Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Perks

I've just sent my son out to pick up the Chinese take-out that I ordered for tonights dinner.

Kids growing up. No complaints.



I can't pinpoint my feelings. I can't name them, describe them. They have left for vacation. It's not the weather, or circumstance.


Even writing about it makes me glaringly aware of how ridiculous it is to not feel anything.


6 years ago I was on an adrenaline high so potent, that I think I have depleted myself.


I am blessed beyond compare, and I am angry with my own apathy. I know I should be doing, but I don't know what. And round and round the cycle goes...until I can grasp onto something that will pull me out of this emotionless hole.


Until then, I will watch on as the other people in my life busy themselves with activity, and wait until my prayers are answered.

God, please DO something with me.

Lost in Narnia

I'm not sure what I have got going today. Yesterday proved that whatever one thinks one has in store for them, the exact opposite is likely to occur.

Although I did conquer a large portion of the photo album, and devised a plan to conquer my grandmother's [60 year collection] of loose photos.

But that is where it stops.

I didn't finish the laundry, didn't even attempt to fold the clothes as I had originally planned. I didn't vacuum. I didn't even make the bed.

However, I did receive a phone call informing me that my car needs more work than I had originally anticipated. I was thinking a new starter = $250. The mechanic is thinking a new timing chain and a new valve = $1650. Which is more than we can rightfully ask our church to help us with.

It is around this time that I picked up the Chronicles of Narnia and haven't put it down. I've decided that I'm having a rather large crush on C.S. Lewis. He is a lot more amusing than the mechanic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Smoke Signals

I received an email today that made my mouth a little dry.

I do not know my biological father. It has been something that has bothered and blessed me depending on what mood/ experience I am having.

Not knowing him doesn't consume me. It is more of a gnaw. Just at the corners. Curiosity. I am not one to let things hang.

Yet, this I have.

I've made feeble attempts throughout the years to "find" him. Smoke signals really,but I haven't put any real effort into the search. I'm a little afraid of what the answer may be to my ultimate question "why did you leave?".

I think that I like the answers I have come up with better than any lame excuse someone could give me. Although, they all amount to lame excuses if you really think about it.

I know that I have (at the very least) another brother, whom I have never met.

I know that it is something that I should address.

But I haven't.

And today I received an email in response to one of the feeble attempts I made way back in June of 2000. An inquiry on a message board long forgotten.

Will I respond?

Now THAT is the ultimate question.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sometimes I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder if my baby was switched at the hospital.
See here, she is so cute and peaceful.
This is before they took her and placed her in a different room
in order to give me a brief reprieve.
I swear, when I brought her home I worried that she must be someone elses baby.
If it weren't for the fact that we look so much alike,
I would use this excuse to placate me when she colors herself with a dark blue unwashable marker.
Or when she cuts the cats whiskers...
Or when she eats an entire pack of gum...
Or all of my stash of chocolate...
Or when she colors on the walls...
Or when she smacks her brother...
Or when she sits on the dog and won't get up...
Or sneaks a movie instead of going to bed...
Or becomes a spaghetti noodle when trying to dress her...
Or tells me "NO"...
Or calls me "Kassi" instead of "Mamma"...
Or when she refuses to eat anything but marshmallows.
But in the end. If it came down to it. I would claim her over and over again.
Because when she gives me an unsolicited hug and kiss and whispers "I love you mamma" in my ear. And when she asks me to sing "Kwinkle Kwinkle Little Star", or "Rock-a-Bye Baby", she couldn't possibly be anyone's child but mine.
And yes, I still want to eat her cheeks.
3 Days


Well, finally the photo album has reached the point of when I arrived in Michigan 7 years ago. There won't be very many photos to insert for 1998-2001 as I had to do some heavy filtering...and then after that, most of my photos are on my computer files. So, the bulk of the project is coming to a close.

I will have to purchase another album, and have decided to start the new album with when Caleb and I first started dating.

The album that I have been working on is really a photo log of Zac and Abby; their birthdays and Christmas. I didn't take many photos of scenery while in Hawaii, Idaho, and Japan. It's a shame really. Now I know why people take pictures of landscapes.

There is also a distinct lack of photos of other people besides myself and the kids. Mostly because we were away from family for so long. The new album will have more shots of activities, family, and friends.

I guess for the 8 years that I was away from my "home state", the only distinct events in my life were the births of my children. While I did a lot in those other states, the memories are fading.

For my own sake...and for the sake of my children, I am going to be carrying my little camera around more often.

I have a lot in my life that is worth remembering.

Reading on Purpose

I've read Eragon. It took me 4 days, a total of 12 hours to finish this little gem. It was good. I liked the flow of the story, and how every piece of information was relevant.

I could surmise future outcomes with little snippets of information that the author placed throughout each chapter. It was a fun read.

Unfortunately, I want to read the second book, Eldest. Which is sitting in my closet as an unwrapped Christmas present for my son. He has requested it for Christmas.

And while I know I could easily finish it before the holiday, making him none the wiser...I would feel a certain sense of guilt for cracking open the book before he had the chance. So I'll wait.

In it's stead, I had anticipated purchasing The Chronicles of Narnia and reading the first two books prior to the upcoming movie. Caleb even went out last night to purchase it for me, and when he called me from Barnes and Noble to ask which version I wanted, for some reason I told him to just nevermind.

Not so oddly enough a copy of the Chronicles came walking through the door as an unprompted gift from close friends who came to visit not a half an hour later. It was surreal. But I am learning that God works things out like that. It was really very cool, and much more meaningful.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Giving Thanks More Often

Keeping on with the spirit of the holiday, I have realized that I need to give thanks more often. I need to recognize the blessings in my life every day. Not just one day a year.

Thankful for friends who come over and help me eat up all the left overs.
Thankful for a church family who is willing to help me out with my car.
Thankful for siblings who make me smile.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Learning that your generous use of a particular word, though correct in context, has been misspelled several times. Is my face ever red.

Eclectic. One "c" not two.

Thanksgiving Recipes

When all was said and done, the final menu was as follows:

21 lb turkey
15 lb spiral cut, glazed ham
garden salad
tortellini salad
cranberry sauce jell-o
corn bread
cranberry bread
herb stuffing

Becky's (oh my gosh) mashed potatoes
candied sweet potatoes
baked butternut squash
no mushrooms green bean casserole
praline pumpkin pie
strawberry and white fudge petit fours

Some of the recipes that I used for our Thanksgiving dinner can be found here.

I'm still full.

How I spent my Thanksgiving vacation by Kassi Gilbert

I don't think that I have ever cook as an elaborate of a meal, and timed it out well enough that everything hit the table in a manner where one thing was warm and the other thing was cold.

Also, I realized that making everything from scratch is not considered simple.

Had I opted for the "from the can to the pan" method, I think that my experience may not have been quite so harrowing...

We have leftovers galore. As I am sure many refridgerators across America has at this time of year.

Nothing was burnt
Everyone was thankful.

We got off to a late start...but we made our way up to the Holiday Inn that my mom and her husband were staying. She had invited us, and my brother and sisters out to stay over, as well as a few other people for dinner. This effectively was our Christmas party since my mom and her hubby would not be able to make it ouf for Christmas this year.

It was very nice. We played a "gift game" after dinner, where the generosity of my parents was revealed. I think that my family alone should receive some sort of Target shopper of the year award. I won a very cool candle holder, and Caleb received a chocolate malt set with "Coca Cola" emblazened on the malt cups.

My kids wanted to go we donned on our bathing suits and entered the pool area. Much to my disappointment; this is where all of the children from the completely booked hotel were located. The water was murky and therefore I opted to sit in the sauna for a bit.

We met back up with my mom and the rest of my family to play a couple of rounds of "Catch Phrase". I highly recommend this game, it is a lot of fun. Especially since my team won both times. woot woot! girls rule!

Some talk was going around the table that a local high school was having their ten year reunion in one of the ball rooms. The music testified to this. And then there was some talk about crashing said particular reunion.

I'm not going to verbally confirm nor deny having taken part in any of those plans. But I will have to make sure to take care of any evidence that may prove my guilt...

Of course, this small token will be much easier to dispose of than the class video tape that the d.j. was preparing for the actual graduates of Flushing High School.

I'm sure someone will wonder who those 6 fools out on the dance floor wearing jeans and tank tops are, and why they didn't hang out with them in high school because they are having so much fun.

My mom should know by now not to bring her children in public.

Lastly, upon returning home (Saturday morning) I crawled upstairs to my room and curled up into my own bed. I just woke up.

I guess the 8 hours of cooking, the holiday festivities, and the class reunion in the span of 2 days just plain tuckered me out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Day of Giving Thanks

I have a lot to be thankful for. More than I could ever list. The most obvious is my family. I've been blessed with really good kids. Even if the little one is a pill. My husband, bless his heart, is probably one of the most tolerant human beings (in regards to me) that I have ever met. I'm not easy to get along with. at.all. He is my best friend.

Which brings me to my friends. I am not sure how I ended up with such wonderful human beings as friends...but I do know that I had to wait a long time. Essentially, my friends amaze me Their capacity for love, kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness is awesome. I'm glad that they are in my life and in my children's lives. I can only hope that I can show them my appreciation enough. I doubt I can.

I am also thankful for my pets. They are squishy and cute. They are sweet tempered, and forgiving. My dog is has the sweetest soulful brown eyes, and my cat tolerates my 3 year old...without scratching. Which says A LOT for a cat. She is my favorite present from Caleb. I could go on about both of their personalities...lets just say that they are super squishy.

I am also thankful for my church. I have just started to really realize how wonderful it is to be a part of a community of believers in Christ. Again, the kindness, compassion, and spirit of love that seems to eminate from the church that we attend is comforting, and exhilerating all at the same time.

I am thankful for my faith. It too has been a long time coming. I was not always able to say that I believe in God, that Christ is my salvation. I wasn't always able to accept the truths that the Bible teaches. Those were my lost years. My dark times. And I am thankful that I am not there anymore. I know that the trials are far from over, but knowing that I am not alone. That I am loved. That I have a God-given purpose. And that my life is not a random act brings me more comfort than I have ever known. Therefore I am thankful for the trials as well.

But more importantly, I am thankful for Christ. Knowing that He has died for my sins, allowing me, through faith and grace alone, to be close to God...there is nothing greater than this. Nothing.

Not even a squishy-cute cat.

Be safe in your travels. Remember that you are loved.

"In everything give thanks…." I Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sorting Hat

Yes yes I know. I stole this idea from fin. But in the spirit of having watched an almost 3 hour Harry Potter movie last Saturday, I think I earned the right to find out...

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

Bouquet of Silverware

I was a bit hesitant to buy my Thanksgiving silverware at the Salvation Army. It was a "what would people think" type of hesitance.

At first, I was going to just pick out completely mismatched pieces. "Ecclectic" I said to myself.

But I am a creature of order, and I know myself well enough that I am unable to do purposeful randomness.

After the first trip out to the thrift store, and sifting through other peoples unwanted silverware, I formulated a more concrete plan for choosing the pieces. Unfortunately, that meant needing to travel to another thrift store to hopefully complete my "set".

The second store was not kind enough to separate the sharp knives from the rest of the silverware, which meant perilous digging on my part. ( would caution anyone trying this out to wear gloves) But I had a certain sense of satisfaction after I found the very last fork I needed.

It wasn't as easy as one would think. I always put more pressure into a thing than necessary. I guess I want everything to have meaning. After finding one, I would say a little prayer to locate the next. It seems silly, but I know it helped.

Each piece of silverware had to have a flower or leaves on it. I have plenty of roses, but I found some pansies, tulips, a few daffodils, as well as a holly sprig. My happiest find was an iced tea spoon with flowers up the length of the handle. I will be keeping my eyes open for a flowered grapefruit spoon.

My set doesn't match, but they have a theme. I wonder if my guests will notice . And to be honest, after my endeavors I don't care. I know that each piece was hand picked.

I pledge allegience to the flag, of the United States of Corporate America

In my last post I made the flippant remark that Target is the "Devil's Store", referencing the fact that they do not allow the Salvation Army bell ringers at their store fronts any longer.

I have been mulling over this comment, and want to clarify my thoughts on this topic, as it hasn't seemed to lose steam since the decision was announced last year.

I'm not fussed.

I'm not fussed that Target doesn't allow the Salvation Army bell ringers at their store fronts.

I understand that it was a viable business decision, and not a malicious attack against people who carry bells. Considering that Target already heads up their own charitable foundation, there is no need for them to allow other charitable organizations to solicit their shoppers. Target already gives back to the community.

Unfortunately, the majority of Americans think that this is a stinky idea.
And I do think that Target execs did a poor job of explaining their position on why they have disallowed the bell ringers. It didn't actually reach my ears that Target and the Salvation Army have formed a partnership.

(No, the media won't cover that one, because its positive news.)

The fact of the matter is that charitable organizations are just as big a business as any corporate conglomerate in the United States. We just don't like to think about it that way. But realistically, we need to ask ourselves why certain charitable organization executives are raking in a $300,000 (or more) a year salary in the name of giving.

Humanitarian organizations are not exempt from the same "setbacks" that companies such as say...Enron are subject.

Target didn't make this business decision as a thwart against humanitarian efforts, it was a strategic business decision. Anyone who works in cube world for 8-10 hours a day under grueling flourescents can testify that corporate and humanitarian don't usually mix. And what goes on behind those big desks amount to numbers on paper exchaging hands.

But we still need to beat someone up for not giving enough--which is inane because Americans (as a whole) are the most generous people on the planet. Just ask payroll.

Most corporations "offer" (push) thier employees to donate a percentage of their paycheck towards charity. Swoosh, gone. We don't even miss it. Right? That measely 3% adds up. But since we aren't thinking about it, it must not really be happening. I'm sure the accounting department at United Way reports otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, I do think that we should give. I do think that giving generously is important...essential. However, I don't think that Target should be judged on the way that they choose to give.

"But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving."
II Corinthians 8:7

Right now small businesses comprise 97% of all business in the United States. It's amazing to me that the remaining 3% has such a sway on the thoughts and actions of our country, and our world.

It is my thought that until cities are cashing in on big business by changing their name to suit their corporate benefactors, or changing their names in order to market internet websites, we should just stick with singing the national anthem as is.


Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ecclectic Me

If Ecclectic is code for cheap (I mean thrifty), then yes.

I realized this past weekend that I do not have enough silverware to serve 12 people. I's crazy.

I priced the silverware at the Devil Store, but decided that I was unwilling to invest another $50 into the Thanksgiving dinner that is already breaking my bank. options:

1. Borrow silverware from a friend [which has been offered--thank you!]

2. Buy plastic silverware

3. Go to the Salvation Army and purchase mismatched silverware to go with my mismatched goblets.

At 4 pieces for $1, I couldn't go wrong. My "new" silverware is sitting in hot bleach water right now. Yay for the Salvation Army. They have solved my silverware needs.

I went to Target right purchase some hardware to fix up some last minute things, and a brand spanking new box of Apples to Apples.

I wonder if that makes me two-faced.


My second child has always been close to me. She sometimes seems to cling to me, as though the world outside is too scary and unforgiving a place, that she would rather nestle in my presence rather than brave the possibilities.

Then, there are times when she would have nothing to do with me. Preferring to play with her friends. Taking risks, climbing trees and mountains. Leaping without looking.

She has been asking me for several months to homeschool her. Asking.
Her reasons are numerous, but the one that rings out the most is that she doesn't feel comfortable in school.

She has, on a few occasions, forgone going on a field trip in order to stay home. She has on several more occasions pretended to be sick, in order to come home.

I received the familiar call this morning that she is not feeling well, not "herself". So, regardless of the cold, and the fact that I have no car, Kimi and I walked to the school to get Abby. I knew immediately when I saw her that she was not sick.

I'm not mad at her for the lie. I'm concerned for her emotionally. I am concerned for her education.

On one hand I think that she should be socialized and be a part of a classroom. On the other hand, if this continues, her emotions will interfere with her ability to learn.


I am not opposed to it. I just don't know enough about it to make a decision. I have started doing my research to figure out if it is a viable option.

In the meantime, I am grasping to find what to do to help this little girl be "comfortable" in this sometimes unforgiving world.

Quick Way to Lose a Finger

I remember being seven years old. My parents had friends over, and most likely they were drinking beer and eating pizza. Probably watching a non-age appropriate movie. They may have even been looking at nudie magazines. But in the 1970's, it was par for the course in my family.

My stepdad was not the authority on strong moral character, and mom, was just easily influenced, finding love in all the wrong places I guess.

At any rate, having guests over was both a good and bad thing. Good because it meant that my parents were happy and not directing their attention to me. I've always preferred to stay below the sight line because it meant survival.

Bad because being the only child in the house made it impossible to stay completely below the sight line of numerous inebriated adults.

And now I will unfold for you one of my most vivid and horrible memories...which will explain the title of this post.

It was funny at first. I know that he was just playing around in the beginning. He was a nice guy...he had to be, he was my parents friend. That and he had given me a bunch of Barbie stuff, including the Barbie Ski Lodge, so he couldn't be all that bad.

But here I was...laughing my head off, and unable to do anything else. He had me pinned down, literally sitting on top of me with his fingers digging into my arm pits like a crazed monkey digging into an anthill. The smell of warm Miller on his breath, in my face.

It was maddening. Maddening because my reaction, my only reaction was to laugh, which belied my real feelings, egging him to dig further. It is horrible how your body will play traitor to what your mind really wants to convey.

Eventually, my laughing turned to laughing tears. But again, misrepresented. The "play" continued. The more I struggled the more he dug in. I was in the corner of a room full of adults, and a mad man was tickling the crap out of me. Helplessly laughing.

I think that my mom came to rescue me...perhaps she finally perceived that my laughing was really crying, or maybe she saw that I had lost all strength, and couldn't fight back any longer. Or maybe the other adults in the room were just tired of my shrieking as they watched/ ignored the display. She told him to stop.

I got that a lot as a one could tell if I was laughing or crying. They sounded the same. It is an unfortunate thing for a child who is crying to be thought laughing.

He got off of me. I distinctly remember that he was wearing courderoys. I hate the sound that courderoys make when the the legs rub together.

A full grown man, sweaty from his efforts to tickle torture a seven-year old girl. He was laughing as he walked away, probably to grab another beer. I don't remember. zip zip zip.

For what it was worth, he won. I wonder if he felt I curled up in the corner, my weakend hands protectively cupping my violated, bruised arm pits, tears stains coursing down my reddened face, and a large wet spot on my pants adding to the shame of my apparent defeat.

I purposely smashed the Barbie Ski Lodge the next day, which resulted in me being berated for my carelessness. "Irresponsible and unable to take care of your property...don't care about anyone but yourself..."

Go ahead TRY to tickle me or my kids.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who's the Turkey Now?

Just because I added a few items to my once "simple" Thanksgiving meal does not make me neurotic....

You may remember this cute little list:

turkey & stuffing
herb mashed potatoes
corn bread
candied sweet potatoes
garden salad
green bean casserole
cranberry sauce jell-o
crackers and cheese
pickle tray
pumpkin pie
apple pie

I guess my elation over the fact that I actually finished the decorating must have been sending warning impulses to my brain that I needed to add more things to my list of "to-do's" for the holiday.

Therefore I have added the following items:

cranberry bread
glazed spiral ham
tortellini salad
Becky's mashed potatoes {replacing the herb mashed potatoes}
baked butternut squash
angel food cake w/ raspberry sauce {for my mom's birthday}
strawberry petit fours

"...Gobble Gobble"

Lily Livered

My mom and her husband are visiting for the holiday.

They are staying at a hotel. Though, we did open our home to them.

On Wednesday we will be partaking of turkey and stuffing goodness...replete with many desserts afterwards. I'm sure I'll have to unbutton my pants "to make room".

On Friday we have been invited to stay at the hotel. My mom has offered to reserve us a suite for the night so that we can visit with them and not have to worry about driving back home late and vice versa. We intend to stay up late, play board games, and perhaps go to the pool.

We have accepted this offer for a "mini-vacation" away from home the day after Thanksgiving. It will be nice to ignore the house cleaning until Saturday.

Then it hit me.

The pool.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Visions of me having to unbutton my top pants button due to gorging myself on Thanksgiving food on Thursday and then squeezing my lily white skin into a bathing suite on Friday are causing a short in my circuitry.

I'm not sure if God meant for people to schedule these activities in this particular sequence.

Yesterday at Target I bought some hand weights...and today I dusted off my VHS version of the "Tae Bo 8 Minute Work-Out". Pray the VCR still works.

Making it worse: my mom is coming in from Nevada where she has been soaking up the sun on her hiking expeditions. My sister is a size 4 super model, as well as my brother's girlfriends.

I'll be playing the part of "Frumplestiltskins" this holiday.

Elixer of Events

1. Caleb and I finished the "New Connections" class at church on Saturday morning...and so we were announced as new members at our church bright and early on Sunday morning!

2. Zac, Abby, and I were given tickets to see "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" at the IMAX theatre Saturday afternoon!

3. I painted the walls!

Can you tell I did this after viewing the Harry Potter movie? It's a good thing I didn't have black, purple, and green wall paint.

4. I got to go shopping at Target!

As you can see here, Tangerine likes it when I go shopping at Target as well.

5. My car won't start!

With the holiday looming ahead, and this household down one car... this week will definitely interesting. I'm not freaking out yet. Give me a day. I'm not allowing myself to think about WHEN I will be able to do my grocery shopping and errands.

6. My husband is currently dismantling the closet of doom in order to find a glove!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I remember wearing footed pajamas when I was a little girl. I remember wearing them until they were so tight that they rode up my behind, and the zipper pinched my skin no matter how much I sucked in my belly. I had to upgrade to night gowns because my mom didn't buy me new footed jammies. I had become "too big".

One of my favorite memories is waking up on Christmas morning, wearing my red footed jammies, running into the living room, and coming to a skidded halt just before hitting the pile of presents under the tree. Footed jammies were the best because my toes never got cold.

The other morning I came downstairs to help my daughter (whom I often refer to as my babydoll) get ready for school, and upon seeing me she started to giggle.

" are wearing little kid pajamas...I used to have some of those."

"Yeah I know..." I responded groggily, wondering to myself whether or not she would like a pair as well and if so what color.

Mine are pink. Extra baggy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Report

Slowly but surely my work list is shrinking.

I haven't accomplished as much as I wanted, but accomplished enough to feel productive. The photo album has monopolized most of my time. But that is because it is something that interests me.

In other news, the parent-teacher conferences went well.

I didn't get to meet all of Zacs Teachers, but it was still good to go, and put faces to names. They say the same thing that every teacher has said every year. And nothing that I don't already know; Zac is a respectful, quiet, appropriate, and sensitive boy. A nice young man to work with.

Every year a teacher will tell me that whatever I am doing, to keep it up. But I have to isn't me. God blessed me with a very nice kid. And I am very very thankful.

Now back to cleaning...but I stop at 7:00 tonight. Tonight I have a spaghetti and movie date with my family, no excuses.

Hawaii, Idaho, and Japan are all in the album! I've decided to create a scrapbook page for each Christmas and Halloween, and keep it in chronological order.

Michigan will be tough...I have more photos for the past 6 years than I thought. I am also downloading all of my digital photos to the Walgreens site to order those prints. The "test set" turned out really nice, so onward!

I have been using pages that fit 4 x 6 photos for all of my snapshots. Therefore, all of my 3.5 x 5's will need to have a black insert to frame them into the slots. Maybe I'll add captions, but I doubt it.

It has been interesting so far to see the progression of our lives through this organized album.

If I ever am able to raise the money, I may invest in a better camera.

Abby's room is finally clean. It took one hour. Not too bad. Now for the rest of the cleaning and hanging up some framed photos of the children.

I need more walls.

Lying Blue Sky

June 2002

Clear images of that day. Feeling more alone than I can explain.

The bright blue sky is just like your smile; a lie.

You are a phone call away. Less than a mile to drive.

And that burns more than the sun.

I am farther than I realize, unmistakably alone. Beginning a journey with just one step.

I won't call.

I won't cry.

Okay, maybe I'll cry. But I won't call.

I called.

But I didn't throw up.

Strength in small doses.

I had taken the kids to my grandma's pool. I had been there so many times as a child, I thought that it would bring some happiness to the day. The world had just turned upside down. My kids were scared. They needed to have fun.

Their smiling faces peer back at me from the photos that I took from that day. I wonder to myself if they knew how knotted I was inside. Did I pull it off? Did I hide my tears well enough? Was my voice too strained? Did I seem distracted? Did they notice my hands shaking?

A photo won't tell me the answers to these questions. Thier smiles look sincere, I hope that they remember the fun, and not that their mother was working out what to do next, desperate to not break down.
Desperate to not throw up.

Sometimes the story of a photo is found on the other side of the viewfinder.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Taking on the task of organizing my photographs has been a much larger project than I originally anticipated. It hasn't been the organizing per se, it has been the "how to organize".

I've got 12 years of history to sift through and try to make some sense out of it all. Which is not unlike actually living those 12 years and trying to make some sense out of it all.

I was finally able to pin point my approach (with some help from Caleb)...which will save me time, money, and perhaps some sanity.

I'm not putting together individual photo books for each of the kids. *gasp* I know. Pretty radical. But their lives are intermingled with ours, and together tells a story of our family. So, no separation. I've always found those type of photo books a little ridiculous anyway.

The harder determination, knowing that it is of course going to be set up chronologically, is where to begin.

I've been married before, and then had a terrible, but distinct relationship between marriages. And neither of them can really be "cut out" because that would mean locking away a good portion of the kids' history as well as mine. first step has been to separate photos by location.

Hawaii, Idaho, Japan, Michigan.

Michigan gets two piles, one for before Caleb and I were together and then one pile for the time after we started dating.

Any photos that are pre-children are going to go into a photo box for the time being.

Well, the sorting part has been EASY since having figured out this particular system. But I went ahead and made my job a little more interesting...because I like to do that to if I don't already have enough to do.

I've decided to insert scrapbook pages for certain special events. (I purchased a three ring album for our photos, so that I can insert as many pages as I want)

Therefore the following events will have their own section, and or scrapbook page:

1. Christmas
2. Halloween
3. Birthdays
4. Vacations

I am toying with putting all the Christmas photos together in a complete section...and doing the same with Halloween. Or just doing a scrapbook page for each Christmas and keeping them in the book in chronological order. Not sure yet. I think it would be cool to have sections to see each Christmas side by side.

I'm actually excited about the whole inserting a scrap book page idea.

Next, not all photos are making the book. I've decided to be picky and not just throw everything in. There is really no reason to have multiple shots of the same person just different angles in the album. It lends to redundancy, and is boring. So, repeat photos, and just plain bad shots are getting stored in photo boxes (or tossed out).

How much have I actually completed? Well...I've completed the sorting by location, and Hawaii is in the book, except for the scrap book pages that I will need to put together.

I've just started sorting Idaho by Zac's age, ending with Abby's birth.

I wish now that I would have written notes on the backs of these photos. It would have been immensely helpful in this whole process. But I wasn't that thoughtful back then.

As for the other subjects of past relationships. I've come to the realization that I have a daunting history in which my husband must accustom himself. Most people tend to think that my husband is rather oblivious of these types of things (and many other things as well), but the truth of the matter is that he is quite aware of more than people give him credit for. He just chooses to keep his mouth shut. I'm not quite so disciplined...most people aren't. So I have to keep his feelings in mind when assembling the family album.

I'm not including photos in this family album of those past relationships. I'm reserving photos of Zac and Abby's dad for albums of thier own some day. As for Kimi, her paternal father's photos were tossed out a while ago. There is a definite need for filtering out his image.

Our family albums will start with my pregnancy with Zac. There are only one or two photos of my balloon stage. But it is nice to have a beginning, one that works for our blended family.

And now I have to go, because Kimi is taunting the cat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today Is...

Laundry [clean, fold, put away]
Girls bedroom
Finish church banner
Set up children's welcome center at church
Bible study
Photo sorting [while watching "Lost"]

And before November 23:

Painting walls [which will be accompanied by much yelling]
Assembling photo album
Clean storage room
Shop for photo frames
Hang framed pictures
Cleaning kitchen
Cleaning bathrooms
Vacuuming entire house
More laundry
Groom dog
Grocery shopping
Parent/Teacher conferences
Clean rugs
Dusting and cobweb patrol
Wrapping presents

November 23:

Cleaning kitchen [again]
More vacuuming
More laundry
More dusting
Sending everyone to a hotel so that they don't get anything dirty

November 24:

More cooking and baking
More cleaning
More screaming into a pillow

November 25:

Mix myself a cocktail and take a mental health day


Usually when I make my task lists I feel more calm. I'm not feeling that right now. Perhaps we'll have Thanksgiving at Denny's this year after all.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hosting the Holiday

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and I'm a little nervous.

I've hosted Thanksgiving before, just not with my family. On the guest list is my mother, her husband, my grandma, my brother, and my sister. As well as my husband and children. It will be a full house. Thankfully we have a large enough table to seat everyone.

On the menu is the following:

turkey & stuffing
herb mashed potatoes
corn bread
sweet potatoes
garden salad
green bean casserole
garden salad
yummy cranberry sauce
crackers and cheese
pickle tray
pumpkin pie
apple pie

I keep thinking that I am missing something. Perhaps I should add the tortellini salad. (To which Caleb responds with a firm YES)

Well, I don't want to get away from myself, so in keeping with making things simple, I will cap it at the above mentioned items for my menu.

However, I am curious, dear friends...what Thanksgiving dishes are you going to be passing around the table on November 24?

A comment from Caleb: He is miffed that we [collectively as a nation] go from Halloween celebration straight to Christmas without really giving Thanksgiving its proper due. His feeling is that Thanksgiving is a much overlooked and underappreciated holiday, and should be emphasized more. I have to agree. I feel that we should spend more time giving thanks.


I woke up, took a shower, put on deoderant, got dressed. I copped out with tying a bandana around my head instead of doing my hair...but I am presentable.

However, my (youngest) daughter has run around in panties, a robe and a pink crocheted hat all day. She also ate 6 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

It is no wonder she's been all laughs and giggles today.

If only I had a pink crocheted hat.

On a side note:

today has been rainy, gray, and beautifully gloomy. Right now, I am watching the moonlight dance with raindrops in the puddles outside my window. A perfect night for Poe.

Embracing My Inner Geek

"Geek". I love this word. I haven't always though. Perhaps as my generation got older and is finally coming in to it's own, we made up our own terms on what "geek" means.

Certainly in our parents generation, it was not considered "cool" or "acceptable" to be called a "geek". I think that if pinned a geek in the 1950's you were considered a social outcast, misfit, wore black plastic frame glasses, and often had your chocolate malt poured on your head by a guy named Biff.

Speaking of which, I wonder if those angsty scenes in Back to the Future had anything to do with our current perceptions of geekhood. Maybe the baby boomer generation DID teach us some good life lessons after all. Or maybe we ignored their point, and took it in our own direction. We are rebellious that way. Heck, we geeks have our own store now.

At any rate, I have been labeled a "geek" on many occasions, and I cannot dispute the label:

I like computers
I play video games
I role play
I like anime
I read. A lot.
I like comic book characters
I watch Invader Zim
I have my own dice
I own 2 pairs of Chucks
I like CSI [Gil Grissom rocks]
I like Sci-Fi
I feel comfortable having a conversation about the Illuminati
I've used the word "trajectory" in a sentence during casual converstation
I have my very own red stapler
AND I wear black rimmed glasses. [of course the current geek look is more Napoleon, and less McFly].

I'm okay with this.

It helps immensely that ALL of my friends are geeks [or geek lovers] on some plane of existence or another as well. Be their geekdom derived from books, clothes, movies, computers, or games. And I'm glad to have found this group of people who delights in one form of geekdom or another.

I admit...I partake of more than my share of geeky activities...but I am comfortable in my shoes, and wouldn't have it any other way.


Inspired by Ellen

Monday, November 14, 2005

Non Stop

Today has been non stop.

I've been to a counseling session, spent 3.5 hours at the church creating a welcome banner by hand. And "by hand" I mean drawing and cutting out each letter freehand. Shopping for baby Jesus' birthday party, welcome center decorations, picking out paint for our wall, and buying my mother's birthday present.

My only chance to sit down was to draft this mediochre post. And even so, my husband is behind me playing his bagpipes, and pleading with his eyes for me to make him dinner. There are dishes in the sink, and the floor needs to be vacuumed.

7:30 PM and my day is not even close to being over.


Screw it, I am going to bed with both the vacuuming undone, AND a sink full of dirty dishes. I had to make an executive Medium or clean. Patricia Arquette won. I will probably have nightmares all night because I am worried they will find me dead in my bed, and the last thing remembered of me will be: she didn't even do the dishes...

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I had considered, briefly, eliminating the site reader on my blog. It was going to be a "burning of the bra" gesture. I would be making the statement that I will NOT be a slave to the numbers. I will NOT care how many people read, and the ratio between readers and comments will not matter.

I have reconsidered.

My site reader has served a much more useful purpose today. I was able to track and pin point a rude commenter. The power of that is much more satisfying than the numbers. It satiates my inner sleuth.

Bring it.


I narrowed it down to a specific ISP, but the computer in question has multiple users.

Fortunately, the person who I contacted regarding the mean comment was not the writer of the comment. Therefore, they were able to do some sleuthing on thier side and find out who was using the computer to spread evil.

Thank you La Dauphine for your honesty, and kindness in this matter!


Our church is hosting a number of charitable events. One of them being gift bags for young mothers, and teenage girls who have been displaced (i.e. without homes for the holidays due to neglect and abuse).

I let the girls each pick a gift bag to fill for two teenage girls.

I chose a gift bag to fill for a young mother; 17 years old to be exact.

I personally couldn't imagine what it must be like to be a teenager and caring for a baby. It's hard enough at double that age. I have been trying to place myself in her shoes, to be honest it is really difficult. I know that I wouldn't know where to begin, and I am glad that there are places who are able to help young mothers get on their feet, and be healthy.

I guess I have spent so many years placing blame, and being angry that better choices weren't made on my behalf that it narrows my sight, and has kept me focused on my own hurts. Selfish really. But I am realizing my flawed perception.

The perception of a child of a 17 year old girl.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remember When?

I just can't believe that Johnny Depp is 42. I still think of him as in his 20's. Someday we will meet and, over margaritas, will have a good laugh over my confusion.


I've never been good at keeping my photos in order, or putting them into photo books...which is funny because I have volunteered myself as the family archivist, and have in my possession the bulk of my grandmother's photo collection.

For example; I've been married over a year and it was just yesterday that I put my wedding pictures into frames, and today that I finally finished the wedding album.

I've got a lot of photos to sift through...and I have endeavored this a few times before, so I have quite a few less than I use to.

Unfortunately today I learned that I am missing some of Zac and Abby's school photos. I think that they were ruined in the flood. The photographer doesn't have them in their archives any longer...I called several times to make sure.

I've decided that I need to take better care of these photos. And definitely start framing the ones that I have. This weekend I'll be heading off to Michaels to pick up some photo frames and albums. My goal is to complete my photo albums before Thanksgiving.

The down side is that all of my recent photos are digital...and are stuck on my computer. It will be an expensive project to get them printed. But something that I really need to do.

Question of the Day

Kimi...why is your toilet in the kitchen?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Depth Perception

The song compelled me to slow my pace. It was as if it were an introduction, allowing me to see more than my two feet plodding along the cement on my way home. My eyes locked on to what stood before me. A streetlamp brightly lit, with the silhouette of the tree in directly behind it. The clarity of the lamp and the shadow tree standing in stark contrast. The depth of what I saw continued…for behind the tree displayed a backdrop of the autumn night sky…partly dark blue, and the other half formed of grey blue clouds, traveling across the sky with an unknown mission…and still behind the moving wall of clouds, the luminous moon…and so on and so on.

I stood still, the dog whining at my feet wanting me to continue our course home…but I felt so inconceivably minute, and yet so unimaginably significant at the same time. I withdrew into my own smallness; in awe of the indescribable splendor of such darkness and lightness all at once. The cool air awakened my perceptions. There was nothing at all between me and the night sky…I felt so completely pulled into it. As though should I die right then, my soul would take to the clouds, pass the moon onto forever; and that would be just fine. He smiled down on me right then, knowingly, familiar. I had been here before…but such a long time ago, when I didn’t understand. He reminded me that there is so much more than my eye can see…and so much more that my life will be. This is how I know. This is how I always feel when God is near. Like He has taken my hand and revealed a glimpse of the elaborate layers of His majesty…and I have nothing to fear.

I realized in this moment that I had been spending all my life trying to find someone to share these moments of intensity with; someone to understand the infinity that I experience when I look to the vast open sky. But I know now that I don’t have to look anymore. He was sharing it with me all along.


I live in a box. My own box. Wrapped up in my own worries like cushy blankets to keep me familiarly comfortable. But never completely comfortable. The blanket is unfinished; I keep losing the needle.

Sometimes I sit on that needle, and the sharp stinging pain reminds me that I am selfish.

Lately, I've learned something new. On the days that I find the needle stuck in my foot or backside, I draw it out of my skin, and use it to poke holes in the walls of my box.

At first the pinhole of light hurt my eyes. And I would duck under my blanket. But then I became accustomed to the hazy hue of my box.

Soon I became curious, thus poking more holes. I spread them out in patterns. Tiny shafts of light infiltrated my world. It reminds me of a starry sky.

Then I tried something new. I tried looking out of one of these tiny holes. Funny how the eyes work. No matter how small the hole, your eyes can narrow their focus and actually see through.

I still can't see the big picture. My blanket lures me away from poking holes in the walls of my box quite often, but it isn't as fluffy as I had first thought and I am determined to keep track of that needle.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

21 Days

He has 21 days in which to change his mind...and appeal his decision to give consent allowing my husband to adopt my daughter.

21 days.

Let the countdown begin.


Pan of brownies = 0

Kimi = 1

The brownies really had no chance.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


It's funny how some things turn out the way that they do...

The book I had been reading on and off again for the past six years...I finished it today.

Strange how I finished it today...of all days.

The significance is that the person who gave me the book called me today to inform me that the last page had been turned thereby finally ending the story of our extremely difficult relationship.

I cried. When I hung up the phone.
I cried. When I finished the book.


They bring about new beginnings.

7 Days

The snoog has been dry for 7 days. All by herself. Even at night. We are almost out of Halloween candy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Little Hemophobe

Today after finishing up my work at church, I decided to give blood. My church is hosting a blood drive today.

I had about an hour before I needed to be at Abby's parent/teacher conference anyway, and thought to myself that I could finally conquer my old fear, and just do this one worthwhile a hero of sorts, or at least do my civic duty.

I walked into the blood drive room asked some questions, and then went back to the administrative office to pick up my purse and coat.

By the time I walked back to the room where the blood drive was taking place, my right foot was starting to tingle.

I've never been able to give blood. Heck, I've never been able to have blood drawn without almost passing out. In fact, when I was getting my ASVAB's done for the military I DID pass out.

If nothing else works for me as a preventative to pregnancy, all the blood tests that are involved are enough to make me think long and hard about having another child.

However, that aside...I thought for a brief insane moment that I would be able to overcome my fear of needles, blood and more blood, mostly MY blood...yeah, I'm afraid of MY blood, in one afternoon. Not the case.

The volunteer instructed me to read the brochure and then sign my name on the sign in sheet.

I knew that I was going to back out when my eyes couldn't focus on the words in the brochure, well...that's not true...I saw the word "blood" a few times...

My hands started to go numb, and then with shaky legs, I stood up and said I was sorry, but didn't have the time at the moment to give blood. How late were they open, etc. etc. Knowing full well that I had no intention of returning.

I'm weak. I know. Sorry and pathetic all rolled into one.

After I retreated to the outdoors, the cold rush of wind brought back some of the feeling in my limbs. I took a drink of water to soothe my suddenly parched throat, and with some shakiness I started my car. Only until I was safely away from those white trucks with the big red cross on the sides did the feeling completely return to my hands and feet.

I hope that some day, I will finally make myself do it and overcome this fear. I know I should, I want hopefully some day soon. Even now as I think about it, my fingers start to lose feeling. I know that it can be conquered, I know I can face it...but not today.

Art Mom

I wasn't exactly sure of myself when I volunteered to be "Art Mom" for Abby's third grade class.

Picking out the subject matter was a little overwhelming. There are so many artists, and so many subjects to choose from, but thankfully the representatives at the Plymouth Community Arts Council were very informative...and helpful.

I chose Ansel Adams because I love his photography.

Of course, loving his work and speaking about it are two different things. I didn't know boo about the guy, only that his black and white photographs move my soul. How do you express that to a group of third graders?

I did as much prep work as time would allow, and on the way to the school, I was able to formulate my approach. Relating how art is an expression, and then how they feel when they create artwork...and then how they feel when they take photos...and then introducing them to a man who made taking photos of what he loves, his life's work.

The kids enjoyed it.

So did I.

I think that next time I will introduce them to Edgar Degas.


This past weekend was layered with revelations. I felt like I was peeling an onion, only it wasn't stinky and didn't make me cry in a bad way...yeah, there were tears, but good ones.

I realized that a very good friend of mine is a stronger Christian than I knew.

I realized that God has answered my prayers for a small group of close friends with whom I can share my faith...

I realized that Christians and scientists are not on different teams necessarily.

I realized that the church I have been attending is a REALLY GOOD church that is dedicated to helping others in the surrounding communities.

I realized that my cat loves me even if I give her a bath.

I realized that I can still make someone smile.

This weekend was really a I need to write down in my private journal, so that I can remember all the details. Because there aren't very many weekends like this in my life...and when they come along I don't want to forget. Maybe by remembering, I can be sustained through the trials yet to come.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bon Automne

Plight of the SAHM

I don't have anything profound to share. In fact this is another post about poo, so read at your own risk.

Today I will be doing some errands. Birthday present shopping, picking up the cats medicine, dropping off the mail...etc. etc.

My house is a complete and total mess. I'll have to tend to that later, if I want to get a jump on the rest of the day...and get off the couch; where I have spent most of the morning reading and hanging out with Caleb. We have mornings, most people have nights.

Since I have become a stay at home mom, time stretches out before me, and I plan my day in blocks of activity. In the morning I am the afternoon I start my cleaning, and I dont' usually sit down again until around 9:00 PM. This is mainly because I don't like to clean the house with an audience [my husband].

I'm grateful for that luxury. Very grateful. My husband works hard in order to allow me this opportunity to not put Kimi in daycare full time, and be home when ALL of the children need me. Lord knows I've had to pick the older ones up from school enough times in the past month to reinforce that I NEED to be home for them.

However, there are downsides to staying at home. The uncertainty of finances, longing for adult conversation, and potty training, to name a few.

In the beginning [4 months ago] I was excited for her every time that she sat on her little potty chair and made a poo in the appropriate place.

However, the excitement factor has waned, and it has been a little difficult faking that level of happiness every time. I think that she has sensed this and is endeavoring to make things interesting for me..

Now...after she has done the duty in the appropriate place, she excitedly shows me what she has made. So far she has made a snake, an elephant, a tiger, and a it was a dragon. This is all her idea, not mine. Trust me, none of what she made resembles animals real or imaginary.

I know she is trying to make this interesting for me as well, but until she shows me a flying monkey, I'm not contacting The Tonight Show.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

John 8:32

National City Bank is the Devil.

Dear Kimi

Sometimes late at night, we will be laying in bed just talking. All of a sudden I will just have this indescribable need to see you and hold you. So one of us will creep into your room at night, scoop you up while you are sleeping and bring you back to bed with us so that we can snuggle you while you are peaceful.

You don't know I do that...because you are sleeping. But I wanted to let you know because during the day when you are awake it seems like I am always scolding you for one thing or another.

If you never listen to another thing I say for the rest of your life...know that I love you.


Our Many Smells

My huband often asks me why I smell like a certain fruit, or dessert. I have yet to answer him truthfully...because I know that it is just the shampoo I use, not some magical scent that I produce from my orafices.

Last night:

Him: Why do you smell like strawberry shortcake?

Me: I don't know [lie]

Him: Really, you smell like Strawberry Shortcake. We'll have to dye your hair red and put a little bonnet on you.

Me: Weirdo.

So this morning I attempted to oblige him with the same compliment, though I am doubtful I got it right.

This morning:

Me: Why do you smell like cabbage and tomatoes?

Him: I don't smell like cabbage and tomatoes...

Me: Yes you do, you smell like cabbage with stewed tomatoes.

Him: No I don't.

Me: You smell like the type of food that old people eat to stay regular.

Him: That's awful. Why do I smell like that?

Me: I don't know...maybe you need to ask yourself that question...

Dedicated to The Dead Milkmen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Played by a Pre Schooler

It has now been confirmed that my three-year-old has been playing me. I'm not pleased.

Today she has kept completely dry, on her own, with no prompting.

You would think that this would make me very happy. It would if I did not know her incentive...

See, I informed the little urchin that she would not get ONE measley piece of her Halloween candy if she messed herself. I stipulated that she could have a piece of candy after each time she used the toilet.

I figured one or two pieces at the most today. She has gone to the bathroom (unassisted) 5 times today. 5 times.

I need to find a way to beat her at her own game without crashing down the fragile house of cards that I currently refer to as "potty training".

I already realize that I am sorely out of my league for outwitting the little mastermind.

Tea and Toast

I was surrounded by people from my high school days. It was some sort of strange reunion, but they gathered outside my bedroom window on Silver Bell Rd, the place where I grew up.

Eventually it became time to leave. Leave to where I was unsure, but everyone else was going.

The way out was up, and then down again, a set of iron stairs with slatted steps.

Everything was going fine until I reached the top. I was struck by a paralyzing fear of going forward. At first it wasn't so much fear as hesitation, but the more I thought about going down those stairs, the more I couldn't move.

The people behind me couldn't wait any longer, and started pushing past me...I backed up against the wall, and held tight to the railing.

Then one of my classmates saw me, and stood there with me. Just talking.
I started to feel okay again, and began to inch my way to the first step down. And then it happened; the railing began to come free of the wall, and the stairs started to tilt to one side.

My only options were to go down the stairs as I should have, or fall away into the nothingness below. I began to move down the stairs. But as soon as I did, they started to escalate upwards. I saw my childhood friend S and her children being carried upwards. Her girls were wearing Sunday dresses.

Finally, my classmate assured me well enough that he remembered me, so I jumped onto the escalator as well, and there at the top, everyone was seated at a table eating toast and drinking tea.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Difficult Is...

Calling someone up to ask them to give up parental rights to their daughter.

Yeah, that is difficult. How do you find the words?

Receiving the call must be hell.

I guess however atrocious he was to me, I can't believe that anyone would be able to do this with any amount of ease. Somewhere in there is a very hurt human being. Oh how I pray that this is over soon, for all our sakes.


Age 10 Sitting on the edge of my parent’s bed; I would listen to music pouring out that old stereo system. There were so many reasons to want to get away, my young heart didn’t even understand all of them, only the turmoil inside caused by the circumstances far out of my control.

I was able to escape the moment and be somewhere else anywhere but there, even for three minutes…and for me that was hope. The piano solo was a doorway and his voice enlightened me to life in ways that I can’t explain.

I knew at that tender age that my life was not always going to be as I was experiencing right then and that some day I would feel the pains of adulthood just like that small town girl and city boy. But at least that pain would be my own doing.

I wondered at the vastness of it all, how it would just go on, and where might my footsteps lead me. I had no idea, but I knew that I could experience a lot, because there were so many possibilities that would lead me away from that place.

Even now as I listen to those words, I sometimes feel that my life is still traveling…on the to where I do not know. But the pages haven’t stopped turning, and I know that if I am not happy, then standing still is not an option. I escape from wherever I am to wherever I want to be...even if for only three minutes.

In some ways, I have stopped searching. But back then, my journey had just begun…and right now, this moment is just a pause in step. There is still tonight, there is still tomorrow for as long as my life goes on, and so many experiences yet to come.

Perhaps his words weren't meant for a 10 year old girl living in a farm house surrounded by uncertainty, chaos, and abuse. But grown up thoughts had already infiltrated my child mind. Therefore, I understood, and did not stop believing.

It was the wine talking...


I wish that I could just link everyone to that one word.

But I can't, so I want to send out mad props to a couple of people who has infiltrated my thoughts in the real world, thereby making me realize that that this here blog has not only given me an outlet to spew forth unintelligible garbage that people are willing to read; but has also linked me to a community comprised of individuals from all over the place. Each with interests and lives of their own, but undeniably connected by a common thread. That thread being Vampires.

My mad props go out to Brando and Scott. How have they infiltrated my real world?

Well, on Friday night, someone brought a bottle of Vampire wine to the party [A genuine import of Transylvania]. And then on Saturday night, Erin brought two bottles to the Red Creek game...

I thought to myself, "I bet Brandon would get a kick out of this stuff...I wonder if it is REALLY from Transylvania..."

And I thought..."whoa".

Then later on there was some talk of vampires and I thought about how Scott has referred to his family as vampires because they are captivatingly attractive...

Then I thought to myself...

"Gosh. I need to meet these people, because if I keep making reference of them in real life, I will have to make sure they actually exist or up my Risperdol"