best friend and I crewed the 3-Day (meaning volunteer/staff, not rowing!)  It was a wonderful experience!  We were part of the 12 member "Check-In" team which meant as the walkers left in the morning and returned in the evening, we were there to hand them route cards (describing their day, pit stops, lunch, etc.), scan their badge, dance and cheer them on.  We had an absolute blast!  And no, we weren't worked to death.  We had down-time just like everyone else and we didn't have to choke down our meals.  It was a lot of fun!  I cannot begin to describe how powerful and moving the 3-Day is, it's something that you have to experience for yourself.  Before going to bed Saturday (our last night there), Tracy and I were talking about how silly it is to be so excited every year (even though it's only been 2 years!) for the 3-Day and how we talk about it literally ALL YEAR until it comes around again.  It's just an amazing thing, I can't say enough!

I encourage you to get involved!  There are lots of husbands who crew too.  So don't think just because you're a man, you can't get in on the fun.  Crew positions range from easy to strenuous and there are tons of positions available.  Bus liaisons ride the tour buses hauling walkers to and from camp and to transport those who are injured, needing to return to camp for the day.  There is Camp Logistics, members who put up signage in camp.  Clean-up crew monitor the trash and recycling efforts.  Tent and gear members set up and take down the camp.  Each day, Pit Stop members set up their tent along the route, serving hydration and snacks to the walkers.  Safety members either ride bikes or motorcycles and have posts where they help direct traffic and keep the walkers safe at all times.  Food Service members serve hot food to the walkers and crew.  Camp services manage posts in camp, such as the 3-Day cafe, the information tent and lost and found.  There are also positions for medical team members, i.e. doctors, nurses, EMT's and also Sports Medicine.  Full descriptions of these positions, lifting requirements and other info can be found at

There are also volunteer positions.  These are usually one day (or night) jobs, depending on how involved you want to be.  These include night security, where you patrol the camp and main gate; staffing the 3-Day store; helping with Closing Ceremonies, the list is endless and the great thing is, you're not required to have experience - you will be trained at the 3-Day.  Find out more at

Before I go, I would like to thank you for your time.  More importantly, I would like to thank everyone who supported my efforts in 2009, whether you aided monetarily, emotionally, or physically.  I want you all to know how much I appreciated YOUR efforts.  Through you, I collected over $6,000 and walked 60 miles.  Everyone says, 'I don't know how you did it.'  Well as simple as it sounds, it was literally putting one foot in front of the other, that was the goal.  I knew I had to do it, not only for myself and my Mom, but for you - my supporters, those who said it wasn't possible and for those who have fought, are currently fighting, and those who have lost their battle with cancer, and lastly, for our future - our children and their children.  Here's to a cure!

I'm always available to answer your questions and will gladly tell you about my experiences with the 3-Day.  Just email and I'll be happy to give you a call or send an email back.  I look forward to seeing you at the 2011 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  Take care and God Bless!

Joyfully yours!

You asked for it, here's the photos...

Thursday, Oct.7th, was All-Crew Meeting day at Nationals stadium. 

Our meetings were in the conference rooms there.  I had to include these photos because stadiums bring a smile to my face.  And yes, I am always amused by the little things.

Day 1 - Check-In Team + Bus Liaisons
(Our theme that day was western, Bus Liaisons' was the 60's.) 

 Main Gate Entrance at Camp

The sea of pink

Yep, that's me!  Pumpin' up the ole air mattress for our oh-so spacious 6.5'x6.5' tent. 
Oh come on, it wasn't that bad.  Remember, I LOVE CAMPING!!!

Traffic Control gettin' down!  See, I told ya even the men have fun!

 Wow, I don't even wanna' go there...

Day 2 - 6:30a.m., Getting the walkers lined up and ready to go out on the route!

 Cheering Station on the route 

Day 2 - Crazy Legs Day.  The Fairy Godfather stuffed his bra with candy and pulled it out piece by piece to hand to the walkers.  He kept us in stitches, dancing and skipping around!

Day 3 - 60 miles down - our last cheering session together

And then there were eight - some of our teammates had already headed to the airport to catch their flights home.  We had members from Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,
and of course, Virginia.  Here, we're heading to the Closing Ceremonies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The end of summer

The time has come for soups, chilies and chowdas!  Nothing says winter more.  Yesterday, I started on my daughter's favorite, Clam Chowder.  For weeks, she's been harping for me to make some.  She's not big on soups or chowders, but to her, clam chowder is to die for.  (Three bowls later, she was full!)

I realized on the cold, drizzly ride home this afternoon that summer is definitely over.  The leaves are changing, mums are in full bloom, and the shorts and tank tops are all packed away.  Last night, I helped my husband stack wood in the shed.  There's a mountain of it and he says if the Farmer's Almanac is right, this winter will be crazier than last year's!  I sure hope not, I was thoroughly annoyed, being snowed in for days at a time with no electricity!  I know, I know, I love camping, but that is never a surprise.  You plan and pack for it, but when your electricity just turns off without any warning or preparation, it's kind of a bummer.  At least to me, I'm a planning freak!  Now don't get me wrong, I love sleigh riding and hot chocolate.  My favorite - late at night, when the world is dead, completely silent, the sky is clear and the stars are out.  You lay back in the snow, it cradles your body and then, you just take in the silence, in all it's glory, watching the airplanes and helicopters and stargazing.  Appreciating God's work.

My sweet Max, appreciating a good nap after his bath.  How tiring baths can be!  It's good to be loved and to smell sweet.

“Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice,
but falling in love with you I had no control over.”  - Unknown

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cute as a button and ain't big as a cake-a-soap!

...One of my Grandma's phrases.  It's stuck with me through the years, definitely one of my favorites.

My daughter calls this one Movie Star because she's wearing eye shadow and liner.  These babies are just starting to grow feathers, 1 week 3 days old.  Soon, they'll be in that teenage stage where they're awkward looking...going through puberty, sprouting feathers here and there. 

When my husband first started talking about getting chickens, I was not at all excited by the thought.  It made me cringe.  Birds - UGH!  I love to watch them from inside, but I am not a fan of birds.  (Although, I do love to eat chicken!)  So, when they came, 20 in all, I wasn't the least bit thrilled, but they grew on me.  Most anything in baby form is cute, I couldn't help it.  So, the days drug on and I checked on them constantly, felt like I couldn't leave these tiny babies by themselves.  My son and I would drive my daughter to school and when we got home, it was time for chick the waterer, giving them food, cleaning out their box, holding them.  A friend of mine said they are the best pets you'll ever have.  I really thought she was crazy.  They roam free during the day, we pen them up at night.  When we come out of the house, they start clucking because they want attention, treats and exercise.  Once you open the gate, they follow you around the yard like little dogs, eating bugs, clucking and scratching the dirt.  They love bread, table scraps, watermelon and tomatoes!  I LOVE my chickens!  And yes, my friend was right, they are the best pets ever!

Wow, we're headed to the doctor today for the glorious PINK EYE combined with a dose of flu mist!  Fun stuff!

"I wonder why you can always read a doctor's bill and you never can read his prescription." ~Finley Peter Dunne

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Faith and Encouragement

Well, the boys are out coon huntin', the kids are catching the new Scooby-Doo movie and I'm bored!  So, that gets me thinking about my friends and wondering what they're all doing at this very moment.  I check my email, nothin' but junk!  So, I decide to organize the top of the desk (we recently moved it, so the rest is clean, but there's the usual paper mess going on).  While, scanning the papers, I run across a pamphlet that a Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walker handed me... 

We were standing around the portable heaters down at the shower area of camp, waiting to brush our teeth.  He was holding his hydration pack up to the heater because he hadn't screwed the top on straight and liquid had leaked out all over the pack.  It was 6:00 a.m. and 40 degrees.  He was getting ready to head out on the route for the second day, 23 miles through the neighborhoods of Maryland and he didn't need to be starting out with a wet pack.  The pack was drying pretty fast, he lowered it and out fell a bunch of pamphlets.  I bent down to help him pick them up and he offered me one.  I quickly glanced at it and started to tear up.  It read, "In Loving Memory - Kay Lynn Roberts 1961-2006".  Inside was a testimony and scriptures.  His wife, his high school sweetheart and mother of three had passed away at the tender age of 44.  I put it in my back pack and told him tearfully that I would have to read it later. 

I did.  Later that evening, when our duties were over, I laid down in our little pink tent, picked it up again and cried as I read it.  I knew, this was the reason why we walk, why we crew, why we were there at that very moment.  It was saddening, yet it drove me - to do more, to live each day for all it's worth and make the most of everything.  While I find myself in a foul mood from time to time, I try to think of how different my life could be.  I thank God for what I have, for the beauty of each day and everything in it.  I would like to share a couple of quotes from his website...

"To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings."  - George Mueller
 "The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety."  -George Mueller
  You can visit the site at
 I really like this...

"So encourage each other and give each other strength..."  1 Thessalonians 5:11

Wouldn't the world be a different place if we all did this?

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

So, after soccer and lunch, we made our way over to Round Hill Farm to hit the pumpkin patch.  My husband knows the owner and we hadn't been there in a couple of years so it was good to go back.

There's lots to see and do...They have a petting zoo, where you can feed the goats, donkeys, sheep, cows, geese, chickens and pigs.  There's the "corn box" (ya know, like a sand box, but corn.  It's a lot of fun, I LOVE it!)  There's a playground, pony rides, hay rides, Off-Road rides in a big military truck, face painting, food and drinks.  Let's not forget, apples, pumpkins, gourds and mums.  We had a blast there! 

Here are some of my favorite photos...

The Combine Slide - Sorry, had to add this.  It's not a working combine anymore, but was once upon a time...

Ya think that's Charlotte?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dogs, why?

After a long day and even longer night, I woke up this morning to dog puke on the carpet.  And why do we have dogs again?

Oh, yeah...that's right, he's the most handsome devil and the biggest baby!  How could you not love a face like that?!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Got a minute?

Ever feel rushed, like you can't catch your breath?  Hmm, yeah, that's me too. 

Appointment after appointment after appointment. 

Does the world just keep getting busier by the second?  I'm beginning to think so. 

I miss the days when I actually had time to lay around the house and do nothing. 

When napping to the sound of an NFL game in the background was pure bliss. 

Now, there are kids bouncing off the walls and craziness in every direction. 

"Mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama said"...

did she really say that? 

Guess so.  Lord, help me! 

(And my day is NOT even over yet, still got places to go!)

Weather gotcha down?

So today, I find myself frustrated 1.) with the rain - it always gets me down (but, I know, God, we need it and THANK YOU!)  and 2.) with my place in the world, I haven't quite been able to find it yet.         
I've participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure for the last 2 years now.  If you're not familiar with the 3-Day, it's a 60 mile walk over the course of 3 days and walkers are required to raise at least $2,300 for breast cancer.  Last year, I walked.  This year, I crewed it.  No, not rowing, but staffing or volunteering. After my experiences there, I feel driven to volunteer or work for some type of charity.

2010 Crew
  My passion is also in food and photography.  No, not fancy gourmet stuff.  More like Paula Deen.  Yep, that's right y'all, 3 sticks of butter and then, 4 more!  You gotta love her! 

So, a lot of the time, I pray for direction.  I guess I expect a sign to fall out of the sky and hit me on the head.  It would say "THIS WAY", this is the address, now go and mapquest it or plug it into your GPS, hit the road!"  Hmm, that hasn't happened yet, so I'm stilll praying, still pondering and searching.  For now...I'm just