Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New year! An early start of my resolutions....

I've started early on a few things on my list.

Moving forward... it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Weight loss... I've tried to stay away from anything milk related except my lactose free items.

I've been doing well. I have a few small snacks at my desk. Today I ate 10 Reese's pieces for snack in the morning. I also have some cashews I can snack on too but haven't touched them. Also I have the gum which helps me out a lot. Today I drank mostly juice and my vitamin water. Only a little soda with my breakfast and dinner. I have ALSO been taking my medications, all off them including the one at night.

My vision for myself in the future is to become a better person physically, mentally and spiritually. I know two days isn't enough to say it's a breakthrough of a success, but it's a good start and I am proud of myself.

I am starting to watch these videos by a guy name Leo under Actualized.org on you tube. Self control, how to master and control your emotions, how to control anger, how to stop worrying and a whole bunch more. As he was talking I actually was saying it before he did...it makes total sense to me!

Other than that not much going on here, just checking in and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. Here's to a better 2015!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sing Along Sunday- What is REALLY important

Tuesday December 23rd 2014 started off like any normal day.

Wait! What am I thinking? Normal? Around here? HA! Anyway, I was at home surfing the web and preparing to trek out to Old Navy to do a return because I have had the WORST luck with shipping this year. That is another post entirely for another time and honestly it seems miniscule beside what I am talking about today.

Razark took most of the week off since we had our older two boys for Christmas and so he was home which is really not normal at all. He came in and showed me a text from his office mate and friend J. I was in complete shock. One of my very best friends was rushing home because his house was on fire. It came to be that it seemed like it was going to be a total loss too.

I sent a text to F and simply asked one question, "Is everyone OK?" I cannot wrap my head around losing everything but my concern was for his wife, kids, and pets. Once I knew that everyone was fine I was comfortable waiting for information. The next update came from him in the form of a picture.

I have known F since high school. We weren't as close until afterwards when we reunited at work. We have been the best of friends for years. He is one those people who know me almost better than I know myself. He knows my ugly side and still loves me. He contacted my husband for me when I was just looking to reunite with him and wanted to be sure his ex-wife wouldn't answer. He and our friend Nik are the reasons that Razark and I are together today with four gorgeous kids. When Razark and I got married F was our Best Man. When our youngest boys were born we asked him to be their Godfather. Some people take that lightly but not F. He went home and discussed it with his wife because he took that responsibility seriously. How cool is that?

I held his daughter when she was just a wee thing and I have been honored to watch his family grow up. We have been through our share of storms just as any long term friends have but we have made it through. When things are not right with certain people in my life, I do not function well at all. He is one of those people.

So, I have been scrambling to find resources and help just like all the other people who love this family. I have seen and hugged F FINALLY and I am a bit more relaxed to know that temporary housing has been found. BUT there are needs such as toiletries and clothing. The kids go back to school in a week and F and T go back to work tomorrow.

This is just some of the devastation that they have suffered. Things from loved ones that have passed on are gone as well as baby pictures and wedding pictures but they are going to be fine. They will continue to stick together and rebuild because they are strong. I will continue to help because I love them.

14 years went up in smoke. I remember going over floor plans with him when they got the house before their second child was born.

If you are touched by this and would like to help, please contact me at: ladyamnesty@gmail.com
I have sizes for the family. I have a PayPal address for them. I also have some room in my garage for small household appliances.
Anything helps! Mostly I would like to get clothes for them to begin to resume a normal life.

Thank you.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Years Resolutions....

Since we are coming up on the New Year, lets think about that.

Usually as a joke my New Years Resolution is to not make one, but this year I have decided it will be a little different.

1 - SIMPLICITY. Keep It Simple Stupid.. is my motto.

2 -  LET IT GO! All the hate, the pain, the anger, and the jealousy... just let it go, it causes more problems than it does anything else.

3 - DROP THE DRAMA. This pretty much relates to everyone else in my life... my husband and his stupid reasons to get upset over NOTHING, my youngest throwing his 'drama king' fits, my older son NOT doing what he was supposed to.

4 - GET MY FINANCES IN CHECK. Yes this is a true possibility this year and you know what I am NEVER going to go back to where I was before.

5 -  MOVE ON IN MY LIFE. Leave all the stuff that's holding me down and keeping me back from what I truly want to do. It's for my own good so if I hurt people along the way hopefully they don't take offense.  My mental health is more important than the crap you do that causes me to have issues with in my life.

6 - CHANGE MY EATING HABITS. This is the most important one. I have spent too many late nights/early mornings in the bathroom because of eating something with cheese due to my Lactose Intolerance. Well no more.
   a. No more cheese.
   b. Stay away from fried foods.
   c. Less red meat.
   d. More water, less soda/
   e. Healthy snacking between meals.

It is a start for me for the new year, I think 6 is enough for me. If I can even get 3 of them done 50% I'd be very happy.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Season's Greetings Happy Everything!!

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it and Happy everything to everyone else!!! I don't know the exact days for the other holidays so I won't pretend.

I do want to wish you love, peace, happiness, and lots of goodies today and always!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Chuck style!!

These are not my images, I came across them on Google. But seeing as we are the Sisters of the Traveling Chucks I thought that this was appropriate. I do not own these images.

Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo [Timeless Version]

Merry Christmas eve!!

The Texas contigent of the Sistahood wanted to stop by and wish you all a wonderful Christmas Eve!!

We have our traditions to uphold and I am sure that you do as well. We hope where ever you are and whoever you are with we hope you have a very peaceful and loving day!!

Thank you to my Sistahs here for all of the love and support that they have given so freely! I love you all!

We aren't very far apart!

I'm BLOGGING about tea**

Okay first of all, NO this is not a paid advertisement.  I assume Lipton has no idea who I am except that I keep sending them love letters writing them letters complimenting their products.  See, I love tea.  I mean really, really love tea.  I feel about tea the way some people feel about their kids coffee or wine.  In fact, in some completely whacked out circles, I'm considered something of a tea expert.  (Editor's Note: This is different from a tea-bagging expert, just sayin').  So anyway, recently I've been loving the hell out of Orange/Passion Fruit/Jasmine green tea (the Jasmine lingers on your lips forever, making you feel so sexy) and Acai/Dragonberry/Melon green tea (the smell of that particular flavor is simply divine).  But today while I was at the store they had a new flavor I had never heard of.  My heart started to pound, my hands got a little clammy and shook a little.  Cranberry Pomegranate green tea?  That can't possibly be as good as it sounds, can it?  Oh please let it be as good as it sounds.  Just in case, I only buy one box.  I could hardly contain my excitement as I got home and rushed up the stairs and turned on my kettle.  I filled one of my latte mugs (I'm sorry, but one of those teensy little mugs is just never enough).  I took a sip.  My eyes closed in ecstasy.  And, as I had an ethereal tea experience, the angels sang from heaven.

So please, I implore you, try some of this tea.  It will change your tea life forever.  Even if you're not crazy about fruit in your tea (which is how I was until Lipton started making all these blends).  Let Lipton change your life, ok?

**Bonus points if you get the Brian Regan "I'm RECORDING fishing" reference**

Monday, December 22, 2014

Manic Monday....School's out for Winter Break. Hmm wonder why they call it break??

I love my kids. Everyone knows this. I know every mom will understand my pain here as well. I dread these breaks. I hate to say it, because again, I LOVE my kids. I don't know what I would do, or where I would be without them. But FUCK! 2 weeks of kids being home 24/7 is going to put me in the mad house!
I just recently started getting Saturday and Sunday's off from work. 2 days in a row, and on the weekend at that! How freakin awesome is that!? Ummmm pretty freakin awesome! I've finally paid my dues, I'm manager, and I deserve to have the weekends off right!? YEAH! However, 2 whole days, with no break from the kids, ummm, yeah. I yearn for Monday. How sad is it that I look forward to work to relax? I need a fucking vacation YO, and after these next 2 weeks, I'm thinking the looney bin might be where I end up, BY CHOICE!
We are staying with family right now, due to some unfortunate circumstances at my apartment. Once I get my tax return, we are going to FINALLY get us a house. In the meantime however we are fortunate enough to have family that is willing to put up with this brood! But being in someone elses house makes the usual stress multiply by about 479%! So this upcoming break, even though the kids are ecstatic to not have school, is stressing me out beyond the usual mommy stress. And it hasn't even started yet!!
So I am very excited about Christmas, and doing our special family traditions that we have started since being a family sans a daddy. I love to see the excitement in their eyes when they see the lights, and opening up our Christmas Jammies on Christmas eve. Plus the baby is old enough to actually start getting excited over some of this as well. I am just hoping that I make it through the rest of this otherwise, crazy, stupid year. Anyone who has a moment, please pray that I don't go "postal" before I can send them back to school. I just hope we all make it through these last few weeks without any casualties.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and a fun filled Christmas break! Love you all!

What the F is wrong with me?

What is wrong with me?

I was fine this weekend, got all my holiday shopping done and NOW I am in the "I don't give a rats arse anymore" mood. This has got to stop, not going to be like this on Thursday.. can't be this way.

Bed may be a good idea right now, between the husband and the kids getting on my nerves, I'm ready to snap. *sigh*

What is wrong with me?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Crock pot meatballs

Just going to leave this recipe right here for y'all.

Yummy Meatballs

-don't know where this actually came from but I got it from my
Mother-in-Law and it is fabulous.

2- 1 lbs bags of meatballs completely thawed
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 c Chili sauce. (in with ketchup and such)
1/4 c Water

Put sauce ingredients together in the crockpot. Stir well to combine.
Add meatballs and stir to coat well. Set crockpot on low for 3-4 hours
and enjoy.

Forget Friday Five - Rose Garden Filled With Thorns

Instead of Friday Five, I thought I'd play catch up with y'all for a while.  Finals are done and my grades were actually pretty good considering I haven't been in school in like 157 years and my last professor was Mrs. Stegosaurus.  Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) came and went with my boys and my local family.  My dad works in retail so we don't usually get to celebrate and that makes me sad, but this year I was able to have a big meal, watch football, the whole shebang.  It was really special.  You know, except that the person I'm most thankful for was in Boston and I was not.  (Tip: that's a running theme today).  I survived mid-terms and finals and stayed out of a psych ward.  So you know, winnah-winnah-chicken-dinnah, there.  Now it's Christmas time.  Right around the corner.  Presents have been bought and wrapped (except Stomp's...he enthusiastically and conspiratorially declared he knew about Santa...So I told Mr. Too Big For His Mf'ing Britches that I'd fix his computer for his gift) and shipped.  Cards went out (except the dozen or so I lost, oopsie).  Stockings and lights are hung.  The tree is up and decorated and sparkles daily.  Which is good.  My sparkle has dulled to a flickering twinkle these days.

I knew what I was doing when I signed on for a long-distance relationship.  I knew there would be days it wouldn't be so bad (like when we snuggle up and he dutifully watches Christmas movies, not because he loves them, but because he loves me).  I knew there would be days it would be hard (like when he went to his holiday party and I got to hear about the food and see him all dashing, dapper and handsome, but didn't get to hold his hand as he walked in).  What I failed to fully appreciate was how fahking ridiculously hard some things would be.  I stare blankly at the tree and wonder what it would look like if we had some of his little boy's ornaments on it.  I imagine the two of us under a blanket, giggling over cocoa after the kids have gone to bed. I imagine the joy on his face as he gets to see my boys open the gifts from him or me open whatever insanely thoughtful thing he's gotten me this year.  And, I'm not going to lie, I cry.  Sometimes I cry a lot.  The years that I have the boys, I cry less because I don't want them to be confused.  Stomp's old enough to understand that this thing is hard.  Joshie Mark is not.

So anyway, this year the boys head off to their dad's for Christmas and I head off to...nowhere.  It just didn't work out for me to travel this year and I'll be home alone for everything.  Oh, I have some plans.  My dad's on the wagon again and that makes him pretty delightful company.  And because I'm the most fahking awesome chick on the planet a big fahking dork, I'm in a ridiculous and truly pricey college bowl game pool.  I have a college bowl game date with my dad to Buffalo Wild Wings.  I'm not studying like a demon so I can finally tackle some of the books Boston sent me and I got from the library.  I'm working on a multi-part series for the blog here (which was going to be called "Nebraska And Boston:A Love Story" until Boston pointed out how closely those initials sounded like a serious perv problem and we may see a sharp increase in all the wrong kind of blog traffic).  I'm going to listen to Ed Sheeran until I've convinced myself to follow him across the globe. I'm going to memorize every single word to T-Swift's "Blank Space" (that's my JAM right now).  I'm going to clean up a lot because I do have a few newish pieces of furniture moving in.  I'm going to try to make my bedroom less "where shit goes to die" and more "sanctuary for a crazy lady".  But I'll be doing it all distracted, my heart and soul in Boston, as it always is.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday.... NAH! Wonderland Wednesday? OK Christmas Crack candy AKA Savory Saturday on Wednesday

I really was going to wait until Saturday to do some recipes but I really don't want to. So I am going to bring you some yummy recipes today. Or at least the one I have finished!

Crock pot Christmas Crack Candy

1- 16 oz jar dry roasted peanuts unsalted
1- 16 oz jar dry roasted peanuts salted
1- 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1- 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
2- 10 oz bag peanut butter chips
2- 1 lbs packages of vanilla candy coating or white almond bark

Layer all ingredients in a large crockpot (starting with peanuts). Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours. Then, remove lid and stir to combine. Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes. Stir again and then spoon mixture on to wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil. Allow to harden for at least 1 hour. Enjoy!

OK, now pay attention! My crock pot cooks at an extremely hot heat even on LOW. My first batch last year burned. This year I stirred it after an hour. I stirred again after 30 minutes, and once more after 15 more minutes. I still had a small area of burning but last year I lost half the dang pot so I was happy. My advice is to let it go about 1 hour 5 minutes and stir. Then stir again every 15 minutes if you have a finicky crockpot like me. I also advise you to use a slow cooker liner for easy clean up. This stuff is yummy.

To answer the next question- yes, you can probably use any nuts that you want. My youngest is allergic to tree nuts so we stuck to peanuts.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

why? *SIGH* My bi-polar ramblings again.


Why do I feel like I am not a good enough friend when someone highlights another friend?

I do not have a best friend anymore. 2 years ago I lost two people who I thought were until they hurt me like I've never been hurt before.

Now all I am is alone. I am not even my own best friend. Don't know if it's possible to have one anymore considering what happened to the last two "supposed" friends I had.

Just feeling kinda down and dejected today. I am sure come Monday I'll be too busy to even think about it... I think that's what I'm going to have to do because this stupid little BS I put myself through isn't worth it.

I'm going to play a game... *sigh*

When do I get a friend like me?

Sing Along Sunday- Perpetuum Jazzile

This group is AMAZING!! I am going to share a few of my favorites and some new ones...

Africa by Toto is my favorite but we will get there!

Here is Africa!!

And we will stop with True Colors:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Savory Saturday- Turkey (or Chicken) Divan

I think this is a divine recipe. The joke is that I wouldn't touch the stuff at first because it looked odd and I was pregnant. I couldn't even stand certain smells at that point but it tasted divine! We make it out of turkey leftovers every year and the one time we made it with chicken we were not as thrilled. I say this, if you make it with chicken use the dark meat. Our issue was that the Chicken Divan was dry but dark meat is always more moist.

Turkey/Chicken Divan

3 whole chicken breasts/ a few cups of leftover turkey meat
2 packages frozen broccoli (The size depends on the cut of broccoli and how much you like it)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar (we use cheddar jack because the hubby is not a cheddar fan)
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Simmer chicken breasts in salted water. (We have always used leftover meat so we have never done this.) Cook broccoli. Mix soup, sour cream, mayo, cheese, and seasonings. Use a 13x9 greased pan. Layer broccoli, chicken/turkey, and parmesan cheese. Cover with sauce. Top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

I really hope you enjoy this as much as we do! This stuff almost never makes it to left overs.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Five.... Things I like about December

Wow, only 5 things that I like about December? I could probably go for 500 and still miss some. Being that it is the Christmas season and all I will try to steer clear of all the normal things about Christmas time just to keep it interesting...

1. Two of my children were born in the month of December!! The Little Professor turned 11 on the 2nd and The Gamer turns 14 on December 15th.

2. The semester ends in December! I am tired y'all! This policy analysis and learning to practice with individuals is hard work. I am ready to sleep in and read something for fun. I need a few days of trash TV to wind down from poverty, LGBTQI rights, race relations, and mental health issues.

3. December is my month to bake!! While the husband and kids DnD with our friends, I am usually found at home baking up a storm. I absolutely love to turn up the MP3 player and bake until I am hurting and fall into bed. I love the fact of knowing that the family loves my goodies.

4. OK, this one is a bit normal... but FAMILY! I adore spending time with my family. I can hang out with my Mom and Sister and not have to run home to finish a paper or a presentation. That is so cool to me because I can relax and laugh with the people that I love most.

5. Cold nights. I live in Texas y'all! It yo-yos up and down a lot. You can usually depend on more cold nights in December finally!! I love the cold weather because well, um, I live in Texas. It rarely snows here and rarely ices over so I can love winter with all of my heart because if it does snow or ice... the whole damn city is shutting down!

Happy Mid-December y'all! I wish you peace, love, and cozy nights!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Savory Sat... Sing Along Sun.... Well Monday Madness??

Since I missed the weekend posts, I suppose I will use today to catch up. So for Savory Saturday I will post my stuffing recipe because it is delicious and always in demand. Then I will tickle your ears with a little KT Tunstall for Sunday delights. All of this goodness on a Monday just for you!!

Here we go..

Best Bread Stuffing

This is just like my Grandma made hers but without raw egg... I love it! The kids love it! And it is fun to make with the kids. BONUS! It is even more of a bonus if you are like me and hate anyone in your cooking space.

3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup butter
9 cups soft bread cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper



Cook and stir onion and celery in butter in 10 to 12 inch skillet until onion is tender. Stir in about 1/3 of the bread cubes. Turn into a deep bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss. Stuff turkey just before roasting. 9 cups stuffing.


STUFFING BALLS: Shape stuffing by 1/2 cupfuls into balls; place in greased baking dish. Cover and cook in 325 degree F oven 30 minutes. Uncover and cook 15 minutes longer. 10 Stuffing Balls.


NOTE: To make Corn Bread Stuffing, you can substitute corn bread cubes for the soft bread cubes.


Tip for freezing for Thanksgiving/Christmas:.


NOTE: The unbaked stuffing mixture will freeze great in containers or freezer bags to serve later. To reheat: Thaw and bake it in a greased dish, (rather than in the bird)at 350°F until golden brown on top (about 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more). Don't over bake!


My friend, Leisa Heitman, turned mw on to KT Tunstall years ago. Leisa passed on a few years ago from cancer but KT still makes me smile, sing along, and think of my fellow Texas Belle and Monkee Pal.

And the song that I fell in love with from KT:

This song makes me think of the one Ex who asked me to marry him and I said no. Something inside me knew that he wasn't the one for me. Good thing too because I found the one for me.

Morbid, Melancholy & Macabre Monday

Okay, so here's the deal.  I asked if y'all would be interested in reading some of my personal poetry and the response was overwhelmingly positive.  Monday seems like a good day for the kind of dark things I write.  So, today, to ease you into it, I bring you this piece.  Tomorrow, if I get time, I want to talk about the difference processes I've noticed between writing a blog, a novel and a poem.  Tell me what you think.

1000 Weeping Angels - ESH 12/2014

“It is strange”, she intoned in the morning, “the way the grass is always wet even if it has not rained”
Almost as if the angels had wept all night and then put back their pretty smiles the way they are trained”

I, always the smarter and less emotional one laughed and said, “and why, my dear, might the angels be weeping?
Might it be for the broken-legged bird, those who sleep on the streets or all of God’s secrets they are keeping?”

She turns away, as if I’d struck her, and sighs, as she often does.
“I don’t know why the angels weep.  Maybe they cry at weddings, or out of sorrow or pity.  Or what was.”

I smile at her then, this tender-hearted beauty who had slain the demons who had struggled to rip her apart
The crafty stunner who had risen with her sword above her head and every piece of her torn and weary, except her heart

Would her foes ever know what a lover she was, how she cried out with passion in the night?
Would they ever know how she woke slowly with delicate kisses and worry for 1000 angels in the morning light?

She is at her most bewitching in these moments, when she is not on guard, not awash in worry,

I will never share this side of her, I am selfish, the devils are dead and we’re in no hurry.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hit the nail on the head!

You can find this article at:

I was just reading this article on bi-polar disorder and came across this:

Grandiose delusions (GD) or delusions of grandeur
Bipolar disorder
Main article: Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is severe affective dysregulation, or mood states that sway from exceedingly low (depression) to exceptionally high (mania).[25] Bipolar patients with grandiose delusions are essentially high on themselves. If they convey any feelings of aggravation at all, these at most characterize secondary anxiety that others will be jealous of them and hold them back from getting what they are entitled to, or seize what they already have.[26]

Bipolar patients experience delusion during the worse part of their illness. Typically, when experiencing or displaying a stage of heightened excitability, joy, rage, senselessness, and correlated phenomena they might convey thoughts or beliefs that are grandiose in nature. Some of these grandiose beliefs frequently involve thoughts that the patient is very rich or famous or has super human abilities, etc.[27] In the most severe form, known as psychotic mania, the bipolar patient may hear voices and have grandiose delusions such as "I am the King of England".[8]

 - Now I am starting to wonder if I am headed that way.. the reason I say this is because of my interest in the D/s lifestyle I've been having fantasies... also I use this to build myself up and make myself feel better about myself... which from what I'm reading in this article isn't such a good thing.

Positive functions

Grandiose delusions frequently serve a very positive function for the person of sustaining or increasing their self-esteem. As a result, it is important to consider what the consequences of removing the grandiose delusion are on self-esteem when trying to modify the grandiose delusion in therapy.[5] In many instances of grandiosity it is suitable to go for a fractional rather than a total modification, which permits those elements of the delusion that are central for self-esteem to be preserved. For example, a man who believes he is a senior secret service agent gains a great sense of self-esteem and purpose from this belief, thus until this sense of self-esteem can be provided from elsewhere, it is best not to attempt modification.[5]

 - I highlighted the part that worries me the most about getting help for this...

 Accounts of delusion

 There are two alternative accounts for getting grandiose delusions:[9]
  • Delusion-as-defense account: defense of the mind against lower self-esteem and depression
  • Emotion-consistent account: result of exaggerated emotions.
  - I believe I am the first one... defense of the mind against lower self-esteem and depression. It's how I cope I guess huh?

Thanks for reading..

Secret(ish) Santa - GrandBlessings

When Mountain Mark and the Jersey Mama first got married, I was the only grandchild to Grandma and Grandpa K.  And oh, how they loved me and loved to spoil me  and oh how they made me feel so special to them even though I was "just a step-grandkid".  One year, just at the start of December an advent calendar arrived.  The first year was the standard cardboard one where you had to look for all the numbers and then there was a special surprise behind each one. The one the following year was cloth, I believe, and it had little trinkets (most delicately wrapped) in each little day marker.  I thought that was the coolest thing EVAH.  I had never heard of doing anything like that.  My mama, God bless her, loves Christmas but decorating is decidedly not her strong suit, so we didn't really do anything like that (although every year we hung mistletoe and Santa Christmas lights on the mantle, my family rocks out with their quirk out).

So this year, a package arrived especially early for Christmas for Stomp and Joshie Mark.  When I opened it up and saw those numbers on that calendar I got so excited for them.  And I was so touched that Grandma K, with all she has going on right now, took the time to carry on the tradition from Mark's daughter to his two grandsons (one of whom carries forth his name).  I didn't know a way to thank her properly or to tell her how much it meant to me, except to write it down here.  It can be so hard being so far away from my parents and my grandparents.  And I know they wish they were watching Nathan and Joshua Mark grow up.  But these little things they do a half dozen times a year, helps draw them in and bring them closer.  I know I can feel them close to my heart every time I see their name on a card or an envelope.  I know how much it meant to them that I named Joshua after my dad, Mark.  So I guess what I'm trying to say in all this is THANK YOU, Grandma and Grandpa K.  Thank you for carrying on a tradition, for always loving me and my boys, for never making me feel like an outcast or less of a grandchild and for always bringing humor and love into our lives.  (PSST: Grandpa, thanks for that chocolate ice cream cone in the car when I was visiting in Ohio, too. And for hosing me off so Grandma didn't see how messy I got!) You guys are not just Great Grandparents and Grandparents, you are truly GrandBlessings.

Much love from Eri, Nathan and Joshua Mark.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Five.....shhhh it's a secret!

Hi GUYS!!! I missed you all! I know it’s been awhile, but I need to start doing this again. I love this place. Blog World. It is a wonderful place!

So Friday 5 is 5 things you probably don’t know about me. This is going to be hard for me, because I tell everyone everything. I don’t care who it is, I like to talk, and not all that worried about what anyone thinks, because, well, this is me. This is who I am and I don’t feel the need to apologize for that. But I will give it my best shot...
     I’m addicted to watching movie trailers. I found this channel on my X-Box Live once that was nothing but movie trailers of movies coming out for the next year. That was the best Friday night ever! (I just had to stop myself from writing evah! WTF Eri!?)

   The first real “sex” dream I can remember having was with Brad Garrett, who played Ray Barone’s brother, Robert, on Everybody Loves Raymond. I can’t watch that show to this day without vivid flashbacks of that dream!

  When I’m in a really bad mood, I force myself to watch YouTube videos of babies laughing to cheer myself up. I do love to hear a baby laugh, but honestly, I mostly do it because I think my baby is so much freaking cuter than all of them, and that makes me happy. I know. I’m going to hell.

   I have this incessant need to read the Missed Connections on Craigslist at least once a week. I secretly hope that one day there will be one about me. So far no luck. There was one about a girl I worked with once though. I was jealous, I will admit it. Did I show it to her? No I did not. Why? Because I’m a mean, jealous person, and I honestly truly think that the guy who posted it must have been on drugs. I didn’t want my co-worker messed up with someone like that! HONEST!

   When I was younger, my dream was to play Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives. You may all know her as Allison Sweeney from the Biggest Loser. She was pretty close to my age, and when she first started on Days she was kind of chubby. So was I. However, she was really mean. She always got what she wanted, no matter what she had to do to get it, and I wished I had her courage to stand up and fight for whatever it was I wanted. I was a very shy, quiet kid. I didn’t actual develop any sort of backbone until I left my ex-husband. So yeah, I guess you could say I really just wanted to be a Bitch! Whoa, I think I succeeded!

Friday Five- Things you might not know about me

Wow, I am such an open person that I am not sure what you might not know.

1) Every dream that I ever had about my future children featured a daughter. I never in a million years expected to have boys. I was never pink princess and tea parties despite being the girly girl of the family. I find myself almost relieved to have all boys.

2) Justice is my first love. I memorized Miranda rights at 9. For years I wanted to be a lawyer.

3) I have been singing since I was a little girl but only publicly once at a bar with a group of girls. Singing and music are woven into the very fabric of my soul.

4) I am fascinated with human behavior. It drives my husband  absolutely nuts and he is ground in concrete facts.

5) If I love you, I feel your pain. I am an empath. If I don't like you then I could care less.

Friday Five - what you might not know about me.

Five things you may not know about me...

1 - I have the most awesome smile... always the first thing most people notice.
2 - My husband and I have had an open marriage since Nov 2012.
3 - I love to read the "Little House on the Prairie" series every summer.
4 - If I ever ran away as a kid I was going to change my name is Sydney Wright.
5 - I have a dark side to me... who is wanting to experience the Dominant/Submissive.

Scary huh? hehee...

Happy reading!

Friday Five - Mini-Mysteries

So, for today, I thought me and the Sistahs would do 5 things you might not know about us...and that we might not even know about each other.

5 Things You May Not Know About Eri:

1.  I believe I have the most adorable feet, evah.  They're tiny (I can wear both kids and adult-sized Chucks) and the most perfect creamy white with just a little sprinkle of freckles.
2.  My very first pair of Chucks were red and they came with a red pair of Justin Ropers from my Nany's daughter Donna (we'll talk about her a lot more someday).  To this day, if I'm wearing shoes they're either Chucks or a pair of black Ropers I have.
3.  When I was growing up, I wrote short stories about women who wore long flowy skirts and dresses, lived in the middle of nowhere, had a few kids and a few dogs running around and hung clothes on the line.  This was the life I wanted for myself.  I had it for a while but I also had a fahkton of other baggage and bullshit.  Now, I see a totally different life for myself and I no longer write pretty fairy tales.  I write macabre poetry* and this little blog.
4.  My Nany (the woman who helped my mama and my grandma raise me, who babysat me for years and is still an extra mom to me) and my mom were crazy-close friends growing up.  We're all family and always will be.  That said, one of my earliest memories is of being babysat with Nany while we all sat in a blow-up raft in the living room singing "Key Largo".  I'm not saying there was alcohol involved, but y'all do the math.  That's still one of my all-time favorite songs.
5.  Every single year I re-read the collective works of Poe and Shakespeare.  There are assorted other fictional story series I re-read when a new book comes out, but always those two.  I can recite Annabel Lee from memory.  I wear a raven necklace only because there is no Annabel Lee jewelry.  And I can do several of the famous Shakespeare monologues from memory too.  Maybe if I didn't store up that shit, I wouldn't suck at a A&P. 

**How would y'all feel about me posting some of the poetry here?  I know this blog is basically a conversational place, would you feel like the posting of poetry infringed on the conversation?  Talk amongst yahselves.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Right then.  So I have like all the pneumonias.  (Yes, again).  My doctors are worried because the last 3 times I've had a plain-ass-pansy-ass-run-of-the-mill-Sinus-Infection, it's turned into something much more serious and much worse.  So I'm resting.  My ex-husband and his fiancee have been great and graciously offered to keep my younger son for a few nights so I can sleep as much as possible for a few days (Yes, I miss him, of course, it's like having a limb severed.  But I slept 15 muthafahking hours last night).  School work can be done from bed.  So I haven't done much writing, haven't done much reading, haven't done much braining at all. I have, however, laid on the couch with washcloths over my face and hit random and let Ed Sheeran (this is a Snow Patrol cover, obv), Mumford & Sons, John Legend, Emmylou Harris and Joey Martin music wash over me.

Savory Saturday on Tuesday!!

I have been SO busy! Sorry y'all! But I made this tonight and it was so good!

Unstuffed Cabbage

Cabbage is a superfood with lots of nutrients! Did you know that it is known for healing stomach ulcers and preventing cancer (particularly colon cancer).

This is a simply, yet delicious recipe for unstuffed cabbage rolls. There are two versions, soupy and upsoupy. LOL basically, If you want it less "soupy" you need to add 1 c. of (uncooked) rice and it will absorb the extra water (& extend the servings., making it even more budget friendly!)

1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Heat the Olive oil in a Big Skillet (use medium heat) Saute the onions until tender, and then add the ground beef (or turkey) until the meat is browned.

Add the garlic, cook an additional minute before adding the remaining ingredients. (This is the point you would add the rice Bring them to a boil, Cover, reduce the heat and simmer about 25 minutes (or until the cabbage is quite fork tender)

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Monday, November 24, 2014

Manic Monday in my head!

 WTF? Is there a fricken off switch for my brain? I can't understand why my mind is all over the place... you dirty arse m'fing bi-polar. I've taken my meds, what the H-E-double L is going on up there?

Are you trying to cause me to go insane? What's the deal? Who left the lights on? Did the conductor fall asleep?

I have so many things flying through my brain I was only able to stop it when I was at work when I was focused on something else... going to bed and getting to sleep is gonna be one heck of a feat tonight.

This will be my brain all night long!!!!!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

An Open Letter...

...To Assholes Everywhere...

Ya know, almost everyone I know dealt with a real mf'er of an asshole this weekend.  So this one's for all you twaintholes out there.

Dear Assholes Of Every Shape, Size & Severity,

You are starting to overstay your welcome.  And by "overstay your welcome", I mean I am this close to considering a one-woman vengeance spree.  Knock it the fahk off, yo.  No one wants to hear your lies, or you run someone's name through the mud because you're too fahking ignorant to figure out the truth.  No one wants to watch you make some nice person cry.  No one wants to watch you spit your political ignorance and potty mouth all over the place in such a way that you alienate your own friends.  And not one single muthafuckah on the planet wants to watch you act like a big-mouthed bully.  I'll repeat: Knock it the fahk off, yo.

Stabbily yours,


P.S. And I feel like that for every girl who breaks a genuine nice guy's heart, me and the Sistahood should get to take turns punching you in the twat.  I mean really.  Quit doin that.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Every lesson forms a new scar

A long, long, long time ago...Or maybe "Once upon a time" the story goes...

Anyway, I was in a really rotten place.  I knew someone who was a friend, a great friend, I suppose at times.  In this really dark place, I clung to this song, telling this friend that I felt like something was about to go wretchedly wrong.  Just really fahking wrong.  I couldn't figure out where or how or why, but I had the distinct feeling I was about to get a knife stuck somewhere. And oh boy, was I ever.  This friend would tell me that it was terrible I felt like that, that I should feel safe, that I was a good person who didn't deserve to feel like I was about to be betrayed or that I was about to be hurt.  Much less to actually be betrayed or hurt.  Then that very same person took a blade dipped in poison and stuck it in my back, then my side and then repeatedly, with only the purest evil, she stuck me every place she could.  When I'd finished licking my wounds and they'd been carefully bandaged by the only muthafahking person I still trusted, I still hung onto this song.  And oh damn, how guarded I was.  Every dark corner held a monster, every single smiling face was just another facade.  My heart was closed.  I cried all the time.  I paced, I didn't sleep because of the nightmares.  I was distinctly not myself.

And then, well then, something wonderful happened.  I met Carrie.  Everyone warned me it was too soon to trust a stranger.  Everyone warned me to guard my heart, to be so careful, to keep walls up.  But you see, that's not who I am.  I am not that girl.  I can't be that girl.  And so I closed my eyes and I took a leap. And because I did, I met one of the best and truest-bluest friends anyone could ever meet.  She's not just a friend.  She's part of my soul.  I wanted to share this now because I've been in a dark place lately, just so stressed out and sick and injured (torn rotator cuff, ftw).  And she grabbed hold and said something to me that is more beautiful than I think anyone's ever said to me.

She said: You are patient and kind. You love wonderfully. When you love someone it isn't just with words, or even actions alone. You love with every cell in your being. You make the people around you feel so special

And she was right.  I don't do a lot of things really well (fahk you very much MATH).  But I love people right.  So, while I still love this song, I don't need it anymore.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Savory Saturday- Perfect Pork Roast

This seems to be the only way that we cook pork loin now. I do not use all of the seasonings in this recipe but the great thing about it is that it is the cooking method important. Feel Free to customize it.

My seasoning looks like this:

Sea salt or kosher salt (to your own tastes)
Herbs de Provence
Garlic powder

I add the olive oil to this and let it sit if I have time. If not you can microwave it too. I have mixed it and put it on 5 minutes later and it is great.

Perfect Pork Roast

3 pound pork loin
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450°. Adjust top oven rack to center of oven.

To prepare spice rub; combine rosemary, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add olive oil and stir to mix well. Warm rub in microwave for 15-30 seconds to help infuse oil with spices, Alternately you can allow rub to sit for a few minutes to marry the oil with the spices.

Remove the rack from the roasting pan and place on counter top. Place the roast with the fat pad on the top side (do not cut this off, it will impart a lot of flavor into the roast and help it stay moist) on the rack and spoon spice mixture on top of the roast. Rub spice mixture all over the top, sides and bottom of the roast.

Place rack back in roasting pan and bake in oven for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 250° and bake for 60-90 minutes (time will vary depending on whether you have a short fat roast or a thin long roast). My roast took 90 minutes to reach 145° internal temperature.

Remove roast from oven, place on cutting board with tongs (do not puncture the roast) and allow to rest for 5 minutes so the juices and disperse into the roast (and not all over your cutting board

Even Mr. picky LOVED it!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Five- Reasons to be Thankful

I actually have about 5 trillion reasons to be thankful so this post really takes no thought but I will try and not overload you.

1. My husband, Razark. We have known each other forever (20+ years) and he is one of my best friends. I don't say this lightly or because it has been easy but because we have been through so much together and made it through. I love him with everything that I am and I am thankful to call him mine.

2. My 4 boys. They're all so smart and different in their own ways.  None of them are perfect but they are mine and I will always love them.

3. My Mom and Sister who have essentially been my parents most of my life. Two people that I can count on no matter what when the chips are down.

4. My best friend and her family who have been a constant in my life for at least 25 years. Her Dad is the only Dad who has been a constant in my life. I love them all so much.

5. My soul sister, Erica, who is my champion when I am at my highest and still there when I am at my lowest. She celebrates my smallest wins with me and comforts me through my lowest lows. She has talked me through some of the darkest moments since I have known her. I love her and her family so very much.


I am so thankful to the military for allowing me to get my AA and go on for my BSW. Education allows me to better myself and be better for my family.

What are you most thankful for??

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

I know it is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday but there is no meme that can explain this. If you have been a reader here long you have heard some of the details of my disabling injury from the USAF. If not then go read my Maniac Monday post which details it and the lasting effects.
Anyway, this has not been my best year. I got the kidney stones to slow down but found out one of my disks in my lower back is toast. Surgery carries only a 50% success rate so I have moved on to pain management until it gets worse or something better comes along. I currently wear pain patches and have medication for breakthrough pain. Over the years I have grown quite a tolerance for pain so I know it has gotten bad. This morning, for instance, I couldn't stand up for long because my lower back and hips were hurting so badly that my stability was not reliable.
Most of the time only my immediate family sees that pain. I usually don't say much more except to Erica because most people either don't get it or don't care. That's cool.  It is my issue.
My husband was talking to his Mom the other night while I was working on a huge paper I had to finish. I only heard one side of the conversation. My husband told her that I was in almost constant pain but I was working my ass off to get my school work done. He didn't have anything in his voice but sincerity and concern with a touch of pride. I asked him about it. He said, "I see what you are going through. When the weather changes and when it rains. You are miserable." I cried and thanked him because he gets it. He understands. He is one of few who does including people you would think should get it. He rarely ever gets mad at me for my pain conditions and I don't even think it is me personally that he is mad at. We have known each other since our sophomore year of high school so he knew me before all this. I think he gets pissed at the people who let me get hurt and the doctors who insisted it was just a sprain and sent me back to duty. It was a civilian doctor who x-rayed me and caught the breaks. I think he is pissed that the VA never did much of anything either. Epidural steroid shots that helped once and left me crying on the couch for a week after the second shot with unreturned calls. He gets mad when people talk to me like I am weak or unworthy but he never talks to me like that.
My husband is not perfect. I am not perfect. Together we have made a life together with our kids and our very different families. We make it work because we love each other, our kids, and we respect each other. It doesn't work for everyone but it does work for us. Even when I am bitchy because I am overwhelmed especially at the end of the semester... I know he has my back. I have his too.
Bonus points if you could find a meme to sum all of this up.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's going on today?

I am this close... [ ] that close to having all the money I need for the bankruptcy. I have to go and pawn my wedding and engagement rings and PRAY I get 200 dollars for it.. because of the furnace breaking down last week, we have a temporary fix until they can order the part and install it. I've spend that amount on the cost of the fixing, part and my car insurance and that's why I'm down 200 bucks. 

I do plan to cash in my son's savings bond so I can have gas money for next week to get to work. I plan on paying the whole amount on Monday for my bankruptcy and then if I have any other things they need get them done before the week is out because I want this DONE and over with so I can move on with my life.

On a sadder note, today has been 2 months since I lost my champion. I miss Scout SO MUCH... if it wasn't so mother f-ing cold out there I'd be at his graveside talking to him, but considering I am working an hour overtime this week everyday I get home and it's already dark. I am NOT complaining, I need the money but just puts a damper on anything outside of work.. all will be better next week. I can't wait to get this weight off my shoulders.

Other than that I have NOTHING in anyway possible exciting to write about. Just the S.S.D.D. if ya all know what that means. Work, home, bed, work, home, bed... ya know how it works.

A few more weekends and I'll be done, I will be relieved to have the weekends back but at the same time miss the money. Once that's done I can hit up the bank and get my savings set back up again so I can put money in there every week and start saving for emergencies like I AM going to do in the future.

Been sick the last week and working through it, my voice is coming back I refuse to miss work this week due to the extra OVERTIME I am getting... I can't afford to not do it.. maybe some holiday money to put aside for Christmas, may not be so bad after all.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jennifer P - that's me!

Hi All! Just wanted to pop in and introduce myself. I'm glad to be part of this blog. I am the founder of the White Friday campaign and Facebook page. Carrie did an outstanding job describing what it is and why it exists. I wanted to honor Robin Williams, frankly. I was upset about his passing, and I felt that no one else should die from suicide. Period. Robin was one of my idols, a brilliant man, comedic genius, and outstanding dude. But he had horrible demons. Hor-ri-ble. White Friday started off as a tribute to Robin, and sort of morphed into a support network, and my passion. Annually, we will wear white on a Friday in August, and take and post selfless with #whitefriday. The idea behind this is to show support for those battling depression disorders. "Well, who are you and what do YOU know about depression?" I have anxiety that I have battled my entire life. As a child, I had horrendous separation anxiety. It wasn't until quite recently when I began to realize that anxiety was the root of a lot of things for me. I'm currently BFFs with Zoloft, and plan to be for probably the remainder of my life. Ever since I started White Friday, I've been able to open up about my anxiety. I used to mask it, mainly because I didn't know what was making me feel like this or why, how, etc. If White Friday helps only one person, I've successfully done my job. Please feel free to take a look at our Facebook page, Facebook.com/whirefridaylight. "Well, where did the name White Friday come from?" Simple: white = light. Depression is viewed as dark and gloomy. Those of us who battle it need to find our light, and shine bright! Friday was also the day I chose to have everyone wear white. Plus, it may or may not be a play on "Black Friday", as in the biggest shopping day of the year! ;) As I said before, this is my passion. I've since added two AMAZING page editors/admins to the campaign. We have some great stuff in the works! (Maybe a website coming up soon…)

I'm also planning to blog about my upcoming IVF treatment. For anyone with fertility issues, you know it is not fun. For me, it helps to write about it. I should be starting over Thanksgiving and having the procedure around Christmas.

Please forgive me if I don't blog right, or something. This is my first rodeo as a blogger. I'm kind of liking this. :)

It's nice to "meet" all of you.

"Look at that girl, she's lighting up the world"

I heard this yesterday while watching a movie on Netflix called "Call Me Crazy".  The movie was a fantastic glimpse into mental illness (so fantastic, it triggered an anxiety attack...What.The.Fenway.). Anyway, I loved this song because I really related to it.

I think there's an idea out there that I'm everyone's Sunshine and I'm glad to be the person they turn to for a little sparkle and optimism and cheerful kick-ass-itude, you know?  But it was a long time comin'.  I had to "break free" of so many things; a past that haunts me, insults that claw at my sense of self,  perfectionism, self doubt,  anxiety and panic disorders, and the old well-trained-girl who was never allowed to be 100% herself.  I'm so proud to have broken free, even if sometimes I still see the chains and the marks they left all over my soul.

Sing Along Sunday- Thank you to Eri for sending this to me at my lowest point!

Sing Along Sunday and a bit about White Friday

Since I am up and it is almost 4AM, I figure I will try and coherently write this one out for you before I try again to sleep.

Unless you live under a rock, and I DO some days, you probably heard about Robin Williams suiciding a few months ago. Famous people doing odd things is really nothing new but you rarely see it among someone quite as famous as Robin. Also, if you don't know about his past, he fought and consistently won battles with so many demons like drugs and alcohol. I also know that he had issues with depression that ran deep and wide. He fought a serious war while making us laugh, cry, or even laugh until we cried but eventually the lights go down and he is no longer performing. In the last part of his life he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia which left him hallucinating and having body control issues. I can assume that he researched it all well and came to the realization that his life quality would be rapidly declining one way or another and he didn't want to put his family through that. Now before you pass judgment, here is what I learned from reading up on Parkinson's as it goes when Lewy Body Dementia goes with it. LBD is bad enough but the symptoms are seriously aggravated and intensified due to the side effects of the Parkinson's medications. He was simply not going to (in his mind) beat this battle in a way that left him or his family any dignity. Does it suck? YES. Is it fair? NO. Is it any of our freaking business or our right to judge? NOPE.

But it really started something with a few of us, especially Jennifer P and I. If Robin Williams, comedy genius, could be suffering with severe depression then anyone could. His situation was unique, as is everyone's personal battle, but we wanted to reach people to know that they are not alone. You have a fighting chance. You have some place that you can come and get support from total strangers (or just strange people) and skip the judgment. When you feel like you are exhausted, we want you to stop and rest and talk it out.

So began White Friday. #WhiteFriday started as an event to wear white to show our fellow humans that there is help. There is NO shame in asking for help. And most importantly, you are not alone. We all have our own issues with depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar, and even panic disorder. We like to think that finally in our lives we get it. We cannot make your problems go away but we can listen to you and acknowledge that depression and mental health issues look different on everyone. It is not just the blues but hey if you have those we will gladly listen to you rant anyway. We are trying to 'knock the stigma out of the park', '#whiteoutdepression', and even help each other 'Shine Bright' and remember that you ARE priceless and important in this world.

As of now, you can search for White Friday on Facebook and like the page. We are working on a website. I am hoping that we can assemble a more protected environment for people who don't want their business out there. It might even come to forums where we can break down topics to specifics and people can go in and talk about issues and get feedback and support from others who have that. No one is currently a mental health professional but as I mentioned above, we come from varied backgrounds and have quite a bit of experience with our own mental health challenges.

As for me personally, I consider myself bound by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. I treat forums, closed groups, and messages as private communication unless given explicit permission to share identifying information. I might speak in generalities with my cohorts to try and get a different view on assisting you but I will not divulge information that can give away your identity. I am a Junior in the Bachelor's of Social Work program and I am currently in the Practice phase. I will begin internship next fall. I take my career and your privacy very seriously.

I hope you will join us at White Friday and watch for the new stuff that we are working on. Please be patient though because the 2 other admins and I are all going to school along with working, mothering (whether it be husbands, kids, or both) and trying to sleep sometime. I hope we can make some progress over the holidays while school is out.

You can contact the blog at: sistersofthetravelingchucks@gmail.com
You can always message me on Facebook. If we are not friends just be aware that is might go into the Other folder which I don't check nearly as often as I should. As soon as White Friday gets off the ground it will be posted here so watch this space. Besides, we have a truly awesome and diverse group of women here blogging and it is really taking off. I think you will be interested, entertained, and maybe even educated while you visit us.

Here is one of my favorite Firefly Quotes and it is very true to my philosophy: