Thank you so much

Sunday was supposed to be MY day. Finally

My 25th (not really but we can pretend) birthday was a few weeks ago. My in-laws wanted to take us out for dinner because that's what they do for such occasions. We couldn't go the weekend after my birthday because it was Valentine's weekend. Dinner for 2 that weekend is bad enough. No one wanted to try dinner for 6.

The following weekend the husband was on his death bed sick. I knew my MIL didn't' have anything out for dinner that night since we had potential plans, so it would have been ok for the kids and I to stay home. But we had to go over. I had a shit load of Girl Scout cookies to deliver to her. The last thing I needed was extra cookies in my house that I can't touch!

That left this weekend. Yesterday because I know you're reading this Monday.

I honestly do want to say thank you to my in-laws for taking us out to eat, but I have some other thank you's to dish out as well.

Dear husband - if you know that falling asleep wearing your contacts will cause your eyes to freak out all day, take the damn things out until you actually need them! I appreciate your moans and groans all day. Your company in the car to the restaurant? It couldn't have been any more enjoyable. Thank you so much for putting me in a stellar mood.

Dear waitress - I've worked in customer service before. It's a shitty job so when I hear a waitress bitch about her shitty day, you honestly do have my compassion. When you continue to bitch about your craptastic day, I start to get the desire to punch you. My compassion ends when you start making me feel like I should hurry up so you can go home for the night. Of course I can't hurry up because you failed to bring me a spoon so I could actually eat my delish soup. By the way, I'm known in my family as a really, really slow eater. Joke's on you!

Overhearing your conversation with another waitress while cleaning the table behind us was probably the best part of our meal. I learned that my table was your last for the day. When we went home, you could go home. Having this conversation within my earshot was just a marvelous move on your part. Thank you so much for the lovely belated birthday dinner experience.

My dinner was really, really good and I can't wait to finish the leftovers later, but it's probably a good thing I wasn't in charge of the tip.

As for my husband? Next time I feel like crap, no matter how trivial, I'm turning into a whiny 5 year old.

Jules' List - for sale


For sale - Snow

Quantity taken must not be less than what is in my yard. You are more than welcome to take more. I'm sure the neighbors won't mind.

Most of the snow is crisp and white, like fresh pressed linens. Some of it even has the appearance of glitter, like your carpet when your kids are done "creating". I can not guarantee that there will not be brown, or even yellow snow in the mix. I would not attempt to eat the snow because of that.

The snow is just at the right consistency for making the best possible snowman. If you choose to take enough, you might even be able to top this guy...

Giant snowmanYes, this is an actual snowman
from my neighborhood
See how much fun you could have?!

You must hurry if you want to take advantage of this incredible deal. We have greatly enjoyed the snow, but we are well aware that not everyone has the opportunity to make snow angels and throw snowballs.

This one time opportunity is only valid for 24 hours. After that time period has expired, this ad will be taken down and replaced with one for the mud that will soon consume what was my yard.

Snow for sale
The children are optional. They are hard workers ad love to shovel snow. If interested, I can throw them in for $28 dollars. I need to pay off my Girl Scout cookies. Wait, better make that $40. The Thin Mints are looking kind of low and might need restocked.

If you are interested, please call 754 - FU2 -SNOW

Show Him the Way

It was early March. The year was 1998. I was halfway through my freshman year at college. I was in the midst of working my way through my pre-requisite classes while trying to discover who I was. While preparing for my next mundane class I received a phone call than would send me packing a suitcase rather than a book bag.

My Pap had been sick. His doctors were doing everything they could to fix him, but we all knew the situation was not a good one. This phone call from my tearful mother was that my Pap, her daddy, has passed away.

Over the years I have learned that the closer you are to someone, the more of a blur their funeral and the days leading up to it are. My memories of the funeral home are mashed together with the days at the funeral home when my own dad passed away. Both were sad events where I had to try and make conversation with family I hardly knew. But being the oldest of the cousins, much of my job was making sure the younger ones stayed out of the way.

St. Anne's Church Castle ShannonMy Pap's funeral itself is also a blur. I'm sure it was a beautiful ceremony, but I was hypnotized by the beauty of the images that surrounded me. The floor to ceiling gold wall behind the towering cross that hung above the altar. The ornate stained glass windows full of blues, golds, and greens. The round window above the main entrance was my favorite. It was full of more reds than the others. Even though the sun was not shining that day, they still glowed. From an early age, I always gazed at that window with a picture of the Rose Window from Notre Dame in my head. Many years later, seeing the Rose Window in person brought me back to that day early in March of 1998.

Leaving the church we proceeded to the cemetery. A cemetery I had also spent many days wondering through, reading tomb stones. Wondering what their stories were. My Pap's site was in the lower half of the cemetery, the original part that was over a hundred years old. His final resting place was towards the bottom of the hill.

Walking to my Pap's site I remember wishing for an umbrella. The sky was full of gray and gloomy clouds. A light rain was falling, almost as if the sky was crying with us. As the priest read his final prayer, the sun began to shine through a small opening in the clouds. The circle on the ground from the shining sun was soon full of small, brown birds. No one paid any mind to the sun or the birds. But me? They brought one of the biggest smiles to my young freckled face.

As a young girl I remember watching the birds at the bird feeder with my Pap through his kitchen window. We would pull out the bird books and try to figure out what each bird was.

This moment, while brief, was welcoming. Not only to me, but I think for my Pap.

I do not know if there is a God. This is a belief I struggle with. There have been many times in my life where I have wondered why a loving god would let such horrible things happen. There are also things I have seen that make me think there is a god. This day was one of those days. It very well may have been a coincidence, but I believe that the skies had opened up that gloomy day and sent the birds my Pap loved to show him the road to his next destination.

I miss my Pap each and every day, especially now that I have my own children. I'm sure he would have taken them out for ice cream as he did with me. He probably would have bought them another cone when they dropped the first one on the sidewalk, as I always did. When I reflect on that tear filled time of my life, I soon smile because the sun and the birds come rushing back to me.

Remembe (red): A Memoir Meme
by the Red Dress Club

This week's prompt:
Memory and Reflection

Babies - the husband may be onto something

I'm a mom.

I have 2 kids.

A girl and a boy.

This arrangement seems to work out for us. The boys can have their time. They can transform their Transformers and build their race tracks. Two things that, for the life of me, I can't seem to do! The girl and I can have our time. Shopping, dress-up, mani-pedis.

But sometimes, I wish for more.

Being pregnant were some of the best times of my life. You don't realize how close you can feel to someone until you can feel them moving inside you. Yes, I could do without a few parts of those long 9 months. My daughter being born not even 15 minutes after speeding to the hospital could go. Being pregnant in July with my son can go. 90+ degree weather, elephant feet, and no AC is not fun for anyone, especially someone who is insanely huge!

We have discussed the possibility of having more children. The husband is happy with 2. Anymore kids and we would be outnumbered. I can understand him not wanting to go from an even playing field to playing defense. Age comes in to play as well. We are young, but his concerns that risks increase with age are valid.

I am fine with 2, but it really wouldn't take much to change my mind. Changing diapers really doesn't bother me, although potty training can be a bitch, as my son proved. Feedings are not a problem for me. I had a pretty good system going with the first 2.

But night's like tonight, I think I might agree with the husband's idea of no more babies.

My house is full of the smell of apricot baby food.

I have an insane amount of baby food jars and I needed to use some for a project. I don't care how much you scrub the jars or how hot the water is. The fuckers still stink of the contents that were in them!

I'm sure we could get by without feeding our fictitious baby apricots, but we all know that the vegetables aren't any better.

Does anyone want a baby? I will gladly give you one. That way I can go through the joys of pregnancy again, but bypass all the gross stuff.

Proof that jokers are wild

A while back I won a gift card. Gift cards are my BFF! I love shopping and when someone else pays for it, that makes it even better!

The gift card I won was for an adult site called Pink Cherry. I had never heard of this site so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I browsed through the site trying to decide what they hell to buy for myself. I admit I looked through the toys, but nothing really jumped out at me. I already own a few and believe me, I am quite satisfied with them. So I moved onto lingerie, a growing obsession of mine.

I found this cute little black number that I knew the husband would absolutely love so I added it to my cart. I had a little money left but I wasn't sure what I could get with a few bucks. So I hopped over to the novelties. Maybe I could find some little gag gift that would make the husband laugh. What I found was even better than that! A deck of cards.

I knew my sister-from-another-mister had to have these!

I wasn't there when she opened her package, but believe me, I heard all about those men over the phone. Some good, some really hairy not so much.

When I went to her house a few nights later I was informed that we were breaking in those men. At first they were stiff, which I suppose is better than having them stick together. I will admit that we did have a hard time grasping onto them and a few ended up on the floor. But all in all, it was a good night!

If you're daring and want to see the other side
click away

Things like this remind me to grow old without ever growing up!

The first night

I remember that first night as if it were yesterday.

It was a breezy, mid-October night. Crisp brown and yellow leaves were falling from the trees. There was a slight chill in the soft breeze. I could feel winter was around the corner. Soon the ground would be covered with a white blanket of glistening snow.

It is our first night as a married couple in our own place. We now live together in a small, but comfortable 2-bedroom duplex. The right side. I am 7 months pregnant with you, little girl. My belly is now rather large and round. My once tiny ladybug tattoo from that crazy night in college was growing ever larger. The red of the wings has stretched and are now a dark shade of pink. The spots no longer black, but large and purple. It was often said that you were fully cooked because below my ladybug sat a piercing. A half circle piece of silver metal. A round black bead with bright flames of gold and red sat on each end. My round, hard belly caused it to stick up as a turkey thermometer does when it is ready to eat.

We had an exhausting day of moving overstuffed boxes from our former homes to our new home. The extra 40 pounds added to my petite frame made the work that much harder. Tonight would be a lazy night.

We sit together on the newly installed hunter green carpet, for we have yet to purchase any furniture. It feels soft and almost pillow like beneath my bottom. In the corner of the room sits my little 13-inch tv. It is plugged into the ornate gold outlet cover that contrasts the cream colored walls. The cord for the cable runs across the green carpet to the wall on the other side of the room.

We are still waiting for the cable company to hook our cable up, but I know we can find a few basic channels. I start clicking the buttons but the only results are static and snow. I push and push, but snow and static are all I continue to see. I finally come to a channel where I see a person, not just snow. I place the remote on the floor next to me, glad to finally have something to watch. There is a woman. I can tell she is not an actor. Perhaps this is an infomercial? We quickly realize that we have found the religion channel. We each have our own set of beliefs, but I know one thing for sure. The religion channel is not what either of us want to watch.

As I reach for the remote, we both start to laugh. Growing up we both had to deal with many power outages. The transformers on the poles in our respective neighborhoods were most likely as old as our parents. When the blistering heat of summer came and lasted through the nights, families cranked up their AC. Like a pregnant woman trying to move, it was too much work for those transformers. The religion channel would be the only channel that would come in.

I push and push the grey buttons of the remote again, but snow and static are all I continue to see. Your daddy crawls on his hands and knees to the tv and begins to change the angle in which it sits. Perhaps closer to the window? Maybe by the front window will work better? We might have had better luck with metal rabbit ears on that little box!

After some pushing and moving we finally land o channel 11. It's a little static-y, but I can see a picture. I think I can see Benson! Or perhaps it's Stabler? Your daddy moves the tv just barely an inch to the right. It's a miracle! We have Law and Order to keep us amused.

I glance over at my new husband. His John Lennon glasses and dirty blond hair. I can feel our little girl rolling in my ever growing belly. I hope we have many happy years ahead of us. But at the very least, we will always have our Law & Order.


If I died and could give my children a five-minute glimpse into my life, this is one of the times I would pick. I want my children to see the mess around us but to also be aware of where we started. It took a lot of work and a lot of love to get from where we started to where we are today.

This post is written as part of the red dress club's memoir prompt. And yes, somehow, I kept it under 700 words!

After a long hiatus, I am trying to get back into writing. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Good, bad, or ugly, as long as it's honest.

Why does this keep happening?

What the hell?! It happened again. I'm so tired of going through this




Yet again I get to "celebrate" being yet another year older. I'm now twenty-twelve. Yes, that's a number! How do I commemorate this not so joyous event? By covering the gray that's creeping into my hair (damn genetics) and listening to the nails on a chalkboard sweet sound of my knees creaking.

Fuck Yay me!

I'm so overcome with joy over this day that I don't know what to do. I think the only way to ease my mind is to sit my ass on the couch and eat all the junk that I can find in the house. There is no other way, right?


Your butt is nasty

I realize we all have our guilty pleasure and our bad habits. I know I do. But this post isn't about my downfalls. This is about the mother of all habits. This event took nasty to a whole new level for me!

I had to take my brother to Best Buy (that adventure is a post in itself!). On the way back I figured it would be a good idea to stop at the grocery store for some milk. We were out and needed it for dinner. I had a few other things to pick up as well. On my way from the car to the doors of the store I noticed a man. He was crouching on the ground next to the ashtray. I assumed he was tying his shoe or had dropped something. I also assumed he was smoking and that was why he was directly next to the ash tray.

Upon further inspection I realized I was wrong. He had pulled out the bottom of the ash tray where all the butts are collected. He was collecting them and putting them into his pocket!!

As I approached the door he noticed that I had lit up. I know, I know, but this is not about me, k?! He stood up and stared me down. Did he want a light? Was he embarrassed I busted him? Was he going to mug me over a pack of smokes? I didn't know, but he was creeping me the hell out!

I walked into the store and the man followed me (oh shit!). He proceeded to sit his butt down on one of the scooter carts and made his way towards the doors on the far side leading back outside. First he collects used butts, then he takes his butt on the scooter out of the store? What the hell?

When I was leaving the store, I found him again. He was sitting outside on the scooter cart smoking the butts he collected from the ashtray.

Ew. Just ew!

15 years

15 years it has been since I've last seen your face
The last words you spoke were full of concern
over a friend that you did not approve
The last words I spoke were tumultuous and hurtful

They say you can prepare when you know what is coming
But you never really can

For years I watched my mom struggle
While I stayed silent
My words, they were eating me up inside

I remember that day as if it were yesterday
The friend who came to deliver the message
The man who would not let me leave class
I stood up and walked out
My head held high
I knew what was waiting when I arrived back at the house

I had a choice to stay home, because we knew what was coming
As a teenager my life was already in a whirl
I needed a sense of normalcy
While I waited for what was to come

15 years it has been since I have last seen our face
15 years I have lived with those words inside
I know you left with peace in your heart
15 years it took for that peace to enter mine

I'm linking this post to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.

Words of wisdom

First off, let me start with a little disclaimer.

I am typing this post out Saturday night. I am stupid excited for the Super Bowl. I will be in no condition to blog tomorrow. Win or lose (go Steelers), I won't be in any condition to blog on Monday either! I may also be somewhat stupid at the moment because I am ridiculously tired! It's 11pm and I need to stay up for a bit more so I can throw my clothes in the dryer. If they weren't game day clothes, I'd say screw it.

To pass the time I was tweeting. I was really close to a monumental 1000 tweets. I realize I originally said 10,000 on Twitter. Right about now is when you should refer to my disclaimer up above. Not the excited part, but the stupid because I am tired part!

As I'm bouncing between tweeting and a show on Comedy Central, the gears in my head start to turn. Sometimes this is a good thing. Other times, not so much. It's a crap shoot when I start coming up with ideas!

Earlier in the night I was trying to write a blog post. I have recently pulled our some of my writings from years ago and I want to tidy them up a bit and improve upon them. My inspiration took a smoke break, so my mind started to turn to the things that I write about or what I want to write about.

I am my own worst critic, but I also worry about what others will think. Will they like what I write? The day to day posts or my actual creative writing stuff (should I choose to publish some of that). Will I offend someone? I don't write about controversial subjects, but will there be a line or a few words that will send someone through the roof?

I tell myself that I am like a duck. Harsh words and criticism are like water and roll off my back. But let's be honest, sometimes those words stick with you. Even though those words may stick with you, my gears cranked out some words of wisdom.

Tweet like no one is reading
Blog like no one is reading

I'm not saying you should be a bitch and try to intentionally piss someone off. Just be honest. If someone doesn't like what you have to say, they can click the X.

Placing the blame

I've been in a funk this week. There's not really a singular reason for it. It could be the result of little things. Perhaps it's jealousy. Yes, I will admit I am jealous. There are things that I would love to do, but can't seem to find the opportunity to accomplish those things. The green beast visits when I see others doing what I would love to do.

I have this habit of leaving Tweetdeck open. Sometimes I tweet, other times I just read. Over the past week I was reading all of the Blissdom tweets. This is where the jealousy comes in to play. I would love to go to a conference. It sounds like it is overwhelming at first, but I would love to turn some of the URL friendships into IRL friendships.

Yes, I also want my blogs to grow and improve. I actually have a few things in mind for this one. I'm sure going to a conference would help me make the improvements I want. I have no desire to turn my blogs into a business, however I would not turn down the opportunity to make money through them. But I would like to feel more established.

Another contributing factor to this funk of mine is probably the weather. I am never as happy and as energetic in the winter months as I am during the warmer months. I blame the lack of sun and my inability to handle the cold. I found it amusing that I wrote a post the other day with a petition to bring back summer. Last night we get hit with an ice storm. Not enough signatures perhaps?

And tomorrow is ground hog day. I realize that the hoop-la over Punxatony Phil is all a bunch of crap. I honestly don't give much credibility to the event. It's just a bunch of drunkards standing around in the cold to watch men in suits and top hats pull a ground hog out of it's hole. Of course Phil will see his shadow When you shine a bunch of lights on something, there tends to be shadows! Dumbasses! But whether he sees his shadow or not, the cold, snow, and lack of sunlight are not going away soon enough.

Or I could just blame my funk on PMS!