Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Part Where I Get All Philosophical

This morning I was sitting here pondering the week that was chez "Addams Family."

Lately I have gotten so hung up on my internet goings on, that I have neglected some of those personal connections that are integral to a happy life, at least per the Dalai Lama: "The need for simple human-to-human relationships is becoming increasingly urgent ..."

The week started with me babysitting for a good friend's one year old. If anything will bring you back to Earth, it is spending some time with an inquisitive one year old, who is fascinated with the banging of my off-center washing machine as it spins out a load, who finds joy in carrying around my decorative marble apples (doesn't everybody have those?) and in chasing after VC's multi-colored juggling balls.

On Wednesday, a dear friend stopped by the gallery for a long visit, after hearing me whine (imagine that?) about having to work on Wed, Fri and Sat. while everyone was off having fun. There are not many people I know who would take time out of their busy schedules to spend the afternoon keeping a friend company by sitting and chatting at an art gallery....He is clearly the exception!

On Tuesday my parents arrived for an extended visit. Although we joke about the 48 Hour Rule (where visits lasting over 48 hours usually slowly implode), we all got along "splendidly" (said with British accent). I couldn't wait to give them the book I published (using one of those self-publishing programs) -- about VC and his juggling accomplishments. I was going to wait until Christmas but VC and I were so gaga about our joint project that we gave it to them an hour after FedEx arrived. We are not too good at waiting for surprises. I don't know if any of you have seen the SNL skit where Kristen Wiig's character can't wait to divulge the surprise so she squirms around and blurts things out-- that pretty much describes me and VC.

When not singing along to Bing Crosby's holiday tunes while cooking, MB spent hours working on getting his train set up and running for the holidays. It was quite the production. He fixed his locomotive that was not puffing out steam [get your minds out of the gutter -- lol] And, I am happy to report that the plantation house is now lit!

So, here I am thinking that I was incapable of writing one of those "I Am Thankful For" posts that just about every other blogger has posted, and then I pull this little post out of nowhere...

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mumps, Measels or MRSA?

OK, so I didn't watch the DWTS finale last night. Thinking of 2 hours of fluff was too daunting a task, so I recorded it. Just caught the tail end live. Seemed so anti climatic when Brooke and Derek won. Anyone agree?

I do have a "funny" story from Monday night to share, though. The phone rang at around 6:40 pm. This has become a regular ritual ever since VC's middle school got an automated update system to notify parents of "important" school news. It has gotten to the point where the phone rings regularly, to notify us of such important happenings as the fall book fair, status of the PTA fundraiser (groan) or international night at the school. So, when the phone rang, I suggested VC pick it up, figuring it was the same ole same ole.

He listened intently for a few minutes and then hung up. I asked him what the call was about and he said it was the principal notifying parents that a kid at the school was sick with something.

My ears perked up in alarm. Sick with what???? VC couldn't remember, but he did recall a friend at school saying he knew the infected kid and that the boy was fine. I asked VC what the principal said the name of the illness was. While he was thinking, I was blurting out the names of contagious illnesses, was it TB or whopping cough? VC pondered and said, "It began with an 'M'." Panicked, I inquired, "Was it meningitis???" No, he said that it began with an M but was a shorter word. Measles? No. Shorter. Then I said, "MRSA." Yeah, VC said he thought that was it.

Well, I was kinda sorta relieved, it not being meningitis and all, but I still don't have the full story. The nightly school recording is becoming something out of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." There was finally something important to report, and now I have only bits and pieces of the story..

This is also why there are no 12 year old secretaries or receptionists!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carma Reads: On my Nightstand

This month's selections represent another odd mix. I've been reading The Night Following by Morag Joss and a non-fiction selection: Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide.

The Night Following was very dark. It left me with a sense of foreboding every time I put it down. It is basically the story of a woman who commits a hit and run, killing a woman who was riding on her bicycle. Instead of confessing to the crime, she decides to look after the elderly widower who was left alone after his wife was killed. She starts by visiting the man's yard under cover of night, and observing him from a distance. She eventually moves into the shed out back and then begins doing chores for the man while he is upstairs and she is out of sight downstairs. He thinks it is dead wife who is taking care of him and he leaves her notes.
The book is really a story inside a story, since his wife was writing a book at the time of her death, and portions of that story are interspersed throughout the novel. Both the novel and the story within have a creepy element to them. Both are disturbing, but the author weaves everything together in such a way that it keeps the reader guessing and hoping for answers.

I picked up the Reiki guide after attending a seminar at my local library. I have always been intrigued with non-traditional healing arts. Since I am not the most touchy-feely person, I was a bit apprehensive and my inner skeptic told me it was a bunch of bunk, but I wanted to explore Reiki further. I discovered that Reiki treatment is a series of hand placements on specifically targeted areas (on innocuous places like the head -- phew!) and that it is possible to perform Reiki on yourself. Children being so much more open-minded then adults, VC was eager for me to perform the treatment on him....I can't say that any momentous healing has occurred yet, but I understand that it takes practice and repetition. If nothing else, you will gain some relaxation time to de-stress. If you have ever been interested in learning about Reiki, this book has some suggested treatments in the appendix and covers the histoy of Reiki. It is enough to get you started, before you go out and spend big bucks on a Reiki class. It is best approached with a very open mind!

This post was written in conjunction with 5 Minutes for Books. Check out and see what others are reading this month.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Admitting Defeat

I've gotta tell ya, my self-hosting defeat (where basically chewed me up and spit me out) has been haunting me.

Never one to easily accept failure, this will probably stay with me for a while, which is pretty ridiculous I admit. I'll usually beat things to death before giving up and admitting defeat. I do not do "defeat" graciously.

As many of you know, I am a "Frugal McDougal" so, of course, the considerable amount of money I pissed away by pre-paying for two years of self-hosting (how very ambitious, I know!) eats away at me, especially since it is equivalent in price to 4 top quality juggling clubs. But, I only wish it was that simple. What really irks me is setting out to do something (again) and not accomplishing it (again).

We are so encouraging to our children when they feel defeated. We tell them we recognize how hard they tried and that it may not have worked out this time, but that there will be other opportunities to come. We tell them that they are not failures. We tell them that their achievements are limitless.

Yet, when it comes to our own failures, we chastise ourselves, become our own worst critics and rip our psyches to shreds...

When will we start to treat ourselves as kindly as we treat our kids? Just a thought...

Friday, November 21, 2008

...."Back in Two and Two"

The alternate title for this post: "Have you any Wool-ery?"

Hard to believe it, but the only game show I followed (albeit infrequently) was Love Connection, in the late 80's. Sure it was trite and predictable, but it was enjoyable all the same...Add the "eye candy" that was Chuck Woolery (circa 1988) uttering "we'll be back in two and two" didn't hurt either.

The only game-show the family currently "watches" is The Wheel of Fortune TV plug-in game. Priced at a reasonable $17, the controller spins like the actual wheel on TV and makes that familiar click, click sound. We like to concoct kooky contestant names for ourselves which adds to the fun (e.g. "QuietCoffee" -- it's your turn. This is a take off on the last name (not ours) "Loudermilk.") Hey, we are easily amused!

The best part of the game: some of the puzzle phrases are a bit out-dated: Advantage: Parents! For example, I solved tonight's puzzle: Category: "Something Around the House" Answer: Denture Cream. (Now how many 12 year olds know about denture cream?) We'll take all the leverage we can get! VC beats us at just about everything else...

Please visit and

Some Background Info.

I have a son (”aussie” aka “Varmint Critter” or VC), who is a juggler/diaboloist extraordinaire and a husband aka “MB” - my beloved : ) who fancies himself an amateur astronomer.

You can view my videos at and visit my website
Please check out aussie’s juggling videos at (You will be amazed!!)

20 Facts About Me:
1. I am a product of the 80's where I was a "rink rat"
2. My son (VC) is teaching me to bounce juggle
3. I obsess over minutiae
4. Although I am an Aquarius, I can barely stay afloat
5. I have a husband who plays the piano with 2 fingers (although he has 10)
6. I have lost much of the hearing in my right ear
7. We often refer to ourselves as The Addams family — because we do what we want to do; say what we want to say!
8. I am a city slicker at heart
9. I am "not your average Joe" (according to VC)
10. I am not at all opposed to plastic placemats
11. I am a minimalist
12. I have an odd fascination with all things cheese ball related
13. I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters
14. In many of my baby pictures I resemble Suri Cruise
15. I know lots of useless facts. Just ask.
16. My artwork is more "who did it an ran, than Rembrandt"
17. I have had plenty of creative ideas; none of them lucrative!
18. I am a proud Honda Element owner. Mine’s kiwi green
19. I have mastered frugal living ($17 cell phone bill; $16.01 cable bill)
20. I have been maced!

Back to Blogger

...Well, looks like I have come full circle. For those of you who are not familiar with my blog, I started blogging almost 6 months ago on blogger. I quickly noticed that Wordpress had some cool features that I did not see on blogger, so I switched to Several months after that, I decided I was "all that" and figured I'd be able to self-host a wordpress blog. Bwwwwaaaahhhhaaaaa.

After 2 months of tweaking, re-tweaking, panicking and panicking some more, everytime I screwed up my blog, I have come to the realization that what I enjoy the most is concocting posts, posting quirky pictures and spending time with "the boys," instead drowning in a sea of "code." Thanks to good genetics, I only have 2 or 3 gray hairs, but that number would have likely multiplied had I "stayed the course." This is like a "weight off my shoulders." Sometimes you just need to know when to say "when." (How may cliches can I fit into this paragraph?)

While I am sad that 6 months of posts (137 to be exact) and 255 comments will be lost, I now have the opportunity to start anew. *smiles*

So here I am. Back where I started. I hope to stay for a while this time. For those of you who have stuck with me through these many transitions, thank you from the bottom of little 'ole heart...

Thursday, November 20, 2008


from Kathie

from Jen & Lucy

from Kathie

from McVal

from Lucy

from Stephanie, Jen, Secret Mom Thoughts, Pegbur & Kathie

from Kathie & Salt

from Allison

from Cristina, Alessandra and Mrs. Gloves

from Kathie and McVal

from Lea

from Dale!

from Kathie

from Bon Bon Rose

From Tammy

From Kathie & Kristen

From JennyMac & McVal
from Kathie & Jen

from Aly (aka Yankee Girl)

from Linda & f8hasit & Lucy
from Shawn
from Kathie@mynetfinds & Aly (aka Yankee Girl)

from Steve Ouch

From Kathie

from Kathie

from Bon Bon Rose ,"Moo", Scholastic Scribe & Kys

from Noah's Mommy

From Danielle & Melissa B.

from Danielle

from Danielle

from Danielle

from Amy

from Janna Bee & Aileigh

from Kathie

from Kristen

from Kathie

and Shel, Christina, Bon Bon Rose, Kristen, Shradda, Dana & Dale

from Janna Bee & Duane

from Lucy & BIBI

from BIBI

and Kristin & Kathie & Bon Bon Rose

from BIBI

from BIBI

from the Adorable BIBI

from Sara Bonds, mommyof2girlz & Christina!

from Lucy

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