Sunday, October 28, 2007

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles....Turtles in a half shell.

Jude loves these things. It is so funny because they were cool when I was younger. Jude is has always been "old school". Yesterday at Goodwill I found the TMNT movies (part 1 & 2) for one dollar a piece. I bought them for him and he started watching one this morning. It made me remember that I saw both of those movies in the theater. I was a weird girl. Here's the thing...I worked at Toys R Us. Most of the time I worked in (straightened & stocked) the action figure isles. I pretty much became an expert on those toys. The Turtles, Spawn, Power Rangers, Star Wars, Hotwheels....the list goes on and on. Unless you have worked at a toy store that collects this type of toy you probably don't know about the "collectors". Yes, you've heard of grown men who collect toys in the box, hoping they will sell them some day for lots of money....but do you know the lengths they go to get them? It is INSANE. Seriously. I worked at three different Toys R Us stores at different times and I would see the same collectors. They would go from store to store. When I gave my notice and mentioned it to one of the collectors he actually offered to pay me $2 extra (under the table) to keep working there because I knew the good stuff and could tell him if it was there. I didn't do it. Isn't that crazy?

Well, there was this guy that worked at Toy R Us with me. He was in his twenties and he had a very strange obsession with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I think he thought he was one. He bought two of every action figure - one to keep in the box and one to act out the movies. Not only did he have this turtle thing going on but he also had a very intense fascination with me. I was nice to him. That, apparently, didn't happen often. I was always attracted to (not in a hubba hubba way but drawn to) very odd people. He was definitely odd. He would call me. He would write me 10 page letters professing his love for me. It took him like a year to tell me about this craziness but he remembered exactly what I was wearing the first time he met me and exactly where I was standing. He would come to my other work (a restaurant) and just sit and stare. Looking back now, I should have probably gotten a restraining order but I didn't. I was too nice. I was upfront with him and told him I wasn't interested but it was like he didn't hear me. One night I worked this extremely long shift (overnight). I was still there when the store opened. The turtle guy was there and he started following me around. At first I was tolerant but when he walked out to my car and tried to open the car door for me I broke. I turned and yelled at him. I said something like...just leave me alone. I still remember the look on his face. He finally heard me. He didn't say a word but turned and walked away. He went back into the store and passed out. Yes...he fainted. He hit is head on a shelf and had to get stitches. It wasn't long after that incident that I went away to Kent State. I don't know what ever happened to him but while at Kent I worked at a new Toys R Us. When the manager called the old store for a reference they told him the story (ha ha right). He thought it was great and always called me the "black widow". Nice.

Hopefully Jude grows out of the "turtle" phase before he is 25!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Driving Home with Jennifer

I should be going to bed. I have a busy day tomorrow. This week has been absolutely insane. Today JenF & I went to Wheeling for Patty's calling hours. I have so many things to say about so much stuff - but I can't right now. But I will say, on the way down and even more on the way home we talked & talked about "the old days" - parties we had, stupid stuff we did... I know everyone thinks my life is an open book because I do disclose quite a bit on my blog but honestly there are so many stories that I haven't written. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface. Sometimes I feel like by the time I tell you about my recipes or what I am making, keep you updated with the kids, and then do my TT & Wordless Wednesday....I am all blogged out. That is too bad. Either way, it was nice to spend the day with my old friend Jen.

I do have a quick and funny story about her. She works for a Veterinary magazine. They were having a meeting one day and they were trying to come up with a new way to reach people. So Jennifer told them about my blog. She described it as conversational and she really likes that part. The next day she tells her boss he should take a look at my blog. How cool is that. That evening he did. After reading THIS post (which happened to be my post the day he looked) he noticed a link for an earlier post with JenF stories. Needless to say...her boss read some interesting stories about Jennifer. I guess he teased her for a while - called her faucet mouth & such.... Sooooooooooooooooo Funny.

At least I thought it was.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen.....Halloween Costumes

I know Halloween is controversial. I've always loved Halloween. When I was younger I would start planning my costume a monthI know Halloween is or so in advance. When I was in college I would sew up a storm for the month of October getting costumes ready for everyone. I really love dressing up and just having fun. Here are 13 things I have dressed up as over the years. I am adding some pics of my kids in costume as well. Just because they are cute.

1. Albert Einstein
2. A person in a straight jacket
3. Pee Wee Herman
4. Fairy
5. A Pilgrim
6. Raggedy Ann (punk rock version)
7. School Girl
8. 70's Roller Skater (not roller girl but my friend did that one year!)
9. Vampire (also punk rock version)
10. Club Kid
11. Farmer
12. A Sailor (I also punked this one out a bit)
13. Dead Bride (I found a wedding dress for $10 and really just wanted to wear a wedding dress - it was before I was married!)

Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tell Me Why I Clean, Again....

As you know, I have been on a cleaning mission. I should have known better...really. Last week I got this ad in the mail. It was for a cleaning service. The brochure said (in big letters) "Life is too short to clean your own house". I say, AMEN! Maybe that is what I will do with my "mad money". Jake and I decided whatever money we make from blogging will be mad money. I know it isn't very practical but it is fun. My first check went to groceries and the rest of the money is just sitting in our pay pal account but now I have a use for it. I wonder how much those cleaning places charge....hmmmm.

Either way- why the cleaning rant? Yesterday was laundry day. Last week it took me the entire week to complete the laundry. I was upset about that. So...yesterday I started early and stayed on top of it. It was pretty easy since my sewing machine broke and I wasn't distracted by crafting. I actually folded stuff as it came out of the dryer and even put a lot of it away as I went. It is amazing. Just as I put the last load in my sister called. She was very upset. Her mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer just a few short weeks ago & yesterday they got a call that she was dying and they wanted the family to come and be with her. What an awful thing. So, my sister was going to be going out of town but didn't want to take her two small children to watch their grammy pass away. So...I kept the kids. They got here around 3:30 yesterday afternoon and will be staying until this evening. My mom & dad are on their way up right now, to watch them. Not that I really mind....well, I did at 6:30 AM when they woke up...but 5 is a handful. Unfortunately, Patty (the mother-in-law) passed away before my sister even got the kids here. It is the saddest thing. Last night Reichen & Elise slept in the same room. I heard them talking so I sent Jake up to check on them. He heard Reichen saying that his Grammy died. Elise was asking him if she was in the hospital. What a heart wrenching thing to hear two 2 year olds discussing.

So, once again....let me reiterate - Life is too short to clean your own house - or for many other things for that matter. Enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday...Fall Fun

Dang it...

Today I decided to get down to some sewing. I have a lot of Christmas stuff to make not to mention all the stuff I have cut out that needs to be sewn together. So, I start the laundry and in between I planned to sew. I got one set of pot holders together and started on the second set. I broke a needle. That is annoying but not a big deal. I change the needle and try to sew. The results were lets say - less than desirable. Upon further inspection I realize I broke my sewing machine. Please tell me this isn't happening. There is a repair shop in town I am going to give them a call and see if I can take it in this evening. I can't imagine taking three kids in a sewing machine store. Phooey.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sore Throat

I have a sore throat. I am upset about it. I don't have the time or patience to get sick. Plus it is 80 degrees out. Who gets sick when it is 80 degrees? Maybe I just need some rest. We have been going and going like crazy people. Today was the little girl next door's birthday party. It was cute. She is really into High School Musical. Pretty much everything she got was HSM. Isn't it funny how every kid has a favorite thing. Elise loves Hello Kitty. She gets so excited when she sees Hello Kitty stuff. I never wanted my kids to like character stuff. Oh well. How naive I was to think I could keep them from it. If you remember, Jude used to LOVE the Wiggles. He has since gotten over that and now rarely even watches the show. Elise saw it once and really liked it. Yikes....I don't think I could handle another two years of Fruit Salad...Yummy, yummy. So, we don't purposely watch that show. Maybe I am mean.

Some little girls have the horse obsession. They collect horses and dolls that wear equestrian riding apparel. I was never one of those girls. In fact I can't really remember what characters I liked as a kid. I did have a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party once.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I almost forgot...

While the kids were gone I did read two books....Yes -two real books! One was another Jodi Picoult book - "The Tenth Circle". It was good. I've read three of her books now. They have all been great. I highly recommend her stuff. The other book I read was called "The Story of a Girl". It was okay. I picked it up at Goodwill and read it in one day. It was short. It was about a messed up family from this teen girl's perspective. It wasn't bad. I noticed that since I started reading books again - I am behind on my magazine reading. Last night we watched a movie, The Lake House. I think it was originally a book. The movie STUNK. Don't torture yourself by watching it. I was lost for most of the movie - then I figured it out the end before the end. It isn't good. Don't waste the hour and a half watching it. I like movies and we definitely don't watch as many as I would like but wouldn't it be cool if you had popcorn machines, like the ones in the theaters? I think it would be cool.

Well, I am sleep deprived and typing...not a good combo.

Goin' Trick or Treating....

Man the weather has been quite delightful. It has been unseasonably warm. Last week it cooled off and they were predicting some very cold temps so I put all the summer clothes away and finally hung up the sweaters and sweatshirts. Now tomorrow it is going to be 80 degrees (monday too!!!). I guess my kids are going to be sweating (oh, I crack myself up). Well, next week is trick or treating. It will probably be raining or snowing and 40 degrees out by then. It always seems to be very cold when you have to drag the kids around the neighborhood. BTW...Jude is going to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Elise is going to be a Princess. I actually paid full price for Jude's costume. It makes me sick to think about it. It was less than $20 but is a costume. While I was looking for costumes I noticed many of the little girl stuff was sexy costumes! What is up with that - it is sad. I understand sexy adult costumes but not for little girls.

The Kids Are Home!!!

My kids went to West Virginia this week. Jake had to go down there for work so on Monday evening he left with Jude and Elise and went to Mamaw & Papaw's for the week. Jake stayed Monday...visited the power plant he needed to and then went back and stayed Tuesday night. He got up, went to another power plant and then came home...leaving the kids there. Today we met Mamaw & Papaw halfway and got the kids. It wasn't a bad drive at all - especially since I slept most of the way home.

So, Avery and I were alone for two days. I had a lot of projects going on. You would think that I would get some rest with the kids gone but I was very busy. Come to think of it I mostly did the stuff I have been putting off for a while. I am happy to say the house is quite clean and somewhat organized. I did do a little shopping for Jude's birthday. Speaking of which...have you seen kids party invitations lately? Jude wants a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party. I am having a tough time finding stuff for it. Anyhoo....I did go to Goodwill several times this week - Jake even went with me on Friday night (hot date). I swear, that is my all time favorite store. I find so many things. It is just plain fun. I have found several things I can use as gifts...not to mention clothes - I can't remember having this many nice things to wear! Seriously. I have had to limit myself (I didn't even look at the women's clothing on Friday). I have been working hard to clean out our stuff and get rid of junk - so while I am shopping I am very careful not to buy stuff just for the fun of it (or because it is such a great deal!) BTW...if there is anything any of you have been looking for that you want me to keep an eye out for just let me know! I passed on a Breadman Bread maker a couple of weeks ago. It looked practically brand new (a newer model as well) for only $5. I should have bought it. I don't need it but I am sure someone out there does....ha ha ha.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My Deal of the Week!!!

Before you read this post, check out....Dodge Charger accessories.

As you know my latest hobby is Thrifting. Earlier in the week my phone rang. When I looked at the caller ID I had to start laughing. It was my friend, Melanie. I was laughing because the last 3 or 4 times I have talked to her I have been in Goodwill - this time wasn't any different. She must think I live there. Ha ha. Well, I don't but I have been going about once a week. I am still amazed at the stuff people give away. I guess it is true: one person's junk is another person's treasure. This week I found the coolest thing....A Starbucks French Press Coffee maker thingy. I don't know the technical name. Either way, I have been wanting a French Press for some time now. I was even going to put it on my Christmas list. Now I don't have to! I am so excited. was only $4!!!!! Oh, wait - I also had a 20% off coupon for donating stuff. So it was only $3.20. It is not only is in perfect condition but it came with the instructions. I made coffee in it this morning and I will admit it has been a learning process. It says to course grind your coffee but I think I made it too course the first time because the coffee was very weak. I ground some more and added it. It made for a perfect cup of joe. Really....very good.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another Pumpkin Recipe...

Last week I attended this Mom's group at a local church. It was nice. I arrived a tad bit lat (shocker) and ended up sitting with a complete stranger. She could tell I was new and probably a little disheveled so she talked to me and told me "you should try the scones, they are wonderful". I thought...scones???? aren't scones those hard biscuit like things that I always see in display cases at coffee shops but never see anyone eating? But since I am the new girl, who am I to question. Mere moments later my friend, Kirsten comes over and offers her assistance in retrieving me a scone. I am thinking....what is the deal with the scones??? So I tried it. Oh MY. They are absolutely delicious. They are like a biscuit but heavier. Not at all hard. I swear that scone may have been baking perfection. As soon as I got home I started looking up scone recipes. By late afternoon I was searching for a tried and true Pumpkin Scone Recipe. Let me tell you...I found one. I whipped up a batch (literally - they are very simple!) this morning for breakfast. They were so good. Everyone gobbled them right up. I recommend that if you have a large family make a double batch!

Here is the recipe I got from Coffee & Tea (it looks like the blog is no longer active but there are other yummy sounding recipes there as well!). BTW...I did make the Pumpkin Spice Butter and it was amazing. That is all I can say - amazing. Before you run out and make these check out this Arizona real estate.

Pumpkin Scones
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pumpkin (if canned, be sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and cut into flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together (don't overmix).

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 3-4 times, and then shape/pat dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Slice in half, and then cut each half into 3 equal pie-shaped wedges. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk), and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

Bake on a cookie sheet for @ 375° for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 6 scones.

Pumpkin Spice Butter
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
Combine all and mix till creamy.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gone Fishin'

Well, this week flew by just like many others. It took me pretty much the entire week to get unpacked and settled by in. We put the last of the clothes away last night before bed. Where does the time go? I took the kids to story time on Monday. That is going well. This week I also went to a new Mom's group. It was nice. The kids went into their own class and I got a hour or so of "mommy" time. The group meets twice a month so I plan to go on a regular basis. I didn't get much crafting done and I am actually thinking about taking a little pottery break. I don't really want to but I am REALLY behind on my sewing. I would like to do at least one craft show before Christmas and speaking of Christmas.....oh man - I can't even think about it right now- my head will start spinning. Oh....I also joined a Women's Bible Study that meets every other week and guess what??? I am already behind. I need to catch up today before I am seriously behind. On top of that I think Jake & I are going to start helping out with the youth group at Church. When will I have time to blog? Well, I've already cut my T.V. time dramatically - I may have to cut into sleep time next. Just think, at this time six years ago I was picking out wedding invitations.

Anyways....back to the title of this post. Gone Fishin' - while we were in Tennessee my dad (aka Poppy) decided to take Jude fishing. Well, as you would expect, Elise decided she wanted to go too. Jude has been a few times before but it was Elise's first time. From what I hear, I started fishing at about the same age. Jude likes holding the fish and digging in the tackle box but he isn't that into the actual fishing stuff. Elise on the other hand, well she liked it. She wanted to cast her own fishing pole and everything. I finally took the hook off so she could cast it without hurting someone. She was having fun. I was so surprised she even held a fish. When we got back to Ohio, one evening I was going to make dinner and I said "do you want some fish?" Elise said, "No, the fish is yucky." She was thinking about fish in their slimy, smelly form. How funny.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen...Cookbook Edition

A while back Stephanie at Stop the Ride did a TT list of interesting recipes she found in an old cookbook. I recently picked up an old cookbook myself at Goodwill. I've been reading it with great interest in the very odd recipes. Today I am giving you a list of 13 things I don't think I will be making anytime soon. BTW...the cookbook is called "The Family Home Cookbook". It was published in 1963 by the Culinary Arts Institute. It is a great cookbook with many good recipes AND the previous owner wrote comments like: very good, excellent, not good, etc.... Isn't that a great idea?!

Thirteen Recipes I Will NOT Be Trying

1. Celery Whirls
2. Lollipop Franks
3. Hot Sardine Canapes
4. Prune Bran Muffins
5. Creamy Anchovy Stars (a sandwich)
6. Deep Fried Eggs with Mushroom Wine Sauce
7. Ground Beef Parmesan
8. Lima Bean Casserole
9. Pigskin Special (ground frankfurter meatloaf)
10. Glazed Stuffed Beef Heart
11. Prunella Cake
12. Deviled Ham & Macaroni Ring
13. Anise Lollipops

Let me know if you want to try any of these - I will gladly email them to you!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Book & Movie Review

I am not getting paid for this review in case you were wondering.

I love going to the movies. I've mentioned it before. When I was single I would go to the movies several times a week. Many times I would go alone. I always knew what the latest movies were and knew the release dates of upcoming ones. I guess you could say I was a movie buff. Well...things change. We all have to grow up and get our priorities straight. I probably spent money for my bills on movies. Anyhoo. When Jake and I go to Tennessee we always go to the movies. The theater down there shows first run movies for $3 on the week-end and $1 during the week. We have been known to see more than one in a day. It also helps that we have my mom to watch the kids. The bad thing about the theater is that it usually plays movies that draws in a lot of teens. It is really the only thing for those kids to do down there besides drive around the pole (long story). When we got to TN on Friday I started looking to see what was playing. I don't think I had even heard of any of the movies. One was 3:10 to Yuma. When I said it my mom and dad both said they wanted to see it because it was a remake of an old western. So that is the movie Jake and I picked. I figured any movie would be fine...but I wasn't excited about it at all. But I was pleasantly surprised. I LOVED it. I thought it was a great movie. It is rated R - it drops the F-bomb a few times and for the violence. Trust me - they didn't hold back when it came to the violence. If you saw "The Departed"...well, it was like that only a lot more dust. Russel Crowe is in the movie. I have never been a fan of his...until now. I really liked him in this movie - of course he played the bad boy and everyone knows how girls like the bad boys. Either way, I highly recommend the movie. If you can handle a little shoot 'em up bang bang then you will really enjoy it.

Now for the book review....

My sister recommended this book called "The Plain Truth" by Jodi Picoult. I got it and devoured it in only three days. I stayed up late reading this book and found myself reading it in the middle of the night long after Avery was done eating. It is about this Amish family and a lawyer. That is really all I am going to tell you. The Amish family is an older order Amish. The author must have done a lot of research because she was pretty accurate about the Amish but...I will say she did sensationalize the whole "honesty" and "forgiving" aspect. She even talks about their gas lighting. Either way it is a great book. Yesterday I went to the library and got another book by the author. I will let you know if it is as good.

Make It From Scratch Carnival....34th edition

You should go check it out. There are some cool things that people have made. If you aren't familiar with "Make it from Scratch" it is a weekly collection of posts people have written about things they made from scratch. This week's theme was Birthday parties - although not everyone remembered ( me). The carnival includes everything from denim bags to caramel apples to homemade air freshener. I contributed my post about the quilt I made - remember I wrote about it on Junky Love!? Each week someone new hosts the carnival. This week's hostess is Silvia. Next week's is Nini Makes. I hope someone decides to make costume jewelry!

Until next time here is something I thought about while eating my raisin bran this morning....Why do cereal companies always refer to raisins as "plump & juicy"? Raisins are not even close to plump or juicy. Do they think we are dumb?

Have a fabulous day!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rock Candy

The article said, "it is the easiest candy you will ever make." I thought, "how could I possibly mess this one up." I got the kids involved and let them measure and stir. I told
start to grow on the string and we would get to watch it change each day. I told them the candy would look like diamonds growing on the strings. Well...that was the plan. The recipe said it would take about 2 weeks. Not bad. It also said we would see growth on the string after 3 days. Maybe in the lab that is how it worked but not in my kitchen. After getting all the them we were making candy but it takes a long time. I explained how the candy would ingredients together I realized I messed up by adding the vanilla too soon. I added it before boiling but you are supposed to add it after boiling. If you remember my caramel making - I did the same exact
thing. But it didn't seem to have quite the same effect as last time so I thought it would be okay. When I poured the liquid in the jars I didn't have enough for the four jars I had originally planned on making. That is what the recipe said I would need. Then I wanted to make 3 different colors to I add the food coloring to each jar. I got them so dark we could barely see the string (duh...)! Two weeks later we didn't really see much of anything. Then we went out out of town. When we came back a week later there were crystals growing everywhere except on the string. So....we do have rock candy but not the conventional way. What did you expect from me? I'll probably need some Ingersoll Rand air tools to get the candy out of the jars.


4 (12-oz.) glass canning jars
4 (7-inch) pieces clean kitchen string
4 wooden skewers or pencils
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
10 drops red food coloring*
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon oil* (I did not add this)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Arrange jars in bottom of a large Dutch oven, and fill with enough water to cover jars by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil 2 minutes (this is to sterilize). Carefully remove jars with kitchen tongs to a wire rack; cool completely, and dry.

2. Tie strings around centers of wooden skewers or pencils. Place one string in each jar, resting skewer or pencil across rim of jar, and making sure strings do not touch bottoms of jars. Set aside.

3. Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally; boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in food coloring, cinnamon oil, and vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Pour about 1 cup syrup mixture carefully around skewer into each jar. Loosely cover with aluminum foil (including skewer); pierce aluminum foil several times with a skewer or knife. Let stand 10 to 14 days or until crystals form on strings. (Occasionally break up hard sugar layer on surface using a wooden skewer.) Remove strings from jars, and suspend strings between jars until crystals are dry (about 1 hour). Remove strings from skewers or pencils.

*10 drops of your favorite shade of food coloring may be substituted for red food coloring, and 2 tsp. of your favorite flavored extract, such as mint, strawberry, or orange, may be substituted for cinnamon oil.


Makes 4 candies

Charlie Cundiff, Los Angeles, California , Southern Living, APRIL 2006

Junky Love In Freehand....

I've been posting there so stop by and see what I've made!


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Home Again...

We are back home. I hadn't posted because my mom and dad have dial up and it is too slow for me. Plus I had too many other things to do. I am going to try to catch up on my blogging so I may be posting more than one post a day. Make sure you check back and see what I have for you! I have to take the kids to story time tomorrow - I think I am going to take my MP3 player with you think that is rude? After I get back I will try to post.

Travel...UK Edition

I love traveling yet, I have never been an international traveler. Maybe someday. I would really like to go visit the United Kingdom. I've always wanted to go there. I think it would be soooo cool. I'd first go to London. I would love to see the London Bridge. I wonder about the hotels in London - do you think it would be expensive? I'd definitely try to get over to Notting Hill - I hope I run into Hugh Grant. Although that would be awkward - running into the other love of my life with Jake there and all.

Next I would travel to Manchester. It looks so old and beautiful. The town hall is a huge fancy building - not like anything we have in the United States. I've heard hotels in Manchester are pretty reasonable. Manchester also has a huge ferris wheel. I bet the city is gorgeous from up there.

Last I would go to Birmingham. There I would find theaters, cinemas, great unique food, huge markets and history. Supposedly, the city has more canals than Venice. I'd definitely spend alot of time in the museums and learn as much as I can. I don't think I would spend much time in the hotels in Birmingham.

So, It Happened Today....

I've been waiting for years for something like this to happen. It took a long time but it finally did. Today I walked into Church and there he was - a guy from my past. We were only friends but I will admit I had a little crush on him. He had a serious girlfriend and I didn't really want him to break up with her - but I didn't want things to change between us. I thought he was going to be my friend forever. We worked together. We went dancing together. We talked on the phone for hours. Our friendship was completely platonic but everyone noticed how we clicked. I had just broke up with Jarhead and I was having some real self esteem issues so it was nice to have a NICE guy pay attention to me and not have to live up to any of his expectations because I was just a friend. Even though my family lived an hour away, they met him. My friends all knew him. He was around quite a bit. He even brought his girlfriend (who I did like a lot, although I will admit I was very jealous of) around some. Too bad things changed. It was the millennium New Year. I was scheduled to work but this girl I worked with called and asked me if she could take my shift because she wanted the extra money. I was excited because there were several parties I wanted to attend. That day I went out and bought the cutest party dress EVER. It was black with sparkles. The top was off the shoulder - simple but beautiful. I even bought shoes to match. So that evening my friends Tiffany, Megan and I got all prettied up and headed off to the first party. I agreed to be the designated driver. The first party was a my friend JR's parents house. I think they were out of town and he decided to have a big party. BTW...he was a police officer and most of his friends were either police officers or firemen. I drank gatorade and didn't mind. I was having fun. As the time went on we decided we wanted to leave that party and get to this other party before midnight. We loaded up and got there just before the clock struck twelve. The party was at a house I had never been to before - but was a friend of a friends house and most of my work buddies were there - including the guy and his girlfriend. I decided I would have one small drink to toast with but that was it. I remember things being blurry by midnight. I don't know if there was something in the drink from that party or in the Gatorade from the police party but I had one drink the entire night and I was drunk. Embarrassingly drunk. At that time in my life I enjoyed drinking but I wasn't into getting drunk and making a fool of myself. I drank enough to be funny and goofy but not sloppy. Well....this particular night, after that one drink, I was sloppy. What I am about to tell you I only remember like it was a dream. But I had been upstairs going to the bathroom. When I came down the stairs I saw the girlfriend. She looked at me with the sweetest, most innocent smile - she is quite angelic. I said "I am so glad to see you because I have been wanted to tell you that I am in love with your boyfriend." I remember the shock and hurt on her face. I don't remember what she said and I don't remember saying anything else to her. I don't remember much of anything else except waking up in my bed the next morning with my party dress and shoes still on. If I could erase just one day from my life - that day would definitely be in my top three. As you can imagine, things were different after that night. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. I wrote the guy a letter explaining that I wasn't in love with him and how I completely respected his relationship with his girlfriend. After that we weren't friends. I ran into her once and we talked but not about that night...more small talk. After Jake and I got married I ran into the guy a couple of times. We chatted - he married the girlfriend. I asked them over for dinner but he declined. I understood. So today was baby dedication day at our church. He is related to a baby in the church and was there to watch. He waved and smiled. Later I walked by and he said "you have three?" - talking about kids. I shook my head. His wife talked to Jake and I for a moment but that was it. Today my worlds collided and it wasn't that bad. Oh, and BTW....this is a very humiliating story for me so don't tell anyone okay???

In the mean time check out these kitchen sinks.

What do you buy for GUYS????

With the holidays quickly approaching I have been thinking about buying Christmas gifts. I've told you I plan to make many gifts but like I had mentioned....what do you make for the men/boys???? They are a lot more difficult to give gifts to - homemade or otherwise. So, I decided I will try to make it a "frugal" Christmas. I've already started some preparations. In the mean time I found this website for inspiring anyone buying gifts for him. Check it out. The site has TONS of stuff that would be any guys dream.