Friday Flip Offs - July 28th Edition

It's that time again.  Time for some virtual detox!  Thanks to Gigi from Kludgy Mom.

*I saw your number on the caller ID the other day.  TWO DAYS after her birthday.  I begged the husband to call you back for an hour.  He didn't.  She wasn't here anyway.

*Hey old PVA man, did you have to come take photos of the house when the yard looks like it hasn't been mowed in 2 weeks?  It looks that way because it actually hasn't been mowed in 2 weeks, but that's beside the point.  You haven't photographed the house in 6 years anyway.

*To the patience that I do not have....

*To the humidity that will not go away!

*To the Summer that didn't last long enough...

FLIP OFF!
And enjoy your weekend!

Raw(e) - 2(6) - Quackers


While we were at the zoo on Sunday, we found relief from the tropical heat wave in the penguin building.  The penguins weren't moving around too much, but this solitary duck was swimming from one end of the enclosure to the other.  I thought I'd try to get a shot of both it's top (above water) and bottom (under water).  Instead I got this crazy looking shot of what looks like a duck split in two!

I'm adding this to the Raw(e) challenge over at Sailor & Company.  This week she's making it super easy, just look in the 2nd folder of photos, find the 6th image and then post a blog entry.  But remember that your photos have to be SOOC (straight out of camera) and unedited.  You have until 5PM Friday.

The next two themes will be LAMPS and VINTAGE.

The Long Road

I'm in a bit of a funk.

With the exception of last week, things for me haven't been all shiny and happy.  Because of this I'm having some writer's block or blogger's block.  It's not like I'm a some great writer or blogger or anything, but I've just run out of things to blog about.

There isn't a lack of things to say 'cause there is SO MUCH that I would like to say, but I just don't think this blog is the place for all that mess.

Do you ever have times when you feel that it is you against just about everything else in the whole stinkin' world? That's where I'm at right now.

The kids go back to school in just a little over a week.  They are both excited about heading back which is strange.  I want them to NOT want to go back.  I guess they are tired of being stuck at home.  I'm excited about the start of the school year to a point.  My oldest will be in his last year of "elementary" school.  I'm not prepared to be a parent of a middle schooler!  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday he was starting kindergarten!

If I'm absent for a few days, it's not you... it's me.  We aren't breaking up or anything... I just need to get out and find some stuff to blog about!!

Is this not the cutest thing?

I came across this cute website this morning through Tricycle magazine's blog. Adele imagines what her little bundle is dreaming about and creates that environment for a photo op! Such a cute idea and what imagination! Be sure to visit her blog!

Posted via email from More to Me

iLove Tuesday Tunes [Sublime!]




A Full Fledged Family Weekend


Yesterday was Kaia Papaya's 9th birthday!  I can't believe my little girl is already nine years old!

We got up super early on Sunday morning and headed out for our 2 hour drive to Louisville.  The zoo was awesome.  Not very crowded and easy to find.  The animals were much like us... HOT!  There were lots of air-conditioned buildings and misting areas to help keep cool.

After leaving the zoo we headed over to Iroquois Park to meet up with my first cousin whom I didn't know even existed!  The wonders of Facebook!  Apparently my Aunt had a daughter that she put up for adoption at birth and she's been looking for her family for about 15 years!!  She found my Uncle on Facebook and pretty much the rest is history.  It was pretty amazing to meet her and her family.  We look so much alike!  The kids really hit it off well and we plan on getting together soon for some camping.

I hope that everyone else had just as great of a weekend as I did!!

Fantastic Friday

Before starting my blog post for the day, I have to take a minute to wish a very special little lady, a very happy birthday.  Happy 6th birthday, Brooklyn Grace.



I was all set and ready to do my Friday Flip Off this week.  However, I've had a pretty awesome week so I don't really have a need to have a virtual detox this week.  Go check out the other FFO's with Gigi at KludgyMom.  

Here is why I'm having a fantastic Friday:

*I have my very organized school supply list ready to go.  Bonus: the kids are both excited about their teachers and can't wait to return to class.

*I found a recipe that looks to be the most awesome peach cupcakes ever!

*I finished up a great book (that I got for free) and wrote a review of it.

*I had success in finally getting a jumping shot of one of the kids.  Thanks to some help from fellow blogger, Beth.

*I won a blog giveaway!  I've never won before and I'm bragging about it like crazy!  I can't wait to use my $20 credit at Sugar Owl Design!

I'm hoping that the weekend goes as well as this week has gone!  Sunday is my daughter's 9th birthday and we're heading to Louisville to hang out with lions and tigers and bears!  Oh my!

I'm a WINNER baby!

That's right, I'm a winner!  I've never won a blog giveaway before.  Big thanks to Paige from Some Days You Gotta Dance for picking my name out of a hat to win Day Three in her "Christmas in July" Giveaway week!

I've won a $20 shop credit to Sugar Own Design on Etsy.  She has the cutest brooches and hair accessories.  But I've got my sights set on a super cute brown purse with a pink bird and satin flower!

Thanks again to Paige!  You still have time to enter the last three giveaways!  Visit her blog to find out how!

I Did It!

After trying, without any success, I finally got my first successful "jumping" photo!  I have to give lots and lots of thanks to Beth for giving me a few tips on f-stops and shutter speeds and all that stuff that is speaking a foreign language to me.  She takes THE BEST photos.  Want an example?  Click here or here.  I consider her the originator of the "jumping" photo.  See here.


I will admit that it still needs some work.  I was just glad that I had a willing participant.

So this is my THANK YOU, BETH! for giving me a few pointers!  I plan to take more crazy jumping shots until I get them juuust right.


I'm adding this to the "Wordful Wednesday" linky over at Seven Clown Circus.  Find a photo that you love, but just can't seem to NOT talk about and join up!

*same kind of different as me*

I throughly enjoyed "Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  This is the second book that I have received from Thomas Nelson Publishers and it stands out.

I have not normally been a fan of "true story" type books, but this book really touched me.  It is the story of hope, love, and understanding.  At first I was a bit confused because the chapters seemed to be jumping around.  Then I figured out that each chapter was a different man telling a different story.  His individual story.

Set in the South, this book tells the stories of two men, Denver Moore; a sharecropper from Louisana, and Ron Hall; a art dealer from Texas, and how they end up coming together despite all of their differences.

I had a hard time putting the book down once I began reading.  The men's words really bring you into their stories.  It was not hard to imagine working as a sharecropper or zooming around in a convertible!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who wish to read a book that will make them feel good again.  It really is an amazing book about amazing people.  Take the time to give this book a read.

**Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.

Tasty Tuesdays: Peaches & Cream Cupcakes


I enjoy cooking and trying new things.  This week I decided to participate in Alicia's Tasty Tuesdays BlogHop!  It's a great way to find new recipes to try out.

I came across the perfect recipe for a summer treat!  A peaches and cream cupcake!  Yummy, yummy!  I can't wait to give this a try!  I've been looking for a reason to bake something with peaches.





Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 2 C peaches and cream blended into a mush (see this peaches and cream recipe) or 1 C peach jam (try to find high quality jam with lots of real peach pieces or, if the season is right, make your own peach jam)
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar for about 2 minutes, or until light and creamy.
  3. Add the butter and vanilla and beat on low speed for about 1 minute, or until well blended.
  4. Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed until blended.
  5. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth and well blended.
  6. Mix in peaches and cream or peach jam.
  7. Divide batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners.
  8. Bake at 350 F for about 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean and the tops are firm.
Vanilla Peach Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 C confectioners' sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
  • 1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla bean paste
  • 4 T peach jam (try to find high quality jam with lots of real peach pieces or, if the season is right, make your own peach jam)
  1. Mix together sugar and butter until they are blended and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste and continue to beat for another minute.
  3. Mix in peach jam until just combined.
Yield 12 cupcakes


Recipe via Cupcake Project

If you've got a recipe that you'd like to share or want to check out some other recipes, then head on over to A Beautiful Mess and add yours!

I Should Be Happy to Shop

The delightful Eko alarm clock - it's only 4in...Image via Wikipedia
Oh Monday... how I loathe your return every week.

The realization that my kids will soon be returning to school hit me like a ton of bricks this weekend when the school supply list was published in the online newspaper.  Just 2 weeks and 3 days until the dreaded 5:45am alarm clock will once again be disturbing my beautiful sleepy time.

Now my dreams are being invaded by images of composition books, 2 pocket folders, Germ-X, and glue sticks.  I haven't even thought about school clothes yet.  The only real decision that I have made is that I'm going to shop at Target this year.  We usually just go to Wal-Mart, but I'm really despise going there.  I would love to see a Super Target in our area.  Then I would have no reason to ever go to Wal-Mart.

There is a good side to all this.  Both of the kids are happy with the teachers they've been given.  They even have friends in each of their classes.  I am optimistic that this school year will be a good one.   Hopefully....

Friday Flip Offs - July 16th Edition

Brought to you by Gigi @ Kludgy Mom
This is my 2nd "Friday Flip-offs".  I missed last week because I was having a bit of a vacation.  I'm happy to be returning this week.

To our dog that is normally an inside dog... why couldn't you just stay on your chain in your nice shady spot with your nice big pot of water and food?  By wriggling loose from your collar last week, you have somehow acquired a huge, nasty, infected gash on your neck.  The bill that I expect will come from taking you to the vet is more than we can afford right now.  But I will do whatever is necessary for your stubborn behind...

To the kid with the mohawk... would it have killed you to maybe NOT continually grab the bottom portion of my bathing suit every single time you jumped into the pool within inches of my head?  This is actually from last week, but it still bugs me.

To BP... this should be self explanatory.

To my brother... what is wrong with you?  What is the attraction of jail to you?  I am so disappointed.

To Mother Earth...  I understand that you are suffering through a lot of crap, especially right now, but jeezy louisey, it's too stinkin' hot!

To the trash man...  Am I seriously asking too much to have you place the empty canister upright where you found it?  I just don't understand why you have to dump the bin over after you've emptied it.

Need to do your own VIRTUAL DETOX?  Join in the blog hop and visit the other blogs F.F.O.

Making Light

Whiteford Point Lighthouse #5Image by slimmer_jimmer via Flickr
As of late, I feel kind of like that lighthouse over there in that picture.

I am only truly myself with a very few people.  It's always been hard to really open up to people.  It's just easier to be more reserved.  There are several people, who it's been brought to my attention, think that they do know what I'm thinking or feeling.  I don't even know who "they" are because that is a closely guarded secret, but I wish I did know because I would gratefully remove them from my life.

I'd also like some answers as to when and why my social networking habits have suddenly become fodder for everyone to text and email about.  Just because I'm not commenting or "liking" something doesn't mean I am pissed or have an issue.  It just means that I simply didn't have anything to say.  To those people who took note of my lack of doing those things, I think they need to do a more thorough inspection.  If they did they would see that I'm not a big commenter or "liker" in general.  Now I am even more aware of what I am doing or not doing.

I have been deeply hurt.  Things were said that can not be taken back.  I know that sometimes things get said out of anger that, on hindsight, shouldn't have been said, but it's still out there.  I always try to look at things from the other persons perspective so I understand where it's all coming from.  However,  if the issues had been brought to me on a personal level I'm confident that peace could have been made.  I will not go into it here because I believe that it is still personal in nature and don't want my personal business or the business of others broadcast in detail.

I had to say something though.  It's eating at me.  I have always not known what to do or say in stressful situations.  Situations that can be so overwhelming that I'm pretty much just left speechless because nothing you can say or do will right what's wrong.  I see now that not everyone understands that.  Everyone deals with things differently.  I deal with it by internalizing it and not talking about it with the person who is experiencing it.  I guess it's my form of denial.  It doesn't mean that I don't care or that I am not just a phone call away.  It just means that I want to fix it and I can't and that I'm scared.  I don't think that there is a "right" or "wrong", just ways to deal differently.

Shoo... that was hard.  It's taken me a week to write it.  Write, then delete and rewrite.  I try to keep everything here at the blog on a lighthearted note, but sometimes life gets in the way and there is no way to make light of it.

On a lighter note, (no pun intended...) I've finally found it!  A blog layout that I can live with for a while.  I love it, love it, love it.  You can find an awesome layout to by visiting Cinnamon Girl Studio.  Just click the link at the bottom of my page.

See you tomorrow for my second Friday Flip Off!

Wordless Wednesday


iLove Tuesday Tunes [Jakob Dylan - Something Good This Way Comes]



Brought to you by...

Hey Boo Boo... Let's get that pic-a-nic basket!

This past week we tried to get away.  Unfortunately, I am too addicted to the internet to just walk away from it altogether for a full week.  On hindsight, vacations are for vacationing.  No more taking the internet with me from now on.  For the most part though, we had a great time.




On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we headed out to Barren River Lake to stay on my husbands' grandfather's houseboat.  My dad and Chris did lots of fishing while I did lots of watching.  Dad caught all the catfish; Kaia caught all the bluegill.  I caught a sunburn.  It was enjoyable and we are all looking forward to going back before school starts back.

Wednesday night we came home then turned around and headed out again on Thursday.  Off to Jellystone Park we headed to relax a bit with some friends.  Camping (cabin style), grilling, go cart riding, putt putt golf, and swimming.  Would probably have been more enjoyable if the Screaming Mimi's had behaved themselves even an iota of the time while were there.  They both suddenly turned into pubescent teenagers who could only roll their eyes and say, "wha-a-at ever"... I wanted to duct tape them to a tree, but thought that was probably not a good idea.  This whole week has gone by so fast.  Chris has to go back to the grind in the morning.  I feel like we've barely spent anytime together, but we have been.  We've done a lot of family "bonding" this past week.

I'm glad that I've had this time to think.  It was the worst time for me to run out of my anti-anxiety medication, but I'm proud of my body's ability to keep itself calm.  I was also glad to have Chris around to let me lean on him.  He's the best husband, father, and friend.  To my mom, I want you to know that you are not a burden to me.  I do complain and sometimes I do get irritated, but providing for you is something that both Chris and I are proud that we have the means (all be it, not a lot of means) to be able to provide the things that you need. Never allow anyone to let you feel or think differently.  You are my mother and while you may be bat shit insane, I love you.

Now... who's up for staying in some Wigwams??

Our Weekend



Our weekend was a whirlwind!  On Saturday, our friends called and said they had discovered a pay lake.  We dropped what we were doing (which was nothing), dropped the kids off with my mom (thanks again, Mom!), and off for fishing we went.

I think we arrived to the lake around 4pm and stayed until 10:30pm.  We even got a free fireworks show because the neighbors were having a cookout.  However, between Chris, Mark, and his sons, Forest and Anthony, we ended up with about 70lbs of catfish!  That meant we still had to clean them and cook some supper.  I guess there isn't anything like eating fresh fish that you've just caught at 2am!  By the time we got home it was already 3:30am.

My dad was due to arrive from Florida about 4am so we made the executive decision to just stay up.  What was the point in taking a 30 minute nap?  By the time I finally made my way to the bed for some sleep, I'd been awake for 29 hours!  I powered napped for 4 hours then we headed out to the local Green River Catfish Festival.  The best place to enjoy a county fair, fireworks, and catfish plates complete with hush puppies, fries, and cole slaw.

It was the most enjoyable weekend we've had in quite some time.  Today we're heading out to Barren River Lake to enjoy a few days on the lake before we head to Jellystone Park to camp and eat some with our pic-a-nic baskets.  I'm hoping that both places have some WiFi.  If they don't, I'll see you guys when we return to the "real world"!

P.S. I also apologize for not responding to my last comments.  We've been a teensy bit busy!

Friday Flip Offs - July 2nd Edition

Thanks to Gigi at Kludgymom
I've seen a few Friday Flip Offs at A Beautiful Mess, but have never participated in one.  This week I'm feeling the need to vent a bit so I'm going to give it a go!

To the trash company who picks up our trash whenever they feel like it instead of when they are supposed to...

To my laundry that I swear multiplies while I sleep at night...

To the flooding that happened two months ago that is still ruining all fun I would like to have with my family at Barren River Lake...

To certain people (who have to remain nameless because I don't want to deal with their drama) that can sometimes be real arseholes for seeming to forget that they have other family member that they keep ignoring...

To the arthritis that has taken up residence in my ankle and one stinkin' finger...  I am 31 years old!  Couldn't you have waiting until I was a little older?

FLIP OFF!!!

Guess what?  It's your turn!  Participate in the blog hop and vent your Friday Flip Offs!  Don't forget to visit the other blogs!


It's July!

Can you believe it?  We are half way through this year already!  Wow... time flies.

Speaking of time flying... my baby, my sweet, sweet pain in the neck is going to being turning 9 years old in 24 days.

She may only be turning 9, but it feels more like 19.  She already has the eye roll down to a science.  Talking back?  She's perfected it.  Boys?  They no longer have "cooties".  She's got the biggest crush on a little boy from school.  I'm just thankful she's too embarrassed to tell him and that he's in the same grade that she's in!

I'm just not prepared for this.  Where has my baby girl gone?  She doesn't like to wear dresses anymore and very nearly won't wear pink.  Getting her to put on the dress in this photo took me a solid half an hour.  When I was done taking some shots, she was out of that thing faster than I could blink.

I guess it's appropriate for the upcoming Independence Day that she is becoming so independent herself.

On another note...

My dad is coming for a visit!  I wasn't able to convince him to fly up so he will be driving the near 1,000 miles from southern Florida to the Bluegrass.  I worry when he drives so far, but he says it's the only way he wants to travel.  He'll be here on Sunday.

So I guess that means I really should get off my bum and start cleaning on this nasty house!

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!