Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat

So, here were the kids last night.

Ben was a knight, Liam was an astronaut and Amelia was a fairy princess.

Ben was mightily disappointed in his costume. I told the kids that I wasn't spending more than $5 and an hour of time on their costumes (because I'm the meanest mom ever). The only reason Liam's is pretty cool is because I hit the mother of all deals at T.J. Maxx a few weeks ago and got that costume for $4.99. Amelia already owned everything she was wearing except for the $2 wings from Wal-Mart. I told Ben repeatedly that his knight costume would consist of dollar store knight items and his gray pajamas.

So, I get out his costume last night and he throws a huge fit. Apparently he was expecting real chainmaille and hammered pewter accessories. I guess I missed that section in Dollar Tree.

As for me, I made a half hearted effort to find a costume yesterday afternoon, but the pickings were slim. I did try on a geisha costume and a pirate whore costume, but they were chintzy and cheap looking and not worth the money. I was about to leave the store and not wear a costume at all when I saw IT. I know it's cheesy, and I know that a million other people would be wearing the same thing, and I knew that most people at church eschew evil reality TV and would have no idea who I was, but I decided to do it anyway.

The funniest part? When Ben saw me in it he said, "Why are you dressing up like Grammy?" (Grammy is my mother).

Yup, definitely a resemblance.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #16

So, today's LTPT may be a little morbid, but this is a question that I wonder about. I know the answer for me, but I'm always curious to know what the answer is for others.

What would you like your funeral to be like?

Do you want it to be a party? Do you want people to be hysterically sobbing over the loss of you? Do you want a traditional funeral and then a rousing party (or wake, I guess) afterward? And this may be outside the realm of funeral, but where do you want to be buried? Do you even care?

Anyone who read this blog back in January knows what I want. It hasn't changed. I still want to put the fun in funeral. I want a pink casket. I want dirty jokes. I want a guest appearance by Kathy Griffin. I want pizza and ice cream sundaes. And I want a couple of bouncy houses--one for the kids, one for the adults. And you know what else I want? A roast. (Like a celebrity roast--not a hunk of meat). Everybody can take a turn getting up to talk smack about me. Oh, and karaoke. Please have karaoke. Drunken karaoke, preferably.

Of course I want people to be sad that I'm gone. I'm egotistical like that. But more than that I want you all to celebrate my life in the way that I like to have fun.

Oh, and be sure to bury me in some really slutty looking fishnets.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Morning Confessions: Sorry, I Was Busy Edition

Sorry, internets. I totally skipped out on you yesterday, and now here it is 4:00 in the afternoon and I'm just getting around to writing.

Yesterday I spent all day with my real life friends (don't worry, I don't love them more than I love all of you!) (Umm, real life friends--I totally love you more). And today was just busy. Shopping, bathroom cleaning, laundry folding...busy.

Anyway, here we go.

1. Sometimes I get the paranoid feeling that the person behind TAMN reads this blog, and is making fun of me.

2. I would like to inflict physical harm on the mother who thought it would be great idea to send in cupcakes covered in pitch black frosting for a bunch of 5 year olds on picture day.

3. Marianne is such an awesome personal trainer that she was able to totally kick my ass today from 600 miles away.

4. Speaking of Marianne and asses, I was really tempted to make both she and Ariella squeeze my thighs of steel when I saw them last month. I chickened out because I'm shy and awkward like that in person and I was afraid it would come out really, really creepy.

5. It's completely possible to carry on a heated, 90 minute debate with three other women while riding bicycles.

6. The result of that debate? Further confirmation that I'm always right, as is usually the case with people as perfect as I.

7. Today I forgot that Will was even gone. That should give you some idea of the awful hours he's been working for the past 18 months. Here or 400 miles away, I see him equally infrequently.

See? We just leave spots to photoshop him into at a later date.
And yes, I really do resemble a Shar Pei puppy now that I've lost weight.

8. I bought postage stamps today for the first time in two years. Two years! My grand kids will probably think of stamps what Ben thinks of VHS tapes.

9. I'm not taking my kids trick-or treating this year. We're doing a trunk or treat at church tomorrow night, and we might do the trunk or treat at the Y Saturday morning. They don't need any more candy than that. (Oooh, speaking of the Y, I have someone new to tell you about!).

10. My kids have eaten nothing but chicken nuggets (hey, they were home made at least), mac-n-cheese and waffles with fruit since Will left.

And while I've got you here: Amelia got a book in the mail today and I truly have no idea who sent it to her. There was no return address, no card. It's driving me a little bit crazy. So if it was you, let me know! The book is "Come Along Daisy." (And no, it's not one of those book of the month deals where they send you one to rope you in. This was obviously a gift from someone, but I don't know who!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dress Me up.

O.K., internets, I need your brilliant suggestions.

What should I be for Halloween?

I know, I know. I'm cutting it a little close, seeing as how I need the costume by Friday evening.

I've been looking around, but someone tell me--when did every adult female costume become skanky?

The witch? A whore. Angel? Whore. Fairy? Whore. Snow White? Disney Whore. Raggedy Ann? Whore with a yarn wig. They even managed to whore-ify Spongebob, Freddy Krueger and Hermione Granger .

So my ready-made costume choices are somewhat limited. Here are a few that I liked, but I'm definitely open to suggestions, especially of the non-ready made variety.

(I would wear more than a swimsuit with the one on the left, and black leggings with the one on the right.)

Help me, Internets! You're my only hope.

Monday, October 26, 2009

People, it has to stop.

If you have ever forwarded an e-mail that asked you to boycott something or to write to your congressman/a company/a TV network about something without checking the facts first, you are retarded. No, actually, you're worse than retarded because I'm pretty sure Corky from "Life Goes On" is smart enough not to do that.

You may remember my previous rant about this topic, but clearly it needs to be said again.

Because here's the thing--lots of people out there believe everything that shows up in their inbox. And if you tell them to boycott a company or write a letter, they'll do it. But 99% of the time, these e-mails are full of crap!

Case in point: Today I received one telling me to boycott two different gas companies because of their ties to a certain South American leader who dislikes America (and who, according to this e-mail, is working with the Russians and Iranians to take us down).

After a 10 second fact check at, I learned that yes, said evil leader does own one but the other has no affiliation with him or his country whatsoever.

So, let's say I didn't check, and let's say I did boycott both companies, and let's just say that I forwarded it to my address book and half of them also boycotted the companies and forwarded the e-mail, and half of those people boycotted and forwarded and, well, you get the picture... Potentially millions of people boycott (and possibly bankrupt) a completely innocent company because of false information passed on in an e-mail.

Or let's talk about those letters to your congressman or to a company. Someone has to open and read all those. Talk about a waste of resources! All over something that could have been stopped by a simple search.

So here's the deal. If you get an e-mail that you're tempted to forward, check the facts first! Go to In the search bar, type in the main topic of the e-mail. The facts you're looking for will likely pop right up. If any part of it is false, don't friggin' forward it! It's simple!

And I also suggest you take it one step further and do what I do. I hit "reply all" and send out the facts and do my best to make the original sender look as much like an idiot as possible. Even if it's someone I love dearly.

You've been warned.

*How did I manage to misspell companies twice? and why did no one tell me?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Child Whisperer

I've talked about Tina here before. I've known her for a little over three years. Her husband, Jeremy, and Will knew each other as children, but Jeremy's family moved away and they didn't see or speak to each other for 20-ish years. Then by chance we all ended up in the same church congregation in Maryland. And we've been friends ever since. And our kids are friends (I'm very much hoping her youngest and my youngest will get hitched someday). And our husbands are friends. And if we had a dog I'm sure it would have been friends with her dog, too. Fate was even kind enough to send us here to Georgia together. Tina got here about a year before I did. That gave her plenty of time to make a bunch of good friends, which I have been borrowing ever since I arrived. If not for Tina, I'd probably still be terrified of (and avoiding) Sylwia, and you people would never have any entertainment around here.

Anyway, all that isn't the point of this post.

Tina has a gift. She's a child whisperer. I've never seen anything like it. I've seen people who are really good with kids before, but they are no match for Tina. Not only is she amazing with kids, but kids love her, too. There was a period of time that Amelia referred to her as her Other Mom.

I've observed her for years. I've tried to follow her example, I really have. I just don't get the same results.

She can calm the most out of control child in minutes, and she seems to get real joy out of doing so.

If I could, I'd hire her to deal with Liam full time. I'd have her sit next to him in school all day. You may think I'm kidding, but I'm so not.

Today was a perfect example of her abilities (and certainly not the first) with my kids.

Liam's teacher came to get me during the last hour of church because he was having a full on melt down.

I held him on my lap. I hugged him. I talked gently to him to try to calm him. Things I'd seen Tina do before. Nothing. He was still crying like a maniac. Tina came out to the hallway where Liam was screaming and less than five minutes later she had him totally calmed down, and she held him for the rest of church. He didn't make a peep.

I don't know how she does it. I sometimes wonder if maybe she slips them rufies. I know that's the only way I could get those results. I mean, I'm the mom who mixed a wine cooler with Juicy Juice in Ben's sippy cup to get through a transatlantic flight. If I were Tina I would not have had to resort to such measures.

So anyway, my point is that Tina is awesome and I truly have never in my life met someone who could handle children the way she can. She needs her own TV show. Supernanny's got nothing on her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Cure

No, not the black haired, red lipsticked forerunners of goth (where did "Friday I'm in Love" come from? It seems a little too upbeat for Mr. Pasty Face Robert Smith).

I'm talking about a cure for the blues.

Apparently it involves one gigantic soaking tub, gallons of super hot water, yummy smelling bubbles, dimmed lights and your laptop set up on a TV tray so you can watch all the episodes of Top Chef you missed this season while you soak.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday Morning Confessions: Friday Edition

O.K., I know we normally do a Lunchtime Poll Topic on Fridays, but considering my mood it would have been something like, "Why are all living things besides me allowed to breathe my air?" or "I will cut you if you look at me again," which isn't even a question.

So, I think we're all better off if I just share some random facts about my life.

1. Just this very morning the powers that be in the Signal Warrant Officer world decided to increase the training by 5 weeks. This doesn't affect how long Will will be gone--he'll still be home on Thanksgiving. The 5 weeks were added to the advanced training which takes place here. So that means we'll be living here until mid July rather than early June. This is not good. This seriously complicates an already complicated time to move. We were planning on having Liam's surgery done in July so that he could start school on time. Stupid Army.

2. Because of that, I am seriously considering homeschooling Liam next year, at least until January. Have I told you about how I'm not down with homeschooling? I mean, it's great for some people, but not for me. Especially first grade. That's the grade when they really learn to read beyond simple sight words. I do not want to be responsible for first grade. Not to mention I was really looking forward to having all three kids in school next year. Stupid transposed arteries and septal defects and faulty valves and missing subclavian arteries. And Stupid Army.

3. Amelia has been calling me "mamma" in a very Elvis-like way. Stupid southern accents.

4. I gained 5 pounds of fluid over night. Stupid hormones.

5. It's 84 degrees today. It's almost November. My AC is running. It was freezing last week. We had the fireplace going every morning to stay warm. It was so nice--it was like Ritalin for the kids. They ate quietly then they (all on their own with no prompting from me) sat and read peacefully in front of the fire until it was time for the bus to come. Now we all wake up sweaty and the kids run around like demons until the bus comes. Stupid South and its weather.

6. Lately I've had an unhealthy obsession with Justin Timberlake. Stupid Jessica Biel.

7. Lately I've had an unhealthy obsession with cinnamon. Stupid tree bark.

8. Max and Ruby makes me want to rub glass shards in my eyes and shove hot pokers in my ears. I literally have violent thoughts about boiling Max in a pot a la Fatal Attraction when that show comes on. Stupid bunnies.

9. Tim Gunn's yellow hair is really bothering me. It looked better white. Is he trying to pass as blond? Stupid...O.K.,there's nothing stupid about Tim Gunn.

10. I really, really, really want to put up the Christmas decorations right now. Stupid unspoken social rules that dictate anytime before Thanksgiving is a faux pas.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Internets, I'm blue. In a funk. Bummed.

I don't want to do anything or go anywhere. I have e-mails to respond to and a whole other health and fitness blog to finish building (It's private, but if you'd like to be a contributor let me know. Someday I'll get around to finishing it). But I just Don't. Want. To. Do. Anything.

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. (Name that movie for 100,000 points).

J.C. Penney had Hammer pants for sale and I didn't even laugh.

My hate mail isn't even cheering me up.

People, I bought a bright green, velour track suit today. That ought to clue you in that something has gone horribly awry.

I assume it's because Will is gone and I miss knowing that he's on his laptop ignoring me while I'm on my laptop ignoring him.

I don't remember feeling like this when he's been gone before, and really, this is a relatively short separation compared to several we've had in the past. And I know that in the grand scheme of things I'm just being a whiner.

Make me laugh, internets. If anyone can, you can.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I was country when country wasn't cool.

O.K., I've never been country.

But I have been a big fan of Thinnerware and its genius creator Sarah since it was just an idea posted on her blog.

And now? Now she's famous.

In case you haven't yet received your copy of November's Better Homes and Gardens (yeah, that's right--Better Homes and Freakin' Gardens!), let me present you with page 236:

Click it to read the article.

Those purty red dishes? Thinnerware. In Better Homes and Freakin' Gardens.

Go buy some while she's still hand making them. (No really, she hand paints them and puts them in the kiln with her own two hands). Pretty soon she'll probably have to outsource to keep up with the orders. So if you buy them now you'll be special-er than people who buy them later.

And to my January girls who don't already know her--she's going to be there. In person. You'll have your very own brush with fame. I bet if you buy some Thinnerware and bring it she'll autograph it for you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It hasn't even been 12 hours yet.

So, Will calls me about three hours after he left. He says, "It sounds like my car is going to blow up when I push the gas pedal."


He makes it to the next city, finds a car rental place and then finds a mechanic.

The axle and some other really important parts of the car were toast. It's going to take a few days to get the parts. Oh, and several hundred dollars. Luckily the mechanic was O.K. with Will leaving the car there until he's on his way home in 5 weeks.

Turns out the rental car will cost him $250 even though he'll be returning it tomorrow morning. Since he won't be returning it to the same location, or even a location in the same state, it costs an arm and a leg.

Hopefully he can catch a ride with the other guy from our area as far as the mechanic shop on the way home next month. Otherwise, he'll have to pay another $250 to rent a car to get there.


I'm hoping this means the next five weeks can only get better. Right? Right?

Also, I had made a list of projects to keep myself occupied in the evenings. Out of sheer stress over the possibly about to blow up Subaru and the exorbitant rental car, I finished more than half of them tonight. Anyone have a junk drawer they need cleaned out? A closet that needs organizing? I'm your girl.

Single (sorta) Lady

So, I'm temporarily single.

Will left fifteen minutes ago and won't be back until Thanksgiving.

I know, five weeks isn't so bad. I know there are some of you reading this whose spouses are gone for a year. There are some of you whose spouses are gone for only a month or two (or three) at a time, but they do it two or three times a year. And I know that for some of you, your spouses are in dangerous places doing dangerous work. Will is on his way to Alabama for Warrant Officer school, so I won't even try to compare. We've done the year in the Middle East and I'll take five weeks in Alabama over that any day.

But I'm still sad that he's gone. Because it means I'm going to have to actually parent my children.

So, in an effort to be optimistic, here are the top ten positive things about him being gone:

10. No pee or toenails on the bathroom floor.

9. It will only take 5 seconds to make the bed in the morning. I sleep curled up in the fetal position on the very edge. Will, on the other hand, thrashes around and steals all the covers.

8. No alarm going off at 4 am for PT.

7. For 5 weeks, I'm the favorite parent.

6. More fish and asparagus, less beef and potatoes.

5. Half as much laundry (Seriously, two uniforms a day adds up).

4. My low cal/low carb ice cream sandwiches will stop magically disappearing.

3. I could make frozen waffles for dinner every single night if I wanted to without feeling guilty.

2. HGTV all day, every day.

1. More uninterrupted internet time.

For those of you concerned that I just announced to the world that I'd be home alone for 5 weeks: Umm, have you met us? I'm definitely the scarier one.

And speaking of Single Ladies, watch this. I dare you not to laugh.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I don't deserve to have a book club.

So, I know I said we'd discuss The Time Traveler's Wife two days ago. But see, when I said that I had forgotten that Will would be leaving tomorrow for nearly five weeks and that life would be crazy busy as a result.

I'm moving the discussion to November 14th. In addition to giving everyone (including me) yet another extra month to read it, it also means we won't be discussing the next one until January. Let's face it--if I can't pull it together for October what are the odds I'd be ready for one a week before Christmas? Exactly.

For those of you who are diligent and have already finished The Time Traveler's Wife, the next book up for discussion is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I haven't read this one at all, so I'm trusting in the good taste of those of you who suggested it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Welcome to Randomtown!

So, I have a bunch of random, unconnected things to share. I figure I'll just put 'em all together and call it good.

1. Today is Ben's Adoption Day. Sure, we brought him home about 12 hours after he was born, but we had to wait 6 months for it to be official.

Ben, exactly 10 years ago today-- the morning he became legally ours

2. This is the BEST t-shirt ever.

Buy it for me?

3. It has been brought to my attention that, while I posted numerous pictures of the inside, I never posted pictures of the outside of our new house.

The only thing I'll miss about Georgia.

4. Sylwia told me to post a picture of The Dress I mentioned yesterday. Someone else informed me I looked like June Cleaver...

"Ward, you were a little hard on The Beaver last night."

5. ...June Cleaver in fishnets!

I guess you'll have to click on it to see proof that I really did wear them today.
Sylwia will vouch for me. She was caressing them during the opening hymn in Relief Society.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dear Calvin Klein.

Dear Mr. Klein,

Can I call you Calvin? Oh good.

Calvin, why do you want to hurt me so? What did I ever do to you?

You had some cute, flirty, 1950s-esque dresses in your summer collection this year. I've been eying them on for a few weeks, seeing if the prices would drop (they haven't). But last night at Dillard's they were on clearance for 90% off. That's right, I got one of your gorgeous sea foam green numbers for a measly twelve bucks! And I don't even care that it's from the summer line. I'm going to throw a cardigan over that baby and wear the heck out of it all winter.

Imagine this in sea foam green.

But here's where you hurt me, Calvin. Here's where you messed with my fragile self image.

I had to buy a size 14. Double digits.

Have you not been reading this blog, Calvin? Are you not aware of how hard I've been working to squeeze my fleshy self into size 8 tops and size 6 bottoms?

How is it that a size 6/8 for the rest of the fashion industry is a size 14 for you? Do you get some sort of sick thrill from making women feel fatter than they really are?

Consider yourself fighting with flabulous girls everywhere.


P.S. You too, Ralph.

P.P.S. I've found something more sinister to wear to church than fishnets: Thigh high fishnets. That's right, and I bought some.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #15

Before I get to today's LTPT, I just need to say that Balloon Kid better be grateful he's not mine.


Today's LTPT:

Honorary Degrees: Do they hold any clout? Should you call yourself "Doctor" if your PhD is only honorary? Does the university issuing the honorary degree make a difference? For example, does an honorary degree from Harvard have more substance than one from your local state college? Also, if one has an honorary degree and they list the degree in their credentials but leave off the part about it being honorary, is that being dishonest?

I think if your PhD is only honorary you should not call yourself doctor. I also think that when listing your credentials, you need to state that your honorary degrees are just that--honorary. I think it's completely dishonest to say you have a PhD in (whatever subject) and not mention that you didn't actually attend any classes or do the work to earn it. I will even go so far as to say that I think honorary degrees are a slap in the face to those who have paid the tuition and put in the hours and effort to earn the degree.

I will admit that I give more credence to honorary degrees issued by ivy league schools than those issued by schools with lower academic standards. I guess that makes me an education snob.


~Dr. Brandi

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Morning Confessions: By the Numbers

1. I have gone from a size 44 B bra to a 34 A.

2. I own 17 pairs of shoes.

3. Those shoes are size 11. Yes, I am a sasquatch.

4. I have had to have 2 teeth pulled.

5. I have moved 30 times in 34 years (and those are just the ones I'm aware of. I know we moved when I was a baby, too.)

6. I have 79 moles on my body.

7. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 22.

8. I take 15 vitamin and mineral supplements a day.

9. I made my friends go on a 13 mile bike ride with me yesterday. (I'm pretty sure they can't walk today).

10. I can't wait to see page 236 of my November Better Homes and Gardens.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anything you can do, I can do better.

So, apparently a single, solitary statement from my Not-so-bad Girl post has set off a small firestorm among my more feminist leaning readers.

The statement really had little to do with the post other than to illustrate that, in the eyes of the world, I'm fairly conservative. But clearly there were quite a few out there who couldn't read past that sentence.

I had the audacity to say that I think mothers should stay home with their children when possible.

Here's one of many e-mails I received in response:

I'm so disappointed in you. I come here because you are often a voice of reason among the sheep-like women of the Mormon church, but today you have shown that you're no different than the rest. Any day now I'll be expecting to hear of the opening of your Etsy shop where you'll sell giant hair bows to other subservient women raising subservient daughters.

Women should not be relegated to the drudgery of home while the man gets the privilege of a career. Women are just as smart and capable (if not more so) than any man. Why should she be expected to forgo her dreams of a career outside the home simply because she is female and procreated?

I assume that you are also just fine and dandy with the fact that only men can hold the priesthood. You can't for one second deny that the church would run so much better, so much more efficiently, if women were given the priesthood. You know it.

I feel sad for your daughter. Do you realize how much you will limit her by teaching her to stay home and be a good housewife? I expected more from you.



Oh, where to begin?

I am a firm believer that men and women have differing roles to play in life. Differing. Not superior or inferior--just different.

I guess I take issue with people who feel that staying home and raising children is a waste of a woman's intelligence and talents and is somehow a lesser role than having a career outside the home. If you feel stifled and that your mind is wasted staying home, then you're doing something wrong. I'm constantly stretching my mind--be it through reading or writing or learning some new skill. I never feel that I'm wasting my education. I have three demon children who reap the benefits of having highly educated parents daily.

There are certainly days when I wonder why I do it. Days that I think that daycare is the answer. But then I think back to when I was working. I remember having days (or, umm, years) that I wished I had kids so I'd have a reason to quit working. As with everything, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

There are, of course, benefits to working outside of the home. There's a start and end to the day. At home, it's 24/7. Probably the biggest difference to me is recognition. When you work outside the home there are promotions, raises, a boss to tell you you've done a good job. When you stay at home, there's rarely any of that. Yes, there's the long term reward of having raised happy children, but some short term payoff now and then would be nice. I've tried to explain to Will that this is why I insist on keeping the house looking well. His attitude is that no one is going to care if our house doesn't look nice. He's right--no one is going to care--but I've tried to make him understand that a compliment on the beauty of my home is the equivalent of him getting a good evaluation at work. I'm not sure that he gets it.

On the other hand, Will is envious of things I can do at home that he can't at work. Like napping. Like being able to do most things at my own convenience.

There are pros and cons on both sides here. The bottom line is this: We, as LDS people, have been taught that God wants women to fulfill the role as homemaker and men to fulfill the role as breadwinner whenever possible. There are lots of instances where the man may be better suited to take on the homemaker role and the woman may be better suited to be the breadwinner. I don't believe that doing it that way is going to keep anyone out of the Celestial Kingdom, but I do believe we should at least try to do it the way we've been asked whenever possible.

As for women and the priesthood, I don't want it.

Kellie, I agree with you that things might run more smoothly and efficiently, but I don't view the priesthood as a privilege. I view it as a burden. Burden isn't quite the right word, I guess, but I can't seem to find a better one.

You know the drudgery part of staying home that you mentioned? The toilet cleaning? The doctor and dentist appointments? The poopy diapers and temper tantrums? The science projects? The homework battles? The priesthood is the spiritual version of all that.

I know it all may sound a little sacrilegious, but think about it. Having the priesthood is having the responsibility and obligation to take care of all the necessary (but sometimes tedious or unpleasant) things in the church. And like the "drudgery" of the home, it has it's wonderful, rewarding parts, too.

I've rambled far too much at this point, and I'm not sure that I've been very clear about my view. But I've got a child who needs lunch and laundry that needs to be folded and a stack of books to be read and a writing project I'm working on and I've been thinking about breaking out my watercolors again. You know, all those subserviant and stifling things. So this will have to do.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thank Goodness!

Thank goodness Rednecks hate Italians so my kids still have to go to school on Columbus Day.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not-So-Bad Girl.

I've got a confession to make.

I'm not a Bad Girl. I never have been.

None of my friends are Bad Girls either, though sometimes I refer to a few of them as such.

From The World's view, I'm pretty uptight and conservative. I'd even go so far as to say that The World might call me a sheltered-right-wing-nut-job-goody-two-shoes. I don't drink and have no desire to. I don't smoke and have no desire to. I don't swear (much anyway, and when I do it's of the fake variety). I think mothers should stay home with their children when it's possible. I go to church because I want to. I believe the doctrines of my religion. I'm usually nice to people (except when I'm not). And while I'm no Mother Teresa, I try to help people out when I can.

What makes me "bad" in the eyes of some members of my church, I suppose, is that I don't follow the doctrines made up by those who have no authority to do so.

There are actually very few things in my religion that are black and white, right or wrong. We're given really good guidelines to follow. We're given examples of how to behave in the scriptures. Most importantly we're given the gift of The Holy Ghost to help us know if what we're doing is right or wrong.

In those areas where there is no clear teaching, we are counseled to pray about it. We are told that it's between us and the Lord.

But there are people, many people, who have their own answers about how we should live, and they treat it as doctrine. Even among bishops opinions about certain things vary. Those of us whose answers might differ are often viewed as "bad" by other members.

Here's an example.

Today I was pulled aside by a woman at church and was told that my shirt was immodest. She told me it was far too tight to be appropriate.

I was wearing this exact outfit:

Once again, ignore my freaky robot hands.

Now, I know it's not immodest in the least and I'm not overly concerned about what this person thinks about my clothing choices. She can join the people who think I shouldn't talk about sex even within the bonds of marriage, or who think I'm evil because I don't hate homosexuals, or those who think I'm on the fast track to outer darkness because I laugh at some of the ridiculous things in LDS culture (repeat, the culture, not the doctrine). But what does concern me is that when you get a group of people together with all these varying beliefs, judgments start flying and Christ seems to get taken out of the equation.

I'm not exempt. There are certain things I feel are "correct" and I find myself judging those who believe differently. (An example? Paying tithing on one's gross income, including housing allowance. I believe you should. Others see it differently. There's no specific rule--only a general teaching that you should pay 10% of your increase. How you interpret that is between you and God.)

I forgot where I was going with this.

Oh yeah. Bad Girls.

I just sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by the Jews in the bible who forgot the spirit of the law in their zealousness to follow the letter of the law. You know, the ones who made rules about how many steps one could take on the Sabbath, while forgetting that the point of the Sabbath is to honor God.

Some Sundays I feel like it's 101 steps to church but some members have decided that the law only allows 100.

Does that make any sense?

I guess my point is that as much as I may joke about it, I don't think I'm a Bad Girl. I don't think any of you are, either.

Unless you're wearing fishnets, because fishnets = total whore.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


...I'm afraid to visit THIS SITE * because I worry I'll find one of my own ranting, crazy e-mails posted there.

I've sent quite a few that would definitely qualify.

*Sometimes the e-mails posted there contain adult language.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #14

O.K., I'm trying to get back into my normal routine, so without further ado, here's today's LTPT. The morning news did all the work for me on this one.

Did Obama deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize?

I'm going to refrain from voicing an opinion just yet because, frankly, I'm woefully uninformed. I don't have enough information to form an educated opinion. I will say that my initial reaction upon reading it this morning was, "Umm, really?" I mean, at least Al Gore invented the internets.

So anyway, I'm off to read up on all the nominees this year* to see if someone else deserved it more. In the meantime, let's hear your opinion.

*Well crap. Apparently the nominees are kept secret. See how uninformed I am?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Great Douglass East Coast Tour 2009

O.K., Internets. Here it is.


We woke up early and we (and by we I mean Will) drove for 12 hours. I slept for a lot O.K. all of it. Around 5:00 (or 17:00 for you military and non-American types) we made it to our former home--Fort George G. Meade, Maryland.

This is the place we've lived the longest since we got married 12 years ago. How sad is it that four and a half years is the longest we've stayed in the same place? And technically it's only the place I and the kids have lived longest. Will lived in the Middle East and Afghanistan for a year of that time.

Anyway, it felt like coming home when we drove on post. It had changed some--a lot of construction has been going on the past year--but it was home. The only bad part? Remember when I waxed sentimental about the tulips I planted there? Yeah. The new occupants totally dug them up and planted ugly stuff in their place.

We checked into the guest house (which, by the way, was disgustingly dirty and run down) and then we went our separate ways for the evening. Will took the kids to eat dinner and burn off some energy and I went out to dinner with some friends I hadn't seen in more than a year. I'm just going to be honest here. The night out with my friends was probably the only reason I thought driving for four days with my kids was a good idea.

We went to TGI Fridays, not because the food is spectacular but because that's where we always went. Then after we'd taken up a table there for more than three hours, we went across the street and closed down Dave & Busters. I got to hear some new gossip, they got to hear me rant about things I can't always rant about. I definitely got the better end of that deal. Finally, it was late and we had to go. It's O.K., though. I'll see them all again in January.

I know, you've seen this one already.


We (again, Will) drove for nine more hours.

There are crazy people out there, and they own cars. What's the deal with putting 900 stuffed animals in your rear window? You know, besides completely blocking your view? If you do this, you need to stop.

We met up with my parents in Keene, New Hampshire to eat dinner at the best restaurant ever. I have mentioned this before, but the Nam Sod at Thai Garden is like a spicy scoop of heaven on a bed of lettuce. And luckily it's something I can eat (not that it mattered last week. I ate a 300 pound woman).

After dinner we drove one last hour to my parents' house. Guess what? New Hampshire is cold. Georgia has completely sissified me. I was freezing all week. We stayed in a camper in my parents' back yard, and Thursday night I really thought I'd freeze to death.

Chez Douglass


This was a lazy day. Ben hung out with my parents, who were busy making gallons and gallons of chili and clearing out their dining room. Will and the little kids and I headed a few towns over for some sight seeing and a little necessary shopping (mainly a pound and a half of Lindt Truffles for Sylwia from the Lindt Outlet). The drive there is one of the prettiest, especially in Autumn.

No. As a matter of fact I don't know what I'm doing with my hands. Maybe the robot?


This was the day of the big chili cook off. My mother always enters her "Cowgirl Tilly's Meatball Chili." She's won quite a few times. Anyway, it's a huge event and a lot of our family comes from all over for the weekend. So, I got to see relatives I don't get see very often. Unfortunately, it rained. Hard. So, while Ben was in the dry, semi-warm tent helping serve chili, Will and the little kids and I took off to eat lunch where it was even warmer and drier. After lunch the rain got worse. We were miserable so we all left before judging. Mom got robbed this year--she didn't even place. Rumors of voting scandals abounded.

There was supposed to be a huge after-party at my mother's house, including a DJ, but the rain forced a cancellation. Instead we all crammed into my sister's house. It was pretty much like all our family gatherings: Lots of beer and swearing and my sister's boobs made an appearance.

These boobs. Not her real ones, perverts. I have photographic evidence of nearly every member of my family wearing and/or fondling these, but I'll refrain from posting those pictures. I'll save them for blackmail at a later date. I have to say, there's something really disturbing about your 46 year old, executive-type uncle wearing fake boobs.

Every family picture we've ever taken--and I mean ever--looks like this.


Another lazy day. No, we didn't watch general conference. It would have entailed driving to the neighboring state (sure, it's only 12 miles away, but still...). Why don't you go ahead and write me a nice long e-mail about how I'm going to hell? I love those!


Lots of driving. We headed for home and took the scenic route through Vermont, Western New York and across Pennsylvania. The drive across Vermont was gorgeous and I've decided I want to live in Bennington. We finished up the day in Hagerstown, MD.


Even more driving. We drove down the western side of Virginia through the Blue Ridge mountains. We probably would have taken the Blue Ridge Parkway directly through the mountains, but there was a lot of fog and rain. So, we stuck to the main highway.

We finally got home around 6:00 last night. As much as I don't love Georgia, I was so happy to finally get here. I missed my stuff. I missed my shower. I missed the crazies at the Y. I even missed all of you! Not having reliable internet was rough.

And now? Now I'll spend the next 6 months trying to clean up random dog hair and pine needles stuck to everything.

It's good to be home.

(Sorry, no pictures from the last two days. I was busy sleeping.)

Monday, October 5, 2009


That's where I am. On a bed in my jammies in a Microtel in Hagerstown, MD (It's nice, by the way. You should stay here if you ever need to spend a night in Hagerstown.)

Anyway, we're a little less than halfway home. We took the scenic route--it was worth the extra hour of driving. It's Autumn up North, and the foliage in Vermont and upstate New York was spectacular. Also making it worth it? We learned that Interstate 81 in the Harrisburg, PA area is a virtual Arby's mecca. There's one at every exit! You can bet I have curly fry breath.

Somewhere in Vermont. It was much prettier in person. Unlike me.

Tomorrow we'll continue our alternate route home through the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. Maybe I can even convince Will to make a slight detour to visit Sweet Briar College, the women's college where I spent my first semester of my freshman year. He can see where I wrote him all those letters back when the idea of dating him would have made me laugh hysterically.

Wednesday (or maybe Thursday) you'll get all the details of our trip (I'm sure you'll be waiting with baited breath). This is the first time I've had working internet for more than three minutes at a time since last Wednesday, so I have a lot of blogs and e-mail to catch up on. By the way, if you sent anything to the Gmail address listed here, I didn't read it. I had over 1000 e-mails waiting for me and I just deleted everything. If it was important, send it again. If it was hate mail, don't bother. Unless it was funny. I like a good chuckle over someone else's self righteous stupidity.

In the mean time, here's a sample of what's to come:

Who needs a boob job when you can borrow your heathen sister's Halloween costume?
By the way, you should be thanking your lucky stars for Paintshop pasties right about now. Fake "giant nurples" are as bad as real ones.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hey internets!

I'm here. We made it. The kids are still alive.

The internet is spotty and there's a lot going on, but I'll be back to share the insanity of our trip on Sunday.

In the meantime, here's one of the sights from our drive up here. I think this was somewhere in New Jersey.

You'll have to click on it to see why I took a picture. Just take a look at the illustrations on the back. It's the story of my life.

And then there's this one from Maryland. Believe it or not, the four of us once made up the Relief Society Presidency and Compassionate Service coordinator. And we did a damned good job of it, too. Or so I like to believe.
Oh, and I didn't pee my pants despite what it looks like in the picture.
And Harmony? We wished you were there.