I'm not in a padded room

People in the real world are constantly commenting on how busy I am. Quite often they are amazed by how much I can do. I do try to stay involved, but I really don't understand how they think I am so busy. I usually look at them as if they are the busy one.

Sometimes they are no more than a mom of 5. I guess I really shouldn't say "no more than" because a mom of 5 is a busy lady. I used to work with kids so I know what it feels like to be surrounded by a gaggle of kids. Other times they are the president of this, on the committee for that, and the coach for this sport.

To me, those are busy people. What I do? I'm involved, but I'm not "Oh my god I'm going to pull my hair out" busy. With the exception of one week per month. Especially now that soccer has started.

I'll give you the low down on what I do, including my crazy week. You can give me your thoughts on my life.

Girl Scout leader - once a week meetings for 90 minutes, every other week. I also have 2 hour leader meetings once a month

PTA member - one hour meetings once a month. I help with school functions when I can (dances, the annual Bingo), but the usual set up for those events is after school when I have to get the husband from work.

Soccer mom - Two nights of a 1 hour practice and 2 hours allotted for games on the weekends. Just so you know, this is the one and only time I will call myself that!!! And no, we do not own a minivan!

I also decorate 2 bulletin boards in the hallways at the kids' school. I do this around holidays or a change in seasons. Which reminds me, I have to do one of them by the end of the week. I don't think the cafeteria ladies want to look at snowmen anymore!

I volunteer in my son's classroom for things like parties, usually around the holidays. I d not volunteer in my daughter's classroom. The reasoning for that is a whole bitchy post in itself. It's probably better not to ask.

My crazy weeks, which I happen to be in the middle of as I type go like this.....
Monday - soccer
Tuesday - soccer
Wednesday - leader meeting
Thursday - Scout meeting
Friday - usually nothing, but this week I have to take the boy shoe shopping (send help)
Saturday - 2 soccer games, which of course are not back-to-back

If every week was a crazy week, chances are I would be sitting in a room with padded walls. And I don't think you would be reading these words. They probably don't let "those" people have computers. And definitely not internet access!

What do you think? Do I have a lot of my plate?

Like fish in a tank

My youngest child is now in kindergarten. Every day the left side of his bright blue folder is stuffed with papers reflecting the work he did throughout the day. The right side contains his homework. One page, sometimes two.

While I am beyond impressed at his accomplishments thus far, this is not the Kindergarten I remember.


Yellow walls. Bright and cheery. I don't really remember having desks. I'm pretty sure we had 3, maybe 4 big tables throughout the room. Each table was a different station. One with pencils, scissors, and paper - the art station. One with blocks and plastic counters - the math station.

Even though my best friend was a year older and in a different school, but I always had someone to play with at school. My teacher was always so nice. The way a Kindergarten teacher should be. Her name escapes me, but I will always remember her pitch black hair with the big curls. Looking back I realize that she was very with the times. Her hair was a typical 80's hair style.

Playing and drawing were so much fun, but what I really looked forward each morning was time with our classroom pet. Our class had a black and white lop-eared bunny. His fur was so soft. He felt just like a cotton ball when I would pet him. His black velvety ears flopped down the side of his head, framing his small face. Many days I wanted to sneak him home to keep for my own.

Sadly our bunny could not stay. He might have died, but I'd prefer to think he went to live with another family. The table that held our bunny cage was soon replaced with the biggest fish tank I had ever seen. My uncle worked in a pet store and was always bringing fish home for me. This tank far surpassed the size of any I had owned!

Inside that tank we had guppies. They were no bigger than my fingernails and would dart to and fro. Soon we learned that we had boy guppies and girl guppies. A small container was hung from the top of the tank. One of the girl guppies was placed inside by our teacher. Soon we had baby fish that were no bigger than a pencil mark.

We later added more fish to our tank, including a Beta. This was my favorite of the fish. His scales were a mix of royal blue and deep, dark red. If you looked just right, it appeared purple. I was not the only child who loved this Beta. Soon we were all asking if our Beta could have a friend. Our tank was big, but our teacher explained that it was not big enough to have two. Betas were grumpy fish. If we tried to give it a friend they would fight all the time. We wanted happy fish.

When reflecting on Kindergarten, I feel like those fish in the tank. I was confined within those soothing yellow walls, but free to move about my space. We were all happy and we were all friends.

Even the Beta.

For this week's RemembeRED prompt, we're asking you to remember kindergarten.

Nothin but a number

In a lot of ways I think I'm like most women.

One of those ways is that I sometimes freak out over my age.

I admit that I'm still thrilled about this being in my 30s thing. I'm 32 and even though I don't always like it, I will own that number.


That's not the kind of freak out I mean! And it's not the 32 that I mean either! Oops! Let's try this...


I am still young, and sometimes that shows. Inside jokes that me and my sister-from-another-mister had when we were 15 are still funny. And to this day, we still get stupid and laugh at them like we are 15.

The husband and I had our babies when were young. We both have friends the same age as us who are just starting their families. Sometimes, this can make me feel older than I am. But at the same time, I can still run around with my kids. When their kids are 9 and they're 40, will they be able to run around like we can?

Even though my young, and sometimes childish behavior, can shine through, there are moments when you would think I'm much older than 32.

Those times would be when you find me on my couch and in my robe. A cup of hot tea sitting on the floor by my feet. A crochet hook in my right hand and yarn wrapped around the fingers of my left.

Now be honest. When you think of a woman in her bathrobe, crocheting, and drinking tea, you certainly don't picture her as a young 32 year old, do you? Probably not.

This has been my hobby for almost 2 years now and I must say, I am hooked. Pun intended!

You can call me old all you want when you find me in this state, but I love to create things such as

Crochet shawl crochet shawl




Crochet owl

If you want to see more things I've made, you can check them out on my other blog, here. Eventually, I'll add a link to this blog, but for now, I have a blanket to make.

Now where's my tea?!?


Pink and pretty with sprinkles on top

"Can we go now? Please?"

Erica bounced around the kitchen, flapping her arms like the birds outside on the feeder. She was desperately trying to get her Pap's attention.

"I ate all my lunch. Even the crust! Please?"

Her Pap sighed. "As soon as I finish these dishes we can go. But you need to put your toys away first."

Erica bounced down the hallway to the family room. As she stacked her blocks into the box she hummed along with Mister Rogers, even though his show wasn't one of her favorites. As she placed the last block in the box, she heard her Pap turn off the water in the kitchen sink. She bounced to the kitchen and before she could get out a single word, he nodded a yes and asked her to get her jacket. She couldn't wait to get her favorite afternoon snack.

Erica held her Pap's hand as they crossed the parking lot. Once he opened the door of the store, the heavenly scent hit her like a tidal wave. Erica was young. At 4 she wasn't yet aware of the world outside her little town, but she did know the joys that came from within that store.

In front of her stood the tall glass case. She pressed her tiny hands against the glass, leaving tiny fingerprints for all to see. Before her eyes were the most glorious treats. Three level cakes covered in green and white fondant with pink flowers. Apple pies with slices of apple delicately placed in the center. Loaves of bread that had to be bigger than her.

But she didn't want any of those things. She wanted the treats that were tucked on the far left of the case. Donuts. They were lined up nice and neat, like soldiers in formation. Which one would she choose today?

Boston Creme? Powdered Strawberry Filled? Perhaps the bumpy ones? She thought her Pap said they were called "Coolers"? As she pulled out her finger to point out her choice of the day, something caught her eye. It was bright pink and pretty with sprinkles on top. A new donut? That was what she wanted.

Her Pap spoke to the baker and paid for her treat. They said their good-byes and walked through the door. Erica loved to sit on the bench to eat while the sun kissed her pale, skinny legs.

She opened her mouth to take the first bite. The smell of raspberries tickled her nose. In her excitement over a new flavored treat, her fingers began to tremble. Her pink donut wavered and fell to the sidewalk. It broke into three pieces. The sidewalk now smeared with pink and littered with sprinkles. A tear came to her eye but before it could fall, her Pap reached out his hand. In it he held a new pink and pretty donut with sprinkles on top.

Pap always had a way of knowing that she would most likely drop her donut.

This is a fictional story loosely based on my childhood. Quite often my Pap would take me out for ice cream. And quite often I would drop my ice cream after only one lick. Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. Concrit always welcome!

A Walk in the Rain

Spring Rain
I walk through the grass.

So bright and so green.

The soft blades tickle my toes.

I look up to the sky. The foreboding clouds swirl all around.

Rain begins to fall. Slowly at first. Big fat wet drops. They land on my toes, on my hair.

I look up and smile and hope for a rainbow. But alas, there isn't one to be found.

I long for the colors of red, gold, and green, but for now I'll take the rain to wash away my stress.

The drops cease as quick as they began, leaving me cool and refreshed.

The sun peeks through the darkness leaving trails in the sky.

All that is left of the storm is the scent it leaves behind. The smell of the brown earthy dirt that is under my feet. I breathe in deep and let out a sigh as I continue my walk.

The need for a purpose

No more babies to hold. No more diapers to change. No more rocking in the child size chair during those midnight feedings.

Her grocery cart once held big green boxes of diapers and blue plastic packs of wipes. She used to buy every soap and detergent that was labeled free and clear. Her babies had sensitive skin that she did not want to jeopardize.

When she now hugs her babies, their hair tickles her chin. They are growing like weeds and will soon be as tall as her.

Her grocery cart now holds much smaller boxes that are full of their favorite snacks. Granola bars, raisins, and sometimes chocolate. Free and clear has been replaced by the most wonderful scents nature can hold. Spring Breeze and Fresh Rain. Sometimes lilacs and lavender.

Her days were once full of teaching new skills. Sitting and rolling and learning new words. Her days are now empty and quiet while her babies are in school. But her nights are full of helping with math and learning to read.

Her babies, who were once so dependent, are now self-reliant. Along with feeding themselves, they can make their own food. They no longer need her to find entertainment, for they can find it themselves.

When she looks as her babies, she is proud of herself. They are smart, they are caring, and for the most part, responsible. She sees many great things in their futures and she is proud that she has a hand in that.

As proud and as accomplished as she feels, she also feels empty. Lost. Parts if her are no longer needed. She does not know how to fill those empty spaces. She does not know which direction to go to find her way. Her purpose.

In time it will come, but for now she struggles. Her half full glass will soon be filled again. Or is it half empty?

An unintentional stop

My flight home was due to leave at 8 in the morning. I didn't want to leave the happiest place on Earth, but it was time for me to come home.

I arrived at the airport at 6. After I checked my bags, I sat in the lobby watching the pinks and purples in the sky turn to shades of blue.

My flight had a layover in Atlanta, Georgia. From there it was a straight shot to Pittsburgh. My estimated time of arrival was shortly after noon. My best friend was picking me up from the airport. I had only been gone a week, but I couldn't' wait to see her.

Once I was safe on the ground in Georgia, I quickly figured out which gate I needed to go to. At the time I expected a 30 minute wait, but once I arrived at my gate I realized how wrong I was. The pilots who were supposed to take me home had decided that of all mornings, this would be the one when they chose to go on strike.

I had the option of purchasing a ticket for another airline, or waiting for my original airline to find me another flight. Having just spent all my money at the Magic Kingdom, I was unable to buy a ticket for a thousand dollars. I was forced to wait. While pacing up and down the short hallway it occurred to me that I had to inform my friend that she shouldn't meet me at our airport at noon. This was before cell phones, so I had to use a pay phone to call her. Remember those?

I should also inform you that this was before smoking was banned from inside buildings.

I entered the pay phone room. Three of the dingy cream colored walls were lined with phones. The fourth was made of glass with an opening no wider than your average door frame. Every single person on those phones were just as frustrated as me. What does a smoker do when frustrated? Light one up. There were no windows nor any kind of ventilation. It was all I could do not to gag. And I was a smoker.

After what felt like hours, but was really closer to one, a flight had been found for me. But it wouldn't take me home. Yet another layover was added to my adventure. A detour, you could say. To New York.

I was informed that once in New York, my layover would be a quick one. I would be home before I knew it. What no one realized was that Pittsburgh was experiencing a rainy and thunderous apocalypse. This meant more waiting, more pacing, more phone calls, and much begging for "Delayed" to switch to "Now boarding".

After 2 hours of waiting, I was finally on my way back home. My flight from Laguardia to Pittsburgh International was the shortest of the 3, yet the most frightening. I have never experienced turbulence before than, and I have no desire to experience it ever again. My head bounced off the window like a red rubber ball more times than I can count. Suitcases from the overheads were thrown to the ground. Once stepping off that plane at 6 pm, it took everything I had not to kiss the solid ground I was walking on.

That is one detour I hope to never have to do again.

This week's Red Writing Hood assignment is to write - fiction or non-fiction - about a time when you took a detour. Where had you intended to go and where did you end up?

Orlando to Atlanta to Pittsburgh, with an unintentional stop in New York. I would just like to point out that I have now been to not one, but two New York airports and have yet to see any other part of the city. Hopefully someday I can. But I think I'll drive.

When is it too much?

Before I let it all out, I want to congratulate Shell. It's the one year anniversary of Pour Your Heart Out. I can't believe it's been a year!

Make sure you check out some of the links. You can even do your own - there are prizes this week if you do to help celebrate!

Now onto my issues.....

Pour your heart out

Just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments.

This reminder really shouldn't be necessary, but we're all aware that people can be disrespectful when they're hiding behind the screen.


This is my blog. Well, one of them. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Thanks to a lovely little thing called freedom of speech, I'm free to post what I choose. I am not a fan of drama nor do I like to hurt people. I have never written (nor will I ever) a post with the intent to do one or both of those things. Yet, that is exactly what happened.

The husband was lead to a post I wrote last week on my other blog. Do I care if he reads what I write? No. After all, he's the one that set up my other blog with a custom domain. Does he read my blog? Very rarely. But a few days ago he was directed to what was then my latest post.

He was anything but impressed. I didn't intend for him to be upset. Other SAHMs can most likely relate to the feeling of not having enough help, as was evident in the comments. The husband does more than enough for our family, but some days, I just want someone to take over my job. I don't care if it's Joe Shmoe from down the street!

What this all boils down to is my wondering what I should post and how much information I should throw out there.

When I started my other blog, All You Need is Love, I emailed friends and family and told anyone who would listen about it. I started this blog, Jules Out Loud, because there are some things I just don't feel comfortable having my family read. If any of them have stumbled upon this blog I am not aware of it. However I did have an incident a few weeks ago that made me think otherwise.

Someone searched for "Blog Evonne" and landed here. Yes, my name was in my profile at the time, but I don't use it on this particular blog. My other blog, where my real name is plastered on the bottom of every post, did not yield such a search result.

That really made me wonder who is reading what I have to say. I'm not savvy enough to figure out who searched that, but it did freak me out a bit.

Because we don't know who is reading and what could happen after hitting publish, how do we know when what we put out there is too much?

Right out of the garden

It's long and green.

Too big for my tiny hands.

I carry it gently to the house.

Not too tight or the prickles will hurt.

My grandma washes it off in her kitchen sink.

She slices some for her salad. The rest is for me.

I carefully pick up a slice between two fingers. No longer prickly, I examine the outside skin. It's bright green, with spots of white. I see small flecks of brown. They must be from it's home back in the garden. Inside is pale green, almost white. I count the seeds and debate on eating them first. I love to make a ring, and those seeds are my favorite part.

I decide to take a bite. Working my way from the outside in, saving my favorite part for last. The dark green outside is chewy and almost sharp. If I don't chew it enough, pieces get stuck between my tiny teeth.

The taste is so hard to describe. It's like nothing else I love to eat. The pale green, almost white, is fresh, crisp, and just tastes healthy.

The green is gone and all that remains are the juicy, slimy seeds. I pop the whole center of the slice in my mouth. I know if I try to eat each seed individually, they will slide down my chin and onto the floor.

There's not a distinct taste to the seeds. Just juicy, fresh and clean.

I cannot compare the flavor of this food to any other, but for as long as I can remember, cucumbers have been my favorite. Especially right out of the garden.

The Red Dress Club

This week's prompt:
write about your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable.

How to mobilize your blog

The number of people with Smart phones is on the rise. I am one of those people. I still primarily use my computer for internet browsing, but it's nice to have the ability to also use it on my phone.

This especially came in handy last week. Our internet has been, to put it nicely, shitty.

Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter are fun, but not necessities. I love you all, but like you, I do have a life in the real world. I admit it was nice to be unplugged, but I typed out a post Tuesday night that needed linked Wednesday morning. Wednesday is when our internet went out. It took some time to figure out from my phone, but I finally got my Pour Your Heart post linked on Shell's blog.

While I was on Shell's blog from my phone, I realized her blog has a mobile view. I have been trying to figure this out forever, so I finally asked Shell how she did. She sent me a link, but I still couldn't figure it out. I found a similar post on Blogger in Draft, and after reading through the comments, I figured it out.

How to Mobilize Your Blog

These instructions are for Blogger users.

First you should know there are 2 websites you can access your blog from. I didn't realize this and that's why I had problems.

http://www.blogger.com and http://draft.blogger.com

You want to go to http://draft.blogger.com and log-in from there. You have the option to use this as your default dashboard, but it's not necessary.

In order to activate mobile templates, simply go to Dashboard > Settings > Email & Mobile tab, enable the mobile template option and then save settings.

Here is a preview of what your mobile template will look like.

You will see snippets of your most recent posts. Tapping the arrow next to the post will redirect you to the entire post, where you can finish reading and comment. Really puts the pressure on to make sure your first few sentences really draw your readers in, doesn't it?

Questions from a tired mind

Yesterday was a long day. I had to do the mom thing all day with a sick kid. She was throwing up. It wasn't pretty. Even with my own kid, that's one bodily function that I don't always handle so well.

With all the running around I did all day, because heaven forbid I keep all my sick supplies in one place, I was quite tired. By the end of the evening, I was done. Stick a fork in me. I took a shower, not only to escape, but to disinfect. I don't do sick so well myself. I turn into a whiny I want my mommy person. It's ugly!

My plan was to watch some crappy tv and just veg out. There were so many things spinning in my head and I wanted to blog in the worst way. I needed to get those thoughts and stories out, but forming a sentence was close to impossible. Until a certain commercial for a new show came on.

For lack of better things on, I ended up watching Intervention. I've seen too many people struggle with addiction in my own personal life, so I can relate to the show. But I also like happy endings. I get really pissed when the people don't make it out sober.

I normally ignore commercials, but one for a new show caught my attention - Relapse. It's crazy that we live in a world where these shows not only exist, but thrive. But at the same time I have to wonder....

If people who start off on Intervention relapse and end up in an episode of Relapse, is that the same thing as a rerun?

5 more minutes

The alarm goes off. She twists and turns to pull the covers from her face. She fumbles for the alarm. 5 more minutes, it's all she needs. But she knows there aren't 5 minutes to spare.

As soon as her feet hit the ground, she is off running.

She wakes up her son and helps him get dressed with one hand while she uses her other hand to get herself dressed. Her husband has the car running. Her daughter needs to brush her hair and find her shoes.

Two hours in the car fighting traffic while she takes one to work and two to school before she can return home.

5 minutes is all she needs. But she knows there aren't 5 minutes to spare. Laundry has piled up, crumbs cover the floor, toys need put away.

She must find something to make for dinner. A PTA meeting is calling her name. The biggest fundraiser of the year is mere days away and she needs to help plan.

5 more minutes is all she needs, but she knows there aren't 5 minutes to spare. Her children are walking out of the doors of the school.

Two more hours are spent in the car before they can all return home to eat dinner. She needs to help her kids with their homework, make their bed snacks, and help them pick out their outfits for the morning.

5 more minutes is all she needs. But she knows there aren't 5 minutes to spare.

Stories must be read, tiny bodies need covered. Hugs and kisses to all.

She steps into the bathroom and closes the door. 5 minutes is all she needs.

Her clothes now lay in a pile by the door. The curtain has been drawn and the water on. She steps in and takes a deep breath. The steam from the water slowly fills the bathroom. The water hits her head. She takes another deep breath. She can feel life returning to her tired body.

The water drips from her hair and down her back. The steam consumes her, yet she feels free. The running, the yelling, the stress trickle to her feet with the water. Slowly circling down the drain, the water has taken it away.

Water gives life.
It also takes it away.

Open letter to iTunes

Me and iTunes, we don't always get along. It's not very often that I buy music, but I do subscribe to a podcast for the midgets.

Quick shoutout to Night Light Stories! If you have your own midgets, go check out their stories!

When I hear there's a new story, I get all kinds of excited. A new story grants me at least 15 minutes of quiet in the car.

I launch iTunes, hook up my pretty pink iPod, and download the new story. It's a quick 20 second process, but then I have to sync my iPod. Here is where the problems start.

One of 2 things always happens. Either the new story isn't added to my iPod, or it is, but all the other stories are deleted. If the latter happens, then I have to resync all the stories, which takes no less than 3 tries. Every time.

For my birthday last month, the in-laws got me a gift card for iTunes. I was looking forward to listening to some old school Madonna, but I was not looking forward to the process of getting her from my library onto my iPod.


Dear iTunes,

Fuck you, ok. Fuck. You. I should have known that this would not be easy when you decided to go as slow as molasses in the dead of winter. After a 30 minutes search, I finally find my songs of choice and began to make my purchases. After Vogue, you thanked me (how polite), but then asked if I wanted to Ping my friends. First off, what the hell is that? Second, no. I clicked your little box asking to not ask me that after every purchase.

Why did you feel the need to ask if I wanted to Ping my friends after Like a Prayer? And Material Girl? And This Used to be My Playground? I said no. You want Ping, I'll show you some ping. Right upside you head!

After another 15 minutes, my 8 songs are purchased and sitting happily in my library. Time to sync. *cringe*

The simple thing would have been to check the little box next to my songs and click on sync. I guess since the latest updates, that's not an option anymore? I clicked sync and thought I was doing everything right. I double check my iPod and there is no Madonna on there. What the hell?!?

5 tries later and voila! Madonna! Unfortunately in this process, a previous purchased album was no longer on my iPod. The next 30 minutes were spent trying to get that album back on my iPod. I tried to authorize my computer about as many times as I entered my password. How many times that was, I'm not sure. But it was a lot. I finally had to give up so I could go do the mom thing.

After dinner I spent another hour authorizing, entering my password, yelling, and crying. I purchased this album. Why can't I listen to it, you bastards?

Please fix this problem. I really don't want to go through this again when I want to spend the rest of my gift card.


ps. I would like to retract this letter because it turns out the problem all lays upon the husband. Had I known all I had to do was use his password, I wouldn't have spent 2 hours pulling my hair out. Damn him!