Sunday, October 21, 2012


Yesterday afternoon was gorgeous. Bug had morning bowling and we stopped for lunch at Lukulos Pizza with our new neighbors and friends, the Gormans. Chris and Carol's two boys both bowl, Jacob and Michael on the same team, then Collin is on a younger team. The boys all bowled well, despite Bug's insistence that he did horrible (he thinks he does everything horrible and I don't know how to get him over that...) But the pizza was really good and the prices unbelievable--the three of us ate two medium two topping pizzas, and with two drinks the total was ten dollars! We'll definitely be going back there, especially considering it's parked right next to the bowling alley. No more McDonalds for after bowling lunches! (Can I get an Amen and a Hallelujah??!!)

The morning's drizzle had finally dried up and the sun was shining glorious late autumn warmth and splendor over New Bedford, so we decided to head out to a pumpkin patch and possibly do a little exploring while the weather was being so cooperative. We found Silverbrook Farm in Acushnet, though didn't stay when we saw they wanted $36 for admission to their corn maze and hay rides...That's more than a little ridiculous for a pumpkin patch in my opinion. Off we went, enjoying the beautiful leaves and quaint scenic Acushnet. We stopped at the Acushnet Creamery for some ice cream and three small cones cost us the same as we paid for lunch earlier, but it really was good ice cream!

After our sweet creamery break we carried on into Fairhaven for a bit of shopping at two of my favorite stores up here: Euro at Phoenix and the Sea Witch. Euro has so much to look at, it's a little overwhelming--everything from postcards and souvenir-ish type items, to all things nautical and sea themed for decorating, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, even clothes, bags, shoes and boots, and a fair sized toy room as well. After dawdling a while in there, we crossed the street to the Sea Witch, which (which witch) is a more gifty, collectible kind of place with all sorts of lovely, beautiful little things. We lingered on the sidewalk, looking at all their Halloween decorations and a few costumes they had hung out for sale.

Just as we started inside my arm began to twitch. I'd felt pressure building in my head and neck as we were wandering through Euro but hoped it would simply pass. Bill had to lead me out of the store as I stood and shook on the sidewalk in the middle of Fairhaven, waiting for the tremor to end. It's embarrassing and humiliating standing there helpless while passersby are talking about you. I know they meant well, offering to call for help or give us a ride back to our car, but I felt like I'd rather die than be this human spectacle, shaking uncontrollably for all to see. The tremor was one of the worst I've had since my surgery in February and another milder one followed it in the car on the way home. They've been coming in waves like that for the past month or so. I don't know which is worse, being a public spectacle or the thought that the doctors have no idea what's wrong or how to make it stop.

Today should be fairly quiet. Cindy (Bill's sister) asked Ashlee to stay with Mom and Dad for the day so she can head up to Boston to spend some time with her two sons, Paul and Ryan, Paul's girlfriend, Bridget, and their baby, sweet little Gabey. We'll likely head over and hang out with Ash, maybe have a little cookout later and enjoy some time on the pond (Cindy lives on Sassaquin Pond and it's so serene and beautiful--I'll have to post a few pics later on.) For now, it's about time to leash up Tucker and pound out a few miles around the plan for a good morning run. I've printed out the week's zendala template and have to do my Idea Journal page yet. It's a good day for some artistic and family adventures...and we still need pumpkins!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up

So we've passed our first week here, but this will be our first 'full week' for a normal(-ish) routine and the To Do List overflows...Mondays are always my main cleaning day of the week and added to that today are a couple phone calls: Comcast to fix our phone issues-we can receive calls from cell phones but not land lines, though curiously telemarketers can still get through...just not anyone we actually want to talk to...How the heck does that happen?? And also the doctors our neighbors recommended to see if they're accepting new patients and to hopefully get Bug an appointment scheduled for his physical for school. This practice has an impressive line up that includes several specialists, including a neurology department, so definitely praying we can be seen there!

Arting projects are piling up. Two weeks worth of zendalas are still looking at me, along with last week's Diva challenge and this week's should be posted later this morning. I've at least got my weekly Idea Journal page drawn in and ready for coloring, but I need to get some breakfast in me and a quick workout done, then hopefully I can get back to finishing that later this afternoon. And then I have my Walls Notebook to play with yet!! Ideas are brimming and I'm jotting them down as they come...just need to find the time to play!!

Christmas shopping and planning is also in full gear. I managed to create my ten week break down list and am starting to scratch things off. I even finally found my address book so I can do my Christmas card list and start getting those addressed and ready for mailing! Yay! Though I still need to get Bug's Halloween costume together and make sure I have enough candy for trick-or-treaters....

I'm hoping to get a better feel for how the weeks will flow now that company's gone home and hubster and kidster are back at work and school. We managed to get the majority of the week's grocery shopping done yesterday morning (yeah, no church thing at a time...) so that's a big help to freeing up a chunk of time for me. I just don't like shopping on Sundays (or with the rest of the family since we end up spending more when everyone's there wanting this, that, and the other....I DO have a list I'm working with, people!!) It'll all come together...I'm just such a huge routine freak and find comfort and peace in the regular day-to-day things most other people find boring, I think...Well, I never claimed to be like anybody else...

Pictures?? I'm getting there...I'm also forgetting poor brain is swimming in too many different directions!! Trying to remember to breathe and relish the reality of where we are and that we're finally all together again. Life is good--really, really good.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1) Do you believe there's only one person (and there ain't no other) for you? Or do you think we can truly love several partners over the course of our lives? Certainly we can love more than one partner throughout our lives, but I also believe in soul mates and I married mine =0)

2) Do you have this, or any other, Christina song on your iPod/mp3 player? No

3) Christina Aguilera won a Grammy for her performance of this song. What do you deserve an award for? And who would you thank in your acceptance speech? Patient endurance this year (well, for the most part...) I would thank God, Missy, Jenn, and Diane for helping me hold it together!

4) Christina Aguilera has her own brand of perfume. Do you have a fragrance or scent you regularly wear? I LOVE Marc Jacob's Lola

5) Do you have any allergies? Seasonal allergies and mold. Something in wine makes me break out in hives.

6) There's an older lady who proclaims during a TV commercial, "I will give up beer, bread, wine or soda but I won't give up Life Alert!" No, we're not going to debate her diet. Instead the question is: What are some of the staples that are always on your grocery list? Coffee, Oikos greek yogurt (key lime!!), peanut butter, and now Portuguese bolos--like a sweet bread english muffin kind of...Hooked!!

7) What's your favorite sitcom of all time? Big Bang Theory!!

8) When it comes to your socks, do you prefer solids, stripes or prints? Stripes, crazy colored stripes!

9) At what age do you consider a person "middle aged?" And when do they transition to "old?" 45, which officially makes me middle aged (and now I officially hate Saturday 9 for making me feel old...thanks Bud--not!!) Transition to old...75--ish??

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Listing...

Moving and buying a new home is a list-aholic's dream. Stick that on top of upcoming holidays and I'm list-delirious! And I've only started thinking about some of the lists that need to be made! My weekly cleaning list has expanded exponentially with getting each specific room in order. Then there's the 'Dream List' of things we want to do around the house-decorating, changing, planting, painting, etc...I have floating in my head a miscellaneous list of details that need immediate attention: finding a doctor (Bug needs a physical for school), locating my address book so I can work on my Christmas card list, researching fall festivals and other groovy activities to do around the area (seal watching season begins next month!! Yeah, that's right--seals!!! Whale season begins in spring--aaahhh!!) I just, well, re-started my Christmas list. I had some notes jotted here and there but finally put together my ten week shopping/planning/baking countdown list. Ten weeks, people!! I'm ready! I usually start Christmas planning earlier but waiting to move put a postponement on that party, so it's time to kick things in gear and get going!

I'm still unpacking--Bill's clothes and Bug's 'stuff'...Everything else is put away. I need to set up the exercise room downstairs. It's gettin' a little chilly out there in the mornings...won't be long before I'll be back on the treadmill and I'll need my Harry dvd's ready to go! I pulled out some of my Zentangle goodies yesterday afternoon but didn't get much done...I think my brain is still running on overload. But, it'll come. Things are slowly settling down and we're getting back to our regular routines. We've officially been here a week!

Bug gets out of school early today. Fridays they're done at 1:30 which means I need to pay attention to the clock so I make it to the bus stop on time! They won't let the kids off the bus unless there's a parent or family member there to meet them, and if there isn't anyone the kids have to go back to school and wait for someone to come pick them up. Crazy, but I like the idea that they're not letting kids go home to an empty house.

And tonight is Date Night!! Ash is coming over to stay with Bug while Bill and I get to go out on an actual Date! I think we're going to Davy's Locker for dinner downtown, then a little stroll on the beach (bundled up--it's gonna be chilly tonight!!) Tomorrow Bug starts bowling again and Sunday we're heading to a pumpkin patch in Acushnet. Looking like a great weekend ahead!!

One quick pic this morning--Loki on his new gym in the office...he's a happy boy!

I know I need to finish pics of the house and, believe it or not, the leaves are just starting to change here! Driving up, the prettiest leaves were in Wilkes Barre. I was really suprised how green everything was when we got here! But now it's starting to color up--so pretty!! More pics soon...I promise (just means ya'll have to keep checking back--haha!)

Happy Weekend everybody!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We are Here! We are Here! We are Here!

Haha--little Horton hearing a Who...but, yes, we are HERE!!! We pulled out of Butler Thursday morning-Bill with Michael, Ruby and Tucker, then me with Mom, Sweet Pea, and all the birds, both vehicles crammed to the hilt with first day boxes and last minute 'I can't leave THAT!!' but I left all my plants sitting on the couch and loveseat by the curb because there just wasn't room--*sob*!! But, there really isn't anywhere here to put plants right now, so...I suppose it was just as well.

The ride was...interesting. Thank goodness for Ativan. Not a note of music for ten hours. Sweet Pea did much better than I thought she would--thank goodness for doggie downers. She cried a little but slept most of the way. And the parakeets were the only ones we heard from of the birds, little twitters and chirps here and there, and the others were quiet the whole time. I am not a highway driver--or passenger, apparently, and held a death grip to the door handle pretty much the entire time. I knew I would be glad to see New Bedford, but I must've flown out of that van as soon as we pulled in the driveway! I am NOT doing that ride ever again...

We got here just around five, and seriously, we weren't even out of the car ten minutes and there were a handful of kids riding by on bikes eyeing Michael, so Bill walked him a few houses up to where most of them were hanging out, gave a brief introduction, and the kid was in like flint. Let's see, there's Dominic, Jacob, Colin, Stephen, Jimmy, Shawn, and Kendra--that's the main crew. I believe there are more in the plan--which is HUGE! I could run for a good hour and not hit the same road twice, or a main road, either. It's awesome! All the kids are on bikes or scooters and every car that goes through here drives slow knowing the kids are all out and about. One of the kids, Jacob, will be on Michael's bowling team--perfect! He is busting a gut happy to have friends to play with every day and we hardly saw hide nor hair of him the entire weekend, including the Columbus Day holiday on Monday since there was no school and all the kids were making the neighborhood rounds.
Sitting on our front step: Jimmy in blue, Dominic on the right, and this little guy down on the left is cute as a button but drove me about out of my mind wanting to come in and see the dogs, poked a lovely hole in the screen door, let Tucker and Ruby out the front door one time...and just. wouldn't. go. AWAY!!! Ashlee threatened to drag him home if he didn't stop nagging to come in...Oh my....
We finally made it to Horseneck Beach Saturday night before we went to dinner. We're twenty minutes from the ocean, less if you hit the beach downtown (which is actually Buzzard's Bay, I believe) and that's ten minutes away--a block from Ashlee's house. She can see the water from her front yard--love it!!! Michael was delirious walking up to the beach, so excited and the wind blowing his hair-and the sand-every which direction. But...breathtaking, seeing those waves rolling in and the beach stretching out as far as the eye could see. Some people were flying kites a little way down from us, and a couple were actually surfing. I rolled up my jeans, slipped off my flip flops and waded out into the surf...yeah, I cried. It's so beautiful and I can't believe we actually get to live here!! Bill and Bug went on a seashell search while I soaked in the salt air and snapped a few shots of the sunset. Heaven...

I went completely OCD and unpacked the entire downstairs over the weekend. I couldn't stop until every box was emptied, broken down, and piled in the garage. I was hoping to get the bedrooms unpacked upstairs Monday or Tuesday, but that didn't happen. Ash and I went shopping Monday (this could be a dangerous combination...) I had to run Bug back downtown to the school's administration office before he could be admitted into school yesterday morning and the cable guy was here most of the morning hooking up the TV's, DVR's, the phone and internet. Then I was having a hanger shortage crisis after tackling the eight load mountain in the basement, so we had to run around and find hangers, which entailed lunch and a stop at the pet store just to 'check it out'--haha! Oh the birds they have!!! But I can tackle the upstairs today since Bill is back off to work and Bug will take the bus to school. I do need to run to Walmart and the grocery store (thank goodness for the GPS because I have no idea where anything is even though Bill and Ashlee keep trying to tell me how to get around. Brain not absorbing, too much overload right now...) I have lists upon lists to create other lists of lists...Now if I could just manage to check a few things OFF those lists...all in time...all in time...

So, if you've managed to hang in there all the way to here--a few quick pics of the house:
Our House (is a very, very fine house!)

Diningroom (the pink curtains gotta go...)

Kitchen, Tucker making dinner??
This is my nook on the other side of the kitchen--the whole room is huge! Also where I'll be arting until we can get the Loft going...

We have a Mr. Ed door! And Tucker loves to neb. Pea laying in the sunshine coming in from the patio doors...
I decorated a little for Halloween and will take pics of the upstairs and yard after I unpack and remember to do so...(good luck with that--hahaha!) But, it's time for some breakfast and a shower before the guys have to get up and moving for the day so I can scoot after the bus swings by for Bug and buds...Things to do folks!! Have a great, uh....Wednesday, right?? Halfway to the weekend!! Yay!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The End is Near

21. BIGGEST LIE THAT YOU'VE EVER BEEN TOLD? That's a rather negative way to start things off here, don't you think? Biggest lie...I don't know. The lies that bother me most are when my kid lies to me.

22. BLONDES, BRUNETTES, REDHEADS OR BALD? Brunettes or bald. I've never really gone for blondes and there just aren't many good looking redhead guys...

23. WHO DO YOU PHONE MOST? My hubby.

24. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB? Baby/pet sitting. Though I would also sell artwork for cigarette money back in the day...

25. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE SUNDAY STEALING? This morning? Reading my email, thinking about breakfast...

26. IF YOU COULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY WHAT WOULD IT BE? I wouldn't get plastic surgery. Lasik maybe.

27. WHY DID YOU FILL OUT THIS SURVEY? I obviously have nothing better to do with my time...


29. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALCOHOL BECAME ILLEGAL? Go back to sleep. Don't drink, don't care.

30. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT/HAVE? I have my Bugga and my Ashlee. Is good.

31. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? Of course!

32. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes. Lately it's gotten to be so scribbly I have a hard time figuring out just what I wrote...

33. WHEN DID YOU LOSE YOUR VIRGINITY? Way before I should've.


35. DO LOOKS MATTER? Not in the least, it's your heart that matters. Hygiene/body odor--yeah, now there's an issue...

36. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER? I like to break things. Though running is a much healthier outlet.




40. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT? Nope, can't say that I have...

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I snagged this idea from the blog of a favorite local artist, Marcia Furman. I'm list happy so I couldn't help myself from wanting to play along with her list of all the things she's doing here we go:

Reading: I just finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It was pretty good, definitely sucked me in and held me captive til the end. Now I have a panic moment because ALL my other books are packed and I'm not sure which box Feast for Crows is in...what will I read??? Oh Kindle is still sitting on my nightstand with only five hundred plus books on it. I'm good! I'm good...just not any George RR Martin on there...mannnn....

Watching: Greys! Hallelujah! RIP Mark Sloan...oh my gosh, I just bawled yesterday...Second panic moment--our cable won't be hooked up yet at the new house until FRIDAY and I won't be able to DVR "What Really Happened!!!" Yeah, yeah, I can watch it online--and I will. Comcast is hooking us up somewhere around lunchtime on Friday. Oh--second hallelujah--we're getting HBO! (singing HBOOOOOOO!!!!) So I am SET for March 31 when Season Three premieres (yeah, that's Game of Thrones, people!! Aaaahhh!!)

Listening to: Not really anything new...but I guess the best of what I'm listening to is my running playlist--while I'm running! It feels so good to feel happy enough to want to run again. What's on that playlist? A ridiculous schizophrenic mix, but it works for me. Korn, Third Day, Adele, some Rusted Root, Nickleback, David Crowder, Primus, Miley Cyrus, Lady's all over the place! Pandora channels for tangling time! I have an instrumental channel which started with Ludovico Einaudi and somehow progressed to include Harry Potter soundtracks (go figure how that ever got in there! But they're so fun to listen to!) and then I started another channel of ocean waves and whale songs to transport me north to them both!

Thinking about: Moving, of course, and just how the ride's gonna go. Whew!! And planning the Blueberry Loft! Okay, that probably won't happen until next least getting it started anyway. That'll be a project! (The Loft is going to be my art studio above the garage...) Seeing my love!! Ray's Pizza for our first dinner in MA on Thursday! My toes in the ocean!

Loving: Zentangle and Zendalas-that has been such a beautiful escape for me this year. These last moments with my friends. That this nightmare of a year is almost behind us!!

Looking forward to: Getting settled and being with Bill's family (and Bill! We have nine months to catch up on!!) The ocean! Fall in New England, followed shortly thereafter by the holidays!

Making me happy: That's kind of the same as Loving above...Bug...I can't get over that he's eleven and he's been super sweet and helpful lately, and polite! It catches me off guard when he says thanks for something I've done and I didn't prompt him to say it. That feels really awesome...being appreciated. And the leaves starting to change--I love fall, the weather, the colors, that light nip in the air. And candy corn pumpkins--aahhh!!!

What are you doing currently?

Thanks Marcia!

Saturday 9: Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out

1. When did you last feel down and out? What--this entire year waiting to move and not having my hubby around at all?
2. What do you do to feel sexy? I just am, don't really need to do anything special...
3. Do you think people think you are normal? No...and if they do then they're certainly not normal...
4. What have you always wanted to do? Always? Eat all I wanted and not gain an ounce of weight
5. What do you appreciate the most about your life at this time? Being able to stay home and take care of my Bug and play around with art and writing.
6. If you could be somewhere else, where would you be and why? New Bedford because all of this moving insanity would be behind us! Soon, my friends, so very soon!! Then I can whine about something else--aren't you excited??
7. Have you ever made a fool of yourself? If yes, spill. Oh my goodness, like on a daily basis...but such is my life...
8. How often do you feel guilty? Monthly when I eat too much chocolate or ice cream or potato chips...the joys of womanhood...
9. Give us an example of what you’ve done when feeling low self-esteem. Eaten too much chocolate, ice cream, or potato chips?

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's Happening

Over nine months in, it's finally happening. Our closing is scheduled, the movers are lined up, and my heart is racing with the reality. I get to see my husband on Tuesday and we pull out of Butler in less than a week...I hardly slept last night, feeling like a little kid at Christmas--it's here, it's finally here!! I have a feeling I won't sleep much at all this coming week as the day draws nearer, but that's okay-I can sleep in MA!

I've already begun listing all the places I want to go and things I want to do when we first get there and texting Bill with each one:
toes in the ocean
Portuguese soup
the whaling museum
the New Bedford Merchant (my favorite store in town!)...

Okay, the museum and Merchant can wait a little bit--they're not going anywhere...but they are two of my favorite things in New Bedford. I'm sure I'll find a hundred  more favorite little places once we're there and settled and we can go off exploring on the weekends. I'll have my hubby home on the weekends! That's not happened since we left Ohio almost eight years ago! Wow...

I'm so excited about the drive up--could the timing be more perfect? The leaves should be simply magnificent, more brilliant the further north we get...Making a note to charge my camera battery for the ride! Got the foliage map--and downloading their foliage map app! I am set to see me some leaves!!

Packing up a few odds and ends yet around the house, though there's not too much left. There's certainly no food left in the house other than for the dogs and birds...and Bug's hit a growth spurt and all he wants to do is eat! I need to stock up on road snacks too before we get going...a-Walmart-ing I shall go! Here we go, people!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Stealing: The Sparkling Beach Meme: Part One

1. Ever been given or received an engagement ring? Yes.

2. Longest relationship? My marriage, twelve years in March.

3. Last gift you received? Birthday presents in July (Dance with Dragons!!!!)

4. Ever dropped a mobile phone? Daily, and usually multiple times daily...

5. When's the last time you worked out? Ran a few miles yesterday

6. Thing(s) you spend a lot of money on? Art supplies

7. Last food you ate? A bomb pop

8. First thing you notice about the opposite sex? Eyes.

9. One favorite song? Coming Undone by Korn--can't stop running when that hits the cue...

10. Where do you live? Butler, PA but only for another week or so (give or take a day or two...yay!!!)

11. High school attended: Penn Hills Senior High

12. Cell phone provider: Verizon

13. Favorite shop: Michaels (or Amazon but Amazon's not really a shop, right?)

14. Longest job: I think it was Liberty Publishing...but I can't remember how long I worked there anymore...

15. Do you own a smart phone? Why? No, Verizon won't let me upgrade yet and by the time I'm allowed to upgrade I'll be switching to AT&T--and getting my smart phone then! Ha Verizon!!

16. Do you prank call people? Really? My phone accidentally calls people but that's not really prank calling....

17. Last wedding you attended? Bill's best friend's daughter, Allison's wedding, two years ago--and now they're having a baby!!

18. First friend you'd call if you won the lottery: MISSY!!!

19. Last time you saw your best friend(s) Missy yesterday, Diane Thursday, Jenn last Saturday
20. Favorite fast food Restaurant: Does Sheetz count? It's not really a restaurant...but they serve fast food...??

And now I can get on with my zendala....Happy Sunday folks!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday 9: Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Meme time is back!! Or at least this morning anyways...Bug is sleeping over at his buddies' house and I woke up at three with no real chance of going back to sleep, so hey! Time for the Saturday 9!!

Saturday 9: Papa Was a Rolling Stone

1. What’s the best memory that you have of your dad, while growing up? Omigosh...there are so many...One of my favorites though was a Girl Scout Father/Daughter camping weekend and we were trying to make Black Forest cake over the fire. First, we forgot to take the pits out of the cherries--but it didn't matter because Dad melted our pan in the fire and the whole thing was just burned beyond any chance of being edible...We laughed about that for years and years after. My dad--he was the BEST!!

2. How boring do you think your life is? Completely and utterly beyond boring. I'm a stay at home mom who goes nowhere, ever. Snooze fest.

3. Can you do any accents? If not, do you know someone who is good at it? I can do hick Tennessee pretty well after living there for five years, and a pretty good British accent after watching Harry Potter eight hundred bazillion times...

4. What technology did you at first fear that you now could not live without? Cell phones. I didn't 'fear' them, I just didn't see the necessity of them. I am overwhelmed by Blackberries but my hubby has one so they must not be too terribly difficult. I WANT the Samsung Galaxy Note...but I'm stuck with stupid Verizon for another year yet--bah!!!

5. Do you, or have you ever, thought you have a book in you? No. See #2.

6. How does the weather effect where you live? I keep moving north for more snow...

7. Are you more interested in you favorite artist’s next work, or the TMZ side of it all? What the heck is TMZ????

8. Have you ever felt “battled-scarred” by a relationship or relationships in general? If yes, do tell. All relationships leave scars, some worse than others. There are plenty of battle scars here, they're just nun-ya' bizniss...
9. Do you tend to root for the bad guy? It depends on the bad guy. The one that disturbed me most was Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers. I was totally rooting for the bad guys by the end of the movie and just absolutely shocked that I could have that response. The Hatfields and the McCoys earlier this year--Devil Anse was crazy bad, but in the end I wanted him to destroy the McCoys--I guess that was a double bad guy scenario....Then reading the Song of Fire and Ice series by George RR Martin, one of the main bad guy characters all of a sudden has a heart and begins to redeem himself so I want to root for him, even after so much of what he's done is completely unforgivable...But most of the time, no, I don't think I cheer for the bad guys. Like, terrorists. Totally wouldn't cheer for terrorists. And I've never rooted for Voldemort. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Focus. My mind is a swimming, swirling mess of lists, after thoughts, pre-thoughts, things I need to tell Bill, folks I need to call, rooms, shelves, cupboards, drawers to be packed, plans for here, plans for there, utilities to schedule turning on, turning off, school/medical/dental/veterinary records that all need collected and transferred, appointments pending for inspections, sewage tests, and more, more, more...There's other lists I still need to make, Michael's birthday party I need to plan, shop for, and schedule, and I still don't have an exact date for this move. I need an exact date. But we're still waiting on paperwork from Tennessee. I can't sleep at night for all this mess churning restlessly in my head.

Focus? I find little moments throughout the day to stop. Sit. Breathe a prayer. Head in hands and the swirling chaos subsides for a few seconds. He is in there, waiting, holding me up, keeping me together. Little pieces slide together, the puzzle picture slowly showing an occasional glimpse-almost there...almost there...In these moments, I find my focus, in Him.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
~ Psalm 62: 6-7


Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dark is Lifting

I've lost words this year. They seem to have run out on me. I've just gotten quieter and quieter, shutting in on myself. Anger, depression do that to you. And I've wallowed in so much of that this year. Ugly darkness. And now that the dark is finally lifting, I wonder-will the words come back?

I dream of beautiful poetic sentences-delicately, gracefully wrapped paragraphs, words painting pictures of light. That's how I want to write...

So, we're finally moving in a few short weeks. I still struggle to believe it's actually happening. Nine months. How fast it went, even as long as it's painfully dragged out. And now fall is upon us, leaves hinting at the beauty that is to come. Excitement sparks deep inside...

I found a running group in New Bedford a while ago-so excited about that and starting to train again. I'd like to run a 5k this fall, an 8 or 10k in spring. Could I manage a half marathon this time next year? Then, just now as I looked up the New Bedford library website, I discovered they have a writing group! Zentangle certification seminars are a hop, skip, and a jump away in Providence. Providence-how prophetic. God is good...

"For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
~Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Little Melancholy Monday

My mom stopped by yesterday. It was a nice surprise. She usually doesn't like to drive this far but she'd brought me some nice big, sturdy boxes for moving. We had a good visit and I was even a little teary after she'd left again. After all, we'd come home to be closer to her and we've hardly seen her at all these past two and a half years. And tomorrow she's swinging by the cemetery for my brother's birthday. That was one thing I wanted to do before we left-I wanted to stop by my father's grave one last time. But I won't make it tomorrow and I most likely won't get down to Pittsburgh before we leave. But I tell myself, he's not really there anyway...I'd just be saying good-bye to a stone marking where his body was laid four years ago. He, himself, is not there.

I miss my dad. I've been doing all this drawing and tangling lately and I know he'd love it. That was the gift we shared, our art. I'd love to show him Zentangle and watch him give it a try--I think he'd be really great at it. He always drew so clean and precise-he would master Zentangle in a flash. Mom also gave me Dad's oil paint set. I'm sure the paints are way past being any good, but just to have that case and his brushes, that piece of pure treasure. Who knows, maybe I'll take some oil painting classes after we get settled and channel Dad's spirit, sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in with sea gulls chasing overhead, grains of sand blowing into the paint and adding a little extra texture...

I wonder what he would think about us moving to New England. If he were still alive, surely he'd be excited to have an excuse to come up and visit, go fishing in the bay or take a boat out on the ocean and drop a line or two there. Maybe find a golf course and play a couple rounds with Bill.

I worry about leaving Mom again. But, she's fine. So independent, like her mother was after my grandfather had died. Couldn't keep that woman down and Mom's the same way. She's already planning her Florida trip, most likely counting the days--she's so much happier there. I don't know why she doesn't just stay. Sell her house here and stay where she's happy. Maybe some day. That has to be her decision--no one could ever tell her what she ought to do...but maybe some day...

Now I'm looking forward to spending time with Bill's family. I can't even remember the last time I was up there! He's gone a handful of times without Michael and me the past few years. Couldn't always afford both the airfare and boarding the dogs, so he'd go and visit himself. Michael barely knows his cousins there, like he hardly knew his cousins here. Too many years living too far away. And now that Sissie is there as well, he'll really be happy--finally all of us together again as we should've been all along. It's gonna be so good!

So, continuing counting to 1000 gifts this morning:

583. Finding 'lost treasure' (more watercolor pencils and Gelly Roll pens!) in my old stash of art goodies
584. Corn and Hot Dog Roast at church (need I mention all the yummy desserts??!! Aaahhh!)
585. Our pastor playing Gaga Ball with the kids

586. Garden fresh tomato sammies--the very best of summer!
587. The new house passed inspection with flying colors!
588. Morning running again---aaahhh!
589. Coffee time with the girls
590. Another big bucket of tomatoes (Missy loves me!)
591. Playing with new watercolors and colored pencils
592. Coffee in the angel mug my dad gave me a long, long time ago-now he's my angel

593. Received my first ATC from our Zia group swap! (Realizing there really should be a picture here, it's beautiful!)
594. Rain, rain, rain...I'm so feeling the rain this week.
595. Beautiful cool fall temps at last
596. Leaves just beginning to sneak some color
597. Nice visit with Mom
598. My first Dangle is done! I like it! (Dangles are a little spin off of sorts of Zentangle, created by artist Joanne Fink)
This week's Idea Journal page, thought I'd try a Dangle...I could've probably added more, but then I wouldn't have anywhere to write my plans for the week!
Care to count with us?

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Already

So I've been gone a little while...The end of summer became a bitter pill to swallow knowing Michael would have to start school here rather than in his new school up north, and also realizing he and I would be celebrating his birthday alone here as well. This has gotten to be almost more than I can take. I was mad at Bill, then I wasn't mad at Bill--this time apart wasn't his intention. A lot of tears. Houses came and went up in MA. Nothing seemed to be falling into place. I don't understand why this has been so difficult this time. Then offer Bill made on a house there was accepted at last. It may not be until the end of the month, or even the very beginning of October, but we will finally have our family together again-Sissie included...for good. Clouds were lifting--hallelujah!

It's hard to write when you're in that dark place. I'm actually amazed that I've been tangling and painting, though that's been such a needed diversion. Bug went off to school and the house got quiet. I started packing again. I've been trying to reconfigure what my morning and daily schedule will look like after we move since school starts an hour earlier up north, and I will have to drive him there and pick him up every day. But, that's a good problem to mull over and it will sort itself out once we're there and settled. All in time...

I had also shut myself off to the good things God was still pouring into my life. I wasn't going to be thankful when I was so busy hurting and feeling resentful. But then I started the Hello Mornings challenge at Inspired to Action, and the Bible study we're doing on 1 Peter began softening my heart again. That God...He doesn't let go. Thank goodness! So, I started keeping track again--a little bit. I plan to do better this week.

575. A little (50% off) retail therapy at Michaels (my happy place!) to get a gorgeous set of Derwent Inktense Watercolor pencils--they are divine!
576. Finally!! Under contract for a house in MA, two and a half miles from Bill's sister's house (I could run there!) Light at the end of this long, long tunnel....We're almost there!
577. A free celebratory latte at Sheetz (I love that place!)
578. A long overdue morning run
579. An impromptu showing over the weekend that I pray will produce an offer
580. Cool, cool rain
581. The distractions of zentangle and other art challenges and now Christmas planning (yay! It'll be here before you know it!! Trust me, I've gotten to be an expert on time flying this year...)
582. Planning, planning, planning for the new house and ready to count down the days until we're there.

So swing on over to Ann's place at Holy Experience and link up with  your own list of thankfulness and print out the new September Joy Dare. As Ann says, "Happy Blessed September! Best month yet?" I think so...I think so.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello Monday Morning

I'm having a difficult time staying motivated, simply caring...about anything lately. This year has dragged on mercilessly, and day in and day out, I sit here, more often in tears than not. Praying, pleading for mercy, unanswered. Is it any wonder I'm angry? Is there any wonder I could care less about taking care of myself? What's the point? I have no idea when this will be over. Run? Why? Take care of the house? What's the use? It all seems useless, pointless. Meaningless. Endless.

Yesterday I tossed around the idea of calling the doctor this morning to ask for a script for antidepressants so I could at least stop crying maybe. But, I feel like that would only make me feel worse, like a zombie, numb. It wouldn't really fix anything. School starts next week and we're still sitting here. We won't even make it to MA in time for Bug's birthday now. The pit in my stomach sinks lower, heavier. I don't even care what God's reason is for us waiting anymore--I just want this over. I want to move. I want my family back together. NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week or next month. Right freaking now. And taking a stupid little pill isn't going to make that happen any quicker. So again, what's the point?

But I'm starting a new Bible study challenge for the fall (I hate that it's fall already) I just really need to refocus. Wallowing in this mire isn't making Michael very happy and I at least owe it to him to keep it together. So I signed up for the Hello Mornings Challenge at Inspired to Action. I had tried to join the summer one, but there weren't groups and it was pretty confusing without any leadership. This time I'm in a group of other moms who also want to take charge of their mornings so they can have better days with their families. I figure it's at least a good place to start. Today is the first day of the thirteen week challenge, so a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I didn't keep track of my thankfuls very well last week. Hopefully with a new challenge and a 'renewed' outlook, I'll do better about that this week. But, here are a few things I was thankful for this past week:

566. Back to school supply shopping. It's even better than Christmas to me! I even got myself a pack of mechanical pencils to tangle with and a pack of Sharpies (they're awesome for coloring in big spaces on the tangles...)
567. An evening with my girls and a new 31 bag on the way (Retro Metro Weekender for all the weekend getaways Bill and I will sneak away for in Maine once this whole mess is behind us!)
568. A huge tub of fresh from the garden tomatoes from my friend Missy--I have been in tomato heaven all week!!!
569. An afternoon of geocaching with Bug at Preston Park, which is literally a couple minutes from our house and we never even knew it existed! We saw deer and bunnies and startled a huge blue heron, and managed to find a few caches while we were there! Great, great day.
570. Celebrating our finds with ice cream at King Kone
571. Harvest Festival in Volant--a beautiful day in my favorite little town in PA
572. Amish donuts (are there any Amish in MA???)
573. Two tangles done and an afternoon of Game of Thrones
574. This verse, which reminds me that every day is indeed filled with His love and mercy:
 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
  His mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
  great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
Join us in counting His endless gifts:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Our Players' Meme

This week's memes were stolen from two separate blogs: The first is from a blogger named Kwizgiver. Her blog is What If This Is As Good As It Gets? She stole it from Fond of Snape. The second is from a blogger named Tina of the blog NerdBliss. She did not say where she stole it. And away we go:
1. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit? Either Alaska or Montana. Probably Alaska 'cuz we could always drive to Montana someday...But I'd love to see the Northern Lights and go whale watching and play in the snow...heaven!

2. Name three of your guilty pleasures. Spending an entire weekend on the couch watching either Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, caramel vanilla iced lattes piled high with whipped cream, chocolate chocolate chocolate...mmmm....

3. The best kind of Girl Scout Cookie is: It's a tough choice between the Thin Mints and the Tagalongs--even the Nestle candy bar versions are insanely good! Can't pick. Sorry.

4. What do you value most in other people? Honesty and kindness.

5. Be honest. Do you sneak some raw cookie dough when you’re baking cookies? Eww, no. I really don't understand that obsession--so yuck!!

6. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise?! Yeah, completely. Broken Road--everything bad I've gone through just totally makes me appreciate all the good I have now.

7. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? That's another hard pick...the Rockies in CO, Woodstock VA in the Shenandoah Valley, anywhere I've been along the ocean (Atlantic--haven't made it to the Pacific yet), the Smokies in TN

8. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler? I'm totally a feeler who overthinks everything and cries about all of it.

9. Name three things you are thankful for right now. My hubby, my kids, my friends.

10. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race? Ages and ages ago at a family reunion when I was a kid. So didn't win. I'm not coordinated on two legs--stuff one in a sack with someone else and try to run?? Who comes up with this stupidity and why do people keep doing it??

11. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart? Of course I do!
Second meme:

12. What kind of work do you do? I'm a stay at home mom who plays at writing and art stuff.
13. During the course of your lifetime, which job or career has been your favorite or most fulfilling? My favorite job was being a customer service rep at Beitler McKee. I worked with a great bunch of people, it was a Christian company--which I didn't fully appreciate at the time but I do now looking back on the core that was the heart of Beitler, and that's where I met my honey! And maybe the fact that I was pregnant, completely obsessed with food, and designated myself 'Lunch Girl'--rounding up everybody's lunch orders and money, and then distributing all that delicious food every day--I was so happy!! Lots of great memories--both food and people wise!
14. Do you think it’s necessary in your life to have a day-to-day “career” that is meaningful and service-oriented or do you function better in “just a job” with a steady paycheck? It's certainly a lot better if you have a job that's meaningful to you, rather than 'just a job' you might be miserable at, steady paycheck or not. I've watched my husband go through a lot of 'just jobs' that he wasn't happy at, and I'd rather have him doing something where he's appreciated and that makes him feel fulfilled. For me, being able to take care of our family and house and critters, plus having time to draw or paint or write, paycheck or not--I'm happy.
15. Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to stay home with your children instead of working, even if it meant less money in the household? That's what I do now!
16. Tell us your worst boss story. I worked for a short little bald man who liked to flick his tongue at sexual harrassment even though he really was harmless...still it was disgusting.
17. Have your ever been the boss? I'm Mom, I am the boss!
18. What is your dream occupation? I don't know--I'd like to be one of those food critics on the Food Channel who gets to travel all over the world eating like everything and getting paid to see the world and eat--could life get any better than that?? I want to raise alpacas. I'd love to have a rescue shelter for homeless dogs. So if I could get paid to travel the world and eat with my dogs and alpacas...that would be pretty awesome!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Judgemental Much?

This picture and post were on a friend's Facebook page yesterday and it took me aback a bit.

Photo: Did you know, the the "teen mom's" get tens of thousands of dollars for each episode of the show? Kinda says, "Hey kids, go get knocked up and we'll pay you mad cash!!!"...ya know. 

Personally, This chick is the only chick we should be throwing money at for what they've accomplished. I'd think society (yep, even in the US) would shun a station and show that promotes getting pregnant. tsk tsk peps. 

Tell them it's wrong. ~~~Share it if you agree... ~R213"Did you know, the "teen mom's" get tens of thousands of dollars for each episode of the show? Kinda says, "Hey kids, go get knocked up and we'll pay you mad cash!!!"...ya know.

Personally, This chick is the only chick we should be throwing money at for what they've accomplished. I'd think society (yep, even in the US) would shun a station and show that promotes getting pregnant. tsk tsk peps."

While I certainly don't applaud shows that may or may not glorify teen pregnancy, and I've never watched 16 and Pregnant, but this post made me rather angry. Truly, this young lady pictured had the proper support and encouragement growing up to become an Olympian, and how fantastically wonderful for her. How many teen  mothers can have the same thing said about them? But--go ahead and bash them. Society's certainly going to dish it up for them, jump on the band wagon and smear them with more shame and humiliation while they're at it. By the way, where are the teen dads who were involved in these pregnancies? No where to be found? No stigma heaped on top of their somehow blameless heads? Are we still living in the dark ages where it's all the woman's fault? Sad...just sad.

I was told repeatedly growing up that I would never amount to anything more than my street walking whore of a birthmother, pregnant at sixteen and my mother already knew where she was going to ship me off to when that day rolled around. Well, damn if I didn't try to  prove her right, and only by the good grace of God did I somehow manage to NOT end up pregnant at 16. Would I be soley to blame? But I would've been the only one to bear the shame and burden. So, I have a heart for these girls who've become parents way too young. No, not all of us are cut out to be Olympians, but we all deserve the proper support and encouragement to follow our dreams and have a fair shot at life, even if we do make a mistake. And the right and respect to not be judged and looked down upon if you've not walked in their shoes first.

And as for 'shunning all those stations that promote getting pregnant'? You'd pretty much have to shut your TV off for good with just about every show on every station anymore promoting pre-marital, extra-marital, homo-sexual, bi-sexual relationships, along with ads for male enhancement and 'Plan B pills' flipping across our screens--even at hours during the day when our precious impressionable little ones are glued to the sets while Mom's busy Facebooking and posting pics putting down the girls who weren't so lucky...Tsk tsk peps--whatever peps might be.

Monday Morning Gratitude

I rolled over and looked at the clock, 1:25. Not good. Room in full dark, a skinny little shape is standing silhouetted in the doorway, "Can I sleep in your bed?" Froggy hanging limp at his side. My first thought is no, he'll just keep me up with his wiggling and squirming and 'accidentally' nudging Sweet Pea sleeping soundly at my feet, just to prompt a grump from her, his arch-nemesis. And I really need sleep...the days are long enough, a full night's sleep is like gold anymore.

But something in me pulled back the cover and let him climb in. And we giggled as he fake snored and we foot wrestled under the blankets, stole each other's pillows. I even managed to confiscate Froggy, for a little while, anyway. The days are long, but these moments are so short, fleeting. He's almost eleven. How many more times will he want to curl up beside me and giggle in the dark? These moments: more precious than gold...and we slept...

Continuing counting to 1000 Gifts this morning:

549. Kiran's Annual Progress Report, which also means a new pic for my fridge!
Is he not the cutest?! And as skinny as Bug! Love that sweet face!!
550. Weckerly sweet corn for dinner, the blessing of kind, thoughtful neighbors (love you Bud!)
551. All caught up on cleaning--yay!
552. Roast beets and left over corn for lunch (don't tell Bud--it's a sin in these parts to eat corn more than a few hours old...)
553. Butler Farm Show-the best of which was Lulu, half-sheep/half-dog--she was so sweet! I am in love with a sheep!! And kettle corn...can't resist the KC!! Ah sweet salty crunchy delight!!
554. Help from Bill's folks with downpayment funds. Now if only we could settle on a house and have them accept our offer--is that really so much to ask???
555. God's will on my heart--I am willing and trusting You to make it possible...and to soften Bill's heart and others' involved...
556. Prayers from so many loving friends
557. Discernment and goosebumps
558. Watercolor pens! New joy!
559. Serving at Katie's Kitchen--beautiful faces, delicious homecooked food, lifted hearts and spirits
560. Car cruise! Well, it pretty much got rained out, but the (561.) ice cream was a welcome treat as we waited for the storm to pass.
562. Perfect seventy-one degree day!
563. Harry Potter weekend--again. It never gets old. How many times can I watch these movies? Apprarently countless!
564. Zendala time (this is a quick sneak peek for Wednesday's post, but I thought you might like to see the progression....)
Finally decided on a design and all sketched in


Black and white

Colored at last-viola!

My little tangle spread as I watched Harry yesterday afternoon--double the joy!
 565. Mid-night Bugga snuggles...sweet silliness and giggles

Join us in counting your blessings today?

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

God Loves Me

"I acknowledge that God loves me and has good plans for me.

'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
~Jeremiah 29:11"

This is the very first prayer in a fat, pretty little book by Tracy Klehn called Prayer Starters for Busy Moms. I had bought this book several years ago, back when I was working at Books-a-Million in Tennessee (it was like being a junkie in a crack store!!) and I just picked it back up again a couple days ago, looking for some prayer refreshers.

Sitting here for the last eight months, waiting to move, with not a single offer in all that time, and school starting in a few short weeks, panic has set in. I haven't seen my husband since March. I don't want Michael to start school here. I don't want him to miss out on starting the fall bowling league and he also wants to try baseball this year. We NEED to get going! So I wonder...Lord, I know You have this great plan, but could we maybe put a little pedal to the metal here??

Reading that prayer though, on the very first page, slowed me, comforted me. I know He loves me, I do. And I'm really thankful for all that He's done in our lives. He's never failed me, not once. He comes through, spot on, perfect timing, every time. And yet....every time, there I am, nails tapping on the table, leg swinging, shaking my foot, eyes rolled up heavenward, like, hello?? Remember me down here?? I feel forgotten, left to wonder why so long? What is the reason in this waiting?

I'm praying for wisdom, a leading of His will and purpose, an answer to my why...and patience to hold me through as I wait...

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. "
~Isaiah 55: 8-9

"May your unfailing love be with us, Lord ,
even as we put our hope in you."
~Psalm 33:22
(Thanks Diane!)

Sunday Stealing: The Authentic Meme

Today we ripped off a blogger named Nikkiana from the blog Authentic Experience. She stole it from Becky at From Mrs. To Mama. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: The Authentic Meme

1. How long have you been blogging? Just over a year.

2. Did you go to college? Art school, not sure that really qualifies since all we ever did was party...Spent a lot of time hanging out in the dark room and I wasn't taking photography...

3. Where have you traveled? Quite a bit around the US, at least out east, furthest west I made it was Colorado.

4. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? Um, none...

5. What are your three biggest pet peeves? Senior citizen social hour at Walmart, seriously, I have shopping to do people, quit hogging up the freaking aisles!! People who cut in line like I've suddenly turned invisible, then they pretend they're deaf when I tell them about it. Live TV and stupid commercials--ugh!!!

6. What is your favorite movie? All the Harrys--having a fantabulously wonderful weekend--Harry, Harry, Harry!

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea? Sheetz caramel vanilla iced lattes, yes with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. Why isn't caramel drizzle an option on the order screen?? Yes drizzle!!

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time? READING!! And tangling, and art journaling--having a fun artistic year at least.

9. What is your biggest phobia? Spiders. But I seem to be getting over it. There is a gang, yes a gang! of spiders living around the electric outlet box for the washer in the basement, and they don't seem to bother me. And I have another little fella who's taken up residence in one of the window frames on the back porch. I've even had (obviously one sided) conversations with all of them. So long as none attempt to kill me, they're welcome to stay.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Seriously, why would I do that. Like one sided conversations with spiders isn't embarrassing enough?

11. What day would you love to relive again? Why? The day Bugga was born--such unbelievable joy to finally see his tiny precious face and kiss him all over!! Yes, I'm crying now, thanks...

12. If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you? Helena Bonham Carter. We have the same hair. Almost. And I love Bellatrix...And the Red Queen--"Off with 'is 'ead!!"
13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years? I was never into babysitting. Pet sitting I loved--I'd pamper the neighbors' dogs like they were  my own. The kids, yeah, not so much...Then Wendy's downtown Pittsburgh. Omigosh--great memories of all the drunk bums that used to come in first thing in the morning and never leave. Fun times...
14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
Oh wait, that's not me....hahaha
There I am! What hair....bleh....

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go? Like all over the world if someone else is paying, why not?? I want to see it all!!
16. Where do you see your life 6 and 1/2 years from now? Seriously, if I'm moving again, I might kill somebody....But Bug would be 17 so probably getting him ready to graduate and head off to college then figuring out what I'll do with the rest of my life from there...

17. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why? Didn't we answer this last week??

18. What 5 songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? (You can pick "Middle School", "High School", "College", "Post College" or any format you like.) ??? I wasn't really aware my life came with a soundtrack...

19. Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his veep. Any thoughts?
Who? This is Paul and Ryan, my nephews. I don't think either of them are running for office....

20. Your chance: Pick a meme you've done for us to steal. Bud and Judd will visit EVERY post today. Feel free to say, "Bugger off", or anything like that. Okay, Bugger off. But glad you stopped by guys!!